Providing Hope with Cannabis: Esteban & Roderick, Hope's Dispensary Smoke Responsibly Social 06.27.23

Providing Hope with Cannabis: Esteban & Roderick, Hope's Dispensary Smoke Responsibly Social 06.27.23

Posted by The Roller Circle on 8th Jul 2023

How: In spite of the air quality advisory due to smoke descending from the Canadian wildfires, a group of cannabis enthusiasts gathered in the evening hours on the lawn of 1228 W Wilson Ave Chicago IL 60640. Prior to the 7pm discussion time attendees could be seen playing rounds of cornhole, hanging about, and socializing. 

Given the nature of the evening's dialogue, meeting upon the lawn was proper as attendees would be exposed to a grassroots level discussion about delta 9 cannabinoid alternatives and cannabis business. Our Special Guests for the evening from Indiana, were present in-person and equipped not only with years of experience but also samples of the goods they offer to customers by way of their three southern Indiana locations. 

Having been early targets for delta 8 accounts, since 2018, our Guests could speak to the exploding access and misunderstandings present nation wide regarding alternative cannabis solutions to the cannabinoid delta 9 THC.

Have you heard, there are over 100 known cannabinoids?

If not, it is ok. Between the CDC, NIH, and other official sources there is anywhere between 80-124+ different cannabinoids. Many of the cannabinoids have varying effects on the body. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. Some or most of these cannabinoids interact with the human endocannabinoid system.

The expanding vocabulary needed in order to safely maneuver the legal cannabis industry makes it challenging for even the most seasoned consumer to keep up. The existence of this issue and many like it serve as motivation behind the Smoke Responsibly social series. 

Together we are able to address and uncover the complex environment that can have lasting impact on the well-being of all cannabis enthusiasts, especially when you take in account traveling risks and being a regular consumer of cannabis.

For our attendees that were residents of Illinois, many were surprised to find out the delta 8 buzz had grown so significant to warrant an emergency meeting between some Illinois Stakeholders for the purpose of voluntarily entering a "Responsible Business Plan" agreement.

What are the laws in Illinois and Indiana for delta 9 THC alternatives like delta 8?

As discussed in our May social, the most recent Illinois Omnibus Bill left members of the cannabis industry feeling misrepresented. According to sources, Verano, Cresco Labs, NGW, and Pharmacann proposed banning delta 8 completely. Surviving the June General Assembly without a clear framework on cultivating and distributing the delta 9 alternative makes the Responsible Business Pledge a progressive step towards clarity. But how do consumers interpret this action, we asked our attendees and here are some takeaways:

  • Regulation is important, but trends shows regulation usually means restricted access for people who need it and high prices. 
  • There is concern that the regulations will actually serve as a barrier of entry making it further complicated for minorities to own a portion of the lucrative cannabis market.

The Illinois Hemp Industry Responsible Business Pledge would see businesses in the sector observing the following rules and regulations:

-Raise Purchase age to 21

-Stricter licensing

-Testing and labeling requirements

-Tax on intoxicating hemp products

In 2022, State Sen. R. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis) and Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne), wrote a bill attempting to ban Delta 8. However the 2023 Indiana General Assembly closed without any ban on delta 8 being placed, or steps towards decriminalizing delta 9. There are no laws requiring a minimum age in order to purchase. Given delta 8 is derived from hemp made legal by the 2018 Farm Act the current stance is that delta 8 is a legal product though there are cited instances of the cannabinoid having similar effects as delta 9.

What is the difference between Delta 9 THC and Delta 8? 

Due to the confusion and lack of familiarity with delta 8 it only made sense that this question was addressed. According to Hope Dispensary co-founder Roderick, "the difference is the double carbon bonds for delta 8 occur on the 8th-9th carbons versus at the 9th -10th carbon in delta 9." There is a large body of other sources that confirm this explanation regarding the chemical difference of the two cannabinoids, but what does this mean for side effects of consumption?

Delta 8 is known to be less psychologically disorienting than delta 9 with a more pronounced "chin-down" sensation. This difference accounts for the growing demand for delta 8 according to Roderick & Esteban because customers do not have to worry about the adverse psychological effects cannabis has grown to be known for. They admitted for someone unseasoned with cannabis delta 8 could present like interpretations of effects as delta 9 but for those who consume delta 9 regularly, the effects of delta 8 will be less equivalent. 

The varying effect on wellbeing presented by cannabinoids brought about the question, "if cannabis consumers are increasingly consuming products that do not induce the infamous stoned effect is the referring identity of stoner really accurate?"


June Smoke Responsibly featuring Hope Dispensary flier

How can Hope be a cannabis dispensary but not sell marijuana?

Inside of Hope's Dispensary located at 122 E 6th St, Bloomington, IN 47404

This question was brought up by not only one of our social attendees, but also a follower of the Smoke Responsibly Social instagram account

Did you know that a majority of the THC in marijuana flower being sold at most Illinois Marijuana Dispensaries is actually THC-A and not high in THC delta 9? 

What does this mean? In simple terms Illinois Marijuana Dispensary customers are purchasing THCA products and if they never put a flame or heat to their products the THCA will never convert to delta 9 as it is a pre-cursor to the delta 9 cannabinoid. According to many sources the max THCA to delta conversion is somewhere between 70-87.7% depending on decarb process and other factors (High Times 2015).

Let's take you on a trip down Hope Dispensary history.

Back in 2018 Esteban was the owner of a successful vape store. After the passing of the 2018 Farm Act that saw hemp legalized, his usual vendors of nicotine based vape products begin to pitch him on new cannabis based products coming to market. Since there was so much similarity between the Vape products and the first wave of hemp derived products Esteban figured he would give them a try. 

Bon initially tried introducing the products to family members to get their feedback but as he describes it "due to the stigma associated with cannabis consumption most of his family was reluctant to try." However, his mother a 10-15+ year sufferer of sleeping problems gave his products a try and to much surprise she began to get the sort of rest she had been wishing to get from commonly prescribed pharmaceutical but never materialized. 

Witnessing this life-changing impact of his mother, and having experienced sufficient positive effect from trying hemp derived products Esteban decided to pivot from his vape based business to cannabis only -thus Hope's Dispensary was born. Hope's Dispensary is named after Bon's mother Hope.

Not long after this experience, Roderick made a return to Indiana from the Westcoast of the United States where he had been working on a cannabis marketing and advertising startup that offered plenty of exposure as to how markets such as California and Nevada were operating. He was inspired to take from his experiences in the Westcoast's culture and bring them to Indiana. With the passing of the 2018 Farmer Act, and having met Esteban who aspired to also provide hope to others by way of cannabis a budding partnership was formed.

Hope's Dispensaries sell only hemp derived products and accessories only. Their inventory assortment does not differ much from what you would find in what is understood as a traditional cannabis dispensary: edibles, topicals, flower, pre-rolls, and vape cartridges all cannabis derived. 

In what ways does Hope help residents of a non-marijuana state access the benefits of cannabis?

The stories relating the power of delta 9 alternatives to deliver life changing results was highlighted in a couple other customer experiences like a saved marriage through supplementing with cannabis products offered at Hope's that enable greater communication within the couple's relationship. Or the family saved when parents were able to overcome addiction to far more harmful substances through temporary use of the cannabis derived products offered at Hope's. How about the customer suffering from back pain unable to get expected relief from the usual prescribed pharmaceuticals? With a recommended regimen including CBG, D8, and hemp derived topicals a life may be restored.

Cannabis Consultants, the title of Hope's staff, can help customers figure out their reason for shopping. Usually this comes down to what Roderick & Bon term the Big Three: anxiety relief, pain relief, and sleep. Not every cannabis consumer is looking for a buzz, as the two pointed out, many cannabis enthusiasts are turning to cannabis based products as a means to an ends of relaxation or recovery. Though not required by law, Hope's Dispensaries only sale delta 8 products to individuals 21 years or older, they do vast research on their products & build relationships, and they are cannabis enthusiasts themselves so they can relate to the pains of their customers.

Hope's is a reminder that the cannabis industry is about more than marijuana. With cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, Delta 8, Delta 10, Delta 13, THC-P, THC-0, and more, there exists a brave new world of opportunities for entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to explore. 

What Are Esteban & Roderick Responsible Consumption Tips?


1. Don't fall for the marketing gimmicks - at the end of the day strain names are irrelevant.

2. Think outside of "sativa" or "indica" classifications only - these names are reflective of the plants' observable physical traits not necessarily indicative of wellness benefit.

3. Understand how cannabis consumption is making you feel

Take note of the following: Source of origin; How was the plant cultivated/product made; Are effects balanced; Is dosage correct

Knowing these answers will more than likely help match you up with a quality product. This is why we [Hope Dispensary] believe education is key. - Roderick

1. Pay attention to dosage, especially if you use cannabis for therapeutic purposes

2. Even if you smoke/consume recreationally and responsibly pay attention to how much cannabis you consume.

3. Try to understand how much makes you feel good for day time, how much heals you from pain, how much tires you for sleep but doesn't make you groggy in the morning.

Knowing what you put into your body is important on all levels and since cannabis can be psycho-tropic you should be very mindful. - Bon

It: Each month, Daily Roller hosts a community event where we bring in Special Guests for Guided Conversations discussing important topics related to cannabis, such as cannabis policing, best practices for consuming legally, research, and current events. Our goal is to create a universal community-sourced framework for mindful, happy, and responsible cannabis consumption.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors for supporting Daily Roller’s community development efforts as they relate to Smoke Responsibly monthly discussion driven socials. Thank you to Illinois NORML for providing the Smoke Responsibly social attendees with great freebies from Illinois based cannabis companies & brands. Thank you Alexis Zimmer State Farm for hosting the social on your lawn. And of course thank you to our initial presenting sponsors Cannexus Consulting & Emerald City Coffee- Chicago.

If we missed you at the June social, join us on Tuesday July 25th for our social with to be announced Special Guest.

Stay Informed Subscribe to Daily Roller e-mail list in the website footer. Thank you for rolling!

June Smoke Responsibly social Community Resources for further reading:

High Times: THCA vs. THC: How to Read a Lab Result

News Medical: What are cannabinoids:

University of South Caroline: Cannabinoids Medical Benefits & Potential Risks:

CDC: What We Know About Marijuana:

NIH: Cannabis & Cannabinoids resource 1

Indiana Attorney General - Official Opinion, Delta 8:

Chi'Tiva Press Release: Responsible Business Pledge:

Is Delta 8 THC Legal? ABC7 Chicago:

Illinois Lawmakers Call for Regulation on Delta 8  ILNEWSJOINT

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Market: Understanding Certificate of Analysis:

Alcohol & Drug Foundation: Cannabinoids:

Sweetlife: What is THC-P

Grassroots Harvest: Delta 8 THC vs. Delta 9 THC vs. Delta 10 THC and THC-O:

Congressional Testimony: Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD.