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may 2020 8
FEATURES 11 EDITOR NOTE 12 NATIONAL NEWS 16 JERRY WHITING 20 HIGHLY LIKELY 24 COFFEE & CANNABIS 28 STRAIN OF THE MONTH 32 SEED TO SALE SPECIAL 40 PLANT PEOPLE PROFILES 48 CONCENTRATE SPOTLIGHT 52 ON THE ROAD 54 STONEY BALONEY ISSUU.COM/NWLEAF
THE seed to sale issue
32 medford, oregon is home to urban pharms, which took us on a seed to sale exploration this month.
PHOTO by URBAN PHARMS @URBAN.PHARMS
Be kind to yourself & to essential cannabis workers. We are ALL in this together. Visit our website for updated hours!
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All Things Cannabis For All People
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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
ABOUT THE COVER
For our first-ever Seed to $ale Issue, we set out with the noble task of documenting Cannabis at every step of the production process, literally, from the beautiful moment of sprouting from the ground all the way to the drying and curing and stocking at the retail store and eventually, in your hands at home. Enjoy the journey... Photo by Professor P @ProfessorP420
Tom Bowers Features Jesse Codling Photos Steve Elliott National News TJ Gagnier Reviews Danielle Halle Writing Mike Ricker Features Meghan Ridley Editing Pacer Stacktrain Features Jonah Tacoma Features Jerry Whiting Hemp Nate Williams Features Laurie & Bruce Wolf Recipes
WES ABNEY | founder & editor-in-chief Wes@nwleaf.com 206-235-6721
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Daniel bermaN | photography & design email@example.com
ADVERTISING Shane vancamp | ADVERTISING SALES firstname.lastname@example.org 253-561-6837
We do not sell stories or coverage. We are happy to offer design services and guidance on promoting your company’s recreational, commercial or industrial Cannabis product or upcoming event. We are targeted and independent Cannabis journalism. Email or call to discuss advertising.
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Editor’s Note Thanks for picking up the Seed to $ale issue of the Leaf! April showers bring May flowers, and while it feels like we have all been showered in bad news, there is hope for our future. We are still here, experiencing each day, quarantined or not. Life is a gift - that’s why they call it the present - and it’s one we should never take for granted. I love that Cannabis is alive too! A plant whose purpose is to make us feel better. You can’t say the same for pharmaceuticals. And Cannabis makes me feel extra alive, especially in these strange times, which is worthy of praise and gratitude.
THERE’S SO MUCH THAT HAPPENS IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING PEOPLE SUPERBLY BAKED, AND IT ALL BEGINS WITH A SEED.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the frontline Cannabis industry workers still showing up to bring medicine and relief to consumers around the country. While Cannabis is a humble plant, it takes a lot of people to bring it to market, and I salute every essential Cannabis worker as we help to make the plant, and planet, better. Please be kind to your budtender and support your local Cannabis retailer. You’ll be sure to leave feeling uplifted!
There’s so much that happens in the process of getting people superbly baked, and it all begins with a seed. Join us as we track a seed all the way through the steps of the Oregon Cannabis industry, and check out our Plant People special as we profile amazing individuals who help turn plants into products across our five states of Leaf magazines. A special thank you goes out to Nate Williams and Tom Bowers for spending the better part of a year documenting the process of seed to sale. Without Nate’s vision, we wouldn’t have this amazing story to share. I hope that as you read this you can find a glimmer of hope, and it can be as simple as taking a toke while enjoying this magazine. Thanks for reading, please give us a follow on social media, and stay safe!
-Wes Abney MAY 2020
N O RT H W E S T L E A F / O R EG O N L E A F / AL AS KA L E A F / M A RY L AN D L E A F / CAL I F O R N I A L E A F
CANNABIS LOBBY PRESSES FOR PANDEMIC RELIEF FUNDS
D.C. ALLOWS MMJ DELIVERIES AND CURBSIDE PICKUPS
he Cannabis lobby is seeking aid for small businesses in the next coronavirus pandemic relief package, reports The Hill. Marijuana businesses have already gotten some help at the state level. Twenty states, D.C. and Puerto Rico are allowing medical Cannabis dispensaries to stay open during the pandemic. Eight states allow both medical and recreational facilities to operate. But the push for federal help, while the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, hasn’t yet made any headway. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress in March prohibits Cannabis businesses from receiving any small business loans. That’s unfair, according to Cannabis groups - and they are pushing to change that in the next aid package.
million dollars was spent by the Cannabis industry lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill in 2019 for access to banking, a rise of $2 million since 2018.
Washington, D.C. now allows Cannabis dispensaries to provide delivery service and curbside pickups to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Marijuana Business Daily. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a democrat, has signed an emergency rule allowing dispensaries to deliver and provide curbside pickups until August 12. Medical Cannabis businesses in D.C. were already considered ‘essential,’ so they were allowed to stay open during the crisis. northwest
OREGON POT SALES WERE HIGHEST EVER IN MARCH Sales data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission show Oregonians in March bought $84.5 million worth of Cannabis products - the most in a single month since the state legalized marijuana back in 2015, reports Willamette Week. The previous record, set in July 2019, was just under $80 million for the month. March’s sales are a 37 percent increase over the same period last year. Sales per retailer averaged $135,000 - a 30 percent jump. Flower accounted for more than half of total sales, while concentrates and extracts made up the second-highest market share.
US Senators are requesting that Cannabis businesses be eligible for assistance in the next coronavirus aid package, efforts backed by nearly three dozen US House Representatives.
billion dollars is the projected amount of retail Cannabis sales in the U.S. in 2020, according to BDS Analytics.
percent more Cannabis was sold in March 2020 than in March 2019, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
million dollars is the amount spent by Arkansas medical Cannabis patients since the first dispensary opened in May 2019.
pounds of medical marijuana have now been sold in a new threshold for the still burgeoning Arkansas medicinal Cannabis industry, at a cost of more than $63 million, across 21 operational dispensaries.
HOME OF THE
By STEVE ELLIOTT, AUTHOR OF THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF MARIJUANA
BudsGarage.com This product has intoxicating eďŹ&#x20AC;ects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the inďŹ&#x201A;uence 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.
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 HEMP INDUSTRY JERRY WHITING for LEAF NATION L e B l a n c C N E . co m / N WL e a f
This summer is the second year that LeBlanc CNE will grow industrial hemp in Washington state. The marketing opportunities I described were ones I considered implementing. No more.
HEMP IN THE AGE of COVID-19 May 2020 marks my twentieth column for Northwest Leaf. Looking back, I stand by almost everything I’ve written. But I now need to revisit my March 2020 column, “Hemp is Legal. What’s Next?” in which I explained farmers are the key to integrating hemp into the mainstream marketplace, because it all begins with the plant. I then suggested six action items farmers should consider, but now in the age of coronavirus, all but one of them simply can’t be implemented.
Marketing involves introducing people to the goods and services you offer. It’s an outreach effort to drive commerce. Yes, it can be done online but nothing beats meeting and interacting with potential customers face to face. It’s not all about Instagram posts or YouTube videos. Sales often begin and end with a handshake, a social practice now curtailed due to coronavirus. Farmers Markets - probably won’t open this summer because of social distancing. Christmas Trees - no the holidays won’t be cancelled, but family gatherings and traditions may be modified to meet local restrictions. Don’t expect a lot of holiday travel this year. U-pick farms with hemp mazes - forget farm stands, u-picks and hemp mazes. Trick-or-treating may be curtailed this year (don’t tell your kids yet). Florists - weddings, funerals and large social gatherings are prohibited. Hemp at the state fair - What state fair? Tours, terroir and appellations - tours no, but hemp farmers can still hype the uniqueness of cultivars grown in their specific location that differentiates their crops from the competition. Branding - it’s still all about the brand. Hemp farmers like all farmers had enough to worry about before the pandemic. Forget the trade wars and tariffs. Small, rural communities are at a higher risk of infection because so few people share the same stores, churches, post office, ATMs, etc. On top of that, these communities have less access to advanced medical care when they fall ill. Conventional farmers are trying to fit hemp into their existing crop rotation, but who knows how much corn, soybeans or other crops to plant in these uncertain times, let alone hemp. It’s hard to plan for Summer 2020 when the states without mandatory quarantines tend to be farm states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Iowa and Nebraska. So what advice can I give hemp farmers? I struggle with these very issues myself. Just when something seems like a ray of hope, the headlines reveal another facet of the pandemic. I worry more about the supply chain than the weather. I’m still committed to hemp. I will plant multiple fiber and medical cultivars this year. I’m doubling down on my commitment as a hemp activist. To quote the song “Touch of Grey” I will survive, I will get by. Again, please support your local hemp farmer any way you can. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train. I promise.
PHOTOS by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS
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Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 or older. 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 innuence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Keep out of the reach of children. Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 or older. 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 innuence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Keep out of the reach of children.
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H i g h l y L i ke l y h i g h l i g h t s Ca n n a b i s p i o n e e rs w h o p a ve d t h e wa y t o g re a t e r h e r b a l a c c e p ta n ce .
nown affectionately as the ‘godfather of marijuana growers,’ Frank helped to popularize both indoor and outdoor growing methods during a time in the 1970s when little information about the process was available. Prior to his time writing about and growing Cannabis, Frank was a shipboard electronics technician in the U.S. Navy in the mid-60s. In 1968, upon leaving the Navy and moving to New York City, he started growing Cannabis inside his apartment. His first published piece appeared in the New York flyer of Rolling Stone magazine in 1971. By 1974, he was one of the first writers for the burgeoning magazine High Times. By the mid-70s, Frank was working with his collaborator Ed Rosenthal on a large-scale grow - by the standards of the time. Frank began collecting seeds from all around the world (many of which became the landraces of today).
IT CAN BE HARD TO FATHOM IN THESE DAYS OF EASY CANNABIS ACCESS AND STATEWIDE LEGALIZATION WHAT A RISK HE WAS TAKING IN THE SIMPLE ACT OF WRITING ABOUT A PLANT. It was around this time that he also published his most popular book, “The Marijuana Grower’s Guide,” which would go on to become something like the Bible to the clandestine indoor and outdoor growers of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. The book became so popular that it put Frank and Rosenthal on the map of Cannabis culture in the late 70s and 80s, and their grow operation in Oakland continued to expand in size. While Frank doesn’t consider himself to be an activist in regard to Cannabis prohibition, he certainly has been a fixture of the Cannabis legalization and cultivation movement. In the 80s, he took a sort of ‘Johnny Appleseed’ approach to getting his landrace Cannabis seeds distributed around the country. It’s very likely that the Cannabis you’re smoking right now came from this stock. Nowadays, Frank is still living in California and still helping people to grow the best Cannabis they can. It can be hard to fathom in these days of easy Cannabis access and statewide legalization what a risk he was taking in the simple act of writing about a plant. He survived the Reagan era, the Bush era - and even the strange era we’re currently living through. For all of that hard work and passion, we all owe Mel Frank a tremendous amount of gratitude. In addition to all of this, Frank is still out there making great content. His Instagram feed (@melfrank420) is a particularly good follow, consisting of over 40 years of photographs spanning the golden era of clandestine Cannabis cultivation and culture.
MELFRANK MEL FRANK is the pen name of James J. Goodwin, an author, grower and activist who has championed the therapeutic effects of Cannabis for his entire adult life.
By PACER STACKTRAIN for LEAF NATION | PHOTO by MEL FRANK/M+B GALLERY LOS ANGELES
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Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 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 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 reach of children.
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coffee & cannabis #6
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BLENDED COFFEE & HEYLO CBG BLEND Living by a strict set of rules is exhausting. When it comes to the finer things in life, Cannabis and coffee included, there can be a pretentiousness that limits the connoisseur from appreciating a whole section of products because they do not adhere to a strict set of guidelines.
HEYLO CBG BLEND because, to be frank, it’s not really coffee anyway - so THE HIGHBROW HIGH-SEEKER and the conscious have some fun with it. I recommend the simple classics of Cannabis consumer generally strive for things that are caramel or java chip, but go wild. Have a toffee strawberry ‘single-origin’ or as close to the truest representation of whipped cream vanilla monstrosity - it probably has some something that they can find. But sticking to this mantra level of caffeine and after all, you’ve earned it. can lead to neglecting some of the more lighthearted and As a perfect pair to its coffee counterpart, the CBG fun sides of a particular craft. And it is for that reason that blend melds into the nonchalant frappe mindset. The CBG one would be truly remiss to miss the CBG blend from blend started life as Where’s My Bike, a fun Heylo, paired with a blended iced coffee. and distracting strain notorious for its high Don’t get me wrong, I can be a traditionalist levels of CBG. as much as the next clout-chaser. I’ve scoffed “Who cares For the uninitiated, CBG or cannabigat baristas questioning whether I would like any if you’re erol, is CBD’s bubbly and social sibling. room for cream, just like every other pompous In addition to research suggesting its pseudo-intellectual. But let’s be honest, if you essentially antibacterial and tumor-inhibiting qualities, are able to remove your coffee snobbery for just drinking a CBG manifests for smokers in the form of a few minutes, a blended coffee can be just the incredibly blissful highs. After enjoying the thing you need to bring some levity to your day. milkshake at original effects of Where’s My Bike, the Who cares if you’re essentially drinking a 6:00 AM, it’s Heylo team sought to develop a blend with milkshake at 6:00 AM, it’s coffee dammit. And coffee dammit.” even higher levels of CBG - a cannabinoid it doesn’t really matter which flavor you go with
that most struggle to produce in large percentages. Thus the CBG blend was born with a 3:1 THC to CBG ratio. This cartridge will get your head on right for anything you have to do. Anxiety melts away to uplifted productivity. Limonene assists in the elation and brings light citrus notes, providing the ideal amount of courage and calm for social settings or packed grocery stores. This combo is an incredible way to start your day. It is like a full system reset, melting away the troubles from the day before. One might consider artistic pursuits or further giving in to your newfound felicity with some online retail therapy. Or check out Heylo’s Spotify playlist for the CBG blend, curated by the hilarious Hannibal Buress. There isn’t a bad activity to pair with a blended coffee and the CBG blend. Let the sweet coffee and manicured Cannabis experience lift you up and send you on your way, completely prepared to tackle whatever barriers this stressful world may hurl at you.
STORY by TJ GAGNIER | PHOTOS by JESSE CODLING | MARKETING
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you’re going to crash a party it’s best to do it with style, and that’s exactly how the brash and uplifting Citrus Crasher rolls into the heady Cookies party that has dominated the rec weed scene for years. Rachel Zoe says, “Style is a way to show who you are without having to speak,” and fire style is exactly what the Citrus Crasher by Trichome Cannabis oozes when a jar is popped open. The phenotype - a meticulously hunted cross of Orange Cookies and Wedding Crasher - has huge and heavy citrus notes that deliver a mouthwatering experience. Bavarian cream melts into skunky vanilla, accented with sharp orange rinds and a poppyseed finish. The jar appeal of this flower is out of control, but the best part is the fluffy and lightly sticky buds completely coated in trichomes. Quite possibly the perfect pillow of the weed world, the cushiony flower settles into a piece in perfect form. Ripping into a bowl drives the intense flavor forward into the lungs, coating the palate in a mouth puckering citrusy kush flavor that gets sweeter as the flower burns. Very few strains taste better when smoked, and this carefully cultivated phenotype of the Citrus Crasher shines during consumption. Effects grip the mind from the first smooth exhale, filling the spirit with calming and peaceful stoned energy. The body and soul get a little lighter, the day brightens up, and life feels a little easier (and stonier) after a solid sesh. Perfect for a day stuck indoors, you can get positively stoned at any time with this delicious flower. Trichome Cannabis is a heritage medical farm barely a year into the 502 recreational market, and they bring the medicinal love and care for the plant in each jar. Their mission is to focus on growing high quality Cannabis with extreme attention to detail and trichome preservation, and we love it! Look for the Citrus Crasher and other tasty flavors from Trichome Cannabis at your favorite Cannabis retailer, and find a new strain to crash a Zoom party with!
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REVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS | SOURCED by JOEJOE THE FLORIST
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This his product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concen-coo TT pr his pr tration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influ-re ma ence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For r use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.
the SEED TO SALE issue
1 PROPAGATION/PLANTING 2 PLANT CARE 3 HARVEST 4 DRY + CURE 5 TRIMMING 6 PRE-ROLL MANUFACTURE 7 BHO & CO2 EXTRACTION 8 SOLVENTLESS EXTRACTION 9 EDIBLE PRODUCTION 10 TESTING THE PRODUCTS 11 PACKAGING & FULFILLMENT 12 EDUCATION & CONSUMPTION
Seed to $ale
For most of its modern history as a medicine and recreational consumable, Cannabis remained shrouded in mystery. Patients and stoners alike found vague answers to prying questions: What strain is this? Not sure - the guy called it Purple Princess. How high will this brownie get me? One will get you pretty high, two will get you really high. Where did this come from? BC, I think. Wait, no - Humboldt?
Every step from behind Prohibition’s curtain offers clearer answers. Now, with two thirds of the United States employing some form of legalization or decriminalization, tracking systems and testing requirements have made it possible to follow - and track - a product from the geneticist who bred the seed all the way to the joint in a patient’s hand. For more than a year, our editorial staff has been working closely with Oregon breeder Hermetic Genetics, cultivator Urban Pharms and distributor The Sweet Life, in order to track a locally bred strain from seed to consumption. It has taken a monumental amount of work and logistical wizardry to bring you the story package you see here. So heat up your banger, pop your gummy or spark up your joint, and give some love to the people that make it all possible. may 2020
INTRO by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS | STORY by NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415
Propagation and Planting
Our story begins with seeds bred by Oregon-based breeder Hermetic Genetics and popped by Seth Marsh, owner and founder of of Urban Pharms. The seeds spend 12-24 hours in a high moisture environment - wet paper towels in plastic bags in this case - which cracks the seeds open and begins the life cycle for the plant. The seed and its protruding taproot are then gently placed into four inch soil plugs, where theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll reside for their infancy and toddler stages of life. Once theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a few weeks old and about six inches tall, the plugs are removed from trays, planted into one gallon pots and transferred to the greenhouse to grow. After a couple weeks vegging in the greenhouse, they spend about a week living outside the greenhouse to begin becoming acclimated to the outdoor environment before being transplanted into custom made, 360 gallon pots for later vegging and flower.
Upkeep and maintenance are absolutely critical to growing a successful crop. There are dozens of different techniques, but clipping fan leaves and interior nodes, and supporting a plant with trellis netting are two of the most widely practiced forms of maintenance. Clipping fan leaves and interior nodes promotes airflow and helps defend against the development of powdery mildew. Plant upkeep has less agreed upon methodology, with essentially every grower implementing a slightly different strategy to keep their plants healthy and happy. These days, one of the most commonly practiced forms of plant upkeep is integrated pest management, which is the practice of implementing human-safe and ecosystem-friendly methods of pest prevention, instead of using offthe-shelf pesticides. Ladybugs are natural predators that feed on both aphids and mites - two pests that love to munch Cannabis.
the SEED TO SALE issue
During Fall harvest season, when the leaves are changing and the Cannabis flowers have ripened into plump, chunky buds, life on the farm buzzes with an energy that can be best described as organized chaos. Dozens of seasonal workers descend on the property, where towering 12- to16-foot Cannabis trees are chopped down, deleafed, quartered, bucked and prepped to be hung to dry. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a sight to behold - the hum of activity, the positive energy and the exhilarating rush of bringing down thousands of pounds of flower as part of a well-oiled operational machine. At Urban Pharms, the teams constantly move the plants from one stage to another assembly line style, each step in the process fitting together efficiently like the gears of a clock. Harvest is, by far, the most labor-intensive stage in the life cycle of a Cannabis plant, and everything needs to happen within a narrow window of time to ensure peak quality for the resulting product. STORY by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS
the SEED TO SALE issue
Drying & Curing
Executing a proper dry and cure might be the most important step in growing a Cannabis plant. Dry too fast and your volatile (and highly desirable) terpenes dissipate, leaving you with buds that smell like hay. Beginning your cure with too much moisture left in the buds can cause mold and ruin a perfectly good harvest. Most commonly after harvest, branches are chopped from the plants and hung in a temperature and humidity controlled environment for 7-10 days before being moved into the curing steps of the process. Urban Pharms built a brand new 8,000 square foot drying and curing facility in 2019 no small investment and a testament to the importance of this step in the process. During the curing process, bags are â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;burpedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in order to release evaporating moisture and off-gas CO2. This step is one of the keys to finishing quality flower.
Trimming generally occurs twice for outdoor plants. First, immediately at harvest, large fan leaves are removed either by hand or by machine - depending on the size of the crop. Then, after drying, the plants are ready to be more finely manicured and are cleaned up with more precise trim machines, by hand, and sometimes both. Generally speaking on scaled farms, the second step occurs only for buds headed to market and not destined for pre-rolls or processing, as the cost of trimming is a significant portion of a farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual overhead. This important step helps bridge the gap between a plant in a field and a finely manicured, purchase-ready product at a dispensary.
Generating thousands of prerolls per day for statewide distribution takes a lot more than a Diamond hand grinder and a pack of RAW king size papers. Flower is milled to a fine grind - often using industrial machinery - before being loaded into joint-packing equipment. The industry standard cone-filler is the Futurola Knockbox - some of which can handle up to 300 pre-rolls at a time. One of the biggest challenges of this step in the process is ensuring that operators successfully fill each cone precisely to the desired level. At this scale, being a fraction of a gram off the mark adds up quickly.
BHO & CO2 Extraction
The art of solvent based extraction has come a long way since backyard blasting, but the end goal and fundamentals of the procedure remain the same: to extract the highly valued cannabinoids and terpenoids using a combination of precisely dialed pressure and temperature. In solvent based extraction, such as butane (BHO) and supercritical CO2 methods, a solvent is put in contact with the flower, drawing out the beneficial compounds. The resulting oil can be further refined using ethanol distillation and is often clarified through winterization, during which fats and waxes are removed using a combination of ethanol and sub-zero temperatures. Cartridge manufacturers have traditionally favored refined solvent based extraction, as it often results in clearer oils, which offer ‘shelf appeal’ for case-cruising consumers.
Solventless extraction relies on purely mechanical methods. Rosin, hash, dry sift - these comprise the old school. They keep more of the plant’s overall profile intact, as they’re not winterized or distilled - the fats and waxes stay in the mix. Current trends in developed markets are showing that what’s old is new again - connoisseurs increasingly prefer solventless to solvent based extracts.
STORY by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS & NATE WILLIAMS @NATEW415
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Differing types of extracts are added to edibles at various stages of production, depending on the product. Some manufacturers use ethanol extracted FECO - which contains a significant amount of plant matter, and offers an extremely strong flavor profile and heavy, medicated effects. Most edible producers currently serving the market use nearly pure cannabinoid distillate or isolate, as these showcase little to no flavor or aroma though they sacrifice full spectrum efficacy in the process. Dialing in the process of adding extract to edibles is of paramount importance - batches undergo rigorous testing to ensure that each serving is dosed properly. Just a fraction of a milligram off, and a producer can lose hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars to product loss.
Testing The Products
After cultivation and before consumption comes the most intricate and expensive stage in the entire process: testing. This is the step that separates the pro from the amateur, in terms of consumer confidence. Samples are sent to testing labs after any stage in the process where the product may end up in a consumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand: after cultivation, after extraction and after extract is added to edibles. Each stage gets a separate test, which is undoubtedly costly. At the lab, scientists employ methods such as high-performance liquid chromatography to identify and measure the compounds in the plant or productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chemical composition. This tells producers, regulators and consumers exactly what is in the product. All legal states require cannabinoid, pesticide and moisture testing. Some states also require terpene and heavy metals testing at an additional expense. Savvy producers in states where this additional testing is optional often choose to add these tests for greater transparency and marketability.
STORY by TOM BOWERS @PROPAGATECONSULTANTS
Packaging & Fulfillment
Product is packaged and custom printed batch specific labels are affixed to each sales unit before the products are locked in the vault to await delivery. Each product can be traced all the way back to the seed using the state’s tracking system. Next, inventory managers update the state tracking system as products are secured for delivery to retailers. One of the keys to a robust market is a well maintained relationship between the sales representatives, drivers and retailers. This relationship determines the product mix available to customers, and if the brands and retailers aren’t talking to one another, consumers miss out.
Education & Consumption
Budtenders spend time educating their customers, finding the best products to suit each individual situation. Like the distributor-retailer dynamic, the budtender-customer relationship determines the quality of the overall experience. So, now you’ve purchased your Cannabis - the best part. After arriving safely home, you open the childproof packaging. Whether you’re binge-watching Netflix, recording the next great album or tending to your own garden, one thing’s for sure - it took an army of people and a mountain of effort to bring you this experience. Savor the moment. And tip your budtender.
the SEED TO SALE issue
PLANT PEOPLE LOS ANGELES, CA
Compliance Officer CANBY, OR
MAX WHITE | AROMA CANNABIS DIRECTOR OF CULTIVATION AND CO-FOUNDER
You were previously a vital part of the operation at House of Cultivar in Seattle, then you moved to California for a new role. What does a Compliance Officer do? I see that all our actions
How long have you been cultivating Cannabis?
How would you describe your approach to Cannabis cultivation at Aroma? How does it differ from other growing experiences you had in the past?
Having to deal with said governing body for Cannabis, what do you do to make your job enjoyable? It is great going back to a facility and see-
At the age of 12, I suffered an eye injury leaving me blind and with a condition ironically called chronic glaucoma. I became a medical marijuana patient in 1999 at the age of 16-years-old and immediately began growing for myself and other patients. I’m the ripe age of 37 today and there hasn’t been a year in which I wasn’t cultivating Cannabis.
When I started in the good ol’ Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) days, it was a vastly different arena. Prices were double or more what they are today. I had one employee - me. I didn’t have to pay attention to operating costs or budgets because let’s face it, the margins were glorious. I only had up to 48 plants at one time, so I could give the ladies names if I liked. As far as techniques and grow styles, I did it all growing up. I grew in outdoor fields, greenhouses, attics, basements, warehouses. The first grow I ever did was in the corner of our family room growing up. At 16-years-old, my dad helped me build an 8x8 plywood box. I threw a 1000watt China hat fixture in there and torched my crop - learned and moved on. Today I find myself behind a computer screen a lot more. With my team, we watch numbers and data constantly. We prepare budgets and projections. The recreational market was a tough start. It has been a crash course in running a business as efficiently as possible. Naturally with scaling up into a more commercial approach, some of the personal intimate touches do not pencil in any longer, but I can say quality is still the main focus.
What is the most challenging part of running a Cannabis cultivation facility?
Interview by Mike Ricker @RickerDJ
are tracked and traced from seed to production to nursery to manufacturing, distribution and retail. If that’s tough to stomach, an easier way to explain it is I’m a detail coordinator for compliant actions within the facility. Basically, what the Bureau of Cannabis Control wants is someone who is there to avoid product diversion and ensure product safety.
Interview by Tom Bowers @PropagateConsultants
Learning to run a business. Whether you are selling kind nugs, shoes, cars or cheeseburgers, it’s all the same in regard to running a business. I don’t have any formal business education or degree. I was a simple Oregon dope grower with a drive to succeed. Learning to work with governing agencies, the county permitting process and the tax man has taken some practice - but a good challenge is always healthy and rewarding.
What advice do you have for cultivators (professional and amateur)?
Be open to learning more than one way of doing things. Ask a lot of questions from a wide circle of professionals. If you can, join community groups or volunteer in a field of desired expertise. Become a good networker! I love the phrase “your network is your net worth” because it is absolutely true. Today, when I don’t know the answer, I do know somebody that does. And they are happy to share that knowledge with me, as I am happy sharing with somebody else in need.
ing that the company is taking the appropriate measures that I incorporated. The fact is that people generally do what they want, but there are fiery hoops to jump through, so it makes my job enjoyable to see this function from the black market to a compliant market.
Where do you see the regulatory aspect of Cannabis heading? The biggest issue right now we
need to get resolved is banking. We have no banking in California. Other states have implemented financial security for the industry, but unless we go with some crazy, random Russian bank, we’re hung out to dry. We make a lot of money for the state and they need to take care of us. We are really scrutinized and our money is just as good as someone who is not playing the game as well, but they are a federally legal industry like insurance or liquor.
What is your preferred way to wind down after spending your day as the last line of defense against the pot police? (Giggles) I love going for a walk with the dogs, smoking a joint, and taking a good minute to appreciate where I am in life and that I’m a part on this revolution, because this is a time in history that is never going to happen again. This makes me want to go to work the next day.
A grateful look behind the scenes with a member of the Cannabis industry responsible for each step of the Seed to $ale process...
CHRIS CLARK | CODE GREEN
Interview by Mike Ricker @RickerDJ You have a trimming company which is unique to the Alaska Cannabis industry. What prompted you to start a business trimming flower for other companies? I saw a need. There were a lot of farms doing
everything right, but when the time came to handle the product, either the task was too overwhelming for them or the other options weren’t viable. So, that’s when I trained up a group of people and set a basic standard for the whole procedure. I have to say that there was a company before me, but in my opinion, they were ripping off growers and I just saw a much better way to do it.
What is your trade secret to making a successful business out of trimming? Consistency. I know what
I want to see when I go into a store. I know how I think bud should look. When the person taking in the product at a store sees 100 eighths that all look the same, I know we’ve done our job right.
Why is trimming a noble profession? I honestly believe that trimmers can make or break a product. You can do everything right on the grow end, but if your product isn’t handled properly at the end of the day, it can end up looking like shit - you know?
If you handed off your earbuds to the person next to you right now in the middle of a trimming sesh, what would they hear? They’d be getting into some Mike
Love or Nahko Bear. That’s Nahko and Medicine for the People.
Since you’re in Alaska, have you ever considered opening a beard trimming company, and if so, would you consider trimming a Bearded Lorax? I’ll trim anything you put in front of me, brother (laughs).
Hear “Bearded Lorax” Leaf Nation Editor Wes Abney on the Leaf Life Podcast
MIKE TUNIS & ADAM FLOYD THINK20 LABS
Interview by Wyatt Early @ErrlyWyatt What is the process a bud or concentrate takes from entering to exiting the lab?
When a sample enters our laboratory it is first weighed, received and accessioned into Metrc and our internal tracking system. Then the sample makes its way over to our photography lightbox, where we take high-resolution images of the sample and its packaging to be displayed on the certificate of analysis. For a full panel regulatory compliance sample, the first analysis conducted is the foreign material inspection. Here, we inspect the sample under a digital microscope, looking for adulterants such as dirt, mold, insects, fibers, hairs, etc. Once the foreign material inspection is concluded, the sample is then homogenized - the process of making the sample uniform throughout, so that any sub-sample taken from the homogenized sample will be representative of the entire sample. Proper homogenization is especially important when it comes to testing Cannabis flowers, primarily because they are very inhomogeneous - with the largest percentage of cannabinoids residing in the trichomes and the lowest amount coming from the leaves and stems. Once all the analyses required for a sample are completed, the compiled data package is reviewed by senior lab personnel to verify values are correct and that all the analytical instrumentation quality control checks are within specifications pursuant to internal and external acceptance criteria. Following this final quality assurance check, the certificate of analysis is uploaded to Metrc, the BCC, and released to the distributor who submitted the sample for testing.
INTERVIEWS by LEAF NATION CONTRIBUTORS
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PLANT PEOPLE Continued from p. 41
Extraction Lab Processing Manager REGIS PHILBURN | ECHO ELECTUARY Interview by Amanda Day @Terpodactyl_Media Dealing with the plant up-close must provide a unique perspective. What have you learned about Cannabis through your processes? For the purpose of extraction, we seek out different traits such
as unique terpene profiles, specific trichome morphology and lower THC to terpene ratios. There has been some breeding done specifically for extraction strains, but we hope to see this develop further in coming years into two distinct subtypes of varietals, similar to wine and table grapes.
What qualities do you look for in extraction source material?
Complex and unique terpene profiles, and clean growing practices and down to earth people/companies are essential factors in choosing our grow partners. Within our own grow we feel that organic sungrown Cannabis produces some of the most complex terpene profiles, but we also enjoy the range of flavor and repeatable results that come with the tight environmental control of indoor gardening. Cannabis enthusiasts are always looking for the next hot strain, so it is important to be aware of, and cater to, new strain trends.
Echo Electuary has been a staple of the Oregon market since before recreational legalization. What procedures have you utilized to provide your customers with consistent products?
We have developed our own methods for flash freezing using dry ice (CO2) and/or liquid nitrogen, in order to best preserve the ‘live’ terpene profile. In our extraction process, we utilize sub-zero temperatures, passive recovery, and precision flow control to achieve a variety of different hydrocarbon extract consistencies. Every batch goes through our dewax/winterization process to remove lipids and other unwanted components. Cleaning is an integral function of making consistent extracts and we rigorously clean our equipment and purify our solvents between batches to keep the extracts pure and free of cross-contamination.
Modern consumers have many options when it comes to dab products. Do you have a favorite type of extract? What do you enjoy about that form or consistency? I enjoy variety and could never be
satisfied with just one consistency or type of extract, but in general, I prefer consistencies such as budder (badder) because of its well-balanced THC to terpene ratio, and its ease of use. Homogeneous extracts like budder tend to dab more evenly, with the THC and terpenes vaporizing simultaneously, which is the best all around effect for me personally. I am enamored by well-grown THCA crystals and enjoy vaporizing those as well, usually towards the end of the day.
Packaging Manager NIKIA HARRISTON | GLEAF
Interview by Wyatt Early @ErrlyWyatt What is your daily life like as a packaging manager?
Once we get the buds from harvest that have been manicured and trimmed, we start the packaging process. So, we start off with 10 pound batches and my team will package as much as they can from those batches into 3.5 gram drams. Depending on how light or heavy the different strains’ buds are, it can be anywhere from two to five pounds per batch going into eighths. We use a packaging machine we call Bimba, which funnels large amounts of Cannabis into small and precise amounts.
After being packaged, we place the containers into boxes of 224 grams (half of a pound). Each box must be labeled by hand with strain name, cannabinoid profile and terpene profile. To account for this Cannabis being prepared
to go to a dispensary, each box must be entered into Metrc. Then we can seal everything up and place them on the shelves for specific dispensaries to receive them.
What is left from that batch is called small bud, which is used for pre-rolls. All of our trim is sent to the lab to be processed into all of the concentrates we make. We have
a Futurola grinder to grind the buds, and use a Futurola machine to make pre-rolled joints and phillys. We have a ‘travel sheet’ that shows us which employee completed which process in packaging our products, for accountability and quality control. We track every single gram that leaves our facility, from seed to sale in the Metrc system. Whether it’s fresh bud, product that dropped on the floor, green waste or anything else, everything must be accounted for.
Product Sales CHRISTA DANTINI MINGLEWOOD BRANDS
Interview by Mike Ricker @RickerDJ Selling Cannabis takes patience and the ability to read individuals. How did you build this expertise?
I have been in retail my entire life, since I was old enough to work at the age of 16. And I’m a people person. I’m more about building relationships with the individual than I am with getting the sale, and when you do that you get a keen ear to listen, which leads you to find what they are really looking for. Then figuring out what they need is super simple. When people feel that you are naturally interested in them, you create relationships that last.
You have children. Does selling Cannabis sometimes feel like negotiating with your kids? It used to
back when I was selling shittier products (laughs). But now that I sell the best brands in the Cannabis market, it’s easy - at least in my opinion. The people who were assholes back in the day, giving me the runaround, are now wanting to do business and are more flexible, which is kinda cool.
What is the most gratifying part of being in this business, compared to doing retail? I think people are really chill and kind overall in this industry. For me, having the flexibility to be a mom and take care of kids and still smash out work is everything. And I love Cannabis. It has so many healing properties and it’s so much more than just a recreational thing. I feel good about what I’m doing at the end of the day.
How do you feel about the new Trolls movie? I haven’t seen
the new Trolls movie (laughs again). I think it’s the only one I haven’t seen yet.
ELLICOTT CITY, MD
BRANDON COLEMAN | GREENHOUSE WELLNESS
Interview by Wyatt Early @ErrlyWyatt What do you do as a buyer for a dispensary? As a buyer, you are tasked with many re-
sponsibilities outside of purchasing Cannabis for your store. To start, I am always keeping track of the inventory of the store in an effort to keep stocks high. I base my buying decisions on a variety of factors. Sometimes it’s feedback from patients wanting more of a certain product or producer, and my relationships with producers helps me do just that. Patients give me feedback routinely, sometimes multiple times daily - everyone has their favorites and wants to be able to buy them.
How do you decide what products to buy? When it comes to flower and concentrates, I
have personally used a vast majority of the products I bring in. I spend a majority of my time managing relationships between myself, growers, processors and patients. Almost everyone uses a different wholesale platform to showcase their product. The biggest systems used are Leaf Trade and LeafLink, as well as individual email blasts with certificates of analysis.
Why does a dispensary need a buyer? Not every dispensary has a singular person set as the buyer. A lot of times the owner of the dispensary will be buying the products for the store. I have autonomy to make buying decisions without approval from anyone, which I believe gives me a leg up. Combining all of these factors into a patient facing brand/dispensary is really what wraps up my job.
INTERVIEWS by LEAF NATION CONTRIBUTORS
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PLANT PEOPLE Continued from p. 43 COCKEYSVILLE, MD
DR. ALEX DIX | KIP CANNABIS DOCTOR OF PHARMACY, B.S. CHEMISTRY
Interview by Wyatt Early @ErrlyWyatt What is your typical consultation experience like?
When a patient comes in for a consultation, whether new or old to Cannabis, I always introduce them to our handbook and a few key concepts within that are crucial for them to understand. The handbook contains various basic topics about medicine, the endocannabinoid system, plant components, dosage forms of Cannabis, pharmacogenetics and a journal they utilize for their personal experience. We will begin the healing process by locking in their goals. Are they aiming to relieve pain? Sleep throughout the night? Sense happiness? Leave pharmaceuticals in the past? Regardless, once the goals are established, we then dive into the educational scope of Cannabis. With its multiple active ingredients/compounds - cannabinoids - and its terpene properties, the various patient goals are achievable due to the unique structure of the plant. I emphasize drifting away from buying decisions simply based on sativa or indica. Trust the terpenes they enhance the psychoactive components in Cannabis. The active ingredients and terpenes present in each strain allow for the potential to better target the release of specific neurotransmitters in our nervous system that regulate many processes within our body.
Shortly following, we discuss dosing. Each patient starts with the smallest possible dose first, ensuring sufficient time to yield the full effect. Once analyzed, we can decide if more or less is needed. Different products have different optimal doses and we work together to find the most suitable, safe and convenient method for that person. It may fluctuate, but the journal allows for record keeping and efficient modification, if needed. The journal at the back of our handbook contains three sections: type, cannabinoid/terpene profile, and a number scale. The type section contains information about the method of ingestion - inhalation, sublingual, topical - dosage form, and information about the provider. Usually for the terpene profile/cannabinoid section it’s best to rip the label off or write down required information. The number scale is used before each dosage and after to assess the effect of each medication and its alignment with the patient’s goals. Additionally, the journal contains space for information regarding the time taken and technique - bowl, inhaled for three seconds, exhaled for two. Overall, the journal contains beneficial information to manage symptoms, track progress and modify accordingly. It’s important for our patients to understand how products relate to the learning points crafted in our handbook. This influences more knowledge and in turn confidence about the medicine regularly consumed.
SHELBY SWANSON | MATANUSKA CANNABIS COMPANY
Interview by Mike Ricker @RickerDJ Budtending is a profession. Where did you gain your expertise before entering the Cannabis industry?
In Alaska we have vertical integration, so I first began as a trimmer for the Matanuska Cannabis Company before coming on as a budtender. Before that I was in the service industry for a long time as a janitor, and worked at the post office and elementary schools. I like working with people and I felt like I’m more comfortable in this type of environment than being in a type that is, how do you put it…normal?
Where do you see the Cannabis industry heading in Alaska? What amazes me most is the amount of people in the com-
munity who use Cannabis as medicine, as opposed to recreationally. Especially with the virus going on, being considered essential business, I see this having a ripple effect in the community - but I’m not sure if it will improve anything moving forward with federal legalization. We don’t really know what it’s going to take to change the laws, so we just keep on doing what we’re doing, which is presenting Cannabis in a positive light. The fact that we are essential business is a great move in the right direction.
If you were to run for the Governor’s seat in Alaska, what would be your main selling point for getting elected? Oh man (laughs). I don’t know if it would be any one thing, but more like just changing the goal posts. I would rather take care of everybody in our community to make sure they are all provided for before giving big tax credits and free money to the oil industry. There are people out here who are really struggling to even make it to the next day. Our leaders tend to forget about the small people.
What strain would you recommend to a melancholy moose, if one were to mosey into the shop one day?
Ooooh, the Honey Banana by Althea’s Morning Bear. It’s a nice sweet indica that isn’t too dense, so you don’t have to grind it and you can just pack it into a bowl and hit it there.
Listen to Leaf Life Podcast show #61
Coronavirus Crisis Pt 3: Essential Business
AMBER VAUGHN |TERPENE TRANSIT Interview by Mike Ricker @RickerDJ Distribution is an integral part of a moving society. What is different about doing it in the Cannabis industry compared to making deliveries for a company like Amazon Prime? I think it always boils down to the regulatory nature of what we do, in always having to remain compliant. And we do it with a smile! Comparatively speaking, the big difference is delivery schedules. With a big company like Amazon, you know you’re going to get your delivery sometime before 8:00 PM tomorrow. For us, every store, every situation is a little unique, so being flexible and being able to adapt to each store’s unique quirks is a challenge. But we are not just robots, either. It’s important to us to create a pleasant experience because we know that customer service is the name of the game. So, that is an area that we truly feel differentiates us from the corporate drop and go delivery services. We create relationships, we network, we make friends.
Are you worried about contracting COVID-19 by having contact with numerous people daily? It is
a concern and the best we can do is the best for ourselves. As long as people are doing their due diligence to prevent it, we are happy to be out on the road making this happen. We provide gallons of ISO, gloves and masks, follow protocol to sanitize every day, and everything is UV lighted every day. We just go above and beyond for the prevention of COVID.
Has anything noteworthy happened on a delivery that you would like to entertain us with? The first year that we started, we got
pulled over by the state patrol and we told him we had 1,000 pounds of Cannabis in the back. We asked him if he wanted to see it and his response was, “I want to see it, but I don’t want to go through it.” Then he took a photo of it, which I assume he sent to all his buddies, then sent us on our way.
What is your preferred method for transiting terpenes into your body? Dabs all day. Except when it’s time to drive, of course.
MATTHEW MIKULSKI | CHATTER CREATIVE
Interview by Mike Ricker @RickerDJ You were a sponsored skateboarder in your younger days. Where is the creative correlation between the two? I’ve always been influenced by
Thrasher Magazine and TransWorld, so a lot of my inspiration comes from the wheels, the skateboards and the graphics - that old school look and feel. Everything that Powell and Peralta was doing, Steve Caballero, Bones Brigade, Tony Hawk, that whole crew.
I know there is something special about marketing Cannabis compared to ordinary brands. What is it? Cannabis is different - wide audience - so you can’t really
hone in on one particular person because everybody’s different. So you have to cast a wide net. Keeping my designs simple and clean is important. I’m always thinking about the 21-year-old to the 75-year-old person, male and female. So, the challenge is not having one particular person you’re designing for. Another thing worth mentioning is 11 years ago when I started Chatter Creative; a lot of corporate clients were shunning me for taking Cannabis clients and it feels like some of them are coming around. And even with aunts and uncles, there is a degree of acceptance you can feel more and more of. The perception of Cannabis is changing and it’s cool.
Could you ever work in another field now that you’ve realized your dream of being in the Cannabis game? I’ll always be a designer. I love to illustrate, so if I wasn’t dealing with brands and marketing, I would probably shift into illustration. In fact, I could see myself doing children’s books.
INTERVIEWS by LEAF NATION CONTRIBUTORS
concentrate spotlight nwlEAF.COM
BACON GREASE FALCON 9 ROSIN\ When it comes to this grease, we enjoyed the single source Falcon 9 hash rosin from Bacon’s Buds with relish!
While the name Bacon’s Buds has nothing to do with the delicious meat-treat, or the movie “Grease” (it’s the owner’s last name), you could compare rosin to bacon grease - but only in texture. The oil produced by pressing the flower - or in this case hash - is actually the treat being extracted. When heat and pressure combine to squeeze the essence of a plant into rosin, amazing things happen, causing a gorgeous greasy oil to ooze out. The rosin has a light greasy texture that is best stored in a fridge or freezer to preserve the terpenes and keep it fresh. After a couple minutes at room temperature it gets perfectly sappy and ready for a dab, and the beautiful flavors begin oozing out of the 73.3% THC oil. The Falcon 9 has a sharp creamy citrus tang, with darker kush and gassy notes hiding in the background. The grease melts down to a lightly bubbling liquid at lower temps, releasing a burst of terpenes and a smooth, creamy flavor. Effects start on exhale, with a calming euphoria that settles in directly behind the eyes. It’s hard not to smile after any delicious dab, and doubly so after hitting the Falcon 9. With stress and uncertainty commonly experienced during these times, this beautiful rosin wraps you up in a friendly Cannabis hug. Rosin allows dabbers to experience the entire plant in a full spectrum high, and the Bacon Grease blends its perfect flavor “in a deep and powerful fashion. The Falcon 9 is an indica dominant strain made by the cross of Sunset Sherbet x Tina for a beautiful, tasty flower and even more delicious rosin. After a decade of smoking Cannabis and dabbing, I find myself choosing solventless concentrates consistently over hydrocarbons. Not only is solventless hash making a true art, it doesn’t hide imperfections or cover up flavors. It’s 100% the plant in a concentrated form using only water, pressure and heat to create an essential oil extract of the best the plant has to offer. Check out Bacon’s Buds for a full lineup of flower, hash and rosins that deliver in value, effect and strain specificity.
THIS BEAUTIFUL ROSIN WRAPS YOU UP IN A FRIENDLY CANNABIS HUG. Available from Fweedom, Fire & Frost, and The Green Nugget
REVIEW by WES ABNEY @BEARDEDLORAX | PHOTO by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS
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For E vents & Deal Info 29393 STATE RT. 410 E, BUCKLEY, WA This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. 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 21 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.
Virtual 4/20/20 CHRONIC RELIEF EDITION
D O N AT E TO F E E D I N G A M E R I C A | FARECHILD.COM/CHRONICRELIEF STORY by JONAH TACOMA @DABSTARS2.0 for LEAF NATION | PHOTOS by JESS LARUE @JESSICALARUE_420
I GRIMACED LOOKING AT MY WATCH. Traffic was light due to COVID-19, which had most of the nation on lockdown, but we were running behind. Both Cannabis and media had been deemed essential businesses and we were headed to Atomic Studios in Seattle to shoot what would be a first for us: a five and a half hour long, live 4/20 celebration
Many Cannabis enthusiasts, including myself, had been looking forward to this particular 4/20 for several years. For only once every hundred years did the celestial alignment culminate in a perfect 4/20/20. For all but a tiny few, this would be the first and last time any of us would ever see it. I went over the show notes from the passenger seat as Jessica put the pedal to the floor, dancing THE BRAINCHILD OF FARECHILD EVENTS around the sparse FOUNDERS DAVID TRAN AND JAMES ZACHODNI, This was a first for all of us, especially traffic in an attempt CHRONIC RELIEF ITSELF HAD BEEN BORN OF THE the Atomic Studio guys who were used to to make up time. She COVID-19 VIRUS - A DIRECT RESPONSE TO THE a more corporate tenor and were openly had made a Magical CANCELLATION OF CANNABIS EVENTS AROUND bemused by the goings on in the studio Butter pizza for a bit THE WORLD, FROM SPANNABIS TO HASH BASH that day. AND DOZENS OF CELEBRITIES HAD AGREED TO we were doing during The production coordinator’s voice PARTICIPATE. ALL PROCEEDS WOULD BE DONATED the live show, and broke the silence in my earbuds. TO FEEDING AMERICA AND MOST OF US HAD the bake time had “Three minutes! Butts in seats!” Steven DONATED OUR TIME TO THE PROJECT us running late. The said urgently. I took my place next to studio was buzzing as Fred, professional auctioneer and my cowe arrived. The city host for the auspicious live reveal of “Chronic Relief.” of Seattle had been gracious enough to make parking in The brainchild of Farechild Events founders David Tran the entire city free during the pandemic and we hurried and James Zachodni, Chronic Relief itself had been to unload the various props we had brought along for the born of the COVID-19 virus - a direct response to the day’s festivities. cancellation of Cannabis events around the world, from I shouted a warning as I hauled a gigantic peli case Spannabis to Hash Bash - and dozens of celebrities had over the studio threshold - the largest case the company agreed to participate. All proceeds would be donated to produced and it was packed with marijuana paraphernalia Feeding America and most of us had donated our time of all types and sizes. to the project, including myself. Jessica took her place in front of a large green screen As the producer announced go time and the cameras where she would be doing her commentary for the day, went live, the adrenaline and weed took over. The next while a dozen or more production staff busied themselves five hours were a blur as we partied in 4:20 across three tweaking and tuning the main set, which was being given a different time zones. From Whoopi Goldberg to Tommy 4/20 makeover. Chong and Dub FX, the star studded show went off without a hitch. For most of us we just wanted a way to be together - to us, Cannabis was community. A cheer went off in the studio as DJ Cide played us out and Stephen called cut, ending what for many had been weeks of preparation and hard work. The virus may have had us in lockdown but technology was helping to bridge the gap. With matching funds we raised over 100,000 meals for Feeding America. At a time when the nation was strapped for cash, Cannabis still had something to give. Maybe we weren’t just so-called ‘stupid stoners’ after all...
by Mike Ricker Check Your Temperature It was the hot dab that did me in.
Thank you, my airheaded, rookie administrator, for enlightening me to what the inside of a barrel of a flame thrower is like when delivering a mechanical dragon’s demonstration of unbridled fury. And just when I managed to inhale something that resembled actual air, the entire experience was deepened upon identifying the sensation of having swallowed a sleeping porcupine into my lungs who, upon awakening in the cramped space, was overcome with fear - causing it to instinctually employ its quills in order to defend itself. Suddenly, I was the porcupine - anxiety ridden from the torturous enclosure of a war prisoner’s hurt locker, teetering on the brink of panic, gauging whether the extreme discomfort would cause claustrophobic madness before having the luxury of first offing myself. And then came the bong spins. At least that’s what they used to call it long before concentrates with 110% THC existed. So out of the place I fled, incapable of explaining myself. Not only because of the inability to formulate and convey a cohesive word, but also for the complete lack of oxygen flowing through my gills. The night had instantly taken a “Fear and Loathing” turn, forcing the retreat from the madness into the safety of the car where a judge from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” hammered down his gavel for the crime of a meaningless existence. That’s when the dizziness proved a harsh catalyst - churning the stomach into a pressurized brew of witch’s stew - conjuring the recently eaten food truck kung pao calamari and projectile launching it onto the misty pavement in the back alley. This was the worst Cannabis experience of my life. Thank goodness for cool dabs. And the cool mother fuckers who know how to heat a dab. But if you don’t, that’s OK. That’s why the good lord gave us the vape cart.
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