FLX420 Fall 2022

Page 1

Growing a cannabis culture in the Finger

Fall 2022 FLX420.com $4.95
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Puff-N-Stuff Smoke and Novelty Shop and a brief history of America’s head shops.

High Fashion

Designer and entrepreneur LaCarrie Byer consults with people interested in plant-based medicine.

Harvesting My First Home Grow

Levi LeGrow’s step-by-step guide to preparing, flushing, trimming, hanging, drying and curing cannabis.

Livin’ On the Edge

Just because legacy growers defied the laws doesn’t mean they weren’t worried about them. Here’s one story about a really close call.

Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 3
contents Volume 1, Issue 3, Fall 2022
(More contents on page 4)
16 32 18 Perspective New York’s Historic Harvest
22 30
Cover photo by Chris Goodknews. Find him on Instagram @ I_am_goodknews



Founder - Nate Kurash nate@flx420.com

Publisher Fahy-Williams Publishing Vice President - Tim Braden tim@flx420.com

Editor - Tina Manzer tmanzer@fwpi.com

Editorial Assistant - Missy Kelly missy@fwpi.com

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Advertising Sales - Amy Colburn amy@flx420.com

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To share your cannabis experiences, advice, photos and stories, visit FLX420.com / submit-here. Only first names will be used.

FLX420 is published by Fahy-Williams Publishing Inc. FWPI.com

Copyright© 2022. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

FLX420 is a member of:

4 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
Harvest 2022
of the Cannabis Association of New York share their photos. The Dank Tank How to Identify High Quality Cannabis 36 46 The Marketing Challenge for NY Cannabis Brands
packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising. 50 The Goods 6 8 12 42 48 53 54 The Journey by Nate Kurash POT Shots from our readers The Biz Artificial Intelligence-equipped cameras The Law What it says about driving impaired and cannabis in the workplace Small Talk Contact Our Advertisers The Limit Hepworth Farms loves an outdoor grow. 40
Ballatori from 29Design Studio discusses
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THE journey

As I travel through this experience called life, I have come to understand the importance of setting the right expectations.

With the first dispensaries set to open in the coming weeks, I expect the market to be flooded with subpar products as the cultivars and edible makers get their feet under them. For most commercial grows, it takes multiple harvests to get things dialed in. Once you find a product that you like, stock up on it – you may not see it again for a while.

Keep in mind that cannabis prices, unlike alcohol, are not set

dispensaries are trying to establish themselves and budtenders will be competing for your business. Offering discounts is a great way to grow a customer base.

I also want to make sure the proper expectations are set for those who want to try cannabis for its medicinal properties. First, it is not a magical cure-all. I have severe arthritis in my feet and ankles, and does it make the pain go away 100 percent? No. Does it take the pain from an “8” sometimes a “9” down to a manageable “5” to allow me to do a full weekend of cutting, splitting and stacking wood from sunup to sundown? Yes. Am I sore for the next five days? Yes, but the work got done so it’s a win.

Over the years I have developed some anxiety – being in large crowds can be difficult for me. Does a 5mg gummy make my anxiety disappear? No. Does it allow me to enjoy an event and actually be present instead of focusing on “When does this thing end so I can leave?” Yes.

Like any “medication” you have to experiment a bit and find what works best for you. When you find it, you’ll discover it was worth the effort. Please make sure to read about LaCarrie Byer’s journey on page 18.

have invested a lot of time and money to be in business for you, so please support them. Pay them a visit. Even if you are not ready to buy cannabis, purchase a T-shirt or hoodie. Sign up for their e-news/ecoupons and text-based promotions – you will be blown away by the seemingly endless amazing deals that will be coming your way.

Please keep in mind that dispensaries face the same challenges with staffing and the supply chain as other retail businesses do now, so be patient.

If you’re a dispensary owner yourself, please be sure to read about the benefits of in-store surveillance cameras on page 12, and the profile of a neighborhood head shop on page 16. If you’re launching a cannabis brand, you’ll be interested in reading Maureen Ballatori’s insight on packaging, labeling, marketing and advertising regulations on page 40.

Thank you for supporting our magazine. We look forward to seeing you at a dispensary soon!

6 FLX420.com •
Subscribe today at FLX420.com All subscriptions are mailed in discreet, plain packaging. FLX420 will never share or sell your personal information. Growing a Cannabis Culture in the Finger Lakes Only $12 for 1 year
Nate Kurash


Do I need a special app to upload pictures to FLX420 magazine? No, we make it very easy for reader submissions. Simply use this link flx420.com/submit-here to submit questions and share your photos.

FLX420 magazine founder Nate Kurash recently visited a local outdoor grow where the plants were more than 8 feet tall! If you would like to feature Nate in a photo with your plants, he’d be glad to oblige. Email Nate@flx420.com.

From Greg: “My family’s sixplant outdoor grow in a raised bed, and the end result curing in quart jars.”

From IG @Noreastrnodefarms, a longtime legacy grower from Central New York and the Finger Lakes, hoping to break through to the legal market, here’s Mimosa Orange Punch, a New York sun-grown in organic, regenerative living soil.

From Mark: Mandarin Sunset grown in a 3-gallon pot.

readers (Continued on page 10)
from our
Jaydega 7.0 236 South Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424 (585) 362-1062 jaydega.com jaydega7.0@gmail.com Hemp Chill Relief Stick Somewhere Under the Rainbow Kush


Top: From Fredication, the progress of his CrescendO seeds by Ethos Genetics.

Above: From Brad, a shot of his White Widow auto seeds, purchased from I Love Growing Marijuana.

From Clint during harvest at A Walk in the Pines farm on Seneca Lake: “The Jelly Pancakes are doing amazing and are almost there! Eighty-five percent of the rest of the field is harvested and almost dried.”

10 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
(Continued on page 52)

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Gain knowledge of customer footfall & visitor traffic.


Estimate the occupancy in store.


Monitor & measure in-store queue lengths.


Get real-time access to data, triggers, reports & statistics.

PLAY Schedule announcements & play background music.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Surveillance cameras are necessary in today’s retail world but historically, they have been a forensic tool used to travel back in time to investigate crimes like shoplifting and break-ins. Storeowners could find themselves spending hours or even days scrolling through footage to build their case. Not anymore. Cameras that have built-in AI can make searching footage faster and easier. Users can focus on specifics like “man with a backpack” or “red truck” to retrieve the exact footage that matches their description.

TRACK Identify the demographics of customers in store.

In-store cameras equipped with Artificial Intelligence are just as important to a cannabis dispensary’s sales & marketing team as they are to its lossprevention team.

Generating powerful metrics AI-equipped cameras are not just a one-trick pony. By generating key data, they can help managers measure a store’s performance and make merchandising and marketing adjustments accordingly. For instance, data from cameras can provide the number of people who approach an in-store display, how long they stay at the display, which shoppers interact with the products on it and even how old the shoppers are. How valuable would it be from a marketing point of view to know, for example, that 65 percent of the shoppers who reached

12 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
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for a product were women ages 25 to 30?

Meanwhile, another report can compare display analytics with point-of-sale data to show the display’s conversion rate. Not only do the metrics indicate the effectiveness of a store’s POP marketing, but they also help storeowners and managers target how they spend their inventory dollars.

Comparing data from cameras mounted outside the main entrance to the data of cameras inside the store can measure drive-by or walk-by conversions to in-store traffic. For instance, it could reveal that out of the 2,500 cars that drove by, 40 made their way to the store’s parking lot. Or out of the 50 people who walked on the sidewalk past the storefront, only one person entered the store.

Adding management efficiency Queue management that works together with

the cameras directs staff more efficiently and effectively. When a line to the register fills up, the camera recognizes it and notifies management to open another register. Heat maps show in real time the flow of traffic for people and vehicles.

Cameras that are cloud managed are infinitely useful. Using webhooks, an integrator can connect Internet of Things devices to direct camera actions. Placing a three-button wireless “Satisfaction Terminal” at the store exit not only gives shoppers an opportunity to rate their experience, it provides storeowners with real-time insight they can use to make improvements. If a customer hits the frowny face on the way out of the store, it tags video footage of their shopping interaction so that management can review what may have caused the negative experience. As you address and correct any issues, your smiley faces will outnumber your frowny faces.

Cameras can also turn browsers into buyers. They can read the demographic information and cue display screens to play relevant ads for customers. Network speakers can play automated announcements targeted to specific buyers. nderstanding purchasing behavior and having the real-time capability of personalizing the shopping experience can take your business to the next level. By doing so, owners can turn the expense of retail surveillance into a money-generating piece of their critical

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BongBong BongBong Bong

Puff-N-Stuff Smoke and Novelty Shop on E. Union Street in Newark sells hippie and tie-die clothing, posters, incense, walking sticks, locally made art, and smoking accessories: glass pipes, bongs, lighters, ashtrays, rolling papers … The mix is traditional “headshop,” a term that harkens back to groovier times – before mall and internet stores

co-opted the hippie/cannabis vibe as their own. Why headshop? Some trace the term to the first anticannabis laws of the 20th century. One source explains that California’s Board of Pharmacy, the group that outlawed cannabis in 1913, referred to marijuana “addicts”

16 FLX420.com • Fall 2022

Eats Acid Daily. Most, however, tie it to Jefferson Airplane’s drug anthem “White Rabbit” and its entreaty to “Feed your head.”

The San Francisco-based band didn’t make it a hit until 1967, but Haight Street’s Psychedelic Shop, considered by many to be headshop #1, opened in 1966. By then, though, the band’s frontwoman

Grace Slick had performed “White Rabbit” with her first band, Great Society, at local clubs.

At the Fillmore Auditorium on June 10, 1966, Slick – the song’s composer – famously played bass on the intro before passing the guitar on to a bandmate. You can hear the original recording at wolfgangs.com

A second Psychedelic Shop soon opened in New York City and the concept spread across the country. By the late 1970s, there were 30,000 headshops operating across the U.S. according to the online cannabis community highthere.com. They became one-stop shops for subcultural, anti-establishment, New Age, and hip merchandise. Baby boomers could purchase water pipes

and rolling papers, but also hand-tooled leather belts, a “Give Peace a Chance” T-shirt, healing crystals, and mandala tapestries from India.

“Our products are all about returning to those happier times,” explains Bruce Norris, the boomer who coowns Puff-N-Stuff with his wife Barbara and son Jonathon. “The ’60s, the ’70s, they were a time of new freedom in terms of what we wore, how we acted, how we reacted and challenged what we felt were the oppressions of the day. Our inventory today reflects that time, an era that never seems to go out of style.”

Bruce will tell you that Puff-N-Stuff carries the highest quality borosilicate glass hand pipes, which are locally blown, and the widest selection of bongs at the best prices. “We also provide the accessories that make your smoking/toking experience complete: torches, hemp wick, papers and cones,” lists Bruce. “Do you need to repair your pipe? We have the parts and pieces as well.

(Continued on page 44)

Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 17
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The Norris family -- mom and pop Barbara and Bruce and son Jonathon -- opened Puff-N-Stuff in 2011.

It’s easy to imagine LaCarrie Byer as a little girl, sewing –combining scraps of fabric and cast-off clothing to create outfits that made her feel beautiful like her mother, Deborah. A professional model, Deborah created her own clothes, too.

Growing up in the projects of New York City and then Atlanta wasn’t easy. Sewing was something that kept LaCarrie together by helping her sort things out, piece together a solution, and fix conditions that were hanging by a thread.

After the death of her mother in Atlanta, she moved to Rochester where she met her second son’s father. They made a nice family until his abuse became too much. LaCarrie moved on; carried on with her children, and worked more than 20 years in surgical dentistry. Again, sewing helped save her. She started a women’s clothing line called L’Couture and was

celebrated for her style by Rochester Women magazine.

But then came the pain – horrific pain in her hands and back – and depression. “Part of my depression was from packing away my sewing thinking I’d never do it again,” she explained in a recent interview. “I couldn’t sit. I couldn’t use my hands. After I’d lay out fabric, place the pattern on it and pin it, I would have to stop for two days because of the pain. I’d go back to cut it and then I had to rest for a week.”

The last L’Couture fashion show was in 2017. “When I arrived, I couldn’t get out of the car. I was in so much pain my teeth were chattering.”

Her doctor was stymied. “She thought it was gout. Negative. Lupus, arthritis – everything came back negative,” LaCarrie explains. “Areas of my body would just swell up. There


Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 19
Meet LaCarrie Byer, owner of The V Experience, a Rochesterbased company that includes the cannabis accessory brand Boujee Stoner and the clothing design brand L’Couture.


LaCarrie designed this comfortable unisex Smoking Jacket to be worn as a lounging robe, bathing suit coverup, or kimono over street clothes. Each one is custom made. For more information, visit thevexperience2020.com/ product-page/ bs-smoking-jacket

was inflammation in my joints. It went from my shoulder and then to my elbow. I was taking five different medications and nothing was working.

“I didn’t want to take them in the first place,” she adds. “I thought, ‘You’ll never get off of them, it’s like a psych ward and you can’t get out.’”

In 2018 she discovered cannabis. “My mother always said, ‘There’s a plant for everything you need.’ That’s when a lightbulb went off in my head.”

Perfecting the fit

“When I first experimented with cannabis, I was all over the place,” LaCarrie recalls. “I was trying every strain to see which ones were the best at helping me navigate my work, my pain, all the crazy in my life. My anxiety was so bad I was crying every day. I was at my darkest. I wasn’t looking at cannabis as a medicine at that point. It simply helped; that’s all I knew.”

Then she discovered dry herb vaporizing, a healthier way to smoke pot. Each time she vaped, she put the AVB (Already Vaped Bud – the discarded cannabis residue left over in the vaporizer) in her coffee. It helped, too. “I said, ‘Let me see what else I can play with,’ and I started adding cannabis to honey, caramel, frosting, anything I ate or used regularly.”

Her health – physical and mental – improved. LaCarrie stopped using THC for a time and switched to CBD only. “I ran through so many favorites – Honolulu Hallelujah Haze has a serious part of my heart.”

Now she uses one or the other or both, depending on the need.

One day she made a serum by adding Platinum Bubba Kush – a particularly strong cannabis strain – to vegetable glycerin. “I had it all over my hands and I was rubbing it in to get rid of it. Before I realized it, my hand had stopped hurting. I couldn’t believe it, so I put some in a jar and shared it with my neighbor Peanut across the street. She has arthritis,” LaCarrie recalls. “At 7 the next morning, my phone rang. It was Peanut. ‘I need more of that stuff,’ she said. ‘Yeah, now. I’m at your side door.’”

Another lightbulb went off. “If I can do anything to help someone going through just a smidgeon of what I went through, I’ll do it,” LaCarrie thought.

Meanwhile, she had weaned herself off all her medication. “I had just updated my medical history, and my team of doctors (Can you imagine? Things were so bad I needed a team …) thought it was time for a video conference. I agreed, with the understanding that we were just going to review my health and not look for additional meds. The newest doctor on the team said, “I see that you’re not taking any of your prescriptions anymore. How do you manage your pain?”

“I explained that I use cannabis, inside and out. I will smoke it, eat it, rub it on, it’s in my hair …

“Another doctor said, ‘If all my patients were like you, I’d be out of a job.’”

Custom styling

At her booth at the Rochester Public Market, LaCarrie displays pieces from her L’Couture clothing line, smoking accessories from her newer brand Boujee Stoner, and a few vials of her serum. When people stop, she consults. Converses, “Someone will bring their friend to my booth and say, ‘Do your thing, do your thing,’ so I’ll ask, ‘What kind of experience do you want – are you going to work?

On a date? Are you in pain?’ No one had ever asked them that!” Depending on how they answer, LaCarrie has a solution. Her son asks, “How do you do it, mom?”

“I live it,” she replies.

(Continued on page 45)


Packed into our brain and body is a vast network of chemical signals and cellular receptors that make up the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex cellsignaling system was identified relatively recently, “which is amazing when you consider that the ECS is critical for almost every aspect of our moment-to-moment functioning,” says Peter Grinspoon, MD, a primary care physician, educator, and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Through cannabinoid receptors in our brain, the ECS regulates and controls many critical bodily functions: learning and memory, emotional processing, inflammatory and immune responses, sleep, temperature control, pain control, and eating, says Dr. Grinspoon, author of Seeing Through

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To stimulate the system’s receptors, our bodies produce molecules called endocannabinoids, which have a similar structure to molecules in the cannabis plant. Trauma, stress and toxins can throw the system out of balance. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency can cause migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory and neurologic conditions, but research continues to indicate that small doses of cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors.

Today, international research and drug development is focused on cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, says Dr. Grinspoon. “We are at the dawn of an age of discovery of the ECS and the development of new medicines that may help alleviate some of the cruelest diseases that affect people and animals.”

LaCarrie says this: “The endocannabinoid system is part of our makeup. He put it in us and you understand that there are no mistakes in The Divine.

“Think of it as a house. Dormant,” she continues. “Now take something that grew out of the ground, that came from The Divine, and put it into that house. The lights come on, things are moving around. The house becomes a home that’s nurturing and healing.”

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Harvesting My First Home Grow

annabis home growers will understand the excitement that comes with harvesting their first home grow. There is no better feeling than holding your cured buds after months of obsessing over and caring for your plants. In this feature, I will show you a step-bystep guide on how to prepare, flush, trim, hang, dry, and cure your cannabis. (This is my first attempt at harvesting and it was a good one, if I do say so myself.)

What to look for in your plants

Flowering time will last 8-12 weeks indoors. Around the eighth week, I started to monitor my plants for color changes in both the pistils and the trichomes. The pistils are a bright white color during the start of the flowering stage but as it gets closer to harvest time, pistils will turn dark orange to brown and curl towards the bud. Even more important to watch were the trichomes. Trichomes are clear until harvest time approaches. I used a high-powered magnifying glass to observe them. I was looking for the trichomes to be milky white with some of the trichomes showing an amber color.

Harvesting too soon or too late will change the effects and flavor of the cannabis. To have a better understanding of these changes, it’s best to experiment with early, mid and late harvests over the course of several grows and learn from experience.

Flushing your plants

nce I determined that my trichomes were ready, it was time to flush my plants. (How much water flushing you do is a matter of personal choice. You don’t have to do it and there are differing viewpoints on this topic.) I started this process two weeks before harvest. Basically, I ran more water through the soil (about 10-20% more than a normal watering) to remove excess salt and nutrients.

Flushing with room-temperature water will force your plant to use up any nutrients it has absorbed which, in turn, should produce buds with better flavor and aroma.

When flushing, put something underneath the plant to catch the excess water. Begin watering the plant and observe the water coming out of the bottom of your pot. At first, the water will be dark but will gradually turn to a lighter color. I followed this procedure 2-3 times over the course of two weeks.

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Trimming sugar leaves

Tools used for my harvest

• Large shears for trimming your stems

• Fine shears (pruning) to trim the fan and sugar leaves

• Mason jars with sealed lids

• Mesh net for hanging

• Rubber gloves

• Isopropyl alcohol to clean your tools

• Large tray

• A small scale to weigh your yield

Trimming your plants

When it’s time to trim your plants, you’ll want to wear rubber gloves and keep a bottle of isopropyl alcohol nearby to clean your tools from time to time as everything will get very sticky. I highly recommend recruiting some help when you trim. It can take up to an hour per plant to trim and prepare it for drying. Start by trimming all of the fan leaves from your plant. After completing this step, your plants will have nothing but buds and stems.


Once all of the fan leaves have been removed, it’s time to prepare your plants for hanging. I cut each plant below the nodes of the plant. Clipping beneath the node made it very easy to hang my stems over the mesh net inside my grow tent.


Choose a dark, ventilated space and try to keep your humidity around 50% with an average temperature between 68-70° F. If you have an exhaust fan, use it. My only option was to use my grow tent for drying. The mesh net that I used for scrogging worked perfectly for hanging the stems. I placed a fan below the hanging stems to provide constant air movement to prevent mold and mildew within the buds. I also found it necessary to use a dehumidifier in the room as these hanging buds will give off a lot of moisture. I let my hanging buds dry for 14 days.

Preparing the buds for curing

You’ll need a large tray, mason jars and fine shears for this step. If you order a small scale, you can weigh the buds from each plant to see what your overall yield was from your grow. My yield was 13.7 ounces from six plants.

Using fine shears, trim the small sugar leaves that extend out from the bud. Save these sugar leaves for edibles! The final product is a beautifully trimmed bud ready for curing.

Weighing the buds

Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 23
Trimming fan leaves
Node clipping Node hanging


It’s time to place the trimmed buds in mason jars with sealed lids. The curing process will take up to two weeks. After filling my mason jars 3/4 full of freshly trimmed buds, I placed them back into my dark room using the same temperature and humidity for drying.

Week 1 of the curing process: your mason jars twice a day. To burp, simply open the lid, smell the aroma, shake the jar, and then close the lid.

Week 2 of the curing process: your mason jars once a day.

At any time during the curing stage, you can smoke your bud. It’s not a bad idea to try it each day through the curing process to understand the effects of curing 1-14 days will have on the flavor and harshness of your smoke.

Look for the next issue of FLX420 where I’ll start my second home grow using seeds from NYS Legacy Growers. Until then, let’s grow together.

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24 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
sugar leaves for edibles
Trimmed buds in mason jars with sealed lids
Trimmed bud ready for curing

Perspective: New York’s Historic Harvest

On November 5, more than 600 people gathered in Canandaigua to celebrate New York’s cannabis harvest. The First Annual FLX Harvest Festival, organized by Rochester-based FLWR CITY COLLECTIVE and the event venue Lincoln Hill Farms, featured live music, tastings, flower grading, vendors of cannabis-related products, and joy.

“For those of you who don’t know, harvest is like a two-month sprint at the end of a sixmonth marathon,” explains Zach Sarkis, founder of FLWR CITY COLLECTIVE. “It’s insane –overwhelming and full of challenges but also a delight. We thought it would be a good idea to share the bounty.”

Growers from across the state were on-hand with free samples. “We invited cultivators, both indoor and outdoor, to bring 3 ounces of herb to give away – no sales,” Zach says. “Twenty-four varietals were submitted for a competition, which showcased only New York, sun-grown flower. Each one was graded by festival goers on how they look, smell, taste, and feel when smoked. The flower with the highest score received early entry into our next statewide FLWR CITY CUP.”

It was not Zach’s first rodeo – he worked his first cannabis harvest in 2012 and has been organizing cannabis events since 2018. His signature FLWR CITY CUP (Cannabis Used Positively) cannabis-grading event is heading into its third year. Recently, he filled us in on what to expect from the cup in 2023, and his take on New York’s historic first harvest.

Tell me a little bit about FLWR CITY COLLECTIVE – it’s not a farm, right?

It’s not, but it was essentially birthed out of a partnership with a local farm. The idea was conceptualized in 2018 and as a company we’ve been doing seed-to-sale CBD-dominant cannabis since 2020.

Our partner farm implements some of the

Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 25
Zach Sarkis from FLWR CITY COLLECTIVE Photo by Missy Kelly

regenerative, permaculture and water-use practices. The vegetables that come out of its garden are some of the best; same with its cannabis. In 2019, I joined the farm and helped run its harvest.

It was such a good fit that in 2020, we came back –my brother, our small crew, and me – and began highquality production of CBD-dominant cannabis. It was a labor of love. We were selling a lot of high-quality CBD wholesale but discovered that unless we had a quality brand and a following when we went to market, we were stuck in a race to the bottom in the wholesale market. Basically, the farmers always get screwed.

So the timing was ripe to reinvigorate the concept of FLWR CITY – it was the pathway to get value-add – so we designed a brand in partnership with the farm. FLWR CITY pays the farm, the farm gets paid above value for its products, and we offer extract and/or smokable flower at a great price to our consumers.

The response has been super-positive and we’ve grown. The CBD market is really just emerging, and I think it’s going to boom in connection with adult-use THC.

We also offer consulting services to other farms. They range from seed selection to plant caretaking and then harvesting and post-harvest processing: trimming, grading, and quality control. The vision is to build a business that has a relationship with a group of small farms. FLWR CITY COLLECTIVE can help them take the product from seed all the way through production and get it to market in the highest-quality manner possible.

We’re currently offering consumer packaged goods like CBD tinctures, topical and flower. We’re positioned to launch adult-use products so stay tuned for pre-rolls, vape products and gummies.

What role does the annual FLWR CITY CUP play in your brand?

Originally we launched as the Harvest Cup. We tried for years to set it in motion, but were challenged by weird disruptions like COVID and regulation changes.

The first cup was in 2020. At the time, New York was threatening to ban the sale of hemp flower. Basically, there is not a market for anything but flower. Hemp farmers were saying, “We’re either selling flower or we’re not growing,”

26 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
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Opposite page: “Ten years down the line, I would like to see thousands of New York State cultivators throughout the Finger Lakes operating like wineries or breweries with on-site consumption lounges,” says Zach.

because it was the only way small farmers could make any money with CBD.

We partnered with some friends in the retail community, and then collected 50 submissions of CBD flower from growers across the state. We sent 1,000 1-gram samples to 12 industry judges and 40 “people’s choice” judges and it held a really fun event. We met via Zoom – this was during the pandemic, remember – and went through the grading process and awards. Hundreds and hundreds of people engaged with us to experience CBD flower, right when legislators were proposing to shut it down. Advocacy efforts were ongoing urging consumers to call their lawmakers to tell them, “Don’t let the sales get blocked.”

I’m not saying that it was because of the Harvest Cup, but in the end, we were allowed to sell flower. Without flower sales, we would have all gone out of business.

Last year’s event was epic because it was in-person and we opened it up to THC – everything was gifted. With about 35 THC varietal submissions and 25 CBDs, we went on a statewide tour called The People’s Choice Grading Parties. At these grading parties, we laid out the flower on a table to be graded on a variety of attributes. People who came – sometimes there were 400! – graded each one on appearance, smell, taste, and feel. We hosted parties in Buffalo, Syracuse, Ithaca, two in Manhattan, one on Long Island, and finished in Rochester.

It was also a fundraiser for local charities. We raised $8,000 last year, up from $6,000 the year before.

We’re building the next ship as we sail it. In 2023, the idea is to host “intake” parties across the state and invite only farmers to the table. Our plan is to build consensus on what’s quality and what’s not. The parties will be more like intimate cultivator conversations that include stories, engagement, celebration, and something akin to training.

All the competition grading is done double blind –participants won’t know the name or the strain. It will not be based on “Who’s got the bigger bud?” but “Why did you grade this one higher on smell than that one? Why does this one smell the best?”

Do you plan on applying for a license?

I’m not sure, but I’m thinking about the cooperative license. That said, if I’m just doing a brand, do I even need a license or do I need a permit? We’ll learn the answer once the regulations drop.

I can see something like a craft license in my future, but I can also talk myself right out of it. I love working with the plant, but it’s incredibly challenging. And cultivation is one of the most precarious places to be in the supply chain, especially in the emerging market. Product will move very quickly – there will definitely be shortages in the first handful of years. Cultivators will have to work hard to keep up.

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On the Scent

Add this word to your cannabis glossary –“terpenes.” These naturally occurring chemical compounds are responsible for the scent, flavor and in some cases, the color of plants … not just cannabis plants (which contain more than 400 terpenes) but also aromatic herbs like sage and thyme, and citrus fruits. Terpenes make certain cannabis strains smell or taste different from others.


Effects: Anti-inflammatory, pain desensitizer, pain reliever, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, antiviral.

Also found in: Hops, cloves, basil, sage, ginger, spearmint and ginseng.


Effects: Cardioprotective, liver protector, gastroprotective, neuroprotective, kidney protectant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, immunomodulator

Also found in: Cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, oregano, basil, rosemary and hops.


Effects: Anti-anxiety, antidepressant, immunostimulant, antibiotic, chemotherapeutic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, pain reliever.

Also found in: Rinds of all citrus fruits.


Effects: Sedative, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, pain reliever, anticonvulsant, pain desensitizer, anti inflammatory.

Also found in: Lavendar, citrus, coriander, rosewood, laurels and birch trees.



Effects: Cartilage protectant, antioxidant, sleep aid, anti-anxiety, muscle relaxant, pain reliever, anticarcinogenic, anti inflammatory, sedative.

Also found in: Sweet basil, bay leaves, lemongrass, wild thyme, parsley, mango and hops.


Effects: Antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antifungal, anticonvulsant.

Also found in: Mango, mint, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, orchids, hops and lavendar.

Research indicates that a cannabis plant’s terpene profile – the dominant terpenes of a strain – works with the cannabinoid content (the amount of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids) to produce different effects. “While terpenes are not intoxicating on their own, scientists think they may impact the effects of THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the ‘high’ feeling,” wrote cannibisfocused writer and editor Kate Robertson on Healthline.com. “Many cannabis connoisseurs and budtenders say that consumers place far too much emphasis on THC content when they choose a strain. Instead, they recommend focusing more on certain terpene profiles to get the desired effects.”


Effects: Antifungal, pain desensitizer, anti-anxiety, larvicidal, antimicrobial, antibiotic, bronchodilator, anti-inflammatory.

Also found in: Conifers, sage, parsley, rosemary, basil and dill.

Kate Robertson recommends keeping a journal. “As you try different terpene profiles, take note of your ingestion method and how you feel. Over time, this can help you pinpoint the best terpene profile for the effects you’re after.”


Effects: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, pain desensitizer, antifungal, anti-tumor, sedative, antioxidant.

Also found in: Lilac, apples, nutmeg, cumin, conifers and tea tree.


Livin’ on the Edge

32 FLX420.com • Fall 2022

in biology and restaurant management, and I’m a journeyman carpenter,” explains Dan, originally from Pittsford, New York. “I’ve worked full time in the restaurant industry and in construction, but I’ve been growing weed since 1976. That’s what interested Glenna. I’ve seen both the good and the bad that can happen in the business and like all legacy growers, I’ve developed different strategies over the years that have worked well for growing cannabis.”

Dan started in his parents’ garden in 1976, but honed most of his skills in Texas, where he was involved in a major, illegal growing operation from 1985 to 1989. “In the late ’80s, we developed an unbelievable strain by crossbreeding Cornell Skunk with Oaxacan Mexican genetics.”

At Glenna & Co., he continues to grow outdoors. “The biggest challenge in New York is getting the crop to finish budding and realize each strain’s full potential before molds, mildews, and bud rot become present in late September or early October,” Dan says. “Choosing

quicker finishing genetics that are also mold/mildew resistant is best for Upstate New York.

“When I started growing more than 42 years ago, none of us used chemicals. It was all organic farming,” he adds. “The biggest things I had to learn when I entered the legal commercial market were the techniques and tools the professionals used, and how to maintain compliance with the laws in New York State.”

Just because legacy growers defied the laws doesn’t mean they didn’t worry about them. When we talked to Dan recently, he told us about one particularly close call …

Have you always grown outdoors?

Dan: I didn’t grow indoors until 1986.

Back in the ’70s and ’80s, legacy people, in general, grew indoors during the winter and into the spring. In summertime, a lot of them shut down their indoor operation and moved it outside, but maintained their genetics inside.

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It wasn’t for everyone. Many did not want to pay the high price of electricity for running their air conditioner all the time – the old grow lights used to give off a lot of heat. The new lights not as much, so people now grow inside all year round. That was never the case for me.

Obviously, cannabis was illegal then, so I felt like a sitting duck having plants outside, what with helicopters flying over. There are things you just cannot control when you’re outside. My biggest fear was that the police would show up to investigate my outdoor grow and discover I also had an indoor grow going on at the same time.

Was it difficult to grow outside to scale in your current job?

Yes and no, because I had some experience. When I was 23, I moved to Texas to be with my girlfriend who was attending law school at Southern Methodist University. Her brother-in-law and sister were big-time cannabis growers. From 1983 to 1987, they had a 70-acre plot in one spot, and 80 acres in another.

I discovered that the entire town was into it: the police, the local government … everybody was growing cannabis. Rumor has it that the Texas Rangers had to be called in to break up these small-town operations.

By then I had moved back to New York State, but every two or three weeks, I would drive down to Texas to visit my girlfriend and bring back significant quantities of marijuana.

On one of the runs back, I got pulled over by the Arkansas State Police in Lone Oak, Arkansas. When I said I was returning home from visiting my girlfriend, the officer said, “I don’t believe you. I think you have contraband in your car. If you don’t have anything to hide, you wouldn’t mind if I looked in your trunk, would you Daniel?”

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My friends and I were always looking for secret places to grow, places where people didn’t go. We were good at it because of our fishing and hunting experiences.

There were three things in the trunk: A Cooper hockey bag, which is a duffel bag of significant size; a small suitcase; and an old-school aluminum suitcase, American Tourister, from the 1950s. It was full of pot.

The state trooper asked me to open the hockey bag, which I did. He poked around in it with his billy club and did not see the three pounds of Purple Haze that were in there. Then he had me open the small suitcase. He poked around, but it contained only clothes.

The aluminum suitcase? He simply did not see it. As I was waiting for him to spot it, I had sort of a religious experience there by the side of the road. I don’t know how I kept it together. He simply told me to shut the trunk and get back in the car.

The next thing I know, more state police cars arrive and box me in. The officer says, “Get out of the car, it’s stolen.” I explain that the registration is in my father’s name.

He considers that and looks in the car and says, “I see that the back seat has been taken out recently.”

“I just put new Jensen speakers in my car,” I reply. They tear my car apart anyway, but they didn’t find a thing.

Finally, the officer hands me a piece of paper and says, “Consider this a friendly warning from the state of Arkansas.”

I still have that piece of paper.

Afterwards, I drove all the way to the other side of the Mississippi River to West Memphis, Tennessee, the most God-awful place in the U.S. I found a liquor store and bought a fifth of whisky and some rolling papers. For the first time in my history of smuggling dope, I tore open the aluminum suitcase, rolled a joint, and sat under a tree and smoked it.

So in all those years, you never got caught?

Tina, I never did. That’s just one of the stories I have about getting out of situations – situations that, but for the grace of God, would have sent me to prison. Apparently He had bigger plans for me; that’s why I’m still here.

In the Arkansas situation, I did call my dad because I was going to be a few days late. I told him I had been pulled over on the interstate and he said, “Well I hope you weren’t stupid enough to have any drugs.”

My friends – the ones who had given me money upfront to buy weed – started calling my parents because I was late. When my mom and dad shared the story with them, they thought it was code for letting them know I was in jail. When I finally walked through the door of my apartment, my roommates acted like Santa Claus had come to life.

(But that isn’t the end of the story. You’ll have to wait until our next issue to read it.)



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Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 35
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CANY Harvest 2022

Cannabis Association of New York members share their photos

Ayrloom Photo by Jessica Montgomery Onondaga County Singer Farm Naturals Niagara County B30 Farm with Tim Moshier Oswego County Unhinged Hemp FarmsJustin and John Cayuga County Bone Creek Farm with owners Joe and Ray Gelormino Broome County
Enjoy more harvest photos at FLX420.com
Grateful Valley Farm Steuben County Skeeterboro Farms Oneida County Niagara Hemp Supply with Cole, Max, James, Steve, Mike & Dave Niagara County Full Spectrum Ag, first hang dry Fulton County Elev8 Organix, a bottom bud being removed Tompkins County Anandas Farms — first cut Oswego County Brian F Conlon Farm with Christina Schenectady County Drakewater Organic, sunrise Chemung County Fare Thee Well Farm Chautauqua County Honest Pharm Co with Tyler and Jon Wayne County Route 27 Hemp Yard — transferring cannabis from the fields to the drying facility with the help of Shelby Photo by Scalia Media Suffolk County Enfield Glen Hopyard, drying barn filling up Tompkins County Bossiee Budz Schoharie County Florist Farms and Head & HealTeeJay Weaver of Cortland defoliates Frosé before harvest
CANY Harvest 2022
Photo by Michelle Sason Cortland County Sacci Erie County
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The Marketing Challenge for

NY Cannabis Brands

As we count down the last few months (hopefully) until the dispensaries open and cannabis products become available for consumers, we’re still facing many unknowns in an essential area for cannabis brands: packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising (PLMA).

Picture this: you’re a New York cannabis brand. Your feet are in the starting blocks. You’re ready to run the big race. You’re in for the long haul. You look left and right and you see other brands at your side ready to go, too. The starting gun is about to go off and you’re feeling … probably a little unprepared.

We’ve seen a lot of progress this year from the state on adult use cannabis but there’s an important area we’re waiting to see final regulations on, and that’s packaging, labeling, marketing, and advertising (PLMA).

In June of 2022, draft regulations were released for PLMA, and a 60-day public comment period was opened for the Cannabis Control Board to receive feedback. In early October, the Cannabis Control Board updated interim PLMA guidance that seems much more reasonable than what was proposed in the summer, but we’re still seeing room for interpretation

in that guidance.

Interpretation of the PLMA guidance can be a challenge – and a risk factor if you’re misinterpreting it. Adult-use cannabis licensees who are not in compliance risk their license being canceled, suspended, revoked, or other enforcement actions, according to the Office of Cannabis Management.

Other challenges for cannabis brands include significant competition. All of those cannabis brands in the starting blocks are going to hit the market at the same time. Consumers will see the market saturated all at once – a unique situation – so it’s going to be challenging for brands to stand out. And while the legacy market has been around for some time, since the legal adult use industry is so new, we’re going to see a flock of new, uneducated and curious consumers. There’s much that needs to be told so that these newbies understand what, exactly, they’re buying and ingesting.

Adding even more complexity to the ability to stand out, cannabis brands won’t be able to rely on traditional marketing methods to promote their products. Social media has been a marketing staple for brands in recent years. However, some social media platforms are shadowbanning cannabis content, leaving brands to be creative about workarounds to get their posts in front of their target audience. (We’re on TikTok.)

hadowbanning occurs when your posts or activity aren’t viewable to other users, but you haven’t received an official ban or notification. In most cases, the user can still see their own content and have no idea that no one else can see their posts. Shadowbanning has been reported on sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, among others. or me and for many of the cannabis brands I’ve talked to, there are also some questions on the fonts and colors that can be used on the packaging. The interim PMLA guidance states that “neon” colors, “bubble” fonts, and “cartoon-like” fonts cannot be used. Some examples are shared in the guidance, but these

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limits do beg the question of what exactly constitutes bubble-like or cartoon-like.

As with any race, we’ll see leaders emerge over time. If you’re a cannabis brand looking to better your odds of leading the pack, you’ll need smart collaborative partners at your side and frankly, brands will also need deep pockets. Brands should expect to have to think creatively and strategically about how they can reach consumers, and with the ever-evolving regulations developing, be prepared to replace packaging and marketing materials before your supply is fully depleted. You signed up for a marathon, my friend.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that we really don’t know when that starting gun is going to go off. As I write

this, there are currently no regulated retail dispensaries for adult-use cannabis products in New York State. The state is projecting 20 dispensaries to open in 2022, but with no dispensary licenses awarded, that timeline could likely take longer, leaving processors waiting in those starting blocks.

Editor’s Note: While many traditional marketing vehicles (radio, TV, social media, billboards ...) are not available to promote cannabis brands, FLX 420 magazine provides highly effective (and legal!) advertising opportunities that can set your brand apart from the rest of the pack. Contact Amy Colburn for more information at 315-789-6431, or amy@flx420.com.

Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 41

THE law

What Stays the Same for Driving Impaired What Changes with Cannabis in the Workplace

As we approach the holiday season and all the festivities, party-going and travel that go with that, it’s a good idea to review, briefly, New York State’s rules, regulations and enforcement attitudes regarding cannabis-impaired driving, and what can and cannot be done regarding its possession or use in the workplace by employers and employees.

Regarding vehicular use while under the influence of cannabis, note that the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act of 2021 (MRTA) did not change the law at all in this area. Driving impaired under the influence of cannabis is prohibited (as it always has been). It is a misdemeanor under NYS vehicle and traffic law (VTL) § 1192. In addition, the burning of cannabis by anyone in a moving vehicle is illegal and carries with it the same penalty as a violation of the open container law under VTL § 1227(1).

On the state’s traffic-safety website, trafficsafety. ny.gov/cannabis-driving-what-you-need-to-know, there is a link to a significant amount of content regarding how

the state is addressing cannabis-impaired driving. As clearly stated in the state’s materials, impairment is real, and it lasts longer than the effects of THC in the body.

Here’s the list of criteria that law enforcement personnel will use in determining impairment.

Observed impairment of a vehicle’s operation

Observed impairment during stoppage for an unrelated traffic offense

A driver’s reaction to a law enforcement officer’s command to stop

A driver’s action while exiting a vehicle

A driver’s performance during a roadside standard field sobriety test

Results of any approved roadside testing device

42 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
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MRTA and the workplace

Cannabis legalization caused a significant change in the rights of employers and employees. Since MRTA recognizes that cannabis is a legally consumable product, an employer may not discriminate based on an employee’s possession or use of cannabis outside the workplace. Employers still may prohibit its possession or use in the workplace.

In connection with MRTA, an amendment to NYS Labor Law § 201-D was passed that added a new subsection, 4-a, that sets forth specific situations where an employer may take action that would otherwise be deemed discriminatory.

• Where an employer is required to take action because of federal or state law

• Where an employer would otherwise be in violation of federal law

• Where the employer would otherwise lose a federal contract or federal funding

• Where an employee, while working, demonstrates cannabis impairment which affects the employee’s performance of the job

• Where an employee, while working, demonstrates symptoms which affect the employer’s obligation to provide a safe workplace for its employees

With respect to drug testing under the law, a test for cannabis usage cannot serve as a basis for an employer’s determination that an employee was impaired by cannabis. Also, the smell of cannabis on an employee is not a sufficient basis for an employer’s determination of impairment. Note, however, that “at the workplace” includes breaks and the traditional lunch hour. Thus, the day “at work” when employees may not possess or use begins with their initial arrival and ends with their end-of-the-day departure. Finally, the “workplace” includes company vehicles and equipment. An employer may proscribe possession and use in company vehicles and equipment even if not during working hours. Here’s to a safe and healthy holiday season. Cheers!

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legalization caused a significant change in the rights of employers and
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Puff-N-Stuff’s sign is all about keeping hippieculture symbolism alive. It creates nostalgia and speaks to longevity.

“The two biggest sellers here by category are the Pyrex hand pipes – we slam them to the floor to demonstrate their durability – and our high-quality kratom,” he continues. “Perennially, glass is king –we always have it on hand, even as we bring in new inventory to meet our customers’ needs.”

An experienced salesman (“I spent 20 years in the Air Force where my job was to sell the Air Force.”), Bruce and his family opened Puff-N-Stuff in 2011. Barbara is a crafter who sold her creations at high-end shows and fairs; Jonathon adds a youthful perspective as well as his tech skills.

“Our customers say they appreciate the experience

here – the quality, selection, the availability of products from local artists. They tell us they enjoy the aroma of fresh incense wafting throughout the store,” notes Bruce. “Shoppers are comfortable with our small family staff who are willing to answer their questions and offer them choices. We welcome that kind of interaction.” The best part of his job, he says, is dealing with awesome customers. “Come on now – when have you met an unhappy stoner?”

Puff-N-Stuff – 315-573-7173 – is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

44 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
(“Bong” continued from page 17)

LaCarrie is exploring licensing options to bring her mixtures to market. She took some of them to Certainty Analytical Labs to have them tested. “They said, ‘We’re not ready for you. We’re used to plants coming in. We’re not ready for a butter, a capsule, a shooter.’ Yet.”

Currently, she consults one-on-one with others to help them understand and navigate life using plant-based medicine. People can make an appointment on her website, thevexperience2020.com. “I make sure they understand that I’m not a medical professional, but simply someone living life with cannabis.”

LaCarrie doesn’t grow the plant, but she archives the strains she uses and refers to her notes constantly. “From the start, every single strain I tried I looked up on the internet to discover its ins and outs. I recorded them, along with the specific ways they made me feel. Did you know, for instance, that if you have a shot of orange juice with the strain Girl Scout Cookies it takes your high to another level? It’s like a light switch.”

Her library is organized and impressive. “Here are my indicas. I take a picture of each flower, copy and paste background information, add details about the hybrids, and record how the strain affects me. Here are my sativas – the strains, the parents, the genetics, the experience, the time of day, the warnings.”

LaCarrie saves one bud from every plant she tries. “When I run out, I have to dip into my archive, even though it kills me to do that.

“The plant keeps me focused, and my fashion is an absolutely critical part of that focus,” she concludes. “I’m more productive now than when I was taking pharmaceutical drugs, and this journey isn’t over yet. As a creative, I’m learning to walk safely in that arena and in others. Just wait and see.”

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(“High Fashion” continued from page 20)

THE dank tank

How to Identify High-Quality Cannabis

One of the common goals among those in the legacy community is to educate consumers on what quality cannabis looks like, tastes like, and should feel like in your body. Because it’s a new and inexperienced industry, and because there’s such a large divide between the people who create cannabis regulations and the people who have already created a functional system in the traditional industry, New York State legal farmers are not able to provide top-quality product –through no fault of their own.

It is important that new

cannabis users (for either medical or recreational purposes) are able to identify high-quality, clean cannabis. Basic things to pay attention to if you’re deciding if a flower has been grown to its full potential and properly handled, are its density, structure, and the trichome heads.

Trichomes are the most fragile part of the plant. They can break and degrade from just a temperature swing. Trichomes also hold the main medical and recreational benefits of the plant. Because of how delicate its trichomes and terpenes are, and the vigorous testing/mass production the plant faces in the legal market, it would be impossible to purchase a legal flower in New York that has the same medical and recreational benefits as the flower grown by members of the legacy

the traditional industry to help create comprehensive laws and regulations.

The problem so far is that out of all the states that have legalized cannabis, none of them want to do this without making sure their big business buddies get a piece of the pie … the same buddies that spent so much time, money and energy trying to keep cannabis illegal.

New York needs to bring in the experts who have built

There is a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel, though: the Office of Cannabis Management’s new mentorship program is intended to diversify the industry by bringing in operators – like legacy – who currently have no way in. If the program is rolled out as intended, it could drastically change the “struggling” legal industry and create a bridge between it and the traditional industry. Until corporate America recognizes legacy and steps back, there will always be two industries … but only one that stood up for the plant before it came with tax dollars, private jets, and celebrity handshakes.

So what I would like to do is

Trichomes, small spheres of cannabis resin that coat the leaves, buds and branches of your cannabis plant, give it a frosty white appearance. If you look at a trichome under magnification, you can see that …

If it’s clear, it’s potency is not fully developed

If it’s cloudy, it provides an energetic, heady high

If it’s amber colored, it provides an intense body high

If it’s a mix of cloudy and amber, that’s what you want for both a head and body high.

Goooooooood Morning Grow Fam!

showcase some of the flower from the growers of the traditional industry, and give them the most coveted, meaningless and … probably illegal certification EVER … AKA Certified Dank. This is a certificate of authenticity of being a legacy grower who holds their craft to every standard of excellence.

This bud is Peach Milano. It was grown by one of the most notorious legacy growers in New York, Terps Chaser. Everything this man grows is to a level of excellence not yet seen in the legal industry (key word “yet”). Hopefully, New York will be the first state to allow legacy growers

About the legacy community

Cannabis has only recently been legalized in New York. Even so, there has always been an elite group of underground legacy growers – the pioneers of the traditional cannabis market – who never gave up the fight to grow and distribute this plant.

Up until just a few years ago, cannabis and the traditional industry were considered dangerous and violent; a toxin to our states, cities and our local communities. But our government underestimated the sheer power and determination of what we now consider the “legacy community.”

Despite laws, lies, prison sentences, and children taken away from their parents (for the same product that is now being advertised on billboards), the legacy community never broke! We believe in this plant, and we believe even more so in the underground community that this plant’s illegality has created.

That community should be credited and celebrated – not vilified. They sacrificed their personal freedoms for the betterment of our people and our legacy community.

The Legacy

Fall 2022 • FLX420.com 47
All from your favorite NYS legacy growers
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SMALL talk

The top five winners of cannabis grading at the First Annual FLX Harvest Fest, organized by FLWR CITY COLLECTIVE and Lincoln Hill Farms, included Skittlez from McPike Farms with a score of 9.13 out of 10, followed by Garlic Butter from Grateful Valley (8.91), Mimosa from G-Flower (8.6), Apple Blossom from Grateful Valley (8.53) and Chai Latte from Hindsight Farm (8.08). Read more about the Harvest Fest on page 25.

Albany next year on September 29 and 30.

Headquartered in Massachusetts, NECANN (for “New England Cannabis Convention”) is the largest and longest-running cannabis and hemp convention in the Northeast. It began in 2014, “before the Massachusetts cannabis program was up and running, and recreational cannabis was just a dream,” says necann.com.

Today, it’s the second largest B2B cannabis event in the country with events in Boston, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

NECANN has become a vital hub of resources and communication for businesses, entrepreneurs, cultivators, advocates, patients, investors, educators, and consumers alike.

For more information, visit necann.com.

The Central New York Regional Committee of the Cannabis Association of New York (CANY) will meet on Wednesday, December 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 402 N. Lowell Ave. in Syracuse 13204. The open and in-person meeting promises networking opportunities, education and fun as New York’s adult-use cannabis industry prepares to take flight. For more information, visit cany.org

NECANN’s New York Cannabis Convention in August, held for the first time in Albany, became the organization’s highest-attended first-year convention. The B2B tradeshow and conference attracted more attendees than the two NECANN conventions held at the Javits Center in Manhattan combined.

“While people expressed justifiable concern about holding a statewide convention outside of New York City, we felt that making the event more affordable and accessible to the legacy cultivators and cannabis community was the right move,” said Marc Shepard, the organization’s president and cofounder.

It returns to

The Office of Cannabis Management announced in October that it was launching a Cannabis Compliance Training and Mentorship (CCTM) Program designed to “diversify and grow the pipeline of farmers and processors preparing to participate in the adult-use cannabis industry.”

For legacy growers, it may offer a pathway to obtaining a license. “We know that many New Yorkers have experience growing and processing plants,” noted Tremaine Wright, chair of the state’s Cannabis Control Board. “Now we’re offering the compliance skills training necessary for them to thrive in our regulated industry.”

The inaugural program will consist of a series of structured webinars covering a range of topics on cannabis cultivation and processing, agribusiness management, and regulatory compliance, said the OCM press release. “The 10-week program is based on existing farmer apprenticeship and fellowship programs … it will be made available to people who are interested in cultivating or processing cannabis in a regulated market and who have advanced horticultural experience or advanced experience manufacturing, processing, packaging, or branding products for human consumption.

The application period closed on November 3.

Spotlight on legacy: Close to 100 entries of New York State legacy-grown flower are vying for prizes in the first-ever New York Growers Cup (NYGC).

Right now, a panel of expert judges from across the state are evaluating entries in five categories – Gas, Haze Varieties, Fruit, Exotics/Rare Strains and “Other” – based on Look, Smell, Taste, Smoke and High.

“Our 20 judges represent different aspects of the

cannabis community including growers, breeders, reviewers, nonprofits and more,” reports Ben Gilbert, one of the competition’s organizers. “The first-place winner for each of our five categories will receive a trophy and prizes. Check out Instagram @newyorkstategc to learn more about the prizes.”

The awards show and ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, December 3, at AG Studios, a 350-person-capacity art gallery space in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. Tickets sold out in November for the all-inclusive event (there will be no vending).

“Our intention with the New York Growers Cup, from the very start, has been to bring together New York’s best growers for the first time in one room,” said the organizers on Instagram. “Our hope is that talented growers from all over the state find colleagues to collaborate with, partners to form companies with, and investors to enable those goals – all while celebrating each other’s incredible talents.”

While the organizers have not yet announced plans for upcoming legacy-exclusive events, “Rest assured,” says Ben. “We are already discussing what’s next.”

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NY Small Farma (NYSF) a not-for-profit, 501C3 cannabis education and advocacy organization, has been actively working to realize its mission: to foster a socially just, environmentally regenerative, and economically inclusive cannabis community. Its Share Your Voice initiative provides updates, summaries, and analysis of the latest New York State cannabis regulations to encourage public input, and the organization has been working with investors and interested parties to establish an agricultural incubator for cultivators and processors, specifically to help legacy, women, and minorities access land and resources to launch high-potential, lowcarbon, and climate-resilient enterprises.

NYSF is partnering with FLWR CITY CUP to host the first statewide cup and celebration of the legal harvest. It will launch in January with intake and grading parties taking place throughout the state. The organization is also collaborating with the first-ever New York Growers Cup competition taking place now (see the story above). Among the judges are NYSF Board Member The Dank Duchess and NY Small Farma President Nicole Ricci.

To learn more about NYSF or how to participate in the public comment period, visit nysmallfarma.org and click on regulations.

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Amy Hepworth, pictured here, and her twin sister Gail are seventh generation owners of Hepworth Farms in the Hudson Valley. The 500-acre, certified-organic vegetable operation began growing hemp in 2019. It was among the first farms to receive a state license to grow marijuana this year. Several other license holders also grew cannabis in Hepworth Farms’ fields, bringing the total number of plants grown there to 30,000.

“Let me say, first and foremost, we are strong supporters of the outdoor grow,” Gail Hepworth explained to us recently. “The plant needs to be let loose in the outdoors. It has been in captivity for 100 years, and it prefers to grow outside. Hudson Valley has the climate, the water, and the fresh air. On top of all that, my sister’s soils are fabulous – she’s been working as an organic grower for 40 years.

“That being said, we will use our greenhouses to grow cannabis in the offseason because the industry demands it. We will also have the capacity and the know-how to process and manufacture finished cannabis products and distribute directly to dispensaries.

“We had a fantastic harvest. We were lucky that we had extraordinarily good weather for New York, but we’re okay if the weather is not ideal because that’s what farmers do. And some

of the things that happen to the plant with weather is good for it.

“From the very beginning, we recognized the connection between cannabis and agriculture in general. Other licensed farmers may not see that because most of them were cannabis growers to begin with. Many Americans don’t realize that food supplies are at risk, farmers are at risk. We are introducing cannabis as another crop with the hope that it will help us achieve our goal of equitable pay for farmworkers. This is critical for sustainable agriculture and cannabis industries.

“It is our privilege to grow food for people to put in their bodies so they can eat and nourish themselves, and it is a privilege to grow healthy marijuana. The New York State cannabis industry will be an economic, healthcare, and social equity disruptor – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to disrupt the status quo.

54 FLX420.com • Fall 2022
Photo by Peter Freed

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