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IN T IM ACY E XPER T ISE
Television series host, author and executive producer Karley Sciortino shares her expert opinions on sex, slutshaming and the effects of using cannabis in the bedroom. ON THE COVER:
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Romantic Endeavors Here are just a few ways that couples can use cannabis to enhance their Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Industry Insider Mathew Gerson, co-CEO of cannabis sex lubricant company Foria, shares how the business focuses on women’s pleasure.
Looking Ahead The future of hemp is bright, and the recently approved 2018 Farm Bill is only the beginning.
08 News Nuggets 09 By the Numbers 12 Local News 14 Legal Corner 16 Healthy Living reviews 18 Cool Stuff in every issue 34 À La Carte 37 Growing Culture 38 SoCal Now!
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Online Exclusive! d Utilize Cannabis for your Winter Skin Care Regimen d Pennsylvania College Receives Hemp Research Permit
VOL 10 ISSUE 8
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ashley Kern EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Benjamin Adams ASSISTANT EDITOR Ayesha Rahman EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Matthew Abel, Hilary Bricken, Devon Alexander Brown, David Edmundson. Caroline Hayes, Carl Kozlowski, Alison Malsbury, Emily Manke, Kiara Manns, Madison Ortiz, Denise Pollicella, R. Scott Rappold, Ed Rosenthal, Kimberly R. Simms, Lanny Swerdlow, Simon Weedn, Laurie Wolf PHOTOGRAPHERS Steve Baker, Kristopher Christensen, John Gilhooley, Joel Meaders, Mike Rosati, Eric Stoner, Bruce Wolf ART DIRECTOR Steven Myrdahl PRODUCTION MANAGER Michelle Aguirre GRAPHIC DESIGNER John Venegas ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Alex Brizicky, Angie Callahan, Eric Bulls, Kim Cook, Casey Roel, Vic Zaragoza OFFICE MANAGER Mikayla Aguilar
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Moreno Valley City Council Increases Limit on Dispensaries The Moreno Valley City Council voted 3-2 on Dec. 11 to increase its limit on dispensaries from eight to 23. It’s a respectable number for a city with a population of nearly 210,000 people. While few cannabis businesses are currently in operation, provisional permits have been granted to 17 applicants who are in the process of opening a legal dispensary. Councilmembers Victoria Baca and David Marquez strongly opposed the increase. “It’s just going to be like pizza places,”
Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Posts Updates On Jan. 8, Los Angeles’ Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) posted updates to its Phase I licensing process, which includes a fee to renew Temporary Approvals. “Later this month, DCR will issue all eligible Phase 1 Priority Processing Applicants and Testing Lab Applicants an invoice to pay 8
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Marquez said at the meeting. “We have a pizza store on every corner in Moreno Valley. What are we going to do? Have a dispensary on every corner now?” Other members of the Moreno Valley community also worry that the number is too high, however, the recently elected Councilmember Carla Thornton tipped the scales in favor of expanding the city’s number of dispensaries.
their annual renewal fee(s),” the department posted. “The renewal fee is $4,030 per commercial cannabis activity. Once the invoice is paid at the Office of Finance, one of the applicants owners may come to DCR’s office to pick up the renewed Temporary Approval document(s), which will be valid through the end of 2019.” The annual renewal fee is the only way to avoid visits from state licensing agencies. Failure to pay the renewal fee will cause the Temporary Approval to expire, which the DCR will notify authorities. On Jan. 22, the DCR held a workshop for businesses that are eligible for Phase I applications.
Thailand Legalizes Medical Cannabis On Dec. 25, members of Thailand’s parliament voted unanimously to approve medical cannabis for medical use and research. Patients suffering from chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy or chronic pain can obtain permission to consume medical cannabis. “This is a New Year’s gift from the National Legislative Assembly to the government and the Thai people,” said Somchai Sawangkarn, chairman of the drafting committee. It’s a big deal for Thailand, which typically imposes an extremely harsh stance on drug offenders, sometimes invoking the death penalty. Even though medical cannabis is legal, however, it’s not uncommon for police to frisk you and force you to urinate in a cup right on the street without trial to determine if there are any drugs present. Visitors are still urged to consume medical cannabis in private, even if they have permission. The country also legalized the plant kratom for medicinal use.
The number of temporary and annual licenses that the Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued to California cannabis retail stores and dispensaries since legalization was approved by voters in 2016: (Source: Los Angeles Times)
The number of cities in Los Angeles County, out of 88, that prohibit retail sales of recreational cannabis, as of the end of 2018: (Source: Pasadena Weekly)
The number of votes, out of five, that the Laguna Beach City Council cast in favor of granting a conditional use permit to a beauty business that plans to sell CBD products: (Source: Los Angeles Times)
The projected amount of money, in millions of dollars, that the city of Los Angeles is expected to collect in the 20182019 fiscal year in legal cannabis sales: (Source: Los Angeles Magazine)
The projected amount of money, in billions of dollars, that consumers will spend on recreational cannabis worldwide in 2019: (Source: Investor’s Business Daily)
The number of U.S. senators, out of 100, who voted in favor of the Farm Bill that legalized industrial hemp in the United States: (Source: The Washington Post)
The estimated number of years that have passed since the state of Arkansas last allowed cannabis to be legally planted: (Source: 40/29 News)
The percentage of cannabis-related arrests between Jan. 1 and Nov. 23 of 2018 in New York City that involved minorities: (Source: NY Daily News)
Sushi + Doobie Rolling Workshop
WHEN: Sat, Feb. 23 WHERE: Address to be disclosed to ticket holders 24 hours prior to the event, Los Angeles WEBSITE: highdining.club/event/sushi-doobie-rolling-workshop-4 Combine the art of sushi and cannabis rolling, add the decadence of high-dining and sprinkle pinches of live music into the concoction. Yes, you get Mary Jane University’s Sushi + Doobie Rolling Workshop! Conducted by sushi chef Victor Miller and cannabis activist/author Kelko Beatie, the workshop aims to teach students the finer points of rolling—both cannabis joints and sushi. “ . . . Cannabis is an aphrodisiac which brings out the best in food,” stated
High Dining chief experience creator Barbie Sommars. “The intent is not for everyone to get so stoned they go home and go to sleep. We want them to go home and make love! Cannabis enhances all the senses, including touch. Sushi is sexy, shiny and slippery. We want our students to learn how to tap into that love vibration!” In addition, Ashley Manta the CannaSexual and Banana Bros., makers of the OTTO grinder will be present. (Ayesha Rahman) CultureMagazine.com
FEBRUARY 2019 CultureMagazine.com
A TIME OF RENEWAL Riverside County cannabis business p e r m i t a p p l i c at i o n s a r e j u s t beginning to become available for local residents By Benjamin M. Adams
egal cannabis commercial activity is just beginning to materialize in unincorporated areas of Riverside County. The permitting process is beginning to unfold, and it affects up to 69 districts which represent 191 cities, including idyllic outdoor areas such as Gilman Hot Springs, North Palm Springs, Alberhill and Desert Beach. For years, pockets of land that fall under the jurisdiction of the county government, such as Lakeland Village, were home to dozens of “gray area” dispensaries with varying levels of success. But in recent years, Riverside County Code Enforcement has shut most of the dispensary clusters down. The longtime ban on cannabis operations in Riverside County was finally lifted last year, after a close 3-2 vote on Oct. 23, 2018, providing a legal pathway for dispensaries and other types of cannabis-related businesses. Beginning on Dec. 26, 2018, Riverside County officials began accepting applications for distribution, manufacturing, testing and wholesale nursery facility licenses within the unincorporated areas of the county. Cultivation and retail business applications, however, are currently on hold as of late-January, but are being ironed out under the county’s Board of Supervisors. Those types of permits could become available in a matter of months. First, applicants must submit a conditional use permit (CUP) in order to be eligible to apply for a permanent permit. Secondly, they must
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One Love Cali Reggae Fest acquire the appropriate state licenses. The initial deposit for a CUP review is $9,646.14, and then applicants must pay $471 for an environmental review. The application process is still in development, but 19 retail permits and 50 cultivation permits will be available in 2019. Brooke Federico is senior public information specialist with the County of Riverside’s Emergency Management Department. “The policy up for review is regarding development agreements and the request for proposal process for commercial cannabis activities, including both cultivation and retail sales,” Federico told CULTURE. “The process that the Board will provide input on, requires that all businesses interested in obtaining a conditional use permit for either retail sales or cultivation of commercial cannabis must pre-register online subsequent to approval from the Board. Interested parties will then be invited to informational meetings regarding the request of proposals process.” Permit applicants must also obtain a development agreement with the Board of Supervisors, after they have been cleared by the Planning Commission. Then, both the commission and board will host a public hearing before finally granting approval. If the applicant’s proposed operation location is not located within an approved land-use zone, a change of zone application also will have to be filed, which creates more costs. A change in zone requires a minimum deposit of $3,648.54. Appropriate land-use zones are different for nurseries, manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and distribution facilities. The Riverside County Code Enforcement Department, which operates out of Murrieta, is responsible for the enforcement of illegal dispensaries in unincorporated areas of Riverside County. The responses to request for proposals could begin as early as February. There is a great deal of potential in the county that borders Orange County, San Bernardino County, Imperial County and San Diego County. It’s an optimal time for the county to finally embrace cannabis businesses in the way that Los Angeles County and other major areas in Southern California are in the process of completing. c
One Love Cali Reggae Fest returns yet again to The Queen Mary in all of its glory! This would be the fourth year of the festival and it is bigger and better than ever! The three-day music extravaganza will include performances from some of today’s best reggae, ska punk and R&B artists. The festival’s exciting lineup over the three days includes former CULTURE covers Matisyahu, Atmosphere, Slightly Stoopid and Dirty Heads, plus Rebelution, Dispatch, Pepper, Collie Buddz, SOJA, Iration, and many more reggae bands. The festival will also be hosting nightly after parties. Three days of great music, open spaces, after parties, seaside views and the beautiful Long Beach city backdrop to boot— this is one high seas expedition that no music lover should miss. (Ayesha Rahman) WHEN: Fri, Feb. 8-Sun, Feb.10 WHERE: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach WEBSITE: onelovecalifest.com
rules may actually incentive people to be even more “creative” in order to avoid owner (and financial interest holder) status.
Packaging and labeling compliance i n 2 01 9
C a l i f o r n i a’ s c a n n a b i s r e g u l at i o n s c a u s e u n c e r ta i n t y By Hilary Bricken
espite the fact that the state has made great progress towards permanent rules under the Medicinal and AdultUse Cannabis and Regulation Safety Act (MAUCRSA), many questions and ambiguities around licensing and operational conduct remain. In fact, some of the grayer areas of the emergency regulations have been expanded by the proposed permanent rules for better or worse. There are many unknowns regarding the industry’s future; here are just a few concerns that still remain for California’s cannabis industry.
IP licensing and white labeling restrictions In case you’ve been living under a rock, one of the most shocking proposed permanent rules to come from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is section 5032(b) (which, yes, affects all licensees). Essentially, section 5032 (b), as originally written, basically prohibited all IP licensing and white labeling agreements between cannabis licensees and non-licensees. During public comment on 5032, there was a good amount of dissent since it’s pretty obvious if such a rule went 14
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through, then a lot of branded product currently on the shelves would have to be tossed. In addition, California would be the only state in the cannabis union to adopt such a strict rule. And while the BCC’s own comments to 5032 (in its Final Statement of Reasons) indicate that it takes no issue with non-licensee to licensee IP licensing and white labeling relationships, a plain reading of the rule indicates otherwise.
Ownership issues The BCC struck again in the proposed rules revising “owner” disclosure standards to be much stricter at section 5003. Now, in addition to anyone with 20 percent or more in equity, the board of directors, the CEO and anyone or any entity that exercises any direction, control or management over the licensee, is also an owner. Any individual or entity merely entitled to profit share at or more than 20 percent is also an owner. This calls into question though how the BCC plans to treat things like cashless options and warrants that have no immediate entitlement to ownership in or profit sharing with the licensee. The BCC has been silent on all of the foregoing and there is no doubt that these new revised
Under California Department of Public Health (CDPH) proposed permanent regulations, manufacturers will not have to implement childresistant packaging (CRP) for their cannabis products until 2020. In the interim, retailers will fill the gap by using CRP exit bags. And while CRP is going away for manufacturers, there are a slew of revised and new packaging and labeling standards being implemented upon the rules becoming effective in the new year. The outstanding issue then is that CDPH created no affirmative grace period for manufactured product that’s out there right now and compliant with the emergency regulations, but that doesn’t meet the new packaging and labeling regulations. What’s for sure is that retailers cannot possess or sell finished product that doesn’t adhere to the new packaging and labeling rules. So, what exactly will happen to existing, noncompliant product in 2019? That remains a mystery.
Social equity programs For every city that’s done a social equity program, it’s been a challenge out of the gate to do it correctly and sustainably. Los Angeles is just getting started with its program while certain other California cities are trying but are producing meager results at best. While the state finally decided to financially back local social equity programs, it’s clear that the state and the cities need to study this particular social experiment for some time before a gold standard will actually emerge. In turn, the success of these programs is definitely a large unknown.
Banking Banking in California is the number one question that is constantly asked. Unless and until our permanent regulations are finalized and are proven to work we will likely not see private sector banking in California. Our licensing and enforcement systems are still too loose to satisfy the 2014 FinCEN guidelines, and no public bank is going to materialize here either for various complicated and practical legal reasons (be sure to watch out for banking fraudsters, too). And while California cannabis companies will likely continue to use management companies to help them alleviate some of the inability to access banking, it’s certainly not a long-term solution and it’s downright illegal when that relationship isn’t legitimate or at an arm’s length anyway. c
Lovely Chemicals T H C a n d t h e a m p l i f i c at i o n o f s e x u a l d e s i r e By Lanny Swerdlow, RN LNC
exuality, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Objectively though, sexuality can be viewed as the state of being sexual, incorporating the prosaic categories of wanting sex, expressing sexual receptivity and sexual activity itself. The state of being sexual begins with the natural human desire for sex driven by hormones and cultural stimulations. From desire comes excitation, as the very thought of having sex results in the body preparing for sex with associated physiological and psychological changes. If all precedes normally, the state of excitation progresses into actual sexual activity producing multiple and escalating sensations resulting in orgasm. Sexual relief comes from the orgasm with the body relaxing as it returns to its normal state augmented by feelings of contentment and fulfillment. All too often, humans have difficulty achieving one or more of the above states of sexuality. Problems with low sex drive and/or sex becoming mundane causes sensations from sexual activity to be muted. This makes orgasm difficult to achieve and sexual relief elusive, resulting in feelings of inadequacy and disappointment. The desire for sex, the excitation for sex and sexual activity all trigger the release of anandamide, a cannabinoid produced by the body that binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found abundantly in the brain and just about everywhere else in the body. Intrinsically involved in feelings of pleasure, anandamide has been euphemistically given the nickname the “bliss molecule.” Binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, anandamide also reduces anxiety and depression, mitigates pain, restores appetite, promotes fertility and even kills cancer cells. This is one of the reasons why people crave chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine which studies have shown to cause the brain to produce more anandamide. Cannabis is known to produce the same effects as anandamide from pain relief to pleasure, but unlike chocolate, cannabis does not cause the body to produce anandamide. Cannabis has its own anandamide-like cannabinoid—the legendary psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Like anandamide, THC attaches to and activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors so it should come as no surprise then that cannabis has the same effect on the body as anandamide. Even though cannabis can arouse sexual desire it shouldn’t be considered an aphrodisiac, as it doesn’t treat sexual dysfunction per se—it should be considered more as a sexual stimulant. According to Dr. Mitch Earleywine, author of Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence, the “CB1 receptor seems to be involved in improved
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“The desire for sex, the excitation for sex and sexual activity all trigger the release of anandamide, a cannabinoid produced by the body that binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors found abundantly in the brain and just about everywhere else in the body.” tactile sensations and general euphoria” If cannabis “improves tactile sensations and general euphoria” it would not be a stretch to conclude that it improves sexuality in all its many forms and permutations. Some studies have reported a dose-dependent relationship in that small to moderate amounts of cannabis produce desired sexual stimulation but high doses may inhibit sexual function. A 2013 study published in the journal Frontiers of Endocrinology found that low doses of THC significantly increase testosterone levels in mice while high doses of THC caused testosterone levels to drop below the testosterone levels found in mice that were not given THC. Of course, people are not mice and many other factors
affect sexual performance in humans. How you feel about the person you are with plays a very significant role as well as the setting in which sex occurs. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, the world’s most widely published author regarding the medical application of cannabis, noted “are you afraid you’re going to have a knock on the door and the cops will come in? Those things influence the high. So part of the set in having a sexual experience is how the people feel about each other.” Enhancing feelings of camaraderie and bonding has always been a hallmark of communal cannabis consumption, so enhanced feelings of affection and lust between stoned lovers is to be expected and enjoyed. This is not to say that the use of cannabis can rectify all the problems related to sexuality any more than cannabis can provide symptomatic relief to all the problems related to pain and insomnia, but for many it can provide a physiological and psychological boost resulting in an improved and pleasant sexuality. c
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3. Awaken by Foria The stakes are very high when putting cannabinoidbased products inside your body, but Foria is a name you can trust. Awaken lubricant in particular contains eight natural aphrodisiacs including full-spectrum CBD and kava kava extract. Kava kava is a natural Hawaiian root remedy with euphoric and numbing effects, plus purported medical benefits. All Foria products are independently tested for purity and safety. Increase sexual arousal with slippery, natural organic ingredients. The lubricant has a chocolate and mint aroma and a smooth consistency that goes perfectly with its active ingredients. Price: $48 More Information: www.foriawellness.com 4. WARM™ Sex toys are great, but there is usually one consistent problem: They can feel ice cold to the touch! Cold, polished metal toys are the worst and can make you scream, and not in a good way. WARM™ solves the problem by functioning as a heating pad for dildos, vibrators and various sex toys. It takes most toys just 15-20 minutes to heat up to a pleasant, natural temperature. It resembles a heating pad that folds around your toys into an envelope. It can also be used as a storage bag that can slide underneath the bed. Price: $149 More Information: experiencewarm.com
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K a r l e y S c i o r t i n o c o n f e s s e s d e ta i l s a b o u t h e r s e x u a l e x p l o i t s a n d h o w t h e y h av e influenced her perspective on sex and the e v o l u t i o n o f h e r p r o f e s s i o n a l e n d e av o r s By Benjamin M. Adams
“[Cannabis] heightens t h e s e n s at i o n w h e n someone is touching your skin. It sort of clears your mind and makes you more focused—and more w e t i n t h e o r y.”
c claimed television series host, writer and executive producer Karley Sciortino wears many hats—but her pursuits almost always revolve around relationships, sex and sexuality. Over a decade ago, Sciortino founded the website and blog Slutever.com while still in her early 20s. Her adventures ranged from living in a colorful London squat to pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in the realm of sexuality. Several years later, VICE took notice and produced a webseries of the same name, with Sciortino as its “resident sexpert.” Last year, Sciortino and co-creator Adri Murguia launched Slutever as a VICELAND television series—with Sciortino now operating as executive producer. The show’s second season premieres Feb. 10 on the VICELAND TV network, and the show can be found on Amazon Prime. Slutever challenges the taboos of sex in modern culture and the gender roles that are constantly evolving. Although Sciortino continues to become a household name through her show, she remains true to her writing roots. In addition to being a columnist for Breathless, a sex and dating column at Vogue, Sciortino compiled her sexual escapades into a memoir called Slutever: Dispatches from an Autonomous Woman in a Post Shame World, which was published last February. Sciortino’s high level of visibility on Instagram is part of what cements her authority on all things sex-related. She’s also dabbled in film as a cowriter for Now Apocalypse. Just in time for our annual Sex Issue, CULTURE caught up with Sciortino to discuss overcoming sexual inhibitions, reclaiming stereotypical words and how cannabis can be incorporated in the bedroom.
You founded Slutever, which eventually was expanded into a VICELAND documentary series. In your own words, how does Slutever compare today to how it began as a humble blog? It’s sort of had a slow evolution. In the beginning, it was really
just a personal blog that was full of stream-ofconsciousness-esque rants about my sex life. At the time I was living in a squat and commune in London, and there were about 15 of us living in an abandoned hostel and pretty much all we did was have drugs and go
to raves and have sex with strangers. I was vaguely attempting to be a writer at the time, writing freelance for magazines but not making any money. I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I hadn’t gone to college, so I said, “I guess I should teach myself to write by
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practicing.” I feel like my life was interesting enough at the time that maybe somebody would care. For the first few years it was basically about living in the squat and the people I was living with. A few years later, I moved to New York. I was 24. That’s when it really became more sex-focused. I started assisting this dominatrix for work. I just really started getting interested in the psychology around sexuality, and I started interviewing the clients and talking about their fetishes and sexual desires. That really spawned an interest in that field and it sort of grew from there. Then I started doing the VICE show in its earliest incarnation in 2012. That was the time when I said this is a sex thing. I think it got more mature over time, with more personal essays about my romantic life and the way I thought about sex and my opinion about sexuality. Eventually it grew into more of a magazine and now other people contribute.
What would you say to people who have lingering anxieties and are still afraid to talk about sex? I would say that talking about sex is the primary key to having a good sex life, because if you can’t talk about it, you’re not going to get what you want, because you’re not going to be able to explain it to someone. They’re not mind-readers. You’re also not going to be able to please your sex partners, because you’re not a mindreader either. I think being able to express your needs and boundaries is the only way that you can have a fulfilling sex life where you feel autonomous and healthy. Talking about sexuality is an amazing way to get close to people. If you’re able to talk about intimacy, it’s a way of bonding with people. It’s also transgressive, which is fun! As you know, in some cultures, when females are sexually active, some are sex-shamed with the word “slut.” What do you want to change about that? I think that slut-shaming is still a massive problem in many cultures and in the United States. Girls are called whores as teenagers before they’ve even had sex, if they’re wearing a low-cut top. The word “slut” has sort of gone rogue. It’s used now to describe revealing clothes to someone who is having casual sex. So it’s a derogatory word, but having said that, I do think that we’re on the right path as a culture. Increasingly we see women, whether it’s famous women like Rihanna or Taylor Swift, these girls are having many 24
sexual partners, and they aren’t shamed for that. I think that we are able to see now that there are alternatives to monogamy. Even dating apps have sort of normalized the idea that women are looking for things more than relationships. So I think that the sexual double standard is beginning to fade. A lot of what I wrote in my book Slutever is about reclaiming the word “slut.” It is about redefining what that means. My ambition is to redefine the word “slut” as someone who seeks out visceral experiences through sex, to build confidence, to connect themselves with people and to satisfy the sense of adventure. I think that reclaiming words like the word “slut” is important because historically, many different cultures and communities have reclaimed words in a very successful way—words like racial words, “queer,” “butch” and “fag.” All these words have been reclaimed. That takes away the power of those words to harm you. It’s funny and powerful. Irreverence is a tool for rebellion. Plus, the word “slut” just kind of just rolls off of the tongue well. Do you foresee gender roles continuing to evolve in the post-#MeToo era? I think that #MeToo, at its core, is about women reclaiming control of their bodies. Women are saying “I don’t like to be touched that way,” or “this is my body” and how that is expressed in the world. I think there is a lot of power in that. I think that there is definitely a wave of female unity with this movement. I think that all of these things
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have a forward momentum. We live in a world where gender is now being challenged, in many forms. I don’t know any women anymore who are like, “I have to be submissive to my husband and clean shit.” I don’t know any of those people. Growing up in a strict religious household, did that propel you to push the bar of sex taboo even further? Definitely. I think that if you grow up in a religious family it can go one of two ways: You can adopt that repressive ideology, or it can just sort of propel you to want to break all the rules. Just be rebellious
for rebelliousness’ sake. When you’re Catholic, everything is a “no,” so you just want to break those boundaries. If my parents were like, “You can have sex if you want,” I think I would have a slower and more casual approach to sex, but when you don’t have any sex, it makes you want to have sex with everyone—just to piss them off. Sex for me was also a form of provocation. I think it ratified that early 20s, teenage rebellion thing. A lot of people have that obviously, and express it through drugs or partying, or dropping out of school, or having a boyfriend with a face tattoo. For me, it was just about being slutty.
“ F o r m e , s e x wa s different when we were high, because i t wa s s o r t o f slower and my body wa s t i n g l i n g . I t f e lt m o r e r i t u a l i s t i c .”
the class and go home, have a drink and make this sex tape. It was an experience unlike any other. Do you consume cannabis, and if so, would you consider it an aphrodisiac? I would. It’s funny, because I’m not a weed smoker, and I never have been regularly. The only times that I’ve ever smoked weed was for sex. I was dating this guy a few years ago, and he was really into vaping weed ritualistically before sex. It heightens the sensation when someone is touching your skin. It sort of clears your mind and makes you more focused—and more wet in theory. So we had that ritual before sex. For me, sex was different when we were high, because it was sort of slower and my body was tingling. It felt more ritualistic. In our first season of Slutever, we did this episode about sex and weed. A lot of it was about weed lube. There’s a lot of companies now that make that, but we followed around this company in San Francisco that these two girls founded called Quim Rock, and they home-bake their own weed lube. So we made all this weed lube together, and I tried it during sex. The idea is that it increases blood flow to your vagina and causes you to get more wet and engorged. It does really work—however, it kind of makes your vagina smell like a dispensary it was so strong. So unless your partner is really into the smell of weed, it’s not a good vibe. It doesn’t make you high, but if you eat it, it does get you high. It literally turns your pussy into an edible.
Tell us about the notorious Johnny Knoxville a.k.a. Bad Grandpa tape. We’d been doing Slutever in a web series form for about a year-and-ahalf at that point. He wanted to come up with Bad Grandpa and had this relationship with VICE. It was his idea and he said, “Can we do something with Slutever?” I was like, “Wait, what?” He was in his Bad Grandpa 26
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suit, and the premise was that we were spending a day in LA. We went to this tantric sex club, but didn’t tell the other people that it was Johnny Knoxville. We were “randomly” paired together, and it just was like this creepy pervy 90-year-old. Everyone was completely freaking out. It was pretty funny. We made this fake sex tape where we leave
How long did it take you to put together the material for your recent memoir, Slutever: Dispatches from an Autonomous Woman in a Post Shame World ? That was sort of a lifetime of experiences. The book is sort of half memoir, half personal sexual theory and ponderings. The first chapter is what I call a slut manifesto. It’s my ideas about the history of sluttiness and reclaiming that word.
Then, the book goes from my childhood in a Catholic family to being slut-shamed by my family and in high school. It sort of follows my life through finding my own slutty identity, being in an open relationship and working as an escort. I definitely did research. I really like Camille Paglia who is sort of this controversial feminist from the ’80s who is one of the first pro-sex feminists, as they’re called. Her ideas were sort of really formative for me. It was all of the stuff that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Given your Vogue sex and dating column, Breathless, do you operate more naturally as a video host or as a writer? I think I primarily identify as a writer, because I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager. But I really love doing the VICE show because it gets me out of my room. Writing is such a solitary, nail-biting experience when you spend so much time alone. So it’s fun to be out in the world and interview people collaboratively. I think seeing people on camera and being able to see people tell their own stories that there is more opportunity for people to be humanized under that medium. What would you say to single adults who are going to spend Valentine’s Day alone this year? Valentine’s Day is stupid. People always say that it’s a commercial holiday, but I really think that it’s true. It’s sort of like the romantic version of New Year’s Eve. It’s kind of an anti-climax when you feel pressured to have dinner and sex that feels better somehow. If you actually feel bad in that situation, then just go hang out with single friends. It would be more fun. What news do you have for the next upcoming few months? Tell us about Now Apocalypse. Now Apocalypse really incorporates stoner themes. I co-wrote the first season of the show with the director Greg Araki who is sort of this cult film director who came out in the ’90s who made a lot of sexually progressive movies that I love. His movies even in the ’90s, had things like a bisexual lead character—which you never saw. There
are threesomes, sexual empowerment and funny and strange slutty girls. I feel so lucky to work with him. He asked me to help him write the pilot about a year ago for the show. It’s about these four 20-somethings in LA, trying to make it in Hollywood and basically having a lot of sex and exploring their sexuality. The main character Ulysses is a super stoner. There’s this alien conspiracy side story. It appears that we’re on the brink of an apocalypse, spawned by an alien invasion, but you can’t tell if it’s actually happening or whether it’s all just Ulysses’ hallucinations. He basically never stops smoking weed. c @karleyslutever | www.viceland.com/slutever
“My ambition is to redefine the word “slut” as someone who seeks out visceral experiences through sex, to build confidence, to c o n n e c t t h e m s e lv e s with people and to s at i s f y t h e s e n s e o f a d v e n t u r e .” CultureMagazine.com
Embrace Variety C a n n a b i s c a n h e l p d at e n i g h t s b e c o m e m e m o r a b l e a n d i n t i m at e
By John McClain
or cannabis-loving couples, there are many ways to share a token of love on Valentine’s Day. Having a partner who also partakes in cannabis means that 28
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you can have a unique, euphoric way to celebrate romance while reaching whole new highs. While couples should always be aware of their local city and state laws prior to making plans, the addition of cannabis into a date night routine
“Having a partner who a l s o p a r ta k e s i n c a n n a b i s means you can have a u n i q u e , e u p h o r i c w ay t o c e l e b r at e r o m a n c e w h i l e reaching whole new highs.” can spice things up like never before. Whether you go out for a night on the town or stay cozy indoors, these cannabis-friendly Valentine’s Day date ideas are sure to make your day more intimate and special.
A D at e I n d o o r s For busy couples, time spent together can be limited, but having a dedicated date night at home can be just as intimate with the addition of cannabis. Why head to an overly crowded restaurant when you can stay home instead? There are countless recipes that can be reimagined with cannabis in mind. Work with your loved one to craft the perfect dinner and dessert combination by altering recipes to include infused butter, vegetable oil or simple syrup. Chocolate— once called a food of the
A Night on the Town Taking a creative class together is a fun and social experience that allows partners to share their artistic skills. States with legal recreational cannabis are beginning to host herbinspired private or group cooking classes that are both romantic and teach some useful skills too. Budding artisans can also find group art classes where cannabis consumption is encouraged to help tap into participants’ creative side.
gods—is a basic requirement for Valentine’s Day presents. Think beyond the heartshaped box and bring home some extra-special brownies, decadent infused chocolates from a local dispensary. Of course at the end of the day, romancing your partner will ultimately lead to steamy bedroom activities and you can’t get more intimate than sex. Many reports state that cannabis can enhance sexual pleasure, so it’s only wise that you utilize products such as cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) -infused lubricants. These products help reduce pain for women experienced during intercourse, leading to a much more relaxed state of being as well as the possibility for more intense orgasms.
Couples can also expand their physical and mental horizons by trying a cannabis-friendly yoga class. Imbibing cannabis before a yoga session can bring heightened awareness and calm to your standard yoga practice. Sharing this experience with your partner can allow couples to connect with each other in a whole new way, both during and after the class. Don’t forget the triedand-true couple’s massage with masseuses who use CBD massage oils. The relaxing mix of physical touch and CBD’s ability to reduce pain, inflammation and stress means that both parties are improving their physical and mental wellbeing. c
Find the Perfect Cannabis-Loving S o u l m at e Singles shouldn’t be left out on Valentine’s Day. Swipe right with one of these unique cannabis dating apps to find the perfect date. (Note: Apps may not be available in areas where cannabis is not yet legal).
High There! boasts millions of downloads and has been covered by several mainstream news outlets. It connects people through their preferred way of partaking cannabis and their reactions to it. 420 Singles has been around since 2011. It focuses on meeting your preferred gender in the area, but also boasts a swipe right feature for quick review. You can fill in personal details including background and religion for a thorough opportunity to match. My 420 Mate offers website and app options for viewing and includes extra features such as a “hot” list and hosted meet up events. The site is currently free to use and will ask users about cannabis consumption preferences.
F o r i a F o u n d e r M at h e w G e r s o n c r e at e s p r o d u c t s t h at h e l p c o u p l e s e x p e r i e n c e h e a lt h y sex lives By R. Scott Rappold
annabis and sex—it used to be so simple. People smoked a joint and then got on with it. But what happens when the cannabis is so strong that instead of focusing on the lover, the partner is drooling while staring at a spot on the wall or contemplating as to how the sponge in that cartoon can talk? “They’re not used to the potencies that are out there and they’re kind of getting steamrolled,” says Founder and Co-CEO Mathew Gerson. “In the bedroom, getting too high for a lot of people is not the best thing to do for an enhanced intimate experience. It doesn’t necessarily bring you closer to your sensations or closer to your partner. You kind of overshoot the mark a little bit.” Six years ago, Gerson founded lubrication company Foria to bring cannabis into the bedroom in a way that focused on pleasure, specifically on women’s pleasure. His line of lubricants, oils and even suppositories— yes, you read that right—have become immensely popular around the world, some designed to enhance pleasure, others to dull the pain that many women experience with intercourse.
“In the bedroom, getting too high for a lot of people i s n o t t h e b e s t t h i n g t o d o f o r a n e n h a n c e d i n t i m at e e x p e r i e n c e . I t d o e s n ’ t n e c e s s a r i ly b r i n g y o u c l o s e r t o y o u r s e n s at i o n s o r c l o s e r t o y o u r p a r t n e r . Y o u k i n d o f o v e r s h o o t t h e m a r k a l i t t l e b i t. ” 30
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Condoms to cannabis
Few people outside of lifelong growers took a direct path into the legal cannabis industry, but Gerson’s was even more circuitous than most. After years of studying to be a Buddhist monk, he was living in a cave in the mountains outside of Telluride, Colorado, ruminating about the human condition and the suffering around the globe. “I was looking at the social issues around human sexuality and some of the downside results of the lack of protection, sexual education and access to contraception in parts of the world where people couldn’t afford condoms,” recalls Gerson, 44. So he left the woods and started a condom company, Sir Richard’s, free of glycerin, parabens, spermicide and petrochemicals, vegan-certified and PETA-approved. For every one sold, Sir Richard’s donates a condom to a Third World country. “Our tagline was, ‘Doing good never felt better,’” says Gerson. After he sold the company seven years ago, he became interested in medical cannabis, which was booming in Venice, California, where he lived, and throughout the state. He started learning about cannabinoids, terpenes and the myriad other aspects of the plant just emerging from decades in the underground. “My relationship with cannabis over all those years did not include that kind of sophistication. That was really fascinating to learn about all these other benefits and how they can modulate your experience. I was really interested in getting into that and learning more.”
Oils, lubricants and more
“When I heard about [cannabis] oil, my mind being somewhat primed to think of oil as a lubricant, that was sort of the a-ha moment for me personally that led to the creation of the first batch of what became Foria
Pleasure and opened up that portal for a focus on female wellness in general,” says Gerson. The idea was, can cannabis be used to make women feel more sexual pleasure? As it turned out, it was not a new idea at all. His research suggested that women may have been using cannabis in such a way for centuries (he believes the classic image of a witch on a broomstick stems from women inserting cannabis oil vaginally.) The lubricant was designed to be applied vaginally at least 15 minutes before sex—what he calls the “marination period”—enhancing sexual pleasure, decreasing dryness and leading to more fulfilling orgasms. Though it contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t enter the brain, leaving the mind clear. Women immediately took note. “Being the first company to bring together the chocolate and peanut butter of sex and drugs, we got a lot of attention from women around the world,” he says. “It turns out the benefits of using cannabis as a topical for women in the bedroom were much broader and more profound than we could have imagined.” The follow-up product targeted not pleasure, but pain. To help women who experience pain with intercourse or from female conditions like menstrual cramps or endometriosis, the vaginal suppository Foria Relief used THC and cannabidiol (CBD) to dull the pain, again without psychoactive effects. The results were so encouraging that a Harvard professor has launched a study of 400 women to look at how the cannabis product eases menstrual cycle discomfort. Next up was a rectal suppository to enhance sex in that region or ease pain. This time, Gerson admits, “it was not a product that flew off the shelves,” Americans not being very inclined to embrace rectal delivery methods. “I used to say, ‘We’re trying to change the world one asshole at a time,’” Gerson laughs. “It is a challenging delivery system of cannabinoids, but it’s one that makes a lot of sense and once you do it once it’s not such a big deal.”
First psychoactive product
In 2019, Foria plans to release its first psychoactive product, a vape pen that will deliver a microdose of THC, so that when it’s time for love, the consumer isn’t face down in a bowl of Cheetos. For now, the THC products are available only in California and Colorado, though expansion to other legal states is also in the works for 2019. CBD-only products Foria Basics, a daily tonic for general wellness, and Foria Awaken, a lubricant, are available for order on their website and can be shipped anywhere. Whether it’s going in their lungs, their vaginas or up their rectums, people have put a lot of trust in Foria products, something that makes Gerson proud. “A lot of people have built a lot of trust in their relationship with us, because we would first say, ‘Hey, you can trust to put these products on a very sensitive part of your body,’” he says. “We have a really high benchmark as to how we approach these products.” c CultureMagazine.com
Making History T h e H e m p Fa r m i n g A c t o f 2 0 1 8 a i m s t o p u t American hemp products on the map By Devon Alexander Brown
nce dubbed America’s No. 1 obstructionist by The Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is an unlikely ally in the corner of cannabis. However, he may have unwittingly opened the floodgates for its growth and progress by legalizing the commercial production of hemp. Hemp, the often overlooked cousin of cannabis, lacks the concentrations of 32
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tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that give cannabis its psychoactive effects, but contains greater concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD). And due to the growing demand for alternatives to pharmaceutical pain medications, CBD could be poised for a boom with a functioning domestic hemp market—though hemp is much more than CBD. Hemp can be used for a variety of commercial products such as textiles, bioplastics and foods like hemp seeds and protein powder and it was industrially
produced well into the 1950s until shifting market conditions and the introduction of federal regulations ushered in its cessation. Decades later hemp was officially made illegal in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the same federal statute that classifies cannabis as a Schedule I substance. But the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, a law introduced by McConnell under the 2018 Farm Bill, removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and deemed it an agricultural commodity—a move that grants hemp farmers access to the national banking system, water rights and federal agricultural grants while helping to restore lost profits.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp will also be eligible for regulation by the USDA, meaning that it will be open to interstate commerce and qualified American-grown hemp can be labeled as certified organic. More importantly, crucial financing and research opportunities will be accessible for continued innovation as CBD is generally well tolerated and many conditions rely on CBD products. The legalization of hemp is also likely to improve patient access to these medications while potentially lowering their prices. Several studies show that CBD is an effective treatment for childhood epilepsy syndromes such as Dravet syndrome and LennoxGastaut syndrome, which tend to be unresponsive to antiseizure medications. Illnesses such as anxiety, nausea and chronic pain also respond well to the compound. However, the CBD industry has long been open to abuse because of a lack of government oversight which has allowed disreputable companies to profit off of undereducated consumers. Increased regulation will help stop this practice. While increased regulation is surely to be celebrated, that same regulation could mean increased access will be slow to start. Hemp-derived CBD also qualifies as a food, drug, or cosmetic under FDA rules and the FDA will retain authority to regulate CBD products as it sees fit. Shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released a statement addressing plans to meet with stakeholders regarding potential safety concerns and the general production and marketing of hemp. “We’re aware of the growing public interest in cannabis and cannabisderived products, including cannabidiol,” Gottlieb said in a December press announcement. “Increasing public interest in these products makes it even more important with the passage of this law for the FDA to clarify its regulatory authority over these products . . . we’ll use this meeting to gather additional input relevant to the lawful pathways by which products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds can be marketed, and how we can make these legal pathways more predictable and efficient . . . we’ll also solicit input
relevant to our regulatory strategy related to existing products, while we continue to evaluate and take action against products that are being unlawfully marketed and create risks for consumers.” While CBD products aren’t likely to appear at the Walgreens' pharmacy in the next few months, there is already a healthy market for CBD and hemp-derived products. New
“Increasing public interest in these p r o d u c t s m a k e s i t e v e n m o r e i m p o r ta n t with the passage of this law for the FDA t o c l a r i f y i t s r e g u l at o r y a u t h o r i t y o v e r these products.” Frontier Data reports show that U.S CBD sales reached $367 million in 2017, an increase nearing 40 percent. And the total retail value of U.S hemp products was estimated at $820 million that same year, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. With hemp’s proven fiscal value, it’s possible that CBD could eventually be legalized for all food and drink products once FDA standards are instituted. Regardless, there aren’t signs of this trend slowing down. c
Love is in the Air
Embrace your inner sweetness with thoughtful cannabis-infused desserts By Laurie Wolf Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for many things: It’s a
day to be honest with your crush, to express love to your significant other and it’s a day to increase sexual activity.
Most importantly, it’s a day to share your sweetness— and you can’t get sweeter than a plate of delicious
desserts. With love in mind, here are three cannabisinfused recipes that are bound to impress your loved one, and maybe help you get lucky in the bedroom too!
Nutella Heart Pies Ingredients: 2 store bought piecrusts, rolled into 10-inch circles 1/2 cup cannabisinfused chocolate hazelnut spread 2 tablespoons cannabutter or oil Egg wash 34
Instructions: 1. Heat oven to 340˚ F. Spray a baking tray or cover with parchment and set aside. 2. Using a 2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut as many hearts as you can from each crust, rerolling the scraps. 3. Place a teaspoon of the infused spread and place in the center of one of the hearts. Place a
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heart on top, and go around the entire edge of each heart with the tines of a fork. Brush with the egg wash, making sure it covers the area you pressed with the fork. 4. Using a spatula, transfer pies to the baking sheet. 5. Bake until the hearts are golden brown, begin checking after 8 minutes. Cool thoroughly.
PHOTOS BY BRUCE WOLF
R e d V e lv e t C a n n a- C a k e
Instructions: 1. Heat oven to 340Ëš F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
Ingredients: CAKE: 2 1/2 cups flour 1/4 cup cornstarch 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick) 2 ounces cannabutter, softened 2 1/4 cups sugar 1 cup canola oil 3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoons white vinegar 3 tablespoons red food coloring 1 cup buttermilk FROSTING: 16 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 4 cups white sugar 3 tablespoons milk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.
6. Cool in the pan before removing. Unmold.
3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat with the butter until creamy. Add the oil and mix for two minutes.
7. In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat until mixed well and fluffy, add a pinch of salt and beat for one minute.
4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for two minutes. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the vinegar and food coloring. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the dry ingredients.
8. Place one cake on a cake platter. Cover the top with frosting. Place the other cake on top and cover with frosting. Frost the sides of the cake as smooth as possible. Take any left over cake crumbs and sprinkle on the sides and the top if desired.
ice cream sandwichES Ingredients: 3-inch round cookie cutter Baking spray or parchment
1 large egg 2 3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cannabutter, softened
1 quart ice cream, any flavor, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup sprinkles
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup melted chocolate
Instructions 1. Heat oven to 340Ëš F. Spray or cover baking sheets. Set aside. 2. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butters and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until well combined. 3. Add the dry ingredients with the mixer on low. Donâ€™t over beat. 4. Scoop the dough onto the prepared pans in two tablespoon balls. Leave two inches between the balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool thoroughly. 5. Pour sprinkles on a flat plate. Place half the cooled cookies on a sheet pan that will fit in your freezer. Place a 1/4 scoop of ice cream on each cookie. Quickly place the remaining cookies on top, press gently together. Dip in the sprinkles and place in the freezer until very cold and solid. 6. Place the melted chocolate on your work surface. One at a time remove a cookie sandwich from the freezer, dip in the chocolate and immediately return to the freezer. Repeat until all the cookies are done.
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recently visited one of the most respected cloneries in Northern California—Dark Heart Nursery. Through stores and dispensaries, it supplies both hobbyists and commercial enterprises with thousands of clones each week. Dark Heart has a bank of plant varieties that it holds in tissue culture, which is a form of maintaining plants as cells in an undifferentiated form. Think of these as stem cells that can be regenerated to whole plants. This serves several purposes: It takes little room. A library can be stored in a single refrigerator rather than in hundreds or thousands of square footage, and they require little care while in storage. The process also creates sterile material— no bacteria, fungi, pests or disease are present. The technicians at Dark Heart regenerate plants from the tissue culture material to use as mother plants. These plants are usually grown to a height of three to six feet and are cut as they grow to force branching to get the plant to produce more clone material. They are grown in a sterile potting mix that
contains peat moss and perlite, in 10-gallon containers. Cuttings from these plants are the end product of the clone center. Groups of the cuttings are cut and placed in a beaker filled with a root growth enhancer containing a plant hormone such as Indole 3 Butyric Acid (more commonly known as IBA). Each clone is trimmed down to just a few top leaves with pruned fingers. They are placed in two-foot rockwool cubes, 50 to each 10-foot x 20-foot tray, which have a grate bottom to promote drainage and air flow. A clear plastic dome is placed over the tray for the first few days. Within a few days, the cuttings have adjusted and the covers are removed. They are ready for sale when new growth has started in the canopy and roots appear at the bottom of the cubes. The nursery also sells adolescent plants that are two feet tall with a bit of branching. Both greenhouse and outdoor growers buy these plants to get a head start on the season outdoors, resulting in considerably larger plants or to get faster turnover in greenhouses. Growing a crop from clone to ripening can take 90-120 days. However, without having to vegetate much, the time is cut down to 60-70 days. Dark Heart has served the cannabis community of Northern California (and the rest of the world) for more than 15 years. It has succeeded because it consistently delivers high-quality, healthy and uninfected clones of popular varieties. Its products have helped growers of every size to produce bountiful, potent harvests. c
In the foreground the sativa hybrid plants have been cut. Plants in the back, about six-feet tall are waiting for their “haircut.”
On the left clones are maturing. On the right, new cuttings (in domes) are starting their two-week journey. Soon after that they will be adopted by expectant growers.
A VISIT TO DARK HEART By Ed Rosenthal
Cuttings are clipped, manicured, pruned, and placed in two-foot rockwool cubes.
A sativa clone mother is about to be sheared for cuttings. These plants have life expectancy of about six months before they are replaced.
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.
TIP OF THE MONTH Start planting now! Plant clones or germinate seeds so you can set the plants out as soon as the climate in your area permits. Remember the plants have to be kept in a vegetative state. You can do that by flashing lights on the plants several times each night for a few seconds using a bright led flashlight (preferably red) to interrupt the darkness. If you place them out early in the season (before March 15) you can keep them growing vegetatively using the light. Without the light, with the short days of spring, they will start to flower when set outside.
Rooted clones ready to find new homes.
SOCAL NOW! EVENT LISTINGS
Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival, Feb. 9 The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, staying faithful to its over one-hundred years of tradition is hosting the 120th annual Golden Dragon Parade. The parade started small in the mid-’80s and now includes almost two dozen floats, marching bands, entertainers, local businesses and cultural groups, reinforcing ethnic diversity and Chinese culture. Hill Street at Temple toward Bernard, Los Angeles lagoldendragonparade.com Othello, Feb. 13 Othello is undoubtedly Shakespeare’s most intimate family tragedies, with all the drama that you need before Valentine’s Day— the dreadful strength of love an the breakdown of a man who has everything and mind games! Single or taken, this play ought to be a great treat to yourself or your special someone this Valentine’s Day! A Noise Within, Pasadena anoisewithin.org
420 Happy Hour, Feb. 14 Do you often walk into a cannabis dispensary and get overwhelmed with the wealth of choices and don’t know what to pick? Not anymore! This cannabis tasting event is designed with you in mind and will wash away all your confusion, so, come out 38
and experience an evening of delicious food, fabulous drinks, great music and an abundance of cannabis strains with like-minded people! Cannabis Members Club Room, Culver City cannabismembersclub. com/420-happy-hour
Long Beach Comic Expo, Feb. 16-17 Celebrate pop culture with the annual Long Beach Comic Expo. The event showcases the outstanding works of talented writers, artists, illustrators and creators of all types of pop culture. If you are a collector, you can also get your hands on unique related merchandise. There will also be entertainment and educational programs, guest signings and meet and greet sessions with celebrities. Long Beach Convention Center longbeachcomicexpo.com Scotsfest & International Highland Games XXVI, Feb. 16-17 The annual Scotsfest is back, paying homage to The Queen Mary’s Scottish legacy and celebrating its rich culture and history through a display of Scottish activities. This year’s event will host nearly 50 Scottish clans and vendors and an array of professional and amateur competitions, and there will be whisky tasting sessions for adults while the kids can watch
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CUPID’S UNDIE RUN, FEB. 9 Help end neurofibromatosis (NF), in your undies! The undie run started in 2010 when a group of philanthropists dropped their pants and ran through the cold to raise money to end NF. Come out and strip in solidarity, as 100 percent of net proceeds will go to Children’s Tumor Foundation, a leader in NF research. The Buffalo Club, Santa Monica cupids.org/city/los-angeles the coronation, ceremonies or take part in the Wee Highland games. The Queen Mary, Long Beach queenmary.com Endless Night Vampire Ball, Feb. 17-18 Dubbed as the “Venetian masquerade ball meets a vampire court, with the energy of a rock concert and the elegance of burlesque cabaret”—this is a soirée you won’t want to miss. This year’s theme will be antiValentine’s Day so please dress accordingly, and Victorian, Edwardian, latex, Baroque, medieval, Pagan, top hats, gowns, black
tie, cloaks and fangs are encouraged! The Globe Theater, Los Angeles endlessnight.com Toni Braxton, Mar. 3 Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see the diva herself upfront! If selling 67 million records, winning seven Grammy Awards among numerous other accolades aren’t good enough reasons for you to go, then the fact that the songstress and former CULTURE cover slays on stage should be! Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles tonibraxton.com