T H E FA M I LY I S S U E
DEFENDING OUR PLANT EVERYWHERE N O RT H E R N CA L I F OR N I A
Montel Williams A NEW REALM OF WELLNESS
INTERVIEW ALEX & ALLYSON GREY
BUDS, BEEF & BAD WEATH ER: TH E BASQUE COU NTRY
FEATURE KITH & KIN
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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 | T H E FA M I LY I S S U E
OU DON’T HAVE TO look very far to see that 2016 left many people in a divisive state of mind. We are often pushed to make a choice about which side of the line we stand—an “either you are with us or against us,” mentality. This state of mind is not only vexing but often results in backwards momentum. No matter which issues you support or with which community you find yourself aligned with, there has never been a greater need for unity and compassion. The new year offers each of us a platform for vocalization and action. It is in these spaces where change will manifest, and we ask those in our community to choose the path of respect, integrity and optimism. This issue of DOPE Magazine is dedicated to families and communities. The DOPE staff has never felt so focused or united. Each and every day we are offered a choice, and to choose to take the high road means you’ve chosen to take a path less traveled. It is without doubt a more strenuous and delicate road to traverse. It means you’ll have to dedicate yourself fully to believing that your actions matter, that your focus must be unwavering and that your heart must be in the right place. As one year flows into the next, DOPE will remain an unceasing force for revolutionary change. We haven’t forgotten where we came from, and our dedication to normalizing cannabis through education and honest discourse will remain a priority. We look forward to not only continuing to bring you trusted and reliable content but building this community with you along the way. The DOPE Editorial Team
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DOPE MAGAZINE is a free monthly publication dedicated to providing an informative and wellness-minded 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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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S DECEMBER 2016
T H E FA M I LY I S S U E MONTEL WILLIAMS 32 12
A RT A Mural For The Masses
CANNABRANDING Bondi Farms
NEWS Cannabis Wins
G R OW From Dried To Cured
P R O D U C T S W E L OV E
F E AT U R E The Future Judging of Cannabis Cups
T H E FA M I LY I S S U E
DEFENDING OUR PLANT EVERYWHERE
Montel Williams A NEW REALM OF WELLNESS
INTERVIEW ALEX & ALLYSON GREY
BUDS, BEEF & BAD WEATH ER: TH E BASQUE COUNTRY
FEATURE KITH & KIN
11/16/16 4:49 PM
D E C E M B E R C OV E R T R AV E L Photo by Douglas Sonders Layout by Brandon Palma
Between 1961 and 2012, the Basque separatto be much less widely spoken). Many of their Cannabis Industry Discusses Diversity ist organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA— numbers feel that Spanish and French culture WEED WEEK 64 “Basque meaning Country and Freedom”) ran threatens to consume Basque culture and idenbombing B U S I N E S Sthroughout the region, tity, and nationalist and separatist sentiment 66 campaigns killing over Nanolux 800 people in an attempt to gain remains fairly high. Tech and the Future of Hydroponics national independence for the Basque Country. The days of violence are probably over for Irun69 itself has been ofOseveral ED I TOthe R ’ Ssite CH I C E bombings good, as ETA is now discussing permanent disand at least one over the decades. armament, and the vast majority of Basques DIEassassination Bearmy The Basque Country (known as Euskari to believe in nonviolent means of achieving their I A L Mall E Dits I Aown, and a lan- political goals in any case. 70 hasS O Basques) aC culture @DOPEMAGAZINE guage thought to predate all other European But that does not mean that the Basques have languages (although everyone there seems to forgotten their nonconformist ways. Indeed, switch effortlessly between Spanish, French the proud Basque tradition of arguing with the and English, and the Basque language seems Spanish state served the region well during its
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ART CO N N E CTING THE C OMMU NITY WRITER / MEGAN RUBIO
RT HAS THE ABILITY to inspireâ€”to provoke thought and contemplation. Art is meant to be shared, with each viewer having a different experience when gazing upon artistic creations. We see it everywhere, and yet how often do we truly take the time to experience it? In a world of mass consumerism, immediate gratification and non-stop expectations, sometimes art is exactly what we need to slow down and just be. Art encourages us to not only think about the outside world, but to look inside ourselves. Cutting Edge Solutions (CES), a prominent fertilizer company based in California, intends to create ties and express gratitude to their community through art. CES is commissioning a mural to be painted outside the walls of one of their buildings. Chris Buletti, the companyâ€™s CEO, explained that the purpose of the mural is to shed light on the significant relationship between agriculture and community. Cutting Edge Solutions aims to show their appreciation through creating a piece of art for all to enjoy within their community. To accomplish this, CES has hired Chor Boogie to paint the mural.
“BEYOND THOSE THAT HAVE INSPIRED HIS ART FORM, CHOR IS ALSO INSPIRED BY THE SOCIAL CONDITIONS AROUND HIM. HE VIEWS ‘FREEDOM’ AS A BRAND IN AMERICA AND HAS DEEP CRITICISMS OF THE WIDESPREAD INEQUALITIES IN OUR COUNTRY.”
Coming upon their 15-year anniversary, Chris knew that he wanted a unique and original piece of art for their facility. Chris expressed that it has and always will be a priority of CES to support local, like-minded businesses in the Bay Area. Chor, being a local, has work displayed all throughout California. In reaching the 15-year milestone, CES is looking to make a statement on the current state of their industry. As competition has increasingly been sold off to larger corporate entities, Cutting Edge Solutions wants to celebrate their independence, while hoping to also inspire other locally grown companies to remain independent. Chris highlights that it is through their independence that CES is able create a superior quality product. He describes CES as being local in nature and thought, even though their products are widely distributed throughout the country. Chor Boogie is well-known for the vibrant, abstract murals he creates. He’s done work for the Smithsonian Museum, the Beijing Olympics and has been commissioned by clients such as Google, Playboy, Jay Z and Prince, amongst many others. Chor uses the unique medium of spray painting—an art form he’s engaged in since his youth. He has a variety of artists who have inspired and influenced his work—the greats, such as Michelangelo, Da Vince, Rembrandt and Dali. He also draws inspiration from street artists, such as Vulcan and Phase2. Beyond those that have inspired his art form, Chor is also inspired by the social conditions around him. He views “freedom” as a brand in America and has deep criticisms of the widespread inequalities in our country. He sees the everyday social and economic struggles of families and individuals, the dis-
proportionate imprisonment of minorities and the struggles of indigenous people. As an artist known for his active participation in the community, Chor was exactly what Cutting Edge Solutions was looking for. Chor refers to his type of art as modern hieroglyphics. Similar to how cavemen and the Egyptians would draw on walls, Chor sees his art as telling a story. While his medium is spray paint, he explains that his art is more than just graffiti. Within one piece he can encompass multiple meanings, yet it’s up to the viewer to understand for themselves what his murals mean to them. Not only is his art meaningful, but he also believes that any art is a window into the artists themselves. Chor’s work is a stunning combination of abstract art and realism, highlighted through the use of vibrant and dynamic colors. Within his work, Chor uses the abstract to convey meaning. He explains that he uses vibrant colors because he believes that colors can have therapeutic effects. This mural also touches on Chor’s personal beliefs. He believes that plants are some of the most powerful medicines available to humans and that we need to learn to harness, not abuse the remedies provided to us by the Earth. In describing the mural, Chor reveals that the mural’s theme is balance—having both positives and negatives contributing to the whole. While CES provides nutrients and pest management programs for many cannabis cultivators, the mural is going to consist of a multitude of plants and plant matter. Chor relates the mural to the Earth. He sees the Earth as a young planet within our universe and wants to convey that message within the mural, which will contain five panels. The mural was started on October 5 and was completed on October 26.
One aspect of the mural that will make it truly unique is that elementary school kids from a local charter school will be contributing to it. The children will be working on one of the panels before Chor does, giving the mural more meaning and significance within the community. Once the kids have added their artwork, Chor will work their contributions into the mural. Not only will the mural contain a piece of the kids, but it’s a unique memory and experience that the children will have for the rest of their lives. Like agriculture, the mural will impact generations of childhood participants and viewers alike. Overall, CES is looking to impart their gratefulness not only to their community, but to the industry they serve as well. Chris shared that one of the many reasons the mural was commissioned was, “To give back something beautiful and inspiring to the community that has given us so much.” He says that they are also thankful to be a part of an amazing industry and happy to have customers that have truly become family over time. Were it not for the support of the community, Cutting Edge Solutions would not be as successful as they are today. The mural commissioned by CES represents more than gratitude to the community. It represents the company’s dedication to the future, one that includes all members of the community. Agriculture is a field that will always be necessary within society. Even as technology modernizes, the mural will encapsulate CES’ endeavor to further the influence of agriculture and to encourage engagement. Through his style, Chor Boogie will give life to the goals of Cutting Edge Solutions, conveyed within the mural.
BO N D I FA R M S
INTERVIEW BY / BRANDON PALMA / 8THDAYCREATE
PHOTO / GLACE BONDESON
HE RETAIL EXPERIENCE FOR cannabis combine in the fields of branding and identity to truly elevate the presentation of this plant to the next level. For December, we sit down with Bondi Farms and their creative team Anne Raynor and Grace Kelly in Washington State to gain insights on their approach to cannabis.
What is your inspiration behind your brand? Bondi Farms is named after a famous beach in Australia. While thinking of the name, we discussed the different moods cannabis helps us with. We all talked about our love of that beach and how we benefit from being there in a lot of different ways. Some people enjoy just laying out, taking in the sun, relaxing, while others like to be more active, maybe by finding solace out in the water. Cannabis is similar. Often times we’re smoking to chill or to elevate our senses a bit more. It brings us something—a sense of joy when we smoke it. We wanted people to enjoy our various strains of cannabis just like they might enjoy their experience of going to the beach.
What message do you want to portray with your branding? That anyone 21 and older can smoke Bondi. What was important to us was visibility without being pretentious and too specific to one type of person. We wanted uplifting, yet simple, clean, meaningful design—something noticeable on the shelves. You walk into any shop we’re in and you notice Bondi.
Is there any special meaning to the colors or references in your branding or packaging? If so, please explain. The different color schemes we have for each of our strains helps give the purchaser at the store some identity to what they are buying. Like, for example, our Super Silver Lemon Haze is yellow to help identify this strain with the lemon citrus flavor it produces. It’s turned out to be our number one seller. And while the packaging has something to do with that, it’s more about the bud itself. While the label design is attractive, it’s more so that we focused on the details of that strain. You can put SSLH in any bag, any jar with any label and that is fine, but to make it more attractive, we shared its profile by way of color and design of the lemons. Another example is our Banana Kush which is green on top and yellow on the bottom just like a banana at the store. So, we try our best to have the color and graphics on the label reflect that strain.
How do you feel your brand and identity reflect the cannabis industry? While working on the development of our branding, we kept in mind the different cannabis lovers we’ve come across over the years. A lot of people are already convinced of the powers of cannabis. We aren’t trying to convince you how amazing the plant is, as most of us are past that. It’s now delivering consistent, quality buds in a way that isn’t screaming, “smoke me!” With a plethora of strains out there, we wanted to give you a sense of the strains scent and flavor profile.
“THE DIFFERENT COLOR SCHEMES WE HAVE FOR EACH OF OUR STRAINS HELPS GIVE THE PURCHASER AT THE STORE SOME IDENTITY TO WHAT THEY ARE BUYING.”
How are you making your brand distinguishable throughout the ever growing cannabis industry? The goal of branding is to create a brand and product that consumers can come back to in the store and find exactly what they purchased before. We find our colors, our boldness in font and our simplicity help our customers find that same product much easier.
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CANN A BIS WINS Whether your presidential candidate won the election or not, there’s one thing we can all agree on: cannabis won big. November 8 was a huge night for medical and recreational marijuana across the country. The industry drastically changed overnight, and for the better. So, let’s breakdown how it all played out.
RECREATIONAL USE MEDICAL USE Adult-Use Initiatives Leading up to the elections, recreational marijuana was only legal in four states and one district: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC. Post-election night, California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine joined the adult use states. The only state to not approve adult-use was Arizona, but the race was neck-and-neck.
How close were the votes and what does it mean for each state? •California (Proposition 64): In one of the biggest victories for cannabis since Colorado passed recreational in 2012, Californians overwhelmingly voted “yes” on Proposition 64: the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. With 56.2 percent for versus 43.8 percent against, the proposition separated by more than a million voters, will bring recreational marijuana to more than 38.8 million people. The new measure allows anyone over 21 years old to possess limited amounts of marijuana for personal use. •Massachusetts (Question 4): In another solid “yes” vote, Massachusetts passed Question 4 (the Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation Marijuana Initiative) with 53.6 percent of voters for recreational marijuana. The new law will allow individuals at least 21 years or older to use, grow and possess cannabis. •Nevada (Question 2): Voters passed Question 2 on election night. In the end, 54.47 percent of the population voted for the initiative that will allow adults 21 years and older to possess, consume, and cultivate marijuana for recreational purposes. •Maine (Question 1): Maine’s vote for Question 1 was the closest race of the bunch, separated by just a few thousand individuals but, in the end, the victory went to cannabis with 50.2 percent of the vote, according to the initial results. The new measure will legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in Maine as an agricultural product. •Arizona (Proposition 205): Arizonans voted on Proposition 205, a campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol but, although it was close, it didn’t get the necessary votes. Separated by less than 90,000 voters (51.77 percent “no” versus 48.23 percent “yes”), the measure, which would have made recreational marijuana legal, has been put on the back burner for another election cycle.
TH E ELEC TION! Medical Initiatives On the medical side of marijuana, four states had marijuana on the ballot, and every single state voted “yes.” Voters in Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved medical marijuana for their citizens and voters in Montana voted to roll back restrictions on existing medical cannabis laws. It was a huge win all around, bringing the total number of states who have approved marijuana up to 32.
What can new medical marijuana states expect? •Arkansas (Issue 6): Fifty-three percent of voters in Arkansas voted “yes” on Issue 6, which will establish and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities in the state. It’s big news, making Arkansas the first state in the “Bible Belt” to legalize medical cannabis. •Florida (Amendment 2): Two years ago, Florida just barely missed passing medical marijuana. This time, 71.3 percent of Floridian’s voted “yes” on Amendment 2. The new amendment allows medical marijuana to be used for over 10 diseases and debilitating medical conditions including cancer, HIV, PTSD and Chron’s disease. •Montana (Initiative 182): With 57 percent voting “yes,” Montana is expanding its medical marijuana program. The Initiative will repeal the requirement that physicians can only provide certifications to 25 patients. It will also allow physicians to prescribe marijuana for patients diagnosed with chronic pain and PTSD. •North Dakota (Measure 5): With overwhelming support, North Dakota voters passed Measure 5 with 63.8 percent saying “yes.” The measure allows more than 13 different medical conditions to be treated with cannabis. Conditions include ALS, glaucoma, epilepsy and spinal stenosis.spinal stenosis, and more.
“THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT 24.6 MILLION MORE AMERICANS NOW HAVE ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA.”
According to initial ballot results
A recent Gallup poll found nationwide support for legalization at 60 percent, the highest level in 47 years. However, as election night showed with a surprising upset pulled by Trump, the polls aren’t always accurate. That’s why continued support and advocacy is so vital. The good news is that 24.6 million more Americans now have access to medical marijuana. We’re heading in the right direction and, at this point, we only see great things for cannabis.
WRITER / KELLY VO
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HERE WAS LITTLE RESEARCH out there on the medicinal properties of cannabis when Montel Williams first felt “excruciating” pain in his feet. This came at the peak of his career in 1999 as host of The Montel Williams Show. “It quickly spread up to my knees, legs, then arms,” Williams told DOPE Magazine. “I tried various pharmaceuticals—to no avail—but then a doctor at Harvard recommended cannabis; and I’ve been using it as a medicine ever since.” Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that does not currently have a cure but with treatment might be helped. In the early 2000s, he publically announced his cannabis use, and so began his more than 15year, high-profile advocacy career for medical cannabis research, striving to ensure top-quality and consistent products. This September, he announced his new company, LenitivLabs by Lenitiv Scientific, which is based in California and creates a line of “medical-grade cannabis products,” according to its website. These products are expected to be ready as early as 2017 in California.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to evaluate LenitivLab’s products. The FDA “has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication,” but has approved two drugs containing a synthetic substance that “acts similar to compounds from marijuana but is not present in marijuana,” according to the agency. This issue goes back to the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which characterizes it as having “no currently accepted medical use,” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Williams advocates for using real marijuana products and promotes ongoing research of the plant. He hopes to see more money going into such science so patients can benefit from its healing properties he himself has experienced. Prior to becoming a television personality, Williams was in the United States military for more than two decades. Today, he draws on his personal story as a patient and a veteran to ensure both parties have access to cannabis so their medical needs are met, but there’s still work to do, he said. Recently, Williams spoke with DOPE Magazine about his experience, his cannabis activism and where he anticipates the industry is headed.
C O V E R F E AT U R E
DOPE MAGAZINE: Tell us about the transformation from a ‘90s American talk show host to a 21st century cannabis activist?
MONTEL WILLIAMS: At the height of my TV career, I was flying out from New York to LA when I felt an excruciating pain in my feet. A few days later, my doctor diagnosed me with multiple sclerosis (MS). The pain was literally paralyzing. It quickly spread up to my knees, legs, then arms. I tried various pharmaceuticals—to no avail—but then a doctor at Harvard recommended cannabis. I’ve been using cannabis as a medicine ever since. Very early on, I became a cannabis advocate to ensure that patients have access to cannabis for medical purposes. I’ve fought for medical cannabis reform in numerous states and on Capitol Hill.
Did you have a pre-established perception of cannabis, and, if so, what was that moment when your perspective of cannabis changed? As a former Naval Intelligence Officer for 22 years, I used to have to get blood-tested every few months, so I’d never been a regular cannabis user. But after my diagnosis with MS, cannabis became a very necessary medicine for treating my symptoms.
“MY CELEBRITY IMAGE HAS BEEN LESS IMPORTANT THAN MY EXPERIENCE AS A CANNABIS PATIENT.”
A For more information on LenitivLabs, visit lenitivlabs.com
Is there a moment you can point to when you knew you didn’t want to be just a medical marijuana patient anymore? I’m a big research nut—so when I first started using cannabis, I read everything I could about it—the medical effects, the science and the legal landscape. Back then, you had cancer patients being wheeled out of their homes by the police for using cannabis. Having experienced its medicinal effects firsthand, I decided that law enforcement had no business interfering between doctors and their patients; and it became my mission to stand up for patients. It’s evident that you’re passionate about bringing transparency to the cannabis industry. What’s the biggest issue you’re seeing right now that stems from a lack of transparency and accountability? Seed-to-sale tracking software has been shown to be essential in ensuring transparency and accountability, as well as patient safety. California has been slow to adopt tracking software, which has led to a lot of issues with federal and local prosecution, seizures and raids; but California’s new law looks as if it’ll increase transparency and accountability.
How has your celebrity image hindered or helped you gain traction in the cannabis industry? My celebrity image has been less important than my experience as a cannabis patient. It certainly helps that people know me, but mainly they can relate to my health journey with MS, and my absolute reliance on cannabis to treat the symptoms. We dove into previous interviews you’ve done, and we wondered if there was something you always hoped someone would ask you that no has asked before? I do get asked—but not often enough— about the veterans. As a Marine Corps veteran myself, I’ve fought hard over the years to ensure that veterans have access to cannabis to relieve symptoms of PTSD; and there’s still a lot of work to be done on that front. What’s on your calendar of upcoming cannabis-related events? Alongside the launch of my new medical cannabis brand, LenitivLabs by Lenitiv Scientific, I’m looking forward to speaking at several cannabis conferences this year. What do you see as your biggest challenge in 2017? The single biggest challenge is always making this movement appeal to folks in states that aren’t online yet, most of which are conservative and don’t have a lot of frame of reference on this issue. How do you envision the future of cannabis? On the recreational front, I anticipate a spike in use, and a steady improvement in quality, as new regulations go into effect and as cannabis consumers seek out the best legal options available to them. On the medical front, I hope and expect to see more money poured into research and science and expect to see new cannabis patients benefitting.
PHOTO BY: MARK COFFIN
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F E AT U R E
kith /kiTH/ kin /kin/ LITERALLY FRIENDS AND FAMILY
AMILY. TRIBE. KINSMEN. SISTERHOOD. When you look up community in a thesaurus one of the synonyms you’ll find is “people.” People are capable of connecting and communicating on levels unsurpassed by any other earthly being. The next six pages reveal the raw, dynamic and powerful performance of cannabis in distinctly different communities. The overarching theme is cannabis’ ability to unite not only those with interchangeable outlooks but also those with dissimilar perspectives and juxtaposed sentiments. Cannabis becomes a space of common ground for those seeking emotional, creative, medicinal or spiritual counsel. DOPE Magazine had the privilege of exploring some of the multi-faceted family and community arrangements, and we’ve put pen to paper in an effort to share the trials and tribulations of these communities with you.
‘KETTLE FALLS FIVE’ ROLLAND GREGG LEAVES AN IMPACT WRITER / MEGAN CAMPBELL
T’S NOVEMBER 3, AND Rolland Gregg wakes up 35 years old. “Good morning beautiful people,” he posts in a video to his Facebook page, thanking everyone for the birthday wishes. “I’m happier than I ever imagined.” He’s in his Seattle-area home, touring his bedroom, showcasing wedding pictures of the happy moment. The sun shines through the windows on this crisp, fall day. A year and a day ago he asked his bride to marry him, which she did this last summer, he tells
ILLUSTRATION / ADREAMSTUDIOS.COM
the front-facing camera. “It’s been the most amazing year of life with her,” he says. Rolland, clean-cut wearing a white, button-up shirt and a brown leather jacket, steps onto his back porch. “Just wanted to say thank you to everybody for all the beautiful wishes,” he says. “I hope you make it a beautiful day and make the best of life.” Post time: 8:34 am. In the mist of savoring life, Rolland has been engaged in a personal and unprecedented legal battle that caught the eye of national media.
F E AT U R E
S TO P I NT ERF E RIN G WI T H STAT E L AWS
B ROUG HT TO GE T H E R A ND TOR N A PA RT
T H E R E’S A L OT T HAT N E E D S TO C HA NGE
Rolland Gregg—known as one of the “Kettle Falls Five”—faces 33 months of jail time after a federal judge sentenced him in March 2015 with felony charges for manufacturing 50 to 100 marijuana plants in Washington state. He, like all five defendants in the case, had a state medical marijuana license. As a group, they grew a small cannabis garden on Rolland’s family land in rural Washington, which they believed met state law. In 2012, officials raided the property multiple times, alleging the group was doing much more than simply treating their own medical needs. For years, Rolland, his mother, his then-wife, his stepfather and their family-friend strapped in to defend in federal court—which does not recognize marijuana as having any current medical use—what had been permitted at a state level. The case “has been closely watched nationwide as an indicator of how tough the federal government will be in pursuing criminal marijuana charges in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal and recreational uses,” Spokane-based newspaper The Spokesman-Review reported on March 3, 2015. “It’s the biggest issue there is, ending cannabis prohibition at a federal level,” Rolland said. “We need to stop interfering with state laws.”
Larry Harvey was a retired truck driver who lived in Kettle Falls, Washington, with his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey—and he was in pain. Larry and his stepson, Rolland, weren’t the closest. But Rolland was familiar with pain, having broken his neck and back when he was 17 after a snowboarding accident. Finally, in about 2010, Rolland told his mom to put some cannabis oil in the cookies she bakes Larry each evening. He bets it’ll help Larry’s gout and bad knees. That night Larry experienced body relief, Rolland said, and his perception of cannabis began to shift—Larry was “immediately an advocate.” Over time, with a doctor’s prescription in hand, the family would start a garden. “We grew the cannabis and used it,” Rolland said. “We weren’t trying to hide anything. We didn’t think we had to.” It was a period of relationship growth, Rolland said, and it was an educational moment to reshape the stigma of cannabis Larry had adopted. “Having the garden brought us together,” he said. But the family peace was disrupted in August 2012 when Rhonda answered the door to law enforcement. “[She] was surprised but not particularly worried, even though about 70 marijuana plants were growing on a remote part of their 34 acres,” The Spokesman-Review reported in May 2014. “They weren’t selling the drug or giving it to people outside their group. They were far from schools, parks, libraries or other places where children might gather.” This was the first visit, where officials confiscated some plants but left 45 behind. On the second officials wore U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency jackets and came with a federal warrant in hand, she told the Spokesman-Review. They collected the remaining plants, other marijuana, cash and guns—which defendants successfully argued in court were for hunting purposes. This was the beginning of a public and lengthy court battle that would lead to daily conversations urging the family to stick together by avoiding plea deals, Rolland said. “We can do this,” he remembers telling them. “We don’t want to just give up. This is bigger than just us.” But it took its toll. “I had many arguments, many fights, many disagreements, many emotional nights, many screaming matches,” he said. “They’re tearing us apart.”
Rolland is still hard at work filing amicus briefs on legal motions that could help his current appeal, he said. And while he’s fighting for the right to treat his pain, despite living in a state that’s allowed medical cannabis since the late ‘90s, he’s not allowed to consume it due to the federal ruling. “There’s a lot that needs to change,” he said. He thinks it’s “inevitable” that his family’s story will leave a mark; he calls it “positively disruptive.” His family has made an impact in other ways, too. For example, throughout 2014, Rolland, Rhonda and Larry travelled regularly to Washington DC to advocate for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Medical Marijuana Amendment, Rolland said. The amendment, which passed for the first time in December 2014, prevents the federal government from spending money on arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers who are in compliance with their state laws. It must be approved every year. As for how the rest of the “Kettle Falls Five” turned out after the trial, Rolland’s mother and his now-exwife—who also face jail time—remain “free” pending the outcome of their appeals. Larry was dismissed prior to sentencing after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He died in August 2015, six months after the federal government dropped the charges. He was 71. Family friend Jason Zucker took the federal prosecutor’s plea deal shortly before sentencing and testified against the others. Zucker received a 16-month sentence.
“THIS IS BIGGER THAN JUST US.” - ROLLAND GREGG
TREKKING TO GREENER PASTURES
RAW REALITIES OF TH E COLTYN TU RNER CRUE WRITER / ANDREA LARSON
PHOTO / COURTESY OF COLTYNSCRUE.ORG
OLTYN TURNER IS WELL known in the cannabis community. Coltyn’s personality is winsome, his attendance at cannabis events enraptures audiences and his wisdom spans far beyond his 16 years. The story of the Turner family is one of sacrifice, hope and healing. In a losing battle with Crohn’s disease, the Turner clan fled the only home they’d ever known in Illinois for greener pastures. Since staking new ground in Colorado Springs, the family of five has been exposed to the good, bad and ugly side of cannabis. On a rainy November afternoon in Seattle, I pick up my phone and dial Wendy Turner. Coltyn’s mom, a mother of four and grandmother of as many, picks up. In Illinois Wendy owned her own dance studio, it’s one of the things she misses most since moving
west. She’s sitting in her driveway, perusing Facebook. Our conversation ignites in conventional banter and talking to Wendy is as commonplace as chats I have with my mom. Wendy and Coltyn had taken a trip that afternoon to the bank so he could start his first checking account. The Turner story has been told many times by many different media. In this version, raw emotions, feelings of angst, fear and loneliness bubble to the surface. The Turners feel blessed and at no time during our conversation do complaints arise, but the Turners don’t describe the reality and the routine of day-to-day life as glamorous. While I have Wendy and her husband Tommy to myself, I dive into the nitty-gritty.
F E AT U R E
M ARRI AGE – W H E N TH E ACCE P TA N C E I N TO T H E GO I NG GET S TOU G H CA N NA B I S C O MMU N I T Y Tommy is disabled. He has been since before the family uprooted itself from their Illinois chapter. His sense of providership feels challenged and as a parent and a spouse this has played a large role in his sense of identity. The silver lining, and there always is one with this family, is that when Tommy stopped working he had the freedom to move with Coltyn to Colorado. When one door closes, another opens. They lived there almost six months before Wendy, Coltyn’s siblings Skyler and Ryleigh were finally able to join them. While the family wouldn’t exchange a thing for Coltyn’s health, money is tight and living in Colorado is expensive. The mortgage on their home in Illinois was $580 a month while rent in Colorado Springs is $1,600. The stress of their finances is palpable and on the day that I talk with the Turner’s, the third of the month, Tommy reveals that they have around $200 to last them through the end of November. Finances cause squabbles. Wendy laughingly shares that her and Tommy have been in a yelling match a time or two in recent months. Bouncing checks, having to triage food items at the grocery store and saying no to anything but the bare necessities are very real burdens the family bears.
The Turners have been met with skepticism and unexpected darkness from the cannabis community. Wendy has been slated as a “terrible mother” and “seeker of celebrity” for allowing Coltyn to share his story of healing at cannabis conventions. The truth is that there will always be habitual naysayers and for each pessimist a colony of optimists thrives. It has taken time but the Turners have built a supportive community in Colorado through fellow patients. When Tommy and Coltyn landed in Colorado, they were navigating the legal cannabis scene blind. Tommy called Wendy after his initial visit to a Colorado dispensary. “I could tell that he had tears in his eyes. This is a man that doesn’t cry,” Wendy said. Coltyn waited in the car while Tommy stepped into unknown territory. In the beginning the Turners were figuring out Coltyn’s dosaging and regimen unguided. It was a very lonely place and time. Since putting down roots in Colorado, multiple families have used the Turner’s home as a safe-haven and launching pad for their own journey with cannabis. There have been numerous families who have moved from one state to another in an effort to heal an ailing family member through cannabis. The Turners want to ensure these families succeed where so many have had to give up.
C O LT Y N’S S I B LINGS S P E AK UP The Turners have four kids. Their eldest daughter, Kinsey, lives in Illinois with her husband and kids. Her distance is difficult on the family. Skyler, who will turn 18 right before this story goes to print, knew that moving to Colorado was a necessity. Prior to Colorado, Skyler, Coltyn and their baby sister Ryleigh had never lived anywhere but the house where they were born. Moving is hard and can be devastating. The hardest part for Skyler was having to leave his lifetime friends and Boy Scout Troop in the rearview mirror. He was amid receiving his Eagle Scout when the family left Illinois. Ryleigh left the only dance studio that she ever knew when the family moved. Ryleigh is a firecracker, and while she misses her friends in Illinois she has blossomed in her new habitat. She shares that her dancing has improved and that she’s made “a ton of new friends.” When the Turners moved to Colorado they had no idea how their journey would unfold. Each family member has overcome internal conflicts and through the cannabis community that has supported them they’ve built new and lasting relationships. Cannabis’ uncanny ability to bring unity and hope to the most dire of situations is why we continue to share stories like this one.
“I’D RATHER BE ILLEGALLY ALIVE THAN LEGALLY DEAD.” - COLTYN TURNER
F E AT U R E
PHISH. FAMILY. COMMUNITY.
RETHINKING TIRED PREJUDICES WRITER / ZACHARY COHEN
NE OF THE UNQUESTIONABLY beautiful things about cannabis is how easily it can stand in as a synonym for the word “community.” Wherever you find the cannabis plant, you will find humans gathered around it. And as they come together they will undoubtedly look for, and soon discover, ways to connect with one another. One of cannabis’ essential qualities is its ability to provide an avenue for conversation and engagement among people from vastly different cultures. It’s a big boat. In the wake of unprecedented success at the ballot box this year, millions of Americans are, at this very moment, reevaluating their relationships to the plant and rethinking tired prejudices. This new wave of interest and curiosity has the power to wash away the detritus of decades-long propaganda, misinformation and straight-up shame campaigns. We know that cannabis is not a vice. We know the emotional, creative, commercial, medicinal and spiritual uses of the plant. One way those of us in the industry can prepare ourselves to engage in and positively influence these conversations is by looking within, and locating examples thriving communities who owe, at least in part, their health and well-being to cannabis. By elevating these stories, we illustrate how powerful cannabis can be, first in bringing people together— cannabis is a potent, high decibel siren song after all, and then subsequently binding those people to one another over the long run. Our ability to recognize how cannabis functions in and upon tight-knit communities will only strengthen.
PHOTO / ZOE B PHOTOGRAPHY
The Phish community is one such tribe that has had a long and co-creative relationship with cannabis. Sure, Phish concerts are great places to score, but that misses a much larger symbiosis. First of all, the music, all music, alights with cannabis. As our senses change and we become more attuned with our surroundings, the music unfolds for us differently, alerting us to previously hidden nuances and dynamics our unmedicated state often misses. Working together, music and cannabis become their own form of healing. Not to mention the dancing... I’m biased, but occasionally after imbibing and putting on the latest heady Phish jam, I’m convinced by track’s end that the band themselves invented weed specifically to make consumption of their music a superior proposition. But like all things Phish, that’s a matter of opinion, man. Still, there’s more. Phish’s cultural overlap with The Grateful Dead, and by extension, The Hippie Movement of the 60s grounds its presence firmly in the modern cannabis marketplace. As the peace and love vibes of the 60s waned, many partisans simply drove north to tend their gardens, wishing to have no part of the grim reality show that sometimes is America. Given the climate today, we may finally know exactly how those people felt as one decade slid into the next. Cannabis use and enthusiasm has always been an open secret at Phish and other jam band concerts and festivals. Surely you’ll find people smoking weed at almost any concert no matter the genre—rock, indie, punk or otherwise. The cannabis tribe is diverse and at Phish shows, cannabis is celebrated as a wel-
come participant. Like any invisible prophet, offerings are made and the cup runneth over. Even those who abstain appreciate and respect the plant’s central place in the ritual of the band’s live experience for as soon as the house lights go down, signaling the band’s return to the stage, hundreds of joints are simultaneously lit. Jerry Garcia once called the marketplaces—illegal and otherwise—common to Grateful Dead shows—part of “the hip economy,” a fluid and freewheeling shadow economy that worked alongside the more mainstream “straight” economy. For more than a generation, this has enabled growers, artists, makers and craftspeople from across the country to thrive and connect with one another providing economic opportunity and liquidity for people that otherwise might not have access. Economic ties are usually the first to be established, but cultural and emotional bonds are never far behind. The example of cannabis and the Phish community is one of many. What will be even more beautiful is when other communities, tribes and subcultures follow the lead of such pioneers and begin their own honest assessment of cannabis and its potential place in the destiny of their shared interactions. Though some lights have dimmed of late, the fire of cannabis has never burned brighter, and can, will and should, light the way forward in bridging what, at its worst, may seem the widening gap between the compassionate, loving and good humans of this planet.
Photo: Vice, Marina Riker
T R AV E L
BUDS, BEEF & BAD WEATHER THE BASQUE COUNTRY WRITER / SESHATA
HE BASQUE COUNTRY IS a mysterious region that straddles the border between present-day Spain and France, and has a unique and long-lived relationship with our beloved plant. It was here in the Basque Country (at least, the Spanish side) where several intense legal battles were fought in recent years, enabling the creation of cannabis social clubs serving members with small quantities for personal use. It’s mid-September, and the weather is relentlessly windy, gray and rainy. I’m told that this area is a popular tourist resort—indeed, my tiny plane from Paris to Biarritz was packed with late-season vacationers, but they must surely have some better reason in mind than the climate. The natural beauty and rugged coastline wel-
come visitors year-round while the incongruous palm trees hint at seasonal warm weather. This mild, rainy climate is definitely conducive to plant life, as the Basque region is one of the greenest places I have ever seen. The region also boasts some of Europe’s best surf spots with almost 5000 km (3100 miles) Atlantic beaches. Swells that break on Basque beaches can reach up to 6 meters ( 20 feet) in height in some spots. Furthermore, the food around here is world-class, with specialties including txakoli (an extra-dry, slightly-sparkling white wine), sagardoa (strong, sharp apple cider), and marmitako, a traditional fisherman’s stew made of fresh tuna and potatoes. It’s also somewhat of a meat-eater’s paradise
in the Basque Country; grilled, locally-raised beef and lamb are hugely-popular staples. I’m in town to check out the local cannabis scene, and conveniently, one of Europe’s most important cannabis trade shows—Irun Expogrow— is happening while I’m here. Irun is a small town near San Sebastián (the European Capital of Culture 2016, and a truly beautiful city), which clings to the Spanish side of the border. On the French side, and practically in the same settlement, is the town of Hendaye. Think El Paso-Juarez, but a lot less violent—although the anti-terrorism police wielding their gigantic submachine guns on the Spanish side suggest that things aren’t always calm around Irun-Hendaye either.
T R AV E L Between 1961 and 2012, the Basque separatist organization Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA— meaning “Basque Country and Freedom”) ran bombing campaigns throughout the region, killing over 800 people in an attempt to gain national independence for the Basque Country. Irun itself has been the site of several bombings and at least one assassination over the decades. The Basque Country (known as Euskari to Basques) has a culture all its own, and a language thought to predate all other European languages (although everyone there seems to switch effortlessly between Spanish, French and English, and the Basque language seems
to be much less widely spoken). Many of their numbers feel that Spanish and French culture threatens to consume Basque culture and identity, and nationalist and separatist sentiment remains fairly high. The days of violence are probably over for good, as ETA is now discussing permanent disarmament, and the vast majority of Basques believe in nonviolent means of achieving their political goals in any case. But that does not mean that the Basques have forgotten their nonconformist ways. Indeed, the proud Basque tradition of arguing with the Spanish state served the region well during its
fight to set up cannabis social clubs. That fight is not over—as recently as December 2015, the founders of the Pannagh Social Club in Bilbao were sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment by the Spanish Supreme Court. They are currently appealing the decision. This hasn’t stopped the cannabis community of the Basque Country from carrying on as normal. At Irun Expogrow, the atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful, and none of the official security crew seems concerned about the rampant, unrestricted use of cannabis within the venue. Hundreds of different vendors from across Europe have convened here to proffer their
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Marmitako, a traditional fisherman’s stew
wares to the thousands of patients, growers and recreational users in attendance. We see plenty of familiar faces, such as Canadian seed company House of the Great Gardener and California’s Humboldt Seeds, both regular attendees at European events. It’s always good to see North American companies aren’t forgetting the huge future potential of the European market. Spanish, French and Dutch companies are here in abundance, and are a proud representation of how advanced the European game is becoming. There’s also a conference and “business hour” for scientists, researchers and investors to touch base, exchange ideas and create new ventures. Vaping and dabbing culture seem to be more and more advanced with every expo I attend in Europe. The winner of this year’s Best Product category is a beautifully slim, elegant glass vape made by German company, Vaponic. It’s presented in a carved wooden case not unlike a single cigar holder, which unscrews in sections to act as hand protection when in use—a fine example of high-quality European design. Alongside this, organic cultivation methods
are strongly prioritized by many European growers, and the large range of organic products on display was truly encouraging. One of my favorite product lines is made by the Dutch company, BioTabs, who produce an excellent range of mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria. Huge advances are also being made in CBD products. In the European Union, cultivation of hemp is legal—but medicinal cannabis still isn’t legal in a lot of countries with legislation slow to change. Thus, many hemp farmers are now producing high-quality CBD derived from hemp plants grown and processed entirely in Europe. Even famed breeder Shantibaba has branched out into hemp, and his CBD Crew is fast gaining respect as a reliable producer of high-grade extracts and topicals. As well as being one of the major heartlands of cannabis social clubs in Spain, the Basque Country is also an important hub for cannabis seed companies. Several multiple-award-winning companies are based in the region, including Dinafem and Genehtik. I chat briefly with Nico at Dinafem, about the challenges and rewards of growing cannabis in
the Basque Country. He tells me that the growing season is so short that outdoor growers here must box up their plants during the longer summer nights if flowering is to happen at all. It’s also extremely damp, and botrytis and other fungi are endemic. Obviously, the vast majority of cannabis here is grown indoors, but Nico and a few other brave souls have made it their mission to beat the elements, producing an outdoor balcony of crop each year. As Nico says, “The climate is crazy unstable, but growing in the Basque Country is so special.” This unique, intriguing region has contributed greatly to the global cannabis scene over the years, and will doubtlessly continue to do so for many years to come. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to this ancient center of culture, despite getting soaking wet every time I’ve set foot outside. I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back to sample more of the area’s finest flavors—both food and floral.
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HOW T O M A K E T HE DI F F E R E N CE WRITER / DAVID BAILEY
OU BELIEVE YOU’VE grown a closet full of gorgeous Christmas gifts…only to realize that you ended up with some grassy weed? You’re definitely not alone. There are hundreds of books on how-to grow cannabis each one making its own promises. You’ll often find numerous chapters dedicated to cultivating and one tacked on to the end that speaks to harvesting, drying and curing. Your beautiful chunky nugs now harvested resemble field hay? How could this happen!? Just like making wine, you’ve only survived half the battle when you pull the fruits down. All the energy, time and money you invested needs to be tenderly cared for as it goes through the most vulnerable state. The plant is no longer
alive to protect itself, so now that job has landed in your hands. During harvest, there’s no lack of excitement. And thank goodness, because you’ve got a lot of work ahead! And planning is key. Your first step should always be to remove the fan leaves. This takes time. Whether you plan on trimming and smoking your flower or turning it into extracts, fan leaves only gunk up the process leaving extra waste which can lead to mold as well as other issues. I suggest fan leafing the plants the day or evening before harvest to ensure a speedy harvest the next morning. Harvest just before your lights come on. It’s not a must, it won’t ruin the quality if you don’t, but you’ll appreciate the benefits if you do. Cannabis produces hundreds of terpenes and most
of them are volatile at room temperature. This is why we can smell them! The intensity and heat that comes from an HID bulb will destroy the terpenes, and your high, at a quicker rate. Just before the lights come on, the plant has maximized its recovery period and should be pumped up for harvest. If you’re going to hang dry, cut the branches so that once hung there are no overlapping buds or stems. Air flow is key. I hang branches less than a foot in length because the thick center stems carry too much water and slow the drying process. For wet trimming, separate the larger dense buds from the lower duff that lacks weight. You’ll only want to trim the flowers larger than a quarter. It may seem worth keeping but you’ll realize when it dries, all you’ve done is trim shake.
erately dry space, you’ll preserve more of the flavors and smells while slowly allowing the residual nitrogen to escape. I like to keep my dry room at roughly 65-70°F and 45-55 percent relative humidity. Just like in your grow room, air circulation is of the utmost importance! As we all know, mold and mildews thrive in dark and cool environments and your wet buds provide plenty of moisture. A quality dehumidifier is a must, even if you live in an arid environment. Remember that you lose 70-80 percent of your total weight during the drying process. That means if you anticipate two pounds dry, you had to pull as much as 8.34 pounds of water out of the air, a full gallon! Here’s where you’ve got to pay careful attention. Full branch drying can take as long as 14
days because you are also waiting for the moisture to escape from the dense tough stalks. Check on the buds daily, gently touching buds and bending stems When stems bend easily but don’t snap and buds feel firm and dry to the touch but still give, you’ve reached a good point to begin trimming and curing. Net drying can be much faster but must be transitioned to paper bags or jars more attentively because they lack the protection of the hanging outer foliage. As soon as 4-7 days after harvest you can move the buds over to paper sacks to slow the moisture release. Once bud have lost 65-75 percent of their moisture, they can be transitioned to glass.
from the center of the bud at a pace that ensures flavor and prevents rot. Curing is moving the trimmed dried bud to glass jars and allowing the moisture and flavors to both even out and develop. The key is touching and squeezing the buds daily. No part of the bud should get so crispy it crumbles when being squeezed. Similarly, it shouldn’t feel firm and dry on the outside but collapse from inner moisture when pinched. Until the bud begins to feel more
dry, open daily and rotate buds. Once your ideal texture is reached, leave it shut to maintain it. Paying attention is ultimately what will pay back. Cup winning cures come from years of practice but you have to start sometime. With an eye for detail and a passion for pot, your product will begin to separate itself from the pack. Maybe next year you can proudly pass out some celebratory gifts that announce themselves before they’re even opened!
DRYING Drying is more than rapidly removing moisture; it is not that simple. I’m sure you’ve had a nice looking sack that shockingly smelled like grass or nothing at all. This can often be contributed to a too-quick dry time or improper storage. Drying sounds simple but it’s crucial to understand the theory behind it before diving in. When drying cannabis, whether whole plant or in dry racks, you want to pull the moisture out of the plant at a pace that allows moisture from the dense center to slowly and evenly escape to the outer edges. If you dry it too quickly, the outer edges will become hydrophobic trapping inner moisture. Drying too slow can allow for increased mold or mildew. Both lead to a subpar product. If you can set up shop in a cool, dark and mod-
CURING I’ve had a lot of friends say they have no problem growing healthy dank plants, and I can attest, but they can’t get the cure down. Curing gets people because there is no exact temperature, humidity or length of time that will give you the perfect bud. With every strain being different in density, structure and chemical make-up, on top of the variations from your growth style, every bud will cure to its own beat, so to speak. As with drying, you’re attempting to pull the last bit of moisture
Hang dry by branch or dry as nugs in nets? Everything is a style choice and what works for your space. If you have a large climate controlled drying space but little help, branch drying is a faster option for a lone wolf and can be slowly dry trimmed over time. If you’ve got plenty of help to separate the flowers from the stems and wet trim, but little time or little space, nets are the way to go.
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CA N NA B I S P H I L A N T H RO P Y WRITER / KELLY VO
HERE ARE FEW COMMUNITIES more openhearted and giving than the cannabis community. That’s right, countless dispensaries, growers and cannabis clubs are known for their focus on helping others. Whether it’s providing free marijuana to those in need or donating thousands of dollars to worthwhile causes, cannabis businesses have a huge impact on the lives of those around them. And there’s no better time to talk about cannabis giving than during the holiday season. To get an inside look at the cannabis community during the holidays, I spoke with Scott Pierce, General Manager at the Herbal Wellness Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
INSIDE H ERBAL WELLNE SS CENTER’S PHILANTH ROPY The Herbal Wellness Center in Phoenix is a shining example of cannabis philanthropy. Throughout the year they find ways to give back to the community, and they increase their efforts during the holidays to get into the spirit of the season. “Giving back to the community is something we do with great joy and lots of enthusiasm here at Herbal Wellness Center,” Pierce expressed. “We generally start ramping up our fundraising efforts in October, beginning with a food drive for local food pantries and shelters. Then, in November, we seek out six families that need a little help on Thanksgiving Day and provide dinner for them with all the fixins’. That’s been one of our favorite things to do each year.” “Finally, in December, we receive letters from all kinds of people telling us about the amazing families in their lives that need a little help, and we try to pick a few to grant some wishes for,” Scott added. “In our first year, we bought a family a car! Last year, we chose five families and showed up at their door with everything on their wish lists—we even brought Christmas trees. Spreading love around the holidays is a great way to bring joy to others, and we are planning something huge this holiday season!” And the holidays aren’t the only time that the Herbal Wellness Center focuses on giving back. In fact, they constantly strive to, “Put the ‘unity’ back in community,” meaning they always seek out ways to help others. Many times they give back in small ways by offering a smile, a word of encouragement, sound advice or a sample product. Other times their efforts are bigger, but the key is that they always look for ways to make a difference. As for why the Herbal Wellness Center focuses on giving? It’s the reason they exist: to serve their community. “We are here to provide patients with the safest products available, and the education they need to accomplish their goals and achieve good health and a balanced life through the use of cannabis,” Pierce shared. “Also, it’s important to remember that cannabis came with a culture attached to it, which means we have a responsibility to our community to do the right thing and make a difference.”
CA N NA B I S C HARITIE S If you thought that the Herbal Wellness Center was one in a million, you’re in for a surprise. They’re just a drop in the ocean of charitable cannabis organizations: Colorado’s Pueblo County uses funds from the sale of legal cannabis to fund scholarships. In fact, they’ve funded $1,000 scholarships for 25 students as part of the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation. As for Bloom Dispensaries, they’ve provided 1,300 meals to Phoenix families during the
holiday season, raised $1,200 for St. Vincent de Paul’s Dream Center programs—helping children read, write and dream big—and donated over $2,400 to the Professional Firefighters Association of Arizona. This June, over 22 cannabis businesses came together to host the Cannabis Charity Open. The golf tournament welcomed over 80 participants and raised thousands of dollars for the Denver Colorado AIDS Project. And the cannabis community isn’t only
charitable here in the United States. In Britain, cannabis smokers have raised thousands of pounds for charities focusing on illnesses that are relevant to marijuana, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. And New Zealand recently launched their first medical cannabis charity: Medical Cannabis Awareness New Zealand (MCANZ). The charity will raise funds and advocate for access to medical cannabis products. So, how can you get involved?
DO NAT I N G TO CANNAB IS ORGA NIZATIONS First, talk to your local dispensary to find out what they’re doing to give back to the community over the holidays and ask how you can help. If you want to take it one step further and give back to the cannabis community itself, there are quite a few organizations waiting for your donation: ♣ NORML has been a voice for marijuana reform since 1970 and has successfully
led efforts to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses in 11 states. Its sister organization, the NORML Foundation, sponsors public advertising campaigns to educate the public. ♣ The Cannabis Science Research Foundation researches the endocannabinoid system to develop new, safe and effective marijuana medications.
Grow for Vets is an organization dedicated to saving the more than 50 veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose. In addition, there’s Cannabis for the Cure, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting researchers in their efforts to find a cure for cancer and other debilitating conditions.
E N DI N G 4 / 2 0 SHAME As always, I like to end every #End420Shame article with a reminder that cannabis discrimination still exists, and it’s the voices of the users and those in the industry that make the biggest difference. If there were one thing that Scott Pierce
The Herbal Wellness Center is a medical marijuana dispensary located in Phoenix, Arizona. Their goal is to always deliver the finest cannabis products including the best strains of flower, wax, shatter, edibles, oils and more. Visit their website at herbalwellnesscenter.com or follow them on social media @HWCMMJ and @Herbalwellnesscenter to follow their holiday giving.
would want everyone to know about cannabis, it’s this, “Cannabis is one of the earth’s greatest gifts to us. Learn all you can about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. It will unlock a world of possibilities and will allow you to see this plant as something
more than just an intoxicant.” If you have an #End420Shame story or topic and you’d like to see it in an issue of DOPE, you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on social media using the hashtag.
“IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT CANNABIS CAME WITH A CULTURE ATTACHED TO IT, WHICH MEANS WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR COMMUNITY TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” -SCOTT PIERCE
PRODUCTS WE LOVE WRITER / MEGAN CAMPBELL
PHOTO / MARK COFFIN
ARIZER EXTREME Q Arizer is calling its digitally-controlled Extreme Q vaporizer “indiscriminately elegant.” The powerful but lightweight device, equipped with a remote for your convenience, has a wide range of temperatures. The three-speed fan quickly fills detachable bags with vapor. The heater comes with a number of food- and medical-grade silicone tubing and borosilicate glass accessories. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
DANK ESSENCE Dank Essence, based in Denver, Colorado, infuses hemp oils from local companies with locally sourced herbs and flowers to create these all-natural bath bombs. Each bath ball includes 60mg of pure hemp CBD and ingredients including kaolin clay, Dead Sea salt and almond oil. @dank.essence Prices vary
CHIEFTON SUPPLY CO Chiefton Supply Co aims to bring soft, comfortable clothing to the masses—with subtle cannabis designs customers can confidently don, no matter which state they hail from. This Colorado-based company hopes to use its apparel to represent the marijuana industry in a progressive and professional manner.
@chieftonSupply Prices vary
CANNASMACK Guided by the belief that all people can make a positive difference with the smallest of steps, CannaSmack proudly touts a “cruelty-free” hemp body lotion and lip balm. The lip balm comes in a variety of flavors, like Mango Kush and Maui Wowie.
JUST PERFECT PIPES These intricate, hand-crafted pipes are turned with care in a home workshop near Portland, Oregon. The artist uses materials such as Maple, Western Walnut and White Oak. Lovefromoregon.com $15-$25 each Cannasmack.com @cannasmack Prices vary
Sourcevapes.com @sourcevapes $199.95
SOURCE VAPES PORTABLE CONTROL ERIG Source Vape’s battery-controlled, portable eRig features a split glass bubbler for better airflow. Its eRig is compatible with a portable eNail or vape pen. The rig has a 7-second heat up time and 15-second auto-shutoff time. It comes with numerous attachments and a lifetime warranty.
LACUNA BOTANICALS Lacuna Botanicals, based in Colorado, uses a number of essential oils in its topical creams and lip balms. The Lacuna team includes chemists and product development specialists who choose each ingredient carefully. Products come in a variety of flavors, with hemp and nonhemp infused options.
Lacunabotanicals.com Prices vary
DAZED AND GLAZED ASHTRAYS Before these colorful Dazed and Glazed ashtrays are molded, shaped and sculpted out of clay, they first form when the artist puts his pencil to paper. The artist individually patterns these handmade pieces in Portland, Oregon. While gorgeous, these are functional, readyto-use objects.
@coloradohemphoney Coloradohemphoney.com $30.00
COLORADO HEMP HONEY Colorado Hemp Honey beekeepers just want you to bee calm, rested and happy. Their pure, raw honey is made with industrial hemp plants and tested for purity and potency. A portion of the proceeds go toward charities that support veterans with PTSD, as the company is a U.S. Veteran-Owned Business.
F E AT U R E
THE FUTURE JUDGING OF CANNABIS CUPS WA S I T TAG G E D ? WRITER / MAX MONTROSE, THE TRICHOME INSTITUTE EDITED BY / ZACHARY HOLLAND
RADING AND JUDGING cannabis is a big deal that is overburdened with too much smoke and mirrors. Many headies say cannabis cups are total bullshit; and they’re right… Bragging about cannabis has been a part of the culture since well before the legal industry. But is it real? Can something so subjective be judged with legitimacy? How could there be science behind something so personal? How can you judge anything while intoxicated? Who are these judges and what are their qualifications?
F E AT U R E
The Trichome Institute is tackling this cannabis-judging quandary. To understand the solution, you must first understand the problems. Typically, strain reviewers and cannabis cup judges smoke cannabis, and then explain what they think about it. These are usually superstar stoners who are much better at getting high than researching the science behind what quality equates to chemically and biologically. Put simply, most people who judge cups are entirely unqualified. These unqualified judges are responsible for competitions whose outcomes make or break multimillion-dollar businesses. Even if intelligent industry members and longtime growers who know cannabis are selected to judge, their personal taste preferences and a lack of a grading standard make their judgments subjective, and thus, inconsistent and inaccurate. If your dispensary or grow depended on winning the cup, would you appreciate an inconsistent and inaccurate judging process? The industry is maturing quickly and getting wise, so judging cannabis is turning to more consistent methods, including lab testing. There are two main types of testing that people are aware of and one that people don’t know much about. The two main tests are genotype and chemotype. Phenotyping has occurred, but is currently very rare in the industry. A genotype test uncovers the plants genetics and essentially maps the cannabis’ DNA, proving the parents and genetics are what they are said to be (maybe). The chemo test analyzes the chemical composition of the sample, such as the terpene and cannabinoid ratios and strengths. Just because a sample has the most po-
tent THC percentage,does not mean it is the highest quality. THC does not mean quality whatsoever. What if the sample with the highest cannabinoid content, and most diverse terpene profile, has the worst flush and is covered in microscopic spider mites, webs, eggs and more? It’s also important to remember, chemotype, genotype and phenotype tests are not indicative of quality! Cannabis cups should, and will, start using some of these lab tests in the judging process and the Trichome Institute can teach testers how to use those tests as effective measurements. TAG™, a new type of lab test created for the industry, stands for Trichome Assurance Grade, and the Trichome Institute stands behind the numeric score that assures the quality of cannabis samples tested. The TAG process has rigorous standards, but it all starts with the technicians. You can’t TAG bud unless you are a cannabis expert, with a Level 3 Interpening® certification proving that you are. In the world of wine, through taste, smell and sight, Level 3 Sommeliers can taste the year, zip code and weather pattern of just about any wine ever made. Their knowledge base is mind-boggling and it’s that level of expertise that was in mind when the Institute established its Level 3 Interpener criteria. People fly in from around the world to learn Trichome Institutes’ techniques of dissecting cannabis quality and detecting the psychotropic properties of flower with just sight and smell. Even with this, one might wonder, isn’t the Interpening expert’s opinion still subjective? The Trichome Institute employs an inter-rater reliability standard to extin-
guish subjectivity. In statistics, inter-rater reliability is the concordance of the degree of agreement among raters. A TAG score must have two Interpeners come up with the same numerical score within 5 points of one another or the test must be redone—the score is out of 100. As an extended precaution, each tested sample is stored in a library in the event someone wants to challenge the score within a seven-day period of the test. If no challenge is made, the mean of the two numerical values is assigned as the TAG score and then it is official. Essentially, the Trichome Institute has created a “wine spectating score” for cannabis! Imagine if cannabis cups and judges used the TAG method so the judging is uniform across the board? Well it’s already started, at the 2016 DOPE Cup Oregon, and received only positive feedback from the event. Now imagine if wholesale pounds were priced with a TAG score instead of whatever the grower thinks his product is worth? What if celebrity and mega-product brands insured their brand reputation by only distributing 75.0-TAG or higher? Every grower and business will tell you their product is the best, but does it have a TAG? Instead of apps telling you where every dispensary is, how about a search option for where the best third-party verified quality cannabis is? Soon, you will be able to search for bud with a TAG score at a shop near you via app, social media, websites and more. Check out trichomeinstitute.com to find TAG Cannabis Locations that are already out there. You can also check out TAG and Interpening tours to learn more about these programs.
WRITER & PHOTOS / DAVID HODES
S THE MARIJUANA INDUSTRY matures, there are corrections to be made. This is the usual scenario with any developing industry, but the cannabis industry is not your usual industry. There is so much at stake hereâ€”economically, sociallyâ€”that the corrections being made and the corrections that still need to be made reach back into the history of racism, and jump forward into a realm of genuine inclusiveness. The industry needs to diversify. That was the issue at hand during a congressional hearing on September 15 at the Rayburn Building, one of three House of Representative office buildings, in one of the first-ever hearings on the Hill about diversity in the cannabis industry. It was held inside a small, cramped room in the building that ended in a standing-room-only situation. A panel of four cannabis business owners spoke about their experiences and called for more action: Corey Burnette, Owner, District Growers in D.C.; Wanda James, Owner, Simply Pure in Denver; Giadha DeCarcer, Owner, New Frontiers Financials in D.C.; and Keith Stephenson, Owner, Purple Heart Patient Center in Oakland.
“THERE ARE OVER 541 DISPENSARIES IN COLORADO AND TWO ARE BLACK-OWNED. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?” -WANDA JAMES, OWNER SIMPLY PURE DENVER
James, the first African American to own a dispensary in Colorado and one of just two black owners in the state, put the need for diversity in context: “There are over 541 dispensaries in Colorado and two are black-owned,” she shared. “How did that happen?” She said one reason is that rules for owning a dispensary include not having an arrest record for possession, a difficult proposition when black people are arrested up to eight times more often than white people for possession. “On top of that,” she said, “clergy and elected officials are preventing people from moving forward. They ask, ‘Why would you do this? This is bad for our community.’” She talked about her brother, who was only 17 when he was arrested for possession of four ounces of cannabis in Texas. He was sentenced to 10 years in a maximum security prison, where he spent five years picking cotton in prison to help win his release. “This is not 1865,” she stated. “Real slavery is over. But we are doing that kind of incarceration to 17-year-olds, for a first offense.” When she opened her dispensary, her brother, now 40 and a grower, couldn’t work for her because of his felony conviction. “Four baggies worth about $160 dollars cost my brother his freedom for his entire life,” she added. “This is why we have so few people of color involved. We place a lot of false blame in our community on cannabis when the blame should be placed on law enforcement and discriminatory laws. Cannabis has never sent anyone to jail. Law enforcement has. The laws have.”
She believes that one of the issues that any perspective owner of color has to face in Colorado is the power of the Marijuana Industry Group, the oldest and largest cannabis trade association created by cannabis owners in Colorado to advance legislation, regulation and implementation of Colorado’s licensing and regulatory program. Established in 2010, James said it is 100 percent white. “They have the ear of the politicians who frankly—98 percent of them— don’t understand the industry,” she expressed. “With their lobbyists being paid to hold on to their market share, which is all of it, it makes it completely impossible for anybody else to become part of it,” she said. “You’ve got to hold these industry groups accountable for the damage they’re doing.” Stevenson said that there is a lot of apprehension in the black community around owning a dispensary. Fear and misinformation continue to hinder growth for people of color because the perception for some in the black community is that it’s still a business of thugs that brings trouble to communities. He added there is a lack of information in the community about what the industry can do, and that there are serious barriers to entry for people of color. Florida is a case in point. “To get into the medical cannabis business there you have to have a $2 million bond,” he said. “You have to have 30 years of continuing business of a production of 400,000 plants. You have to ask yourself: ‘Who does that benefit?’” He says there are skills that can transfer for the African American community that will create avenues for their involvement that don’t involve touching the plant. “There’s IT work to do. Human resources work. Accounting. Financing. All of these skills are transferrable.” Barnette, Owner and Operator of District Growers, one of the seven cultivation centers in D.C., said that looking at the laws for dispensary owners alarmed him. “I believe that there is a perception in the communities of color that we may not have the capital and the resources,” he expressed. He said the key is that people of color have to be in the room during the regulatory process. “We are very active during the legislative process, but when it’s time to write the regulations, that’s when you are being pushed out of the room. That is when we hear that the licensing fees will be $750,000 a year.
What? Where did that come from?” he added. “That is why a lot of well-intended legislation ends up not having very diverse outcomes.” As the panel was beginning its discussion, Colorado Congressman Jared Polis, a Democrat who sponsored the bill to regulate marijuana like alcohol, stepped into the room and gave a quick speech. He said that there has been a realization that not only has prohibition not worked, it has had a disproportionate effect on communities of color. “There is a challenge for the industry and that challenge is diversity,” he shared. “There are areas to watch as we move forward and implement legalization, such as background checks to disqualify someone, particularly if they are convicted of something that is now legal. We need to look at the racial impact of those laws of screening based on behavior to make sure that we are not disqualifying would-be law abiding entrepreneurs.” He said that the industry should now be attacking diversity head on. “We want to make sure that, just as we had disproportionate enforcements, that, as marijuana becomes legalized across the country, communities of color disproportionately benefit.” There has been progress. Panelist moderator Bill Piper, Senior Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, noted that policymakers in Oakland recently passed an equity amendment prioritizing medical marijuana licenses for people who have been arrested for drugs or live in a highly policed, oppressed community. In Ohio, legislators included a provision in the recently passed medical marijuana laws ensuring that 15 percent of licenses go to people of color. Maryland’s medical marijuana law requires the regulatory agency to actively seek racial, ethnic and geographic diversity when licensing, and requires it to encourage applicants who qualify as a minority business enterprise. “I consider this game over year for Prohibition,” Piper said. There are barriers to every industry in some way, but in the marijuana industry, it’s different. “In other industries, at least theoretically, people of color can compete,” he recounted, “But if large numbers are, from the start, prohibited from even participating in the market because of felony convictions, that is just not right.”
Innovative Industrial Properties, a cannabis Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Led by experienced real estate executives, it plans to sell $175M worth of shares in the first deal of its kind. If successful, the offering “will allow mainstream investors to participate in the cannabis industry indirectly and will provide much needed capital to the industry,” Alan Brochstein writes at New Cannabis Ventures.
WRITER / ALEX HALPERIN
ILLUSTRATION / JOSHUA BOULET
According to a new report, the cannabis industry has a $2.4 billion economic impact in Colorado. It predicts that sales in the state will plateau at $1.5 billion in 2020. The industry has created 18,000 jobs in the state (not all of them directly) and by some measures is bigger than Colorado’s craft beer industry. Meanwhile, over the counter cannabis stocks staged a pre-election rally.
Wikileaks released a document preparing Hillary Clinton for her primary debates that suggests that as President she would continue President Obama’s hands off policy to state-legal marijuana industries as long as they follow broad federal guidelines. Clinton’s talking points also suggest some openness to allowing the industry to use mainstream banks. Wikileaks also revealed that she supports decriminalizing in theory but hasn’t thought about the details
Santa Ana, Calif. agreed to pay $100,000 to a dispensary that was raided by police in 2015, and agreed to drop misdemeanor charges against employees, in exchange for a promise not to sue. The raid became infamous after surveillance footage recorded the police mocking an amputee and playing darts during the raid. They subsequently argued that they shouldn’t be charged since they believed they had disabled all of the dispensary’s video cameras.
Steep Hill, a testing lab, found that 84% of samples tested at its Berkeley facility over a 30-day period tested positive for pesticide residues, more than expected. Alarmingly, about 65% of samples tested positive for Myclobutanil, a common food pesticide that becomes highly toxic when heated. Oregon issued its first statewide pesticide alert after batches turned up a pesticide called spinosad. It was sold to an estimated 130 people.
Boston’s Archdiocese gave $850,000 to oppose REC in Massachusetts. It called legalization a threat to the Catholic community and its social programs. Supporters of the bill are still likely to outspend opponents. Reisa Clardy, the widow of a state trooper killed by an allegedly stoned driver and a mother of seven, taped a video urging Massachusetts to vote no on REC. “I don’t think we would gain anything from” legalizing, she says. The driver has plead not guilty to manslaughter and other charges.
A TALE OF WINGS AND WIRES NANOLUX TECH AND THE FUTURE OF HYDROPONICS
ANOLUX, FOUNDED IN 2011, is a large-scale international manufacturer and distributor of hydroponic lighting fixtures, ballasts and bulbs. Nanolux is an innovator in the industrial cannabis technology field with operations spanning 52 countries. This is the present day: A master gardener maintains a computer worksheet with levels and measurements from all facets of a grow operation. It’s tedious work, but it has to be done by somebody with knowledge and specialized focus. The individuality of plants requires complex analyses, records and responses. This is the future: A staff of marijuana growing professionals sit around a table, discussing cannabis. Their tablets and smartphones display a complete automated log of the grow operation’s environmental conditions, timelines and yield projections. The master gardener is tending to the plants. Nanolux, and companies like it, are redefining the boundaries of cannabis tech. In their vision, machining, technology and horticulture come together. Industry pioneers are betting on tremendous industry growth—increased national penetration and the development of cannabis markets overseas. They’re pedalling headlong on a highway still under construction, hoping they’re first to strike gold when the paradigm shifts. In fact, they’re upping the ante; adding costs, expanding and preparing their businesses for the day when the big players from other markets decide the cannabis industry’s legal grounding is firm to build upon. Cannabis industry professionals, in a world of increasingly “smart” technology, need to ask themselves, “Why not us, too?” The Nanolux NCCS wireless system is their flagship technology and, they hope, the start of an industry revolution. After a simple setup, a single operator drags and drops together a digital lighting grid within the NCCS software program onto a device of their choosing. The app user inputs desired lighting settings over a 24-hour period. A box similar to your own WiFi router sends second-to-second commands to the digital ballasts controlling lighting fixtures throughout the grow operation (up to four flower-rooms) and that’s it! Nanolux’s current technology rollout/update promises additional functionality, extending into operational CO2 functions, humidity and temperature control, pH and nutrient monitoring, automated chemical dosing and pump level control. “Now, we do everything on our cells. The future is everything at your fingertips. Camera on the app, dim the lights, make scheduled changes, check the PH, do everything from outside the actual room. People can go back to hanging out with their plants and let tech do the work for them,” shared Keith Harrington, President of Nanolux. The future is about helping people. As an industry leader, Nanolux is committed to a holistic vision, promoting environmental stewardship, conservation of electricity
“NANOLUX TECH IS PEDALLING HEADLONG ON A HIGHWAY STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION, HOPING THEY’RE FIRST TO STRIKE GOLD WHEN THE PARADIGM SHIFTS.”
(which on the industrial scale is significant) and safety. In the context of a discussion on business and future technology, be it known that Nanolux is a passion project by people who love marijuana, not greasy business opportunists. This particular venture has taken off like a rocket, but hasn’t lost its hempen ties. Even at this scale, when business goes cross-culture and professionalism is fundamental, Nanolux is still run by the sort of folks who order room service for the entire company when the munchies hit. Deep kiefy roots are core to the management philosophy and day-to-day operations at Nanolux. Company management style at Nanolux more closely resembles the modern and supportive be smart, but come-as-you-are ethos of San Francisco or Seattle tech giants. As fellow enthusiasts, I’m sure our readers expect nothing less than a West Coast vibe from a company leading the industry. The Sales Manager at Nanolux, Emily Walters, described a starting sales position with Nanolux as a serious and long-term career commitment. In return, Nanolux invests in its employees and offers them unique professional experiences to be cherished. Emily’s taken her team on trips to Europe to see the company’s operations, to the Nanolux Technology Inc. factory in Shenzen, China (which you should really check out on YouTube) and on more than one annual retreat to Mexico. Nanolux empowers the ones who walk the path with them. Nanolux was founded in 2011 by an ambitious group of pot enthusiasts and career business types. In 2014, they cut out the middleman and began conducting distribution themselves, with all of their product originating from their dedicated company factory. In 2016, Nanolux is an international competitor and holds 40 innovative technology patents. They are currently rolling out the second generation of their flagship NCCS wireless tech with a goal of nothing less than transforming how marijuana is professionally grown. Nanolux offers a diverse range of innovative tech products for horticultural operations of all budgets and sizes. The Nanolux employee family will be happy to tell you all about them.
WRITER / P. GOTTI
PHOTO / COURTESY OF NANOLUX
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BEARING A SOUL Meet Trigger. He’s a bear, a rescue—once discarded, left alone. Until Tara Logsdon found him in a thrift store, like she does so many other lost teddies in “grave need of physical and psychological repair,” according to her website, www.bearmy.com. She finds and repairs their “dismembered souls and appendages” before putting them up for adoption, sold through her business, DIE Bearmy. Each bear is assigned a unique treatment plan. Trigger, for example, must sit in a sacred circle with homies for 20 minutes three times per week. Dorothy Elizabeth Icenogle—Logsdon’s grandmother and the explanation behind the “DIE” monogram in DIE Bearmy—inspired Logson with her embroidery and volunteerism. Logson found her own way to give back by saving teddy bears from abandonment. DIE Bearmy aims to “combat mass production and consumption and bring awareness to the desertion of living and inanimate things.”
WRITER / MEGAN CAMPBELL
PHOTO / MARK COFFIN
Tâ€™S ABOUT TO GET REAL COZY! As this is our Family Issue of DOPE Magazine, we collected the best of cannabis-inspired photos from our social media platforms that represent this growing movement. We hope these photos further activate your cannabinoid systemâ€”keep the tags coming @dopemagazine.
I N T E RV I EW
A N A RT F U L LOO K AT
CA N NA B I S
S U P P ORT E R S A L E X A N D A L LYS O N GR E Y WRITER / LORI DENMAN-UNDERHILL
ART / COPIES PROVIDED BY ALEX AND ALLYSON GREY (COSM)
OR DECADES, ARTISTS ALEX and Allyson Grey have been long-standing members and supporters of the cannabis community. The Greys met in Boston while studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in the mid ‘70s. Since then, the duos unwavering support for the cannabis industry and contributions as both artists and orators can be felt on an international level. The two opened an interfaith art church called Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in the 2000s, which aims to build a community and further the spiritual practice of art. Alex Grey’s art aligns with Buddhist’s aspirations in that it’s “possible for art to plant a seed of liberation in the mind-stream of the viewer,” he said. “I want my art to help people reimagine God.” He believes that “art is the skin of the soul.” According to Alex, Allyson sees her art as a meditation and a “communication worthy of portrayal.” She divides this portrayal into three categories: chaos, “ the realm of matter in which can be given one of three categories: chaos, “the realm of matter in which all is inevitable entropy;” order, “the realm of spirit in which all is interconnected, eternal and made of light;” or the secret language, “the symbolic language of all creative expression,” Recently, Alex Grey took some time to join DOPE Magazine for a glimpse into their world:
What inspires you to go to these events, like the Cannabis Cup, and speak to a crowd? Why do you find it important? Attending cannabis celebrations, festivals and live-painting events, we speak to the community about humanity’s ancient historic relationship with mind-expanding plant teachers. … Traveling, speaking and sharing our truth about expanded awareness and higher consciousness harnessed to the creative path is our ministry. How do you think the plant influences your work? Cannabis assists creatively by easing us into a flow state. Cannabis alleviates interference from distracting superfluous thoughts by heightening connection with the soul, driving forward the creative process. Do you think that as a society, the world would be better off if we legalized the plant? Yes. All places on earth should legalize cannabis, at least for mature adults. Our earth would soon become a more peaceful place. Release our brothers and sisters, incarcerated for producing or distributing the sacrament. Stop demonizing people for thinking differently and uphold cognitive liberty for all.
You attend many festivals, including Burning Man. What has been your favorite festival worldwide and why? Burning Man is unique among festivals. This past summer was our fifth Burn and it was extraordinary. What makes Burning Man special is the location, a 9-mile circle of gypsum, an ancient dried ocean bed. The ground is like a flat crust with no plants or insects, a perfect outdoor gallery for monumental interactive sculpture and architecture. The other unique feature is Burning Man’s gift economy for 50,000 plus people—no sales, no tribal market, no wallet needed. Only the Burning Man organization takes an admission that is plowed into funding the giant artworks, plus the formidable Burning Man infrastructure required to exist in such a harsh environment. The Burning Man organization recently purchased land for future festivals and will undoubtedly invest in the infrastructure required for activities and living year-round. Burning Man will become an evolving permanent community. On a micro-scale, that is the plan of CoSM, a mini -retreat center and festival grounds for the global Love Tribe and a growing community that is beginning to surround the temple grounds in creation here. Do you think that the cannabis industry is heading in the right direction? Do you have any suggestions? Decriminalization and research is the most important thing to make a safe world where safe things can happen. People should not be afraid to do what they know harms no one and rather, improves lives. Cannabis is over-regulated. There are too many laws to control cannabis. It should be allowed to develop in whatever way the market will allow. Punishing people for using a substance for which ostensibly no harm can be discovered is unconscionable. The tide is turning, but slowly.
For more information on Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, visit cosm.org.
How is the community at Chapel of Sacred Mirror going? And how do you suggest that everyday people gain more spirituality in their lives? CoSM has become a pilgrimage site for our global community. Here, we hold monthly and quarterly celestial celebrations, honoring all full moons, equinoxes and solstices. Just 65 miles from New York City, CoSM is a tranquil and radically welcome setting for Love Tribers coming from near and far. The exhibition at Entheon, expected to open fall/winter 2017, will be the first temple of Visionary Art at CoSM, and will share precious original art of the best loved contemporary visionary artists. At CoSM, art is a spiritual path. Creativity is a cosmic force, alive in each of our hands. We recommend making creativity an important part of your life and accepting your expressions as spiritual gifts to the world. Then, take your life as an artist, a musician, a dancer, writer, chef, gardener... more seriously as you practice regularly. Come to CoSM and join us for Art Church one Sunday afternoon a month where we take a journey together with art and music. Develop a creative path and value it as your spiritual life. Then join others of like mind. We see the festival and sacramental communities from around the world being some of the first signs of a true planetary culture, transcending nation-states and celebrating the creative spirit together. We believe art can be your religion. Like Love, Art ties together all the great sacred traditions because they all used creative expression or we wouldn’t know about them. It’s time to seek and reveal the underlying mystic unity of spiritual paths. The most depressing thing about religions are judgmental fundamentalist dogmas that can’t ever be proven but nevertheless lead people to justify hurting themselves or others. Dogma divides, Spirit unites. Artists can’t stand dogma. It stops creativity. So if your religion was art, Art in service of love, it couldn’t be dogmatic, except to continue to see how it could be made better to serve the spiritual evolution of the soul.
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T H I S CA N DY I S S O DA N DY A TRULY EMPRESSIVE STRAIN WRITER / THOM HUNTERS
PHOTO / ASHLEIGH CASTRO
Delicious flavors that dance on the tongue
Potently uplifting; producing energy and creativity
EELING A SENSE OF unadulterated glee while unwrapping Empress Candy, I was surely reminiscent of Charlie when he first opens a potential golden-ticket-winning chocolate bar from the famed factory. Rushing to open the container with an overwhelming sense of anticipation, the jar did not disappoint. Frosty diesel mixed with a bouquet of flowers penetrated deep into my nostrils, briefly transporting me to Amsterdam. I couldn’t get it into my pipe fast enough—the Empress’ flavors danced on my tongue. Earthy and pungent White Widow with a blast of floral Afgoo swirled on my tongue like an everlasting gobstopper. EC is extremely uplifting and cerebral, inspiring to create, write and venture off for sunny walks. At the end of the day, Empress strikes again with a winner. EC puts a bounce in your step. Run to your favorite collective Charlie, run as fast as you can...you’re going to love this candy.
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D E E P, R I C H C H O C O L AT E KOROVA–MINT BLACK BAR WRITER / RADIOHASH
PHOTO / ASHLEIGH CASTRO
Treatment for extreme pain
TESTED AT: CW ANALYTICAL cwanalytical.com
Great for insomnia
ACKAGED IN A RE-SEALABLE black pouch, branded with a cow bearing a third-eye and a claim reading “Unrivaled Potency,” Korova’s Mint Black Bar is a reputable contender in the market with quality, potency and price-per-milligram in mind. One package—20 doses—weighs in at 1000mg THC. Inside is a double-layered, moist and delicious mint chocolate chip brownie with mint green mesh frosting. I tasted whole ingredients that resemble an old family recipe and very little, if any, cannabis taste. Its chocolate upon chocolate and sweet mint dazzled my taste buds, leading into the effects it would have on the rest of me. So good, it’s easy to forget it’s medicine unless you have a higher tolerance for medibles. It’s recommended that consumers gradually dose to a desired amount. Don’t worry about any staleness either, with its re-sealable packaging, the bar remains fresh for up to three months while we take our time.
SPARC SF 1256 MISSION ST SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103 HARBORSIDE HEALTH CENTER 1840 EMBARCADERO E. OAKLAND, CA 94606 AIRFIELD SUPPLY COMPANY 1190 COLEMAN AVE SAN JOSE, CA 95110 RCP-SACRAMENTO 1508 EL CAMINO AVE SACRAMENTO, CA 95818
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PHOTO / ASHLEIGH CASTRO
Potent mix of creative euphoria and physical pain relief EFFECTS Helps maintain focus while sedating the body
ERRY COMPASSION COULD NOT be more appropriately named. Providing a balance of alertness with its medicinal properties, BC comes from Blackberry Kush and SFV OG. With SFV OG’s sativa-dominant effects, it will keep one awake and active while addressing pain. Blackberry Kush is the more relaxing, pain management strain of the two, and has a positive impact on mood, focus and creativity while working with its sativa-dominant partner. BC is a deep gold-mustard, fluffy, crumbly, appealing eye candy. Its aroma and taste are exquisite and sweet, yet heavy with frosty-pine flavors and a slight lemony finish. Sacred Honeycomb employs an Ayrurvedic practice, harnessing nature’s geometry to create natural, solvent-free oils. Their products are made from cannabis grown in organic soil, using a full closed-loop extraction system and purging for 72-96 hours while maintaining a 0ppm reading on every solvent test.
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GA N JA M A GA R D E N S TH E SANCTUARY OF SWAMI SELECT WRITER / SHASTA NELSON
TH E PEOPLE AND PLACE Swami Chaitanya differs a little from the average cannabis farmer. With long, flowing white robes, and a beard and hair to match, he looks like a holy man and that’s perfect! You see, Swami is a holy man, or more specifically a spiritual teacher, and also happens to cultivate some amazing cannabis. He and partner Nikki Lastreto live and grow in the gorgeous forest of the Emerald Triangle. Their 190-acre farm, called Ganja Ma Gardens, looks more like what you would expect from a spiritual sanctuary than a cannabis farm. Among sculptures and fragrant pine trees, Swami’s 99 plants—in a variety of 19 strains—are grown in the shape of the Sri Yantra: a mandala of sacred geometry representing harmony between the divine masculine and feminine. Breathtaking in shape from above, the garden mimics the balance and unity Swami and Nikki share with each other, the earth and that which they create for their consumer.
1. Photo above photographed by Harrison Westwater, Bootstrap Media. Artwork by Cassie Boraiko, Swami Select
PHOTO / ASHLEIGH CASTRO
TH E PLANTS Ganja Ma Gardens is Clean Green Certified and as their logo says, is “sun, moon and star grown.” The girls are planted in small mounds directly in the soil, a technique called “Hugelkultur” to reduce environmental impact. Plant-based compost teas are also used. He also has a technique to ensure the highest concentration of terpenes. “I almost feel like I shouldn’t let the secret out,” he told me, “But in order to get the highest level of terpenes you have to harvest right before dawn. I got up at five o’clock this morning to harvest!” That’s right, this 70-something-year-old man gets out of bed before the crack of dawn to ensure his cannabis consumer has the absolute best product possible. The effort and time both Swami and Nikki put into Ganja Ma Gardens is something they hope will influence the choices of consumers when “corporate cannabis” comes to town. Just as some brands of wine are more prestigious than others, Swami Select hopes to remain the artisan choice for cannabis consumers. With the care and dedication they put into every bud they touch, there’s no doubt that it will.
“I ALMOST FEEL LIKE I SHOULDN’T LET THE SECRET OUT, BUT IN ORDER TO GET THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF TERPENES YOU HAVE TO HARVEST RIGHT BEFORE DAWN. NIKKI AND I GOT UP AT FIVE O’CLOCK THIS MORNING TO HARVEST!”- SWAMI CHAITANYA
S TO R E
H AR BORSID E WRITER / THOM HUNTERS
TH E HISTORY Harborside is a leader, an innovator and a benchmark for dispensaries not only in the Bay Area, but across the United States. Far and wide Harborside is the largest dispensary in the United States, and for good reason. With a patient-forward mentality and drive to bring their patients the best medicines available, Harborside has repeatedly shown its patients what it means to be a top tier dispensary. From the beginning, under the leadership of Steve DeAngelo and company, Harborside has grown leaps and boundsâ€”constantly improving and growing. This is truly evident in their stores recent renovation and rebranding, proving that the best dispensaries know they need to be constantly evolving for their patients.
PHOTO / ASHLEIGH CASTRO
S TO R E
“OUR JOB IS TO INTRODUCE PATIENTS AND CONSUMERS TO THE BEST OF CANNABIS TODAY, WITHOUT SACRIFICING THE TIMELESS VALUES THIS PRECIOUS PLANT TEACHES US.”- STEVE DEANGELO
TH E PRODUCT Of course the deciding factor for any dispensary is their product. You can rest assured that any dispensary that would spend the amount of time and attention to detail on their look is going to carry the finest medicine available. Harborside’s selection of top-notch local clones are arguably the healthiest I’ve ever seen in a collective. From their concentrates to their flowers, Harborside offers the absolute best medicines available on the market. Some nice touches are the cartridge bar— which exclusively sells cartridges for pens—as well as the express line and kiosk, where patients can use a touch screen in Harborside or order from the comfort of their homes for pick-up.
TH E PLAC E When you enter Harborside, the first thing you realize is its size. It appears to resemble a high-end department store more so than a cannabis dispensary. This is absolutely by design to take our beloved plant out of the shadows and into the light. With the hand-crafted cabinetry and displays, beautiful hardwood flooring and modern yet homey designs, it provides an environment of comfort and serenity for patients—creating a relaxing safe atmosphere to learn about cannabis. The friendly staff are happy and inspired working for a thriving family business.
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MINORITY CANNABIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION BUILDING COMMUNITY TO CREATE ACCESS & OPPORTUNITY
WRITER / JENN LAUDER
T’S IN JESCE HORTON’S nature to give back to his community. Instilled, from his fraternity days, with a sense of philanthropy and a desire to serve, he was seeking a path to continue that community engagement in his professional life. At the same time, Horton had a successful but unfulfilling career as an engineer and longed to discover his true passion so he could commit his life to its pursuit. When Horton started to explore two complicated issues that disproportionately affect people of color—the war on drugs and minority health disparities—he found a direction that would both inspire him professionally and grant him the opportunity to help others: cannabis. The plant presented him with a chance to earn a living doing something he loved, a chance to give back and a chance to make change. He was struck by the powerful prospect of offsetting decades of inequality and disenfranchisement by making cannabis, both as a medicine and as an industry, more accessible to historically oppressed communities.
“PARTNERING WITH MARLEY NATURAL, MCBA HOSTED RISE UP OREGON EXPUNGEMENT DAY, AN EVENT PROVIDING FREE RECORD EXPUNGEMENT ASSISTANCE TO QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS.”
Thus, the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) was born, as well as the opportunity for many to “turn over a new leaf.” Co-founded by Horton and colleagues in late 2015, MCBA’s mission is to increase diversity and to create equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients and the communities most affected by the War on Drugs. With an active and knowledgeable Board of Directors that bring tremendous vision and resources, MCBA has spent the past year building a nationwide network—examining the complexities of issues facing minorities, and determining how the organization can have the greatest impact on the cannabis industry and beyond. They’ve held events, such as networking meetings and a diversity summit in cities across the country including Portland, Oakland and Detroit. Partnering with Marley Natural, MCBA hosted Rise Up Oregon Expungement Day, an event providing free record expungement assistance to qualified individuals. Horton shared, “The expungement program that we did with Marley [Natural] recently—this changed people’s lives. Hearing people say, ‘Now I’m going to be able to get a job, now I’m not going to be denied housing,’ it’s unbelievable how easy it is but how much of an impact it makes.” To
MCBA plans to be in it for the long haul. Assuring more progressive policies that take into account communities of color and their distinct needs, and getting as much basic knowledge out there to the community so they can figure out how cannabis could most benefit their lives will remain a priority. They will continue to expand their community, gather their voice and push their agenda for a thriving, diverse cannabis industry, which for Horton, are interconnected goals. And while the MCBA pushes progressive change on the macro level, Horton spreads the cannabis love to those closest to him, encouraging his cousin, brother and friends to join him on this new journey. “From a community perspective,” he concluded, “all these things come together with cannabis: the ability to provide for a young family, the opportunity to get a job you love and not have to deal with the rat race, the opportunity to do good, the ability for us to be healthier, along with the chance to build generational wealth. There’s a vast realm of low hanging fruit—so many easy things to do as it relates to uplifting communities that have been disadvantaged.” bring together lawmakers and business owners, MCBA has a policy summit in the works for 2017. The end of cannabis prohibition brings a multitude of opportunities according to Horton, and not just for those who are looking to get into the business. Tax dollars going to rebuild struggling communities, job training and assistance, and grants for women and minority-owned businesses outside the cannabis industry are just a few possibilities. Done the right way, the legalization and regulation of cannabis can enable cities and states to right some of the historical wrongs that they have perpetrated on communities of color through the War on Drugs and other divisive strategies. Of the potential for cannabis to positively influence society at large, Horton asserted, “Real social change is absolutely possible, but only if we approach it in that way. We can be a better industry, not just another industry, and that starts with being good social stewards. Understanding what the War on Drugs has done and what we can do to reverse some of those issues, what we can do make sure we lift people up in general.”
“THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY HAS TO BE SUCCESSFUL, IT HAS TO GROW IN ORDER FOR US TO DO ANY GOOD. WE THINK THE INDUSTRY WILL NEVER GET TO THE PLACE WHERE IT CAN ECONOMICALLY IF WE DON’T HAVE A STRONG FOCUS ON SOCIAL JUSTICE.”
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ALC HEMY BY DA R K HE A R T B O TA N I CA L P UFF WIT H A LCH EM Y VA PE WRITER / BLAZE ROBINSON
PHOTO / ASHLEIGH CASTRO
RIVER CITY PHOENIX 1508 EL CAMINO AVE SACRAMENTO, CA 95815 APOTHECARIUM 2095 MARKET ST SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94114 STASHTWIST WWW.STASHTWIST.COM (510) 325-4493
OTHING SKUNKY HERE. Alchemy by Dark Heart’s line of hash oil vaporizer pens pairs cannabis with other botanical extracts, including terpenes. Take a puff of lavender and chamomile, or maybe lemongrass and mint for an indulgent tasty hit. Many talk about cannabis as a medicinal plant or superfood. Alchemy is one of the first companies I’ve seen to incorporate varying plant terpenes into their cannabis concentrates. Botanical extracts and terpenes are sourced from an organic farm in Sonoma County. Alchemy’s cartridges aren’t strain specific, coming in four experiences instead: Awaken, Inspire, Explore and Relax. By organizing their oils into different experiences, Alchemy has made its products accessible to both seasoned and novice smokers. I sampled Awaken, Inspire and Relax. My personal favorite is Awaken, which offers a clear-headed high with a zip of energy— great for tackling a to-do list. It’s also my favorite flavor, with a subtle and pleasant sweetness, and a hint of cinnamon at the finish. Inspire had a nice clear-headed high as well, but came with a relaxing body high. I’m already a fan of caffeinated orange
tea, so I was excited to find a cannabis product that gave me similar uplifted energy and great taste. Relax is a clever pairing of indica, lavender and chamomile, however I found the lavender taste rather strong. As trusted providers, Alchemy provides an exchange policy if your experience is not satisfactory. Each individual responds differently to terpenes. For me, Relax had a similar high to the others, I was more awake and focused than relaxed. Explore is known to be a deliciously floral oil infused with rose and jasmine, evoking confidence and curiosity. Thank you, Alchemy, for labeling your vape pen cartridges! As someone with multiple vape pens in rotation, it’s tremendously helpful to quickly tell my cartridges apart. For holiday shopping, discover Alchemy’s limited edition Holiday Wellness Packs with two or four experiences at a discounted price, including a battery and charger inside a commemorative tin. Holiday Wellness Pack proceeds will go to Friends Outside (www.friendsoutside.org), providing holiday gifts to children (and caregivers) whose parents are incarcerated. Find participating dispensaries here: www.darkheartalchemy.com/holidaywellness.
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WHAT THE WOR L D NE E D S NOW KUSHY PUNCH SETS THE STANDARD WITH SELFLESS SERVICE WRITER / BIANCA FOX
PHOTO / COURTESY OF KUSHY PUNCH
MAGINE A WORLD WHERE each industry leader took the initiative to help make it go round. Kushy Punch is setting a high philanthropic standard in and out of the medical cannabis realm. The company, formed over two years ago, is hailed for delivering delicious gummies and disposable, pure potency vape pens. Found in over 700 stores throughout Southern and Northern California, the gummies differ from the traditional gummy bear. The company’s dream, other than raising spirits with their edibles, is to extinguish world poverty and hunger, and help those with opioid addictions kick their habit.
Ruben Cross and his team have taken the reigns as leaders of selfless service projects, showing others in the industry how it’s done. “As a business it is your responsibility to take care of your city and the people that need help— don’t expect the government to do it,” Cross explained. “I think it goes beyond charity—it’s hard to live in a world and be really joyful when you see so much suffering. It is our duty to take care of the ones that need help. I think we are blessed to be in this industry. I can’t imagine doing anything else at this time that would make such a huge impact on human health.” Estimations of drug overdoses,
BUSINESS specifically those of prescription opioids or heroin, measured in at 62 percent in 2014. Cross explained that cannabis is no longer the gateway drug it was once stigmatized as. He has his eye on states that allow medical cannabis, and has noticed that the opioid overdose numbers are decreasing. For this reason, he aims to introduce his gummies to those in need. “I have personally seen close friends come off narcotics and Vicodin abuse by using our Kushy Punch products—the statistics also show this in all the recreational states,” Cross shared. This past summer, the company arranged a drop of 2,200 pounds of food at the LA Food Bank. By conducting a food drive, they distributed an impressive 1,867 meals to hungry families. Cross hopes that the remaining community of growers, vendors and patients becomes more aware of this issue and decide to join in the fight, especially for the upcoming holidays. Kushy Punch is also aiming their arrow of food sharing assistance towards animals. A 160-acre wildlife preserve called Wildlife Waystation in the Angeles National Forest outside of LA caught the eye of Kushy Punch. This place provides round the clock care for over 400 permanent animal residents. Since August 2016, Kushy Punch has been donating quarterly to their cause and the ongoing upkeep of the animals and grounds. Cross explained, “The animals need love—we took away their lands and robbed them of their natural habitats as humanity’s greed expanded. The least we can do is take care of the ones we come in contact with.” Hey industry, finding it hard to keep up? There’s more. After witnessing the amazing feat of volunteers in India planting a record 50 million-plus trees in one day, Kushy Punch is planning to conduct a dream project of their own. Breaking ground in 2018, the group aims to purchase 100 acres of land to plant their own forest. One tree can absorb approximately 48 pounds of CO2
per year; one ton by age 40! Just imagine the impact of 100 acres of trees. “There are over 7 billion people on the planet,” Cross expressed, “If each person was to plant just one tree and make sure it grows in their lifetime, we can heal our planet in 20 years. Global warming would stop or reverse, the atmosphere would start to heal and so would the energy of the planet. We want to be a catalyst for such a change. What we are doing is taking 100 acres of land that is barren, and we plan on planting it with trees to the point where it looks like a forest and possibly reintroduce some wildlife to the project. We hope our actions will motivate other businesses to do similar things.” In closing, Cross had some parting words for the industry, “Get ready to go to war! We are warriors that wake up every morning and go into battle with the federal government, the bankers, the pharmaceutical companies and the establishment to bring forth a plant that has tremendous healing powers. The powers that be do not want this because it eats away at their profits. Be prepared to wear many hats and be versatile enough to flow with the mountain of change that will be coming down with regulations. Flow with the punches.”
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T HE L IVA B L E WAG E REDUCING POVERTY BY INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE? WRITER / SCOTT PEARSE
RESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON first called for a War on Poverty in 1964, when the poverty rate across the United States had climbed to 19 percent. More than 50 years after this first commitment, over 43 million Americans—13.5 percent—still live below the poverty line. The conversation around poverty begins to swirl when the census department releases government statistics quantifying the number of Americans living in poverty. As noted by economists Bruce D. Meyer and James X. Sullivan, “The poverty rate is often cited by policymakers, researchers and advocates who are evaluating social programs that account for more than half a trillion dollars in government spending.” 2015 was an interesting year as labor advocates had victories in gaining commitments from some of America’s largest states to raise the minimum wage above current levels. A “livable wage” has often been cited as the yardstick. A livable wage is one step above poverty, it covers the basics: housing, transportation, food, childcare and healthcare. It doesn’t take into consideration the items that many of us would consider essential to a “livable” life, such as taking your children to the zoo, eating out with friends or family, maintaining a Netflix account, or having the ability to feel financially secure with rainy day savings or investments. The livable wage is earning enough to live and nothing more.
California was recently the first state to commit to a $15 hourly minimum wage. Senator Mark Leno, who cosponsored the bill, said, “No one who is working full-time in California should live in poverty due to a low wage.” The increase to $15 an hour will begin in January, 2017, with the implementation of an $11-an-hour jump. From there, the minimum wage will increase each year by one dollar until 2021, when it will hit $15. Where does that leave minimum wage workers today? Let’s take a moment to put this into perspective. In today’s economy in Yuba County, California, a family of four with two wage earners and two dependents must bring in at least $58,326 annually to be earning what most consider a “livable wage.” At the beginning of 2017, after the first of the minimum wage increases, this family’s income will amount to just under $42,000 annually. Despite two full-time working parents, this leaves a shortfall of roughly $1360 a month for a family of four to achieve the basics. If the $15 minimum wage were made effective today, this same household would earn $336 a month above the living wage. In comparison to Yuba County, which has the lowest median income in California and living costs are accordingly lower, this same family living in the state’s most populous county, LA, would face a shortfall of nearly $2000 a month in today’s economy.
WHO IS EARNING M I N I M U M WAG E ?
WILL INCREASING THE M I N I M U M WAG E H E L P T H O S E I N P OV E R T Y ?
The figures above pertain to an intact family unit where both parents work a full-time minimum-wage job, and perhaps this is unrepresentative. In 2013, according to the US Department of Labor, 96 percent of wage earners received more than the legal minimum. Still, the fact that a household with two minimum wage incomes is drastically underfunded to support two children becomes alarming when you consider the economic impacts of a parental split. The shortfalls of $1360 a month in Yuba County and $2000 in Los Angeles suddenly balloon if one income is lost. According to the Department of Labor, “The typical minimum wage worker is not a high school student earning weekend pocket money. In fact, 89 percent of those who would benefit from a federal minimum wage increase to $12 per hour are age 20 or older, and 56 percent are women.” The US Census Bureau tells us that 80 percent of single-parent households are supported by women, and that the majority of minimum wage workers are employed in restaurants and the retail industry.
No one benefits in a worsening economy. Economic downturns lead directly to more people living in poverty. The fear is that raising the minimum wage could adversely affect the wider economy, but the Department of Labor notes, “Since 1938, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times. For more than 75 years, real GDP per capita has steadily increased, even when the minimum wage has been raised.” It would seem that much of the impetus for raising the minimum wage is to help alleviate poverty. But to draw a straight line from creating a livable wage to a reduction in poverty is difficult. For instance, if wages are raised, it is possible that job losses will result or, potentially, the consumer goods that many low-income families depend upon will see an increase in price, therefore exacerbating affordability issues. Even if there is some disagreement over whether a minimum wage increase will bring workers out of poverty, many will agree that a minimum wage job should, at the very least, guarantee an employee a livable salary.
STATES WITH TH E HIGH EST % OF HOU RLY WORKERS EARNING LESS THAN TH E MINIMUM WAGE
STATES WITH TH E HIGH EST % OF HOU RLY WORKERS EARNING MORE THAN TH E MINIMUM WAGE
All of these stats can be found at bls.org
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A RT I C L E T I T L E
Tales from Talking to family about marijuana
WRITER / ADAM RITZ
OAH,” A 40-SOMETHING tech professional and longtime cannabis user, recalls a time driving alone down Interstate-405 with his teenage daughter. “Dad,” his daughter says. “Mom says I should try pot.” “What?” he asks, stalling for time, trying to construct a strategy on the fly. “Yeah, she says I should try it somewhere safe, and with good friends,” his daughter says. Noah calms a bit, recognizing his wife’s underlying logic. “Well,” Noah says in his best fatherly tone. “She doesn’t want you to try it, but she knows you probably will, so she wants you to do it safely. … and I agree.” He explains that it’s a “set and setting” drug, which means your mind and physical setting matter when doing it, he says. “So, doing it somewhere safe, with good friends, is really important,” he says. And then she asks: “Did you ever try it?” Noah, who owns and hides his own Volcano Vaporizer in the corner of his spacious home in Burbank, California, struggles to maintain his Ford F-150. “Yeah,” he pauses. “A long time ago.” The lie brings pangs of shame, wafting over him. “Listen,” he begins, “I don’t have a problem with marijuana, but people have no idea how strong it is today. If I give you a sip of a vodka and tonic, it will have zero effect on you, but if I give you a hit of pot, you will definitely feel it.” Noah feels pretty good about that bit of on-the-fly parenting, mitigating for a bit the realization that his daughter’s innocence is under siege. Soon, he imagines, she’ll be smoking pot in an out of state college, hanging out in a drum circle with a dirty, shirtless, dreadlocked boy named Tyler, or a tatted up graffiti artist in art class who’s convincing her to pose naked for him to draw… “Dad,” Noah’s daughter says with that familiar, annoyed, preteen tone. “You don’t hit pot; you hit a bong.” So, here sits Noah, a grizzled pot smoker from the ’80s, being instructed on the correct way to do it by his canna-virgin daughter, an alternate universe he had yet to imagine. “Ah, OK,” he says, trying not to laugh. Noah, and so many of his peers who’ve smoked in the shad-
ows for decades, find themselves faced with this question in an interesting time, with medical marijuana legal in numerous states and Washington DC, and recreational legalization on the near horizon. How to talk to your kids about pot? And, in many cases, how to talk to your aging parents about pot, too? Kevin Williamson, 52, a TV cameraman and trailer editor, has had a long and open relationship with pot. He’s actually writing a memoir on the subject, “Wake and Bake: A Life Not Wasted.” He can go on and on about the merits of the plant, from creativity enhancement to pain and anxiety relief. So when he had kids, he never blinked. He smoked openly in front of them their entire lives, and that’s had two interesting effects: One, neither of his kids use, probably since it can’t possibly be cool if Dad is doing it; and two, they encourage him to use, since they clearly like him better after his bong hit. This is a sentiment shared by Williamson’s old college buddies, who thought him to be a bit of an angry Neanderthal back at Wesleyan until he got high. “Absurdity can seem normal when I’m stoned,” Williamson says, and it’s the absurdity of life that can make a bright, aware, well-intentioned man like Williamson a little crazy. If you’re of child-bearing age or older, and you support marijuana and its legalization, chances are you will deal with this issue at some point. Every pot smoking 20-something has mulled it over at some point. But the stigma is lifting, making it easier and easier to talk openly about cannabis and its use. We certainly want to protect our children. There is merit to the argument that a teenager’s brain is still developing and serious pot use might have an adverse effect on them. But serious overuse of anything, from pot and alcohol to Oreos and french fries, not to mention Advil, Xanax and the rest, can be damaging to any teen or adult. Clearly, the common denominator between these two stories
is that kids are smarter and clearer than we might think, and pot is slowly weaving itself into the fabric of modern American culture, so you might as well talk to your kids about what you know now, clearly and comfortably, making sure they’re not getting bad information or putting themselves in harm’s way. In contrast to talking to children, “Anna” is 48 years old and wants to get her 75-year-old mother off of her nightly wine-and-sedative routine, which is designed to help her sleep. Anna brought her mother a cannabis brownie, one gram of OG indica and a small pipe, gently lecturing her on the evils of pharmaceuticals and alcohol. Her mother, who came of age in the 1950s, with “Refer Madness” hysteria preceding the high-pro-
file drug use and subsequent drug-related deaths of several iconic rocks stars in the ’60s and ’70s, was less hesitant then Anna had feared. “OK, I’ll try it,” said her mom, who had always prided herself on a high hip quotient. The next day, Anna got a call from Mom. “Gee, Honey, that stuff knocked me right out,” she said. “I never even made it to Colbert.” “Really, that’s wonderful,” Anna said. “Did you eat the brownie, or smoke the pot?” “I took a very small puff of the pot,” Anna’s mom said. “Whoo! Very strong, that stuff.” “Excellent, Mom, I’m so happy to hear that. No more pills and wine.” “Oh no, I still took those,” her mom said. Progress is slow sometimes, but we’ll get there. And remember: You don’t hit pot; you hit a bong.
F E AT U R E
CANNA-FICTION THE GLOOPS AND THE SPECIAL PLANT WRITER / MATTHEW CRISCIONE
ITH CANNABIS QUICKLY REACHING legal status in several states, the subject of cannabis and children often comes up. The stigmatism of the evil plant is still quite prevalent in society. So how do parents start a conversation with their children to prepare them for what might happen at school if their friends find out that their parents smoke the reefer? I am a parent and have many friends who are parents as well. We all at one time or another have had many conversations about this very subject. It always seems to be the children who end up getting hurt or ridiculed because their parents are deemed “dirty hippies.” I have one particular set of friends who have never allowed their children, until very recently, to have sleepovers or playdates for fear of accusations of “unfit parenting” or other unimaginable repercussions. It’s very unsettling to hear that families across the United States are fleeing prosecution due to their chosen method of healthcare. Daily reports of government agencies showing up at private residences and proceeding
PHOTO / CAITLIN CALLAHAN
F E AT U R E to make examples of otherwise law abiding citizens have many families panicked and fearful. I feel education begins in the home and needs to start at a young age so the mystery and forbidden temptation surrounding cannabis is replaced with knowledge, compassion and understanding. There are numerous benefits that come with the use of cannabis and it’s time to start recognizing its place as a viable option in lieu of pharmaceuticals. Author J.R. Fox published her first children’s book with this very goal in mind titled The Gloops and the Special Plant. From the back cover, “Where the Gloops live, there grows a very special plant. This plant has not always been understood. In fact, once upon a time, the Old Kings wanted the plant gone forever. Inside this little book is a BIG story about Molly, her family, and all of the Gloops who stood up for what they believed in, and won! The world of the Gloops is not so very different from ours... So, maybe by learning about them, we can learn about us too!” In the opening of the book we are greeted my Molly Gloop, a gleeful little girl that lives in a world very much like ours. We get to peek inside her big world through fun and thoughtful illustrations as we are introduced to her parents, pet Blooples and the Gloops’ plant nursery. The plant, as it’s described, is as ancient as the first family of Gloops. Molly takes great joy in discovering the benefits of the magical plant. The
book draws sharp parallels to our beloved cannabis plant all while allowing your child to explore Molly’s world within the pages of a children’s book—covering the accepted, industrial and medicinal uses as well. And of course the special times that mommy and daddy Gloop eat the plant are to be reminders that every once in a while its ok to be silly. Molly knows that children are so good at being silly already! Later in the story, Molly takes a small trip into the Gloops’ past, to the dark days when the Old Kings did not like the special plant that gave the Gloops so much joy and healing. Spreading lies and misinformation about the special plant, the Old Kings declared that users of the plant are ugly, lazy and bad. The author, J.R. Fox, makes an important point here, stating that a plant can’t determine your personality. Only you can do that. In the end, after many years of the Old Kings fighting, the people’s cries were heard and the Special Plant Lived on. And once again the people are blessed with medicine for sick Gloops, toys for Blooples, dresses for Molly and of course the gentle reminder that grown-ups should be silly once in a while. The best message in this book is the last one. Even though the special plant is accepted, there are some people that believe the Old Kings. If someone says, “You must be lazy!” or, “You must be bad!” Molly simply says, “We are good Gloops, and we love each other. Someday, you will know it too.”
DOPE MAGAZINE WOULD LIKE TO EXTEND OUR MOST HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS TO AUTHOR J.R. FOX AND It’s Just a Plant by Ricardo Cortés. Which follows Jackie, a little girl whose mothers is a cannabis patient. If a Peacock Finds a Pot Leaf, and If a peacock Discovers Hemp Island, by Morgan Carman The First book dealing with the medicinal uses of cannabis, and the second travels to Jamaica showing all the industrial uses of hemp in today’s society.
HER HUSBAND, WHO SHOULD BE CUDDLING WITH THEIR FIRST NEWBORN BABY RIGHT ABOUT NOW! THE NEWBORN IS GIVING HER PLENTY OF TIME TO THINK ABOUT THE SEQUEL TO THIS STORY THAT WE ARE ALL VERY EXCITED TO READ VERY, VERY SOON!
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Published on Nov 28, 2016