Page 1





Green Scene

Boston’s standouts in sustainability.

Yes Way, Jose

One local restauranteur is building a sustainable village in his native Peru.

Tinder for the

Cannabis Friendly You know you’re curious


Three local brands and their beloved chariots

Maine + Summer + Boutique Cannabis Hotel = Let’s Party

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 3

July 1, 2018

4 JUNE 2018 Boston

ISSUE 4 // VOLUME 1 // 6.2018



18 Yes Way, Jose

BOSTON Shepherding the US on sustainability

Beloved chef and owner of the North End’s Taranta is rebuilding a village in Peru for the good of sustainability.

JOSE DUARTE Leading the way in Boston’s hospitality industry.




Ugh, Plastics

As the cannabis industry matures, can it move away from petroleum-based plastic containers and toward more green solutions?

30 Is it Organic? Try not to panic. In the absence of federal organic standards or certification, here’s how to find clean, green weed.

36 Green Scene

A casual perusal of the local chefs, grocers, and growers making sustainability and green practices a way of life.

every issue

12 DEBUNKED! Popular myths about Green Cannabis.

7 Editor’s Note 8 The Buzz 12 CrossRoads


44 SensiScene


47 SoBOS


Sensi magazine is published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2018 SENSI MEDIA GROUP LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 5

sensi magazine ISSUE 4 VOLUME 1 6.2018





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GREEN HULK I was standing

on the front porch of my building where I live in Dorchester last month, just before a Masshole driver yelled something unintelligible my way in reaction to some middle-finger work from the guy who just told him off, and right after the glut of biting cold made an insane 40-degree jump in the other direction, giving Boston roughly a 24-hour window between winter and summer. Sadly, that’s our new reality. Mega storms, Upside Downworld meteorological phenomenon, formerly once-in-a-lifetime weather systems happening on the regular, and the bruising truth that on many fronts we are past the point of no return for irreversibly damaging the one planet we know of that we can exist on. Grim times in suck city, friends. But it’s the perfect reason to take this month to bring you the normal New Normal content stuffed into this happy little zine in your paws right now, while singling out different stories of sustainability and green this, and eco-friendly that, because at this point if we’re not taking active measures to mitigate our carbon footprint and ensure that as new innovations and technologies for being more eco-conscious emerge, the state continues to embrace them across all aspects of industry. As that relates to the focus of this, we’re talking food, restaurants, grocery stores, and even special agro-supporting cultural sojourns to South America led by the chef-owner of one of the greenest restaurants in the country, located right in the North End. So sit back, throw something delicious on the nearest available grill, grab your favorite flower, concentrate, edible, or vape, and kick off June with one of these nearby and a good outlook on where we’re going. Because it’s not all bad. We think. Happy June, people. Get outside.

Dan McCarthy




sensimag.com JUNE 2018 7




Maine Line to Relaxation

Gratis weed, farm life, hot tubs and chickens at a unique 420 boutique Maine hotel. It’s June. A time to step back for a moment, think pensively, and say to yourself: “You know...I just haven’t had a little getaway at a boutique cannabis hotel on a massive stretch of private farmland replete with hot tub jacuzzi soaks and an open, proud, cannabis-friendly setting.” Well, maybe not. But, in the event that is where your head is at, good news! Your weekend sojourns to the great Maine north may now include a stop in Auburn. There, flanked not only by “Twin City” sibling Lewiston, but 16 private acres of roll8 JUNE 2018 Boston

ing hills, lush foliage, serene lake vistas, and all the delicious cannabis you and a fellow flowerhead can consume in a weekend, sits Maine Greenyards. Partners John and Alex have taken their love of Maine life and wild support and love for the cannabis plant from grow, to harvest, to consumption, and created what John describes as the “vineyard experience at a winery” by way of indica and sativa versus Pinot Noir and Rosé. The result is a totally unique New England hospitality destination, where one can take on a dosing session of their choice ei-

ther in the privacy of a suite or joining other guests out on the grounds, or even just to play with ideas you’ve had kicking around. (“We have had repeat customers that don’t even smoke—just make and eat edibles in a safe and friendly environment,” John says.) All cannabis on the premise is grown in their personal grow garden, gifted to patrons who have booked a stay. Think: allyou-can-grab flower (yes, really) available at their bud bar and other handouts, group outdoor smoke sessions, enjoying spliffs and a soak in the hot tub or in-

door pool, or just mixing up a gourmet trial meal as you get your cannabis culinary ideas off the ground. There’s a spacious kitchen to whip up full dinners for you and your guest, or for seeing the house edibles being crafted from the house-made oils and concentrates. You can even learn how to trim buds in the garden.–Dan McCarthy Book your stay at mainegreenyards.com.

Hearty Stalk

New hybrid cannabis delivery platform, app, and consultancy service for existing and upstart businesses rises in Boston. One of the hottest discussion topics in the Hub’s burgeoning legal weed industry is the means with which consumers will be able to procure their cannabis in a stress-free fashion. Which is probably why it seems like every day there’s a new piece of tech emerging to address that very issue. Enter Stalk and Bean, the local startup launched by cannabis industry and digital marketing veterans that are aiming to help local cannabis businesses—from full-fledged medical dispensaries to product manufacturers to patient care specialists—reach new clients while managing everything from inventory management, to industry compliant electronic payments, CMS and database management, and instant messaging support capabilities. It’s in beta-testing now, and offering trial accounts for interested businesses. The platform is built around module-based programs that help show incoming delivery orders assigned to active drivers and delivery personnel. If it sounds ambitious, it’s worth noting the small team have vast experience in delivery, with one being a former GrubHub honcho (no slouch in disrupting the tech-forward food delivery game) and the other has been servicing a high-end clientele of customers and medical patients using all organic cannabis products from Boston to California, Spain, Colombia, and France for well over a decade. So far they’re focusing on medical cannabis and related businesses, but the team says the consumer-facing mobile app will allow entrepreneurs to set up shop, build an ad-hoc personalized website, add products and news, and have full industry-compliant checkout processes to keep things on the up-and-up, all in one platform which—unlike other delivery programs being reverse-engineered to cater to cannabis—is built with cannabis in mind from the get-go. Users will even be able to track deliveries from when they leave the shop to arrival at your place. Like Uber, only for your weed. Nice.  –DM Get your free trial beta module account or more info at stalkandbeans.com.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 9




High Marks Tinder for the cannabis friendly? Tinder for the cannabis friendly. Tinder has become so ubiquitous within the dating world of 2018, it has rendered virtually any other social media-driven dating app (which often function more or less the same way) as “It’s Tinder for [X]”. And “X” is then split into everything from political affiliations to farmers and the farmer-thirsty who love them, gun-owners, God-lovers, and a host of other in-

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terests, which definitely includes FurryMate, connecting Furries for a “purrfect furry match” (their pun, not ours). Which is why it’s only logical that those looking for an app to connect their loins with the cannabis friendly can look to High There. Launched three years ago (there were early bugs and privacy concerns) and sure to start getting

fresh interest in the Commonwealth when retail sales begin this summer and the cannabis curious start exploring the new legal world before them in the Hub. As one of their taglines reads: “You have more friends here than you think.� The app allows users to indicate weed preference (strains, CBD- vs THC-dominant) and preferred dosing style (edibles, oils, smoking, va-

ping), and with over 600,000 downloads and counting, it amounts to a likely healthy cross-section of the sexy stoners in your area active on the platform and, like all cannabis enthusiasts, are just like other people who have turned to social media to team up with someone cool and just get some. Or, get married. Whatever. Do you.  –DM Get dating at highthere.com.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 11

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{crossroads} by R I C A R D O B A C A

14 JUNE 2018 Boston

THREE POPULAR MYTHS AB0UT GREEN CANNABIS An uncomfortable fact: There is significantly more we don’t know about cannabis than what we do know.


GREEN CANNABIS = ORGANIC CANNABIS While the idea of organic cannabis seems like an innocuous concept that should be a legit thing in 2018, it is ab-

As such, no marijuana business in Col-

the monolithic difficulty of creating a

orado can technically use the word in

successful, compliant-with-all-regu-

its name or in selling its product, ac-

lations, plant-touching cannabis busi-

cording to officials and industry insid-

ness. And yet I would argue that most

ers. Potential fraud penalties under

Americans in mid-2018 think these

the Colorado Consumer Protection Act

businesses are basically printing

include fines of up to $10,000 per vio-

greenbacks inside their cultivation fa-

lation. Federal rules say that business-


es wrongly selling a product as organic could face fines of up to $10,000.”

But no, a cannabis license is not an automatic gold mine. To truly see

There are a few non-USDA third-par-

green while holding a plant-touching

ty organizations with certification pro-

license to grow, process, or retail mar-

Back in September 2015, I remem-

grams for marijuana—including Clean

ijuana and pot products, while still

ber getting a call from a source deep in

Green, Certified Kind and the Cannabis

abiding by some of the most demand-

the industry that the Colorado Attor-

Certification Council—but until canna-

ing regulations in any industry any-

ney General was going after marijua-

bis is legal federally, the word organic

where, an entrepreneur needs excep-

na businesses using organic or organ-

will continue to be treacherous territory.

tional attention to detail, access to

solutely not.

ically grown in their names, websites and marketing materials. The resulting story changed how state-legal

heaps of non-bank-derived capital, a MYTH

trustworthy team, and a lot of luck. Let’s approach the process of

cannabis was marketed throughout

starting a cannabis business chrono-

Colorado and beyond.

logically. First, you need a license to

As my former colleague David Mi-

operate. These licenses are incredibly

goya and I wrote for the Denver Post

valuable and rare in most state-regu-

back then: “Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, and use of the term ‘organic’ is federally regulated, a licensed


lated markets, which means you need


access to capital immediately. Be-

“Money basically grows on marijuana plants, right?”

cause cannabis is federally illegal, banks won’t lend you that capital as

cannabis business cannot be certified

Not quite.

they would if you were starting a

as organic—no matter its practices.

It would be impossible to overstate

business in most other industries. So sensimag.com JUNE 2018 15

either you have the money or you’re

new endeavour, you’re suddenly gob-

able to borrow the money from

smacked when you find yourself pay-

friends, family, and investors or … you

ing an effective tax rate of up to 70

don’t. And if you don’t have the capi-

percent—compared to the 30ish per-

tal, you’re already out.

cent any other non-plant-touching


But let’s say you get that capital

business is paying. Yes, IRS code

and are lucky enough to land a license.

280E is the federal government’s re-

Congratulations! But because no gov-

ality check for these entrepreneurs, a

ernment had ever regulated cannabis

constant and (yes) taxing reminder

When we think green, we think

before 2009, they’re new at this, too,

that their chosen commodity remains

eco-friendly—and cannabis would

and they’re still figuring out their own

illegal at the federal level.

seem to fall under that umbrella at


first look. It’s a plant that allegedly

best practices for licensing, zoning,

So next time you hear someone

and beyond. When you open up shop,

waxing eloquently about the thought-

you’re most likely operating in a high-

less profitability of the green rush,

Yes and no.

ly competitive marketplace. Whole-

mention these barriers to entry, the

Cannabis is a plant, but as I men-

sale prices are down. The number of

lack of consistent and traditional

tioned earlier, it’s one of the most

competitors is up. And profit margins

banking services, the heated and

tightly regulated plants in the world.

are slimming.

sometimes reckless competitive en-

And because we’re still emerging from

But you make it through the first

vironments, and the IRS’s unfair con-

nearly a century of prohibition, this

couple months of business, and when

tinuation of America’s war on mari-

plant is grown indoors more than it is

it comes time to pay taxes on your

juana to set them straight.

outdoors in these modern regulated

“grows like a weed,” right?

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environments, requiring high-intensity

alent of the electricity used by 1.7

lights that mirror the sun’s powerful

million homes.”

rays and fuel the plant’s growth and maturation.

While states like California, Oregon and Washington allow outdoor culti-

While these lights are extremely

vation—allowing growers the oppor-

energy intensive, they’re only part

tunity to get away from much of the

of legal marijuana’s concerning re-

energy consumed by these lights, hu-

source problem. Those lights that

midifiers, and air conditioners—grow-

burn so bright also burn so hot, re-

ing cannabis outdoors can also have a

quiring a carefully calibrated suite

negative impact on the environment.

of machinery and technology to

When marijuana is cultivated

offset the lights’ heat—including

outdoors responsibly, the plants

systems that fully ventilate, dehu-

still consume nearly twice as much

midify, and cool these indoor culti-

water as wine grapes, according to

vation facilities.

one University of California, Berke-





ley study. When it’s cultivated out-

“Cannabis cultivation annually con-

doors irresponsibly, the environ-

sumes one percent of the United

mental impact can be even worse,

States’ total electrical output, which

as poorly managed outdoor mari-

for a single industry growing a sin-

juana cultivations can degrade land

gle crop, is a lot—roughly the equiv-

and erode soil.

So while this plant-based industry inevitably has a more sustainable and profitable future ahead of it, the hangover of prohibition is real. RICARDO BACA is a veteran journalist, thought leader and founder of The Cannabist. His content agency Grasslands works primarily with businesses and individuals in the cannabis and hemp industries on thought leadership, publicity and marketing projects via thoughtful, personalized content campaigns.

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18 JUNE 2018 Boston

Jose Duarte.

Yes W

ay, Jose Beloved chef and owner of the North End’s Taranta is

rebuilding a village in Peru for the good of sustainability. by DA N M C C A R T H Y

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 19

As chef-owner of the much lauded

connect with the global community is

While the ecotourism portion will be

Taranta, his Peruvian-Italian restaurant

a way to localize his business and help

a draw for Bostonians looking for a jaunt

in the North End, Duarte has led the

people understand that sustainability

to South America for everything from

charge of eco-sensitive restauranting

is much more than just industrial pro-

trekking through the mountains flank-

from the front, and Taranta is famously

cesses. It’s a matter of artisanry.

ing the region, or getting a taste of Duar-

Which is why there is pure passion

te’s homeland, he’s remaining rooted in

in his voice when he’s discussing the

the central driver, which is working on

Between using plant-based oils as

passion project that has consumed

different innovative ideas that will help

fuel sources, key attention to traceabili-

much of what very little downtime

embolden the community across envi-

ty in food service (see: knowing where

the husband and father of two has.


your food comes from and everything

You’d be excited too if you’ve been

technological and wellness factors.

that’s been done to it along the way), re-

working for three years to construct a

“We’re now working close with MIT

cycled paper products, and reducing his

sustainable, socially responsible, bio-

to try to develop technology and tech-

restaurant garbage production through

dynamic lodge in the foothills of the

niques and direct market to the end

novel composting and recycling (not to

Huascaran National Park in Peru fo-

user.” One idea involves a new device

that is considered truly “green”.

"We basically commissioned different parts of the work to/from the local communities, and it took us longer that way but we were able to complete it so that we can highlight the artisan process, and the simplicity of having plantbased proteins as a crop that can work sustainably for a community." –JOSE DUARTE



prototype that can use a small amount of human saliva that can determine what your vitamin deficiencies are—a piece of tech that would directly help inform a local agro-community what the wider nutritional needs of the population may need, and how to sustainably grow and manufacture biologic food to support that. Then also based on that information another machine can help determine what is the supply your body will need from products in the area. That technology, says Duarte, could mean detecting a deficiency in Vita-

mention a hyper focus on buying local),

cused on “improving the quality of life

min C, so local farmers could increase

Duarte has won the City of Boston Green

of the Huaripampa Agricultural com-

growing Cape/Incan Golden berries—

Business Award, Massachusetts Recy-

munity and visitors through educa-

local fruit. Then they could work with

cling Award, and numerous other plati-

tion, technology, and social impact”.

children’s schools to create shapes

tudes from his attention to embolden-

“It took us 3 years to build the lodge

and forms of their own design that

ing cultural culinary mastery while

using entirely local materials—adobe,

would then allow for 3D printing local-

minding one’s carbon footprint on our

eucalyptus, stone, you name it,” says Du-

ly made vitamins and supplements.

increasingly-in-jeopardy planet.

arte. “We basically commissioned dif-

But the mixture of tradition and tech-

And as someone who speaks pub-

ferent parts of the work to/from the lo-

nology doesn’t end there.

licly about the importance of sustain-

cal communities, and it took us longer

“There are about 272 tones of dyes

ability practices and responsible treat-

that way but we were able to complete

for textiles that have been discovered

ment of farmers, Duarte’s physical

it so that we can highlight the artisan

through natural pigmentation, which

presence (read: he’s big) is matched

process, and the simplicity of having

can be used for different things, and

only by his heart and ethos, and for

plant-based proteins as a crop that can

also a method of curing fish leather

him, helping the local community to

work sustainably for a community.”

that can be turned into a hat or shirt,”

20 JUNE 2018 Boston


one of the few restaurants in the world

says Duarte. “So there are a lot of possi-

with a brewery in Peru right now.”

bilities. Want to collaborate with col-

Duarte says learning about agriculture

leges and universities with open and

and disconnecting from our digitally ob-

closed groups to go there and do re-

sessed, always-on lives is a key draw for

search. The idea is to help this commu-

the people that have paid to go on the Pe-

nity with well-being.”

ruvian expeditions with him and his

Yes, that well-being can include

team in the past, which is fine. But the

beer, by way of grain—and in Peru that

nature of the group differs each time, and

means one thing: the sacred Quinoa.

in the end, as long as the focus remains

“One of the things at the lodge we’re

on the impact the lodge and its mission

trying to experiment with is biodynam-

have on the community as a sustainable

ic grain production,” Duarte says.

cultural industry to pride themselves on.

“There’s beer and mead in the area—

“My intention is to bring groups

they’re producing it and it’s pretty good,

that have a direct impact on the com-

but they’re not good at marketing it, or

munity—be it working with health

knowledgable about how to really use

centers in the US to offer adventure or

grain. A lot of artisans are using Ger-

wellness, or bring some etimologic

man grain, but Peru produces so much

doctors down for some of the mem-

grain. The problem is there isn’t enough

bers of the community to treat them,

consistency for malted grain, so one of

it’s all about us giving back to that

my goals is to be able to produce 100%

community through the process of

local biodynamic beer, doing a batch

support and sustainability.”

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 21

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As the cannabis industry matures, can it move away from petroleumbased plastic containers and toward more green solutions? by LEL AND RUCKER

We are in love with plastic. WHY NOT? IT’S ONE OF THE MOST USEFUL SUB-

that billions of plastic containers wind up in landfills and junkyards after a single use. Some of it ends up in that noto-


rious vortex of plastic trash the size of Texas that whirls


around in the Pacific Ocean, where it is ingested by birds


and marine life. A beached whale recently was found with pounds of plastic in its stomach amidst other human debris. Product packaging, including for cannabis, is considered responsible for more than 40 percent of all plastic waste. “If you look at the life cycle of whole-plant marijuana from


seed to consumption, environmentally, it’s pretty atrocious,”


says Brandon Pitcher, whose company, Blue Circle Development, works with businesses worldwide to develop more

Many Americans like their cannabis, too. If you live in a

sustainable products. “The energy, the nutrients, the water

state where it’s illegal, you might just have a bag of weed. If

consumption, and the packaging are ultimately unsustain-

you’re a user in a legal state, it’s a lot different. A glance to the

able. You can buy a joint that has three layers of plastic be-

right of my desk reveals eight plastic containers with varying

fore you even get to it.”

amounts of product in each. Next to those is a pre-rolled joint

Each state has its own packaging rules, but all have

locked inside a plastic tube with a plastic, child-resistant cap.

four basics in common. Anything that holds cannabis

When they’re empty, I’ll toss them into the recycle bin.

must be in a container that is child-resistant, opaque,

This thirst for convenience has a serious downside. Plastic is an oil-based product. Numbers vary, but it’s safe to say 24 JUNE 2018 Boston

tamper-resistant, and includes a label that gives accurate consumer product information.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 25

“Our number-one task is protecting

California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon,

forward. “There is a lot of waste within

public health and safety,” says Shan-

Washington, Illinois and Colorado.

the cannabis industry, and it makes

non Gray, spokesperson for the Colora-

“For such a green industry, aren’t you

me wonder what kind of carbon foot-

do Department of Marijuana Enforce-

surprised at how much plastic is be-

print we are leaving for future canna-

ment Division, the state’s regulatory

ing used?,” he asks rhetorically. “Peo-

bis users,” she says. “There are ways

agency. “The rules are created to en-

ple are so conscious about the envi-

around this. The hemp industry

hance public safety and keep it out of

ronment until you ask them to pay

should be more green than it is, but we

the hands of minors.”

more for packaging.”

have to change our mindset.”

Cardboard and glass are also preva-

Offering a fully recyclable, stain-

Ron Basak-Smith and James Eich-

lent in cannabis packaging, but plas-

less steel can to hold cannabis buds

ner are part of that changing mind-

tic is the most used material, adds

brought some serious pushback at

set. They met in graduate school at

Dominique Mendiola, deputy director

first, with most complaints centered

the University of Colorado and bond-

of policy, regulation & communica-

around the higher cost and the fact

ed over music, skiing and cannabis.

tions for the MED. “It’s not limited to

that you couldn’t see the product. But

Basak-Smith says that he has been

plastic, but I would say that, more

as businesses started to consider the

against plastic, single-use packaging

commonly, most packaging that has

advantages of a recyclable product,

since he was a child, and both grew

child-resistant qualities is plastic.”

Martin says those objections have

to especially dislike the popular plas-

mostly faded. N2 is now designing a

tic, pop-top containers that tend to

see-through lid.

pop their tops at inopportune mo-

Given the growing concern in this country about oil-based products, should we be doing more about all

“To be honest, we were ahead of

this plastic—especially in an industry

the need,” he admits. “People didn’t

that prides itself on sustainability and

want to put cannabis in something

“We were upset as customers. Here

being green? The introduction of re-

that looked like a cat food can. They

we were with these sustainably based

cyclable cans, hemp-based plastics,

didn’t care about preservation be-

products, and they’re in this crappy

and other non-petroleum products

cause they were selling it as quickly

packaging,” Eichner says. “The other

could help speed the way to more sus-

as they were growing it. That started

thing was the fact that being a cylin-

tainable packaging. The main obsta-

to change when companies started

der, it was too reminiscent of a pill bot-

cle is cost. Plastic is simply cheaper

thinking long term.”

tle. We wanted to move away from the

than any of its alternatives.

ments, like in your pocket when snowboarding or skiing.

There are now bills in front of both

shape of a pill bottle. Cannabis can be

Rao McMurthy is CEO of Denver

houses of the US Congress that would

medicine, but it’s also a lifestyle thing.”

Custom Packaging, which developed

allow hemp, one of the most sustain-

They took a class in Sustainable

the Doob Cube, a child-resistant alter-

able crops on the planet, to be treated

Venturing, which got them excited

native to the popular pop-top contain-

like any other agricultural product, for

enough to look into hemp. They

ers. He says that packaging accounts

the first time in almost eighty years.

formed Sana, with offices in Colorado

for two and a half to five percent of the retail price, which can make more expensive alternatives a tough sell to businesses with already tight profit margins. “What it comes down to is

“Our number-one task is protecting public health and safety.”

that everybody’s a start-up,” he says, “and nobody wants to pay the bump

Hemp was grown by the Founding Fa-

and California, and they have already

up for biodegradable plastics.”

thers and was an ingredient in many

created hemp-based, child-resistant

One alternative is stainless-steel

medicines to building materials. Could

boxes and are expanding into other

can packaging. Scott Martin is CEO of

hemp, a cannabis product, become part

containers that can be used for more

N2 Packaging, based in Twin Falls,

of the solution to all this plastic waste?

than just getting your cannabis home

Idaho, which has patented a recycla-

Lara Gonzalez, who works for Ora

from the store. “We made it so con-

ble, stainless-steel can packed and



tainers nest inside each other to make

sealed with nitrogen to preserve

setts-based company that sells CBD

them more efficient for shipping and

freshness and is in dispensaries in

products, says that hemp offers a way

storing. The lid won’t pop open, and

26 JUNE 2018 Boston



you can turn it over, and it makes a great rolling tray,” Eichner says.

waste is a little over the top.” He says that, ultimately, the burden

it more competitive with traditional plastic offerings, and give his small

Beyond cost, since it’s still illegal fed-

for keeping cannabis away from mi-

erally, there is no infrastructure for

nors needs to shift more to the parent

“It begins to be cost-effective in large

hemp products to be grown, processed,

than the package, especially when

numbers,” Sherman says. “And we can

and sold in this country. Legalizing

cannabis is being sold in a store where

tag along and ride their coattails. I want

hemp here would go a long way in al-

children have no access. It would also

to show that you can build businesses

lowing investment dollars for the devel-

allow for more innovative packaging.

that are benefiting the environment

opment and construction of the facili-

“I would think from a legal standpoint

rather than taking it away. Now, I’m

ties necessary to make hemp more

that it would be easy for law enforce-

part of the problem. I’d like to go back

competitive. Given that the industry is

ment to prove it’s not contributing to

and be part of the solution.”

literally starting over, we are still at least

kids getting cannabis,” Beck says.

several years from that happening.

“Kids can figure out how to get into

Colorado just announced a new set

tamper-proof things, anyway.”

of packaging rules that took hold in

Until then, companies will have to

July, and Mendiola says the state

continue to innovate on their own. Ari

brings together focus groups and stake-

Sherman is co-founder and president

holders to talk about ways to improve

of Evo Hemp, a Boulder, Colorado com-

its regulations. “I expect more interest

pany that makes hemp extracts, pro-

in environmentally friendly packaging

tein snacks, powders, and seeds. While

in future meetings,” she says.

developing its protein bar, Sherman

Many people hope state legislators

was introduced to Innovia Films, one

will begin to rethink some of the

of the world’s largest packaging sup-




company access to better prices.


pliers based in England. The company

packaging to more accurately reflect

offers a line of film, or packaging, that

the new normal. “I think we were

looks like plastic, feels like plastic, and

more green before the state regula-

works like plastic, with one major dif-

tions,” says Jason Beck, a California

ference: it can be composted. Innovia

dispensary owner who’s had to react

is now working with larger brands to

to a lot of state rule changes over the

invest in better facilities for producing

years. “The sheer packaging and

the compostable film, which will make

What You Can Do as a Consumer?

1 2 3 4

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 27




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30 JUNE 2018 Boston

As an adult, I overcompensated for being an agro-chemical industry victim by moving to Boulder, Colorado (epicenter of the organic food movement), helping to fight for national organic food standards—we won a rare victory, though the USDA regulations are continually being downgraded—and editing a magazine

IS IT ORGANIC? TRY NOT TO PANIC. Toxic pesticides used to grow cannabis are even more dangerous when smoked and processed into concentrates. In the absence of federal organic standards or certification, here’s how to find clean, green weed.

about natural lifestyles. I fed my kids local, non-GMO, humanely raised, fair trade, certified organic meat and produce (and, not gonna lie, a lot of Annie’s organic mac and cheese). When it comes to organics, I’m a believer. So, naturally, when I stepped into a Colorado dispensary for the first time in 2009, I had questions for the budtender. “Is all of this organic?” I asked hopefully, already mesmerized by the jars of glistening, fragrant flowers. “Organic? Um, yeah,” said the budtender. “Were any chemicals used to grow it?” “Well, yeah, I don’t know. I have a list of chemicals we don’t let growers use. You want to see it?” “But you have no way of knowing whether they used these or not—or what they did use? No certification, no testing?” “Um, no.” That’s a big reason I grow my own.


In Massachusetts, "A Very Chilling Message" To be fair, Colorado has done a lot to address pesticides in cannabis since my first dispensary visit. In 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper declared pesticide-tainted cannabis a public safety risk, and the state began a string


The toxins from those fields were in the air we breathed and the water we drank. WHEN THE VICINITY.


of recalls. The initiative was a PR nightmare for the industry—and appears to be working. Last year Colorado found residue of unapproved pesticides in 13 percent of cannabis samples tested in response to complaints, down from 49 percent in 2016. sensimag.com JUNE 2018 31

I’m thrilled about that, but Colorado still doesn’t require cannabis to be tested for pesticides and mycotoxin contaminants. I’m not taking the chance, and neither are my friends across the country in Massachusetts, where non-organic pesticides are banned but third-party testing for pesticides isn’t required, either. Ethnobotanist and natural food industry pioneer Chris Kilham planted a cannabis garden in his Amherst backyard after he read the words “may not conform to pesticide standards” on the label for flower he bought from a local dispensary. “I was like, what the hell?” he says. “That is a very chilling message.” Boston medical marijuana patient Laura Beohner turned to a caregiver who grows in small batches in Maine after the concentrates she bought from a dispensary gave her headaches. Beohner is confident in her grower, whom she knows personally, and says using only organically grown cannabis and solventless rosin have made a huge difference in her health and energy. For her CBD topicals business, The Healing Rose Company, Beohner takes

Holy Vigilante! “Never underestimate the power of the vigilante consumer,” Anita Roddick, the late founder of The Body Shop, once said. Her words are even more relevant in the nascent, unregulated cannabis industry, where there are no agreed-upon organic standards. If that makes you a little bit crazy, don’t despair. You can be like Batman next time you buy cannabis. Ask questions! And more questions! The budtender should know how cannabis was grown and processed; whether synthetic fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides were used; whether it was sprayed with synthetic materials while in flower; and whether it has been tested for pesticides (and by which lab). If she can’t answer any of these questions, take your business somewhere else. Spend money in stores that test for pesticide and fungal content. Vote with your hard-earned dollars for businesses that are doing the right thing. Request the manufacturer’s Certificate of Analysis. Dr. Mary Van, a Florida-based clinical pharmacist and functional medicine practitioner who specializes in cannabis therapy, advises patients to call and ask for this document, which contains lab test results for pesticides and contaminants (and a lot more), when buying cannabis products. “Transparency is everything,” Van says. “No third-party Certificate of Analysis—no go.” If you’re able, give flowers a smell test. Trust your nose. If cannabis smells sharp or metallic, like sulphur or chlorine, pesticides were likely used and improperly flushed. A musty, mildewy aroma portends mold. If you’re able, inspect flowers under a microscope.Don’t buy cannabis if you see brown, yellowing leaves, white spots, or cobwebs. Don’t buy anything if you feel like you’re being hustled. That budtender who keeps trying to sell you cannabis from a full jar on the top shelf, and even offers to throw in a free joint? Yeah, no.

the additional step of having every hemp extract that comes in the door tested in a laboratory for pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and microbiological contaminants—an additional expense

which certifies organic food, won’t touch

she believes is well worth it. “I can show

erated in an unregulated setting, vari-

cannabis until it’s federally legal.

ous practices have been adopted that

the results to people at trade shows and

Cannabis producers can state that

send them to wholesale people so they

are at odds with accepted regulations

plants were “grown with organic

feel good about what they’re selling,” she

regarding human safety and environ-

methods,” but that’s tough to verify. In

says. “A lot of our customers value us and

mental impacts,” CSI states in a white

legal states from coast to coast, grow-

continue to come to us because of our

paper. “Chief amongst these is the un-

ers and dispensers have, for the most

promise of all-organic ingredients.”

regulated use of pesticides, which has

part, been left to police their own pesti-

potentially serious public health and

cide use—with, as we’ve seen in Colo-

environmental consequences.”

"Potentially Serious Public Health and Environmental Consequences"

rado, sometimes disastrous results.

In California, where stricter regula-

And Colorado is far from alone. In

tions and testing requirements will be

Oregon, the Cannabis Safety Institute

I’m far from alone in wanting to see

phased in next year, University of Cali-

(CSI) found pesticide residues exceed-

organic standards and certification for

fornia-Davis researchers report that

ing allowable levels for an agricultural

cannabis growers and processors. But

pesticides are widely used in the canna-

product on close to half of the retail

despite our growing voice, that’s not like-

bis industry. Last year a startling num-

products it tested. “Given that canna-

ly to happen anytime soon. The USDA,

ber of entries to the cannabis competi-

bis production has developed and op-

tion at the Emerald Cup were rejected

32 JUNE 2018 Boston

The Dirty Half Dozen

"Like Injecting That Pesticide Right into Your Bloodstream"

nabinoids also concentrates pesticides,

Researchers have been working

found 10 times more toxic pesticides on

for decades to establish safe levels of

cannabis concentrates than on flowers,

pesticide consumption, but almost

at levels that “grossly exceed tolerances

every study is based on eating food.

for pesticides on any commodity.”

CSI states. The institute’s researchers

Smoking presents a whole new set of

This is alarming, to say the least, and

risks because chemicals enter the

it’s good to see states beginning to ad-

These chemicals, commonly used on cannabis, are toxic to people and the planet. Some are possible human carcinogens. All are best avoided.

bloodstream at much higher, more

dress these dangers. Until more prog-

concentrated levels and are not fil-

ress is made, however, it’s up to us. We

tered through the digestive and he-

have to ask difficult questions, demand

patic systems. Pesticides in canna-

Myclobutanil (Eagle 20)

systemic change, and make purchasing

bis can be transferred into smoke

decisions that support conscientious,


with efficiencies as high as 70 per-

ethical agriculture.

Avermectin B (Lucid and Avid) Etoxazole (TetraSan5 WDG) Bifenazate Piperonyl Butoxide

because they contained pesticides, and Steep Hill Labs found that 41 of 44 cannabis products in Los Angeles contained

cent, CSI found.

It may be too late for Iowa’s glypho-

“It’s really like injecting that pesti-

sate-soaked corn and soybean fields,

cide right into your bloodstream,” Dr.

but it’s not too late for cannabis. By de-

Jeff Raber, CEO of Los Angeles-based

fault, legal states will lead the conversa-

cannabis testing lab The Werc Shop,

tion about organic cultivation and

told NBC Los Angeles. “It could cause

chemical use. As citizens and consum-

damage to your kidneys, to your liver,

ers in these states, we have a rare op-

or other organs.”

portunity to make our voices heard.

Cannabis extracts—oils, waxes, shat-







ter, etc.—magnify the situation. Using

The agro-chemical beast is already

butane, pentane and CO2 to extract can-


pesticides at levels that would get them banned in Colorado or Massachusetts. It’s a sticky situation, no matter what state you’re in. Chemicals make growing easier and more efficient. (Just ask the few farmers left in my home state.)


Super effective at fighting off spider mites, powdery mildew, and other pests and microbes that can destroy crops and harm consumers, pesticides are cheaper and easier to control than organic methods like no-till living soil and beneficial insects. That’s why cannabis growers have come to rely on synthetic fungicides like Dow Chemical’s Eagle 20, a brute against powdery mildew. Trouble is, Eagle 20

In the absence of federal oversight, these organizations offer third-party certification for growers using organic cultivation methods. Look for their labels. CANNABIS CERTIFICATION COUNCIL // CANNABISCERTIFICATIONCOUNCIL.ORG Nonprofit standard-holding body that offers a national third-party certification program and seal for organic cultivation and fair labor practices. CLEAN GREEN CERTIFIED // CLEANGREENCERTIFIED.COM California-based third-party certifier that mimics federal organic standards in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado.

contains myclobutanil, which releases hydrogen cyanide—a poisonous gas— when it’s heated. And even more trouble: azadirachtin—an organic pesticide that many growers use instead—can cause a

CERTIFIED KIND // CERTIFIED-KIND.COM Certification standards equivalent to internationally accepted norms for organic crops and processed products in Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, and Washington.

potentially debilitating toxic buildup known as hyperemesis syndrome. sensimag.com JUNE 2018 33

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sensimag.com JUNE 2018 35

Green A casual perusal of the local chefs, grocers, and growers making sustainability and green practices a way of life. by DA N McCARTHY


the importance of sustainability AND THE “GREEN-


as hulking commercial dumpsters

state initiatives regarding the matter is

the effects of climate change and and

floated by like leaves on a river of gen-

a decent reflection of that. Between ini-

unchecked carbon emissions will be

tle rain heading for a street gutter.

tiatives crafted for protecting our natu-

felt sharply by the Bay State can just

And it’s easy to point to certain

ral green spaces, to embracing wind

take a stroll down memory lane of this

large-scale efforts already underway in

and solar on a statewide level, electric

past winter. In front of the eyes of ev-

the region and think that it’s a given

vehicle and bike-share support as ef-

eryone watching, brutal winter storm

the Commonwealth has a firm eye on a

forts to reduce greenhouse gas emis-

surges rendered sea walls useless; the

green-certified horizon. As a state,

sions, construction on a “smart city” on

future headquarters of General Elec-

stats-hounds like WalletHub have

the South Shore as a model for future

tric along the seaport became a visual

placed Massachusetts in the top ranks

sustainable urban planning, as well as

metaphor for embracing eco-aware-

with the greenest and most eco-friend-

the rise of Bay State seamen adding

ness while the area was essentially

ly states in the union, and a glance at

kelp farms to their crop for both cash

submerged from the flooding Atlantic

the various different official city and

and their ocean acidifying-reducing

36 JUNE 2018 Boston

Scene PREVIOUS PAGE Dorchester’s Daily Table (I), some foot work at Boston Green Fest (c) and a man on the move for Higher Ground. sensimag.com JUNE 2018 37

effects (they work like underground

The city has made solid strides in

and products for the partnering orga-

trees sucking the increased CO2 out of

acknowledging the importance of cli-

nizations and restaurants working

the water)—there’s ample evidence

mate change and all that will (and

with them (the BMC farm is basically

that Bostonians support the green phi-

currently does) touch, but Weber feels

the house pantry for produce in the

losophy of environmentalism and

more can be done to showcase what

hospital), the farm has found success


Boston’s initiatives are, in terms of ad-

in inspiring a new platoon of green-

But all the data in the world is never

aptation to climate change and how

thumbs and agriculture and botany

quite as illuminating as hearing about

implementing green-think is going to

interests to city dwellers who nor-

the initiatives and projects the Hub’s

be our only road ahead to a long and

mally wouldn’t have access to the

array of urban farms, restaurants, non-

healthy future as a city (and a species,

kinds of hands-in-the-dirt experi-

profits, and local business owners are

for that matter). She implores citizens

ence urban farming provides.

doing with an eye toward a more sus-

of the Hub in both the private and the

“It’s been great to see community en-

tainable future.

public spheres to come down, as she’s

gagement at both farms,” says John

seen firsthand the kind of connec-

Stoddard of Higher Ground. “In some

tions that have happened there.

ways we’ve had had to turn away volun-

Dr. Karen Weber couldn’t agree more. Since its launch in 2008 she has spearheaded the popular Boston

“Many nonprofits that have attend-

teers. So many people hear about us and

Green Fest, a multicultural environ-

ed have found volunteers through the

want to see what a biologic grow farm on

mental festival meant to welcome in-

festival, with volunteers finding pas-

a roof looks like, where others just want

dividuals, families, schools, small

sion and becoming connected with

to be involved in plants in general. So

businesses, nonprofits, and even

great nonprofits and small business-

seeing community excitement and peo-

those in academia and business to

es making new green projects hap-

ple wanting to come and help with this

find the newest innovations around

pen,” Weber says.

project has been an overarching experi-

Boston and the world related to sus-

Community is a driving factor in

ence for both of our farms, and it’s one of

tainability, eco-awareness, and envi-


ronmentalism in everything from art,

ments, and the green scene of Bos-

Food being produced atop BMC with

to music, food, and fashion.

ton’s city-based farming landscape

Higher Ground has also been adding an-




the best things about being involved.”

“The point of the festival is to come

is no different. Higher Ground Farm,

other prong to the benefit of supporting

and enter a space where you can learn

an urban farming coalition that man-

green and sustainability urban initia-

about everything and see what touches

ages a rooftop garden above the Bos-

tives. Stoddard says the farm and the

you,” says Weber. “We hope more than

ton Design Center, as well as a sibling

test kitchen at the hospital are helping

one or two things will touch you and

operation atop Boston Medical Cen-

families who don’t have access to

[make you] start to think [sustainabili-

ter (BMC). Besides what it’s doing for

ty] is doable. You can make significant

providing healthy, organic produce

impact if you can change yourself and others to thinking this way. The more we have of that, the faster we do a better job of stewarding the planet.”

38 JUNE 2018 Boston

BELOW The rooftop garden from Higher Ground Farm (l), a candid moment from Boston Green Fest (c), and chef Will Gilson at work at the Herb Lyceum.




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healthy foods to increase awareness

counted prices, which allows Daily

and knowledge with hands-on expe-

Table to pass that onto their patrons.

rience, while ensuring proper cul-

Which means besides what that

turally sensitivity is kept in mind.

does for the wallets of customers,

“We’re not giving people who may

COO Michael Malmberg says that

not be familiar with products things

their business model has meant lon-

they don’t want or even know how to

ger shelf life for foods that may have

use,” says Stoddard.

been passed over, discarded, or lost

He adds that the integration of the

in food distribution or supply chain;

produce into the hospital food, as

put another way, they’re diverting

well as being able to increase com-

and capturing organic produce from

munity engagement from showing

landing in landfills and dumps (to

locals where good, healthy, sustain-

the tune of 20-40k pounds a week)

able, urban-farmed foods come from,

and redistributing perfectly good,

is creating a better quality of life for

healthy products for communities

people who previously may have had

who really need it most. No small

health issues attributed to poor diet

feat, and the impact continues to

either by choice or life circumstanc-

shine through in the response from

es (ie: Whole Foods is not reasonably


priced). “This year we’re trying to in-

“One of my favorite stories,” Malm-

tegrate it more into diabetes preven-

berg says, “is a customer came in and

tion groups that have come up to

was speaking with an employee who

learn about healthy lifestyle, sustain-

was new. He told the employee he’d

ability, and community health,”

been coming in since we opened,

Stoddard says.

and has lost 60lbs and got his diabe-

Which is why organizations designed to offer affordable healthy

40 JUNE 2018 Boston

tes under control simply by eating healthier from shopping here.”

food on a large scale to underserved

And if giving urbanites a taste of

communities are emerging, and the

the healthy farm life through envi-

Daily Table in Dorchester is a prime

ronmentally-sound practices and

example. A sort of TJ Maxx of gro-

an eye for what sustainability in the

cery stores, the Daily Table purchas-

hands of a local family with grandi-

es product from traditional vendors

ose agrarian backdrop is up for dis-

and local farms, but what allows

cussion, Will Gilson, beloved chef/

them to sell the food so inexpensive-

owner of the dynamite Puritan & Co.

ly is they also get a lot of donations

in Cambridge, is ready to talk.

to offset the suppliers and producers

Gilson grew up working on his

providing produce for free or at dis-

family farm, The Herb Lyceum,

“Seeing community excitement and people wanting to come help with this project has been an overarching experience for both of our farms, and it’s one of the best things about being involved.” — John Stoddard, Higher Ground

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 41

NICE VIEW Green vantage point overlooking Boston from Higher Ground.

where his parents had taken a re-

“It’s one thing to say ‘this is where

riage house and morphed it into a

a lot of our produce comes from’ on a

unique hybrid affair that’s been do-

press release, but it’s different when

ing farm-to-table dinners for up to 30

you take people who have been regu-

people a few times a week long be-

lar customers for five years out to

fore farm-to-table was being uttered

this entirely other experience.”

by every weekly regular of their

Part of that experience is getting a

neighborhood Applebee’s. But now

new perspective on the seasonality of

that he’s come full circle and taken

New England growing, and when a

the reins with the skills and network

restaurant like Puritan is open seven

amassed after his individual suc-

days a week all year, it's impossible to

cess, he’s cognizant of the opportu-

constantly provide organic local in-

nity to really hype novel approaches

gredients at a reasonable price point

to sustainability in hospitality.

without shutting down.

“It’s how I made my career and

“What’s great about Lyceum is

foray into the food world for the bet-

that the plants and produce we’re

ter part of my culinary career,” says

growing is the thing we can sustain

Gilson. “But time goes by and you

year on year, which gives us a rea-

realize this amazing thing you had

son to serve food that is more plant

access to and something a part of

and plant-protein based. Animal

one’s founding needs to have some-

breeding and husbandry causes so

one take the reins. Now I’m taking

many ecological issues we can’t re-

what I’ve learned from my crew—af-

alistically support as a business.”

ter years of establishing myself in

As for one of the more sustainable

the city—to turn it into a cohesive

plant-based crops being added to the

and modern business.”

future of the farm, Gilson wryly says:

The spread of acreage and mov-

“For the past 10 years I’ve been tell-

able earth is dotted with greenhous-

ing my dad legal cannabis is coming,

es and visual splendor thanks to

and if there was a way to grow can-

pathways through gardens inspired

nabis legally for us none of us would

by Provence and Tuscany, and the

have to work very hard again.”

Instagrammable attractiveness is not lost on Gilson’s grasp on 21st century marketing vis-a-vis social media. Snappy Snapchat or Instagram work captures and contextualizes the mission and pathos of the Lyceum, says Gilson, and if that’s what it takes to start to raise awareness of both the business and their focus on sustainability and knowwhere-your-food-comes-from super 42 JUNE 2018 Boston

philosophy, than that’s perfect.

stored 19th century farm and car-

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NIGHT MOVES: Sensi Boston arrived in Boston officially after the big launch party throwdown in May. More than 50 vendors, Potsquatch, DJ Lord, live art, and endless new friends colored the night. Were you there? Follow us @SensiMagazine on Instagram and Twitter.

44 JUNE 2018 Boston

What: Sensi Launch Party Where: Royale Boston When: May 8, 2018

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 45

46 JUNE 2018 Boston

{soBOS} AutoErotica

For these local brands, vintage cars and trucks are apropos marketing in Instagram’s world.

Gary the Buenas Van

buenas.co // MELISSA STEFANI Our product is first and foremost food, but our van has really helped communicate our vibe to everyone. To us it doesn’t matter how good the product is if there’s no brand to speak of. Getting a ‘73 Econoline probably wasn’t the best logistical decision but it’s been great. The van itself (Gary, named after the retired steel worker in Pennsylvania we bought it from) doesn’t even have our name on it.

People just know when they see that green van, it’s us, and that good times are on the way. We’re just trying to make good food and have fun. Gary even has his own Instagram (@GaryTheBuenasVan). We got really lucky—found it as is with a pretty good paint job, road-ready, and with only 51,000 miles on it, and the owner had a collection of other rad cars and motorcycles he fixed up himself.

There’s issues here and there that we’ve found. The wheels almost literally fell off this one time we were making a delivery, but we pulled over just in time and were able to tighten the lugs up before anything really bad happened. That’s what happens when you rush out in a vintage car that you haven’t used for basically a whole winter, having been in possession of it for almost two years. But really, for what we paid we got super lucky and have had really no problems with it. Except Boston winters.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 47

48 JUNE 2018 Boston

Narragansett' s Lenny

narragansettbeer.com // PETE BOYD

It’s a 1993 Ford F-150 XLT, 302 5L V8, 4x4, originally from Mountain View Ford in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Original engine and transmis-

sion. Mileage: 158,000. We call her Lenny (short for Charlene) and she’s become a workhorse and a showpiece at the same time. The guy I got it from had a great back story. He specialized in Fords and had two guys down south that found trucks with solid bodies to

GrandTen Distillery

grandten.com // MATT NUERENBERGER We got the truck as a part of brand awareness. Its an American-made truck that has stood the test of time, and distilling has a rich history. I think a classic work truck does a lot in conveying its message without words. The guy that we bought it from lived on the Cape and enjoyed “project cars”. Normally, we get asked how much we want for it every other time we stop for gas. One time we picked up a

send up to him to fix and sell. I bought the cheapest one on the lot. The tires were blown, it had no rear bumper, and the power windows didn’t work. I towed it to my brother’s house. We put new tires on it, slapped on a bumper, and we replaced all the motors and wiring in the doors for windows, handles and locks. I got some small stuff from the junkyard to secure the adjustable bench seat. The rest is all gradual improvements. We’ve replaced so much over the past two and a half years. When I did get it, I showed a picture of it to our president and said, “how great would this thing look if we painted some ‘Gansett logos on it.” He was all in. Then we started the repairs and cosmetic work. People are always beeping and waving with a friendly “Hi-Neighbor!” when I drive around. I get a lot of questions about the year, engine, paint job, and the occasional “They still make that beer?” Rest assured, we are back.

load of barrels (empty) and were filling up, and a group of guys were pretty relentless that we should sell it to them. Laughing it off, we got back on the highway only to notice they were behind us. They followed us about an hour back to South Boston. When we got off the highway, they got off too. Instead of heading back to the distillery we headed over to the police station on Broadway. As we pulled over they kept cruising. Who knows? Maybe they lived in the neighborhood.

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50 JUNE 2018 Boston

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