Healing Oakland with Terryn Buxton

When it comes to healing with cannabis, many people have found relief. But the community, culture, and lifestyle isn’t just about just getting high.


Terryn Buxton is a cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and political figure in Oakland, California. He’s been a consumer since the age of 15 to combat his insomnia. Since then, Terryn knew there was something special about this plant. Terryn is also helping heal the damage done by the War on Drugs in minority communities throughout the East Bay.

As the owner of Oakland Extracts, Terryn is proud to be able to support veterans through Operation E.V.A.C. which is a nonprofit organization that provides veteran support groups throughout the Bay Area. According to Terryn, Oakland Extracts partners with local dispensaries to help provide education about usage, give away free samples, and provide a space for veterans to talk to one another about any issues they may be having.

He’s worked as a budtender with Harborside Health Center, and his current roles and responsibilities include positions as the chairman of the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission (OCRC) and at Oakland Extracts. This month, I spoke with Terryn to learn more about his outreach efforts, the healing power of cannabis, and his work on the OCRC.

Emerald Magazine: In your own words can you please iterate on how your position as a representative on the Cannabis Regulatory Commission has or is helping you to improve the lives of those in the cannabis culture and community in Oakland?

Terryn Buxton: Being on the Oakland Cannabis Regulatory Commission allowed me to have a much wider view of how cannabis is impacting our community. The importance of the equity program and the need to ensure access for people at all economic levels was impressed upon me by being on the commission. It’s so easy to get caught up in the tunnel vision of your own concerns, the commission forced me to look beyond my issues and think about the community as a whole.”

Emerald: You were featured on Discovery Channel’s “Weed Wars,” while budtending at Harborside Health Center. What was it was like being a budtender and staring on the show?

TB: Being a budtender provided for an amazing education. I knew cannabis had some medical value but I didn’t appreciate the extent to which it helps people. There are so many medicinal applications for cannabis, it’s one thing to read about them but it’s a whole other thing to deal with people on a daily basis who need this plant to survive. It was the patients who truly taught me the value of cannabis. Being featured on “Weed Wars” was an interesting experience. Being recognizable allowed many people in the industry, who I would’ve never had the chance to talk, to trust me. I met many interesting people and visited many cool farms. Being on television was extremely nerve-racking, but overall it was a positive experience.

Emerald: How has cannabis improved your quality of life or changed your life for the better?

TB: Cannabis has improved my life in many ways. Cannabis as medicine has been very useful for me dealing with chronic pain and being able to assist my mom and her aging friends with their pain. Helping elders in my community have also been invaluable. Beyond the medicinal, cannabis is how I choose to relax. Cannabis is my first choice for recreational activities and I love it.

Emerald: What does cannabis culture in general, as well as in Oakland, mean to you?.

TB: Cannabis culture is about an appreciation of what nature has to offer and about people coming together to share in that bounty. Regardless of whether you describe cannabis as medicinal or recreational, it’s about people feeling better, it’s about people taking care of themselves and others. Both the medicinal and the financial benefits of cannabis have an opportunity to have a profound healing effect on our society. We, as a community and an industry, must make it a priority to be sure that the benefits of cannabis touch all people. We must ensure that medicine reaches everyone, regardless of economic status. We must be vigilant about where the taxes from this industry goes. The tax money collected from cannabis can do massive good if allocated properly. Our community must pay attention to the issue of taxes and how they’re being distributed. We as a community and culture must come together and communicate while educating ourselves about what’s happening around us.

As you can see, Terryn is not only a part of the culture, he is helping to keep it alive by giving back to the community and helping others find a better quality of life through cannabis. It was a pleasure learning more about this extraordinary individual that is doing so much for the cannabis culture on both a personal and business level. I couldn’t agree more with his final thoughts; “Cannabis has the opportunity and ability to change the world, let’s see that it does.

Written by Ashley Priest

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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