Cannabis Warrior - Thurlow Weed
With his blonde mohawk and youthful appearance, one could easily picture Thurlow Weed playing drums in an old school punk band. Instead, the founder of M2J Media Group and No Excuses Entertainment LLC has joined the forefront of the cannabis movement. Since 2009, Thurlow has hosted and produced radio and video programs tailored to the MMJ industry. Starting in May, Thurlow began a road tour, broadcasting live from such notable places, as the Cannabis Café, the Northwest Cannabis Market, and the San Francisco Medicinal Cannabis Cup. In true DIY, punk van tour fashion, the “Wake and Bake” road show continues to pile up the miles. What began as a northwest jaunt has grown into a nationwide trek, with the No Excuses Radio Wake and Bake with Thurlow Weed Show becoming the radio voice of the Weed Not Greed Tour. Starting on Aug. 17 in Seattle, the tour makes stops all over the U.S., culminating on Sept. 11 in D.C. Getting to know Thurlow and watch his recent market growth has been exciting. Thurlow continues to visit new areas and make contacts with major players in the MMJ industry. There are numerous voices and perspectives within the legalization movement, and “Wake and Bake” radios goal is to provide an outlet for various factions to find some common ground. Current efforts to aid victims of the recent wildfires in Colorado, have garnered national attention, like this recent article in the Miami Herald. Just before his road tour started we met up at a local park on a typically sunny day in Denver to discuss his past accomplishments and future plans.
Q- When did you begin your mission to spread the truth about cannabis?
It started three or four years ago. 2009 is when medical marijuana started blowing up in Colorado. I saw everything expanding. I was going through some things myself with health issues, leg surgery, tumors removed, a rod put in my leg. I was on 150mg of morphine per day. I was prescribed that for quite a while, and then I decided I really wanted to take things seriously with medical marijuana. So I took it serious and got off the morphine, and I decided I wanted to educate people about what I did.
I turned around and decided to start a company that I named M2J Media Group. So I started M2J and I started Green Pages. Green Pages was basically going to be a directory of MMJ dispensaries and stuff like that. Mind you this is before any of that stuff was coming out. Weedmaps was in its infancy. I started M2J with 40 web based TV channels all based around educating on medical marijuana.
I am the creator of the Medicated Chef show, which was the first live interactive cooking show on line. We had people all around the world tuning in on Mondays at 6 p.m. to watch the Medicated Chef show. Unfortunately it was very low quality. If you look at the video, you’re like WTF, but look at the content, and what we were doing that nobody else was doing. It was fun, interactive, and we were teaching people how to properly medicate their own meals. The political editor for Skunk magazine (Chad Nance) quoted it as being the best educational film on marijuana in the last 40 years. I was really trying to do some big things with that.
Things took off, and I did the first ever cannabis related beauty pageant. It was a called the Colorado Cannabis Calendar Cutie Contest. While I was putting all this together my job was the producer. I wasn’t the host of the show, you would see me pop on in my suit, and I was the producer and put everything together. I liked that, it was the educational part.
Q- So when did you make the transition to radio?
At the time I was putting together the calendar contest, I was asked to do an interview on Green Rights Radio, which was actually the first FM marijuana talk show in the nation. It was in Denver on 101.5 the Truth, with the Viking. I started co-producing, and ended up producing the show for just a short amount of time. Well, I got done with that and everyone was like, ‘Thurlow you really need to do a talk show.’ So, I’m like nah, and a lot of people for a couple of weeks were kind of saying you need to do a talk show. So I met up with some people that were also doing FM talk shows on 101.5 the Truth. What eventually happened is this, 101.5 changed from talk shows to music, like quickly. I had been producing for just a couple of weeks, and they changed formats.
So we weren’t doing that, and there were other people that were doing talk shows there, and they’re like owners of broadcast towers, and they’re like hey Thurlow want to go ahead and start an internet talk radio show? Plus this guy had money. He worked with Free Speech Radio and got a whole new studio set up, which was named WKRPRadio.com. I was doing the morning bake show. Never had done a radio show in my life, started five days a week and killed it. M2J Media Group was the nation largest MMJ related media company. I wasn’t exactly known by everybody, I’m actually probably known more now than I was then, but it was still the nation’s largest because of all the content that was together. It was the largest by content; it wasn’t the largest necessarily by viewers.
The show exploded very quickly. I had been fighting a DUI case for cannabis. It had happened earlier when I started M2J Media Group and things were taking off, but I had been fighting it the whole time. I did get a DUI for cannabis, and I ended up having to do a year in county jail because I told the judge that this was fucking ridiculous. It was the fact that I cussed in a courtroom that made him give me a year. I had to do so much time since I wasn’t allowed to work because of my health issues. I didn’t get work release, and I wasn’t able to do work in there and get extra time off like most people, because I had health issues and they said I was at risk. So I kind of got segregated.
Q- Sounds like a bad turn, did you use the time productively?
While I was in there I had time to think. When I was running M2J Media Group, I did everything, from the graphic design, to the billing, to the filing, to the producing. I did absolutely everything, and I was running myself wild. I couldn’t get everything done, because it was too much work. So I learned how to delegate. I read, I wrote a lot, I planned a lot, and then I got out and I started with a 2 hour show once a week. That wasn’t enough for me; I went from jumping in head first from never doing radio, to going 5 days a week, to having time off. I wanted to jump back into it, because I knew I could handle it, I had a year of planning and a year’s worth of content. I get out and I’m doing that, not enough. So I turn around and talk with somebody, and there was going to be a silent investor who wanted to come in as a partner, which was the genesis of No Excuses Radio.
So I’ve had a background and a following, which were just kind of waiting to see what the next thing would be. So my next thing ended up being No Excuses Radio, and the Wake and Bake with Thurlow Weed show, which is my current thing. You can catch that Monday through Friday 8am to 10am MST. Just go to NoExcusesEntertainment.com, click on the No Excuses Radio link. There will be a page there where you can find archived shows or live broadcasts. You can listen to it live 8-10, and as soon as it’s done, it goes straight to archive. Whenever your wake and bake is, it’s already up there.
The third party verifier, Blog Path Radio, is the largest internet radio format in the nation; it’s got millions of listeners, and hundreds of thousands of shows. So I’m there in the mix definitely.
Q- Can you tell us about your Northwest tour?
What I wanted to do was let listeners know what it’s like to be at a cannabis farmers market. I’ve never been to one before. They have one every Wednesday through Sunday in Seattle. You’ve got to show your (MMJ) card to get in. I’m doing an event at the Northwest Cannabis Market, which is in Seattle. The next stop is a farmers market run by Sonshine Organics (Sonshineo.com), which happens every other Saturday.
After that I’m going to Portland, and broadcasting live from the station that’s built into the world famous Cannabis Café. Also we will be doing a broadcast from the Saturday Market in downtown Portland, which is the areas largest event for hand crafted items. That’s some serious stuff right there, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Then I’m heading back to the state of Washington, just handle some business there, maybe do a bit of relaxing, but also plan my next trip. The San Francisco Medicinal Cannabis Cup will be my next stop on June 23+24, and I’ll be broadcasting live both days. I would like to hit Detroit in August when they host a Medicinal Cannabis Cup.
Q- I hear talk of a merger, can you tell us more?
We do have No Excuses Radio and three other companies that are in talks right now to form and launch the nation’s largest medical marijuana media company. So it’s basically taking what I’ve already done, but this is going to grow to where I have many more listeners. One of the people on board has multiple sites that are getting over 300,000 hits a week. So this will actually be the largest in listener ship and content.
It’s going to be linked to lots of different things, like the Medicated Chef Show. Also the Medicated Chef Show is looking at being on some larger, we won’t name them, but some larger TV networks. Well we are still negotiating, but it’s either going to jump out to a major network, or it’s going to start off doing PBS, which is all set up. We want to put it out as soon as possible, and are looking to start filming that during June.
Q- So you are expanding from radio into other mediums?
Oh yeah, I’ve done radio, I’ve done internet video, so now I want to bring it a step up with HD quality broadcasts. If the people liked it when I was fucking around, imagine how they’re going to like it when I’m taking it serious.
Q- Looking ahead in the cannabis revolution, do you think when a majority of states pass MMJ laws, larger change will follow?
I was saying back in 2009, since we already had the states we did, where we were going, I said before we reach 25 states, we already have to have the nation pulled together. So it’s like we start to pull together the states we have already, and as new ones pop up, grab them. Three years later there’s people finally starting to do it. Now we have people saying we need to pull this together as a nation, and I’m like, I’ve been saying that for three years.
Check this out, in (Colorado) Amendment 64 (Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol), a portion of the first taxes collected go to schools. I’ve been saying that since 2009. You know how to lift all the dispensary bans in Colorado? Turn around and say that a percentage of every dispensary’s taxes go directly to the schools in that district. They’d want one on every corner.
Q- What are your thoughts on the cannabis amendment and initiatives voters have to decide on in Colorado this fall?
I really like I-40 (Relief for Possession of Cannabis), but I love I-70 (Regulate Cannabis like Tobacco). You know A-64 does not address outside businesses coming into Colorado and setting up shop, where I-70 does. You know what that’s going to do, the people that wrote A-64, all the big money backers that paid those defense attorneys, these big money people are going to come in here, set up shop, and make all the money.
Q- The backers of A-64 are apparently ok with the 5 nanogram level for DUI of cannabis, your thoughts?
Regular users wake up in the morning failing that test.
Q- Before they even change the bong water from last night right?
You change the bong water in the morning? I drink it. Dude, I piss bong water in the morning. I probably got more THC in my piss than the bong water in the morning. The thing is, I could sleep six hours and piss clean if I drank alcohol. I could sleep six hours and piss hot for weed. If there is less than 5 nanograms of THC per liter of blood in my system, I will go into cardiac arrest. I shit you not, when I was running the M2J media group I burned through half an ounce to an ounce every day. I shared with everyone and I blazed. I woke up in the morning and smoked two doobies before I rolled out of bed.
Q- When did you become a cannabis warrior?
In 2009, when I realized how much cannabis worked for me, and knew I wanted to help the industry and help people. I had to look at it, I had to step back. At that time I was 31, had been on pharmaceuticals for nearly three years, and I was like what about in 5 or 10 years, where am I going to be? They had me on Percocet’s for a year and a half straight.
Q- Was it like living in zombie land?
No, I worked, worked, worked. I wasn’t a zombie, but I knew it was destroying me physically. I knew I had to get off of it, so I turned around and started M2J Media Group, and got off the pills. Back in 2009, when I started M2J, I threw myself wholeheartedly into this venture. I dedicated, at least my mind, 24 hours 7 days a week. Everything I’ve done has been focused around that in my mind, and will hopefully lead to the continued success of the company.