TGIF Quote Day 2/24

Happy Friday!

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

~Lewis Carroll

Brace Yourselves…Office Germ Warfare is Here!

We are nearing the end of February and I have gotten through the worst of this head cold/cough I caught the past weekend.  After a long week of work/play around Boston, my sickness caught up to me out of the blue.  What followed was a series of coughs, muscle aches, stuffy nose, and an overall lack of motivation to get things done.  Thankfully the weather is getting warmer and I plan to wander outside more to take in some fresh air!

Rather than grossing you out with my cold symptoms, I’ve decided to take the time to discuss sickness during the wintertime.  Every winter, thousands of people catch some form of bug/flu that goes around each year.  Like a parasite feeding off of its prey, viruses spread like wildfire in the office.  It only takes one ‘patient zero’ victim to set off the germ warfare that travels around the atmosphere.  Whether you are just starting out as an intern or living large as the company’s CEO, no one is safe from the inevitable plague that invades the office.

So how does this happen?  Why is it that we catch a flu or bug every winter?  Even when we eat right and keep ourselves moving, how is it that we become an easy target of the virus?

Well folks, it’s about time we start getting scientific about the ‘patient zero’ phenomenon that happens every winter.  It’s sick, shocking, and may be traumatizing for some readers.  Before we open the doors to the office, let’s get some basic science out of the way first.

If you took away anything from grammar school science class, you would remember that the common cold is caused by the spread of viruses.  Viruses are microorganisms that invade normal cells inside your body and multiply in order to produce other viruses.  These tiny capsules are much smaller than bacteria, infecting cells that are contained within your bloodstream.  They eventually eradicate these cells, which causes you to become sick.  A virus could cause severe illnesses such as smallpox, HIV/AIDS, and hemorrhagic fevers.

People spend 90% of their time indoors, especially during the wintertime when it’s cold.  If you are residing in New England right now (like I am!), then you are probably rushing to head inside to keep yourselves warm.  You head into your office building where millions of microbes are floating around the rooms.

To better understand how viruses are easily spread around the office, let’s discuss the day-to-day agenda that happens inside the building.  We will use a public relations office as our example (to keep the entertainment PR theme going!).  Our day in the PR agency starts and people start heading to their desks.  Hundreds of men/women are loading the stuff into their desk and brewing up that first cup of coffee.

What’s the most common office item used daily? Electronic devices, of course!  Various electronic gadgets are used to complete the tasks on the PR agenda each day…which collect MILLIONS of microbes.  That’s right people, those smartphones/laptops you are attached to contain a multitude of harmful bacteria that plagues the office (FYI, your keyboard alone contains 3X more bacteria than your toilet seat!).

While your clicking away at your keyboard, your co-worker will probably come around to give you a second set of eyes on your task.  He/she will tap away on your keyboard to provide some necessary changes for the press release you are working on.  After all’s said and done, your manager will come by to use that SAME keyboard to give you their feedback on what looks better.  And while all that is happening, your desk is sucking up millions of microscopic bacteria that sticks there for days.  Like a magnet collecting pieces of metal, your office desk collects millions of microbes that floats around your office’s atmosphere.

Your building  provides air vents, which ALSO spews out microbes as well.  Pieces of dust are constantly floating around the rooms after exiting the air vent, which land onto your office.  There might not even be a ‘patient zero’ around and you could STILL be infected by the virus.  It’s like you’re in a constant battle of germ warfare and you can’t even see your enemy!

That’s all to it folks: common everyday items we use are constantly collecting microbes that get seeped into your bloodstream one way or another.  Even if you don’t come into physical contact with people, you are still susceptible to receiving the virus one way or another.  They say that sharing is caring, but the virus is certainly NOT something you want to share with your co-workers!

At the end of all of this, there are some simple rules to follow when the plague hits the office.  Always wash your hands constantly and cover your coughs to prevent the virus from spreading further.  Keeping hand sanitizers or wipes with you at all times helps to prevent infection as well.  If you do get hit hard, it is vital to stay at home for the day.  The last thing you want is to spread the virus to more employees after catching it earlier.  Work may be important, but your #1 priority is your health.

It may still be February, but Spring is just around the corner and warmer weather is coming soon enough.  Use these essential tips to survive the office germ warfare that invades the building every year.  With these tips at hand, you can win the germ warfare in order to live sick-free another day.



Driving Through the Future of Pot Shop Drive-Thrus

There’s nothing more American than using the drive-thru service.  From restaurants to banks, many industries established a drive-thru option for better-quality service at a faster rate.  The first bank that utilized a drive-thru window teller was from the Grand National Bank in Saint Louis, MI in 1930.  Only deposits were allowed at the time, but it pioneered what would be a revolutionary way of completing business.

As a kid, nothing was more exciting than being taken into a drive-thru service for food.  My parents would drive me to the McDonald’s for some lunch after finishing some errands.  The concept was pure and simple:  you drove up to the microphone to place in your order (my order was usually the Quarter Pounder meal with fries and a Coke!).  Once you place your order, you drove up to the window where you pay for your meal.  After you pay for your meal, you grab your food/drinks and head home to eat.

McDonald’s is just one of many companies that embraced the drive-thru concept in America.  With more unique industries springing up each year, the need for more drive-thru services becomes more important than ever.  After last year’s elections, one industry that is looking to push out their drive-thru service is the cannabis industry.

Parachute, a small town in western Colorado, has given the go-ahead for a business to open the state’s first drive-thru cannabis dispensary.  Last Thursday the Board of Trustees voted to approve the annual renewal of the business license for Tumbleweed Express, which will clear the final legal to opening the drive-thru pot shop. The Tumbleweed Dispensary is expecting to open up the Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru sometime next month.  This unique drive-thru service will open up in a former car wash that is located just across the street from the store’s location.

Here are a few rules that would be established for the drive-thru:  you have to be 21 or older to order from the drive-thru (that includes backseat passengers as well!).  Security and surveillance will be set around the drive-thru while business is operating.  The last thing is ensuring that no orders are visible from outside the licensed premises.  You can consume your order after you purchase it, but it can’t be done on Tumbleweed Express.

Tumbleweed Express will set the stage for what will be Colorado’s first drive-thru cannabis store.  It will be a similar concept to ordering a Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s, except you will be able to order cannabis products instead.  Oregon already became the first state to open the nation’s first drive-thru shop in Gold Beach, but it quickly shut down due to being close to two schools.  Colorado will have to work hard to prove that this familiar business concept can work for the cannabis industry without causing any major hiccups in the process.

This would be an interesting concept for the cannabis industry!  The drive-thru concept helped flourish many businesses and it could definitely give the industry leg-up for its competitors.  Hopefully Colorado will get things situated in order for the drive-thru to work properly.  If all goes well, then it could mean major changes for how the industry conducts business in the next five years.

With new industries making waves in America, so does the demand for different ways to conduct business (and vice-versa!).  The slow cultural shift towards legalization has prompted businesses to stay ahead of the curve in order to understand their audiences better.  Drive-thru may help flourish the cannabis industry, but a new business trend could be right around the corner.

If all runs smoothly, then we may see a future where we purchase a Quarter Pounder meal with a quarter pound of cannabis.

Hail to the Kief: America’s Greatest 4/20-Friendly Presidents

Yesterday we took some time off of work/school to celebrate President’s Day.  President’s Day is a national holiday that falls on the 3rd Monday of February every year.  It was originally established as “Washington’s Birthday” back in 1885 to celebrate George Washington’s birthday and was renamed as Presidents’ Day when it was moved as part of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which was filed to create more 3-day weekends for workers.  George Washington may have been dead for centuries, but we still celebrate this holiday every February.

Nowadays Presidents’ Day is viewed as a day celebrating all U.S. presidents, both past and present.  It will be an interesting 4 years for our president now that recreational cannabis use is legal in 1/10 of the country.  With the cannabis community growing stronger each day, it will be harder for politicians to turn a deaf ear on what their goals are for America.  Interestingly enough, not all former presidents shunned down cannabis use during their terms.  Some members habitually smoked cannabis while others simply approved the plant.

Nevertheless, we should remember how our Founding Fathers first used to plant in order to shed the light on a brighter future for America.  Here are some noteworthy 4/20-friendly presidents that have been in the White House:

George Washington:  We had to start off our 4/20-friendly list right with our first president George Washington.  Washington didn’t really smoke cannabis, but he was well-known for growing hemp in his backyard.  He grew the hemp to use for fiber and other essential tools during the 18th century.  It was also noted that dealt with his toothaches through his hemp preparations.  Imagine that folks – our very first president of the U.S. grew hemp!

          John F. Kennedy:  Considered one of the greatest U.S. presidents of all time, John F. Kennedy smoked cannabis during his term in the 1960s.  Rather than openly smoking joints for recreational use, Kennedy used it to treat his severe back pain.  Even though the counter-culture movement didn’t take off until the late 60s, people openly smoked cannabis without the paranoia of getting caught by the authorities.

          Barack Obama:  It’s been months since he left the White House and people still miss Barack Obama…or what he was formerly known as ‘Barry’.  Our last president even admitted to using cannabis when he was a teenager in Hawaii.  His most famous statement was, “When I was a kid, I inhaled, frequently.  That was the point.”  What’s interesting to point out is that four states (Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Washington) legalized recreational use during Obama’s term as president.  Kudos to Obama for becoming more liberal on the 4/20 issues here in America!

          Thomas Jefferson: Just like Washington, Thomas Jefferson farmed hemp during his presidency.  Other than farming the versatile crop, he was Ambassador to France during the Hashish era.  There’s no further research on whether or not he consumed recreationally, but it’s still great to have another president that grew hemp in his backyard!

          Bill Clinton:  Way before the rise of Hillary Clinton becoming a candidate for the 2016 elections, Bill Clinton took the stage from 1993-2001.  In the true Clintonian fashion, he claimed that he didn’t inhale and would not try it ever again (sure Clinton…just like you claimed to not have an “inappropriate relationship” with Monica Lewinsky!).  Cannabis was still heavily criminalized in the 90s era, but that didn’t stop Clinton from testing out this popular drug!

And there you have it – five of the most 4/20-friendly presidents that have graced their presence in the White House.  It’s ironic that we’ve had such strict cannabis laws in America when many of these presidents used the plant in the past.  As we become more educated about the cannabis industry, the path for cannabis legalization in America becomes clearer.  Who knows, we may have 4/20-friendly president that smokes reefers in the near future!  For now, let’s reflect on the 4/20-friendly presidents that have previously worked in the White House.