Radio personality delivers ‘potcast’

Published on March 12, 2019 by David Wylie

Gary Johnston has spent a lot of years in radio — and a lot of years in cannabis culture.

Now he’s rolled both of those passions together into The Cannabis Potcast.

A lot has changed since the Okanagan radio personality started to fill the FM Airwaves with his dulcet tones. He used to edit clips with scissors and tape. Now he uses Adobe Audition software in his basement studio to produce his show – a task he finds even more enjoyable after a few tokes.

“Give me a good strain of sativa, give me a good project to edit, and I am gone because that’s where the real joy is for me,” he said.

Since launching the weekly podcast, he’s put out 14 episodes exploring the ever changing landscape of Canadian cannabis culture. He’s talked about senior citizen stoners, interviewed some high-profile guests and educated listeners on terpenes.

Johnston’s favourite interview so far took place in episode 1, when he spoke to Newfoundlander Ian Power, the first person to purchase legal cannabis in Canada.

“It was his energy that I found really infectious,” he said.

Finding his voice

For three years, Johnston has been running a voice over business, called Strong Voice Media.

“I realize that in three years, I spent a lot of time trying to convey other people’s messages and my message got lost,” he said.

“Cannabis has always been a big part of me. As soon as I started that first episode and knew that I was recording something for myself, it all changed in my head. It all became much more real, tangible and connected.”

The original name was “Canucks on Cannabis,” but he wasn’t sure how the hockey club – or its fans – would react.

His son Ian was a guest on his first show and they joked about it being a “potcast.” The name stuck.

Johnston said he’s surprised at how many people have listened to date, adding he’s looking forward to continuing to build a community as people get to know him.

As for why he enjoys cannabis:

“You don’t use it because you need to make yourself feel better about stuff,” said Johnston. “I don’t use cannabis because I’m trying to get away from something. I don’t use cannabis because I need to feel better about life. I don’t need to use cannabis for all of those other reasons that people put forth.

“I use cannabis because it takes what I am doing in any particular circumstance and makes it better. For me cannabis is an enhancement. I’m already enjoying what I’m doing. I can do it without cannabis and do quite often.”