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THE ENLIGHTENED VOICE

# 1 0 5 | MA RC H 2 019

THE SUSTAINABILITY ISSUE

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MAR. 2019

11 Editor’s Note 12 Cannabis News 16 by the numbers 18 jerry whiting 20 bring it to bonnie 24 budtender of the month 26 stoner owner 28 profile interview 30 women in weed 32 highly likely 36 strain of the month

40 cannasol farms 42 gold leaf gardens 46 new day cannabis 48 tko reserve 50 re:stash jars 52 race to the bottom 54 pono farms q&a 58 tasty recipes 62 tannins & terpenes 66 concentrate review 70 stoney baloney

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THE S U S TA I N ABILITY ISSUE PHOTO by DANIELLE HALLE @SWEET.DEEZY

Learn about how Alfa Lashay is using her talents to help people get the most from their Cannabis, as the education and outreach coordinator for Heylo Cannabis in Seattle. Interview by Danielle Halle / pg. 30-31


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MJ MARTIN | Q&A HOW THIS PERSEVERING PATIENT IS USING CANNABIS TO BATTLE ACHALASIA, A RARE ILLNESS THAT CAUSES ONE TO LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO SWALLOW FOODS EASILY.

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mAR. 2019

STORY & PHOTO BY DANIELLE HALLE @SWEET.DEEZY


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

WES FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Wes abneY | wes@NWleaf.com | 206-235-6721

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Editor’s Note Thanks for picking up The Sustainability Issue of Northwest Leaf!

After nearly a decade of publishing and activism in the Cannabis industry, it is still strange to be writing about something as progressive as sustainability. When I first started in Cannabis, being sustainable meant avoiding jail or being robbed. Fast-forward to legalization and the industry we all love is facing a myriad of different issues. The most important issue I see facing the plant is simply that it is a plant. It grows like a weed. And here in the PNW producers are growing entirely too much pot. I personally believe that the markets will self-correct as farms fail when the price per pound of this agricultural product becomes unsustainable, and that farms will shift to growing less biomass, focusing more on craft and quality. With 1,000,000+ excess pounds of weed unsold between WA and OR, something has to give. Let me be clear: exporting Cannabis is not the solution. I hear this consistently from Oregon producers, and my question is this: Why would consumers in other states want to buy weed from Oregon (or anywhere else) when they can grow and process their own? And why should the rights of our overproducing farms here trump those of people in states soon to legalize who deserve a chance to participate in the industry? The short answer is that they don’t. Trying to fix a state’s Cannabis market by dumping excess pot on another state isn’t a solution, it’s a cop-out. But there are many other issues facing the industry, and they are in some ways more serious than metric tons of unsmoked flower. Cannabis has a massive waste issue, consuming goods and dumping plastic into landfills every time a five dollar preroll is bought. The national industry is largely overrun by rich, white men - and the one percent corporations are lining up to capitalize on the future of federal legalization. There’s a complete lack of minority and women-owned businesses, and the jobs offered by large for profit companies are quickly becoming the low paying, stagnant opportunities we expect of corporate America. And let’s not forget that Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and that people are being arrested and locked in cages for a plant every single day. So what will make Cannabis sustainable for the future? It’s more than a high-tech greenhouse or organic soil amendments. For the industry to survive as we know it, change must begin at the fundamental political level. Our plant needs to be freed nationally, regulated and taxed like normal businesses, and then we can begin worrying about all the little issues that will shape the planet and our Cannabis economy. Until then, a lot of what will make Cannabis truly sustainable is being lost in the weeds.

TRYING TO FIX A STATE’S CANNABIS MARKET BY DUMPING EXCESS POT ON ANOTHER STATE ISN’T A SOLUTION, IT’S A COP-OUT.

-Wes Abney

MAR. 2019

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Hoostagoo from Spokane, Washington-based growers New Day Cannabis is the cover of this month’s Sustainability Special Issue, and with good reason. The company is using LED technology and keeping things on the up and up as they focus on using the best environmental practices at every step of their operation. Learn more about NDC pg. 46-47.

ABNEY


national news

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politics

legalization

CONGRESS LOOKS AT BANKING FOR MARIJUANA BUSINESSES

SMALL OREGON TOWNS ARE EUPHORIC OVER WEED TAX WINDFALL

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House wants to give banks and credit unions legal cover to serve the exploding Cannabis industry. Even though a majority of states allow either medical Cannabis or recreational marijuana, weed remains illegal federally. That has created a strange legal limbo wherein Cannabis businesses must incur serious financial and security risks, because of being blocked from using banks and credit unions. Financial institutions have been wary of serving marijuana businesses because they don’t want to land in regulatory trouble with the feds. Without access to basic banking services, some growers and pot shops are forced to operate on a cash-only basis, increasing their risks of being robbed. Lawmakers across the political spectrum are uniting behind a new bill, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, to deal with this problem, reports The Hill. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado), and would bar federal regulators and prosecutors from penalizing banks and credit unions for serving marijuana businesses if those firms are in compliance with state laws. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” Rep. Perlmutter said. “The prohibition is over.”

legalization

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CALIFORNIA COLLECTS FAR LESS IN CANNABIS TAXES THAN INITIALLY PROJECTED Recreational Cannabis sales generated less than $350 million in tax revenues for California during 2018, regulators announced on February 19. This is viewed as very disappointing since annual tax revenues were previously projected at $1 billion. According to figures released by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, the state collected $345.2 million in excise, sales and cultivation taxes imposed on the new recreational Cannabis industry. The market was launched on January 1, 2018, making the state the biggest of the seven which so far permit adults to legally buy and use weed for recreational purposes. Recreational Cannabis sold by licensed shops in Cali is subject to a cultivation tax imposed on harvested weed, as well as a 15 percent excise tax and standard state and local sales taxes.

mAR. 2019

entertainment

MARYLAND BEAUTY QUEEN HAILS HEALING POWER OF MEDICAL CANNABIS A beauty queen from Maryland says she has all the proof she needs that medical Cannabis works. “It really is the miracle drug,” said Syanne Centeno, who says it can help with things like cancer, seizures, headaches and nausea. Crowned Miss Maryland World in 2015, Centeno suffered chronic aches, anxiety and fatigue. “I have osteoporosis, which is a bone disease commonly seen in post-menopausal women,” she said. “I have a seizure disorder, I have a pituitary tumor, and I also have a lesion on my temporal lobe.” At one point, Centeno said she was taking 10 pills a day, with little relief. AT ONE POINT, That’s why she turned to medicinal CENTENO SAID Cannabis oils. SHE WAS TAKING “I felt like I had to try it,” she said. 10 PILLS A DAY, “I’ve experienced firsthand what WITH LITTLE the benefits are, so now I feel inclined RELIEF. THAT’S WHY SHE TURNED to advocate for it and be a voice for TO MEDICINAL people who are too scared to come CANNABIS OILS. forward and share their experience.”

the south

With more than 600 licensed pot shops across Oregon, many are scattered along rural highways and in small towns. And these little communities are reaping big rewards from marijuana taxes, reports KOIN6. Towns like Gates, Oregon, in Marion County, are joyful over this turn of events. Gates has tripled its tax income with just one Cannabis retailer. The owner of Canyon Cannabis in Gates is Thorin Thacker, former mayor of Mill City, down the road. The shop has become a staple of the town. It has lots of personality, with custom frisbees and nostalgic records, and it makes bank. “It’s great to see such positive things coming out of such a harmless plant,” Thacker said. Jerry Marr, who served as mayor of Gates when recreational Cannabis was legalized and Canyon Cannabis opened, said the town’s entire population pays $7,000 in property tax each year. Canyon Cannabis, paying just 3 percent of its revenue, pays double that now. That $14,000 covers four months’ worth of the town’s entire yearly operating budget. With more than $82 million collected across Oregon in the most recent fiscal year, that’s making a big impact.

MISSISSIPPI HANDS OUT 12 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR OREGON MAN WITH 3 LBS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA

east coast

An Oregon man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in Mississippi for the possession of medical Cannabis. Patrick Beadle, 46, was originally convicted of “drug trafficking” and sentenced to eight years in prison without parole, reports The Clarion Ledger. His lawyer, Cynthia Stewart, said on February 20th that a judge vacated that conviction and let Beadle instead plead guilty to drug possession. The new 12-year sentence comes with the possibility of parole after three years. Beadle said the medical Cannabis was for his chronic knee pain. He is a licensed medicinal Cannabis patient in Oregon. Prosecutors said the only evidence that supported drug trafficking was the amount of weed, which totaled nearly three pounds. The marijuana was discovered when a Mississippi deputy pulled Beadle over in 2017 for driving over the centerline line, which Beadle disputes.

Baltimore will cease prosecuting people for possessing marijuana, regardless of the quantity or the person’s criminal history, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced. Calling the move “monumental” for justice in Baltimore, Mosby also requested the courts vacate nearly 5,000 convictions for marijuana possession. “When I ask myself: Is the enforcement and prosecution of marijuana possession making us safer as a city?” Mosby said. “The answer is emphatically ‘no.’” Maryland lawmakers decriminalized possession of up to 10 grams of weed in 2014.

BALTIMORE WON’T PROSECUTE POSSESSION

BY STEVE ELLIOTT, AUTHOR OF THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF MARIJUANA


national news

legalization

COULD WASHINGTON STATE ONCE AGAIN SEE CANNABIS FARMERS MARKETS?

politics

GOV. JAY INSLEE PARDONS CONVICTIONS FOR 13 WASHINGTON STATE RESIDENTS

nwleAF.COM

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In the first month after Washington Governor Jay Inslee offered pardons to thousands of people convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses, only 13 people officially got pardoned. A broader proposal may be gaining momentum in the Washington legislature, potentially clearing criminal records for hundreds of thousands of other state residents convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Inslee, who is mulling a Presidential run, announced his Marijuana Justice Initiative in early January at a Cannabis industry conference. The governor cited the negative impact of pot convictions, especially on minorities, and the lingering harm to employment opportunities and housing prospects. The governor’s pardon offer was limited to those with otherwise clean records who were convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses between 1998 and Dec. 5, 2012, when I-502, approved by voters the previous month, made marijuana legal in Washington state. About 3,500 people are estimated to be eligible for pardons under Inslee’s plan. As of February, 160 people had applied, but most weren’t eligible, according to the governor’s office.

Back in the golden age of medical marijuana in Washington State, Cannabis farmers markets became common. Then recreational legalization came along with voter-approved I-502, and the markets were declared illegal, part of the vast collateral damage to the medical marijuana community that made legalization a mixed bag for patients. Rick Garza, the state’s top marijuana regulator, speaking at a conference in February, said Washington will consider once again allowing small Cannabis producers to sell directly to consumers. It’s part of an effort to level the playing field for smaller mom-andpop craft growers, who are suffering financially with oversupply issues and stiff competition from bigger, corporate growers. Garza, who is director of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, made the remarks at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference in Portland, Oregon, reports Leafly. The plan he discussed would RICK GARZA, THE set up a system similar to that STATE’S TOP MARIJUANA governing Washington’s alcohol REGULATOR, SPEAKING producers. AT A CONFERENCE According to Garza, some of IN FEBRUARY, SAID the financial hardships facing WASHINGTON WILL smaller growers are due to the CONSIDER ONCE AGAIN lack of vertical integration in the ALLOWING SMALL state’s Cannabis industry. CANNABIS PRODUCERS Unlike other states, Washington TO SELL DIRECTLY TO forbids a single owner from both CONSUMERS. growing and selling Cannabis, requiring those activities be split between separate businesses. Any rule change would require approval of the entire threemember board. “There’s a lot of difficulty in the industry, but I’ve never heard a consumer complain about the system we set up in Washington,” Garza said. Hmmm....

east coast

northwest

HELPING MINORITIES GAIN A PIECE OF MARYLAND’S NEW CANNABIS INDUSTRY

WHY OREGON HAS A SIX-YEAR WEED SUPPLY

Maryland’s Cannabis industry is expected to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in the next few years, and minority businesspeople want to participate. Uplift Maryland, founded last year by Kevin Ford Jr., has as its goal increasing minority involvement among the state’s medical Cannabis growing and retail businesses. More than 350 people have registered to participate in Uplift’s training sessions to prepare minority residents to enter the Cannabis industry, Ford said. “We really want this training to push people to work together, to be able to sustain businesses in the “I THINK DIVERSITY Cannabis industry if they actually IS GOOD FOR ANY achieve a license,” Ford said. INDUSTRY. WHEN YOU’RE “I think diversity is good for any ABLE TO HAVE DIFFERENT industry. When you’re able to have VIEWPOINTS AT THE TABLE, different viewpoints at the table, THAT’S HOW YOU BUILD A that’s how you build a thriving in THRIVING IN INDUSTRY.” industry.” -UPLIFT MARYLAND Uplift Maryland was recently FOUNDER KEVIN FORD, JR. awarded a grant worth $45,000 from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The grants are to support educational and business development programs aimed at training minority business-people looking to participate in the industry.

Oregon growers are now producing twice as much Cannabis as the state’s residents can smoke, according to a new study from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. While on the surface that may seem like the kind of problem you’d like to have, it does lead to practical issues — such as the state’s current six years’ worth of weed sitting on shelves and at farms, reports Oregon Public Broadcasting. True to market forces, the vast oversupply of Cannabis has driven down prices. Since recreational weed became legal three years ago, prices have dropped from $10 a gram to less than $5 a gram. Consumers are happy about that; Oregonians are now smoking more weed at higher rates than any other state in the nation, according to Portland Business Journal. But regulators worry that the massive oversupply is fueling the black market. Farmers who have spent all year producing a quality crop, only to learn it’s not worth much in Oregon, are tempted to drive it across state lines and sell it somewhere else. But the federal government takes a very day view of such entrepreneurship. Such illegal exports are likely, according to some industry observers, to lead to a federal crackdown.

mAR. 2019

BY STEVE ELLIOTT, AUTHOR OF THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF MARIJUANA


by the numbers

13 350 12 600 Washington residents were pardoned under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Marijuana Justice Initiative.

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warning letters and five online advisories were sent by the FDA to foreign and domestic companies for selling CBD-infused products claiming to prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer’s, among other diseases and health conditions.

million dollars in tax revenues were generated by states that have recreational and legal Cannabis sales in 2018.

licensed Cannabis shops are in business across the state of Oregon.

57 42 percent of Maryland residents say they support recreational Cannabis in their state.

mar. 2019

dollars per ounce is the proposed excise tax on weed in New Jersey.

BY STEVE ELLIOTT, AUTHOR OF THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF MARIJUANA


IG: @treehawk.farms | W: treehawkfarms.com

Pictured: Bubba Monster Cookies shot by @thingsfromsteinfarm This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children. Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.


OPINION nwLEAF.COM

18

BY JERRY WHITING LeBlancCNE.com/podcast

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BIOMASS

There are a lot things Cannabis and hemp share in common. Cheap may not always be a bargain. Here’s a little secret of mine: I’d While verbiage to describe the plant isn’t one of them, it should be. If gladly pay one-third as much for biomass with one-half the chemistry. you’re like me, you’re familiar with marijuana and its vocabulary - words If lot A is 10 percent CBD for $100 a pound and lot B is five percent like bud, popcorn, sugar leaf, trim, shake, etc. CBD for $35 a pound, I’m buying lot B all day long. Imagine my surprise when I started working with industrial hemp, Let’s go back to our Milk Model. I just bought whole milk, not cream. especially that grown for CBD, and I heard the term “biomass” tossed Here, I’d kief the biomass to collect the trichomes I just bought. Now I about freely. Silly me, the first time I heard the term I thought they meant have less bulk to work with whether I make cannabutter, do an alcohol BMI, or body mass index. Too embarrassed to ask, for the life of me I extraction, or run it through a CO2 machine. Less post processing is couldn’t understand what body mass had to do with industrial hemp. required because I’m running trichomes without leaf matter - so there’s After seeing various examples of biomass I realized it bore little less chlorophyll, fats, lipids and other material to remove. resemblance from sample to sample. In fact, it seemed the term had Assuming you’re growing hemp for CBD production, all I want to little or no meaning at all. Biomass is too broad of a term to be of much buy are trichomes because that’s where the highest concentration of practical use. I’ve seen everything from branches cut with a chainsaw to cannabinoids and terpenes are. The more trichomes in your biomass the flower trimmed by hand, looking at totally different parts of the plant, all more I’m willing to pay for it. Some use what I call a flat pricing model: labeled biomass. dollars per mg of CBD. This works for those My answer is a whole new model and doing reductionist chemistry to make isolate or vocabulary when describing what part(s) of the distillate. I call it flat because it totally ignores “I’VE SEEN EVERYTHING hemp plant is being described and discussed. other valuable non-CBD cannabinoids, terpenes FROM BRANCHES CUT Farmers tend to understand what I call The Milk and other compounds that contribute to a whole WITH A CHAINSAW TO Model the first time they hear it. Pot growers plant preparation. think I’m nuts. A more nuanced pricing model takes into FLOWER TRIMMED BY HAND, Close your eyes and overlay milk onto a account the full cannabinoid and terpene LOOKING AT TOTALLY hemp plant keeping trichome concentration in profiles, as well as the condition of the hemp DIFFERENT PARTS OF mind. Going from top to bottom, we have heavy itself. The COA with the THC and CBD levels THE PLANT, ALL LABELED whipping cream (trimmed flower), half and half are a given, but what about pesticide test results, (popcorn and sugar leaf), whole milk (trim) and microbial and mycotoxin, or even heavy metals? BIOMASS.” skim milk (shake and leaves). Those are worth something. Let’s not forget the The trichome concentration and price goes whims of the market. Is Cherry Wine popular down as you go from top to bottom. with your customers? Will they pay a premium for the Cherry Wine brand? Back to biomass. If lot A is heavy cream and lot B is half and half, they Does the hemp in question have CBG or THC-V? Both are in demand and may be labeled biomass but they aren’t apples to apples the same. A sought after by some willing to pay for it. buyer needs to consider not only how much per mg of CBD it costs, but Not all biomass is the same. Ignore the finer differences and you’ll also the physical condition of the hemp itself. If it’s trimmed it takes less pay too much or overlook hidden gems. Don’t take my word for it - go work to process, has a higher yield and/or creates less waste material. shopping for yourself. Just be sure to leave the flat pricing model at home.

mar. 2019

PHOTO BY DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS


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OPINION

Sustainability startswith stoners

BY BONNIE FONG FOR NORTHWEST LEAF

BRING IT TO

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BONNIE

nwLEAF.COM

“I am a retailer and am always looking to make my company more green-friendly, no pun intended. I would love to start a recycling program where customers can bring in their old Cannabis containers and we could return them to the producer or processor for sterilization and reuse. We would then offer a discount to the customer to encourage recycling and reducing waste. How can I make such a program possible and still remain complaint?” First of all, I commend you on your efforts to stay green. Our Earth deserves business owners like yourself who are committed to a sustainable future. Unfortunately, the compliance of a recycling program at your retail establishment is speculative at best. The rules prohibit the opening of Cannabis packages on the premises. The rules further require retailers to post signs on premises prohibiting the opening of Cannabis containers on premises. With the possibility of customers opening their Cannabis containers in order to participate in your recycling program, you could put your license at risk. You should also know that a violation of this rule is a Group 1 Safety Violation and imposes a $1,000 on the license. This is a shame, because I also understand the concern of disposing of Cannabis packaging in homes where children are present. If a Cannabis product is not to your liking, you should not be forced to throw it away in the garbage where a child could retrieve it and ingest it. I would love to see a program in Cannabis stores where you can do safe disposal of Cannabis products and packaging, similar to prescription medication disposal sites. I have heard through the grapevine that there is a company who is starting a program where glass stores adjacent to cannabis stores will accept old Cannabis packaging and return them to their respective Cannabis producer or processors. Hopefully this pans out and we can one day safely dispose of Cannabis products and packaging.

IT’S NO SECRET THAT CANNABIS CULTIVATION CREATES AN UNACCEPTABLE AMOUNT OF WASTE IN WASHINGTON STATE. In a July 2017 article, The Stranger reported, 1.7 million pounds of plant waste was created by Washington state’s legal marijuana industry since 2014. They blamed part of it on composting companies who refuse to compost Cannabis waste, citing federal law. I also attribute it to Washington’s administrative code, which requires Cannabis waste be mixed with foreign substances such as paper, plastic, “When consumers start demanding and other non-compostable waste higher quality products. nutrients, packaging and green practices, I often walk into producer/processor producers and facilities that are mixing their Cannabis processors waste with basically trash and whatever will follow.” they can find, all in an effort to comply with the Cannabis code in the cheapest way possible. This practice doesn’t stop at ambivalence to proper composting. The quality of Cannabis packing is going downhill. The nutrients we see in Cannabis products are declining in excellence. The result is cheaper products, yes - but it also means we’re putting inferior products into our bodies. The state of Cannabis products in Washington state at times feels like we are in a race to the bottom. The quality of Cannabis products, in my perspective, is declining due to the demand for cheap Cannabis, people in search for the biggest bang for our buck. We can’t really blame producers and processors for trying to stay competitive and stay afloat. However, it is the demand of consumers that is ultimately going to change the trend of Cannabis quality in our state. When consumers start demanding higher quality nutrients, packaging and green practices, producers and processors will follow. Retailers will have no choice but to listen to the demand of customers and supply better quality Cannabis. We see customer demands affect economies in other areas of trade. Consumer practices have shifted to support smaller businesses and local companies in an effort to make big conglomerates like Walmart less powerful. Our society has shifted from valuing foreign-made products from China to appreciating American-made products instead. The Cannabis industry is the same – consumers must demand a higher quality product, and the market will follow. Talk to your budtender. Demand information about ecological practices of producers and processors. Inquire into which packages are compostable or recyclable. Pay attention to what you’re buying and the retailers will pay attention, too. Businesses do not dictate market demands - we do. If stoners demand it, the market will follow. Can we achieve greener and better quality Cannabis products in Washington state? Yes we Cannabis.

The information contained in this column is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

mar. 2019

SEND YOUR QUESTIONS TO BONNIE@C3.LEGAL

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VISIT SMOKINGCROW.COM

Bellingham, Washington

Washington's First Terpene. Focused. Experience.

This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.


BUDTENDER OF THE MONTH

@DABB_N_DOM

DOMINICRIO When did Cannabis first come into your life? My first inhale was at age 17. Like any young coming-of-age adult, I was looking for a party enhancement. After trying alcohol and Cannabis, I quickly realized I would rather get high than drunk. Back then weed was also much easier to access than alcohol, and somehow that has continued to be the truth in my life.

How did you become a budtender? I started shopping at dispensaries in 2009. Back then you had to search on Craigslist to find a listing. I developed a solid underground connection with a few of the leading medical growers at the time, and they would guide me to the nearest access point that carried their weed. Whenever I needed to re-up I looked forward to the shopping experience, and as a result I always showed up at the access point with a great attitude and passion for the plant. One afternoon at SMMA (Seattle Medical Marijuana Solution), I happened to be present to witness two budtenders walk out on the job that day. Like always, timing and persistence finally landed me in the right place at the perfect time. I soon found myself serving the Cannabis industry.

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“I AM BLESSED TO BE WORKING WITH SUCH A GENEROUS AND FUN GROUP.” If you find yourself across the Puget Sound in the naval base town of Bremerton needing a dank herbal fix, there are several easily accessible options. However, our Leaf staff highly recommends a stop at Clear Choice Cannabis. This retail Cannabis shop is beautifully marked with vibrant neon purple lights and an extravagant entry. Here you can find an outstanding display of our state’s finest Cannabis selections, all in a spacious and mindfully designed access point. Our staff had the pleasure of catching up with one of Washington’s longest serving budtenders - a true OG himself serving our industry for 10 plus years - Dom is the man in Bremerton with all the green wisdom to dial in your perfect Cannabis shopping experience.

What are your favorite strains and cannabis producers? I am a Cookie strain kind of man, and Wedding Cake and Gorilla Glue #4 are my all time favorite strains. It’s no surprise that my number one favorite producer is Gold Leaf Gardens. They have been cultivating some of the best Cookie genetics in the market since medical days. Aurum Farms, Cascadia Gardens, Legendary Labs and Phat Panda are a few of the other producers I enjoy. How do you find the right Cannabis for a customer? I like to start by asking the customer a few key questions. Sativa, indica or hybrid? What’s your favorite farm? What is a comfortable price point? These questions generally help me gauge whether the buyer prefers more quantity or higher quality. After that I focus on hooking it up with the most bang for your buck. Sometimes I talk terps with the heady ones, and high THC percentages with the low ballers. Why do you like working at Clear Choice Cannabis? It’s simple really. CCC offers a competitive wage and employee benefits with the opportunity for future growth in the i502 retail industry. I am blessed to be working with such a generous and fun group.

If given the opportunity to actively help initiate change or evolve current laws in the Cannabis industry, what kind of change What is your favorite part of the job? would you advocate for? Educating the customer is such I would advocate for the ability to a positive and fun talk freely about all experience. Also, Cannabis products. being told you’re Especially when giving somebody’s favorite medical advice about budtender after CBD products and how clear choice CANNABIs 6733 WA-303, Bremerton helping them find the to treat animals, or FindClearChoice.com exact product that children with something @ClearChoiceWA they we’re describing other than prescription (360) 633-7259 is always a humbling drugs. and exhilarating moment. What are your hobbies when you aren’t working at the dispensary? What’s your favorite way to consume? I play local league and tournament Hands down, I have to say good softball. I’m also a big-time old bong rips out of the old school snowboarder and love Roor beaker. Followed by my spending time with my second favorite, fat terpy dabs. Aussie Shepherd, Tech N9ne.

GOT A FAVORITE BUDTENDER? TELL US WHY! NWLEAF@GMAIL.COM

mar. 2019

INTERVIEW by AJ OG @AJ.OG | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS


STONER OWNER

MEGAN SCHWARTING

26

nwLEAF.COM

owner KUSH CREAMS®

HANGING OUT AT HOME IN GIG HARBOR, WASHINGTON WITH HER FRENCH BULLDOG, CAPTAIN ELSIE BON BON KUSH

mar. 2019

MEGAN SCHWARTING is the owner and founder of Kush Creams®®, a heritage line of topicals and lotions that have become known around the globe for their powerful efficacy. Schwarting was one of the first people to ever receive a federal trademark for her Cannabis brand! The devoted mother of three took some time to chat with Northwest Leaf about how she got started in the Cannabis industry, why dabs will always be her favorite, and how she balances it all.

INTERVIEW by AJ OG @AJ.OG | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS


STONER OWNER highlights individuals who have developed their love for Cannabis into a thriving business. This monthly column celebrates leaders and business owners who love and consume the plant, giving them real insight into the industry’s true roots and culture.

How did Cannabis come into your life? I am a true Puget Sound native and I have to say that Cannabis was always present in some form in and around my life. As a native to this land in the PNW, Cannabis was more readily available and prevalent than alcohol, even in my youth. For as long as I live, I will never forget my first session one sunny afternoon in late 6th grade. Ahhhh, yeah, the rest is history!

What inspired you to start your company? I dedicated my passion to the leaf in my youth. Long ago during the first few years of my relationship building with Mary Jane, I discovered how remarkably healing this plant was. In my teenage years I was always whipping up something for someone, to help with this, that or the other thing. I found financial freedom in cultivation and the lucrative distribution that ensued. In July 2010, as the city of Seattle was about to start allowing safe access to patients, I decided to jump in with both feet - shutting down three commercial grows and dumping all of that revenue and hard work into what would become Kush Creams®️. When I launched Kush Creams®️ in 2010, there was less than ten access points to distribute product to. It’s amazing the immense change we have witnessed unfold as the company has grown over the years. As the demand increased and continues to, I am finally able to help patients on a broad spectrum and the response has been humbling. I love improving people’s quality of life on the daily.

What does it mean to you to be a Cannabis business owner that consumes the plant? It means that I understand the whole picture; I have a real relationship with the plant and we serve each other in the highest way possible. I know that old saying “don’t get high off your own supply” is a popular one but personally, I have always found canna-business owners that did not consume...creepy. It’s like seriously? Put your money where your mouth is and not just into your pocket.

What is your favorite strain/ way to consume? My all time most favorite fire that never lets you down is the Head Cheese. Anyone who knows me could have guessed that. I’ve stuck by this strain for 12+years! Not headband x cheese - this is the real deal. High Times featured our strain on their cover in the “Strongest Strains on Earth” issue in May 2013. It is as legit as they get! As for how I enjoy my sacred sesh, hands down, every time - dabs. Big fat terpy globs. Bring it on!

How do you handle consumption during the work day for yourself and your employees? The idea of workplace consumption makes me smile. I’m happy we have come this far to speak of it so openly. To be frank, I wish my employees would dab with me. I only have one staff member that can still hang. For the rest of my staff, their first dab ever, was their last dab ever! As for myself, I try to curb consumption until the end of the day, otherwise I have trouble medicating when I actually need to - which is right before my kids get off that afternoon school bus. It helps me be a more patient, understanding, happy go lucky mama. I find that when I consume throughout the day it doesn’t give me the relief I am seeking later, when it is most beneficial.

What is your biggest challenge, and favorite part of owning a legal Cannabis business? Being able to help people live a better quality of life is by far the best part of being a Cannabis business owner. It is such a blessing to be able to operate transparently (legally!) in plain sight and be able to share these awesome, helpful, beneficial products with the masses. For me the challenge is working with a lot of these recreational businesses both in and out of Washington state.

These business are actually owned by big money corporate players and investors. I am fiercely independently owned, which is why I can’t stand working with people that always have to go back and “talk with all of their partners” after they sat there the whole meeting acting like the ‘Chief Big Shot Caller’...only to have to go back for even the smallest clearance.

What are your goals for the future of Kush Creams®️ and the industry in general? Kush Creams®️ has evolved to meet market needs offering three distinct different formulations, based off how the consumer purchases. We offer our Hemp and CBD line, which is sold nationwide online, via Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. We also offer our CHABA (Cannabis Health and Beauty Aids) line (>.3%thc), which is sold over the counter in places like your local chiropractic clinic or favorite spa, where you can find our formulas often labeled privately (white labeled), and our Kush Creams®️ label is found in local headshops. We also produce a high THC formula that can only be sold in recreational state licensed stores in Washington, as well as other states that have legalized.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Spare time? Huh?! I don’t think I will have any spare time in the next decade! I am a super proud mom of three wise young girls. They are in 4th, 5th and 6th grade, growing and evolving faster than I can keep up. They keep me busy with ‘the Mom life’ between directing the art program at their school to being a PTA mom. Overall, I enjoy being a hip and fun mom. I aim to be one of those “parents in the know.” My kids are sitting in on this interview and they just told me if I was in the “know”, that I would know that no one “hip” calls themselves “hip”.

“THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN HUMBLING. I LOVE IMPROVING PEOPLE’S QUALITY OF LIFE ON THE DAILY.“ @KUSHCREAMSCONNECTION / KUSHCREAMS.COM

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PROFILE

MJ MARTIN

HOWCANNABISHELPSAchalasia

nwLEAF.COM

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Approximately 1 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with Achalasia, a rare illness which causes the patient to lose their ability to swallow foods easily. The symptoms associated with Achalasia are so intense that some patients have even compared the esophageal spasms to having a heart attack. Luckily, for people like MJ Martin, Cannabis has been a saving grace for those experiencing the disease and its symptoms. Martin explained to me that her doctors aren’t sure why she has this condition, but speculate that it could have developed after an extremely severe case of the Norovirus that left her very ill, vomiting for several weeks. The first time Martin was hospitalized for her Achalasia was just about a year after this serious Norovirus episode. She had been going to doctor after doctor, taking test after test to figure out what was wrong and why she still felt so sickly. She said that “they would throw different medications at [her], but no one knew what was wrong. “[She] had lost so much weight that her clothes weren’t fitting, and [she] was just skin and bones.” Up until this point, Martin was continuing to work as a manager in a dental office in this condition. Pushing through work days, malnourished with a sick stomach to support her children and family. One particular morning she woke up incredibly weak and found herself unable to keep much food down. After attempting to force herself to eat a protein bar at work that day, she felt a severe chest pain that she had never experienced before. Out of breath, she turned to her colleague and said, “there’s something wrong” as her hands and face turned white.

Her coworker responded, noted that MJ “didn’t look so good” and urged her to go straight to the hospital. Martin courageously got in the car and drove herself to the hospital. While on the phone via Bluetooth, her mother asked her questions to try and figure out what was happening to her daughter. Her mother quickly realized that the protein bar Martin ate had become stuck in her throat, and that day she was admitted to the hospital, unable to swallow. The doctors had to remove the protein bar and sent her home, although Martin was still malnourished and not feeling well. After a second hospital visit, Martin decided to reach out to a few different G.I. doctors, eventually finding one who would see her for this issue. Upon examining Martin, the G.I. doctor’s nurse determined that Martin was to be immediately admitted to the hospital. One week and several tests later, Martin was diagnosed with Achalasia. None of the medications that Martin was prescribed were helping her deal with her symptoms, but they were actually “making it to the point where [she] couldn’t function in life because [she] was on so many.” Rapidly losing weight and unable to eat solid foods, it was becoming dire for Martin to find a solution. That solution didn’t come until Martin joined a couple of support groups for people with Achalasia. It was there that she learned that some of her peers were using Cannabis to reduce their G.I. and esophageal spasms and gain an appetite again.

Martin had experimented herself with Cannabis as a sleep aid, but only occasionally. While exploring Cannabis options at her local recreational shop, she met a compassionate budtender who urged her to try Rick Simpson Oil. After her first six week session of RSO treatment was up, Martin became a believer in the healing power of Cannabis, and a daily consumer of the plant. She is a proponent of utilizing the full spectrum of cannabinoids, rather than just focusing on CBD or THC. Her tincture of choice “instantly stops” her spasms, and this blend of THC, CBD, and CBN work together to “relax the soft tissue muscles and take away pain.” Now that Martin is acclimating back into a somewhat normal lifestyle, she admits that it has been a challenge at times. She was nervous to come out of the Cannabis closet and openly claim Cannabis as her medicine of choice, the plant that “literally saved [her] life.” Society has placed such a stigma on not only individuals who consume Cannabis, but especially parents and mothers specifically. Rather than shy away from this lifestyle change, Martin took a different route and created a place for herself where she would feel comfortable expressing her support of the plant.

AFTER HER FIRST SIX WEEK SESSION OF RSO TREATMENT WAS UP, MARTIN BECAME A BELIEVER IN THE HEALING POWER OF CANNABIS, AND A DAILY CONSUMER OF THE PLANT.

Flower Girl Queens is a lifestyle brand that Martin debuted on Instagram to connect with others who have chronic illnesses and to learn more about how Cannabis has impacted their recovery and healing. Currently FGQ vends fashion apparel and handmade jewelry, and eventually Martin is going to offer a line of CBD products as well. Learn more at www.FGQ.life and FlowerGirlQueens.org. mar. 2019

STORY & PHOTO by DANIELLE HALLE @SWEET.DEEZY


WOMEN IN WEEd nwLEAF.COM

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Being the education and outreach coordinator means Lashay can express her love of safe Cannabis in an authentic and scientific way.

mar. 2019


ALFALASHAY

heylo cannabis education & outreach coordinator

STORY & PHOTO by DANIELLE HALLE @SWEET.DEEZY

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the wellness side of things, to help compensate for the fact that the medical Alfa Lashay has proven that any challenge life throws your way can side of the industry no longer exists. be overcome through incredible discipline and determination. Lashay is aware that THC can potentially make the symptoms of anxiety A first generation, self-made college graduate, she is following her and depression that she lives with worse. So, she has spent her time figuring dreams because she knows “the possibilities are endless” for a woman in out which strains personally work for her, that doesn’t get her into that parathe ever-changing Cannabis industry. noia high, and realizing that the terpenes along with other cannabinoids Conquering obstacles seems to come naturally to Lashay, as she have an effect in that. When I asked which strain she would recommend to recounts for me the difficulties she faced while obtaining her associate me for anxiety, she suggests the CBD cultivar Aliens on Moonshine by Casdegree in biology from Shoreline Community College. Most people don’t cade Gnome, processed by Heylo. understand what nontraditional students, like Lashay, must do in order to “[It’s] the most flavorful oil I have ever vaped,” she said. Testing at 22 graduate, such as working full-time jobs in order to sustain herself and percent terpenes with a tropical pineapple flavor. the increasing tuition and living costs in Seattle. Having spent the majority of her life focusing on putting a positive impact As discouraging as it may seem, she never gave up, and even commitback on the universe, it seemed only fair that the universe rewards her for ted her free time to giving back to the community as a volunteer at Mary’s being so genuinely kind to her fellow humans. Soon after her successful Place and as a social activist. Not being one to seek a handout, she spent mission at Vela was completed, she was awarded a position at Heylo Cana great deal of effort advocating for public transit routes to accommodate nabis – one of her favorite Cannabis companies. Being the education and students who were trying to complete their education. outreach coordinator means that she can express her love of safe Cannabis It seemed like a role in customer service was the perfect fit for Lashay, in an authentic and scientific way. who is no stranger to helping others. Her first opportunity to assist those I asked her what qualities customers were searching for in in the Cannabis realm came when she was offered the role their Cannabis, she shared: pesticide-free, organic, sustainas a budtender at Vela, a retail Cannabis shop which was “CUSTOMERS ARE ably grown and packaged. She also told me that the more formerly located in SODO. Lashay’s goal was to reduce BECOMING MORE information is provided, the more people ask about it. the stigma associated with Cannabis, so she felt it importHEALTH CONSCIOUS, Customers are becoming more health conscious, and cerant to wait until the right fit came along when pursuing a tainly, enjoy the fact that Cannabis producers are becoming retail position in the industry. AND CERTAINLY, Previous sales expertise, her background in science, and ENJOY THE FACT THAT more open about their practices. Lashay and I both agree that there is plenty of room for excellent customer service skills made Lashay an extremely desirable candidate for employment in our local Cannabis CANNABIS PRODUCERS authenticity in our industry. She states that she is very proud to work for a company that partners with outdoor and suscommunity. She explains that she wanted to join the indus- ARE BECOMING MORE tainably grown Cannabis farms. try to help people who were intentionally using Cannabis to OPEN ABOUT THEIR The future is looking bright for Lashay, who is soaking up help with any issues they were dealing with. “Whether it be PRACTICES.” the sunshine of the career path that she’s currently on. When chronic pain, cancer patients, or even something like menI asked her where she saw her career in Cannabis headed, tal illness and managing that,” she said. Vela provided to she reminds me that she is still in the process of obtaining her bachelor’s be an excellent outlet for her to use her knowledge of terpenes to find the degree in organic chemistry or biochemistry, which she hopes to obtain perfect blends to help her customers. She notes that since there were so within the next 10 years. many different products available in the i502 market, her job at Vela was As far as her short-term goals are concerned, Lashay is making waves in made much easier by brands like Raven Grass and Heylo, which state the the local Seattle Cannabis community with her Self Care Saturday events, terpene profiles and intended effects on their packaging. hosted through Heylo Sessions. She hopes to one day “create an establishAlthough Lashay cared for many different types of medical Cannabis ment that combines Cannabis with holistic self-care practices. A designated patients while working at Vela, she feels especially connected to patients space focused on the mental stability of the community in an inclusive atmowho are experiencing varying forms of mental illness. She recalls the sphere.” In the most female-dominated trade in America, she is confident switch over from medical to i502 and realized that there was a complete “she will make her mark in the Cannabis industry,” and that anything she lack of the medical community we had come to know and love. She felt puts herself up to, she has the possibility of attaining. it was her civic duty to provide some kind of knowledge that reflected on


B

ritish musician, singer, songwriter, and actor Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, or Sting, has been one of the most respected voices in arts and entertainment since the early 80s. His original band, The Police, were one of the biggest rock bands of the late 70s and early 80s – winning many an award and accolade for their work on the edges of reggae and new wave music. Since then, Sting has gone on to write and record countless hits for other bands, and for his own solo career, appeared in over 30 movies, and worked in the theater. These endeavors have earned him countless Grammy awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy and nominations for Oscars. He has his own star on the Hollywood walk of fame and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But beyond all of his success in the entertainment industry, Sting has attempted to give back to society in many ways. He’s been a human rights activist since the early 80s. He’s worked toward environmental causes, world hunger, the global refugee crisis with organizations like Amnesty International and the Tibetan independence movement. Most recently, Sting has worked to stem the tide of technology addiction in children. In his personal life, he’s an avid practitioner of yoga and transcendental meditation, and apparently, he likes to smoke a little Cannabis now and then. “If I’m feeling stuck on a lyric or an idea isn’t quite gelling, sometimes a puff of weed will free it up,” he told Rolling Stone magazine last year – adding that he’s utilized it as a creative catalyst throughout his life. He said he “rarely smoke[s] it socially.” When asked to elaborate, Sting said that, “it’s a tool, just as the pen is,” and then went on to note that many musical icons have used certain substances to enhance their work. “I certainly wouldn’t advocate that you have to take drugs to make art, but then you can’t nullify the work of The Beatles. They took LSD and they made fantastic albums. Miles Davis made the most extraordinary music on heroin.” He offered a caveat. “Some people can cope with it perfectly well. I’m not here to make rules, or even state that there should be any rules. Drugs are dangerous, without a doubt,” he said. “At the same time, they can be useful tools, but they need to be thought about as tools.” This isn’t the first time that Sting has spoken about Cannabis use. In 2014 he also opened up to Britain’s Event magazine, saying, “I think if [drugs] are used specifically as tools for a stated purpose [they should be decriminalized]. As in ‘I’ll smoke this joint and I’ll write a song…or I will write a piece of poetry,’” he said. “Then I think it’s perfectly acceptable.” We agree (of course!). But it’s voices of reason and calm like Sting’s that are slowly but surely changing the tide and finally helping with the process of normalization in Cannabis consumption.

STING Michelle Andonian

highly likely #43 nwLEAF.COM

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WORLD-FAMOUS SINGER/SONGWRITER AND OCCASIONAL CANNABIS SMOKER

“IF I’M FEELING STUCK ON A LYRIC OR AN IDEA ISN’T QUITE GELLING, SOMETIMES A PUFF OF WEED WILL FREE IT UP.”

Highlighting Cannabis pioneers who paved the way to greater herbal acceptance. mar. 2019

By PACER STACKTRAIN


STRAIN OF THE MONTH nwLEAF.COM

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Hindu Sour BurnWellfarms

“PERFECTLY CU RED AND HAND TRIMMED, THESE BUDS ARE STUNNERS WITH A GREEN STRUCTU RE AND SPOTS OF PU RPLE - ALL COVERED IN A FOREST OF RED HAIRS...”

mar. 2019

REVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS


S

USTAINABLY GROWN IN PULLMAN, WA, the Hindu Sour flower by Burnwell Farms is a beautiful flower with a complex flavor profile and a euphoric Sativa high. With a flavor profile that only a Cannabis connoisseur could love, the Hindu Sour exudes a thick and sour funk that crinkles the nose with dominating flavors of skunky rotting fruit, finishing with a sweet earthy spiciness. Perfectly cured and hand-trimmed, these buds are stunners with a green structure and spots of purple - all covered in a forest of red hairs. To call this flower complex is almost an understatement, with a truly unique flavor profile and perfect jar appeal. Snapping a nug open reveals an even thicker wave of Hindu Sour funk, with a clean snap and a light sprinkle of trichomes that fall from the bud. From the first toke the flower, it burns with an exceptionally clean and light smoke that is easy on both inhale and exhale. When combusted the flavor is surprisingly sweet, with only a hint of the sour skunk that is so present in the jar. With a clean white ash burn and a light funk that lingers in the palate after an exhale, this is an exquisite tasting flower that is a pleasure to smoke. Effects from the Hindu Sour bring a cerebral rush that quickly fills the mind and body with sativa energy. A very uplifting and clear-minded high, this is a feel better, whistle while you work type of Cannabis that is perfect for morning or daytime tokes. Repeated tokes will definitely fill the mind with a euphoric haziness, but it’s far from overwhelming and actually quite pleasant when paired with a good activity or entertainment. Growing craft Cannabis in a proprietary and one-of-a-kind indoor facility, that’s enhanced by natural light from a transparent glass roof, Burnwell Farms specializes in high-quality Cannabis with low environmental impact. Using wind and hydroelectric power, natural energy from the sun, and a combination of onsite natural spring water and organic nutrients, the Cannabis coming out of the facility is sustainable fire. With a wide selection of strains and a craft approach, we recommend asking for Burnwell Farms at your local dispensary!

20.7% THC BURNWELLCO.COM


This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breast feeding. For use only by adults twe


enty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. This product may be unlawful outside of Washington state. 21+ Recreational


the sustainability issue

Okanogan, Washington

CANNASOL FARMS

40 “I would like to see budtenders, buyers and store owners drop their biases against sungrown Cannabis, and start to understand that when done right, it can be superior to indoor.”

JEREMY MOBERG

nwLEAF.COM

J

eremy Moberg is the founder of CannaSol Farms, with Sol meaning the Latin word for sun. CannaSol is a sungrown and sustainable farm near Spokane that utilizes living soils and a low carbon footprint approach to growing. Moberg is also a long term activist, beginning with the Gulf War protests, and a voice for sungrown Cannabis in the industry. When the LCB initial draft rules for I-502 restricted growing to indoors, Moberg lobbied heavily and can be credited with influencing the rulemaking process and getting sungrown Cannabis permitted under legalization. Today he runs his farm and is focused on raising awareness for conscious Cannabis production and consumption.

mar. 2019

WHEN DID YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PLANT BEGIN?

My whole life has been ruled by this plant since age 15. I got ran out of Moses Lake for my political work in opposing the first Gulf War. I started an anti-war group and we protested and things got really bad for us. My mom offered to send me to Spokane and Gonzaga Prep my sophomore year, so I moved and started selling weed there.

DID YOU QUICKLY TURN TO GROWING?

I started growing weed in the basement and bought my first light in 1991. I borrowed a friend’s car and drove to the hydro store and was all paranoid, and then drove back to where I had parked my car to transfer the light. I grew weed in the basement and got well known for it particularly because I had a strain called The Musk.

YOU’VE BEEN GROWING OUTDOORS AND LIGHT DEPRIVATION CANNABIS SINCE 1997. WHAT ACTION DID YOU TAKE AS AN ACTIVIST WHEN YOU SAW SUNGROWING INITIALLY BANNED UNDER I-502?

I formed the Okanogan Cannabis Association and tapped an old political activist friend named Buffalo to go lobby Olympia to allow sungrown Cannabis. He was famous for


not have a lot of consumer info. Customers know what kind of choices they want to make in the clothes and food they buy, and they identify with those decisions. But when they walk into a dispensary and ask for sustainable weed, the kid behind the counter points to the bottom shelf. While there is low grade sungrown, companies like us offer sustainable, high quality, environmentally conscious packaged products, and the retailers think it costs too much. So there’s a bottleneck in the industry between brands and buyers and consumers.

@cannasolfarms / cannasolfarms.com

wearing suits and no shoes. I also wrote a letter to Joel Crest, a typical Eastern WA Republican that loves to point out the hypocrisy of the progressive left. He dropped bills in 2013 to get the Department of Ecology to assess the impact of growing indoors, and asked the Department of Agriculture to take charge of Cannabis. Imagine if that bill had passed and it was Dept of AG and not the LCB running things! The bills were past cutoff, but it got me attention and meetings with the LCB. And I had a presentation with them that blew their minds.

WHAT WAS SO MIND BLOWING?

They had been told so many things about Cannabis that were not completely true, and at the end of the presentation they said, “You’re telling me you can grow pot outside?” I was like, “Yeah, you can.” And they were like, “This changes everything.” Then they asked, “If we legalize indoor, will we have a massive electrical draw and carbon footprint?” So it started to get into their brains that they had environmental questions to answer.

YOU STARTED CANNASOL IN 2012 AND WERE SELLING BRANDED CANNABIS IN THOSE EARLY DAYS. WHAT WAS YOUR TRANSITION INTO THE REC MARKET LIKE AFTER ALL OF YOUR ACTIVISM?

WHY WAS THERE A BATTLE?

They started to tire of my activism and that was their fix. I hired Roger Goodman to go talk to Rick Garza, figuring he could get it done. He said, “I don’t know what you did, but you’re not getting licensed.” It was clearly retribution for being in

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CANNABIS AS A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT?

For me Cannabis has always been a socially conscious drug. It formed my outlook on the world, and I live off grid and think about my impact on the world, mitigating when I can. Under prohibition I didn’t care. I said produce meds at any cost, and if I need to use a generator to grow indoors or toss nutes in the drain so be it. That’s on the government, not me. But after legalization we had to start asking, “What is our environmental impact?”

HOW IS CANNASOL SUSTAINABLE?

We look at our supply chain and reducing waste and excessive nutrients. We sourced local soil and renewable peat, mixed it with organic nutrients, and have been using living soil, no till ever since. Last season we added no additional nutrients! The whole point here is to close the carbon loop and stop the waste streams of nutrients and plastics that indoor grows use. We also only grow using the sun, with light deprivation that produces phenomenal weed, and full term sun grown flower.

DO YOU THINK THAT CONSUMERS ARE UNAWARE ABOUT SUSTAINABLE FARMS AND PRACTICES, WHICH IS WHY THEY KEEP OVERWHELMINGLY BUYING CORPORATE, FACTORY STYLE MID GRADE CANNABIS?

I think that customers want to make sustainable choices, but we’re an industry that does

It’s been really difficult for sungrowers producing premium products to get top shelf space. I’ve come to realize that that consciousness in the early movement is not present anymore. It’s all about the Instagram feed and big dabs, and sustainability and respect are the last things to register. There’s this disconnect in the industry because we gave the keys to the gate of the industry to millenials I think consumers are becoming very aware of the impacts of indoor Cannabis, and it doesn’t take me more than 30 seconds to convince the guy who rides a bike and wears Patagonia to never smoke indoor weed again. They’re on board immediately.

IS THAT WHY YOU STARTED THE ORCA SAFE LABEL FOR CANNABIS COMPANIES?

That was me trying to reduce down a fairly complicated idea to a single icon. Basically our orcas are starving because there’s no chinook salmon, and the salmon are dying because of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Of course, our Cannabis and the consumers who buy it are making Orca Safe decisions by buying product not using electricity created by the dams. It really does boil down to that. I’m just trying to educate consumers and the youth about the Cannabis they choose.

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WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE INDUSTRY?

I would like to see budtenders, buyers and store owners drop their biases against sungrown Cannabis, and start to understand that when done right, it can be superior to indoor. It actually produces higher terpene values, and higher and more complex cannabinoid profiles. We get that through the sun and living soil. I would really like for those people making buying decisions to get out of the way and allow consumers to make sustainable choices. I think we need to continue to raise awareness, and as we raise awareness consumers will demand and make sustainable choices. The LCB has really committed an immoral act coaxing people out of basements and closets into legalization just to die. So many mom’s and pop’s that signed up as the first wave got slaughtered by overproduction, with the LCB doing nothing to stop conglomerization. I am a little disappointed that Cannabis culture is no longer a social revolution consciousness movement. I yearn for the days when we felt like we were doing something right. I still feel like I’m doing the good fight, getting my ass kicked, but staying true to it. Sustainability is not just environmental, we have to have cultural and social sustainability, and have jobs that pay living wages. We must have a marketplace that isn’t flooded with overproduction so we can build companies that provide good jobs. So, I raise my voice and it really hasn’t always been helpful to my bottom line. But at least we have sungrown Cannabis today.

STORY BY WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTOS BY DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS

nwlEAF.COM

In 2013, I bought the property with landlord investors and built out the farm over the winter, which was really rough. We got the greenhouse going and started getting the crop going, and at the same time I was lobbying LCB telling them you have to have rules out early enough. They were tone deaf to ag cycle. We said you need to prioritize sungrown first, and if you start licensing us in fall it does no good. They refused to do it, but I was first in line. I was so ready to go that I signed up the minute the window was open, and after a battle with my local agent I finally got licensed.

The Seattle Times and other papers for criticizing the LCB over how they handled the rollout, and not licensing sungrowers fast enough to get a crop in that year. During that whole spring prior, I had 3,500 plants and I wasn’t stopping. I was following agricultural schedule, I didn’t give a shit. I got licensed June 6th and I did some things to quicken my entry to market and I had fully flowered, fully budded light dep when I finally got licensed. I asked my agent, “What is a flowering plant?” And he said, “I don’t know, just bring in your plants.” So a week after being licensed, I was harvesting.

SO YOU FEEL IT’S A PROBLEM WITH HOW STORES PURCHASE CANNABIS?


the sustainability issue

Lacey, Washington

GOLD LEAF GARDENS

42

CLEAN GREEN CERTIFIED

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hey have a saying in Hawaii, “Aloha ‘aina” or “respect the ‘aina”, which means to respect the land. Mother Earth is the ‘aina. Indigenous islanders have practiced this symbiotic methodology to preserve the health of the land for centuries, which in turn provides for future generations. As one of the most naturally fertile places on Earth, the locals value the land as sacred and give thanks for what it provides for their families. Sustainable farming practices are the core of agricultural development in Hawaii, which is where at least half of Gold Leaf Garden’s employees are from. “Grown with Aloha” isn’t just a

mar. 2019

catchy phrase, but a way of life for Gold Leaf. Growing up on a sustainable, organic family farm in Koloa, on the island of Kauai, set the stage for craft Cannabis cultivation in Washington. Owner Nate Gibbs explained that the diverse farming backgrounds of his team members is crucial to the success of Gold Leaf Gardens. Hawaii’s fertile soil provided the perfect balance of nutrients to grow bananas, papayas, mangoes, vegetables, and more. No amendments were needed. Just add water and they had whatever they needed to eat. Anything that wasn’t sold or eaten by the farmers and their families was given to the farm animals. By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the award-winning cultivars of both flower and concentrates coming out of this family-run tier 2 farm, but little know the story of Gold Leaf Organics, and the sustainability that allows for such flavorful medicine to come from this

garden. Switching over from the medical Cannabis industry as Gold Leaf Organics, to the recreational Cannabis industry as Gold Leaf Gardens, illustrated an even higher demand for Gold Leaf to cultivate pesticide-free. There was an influx of new farmers to the hydroponics shops who could be seen sharing knowledge of, and purchasing potentially harmful products and pesticides. Gibbs comments on the disconnect between Cannabis farming and traditional agriculture, stating that “everything ends up in the plant” - be it pesticides, salt-based nutrients, plant growth regulators, and the like. Except unlike fruits and vegetables that are being consumed and digested, we are combusting and inhaling these potentially harmful components. One of the biggest resources that organic Cannabis farmers continually purchase is soil. Harvest after harvest, this precious medium is being disposed of


GAVIN WADA HEAD GARDENER

OWNER NATE GIBBS

43 ROCKIE CALZADA VEG ROOM GROWER

ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS A HALLMARK OF THE BRAND

“Grown with Aloha” isn’t just a catchy phrase, but a way of life for Gold Leaf.

STORY BY DANIELLE HALLE @SWEET.DEEZY | PHOTOS BY DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS

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because most indoor Cannabis farmers are not familiar with the biological potential of the soil food web. Gold Leaf is different, because in four years, they have never thrown away their soil. This respect for the earth is unheard of in most commercial agriculture setups, but it is a way of life for Gold Leaf Gardens. Rather than no-till, they employ a “low-till” method which involves removing the plants from the soil at harvest, and then giving the soil time to “rest” and break down the remaining roots and nutrients. The microbes work together in a balanced ecosystem to give the plant what it needs during its life cycle, and then once that growth cycle is over the microbes “will adapt and @goldleafgardens become more dominant, over time becoming very robust.” goldleafgardens.com While the farmers try not to disturb the soil as much as possible, there are workers taking on the challenge of breaking up the root mass and aerating the soil. Those workers are live worms, which provide worm castings free of charge in exchange for a home in the flower beds. So why choose this style of cultivation? Gibbs explains that the “entire farm is an ecosystem. The entire farm is alive. What you do on one end of the farm, how you treat it, the people who work on it, it’s all part of that ecology.” Therefore, you can’t expect to put poison into the soil, water source, or other grow mediums and expect medicinal results. Not only is nurturing the soil-food web a way to uplift the spirituality and connection to the plant, but Gold Leaf is also saving resources by reducing waste and reusing their soil. Another benefit to this practice is that the farm can support small local businesses by buying their natural inputs from KIS Organics, based out of Redmond. They don’t buy bottled, salt-based nutrients or additives from the store. Every nutrient Gold Leaf uses to amend their soil is not only organic, but it’s also sustainably obtained, such as their locally-sourced seaweed. Entering this realm of “esoteric gardening” - in which they get their hands dirty and make their own soil - has given Gold Leaf Gardens a unique identity in the i502 marketplace. Although it is more common to completely sterilize and automate everything in Cannabis these days, Nate truly believes “gardening is good for the soul.” You can’t automate Aloha. “Growing organic, sustainable Cannabis may be niche, but that’s what some people are looking for. The people who are hip to it will find you and support you,” said Gibbs. “Those who don’t care,” he said, “there’s something for them. It’s all good, no judgement.” Craft Cannabis is here to stay thanks to small, family farms like Gold Leaf Gardens.


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the sustainability issue

Newport, Washington

NEW DAY CANNABIS

46

CHOCOLATE CHUNK

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ew Day Cannabis is a Tier 3 producer/processor in Newport, Washington - which is close to Spokane and minutes from the Idaho border. One of the most sustainable and efficient gardens in the state, the building began as a hole dug into the naturally insulating sandy earth that the property sits on. Using natural insulation, LED lights, a closed-loop, non-HVAC cooling system and a living soil methodology, the company has put sustainability first. One of the early adopters of pesticide testing, New Day focuses on clean, quality and environmentally conscious Cannabis.

mar. 2019

Q&A | Joe Rammell | President of New Day Cannabis HOW DID CANNABIS COME INTO YOUR LIFE?

I had been smoking in college and then went off into the business world, and when I quit drinking 23 years ago, I found out I was medicating with alcohol. I tried the pharmaceutical thing, and finally I decided that I was retired and when it became legal I was gonna smoke again. And then when it became legal, I knew I wanted to get into the business.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY FROM THE START?

I have a degree in business and I knew that this would get to be very competitive, and that the person with lowest cost of goods sold will be in the best situation. I figured if we could eliminate heating and cooling we would be in a good place. I definitely think we are the most energy efficient grow and building in the state, and that’s how the sustainable thing came up. The other thing was that if we were going to do this, we want to have clean products, so we’ve been pesticide testing for two and a half years. Our motto is the cleanest and greenest, and we try to live up to that.


HOW DOES YOUR BUILDING DESIGN HELP WITH SUSTAINABILITY?

We are sitting on 160 feet of sand and silt from the old Lake Missoula from 1,000 years ago, so we found out and dug down, and basically built a potato cellar out of concrete. The building stays 65 degrees year round. So even though we’re using all LEDs after eight hours, we have a loop taking hot moist air outside, taking it through a ground well where it dehumidifies back from 90 to 65 degrees, and introduce it back in. It’s an all closed loop air system, run on one 20 amp fan. We essentially have no HVAC cost to heat or cool our grow.

DURBAN POISON

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO USE LEDS?

Well, prior to this I was dinking around in my retirement doing LED retrofits commercially, and when I looked at traditional growing, the pure amperage and electricity it takes was really prohibitive. When I looked into LEDs in China, they had been using them in fish and coral farms for years. We’ve tested against HIDs and we can get same production for 40% of the power, which is a big part of it. We also use spectrum adjustable lights and are able to pretty much trick nature.

WHY IS SUSTAINABILITY IMPORTANT TO YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

I think as an industry the people in it are obviously passionate about Cannabis, and most come from a lifestyle and belief system where they are concerned about the environment, and that’s a part of our culture. It looks like we’ll be the first ones to use biodegradable packaging within the next month or two, using bioplastic packaging that is recyclable or compostable and biodegradable. As an industry, we are all pretty ashamed of the packaging waste we are forced to go through because @NEWDAYCANNABIs of the rules in the state, and it’s ironic that a lot of us grew out of the hippie area where a clean NEWDAYCANNABIS.com environment is important and yet we are one of the worst offenders there is. I think we need to keep trying to work on the regulations to bring them more into our belief system as far as sustainability goes, and we need to keep hammering on that until we get things going the right direction. It would just be a shame if we became one of the polluters and culprits for using electricity and water irresponsibly. I dont think it’s in our culture to do that, and there may be people at the high end of companies that dont give a shit, but most of the bulk of the industry does care about these issues. I just think we need to lead the way on these issues instead of being offenders.

47 AFGHAN HAZE

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF RUNNING A CANNABIS BUSINESS?

I was pretty high management in the Fortune 500 world and this is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s so demanding, 365 24/7 and it’s really a grind. I think it’s a testament to the passion that we have as an industry for this plant, because people against all odds are continuing to hammer and grind because we believe in it. But for me the most fun I’ve had is building a company and the staff we have. It’s taken a few years to get our building the way we want, grow method dialed and genetics selected, and we’ve been very fortunate to assemble a really cool staff. I tell people I don’t grow marijuana, I’m growing a marijuana company. It’s fun, and actually very challenging, but it’s very rewarding as well. My wife likes to say everything in my life led up to this job, from construction and Fortune 500 to living as a farmer as a kid. I kinda just landed here and maybe it’s my mission in life.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY?

The biggest one for us is the MMJ. Even if they only end up reducing the excise tax or removing the tax for patients. The patient thing is our core value because it’s my personal experience with Cannabis. So I think if we can get things straightened out, we can finally put a robust medical product on shelves. Not just us but the industry, because the patients have really been abandoned by the state.

The sustainability issue is also a financial issue. I think one of the things that everybody, including myself, thought was that “if we grew it, they will come”. That and everybody thought they would get rich, and now they’re in buildings that are not energy efficient and are paying too much for rent, and I think more and more growing will move to areas with more sustainable power out of financial interest. We got lucky we landed where we are. Sustainability is not just a belief system; as a society we have to face the fact that things will get really tough if we don’t start doing things differently - whether in Cannabis or not. I think this water and power and fossil fuels issue is going to really become larger and larger as time goes on. We should lead the way in Cannabis!

COVER STAR HOOSTAGOO

“I tell people I don’t grow marijuana, I’m growing a marijuana company.”

STORY BY WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTOS BY MICHAEL THOMPSON @TERPTALK.TV

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DO YOU FEEL THAT THE ISSUE OF CANNABIS SUSTAINABILITY GOES BEYOND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES?


the sustainability issue

Eagle Point, OR

CHARLIE & ALLIE

UNICORN PISS

48

GELATO

ALPACAS

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TKO RESERVE TKO Reserve (Turn Key Organics) began in 2010 as a medical Cannabis operation between Allie and Charlie Cassidy, who celebrated their marriage last year. Focused from the beginning on cultivating craft organic Cannabis for patients, this industry power couple has transitioned into the recreational markets in both Washington and Oregon. The Leaf had the pleasure of interviewing them about sustainable and organic practices, and why they have chosen to cultivate Cannabis and vegetables in this manner as they grow TKO for the future! mAR. 2019

INTERVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTOS BY ALLIE CASSIDY @CANNA.OBSCURA


TELL US ABOUT THE START OF TKO RESERVE? Allie: 2010 was our start date, and our business began in 2012. We were all indoor in Seattle, and we always had a passion for being organic, but the sustainability was the hard part up there. We did a lot of learning there with LEDs and other types of clean energy, but when we moved down to Oregon in 2015, that opened our eyes to the fact that you do not have to be indoors to grow amazing quality Cannabis. So we took everything that we learned from growing indoors with boutique crops and more care for each plant - as opposed to the massive outdoor plots that people do out there - and transferred that to a way more sustainable method. Charlie: TKO stands for Turn Key Organics, so the whole idea is that we’re not just growing, but also teaching others how to build out their farms and adopt a grow style that is organic, easy and regenerative.

HOW WAS THE DECISION MADE TO GROW ORGANICALLY? A: Being more conscious about ourselves in general and eating organic, we knew that it was more healthy for our lives. We developed a really nice Integrated Pest Management program that allowed us to not do any chemical sprays. I feel like it was just a natural progression and instinct to want to provide clean Cannabis. Especially because in Washington we were really into the medical community. We ran a delivery service that serviced a lot of patients, and so we really wanted to make the cleanest product possible, making sure so the Cannabis was helping and not doing anything destructive in terms of chemicals.

plant, you can isolate that plant and let it survive. As soon as you spray, the bugs will find a way to survive and they spread and hide in the garden. So you spread the problem by spraying. Sometimes you have to have sacrificial plants to let nature take its course, so that the rest of plants can live in harmony. A good friend always says,”If you don’t want to have any bugs, stop growing.” You can’t control that - all you can do is work with it and know how the environment changes in time.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH MAINTAINING A SCALED ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLY FOCUSED FARM? A: The biggest challenge is the scale itself. The pressures of yields and all of the pressure that comes with running a business - like having employees to feed. There’s definitely a lot and it’s challenging, but as long as you really stay on top of the cleanliness you can succeed. It’s similar to brewing beer, where you have to have the cleanest environment possible while maintaining a wild ecosystem you can’t control. C: The biggest pressures are monetary issues. In Oregon especially, it’s a very competitive market. While we don’t focus on yield as much, you have to make sure to be growing plants strategically with the different strains that you’re growing, and keeping the cycle year round is the hardest part.

quality indoor style product. So getting away from growing in downtown LA or big grows in cities that already have taxed power grids makes sense. You can grow outside like every other plant.

A: All these states are trying to reinvent the wheel and create permits for so many grows - that’s probably what’s most harmful to the environment. There are so many people not necessarily knowing what they’re doing, growing inside and spending so much money going the grow store route - with the three part whatever solution and sprays - when it’s unnecessary. Especially when there are folks who know how to grow sustainably at mass scale and sell around the country.

YOU ALSO PROVIDE ORGANIC VEGGIES LOCALLY. HOW DOES YOUR FARM DIFFER FROM FARMS THAT ONLY GROW CANNABIS?

A: That’s definitely something that we love, we love growing all things! It kinda started as growing veggies for our team and family, and then we started getting into the community. Here in Southern Oregon it’s an agriculture based region, “Eventually we so feeding people through the farm and farmer’s market, and found that growing broadening our spectrum of organically created plants is what we like to do to contribute. higher quality

products as an end result, with more flavors and higher terpene results.”

IS EDUCATING PEOPLE ABOUT ORGANIC CANNABIS AND THE VALUES DIFFICULT?

C: It kind of started as an experiment. When TKO first began we did a little bit of everything. So we experimented with hydro, did a small test with aquaponics, tried a coco medium, etc. We did all types of growing because that was our passion, growing any way we could and testing the limits of situations. Eventually we found that growing organically created higher quality products as an end result, with more flavors and the terpene results were higher. We knew that if we were growing organically and naturally we would never fail a pesticide test.

A: Cannabis education hasn’t reached the peak where the organic label is necessarily noticed or held in high regard, mostly because there’s not that many standards. Anyone can say they’re organic. But in the food industry, you’ll pay a premium price for organic food. It takes a lot of energy, time and sacrifice, plus it’s expensive having to keep your operation organic, as it’s way cheaper to just be mass production. The fact that it doesn’t translate to retail is probably one of the biggest struggles for us.

WHAT LENGTHS DOES TKO GO THROUGH TO ENSURE IT’S CULTIVATING ORGANICALLY AND SUSTAINABLY?

C: Even though it’s recreational, we know it’s a plant with the right essential oils and Cannabinoids that are really helping people, whether that’s because it’s fun or medicine or an escape to relax.

C: We have all different types of animals that we treasure and we compost depending on the animal, plus we overplant extra root veggies for our animals to dig up and find throughout the season. So they’re eating good food, tilling up the soil and fertilizing it as well. We just have fun with it.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? A: What free time? I don’t know! We pretty much live the farm life. But we’re starting to travel more and expand the brand and work with other farms in new states, so it takes us away a little more often. But we put all of our time towards our plants, animals, family and farm. C: We do some breeding on the side and hunting for more Cannabis strains. We also brew beer every once in a while, and spend time in the outdoors when we’re not already outside all day. But mainly we live and love our life on the farm!

HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY IMPROVE IN SUSTAINABILITY? C: I definitely think as it becomes nationally legal, we don’t need Cannabis grown in every state throughout the country. There are certain climate zones on the east and west coasts that can sustain regenerative Cannabis farms, and climate controlled greenhouses that produce very top

GOOD HELP IS HARD TO FIND

MAR. 2019

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A: It’s definitely hard! C: We use several different essential oils, but mainly what we do is plant cover crops for plants - giving a place for ladybugs and other beneficial bugs to have a home and create an environment where beneficial insects and nematodes can exist. We find that once that balance is created, it stays. And honestly, when there is a plant that gets sick or attacked by bugs, as opposed to trying to treat that

49


the sustainability issue

Product Review

RE:STASH JARS

50

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“When opening the jar after storage, you are met with a dank and impactful aroma that has the mark of freshness in its crisp bite.” I S I T T I M E TO R E : T H I N K Y O U R S TA S H ? Between the carbon footprint we are watching indoor Cannabis gardens make and the immense amount of plastic packaging used to stash and resell our prized plant, we pose the question: How can a consumer make an enlightened choice that mindfully impacts our ecosystem? Re:Stash offers a unique packaging solution that mindfully enhances one of humanities favorite, trusted and widely used storage solutions - the classic glass Mason jar. Mason jars are American made glass storage solutions utilized for many different purposes, but especially for preserving tonics and herbs. Using sustainable material, the Re:Stash Mason:Re Company created and patented a certified child-resistant lid, combined with a silicone koozie to control the content’s environment and protect the glass from breaking if dropped. The jar is securely sealed with a ‘first-of-its-kind’, child-resistant lid made from repurposed farm waste that would have otherwise been tilled and burnt into our atmosphere. These fibers are then reinforced by @ReStashJar hemp or bamboo for strength, durability and longevity. re-stash.com

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The jar is covered with a stylish, custom designed silicone koozie that stabilizes the environment of the contents inside. Silicone is made from silica found in sand, it’s highly durable, bio-available and more ocean friendly than plastic. When used with our most recent batch of sticky icky - terpene tasty Mimosa by Gold Leaf Gardens - we found that this product does indeed insulate buds from UV light and temperature fluctuation. When opening the jar after storage, you are met with a dank and impactful aroma that has the mark of freshness in its crisp bite. The buds were sticky and dense, which is a far cry from the dry, flaky and lackluster buds we have encountered after popping open a pop top plastic container. This innovative group of entrepreneurs has gone through compliance approval in states that allow deli style dispensing, becoming the first authorized “Cannabis growler.” Cannabis retailers in states like Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska have implemented these Re:Stash jars, but for states that are restricted to pre-packaged Cannabis, you can still find this premium packaging solution. In Washington, Exotikz premium ounces can be found in a custom 16 ounce Re:Stash jar.

REVIEW by AJ.OG @AJ.OG | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS


THIS PRODUCT HAS INTOXICATING EFFECTS AND MAY BE HABIT FORMING. MARIJUANA CAN IMPAIR CONCENTRATION, COORDINATION, AND JUDGMENT. DO NOT OPERATE A VEHICLE OR MACHINERY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THIS DRUG. THERE MAY BE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CONSUMPTION OF THIS PRODUCT. FOR USE ONLY BY ADULTS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN.


the sustainability issue

52

THE FUTURE OF POT Creating a sustainable Cannabis ecosystem in Washington The Cannabis industry is an ecosystem, much like that of the greater world we exist in. It is the complex evolution of producers, processors, retailers and ancillary businesses that make up the wonderful world of weed in Washington. Take one part of the system out, or allow it to become unbalanced, and it threatens the entire system. In terms of sustainability, Washington’s Cannabis market is quickly reaching a tipping point of unbalance that threatens the diverse small business environment that I-502 envisioned. Each month an average of 15 farms are failing around the state. The number of produce/processor license has been cut in half since legalization began, from over 1200 to about 600 that are active today. While a percentage of the failures have been due to normal business factors, the current environment surrounding Cannabis is leading quickly towards conglomerization and a heavy failure rate, taking a toll on quality, jobs, and selection in retail stores. These are a few of the biggest issues facing our Cannabis marketplace, and need to be resolved in order to create a sustainable industry. These matter to everyone, whether consumer or industry pro, because we all want and need a healthy Cannabis ecosystem. A healthy system leads to a healthy balance for all parts, this magazine included, and ultimately our consumers benefit from weed grown by happy Washingtonians. Please remember to make conscious purchases when choosing your Cannabis, and remember to support sustainable Cannabis!

nwLEAF.COM

Over Taxation by Washington State

an average 9 percent sales tax, the result is ridiculous. The excise tax should be cut in half, with patients given an exemption, so that companies can have margins that are sustainable for future business. Otherwise, the state makes all the money and the industry fights over the remaining 54 percent of revenues before federal taxes. We need to lower taxes to ease the pressure on the industry, and demand fair and sustainable treatment for Cannabis businesses.

280e: The Federal tax code that classifies Cannabis businesses as criminal operations

Tax code 280e was created for Al Capone, the notorious alcohol smuggler, and states that no deductions or credits shall be allowed for monies earned if the trade or business consists of trafficking controlled substances. Simply put, this means that Cannabis businesses can’t write off normal tax deductions like payroll or employee costs, rent or mortgages, or general business expenses. Most mainstream businesses in America would fail if they couldn’t write off expenses, and this leaves Cannabis businesses paying an effective tax rate of 30 to 60 percent at the end of each year. Combined with Washington’s excessive sales tax, this means retailers true profits are on average 5 to 10 percent of gross sales. So while the state makes 46 percent of the roughly billion dollars in Cannabis sold annually, those actually selling it aren’t making much in profits. We need to remove legal Cannabis businesses from the 280e tax code federally and recognize licensed Cannabis as a legal, regulated industry.

Did you know that our state taxes weed at an average of 46 percent statewide? Most consumMega Tier 3’s: ers don’t, but the state is taking all the profit from the industry and leaving little for those within it. Overproduction Simply put, our taxes are too high and the state conglomeriis too greedy. Combined zation with economic pricing Please remember to make Washington recently pressures that push pot to conscious purchases when changed rules allowing be cheaper, the excess taxone company to control up ation is the biggest cause choosing your Cannabis, to three Tier 3 licenses at of unbalance in the marand remember to support 30,000 feet of canopy each, ket. When the 37 percent sustainable Cannabis! making way for 90,000 excise tax is combined with

mar. 2019

square foot mega farms. Just 14 of these size farms could provide all the pot Washingtonians smoke in a year. Conglomerization only benefits big business. Ask for craft and sustainable Cannabis when making purchases, and help protect the cottage industry and small, quality-oriented grows that our state is known for!

Sustainable Cannabis

Much of the Cannabis grown indoors is not sustainable in terms of environmental impact and practices, and both consumers and buyers for retailers need to be asking the tough questions when buying pot. Look for sungrown or greenhouse grown products, and think about the true cost of your pot that comes from a mega factory style grow. The cost of getting high should not include environmental harms. Cannabis as an agricultural crop makes for beautiful products, full of wonderful smells, flavors and effects that dazzle the mind and possess magnificent medicinal properties. But walk into a store and hang out for a few minutes, and the question most heard by budtenders is “what’s your highest THC for the cheapest price?” There is so much wrong with this question, starting with the THC percentage. Test results don’t mean the weed is good! There’s plenty of flavorless, midgrade Cannabis with 28 percent THC test results that sucks. Look for craft Cannabis that is grown with love, full of terpenes and flavors, and ask for craft grown Cannabis at your favorite retailer.

why Weed doesn’t need to be cheap. . .

Retailers set the price of Cannabis as a commodity, and the race to the bottom is real in Washington. Instead of driving prices into the ground and pushing producers to the brink of failure, let the consumers pay a little more for good pot. They can and will pay more for quality, craft Cannabis, and the retailers need to respect and support fair pricing for flowers. The alternative is a small number of big companies providing the majority of products, which kills diversity and quality. Support the growers in the ecosystem and let’s keep Cannabis at a fair price point that leaves money for all involved.

OPINION by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX


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breeder of the month nwLEAF.COM

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“WE WORK TO HAVE TWO TO FOUR NEW STRAINS A YEAR BECAUSE EVERYONE GETS TIRED OF THE SAME OLD THING.” mar. 2019


RICHARD PRESENT

FOUNDER | PONO FARMS | CHENEY, WA TIER 3 CANNABIS FACILITY How did you start using Cannabis medicinally? I had a car accident in April of 1989 on the way to a Grateful Dead concert, and realized that I don’t do good on opioids and pain medications. It helps immensely with my arthritis and nerve damage from the accident. When I got out of the hospital I immediately started growing Cannabis in my apartment. At one point you were running over 12 dispensaries in Colorado with gardens attached. That’s a lot of work! What made you want to start breeding? We started messing around with that right around 2011. It was my two partners in CNR Genetics that got us into that. My partner Chris was a farmer by trade and his family had been in the agriculture business for a long time. When he got into the MMJ business it was something he had a passion for. What strains are you known for creating? Primus, a cross of 303 Kush and Arcadia Train Wreck. Now at 47 years old - I’ve been smoking weed since I was 12 and I’m not a drinker or drug user - I’ve been smoking the Primus straight for 12 years and still love it. To get laid out by the same strain year after year, you could say I found my lady. We also bred strains including Romberry, Strawberry Lemonade, Peaches and Diesel, and Kush Master. Two of our strains are in the Phylos Galaxy, and we currently sell the Primus, Romberry and Strawberry Lemonade under the Pono brand. Do you sell your strains as seeds? We are focused on in-house breeding and growing. The reason we keep it in-house while working with other breeders’ lines is because we know the Cannabis business is ever changing. We work to have two to four new strains a year because everyone gets tired of the same old thing. We have over 350 different strains of seeds in our safe. We brought in a huge stock which allows us to breed and create new strains, which we do in an undisclosed location. We do the breeding that we do because we are looking at long term viability.

When it comes to breeding new strains, what traits do you look for? High terpene levels within the strains, and believe it or not, more strains that have hybrid qualities. We believe that people will eventually purchase pot by the ratio of Cannabinoids and terpenes, and that smoking 100 percent indica or sativa can be too much. If you start figuring out what ratios in strains do well for you and your body, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, because you can look for and find what benefits you.

What are the big differences between the WA and CO markets? I think that in some aspects Washington is doing a good job with the regulation. However, those regulations lead to monopolies and the types of things that are happening. A big reason is that there is no vertical integration allowed here. In Colorado, we were allowed to have vertical integration and I think that allows more for a free economic Cannabis system, versus being regulated as either a store or a producer/processor. The other key difference - the biggest one - is the tax rate. Its 37 percent here plus the 9 percent local, whereas in CO it’s half that. And that’s a huge amount. We’ve had this program for over four years and the $1.5 billion in taxes have not been taken advantage of and put to good use in the state. In Colorado, they gave the money to parks and schools, and they’re actually spending the money on the projects they said they would.

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Should taxes be lower to keep the WA market sustainable? I think taxes should definitely be lower. The only people making money in the state are the regulating bodies. And to see them making all the money and not putting it to good use makes them look really bad. There are 15 grows a month going out of business, and hundreds of grows doing $20-$50K a month in sales. We all know those grows have a hard time making it. In a system with 47 percent tax and when we’re not giving back to the consumer, it’s tough. What is your favorite part of the business? From the beginning we got in this for the patient, and I own a CBD company called Present Naturals and Pono Lifestyle. The reason I have those companies is to keep in touch with the patient. The recreational program took the patient away, but medical was more fun because we got to actually spend time with the patient. We know that nobody is giving an actual medical discount like we thought they would under the law, so what Pono does is provide high quality, high-grade Cannabis at an affordable cost to everybody. Hopes for the future? Become a big part of the hemp industry and give back when everything works out. Something to do with the ocean, like the surfers who pick up plastic - that’s where my soul is, in the ocean. So keeping America clean and our environment safe, that’s one reason I want to get into hemp. It’s sustainable. When I talk about environmental health and sustainable industries, I think about the hemp industry going that direction. And to me, that’s the future and I want to be a part of that. What are your hobbies and outside interests? When I’m not growing weed, I like to travel. I love to spend time in the Hawaiian Islands, and one of my ultimate favorite things to do is try great cuisine. I like to travel and eat, and I’m an outdoorsy guy who loves surfing. I’m also a big Grateful Dead fan. I have been to over 300 shows, and love the festivals and live music events. All with Pono weed to smoke!

INTERVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTO by MICHAEL THOMPSON @TERPTALK.TV

nwlEAF.COM

Do you enjoy breeding Cannabis? I guess you could say I enjoy it, sure. It’s a dirty job shaking pollen everywhere and doing it right, but yeah, I enjoy it because in the long run I know we will come up with something nobody has. That’s what puts the smile on my face, discovering what are we going to come up with next or cross next this year.

Richard Present is the founder of Pono Farms, a tier 3 facility in Eastern Washington focused on sustainable production and breeding. One of the pioneers of the Colorado medical Cannabis scene, Present operated more than a dozen vertically integrated dispensaries in a chain before moving into the Washington Cannabis marketplace. An outspoken and passionate voice for medical Cannabis and hemp, Present is a breeder, grower and consultant who believes that the industry should support healthy business and patient access.


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Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. Should not be used by pregnant women or if you are breastfeeding. For use only by adults 21 years & older. Do not operate a motor vehicle under the inuence of this drug. Consuming this product can impair concentration, coordination & judgment. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Keep out of reach of children.

This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children. Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older.


RECIPES

Heat up a bowl...of soup

Photos By Bruce wolf

SPRING IS NOT FAR OFF, but it’s still soup weather. Get your Cannabis comfort on with a steaming bowl that, with a salad and perhaps some crusty bread, makes a potent meal. Of course, the potent part is up to you! In my Cannabis cooking world, a teaspoon of the infusion oil is usually 5mg of THC. That amount is just right for me and most of my buds. If you require or want a stronger dose, simply add another teaspoon per person. Just remember that less is more. There’s no need to get any higher than is comfortable - or fun. #DontFearTheEdible!

NOT YOUR MOTHER’S MINESTRONE SOUP

58

CANNABIS CHICKEN PHO 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs 2 tablespoons Cannabis oil 8 cups chicken stock 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds 4 whole cloves 2 whole star anise ½ onion or scallion, sliced 1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced 8 oz cellophane rice noodles 2 cups bean sprouts Fresh cilantro ½ lime, cut into wedges Sliced jalapenos with seeds removed 1. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken thighs in the Cannabis oil. Cook until light golden brown. Add to soup pot.

nwLEAF.COM

by laurie wolf

2 tablespoons Cannabis oil or butter 1 large onion, peeled, halved and sliced 2 stalks celery, sliced 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces (about 2 cups) 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper to taste 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes 6 cups water or stock 1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 1. Heat the Cannabis oil or butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. 2. Stir in the green beans, garlic, dried oregano and basil, salt and pepper. Cook 3 more minutes.

TOMATO SOUP WITH GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS 2 tablespoons Cannabis oil 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice 1 14 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice 4 cups water 2 cups vegetable broth 6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 slices whole wheat bread ¼ cup cheddar cheese Shredded basil 1. Heat the Cannabis oil in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and thyme and cook for about a minute. 2. Stir in canned tomatoes. Add water and broth and simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, break up the large pieces of tomato. Stir in the yogurt and salt and pepper.

2. Add the stock, spices, onion and ginger. Simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the broth into another saucepot and reserve the chicken. Allow the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Add the noodles according to the package directions.

3. Add the diced and crushed tomatoes, and the water or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the bread slices in the oil until golden brown. Turn. Sprinkle with the cheddar, top with remaining bread slices and cook until golden on the other side and the cheese is melted. Cut in cubes.

3. Shred the chicken with your fingers or with forks. Divide chicken and noodles into bowls and ladle the broth over them. Serve remaining ingredients at the table or garnish before serving.

4. Stir in the garbanzo beans and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with the Parmesan and chopped dill.

4. Puree the soup in batches in a blender. Stir in the yogurt and salt and pepper. Divide the soup among the bowls, and top with the bread cubes and shredded basil.

Mar. 2019

All recipes serve 6


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tannins & terpenes

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brewed by

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GEEK FARMS

Biggie’s Blueberry Brunch Bonanza, paired with Crooked River Blues flower

nwLEAF.COM

Biggie’s Blueberry Brunch Bonanza is a scary good blueberry pie inspired sour ale that has multiple layers of flavor converging into one. Crooked River Blues from Geek Farms has a pungent, blueberry dominant profile followed by notes of raw vanilla beans.

“ Notes of cinnamon, vanilla, sweet bread, and blueberry melded together to make an incredible tasting beer that tastes like liquid pie. ”

I enjoyed a small taster of the Blueberry Brunch Bonanza paired with a bowl of the Crooked River Blues. Each sip of the sour tasted exactly like a blueberry pie crust. Notes of cinnamon, vanilla, sweet bread, and blueberry melded together to make an incredible tasting beer that tastes like liquid pie. After a few sips, I then smoked the bowl of Crooked River Blues. The sweet blueberry profile paired perfectly with the slightly tart sour ale, balancing out both of the flavors. As always, we do not suggest exceeding a taster pour coupled with one bowl, as these pairings are purely for flavor comparisons.

Mar. 2019

REVIEW by WILL FERGUSON @710DENCIES | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN & NATE WILLIAMS


LEADERS IN CANNABIS LAW SINCE 2013

MARIJUANA PRODUCTS MAY BE PURCHASED OR POSSESSED ONLY BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. THIS PRODUCT HAS INTOXICATING EFFECTS AND MAY BE HABIT FORMING. MARIJUANA CAN IMPAIR CONCENTRATION, COORDINATION AND JUDGEMENT. DO NOT OPERATE A VEHICLE OR MACHINERY WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE. THERE MAY BE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF THIS PRODUCT. FOR ADULT USE ONLY. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

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MARIJUANA PRODUCTS MAY BE PURCHASED OR POSSESSED ONLY BY PERSONS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. THIS PRODUCT HAS INTOXICATING EFFECTS AND MAY BE HABIT FORMING. MARIJUANA CAN IMPAIR CONCENTRATION, COORDINATION AND JUDGEMENT. DO NOT OPERATE A VEHICLE OR MACHINERY WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE. THERE MAY BE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF THIS PRODUCT. FOR ADULT USE ONLY. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.

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LOCATETHESTORENEARESTYOU(„}Ž‰‹Š•‚}Ž‰Š“*‹‰ WARNING: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. It is illegal to operate a vehicle or machinery while under the influence of marijuana. This product is unlawful outside Washington State.


review

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Blueberry Live Resin 71.2% thc

Available from Diego Pellicer Seattle Green Collar Cannabis Tacoma A Greener Today Shoreline Greenworks Greenwood

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66

“THE CREAMY BLUEBERRY FLAVORS COME THROUGH PERFECTLY IN A LOW TEMP DAB, WITH A TERPY NOSE TICKLE AND A SMOOTH, EASY VAPOR THAT MAKES BIG DABS A BREEZE.” mar. 2019

B

ursting with sungrown terps, this Blueberry Live Resin by Acme Diesel reeks of sweet syrupy goodness and a drooly Indica high. Popping open a jar of this golden oil unleashes a heady wave of terps and a fresh baked blueberry scone flavor that fills the mind with indica vibes. Bright and creamy, powerful blueberry notes dominate with underlying hints of lemons and cream, alongside a light earthiness hiding in the background. From the first inhale the Indica effects slam into the mind, oozing through the body with waves of stoney-contentedness and a heady, happy high. The creamy blueberry flavors come through perfectly in a low temp dab, with a terpy nose tickle and a smooth, easy vapor that makes big dabs a breeze. A true Indica, this strain slows time down and relieves pain and stress with one big toke. But be wary of the couchlock! This is a heavy blueberry and will slow you down, whether you want the stoney bliss or not. Perfect for evening dabs and relaxation, we enjoyed this during the day as a high functioning buzz that takes the edge off normal tasks when caught in the mid-week mire. Sungrown Cannabis is both sustainable and packed with terpenes and flavonoids that come from exposure to natural light, which process into tasty and potent Cannabis concentrates. For owner Meyer Gold, who began growing in Humboldt, creating sustainable Cannabis is a way of life. “We are a family of growers who use the sun to provide the highest grade of organic, soil-grown Cannabis to the cannasseurs of Washington State.” Acme Diesel concentrates are processed by SMX using propane, and there are other great flavor options like the Montana Silver Tip, a sweet and syrupy haze hybrid of Grand Daddy Purple and Super Silver Haze. Ask for Acme Diesel at your local Cannabis retailer, and check out their sungrown sustainable flower and tasty concentrate flavors!

REVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTOS by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS


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STONEY BALONEY #2

70

The Ultimate High-Five

nwLEAF.COM

You don’t have to have a degree in communications to know that one of the most positive connections between two people is the high-five. And by the way, if you do have a communications degree, expect a career in sales. Which leads to closing deals. Which leads to high-fives. . . All things that are celebrated in the world can be substantiated by a sturdy overhead slapping of hands. Because when you think about it from a molecular level, it is a surefire stream of energy produced by opposing palms, creating a small lightning bolt of particles popping like a summer sparkler - undetectable by the naked eye, but dazzling to the open mind. It’s like a human nuclear reactor. High-fives can power the world. My shrink once told me that he went to a silent retreat where no one speaks, and constant meditation is the prescribed medication. I wonder if high-fives were allowed? Or if they were considered a distraction because too much exuberance might upset the collective healing. I’m imagining a NO HIGH-FIVES sign. Sounds like hell. High fives are not a crime. And neither is skateboarding. Do they allow high-fives in prison? The high-five is a true modern form of expression. It represents democracy. You know, some goofballs in college officially initiated a National High-Five Day and it’s on the third Thursday of April every year. April is a good month. On the third Thursday you get a high-five, and if that third Thursday falls on 4/20 you have the hiiiiiiiigh-five. Note: This only qualifies if you are using Cannabis with four friends. If you’re not, then you’re blowing a wonderful opportunity and desperately need to reevaluate your principals.

mar. 2019

More episodes at stoney-baloney.com


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Profile for Northwest Leaf / Oregon Leaf / Alaska Leaf

March 2019 - Northwest Leaf  

The Sustainability Issue!

March 2019 - Northwest Leaf  

The Sustainability Issue!

Profile for nwleaf