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Saturday, February 27, 2021
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Puff: New strains, all the gains

A lineup of some of our favorite new strains, available from a Bay Area dispensary near you.

There I was, I had it all set. I had researched some new flowers and flavors and was about to write about smoking great strains on a budget—and then my buddy Johnny wrote to me that he was purchasing $15 eighths from one of our favorite dispensaries. 

Fifteen-dollar eighths! My eyes rolled black back into my head like a great white shark as it bites down on its juicy prey before pulling it down into the depths of the ocean. Must have. I was immediately pounding away on my computer keyboard to see for myself. There they were! 

A couple of hours later I had even more weed! Mine, mine, all mine! 

A bubble friend dropped by a couple of days later. He came in, stopped, sniffed and looked at my table askew with cannabis containers, papers, pipes, and a bong. “Wow, you have a lot of weed,” he said right off the bat. No inquiries to my health or well being, not even a “hello.”

But he was right; I was well-weeded. Why? Pure research, of course. We are all stuck inside during these stressful times, and for many of us, cannabis has become a way to cope, relax, take the edge off, and entertain ourselves. So I am taking it upon myself to sample a bunch of new strains and report to you my findings.

After all, it’s that time of the year when wonderful new flowers come to the market in abundance. As always, you should sign up for your favorite dispensaries’ email and texting lists. This will notify you of new sales and drops, which are happening at a fast and furious pace.

Listed below are some wonderful new finds and flavors that might make your day a little more stonier and fun.

I talked to several cannabis insiders who told me the two hot new strains were offshoots of Wedding Cake and anything Apple. 

I was already a fan of Lava Cake and Ice Cream Cake, what could be better than those? Maybe Jack Cake! That’s right, the folks at Ember Valley have spliced together two of my favorite flavors; Wedding Cake and Jack Herer. The blend has an amazing smell of gassy and piney notes, with a hint of fruit and sweetness. It is a pleasure to smoke. This is a hybrid that edges into the sativa side. It is what I call mid-level in price (around $55 an eighth), but worth it if you love those flavors as much as I do.

Looking for a great price on your product? Dime Bag to the rescue.

As for “Apple,” there is no correlation with any specific strain and the concept of “Apple.” Take for example, Apple Crisp, which I purchased at the amazing price of $25 from Dime Bag. My friend Veronica reported that these eighths were flying off the shelves, so I did some research. 

Apple Crisp is an indica derived from Apple Gelato and OG Kush (Fun Fact: Gelato means it came from the Girl Scout Cookie lineage) while Apple Jack is a hybrid made from Jack Herer and White Widow. Alien Labs’ current Atomic Apple? Triangle Mints and Apple Fritter. The new flavor Apple Kush? Sour Diesel and Pure Kush. 

See, there is no consistent means of naming any strain. From what I can tell, it all started with the hybrid Apple Fritter, which won High Times’ Strongest Strain award in 2016. Everything else is related to that original strain, or is named “Apple” because it is the current Hype Weed term.

To check any strain and where it comes from, I recommend Leafly. On that site, you can not only find what strains your current cannabis comes from, but information on its terpenes. After all, the percentage of THC is only the beginning of what makes you high, and how that high feels. Terpenes play a large role as well. Keep track of those in your favorite flavors to find commonalities with other strains. That way, you can find the nug that suits you best.

I tried another non-Apple strain from Dime Bag, the sativa Dream Queen (Blue Dream and Space Queen). It was lovely.

For the price and quality, Dime Bag is something I will definitely seek out.

My other cheap find was Eighth Brother, where I found some of my favorite flavors like Gorilla Glue and Girl Scout Cookie for only $22 an eighth! I was worried about quality, but I enjoyed all the flavors immensely. Sour Strawberry (Sour Bubble crossed with Strawberry Cough, Razz, and East Coast Sour Diesel) was my favorite. According to Leafly, the hybrid is a popular strain for concentrates due to its high resin production. See, always learning!

Risen Labs definitely scored with their Purple Wookie (Wookie with smoke strain Grandaddy Purple? Leafly had no entry on the variant and I’m not entirely sure of its genealogy.) It has a nice light buzz, which is nice for an indica. Well worth the money. I got it on sale for $15 an eighth.

As for bargain brands, you can never go wrong with Henry’s Original. I’ve never had a bad or even so-so strain from them. I’ve been wake-and-baking with Amnesia Haze for the last two weeks. It is bright, euphoric, and makes my little grey cells tingle. Like any good sativa, it helps you get the job done with a whistle in your step. At only $35 an eighth, it’s worth it on all levels.

My final favorite budget find is Sled Dawg from Pacific Reserve. It is a super potent meeting of two strong strains, Tahoe OG and Chem Dawg, and it does not disappoint. The smell is pungent and gassy. The flavor is most excellent! This indica-leaning hybrid is perfect for relaxing and putting your mind on autopilot. For the $35 an eighth price tag, it’s a true stoney bargain.

This is but a small sampling of all the flavors out there. I saw over 145 flower strains available from one dispensary alone. Now is the time to sample, sample, sample, and find your favorite new strains. Bargains are aplenty. The pricey ones are probably pretty good too! Just know some of these new entries will disappear never to return, but just as soon as they do, the next great flower will pop up. Always has, always will.

Right now, I’m waiting on a Lava Flower delivery!! I can’t wait! 

Puff: A Valentine’s Day stoner survival guide

Whether you’re celebrating at home alone or with a bestie or loved one, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself right with a day of cannabis. Sure, flowers and cards are nifty, but the gift of weed is tons more fun and sexy.

Here’s my strategy to get through the day in a puffy cloud of bliss.

First, start off the day with a pleasantly buzzy beverage. I have hearts for the Purple Passion soda from Keef. It’s 12 ounces of yummy, bubbly grape soda that packs a pleasant 10mg THC punch. The flavor is not too sweet, but it is still a nice throwback to my grape soda days of yore. I also like the giddy buzz carbonated cannabis drinks provide.

Next up, I pop a Kiva’s new Lost Farm Watermelon flavor fruit chews in my mouth. My teeth push their way into that sweet and tart, waxy candy as my tongue tastes the tangy weediness of that Starburst-like chew. I am a big fan of the new strain gummies, and this one with the live resins of Wedding Cake and Watermelon Zkittlez does not disappoint! Each bag has ten 10mg chews and sells for around $25. Now you are ready for the day.

A little pick-me-up later calls for a nice Purple Sun mini-joint enhanced with kief by Jetpacks. These babies actually smell and taste like grape. There are six .5g joints in the container, and it sells for around $30. Yummy! Indica is the perfect way to relax for a night of enjoying your favorite movie or a sexy date night. 

With my taste buds now abuzz, time to get to the chocolate. What VD would be complete without indulging! 

I am all about Kiva’s Churro and Raspberries & Cream chocolate bars. They pack 100mg THC in 20 pieces and run at $25. 

The Churro chocolate has a nice smooth texture and the flavor is enhanced by a light sprinkling of cinnamon. The back of the bar is coated in sugar crystals to give you that churro-y crunch sensation, and it is delightful. Hopefully, I can stop snacking on them long enough to get all this written down.

The Raspberries & Cream has a nice creamy white chocolate feel and a nice tart stab of raspberry flavor. It plays well in your mouth and is a pleasure to eat.

For an extra sexy touch, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gentle simmering water and dip fruit like strawberries, nuts or any old thing your heart desires in it. Place on wax paper and refrigerate until set or just lick it right off and make it extra messy. Serve with champagne or a bubbly cannabis drink. 

I love peanut butter cups, so I am delighted to find Emerald Sky’s delectable version. Each cup contains 10mg of delicious THC and is rolled in crunchy sugar crystals. They taste just like they should with almost no cannabis flavor.

Beware of all this candy though, it is easy to forget they are weed. Especially after you are stoned! Set a limit, otherwise, you will spend the holiday quietly staring at the wall with an untouched glass of water next to your chair.

When you cross those power buzzes of sugar and cannabis you get that wacky up-the-downstair-case feeling, so now is a good time for some sexy time, work or cleaning the place up and mopping. Your choice.

So as the day slips away, it is time to relax and let all the intricate irritations of the day fall aside. Jump in a hot, steamy shower and ease those muscles. Afterwards, you can rub down with Deep Calm Massage Oil from Green Bee Botanicals .

I have been using the massage oil on my neck and shoulders during the pandemic because I store all my stress there. I use it weekly with great results. It has a 3:1 ratio of THC to CBD and sells for $38 for a 1oz 30ml bottle.

Now, it’s show time, so grab some snacks and nestle in for your favorite movie depending on your take of the holiday. Why not a classic romantic movie like Two for the Road with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn or maybe a gay romance like Edge of 17? Sometimes, I am more in the Silence of the Lambs state of mind. It’s all fun to watch stoned.

Now, light up some nice flower like my current favorite sativa Lava Flower from A Golden State which has a nice Jack Herrer edge with the zonky buzz of the Lava Cake. 

After the movie, it is time for an indica gummy and bedtime.

If you follow my finely stoned strategy, you will get through Valentine’s Day with a long-lasting giddy fun high that you can do alone or share with others. It works for everyone. I guarantee it!

If you are looking for something a bit bigger, may I suggest Lucky Box Club’s wonderfully curated Eros Collection for $156. It comes with cannabis flower, candy, massage oil, gummies, a special vape kit, bath soak, spray and more! Too bad there isn’t an option for a cute, stoner boyfriend as well!

Your favorite dispensaries are having specials and sales now, so be sure and shop around for your best deal. There are many wonderful options out there.

Valentine’s Day is more a state of mind than anything. Get your inner Valentine high with good self-love, and let it radiate to all those you care for. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are almost there, one toke at a time. Be well, be safe, be stoned.

Now, it’s time to eat up some more of that Churro chocolate!

Puff your way through the holidays, and into 2021

Have you spent too much time binging on TV series and Zoom meetings? Run out of time while re-organizing your closet for the fourth time this year? Not sure what to get that buddy you haven’t actually seen in almost a year?

Well never fear! Your Stoner Santa is here with some stocking stuffer ideas or end of the year treats that can handily be delivered to you or picked up from your favorite local dispensary.


Strain specific gummies are the new trend this year, and I could not be more excited about it! I mentioned them in my previous gummies column, but I didn’t get a chance to try Plus’ three new strains, Lemon Jack the Sativa, Pineapple Express the Hybrid and Grandaddy Purple the Indica.

First off during these terrible times, I cannot express enough SATIVA, SATIVA, SATIVA. I swear if it has not been for the upswing and energy they provide, I would be a weaker man today.

So my new pal is Lemon Jack. As with a lot of the sativa gummies, they can give you the good energy to get things done and keep an upbeat attitude within reason of course. These days let’s not expect miracles.

All three of these new options have a unique cannabis flavor specific to its strain. Normally, I like it when my cannabis gummy tastes like a tangy candy. If we are getting strain specific, we are moving past just the conceptual holy trinity of sativa, indica and hybrid to actuarial strains and what they uniquely do. So I like the herbal edge to these gummies.

A friend who tried the Granddaddy Purple told me they helped with his back which is always nice to know. I’ve taken a few in the evening with my evening bong hit while watching Amazing Race repeats on Prime. Remember travelling!? 

I’ve been popping the Pineapple Express as a mid-day chiller. They have a good pineapple flavor which is important.

For the holidays, they have just released a Sugar Plum sativa! I know what Santa can put in my Stoner Stocking this year!

Each tin has twenty 5mg pieces totalling 100mg. You can find them in most dispensaries for $20-25.


One of my favorite bits of inspiration this year is cannabis pop rocks! Sonder just released their Space Crystals in three exploding flavors, Pineapple Party, Stoned Fruit and Peachy Passion. Each packet contains 10mg THC Hybrid and they pack a wonderful, crackling flavor. 

This is where pop culture candy and sublinguals meet naturally. Both of these items need to be held in your mouth while they pop and crackle and are absorbed under your tongue for at least 60 seconds. Sonder licensed the original Pop Rocks formula so they are just like you remember them. They are also a Bay Area LGBTQ company, so show them some local love.

The Space Crystals are currently available from Sava, the only lesbian and LGBTQ owned and operated delivery service in San Francisco, for $9 a packet. I’m sure these will be popping up all over town soon. 

It really took me back to my childhood and then threw me back into the now with great packaging and getting high. It’s one of my favorite discoveries of the year!


Speaking of local love, I want to thank Bridget May of Green Bee Botanicals for her amazing skin products. Her skin serum just won in The Think Dirty Clean Beauty Awards and she is already a winner at the Emerald Cup. I have been using her cannabis-infused Brightening Eye Cream ($44) for a year now, and I am super happy with the results! I am not a person that stores lots of creams and remedies in my bathroom, but Green Bee Botanicals will always have a spot.

I also use the Deep Calm Massage Oil ($38) on my temples and neck for stress and on my lower back for pain. It has a 3:1 ratio THC to CBD.

The Perfecting Serum and Renewing Serum both with cannabis, CBD and Vitamins C and E are also available at around $55 each. 

Bridget has worked long and hard on Green Bee Botanicals, and it shows. Again, throw some local cannabis holiday love her way! They are available at Sava and several dispensaries around town.

Nothing like letting weed take care of the inside and out.

I’ve been playing the pot delivery game all year. I have ordered some great cannabis and some no-so-great stuff (I still smoked it, of course). When you can’t really see and smell it beforehand, it’s hard to tell the quality. Also, you can’t just get Strawberry Banana because there may be different companies hawking that flavor at different price points and strengths. So I go by brands.

My big shout out for consistent weed quality from what I have ordered goes to King’s Garden out of the Coachella Valley. It started with 33 Bananas, then the jawdropping WiFi Cake, Wedding Cake and finally Pie Hoe. I have not been disappointed once. 


So if you are going the flower route as a stocking stuffer, I highly recommend them. 

Other companies making my short list are Henry’s (I’m currently in love with their Chemdawg 91 sativa), Alien Labs (Kryptochronic!), Source (Animal Face, Strawberry Cough), and Flow Kana (Purple Cupcake, Green Lantern). 

An eighth (or more!) of any of these brands would make any stocking feel well-stuffed.

Another great gift idea is buying a big bag of shake and wrapping it up with some rolling papers, a tray and maybe some hash. Voila, an easy craft project making joints and smoking them. I like Lolo’s big 21 gram bags of pre-ground cannabis. I’ve sampled several and have not been disappointed. I am currently trying out the Malibu Mirage (love the name) sativa (18% THC).

Another cool gift idea is a gift box! I know that Barbary Coast has one for $100, and I am sure other dispensaries will have one as well.

Another idea is to subscribe to a monthly box service. 

The Lucky Box Club has seasonal box choices for around $200, or you can go for the monthly service at $149/month. 

Another service is MonthLeaf. They offer a one time box for $120 with several content options and a monthly for $100.

I enjoyed all of them. I like boxes because it’s a great way to discover new items I would not normally pick up. Subscribe to it for yourself or that hard-to-buy-for person in your life. 

Photo: ChingImages.com. ©mymilligram. Styling: Surfacehaus.

Finally we have a visit from Marcia, the sparkling, cannabis, microdosing fairy, with Mondo. Marcia Gagliardi is a wonderful part of San Francisco’s cannabis community and many are familiar with her mymilligram newsletter and website. She recommends Mondo as a holiday treat. Mondo is a cannabis powder fueled by Blue Dream that you can sprinkle on any food. One scoop is 3mg THC so it is a great way to introduce someone to microdosing and letting them find their own comfortable level. It is available through Sava delivery service for $33

These are just a few samplings of the amazing gifts available in the weed world. 

As always, sign up for specials and deal alerts from your favorite dispensaries. They are all having massive sales and delivery deals right now. 

I hope everyone in your bubble and beyond has a safe and happy holiday. 

Mask up, stay safe, stay sane and stay stoned! We will get through all this together.

Now it’s time to light up!

Stop the ban on smoking weed!

When you buy legal weed, the cops get millions of dollars. But the Legislature could change that.

It’s a simple question: Do you like to smoke weed in your own home, that place you pay crazy high rent on so you can live in this amazing city? Well, there is a supervisor in San Francisco who wants to take the right to smoke cannabis away from you. After all the work we have done to legalize weed in this state and bring valuable medicine to those who need it, the city could move to stop you, fine you $1,000 a day for smoking cannabis.

Who the hell thought this one up?

Go after cigarettes, but not cannabis

Like this year has not been bad enough. Let’s enact legislation that will hamper our right to enjoy cannabis in our own homes. As we decry bad politicians doing terrible things across this great land, here we have some insidious politicians trying to come inside our domiciles and tell us what we can and cannot do in our homes.

I need all stoners and cannabis users to PUT DOWN THE WEED!

We need to write letters to our city supervisors and start a social media campaign now to send this law packin’ with the flood of techies leaving the city.

We need to stop this!

Contact your supervisor and complain.

The vote is Tuesday, December 1. Do it now and often!

I talked with Menaka Mahajan, a cannabis consultant and advocate, who is spearheading a local online protest. Use these hashtags so she can track them, #oppose201265 and #420athome

Mahajan, whose Instagram handle is @mahamunchie, said people could message her on IG if they have questions or want to help. They can also find the artwork to repost for the protest.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee introduced the legislation, which is primarily aimed at cigarette smoking – but also includes vaping and smoking cannabis. Yee wrote the measure over his concern of secondhand smoke traveling into other units.

Yee can do what he wants about cigarette smoking. Damage from cigarettes has been proven for years, so I get that, but there is no evidence of damage from second-hand cannabis smoke.

They say there will be an exemption for medicinal users, but, sorry, that is not near enough.

Currently, District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman is working on an amendment that would exempt all cannabis users. Let’s send him some love and support!

There are so many more pressing concerns in this city during a pandemic than trying to limit what people can do in their own homes while we are forced to stay inside.

How will you enforce it? Send out a patrol of nosey neighbors like Gladys Kravitz from TV’s Bewitched to go sniffing around halls and peeking in windows?

What if people cannot pay the $1,000 a day fine? Hey, after a week it’s $5,000 to $7,000 depending if it is a work week or a full week.

Can you even imagine all the beleaguered cops having to go to all these stoners’ houses because of complaints?

“Sir, we need you to put down the Cheetos, and if you blow that cloud of delicious Grandaddy Purple smoke at me, I will have to Taser you!”

At least stoners will be easy to catch in a chase, running all slow and getting lost with their best stash and favorite bong in their arms along with that unfinished bag of gummy worms.

I don’t think they thought this through very well.

Let your voice be heard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Medium.

Send smoke signals!

You can even write a letter to your supervisor, put a stamp on it and mail it. It’s old school, but they can actually hold it in their hands.

We worked too hard to get through legalization and all the pitfalls in Prop 64, to all of a sudden lose our right to smoke cannabis in our own homes.

There are more of us stoners than there are of them, so let’s be heard! Now!

Then have a nice cannabis treat delivered for you to enjoy in your home.

That is your right.

Now I’m gonna light up.

Be safe, be well, be stoned, be home.

Puff: And gummies for all!

Happy National Cannabis Gummy Day this Thursday! November 19 is the industry-sanctioned day to celebrate the combination of sucrose, gelatin, flavoring, and cannabis, creating one of the most popular edibles on the market today.

In September 2020, Californians spent $25.2 million on infused candies. This does not include chocolates, according to the BDSA which provides marketing insights for the cannabis industry. That’s a lot to consume in just 30 days.

The great thing about gummies for me is that they work quickly. I don’t have to digest a lot of other stuff just to get to the good part. They also make great gifts for any holiday or occasion. They come in cute tins and have a nice price point, usually between $20-$30.

So I took this project upon myself to sample gummy offerings from the local dispensaries I go to on a regular basis. This was done in a specific amount of time on a certain budget. If I do not mention your favorite, let me know, because I already have a list going for Part 2! There are that many choices out there. I couldn’t try all the flavors offered. I just went with my own faves. Again, notify me if I miss out on something truly scrumptious.

Space Gem Cannabis Infused Sweet Gummy Spacedrops come in a cute space-age tin and are packaged in small paper cups. Each gummy contains 10mg THC and other cannabinoids (<2mg CBD, <5mg CBG, <5mg CBC) for the full spectrum high, according to their website. 

They are made of premium single source ice water hash—and these babies will blow your mind taste-wise. Zingy, sweet, and tangy. 

Last year I had Space Gem’s Gem Juice on my Wish List. They have taken that amazingness and made it into a sweet-tart gummy. Every time I took one of these, I would end up cleaning my apartment or doing something for my active mind. 

I also picked up one of their single servings for $5 which was just lovely, but I prefer the sweet flavor better. They also have a 5mg CBD/5mg THC option.

Bite into a different strain

The newest thing in edibles is gummies derived from a certain strain of cannabis. I was noticing this just the other day, so I picked up Kiva’s Lost Farm, raspberry flavor made with Blue Dream live resin. 

The flavor was definitely a nice raspberry. The cannabis kick was good. I really enjoyed these. I like the packaging, kind of going for a “Ye Olde Candy Store” vibe. They also have two other strains available Super Lemon Haze in a Strawberry Lemonade flavor and Clementine in a Citrus Spritz flavor. I will seek these out.

I think strain-specific gummies are brilliant. I certainly hope they make Girl Scout Cookie or Lava Cake gummies as well!

Another yummy gummy is the Smokiez Edibles’ Sour Watermelon Fruit Chews. I love a good, tangy watermelon flavor, and these do not disappoint! The gummy slab has the most luxurious mouth feel. Very smooth but firm. It was a most enjoyable eating experience, so watch out and don’t eat too many or you will get too high.

Smokiez has many flavors to choose from, Blackberry to Sour Apple, Peach to Jamberry. They all chime in at 10mg THC. These were hybrid. I noticed a couple of indicas as well.

The packaging is a sealable foil envelope. The artwork is nice. I still prefer tins.

Sleep it off

Another popular trend is gummies as a sleep aid. Just a touch of certain indicas can make you toddle off to Night-Night Land all the more quickly. And, most importantly help you to stay asleep longer.

Plus Gummies released two new gummies just for sleeping. 

Sleep Cloudberry contains 5mg THC, 1mg CBN, 1mg CBD in each gummy, with melatonin added. This gives you a nice bit of THC to make you sleep. If you don’t want as much THC, then CBN Relief Lychee is the way to go with 3mg CBD, 2mg CBN, 1mg THC, also with melatonin. 

Two days after I was out of those gummies, I had insomnia for the first time. I am taking sleepy gummies again. 

You can also just take indica gummies to help you sleep as well. I took Wyld’s Marionberry Gummies just for that. The 10mg slabs of gummy have a great taste and mouth feel. I would just take one of these before bed, 2 if I felt restless. They worked great.

Wyld also has an Elderberry CBN flavor for sleep as well as strawberry, peach, pomegranate, huckleberry, and raspberry. Wylde, along with Smokiez, is one of the fastest growing brands in California.

I think they are fantastic, but I have to ding them on packaging. The pretty box they come in does not go back together once it is opened, and then you are left with the small tan plastic container from inside with no markings on it. It is just not very attractive to pull out and offer your friends a cannabis snack with.

Potency is key

Kiva Confections has another line of gummies called Camino. They have very nice tins, very decorative. They got my interest with their Pineapple Habanero sativa flavor. The pineapple flavor was adequate, but it was difficult to get the habanero part unless you ate it slowly with multiple pieces. 

Then came the Blood Orange for Halloween with a super cool tin. The flavor was much better. To tell you the truth, though, I don’t think the flavors are as vivid as those of Smokiez and Space Gem. I also prefer a firmer gummy. These are a little too jello-y.

They also didn’t work with my system as well as others, so I could take several and not feel them as much as I did some of the other brands.

Remember, cannabis works differently with everyone. Especially edibles. Find what brands and amount work for you.

Next up is Kushy Punch , seriously potent cannabis gummies. This is the OG of gummies for me. The first gummy I tried. They come in little square containers that you pop out and tear off your dosage. Screw new flavors and fancy tins, this is about getting weed into your system. They taste like powerful weed. Shut up, eat it and get high.

Speaking of old days. Remember when you could get larger dose gummies? Heavy Hitters is recreatring that vibe with their line of 20mg gummies. I tried the pineapple flavor. Instead of 10 10mg slabs, there are five 20mg gummies. Instructions are telling you to cut them in two, but I am like, Hell No. If you are going to go there, go there. It is a statement. A statement that says, “I ain’t doing shit today.”

The flavor is fine but not remarkable. They come in an envelope so they are prone on getting smushed. Need I mention tins again?

Everybody likes to get gummies as a gift. Be it a self-help gift to get you through 2020, a forget-you-not to a friend in isolation, or a holiday gift to a loved one you can’t hang out with. 

It’s better for your lungs than flower, and a great way to add CBD to your diet. They can make you active and creative or ensure you get a nice snuggly night of sleep. Of the top 20 cannabis infused foods sold in California, 17 of those products are gummies.

So Happy Gummy Day 2020! To get the best deals on cannabis, be sure and sign up for your favorite dispensaries’ email and texting lists. 

Be well. Stay sane. Now it’s time to light up!

Puff: Let’s get fizzy with it

Bubbles. We all enjoy those effervescent bubbles as they tickle our nose. They give us a little lift, a slight inner giggle that sometimes spills outward in the spirit of fun and relaxation. Usually that means champagne or some other alcohol, but these days fizzy cannabis beverages can give you that, too—and more.

There is nothing new about carbonated cannabis drinks. I have recommended Manzanita Naturals sodas before, and still do. I love their cola flavor. These days with the market expanding, new products and flavors are always floating up.

It doesn’t matter if you are stuck at home, unemployed or overworked, or just looking for a special gift, cannabis beverages are always a good idea to give the day a much needed burp of contentment. 

Setting out on the internet I started gathering samples from the menus of six local dispensaries I usually visit. This is not a definitive list. I got all the products I could find within a certain time frame and budget. If I missed your favorite, let me know! 

I stayed within the world of sodas and seltzers. 

First off, Wunder (50 calories, Sugar 10g, Carbs 11g) is a new sparkling water beverage with a twist. Along with the slap and tickle of 2mg THC and 4mg CBD, there is also the added benefit of 2mg Delta-8. 

Why Delta-8 THC you may ask? 

“Delta-8 THC offers a lower psychotropic potency that provides body relaxation and clear-headedness. When combined with Delta-9 THC and CBD, a unique cannabinoid profile that is entirely new to the beverage scene is produced; designed to enable consumers to feel more present in the moment and encourage them to experience the wonder in their lives.” said Alexi Chialtas, president and CEO of Wunder.

The flavors are all zesty and flavorful with no bad aftertaste and include Watermelon Wave, Lemon Ginger Lift, and Blood Orange Bliss which are all available at the Apothecarium at $7 each or a 4 pack at $22. Also look for them on Sava as well.

Already buzzing on Delta-8, I was ready to enjoy the Keef’s Bubba Kush Root Beer. (132 calories, Sugar 34g, Carbs 34g). The flavor was perfect. It was sudsy. It satisfied my root beer craving and would be great in a root beer float, a favorite from my childhood. 

Keef has some more excellent flavors. The ones I have my eye on are Blue Razz, Orange Kush and Purple Passion. They have sparkling waters listed on their website, but I have not run into those yet. 

They all have 10mg of THC and cost around $10 each. I have seen them at most dispensaries around town.

I miss beer. During this pandemic I found out I was a social drinker. I was excited to finally try Lagunita’s Hi Fi, a hoppy cannabis drink with a beer-like flavor. The Hi-Fi Hops Reverb (0 calories, Sugar 0g, Carbs 0g)  at 10mg THC is not anywhere like beer BUT it does attain a certain hoppiness to make it a suitable homage.

As I drank along, it became more and more enjoyable. At the end, I even let out a nice vocal belch as a little shock of giddiness shot up my spine. Nice! They have two new flavors, Unplugged with its 18:1 CBD to THC ratio and Tuner which is 5mg THC and 5mg CBD.

They all sell for about $10 each at most dispensaries around town.

Next up, a new product, Calexo carbonated cannabis beverage in two flavors, Cucumber Citron and Citrus Rose. (70 calories, Sugar 15g, Carbs 19g)

I enjoy the size of the bottle at 22 ounces. I took one to an afternoon tea, and it was a hit. I felt like I was taking a bottle of wine. Everyone was able to have a nice drink and not worry they would get messed up with only 10mg THC in the entire bottle. The flavors were bright and pleasant with no aftertaste.

I could not find a price for Calexo online. I did see a couple of places locally that carry it, but check their website for more details.

Hard seltzers are all the rage in the alcohol beverage world. Some bars can barely keep White Claw and its ilk stocked on shelves. You knew the cannabis equivalent would be coming up soon. I tried three that are on the market.

Rebel Coast (0 calories, Sugar 0g, Carbs 0g) has three flavored seltzers, Black Cherry, Mixed Berry and Lemon Lime each with 19mg THC. The labeling looks great. They have an initial aftertaste that dissipates quickly.

As mentioned earlier, The Fizz from Manzanita Naturals was my first cannabis-infused soda. They now have a line of seltzers as well with Grapefruit, Strawberry, Lime, Grape and Tangerine. (0 calories, Sugar 0g, Carbs 0g). 

Grapefruit and Lime were tasty after that initial aftertaste.

One of the problems with the seltzers is seemingly hiding the cannabis flavor. I guess that is the price paid for zero calories and zero sugar. There is nowhere to hide the cannabis flavor!

Not that these seltzers taste bad, they just have an aftertaste I haven’t found in other cannabis beverages.

I also tried a CBD infused seltzer called Rhythm (0 calories, Sugar 0g, Carbs 0g). They have two flavors Awake (grapefruit rosemary) which has 15 mg CBD and 50mg caffeine, and Dream (blackberry lavender) with 15mg CBD and 5mg melatonin (for sleep). 

They taste fine with the same initial aftertaste. I did enjoy the Dream flavor which I drank at bedtime. This is a hemp-based CBD so it is available in a couple of markets in San Francisco. Check their website for locations. It is not the same as the THC-based beverages, but tasty in a pinch!

Well, I must say I have developed a very pleasant high after tasting all these cannabis sodas and seltzers. They make for a pleasant treat at a party or cook-out, watching TV, or after a long day of work.

Just sit back, put on some tunes or a favorite movie, pop a tasty cannabis beverage, light a nice doobie, and just float away enjoying the gift of cannabis.

Now it’s time for me to light up!


Be well.

PUFF: How I got my high back

Remember when isolation was only going to be for a few weeks? I cleaned up my place, picked out books and DVDs I needed to catch up on, and contacted long-neglected family and friends. I could do this. Plus, I had weed.

Did I ever have weed! I wasn’t going out to bars and clubs—through experimentation, I found out I wasn’t a social drinker, but I was a 24-hour stoner. So with the money I saved, I invested in cannabis. 

I bought several different strains to experiment with their effects. I investigated concentrates. What was caviar? Crumbles were awesome. I like shatter more than resins. I even bought a dabbing pen.

Weeks turned into months staying inside watching movies and Netflix. Everyone was all into Tiger King. I rediscovered hash. I know I must have nodded off during a couple of Zoom game nights after smoking that special joint made just for the occasion. It was a great quaalude, the ultimate chill out.

The months dragged on. I started rolling my own joints! I was grinding the day away. Mixing strains, rolling ‘em thick, and, like Ben & Jerry in a sugar-rush rampage, throwing in ALL the ingredients. I was making layers of weed and concentrates and hash. Hooha! Let’s ride this rocket of weed and see where it goes. More!!

Then I stopped getting high. 

Super bummer. 

I was smoking and feeling nothing. What happened? I didn’t feel like stopping, but I knew something had to be done.

First of all, I made sure I was drinking enough water. That was an easy one to forget.

Next, I switched things up. I needed a new attitude, so I turned to cannabis beverages. I had used Kwik Ease from Manzanita Naturals before for a nice high with one container containing 100mg of THC, so I started taking smaller doses with capfuls of the Pineapple Express Hybrid. I found a nice three-four cap dose. Later I used two caps of Kwik Zzzs Kushberry Indica for night-night time. 

I have recommended Kwik Ease time and again, and for good reason, it works. There is something about the mixture of cannabis oil, honey, lemon juice, ginger root, and various extracts including quillaja bark, valerian root, and orange that makes it work well with my body.

Finally, I started smoking more sativas. With all my brooding and movie watching I had been off on an indica kick. Too much indica can be, well, too much, especially in these wackadoodle days. I bought a box of Jack Herer Original Prerolls, a strong sativa, and boy, did they do the trick.

I was stoned again!

Now, reaching into my seventh month of isolation, I have more of a pot schedule. I have a nice sativa to start the day. I try and space out (no pun intended) my smoke breaks throughout. Later in the day I will smoke a stronger blend. Near bed time, I might still sprinkle some hash or dab some concentrate, but I regulate.

I am currently smoking mostly just flower. I have tucked away those super-strong concentrates and that relaxifying hash for special occasions and bedtime. Before, I was throwing everything I could find into my bowl and muddling up my high. Now when I pick a strain, I will stay with it most of the day and switch up maybe in the evening. 

I still like to roll joints. I have experimented buying some of the larger bags of shake or small buds offered at dispensaries. To my happy surprise, all of them have been good quality with good smell and effects, especially those by Lolo. I recommend their bags of Sundae Driver and Italian Ice Cream, both Indicas. It makes for easy rolling.

As we roll into harvest season, I hope everyone has found a cannabis routine that is helping them deal with our current problems. I know the expectorant qualities of cannabis helped keep my lungs clear during our recent bout with smoke. I send my love and good energy to all those brave people fighting and surviving the fires that caused it.

This year has been throwing punches at us like no other. 

Remain strong, know it will pass and don’t overdo the cannabis consumption. Give everything in your stash the opportunity to do its job. Hope you have a happy high every day!

Now it’s time to light up!

Cannabis tax money goes to fund the cops

When you buy legal weed, the cops get millions of dollars. But the Legislature could change that.

It’s high time to start defunding the police – and cannabis offers one way to do it. A full 20 percent of the state tax on weed sales goes directly to law-enforcement – and if the Legislature would change that, millions of dollars now underwriting cops in the state could be used for community services that will actually protect and serve the communities those cops have brutalized for generations.

When you buy legal weed, the cops get millions of dollars. But the Legislature could change that.

The story goes back to the passsing of Prop. 64, the 2016 measure that allowed adult recreational use of cannabis. Backers of the bill sold Californians on the promise that it would protect small cannabis farmers from big business for several years, that it would reduce the racial disparity in arrests, and generate millions of dollars in taxes.

But before Prop 64 ever became law, the regulators and Legislature began to mess around with the rules. First came an end on the acreage cap on cultivations, allowing for license stacking which has led to massive cannabis farms beyond what ever should have been legal prior to 2023.

Like the small farmers who have been neglected by the Legislature and the regulators, so have minority communities who have been systematically targeted by the war on drugs. Yes, people in California are still getting arrested – and facing felony charges – for cannabis crimes.

A recent analysis by California NORML found that, despite the overall number of arrests being lower, the “arrest disparities went up slightly for each race compared to whites” in the years since legalization.

Lauren Vazquez is a lawyer and the CEO of Fired Up Law Office, and was a senior advisor and statewide organizer for the Prop 64 campaign. “We knew we couldn’t put everything into the bill,” said Vazquez, so organizers pushed to get as much as they could in without attracting major opposition from law enforcement. “One of the things I personally did not like about Prop 64 was the high tax rates, they could and should be lower, but when you are putting together an initiative then people will want a piece of the pie so you need to grow that pie.”

Amber Senter is a veteran and the co-founder and executive director of Supernova Women, a networking organization for women of color in the cannabis industry. Senter also is the chair for the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Senter noted that “racial disparities rising since legalization is a clear indicator that we should defund the police because they are not doing it right.”

In her role with the NCIA, Senter has been long advocating for social justice, and she was pleased to say that their “committee is now the most active, most engaged, and most popular committee at the NCIA.” She was clear that the committee is “very committed to ensuring that the NCIA take social equity and the needs of black and brown operators very seriously and elevates their conversation.”

In the effort to appease law enforcement, Prop 64 had police funding written into its fabric, but due to how organizers wrote the initiative, we have the opportunity to begin shifting those taxes away from law enforcement immediately.

Prop. 64 requires various specific expenditures, such as the cost of running the Bureau of Cannabis Control and giving $3 million to the California Highway Patrol to research how to determine a driver’s impairment.

After those expenditures are covered the remaining money is split up into three accounts, 60 percent to one focused on youth education (specifically, drug education), 20 percent to environmental restoration, and 20 percent to state and local government law enforcement. The exact amounts vary from year to year, but Vazquez said “the 60 percent for the youth is around $400 million” which would mean that law enforcement is getting roughly $133 million a year.

On the surface, it seems as if that 20 percent to the “State and Local Government Law Enforcement Account” seems pretty cut and dried, but Vazquez was clear there is plenty of ambiguity. Vazquez said Prop 64 “says the state will give grants to local governments to assist with law enforcement, fire protection, or other programs focused on public safety.” Vazquez believes that “they could use the category of ‘other public services’ to accomplish the defunding the police goal” without needing to amend Prop 64. “While Prop 64 can be amended in some ways by a two-thirds vote, the taxes can’t be changed until July 2028,” Vazquez said. So rather than waiting until 2028 to formally amend the initiative’s taxes, that cannabis money can be diverted to defund the police now.

“The police are there to prevent violent crime and investigate violent crime, “ said Vazquez, “Defunding is redirecting funds to do all the other accidental roles police have been playing, we should have other people to respond to homelessness and other issues, leaving the police free to respond to violent crime.”

“This is the time and the moment,” said Lanese Martin, the co-founder and co-executive director of The Hood Incubator, a non-profit organization that advocates for policies to advance social justice and is dedicated to the empowerment and workforce development of Black people. “Black people are asking to stop being killed by police and the best and most effective way to do that is to stop giving the police money.”

Cannabis has a racism problem. The Floret Coalition can help.

Even this stock photography comes from a BIPOC-led cannabis justice initiative. Cannaclusive produces stock images (subject to a fee for commercial use) to challenge white-dominated visual norms of the legal marijuana industry.

On Thursday, hundreds of people who work in the marijuana industry gathered for a virtual event called “allyship + weed” convened by cannabis brand strategists Humble Bloom and the online store and weed education platform Miss Grass. For just shy of four hours, participants heard from panelists on challenges to inclusion within marijuana. They explored the liberatory consciousness model, listened to Drug War justice spoken word by artist Sadenia Sivad, and even played a card game featuring reflection prompts meant to develop one’s capacity for empathy.

The earnestness was palpable in moments of audience participation, but frequent calls from organizers to donate to the the Movement For Black Lives kept participants from thinking mere self reflection will save the day. Given the brutal racism of prohibition and inequities that have continued well into marijuana’s legalization era, there may be few industries as deeply grounded in white supremacy as cannabis.

The notion that people of color need to be the ones to say how these issues will be fixed is part of the logic behind the Floret Coalition, an anti-racist coalition of cannabis businesses.

“Being a Black person in the States, we don’t see ourselves sitting at the board table, making the big decisions for these cannabis companies,” says Floret Coalition board member and industry entrepreneur Maya Shaw. “Meanwhile, the Black community has been hit hardest by the War on Drugs here in America. So it’s kind of like, ‘What do you mean I can’t have a say?’”

Maya Shaw, Floret Coalition board member. Image courtesy of the Floret Coalition

In 2018, some 600,000 people were charged with marijuana possession in the United States. According to the ACLU, Black people are arrested for having cannabis on their person at nearly four times the rate of whites.

Legalization barely pushes the needle when it comes to increasing racial justice for Black cannabis entrepreneurs. They are often blocked from accessing the kind of capital required to navigate the hefty licensing fees and permitting structures of state and municipal cannabis regulation. Many of the social equity programs local governments have instituted to ensure support of Black and Brown cannabis entrepreneurs have proven clunky and ineffective. The recent debacle of marijuana personality Dabbing Granny’s use of the n-word shows how these structural problems can lead to overt racism in the cannabis space.

Happily, this protesting, change-making summer has seen a watershed of new, BIPOC-led cannabis justice initiatives. 

The Floret Coalition’s model is based on companies committing to donate a monthly dollar amount to an organization of its board’s choosing. (The Coalition’s definition of what makes a cannabis company is loose—one of the first brands to sign up was a catnip toy company that makes spliff-shaped kitty-medicated plushies.)

The inaugural board has a holistic view of what it takes to improve and empower Black and Brown people via cannabis industry resources. Though the Floret Coalition was originally conceived by marijuana lifestyle magazine Broccoli and its editor Anja Charbonneau, it is guided by the vision of three Black women and non binary inaugural board members with deep roots in cannabis culture.

“As marginalized people we’ve learned that we have to protect our own communities because no one else will,” says Floret Coalition board member Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey. “This isn’t to say that non-BIPOC people can’t show up and don’t show up. But I think we’re more engaged to correct the racial wrongs within the cannabis industry because most of us have gone through the system, or seen our family members and friends who have borne the deepest scars of the War on Drugs.”

Diverse leadership should prove to one of the keys to the effectiveness of the Floret Coalition and other cannabis justice projects.

“Because you don’t want to do something that’s just for optics,” says Shaw. “You want to actually support the movement.”

Kassia Graham, Floret Coalition board member. Photo courtesy of the Floret Coalition

Shaw ran an eponymous online store of cannabis accoutrement crated by women-identifying and LGBTQIA artists. On the board of the Floret Coalition, she is joined by Mexico City cannabis history researcher and co-founder of Xula CBD Golokeh Aggrey, and Kassia Graham, the director of national projects and social media for influential and social justice-minded cannabis marketing platform Cannaclusive.

Board members have made it clear that the Floret Coalition must work with worthy non-profits both inside and outside of the cannabis space—an idea that has been fleshed out by writer Tiara Darnell in an article published by Broccoli.

“We’re looking at the entire ecosystem of community,” says Graham, a Jamaican American whose Rastafarian great-uncle taught her the healing powers of cannabis early in life. They say there is already a shortlist of groups to which the Floret Coalition is considering directing donors. Some are within the educational space, some support farming. Others protect Black trans women.

“We’re also going to be giving to some mutual aid organizations that are not necessarily registered non-profits,” says Graham. “We believe in communities helping each other and themselves.”

Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, Floret Coalition board member. Photo courtesy of the Floret Coalition

That expansive vision appears to have resonated with cannabis businesses. Broccoli announced that within the first two days of the announcement of the Floret Coalition, 44 brands had signed on to donate $19,800 over the course of six months. Organizers expect that number to surge as word gets out about the project.

“The response has been beautiful,” says Golokeh Aggrey. “I think you often find that women (especially Black women) tend to be the ones to nurture and looks after others in their community. But we’re hoping and expecting to receive more pledges from a broader group of cannabis and cannabis-adjacent companies. There’s room for all of us.”

The initiative is far from the only project in which the weed industry is taking responsibility for the racism from which many of its white players benefit. Cannaclusive’s Accountability List was launched as a way to encourage cannabis companies to be transparent about their anti-racism practices. The list offers various metrics for tracking success in this mission, from stocking BIPOC-run brands to ensuring the racial diversity of employees at all levels.

Graham works on the Accountability List and also collaborates with cannabis marketing consultant Kieryn Wang to maintain InclusiveBase, a database meant to connect consumers with BIPOC-led cannabis companies.

Industry-funded anti-racism efforts also include Colorado’s Color of Cannabis, which has announced a series of August workshops to help get individuals’ records expunged of cannabis-related crimes. Legal reform-minded Last Prisoner Project is led by a board guided by former and current incarcerated individuals. The Cannabis Cultural Association, Minority Cannabis Business Association, Supernova Women, Equity Sessions, Equity Organization, and Drug Policy Alliance are all playing important roles in ensuring that the cannabis industry will have a more racially equitable future through education and advocacy. Surely, their effectiveness will hinge on white cannabis leaders accepting that their role is to assist people of color in creating the solutions to industry inequities. 

“It’s so important for us to be able to have a seat at the table,” says Shaw. “To say, ‘Here’s what needs to be done to make this right.’”

Puff: A day for dabs

A panoply of dabbing delights. Photo by Dan Karkosa

As we push through a year like no other, we reach another cannabis milestone day, 710!
What is 710? It is the high holy day celebrating cannabis oils and concentrates. Why does it
happen on July 10? Because 710 is the word “OIL” upside down! Now that is a holiday only a stoner could come up with!

Normally, I would tell you to stop by a dispensary and get yourself a dab at a dab bar to
celebrate, but since we are dealing with Covid issues still, that is not happening.
At this point having a dab rig would make it much easier to celebrate, but a nice glass rig with a heated coil can be pricey.

As you know, I have been coveting the PuffCo Peak for the last few years but could never afford its almost $400 price tag. Today, I noticed they have it on their website on sale for $299! It’s portable, spill-proof, and comes with its own battery charger. Dabbing made easy and fashionable.

You are my pen. On you I can depend: the PuffCo Plus. Photo by Dan Karkosa

Earlier this summer, I discovered to my delight that the same company makes a smaller pen-size dabber called the PuffCo Plus. I snagged it on sale for $55, but it usually goes for about $90. I was finally a professional dabber!

To use the PuffCo Plus, you unscrew the top and push the dart down to create a little scoop that you can use to heft concentrate, sliding it into a small chamber and screwing it closed tightly. The pen features three levels of heat that you can switch between through neat clicks.

Once you get that hang of it, you can blow some amazing dragon clouds of intense cannabis vapor. The lower temps give you more terpene flavor, while the hottest temp gives you a more intense high.

Remember to always clean the Plus with a cotton swab after each use. I let it go for a few times and suddenly the pen just wouldn’t work. I thought it was busted but nope, two gooey swabs later and it was working just fine.

So what’s good to dab? There are so many kinds of concentrate to choose from, I can’t even begin to try all of them for you — but I will try!

My recommendation is to look at your favorite dispensaries’ menus and choose something that you already like in flower form, like Purple Punch, Strawberry Banana, or Blue Dream. Nowadays, there are live resins, resin butter, caviar, crumble, shatter, live resin sugar, and many more styles to choose from. Terpene flavors are also fantastic. Don’t be intimidated, they will all get you high.

Here are some delightful concentrates I recently discovered.

Kaizen Extracts has a cured resin caviar of Trifi Cookies. It comes in at 81.9% cannabinoids. The caviar looks like its namesake, little nuggets of cannabis concentrate. They are easy to scoop up for a dab and have the nice and light high of a sativa.

Flavor Concentrates has a full catalog of flavors and styles to try. I am into their Jack Wreck Crumble (72.25% cannabinoids), an aromatic crumble that comes apart in small chunks for proper dabbing. Great flavor and a nice bright buzz. Crumbles are said
to be some of the stronger concentrates. I like them because they are easy to dab, but will also smoke well in a bowl or joint.

Flavor also has some great shatter out there for a nice price. I like their Purple Punch! Shatter looks more like a pane of amber glass, and can be sticky or brittle but is always strong and flavorful.

You might opt for a live resin, which range from gooey substances to a more waxy, smooth kind of concentrate. They have great terpene flavor because heat wasn’t used to distill them.

Perfect dab got you stumped? Here’s some suggestions for this year’s 710 celebrations. Photo by Dan Karkosa

Ursa Extracts has a delicious Purple Punch. Looks like they have some interesting specials on their website as well. Cannabiotix (CBX) also has some great waxy live resins. I’m currently using their Blue Badder. You can never go wrong with Guild Extracts either. They always have high quality concentrates.

Also never forget Jetty’s dablicator! It is the easiest way to control those crazy, sticky cannabis oils. I just finished a Mowie Wowie. Drizzle it over or in a joint, or follow my lead; tear up a roach to put in your bong’s bowl to create a base. Then squirt oil from the dablicator on top, sprinkle some flower, add maybe a dot of other concentrate or hash. Voila, 710 Salad! Slow toke on that while lightly lighting the bowl. Now settle back to watch Lord of the Rings or a Zoom drag show!

Of course, you don’t have to dab to celebrate the world of concentrates and oils. I am a major fan of hash. Hash is like a quaalude. It gets you high, and you can just kinda float off into a lovely haze. (Save it for after reading the news.) Sprinkle hash into your joints or over a fresh bowl to give it that extra kick. No extra equipment necessary!

I love the Talking Trees Bubble Hash that I recently purchased called Zsweet Inzanity at 66.23% cannabinoids. It has a lovely flavor. I’m planning on checking out more of their stuff. I found it at the Vapor Room for $26 per gram. They also have some awesome cheap bubble hash from Tutti in the basic flavors of indica, hybrid and sativa. At only $20 per gram, they are bargain-priced, tasty, and effective.

Perhaps you’re looking to celebrate 710 in an entirely different way. Maybe, with an infused pre-roll? I am always down for a nice Fuzzie, and there will be plenty of pre-roll options at your favorite dispensary. Remember, always sign up for your dispensary’s text or newsletter program to stay up on specials and new treats. Most businesses offer free delivery when you purchase a certain amount.

I hope you found some fun stoney treats to help you celebrate 710 and every other day of the year when you want a little more than just flower. These days, it is an easy and affordable escape, with lots of terpene flavor and a powerful cannabis punch!