Daniel Eastman gestures toward the microphone he uses to record his Joint Encounters “potcast” at his Penticton home. (Karissa Gall/Penticton Western News)

Okanagan ‘pot-caster’ talks politics and weed sales

Pot podcaster Daniel Eastman says B.C. has kind of dropped the ball as far as legalization

A Penticton man is determined to prove Indica doesn’t keep all users ‘indicouch’.

Daniel Eastman, a 20-year cannabis smoker, said strains such as Indica are actually what got him active in local politics.

Inspired by his interest in the legalization of recreational marijuana and the growing popularity of podcasts, the 35-year-old launched a “potcast” called Joint Encounters in April 2018.

Eastman records the podcast in the bedroom of his Penticton home and has released 11 episodes to date.

“It’s a play on joint, like as in cannabis, and two people sitting down,” Eastman told the Western News Tuesday.

He said his episodes offer infotainment about the production and sale of cannabis, and provoke discussion on the positives, negatives, what the regulated industry is doing right and doing wrong.

Past episodes have also included guests such as David O’Brien when O’Brien was running for city council in Penticton.

Eastman said he got a bit of notoriety during the last municipal election by asking candidates cannabis questions when very few others were asking them.

Since the election, Eastman said he continues to either attend council meetings in person or live stream them from home, and chat councillors up at the bar where he works.

“This podcast is what’s led me to go to city council meetings, just trying to be involved in our city and what’s going on in our community,” he said. “If you don’t want to be a part of these kinds of things you can’t complain if they don’t go your way.”

Related: Cannabis stores allowed in downtown Penticton

Eastman added he goes to council meetings to be the younger voice of reason.

“If you look at city council in Penticton, they have a pretty old mindset. They’re all pretty old themselves,” he said. “Instead of embracing something that could possibly create tourism and boost our economy, they’re trying to fight it.”

For example, Eastman said cannabis stores should not be written off as eyesores when he’s seen some as pristine as Apple iPhone stores.

Eastman does, however, admit that he is very biased. For the sake of legitimacy, he has been trying to balance his bias by inviting guests such as the RCMP to appear on his podcast.

“I have been trying to get other sides of the coin involved,” he said. “It really helps validate yourself as an actual source of information.”

And, Eastman said, discussion makes the world a better place.

“You can be biased and have your own agenda that you want to put forward, but it’s also important to put forward ideas that don’t necessarily fit your narrative,” he said. “You don’t have to agree, but just because we can’t agree doesn’t mean we can’t work together.”

Unfortunately, Eastman hasn’t had as much luck booking guests as he would like.

“Especially when you’re talking about cannabis, some people are hesitant to have their name associated with it,” he said, adding that this is especially true for would-be guests who often travel to the U.S. and are worried about border security. “I’m just a little podcaster in Penticton, so it’s hard to get those kinds of people to come and see me.”

Related: High cost to setting up a retail cannabis store

When it comes to the issues, Eastman said he thinks B.C. has kind of dropped the ball as far as legalization.

A hot button issue for him is the low number of brick and mortar cannabis stores that have opened in B.C. compared to other provinces.

“That’s the biggest issue,” he said, adding that it’s not only inconvenient for users, but also bad for the environment.

The first day it was legalized I went online (BC Cannabis Stores) and purchased from the website, documented how long it took, what the prices were like and the packaging,” Eastman said.

He ordered three different grams from three different companies to gauge how much waste is created through this process.

“One of the products that I weighed was 80 grams of packaging,” he said. “We’re creating a huge amount of waste.

Part of the idea behind cannabis is green medicine and trying to be more ecologically friendly, but if you’re creating more waste in the process than it’s not really that green of an alternative,” he said. “I want to see things handled properly.”

Eastman said his podcast has been well-received by friends and truck drivers who like to download podcast episodes before a long haul.

Going forward, he said he wants to up his recording rate to an episode every week or two, get more guests, and expand into some live casting from locations around town.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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