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UNLOCKING SECRETS

BUDS & BLOSSOMS

The Mapping of the Cannabis Genome

Beneficial Arrangements to Love

LAGANJA ESTRANJA BALANCING GAY RIGHTS, CANNABIS AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

STRAINS

PLATINUM OG

SACRAMENTO DISPENSARY A THERAPEUTIC ALTERNATIVE

BAY AREA DISPENSARY GRASSROOTS SF

CONCENTRATE

SWEET ISLAND SKUNK SHATTER


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

EDITOR’S NOTE

SEPTEMBER 2015 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE ISSUE 04

10 STRAIN OF THE MONTH

12 EDIBLES

20 CANNA-NEWS MAPPING THE CANNABIS GENOME

INTERVIEW

DISPENSARY

SACRED MEDICINALS EASY RIDER CIDER

SONOMA COUNTY PLATINUM OG

22 CANNA-NEWS

THE ROLLER COASTER RIDE OF CANNA BUSINESS LICENSING

38

40 BUSINESS

GRASS ROOTS SF

GROWING CANNABIS ONLINE

14 A THERAPEUTIC ALTERNATIVE

26 HEALTH

CANNABIS EFFECTS ON SPERM

HEALTH

END 420 SHAME

30 CANNA-NEWS THE BUSINESS OF CANNABIS

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50 CONCENTRATE SWEET ISLAND SKUNK SHATTER

ROAD TRIP

BUDS AND BLOSSOM

^ the

Cannabis

kitchen Cookbook . Fe e l-Go od F ood f or home cooks

52

62 CANNABIS KITCHEN COOKBOOK Robyn G ri g g s Law re nce Photogra phs by

In Southern California, this month’s magazine is our premiere issue, and September is also the first month that I am writing content for the magazine, including this editor’s statement, which I have decided to run Statewide rather than making separate statements for our NorCal and SoCal magazines. California is the world’s seventh largest economy, and there are marked differences in the NorCal and SoCal markets. This is the main reason we decided to publish two separate magazines in California; however, there are also unique aspects of the cannabis industry that are different in California than anywhere else in the United States. For this reason, there is going to be an emphasis here at the magazine to have congruent messaging Statewide in California. Something you can look forward to in this and upcoming issues of our California magazines is an ongoing exploration into the personal reasons that individual patients are choosing cannabis over pharmaceuticals, or in some instances in addition to big pharma, for their medical conditions.

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PRODUCT

September is a big month for us here at DOPE Magazine. In Washington State, September marks our four year anniversary of publishing DOPE Magazine and “Defending Our Plant Everywhere” (you know that’s what DOPE stands for, right?)

FEATURE

LAGANJA ESTRANJA

Pov y K en da l Atc his o n

Fo rewo rd by Jan e West

There is a stigma around the use of marijuana that has resulted in draconian laws, a massive prison population of non violent drug offenders, the segmentation of society across economic lines, and a sense of shame around cannabis use, where people feel conflicted for using cannabis even when they know it works for their conditions. It is time to end the shame, and remove the stigma around cannabis use. That is why we are launching our hashtag campaign #end420shame and will be featuring stories from people across the USA each month, including my own story coming soon. Evan Kopelson California State Director

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ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE dopemagazine.com


HipLyfe

elevating cannabis culture


PRESIDENT

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

EVAN CARTER

SHARON LETTS

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JAMES ZACHODNI STATE DIRECTOR EVAN KOPELSON ART DIRECTOR BRANDON PALMA ( 8THDAYCREATE.COM )

DAVID BAILEY DAVE HODES DEBBY GOLDSBERRY KIMBERLY CARGILE ASSISTANT GRAPHIC DESIGNER NARISSA-CAMILLE PHETHEAN

LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

ALLIE BECKETT

RON MULLINS

AD DESIGN RYAN CATABAY

CAL GREENFIELD ASHLEIGH CASTRO

MANAGING EDITOR/COPY EDITOR

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

ALISON BAIRD

DALLAS KEEFE

ONLINE EDITOR

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

MEGHAN RIDLEY

JENIKA MAO

DOPE is a free publication dedicated to providing an informative and wellnessminded voice to the cannabis movement. While our foundation is the medical cannabis industry, it is our intent to provide ethical and research-based articles that address the many facets of the war on drugs, from politics to lifestyle and beyond. We believe that through education and honest discourse, accurate policy and understanding can emerge. DOPE Magazine is focused on defending both our patients and our plant, and to being an unceasing force for revolutionary change.

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REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR NATHAN CHRYSLER REGIONAL SALES DIRECTOR EVAN KOPELSON

DOPE Magazine and the entire contents of this magazine are copyright 2015 DOPE MAGAZINE LLC, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or part without the written permission from Dope Magazine LLC

@DOPEMAGAZINE

UNLOCKING SECRETS

BUDS & BLOSSOMS

The Mapping of the Cannabis Genome

Beneficial Arrangements to Love

LAGANJA ESTRANJA BALANCING GAY RIGHTS, CANNABIS AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

STRAINS

PLATINUM OG

SACRAMENTO DISPENSARY A THERAPEUTIC ALTERNATIVE

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BAY AREA DISPENSARY GRASSROOTS SF

COVER PHOTO: “LAGANJA ESTRANJA” BY SCOTT KIRBY COVER DESIGN BY 8THDAYCREATE.COM

CONCENTRATE

SWEET ISLAND SKUNK SHATTER

ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE dopemagazine.com

PUBLISHED IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98109


MEDICAL STRAIN OF THE MONTH

Farmer’s Reserve Platinum OG GENETICS Sonoma County OG is a strain exclusive to Farmer’s Reserve. Originally bred in Sonoma County California, this flower contains genetics from OG Kush and Sour Diesel; a hybrid leaning slightly to indica with an estimated 60/40 split.

MEDICINAL BENEFITS Commonly relied upon for tension and pain relief, sativa traits keep you alert with less drowsiness or memory impact. An effective mood enhancer useful for depression without exacerbating anxiety, as can happen with your higher potency sativas.

LOOKS Pea green and pale, it’s speckled with dark evergreen flecks, and the colas are a beautiful light amber. A dense sheen of silvery trichomes makes it sparkle, perhaps how it got its name, Platnum. It’s buds are a series of cone shape protrusions, and spiky like a sativa.

AROMA Pungent, almost mouthwatering lemon tartness intertwines with a prevalent, earthy skunk. Pinching the bud releases a Kush-like pine scent, and the savory skunk notes prevail in the pungeant cloud that lingers long after enjoying.

EFFECT Full body muscle relaxation comes swiftly, and this flower delivers an immediate and carefree blissful euphoria. Although an indica dominant, it lends itself to many activities and leaves minimal spaciness. Note: This is a highly energetic strain and not conducive to sleep.

FLAVOR Thick velvety smoke has classic diesel flavor from Sour Diesel, its genetic predecessor boasting an earthy, spicy fuel flavor. On exhale it has a pungent sweet citrus flavor reminiscent of lemon candy that many enthusiasts find incredibly delicious.

21.27% THC .4% CBD

SAMPLE PROVIDED BY: Farmer’s Reserve

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• TESTED AT • SC Labs

WRITER CAL GREENFIELD

PHOTOS ASHLEIGH CASTRO


EDIBLES

Sacred Medicinals’ Easy Rider Cider

WRITER CAL GREENFIELD

PHOTOS ASHLEIGH CASTRO

A Medicinal Cannabis Superfood Drink “The overall effect is a beautiful journey, with a zippy sativa buzz that keeps on cruising, just like the name suggests.”

ACRED MEDICINALS has

an entire line of holistic, 100% organic, edible medicinal cannabis products. The ladies take great pride in using high quality ingredients, and make everything in small batches from scratch for quality assurance and optimum potency. They specialize in products free of gluten, dairy, and sugar. Low-glycemic index products are also offered, made with a hemp seed and cannabis brew they call JOY ™. Their 100% organic Easy Rider Cider, made with fresh apples and mountain spring water, is enhanced with cannabis, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. The simple, pure ingredients really stand out, giving a wonderful, fresh apple pie flavor. Clear concise labeling is the only way to tell that this product is infused, that, and the nearly immediate head buzz felt by some after just a few sips. In aroma and taste, the cannabis flavor is virtually undetectable.

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The mood enhancement and muscle relaxation qualities are all very apparent. Patients with stomach issues like acid reflux, indigestion, and IBS have experienced positive results using the cider for enhancement of appetite to prevent wasting. Many report the drink produces a calming effect on the gut from the added Hemp Superfood, and the alkaline environment created by the apple cider. The clarity of its effect lends itself to pursuing activities like housework or walking the dog. Some say the euphoric effect may make some tedious tasks difficult, as it appeared to make a slight impact on our reviewer’s recall functions after they consumed an entire bottle - not necessarily recommended! One 8oz bottle packs in 100mg of the sativa dominant hybrid, an excellent value at $15.00 a bottle. Their other organic products include: Chocolate, Coconut & Banana Mini Cake, Destiny Mango Drink and their coconut oil hemp seed butter infused with cannabis,

ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE dopemagazine.com

titled JOY™. The overall effect is a beautiful journey, with a zippy sativa buzz that keeps on cruising, just like the name suggests.

• Made with Hemp Super Food. • Fresh Mountain Spring Water • Undetectable Cannabis Taste FOUND AT: • Abatin • CBCD • Elemental Wellness DONATED BY: • Sacred Medicinals


SACRAMENTO DISPENSARY

A Therapeutic Alternative

Alternative Wellness Therapies That Go Beyond the Bud

N THE upper end of Sacramento’s grid in an area heavy with medical facilities, hospitals, clinics, and dental offices, is one of Downtown’s oldest collectives. “A Therapeutic Alternative” (ATA) open at 3015 H Street in Sacramento since 2009, is fully licensed and well liked by the city.zz In a 98-yr-old bungalow with elegantly high ceilings and antique furniture, this has all the vibe of an upscale medical clinic. The security guard often greets with a sincere hug, and the staff is extremely friendly and clad professionally in scrubs. I felt at home in their spacious waiting area that they keep well stocked with information pamphlets, various print publications, and a vast book of business cards to help patients find other wellness services. Once signed in, visitors enter the patient waiting area where they can puruse the menu and test results. ATA has all its products lab tested by Sequoia Analytics for not only potency, but for contaminants as well. Their menu is packed with over thirty great strains of flower including Chocolate Hashberry, Cherry Cadillac and Romulan, just to name a few. An impressive variety of products is available, including capsules, tinctures, over fifty varieties of edibles, and even a transdermal patch I’ve yet to see anywhere else in Sacramento! Nineteen different topical choices ensure they’ll have you covered, literally, and their menu also includes 35 CBD-rich items! Their staff’s knowledge is off the chart. According to manager Kim, they have monthly classes to educate their staff on the latest cannabinoid research and info. They also host guest speakers

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WRITER

PHOTOS

RON MULLINS

ASHLEIGH CASTRO

“Members take advantage of free services like yoga and chiropractic, offered weekly. Established patients can also utilize online ordering, so they can pick up meds without waiting.” regularly, including MDs, PhDs and lawyers to help keep the staff on the cutting edge of what we know about the plant. Going far above and beyond, they also offer many lifestyleimproving services. In addition to the standard yoga and massage, ATA also has Reiki, sound therapy, meditation, acupressure and more. They also have wellness counselors available to patients weekly to give advice on a wide range of wellness issues. Cash is conveniently available from the ATM machine in the lobby. I purchased an 1/8th of Chocolate Hashberry for a $50 donation, and a sativa transdermal patch for another $16 donation. I also made sure to sign up for the free Reiki before I left, and I’m certain to be a regular at this amazing collective in the future.

3015 H STREET SACRAMENTO 95816 916-822-4717 9 AM TO 9 PM 7 DAYS A WEEK dopemagazine.com ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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SEX

Canna We Get It On?

Cannabis - The All-Natural Aphrodisiac

WRITER

GRAPHICS

MEGHAN RIDLEY

AL MOORE

ARY JANE is one sexy lady, and since this is DOPE’s anniversary issue and we’re basically lucky enough to be married to her we felt the need to do some between-the-sheets sexploration of our favorite all natural aphrodisiac. The following is a mash-up of both anecdotal, and research based findings meant to peak your curiosity and arouse both your body and mind.

SEXY STRAINS & PRODUCTS

NOW THYSELF

First and foremost, Foria sex lube has been making headlines for over a year now in everything from Women’s Health Magazine to cannabis publications. It’s a sexy mix of coconut oil and 2 mg of THC. It’s claim? To lengthen and intensify arousal and orgasm.

Keep in tune with what is being more and more often referred to as ‘stoner sexuality.’ The book Sex Pot: The Marijuana Lover’s Guide to Getting It On by Mamakind, has been heralded by Rihanna as her “new encyclopedia.” Needless to say, it comes highly recommended, and features all the tips and tools necessary to get high, hot and bothered in all the right ways.

Want to get down for a morning or mid-day romp? Sativas, including the rather common Green Crack, and the somewhat rare, Asian Fantasy, have both been reported to have a highly arousing effect for energetic daytime sex.

Understand that female sexuality gets increasingly complicated with age. Even a small dose of Mary Jane can go a long way in lightening the mood, easing the mind, and loosening the body. Know yourself. We all respond differently to sex and cannabis in isolation. Putting them together can be an exciting and potent mix, but keep it safe and stay aware of other’s personal boundaries and your own.

Looking for a more romantic, eveningtime love making session? While rare, the strain Yumboldt is allegedly one hell of a romancer, and it’s said that the legendary Grand Daddy Purple will keep lovers saying “Who’s your daddy?” all night long. .

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DON’T YOU DARE Embrace silly studies that attempt to link cannabis and promiscuity. Get so high you become overly sensitive, orgasm too quickly, and find yourself sleeping on the couch with your bong. Get so stoned you’re a lackluster participant (lacking lubrication and/or being half-hard are surefire signs of a misfire in the bedroom). dopemagazine.com ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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CANNA-NEWS: RESEARCH

Unlocking Secrets:

The Mapping of the Cannabis Genome

OW THAT the cannabis legaliza-

tion genie is out of the bottle, investors and entrepreneurs are churning out binders of business research and plans. There’s clearly no stopping the growth of this brand new industry with its built-in consumer base of millions across the planet. Something is being lost though, amidst all the legislative action, the rush of startups, and the quickly expanding consumer demand. It’s a mystery most in the industry don’t even know exists: What exactly is cannabis and what does the cannabis genome look like? The answer to that question is a big one that the entire industry needs to know. This knowledge will benefit us all as cannabis users, but mostly it will help patients who still rely on

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largely anecdotal information to treat their serious ailments. This will also help regulators and lawmakers who need to have reliable scientific information to discuss the next steps in legalization. With legal constraints hampering much true scientific research, it’s now finally clear that the time for the quantification of cannabis has come, and that’s where evolutionary biologist Dr. Nolan Kane comes in. In a small lab inside the Ramaley Biology building on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder, Kane has studied what the untrained eye would perceive as mundane plants like sunflowers, mustard, and chocolate to discover their hidden properties. He now also knows more about the inside workings of the cannabis plant than any other scientist in

ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE dopemagazine.com

WRITER DAVID HODES

the world as a result of the Cannabis Genome Research Initiative (CGRI). The project will sequence numerous specimens from the three species of cannabis - pure sativa, indica and ruderalis - to examine the relationships between the major lineages within the genus, the spread of cannabis throughout the globe, and the rates of historical hybridization. Dr. Kane and his team of seven evolutionary biologists have joined with graduate students and research assistants to do what no one has done before: mapping the genome of the cannabis plant. “I decided as a professor less than two years ago that I wanted to move in a different direction,” he says. “I still wanted to study sunflowers, but I wanted to do something in a way that was novel and interesting.” Then he heard from a colleague about the changes in the status of the legality of cannabis in Colorado.


“I thought about it, and it sort of took on a life of its own.” Kane wanted to address basic biologic questions about cannabis, such as how the evolutionary aspects of the plant work, the genetics of adaption, and how a wild species was turned into a domesticated crop. The role of hybridization between distant members of the species to create different sub species is also an area of interest. “Those were many of the same questions that I had been addressing in sunflowers for a long time,” Kane says, “But the difference is [with cannabis] there is so much that is so wide open because it’s really understudied, relative to every other high value crop. It’s really complicated once you get into it.” One of those basic questions is the origin of the Y chromosome. “Our own Y chromosome evolved a couple of hundred million years ago,” Kane says. “Whereas in cannabis, it’s clearly quite recent. It’s an incomplete evolution of the Y chromosome, and it’s ongoing, but what that does is enable us to study some things that happening recently [in the plant’s evolution].” “Feminized seeds [in cannabis] is a trait that has evolved very recently, and there are some varieties that are hermaphrodites, and others that are male and female. It’s so recent that it hasn’t become fixed in the whole species,” he says, which may explain why cannabis seeds are so difficult to sex. His 18-month-old CGRI research of cannabis has already helped accelerate the understanding of the plant. One of Kane’s students recently graduated with one of the first PhDs in cannabis, and they are doing research to analyze the sequence of 67 genomes found by both Kane’s lab, and other labs. Kane says, “That really opened the door to understanding the species and how lineages are evolving,” he says.

The sequencing work will also lead to much easier, faster, cheaper and more reliable testing of the plant for THC levels, CBD, and other active compounds. “Another thing that surprised me is we actually don’t know why these plants evolved these compounds,” explains Kane. “We have a lot of ideas, but nobody has really demonstrated what these plants do with these compounds in the wild, what benefit these compounds provide for the plants, and why they make such a diversity of compounds.” His theory about the purpose of these compounds is that they may serve to attract mammalian herbivores in order to disperse the seed. “We have no idea, and to me it’s surprising that it’s such an important plant, used medically for thousands of years, and we don’t really know why the plant makes these compounds.” The work on crossing breeding to create various strains of cannabis for recreational use, usually attributed to California growers in the mid-60s, gives scientists like Kane many interesting questions, and potentially interesting ideas, regarding what is really going on within the plant, he says. “Very little of it has been formally published or quantified. So it’s been a lot of it anecdotal stories where someone says ‘Hey I noticed this’ or something, but those observations haven’t been followed up on rigorously,” Kane says. “Now it’s time to follow up on those things and see what is going on with all of them.” In Kane’s lab, on the campus of a federally funded university not able to allow work on a schedule 1 narcotic, he is only allowed to grow low THC cannabis. To keep his work clearly on the right side of the law, and he defaults to these conservatively low THC varieties in the studies. “What that means is that we can’t really do many of the kinds of studies that we would like to be able to do,” he says.

Other studies would include collaborations with other scientists in psychology and neuroscience, to understand the neurological effects of cannabis and its other properties. “We can exchange information and exchange ideas, and if I know something about the genetics, and they provide me information about some various traits, I could probably place things onto the genetic map,” he says. He says that, for example, right now people are providing him information on all kinds of medical and recreational varieties of cannabis, which is enabling him to place of a lot of interesting traits onto the genetic map that he couldn’t directly assess himself. “But that means I have a lot less control over it because I can’t directly quantify these traits myself, and I have to rely on other people to provide that information.” Dr. Kane finishes by explaining that as they put the cannabis genome together and associate some of the different traits, they will publish a fully mapped genome, placing all of the sequences onto the chromosomes. This will be a momentous occasion when it arrives, and a report on their process and progress of the mapping will publish soon in a scientific journal, but for now, it’s one step at a time. “As far as any ‘A-ha!’ moments, I expect a lot of smaller steps that build on each other,” Kane predicts. “Much of what we are doing now is building tools to understand the plant better. Once we do that, I’m sure people will be applying it in all kinds of different ways, and we will finally be able to understand the Y chromosome evolution and the origins of that important trait.”

“Much of what we are doing now is building tools to understand the plant better. Once we do that, I’m sure people will be applying it in all kinds of different ways” - Dr. Nolan Kane dopemagazine.com ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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CANNA-NEWS BUSINESS

The Roller Coaster of Cannabis Business Licensing

ICENSING YOUR cannabis business – whether serving the recreational side or medical side or both – is still under construction in many states as the industry grows. But the process is slowly changing and adapting to this new industry, and, even more slowly, getting simpler and easier. The licensing process for a cannabis business may be complicated, but in the end it is essentially an endorsement of a business by the state’s department of revenue. Licenses are issued for any cannabis business that operates as a producer, processor, wholesaler or retailer. The eligibility is usually determined by a point system (based on scores after a review of business criteria (type of security, background checks, operation plan, financial investigation), or by rules enacted in tandem with legalization (such as Measure 91 in Oregon). The licensing process can take from six months to a year or more from start to finish, depending on the state. This lengthy process can take the wind out of the sails of

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even the strongest businesses, which is why many are now hiring consultants to help them navigate the tricky ins and outs successfully. Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of Bulbulyan Consulting Group, is a full service cannabis industry consultant, and one of the leading consulting firms in the cannabis business that knows the drill well. In January, 2013, Avis worked with a group to prepare and submit for a license in Massachusetts, where his client was able to score highest on the point system used in that state, being awarded three out of the three available licenses. Bulbulyan says the licensing process in Massachusetts generally takes over a year in Maryland by the time the state approves a license. Hawaii announced recently they will accept applications beginning in mid-January and award winners in April. New York is the fastest, he says, By the time everything is finalized and the application is accepted in New York, it’s less than two months, but it really

ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE dopemagazine.com

depends on the state. An applicant needs to start as soon as possible no matter what state.” There are trap doors everywhere in this young industry, “The licensing process can be very difficult,” explains Chelsey Joseph, contract consultant for the nationally recognized cannabis consulting firm, Denver Relief Consulting. Joseph has assisted with cannabis business license applications in Canada, Colorado, Connecticutt, D.C., Florida, Illinois Massachusetts, Nevada and Washington, “It can also be very self-discovering,” she says. Bulbulyan says that the toughest piece of the puzzle for applicants is often property acquisition. “That, and getting the client to the point of really understanding the amount of capital that is needed to participate in this industry,” he says, “Initially they don’t think it’s a heavy lift.” For example, he says, in Maryland, the landlord of a property that was being looked at by a dispensary developer wanted $200,000 to just hold the property until


WRITER

PHOTOS

DAVID HODES

ALLIE BECKETT

Tips about getting a license from Avis Bulbulyan, CEO, Bulbulyan Consulting Group a decision about licensing was given. Bulbulyan says a common mistake for applicants is believing they can, on their own, compete for a license against an organization of twenty or more people who are lined up with attorneys and supported by lobbyists. “You can be the jack of all trades in the cannabis business,” he says, “But that’s not going to go over well on the application. I don’t know of any group that got a license that didn’t have a lobbyist on their side, so I focus on lobbying from the beginning.” Lobbyists help work through zoning rules and other ordinances, among other things, that may affect the availability of the land for use as a dispensary. Peter Schweda, co-founder and master grower at Natural Care Consulting, who operates a large, licensed cultivation center in Illinois, says that people wanting to get licenses don’t think about lawyers or lobbyists, because there is a well-known expense related to working with those professionals. “But quickly you learn that you definitely need to have a lobbyist, because you get tired of false information from the press,” he says. “Everyone has an opinion, and the information you get from your lobbyists or attorneys, I keep saying, is never 100% accurate, but it’s the most accurate information that you are going to be able to obtain.” He says that’s because lawyers are trained to sift through stuff in the process that is not valid, and latch onto the points that are more critical to succeeding in the licensing process. “I quickly learned that lobbyists and lawyers were worth the money,” he says, “Even though the costs are shocking at first.” Schweda explains an applicant should be willing to spend $500,000 to $1 million in consulting fees to those lawyers and consultants.

Understand your financial requirements.

Understand what kind of organization you are putting together.

Understand what you want to accomplish. Are you going for one license or more than one, to take over the state or the region?

Designate one person as your point person. You don’t want “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Background checks of owners and employees can be one of the real sticking points during the licensing process as well, where problems can surface from a shadowy past in cannabis business, creating an obstacle. “Many of these growers today have a dirty background of some kind,” Schweda says. He says that he had several people among his list of employees who didn’t even pass an initial background check. “We started asking them before attempting to get a license, ‘Was there any time in your life that you were arrested? Let’s start with a speeding ticket. Let’s talk about child support’”, he says. Sometimes they will respond with a story about getting busted with a joint at a concert. “And they’ll say ‘Oh, but that was nothing.’

Start with your lobbyist and be upfront with them. You want a comfort level with them, and name recognition, because when licensing officials review those applications, the names that they are familiar with get more interest and more advice. No, that wasn’t nothing. That means everything in this process. So I say to those ‘Nice to meet you. Have a good day. Goodbye.’” In the final analysis, the licensing roller coaster is fundamentally the same as in any other industry, Schweda says, “There is no way around it. If you want to be a real serious competitor and have a serious chance of achieving your goal of getting your license, you have to pay attention to the laws, and have the ability to go with the ebb and flow of challenges along the way. “This is not rocket science,” Joseph says, “Retail and agriculture have been around for years and there is really nothing new here. It’s just that the cannabis industry is so new.”

“This is not rocket science, retail and agriculture have been around for years and there is really nothing new here.” dopemagazine.com ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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CANNABIS AROUND THE WORLD

A Midsummer Night’s Blue Dream

WRITER R.Z. HUGHES

Kentucky’s High Hopes For Self-Snitching In Franklin County, Kentucky, the sheriff’s office is offering “drug dealers” a way to corner the market and get rid of rivals. In what seems like a trap designed to catch only the most gullible among us, a flyer was posted to their Facebook asking merchants of the black market to turn in their competition via mail or text. The pot leaf plastered form looks completely unserious, aside from the fact that they’re asking for a lot of personal information. This tactic – playing off the hugely misguided notion that cannabis users and the people who sell it are spineless rats – has been used by law enforcement elsewhere in the US, and exposes Franklin County’s finest for their ineptitude, laziness, and overall misunderstanding of the community they purportedly serve.

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Noted wordsmith and bane of high school students everywhere William Shakespeare, may have enjoyed a higher inspiration from our dear friend, Mary Jane. Gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis by University of Witwatersrand has revealed residues of cannabis (and coca leaf) on pipe shards excavated from the playwright’s garden in Stratford-upon-Avon. Some experts dispute that the bard would have never used cannabis, blaming the pipes on dastardly neighbor boys, but the evidence is pretty clear. Cannabis is known as a friendly muse that enhances artistic minds and it’s apparently maintained this reputation diligently for centuries, even throughout the stuffy high-society of Victorian England.


Cannabis With No Memory Loss? What was that again? Research done in Barcelona has shed new light on the ways THC interacts with neural receptors and produces certain effects. It turns out cannabinoid and serotonin receptors are part of the same structure – a heteromer – and that many of the negative side-effects associated with cannabis such as short-term memory loss, are actually due

to the serotonin receptor. By blocking this pathway in mice, effectively severing the connection between the two receptors, it was found that the THC still exhibited medicinal benefits, such as anti-nausea and pain relief with no psychoactivity, anxiety, or memory problems.

Mexican Pot Farms Get A Modification A raid in the Mexican state of Jalisco has uncovered over 7,000 pot plants and landed twenty-five people in jail. The authorities found three greenhouses crammed full of clones and what they described as ‘genetically modified marijuana’. The alleged GMO grass had over 10% THC compared to the apparent Mexican norm of 3%. While it is not out of the realm of possibility, it seems unlikely that the cartels have funded research into DNA-splicing. Instead, better genetics from the U.S. and Europe, thanks to selective breeding along with more sophisticated grow techniques, are the likely culprits for the potent mota.

Snoop Dogg No Longer Down With S-weed-en The Doggfather was detained for a short time in Uppsala, Sweden after a performance, and forced to submit a urine sample to police due to suspicions he might have been driving under the influence. Sweden’s draconian anti-drug laws allow for search of property, and they can conduct compulsory pee tests simply over the suspicion that one might be having a good time with the aid of foreign substances. This didn’t sit well with Snoop who, being released shortly after, posted an onslaught of online videos accusing the Swedish police of racial profiling and swearing to never to return there.

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CANNA-NEWS: HEALTH

Cannabis Effects on Sperm:

WRITER JESSICA ZIMMER

GRAPHICS 8THDAYCREATE .COM

The Research to Date and How to Encourage Better Science

ANNABIS APPEARS to have negative effects on sperm,

which can lead to the failure of a man to impregnate a woman. Sperm with an abnormal size, shape, or speed may have a reduced chance of reaching and penetrating the egg. Some studies indicate that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes sperm to swim too quickly and too erratically.

Burkman said research she conducted in 2003 showed the velocity and amount of vigorous swimming of sperm is actually comparatively high in cannabis smokers. “It is possible that the elevated, vigorous hyperactivity may lead to early sperm burnout,” said Burkman.

Dr. Lani Burkman, associate professor emerita of gynecology at the State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and founder of LifeCell Dx, a Buffalo fertility clinic, has been researching the effects of cannabinoids on reproductive health for over ten years. She said doctors need to ask more “probing” questions about cannabis use.

Dr. Allan Pacey, professor of andrology (the study of diseases and functions unique to males) at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, published a survey in 2014 on the lifestyle choices of 2,249 men at 14 fertility clinics in the UK. Data indicated men who smoke cannabis have irregularly sized and shaped sperm.

“They don’t have any questionnaires to ask if a patient has used cannabis, in what form, and (whether the woman) had a miscarriage,” said Burkman.

“[Packaging of DNA in the sperm head] is a normal process which happens as sperm are created. [Cannabis use appears to have] influenced the eventual size and shape of the sperm head,” said Pacey.

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Burkman says her clinic requires men who are trying to get their partner pregnant stop cannabis use and take a year to recover.

She also states that eggs are less vulnerable to harm than male reproductive organs.

“THC is stored in fat cells. When you exercise, fat cells get reduced in size and number. They release THC into the blood system. It may feel for a while like you’re smoking again,” said Burkman.

“For the most part, eggs are at rest. It is hard to damage them. Men are constantly reproducing sperm, but there are ways to cleanse the male reproductive system that would not be burdensome for most men. One example is discontinuing drug use…before trying to conceive,” says Daniels.

Burkman recommends six months of heavy exercise followed by two full sperm maturation cycles (two and a half months each) to restore sperm quality. Interpreting data about cannabis and reproductive health is a political act. Many individuals who work with businesses, organizations, and educational institutions question the validity of past studies. Ian James, vice president of business development at Canna Advisors, a Boulder-based consulting firm that helps cannabis-related business secure licenses Says, “When you talk about the research that’s dated [from the 1960s and 1970s], you ask, what was the government trying to achieve? It was focused on prohibition.” Dr. Carl Hart, associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, who has conducted research on drugs that people commonly abuse, said, “My concern is that the conclusions drawn about the effects of specific drugs are unjustifiably negative.” Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a New York-based nonprofit that protects the rights of pregnant and parenting women, says the fact that cannabis remains illegal under federal law makes it hard to discuss the drug’s effects.

Burkman said the best way to study the effects of cannabis on reproductive health would be to implement studies on men and women in different age groups of reproductive age who use cannabis, “from teenagers all the way up to women who are 45 and men who are 70.” Burkman said it is important that studies focus on the moments leading up to fertilization. “As the sperm are passing through her cervix, uterus, and then ovary, if she’s using cannabis too, the sperm get washed with a second dose of cannabinoids,” said Burkman. Burkman says studies should look at how sperm affected by cannabis swim, focusing on whether they pursue a direct, speedy route to the egg. “The egg cell has a cover on it called the zona,” said Burkman. “The acrosome, a cap on the sperm head, releases chemicals which dissolve through the zona. The sperm then gets through and touches the egg cell. The egg pulls that sperm inside. That’s when fertilization has happened,” said Burkman.

“In an environment in which drugs are criminalized, people who use drugs are stigmatized,” said Paltrow.

Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a D.C.-based advocacy group for cannabis legalization says, “Scare tactics don’t work. We need to have access to good, unbiased information that keeps people safe.”

She expressed concern that research about the effects of cannabis on reproductive health is “often reported without any sense of awareness of how data will be politicized in a highly sensitive environment.”

Sara Arnold, co-founder of The Family Law & Cannabis Alliance, a Massachusetts-based organization that provides non-legal advice about cannabis and family law, agreed.

Cindy Daniels, professor of political science at Rutgers University and author of the 2006 book “Exposing Men: The Science and Politics of Male Reproduction,” says entities that conduct research about cannabis’ effects on reproductive health can act responsibly by explaining what types of studies are needed and what data may reveal.

“Any change that would allow cannabis to be studied in terms of its current and historical uses would be helpful. Scientific inquiry, especially about the benefits of cannabis, has been stifled thus far,” said Arnold.

“Drugs can damage sperm but not negatively impact male fertility. It takes fairly big studies to track cannabis use and its reproductive outcomes,” said Daniels. She says she would be cautious in warning about the effects of drug use. “We’ve exaggerated the negative effects of female drug use, especially occasional or casual drug use. For example, with alcohol, if a woman has a glass of wine but [eats at the same time and] is well nourished, there are not severe negative effects,” said Daniels.

“My concern is that the conclusions drawn about the effects of specific drugs are unjustifiably negative.” Dr. Carl Hart, Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Cholumbia University

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GROW


Keeping It Clean

WRITER DUTCH MASTERS

Avoiding Toxins in Cannabis` ITH MORE nutrient manufacturers and products

appearing on the shelves at every visit to the local garden supply store, it is of the utmost importance a grow enthusiast does their homework to pick the safest and most efficacious plant material for consumables. Not all of these products are created equal, and not all are marketed for use on consumable crops that need to be safe and free of contaminants. Our goal is by the end of this reading, many will be better informed about how to choose the right nutrients and additives for their cannabis grow, based upon their efficaciousness, purity, and safety. Many already operating in states that have legalization bills on the books have grown quite accustom to the stringent (and rightfully so) testing parameters for final product. These tests not only provide a glimpse at potency and cannabinoid/terpenoid content, but also screen for contaminants (i.e. pesticides, heavy metals, microbial contamination, pests and foreign matter, etc.) While states are still enacting more specific testing parameters, it’s important to note that testing for toxic heavy metals will be gaining ever-increasing scrutiny. Why would toxic heavy metals (i.e. Cadmium, Chromium, Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, etc.) be appearing in our cannabis? A lesser-known fact: Many nutrients and additives, both inorganic and organic, that are currently being applied to plants frequently around the globe, are in fact a hidden source of toxic heavy metals. A quick search on databases provided by state-specific agricultural departments (free and accessible to anyone) yields some surprising results regarding commonly used nutrients and additives, indicating the true content of some “high-grade” products. There are various grades of elements available to nutrient manufacturers and obviously they, and you, get what they paid for. A majority of nutrient companies use stock constituents that are considered “agricultural grade”. This means less testing and less requirements are mandated – often resulting in a lower quality product, possibly containing contaminants. This isn’t a major issue when using fertilizers on a rose garden, but we’re now talking about consumable and smokeable crops. While these less-than-stringent guidelines are great for some nutrient manufacturers’ bottom lines, the long-term health effects for those consuming the final product grown with these products is yet to be ascertained. We do however know the effects of direct exposure to toxic heavy metals, which includes renal damage, anemia, seizure, coma,

Alzheimer’s disease, Wilson’s disease, and cancer, just to name a few. What can be done to ensure that a garden is fit for consumption while providing the best nutrition for the plants? For starters, growers can research the conditions and standards of the manufacturing facilities involved in making the products. What equipment do they mix their chemicals with? Which filtration methods do they use? What are the quality control/assurance measures in place? There are third party standards and protocols that manufacturing facilities can meet, such as those regulated by the International Organization for Standardization. They issue issue ISO Certification, such as ISO 9001, a Quality Management System ensuring standardized quality across all areas of the business including facilities, people, training, services and equipment; ISO 14001 for an Environmental Management System, providing assurance that environmental impact is being measured; and ISO 13485, certifying the manufacture and supply of chemicals meets the requirements of medical components for healthcare customers. Next, look at the grade of materials being used in their manufacturing process. Although agricultural grade material may be more to likely contain contaminants in the form of toxic heavy metals, this isn’t the only culprit to look out for. Yes, “organic” products often have some of the highest heavy metal content – particularly bat guano, a notorious heavy metal accumulator. Be sure the nutrient manufacturer has registered their heavy metals report with organizations such as AAPFCO (Association of American Plant Food Control Officials www.aapfco.org/metals.htm) to qualify acceptable levels. If excessive heavy metals are discovered in a grower’s current nutrient regimen, a serious reassessment of cost versus benefit needs to occur, factoring in human health. As more states begin to wise up to legalization, we will begin to see more mandatory testing requirements surface where consumable products are concerned, particularly around toxic heavy metal content. Once this occurs, a significant shift will occur within the cannabis cultivation community, and we’ll begin to see safe product labels for our plants indicating pharmaceutical grade quality, currently upheld in more typical medical manufacturing and much like pharmaceutical grade compounds produced for human consumption.

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CANNA-NEWS

Cannabis Funding

O I have to admit, I have never owned stock in my life. Some-

thing about the whole system just seems so random, arbitrary, and confusing. This month I spent time talking to some of the bright lights in venture capital and asset management who have been targeting cannabis opportunities for investors. According to ArcView’s Market Report (January 2015) the industry expanded by a whopping 74% in 2014—with even the most conservative estimates predicting even more growth in the future. That makes cannabis the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. by about a mile, and an increasingly tempting industry for investors and investment firms. Aside from the fact that it is inherently risky, there is significantly less competition for investors in cannabis than in other cutting-edge industries, and there are significant returns to be made. The opportunity of healthy profits looks even better when combined with the ”fringe benefit of being in the history books as instrumental in ending prohibition,” according to Anthony Davis of Anslinger Capital. Demand is high, and still growing, and there are a lot of passionate entrepreneurs ready to capitalize. The opportunity for investors is clear—and the value proposition grows clearer every day as publically traded cannabis companies gain traction. Company valuations are becoming both more realistic, with higher numbers, and the quality of management teams is on an upswing. As Emily Paxhia of Poseidon shared with me in a phone interview, “The time is now. [Investors] are never

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again going to find the deals at the price points that we are seeing. The talent, drive and passion of the founders entering the market now really has us excited about the future of the industry.” The barriers are equally clear: cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. The role of regulation in creating the market varies wildly from state to state. There are challenges in banking and in access to capital because of this uncertainty. “It’s such a bizarre paradox to have states calling their own shots while on the federal side of things this is still illegal. There are a lot of risks associated with that. There are a lot of unknowns,” said Jessica Geran of Dutchess Capital, “what it really comes down to is the regulations, number one, and the fact that this is still considered an illegal drug, whether it’s medical or adult use. I could go on and on about the variables, but once you sign that check it’s a risk. You cross your fingers and hope for the best. We do tons of due diligence to make sure that we can mitigate as much of the unknown as possible.” Another major barrier is the sluggish rate of change in the social conversation around cannabis, especially for adult use. “Everyone needs to start talking about it, and come out of the closet,” said Davis. “We are taking an industry that has a really negative connotation and demonstrating that it’s a good community. We aren’t taught how to do that in school. It’s really challenging to start organizations with this negative connotation. To walk into family firms and ask for million-dollar investments in cannabis, you get looked at like you are crazy. People are afraid about


the recreational side, and it’s so much less dangerous than alcohol.”

WRITER

Geran sees the change that is taking place: “In regards to the federal aspect of it, this thing is moving so well. The toothpaste is out of the tube. We have to get people to understand that the entrepreneurial type, the employee, the artist, the mom, the dad, the patient… everyone is a potential customer.”

MELANIE BIGALKE

The long and short of it is that venture capital is beginning to make major moves in cannabis. For consumers, this means an expansion of the products available as well as innovation, collaboration and the growth of the industry as a whole. It means that investors have an opportunity right now to make the history books. And it means that I am investing my next paycheck with one—if not all—of these smart, savvy firms, thanks to the advice from Morgan Paxhia of Poseidon: “For those who are looking to get in, funds exist for a reason. It’s a lot of work. There’s so much passion. It’s a really fun industry, and it’s a really great time to get involved.”

Company Profiles THE NEWCOMERS

THE SPECIALISTS

Poseidon Asset Management is a Californiabased cannabis hedge fund that offers wealth management services and invests in innovative, cutting edge cannabis businesses. They offer a significant service in their exhaustive due diligence. According to the company manifesto, “investing in this industry demands exponentially more time and energy than most of our clients would prefer. We aim to remove this “friction” by providing our clients with access to our carefully curated portfolio focusing on the cannabis industry.” Co-founded by Morgan and Emily Paxhia (a brother and sister team), Poseidon is poised to exploit market dislocations—the real undervaluation of companies in the industry. Both Morgan and Emily are world-class competitive sailors, and they are ready to ride this wave all the way. Poseidon is looking to be a visionary fund in the industry—and they have a strong vision. “Cannabis will bring in new technologies and efficiencies to a drought-stricken California and beyond,” said Morgan in a telephone interview. “Farming 2.0 will come out of this movement.”

THE GLOBALISTS

Dutchess Capital is a manager of global investment funds. Founded in 1996, they have made over 400 investments globally—with a total transaction value exceeding $2 billion. Dutchess is not solely focused on cannabis, offering services to start-ups, pre-IPO (initial public offering) businesses, and publically traded companies. This diversified fund has been actively investing in the industry since 2012. According to their website, “Dutchess portfolio companies are uniquely positioned to benefit with respect to the latest data, trends, products, services and ever changing regulatory environment. Further, in the quest for earnings growth, our legalized cannabis portfolio companies have successfully engaged in cross-pollinating with one another, which have resulted in business agreements, strategic partnerships or joint ventures.” Dutchess Capital brings global experience and risk management and expertise to the table. Many investors are attracted by the chance to get their toes wet in the cannabis sea while still investing in other industries. Jessica Geran, Head of Corporate Finance, said “This is the riskiest industry that we’ve ever been involved in— but there has never been an industry, or an opportunity, like it. We were very early on the scene. Dutchess got into it really as a fun little side project…then after some serious research and a lot of due diligence, we realized the scope of where this could go: the actual size of the potential market, and the fact that there weren’t a lot of other investors in it.”

Anslinger Capital, founded in May 2015, is an early stage venture capital fund focused on the emerging cannabis industry. Ansligner is based in Winter Park, Florida with offices in Seattle, Washington and has already completed 3 investments. Co-Founder Anthony Davis is a successful serial entrepreneur who has a proven track record of founding startups in the technology sector. After his recent stint as the CEO of Leafly (“the world’s cannabis information resource”), Davis and partners Christopher Male and Brett Gellein founded Anslinger Capital to create the future of the industry—and to make money. “I am an unapologetic capitalist. People never know how to react when I say this, my partners get a kick out of it—but I’m not joking,” said Davis during a telephone interview, “I use my capitalism for really good things. I am a major donor to three non-profits in the Seattle area and do a lot of advising to and for the startup community. I look for things that make a lot of money, so that I can afford to keep giving. There’s a ton of money to be had in the cannabis industry.”

“This is the riskiest industry that we’ve ever been involved in, but there has never been an industry, or an opportunity, like it.”

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CANNA-NEWS: HEALTH

Living with Disability: Understanding Cripple Punk Culture

WRITER JOHHNY HALFHAND

GRAPHICS 8THDAYCREATE .COM

ISABLED PEOPLE have the ironic fate of being simultaneously watched and ignored. In Seattle, when the bus stops to lower the ramp for someone with a wheelchair, it is not uncommon to hear some commuter sigh audibly, and drop their eyes to their phones when the individual finally boards the bus to get situated. In the US, it seems people want to watch and judge, more than smile, accept, or even help. With so little representation in TV or movies, it’s really no wonder that we are such objects of interest to the average bystander.

“They put together a punk philosophy for the disabled folks who are simply fed up with trying to fit everybody’s expectations.”

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We are watched and monitored by a skeptical public. It seems everyone wants to keep tabs on us to safeguard their tax dollars at work and to make sure we’re not all scamming our way to the top. Those with invisible disabilities such as chronic fatigue syndrome and Crohn’s disease have been reporting harassment from bystanders for “not being really handicapped.” Many seem to think a wheelchair is the sign of a bonafide, bluestar disabled person. Perhaps this policing of handicapped folks is meant for the public good, when really, it is simply harassment. Much of the tension comes from the mythos of the ‘Good Cripple’. Similar to the ‘Magic Negro’ archetype, the Good Cripple is always smiling, patient, compassionate, selfless, and because of this, loveable. Good examples of this might be Tiny Tim, who is pitiful yet adorable - or Professor X, whose immense mental powers trivialize his physical difficulties. However, when one is crippled by illness or injury, it is far from a walk in the park. It takes years to find some degree of acceptance, and many people struggle to find it, battling through their lives with rage, depression, or substance abuse issues (Think House, the polar opposite of the Good Cripple). A lifetime of intense struggle is difficult for all but the most resilient soul. Many able-bodied folks hear of such struggles and try to “fix” them by recommending yoga, exercise, whole foods, alternative medicines, and so on. Sometimes it seems like it will never stop. This constant onslaught of “Have you tried…?” begins to feel like an interrogation and a massive invasion of privacy. After all, this is our personal medical history. It’s about time we handicapped folks reclaim our dignity, our freedom, and our individuality.

Physically disabled people wanting to be a part of the movement who are uncomfortable using the slur may refer to it as “cpunk”

In this vein, the Cripple Punk movement was born on Tumblr. User ffsshh, who was fed up with experiencing ableism, laid the groundwork for a new kind of movement for the physically disabled, which doesn’t give a shit about social expectations or pandering to able-bodied observers for pity and adoration. They put together a punk philosophy for the disabled folks who are simply fed up with trying to fit everybody’s expectations. This is more than just folks with disabilities wearing tattered jeans and black hoodies. It’s a philosophy that encourages the handicapped to deal with their limitations in their own way, at their own pace, and with their own personal style. It builds confidence to battle one’s daily struggles, and acts as armor against the ableist attitudes that keep striving to fit the disabled into an ableist mold. The Cripple Punk ethos states they’re for the bitter cripple, the cripple who smokes or drinks, the cripple who doesn’t have the wherewithal to be an inspiration, the cripple who hasn’t “tried everything” or who struggles with denial, anger, or addiction. Cpunk fights internalized ableism, fully supporting those struggling with it. It provokes important conversations with the able-bodied: are handicapped people obliged to smile all the time? Is it improper to ask a disabled stranger about his/ her/their medical history? Is it insulting to respond to uncomfortable facts of disability with ‘Have you tried yoga/reiki/crystal healing?’ The cpunk movement has gained a lot of attention on Tumblr and is beginning to grow beyond it. Commenting on the impact of their work, ffsshh said, “I’m just really happy & proud of how much cripple punk has grown & how many people have

Able-bodied people may never use uncensored slurs themselves (such as cripple, a reclaimed slur) but never censor our language

been touched by it.” In time, hopefully it will help more and more people be free to just be themselves, and this subculture will blossom into a beautiful punk flower. Kick ass fellow cripples, and just do ‘you.’

RULES ‘Cripple’ is a negative slur to many disabled individuals, so refrain from using it if you are not disabled.

Cripple punk is not conditional on things like mobility aids & “functioning levels”

Always listen to those with different physical disabilities & different intersections than yourself. Do not speak over them.

Disabled people do not need to personally identify with the words “cripple” or “punk” individually to be a part of cripple punk.

Able-bodied people wishing to spread the message may only ever amplify the voices of the disabled

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HEALTH

Finding ReLEAF

WRITER

How to Choose the Best Medicine for You

ATIENTS IN California are suffering from a wide range of symptoms caused by a variety of illnesses and disorders. Thank mother earth for providing a plant that can relieve a myriad of symptoms. With thousands of strains to choose from and thousands of products available, how does one find the perfect cannabis option to relieve his or her symptoms?

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KIMBERLY CARGILE

There are fourth things each patient should know when in search of the best medicine. • The cannabis is safe and free from contaminants. • Access the strain’s cannabinoid profile. • Access the strain’s terpene profile. • Understand which consumption method(s) are best for you.


All of this information should be available at your local dispensary. Using this information, develop your own personal process for documenting responses, and with some trial and error journaling, your perfect medicine may be revealed. In California, dispensaries are not yet required to test products, however, the best dispensaries do. A patient can go on weedmaps.com, 420101.com and other online dispensary listings to find the ones that provide lab tested herb and products. Most likely the testing will include contaminate testing for things like; bugs, hair, mold, mildew, pesticides and solvents. This contamination testing process is the basis of quality control. With the rise of designer drugs available over the counter created to mimic cannabis, it is also important to know that you are actually smoking cannabis. Lab testing can also provide the evidence that the herb in question is actually safe non-toxic cannabis and not its designer toxic cousin, Spice.

Cannabinoids are the active ingredients in cannabis. These active molecules produce biological and chemical reactions within the cells. This pharmacological process is what makes cannabis relieve symptoms such as pain, seizures and nausea. There are over 100 known cannabinoids. Potency testing can provide both the cannabinoid and terpene profile. Dispensaries are currently testing for only the seven most common cannabinoids, and the profiles will most likely contain varying levels of: Tetrahydrocannabinols (THCa &THC), Cannabidiols (CBDa, & CBD), Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabichromene (CBC), and Tetrahydrocannabivarins (THCV & THCVa). Each strain of cannabis will have a different cannabinoid profile, thus providing a patient with relief of different symptoms. Cannabinoids and Terpenes both cause biochemical effects on the body, and terpene testing is the newest thing in the science of cannabis. It has finally answered many questions for patients such as, “Why does the cannabis that I like the smell of work best to relieve my symptoms?” Terpenes are the aroma molecules in cannabis that provide a wide range of stimulation to our olfactory systems. In turn they also thought to work on the rest of the body to provide relaxation, brachial dilation and antiseptic properties. The most common terpenes found in cannabis are pinene, myrcene, and limonene. To answer the question regarding the differences between indica and sativa, and this distinction could have something to do with the terpene myrcene. Myrcene is found

Once a patient knows their medicine is clean, safe and contaminant free; he or she should examine the cannabinoid profile. Cannabinoid profiling gives insight as to why cannabis can help so many patients with such a wide variety of illnesses or disorders. Lucky for us, we ran into Michael Backes, genius writer of Cannabis Pharmacy: Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana recently. DOPE had a unique chance to pick his brain regarding the science behind choosing the correct strain. He says, “Potency testing can answer a really important question for a patient because it can give them some “Cannabinoid idea on how to gauge dosage.”

in vary high levels in cannabis indica and produces sedative effects, so it helps patients relax and it’s good relief for muscle tension. Talking with freedom fighter, Dr. Mollie Fry, I learned that choosing the proper ingestion technique is the most important part of choosing the correct medicine. She states, “Patients using cannabis for mental conditions such as mood elevation or anxiety relief will be best helped by fast acting inhalation through vaporization or smoking. Patients in need of long term relief of chronic pain are most helped by oral administration such as edibles, capsules and tinctures.” We are lucky in California to have a large variety of administration techniques available at our dispensaries. Dispensaries provide dried herb, topicals, edibles, tinctures, capsules, transdermal patches, concentrates and even suppositories. Depending on a patient’s individual needs, a budtender can help find the best administration technique available. Dr. Fry gave some more great advice with the statement, “A patient’s choice of administration technique will depend on how fast they need relief and how long they need relief.”

As cannabis research expands throughout the world we are learning more and more of the wonderful benefits of cannabinoids and terpenes. As the industry expands, manufacturers and dispensaries are providing patients with more and more options, and fortunately for patients, the harmonious expansion of research and industry is providing them with a much clearer path insight to health and wellness.

profiling gives as to why cannabis can help so many patients with such a wide variety of illnesses or disorders.”

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BAY AREA DISPENSARY

Grassroots San Francisco - on the Polk St. Corridor

“Even Your Mom Will Love It Here” N SAN Francisco’s upper

tenderloin is a spot known as the Polk Street Corridor. It’s a newly rejuvenated downtown neighborhood with a blend of new restaurants, bars, highend consignment shops, and of course, vintage clothing stores. A member of this neighborhood for over ten years, the Grassroots dispensary has witnessed much of the area’s growth from its 1077 Post Street location, conveniently close to BART. The interior is lush with antique flocked wallpaper, hardwood floors, pine counters and noble columns. Juxtaposing the early American apothecary feel is the latest technology - a tablet at each of the five dispensing stations, and a display showing samples of their immense, top notch selection. The friendly guard asked for my paperwork, I signed the standard documents, and within about three minutes I was a member. Everything is laid out on their restaurant style menus, complete with test results by Pure

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Analytics. Over fifty different strains ranging from $10 to $17 per gram donation are served up deli style, with each bag weighed in front of you to any weight your budget will allow. Among their many flowers are strains like Candy Jack, Bruce Banner, Banana Kush, Moon Rocks, and this amazing looking Lavender Goo that I couldn’t live without. There’s no shortage of other tempting products with a large menu of edibles, chocolates, honey, tinctures, capsules, rubs, sprays, and drops. One of the few places that carries the popular product line from The Baykery, they feature all of their products including cookies, muffins, brownies, and vegan selections. If you prefer concentrates like I do, Grassroots pleases in this department too, and they’re fully stocked with waxes, hashes, shatters and something called ‘pull and snap’. Concentrate brands include The Clear, Gold Drop, CritiCal, and many more.

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WRITER

PHOTOS

RON MULLINS

ASHLEIGH CASTRO

“One of the few places that carries the popular product line from The Baykery, they feature all of their products including cookies, muffins, brownies, and vegan selections.” The Grassroots healing vibe proliferates throughout all of their product offerings – with many high CBD options available in all categories - flower, concentrates, and edibles. The staff members knew their buds, and answered all my questions intelligently without hesitation. I picked up an eighth of Lavender Goo for a $50 donation, and some Terra blueberries coated with chocolate by Kiva for a $17 donation. A cash machine sits conveniently in the lobby, and taxes are included. New patients get an extra $5 item

added on their order, and since I spent over $60 I was eligible for an extra $5 so I walked out with a free $10 pre-roll…Nice! All their amazing products are listed on their website at GrassrootsSF.com. You can also find them on Instagram at Grassrootssf. If you sign up for their updates you can find out about specials via email. Open 8:00am-10:00pm seven days a week for you convenience. I plan on making this a regular place of mine!

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THE NORTHWEST’S

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POLITICS MEDICAL STRAIN OF THE MONTH

Saving America With Cannabis

“Jack believed America needed to shift its consciousness and think differently, and that cannabis was a short cut to cultural acceptance and enlightenment.” • Jack Herer Photo by Eve Lentz

ACK HERER, author of the Emperor Wears No Clothes, inspired the cannabis movement starting back in the 1970’s, which, after all these years and through much hard work, created a new billion-dollar industry for America. “Hemp Can Save the Planet” was his battle cry, and Jack promoted the use of cannabis for food, fuel, fiber, and medicine. But, he also believed that America needed to shift its consciousness and think differently, and that cannabis was a short cut to cultural acceptance and enlightenment.

Herer travelled with the Hemp Tours, which hit the road at the height of the War on Drugs campaign, hosting over 1500 advocacy events between 1989 and 1996. Constitutional protections were at an all time low, and police were profiling people across the nation, looking for cannabis. At the time, police could stop and search people for merely for having a Grateful Dead sticker on their car, or for simply ‘looking like’ they used cannabis. During this time, our nations prison became bloated with people there for nothing more than simple possession of drugs.

As Barry “Plunker” Adams, co-founder of the Rainbow Family, and expert on the constitutional right to gather says, “Cannabis users share a common creed. Basically, it’s simple, we tolerate each other, and we like to share cannabis. Then, we begin to share other things, like coffee and a meal. ”

Many of the leaders of the industry got their start with Herer during this time, including people like Steve DeAngelo and Ed Rosenthal, whose membership in the Youth International Party (the infamous Yippies of the 1960’s and 70’s) inspired the cannabis movement to stay fun, fresh, and radical. If you look closely, you’ll find many people through out the cannabis industry who got their start at Hemp Tour events and in the

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other major advocacy groups. In short, all of these people started in activism to promote a mission, which was, and still is, to make America a better place by ending cannabis prohibition.

WRITER DEBBY GOLDSBERRY

PHOTOS VARIOUS CREDITS

Unfortunately, all of the original cannabis dispensaries have closed, including Dennis Peron’s original dispensary in San Francisco, and their former leadership is largely silenced, worn down by police action after police action. Jack Herer passed away in 2010. Now, with the cannabis industry expanding at lighting speed, many of its new entrepreneurs missed cannabis prohibition all together. Being harassed by the police, arrested for cannabis, and spending time in jail, like how many of the industries pioneers did, created a powerful force for more activism and change. In other words, rather than being crushed by prohibition, our advocates became stronger through struggle. Enter the neuve cannabis entrepreneurs. They see what happened before is laced with stigma, and they want no part of it. Going to jail for cannabis or battling the War on Drugs in the streets for our freedoms is at many times not in their wheelhouse. Instead, their battle cry can often be, “We are here to clean that all up,” somehow without realizing that they are [not only] talking about the existing cannabis industry, but also their [current] clients. This situation would be more worrisome, but cannabis users are perceptive and can spot a fake, because their creed is real. To people with friends in prison, who are still harassed on the streets, and who know people denied cannabis medicines by prohibition, it’s important to build an industry that stays mission and values based, like we have always been. Done right, cannabis legalization will have a long lasting positive effect on America.

• Jack Herer Photo by Allan Erickson

Cannabis, when consumed, gives people the opportunity to interrupt their normal thought processes. People actually start thinking differently, relating facts and ideas together in ways they had not imagined before. This is, in fact, the crux of creativity. But, for the brain to manage these internal thought-based processes, it takes a little more time. Cannabis users like to ponder ideas, often literally hashing things out in their mind. Using cannabis for business may actually give companies a competitive edge, because in entrepreneurial industries, innovation is key. At the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Portland last fall, conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan spoke about how the mission and the vision of or first cannabis industry is changing America as a whole. This must stay the goal, while we also build great businesses. As Alex Rogers, ICBC founder says, “Make money and be successful, and no one else has to lose.”

•Alex Rogers and Andrew Sullivan

So, as the cannabis industry builds, let us stay focused on keeping the 44% of Americans who have used cannabis out of harms way from prohibition. People should unite around developing sound businesses, but also around culture, politics, and advocacy…and most important, be kind.

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CANNA-LOVE

Couples On Cannabis Is There Love In This Leaf?

OMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS can be uplifting, support you when you need it and provide a sense of deep love and understanding to each partner, or they can royally screw you up. Honestly, it’s the same way I feel about certain strains of cannabis as well. But unless you plan to dedicate yourself to complete isolation (and that’s no fun at all), odds are you’re going to find yourself in a romantic relationship at some point. And the one question that begs to be answered is, “How will using cannabis affect that partnership in the long run?” That was exactly the line of inquiry researchers at the University of Buffalo set out to answer. In the study, which included 634 couples over the first nine years of their marriage, the cannabis using habits of husbands and wives went under the microscope. The partners were examined for frequency of cannabis use and subsequent instances of intimate personal violence (or IPV). As the study progressed it became obvious that there was a correlation between how often couples used cannabis and occurrences of domestic violence, but the nature of this link wasn’t what the anti-pot crowd expected. Researchers found that instead of cannabis truly being “The Devil’s Weed,” leading sensitive husbands to mercilessly attack their wives, cannabis actually creates quite the opposite situation. The study’s abstract details the findings, “Couples in which both spouses used marijuana reported the least frequent IPV perpetration.” Not only are couples that use together the least likely of the pairs to be violent towards each other - the study also showed that a wife was less likely to be violent towards her husband if he had been using cannabis, even if he was the only one of them toking up. This point is proven over and over again in the cannabis industry, and pot power couples now fill the landscape. Jenn Lauder and Chad Dean, co-founders of the cannabis-centric digital media company Weekend Review Kit have been married for fourteen years. Lauder says that she has struggled with anger management issues in the past and estimates she’s done some “shoving, grabbing, and flailing [of] arms,” a few times in their eighteen years as a couple. She has found cannabis to be a great way to abate those tendencies, saying that part of the reason she takes it medicinally is to subdue those urges. “Chad keeps it much cooler,” she says, “[he] hasn’t ever been physically violent,” and they aren’t the only ones putting the proof in the pudding.

WRITER BRITTANY DRIVER

Liz Blaz Fitch and Will Fitch of Green Delta Consulting also work within the cannabis industry together. They manage to stay even keeled with each other throughout the long days and laborious tasks required to insure their client’s applications are approved. They spend most of the day together, and when it’s quitting time, they use cannabis to help relieve the stress that comes with running their own business. “Our strategy and joint approach to all stresses related to our work and marriage is the same - hit it head on, EARLY, or let it explode later,” says Liz, “cannabis plays a large role in our stress relief as well.” They’ve been together for eight years, married last year in August, and say “we’ve never had a violent incident in that time.” The chance that they’d be involved in any kind of domestic violence doesn’t really cross their minds. So does is this meant to imply that every couple should smoke cannabis? No, of course not. It may not be for everyone. It’s likely that cannabis isn’t the only answer to ongoing DV problems a couple has, but it can lead people to some real introspection, unlike other intoxicants people use to relieve stress. People are always comparing cannabis and alcohol, saying, “smoking a joint is just like drinking a glass of wine,” but it’s not the same. According to the Tennessee Association and Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services, research shows that “drinking precedes acts of family violence in 25-50% of all cases of domestic violence.” They also find that the “highest rates of abuse are found in moderate to heavy drinkers,” but if 25-50% seems like a low number, consider the statistics that many women don’t ever officially report their abuse. This makes the actual number inevitably much higher. Cannabis is a cure all, an equalizer, some even call it the great connector. It brings together people of all educational backgrounds, income levels, career paths and political views. You’ll rarely see a physical brawl within a group of cannabis users, and I can’t recall one to date that I’ve seen personally. Perhaps, unlike alcohol, marijuana allows the user the time needed to take a step back, and consider how to avoid a serious argument in the first place. When it comes to arguments, a little perspective (something cannabis never fails to produce) can mean the difference between agreeing to disagree, and a knock down drag out, call the cops because one or the both of you are bleeding, type of incident. So medicate or recreate responsibly, as always, and remember - it might just be saving your relationship.

“People are always comparing cannabis and alcohol, saying, ‘smoking a joint is just like drinking a glass of wine,’ but it’s not the same.”

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CANNA-NEWS

End 420 Shame Cannabis Saved My Daughter’s Life T FIVE months old, Emily experienced her

first seizure. For the next ten and a half years, her father Ray Mirzabegian watched helplessly as she endured thousands of them.

WRITER KELLY VO

PHOTO RAY MIRZABEGIAN

Even Emily’s doctors are amazed at her progress. Before cannabis oil, Emily spent most of her life inside a hosptal trying to control her uncontrollable seizures. Since Charlotte’s Web, she has not set foot inside of a hospital.

Nothing seemed to help. Emily suffers from Dravet syndrome: a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy. Children with Dravet syndrome do not outgrow their affliction, and it affects every aspect of their daily lives from language development to motor skills.

There are thousands of children just like Emily who are struggling with conditions that cannot be treated using legal medicine. And yet, the one naturally occurring substance that has shown to help is associated with shame.

It has now been more than 24 months since Emily first tried Charlotte’s Web and her results are astounding. Her seizures have dropped by 60% and in just one month from now, she will be free from all pharmaceutical seizure medications. “Nothing in the last ten years has helped Emily half as much as the CBD oil,” says Ray.

For Ray, who has seen cannabis work first hand, there is only one thing he wants everyone to know. “CBD saved my daughter’s life.”

The issue for many parents and patients desperate for an answer is twofold: the incompleteness of the medical information available, as well as Emily tried 13 different medications, stem cell shots and strict diets, deeply ingrained social stereotypes of intoxicated potheads surrounded but she continued to suffer an average 45 seizures a month, and at times by billowing smoke. To the uninitiated, the value of cannabis is clouded over 100 seizures a day. “Not only were Emily’s treatments ineffective in uncertainty. Rather than start from neutral, at reducing her seizures,” Ray tells DOPE, thoughts on cannabis usually begin in the “they caused even more damage—impairing “ There is an enduring negative and then must be overcome with her learning, behavioral and social skills.” powerful stories or personal experience. belief that cannabis use Over the years, Ray became increasingly is morally wrong and There is an enduring belief that cannabis desperate for a solution to his daughter’s that cannabis users are use is morally wrong and that cannabis illness. It was not until 2012, when he users are irresponsible stoners. The stumbled upon a Discovery Channel irresponsible stoners. truth is a far different story. documentary about cannabidiol (CBD), The truth is a far that Ray and Emily saw their first glimpse different story. “ Over 12,000 patients have begun using of hope. One year later, Dr. Sanjay Gupta Charlotte’s Web, and according to the Epilepsy aired his documentary Weed on CNN. Foundation of Colorado, 85 percent of the initial cohort of children experienced a reduction of seizures by 50 To a father desperate to save his daughter, cannabis sounded like a miracle cure for Dravet syndrome. If the high-CBD oil named Charlotte’s percent or more. Unfortunately, until the U.S declassifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, which indicates that it has no medical Web could help Charlotte Figi reduce her seizures from 300 a week benefits, official clinical trials regarding its benefits are at a standstill. to two or three a month, then maybe it could help Emily. Immediately, Ray made it his mission to uncover the truth about cannabis. To date, most formally recognized studies on cannabis set out to show how harmful cannabis is, rather than studying its benefits; this CBD is one of over 60 compounds found within cannabis. Unlike THC, is illogical. You can study one side without the other. Studies have the active ingredient that causes a high, CBD is non-psychoactive, and proven that over-consuming water can have deadly consequences, but has many potential medical applications. Before the documentaries, studies have also shown how important it is to stay properly hydrated. Ray had an entirely different perception about cannabis. “I just thought While the medical community cannot lawfully study the benefits of it was something that would make you high and relaxed,” he says. cannabis use, the volume of anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. Then suddenly, he discovered that cannabis was so much more.

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Help us end cannabis shame by sharing your story online using the hashtag #End420Shame. It is time we brought cannabis out of the basement and into the light.


The Realm of Caring™ (ROC) Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a better quality of life for those affected by disorders and diseases. Founded by the Stanley Brothers in Colorado, who discovered Charlotte’s Web, their goal is to advocate for the use of cannabinoid products. They focus on research, education, advocacy, and life improvement through the use of cannabis. Learn more at www.theroc.us dopemagazine.com ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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CANNA BUSINESS

Growing Cannabis Online

WRITER KELLY VO

GRAPHICS 8THDAYCREATE .COM

4 Keys to Entering the Digital Marketplace The second key to online advertising: Understand its limitations and find the workaround.

T THE end of every rainbow

might just be a golden pot of…well, pot. This industry is thriving, and California is leading the charge. In 2014, California dispensaries made over $1.12 billion in sales, but unfortunately, this prosperity is divided among many hands. Experts estimate over 1,000 dispensaries are in business in California, and with only 572,762 medical marijuana patients, according to the California Department of Public Health, dispensaries are fighting for just 572 patients each. This fierce competition has made it even more important that a business stands out, but how can they? Online advertising has been the answer for many dispensaries, providing endless opportunities to make connections and reach their ever-expanding cannabis-loving audience. The digital marketplace also solves one of the fundamental problems many dispensaries face, the difficulty of defining a target demographic out of the many different types of people that enjoy cannabis. This is a fundamental challenge where the digital marketplace can help. Until California legalizes recreational cannabis, advertising should be treated more like ibuprofen and less like an ice-cold bottle of beer. Yes, sex, drugs, and partying sell, but cannabis is not alcohol, nor is it tobacco.

The first key to exceptional online advertising: Know your audience.

Dmitry Muzychuk, a manager at Exhale Med Center, disclosed that their customers are over the age of 25 and cover everyone from veterans to corporate professionals, moms, and patients. This customer-base is a far cry from how many dispensaries view and advertise to their consumers. A veteran with PTSD is not going to respond to a social media post that says, “Get your Cat Piss bud today at 20% off.” That type of content would be better suited to an early 20-something who may just be looking to get high. A much more appropriate post for a veteran would read, “If you are looking for swift symptom relief without a heavy sedative effect, try Blue Dream.” No amount of online advertising will be successful if you market cannabis incorrectly.

“A veteran with PTSD is not going to respond to a social media post that says, “Get your Cat Piss bud today at 20% off.”

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“Online giants, like Google Adwords and Facebook advertising, make expanding a cannabis business online tricky.” The use of any cannabis phrase or image immediately shuts down all advertising. To get around this limitation and go after the 210 million active Facebook users, dispensaries should focus on organic growth. Unlike paid advertising, organic content is not bound by federal regulations, which makes SEO—search engine optimization—a viable outlet. In layman’s terms, SEO uses keywords to find customers. For example, if your customers are searching for “the best dispensary in Los Angeles” within Google, then ensure that your website, social media pages, and blogs use that phrase. Google will then rank your content depending on how well you utilize the key phrase. There is nothing easy or simple about SEO, but it is one of the best ways to drive new business.


CALIFORNIA 2014 CANNABIS STATISTICS • $1.13 billion in sales • 572,762 medical cannabis patients • Over 1,000 dispensaries • 73.18 million grams sold • $15.40 per gram • 73,085 grams per dispensary • $1.13 million in sales per dispensary

SEO too complicated? Focus on the third key to online advertising: Cannabis-exclusive publications and websites.

The fourth key to online advertising: Take your canna-business back to its roots: Word of mouth.

“By focusing on cannabis-friendly outlets,” Muzychuk tells DOPE, “we can avoid the negative stigma often associated with our industry.” There are many online networks dedicated solely to cannabis, Dope Magazine being one of the best with a new website in the works (no bias here), Weedmaps and Leafly providing other well-known and respected options.

The value of testimonials on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon cannot be denied. When mystery shrouds so much of the cannabis industry, a well-written review can make all the difference. Moreover, when an ArcView is reporting the entire cannabis market is worth over $1.5 billion, it’s important to illustrate your worth to new customers from the most reliable outside source, your current customers.

There’s even an online option just for consumers, called MassRoots. With over 275,000 users, they’re a shining example of a social media channel for cannabis lovers. MassRoots allows users to openly and anonymously connect with others in the cannabis community. The only issue with using these cannabis-exclusive options is that businesses miss out on the numerous ‘new-to-the-scene’ individuals who do not participate in the subculture.

When it all comes down to it, we are all enjoying an exceptionally rare opportunity to build a new American industry, and it doesn’t happen very often. So revaluate your efforts, embrace the plentiful online opportunities for advertising, and find the best method for your business to reach that golden end of the rainbow.

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EFFECT A rush of tingles rushes over the body after exhale, with a slight loosening over the eyes usually produced by strains like Headband. Providing a calm without feeling tranquilized, the euphoric mood is great for enjoying a movie, or being creative.

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AROMA Raw shatter has a wonderfully sweet tropical fruit smell upon opening the container that is very mild. Placed on the hot nail of a dab rig, the clean blue tinted smoke has a rich earthy musk like essence that lingers.

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FEATURE

Celebrity Advocate: Laganja Estranja EXAS TRANSPLANT, California cannabis patient,

and drag queen with a cause, Jay Jackson, is celebrating a big win near and dear to his heart this year, the right for same sex couples to marry on a national level.

“The Supreme Court ruling was historic,” the 26 yearold performer said from his home in Los Angeles. “The fight for equality is something incredibly important to me. The fact that my sister and her wife can now renew their vows and have their marriage legally recognized in our home state of Texas; there’s no greater joy.” The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA, the “Defense of Marriage Act,” passed by Congress and signed into national law by then president, Bill Clinton in 1996, had the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community dancing in the streets. While progress is being made within the Queer community, Laganja’s other passion, the progression to end the prohibition of cannabis is painfully slow, with persecution still prevailing in legal states, medical or otherwise.

Alright for us, not for you The rights for cannabis patients are being decided on state, county and city levels, with much contradiction. The most recent conundrum being both the addition of PTSD’s to Washington State’s list of ailments, while Colorado announced to disallow it, within days of each other. While veterans of war are typically first in line for a diagnosis of PTSD, followed by anyone else who has experienced trauma, those in the LGBTQ community are very frequently effected from lifetimes of discrimination, abuse, and bullying.

Fearlessly Defending Our Plant One Heel in Front of the Other WRITER SHARON LETTS

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PHOTOS SCOTT KIRBY

ROBIN SLONINA

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In January of 2014 Laganja was chosen to compete in season six of the Logo TV’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. When Jackson showed up for production in his hometown of Los Angeles, he says an intensive search was done of his belongings by the production company. “It wasn’t like a bag check at a concert where they quickly look in your purse and wave you past,” he explained. “I arrived with bins of hair, make-up, accessories, wigs, and costume’s, and they went through all of it, while the other girls told me their search was fairly simple. They made me choose between my career and my medicine, and when faced with that decision, I sacrificed my medicine.” Jackson is all too familiar with discrimination. He’s dealt with it all his life, whether for who he is or how he chooses to medicate, making PTSD situations all too common.


“My point of view is controversial, my medicine has a stigma, my stage name is a trigger – I get it,” he said clearly frustrated, “but the show was filmed in California and I’m a legal cannabis patient here. Prior to filming I attempted to hand the production company my medical card, and let them know that I am a patient and medicate for real issues, but they said it wasn’t enough. I don’t have any bad feelings for RuPaul, the network, or the production company. I will just be happy for the day when my medicine is understood and accepted.” Request for comments on the search itself or information on the company’s policy on medical cannabis in production went unanswered. “Jackson said a producer called him with an additional reminder of its non-disclosure agreement (NDA).” It seems details regarding the way he was treated and the policies surrounding the search is confidential.

Medicating For A Lifetime of Pain Jackson’s ailments are extensive, both emotionally and physically, as he suffers from a childhood of stresses relating to his sexual orientation, on top of physical damage to his body from performing. Without cannabis we can safely assume he would be prescribed anti-depressants and an anti-anxiety medication, at the very least. As a lifelong athlete dealing with pain, he would typically be prescribed painkillers or be addicted to an opiate derivative by now. The amount of medication he’d need prescribed by a doctor to replace the various forms of cannabis he uses as medicine is daunting, to say the least - but it all would have been allowed on national television with no search necessary. “I medicate with cannabis for a number of purposes in many different ways,” he explained. “My initial use came from a dance injury in college, and I now have replaced my western pills with the herb. I no longer regularly take sleeping pills or pain killers, and the herb keeps me calm under pressure, keeps my emotions level, and combats the physical pain of getting into drag.”

ous dance tricks! Cannabis really does help me be my best, most relaxed self – it’s integral to my success and well-being.” Without the herb the participation on Drag Race was challenging. Emotions ran high, tears flowed, her body ached, and Laganja was not at her best. Her medicine would have made all the difference in her performance, but the education wasn’t there. Due to her talent, she “sashayed away” with her chin up and her popularity at an all-time high. The stress of the ordeal sent her to the bottle during a PTSD episode. Eight months ago, Jackson came clean, is now shunning alcohol and is working with fellow Drag Race star Gia Gunn on a #TeamTooMuch tour, with health being a top priority.

The physical torture of drag is little known to the outside world. It’s a way of life, a practice, and takes tons of taping, tucking – and a whole lot of topical cannabis salve. “A tuck is when a female illusionist takes his genitals and hides them from view – partially inside him with tape,” he shared. “It’s something I’ve gotten used to, but it’s especially uncomfortable and painful when done for an extended period of time. Tape is often used on the edges of the face to give a ‘lift,’ and around the hairline to secure the wig. I do crazy tricks when I perform, so my wig has to be on tight! The bobby pins are pressed hard into my skull and the tape is constraining.” Aside from physical changes in appearance leading to pain, Laganja’s performances, her signature “Death Drop,” a move putting her feet above the stage, then plunging her back down to the ground in the splits – all the while wearing eight inch heels and a wig – would send anyone to big pharma begging for help. “Cannabis helps me relax while dancing,” he shared. “If there is too much tension some of the moves I perform are very dangerous. The ‘Death Drop’ and all the variations can be really painful if not done correctly. It takes training, strength, and the ability to relax to accomplish these physical feats. I tuck, I tape, and I wear killer heels, corsets, and do dangerdopemagazine.com ISSUE 04 THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE

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Supporting Sisters Laganja made many connections during season six of Drag Race, but “Gia Gunn,” otherwise known as Chicago native Scott Ichikawa, became a partner in advocacy with “#TeamTooMuch,” the duo’s touring production that advocates safety and sobriety within the drag community, and beyond. Ichikawa, who had family support coming out as a teenager, came to terms with his own self-medicating to quell emotions, about the same time Jackson fessed up to abusing alcohol post Drag Race. “I’ve never been a big fan of alcohol,” he shared. “Drugs can be fun, but [they] wear on the body. Being sober and finding clarity has really helped me realize that I need my health to keep going. Recently I started to get that anxious feeling and wasn’t sure where it was coming from. I felt uncentered and had to make a change, so I went to Colorado and discovered natural oils, cannabis, yoga and spiritual healing – all positive ways of selfmedicating, allowing us to ‘escape’ without harming our bodies.” As far as Ichikawa is concerned, acceptance is one thing and understanding is another, but the labeling and judgements that continue, he feels, are a huge problem. “People need to accept that a lot of things are not black and white, yes or no, gay or straight,” he explains.” Sometimes it’s all of those things. I would love people to have a better understanding of themselves, so they can better understand others.” I have found that becoming more open with myself – which has caused great discomfort – has allowed me to be more at peace with others. Especially in dealing with gender issues – the answer is not always ‘right there,’ and that’s alright – we just need to understand the concept!”

The higher the heels and bigger the hair, the closer to God This past month Laganja was invited to be on stage with Miley Cyrus as she hosted the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). Cyrus at just 21 years of age has proven to be a faithful proponent of the plant and an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community, dawning Laganja’s designer jewelry in Instagram posts, and learning a few of her moves. With Cyrus’ non-profit, “Happy Hippies Foundation,” she recognizes the need for support within the LGBTQ community. Her foundation reaches out to the growing number of traumatized and homeless youth on the streets, offering support and services. Inviting Laganja on stage with her to a mainstream event, such as MTV’s VMAs was a statement and show of support, both for the plant and the LGBTQ community. Jackson said he’ll continue to dawn the wig and heels to advocate for his good medicine, dealing with any trauma and stress as the drama plays out. He’s used to it, as he’s been dancing around difficult situations all his young life. “Within the LGBTQ community I’m known as a voice for legalization and the decriminalization of cannabis,” he shared. “However, it has been slightly difficult for me to gain exposure within the cannabis community. I’ve been told it may be due to an imbedded brand of homophobia, but there are exceptions! For my last photo shoot for Dope Magazine (October, 2012), I had the opportunity to stay at a farm owned and operated by LGBTQ women!” Laganja’s hopes are high to someday be included in the world of weed, recently recording a rap song, “Hot Box,” a nasty, playful song that he hopes can build a bridge to connect more deeply with the cannabis community. And while she’s eternally grateful for Dope Magazine for giving her an opportunity to shine (this cover is a first for a drag star in a top weed magazine), she still feels she’s a long way back in the line for dabs, so to speak. “My dream is to perform at one of the cannabis festivals,” Jackson said. “I’ve got my fair share of negative commentators, but who cares? All the honesty, positivity, and healing outweighs the haters. I have great relationships with farmers and dispensaries, and I’m in talks on getting my own branded Laganja ganja. I’m still going to be me. I exist at the crossroads of counter cultures and the tide is changing. I just want to put it out into the universe – I want to be your weed Queen! Let me dance for you!” (and DOPE loves you too, beautiful!

• • • •

Laganja Estranja www.laganjaestranja.com Gia Gunn www.logosrupaulsdragrace.wikia.com/wiki/Gia_Gunn RuPaul’s Drag Race on Logo www.logotv.com/shows/rupauls_drag_race Laganja’s single, “Hot Box” launching Sept. 4 on iTunes

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NG TO N

ND ,W AS HI

KIR KL A


HEALTH

Stressed, Gay & Stoned? Not A Problem.

WRITER SHARON LETTS

Cannabis Provides Support for PTSD in the LGBTQ Community

PAPER published in the Harvard Gazette (2012) recognizes the occurrence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSDs) for those associating as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, or Transgender (LGBT) as being much more frequent starting at a younger age than with heterosexuals suffering with the same disorders. The study, previously published online in the American Journal of Public Health, states the long term ramifications of these types of disorders stem from years of internal confusion based on sexual orientation, and reoccurring instances of public discrimination founded on misinformation. Lead author, Andrea Roberts, research associate at the Department of Society, Human

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Development, and Health for the Harvard School of Public Health explains, “We looked at a group of people who were at the cusp of adulthood and found much higher levels of PTSDs in sexual orientation minorities compared with heterosexuals. We found that differences in PTSDs by sexual orientation already exist by age 22. This is a critical point at which young adults are trying to finish college, establish careers, get jobs, maintain relationships, and establish a family.”

ability to function normally in daily life. Negative changes in thinking, combined with negative feelings about one’s self or other people starts to come into play and the inability to have positive emotions or feel good about things are common. All sited as being part of PTSD are feelings of being numb, a lack of interest in activities once previously enjoyed, feeling hopeless about the future, problems with memory, and difficulty maintaining close relationships.

“Triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it,” is how the Mayo Clinic describes the disorders that include “flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” Not all involved with a traumatic event are affected long term by PTSDs, but those who are could be challenged for months to years, with the condition interfering with the

According to the Mayo Clinic’s description of the disorder, changes in emotional reactions, such as irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior is noted, with overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame, trouble concentrating, and being easily frightened. It’s no surprise the Mayo Clinic’s definition of the disorder ends with information for a national suicide hotline.

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Lost-n-Found One year ago, then 18 year-old Daniel Ashley Pierce was beaten, denounced, and thrown out of his home by his Christian parents and grandparents in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. During the intervention gone wrong, Pierce was able to film some of the altercation. It went viral of course, causing an outpouring of support and nearly $100,000 to be donated to a GoFundMe campaign, helping him to start over. Immediate support came from an Aunt, who opened her home to him. But he said he would not have known how to begin without the help of Atlanta non-profit organization Lost-nFound, created in 2011 with a mission to assist Atlanta’s documented 750 homeless youth.

Lost-n-Found’s website informs that 53% of the youth they have helped had nowhere to turn after being kicked out of their home stating, “There are only about 48 hours from the time a kid becomes homeless before 33% of youth begin to engage in risky behaviors such as theft, drug activity or selling their bodies for money to survive.” Pierce is one of the lucky ones. According to a story posted on Lost-n-Found’s website, one year later he is doing well, happy in a relationship, working as a paralegal, and planning a trip to relocate to the West Coast with his supportive partner.

Gender-bending in Utah Twenty-three year old Utah transplant, now California patient, Marval A. Rechsteiner is currently going through a medical transition from a biological male to female. A graduate of Humboldt State University (HSU), Rechsteiner found his medicine in Northern California, and will continue to medicate through myriad compilations from hormone therapy and subsequent surgeries pending. Though Gays, Lesbians, and Bi-Sexually identifying people are somewhat more accepted now, transgender people, often referred to as “gender-benders,” such as Rechsteiner, have been traditionally unable to fit it. This is due largely to being perceived by many people as confused for dressing or acting as the opposite sex in order to feel alright in their own skin. “Growing up in Salt Lake City in the 90s, by my very biology as a gender-bending person, I was an outsider and rebel from a young age,” he shares. “I had crushes on the young girls my age and felt that the boys were often competitive and mean to each other. The strict gender norms of either male or female confused me greatly and caused me stress from a very early

age. I began to disassociate with my body around the onset of adolescence, and high school became a time of secrets; secrets around the core of my identity and gender. Basically, as a teenager, I felt my body had betrayed me.” Stress, anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and eating disorders – all this and more are symptoms most LBGT youth deal with on a daily basis. “I have trigger points in relation to my gender identity,” Rechsteiner shares. “I’ll have a panic attack because of fear and internalized self-hatred that looks very much like a PTSD episode. Other gender-nonconforming people have told me of similar attacks where it feels like the world is about to collapse in on them. Look at it this way, if your very identity is constantly made invisible or stereotyped negatively, you disassociate from integral parts of who you are – and what that means is years and years of unpacking the hatred inside yourself to find yourself again, and find love.” Rechsteiner said Queer people often use cannabis in a negative way, just like

any other substance used to bypass emotional hurting. But he also acknowledges how it has helped him deal with all sorts of issues surrounding his identity. “In the past when the panic attacks began I was prescribed Xanax to calm me down,” he explains. “Now, I use cannabis in specific ways. During my transition with hormone replacement therapy I was smoking, as it lifts your mood fairly quickly. Tincture is by far my best option in terms of calming my fear down. I don’t get blazed out of my mind on it, and it helps me to get into my body and feel good inside it – which is deeply healing for someone like me, who has disassociated [with my body] for such a long time.” With a BFA in Sculptural Ceramics from HSU, Rechsteiner said his future includes using the arts for activism, saying “I’m about to head to a trans conference known as ‘Gender Odyssey’ in Seattle. I’ll be helping its guest artist set up a show to talk about trans and racial intersections of identity. It’s an exciting opportunity - and I get to meet some famous names in the transgender community!”

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Tests, Trials & Lab Rats Both the FDA, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services have given a green light to Suzanne Sisley, researcher at the University of Arizona, to conduct research on cannabis use for PTSDs. The 10-week study, which would examine fifty veterans, is yet to be approved by the DEA. With more than 7.7 million Americans suffering from PTSDs nationwide, Sisley is hopeful for approval. “Although there is a mountain of anecdotal evidence that cannabis helps with PTSDs, there has been no controlled trial to test how cannabis suppresses the symptoms, including flashbacks, insomnia and anxiety,” Sisley told USA Today (March, 2014). In an article found in the Huff Post’s “Science” blog, Carolyn Gregoire reports findings from a study published in the journal Neuropschopharmacology on the

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dosing of synthetic cannabinoids to rats after a traumatic event and the prevention of behavioral and physiological symptoms of PTSD by “triggering changes in brain centers associated with the formation and holding of traumatic memories.” In other words, the study found that when synthetic cannabis (with a THC component) is administered after a traumatic experience (in this case electro shock to the poor rat’s feet), the incidence of future PTSD episodes from the event were minimized. To realize these findings, researchers gave synthetic cannabis to the rats post electrical impulse, and then prepared a false shock. Those rats treated with cannabis beforehand did not exhibit symptoms common to PTSD, such as “impaired extinction learning, increased startle response, changes in pain sensitivity and impaired plasticity in the brain’s reward center.”

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The rats not treated with the compound, however, displayed all symptoms. It’s interesting to note, the rats not treated with cannabis were given the SSRI antidepressant sertraline, otherwise known as Zoloft, with “mixed results.” Also surprising to some, cannabis can help the disorder from occurring, and even better to know - another study published in Science Daily (May 2014) shows a 75% reduction in PTSDs while using cannabis when the disorder is already diagnosed. With the national acceptance of same sex marriage, the door was opened for further education and subsequent acceptance of the LGBTQ community and its struggles. Add enlightened cannabis users, and help may just be on its way to begin the emotional healing following decades of misunderstanding on both subjects.


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CANNA-NEWS

Buds & Blossoms Beneficial Arrangements to Love

LORIST BEC Koop, owner of Cannabis Concierge

Events and Buds & Blossoms in Denver has been playing with flowers since she was eight years old, helping alongside her mother in her mom’s best friend’s flower shop outside in her chilhood home town of Washington DC.

“I started my own flower business in 2011 while working part time for a dispensary in Alma, Colorado,” she explained. “I had some extra flowers from an event and was cutting down a plant out of my own garden when I had my ‘A-Ha’ moment. I put the two together and have been in love with the fusion ever since!” Koop said she initially used fresh bud in the arrangements, but then began adding dried bud on long stems, allowing the bud to be enjoyed after the celebration. “My motto is, ‘Straight from your bouquet to your bowl!” she laughed. “I also help my clients ‘bring the cannabis theme to any scene.’” This can be done in a variety of ways with a little imagination. Nearly everything necessary for an event can be done using hemp or cannabis, and Koop says she procures hemp wedding dresses, invitations and other paper goods, infused appetizers, entrees, and the wedding cake of course. Custom hand blown glass pieces via jewelry or pipes can also be created for special guests, bridal parties, and party favors.

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Koop’s services keep expanding as she and client’s imaginations run wild. “The possibilities are endless,” she adds. “I’ve coordinated dispensary holiday parties, corporate events and conferences; Valentine’s Day celebrations, birthdays, and anniversaries.” As with any cannabis business, legalities in procuring and distributing the plant material are a consideration. Koop said policy dictates her clients purchase their own plant material at their own dispensaries, and then deliver all to her for arranging. Photographers Andrea Burolla and Denise Chambers are co-owners of “Lollylah Wedding Photography” of Denver, and team up with Koop, covering weddings and other events involving cannabis. Neither one partakes medicinally nor recreationally, but they both appreciate what’s happening with cannabis in their home state, and their association with Koop has educated them both regarding the good medicine. “Denise and I have backgrounds in travel photography,” Burolla explained. “One day we were discussing what drives people here – aside from the mountains. We started talking about cannabis, and how every time we leave the state it’s the first thing anyone outside Colorado brings up. We found ourselves fascinated by all the different types of people coming out of the cannabis closet – HR reps, teachers, working professionals – people who definitely didn’t fit the pot smoking mold.”


WRITER SHARON LETTS

The two decided to put together “styled” photo shoots to blow away the perceptions of the “typical stoner.” “After some deliberation we decided to make the shoot more relevant to what we are currently doing,” Burolla continues. “We started pulling together vendors to create a cannabis themed wedding photo shoot that was sophisticated, classic and refined – sure to blow stereotypes out of the water.”

PHOTOS LOLLYLAH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY,

ANDREA BUROLLA

DENISE CHAMBERS

“The amount of research going into this amazing plant is really just starting to get recognized and respected,” she surmised. “With that in mind, I see this movement continuing to grow exponentially. It will be exciting to see our world being helped in so many ways, with food, medicine, fiber, or fuel. I can see my own little businesses expanding, and I’d be willing to consider franchising with anyone interested in this type of company in other states.”

Burolla says the lovely photo shoot gracing the pages of this story took two months to plan, with many vendors involved. Buds were used for a “Budonniere” on the groom’s lapel, the bride’s bouquet, hair pieces, and table top bouquets. Her dress was custom made from hemp, and hemp and cannabis-infused delicacies lined tables with other items offered as well like fancy vape pens, hemp jewelry, and hemp wedding invitations. A patient in her own right, Koop is also a recreational user – with no apologies. “I started using cannabis in college for endometriosis and pain relief from sports injuries,” she says, “but I will never deny I enjoy the high, as well.” According to the National Institute of Health’s website (NIH, www. nih.gov), approximately 75% of women with pelvic pain and as many as 50% of women with fertility problems are diagnosed with endometriosis - a disorder where tissue that normally grows outside the uterus, grows inside, causing extreme pain. Once the lesions heal, nerve pain from scar tissue can be equally painful. The condition includes painfully debilitating menstrual cramps that increase with time, pain during or after sex, pain in the lower abdomen or intestine, painful bowl movements, or painful urination during menstrual periods, with bladder or other chronic gastrointestinal issues. Smoking is Koop’s mainstay for warding off symptoms, but she also ingests medibles, and recently discovered juicing leaf. Working for medible makers, and in-house at a dispensary, has given her a wealth of education on cannabis, and she says it has enabled her to help others. She elaborates, “My professional start in the industry began in 2013, prior to everything going recreational here in Colorado. Working in a dispensary helped me to see just how much cannabis works for patients. I was brought to tears many times watching patients in extreme neuropathy pain and discomfort, barely able to pull money out of their wallets to purchase their meds being instantly helped by this plant.” The future of Koop’s blooming business is looking bright green and with so many other states lined up for legalization, she knows the possibilities will only continue to grow.

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The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Tips for Buying and Dosing Choose a store that’s right for you. With options that range, from Mom & Pop shops to mega-superstores and everything in between, find a place you feel comfortable with.

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Start low and go slow. No one has ever had a bad experience from taking too little cannabis on their first time and it can take a long time to kick in.

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UTHOR AND advocate for sustainable, natural living Robyn Griggs Lawrence, has graced the culinary world with the Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook; a tome of mouthwatering recipes that incorporate cannabis in exciting new ways. Rather than infusing sugar-laden brownies or unhealthy candy bars, this book views cannabis as a superfood and treats it accordingly, serving it alongside wild-caught salmon and seared Wagyu beef. Gluten-free, vegan, AND raw? There’s something for you too, including fresh juices, guacamole, and plenty of goji berries.

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There are gourmands among us who may, indeed, know what furikake is, that pemmican is the early Native American hybrid of jerky and trail mix, or how to properly make a kheer from scratch. For the average home cook, however, this book is a culinary journey across cultural divides. This is a chance to experience cuisine from across the world, honed over the centuries and tweaked by modern masters of the kitchen who have added our favorite organic herb.

When pondering over her favorite dish to indulge in, Lawrence laughs, unable to pick just one out of the immense library. She eventually lands on the trail mix because “It’s so easy to make and take on-the-go,” however, as far as entrees go, “the fan leaf pesto is great for its use of the nutritious leaves normally treated as waste.” All of the plates are crafted with respect for food as medicine, and cannabis as a miraculous bounty from the natural world.

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Profile for DOPE Magazine

DOPE MAGAZINE NORCAL ISSUE #4 SEPTEMBER 2015 "THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE"  

Featuring Laganja Estranja

DOPE MAGAZINE NORCAL ISSUE #4 SEPTEMBER 2015 "THE ANNIVERSARY ISSUE"  

Featuring Laganja Estranja

Profile for dopemag