Kellie Dodds, 707 Cannabis College co-founder and president has been in Southern Humboldt for only six years. She and her life partner moved here to escape the rat race of the city and for a simpler lifestyle.
Dodds said, “I feel like I have landed butter side up here.”
After deciding not to go into the restaurant business as previously planned, Dodds went in another direction.
Dodds and friend Pearl Moon decided to take some classes at Oaksterdam University in Oakland. While there they were taught how to grow cannabis hydroponically and how to open and operate a dispensary. But, they were taught nothing about the medicinal aspects of cannabis, which was their real point of interest.
That’s when 707 Cannabis College was started with the goal of bringing more information to the public about the medicinal uses of this very versatile plant.
Dodds said, “We want to reach every medical marijuana patient and help educate them.”
In their brochure 707 Cannabis College states, “Our ongoing mission is to offer the highest quality education about proper and appropriate medicinal uses of cannabis, sustainable gardening practices and an understanding of the legal history, current law and proposed changes surrounding cannabis. We have instructors with expertise in these areas that have been assisting people with these issues and can offer information based on science, verified facts and personal experiences.
”We believe there is currently a misconception by the end user that indoor is better. Indoor cannabis is a high carbon footprint product, and is frequently grown with chemical products and diesel generators. We are currently exploring new and better options for the single light medical grower/user. It is our intention to reach and educate the medical distributor and patient/end user about the value of organic, outdoor, and grown with love sun bud. We believe everyone should know what they grow, distribute and ingest.
”We focus on the medical, horticultural and legal aspects of the cannabis industry and there are many facets under each topic. We will be constantly striving to bring all sides to the classroom and offer opportunities to those affected by this industry a valuable learning experience.
”707 Cannabis College does not promote illegal cultivation, sales, or use of cannabis. That is why we strongly urge you to take our classes to get the latest in developments and laws concerning medical marijuana and the cannabis industry.”
Dodds said they have been working to partner with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, who have embraced this culture. They have plans to partner with them for two years during an apprenticeship program to improve business practices and laws for workers.
A peer-to-peer class is also forming with medical marijuana doctors, who will then teach medical practitioners and help them refer their patients. The hope is that these practitioners will eventually use medical marijuana as a substitute or possibly as an aid in conjunction with traditional pharmaceuticals.
Dodds went on to introduce 707’s director of education, Donna King and said, “I work with Donna because she is a strong and passionate caregiver and there is a lot of excitement in the future.”
One of King’s passions is teaching people about juicing cannabis for its many health benefits.
King said she has lived here for 22 years and has been a body worker and massage therapist for 25 years.
She said, “I wasn’t interested in cannabis to begin with. I worked at Heartwood Institute and we ‘woodies’ are a little bit different.”
King talked about some misconceptions about medicinal cannabis. She said, “There is so much of the cannabis that is not THC related.”
The benefits can be achieved without getting high. Juicing cannabis can give you incredible relief for different health problems.
She said, “It may not work for one symptom, but may for others. We intend for our community to be well.”
When asked what it tastes like, Dodds said, “It tastes like chlorophyll - sweet and green. We use the leaf and the buds with the highest concentration of cannabinoids in the early growth stages.”
King said, “You want to use the cannabinoid-dominant strains, which shut down the THC. This is an herb, not a pharmaceutical.”
Dodds said there are 60 CBDs (cannabidiols) so far that they’ve found. The government has just now started letting them begin legally testing it. Some of these tests have shown the shrinking of tumors when injected with cannabis.
Dodds said the support of our county supervisors is very important right now and the actions taken by them over the next few years could determine the future of medical cannabis.
It’s important to remember that to be compliant with the law in California you do need to apply for and obtain a current 215.
707 Cannabis College and new board member Stephen Quiggle are working on presenting a film festival next year.
Dodds said, “We want to show that we are good people who want a good life.”
King said they are hoping to bring in travelers of a different sort than we are seeing in town right now. They are hoping to attract people to the film festival who will stay in our motels, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our stores. We want them to come here to spend their money and learn about the medical benefits of cannabis production.
Dodds said they have spoken to Garberville Theatre owners Chris and Brigette Brannan and they are open to the idea. She said there are filmmakers currently doing films incorporating cannabis and they hope to have several venues showing during the event. They will also be showing films of the past such as Refer Madness and others from that era.
The length and dates of the festival are still in the works. They are hoping to garner more interest for it and hope to make it a multi-day event. Dodds said they are going to pattern it after the Sundance Film Festival with hopes of attracting a number of filmmakers.
She also wanted to remind people about the upcoming Hemp Fest at the Mateel Community Center Nov. 9-11.
For more information about 707 Cannabis College, check them out online at www.707cannabiscollege.com.
REDWOOD TIMES PHOTOS BY SUSAN GARDNER
1. 707 Cannabis College president Kellie Dodds
2. 707 Cannabis College director of education Donna King