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Sativa Magazine Online Issue No. 14 March 2014 Tiffany Greene Michael Carter Cheryl Addington Jason Osburn Mekinsey M. Molinaro Carly Hofer Josh Clappe Emily Cain April Greene Andy Rostar Max Bortnick Gloria Martinez Bronwynn Dean Paul Lembeck Diana Campos Bronwynn Dean Richard Drew Gina Epps Cory Francis Hippy KK Adam Kain Kandy Krush Kip Jarvis Paul Lembeck Miggy 420 Joe Martin Michael Mojave Samuel Wells
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Technology with new tools at hand
Welcome to the March edition of Sativa Magazine. This issue focuses on technology and how Cannabis and hemp will be used in future advancements of the economic, political and medical landscape. For students of history, this period in your life, this generation that many of us are struggling through, has a silver lining. We are all cursed and blessed to have lived in this period of history. Some of the largest changes in the world will happen during the next ten years of your life. History repeats itself in an infinite loop, with slight variations in each cycle. We are designing the next loop as you read this. Technology is leading the way. We are at the edge of the next technological revolution. The past and the present have brought us to a new level of communication and understanding of how the world around us works. The Internet has closed many gaps in our world views and the political ant hill is frantically scurrying to build the fortress before the inevitable changes come. Technology has and always will continue advancing. How will Cannabis and hemp play a role in these advancements in technology? As after the last Great Depression, our comeback will be grand. With Cannabis and hemp in our toolbox, how can it not? The American mindset is extremely innovative and creative. A mindset that was orchestrated for us in schools and society, preparing us to compete. We are the lions of innovation
and competition. Right now we are slowly getting the freedom to take advantage of a new opportunity. An opportunity to create jobs and bring back a product, a medicine that should never have been taken from us in the first place. Made in America is coming back and we are open to outside investors. The floodgates have opened and we are only looking at a trickle of action being taken so far. By trickle, I mean, millions of dollars. Soon investors will flood billions into the new Cannabis and hemp industries. We have been here before, with the Great Depression and with prohibition of alcohol. Weâ€™ve learned many lessons and we are ready for a new approach. Technology is our future; Cannabis and hemp will play a part in future technological and biological advances. With medical researchers openly pleading with the government on the editorial page of The New York Times to remove Cannabis from the Schedule I drug list, can you doubt that change is in the wind? The playing field is open. We are waiting for the next Bill Gates of Cannabis. Opportunities are endless. Make your move.
Michael Carter firstname.lastname@example.org www.SativaMagazine.com
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MARCH 2014 COLUMNS Business Highdeas Don’t bogart that brand, my friend Cannabusiness opportunities at your fingertips. Really.
Bright Shiny Objects Magic Flight Launch Box & V Syndicate Grinder Card Mom always said to accessorize. How right she was!
The Need for Seeds The name game, part one That which we call a rose by any other name...
Hemp Farming Legalized! Buried in the Farm Bill — huzzah!
Incredible Medibles Lemon cheese sweet bread Celebrate not shoveling snow with this awesome treat.
iCANNABIS: THE TECHNOLOGY ISSUE
Cannaculture 2.0 Apeks Supercritical & Quantum 9. The future is now.
Breeding Goes High Tech Waaaayyyy beyond pistils and stamens.
Canna We Talk? Miggy 420 takes a look at tweeting while toking.
Wheel Around the LED Prepare to be amazed.
Top 10 Cannabis Apps Nearest dispensary? There’s an app for that.
What Your Nose Knows Paul Lembeck looks for the science behind the stink.
the Green Table Interview A chat with Cy Scott, founder of Leafly.
SEO for Ganjapreneurs It’s all about traffic. Part Two of a series.
Cannabis Software Manage your cannabusiness — no matter what it is.
Cannabis Catalyst How technology is shaping the future of Cannabis.
Cannabis Portfolio Another inspired collection of the things we love.
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Branded rolling tip and Cannabis tube When it comes to cannabusinesses, branding is vital. It gives the world an impression — just like a famous strain is known around the globe — of what the business is all about. But what about that little piece of paper— better known as a rolling tip or crutch — what brand image will make it
stand out from the crowd? If you live in one of the 20 states or Washington D.C. where medical Cannabis is legal, or maybe you’re fortunate enough to live in Washington or Colorado where state-level legalization is in practice, chances are, the experience of running into a dispensary to purchase a ‘pre-roll’ or a pack of them has proven to be an absolute
convenience. More often than not, pre-rolls are sold with a ‘tip’ in the end or what others might call a crutch. This little device is used for many reasons and at times, before the entire joint is consumed, it falls out leaving the consumer with zero benefits of its original purpose. They are, for the most part, a thin cardboard type of paper. How about replacing that
product with hemp and leave the trees to grow in our forests? Let’s create a branded rolling tip and Cannabis tube. Say there’s a cannabusiness whose name starts with the letter ‘B’ and they want consumers to notice. As a one-piece unit, the Cannabis tube and the rolling tip are completely made of hemp, the tip is a straight air path filter that forms the letter ‘B’ rather than a coiled, rolled or folded-up tip. Filling the tube full of Cannabis, by using a Cannabis injector, much like that of a tobacco machine, any amount of pre-rolls could be made in no time at all. And by the tip being a straight air filter, rather than a cotton type filter, there are no risks of decreasing the amount of THC being consumed. Yet, carcinogens such as tar are eliminated. Offer the tips in a variety of flavors for those that like that type of thing. If you don’t want the letter of your cannabusiness forming the tip, make sure it’s something the consumer will be able to identify and put two and two together so that every time it’s seen, it sets off a trigger that immediately makes them think of your business. Whatever it is, be sure to leave an everlasting impression. 12
Building a brand involves some creativity. How will your brand stand out above the rest? URLS: MEASUREMYHIT.COM HITRULER.COM KRUTCHOFKRUTCHES.COM KOKBLOCKER.COM BRANDSMOKE.COM KINGKRUTCH.COM Custom-printed rolling papers When it comes to choosing a rolling paper, everyone has their favorite brand. To name a few different types, there’s the regular size, extra-wide, clear, thin, mentholated and even Cannabis flavored rolling papers that are commonly made out of flax, rice straw, wood pulp and yes, even hemp as a base material. With literally hundreds to choose from, everyone has a preference, while some might prefer gummed and unbleached another might prefer a bleached, un-gummed rolling paper, but in the end, they all do the same thing: burn bud. Imagine pulling out a paper, expecting it to be just like any other paper previously used, plain in color only this time, it has writing on it. Upon a closer look, you realize you’re now reading
a fortune paper or a positive affirmation. The rolling paper is providing a moment of Zen to the consumer before it’s burned. Printed with safe soybean ink, a manufacturer could advertise a company logo or slogan, weird or silly thoughts, and even famous quotes. If they really wanted to get creative, have the ink form a design once it’s rolled up, no matter if it’s a big ol’ fatty or a conservative pinner, the design will always be formed. Print a full pack of papers or random ones throughout, either way, the consumer will continue purchasing that specific brand not just because it’s the preferred brand of papers over another, but for the element of surprise that the papers bring. The possibilities with this highdea really are endless and the endless possibilities make for a great marketing tool. URLS: TASTEMYBRAND.COM BURNMYBRAND.COM PUNPAPER.COM PUNPAPERS.COM FORTUNEBREATHER.COM SMOKEDTHOUGHTS.COM S SATIVAMAGAZINE.COM
BRIGHT SHINY OBJECTS
Magic-Flight Launch Box ®
Rating: 5++ nuggs The Magic-Flight Launch Box is a portable personal vaporizer that is made specifically for dry herb. It is quite unique in itself and very different from all the other vaporizers on the market today.
Hand-crafted right here in the USA — San Diego, California to be more specific — the Launch Box is available in three wood grains to choose from: maple, cherry and walnut. Packaged very nicely in a customized felt
lined tin, each kit comes complete with the Launch Box, a glass draw stem, two rechargeable NiMH AA batteries with caps, battery charger, cleaning brush and a flight guide (instruction booklet). At first glance, I have to admit,
it looked a little intimidating, but don’t let the first impressions fool you. The Launch Box is very simple to assemble and just as easy to operate. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. The Launch Box is a big hit in my house! To operate the Launch Box, slide the cover lid open to expose the trench, fill the trench to the rails (or side walls) with well-dried, finely ground herb, slide cover lid closed. The lid will ‘click’ when locked in place. Insert one of the fully charged batteries into the battery opening on the right side of the Launch Box. With the draw stem in place, put a little pressure on the battery to engage it. Now look down through the draw stem and you should see a light which indicates the battery is engaged. Wait a couple seconds and vapor will begin to form. Slowly draw from the draw stem and enjoy. I couldn’t really tell you how long the ‘bowl’ lasted, but it was quite a while. There were five people hitting the Launch Box and it lasted for everyone to have several hits. When we were finished, the herb was still a little green in color so it hadn’t been completely consumed. Clean up is easy, simply open the cover lid, tap the side of the box and the used herb will fall out. I didn’t even need to use the cleaning brush.
The Launch Box Kit comes with the most thoroughly explained instructions I’ve seen yet to accompany a vaporizer. The box itself, without the draw tube or battery in place, measures two and a half inches long by one and one quarter inches wide and is a hair over three-quarters of an inch deep and can be used with or without the draw tube. Personally, I preferred it without. I have several herb vaporizers but prefer the taste of the Launch Box over the others. Yes, it has somewhat of a ‘woody’ taste, but I like that kind of thing. It’s refreshing and leaves a great taste in your mouth. Something that makes MagicFlight stand out from all other companies is their compassion program. Because they know, there truly are people who may not be able to afford the accessories to consume their medicine, Magic-Flight works with certain organizations to gift Compassion Kits on a basis of needs due to a terminal illness, chronic health issues, or financially destitute circumstances. Kudos to you Magic-Flight for the good deeds you’re doing for others! Magic-Flight recently launched their latest product, The MaudDib (pronounced maw-deeb) Concentrate Box. The Maud-Dib looks very similar to the Launch
Box but is black with a brass finish. I’m not sure if it will be available in any other colors, but it’s quite sleek and sexy looking and is made specifically for concentrates. Stay tuned for a review of the Magic-Flight Maud-Dib Concentrate Box in an upcoming edition of Sativa Magazine. I’m sure the technology put into the Maud-Dib Concentrate Box will live up to the high expectations I’ve now placed on Magic-Flight. Magic-Flight is a green sustainable company with top-notch customer service. All Launch Box Kits come with a lifetime functional warranty. For a complete list of available products and pricing, visit their website. And while you’re there, be sure to check out all their accessories. The Finishing Grinder pairs perfectly with the Launch Box and it’s pretty cool, too. S Magic-Flight: http://sales.magicflight.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/magicflight Tumbler: tumbler.com/mflb Youtube: http://www.youtube. com/magicflightvaporizer Twitter: @magicflight Instagram: @ magicflightlaunchbox Blog: blog.magic-flight.com
V Syndicate Grinder Cards
Rating: 4.5 nuggs If you consume Cannabis, chances are good you have a grinder. Itâ€™s no secret that grinders are big and bulky, and often on the heavy side. V Syndicate has produced the first ever, patent-pending, wallet-sized Grinder Card and is the recipient of numerous Best Product awards. Prior to receiving them, I had only heard of these grinder cards. They are indeed pretty cool, easy to use and much more convenient than that of a traditional grinder for those on the go. These cards discreetly go anywhere you go, tucked safely away inside a wallet. Out of sight! Made of stainless steel, they are the size of a credit card. Although these
Grinder Cards were designed for the wallet, for those that might not carry a wallet, they do fit nicely in the back pocket of a pair of jeans as well. Each Grinder Card comes with a protective sleeve and a reusable tray on which the Cannabis is ground onto that makes for sliding it into a storage container a cinch with no spill. For those who want to use the freshly ground Cannabis for immediate use, use the Grinder Card to scoop up the Cannabis, place in a rolling paper and twist. Remove any residue that may have been left behind on the Grinder Card by simply wiping clean. After each use, put the Grinder Card back into the protective sleeve. Instructions on how to fold the tray are on the
backside of it. The Grinder Cards actually come with two protective sleeves. A clear plastic and a cardboard sleeve that advertises the type of Grinder Card it holds, i.e. I have one with Jimi Hendrix on the front, that specific Grinder Card is from the officially licensed line. V Syndicate offers a full line of Grinding Cards such as classic, color, special edition, limited editions, officially licensed, dual grinder, pop nâ€™grind and more. They also have key chains and dog tags available with the same capabilities as the full-size Grinder Cards. Some categories offer fine to medium blend, medium and coarse while others CONTINUED ON PAGE 68//
h T at wh ? e m ic a
s w e e t . . W h a t ’s i n
m e would
Taxonomic debates The naming and classification of organisms is the realm of taxonomy. Taxonomists can generally
be placed into two very broad categories: “lumpers” and “splitters”. Lumpers tend to decrease the number of species — or subspecies and sub-subspecies, etc. — in a genus, by lumping similar species together under one name. Splitters tend to acknowledge more species or subspecies based on what they perceive as valid reasons for such additional divisions. This explanation itself can be considered a form of taxonomic division for taxonomists, which makes me a “splitter” in this case.
sm e l
Sativa and indica Cannabis has two, possibly three species in the genus, right? Don’t be too sure, my fellow enthusiasts. While the overwhelmingly widespread conception of Cannabis has at least two species, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, and possibly a third in the form of Cannabis ruderalis, this is far from a foregone conclusion.
How many species of Cannabis a re t h e re ? T h a t ’s a d e ba table topic and the differences between different strains or species — whichever term is best to be used — may surprise us. While Cannabis is becoming legal and more mainstream in many places on a frequent basis, encountering terms like “sativa” and “indica” are found often in many media venues. What do the names really mean to the aficionado versus what the names might mean to scientists?
os e r b a y l any l ca
The name game, part one
THE NEED FOR SEEDS
Cannabis taxonomy I’ve read quite a lot on this subject, because it’s an area I have always been keenly interested in and I’m now conducting my own humble research efforts towards helping to answer the question of what Cannabis is from a taxonomic point of view. Is it comprised of one massively variable species with lots of physical and chemical variations, or are there more than one species in the genus?
A paper by Small and Cronquist published in the journal Taxon
in 1976 takes the stance that Cannabis is comprised of one h i g h l y va r i a b l e s p e c i e s — Cannabis sativa — that has had two bimodal influences contributing to its current forms. One bimodal aspect is human breeding selection for the two basic uses of Cannabis, one being fiber and seed production — think hemp — and the other being selected for increasing its psychoactive properties — think Kush. The other bimodal mechanism is the basic delineation between wild — sometimes called ruderal — populations and domesticated populations. To help explain this doubly bimodal aspect as envisioned by the authors, they used a four-quadrant diagram to illustrate their delineation of subspecies and varieties. In one quadrant there is Cannabis sativa subspecies sativa, variety sativa. This would be domesticated industrial hemp, a plant with very low total cannabinoid content, selected by humans for fiber and seed production. The wild form of this subspecies sativa, variety spontanea, is placed in the adjacent quadrant. For the intoxicating varieties of Cannabis — positioned in two lower quadrants — they chose to use the name Cannabis sativa subspecies indica variety indica.
This covers all of the forms of Cannabis grown and selected for its intoxicating effects, regardless of whether the plants came from Colombia, Laos, or Afghanistan, and whether they are used for hashish or flower production. Plant morphology and/or differing psychoactive effects have nothing to do with this classification approach. The wild form of subspecies indica is variety kafiristanica. Interestingly, the type specimen for the wild, or ruderal, form — variety kafiristanica, is a classic “indica”-looking plant, with the very wide leaf-segments associated with the commonly accepted and firmly entrenched concept of Cannabis indica. A later paper by de Miejer et. al. published in the journal Genetics in 2002, supports a one-species model as well, with the use of chemical-type inheritance as a method for this theory. They show that there are two alleles, or ‘genes,’ that influence whether a plant will have a high THC to CBD ratio content, as seen in drug strains, or will have a low THC to CBD ratio as seen in hemp strains. There is a catch, however, because the alleles are codominant, giving a blend of the two types when crossed. In Cannabis this is seen as one chemotype being expressed
in the F1 progeny of two opposite chemotype plants paired in a breeding cross, where a mixed THC/CBD form is expressed in all offspring. The authors reason that human selection for different traits segregated the two codominant chemical types into different strains, but that they are not considered to be two species. Following that paper was one written by Hillig and Mahlberg and published by The American Journal of Botany in 2004. They questioned the one-species model and presented their research supporting the theory that there are in fact two species, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. But wait, there’s a twist — all of the intoxicating strains of Cannabis are considered to be included in Cannabis indica. Again, no distinction is made around plant shape or size other than having a high total cannabinoid content dominated by THC. Ruderalis Cannabis ruderalis has been in and out of favor as a possible third species of Cannabis. Some researchers theorize that the concept of Cannabis ruderalis — as a diminutive and autoflowering strain is merely an evolutionary response to acclimating at high
latitudes and/or exceptionally harsh climates with very short growing seasons. They do not need increasing night lengths to initiate flowering, rather they flower after a short period of vegetative growth — possibly as a survival mechanism to ensure the seeds can mature in time. The jury is still out on this one... So what? Many readers might have that response, and understandably so. So what if “sativa” is not the technically correct term to use for those strains that impart an energetic, cerebral high? It doesn’t really matter to the consumer that much, but it should matter to researchers and scientists looking to Cannabis for new medicinal products, because there is a difference. What is the difference? Using the names “sativa” and “indica” may not be scientifically correct in all circles, but there is a distinction between the two ‘flavors’ seen when looking at Cannabis strains in the most general terms. The papers referenced above do go into quite a bit of detail about how the different types of psychoactive strains, now sometimes referred to as “Wide
Leaf Drug” and “Thin Leaf Drug” strains or WLD and TLD respectively, came to be different. I don’t have the space to go into that in much detail here, but it is worth speculating on somewhat. In very general terms, the closer to the equator a strain has acclimated to, the thinner the leaf segments are. This is not an absolute rule, as there are South American TLD strains from two degrees north or south of the equator that have relatively wide leaves and somewhat bushy growth habits, and there are tall, lanky strains from mountainsides in Nepal at 28 degrees north of the equator that exhibit some of the thinnest leaves I’ve personally seen. What these TLD strains do have in common is that clear, energetic, and cerebral high. I suspect that the exposure to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation has a lot to do with it, and that the levels of CBD are generally lower than in strains from the Afghanistan and Pakistan regions. I also feel at a gut level that there are other aspects of the complete phytochemical makeup of the differing strain types that contribute to quite different subjective effects. The class of aromatic compounds that give Cannabis its distinctive aromas, called terpenes, may well have a possible catalyzing effect.
Cannabis has hundreds of compounds found in its flowers, and they are not all well understood at this time, nor are their interactions amongst themselves or with the humans consuming them. Exciting time for researchers I t ’s a g i ve n t h a t t h e a ve rage enjoyer of Cannabis will care but little about the taxonomic discussions surrounding Cannabis. Researchers will want to look further at this genus and continue to explore the many fascinating aspects of Cannabis’ phytochemical and pharmacological attributes. Whether there are two species or just one may ultimately be decided soon using genetic sequencing and mapping techniques to recognize potential species-specific markers; in the meantime, the rest of us can continue to enjoy a “sativa” on the dance floor and an “indica” at the movie theater. S Paul Lembeck owns Sativa Labs, an analytical laboratory conducting Cannabis research www.sativalabs.com; and Global Heritage Seeds, a Colorado licensed seed farmer labeler, currently providing seeds for legal adult cultivation in Colorado.
LEGALIZED! As the Federal Farm Bill was signed into law this month, so was an amendment to legalize the production of hemp for research purposes. Based on State approval, industrialized hemp is now legal to grow and farm. Tucked into the $1 trillion five-year federal Farm Bill, the hemp amendment relaxes a 75-year old restriction on growing and researching industrial hemp. This is the first time in American history that our federal government has legally defined industrial hemp. The amendment is intended to push for a change in the way that hemp is viewed. Hemp is potentially a very valuable crop, and retailers around the States will be jumping on this revenue bandwagon. The market opportunities for hemp are incredibly bright — ranging from textiles and health foods to home construction and even automobile manufacturing. The farm bill amendment demonstrates that there is growing consensus to revisit the antiquated drug laws that now keep U.S. farmers from participating in the $300 million hemp retail market. This legislation is important to the entire nation. This bill is a strong investment in American agriculture and supports the continued global leadership of our farmers and ranchers. The potential of new products, treatments, and discoveries will be strengthened through this new agricultural research.
Thirty-two states, to date, have introduced pro-hemp legislation. Twenty states have passed pro-hemp legislation. Ten states have passed industrial hemp farming laws and removed barriers to its production. Those states include California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. These states will be able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606, of the Farm Bill. S Hemp production for research now legal in U.S. — The Western ...” Web. 13 Feb. 2014 <http://www.producer.com/daily/hempproduction-for-research-now-legal-in-u-s/>. “Federal, state clash sets up knotty barrier to hemp ...” Web. 13 Feb. 2014 <http://www. pressherald.com/news/Federal-state-clashsets-up-knotty-barrier-to-he>. “Statement by Secretary Vilsack on Passage of the Agricultural ...” Web. 13 Feb. 2014 <http:// www.farms.com/ExpertsCommentary/ statement-by-secretary-vilsack-on-passage>. “President Obama Signs Farm Bill - Amendment to Allow ...” Web. 13 Feb. 2014 <http://www. marijuana.com/news/2014/02/presidentobama-signs-farm-bill-amendment-toallow-industrial-hemp-research-by-stateagriculture-departments-colleges-and->. – Reported by Kandy Krush
Lemon cheese sweet bread By far, homemade sweet bread beats any store-bought brand. In our house, lemon is a big hit, but can easily be substituted with cherry, raspberry, blueberry or any other fruit filling that you wish to use. Plain cheese is good too, even without any fruit. In this easy-to-follow recipe, each loaf provides ten servings; each serving contains 100 mg. of THC. Yield: 3 loaves Prep Time: 2.5 hours Ingredients: For the bread: 1/2 cup 2 tablespoons 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 1 teaspoon 3 grams 2 large 4.5–5 cups For the filling: 1 8-oz. pkg. 1/2 cup 1 21-oz. can
warm water yeast very hot milk (do not boil) salted butter or margarine sugar salt hash eggs, slightly beaten all-purpose flour
cream cheese, softened powdered sugar desired fruit filling (lemon curd is used in this recipe) Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together and set aside for step 7. For the frosting:
4 3 1/4 1/2
cups tablespoons cup teaspoon
powdered sugar butter, softened milk vanilla extract
1 Assemble ingredients. Preheat oven to 350°F 2 Scald the milk, either on the stovetop or in microwave, but do not allow it to boil. Add butter to milk and allow the butter to melt completely. 3 Pour milk mixture into a large mixing bowl, add sugar and salt and stir slightly. Allow to cool for a bit. Add the hash, eggs, yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour. If using a heavy-duty mixer, mix for 3 minutes. If mixing by hand or with a handheld mixer, mix until very well blended. Switch to dough hook. Gradually add 2 more cups of flour, and mix for 5 – 7 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead approximately 10 minutes. If the dough is not pulling away from the side of the bowl, or sticks to your hands, gradually add an additional ½ cup of flour. 4 : Grease the inside of a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. 5 Punch the dough down with your hands and divide into 3 equal balls. Let rest for 10 minutes. . 6 Roll out each ball into a 12-inch square, about CONTINUED ON PAGE 68//
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Budfolio is an application that allows members not only to visually track and rate the various strains they use, but easily share information on the effects, medicinal uses and more. Members upload photos and rate strains straight from their smartphone. Members share strain journals and ‘Bud Thoughts.’ Bud Thoughts are Budfolios version of “Tweets” in the members ‘Lounge.’ The ‘Lounge’ is where users hang out and share their reviews, photos, advocacy and news links. “I love the way I can communicate directly with my patient base through the lounge…” said one dispensary Owner and Budfolio member. In addition to the social network, app users stay informed with the provided ‘Strain library’ and ‘Dispensary’ listings. Budfolio is go-to handheld cannabis guide with information on over 400 unique strains. Discover the species, lineage and common effects that are associated with each strain before you try it. The geo-location feature allows you to find dispensaries wherever you are. Dispensaries can upload their menu and information about their services for members to view quickly and easily. For everyone who is tired of finding a great strain only to see it to go up in smoke; remember Budfolio. The app where you can Smoke, Rate and Share.
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iCannabis: The Technology Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
CANNACU Want to take your grow op up a notch — or six? Hippy KK checks two totally awesome companies out to change the way you cultivate. APEKS SUPERCRITICAL Until recently, supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) systems were known mainly for making essential oils — lavender specifically pops into mind. However, over the past handful of years, these systems have become quite popular to those that produce large quantities of Cannabis extractions. “There are a lot of things supercritical carbon dioxide can do beyond extractions,” stated Andy Joseph, president of Apeks Supercritical. “There’s critical-point drying, which is an electronics component manufacturing process. There’s a replacement technology for dry cleaning that doesn’t use any hazardous solvents. It’s a disinfectant so it can be used for sterilization. CO2 can be used for a wide variety of things besides extractions.” Having designed their equipment around botanical oil extractions using CO2, Apeks Supercritical offers six different size units, and also accepts custom orders to meet any
Apeks Supercritical 1500-20L
size of production needs. All 5L and 20L systems are fully automated. Simply select an operating pressure, an operating temperature, an extraction time and push start. The system will do all the work for you, and requires no monitoring as manually operated systems do. The following is a list of systems currently available by Apeks Supercritical:
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Oil from a Supercritical CO2 application.
1500-1LV Venting Benchtop System — CO2 venting system designed specifically for light commercial use where limited power and/or space is available. Perfect for laboratory testing or small batch runs. 1500-1L Recirculating Benchtop System — our most affordable production system. Benchtop closed loop recirculating capability allows for small production operation on a tight budget and/or in limited space or power applications.
1500-5L Subcritical/Supercritical CO2 System — Our flagship recirculating CO2 production system. Typically used for lower volume production operations and pilot scale testing. Operates both subcritical (liquid) and supercritical CO2. Well suited for high-value production, testing and product trials. 1500-20L Subcritical/Supercritical CO2 system — Similar to the 1500-5L, except uses a 20L extraction vessel to allow for larger batch production operations.
iCannabis: The Technology Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
All Apeks units are designed with their utility patent pending Valveless Expansion Technology (VET). This means there are no constrictions or regulating valves to cause clogging in the system between the extraction vessel and the CO2 expansion separator. Flow of liquid CO2 and dissolved oil travels unobstructed from the extraction vessel into the separator. When asked why it matters whether there was a valve or not, Andy walked me through the process of extracting botanical oil in a manner that I could easily understand: “The basic premise of how this works is, you compress CO2 to the point where it converts into a liquid. When it’s put under enough pressure, it will convert into a liquid Carbon Dioxide. When you have it in liquid form, Carbon Dioxide becomes a solvent so it has the ability to dissolve oils out of plant material just like paint thinner can dissolve paint out of a paint brush. It dissolves the oils because it’s in liquid form under high pressure. So, then it carries the oils with it until you decompress it, so you convert it from a liquid back into a gas. It drops the oil right at the point of decompression.” Now, here is where the VET is unique: “Most systems out there use some kind of valve to accomplish that decompression conversion from a liquid to a gas. When you use a valve, and it doesn’t matter what kind of valve, they all have the same problem, they have a small passage, components, springs, diaphragms, and things like that when you drop in this oil out of the solution, that oil will collect inside the valve and ultimately clog it. It is a very common problem in all supercritical CO2 systems.” Supercritical CO2 extraction systems are much cleaner and safer than other forms of extraction methods such as butane. CO2 is nonflammable, non-toxic and Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use in food
products and is safe for the environment. And since Apeks Supercritical uses a closed-loop system, meaning when the Carbon Dioxide is converted back into a gas, it is recovered after being used which saves on wasted or lost CO2 and is then reused. All systems come with a one-year limited warranty and Apeks Supercritical offers training at their facility that is included in the cost of each unit. However, if traveling is out of the question, for an additional fee, Apeks Supercritical will come to you and train your staff. Delivery is in less than 4 weeks for all 1500-psi systems and typically 6 – 8 weeks for the 5000-psi systems due to the complexity of a higher pressure system. Apeks Supercritical has been in business since 2001, and is located in Johnstown, Ohio. Andy Joseph is a United States veteran who knows the importance of supporting ‘Made in the USA’ companies and when at all possible, Apeks Supercritical buys local from businesses in Johnstown, Ohio and its surrounding area. Apeks Supercritical employs several family members, including Andy’s father who is a veteran himself. S Apeks Supercritical: http://www. apekssupercritical.com/ 14381 Blamer Rd Johnstown OH 43031 614-354-4451 Apeks Supercritical on Facebook: https://www. facebook.com/apekssupercritical Above: Andy Joseph. Right: An example of a Supercritical CO2 application.
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iCannabis: The Technology Issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
QUANTUM 9 “Quantum 9 provides sustainable solutions for the cannabis industry using horticultural process management making efficient use of scarce natural resources like water and energy. The Quantum 9 staff includes some of the most brilliant minds in the field with a focus on helping organizations evolve from market gardening to industrial horticulture. Through implementing cultivation automation, technology and business process optimization, companies scale to more profitable farming, effectively improving quality and yield to meet growing demand.” — http://www.quantum9.net/home.html Quantum 9 is a Cannabis consulting and technology company based in Colorado. If you’re a Cannabis cultivator or a dispensary owner, or both, you want to have the Quantum 9 team on your side. By utilizing the Quantum 9 application, whether you have one location or several, users are able to track such things as top-selling strains, total sales by specific strain or item, weight on hand, plant data, inventory, revenue totals by day, month or year, track overhead expenses and use their complete Point-Of-Sale (POS) system. On the cultivator’s side of things: by assigning each plant with a QR code the Quantum 9 application tracks all types of vitals of a particular plant such as how tall the plant is, how many bud sites it has, its root volume, and so forth, as well as the individual nutrient additions that have been added to the plant. From a reading standpoint, you can choose the full-sensor integration option and pull all the data at one time and have it displayed on the sheet, or you can choose to enter it by hand. Users receive text messages or emails
for notification alerts. For instance, if the water temperature reaches 90° Fahrenheit, the application will send the user a text message warning of the high water temp. When the plant is harvested, the weight total is stored in the facilities inventory until it is either sold wholesale or transferred. The examples that have been mentioned here are nowhere near Quantum 9’s full capabilities, but just an example the application’s ability. On the dispensary side of things; as a POS system, Quantum 9 is the beginning and end of a patient’s visit. From the time they walk through the door, they are checked into Quantum 9, their photo identification and medical card are verified and then escorted to make their selection. Once made, their purchase is entered into Quantum 9 which then takes the items purchased out of inventory. Quantum 9 can track wholesale transactions, patients, inventory, overhead expenses and vendor donations. If the facility has a point loyalty program, where patients accumulate points with each sale, Quantum 9 will track that also. Again, this is only a handful of examples on what the Quantum 9 application can do and that doesn’t even put a dent in it. For a monthly fee, the Quantum 9 application comes coupled with the extensive knowledge of the Quantum 9 consulting team that consist of well-known names in the Cannabis industry, such as Ed Rosenthal. Quantum 9 is a fairly new application that took two and one-half years to develop due to its exclusive technology because it comes with the consulting service and all the detailed tracking abilities. Leave it to the professionals on the consulting team,
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Quantum 9 POS
as they will gladly assist and educate you on grow room optimization, which could ultimately increase yields. Or, take advantage of their knowledge in preventing and planning, Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
internet to find a solution — I can actually talk to an experienced Cannabis consultant firsthand and discover how to resolve the problem and what to do in order to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Michael Mayes, CEO and president of Quantum 9 was kind enough to give me a 30-minute demo on the application, and I was absolutely astounded at what is possible with the application. As a Cannabis cultivator, I know the importance of keeping a detailed grow journal of my gardens, but my old-school pen and paper, along with a digital camera to take weekly progress photos, doesn’t even come close in comparison to what all I could do with Quantum 9. Not to mention, if I had their consulting team on my side, my yields would potentially increase, and if I ever ran into any problems, I wouldn’t have to do research on the
Quantum 9 is an easy, clean way to track everything you do from seed to sale. There’s simply too much Quantum 9 can do for me to tell you in so many words, it’s something you just have to see for yourself to appreciate its ability. S
Quantum 9: http://www.quantum9.net/ home.html Telephone: 1-888-716-0404 Email: Info@quantum9.net Quantum 9 Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/quantum9.net Quantum 9 Twitter: @Quantum911
By Paul Lembeck Illustration by Josh Clappe
from one hundred Cannabis seedlings are placed on an assay tray and inserted into a sleek instrument. Not long afterward, a readout of data indicates the sex and genetic predisposition for a number of desirable and undesirable traits for each sample. The grower selects the seedlings that will suit his breeding or cultivation needs and discards the rest based on these results. As futuristic as it sounds, this scenario is soon to be realized in some fashion.
BREEDING AS AN ARTISTIC ENDEAVOR Breeding is all about selection. A breeder looks at a population of plants and selects the ones that best suit the goals of the breeding project, whether they be for resistance to spider mite infestation, cannabinoid ratios, or any number of specific desired traits. There are many tools a breeder can use for making the selections, most of them sensory. Does the plant look healthy and vigorous? How big are the flowers, and how fast do they mature? How do the flowers smell? Perhaps the most subjective of the tests is what is the effect of the flowers or extracts when smoked, vaporized, or ingested? These are all traits one can determine by looking at, weighing, smelling, tasting and ingesting the plants or the resulting flowers. Part of the art of breeding is making the best choices possible with all of the information at the breeder’s disposal.
INFORMATION AS A BREEDING TOOL Sometimes the information that can help a breeder make his or her selection is not readily apparent, at least from a human sensory perspective. The groundwork for realizing the ultimate information tool a breeder could want are already taking place. In Colorado, the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative is beginning work on mapping the entire genome of Cannabis. This work is being performed by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the laboratory of Nolan Kane, utilizing genetic plant material supplied by the Centennial Seeds collection of Ben Holmes. The goal is to map the genome of different Cannabis strains. This mapping will allow the identification of which parts of the DNA sequence encoded in the chromosomes control important traits. Once these placemarks are identified they can be used as a tool for breeders and scientists working with
Cannabis to accelerate their work with and understanding of the genus. Another way that technology can assist breeders is with analytical instruments. The same procedures that allow labs to determine the potency of Cannabis can be used as a screening tool. Suppose one had a large number of plants that have already been selected for the most obvious traits but none have flowered yet; running a quick cannabinoid screen on them will show the relative cannabinoid ratios of the seedlings. If the breeder is looking for a large percentage of cannabichromene — CBC for short — in the parents, there is no sensory way to determine which potential males and females have this trait already. Once they are screened, the choice becomes an educated one. Great news for the breeder, not so great for the plants that don’t make that cut.
CANNABIS FORENSICS Technology can also be used to clarify just what is in a strain’s makeup. Some strain families of Cannabis are beginning to be known by names; Kush is the one that immediately comes to mind for this writer. The consumer may not really care just what exactly defines a Kush, but a breeder likely does care. So, what is a Kush, exactly? While a purist would say a plant that derives most or the majority of its lineage from the Hindu Kush mountains, an enthusiast might know a Kush as part of the latest must-try strain’s name. If a breeder is trying to maintain the Hindu Kush genetics, it helps to qualify what makes a Kush distinctive. There are two fingerprints of sorts that one could look at to determine this, cannabinoid profiles and terpene profiles. The cannabinoid profile is a good starting point, as the cannabinoid ratios of strains differ. The terpenes that are responsible for many plant fragrances also have ratios and components
In Colorado, the Cannabis Genomic Research Initiative is beginning work on mapping the entire genome of Cannabis.
that vary between strain families. The two sets of analytically derived data combined give a good sense of what’s in the genetics of the strain in question. The terpenes are most prominent in fresh, mature flowers, making terpene profiles good for selecting a mature parent plant, but not a great pre-screening tool. Another area where technology can assist breeders is in describing the distinctions between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica — whether they are actually separate species or not — because there is a definite difference in the effects of the two species as generally understood in the common vernacular. Using technologies such as genome mapping and analytical chemistry allows a better understanding of what these different traits are
and how they are inherited. The latter will be of great interest to breeders.
WHERE IS THE ARTISTRY? Breeding is still an art, despite the high-tech tools and clinical approaches described above. Painters may use many tools at their disposal, some of which might be low tech like a bristle brush, and others may be more modern like chemically sophisticated pigments; the way in which the tools are used is what makes the endeavor an artistic one. The art of breeding lies in large part with the selection choices a breeder makes; the more knowledge with which a breeder uses in making those decisions, the more likely it will be that the end result is what was initially envisioned. S
Canna we talk? C a n n a b is
so c i a l m e
By Miggy 420 Ever since the Internet became accessible to everyday people, it has been a means of exchanging information, announcing life events, and a platform for tasteless jokes and poignant e-mails that we felt shared our ‘innermost’ thoughts. Thanks to smartphones and other advances in ways to interface with the world, social media has evolved from temporal snapshots of a family event, a new job or hobby, into a newsfeed into and about our personal lives.
and still would if I needed to.
I have purchased weed through Craigslist but only because: one, I live in a state that has legalized Cannabis; and, two, I have a prescription; and, three, I’m a 230-pound unattractive male that will bite your fingers to protect my 40 bucks.
Intelligent people fundamentally know that Cannabis was never given a proper day in court, especially after you watch Grass, narrated by Woody Harrelson, thanks to social media and the free one-hour-and-18minute video watched on YouTube, people are beginning to realize that truth.
The deal was fairly painless and creepy. This ‘dude’ rolled up in a pretty nice SUV. It was snowing. We identified each other with the “Are you here for a weed deal” nod; I opened the passenger side door, said the code word (his name) and jumped in. It was pretty quick and easy. On the phone he had asked me my preference and how much I wanted. When I looked in the car, there were various bags of the amount I was looking for. The night ended with strawberry Kush and a good night’s sleep.
I no longer have to use code words like “I need half a pound of Parmesan cheese, extra-dank please.” My friends at www.weedblog.com recently posted an article entitled “Is It Safe to Buy Marijuana on the Internet?” The short answer is no. There is a reason I used to use
Social media has provided us ways to educate the masses and to preach as armchair activists. My friend Johnny Green eloquently points out that social media activists are just as important as the energetic folks who are able to provide a dollar for the cause or appear at a rally. Clicks
of the mouse and upvotes are as close to dollars as some can come — and that’s okay because it’s working. (http://www.theweedblog. com/marijuana-activists-should-neverunderestimate-the-power-of-social-media/)
Let common sense be your guide Use common sense. By that I mean understand your local community, the law and consider the risks involved, especially when it comes to posting things on social media sites. Yes, you can get arrested. And, you’ve done all the hard work for law enforcement by giving them all the evidence they need for a conviction. We all know that Cannabis has been given a raw deal and that posting pictures of your garden is less evil than posting pictures from the club late at night with a drink in your hand. Be smart about what you post and who may be able to access your personal social media page. Recently a man named William Bradley was arrested after posting his videos on YouTube of his garden he called H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Everywhere). When some people see his video, they see a guy getting what they think he ‘asked’ for, but when I view it, I see a guy dying who’s doing something worthy of praise, and is being punished because of it. Besides YouTube arrests, there’s also Twitter. I’m sure there are people that use Twitter safely between friends they know in the real world but what about what can happen when you post to the general public? Kunith Baheerathan, a mechanic at Mr. Lube in Toronto, Canada tweeted he was looking for a dub sac... and got sacked from his job. Besides the horror story of some dude venting his frustrations about his need for a recreational smoke, you have the world of Facebook. For the past four years, I’ve been
writing under the nom de plume Miggy420, ever since I could log onto a website the gamertag, my screen name has been Miggy420, which I think added to my nerd credibility. Social media websites that let you create your own page and place your own unique thumbprint on the universe, give the common man and woman the ability to express a feeling and share something visually, and is one of Cannabis’s strongest platforms for change. As we each share our personal truth about a simple plant with a bad reputation. intelligent human beings will begin to question why it’s considered ‘wrong’ and perhaps join the battle over persistent injustices in the age where we now know better.
What should you worry about? I think the biggest lesson for people who want to worry about something, worry about the name under which you post — especially when you post on a police agency page as in the case of Brandon Whitmer, who called out the Columbia, South Carolina Police Department for a large pot arrest, suggesting they go after “real” criminals. The police chief’s response was: “Thanks for the responsible suspicion.” Isn’t that a catch all? I say if you want to call them out, just be sure you first create an account that can be burned afterward. The key is to know who sees and shares your posts and be sure about what level of risk you’re willing to take. Social media has changed the Cannabis conversation around the world. Prohibitionists cannot hide from the truth any longer. In places where it is presently legal there has not been any increase in violent crimes, and you can’t hide these kinds of facts from the public. When it comes to social media, be smart, active, and effective. S
A L E RO E H
D HE LE DT UN
Want gianormous yields? Cylindrical grow wheels and LED lighting are revolutionizing the way we grow...and grow...and grow! By Diana Campos WHILE LED LIGHTS may not have been successful when they first appeared on the Cannabis cultivation scene — having failed to meet the appropriate intensity requirements needed to sustain plant life — they have certainly grown to be an efficient and effective alternative choice of artificial lighting for gardeners all around the world. Recent improvements to the technology have made it possible for LED grow lights to take some of the trickiest but most rewarding plants to nurture all the way from sprouting to flowering with less of an impact on the environment and on overall running costs than their competition.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS AN LED AND HOW CAN IT BE USED TO GROW PLANTS? To begin with, LED stands for light emitting diode. These diodes operate by an optical occurrence known as electroluminescence, which is the direct conversion of electric energy into light. On paper, a single LED is structurally simple: two pieces of semiconducting material form a chip which is held together inside of a transparent plastic case by terminal pins. This case is specifically designed to release emitted beams of light through the rounded end at the Left: The Volksgarden.
top of a bulb — otherwise known as the lens — at different angles. Without this lens, the emission would typically be absorbed back up by the semiconductors. But how exactly does this chip produce light? In order to explain this phenomenon, let’s take a closer look at the materials that make it up: the two bonded semiconductors. One side of the chip is made up of P-type material and the other side is made up of N-type material. The P-type half of the chip contains more positively charged particles due to empty holes within the material, whereas the N-type half has more negatively charged particles. Once bonded, the two materials form a P-N junction in which free electrons (the negatively charged particles) move to fill up the positively charged empty holes. By doing so, the charges cancel out, forming what is known as a depletion zone in the middle of the chip. Without enough voltage, no current is able to flow across this “dead” zone. This is where electricity comes in. When the P-type end of the chip is connected to the positive side of a circuit and the N-type end is connected to the negative side of the same circuit, the depletion zone disappears as holes are emptied of electrons. These electrons are
then free to flow across the diode and it is this movement which produces photons — a unit of light released as energy by atoms. The intensity and color of this released light depends on the type of material used for the semiconductors. When LEDs first hit the scene, one of the biggest problems growers had with the product (aside from being way too expensive to fit into their budget) was the fact that only very few colors from the visible light spectrum were available. As every good grower knows, the initial reason for grow lights was to replicate as close as possible the same intensity and spectrum as plant’s natural source of energy: sunlight. As lighting technology and the research behind it has improved, some light companies have drifted from this standard and focused on only the wavelengths that the plants actually have use for. Now, direct sunlight puts out more than 90 lumens per watt, emits a full-spectrum white light, and has a temperature of 5800 K. This so-called “white” light is actually made up of — quite literally — a rainbow of colors: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. These colors are measured at different wavelengths with the shorter wavelengths (between 400–500 nanometers) showing up as blues and the longer wavelengths (at around 700 nanometers) showing up as reds. Plants are able to absorb wavelengths that are within the 400–700 nanometer range, and use these different wavelengths for photosynthesis — a process in which plant pigments, such as chlorophyll, convert light energy into food for the growing plant. In order to successfully fuel photosynthesis, the artificial light must be able to give off the same wavelengths of light, and thus the same colors as the sun. By changing the material of a single LED
chip, the wavelength can be manipulated to show any visible color in between ultraviolet and infrared. The most commonly used materials are made up of elements such as phosphides and arsenides for their ability to contribute to electrical conductivity. Thus, a single diode emits a single color of light. An LED grow lamp is constructed when multiple chips housed within their tiny plastic cases are placed side by side onto a panel. These panels can vary in size and assortment of diodes as well as lumen output. It is the way these panels are put together that differentiates one grow lamp from another.
THE ADVANTAGES OF OWNING LED GROW LIGHTS Keeping the above technical aspects in mind, there is a list of reasons LEDs are a viable option as grow lights. As previously mentioned, they are extremely efficient, especially when compared to the more commonly used halogen, metal halide, highpressure sodium, and fluorescent lights. Unlike incandescent lamps, LEDs do not contain filaments that need to be heated nor do they waste energy by doing so. And since LEDs emit less heat (in exchange for more light), they do not burn out anywhere near as quickly, giving them the lengthy lifespans they are known for. This lack of wasted energy consumption also translates into money saved on what would otherwise be a higher electricity bill. Needless to say, such savings also mean a lighter carbon footprint, made even lighter by the fact that LEDs do not contain harmful toxins such as the mercury found in compact fluorescent bulbs. How’s that for going green? Even so, the continuing argument made against LED grow lights is the hefty price of the initial purchase. A single LED lamp can double, and
sometimes even triple, the price tag of a HPS light that covers the same size area. The larger the grow space, the bigger the investment as more lamps are needed for complete coverage. Almost all manufacturers of LED lamps insist this cost is more than made up for over time with the monthly electric savings since not as much juice is used up. But if that isn’t enough to at least peak your interest consider this: an entire man-made grow-op requires more equipment than just grow lights. Exhaust fans, air conditioning units, dehumidifiers, heaters, CO₂ tanks, and in some instances ballasts, light movers, bulb replacements, and reflective hoods are all heavy-duty items that have been added to the professional garden since its move indoors. Although these items individually may not be as costly as the actual grow light, it doesn’t take an accountant to understand how expensive a fullyinstalled operation can become. By opting for an LED lighting system, you can opt out of having to purchase those extra fans or that bulky AC unit, especially if growing in an already too-warm climate; since LEDs do not generate anywhere near as much heat as other types of lights, there is no need to buy equipment that is meant to lower the temperature in grow rooms to an optimal state. It also makes it possible to forget about ballasts, which limit excessive current and prevent bulbs from burning out. The money saved from having to purchase unnecessary gear combined with the money shaved off each month’s electricity bill certainly adds up and it is money that can go towards stocking up on nutrients, testing new grow methods, or… really, whatever it is you want to spend your money on. But the bottom line comes down to results. Farmers want the densest, most potent nugs and they want them grown in an as efficient
Photo courtesy of Black Dog LED.
manner as possible. This means getting the most out of every square foot of available space. Remember those LED panels from earlier? Well, arguably the best thing about them is their customizability. You see, different wavelengths (i.e. colors) of light are needed during different stages of plant growth. The advantage of the LED panels is that the many small multi-colored bulbs can be rearranged in seemingly limitless combinations to give off different spectrums of light. This is not so with other lamps, whose capacity to produce only one color of light can hinder their ability to give a crop the right amount of energy at the right time. For example, a panel with a high percentage of lights in the red end of the spectrum is better for flowering plants, while one with lots of blues provides the stretch
of robust growth sought after during the vegetative state. (That being said, there is a limit to how much blue and red wavelengths a plant can uptake. It should not be mistaken that a panel made up of only blue lights would do more to size than a panel with the “correct” amount of blue and vice versa.) “White” LED lights can vary depending on the arrangement of different diodes in a panel, giving off “cooler” or “warmer” forms of white that mimic the “white” given off by sunlight.
takes it one step up by providing links to third party testimonials where satisfied consumers prove claims such as dense undergrowth and healthy, fibrous roots.
The future of LED lighting only promises even more advantages as research into the technology advances. As the legalization of Cannabis continues to spread both nationally and globally, the market for cultivation equipment has never been bigger and it too is expected to keep growing. Here are just a few of the LED lighting companies that are currently leading the way in the production of highly effective grow lights and gear.
A featured favorite from their Universal series is the Platinum XL-U, which is only one — albeit the largest — in a line-up of six varyingly powerful LED units. This series is the highlight of Black Dog LED’s merchandise, but they are not without their gizmos and gadgets. Two major collaborations, one with Method Seven to retail protective LED glasses and one with Gorilla Grow Tents, have allowed them to expand their line of products. This latter partnership is especially beneficial to gardeners or first-time growers who are looking for a ready-made garden; grow tents ranging from two feet by two-and-a-half feet to nine feet by nine feet, can come as grow room kits complete with your choice in a set of lights, tent extensions, CanFans, light hangers, and in some instances close quarters brackets.
BLACK DOG LED
LUSH LIGHTING LED
This company is conveniently located in America’s newly created Mecca for recreational ganja: Colorado. With 15 years of botanical experience under his belt, its founder Corey took an interest in the emerging technology and decided to embark on the LED industry. Not a single light prototype is even considered for the market without first being evaluated with a spectrometer and then used to actually grow with. For products that pass the test, Black Dog LED allows skeptics to view successful results by posting libraries of time-lapsed grows and side-by-side (-by-side) comparisons of their own products vs. non-LED products. And while typed-in customer reviews are great, Black Dog
In a scene where quality and quantity are equally as important, it is essential to get the science down to a T and this is something in which Lush Lighting LED has undoubtedly succeeded. Over the course of three years dedicated to research and development, they have tweaked the light spectrum given off by their lights and tracked the varying responses in the studied Cannabis plants over and over again. In order to fine-tune this spectrum, Lush has incorporated UV LED diodes for their highly energetic photons. It is features like these, coupled with their commitment to providing the public with the necessary technical information that makes Lush Lighting LED stand apart from the rest. With products like the Dominator 2xXL and unique
Left: Photo courtesy of Hydro Grow.
veg-only units such as the Herbalvador 2X and Vegetator 2X, they have certainly caught the attention of hydroponic stores, head shops, garden suppliers, large-scale grow operations, and even schools in eight (and counting) different states across the nation. Trusted by big names like Oaksterdam University and with appearances in multiple High Timeshosted Cannabis Cups, it doesn’t take a handheld microscope to see why this company has rapidly spurted in popularity. Owner Matt Johnson is so confident in not only his products, but in the LED light industry as a whole that when asked about the technology’s future, he responded with this: “We honestly believe that all lighting will be converted to LED. It’s not a matter of if, but when.” Set your timers growers, because only time will tell!
HYDRO GROW LED Having started as a retailer of grow equipment and aeroponics systems, Hydro Grow LED now provides some of the most highly engineered LED grow lights on the market. Early on, they partnered with the University of Washington to test and provide feedback on their products. The result of the study led to the creation of the company’s two featured series of lights: the Extreme X2 series and the Sol series. Both series include a modular internal build which allows for the lights to continue to function even if one part stops working. This feature is extremely beneficial for buyers who understand that replacement parts for costly LED equipment do not exist as of yet. The split in their line-up of products allows the grower to choose the aspects that are most important for the grow — either deeper penetration from the Extreme series or wider coverage from the Sol series. To Hydro Grow LED, what the growers want is equally as important as what
they need; the CEO of the company states that they have built their lights “around the spaces and shapes of what real gardeners are using, rather than producing ‘UFO’ round designs for square gardens.” It is with an intense passion for their technology and a genuine concern for the indoor gardener that Hydro Grow was able to create lights that Dutch Passion Seed Co. recognized as capable of producing the highest yield ever from a single auto flowering plant (at a whopping 356 grams!) Still another useful feature of their best-selling line is power-selection, which allows the grower to change the light intensity from low (for seedlings and clones) to eye-piercing (for flowering) as plants grow. But perhaps the most distinctive trait of Hydro Grow LED is the fact that they are the first and only company in the LED grow light industry that offers an LED light for cylindrical grow wheels.
CYLINDRICAL GROW WHEELS: THE NEWEST INNOVATION IN GROW EQUIPMENT The world of automated grow operations is one that has seen many new mechanisms or so-called systems. From ebb and flow to water culture, indoor farmers are relentless in their endeavor to grow bigger and better crops. These are systems that take a lot of the physical work out of gardening by feeding and watering your garden for you. Such systems are the result of the 21st century’s improvement upon tried and true methods of growing. One of the newest methods for growing that has recently emerged is vertical gardening. This method turns a light long ways and emerges it into the middle of a crop, instead of the traditional means of hanging a lamp over the top of the crop’s canopy. The reason for this is to penetrate the plant with the same amount
Photo courtesy of Hydro Grow.
and intensity of light from top to bottom, rather than having the plant waste precious energy by stretching itself upwards towards a lamp. What this is meant to do is prevent individual plants from forming main colas with progressively smaller buds underneath and instead grow more decently sized colas all around the plant. Vertical gardening is still in the process of being perfected, but it is a method that shows much promise. Based in British Colombia, Canada, Omega Gardens has taken the idea of vertical gardening and turned it into the Volksgarden — a one-of-a-kind machine that is not only an automated system, but a rotary one as well. It is a cylindrical garden that can hold up to 80 plants in multiple rows as it spins around a central light, all while being fed! The wheel completes one full rotation every 45 minutes for 24 hours of the day, strengthening the plants as they hang at all different angles, including upside down. The many plants are thus urged to stay stunted in size rather than stretch upwards and each given the exact same amount of light exposure. Being only four feet in diameter, it is perfect for gardeners who want to grow a good amount in a limited space.
And for commercial growing in a limited space, Omega Garden has created a “horizontal carousel” called the Farmdominium, which is a mechanism that holds 36 stacked Volksgarden modules. That’s 2,880 plants growing simultaneously! Just think about how much food, herbs, and medicine can be grown in a single warehouse with equipment like this. As far as assembly of the product, the good folks at Omega Gardens have posted how-to videos that show viewers how to put together a Volksgarden system, step by step. In addition to the framework, the company offers a 1-400 gallon Mag Drive pump and a Borosilicate glass lamp housing cylinder. The product’s lightweight design makes it possible to move the system as deemed necessary without having to disassemble it. Since the actual lamp is not included, the buyer is able to choose between compact fluorescent or LED lamps (see above) to place inside of the attached glass case. The futuristic apparatus certainly looks cool, but it is its capabilities that make the Volksgarden a product to keep an eye on, or even give it a try for yourself. S
By Kandy Krush Illustration by Emily Cain Cannabis users and growers are relying more and more on customized mobile applications compatible with their Android or iOS to facilitate a variety of needs for users and growers. You can use these apps on your smartphone to get updates, information, and fun Cannabis data. Here are ten apps worth the screen real estate. Some may be old friends, but some of them may be new to you.
BUDFOLIO Budfolio LLC Budfolio is a social network for medical Cannabis users to track, rate, locate and share the buds you try. Budfolio allows you to create a personal portfolio (a.k.a. Budfolio) based on Cannabis experiences. You can capture your photos, rate buds on various characteristics (i.e. smell, taste, strength, medicinal use), and share experiences with friends, members, and popular social networks. Both the app and the website let you browse: Dispensaries – Find and follow legal medical Cannabis dispensaries. Users can browse business profiles containing up-to-date menus, photos, dispensary reviews and more. Lounge – An area for members to post thoughts, photos, Cannabis advocacy/industry news, products and more. Strain Library – Use the strain library to learn and discover information about your buds. Users can browse the strain library for details on hundreds of Cannabis strains. https://www.budfolio.com/
CANNABISHD Christian Schmiedl CannabisHD is a high-definition medical marijuana images app. Over the past few years the creators have specialized in taking high-resolution photos of medical Cannabis plants. They’ve selected the most spectacular photos from over 1,000 high-res pictures and, using state-of-the-art high-resolution macro photography, have been able to achieve a resolution of up to 60 million megapixels. They have bundled all of these images into one incredible mobile app. You can choose from hundreds of high-res photos from wide-angle to ultra-macro for extra-large color images in breathtaking resolution. Prepare to be amazed by these stunning, large format and totally unique Cannabis pictures, available in sizes up to 10,328 x 7,760 pixels. For their customers, images up to a certain size are totally free. An in-app purchase allows you to upgrade to the Pro Version, so you can download all photos and any new images that are added. http://www.cannabisHD.com
FRWEED PRO Ian Donaldson Frweed Pro for iPhone and iPad addresses the needs of the medicinal Cannabis community by providing patients with up-to-date strain information. With instant access to over 400 strains, Internet isn’t required. Each strain has
complete information on origins, flowering time, smell, medicinal use, effects, and growing. Most strains include a zoomable hi-res image along with THC and CBD percentages. With Frweed Pro you can use the search bar to search for a specific ailment such as PMS or you can use the ailments drill down for more general uses. This application also has an activities drill down to find the perfect strains for any activity. You can even add your own strain information and your own photos for the strains you’ve added. Also, you can keep track of the strains you’ve consumed by adding your own notes and ratings. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/frweed-+/ id388027395?mt=8
GRASSCITY FORUM End of Time Studios, LLC The largest, most popular and respected counterculture discussion forum on the Web comes to the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch with its own dedicated app. Join the discussion with like-minded “blades” and discuss Cannabis-related topics. Dive into the countless threads about lifestyle, politics, philosophy and general arts. Get the app and get ready to take Grasscity with you wherever you go. http://forum.grasscity.com
HERBAL BUSINESS PRO Dsexton702 Herbal Business Pro is a tool/utility for the serious herbal entrepreneur. If you are serious about your herbal sales, this app is for you.
The app contains an incredible amount of information and is packed with options you need to stay on top of business and ensure you gain the most profits, such as a profit calculator. This calculator helps you to know how much to charge for each transaction. Enter and view transactions to keep record of sales. Herbal Business Pro is for the Android and is great for shops who deal in all kinds of herbs. http://download.cnet.com/Herbal-BusinessPro/3000-2064_4-75959604.html
MARIJUANA LIVE WALLPAPER Death Star Apps Marijuana Live Wallpaper PRO is a live wallpaper app for the Android. It is an animated tie-dye Cannabis leaf set against a swirling pop art kaleidoscope animated background. This crazy trippy psychedelic live wallpaper is made in celebration of Grateful Dead fans who used the motif in their art, and the art of rock of the 1960s and the 1970s. This app supports HD for Samsung Galaxy S3 and similar HD phones. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com. marijuanaleafwallpaper&hl=en
STRAINS PRO 2 Jetfire Apps, LLC The Strains Pro 2 pocket guide app features Cannabis seed breeders with the latest, cutting-edge medicinal hybrids. Offering information about 120 cutting edge-medical Cannabis strains, this application allows you to categorize a strain’s medical values based on your own experiences. Strains are nicely organized with complete full-screen profiles covering genetics, breeder, origin, character,
f lavor, growth dynamics, THC, CBD, CBG, medical uses and effects. You can catalog your own strains, archive information about seed banks, and organize strains. According to their website, the Strains Pro series of iOS apps are the most comprehensive and accurate information on Cannabis genetic varieties available. http://www.strainspro.com/
TOKE TRACK PRO Medical Marijuana App Studios The Toke Track app is a tool for medical Cannabis patients who need to remember when they last toked, for those who want to track or monitor their usage and tokers who are interested in visualizing their usage data with a sexy interface. While this app is designed for medical Cannabis patients, this is a useful app for any and all tokers. Toke Track allows consumers to be aware of medical Cannabis dosages and is packed with lots of pertinent features like: • Keeping track of the last time you toked and number of dosages during the day • Informative chart of usage over time with time options • Private custom notes feature • Time since last dosage • Dosage alarm feature for dosage reminders • Percentage of decrease or increase Now available for the iPhone and Android, Toke Track is free to download. With the free version, track your usage with ease and know how long since your last dose. Very useful for those who tend to lose track of their dosages and dosage times. More information can be
found on their website at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com. toketrack&hl=en
WEED FARMER OVERGROWN Grow Brothers This virtual growing game is fun while teaching you how to grow Cannabis by playing Weed Farmer Overgrown. You can manage each stage of a plant’s growth and production from seed germination to harvest. You get to fight off attacks by bugs and fungus while avoiding dehydration and nutrient deficiency. With Weed Farmer Overgrown, you manage all aspects of growing such as lighting, ventilation, growing mediums, water supply, hydro pumps and much more. You can increase your growing skills and increase your profits by learning to grow more difficult types of Cannabis plants. http://www.weed-farmer.com
WHAT IS MARIJUANA – WEED FACTS Chaos Design What is Marijuana — Weed Facts is a news and magazines app developed by Chaos Design for Android 2.2 and up. Now more than ever people are starting to focus on Cannabis and the many things that come along with it. This app is packed with news. But this is not a promotional site; in fact it does not lean one way other when it comes to Cannabis. They only wish to offer the facts with this application. Their app will never make it sound like smoking weed is cool and never promotes breaking any law. http://what-is-marijuana.com S
By Paul Lembeck Illustration by Emily Cain
hat’s the first thing we usually do when presented with a strain of Cannabis after giving it a quick glance? We smell it. That sniff test is a critical part of the decisionmaking process, and for good reason. The organic molecules that account for the differing aromatic profiles in Cannabis and many other plants and herbs are called terpenes and they play important roles — beyond creating pleasurable aromas — which are now being investigated.
Terpenes The word terpene comes from turpentine, an aromatic substance found in many species of pine trees. Technically, a terpene is composed of various structurally linked configurations of 2-Methylbutane, often known as isoprene. Terpenes are sometimes referred to in scientific literature as isoprenoids. Terpenes are classified by the number of these isoprene units linked together, hemiterpenes have one, monoterpenes have two, sesquiterpenes have three, and so forth. There are about 30,000 terpenes known so far. It is important to note that all of the 70 or so cannabinoids found in Cannabis are
derived from monoterpenes. Terpenes usually have distinctive odors associated with them, and mixing and matching them up in varying ratios and compositions gives rise to the aromatic symphonies found in many plants and fruits. It is this blending of terpenes that allows for the manufacturing of different perfumes and fragrances used in many products.
The power of aroma Smells can have a powerful affect on people and other organisms. Many people have the experience of encountering a smell that triggers a strong and vivid memory. Structurally, terpenes are able to bind to specific receptors, just as some cannabinoids do, and just as the binding of cannabinoids to certain receptors have a profound effect, so do some terpenes. Terpenes are used indirectly by some plants as warning signals to communicate the presence of pathogens or insects, and directly as deterrents to those same attackers. Some insects use terpenes from plants to synthesize pheromones that they use for their own purposes. The practice of aromatherapy is a well-documented means of using terpenes for varying effects. Some terpenes are known to have distinct physiological effects, one example
TERPENES: What your nose knows
is the monoterpene valtrate that occurs in the herb valerian, Valeriana officinalis, known for its sedative and tranquilizing effect.
Terpenes in Cannabis Besides the obvious terpenoids that compose the cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, CBC, CBG, and many more that are found in varying amounts in Cannabis, there are hundreds of terpenes found in Cannabis. One researcher who has performed a great deal of work in this field is Dr. Jeffrey Raber. Dr. Raber and the researchers at The Werc Shop laboratory in California have identified many terpenes in Cannabis, and are investigating the use of terpene profiles as a tool for strain identification and product development. Sativa Labs in Colorado is compiling terpene profiles with the goal of determining terpene inheritance patterns in Cannabis strains, especially in genetically isolated strains. Some of the terpenes found in Cannabis are pinene, camphene, cineol, myrcene, limonene, terpinene, caryophyllane, linalool, and selinane are but just a few of the terpenes identified in Cannabis so far.
Synergy Cannabis is an extraordinarily prolific natural
chemical factory that produces hundreds of simple and complex organic compounds, many of which are being proven to have known health benefits. The interaction between the various terpenes and terpenoids, alkaloids, and other compounds of pharmaceutical interest in Cannabis is a field that has just begun to be seriously investigated. When picking strains at a dispensary, it is sometimes easy to find a few that share nearly identical cannabinoid profiles; say 15 percent Δ-9 THC, 0.05 percent CBD, and 0.1 percent CBN. One may be labeled as an indica-dominant, and the other may be called sativa-dominant. Consuming the two at separate times usually reveals a distinct difference in the subjective effects. One influencing factor must be the terpenes, as preliminary work has shown that some terpenes moderate or amplify the effects of cannabinoids. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that ingesting mango prior to cannabis will hasten and amplify the high. Mangoes produce a lot of the terpene myrcene, which features prominently in some fast- and hard-hitting Cannabis strains.
ome other strains have an opposite ‘creeper’ effect. This writer recalls that in the late 70s there was a wide array of Cannabis being imported from the tropics, and one strain of Colombian was locally known as Creeper; this one would have no effect for about one-half hour and then wham, you were suddenly and extremely high. Some strains have a waveeffect of coming and going for a long period of time, some make everything funny, induce the munchies, make you lazy, or make you incredibly inspired to get things done. Terpene interactions surely play a role in these different effects found in various strains.
Trust your nose
That there are complex interactions between the active components in Cannabis seems clear, the exact nature of those interactions is much less well-known. There are lots of research and development opportunities opening up, especially in states where the legal climate regarding Cannabis has relaxed considerable in recent years. Determining the synergistic interactions between cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds produced in Cannabis will be a fascinating endeavor for researchers. Novel medicines can be formulated by isolating particular cannabinoids and terpenes and combining them in different ways. Perhaps research will allow a better understanding of why one strain makes everything funny, and another might generate deep insights and inspirations; and how one strain is excellent for quelling seizures, another is best for easing the effects of PTSD, and yet another is fantastic for easing chronic pain problems. Another interesting area to pursue from a research perspective is how the aroma profiles change with differing cure techniques and times. Perhaps one subconscious aspect of performing the sniff test of different strains is that our nervous system or other bodily responses react subtly to the terpenes in the differing strains. If true, that may explain why we choose a strain different from what we originally intended to acquire, based on our response to how the strain smelled. Perhaps our bodies are wiser than we give credit to sometimes, and we react to a particular aroma blend because it signals that what we need is found in one strain more than another. Or it may be that we simply prefer one type of aroma more than others. We may not know why, but quite possibly our noses know.
the Green Table Interview
LEAFLY Cy Scott, Founder
By Hippy KK In last month’s issue, we ran a copy of Leafly’s press release regarding the rollout of their updated app for iOS and android smartphones. This month, Cy Scott, one of Leafly’s founders, and I gathered around the Green Table and chatted it up. Leafly.com is a website that uses geolocation to map the nearest dispensaries based on the user’s current location as well as look up dispensaries anywhere in the U.S. The site also allows users to search for a strain by name or browse strains to address specific symptoms or effects. So whether you’re at home in Seattle, or traveling to one of the 20 medical states or Washington D.C., simply put in the city of destination or zip code and search for dispensaries in that particular location. You
can read dispensary and/or strain reviews or better yet, after visiting a new dispensary or trying a strain for the first time, let everyone know what you think. Leave a review yourself! Q: When did Leafly.com first become available on the internet? A: Leafly.com launched in 2010, the mobile app launched in March 2011. Q: How many dispensaries are currently listed on Leafly.com? A: About 2,000 dispensaries worldwide. Q: How does one go about listing a dispensary on Leafly? A: You would work with our sales staff, and if you qualify, they would work on getting your
“We’re close to about seven million page views for the past thirty days. As far as visits to the page, we’re over 1.5 million visits just to the website.”
listing approved and on the site. From there, there are some things as a dispensary that we ask, such as updating the description of their menu. We do integrate with some point-ofsales (POS) software, so if you use one that we support, such as MJ Freeway or MJ Menu, your menu can be updated directly. But if you don’t use one of those specific products or use one that we don’t support, then you can go to our dispensary administration section as a dispensary owner and add your menu there. Q: What ‘qualifications’ are required in getting a dispensary listed? A: You need to be an operating delivery service or a dispensary with a storefront location. If you’re a dispensary or delivery service, you need to have a website and that is basically our verification. Q: What does it cost to be listed on Leafly? A: It varies. We have offerings as low as $100 all the way up to $1,000, and everything in between.
with no contracts. We don’t offer any type of long-term contracts. Q: What forms of payment do you accept? With Leafly being a cannabusiness, have you or do you run into problems being able to accept credit cards? A: We do, we do. We run into that problem all the time, as I imagine a lot of people have in this industry. It’s hard for the dispensaries to pay us because a lot of them are cash only so they do have to get a credit card of some form to pay us. We don’t accept cash so credit cards are the only acceptable payment. It has become a bit of a problem, but hopefully it’ll get better soon with the announcement a few weeks back that they’re working on it. I know here in Washington, Congressman Denny Heck has introduced some type of legislation with the Feds saying they’re going to work on something with the Treasury. And we’re really looking forward to that.
Q: Is that cost on a monthly or annual basis?
Q: Is it just Cannabis strains/reviews available on Leafly or are medibles and concentrates also listed?
A: Monthly. It’s on a month-to-month basis
A: We are actually just pushing into that
now. On our explorer, you can actually filter ‘edibles’ or ‘medibles’ and see where they are available thus far on our listings. We are just now starting so our coverage is getting there as we add more and more products. We really do believe that medibles are going to be a larger industry than it is now. Strains were our initial core on what Leafly was built on but we’re expanding into medibles. Q: Who writes the Cannabis strain reviews? A: Our visitors do. They are the ones sharing their knowledge and experiences with particular Cannabis strains. Q: Do you know how many hits Leafly.com has had in the past month? A: We’re close to about seven million page views for the past thirty days. As far as visits to the page, we’re over 1.5 million visits just to the website. Q: Just out of curiosity, how much has this number increased over the past several years? Do you know the number of page visits when Leafly.com first began back in 2011? A: (chuckle) Yea, we were at about…10. Our traffic increases over 100 percent every year and it seems to double now. We’ve had a 50 percent growth in just the last month. I think a lot of that has to do with the media and all the attention Cannabis is getting lately and our brand positioning. When we were getting 200 visits to the site, we were celebrating. Which is actually a tough thing to start out with. With a site like Leafly, we’re mostly user-generated content for information like our strain reviews. We look to our visitors and view them as the experts. As we’ve been growing, the quality of data keeps getting better and better.
Q: Cannabusinesses have challenges; what has been the toughest obstacle for Leafly to overcome? A: Dealing with banks has been our number one challenge. Q: As far as state retail stores go, do you anticipate them listing on Leafly.com? A: Yes, absolutely. In fact, we already do have some in Colorado. And we anticipate a good coverage in Washington. Q: What do you anticipate the future of Leafly being, as more states legalize? A: There are a few things that we have underway. One of them would be a better support for the retail of recreational marijuana for states like Colorado, Washington and potentially Oregon soon, and you know, hopefully many more states to come. So we’re going to be adapting Leafly to better support that. Because we were so medicalfocused in the beginning here, another thing on the medical side is, including a doctor-find functionality. Hopefully that’ll help close the patient/doctor loop. If someone doesn’t know that much about Cannabis, they can come on to Leafly.com and use our knowledge center to see if Cannabis is something that might be able to medically help them. After making that decision, they can then use Leafly.com to find a doctor in their area. Leafly currently has 20 employees and shares a floor of a Seattle building with Privateer Holdings. Between the two, they have roughly 30 to 35 employees. Thank you to Cy Scott for taking the time out of your busy, daily schedule to sit down with me around the Green Table. S
In part one, we went over some basics for SEO. In part two, we’ll get into the technical nitty-gritty. SEO, for those who need the reminder, stands for Search Engine Optimization. Your Cannabis or Cannabis-infused products may sell themselves, but it’s always good to have the leg-up over the competition. In Denver alone, there are over 500 dispensaries. To compete in the modern markets you need a presence on the World Wide Web. And that means you need to know SEO or find someone who does.
Software and analytics
META description and header. You can even calculate keyword densities for the page, which should always be between one to 10 percent of the document. Also, Google’s your best friend. If your site’s not on Google Analytics, do it now. Google Analytics is free, and it allows you to track where your site’s traffic is coming from, your audience demographics and even your audience’s locations. This information is invaluable for your marketing and SEO strategies; you can always see what’s working and what isn’t working.
Selecting the best keyword
Most websites and blogs use WordPress for SEO software. WordPress is free and it comes with built-in capabilities to measure your website’s SEO.
By now you’ve probably realized that “marijuana” or “Cannabis” aren’t the best focus keywords to use for your pages. That’s because everyone and their mother has websites with those words in there.
WordPress, in all honesty, does most of the keyword work for you. Once you set a focus keyword (the word or phrase that guides the content of your page), WordPress will check that the keyword’s included in your page title,
You want to select keywords or phrases that aren’t common. Sure, you can try to go with “marijuana,” but then you’ll be competing with the hundreds of thousands of other sites that also use “marijuana” as a term.
r Ganjapreneurs, Part II Part Two of a Series By R. Robinson Illustration by Andy Rostar Specifying the words helps here. “marijuana” is one thing, but “marijuana for childhood leukemia” is its own beast. Google has a built-in feature allowing you to comb through commonly searched-for phrases and words on the search engine. This feature can assist you when coming up with focus keywords for your page. Always try to go with something that’s less common. Remember, there’s always only one page at the top of the search engine results. The best way to get to the top is to use keywords that other businesses aren’t using as much. You’ll need to use your imagination but practice, after all, makes perfect.
Should I go with “Cannabis” or “marijuana?” Let’s assume you just have to use one of those two words. Fine. There are some things you should know about them. As of right now, the general public is not terribly educated about medical Cannabis. Even worse, our mainstream media is
either ignorant or uncaring that the word “marijuana” has racist origins. That means Internet users tend to search for “marijuana” more than they do “Cannabis” by quite a significant margin. “Cannabis” may help you stick out, but “marijuana” will garner more hits if you can tailor the document to something more specific. “Marijuana” tends to attract the layperson who may be a novice to ganja. “Cannabis” tends to attract people in-the-know such as specialists, scientists or Cannabis veterans.
Meta tags META tags, which are other keywords besides your focus, may bump you up ever so slightly on the search engine rankings. But there’s a lot of disagreement surrounding how important META tags truly are. Some experts will tell you to include META tags for every document. Others say to ignore META tags altogether. Some sites take a middle ground here and only include a few select keywords, just in case.
What? I thought keywords make or break SEO? Believe it or not, they really don’t. This may sound like counterintuitive advice, but keywords only go so far with the newest SEO algorithms. What really drives up a page’s ranking is traffic. Where your site’s visitors come from determines your SEO ranking far more than your keyword selection. If visitors come from sites like Google, Facebook or Twitter, your site is considered “relevant.” And recall you should be using analytics software to track where visitors come from when they land on your page. Furthermore, keeping people on your site drives up its ranking. The more your visitors click your site’s internal links, remaining on the site and going deeper into its content, the more “relevant” a search engine ranks it. In other words, social media marketing and word-of-mouth are the primary drivers of SEO, not keywords. But marketing and promotion are entirely different creatures far beyond the scope of this article.
So, last time you said you’d discuss how to bring in traffic…. Yep. Here it goes. The trick to bringing in traffic is deceptively simple, but it’s difficult to execute: You have to provide fresh, original content to your visitors. If you run a dispensary, make sure you’re updating your online menu and special offers as often as possible. If you’ve got a Facebook page for your business, make sure you’re posting to it regularly. By regularly, I mean daily or semi-daily.
What really drives up a page’s ranking is traffic. Daily updates are especially critical for Twitter accounts. The only way to show up in someone’s Twitter feed is by posting constantly. The more intriguing your posts, the better your chances of snagging more Followers — and the better your chances for getting noticed. If you provide some other service, such as lab testing, news information or even legal advice, you can update with news articles from various media outlets. Be sure the articles relate to whatever you do, and keep them interesting. There are times when self-promotion is important, but don’t forget to promote other cannabusinesses, too. In fact, promoting other cannabusinesses is the best way to get them to promote you back. You can always make arrangements with other ganjapreneurs to link to one another’s sites (a great way to jack up your SEO rankings). And, most importantly, don’t spam. Ever. I know, spamming is tempting on relatively anonymous online platforms, but it looks incredibly unprofessional, and most Internet users find it annoying. Spamming’ is the best way to get blocked, banned or otherwise ignored by your potential visitors and customers. Remember: Just stay relevant. That’s all you’ve got to do. S
By Bronwynn Dean Illustration by Josh Clappe
Although Cannabis-related software has been around for a few years to help growers and manufacturers track their plant progress and output in a more organized fashion, recent legalizations necessitate the tracking of each seed to its final consumption. With legalization comes regulatory constraints and taxation. Making Cannabis a business goes hand-in-hand with traditional business considerations, including the costs of “playing with the big boys.” Licensing for a retail store alone in Colorado is about $4,000; add another $3,000 for a place to maintain a grow operation. Consistency and quality of product need to be weighed against scale and output. Legalization has only increased the need for supply. Helping businesses efficiently meet the demand has become a business unto itself. New banking rules enacted by the Obama administration in February make it possible for banks to now do business with licensed Cannabis dispensaries. The “move from the shadows to the historically covert financial operations of marijuana businesses” is a nod from the federal government in the right direction for Cannabusiness and indicates the possibility that more states will opt for legalization to cash in on the tax opportunities. The website THC Biz (www.thcbiz.com) showcases industry news and serves as a business directory for all aspects of the trade.
There are currently 11 Cannabis-related software companies listed. Of these, more than half are currently in use in dispensaries in Colorado and Washington, where absolutely everything having to do with the medicine and its patients is required to be tracked. Other software is used in nurseries and manufacturing, and catalogues seeds to product, but does not deal with the patient side. The grower software tracks plant management, including optimum conditions and mediums helping to improve consistency while staying in the legal confines of tracking each seed through its life cycle. The Grow Assistant is a representative of these. The “grow room software” is a fairly inexpensive option for the caregiver who needs to keep records of dates, equipment, nutrients and finances and the patients they service. The dispensary software operates with barcode scanners and detailed tracking of every sale, and of patient information including medical condition, consumption preferences and every purchase made. The barcodes on finished products include information on strain, weight, and properties and takes the item out of inventory. Most companies run on a monthly fee with a hefty start-up cost for the hardware needed. Fees run anywhere from $50–200 a month with hardware minimums including a computer,
barcode scanner and credit card system. Some offer free trials to use on a smartphone. The woman-owned company MJ Freeway claims to have processed over $200 million in medical marijuana sales for 2012. The software is HIPAA compliant, meaning it is recognized for medical offices for maintaining patient confidentiality. The GramTracker and The GrowTracker are their biggest sellers, with the tagline, “Track every gram, from seed to sale.” (www.mjfreeway.com) The company Rx Pass/Next Rx (www.rxpass.com) offers dispensary tracking and just released a Cannabis investment app to help with investing in cannabusiness stock, the newest market to watch. The app can be downloaded at www.caninvest.org. TriQ, a Northern California company, offers consultancy in tissue cultivation, processing, facilities and feasibility for breeders and processors alongside software to keep tabs on supply chain processes. Founder Matt Cohen says they help with anything from seed to barcode with two sites using the software in Washington and many more on deck throughout the country. (www.TriQsystems.com) Just as the Cannabis world is constantly evolving, so are its needs. Agrisoft Development Group came out with the industry’s first Marijuana-Infused Products
Software (MIPS) in December. This is in addition to their existing seed-to-sale software. MIPS helps regulate dosages in the realm of medibles and oils and tracks production weights which can be altered in certain infusion processes. Co-founder Matt Cook is a regulatory expert for alcohol and medical marijuana and “architect” of Colorado’s medical statutes and regulations. (www. agrisoftdg.com) There is currently not enough information available on the revenue provided to Colorado and Washington from medical marijuana, including licensure fees and taxation. Projection estimates indicate MMJ sales would quickly rival alcohol sales. This could push the states cued for legalization to reevaluate their priorities. Card-holding caretakers in Oregon, where legalization is on the horizon, are not looking forward to the added costs of doing “business as usual.” They fear small farmers and providers are likely to be pushed out with increased operating costs, which could lead to an elite few supplying the state’s demands. They are optimistic, however, about crossing that bridge in the near future. This is only a sampling of the software currently on the market for the MMJ trade. It is likely there a many more waiting to capitalize on the budding sector. In fact, you can put money on it.
How the legal industry will impa By Kip Jarvis Illustrations by Andy Rostar
f necessity is the mother of all invention, then the desire to make lots of money is certainly a favorite aunt. In the burgeoning realm of legal Cannabis, these two metaphorical relatives will be the driving factors in its development and growth. This will hardly be limited to discovering new ways to cultivate kinder buds; it will impact all the markets in which Cannabis Sativa has already shown his potential market worth. The fact that the industrial potential of Cannabis has been forced to lay dormant for nearly a century, the possible markets for research and development are vast. The most evident advances will come from the fields of recreational, medical, and textile Cannabis. Of these, recreational will be the most fun in its fruits. As demand increases for recreational
Cannabis, growers will find it financially imperative to increase the quantity and quality of yields. Advancements in lighting, soil compositions, ventilation mechanisms, and grow room accessories will inevitably progress in step with the growing industry. In turn, these innovations will cross over into other agricultural markets, thereby spurring their own advancements, and vice-versa. The textiles created in the industrial hemp market will certainly be the most functional. Currently, textile production in nations that allow it rely heavily on blending with other crops to create a softer product. A sound example of an innovation to curtail this process comes from the Chinese-based company, the Youngor Group. This company, known for high-quality fabric lines, has invented a hemp
act the tech industry & economy treatment that allows the crop to be processed into fabric using machines made for processing cotton. By doing so, the company can rely more solely on a crop that requires less acreage, grows faster, and produces garments of higher quality. Concepts like these are merely the forerunners to a rapid increase in hemp-based manufacturing. The profitability of using hemp over other crops speaks for itself, and companies worldwide are already seeking ways to increase the potential of cannabis in the textile industry. The third highlighted Cannabis field, the medical industry, has the potential to be the most useful. As restrictions are slowly relaxed on the research of Cannabis for medical usage, mainstream application of these findings is now on the horizon. What was once, and to some degree remains, a ‘fringe’ field of
medicine, Cannabis is finally being noticed by the medical establishment. Don’t be surprised to see universities in Washington and Colorado expanding heavily on this research. Also bear in mind that among the multitude of ailments Cannabis has been shown to remedy, that recent studies suggest it may be the cure for cancer. That’s the big C, people. It’s currently impossible to predict where research in these three industries, as well as all the others, will lead in their innovations surrounding Cannabis. However, as the floodgates widen and line graphs in boardrooms detail profit margins, expect Cannabis to play a major role in the socio-economic evolution of the 21st century. As this happens, month to month, stay tuned to Sativa Magazine for the play-by-play. S
V Syndicate Grinder Cards //CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
might offer fine, medium and coarse. To find one that best fits your needs, you’ll just have to check out their website. These cards are great for advertising a business, as they can be customized with any company logo. It’s something I’ll be sure to
consider as my business continues to grow. Contact V Syndicate to see how your logo can be turned into a grinder. Call or email for pricing, wholesale is available and a retail box of V Syndicate Grinder Cards would look great on any headshop or dispensary counter. S
V Syn dicate: http://www.grindercards.com/ https://www.thevsyndicate.com/ Sales – email@example.com 888-849-4999 Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/theVsyndicate Twitter: twitter.com/GrinderCards Instagram: Instagram.com vsyndicate
Lemon cheese sweet bread //CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24
½-inch thick. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture that was prepared earlier down the center of each square of dough. Top each with 1/3 of the fruit filling. 7 Starting about ½-inch from the edge of the cheese and fruit, slice the dough horizontally to the edge of the dough on both sides, creating 1-inch strips. To create a woven look, starting at one end, begin alternately folding over strips to the opposite side. Once the end is reached, tuck under to seal closed. 8 Place the three loaves on the backside of a cookie sheet covered
in aluminum foil. Cover with the towel used earlier and place in a warm spot. Allow loaves to rise for an additional 30 minutes. 9 Bake for 15 minutes uncovered. Cover with aluminum foil and continue baking for 15 additional minutes. Once removed from oven, keep covered while frosting is being made. 10 Combine all the ingredients for the frosting in a mixing bowl and mix until consistency is thin enough to spread on top of bread. If a thinner glaze is desired, add additional milk. 11 Drizzle frosting over the three
loaves of sweet bread. Cut, serve and enjoy. Refrigeration is not necessary, but this is best if eaten within 5–7 days of baking. Freezing is not recommended. This recipe is very versatile and can also be used to make dinner rolls or a loaf of bread without any type of filling at all. Or if you feel like getting fancy, take three 12-inch strips and braid them together. But, whichever method you choose, always remember, eating medibles takes about an hour to kick in. And please, DO NOT drive or operate machinery after consuming medibles. S
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HempCT was founded in 2010 under the guidance of A Better Way Foundation ( www.abwfCT.org ) We are a grassroots advocacy organization committed to ending the harm caused by Connecticut â€™s marijuana laws and shifting our focus towards more compassionate alternatives other than prohibition.
HempCT will host their 2nd Annual participation in the Global Marijuana March Hemp May 3, 2014 at Bushnell Park in Hartford, CT A Better Way Foundation Connecticut | Organizing for responsible drug and criminal justice... www.abwfct.org For more information, contact HempCT@gmail.com or visit website www.HempCT.info
Nathan Adami goes fine
This installation will be up at The Big Industry Show, Cannabis Cup 2014 in Denver this April Nathan Adami Glass (309) 369-7183 AdamiGlassDesigns@hotmail.com
Nathan Adami was featured in our very ďŹ rst Glass Portfolio No.7 August 2013 Go check it out! http://sativamedia.com/go/august-2013-hash-is-banned-in-the-usa-by-sativa-magazine/ Nathan Adami Glass (309) 369-7183 AdamiGlassDesigns@hotmail.com