Sunday, June 13, 2021
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6 new weed products to try from Spherex, Mistifi, Cookies and more

With so many great cannabis brands releasing exciting new products in new markets, it can be hard to keep track of every release. So we're rounding up a few significant releases. This week, we look at releases by Lively Spirits and a Cookies launch in all 50 states. Spherex: Launch of PHYX cannabis beverages PHYX If you prefer to drink your weed, then check out the new 1:1 CBD:THC sparkling waters from Spherex. Each PHYX beverage is packed in glass bottles, and you can choose from dragonfruit, lime, All Natural or grapefruit flavors. Dress it up with a juice mix or drink it on its own for a refreshing pick-me-up this summer.  Available: California and Colorado Cookies: Launch CBD flower  You may have heard of the ultra-popular brand Cookies, but if you don't live in California, it's impossible to get your hands on Cookies flower — until now. Cookies has launched a CBD line now available in all 50 states. Choose from flower, vape cartridges, or mushroom powder capsules. Its CBD strain lineup includes genetics from Cereal Milk, Gelatti, and London Pound Cake 75.  Available: Nationwide Lively Spirits: Launch of purejuana cannabis powder Lively Spirits Lively Spirits, a California-based “psychotropic cocktail company,” has just launched purejuana, a dissolvable full-spectrum THC powder that can be used to enhance any non-infused beverage. It's currently available in five strains: Venom OG, Blue Dream, Super Lemon Haze, Purple Punch and XJ-13. It's sold in 10-count boxes at three color-coded potency levels, with each “shotpack” comparable to a single alcoholic drink: Green label — 2.5 milligrams per packetYellow label — 5 milligrams per packetRed label — 10 milligrams per packet Consumers can also purchase single red-label shotpacks for $2.75 each. Available: California Mistifi: New triple strain vape pens MISTIFI Mistifi's new cured resin vape pens are created without the use of any additives, chemicals, artificial flavors, diluents, thickening agents, carrier oils, plant wax, resin, or chlorophyll. The oil is extracted using its proprietary high-pressure/low-heat technology, and you can choose from three pen options offering triple-strain blends: Over the Rainbow: Electric Lemonade, Super Silver Haze and Sweet Tangie Houdini: Max OG, Herijuana and Blueberry BombPhantom: 1:1 THC:CBD blend of Wunderdog, Hell's Fire OG and Jellyfish Available: California PAX Labs: Partnership with Ilera Holistic Healthcare in Louisiana Vape brand PAX Labs has recently partnered with Louisiana cannabis producer Ilera Holistic Healthcare (IHH) to pair the PAX Era Pro vaporizer with IHH's AYO branded medical cannabis formulations. The partnership debuted Freedom, a new line of cannabis products formulated specially for veterans. This agreement will allow Ilera Holistic Healthcare to launch its first inhalable cannabis products to the Louisiana medical cannabis market. Freedom is now available through state-licensed medical marijuana pharmacies. Available: Louisiana Helmand Valley Growers Company: New prerolls Helmand Valley Growers Company Founded and operated by US military veterans, Helmand Valley Growers Company (HVGC) is known for its heady vape cartridges. Now, the brand has just released its first prerolls, with each containing 1 gram of flower and all clocking in at least 27% THC. Choose from sativa, indica, or hybrid options.  Bonus: 100% of the profits from these new prerolls will go to the Battle Brothers Foundation, which helps fund studies on how cannabis can treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and pain in veterans, while also helping military personnel return to civilian life. Available: California Featured image courtesy of Lively Spirits Hannah Meadows Hannah is a Seattle-based writer and editor. She’s worked in the cannabis industry for three years and continues to learn and explore.

4 weed products rapper Open Mike Eagle can't live without

Open Mike Eagle is an independent rapper, comedian, podcaster, and artist from Chicago. He is best known for creating a genre of music called Art Rap, his What Had Happened podcast, and being a member of the hip collectives Thirsty Fish, Swim Team, and currently, Project Blowed. An avid lover of anime, Open Mike Eagle has even been featured on Adventure Time. Recently, the man of many talents partnered with the cannabis brand GetSmartyPlants to become the Director of Cool Shit, so we hopped on a Zoom call to discuss it. Defining Art Rap, Mike told me, "I represented this emerging sector in hip hop with people like Danny Brown, Run The Jewels, Aesop Rock, Shabazz Palaces. There was this new wave of rap that was indie and different, and I just felt like we needed something different to call ourselves … It's about us doing what we want to do and not having the resources that the big acts do." His latest project Anime, Trauma and Divorce is available on all streaming platforms. In addition to music, Open Mike Eagle is an avid podcaster. He started a podcast network called Stoney Island Audio to give a voice and opportunity to hip hop artists who want to tell their stories and control their narrative. He hosts a show called What Had Happened, where he sits with one artist for an entire season and unpacks all of their projects to create an accurate image of their legacy. The first season was with El-P of hip hop collective Run The Jewels.  Being different and thinking outside the box is exactly what led to the collaboration between Mike and Get Smarty Plants. On all of Get Smarty Plants' packaging, you can scan a QR code that will take you to their Knowledge blog, where you read and watch content about all kinds of weird stuff. "When I checked out what they are as a brand, it seemed to make a lot of sense to me, because their product is weed, but the brand is knowledge and humor and cool conversations and discovery. I smoke, I like cool shit, and they want me to be their Director of Cool Shit. I'm like, oh, I like that." As the Director of Cool Shit, Open Mike Eagle's goal is to put interesting spins on traditional media and bring the vibes. He hosts The World's Largest Rabbit Hole podcast and will also coordinate Rabbit Hole events. The first episode was with professional wrestler Matt Striker of WWE, Double Impact, etc. "We did a thing where we watched a bunch of wrestling clips and talked about how being a bad guy in wrestling has changed over the years. It's that style of conversation, where we take something and go way beneath the surface of it." Open Mike Eagle has been smoking weed for the majority of his life. He said that the benefit of cannabis for him is that it allows him to be less locked into a particular way of thinking. "Especially as a creator, the pathways and possibilities open up to me when I'm high. It's night and day creating high versus not high in terms of the sheer amount of possibilities I can see from moment to moment." Here are the cannabis products that Open Mike Eagle can't live without. Smarty Plants: Fatso Though Mike's been smoking for decades, he's not the blunt-after-blunt-let's-get-high-all-day type of smoker. Instead, he's more of the type to smoke at night after the day is done. “Usually for me, it's just a nug or two out of a pipe. I had a long stretch where I was strictly edibles. It was a solid three or four years, but I noticed after a while that I'm not getting a great night's sleep taking edibles that late. So I switched over to flower.” Smarty Plants' Fatso is one of Open Mike Eagle's favorite strains to smoke. Fatso is a cross of Legend OG and GMO Cookies. It's funky, danky, gassy, with extremely potent effects. Kiva Terra Bites Espresso Beans “Them thangs is delicious. We used to call them senzu beans, from Dragonball, cause they get you going quick with the espresso and the weed.” Kiva's a confections brand based in California. Its Terra Bites line is a fan-favorite that includes chocolate-covered blueberries, espresso beans, sea salt caramels, almonds, and even cookies.  The Music For When You're On The Moon playlist Music For When You're On The Moon is a playlist Mike made for the Smarty Plants Spotify on 4/20. As you can guess, it's great for when you're high and want to blast the tuneskis. The playlist features artists like Open Mike Eagle, The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, and more. Bicycle Another not-cannabis product that Open Mike Eagle likes to pair with cannabis is his bicycle. He loves to get high and go for a ride. “I love to ride my bike around my hood when I'm feeling just right.” Featured photo courtesy of Smarty Plants. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps. Dante Jordan Danté Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture, strains, products, education, and everything else related to that lil’ green flower. Contact him at dantenetworks(at)gmail(dotcom), or dante_jordan on Instagram. His website is www.dantejordan.com.

Analysis: Adult-Use Marijuana Sales Have Yielded Nearly $8 Billion in Tax Revenue

State-authorized sales of marijuana products have yielded $7.9 billion in new tax revenue, according to an analysis by the Marijuana Policy Project. “Legalizing marijuana for adults has been a wise investment,” authors conclude. “Since 2014, when sales began in Colorado and Washington, legalization policies have provided states a new revenue stream to bolster budgets and fund important services and programs. As of May 2021, states reported a combined total of $7.9 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use marijuana sales. In addition to revenue generated for statewide budgets, cities and towns have also generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue from local adult-use cannabis taxes.” The report compiled tax revenues from Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Retail sales in other legal states have yet to begin. In every state for which there is data, estimate tax revenues have risen year-over-year following legalization. These revenues have gone to fund various state-specific projects. In Colorado, for instance, over $400 million in revenue has been directed toward public schools. In Washington, a significant portion of revenue is directed into public health initiatives, including a fund that provides health insurance for low-income families. In Oregon, nearly half of the tax revenue collected is also earmarked for public education. The full text of the report is available online here.

The 8 best strains for crushing your at home yoga flow

Whether you're easing gently into a series of deep asanas or feeling fired up for an intermediate vinyasa flow, practicing yoga can be markedly enhanced with the right strain of cannabis. There are several cannabis cultivars that are excellent bronchodilators, supporting the deep, even breathing that yoga compels. Other strains are superb muscle relaxers, helping even the stiffest among us maneuver into a prolonged Utkatasana. But, more than physical support, many phenotypes can help quiet the mind, opening up pathways to deeply meditative flows and an unimpeded stream of prana. For consumers practicing yoga in the safety of their own home, partaking in a bit of cannabis pre-pose can transform an already valuable, restorative workout into a transcendental cosmic adventure. Next time you pull out the mat for some traditional Hatha work or even some tantric exploration, consider one of these eight strains to help you get the most of your session, both physically and spiritually.  Slurricane Slurricane's genetics make it a popular strain for winding down, but rather than sinking into a couch-locked slumber, consider utilizing this strain's reportedly profound physical relaxation to explore deeper, more intense yoga poses.  Those who favor Slurricane herald the cultivar for its cushy onset, potent euphoria, and considerable body stone, all of which are effects that could potentially be tapped into for an ultra low-stakes workout done mostly in repose. Slurricane is an extra-sugary cross of Dosidos and Purple Punch, both strains known for their abundant trichomes. In addition to snow covered buds, expect a perfume of fruity, earthy, funk and a peppery-sweet exhale.  Zkittlez  Zkittlez was bred from a cross of Grape Ape and Grapefruit, and though its genetics lean toward indica, its effects can skew mildly energetic, depending on the consumer's resting state.  This strain's effects are strongly cerebral, with fans reporting a bright, creative euphoria that tapers neatly into a calming body high. Zkittlez has a relatively low THC percentage, in fact, the median is about 15%. If you're flowing through poses with the intention of shuffling into relaxation soon after, a puff of Zkittlez may make the transition that much smoother. Zkittlez is a highly awarded strain often noted for its intense candy-sweetness. Expect dark green, finely sugared nugs with strong, complex layers of tropical fruit, citrus, and ripe berries in both the fragrance and the exhale.  Kush Mints Aspiring yogis who prefer a milder indica vibe may want to consider Kush Mints, an indica-leaning hybrid with a precise parity of calm physical relaxation and vibrant creative bliss. This cultivar was bred from a cross of Bubba Kush and Animal Mints, and the resulting flowers are dense and crystally. Consumers report highs that are manageably weightless and euphoric, working to both uplift moods and calm the superficial aches and pains that might impede a body from truly relaxing into a fully satisfying flow.  Kush Mints, as the name suggests, features a minty terpene profile with subtle notes of citrus and sweet herbs, though many swear they taste cookies as well.  RudeBoi OG One balanced, versatile hybrid that's responsive enough to support both breaking a sweat and a night of lounging is RudeBoi OG. Though this cultivar's genetics lean ever so slightly toward indica, its bouncier body highs are reported just as often as its sleepiness. Those who want to get lost in their flow without sputtering out halfway through may find a certain value in the considerate balance of both indica and sativa effects in this cultivar.  RudeBoi OG is a cross of Irene OG and Face Off OG, displaying deep green, compact nugs  veined with vivid orange hairs and sparkling trichomes. Expect an earthy aroma reminiscent of fresh brewed coffee, mint, pine, and sage and a grassy, botanical exhale with a subtle peppery finish. Jazz Not everyone's yoga flow is a zen, candlelit affair. Some flows incorporate energetic, modern dance and aerobic elements. Those routines designed to activate your day or invigorate your afternoon may benefit from a bit of Jazz pre-workout.  Jazz is a semi-rare strain with mysterious genetics that some attribute to Haze and others attribute to pure landrace lineage. The jury may still be out in regards to parentage, but the effects are well documented. This strain is a sativa-forward hybrid with intensely euphoric effects that consumers report as borderline manic, but comfortably manageable when used before an engaging physical activity, like Bikram twerk yoga or rooftop samba yoga.   Jazz flowers are deep green nugs accented with dark orange hairs and a cashmere coating of crystals. Expect a peppery, citrusy mouthfeel with top notes of mint and pine, and a rich aroma of tropical fruit, candied lemon, and understated funk.  Durban Cookies Arguably the hardest part of a workout, even a low-impact yoga flow, is motivating yourself to engage in the activity in the first place. Showing up, even to the yoga mat in your own living space, can sometimes be arduous. On days when getting on the mat feels like a challenge in itself, a few puffs of Durban Cookies may turn those vibes around altogether.  Durban Cookies is an exhilarating cross of Durban Poison and GSC, both uplifting strains in their own right, but when crossed produce a flower that reportedly delivers considerable therapeutic effects as well as its parent strains' trademark euphoric energy.   Durban Cookies flowers are bright green, dense, and lightly sugared with trichomes. Expect a nuanced fragrance profile with notes of roasted coffee, pine, and mint, and the familiar, sweet, vanilla cookie exhale of GSC. Lilac Diesel Balance is a crucial element of both a yoga flow and a deliberately cultivated hybrid strain, so if your flow is feeling a bit lopsided, consider course-correcting with a phenotype for which balance is the primary objective.  Lilac Diesel is an elegant cross of  Silver Lemon Haze, Forbidden Fruit, Citral Glue, Chem D I95, NYC Diesel and Cherry Pie, all of which are artfully incorporated into a perfectly balanced 50/50 indica/sativa hybrid. The highs are reportedly sparkling and energetic, with effects that are invigorating, mood lifting, and gently relaxing — all in equal measure.  Lilac Diesel's flowers are cushy and broad, with a subtle violet undertone in both the nug and the trichomes. Expect a potent diesel perfume with sweet berry undertones and a hearty, gassy exhale. Night Queen Initially bred for therapeutic use, this indica-forward hybrid was originally part of heritage breeder Hank van Dalen's line of medicinal strains in the late 80s. Night Queen has a particular efficacy in treating insomnia and chronic pain, but the creeping sedative effects have the potential to launch a basic flow into the psychotropic stratosphere. Night Queen's reported introspective, meditative, astral-plane adjacent head high is accompanied by a languid, elastic body high, perfect for deep cavernous breaths and sustained, supple, stretches. Night Queen's nugs have a deep olive complexion accentuated with tones of indigo and amethyst. Expect a grassy botanical aroma with suggestions of sweet peppercorns and overripe berries, and a peppery exhale with a dank, floral aftertaste. Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Everything you need to know about the Hydrology9 NX Vaporizer

The Hydrology9 NX Vaporizer from Cloudious9 is the new and evolved version of the Hydrology9, featuring dual functions for both flower and concentrate. This all-in-one device stays true to the sleek and smooth design and functional technology the company is known for.  As with their original model, the water filtration feature ensures each hit is cooled, perfect for those who are sensitive to vapor or just looking for a luxuriously smooth vaping experience.  Below, find out everything you need to know about the Hydrology NX. What is the Hydrology9 NX Vaporizer?  The Hydrology9 NX is an electronic liquid filtration vaporizer that can be used with dry herb or concentrate. There is an internal heating system as well as a leak proof inner chamber surrounded by cool water to cool down the vapor before inhalation.  The overall piece fits together like a glove with a few different parts, including two interchangeable chambers: one for flower and one for concentrate. It is small and lightweight enough to be easily portable, and discreet enough in its design to integrate into all kinds of activities.  Once you get the hang of it, it's a breeze to use while maximizing your stash.  What's in the box: Assembled vaporizer with silicone sleeveHeating chamber inserts (flower and/or concentrate) Magnetic charging kitTool and cleaning kit with loading tool, brushes, replacement silicone parts, and magnetic mouthpiece cover User manual How does the Hydrology9 work? There are a few moving parts to the Hydrology9 NX, depending on if you plan on using flower or concentrate, but setting up for both is easy and quick.   Assembly The vaporizer comes already assembled, with each module fitting together perfectly, though you'll need to unscrew the top piece to fill the water chamber up to 70% full. The no-spill design ensures that you won't get water into other parts of the device.  Once filled with cool water, it's time to choose and insert either the fower heating atomizer or the concentrate atomizer.  The flower atomizer can be pre-loaded and comes with a cover to keep the flower snuggly in place. The concentrate atomizer comes with a quartz and ceramic cup to choose from, as well as a magnetic carb cap located on the top of the mouthpiece.  How to use NisonCo There is one main circular button to turn the Hydrology9 NX on and off. The temperature is controlled by twisting the ring on the very bottom of the device.  The temperature presets range is represented by blue (lowest), light blue, yellow, purple, red, and white (highest), and vary depending on if you're using the concentrate or flower atomizer, something the device itself automatically senses and adjusts.  The temperature range for concentrate is 450-750°F, while the range for flower is 324-468°F. To activate a heating cycle, twist the dial to set the desired temperature preset, indicated by the color coordinated light flashing, and when the light turns solid green, it is ready to go. As always, lower temperatures favor flavor, while higher temperatures are for stronger effects.  The Hydrology9 NX will stay at the set temperature for two minutes before entering a stand-by mode for one minute, indicated by a solid blue light, before cooling down to end the session. If left on, the auto shutoff will kick in after 10 minutes.  Charging The charging adapter of the original Hydrology9 got an upgrade on this new model and is now magnetic, making it super easy to connect. The device will flash red when charging and green when it is fully charged. Full charge is reached after about an hour.  How to clean the Hydrology9 NX  Included in the package is a cleaning kit with high quality tools, just like the previous model. It's definitely a bonus that these tools come included, rather than being offered as pricey add-ons. The brushes in particular make it easy to deep clean all parts of the machine whenever necessary.  To keep the body and water chamber clean is easy: shake it up with clean water and let it dry completely between uses. For the flower atomizer, brush out any excess, making sure to clear any debris from the airflow holes. For the concentrate atomizer, the ceramic and glass chambers are removable and can be swabbed down with alcohol, or soaked and cleaned if they have a lot of build up. Keeping the airflow chamber free of debris and clean is also important, especially if it gets clogged after using concentrates. This is simple since it is easily accessible and comes with long and custom fitting brushes.  What's the appeal?  The new and improved version of Cloudious9's original invention has noticeable upgrades, not least of which is the dual functionality for flower and concentrate. It's apparent that every detail of the Hydrology9 NX was carefully thought out, from the snuggly fitting parts made of high-grade materials to the magnetic details that make it fun and functional.  Practically speaking, the heating technology that heats from all sides is efficient, maximizing your materials and providing consistently full hits. The water cooling function makes it like an electric bong in the best possible way. Another bonus is the tool kit that comes standard with the device. In the same vein, having a replaceable battery extends the life of the overall device with the purchase of a new battery, rather than needing to purchase a whole new device.  While you can choose to purchase the Hydrology9 NX with just the flower or concentrate atomizer and tool kit, it's absolutely worth it to buy the complete set for an extra $30 and essentially get two devices in one.  At $300 for the dual capacity set up, it's well-priced for the versatility, function, and design it offers.  Find the HydrologyNX at cloudious9.com. Images courtesy of NisonCo

Ohio: Regulators Expand List of Conditions Eligible for Medical Cannabis

Regulators have amended state rules to expand the pool of patients eligible to receive medical cannabis authorizations. Members of the Ohio State Medical Board have approved requests to expand the list of qualifying conditions to include: arthritis, chronic migraines, and complex regional pain syndrome. Physicians in the state may authorize medical cannabis to patients suffering from any one of 25 explicit conditions. Regulators are also considering adding Huntington disease to the list of qualifying conditions. However, they rejected petitions to authorize doctors to recommend medical cannabis products to patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Over 175,000 Ohio residents are currently registered to participate in the state’s medical cannabis access program. Additional information about the program is available from NORML here.

5 weed products Jim Belushi can't live without

When it comes to celebrity cannabis brands, not all are created equal.  Many celebrities who have ventured into the cannabis industry just white label their products, meaning that they pay another company to produce the product and just slap their name on it and call it a day. Others have waded a bit deeper into the waters, getting involved in grower and strain selection, as well as having a say in marketing initiatives and other product launches.  But by buying land in Oregon and becoming a cannabis farmer, Jim Belushi has taken his passion for cannabis even further than other celebrities and big names with his cannabis brand, Belushi's Farm. “I love this cannabis world,” Belushi said during a phone interview while filming in Pasadena. “I'm a magic chaser — there's magic on Broadway, in music with the Blues Brothers, in the movies and TV, and magic in the cannabis industry.” Belushi is probably most widely known as an actor and comedian with roles in television series Saturday Night Live and According to Jim, and dozens of feature films. He started his cannabis journey when he purchased Oregon farmland that became available in 2015. He planted 48 plants under the state's medical marijuana program. “It was a rebirth, a reinvention,” he said, “I just kind of fell into it.” Today, Belushi's Farm products can be found in Oregon, Colorado, and Illinois, with many more to come.  Belushi's path was documented in a documentary series called Growing Belushi, which first aired on Discovery in 2020. The series chronicles the actor and his team's efforts to build a legal cannabis operation, including the growing apparatus, from scratch. He isn't able to say whether or not there will be a season two, but he hinted that it looks promising. The documentary also goes into the emotional side of Belushi's exploration of cannabis. He credits the plant with helping him on his own journey, saying, “hell yeah it [helps]! These ladies lead you where you're supposed to go.” Having suffered the loss of his brother John to an overdose, he is a proponent of cannabis's beneficial properties across a spectrum of uses, but most notably in treating trauma.  He remembered a time when he was doing a promotional dispensary visit, and he caught eyes with a “skinny, long-haired, blue-eyed man” who ended up approaching him. “He said, 'You know, I was a medic in Iraq and I saw things that happened to the human body that nobody should ever witness. I have, they call it, triple PTSD. They gave me a bottle of 600 Oxycontin and I couldn't do it. I couldn't talk to my children or my wife, I couldn't sleep at night. I started smoking cannabis, your strain Black Diamond OG, and it's the only thing that allows me to talk to my wife and my kids. Now I can sleep,'” Belushi shared of his encounter. “He teared up and hugged me … That was a paradigm shift for me. It's not about money anymore, it's about creating a safe pathway for people to use.” Jim Belushi's favorite weed Belushi said he's used more cannabis than ever during the pandemic, which has helped in “fighting off depression and anxiety like Richard Dreyfuss fought off Jaws.” He credits microdosing, which he considers to be a low-dose edible or “one-and-a-half hits off a joint” with keeping the blues at bay. “It really helps me mitigate that sadness of what's going on in the world and the sadness that comes into your life by just trying to survive through this year.” Below, check out five essential weed products that Jim Belushi can't live without. Bhang Chocolates “It's really the best one. I take 2.5 - 5 milligrams to help me sleep,” Belushi said.  Any in particular? “Any of 'em! It's because of the way they blend it. I also think the difference between a gummy and a chocolate is the gummy is filled with more refined sugar — I take the same amount of a gummy as I would a chocolate and my dreams are full of color and explosion and I'm like, 'Whoa, I'm high!'” he said while laughing. “With chocolates, I think it's because of the fat content, for some reason I just believe, I have no proof, but I think it mellows out the THC in combination with the sugar. It's not an active high, but peaceful, and I sleep all night.”  Cherry Pie “I have a strain called Cherry Pie that we call 'The Marriage Counselor,'” Belushi said. It's a cross between Granddaddy Purple and Durban Poison. “It's only about 19% THC and it's got a great terpene profile: 3%. That entourage effect just chills me like a glass of wine used to. I'm more charming, I'm still articulate, and I actually listen! The great thing about Cherry Pie is that nobody can tell you smoked it.” He  mentioned that his wife doesn't even notice his sudden pleasant demeanor after toking up. Blues Brothers .25 gram mini-joints “We have these little 'mama's helpers,' we call 'em, these little 2.5-milligram shorties,” Belushi said. “This is the Blues Brothers pack. Baby Blues. There's six of 'em. It's a parking lot joint before a movie.” “I smoke those little teeny joints because I'm such a lightweight … Our Baby Blues fly off the shelves. People love them because they're tasty and small, they're perfect for Covid, as opposed to sharing a joint. I don't think people want to get that high, they just want to chill,” he said of why the dose is perfect, in his opinion. “It's like having a cocktail at night except for a whole bottle of wine.” The strains vary from state-to-state. Captain Jack distillate vape cartridges “We made a collaboration with Select, and man, do they know what they're doing there,” Belushi said of his vape cartridges made with the Captain Jack strain, which was first made popular thanks to Saturday Night Live. The strain is potent at 21 - 25% THC and is loaded with the terpene myrcene,  which has a peppery taste and a sedative effect that comes through in the vape oil. The strain is named for Jack Murtha, known as "Captain Jack," who is a pioneer of cannabis cultivation. He spent more than 40 years perfecting his namesake strain, based on Gulzar Afghanica, which he first encountered in 1971 during a hot summer in the valley of the Kush Mountains in Afghanistan. Learning the Afghani process for cultivating the plant, Captain Jack was gifted seeds by the village elders and he's been growing the pure landrace strain from seed to flower ever since. It has never been tweaked nor compromised, Belushi said “This strain is best known as the “Smell of SNL.'”  Though it's a bit too strong for him for regular use, he noted, “I take one little hit and I'm very creative and funny. It's good for writing. You take a few more and it's good for communication and then you're out,” adding that it's a totally different experience from Cherry Pie. Belushi growing kit Coming “sometime later this year,” is the Belushi Growing Kit, which will be sold in collaboration with GrowGeneration. “I'm working with GrowGeneration, which is a really great company,” he said of the hydroponic and organic growing company. “They have 52 stores across the country. I'm working with them to put a kit together to teach people how to grow at home.” The kit will include a lightbox, tent, LED light, and soil with certain nutrients used on Belushi's Farm. There will also be pruning and trimming instructions and more. Belushi became inspired to launch a grow kit thanks to his own growing experience, which he said “grounded” him and brought him “closer to Mother Earth.” He hopes to be able to bring that sensation to would-be cannabis home-growers across the United States. Photos courtesy of Zoe Wilder. Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

The Drop: 6 strains hitting menus in May

This month of The Drop, Dante Jordan's column rounding up all the can't-miss strains from the best brands and growers, looks at anticipated releases from INSANE, Subdued Excitement, Veritas, and more. My favorite part of smoking weed is catching a new strain that just hit the shelves or checking out some new genetics that are sweeping through the industry. Those looking to cop new genetics the way sneakerheads scoop up limited runs on the SNKRS app know what I'm talking about. So every time I walk into a dispensary, my first questions are: “What's new?” and “How fresh is it?”  That's why this column exists. Instead of having to constantly check your favorite brand's Instagram page to see any news of a release, I'm looking to get all the can't-miss drops right here in my new monthly column. Future columns will have strain news from your favorite brands, and I'm even planning to hear from growers themselves.  To keep an eye on when your favorite brands drop new products, simply “favorite” strains and brands on Weedmaps and you'll get notifications when they're dropping in your area. All you need to do is make a profile here to get started.  After reaching out to some of my preferred breeders, growers, PR teams, etc. to see what's hitting the streets, The Drop is your new monthly answer. INSANE: Maraschino Cherry If you know weed, then you know Cypress Hill helped make cannabis culture what it is today. You also know B-Real wouldn't put out some garbage with the legendary reputation he has. That being said, in May, his INSANE brand by Dr. Greenthumb flower line is dropping a new strain called Maraschino Cherry.  It is indica-dominant, has thick hairy buds, and the sweet, floral flavor screams cherry blossoms. For the terp-heads, the fruit-centric strain is packed with limonene, humulene, and linalool. Available: California  22Red: LA Punk 22Red is a brand owned by Shavo Odadjian from System of a Down. This month, they're dropping a new strain called LA Punk, a lil' indica-dominant job with Sunset Sherbert lineage.  The brand's founder told me that it has that berry sweet but earthy Sunset Sherbert vibe and kicks out a stoney hours-long type of high. Additionally, this is a proprietary cut that Shavo plans on keeping as an exclusive, so LA Punk will be in rotation for a little while. Available: California  Subdued Excitement: Apple Fritter  Subdued Excitement Subdued Excitement is one of my favorite growers in Washington. The team used to put out some of the best GMO I've ever seen, and now they've got Apple Fritter in the garden too. Apple Fritter seems to be the next strain that's about to be in every hybrid on every menu, but I'm good with that. It really is a pretty enjoyable high.  Apple Fritter is a cross of Sour Apple and Animal Cookies that makes you feel content and comfortable. The high reminds me of some old school Blue Dream, while the nose on Sub X's Apple Fritter smells just like sweet candy apples. On the taste, it comes through slightly sweet and earthy. Caryophyllene, limonene, and pinene are its dominant terpenes. Available: Washington  Freddy's Fuego: Oreo Blizzy  Freddy's Fuego Freddy's Fuego is known for gas. That Larry Cake and Hell's Bells they put out last year is still some of the tastiest weed I've ever come across, so anytime they have something fresh coming down the pipeline, I'm on it.  Oreo Blizzy is a new strain they've phenohunted and are mad excited about. It's a cross of Ice Cream Cake and Sunset Sherbert. It has that familiar gassy kick that Freddy's is known for, with a spicy, somewhat floral complement to the taste. The effects are nice too, definitely a good afternoon smoke. It's got one of those highs that settles you down right after 2 p.m., when you've realized that it's okay to just finish what you can for the day, instead of getting stressed about all of the things you can't. Know what I mean? One of those.  Available: Washington  Eastwood Gardens: Horchata x Runtz  The first place I went to after getting back to Portland from Costa Rica was Archive. The first strain I heard someone ask for was Horchata x Runtz. That dispensary didn't have it but I found it somewhere else, and BOY. Eastwood Gardens done done it again. Eastwood is a brand known for putting out super potent, gassy strains, and this Horchata x Runtz that they dropped on Cinco de Mayo is no different. First Elephant Ears, now this.  The flower is stupid coated with trichomes on top of the Prince-suit-purple buds that scream diesel flavors. And the high? Stoney. As. Hell. It hits all in the head and eventually leaves you feeling stuck in a trance. You definitely don't want to miss this drop. Peep their Instagram to know which stores have it. Available: Oregon  Veritas Fine Cannabis: Forbidden Melonz  Veritas Fine Cannabis I don't have much experience with the products in Colorado, but when I visited Denver last year for a sit-around-the-crib-and-do-nothing bachelor party with some friends, that Strawberry Shortcake from Veritas stuck out to me. I reached out to them to see what they had hitting the block for the month, and at the top of May, they're running their very first cut of a new strain called Forbidden Melonz.  Forbidden Melonz is a cross of Forbidden Fruity and Zkittlez that comes through with sweet flavors and myrcene, pinene, ocimene, caryophyllene terpenes. A few stores you can find it at include: A Cut Above, Colorado Best Budz, and Cookies in Denver. A full list of dispensaries where the strain will be sold will be listed on the Veritas website's "Find-Us" map. Available: Colorado  Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Everything you need to know about the Stündenglass Gravity Hookah

Gravity bongs use air pressure and water to force out a stream of smoke that you inhale. While they're often made with household items, like bottles and buckets, the Stündenglass Gravity Hookah adds polish and modern engineering to this once exclusive DIY smoking experience.  Much like the gravity bongs that came before it, the Stündenglass Hookah relies on kinetic force, but it differentiates itself with cascading water and opposing air flow technology that makes it operate better than the gravity bongs of the past. Engineered to function seamlessly, the Stündenglass is quite simple and easy for anyone to get the hang of, making it great for house parties and group smoke sessions.  If you're interested in combining true smoking classics with modern tech and design, then look no further. Here's everything you need to know about the Stündednglass Gravity Hookah. The design  The Stündenglass Hookah looks elegant and comes in packaging that makes the unboxing experience feel like opening up a brand new iPhone. Its clean, minimalistic design uses aircraft grade aluminum, surgical grade stainless steel, and high-quality Teflon seals. This is not your grandpa's gravity bong.  It features a 360° rotating hookah, which is what produces the kinetic force mentioned above, and is positively mesmerizing once it's in use.  How does it work?  The Stündenglass can accommodate flower, concentrates, and shisha, giving you the fun of a gravity bong with the versatility to consume a variety of products. Fitted with a 14 millimeter joint, the Stündenglass works with any 14 millimeter accessory, including bowls, bangers, and the GPen Connect.  Here are the basics of how to get started:  Start by filing one chamber with water. Attach both chambers to the base. Load flower or concentrate into the bowl. Apply heat Flip the device and watch the water pull through the two-way stem.  The flipping gives you control over the amount of smoke and speed of combustion. For example, a 180° flip will push out more smoke than a 45° flip. Exploring the flipping and the perfect hit size is part of the fun. Once the bottom chamber is filled with water and the other with smoke, you're ready to flip and hit. As you start to flip the device, a steady stream of smoke will flow through the contactless mouthpiece, perfect for germ-free consumption — but it can be kind of overwhelming. The strength of the smoke flow depends on how far the unit is flipped, using gravity to control the ignition of materials and output of smoke. If you want more control over the smoke, you can attach the accompanying hose for a hookah-like experience.  Regardless of which method you use, the inhalation experience is much like that of taking a bong rip. If that scares you, start slow, do small flips, and pack small bowls until you get the hang of it. With the time you save on assembly, you can spend getting to know your preferred setup.   Stündenglass What's included? Stündenglass provides everything you'll need for the best gravity bong experience: BaseTwo globes Flower bowlHookah bowlCoal trayHookah mouthpiece 3-foot hose Extras You may be eyeing the Stündenglass to wow your weed-loving friends, but it could also win over cocktail lovers too. The included 3-foot hose can be used to add smoke to drinks, elevating both your home smoking and imbibing skills. The Stündengalss also comes with a 10-year warranty, so long as you register within 30 days of purchase. Much like major technological purchases, the warranty offers peace of mind for your investment.  Stündenglass also offers a number of customizable accessories: hookah hoses and tips, interchangeable globes, and mouthpieces are just a few of the ways you can customize your device to match your style. How to clean the Stündenglass Gravity Hookah Much like other glass smokeware, isopropyl alcohol does the trick. Pour the alcohol into one globe, reattach the other, and flip the device until the globes are coated with the solution. Remove the globes and give them a rinse with soap and warm water.  To clean the base, you can use a q-tip and alcohol to get into the crevices and remove any residue. For a deeper clean, disassemble the elbow or joint of the Stündenglass, remove the rubber plug, and clean the valve. You can also remove the stems and clean them with alcohol as well. Stündengalss offers a cleaning kit that comes with all the tools, brushes, and wipes you'll need to keep your own shiny and well-functioning.   What's the appeal? In the past, gravity bongs were part science project, part smoking experience. The nostalgia of old school gravity bongs shouldn't be forgotten, and Stündenglass maintains that classic fun while removing the work of assembling your own piece. It's perfect for folks looking to honor the history of consumption, with a sleek, modern twist that's perfect for covid-friendly smoke sessions.  At $599.95, the Stündenglass is for the early adopter smoker — like me — who wants to have all the cool new gadgets, loves weed, and desires to enhance their group smoking experiences.  Check out the Stündenglass Gravity Hookah on stundenglass.com.

3 new weed products you should try from B-Real x WonderBrett, dosist, and more

With so many great cannabis brands releasing exciting new products in new markets, it can be hard to keep track of every release. So we're rounding up a few significant releases. This week, we look at releases by B-Real and Wonderbrett, dosist™, a collaboration by Burb and BLLRDR, and a true dance battle event in Michigan. B-Real and WonderBrett: Limited edition pre-roll Gallery PR B-Real announced a new collaboration with popular cultivar brand WonderBrett, along with Dr. Green Thumb and High Hopes Supply. This partnership has brought about the debut of a limited edition pre-roll containing Pineapple OZK — a cross of Pineapple OG and WonderBrett's own OZK. Not only will you dip into a dreamy and relaxing high with creamy notes of pineapple, B-Real has decided to pair it with his new track, “Mother Mary.”  Pick up the pre-roll at any of Dr. Greenthumb's California locations, and download the single for a unique experience where music and cannabis collide.  Available: California dosist™: Performance Gummy Collection If you're looking for a non-GMO, fast-acting, and vegan gummy, look no further than dosist™'s newly launched Performance Gummy Collection (pictured at the top of the article). The sweets are infused with the company's nanoblend technology, which provides a faster onset. The moods range from Sleep (5:1 THC:CBN), Bliss (THC only), and Calm (1:10 THC:CBD). Bonus: dosist is also featuring a 10 milligram THC Live Resin gummy in partnership with Bear Extraction House in the new collection. Available: California Keef Brands: Available in Maine, Missouri, and Ohio Ranked by BDS Analytics as the number one cannabis beverage brand in the US, Keef Brands is expanding its reach to Maine, Missouri, and Ohio. If you live in any of those states — along with their already established Arizona, California, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico, expect to find tasty drinks including Keef Classic Original Cola (10 milligrams THC — Maine), Keef Mocktail Lemonade (100 milligrams THC — Ohio), and Keef Classic H2O Strawberry Kiwi (200 milligrams THC — Missouri), among many more stoney flavors.  Available: Arizona, California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Maine, Missouri, and Puerto Rico  Bonus: Limited edition hoodies from Burb x BLLRDR  Gallery PR Burb and BLLRDR collaborate for the first time with a limited edition hoodie featuring a quote from the legendary grower and breeder Jef Tek. The 100% cotton hoodie is $120, keeping you cozy while shouting out your favorite plant.  Available: Nationwide Bonus: JARS Dispensary Dance Battle JARS is a chain of dispensaries in Michigan and Arizona, boosting cannabis and community through unique events. To celebrate their West Detroit opening, they're throwing a dance battle, complete with a $500 cash prize and budtenders onsight. Below, check out all the info you need to enter or watch the show: Who: Hosted by JIT Happens, a dance collective specializing in the style known as “Jit.” Judges include local dance legends Mav one, Standing O, and Queen Gabby. What: Open to all (18+) and free, the JARS Dance Battle will be a fun and competitive reason for West Detroit and the surrounding area residents to revel in the talent of its own in a real-life setting. All forms of street dance are encouraged: Hip-Hop freestyleBreaking (aka B-Boying)LockingPopping and House, and of courseThe Detroit-created dance style known as “Jit” Registration is open to anyone looking to take home the cash prize of $500 and bragging rights. In celebration of the West Detroit Dispensary opening and its opening day Dance Battle, JARS Cannabis and partner Viola will also be donating $3,500 to Motor City Street Dance Academy. When: Saturday, May 1, 2021, from 3 — 8 p.m. Where: JARS West Detroit — 7461 W 8 Mile (M102), Detroit, MI  **Dance Battle will take place in an adjacent large open-space building. Featured image courtesy of Gallery PR

Everything you need to know about Nugg Club subscription service

Cannabis subscription services have taken the market by storm in recent years. However, most include a major caveat: they don't actually contain anything that will get you high. Chock full of rolling papers, plastic grinders, and branded swag that will most likely end up in a landfill, most boxes are cheap in every sense of the word, with a carbon footprint that far exceeds their worth.  Nugg Club, a popular cannabis subscription service exclusive to LA, is different. With their approachable branding and trendy array of THC products, Nugg Club has managed to build a box that's actually worth paying for, creating an avenue for new users to become acquainted with various cannabis products at a fraction of the cost.  How it works The Nugg Club ordering process begins by creating an account on their website, and taking a short survey on your cannabis preferences. Customers choose what genre of products they receive from a combination of flower, pre-rolls, vapes and edibles (pick two), whether you prefer sativa, indica, or hybrid (pick two), and finally, how frequently you want to receive the box (monthly or bimonthly).  Each box costs $99 plus the California cannabis tax and sales tax, and contains 5 - 6 products valued at over $225. The array of brands and products that Nugg Club selects for these boxes is where the service truly shines. The products are new, hot, cutting edge, and the brands are the best and most trusted on the market. Many of the brands they partner with include equitable or charitable initiatives, including Nugg Club itself.  After completing your order and choosing a delivery window, customers wait 7 - 10 days for the box to be hand delivered. I found the delivery exchange portion to be really impressive, my courier was highly communicative which made coordinating the drop off a simple and pleasant experience.  What's in the box? For my box, I chose a combination of flower and pre-rolls, with a preference of sativa and hybrid strains. Here are some mini reviews of the products I received: superFIRE Hybrid 1/8th: Fruity, frosty and sweet, this hybrid eighth has a heady and uplifting high, great for daytime activities.  Mimosa Sativa 1/8th: Schedule 1 is Nugg Club's new in-house brand, which donates a portion of profits to support descheduling cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. Proceeds from Schedule 1 are donated to lobbying efforts that seek to reclassify cannabis, and to the Last Prisoner Project, an organization that works to free individuals in prison on non-violent cannabis charges.  The Mimosa 1/8th is gorgeous, with purple-hued nugs and a berry citrus terpene profile. The high is exciting, whimsical, and perfect for a wake and bake.  Power Puffs Pre-roll Pack: Her Highness is a woman-owned brand that consistently elevates the industry with a chic aesthetic and girl-power vibe. This little kief infused pre-roll pack contains a 24k gold lighter and enough THC to pack a real punch.  King Fuzzies Super Silver Haze Infused Pre-roll: Bright, potent, fun — I loved this infused joint. It's an incredible and uplifting experience from one of the best pre-roll brands on the market.  Super Glue Sativa Hybrid 1/8th: The least spectacular of the bunch, this is the kind of flower that gets you higher than it looks.  Glass Pipe: Meh, could be cuter.  Nugg Club Add-ons After receiving your first box, members gain access to one of the coolest features about this service: the Nugg Club Add-ons. There is a section on the site where users can choose from extremely discounted add-on products hovering around wholesale prices. These add-ons are billed separately from your box payment at the time you add them, and have the potential to shave thousands off your annual dispensary budget.  What's the appeal? Nugg Club is a really great option for new users looking to suss out the cannabis market and find their favorite products. Dispensaries can be overpriced and customers don't have a good, affordable avenue to try out multiple different brands and products to see what works for them.  The main drawback I find with this service is the delivery time. After you pay and complete your order, the box will take another 7 - 10 days to deliver. As a stoner who requires some level of instant gratification, especially when it comes to obtaining weed I already paid for, this is too long. However, Nugg Club isn't exactly catering to super stoners like me who need to be smoking weed all day every day.  Bottom line: Nugg Club is great, especially for new users. For stoners who already know the market, it's great if you want to save some money on your weed and don't mind waiting a week or so for it to arrive.  Check out Nugg Club at nuggclub.com.

Everything you need to know about the PAX Era Life

It's rare to come across a West Coast stoner who isn't already somewhat familiar with the PAX brand. Its handheld, pocket-sized flower and oil vaporizers are ubiquitous among committed non-combusters and strain hunting extract users, and its high-profile farm collabs have kept its proprietary cartridges consistently relevant.  Now the PAX line has expanded once again to include the PAX Era Life, its most streamlined device yet, built to suit a variety of cannabis oil users with simplified functions and an unparalleled ease of use. With its relatively low price point, simple features, and elegant simplicity, the PAX Era Life brings quality weed tech to an entirely new and potentially far more inclusive audience.  What is the PAX Era Life? The PAX Era Life is a compact cannabis oil vaporizer that uses proprietary PAX cannabis oil pods for vaping.  It's a compact, streamlined, lower-cost version of PAX's popular Era Pro pocket oil vaporizer. The two vapes share the same sleek look, with the Era Life being about one centimeter shorter than the Era Pro. The PAX Era Life's scaled back functions make it PAX's easiest to use vaporizer. Simply plug a PAX pod into the open end of the device, reinsert to choose from one of four temperatures, and draw.  The Era Life shares the majority of its basic functionality features with the Era Pro, save for the Pro's high level of interconnectivity via app. The Era Life does not feature app connectivity, and hence lacks those fancy app control options like low-pod alerts or child locks.  But what the PAX Era Life lacks in ornamental tech, it makes up for with a long battery life (up to 150+ hits per charge), relative low cost ($35), and flashy new color choices like Indigo, Grass, or Blaze.  What are PAX Pods? PAX Pods are the exclusive cartridges used by PAX vaporizers. PAX employs a proprietary design for its pods using SimpleClick™ tech, which allows users to plug their pods into their devices to choose a temperature and then draw from them instantly — no warm-up necessary. Higher temperatures burn through concentrates nominally faster than medium to low settings, but the Pods are long-lasting overall, supplying more than two weeks of inhales for low-temp daily tokers.  Authentic PAX pods can only be used with authentic PAX devices and vice versa. PAX Pods  universally consist of top-shelf quality extracts from reputable farms, and — depending on your location — are often available in extracts that span the cannabinoid spectrum. How does it work? The PAX Era Life is the most scaled down of all PAX devices, and is arguably the easiest PAX device to use. Straight from the package, the Era Life is ready to go; it's as easy as plugging in a pod and taking a hit. Charging the PAX Era Life The PAX Era Life arrives with a 4-inch long charging cable, and though mine arrived via USPS, it was approximately half charged. Once I'd used up the unexpected power boost, it took only 45 minutes to fully recharge the lithium-ion battery.   Like other PAX devices, the PAX Era Life has a X shaped light on its front. Each of the light's four arms (or “petals”) illuminate independently to alert users of battery percentage. Each arm represents 25% battery life.The upper left arm of the X will flash red when the device's battery requires charging. Charge the PAX Era Life by connecting the cord to a charging dock, power station, or USB port on your computer. All four arms of the light up X will gently flash as the device charges.Once fully charged, all four arms of the X will glow bright white for several seconds, fade, and repeat.  Changing temperatures Not unlike it's siblings, the Era Life operates at four different temperatures depending on the user's input. Novice user note: extracts vaporized at lower temperatures will produce robust flavor profiles and gently sloping highs, while vaping at higher temperatures can elicit a wild, swooning onset, so set your preferences accordingly. The “Pop and Click” method of gently popping your pod loose then clicking it back into place will activate the PAX Era Life's temperature control.For each pop and click, one of the aforementioned arms of the light-up X on the body will glow.Once you've chosen your temperature and pop-clicked it into place, the PAX Era Life is ready for hitting.  Temperature range:  One click, one petal, low temperature = 520°FTwo clicks, two petals, low/medium temperature = 610°F Three clicks, three petals, low/high temperature =  700°FFour clicks, four petals, high temperature = 790°F  How to clean the Era Life Since the PAX Era Life is an oil vaporizer that only uses PAX pods, cleaning is really concentrated to the housing, which can be wiped with an antibacterial wipe, moist cloth, or, in a pinch, the hem of a t-shirt.  Like most vaporizers, the mouthpiece is part and parcel with the cartridge, independent of the vaporizer, and as such, disposable and not much of a cleaning requirement. What is the appeal? PAX Style, discretion, and better living through tech are at the heart of PAX's branding, and with the introduction of the Era Life, that ethos expands to include accessibility. PAX products already have a pretty wide appeal, but by removing a large barrier to ownership — like the price —  PAX seems positioned to capture an even wider swath of oil users.  The bright colors, pared-down features, and functional simplicity make the PAX Era Life exceedingly appealing not only to users who value a durable, fashionable, and discrete device, but also to top-shelf extract aficionados, amateur vape lords, and even novice cannabis consumers with top-shelf inclinations. Even established fans of PAX products can appreciate the easy earnestness of this device; no apps to download and decode, no melodramatic cleaning issues, and no gambling on an extract from an unknown, rogue farm. Bottom line: across the board, this may arguably be PAX's most appealing device to date.  Photos courtesy of PAX  Check out the Pax Era Life at pax.com.
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