Once upon a time...

... there were two intrepid travelers, a dynamic duo who liked to wander near and far, to all the beautiful magical places. One summer they wandered to an especially beautiful magical place: the 1992 National Rainbow Family Gathering up in the mountains near Paonia, Colorado. They wandered into a high mountain meadow, where an interesting fellow named Jack Herer was giving a seminar on the virtues, trials and tribulations of the cannabis hemp plant. And then our travelers heard the call to adventure:

Our Story ~


How The Dà Má Collective Came To Be ~ 


A 3-Chapter Tale

...Including publishing the Chicago Area Well-Being Directory in 1996: the Chicago area’s first resource guide of alternative/holistic health practitioners. And starting an international management consultancy (with a focus on change management/large-scale behavior change, sustainability and adult education), where (among other things) not that long ago we wrote the new pharmacist & customer-service training for a leading pharmacy/clinic/retail-healthcare-products chain...

 

Fast-forward to 2009:

After many an amazing adventure, it became clear that for one of our wandering travelers (Catherine aka Cataiye aka the original Wandering Travelberry), this too shall pass... In the form of a cancer diagnosis. Long aware that Nature knows best, we scoured the globe for alternative therapies/modalities (anything besides chemo & radiation) that others have found success with, and despite very positive results with a few modalities (in particular, Traditional Chinese Medicine), no dice, it became apparent that our intrepid traveler was needed elsewhere, she took the ultimate trip to the great beyond in early 2012...  

 

In the 3 years before, we had tried every promising cutting-edge alternative therapy we could find, leaving no stone unturned with the notable exception of getting stoned... Quite ironically (especially with our roots in the hemp industry), medical cannabis never even made it onto the radar, it was a different world even just a few years ago ~ out of the dozens of leading-edge alternative healers & herbalists we talked to, not one of them even so much as mentioned the healing herb!

 

The more our collective knowledge grows of the healing virtues of the cannabis plant, the greater the awareness that if our intrepid traveler had tried medicinal cannabis, she could possibly still be here or at least would have gotten more quality time. With what we know now, looking back to our quest for alternatives to the burn-&-poison model, it's outrageous that the state of the healthcare industry was such that out of the dozens of both conventional & alternative (allopathic & holistic) therapies we investigated, medicinal cannabis was notably absent from any of our conversations – if we’d seen or heard even a glimmer of a mention of it anywhere, we surely would’ve gone there and I (the remaining traveler) could be telling you a much different story...

 

We're glad the world's woken up since then when it comes to the healing herb. Soooo the seed was planted for our work & first book... 

 

 

Fast-forward to 2015:

One of our Da Ma Collective co-authors (sister Cathy) recently retired from a 20+yr RN nursing career, where she developed expert-level mastery in caregiving, including helping people have the best experience possible with whatever medicines they're taking. After retiring she was wondering what's next, and completed training certification to be a dispensary agent (sometimes called Budtender) in Illinois who was starting to roll out its medical cannabis program/market. With the hopes of landing a job at the new dispensaries opening up throughout the state, she realized this is the next big wave happening in the healthcare field, and is also a way to continue living her passion for caregiving in a manner that resonates with her beliefs about herbs & holistic healing.

 

She was imagining what a typical day in her new dispensary job would be like, and realized (not unlike when nursing) that she'll be giving very basic "how to have the best experience with your medicine" information, to total cannabis newbies, over & over. And she thought "all this stuff is kinda complicated if you’ve never done it before -- it should be written down somewhere, because my customers will probably be overwhelmed with new info & who knows how much they'll remember when they get home?"

 

And then we kept hearing stories (more than a couple) about the grandma who walks into the local smokeshop and dumps a container onto the counter she just picked up from the dispensary, and says “okay so what do I do with this stuff?”.  

 

One afternoon nurse Cathy got inspired and sketched out the first few topics on a notepad, and said "hey, you’re a good writer and you’ve published stuff before including training & education, we should turn this into a real book, a how-to manual & reference guide & recipe book for the newbie grandma, grandpa or soccer mom who’s never had to figure out how to roll a joint or take a dab of herbal medicine". We both said said "great idea" and The Newbies' Guide To Medicinal Cannabis, The Dà Má Collective (大麻) and Dà Má Press (大麻出書) were born!

 

UPDATE: The Newbies' Guide survived a hurricane!

 

The Next Chapter...

In the course of researching & writing The Newbies' Guide To Medicinal Cannabis, additional opportunities to serve the cannabis plant (and the society/planet that benefits from it) made themselves known and we continue to add new hemp-focused projects & initiatives to The Dà Má Collective's project portfolio...

 

Learn more about Dà Má Press, check out our cannabis/hemp education & advocacy materials, and pre-order our books today!

 

 

 

In Chinese, Dà Má (大 麻) is the term used to refer to the cannabis hemp plant in its medicinal context ~
大麻 translates to "Dà Má" which means "The Great/Eminent Cannabis/Hemp"

 

The Dà Má Collective 大麻 is the pen name for the growing merry band of instructional writers, industry pioneers, doctors, nurses, caregivers & healthcare professionals, advocates, alchemists, herbalists, historians, growers & geneticists, strain hunters, medical & cultural advisors, dispensary & smokeshop owners & staff, product & equipment manufacturers, master chefs, designers, artists, medicinal cannabis cardholders, and other hempsters co-creating our work and supporting our mutually symbiotic mission to serve the cannabis plant and sow seeds of cannabis knowledge far & wide...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack held up a piece of hemp linen and said to the group “Hey, I haven’t been able to figure out how to work with this stuff, does anyone here know how to sew?” Well, our traveling companion sure did, she had deep family roots in the clothing business. And thus was born The Wandering Travelberry’s Everlastin’ Hemp Clothing Company, which created the first full line of designer hemp and organic cotton clothing ever. For the next handful of years we rocked it (had national & international distribution, even won the first Cannabis Cup fashion show!) with our mission of transforming the fashion & textiles industries by increasing knowledge, respect & market demand for the cannabis hemp plant. When the Patagonias of the world started making clothes made from hemp fabric, we figured we’d accomplished our goal of re-introducing humanity’s oldest fiber back into the mainstream and moved on to other planet-saving adventures...

cover of Wanderin' Travelberry Everlasting Hemp Clothing Co. 1992 catalogue
Rainbow Family of Living Light 1992 Colorado National Gathering

1992 Colorado Rainbow Gathering