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exponential growth

Michael Straumietis, aka Big Mike, is the founder of Advanced Nutrients, which is making great strides in the cannabis industry. ON THE COVER: p h o t o b y J o h n G i l h o o le y

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feature 42


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


Glass En Masse Explore the art of glass blowing with the Michigan Glass Project.

departments news 8 News Nuggets 9 By the Numbers 12 Local News 14 Legal Corner reviews 16 Collective Highlight 18 Strain & Concentrate Reviews 20 Holiday Gift Guide 22 Entertainment Reviews in every issue 38 Shooting Gallery 39 Growing Culture 40 Destination Unknown 41 Profile in Courage 42 Recipes 45 News of the Weird



online Exclusive! d New Chinese Language “Yelp”

Style App Coming for Cannabis Investments d CULTURE’s Guide to Staying in Compliance with Cannabis Advertising Regulations in Every State

Vol 8 IssUE 6 DECEMBER 2016










Publisher Jeremy Zachary Editor-In-Chief Evan Senn associate Editor Ashley Bennett Editorial coordinator Jamie Solis Editorial Contributors Benjamin Adams, Sheryll Alexander, Marguerite Arnold, Jake Browne, Cole Garrison, Jasen T. Davis, Alex Distefano, David Downs, Natasha Guimond, Addison Herron-Wheeler, Anthony Herrold, Pamela Jayne, Heather Johnson, Joe Jatcko, David Jenison, Kevin Longrie, Emily Manke, Tyler Markwart, Meital Manzuri, Sandy Moriarty, Madison Ortiz, Denise Pollicella, R. Scott Rappold, Paul Rogers, Joy Shannon, Lanny Swerdlow, Simon Weedn, Zara Zhi Photographers Steve Baker, Kristopher Christensen, John Gilhooley, Joel Meaders, Duncan Rolfson Art Director Steven Myrdahl production manager Tommy LaFleur Graphic Designer Tanya Delgadillo sales director Justin Olson Account Executives Jon Bookatz, Eric Bulls, Kim Cook, Cole Garrison, Gene Gorelik, Teddy Helms, Beau Odom, Justin Olson, Chris Thatcher, Vic Zaragoza general Manager Iris Norsworthy Office Assistant Angelina Thompson digital content manager David Edmundson digital marketing Alazzia Gaoay manager Ctv Contributors Quinn Marie Distribution Manager Cruz Bobadilla

Culture® Magazine is published every month and distributes magazines at over 500 locations throughout Michigan. No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other matter within may be reproduced without written permission. Culture® Magazine is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. 36500 Ford Rd #348 Westland, MI 48185 Phone 888.694.2046 Fax 888.694.2046

CULTURE® Magazine is printed using post-recycled paper.





/iReadCulture DECEMBER 2016




MI Counties Spent Less Than One-Third of Funds Set Aside to Regulate Cannabis The Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA), under the Bureau of Professional Licensing released a report that showed that only 18 of the 83 counties in Michigan applied to receive money for medical cannabis regulation and education. CULTURE asked the Bureau why so few agencies took advantage of the state fund, “It is a new program and has grown in use each year after implementation,” a representative from the Bureau said. LARA’s report on which counties received a grant also states that for now, the money will remain in the Michigan Medical Marihuana fund. “The funds for the grant must be allocated each year by the legislature in the budget. The legislature determines how much money can be spent on these grants and the deadline for submitting the grant application,” the Bureau representative stated. This year, $3 million dollars were allocated to county sheriffs for medical cannabis regulation, however only $823,000 was spent by counties.

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

Fox News Anchor Quits to Help Michigan Cannabis Reform Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh worked as a news anchor for Fox 2 Detroit for 22 years, but in a Facebook video in late October, Sarfoh shared her plan to retire and join the effort to help support Michigan’s cannabis reform group, MI Legalize. CULTURE got a hold of Sarfoh to ask about her new plans to assist medical cannabis in her state, “I decided to retire because Multiple Sclerosis was affecting my ability to do my job. I’ve been a medical marijuana patient for a year and a half and that led me to research the medicinal value of this plant for my condition. I see how research is being restricted and people are being arrested because of a beneficial plant. And when MI Legalize’s petition drive failed to make the ballot, I decided I wanted to help,” Sarfoh told CULTURE. At one of MI Legalize’s fundraisers, the group announced Sarfoh as a member of the upcoming “MI Legalize 2018” campaign. MI Legalize is currently working on bolstering its ranks as it gets ready to push for legalization, and Sarfoh is one of many who will be a part of that strong effort.

Temporary Rules Issued for Cannabis Growers and Producers in PA Temporary rules were set forth by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health in a release from Official News for Pennsylvania State Agencies. Health Secretary Karen Murphy shared the agency’s intention behind this decision. “We’re especially looking for comments from the laboratory community to help us develop regulations that protect the integrity of the medical marijuana testing process,” Murphy stated. “As we move forward in this groundbreaking effort, we want to make sure that patient safety is paramount, and laboratories are essential to meeting that goal. These regulations are designed to ensure we have a safe and responsible process in place.” The temporary rules can only be in place for up to 24 months. They allow processors and growers to import seeds and immature plants from out of state, whereas before they were only allowed to import seeds from out of state. The new rules doubled the number of growing districts in Pennsylvania, and growers now have 90 days to get their grow sites up-and-running. These regulations also ensure the hiring process for cannabis cultivators provides equal opportunity to all, and officials are not allowed to disqualify a candidate’s application on the basis that another state rejected the candidate. 8


The expected number of signatures that one Michigan petition to legalize cannabis hopes to gather once they begin to collect in April 2017: (Source: Michigan Radio)


The number of unlicensed cannabis collectives that were open in Lansing as of November 4, as stated in a Public Safety meeting: (Source: Lansing State Journal)

The approximate number of patients that one physician in Michigan was able to permit to use medical cannabis in a single year: (Source: The Washington Times)



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


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



The number of collectives that are currently operating in the city of Detroit: (Source: Crain’s Detroit Business) 


The number of City Council votes, out of five, that were in favor of a municipal ordinance that gets rid of criminal and civil penalties for cannabis possession in East Lansing: (Source: Lansing State Journal)


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


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


Downtown Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival

WHAT: Downtown Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival. WHEN/WHERE: Thurs, Nov. 10. Schiffer Park, W. Nine Mile Rd. at Planavon St., Ferndale. INFO: Visit for more information.   The holidays are a special time of year. During the crisp holiday season cheer and kindness are in the air, while friends and families come together with love. Come get into the holiday spirit with those that you love, as Downtown Ferndale turns into a winter wonderland. Get ready to experience what makes this holiday festival better than all the rest, as about 50 impressive ice sculptures

decorate the streets for the Downtown Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival. There will be live ice carving, where skilled artisans craft blocks of ice using a chainsaws and chisels. There will be other holiday activities like a reindeer petting zoo and hayrides. Be sure to be on your best behavior, because jolly Santa Claus himself will be making a special appearance at the festival. DECEMBER 2016








Leading Michigan entrepreneur shares insightful advice for industry professionals


by Jamie Solis ilary Dulany has found great success in the cannabis industry. As the CEO of Accuvape, Dulany has traveled between Oregon and Michigan to grow her business while adapting to the changing rules and regulations in each market. Dulany offered up insight into being a woman in the cannabis industry, in addition to offering expert advice to budding entrepreneurs during a recent interview with MiBiz. Michigan first voted in favor of medical cannabis back in 2008. Following this, Dulany put together business models and went on to organize Michigan’s first cannabis expo. From there she helped create a publication called Midwest Cultivator, which allowed the newly formed cannabis industry an avenue for advertising. The next step was finding a way to make money nationwide. Delany knew the primary investor of the successful vape company, O.Pen, and she realized she could make money across the United States by selling electronics for vape pens. Dulany shared her next steps with MiBiz. “At that point, the options for getting in the [medical marijuana] market were very limited. In Michigan, pretty much any time, something bad could happen to you,” Dulany said. “As soon as I started making enough money on this, [O.Pen’s] lawyers sent me a cease and desist letter. I sent them a letter back and said, ‘Thank you, I’m staring my own company anyway.’” In addition to selling vaporizers with her company, Dulany decided to open up a lab with her boyfriend. They started Aardvark Extracts after purchasing a 13,000-squarefoot greenhouse. Although it appears that success came easily to Dulany, she definitely had to fight to gain respect in an industry that was largely male-dominated



over the years. In her interview with MiBiz, Dulany shared her experience as a woman in Michigan’s early cannabis industry. “This is one industry where in the beginning, mostly in Michigan, I was treated as the little lady, especially among old-school, old-man growers and store owners,” Dulany stated. “When they knew I knew how to grow, that’s when they welcomed me into the fold.” Accuvape was one of the first companies to sponsor Women Grow, which is an organization that “connects, educates, and empowers women in all segments of the cannabis industry,” according to Women Grow’s website. By proving herself in the cannabis industry for so many years, Dulany sees the potential for the future, as medical and recreational states continue to push for stricter rules and regulations. She offers advice to anyone who is operating in the cannabis industry or who would like to enter into the market. “In business, the first questions you ask yourself is: What is my exit plan? Either you have to be in a position to acquire or be acquired, one or the other,” Dulany stated. “That will determine what will happen in the industry. We’re starting to see Miracle-Gro and Microsoft dipping their toes in the cannabis pool through ancillary means. With Accuvape, I went from a very small business to a national brand in a matter of three years. Still, I’m setting myself up to be acquired.” Although her brand has seen nationwide success, Dulany knows that bigger and stronger entrepreneurs will enter into the cannabis industry. By having the knowledge that her company will one day become acquired, Dulany is being realistic and proactive about where the regulated cannabis market will take her in the future. c

Liquid Flow NYE 2017: Masquerade Night 2016 has been quite a year. There’s been plenty of tragedy and loss, but thankfully, it’s almost over now. The only thing left to do is give 2016 one final hurrah and look forward to the many good things that lie ahead in 2017—and what better way to start off the new year than with a party that will have you dancing into the wee hours of the morning? Live DJs, @Kill_Squid and @DJLiXxer, will be spinning throughout the evening, and there will be plenty of free hors d’oeuvres to keep your hunger at bay. As is tradition, you’ll be sure to get to toast everyone in the place once midnight hits. Most importantly though, be sure to bring your own masquerade mask (or buy one at the event) because the magic of new year’s eve is enhanced tenfold when you have a bunch of happy people in masks having the time of their lives. WHAT: Liquid Flow NYE 2017: Masquerade Night. WHEN/WHERE:  Sat, Dec. 31. 314 E Baltimore Ave., Detroit. INFO:  Visit www.eventbrite. com for details. DECEMBER 2016




“The MMFLA does give license hopefuls some tools with which to lobby local governments, including share of a threepercent excise tax on the industry paid only to municipalities who do opt in, in amounts proportionate to the number of licensed facilities they permit.”

THE MEDICAL CANNABIS ARGUMENT Planning out the future of cannabis in Michigan by Denise Pollicella

Although it will be December 15, 2017 before a person can apply to the state for a medical cannabis facility license, Michigan’s municipalities have the opportunity to indicate their intent to “opt in” to this state-regulated commercial program immediately—or not. The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), PA 281 of 2016, provides that if and only if a municipality adopts an ordinance authorizing statelicensed facilities within its borders can a person open and operate a facility there. There is no deadline or time table, and a municipality that decides it does not want commercial cannabis facilities in its community need only sit on its hands. And no, the previously passed ordinances purporting to zone and regulate protected patient and caregiver conduct under the MMMA do not count. This “opt-in” requirement was an unusual methodology to be sure, but a necessary evil to get the law passed. In



one of the most socially conservative legislatures in our state’s modern history, many elected representatives wanted the ability to return to their districts saying that while they did not stand in the way of those cities that wished to embrace the commercial medical cannabis industry, neither would their less cannabis-friendly home districts be required to accept it. This puts Michigan’s citizens, and particularly its nascent medical cannabis industry, in the difficult and frustrating position of having to relitigate medical cannabis all over again. In a state in which every one of its 83 counties voted in favor of cannabis for medical use in 2008, the intervening unstable, unregulated and decidedly unfriendly eight years has provided ample negative press to support any anti-cannabis narrative a local official may push. Those hoping to lobby their communities to allow the commercial

medical cannabis industry to plant flags in their backyards will be faced with the potential uphill battle of trying to convince a largely still willfully-ignorant populace to believe science, medicine and fact over the stigma of the word “marihuana” that still hangs in the air. While the future path of some cities, like Ann Arbor, Detroit and Lansing are easy to predict, many are likely to hang back a few months to see what their neighbors do. Add to that the potential for Chris Christie as U.S. Attorney General, and the national landscape becomes even more volatile, adding more potential hesitancy to act. The MMFLA does give license hopefuls some tools with which to lobby local governments, including share of a three-percent excise tax on the industry paid only to municipalities who do opt in, in amounts proportionate to the number of licensed facilities they permit. While perhaps not as much of an inducement to larger population centers, a small, more rural community still reeling from the 2008 housing crisis that allows two, three or even five facilities would benefit disproportionately more from the tax revenue. That, the promise of local jobs that cannot be outsourced, and an increased commercial tax base can and should be used to support the primary argument that all local elected officials should remember—that providing a safe, licensed commercial facility for the patients in their communities to access this medicine is simply the right thing to do. c DECEMBER 2016



collective highlight

What are the biggest challenges you face in this industry as a collective? Biggest joys?

Superior Genetics North Campus 207 Circle Dr., Traverse City, 49684 | (231) 943-2928 How and when did your collective start up? Superior Genetics was created by a disabled Veteran of the United States Marine Corps in 2014. The mission behind the development of the collective came about after Brandon Montemayor set out to seek a multitude of natural healing methods. Medical cannabis has been proven to be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical grade medications and harmful, chemical laden prescription drugs that are too often given out as a form of treatment to ailments. What’s the story behind the name of your collective? The Superior Genetics 16

name was chosen with the intent that the name would speak for itself. The quality genetics our collective produces are created with a specific purpose for treating the ailments our patients’ experience. We use only the highest quality products, and every strain is lab tested by an accredited facility before being dispensed to collectives. What does your collective offer patients that they can’t find anywhere else? Superior Genetics offers only the highest quality medicines at the most affordable rates in Northern Michigan. Our selection includes only strains that tests at an available THC percentage of 18 or higher


and CBD percentages of 10 or higher. How has the cannabis industry changed since you have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go? The cannabis industry has expanded exponentially across the state, until recently, with little to no regulation. We welcome the changes and would like to see patients be able to safely get the meds they need from a trustworthy shop.

Top Selling Strain:

King Louie XIII (By Dirt Kings 517) Top Selling Edible:

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie 100mg

Our biggest challenge has been the ever changing “rules” or city ordinances that have caused issues with patients, as well as shops, trying to operate daily in fear of law enforcement intervening. Our biggest joy is by far being a safe access point for our patients. If someone wanted to open a collective and get their feet wet in the industry, what advice or counsel would you give them? Make sure that the city you are operating in is receptive to you operating in that particular city; and, definitely consult a lawyer and accountant that is knowledgeable in the cannabis industry. What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the MMJ community? Without a doubt, we want to make an impact in the cannabis community by helping as many patients as possible. We hope to be the premier collective in Lansing and Traverse City for patients to come to for safe and superior meds! c DECEMBER 2016



strain & concentrate

Gorilla Glue #5

Available at: Motown Meds in Detroit.

Yes, Number Five! This Gorilla Glue #5 has vibrant light-green leaves, tightly-compacted knobby calyxes with a fluffiness to the core of its structure. Upon breaking apart the bud, you’ll discover that it’s sticky, much like one would expect of a Glue strain. This phenotype of GG#5 is the result of a Gorilla Glue #1 and Gorilla Glue #4 strain being crossbred. Balanced cerebral and body effects (50 percent indica/50 percent sativa) pack quite a punch with 23 percent THC. Aromatics are typical of a Glue strain—sweet and earthy, with a rich pungent flavor that ties it all together. Try squishing (“rosin-tech”) or vaping these nugs!

Available at: Superior Genetics in Lansing.

Chemdawg Chemdawg is a strain familiar to many but equally as mysterious; though parent strains Sour Diesel and OG Kush are attributed to Chemdawg’s pungent and sharp gassy aroma, the genetics for this strain are ambiguous, as many successful crosses of this strain have been produced. This particular phenotype is beautiful. Green and purple-hued leaves are frosted with trichomes, decorated with rich brownish-orange hairs. The structure is dense but fluffy; beckoning to be broken apart and sparked up. Patients often reach to Chemdawg to alleviate symptoms associated to chronic pain, depression and insomnia. Cannabis consumers who are not yet familiar with their individual tolerance to strains and potencies are advised to take it easy with Chemdawg in the beginning. GET YOUR CLICKS

HERE Available through: Herbal Solutions in Ypsilanti.

Joplin Widow Flavor-blast! Coming to you from the infamous team at Loyalty Extracts, Joplin Widow is bringing patients with a variety of chronic pain, potent relief paired with a comfortable mix of head and body effects (60/40). The aroma of Joplin itself is like a cannabis-cologne filled with some sort of magical pheromones to ensure any being to swoon with delight; mixed with White Widow in extraction, the flavors of Joplin Widow are earthy, sour and fruity. Truly, a delightful flavorful and sensational experience; prepare your body to feel. White Widow can be found by itself at Herbal Solutions, but if you ever happen to come by anything Joplin, be sure to stock up and save for those times when you really need to treat yourself to substantial relief.



Available at: Superior Genetics in Traverse City.

King Louie XIII Pinch this extremely dense nug and out wafts a pungent scent that could be described as “OG tea”—OG with a hint of earthy musk and piney-floral tones. Mostly green, this specific phenotype of King Louie XIII is not nearly as hairy as other King Louie’s we’ve seen in the past; but don’t let the varying appearance fool you, the indica-dominant effects bestowed by King Louie still reign supreme. Let this mentally uplifting but physically relaxing effect make you feel like royalty; lay upon your royal throne of slumber and defeat insomnia like never before. Bow before the King!

Available at: Arborside in Ann Arbor.

Sunshine #4 Bred by Bodhi Seeds, this strain is named accordingly to its aromatics, smelling like sunshine; sweet, tangy and sour, with a hint of earthy chem. The structure of the nug is dense; calyxes tightly neighboring one another. Parent strains Chemdawg and Sunshine Dream come together to create this 50/50 hybrid. With 26 percent THC, patients who are looking to alleviate symptoms associated to chronic pain, anxiety and depression are in for a treat with this ray of sunshine. Be ready for award-winning relief— these genetics took the first place prize for Best Hybrid Flower at the 2015 High Times Medical Cup in Michigan. DECEMBER 2016


Toker Poker

GU IDE! 2016

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

Grow For Vets USA

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

Lock N Load Glass Containers

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



Nexus Vape Pen

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





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


Until The Hunter

Rowman & Littlefield GAME Sacred Bliss is a great new book by author Mark S. Ferrara that delves deep into the spiritual and curative traditions of cannabis use through historical cultures around the world. The author challenges traditional attitudes about cannabis by tracing its essential role in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from ancient times to the present day. Sacred Bliss offers great historical evidence of cannabis as an entheogen used for thousands of years to evoke peak-experiences, or moments of expanded perception or spiritual awareness by looking at sacred and secular texts from around the world, offering further support for cannabis as not just a medicine but also as an aid to increase imagination, creativity, heightened spirituality, perspective and deeper levels of thought. (Alex Bradley) 22


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


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

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions Tendril Tales For her first album in seven years, former Mazzy Star frontwoman Hope Sandoval returns with her longtime collaborators, The Warm Inventions, to deliver a record as lush and dreamy as the material which made her famous in the ‘90s. Until The Hunter is filled with rich, textural soundscapes and thoroughly smooth, polished production that will put a smile on the face of any dreampop fan. Additionally, the album has a few heaters on it that step up the pace enough to keep the album moving, but never so much as to lose that languid, velvety sound. (Simon Weedn) DECEMBER 2016




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

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

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

by R. Scott Rappold


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

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

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


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


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

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


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




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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Nick Kovacevich, Kush Bottles

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



Ashley Preece-Sackett, Cascadia Labs

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

Anthony Silvaggio, Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research

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

Tony Verzura, United Cannabis

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

Thomas Lavigne, Cannabis Counsel P.L.C.

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

Bianca Green, Spark the Conversation

Those in media get to sit back and watch the entire show unfold, and for individuals involved with cannabis media, the view is particularly special. Not only do members of the cannabis media get to chart the progress of one of the most exciting new cultural and economic movements, they also get to shape it, because what they write about shapes how people perceive the industry. For Bianca Green, who started out as a High Times correspondent for the West Coast, and later produced the documentary Culture High, having a front-row seat to the ups and downs of the industry was second nature. Her inside knowledge and passion for the cannabis industry prompted her to start Spark the Conversation, the non-profit media platform she has been using to spread her message. “Spark the Conversation’s goals are to continue changing the stigma of cannabis and people who use it and to keep the conversation going,” Green explained. “In 2017 we are launching podcasts, video series and content that focus on the zeitgeist of the culture through an advocacy angel. We are a fundraising platform also, so we raise money to give to organizations that are fighting for personal freedom, cannabis and environmental issues. We want to honor a community voice. We feel ending the drug war is a priority and it can only be done collectively. Because we are a 501c3, we can bring brands together who support the same message and in turn each other. It is a joint effort.” >> DECEMBER 2016


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

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

Andrew Modlin, MedMen

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



Devon Richardson, Nerve Cannabis Consulting / Cannabrand

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

Jason Pinsky, VICE / Cannastract

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


GLASS WITH CLASS The Michigan Glass Project exhibits the talent, creativity and culture of the community


by Madison Ortiz

“The Michigan Glass Project’s (MGP) mission is to unite the artistic glass community through charitable events that showcase the talent and culture of Michigan.” More specifically, MGP regularly provides a unified space where astonishingly talented, world renowned artists can join together for a common goal: Networking and creating with each other to give back to the community. Nonprofits receiving support from MGP has varied over the years, but as of 2015 MGP has been raising substantial sums of funds for Art Road Non-Profit (donated sum in 2015 alone was 80k). Art Road is a Michigan 501c3 Non-profit, currently providing art classes to 1,270 students throughout Southeastern Michigan that previously lacked art in their curriculum. CULTURE had the pleasure of speaking with Allison Key (32), the incredible woman who is the


undoubted powerhouse behind Michigan Glass Project, learning the fascinating story behind who she is and how this all came to be. “I come from a family of helpers. My mom (Marianne Carniak) is a therapist in the drug court system; she plays a very active role in helping addicts recover their lives instead of facing jail time. My dad (Gordon Key) is a lifelong glassworker, who has always given himself and the shirt off his back to those who need it. Literally, I came back to a booth of ours at 10,000 Lakes Festival to find him bootless and shirtless because he gave his things away! They’ve both instilled in me in their own ways, a mindset that that if something needs to be done, you do it. You don’t complain or put it off, you just do the job because its what needs to be done in that moment. And they’ve also showed so much compassion and love to everyone around them that it was naturally instilled in me and my three siblings,” said Key. >>

A major influence for what Michigan Glass Project has become revolves around the mindset everyone had living in Detroit during the time. “The city was empty. We literally did whatever we wanted; no one was watching us. The art/ maker scene was a huge. We all loved making stuff, we loved partying, and we loved being together,” she said. “There was no separation between borosilicate glassworkers and soft glassworkers. If you were making art in the city, we wanted to be with you. We had to have that hustler mentality in Detroit; working hard as fuck was the only way to be able to stay.” There are obviously many artists and humans who have made major contributions in time, talent and energy whose efforts should also be acknowledged alongside Allison’s. “Relatively speaking, the glass industry is a baby when compared to others,” she said. “The glass companies that donate supplies for the event are run by many people that are like you and me working hard to build their companies. They’re not multi-million dollar corporations with money to throw around to sponsor a bunch of events. I recognize their extreme generosity even though it may have been tough for many of them at times. It means a lot to have

them back us and come out to the event and to be there when I call not only as a sponsor but as a guide and friend to me as I›ve grown into my place as an event organizer in this industry and as MGP makes its mark as an important glass event.” To further support the MGP mission this year, all friends within a driving distance of Detroit are invited to attend Festivus on December 17, 2016 from 4pm2am at the 11:11 Warehouse in Detroit to join Key and the MGP team for a Holiday Market with dozens of local vendors, live

glassblowing, live music, silent auction and raffle. Allison shares the root to this 4th annual holiday event, “Festivus started as a holiday party in our shop and this year we has evolved into a charity event (naturally!). We›ve gotten a lot of feedback from the community from folks who want to see more than one annual event. So this year’s Festivus is us getting our feet wet in adding a one-day December show that starts to mimic the main MGP event.” An exciting way to continue to give back to the makercommunity in Michigan; vendor-friends were invited to participate at low cost. The future for Michigan Glass Project and Art Road Nonprofit is bright. MGP has already committed to Art Road for their 2017 event. “The sky is the limit now with the artists; I feel like we have the entire borosilicate glass community backing us now and if they can be at the event they will be. I’m so thankful for that.” c

“The glass companies that donate supplies for the event are run by many people that are like you and me working hard to build their companies. They’re not multi-million dollar corporations with money to throw around to sponsor a bunch of events.” DECEMBER 2016



Grow Green Harvest Expo @ Whitmore Lake

photos by Anne Schultz



culture growing RECIPES UNKNOWN

by Ed Rosenthal

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

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

The results so far:

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

Analysis of Results and Future Plans:

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






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

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

Handscreening was used to separate pollen from flowers.

Viable flowers painted with pollen using a water color brush.

Pollination was successful. Seeds are growing.


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

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. DECEMBER 2016



if you go:



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

Whistler Wows as a Winter Wonderland






by Sheryll Alexander


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

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

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


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

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

culture RECIPES


Jefferson VanBilliard

Age: 31






Condition/Illness: ADHD

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

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

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


culture growing

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




Medicated Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

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

Medicated Orange Bitters Makes 250ml (about 1 cup) Ingredients

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

1/2 tablespoon crushed green cardamom pods

6 grams ground, decarbed cannabis

1 teaspoon allspice




Peel of two oranges


1/2 tablespoon dried gentian root

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

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

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




Medicated Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce Serves 6


Ingredients for Bread Pudding: 1/4 cup raisins

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup crushed walnuts

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoon bourbon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cup whole milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 cups cubed brioche bread, about 9 ounces

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Ingredients for Medicated Bourbon Sauce 1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup medicated orange bitters

1/4 cup bourbon

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


1/2 cup brown sugar

Medicated Mulled Apple Cider

Serves 1

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1.4 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 orange, cut into rings

2 whole allspice

2 drops medicated orange bitters

1 inch cinnamon stick

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


Chuck Shepherd's

News of the


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

food supplies and driven birds into different locations. FINE POINTS OF THE LAW u Compelling Explanation: Senate bill 1342, passed in the Idaho legislature earlier in 2016, authorizes schools to use the Bible as a reference in classrooms (despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s having specifically condemned a previous version of the bill ever since 1964). The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sage Dixon, said he thought his law was nonetheless constitutional because, “The little Supreme Court in my head says this is OK.” (Even so, Gov. C.L. Otter vetoed the bill.) u Nebraska voters in November will be asked whether to keep the state’s longstanding death penalty for murder—even though retaining it will require them to vote “repeal.” The legislature replaced death row last year with mandatory life sentences, and the

referendum is to “repeal” or “retain” that legislation. Hence, to abolish the death penalty, voters must select “retain.” The state attorney general, and election officials, declined to challenge the confusing arrangement, instead suggesting that Nebraskans are smart enough to figure the whole thing out. u The Arizona legislature passed a child-molestation law recently that made any adult contact with children’s genitals a criminal act, but unlike in other states’ similar laws, neglected to include a requirement that the outlawed contact be for “sexual” purposes. Consequently, in principle, parents may be criminally liable, for example, for bathing a baby or changing its diaper. The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in September that it is up to the legislature to change the law, but some lawmakers professed indifference,

confident that district attorneys will use good judgment about whom to prosecute. FUN WITH PENNIES u (1) Robert Napolitan, 34, was arrested in Taylor, Pennsylvania, in September and charged with theft of a drum containing 300,000 pennies from his employer, Pyne Freight Lines. That steel drum weighs several tons and, of course, netted Napolitan only $3,000. (By contrast, in New York City’s Diamond District in September, a brazen thief made off with a 5-gallon drum containing 86 pounds of something else—gold flakes, valued at more than $1 million—and is still at large.) (2) For some reason, according to a High Point, North Carolina, TV report, Larry Hall of Randolph County took seven-plus weeks out of his life recently and glued pennies to cover (except for windows and DECEMBER 2016


chrome) his 2000 Chevrolet Blazer (a total of 51,300 coins). GREAT ART! u The 1,496-page German novel “Bottom’s Dream,” translated into (broken) English, more than twice as long as “War and Peace,” recently reached U.S. bookstores as a 13-pound behemoth, bound with a 14-inch spine that, based on a September Wall Street Journal description, will almost surely go unread. The story follows two translators and their teenage daughter over a single day as they try to interpret the works of Edgar Allen Poe, making for slow going for anyone not already conversant with Poe. BRIGHT IDEAS u While other vehicle safety-control engineers work on actually slowing down cars and buses when a risk is detected on the



road ahead, one of Volvo’s recent innovations appears aimed merely at bullying pedestrians to get out of the way. According to a September report on, the safety “control” for a Volvo bus consists of progressively louder horn-honking to scare off the pedestrian. u Simple As That: (1) British farmer Pip Simpson, who lost nearly 300 sheep to rustlers in recent years, recently sprayed his remaining herd of almost 800 sheep a bright luminous orange (harmless, he said, though the sheep’s opinions are unknown) to make them less attractive to thieves. (2) Saudi Arabia switched to the 365-day Gregorian calendar on Oct. 2, in part to reduce government expenses. Bureaucrats had been using the Islamic lunar Hijri (354- day) calendar, but now must work a 3 percent longer year for the same salaries. DECEMBER 2016


Culture Magazine Michigan December 2016  
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