With Massachusetts voters calling for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the 2016 election cycle, it should come as no surprise that local business owners are looking to get their feet wet in the sticky-icky as soon as recreational dispensaries become legitimate. Business reports from Colorado, who legalized the recreational use of marijuana back in 2012, have shown that weed is a profitable business, with both medical and recreational sales reaching near $1 Billion in 2014.
Stoners statewide are readying themselves for the upstart of recreational port-shops, stocking up on and storing snacks, lava lamps, and Grateful Dead posters in their basements as preparation. Business ventures have begun staking out property at rapid rates over the past month, along with trademarked names popping up across MA courts. One such business that has attracted a wealth of interest has been Father Benjamin B. Fuller’s up-and-coming Hydroponic Unity, set to open this September over at 26 Market St. I sat down with Father Fuller to discuss his upcoming business, along with the audience that he is attempting to cater to.
Hello, Father Fuller, how are you today?
FULLER: I’m doing quite well, thank you.
Great. First things first, you’re a Catholic priest, correct?
FULLER: I am. I live my life alongside Christ, consulting him through prayer for continual guidance so I can better understand my place among my fellow brethren.
As a priest, what made you want to open up a dispensary?
FULLER: Well, as much as I love Jesus, I sure love that Fatty Boom Blatty.
Interesting. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the Catholic church against the consumption and smoking of marijuana?
FULLER: (Laughing) Oh, they are! There are a variety of bible verses that allude to the sin attributed to smoking weed, whether that be Romans 13:1-2, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 Corinthians 5:11, Titus 3:1, Ephesians 5:18, and so on. The Catholic church’s idea of weed is outdated and rather stereotypical though, believing that it automatically makes you disrespect and distrust authority, which I disagree with. I mean, the church is content with, and openly encourages, might I add, the consumption of alcohol, which I believe is more damaging than marijuana. In my opinion, the church’s opinion on marijuana seems rather hypocritical.
You do realize that there will be some backlash from the church in opening this shop, right?
FULLER: I accepted that from the very beginning. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. But to ease some of the opposition, I have made it my goal to intersect my two loves of my life – Jesus and weed – in opening this shop.
This is a Catholic pot-shop?
FULLER: Yes! Hence the name…
Hydroponic Unity. Could you expound on that for me?
FULLER: Sure. Hydroponic Unity is a play on Hypostatic Unity, the notion that Christ — a man and extension of God placed upon this Earth — was a combination of both divine and human natures. He was a combination of both faith and flesh. I am seeking to do much of the same with Hydroponic Unity – combining the religious and physical natures of marijuana together. Marijuana has been used in various indigenous tribes similar to how wine is used and consumed in the Catholic church. I believe that the Catholic church should begin accepting it the same as they do wine – as a tool to enlighten members of the church and to better understand the message and meaning of Christ’s actions, life, and morals.
I see. That’s a clever name for an insightful and thought provoking notion.
FULLER: Thank you.
Other than the title, how are you planning on further incorporating Christian ideology into your shop?
FULLER: Well, in many ways. What first comes to mind is naming various strains after themes, characters, and verses from the Old and New Testaments. Such strains will be “Palm Sunday,” “CorSpliffians 4:20,” “The Garden of Weed’n,” “The Burning Bush,” “Gregorian Grass,” “Splitting the Red Cherry Sea,” “Mary Mother Jane,” “Catholic Cush,” “Frankenshwag,” and “Leper.”
Could you explain that last one to me? Why “Leper?”
FULLER: You see, there are a number of lepers that appear in the bible, whether stricken by the disease due to their sinful ways or referenced while Jesus performs a miracle on them, curing them of their disease. However, in this case, I coined this strain as “Leper” because when you smoke it you feel as if your skin is paper-thin and that your limbs are falling off one by one. It’s by far the dankest strain I have, next to “Wadi Woolies,” of course.
Fascinating stuff, Father Fuller. Now, what other inclusions of Christianity are going to be found within the shop.
FULLER: There will be specially crafted bongs, single-rip pipes and bowls available. All of them will be handmade, personally-blown glass made by Benedictine monks. We will have a number of different designs, from bowls shaped like crucifixes to four foot bongs resembling the Paschal candle.
What else should customers expect?
FULLER: There will be a confessional booth in the back of the store where you can test strains one by one. Our in-store priests will provide you with the exact strain to absolve yourself of any and all sins. Dependent upon the circumstances of your sins, you’ll have to take a number of hits from the cheeba between each Hail Mary and other penances. Also, we will have a special room for groups in the back of the shop. Anyone entering this room will be entering “Passover.” We will have a number of pews set up in which friends and fellow congregational members will be able to indulge themselves in prayer, along with some herbal refreshment. The only rule is that you abide by puff-puff pass.
It seems like you have this business near set to open. You sound quite prepared and committed.
FULLER: For certain. I’m excited for the grand opening. Like Moses, I want members of our communities congregation to be able to easily and readily appreciate the enlightenment produced by the combustible herbage.
That’s quite commendable. Are there any closing remarks you’d like to say to our readers?
FULLER: I’d like to end with a closing prayer, if that’s okay.
Oh, by all means, Father.
FULLER: Let us pray. Father, thank you for the Love that you have revealed to us today. We invite you to send us out from here in the power of the Holy Spirit. Fan into the flames the gifts that you have given us – the bubonic chronic, the hooter hydro endo purp, the skater shake sweet tea treat, and the mighty mez dirt weed chiba. Come to us, from bone to roach, and reveal your grace and truth each day. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power, the glory, and the Dutchie, forever and ever. Amen.
Thank you, Father.
FULLER: Bless you.