Of vice and zen
Meet the owners of Smoker Farms
MTL’s Jenn Larry is candid in her Q&A
Mighty Caesar with a twist
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Q&A with MTL’s Jenn Larry; Sage N’ Sour success
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Volume 01, Issue 04 August/Sept. 2021
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Inside Smoker Farms
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Fun & Games
Normalize doing things together while getting high
A godly ounce under $100; Mmmm MacFlurry; Bad Kiss
Seth Rogen and Canopy Break up; Weed in space!
A weed-themed word search; Dad jokes; Memes
Food & Drink
All Hail the Mighty Ceasar—it is both food and drink
David Brown on industry changes yet to come
Writers in this issue David Brown Simon Gerard Jenny Neufeld David Wylie
On the Cover
MTL’s Jenn Larry holds gorgeous weed grown in Montreal, Quebec.
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First Hit | the oz.
Virtual smoke circles are not the same By David Wylie A few years before legalization, I went to a gathering of reporters from a bunch of different media outlets. About a dozen of us met at a bar, raised a pint or two and swapped stories. An hour or so into the shindig, one of my colleagues tapped my shoulder and asked if I wanted to smoke a joint with a few others. Generally, I’d kept to myself about partaking in pot. Some of the jobs I’ve held in the past have been quite public, and a reputation as a pot smoker in certain bluer cities could close doors in your face. This time though, I wanted the camaraderie of knowing I was in good company. We went out back and formed a circle of five or six as I recall. Some of the familiar faces were as surprised to see me as I was to see them. A well-known TV reporter pulled a nice
sized joint out of his pocket, lit it, and around the circle it went. I’ll admit I felt a little sheepish when it got to me, but a few puffs in and we were all fast friends. Since then, I’ve become much bolder when it comes to my affection for cannabis. I’ve talked weed with all kinds of people whom I never thought would broach the subject—politicians, pastors, teachers, executives, etc. Just as legalization was setting us free to meet and socialize together about cannabis without looking over our shoulder, COVID-19 spread its blanket of isolation. Digital events replaced in-person ones— but virtual smoke circles are just not the same. One of the biggest current problems in Canadian cannabis regulations is the outlawing of cannabis consumption lounges—anywhere you can go to hang with people to partake together. However, change is in the air. As David Brown notes in this issue’s Last Hit, the province of B.C. has been asking growers and processors their thoughts on consumption areas in the most recent round of stakeholder engagement.
Places where people can smoke or eat or drink or vape together are a natural fit for farm-gate cannabis, like a glass of red or white at a winery picnic table. One of the greatest aspects of cannabis is its ability to bring people together. Sure weed is great for sinking into the couch and watching a movie or playing video games—but those activities can be more fun with friends. Some strains may put you in more of a cannatonic state while the answers to life, the universe, and everything roll through your mind’s eye like the text intro to Star Wars in a galaxy far, far, away. Other types of weed, though, are excellent for socializing and building bonds with fellow tokers. While writing cannabis laws, there seemed to be some festering fear (reefer madness) that people smoking pot together might turn into rioting and chaos. Those of us who have actually taken a pull off a joint know it’s more likely to spark up a quiet conversation about how to make the world a better place. David Wylie is publisher of the oz. Reach him at email@example.com. theounce.ca
Reviews | the oz. God Bud Verse Originals
MacFlurry BLK MKT
Dark & Milk Chocolates LYF Edibles
Can you get an ounce of good weed for $100 on the legal market? You sure can. Verse Originals recently dropped a kick-ass ounce of God Bud that sells for $99 or less—some people have found it for $75 at brick-and-mortar shops. There was no shake in my 28-oz. bag; mostly medium and larger buds tumbled out. The smell was fruity and the moisture was just right. It burns grey/white and is a pretty smooth smoke. It’s tingly on the lips and gives a face-melting high, especially at 18% THC. Personally, I found it makes me creative and mellow. The main terpenes are Caryophyllene, Bisabolol, Myrcene and Humulene. This is the best value on the market so far for ounces. — DW
This is one of the prettiest eighths I’ve ever bought. It’s immediately on the nose, with the tangy sweetness of lime. One big gorgeous sticky bud was packed into the jar, and with a shake you get a satisfying thud of the bud hitting the side of the container. Both rolled up and in the vape it’s smooth and tasty, allowing for big bold hits without inducing a hacking cough. The effect for me was at times uplifting, cerebral, chill and creative. Overall, it’s a powerful high. The bottle lists 24.6% THC, with 2.23% terpenes—dominated by Terpinolene, Caryophyllene, Limonene. The lineage is a cross between Ice Cream Cake and MAC, and the taste has some of the nuttiness inherent in BLK MKT’s Peanut Butter MAC. At about $55 for 3.5 grams, MacFlurry is on the pricy end—like all of BLK MKT’s offerings. This one was worth the price of admission. It’s another stand-out offering from a consistently premium brand. — DW
LYF Edibles is mixing things up with their chocolates. Not only do they have unique flavour combinations in the current edible market but they also have no sugar added. First up, we’ve got the NSA Milk Chocolate Coffee Quinoa squares. These pleasantly surprised me, especially because I am not particularly partial to milk chocolate, nor am I a coffee drinker. I thought the bitter notes from the coffee offset the milky sweetness of the chocolate nicely with the delightful crunch from the quinoa for texture. Two squares, with 5mg THC each, are in the package, making this a great little treat. I had high expectations for the NSA Dark Chocolate Almond 1:1 squares because one of my favorite indulgences is dark chocolate covered almonds. I was hoping for a strong almond taste and crunch but that was not quite the reality. However, I did still really enjoy this chocolate and its effect. The dark chocolate is classic, strong and bitter with just a hint of the nuttiness. These have 5mg of CBD along with the 5mg of THC in each square. Found for $4.99 at a local retailer. — JN
• Small batch craft cannabis • Grown with care • Backed by 25 years experience of growing top medical strains
Sage N’ Sour MTL Cannabis
Kiss Gummies THC BioMed
Sunset Peach THC Vape Verse Originals
Sage N’ Sour lives up to its name; the fresh and potent smell is herbal and citrusy, almost comforting in a way. It’s high-THC at 24.86% and Sativa-dominant. It’s the first cultivar I’ve seen that features CBG (2%). This is lovely weed. The buds are nicely trimmed and decently sized. They’re sticky and pull apart fibrously. Sage N’ Sour quickly became one of my favourites, and the eighth is already nearly gone. At about $30, it’s a bargain on the legal market for the quality. The flower grinds up beautifully. Vaping lets you enjoy the taste, which matches the smell. The airy ground-up bud rolls into densely packed joints that burn well with light grey ash. Its genetics are S.A.G.E. crossed with Sour Diesel. Its terpene profile includes Terpinolene, Caryophyllene, Limonene, Myrcene, and Ocimene. — DW
Have you ever had an awkward make-out partner? THC Kiss Gummies are like that—an experience that should be enjoyable, but leaves you feeling kinda icky. Opening up the package, four gummies all melted into one tumbled out. They ripped apart with a bit of force, stretching like putty. They’re initially alluring with a nice strawberry smell. Then the Kiss touches your mouth… bland and bitter. It takes a lot of chewing to break it down. Produced by Kelowna-based THC BioMed, there is 2.5mg of THC in each gummy. The THC is extracted from THC BioMed’s Sativa Landrace strain. The effect is decent; however, these gummies are more like kissing grandma than a lover. At least they’re cheap at $3.99. — DW
This fresh and fruity vape is the perfect summer companion. It goes down sweet and smooth, providing a relaxed and happy buzz, the cannabis equivalent of a peach Bellini. The Sunset Peach 510-thread Vape cart by Verse Originals comes in a 1g size, and overshadows the Tropic Lemon’s 0.3g but you won’t hear me complain about that. This is my favourite vape to date. According to Verse they were inspired by the strains Peaches N’ Cream and Strawberry Banana when creating the Sunset Peach flavour. The key terpenes are listed as Alpha Pinene, D-Limonene, and Linalool. I’m personally not huge on the classic cannabis flavour and you’ll rarely see me with a joint in my hand but sometimes you just don’t want to wait for an edible to hit. That’s where vape carts like this really hit the mark. A word of warning to you, this one is so tasty you might not want to stop before you’ve hit the moon! — JN
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News & Wire | the oz.
View from SpaceX Falcon 9’s second stage Merlin Vacuum engine.
Seth and Canopy go their own ways Houseplant and Canopy Growth are parting ways, saying they’ve “mutually agreed” to end their relationship. “Canada is where it all started – for us as people, and for the brand,” says Hollywood stoner and Houseplant co-founder Seth Rogen. “This is not an exit from the Canadian market, but a chance for us to evolve the brand.” While Houseplant’s drinks have been well liked, the retrobranded flower products have struggled with quality issues. “The recent launch of Houseplant in the United States has given us a clear benchmark for what Houseplant stands for, and how we plan to bring the brand to life globally,” says Michael Mohr, co-founder and CEO of Houseplant.
Weed in space will be ‘worth a fortune’ If a new intergalactic cryptocurrency has its way, an experimental crop of weed will be launched into space on a rocket within a year. Elon Musk’s high-profile SpaceX is part of the plan, which feels like a trip down a science fiction rabbit hole. According to SpaceGrime news releases, the company wants to use its own cryptocurrency to fund space missions. Investors in GRIMEX and ‘Coin X’ will one day be able to spend their coin in space, and will reap dividends. “These space missions for resources, energy, and tourism will be a source of enormous wealth in the future,” says
SpaceGrime. The first launch could happen within a year and it would include a “Closed Ecological Life Support System,” to grow cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms. “Cannabis can be used for its fibers, oils, medicines and other products. Not to mention these products will be worth a fortune to future space travellers as they can’t be easily brought from earth. The growth and automated robotic harvesting and processing of the crops will be monitored by cameras and streamed back to Earth. Other crops may be considered as well.”
We are a locally owned and operated cannabis retail store in our lovely community of Lake Country, BC! Where we go 1, we go all! Our team is knowledgeable and friendly. Come in and say hello to see the spectacular views while finding a wide variety of cannabis products to suit everyone! Our customers come in happy and leave happier! LAKE COUNTRY CANNABIS #625 - 11850 Oceola Road, Lake Country, BC p: 250-766-0033 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Near-death experience leads to food fight for change A near-death experience sent Jeremy Smith on a mission to change Canada’s cannabis laws to allow for cannabis-infused restaurants. Smith was diagnosed last year with Crohn’s Disease and had an adverse reaction to medication, which nearly killed him. The once fit bodybuilder now struggles to climb a flight of stairs after blood clots formed in his lungs, neck, and armpit. “I’m beyond lucky to be here right now,” he tells the oz. in an interview from his home
on London, Ont. Smith, 35, uses CBD to help with inflammation and mobility. He can’t smoke cannabis because of his lungs and he can’t eat sugary edibles because of the Crohn’s. Restaurants that offer cannabis-infused dining are not allowed under the Cannabis Act. Smith, who used to manage a bar, has been contacting politicians and regulators, including Health Canada, over the past year trying to figure out how to affect change so he can open a
restaurant. Smith envisions a business, called ‘Les Munchies,’ that would offer nutritious cannabis-infused dishes to diners, as well as pre-made meals for medicinal purposes. Step one, he’s been told, is to show proof of concept by garnering support for legislative change. He’s started two petitions— one at the provincial level that’s available to sign at more than 100 Ontario cannabis stores, and another at the federal level that’s available to sign on the
House of Commons website. “Someone has to fight for it. It’s a lot, especially for someone who has health issues,” he says. His federal petition aims to amend legislation to permit the cooking, sale and consumption of cannabis-infused consumables at restaurants and cafés, as well as regulate the industry by having chefs attend a cannabis culinary school. The proposed changes would also implement limitations of CBD and THC.
“To my disbelief, no one has been fighting for these changes.” — Jeremy Smith
NEW CANNABIS TRAINING Okanagan College offers a range of cannabis training courses.
New for Fall: CANNABIS: HISTORIES AND MYTHS Sept. 21 - 28 CANNABIS FOR PETS Oct. 25 - Nov. 2 MARKETING CANNABIS IN CANADA Nov. 8 - 15 For information or to register: okanagan.bc.ca/cannabistraining Students must be 19 years of age to register in a cannabis course.
Valens gains American foothold The Valens Company acquired the largest privately held CBD company in the U.S. Kelowna-based Valens closed a deal this summer to buy Green Roads in a cash and share transaction worth about US$40 million, plus up to an additional $20 million if certain milestones are achieved. The deal opens the door for direct entry into the U.S. for the Canadian cannabis company. “With the closing of this acquisition, Valens now has a significant presence in the largest cannabinoid market in the world, representing a monumental step in our international expansion strategy and furthering our vision of becoming a global manufacturer of cannabis
consumer packaged goods,” says Tyler Robson, CEO, co-founder and chairman of Valens. “The combination of Valens and Green Roads makes for an unbeatable team, diversified distribution network, and unparalleled product development and manufacturing platform, which we expect will provide us the footprint to become one of the biggest players in the global cannabis health and wellness market,” he says. Green Roads, based in South Florida, has a distribution network of more than 7,000 retail stores and a robust e-commerce and marketing platform with over 30,000 five-star reviews across all its product lines. theounce.ca
GTEC becomes Avant Brands
Spiritleaf has become the first cannabis retailer in Canada to open 100 stores. The chain opened its first store in October 2018. There are four Spiritleaf stores in the Okanagan—in Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna, and Penticton. All Valley franchises are owned by different area residents.
Merge9/for the oz.
Revisiting their pot-shop philosophy Kelowna city council needs to wax philosophical about cannabis retail stores, according to one city councillor. Coun. Brad Sieben says a “robust philosophical discussion” is needed about how council will approach cannabis retail applicants. He says they haven’t been consistent in their decision making. This summer, a divided council approved two more cannabis stores downtown. Both are on Bernard Avenue. The vote caused a backlash from other cannabis retail owners in the area. Afterwards, council decided it was high time to revisit its views on cannabis stores, directing city staff to present a report. Coun. Gail Given put forward the motion for staff to bring back a report on a “potential moratorium”
on cannabis stores—or potential ways to quash the threat of a flood of non-conforming applications. Some councillors suggested a review of current bylaws may actually have the opposite effect by loosening the rules. Coun. Charlie Hodge pointed out that council makes exceptions all the time for all types of applications. He says the city won’t look “stupid” or “foolish” by reassessing its positions. “I don’t feel any pressure by doing it. I think it’s a healthy exercise to go through. Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he says. Coun. Mohini Singh says legal cannabis was a new concept when the city set its bylaws. “It was the new gold rush. We didn’t know what would come of it.”
The Kelowna company behind popular BLK MKT and Tenzo products is rebranding from GTEC to Avant Brands. It also received approval to list on the TSX—the new trading symbols are “AVNT” and “AVNT.W,” respectively. “Graduating to the TSX highlights our growth and ability to execute,” says Norton Singhavon, founder and CEO of the company. “Since 2017, we have demonstrated our commitment to providing industry-leading, innovative products while never compromising the quality or consistency that we are known for.” The TSX is the largest and most senior exchange in Canada, and the third largest in North America after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq. “We believe that a TSX listing recognizes our strong commitment to corporate governance and provides us with exposure to a broad new investor base that will enhance the liquidity of our common shares and warrants.” Its headquarters is in Kelowna, and it has operations elsewhere in B.C., as well as in Alberta and Ontario.
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Fun & Games | the oz. Dad jokes
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Set your password to 2444666668888888, that way, you can say it’s 12345678. Why should you never brush your teeth with your left hand? A toothbrush works better. Interviewer: Why should we hire you as a waiter? Me : For starters, I bring a lot to the table. What’s the difference between Iron Man and Aluminum Man? Iron Man stops the bad guys, Aluminum Man foils their plans. Someone asked me to name two structures that hold water. I was like, well, damn. Yesterday I spotted an albino dalmatian. It was the least I could do for him.
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MTL SAGE N’ SOUR
enn Larry has never been shy about her cannabis use. Since her first puff as a young teenager, she knew weed was something special. Decades later, Larry is the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Montreal-based MTL Cannabis.
“It’s important now that we’re normalizing, we’re reducing the stigma, and we’re affording people an opportunity to lean in to what legalized cannabis is supposed to mean: to not be afraid to say, ‘I love smoking weed, and lots of it,’” she tells the oz.
So far, MTL has built its reputation on a single strain. More than 500,000 jars of Sage N’ Sour have been sold throughout Canada. The high-THC, Sativa-dominant Sage N’ Sour is unique in its high CBG percentage.
Brothers Richard and Michel Clement are the co-founders of MTL Cannabis.
“We are amazed that we get to be on so many shelves,” says Larry. Ironically, MTL is not available in Quebec (just yet), but Larry says the hand-trimmed flower represents Montreal’s rich cannabis history. “We have so much of our own nomenclature, we have so many of our own genetics, so many of our own stories; and while we may not be as advanced as maybe the B.C. market is in some of the outdoor grows, we certainly have a craftsmanship that exists in Montreal,” she says. “We grow in small rooms, it’s our homage to our own backyard.” Larry has used her experience in the music industry, as well as regulated spaces like tobacco and gambling, to guide her in cannabis. She even compares budtenders to record store clerks. “The budtenders are becoming almost like that person at the record shop, who just knew so much.”
“You’d go in for an afternoon and chat with them just because you had this shared passion for something that spoke to you both on totally different levels but was still a connective piece,” she says. “Being with MTL Cannabis and having our chance to put out our ‘song,’ which is Sage N’ Sour, it’s been really cool to see how many people are connecting with that.” MTL is continually looking to how they can “own more of the process,” says Larry. They recently made the move to packaging in-house. That’s led to significant job creation. When Larry started at MTL earlier this year, there were 40 employees. That has quickly grown to about 100 people. “When you function as a cultivation company, then you really mature into a manufacturing company, it really shows you how many more people you need to get the job done,” she says.
Q&A We spoke with Chief Commercial Officer at MTL Cannabis Jenn Larry the oz. — It’s called ‘M-T-L,’ but you go into a shop here and people call it ‘Montreal.’ Is there a meaning to the name? Jenn — We’ve actually had a couple of people come to us to see if it’s an initial or an acronym. There’s a U.S.-based company called Mad Terp Labs… But MTL, there are a couple of different things we use internally of what it could stand for, but right now it sits in the shadows. And for what it’s worth, it represents us as a group and we let it do its part to represent the city. We’ve heard a couple of different ones, and we’ve thought we should run a survey or a contest with our fans to ask them what they want it to stand for. As long as they’re loving the weed, they can call it whatever they want. the oz. — Can you tell me a little bit more about the founders? Jenn — They’re brothers and they’ve both been entrepreneurs for 25-30 years. One owned a pizza restaurant the other owned a restaurant. They have owned a hydroponics store, which is where they first got familiar with the concept of growing plants. When the system allowed for MMAR and MMPR, they moved into the medical space. What’s been fascinating about them is they have a passion for gardening, they have a passion for cannabis. Because they were on the hydroponics side, they had a real passion for systems. They inevitably developed their own system which they were able to bring online through those preliminary medical days. Now they’ve transitioned their hard work into this official standard LP. They’re an amazing duo. They’re completely different. They have each other’s backs all the time. There’s so much love that goes on between them, and they argue just enough so that they always make the right choices in the end. 14
They have a sense of what matters. They come in on the weekends. They walk through the plants. They don’t have other people doing the job. They are actively involved. It’s cool to have founders that don’t just get weed, but make sure the weed that they put out the door is of a factor that they would like. They’re shy and humble. To quote something we put out on social media, ‘They are far more interested in grow lights than they are in spotlights.’ It is so refreshing to work with people like that. the oz. — MTL has only put out Sage N’ Sour; are you working on another strain? Jenn — It is the question on everybody’s mind. We have been working on growing a couple of different cultivars, which are not yet set to launch in the market. And it’s not for not wanting to provide it to the market, it’s because we have made the decision to really stand behind our signature strain. From a commercial perspective, we didn’t want to just drop Sage N’ Sour in the market. We wanted to commit to the idea of being consistent, being in stock, available, and actually trying to do something national. So right now our next drop is we’re going to offer a half-z. That will come through the country over the next couple of months… letting our fans get the bulk they deserve. And then we have some interesting different genetics that are compliments in the idea of what if somebody wants three different experiences, could they come to MTL Cannabis’ portfolio and feel like we’ve got their back? I can’t say more than that right now because some of the secret is what’s growing in the room, but we’re testing different genetics. Sage N’ Sour has been something that the founder has been able to work on for so long and that’s allowed us to get to where we are today. We’re now testing about a dozen different genetics to understand their yield potential, their flavour and their look, and then eventually, hopefully, their smoke. You can only do so much with a Health Canada licence. the oz. — Sage N’ Sour’s not for sale in Quebec, right? Jenn — Correct. the oz. — Why is that? Jenn — I think when we first hit the market there was an opportunity to bring
the best of Montreal to the rest of Canada. For a really long time Quebec had been, I wouldn’t say left behind, but we didn’t have as many licences in the province. We really didn’t see as many Quebec companies heavily involved in the national conversation. When there was an opportunity to officially come out knowing that our backyard is here, knowing that the SQDC is only getting bigger, and knowing that they would receive us because we are family, I think it was a good choice for us to prove to ourselves that we can take the best of MTL and put it on shelves across the country so that we could come back to our backyard and thank them for giving us an opportunity to represent them. But I won’t lie, we get asked all the time, ‘when are you finally coming to the self,’ and it will be this year. I would love nothing more than the 75 people who work here today to actually be able to walk into a store and understand how actually it works to get us there because they haven’t had that opportunity yet to buy the weed. the oz. — It’s so regulated so you’ve got to get it through those official channels. Jenn — You really do. the oz. — You need pen pals in other provinces. Jenn — And you know we have some! Thank goodness we can continue to do market research. I will say this though, to have an opportunity to be strategic in a nascent industry where pivoting and moving so fast tend to be more the way of working, it is exciting for us that we built a strategy and we’re seeing it come to fruition and we wouldn’t have done anything different. We are so grateful that our province continues to wait for us to be on the shelves because we certainly didn’t do it to leave them out. We really did it because we do believe that Quebec has some serious cultivators, producers, product manufacturers, and really want to show that the best of MTL could be part of Canada. the oz. — You have a background in music, and in different vice industries, like gambling and tobacco. What strategies have you learned in those different kind of industries; and what have you found works or doesn’t work in the cannabis industry?
“I never grew up drinking, so I’ve always had a connection to cannabis as a product in my life. I’ve never had any shame about it, and I never felt like I was doing anything wrong.” — Jenn Larry
Jenn — If I qualify music as a vice, it was the pleasure. The biggest lesson I learned in music… I entered it right when Napster kind of started to take over, so there was a business-as-usual model which was all about tangible goods, royalties. Everybody working in the business only understood it as it was. Being young and somewhat naive, but also hopeful that music had value regardless of whether it was a tangible good or not, I really learned how prepared you need to be for innovation and disruption; and how distribution and storage was the backbone of every industry. I had that in the back of my mind, then when I moved into other categories where say the product was far more regulated, I wasn’t intimidated by the idea that we have to pivot; I wasn’t intimidated that we have to change.
So it was easy for me when I started to work with our tobacco clients or oil and gas clients because the strategy was about having compliant communication, addressing solutions, and really building a more sustainable business for the future within the regulations. Honestly, I think that’s why I think I got so excited outside of my full passion for cannabis and my personal use of it. I had amassed and honed so many skills, had such great peers and mentors, and been thrown in the fire in so many categories that had everything going for them as far as consumer demand but were always against the regulatory framework. You really could never operate in just an easy way. the oz. — You mentioned your personal use. You’re comfortable with being called “the poster child for smoking great cannabis”?
Jenn — When I was 15, like probably many teens at the time, I was walking down the street, I got passed a joint and in that moment it was evident to me that this felt right. I never grew up drinking, so I’ve always had a connection to cannabis as a product in my life. I’ve never had any shame about it, and I never felt like I was doing anything wrong. So fast track almost 30 years, I really felt comfortable in choosing a lifestyle that included cannabis. I’m proud of that. I’m proud to be functional, hardworking, contributing to society, hopefully helping to build great brands, all while smoking. It’s important now that we’re normalizing, that we’re reducing the stigma and we’re affording people an opportunity to lean in to what legalized cannabis is supposed to mean — to not be afraid to say “I love smoking weed and lots of it.” theounce.ca
Cannabis 101 | the oz.
Dry-herb vaping is a tactile way to experience everything that premium cannabis flower has to offer Dry-herb vaping is a great way to get the tactile experience of handling and inhaling cannabis flower without using combustion. Here’s a primer on this wonderful way of partaking. For the uninitiated, dry-herb vaping uses flower, which makes it a fantastic substitute to joints because you still get the tactile experience of using fresh bud. The only other thing you need is a dry-herb vapourizer; they range in price depending on make and features. We enjoy The Mighty from Storz and Bickel because it has easy to use temperature controls and makes fantastic vapour clouds. Think of it like a little oven. You fill the chamber with a nice pinch of herb and turn it on to heat it up.
You can control the temperature either with on-screen controls or through a browser that enables Bluetooth connections. (App stores have banned vape apps, but that’s a whole other topic.) Vaping this way allows you to raise the temperature by degrees, thereby vapourizing the bud’s cannabinoids and terpenes—a.k.a. the good stuff. Starting at 175F gives light, tasty hits, then slowly raising it to 200F creates a hotter, heavier smoking sensation. Not only do you avoid combustion with dry-herb vaping, but also get more of the unique flavours; it’s especially fun when you have a notably flavourful cultivar. Look for strains that have names that appeal to your taste buds—such as Sage N’ Sour or Blueberry Seagal.
Our go-to dry-herb vape is the Mighty, a German-engineered beauty sold through Storz & Bickel. The Mighty has temperature controls built into the unit, which is very handy since vape-related apps are banned by Apple and Google.
Common terpenes in cannabis There are more than 150 different terpenes identified in cannabis with their own unique properties
Canadian Treasures By Simon Gerard
From handmade to high-tech, we rounded up some of our favourite cannabis accessories from Canadian brands.
The Tok Case Rolex of joint cases >>
A friend recently introduced me to the Tok Case, a made-in-B.C. joint case that I happily own. After tinkering for a couple of years with the concept, the creator, Jeff Herr, is finally rolling out production. Machined out of solid, lightweight aluminum, it’s a gift built to last, with room for three joints and a BIC lighter. My favourite feature that isn’t advertised is the satisfying clicks from constantly sliding the lid back and forth while procrastinating. It comes in several anodized colours. Instagram @thetokcase
Hamburger Grinder >> Novel fun Another Room is a fun brand from B.C. that has the perfect grinder for all the backyard BBQs you’re planning. It’s a three-piece ‘hamburger’ grinder with the bottom bun for catching kief… cheese is extra. Instagram @findanotherroom
>> Ally Stylish storage Launched earlier this year in Toronto by two moms, the Ally is an attractive, weed-friendly, multi-purpose storage container. Inside, it has a large compartment and a removable tray above. The tray can be used to store small items or for rolling. The combination lock keeps out kids and anyone else you don’t want to sample your stash. It’s fridge and freezer safe, locks in scents and freshness, and it’s phthalate and PVC free. This means you can stash away both flower and edibles with peace of mind. Instagram @the.allyco
GCC Cob Pipe Naturally Canadian While you can easily find cob pipes for sale, they’re often made with inferior materials and can include plastic and metal. This cob pipe is born and raised in Canada with a corn bowl and birch wood stem. While technically biodegradable, it will last years with regular cleaning. And the more time you spend together, the sweeter it gets, thanks to the slow release of corn resin. You can find it at Canadian online retailer The Green Cannabis Co. (GCC), which is a great shop for classy, eco-friendly session-ware. Instagram @thegccshop
Hemson Goods They craft with class Ontario-based Hemson Goods oozes mid-century Mad Men vibes. Think what Don Draper would be packing in his briefcase after the vague hippy-themed series finale (spoiler alert?). My No. 1 recommendation is the heirloom-grade Hemson Grinder, crafted from hand-turned American walnut with a solid anodized aluminum core. Their top grain leather/cotton canvas dopp kit holds up to any luxury designer brand. It includes an odour-absorbing liner and lockable zipper, making it perfect to carry his straight razor and stash on his next cottage getaway. Make sure to check all their high-end pieces in their shop. Instagram @hemsongoods
TOQi is a cutting-edge 510-cartridge vaporizer based out of Toronto. It features wireless and fast USB-C charging, which also makes it compatible with wireless phone chargers and vice-versa. It lights up in three different colours for each temp level. And thanks to a new wax cartridge attachment, it doubles as an ultra-light, portable wax pen. Instagram @mytoqi
>> TOQi Wireless 510 and wax vape
Papes French papers
Ok, so Papes aren’t French Canadian in the traditional sense. They’re a Canadian brand that sources their organic paper from France. They tragically point out that there are no Canadian rolling paper mills. They offer cones and traditional papers made from either hemp or rice, with regular and king-size options. A nice sustainable touch is their cone packaging is compostable, unlike many that come with wasteful plastic packing sticks. Instagram @papescanada
If you follow the Canadian cannabis industry, you most likely recognize this bong from BRNT Designs. Made in Alberta, it’s been showcased internationally in Forbes and most recently in Rolling Stone’s Best Bongs for 2021. Besides its handsome appearance, the ceramic body also makes it freezer-safe, allowing for frosty hits on a sunny summer morning. Instagram @brntdesigns
The Hexagon Canadian-made icon
Studio A-Ok The perfect poker
Do you roll joints and end up packing it with something random that awkwardly fits the end of it? After using this tamper for a couple of years now, I say it’s 100% worth the small investment for consistent joint packing. You can pick it up from Studio A-Ok online or at their store in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Instagram @_studioaok theounce.ca
Laundry Day Aesthetic accoutrements
Founded in Victoria, B.C., by Victoria Ashley, Laundry Day’s unique look has caught the eye of Forbes, Vogue, High Times, and more top publications. The collection is mainly comprised of coloured glass pipes with a vintage vibe that easily doubles as home decor pieces. The pipes are hand-blown, giving each piece a slightly different character. Instagram @laundryday.co
>> VAPIUM Lite Pocket-friendly vape I’ve had this discreet, dry-herb vaporizer for a couple of years and I’m still a fan. Toronto-based VAPIUM launched with the Summit+, which got plenty of recognition for its quality and rugged design aimed at outdoor use. They followed up with the Lite, which has several key features I really value. The eight-level temp control uses plus/minus buttons, no annoying multiple clicks. It has haptic feedback with three different vibrations, letting you know specifically when it’s turned on, turned off, and at the set temp. This allows you to know its status while it’s in your hand without having to look at it, perfect for keeping it on the DL when out and about, if you have a vision impairment, or are hiding in a closet. It also has a medical-grade ceramic bowl, built-in stir stick/poker, and USB-C charging. Instagram @vapiuminc
>> The Lake & Bake Waterproof rolling kit Coming in hot for summer is the Lake & Bake, a new rolling kit from B.C.-based Dreamboats(which also makes amazing leisurefocused flotation devices you need to check out). The rolling kit comes with a stash box, grinder, rolling tray, and room for a BIC lighter. It’s waterproof and floats, making it perfect for someone who likes to enjoy weed and water. Instagram @dreamboatsmfg 24
>> Concrete Cat Artsy ashtrays If you appreciate a solid piece of psychedelic art to ash your joints, then check out Montreal-based Concrete Cat. All handmade and one-of-a-kind, these concrete ashtrays are built to last and beautiful. They also offer a selection of unique housewares, including the trippiest, heaviest lazy susan you’ll find this side of the multiverse. Instagram @concretecat
Jeff and Sheri Aubin founded Smoker Farms in Beaverdell, BC.
Rooted in legacy By David Wylie
eff and Sheri Aubin are the passionate couple behind the mom-and-pop legal cannabis grower Smoker Farms. In fact, you may have smoked a little something, something grown by Jeff before cannabis became legal. He’s been at it for 25 years and has brought his legacy experience to the legal market. “Cannabis is my life,” he says.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is grow weed.” Located in Beaverdell, B.C., Smoker Farms is a micro-cannabis producer able to grow about 500 pounds a year. The operation is tucked into in the West Kootenay woods on a lot where the Aubins plan to build a home. They sold their place in Kelowna and uprooted their life in November 2020 to follow their cannabis dream. “I was in the black market, hiding behind a medical licence like everybody,”
Smoker Farms produces high-THC Master Kush Ultra
says Jeff. “Obviously I was hoping one day it would lead to this, but never thought it would ever happen in our lives. When the legalization of cannabis came around we had to make quick decisions on what are we going to do because I was done with the black market; it’s a saturated market. I was sick of being afraid that everything I’d worked for so long would be taken away from us by illegalities.” Smoker Farms’ first small-batch release was The Ultimate, which smells
and smokes like the good stuff from back in the day. The Indica-dominant hybrid has 21.8% THC and 2.89% terpenes, mainly caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene. It’s packaged and distributed through Joint Venture Craft Cannabis. When we visited this summer, their first batch of highly anticipated Master Kush Ultra was just harvested and hanging to dry, and a second batch was already flowering. Smoker Farms’ Master Kush Ultra, which is about to hit the cannabis market, is over 26% THC. Jeff says the strain is the couple’s alltime favourite and what he’s growing is truly unique to the legal market. “Nobody has this Master Kush Ultra strain that I have,” says Jeff, adding they’re seeds from 15 years ago that he’s spent years perfecting. “It’s such a unique Master Kush Ultra strain. It’s got such an addictive flavour. It hits like a hammer too.” The Aubins got their micro-cultivation licence on June 26, 2020, after successfully fulfilling Health Canada’s arduous application process. They did a lot of the work themselves, but had guidance from Michael Ciardullo at dicentra Cannabis Consulting out of Toronto. “My blood sweat and tears are in every nail and every screw in this place,” says Jeff. They’ve kept the facility relatively simple and had friends come help with the construction to keep costs down. Walls in the corridor are exposed plywood—a much different look than many of the larger scale producers. Inside the grow rooms, however, Smoker Farms has tapped into modern cannabis-growing techniques. Instead of soil, they use much cleaner rock-wool blocks. They also employ a Dosatron system that allows Jeff to feed the plants exact amounts of food at specific times. He can control much of the operation from his cellphone. They received help with their setup and techniques from master grower Daniel Saez, who helped them with genetics and guidance on growing “It entered a whole new world for us of growing with science,” says Jeff. “We can grow like the big boys.”
“Nobody has this Master Kush Ultra strain that I have. It’s got such an addictive flavour. It hits like a hammer, too.” — Jeff Aubin, CEO, Smoker Farms
Just over three weeks passed between the two photos of this crop of Master Kush Ultra growing at Smoker Farms in Beaverdell, B.C.
A Master Kush Ultra flower is looking sticky with trichomes. It’s tested at over 26% THC.
As part of their process, they remove almost all the leaves and lower portions of the plants, so that only the top colas remain. “Our concept here is that we want just to grow the flowers and we want all upper canopy flowers,” says Jeff. “Everything in testing always tests higher at the top of the plant.” Their passion is evident in the care they take with the plants, from playing rock music in the grow rooms to ensuring the preservation of the trichomes as much as possible. “Trichomes are everything,” he says. “We spend countless hours in our room sitting and manicuring, making sure all the leaves are off, making sure there are no stems there. We touch every bit of cannabis,” says Jeff. “Only with gloves though,” adds Sheri with a laugh. The couple met 27 years ago at Splash’s Nite Club, a Kelowna bar. They’ve been inseparable since—even through the immense challenges of building a cannabis facility and getting licensed.
“Most of our friends think we’re out of our mind a little bit for doing this,” says Jeff. “Obviously this is a huge test for anyone. I know any business will test your strength and your bond with each other. This one it seems extra; it just seems around every corner there’s something new to deal with.” “There’s been a lot of tears,” adds Sheri. “It’s not an easy journey. We were due for a complete life change.” Jeff says there are big things yet to come from Smoker Farms. “I have some of the best seeds on the planet in my vault. I’ve got some 30% seeds, I’ve got some crazy seeds, man. Just holding back a little bit. Don’t want to release them all just yet,” says Jeff. “I always wanted to produce some of the best cannabis on the planet. That’s what I strive for every day—to produce a flower that when somebody opens that little tin, they look at it and go, ‘Holy! It’s a work of art and I don’t even want to smoke it it’s so beautiful.’”
Locations in: • Lumby • Armstrong • Oliver • Trail • Castelgar
Food & Drink | the oz.
A drink and a snack? All Hail Caesar!
A bold, flavourful Ceasar is an excellent choice for incorporating cannabis into a drink. This rendition of the classic cocktail may be a little more work, but it has the added benefit of coming with its own appetizer. Here’s how to make it: Rim it — Coarse salt, celery salt, cracked pepper, garlic and onion powder, and paprika all work. The base — A top-notch craft Caesar mix makes a big difference. Who wants to keep a half-full jug of Clamato juice sitting around anyway? Classic splashes — Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a little Tabasco for oomph. Some sour — Lime goes great, but a lemon will do in a pinch. Try to find ones in the store that really glow with colour. Cut into a generous wedge. Pickle juice is a great secret ingredient. Eh Tu, Cannabis — We prefer using flavourless water-soluble cannabis drops, like Verse. Still, bitter ones can compliment flavours. Now top it with some munchies! Novelty — Grilled cheese is iconic; sliders are cute; bacon wrapped scallop is haute cuisine. The only limit is imagination. Keep it small — Nobody wants a full-size hamburger soaking in their drink. Choose presentation over size. Advanced — If you’re really looking to show off for a dinner party, make an infused savoury treat to pair with it.
Last Hit | the oz.
Farm-gate cannabis may be a way to even the field for micro-cultivators By David Brown Consumers may be able to start buying cannabis directly from farmers sometime next year. British Columbia has been asking cannabis growers and processors their thoughts on farm-gate, direct sales, and consumption areas as part of a recent round of stakeholder engagement. The province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) began reaching out to micro and standard cultivators, processors and nurseries in June to discuss the province’s plans for changes to the provincial distribution and retail regulations. The proposed changes, which were originally announced last September, and are expected to be launched in 2022, would potentially allow some cultivators to sell their own products at their production site (a so-called farm-gate Production Retail Store licence). This would also exclude stand-alone processors from being able to take part in this sales model. Federal regulations have several different types of cannabis production licences: • Micro and standard cultivators (micro are limited to 200m2 of canopy space and have lower regulator and security requirements, while standards have no canopy limit but are more strictly regulated.) • Micro and standard processors (micro-processors can only process 600 kg of cannabis a year), and cannabis nurseries. • A cultivation licence allows a company to grow, but not to process or package cannabis for consumer sale, which must be done with a processing licence. • Companies can hold a cultivation and processing licence, or can choose only to grow or process. While the federal government licenses producers, the provinces manage their own 30
distribution and sales programs. B.C. is also looking at a direct sales model for small cannabis growers to sell their products straight to retailers, and is gauging interest in on-site consumption for farm-gate stores. One proposal being floated is limiting such activities to cannabis processors that only process 3,000 kg a year or less. While the province has not provided specifics of what these programs might look like, the BC LCRB is asking cannabis licence holders as well as stakeholders, such as local and Indigenous governments, for their thoughts. Questions being asked of licence holders so far deal with: • Whether or not cultivators should be allowed to only sell their own products, or also the products of other producers; • Whether such farm-gate sales should be limited to micros, and whether on-site consumption areas would be part of a farm-gate model, and; • If cultivators with more than one
licence should be limited to only one PRS licence. This doesn’t mean you’ll be buying weed from the farm any time soon, though. The province tells stakeholders they expect to have more details by late fall, with no plans to implement the program until sometime in 2022. There have also been indications from the province that they are working with a few First Nations-owned retailers and cultivators as a first round of these types of farm-gate stores prior to a wider launch in late 2022, although details on this are still unfolding as well. Growers and processors in B.C. have been asking for a farm-gate and direct sales model for several years now, and many small-scale growers, especially micro-cultivators, hope these changes will be an opportunity for them to own more of the supply chain, and therefore, more of the profits. Currently growers can bring in around $2-3 for a high-quality small batch product, a number some say is not sustainable. By being able to sell their own product, the hope is those numbers can come in closer to the consumer price of around $8-12 a gram. How stakeholders respond to these proposals is still unknown, but any farm-gate or direct sales model that excludes too many licence categories from participating will likely fall flat. The intent may be to try to preserve the system for “small” growers, but if you make something too “small” no one will be able to participate. David Brown has been working in and writing about the cannabis industry in Canada since 2012. He was formerly the Editor in Chief and Communications Director for Lift Cannabis and Lift News, a Senior Policy Advisor for Health Canada’s cannabis legalization branch, and is founder of StratCann Services Inc.
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We’re excited for you to read the latest edition of the oz. magazine — Issue 4. We feature the increasingly popular—and fast-growing—MTL Ca...
Published on Aug 26, 2021
We’re excited for you to read the latest edition of the oz. magazine — Issue 4. We feature the increasingly popular—and fast-growing—MTL Ca...