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contents

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1.2018

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Strong and Resilient

Eben Britton, former offensive lineman, speaks out in support of cannabis consumption in the NFL, as his personal experiences have led him to activism and launching a CBD company.

O n the C O V E R :

J oh n G i l hoo l e y

features 28 52

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From Coffee to Cannabis Local coffee shop may soon be Denver’s first social cannabis consumption club.

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Connecting to the Cure Sophie’s mother used her family's experience with medical cannabis to create CannaKids, which helps parents navigate the intimidating process of securing cannabis for sick children.

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Industry Insider Jon Cooper, ebbu™ founder and CEO, believes that science and consistency are the business secrets that will propel the industry’s future.

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Shattering Stereotypes As founder of The 420 Games, Jim McAlpine leads by example as a health-focused cannabis connoisseur.

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Dazzling Dubstep Digital Vagabond takes natural inspiration from the local mountains and digitizes it into dubstep tracks.

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HIV and Cannabis The medical cannabis movement was ignited by those affected by HIV, and now the government is funding research to further its relationship with the community.

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departments 10 Letter from the Editor news 12 News Nuggets 13 By the Numbers 16 Local News 20 Legal Corner reviews 22 Advocate Highlight 26 Strain & Edible Reviews 28 Cool Stuff 30 Entertainment Reviews in every issue 56 Growing Culture 62 Profile in Courage 64 Recipes 68 News of the Weird

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Online Exclusive! d Majority of West Virginian Doctors Support Cannabis d New Study Suggests CBD as Schizophrenia Treatment

Vol 9 IssUE 7


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Editor-In-Chief Jamie Solis associate Editor Ashley Bennett Editorial coordinator Benjamin Adams managing editor Addison Herron-Wheeler Editorial Contributors Matthew Abel, Devon Alexander Brown, Jasen T. Davis, Alex Distefano, Keira Fae, Caroline Hayes, Pamela Jayne, M. Jay, Heather Johnson, Emily Manke, Meital Manzuri, Madison Ortiz, R. Scott Rappold, Paul Rogers, Ed Rosenthal, Kimberly R. Simms, Alexa Steinberg, Lanny Swerdlow, Simon Weedn, Amy Witt, Laurie Wolf Photographers Kristen Angelo, Steve Baker, Kristopher Christensen, John Gilhooley, Joel Meaders, Tonya Perme, Josué Rivas, Mike Rosati, Eric Stoner Art Director Steven Myrdahl production manager Michelle Aguirre Graphic Designer Payden Cobern sales director Joe Larson Account Executives Alex Brizicky, Molly Clark, Eric Bulls, Kim Cook, Lee Moran, Casey Roel, Garry Stalling, Shayne Williams, Annie Weber, Vic Zaragoza general Manager Iris Norsworthy office manager Mikayla Aguilar digital media Hannah Lemley coordinator Intern Sophia Rybicki Distribution Manager Cruz Bobadilla Publisher David Comden 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 www.CultureMagazine.com

CULTURE® Magazine is printed using post-recycled paper.

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/freeculturemag

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LETTER

FROM

THE

EDITOR

C h ee r s t o He a l t h a n d Wellness

H

ow will you do better this year? Are you planning to quit smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol? Will you exercise more and eat less? January gives us hope of a new beginning; it marks our chance to wipe the slate clean and move forward. For anyone who wants to improve their overall health and wellness this year, there is good news for you—cannabis can help. With all the miraculous benefits that cannabis provides, we’ve decided to dedicate this issue of CULTURE to cannabis, health and wellness. Our exclusive interview with former NFL offensive lineman, Eben Britton, helps us examine how our nation’s history of prescribing opioids for pain is outdated and harmful. Cannabis is defined under two categories— medical or recreational. While we appreciate these two approaches, cannabis can be put in one, allencompassing category as the plant contributes in countless ways to a healthier, more wellnessminded lifestyle. There is no denying the medicinal properties of cannabis. It’s an effective anti-seizure medication for people suffering from epilepsy and seizure disorders. Chances are you know a fair amount of people who have used cannabis adjunct to chemotherapy. Cannabis continues to grow in popularity as an alternative medicine—your friends and family members have probably already inquired about CBD for treating pain, skin disorders or inflammation—for themselves and even for their pets. And these examples only touch the surface regarding the many examples of how cannabis is one of nature’s most effective medicines. However, a wellness-minded lifestyle goes beyond medicine and treating physical ailments. Cannabis promotes, supports and contributes to many dimensions of a healthier lifestyle. Even non-psychoactive cannabinoids seem to make 10

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mundane tasks all the more bearable, from tedious chores to exercise. With cannabis, jokes become funnier, connecting with nature is effortless, and consumers experience a way to examine parts of their lives and the world around them in a much different way than before. Through research, we’re finally witnessing proof of what many of us have known for much of our lives—cannabis is beneficial mentally, spiritually, socially and emotionally. When people are looking for a way to escape, a way to shift their mindset toward something more positive, cannabis is quick to do the trick. When alcohol, opioids and cigarettes pose such dire threats to our well-being, cannabis is a plant that nourishes our bodies and interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which maintains balance in most of our body’s functions and systems. This issue of CULTURE will give you more insight into living a better life with cannabis. We’ll share with you the origins of modern medical cannabis dispensaries as well as how new research will continue to break down boundaries toward healing for patients with HIV. Additionally, you’ll find out how to incorporate one of nature’s most nutritious super foods, hemp, into recipes that will coincide with your New Year’s resolutions, plus so much more. Here’s to a year brimming with wellness and growth. c

Cheers!

Jamie Solis Editor-in-Chief


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NEWS

nuggetS

The Grow-Off Competition Awards Top Cultivators in Colorado The Grow-Off is a local competition that pits 40 different cannabis growers against each other to see who can grow the best product. All the cultivators start off with the same genetics, and the contest determines who has the best potency, terpenes and yield after the cannabis is grown. “This was our biggest competition yet, with 73 medical growers entering from as far away as Steamboat Springs,” Jake Browne, co-founder of The Grow-Off, told CULTURE. “The Clinic cleaned up with wins in terpenes and yield,

and Verde Natural managed to hit 31 percent THC to win potency. The average team only got to 18 percent. With growers starting with a mystery strain and going from there, I think it’s the hardest cannabis competition in the world.” The competition stands out in terms of ethics, as there are no secret judging systems, and judges cannot buy booths in the competition. The only way to win is to have test results that come out on top.

Local Credit Union Fights for Cannabis Banking The Fourth Corner Credit Union has been trying for some time to open for business to provide the cannabis industry with a place to conduct banking. However, every time the credit union tries to open, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City takes it to court. This time, the credit union revised its strategy, stating that it will start by working only with cannabis advocacy groups, rather than striving to work with businesses that touch the plant. “The industry needs specialized banking because the unique compliance requirements and the conflict between

Country of Georgia Decriminalizes Cannabis On Nov. 30, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Georgia announced its decision to decriminalize cannabis in the country. The move comes after citizen of the former Soviet Republic, Givi Shanidze, challenged Article 273 of the Criminal Court of Georgia, which prohibits cannabis possession without a medical prescription. Givi Shanidze vs. Georgian Parliament was backed by the political group Girchi. “According to the claimant, marijuana consumption may be 12

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state and federal laws regarding cannabis create an unsafe, mostly cash industry,” Fourth Corner Credit Union’s Industry Relations Expert, Mark Goldfogel, told CULTURE. “This makes tax collection, diversion control and illicit activity significantly more difficult to regulate and enforce.” It remains to be seen whether the company’s scaled-down approach to a legal opening will hold up in court, but if it does, the industry will be one step closer to having cannabis banking access.

used [medically and recreationally],” court documents read, translated from Georgian. “[It is] the right of a[ny] person to choose the appropriate form of relaxation, and the means to be protected by [that] right.” The Constitutional Court ultimately found Article 273 to be contrary to Article 16 of the Constitution. The court found that any person who lives in the country of Georgia has the right to the appropriate form of recreation, which includes cannabis, and that cannabis consumption does not create a public threat.


The amount of Colorado grant money, in dollars, that is being used by two Colorado universities for a study, which analyzes how cannabis consumption affects a driver’s ability: (Source: Denver Westword)

839,500

The estimated percentage of American hemp that is grown in Colorado annually: (Source: The Fence Post)

40

The amount of cannabis sales revenue, in millions of dollars, that was collected through the purchase of cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates and accessories in September 2017: (Source: Colorado Department of Revenue)

The percentage of residents in Eagle County who voted for Ballot Issue 1A, which adds a 2.5 percent tax on recreational cannabis sales: (Source: Vail Daily)

136.6

73

The number of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Minnesota, which now includes people with autism and those who suffer from sleep apnea: (Source: San Francisco Chronicle)

The percentage of New Yorkers who support legalizing recreational cannabis: (Source: Emerson College Poll)

68

The estimated number of people who consumed some form of CBD during 2017 in the United Kingdom: (Source: Civilized)

250,000

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Cannabis Wedding Expo

WHEN: Sun, Jan. 28  WHERE: Lionsgate Event Center, 1055 South 112th St., Lafayette WEBSITE: www.cannabisweddingexpo.com

This trade expo is probably unlike any other cannabis expo that you’ve seen so far—it’s designed entirely to introduce couples to the traditional practices of wedding planning, but with a cannabis twist. Returning for its third year, the Cannabis Wedding Expo is expected to continue to make waves in the cannabis community with its innovative ideas and concepts. The event takes attendees through a series of ways to incorporate cannabis into every aspect of a wedding, from hosted cannabis bars of pre-rolls and edibles to floral arrangements. Guests will also find a variety of vendors offer

cannabis wedding dresses to pursue, as well as cannabisfriendly venues and caterers to chat with. The event takes wedding planning to a whole new level. This year, the event plans to have over 60 talented cannabis vendors and wedding consultants in attendance, which also includes a number of tasty treats to sample from caterers. The Cannabis Wedding Expo will even feature live music, glassblowing entertainment, raffles and fun prizes to win as well. Grab your cannasseur partner, and get ready to make the wedding of your dreams a reality. (Sophia Rybicki) CultureMagazine.com

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NEWS

LOCAL

UllrGrass 2018

Troubling Taxation

C o l o r a d o d i s p e n s a r y ta k e s the IRS to court

C

By Addison Herron-Wheeler

olorado Alternative Health Care in Palisade is taking the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to court under a claim that the business’ income was taxed twice. The troublesome tax issue stems from Section 280E of Internal Revenue Code, which does not allow cannabis businesses to claim certain credits and deductions on income earned from selling cannabis. The clause originally was intended to prevent drug dealers and those in the black market from claiming income deductions on illegal drug sales. Since earning income from cannabis is completely legal on a state level in Colorado, many feel that Section 280E is now unfair. “What is happening here is that the federal government is actually providing a subsidy to the black market purveyors in Colorado so they are able to keep their cost of cannabis lower than those who are in the regulated industry and face this increased tax burden,” Rachel Gillette of Greenspoon Marder, the lawyer handling this case, told CULTURE. “It’s unfortunate that the federal government during all this is going through a policy of backdoor enforcement and punishing these businesses via tax policies. They are also really serving to support the black market, because it incentivizes people to stay

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“ What is happening here is that the federal gove rnment is actually provi ding a subsidy to the black market purve yors in Colorado so they are able to kee p thei r cost of cannabis l owe r than those who are in the regulated industry and face this increased tax burden.” there and sell illegally.” In making her case, Gillette pointed out that the company is officially registered as an S Corp., meaning that income and tax liability should flow through the shareholders, which in this case is the owners of the business, Jesse and Desa Loughman. She also stated that they properly listed their wage income the way the IRS requires. However, the IRS still decided to disallow a deduction based on the fact that they considered the income “trafficking,” which caused their income to be taxed twice, once as wages and secondly as S Corp. earnings. Gillette believes that if she is able to help the Loughmans with their case, it could have wider implications for the industry as a whole. “If we win, we fix a problem that is a result of Section 280E, but it could have real world results in saving businesses money in that the IRS would now allow cannabis businesses to report their business expenses,” she explained. “It could have the effect of saving cannabis businesses some tax dollars.” While this would be a positive step forward, she still admits that there is much more to be done before cannabis is taxed and treated fairly. “However, it really is a toe in the door,” she added. “We’ve got so much more work to do pertaining to this issue, and the real solution is to have congress take congressional action and change things so that Section 280E is no longer applicable in legal states.” c

Nestled at the base of the front range of the Rocky Mountains near Clear Creek is a quaint bustling city of Golden, where the UllrGrass festival will take place annually. UllrGrass is an epic music and beer festival that commences during the last week of January. Attendees can get their kicks at the popular three-day beer festival that takes place at Parfet Park and the New Terrain Brewing Company. This festival attracts thousands of beer and music lovers and includes a band contest for both string and non-string bands. The festival’s performing artists include musical talent by Vince Herman, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Head for the Hills, Coral Creek, RapidGrass Quintet, Cornmeal, Luke Bulla Band, The Railsplitters and Thunder & Rain. (Sophia Rybicki)    WHEN:  Fri, Jan. 26-Sun, Jan. 28  WHERE: Parfet Park, 701 10th St., Golden  WEBSITE: www.ullrgrass.com


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NEWS

LEGAL CORNER

Preparing for Change

2018 is going to be a busy year for c a n n a b i s r e g u l at i o n a n d p o l i c y t’s the new year, and 2018 will be bringing a number of changes in the ever-shifting cannabis law landscape, both at the federal and state level in Colorado. This article provides an overview of some of the changes to expect, but also recognizes that in the world of cannabis, uncertainty is often the name of the game.

for cannabis companies than for noncannabis businesses. A dispensary, for example, could end up with an effective tax rate of up to 70 percent, much higher than similarly situated non-cannabis businesses. In November 2017, Rep. Jared Polis presented an amendment to Section 280E which would allow for deductions for statecompliant cannabis businesses, but his amendment did not pass the House Committee on Rules.

Federal Tax Control

Colorado’s Newest Transitions

By Adam Bergeron and Sahib Singh

I

The year 2017 was full of twists and turns. Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Attorney General, and well-established opponent of cannabis legalization, did not take as aggressive of an approach to turn back the tide of cannabis legalization as many in the industry had feared he might. However, he did not back down from his stance that cannabis is harmful to society and that its use should be discouraged. In late November, Sessions indicated that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had met to discuss changes to enforcement at the federal level, but did not provide any specifics as to what those changes might look like. So, at the top level of law enforcement, we essentially enter 2018 with a sense that change is afoot, but without any real idea as to what DOJ intends to change. Staying at the federal level, tax reform is a policy topic dominating the headlines. The biggest tax issue for cannabis businesses revolves around Section 280E—an obscure IRS code provision that effectively bars cannabis businesses from taking almost all tax deductions and credits, thereby creating much higher tax bills 20

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In a very recent development, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado had initially indicated that he would insert an amendment into the Senate’s Republican-driven tax reform bill, but at the last moment decided against it. However, this does not mean that Section 280E reform is dead in the water. The standalone bills mentioned above are still alive, and there is also a small chance that Section 280E reform could make it into the House version of the Senate’s tax reform bill. But, if you had to bet on it, the odds unfortunately do not look to be in favor of Section 280E reform in the short term. Turning to Colorado, a number of new, statewide regulations went into effect on Jan. 1. First, those who grow their own cannabis are now capped on the amount of plants they can possess or grow on residential property. Recreational home-growers are now capped to 12 plants unless their locality allows for more. Medical patients and primary caregivers can receive an exemption to grow up to 24 plants upon registration with state and local authorities.

Next, is Colorado’s House Bill 17-1376 (entitled Authorize Marijuana Clinical Research), which also went into effect Jan. 1 as well. This much-needed bill allows for cannabis research and development licenses to be issued, and effectively makes it easier for more instate research projects to take place. Apart from legislative bills, the Marijuana Enforcement Division released a laundry list of new compliance rules for licensees that went into effect on Jan. 1. Among the changes are new packaging and labeling requirements for all types of products—flower, concentrates and edibles. Dispensaries have a six-month transition period before they must be in compliance with the updated packaging and labeling changes. The division also enacted more stringent contaminant testing requirements for certain licensees. These rules were made in an attempt to balance cannabis regulations with public health and safety concerns, such as prevention of use by youth. The “ B a se d division has also on h ow m a n y been making a c a n n a bi s- greater effort to products r e l a t e d bi l l s ensure with inappropriate a n d t op ics contaminants a r e bei n g aren’t being sold. Based on how p r e pa r e d a n d many cannabisw or k e d on , related bills and i t l ooks l i k e topics are being 2018 i s g oi n g prepared and t o be a very worked on, it looks like 2018 is i n t e r e st i n g going to be a very ye a r . ” interesting year. c


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REVIEWs

advocate highlight

Tyler Prock

Occupation: Accountant for Mary’s Medicinals When and how did you become an advocate for cannabis? The first time I consumed cannabis was in 2012, at 26 years old from a Volcano Performance Vaporizer, to see if cannabis could help with my scoliosis back pain. It helped ease my pain immediately, and the high I experienced was nice and made me laugh. It was not the scary, mind-altering, “Reefer Madness” nonsense that had not only been taught to me, but everyone I had ever met. I quickly started to research and learn about cannabis and how it tied into the “War on Drugs.” How has cannabis benefited your life? Cannabis has saved my life. There was a time that I had gone to the doctor 22

and gotten on pain pills to attempt to curb by lower back pain. However, after only a few short weeks, I knew that these pills, which hardly seemed to put a dent in my pain, would have probably affected me very badly in the future. I knew that it can be a slippery slope from pain pills to heroin to death if you are not careful, so I asked myself, “Before I pull the trigger on something I can’t go back on, have I really given cannabis a solid chance to help?” In 2015, I loaded up a few things in the car, told my wife to quit her job, and we left for the medical cannabis state of colorful Colorado, where although the Denver hustle and struggle is real, we got off a combination of 16 pills a day and only use cannabis

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and yoga to manage our pain and ailments. What’s your greatest achievement for the cannabis cause? Hopefully, it hasn’t even happened yet. I want to write or help inspire a bill that would allow for medical card patients to travel outside of the state it was issued, like all the other people with prescription pills or drivers licenses are allowed to do. There are still so many laws that need to change in the favor of cannabis for the people and for the companies that get the medicine into people’s hands. I do educate others about cannabis as often as I can. Who do you look up to or admire? I look up to the parents who have moved across the country for legal cannabis access for their kids and do not even consume it themselves. The researchers and educators who have

dedicated their lives to teaching everyone around about this amazing plant. The business owners who have gotten their bank accounts shut down, some over 15 times, who get taxed on the ridiculous Section 280E tax code, but just will not give up on their dreams to get this medicine into people’s hands. Especially, our CFO, who once created an accounting company just to help other cannabis companies jump through the absolutely crazy web of taxes and accounting that many businesses struggle with, and is twice as difficult in the cannabis industry; she’s also adopted a kid and saved his life and still works very hard every day to keep our company sailing along strong. If you could change one thing about the way cannabis is viewed and/ or treated right now, what would it be? If we could de-schedule cannabis, like we do alcohol and tobacco, I believe it would be easier to explain to everyone that cannabis is a medicine. All cannabis businesses could save lots of money on their taxes by not having to implement tax code Section 280E, which does not allow for employee or cost of goods write-offs. It would allow for many research companies to finally do the many studies that could benefit us for generations to come. Moving cannabis away from Schedule I would show people that this is a non-addictive, non-deadly plant that does have medical use. It would probably allow for all the states that have not legalized to lower the punishment for possession down to a minimum and could possibly even allow for the release of the people in locked away in jail. c


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REVIEWs

strain & edible

Available at: Redeye Releaf in Denver.

Strawberry Diesel When two great things are combined, usually an equally or better product is created. This is certainly the case when Strawberry Cough was combined with Sour Diesel and Strawberry Diesel was born. From Redeye Releaf we received good looking, tightly formed, decent sized, bright green buds with visible crystals, red hairs and an amazing smell. We couldn’t wait to get this show on the road. Strawberry Diesel is a hybrid strain, with a near evenly balanced ratio of sativa to indica, which is great for those who battle anxiety but still want the motivating effects of the sativa. After a few puffs off a joint, we felt motivated, uplifted and euphoric. The indica characteristics produced a warm body effect. We felt relieved from the stress held in our neck and shoulders. By the end of the joint we were ready to do something besides sit on the couch so we took the dog for a nice long walk to enjoy one of the many 60 degree days we’ve been having here (are you sure it’s winter, Colorado?). This is a strain to know if you don’t already.

Available wherever: Cheeba Chews™ products are carried.

Sativa and Indica Fruit Taffy by Cheeba Chews™ Over the years, Cheeba Chews™ has proven itself to be a solid and consistent company in world of cannabis edibles. The classic Cheeba Chews™, a staple in this industry since the beginning, has a “sibling” and we were all excited to see the new product from this company. The Cheeba Chews™ Fruit Taffy we tried contained a strawberry flavor, which was pleasantly sweet. The childproof package comes with either 10 sativa or 10 indica taffy candies. Both the sativa and indica varitieties took about two hours to fully kick in. We had almost forgotten we consumed this treat, and then the sativa came in hot—feeling like a surge of caffeine rushing through our veins. The energetic onset did not overwhelm us, and we were able watch an entire movie without falling asleep! The next evening, we tested the indica version, which was true to form, with a heavy body effect and sleepy effect. Both varieties resulted in a great night’s sleep with no groggy feeling the next day. The ease and discreetness of consuming this product will have us coming back for more. 26

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REVIEWs

For More Products Go To CultureMagazine.com

3. WRIXO Connected Medical

1. Higher Standards Blazer Big Shot Torch Feel like torchin’ something? There’s therapy available for that, but the Big Shot Torch by Higher Standards and Blazer will heat your cannabis tools to perfection. Our reviewers were impressed at the Big Shot’s ability to quickly incinerate. With up to 35 minutes of high grade 2500° F burn time, it’s more powerful than most torches you’ve encountered. It’s capable of getting hot enough to solder metal like industrial grade torches, but we recommend you keep it at the temperature best for dabbing concentrates. Get more power with the Big Shot Torch. Price: $90 More Information: higherstandards.com

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4. TrainingMask 3.0® Performance

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2. Crafty®

Crafty, clever and cunning is how we’d describe the developers at STORZ & BICKEL. Most consumers would agree that the Crafty® vaporizer is built to last. STORZ & BICKEL is so confident with the durability of the Crafty® vaporizer, that the company slapped a twoyear warranty on it. This durable vaporizer can be controlled with its free remote control app for Android or iOS and lets you change settings by your phone or smart watch without touching the vaporizer. Once you get the Crafty® vaporizer, chances are you will end up tossing out your old vapes instantly. Price: $279 More Information: www.storz-bickel.com 28

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ID Wristband This wristband just might save your life one day. It looks like a common medical ID wristband, but contains critical information embedded inside. There’s a wireless NFC chip built in as well as a QR code that can be scanned and immediately identify a patient’s identity as well as medical needs in the event of an emergency. Important information can be stored such as allergies or emergency medication. No batteries are necessary. Our reviewers at CULTURE quickly forgot that we were wearing it, because it was lightweight and comfortable. Price: $19 More Information: www.wrixo.com

1

Breathing Trainer Serious about your workout routine? Fatigue can take over during a strenuous workout due to breathing problems—but thankfully nowadays there are technologically advanced ways to upgrade your performance. Take your typical fitness routine to the next level with the TrainingMask 3.0® Performance Breathing Trainer, a face mask that designed to improve the condition of your lungs with adjustable breathing pattern settings. You’ll also look as fearsome as Bane from The Dark Knight Rises while you’re wearing it, with its hip, industrial-looking design. Price: $89.99 More Information: www.trainingmask.com

CULTUREMAGAZINE.com GET YOUR CLICKS

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REVIEWs

entertainment

BOOK

Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed & Business

Release Date: january 26 Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

Ashley Picillo and Lauren Devine Pub. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform With stirring imagery, 21 pioneering business women in the cannabis industry share their stories about the ups and downs of staying afloat in a highly competitive market. This collection highlights the ongoing struggle for equality and diversity within the cannabis industry. It offer unique angles for overcoming hurdles that women in particular face in the cannabis industry— covering many fields including cultivation, human resources, consulting, technology, law, policy, advocacy and activism. Breaking the Glass Ceiling encourages other women to strive for success. (Richard Saunders) 30

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GAME

Monster Hunter World Dev. and Pub. Capcom The premise of Monster Hunter World is simple— kill monsters, use their hides to make better weapons and armor, and kill more monsters. The methods of crafting and fighting in this series is a timeless classic, but the arrival of Monster Hunter World is finally bringing true high definition to the game for the first time. This includes even larger maps with smooth transitions between zones, and established co-op and worldwide play for all players. Get ready for a total of 14 useable weapon types, a new “slinger” tool and plenty of quests and challenges to overcome. (Nicole Potter)

MOVIE

Dunkirk Dir. Christopher Nolan Warner Bros. Pictures After a trilogy of critically acclaimed Batman movies and two of the most fantastical films ever envisioned, Inception and Interstellar, Director Christopher Nolan stepped out of the realm of fantasy and into the annals of history with his latest film, Dunkirk. The film does an exceptional job taking viewers to a small beach in Northern France where Allied forces from Belgium, Britain and France in the midst of intense combat were rescued by over 600 British ships made up of mostly small boats captained by civilians. Dunkirk captures the intensity and desperation of the situation, and proves that Nolan is capable of creating successful nonfiction. (Simon Weedn)

MUSIC

AYFKM Call of The Void Relapse Records A great deal of the doom metal in Denver is either slow and heavy or rocking and classic, but Call of The Void (COTV) falls into its own category. Playing a blend of grindcore, crust, punk and sludge, COTV’s sound is aggressive and angry. Its latest record, AYFKM (Are You F***ing Kidding Me), signed to the well-known metal label Relapse Records, is a complete aural assault to the listener that will have fans of the fast and the heavy left wanting more. Standout tracks on the album include the insanely blistering opener, “Get in the Van,” and track three, “Throwing Bullets.” (Addison HerronWheeler)


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A for Treatment Former NFL offensive tackle Eben Britton has found healing and entrepreneurship in cannabis By R. Scott Rappold

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J oh n G i l hoo l e y


“I came to the plant as a curious teenager, like most of us do, smoked weed a few times in high school, a little bit in college. but I was very much affected by the stigma, that if you’re going to be an athlete, you can’t be someone who smokes weed.”

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magine, if you will, what it’s like to be an offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL). You line up in a state of catlike readiness, and the moment the quarterback snaps the ball, a wall of 300-pound behemoths comes plowing toward you. Your job—your only job—is to keep these monsters from getting past you for the crucial few seconds it takes the quarterback to throw or hand the ball off. Then do it 40 or 50 more times a game. Now imagine doing it stoned. It’s not exactly the mellow experience most cannabis consumers enjoy. For former NFL offensive tackle Eben Britton, however, using cannabis was a way to combat the pain of the sport without the fistfuls of pharmaceuticals football doctors hand out like Halloween candy. He even consumed it before games a few times. “I just had a much better experience. I felt much more in my body. The pills have a way of disconnecting you, making it really difficult to feel your feet on the ground,” recalled Britton, who played four years for the Jacksonville Jaguars and two for the Chicago Bears before retiring in 2014. “The connection of your nervous system and the brain-body connection as an offensive lineman is the most important thing. You have to be able to feel your feet on the ground when you’re blocking a defensive lineman, a 300-pound tank.” “I felt that I was much more lucid, able to feel myself and to execute play after play in the best possible way.” Most people think of professional football players like the Peyton Mannings and Brett Favres, superstars who might play for 15 years, bouncing back from injury to injury and winning Super Bowls. But the reality is the average NFL career is less than three years, as bodies break down and each new college draft class moves in. Since retiring, 30-year-old Britton has become one of the foremost advocates for changes in a sport that tolerates opioid addiction, but has a strict ban on cannabis use. He spoke with CULTURE about the pain of football, the realities of playing in the trenches and how cannabis got him through it.

As a young athlete, what was it about playing in the NFL that inspired you to work so hard? I think it was about the gladiatorship, the physicality of the game, the glory of the game. It was very much this idea of living out a hero’s journey. Football players are modern gladiators. Unless you’re going into the military, you can’t get much more violent in sports than football, and for whatever reason I was just drawn to that . . . The game called to me, something about it, putting on the pads and helmet, the amour, so to speak, and being involved in this team game. Had you smoked cannabis before becoming an athlete? I came to the plant as a curious teenager, like most of us do, smoked weed a few times in high school, a little bit in college. But I was very much affected by the stigma, that if you’re going to be an athlete, you can’t be someone who smokes weed. 34

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Was there a time when the harsh reality of the sport hit you? When I got into the NFL, I started experiencing injuries, and I started to see the injuries really started to shed light on the business of the game. I started to see that this wasn’t a team sport in a family atmosphere. This wasn’t the family I’d grown up loving, and I realized that the most important thing is obviously winning and from there having guys on the field who aren’t worried about getting hurt . . . One of the most real moments of my NFL career was right before my rookie year, with our offensive line coach we were doing a little rookie line meeting, and our offensive line coach said, “Guys, I don’t know how to put this to you any other way, but every single day we’re bringing guys off the street, and we’re working them out to take your jobs.” And I thought, “Damn, that’s how it is.” That’s the mindset they want you in, to understand that at any moment someone is coming in to take your job.


Can you walk us through some of your injuries as a player? I had a torn labrum, which is a dislocated shoulder. I had that repaired with a slap repair, which is a pretty typical shoulder surgery where they repair the labrum, and they have to pull back some muscles and tendons to tighten them up to hold the shoulder back in place. I herniated disc L side S1, had sciatica running down my leg, which was excruciating, causing numbness in my right foot . . . Eleven weeks after that surgery it turned out there was an infection in the disc. I was basically paralyzed from the waist down for about three months with an infection in that disc post-surgery. I had to have intravenous antibiotics for eight weeks. [I had] torn muscles and ligaments all over my body, rolled ankles, broken fingers, toes, a bad neck and a handful of concussions throughout my career. I realized every time I took these pills, they created this discomfort in my body and my emotions; rage and anger came billowing to the surface. It was very hard to control those things. I felt really insane and manic mentally. It made it difficult to sleep and heal, waking up at 3 a.m. with withdrawal symptoms, cold sweats, chills, pains your stomach, your body needing more pills to quiet this withdrawal. How did you discover cannabis as an alternative to the pills they were giving you? When I started really experiencing these injuries and taking the pills, it was very clear to me that these things had a negative effect on me. Comparing that to the experience when I consumed some cannabis, it was night and day. It was the difference between feeling worse and feeling better . . . I could smoke a joint and feel relief throughout my body. I’d feel soothed mentally, calmed, even peaceful. I was able to lie down and rest and heal, and I feel very

grateful that I had that intuitive response throughout my career. Cannabis is not allowed for players. How did you get around that? As much as [the NFL] likes to punish guys seemingly unnecessarily for getting busted for cannabis, it’s only tested for once a year. It’s on their “street drugs” list. You have a general idea you’re going to be tested sometime between May and August, and if you’re someone who is a cannabis consumer you stop your consumption 30 days before reporting back to the team. Why do you think the NFL is so anti-cannabis? I think they’re very traditionallyminded. There’s a lot of money from alcohol. God knows there’s probably a lot of money from “Big Pharma” going into the league. It’s easy for them to stand behind the argument, “As long as this is a Schedule I drug federally we don’t have to do anything.”

“I think this plant could have a tremendous impact on the league, having guys take it before and after practices, before and after games. I think it can mitigate a ton of that damage that is happening to players’ brains. It would lessen the amount of opiates the guys use.”

How much would cannabis help players deal with pain if it was allowed? Football players are four times as likely than the average American to abuse opiates. Guys are leaving the league in really terrible shape, and they don’t have the understanding about what’s happening to their bodies to be able to make decisions regarding their health, about how to better take care of themselves. Many guys who have spent their entire lives affected by the stigma that this is an illegal street drug don’t have any understanding that, first of all, this thing is a powerful neuro-protectant . . . I think this plant could have a tremendous impact on the league, having guys take it before and after practices, before and after games. I think it can mitigate a ton of that damage that is happening to players’ brains. It would lessen the amount of opiates the guys use. CultureMagazine.com

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Was it your decision to retire after Chicago? They didn’t re-sign me after the second year, but I had really hit a wall. It had become really clear to me that I was done. There was one point I was sitting in the meeting room watching film, and I said to myself, “What am I doing here at this point?” I had done everything I had to do in the game of football, and it was pretty clear to me I was ready to move on to something else. Tell us about Athletes for CARE. I got in touch with [former NFL player] Kyle Turley, and he had put together this Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, and they were speaking at cannabis conferences on panels. So I connected with him, and the next thing I knew I was speaking all over the country about my experiences with cannabis and dealing with injuries in my NFL career. I became very good friends with Nate Jackson, another former player who is also a cannabis advocate, and we wanted to keep building this message, making this our platform to spread this awareness. And what we came up with was Athletes for CARE, a nonprofit organization that’s really dedicated to helping athletes in their transition to real life from their sports careers. You also have a podcast with Jackson called “Mindful Warrior.” What was the inspiration for that? Nate and I, all these things we’ve been working on together, and the podcast is really the tool for us to allow other athletes to share their stories, to share how they’ve overcome adversity, what it took for them to make it to that highest level that they got to. What the transition out of that was like in reestablishing their own identity as people in the world. 38

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You helped found a CBD company, Be Trū Organics™. Can you tell me about that? I wanted to continue this positive messaging on the healing benefits of hemp and CBD. CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that is also really medicinal, and we wanted to combine this powerful hemp extract with other super-ingredients, like arnica, rosemary and lavender in our topical pain cream, and our oral spray has ginseng and Goji berry extract, so it’s very uplifting. It’s great for your mood an managing inflammation . . . It’s just another way I wanted to continue building on this message that cannabis has amazing healing properties. Do you still feel impacts and pain issues from your time playing in the NFL? My back is really a daily reminder of my football career. I can’t turn my neck, my head, in a full range of motion. If I don’t exercise and stretch on a daily basis, I’ll be [disabled]. The stiffness and immobility there takes daily attention. I still can’t feel my right toes on the ground. My feet, it takes 30 minutes to an hour in the morning to where I can take a step. I have creaking and aching in my knees, phantom muscle pains, but I keep a pretty upbeat attitude. I was able to leave all the pills behind me. For the most part my brain and body are intact, and I can be a functioning husband to my wife and father to my daughter. I can live a very high quality of life, thanks in part to my cannabis use during my football career. Any regrets about playing football? No, I don’t have any regrets. I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t done it. I learned a lot through my NFL career about

human beings, about business, and obviously it took a toll on my physical and mental health that I’ll be battling for the rest of my life, but that was part of my journey. It’s led me to this greater calling of bringing awareness to natural healing remedies. c www.athletesforcare.org


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Socially Acceptable

Will Coffee Joint be Denver’s first social cannabis consumption club? By Benjamin M. Adams

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annabis businesspeople in Denver were hoping to transform the city into “Amsterdam 2.0” with the implementation of social consumption clubs under Initiative 300. But nearly a year later, no clubs are open for business, considering the steep list of fees, buffer zones and requirements. Now, a business called Coffee Joint is poised to become the city’s first social consumption club. While Denver prides itself on cannabis-related tourism with everything from cannabis-themed busses to cannabis-specific tour guides, there aren’t legal spaces to consume cannabis for tourists who are staying in hotel rooms. Denver voters approved Initiative 300 on Nov. 8, 2017, which allows for the social consumption of cannabis, but it ended up taking about nine months for the city to begin accepting applications. On Aug. 24, 2017 city officials announced that they’d begin to accept applications for social cannabis consumption. Initiative 300 sets up a four-year pilot program called the Neighborhood Supported

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plan on charging a $5 cover charge at the front door. Patrons may then rent vaporizer equipment and consume edibles on the premises. Smoking still won’t be allowed under Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act. The space is located next door to a dispensary that they already own. “We’re currently in the process. Obviously, we’ve already applied for the application,” Merkulov told CULTURE. “Tentatively, I think the process will take two to three months.” As part of the licensing process under Initiative 300, applicants including Tsalyuk and Merkulov must prove they have support from the local community. In response, Coffee Joint sent people to attend two meetings with the La Alma Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association, and so far, neighbor input has been mostly positive. One of the association’s members even toured the proposed cannabis consumption club site. Merkulov’s 1,850-squarefoot facility will include a converted garage and a smaller room for private and corporate events. The site is located at 1130 Yuma Court in Denver. Dan Rowland, with the city’s Department of Excise & Licenses, confirmed to The Denver Post that Coffee Joint is the first cannabis consumption license application to be processed. “There’s going to be a whole process with the city of Denver’s Department of Excise & Licenses” before the business can open, Merkulov added. Other businesses that have expressed interest in opening a social consumption business include Strainwise and LivWell Enlightened Health. Before obtaining a license for social cannabis consumption, Tsalyuk and Merkulov plan on opening the business as a conventional coffee shop until they receive the final go-ahead. If they are successful, Coffee Joint will be the first Cannabis Consumption Business Location in Denver. c

“ We’ re cu rrently in the [ ap p licatio n] p ro ce ss. . . Te ntatively, I think the pro ce ss wi ll take two to three mo nths. ”

Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program, which allows for clubs called Cannabis Consumption Business Locations. Approved businesses can open 21-and-over sections where patrons can bring their own cannabis. The businesses must be located 1,000 feet away from schools, daycare centers and from alcohol and drug treatment centers. The grayed out buffer zone areas plus the long list of added rules have made it nearly impossible for many businesses to secure a license. A business in the Lincoln Park area, however, is on its way to becoming the first social cannabis consumption club in Denver. The city of Denver received an application from Coffee Joint, a proposed social club on Dec. 8, 2017. Co-owners Rita Tsalyuk and Kirill Merkulov, if awarded the license,


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Saving Sophie and Beyond O n e l i t t l e g i r l’ s journey with c a n n a b i s i s s av i n g countless lives By Addison Herron-Wheeler

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t’s not uncommon for mothers to become huge advocates and/or community educators after watching a sick child become healthy through the healing benefits in cannabis. In the case of Tracy Ryan, founder and CEO of CannaKids, witnessing her daughter's health improve was enough to inspire the creation of a successful medical cannabis company. Ryan’s daughter, Sophie, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at eight months old. While she was willing to do whatever was needed to find her daughter an effective treatment, Ryan initially dismissed the thought of medical cannabis’ ability to help Sophie heal. However, when Ricki Lake herself, one of Ryan’s heroes, offered to give Sophie her first dose of cannabis oil on camera, she finally came around to the idea that there may be merit in trying cannabis as a treatment. It also helped that Ryan was provided with scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of cannabis, as well as a nine-month supply of oil and advice on dosing. Finally, seeing the light at the end of tunnel, Sophie became a regular consumer of medical cannabis oil. “We have seen incredible things happen with the cannabis along with the chemotherapy,” Ryan explained to CULTURE. “These tumors are unique because there is a 90 percent survival rate, but 80 percent recurrence rate, and because they are slow growing, the chemo can’t gobble up the dividing cells, so shrinkage doesn’t occur.

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Photo by Yvette Davis StockPot Images


Photo by Tokewell Magazine

data, knowledge and information gained about the patient. Then, the nurse will either recommend a product from the CannaKids line or explain how to get medical products in the caller’s home state. The site also provides information about how to obtain a medical card and which dispensaries in California carry CannaKids products. CannaKids is now a successful business, providing products and consultation to those who need it, and helping many kids and parents gain access to treatments and knowledge that they wouldn’t be able to get any other way. But Ryan and her team aren’t content with stopping there and just selling product. They are also helping advance clinical trials on medical cannabis, so that more can be learned about how to treat specific ailments.

Sophie was initially supposed to go blind because the tumor was wrapped around her optic nerves—best case scenario would be minimal vision in the right eye. But in that first few months her tumor shrank between 83 and 90 percent and preserved her vision.” Since then, Sophie has been incredibly healthy and productive for a child who is battling such a serious brain tumor, even though she continues to receive chemotherapy treatment. Seeing such dramatic improvement in her own child, Ryan realized that she had to spread the word and help other parents get medical access for their children. “When we started using oil, we got connected to all these people in social media who didn’t understand dosing or have strain knowledge, and we didn’t have medical professionals to guide us,” Ryan stated. “I saw that there was this real need for people, because back then it wasn’t as easy to find someone who was able to guide you through cannabis dosing.” After witnessing instances involving other parents who followed bad advice online, she decided to do something to help other parents who were seeking real answers. “I knew that there needed to be more education, more support, more guidance, with people talking to medical professionals,” Ryan said. From there, to organizations known as Saving Sophie and CannaKids were born. Saving Sophie is an informational platform where parents and interested parties can learn more about how cannabis can help save young lives. Additionally, CannaKids is an interactive website that can be used to book a phone call with a nurse who can provide advice about dosing based on

level, so that medical legalization can clear its final hurdles. “Education is always the first answer,” she said. “Educating parents and caregivers on the fact that in 3,000 years, not one person has ever died from this medicine and that there have been over 1,700 scientific publications that are out there, many of which include safety studies. You’d be surprised at how many doctors around the country don’t know that cannabis is a medicine, so educating the doctors and nurses on the science behind cannabis is really important.” Ryan hopes that the combination of doing press outreach for her company, and being open about her daughter’s success with medical cannabis, will have an impact on others and help spread the word about what the plant can do. “It’s all about telling our story, not just for ourselves but other families we’ve worked with,” she said. “We are showing that we are just normal people, entrepreneurs by nature; we had a kid that was unfortunately diagnosed with a serious condition, and we are now communicating what worked with her to the masses by way of media. We also want people to understand our kid is nine, has been on the oil since she was five; she is happy, healthy. This isn’t a toxin; it’s helping protect her from toxins.” Those interested in supporting CannaKids can make a donation through SavingSophie.org to help fund clinical trials and future cannabis research. Parents who want more information about cannabis treatments can set up a consultation at CannaKids.org. c

“ W e h a ve s ee n i n c r e d i b l e t h i n g s h a p p e n wi t h t h e c a n n a b i s a l o n g wi t h t h e c h e m o t h e r a p y. ” “We are already working on an autism trial and we are planning a huge study on autism,” Ryan explained. “We are also planning an end-of-life pain study for kids on opioids who have cancer, a trial for kids using cannabis as an adjunct to chemo for cancer pain, and then those will lead to bigger cancer trials. There is also a hospital in the Midwest where we will be doing optic trials, and that will also be fueled by the research we are doing in Israel with a company called CURE Pharmaceutical.” All of this is leading the industry even closer to understanding and acceptance for those who need cannabis as medicine. But in addition to these major medical trials, Ryan would like to see education on the ground

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Industry Insider

“We couldn’t just do a human study and try to figure out w h at ’ s t h e magical c o m b i n at i o n of compounds from the p l a n t t h at ’ s going to c r e at e these desirable r e s u lt s . We had to s ta r t at t h e cellular level.”

V i s i o n ary D is c ipl in e ebbu™ is focusing on research to clear hurdles for the industry

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By R. Scott Rappold

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on Cooper sees the future. No, we’re not talking about a crystal ball or deck of tarot cards. But the 41-year-old founder of cannabis company ebbu™ believes the work being done at his laboratory in Evergreen, Colorado, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is paving the way for the future of the industry. The concept is the “Coors Light of cannabis,” cannabis products that will deliver the exact same effect every time, in vaporizer oil, dabs or water droplets, based on laborious research to develop a compound that induces a very specific type of effect. “The industry will turn to mainstream brands over the next five to 10 years,” said Cooper. “If you look at what’s fundamental to a brand, you have to deliver a consistent experience to that consumer every single time.” “The challenge for this marketplace is nobody is doing that.”

Photos by Cody Lampman Photography


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B.

Better Living through Chemistry

Cooper never pictured himself involved in this industry, even after Colorado voters legalized recreational cannabis in 2012. He had grown up in the era of “Just Say No” and when he had said “yes,” the experiences were uneven. “I had some awesome experiences, and I had some terrible experiences, because the plant is inconsistent, and I didn’t know the difference between Blue Dream and Green Crack. I had a very low level of trust in the plants,” he said. But the industry’s post-legalization explosion in Colorado, and the many people he met whose lives had been improved by medical cannabis, softened his beliefs. As an entrepreneur for two decades, he began to ponder ways that science could create an even, predictable experience. Think of it as better living through chemistry. “Anywhere you go in the world, and you order a Coors Light, you get the exact same thing every time. What if we could create consistent, predictable products, with the same experience every time?” he said. “What I didn’t realize at the time was the breadth and depth from a scientific perspective that I would need to get into to solve these problems.”

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Reinventing the Wheel

Cooper began interviewing scientists in 2014 and today, he has 10 on his staff. At first, the biggest problem was just finding scientists willing to study cannabis, given the questionable legal status. They started by sifting through more than 500 studies—most of which were only semi-scientific, given the longstanding federal hurdles to such research. They also challenged the “anecdotal knowledge” about cannabis, about half of which Cooper estimates is not true. “There was no road map. Very little scientific work had happened. We were doing a lot of best guesses, and we made a ridiculous number of mistakes, maybe even an embarrassingly high number,” he laughed. Another struggle was finding capital. Most investors at the time saw cannabis as a “get-rich-quick scheme” and were unwilling to get in on a venture that could take years to bear fruit. To date, Cooper estimates ebbu™ has spent $10 million on research. Much of that research has of course been on the plant, deconstructing it into its basic parts, but even more has focused on the human body’s reaction to “chemical chaos” of the plant, including compounds like THC-V that have been largely bred out of commercial cannabis. Researchers have also conducted dozens of double-blind studies on humans to gauge how they react to different extraction cocktails. “We couldn’t just do a human study and try to figure

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out what’s the magical combination of compounds from the plant that’s going to create these desirable results,” Cooper said. “We had to start at the cellular level. We needed to understand what happens when we take different combinations of these compounds and introduce them to these human receptor sites. By the way, stop me if I get too technical.”

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Hot on the Shelves

In 2016, ebbu™ finally released GENESIS™ onto the market, a vaporizer oil that promised “a very clean high without the sensation of being stoned,” said Cooper. They followed up with dabs and microdose aqua drops. They’re available at 150 Colorado dispensaries— but Cooper says his company actually plans to get out of the production business and the ebbu™ brand will go away. That’s because he plans to license these chemical recipes to other manufacturers so ebbu™ can focus on research. You might still see the ebbu™ name on the container, but the brand will be somebody else’s. And Cooper has big plans for this research. He envisions a time in the near future when consumers will be able to make a cannabis extract purchase based on how they want to feel. For example, do they want a burst of energy or to chill out on the couch? Are they trying to cope with anxiety or spice things up in the bedroom with their significant other? And the feeling can be delivered via discreet water drops that will take effect in minutes and last about 75 minutes. And that’s not all he sees for the future of this industry. “In the next five to 10 years you’re going to be able to walk into bars and different places and not only order an alcoholic drink, but you’ll be able to order a cannabis drink. In 10 years you’re going to go to the doctor, and the doctor’s going to be able to prescribe you with real doseable medicine.” “And within 20 years you’re going to walk into a grocery store and things like shampoo, sports drinks, dog food, creams, they’re all going to contain cannabinoids, and it’s all really designed to improve the quality of our lives.” c


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Jim McAlpine (left) poses with Frank Shamrock (right)

By Devon Alexander Brown

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ost mornings at 5 a.m., entrepreneur Jim McAlpine is in a pool honing his swimming technique. A tested triathlete, he often swims up to a mile in preparation for competitions. When he’s not training in a pool, McAlpine trains in open waters like Lake Tahoe or the stretch between Alcatraz and San Francisco. Because he has ADHD, he’s careful to always bring a pair of waterproof headphones to prevent boredom in the water. He also never skips on cannabis

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before a training session. “I use cannabis before I jump in the water for swims, as a way to help my brain stay focused on what I’m doing,” McAlpine told CULTURE. “To engage in that eye of the tiger mode, if you will, and get really into that flow state.” Historically, the idea of consuming cannabis to become active and focused is counterintuitive, but McAlpine recognized its benefits decades ago while lifting weights in high school. Although he’s been active his entire life, he admits he was somewhat of a stereotypical "stoner" until college.

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“ W h e n I s ta r t e d T h e 4 2 0 G a m e s w h a t I w a n t e d t o d o w a s h a ve i t b e t h e p o l a r o p p o s i t e o f w h a t t h e t y p ic a l c a n n a b i s eve n t i s . W h a t t h o s e eve n t s d o i s k i n d of propagate the stoner image. What I wanted to do is kill the stoner image.”


McAlpine is still a daily consumer, but he doesn’t allow habitual use to define him. Rather, he’s using athleticism to redefine the cannabis consumer. “I think so many people consider themselves a stoner or they think they’re a stoner, and they’re not,” McAlpine said. “I believe the vast majority of cannabis users are not stoners. I think that’s a very small sect of the cannabis users that really just want to sit on the couch.” So for the past three years, McAlpine has dedicated his business endeavors to building up the cannabis community and reshaping its narrative. In the summer of 2014, McAlpine founded The 420 Games, a series of multi-city athletic events developed to de-stigmatize responsible cannabis consumers. Hosting The 420 Games grants him and other cannabis consumers the opportunity to demonstrate that the cannabis community is much more than lazy smokers and couch lock. “When I started The 420 Games, what I wanted to do was have it be the polar opposite of what the typical cannabis event is,” McAlpine said. “What those events do is kind of propagate the stoner image. What I wanted to do is kill the stoner image. The answer to me was to put an athletic event together that shows all of us marijuana users don’t just do that.” The 420 Games’ mission is to change the way the public views cannabis consumption, so it is a family-friendly athletic event and consumption of cannabis is prohibited. The main event of The 420 Games is a 4.2-mile race—one mile longer than the 3.1-mile span of a typical 5K. In addition to the race there are over 100 active lifestyle companies with booths and samples, interacting with and educating participants. Two points that McAlpine stressed were that you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from cannabis, and not all athletes do perform better on cannabis. However, incorporating cannabis into walks, hikes, bike rides and

other physical activities can help make the experiences more immersive and inspire further activity. McAlpine doesn’t have a standard strain he swears by, but on average, sativa-dominant strains are associated with bursts of energy and uplifted thoughts. “I don’t really necessarily look at a strain,” McAlpine said. “I look at the THC content and the makeup of the plant because it’s usually analyzed. I think when you get really medicinal then strains make a difference, but when it’s just being smoked, THC is what I choose. I look for a high THC content.” No matter your tolerance, it’s best to start on the conservative side when incorporating cannabis into a workout or sport. And since cannabis interacts with everyone’s systems differently, it may take some experimenting with multiple strains to determine what works well with your body and biochemistry. Too much THC can induce anxiety and uneasiness resulting in an unpleasant experience. Too little may lead to disappointment. For peak physical performance, proper dosage is more important than strain, which varies grower to grower. Understanding exactly how much to consume is crucial to discovering true functionality on cannabis. In addition to The 420 Games, Jim McAlpine is also the founder of New West Summit, a cannabis industry conference focusing on developments in technology, investment and media. As a part of his all-embracing mission to change the perception of cannabis, he hopes to launch an app that inspires cannabis consumers to be athletic. The app would track physical activity like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, but with the prospect of earning points toward free and discounted cannabis products. “The more active you are, the better pricing and free products you’re going to get,” McAlpine said. “I think that’s just going to propagate more health in the long run.” c CultureMagazine.com

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Photo courtesy of Lucidlightstudio.com

Dy n a m i t e DS l ayi gi n gi kti l lse r b e at s

i s a d a i ly o c c u r r e n c e for musical maven, D i g i ta l V a g a b o n d

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By Addison Herron-Wheeler Js and producers living in Denver have it made; they live near a plethora of dance clubs, in a city known for its ties to underground dubstep, and they have the benefit of beautiful mountain views and legal cannabis for inspiration. But what an artist does with these benefits is what truly defines a musical career. For Digital Vagabond, also known as Patrick Boyle, following through has never been an issue. Between producing dubstep, DJing and running his company, LostinSound, Digital Vagabond stays busy by chasing the dream and making good things happen in his local music scene. CULTURE caught up with him to talk music, the human struggle and cannabis as medicine.

“E a c h o f m y p r o d uct ion s e s s i o n s s ta r ts wit h a he av y d o s a ge o f TH C. T he p h ys ic a l a n d m en ta l b e ne f i ts p l a y n ice ly wit h t he s tu d i o w o r k f low.” 50

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How did you get started making music? Music was an integral part of my upbringing. My parents made a point to teach us a little bit of every instrument we had in the house. My stepfather played in several regionally touring bands, so I’ve been at gigs on the weekends, coiling cables and carrying speakers, for as long as I can remember. I’d come home from school miserable from the day’s druthers, and my stepdad would need a drum take for a cheesy new pop song he was working on. Little did I know he was giving me the keys and discipline to unlock my own creative freedom later in life. Do you have any upcoming shows, releases or projects in the works? Absolutely! I’m playing two quaint little festivals in the northeast this summer, Fractal Fest and Wild Woods. Both with top notch sound systems, stage production and tight-knit family vibes. I also have an EP of alloriginal tunes I’ve been working on for a year or so now. On top of that, I’m heading up the launch of a new creative-themed live

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stream platform with my company, LostInSound. org. We’ll be featuring live tutorials, studio streams, workshops, DJ/ VJ sets and heaps of other creative content. How do you feel about the genre you are a part of? What kind of support do you have? I’m normally down with any style of music that expresses true emotion and a sense of the human struggle. I lean more towards music that brings people together rather than alienates. That being said, “sound system culture” has become that sense of community for myself and many others. The quality of sound presentation allows for music of any style to be portrayed accurately, providing a level playing field for multi genre artists and DJs. How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? Could anything be done better or differently? After watching my mother completely rehabilitate her 30-year chronic pain issues with heavy CBD treatment, I have zero doubts about the healing benefits of cannabis. Like many other creative children, I was a test subject for Zoloft (anti-anxiety) when I was about nine. I took myself off of it at 12 while at summer camp and replaced it with cannabis not soon after. From then on I was a minor having to buy my medicine from “drug dealers” on the regular. Luckily I grew up in Vermont where quality cannabis

is fairly accessible, but nonetheless I was underage purchasing an illegal substance from adults who thought I was “chill” enough to keep it quiet. Cannabis wasn’t the gateway drug here; I can’t even say it was the Zoloft. The real gateway was the threshold I had to cross daily between legal and illegal. I think we all know what can happen to kids who spend too much time on the other side of that threshold. My hope is that with the popularization of cannabis and hemp, the rest of the world can begin to share the immeasurable benefits of both. Have you ever worked cannabis into your music as a theme? If so, how? I often make music that incorporates the styles of dub or reggae. This music is heavily rooted in cannabis and soundsystem culture. The syncopated rhythms and repetitive delays mixed with the mild hallucinatory nature of THC make for a nice psychotropic audible effect for the listener. Many of my mixtapes on SoundCloud are dedicated to or themed after cannabis as well. How has cannabis affected your life and creative processes? Each of my production sessions starts with a heavy dosage of THC. The physical and mental benefits play nicely with the studio workflow. For long sessions, the antiinflammatory relief can do wonders on the body as well. Cannabis is a great palate cleanser for the whole psyche. c

soundcloud.com/digitalvagabond | www.facebook.com/DigitalVagab0nd


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S

tate medical cannabis programs could not exist without the long list of AIDS activists who helped pioneer the first medical cannabis dispensaries in America. During the deadly AIDS crisis, patients consumed cannabis to battle wasting syndrome and the effects of the virus, but no one understood the mechanisms behind cannabis’ healing powers at the time. Today, research on cannabis and HIV is reaching an entirely new level, with federally-funded studies underway. The University of Florida recently received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study the relationship between cannabis and HIV. I was diagnosed with HIV in 2011, and I’m forced to take a three-drug pill daily. Medical cannabis makes my daily regimen of medication bearable. The liver-damaging drug Atripla®, for instance, was the first mandatory pill I was prescribed and caused visual hallucinations about every three days. Currently, less toxic pills are available, but cannabis can be extremely effective as an adjunct therapy. Multiple studies on both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have suggested cannabis’ many benefits on HIV patients, including slowing the progression of the virus. 52

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Dr. Robert L. Cook M.D., M.P.H., Lead Investigator of new cannabis and HIV study

The Background Robert C. Randall was the first person in America to win the right to legally consume medical cannabis in 1976. He would later die from AIDS in 2001. Randall originally suffered from glaucoma and claimed that only cannabis kept him from going blind. A judge ruled in 1976 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must provide Randall with cannabis. Thanks to Randall’s efforts, the federal government created the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program and allowed Randall and a handful other patients to have access to cannabis provided by the government. Without effective medicine, and sometimes with medicine that ironically accelerated the progression of AIDS (like AZT), patients resorted to holistic medicines. Soon “buyers clubs” sprouted in major cities offering herbal medicines. And the patients clearly didn’t have enough time to wait for FDA approvals—by then, they’d be dead. It didn’t take long until they were experimenting and offering medical cannabis.

“[C urrent ly ] the t reat ment guidelines don’t h ave any g uidance o n what kind of marijuana mig ht be t he most beneficial or what kind mig ht be t he most harm ful.”


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“I wa s di agno sed wi t h HI V in 2011, a nd I’m f orced t o ta k e a t hree-drug p il l da ily. Medic a l ca nn a bis m a k e s m y da ily regimen of medicat ion be a r a bl e.” Dennis Peron, co-author of Proposition 215, America’s first statewide medical cannabis law, opened the Cannabis Buyers Club in San Francisco, years before any medical cannabis dispensary laws had been written. He was inspired to open up a cannabis club after police raided his home in 1990, taking away four ounces of cannabis and charging Peron with intent to distribute. The cannabis actually belonged to Peron’s boyfriend, Jonathan West, who was dying of AIDS. West died later that year. Peron took control of an underground dispensary at 194 Church Street in San Francisco after its founder Thomas O’Malley died of AIDS in 1992. By that time—over 23,000 AIDS deaths were confirmed and 30 people were dying—per week. A whole network of underground HIV buyers clubs were secretly helping AIDS patients. Proposition 215 co-author “Brownie Mary” Jane Rathbun made it her own personal mission to distribute brownies to AIDS and cancer victims. Peron specifically cited West’s death as the driving force behind his efforts to author Proposition 215, shortly after the groundbreaking bill passed in 1996.

The New Research Last August, the University of Florida received a $3.2 million grant from the NIDA. With around 400 HIV-positive and 100 HIV-negative participants, it will be the largest clinical study on medical cannabis and HIV ever conducted. On October 24, it was announced that the study was being launched and would span over five years. CULTURE spoke to the study’s lead investigator Dr. Robert L. Cook M.D., M.P.H. “One of the goals is to really provide better guidelines for treatment for people with HIV, including HIV itself and other comorbidities, Cook explained. “[Currently] the treatment guidelines don’t have any guidance on what kind of marijuana might be the most beneficial or what kind might be the most harmful.” Cook and his team hope to distinguish and compare the relative benefits of products with THC alone, CBD and THC combined, products that are consumed orally and products that are smoked or vaped. 54

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Cook said the study will be focused on self-reported experiences. “Our study—we won’t really be able to control [medications and sources]. All we can do is ask people what they’ve experienced. So we hope to learn from people that have been using marijuana or about to start using marijuana and to teach us what they’ve learned in their own experiences, such as managing pain and what type of marijuana is most helpful.” Dr. Cook and his team are currently in the final stage of drafting the questionnaire. Cook said particularly CBD could show promise as an anti-inflammatory. “People living with HIV are living near-normal life spans, but they are still seeing cardiovascular diseases four or five years earlier [than HIV-negative people], and we are seeing neurocognitive deficits potentially earlier. A lot of people think this could be related to chronic inflammation—the stress it puts on the body in those who are constantly battling the virus. If marijuana, especially CBD, has some anti-inflammatory properties, that could help prevent the rapid aging that we see in people living with HIV, in theory.”

The Future of HIV and Cannabis Florida’s Amendment 2 was approved in January, 2017, allowing access to medical cannabis. But the University of Florida researchers still have limited conventional clinical studies, thanks to cannabis’ federal status. People living with HIV, and with access to medicine, are living nearnormal life spans, however aging with HIV is another story. “Today, people are surviving,” Cook explained. “For example in Florida this year we’ve just hit it—50 percent of people living with HIV in Florida are over 50 years old. With HIV, a lot of these patients—one, have symptoms related to pain or maybe some nausea—but those are symptoms that are normal in people that are aging. Marijuana could have benefits on chronic inflammation.” People living with HIV now face new challenges including battling inflammation, chronic pain and digestive problems that increase with aging. Cannabis can help in so many ways. c


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culture growing RECI P E S COUR A GE IN P RO F ILE 56

Building Wick Systems By Ed Rosenthal

The wick container system is an easy way to garden because it is self-watering. It also removes the uncertainty of when to water, requires far less care than hand watering, and it is simple, fast to assemble and inexpensive to set up. The wick system is based on capillary action. One example of this is a tissue drawing up water from a puddle. The system we are about to set up works on the same principal. Instead of tissue we use braided nylon rope.

Equipment Starting from the bottom we need a tray that is at least three-inches deep and wide enough to support the plant container. The wider the JANUARY 2018 CultureMagazine.com

container the deeper the tray should be. For instance, with a six-foot container I use a 10-inch deep tray, but with small containers the trays is only three to five inches deep. Next we need some blocks to hold the container a few inches above the tray. Some possibilities are 2x4 or 4x4 boards, Styrofoam blocks or an inverted plastic tray. The container is next. Select the same size container that you would normally use. I have used this system with four-inch containers and eightfoot wide soft containers. Next is the wick. Nylon braided rope draws up water very well and these wicks last for a long time. I have used some more than 10 years. Select the wick size. The larger the container the thicker the wick should be. A small container needs only a 1/4-inch wick, while a large container, which is deeper than the small can use wicks up to 3/4inch. Wider containers should have more wicks so water is drawn across the entire bottom of the container by the wicks. Next, the planting mix goes into the container. Almost all mixes work, so you can use your favorite. Once the water is drawn up the wick to the bottom of the soil level, the soil starts wicking it up. You probably have already seen this happen when you watered a plant and excess water dripped into the tray below. A while later, the water disappeared as it was pulled up into the planting mix. The wick system works in the same way.


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Installation ·

Place the wood or plastic supports in the tray.

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Measure and cut the wick. It should start at the bottom of the tray, go through the drain hole in the container and stretch across the container bottom to the drainage hole on the other side and down to the bottom of the tray. The rope tends to fray at the ends. To prevent this, before you cut, use two twist-ties, one for each end of the rope, to hold it in place.

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If the container is wide, use two wicks, one in each set of two opposite holes. You may have to drill holes in wider containers, such as kiddie pools or wide trays. Figure that each wick drop covers about two square feet.

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Fill the container with planting mix.

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Plant the plant or seeds.

A complete system: Tray, blocks, container, wick, planting mix.

This system was automated using a reservoir and flush valve.

Maintenance ·

To start, add water to the container until it starts to drip into the tray.

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Fill the tray with water.

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Refill the tray as it loses water. You can also water the container from the top once in a while.

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The planting mix absorbs water from the wick automatically as the plant uses it.

Holes were drilled in the tray for the wicks. Pallets were used to support tray above the water.

Options This system can be automated. By placing a reservoir above the container level and placing a flush valve in the tray, the water level can be maintained for a longer time. A number of trays can be connected to a reservoir so the whole garden is irrigated just by filling the reservoir. The advantage to this system is that each tray receives water only as it needs it. c

The wick system can support large plants.

This small valve regulates water level in the reservoir.

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.

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culture

Donald R. Winn

Age: 32

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Condition/Illness: Traumatic Brain Injury

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Using medical cannabis since: 2011 

Why did you start using cannabis? On Jan. 14, I slipped into a coma because of a very rare bacterial infection called streptococcus, which had caused me to stop breathing. So from there I was in a coma for about two-and-ahalf weeks, so that had screwed up my sleeping because my neurons are always misfiring. So, I’ve tried numerous sleeping pills and none seem to work for me until I was introduced medical marijuana. From there I had replaced over 25 pills daily to only four each day.  Did you try other methods or treatments before cannabis?  Yes, like I had said in the previous question, I had tried numerous sleeping pills and anti-anxiety pills, depression pills, pills

for muscle spasms—the list can keep going on and on. But let’s just say that medical marijuana had saved my life by letting me live without being heavily sedated off all the meds that the doctor had kept feeding me.   What’s the most important issue or problem facing medical cannabis patients? I’d probably have to say the biggest problem we face about medical marijuana is that no one knows all the health benefits it has to it. And also how much it can help out with so much more. What do you say to folks who are skeptical about cannabis as medicine?  Don’t judge a plant from the past. Judge it for all it can do for us. c

Are you an medical cannabis 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 courage@ireadculture.com.


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Menu: Breakfast Açaí Bowl Hearty Granola Bars New Year’s Sweet Greens Juice

culture RECI P E S

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Get Fresh with Hemp

Almost 20 years into the millennium, it’s time to get serious about the resolutions we continue to make about improving our health, year after year. CULTURE is simplifying this daunting task by letting you in on one of nutrition’s best kept secrets—and that’s hemp! In honor of the new year, here are three ways to infuse your fresh and colorful recipes with a healthy dose of hemp. When it’s not being used for textiles, renewable energy and body care products, hemp is a super food that offers a significant amount of protein as well as all known amino acids, which our bodies cannot produce. Whether you need an extra boost of energy for your workout, or just to get you through a busy workday, here are three fresh and healthy recipes that utilize nature’s perfect plant.

Local eateries with similar dishes: Superfruit Republic 1776 Broadway, Ste 115, Denver (303) 997-9407 Superfruitrepublic.com Zeal 1710 Pearl St., Boulder (720) 708-6309 zealfood.com

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Ola Juice Bar 27 E Kiowa St., Colorado Springs (719) 633-3111 www.olajuicebar.com

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Breakfast Aç aí Bowl

Fruit is nature’s candy. Elevate it with nature’s gift of hemp, plus a couple other goodies, and your day will be off to a solid start.

Ingredients:

Toppings:

Instructions:

2 cups frozen strawberries (or your favorite berry) 2 frozen sliced bananas

Fresh fruit, sliced (bananas and strawberries)

4 tablespoons açaí powder

Granola

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of choice)

Unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tablespoons nut or seed butter

Drizzle of honey

1 tablespoon honey, to taste

Hemp seeds

1. Add the frozen fruits, açaí powder, almond milk, nut or seed butter, and honey to a blender. Blend until creamy and smooth, adding extra almond milk as needed to get the blender running. Aim for a frozen yogurt consistency (it should be thicker than a smoothie). 2. Spoon the açaí mixture into bowls and top with hemp seeds, sliced fruit, a drizzle of honey and additional toppings.

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Instructions:

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (approximately 3 large)

2 cups rolled oats (not instant) 3/4 cup dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries

1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup pepita seeds 1/2 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup hemp hearts 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

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1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

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Ingredients:

3. Stir in the vanilla extract. 4. Place the oats into a food processor (or blender set on the lowest speed) and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped (but still have lots of texture). Stir the chopped oats into the banana mixture until fully incorporated.   5. Stir the dried fruit, walnuts, sunflower and pepita seeds, almonds, hemp hearts, cinnamon

IN

This recipe is quite flexible, so feel free to play around with the mix-ins. Chewy, soft-baked and hearty, these no-sugar-added granola bars are sure to fill you up and will keep your energy stable all day long.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish (approximately 9 inch x 13 inch) and line with a piece of parchment paper (with overhang) so the bars are easier to remove. 2. In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Make sure you have 1 1/2 cups (if you have extra mashed banana, you can freeze it for a smoothie).

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Hearty Granola Bars

and salt into the bananaoat mixture until thoroughly combined. The dough will be very heavy and a bit wet. 6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. With lightly wet hands, smooth out until even and uniform. Press down on the dough until compacted. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, until firm and lightly golden along the edges.   7. Place the dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then carefully slide a knife to loosen the ends and gently lift out. Place the slab on a cooling rack until completely cool.   8. Once cool, slice into bars. We recommend using a pizza slicer, as it easily cuts through the dried fruit and nuts. Leftovers can be wrapped up and stored in the fridge for a week, or stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 weeks.

New Year’s Sweet Greens Juice Ingredients: 7 celery stalks 1 apple, cut to fit juicer

growing

1/2 cucumber, cut to fit juicer 40 parsley sprigs (leaves and stems) 1/4 cup (1 small handful) spinach leaves 5 large romaine leaves 1/4 to 1/2 lemon, cut to fit juicer 1/4 to 1/2 lime, cut to fit juicer 1 tablespoon hemp oil

Instructions: 1. In a fruit and vegetable juicer, juice all ingredients. Discard solids. 2. Strain juice through a fine mesh sieve before

serving in a glass. Add a few ice cubes to the glass if you prefer a colder beverage. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for one day.

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Green juice is not only healthy, it can be tasty, too. If you prefer a sweeter juice, use half the amount of celery and add another apple (so 3-1/2 celery stalks and 2 apples). If you are not a huge fan of citrus, don’t run the lemon and lime through the juicing machine. Instead, stir a splash of fresh lemon and lime juice into the finished juice.

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News of the

Weird

By the Editors at Andrews McMeel

LEAD STORY—FAMILY VALUES Members of the Spann family of Comanche County, Oklahoma, keep running afoul of that state’s incest law, with the latest dustup over the marriage of 26-year-old Misty Spann and her 43-year-old mother, Patricia, in March 2016. The two had been separated after Patricia lost custody of her young kids, but when they resumed contact a few years ago, Patricia told investigators, “they hit it off.” KFOR reported that Patricia also married one of her sons in 2008, but two years later that marriage was annulled. Another son reported to KSWO-TV that Patricia tried to start an inappropriate relationship with him, but he shut her down. In early November, Misty received a 10-year deferred sentence and will serve two years’ probation. Her mother/ex-wife (their union was annulled in October) will be sentenced in January. NERD ALERTS Since Twitter announced that it would allow 280-character messages rather than its original 140, a whole new world has opened up for the game-addicted among us. Gizmodo reports that tweeters are using the expanded tweetspace to play board games such as chess, Connect Four, Shogi and Go. Games are even being customized; 68

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one tweet enthuses about “Marine biology twitterchess. With a new marine biology fact every time a piece is moved, and a scientifically accurate death scene when a piece is taken.” Uh, ok. SWEET! Becky Reilly of Omaha, Nebraska, was forced to call in a roofing company after discovering thousands of honeybees had invaded her home’s attic, producing so much honey that it was dripping down the side of the house. “We heard a loud and rhythmic buzzing, and it was somewhat terrifying because we knew what it meant,” Reilly told KETV. Jason Starkey of Takoda Green Roofing said he removed about 40 pounds of honey on Oct. 26 before moving the bees and tackling the damage, which he called “horrible.” Local beekeeper John Gebuhr moved the bees to his garage, but he is pessimistic about their survival through the winter. INAPPROPRIATE An Indonesian museum, De Mata Trick Eye Museum in Yogyakarta, has been forced to remove an exhibit that encouraged visitors to take a selfie with a waxwork of Adolf Hitler. The figure, which stood in front of a giant image of the entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp, had been on display since 2014, and the museum said it was one of the most popular displays. Metro News reported that the museum originally defended the exhibit as “fun,” but when the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles demanded its removal, the museum complied, taking it down on Nov. 10.


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Culture Magazine Colorado January 2018  
Culture Magazine Colorado January 2018