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JUNE 2017 | THE GROW ISSUE
EDITOR’S LETTER A
s DOPE Magazine transitions into a Lifestyle Publication, we felt that our Grow Issue was the ideal opportunity to share with all of you, our readers, our new and improved Mission Statement. Thank you for continuing to grow this community with us. We couldn’t do any of this without you, the DOPE staff, our supporters, allies and defenders. MISSION STATEMENT As a lifestyle publication, DOPE Magazine is dedicated to creating purposeful, relevant conversations. When we printed our inaugural issue in 2011 we positioned ourselves in the cannabis arena as a team of professionals determined to normalize the plant. While cannabis remains the central theme of our brand, 2017 has marked a turning point in our progression. We’ve built a steadfast framework of inclusivity when speaking about gender, race, class, politics, family and culture—with the ethos DEFEND. Our aim is to continue to illuminate issues that deserve our attention and must be addressed if we wish to both promote and create change. It is truly a ground up approach. Stay DOPE!
RECENTLY CORRECTED ARTICLES Northern California: Raspberry Rose Lychee Mellows: DOPE Magazine incorrectly called the edible “Mallows” when they are in fact “Mellows.” Arizona: The Good Dispensary’s email contact is firstname.lastname@example.org We regret the errors.
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THE GROW ISSUE
TABLE OF CONTENTS JUNE 2017
20 COVER FEATURE THE REVOLUTION BEGINS
CULTURE HUMBOLDT—CANNABIS COUNTRY OUT WEST ECONOMY THE ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS SCIENCE OUT OF NOSE, OUT OF MIND TECHNOLOGY GROWX: THE SOILLESS SCIENCE ALTERNATIVE FOOD CHRIS SAYEGH: THE HERBAL CHEF NEWS #END420SHAME TRAVEL SRI LANKA PART I GROW PERMACULTURE AND CANNABIS PRODUCTS WE LOVE
26 28 36 44 52 56 62
LIFESTYLE AMERICAN PREPPER
PROFILE DENNIS PERON: THE CANNABIS BUYERS CLUB
SCIENCE “GREASY” MOLECULES: CANNABINOIDS AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
F E AT U R E
CANNABIS COUNTRY OUT WEST THE HISTORY AND GROWTH OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CALIFORNIA WRITER / SHASTA NELSON
PHOTO / COURTESY OF HUMBOLDT ’S FINEST
umboldt County, California is a wild place. Towering redwoods, acres of undeveloped land, running streams and a rocky coastline hold its borders in a fierce, natural glory. It’s no shock that Humboldt attracts those with a pioneering spirit. Generation after generation have come to this Northern California frontier to seek fortune and freedom. The lure of gold and timber came first, but for the last four decades, another gift of nature has sustained this wild community—cannabis. Brought North in the 1970s by hippies and back-to-the-landers, cannabis took to the hot days, cool nights and luscious humidity of Humboldt County. It grew—pardon the pun—like a weed. The majority of the cannabis crop was previously imported from abroad; mostly Mexico. The potential for pesticides in cannabis grown in Mexico gave way to an interest in Humboldt-grown flower, and the quality kept them smoking it. The main reason for Humboldt excellence, aside from an ideal climate, is that growers from Humboldt were quick to pick up on the fact that the female plant, sinsemilla, produces the best effects. It was revolutionary in the US, and has become the new standard for cannabis cultivation. By 1979, 35 percent of cannabis consumed in California was homegrown, mostly in Humboldt County. By 2010, 79 percent of all cannabis in the United States was being supplied by California, and the majority of that cannabis was grown in Humboldt County. But it wasn’t just the ideal natural conditions that put Humboldt cannabis on the map—it was the unique history and spirit of the community. The decline of the redwood logging, though an environmental triumph, led to economic decline and social unrest in Humboldt County. When cannabis began to gain recognition as both an excellent medicine and source of income, the once separate groups of hippies, loggers and back-to-the-landers became the backbone of the Humboldt community. Buildings once owned by the logging industry were now used for cannabis, preserving the pioneering spirit in the old halls.
PRESERVING HUMBOLDT’S HERITAGE To gain an insider perspective, I spoke with Humboldt native and operator of Humboldt’s Finest, a collective of multi-generational farmers from the Humboldt area, Joey Shepp. Born and bred in the area, he’s seen the community rise from persecution to the loving and open community it is today. I asked Shepp what makes Humboldt County the perfect place for cannabis. He replied: “First off, one [thing] that people may not [consider] is the multi-generational farming culture, and the wisdom that has emerged. So at this point we’re on the second, sometimes third generation of farmers who have been farming in the region for a long time. That history is really important.” Shepp also cited Humboldt’s climate, landscape and remote location as some of the major elements in the growth of cannabis culture in the county. These days, cannabis growers are coming out of the woodwork, joining together to prepare for legalization. Shepp continued: “Humboldt’s Finest started as local. Multigenerational farmers were beginning to get concerned about the future of Humboldt farmers, with legalization coming and the foresight that it would inevitably bring competition, and also posers trying to pose as authentic Humboldt. There’s a need for an authentic Humboldt brand. And that was really what drove this sort of—we went through hard times in Humboldt, and if we don’t own our heritage, big business is gonna come in and claim it.” And the heritage of Humboldt County is certainly something that needs to be preserved. Beyond the story of cannabis culture, there is the story of the everyday in Humboldt. “Well, in Humboldt we have this thing called ‘Humboldt Time,’” Shepp explains. “You’ve heard of Hawaii time? Humboldt Time is basically any time during the same day. So if someone is like, ‘I’ll see you Sunday,’ you won’t know if [that’s supposed to be] 10am or 4pm; people in Humboldt live sort of outside of time, sort of independent, without schedules, and that sort of flexibility with time is really interesting.”
ARTICLE TITLE Perhaps Humboldt Time exists because of the county’s vast natural beauty. How could one keep a schedule with the lure of river swimming, forest hiking and harvest-time joint circles held in the towering redwoods? The natural world plays an integral part of the overall attitude in Humboldt, and collectives such as Humboldt’s Finest are making strides in sustainable growing practices. Instead of indoor grows, Humboldt’s Finest has sun-grown and greenhouse grows, thereby reducing their energy consumption. They utilize cover crops, such as legumes, that are nitrogen-fixing. In other words, these plants supply much-needed nitrogen to the soil, while simultaneously preventing erosion and river runoff. The rivers and streams are an important ecosystem, and Humboldt’s Finest uses a technique they call “rain-grown,” to preserve water. They catch rainfall in tanks and ponds to draw from in the rainy season, instead of taking from the land. Humboldt County has come a long way socially, economically and environmentally in the last fifty years. This unique community, dedicated to their land and medicine, has led the world in cannabis cultivation and culture. As Shepp puts it: “All of those things led to Humboldt county to become the perfect nexus for cannabis cultivation. You can go to Europe and say you’re from Humboldt County, and people grin and know what that means.” Humboldt County is a unique gem among cannabis culture, and maybe we could all take a leaf out of their book—enjoy nature, enjoy our plant and set our watches to Humboldt Time.
“THERE’S A NEED FOR AN AUTHENTIC HUMBOLDT BRAND . . . IF WE DON’T OWN OUR HERITAGE, BIG BUSINESS IS GONNA COME IN AND CLAIM IT.” – JOEY SHEPP, OPERATOR, HUMBOLDT’S FINEST
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C O V E R F E AT U R E
Renee Gagnon UNAPOLOGETICALLY SLAYING IT IN HEELS
WRITER / ANDREA LARSON HAIR / MATT LAWRENCE
PHOTO / MARK COFFIN
MAKEUP / LATAY BLANKENSHIP
er energy is palpable in a room, even before you lay eyes on her—the magnetic force that is Renee Gagnon. Gagnon is French, pronounced gAEn – yoh. Her surname is derived from an Old French word, “gagneau,” meaning to “till” or “cultivate”— how appropriate. Renee shows up at the DOPE Magazine headquarters for hair and makeup, pre-photoshoot. Peeking around the corner like a kid on Christmas morning, I spot her—a woman that can only be Ms. Gagnon. My face is beaming. In heels, Renee is tall—taller than I had envisioned. She sports a freshly dyed crimson mane, bright pink lips, figure-hugging jeans and an iced coffee in hand. She’s ready, and I can feel her excitement as I approach her to introduce myself for the first time—in person, that is. We’ve had countless chats on the phone, but now we’re meeting face-to-face. There is no denying Renee’s confidence as she walks in for her cover shoot beautifying regimen. She chit chats with the hair and make-up team, and her conversation piques the curiosity of everyone that saunters by. Renee has been described by many, including Vivian McPeak (Founder of HEMPFEST), as a pioneer, risk-taker, mover and shaker. She knows how to get shit done, and if fear is something she experiences,
she doesn’t wear it on her sleeve. DOPE Magazine had the sincere pleasure of spending a day with Victoria, BC’s Lady of Cannabis, and we feel privileged to share her story with you. The LGBTQ community, of which Renee is a proud member, has been scorned, imprisoned, persecuted and violated—for simply being themselves. While the comparison is often made between the trials and tribulations of that of the cannabis and LGBTQ communities, I am wary of this correlation. One thing is true, however: the medical cannabis community was there during the AIDS crisis. In Renee’s words, “…no one else [except the cannabis community] would give them medicine.” “There is a very long, beautiful relationship between cannabis and the community.” Renee describes both communities as having to “come out of the closet,” so to speak. “There are some things that the LGBTQ community can teach folks in cannabis about coming out. It’s something that you have to actually demand. It’s not going to be handed to you,” she asserts. This is why we must continue to fight this battle together—that of cannabis stigmatization. We must continue to DEFEND our right to be who we are, and live the life we know is right.
“IT TAKES AN OUTCAST TO KNOW AN OUTCAST. THE CANNABIS AND LGBTQ COMMUNITIES HAVE BOTH BEEN SCRUTINIZED AND VILLAINIZED.” – RENEE GAGNON, FOUNDER
FROM RURAL ALBERTA TO VICTORIA, BC Renee, like many of us, was introduced to cannabis at a young age—thir teen. The ‘70s in rural Alberta were a time of incredible racism. “ This was the normal culture. There were signs in liquor stores saying ‘We don’t ser ve Indians,’” Renee states matter-of-factly. Born in 1966, amidst the Equal and Civil Rights movement, Renee had only ever met one black person before the age of 13, when her family picked up and moved West to Victoria, BC. Renee learned early on that she had zero interest in being a dairy or pig farmer—the fate of many Alberta youth. In ‘79, Victoria was a logging community in the middle of nowhere, where “everyone grew marijuana. Everybody. Eeeeverybody.” Renee describes marijuana in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s in Victoria as “… currency, people paid for things with it. It was simply part of the scenery. That’s the mentality that I grew up with from that point forward.” The sale and trade of cannabis in Victoria is what kept the lights on for many families: “[It]’s what paid the grocery bills, bought the used family car and paid the hydro bill. I can barely remember my life without weed in it,” Renee thoughtfully reflects. “In 1982 our school got an Apple computer, and we founded a computer club. It was then that I started thinking about automated grow systems to grow marijuana. That was a splinter that got stuck in my brain back then,” Renee reflects. Renee found herself in some hot water in high school, after getting into trouble for “slingin’” pot. She chuckles as she ruminates on the claims that she’d never amount to anything. A short time ago, Renee watched her business’ stock “break the two dollar mark, suddenly it’s a 50M dollar company… built by a kid from Alberta who got flung into weed culture in BC. A transgender woman who came out at the age of 48 built that thing!” During our interview, Renee laughs a lot. It feels like holy shit, this is my life laughter—built from the realization that this is, indeed, her remarkable life.
ARTICLE TITLE ADVICE FOR ENTREPRENEURS There is no denying Renee’s almost unnatural ability to comprehend business practices that lead to success. I want her advice. When Renee was 11 years old, she read the “hoary, and I mean h-o-a-r-y,” seminal work of Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich. “Hill’s book is the basis of almost every multi-level marketing scam ever conceived. It’s basically one of the first-ever primers on how to be a service business. It was written in 1937, at the beginning of World War II. Advertising hadn’t really occurred yet. This book profoundly changed my brain. One of the ideas that still resonates with me is the advice that you should create a mastermind group around yourself— people smarter than you that you can go to for answers.”
HOLLYWEED NORTH CANNABIS, INC. Around the same time that Renee came out, she became involved with Women Grow. She quickly realized that women were doing amazing things in cannabis, but understood the risks these small businesses were taking. “I knew what was coming toward them. It was this gigantic, nine million pound Mack Truck…and they couldn’t see it,” Renee remembers. She witnessed women in Oregon and California making amazing products that were previously unconceivable. The thought that “the government could swoop in, pound these women on labeling mistakes, shut them down and wipe them out,” scared Renee deeply. Renee is the Founder and CEO of Hollyweed North Cannabis, Inc.—a management and representation company for “risk brands” in the legal, compliant cannabis space. Renee knew that white men with money and shiny shoes could put an end to many of these small startups with the stroke of a pen. Money talks, and if there is anyone who understands this adage, it’s Renee. She spent the first half of her life as a middle- upper-class man who enjoyed many of the comforts that she now fights against. Renee compares Hollyweed North to that of a book publishing company. “We approach women and say ‘hey, you have a really great story here. We’d love to share your story with an audience.’” Hollyweed North equips female entrepreneurs in the cannabis space with FDAquality factories and equipment, infrastructure, brand ambassadors and a female-run marketing team. The goal? Quite simply, to put these ladies’ products out on the market. Loans in the cannabis space are almost impossible to obtain. Most entrepreneurs seek out investors, but this can often end in decisions being delegated by people who don’t necessarily have the business’ best interest at heart. It’s the name of the game, unfortunately. Currently, Hollyweed North is active in BC, and Renee and her team have plans to get the same program up and running in both Washington State and California within two years.
PRE- AND POST-CAITLYN (JENNER, THAT IS) When Caitlyn Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer in April 2015, the world waited with bated breath for her to tackle Sawyer ’s questions. Despite your views on Bruce or Caitlyn, one thing is certain: she started a national conversation about what it means to be transgender. After the interview aired, Renee immediately noticed a difference in how she was treated and approached as a transgender woman residing in BC. “People stopped asking me about my genitals,” Renee says, bewilderment in her voice. Pre-Caitlyn, strangers would come up to her and ask what was between her legs. She would get ask questions such as, “So, you want to be a woman?” “Are you going to get the surgery?” Never in her life had Renee been in the position where people thought that it was acceptable to ask about her genitals. Caitlyn came out as a transgender woman, and almost overnight, people stopped asking Renee rude, intrusive questions. “Regardless of her own dubious politics and stances, Caitlyn did a service by putting her money and fame on the line for the transgender community. She made it easier for us. It is profound. I found people nodding and smiling at me in public— and understanding.” For Renee, the pre-Caitlyn world was quite different as a transgender woman. “The word transgender was mostly a porn term, and it was ‘trannie.’ It wasn’t a proper thing that people talked about or understood. Caitlyn very quickly shoved it down everyone’s throats and incubated it, and people actually got bored of it very quickly.” Coming out as transgender is akin to standing at the edge of a very, very tall cliff, Renee explains. The transgender community is small, and tiny ripples can turn into waves—rapidly. For Renee, Caitlyn has been a reason to celebrate. Her courage and willingness to put herself on the line has become a positive conversation starter for Renee. “ Today, when we talk about being non-gender specific, people aren’t i m m e d i a t e l y t h row i n g u p t h e i r h a n d s yelling, ‘whatever, this is crazy.’ People are accommodative. It’s been a huge shif t in culture. It’s generational. I rarely talk to people under the age of 40 who have profound, immediate difficulty with me.”
COMING OUT TO HER CHILDREN When Renee separated from her ex, she was outed unexpectedly. “At the point that I became separated with my ex, I hadn’t come out to my kids,” says Renee. She came out to her three children separately, one by one. Her youngest, also her only daughter, was 15 at the time. After Renee’s announcement, her daughter simply responded, “I know. We figured it out a year or two ago, but figured it was your own private business, so we didn’t want to mention it.” From day one, Renee’s kids have been supportive. During a high school Gender Studies course, Renee’s youngest shared with her classmates that her Dad was “trans.” The kids applauded. “I didn’t think that this type of reaction was possible,” Renee shares. “It was not in my realm of possibilities—five years ago, even three years ago—certainly not a conceivable response when I was a teenager.” Renee is the first to say that she would not be anywhere without the support of her family. Her team, her businesses all support her as a transgender woman, without question. “My transition requires support. My businesses require suppor t. My broader goals for inclusion require support. I’m dependent upon everyone. I’m incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. I take no credit.” For an extended interview with Renee visit www.dopemagazine.com/revolution-begins/
Progress After Prohibition C O V E R F E AT U R E
TWO OAKLAND RESIDENTS REDEFINING THE FACES OF CANNABIS WRITER / SHONTELLE REYNA
PHOTO / MARK COFFIN
he drug war, in reality, is nothing more than a war against the impoverished and the disenfranchised in the United States. Even as we’ve begun to break from the antiquated laws surrounding cannabis, people of color are still disproportionately affected. Not just in terms of being discriminated against or arrested, but in the realm of opportunities as well. Ebele Ifedigbo, Lanese Martin and Biseat Horning, co-founders of The Hood Incubator, have made it their mission to create equal opportunities for those most negatively affected by the prohibition of cannabis. They are working to change the persistent race and class disparities inherent to cannabis prohibition, and to provide the disenfranchised with the resources needed to succeed in the budding cannabis industry. Lanese Martin, although fairly soft spoken when you first meet her, is a woman who knows her own mind and holds little back. She was “raised by old people from the south,” as she puts it. Between 1816 and 1970, over six million African Americans fled southern
states in hope of a better life. This diaspora deeply molded people for generations, and in turn helped mold Lanese who grew up highly aware of the race riots that occurred everywhere from Los Angeles to New York in the 1990s. Lanese became a ward of NY state at a young age due to parental substance abuse, but they didn’t leave her behind. Lanese had “two very distinct families,” getting to visit with her biological family often, and had the driving support of both families invested in her success. She knew early on what was expected of her. Nothing less than a prestigious HBCU (Historically Black College or University) would be accepted. Although she’s always been driven to economically uplift the black community, Lanese never thought she would be working in the cannabis world. After working in community organizing, she pretty ended up in cannabis “by accident,” she explained. While attaining her Master’s degree in Business Administration, Lanese began working with the non-profit Oakland Rising,
a group that works to “erase the racial, economic, political, environmental and educational inequities” in the community. At Oakland Rising, Lanese began to blossom as a professional. She quickly discovered her natural organization skills, and helped to strengthen public interest in education. She worked steadfastly to mobilize and encourage voters to get involved. Lanese had become part of the community, and there were plenty of needs, but a lack of resources. After progressing from Office Manager to Field Director, she was able to connect with the people in her community and recognize who could benefit from the swiftly changing laws. Cannabis provided a new set of tools and opportunities. “I watched cannabis becoming more legal, and figured I could teach people how to sell drugs well—and legally,” she said frankly. This became the perfect opportunity to use the legal pipelines, for a substance that was once a source of persecution, to help the community prosper.
Ebele Ifedigbo is a direct and bright personality whose character commands the room. Growing up on the East side of Buffalo, the middle child of a Nigerian immigrant father and American mother— who expected nothing less than the absolute best. Ebele’s parents described life’s endless possibilities—including their assertion that Ebele could one day be President—when Ebele was as young as three years old. “It was pretty ridiculous,” Ebele laughs, “I got two Cs in sixth grade, and there were consequences.” Ebele’s middle class upbringing was not the norm in Buffalo. The east side of town is a place where more than half of all children grow up in poverty, and the graduation rate only recently rose above 50 percent. But these were more than statistics to Ebele; these were friends, family, neighbors. Ebele came to believe that the best way to help the community prosper would be through economics. After graduating with an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and before obtaining a Master of Business Administration at Yale, Ebele worked as a Fair Lending Field Fellow for the NAACP. Community education and economic development were essential after the Great Recession of the 2000s. Ebele was able to teach people about fair lending practices to avoid the predatory loans that bankrupt millions. The Gender Identity Project at the NYC LGBT Community Center is another project Ebele holds close to heart. “You’re almost invisible,” Ebele told us, in regards to nonbinary identification. The GIP is a safe space, a support system for people to come to talk about issues they all face and understand in such a binar y world. The Brown Boi Project, an organization that helps give members a “framework and confidence” for understanding who they are, has also played a big role in Ebele’s life. In a world that is not always accepting of those who identify outside our polarized “male” and “female” gender roles, it’s important to have systems that both support and educate. “My life is a gender identity project,” Ebele jokes. Lanese and Ebele’s individual family histories and rich cultural understanding drives their mission of excellence and advancement for people of color. An eclectic tapestry of personal and familial experiences make the deep-rooted racism in this country all too well understood. Even at Yale, Ebele’s alma matter, they only recently removed slavery defender John C. Calhoun’s name from their residential college. Racism is embedded in the very fabric of our country. From education to politics and business, we’ve seen the repercussions. It’s time for continued change, and this resourceful group will become a catalyst for positive growth and inclusivity in the cannabis industry.
THE ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS
WHY ARE WE OBSESSED WITH ECONOMIC GROWTH? WRITER / SCOTT PEARSE
hen you read headlines about the economy, the subject matter usually relates to whether the markets are up or down, the changing value of currency, oil prices or job market statistics, and a deeper inspection of the overall economy will often cite GDP results. But what does all this translate to in our day to day lives? Does it make us all more content when the market is doing well? Does a growth of 10,000 more jobs in a month mean that 10,000 more people are doing a job that brings them satisfaction? Can a thriving economy accurately fulfill our aspirations? Is growth making us happy? Even GDP’s creator, Simon Kuznets, stated that “[t]he welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a mea-
surement of national income” in 1934. Do we need to find new economic indicators, ones better suited to providing contentment and a feeling of prosperity? The GDP you’ve likely heard of is an acronym for Gross Domestic Product. GDP represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say if in 2016, as a country, we produced $100 worth of goods and services, and in 2017 we produced $103. Economists would tell us our economy has grown three percent. Obviously, the United States of America aims to produce far more than $103 worth of goods and services—in 2015, the GDP reached a record high of $18036.65 Billion.
USA GDP YEAR
GENUINE PROGRESS INDICATOR
GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS
Maryland is the leading state when it comes to American progressive economic measurement, and in 2010 they introduced the Genuine Progress Indicator. The GPI is designed to measure sustainable economic welfare, rather than solely economic activity. This more nuanced measurement aims to account for income inequality, include non-market benefits from the economy, environment and society, and identify and deduct costs such as environmental degradation, human health effects and loss of leisure time. Interestingly, the GDP and GPI only began to diverge in the United States in the early 1980s:
When the King of Bhutan said, “[w]e do not believe in Gross National Product. Gross National Happiness is more important,” he was referencing GDP and other nations’ use of the flawed metric. Bhutan’s constitution now includes the directive that “the State shall strive to promote those conditions that will enable the pursuit of Gross National Happiness.” However, the aspiration to promote happiness does not necessarily lead to happiness. Critics claim that because GNH depends on a series of subjective judgments regarding well-being, governments may be able to define GNH in a way that suits their interests. This may be one of the key reasons GDP has been used as a policy tool for so long, as it is based on measureable outputs rather than the feelings of the population, or how those in charge define happiness.
HARRIS POLL YEAR
The Harris Poll has been measuring Americansâ€™ happiness since 2008, using an index calculated by taking an average of those who strongly agree with certain positive statements, and strongly disagree with certain negative statements.
WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT YEAR
US WORLD RANK
The World Happiness Report is published by the United Nations. The variables currently include: real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.
OUT OF NOSE, OUT OF MIND
ODOR MITIGATION RAISES ISSUES ACROSS THE INDUSTRY WRITER / DAVID HODES
hh…the lovely smell of budding terpenes in the morning. Smells like victory. To many in the cannabis industry, it’s the smell of money growing on the stalk. But to others not so high on the business, it smells like trouble. These smells mean a new marijuana greenhouse is operating in the area, and that unfamiliar odor blowing in the wind is actually the scent of a Schedule I drug many people believe could get them high, get them sick or get their kids addicted to the plant. And yes, people actually believe this. The stigma of the plant rears its head, once again. If these worriers lived in, say, Gilroy, California, the garlic capital of the world, would they hold the same fears? Or if they lived in Dodge City, Kansas, where one of the nation’s biggest cattle feed lots operates, the ripe smell of manure always present, they probably wouldn’t complain… not too much, anyway, especially after downing one of the best steaks in the world. But cannabis? Different story. In Denver, with a saturation of marijuana greenhouse and warehouse grows crowding the city, the Department of Environmental Health updated its odor ordinance to include marijuana businesses along with
other odor producing businesses, such as pet food manufacturing. The city requires marijuana grow businesses to develop and submit an odor control plan based on Denver’s odor complaint data and community concerns, as well as a precedent set by odor policy “best practices” of municipalities from around the country. Another grower headache, another line item to populate. Other Colorado cities such as Boulder are following suit. Pueblo’s big open grow seems to be situated in a lowrisk area, but there are issues developing. It has now become prudent, nay, necessary, for greenhouse builders to work with their desired build location regulations from the start, in order to properly address odor mitigation concerns. The plant is fickle. The industry is evolving. Cultivation sites are getting bigger. The usual carbon filters and fans that work in apartments and smaller grows are no longer the best option out there. A sealed greenhouse isn’t a great course of action, either, as it allows too much moisture to build up within the structure, potentially increasing mold and fungi on the plant. Take the case of AmeriCann, now building a one million square foot Massachu-
setts Medical Cannabis Center in Freetown, population 9,000. It will be one of the largest cannabis grow facilities in the country, and odor mitigation has already been discussed with the town’s leaders. Tim Keogh, president and CEO of AmeriCann, says that one thing their management group considers before beginning greenhouse design research is the issue of odor mitigation. “What is unique to the cannabis industry,” Keogh says, “is being good neighbors and trying to minimize the impact of operations on the communities in which we are developing these facilities. And true odor mitigation is something that is not quite there yet. I think it’s getting closer and we are seeing more innovation on that. But that is something that we are putting a lot of time and effort into.” Keogh says they are working on odor mitigation environmental controls, even now, during the development of their facility. “We have pushed the envelope and started looking at different mechanisms for air movement which is fairly unique to the cannabis plant. It’s an exciting time for the industry, but also an exciting time for innovation on the traditional horticultural level.” One example of an odor mitigation
“JUST BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL, NOT EVERYONE HAS TO SMELL IT.” – NIC EASLEY, FOUNDER OF 3C CONSULTING
method comes from Fogco, which developed an odor control process that injects a blend of all-natural and biodegradable ingredients into their high-pressure fog system. This creates billions of atomized droplets that then attach to and eliminate the odor—more specifically, the molecules of the odor—of the flowering marijuana plants. The technology is there, ready to be adapted to fit the plant—after all, this is horticulture, and many inventions are already in place, waiting to be utilized—but you have to do the research. Nic Easley, founder and president of 3C Consulting, a cannabis consulting firm, says that businesses must find experts from traditional agriculture sources. “Now that we are coming out of the [cannabis] closet, we have to be as professional, accommodating, regulatory-minded and compliant as possible to set the standards in the industry, so you don’t give them a door to kick you out,” he says. “Wise producers of major cultivation operations, if required or not, when they build their facility, they do it the absolute best way possible,” he says. “Just because it’s legal, not everyone has to smell it.” The odor mitigation issue has come as a surprise to some grow facility designers, because, well, it smells like weed. That’s a good thing, right? So what’s the problem? “They have to remember that they are a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility,” Easley says, “and just like certain toxic vapors leaving one of those facilities, the same with vapors leaving an extraction facility, there is a safety standpoint. And even if it’s not unsafe to smell it, it’s not safe for the industry’s mindset.” Easley continues: “Just because we are growing and doing this doesn’t mean that someone might be really offended by that odor. Now you want to give them another reason to come after us? Out of nose, out of mind.”
WORLD LEADER IN CANNABIS REFINEMENT EQUIPMENT UP TO 99.85% TOTAL CANNABINOIDS
email@example.com 31 (206) 452-1130
AMERICAN PREPPER CAN CANNABIS BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN POLITICAL PARTIES? WRITER / KATIE CONLEY
reedom. At the end of the day, it’s all cannabis advocates want. We strive to defend the plant and its many uses, dismantle stereotypes and advocate for fair regulation and taxation. Regardless of political orientation, cannabis users demand the freedom to utilize the plant. In an increasingly polarized political landscape, however, impassioned fights for freedom and liberty can conjure images of gun-toting, Fox News-watching right-wingers—a clichéd stereotype that ignores the root of the neoconservative movement: freedom. The pursuit of happiness. Isn’t that what we all desire? A particularly intriguing, largely conservative American faction known as the prepper community raises questions of bipartisanship, as well as the shared values that transcend party lines. Preppers are largely rural, retired or soon-to-be retired, and often ex-military. Their ultimate goal
is to be self-sufficient, prepared for many what preppers see as inevitable societal decay, whether it is through a stock market crash, nuclear war, global pandemic, famine—anything which would change the social order so dramatically we would cease to have a recognizable government. Shows such as Doomsday Preppers provide a glimpse into this typically tightlipped group, displaying preppers’ intricate gardening ecosystems, surveillance and security mechanisms, food storage capabilities and general goal of being entirely “off the grid”—able to successfully function when SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan). Preppers typically desire to remain under the radar, with Doomsday Preppers being an anomaly in an otherwise media-avoidant community, and the show is widely discredited and mocked by most preppers. Their desire for anonymity doesn’t stem from a “holier than thou” attitude, however; with many
preppers, security is of utmost importance, and sharing personal details or speaking to the media is strictly verboten—something I quickly discovered when I set out to profile potential cannabis preppers. My two sources, both ex-military, were surprisingly more than happy to discuss their insights on prepping and the community at large. Personal details were scant, but they answered every question I posed with generous detail. As a liberal feminist living in a large city, I anticipated some level of pushback, or a clashing of ideals. What I found was that we had more in common than I ever could have imagined. I’ll refer to my first source as The General. A retired, disabled veteran, he reached out to me after I posted on a popular prepping forum, wondering if anyone out there had plans to utilize cannabis in their offthe-grid, post-apocalyptic scenario. As a healing plant, I figured cannabis would be
useful in a world without reliable access to pharmaceuticals, and was curious if anyone would respond to my post. The next day, I had an email waiting for me from The General, detailing his background and brief stint with medical marijuana, which he used as pain relief from multiple war injuries. His overall view on cannabis seemed to be one of “live and let live”—he personally didn’t enjoy the sensation of being high, but did appreciate the healing effects, and the fact that the plant wouldn’t damage his liver, unlike the multiple pain-relieving drugs he’d been prescribed by doctors. The General used no moral judgements when discussing cannabis, and instead emphasized that cannabis should be used responsibly, never in a situation where impaired judgment could endanger the lives of others. Although we’re worlds apart, his
sentiments could easily have been written by one of my fellow cannabis advocates, most of whom are left-wing liberals. We continued an email correspondence. He described prepping as a hobby, rather than a lifestyle, emphasizing that he simply wanted to be prepared in case of a disaster. The General said he personally didn’t know of many fellow preppers actively including cannabis in their plans, but that he is currently storing cannabis seeds in airfilled, desiccant-moisture absorbed bags, as the seeds do not have an unlimited shelf life and need oxygen to remain potent. He claimed that, if and when SHTF, he would indeed use the seeds, perhaps for trade or to help with pain relief. Intrigued by The General’s responses, I kept digging. During my research, I saw one name pop up again and again: Chris Walsh of Revolutionary Realty (revrealty.us)
in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I reached out, and a few days later we chatted on the phone for nearly two hours. Intelligent and to the point, Walsh is just about as conservative as they come. He revealed that he did indeed vote for Trump, and supports a wall being built between Mexico and the United States. I wondered if he and I were going to be able to see eye to eye. And yet, throughout our conversation, he circled back to a theme of political unity, stating: “I’m a conservative with a lot of liberal thoughts.” And he was. He spoke of the underlying similarities between Republicans and Democrats, arguing that each side wants the same thing—the pursuit of happiness, freedom—but we’ve been poisoned against one another in the media. I immediately prepared to go on the defense; phrases like “liberal media” tend to do that to me. But I stopped myself. Wasn’t
he, on some level, correct? Here I am, working at a company that defends the plant, fighting for equal rights, for freedom…and he’s doing the same thing. As Walsh said, “liberty and liberalism is good for everybody, all the time.” Unlike The General, Walsh had confirmed knowledge of preppers who not only grew and used cannabis regularly, but also intended to utilize cannabis in an off-the-grid society. With a large network of prepper friends and neighbors, in addition to around 150 new clients each year, he estimated that anywhere from 10-30 percent of his fellow preppers smoke and/or grow their own cannabis. Walsh said that at least weekly, someone new—often someone he never would have suspected—reveals their cannabis use to him, typically in a nonchalant way. Despite being a largely conservative group, according to Walsh, preppers typically believe that personal freedoms
trump moral judgements, an attitude that makes them, well…quite liberal. Walsh agreed. “Preppers are nothing like you think they are,” he told me. “I’m a hell of a lot greener than liberals, and I teach people about it every day. If you’re really concerned about the environment, I’m your best friend.” As part of his job, Walsh teaches preppers how to go completely off-the-grid, setting up the homes he’s sold with solar-powered electricity, sustainable compost and gardening systems, and various green tactics most save-the-Earth, “elitist” liberals fail to implement in their day-to-day lives. I thought about my own energy consumption with a twinge of embarrassment. These conservative preppers were greener than me. A lot greener. Walsh chuckled at my realization, then clarified: “It’s not about saving the planet,” but rather, “about independence”—not relying on an electrical
grid for energy, or a grocery store for sustenance. The motivations may differ, but liberals and conservative preppers both want to be green. Can environmentalists and rural preppers somehow work together, crossing political lines to help our planet? Or are we too divided to even consider the possibility of a united front? “This story itself is about a lot more than dope,” claimed Walsh, cheekily referencing both the plant and the name of our publication. “It’s about freedom.” Liberals, conservatives, rural preppers, unprepared city-dwellers—can we all come together under the banner of cannabis, a plant that has been unfairly criminalized? The possibility for understanding is there, waiting for us, if only we can drop the negative assumptions about the “other side.” Cannabis has brought people together for centuries—let’s hope it continues to unite us. We can use all the help we can get.
I originally wrote this article with both sources requesting to remain anonymous. I sent a first draft over to The General and Walsh to see if they approved of its publication. Walsh, who in my original draft I simply referred to as “The Mogul” for anonymity’s sake, loved the article so much he insisted I use his real name.
T EC H N O LO GY
EXPOSED ROOTS THE SOILLESS SCIENCE ALTERNATIVE WRITER / SCOTT PEARSE PHOTO / COURTESY OF GROWX
lthough it sounds like science fiction, it is possible to grow plants with their roots suspended in mid-air. In 1997, NASA began a series of experiments growing adzuki beans, a high-protein Asian food crop, using a technology known as aeroponics. Aeroponics can be best explained as growing plants in an air and mist environment with no soil, and very little water. The process is the same in zero gravity as it is here on earth; the plants are grown in specially-designed containers, the roots suspended above nozzles that mist the roots with a mixture of water and nutrient-rich fertilizer. Despite the lack of soil or growing medium, this mixture of nutrients and water is all the plants need to thrive. GrowX, a startup based at Oakland’s Gateway Incubator, has
developed the technology to bring aeroponics to cannabis. The space connection runs deep at GrowX; co-founder J.P. Martin was previously an engineer at SpaceX, the Elon Musk-owned company with ambitions to colonize Mars. Despite aeroponics having an out-of-this-world pedigree, the advantages as a growing system are more down to earth. J.P. explains: “Aeroponics is cheaper, cleaner, less labor intensive than any other growing technique. Ninety-eight percent reduction in water consumption over traditional soil outdoor farming, and a 50 percent reduction in water use when compared with hydroponic systems. A 200-300 percent increase in growth rate over outdoor soil farming, and about 50 percent increase in growth rates compared with hydroponic.”
ULTIMATE CONTROL GrowX has developed a growing pod that senses the environmental conditions inside and out of the container, and through computer controls maintains perfect growing conditions. “The buzzword is controlled environment agriculture,” J.P. explains. “A warehouse with artificial lighting, complete climate control, akin to what you’d have on a base station on Mars, but you’re on planet Earth. You can manipulate all the variables and deliver your crops the exact care they need.”
HEALTHY ROOTS As our food production systems become more globalized and complicated, the risk of contamination increases. A 2015 study by Robert Scharff, an associate professor at Ohio State University, estimates the annual cost of medical treatment, lost productivity and illnessrelated mortality from food-related illness at $55.5 billion. Soil-based and hydroponic growing systems require a growing media around the roots. The soil or hydroponic media holds moisture and supplies nutrients to the plant, but that’s not all they hold. The planting media is a breeding ground for Botrytis, Root Aphids and other root-born pathogens. By eliminating the media, you eliminate yet another potential risk to your crop.
CONSISTENT FLOW NASA studies show that a droplet range of between 25 and 75 microns is ideal for nutrient uptake by crops. Traditional systems rely on hydraulic atomization, using water pressure and small nozzles to create a very fine mist. However, particulate matter, organic buildup, or broken plant roots can easily clog the nozzle. With GrowX’s compressed air system it’s possible to use a much wider nozzle, eliminating the clogged nozzle issue, and an organicallyderived nutrient system can be run without issue.
FERTILE GROUND FOR INNOVATION Cannabis cultivation is evolving rapidly, and the startup scene is powering this frenetic change. For GrowX, this is an exciting time to be developing an agricultural product. “We chose cannabis as the beachhead for a much larger agricultural market because of the profit margins, and also the timing of legalization. On one hand, the margins are such that cannabis companies can afford new technology. But also contrary to that, there’s a price depression currently facing the industry. If we look at any other agricultural crop, it’s the growers who can squeeze every ounce of profit margin out of their business that are going to survive in the long term, and our technology is the answer to that.”
AN APPLE A DAY…
HAPPY APPLE’S INVIGORATING, CANNABIS-INFUSED BEVERAGE WRITER / DAVID BAILEY PHOTO / JIM GARNER
ummer is finally upon us! When the sun is shining and the rivers are flowing, nothing beats the refreshment of a cool drink. Personally, I don’t like being dragged down by a beer or soda when I’m out hiking or hanging with friends, and Happy Apple has introduced a crisp, buzzy alternative. I love a grin-causing buzz floating through my body, and the delightful brightness of the apple juice and crisp carbonation tops off the senses. Focusing on all natural ingredients, Happy Apple has sourced the best apples from none other than Washington state. Their proprietary methods perfectly infuse your Happy Apple with cannabis, so no drink is more potent than the last, and the 10mg serving is perfect for being out and social. I’ll definitely be packing a few on my next camping trip! FOR MORE INFO INSTAGRAM: @HAPPYAPPLEWA WEBSITE: HAPPYDRINKS.CO
GROWERS, YOU ASKED for more security.
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I’M A FRIEND OF DENNIS OUR PATRON SAINT PERON WRITER / SHASTA NELSON
PHOTO / BRIAN PERON AND ASHLEIGH CASTRO
ennis Peron is a hero in the cannabis community. He opened the Cannabis Buyers Club (the first dispensary in the US), coauthored Prop 215 and has dedicated forty years of his life to helping others. Here in California, his impact can be seen in person. He still advocates and helps those in need, every single day. Having recently received a lifetime achievement award from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, DOPE Magazine decided to similarly honor the amazing things Peron has done, not just for the pro-cannabis movement, but for the LGBTQ+ community as well. His dedication to healing and helping, becoming family for thousands of AIDS patients who no longer had support, as well as his personal sacrifices have all led to a better world for those in need of medicine. And, according to Peron, anyone who smokes cannabis is using it to medicate mind, body or soul. During the Vietnam War, Peron saw unfathomable pain and suffering. When he
DENNIS AND HARVEY MILK, 1977
returned to the states, he decided to bring back a desire for peace and compassion for those going through hard times…and about two pounds of cannabis. During the 1970s and ‘80s, Peron sold cannabis out of his living room, with the phrase “I’m a friend of Dennis” becoming a sort of password for entrance. Peron could more effectively challenge authority, feeling he had nothing to lose—a gay man with no spouse, no children, no house. They couldn’t bully or blackmail him. He was arrested over a dozen times, and was even shot in the thigh by an officer during a raid. The officer was later quoted as saying that he wished he had killed Peron, so that there would be “one less f*ggot” in San Francisco. Yet even throughout the terror and persecution, Peron continued to supply cannabis to those in need. Peron didn’t just challenge the laws by breaking them—he made his own. He drafted and collected the needed signatures for Prop W, which made the possession of
an ounce or less of cannabis in San Francisco legal. He worked alongside Harvey Milk in both his 1973 and ‘74 campaigns, and eventually tipped the vote for Milk in his historic 1977 victory by encouraging all those hippies in the Haight to register to vote. Peron’s greatest achievements would come years later, however, during and after the wake of terrible tragedy. In the eighties and nineties, the AIDS epidemic took the lives of many. It wasn’t understood. It was stigmatized. And it was a complete devastation to the gay community. Cannabis provides great relief to AIDS patients, soothing everything from pain to nausea, but it wasn’t consistently and safely accessible at the time. One of the afflicted young men was Jonathan, Peron’s partner. He was dying, and Peron took care of him full-time, no longer selling cannabis. In 1990, their flat was raided, and Peron was taken into custody for possession of four ounces of what was actually Jonathan’s cannabis. Peron recalls sitting
DENNIS AND BROWNIE MARY, 1998
“THE SOCIAL REJECTION AIDS PATIENTS REGULARLY FACED HAD NO HOME AT THE CANNABIS BUYERS CLUB.”
in a holding cell that night, wishing that Jonathan had somewhere he could go to smoke cannabis and be amongst friends. It was then that the idea of The Cannabis Buyers Club was formed. After Jonathan’s passing in 1990, Peron wrote Proposition P as a eulogy to him, dedicating it to “all the thousands of Jonathan’s out there.” He also opened the United States’ first dispensary: The Cannabis Buyers Club. This marked the beginning of a huge shift in the public understanding of both medical cannabis use and the homosexual community. Proposition P passed with 80 percent of the vote. It’s a short measure at only 134 words, but it was the snowball that began an avalanche. The Cannabis Buyers Club became a second home to thousands of individuals, at least half of which were infected with HIV/AIDS. All that was required for entrance was a doctor’s note (only stating the nature of illness, not recommending cannabis), and if the patient couldn’t afford their own cannabis, it was supplied free of cost. The club saved thousands from dying alone, without family or medicinal relief. The social rejection AIDS patients regularly faced had no home at The Cannabis Buyers Club. Peron saw the desperate need for medical access, and authored Proposition 215 along with other activists. The infamous Brownie Mary, known for distributing medicated brownies to AIDS patients free of charge alongside Peron, and who also assisted in establishing and running the Cannabis Buyers Club, was an invaluable asset to the passing of Prop 215. With the dedication and compassion of these individuals, as well as the support of patients, Proposition 215 was passed in 1996, leading to safe access to medical cannabis across California. These days, Peron spends his time at his four-story home in San Francisco, affectionately referred to as “The Castro Castle.” He’s never stopped working for his cause. Up until recently, his home was even open as a cannabis bed and breakfast, a hearkening back to the time of the original Cannabis Buyers Club. His bright blue eyes still sparkle with kindness and intelligence, and as he sits on the porch of his home, smoking a joint with me in the sun, he smiles, and I understand exactly why so many were, and still remain, a friend of Dennis’.
I’M CHRIS SAYEGH, THE HERBAL CHEF
WELCOME TO MY COLUMN. STAY A WHILE, WON’T YOU? WRITER & PHOTO / CHRIS SAYEGH
am not exactly sure how to reach out and introduce myself to a national audience quite like this, but here it goes. Hello new friends, acquaintances, strangers, and a big hello to those that may not enjoy cannabis at all. My name is Christopher Sayegh. Some people call me The Herbal Chef, but mostly people don’t call me. Just kidding (am I allowed to make jokes here?). I am pretty new to this column, so as I get my shit figured out, you will see me changing up my style a little bit, but just bear with me—I promise I’m worth it. The most important part of this introduction is to articulate how happy I am to be a part of the cannabis industry, and how fulfilled I am with my current path. In 2010, while I was heading off to college, I flew to NYC to attend an “underground” cannabis investment gathering. I already had an idea for a Cannabis Infused Restaurant at the time, but this was my first professional gathering, and my concept was shunned and laughed at in front of investors. As I type this, however, the plans for ‘Herb’ to become the first Cannabis Infused Restaurant in the world are in motion…Fast forward from that underground gathering to two years into college, where I found myself ready to leap into my next adventure. Now I will not deny nor confirm that psychedelics played a role in helping me understand my true purpose in this life. When my time studying molecular science at UC Santa Cruz was over, it was time to embark on my life’s mission. With the in-depth knowledge of cannabis from my primary studies, my passion for knowledge grew into an obsession. I needed to understand what I was putting into my body, and what reaction it was causing. These realizations were met with a flurry of mixed
WEB: THEHERBALCHEF.COM INSTAGRAM: @THE_HERBAL_CHEF
emotions, as I was deeply perplexed why anyone would want to keep such a useful plant from mainstream cultivation…but I digress. My studies of cannabis were put on hold for some time as I left school and pursued cooking on a professional level. From Michelin-starred restaurants to large scale catering banquet halls, all my life I was searching for a way to make a positive impact while sharing happiness, spreading love, inspiring others, being challenged, using my creativity and traveling the world. This path of culinary excellence offered me all the above in spades. My vision for a better self and world is what keeps me going, even today. These experiences helped me build the foundation of who I am as a business man, and shaped how I ventured out into the world. Now that you know how I got here, I’ll give you a little update on how we’ve progressed. Doing everything by yourself is only a strength if you don’t focus on becoming a global brand. With The Herbal Chef reaching all corners of the globe via some amazing press, it was clear to me that I needed to drop my solo mentality. Enter The Herbal Crew! THC has grown into a full-service company that caters to the professional cannabis industry, complete with a full team dedicated to standard-setting services. You can see our newest line of edibles, as well as sign up for our exclusive cannabis events, via our website. With that said, I will be relentless in my pursuit of a better world through the use of cannabis, and discuss my journey here as it unfolds. I hope to inspire your passions, educate you, make you laugh and learn with you in the columns to come.
“GREASY” H E A LT H
MOLECULES CANNABINOIDS AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM WRITER / WILL KERSTEN
ou’ve heard about cannabinoids— most commonly known as THC and CBD—and that they’re responsible for the wonderful mental and physical effects of cannabis. But what are cannabinoids, and what do they actually DO? F i r s t , i t ’s i m p o r t a n t t o k n o w t h a t the body makes its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. These are the neurotransmitters of the human endocannabinoid system, which is largely responsible for mental and physical health, and for promoting homeostasis. The most well-known of these transmitters are anandamide, “the body’s own THC,” and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), which is similar to CBD. These molecules bind to cannabinoid receptors located in the membranes of brain cells and other neurons, affecting the way they interact with each other. Anandamide binds to the CB1 receptors located mostly in the brain, and affects emotions, appetite, learning, memory, motor skills and other mental processes. 2-AG binds to CB2 receptors located mostly in the spleen and affects the immune system, mainly as an anti-inflammatory. The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids as well, called phytocannabinoids. Two of the most well studied phytocannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC), which mimics anandamide and binds to CB1 receptors, and cannabidiol (CBD), which mimics 2-AG and binds to CB2 receptors. When these cannabinoids are introduced to the bloodstream, they quickly move through the body and “hijack” the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Dr. Nephi Stella, PhD, of the University of Washington, describes c a n n a b i n o i d s a s “g r e a s y ” m o l e c u l e s because they travel so quickly through membranes and organs, due to their “ringed” chemical structure.
In a lecture at the Oregon Health and Science University on March 7, 2016, Dr. Stella said that “[cannabinoids] interact with these receptors, and affect the ability of neurons to function. They change how [neurons] transmit between each other. They even change the cell shape. They are even able to affect cell viability and differentiation.” Cannabinoids are unique in that they work “backward,” travelling in the opposite direction as other types of neurotransmitters. Ty p i c a l l y, a n e u r o n ( d e s c r i b e d a s “presynaptic”) fires a chemical signal across the synapse to a receiving neuron (described as “postsynoptic”). But endocannabinoids are produced on demand by the postsynaptic neuron, and travel backward along the synapse to bind with the CB receptor of the presynaptic neuron, blocking the release of other neurotransmitters. It’s a feedback loop, where the postsynaptic neuron influences its own incoming signal. This science has led to some ver y i n t e re s t i n g d eve l o p m e n t s . D r. S t e l l a’s company, Stella Therapeutics, Inc., is working on a drug that controls epileptic seizures by enhancing the body’s ability to use its own endocannabinoids, without relying on external phytocannabinoids. They’ve also developed a synthetic cannabinoid, thousands of times stronger than THC (but without the psychotropic effects), which has proven to kill brain tumor cells in laboratory mice. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, known as the “Father of Cannabis,” is the Israeli chemist famous for discovering THC in 1964, and who later isolated anandamide and 2-AG. When asked in an email what’s on the horizon for cannabis research, he replied: “Anandamide-like compounds. We are at this stage at present. There are many dozens of compounds of this type. Many of them are of major importance: arachidonoyl serine is a
ARTICLE TITLE vasodilator and lowers brain damage; oleoyl serine is anti-osteoporotic, etc., and we have speculated that these compounds may be involved in defining personality.” The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids in the trichomes of its flowers, and these molecules contribute to the health and wellbeing of the plant. These cannabinoids also promote the physical and mental health of humans, who in turn benefit the plant. Able to cross the plant/animal barrier, it is possible, too, that cannabinoids—these “greasy ” molecules—promote balance and harmony beyond the organism, to the species as a whole.
HOW IT WORKS EXOGENOUS CANNABINOIDS: Cannabinoids made outside the body ENDOGENOUS CANNABINOIDS: Cannabinoids produced by the human body ANANDAMIDE: “The body’s own THC,” named after the Sanskrit word, “Ananda,” meaning bliss. 2-AG: “The body’s own CBD.” There are many cannabinoids we still do not know much about. CB1 RECEPTORS: Affect emotions, memory, learning, decision making, sensory perception, motor skills and appetite. CB2 RECEPTORS: Affect the immune system and regulate inflammation.
Cannabinoids travel “backwards” along the synapse, from postsynaptic neuron to presynoptic neuron.
Israel leads the world in cannabis research. THC binds to CB1 receptors and has a psychotropic effect. LOCATION OF CB1 RECEPTORS: Various areas of the brain—the neocortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, amygdala, striatum, cerebellum and hypothalamus. LOCATION OF CB2 RECEPTORS: Throughout the immune system, mainly in the spleen, but also found in the tonsils and thymus gland. MOST PROMISING: Based on experiments with mice, cannabinoids kill tumor cells. Dr. Nephi Stella, Ph.D., says: “The nastier the tumor is, the better the molecule will work.” THC was discovered in 1964 by Israeli chemist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. The endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1988 by Dr. Allyn Howlett, PhD
#END420SHAME: THE HOOD INCUBATOR BRIDGING THE GAP FOR BLACK ENTREPRENEURS WRITER / KELLY VO
PHOTO / GRACIE MALLEY AND LUCAS GUILKEY
he legal marijuana industry is booming. In 2016, it was worth an estimated $7.2 billion dollars and, according to a new report from New Frontier Data, it’s projected to grow at an annual compound rate of 17 percent, which makes it one of the fastest growing industries in America. That’s great news for anyone invested in the cannabis sphere, but there’s just one problem: there’s a huge disparity when it comes to who has entry into the industry.
“IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE THAT WE [BLACK PEOPLE] HAVE BEEN ARRESTED ALL THIS TIME AND WE’RE STILL GETTING ARRESTED MORE, EVEN WHEN CANNABIS IS LEGAL. THE HOOD INCUBATOR IS HERE TO MAKE SURE EQUITY IS IMPLEMENTED.” 52
CANNABIS AND RACE The war on drugs was created based on racial bias. While marijuana use is roughly equal among blacks and whites, the ACLU reveals that Black Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. And when it comes to ownership in the cannabis industry, the race divide is even greater. According to an NPR interview with Amanda Chicago Lewis—who investigated the effect of the War on Drugs on black entrepreneurship—black people own only one percent of dispensaries. It’s a big issue, one that Ebele Ifedigbo and Lanese Martin, Co-Founders and Co-Directors of The Hood Incubator, know intimately. “We [black people] are the ones going to jail for all of this, but when there’s an opportunity to make money and to build a prosperous legacy for our families, we’re shut out of that opportunity,” said Ebele. “In fact, data sets coming in from the Colorado Health Department and arrest reports have shown that cannabis legalization has caused the disparity for black people to increase,” said Lanese. “So we know that legalization has zero effect on addressing racism.” And that’s why organizations like The Hood Incubator exist. “We’re working to make sure that there is equity in the cannabis industry, and that the people who have been most negatively impacted by the war on drugs and racist drug laws have the opportunity to get the same benefits as everyone else,” said Ebele. “It doesn’t make sense that we [black people] have been arrested all this time, and we’re still getting arrested more, even when cannabis is legal. The Hood Incubator is here to make sure equity is implemented.”
THE HOOD INCUBATOR The Hood Incubator is a non-profit organization whose aim is to build an economic foundation for black communities, and to bridge the race gap within the cannabis industry. They do this by helping transition underground cannabis entrepreneurs to legal markets through their Pre-Seed Accelerator program and other educational resources. “Marijuana is one area where communities of color can build a large economic foundation,” said Ebele. “The dollars haven’t already fallen into somebody’s pockets, and big conglomerate companies that keep everyone else out of the market don’t exist. So, there’s a great opportunity to help the black community thrive and prosper in cannabis.” This opportunity is what The Hood Incubator is trying to capitalize on, but it’s not a simple process. Between permitting, compliance and regulation, there are a lot of barriers to entering the cannabis industry. Plus, it can be a very capital-intensive endeavor, which is a big struggle for many black entrepreneurs, explains a study by Princeton University. “Study after study has shown how much harder it is for black people to get a loan, let alone investor money,” said Ebele. “The channels that we use to secure funds are not as robust as they are for white communities. The problem is that in the cannabis industry right now, it’s very much about who you know.” That challenge is one of the main things The Hood Incubator is looking to overcome with its Pre-Seed Accelerator program.
THE PRE-SEED ACCELERATOR The Pre-Seed Accelerator kicked off this year with its first cohort. It’s a four-month, 100-hour long program meant to help entrepreneurs of color break into the cannabis industry. One unique element of the program is the fact that it welcomes fellows of varying experience and backgrounds: The first group of entrepreneurs is composed of individuals who already operate in the cannabis industry, but want to formalize and hone their business models. The second group is made up of individuals who currently operate in an informal capacity—in the underground economy—but are interested in bringing their business into the formal market. Finally, the last group is filled with individuals who haven’t been in the cannabis industry, but desire to use their skills and passion from other professional and vocational backgrounds such as marketing, tech, culinary, etc., to open a cannabis business. No matter the case, every entrepreneur in the program walks away with the same knowledge and materials. They receive: A vetted pitch deck and a pitch presentation they can use for investors to raise money and build support around their business. A business plan with financial projections and metrics they can use to talk about the nuts and bolts of their project, and why it’s going to succeed. Key relationships with influencers in the cannabis industry. “We make a huge effort to connect the whole Bay Area cannabis community to lend their expertise to our fellows, and to be a part of our support system,” explained Ebele. “We’re striving to create an interwoven ecosystem of people doing business with each other and supporting each other,” said Lanese. “We know that many segments of black and brown communities are already involved in cannabis in some way; our goal is to make sure that these individuals are provided the necessary framework to operate in the formal market, and to build a legacy of wealth for their families. That’s what we want to see.” If The Hood Incubator is successful, hopefully in 5-10 years we’ll see a robust market filled with black cannabis entrepreneurs. Until then, we’ll keep working to #End420Shame one person, company and idea at a time.
• • • • • •
If you have a story to share about how the cannabis industry has changed your life, or how you’re working to change the cannabis industry, share it with us. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GET INVOLVED WITH THE HOOD INCUBATOR!
Visit hoodincubator.org and sign up to become a free member (free in 2017 only). Members stay engaged with regular newsletter blasts that include policy updates and market trends. Support The Hood Incubator by making a financial donation through Indiegogo. Become a corporate sponsor and one of the Founding 100 companies/individuals behind The Hood Incubator movement. “Become a part of an effort that’s on the ground, actually making sure that the black community is ready and able to take advantage of opportunities in the cannabis industry, because there’s no point in having a legal market if not everyone can access it,” said Ebele.
T R AV E L
2,500 YEARS OF MEDICAL CANNABIS
SRI LANKAâ€™S ANCIENT INDUSTRY FACES CHALLENGES WRITER / SESHATA
ri Lanka, the resplendent teardrop of the Indian Ocean, is well known for its abundant, bountiful riches—fine silks, jewels fit for royalty, hand-plucked tea and spices to delight the palate. But what far fewer people know about is the rich history of cannabis use within the tradition of Sri Lankan herbal medicine. Similar to Ayurveda, yet a distinct school of thought in its own right, Sri Lankan Indigenous medicine has been practiced on the island for over 2,500 years. I’ve traveled to Sri Lanka to meet with Indigenous doctors who specialize in cannabis use to discuss their work and traditions in more detail. First on the list is Dr. Hasitha Kothalawala, a dynamic man in his early thirties. Dr. Kothalawala comes from a prominent family of Indigenous doctors, and his father, Dr. P.S. Kothalawala, was chairman of the Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation—the agency responsible for supplying Ayurvedic and Indigenous doctors with the plants required to make their medicines.
When they need cannabis, the doctors are supplied with contraband seized from illegal dealers. While the situation is apparently stable, it’s far from ideal. If nothing else, the cannabis is too dry and old to be medicinally useful by the time it passes through the courts and into the doctors’ hands. Dr. Kothalawala and I met at the Mount Lavinia Hotel in the south of Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo. The former residence of the British Governor of Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon), and a perfect example of colonial architecture, this magnificent building seems an oddly fitting place for our discussion of the history of cannabis prohibition in Sri Lanka. For it was the period of colonial rule in Sri Lanka that not only saw cannabis established as a commercial cash crop (along with its legal counterpart, the humble tea bush), but also saw the beginning of prohibition itself. The colonial masters of this rich, fertile land (first the Dutch, and later the British) periodically sought to either
stamp out the trade that quietly flourished, or to fully commercialize and exploit it for their own ends. Indeed, one jarring truth regarding the current global trend towards cannabis legalization is that it is far from universal. In fact, the developed West is surging forward with legislative reform far quicker than Asia, Africa and the rest of the world, resulting in an economic “power grab” that channels cannabis revenues straight into the pockets of north American and European hands, and leaves traditional cannabis-producing countries in the dust. This is far from a new reality. Although Amsterdam may seem a liberal paradise for cannabis users, in reality, it is a grey-market economic machine that generates vast profits—and a good proportion of those profits are generated off the back of illicit imports of Moroccan and Afghani hashish, the producers of which are paid a small fraction of its ultimate sale price in Amsterdam coffee shops. In this paradigm,
the developed nation takes far more than the less-developed, and does far less work. Currently, there seems to be a growing sense of resentment from some citizens of traditional cannabis-producing countries such as India, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Why should the West have the power to push for unfair international laws that just 50 years later it would begin to break—and all while developing nations remain forced to toe the line, knowing that their transgressions will be punished more harshly by the international community? It may be some years before the ripples of international change are truly felt in this corner of south Asia. The small, vulnerable island is still recovering from far more severe changes in its recent past; the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, which saw over
30,000 deaths in Sri Lanka alone, and the thirty-year civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils that saw over 80,000 deaths and one million displaced. Now, just eight years after the war officially ended, it would seem there are more pressing political matters to think about than a plant which Sri Lankan society tends to view as the domain of village doctors and drug addicts. On the other hand, Sri Lanka is a country that has seen its agricultural economy ruined by decades of war, and is in dire need of rural reconstruction and redevelopment. Thus, there may well be an opportunity for the supporters of Sri Lankan cannabis to gain a foothold—if the argument and approach is correct. Dr. Kothalawala firmly believes in the
use of cannabis in medicine, and it is champions like him that Sri Lanka needs, to lift this historic plant from the mire of taboo and raise it to its traditionally elevated status. He hosts a weekly television program in which he regularly promotes the use of cannabis in medicine, and tells me he receives hundreds of calls daily from people wishing to know more. He also wishes to set up tours of Sri Lanka’s Indigenous medicine scene, which will feature workshops, classes, farm visits— and, of course, a world of luxurious and healthful treatments—for those wishing to know more about the traditions of medicinal cannabis, from the people who have been practicing the art the longest.
CANNABIS CONNECTS GLOBAL'S
Permaculture and Cannabis WATERDOG HERB FARM IS GROWING SOIL—IT JUST SO HAPPENS TO HAVE CANNABIS IN IT WRITER / SCOTT PEARSE PHOTO / CYRIL GUTHRIDGE
irst off, a lot of you may be wondering, what is permaculture? Cyril Guthridge of Waterdog Herb Farm defines permaculture as “designing a natural system that is going to take care of and feed itself over the long haul.” It’s a term that has recently gained a wide following among those looking to maximize what their land can produce, while simultaneously sustaining the land’s natural health. Permaculture has also found fans in cities, with many urban farms utilizing permaculture’s efficient methods to grow in small spaces. Permaculture promotes experimentation and observation. For example, if you have a poorly performing cherry tree, you might consider planting horseradish at the tree’s base; horseradish will choke out weeds and grasses that compete with the tree for nutrients. This simple system means you no longer need to weed or mulch the base of the tree, and as a bonus, now you have fresh horseradish! By leveraging the innate needs of plants and trees, permaculture aims to create a permanent system that needs no input.
How does it work with cannabis? “We’re aiming to eliminate imports, and only focus on exports,” says Cyril. “We will bring in more compost, more worm casting, but the long-term goal is to have no imports and just grow soil.” Using permaculture design principles means that, in amongst the cannabis crops, you will also find cover crops to retain water and deter weeds, as well as beneficial companion plants such as calendula, chamomile, marigolds or stinging nettle. Most farmers will grow one cannabis plant per pot, but in a permaculture system, cannabis is paired with five to ten other plants that become part of the ecosystem.
Get the soil right Permaculturalists possess a wide knowledge of plants that grow in their climate, looking to the species’ inputs and outputs to find complementary plantings that will keep their soil fertile. Cyril explains: “If you’re starting off a brand new garden, you’re going to have to buy great soil. If you buy soil one time, you’re really pretty much set. Even if you’re turning the plants over every two months, you can continue to use the same soil over and over. It’s kind of like a marriage; you don’t want to sustain a mediocre marriage, you want to build a great marriage and then sustain that.”
Why is it important? As agriculture industrializes, the risk of d e s t roy i n g o n c e - f e r t i l e l a n d t h ro u g h chemical use and over-farming increases. For Cyril, the answer is permaculture: “We’re taking organic farming to its furthest extreme. My vision is that through permaculture and regenerative agriculture, we’re going to be able to convert piss-poor land into profitable agricultural plots where no one currently thinks it’s possible. This could be in an innercity parking lot, or just as easily in the hills of Mendocino. It’s a ver y duplicatable process, it just needs little tweaks for it to work.”
Observations lead to results Trying to find natural solutions to the myriad of issues faced by cultivators is no easy task, but through observation, research and experimentation, simple solutions emerge. At Waterdog Herb Farm, simply underwatering their last crop produced fantastic results: “Most people water their plants so much at the end, because they don’t want the plants to die. The plant’s terpenes are an above-ground communication system, and you want them communicating loudly. The way you get your plants to yield the loudest is through stress. You can stress it with chemicals, like big bloom products, or you can do it naturally. I do this by letting the plant get really dry. And this method, I don’t think it’s going to make a ten-pound plant, but it’s going to make the best plant you can grow. I’d rather sacrifice yield for quality any day of the week.”
Cannabis Companion Plants Beans Delicious to eat, and good for you. Examples include bell beans and fava beans. Beans pull nitrogen out of the air to be used by nitrogen-hungry cannabis plants.
Calendula Bright colors and a fragrant scent makes Calendula especially appealing to tiny pests who might otherwise be chomping on your cannabis.
Chamomile One of the best all-around companion plants for cannabis. Chamomile can capture accumulated calcium, sulfur and potassium, which is delivered back to the soil as the plant breaks down.
Stinging Nettle Though most farmers would avoid this companion plant, stinging nettle adds iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium to soil. It also makes a fantastic compost tea to add as fertilizer, once cut down.
PRODUCTS WE LOVE 3. 1. 2. 5. 6. WRITER / SHONTELLE REYNA
PHOTO / TREVOR BOONE
4. 1. POUCHAPALOOZA
2. PEACE POKERS
These handmade pipe cases come in a clever range of colors and sizes. Sit under the stars and smoke a bowl with the glow in the dark galaxy case or keep your pipe safe this spring with a floral design that is sure to make your cannabis loving friends green with envy. Whether it is for you or your stoner bestie these are sure to keep your glass safe and your stash box lookin’ swanky.
These charming little tools are sure to complete any cannabis enthusiasts set of smoking accessories. Handcrafted using authentic gems from around the world it is said to be “a conscious reminder to live in the present, and take time for peace,” and bring “Mother Nature into every smoking session.”
It’s a pin! It’s a magnet! It’s happily toasted like the rest of us. These silly little creations are the perfect gifts for your pin collecting peeps or your private collection. Add extra character to your bags, jackets, purses, hats and whatever else your colorful heart desires.
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6. ROKIN NITRO
Handmade, unique, mad quirky accessories made to order. These custom earrings could be anything from your pooch’s cute face to your favorite flower. Let your imagination run wild. The shop is full of premade earrings and lapel pins as well. All of the earrings are made of shrink plastic and everything from the print on the earrings and pins to the nifty earring cards that they come on are made by hand .
Have a headache? A sunburn? Eczema or even menstrual cramps? 315 Relief Salve and lotions aide in the relief of all of the above. They were created with consultation from some of the top pain management professionals in Colorado. A hemp-based product paired with other key oils to help with relief of your daily aches and pains.
Rokin’s mantra is, “to treat our customers the way we expect to be treated” which has led to high quality, tech-driven products and an honest focus on great customer service. These vapes are designed to be sturdy enough for the active user but still elegant enough to show off on a night out. Created to enhance flavor, Rokin has gone above and beyond the standard, for a safe and sleek vaping experience.
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10. 11. 7. RASTA BUDDHA TAO
8. YAKAWONIS QUILLING
9. ILLEGALLY BRANDED
The Milaana vape is gorgeously handcrafted from solid maple and comes equipped with two medical grade glass mouth pieces. An industry standard Li-Ion rechargeable battery for simple and reliable vaping at the push of a button is also included. This handheld convection vaporizer has a 45-watt heater great for concentrates in a stainless steel mesh pad. With its simple but handsome design the Milaana vape is the ideal addition to your personal arsenal.
These poster sets are a “tribute to all of the glory that is weed.” In a combination of illustration and quilling done ever so intricately by hand these posters are a unique addition to any home’s decor. The joint, pipe and bong prints all come signed by the artist herself, packaged with care and for all those eager to share both their love for art and cannabis in one fail swoop.
The ‘90s were a largely unforgiving time for cannabis users. It was during this time that Illegally Branded, a marijuana clothing company, was born in hopes of contributing to normalizing the cannabis plant. Currently there are eight leading brands of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories available through the cleverly coined, Illegally Branded company.
Price: $20.00 IG: @yakawonis Web: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ YakawonisQuilling
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10. JETTY EXTRACTS ROSIN
11. RYE BREAD STUDIOH
12. BORT’S PIN EMPORIUM
Available at California dispensaries, you can now medicate and plant a wildflower garden. Jetty Extracts Rosin comes in sustainable packaging laced with seeds that decomposes into a wildflower patch. Enjoyable shatter, without the solvent. A great company to invest in, Jetty offers the Shelter From the Storm program to cancer patients giving them product as tools for survival.
This brand new company hand crafts durable Italian leather lighter cases embroidered with hand drawn designs. These cases add a personalized touch to your typical boring Bic and come in two different styles, the Classic and the Deluxe. The classic is the full grip leather sleeve and the Deluxe comes with a keychain strap making it less likely for the usual lighter thief to make off with your dope new product purchase.
Cannabis infused candies are the tastiest. Those of you who agree will find this sweet little gummy bear pin pretty groovy, 10mg of sweet and weed and aliens seem to go together like tie-dye and hippies. Whatever your mood, Bort’s has you covered.
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Father-Daughter Research Predicts MMJ Will Save Millions Last year, a University of Georgia fatherdaughter research team learned that access to MMJ reduces prescriptions for opiates, antidepressants and other drugs among elderly Medicare recipients. Now, Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford have learned that MMJ also reduces the number of prescriptions for low-income Medicaid recipients. They estimate that a nationwide MMJ program would save Medicaid more than $1 billion annually—that’s on top of the $500 million in savings they estimate it will deliver to Medicare. Drug Czar’s Shady Past Revealed Trump’s “drug czar” pick and legalization opponent, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), collected thousands in contributions from opioid manufacturers while serving as a Congressman in an opioidravaged district. His “signature legislative accomplishment” was reportedly a bill to protect these companies. Marino is also a supposed advocate of involuntary commitment for drug users, including casual cannabis users. After Marino’s history came to light, he dropped out of consideration.
Anti-Cannabis Advocate Hosts 4/20 Conference Kevin Sabet, the most prominent antilegalization activist in the US, hosted a Take Back 4/20 conference in Atlanta. “Medical marijuana is sheer poppycock,” former drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey announced to much applause. “ We want to see a federal law against marijuana enforced,” Sabet added. “On the other hand, we d o n’ t w a n t a p u n i t i ve w a r o n d r u g s , focused on enforcement that goes around arresting users.”
Anticipation Mounts for Canadian Legalization Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau released legislation to legalize rec nationwide in the first half of 2018. If the bill goes through as expected, Canada will be the first industrialized nation to fully legalize, and only the second country (after Uruguay) to do so. Legalization is popular in Canada, though some are concerned that the proposed national legal age of 18 is too young; however, individual provinces will be able to set a higher age limit. Additionally, Trudeau has been criticized for his reluctance to issue a blanket pardon for past marijuana offenders.
Dem Senators Propose Landmark Legalization Bills Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced legislation that would create a pathway to federal marijuana reform and secure the future of state-legal cannabis businesses. The bills would also eliminate the tax code’s 280E rule, which the industry considers unfair. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would effectively legalize the plant nationally.
WRITER / ALEX HALPERIN ILLUSTRATOR / JOSH BOULET
Sessions and Hickenlooper Talk Cannabis C o l o ra d o G ov. J o h n H i c ke n l o o p e r ( D ) and prohibitionist US Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) discussed legalization. A Hickenlooper aide said Sessions is not inclined to crack down on the legal cannabis industry, and considers the Cole Memo, a Justice Department document that has allowed the industry to operate, “not too far from good policy.” Sessions also expressed interest 71 in visiting Colorado. Hickenlooper reportedly argued that a crackdown would inflate the MED market.
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CLEAR THOUGHTS. TASTY CUPCAKES. CAN’T LOSE. ALMOND CAKES BY LAURIE + MARYJANE WRITER / E. SOMES PHOTO / JASON HORVATH
oming from an almond farming family, I feel authorized to say these Almond Cake Edibles are worthy of attention. Hiding 5-10mg of THC in each scrumptious cupcake, these mini morsels of deliciousness should have their own dessert classification. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, moist and cakey on the inside, I don’t even know how this combination cookie/cupcake is possible! Unwind and indulge in the whole package with a hot cup of tea, and enjoy a luxuriating moment of relaxation and peace. Read a book, watch a movie or just chill out while staying aware and awake.
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FOLLOWING THE BREEZE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN HERBAL MEDICINE AND CANNABIS WRITER / JEN CLEAR BELL
PHOTO / DANNY BELL
reeze Botanicals feels more like an Old-World apothecary than a typical dispensary. The shop entryway is lined with impressive displays of herbs and local products; a welcome sign celebrates the richness of Southern Oregon, explaining the philosophy of supporting local farmers and artisans, as well as the use of sustainable and organic practices.
PLANTING THE SEED Owner Brie Malarkey moved her family to Shady Cove in 2011, purchasing 40 acres with the goal of living off the land. She fell in love with the practice of using wild herbs for healing purposes, and created a line of herbal teas she began to sell at Farmers Markets. With Oregonâ€™s passage of safe access legislation in 2014, combined with her vision of marrying the benefits of herbs and cannabis, Malarkey began crafting various herbal combinations. Breeze Botanicals was born.
“...SOMETHING [WE’VE] ALWAYS KNOWN: PLANTS FROM THE EARTH ARE BETTER [MEDICINE].” – BRIE MALARKEY, OWNER
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Breeze has a mission of healing, as well as providing access and education surrounding herbs and cannabis. Using the concept of traditional Native American Herbology, each store location has an herbalist available for consultations, creating custom herbal blends tailored to individual needs. Brie’s farm is a prime example of Southern Oregon’s biodiversity, with over 40 medicinal herbs grown onsite, including cannabis.
UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY The shops have strict quality and control regulations. They require terpene testing on all flower, helping customers understand the benefits of dominant terpenes, in addition to the interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids. The employees derive immense gratification helping their customers, and patrons enthusiastically report on the profound benefits derived from combining cannabis and other herbs. “All generations love this concept,” Brie tells us, “because it makes them feel something they’ve always known: plants from the earth are better [medicine].”
OREGON GIRL GARDENS PLANTING FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS WRITER / JENN LAUDER PHOTO / CAITLIN CALLAHAN
e started this epic journey back in the beginning of 2016, which is crazy because a year ago none of this was here.” Audra Cordell gestures at her farm, a plot of land 30 minutes south of Portland that comprises Oregon Girl Gardens. It was her sister in-law, Robin Cordell, who approached Audra about launching a family-owned cannabis grow. Audra remembers: “She came to me and said, ‘I want to do this business. I want to grow local craft c a n n a b i s , i n c o r p o ra t i n g b i o d y n a m i c , regenerative agriculture. We’ll stand out as a small, women-owned farm.’” Robin’s background made cannabis cultivation a natural choice. She earned a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University, managed medical marijuana gardens for years, and learned the art of permaculture design. Audra, who trained and worked as a geologist and then a teacher, had always been interested in growing vegetables and cut flowers. Looking for a way to be closer to relatives and spend more time with her child, she embraced the opportunity to launch Oregon Girl Gardens. She and her family now live on the farm, and Robin lives ten minutes away.
Oregon Girl’s priority is to leave the land better than they found it, and their passion is growing cannabis for people who need it. To best serve those who rely on their products, they emphasize stewardship of the earth and of their plants, treating both with the utmost care. They employ regenerative processes, utilize beneficial insects, and are working to cultivate biodiversity. “This is not something you do in a year,” Audra laughs. “We’ve adopted a long-term mindset.” To that end, they’re developing Hugelkultur beds to produce living soil, and plan to grow a variety of plants to prevent cannabis from becoming a monoculture crop. Sometimes smaller is better, and Oregon Girl is not looking to become huge. They’d prefer to lead the way by paying living wages to their employees, providing a healthy work environment, and giving back to the community. Audra says it best: “We want to show people it’s okay to use cannabis. We’re changing the paradigm so there’s not the stigma. We hope to be an example of what’s possible.” INSTAGRAM: @OREGONGIRLGARDENS
“WE WANT TO SHOW PEOPLE IT’S OKAY TO USE CANNABIS. WE’RE CHANGING THE PARADIGM SO THERE’S NOT THE STIGMA. WE HOPE TO BE AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT’S POSSIBLE.” – AUDRA CORDELL, OWNER 95
ATRETCI H CN L EO LTOI TGLYE
CULTURE OF CURING
YOFUMO’S REVOLUTIONARY, POST-HARVEST TERPENE ENHANCEMENT WRITER / MELISSA JOY
PHOTO / YOFUMO
ne of the most overlooked aspects of cannabis cultivation is the curing process, which is a bit odd, as curing is one of the most crucial components in producing a quality harvest. Denver-based company Yofumo, however, is about to put curing on the map. Their patent-pending technology takes the “guessing game” out of curing, and even enhances flavor and aroma while optimizing the flower’s natural terpene profile. Growers thereby have total access and control over the environment of their drying units, with the added assurance that their yields will be free from antimicrobial harm. When Colorado legalized cannabis, Yofumo CEO and Co-Founder Alfonso Campalans noted the difficulties in ensuring the plant’s integrity in the post-harvest stage. Campalans thought of a small box from his childhood in Venezuela, one that sanitized water with ozone—one of the safest agents used to rid
water of harmful bacteria, still used to this day. Then it hit him: what if he could harness the power of ozone, and apply these properties to the cannabis cultivation process? Imagine as a grower, having the ability to always guarantee the cleanliness of your herb? I’ve seen mold destroy entire harvests overnight, and the potential effects of accidentally smoking flower exposed to molds and other fungi can be quite dangerous. With Yofumo, clean cannabis is just the beginning. The real game changer is the curing unit’s ability to enhance terpene profiles. Terpenes, the flavor and aromas naturally found in the cannabis plant, can also be found anywhere in nature, from pine needles to fruit. Imagine having the ability to not only enhance your favorite strain’s terpene level, but also having the option to experiment and add any type of natural terpene to compliment your flower.
YOFUMO OFFERS DIFFERENT METHODS FOR CURING AND INFUSING YOUR HERB: PLANT ON SELF This is your basic option for bringing out the absolute maximum flavor in your favorite strains. The interior of the curing unit is made of mahogany, a material that will absorb, and even enhance, terpenes. Yofumo recommends that these boxes be used one strain at a time; each time you use it, the effects become stronger and stronger.
PLANT ON PLANT Yofumo allows growers to enhance a strain’s natural terpene profile. Imagine taking the already unmistakable aroma of a strain such as Sour Diesel, and doubling the number of natural terpenes in the product. Now you can do that.
PARTIAL PLANT This takes the Yofumo concept a step further. With this method, you have the option to isolate and enhance specific flavors from any strain. Take for instance, Cookies and Cream. Yofumo can enhance the specific terpenes that result in the creaminess of Cookies and Cream by isolating that specific flavor, then infusing it back into the product. Say you wanted to enhance the natural coffee undertones of a strain like Chocolope, or the blueberry notes from Blue Dream—this method would make those ideas possible, and then some.
NATURAL EXOTICS This method gives the grower complete creative freedom to experiment and mix n’ match terpene profiles. Any pairing possibility is fair game—adding tangerine terpenes to Tiger’s Milk, for instance, or chocolate terpenes to Strawberry Cough. The team at Yofumo shared with me their brilliantly cured Gorilla Glue, infused with lime. The lime brought out the natural pine flavor of the Gorilla Glue, and it was like smoking a Gin and Tonic (an extremely smooth one, I might add).
Let’s review the basics, shall we? Actually, there’s nothing basic about this—it’s pretty freaking awesome! A curing system that cuts the average drying time by 40 percent, full control over regulating humidity and temperature levels, application of gaseous ozone to eliminate mold and fungus without compromising the plant’s precious trichomes, the ability to enhance and infuse natural terpenes…oh, and did I mention you can control the entire unit via a smartphone? Yeah, these guys thought of everything.
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BUNNY WAILER INTERVIEW
SON OF JAMAICA
WRITER/PHOTO / DAVID CHACHERE
ortland, 2am. Reggae legend and Rasta elder Bunny Wailer dominates the stage, the gold lion perched on his headdress flashing under the lights. His band, stonefaced as only Jamaican rhythm sections can be, slides continually from dancehall to one drop to ska. Wailer’s a veteran, and his adoring fans are transfixed. After the show, he slumps on a bench in his shadowy tour bus, muted and wrung-out. The band is still buzzing. As they squeeze past with their bath towels and guitar cases, they’re laughing and joking, but Bunny sits apart, hiding behind insectile sunglasses. At 69 years of age, 60 of them as a musician, his attention often turns inward. The evening’s work behind him, he doesn’t want to talk about music or the tour (“Yes, it’s going okay.”). Questions about home and food seem to bore him. For a moment there’s silence, but then his toothy, mischievous smile peeks out. “Let’s talk about the herb.”
And suddenly the light returns. I whip out my notebook, but Bunny quickly waves off questions about new strains, legal developments and his enviable endorsement opportunities. He wants to relax and reason. The smoke curls up, and soon his thoughts are on the past, on a barefoot boyhood during the last days of colonial Jamaica, the beginnings of Rasta and the music that became known as reggae. Much of Bunny’s introduction to that world came through his ganja-farming father, Taddy. “In my youth days, when I was growing up, I used to help him wrap. I couldn’t even see him on the other side of the piles of bags. He was the master of high-grade.” Thaddeus Livingston, aka “Taddy Shot,” was a grocer and rum-seller. “Shot” is short for shotta, which is itself short for “shot caller,” meaning ‘rude boy’ or ‘gangsta.’ But Taddy wasn’t a typical outlaw. Bunny continues: “He was a man who was really focused on marijuana. That was to make sure we could pay school fees, you know. I had brothers and sisters that had to go to school, and that paid for it. That is how I came up in it. The house I live in right now is my dad’s. And here I am now.” In an early example of vertical integration, Taddy Shot grew, packaged, delivered and sold to the people of Trench Town, using the money to support his growing family. He also founded a religious community in their home in the village of Nine Mile. Bunny took his first musical steps as a drummer in that congregation. Taddy Livingston also sired a daughter with Bob Marley’s mother, Cedella, making Bob and Bunny step-brothers. They grew close and discovered their mutual love of music. This boyhood friendship marked a turning point for roots reggae, but back then it was just a garage band minus the garage, rehearsing instead on beaches and in fenced yards, harmonizing to a guitar made from a bamboo stick and a sardine can. No joke. Bunny’s life was often hard. His father had his own use for bamboo: licking his disobedient son with a switch cut from a nearby stalk. Eventually, Marley taught Wailer to carefully notch the whipping stick with a knife so it broke before the punishment was over. Taddy’s marijuana trade was prosperous, but risky. Jamaican law put marijuana in the “dangerous drug” category. Stiff fines and jail time were on the menu for people who couldn’t pay off the police stalking the alleys of West Kingston. Taddy never got caught. His son wasn’t so lucky. In 1967, on the verge of long-sought musical success, Neville O’Reilly Livingston was arrested for marijuana possession and sentenced to fourteen months’ hard labor in Kingston’s infamous General Penitentiary. Many still believe Bunny’s arrest was actually a move against his father, Taddy, who was protected by the police, and therefore untouchable. Bunny’s time in prison changed him. He faced disappointment and rage, the shadow of betrayal. He came to sympathize with the outcasts and criminals, those he called Blackheart Men. This sense of rage and injustice tempered his young soul, as did his swelling devotion to Rastafari. Bunny Wailer emerged from prison a new man, his own man, out from under his father’s shadow, at the dawn of a new age for Jamaica and its music.
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THE CANNABIS RENAISSANCE IS THE PINNACLE OF CANNABIS CREATIVITY NOW? WRITER / ZACH PHILLIPS
estled in the rolling Italian hillsides lies the home of the greatest emergence of art known to mankind: Florence. In the 15th century, the town brought us the likes of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Donatello…and that’s just the starting lineup. Historians, sociologists, psychologists and even geologists have tried to understand how and why a renaissance happened in this tiny town. I say this renaissance because there have been multiple, despite historians forgoing the official title. The musical renaissance in 17th century Vienna, the philosophical renaissance of 15th century Edinburgh, the technological renaissance in Silicon Valley; all sudden bursts of profound creativity, defining their fields for centuries to come. Examining the commonalities in past cultural epicenters, it would appear we are at the forefront of a cannabis renaissance in places such as Denver, Portland, Seattle—even Anchorage. Creativity steams from every corner in legalized states. The Cannabis Renaissance is upon us, and here’s why:
MONEY Nothing greases up the gears of creativity quite like cold, hard cash—just watch any starving artist swell with inspiration at the promise of a commission. It was no different in Renaissance Florence. The florin ruled, and the Medici clan had boatloads of florins. The patriarch of the Medici family, Cosimo de’ Medici, was a renaissance hybrid of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Simon Cowell. He expensed enormous sums of money to countless artists. Not for his own personal collection, mind you, but for the citizens of Florence; a majority of the works Cosimo commissioned were to be displayed for the public. With this rapid availability of art, the average Florentine citizen soon became an expert connoisseur. The citizens no longer demanded art, they demanded great art. That, in turn, meant the Medici family demanded great art. The success (and income) of every artist was hinged on public approval. Competition became fierce between artists; Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo infamously despised each other. However, that competitive spirit led to a rapid refinement of some of the greatest art, and artists, ever seen. The same trend can be seen in the cannabis industry. Rapid investment from wealthy patrons ignites creators, growers, artists of the plant to produce work for the approval of the public (consumption). We, as the public, no longer settle for dime-bag grass—we demand great cannabis. Competition grows more fierce every day. The only question that remains: who is going to paint the Cannabis Sistine Chapel?
PURPOSE Money does a great job spurring bursts of creativity, but it doesn’t work alone. Think of the graveyard of startups that line the I-5 along Silicon Valley. Simon Sinek, in his book Start With Why, describes the tendency of a consumer base to “not buy what you make, but buy why you make it.” That why principle, as Sinek calls it, is another reason for the success of art in 15th century Florence. A vast majority of citizens in Renaissance Florence were illiterate. This was a point of contention for The Church, which relied on the text of The Bible to pass along its teachings. The Church also contributed massive amounts of money in the name of art, not for pleasure, but for propaganda. Many of the most famous works of art produced during that time (The Sistine Chapel, for instance) were commissioned by The Church to provide imagery for the word of God. This purposeful push by The Church, along with their deep pockets, fueled another level of artistic genius in Florence. Again, this principal can be seen in today’s cannabis industry. Cannabis business owners across the country will say that, while producing a good product is important, education of the public is at the forefront of their mission. There is a lot of money slushing to and fro in the industry, but with an underlying, unified purpose of education, as well. The money provides the means, and the vision provides purpose. Combining the two creates a potent avenue for creativity.
CONSTRAINTS Money and purpose provide the atmosphere for creativity to thrive. However, the biggest boost to creativity is actually something typically associated with stifling it: constraints. The idea that the less options you have, the more creative you become goes against our image of the free-spirited, free-thinking artist, but it holds true. A study conducted by The University of Amsterdam’s Department of Social Psychology determined that tough obstacles can prompt people to expand their thinking, look at the “big picture” or true end goal and make connections (out of necessity) that typically wouldn’t be considered. In Florence, artists weighted the constraints of their patrons’ wills (especially The Church), the perception of the citizens of Florence, the critic of their own peers, as well as their own artistic aspirations. All that stress snowballed into the greatest flourishing of art in human history. Think of that next time you have a tight deadline. Marijuana laws and regulations are not going to get any laxer in the coming years. The kinks will be worked out, and there will undoubtedly be overreaches and missteps on both sides. However, this stream of new laws and regulations only spurs innovation within the industry, all at a completely unparalleled rate. Like a plant bending and twisting to find sunlight, the marijuana industry is still finding a place to grow and thrive. Until then, it’s important to remember that creativity is never comfortable.
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his outstanding, functional glass art was made by artist Jason Walker in 2016, one of a four-piece series. Jason’s inspiration for this glass came through his desire—and maybe a need—to create a piece that was more form than function; something that could sit on display and be viewed as art first, and a rig second. The use of multimedia, with wood and leather incorporated on the glass, creates a natural, pleasing aesthetic. This piece is also CFL reactive, which mean that it changes color under different light spectrums. The log is about 18 inches long, and the axe is around the same, so it will artfully stand out in any home. Jason first started blowing glass in 2013. He was an avid snowboarder, but after losing a leg, he was looking for a creative outlet. He tried blowing glass and fell in love instantly. He owned a cannabis club at the time, which he sold to focus on his glass work. He has been happily on the torch ever since, saying, “I want to explore art. I’m more concerned with making art then selling glass.” his glass is currently available by T c ontacting Jason directly through his Instagram: @jasonwalkerglassart You can find his work in shops around the country, including 82nd Ave Tobacco & Pipes in Portland, Oregon.
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THE WORLD’S FIRST SUSTAINABLE, CHILDPROOF CONTAINER WRITER / MATTHEW CRISCIONE
PHOTO / JASON HORVATH
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he recreational cannabis world has seen its fair share o f s i l l y r u l e s . O n e t h a t s e e m s t o b e a n eve r - e n d i n g source of frustration for the industr y is the amazingly un-awesome “exit bag,” a non-recyclable, zippered plastic baggy for cannabis purchases. The OLCC enacted rules requiring that all cannabis leaving a store must be placed in these cumbersome bags, leaving seniors and sight-impaired folks struggling to easily access their medicine when they get home. RE:STASH has come up with an ingenious solution: a sustainable, Consumer Product Safety Commission-compliant exit strategy. RE:STASH has married readily available Ball Mason Jars with childproof lids made from 30 percent recycled farm waste, creating a sustainable solution to the OLCC-enforced poly bags. The silicone bumper protects the delicate flowers inside your jar from UV and temperature swings. AVAILABLE AT FACEBOOK: RESTASHJAR INSTAGRAM: @RE_STASH RE-STASH.COM
THESE POLITICAL FIGURES COULD CHANGE THE INDUSTRY—FROM THE INSIDE WRITER / CHLOE DETRICK
hile support for legal marijuana use continues to skyrocket up to 60 percent nationwide, according to recent opinion polls, there are several members of the current administration who seem intent on halting this progress. In order to better understand these political figures, we’ve laid out a mafia-style outline below, highlighting the key capos and associates, and the impact each could have on the cannabis industry—if they “flipped” their stances.
THE MOLE: STEVEN MNUCHIN Mnuchin continues to keep a low profile on the topic of cannabis regulation, as he did before he was thrust into the Treasury spotlight. He stated he “will work with Congress and the President to determine which provisions of the current tax code should be retained, revised or eliminated to ensure that all individuals and businesses compete on a level playing field.” While retaining is one hopeful avenue for cannabis enthusiasts and business owners, Mnuchin’s ability to strategically revise the tax code from the inside could help ease several issues currently faced by canna-businesses, including their inability to work with financial institutions, process credit cards and make standard tax deductions. While it seems unlikely these positive changes will happen on Mnuchin’s watch, it also seems doubtful that a total elimination of the tax codes is viable under his reign. With governors from Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska banding together to urge Mnuchin and Sessions to keep marijuana legal and engage in “further discussion on how these important federal policies work” in their states, it doesn’t seem to be in their best interest to disrupt policies that have raked in upwards of $270 million in tax revenue. But, if they do move forward with elimination, Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper and his associates certainly aren’t going to go out without a shakedown.
THE STING OPERATION: GOV. GREG ABBOTT In 2015, Texas Gov. Abbott supported the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which allowed a secure registry of physicians to prescribe low-dose THC cannabis to patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. He has also been more vocal than many of his colleagues on cannabis issues, stating that the “goal is not to stockpile prisons with people who are arrested with minor possession issues.” He does, however, stand firm in his belief that he doesn’t “think decriminalizing marijuana is going to happen this session,” or want to open the door on broader marijuana legalization. Texas does have a larger medical marijuana bill in committee now, however, led by Sen. José Menéndez, which would expand medical usage and allow patients with debilitating and chronic medical conditions to receive cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation. Plus, with Abbott’s fellow mobster, Rep. David Simpson, whispering in his ear about cannabis being “God’s plant,” it seems a likely possibility that Abbott could flip on some cannabis issues sooner than previously thought. This sting operation could amount to a huge portion of the U.S. population finally living under legal medical marijuana law—over 27 million individuals, to be exact.
THE INFORMANT: JOHN J. MANFREDA As the current administrator for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Manfreda could not only sway a significant amount of top-level “management” if he came out in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana, it would also greatly benefit his own department. While several states and local governments continue to acquire a significant amount of tax revenue from regulating their marijuana sales, it seems unlikely that the benefits of regulation at the federal level haven’t crossed Manfreda’s mind once or twice. Manfreda is no doubt privy to the knowledge that Colorado’s marijuana industry recorded just shy of $846.5 million in sales as of August 2016, resulting in a tax revenue of roughly $124.9 million. And while there are more than 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths in the U.S. each year, 480,000 deaths stemming from smoking cigarettes, and a grand total of zero deaths from overdosing on marijuana, it seems only practical to throw support behind the plant. Besides, in a few years, when most Americans come to accept the fact that cannabis is basically harmless, will anyone remember their initial marijuana legalization woes? Nah, they’ll forgeddaboutit!
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INGREDIENTS 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 2 tablespoons canna-coconut oil 2 teaspoons liquid lecithin, optional* 1 cup lemon juice 1 lemon, thinly sliced 3 cups cold water Handful of Blueberries
emonade from scratch is a real treat, and you can heighten your enjoyment by making a refreshing batch with cannabis-infused simple syrup. If you like, double the syrup recipe and keep it in your fridge—it’ll be waiting for whenever you get a craving. Very handy. You can also make limeade, if that’s more up your alley, or a super chill granita: freeze the mixture in a 9x13” baking pan, then run the mix through your food processor for a highly refreshing treat. The coconut oil I used was infused with the Sweet Island Skunk strain, grown by my buddy, Lee. This particular strain never lets me down, bringing energy, clarity and focus—never too “buzzy.” It also makes me talk a lot. Some say too much, but they are wrong.
1. I n a medium saucepan, heat the sugar, water and lecithin until the sugar dissolves. Over low/medium heat, whisk in the canna-coconut oil until it becomes emulsified. You can’t really “over” mix. Allow to cool. Place the juice and the cooled simple syrup in a pitcher. Stir. 2. Add the cold water, then whisk again. 3. Chill until thoroughly cool. 4. Before serving, add the lemon slices and blueberries to the pitcher. If you’re interested in a slushy version, put the mixture in a blender before serving. Add a few sprigs of fresh mint if you’re really feeling zesty.
*Lecithin acts as an emulsifier, ensuring the oils mix with the liquids. You don’t need it, but if you choose to include this ingredient, simply whisk vigorously before serving.
THE BIRTH OF THE ARNOLD PALMER “I used to get tired of drinking iced tea, so I’d ask my wife if we had some lemonade, and I would just dump it right in there.” – Arnold Palmer
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This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. This product should not be used by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. For use of adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the inï¬‚uence of this drug.
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THE BUDS AND THE BEES CAN CANNABIS SAVE DYING BEE POPULATIONS? WRITER / BLAZE ROBINSON
ees are some of the most beneficial insects on the planet. They pollinate over 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of our crop species. Due to colony collapse disorder, the number of hives is the United States is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. As the cannabis industry continues to expand, cannabis growers and consumers can take action to support vulnerable bee populations.
ARE BEES ATTRACTED TO CANNABIS? There are few studies on bees and cannabis, and no known relationship between the two. Bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers, plants that produce pollen and nectar. Cannabis is pollinated by the wind, and its nondescript flower color does little to attract bees. Male cannabis plants produce some pollen, but cannabis growers prefer female sinsemilla plants, which are not pollinated and do not contain seeds. If bees were to pollenate cannabis, it would likely be as a last resort. Bees also have no cannabinoid receptors, so it is unlikely that they get a buzz from cannabis, as humans do.
COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER It is unknown what exactly causes colony collapse disorder. Unfortunately, bees have a lot of factors going against them—global warming changes the bloom times of their food sources; parasites and mites are deadly enemies; city sprawl causes devastating habitat loss. Bees also do best with a diverse diet. Almonds, for example, are California’s largest export, and must be pollinated by bees. However, large-scale planting of a singular crop loads bees up on a single food source, or forces them to travel far distances to find other food.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SAVE BEES? So what can cannabis do to save the bees? Most importantly, buy organic, and buy local. A 2014 study done by Harvard University’s Bulletin of Insectology points to neonicotinoids as a direct cause of colony collapse disorder. Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides. The Harvard study found that once the hive was exposed to the neonicotinoid poison, a majority of bees would die, stop reproducing or abandon their hive. As most cannabis is lab-tested, consumers can research and make bee-friendly purchases from farms that grow pesticide-free cannabis. Knowing where your weed comes from allows consumers to support companies with sustainable organic growing practices. This is particularly important for those who enjoy smoking concentrates: if pesticides are present, pesticide levels are also concentrated. Another way to support bees is to create a habitat. Plant flowers that bloom at different seasons throughout the year. Create
a native garden to support different species of native bees that struggle to find food amongst imported plants and turf grass. Make water (and landing areas) available to thirsty bees. Install a bee box for solitary bees. Or become a beekeeper and care for a hive of honeybees. Ellen Markham, founder of HoneyBeeBuzzed, has spent years growing cannabis and keeping bees. She started keeping bees in Portland, Oregon, where her bees thrived in her neighborhood full of flowers and fruit trees. When she moved to Humboldt County, she packed her hives with her. But in the rural land of redwoods, her bees had a much harder time finding food. Ellen’s bees feed off of local huckleberries and use lily pads on her pond as landings to access fresh water. During the drought, when food was scarce, Ellen left her honey in the hive to feed her bees, and instead sourced HoneyBeeBuzzed ingredients from other local beekeepers. Ellen says she is inspired by the complimentary relationship between honey and
cannabis as medicinal superfoods. Honey has a wide range of uses, both internally and externally. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, calms sore throats, heals minor burns, boosts the immune system, and local honey can even be used to ease allergies. Bees do a lot of work for HoneyBeeBuzzed, making core ingredients such as honey, beeswax and propolis that are then used in medicated chapsticks, bath soaks and of course, honey. If beekeeping seems like too much work, then support organizations that support bees. HoneyBeeBuzzed’s favorite is the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program, an organization that works to protect pollinators nationwide. Locally, California is home to UC Davis’ Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, one of the largest and most comprehensive bee labs in the nation. Without bees, we may still have cannabis, but we would have little else.
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DISMANTLING THE DRUG WAR
IS CANNABIS A GATEWAY TO LEGALIZING DRUGS? WRITER / JENN LAUDER
he pace of marijuana reform continues t o a c c e l e ra t e , w i t h m o re s t a t e s approving medical programs and adult-use initiatives with every election cycle. Even at the federal level, momentum towards progressive drug policy has increased, and the War on Drugs is more unpopular than ever. What does this evolution mean for other criminalized substances? Could cannabis pave the way for the end of drug prohibition, or will the new administration stymy effor ts to broaden the scope of legalization? The cannabis movement sparked the hope that we can take a more sensible and compassionate approach to regulating substances, rather than relying on an entrenched “drug war ” mentality that stigmatizes drug users. We’re now engaging in conversations surrounding drug policy in our communities and in the halls of Congress previously unimaginable to cannabis advocates; questioning the efficacy of our current drug laws, calling out the institutional racism that drove the drug war, and pushing public support away from a system of mass incarceration and toward one that prioritizes 13 6public health.
Marijuana reform has also provided drug decriminalization advocates with a blueprint for action. The earliest cannabis activists were successful because they reframed the dialogue, focusing on the medicinal, rather than recreational, aspects of the plant. At that time, many were unconvinced of cannabis’ healing powers; now, the numerous potential medical benefits are more readily accepted. The progress we’ve seen in the past 20 years began with a commitment to bringing safe medicine to people who needed it most, and, unsurprisingly, that passion translated into the path towards legalization. The Multidisciplinar y Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) takes a similar approach in its work with psychedelics such as ayahuasca, LSD and psilocybin. MAPS, a research and educational organization dedicated to ensuring the right to benefit f ro m c a re f u l u s e o f p s yc h e d e l i c s a n d marijuana, conducts research and advocacy, including clinical trials on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety-related to lifethreatening illnesses, and ibogaine-assisted treatment for drug addiction. According to Natalie Ginsberg, Policy and Advocacy Manager at MAPS, “We’re pursuing a medical route to legalize psychedelic substances. We believe medical research can lead to greater consciousness and understanding around these substances.” Though Ginsberg acknowledges that cannabis reform “has allowed us to wake up to the reality that our drug laws aren’t based in science,” she doesn’t believe that cannabis offers a direct path to legalizing all drugs: “It’s been a very long process, and we still have far to go with cannabis. This is such a safe substance, and its use is incredibly widespread. It’s a bit different when we start talking about ‘hard drugs.’” Fur thermore, legalizing psychedelics may be the next logical step, but many advocates agree they’re not the highest drug priority. “There are very few people being arrested and imprisoned for psychedelics,” Ginsberg says. “When it comes to changing
policy, we want to change the policies that do the most harm first.” People who seek out the most dangerous substances, such as heroin and crack cocaine, are frequently those who have already been marginalized. Criminalizing these substances and throwing individuals into the criminal justice system only perpetuates a cycle of negative impacts. “People using these substances need help, not to be sent to prison and traumatized even more,” Ginsberg asserts. This is where marijuana reform can hamper progress on other decriminalization fronts: by attempting to prove the merits and safety of cannabis use, we create a dichotomy wherein cannabis becomes labelled as a “good” drug, while others are “bad.” The cannabis industr y has worked hard to cast off outdated stereotypes surrounding marijuana consumption, yet these efforts can have the unintended consequence of further stigmatizing other drug communities. An even greater obstacle has arisen for legalization, in the form of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions has hinted at reigniting and expanding the drug war, perhaps with the intention to return to the severe policies popular at its peak, including harsher prosecution for drug offenses and enforcement of mandatory minimum sentencing. While cannabis regulation has brought drug policy reform to the forefront and illuminated a path towards change, it hasn’t necessarily set the stage for wider drug legalization. But advocates will continue to nudge the door open, even as Sessions’ DOJ may try to slam it shut.
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Published on May 31, 2017