Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in New Jersey, in 1972 Barry Herzberg began smoking cannabis when he was just 15 years old. By college he was admittedly selling poundage, meeting supply and demand of the world’s most beloved and illicit herb.
After college, he moved to California and became a salesman, barking everything from Porsches, to vacuums, to telephones.
Diagnosed with severe sciatica in 2007, Herzberg became unable to work due to the debilitating pain that ensued. He was prescribed opiates and surgery was inevitable. Thankfully, physical therapy helped him dodge the surgical knife, with cannabis realized as medicine for life.
Former dispensary owner and friend, Felix Hall, who hails from a family of cannabis farmers in Northern California, taught Herzberg to farm cannabis. Hall’s dispensary was closed by the City of San Diego due to zoning issues, and the two partnered up to open Pacific Green Pharms, originally in North Park, San Diego, in 2011.
Herzberg had been Introduced to dabbing in 2009, and Pacific Green Pharms (now located in Pacific Beach, San Diego) became known for its homemade “nug-run” nectar, which ultimately led to the current business, Original Nectar. Nug-run was the given name to the oil produced at the time, as they never used anything but full flower the first three years of production.
Today their Original Nectar brand includes smoking oils, oils for ingesting, oils with and without CBD, and combinations thereof. Packaging for the oil is unique, with a syringe built inside a capped container, and an attachment to fill pens and/or dab, making it easy to work with the often messy and sticky oil.
Currently, Hall and Herzberg are working on product development within their Original Nectar line.
“We have been extremely fortunate to be associated with some world-class physicians and scientists who now work with us in using different cannabis formulations, treating a wide spectrum of diseases,” Herzberg said. “We expect to release some amazingly effective new products before the end of the year.”
Herzberg said legalization with regulation is vital in allowing companies such as Original Nectar to work in tandem with research science professionals to discover the underlying power of the endocannabinoid system – the very system in the body that accepts plant-based compounds for prevention and healing.
“We have already documented results in healing, but legalization will help to stop the roadblocks currently in place while helping us to provide effective remedies from cannabis,” he added.
Among the numerous success stories he has heard, Herzberg said the most amazing case he and Hall have helped, via consultation and shared formulations to Delaware extractors, was eight-year-old Rylie Maedler.
Rylie was diagnosed three years ago with a tumor in her face that began in her eye-socket, wrapped around her adult teeth, and continued through her upper palate. Nearly one third of her facial bones had to be surgically removed to get the tumor out, and she was unable to undergo reconstructive surgery due to the metal being unacceptable for her follow-up MRI’s for years to come.
“At best, she would have been deformed, at worst, she would not live,” Herzberg said. “Her mother, Jae Maedler, did exhaustive research and finally, after a lot of debate, they decided to take the heroic and at the time, illegal risk of starting Rylie on cannabis therapy.”
Herzberg said that doctors all over the east coast were both amazed and confused, as they had never seen such bone regrowth prior, with no need for metal or reconstructive surgery. Today, Rylie is 11 years old, and enjoys singing and playing the piano.
According to an article published in BioTrackTHC.com, a combined study from researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University, “Cannabidiol (CBD) was found to enhance fracture healing and stimulate Lysyl Hydroxylase (a highly abundant enzyme involved in bone healing) activity in osteoblasts (bone building cells).”
Rylie’s dosing consisted of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD), THCA (non-psychoactive), and limited amounts of THC (psychoactive), now allowed due to Jae’s due diligence.
As with many witnessing the power of the plant, Jae has become an outspoken advocate. She pushed Delaware legislatures until, not one, but two laws were passed, allowing children to use cannabis therapy – with the first law aptly titled, “Rylie’s Law.”
The second law successfully allows child medical cannabis cardholders to be administered their medicine in school. It’s important to note that with Jae’s advocacy and testifying to the powers that be, all the laws proposed thus far have been unanimously voted on by Delaware’s health committees, the State Senate, and the House – which was said to be unprecedented.
Jae is currently working on a third law to add autism on the list of qualifying conditions in Delaware and beyond, as her son, Gavin (Rylie’s twin), was diagnosed under the autistic spectrum, under the sub-category of Asperger’s syndrome.
Help for her son was found accidentally, as he mistakenly took one of Rylie’s THCA caps one morning along with his other medications.
“That day he performed well in school with no mishaps,” Jae explained. “We had to backtrack to see what it was he took to cause this transformation. Once we realized he took a THCA cap, I knew I had to lobby again for autism. My husband, Sean, is a special needs teacher and he’s also on board to help as many children as we can.”
Jae has since partnered with Herzberg, helping to develop formulas for myriad ailments within the Original Nectar line.
Jae is also the autism spectrum disorder consultant and East Coast representative for CannaKids, and Delaware’s market leader for Women Grow (a national organization for women in the cannabis industry).
Herzberg has no illusions of his part in the healing via his product line, and gives full credit where credit is due.
“We are merely a factory,” he surmised. “We use excellent starting material, and I feel we have the best practices, with truth on our side. But we are not healers, per se. That’s cannabis. The plant does all the work, we just access the compounds and let it do its magic.
"Our real heroes are the doctors, nurses, and researchers who have worked tirelessly to help others and prove its effects. Where the kids are concerned, the real heroes are the moms and dads, like Jae and Sean who advocate for their children, and, in turn, help many.”
For more information about Rylie, visit ryliesmilefoundation.org.