Contemporary life is replete with myth-making. And no industry is more affected by popular myth than the cannabis industry.
Take the myth that cannabis use leads to harder drugs. Actual research has shown that, in contrast, cannabis use is often a substitute for harder drugs and even alcohol.
Or consider the notion that the cannabis of today is far more potent than that of the past. Stronger, yes. “Far stronger”? Well, that depends on what you were consuming: Acapulco Gold, say, or stuff that had been sitting in your closet for six months.
Videographer Michael Thompson, founder of the cannabis-themed website TerpTalk.Tv, has his own favorite cannabis myths.
One, he says, involves “People looking for the highest THC, thinking that’s the only thing that’s important,” when they might also want to consider the type of high they’re pursuing, sativa versus indica and so on.
Another Thompson favorite is how some people misuse, or misunderstand, the term “pesticide.”
“People come in and say, ‘Oh, I need the pesticide-free, highest THC,’ he said. “And it’s like, do you even understand what you’re asking for? Or are you just saying that just because you heard it somewhere?”
Thompson, who says he is all about cannabis “education and illumination,” is quick to add that he’s not necessarily a pesticide proponent, noting “There’s a stigma on pesticides and there needs to be, don’t get me wrong.”
He just thinks people need to understand the full meaning of the word.
“I mean, water is a pesticide. Ladybugs are a pesticide. A pesticide is anything that is used in defense of the plants. So people need to understand that the term doesn’t always refer to something horrible.”
Such thoughts have been Thompson business since December 2016 when he first hatched the idea for media production company TerpTalk.Tv. After seeking funding – which he found, thanks to supporters like Michael Early of Maryland Leaf and Justin Wilson of Satori South – the business evolved from a planned talk-show format to feature stories that go behind the scenes with farm and production tours.
Thompson observed that “a lot of people were uneducated about what was going on and what they were consuming. So we wanted to show the community what was really happening and that they could trust they farms they were buying from. We wanted to break down the wall between the community and the producer/processors.”
Thompson, Spokane born and bred, received his basic education in photography at Spokane Falls Community College. He shoots and edits his video features with the help of his main videographer, Riley Richardson – whom he refers to as a “major piece to the whole operation” – and the assistance of Jamal John.
While documenting the cannabis industry is his main interest, Thompson’s passion is glass – specifically the kind made from borosilicate, which has a better resistance to temperature.
Some of the stories he has produced, which are available to view online, range from interviews with a guy whose glassware and pipes are inspired by outer space to guys who create glass racing cars.
In June, Thompson and Richardson attended the 10th annual DFO Family Reunion in Gresham, Ore., an event that gives “master glass artists” from all over the country the opportunity to “showcase their work and talent.” Thompson and his crew shot 100 hours of footage that he edited into a 33-minute featurette.
It’s all something that earns him a living. But it’s also something that, he believes, serves a greater purpose.
“It’s telling the story of glass culture and cannabis culture, where we came from medical and it’s not just about rec (recreation) and the highest THC,” Thompson said. “Basically, it’s just saying that we came way before rec and we’re gonna stay here all the way through.
“We’re doing it by the culture and for the culture.”