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Top profile: Jane Fix, director of patient services at Soul Flower Dispensaries

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Gene Fix has been called a champion of the medical cannabis industry in Arizona since before the state even established a medical program. This year she was named one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Cannabis by AZBigMedia, the umbrella for countless mainstream publications in the state.

Helping others educate about botanicals has been the calling of medicine for over 50 years. The journey began in the spring of 1969, a few months after the Summer of Love, when, at the age of 16, a friend’s grandmother introduced her to the plant.

Fix shared “We called her grandmother Betty.” “She was probably in her 80s, and it was a fact about cannabis use for arthritis pain. She lived in a little house in the valley across from the beach from Encinitas. She had a stack of weed in her Frisbee, sitting at a table in her dining room in the kitchen. She raised her herself in the backyard, and taught me that it was the only thing that helped with the pain. Something I’d heard from senior patients over and over again over the years.”

It was Granny Betty who was the first to prove to Fix that “marijuana” really is a drug, and she was also the first person to teach her and her friends how to grow it.

She added, “I remember her son traveling back and forth from Mexico, where Grandma Betty was one of the first Sinsimella transplants, that we knew.”

Sinsemillas are known to come from southern Mexico, so it only makes sense that Grandma Betty’s son would visit her frequently. The breed was said to have been developed in the early 1950s, and was first introduced to the states in the early 1960s, with a folklore that includes singer/songwriter David Crosby (High Times Archives, 1999).

It’s poignant that the first weed sample Fix took was from a plant cultivated for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that may have tested in excess of 15%, at a time when cultivars averaged about 3% of the mildly psychoactive compound.

Merriam-Webster describes sinsimella as “… highly potent marijuana from female plants that are specially cared for and kept seedless by preventing pollination in order to cause a high resin content,” with the Spanish translation literally meaning, “seedless.” .

As a footnote, Lawrence Ringo, a cannabis grower and hybridizer of South Humboldt, said in growing what we know today as high-cannabidiol (CBD) hemp, his intention was to cross-breed the THC in the plant back into what he called a “God’s plant” with a THC test of less than 4%. After nearly 15 years working on his pet project, as a bonus, CBD tested in excess of 14%, giving us more of the medicinal plant we have today.

Awe and wonder

The Fix is ​​raised in Southern California at Rancho Santa Fe, near the historic Del Mar Fairgrounds, where the historic horse racing track is located. She grew up in a house designed by her father not far from the ocean.

She said cannabis causes “amazement and awe”, opening her eyes to the natural world around her.

“I used to smoke fat and ride 20 miles to the beach just to sit and enjoy nature,” she said. “Cannabis also opened my third eye, which made me speak out for what I believed in at the time. At the height of the Vietnam War, my friends and I lay on the train tracks that ran along the ocean to Camp Pendleton in protest of the tanks going to the Navy Yard in San Diego.” .

When a newspaper reporter once asked her to compare alcohol to cannabis, she refrained.

“The most I’ll give you,” she said, “is that some people treat it like a glass of wine at the end of the day.” But comparing the plant with alcohol only multiplies the negative image of the stones. Dennis Perron got into all kinds of trouble for saying he was always on medication, but we know he is.”

This is not to say that Fix also doesn’t have a good smoke to unwind after a busy day.

“My bottom line is, I love weed,” she laughed. “Yes, I learned of its efficacy, but at the end of the day I am no different than others who use the plant for cooling. The fact that I get a good night’s sleep as a bonus makes it medicine.”

A full compliment of creative spectrum

way to the plant

Fix also credits Grandma Betty with influencing her to study botany during college in California, where her mother encouraged her to work in a plant nursery.

“I was fascinated by the billions of plants that heal,” she said. “Everything I’ve done and learned has led me to where I am now, helping plant people.”

Three-quarters after finishing college, her education was interrupted, as her father died and she took over the independent telephone directory publishing business he owned, until the company was bought out by competition.

Having grown up riding horses, Fix said she went to Colorado and worked in the Rocky Mountains at Sombrero Stables in Estes Park for eight years until an injury ended that gig.

Once back in Arizona, Fix went back to college and earned a teaching degree in Education from Arizona State University. After five years of teaching fourth grade, she says she doesn’t feel valued within the Arizona school system.

She considered moving to Montana, where she knew the school system was better, but as fate would have it, she decided to attend a four-day training session at Oak Amsterdam University – one of the first cannabis education facilities in the country, located in Oakland. , California.

Advocacy in her home country

When Arizona voters passed the Medical Marijuana Act, Proposition 203 in 2010, then-Governor Jan Brewer suspended dispensaries’ licenses, allowing medical cards for patients without secure access points. The suspension also left those who run the groups in limbo under constant threat.

“I used to run a group for caregivers,” she said. “It wasn’t uncommon for the first two clients of the day to be Phoenix police officers asking how the operation was going. We were always teetering on the brink of arrest and closure, while in the midst of helping patients with real ailments, I might add.”

The Collective Model for Caregivers began in San Francisco, California, and was officially incorporated in 1994, as the Cannabis Buyers Club of San Francisco; established by the aforementioned Dennis Perron (known as the father of medical marijuana) and his partner, John Entwistle.

The club was founded in 1994, two years before California voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, making the state the first in the country to officially recognize the plant as a drug. This is telling, as with most well-established medical cannabis programs, the provision of care was already in place, waiting for lawmakers to catch up.

During this time, Fix said, she was interviewed by a local TV station in the caregiver group, where she worked. Then Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, now a judge in the Arizona Supreme Court, was in the studio and when she offered to meet her, the reporter asked him if Fix was up for arrest, to which Montgomery replied, “I’ll arrest Jane Fix,” with the idea, If it continues to work.

“Montgomery ran on the vote to legalize cannabis and has been in opposition since his days as county attorney,” she said. “When we got it on the air, he wanted to pick me up right there on set in the middle of an interview.”

By December of 2012, the state of Arizona allowed the first licensed dispensary to open in Glendale, allowing safe access for patients and validating the work that Fix and others were doing.

Fix eventually became Director of Facilities Operations for the group I worked for. But after realizing the need for a comprehensive patient services program for the cannabis industry as a whole, the position of Director of Patient Services was created for it.

A full compliment of creative spectrum

There is no quick fix

Her education in botany, combined with her degree and experience in education, was a perfect fit for the advancement of the nascent cannabis industry in her home state. For the next four years she served as Chief of Patient Services at the Monarch Dispensary in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Women Grow, a national organization for professional women in cannabis, voted Fix one of the Top Ten Most Influential Women in Arizona Cannabis in 2015; By 2017, she was appointed Director of Patient Services for Sol Flower Dispensaries, which is owned by Copperstate Farms; She still holds the position today, overseeing patient care for five dispensaries, with more openings planned.

Fix said she has seen many people helped over the years with many illnesses and disorders, but she has also seen a wide range of ailments helped since cannabis has become more widespread and understood as a medicine.

“Five years ago, 30% of our patients would come in for help with cancer,” she said. Today, we’re seeing more patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. It used to be that oncologists were on board for referrals, now neurologists are referring patients for cannabis use. Unfortunately, it is used as a last resort when conventional treatments have been exhausted due to stigma.”

Fix added that she had no reason to lie or exaggerate the plant’s efficacy, and if a patient wanted to wait for the science, that was their prerogative.

She added, “Ten out of ten Parkinson’s patients get better after finding their dose, which is exceptional.”

As with any use of cannabis to control symptoms or serious illness, dosing, such as it is, is key.

“It all depends on the disease and the condition that the patient suffers from,” she advised. “Take Parkinson’s, perfect tincture is a good delivery. We always like to take people under the tongue to see where they fit in, starting with a five-milligram dose and working up to 10, 15, or 20. People generally take small doses on the lower side, and work their way up as needed.” “.

Education can be found on Sol Flower’s blog on its website, with ongoing workshops, invited guest speakers, and lectures on every aspect of the plant as a treat. Her monthly calendar is loaded with chapters on yoga, meditation, tapping, sound therapies, and an ongoing 101 on adult cannabis use. The Sun City Dispensary opened in 2019, hosting a café and classroom, with the goal of becoming a sort of community center and place for education – hoping to break the mold of what people think of as a dispensary.

As for the efficacy of treatments, Fix said the plant is becoming more accepted as patients are helped, eight out of 10 seniors never look back, and are able to give up addictive and often harmful medications.

She concluded, “Since the first hit that Grandma Betty gave me, I’ve never understood why cannabis wasn’t legal.” “The positive effects it had on my physical and mental well-being alone were evident, and I have used it almost daily since then. Now, with my years of helping others, I can honestly say, I still don’t understand why it isn’t available everywhere for everyone.”

For more information on Sol Flower visit, https://www.livewithsol.com/

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