Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in New Jersey, Barry Herzberg began smoking cannabis in 1972 when he was just 15 years old. By the time he entered college he was admittedly selling poundage, meeting supply and demand of the world’s most beloved and illicit herb.
After college he moved to California and became a salesman, barking everything from Porsches, to vacuums, to telephones, when he came full-circle back to cannabis.
After partnering with Felix Hall on a series of five dispensaries, Pacific Green Pharms, in 2010, Herzberg eventually founded Original Nectar, a cannabis oil extraction company in California. He then teamed up with Jae Maedler to found Rylie’s Sunshine, a concentrate company inspired by young cannabis advocate and cancer survivor, Rylie Maedler, Jae’s daughter – just recently named one of the top Women of Weed by High Times.
Diagnosed with severe sciatica and scoliosis in 2007, Herzberg became unable to work due to debilitating pain, and was prescribed opiates. Physical therapy helped him dodge the surgical knife, with cannabis relied upon and realized as his medicine for life.
At night he uses cannabis oil or a strong THC tincture sublingually, under his tongue, ensuring sleep and quelling pain.
“If not for ingesting cannabis oil I would suffer extreme pain, daily,” he shared from his home in Southern California. “I smoke flower in a joint, bowl, or bubbler as a regular daily stress reducer, and to increase the efficacy of the tinctures and oil. I also use topical cream on my shoulders, and absorb 100 milligrams of CBD tincture under my tongue in the daytime to control the inflammation.”
Herzberg’s classic wooden box contains Purple Punch flower— a combination of two Indica classics, Larry OG and Granddaddy Purple, with a grape candy, blueberry muffin, and tart Kool-Aid punch essence. The flower sits in a glass jar with a cork top, decorated with a pink Women of Weed lapel pin.
Ground flower sits in a brass bowl in honor of and gifted from his mother-in-law, Barbara DePasquale, who passed away in 2007.
“My now historic Original Nectar business card is still useful for scrapping ground weed,” he laughs. “I consider the grinder vintage now. It’s eight or nine years-old and still works great. After years of using bleached, white rolling papers, I’m only using Raw natural papers and crutches now.”
A small container holds one gram of DX4 live resin from Emerald Ore, a super-elite processor of concentrates.
“Sadly this company is no longer in business, like so many others here in California who couldn’t continue,” Herzberg says. “Shame, as it was a great product.”
The green container has a topical lotion of 50/50, THC/CBD, made by Mt. Hempire, in Alpine, California. The hemp company makes an assortment of products, including dog treats, tinctures, gourmet chocolates, and other edibles.
The tincture bottle has a proprietary formulation from Ryle’s Sunshine, using full extract cannabis and MCT oil; a medium-chain triglyceride, containing medium-length chains of fats called triglycerides. MCTs are easily digested and is typically made from coconut and palm oils.
The syringe in Herzberg’s stash is a common sight to many cannabis patients, but one of the more misunderstood items in a patient’s tool kit. After a raid on a caregiver’s home a couple of years ago in California, the police wrongly reported that people must be injecting cannabis oil now. But in truth, syringes filled with cannabis oil are used for measuring and dosing, and have no needles.
Herzberg’s oil is made under the Rylie’s Smile brand, and is full extract cannabis oil, otherwise known as FECO. It’s made using Eden Labs state-of-the art CO2 extraction equipment. Eden Labs makes high-end, small to large-scale extraction machines.
The loaded glass pipe is circa. 2011 from KK, otherwise known as “Krazy Kevin,” a local Southern California glass blower who can still be found hawking his wares at the Farmers Market in Ocean Beach.
His dab rig (not shown) is an original 2010 Hitman sidecar with a quartz banger. When asked why he doesn’t buy a new one, he replies, “It’s the only expensive rig I’ve ever bought and it’s still working. You know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
A classic red Bic lighter shares space with a give-away from Advanced Nutrients. The lighter was gifted during a recent Women of Weed night in Hollywood, California, sponsored by High Times with its newly acquired publication, Dope Magazine.
Rylie was honored at the event, speaking out in support of cannabis education and help for kids, with her adopted Uncle Barry looking on in admiration.
From selling weed in college to co-founding a cannabis extraction company, Herzberg says he’s stunned regarding his place in the cannabis industry.
“To be honest, it’s mind-boggling to think about where I am now,” he surmises. “From selling poundage in college, to sitting at a High Times event, with my business partner being honored is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime. The fact that I get to spend the rest of my life impacting other people’s health with cannabis would be enough to give me peace of mind, but the public acknowledgement is something I hadn’t expected. They call me a healer or a medicine man, and I’m touched, deeply, but I always give credit to the plant.”