Cannabis Culture in Western Massachusetts
SMALL BATCH. CrAfT CANNABIS.
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Please Consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-2221222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.
The Herbalist â€˘ 1
In this issue A pot primer Navigating your first trip to the dispensary
Lighting up — legally The stick-figure guide to Massachusetts marijuana law
Product showcase New and worth trying in Western Mass.
THC or CBD? What they are, and why it matters
The Herbalist glossary of cannabis Marijuana terms to know 18 ON THE COVER: Illustration from Franz Eugen Köhler's "Medizinal-Pflantzen" (1887) THIS PAGE: A cannabis flower grows under grow lamps at Berkshire Roots in Pittsfield. Photo: Ben Garver The Herbalist is an advertising supplement published by New England Newspapers Inc. To contact us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 • The Herbalist
Let’s not be coy. Given that 45% of Americans over age 12 have used marijuana in their lifetime, per the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ annual drug use survey, there’s a very good chance that you, dear reader, are not new to cannabis. What you likely haven’t experienced, statistically speaking, is the act of walking into a store, handing over some cash and strolling off with a bag full of marijuana, giving a friendly nod to the police officer at the door as you go. Since the first retail pot shops opened for business in 2018, the legal marijuana market has exploded. Today’s cannabis offerings are more plentiful, more diverse and more specialized than ever. Instead of settling for whatever your cousin’s boyfriend’s roommate happened to have stashed in his sock drawer, consumers can now pick and choose their perfect marijuana experience from form to flavor to potency. That amount of choice is exciting, but it also can be intimidating. At The Herbalist, our goal is to make some sense of this frantically expanding new industry, offering a look into cannabis culture for old hands and curious newcomers alike. In our debut issue, we’re focusing on the very basics: how to buy marijuana in the state of Massachusetts, legally, discerningly and with confidence. We hope you’ll join us for future issues as we journey deeper into the world of legal cannabis. Kimberly Kirchner Editor, The Herbalist
The Herbalist • 3
A pot primer What to expect when youâ€™re expecting to buy some legal doobie
4 â€˘ The Herbalist
By Noah Hoffenberg Herbalist contributor They seem to be springing up everywhere. The feds aren’t shutting them down, so arrest seems out of the question. It wouldn’t be responsible not to investigate them, to see, smell and hear firsthand what all the hubbub's about. Well, there it is: You’ve decided to visit a Western Massachusetts marijuana dispensary. As of this writing, there are three dispensaries in the Berkshires that are open for business, catering to recreational adult use; each of these — Temescal Wellness in Pittsfield, Berkshire Roots, also in Pittsfield, and Theory Wellness in Great Barrington — also provide medical marijuana offerings, although that’s a totally different animal purchase-wise. In nearby Hampshire and Franklin counties, there’s also NETA in Northampton, INSA in Easthampton and Patriot Care in Greenfield. Additionally, there are about 30-plus different marijuana businesses that are planning on opening in the Berkshires. Some will be retail sales, while others will be production sites and grow facilities. This article will convey 10 things you need to know before you try to buy recreational marijuana at one of these local retail sites.
Parking Because most of the dispensaries in the Berkshires began as medical operations, medical marijuana patients get the right of way for the choicest parking spaces next to the dispensary. Try to snake one of these spots, and you might encounter someone telling you to scram (see entry on police); adult-use parking is typically
just a few steps away, often in an adjacent lot.
Don’t forget to bring your ID Dispensaries are locked, secure sites, and you’ll often need to be buzzed in by security or greeters who will want to see your driver’s license. If you’re a veteran marijuana consumer and you’re plagued by short-term memory problems, I suggest you use your favorite mnemonic device to jog the brain into remembering ... string on a finger; a note on a smartphone; something inked onto a visible part of your body.
Be prepared for the 20 percent tax For recreational consumers, the commonwealth of Massachusetts has slapped a 20 percent tax on adult-use purchases. That means an extra $20 for every $100 spent. If you’re on a tight budget, careful calculation is necessary before point of purchase.
Police presence At many dispensaries in Massachusetts, crowded parking lots and nearby roadways are being managed by police officers doing traffic control. They aren’t there to bust you and confiscate your stash; they just want to make sure that no one is getting run over by lead-footed marijuana connoisseurs coming and going from the lot. However, if you’re breaking the law — such as smoking marijuana in public or while driving, or if you’re stumbling and bumbling on a city street — you probably can expect to be questioned or even invited to wear those always-fashionable silver bracelets.
PREVIOUS PAGE: A sign directs customers to the appropriate counter at Theory Wellness in Great Barrington. Photo: Stephanie Zollshan.
Mike Popowich checks the identification of customers at Berkshire Roots in Pittsfield. Photo: Adam Shanks.
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Dress for success Lines for dispensaries have shortened since these sites first went online last year. That said, when you combine fickle Western Massachusetts weather and waiting in a dispensary line, it can be a recipe to get cold or hot, wet or sweaty, and otherwise uncomfortable. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the weather.
There’s a line inside, too Oftentimes, even if there is no line outside a dispensary, there will be one inside as consumers queue up to work with dispensary staff. Because some marijuana users are accustomed to buying it from underground or black market purveyors, folks in line will either engage in nervous chatter with other people nearby or even stare at the ground to avoid eye contact and/or being recognized. If this sounds uncomfortable for you, then you’ll be happy about the next entry.
You don’t have to wait in line Wait. What? It’s true: Most of these sites have an order-ahead option, so you can have it ready for pick up in no time. By ordering ahead, you’ll often be able to bypass the exterior and interior lines to get extra-speedy service. Of
Matthew Daniels rings up a sale for customers on opening day for recreational marijuana sales at Temescal Wellness in Pittsfield. Photo: Stephanie Zollshan.
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6 • The Herbalist
The Herbalist â€¢ 7
course, if you enjoy socially awkward chatter, then by all means queue up.
Do a little research While you’re waiting in line, you’re likely to hear other customers asking the so-called “budtenders” a lot of basic questions about the product and related tools. Sure, it’s fun to chat, but they’re also slowing up the line with queries about sativa versus indica; terpenes; concentrates versus flower; etc.
A quick run around the web will tell you nearly everything you need to know. Incidentally, I’ve never heard of anyone peppering their former underground cannabis salesmen with questions such as those overheard at dispensaries.
Be careful with the edibles Because ingested marijuana takes longer to affect the body than marijuana that is smoked or vaped, some new users mis-
take that time lag as a lack of potency, and then they eat more. This can lead to some unenviable, roller coasterlike side effects, such as nausea, anxiety and disorientation. Generally speaking, this is not your granddaddy’s ditch weed: Some reckon the potency has increased by as much as 30 percent since the 1960s and 1970s. Whether you’re using it for pain management, anxiety reduction or as an appetite stimulant, it’s best to go easy with your intake.
Just because it’s legalized … It’s important to remember that, just as with alcohol, public consumption of marijuana is illegal, as is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. Being swept up into the judicial system or having your driver’s license suspended is not worth puff-puff-passing before driving. Moreover, according to state law, marijuana that you’re taking from the store to home must be kept in a closed container in the trunk or a locked glove compartment.
Do yourself a favor and check out each store in the region, as one will likely fit your personality and wallet a bit better than the others; product differences probably will guide your patronage habits. Also, a wise, longtime cannabis user once intoned to me that consumers shouldn’t solely base purchases on getting the maximum THC content (THC is the psychotropic chemical in marijuana that’s released and broken down into absorbable parts when introduced to heat). To aim solely Alex Premoli makes the first sale to a customer on the opening day of recreational marijuana sales at Theory Wellness in Great Barrington. Photo: Stephanie Zollshan.
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for this tip-top THC percentage, which these days is often around 30 percent, would be akin to only buying grain alcohol as a drink of choice because it’s the strongest; clearly, drinkers opt for their beverage of choice based on taste and customs, in addition to other measures, such as alcohol content, the building blocks of the beverage (rice, potatoes or grapes, for example), whether it’s a pre-, during- or post-meal drink, etc. Different strains will have different benefits for the user. Best of all: There’s no rush. With adult recreational sales now underway across the commonwealth, there’s plenty of time and options to try. In short order, you’ll be the expert, dispensing indispensable dispensary information to all of your peeps, having been one of the first to cross over into the brave, new, marijuana-infused world. Bone appetit! x
Opening day customers line up outside Temescal Wellness. Photo: Stephanie Zollshan.
The locations Here’s the list of Western Massachusetts dispensaries that are open for business. 1) Berkshire Roots 501 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-553-9333 Berkshireroots.com
3) NETA 118 Conz St., Northampton, MA 01060 413-727-8415 Netacare.org
5) Temescal Wellness 10 Callahan Drive, Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-464-8044 Ma.temescalwellness.com
2) INSA 122 Pleasant St., Suite 144, Easthampton, MA 01027 413-206-6339 Myinsa.com
4) Patriot Care 7 Legion Ave., Greenfield, MA 01301 413-203-6131 Patriotcare.org
6) Theory Wellness 394 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 413-650-5527 Theorywellness.org
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The Herbalist • 9
Lighting up on the right s What you need to know about the "legal" part of legalization
Where can I use marijuana products?
Who can use recreational marijuana? In Massachusetts, marijuana use is legal for adults 21 and older. Purchasing marijuana for, or knowingly allowing the consumption of marijuana by, individuals under 21 is prohibited.
You may not consume marijuana products in public places or on property owned by the federal government. Additionally, property owners have the right to restrict or prohibit the use of marijuana products on their property. Landlords may prohibit the smoking of marijuana in a rental, but they may not ban tenants from consuming marijuana through other methods, such as edibles. Employers are free to set their own policies on marijuana use by their employees both on and off company property. You can still be fired for consuming marijuana products if it goes against your employer's rules, even if you consumed those products legally.
How much marijuana can one person possess? You may have up to one ounce of marijuana on your person at one time. Of that amount, no more than five grams may be marijuana concentrate. You may have up to ten ounces in your home, as well as any marijuana produced by plants grown and harvested in the home. If there is more than one ounce of marijuana products in your home at a given time, it must be in a locked, secure location.
side of the law
What are the rules for marijuana on the road? Operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana is illegal, as well as an emphatically bad idea. Catch a bus, summon a ride share, call in the favor that one friend still owes you â€” just stay out of the driver's seat. You may transport marijuana products in your vehicle as long as they are in a closed container and secured outside of the passanger compartment in the glove compartment or trunk.
Can I give marijuana as a gift? You may give up to one ounce of marijuana to another adult as a gift, as long as the gift is not advertised or promoted to the public in any way. You may not give marijuana as a "gift with purchase," or offer marijuana as a reward for buying something. If you want to trade marijuana products for actual money, you'll need to do it the hard way, with the proper licensing and approvals.
How many marijuana plants can I grow? An individual 21 or older can cultivate up to six marijuana plants in their home. A household with more than one adult over 21 may keep no more than 12 marijuana plants at a time. Home marijuana plants must be protected by a lock or security device, and must not be visible from a public place without the help of optical aids, like binoculars.
Still have questions? Learn more at mass-cannabis-control.com/cnb-faqs
Cannabis creations worth trying Diverse offerings from some of the region's top dispensaries
1) Lumens 5 mg, 20 pack, $30. NETA, netacare.org NETAâ€™s Lumens are sour-sugar coated gummies made with marijuana distillate, which leaves little-to-no marijuana taste when consumed. Customers report feeling uplifted and clear-minded while using this product. As the name implies, Lumens turn on more than a few lights; as such, start with low doses and go slowly, because edibles often come with a longer time for onset.
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14 • The Herbalist
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3) Lozenges Temescal Wellness, packs of six, 5 mg, $10 each. Ma.temescalwellness.com The lozenges by Avid Abundance are long-lasting confections that come in raspberry, green apple and watermelon flavors; they’re also vegan and gluten-free. Consumers can expect faster onset than other edibles because of absorption under the tongue. The sellers recommend that users “start low and go slow.” These lozenges come in child-resistant packaging with dosing information.
4) Poet’s Walk 20-24% total cannabinoids, $45/eighth; $85/quarter; $165/half; $300/ounce. Berkshire Roots, berkshireroots.com A Berkshire Roots exclusive created locally by Kingcade Gardens, Poet’s Walk is derived from Kenya Gold (for its large bud structure and energetic, uplifting effect) and Jurassic Thai (for its positive effects on the mind). The growers say it has an old school cannabinoid and terpene profile, while customers report an uplifting, cerebral sativa sensation with no added anxiety issues, like rapid heartbeat (or even munchies, they say).
The Herbalist • 15
THC or CBD? The marijuana industry’s two favorite acronyms, demystified
By Kimberly Kirchner Herbalist contributor To the inexperienced buyer, a dispensary menu can read like a chemistry textbook, full of scientific names and long lists of percentages. Two terms in particular get tossed around as proof of a product’s potency and medicinal value: THC and CBD. Understanding these two substances can help users find exactly what they’re looking for in their cannabis experience.
THC and CBD are cannabinoids, chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body to alter transmissions within the brain, which in turn trigger the mental and physical effects of cannabis. Thanks to slightly different chemical structures, 16 • The Herbalist
however, THC and CBD interact differently with these receptors. THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana, and the one responsible for its psychoactive effects. Found exclusively in the female cannabis plant, it works predominantly in the brain to produce a feeling of euphoria, or “high,” popular with recreational users. It’s also been associated with medicinal uses, showing promise as a treatment for anxiety, chronic pain, loss of appetite and nausea. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second-most concentrated cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, and is popular with medicinal cannabis users for several reasons. First, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a euphoric high like THC. Second, CBD is found
in both marijuana and hemp (cannabis with no more than trace amounts of THC) plants. Hemp and its extracts, while still illegal in many places, are less tightly regulated than marijuana because they aren’t psychoactive. Cannabidiol proponents suggest CBD is responsible for much of cannabis’ impact outside the brain, especially in the immune and nervous systems. In addition to its mitigating effect on pain, anxiety and inflammation, CBD has shown promising results as a treatment for some forms of epilepsy. In 2018, an orally administered CBD solution under the commercial name Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. CBD can have benefits for recreational users, as well, es-
pecially those who are sensitive to THC. Evidence suggests that CBD molecules might get between THC and the body's cannabinoid receptors, effectively muting THC’s effects. Depending on the ratio of the two chemicals, this can result in a milder high and fewer unpleasant side effects, such as increased heart rate, dry mouth and red eyes. To grossly oversimplify, THC is the Phish-blasting, prank-pulling party animal of the cannabis plant; CBD is the yoga enthusiast with a penchant for meditation and clean eating. In more nuanced terms, we’ve been able to roughly define each compound — THC works on the brain, CBD on the body — but future research will give us a better understanding of what they do, why they do it and how they interact with each other. x Spring 2019
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The Herbalist • 17
A beginner's guide to the language of legal cannabis How to talk about marijuana like a grown-up Herbalist staff Airplane, alfalfa, alligator cigarettes, Amsterdam's finest, ashes, asparagus, Aunt Mary â€” and that's just the "A"s. Linguists estimate there are over 1,200 slang terms for cannabis and its consumption in contemporary use, some more dignified than others. Now that marijuana is legal in Massachusetts (plus nine states and the District of Columbia), dealers and consumers can back off on the euphemisms and embrace a simpler, more straight-forward cannabis vocabulary. Read on for an overview of the most common terms in the legal marijuana business.
Access point: An authorized pickup location for medical marijuana. BHO (butane hash oil): A thick, sticky oil with high THC levels, created by mixing plant-form marijuana with a solvent, usually butane. Blunt: Marijuana wrapped in a hollowed-out cigar or cigarillo paper, for a longer burn time than a typical joint. Bong: A large pipe with a water reservoir used to cool and clean marijuana smoke while inhaling. Bowl: The receptacle at the end of a pipe into which marijuana is packed. Bubbler: A handheld pipe with a water component for cooling smoke, as in a bong. Bud: The flower component of the marijuana plant, which is harvested for recreational and medicinal purposes as it contains the highest concentration of active cannabinoids. Budder: A solid cannabis concentrate with a softer
texture than wax. Budtender: A counter attendant at a cannabis shop or dispensary who can advise and make product suggestions, much like a bartender. Cannabinoids: The chemical compounds in cannabis responsible for its many medicinal and recreational properties. The two most prevalent cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD, although at least 85 cannabinoids are known to exist. Cannabis: A genus of flowering plants that includes Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, the species harvested to produce recreational and medical marijuana. CBD (cannabidiol): The second most highly concentrated cannabinoid in marijuana, thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal properties. CO2 oil: A cannabis concentrate produced using Supercritical CO2, a liquid form of carbon dioxide.
The menu at Temescal Wellness in Pittsfield has a list of cannabis products and brief descriptions for the customer. Photo: Ben Garver.
18 â€˘ The Herbalist
Concentrate: Any product created by extracting key oils from marijuana plants. Concentrates can come in varying forms including oils, waxes and resins.
especially large marijuana cigarette. Flower: The hairy, sticky structures on a female cannabis plant that serve as part of the plant’s reproductive system.
Cone: A type of joint with a pronounced conical shape, often using a filter to prevent the contents from falling out.
Fresh frozen: Plant matter cryogenically frozen immediately after harvest.
Crystals: Common term for trichomes.
Ganja: Slang term for the flower of the marijuana plant.
Dab: A slang term for a dose of cannabis concentrate placed on a hot surface and then inhaled.
Glass: Catch-all term for devices including bongs, pipes and bubblers, which are often (but not always) made of glass.
Dank: A slang term for especially high quality, strongly scented cannabis. Diffuser: A tube added to a water pipe to increase airflow, amplifying the cooling and cleaning effect of the water.
Andrea Lawrence measures out an order for a customer at Theory Wellness in Great Barrington. Photo: Stephanie Zollshan.
Dispensary: Any location where cannabis can be legal-
Edible: A food or drink product infused with cannabis extract.
ly purchased, for medicinal or recreational use.
Endo: Cannabis grown indoors, often hydroponically. Also called “indo.” Fatty: Slang term for an
Grinder: A device used to break apart cannabis, making it easier to roll or pack for consumption. Hash/hashish: A powdered and pressed product created by filtering potent trichomes from the rest of the marijuana plant through
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The Herbalist • 19
Samples of marijuana are on display in a glass case at Berkshire Roots in Pittsfield. Photo: Adam Shanks.
a sieve or water extraction method. Hash oil is a similar product made using a chemical solvent or pressure.
purpose of hashish production.
Heirloom: An imported strain of cannabis grown in a new geographic location.
Live resin: An extraction method that processes plants that are harvested within 48 hours of picking, to preserve freshness and flavor.
Hemp: Term referring to a cannabis plant with trace amounts to no THC content, or the fibrous material produced with it. Unlike marijuana, hemp does not have psychoactive properties and is not considered an illegal drug. Hybrid: A plant created by combining two or more different cannabis strains. Hydroponics: A gardening technique that preplaces soil with water and nutrient solutions. Indica: Cannabis indica, one of the two major species of cannabis. Kief: Trichomes that have been separated from the rest of the marijuana flower, often for the 20 â€˘ The Herbalist
Kush: A popular strain of indica originating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Marijuana: A cannabis plant, or its dried flowers, which contain cannabinoids with both medicinal and psychoactive properties. Pot: Slang term for marijuana. Pre-roll: A pre-rolled cannabis cigarette, or joint. Ruderalis: Cannabis ruderalis, a low-THC species of cannabis, grown primarily as a source of CBD.
Spliff: A marijuana cigarette rolled with tobacco. Strain: A particular line of plant with distinct genetic traits. Terpenes: Chemical compounds responsible for the smell and flavor of a particular marijuana flower. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): The most abundant cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, and the one responsible for its psychoactive effects. Tincture: A liquid cannabis extract, often consumed by placing under the tongue with a dropper. Topical: A cannabis-infused
product designed to be applied to and absorbed through the skin, such as a lotion. Trichome: The sticky resin production glands of the cannabis plant, often called crystals, which produce the cannabinoids responsible for marijuanaâ€™s medicinal and psychoactive effects. Vaporizer: A device that heats marijuana-infused oils or flowers to produce cannabinoid-rich vapor, which is then inhaled. Wax: A solid form of cannabis concentrate. Weed: Slang term for marijuana. x
Sativa: Cannabis sativa, the second of the two major species of the cannabis plant used in marijuana production.
Colorado Pot Guide Marijuana Glossary coloradopotguide.com/marijuana-glossary
Shatter: Alternate term for BHO.
Canna Insider Glossary cannainsider.com/reviews/glossary
Leafly Glossary of Cannabis Terms leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/glossary-of-cannabis-terms
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Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older or persons holding a patient registration card. Keep out of the reach of children. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuanause during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influenceof this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN.There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. The impairment effects of edible marijuana may be delayed by two hours ormore. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.
The Herbalist • 21
BERKSHIRE ROOTS HELPING REDEFINE WELLNESS.
Berkshire Roots is proud to not only be the largest grower of cannabis in the Berkshires, but the first medical dispensary to open in Pittsfield, Massachusetts! We are now proud to say that we serve the Recreational market as well! Our passion is serving everyone from all walks of life in Western Massachusetts, whether it be a patient battling chronic pain, or an Adult-Use customer who wants the highest quality cannabis. Our plants – which encompass a diverse range of strains – are grown and harvested in lab grade environments using natural methods at our 26,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility. We are committed to making everyone feel welcome, comfortable and at home in our secure dispensary. Our experienced team of cannabis specialists are ready to assist you with the best possible care! Come on down and see us and join the Berkshire Roots Family!
WWW.BERKSHIREROOTS.COM 22 • The Herbalist