Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Seth Rogen's Houseplant weed brand expands to 17 California dispensaries

The level of FOMO surrounding Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's weed brand, Houseplant, is very, very real. Since the announcement of the brand launching in Los Angeles through online orders on the website, countless stoners and fans of Rogen have decried that they can't seem to get their hands on the new flower after waves of orders caused the weed company to sell out multiple times and crash the site. When Ricky Manning of American Idol fame couldn't snag an eighth, he tweeted to the recent GQ UK cover man. Rogen replied, “MUCH bigger drop coming.”  And now we know what that drop is as today Houseplant announces it will be available in 17 dispensaries throughout California starting on April 15 — just in time for 4/20.  The Houseplant team had been in conversation with cannabis stores throughout California for more than a year as they sought to partner with retailers that aligned with the flower brand's vision and values. They ultimately partnered with eight retailers across 17 locations (listed below).  Los Angeles | Sweet Flower DispensaryMelrose: 8163 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046Westwood: 11705 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604Arts District: 614 Mateo St. Los Angeles, CA 90021Studio City: 1413 Westwood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024San Francisco | The Apothecarium DispensaryCastro: 2029 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94114SOMA: 527 Howard St. San Francisco, CA 94105Marina: 2414 Lombard St. San Francisco, CA 94123Capitola: 1850 41st Ave.Capitola, CA 95010Berkeley: 2312 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704San Francisco | Posh Green Cannabis Boutique: 828 Innes Ave #110 San Francisco, CA 94124San Diego | March and AshCity Heights: 2281 Fairmount Ave, San Diego 92105Mission Valley: 2835 Camino del Rio S #100, San Diego, CA 92108Vista: 2465 Dogwood Way, Vista, CA 92081 *Medical OnlySanta Barbara | The Coastal Dispensary: 1019 Chapala St Santa Barbara, CA 93101Orange County | People's OC: 2721 S Grand Ave. Santa Ana, CA 92705San Jose | Airfield Supply: 1190 Coleman Ave. San Jose, CA 95110Palm Desert | Royal Highness: Highway 111 Ste 205, Palm Desert, CA 92260 Returning with the three launch strains, Diablo Wind (sativa), Pancake Ice (sativa), and Pink Moon (indica), Houseplant will be available to purchase in a retail setting for the very first time. Rogen and Goldberg personally tested hundreds of strains before settling on the launch strains, a fact Rogen has discussed in numerous interviews to the amusement of many.  Pictured: An ⅛ of Pink Moon, an indica-dominant hybrid cross of Tangie and Kosher Kush. The flower boasts strong notes of citrus with hints of spice and clove. Houseplant reports that it produces a euphoric experience with mild sedative effects. “Perfect for good times with friends or creating music, art, and writing.” Since he announced Houseplant was making its California debut last month in an incredibly wholesome and endearing Twitter post, Rogen has been making numerous media appearances in The New York Times, GQ UK, and Architectural Digest, and on Jimmy Kimmel Live where they talked about the Houseplant ashtrays, lighters, and strains.  [embedded content] Rogen also talked about how they named the Houseplant strains. “When we came up with Pineapple Express years ago, it was just kind of like a joke and then it became a strain of weed after the film, but it was based on a weather system, which hits the Pacific Northwest, where we're from. So we named all of our strains after weather systems as a sort of homage to ourselves,” Rogen told Kimmel. “There was a point where I was embarrassed at how much thought I put into weed, but I have embraced it.”  Images courtesy of Power Digital Marketing

The Soul of a Store: How to recruit and retain the right retail staffers

This story sappers in the April issue of Marijuana Business Magazine. You’ve found the perfect location and designed your dream dispensary—now it’s time to recruit the staff who will bring your store to life. Exact strategies will vary based on a retailer’s size and resources, the local labor pool and available time. But a few basic tips can help you find the employees your store needs to succeed. Finding Your First Employees Recruitment can be time-consuming even in the age of online job boards, said Alison McMahon, CEO of Cannabis At Work, a marijuana human-resources and recruitment company based in Edmonton, Alberta. “Usually, people are reaching out to us because they have a lot of different priorities, and something has to give somewhere,” she said. “They’re willing to assign a piece of their budget to a recruitment firm to help them get some of that key talent in the door.” McMahon said retailers often seek Cannabis At Work’s help for key hires such as general managers, even if they’re not using the recruitment agency to fill all their positions.

New Mexico: Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization, Automatic Expungement Measures into Law

Earlier today, Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed two separate measures into law amending the state’s marijuana policies. The first measure (House Bill 2) legalizes and regulates marijuana possession, production, and sales for adults. The second measure (Senate Bill 2) facilitates the automatic review and expungement of the records of those convicted of low-level marijuana offenses. Lawmakers approved both bills during a special legislative session demanded by Gov. Lujan Grisham, who had been a vocal proponent of the reforms. NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf said: “This is a day to celebrate! New Mexico will greatly benefit from this new revenue stream and the creation of thousands of jobs. Most notably though, legalization will spare thousands of otherwise law-abiding residents from arrest and a criminal record, and the state’s new expungement law will help provide relief to many who are suffering from the stigma and other collateral consequences associated with a prior marijuana conviction.” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri added: “New Mexico joins an ever-growing list of states that have realized the failures of marijuana prohibition and the harms it brings to their communities and citizens. The American people are demanding an end to prohibitionist policies that have wreaked havoc on communities of color, squandered countless millions in taxpayer dollars, and wasted limited judicial and law enforcement resources on criminalizing otherwise law-abiding individuals for possession of a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.” The adult-use measure (House Bill 2) permits those ages 21 and older to legally purchase up to two ounces of marijuana and/or up to 16 grams of cannabis extract from licensed retailers. It also permits adults to home-cultivate up to six mature plants for their own personal use. Retail sales would begin by April 2022. Possession is depenalized on June 29, 2021, when the new law takes effect. The expungement measure (Senate Bill 2) stipulates that those with past convictions for offenses made legal under this act are eligible for automatic expungement of their records. Those currently incarcerated for such offenses are eligible for a dismissal of their sentence. It’s estimated that over 150,000 New Mexico residents are eligible for automatic expungement under this measure, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Sometimes I get high and wonder whether 2 Chainz ever got his Bentley truck

Sometimes I get high is a series about the activities you do or things you think about when you're high, in deep detail, for the fun of it.  It was Saturday afternoon, and I was freshly stoned off of several dabs while my apartment was a mess. I knew I had to clean, but being high out of my mind was just shy of motivating me to get off the couch. I needed music. Something upbeat that would carry me from my high stupor to productivity. I told Siri to shuffle my music library, and the first song that played was none other than 2 Chainz's hit, “Bentley Truck.”  Instantly, I felt a strong desire to grab my broom and my cleaner and go to town on my apartment, but when I got up to get started, I was overwhelmed by an even stronger sense of déjà vu. Something about 2 Chainz rapping the words “Bentley truck” sent me deep into reverie and vague familiarity. I wasn't thinking about cleaning anymore, dust bunnies be damned. I grabbed my laptop and began scouring the internet — I needed to know where that feeling was coming from. I felt like one of the Goonies.  [embedded content] A short time into my search, I stumbled upon a YouTube clip from Hannibal Burress's most recent stand-up special Miami Nights (2020) where the comedian broached the very subject that burned at the forefront of my mind. My déjà vu was validated: “Bentley Truck” was hardly the first time 2 Chainz had rapped about the vehicle.  Burress started off the bit by recounting an episode he did with 2 Chainz for Viceland's Most Expensivest Sh*t, during which Burress asked 2 Chainz a seriously important question I never knew was on my mind until I heard him ask it: “Do you feel pressure to wear multiple chains all the time?” Hard-hitting shit right there. 2 Chainz's response to Burress? “Shut your high ass up.”  No doubt a disappointing deflection, but perhaps the pressure he felt to wear multiple chains all the time was too much for him to bear talking about. Unfortunately, we'll never know.  Burress went on to talk about 2 Chainz and the Bentley truck, which reminded me why I began my research in the first place. He recited the lyrics from 2 Chainz's feature on Wale's song “Get Me Doe” (2012):  “Long hair, I don't give a fuck /  Last night I prayed that God would make a Bentley truck”  I laughed in disbelief — I was correct in my feeling that 2 Chainz had mentioned the Bentley truck multiple times. And this line suggested that 2 Chainz wanted a Bentley truck so badly that he got down on his knees and asked God himself to make one for him. But Burress was not finished. Next he played another clip, this one from 2 Chainz's feature on Young Jeezy's song “SupaFreak” (2011):  “Laying in the bed and I still got my semi tucked /  Going online like 'When they gon' make that Bentley truck??” I am stunned. The divine, materialistic story of 2 Chainz and the Bentley truck goes back nearly a decade. For 10 years, 2 Chainz has been waiting and praying to God for Bentley to create a truck.  There was only one question left burning in my high-ass brain: did 2 Chainz ever get his Bentley truck? First I needed to find out if Bentley ever even made a truck, and I found out, of course, that Bentley debuted the Bentayga SUV in January of 2015 and it has since been on the market. Now, the Bentayga is commonly referred to as the “Bentley truck.” The most recent Bentayga, the New Bentayga, is the most adaptable, powerful, and technologically smart Bentley truck imaginable. There was no question in my THC-laden brain that 2 Chainz scooped it up as soon as it was available.  When 2 Chainz said he was waiting for that Bentley truck then 2 months later they put out promo pics for the truck, he became a legend.— 🇭🇹$DL Ashin' Kusher🇭🇹 (@_aresRx) April 25, 2012 I found out in a 2019 article on, that the eight most impressive cars in 2 Chainz's tricked out automotive repertoire did not include a Bentley truck. I was confused. Why wouldn't 2 Chainz take advantage of God's answers to his prayers? I was still convinced he did, I just needed proof.  So I searched keyword after keyword, but the only connection between 2 Chainz and the Bentayga appeared to be through his — now potentially empty — lyrics. But 2 Chainz is a man obsessed with the Bentley truck, so of course, he had to have been one of the first people to get it  off the line the first time it debuted … Right? Nope. A 2016 TMZ article reported that none other than Meek Mill — not 2 Chainz — bought the Bentayga fresh off the line for a cool $380,000. I couldn't — and still can't — get over this. Where in the hell was 2 Chainz? Did no one call him? He was on his tour bus, as it turned out. 2 Chainz told Complex in a 2012 interview that he decided to give up driving himself places and took the advice from Nelly who had told him to buy himself a tour bus using the money he was going to use to get a Bentley truck. I was not taking the ending to this story well. “Bentley Truck” is a hoax; it's a spectral, hollow song steeped in materialistic lies. Why pray to God? Why rap about a truck that you clearly didn't really want? I've sat on this stone-cold bummer for weeks now.  I still haven't cleaned my apartment, and I'm not sure I ever will.  Featured image Jamie Lamor Thompson/Shutterstock Ashlee Nolan Ashlee Nolan is an NYC-based freelance journalist who enjoys writing about cannabis, culture, and politics. When not writing, you can probably find her curled up on the couch with coffee, a book, and her cat, Wednesday.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 4/9/21

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup! On Tuesday, a majority of the Virginia legislature concurred with Gov. Northam’s recommended changes to the adult use legalization bill on his desk. This means that beginning July 1, 2021, adults in Virginia will be permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household without penalty, rather than on January 1, 2024 — the enactment date initially approved by lawmakers last month. The timeline by which state regulators have to enact provisions licensing commercial cannabis production and sales remains July 1, 2024. Separately, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign an adult use legalization bill into law early next week. At the local level, A legislative committee of the Philadelphia, PA city council approved a bill to ban pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. Following are new legislative developments from the past week, and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state, and the NORML blog for regular updates. Don’t forget to sign up for the NORML email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress. Your Highness,Carly Actions to Take Federal President Biden was crystal clear on the campaign trail when he stated: “I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period. And I think everyone – anyone who has a record – should be let out of jail, their records expunged, be completely zeroed out.” Now, as President, he has the power to do just that. Tell President Biden to follow through on his commitment to expunge marijuana records Alabama Legislation is pending to establish a medical marijuana access program for qualified patients with a physician’s recommendation to access medical marijuana from licensed retail outlets. Senate Bill 46 would not allow patients to smoke herbal marijuana or vape, but would allow forms including pills, oils, lozenges patches, nebulizers and inhalers. Update: Senate-approved SB 46 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on 4/7/21. AL resident? Send a message to committee members in support of medical cannabis access California Legislation is pending to expand the medical use of marijuana for dogs, cats and other pets in California. Assembly Bill 384 would require new guidelines for veterinarians to follow when recommending medical cannabis treatment to any animal (excluding livestock). Update: AB 384 was re-referred to the Committee on Business and Professions, where it will be heard on 4/13/21. CA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical access for pets Connecticut At the request of Governor Lamont, Senate Bill 888 is pending to legalize adult use marijuana, which would allow adults to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana. The possession of any amount greater than 1.5 ounces would be punishable by a fine. Update: SB 888 was approved by the Committee on Judiciary. The measure was amended to include additional social equity provisions, automatic expungement, and to no longer criminalize limited personal cultivation. CT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization Kansas The Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act is pending to allow qualifying patients to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of medical cannabis. This measure would prohibit smoking and vaping. Update: The Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act was removed from consideration on the House floor and re-referred to the House Federal and State Affairs Committee (which already approved the bill earlier this session). KS resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis Louisiana Multiple pieces of legislation have been introduced to legalize and regulate adult-use marijuana in Louisiana. House Bill 524 would remove criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession statewide. The measure would also allow localities (parishes) within Louisiana to regulate marijuana retail sales only if voters approve it via a proposed ballot measure during the 2022 election. If approved by lawmakers and then by voters, it would allow an individual to purchase and possess up to one ounce and cultivate up to six cannabis plants for personal use. House Bill 637 would legalize and regulate adult use cannabis sales with a focus on a social equity licensing structure that would reduce barriers of entry for communities most harmed by prohibition. House Bill 568 seeks to establish an excise tax on cannabis, and sets up a structure for the allocation of such revenues to education, mental health, police, and transportation programs. LA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization Legislation has been introduced, House Bill 652, which seeks to reduce penalties for the low-level possession of marijuana. If passed, the bill would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana from up to 15 days in jail and a maximum $300 fine, to a $50 fine only. LA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions Legislation has been introduced, House Bill 391, which would repeal the prohibition on physicians recommending medical marijuana for “inhalation” and in “raw or crude” form. It also allows dispensaries to dispense two and a half ounces of marijuana per 14 day period. LA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical expansion Maryland Senate Bill 190 is pending which would prohibit a person from being denied the right to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm solely on the basis that the person is authorized to use medical cannabis. Update: SB 190 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on 4/8/21. MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of 2nd amendment protections North Carolina Legislation has been introduced to legalize and regulate the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana for adults in North Carolina. Senate Bill 646 would allow adults to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of concentrates, and to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. The measure would also facilitate the automatic expungement of past convictions for any offenses made legal under this bill. It also would create an Office of Social Equity to promote participation by those from “communities that have previously been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition and enforcement in order to positively impact those communities.” NC resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization Senate Bill 483 has been introduced, which would also make up to one and one half ounces of marijuana an infraction instead of a misdemeanor, as well as automatically expunge past convictions for misdemeanor marijuana offenses. NC resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization Legislation has been introduced to regulate medical cannabis for patients in North Carolina. Senate Bill 711 has the best chance for passage, as it is supported by both Republicans and Democrats. This bill would allow qualifying patients, with a physician’s recommendation, to access a 30-day supply of medical cannabis at a time via licensed retail outlets. Senate Bill 669 would also allow registered patients, with a physician’s recommendation, to access medical cannabis via licensed retail outlets. This bill would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis to any patient whom they believe would benefit from its therapeutic use. It also includes protections for patients with regard to employment, education, parental rights, housing, and those needing organ transplants. NC resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis Oklahoma Legislation is pending, House Bill 2272, which seeks to limit the number of medical cannabis dispensaries permitted to operate in the state of Oklahoma. The bill would end the distribution of additional licenses to new businesses this fall, and allow currently operating businesses to have their licenses revoked if they don’t meet certain criteria. Update: HB 2272 was approved by the Appropriations Committee on 4/7/21. OK resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in opposition to dispensary caps House Bill 2022 would create a “nonresident medical marijuana patient license” for out-of-state patients who are at least 18 years old, have their application signed by an Oklahoma physician, and pay the $200 fee. This license would be valid for two years. Update: HB 2022 was heard in the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee on 4/8/21. OK resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity Rhode Island H5021 would prohibit employers from refusing to hire, discharging or otherwise discriminating against any individual because of their medical use of marijuana. Update: H5021 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House State Government & Elections Committee on 4/12/21. RI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections House Bill 5190 would allow veterinarians to recommend medical cannabis treatment to animals with a debilitating medical condition. Update: H5190 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House State Government & Elections Committee on 4/12/21. RI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical expansion Tennessee Legislation is pending to decriminalize the possession small amounts of marijuana in Tennessee. House Bill 413/Senate Bill 1439 would remove criminal and civil penalties for the possession or casual exchange of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults. Update: HB 413 was scheduled for consideration in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on 4/6/21, but was deferred until 4/14. TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization Texas Several bills are pending to reduce criminal penalties for certain marijuana possession offenses. House Bill 441 would eliminate arrests and prevent loss of a drivers license and a criminal record for up to two ounces of marijuana possession. House Bill 2593 would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to two ounces of THC concentrate. Update: A number of bills were heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on 4/6/21. HB 441 and HB 2593 were approved by the committee. TX resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions HB 1535 which would add Cancer, Chronic Pain, and PTSD for Veterans while allowing the Department of State Health Services to add new qualifying conditions through their administrative rule-making process. HB 1535 would also raise the THC cap to 5% and create “Institutional Review Boards” which will facilitate research and track the impact of medical cannabis on patients participating in the program. Update: HB 1535 was unanimously approved by the House Public Health Committee on 4/7/21. TX resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

8 weed strains to smoke on 4/20

It's 4/20, which means it's time to smoke all damn day. So let's get straight to it. Here are eight strains that are definitely worth your time, money, and sesh on the stoniest day of the year. MAC #1 Miracle Alien Cookies #1 had to be on this list because 4/20 is about getting smacked, and that's exactly what you'll get from smoking this strain. This hybrid was originally bred by Capulator in Oregon, and is a cross of Alien Cookies,Columbian, and Starfighter. Nowadays, you can get MAC from plenty of different growers, but if you want the real deal OG Mac, search for Caps Cut. MAC usually smells and tastes like a mix of citrus, gas, and funky terps, and will hit you with a heavy dose of euphoria and relaxation. A lil' kick-your-feet-up type of high. Pink Picasso I stumbled across Wonderbrett's Pink Picasso during a road trip through California last year. FIRE. DANK. ZA. Whatever descriptor you use to discuss a great strain with great effects, they apply here. If you're in California, definitely scoop this one up. Pink Picasso is a cross of OZK and Candyland — and trust me, that Candyland comes thruuu. It smells and tastes sweet, and is an incredible daytime smoke as the effects hit hard but won't put you out of commission. Instead, it's a somewhat productive stone, so if you still have stuff to do on 4/20, but you refuse to wait until after the tasks are completed to smoke, light up Pink Picasso.  Ice Cream Cake If there's a list of smokeables from ya boy, Ice Cream Cake will always be on there. It's the perfect cannabis strain in terms of look, smell, taste, effects, and overall experience. If you wanted to smoke one single strain that gets you as high as a giraffe's ass, look no further. Ice Cream Cake is a cross of Gelato #33 and Wedding Cake. You might also see it named Gelato Cake, but it's the same thing. It pretty much tastes like gassy ice cream, as those Gelato genetics absolutely dominate this hybrid. Effects-wise, expect to be super relaxed, because the high is super powerful — just a couple tokes of it might turn the clock to Nap Time. Elephant Ears Elephant Ears from Eastwood Gardens is the best weed in Portland. Yeah, I said it. It is pure gas on the nose and tongue, and the high is guaranteed to get you so stoned that all you want to do is sit around and laugh. Sounds perfect for celebrating 4/20 with friends, if you choose to do so. Elephant Ears' genetics are Grease Monkey and Dogwalker OG. If you live in Oregon, you'd be doing yourself a true disservice not celebrating the holiday with some Ears in your stash. Grape Pie Truthfully, I wanted to tell you to go find Flavor Crystals (Grape Pie x Legend Apricot), because it's the most unique flavor profile I've experienced all year; but I doubt it's available, as I haven't seen it since February. So instead, I'll send you after one of its parent strains on this here 4/20. Grape Pie is a cross of Cherry Pie and Grape Stomper. It smells like grapes, and tastes sweet and earthy. Though delicious, the reason it's here is because of its surprising high. Though listed as indica-dominant in most databases, the creative high actually feels pretty balanced in both the head and body. If you're a sativa lover, you might want to give this one a try. Motorbreath Just like the strain mentioned above, Motorbreath is some straight gass that'll remind you of smoking some classic Chemdog. That would make sense, with its genetics being a combination of Chem D and SFV OG Kush. Motorbreath smells and tastes like gas with a citrus kick, thanks to that OG Kush in its blood. Truthfully, there isn't much more you need to know about this extremely potent strain. Buy it, smoke it, and you'll see exactly why it's worthy of your 4/20 celebration. Beach Wedding For my people who are looking for a more uplifting, motivating type of smoke than many of the strains listed here, Beach Wedding is the answer. Beach Wedding is a cross of Tropicana Cookies and Wedding Cake that'll stimulate your mind, much like Tropicana Cookies does. Sure, it's potent, but instead of feeling stoned and settled into one spot, you'll feel a bit energized, and engaged with everything around you. The Beach Wedding experience is perfect for creative hobbies like writing, painting, or whatever other type of artistic activities you enjoy. Or if you want to do absolutely nothing, but still want a heavy head high while doing so. OG Kush It wouldn't be right to put out a list of strains to smoke on 4/20 and not have some Kush in the mix.  That said, our 2020 and 2021 Strain Madness Champion is OG Kush, which shows that the people still love this strain as much today as they did when it was first bred in the 90s. If you can find an authentic cut of it, you should definitely smoke Original Kush on 4/20. If you can't, Kosher Kush would be an excellent alternative. Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

4 weed products journalist Madison Margolin can't live without

Madison Margolin is the co-founder and managing editor of DoubleBlind, the biannual print magazine and digital media outfit that's taking the psychedelics movement by storm. Before starting the magazine, she and co-founder Shelby Hartman were both prolific cannabis journalists. Though many will be most familiar with Margolin's cannabis coverage in a wide range of publications over the last five years, she's been covering the political, cultural, and spiritual impact of psychedelics since her college days.  While still in journalism school at Columbia University, Margolin was reporting on the Orthodox Jewish community in New York and met a bunch of kids from orthodox backgrounds who were experimenting with psychedelics, “exploring their relationship to religion and spirituality through these alternative drug experiences,” Margolin told Weedmaps, “I got really curious about that and started writing almost immediately about the relationship between Judaism and psychedelics. That was like five years ago before I even had my job at the Village Voice.”  Margolin started covering New York's cannabis policy rollout for the Voice in 2015. At the same time, she had spent several months working on a story about the Empire State's burgeoning psychedelic scene, where she was, “looking at the research that was coming out of NYU.” She also became familiar with the newly opened Alchemist Kitchen, a community space offering talks on psychedelics and with room to sell goods and tinctures. The Voice was sold in October 2015, just as Margolin's psychedelics coverage was about to be a cover story. “They got a new editor who basically was like, 'Your drug coverage is cliché. The Village Voice is over drugs,' and he killed my psychedelics story.” That same editor also killed her weed column, so Margolin would go on to cover the cannabis beat for Rolling Stone, Playboy, High Times, Nylon, Bon Appetit, Broccoli, LA Weekly, VICE, and a host of other major magazines and digital outlets.  For Margolin, the modern cannabis and psychedelics movements are connected by the psychoactive experience and how it can affect all other aspects of life — science, policy, culture, history, medicine, mental health, spirituality, etc. “When writing about any drug, whether it's cannabis or psychedelics or even heroin and opiates and whatever, it's a way to talk about other things in society,” Margolin said while reflecting on all the places and communities her cannabis coverage has taken her for the past five years. One particular day in Jerusalem stood out to her as a poignant example where all these ideas intersected in a special way.   The day started with an interview with Raphael Mechoulam, the legendary Israeli scientist who pioneered the isolation of THC and the discovery of endocannabinoids. “I did this whole story on the cannabis scene in Israel-Palestine for Tablet, a Jewish magazine,  so I spoke to Mechoulam, which was really special. Then I went to East Jerusalem, which is more the Palastinian side of the city, with a translator. It was kind of interesting man-on-the-street reporting. I think it was interesting to be in this place where trauma is so ubiquitous on all sides of the equation. Cannabis is such an obvious choice to treat trauma, and to experience that first hand with Israelis and Palestinians — and to talk to the guy who was so instrumental [in cannabis science and medicine] — was really powerful.” The transition from full-time cannabis reporting to running her own psychedelics magazine began in 2018, when fellow-reporter Shelby Hartman reached out to her about the project. “Shelby and I had both gone to Columbia for journalism school, and then we were sort of doing similar things in the field afterward. And Shelby had this idea when she was meditating to do a psychedelics magazine, sort of inspired by Broccoli, a really beautiful magazine that covered psychedelics but also merged high-end design with investigative-heavy reporting.”  Margolin signed onto the idea right away. “We both had full-time jobs at the time. I was at Civilized and [Shelby] was at Herb, and we didn't really know where it would go. We were just like, 'this seems like a cool side project to do,' and then it kind of snowballed into what it is right now.” Margolin and Hartman now lead a publication that, in their own words, speaks to “everyone who is curious about psychedelics. And we are speaking to anyone craving fresh perspectives on some of the most important issues of our time [...] and the aching that people around the globe feel for spirituality or some other collective sense of meaning.”  For Margolin and for DoubleBlind, shedding light on the grassroots nature of the psychedelics and cannabis movements is paramount. “People are like, 'oh yeah, cannabis is like a big industry these days.' And it's kind of obnoxious because it's built on the backs of people who have been going to jail for decades, and risking their freedoms and putting their families at risk. That's something I hope that, as people read about this [industry] stuff in Forbes, they recognize that it's built on people who are not being featured in Forbes.” Margolin continued, “I just don't think people recognize the tension between the industry and the movement, the movement being something that's really grassroots and we're dealing with organic matter, and there's indigenous wisdom behind it and decades of folk wisdom and street wisdom, and that is the culture.” Here are four weed products Madison Margolin can't live without. Prismatic Plants Good Day and Good Night CBD Tinctures Prismatic Plants offers daytime and nighttime CBD tincture formulas, both designed to have an appropriate calming effect. Margolin uses both.  “I have scoliosis and my back can get kinky, and sometimes it can hurt. But it actually hasn't been like that in a long time, and I don't know if it's cause I take CBD, but I think that might have to do with inflammation. I also use it for anxiety. Sometimes if I'm tripping, I like to have CBD on hand, basically if I'm feeling anxious.” Papa & Barkley 1:3 THC Releaf Balm  Papa & Barkley's THC-rich Releaf Balm is a whole-plant-infused salve that Margolin has used for pain relief. “I've also had tendonitis,” a condition most writers are at least somewhat familiar with, “so I've used that and rubbed it in my wrist.”  Dad Grass CBD Pre-rolls As CBD pre-rolls become a major staple of the cannabis market, it's important to know where the quality is. Margolin doesn't smoke weed as much as she used to, and tends to prefer CBD-heavy joints when she does. Dad Grass hemp pre-rolls “serve up a clean buzz without the fuss,” and are tailored to “revive the casual smoke.”  Moon Made Farms Flower Moon Made Farms is owned and operated by former producer, musician, event promoter, and documentary filmmaker, Tina Gordon, who relocated to Southern Humboldt County in 2007 to grow and advocate for cannabis.  “I try to opt for outdoor, sungrown, small-batch farms.” Margolin told Weedmaps, “Moon Made Farms is a good one. Tina actually tracks the moon cycle to see how the moon affects the plants.” Interview by Nic Juarez. Written by Andy Andersen. Photo courtesy of Zoe Wilder. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

5 strategies to fight overly restrictive hemp regulations

(Editor’s note: This story is part of a recurring series of commentaries from professionals connected to the hemp industry. Beth Collins and Chris Guillen are attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Santa Barbara, California.) Hemp cultivation is a burgeoning industry in California with huge potential. However, many local agencies in the nation’s largest marijuana economy have squelched the industry’s development by adopting outsized buffers and other strict cultivation restrictions. Other crops and agricultural land-related uses can yield similar and in some cases greater impacts. But this crop has been targeted because it is new and because people confuse it with marijuana. The good news – there are strategies that the hemp industry can use to counter anti-hemp zoning restrictions since often there are win-win scenarios to be found. Restricting hemp hampers not only the hemp industry but also agricultural communities at large. Here are 5 effective strategies that we employed while representing an alliance of agricultural organizations in Ventura County in their successful effort to enact a hemp ordinance that reasonably allows hemp cultivation in the county while protecting other existing land uses:

Idaho lawmakers agree to allow hemp cultivation, marking 50th state

Idaho, the only state that still bans hemp cultivation, could join its neighbors under a hemp-authorization measure that awaits the governor’s signature. Idaho lawmakers agreed this week to a bill allowing the production, processing, transportation and research of hemp.

8 cannabis strains that excite award-winning growers

The Grow-Off is a super dope contest, and recently I hopped on Zoom to talk to some of the winners about what strains they're working on, excited about, and like to smoke most. Here's what Duran Jackson, the 2020 CO Grow-Off Champion in both Potency and Terpenes, and Fiddler's Green, the 2018 CA Grow-Off Champion in Potency, had to say. These Grow-Off champions (and more) will be featured in Mastergrass: Cultivation Conversations on April 10, 20201, sharing their knowledge on how to grow a winning crop. The online event is free to view live and $10 for access to Q&A's with growers. A VOD (video on demand) copy of the conference will also be available.  Duran Jackson Duran Jackson is the Veg Lead at Colorado's Evergreen Extracts, and 2020 King of the Grow-Off after bringing home First Place in both categories with a cut of Spritzer that he grew at the crib. He also won the 2019 Grow-Off for Potency. What a legend.  Jackson's passion for weed screams through his big bright smile. Though he's just growing as a hobby for now, he hopes to one day release his own flower — or own his own dispensary — in a market less-saturated than Colorado. And his heart is in the right place: he's about buds over branding and quality over exploitation. “As a consumer, I smoke a lot and I want to be the best. Since I've been in the industry, that has been the case. So when I do a business, I would like to get my quality out, instead of focusing on [where I'm going to expand]. I would just like people to know what quality looks like first off, because there's not a lot of people pushing information about good, clean cannabis, or what bad cannabis is.”  In our conversation, Jackson told me about some of the strains he's growing in his home garden, as well as what he likes to smoke, “I'm flowering Sundae Driver; I've got Strawnana; Gelato Cake is the one that I run a lot, a Pakistini landrace, and I'm playing around with making stuff myself.”  “GSC was kind of big when I [moved to Colorado]. There was this one dispensary that had this strain 09 GSC. I've hunted that clone ever since I've been here, and I just got that clone in my garden a couple months ago. So I'm going to have my favorite smoke in my garden, I'm excited about that.” Jackson only smokes his own weed. Fiddler's Green  Fiddler's Green is a family farm in California's Sonoma County, owned by Cameron Hattman and Shannon Hattman. Those two are classic humans, man. True representations of what the plant is all about. They didn't even enter The Grow-Off to win, they just wanted to party with a room full of stoner homies and ended up winning the Championship belt (literally, the trophy is a belt) for Potency and Third Place for Terpenes. In our conversation, I asked what strains they were working on, as well as what they're consuming. Their favorite strain? Forbidden Fruit. “My favorite strain, and my team's favorite strain, is Forbidden Fruit. We can't find it anywhere. Whenever we go to any dispensary, the first thing we ask is 'do you have Forbidden Fruit?' It's 15%, but the flavor and the profile, it's phenomenal, it's absolutely mind-blowing.”  Fiddler is working on bringing back the old school genetics in a world that champions THC as a quality indicator. “The strains that we're seeing and representing from some of our small family farms are going to be all of these cultivars that have been hidden and unable to make it to market, they're going to come out and blow everybody's mind,” said C. Hattan about releasing strains that have been overlooked for testing under 20%, but are still absolute slobberknockers. That includes ACDC, OG Kush, and Durban Poison. 8 cannabis strains that award-winning growers are working Sundae Driver Sundae Driver was bred by Cannardo Genetics. It's a cross of FPOG and Grape Pie with a fruity, creamy flavor. It's a pretty smooth hybrid for a late afternoon or early evening type of chill. Strawnana Strawberry Banana, Strawnana for short, was bred by DNA Genetics. It's a cross of Banana Kush and Bubblegum that produces a fruity aroma. It's a great anytime-of-day smoke for anyone that needs a lil' afternoon delight. Gelato Cake Gelato Cake has the same genetics as Ice Cream Cake: Wedding Cake crossed with Gelato #33. It has that sweet, hashy, gassy flavor that Gelato kicks out, and is relaxing and potent, so you'd probably be best off saving it for later in the day. 09 GSC 09 GSC is just an old school cut of GSC, which was bred by Cookie Fam. GSC is a cross of OG Kush and Durban Poison that holds legendary status on the West Coast. It's got that classic stoney hybrid feel to it. AC/DC AC/DC is a phenotype of the CBD-dominant Cannatonic. It's earthy, and somewhat sweet on the flavor profile. The high, well, there isn't one; instead, there's a clear-headed experience that may help turn a bad day around. OG Kush OG Kush is OG Kush. Its origin story depends on the day and who you're talking to. If you consume it, expect a heavy, long-lasting euphoria that'll make you want to chill out for the day or go to sleep for the night, depending on how much you smoke. Durban Poison Durban Poison is a classic African landrace strain that people love for its energetic qualities. Ed Rosenthal brought it to fruition, and we're damn thankful for this earthy, spicy-flavored treat anytime you can find an authentic cut of it. Forbidden Fruit For honorable mention, we'll talk Forbidden Fruit. Forbidden Fruit is a fruity, delicious, purple, and perfect cross of Tangie and Cherry Pie. If you find it, get it with swiftness, because it might be gone the next time you want it. Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

UK’s Tenacious Labs launches ‘buy-and-build’ CBD brand with US acquisition

A London-based “buy-and-build” global cannabinoid group launched this week after its acquisition of Denver-based CBD brand Press Pause, a brand focused on developing CBD products for women. Tenacious Labs, co-founded by CEO Nicholas Morland and CCO Adrian Clarke, aspires to become a leading consumer-centric global cannabinoid group.

3 ways cannabis extraction equipment makers are innovating

This is the second installment in an ongoing series offering tips and advice for hemp and marijuana extraction companies. The first installment is available here. Cannabis extraction equipment represents one of the most innovative sectors in the industry, with new products and constantly evolving techniques for processing raw plant material. Among other areas, marijuana and hemp companies are developing: Ways to combine extraction solvents. Novel winterization methods. Tools to refine the extraction process that have roots in the pharmaceutical industry.
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