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contents Vol 8 IssUE 6



exponential growth Michael Straumietis, aka Big Mike, is the founder of Advanced Nutrients, which is making great strides in the cannabis industry.




p h o t o b y J o h n G i l h o o le y DECEMBER 2016







62 38

34 74 feature



From Music to Cannabis Carlos Santana breaks into Colorado’s industry with a cannabis inhaler.


The Cannabis Captains These cannabis industry leaders are paving the way for successful cannabis businesses in every sector.


Common Ground Damien Williams is pushing boundaries through how women are represented in the cannabis industry.


Sensational Vibrations DJ and producer Berrick is at the heart of the Colorado underground dubstep scene.

departments news 12 News Nuggets 18 By the Numbers 20 Local News 22 Legal Corner 24 Healthy reviews 26 Dispensary Highlight 28 Company Highlight 30 Advocate Highlight


online Exclusive! d New Chinese Language “Yelp”

Style App Coming for Cannabis Investments

34 Strain & Concentrate Reviews 38 Holiday Gift Guide 42 Entertainment Reviews

in every issue

68 Shooting Galleries 72 Growing Culture 74 Destination Unknown

76 Profile in Courage 78 Recipes 82 Colorado Now! 84 News of the Weird



d CULTURE’s Guide to Staying in Compliance with Cannabis Advertising Regulations in Every State

Vol 8 IssUE 6 DECEMBER 2016










Publisher Jeremy Zachary Editor-In-Chief Evan Senn associate Editor Ashley Bennett Editorial coordinator Jamie Solis Managing Editor Addison Herron-Wheeler Editorial Contributors Benjamin Adams, Sheryll Alexander, Marguerite Arnold, Jake Browne, Cole Garrison, Jasen T. Davis, Alex Distefano, David Downs, Natasha Guimond, Addison Herron-Wheeler, Anthony Herrold, Pamela Jayne, Heather Johnson, Joe Jatcko, David Jenison, Kevin Longrie, Emily Manke, Tyler Markwart, Meital Manzuri, Sandy Moriarty, Madison Ortiz, Denise Pollicella, R. Scott Rappold, Paul Rogers, Joy Shannon, Lanny Swerdlow, Simon Weedn, Zara Zhi Photographers Kristen Angelo, Steve Baker, Kristopher Christensen, John Gilhooley, Joel Meaders, Duncan Rolfson Damian Weiler Art Director Steven Myrdahl production manager Tommy LaFleur Graphic Designer Tanya Delgadillo sales director Justin Olson Regional Manager Kim Cook Account Executives Jon Bookatz, Eric Bulls, Cole Garrison, Gene Gorelik, Teddy Helms, Beau Odom, Chris Thatcher, Vic Zaragoza general Manager Iris Norsworthy Office Assistant Angelina Thompson digital content manager David Edmundson digital marketing Alazzia Gaoay manager Ctv Contributors Quinn Marie Distribution Manager Cruz Bobadilla Culture® Magazine is published every month and distributes magazines at over 1,400 locations throughout Colorado. No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other matter within may be reproduced without written permission. Culture® Magazine is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.

10940 S. Parker Road, #237 | Parker | CO | 80134-7440 Phone/Fax 888.694.2046

CULTURE® Magazine is printed using post-recycled paper.





/iReadCulture DECEMBER 2016




Colorado Sees Positive Results for Cannabis after Election In Colorado, new areas have embraced legal cannabis, such as Pueblo County in Southern Colorado, and 53 percent of voters chose to support Initiative 300, which will allow for public use in Denver. Now, the real work begins, as a four-year pilot program will allow Denver businesses to obtain permits that allow their patrons to legally vape or consume edibles indoors, and smoking cannabis in designated outdoor areas. So what does all this positivity mean for cannabis in Colorado? “This shows that the ‘experiment’ in Colorado is working,” explained Mark Malone, Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance in Denver. “Tax revenues are up, a new job market has opened up, real estate is through the roof and teen usage is down.” As more and more states turn to legalization, they will be looking to the increasingly thriving cannabis industry in Colorado as a guidepost. With the passing of social use and bold new initiatives, the state will continue to pave the way for the rest of the country with forward-thinking policy.

Ireland’s Minister of Health Calls For Cannabis Research Ireland is a bit behind the rest of the world, as it still does not permit its citizens to use cannabis for medical purposes. However, that might be changing soon. Ireland’s Minister of Health, Simon Harris, gave a statement in November regarding the future of cannabis in the country. “This is not a discussion about decriminalizing cannabis in any way, shape or form, it is about reviewing our current policy and seeking to inform ourselves of the latest medical and scientific evidence on the potential medical benefits of cannabis for some people with certain medical conditions.” He continued to share that although he is aware that many patients are interested in using cannabis as a treatment, it hasn’t undergone the necessary regulations that medicines must go through to be proven as effective and safe treatments. That is why in his statement, Harris asked the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) of Ireland to provide expert scientific advice regarding cannabis.

National Marijuana Museum to be Built in Pueblo in 2017 Pueblo is one area that has had to fight long and hard for its cannabis rights. Now, the city has spoken, and the attempt to pass a ruling that would ban retail cannabis licenses has failed. To celebrate, the cannabis enthusiasts in the community plan to build a National Marijuana Museum. The museum is being planned by a group of interested citizens and the Pueblo County museum will be built in Pueblo City itself. “Being able to provide the general public with information about this amazing plant sounds like an awesome idea,” stated Jeremiah Clarke, Facility Manager at Dabble Extracts in Denver, when asked about his thoughts on the museum. “People need to be able to see and gather facts and information for themselves first-hand, with the ability to see all of the history behind marijuana from unbiased platforms. We should take pride in the fact that we are leading the nation’s legalization movement, and we should be the first to properly showcase the history of that movement.” Plans for the museum are under way, and in the meantime, residents of Pueblo are celebrating their lax new legal cannabis rulings.

Temporary Rules Issued for Cannabis Growers and Producers in PA Temporary rules were set forth by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health in a release from Official News for Pennsylvania State Agencies. Health Secretary Karen Murphy shared the agency’s intention behind this decision. “We’re especially looking for comments from the laboratory community to help us develop regulations that protect the integrity of the medical marijuana testing process,” Murphy stated. “As we move forward in this groundbreaking effort, we want to make sure that patient safety is paramount, and laboratories are essential to meeting that goal. These regulations are designed to ensure we have a safe and responsible process in place.” The temporary rules can only be in place for up to 24 months. They allow processors and growers to import seeds and immature plants from out of state, whereas before they were only allowed to import seeds from out of state. The new rules doubled the number of growing districts in Pennsylvania, and growers now have 90 days to get their grow sites up-and-running. These regulations also ensure the hiring process for cannabis cultivators provides equal opportunity to all, and officials are not allowed to disqualify a candidate’s application on the basis that another state rejected the candidate. 12









The number of cannabisrelated jobs that were brought by the cannabis industry in 2015:


(Source: The Denver Post)


The approximate number of years that have passed since Colorado first voted on recreational (Source: The cannabis: Gazette)


The percentage of votes that were in favor of Initiative 300 in Denver, as of November 22: (Source:


The number of states that have sent representatives to Colorado to learn and understand more about Colorado’s cannabis industry: (Source: Colorado

The amount of money, in billions of dollars, that Colorado’s cannabis industry has generated in business revenue, business profits, personals wages, and/or jobs, during 2015: (Source: The Denver Post)



Springs Independent)

The estimated number of people who attended a cannabis information session in Waikiki, Hawaii to discuss cannabis job openings, investment opportunities and other information about the state’s new cannabis industry: (Source: Hawaii News Now)

The percentage of banks in the U.S. that are currently providing basic banking services to the cannabis industry: (Source: Bloomberg)


The percentage of Americans who stated their support for cannabis legalization three weeks prior to the election: (Source:



The percentage of Wyomingites who stated that they support medical cannabis: (Source: Casper Star Tribune)


5th Annual Denver Beer Festivus WHAT: 5th Annual Denver Beer Festivus. WHEN/WHERE: Sat, Dec. 17. Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, 7711 E. Academy Blvd. #1, Denver.  INFO: Visit for more information. 

As likely one of the grandest of beer festivals in Denver, the 5th Annual Denver Beer Festivus will feature enough beer to make you feel like a local legend. With over 50 Denver-based craft beers on tap at this insane festival, there’s a good chance you might find your next favorite brew . . . or 10. Breweries like Black Shirt Brewing, River North Brewery, Denver Beer



Co. and many others will be pouring frothy brews in a huge airplane hangar. Peruse around and check out the 48 planes that reside in this Air Force hangar and museum. What is really great about this event is that part of the proceeds go to the organization New Era. Don’t miss this anniversary party and celebration that will have you praising all things Denver beer. DECEMBER 2016




electronic banking solutions

“CanPay started with one goal—to bring traditional and legitimate electronic payment solutions to highly-regulated industries.”

New app from Littleton-based company may fix cannabis banking problems


by Jamie Solis new phone application from a company based out of Littleton has big dreams of aiding the cannabis industry’s cash problem. The CanPay Debit Payment App is a phone application that allows cannabis purchasers in Colorado, Oregon and Washington to pay for cannabis and cannabis products using their phone. The money is transferred from the payees’ bank account and gets deposited into cannabis retail businesses’ bank accounts. CanPay’s website shares why the company started. “CanPay started with one goal—to bring traditional and legitimate electronic payment solutions to highlyregulated industries. We’ve spent years learning about the unique challenges that face consumers and retailers in these industries and used that experience to design CanPay as the stable payment solution they can rely on.” Large banks and credit unions in the United States and many other countries largely refuse to work with cannabis businesses for fear of negative repercussions from the federal government, given the substance is still illegal on the federal level. This has caused trouble for those in the industry, because being forced to run a successful business with so much cash on hand makes cannabis businesses a target for criminals. CanPay sets out to fix that problem, and their application makes it pretty simple and straightforward for both the consumer and the retailers. There are no convenience fees or any other fees associated with paying with



CanPay for consumers, which beats paying a fee to withdraw cash at an ATM. It’s safer than carrying cash, and it allows a person to purchase cannabis without having to visit the bank first. The application is easy to use and secure, as the user can make a unique payment pin to protect their account. Retailers will also benefit from the CanPay system. Its site explains the frustrations many retail businesses are currently facing. “You’ve finally opened a bank account with a financial institution that is willing to bank your industry through a robust compliance program but when it comes to accepting payments from your customers, you can still only accept cash.” Customers typically prefer to pay electronically, however many cannabis businesses cannot open the merchant accounts necessary to accept credit card payments. By using CanPay, retailers can avoid this issue and offer their customers a more convenient way to pay. Retailers can do business in their DBA name when using CanPay, and it’s an inexpensive option. Not only will a retail location become safer with less cash on hand, but customers have been proven to spend more money when they do so electronically. There are currently 10 retailers that have signed onboard the CanPay system, four of which are based in Colorado. It’s only a matter of time that more retailers sign up to use CanPay, giving the cannabis industry a safer and more convenient way to accept payments. c

2nd Annual Holidaze Fundraiser It is officially everyone’s favorite time of the year—the holidaze! NORML is throwing its 2nd Annual Holidaze Fundraiser and you’re invited! This is arguably Denver NORML’s biggest and best fundraiser of the year, and it takes the cake for excitement compared to all other fundraisers. The event is exclusively for adults ages 21-and-over, and it will be very green, as it is promised to be “infused with botanicals from start to finish.” Food will be served, drinks like “mocktails” by Stillwater Tea will be consumed, plus there will be a huge silent auction with plenty of great prizes. Additionally, live music by The Indigo Blue Band will really set the scene for an evening you will surely enjoy. The event is sponsored by Stillwater and Evolab. WHAT:  2nd Annual Holidaze Fundraiser. WHEN/WHERE:  Wed, Dec. 7. Cultivated Synergy, 2901 Walnut St., Denver.  INFO:  Visit www. denver-norml for more information. DECEMBER 2016




NEXT STOP, HEMP PLASTIC New child-resistant containers for cannabis should consider using hemp by Ann Toney


ith the advent of the recent Colorado regulations which mandate child-resistant containers for all cannabis sales from dispensaries, get ready to see some new containers at your dispensary. If you look online for “containers for marijuana” you do get quite a bit of information. In visiting a local dispensary, you will now see a wide variety of shapes and sizes of containers. Some are quite hard to open, even for adults. The black bag with the zipper is a plastic pouch with a complicated, and what looks to be an expensive, zipper. Good luck opening it. This is a large carryall for the products you purchase at the dispensary. Given that eight states have now legalized medical

cannabis and 29 states now have legalized recreational (also known as retail) cannabis, we will be seeing more and more regulations for the packaging of cannabis. We are talking about thousands and millions of oil based plastic containers possibly filling up our landfills. So the oil-based plastic used to make these child-resistant containers can also be traded in for containers made from hemp-plastic. Plastic hemp is a product. Hemp is a cannabis sativa plant and can be grown to maximize the fibers in the stalk of the plant. Hemp has a low as 0.5 percent of the psychotropic chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is too low to have psychoactive affects. Hemp interestingly enough produces the cannabinoid CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive and has gained notoriety by being used to successfully treat children

suffering from certain kinds of epilepsy and other seizure disorders. There are many industrial uses for this durable natural material hemp, which include being used to make rope, fabrics, building materials, ballistic materials, and many other items, including plastic hemp. Basically any product that consumes petroleum can be produced from hemp. So, the petroleum based plastic used to make these multiple colorful containers, can be replaced with hemp plastic. Why is this important? Because we would want the thousands and millions of cannabis containers that are being used across our country, and will be used over the next many years, to break down and deteriorate in the landfills and not just sit there. So, with the growing

Vail Snow Daze

WHAT: Vail Snow Daze. WHEN/WHERE: Fri, Dec. 9-Sun, Dec. 11.  Solaris, 141 E. Meadow Dr., Vail Village, Vail. INFO: Visit for more information.  This early-season mountain bash will help you celebrate some of the best perks about living in or visiting Colorado. This is the largest mountain bash of its kind in North America. Vail Snow Daze will give participants the opportunity to ski or snowboard toward fresh tracks during the day. Then, as night falls, the stage will be rocking with free live concerts. The concerts will be help at Solaris 22


in the Vail Village with the main acts changing from night to night. On Friday, you can expect tunes from the opening act Turntable Review, followed by the main act Michael Franti Trio. On Saturday Marvel Years will be opening up the stage for Lettuce. All three nights will have after-park parties in the Vail and Lionshead Villages. Overall, Vail Snow Daze will be weekend to remember.

“Given that eight states have now legalized medical cannabis and 29 states now have legalized recreational (also known as retail) cannabis, we will be seeing more and more regulations for the packaging of cannabis. We are talking about thousands and millions of oil based plastic containers possibly filling up our landfills.” cannabis industry in our country, now is the time to think of the future and realize that plastic containers made from hemp would both be compatible with and supportive of the cannabis industry in our country. Since these containers could be used over and over by the customers and patients purchasing their many treasures at the dispensary and since these plastic hemp containers could also be saving our planet by saving the landfills, ask your dispensary if they will start using hemp. c DECEMBER 2016




Treating Parkinson’s Disease with U.S. Patent 6630507

“The ability of the age-old medicine cannabis to mitigate Parkinson’s and other movement disorders has been known for a long time dating back to 1839 when medical cannabis pioneer Dr. William B. O’Shaughnessy penned that cannabis is “an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value.”

by Lanny Swedlow, RN LNC


arkinson’s Disease (PD) mainly affects people over 60 years of age, as it is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system with symptoms appearing slowly over time. The most common symptoms are tremors of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face with depression, difficulty speaking and skin problems occurring frequently. Levodopa, developed in the late ’60s, remains the most common longterm prescription drug used to treat PD. It is very effective but has multiple side effects the most common being nausea and dyskinesia (impaired voluntary movements). Other side effects include dizziness, constipation, insomnia, numbness and mental changes including delayed cognitive processing, depression, impulsive gambling and thoughts of suicide. Levodopa’s effectiveness begins to wear off after five years and many find it no longer effective after 10 to 15 years of persistent daily use. There are few other drugs that effectively treat PD, so when Levodopa is no longer effective many patients turn to a surgical procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Using a surgically implanted, batteryoperated medical device that delivers a continuous electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain, DBS disrupts the neurotransmissions that are the source of the disabling motor symptoms of PD. The negative consequences of implanting electrical devices in the brain is axiomatic. With America’s population of people



over 65 growing from about 45 million in 2015 to a projected 55 million in 2020, there has to be a better way to treat this common ailment of the elderly. It just so happens there is, and it is nothing new under the sun. The ability of the age-old medicine cannabis to mitigate Parkinson’s and other movement disorders has been known for a long time dating back to 1839 when medical cannabis pioneer Dr. William B. O’Shaughnessy penned that cannabis is “an anticonvulsive remedy of the greatest value.” A study published in the European Journal of Pain in October 2016 confirmed Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s much earlier and correct conclusion reporting that “Cannabis improved motor scores and pain symptoms in PD patients.” This new study at Tel Aviv University confirmed a March 2014 study at the same university that found “significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea (slowness of movement). There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores.” Most significantly the study concluded that “No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed,” and it provided this “significant improvement” in just 30 minutes. Levodopa put that in your pipe and smoke it. PD has been linked to a dysfunction in the body’s dopamine system. Research has demonstrated that our endocannabinoid neurotransmission system modulates dopamine transmission. Cannabis is effective in treating PD tremors and other movement disorders

because it provides the dopamine modulating cannabinoids needed by the profusion of cannabinoid receptors located in the basal ganglia, the area of the brain that regulates body movement. PD is also caused by oxidative stress where our bodies produce more free radicals than we need for life processes such as digestion and immunity. These “excess” free radicals, produced in response to everything from emotional stress to pollution to chlorinated water, have been linked to a host of human ailments from aging to cancer to PD. Cannabinoids are able to protect neurons from oxidative stress so effectively that in 2001 the U.S. government filed for and received U.S. Patent 6630507 entitled “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.” In applying for the patent, the U.S. Government wrote: “The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.” Even though our federal government has been paralyzed by “Reefer Madness” for the last 80 years, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, holder of patent 6630507, by default recognizes the enormous potential for protecting the brain and central nervous system from the damage that can lead to PD and other movement disorders. c DECEMBER 2016



dispensary highlight

Sweet Leaf Marijuana Interviewed: Nichole West, Vice President of Operations What does your dispensary offer patients that they can’t find anywhere else?

5100 W 38th Ave., Denver, 80212 4400 Evans Ave., Denver, 80222 15200 6th Ave., Aurora, 80011 2609 Walnut St., Denver, 80205 2647 W 38th Ave., Denver, 80211 9462 Federal Blvd., Federal Heights, 80260 4379 Tejon St., Denver, 80211 468 S Federal Blvd., Denver, 80219

How and when did your dispensary start up? In 2011, the Sweet Leaf Marijuana empire was built with $9,000 cash and two maxed-out American Express cards by Christian Johnson. The first harvest paid off the credit cards. The second paid the rent and air conditioning. Matt Aiken and Anthony Sauro became associates a few years prior when Matt was invited over to Anthony’s grow by Anthony’s then grow partner and brother. The team united when the owner of a Denver dispensary was failing and owed all of these guys 26

some money. He asked them for help. “Right place, right time and just eager enough to go all in” Matt says. They all sat down together, forgave debts and invested just over $150,000 to partner in their first dispensary locations.  This specific location is still in their portfolio today and is one of their highest grossing locations. What’s the story behind the name of your dispensary? It was the name of one of the first two dispensaries that they acquired during initial startup.


We aim to be the most educated and friendly staff possible, and provide the most consistent product at the most reasonable prices in town. How has the cannabis industry changed since you have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go? The past few years have been quite a roller coaster. The cannabis industry has changed in most ways regarding the business from tracking, to advertising, to expertise and education. At Sweet Leaf we aim to direct the industry in a way that allows for their staff to make their way in to a successful career while still nurturing their individuality. We want our team to be as passionate about the cannabis plant and the good it has done for so many people’s health as well as Colorado, Oregon and every state that has accepted into its business and tax structure.

What are the biggest challenges you face in this industry as a dispensary? Biggest joys? Biggest challenge we have faced over the years has been banking but recently have been able to work with a great bank called Safe Harbor that works with Licensed and Compliant Cannabis Businesses. Biggest joys are found when we are able to help people find their relief from cannabis as a medicine and when we go hand out coats to the Denver homeless on Christmas Day as a team. What is the one thing you want patients to know about your dispensary? We offer a discount on every purchase for veterans, seniors and terminally ill patients and will allow for double discounts for these people.   What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the MJ/MMJ community? We hope to be able to be a business that is in every cannabis friendly state and is able to provide value to the communities that we reside in. At Sweet Leaf, we believe in giving back as much as possible and hope to be able to make an impact everywhere we go. c DECEMBER 2016



company highlight

Organa Brands

best in class marketing and creative team to create new brands with unique voices that appeal to a wide range of people. Your mom may not be dabbing our Bakked distillates, but she may have tried our CBD rich energy shot, Magic Buzz, or, if she’s really cool, she probably has an O.penVAPE. All of these products are made with our Organa Labs Inside supercritical CO2 extraction process, which means you are getting a pure, balanced and consistent product, every time. | (844) OPENVAP What do you offer consumers/clients that others don’t?

How would you describe your company? What is your specialty? With products in more than 1,200 dispensaries nationwide and ancillary products distributed in seven countries, Organa Brands has established itself as a global leader within the cannabis industry. Organa Brands enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with its network of affiliates who are licensed to manufacture and sell O.penVAPE, Magic Buzz, Organa Labs and Bakked branded infused cannabis products and accessories. Licensees in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Oregon employ Organa Labs technology and processes to manufacture 28

cannabis oil through supercritical CO2 extraction. Our specialty is focused around three core purposes of the company. First, we want to physically produce more cannabis oil than anyone else in world, currently we do that with labs in nine states, including all four newly legalized states in CA, MA, ME and NV. Second, we want to create world-class brands that our customers identify and connect with on an emotional level. Each of our brands has a unique voice and aesthetic. With the amount of oil that we produce across the country, it’s imperative that we stay focused on new product development across a host of delivery methods. The myriad of ways that our scientists can formulate oil and distillates allows for our


Organa Brands products are unique in that they span the spectrum from edibles to dabs to drinks to vape pens. All of these products feature the Organa Labs Inside seal of quality on them. This means that you know what you are getting, every time. Consumers want to have repeatable experiences, meaning, once you find a product that works for you, you want it to work every time. How and why did your company start up? Founded in 2010, Organa Labs, our Colorado lab, is the oldest licensed CO2 cannabis extraction lab in the world. It was originally started to provide a safe, pure and healthier way to consume cannabis. With the changing landscape of MMJ and recreational cannabis, what do you see as the biggest challenges to your progress as a company? Any advantages? Our ability to scale and quickly move into new

markets has been a critical part of our success for last several years. We made the strategic decision to expand outside Colorado in 2012, expanded to the east coast in 2014 and to Europe with CBD and ancillary product in 2015. We have been through the process of expanding into a new market over a dozen times. We have certainly learned some hard lessons along the way, but we have also learned what works, and what doesn’t! Looking into the future, the biggest challenge ahead is constantly growing. It’s difficult to navigate the maze of regulation in a dozen plus markets and counting. We have to constantly adapt products, packaging, hardware, computer systems and the way we do business to be more efficient, more forward thinking and more profitable. What do you hope to accomplish in the MMJ industry? We hope to be a force of societal change that is a catalyst to legalization not just in the U.S., but around the world. Any sneak peeks on new products or news you’d like to share? Our newest brand Bakked, features distillate concentrates, has several exciting new products coming out including the long awaited, Dabaratus, a click style distillate dispenser that will revolutionize the way you dab. We also have several isolates, both THC and CBD becoming available soon. And last but not least, we are excited to announce the release of District Edibles, fine gummies, hard candies, lollipops and chewing gum that are all made from scratch and use only the finest activated oil. c DECEMBER 2016



advocate highlight

Shane Mauss Presents A Good Trip

Guy H. Rocourt Occupation: Chief Products Officer, Papa & Barkley When and how did you become an advocate for cannabis? My advocacy began in the 1990s while I was working for Montel Williams. Montel’s personal battle with Multiple Sclerosis has led him to be a strong supporter of the medical cannabis movement. When Prop 215 passed I moved to California and became his caregiver. It really impacted me and I knew that I wanted to do more. How has cannabis benefited your life? I am blessed to have my general health. As a cannabis industry professional and a father my life is busy, and I believe that cannabis has helped me stay centered and focused. What’s your greatest achievement for the cannabis cause? Knowing that the products that I have created have helped thousands of people. Providing safe access to those in need is the most satisfying part of my job. How did that manifest? It started with my caregiving of Montel and then solidified while working with my first growing partner who had Crohn’s Disease. Witnessing the life-changing health and well-



being impact of medical cannabis made me determined to make those benefits available to as many people as possible. Now, I have launched Papa & Barkley with my partners, which is a company devoted to producing the highest-quality cannabis topical solutions and lifestyle/spa products. We are devoted to unlocking the wellness potential of cannabis to relieve chronic aches and pains as well as athletic-related injuries and pains associated with those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, cancer, scar tissue inflammation and more. Who do you look up to or admire? I really admire all dispensary owners and workers! Their courage to open businesses with the associated risks makes them the vanguards of our industry. If you could change one thing about the way cannabis is viewed and/or treated right now, what would it be? Cannabis should be our first line of medical defenses but unfortunately it seems to be the last. It should be the premier natural solution due to its very limited side effects, low toxicity and proven efficacy. On the recreational side we should stop the hypocrisy and tax and regulate like alcohol. c

Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s time for you to get a heavy dosage. Shane Mauss presents A Good Trip at Comedy Works Downtown, which means that lots of laughter and ridiculousness is in your future. Shane Mauss is a comedian who has been seen on shows like Conan, Jimmy Kimmel and Showtime. Comedy specials on Comedy Central and Netflix are also good reasons that he is now a household name. Go ahead, and let yourself laugh the night away as he delivers this insightful comedy show about psychedelics. It’s said to be a mix between storytelling, stand-up and an educational seminar, so be warned that not only will you laugh, but you might even learn something new. Overall, this unique and informative comedy show is an experience like no other.  WHAT:  Shane Mauss presents A Good Trip. WHEN/WHERE:  Tues, Dec. 6. Comedy Works Downtown, 1226 15th St., Denver.  INFO:  Visit www. comedyworks. com for more information. DECEMBER 2016






strain & concentrate

Death Star If you’re a Death Star, you get blown up. It’s what you do. If you want to feel like a rebel in your own home, try breaking up one of these giant nugs and adding some pyrotechnics of your own. Courtesy of TweedLeaf in Colorado Springs, the force is strong in this particular cut of Death Star, even if it looks more like Chewbacca with tons of orange hairs. Incredibly dense, a grinder released big notes of citrus and skunk, like a bowl of fruit that’s been sitting out a little too long. Being aware of its reputation for serious potency, we started with two hits a piece and waited for it to rock our reactor cores. About 15 minutes later, there was already serious body relaxation in our leg sectors and a slight paranoia, as the effects can be racy for the indica-like expectations. That soon subsided and the indica expectations were met, but you’re better off watching the trilogy than trying to man the Millennium Falcon, as we found it quite sedative as the hours went on.

Available at: Natural Remedies in Denver.

Available at: TweedLeaf in Colorado Springs.

Alchemy by Evolab; Banana Kush Allow us a moment to channel our inner Gwen Stefani: These dabs are bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Kudos to the folks at Evolab for their latest triumph, taking Natural Remedies Banana Kush and churning out some seriously impressive concentrate. The smooth, golden oil isn’t too loose, despite it being chocked full of terpenes, and was surprisingly easy to work with. The aromas will blow you away, though, with fruity, sugary plantain notes that complement the equally present lemon and pine flavors. Taking the first inhale, you’ll notice they come through very pronounced without any artificial, perfume-like aftertaste. A low-key mood elevator, you’ll feel content with just a little hit of the indica-dominant hybrid, achieving a Zen-like state that can help you sort through your worries of the day like fresh socks out of the laundry. Overconsumption can turn this on its head, however, and cause slight anxiety, so trust us when we say the Banana Kush Alchemy Dabs are best to take slowly. For a full list of stores carrying Evolab Alchemy visit Jesus OG In the not-so-distant future, could it be possible that cannabis could replace those unpleasant wafers as a symbol of the “body of Christ?” If so, we’d recommend Jesus OG as the perfect strain for the occasion, as it seems like Colorado Spring’s Strawberry Fields turned water into weed with this potent sativa. The long, thin nugs are robust with color, as the bright green calyxes and flaming orange hairs jumped out of the jar at us. In true OG fashion, we picked up predominantly muted aromas of rubber, pine and a slight earthiness that all come through stronger in the first hits. Testers were in love with how much energy and mood boost they found it gave them, and while they weren’t walking on water, they were running around the office like human jet skis. You should also notice a great amount of muscle tension released and is ideal for someone who deals with spasms but needs to be productive throughout the day. Even the most devout atheist is going to love Jesus OG. 34




Available at: Strawberry Fields in Colorado Springs. DECEMBER 2016



Available at: Quality Choice Alternative Care Center in Colorado Springs.

Buddha’s Sister Nug Run Live Sugar Fun fact: Buddha had two sisters, Nanda and Sundari, and he shaved his head because he was sick of them always braiding his hair. Okay, that might not all be true. But the real truth is what TerpX is doing with their live resin right now. Processing Buddha’s Sister flower from Quality Choice Alternative Care Center, the indica-heavy sugar has a gorgeous golden orange tint like so many statues. Slightly chemmy, most of the nose is similar to Sandalwood and fresh cloves, giving a nice depth of flavor. Perfect for meditation, you’ll feel pain-free with a slight hit, almost like a numbness working its way through your body. Several samplers noted a serenity and peacefulness that was much needed after a tough month, although this also came with an absolute need for sleep, too. For practicing non-violence, Buddha’s Sister packs a heck of a punch.

Star Dawg Guava For a name that sounds more at home as a hidden character in Mario Party, Star Dawg Guava knows how to get said party lit. One of the best smelling strains on the market, we were particularly taken by Third Day Apothecary’s cut in Colorado Springs. Opening a jar is like walking through a fruit market, with bright notes of fresh guava, ginger, and lemon peel mixing in with spicy incense. The dark green and purple leaves are expertly hand trimmed, too, preserving a ton of gorgeous looking trichomes. For a sativa-dominant hybrid, you’ll notice a lot of mental energy initially, ideal for people who need to knock out creative work or are just looking for a little inspiration. With your mind moving a million miles a minute, consider having a pen and paper handy. For as rowdy as it can feel, coming down is very clean and won’t leave you wide awake, but closer to neutral.

Available at: Third Day Apothecary in Colorado Springs. GET YOUR CLICKS

HERE Available wherever: Honest Marijuana products are carried.

Honest Marijuana Hemp Blunts Rolling up the perfect blunt is an artform, but it’s also a huge turnoff to those who want to avoid supporting Big Tobacco. Thankfully, the team at Honest Marijuana has changed the game with their new pre-rolled hemp blunts, infused with CBD instead of nicotine. Forever skeptics, we picked up a pack of Fruity Pebbles and Chem Cookies (Girl Scout Cookies x Chem Dawg) to put them to the test. Unlike some impossible-to-hit joints we’ve purchased over the years, we were pleased with how well they pulled and even more impressed with how evenly they burned without canoeing down one side. The flavor, however, is where they shine, as they’re less abrasive than most on the market wraps, and we could actually taste the bud after several hits. Speaking of which, these are definitely packed with nugs, not trim, so several reviewers actually put it down halfway through. Unable to pick a favorite between the two strains, we’ve decided that we’re down for whatever Honest Marijuana wants to fill them with.




Toker Poker

GU IDE! 2016

Get the hottest gift item of the season—the legendary Toker Poker! Finally your poker/dabber, tamper, hemp wick and lighter are all in the same place. This 420 multi-tool has everything you need to vape, dab, roll and toke. Its ergonomic design provides the most basic but essential tools for any smoker. Glow in the dark, chrome and other limited editions are now available online. Sure to be a stocking stuffer hero! Use “CULTURETP16” at check out for 20 percent discount online at (offer expires 12/31/16).  Price: $7.95 Website:

Grow For Vets USA

To honor, give thanks and give back to U.S. veterans, O.penVAPE has created a fundraising promotion with our partner Grow For Vets USA. We’ve designed two batteries, one customized with a camouflage design and the other an American flag. Both will be sold online and in retail outlets across the country. For every battery sold, one dollar is being donated to Grow For Vets USA. The organization’s primary mission is to save the more than 50 veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription overdoses. Grow for Vets provides veteran heroes with a safe alternative to deadly prescription drugs. Helping wounded veterans to receive the respect and dignity of life that they deserve is a mission we are proud to be part of. Price: $24.95 Website:

Lock N Load Glass Containers

If you know a cannabis consumer who is always on-the-go, then the Lock-N-Load Chillum Display glass containers might make the perfect gift. These tiny, 9mm containers come with a twist cap for safe storage and easy opening that will help keep that unique cannabis smell hidden until you or your giftee is ready to use it. Best of all, these containers come in a display case of 48, which means that a gift like this will become an instant stocking stuffer favorite. Price: $2 each, 48 count per display Website:



Nexus Vape Pen

Nothing says “I care about you” more than a highquality vape pen. For your loved ones, choose a Nexus Vape Pen to give them one gift that will continue to keep giving. It has a temperature controlled battery for 340°, 400° and 460°, and offers a 20-second drag time. All Nexus Vape Pens come complete with a USB charging port, for quick and convenient charging, as well as a lifetime warranty on the provided battery. Plus, it comes in four colors (matte blaq, pearl white, gunmetal and ruby red), which will help you narrow down exactly what your giftee might want. Price: $79.99 Website: DECEMBER 2016


Smokies Toke Couture Marijuana Rose Necklace

Now that cannabis has been legalized in even more states, a lot of things are going to change in the cannabis community. Take this moment to jump ahead of the incoming trend of cannabis jewelry with a gift like the Smokies Toke Couture Marijuana Rose Necklace. This beautiful bronze metal cannabis leaf necklace is complimented with a soft pink resin rose to add a classy touch to a simple look. Cannabis couture is about to become much more than green and Rastafarian-color inspirations, and it all starts with gifts like this one! Price: $28 Website: SmokiesTokeCouture

GUI DE ! 2016 .cont

Dr. Bronner’s Arnica-Menthol Organic Magic Balm

Here is a stocking stuffer perfect for all those hardworking folks on your holiday shopping list. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Balm is here, and it’s going to make sure that sore muscles, aches and pains are a thing of the past. Just rub a little bit of this magic balm on problem areas, and you will instantly feel a tingly, hot and cold sensation washing over your skin. The effect becomes stronger with time, and soon your sore muscles will feel like they’ve just received a hug from a minty gum chewing fairy. While you certainly want to grab one of these tins for a friend, you’re best advised to grab one for yourself too! Who says you can’t buy yourself something nice for the holidays? Price: $9.99 Website:

KandyPens Galaxy Tornado Limited Edition Vape Pen

For a sleek, good looking vape pen, you can hardly do better than the KandyPens Galaxy Tornado Limited Edition Vape Pen. Before you inspect any of this pen’s specifications, its shiny metallic exterior (offered in four colors: Gun metal, gold, chrome and rose gold) will instantly impress. Look deeper into this pen and you’ll find that it’s tornado coil, temperature controlled battery (at 350°, 390° and 430°), lifetime battery warranty and much more are equally impressive. This is going to be a hot Christmas item, as only 500 units were made! Price: $144.95-$149.95 Website: 40


Chewy Grinder

Long gone are the days of carrying around a heavy metal cannabis grinder! Now, technology proves once again that it makes our lives much easier, and with an portable electric grinder like Chewy Grinder, cannabis can be ground up quickly and at any time. This device supports a simple 9-volt battery that can provide an estimated 19 hours of use, and can also carry and store up to two grams of cannabis, making it perfect for any user out there who wishes to grind on the go. There are numerous colors to pick from, and we’re thinking this is the kind of tech that every cannabis user could benefit from. Price: $49.99-$89.99 Website: DECEMBER 2016





Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis Mark S. Ferrara


Rendered Unto Ash

Rowman & Littlefield GAME Sacred Bliss is a great new book by author Mark S. Ferrara that delves deep into the spiritual and curative traditions of cannabis use through historical cultures around the world. The author challenges traditional attitudes about cannabis by tracing its essential role in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from ancient times to the present day. Sacred Bliss offers great historical evidence of cannabis as an entheogen used for thousands of years to evoke peak-experiences, or moments of expanded perception or spiritual awareness by looking at sacred and secular texts from around the world, offering further support for cannabis as not just a medicine but also as an aid to increase imagination, creativity, heightened spirituality, perspective and deeper levels of thought. (Alex Bradley) 42


Pocket Buddy Designed by Neon Roots Developed by Pocket Buddy Gamers have always been fascinated by games about growing and harvesting, so it’s no surprise that a mobile game like Pocket Buddy has captured the hearts of cannabis lovers everywhere. This quirky farming game allows you to grow unique and exotic strains of cannabis from the seed up, and then continue to harvest and sell your greatest growing creations. It’s the perfect game to add a little canna-fun to your day, and is also bound to keep you occupied during family gatherings this holiday season too. (Nicole Potter)


Sausage Party Dir. Conrad Vernon, Gren Tiernan Columbia Pictures It would be hard to predict that a bunch of sentient grocery items discovering the fact that they are about to be consumed by the humans who are purchasing them would go on to become the highest grossing R-rated animated movie ever. Yet, that is exactly the plot of Sausage Party, and it is indeed what it has accomplished since its release. From the minds who brought you classics like Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is The End and The Interview, Sausage Party is another solid contribution of theirs to the modern cannabis comedy cannon. (Simon Weedn)

In the Company of Serpents Self-released Local doom duo In the Company of Serpents have been blowing always Denver listeners for years, and now they are taking their dark and heavy sound out on the road. The band’s most recent record, Rendered Unto Ash, takes the deliberate and methodical music they make and takes it up a notch, adding in even more layers of vocal distortion, odd drum patterns and unique riffs to make this record stand out among other doom records in Denver and across the globe. Check this out if you want to hear something loud, heavy and truly unique. (Addison HerronWheeler) DECEMBER 2016




p h o t o s b y J o h n G i l h o o le y

“I fell in love with the plant once I started taking care of it and growing it.”

Raising the Bar in Cannabis Growth Advanced Nutrients’ Founder Michael “Big Mike” Straumietis is helping this industry reach new heights

by R. Scott Rappold


he first thing you have to know about Michael “Big Mike” Straumietis is this— when he first started growing cannabis in his home state of Illinois, having up to 20 plants could get you six years in prison, 50 plants 10 years and more than 200 plants, 30 years. Oh yes, and those prison sentences were mandatory minimums. The early 1980s was not a good time to be caught cultivating. It was a life in the shadows, a life on the run. So you’ll forgive Big Mike if he is living a bit, well, ostentatiously lately. You may have seen him on Instagram, the “Marijuana Don” partying at his mansion with bikini models and huge quantities of premium herb or hopping across the country on a private jet.

The six-foot-seven-inch giant is living the high life for the rest of us and he doesn’t care who knows about it. As the founder of Advanced Nutrients, Straumietis has done well for himself in the cannabis revolution of the past two decades, through his company Advanced Nutrients, the world’s largest hydroponics nutrient company specifically for cannabis. He’s been tweaking his formulas for three decades and had scientists in Bulgaria studying cannabis long before states began legalizing it for recreation. Straumietis recently took time out of his busy partying . . . um, work schedule to talk with Culture about the past and future of cannabis growing, why he feels cannabis strains will someday be a thing of the past and what it’s like to be Big Mike. >> DECEMBER 2016


Have you always been “Big Mike?” Yes, because my last name is such a mouthful to say. All my friends when I was growing up, because I was always the tallest kid, they just called me Big Mike, and it stuck so it’s easier to remember than my last name. What was your first cannabis experience? I was 12 years old. My half brother Andy came back from Vietnam and he showed up at our door one day, and he was into weed. He gave my father three joints, which my father never smoked. I would look in his drawer and they were just sitting there. I decided to take one and smoke it. I liked it so much I took the other two.


When did you start growing your own? I was 23 years old. I had a lawn care company . . . I had a couple guys working for me, salesmen. They go, “Hey, I’ve got this thing.” “What is it?” “You can make lots of money.” “Tell me about it.” “You’re not ready.” They would tease me every once in a while . . . and one day they took me into their basement and they go, “Do you want to see what it is?” They opened the door and it was these six-foottall cannabis plants growing under these metal halo lights. I asked how it worked and they explained it all to me. I was hooked, and I wanted to make some extra money, and I fell in love with the plant once


I started taking care of it and growing it. I was amazed how it goes from veg into bloom and when you harvest it, how the plant goes through this metamorphosis. It’s really cool. Given the lack of knowledge out there, did you teach yourself how to grow? I was always doing different things, fertilizer wise, to the plants. One day I said to my friends, “I can do a better job than what we’re buying.” So I did and that was it. How did you know which ingredients to use? I experimented. Eventually I took tissue cultures from a bunch of different varieties of plants through the different phases of growing. I took

them from the roots, stems, stalks, leaves and buds. I looked at what the plant utilized in different phases it was going through and from that I was really able to dial in the fertilizer even better. Before that, I realized the plant consumes a lot of potassium and didn’t want a lot of phosphorus. They use a lot of nitrogen. I always had to boost the calcium and magnesium from the fertilizers that were out there. When did you move to Canada? I moved to Canada in 1996. I had already been growing for 13 years . . . If you grow or consume in Canada, you’ve benefited from something I’ve done. >> DECEMBER 2016


You founded Advanced Nutrients in 1999. What inspired you to go legitimate and start your company? I built this huge organization, 200 people working for me, and I watched it all get obliterated by the police. I said, “I never want that to happen again. I love the community I’m in and I’ll just focus on Advanced Nutrients.” I got a license to grow from the Bulgarian government. There are like three licenses like that in the world. At any one time, I have 23 PhDs working and a lot of undergraduates as well . . . With that license I was able to research the plant without any repercussions. What was your vision for Advanced Nutrients to set it apart from the competition? Right off the bat, it was for cannabis and I never shied away from that. I said, “This product is specifically made for cannabis.” My whole life has been spent studying the plant and how to manipulate it . . . I wanted the best product in the marketplace. I wanted it for myself and wound up turning it into a company for other people as well. How was it different from other products on the market? Most of the products at the time were for general agriculture so they had a high phosphorus number. Cannabis doesn’t use hardly any phosphorus. It doesn’t like it. I got sick of watching these fertilizer companies harming patients with heavy metals because they had sky-high phosphorous rates. >>




And it’s about to get a lot faster after this election. Imagine a big fence with wolves on the other side. Right now you’ve got a few rogue wolves jumping the fence . . . Those wolves, the really big ones that are on the other side, the Big Pharma, Big Ag, they’re waiting for the federal government to make it legal. When that happens and the gate opens up and those 800-pound wolves come, you’d better be prepared. I am. Most people aren’t. And there’s going to be a huge mass of consolidations. I’ve built the machine to withstand those guys. I have a very strong machine, and I’ve built it for when this day is coming, and they will not be able to move me off my number one position.

There’s a perception that it’s a weed and is easy to grow. Do you disagree? My friend started growing and we used exactly the same strains, cuttings from the same mother all the time. His weed was just, he would get $2,200 for $2,400 a pound and I was getting $3,000 to $3,400 and he was like, “Jesus, what’s the difference? I don’t understand it. It’s a fucking weed.” I said, “Listen you’re treating it like a weed. You need to give it TLC and treat it like a plant. This plant is going to make you comfortable. It’s going to make you a lot of money, so treat it like a high-value proposition you’re involved in.” The guys who treat it like a weed wind up with a really shitty end product, and the guys who treat it like a plant, love the plant, it’s different. I think the plants can sense you’re taking care of it and they respond better. You’ve talked about your belief that cannabis consumers in the future will focus less on strains and more on “outcomes.” Can you explain that? The regular patients out there, they don’t care about strains. They hunt down strains because that’s all that’s available to them. If I had a product that says, “Hey, this is going to let you sleep better. This is going to give you better sex. This is going to stop your convulsions. This is going to repair your muscles faster. This is going to be for weight loss” . . . You can dial in exactly the outcome. People want outcomes. They want relief from



specific problems, ailments they have. Those things are based on outcomes, not on strains. So the future will be outcomebased not strain-based . . . Think about corn. They have all kinds of different corn you can grow. Do you go into the supermarket; are you looking for DeKalb 604 or Pioneer 901 corn? No. You’re looking for sweet corn.

And why is that? Because I’ve already got my marketing funnels set up. I’ve already been in this industry for a long time. I’ve been growing for 33 years. I’ve had the business for 17 years now. We’re the most profitable cannabis company in the world. I have done more cannabis research than practically anyone else has. I have built my company for withstanding the onslaught of the big boys.

Doesn’t cannabis affect different people in different ways? You’re going to run them through a program and I will be able to deliver an extract based on genetic information that’s available and make a product for you that is just for you. We can already do that to some extent. We know some people carry a gene that’s going to make them paranoid. I happen to carry that gene. And we can make a product where you’re not going to get paranoid.

I want to ask you about your public persona. All the parties and the social media posts, is it something you do to boost the profile of the Advanced Nutrients brand or just what Big Mike does when he can afford it? It’s part of my lifestyle and I show that, the cooler aspects of it. My personal life and my business life are kind of just all one right now, and I like it that way. It’s a little bit of everything I try to show people. If you look at the Instagram, it’s not just jets and weed and women. My charity is on there, my philanthropy. I try to show the full circle, everything that I do.

So you would give customers a blood test? A dab of saliva. You’ll run it through a program and based on that we can deliver a product for whatever problem or ailment you have, deliver the outcome that’s not going to get you paranoid . . . I’ve been able to predict everything with great accuracy on where this marketplace is going. The only thing I’ve gotten wrong is the speed. This marketplace is almost two years faster than what I thought it would be like now. It’s moving really fast.

The jets, bikini models and mansion parties—is this a dream come true for you? Who would ever think some skinny tall kid who grew up in rural Batavia, Illinois, a country kid, would be sitting in Hollywood and be in a position I am in. I thank myself every day. I literally give myself gratitude. I get high in the evenings. I think about business when I get ready to go to sleep. I walk around my big-ass yard here and I see the views of Los Angeles and the Valley and I say to myself, “You’ve done real good.” c DECEMBER 2016


“In the long run we want to affect consciousness with healing and give people a better quality of life physically and psychologically. The world needs to know that there’s a difference between medicine and drugs. Humans make drugs in laboratories. Mother Nature makes medicine.”


Carlos Santana breaks into Colorado’s industry with a cannabis inhaler by Jamie Solis

Carlos Santana was at Marisol Therapeutics in Pueblo West, Colorado to help promote his new cannabis inhaler called Santana Smooth. This clever name plays off one of Santana’s most popular hits, “Smooth.” The singer is also known for songs like “Black Magic Woman” and “Maria, Maria.” Santana spoke with 7 News while at Marisol Therapeutics. He shared how his mom used to make a cannabis salve using buds and alcohol in a jar. Santana stated, “My mother, she asked me one time if I could score some weed for her, and I was like, ‘Mom!’” Santana also shared how effective cannabis can be at healing ailments like arthritis and rheumatism, and it’s been something that people have known for a long time. “It’s not new,” Santana stated. “People have been doing these things


since before Christopher Columbus landed in here.” Santana’s mission in joining the cannabis industry goes beyond making a profit. His new line of cannabis inhalers will ultimately make life better for those who choose to imbibe. “In the long run we want to affect consciousness with healing and give people a better quality of life physically and psychologically,” Santana said. “The world needs to know that there’s a difference between medicine and drugs. Humans make drugs in laboratories. Mother Nature makes medicine.” The dispensary was offering three different deals on the cannabis inhalers that also included edibles, wax and a hoody or t-shirt signed by Santana. While this is Santana’s first cannabis business endeavor, it definitely isn’t the first


time Santana showed his alliance with the cannabis industry in both Colorado and nationwide. Santana asked all registered voters in Pueblo County to vote against Question 200, also referred to as Amendment 200, which was attempting to shut down cannabis businesses in the county. In a Public Service Announcement video, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Musician said, “Hi, I’m Carlos Santana, and I invite your from my heart, my sisters and brothers, vote ‘no’ on Amendment 200. Let’s go forward. Let’s make it possible to bring more education and more expansion of awareness so that every sister and brother of any age can be successful in this lifetime.” This PSA wasn’t the first time Santana has spoken about how cannabis legalization could create funding for education. In

2009, Santana shared that he was a cannabis activist during an interview with Associated Press. “There are three things I would say to Barack Obama . . . Bring the [armed forces] brothers home and the sisters home now, legalize marijuana, and take all that money and invest it in teachers and education,” Santana said. “And you will see a transformation in America that is what is going to reunite us. I really believe that as soon as we legalize and decriminalize marijuana, we can actually afford a really good governor who won’t keep taking money away from education and teachers.” As an outspoken advocate and new cannabis entrepreneur in Colorado, Santana joins many other celebrities who have created their own line of cannabis goods. c DECEMBER 2016


Cannabis Industry Leaders The leaders helping this industry grow to exponential heights by Addison Herron-Wheeler

Nick Kovacevich, Kush Bottles

Every day, more people are getting on board that cannabis should be decriminalized, legalized or made available as medicine. However, many are still concerned about how to keep cannabis out of the hands of children. Most kids know to avoid alcohol, but the worry is that tasty-looking edibles or other disguised products could be accidently ingested. Thanks to the innovations of people like Nick Kovacevich at Kush Bottles, parents who use cannabis can rest easy. Kovacevich and his team are helping to create safe, child-resistant packaging that will protect children from products, even if they do accidently get their hands on cannabis. CULTURE caught up with Kovacevich to talk to him about the ever-changing industry and how his products are providing people with peace of mind. “We got started in 2010, and our goal was to bring childsafe, pharmaceutical-grade packaging to the emerging legal cannabis industry. Our mission was to legitimatize the industry,” explained Kovacevich. “We looked at what was being called medical marijuana at the time and a lot of the practices weren’t exactly up to medical standards, so I think that’s when we came in and wanted to provide something that was child-resistant, medical grade, compliant and above board. We changed the perception of marijuana and allowed the industry as a whole to be painted in a better light.” Through their innovative product, Kush Bottles are offering safety and security to parents and adults who use cannabis.



Ashley Preece-Sackett, Cascadia Labs

As the cannabis industry expands, it’s hard not to constantly be struck with new ideas for businesses and services needed by the industry. So it’s no surprise that Ashley PreeceSackett, the Founding Chapter Chair of Portland, Oregon’s Women Grow Branch, came up with the muchneeded concept of the Ethical Cannabis Alliance. The idea behind this group is to act as a resource for those in the cannabis industry who want to abide by standards and have good practices, and who also want to network and make the industry a communicative and positive place. With a background in horticultural science, Preece-Sackett is interested not just in the legal and business sides of the industry, but also in growing great cannabis that meets industry standards. “With Ethical Cannabis Alliance I would like to gather the voice of the nation and eventually the global voice, to find out what the industry would like to see as far as standards for environment and labor,” Preece-Sackett told CULTURE. “I would like to unify that voice, and then execute on offering a certification body so that people can voluntarily get a certification to show that the business model and the practices they use are above par. Right now there is nothing really available to show they are different than the next person, so I’d like to try and make that happen, but rather than use my own opinion and thoughts on the industry, I want to gather what others want to see.” >> DECEMBER 2016


Anthony Silvaggio, Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research

One area of the cannabis industry that often gets overlooked, but shouldn’t, is the academic realm. In addition to all the medical research that needs to be done in the world of cannabis, it is also necessary to study the social and cultural aspects of cannabis to understand why it has been feared and discriminated against, and why many people find refuge with the plant. As Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research, Anthony Silvaggio got to witness the drug war first-hand in his home state. “[I want] to enhance knowledge available to communities, researchers, educators and others in better understanding the past, present and potential future role of cannabis at it relates to the regional economy, workforce development, health, environment and community,” he told CULTURE. “Having lived in Humboldt County, the center of cannabis culture and economy for two decades, I’ve witnessed the militarization of the drug war and the state terrorism that was brought on cannabis communities as a result of insane prohibitionist drug policy. These events led me to teaching courses and conducting research on the collateral damage of the drug war. As an environmental sociologist, I was most interested understanding the environmental consequences of the war on drugs in the region, and how drug war policies have exacerbated environmental devastation on public and private lands.”

Tony Verzura, United Cannabis

Those who have used cannabis as medicine first-hand know best how beneficial it can be, and often end up dedicating themselves to furthering the cause of medical cannabis once they’ve been healed by the plant. Tony Verzura, Chief Technical Officer of UCANN United Cannabis and A.C.T. Now, is one of those cases. Once a pain medication addict combatting pain from multiple car accidents with oxycodone, Verzura discovered cannabis during the lowest point in his struggle with pain pills. Thanks to the plant, he was able to get back his appetite and gain weight, sleep through the night and get rid of a lot of his physical pain. Now, Verzura is developing additive-free medicines for other patients in need, and giving back through the industry as an advocate and philanthropist. “I am hoping to make a large impact on people in need of a medicine that is plant based, not synthetic, and can offer an improvement in their lives” Verzura explained. “And ultimately, I am hoping to have the world see this as a neutral supplement, a supplement that our body needs, and not something to be looked at as just a way to get high. My long-term goal is to help touch as many patients as possible, give them an alternative, let them know not everything has to be synthetic based.”



Thomas Lavigne, Cannabis Counsel P.L.C.

The cannabis industry is quickly growing and expanding, and in order to keep up with the quickly changing regulations, and lack of regulations in some area, it is extremely helpful to have knowledgeable legal counsel on hand. That is where attorneys like Thomas Lavigne of Cannabis Counsel P.L.C. law firm come in. Lavigne started practicing in Hawaii where he took his first cannabis case and realized how much the industry needed help in areas like compliance and copyright law. He dove further and further into the industry until his current practice was born. “Cannabis Counsel is a growing law firm and what we want to achieve is representing clients and finally coming into the daylight and getting licenses, building successful, profitable businesses and servicing this market place which is a significant and large market place,” Lavigne explained. “We want to help clients with new business and products to get licenses, cultivators to get grow licenses, facilities that need to be in compliance and companies representing scientists. And then we also represent people’s constitutional rights and upholding those before the highest courts.” In addition to his paid legal work, Lavigne works with MI Legalize in Michigan to push for patient and usage rights, and even educates his personal care doctor during visits about the benefits of cannabis.

Bianca Green, Spark the Conversation

Those in media get to sit back and watch the entire show unfold, and for individuals involved with cannabis media, the view is particularly special. Not only do members of the cannabis media get to chart the progress of one of the most exciting new cultural and economic movements, they also get to shape it, because what they write about shapes how people perceive the industry. For Bianca Green, who started out as a High Times correspondent for the West Coast, and later produced the documentary Culture High, having a front-row seat to the ups and downs of the industry was second nature. Her inside knowledge and passion for the cannabis industry prompted her to start Spark the Conversation, the non-profit media platform she has been using to spread her message. “Spark the Conversation’s goals are to continue changing the stigma of cannabis and people who use it and to keep the conversation going,” Green explained. “In 2017 we are launching podcasts, video series and content that focus on the zeitgeist of the culture through an advocacy angel. We are a fundraising platform also, so we raise money to give to organizations that are fighting for personal freedom, cannabis and environmental issues. We want to honor a community voice. We feel ending the drug war is a priority and it can only be done collectively. Because we are a 501c3, we can bring brands together who support the same message and in turn each other. It is a joint effort.” >>

The leaders helping this industry grow to exponential heights DECEMBER 2016


The leaders helping this industry grow to exponential heights Dave Branfman, Branfman Law Group, P.C.

Cannabis entrepreneurs are everywhere, so there needs to be someone to help these enterprising businesspeople figure out things like copyright and patents. That’s where Dave Branfman, practicing attorney, comes in. Branfman founded his company, Branfman Law Group, P.C., in order to help those in the cannabis industry wade through the difficult and ever-changing world of rights, ownership and legalities. Branfman has been practicing law since 1979, and focuses on the business of cannabis. “I am trying to help innovators and creators in the cannabis industry protect their ideas and maximize the value of their ideas through a strategic use of the four intellectual tools: trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets,” he told CULTURE. “And basically what we do every day is answer the following question. I realized a couple months ago that I’ve been asked more or less one question for the last 30 years over and over again, and it’s this question; how do I protect my fill in the blank? How do I protect my idea, concept, name, invention, whatever it may be?” In addition to rights advocacy, Branfman dedicates his days to ensuring that new ideas in the industry are protected.

Andrew Modlin, MedMen

One of the most quickly expanding fields in the cannabis industry is management. As more businesses pop up every day and multiple corners of the market continue to be exploited, it is key for these companies to run well and be organized in order to have a competitive age. This is where major cannabis management companies like MedMen in Los Angeles come along. Andrew Modlin, COO and Co-Founder of MedMen, has seen his company grow from a startup idea for a management company to an organization that provides funding for new cannabis businesses and support for every niche in the industry. “We are trying to transform the way people view marijuana, whether you are user or not,” explained Modlin. “We are trying to make cannabis as normal as wine or beer. Bringing marijuana into the mainstream, legalizing it and setting regulations and standards only makes it a safer, better product for everyone.” MedMen are currently working on raising industry standards and improving the overall culture one business at a time.



Devon Richardson, Nerve Cannabis Consulting

Colorado is full of young people who moved to the city to take part in all the amazing career opportunities offered up by the cannabis industry. Devon Richardson moved to Denver from Brooklyn in order to try and make her dream of working in cannabis marketing a reality. She pioneered her own unique cannabis consulting brand, Nerve Cannabis Consulting. As the founder and president of Nerve Cannabis Consulting, Devon is proud of the work she does in the industry. “I want to facilitate my clients being really successful,” Richardson explained. “At the end of the day, their success is my success and that’s the only way I will survive. Not everyone knows how to get their idea to market or how to create this brand and I really want to help them facilitate their vision to help them change the industry and create new products and brands so we can help change current restrictions and scheduling.” Richardson works as a local advocate, and tirelessly provides marketing and consulting solutions for her clients.

Jason Pinsky, VICE / Cannastract

Many in the cannabis industry are forced to be jacks of all trades. Due to the lack of banking options and regulations, as well as the many challenges that come with marketing, selling, growing, packaging and certifying a product, it is necessary to get familiar with many aspects of the industry if you work in it at all. That is why individuals like Jason Pinsky thrive in the world of legal cannabis. In addition to running his New York Citybased consulting company, Cannastract, Pinsky also runs a BBQ restaurant, has a background in technology and digital recordings that he still taps into and is currently producing a cannabis cooking show-series for VICE called Bong Appétit, which debuts on VICELAND television channel on December 15. In 10 years, I see cannabis woven into the fabric of society just like technology,” he told us when asked what he sees for the future of the industry. “It won’t be weird to go to Starbucks and get a cannabis latté because people won’t think it’s weird to add CBD to food. People will use cannabis more in everyday life and it will be much more of a regular thing. My son is nine, and he doesn’t know about ‘just say no’ or the drug war. He knows of cannabis as a plant and will have been exposed to a world where this is just normal. That’s the kind of future I want for the industry.” c DECEMBER 2016



A Man in the Female Sector of the Cannabis Industry

by M. Jay

Damien Williams’ Facebook page boasts a picture of him as a young child looking lovingly into his mother’s eyes. This innocent love of women has led him to create a female focused company that gives part of its proceeds to #HeForShe, The Herbalista Set. The magic of the cannabis plant has already been lost in the newly formed cannabis industry. Companies use scantily clad models to hand out product samples at shows. Social media and cannabis advertising focus on the female body to highlight their products. Even ancillary products are geared toward men. Damien Williams, founder of The Herbalista Set seeks to change this. >>



“We will keep working to fulfill our mission of empowering women and of reconnecting the world to Mother Nature through the magic of the cannabis plant.” DECEMBER 2016


much need to advertise it at all—cannabis would speak for itself. We don’t see people advertising parsley or oregano, and a culture that never criminalized this downright miraculous plant in the first place just wouldn’t need to be sold on it.   How do you see your company changing the male-focused perspective of the cannabis industry? We do this by highlighting the femininity of the plant itself. In the eyes of the industry, male cannabis plants are virtually worthless. All of the plants grown for production purposes are female, as it is the females that produce the signature flowers replete with the powers of healing and transformation. My goal with this company is to restore awareness of, and reverence for, the sacred feminine, as it is expressed all throughout nature. This starts with Why do you feel so strongly about representing women of cannabis? Damien Williams: Cannabis is sacred to me. It has the capacity to treat people’s ailments to an almost unbelievable degree, and it can transform human consciousness. It has the ability to cure us on physical levels, and on unseen, spiritual planes too. Furthermore, the cannabis plant carries distinct male and female sexes—a rather unique trait shared by only about 10 percent of all plants. When it comes to cannabis, it is the female of the species that bears the greatest healing and transformative properties. In my view, it’s not just cannabis that’s sacred, but all of nature. It’s about more than going outdoors and seeing nature as beautiful. In much the same way, it’s about more than recognizing the purely physical beauty of women.    If you could start cannabis advertising over again, how would you advertise? Honestly, if we were doing this all from scratch, I don’t think there would be



“Cannabis is sacred to me. It has the capacity to treat people’s ailments to an almost unbelievable degree, and it can transform human consciousness.”

helping women themselves reconnect with the magic of the cannabis plant. Who’s the woman you look up to the most? Despite her political affiliations, it’s Coco Chanel. Her story is the stuff of legend. She grew up in an orphanage, starting at absolute zero. There, she learned how to sew, and subsequently transformed that humble skill into her own empire. She literally created the basis for the modern woman’s look, being the first designer to make pants for women, as well as the originator of the woman’s suit. She is the most influential person in the world of fashion.     What do you think the most misunderstood thing is about women and cannabis? The industry’s past tendency has been to hyper-sexualize women. At best, this is an appeal to the basest of male instincts—attempts to speak to the pleasure of the cannabis experience by evoking male enjoyment of the female form. At worst, they suggest that cannabis women are of “loose morals,” with inhibitions perhaps lowered as a direct result of cannabis consumption. This association is damaging to all of us. It debases the true essence of the cannabis experience by nullifying the powerful connection that the feminine element has to the plant and to the natural world at large.    What’s next for The Herbalista Set? We launched our beautiful, allinclusive, portable vaporizer kit called the Goddess Vape Set. This product invites our Herbalista community to elevate themselves and become their own goddesses. In just weeks, we will expand the Herbalista experience with several new health and wellness, bath and beauty, and fashion products, many of which will contain 50-state-legal CBD extracts. We will keep working to fulfill our mission of empowering women and of reconnecting the world to Mother Nature through the magic of the cannabis plant. c DECEMBER 2016


GREASING THE WHEELS OF DENVER’S DUBSTEP Musician and producer Berrick is making a name for himself and his crew in the local dubstep scene by Addison Herron-Wheeler Denver is an exciting place to be in 2016, not just because of the wonderful opportunities and advancements popping up in the world of cannabis, but because of the growth and expansion of the culture in general. The music scene in this city is also a vibrant and changing place, and home to many up-andcoming musicians like local DJ and producer Berrick, AKA Davis Weimer, and his collective of underground dubstep musicians, Grease. Between production, shows and parties, the group is joining the already-rich local tradition of heavy bass music. Citing influences across the board and describing his music as ambient/soundtrack/breakbeatinfluenced dubstep, Berrick is a fan of dubstep, but also appreciates the industrial stylings of Nine Inch Nails and the apocalyptic intricacies of trip-hop “In ninth grade I got into techstep guys like Counterstrike and Limewax,” 66


“I’ve found that it takes the edge off the anxiety of making music.”

he told CULTURE. “But my second-biggest influence is definitely trip-hop, The Sneaker Pimps, Massive Attack, Leftfield and more recently The Dining Rooms. I swear every track off Mezzanine makes me feel like I’m scavenging a post-apocalyptic desert in a makeshift dune buggy.” Berrick has been making music for about eight years now, and has recently seen success playing out locally with his peers. “We (the Grease Crew) just played our first two shows and they went exceptionally well,” he explained. “So it looks like we will be playing Second Friday of every month from here on out.” When it comes to cannabis legalization, Berrick is happy with what Colorado has achieved so far. “So far so good,” he stated. “I don’t have a single complaint about the 21-and-up, recreational side of things. There are plenty of good shops and it’s still really crazy to have legal cannabis. That’s something we all might take for granted at times.” Although Berrick has never directly worked cannabis into his music as a theme, he often turns to the plant for inspiration and considers it one of the driving forces behind his music. “I’ve found that it takes the edge off the anxiety of making music,” he said. “I used to smoke a lot when I would make tracks, but now I only imbibe from time to time, when I’m mixing and polishing them up. It slows the rhythms down and helps me listen to everything. I can’t say that I have ever directly referenced it in my music, but its influence is there behind the mist of the soundscapes.” You can catch Berrick and the Grease crew every second Friday of the month at the Black Box, and look out for other appearances around town. c DECEMBER 2016




photos by Joel Meaders 68




Coloween 2016

photos by Joel Meaders 70



culture growing RECIPES UNKNOWN

by Ed Rosenthal

Two months ago, I started an experiment for making seed that would produce only female plants. To do this I started applying “masculinizing chemicals” that induce female plants to produce male reproductive organs, that is, flowers. The pollen that results from this process carries no chromosomes or genes for maleness, so all the seeds that are produced using this pollen will produce female plants. These are popularly called, “feminized seeds.” The three treatments I originally used were Silver thiosulfate (STS) sprayed to drip weekly, colloidal silver 30ppm sprayed to drip daily and a commercial product advertised to produce male flowers on female plants. Within 30 days of starting application of the three different treatments, only one of them, the commercial product, actually induced flowering. I collected the pollen by placing the plants on horizontally with collection paper under each plant so that pollen could drop off onto the paper as the flowers opened. Only a small amount

of pollen was collected this way so we removed the flowers from each of the four plants, each a different variety: Blue Dream, Candy land, Sour Diesel and Girl Scout Cookies. We shook the flowers for a few seconds and then gently screened them through a stainless steel mesh hash screen. Three varieties yielded pollen but the Blue Dream did not. Using separate fine size watercolor paintbrushes we “painted” the pollen on separate branches of two flowering female plants that had not been treated with any chemicals. The flowers on both plants were mature but young so we assumed that they would be receptive to viable pollen. At the same time as we were applying pollen we replicated the experiment in part but changed the parameters. We started with two plants each of four varieties: Candy land, Gelato, Girl Scout Cookies and Sour Diesel that we separated into two groups. We started spraying the first group daily, rather than weekly, with silver thiosulfate and the second group was sprayed daily with 100-PPM colloidal silver, rather than 3O-PPM.

The results so far:

The plants pollinated with pollen from each of the three masculinized plants that produced pollen from the commercial masculinizing product seem to developing seeds. None of the newly sprayed plants that were treated with STS or colloidal silver have developed male flowers.

Analysis of Results and Future Plans:

Although literature states that colloidal silver induces male flowers a number of experimenters have not had success. However, several experimenters said that they had the same problem, no male flowers, but solved it when they used home made colloidal silver. Producing it is a simple process- running an electrical trickle through water. When they tried the same experiment using homemade colloidal silver, the plants produced copious male flowers and pollen. I plan to make my own to treat the plants following the path of the successful experimenters. It’s not clear why the STS didn’t work. There is a possibility that the plants are dose sensitive, so I am going to change the amount the plants receive. I will give one group half the dosage and another group twice the strength. Meanwhile, we are awaiting seed development. c







A cardboard barrier was used separate the two groups of plants when they were sprayed.

Male flowers were profuse, but yielded small amounts of pollen.

Handscreening was used to separate pollen from flowers.

Viable flowers painted with pollen using a water color brush.

Pollination was successful. Seeds are growing.

Copyright by Ed Rosenthal. All rights are reserved. First North American Magazine rights only are assigned to culture Magazine. No other reproduction of this material is permitted without the specific written permission of the author/copyright holder.



At harvest the bud is a jewel surrounded by base metal. To make use of it, the large fan leaves and the smaller gland heavy trim leaves are removed. Rather than treating them as trash, you can make them into stash. Here are some ways they can be used: Use a screen to separate the trichomes (glands) from the trim leaves. The powder is called kief. Use leaves and trims to create a “sleep pillow.” Place about two ounces inside a loosely woven pouch or sachet. Place it above the bed near the head; It promotes less disturbed sleep, with fewer episodes of wakening. Replace weekly. Use in a pipe or to enrich a joint, As raw material for rosin. Kief adds little taste or odor when used for cooking. DECEMBER 2016



if you go:



Time to Go: Winter Weather: Freezing temperatures and regular snowfall Budget: $$$$$

Whistler Wows as a Winter Wonderland






by Sheryll Alexander


Whistler is British Columbia’s winter wonderland par excellence, plus this mountain village is an active cannabis enthusiast’s dream come true. So, come along on this travel guide ride to winter 2016 in Whistler. What could be better for cannabis patients than a winter vacation to a wonderfully walkable and charming remote alpine town with some of Canada’s most openly cannabisloving locals? Built with the 1968 Winter Olympics in mind, Whistler’s central village and professional recreational venues were refurbished and completely renovated to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. That’s why there’s an incredibly long list of winter things to do outdoors. As for skiing and snowboarding, there’s lessons along with heli, cat, backcountry and

Nordic styles. Other winter adventures include ziplining, dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hockey, ice fishing and Olympic sports tours. In fact, the two side-by-side mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb offer one of the longest ski seasons in North America with 8,000+ acres, 200 runs, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers. Accommodations in Whistler also abound from cozy rental cabins to Air BNB rooms to mid-priced hotels to some of Canada’s classic luxury hotels. Wherever you stay, the action in Whistler is on the slopes during the day and in the village at night where you can do everything from eat breakfast to shop ‘til you drop to party all night long at jazz clubs, cowboy bars, craft brew bistros and heart-pumping nightclubs. c

Fun-Filled Facts Whistler deals with its hordes of young tourists visiting during the cold winter holidays by building an indoor family fun zone. Open from December 17-30 (closed December 25) and held at the Whistler Conference Center, the “Whistler Holiday Experience” caters to the kid in everyone with mini putt-putt golf, bounce houses, video and table games, handicraft making and much more. Adult children can relax in the nearby lounge with coffee or hot chocolate. 1


If you happen to be visiting Whistler this year on December 17, get ready to be part of “Dress As Santa Day.” Locals (and in-the-know tourists) don a Santa costume all day long to ring in the season in cheeky style including on the slopes. 2

Just like most medical cannabis states, Canada’s vast British Columbia province has a patient licensing system along with Canadian-citizensonly cannabis dispensaries. However, a new law put into effect in August by Health Canada now allows citizens (or their friends who are forced to undergo a background check) to legally “produce a limited amount of cannabis for his/ her own medical purposes.” Of course, these grow-at-home patients must register with Health Canada and are limited in their grows depending upon daily dosage. What this means for cannabis-seeking visitors to BC and Whistler is both good and bad. The bad news is non-Canadian citizens cannot legally buy, smoke or ingest cannabis. The good news is Canada has a lax view of small, individual amounts of cannabis and smoking too for that matter (as long as you keep it away from crowds, hotels and government buildings). Most locals recommend buying bud in Vancouver before the long drive to Whistler as it is less expensive, easier to get and more safe. If you end up in town empty handed, however, befriend some of the chill-looking locals (as most of them smoke anyways) and politely ask if you can score a little something for the slopes. DECEMBER 2016


culture RECIPES


Jefferson VanBilliard

Age: 31






Condition/Illness: ADHD



When did you start using cannabis: I started using cannabis when I was 24. Did you try other methods: Yes. As a teenager, I was prescribed a common, stimulant-based prescription drug that left me feeling despondent and bored. I had trouble connecting with my peers and caring about anything besides getting away from school. I stopped taking it and struggled for years with my diet, sleep schedule, and ability to focus and enjoy each moment until I tried cannabis—haven’t looked back since. What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients: The most important thing we can all do, as a community, is to help remove the stigma that all marijuana users are the

stereotypical “burnout” with no education or motivation to succeed in life. Doctors, judges, firefighters, teachers and even the President have admitted to using marijuana, and I still have to convince my family that I won’t become a junkie on the streets after taking a dab. What do you say to folks that are skeptical: I work in the cannabis industry and I work as a bartender. As a bartender, I use cannabis to keep a cool head and to regulate my sleep patterns, and usually when someone finds out that I am a part of the medical cannabis industry they’ve had no prior indications that I medicate all day, every day. When I point out the fact that they’ve probably never seen me not medicated, it usually tears down the common misconceptions people have about cannabis use and allows me to further educate people about all of the profound effects this plant could have on our world. c

Are you an MMJ patient with a compelling story to tell? If so, we want to hear from you. Email your name, contact information and details about your experiences with medical cannabis to DECEMBER 2016


culture growing

Holiday Bliss in the Kitchen Menu: Cannabis Orange Bitters Cannabis Mulled Apple Cider




Infused Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

recipes and photos by Monica Lo from Sous Weed Nothing screams ‘The Holidays’ like the warm fall flavors of cinnamon, apple, nutmeg and citrus. Monica Lo from Sous Weed has the perfect simple recipes for this holiday season. Medicated bitters make for great DIY gifts for your friends and family— medicated mulled hot apple cider and infused bourbon bread pudding are the perfect accents to add to your personal holiday celebrations. The best part is you can customize these recipes with all sorts of spices and aromatics! The possibilities are endless!

Cannabis Orange Bitters Ingredients 1 cup Everclear (or any high-proof liquor—at least 100 proof or 50% alcohol by volume)

1/2 tablespoon crushed green cardamom pods

6 grams ground, decarbed cannabis

1 teaspoon allspice




Peel of two oranges


Makes 250ml (about 1 cup)

1/2 tablespoon dried gentian root

1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon cloves 1 star anise

Directions Set your sous vide water bath to 70˚C. Place all ingredients in a zip seal bag and seal using the water displacement method. Submerge and sous vide for 1 hour. Remove from water bath and let cool to room temperature. Strain out the solids and discard. Keep bitters in a bottle in a dark cabinet. 

*Always start small when using bitters and tinctures. 1-2 drops and wait 30-60 minutes for full effects. Increase dosage if needed.


Local eateries with similar dishes: Wild Boar Cafe

1510 S College Ave., Fort Collins (970) 472-1074

Work & Class

2500 Larimer St., Denver (303) 292-0700

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse 1770 13th St., Boulder (303) 442-4993 DECEMBER 2016



Infused Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce Serves 6


Ingredients for Bread Pudding: 1/4 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup crushed walnuts

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoon bourbon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cup whole milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 cups cubed brioche bread, about 9 ounces

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Ingredients for Medicated Bourbon Sauce 1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup medicated orange bitters

1/4 cup bourbon

Directions: To prepare pudding: Combine raisins and 2 tablespoons bourbon in a small bowl. Let soak for 30 minutes. Whisk together soaked raisins, milk, walnuts, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and egg until well fully combined. In a loaf pan, add cubed brioche and pour the raisin mixture on top. Cover with foil and refrigerate to soak for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove loaf pan from refrigerator and add a cup of hot water on top. Cover again with foil and place in oven to bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. To prepare sauce: In a small saucepan on medium-low heat, combine sugar and butter and stir until combined, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and medicated bitters. Remove the bread pudding from the oven and drizzle the medicated sauce on top. Serve warm. 


1/2 cup brown sugar

Cannabis Mulled Apple Cider

Serves 1

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1.4 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 orange, cut into rings

2 whole allspice

2 drops medicated orange bitters

1 inch cinnamon stick

Directions: Combine apple cider, spices, sugar and orange rings in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes. Strain into a mug and add two drops of orange bitters. Garnish with cinnamon stick.  Legal Disclaimer Publishers of this publication are not making any representations with respect to the safety or legality of the use of medical marijuana. The recipes listed here are for general entertainment purposes only, and are intended for use only where medical marijuana is not a violation of state law. Edibles can vary in potency while a consumers’ weight, metabolism and eating habits may affect effectiveness and safety. Ingredient management is important when cooking with cannabis for proper dosage. Please consume responsibly and check with your doctor before consumption to make sure that it is safe to do so.



colorado NOW! event listings

Parade of Lasers, Dec. 17

Aurora Holiday Tree Lighting, Dec. 6 We love the holiday season because we get to spend time with those we love, but we really love all the fun decorations and twinkling lights that adorn the city too. Don’t miss the Aurora Holiday Tree Lighting, as there will be treats, live music, outdoor lights display in addition to an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Aurora Municipal Center, Aurora

Coined as “a breathtaking visual experience,” this Parade of Lasers will captivate minds, young and old. Watch as beautiful lights and lasers are paired with tunes from Bear Grillz, Kicks N Licks and Mitis. City Hall, Denver

featured event

Ugly Sweater Run, Dec. 17 Grab the most horrendous looking holiday sweater you can find, and join tons of others in running this festive 5K. You’ll run through the parks and streets of Denver, spreading holiday cheer to the masses. Coors Field, Denver

Denver Jackalope Holiday Market, Dec 10-11 This indie artisan market will help you get ahead on your holiday shopping for all your alternative, hip friends. There will be over 150 handmade vendors selling everything creative from art and photography to decorations, housewares, accessories and more. McNichols Civic Center Building, Denver

Lupe Fiasco, Dec. 15 Lupe Fiasco is a man of many talents, as he is a known entrepreneur, rapper and record producer. Get ready to be impressed as he brings hits from his hottest albums like Tetsuo & Youth and Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor. Fillmore Auditorium, Denver 82

A Very Special DMXmas Show, Dec. 23 DMX and special guests are going to make your Christmas even more interesting this year. Known as one of the kings of hardcore rap, DMX will be sure to bring all the power you would expect from one of the Ruff Ryders. Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver www.cervantesmasterpiece. com

Decadence New Year’s Eve, Dec. 30-31 This exclusive New Year’s Eve celebration is so epic, it happens for two days! Hurry to


Snoop Dogg, Dec. 13

As one of the most iconic cannabis and hip-hop icons, Snoop Dogg is a performer you have to see live at least once in your lifetime. Check him out at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, where this former CULTURE cover star will be spitting rhymes new and old. Budweiser Events Center, Loveland secure your ticket to this music and dancing extravaganza before it sells out. Colorado Convention Center, Denver

First Night Fort Collins, Dec. 31 If you’re looking for a familyfriendly way to ring in the

New Year that is alcoholfree, then this is the event for you! First Night Fort Collins will have a kids area, comedy, magic shows, singing, live theater and so much more! Downtown Fort Collins, Fort Collins DECEMBER 2016


Chuck Shepherd's

News of the

Weird LEAD STORY—EXTREME HOBBIES u John Weigel and Olaf Danielson are engaged in a frenzied battle of “extreme birdwatching,” each hoping to close out 2016 as the new North American champ of the American Birding Association, and a September Smithsonian piece had Weigel ahead, 763 to 759. Danielson is perhaps better known for doing much of his birding in the nude (and is the author of the provocatively titled volume, “Boobies, Peckers and Tits”—all common names of popular birds). The old one-year record was 749, and the association attributes the larger numbers this year to

El Nino, which has disrupted food supplies and driven birds into different locations. FUN WITH PENNIES u (1) Robert Napolitan, 34, was arrested in Taylor, Pennsylvania, in September and charged with theft of a drum containing 300,000 pennies from his employer, Pyne Freight Lines. That steel drum weighs several tons and, of course, netted Napolitan only $3,000. (By contrast, in New York City’s Diamond District in September, a brazen thief made off with a 5-gallon drum containing 86 pounds of something else—gold flakes, valued at more than $1 million—and is still at large.) (2) For some reason, according to a High Point, North Carolina, TV report, Larry Hall of Randolph County took seven-plus weeks out of his life recently and glued pennies to cover (except for windows and chrome) his 2000 Chevrolet

Blazer (a total of 51,300 coins). GREAT ART! u The 1,496-page German novel “Bottom’s Dream,” translated into (broken) English, more than twice as long as “War and Peace,” recently reached U.S. bookstores as a 13-pound behemoth, bound with a 14-inch spine that, based on a September Wall Street Journal description, will almost surely go unread. The story follows two translators and their teenage daughter over a single day as they try to interpret the works of Edgar Allen Poe, making for slow going for anyone not already conversant with Poe. BRIGHT IDEAS u While other vehicle safetycontrol engineers work on actually slowing down cars and buses when a risk is detected on the road ahead, one of Volvo’s recent innovations appears aimed merely at bullying pedestrians to get out of the way. According to a September report on, the safety “control” for a Volvo bus consists of progressively louder horn-honking to scare off the pedestrian. u Simple As That: (1) British farmer Pip Simpson, who lost nearly 300 sheep to rustlers in recent years, recently sprayed his remaining herd of almost 800 sheep a bright luminous orange (harmless, he said, though the sheep’s opinions are unknown) to make them less attractive to thieves. (2) Saudi Arabia switched to the 365-day Gregorian calendar on Oct. 2, in part to reduce government expenses. Bureaucrats had been using the Islamic lunar Hijri (354day) calendar, but now must work a 3 percent longer year for the same salaries. LATEST RELIGIOUS MESSAGES u In 2014, British entrepreneur Azad Chaiwala,



33, created the matchmaking service Second Wife— because, just as men have trouble finding that special person, some Mormons, Muslims and others have at least as much trouble finding that special additional person. (Most clients, he said, are in the United States and the United Kingdom, though bigamy is illegal in both places.) The service was so successful that Chaiwala this year inaugurated, which he adamantly defended as a moral alternative to adultery and one-night-stand services such as Tinder. POLICE REPORT u (1) The long-rap-sheeted Darren Clinton, 48, was in the process, according to Minneapolis police, of burglarizing a hotel room in September when an occupant returned and surprised him. Clinton, wielding a knife, escaped momentarily, but the occupant summoned his nearby roommates—the visiting University of Arizona men’s cross-country team— and after a chase, which included jumping several barriers, the runners steered a severely winded Clinton into the arms of a state trooper. (2) Kerry Johnson, 52, was arrested in August in Charleston, West Virginia, and charged with robbing a City National Bank branch. Police said Johnson had been gambling at the Mardi Gras Casino in nearby Nitro when he ran out of money at the blackjack table. (He left a $25 chip to preserve his spot, excused himself, went to the bank, and came back with more money.) PEOPLE WITH ISSUES u Based on recent convictions for indecent exposure, Anthony Hardison, 50, has a public masturbation habit, and it is apparently so bad that he engaged once again in August—while he was in the lobby of the sheriff’s office in Seattle, where he

had reported to register as a sex offender. He was arrested. THE PASSING PARADE u Austrian Edition: (1) A massive, mile-long traffic jam on the Austrian A2 highway in October between Inzersdorf and Vosendorf was caused by a huge flock of starlings crashing into cars and falling to the road. Ornithologists told reporters that the birds must have earlier feasted en masse on fermented berries and were navigating under the influence. (2) In September, an unnamed woman was detained at the airport in Graz, Austria, because her suitcase held two plastic containers with her late husband’s intestines. She had come from Morocco seeking doctors’ opinions whether he had been poisoned (but doctors told local media they would have to examine the entire body to determine that). Police said no laws had been broken. A NEWS OF THE WEIRD CLASSIC (DECEMBER 2012) u Gary Medrow, 68, has periodically surfaced in News of the Weird since 1991 for his unique behavior of using a false identity to persuade Milwaukee-area strangers over the phone to lift other strangers off the ground— behavior for which he has occasionally been jailed and ordered to psychiatric care. After a recent period of calm, Medrow slipped in November (2012) and was charged with impersonating a photojournalist to convince two Cedarburg (Wisconsin) High School students to hoist each other on their shoulders. At an earlier hearing, Medrow said that his “addiction” helps him to relieve tension and anxiety. COMPELLING EXPLANATIONS u In September, Charles Lawrence III, 60, was sentenced to eight years in prison for attempted sexual assault despite his claim

that it was just bad eyesight that caused the problem. He had arrived at a house in Fairfield, Connecticut, to have sex with a male he had met online, but the event turned out to be a “To Catch a Predator” sting. Lawrence, an accountant, claimed that, in text messages with the “boy,” he had seen “18” as his age, when, according to police evidence, the text read “13.” (Bonus: Lawrence knew “Predator” newsman Chris Hansen socially and commuted daily on the train with him, according to Lawrence’s lawyer.) u A 23-year-old woman on a bus in Istanbul, Turkey, was attacked by Abdullah Cakiroglu, 35, in September because, as he told police, he had become “aroused” by her wearing shorts. (Initially, he was not arrested, but after a protest on social media, police came to get him— though for “inciting,” not assault.) He told police, “I lost myself” because the woman had “disregarded the values of our country,” and “my spiritual side took over, and I kicked her in the face.” GOVERNMENT IN ACTION u Kevin and Tammy Jones opened their guns-andcoffee store in an old bank building in Hamilton, Virginia, in August, but despite the controversies about the ease of gun acquisition in America, their Bullets and Beans shop has had a harder time pleasing government regulators over the coffee than over the firearms. Kevin told Washingtonian magazine that there were no problems in getting gun-shop and firearms-instruction permits from state and federal agencies, but several localgovernment roadblocks delayed the coffee-sales permit: the property being zoned for “retail” but not food or drinks; permission to open certain businesses near residences; and a coffee shop’s need to have “parking.” DECEMBER 2016





Culture Magazine Colorado December 2016