Celebrating cannabis: NEPA dispensary prepares ahead of 4/20 – Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

HAZLETON — The general manager for a Hazleton dispensary said that, at his store, the 4/20 “holiday” is about celebrating the medicinal effects of cannabis.

Thomas Sobieski is the general manager of Ethos Hazleton, and he also bills himself as a cannabis sommelier, a term typically reserved for wine experts. Sobieski said he turned to cannabis after sustaining numerous injuries.

“Marijuana has helped me immensely,” Sobieski said on Monday. “It partially saved my life.”

A feature on Sobieski on Ethos’ website said years of sports, CrossFit and boxing had led to numerous injuries and concussions, which eventually progressed to chronic neuropathy and debilitating pain.

But Sobieski said that, after turning to cannabis, he was given his life back.

“I don’t take any pain medication other than cannabis,” he said. “I lost 48 pounds because I’m able to work out again.”

Sobieski, who said he comes from a science background and used to work making vaccines at Sanofi Pasteur, said that he strongly believes in the medicinal effects of cannabis.

And now, on the traditional day associated with marijuana, Sobieski said that, as marijuana becomes more socially accepted, the “holiday” becomes more about celebrating the medicinal effects.

“It’s just a celebration of the plant itself,” he said. “Because it was the devil’s lettuce for so long, it’s about trying to get rid of the stigma that it’s such a bad drug.”

For those not in the know, April 20, or 4/20, became the unofficial “weed holiday” due to its association with 420, a slang term for marijuana dating back decades. While the origin of 420 as a term for marijuana isn’t exactly clear — some reports suggest it comes from a group of kids in California who would meet at 4:20 p.m. to smoke — the end result is that one

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