Our Latest Blog Posts

Donate to the W.E.B. Du Bois Public Sculpture Project

As mentioned in this post from August, Devine owner Ari Zorn is the Vice Chairman of the W.E.B. Du Bois Public Sculpture project.  The result is envisioned to be a landscaped and hardscaped public plaza centered around a bronze sculpture of Du Bois.

The goal with the creation of this monument to Du Bois is threefold:

  1. to honor our most famous native son,
  2. to create a community gathering space using local materials, and
  3. to educate the community on Du Bois’s legacy and the process of creating the actual monument.

This project is very close to Ari’s heart, and we would encourage anyone who is a fan of Devine, the Zorns and their conservation work and activism, or of the local area, to learn more about the project or to donate to the efforts, at the official website: https://webduboissculpture.org/

Special Guest Appearance This Sunday, August 21

Devine is proud and excited to host cannabis activist, motivational speaker, and talk show host Montel Williams!  Stop by the shop this coming Sunday, August 21, 2022, from 2:00PM to 5:00PM to meet Montel and learn about his Inspire by Montel line of cannabis products, available for sale at Devine.  We look forward to seeing you then!

Progress Toward a Public Sculpture of W.E.B. Du Bois

Devine owner Ari Zorn was recently featured in the Berkshire Eagle as part of a story regarding the vision intended for the W.E.B. Du Bois Sculpture project, of which he is the Vice Chairman.  The Sculpture Project is an organized effort to create a public art piece and space honoring the Great Barrington native civil rights activist.  The current vision is to work with a Black sculptor alongside a Black historian and public input in order to seamlessly incorporate the art work with the area directly in front of the Mason Library in downtown Great Barrington.  The end result would be to create a public plaza in addition to a life-sized sculpture of Du Bois himself.  In doing so, the Sculpture Project hopes to tie together Du Bois’s birthplace around the corner from the intended site, with the W.E.B. Du Bois Freedom Center a few miles away.  Ari and his fellow Sculpture Project organizers are working to ensure that all aspects of the project honors the Du Bois legacy.

Read more here!

Meet Our Mascot + We Are Pet Friendly!

“Who’s that beautiful dog on your home page?”

One of the most noticeable things about Devine, both front and center here on our website, and in person at our store, is the attention-grabbing presence of a large and gorgeous dog.  We didn’t just hire a beautiful model to accentuate our aesthetic for the website photographs; she is our mascot!  Her name is Tatanka, known better as Tanka or T.T., and she is a young Newfoundland.  She belongs to Heidi and Ari Zorn, Devine’s owners, and is a frequent, if not ubiquitous, presence in and around Devine.  She is just shy of 2 years old, approximately 130 pounds, and her white and black coat pattern is known as Landseer.  Tanka may be very large, but fear not, because she is consistently the most mellow presence in a store full of stoners.  She spends most of her days here calmly and sweetly accepting pets and greetings, and being a very fancy (but non-functional) shaggy rug.  She is perhaps not the best shopping assistant, as she is rather indifferent to the many products around her and the hype around cannabis, but she is well known for making the shopping experience at Devine extra special regardless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to Tanka, Devine frequently hosts the owners’ other furry companions, as well as those belonging to customers, which brings us to…

“Can I bring my pet inside your store?”  

Yes!  With the consideration in mind that Tanka or other pets may also be here, please feel free!  We don’t want you to leave your furry family in a hot car; we all love animals here, and would love to meet yours.  They don’t even need an ID.  We even offer a CBD-only tincture formulated specifically for pets!

 

What Is There To Do In South Egremont?

The town of South Egremont is located between Great Barrington and the NY border, at the intersection of Routes 23 and 41. If you don’t pay attention while driving through, you might think the town is just a small collection of houses. But, this historic village actually houses a couple dozen businesses, including eating establishments and shops, and is centrally located to several historic and natural sites.

Eating

Whether breakfast, lunch or dinner, South Egremont has you covered.  Mom’s Country Cafe serves traditional breakfasts, like eggs and toast, or omelets, and soups and sandwiches for lunch.  Try their back deck overlooking the scenic Karner Brook. If you’re on the go, the Country Store next door will make a sandwich to go.

Sara’s Cafe, up the road at The Egremont Inn, is a coffee shop that serves a smaller, updated menu, and is a great place to stop for coffee with a friend, while The Egremont Barn, next door, offers pub food and entertainment in the evenings.

For a cozy dinner with a gourmet menu you might find in a big city, the Old Mill is the place to go. Chef/owner Terry Moore has been serving “rustic elegance” for over 40 years.

John Andrews Farmhouse, close to the NY border offers “upscale, locally sourced American fare” in a farmhouse setting.

Shops

South Egremont has a variety of shops, some for convenience and some specialty stores.  As mentioned, the Country Store makes sandwiches, but also has coffee to go, snacks, cold drinks, and various necessities and local goods. In the summer months you can stop for an ice cream cone after your hike. Nearby are the Spirit Shoppe, and definitely stop in to say hello to us at Devine Cannabis and CBD! For other small necessities, try The Shop, which sells greeting cards, gifts, games, puzzles, local goods, and more.

Kenver’s is a full service sporting goods store, with everything you need for you Berkshire outdoor adventure, but if crafting is more your style, you’ll be heading straight for the Brookside Quiltworks to check out their selection of fabrics, exhibits and activities.

Acorn is new to town, but this children’s clothing and toy store has been in Brooklyn since 2004. A great place to find unique handcrafted toys and goods, they fit right in with the artists and antique stores that fill in main street.

Where to stay

In addition to the Egremont Inn just over the line towards Great Barrington is the Windflower Inn. These are both charming, welcoming inns, steeped in local history.

Historic sights and Outdoor activities

The two important historical sites nearby are the WEB Dubois National Historic Site, and the site of Shay’s Rebellion. While the monument for Shay’s Rebellion is small, there is a parking area with access to the Appalachian trail, for a pleasant walk or longer hike.

Jug End State Reservation is another nearby place for a hike in the woods.

 

Cannabis 101

How does it work?

THC is the main compound in the cannabis plant, responsible for feelings of euphoria, relaxation, creativity and other effects that users report. Cannabis can also cause paranoia, anxiety, and other negative feelings in some.

Many things contribute to how cannabis affects you and makes you feel, including:

  • Your body chemistry
  • Type of strain consumed (its chemical profile)
  • How much you consume (dosage)
  • Method of consumption (joint, bong, dab, edible, etc.)
  • Set and setting—are you having a good or bad day? Are you outside, inside, at a concert, or out to dinner?
  • Intention—are you consuming to watch a movie, do art, or go for a run? Do you want to get a little high or very high?

 

There’s more to it than THC

Cannabinoids and terpenes are the main compounds in the cannabis plant that get you high or provide medicinal benefits. The two main cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC gets you high, whereas CBD is non-intoxicating. People consume both cannabinoids for medicinal benefits. Most strains you buy at the dispensary will be high in THC, and some will be high in CBD or have a balance of the two.

Terpenes are weed’s scent compounds, giving the plant its complex aromas. Hundreds of terpenes are found in trace amounts in the plant.

Cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically through a process called the entourage effect, and they interact with and activate the body’s endocannabinoid system, a cellular system which maintains balance in your body. This is how you feel high and experience symptom relief or other effects of cannabis.

Too much, too little, or just right?

Dosing cannabis can be tricky because cannabis effects plateau at a certain point and if you take more, it won’t necessarily increase effects. This plateau level is different for everyone based on body chemistry, the weed strain’s chemical profile, and how much you consume.

Ways to consume weed include smoking, vaping, eating, and topical application. Weed can be smoked through pipes, bong, and bubblers, which can be made from a variety of different materials and objects. It can also be rolled and smoked in joints, blunts, and spliffs.

Vaporization is popular today, especially with the advent of vape pens, which are popular with beginners because they are discreet, portable, and easy to use. There are many different types of vaporizers—some are handheld, some are larger devices that are plugged in at home—and they can vaporize flower, concentrates, or both.

Dabbing is a relatively new form of consumption in which cannabis extracts are flash vaporized. Beware though, dabs contain concentrated amounts of THC and are very potent; sometimes just a sliver of a concentrate will be equivalent to a whole joint or bowl. Dabbing is often for more experienced consumers.

Edibles are any food or drink infused with cannabis. Common edibles include: gummies, brownies, chocolates, and cookies; less common edibles are: drinks, such as sodas, beer, and wine, potato chips, beef jerky, and pretty much anything that can have cannabis butter or oil added to it. They are great for cannabis beginners because you don’t need a device to consume them and they are measured and dosed, so you will get a consistent experience time after time.

With edibles, always remember: start low and go slow. Take a little bit, such as 5mg or even less, and wait an hour or two for the effects to kick in before taking more. Edibles are typically stronger, take longer to kick in, and last longer than smoking or vaporizing weed because they are processed in the stomach and liver, as opposed to the lungs.

Education is key

People have been consuming weed in various forms for thousands of years for spiritual, medicinal, and recreational purposes. Now, the jagged leaf that is so recognizable can start to become truly known. For more information, check out the resources at Leafly Learn here

Know The Laws Around Cannabis Use

Yes, it’s legal

On November 8, 2016, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative that ended cannabis prohibition for adults 21 and older. As a result, cannabis became legal for adults to grow and possess in Massachusetts on December 15, 2016. The first sales began on November 20, 2018, when two licensed retail stores began selling cannabis to adults.

But that does not mean that there are no rules.

Cannabis continues to be a highly regulated area, and there are laws that may apply to you:

  • Do not drive/operate machinery. When under the influence of marijuana, driving is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 90, § 24, and machinery should not be operated.
  • You cannot legally purchase more than 1 oz of flower or 5 grams of concentrate within the same day.
  • Do not cross state lines with cannabis products.
  • You may not sell marijuana to any other individual. Fraudulent distribution or resale of marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
  • At home, consumers may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana flower (or its equivalent). Store securely in the original, resealable packaging. Keep away from children and household pets.
  • Cannabis products are not recommended for women that are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Do not mix cannabis with alcohol.
  • Do not consume in public areas, as it is prohibited by state and local law. Only use on private property.
  • Like alcohol, consumers may not have an open container of marijuana or marijuana product in the passenger area of their car.

So, what CAN you do?

Anyone age 21 and older may buy and use cannabis in Massachusetts.  You must show a valid government-issued ID to enter a dispensary.  You do not need to be a resident of Massachusetts.  You must pay using cash or a debit card, not a credit card.  We have a cashless ATM for your use. Check out our website for hours, to review products, and to make an appointment so you’re sure to get a parking spot.

See you soon!

Let’s Talk About Drug Addiction

For 150 years, our dominant culture has waged a war on drugs based on discrimination and misinformation. (For a short history, check out this video here.) The battle against that campaign and its aftermath continues. Nevertheless, at Devine we are focused on your health and wellness – your body, your earth – and it’s important to acknowledge that drug addiction can be a problem. Knowing the signs of addiction can help.

Common signs and symptoms of drug abuse

Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar. If you recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, consider talking to someone about your drug use. Some examples of signs and symptoms of substance abuse are:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home.
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs.
  • Problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of friends.
  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts, to a point that’s not reasonable.
  • Loss of control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t.
  • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, or recovering from the drug’s effects.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life but you use anyway.

Getting Help

If you or someone that you know is exhibiting any of these signs and symptoms of drug abuse or addiction, consider talking to someone about your drug use. The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) of the MA Department of Public Health provides resources, access and a Helpline to assist with finding substance abuse treatment programs available in Massachusetts.

The Helpline : https://helplinema.org/
Telephone : 800-327-5050

Welcome New Investors and Summer 2020 Update

It’s the middle of a heat wave and there’s still a pandemic, but here at New Green LLC we are moving forward at what feels like warp speed. We are excited to welcome the new investors who have joined us in Devine and we want to give everyone an update.

First, if you invested through Fundanna, Welcome!  You will be receiving your certificate in the mail from Fundanna.  Hold on to it, as that is an official record of your ownership of the company.  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking on the link on the website so you get updates about the business right in your inbox.  Official communications will continue to come through Fundanna until we wrap up our community investor campaign in the middle of August. 

Some of you want to share this investment opportunity with family members, so we’ve received some questions about buying shares in someone else’s name. The number of shares a person can buy is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. Those rules are meant to protect people from losing all their savings to unscrupulous or risky ventures; that’s why they limit the number of shares you can buy based on the income and asset information you provide them. That information is specific to you and that’s why it can’t be done in someone else’s name.

If you have thought about investing but haven’t yet, you can go to our offer page on Fundanna, create a free account, enter the number of shares you want to buy (based on the information you enter about your income and assets – remember, that information is confidential, even we don’t see it), and select your payment method.   

Next, we are moving forward with the retail space at 71 Main Street.  The concrete floor has been poured, the architect is drawing up plans for the interior, and we are starting to choose finishes.  Everyone is energized, from the person staining the concrete floor to the artist creating our “Forest Bathing”-inspired design. We can’t wait for you to see it.

One reason for our surge of energy is that we have reached new stage in our license application.  The next step is to submit the construction plans for approval and complete construction and build-out and schedule an inspection.  Then, we can start to really focus on product lines.

Finally, there has been a wave of support and interest in Devine, its mission of social equity and environmental stewardship, and in Ari’s work with the NAACP. From speaking at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Great Barrington in June, to articles in Berkshire Edge, to radio interviews, people are interested in what we are doing. Check out @devineberkshires on Instagram or Facebook to find links to those press clippings.

We still have a lot ahead of us, but the time is going to fly by and with your continued support we’ll be announcing our grand opening before you know it! 

In Health,

Heidi and Ari

Forest Bathing and Wild Mushrooms

For the past 25 + years I have been enjoying nature in the Berkshires.  One of the main attractions for me to move to the Berkshires after college was the beauty of the natural surroundings.  I felt the pull of the forest from the beginning. Before I had a dog of my own, I would borrow friends’ dogs and explore the trails around me.  Over the years, it has become my habit to venture out every day with my dogs to hike the woods and hills.  Long before the idea of “forest bathing” became popular, I was a participant.  

In Japan, the practice known as shinrin-yoku is decades old and means “taking in the forest.” Among the benefits, say practitioners and some researchers, are relaxation, less stress, connections with nature, and there is growing scientific evidence that getting outside in a natural setting is good for mind-body health. 

To me, forest bathing means slowing down and becoming immersed in the natural environment.  Tuning into the smells, textures, tastes and sights of the forest using all your senses.  Forest bathing is an act of meditation, allowing me to be here, not there.

When I am walking in the woods, I love looking at the plants. I often notice mushrooms with incredible colors and textures. A few years ago while looking for an immune support in the coop I noticed many of the tinctures listed Red Reishi as a main ingredient. After doing some research, I found that Reishi is known as the “King of Mushrooms”  filled with polysaccharides and beta-glucans that are known to help support healthy immune function.  Little did I know, I had been taking photos of these mushrooms without knowing what they were.  I became fascinated with medicinal mushrooms and started learning more about them.  I harvested some Reishi and made a double extraction tincture for myself.

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Several other mushrooms have caught my attention over the years and they include:

Chaga is a nutrient dense superfood used for slowing the aging process, lowering cholesterol and fighting cancer to name a few.  Chaga grows on birch trees in the Northern Hemisphere.  I have been lucky enough to find Chaga while hiking through the woods.

Turkey Tail is used to boost the immune system, fight cancers, and improve gut bacteria balance. Turkey tail is abundant in our woods and I look forward to harvest time.

Lion’s Mane is on my list to find in the woods. Lion’s Mane is said to help speed recovery from nervous system injuries.  It is thought to relieve mild symptoms of depression and anxiety, and   could protect against dementia.

As “Devine” grows in concept and reality, I am looking to these amazing mushrooms as part of our health and wellness panel.  In the meantime I will continue to enjoy my forest bathing experiences and keep my eyes peeled for these amazing medicinals that surround us.

In Health, Heidi