Bend, Oregon’s Finest | Written by Art Cosgrove
Erin McClaskey and Aaron Hohman are partners in business, and marriage, who run Sacred Herb Medicinals in Bend, Oregon. They’re one of the few cannabis companies in Deschutes County, as the Oregon cannabusiness trend has been much slower than in the more populated centers of Portland, Eugene and Medford. It wasn’t until this past November that many of the counties east of the Willamette Valley had access to their own dispensaries, and companies like Sacred Herb which produce a variety of products.
“We’ve been doing Sacred Herb for almost three years out of Bend, Oregon. It’s all hand made, hand poured; we use as many organic ingredients as possible, my husband grows our flower so we know it’s organic,” says McClaskey in a short description of her company and their methods.
McClaskey got her degree in biology from the University of Oregon, and Hohman was a contractor who was already growing McClaskey’s medicinal marijuana for her on the side. This is one of the interesting aspects of the Sacred Herb Medicinals structure; most companies like this outsource cultivation, as doing both is quite a handful. But McClaskey and Hohman have a nice division of labor that makes the business run smoothly and gives them total control of their product from every possible stage of its lifecycle.
“We started making this product for [an] elderly woman […],” McClaskey adds, ”She had arthritis pain in her hands, and we came out with the Pain Stick, and she was able to knit again with pain pills.”
Sacred Herb’s line of products grew from there. The Pain Stick, which sounds like a weapon, but is actually quite the opposite, is the flagship product. McClaskey and Co. then put the same basic formula into releasing a lotion, oil stick and bath salts.
The Pain Stick is useful for athletes, musicians, and anyone looking for localized topical medicinal support, particularly on-the-go. It resembling a deodorant stick, and is discreet and useful. The Roll-On Oil is their most potent product with the longest lasting pain relief and fragrance. It was also developed as an easier-to-apply alternative to the Pain Stick for elderly users.
McClaskey views her products as mainly medicinal, but she welcomes the cannabeauty boom and movement toward cannabis cosmetics. Sacred Herb is riding the wave, with massage oil and personal lubricant in their lineup. They previously had a lip balm, which they’re working on bringing back into the fold. McClaskey is also working on a medicated shampoo infused with cannabis that she’s confident will deal with a host of issues, including psoriasis.
The products that contain THC, or the Green Line, are only currently available in Oregon, as McClaskey still hasn’t made the leap to California and Colorado (but those states are included in the expansion plans). The Blue Line products, which contain CBD only, are available for order from the Sacred Herb Medicinals’ website and ship to all 50 states.
The personal lubricant is one of the Green Line products and is the only one with decarboxylated THC in it. McClaskey recommends that women apply it 20-30 minutes before sex for best results. It also advertises a strong effect on menstrual cramps and endometriosis.
One of the popular offerings that is available in both Blue Line and Green Line versions is the company’s Soaking Salt. McClaskey used the same 15 herb blend that characterizes the Pain Stick, but added it to Epsom and Dead Sea salts for this soothing bathing product.
“It’s pretty much a family-run business,” says McClaskey of her team, “almost everyone who works here is family.” She does have a few delivery people on staff that aren’t related, but otherwise it’s McClaskey herself, or a relative, delivering their product to dispensaries and directly to patients across Oregon. This is a unique part of Sacred Herb’s approach, as they eschew a distribution partner and prefer to have a more direct relationship with their customers.
“We use all flower. I should mention that,” says McClaskey, firmly. “We use no extracts, no BHO, no CO2. We’re all flower, and organic ingredients, [just] 15 organic herbs and essential oils.” Though she won’t elaborate on the details of her potions beyond that.
Sacred Herb has become one of the most popular Oregon cannabeauty brands on the market, with positive reviews in the Willamette Week, one of Portland’s biggest well-known alt-weeklies, and many other influential cannabis blogs and review sites. With fresh license to distribute in recreational dispensaries, and an expanding clientele, you can probably expect to see McClaskey and Hohman’s products in California and across the nation soon.
For more information, visit SacredHerbMedicinals.com or BudsudSoap.com.