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Saturday, November 28, 2020
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Puff

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!

Burp.

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!

Puff: Get high on Pride

PLUS gummies for Pride

As I read all my Pride-inspired emails this year, it is funny how many gummies now have special Pride tins. I know for certain that those originated with PLUS gummies three years ago. It’s fine though. If the cannabis community wants to express its unity with the LGBTQ community through medicated gummies, go ahead!

I received my Pride pack from PLUS this week because it is sponsoring Quaran-Tea, a series of afternoon Sunday afternoon virtual tea dances featuring local DJs spinning to raise money for the San Francisco Queer Nightlife Fund. PUFF, your favorite cannabis column and happy hour, will be joining in this Sunday, June 21 from 1-6pm at Twitch.tv/sfqueernightlifefund.

PLUS gummies for Pride

I chose four DJs to join me, and we have already pre-recorded our sets. Sadly, my two regular PUFF DJs were unavailable, so I turned to my community to find a nice mix of people to make a fun afternoon tea dance. First off I invited PUFF artist David Lawrence Hawkins aka DJ Dingbat to give us a wacky sampling of what is going on in his brain. Years ago at Truck, a long-gone gay bar in the Mission, Tom Kern aka DJ Chicken and I spun many a night together, so he is coming in for a set.

DJ Sgt. Die Weiss aka Kntrl Alt V, I knew from when I DJed for the Meow Mix party. When I started inquiring about a lesbian DJ, her name popped up and I was so excited to book her. She has great taste in music. DJ Marloca finishes out the four, and she was a resident DJ at Delirium and F8 and has a zany point of view. Everyone is in for a fun afternoon of music.

Finally, Thee Pristine Condition will be the host between each set! She promised some amazing drag looks. So please support PUFF and help raise money for the SF Bay Area Nightlife Fund. PLUS Gummies will donate $1 from every purchase of their Pride tin to the fund!

I am eager to see how it goes and sounds. I even had to video myself DJing which meant dancing because, beyond settings levels and choosing the next song, there is not much else to do while DJing—tho I did light up a night doobie midway through my set.

——

I must admit after three months of staying in place and watching shows on the Internet, I am a little burned out from watching performances and meetings on Zoom and Facebook Live. They were so charming just a few weeks ago. For Pride this year, this is how we can celebrate safely, so I am just going to roll with it and smoke up. I applaud everyone who is thinking of new and better ways of helping us connect with one another online.

The one thing that does help me relax while watching internet content is smoking a nice doobie.

Rolling is a craft. I am getting really good at rolling it, but I have yet to master the art of inserting a crutch, the little piece of rolled cardboard that serves as a filter on the end of a joint. Like Frankenstein on his eternal search for piecing together a man, I tried many times to slide it inside the paper but only succeeded twice. There were actually three times, but the third was born so badly constructed that it just ended up being fodder for the bong.

As I smoked these well-made, but crutchless, joints, I realized that I should make my own infused joints. I spend money on the premade ones all the time, why not make my own!

Ice water hash is granulated so it is easy to sprinkle in my joint. Good prices were to be had on the High Noon ice water hash at California Street Cannabis Company. It is available, or some version of it, throughout the Bay Area. Presto, a nice hashy preroll is ready! 

Two flavors that I personally liked were by High Noon, Banana Fig, and Brown Sugar. (I can not find a website or social media for this brand, so check your local dispensary). I got a nice, steady, zoned out feel which is perfect for doing things like watching drag or music shows on the internet. Plus it gives you a craft project to do while you view. 

I also made some pretty potent infused joints using caviar crumble which looks like white cubes and crumble easily over a joint. Just watch out, it melts on your fingers quickly. Try using a metallic scoop, tweezers or a pick to help you get it where you want it. I used AK Cookies by Summit Boys. It gave me a bit more intense high than the mellow hash.

——

I have always said every Pride is different from the next. It is certainly true this year as we celebrate online. The most important thing to remember is that we should be prideful of who we are every day of the year and these celebrations merely give us a moment to celebrate that together.

Check out your favorite dispensaries to see what kind of Pride specials and events they are offering. Sign up for their email and text lists.

Please stop by the PUFF Quaran-Tea this Sunday and donate to the SF Queer Nightlife Fund. You will hear an amazing mix of fun music. I will hanging out online smoking a joint made of whatever formula I come up with for my Pride joints. I will be glad to tell you all about it.

Now, it’s time to light up.

Puff: Cannabis-loving care for Mom

The Green Bee CBD-infused product line looks lovely.

Spring is springing all over the place, and we’re all still stuck in our homes awaiting the latest anxious buzz about COVID. Now we reach another holiday, Mother’s Day, which brings out-of-reach visions of brunch, family, mimosas, and a nice joint all outside in a beautiful, sunny meadow.

The fact that most of our family celebrations don’t actually go that way is irrelevant, it is the idea of giving our moms, or the mom-like people in our lives, some extra love. All’s the better if your Mom is a stoner.

So I went on a quest to find some fun ways to bring Mom that love while staying in place.

My first discovery is the special Mother’s Day Box from Lucky Box Club. This opportunity is available for customers in the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area only. For $199, it includes goodies from Garden Society, Kikoko, House of Saka, Om, Mellows, Green Bee Botanicals with Lolo & Wedding Cake flower. If you are outside the Northern California area you can purchase the CBD Mother’s Day box featuring Bath Soak, Infused Massage Oil, CBD Gummies & CBD infused Bath Bomb for $109.

Lucky Box’s Staycation Box special.

Lucky Box Club is also offering a Staycation Box Set for $99 in which you can choose products for the box and even get discounts in the future. Outside of California, only the CBD box is available.

You can also subscribe to Lucky Box Club for a monthly box of cannabis treats. I’ve sampled one before, and it is a fantastic opportunity to try new items. 

Staying on the CBD kick, Green Bee Botanicals offers Mom award-winning cannabis-infused Perfecting and Renewing Serums, Brightening Eye Cream and Deep Calm Massage Oil. These are high quality products guaranteed to make Mom look in the mirror and nod approvingly.

The Wulf Pack over at Manzanita Naturals reports they are making new KwikCBD products to go along with their KwikEaze products which offer a powerful 100mg of THC each. That will means 100mg of CBD power and .2mg of THC into one small swig. Finally, something that will cure Mom’s head and bodyaches after a day of family bliss! 

Their medicated sodas, The Fizz, are fantastic as well with great flavors at 10mg THC per bottle. Mom would love a six pack on ice to celebrate.

“We do have sweetener free “The Fizz Sparkle Water” in five delightful flavors now, which might be good for Mother’s Day. No carbs, organic, full flavored with 10mg of sativa. Great for mom,” said Aaron aka Practice from the Pack.

You can RSVP for the CannaMommy virtual spa day here.

Finally, CannaMommy is hosting a Virtual Day Spa on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10 from 1-5pm. Tickets are FREE! So RSVP now!

There will be 30-minute live segments with guest hosts on yoga, facials, make-up, starting a home grow, a round table sex talk, medical questions, meditations, crafts, all the while with smoke sesh breaks! What more could Stoner Mommy want as an at-home spa day! 

Maybe getting Mom a VIP ticket! Then she will get a special Spa-In-A-Box which includes medicated bathbombs, hand/foot soak, sex lube, salve, facial, cannabis flower, chocolates, tea and lots more.

Check up on your favorite dispensaries online for more Mother’s Day specials and bargains. There should be plenty! Subscribe to your favorite dispensaries’ newsletters. Let them contact you about all their specials and events.

Also connect with SAVA, the only LGBTQ-owned and -operated cannabis delivery service in the Bay Area. They are involved with the day spa programming and do so much for our community. They will have plenty of specials, and also highlight women-owned and -operated brands.

There are many ways to show love and appreciation to our mothers. The gift of cannabis, be it in THC or CBD form, just adds that extra nugget of love.

We may not be able to take her out to a fancy brunch or to do, well, anything this year, but we can still celebrate mothers and motherhood in all its incarnations, just by being happy we are all well and taking care of each other during these precarious times. A nice strong joint doesn’t hurt either.

Now it’s time to light up!

Puff: Toast 420—pandemic-style!

Manzanita Naturals

As we enter week five (I think?) of this pandemic, one thing’s for sure: nothing is the same. So as noteworthy days arrive we are, at least for now, looking for alternative ways to enjoy the occasion. So far, St. Patrick’s Day and Groundhog’s Day have been relatively easy to let slide for a year, and many people found ways to enjoy Easter via their phones and computers.

Well, the big one is coming up next week, and I’m not sure if I can handle it. How can I celebrate 420 without hanging with my homies getting majorly stoned and eating a bunch of food!!??

I mean, come on, coronavirus! I missed Hunky Jesus, this year, and after being in isolation, any outside guy in a facemask looks like Patrick Swayze strutting his stuff in Dirty Dancing. Don’t get me started if he is wearing those sexy plastic gloves too!

Anyway, I obviously need to find a way of chilling out and getting ready for the best 420 I can muster. 

For those of you uninitiated, 420 takes place on April 20 of every year. It is the high holy celebration of all things ganja, cannabis, weed, maryjane, pot, or whatever you call it. It is a day for blunts, big fatty joints, potent edibles, concentrates, dabbing, big rigs, bigger bongs, good music and munchies.

Legend has it that the day was named after the police code for a cannabis bust, but that is incorrect. Its actual origins are a bit hazy. They throw back to Northern California in the early 1970s and the Grateful Dead where 420 was mentioned at the bottom of one of their posters. Evidently, they picked up the slang word from a group of friends who called themselves The Waldos. In high school, The Waldos would meet at 4:20pm after school to search for an illusive pot field, and eventually the meeting time became code for “smoking weed.”

Now to celebrate 420, pandemic style!

First, the prep work. If you have not done so, visit all the websites of your favorite dispensaries. Join their notification program. Some send texts, others emails, which will detail all the sales they are having right now. Believe me there are PLENTY. 

Most dispensaries are offering some form of delivery, and of course there are many delivery services. Check out their specials as well.

Empire Glassworks castle

Next, it is a high holiday, why not get a new piece for smoking? Buy yourself a new pipe or bong! I recommend checking out Empire Glassworks. They have great products available from multiple online sellers. Empire sponsors my cannabis party PUFF, and they always have quality pipes, bongs and rigs. There are plenty of websites to shop from though.

As I have recommended countless times, if you want to dab, buy a Puffco Peak. It is portable and easy to use at home. Plus the new ones have carrying cases and won’t spill if tipped over. It is currently on sale for $299! If you can’t afford it,  get one of your new Zoom sugar daddies to pitch in.

Now it is time to coordinate your search. Last Sunday, I had four separate tabs going, each one with a different dispensary menu. You have time to compare! Find the best deals for what you want.

I have been rolling lots of joints lately. It gives me a little project to do. I must say practice makes perfect, so my skills are at an all-time high (pun intended). 

It is always nice to sprinkle some concentrate in the joint, so why not for 420? A nice crumble or live resin sugar can be easily sprinkled in the flower to make a potent doobie.

Kaviar Moonrock

For the bong and pipe set, I recommend adding some celebratory moonrocks or hash. 

I purchased a Kaviar Moonrock for $30 at Grassroots. It’s a nice, gooey, potent 1 gram ball with plenty of kick. 

From the same place I also located a Nasha’s Dolce Terra Temple Ball of hash (1gram) for $30 as well.

Whichever you choose (or both!!), make a nice nest of flower in the bowl of your pipe or bong. Then sprinkle some concentrate over it. Repeat for as many layers as you like. When smoking, pull gently while lightly lighting the bowl. Puff on it! Make it last until you are sure you get all the good smokings out of the bowl before you pull it through or tap it out. 

If you are concerned about respiratory effects, you could definitely get a good strong edible to celebrate or a medicated soda from Manzanita Naturals. I say this because not only do they make great sodas but they also offer the ever-strong Kwik Eaze shot which packs a 100mg punch in only 2 ounces. Party on, Garth.

Now you are set for your 420 home experience. Que up your favorite music or stoner movie. There will be live programming on 420 on Facebook and Instagram. I saw Urbana was having a live DJ 420 Smoke Sesh. Eaze Delivery has playlists you can download and a movie guide. SPARC is offering a yoga class on Instagram. Just keep an eye out during your research. Everyone will be doing something. If you find something cool, list it below in the comment section, so everyone can see it. 

Taking a moment for shameless self promotion, PUFF, the only queer cannabis social, will be doing a live Zoom show on 420 at 4:20pm. We will put on a fun show with some drag and live music. Follow me on Facebook for the live link or check out the PUFF page! 

I hope I gave you some inspiration on how to make it through this crazy 420. Someday soon we can all be physically close to hang out again with our friends, passing a joint and creating community. 

Finally, please be careful out there. Stay healthy. Many authorities are telling us that smoking cannabis is making us more susceptible to the coronavirus. They recommend edibles. Personally, I am not an edibles guy, so I choose to smoke flower. It calms me and chills me out. If I don’t, I will be running starkers around the city screaming at the air. I do this out of my own choosing. You do what is best for you.

Now, it is time to light up that fatty doobie that has been drying next to my computer. I’m practicing for the big day. 

Happy 420 to you all! In cannabis we trust.