THE ENLIGHTENED VOICE
#7 | NOV. 2020
CAL I F O R N I A
THE HARVEST ISSUE FREE /CALIFORNIALEAF.COM
Honeydew Farms | Humboldt INDEPENDENT CANNABIS JOURNALISM SINCE 2010
NG R O W
CAL I F O R N I A
7 EDITOR NOTE 8 NATIONAL NEWS 9 LOCAL NEWS 10 PERSPECTIVE 11 GLASS ART 12 BUDTENDER Q&A 14 EQUITY ENTREPRENEUR 16 STONER OWNER 18 WOMEN IN WEED 20 SONOMA HILLS FARM 22 HIGHLY LIKELY 24 STRAIN OF THE MONTH 26 FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN 28 HONEYDEW FARMS 32 SWAMI SELECT 36 FLOWERDAZE FARM 40 TANNINS & TERPENES 41 EDIBLE OF THE MONTH 42 CONCENTRATE OF THE MONTH 43 TOPICAL OF THE MONTH 44 CANNTHROPOLOGY 46 STONEY BALONEY ISSUU.COM/NWLEAF
18 WOMEN IN WEED
the harvest issue special looks at three stunning outdoor cannabis farms, including flowerdaze farm in trinity county, ca.
32 SWAMI SELECT THE LEAF GETS SPIRITUAL IN MENDOCINO
THE HARVEST ISSUE
STORY by TOM BOWERS @P ROPAGATECONSU LTANTS | PHOTO by KARLA AVILA
WORLD OF CANNABIS MUSEUM
TINA GORDON | MOON MADE FARMS
44 CANNTHROPOLOGY NATIONAL ORG. FOR MARIJUANA REFORM
the harvest issue
california leaf’s tom bowers on how wildfires tore through some of the regions’ biggest cannabis growing areas, at the peak of harvest.
PHOTO by ROGANJA/MASSIVE SEEDS @MASSIVESEEDS_
E S TA B L I S H E D 2 0 1 0
T H E E N L I G H T E N E D VO I C E
N O RT H W E S T L E A F / O R EG O N L E A F / A L AS KA L E A F / M A RY L A N D L E A F / CA L I F O R N I A L E A F / N O RT H E AS T L E A F
WES A B O U T T H E C OV E R “Honeydew Farms co-owner Miranda Moore produces elite level work in all areas of her life – growing Cannabis, branding and marketing for her business, raising a family and photography. Moore captured this incredible shot of one of their full season plots at sunset, giving you an excellent sense of what the harvest season vibe is like at their incredible Mattole Valley estate. This gorgeous perspective shows the development in infrastructure as the team steadily converts this garden from individual pots to beds.” -Nate Williams @natew415
PHOTO by MIRANDA MOORE
WES ABNEY | FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
KRISTEN ANGELO, PHOTOGRAPHY LINDA ANH, REVIEWS KARLA AVILA, PHOTOGRAPHY BOBBY BLACK, FEATURES JOSHUA BOULET, ILLUSTRATION MATTHEW BRIGHTMAN, PHOTOGRAPHY TOM BOWERS, FEATURES SKYE CABRERA, REVIEWS EARLY, PRODUCTION MAX EARLY, GLASS ART STEVE ELLIOTT, NATIONAL NEWS ALEXANDER FOSCHI, PHOTOGRAPHY AMY KULMER, PHOTOGRAPHY EVAN MOORE, PHOTOGRAPHY MIRANDA MOORE, PHOTOGRAPHY MIKE RICKER, FEATURES MEGHAN RIDLEY, EDITING MIKE ROSATI, PHOTOGRAPHY ZACK RUSKIN, FEATURES NATE WILLIAMS, FEATURES
STATE DIRECTOR NATE WILLIAMS | AD SALES
CREATIVE DIRECTOR DANIEL BERMAN | VISUALS & DESIGN
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Editor’s Note Thanks for picking up The Harvest Issue of the Leaf! We’ve been publishing our harvest issues for many years now and it continues to be one of my favorites. There is something truly special about outdoor Cannabis – and the people who put their livelihoods or medicinal needs on the line to grow a plant for six or more months – with no guarantee of success. Welcome to farming! On top of the sacrifices and risks they face, they also face stigma about the quality of the product they have worked so hard to create and nurture. But let me tell you this: Cannabis is a plant. And the natural expression of terpenes and flavors that the plant produces when exposed to sunlight can never be replicated in an indoor environment. I encourage all of our readers to flip through our scenic harvest special, read the stories of true farm life and enjoy this magazine that we worked so hard on. But I also challenge you to purchase sungrown Cannabis and experience the plant in a natural form. Believe me when I say that while it may look different than indoor flower, it’s no less beautiful – and much more tasty than the mid-grade indoor Cannabis flooding the market.
WHAT IMPACT DO WE WANT OUR FAVORITE PLANT TO HAVE?
On a sustainability note, our planet, societies and industries are all at a turning point, with our futures decided by us as enlightened consumers. Do we want synthetic, harmful products for our bodies? Do we want hothouse-grown and pesticide-sprayed vegetables or weed? My vote goes to organic fruits and veggies for our families, and an agricultural system that gives back to the Earth. So, what impact do we want our favorite plant to have on our planet? Society votes and decides its future with dollars, and I hope that everyone reading this gives outdoor Cannabis a try. It supports both the farmer and the environment. Not to mention, both your head and your heart will thank you for it! As always, thank you for reading – and please enjoy our Harvest Issue while sampling the bounty of this year’s crop!
-Wes Abney NOV.2020
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U.S. AIR FORCE WILL NOT CHANGE CANNABIS STANCE
he U.S. Air Force has no plans to change its policies regarding marijuana use by airmen, reported Air Force Magazine on October 16. Any change, in fact, would require an act of Congress. Chief Master Sergeant JoAnne S. Bass’ office released a statement that “although some state and local laws have legalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, it is still prohibited for use by military members.” “At this time, the Air Force does not plan to reexamine this policy,” USAF spokesperson Ann Stefanek said.
FEDS SEIZE MORE THAN A TON OF CANNABIS
.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Buffalo in New York seized more than a ton of marijuana hidden in a commercial shipment on October 15. Officers assigned to the Peace Bridge inspected a shipment of 20 pallets and discovered 2,410 pounds of Cannabis packaged in 2,145 vacuum-sealed pouches, according to a CBP news release. The seizure is being investigated by Homeland Security, according to CBP. The Buffalo Field Office covers 16 ports of entry in New York State, and says it has seized more than 42,000 pounds of marijuana between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020.
ILLINOIS RECREATIONAL SALES BREAK RECORDS
MEXICAN SENATE TO VOTE ON LEGALIZATION
llinois’ adult-use Cannabis industry continues to surge, even as many other businesses struggle to survive during the pandemic. Statewide marijuana sales surpassed $67.6 million in September, reports CBS Chicago. Adult-use Cannabis sales in August climbed nearly 5.8 percent over July, when the state had nearly $64 million in sales, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Sales of recreational weed have increased each month since February, which saw a slight drop in sales from January, the first month of legal weed in Illinois.
exico’s Senate will likely vote on a bill to legalize Cannabis sometime in October, according to the chamber’s majority leader, reports Marijuana Moment. Mexico’s Supreme Court in April granted a second deadline extension to give legislators more time to enact the policy change, after the court in 2018 declared marijuana prohibition unconstitutional. If the Senate passes the legalization bill, it will still have to go before the other house of the Mexican Congress, the Chamber of Deputies. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in August voiced support for the bill.
LONG LINES AS MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES OPEN IN MISSOURI
he first licensed medical Cannabis dispensaries opened in Missouri in mid-October and they received an enthusiastic reception from patients, with long lines forming. The shops are opening almost two years after Missouri voters approved a state constitutional amendment to allow the sale of medical marijuana, reports The Washington Post. PRICES ARE INITIALLY HIGH, Patients need a doctor’s approval and a state medical marijuana card to BECAUSE MISSOURI’S SUPPLY OF CANNABIS IS LIMITED. buy Cannabis at a dispensary. Prices are initially high, because Missouri’s supply of Cannabis is limited. N’Bliss, a dispensary with outlets in Ellisville and Manchester, was charging a whopping $125 an eighth for marijuana when it opened October 17. The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services expects most of the state’s 192 licensed dispensaries to open by year’s end.
medical marijuana dispensaries are operated by the Cannabis chain CuraLeaf in Florida.
patients in Pennsylvania must choose between going to jail or giving up their medical Cannabis.
medical marijuana dispensaries have been approved to open in Missouri by the end of 2020.
CHALLENGE TO WASHINGTON STATE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT RETURNED TO STATE COURT
federal judge on October 5 sent a legal challenge to the state’s residency requirement for Cannabis licensing back to state court, reports Marijuana Business Daily. U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle wrote in his order that while he does have jurisdiction, case law indicates federal courts should abstain until questions involving state law have been resolved. Idaho businessman Todd Brinkmeyer, the plaintiff, claims that Washington’s residency requirement violates the U.S. and Washington state constitutions, and that state regulators got a bit over their skis in exerting their rule-making authority. The case sparked tension between the Washington CannaBusiness Association and the state AG after Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office filed a brief in the federal THE CASE SPARKED court case claiming “no protections exist for a TENSION BETWEEN THE WASHINGTON federally illegal marijuana activity.” CANNABUSINESS That prompted a sharply worded letter from ASSOCIATION AND WACA Executive Director Vicki Christopherson. THE STATE AG “Your position that our state’s Cannabis industry does not enjoy the same protections as every other lawful Washington business undermines the will of state voters who overwhelmingly approved the creation of a legal marketplace in 2012.”
STATES INCLUDING N.J., ARIZONA, SOUTH DAKOTA AND MONTANA HAVE LEGALIZATION ON BALLOT
esides New Jersey’s initiative, which is expected to pass, three other states – Arizona, South Dakota and Montana – also have adult-use initiatives on their November ballots. Mississippians will vote on a bill allowing medical Cannabis sales. If all measures pass, medical Cannabis will be legal in 38 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, and adult-use will be legal in 14 of those plus D.C. In Arizona, a measure similar to this year’s Proposition 205 narrowly failed in 2016. This year’s measure has 46 percent support, with 34 percent opposed and about 20 percent undecided, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today Network poll. Montana’s I-190 and South Dakota’s Constitutional Amendment A would legalize marijuana possession and use for adults 21 and older. Alongside tax revenue and job creation, social justice is another potent argument for legalization on both the state and federal levels. “The war on drugs has historically and continues to disproportionately target communities of color,” said David Abernathy, Vice President of research and consulting for Arcview Group, based in Oakland.
6,400 $250k $431m transactions were recorded by Maine’s eight adult-use shops in the first week of recreational sales.
worth of Cannabis was sold by Maine’s eight adult-use shops on opening weekend in October.
of Cannabis has been sold in Illinois since legalization was first enacted less than a year ago in January 2020.
STORIES by STEVE ELLIOTT, AUTHOR OF THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF MARIJUANA
New regulations for California Cannabis In the past two months, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a suite of new bills that will make significant adjustments and/or amendments to California’s existing Cannabis regulations, all of which are considered favorable to the industry. Here’s a quick summary of the changes.
Edibles ( AB-1458) Under the pre-existing law, edibles are not permitted to exceed 10mg of THC per serving. This amendment allows for variance of plus-or-minus 12 percent (1.2mg) until the end of 2021, and then 10 percent (1mg) in 2022 and beyond. This will provide some welcome wiggle room for edible manufacturers.
Under the pre-existing law, only licensed businesses were permitted to submit Cannabis samples to labs for testing; public agencies (such as law enforcement, courts and regulatory bodies) were barred from doing so. This amendment corrects that omission by allowing said agencies legal access to testing services, and specifying that state-submitted samples do not fall under the jurisdiction of commercial Cannabis regulations.
Banking (AB-1525) This bill does two important things: First, it states clearly that financial service companies (banks, accounting firms, security services, etc.) that do business with licensed Cannabis companies can’t be charged with any crimes for doing so. Second, it largely eliminates the hurdles entailed in establishing those relationships by allowing state authorities to share private information regarding a Cannabis business’ licensing, applications, and other legal/financial information with said institutions when so requested by the licensee, thus streamlining their access to these services.
Taxes (AB-1872) Under pre-existing law, Cannabis cultivation and excise taxes are typically adjusted for inflation on January 1 of each year. This amendment prohibits state agencies from raising those taxes until July 1 of next year. This tax freeze is meant to alleviate the heavy tax burden felt by legal Cannabis businesses during the COVID crisis, though many in the industry feel it doesn’t go far enough.
This bill establishes a new Cannabis appellation system, similar to the one used by winemakers. Under this new code, Cannabis producers will be able to brand and market products based on a designated county or city of origin in which it is grown (like “Champagne” or “Bordeaux” do now). Any producers not based in that region will be legally prohibited from using that appellation. But the law goes beyond mere branding and marketing – it also recognizes the specific combination of soil, sun, topography and climate that’s unique to that region, known as its terroir. In order for a Cannabis product to qualify for the appellation certification, 100% of that product must be produced in the designated region and the Cannabis must be grown outdoors without the aid of any artificial light or structures. So what does this mean for the consumer? It means that when you walk into a dispensary and pick up a jar of nugs that says it’s sungrown in Humboldt, you’ll know that it’s legit and not just some marketing gimmick.
alifornia is blazing...but not in a good way. As this issue goes to press,
there are at least 26 major wildfires active across California, most notably the August Complex Fire – the largest in state history. It has burned over a million acres across seven counties, including Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt – the three counties that comprise the revered Emerald Triangle. Hundreds of licensed Cannabis growers in these areas have been forced to evacuate, but hundreds more have refused to leave for fear of losing their crops to fire or thieves; as most farms were mere days or weeks from harvest, potentially producing product THE REGIONS MOST worth half a million SUSCEPTIBLE TO dollars each or WILDFIRES ARE more, it isn’t hard IRONICALLY ALSO to understand why. THOSE BEST SUITED FOR Wildfires hit GROWING CANNABIS. Cannabis farmers especially hard for two reasons: First, though Cannabis farms may be fully compliant under state law, they’re still prohibited federally and therefore can’t be legally insured – meaning that farmers can lose their homes and livelihoods with no way to recoup the losses. And even those outdoor farms that don’t burn still have to deal with the contamination of their crops by smoke and ash. In addition, the regions most susceptible to wildfires are ironically also those best suited for growing Cannabis. The same Mediterranean climate that provides perfect conditions for growing good wine grapes are also ideal for growing the most flavorful, potent Cannabis. Not to mention that remote, wooded areas are historically the least likely to be discovered by law enforcement and/or thieves. Sadly, for many farmers who have grown marijuana here for generations, this is the terrifying new normal they face thanks to climate change.
STORIES by BOBBY BLACK @BOBBYBLACK420 for CALIFORNIA LEAF
Gov. Newsom is promising a more extensive overhaul and streamlining of the state’s Cannabis regulation system sometime next year, so stay tuned.
Wildfire Worries C
Gratitude is being thankful for life’s challenges, as it is overcoming them that makes the human experience so rewarding.
Shit’s fucked up. We all know it. Please pardon my English. But don’t stop reading, because this is where we make it all better!
Now, it is not necessary to laundry list the details of why shit is fucked up – the current affairs to which this statement refers are glaringly obvious. And the whole mess is depressing. Which creates the greatest paradox in human history: Although we have more conveniences and luxury time than ever before, it feels like there is less to be positive about. Our oceans are choking, our air is gaining color, and we are publicly prevented from expressing ourselves through smiles and hugs. I know, it’s a lot. Even my laptop has a virus.
So, why is this happening? Well, I’m not a licensed therapist (just a professional stoner), but it is my opinion that we have become hostages of modern technology. And it’s happened at such an accelerated rate that there hasn’t been time to acclimate psychologically, because as this drivethru culture offers instant access to everything, we’re struggling to fully understand and appreciate it. We have become dangerously accustomed to easy food, shelter and companionship without acknowledging the cost of resources that have allowed us this proliferation. Meanwhile, the ticking time bomb is down to 007 with no James Bond to disengage. For thousands of years when the tummy rumbled, you had to work to fill it. Now, just about every basic human need is handled with one point of your finger, creating a surplus of idle time. And that can lead to boredom, which can lead to worrying about losing what you already have and the possibility of having to go without. And that can escalate anxiety and a lack of satisfaction. But here’s the deal: Shit can change. In fact, it will change. Because that’s all anything does, every moment of every day. This is universal law. And if you’ve paid attention, you know there’s always a calm before and after a storm until the next storm, ad infinitum. You aren’t going to change the course of history—let’s be real. And starting a revolution from your couch takes an awful lot of time and effort ,and you’re not in the mood anyway. So, instead of changing THE world, change YOUR world. Which will change THE world for YOU. And that’s all that really matters. The revolution starts in your head. It’s a personal revolution, a lifestyle change. And this doesn’t necessarily mean adopting a new diet per se, it means
reorganizing your mindset. It’s about approaching ideas differently, flipping the script, incorporating optimism for pessimism and making it a practice. This is the philosophy. No matter what happens to you, the way you deal with anything is completely your choice. Change your perception and you change the outcome. Here’s the drill: You begin your day annoyed by the rudeness of your alarm. Begrudgingly, you drag the body from the warm sheets with a full bladder. But before the garage door eyelids fully lift, you unfairly stub the big toe on the foot of the dresser, sending a shockwave through the system. There are two ways to react: positively or negatively. You either say to yourself, “Damn, what a lousy way to start the day. This hurts and bad things are always happening to me.” Or you take the position of, “Boy, did that wake me up. My toe needed a good crack and now that I’ve felt pain, I will have a deeper appreciation for pleasure. This is gonna be a great day!” The point is that your perception is all that matters. Whichever angle you take does not change the event, only the experience you gain from it. You want positive experiences, so change your acceptance of what is. There is no un-stubbing the toe and life is actually quite fair. Not easy, but fair. Transform anger into gratitude, because gratitude is transformative. It is that simple. Gratitude is more imperative than ever right now. And in this time of giving thanks, remember that giving means getting. Reasonably doing your best in every situation brings light into your heart. Which stretches the heart. Take a deep breath right now, slowly exhale and feel the tightness of the body’s most vital muscle melt away the claustrophobia, while the expansion of the chest brings the relief of open space. You are inviting quenching sustenance into your life and the subtle intoxication of positivity can become addictive. It begins with you, one moment at a time, one idea at a time, one brick at a time until you have a bridge built that is indefatigable. The external tempest can be silenced. Make the investment. Become acutely aware of life — the wind coalescing with the leaves, a child’s giggle, the patter of a dog’s wagging tail, silence. And recognize your place within it, your importance. Why are you important? Because you emanate gratitude. You are becoming part of the solution. Gratitude is being thankful for life’s challenges, as it is overcoming them that makes the human experience so rewarding. Gratitude is infectious. Like a virus.
RAINBOW MUSHROOM SHERLOCK
Art by DEREK ALLISON & DYLAN KOSZEGI @dekalglass @diligent_glass
Where did you two draw inspiration from to create this piece?
Our inspiration for this piece stems from the love of Earth and life itself. Vivid color refraction is how we perceive life as we know it. Mushrooms and mycology are vital to our ecosystems and insanely beneficial for the human mind, in many ways!
What is the most fun part about collaborating? Being able to
mesh our styles together perfectly in the areas we excel the most. Each day is a surprise as to where our imaginations will go. There is never a dull moment in the studio!
What is your connection to mushrooms? All of our connections
to mushrooms as a whole go very deep. From a young age, we were both blessed to be born in Michigan into some of the best mushroom foraging lands in the country. Dylan would spend much of his free time in nature foraging as a kid, which catalyzed a passion for mycology and nature â€“ while Derek just loves their shape and abundance of color!
STORY by MAX EARLY @LIFTED_STARDUST/LEAF NATION | PHOTOS by THE ARTISTS
W H O ’ S Y O U R FAV O R I T E B U D T E N D E R ? T E L L U S W H Y ! E M A I L N O M I N A T I O N S T O N A T E @ C A L I F O R N I A L E A F . C O M
LUCY TRAN CALIFORNIA LEAF
Budtender of the Month TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. Right now, I’m really passionate about cultivation and the extraction process, and very interested in learning how to do rosin and hash. I know I want to be in the industry long term, but still exploring – trying to find the best place for me, honestly. DO YOU FEEL LIKE BUDTENDING IS A GREAT INTRODUCTION TO THE BUSINESS? I do, because I mainly wanted to share my knowledge to educate people. Budtending is important because the older crowd is often shy about Cannabis and it’s really nice that we have a great environment that caters to them.
IT APPEARS TO ME THAT ELEMENTAL WELLNESS CENTER PUTS EXTREME FOCUS ON EDUCATION. DO YOU FEEL THAT’S ACCURATE? Yes, indeed. I’m the consulting supervisor here and we’re not like other dispensaries where the culture is about grabbing something quickly before heading out. We take pride in delivering valuable face time with our customers, because it’s important to take time with people who want to explore the Cannabis world. All “WE’RE NOT our consultants are really good about LIKE OTHER educating people, so they feel good about DISPENSARIES the products they leave with and know how to use them. Especially with edibles. WHERE THE
WHAT ARE SOME ABOUT GRABBING IMPROVEMENTS THAT THE SOMETHING STATE CAN MAKE TO THE QUICKLY BEFORE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN YOUR HEADING OUT.” OPINION? The taxes. Being in the Silicon Valley, we have some of the highest taxes in the country and most of the members who come in are surprised about how high they are. It would be nice if we could figure a way to make it more fair for everyone.
Elemental Wellness Center 985 Timothy Dr, San Jose | (408) 433-3344 | elementalwellnesscenter.com Lucy is part of the first generation from her Vietnamese family born and raised in San Jose. Most of her days consist of tending to her garden and spending time with her girlfriend, cats and dog, who are her world outside of weed. She also enjoys spending time in nature, hiking and sight-seeing while enjoying Cannabis. Follow her @LucyKLT
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE OF ELEMENTAL WELLNESS? I love growing my own Cannabis plants. I started growing in my closet, but have since fallen in love with the aspect of growing and learning about it – I am working on perfecting my outdoor abilities. DO YOU WATCH TELEVISION? Yes. I watch a lot of reality TV
WHAT REALITY SHOW WOULD YOU FIT INTO? There should be a show called The Dispensary. It would be cool if there was one that played off work life and how much fun it is. WHAT WOULD YOUR PERSONA BE ON THE SHOW? The joker. I always like to play practical jokes on people, like putting stickers under their mouse.
INTERVIEW by MIKE RICKER @RICKERDJ/CALIFORNIA LEAF | PHOTO by MIKE ROSATI @ROSATIPHOTOS
C A L I FOR N IA
NOW HIRING SALESPEOPLE Sant a Rosa San Francisco E m e r a l d Tr i a n g l e Central Coast TO APPLY EMAIL EARLY@LEAFNATIONMD.COM CALIFORNIALEAF.COM | @CALIFORNIALEAFMAG | #CALIFORNIALEAF
equity entrepreneur caliFornialeaf.COM
Please welcome our new monthly Equity Entrepreneur feature, where we highlight business operators and thought leaders who seek to build this industry in a way that sheds the prejudices of the past while reflecting on the rich diversity of the plant and the people who use it. Enjoy!
Padre Mu Distribution Manager
amon Garcia doesn’t wait for change. He makes it. When California appeared poised to legalize adult-use sales in 2016, Garcia partnered with fellow advocate Nina Parks to establish a framework for Cannabis equity in the state. “It was out of necessity more than anything else,” he clarified. “On the state level, nobody else was talking about equity. It was me and Nina in a room with $100-an-hour lawyers and $100,000 consultants, trying to represent for our communities.” Representing for the community is a core tenet of Garcia’s work, which also includes overseeing operations for his Oakland-based Cannabis distribution and delivery company, Padre Mu. If the first major hurdle was creating an equity program out of whole cloth, Garcia believes the next step is to bring individual equity operators together into a local ecosystem. Garcia credits his multiethnic background as well as his father – who was both a cultivator and an activist – with guiding his efforts around shaping policy and his own business interests within the industry. “In my household, this plant was taught to me as being part of our natural medicines and a piece of our overall health,” he said. “From the age of six or seven, I remember sleeping in the garden to make sure that the deer didn’t eat the plants. Eventually, when I was fresh out of high school, I started growing it myself. This plant has just always been around me throughout my life.” Following his father’s death in 2013, Garcia began to get more heavily involved in the politics of Cannabis activism.
“We want to teach more folks how to take this fight on within their own communities, because I’ve got a feeling that this model of inclusivity and equity is something that can go beyond Cannabis.” NOV. 2020
“I understood the impact of the War on Drugs in our community and how they used this plan to destroy our community,” he explained. “I knew that, basically, America being America and how corporate structures have taken off, that they were going to make this into a commodity and that the sacrifices – the damage done to our communities in the name of this plant – were going to be forgotten.” One long-term result of his efforts: being able to get his mother’s property in Mendocino licensed. He also helped license his family’s farm and gardens in Nevada County into Sanctuary Farms, who have in turn established a partnership with a local equity company to provide distribution. Creating such systems, in which equity operators can link together in ways that benefit both the product and the bottom line, is now one of Garcia’s major focal points. And as always, he’s got the goods to back it up in the form of a new program he’s about to launch: an equity trade certification process. “We’ve created a certification process that identifies equity products for retailers, manufacturers and consumers,” Garcia shared. “So that they’re able to show support with their dollar.” The certification concept, a project of San Francisco’s Original Equity Group (OEG), hopes to focus the spotlight on local equity
brands. The approach involves branding qualified products with an equity seal to help customers and retailers make them easier to spot. While the process will initially be limited to San Francisco, Garcia suggests interested parties keep an ear out for an announcement on expanding things across the state and beyond. In addition to the heightened exposure built into OEG’s equity trade certification process, Garcia also hopes the concept kicks off an avalanche that sees consumers choosing to spend their dollars with local, equity-owned companies, who in turn support each other as well. And that doesn’t just go for Cannabis. “I still think there’s so much more that has to be done,” Garcia said, “and so we will continue to try to be a voice for that. More than anything, we’re trying to get information out and to empower leadership. We want to teach more folks how to take this fight on within their own communities, because I’ve got a feeling that this model of inclusivity and equity is something that can go beyond Cannabis. We can show corporate America how to be responsible for reinvesting in the communities that they take from, and how that can benefit their bottom line as opposed to everything just being about money. I’m hoping that Cannabis will be the example that creates some kind of broader change.” PA D R E M U .CO M | @ PA D R E M U
INTERVIEW by ZACK RUSKIN @ZACKRUSKIN for CALIFORNIA LEAF | PHOTO by MIKE ROSATI @ROSATIPHOTOS
stoner owner caliFornialeaf.COM
San Francisco’s First Equity Owned Manufacturer and Distributor
FROM A SEED…
Ali Jamalian is one of the most interesting characters I’ve met in my years in legal Cannabis. He is what one might call a unicorn – one of the rare individuals with the right insight, experience, connections, dedication, drive and good fortune to have what it takes to bring a Cannabis business from illicit to competing in today’s cutthroat legal market. The truth is the nascent legal industry is hampered by ill-informed legislation, a thriving black market, exorbitant taxes, constantly shifting regulations and limited consumer education. As a result, by and large California has two types of Cannabis companies forming in their adult-use market: On one end of the spectrum, you have companies equipped with millions in VC backing and a high powered marketing firm, pushing highly manicured social media and ostentatious packaging housing mostly mid-grade product. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the tried and true OGs of the industry who have persevered through the many challenges of unregulated and medical Cannabis, pioneering their way to business ownership in this newly forming industry. Jamalian sits squarely on the latter end of the spectrum with over 20 years of experience cultivating the plant and distributing it to those in need. A native of Germany, Jamalian discovered Cannabis in high school after a buddy of his first tried it in Amsterdam, returning home to tell all his friends how they needed to experience it for themselves. He took his first hit from a gravity bong – some super potent hash mixed with tobacco – and slept like a baby that night. This was a game changer for Jamalian, who immediately identified the plant as medicine. Ever since he was a young child, he’d suffered from insomnia and night terrors and the relief he found through the plant would become the foundation for his love affair with Cannabis. GROWS A PLANT…
Living close to the Dutch/German border, Jamalian was able to take the train into Holland and buy high quality legal weed. “I quickly found a love for Sensi Skunk #5, Jack, White Widow, the standard Dutch stuff,” he recalls. “So much so that last year I purchased tons of different Sensi Seeds and wasted four months and two runs on trying to relive that nostalgia.”
ALI JAMALIAN On any given day, Ali Jamalian can be found rolling up a joint of some of his fine indoor grown flowers and discussing business over the phone at Sunset Connect’s newly dialed in facilities only a few blocks away from Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. We sat down with this SF OG to learn more about his brand, his vision and his story.
Jamalian moved to the United States in 1997 to attend college at the University of San Francisco and on the very first day of his freshman year, he met his best friends who would turn out to be the people that would teach him to grow Cannabis. He had never been in close proximity to a cultivator before and certainly had never had the opportunity to work with one directly. He began pushing the weight his friends were growing and slowly acquired the knowledge to grow the plant himself. By 1999, he had learned enough from his friends to begin experimenting with his own cultivation. That same year, he was busted for possession and the federal government attempted to deport him back to Germany. He had the good fortune of being able to hire a competent lawyer who was able to keep him in the United States, but he was still incarcerated and eventually paroled. The experience left him traumatized and he took a step back from his involvement with the plant and returned to Germany in 2004, where he founded an advertising agency with high school friends of his. THAT BEARS FRUIT…
In 2010, Jamalian returned to San Francisco after realizing how much he missed working with Cannabis and by 2011, started growing professionally. With renewed vigor, he went to work growing and selling his high grade indoor buds throughout the city. One neighborhood in particular, however, Jamalian would end up forming a unique relationship with: the gorgeous and distinctly SF Sunset District. This neighborhood is San Francisco’s single largest residential area and is home to more than 85,000 people. It is also the area where Jamalian had the highest concentration of both production and consumption of his product. By 2011, he had leveled up and began growing professionally, turning his focus fully to cultivation. Despite having 20+ years of experience, “I am still learning how to grow every day,” he says. As the legal market was coming to fruition in the late 2010s, Jamalian saw the writing on the wall and began turning wheels to go legit. After many months of planning, permitting, building out and applications, Jamalian was rewarded with a state certified license to conduct Cannabis business July of this
JAMALIAN’S LIBRARY OF EXOTIC GENETICS READS SOMETHING LIKE A DESSERT MENU: LAVA DAWG, STRAWPICANNA, JUNGLE CAKE AND DOSI-PIE TO NAME A FEW.
year. His brand Sunset Connect now holds three of San Francisco’s 11 equity operator licenses and is beginning to roll out products to retailers throughout the city. Sunset Connect’s current line of products includes A-grade, exotic strain whole flower, all bud prerolls and solventless hash infused prerolls, a fast-acting and powerful topical gel, and tasty sour gummy candies. Jamalian’s library of exotic genetics reads something like a dessert menu: Lava Dawg, Strawpicanna, Jungle Cake and Dosi-Pie to name a few. Just last month, Sunset Connect made its first drops into select legal dispensaries in San Francisco, including Mission Cannabis Club, Barbary Coast and BASA. THE NEW WAVE
It’s well known that it’s hard to make it in San Francisco these days, but it’s even tougher in the world of weed. Per Jamalian, the city has only really been looking at solving issues for retailers. “To me, it’s really about supply chain. We need San Francisco-made product. We’re known for the best weed and we’re not growing enough.” Although Jamalian himself is a social equity operator, during our interview he pointed out that equity in Cannabis should not just be about race, but should also be about tenure – those who have paved the way should be given a lower barrier of entry into the legal market, just like those disproportionately affected by the drug war. Equity status or not, dedication to the plant and hard work has propelled Jamalian to become San Francisco’s first equity operator licensed for manufacturing and distribution. “To me it’s never about hours, I love my work,” he explains. “Usually I’ve moved a few packs before I head to work in the morning.” With over two decades of building relationships and connections in and around the Cannabis community in San Francisco and beyond, Jamalian plans to leverage these assets in the form of collaboration. With a new state-of-the-art cultivation facility applied for and coming online soon, we’re genuinely excited to see what new cultivars, products and partnerships Sunset Connect rolls out over the coming months. A Stoner Owner is a Cannabis business owner who has a relationship with the plant. We want to buy and smoke Cannabis from companies that care about their products, employees and the plant. You wouldn’t buy food from a restaurant where the cooks don’t eat in the kitchen, so why buy corporate weed grown by a company only concerned with profits? Stoner Owner approval means a company cares, and we love weed grown with care. Look for the Stoner Owner stamp when purchasing fine Cannabis, and let’s retake our culture and reshape a stigma by honoring those who grow, process and sell the best Cannabis possible.
INTERVIEW by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415/CALIFORNIA LEAF | PHOTOS by ALEXANDER FOSCHI
women in weed
TINA GORDON MOON MADE FARMS FOUN DE R | HE AD CULTIVATO R
These days, Tina Gordon listens mostly to plants. It’s a notable departure from her past in the Bay Area music scene, where she played in bands and made documentaries. In fact, it was one such film – focused on trailblazing queer musician Joani Hannan – that led Gordon to Southern Humboldt, where Hannan owned a 40-acre property (including a Cannabis grow, naturally). After the artist fell ill in 2007, Gordon moved to the area and eventually began running things herself. Once the medical-only Serendipity Collective, today Moon Made Farms grows high quality outdoor craft Cannabis whose character is shaped by light both sun and lunar. Taking a pause from a busy harvest season, Gordon spoke with me about appellations, evacuating from a wildfire in August, and how her farm captures moonlight in a jar.
WHEN SOMEONE OPENS A JAR OF MOON MADE FARMS’ FLOWER, WHAT SHOULD THEY EXPECT?
What they’re getting is the essence of the place. They’re getting an essence of everything that is the synthesis of this place. That means being 33 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It means being 2,200 feet in elevation. It means being south-facing. It means cool nights and warm days. It means being in an oak grove. It’s rainwater. It’s fresh air. It’s inputs from the land. The first thing I do when I get up every morning is observe what’s happening on the land and what the land is doing. Those observations have helped to inform how we grow this plant. It’s really a matter of the plant telling us how it wants to be grown. IT SOUNDS LIKE CALIFORNIA IS MOVING AHEAD WITH A PROGRAM TO DESIGNATE CANNABIS APPELLATIONS STATEWIDE. ARE YOU EXCITED?
I think it’s the most important thing that could be happening right now. What terroir means is land – to be in native soil, open air, full-sun – to me, that’s what appellation of origin means. It’s bringing someone back to a place and it’s the essence of that place and what makes it special. The reason I believe that this is so critical, right now, is because this plant is about to reach more people, globally, than it ever has in history. As that’s happening, we have a responsibility to inform people about what it is they ingest, because this is an incredibly powerful plant. This is arguably the most powerful plant on the planet. THIS SUMMER, YOU WERE FORCED TO EVACUATE YOUR PROPERTY FOR EIGHT DAYS AS PART OF THE AUGUST COMPLEX FIRE. WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE? It was deep. It was terrifying. When
we were evacuated, as I was walking out of here, the only thing I cared about was saying goodbye to the plants and bringing the genetics with me. We can always rebuild. It’s about keeping the living things safe. When we returned from evacuation, I was anticipating seeing plants in a compromised state because they couldn’t go anywhere. There they are, in the middle of this wildfire that’s tearing through California, in the smoke and receiving ash. But when we got back, I was totally blown away by the health of these plants and the expressions I was seeing. Two days after we returned, we were harvesting some of the most beautiful flower – if not the most beautiful flower – that we’ve ever harvested off the farm. ARE YOU SPEAKING OF ONE STRAIN IN PARTICULAR? That
was Cherry Moon. The genetics are from Biovortex. The smell is sweet and soothing. It sizzles too, like it’s electric. It has just the most gorgeous nose. Jesse Dodd from Biovortex is someone I really enjoy working with because he gets it. He’s like the best matchmaker. He just knows where his genetics are supposed to be. He chose Cherry Moon for Moon Made Farms.
YOU CELEBRATE BIODIVERSITY IN YOUR APPROACH TO CULTIVATION. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE INVEST MORE IN DIVERSITY AS WELL?
I think my philosophy in general is that a diverse culture is a healthy culture. I would love to see more diversity in Cannabis cultivation and in Cannabis at-large. In terms of ownership, it’s pretty homogenous. I would love to see more women and people of color in ownership positions because I think it’s good for the entire industry, and for the wellbeing of moving this forward. I think that diverse voices and participation are incredibly important, so I do feel the need to represent. I would also love to encourage more women to dig into cultivation and to collaborate. It’s incredibly challenging work, which is why I think collaboration across the spectrum of people and personalities is the healthiest model. Also, this is the most powerful plant on the planet, and it expresses in the female form. I think it’s important that we acknowledge the feminine in this plant in how it is cultivated. This is why the moon is so important – with it being the symbol of femininity, whereas the sun is the symbol of masculinity. But the moon carries the night cycle through, and it’s the subtleties of what happens night-to-night, and absorbing those subtleties, that make this plant special.
“I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE WOMEN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR IN OWNERSHIP POSITIONS BECAUSE I THINK IT’S GOOD FOR THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY, AND FOR THE WELL-BEING OF MOVING THIS FORWARD.”
HAVE YOU NOTICED THIS YEAR’S CROP REACTING TO SMOKE IN THE AIR OR OTHER STRESSORS TRIGGERED BY THE WILDFIRES? Yes.
The quality of the light – the amber and orange and red and pink hues — I have a feeling that we’re going to see some really extreme terpene profiles and some minor cannabinoid expressions that we haven’t seen before. That’s my guess. That’s terroir, man. That’s appellation of origin. The phrase that keeps coming to my mind is ‘smoke the truth.’ AS WE REACH THE END OF A MOST UNUSUAL HARVEST SEASON, WHAT’S YOUR MINDSET LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?
I think that we are in a time right now where it’s important for everybody to participate, to contribute what they can and to take personal responsibility. This is not a time of convenience. It’s not a time of taking the easy way out. It’s a time for digging in, getting dirty, and doing the hard work of confronting ourselves and each other about the ways in which we can improve – both as individuals and as humanity. The present systems and the way we’re approaching life is not working. How many bells can go off in the same year? Wake up, y’all. This is not working.
STORY by ZACK RUSKIN @ZACKRUSKIN for CALIFORNIA LEAF | PORTRAIT by MATTHEW BRIGHTMAN | GARDEN PHOTO by KRISTEN ANGELO
S O N O M A H I L L S FA R M .C O M | @ S O N O M A H I L L S FA R M
Sonoma Hills Farm I N S I D E S O N O M A C O U N T Y ’ S F I R ST L E G A L C A N N A B I S FA R M
Just half an hour north of the Golden Gate lies the windy little lowland known as the Petaluma Gap. This former Gold Rush territory once called “the egg basket of the world” is better known these days for its Lagunitas Brewery, dairy farms and of course, its vineyards. But grapes, hops and milk aren’t the only products coming out of this terrific terroir: The first licensed Cannabis crop was just harvested up at Sonoma Hills Farm. nov. 2020
VP of Cannabis Cultivation and Production Aaron Keefer
A cold initial welcome
Fresh produce abounds
Keefer and the crew
Tony Bourdain, the bull
UILT IN 1922, this 40-acre former chicken farm on Purvine Road was family-owned for about a century before being purchased by SHF founding partners Sam Magruder and Mike Harden in 2017. The property features a three-acre culinary garden, its own apiary and the typical assortment of sheep, chickens, pigs and cattle (including a badass bull named Tony Bourdain). There are also several renovated barns, including a photo/ video studio dubbed the White Barn, as well as the Century Barn – a shabby-chic bar/dining space perfect for small, farm-totable gatherings. Amidst this bucolic backdrop of veggies, flowers and livestock, the owners set aside an acre to grow some premium craft Cannabis – an enterprise that proved more challenging than they expected. As part of their conditional use permit, the farm had to conduct several environmental and land use studies, as well as meet some very specific conditions – such as creating a museum space about the history of the land. But beyond the obligatory regulatory hurdles, SHF also aaron keefer faced fierce opposition from their “NIMBY” neighbors; many of the locals didn’t take kindly to having a pot farm in their humble hamlet and complained about the sight and smell of the plants. Their misguided notion that the farm would somehow bring crime to the area led them to form a group called Save Our Sonoma (SOS) and campaign to stop SHF from getting their permit. Aside from pursuing civil remedies to their grievances like posting signs reading “No Pot on Purvine,”
pressuring city supervisors and suing to secure a restraining order against the farm, some members also resorted to intimidation tactics like cyber-stalking and harassing SHF staffers. “It got pretty nasty,” recalls VP of Cannabis Cultivation and Production Aaron Keefer. “But there was never anything to the lawsuit – there was never any law broken. Everything about the land adhered perfectly to what the supervisors said it should be. They just took two years to wrap their heads around the reaction to the law they’d passed two years before. As the first up for approval, we were the tip of the spear, and that’s who gets attacked.” Fortunately, SOS’s efforts proved ineffective: On September 30, 2019, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to grant SHF the first one-acre conditional use permit for a Cannabis grow in the county. “It was contentious at first, but since we got our approval, Sonoma County has been 100% on our side,” says Keefer. “We’ve become a shining example of how to do it right.” Over two years and $1 million in investments later, Sonoma Hills Farm was finally ready to get growing – and Keefer was the man charged with making it happen. A former culinary cultivation expert for Michelin Star eateries like Napa Valley’s French Laundry, Keefer has been growing herb since he was 15-years-old. Keefer developed a relationship with SHF’s founders through mutual friends a couple of years back, and was thrilled when they asked him to come on board in February 2019 to head up the project. The one-acre grow that he over-
“If you truly want to reach the peak potential of whatever genetics you have, I think that outdoors, in the soil, using the terroir of your appellation is the way to go.”
sees consists of three areas: a 15,000 square foot, state-of-the-art controlled environment greenhouse (including an 8,000 square foot mixed-light section) and a 4,000 square foot indoor nursery and strain development facility (both of which will be completed next spring), as well as a 28,560 square foot outdoor plot (located where the old chicken barns used to be), which Keefer has cultivated using regenerative, dry farming techniques. “In the past, we’ve always kind of looked down on outdoor, but I think that’s just because a lot of Cannabis in the past wasn’t grown on the best farmland – it was grown where you could hide it,” says Keefer. “Thankfully, we don’t have to grow in the middle of a bramble bush anymore.” Quite the contrary, in fact: the agronomy in the Gap is so ideal that it’s the latest region to be recognized with its own wine appellation by the American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2017. And with a similar new Cannabis appellation law going into effect in January, SHF is on track to become the first certified farm in their terroir. “We’re really excited to be on this land – the weather is very unique. We’re nine miles from the ocean, and the breeze shoots right in all the time,” Keefer explains. “That keeps it temperate – there are no real heat spikes that can cook off the terps.” “If you truly want to reach the peak potential of whatever genetics you have, I think that outdoors, in the soil, using the terroir of your appellation is the way to go,” he continues. “You’re going to have more terps, a more rounded profile … just better all around. Terroir really brings that specialness of the outdoors to that end product.” SHF is also poised to become one of the first farms certified under California’s new guidelines for organic Cannabis (OCal), also set to go into effect in the new year. For Keefer, who eschews any chemical or salt-based fertilizers, a living, sustainable soil is key. “How you approach the soil is how the flavor is at the end with vegetables, and it’s the same with Cannabis,” he says. “Feed the soil, add life to it, and let that do the job.” The first crop of around 2,000 plants was just harvested last month, yielding over a ton of premium upper flowers and another half-ton or so of smaller nugs for pre-rolls and concentrates. The bounty consisted of around 20 different strains – including Wedding Crasher, Dosilato #8 and Blueberry Cookies, as well as their own creation: Pink Jesus. “This is really a bumper crop,” Keefer boasts. “All of our strains are testing in the mid to high 20s for THC. The Dosilato is up to 28% THC and 36% total cannabinoids.” Many of these phenomenal phenos will be provided to select partners throughout the state to create an array of co-branded products, including edibles with Rose Delights, and prerolls with Garden Society, Khemia and Chemistry. Look for these collabs, as well as Sonoma Hills Farm jarred buds, to hit dispensary shelves across NorCal and Los Angeles this coming spring.
STORY by BOBBY BLACK @BOBBYBLACK420 for CALIFORNIA LEAF | PHOTOS by SONOMA HILLS FARM
Highly Likely highlights Cannabis pioneers who paved the way to greater herbal acceptance.
OFTEN AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN AS THE ‘EMPEROR OF HEMP ’ OR THE ‘FATHER OF CANNABIS LEGALIZATION,’ JACK HERER WAS A TIRELESS SUPPORTER OF OUR FAVORITE PLANT. LOOKING BACK AT HIS LIFE HERE AND NOW – SOME FIVE YEARS AFTER LEGALIZATION HAS TAKEN HOLD FOR MUCH OF THE COUNTRY – IT CAN BE EASY TO FORGET JUST HOW RISKY IT WAS A FEW DECADES AGO TO STICK YOUR NECK OUT FOR CANNABIS FREEDOM.
ONTRARY TO WHAT YOU MIGHT THINK, Jack Herer
was not an ‘early adopter’ of Cannabis. After a stint in the US military, he retired to civilian life in the suburbs. Herer was as conservative as they came back then. In the documentary “Emperor of Hemp,” he says, “I had done three years in the military, I was ride-or-die. I believed that America was always the good guy. That we were always the most decent, right-on people on the earth.” Of protestors and hippies, he said, “I thought they were the most un-American kids in the whole world.” Herer saw what was then known as marijuana as one of the primary culprits in radicalizing youth against the American establishment. It was after a divorce in 1967, when Jack started dating again, that one of his girlfriends asked him if he’d like to try some Cannabis. The rest is history. “I was feeling sensations that I didn’t know a human being could feel – and I asked her, ‘How is this illegal?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know.’” Thus began Herer’s quest for Cannabis knowledge. After a few years of study, he published the book GRASS (Great Revolutionary American Standard System) with friend and cartoonist Al Emmanuel. The book was a
that the legalization of Cannabis started to enter secular culture in the 1980s and 90s. One of the book’s most impressive claims is one that resonates today: Hemp could replace fossil fuels as a way to power our modern life – and reduce the systematic destruction of our environment. But beyond all of the scientific facts outlined in “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” it’s the insidious, deceitful history of prohibition in the United States that truly resonated the most with readers. Here, laid out for the first time was the history of how the government of the supposed ‘land of the free’ had lied to its citizenry for almost a century. surprise hit, selling over 30,000 copies in its first These were the powerful facts and ideas that Jack printing. It made Herer into a sort of Cannabis Herer brought to the world through his writings. guru overnight – which soon connected him to Suddenly, those with ears to listen a whole community of people and eyes to see could perceive a whose knowledge of the plant His legacy world where Cannabis usage was far surpassed his own. He then lives on in normalized. Herer continued his quest began his serious research of the the books he’s for the next three decades – writing hidden history of Cannabis, which published and speaking to whomever would led him to his eventual campaign and, of course, listen to his plea for legalization. to legalize hemp – a plant Herer via the strain Herer passed away a few thought could save the world. of Cannabis days before 4/20 in 2010, from In 1979, he and his partner that bears his complications of a heart attack he ‘Captain Ed’ opened the world’s name. suffered after speaking at a Portland, first hemp store in Venice Beach, Oregon legalization rally. For California. In 1983, as Reagan’s Portlanders, his Third Eye Shoppe was one of the war on drugs raged, he was arrested under an places where one could still pay their respects to the arcane law for signing up voters after dark near ‘Father of Cannabis Legalization’ (it closed in 2017). a federal building. While in prison, he started to His legacy lives on in the books he’s published write his next book. and, of course, via the strain of Cannabis that bears That second book, “The Emperor Wears his name. And that’s what this column is really No Clothes,” provided a culture desperate for about: people who have the guts to say something information new knowledge of an ancient plant. in public that might go against overwhelming public The book (which is a must in any Cannabis-lover’s sentiment – because they feel that people need to library) is a sort of compendium of knowledge know. Jack Herer was that type of person, and we all about the history of the plant, disseminated in an enjoy our current freedoms with Cannabis because easy-to-digest manner. While the book extols the of his work. virtues of hemp, it is also one of the primary ways
STORY by PACER STACKTRAIN for LEAF NATION | PHOTO by MALCOLM MACKINNON | MALCOLMMACKINNON.COM
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STRAIN OF THE MONTH
CAL I F O R N I A
ROYA L E WITH CHEESE
G R O W N b y E M E R A L D Q U E E N FA R M S
umboldt’s Emerald Queen Farms honors the “femme flower” at the heart of their operation by cultivating Cannabis with organic inputs to produce chronic outputs. That means sun, clean water, organic fertilizer and native soil. Combined together, these elements signify Emerald Queen’s unique terroir. For cultivator Hannah Whyte, it’s about capturing this essence in the high-grade clones and in-house bred seed genetics her farm cultivates. Consuming Emerald Queen flower isn’t just about the effects COMBINING – although those are delightful ELEMENTS OF as well – but about getting a EUPHORIA, fleeting sense of the place, as CALM AND A expressed by the Cannabis grown STRONG DESIRE there. It’s difficult to pinpoint precisely how growing under a TO TAKE A NAP, southern-exposed sky or hosting THIS FLOWER’S a half-pipe on the property EFFECTS ARE where skateboarders can shred is POTENT BUT ultimately reflected in the flower ENTIRELY itself, but Emerald Queen’s Royale with Cheese definitely puts their PLEASURABLE. aces on the table. As an indica-dominant hybrid, Royale with Cheese combines Sour Cheese (Sour Diesel x Cheese) with Royal Kush. Featuring genetics that trace back to Family Tree Origins in Massachusetts, the smells of the Redwood Curtain will reach you as soon as you’ve touched a bit of this flower to your nose. In addition to notes of pine and tart berries, one will also quickly recognize the pungent aroma of bleu cheese. Gilded in a fine frost of trichomes, these nugs are moderately-sized but notably dense. It took some decent effort to grind a joint’s worth of Royale with Cheese, but once I’d given my wrist a workout, I rolled the results by hand (about .5g) and set it aflame. One hit in and I was already enjoying a flavor-packed burst of serenity. The flower burned well and made it easy to take generous hits, although you won’t need many of those to get the job done. Before any cerebral effects set in, the first thing I noted was how well the terpenes translated from plant to smoke. Each puff packs the taste of Douglas firs, raspberry jam, and barnyard cheese into something both peculiar and scrumptious. Then the high hits. I noticed it fairly quickly, maybe five minutes after my first toke. It’s a creeper, letting you know you’re in for a ride before delivering on the goods. Combining elements of euphoria, calm and a strong desire to take a nap, this flower’s effects are potent but entirely pleasurable. One could readily imagine Royale with Cheese working well as a way to combat panic and insomnia, though it’s quite lovely as a recreational option as well. In fact, this impressive offering from Emerald Queen Farms is so tasty, the only thing it may be missing is the blessing of Samuel L. Jackson’s character in “Pulp Fiction.” While this Royale with Cheese may not have an official “Mmmm” from Jules Winnfield, it has definitely earned one from us.
EMERALDQUEENFARMS.COM | @EMERALDQUEENFARMS 22.76% THC
REVIEW by ZACK RUSKIN @ZACKRUSKIN | PHOTO by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415 /CALIFORNIA LEAF
the HARVEST issue
FIRE ON THE MOU Roganja and Massive Seeds scrambled to save their crops after irrigation lines melted.
eter Bustch ignored the evacuation order at first. He stood his ground, gripping a fire hose hooked up to his irrigation line, saturating his life’s work as a beast of smoke and flame lurched toward his family farm. “It looked like a raging monster, man,” Bustch said. “Loud, roaring, coming fast through the trees and the brush. Scary, man. You could feel the heat.” He watched as one after another, dark columns of smoke rose swiftly, starkly offset against the lighter plumes engulfing the area surrounding the farm and facility in Oregon where he and his brother, Patrick, own and operate Massive Seeds and Roganja. As the dark plumes grew greater in number and marched ever closer to where he stood soaking his crop, the terrifying, heartbreaking realization hit him. Every column of black smoke was another one of his buildings going up in flames.“I knew it was my Mom’s house going up, and then the main house at Roganja, and then another,” he said. Like so many on the West Coast, Peter and Patrick were hit head-on by the September wildfires that ravaged the nation’s premier Cannabis cultivating regions. “We were devastated by the fires,” Bustch said. “We lost three homes, three barns, three shops, a double-wide trailer, a single-wide trailer, pump houses, sheds. It burned almost every single structure on the property. … My dad pioneered the land that we grow on now in the ‘70s. He built one of the houses that burned down.”
THE FIGHT For Cannabis cultivators, minimal-grid living keeps you off the radar. It’s enriching, liberated living – that is, until wildfire comes tearing over the hill next to your farm. At that point, it often means you’re on your own. The terror was visceral when Jeff Ghidella got the call to evacuate his farm, Little Hill Cultivators, in California’s famed Trinity County. Ghidella ignored the evacuation orders because he knew if he didn’t, the farm would be a total loss. The firefighters in the area were spread thin, and as Ghidella says, they may have been prioritizing other interests over craft Cannabis farms. “Ridges started getting bulldozed, fire lines started getting cut,” Ghidella said via phone from his farm in mid-October. “If you get evacuated, your crop dies. That kind of got us into preparation mode. I spent 10 days without leaving the hill, without really having access to get back. That’s really why you can’t
leave – they won’t let you get back. … You can’t get supplies in. You can’t get gas for your generators. You can’t get food. So, you just have to live with that.” Ghidella bulldozed a fire line around his property and started using what water he had to soak the crop and the structures. Then he watched the fire close in around him. “I was hoping it would hit the dozer line and just melt,” he said. “It got close to my property, and then it just blew up. It went from calm to chaos in 10 minutes. I saw my exit evaporating. We had sprinklers and fire hoses going, and had generators going. We got everything set and the fires were coming in, the sprinklers were going, and we left.” The play worked the first night. The second night the wind picked up. “It ripped through,” Ghidella said. “It burned my barn down, it burned my hay storage. It burned a trailer we had on the property.” His water system melted. He suffered severe crop loss. “It wouldn’t be such a big deal if I could get
Endless heartbreak as wildfires devastate Cannabis farms across the west coast at the peak of their harvest. STORY by TOM BOWERS \@PROPAGAGECONSULTANTS for LEAF NATION
At Roganja, some staff have moved back onto the property and are living in trailers, attempting to bring in the surviving crop and begin the long, arduous rebuilding process. “It’s a big hit, man,” Bustch said. “It’s amazing the number of things you start reaching for, like a tool or whatever, and you don’t have it anymore.”
Staff at East Fork Cultivars worked alongside firefighters to save their crop.
out and buy what I need, and get moving again,” Ghidella said. “But these mandatory evacuation zones, they set up roadblocks. In a way, I’m stuck on my property.” THE FALLOUT
Ghidella lost some infrastructure, but lost even more in harvestable product – with only about 20-30% of its 10,000 square feet of Slurricane, Ice Cream Cake and Back to the Triangle, a Kush cross, surviving. But the true fallout is just beginning to take shape. Retailers and processors are concerned about the implications for product quality and supply, both of which undoubtedly will be impacted. Then there are the operational factors at play. Many farms are simply trying to regain traction after fighting fires for weeks – when they should have been harvesting Cannabis. “The main way we will expe-
oward and his partners were forced to furlough their staff during the busiest season of the year, and instead focus on working with firefighting teams from the U.S., Mexico and Canada to protect their land. And while they were able to keep the beast at bay, for them, the danger lies ahead. “We have so much Cannabis in the field that looks just glorious, but there’s so much out there, and the rains are coming in a week,” Howard said via phone in mid-October. “We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the field, and I’m concerned we’re not going to be able to get to it in time.” THE EFFORT Despite significant worries as to what the future holds for the community in the wake of this disaster, Cannabis farmers are proving to be as resilient as the plant itself.
“We had to get water to the plants,” Bustch said. “They were in shock and needed a lot of love. We had to totally focus on plant health, you know, because our crop made it. … We’re lucky that about 80% of our crop survived and finished really well.” Ghidella remains on his farm, despite there being a current stage three evacuation order still in place for his region at the time this article was written. “I have to protect my farm from looters,” Ghidella said. “I have to protect it from the elements. Whatever crop I have remaining, I need to try to bring it home, even though I don’t know how much of it I can salvage. … At least the infrastructure is still there. You can always grow your way out of whatever financial hardship you’re in, if you’re just willing to work. That’s what got me here.”
Many farms are simply trying to regain traction after fighting fires for weeks – when they should have been harvesting Cannabis.
GOFUNDME | TINYURL.COM/REBUILDROGANJA
P H O T O S C O U R T E SY FA R M S | A R T B Y A D O B E / W A L D W I E S E
Cultivators all up and down the West Coast lost significant amounts of what would have been stellar Cannabis. Roganja was lucky enough to recoup roughly 80% of its crop, while losing nearly all of its infrastructure.
rience the damage from these forest fires, I think, is from the impact it has on the operations, and the increase of the stress fractures that already existed,” said Nathan Howard, co-owner of East Fork Cultivars in Takilma, Oregon.
The first focus for Roganja was the water supply. As with Ghidella’s farm in California, Roganja’s water tanks were destroyed and the drip lines melted, so the Bustch brothers had to prioritize the survival of the remainder of their crop.
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Founders Miranda & Alex Moore.
Honeydew Farms is truly an anomaly in the Cannabis world – as it’s an incredibly rare find to encounter a brand with decades of plant touching experience, professional level business acumen, highly refined branding and packaging, and ownership that’s in it for the long haul and ultimately, for the love of the plant. Located in the unique microclimate of the Mattole Valley, their expansive 850-acre property lies in the foothills of the Kings Range and is roughly seven miles from the Pacific as the crow H i s t o r y i n H o n eyd e w flies. A short tour of their Instagram page provides After branching off the 101 in Garberville, we traversed west towards the coast for stunning imagery that would appeal to even the a little more than an hour and eventually in the small community of Honeydew. most hardcore of city slickers. However, the beauty arrived Once on site, we took a moment to chat with Farms’ founders Alex and Miranda of their land is not done justice via social media and Honeydew Moore before touring their gardens. visiting the farm in-person was nothing short of a Upon first meeting the couple at the 2016 Emerald Cup, I had mistakenly assumed they were magical experience. a big money funded Cannabis company. This was TERROIR
Elevation 200-900 ft
Soil Organic custom blend soil, tested and amended annually
Nutrients Compost, worm castings, dry amendment mix
Water 3 on-site wells SCALE
Plant Count 24,000 full season outdoor plants
Strains 42 METHODOLOGY
Grown From Tissue Culture + Clone
Watering Drip Irrigation
primarily due to their highly refined and dialed in branding – something almost nobody on the scene had at that time. In fact, Honeydew Farms is a family owned and operated producer that has made it to where they are in large part thanks to their continued reinvestment in the company’s infrastructure. Year by year since the land was acquired in 1996, the Moores have been steadily adding to the estate – new drying facilities earlier this season, several new greenhouses last year, a new building designed for trim space and staffing being finished up now before this winter’s rains hit. One particular addition to the property would eventually reveal itself to be a surprisingly key asset in Honeydew Farms’ ability to get licensed. For 10 years, the pair worked with state and county regulators to establish 600 acres of the property as a recognized Agricultural Preserve. In order to bring this to fruition, they unknowingly had handled several of the requirements and gotten to know folks at many of the regulatory agencies they’d eventually be dealing with to obtain a cultivation license in California’s adult-use market. In addition, the pair opened an upscale cocktail bar and restaurant in the city of Eureka, which has a very low saturation of fine dining available. Politicians and the who’s who of the city and county began frequenting the location and would be introduced to the Moores well ahead of legalization. Between the couple’s naturally entrepreneurial mentality, their significant experience in both cultivation and business, and their allocation of profits to the farm’s infrastructure rather than their bank accounts, the Moores were dialed and ready to hand in their application the very first day of acceptance. In 2018, Honeydew Farms became Humboldt County’s first cultivator licensed under Prop 64. >>
STORY by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415 | PHOTOS by MIRANDA MOORE & EVAN MOORE
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Honeydew Farms continued from pg. 29
As one might imagine at this size, pulling off successful harvests is a significant challenge.
A Challenging Present Despite being well-positioned at the onset of California’s recreational Cannabis program, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns at Honeydew Farms. With no investment dollars backing up their operation, no venture capital to lean on and no board of directors to share the workload of company management, Alex and Miranda are well beyond full-time owner operators – not to mention, parents of four children on top of all this. “Our workload is unreal,” Alex explains. “We’re working harder than we ever have.” After 25+ years of investment into Honeydew Farms’ infrastructure, they’ve achieved significant scale: six licenses on the property, two full-season outdoor plots, 45 total greenhouses, 20,000 square feet of drying space and 50,000 plants grown this season. As one might imagine at this size, pulling off successful harvests is a significant challenge. Staffing continues to be one of the industry’s most significant weak points and year by year, remains a substantial hurdle to overcome for the team at Honeydew Farms. With the vast range in quality of
staffing the company’s labor, the remote nature of the property and the sheer number of bodies required to get the job done in a timely fashion, meeting the farms’ labor needs is no easy task. The company employs 16 people full-time, but during harvest the farm brings on seasonal help and an additional 80-100 people are brought on-site to assist in getting the plants down and into drying rooms before the rains hit. While Honeydew Farms is indeed a scaled, commercial level Cannabis producer, it has achieved this success thanks to immense dedication, passion and care. It’s also a machine that requires continued input and action to keep functioning, with ever-growing repercussions for failure and rewards for success.
of what to grow each year rather difficult. Thankfully, market trends help the team determine what’s popular and moving off shelves what time of year. Ultimately though, it’s a bit of a guessing game as shifts in consumer buying habits can happen quickly, and it’s months from the time a farmer selects what cultivar to grow, to the time it winds up on a shelf at a dispensary ready for purchase. This season, the team at Honeydew Farms is cultivating 42 different strains ranging from classic staples like SFV OG, to new school exotics like Slurricane and Gelonade. Their flowers go through intense quality control, receiving a thorough inspection not just prior to heading to their trimmers for manicuring, but after the fact as well. This multi-step process ensures only the finest buds carry the Honeydew Farms brand seal of approval. Another aspect of Honeydew Farms’ business that has helped influence their success is their reverence and profound care for their brand and the product behind it. Honeydew Farms is exclusively a single source producer – anytime you buy a Honeydew Farms brand product, you can rest easy knowing it was produced in-house and meets the brand’s strict standards for quality.
An Intentional Approach The team at Honeydew Farms has amassed a gargantuan library of genetics over the years, which makes selection
STORY by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415 | PHOTOS by MIRANDA MOORE & EVAN MOORE
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Swami Chaitanya and Nikki Lastreto’s lives have been intertwined from the time they were young. The two met in the late 60’s in San Francisco and were part of the same general community, having some mutual friends. Lastreto was in her late teens and Chaitanya in his late twenties. As the years went on, they drew closer and eventually became a couple. The History Growing up in the 60’s both were subject to the growing cultural revolution that was occurring. They adopted values that reflected the era - peace and love, and through this eventually sought to more deeply incorporate those values into their lifestyle. Independently, they’d both traveled to India before and then, as a couple, traveled back together. It was in India that the two discovered the reflection of their values and a practical way to strengthen them through Hinduism. They would travel back and forth between India and San Francisco, steadily increasing their time away from the United States. Eventually, they would make the move to India semi-permanently and spend the better part of the 90’s traveling to various villages and cities throughout the country. By the late 90’s, Lastreto was ready to come home to her native city of San Francisco. Chaitanya stayed behind to continue his education and religious training and became Swami Chaitanya, after which he would return to the United States as directed by his teacher to join Lastreto and help her build their future. Once back in California, Lastreto began to hunt for space to throw parties inspired by the psychedelic rave culture in Goa, where she and Chaitanya had spent time during their travels. This meant looking beyond what San Francisco had available. She asked around with some old connections about land and that’s when a friend of a friend introduced her to Tim Blake, the founder of The Emerald Cup. Blake had recently bought property in Mendocino right on Highway 101, which later became known as Area 101 after connecting with Lastreto and they began throwing wild, weekend long rave parties there. Thus, the foundations of Lastreto’s connection with Mendocino took shape. For years, Lastreto would throw parties and help Blake trim his Cannabis crops. Chaitanya would meet Blake in 1999 on a return visit to the United States and the three of them became close friends. In 2003, Chaitanya would return to the US with the blessing of his teacher and almost immediately he and Lastreto found the land they farm on today, which lies roughly 30 minutes away from Blake’s Area 101 property. When the pair visited, they knew the place was meant for them. Chaitanya had seen this land in a vision years before - a place with a golden meadow surrounded by mountains and blanketed with big pine trees. >>
Elevation 2,650 feet
Native soil, hugel-style mounds
Nutrients Local input sourced compost teas
Water Rain catchment pond SCALE
Plant Count 180 full season outdoor plants
Strains 7 METHODOLOGY
Grown From Seed
Watering Hand water
Preventative IPM, companion plants
STORY by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415 | PHOTOS MIKE ROSATI @ROSATIPHOTOS & NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415
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Swami Select continued from pg. 33
We sparked up and continued to converse as we began to smoke. The Land Chaitanya and Lastreto’s serene 190 acre homestead lies deep in the hills of Mendocino County. The property is unique and incredibly rare- a mountainside plot that sits at 2,600 feet but with acres of flat terrain. This season will be the pair’s 17th year cultivating sun, moon, and star grown full season Cannabis at this special locale. From day one, Chaitanya and Lastreto have grown their crops in the most natural way possible - from seed, planted in harmony with the moon and stars, and grown to full maturity outdoor with regenerative methods under full sun and with abundant intention. Like every cultivator, their approach has evolved season by season but these principles remain in tact and unchanging. Each year, they initiate the grow cycle by placing their seeds in water which is then placed in a shrine dedicated to Ganjamma, a slightly altered deity known in the Hindu religion as Gangamma, to be blessed as they pop open and ready for planting. The water in which the seeds begin their life in is sanctified with several drops from the Ganges River, which is considered holy in the Hindu religion. The seeds are sown during a full moon and, thanks to their remote location, there is no light pollution and they can fully stand behind the statement of moon, sun, and star grown. In an interesting methodology that we rarely see applied, they intentionally plant fast, medium, and slow finishing cultivars to break up their harvest into
3 rounds, easing what is a very labor intensive process and allowing them to operate with minimal assistance. Thanks to their regenerative efforts, Swami Select has earned both Clean Green Certified and DEMPure Certified status. The Herb When we first arrived at the Swami Select property, we briefly game planned with Chaitanya and Lastreto how the visit would go - first we’d conduct our interview, then we’d walk the garden, and then we’d have the chance to experience a Swami joint something that sounded both tantalizing and a little bit mysterious. After sitting with the pair and learning their story, talking shop about the state of the industry and the plight of the small farmer, and touring their gorgeous gardens, it was time to find out what this Swami joint was all about. Lastreto withdrew inside and returned momentarily with a huge branch of freshly harvested Magic Melon, one of their newer additions to their stable of cultivars that was bred up the road by Humboldt Seed Company. Chaitanya then busted out a jar of the same strain that had received proper curing time and a full trim job. The flowers were bursting with luscious honeydew like, cantaloupe-esque aromas
and my mouth began to water as I took a deep inhale from the jar in font of me. Chaitanya then proceeded to prep what looked to be somewhere between a quarter and a half ounce of flower, de-stemming it, packing it into his classic Mendo Mulcher, and then grinding it. He talked as he worked and within a matter of minutes had produced 3 massive joints, probably between 3 and 4 grams each. He explained that a Swami joint, and any proper joint really, should have the highest weed to paper ratio possible. We sparked up and continued to converse as we began to smoke. Finely nuanced flavors of cantaloupe melon, cotton candy and gasoline danced across my palate as I puffed. The effects came on subtly but built into a crescendo of effortless, radiant positive energy that was felt throughout my whole body but particularly from my third eye to my core - this was some truly special herb. As we meandered our way back to Highway 101 after saying our goodbyes, the setting sun cast glorious golden rays over the rolling Mendocino hills, illuminating them in a picturesque and sublimely surreal fashion and for a few moments, everything was right in the world again.
@SWAMISELECT | SWAMISELECT.COM
STORY by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415 | PHOTOS MIKE ROSATI @ROSATIPHOTOS & NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415
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Flowerdaze Farm It’s no secret that Cannabis and music love each other. In the case of Flowerdaze Farm owners Karla Avila and Jacob Johnson, a love of both Cannabis and music led them to love one another. The pair met in the classical music scene in San Francisco, where they both studied music at the San Francisco Conservatory. As so many musicians do, they sought inspiration together. And as it so often does, Cannabis helped provide that inspiration. Together, they strove to find the most beautiful buds to help inspire them to make beautiful music.
Avila’s Northern California roots, along with a love of locally cultivated Cannabis, led them to Trinity County. “We were called back to the land to pursue a mission of seeking out a sustainable life,” Avila said. “In our search for the best Cannabis in the world, we found the people growing the best Cannabis in the world – and we were able to learn from them.” >>
PHOTO BY DIANE JOHNSON
Elevation 1,260 feet
Native soil composed of loam and blue clay from an ancient sea bed, California red clays, and mineral-rich sediment.
100% farm-made compost, worm castings, natural plant teas, ferments and foliar sprays.
Water 100% rainwater SCALE
Growing Canopy 5,000 square feet
Plant Count 50 to 200 full season outdoor plants
Strains 10+ (mostly estate-bred genetics). Rose Lemonade is their signature strain. METHODOLOGY
Grown From 70%/30% seed/clone
Watering Hand-watered using a 100% passive rainwater system enlivened via vortex and delivered by gravity-fed siphon.
Preventative “We create habitat for beneficial insects by intercropping a wide selection of companion plants that encourage biodiversity and a complete and balanced ecosystem, as well as deter pests – including yarrow, comfrey, stinging nettle, calendula, marigold, rhubarb and garlic,” writes Karla Avila. “We also utilize foliar sprays made from these plants.”
PHOTO BY KANDID KUSH
STORY by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS | PHOTOS by KARLA AVILA
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Flowerdaze Farm continued from pg. 37
PHOTO BY KANDID KUSH
Flowerdaze commits to cultivating only in native soil, and crafts compost teas and nutrients using what Avila and Johnson grow on the property.
Situated on a pastoral hillside tucked within a valley in Trinity County, Avila and Johnson’s farm makes for a picturesque setting to cultivate Cannabis. Their land on the South Fork of the Trinity River offers them optimal soil, as well as Cannabis-friendly weather created in part by a 6,000 foot ridge that shields them from the humid precipitation patterns of the coastal regions. “We have just enough of a microclimate that really protects us from coastal fog, and we have a little longer Indian Summer than, say, Southern Oregon – where we have a longer season before the rains come,” Johnson said. “You really have to be ready for anything. It’s an improvisation with nature, and it’s never going to be the same.” Every harvest is different and this year, the wildfires have made it difficult for everyone. But despite the constant dance with nature, one thing Flowerdaze can count on is that the hot days and cold nights lead to deliciously sticky plants. “We’re able to get these long, sunny, hot days and a long growing season, but because we’re up in the mountains at a higher elevation, we’re able to get these wide swings, like 50 degrees at night,” Johnson said. “And when Cannabis is in its flowering phase, they will create more resin.” Flowerdaze works with a blend of orchard style plantings and scrogged, sea of green style trellis growing. Employing those methodologies, Avila and Johnson focus on breeding and cultivating full-season strains that hearken to the rich growing traditions of the region. “We have a lot of heirloom varietals that have been bred in this valley for decades now, and are naturally acclimatized to our valley,” Johnson said. Their strain lineup includes their home-bred specialty, Rose Lemonade, along with Gelato, Ice Cream Cake, Mother Chronic, Pink Jasmine Mango, Princess Kush, and a few other limited-batch experimental varietals. They both take great pride in their local community and in California Cannabis as a whole. Avila worked with the Origins Council to fight for the development of Cannabis appellations, and co-authored “The Flowerdaze Farm Regenerative Guide to Cannabis,” to help share knowledge with other growers. “In addition to crafting the purest and highest quality Cannabis that we can, our mission is to give back to the land and to the environment more than we take,” Avila said. “We keep animals – we have three cows, a goat, chickens, ducks and rabbits. We are also growing a variety of plants that we ferment, or make teas that we feed our plants.” Flowerdaze commits to cultivating only in native soil, and crafts compost teas and nutrients using what Avila and Johnson grow on the property. Considering the two of them make up the entire staff of the farm, the pursuit is an intense labor of love. Looking back on how they met – at a classical music ‘jam’ in San Francisco – and reflecting on the path they’ve taken with Cannabis, the motivation behind their approach to farming comes into crisp focus. “We look at it as an art, in collaboration with nature,” Johnson said.
STORY by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS | PHOTOS by KARLA AVILA
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tannins & terpenes
T H E A RT OF PA I R I NG C A N N A BI S
SLEEPYTIME TEA & DOZE DROPS
TANNINS | CELESTIAL SEASONINGS SLEEPYTIME HERBAL TEA
With the wisp of wintery spearmint nicely noticeable before even opening the box, Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime tea softly beckons your senses. Envisioned in 1969 by a few young hippies foraging for herbs in the Rockies, Sleepytime pioneered the explosion in our country’s herbal tea market. Showcasing calming chamomile, refreshing spearmint and a host of other fruity herbs, Sleepytime is a caffeine-free and scrumptious choice for winding down with at the end of a long day.
TERPENES | THE FARMACEUTICALS CO. DOZE DROPS
San Rafael-based Farmaceuticals Co. offers ‘Unwind and Sleep’ Doze Drops featuring a full spectrum 2:1 THC:CBD combo delivered in a tasty GMO-free olive oil. This whole plant-infused tincture of Clean Green Certified, organically grown indica and CBD flowers is handcrafted in small batches with love. Committed to honoring the Earth, the queer women owned Farmaceuticals Co. runs both their grow and manufacturing operations almost exclusively on renewable energy! The suggested starting dose of the Doze Drops is one-half dropper (~3.2mg THC and ~1.6mg CBD), but sometimes suggestions are only meant to be considered.
You’re now prepared for your slo-mo journey to complete and utter relaxation. *California Leaf Warning* Anytime you combine two substances of any kind, you have to be extra vigilant of the effects. We strongly recommend conducting pairings in a safe and private space, in small quantities with friends. Always use a designated driver or have a plan to get home safely.
Follow @celestialtea @the_farmaceuticals_company
This desirable drink is exactly what the Doze Drops label advertises – the chance to “unwind, kick back, loosen up and sleep.” Armed with steaming Sleepytime tea and Doze Drops, you’re now prepared for your slo-mo journey to complete and utter relaxation. You’ll want to steep your Sleepytime tea bag for about five minutes before turning to the drops for even deeper satisfaction. If restless sleep is sometimes your nemesis, you may want to start with at least 10mgs of indica before settling in to no-dream land – so why not try doubling down on the prescribed dose of a half-dropper? Try one whole dropper of the tincture (6.7mg of THC and 3.3mg of CBD) beneath your tongue for about 30-seconds before swallowing. The light and mellow taste of the Doze Drops will remind you of an olive oil you’ve cooked with, instead of the harsh homemade tinctures you’ve maybe tried – and the Sleepytime tea with monk fruit sugar is a delicious accompaniment. Twenty minutes is about what it will take for the first wave of euphoric calm to smooth out the edges, and in another 25 minutes you’ll be drifting off to your happy place. With this tasty combo, the new you will emerge rested, refreshed and better than ever!
REVIEW by LINDA ANH for CALIFORNIA LEAF | PHOTO by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415
edible OF THE MONTH
TOSSED, SAUCED & BAKED
INFUSED DESSERT SAUCES
100MG THC AND 25MG CBD but subtle, and actually PER SAUCE CONTAINER complemented the overall TOSSEDSAUCEDBAKED.COM flavor profile nicely. @TOSSEDSAUCEDBAKED As for their effects: the buzz had a slow build, kicking into full gear at around 40 or so minutes after consumption. For me, it was a speedy, cerebral kind of high that lasted for several hours. For this reason, I personally find them less than ideal before bed, as my mind became too flooded with thoughts and ideas to fall asleep. However, I highly recommend them for engaging in social or creative pursuits such as writing, listening to or playing music, hanging out with friends, or enjoying some nature. They’re great in a cup of coffee or cocoa, drizzled on cakes, cookies or pies, or atop ice cream as pictured here. In fact, why not skip the appetizer and have your dessert before dinner? That way you can feel the effects throughout the meal and avoid the inevitable munchies. In addition to these sweet treats, TSB also offers a sweet n’ spicy BBQ sauce and has three more flavors in the works for next year: a buffalo hot sauce, a teriyaki glaze and a marinara sauce (naturally).
REVIEW by BOBBY BLACK @BOBBYBLACK420 for CALIFORNIA LEAF | PHOTO by TOSSED, SAUCED AND BAKED
being voted one of the top 10 pizza chefs in Available in dark chocolate and If you have a sweet America by Pizza Today Magazine. caramel, these sauces are made tooth and are looking “Understanding Cannabis as an ingredient from simple, all-natural ingredients for a deliciously is extremely important,” Cybulski explains. like cream, butter, cacao and decadent method of “It’s not about just throwing a distillate or an sugar, with no artificial additives or medication, look no oil into a food and thinking it’s going to be preservatives. Each jar is infused further than these two great – it’s about taking all the knowledge with 100mg of THC and 25mg of CBD (a total of 16 doses) derived wholesome new dessert I’ve learned over the years on decarboxylating the Cannabis I’d grown, making oils and from full-spectrum distillate that’s sauces from Tossed, infusing them into foods, and testing and sourced from a handful of reputable Sauced & Baked. understanding the effects to make sure it Cannabis companies in the Sonoma complements that food. Balance is the key.” area, and all ingredients are tested to ensure they’re free of To sample the chocolate, I poured the suggested oneany heavy metals, pesticides or contaminants. Each variety tablespoon dose over a couple scoops of natural vanilla is carefully formulated under highly controlled temperature, ice cream and some sliced banana, and let me tell you: providing optimal consistency and even dispersion of The result was better than the best hot fudge sundae I’ve cannabinoids throughout the entire jar. ever had. It had a thick, smooth and luxurious mouthfeel, Tossed, Sauced and Baked is the brainchild of executive and a rich, deep, dark chocolate flavor without even a hint chef Glenn Cybulski. Born and raised in Marin County, of Cannabis taste. For the caramel sauce, I dipped some Cybulski brings a celebrated culinary career to the table. apple slices into it. It was also very smooth and creamy, but He has owned 13 restaurants in Northern California, won with a thinner consistency and a slightly sweeter, weedier over 100 regional and international culinary competitions, taste than the chocolate. The Cannabis taste was noticeable and is considered one of the world’s best pizza makers –
The result was better than the best hot fudge sundae I’ve ever had.
concentratE OF THE MONTH
Ah, sweet bliss. That’s the first thought after a pull from the recently released Hibiscus cartridge from Chemistry. The vapor chases candied fruit and floral terpenes with a wash of mild, light-headed euphoria.
EXTRACTED C U LT I VAT E D
CHEMISTRY ESENSIA GARDENS
HIBISCUS CARTRIDGE NOV. 2020
T R Y C H E M I S T R Y. C O M @TRYCHEMISTRY ESENSIAGARDENS.COM @ESENSIAGARDENS
That dreamy feeling doesn’t quite carry you over the line into a cloudy mind space – it walks you right up to the edge and keeps you there, clear-headed and feeling oh-so-fine. That easy-going effect means the Hibiscus cartridge makes for a great all-day draw, but what staggered us more than the effect was the bright, beautiful flavor. For its oils, the Oakland-based processor curates its favorite strain for each cartridge from a small number of hand-picked California farms. For this particular treat, Chemistry extracted from hybrid Hibiscus buds cultivated by the stellar Esensia Gardens – an Emerald Cup-winning, full-term sungrown farm out of the Mendocino appellation. Known for its treacled tropical terpenes, Esensia’s Hibiscus makes for a delicious delight in the hands of Chemistry’s lab scientists. In order to ensure they capture the true essence of each individual Cannabis strain they select, Chemistry first uses the traditional art of steam distillation to extract the terpenes from a portion of the harvest batch. In this case, the dominant terpenes showcased by the Hibiscus are bright, beautiful terpinolene, b-caryophyllene, b-myrcene and a-pinene. After steam distillation, Chemistry then extracts the cannabinoids using what the company’s Director of Marketing, Catrina Morbidelli, identified as a proprietary method that does not involve the more common solvents such as CO2, butane, propane or ethanol, and instead uses “low-toxicity liquid solvents in a closed-loop system to isolate, filter and refine full-spectrum Cannabis oil.” After extraction the same-strain, steam-distilled terpenes are reintroduced to the refined oil at a specific ratio (in this case, 5.1%). The goal is to craft an oil that reflects the pure character of the strain in flower form. Chemistry then measures the oil into C-Cell cartridge hardware, which is slipped into sleek, colorful packaging. Paired with Chemistry’s branded buttonless direct-draw batteries, the Hibiscus makes for an easy, discreetly crushable candidate for your pocket. RICH IN TERPINOLENE, B-CARYOPHYLLENE, B-MYRCENE AND A-PINENE TERPENES! 85.6% THC | 0.33% CBD | 5.1% TERPENES
REVIEW by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS | PHOTO by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415/CALIFORNIA LEAF
CARTER’S AROMATHERAPY DESIGNS
Made with Coconut oil, mango butter, menthol, jojoba oil, arnica oil, peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, CBD whole plant extract and THC whole plant extract.
CAD4CBD.COM | @THECAD33
Carter Lash – Emerald Cup winner and owner of Carter’s Aromatherapy Designs – created a topical with a scent and vibe reminiscent of the menthol-laced VapoRub, or ‘Vivaporu’ every Latinx or ‘90s baby recalls their very own grandma rubbing on their chest during cold winters to aid breathing during flu season. With a twist open, Nana’s Cooling Greaze sends you back to that favorite medicinal memory of the woman in your life who took good care of you at your most vulnerable – it’s there when you need it most. On your lower back after a five mile trek, tense shoulders after a long drive home, or to soothe inflamed finger joints on a brisk and rainy November, that icy/hot type cooling effect penetrates in less than 10 minutes – letting you know it’s working. It’s not just a topical, but a potpourri of aromatherapy with eucalyptus that will surely open up your lungs after one deep inhale, with the peppermint providing a quick pick-me-up. Its consistency is thick and a bit lumpy at first, but melts in smoothly once it reaches your skin, leaving no visible residue. The mango butter and coconut oil base beautifully provide an organic moisturizer as well. It’s a product that feels like it should live in your medicine cabinet for multiple uses. Rub this on after a lavender and epsom salt bath during a nice myrcene strain hit, like I did, and have the ultimate relaxing night at the crib. Or give your girlfriend a massage during an old Charlie Brown episode for a classically soothing experience. Since 2014, local Lash went from creating topicals to aid his Nana’s own personal ailments in Vermont, to bringing that same love crosscountry to California – even making it into the hands of rapper Wiz Kalifa. This 1.9 ounce jar of love is small enough to fit in a backpack for travel, it’s right at home on the top shelf in the home for those chilly months ahead, and an ideal stocking stuffer for future CBD enthusiasts in the fam. Not to mention a great way to incorporate THC into your holistic regimen and support a cool small biz.
Not just a topical, but a potpourri of aromatherapy with eucalyptus that will surely open up your lungs after one deep inhale. REVIEW by SKYE CABRERA @SKYE.CABRERA | PHOTO by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415/CALIFORNIA LEAF
1.9oz, 110MG CBD, 290MG THC
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NANA’S COOLING GREAZE
WORLD OF CANNABIS PRESENTS
Back to NORML A brief look at Keith Stroup, the man behind America’s foremost 44
cannabis advocacy group and its 50-year fight for your right to party.
This year marks the golden anniversary of our nation’s longest-running cannabis legalization association: the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws—or, as it’s better known, NORML. Comprising thousands of activists and lawyers, NORML’s mission is to advocate for the rights of cannabis users by mounting legal initiatives, defending and testifying for the accused, starting petitions and boycotts, appealing to the media and lobbying politicians. At the heart of this vast effort is a man who has devoted his life to the struggle of changing America’s unfair and outdated drug laws; one who has not only gained the respect and friendship of most of the counterculture’s greatest icons, but ended up becoming one in his own right—earning him the nickname “Mr. Marijuana.” That man is NORML’s founder, former executive director and current legal counsel, Keith Stroup. A southern Illinois farm boy turned Washington lawyer, Stroup started out working under consumer advocate Ralph Nader before forming NORML in 1970. One of the group’s first endeavors was to pressure Nixon’s National
Stroup speaks at the 2001 Hash Bash.
Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse to allow NORML activists to testify at their hearings. Stroup publicly challenged the old lies first put forth by the yellow journalism and exploitation films of the 1920s and ‘30s, such as Marijuana—Assassin of Youth, and his testimony helped sway the panel, with the president’s commission finally recommending that marijuana be decriminalized. Unfortunately, Nixon completely disregarded that advice.
REEFER MADNESS REPURPOSED
Those early propaganda pictures were largely forgotten ... buried in archives to collect dust for decades. That is until 1972, when Stroup’s lecture agent made him aware that the films had recently entered the public domain. Stroup procured a copy of Reefer Madness from the Library of Congress for $297, streamlined it down to 35 minutes and began showing it after his lectures. “It was so overdone, I knew the students would love it,” Stroup chuckles. “And of course, they did!”
The screenings were a big hit—not only increasing ticket sales and educating the students about the absurdity of prohibitionism, but also giving them an opportunity to spark up once the lights went down. World of Cannabis has three items from this historic 1972 college tour in our museum collection: a promotional poster for the film with the NORML logo in the top corner, and two pages with various sized print ads for the screenings (all black and white).
Also from that period, we have a limited edition art print of NORML’s square “Liberate Marijuana” logo, numbered and signed by artist Fairchild Paris, with a stamp designating it as part of the Playboy Enterprises VIP Private Edition. This was an item that had been auctioned off at fundraisers for NORML in the Playboy Mansion during the 1970s. In the organization’s early years, Playboy and its provocative publisher, Hugh Hefner, played a crucial role in getting NORML off the ground.
“The first dollar that ever came in the door came from Playboy,” Stroup recalls. “During the first 10 years of our existence, they were by far our largest funder.” An initial $5,000 donation from Playboy quickly blossomed into a $100,000 a year bankroll, two free full-page ads in each issue of the magazine, and several fundraisers at the Playboy Mansions—leading to a lasting friendship between Stroup and Hef.
HIGH TIMES & HUNTER THOMPSON
Over the years, however, another magazine would eventually eclipse Playboy as NORML’s top supporter: High Times, founded by pot smuggler and radical activist Tom Forcade. Stroup met Forcade in 1972 during the Democratic National Convention in Miami, when Forcade sold him weed from his perch up in a eucalyptus tree in “The People’s Park” –– located a few blocks down from the Convention Center. Throughout the mid-70s, Forcade made a number of large cash donations to NORML, including an infamous satchel filled with $10,000 in small, worn bills that was left on the doorstep of their Washington D.C. offices. The bag was accompanied by a typed note claiming that the cash came from a group of weed growers and smugglers calling themselves “The Confederation,” but it was Tom. After Forcade’s suicide in 1978, Stroup was one of a select few privileged to share a joint containing some of Tom’s ashes at a memorial party atop the old World Trade Center –– the “highest” structure in the world. On the same day Stroup met Forcade in Miami in 1972, he also met and blazed with the Yippie leaders Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, as well as an up-and-coming journalist from Rolling Stone named Hunter S. Thompson. Stroup introduced himself and shared Thompson’s joint after he smelled weed smoke wafting up from under the bleachers inside the convention center. Like Hefner, Hunter became one of Stroup’s lifelong friends –– serving on NORML’s board of directors until his death in 2005.
By 1978, NORML helped get marijuana decriminalized in 11 states and was inching towards nationwide decriminalization.
Hugh Hefner and Keith Stroup in the 70s.
THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION
Hunter and Hef weren’t the only cannabis icons Stroup counts among his BFFs though: legendary activist John Sinclair; political cartoonist Gary Trudeau; godfather of medical marijuana, the late Dr. Lester Grinspoon; and country music star Willie Nelson are all old friends. Stroup was also close with then-President Jimmy Carter’s son Chip, which helped engender a surprisingly amiable and productive relationship with NORML while the Carter Administration was in office. By 1978, NORML helped get marijuana decriminalized in 11 states and was inching towards nationwide decriminalization. Sadly, that all ended after a falling out occurred between Stroup and Carter’s drug policy adviser Peter Bourne. The ensuing scandal led to both men having to step down from their powerful positions.
Stroup and Hunter S. Thompson became close.
Like Hugh Hefner, Hunter S. Thompson became one of Stroup’s lifelong friends –– serving on NORML’s board of directors until his death in 2005.
BACK TO NORML
Stroup didn’t return to NORML for 15 years –– until he finally rejoined the Board of Directors and resumed his position as Executive Director in 1994. In the decades since, Stroup has spoken at countless cannabis events, including numerous NORML conferences, the historic Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, the Seattle Hempfest and of course, the Boston Freedom Rally –– where in 2007, he and former High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick were pinched for smoking a joint together behind the NORML booth on Boston Common. Despite offers to drop the charges, the duo insisted on taking their case to trial to make a political point and push for jury nullification. Today, NORML boasts 135 chapters across all 50 states and seven nations. And though marijuana is now legal for adult use in 11 states and for medical use in another 33, NORML’s fight is far from over.
» For more on Keith
and NORML, listen to his interview in Episode 3 of our Cannthropology potcast at worldofcannabis. museum/cannthropology or wherever you get your podcasts. To join or donate to NORML, visit norml.org.
This content was originally published on worldofcannabis.museum and is reprinted with permission.
STORY by BOBBY BLACK @CANNTHROPOLOGY for LEAF NATION | ART COURTESY NORML & WORLD OF CANNABIS MUSEUM @WORLDOFCANNABIS.MUSEUM
GROCERY BAGS ARE THE PROBLEM hen are we going to get it? When is it finally going to embed somewhere in the collective psyche that we only have so many trees to burn until there is a sad Lorax shaking his finger at us from atop a crispy stump, reminding us that he warned us 50 years ago? Dr. Seuss was ahead of his time. You do know that trees are a bioremediator, correct? That means they clean the air and soil. So, not only do we cease to exist on this planet without them, but we get to enjoy forest fire bongloads of burnt bark and sizzling squirrel tail in the meantime. How much more evidence do we need? Because it doesn’t get much clearer than waking up to an ash-covered car in the morning. Yet the fine face-covered folks who are cluelessly checking and bagging my groceries do not register the fact that it takes trees to make the paper ones, and plastic to kill the trees that make the paper ones. I grabbed a few items at the grocery store and the checker still found it necessary to double bag the items. God forbid the handle should rip, sending the satchel to the ground to potentially dent my tuna can. What the fuck, people? Figure it out! And it’s not that grocery bags are the real problem, but the fact that no one is saying anything. Why do I have to be an asshole for giving a shit? Am I a nuisance by requesting a single bag, or a weirdo for supplying my own reusable ones? Think of us in a fish tank. The water has got to be exchanged fairly frequently, or it begins to turn green and the fish get choked out. That is what’s happening to us. One fish, two fish, red fish, dead fish.
by Mike Ricker
F O L L OW @ R I C K E R D J | G E T T H E AU D I O V E R S I O N & EV E RY E P I S O D E AT S TO N EY- B A L O N EY. C O M
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