Puff: After legalization – what now?

Line wound down the block when it was announced that several SF dispensaries, like Apothecarium, received last-minute license to sell legal cannabis. Photo by Darwin Bell.

PUFF Bang! 2018 is here. All the balloting, arguing, politicking, voting and discussing are over, and cannabis is legal for adults to use recreationally in California. Whew! Now what?

First of all get high! If you are one of those people who always bought in quantity from friends and avoided the cost of a card, go out to one of the dispensaries in San Francisco licensed to sell recreational marijuana and treat yourself. Buy a preroll or a vape pen or an edible. Buy some strain with a crazy-ass name (we all do it, Space Donkey comes to mind) just so you can go tell your friends what you have to share with them. There is no commitment now, so go and experiment: There are a lot of fun ways to get high these days.

For the regular dispensary consumer, don’t freak out about paying the crazy taxes laid on our beloved plant. Just know that it was tough in the beginning for all the states that have made the change. As soon as this crazy new pot machine gets running, the planners will look at what is wrong and start making changes. (At least they have promised to do so.) Things will smooth out. Specials and bargains will happen again. Just remember every time you pay that tax, you voted that in for a large part to keep people out of jail, and to release those unjustly serving time.

Everyone in the cannabis industry is scrambling to get the proper license, packaging, and doses for their products to make it through the process. This is a group of companies, organizations, and farms that for years created the compassionate care we know as medicinal marijuana. Well, Prop 64 is replacing that finely, oiled machine with the giant, robotic hand of commerce. Both will coexist eventually, but it will take a while. During that time many amazing companies with the best of intentions will close, disappear or meld into another group. From all accounts, it has been a crazy rollercoaster for these companies to comply, so my hat is off to those slogging through it all.

Right now the important thing is to watch who gets the power and what they do with it. It is imperative that through equity we help those who made a name for themselves in this industry and might not have all the skills to immediately compete in this new version of Weed World. We are asking them to come out of the Green Closet to no longer be outside the law and not only have a business model and logo but with proper licensing and testings to go with it. That is a lot to accomplish. Let’s not let them fall behind so they can get a proper piece of the stoner pie they helped bake.

So we will party and celebrate victory in 2018 and smoke a big fattie for all those who brought us here — Dennis Peron, Brownie Mary, Lynette Shaw, Jack Herer, Valerie Corral, and Steve DeAngelo, to name a few. I will see you in line at your local dispensary as I wait patiently for another hit of that Space Donkey.

It’s time to light up!

At Emerald Cup, the art of dabbing

Coveted Emerald Cup trophies for best buds.

PUFF A couple of weeks ago I made the pilgrimage north of San Francisco to Santa Rosa to experience the Emerald Cup, the big Kahuna of marijuana events. Let me just say, I was a little intimidated as I rode on that bus.

I knew there would be lots of dabbing. Dabbing is the process of basically freebasing marijuana oil from a bong like contraption. You get super high. I’ve had experiences where I get a nice buzz and have a lovely time, and then there was last Valentine’s Day where I got super fucked up, could barely walk and ended up face-planted in my bed 2 hours later. The latter was what I was afraid would happen to me at the Cup in front of thousands.

Emerald Cup entrants

The Emerald Cup takes place on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. It is very similar to any fair with exhibition halls, food, and music. Of course, here you have to go through the 215 Check-In where you show your pot card and ID to get your wristband so you can get into the cannabis use space.

The use spaces were these giant tents. Inside were hundreds of booths featuring marijuana companies from mostly the Mendocino and Humboldt areas. They were ready to smoke you out in every conceivable way.

So I dabbed, small ones at first, but like the Energizer Bunny, I just kept on going. I met people, chatted, and then we would head to another booth to do more. I found that there was a sociability in the high. I could talk and communicate one moment and then find myself staring off into the distance like Carrie at the prom the next. You can only get so high and after that you just color what high you want to have at that moment. Too stoney? Dab a Sativa.

DJ Dank with Weed Santa at Emerald Cup

I did learn the importance of water, fresh air, food, and CBD while dabbing. Drink as much water as possible. This will keep you fresh and moving. The tents fill up with EVERYONE’s dabs, so go outside and breath fresh air from time to time. Anytime you get too high, eat something! It will sober you up.

Remember CBD (Cannabidiol) is the part of marijuana that deals with pain management? Well, it also taps down paranoia and can sober you up when you get too high. We found a wonderful 10:1 ratio CBD vape pen by Eel River Organics and would go by their booth periodically and sample it. Of note, Eel River has some of the stronger vapes I have tried, so one-stop shopping there.

I got through the first day with flying colors. My whole group did! We even went back for more the next day. I was dab crazy and probably did 3 dabs in the first 15 minutes. Woohoo! When you do that many dabs, you can start recognizing and appreciating the flavors or terpenes.

Flower from Positive Roots Garden

My favorites included HoneyButter Rosin Co, a small company out of Willits. I was intrigued by the honey butter concept until I found out it was the names of their dogs in their logo. Their Candyland rosin was one of my favorites, and I loved their logo.

Another was Positive Roots Garden out of Chico. Nice guys, nice buds and their dabs were great. I bought an 1/8th of their Cry Baby flower. Very nice bud.

Guild Extracts had many great dabs with the most popular being Delta 8. The Zkittlez dab at Deviant Dabs was lovely as well.

The scene outside the cannabis use space

As for alcohol. There were a few small areas where you could drink, and they were nowhere near the cannabis pavilions. You had to show ID to get in and could not leave the area with your drink. I saw no drunken behaviour. Actually, I saw no bad behaviour whatsoever. No fights, no arguments, just a bunch of stoners having a good time bumping into each other constantly and saying “Sorry, man.”

So I conquered my dabbing fears and had an amazing and informative time at The Emerald Cup 2017, the last of its kind before recreational weed takes over in January 2018. What will next year bring? Who knows, but no matter what, I do know that the cannabis community will survive and thrive in their new world, and that we will all live to dab another day.

It’s time to light up.

Puff: The Weed-Lover’s Holiday Gift Guide

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

PUFF Fear not frazzled holiday shopper! Here is my list of stocking stuffables and potent presents for the marijuana lover in your life. Rest assured, these do not have to be only gifts for someone else. They can always be self-gifts to help you buzz through the holiday with as little stress as possible. And many are made locally. Here they are in alphabetical order. 

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Medicated mints
Original Mint tin, 5 mg each, total 250mg THC, price: $20.
Cinnamon CBD Mint tin, 5 mg each THC and CBD, total 400mg, price: $40.
Royal Mint tin, 20 mg each THC, total 1000 mg, price: $50.

One of my favorite ways to medicate. These microdosing marvels will also leave your breath fresh and minty. You can go for a mild high to give you that little lift or take two 20mg and I’ll call you in the morning.

Where: Flower Power, Green Door, Urban Pharm, Flow Kana, Buzz Delivery, Waterfall Wellness.
Website: www.breezmints.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Infused mini pre-rolls
Three pre-roll tin, Top Shelf Bud, CO2 Wax, Kief, Terps, S. Silver Haze, Sativa, price: $22. Three pre-roll tin, Top Shelf Bud, CO2 Wax, Kief, Terps, OG Kush, Indica, price: $22.

A true find. These powerful pre-rolls will give you a great and strong high. They actually look fuzzy from all the kief. I have only located them at one location, Flower Power. Worth it!

Where: Flower Power.
Website: www.sublimeco2.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Fiu pak half gram smokes, price: $30.

New to the Bay Area from down south in LA. These have lovely packaging. I tried one, well two, with three friends, and we all enjoyed it. I was happy and stupid for hours afterwards, so thumbs up!

Where: Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana 
Website: www.henrysoriginal.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

500mg cartridges
Top Shelf J1 (Jack Herer x Skunk), Sativa, 82.6% THC, 1.3% CBD.
Carpenteria (Private Reserve OG), Hybrid, 82.8% THC, 0.24% CBD.
Darth Vapor (Blackberry Kush x Mr. Nice), Indica Cross, 82.1% THC, 1.18% CBD.

These guys are putting out new flavors right and left. They had me at Darth Vapor, a 90% Indica. It is powerful. I’m currently enjoying their new Top Shelf label J1 (91% Sativa), and I have no complaints. Coming soon, Janis Joplin (75% Hybrid), Sweet Dreams (75% Indica), Blue Dream (82% Hybrid) and Sour Glue (84% Sativa). I love all the names.

Where: Purple Star SF, Grass Roots SF, Dutchman’s Flat, CBCB (Berkeley), Phytologie Oakland.
How much: $35.
Website: www.himalayavapor.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Cannabis topicals and natural products
0.5 oz Eye & Lip Cream, 3.9 mg/mL THC, 2.1 mg/mL CBD, price: $28.
1 fl oz High CBD Healing Facial Serum, 1.4 mg/mL THC, 2.1 mg/mL CBD, price: $34.
0.34 oz Medicated Massage Oil, 88.2 mg CBD, price: $14.

Nice packaging and quality ingredients make these a must for the cannabis-healing curious. I like the roller ball dispenser on the massage oil.

Where: SAVA, Foggy Days delivery service. Order directly at [email protected] Website: www.littlegreenbee.net

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Natural Cannabis Sodas
Flavors: Cola, Lemon Lime, Ginger Root. 12 fl oz, 50mg THC, price: $12-$15
12 fl oz, 5mg THC, low dose, price: $5
Fire Cider Tonic, 160 mg cannabis, $22-$24

The flavors are great. They pack a punch at 50mg per bottle. I love the label. It is great over ice or mixed with your favorite booze. A great way to get high and enjoy a tasty beverage. They have low dose 5mg and non-medicated sodas as well.

The wellness tonic has co2 cannabis oil, apple cider vinegar, wildflower honey, ginger, tumeric, orange and lemon juice and peel, garlic, horseradish, habanero pepper, quillaja bark and citric acid. Sounds like it is ready to kick some ass! The perfect thing to have around during the cold and flu season.

Where: Harvest, Sparc, Urban Pharm, BASA, Purple Heart, 7 Stars, and Blum in the East Bay.
Website: www.manzamadrone.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Flower-infused pre-rolls
Emerald Triangle Blend Tin, 2 Indica pre-rolls, 2 Sativa pre-rolls, Infused with hash oil, price: $36.
Cone-oisseur, 8 mini 1⁄3 gram pre-rolls, Top Shelf Sativa and Indica fortified with hash oil, price: $50.
Pre-rolls fortified with hash oil: Sour Diesel, Sativa, price: $11.
Honey Banana, Hybrid, price: $11. Zkittlez, Indica, price: $11.
High CBD, price: $12.

Lovely, quality pre-rolls full of fresh flower and mighty hash oil. The Emerald Triangle four-pak tin is perfect for a stocking stuffer.

Where: Barbary Coast SF, Grass Roots SF.
Website: www.medi-cone.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Medicated edibles
Solar Flare Chocolate Chip Cookies, 10mg CBD per serving, 50 mg CBD per box, price: $20.
Super Nova Cookies Trail Mix, 10mg THC per serving, 50 mg THC per box, price: $22.

As I write this I have moved the remaining cookies away from my reach because I could eat the whole package, and I don’t want to get too stoned. If you like a nutty, seedy edibles, these are great. Moonman also has all kinds of cookie choices on their website from vegan to ones without nuts and seeds. You can order from their website, like some mail-order stoner Girls Scout Cookie kinda thing! A delicious and healthy way to microdose.

Where: You can purchase items and find locations on their website.
Website: www.moonmansmistress.com 

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Hand-rolled shatter joint with a fusilli pasta crutch
Strawberry Banana Flower with Blueberry Jack BHO Snake shatter, Sativa, price: $20. Zkittlez Flower with Royal Sour BHO Snake shatter, Indica, price: $20.

It could just be about the great packaging and quality flower and shatter, but then there is the twirled (fusilli) pasta crutch at the end. That is the piece de resistance. It is a gluten free pasta so it will not absorb moisture from the mouth, it cools the smoke and helps the joint to burn smoothly. Plus it is a great gimmick. Try one. You will like it. It makes a great gift too.

Where: Flower Power, Dutchman’s Flat, Harvest, Bloom Room SF, Harborside Oakland, Green Remedy (Richmond), 7 Stars (Richmond), Northstar (Sacramento), Redwood Herbal Alliance (Santa Rosa).
Website: www.pacificremedy.com

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

RCG CBD soft gels, 25 mg CBD each.
2 tablet pak, price: $5.
15 tablet container, price: $38
30 tablet container, price: $70
60 tablet container, price: $120

These CBD gel caps have really helped me with body pain. I suggest you try them out.

Where: Most smoke shops and dispensaries in the Bay Area.

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

5 ml, price: $5
30 ml, price: $15

That perfect little something for the blunt and cigar smoker in your life. The glue itself will not get you high.

Where: Most smoke shops and dispensaries in the Bay Area.
Website: www.sfrootsca.com 

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Cannabis-infused coffee
4 fl oz, 10mg THC, price: $8.
8 fl oz, 15 mg THC, price $12.
8 fl oz, 30mg THC, price: $15.

Microdosing with your morning coffee. Teaming with Ritual Coffee, the team at Somatik has put together a lovely concoction to give you that lift any time of the day.

Where: All Apothecarium locations, Sava, All Harvest locations and Barbary Coast . Website: www.somatik.us

Photo by Dan Karkoska and Johnny Kat

Cannabis-infused coffee beans made with Ritual coffee
1 ban, 3mg THC , price $19.
1 box, 99mg THC, price: $19.

These yummy chocolate covered Ritual Coffee beans are a fun way to get a little 3mg cannabis kick in your day.

Where: Sava (www.getsava.com) and M Club.

There you have it. A list of cannabis treats for the holidays and beyond. Remember, if you find a product you especially like, take the time to write a note to the company on their website or Facebook page. They will appreciate it and can use your testimonial to better promote their product!

Now it’s time to light up!

Puff: Where is Weed World?

Bring on Weed World!

PUFF Further proof that on Election Day of last year, we went through some kind of time slip into Bizarro Land thus electing an idiot as president is how the City has responded to the Bay Area cannabis community. Case in point is the fiasco as City Hall where the joys of marijuana were reduced to a political tool used to make political gain rather create a bold new idea. Luckily, it didn’t work.

As things finally settle down, I still have one question, “San Francisco, Where is Weed World?”

With legal recreational weed usage a few months away, it is going to bring intrigued tourists in by the millions to try our legendary cannabis, the Green Rush. So where are all these tourist stoners going to go when they get legally high, not to mention the 73% of locals who voted it in? A big fuss was made about smoking in front of a dispensary, but where can everyone actually go?

My answer is Weed World. So take note, this is my idea, so no copying it. I will sue. If you are a venture capitalist, hit me up with funding, and we can make it happen.

I think the City should donate or buy one of these blocks in San Francisco that has been closed down and boarded up forever because the landowners are waiting to make major bucks selling it for ugly, expensive condos being bought up by the people who are ruining that artistic landscape of the City. Take that block and build a giant indoor mall made for stoners. There can be movie theaters, cocktail lounges, hair and nail salons, dab bars, arcades, cafes, rides, sensory experiences, munchies bars, cannabis education classes, art and crafts, thrift stores, medical marijuana seminars, hemp clothing bazaars — anything a stoner Willy Wonka can imagine.

People can pay a fee to enter with different levels to choose from, kind of like a lift ticket at a ski lodge. Save the most on the season pass!

It would help the economy by renting out the stalls at a bargain price to local companies who cannot afford to open an actual stand alone store any more.

Plus it would make San Francisco cool! We are the largest city close to the Emerald Triangle. There will be marijuana resorts and farms to visit for miles in the future. Very similar to the wine country today. Why not create the epicenter of marijuana activity in this city? Open up the green gateway for the cannabis curious worldwide. “Come on in, take as many photographs and samples as you like, be sure and visit our souvenir shop on the way out! We ship worldwide.”

This is how it should be here in San Francisco, the bastion of independent and open minded thinking.

Shame on everyone who is letting the politics of weed get in the way of an obvious economic goldmine that is NOT going to kick long-term tenants out of their home and WILL provide income to ALL KINDS of workers, not just greedy land developers and tech moguls.

Let’s get to work creating a giant welcome to legal recreational marijuana use. It is not something to fear. Embrace it, it has been here a long time illegally and as medicine.

So investment capitalists interested in my proposal, I have some time free next week to talk. Let’s do lunch. I will bring a Fuzzy!

Time to light up!

Puff: Careful what you wish for (or, the Prop 64 blues)

Photo via leafly

PUFF Everyone, well 74.3% in San Francisco at least, voted to make recreational marijuana legal this year. Yay! Party! Party! Pass the bong. All we have to do is wait until January 1, 2018, and we can all walk hand-in-hand into any dispensary without a card and buy that precious herb. Right?!

Not so quickly! Little did you know that there is still one teeny, tiny little hurdle that has to be cleared — local politics. You see politics doesn’t care how dank the new Platinum Kush OG is or who has the best shatter. It’s not going to come to your party bringing a Pacific Remedy preroll to share with the canna fam. No, it is going to turn the cannabis issue into a blunt tool to use to get what else it wants — power.

So now everyone is meeting at City Hall discussing the pros and cons of weed world, dissecting it, and well, trying to suck as much fun out of it as possible. For such a legendarily lefty town as San Francisco, conservative politics has reared its nasty head to combat the devil’s weed. These forces have trucked in scared locals who are sure once stoners get their way and open dispensaries in playgrounds, they will be shooting up weed, corrupting kids and attacking people with baseball bats. Like any stoner would have the energy for that! Maybe if really good snacks were involved.

Is any of that true? Of course not! It is all a power play by people who are using recreational marijuana as a new tool for political gain. It’s part of the game and pot is the new playing piece.

So what does that mean to Joe Stoner looking for a marijuana deal? Well, first off, don’t let that pot card expire. On January 1, dispensaries can begin to apply for the recreational permit, but as long as politicians spar over the issue, no one knows exactly how long that will take. So you will still need the card to get into a dispensary.

If your card is about to expire, try getting the almighty doctor’s letter in lieu of the “doc in the box” card. When the new regulations do kick in the doctor’s letter will allow you to dodge the pricey 20% (or more) tax the state will charge you.

Remember all those hilarious stories we used to tell each other about how easy it was to get a pot card? “The doctor asked me what I did that made me happy yesterday and then just signed my paperwork” “I got my card at Ameoba Records, that’s so rad!” Well those cards won’t mean bupkis anymore, just a souvenir of days gone by when medical marijuana ruled the state.

The problem is a lot of doctors will not provide the scripts because they are part of some insurance hive mind that does not approve. Well, at least not at your current copay.

In reality, we all knew this kind of stuff was bound to happen. To take a giant step forward, which this is, we are going to have to take a step back, stumble, trip and then catch our balance. These weed wars will end at City Hall. Recreational will go through. Within a few months, we will be able to go to a dispensary and buy any product without a card. Not everything will go perfectly, but we will learn and grow. Some businesses will make it and others will perish.

Never loose sight of the goal though, even right here, right now, precious weed will help us chill throughout this bullshit process and all the bullshit coming down the pike. It is the reason we believe in the outcome of Prop 64. It is marijuana, Mary Jane, grass, reefer. A gift from the Earth. It will be here long after us and politics and pot cards. So pass that doobie and let’s get down to what is really important!

Rent your neighbor’s car on Getaround. Sign up today, and enjoy $50 off your first trip: http://get.co/48h[Sponsored]

Puff: Coming out to Dad (about topicals)

Topicals like Sweet Releaf help with pain, without the high

PUFF Years ago back when I was in college in Texas, I told my Dad that I smoked marijuana. He seemed more interested than upset. Though always a liberal, he was from the cocktail era and never part of the 1960s rebellion that included smoking weed. As he prepares to turn 80 next April, things are starting to change.

The change came in a one ounce bottle of Sweet Releaf, an amazing, painkilling topical cream that smells like cinnamon. Dad suffers from lower back pain, arthritis in his knee and a sore shoulder. I use the cream all the time for all kinds of ailments from back pain, head, joint, or neck aches, and even bug bites. Luckily, Sweet ReLeaf was a sponsor at our monthly PUFF party last month, so I sent my Dad a jar to see if it might alleviate some of his symptoms.

In true Dad fashion, I did not hear from him for a week, so I called him. Dad is very Hank Hill from King of the Hill, the taciturn Texan. So I asked, “How is everyone doing?”….”Fine,” he responded. I asked him how his wife was doing….”Fine,” again. Get the drift? So I finally asked, “Did you receive the package?” “Oh yes!” he brightened up and said his wife put some on his shoulder on Friday, and he didn’t think about it again until Monday. “That stuff really works. If you have any more samples, go ahead and send them to me.” A senior cannabis user is born.

According to data gathered from the latest survey done by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of people age 65 and up who said they use marijuana grew 250 percent between 2006 and 2013,” says Healthline. Seniors are one of the fastest growing groups in the cannabis industry.

Topicals are a great way to introduce a senior to cannabis. They don’t have to get you high, just kill pain and inflammation. There are many on the market. Like any lotion, there are different variances of oils, vitamins, and luxury additives, but they all have cannabis oil. Some are CBD (cannabinoid) heavy for pain relief and others have more of a THC blend which will give the user a little lift, but not too much since they cannot get into your bloodstream.

Creams, lotions, salves, tinctures (liquids you drop on the tongue) are all great ways to find the relief you need for the ailments that haunt you. Transdermal patches are available as well which look like a nicotine patch. You just stick them on. They do get into your bloodstream, can get you high and provide relief for hours. Of course later, edibles or vape pens can be added as well as flower.

Although I do not foresee me and Dad smoking a Fuzzy joint together on the back patio anytime soon. I am happy to provide him with a new way of dealing with the pains of getting older. I have a new care package ready for him with some new creams and balms and even a vape pen. Let’s see what he thinks of that.

“Seniors don’t want to get high, they want to get well and the cannabis helps,” said 68 year-old advocate Sue Taylor aka The Weed Lady to CBSNews in 2016.

Or as my Dad would say, “Yep, Fine.”

Puff: The might of microdosing

Welcome to Puff, our new cannabis column, covering news, culture, product reviews, and broader issues important to the cannabis community. Puff is also a monthly queer cannabis appreciation night — happening November 2! — for the community, sponsored by 48 Hills (all are welcome!). 

PUFF  When it comes to cannabis edibles there is always the fear that you will eat too much, turn into a stoned zombie and make a fool of yourself. You hear the urban myths about how someone was at a party, didn’t know about the pot brownies, ate too many and had to spend the rest of the night in a dark room sitting in a corner with an ignored glass of water.

I recently had the opportunity to sample a lot of edibles from the incredible world of pot, and I found a key… microdosing.

Microdosing allows you to take as little as 1mg of marijuana at a time until you get the high that makes you comfortable in the situation you are in. At first, being a big stoner, I thought microdosing was for wimps. I’m a bong guy, and I am not afraid of any weed. Bring it on!

At a party, someone gave me a Kushy Punch gummy. It didn’t taste too good to me, but it sure blended well with my high. Then I tried a Breez 20mg mint. That got me way stoned. I was impressed. How about a 50mg lip balm? Sure! Next up, Wunder Fruit’s sativa oral spray at 2mg a squirt. At the Alison Moyet concert that week, I squirted about 10 sprays of it down my throat as the lights went down instead of lighting up my usual joint. Two songs in and the binaca-like spray kicked in, and I had a great high that lasted through the concert along with minty fresh breath.

So now if I feel like just taking the edge off I can take a 5mg mint. I can still function and get my work done. On my way to go out on the town? How about a 20mg gummy. Going to the movie? Take a gummy half an hour before and then a mint when you sit down. If I decide to stay in, watch movies and vegetate, I can take a portion of that 150mg cookie by Kurova and float away. I can create any high I want to suit the situation I am in.

Just remember a standard dose for a beginner is 5mg depending on how much cannabis you usually imbibe. I started at 5mg and quickly moved to 20mg. Of course, as you continue to use the products, you can increase the dosage. Also, to avoid getting paranoid, make sure some CBD (Cannabidiol) is present in the ingredients because that is the part of marijuana that helps to keep that at bay. THC makes you high, CBD helps with paranoia and pain among many things.

Also know that some edibles are unpredictable and will play along with what else you have eaten, where you are at, what you have drunk, and your mood. You can take the same amount in two different situations and feel somewhat sober once — and completely messed up the next. This doesn’t happen as much with the microdose products because they are usually just marijuana, sugar, gelatin or somesuch. They don’t get stuck in your digestive system, and hit you quicker and more dependably.

Nowadays, you can hear rattle of the mints in my pocket over the usual clack of the pipe. Careful if you kiss me because my lips just make you high. I am the modern stoner… the microdoser.

Puff: How the fires affect the cannabis industry

Welcome to Puff, our new cannabis column, covering news, product reviews, and broader issues important to the cannabis community. Puff is also a monthly queer cannabis appreciation night for the community, sponsored by 48 Hills (all are welcome!). 

PUFF It was a night like any other. I was waiting for my “date” to show up and was about to jump in the shower when I smelled smoke. “That is odd,” I thought as I chose my lucky pair of underwear. “Who could be using their fireplace during this time of year?”

Halfway through my shower, it dawned on me, “It could be my building!” so I finished up quickly, got on my clothes and was out checking my building in no time. There was not a puff or plume anywhere to be seen, but my whole neighborhood smelled of smoke like someone was having a big bonfire in their backyard.

On Facebook, my friend Todd posted about the smoke smell. He was out looking in the neighborhood as well. I was not alone in my concern. Before long, more and more people were posting about it.

As maddening as social media can be, it is a tool that can bring a lot of people together immediately to share news and alleviate fears. Soon the news came out that there were fires in Napa and Calistoga. Those terrible winds stoking up the fires up north were delivering the news right to our front doors miles away in San Francisco.

We had to put up with days and days of haze and smoke. People got sick and wore protective masks. The fires kept burning putting many families out of their houses and property and causing untold amounts of damage.

As these fires go out and leave their charred trail, people are going to need help. What has upset me most is hearing that marijuana farms cannot be insured like any other farm (although that is slowly changing). As bad as the damage has been for everyone, many have the hope of insurance coverage and starting over. When everything on your cannabis farm burns up but the insurers won’t allow you coverage, you lose everything.

We have made marijuana legal in the State of California. We expect these new companies to come out of the Green Closet with a marketing strategy after years of being underground and for them to comply with all new standards thrown at them. But we will not allow them to insure their farms because of the legal plant they grow? I find that baffling.

(Other challenges await, too: Recent fundraisers on YouCaring were shut down because funding associated with cannabis was forbidden by payment processors PayPal and WePay.)

So now we come back to the immediacy of social media. Now is the time to reach out and help those in need. You can join a cannabis group on Facebook to get immediate information — East Bay Canna Community and SF Cannabis Community are good places to start.

At least 30 farms suffered significant losses, especially those in the Emerald Triangle. The California Growers Association is taking donations here. On Thu/26 at 6:30pm at EVB in Oakland, Harborside joins with other organizations for a Team Cannabis Fire Relief Fundraiser. Here are some more suggestions of where to donate to help the community. 

I asked Joanna Arenstein, the executive director of East Bay Canna Community on Facebook who runs First Fridays Pot Luck parties in Oakland, about what we can do. She said, “…We are in the process of working all this out. There has been a flood of donations but there will be on going need in the coming months. I’d say hold on to your donation for now and wait a week or two for when donations start tapering off….”

So when all the hoopla over the smoke and masks dies down and everyone becomes distracted by new news on social media, remember to reach out, however you can, to help these people because it is going to be a long process for them to recover.