TOKEWELL | STACK PAPER, CATCH VAPORS
19 SEP/OCT 201 7
WE GO ALL IN WITH PRO POKER PLAYER AND OWNER OF ONE OF THE VAPE GAMES MOST SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES - ROB CROSSLEY
THE PERFECT PAIRING WE SESSION WITH THE OWNER OF BODEGA DE EDGAR AND DISCUSS THE COMMONALITY BETWEEN CULTIVATING WEED AND WINE.
WE RAP WITH DECATUR'S OWN AND TALK ABOUT HOW A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE PUSHED HIM TO HUSTLE HARDER AND HIS FEELINGS ON SWITCHIN' SIDES. ISSUE 19 | SEP/OCT 2017
$4.20 U.S. $5.20 CAN.
DIRTY TO ME
WE JAM WITH THE LEGENDARY DIRTY HEADS AND TALK MUSIC AND MARIJUANA.
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22 Cosmic fog
We go all in with pro poker player and owner of one of the vape games most successful companies - Rob Crossley
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We jam with the legendary Dirty Heads and talk music and marijuana.
50 THE PERFECT PAIRING
We session with the owner of Bodega de Edgar and discuss the commonality between cultivating weed and wine.
CWCBExpo is one of the largest and most successful cannabis trade shows out there today, bringing together professionals from all walks of life both in and out of the cannabis community and connecting them and their shared interests within the legalized cannabis industry.
80 RUNWAY RICHY
We rap with Decatur's own and talk about how a near death experience pushed him to hustle harder and his feelings on Switchin' Sides.
TO BE GREAT
PUBLISHED BY FR3SHLAB CREATIVE GROUP, LLC PRESIDENT, FOUNDING PARTNER RICHARD COYLE RICH@TOKEWELL.COM CO-FOUNDER SENIOR V.P., OPERATIONS CINDY GALINDO CINDY@TOKEWELL.COM
ith our country facing such polar oppositions, it's truly amazing how adversity can really bring out people's character. From the travesty at Charlottesville to the world conceivably being on the brink of WW3, we always seem to absolutely endure when faced with adversity. In many ways, we have taken a centuries step back and at the same time, we are also trending in the right direction, which appears to be a maddening juxtaposition.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF RICHARD COYLE EDITOR LEILANI ANDERSON
I've always stressed the importance of silver linings, and this holds true. For instance, our current administration has delayed enforcement of a rule finalized last year that imposed strict oversight over electronic cigarettes for the first time which would have essentially extinguished the entire vape industry in one fell swoop. This PMTA extension was the saving grace for the entire vaping industry as we know it. That being said, my message to all the people in the game is to get your shit together and get things done the right way. It's not the time to be complacent. There are no more excuses. This is the moment where we will see who the real players are, and those who truly care about the health of both our industries. Let's strive to educate people on the effectiveness and healing properties of cannabis versus exploiting it. Let's get our friends and loved ones off combustible tobacco and start vaping. Health, freedom, and happiness are not a given. You have to work for it. #TogetherWeRise
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE YVONNE MORTON YVONNE@TOKEWELL.COM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MAXIMILLIAN STERLING, PATRICK CALHOUN, SHEERLIE RYNGLER, RYAN THOMAS, SUPER JAYMZE AND RICK HUNTER. LEAD PHOTOGRAPHERS LEAH MORIYAMA | TAADOW69K
DESIGN HONEST KITTY STUDIO "NO-NONSENSE DESIGN"
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS ANDREAS RAMIREZ, STEVEN TAYLOR, SUPER JAYMZE AND DIEGO OLIVERES CREATIVE AGENCY VIRL CREATIVE | SOLID GOLD CREATIVE Tokewell Magazine is published bi-monthly by Fr3shlab Creative Group, LLC. Tokewell Magazine does not condone the illegal use or obtainment of cannabis. All content within this magazine is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in part or in whole without explicit written consent from the publisher. Tokewell Magazine is strictly for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be held liable for any misleading orinaccurate material produced herein. ©2017 FR3SHLAB CREATIVE GROUP LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”--Abraham Lincoln
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FDA DELAYS: MOVING BEYOND CELEBRATION
WORDS BY: SHEERLIE RYNGLER | CREATIVE DIRECTOR, VAPE ORGANICS
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he FDA’s recent decision to delay implementation of the premarket tobacco application (PMTA) by four years is a huge and welcome reprieve for the vape industry. With new FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb emphasizing a continuum of risk in nicotine delivery, working to destigmatize nicotine by recognizing its inherent part in a comprehensive solution, and taking steps to level the regulatory playing field between traditional tobacco products and innovative nicotine delivery systems, it feels like the voice of reason finally has a platform and that a constructive approach to vapor products is underway. However, now is not the time to become complacent; now, several weeks after the announcement granting our industry a lifeline, it’s time for all of us to renew our commitment to active participation and advocacy. You can expect the tobacco control movement to ramp up its efforts and the backlash from its political allies to intensify. Immediately after Dr. Gottlieb’s announcement, a significant contingent of thirteen Democratic senators responded with a letter of
complaint, repeatedly mentioning the “kid-appealing flavors” that are “actively marketed to children;” this comes in spite of the acknowledgement that Dr. Gottlieb offered the opposition in his very announcement, committing to reevaluating ways to keep vapor products away from children, “especially for those products marketed with obviously kid-appealing flavors,” he said. The FDA’s increasing attention on flavors, the prior surprising addition to the Cole-Bishop amendment requiring the FDA to set product standards governing “characterizing flavors,” and San Francisco’s decision to ban the sale of flavored e-liquids earlier this summer, all indicate that this is one of the new fronts being waged in the war on vaping, with potentially catastrophic implications for our industry. Furthermore, attacks on the local level are intensifying with the recent passage of anti-vaping laws in New York City and more localities expected to follow suit on flavor ban legislation. So how can you be of service at this critical juncture? Firstly, every vape company should support SFATA, the
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trade association representing our industry at the political level, ideally through membership. With its new tiered membership programs, your company can pay as little as 68 cents per day for membership, with more premium membership opportunities for those who can afford them; invaluable members-only benefits increase with your membership level and SFATA’s overall work is undeniably invaluable to our industry, especially over the past year with ramped-up efforts led by SFATA’s new executive director, Pamela Gorman, and SFATA’s federal lobbyist, Mike Hogan. Secondly, every vape company should renew its commitment to responsible business practices, especially with regards to trademark infringement, hardware clones that may not be technologically sound, and marketing that could be interpreted as targeting children. Unfortunately, we may see many companies continue irresponsibly over the next few years, trying to profit as much as possible before exiting the industry; these businesses are not truly invested in the industry’s long-term survival and will therefore
exhibit little incentive to comply or model responsible business practices. However, consumers have a lot of power to make a difference by exclusively supporting responsible, committed companies through their purchases. Furthermore, consumers can join CASAA free of charge and stay up to date on various calls to action to protect access to the products they depend upon. Of course, keep sharing your stories about why vaping is important to you, thereby helping to change the narrative around vapor technology. While the FDA’s delayed implementation of some of the most damaging aspects of the deeming rule is incredibly positive, everyone has a role to play in working toward positive, meaningful revisions to the regulations. It’s all hands on deck and we will all benefit from working together.
CANNABIS AND ART WORDS BY: PATRICK CALHOUN, FOUNDER & CEO | THE ORIGINAL GROW DADDY
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annabis use dates back thousands of years, not just for medicinal and practical uses but to improve creativity too. Some of the most creative and artistic geniuses of our time, and throughout history, have used Cannabis and felt it has helped enhance their natural talents and put them to use. Throughout both Egypt when the pyramids were built and China when their magnificent temples were built, Cannabis was widely used. If you look throughout history at any country or location that was known for using Cannabis you can actually see the links between Cannabis and creativity. Some musicians and other talented artists have used Cannabis to aid their creativity and profited from the benefits of it too. It became popular in the 1950’s with Jazz musicians who found it boosted their creativity, it was also used by the Beatles, Art Garfunkel, Walter Benjamin, Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys and of course the spectacular Bob Marley just to name a few. Bob Marley stated
‘When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself’ and isn’t that what any artist needs to release their full creativity? Countless musicians, artists, and writers have used it throughout time to perform, to compose, to write, and to gain deeper insight into something, or to alter their perception of something. Cannabis can cause sensations to feel intensified whether it’s making love or eating a fruit, it can give you the feeling that something you have seen thousands of times is new to you, causing you to be curious and take in details that you have been unable to before, allowing you to look at it with fresh eyes, to appreciate taste, smells, and feelings more. It can also help your mind focus on something specific, letting nothing else that comes your way distract you. Furthermore, a lot of writers have been able to give fascinating detail in descriptions of memories as far back as childhood with the use of Cannabis. It also helps you recognize patterns, whether, in
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your behavior, work, in nature or others around you, it can even help you recognize unhealthy patterns that are restricting your creativity as well as helping you reconnect with yourself. A big believer of how Cannabis and creativity are linked was the world famous astronomer and scientist Carl Sagan, who wrote the Mr. X essay that was published in 1971 by Harvard Professor Lester Grinspoon in his book Cannabis Reconsidered. In the essay, he says ‘The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I'm down.’ This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse." He also says similar things about the effects Cannabis had on him when he listened to music, ate and made love. Throughout all of history Cannabis has and still is being used to
enhance creativity and is more than likely responsible, at least partially, for some of the greatest music, books, artistic masterpieces, and performers the world has ever known.
A CALL TO ARMS
WORDS BY: RYAN THOMAS | OWNER, LOST ART LIQUIDS
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t the end of last month, much fanfare was made of FDA’s new “roadmap” for nicotine and addiction. The most prominent aspect of this new roadmap is FDA’s intention to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes to non-addictive levels. For the uninformed, this may sound like an obvious solution to addressing smokers’ initial addiction and subsequent inability to quit. Unfortunately, despite statements of the FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, to the contrary, there is a significant body of scientific research that indicates smokers will simply smoke more…not less…to get their “nicotine fix”. As do most in our industry, I wholeheartedly agree that smokers are slaves to the cigarette industry, and public health officials need to do something to help them. I question, however, whether FDA’s roadmap is designed to help smokers or simply undermine the vape industry…an industry that is made up of many small businesses, like us here at Lost Art Liquids.
If FDA wanted to help smokers, a logical person might conclude that it would support consumption of less “risky” products. Although FDA acknowledges a “continuum of risk”, it has rejected the notion that the consumption of recreational, rather than medicinal, nicotine is acceptable. It has even rejected requests to eliminate mandatory warnings that have been proven to be scientifically wrong. (Take a look at Swedish Match’s MRTP application for snus!) Although FDA’s declared focus is a reduction of nicotine in cigarettes, I think it is likely that FDA will attempt to impose a corresponding reduction on all regulated products, such as e-liquid. Otherwise, people would simply shift to other products or use them to supplement the nicotine they get from cigarettes. If there was a shift to “less risky” products, rational people would say this is a positive result. Unfortunately, FDA appears to be at war with all recreational consumption of nicotine and is unwilling to inform –or allow the industry to inform -- nicotine consumers of the
relative risk of cigarettes versus less harmful products. In its recent announcement, FDA promotes its desire to support innovation. This is presumably the basis for its four-year extension of the deadline to file “Premarket Tobacco Product Applications” (PMTAs), now August 8, 2022. Again, to the uninformed, this may sound logical. In reality, it’s nonsensical. The extended deadline only applies to products that were on the market on or before August 8, 2016! Under the current version of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, we can’t sell anything that wasn’t on the market before August 8, 2016, without prior FDA approval of a PMTA. That means we are locked into old products. We couldn’t innovate if we wanted to! FDA is also at war with flavored products. It seems FDA is convinced that the only reason we sell flavored products is to attract children. In its “nicotine roadmap” announcement last month, FDA indicated that it is going to
seek public comment on the role flavors play in “attracting youth” and helping smokers switch to potentially less harmful forms of nicotine delivery. At least they gave a nod to the beneficial role flavors play, but I’m a skeptic. FDA wants to ban flavors. Is there even a possibility of “reasonable” regulation? (I have a proposal, but it’s too much for this article. Another day.) If you haven’t read it yet, take a look at Dr. Gottlieb’s recent statements regarding FDA’s “roadmap”, wherein he equates the opioid crisis to nicotine use: “I’ve pledged a deep commitment to taking aggressive steps to address the epidemic of addiction to opioids. I view our opportunity to confront the addiction to nicotine with the same obligation. I’ll pursue efforts to reduce addiction to nicotine with the same vigor.” It is clear we have a target on our backs, and we need to be prepared to do battle. We cannot survive with guerrilla tactics. We need to be taken seriously. That means
It is clear we have a target on our backs, and we need to be prepared to do battle. We cannot survive with guerrilla tactics. We need to be taken seriously. That means it is time to invest in educating ourselves and learning how to effectively engage in the legislative and regulatory process. We need to understand our products and the scientific literature that are being generated. it is time to invest in educating ourselves and learning how to effectively engage in the legislative and regulatory process. We need to understand our products and the scientific literature that are being generated. This is not an effort that we can afford individually. Our efforts need to be strategic and tactical. While FDA’s announcement is, in fact, a landmark step for the vape industry towards future progress, there is still much to be done. I am excited that many of my friends will be able to stay in business until 2022, but for everyone that plans to continue in the vape industry for the long term, the
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extension is nothing more than a postponement that gives FDA more time to craft its regulations. We must come together and use our newfound time wisely. It is time to join forces to save vaping. Lost Art will continue to use our litigation against the FDA as an avenue to attempt to make meaningful, lasting change in our industry (A copy of our suit is available to read in the “About Us” section of LOSTARTLIQUIDS.COM).
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100 Proof Vape Co just released their delectable flavor lineup in 100 ml bottles due to popular demand. With quality and flavor being paramount, this ISO 7 clean room-produced e-liquid doesn't use any sweeteners in their profiles thus extending the life of your coils. With 5 flavors available on their roster, your palate definitely will not be disappointed. SHOP: WWW.100PROOFVAPECO.COM
NEW PRODUCTS TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
GU'D Juice is crafted with the culture and heart of Guam in mind. Their signature flavor is Latiya, which is a traditional dessert from the beautiful island. It’s a buttery pound cake layered with a sweet vanilla custard and dusted with cinnamon. Their Latiya-infused e-liquids are available with Blueberry, Guava, and Strawberry as pairings. Hows that for a duo? What are you waiting for? SHOP: WWW.GUDJUICEVAPE.COM
NEW PRODUCTS TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
X DOTMOD #16
Vape heavyweights Lost Art Liquids just dropped a collaborative effort with the craftsman from the legendary DotMod crew to produce this Limited Edition Petri RTA. Only 500 units of this serialized 24mm artisan collectible RTA were released to the public. Every atomizer they have released as of late has completely sold out, so make sure you don't sleep on this collector's item that is sure to give the Yeezy Red Octobers a run for their money. SHOP: WWW.LOSTARTLIQUIDS.COM
NEW PRODUCTS TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
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fog WO R DS BY : R I C K H U NTER S NA P S BY : TA A DOW 69K
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-year-old entrepreneur Jeff Bezos established Amazon.com in 1994 while surfing the web in search of new ventures for his Wall Street investment bank to invest in. Like many tech moguls before him, he originally set up the would-be empire in his garage. He had left his financially secure job at D.E. Shaw & Co in which he was the youngest senior vice president to pursue his entrepreneurial dream. If you're not familiar with Amazon, you're probably still using a dial-up connection or a pager as a communication device. The tech giant is the largest web-based retailer in
“My buddy told me, no matter what you do in life, you’re always going to want the next goal. Even when you're there, you’re going to want to go further.”
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the world by the sheer volume of total sales and market capitalization. In fact, it is Amazon that has become the template for how e-commerce businesses should be run. Cosmic Fog co-founder, Rob Crossley has followed a similar path of success in a different industry - vaping. Crossley, like Bezos, was a young man opting to take control of his own destiny. Consequently, he left Philadelphia with $60 in his pocket and a one-way plane ticket to California to blaze his own trail. Once he got there, Rob worked a blue collar job as a construction worker which was short lived and found success in digital sales. "I got a job in sales and I got really good at that. In fact, I was the highest grossing digital salesman in California." says, Crossley. While his ascension as California's top internet marketing sales rep was an amazing accomplishment in itself, he still had a set goal he was yet to overcome - to quit his addiction to cigarettes. "I met a guy named Brant at the company and he became
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my partner at the firm. We both ended up climbing up the ranks and we ended up taking over the marketing firm together. A year later, we realized how seedy the digital marketing industry was and we wanted to do something different and coincidentally, we were both vapers at the time.", recollects Rob. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and this is proof positive as this was the catalyst of how these two young entrepreneurs were about to change an entire industry forever. "One day, I made the effort to quit smoking, and I went out and bought the patches and the gum. I was firmly committed to quitting and about 32 hours into the process, I was in my office ready to kill somebody. Some kid had this cartomizer on his desk with 6mg juice and I said, "gimme that!" and hit it a couple times and felt better for about 5 minutes. So, I went down to the closest vape shop and got my first set up...", admits Crossley. What started off as a necessity, transformed into a passion project and the duo decided to put their hard earned money into developing flavors and a brand we know today as Cosmic Fog. Fast Forward to 2017, Cosmic Fog is one of the preeminent brands in the vape game today and aims to lead by example as evidenced by their unrivaled manufacturing standards, distribution channels and most importantly, their process. The vape industries livelihood was very recently threatened to be extinguished by the FDA by way of their PMTA that would have put most companies out of business. In regards to that, Rob mentions, "As we started to grow, and have our foothold in this industry, we started assessing what this industry means to us and what the long term scope is. Especially with the FDA, we knew regulations were coming and we've been preparing for this since day one." Today, Rob Crossley is not only the co-owner of one of the most successful and recognized vape brands in the world, he also moonlights as a professional poker player splashing pots with the likes of Vader Holtz, Greg Mercier, Johnny Chan, and Daniel Negreanu to name a few. Long story short, Rob and the crew at Cosmic Fog are raising the stakes in the vape game and they aren't going anywhere except up to the cosmos.
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â€œAs we started to grow, and have our foothold in this industry, we started assessing what this industry means to us and what the long term scope is. Especially with the FDA, we knew regulations were coming and we were prepared. â€?
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Were you a smoker before you got into the vape game?
What was your first introduction to vaping like?
Yes. I was smoking a pack and a half a day.
Orange County was sort of the mecca of vaping and it was back in the day with cartomizers and all of our friends had them so it was always an option and it was really just part of the culture around here. I actually stayed away from it for a long time. I didn't know much about it, I didn't know if it would work for me. One day, I made the effort to quit smoking. I went out and bought the patches and the gum. I was firmly committed to quitting and about 32 hours into the process, I was in my office ready to kill somebody. Some kid had this cartomizer on his desk with 6mg juice and I said, "gimme that!" and hit it a couple times and felt better for about 5 minutes. So, I went down to the closest vape shop and got my first set up I think it was an MVP 20 with a cartomizer with some Peanut Butter and Jelly juice and I haven't smoked since.
What was the catalyst that prompted you to get into the vape industry? I moved from Philadelphia 6 years ago. It was a life changing moment man, and I had $60 in my pocket and manage to convince my parents to buy me a plane ticket. I moved out to California and worked construction for a bit and had a crash pad pay-by-the-week type of deal. Eventually, I got a job in sales and I got really good at that. In fact, I was the highest grossing digital salesman at our very large company. I met a guy named Brant at the company and he became my partner at the firm, and we hustled our way up the ranks and we both ended taking over the marketing firm together. A year later, we realized how seedy the digital marketing industry was and we wanted to do something different and coincidentally, we were both vapers at the time.
How did you start Cosmic Fog? I was smoking a pack and a half a day back in the
day. We both used vapor products and we saved a couple grand at the time and put our money together and bought some flavors, invested in branding and put a company together. I called up some friends who were already in the space, got some product on the shelves, and it just took off from there man. We founded the company in late 2013.
Being one of the largest and most successful vape companies now, what did your parents think about your career choice? It's a funny story [laughs]. My partner's mom cried. My parents had a similar reaction. I was young, self-supporting, paying my own rent and bills so they were really concerned. I don't come from money. My dad was ex-military injured from Iraq and my mom is retired as well. Two days later, my parents called said they would invest $2,000 into the business, and it really meant alot to me. We hadn't sold a single
bottle of juice at the time, and we knew it would be big. So, I called my dad back and declined. I said I couldn't take an investor on for $2,000 [laughs] He gives me shit all the time for that. I bought them a house in South Carolina and got my mom a new car for her birthday. They're happy but it's a funny dinner table story.
Did you think Cosmic Fog would be as big as it is today? No. I mean it was always a hope. I always set goals like; getting a roof over my head, then it was getting groceries. I was making decent money then, I thought, maybe I can get myself a new car. Then it's, "hey maybe we can do this vape thing and make some extra money." Then it became, "maybe we could do this full time." It was just placing one foot in front of the other to where we are now. It's all about setting and hitting your own goals.
You're also a professional poker player. Tell us about that. I have been playing poker for about 4 years. Right
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around when I started the company. For me, it was a byproduct of spending 60-70% of my life on the road in different countries. I'm not a big partier or clubber and I'm also in a serious relationship. I don't get to do a lot of things my friends could do, and I had all this time on the road and I found poker. I have ADHD and I have a really active mind, and I discovered that poker allows me to focus on the people, the cards, the odds, and would help shut my mind off. That was so amazing to me and fell in love with the game instantly and I started playing professionally. I played cash for a long time and my first tournament was actually a joke I posted on Facebook. I was in Paris en route to London and I only had 3 days in between and said that I was going to enter the EPT High Roller in Monaco (which was about $50K to buy in). I had no intention of paying that buy in [laughs] and I posted that I needed people to stake me. I raised the $50K in 45 minutes and it was all people who I had played with in the past. They told me, "You don't realize how good you are", I was stoked and got cracked in 3 hours [laughs] and I quickly realized the difference between being a good cash player and a tournament player. Since then, I've taken cashes at the next EPT and the other WPT events.
Who would you like to have at your next final table? TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
I've played against some pretty notable players in high cash games with Vader Holtz, Greg Mercier, Johnny Chan, Tom Cannoli, Daniel Negreanu and Kelly Menken.
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What are your thoughts on the impending FDA regulations and how it affected the industry? As we started to grow, and have our foothold in this industry, we started assessing what this industry means to us and what the long term scope is. Especially with the FDA, we knew regulations were coming and we were prepared. When the FDA made the announcement, people were shocked. I don't know how they didn't know. Everybody should have known this was coming. We've been preparing for this since day one. So, as we started really producing a profit from the company, we stopped taking any distribution for ourselves and started pouring money back into the company. We hired our COO Jeff Nelson, we brought him directly from the pharmaceutical industry where he specialized in clean room development and complying with ISO and pharmaceutical standards. Manufacturing was a big thing for us. That was our first goal. So, we brought Jeff on board to oversee the development of our 3,000 sq foot facility - ISO 8 class 100,000. Everything is now nearly fully automated and
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â€œOur main focus I would say is to get everybody off combustible tobacco. We live in an amazing time right now.â€? follows cGMP standards that are used in the pharma industry. All of our raw materials are filtered through filters prior to being dispensed. Everything is coded on batch production records with full traceability. A customer could literally pull a bottle from the shelf and contact us and we will know exactly how that bottle was made, who made it, the batches of raw materials that were used, days and times it was made. We also have two analytical chemists on staff that test our liquids prior to bottling. I feel we have a state of the art facility and are a industry leading standard for manufacturing in the vape industry.
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You're very goal-oriented. What's the end goal for Cosmic Fog?
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There really isn't an end goal right? I mean back when I was doing sales, I wanted to be the top salesman, then manager, then director. My buddy told me, no matter what you do in life, you're always going to want the next goal. Even when you're there, you're going to want to go further. Our main focus I would say is to get everybody off combustible tobacco. We live in an amazing time right now. The FDA is aiming to reduce the nicotine level in all tobacco and push electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and reduced harm products. Our products are now sold at every single Walgreens and we hope to be at Walmart, Rite Aid and all throughout the world. It's not because we think we would sell more product, but that's where smokers are going. We want to address every combustible tobacco user and give them the option to vape. Even Altria (they own Marlboro) has said by 2031, they will be completely out of the combustible tobacco business. They made something like $48B last year, and they're saying in 15 years, they will not sell another cigarette. They will be focusing on vapor, heatnot-burned, reduced hard, reduced risk product. That's the direction of the world and we're excited to be part of that as pioneers and as well as the other guys that helped define the space. We've watched it grow and nurtured it and be innovators in terms of quality product and standards.
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TALK Dirty TO ME
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WOR D S BY: R IC H AR D C OYL E S N A PS BY: D IEG O OLIV ER ES | AND R EAS R AM IREZ | S TE VE N TAY LOR
After two decades of honing their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads has finally come into their own with mass appeal. We sessioned with Dirty Heads' Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell and talked about what to expect from him and the rest of the band, his affinity for “living green” and the group's forthcoming album – SWIM TEAM.
ince the release of their 2008 debut Any Port in a Storm, the Dirty Heads, a five-piece collective from Huntington Beach—Jared Watson, Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell, Jon Olazabal, Matt Ochoa and David Foral —have consistently experimented and changed the game with their freewheeling style. Dirty Heads has always been the band that blurs genres by employing sounds of reggae infused with hip-hop foundations and, toggling between extreme juxtapositions. But it’s with their new LP, SWIM TEAM that the boys from Huntington Beach have felt fully convinced that their body of work is primed to bring their unique sound and
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“We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we’ve ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one.” TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
style to the masses. "We're really excited about this new album. We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we've ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one.", says co-lead vocalist, and founder, Duddy B.. One of the things that stands out the most about Dirty Heads is their work ethic, and their success is proof positive as evidenced by the sheer volume of music they have dropped since putting out Cabin By The Sea in 2012 (which amounts to 5 albums and 1 EP which equates to approximately over 66 songs in a span of just 5 years including the addition of Swim Team). The first single from SWIM TEAM, “Vacation,” was released as a summertime anthem in mind and was followed by a video that showcased the group playfulness by bringing in Dennis Haskins to reprise his role as the ’90’s hit sitcom character Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell. Hailing from the Southern California coast, their music has drawn similarities akin to Orange County's alumni No Doubt, and Long Beach's own legends, Sublime. "I've personally seen the reggae scene grow so much in the last 10 years and it's been somewhat surreal to be a part of. There are so many amazing young reggae bands now, and I think that has inspired people to go back and listen to some of the old school legends.", remarks Bushnell. The commonality they all share is the fun, positive, droptop-cruising sound and vibe of reggae, SKA, and hip-hop cultures. When we asked about how the sound of Swim Team will fare with their legions of their
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loyal fanbase, Dustin had this to say, "We're really excited about this new album. We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we've ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one." The other inevitable topic of discussion was their affinity for greener pastures, and the fellas got candid and undoubtedly feel that the cannabis movement is a positive
thing and notes that it should be legal globally. "Smoking Flower helps me to focus and zone into the song when we're writing.", professes Duddy. After all, they coincidentally dropped their first single "That's All I Need" from their self-titled album on 4/20. Having said that, we had the chance to rap with one-half of Dirty Heads frontmen and discuss his fondness for living a green lifestyle, his opinion on the legalization of cannabis and what to expect
on Dirty Heads' next LP â€“ SWIM TEAM. One thing for certain is that Dirty Heads has found a formula to mainstream success by staying true to their roots and swimming in their lane.
Who came up with the name Dirty Heads and what was the significance? It was a lyric in one of the first songs we wrote, and we used to perform it with my
“I think that wherever you're from has an influence on you and the way grow up, but I feel we would have gravitated to this sound no matter where we were from.”
“I’ve personally seen the reggae scene grow so much in the last 10 years and it’s been somewhat surreal to be a part of. ”
brother's band HB Surround Sound before we had a band so, people would say, "Play that Dirty Head song!" So it just made sense once we started our own band.
Who are your influences? There are so many, but at the time we started the band, The Beastie Boys and Sublime had a huge influence on our sound. We loved the way they blended so many different styles into their music.
How has being from Huntington Beach influenced your sound? I think that wherever you're from has an influence on you and the way grow up, but I feel we would have gravitated to this sound no matter where we were from.
What would you call your sound? I don't really know. I guess you can call it Dirty Heads.
“Cannabis helps me to focus and zone into the song when we’re writing.”
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Being from Cali, what are your thoughts on cannabis being fully legal here? I love it! I think it should be legal everywhere.
What are your favorite strains?
It helps me to focus and zone into the song when we're writing.
Are you a flower, dab or vape guy? 100% Flower.
For me personally, i've always been a fan of Cheese strains
What do you feel the current state is right now with SKA/Reggae music?
How does cannabis help you personally or creative process?
I've personally seen the reggae scene grow so much in the last 10 years and it's been somewhat surreal to be a part of. There are so many amazing young reggae bands
now, and I think that has inspired people to go back and listen to some of the old school legends.
Do you feel there is a stigma with your music cannabis culture? People like to stereotype.
Why did you choose 4/20 to release your first single, "That's All I Need" from Dirty Heads? It just so happened to be around the same time that we were going to release the track so, it just kinda made sense.
Talk to me about your new LP SWIM TEAM. What sets this LP apart from your past releases?
Brandon Leidel CEO | Vapor Shark shot on location
We're really excited about this new album. We got in with some amazing writers and producers and came up with some of my favorite songs we've ever written. I think the fans are really gonna have fun with this one.
Anything you'd like to say to your fans? We love you guys. Thank you for allowing us to live out our dreams. We couldn't do it without you.
WORD S BY : LEI LA NI A NDER S O N S NA P S BY : LEA H MO R I YA MA TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
“Being a kid growing up with nothing and being told I'd never really do anything was just fuel to the fire. You can sit here and tell me I can venture into something and it's not gonna work, and I’m gonna use it as motivation to prove you wrong.”
eet Edgar Torres, a man who makes wines for people who work hard but play harder. His boutique winery, run by him and his wife Erika Torres, focuses on bringing Spanish varietals to the forefront of the wine industry. Starting his label in 2007, Bodega de Edgar is now in its tenth year of production with no signs of slowing down. With his fifteen years of wine industry experience, it's no wonder the purveyor of the Spanish style winery continues to excel in his chosen profession. Edgar's story is that of the original American dream: brought here at a young age by his immigrant family to provide him with better opportunities than those in his home country of Mexico, Edgar has built his brand from nothing. In his early twenties, he jumped into the wine game by working as a server at a local eatery in the Paso Robles area, and from there he went to work in a small winery as a cellar rat, learning the ropes from other winemakers and wine professionals.
So when he decided he wanted to start making wines for himself, Edgar found himself surrounded by a very supportive group of people. The people he worked for allowed him to create his vinicultural masterpieces under their roof while he continued to work for them, and although his family remained largely unaware of his personal winemaking ventures until a couple years down the line, they were very supportive when he was able to show him what he had slowly built over the past few years.
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Despite being a genius winemaker and producer, it hasn't always been easy, there were of course obstacles to overcome along the way. Being an illegal immigrant when he first arrived meant that Edgar could not posses a ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) or TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) permit without the help of his wife. And his ideas of putting Spanish varietals into the market? Totally shot down due to their lack of popularity amongst California
wine drinkers, but that did not stop this determined winemaker. Right now, Edgar's Bodega de Edgar label is at its peak - they're now looking into a permanent site for production and a tasting room, because nothing earns respect in the wine world like having some land behind you. Without it, you're viewed as a fleeting entrepreneur looking to capitalize on a trend that everyone from your local farmer to big name celebrities want in on. But no, Edgar is here to stay. He's built his label with his own blood, sweat and tears, with no investors or rich family to help fund him, and he's even purchased a second label, Hug Cellars, from a family he used to work for. There's nowhere to go for this extraordinary winemaker's career to go but up.
It seems that you had a great support system around you! Was it always that way?
I've been blessed to work with those that I've worked with. At the beginning I think
it was very easy to jump in and not be too serious when producing a small amount of wine. I think it was probably the third or fourth year when I began to feel a little bit of pressure from the people around me. People started telling me I'm growing too fast, that this was never going to work, and that I'm working with varietals that no one's heard of or are even talking about. But from day one, being a kid growing up with nothing and being told I'd never really do anything was just fuel to the fire. You can sit here and tell me I can venture into
something and it's not gonna work, and I'm gonna use it as motivation to prove you wrong.
What don't people realize about getting into the wine industry? (chuckle) The wine business is very capital intensive. We've definitely approached many hurdles, mainly financial. There have been a few sleepless nights, nail biting, incidences of overdoing it a couple of years, and just barely having enough to pay the bills a few
times. We've faced a couple vintages of winemaking where we get less than what we're projecting to produce.
Is it worth the struggle? For the most part, honestly it's been great since Day One. Starting with nothing to build something, it's been rewarding in the sense that if I should go back to nothing, I'm not ending up in the same place that I started. Luckily, we've got something that's working well, we've got a great following, and are producing some great wines.
Where do you see your label five years from now?
Both Bodega de Edgar and Hug Cellars brands are doing well, hopefully we'll have a permanent site for production, and we're currently working on a hard cider and a tequila project. So, five years down the line, we'll be really diversified within the alcohol product industry. We’ve also got this charity program wine that we produce when we can and we take the funds and give it back to the community and through different channels of nonprofits, which we will continue to do..
Do you feel a certain amount of validation now that you've been able to show your parents all the
“Here is the land of opportunities, and we came with an ambitious hunger behind us of wanting to do something for ourselves…Coming to do what we've done here and financially grow ourselves has been huge because we've had that opportunity.”
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good that has come from them trying to give you a better life? Definitely. My parents gave me the opportunity to be raised here rather than the unfortunate mishap of life and socioeconomic adversity that face being in Mexico. I've been able to travel back to Mexico now for the last three years in a row and it's very uplifting to go back and see the differences. Some of my family members got trapped in the cultural box and the socioeconomic adversity of not being able to grow economically like we've been able to grow here. I mean, here is the land of opportunities, and we came with an ambitious hunger behind us of wanting to
do something for ourselves, so coming to do what we've done here and financially grow ourselves has been huge because we've had that opportunity. My parents have been more than happy to see what I do, and they've gotten to experience other fun things in life that they otherwise wouldn't, and I've got this wine journey as this catalyst to who I am and what I do.
Many winemakers partake in, shall we say, greener pastures. Do you partake, and if so, do you favor any particular cannabis strains?
Being part farmer, part winemaker, my hands are definitely tied to winemaking more than anything. I love smelling wine, I love tasting it, I love getting to experience wines from all over the world. We get to geek out on specific varietals, and learning that different varietals and their clones all react differently to different climates, micro-climates, soils, things like that. When it comes down to those things, we can relate it to a lot of other farming industries as well, including cannabis. I don't discriminate. If it's good and it's natural, then I'll smell, taste, and enjoy.
What do you think of the current state of affairs SEP/OCT 2017
regarding cannabis, whether on a state, federal, or global level? I think we're gonna go from the 7th biggest economic state around the world to probably the fourth or fifth with the cannabis products getting legalized in the next year or so. It'll also take a huge financial burden off the criminal aspect of society, without people getting criminalized for possessing of cannabis products. I think it's a big step in the right direction because we as a state are gonna use our money better, and potentially federally as well. It's gonna open the door to a whole different economic circle that's been underground. More than anything though, it's gonna create a community that can talk to one another about how to better benefit from CBD use.
How did you become more open to cannabis?
I've also seen it abused just like any other drug. Alcohol occasionally produces alcoholics, and cannabis can produce chronic smokers that put a stigma on the rest of us who love to consume a little bit of cannabis while remaining productive members of society. I do everything that is primarily natural to the world. I don't partake in coke or hard drugs that are artificially and chemically composed. Weed is natural, and it grows out in nature too. It's easy to just drop a see and watch it grow. I think more than anything, the way that I've become open minded to cannabis is through the medicinal, CBD aspect of the plant. I've see my grandfather tint some of his own plants into hard liquor to rub on his joints for his rheumatism, so there's that.
Do you partake often? Smoking is not something I'm super attracted to, but I do partake on occasion. I have a
#19 P 64 good group of friends that I love and respect and we do partake in smoking, and I smoke as often as I hang out with them. In fact, recently a bunch of old friends and I got together and some of us brought baked goods, some brought other CBD infused wines, and some brought flower. We cooked with it, drank it, and smoked it, and it was fun to do, but we did it in a responsible and productive way. We smelled and tasted everything and followed up with an in depth discussion about it. I have suffered from anxiety and depression, and cannabis helps with that, medicinally speaking, but one thing that helps me avoid the stigmatized aspect of being a chronic smoker is edibles.
As a grower, do you see any future crossover potential with weed and wine? (laughs) I think there's a lot of people in the wine industry that partake and grow, and have just as green a thumb for growing anything else as well as they grow grapes.
I heard a story from a producer in Napa that back in Prohibition times, some Napa wineries were actually growing cannabis between the rows of vines in order to keep the wineries going. You couldn't make or sell wine commercially, it was against the law. Some have told me that if you wanted to buy music and records back in the 1970's and indulge in music culture, you came up to Napa because these guys who ran the wineries were giving or selling these cool records, and they'd sell you some cannabis that they were growing between the vines too in order to help the wineries survive.
Legality issues aside, would you possibly be interested in working with a weed/wine crossover? If mixing cannabis and wine became legal, I think that's a challenge I'd like to explore. Not because of the potential economic gains behind it - my father brought me up to never get into the drug world and I can see that
cannabis still has that. But as a wine maker, I feel like I could go crazy with it. I like to do 100% varietal type wines, but I get crazy when I can jam to my music in the cellar and I start putting blends together. I bring a little bit of this grape, a little bit of that grape, and I put it all together and they all dance on the floor together. Yeah, I think I'd like the challenge that bringing cannabis products into the mix could bring. The aromatics you get from cannabis can sometimes be likened
to some of the beautiful IPAs I've had at any one of the numerous microbreweries I've been to. A lot of times, these microbrewers list descriptors on their beers, including the word 'dank', and we all know what that means. When it comes to wine, you get a little bit of herbaceous component aromatic, even without cannabis. It could be an interesting challenge for me to marry the two worlds, so to speak, and allow them to talk and complement each other.
“I think it’s a big step in the right direction because we as a state are gonna use our money better, and potentially federally as well. It’s gonna open the door to a whole different economic circle that’s been underground. More than anything though, it’s gonna create a community that can talk to one another about how to better benefit from CBD use.” SEP/OCT 2017
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WOR D S BY: LEILANI AN D ER SON SN APS BY: C WC BEXPO
or even well seasoned entrepreneur are unfamiliar with solely due to lack of necessity in other industries makes entering this new legalized cannabis space feel a little like rowing without a paddle. And Dan, along with CWCBExpo, aim to change that. He wants people to feel like they don’t have to already know someone within the legalized cannabis industry in order to get in or get educated on the ins and outs of how a cannabis business runs. Following a terrible bicycling accident in 2012, Dan found himself bedridden and forced to consider the idea of a new business venture for some of the offices spaces he already owned. After watching a 60 Minutes piece on the cannabis industry, Dan took it upon himself to visit some medicinal dispensaries out in Denver (prerecreational law passing) to learn about
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what it might take to run one, but was frustrated to find that he had a hard time getting anyone to talk to him about it. In 2013, he flew to Seattle, to one of MJBizCon’s first trade shows, where he sat through some seminars, Googling unfamiliar terms and feeling a little in over his head. “I was really intimidated because everyone was just talking over my head and I felt like such an outsider,” he recalls. What he didn’t realize until later though that same day though, was that he was not alone - it turns out many of the people in the audience with him were equally lost with all that was being discussed, and that’s when the proverbial light bulb clicked in Dan’s head. “And so I think there’s an opportunity there,” he says. “We should do a show, one where rather than focusing on the end user, why
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CWCBExpo is one of the largest and most successful cannabis trade shows out there today, bringing together professionals from all walks of life both in and out of the cannabis community and connecting them and their shared interests within the legalized cannabis industry.
ere at Tokewell, our goal has always been to focus on the entrepreneurial spirit of the cannabis industries, just as we do with all the other industries our humble little publication features, rather than exploiting it. This is an industry that needs and deserves to be taken very seriously. Absolutely there’s the hobbyist side of things, but at its core, the cannabis industry’s goal is to help people and bring like-minded people together, and that’s exactly what we want to showcase, much like Dan Humiston, President of the International Cannabis Association (ICA) and sponsor of the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expositions (CWCBExpo) in New York,and Los Angeles and Boston. What sets it apart from other trade shows is that, unlike
some shows, Dan and his partners have designed CWCBExpo to be friendly, accessible, and educational for both veteran cannabis industry professionals and those just looking to dip their toes into the pool for the first time. “Anything we can do to help, we’re happy to do just that,” he tells us. Why this model, you ask? Because Dan Humiston was also once an outsider to the cannabis industry, just like many of us would be. A man with over thirty years of experience running small businesses is in no way new to the game of entrepreneurship, but a newly burgeoning industry such as cannabis leaves most of us feeling just a bit overwhelmed at times. With terminology and practices your average consumer
MAR/APR SEP/OCT 2017 2017
P 73 not focus on the average person and provide information so that other people can get into this industry, and not have it so closed and private and cloistered.” And that’s exactly what he does - Dan rents a spot in Las Vegas, cutting a deal with the Hard Rock Convention Center, and did his first cannabis show there, followed by another very successful one in New York. “We were different,” he tells us. “We had all different people and a very inclusive environment and it was really fun.” Without a huge trade show background, Dan knew he was in over his head, having never had as much involvement in big shows as he was going to have to now. Luckily for him, Leading Edge Expositions, part of H.A. Bruno, LLC, reaches out to him,telling him they like what he’s doing and they’d like to partner up. “Next thing I know is I have this huge trade show organization that’s super passionate about what we’re doing out in
New Jersey, and the rest is history,” he says. “These guys got us into the Javits Center, the LA Convention Center, and now the Hynes Center in Boston; it’s been a really interesting experience.” Dan has quite the incredible story, just like all those that we feature in our stories. His transition from his previous life as a small business owner turned cannabis trade show all star is just amazing, although he’d chalk it up to luck if you were to tell him that. This humble man and his team are now holding their fourth annual CWCBExpo across the nation. As they say, planning is great, but execution is paramount, and they’ve definitely got a grasp on proper execution.
When did you know that this was something you’d want to do? When I was at MJBizCon’s first show. At lunchtime, I was sitting with some people I didn’t know, and one of them admits, “Man, I have no idea what they’re talking about, do
you?” And I’m like. “Oh my God I’m so glad you said that! I have no idea what they’re talking about either!” And all these people around us hear us and they’re all “We don’t know either! We don’t know what they’re talking about either, we just wanted to get into the business!” And so I think there’s an opportunity here. The rest is history.
The legalized cannabis space is a great opportunity for all entrepreneurs. What would you say to them if they were looking to get into the industry? I know a lot of people are still sitting on the sidelines saying, “Man, I wish I would’ve gotten into the cannabis business. And I’m like “YOU STILL CAN!! Come on, there’s opportunity!
Would you ever go back to retail after doing this? I don’t think so. I really like this, being in a trade show, because it’s just a great
opportunity for me to meet a lot of different people. It’s a really interesting business to be in. The dispensary ideas I once had - I love retail and I love managing, I’ve spent my whole life managing and growing a huge chain of retail outlets, and I loved that! But I’ve already done that. This is really challenging and it’s fun for me because it forces me to really work and get creative to find solutions. We’re all going down a new path that hasn’t been explored before and there’s so many things we have to figure out on the fly, and that’s kind of neat.
A few more years down the line, what are you and CWCBExpo up to? What are your ultimate goals? From a business perspective, we would like to be the leading trade show and educational organization in the industry. I think the ultimate goal is to continue to do what’s necessary so that we can get to there, like just doing our jobs better every
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#19 single day so that we’re number one. If we can refocus on doing what we need to do to be number one, I think in the long run we help out the industry itself, so that’s my hope. Pretty lofty ambition (chuckle), but we’ll do what we have to.
Do you think trade and educational shows like yours are the best way to engage the non-cannabis community? Definitely. For one, I’m confident that the laws are gonna continue to change throughout the states and ultimately the federal government as well, and I think that’ll have a global influence. I see opportunities not just in our own country but in other countries to for the industry to grow and for the need of educational conferences and trade expos like ourselves.
Those are some pretty amazing ideas! Perhaps even future goals, reaching out to other countries? I don’t know, I might be getting way ahead of myself, but it just seems like it could be a
true global affair. I don’t even want to begin to stop short with just California, New York, and Boston, the United States in general. And not even just for us, but for anybody and everybody in this space! That’s the best part of the cannabis industry - the industry is growing so fast that we need a lot of people in this space. It might seem weird to hear someone say I like having more competitors but it’s good for the industry! It’s really good that there are so many more ways to get information today than there were when I first tried to step into this industry five years ago. I don’t see anything bad about it with having more people involved in it, helping to educate people on the product, on the plant. I just think that’s only gonna help out the entire industry.
Is there anything we’re still lacking in the legalized cannabis industry space? That next piece of the puzzle that’s lacking is the acceptance or the integration of the business community. The industry - hasn’t been fully embraced by the business
“We have to appreciate that there are gonna be differences and we’re not gonna like certain people, but if we want this to succeed, our best chance is if we can all try and stay under the same tent.” What do we, the cannabis community and most importantly the cannabis industry, need to do in order to thrive?
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community, and until that happens, it’s gonna be hard to move that legislative needle. But once the business community embraces the industry, it’s impossible to think that the legislative needle would not move in our favor. I’ve always felt like there has been mountains and mountains and mountains of work done to get us to this point, and without all this hard work that everybody did to get us to this point, we would have no chance of getting to the next step, and organizations like ours are trying to bridge that gap. Bringing someone like myself into this industry knowing what I needed to know to get into this industry makes it easier for me to produce something that other people like me need to know in order to get into it. In a very small way, I think that’s our contribution to the industry.
Be unified. I felt this early on and I think it’s one of the things that we have to be really, really careful about. This is not a guarantee, it’s not an automatic, ‘things are gonna go the way we want them to go’ type moment. The best way to ensure that things go the way that we need them to go is if we all can work together towards that objective. Everybody should be able to put their differences aside. Like, yes, when we’re on the playing field, you and I are gonna fight like crazy, but off of the playing field, we can’t let our differences affect the goal. There’s gonna be competition, and there’s always competition within the industry. If you’ve got one dispensary here and another just down the road, they’re competing now, which is a condition that hadn’t really existed all that much previously. And now there’s potential for arguments and fights and divisions, which we can’t let happen. That’s one of my my only concern. We have to appreciate that there are gonna be differences and we’re not gonna like certain people, but if we want this to succeed, our best chance is if we can all try and stay under the same tent. When it comes to accomplishing objectives, we need to work together. For more information on the CWCBExpo events In Boston, Los Angeles and New York, go to: www.cwcbexpo.com.
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“I went 10 times harder. I had to learn to walk again. When I was relearning to walk, I was in the booth recording at the same time. That shit made me go even harder man.”
As Runway Richy prepares for the release of his next album, CHiNA Cafeteria 2.5, he dropped by DTLA to rap about the making of it, and how a near tragic car accident that he survived was an eye-opening motivator, and how it pushed him to come back stronger.
ver since dropping the hustler's anthem “Made It Happen” featuring Trae Tha Truth, Runway Richy‘s name has been synonymous with "breakthrough artist" on the proverbial runway primed for takeoff. Consequently, Runway's name has been popping up in hip-hop discussions all across the world wide web and social platforms across the globe. The New Orleans born, Decatur, GA raised emcee has been putting in work for the last few years and things are finally starting to pay off for him. From his 2015 project, Foreign Merican, to 2016’s CHiNA Cafeteria, his ascension to
stardom is right there and he's on his way to the pantheon of ATL's Mount Rushmore of hip-hop's ruling elite. For CHiNA Cafeteria, Runway drafted ATL hitmakers like FKi, Southside, Metro Boomin and Zaytoven to name a few. While Lil Donald, Casino and SauceLord Rich (of FKi) showed up as guest appearances. The 17-track project showcased his gritty southern vocals and street savvy. “I got the eye of the tiger/And the heart of a lion/But you still gotta watch out for n*ggas/’Cause they switchin’ sides,” Runway raps on "Switchin' sides". Last year, Runway got into a near-fatal car accident on the highway while he was en route to promote CHiNA Cafeteria. Runway’s
truck flipped over four times and he was ejected from his truck. “That shit really changed my life man. I went 10 times harder. I had to learn to walk again. When I was relearning to walk, I was in the booth recording at the same time. That shit made me go even harder man. It was like damn, 3-4 months, I dropped the tape and couldn't shoot any videos or promote. A lot of this n*ggas tried to pass me, man. So, what I did was after rehab, I would go straight to the studio on crutches to work. Shit, I went to SXSW on crutches. My first show man, I did sitting down. I couldn't even stand up, but the reactions I was getting was very positive. Like this n*gga got in an accident, the truck
flipped 5 times, he got metal rods in his legs and he's out here grindin'? Like I always say, if you look at the greats, they all went through some tragic event to get to where they at. If feel that's where I'm at in my life right now. I done made some of the music I ever made in my life today”, reminisces Richy. Since then, Decatur's own has tackled life and music with the vigor and focus of a man whose blessed and obsessed with success. With CHiNA Cafeteria 2.5 on deck, Runway Richy’s goal for the remainder of 2017 is to increase his fan base and get to the top of the game. “The accident made me feel like I'm blessed and God put me here for a reason man.,” he adds. All we know is that
other cats that Switched sides on him in the rap game better be on the lookout and clear the way because Runway Richy is cleared for takeoff.
How has Decatur influence your music? It's where I'm from. Being from Decatur, I seen everything. You experience the money side and the poor side you know what I'm sayin'? The hood and the suburb type people. Decatur can make or break you if you ain't on your P's and Qs.
Who do you listen to when you're not on Runway? I still listen to UGK, Tupac, I fuck with Kodak
Black. I fuck with anybody out the south trying to get up out of there. I listen to everybody man. 2Chainz, BoB, Kendrick, Soulja Slim, OutKast, Future and I can't forget about Gucci. See don't get it twisted. Some people forget they was a fan of music before they started. I still listen to other people when I'm not listening to my own. I'm not one of them high and mighty rap n*ggas that can't listen to other people's shit. You gotta keep it real. I salute them boys and everybody doing it.
What was the concept behind Switchin' Sides? It's basically about people playing both sides of the fence. My whole mixtape was
“The accident made me feel like I’m blessed and here for a reason man. Like I always say, if you look at the greats, they all went through some tragic event to get to where they at.”
based on my accident. When my accident happened, some folks thought I would never walk again, people thought I was dead. I seen certain n*ggas switch up and fall back, and that ain't how it's gonna go, feel me? With that, I just went into the studio and made a song about that and I was blessed with that legend Gucci on that motherfucker and the rest is history.
Are you a Indica or Sativa guy? Indica man. Sativa is for them old folks. I fuck with the Grandma Cookies, Jabberwocky's, sherbert, OG, and gelato.
What's the difference with the weed scene in Atlanta and LA? Shit. Ain't too much different. We get the same shit here. In the "A", all we missing is the "L" on that motherfucker. The only difference is we love that gas. We prefer Indica over Sativa. You got Sativa? Keep that shit. We prefer the gas. That's what we call it in Atlanta
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Do you prefer to dab or roll flower? I roll all day. A backwood, a Swisher, whatever. I don't really fuck with the dabs though man. That puts you on some other shit man. You can't even focus and shit. I just really smoke weed. I don't try to find new ways to smoke it man.
How does weed help influence your creative process?
Brandon Leidel CEO | Vapor Shark shot on location
â€œWeed just helps me focus and zone out. I be having so many thoughts, and weed just helps me focus. Like, my whole CHiNA Cafeteria 2.5 is based on my accident, so I just got high, thought about everything that happened and went to work.â€? TOKEWELL MAGAZINE
#19 P 90 Weed helps me zone out. If it wasn't for weed, i'd be going crazy. When I be in the studio, there's so much going on. Weed just helps me focus and zone out. I be having so many thoughts, weed just helps me focus. Like my whole CHiNA Cafeteria 2.5 is based on my accident, so I just got high and thought about everything that happened.
If you could collab with anybody dead or alive, who would it be? Tupac. Other than that, I will work with anybody man. I'm into making music man. I do something with anybody. Music is universal.
How did the accident change your life? That shit really changed my life man, I went 10 times harder. I had to learn to walk again. When I was relearning to walk again, I was in the booth recording. That shit made me go even harder man. I was like damn, 3-4
months, I dropped the tape and couldn't shoot any videos. A lot of this n*ggas tried to pass me, man. So what I did was after rehab, I would go straight to the studio on crutches to work. Shit, I was to SXSW on crutches. My first show man, I did sitting down. I couldn't even stand up. The reactions I was getting were very positive. Like this n*gga got in an accident, the truck flipped 5 times, he got metal rods in his legs and he's out here grindin'? I let me the music speak for itself. The accident made me feel like I'm blessed and here for a reason man. Like I always say, if you look at the greats, they all went through some tragic event to get to where they at. If feel that's where I'm at in my life right now. I done made some of the music I ever made in my life today.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to rap with us. No problem and be on the lookout for CHiNA Cafeteria 2.5.
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Published on Nov 16, 2017
Published on Nov 16, 2017
After two decades of honing their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads has finally come into their own with mass appeal. We sessio...