oving isn’t easy. Loading up all your possessions, your gear, your dogs and all you can fit into a Uhaul trailer and making your way to a whole new state, half-way across the country, in the middle of winter. In hindsight I would say it was “blatant stupidity.” However, with an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of North Dakota’s Medical Cannabis operation, I did just that. This last February, we jumped into my beloved fully, restored, classic white Bronco, that I call “OJ”, and rolled off to the land of the tribe of North “Friend”.
While I had spent time hunting in North Dakota, no one exactly drummed out the Welcome Wagon for the Daniels Clan when we arrived. Unfortunately, almost immediately, one of my hunting dogs took off across a frozen lake and killed my neighbor’s dog. I got mugged trying to give a homeless person a ride home, just after he had filled his pockets in my home, and under the guise of being sent by the moving company I had contracted. At one point, I had to escort a homeless drifter from my wife’s car at gunpoint. Another time, I had my own life and children threatened by a crystal methamphetamine addict who was arrested for terrorism.
Oh, and did I mention the movers got away with about four grand in jewelry? All this happened within my first two weeks in town. So far so good for North Dakota, right? Well, thankfully, I watched as each one of them had their mugshots taken, and while I am a forgiving man, I pressed charges. I escorted one to the police station myself. I wanted to zip tie him, and mace him for threatening my son, but I turned him over to the law instead. I may have sprayed him a bit first though. I mean, come on. You threatened my son!!!! People don’t realize your resolve until they test it, repeatedly!
That whole thing with the dog? I ended up having the cops called to my home seven, that’s right, I said, SEVEN times. To the point where I had to spend over $5,000 on an invisible fence, cremate the dog that my Lab took out, and God only knows how much I spent in Veterinarian fees.
I just came up here to grow medical cannabis my friend. And I wish I had the creativity inside me to make all this up, but it happened. Literally.
Now, from assemblymen to the common person, or the broker reading one article in US Today saying Denver smelled like Marijuana and asking if that would happen here, I must explain to grown men that the density of the areas they checked had thousands of plants in a very dense area. Of course, you can smell the weed, but I am renting a warehouse and manning it with Cultivation Cubes. How can I honestly look any person in the eye and tell them that “Ganja doesn’t stink”? Our property sits by the Tesoro Oil refinery and these cats are worried that the “neighbors might smell something?” It’s so inane that I want to laugh out loud, but I must keep in mind we are educating at the same time we are fighting for out patients.
This is the wild frontier people, and your if you’re not local, they don’t like you. Being a Veteran helps, but making friends isn’t easy. Transplanting your life to help others is tough business. When I met the requirements, and cut the big check, suddenly, a building that sat empty for three years, had “interest” from someone wanting to supposedly do the “same thing, but with no knowledge of growing cannabis.
So, I asked: Have they contracted their grower? Do they have a letter of intent from CSA to protect the building? Are they actively working with the largest grower in the country? And lastly, are they Veterans? I was told, they can’t tell me these things. So, I called buffaloshit. That’s a little ND humor for you.
I now have a signed lease of the property, with the option to purchase. Then I filed a complaint with the state board of realtors for this cat trying to “okie-doke” me to pay more money.
Do you know that a property I visited in November of last year and was planning to purchase at $45,900.00 had jumped to $459,000.00, when I returned this year? I was honest, told them what I was doing, and they raised the price ten times what they were originally asking. They made it clear they did not want me building there. I’ve been turned down by all but one property in the zoned areas because renting or selling for Medical Cannabis is at the discretion of the owner.
It wasn’t my NEW brokers fault. He has more connections than a 1950’s switchboard, and I thank God I found someone to go to bat for me. Most people up here think I am a “Hippie with a Dog” planning to grow the “Devil’s Lettuce” in the garage behind my house. Then they meet me and see I’m truly committed to this being done “the right way”. Professionally and Secured with more cameras than a reality TV show.
Well, I was trained to “Never Quit”. I wear one of Marcus Latrell’s bracelets to remind me every day that I’m not doing this for money. I’m doing this to help my brothers and sisters who served, my new, though sometimes hostile, community, and those who deserve access to high quality, safe and legal medication.
The VA had me on nine different Meds. Apparently, I have a back fracture. Who knows for how long, but I can take a narcotic, in pill form, whenever I need to. However, I don’t want to live like that anymore, and neither should the “friendly” people and veterans of North Dakota. So, I’m not going anywhere. I will stay and finish the job.
And if you’re moving to North Dakota to join in this effort, just be careful of drifters, pickpockets, greedy realtors and crystal meth tweekers, and maybe my dog, but the smell will be just fine.