I Did DMT With a Comedian And It Saved My Life

In early 2017 I was in a hard place. I was in a failing relationship, I wasn’t sure of where I wanted my career to go and I was at my wits end with life. I was 330 pounds and drinking like a viking. I was suffering from depression and in retrospect, I was borderline suicidal. I wasn’t actively thinking about taking my life, but when I look in the mirror in the morning I’d think, “If I did it, how’d I do it?”

Thank god one of the qualities I didn’t appreciate about myself at the time was procrastination or I may not have made it.

Back then, I was guest co-hosting a college radio show in Hamilton, Ontario with a local punk rock club promoter named Lou Molinaro and a well known Canadian comedian named Manolis Zontanos.

Manolis had recently introduced me to the idea of microdosing mushrooms to improve mental health. If you know Manolis, you wouldn’t exactly think he’d be the guy you take mental health advice from. Not that he’s not amazing, but his attitude towards life seemed lackadaisical to say the least. He’s the epitome of a surfer dude turned comedian, but a legend amongst his peers. 

Manolis has a natural humility that I admire greatly. Over the course of the show we became good friends live on the air to the listeners dismay. I couldn’t get enough of the guy. He’s one of the funniest human beings I have ever met.  He once told us on air that he got stopped at the border when the border agent asked, “Country of origin?” Manolis heard “Country of oranges?” and must have thought it was a declaration quiz or something because he replied with a question of his own, “Florida?.” In fairness, I understand that High Times readers and border cops aren’t usually golf buddies, but this would be confusing as Florida isn’t a country and nowhere near the Canadian border. 

We’d fuck around so much on that show I started to get complaints amd rightfully so. I’d get Manolis so riled up that he’d Footloose through the Radio Stations office halls. As funny and energetic as that dude could be, his best work always seemed to focus around his 90 year old Dad and how his father struggled with technology and his Dad’s unique views on life. It showed a side of Manolis that was honest, hardworking and humble, much like the stories he would tell about his Dad. You could see his father’s unconditional love for Manolis carry over to how helped new comics in the Canadian comedy scene. From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed rare to see a stand-up prop other comics up before him in such a competitive field.  

How I Learned About DMT

A few months down the road, my career had started to take a turn for the better but I was still depressed; however, I didn’t really know it at the time. I had found a path to my dream job with cannabis industry leaders like Clint Younge, who to this day still pushes to improve cannabis legislation in Canada, but I was having a hard time looking in the mirror. Through running cannabis industry events, I befriended a musician, trucker, hippie dude I sarcastically nicknamed Jesse Christ. This nickname was aptly given due to his appearance, gentle demeanor and his spiritual essence. Jesse Christ was in recovery for cocaine and would always tell me to try DMT. He’d talk about DMT any chance he had. I kind of thought he was crazy but I loved being around him. Jesse would tell me a bit of the basic lore around DMT but I never really paid much attention. I remember him mentioning some people would see beings, and that some go to different dimensions. 

Jesse also claimed it was the drug that flooded the human brain when we died and it was the scientific explanation for people having angelic near death experiences. Admittedly, with my state of mind at the time, this had me intrigued. However, I remained skeptical. A lot of acid dealers in the day told me I’d see smurfs running around my house and that unfortunately never panned out. I was pessimistic to say the least and I didn’t really buy the spiritual side of DMT that had also seemed to empower Jesse. I had little patience for “spiritualism”. 

I grew up playing in atheist punk bands that scoffed at the idea of mystical forces. As I grew older, my anger towards religion dulled, but I remained pragmatic about an afterlife to say the least. In my mind there was no light at the end of any tunnel, there was no guide over the River Styx, and I could for sure bluff my way past any of St. Peter’s interrogations. After all, I was a punk. I could sneak past the bouncer into any party. 

While we were still on the air ruining Lou’s radio show Manolis and I had gone off the rails yet again as I was discussing Jesse and the DMT. Manolis responded that Joe Rogen (long before he became so polarizing) spoke about DMT on his podcast and that he too heard it sent you to another dimension. Lou just spun records and ignored us. 

I decided to look further into DMT and started listening to some Joe Rogan. I really wasn’t familiar with him as I just knew him from News Radio and that he got fired from TV for feeding people horse cum or something. There was definitely good content on the subject there, I wasn’t getting the information I desired. 

I visited  https://www.erowid.org, a donation based educational site where drug users share their experiences in an effort to “document the complex relationship between humans and psychoactives”. There I learned that DMT naturally occurred in many plants, like mimosa, or could also be replicated in a lab. Most of all I learned that it wouldn’t kill me and it was deemed “safe” by the site.

Dimethyltryptamine or DMT is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug. Sometimes referred to as Dimitri, the drug produces effects similar to those of psychedelics, like LSD and magic mushrooms. DMT is also the active ingredient in Ayahuasca. Rudimentary speaking for the sake of this article, think of DMT as the THC to Ayahuasca’s cannabis. 

How I Did the DMT (Which Saved My Life)

There’s a lot of ways to do DMT, but the pros will tell you not to burn it directly. Decarboxylation, like cannabis, should still be considered when taking raw DMT. Some people prefer vape pens, but “gassing” DMT at a lower temperature would seem to be the most effective method if the user’s goal is to achieve a “breakthrough” experience.  

I had decided to go for it. I had recently moved into a new house with my partner at the time and Manolis and I had continued to grow close. He had become dependable and a thoughtful friend when I was going through a rough time. I called up Manolis and told him that Jesse Christ had hooked me up with raw DMT and a little “how to” kit. At the time, Manolis didn’t know he’d also be doing DMT for the first time that day. 

In the kit was: 

  1. One Glass bulbed crack or “rose pipe” 
  2. One small butane lighter 
  3. One gram of DMT 
  4. Directions

.The instructions were as follows: 

  1. Put .2 of a gram of DMT in the bulb of the rose pipe. A little goes a long way. 
  2. Light the butane lighter and hold it two inches below the pipe. 
  3. Do not put the flame directly on the glass pipe. 
  4. As the DMT begins to gas it will swirl around the bowl. 
  5. Wait until the pipe is completely full and remove heat. 
  6. Inhale from the pipe three times. Each time holding the vapor in as long as possible.
  7. Make sure to be seated. 
  8. Write down your experience post. 

I recently caught up with Manolis to revisit this experience. We picked up where we left off not having spoken much in a few months. When I asked about the experience he said laughing, “You called me up and said you were just going to do it.” He continued over the phone, “So I drove down to make sure you didn’t do it by yourself. It was like 3:00pm on a Wednesday, dude.” Manolis explained in a  tone that was both loving and expressive to the situation. “I wasn’t supposed to do DMT that day.” he contuned, “I was supposed to be doing an open mic set later that night.”

That’s just who Manolis is. The kind guy who’ll bring you an extension cord to help you fix your new house, or make sure you don’t die while depressed and taking high powered psychedelics that zap you across the universe. If they don’t kill you, he just might do them too.

Video Evidence

Manolis arrived and we had decided to document the experience. I later learned he had saved video footage of the experience on a private youtube link. I hadn’t watched the original footage since 2017, and even then, I was so uncomfortable with my weight, I don’t think I could ever finish the 10 minute ordeal. However, revisiting the footage was cathartic to say the least.  A friend mentioned I look like a completely different person and I realized I was. The person in the video was about to change forever. 

Watch my first DMT Trip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgFOWlzs2uE

Watch Manolis Zontanos’ first DMT trip here: 

Needless to say, Manolis and I both got blasted to what we felt was another dimension. The DMT began working almost immediately post inhalation. 

As the DMT took hold, I described it tasting like “mothballs” and continued to try to narrate my experience as it happened. Little did I know, the ancient shapes, Kaleidoscope hallways, grids,and even locations were all experiences that hundreds if not thousands of other people had also had. 

After a viewing of the video, a friend mentioned that I looked like a completely different person. At first I felt it might be because I’ve aged in five years and lost some weight, but then I realized that I actually was a different person. My experience, like so many others, was earth shattering, profound and profoundly confusing. 

Excerpts from My Unedited DMT Dream Journal

In the footage, I stop narrating my experience to Manolis and I can be heard saying, “Hi” or “Hey” to something. This is the moment I met the fabled  “DMT beings”. However, in my journal I describe the adventure in great detail. 

I went through a kaleidoscope hall of crazy geometrical shapes, sounds, a lot of colors, kind of like a psychedelic poster you may find in a head shop. I then went through what seemed like a green grid, similar to Tron. 

I ended up in a pitch black room, other than very little thin green and red lines, which seemed to dance and make geometrical shapes, they seemed to float in the background. “

Upon rewatching the video my body language indicates that I’m not scared, or taken aback, but almost comfortable when greeting what some people consider inter-dimensional entities. In the journal, I continue to describe the encounter in detail, 

“I was greeted by two “beings who felt like representatives of this place. They were kind of dressed like clowns or something, with pointy hats, and striped garb. Their faces had very little detail, similar to pantomime masks you might find at a theater. One was male, one was female (presumably). There was children’s laughter, or giggling in the background. It sounds terrifying but it wasn’t.” 

At this time in the video, I’m sitting with my eyes closed, silent, and you see me reach out for something a few times. In my journal I describe a moment similar. 

“The “representatives” of this place knew I was there, and the female offered me to take her hand, she seemed to shape-shift and my hand passed through hers. I opened my eyes briefly then went back in. She seemed to be inviting me to a tunnel or place that was filled with windows or doorways to memories and dreams alike. As if they were categorized and I could just hop back in. I heard her say “Come on”. 

It’s important to remember that wherever DMT takes you, most users describe the DMT realm as a place where time moves differently. Similar to a dream. In this space, you also feel lucid. In the journal I describe that in this other realm, moments feel like hours. I continued to write. 

 “I felt like I could have asked them (the beings) to take me anywhere. I asked if that was the case and they said yes, they could even take me to a memory with my deceased father, which shocked me as I watched her bounce or dance away.” 

This moment in that realm was hard for me to share. Could these creatures really take me to meet my Dad who died almost 30 years prior. Was this drug making me insane? 

When I got back from my trip, the DMT took about thirty minutes to completely wear off. The entire experience was under an hour. When the visuals wore off, I looked up DMT beings. This is where I discovered Terrence McKenna. Famed psychonaut, a term used for psychedelic explorers, and illustrator of a picture that to this day blows my mind. A picture of a being he had illustrated described as a “Machine Elf”. 

There they were. The beings I met in a realm that felt more real than this one. I couldn’t grasp why a professor decades prior saw the exact same shape shifting entity that I did. It was a thing I’d never seen before. I had no previous reference point. Why was his recollection almost identical to mine? What the fuck was going on? 

How I Processed the Trip

After a few days, Manolis and I were still trying to process what we had experienced. Manolis had had a very similar experience he described as, “going to a different dimension that felt way realer than here.” Manolis also met “beings”, which left  him with some mild paranoia, “I feel when you fuck with it, the way we did, now they now they know that we know that they’re there. I feel like I’m being watched but I always knew I was being watched.”

However, I was becoming haunted if not obsessed. 

I had no information about the level of these encounters prior. I couldn’t shake that the weird creatures weren’t necessarily just in my imagination. The similarities in encounters fascinated me.

At the time I felt skeptics couldn’t possibly understand. I honestly felt like I had went to another dimension. I still didn’t believe in a “God”, but I was now entirely open to the idea that there may be other dimensions our conscious could travel to. 

I had become obsessed with what I had experienced and wanted to experience it again. I had so many questions. I had read somewhere that DMT could be found in every living thing, and found more people sharing similar experiences online. 

My original DMT Journal was dated May 17, 2017, and by June 5th, I’d already done the drug 5 more times. I had continued to keep notes but started sounding more and more like an obsessed architect. 

“Since my first experience in May I have tried DMT 5 more times. At this point, I have read a lot about other people’s experiences who were similar to mine. If someone has had different experiences, I’ll stop listening or reading immediately to make my next experience less corrupt by suggestion. 

After several failed attempts, I eventually recreated my original circumstances, and figured it was the best way for me to break through. 

This time around, the re-creation worked. I smoked about .1 of a gram, took three huge pulls and again, was blasted off. I hit the kaleidoscope almost immediately. I felt my body twitching and shaking. It was scary at first. The kaleidoscope quickly turned into a checkered box, there were a ton of clowns, peeking in at me, some were scary, some even looked horrifying, peaking at me from behind checkered walls and out of boxes. The place constantly moved, but I was definitely in this jack in the box apparatus. None of these clowns were the beings I met before. I was there though. It was extremely vivid. I could still feel my body shaking or being uncomfortable in my chair when an arm came around my chest from behind, hugged me and said, “You’re okay, you’re okay”. I instantly felt better.  I thought maybe the arm was the girl representative who had reached out to me before, but I can’t be certain.”

My journal’s began to get more detailed the more times I went in. I began seeing more entities and locations, I would later verify on the internet as hallucinations other DMT users had shared. 

“I started to hear loons in the distance and nature sounds. Then I heard an owl. Clear as a bell I heard an owl. At this point, the jack in the box was to my right, and I was sort of floating next to it staring out into a purple cosmos. It was beautiful. Tons of dancing stars and lights. It was very euphoric. Then a glowing pink cloud butterfly appeared before me and in a puff of smoke, showed itself in a humanoid form. She had a calming, loving and motherly vibe. She then puffed back into a cloud and flew off into the purple cosmos.” 

The owl hooting was nonstop and I was still floating as if tethered somehow to the jack in the box, like an astronaut to a ship kind of. If I looked to my right, the jack in the box vessel was there and still rapidly changing; inviting me to go in. To my left I saw the owl fly out of a picturesque earth like nature setting, over mountains, and into the DMT Realm or cosmos. The owl was huge. Flying through space with purpose towards a destination which wasn’t at this time revealed to me. I asked if I should go with it, but nothing responded.”

At that time, I was beamed back. I immediately realized I was still under the DMT’s influence and I wanted to go back in. So I smoked another three massive hauls and held in the vapor for as long as I could. 

Right before I took off, I hit play on my music.

This time I was beamed back way faster. I immediately heard the frequency in my ears change and was hurdled through the “Tron Grid”.

This time I felt I had a better understanding of what the grid was. It seemed to function as a gateway, tunnel or vessel that brings someone to where they need, or are supposed to be. This time, I met the same representatives as my first experience. 

“I could see them more vividly, the male anyway. He had more of a human face then the last time, the female was still more of a presence. I could feel the light being from my previous trip’s presence too, but she didn’t appear in humanoid form again.  I think I saw her fly away in purple butterfly form.  They were all so happy to see me. They said “Hey, Ben” very lovingly. I replied “Hey, guys”. 

They then commented on the music. I asked if they liked it and they said they loved it, even though it was a bit tacky. They danced and flipped around and offered me to join them. Then, for some reason I asked them “if I was one of them?” this made the male stop and said, “You could be” as he lifted his arm to present to me a kingdom or place off in the distance. It was the same purple cosmos sky as before, and it felt like that may be where the owl I saw previously was and it felt like it was where I came from. Like, I just had to go back there. The kingdom was a silhouette, surrounded by silhouette mountains with a white warm light coming from the Center. “

It was around this time, I had realized that in this place, you can’t lie to yourself. I’m this place, you’re Freudian Ego and ID are incapacitated, and the lucid being who is experiencing a new universe, has been given the terrifying gift of not being able to lie to themselves for the first time in their life. 

The “Representatives” then addressed my anxiety, and told me to put all of my energy into the one thing I love, and that I’m spreading myself too thin, which is the cause of my anxiousness. They then told me to be good to my wife, as she loves me unconditionally. They said to say hi to my friend who was waiting in the room, and told me only a certain type of person can see them in this realm.”

How the Trip Saved My Life

At the time, I was convinced more than ever that the DMT realm existed. I still feel it exists, but I believed in Santa until I was eleven. 

The conversation I had about anxiety and the people around me with DMT Beings was the catalyst to saving my life, and how this psychedelic changed me profoundly. 

When a person is in this state, myself included, they’re stripped of their Freudian Ego & Id. You’re zapped to what countless people describe as a dimension that feels like home. In this state I had to look at myself as a whole. No lies. No justifications. 

When discussing the experience with Manolis he said, ”I feel like I know I’m going to see him. DMT definitely made the world, not as important as before. IT made me not get so wound up about nothing.”

This sentiment hit a real cord with me. 

What I had dragged Manolis into was something that he already had, humility. DMT taught me that being pragmatic, or self riotous, or self righteous people were a waste of time. We know nothing. 

These experiments or experiences allowed an atheist to consider that there may be something else out there, and that there was a universal irony to life. There was a punchline at the end of it all. 

If speculators are correct, and DMT is the drug that floods your brain when you die, then there’s a cosmic joke left out of most scripture. The joke is that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone believes. When it’s time to meet your maker, the joke is that you’re your own Saint Peter. Or the guide across the River Styx. 

The ultimate irony of life is that we qualify ourselves on what others think, but it’s really about what you think of yourself. 

At this point, I don’t have beliefs because in this day and age they’re a vehicle for mandatory self explanation. I prefer the term I coined “idea jams.”

I don’t know if any of the big religions are accurate, in my heart of hearts, I don’t think anyone has quite nailed it. 

What I like to think is that if there is an afterlife and guys like Jesse and Manolis are right, then perhaps the DMT is nothing more than a conduit to what they feel is an answer. 

However, what changed me profoundly, what DMT taught me, was that life, the experience of life is subjective, and that the joke’s on us. 

If we qualify ourselves at the end of day, and advance us to the next level is something I hold dear and is what I think happens. 

However, the punk in me that detests hippie bullshit reminds me that whether DMT is the gateway to another realm or not, this high powered Psychedelic, if it is in fact the drug that floods your brain when you die, resolves the user in a state that makes you evaluate yourself in a way no other drug, in my experience has. 

Imagine, if it isn’t a gateway, and this shit is just some wild shit that makes us under-evolved monkeys see machine elves, imagine that your last thought in existence was; you’re a real piece of shit kid. Then worm food.

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British Police Find 6,000 Cannabis Plants in Abandoned Tire Factory

British police this week reportedly uncovered thousands of cannabis plants in an abandoned tire factory in what is being called one of the largest weed busts in the area. 

The British newspaper The Independent reported that law enforcement in the otherwise sleepy Lincolnshire village “busted one of their largest ever cannabis factories after discovering 6,000 plants inside an old tyre factory – believed to be worth around £6.5 million.”

“This is one of the largest cannabis grows we have located in Lincolnshire to date and follows the excellent development of intelligence,” said detective inspector Richard Nethercott, as quoted by the Lincolnshire World.

“Cannabis production is far from being harmless: it is often linked to wider, organised criminality which is why tackling the wider issue of drug supply is one of our key priorities. Lincolnshire Police remains determined to crack down on criminal enterprises and remove drugs from circulation.”

According to the BBC, three men “aged 28, 38, and 42, all of no fixed address, were taken into custody following the raid,” and the plants were “removed and destroyed.”

The raid “took place at the property situated behind a countryside village pub at around 8am on Tuesday,” according to The Independent, which said that the property was the location of “the Old Kings Head Tyre Factory in Hubberts Bridge, near Boston.”

While the raid may have been remarkable for Lincolnshire, it falls under a familiar story genre here at High Times, which has chronicled some of the more peculiar cannabis busts from across the pond. 

In 2019, we told you about the 120-year-old Victorian style theater in London that was the site of a $51 million marijuana grow operation. 

Authorities there surmised that the grow site had been operational for roughly a decade in the bowels of the old Broadway Theater, which was built in 1897.

A spokesperson for the London police said that “officers were called to an address following reports of a disturbance.” 

“They discovered a large number of cannabis plants along with equipment used in the cultivation of cannabis in an area beneath the residential properties. Three men, aged 28, 45, and 47, and a 36-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis. They have all been released under investigation,” the spokesperson said at the time.

A couple years later, the British were at it again, this time discovering an illicit grow operation at a 17th century castle in Somerset, located in southern England.

That same year, in 2021, a massive growhouse was discovered in London’s financial district, which had gone quiet amid the lockdown restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police at the time responded to reports of a pungent cannabis odor in the area.

“This is the first cannabis factory in the City, no doubt being set up in response to fewer people being out and about during the pandemic who might have noticed any unusual activity,” Andy Spooner, the London detective overseeing the investigation, said at the time. “However, this demonstrates that City of London Police continues to actively police the Square Mile, bearing down on any crime committed here.” 

And last year, the English village of West Parley provided yet another example after locals there discovered a half-dozen suspicious plants growing in a community garden. 

The marijuana plants were tough to miss, with one local remarking at the time that they were “towering above the bedding plants.”

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UC Davis Launches Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics

The University of California, Davis announced this week that it is launching a new institute that aims to “advance basic knowledge about the mechanisms of psychedelics and translate it into safe and effective treatments for diseases such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among others.”

Called “the Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics,” it will “bring together scientists across a range of disciplines and partner with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that key discoveries lead to new medicines for patients,” the university said in the announcement, adding that the institute “was specifically designed to facilitate collaborations across campus.”

The institute “will be funded in part by a contribution of approximately $5 million from the deans of the College of Letters and Science and the School of Medicine, the vice chancellor for Research, and the Office of the Provost,” the school said, noting that the funding distinguishes it from other centers involved in the same field of study.

“While other psychedelic science centers have been formed across the country with gifts from philanthropists, the UC Davis institute is notable for also being supported by substantial university funds,” the university said. 

The university said that another “unique feature of the UC Davis institute will be its focus on chemistry and the development of novel neurotherapeutics.”

David E. Olson, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at UC Davis, has been tapped to serve as the founding director of the new institute.

“Psychedelics have a lot of therapeutic potential, but we can do better,” said Olson, whose group published a paper three years ago “describing the first nonhallucinogenic analogue of a psychedelic compound capable of promoting neuroplasticity and producing antidepressant and anti-addictive effects in preclinical models,” according to the university.

In Olson’s view, the university said, “novel molecules tailored to specific disease indications could offer substantial benefits and open doors to partnerships with industry by solving many issues currently faced by traditional psychedelics related to safety, scalability and intellectual property.”

“Psychedelics have a unique ability to produce long-lasting changes in the brain that are relevant to treating numerous conditions,” said Olson. “If we can harness those beneficial properties while engineering molecules that are safer and more scalable, we can help a lot of people.”

John A. Gray, an associate professor in the Department of Neurology, will serve as associate director. Olson and Gray authored a study in 2018 “demonstrating that psychedelics promote neuroplasticity — the growth of new neurons and formation of neural connections,” the university said in the announcement this week.

“Neuronal atrophy is a key factor underlying many diseases, and the ability of psychedelics to promote the growth of neurons and new connections in the brain could have broad therapeutic implications,” Gray said.

The university stated that the institute “will leverage the extraordinary breadth of expertise in the neuroscience community at UC Davis, which includes nearly 300 faculty members in centers, institutes and departments across the Davis and Sacramento campuses,” and that researchers “will be able to work on every aspect of psychedelic science, from molecules and cells through to human clinical trials.”

“Combining the considerable expertise of UC Davis’ pioneering basic research teams, world-class neuroscientists and our nationally recognized medical center is a formula for success that we trust will result in groundbreaking discoveries that will help patients regionally and worldwide,” Susan Murin, dean of the School of Medicine, said in the announcement this week.

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Breeding for Dummies: How To Make Your Weed Plants Screw

So you want to play around with plant intercourse! That’s great. I’m here to help you with that, and I’ve enlisted the help of some of the finest weed wizards on planet Earth to assist me. It’s not exactly simple, but it’s easy enough to accomplish in the comfort of your own home if you’re dedicated enough. For the sake of simplicity and efficiency, I’m going to boil this down to some very rudimentary and basic options. Breeding is a complex art that has an unlimited complexity threshold, and as such, it would be insane to explain all of it in a short article such as this.

First thing’s first, you’re going to need space, at least 4×4 feet if not 4×8 or more, and a grow tent. I’d recommend at least a 4×8 but you can make it work with a 4×4. Vivosun makes superb grow tents and I’ve used my 4×4 for years. They also have a whole line of at-home grow equipment that works great, with the exception of the lights. I haven’t tried them myself but we all know by now you’re either running 1000 watt HPS light or fancy-pants LEDs and this isn’t a how-to-grow article so figure out your own damn equipment and nutrients and all that.

As with most living creatures, drugs or otherwise, you need male and female cannabis plants to make seeds. If you grow cannabis enough to want to learn breeding, you probably know how to weed out male plants from female plants but to briefly summarize: in the little node under the branch of the cannabis plant are the plant’s sex organs. Male plants have actual balls or “pollen sacs” and female plants have “pistils” which look like wispy little hairs. 

If male plants are allowed to pollinate the female plant, the female will grow seeds within the buds that you would normally smoke. Every seed will grow into a unique “phenotype” of whatever the “strain” is. So if you cross a DoSiDo plant with a Chemdawg plant and they produce 100 seeds, all the female seeds would grow up into unique combined versions of both the parent strains, each exhibiting slightly different flavor, smell, and effect profiles. That, dear reader, is where the fun part starts. You can build your own cannabis experience from scratch in a sense and every breeder likes to build differently.

“Most of the time, I’m looking for something hybridized with the best components and [traits] of each cross,” said Alex from Clearwater Genetics, whom I have personally dubbed the reigning king of Now N’ Laters crosses. “I need to see kind of the best of both worlds there. I need to see a real 50-50 hybrid, or, depending on what I’m going for, you know, maybe a 75-25, something like that. Otherwise, you just grow the fucking strain.”

Now it isn’t quite as easy as saying “I want to make a strain that tastes like Zkittlez, yields four pounds per light and gets you high like OG.” That’s what Scott from Sexual Chocolate Factory would call a unicorn strain and while they do come around every so often, they’re one-in-a-million. Genetics also don’t really work like that. There tends to be a give-and-take which is why you might notice strains that taste amazing don’t get you as high as you might like and vice versa. So keep that in mind when embarking on your breeding journey.

There are two main methods of doing this that you’ll want to consider:

Pollen sacs on a male plant of “Ztan Lee.” Photo submitted by Scott from Sexual Chocolate Factory.

Method 1 – Reversals

Reversals are a process of taking a female clone of a strain you want to cross and spraying it with Silver Thiosulfate spray during the early stages of flower to reverse it into a male plant which you would then use to pollinate your chosen female plants.

“It’s hard to find a good male of your favorite cultivar ultimately. If you have like a Trainwreck or Pink Certz or a Pave, it’s hard to find a male with those traits,” said Chris Compound, formerly of Compound Genetics and the mastermind behind strains like Apples & Bananas and Grape Gas. “With fems, you can create a male, reverse male of those strains.”

This method makes it much easier to pick traits you want to pass on to your cross because you don’t have to play a guessing game like you do with male plants, you can just take clones from your female plants like you normally would and pick your favorites to reverse and breed with after the previous generation has been harvested and sampled.

“My Oreocake cross with Now N’ Later #47 was the winner out of like 120 plus. So, we flowered it. They hit 3.8 pounds per light. All right, just a beast, just a fucking beast,” said Alex from Clearwater Genetics. “I’ll take that. and I have 27 that I’m reversing right now. I’ll take those. And I’ll spray those down with SDS and do our thing, and basically just have a huge fucking stash of pollen.”

Method 2 –  Playing With Dudes

This method involves popping regular, unfeminized seeds and sorting through the males and females. You would then pick a strong male and use it to pollinate female plants of your choosing. Choosing a strong male is where it gets complicated.

“Your only indicator early on is stem rubs,” said Scott from Sexual Chocolate Factory, the company that bred the illustrious Randy Watzon. “Another indicator later on in life is pollen sacks. Pollen sacks and plant matter will start to develop trichomes just like the female plant, but just in different areas. So you’ll have indicators of what the resin and the fragrances will be, if you’re lucky to find a male that will exhibit these trichomes because it’s not all males that do it.”

Once you’ve chosen your stud you can either collect the pollen to apply to the female plants as you choose or just keep the plants in the same room until seeds form.

This method is a bit more complicated, especially in a limited home setup. You very well might fuck up the timing or choose a male that isn’t the best stud, which is why a lot of commercial breeders choose method 1. Method 2 just requires a bit more patience but it gets much easier if your at-home setup has a divider to create two different rooms, which is why I specifically recommended the Vivosun 4×8. You can keep your males and females separate and pollinate on your own time, rather than dialing everything in by the exact day of flower and all that jazz.

No matter which method you choose, you don’t have to waste all your bud just to get some seeds. If you separate your male plants and collect pollen, rather than keeping the plants together and allowing them to openly pollinate, you can literally take a paintbrush, dip it in pollen and place it on however many buds you wish to impregnate. Be sure to wrap the rest of the plant in a trash bag when you do this so you don’t get any pollen in places it shouldn’t go.

Pollen sacs on a male plant of “Ztan Lee.” Photo submitted by Scott from Sexual Chocolate Factory.

Breeding for Hash

I had to squeeze this in for all the low-temp warriors and hash dorks out there. A big topic in the industry seems to be how in the Sam-hell to intentionally grow plants that will produce a lot of hash. For those who don’t know, hash washing is the process of knocking the trichome heads off of the cannabis bud to collect, dry, and vaporize. As with the other traits of the cannabis plant, breeding for hash involves seeking out strains we already know produce good hash yield or good hash taste and choosing those strains to cross.

“When I cross, first of all, the plants I want to pollinate I kinda make sure they already have characteristics for hash washing like good trichome production,” said Compound. “If you’re doing a reverse you don’t want to reverse something that’s a bad washer to begin with.”

Other indicators of good hash yield include a “sandiness” or “grittiness” to the trichomes, but it is important to note that a good yield does not always equal a good flavor. Scott from Sexual Chocolate Factory explained that it’s a dichotomy between genetic traits, a give-and-take essentially between taste and yield that isn’t necessarily a direct correlation.

“Sandy [trichomes] is what you’re looking for when you’re touching flower, and you can feel the grittiness of the trike zones and between your fingers. That is an indicator of a good washer. Whether it’s a desirable washer is another story,” Scott said. “With race cars, you can have a lot of horsepower. But that comes with a lot of weight.”

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High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2023

We’re excited to see the product lineup as it begins to develop, but we’re even more excited to announce that we have pumped our number of categories to 20 this year—that’s three more categories than last year! This year we welcome the expansion of Solvent Gummies and Non-Solvent Gummies to the Edibles categories. We’ve also expanded our Medical categories as well to include Medical Concentrates and Medical Infused Pre-Rolls, but you can check out the whole list in its entirety here:

Entry Categories

  1. Rec Indica Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  2. Rec Sativa Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  3. Rec Hybrid Flower (4 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  4. Rec Pre-Rolls (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  5. Rec Infused Pre-Rolls (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  6. Rec Solvent Concentrates (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  7. Rec Non-Solvent Concentrates (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  8. Rec Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  9. Rec Non-Distillate Vape Pens & Cartridges (2 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  10. Rec Edibles: Solvent Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  11. Rec Edibles: Non-Solvent Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  12. Rec Edibles: Non-Gummies (3 entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  13. Rec Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals (3 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Adult-Use)
  14. Medical Indica Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  15. Medical Sativa Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  16. Medical Hybrid Flower (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  17. Medical Pre-Rolls (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  18. Medical Concentrates (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  19. Medical Infused Pre-Rolls (4 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)
  20. Medical Edibles (3 Entries Max per Company) (State-Licensed Medical-Facility)

The winners of the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2022 revealed an outstanding selection of products well-known throughout The Great Lakes State. Brands and companies such as Pro-Gro, FLWRpot, Local Grove, and Canna Boys were just a few of the winners. Feel free to check out the winners from 2021 as well, and you can also look back at the winners of our in-person cannabis cups between 2015-2019.

Can’t wait to get started? Neither can we! Participation for the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan: People’s Choice Edition 2023 begins on between March 20-30 as the window for submissions. Just in time for 4/20, we’ll have kits available starting on April 15 at participating locations. We’ll give our honored judges just over two months to properly sample and review all of the submissions in their kit, with a deadline of June 25. Finally, just a few weeks after that, we’ll announce the winners on July 9.

Winners receive the coveted High Times Cannabis Cup trophy, a longtime symbol of quality in the cannabis community. It was designed by Alex and Allyson Grey, made from zinc and 24k gold plating.

Judges will analyze the products in their kits through a variety of criteria. For Flower, Pre-rolls, Vape Pens, and Concentrates, judges will take note of a product’s aesthetics, aroma/scent, taste/flavor profile, burnability, effects/effectiveness, and terpene profile. Edibles have a slightly different list of considerations, including packaging and labeling. Finally, Topicals, Tinctures + Capsules judges are asked to review the “ease of use” in addition to other criteria.

Because the competition includes both recreational and medical products, the entry requirements differ slightly. From maximum weight limits on products and number of units submitted, we highly recommend that interested participants who want to submit their products adhere to the following requirements:

Entry Requirements


  • Flower: (228) 1g units. We will not accept any 3.5g entries. 
  • Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (228) units. Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2g flower-only each.
  • Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 3g flower-equivalency or 1g concentrate-equivalency each by METRC equations.
  • Concentrates & Vape Pens: (228) .5g units. We will not accept any 1g entries. Batteries required for Carts.
  • Edibles: (100) units with 100mg THC max.
  • Sublinguals, Capsules, Tinctures + Topicals: (60) units with 500mg THC max.


  • Flower: (228) 1g units. We will not accept any 3.5g entries. 
  • Pre-Rolls & Infused Pre-Rolls: (100) units: Pre-Rolls will be capped at 2g flower-only each.
  • Infused Pre-Rolls will be capped at 5g flower-equivalency or 5g concentrate-equivalency each by METRC equations.
  • Concentrates & Vape Pens: (100) .5g units. We will not accept any 1g entries. Batteries required for Carts.
  • Edibles: (100) units with 200mg THC max.

The cost of entry is set at $250 for one entry and $100 each for two (both non-refundable); for entries of three or more, it’s $100 each but the deposits per entry are refundable. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, there are varied levels of sponsorship including Presenting Sponsorship, Silver Sponsorships, Bronze Sponsorships, and General Sponsorships.

Michigan really came out of the gates strong at last year’s Cup, so we can’t wait to see what these local brands bring to the table this year.

A huge thank you to our official intake partner Green Pharm.

Questions? Email Competition@hightimes.com.

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Yale Announces New Cannabis Research Center

One of the country’s most prestigious academic institutions will be home to a new research center dedicated to studying cannabis. 

The Yale School of Medicine announced the creation this week of “a research center to study the acute and chronic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids on neurodevelopment and mental health.”

Called the “Yale Center for the Science of Cannabis and Cannabinoids,” the center “will be led by Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD, Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry and a leading expert on the pharmacology of cannabinoids.”

The announcement comes only weeks after Connecticut, where the elite Ivy League university is located, launched legal recreational cannabis sales

After the regulated marijuana market went live, D’Souza sounded the alarm on cannabis use among young people. 

“It’s easy for adolescents to get their hands on tobacco and alcohol and why do we think that’s not going to be the case with cannabis,” D’Souza told local news station WTNH.

“Exposure to cannabis … in adolescents has been associated with the development of some serious psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and other psychosis,” D’Souza added, as quoted by the station.

The center, which was announced by the university on Monday, will be funded initially by “the Department of Psychiatry, with support from the dean’s office.”

“Funding will support pilot studies toward the development of a P50-type center grant application…” the university said in the announcement, noting that those interested in applying for funding must contact D’Souza.

According to a press release about the new cannabis research center, university leaders “said in their announcement that the launch of the center comes at a time of rapid commercialization of cannabis across the United States,” and that the new “center will use a multipronged and multidisciplinary approach to study the acute and chronic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.” 

Legal recreational pot sales kicked off in Connecticut last month. According to WTNH, the first week of sales brought in more than $2 million

The state legalized marijuana in 2021, when Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who was elected to another term in last year’s election, signed a bill into law.

“That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity. It will help eliminate the dangerous unregulated market and support a new, growing sector of our economy which will create jobs,” Lamont said in a signing statement at the time. “By allowing adults to possess cannabis, regulating its sale and content, training police officers in the latest techniques of detecting and preventing impaired driving, and expunging the criminal records of people with certain cannabis crimes, we’re not only effectively modernizing our laws and addressing inequities, we’re keeping Connecticut economically competitive with our neighboring states.” 

Lamont announced in December that, as part of the state’s new cannabis law, about 44,000 individuals would have their prior marijuana convictions expunged at the beginning of 2023.

“On January 1, thousands of people in Connecticut will have low-level cannabis convictions automatically erased due to the cannabis legalization bill we enacted last year,” Lamont said in a statement at the time. “Especially as Connecticut employers seek to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings, an old conviction for low-level cannabis possession should not hold someone back from pursuing their career, housing, professional, and educational aspirations.”

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Is Cannabis Use Disorder Really a Thing?

We used to just call people stoners, that was enough. But the medical world always likes things to be more specific, and so now we have the term ‘cannabis use disorder’. But is this really a thing? Or a combination of fear-mongering, and over-enthusiasm to make everything into a problem? Read on and form your own opinion.

How is cannabis use disorder defined?

Though cannabis use goes back for thousands of years without a use issue stated, somehow, when legalizations started happening in the US, it popped up as a disorder. It’s currently listed in the DSM V, which came out in 2013. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) states the qualifications for psychiatric diagnoses. Since there aren’t medical diagnoses for these issues, this guide is meant to tell doctors how to diagnose psychiatric problems. In the previous edition which was used between 2000-2013 (the DSM IV), cannabis was associated with ‘dependence’ and ‘abuse.’

According to VeryWellMind, cannabis use disorder denotes “problematic marijuana use.” The site then goes on to list the symptoms related to this problematic use. These symptoms include:

“Continuing to use cannabis despite physical or psychological problems; continuing to use cannabis despite social or relationship problems; craving cannabis; difficulty controlling or cutting down cannabis use; giving up or reducing other activities in favor of cannabis use; problems at work, school, and home as a result of cannabis use; spending a lot of time on cannabis use; taking cannabis in high-risk situations; taking more cannabis than was intended; tolerance to cannabis; withdrawal when discontinuing cannabis.”

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However, given all this, it then goes on to stipulate: “Just because the name has changed and the term “cannabis use” has replaced “cannabis abuse” or “cannabis dependence” doesn’t mean that cannabis is not addictive. In fact, research shows conclusively that cannabis is addictive.” However, contrary to this article, research, in fact, does not show any ability for a physical addiction to cannabis, as well as no death toll; and the fact it was downgraded in this way, really says a lot about how innocuous it is.

Have I ever seen a real example of cannabis use disorder in life?

No, not really. And that means something. I can’t speak for every person reading this, but I can speak for my own experience. I’ve been smoking weed for well over 20 years. I admit I never got into it in high school, but when college came around I finally understood what all the hype was about. In reality, I had tried it in high school a couple times with some (now I realize) low-grade herb stolen out of the top drawer of my stepfather’s dresser. He had back issues and had likely procured the green for his pain.

I was one of those people who simply couldn’t get the inhale right. The non-cigarette smokers among us sometimes have problems with this in the beginning. But in the throes of university, I figured it out, and by the end of my junior year, I was a full on stoner. In fact, I went from 0 to 100 in no time at all.

I’ve had times in my life when I wouldn’t go places without a joint rolled or a one-hitter in my pocket. I used to be the one stinking up greyhound buses with my bag of weed stuffed in my backpack, and the scent emanating out. It used to be customary for me to sneak a smoke break in my car at lunch, or to go for a walk and toke up, pretty much whenever possible. My habit might have been irritating to those who didn’t understand my desire to constantly be high.

But the truth is, I never had to do it. If a situation arose whereby I couldn’t have weed, I might have complained, but it was more of a superficial thing. My body wasn’t upset by not getting it. I didn’t go into DTs, or get incredibly sick. I wasn’t irritable and in a generally bad mood; and if I was, it was related to me, not the weed. Because I was never addicted to it.

It also never messed anything up for me. I never prostituted myself to get it, robbed anyone or anything for the money, or missed out on something because of it. It didn’t cause me to fail out of school, lose friends, or become a social outcast. The most is did was make me lazy, and hurt my lungs (the latter of which was rectified by vaping over smoking).

Is cannabis use a sign of our own personal issues?

Want the real reality check? Most of the time I’ve used like that, I’m unhappy in general, or stressed out in life, with no other way to deal with it. You know that whole idea of self-medicating? It isn’t that a person wants to be blown out of their mind, its that they’re trying to fix a problem, whether consciously or subconsciously. What my weed use indicates to me, is a discomfort in life and in myself, and that has nothing to do with a use disorder, but rather, a reason for use. As in, something not right = more weed use, feeling okay = less. I expect this is true for nearly every person who uses a substance regularly.

Most users I know go through different periods in life with their consumption. And many people seem to cut down on their own when the time is appropriate, or if they feel they’re going overboard. A real drug use disorder involves a lack of control to the point of a problem, but that indicates it needs to cause a real problem. I have yet to see even one person directly ruin their life because of weed. Which, in my opinion, makes for no actual use disorder attached.

Have YOU ever seen a real example of cannabis use disorder in life?

Are you a weed consumer? And if so, how would you characterize your own use? Do you feel compelled at any point to use it? Do you feel like your life is lacking something because of it? Do you feel out-of-control in your ability to use or not use it? Now think of the people around you. Do they seem out-of-control on weed? Like, unable to make decent decisions? Unable to stop from doing more? Unable to stop themselves from tanking out their lives? And all due only to weed?

And have you seen it fundamentally mess up another person’s life? Job lost, partner left, family leaves them behind? Have you seen anyone destitute on the side of the road because they just couldn’t stop smoking weed? Have you heard of a store being burglarized because of it, or a person performing sexual acts to get it? Maybe you have, I can’t say, but I’d certainly bet not. If you had seen it, I probably would have too.

Now, last, have you watched person after person, unable to stop using weed? Trying to quit repeatedly, and unable to consume less, or stop at all? Have you ever heard anyone talk about needing an AA style meeting, or a counselor to get them through the hard part? Has anyone ever disclosed to you their painful experience of trying to leave weed behind? Again, if you say ‘yes’, I won’t argue, but I expect if this were a thing to see, I’d have seen it in my over 20 years of being in the weed scene.

So is there really a cannabis use disorder?

In order for the medical community to prescribe you a medication for anything, they legally need a reason to do it. That reason comes as a diagnosis that creates a need for a treatment, which is then prescribed as a medication. The diagnosis acts as a justification to allow the patient to have a specific medication. A doctor can’t prescribe a medication that requires a prescription, without that justification.

A medical diagnosis is based on objective information, not subjectivity
A medical diagnosis is based on objective information, not subjectivity

If you go to a doctor with a urinary tract infection, that infection is tested for, and the diagnosis made based on the results of the tests. As in, it’s a verifiable problem, for which a medication exists to treat it. There’s 100% no subjectivity there. These are objective tests. This is the same for any medical issue, with a medical definition. Cancer is definable, the flu is definable, a broken bone is definable, a genetic mutation is definable.

Then we get to psychiatric disorders, and the process is the same, but with one not-so-minor stipulation which gets constantly steamrolled over. Psychiatric conditions have no medical diagnosis. There’s nothing to verify they exist, and no way to test for them, or differentiate them. Now, if you’re thinking ‘I’m sure that doctors can test and diagnose issues like schizophrenia’, the sad truth is they uniformly cannot, as there is no true verification method. All diagnoses therefore come from the opinion of each specific doctor. They are only subjective, with absolutely no objectivity involved.

Ever heard of two doctors having two different opinions? Happens all the time! And that can mean two wildly different diagnoses depending on the specific beliefs of the individual doctors. And two wildly different medications prescribed, that can have wildly different effects. Breast cancer is breast cancer no matter which doctor you go to. But depression might be depression to one, bi-polar to another, and a personality disorder to a third. All the doctors will pick up on what they see, which is usually centered on their ideas and beliefs. Now think of how opinionated most doctors are.

So does cannabis use disorder actually exist? Or is the medical community trying to make an unnecessary label so it can prescribe you more meds? It’s not my place to say for sure, but I can give my opinion. Remember that part where I’ve been both a weed user and in the weed community for over half my life? If I can go this long without seeing something that mirrors the conditions of this disorder, than far as I can tell, it’s pretty much the last thing you’ve got to worry about.


Want to worry in life? Worry about getting addicted to opioids, or benzodiazepines, or meth. Worry about your alcohol intake and how you’ll get home without driving drunk. Worry about the boxes of cigarettes you go through and how they affect your health and the health of those around you. And worry about why your governing bodies are consistently pushing you to use unhealthy options over healthier ones.

Worry about the pollution in the air and water, the chemicals in your food, and the long hours you’re made to work that take you away from your family for most of your waking hours. Worry about the stress that gets piled on you, and the terms used to describe the ways you deal with it. But if you like to de-stress yourself with weed, maybe don’t worry so much that you have a so-called disorder, since it doesn’t look to actually cause problems.

Thanks for being a part of this! Welcome to our news site Cannadelics.com; which specializes in independent coverage of the cannabis and psychedelics spaces. Drop in frequently to keep up with everything going on, and sign up to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always first to know what’s happening.

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Mass Layoffs Continue in Cannabis Industry – Globally

What’s one great way to tell if an industry is doing well? More jobs open up, and salaries improve. What’s a great way to know there are problems? When more and more jobs get cut. That’s where we are today, as mass layoffs continue in the cannabis industry, signaling a host of problems, with no solution in sight.

Industry issues

When the industry first started it was a true free-for-all. The predictions for market growth were off-the-charts, and it seemed like every big international company wanted to swoop into newly legalized locations to take advantage of this new reported cash cow of an industry. Everyone wanted in. Lots of people made investments. We all waited with baited breath to see who among us would become the new weed industry millionaires.

Now, we’re a few years in, and the landscape has changed, along with expectations. CBD has faded out into almost nothing, medical markets are getting eclipsed by recreational markets, which themselves are still often eclipsed by black markets. Prices remain high in many places due to insane taxing, and governments have been slow to pick up on this as an issue. Overproduction has (let’s be honest, predictably) come into play, causing prices to plummet in every venue. And the once thriving industry, is now showing its cracks, with sales plummeting in many places.

Last year the reports started really rolling in about industry closures and layoffs. Smaller names were already having a hard time making it in due to expensive regulation, extreme competition, and extra costs like slotting fees at dispensaries; making it seem like a game for the big dogs only. But even they’re having issues. And now as 2023 gets underway, the mass layoffs continue, both in the US, and around the world.

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Mass layoffs in the cannabis industry – global

Clever Leaves Holdings is a Colombian cannabis company with operations in Portugal. On January 23rd of this year, the company announced restructuring plans that include cutting nearly ¼ of its staff. Clever Leaves is in the medical space, creating pharmaceutical-grade products. This restructuring means winding down all operations in the Portugal location. In fact, the company wants to move everything back home to cut costs, saying:

“By exclusively cultivating and producing our cannabinoid products in Colombia, we aim to leverage our existing cost efficiencies in the country as we ramp our dry flower offering,” said Andres Fajardo, CEO of Clever Leaves. “We believe this transition will allow us to optimize our production infrastructure and drive increased cost savings, positioning us to compete more effectively in the global medicinal cannabis market.”

As of the end of September, the company had $12.1 million in assets in Portugal. The facility included cultivation, post-harvesting, and manufacturing activities; though it sounds like all of this will eventually end. It’s also not the only company operating out of Portugal that wants to cut back. On January 17th, cannabis giant Tilray Brands announced it too was looking to cut about a quarter of its staff. The facility in Cantanhede is also a medical cannabis products facility. Said a Tilray spokesperson to MJBizDaily:

“A total of 49 jobs will be affected in the production, manufacturing, quality, quality control (laboratory), cultivation, supply chain, facilities, warehousing, logistics, procurement, and IT. These changes, which are in line with Tilray’s rightsizing to meet the needs of the current economy and the state of legalization across medical and adult-use cannabis, will take place over the next three months.”

To give an idea why this is happening, consider that in the quarter ending November 30th, 2022, the company posted a $61.6 million net loss. Tilray is a public company and can be found on the NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange under TLRY. Clever Leaves also had huge losses of $37.3 million, in the first three quarters of last year. It only earned $13.2 million in the same time frame. Clever Leaves is publicly traded under CLVR on NASDAQ.

In Canada, Delta 9 announced that it would temporarily lay off 40 people. This is interesting wording as it implies the company does believe it will be able to reverse these layoffs. Realistically, maybe it will, but a stronger reality might be that none of these jobs are coming back for any of these companies. This cut in the company’s Winnipeg facilities accounts for 40% of its staff.

Fellow Canadian company The Flowr Corporation (OTC:FLWPF) a cultivation services enterprise with locations in several countries, made some big changes last year to keep from bankruptcy. It cut employees to the tune of $4 million in savings, accounting for 40% of its workforce. Along with this, it made a deal to sell off its subsidiary Flowr Forests, a 16 acre property for cultivation. This is considered a non-core asset, and makes the company $3.4 million in revenue.

Mass layoffs in the cannabis industry – US

The US might not have federally legal weed, but it is home to the biggest cannabis industries. However, things aren’t doing better within the borders of the US, than they’re doing outside them. One of the big ones to announce major cuts of late? Columbia Care, Inc., which operates in several states, and owns Green Leaf Medical LLC, which is about to make a bunch of people jobless. How many? 73. As of February 28th.

According to the company: “In order to meet the appropriate supply and demand levels of the market, it was necessary for us to reduce the workforce at our cultivation and production facility.” It continued, “We are hopeful that with adult use on the horizon, this facility will be back up to full capacity in the future.” It’s pretty clear this cut is indeed due to a lack of business.

Leaflink, a wholesale tech platform out of New York, is also cutting jobs. Late last year it was reported that 80 employees were sent looking for new work. Much like the other companies to make cuts, the company explained: “Unfortunately, as the cannabis industry continues to face headwinds and the current macroeconomic environment, we needed to take the next step in our evolution to continue supporting the industry.”

Truelieve, a company offering medical cannabis products and services out of Tallahassee Florida, and which operates in many states, also made a similar announcement at the end of last year. Workers were cut from its McKeesport Pennsylvania cultivation facility, numbering approximately 36. This is technically small potatoes considering the company employs in the neighborhood of 8,000, but its also not the first cut. The company laid off workers in three Florida locations: Midway, Monticello, and Quincy, as well.

While the cut was blamed on “Trulieve’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Arizona-based multistate operator Harvest Health & Recreation in 2021,” it also came on the heels of the company posting a quarterly loss of $115 million.

Yet another Florida company, Springbig, a technology company for weed-specific marketing software, cut 23% of its workforce (37 employees) late last year. The company is trying hard to turn a profit amid an industry that seems harder and harder to turn a profit in. These cuts were meant to save $200,000 in the short term, and 21% in the first three quarters of 2023.

Springbig had just merged with Tuatara Capital Acquisition, in order to get on NASDAQ; trading under SBIG. The company’s shares have plummeted from $4.50 last June, to 82 cents at the end of 2022. Prior to the drop it had reported $24 million in yearly revenue, with a $275 million valuation, as per Green Market Report.

If you’re a big reader of cannabis news, then the publication Leafly is likely familiar to you. Well, even Leafly Holdings is having problems. In October of last year, it was reported that the cannabis resource and marketplace, would cut 56 jobs, or 21% of its staff. Leafly, traded under LFLY on NASDAQ, is looking to save approximately $16 million a year, saying, “These reductions will help preserve our ability to respond to opportunities as this industry continues to mature and expand, and allow us to more effectively manage our capital.”

Previously mentioned layoffs in the cannabis industry

This is unfortunately not the first time I’ve reported on cannabis industry layoffs. Last year made one thing very clear: the market is not as sound as many wanted to believe; and the overall market predictions in place, are falling short of reality.

Some of the big layoffs already reported on, include Weedmaps, which cut about 25% of its staff; Curaleaf Holdings, which just got rid of 220 employees; Akerna, which released 1/3 of its staff, or 59 workers; Dutchie, which removed 8% of its workforce, amounting to 67 jobs lost; Canopy Growth which sold all its retail locations, and cut 245 jobs last year; and Aurora Cannabis which cut 12% of its workforce as a part of corporate restructuring to save money.

With the biggest names in cannabis faltering, it brings up the question of who can survive. More companies to let employees go recently, include California’s Eaze, which laid off around 25 employees last year; Lume, a cannabis company out of Michigan closed four out of 30 of its stores; and Nature AZ Medicine, an Arizona medical cannabis company, cut up to 100 employees as a result of medical sales falling.

There’s nothing saying that 2023 won’t turn into a banner year for cannabis sales, and there’s nothing saying that all of these companies won’t recoup their losses, or hire back the numbers they lost. But right now, things aren’t looking fantastic for cannabis industry growth, and these layoffs are a good indication that more bad news might be coming.


Will the cannabis industry rebound? Or are these mass layoffs an indication that the weed industry has hit a wall? And maybe most important to ask, if it can be saved, what kind of changes are necessary in order to facilitate this?

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The post Mass Layoffs Continue in Cannabis Industry – Globally appeared first on Cannadelics.

6 chocolate weed strains worth trying this Valentine’s Day

For smoke-weed-everyday cacao aficionados, it stands to reason that some of our favorite cultivars would share a few of the same essences as chocolate, especially considering how integral both are to contemporary stoner culture.

Chocophile potheads around the world know how much of a mood lift a single bonbon can deliver, but it’s more than munchies that connect weed to cacao. Chocolate is rich in the terpene linalool. It also contains one of the first endocannabinoids discovered, anandamide, which interacts with the same endocannabinoid receptors as THC.

But weed and chocolate are connected by more than biology. When cannabis is bred to enhance its chocolatey qualities, the results can be more than mouthwatering; they can be freaking transcendent. Chocolate strains are designated as such via their genetics (many stem from crosses of Chocolate Thai or Chocolope) or their distinctly chocolatey terp profiles. Either way, the more chocolaty the strain, the more compelled we’ll be to stock up.

Consider a few of our favorite chocolatey strains of weed below and explore strains of all flavors on the Weedmaps app.

Chocolate Chunk

Chocolate Chunk, a direct descendant of Afghani, is a potentially sedative cultivar with a snoozy reputation perfect for stoners who prefer a mellow euphoria that unravels neatly into bedtime. Users describe Chocolate Chunk as a sleepy, munchy high that arrives with a chest swelling elation that typically percolates through the body, quieting both racing thoughts and achy body parts. Chocolate Chunk features a low percentage of CBD, and therapeutic users and rec users alike celebrate the strain’s potential stress-relieving efficacy.

Expect a botanical, flowery chocolate perfume and a sharp, pine-infused cocoa exhale.

Chocolate Diesel

Chocolate Diesel is an even-keeled cross of Sour Diesel and Chocolate Thai that tends to lean slightly peppy but overall seems to deliver balanced effects. Users report a potentially energetic onset that typically dissolves into an unfocused, cottony head high and loose, languid body buzz. The euphoric overtones make it a useful cultivar to keep around — especially on moody days. Therapeutic users report potential relief from fatigue, while rec users report a typically deep, cushiony stone worth zoning out with.

Expect a potent gassy chocolate perfume and a sour, diesel exhale.

Chocolate Skunk

Pothead chocolate freaks looking for a bright, peppy high should consider auditioning Chocolate Skunk, a cross of underground fave Chocolope and perennial darling Skunk. This cultivar’s effects reportedly skew energetic, and many users describe the high as optimal for functional, everyday stoners. Rec users describe an energetic euphoria that can be laser-focused to complete tasks like housework or low-stakes cerebral projects. And therapeutic users enjoy this strain as well, reporting potential relief from chronic pain and fatigue.

Expect creamy mocha aromas and a commensurate exhale.

Chocolate Haze

Smokers who eschew the lazy stoner stereotype might enjoy this Haze phenotype that delivers some delightfully uplifting chocolate vibes while also maintaining a lighthearted, focused energy synonymous with the Haze genealogy. Chocolate Haze is reportedly ultra-long lasting, with THC percentages that typically peak around 25% and highs that generally evaporate into easy, giggly, euphoria rather than sleepytime munchies.

Expect a spicy, woody chocolate aroma and a flowery, bitter chocolate exhale.

Chocolate Glue

This rare cross of Gorilla Glue and Chocolate Lava is potentially sedative with a bright euphoric streak that fans of the cultivar say keeps the high airy and multidimensional, rather than cottony and thick. Some Chocolate Glue users celebrate the strain’s potentially blissful, alert, creative, and meditative qualities, while others experience super relaxing body effects. That dynamic balance makes this hard-to-find cultivar worth the search — as if tasting like chocolate wasn’t enough to pique interest.

Expect sweet citrus and dark chocolate in both the aroma and exhale.

Chocolate Mint

For chocolate lovers who prefer a syrupy, sedative high, Chocolate Mint is probably a pretty appropriate addition to the stash box. Chocolate Mint is a cross of Emerald OG and Grand Daddy Purps that reportedly delivers a euphoric, contemplative head high and deeply couch-locked body buzz. Rec users describe a heavy-duty stone that’s potentially sedative under certain conditions (read: warm couch, tasty munchies, infinite Netflix). Others find it to be meditative and rejuvenating (read: picnic blanket, sunshine, good book). Therapeutic users report potential relief from bad moods and achy joints. 

Chocolate Mint gets her name from her rich, complex chocolate exhale and bright, minty nose rather than a Chocolate lineage. Knowing this, expect a nuanced profile that includes both cool notes of mint and warm flashes of pepper.

The post 6 chocolate weed strains worth trying this Valentine’s Day appeared first on Weedmaps News.

Ciro Makes Cleaning Bongs a Breeze

I love it when a new product comes along that’s been designed with the core function to make life better, easier and cleaner. A product that makes me say, “Wow, I need that.” The truly revolutionary Ciro bong cleaner is one such item. The first-of-its-kind countertop appliance is the healthiest, most sustainable way to clean your pipes, bongs, grinder and trimming scissors by removing all the sticky resin using sonic waves—and in under 15 minutes without harmful and expensive chemicals.

Derivative of the Latin word for circle, the Ciro glass cleaner is the brainchild of two Emerald Triangle-based women, Laura Costa and Cara Cordoni.

“The Ciro comes from the heart of Humboldt County,” Costa says. “In addition to being great farmers, we’re also engineers, architects and artists.”

The Ciro cleans glassware and accessories in minutes.

How the Ciro Works

By harnessing industrial ultrasonic cleaning technology, the Ciro cleans the dirtiest bongs, pipes and other cannabis accessories and apparatus such as scissors and metal grinders. And it does so without using any nasty chemicals in a few minutes.

According to Costa, the sonic energy creates “cavitation,” tiny bubbles that explode against the resin, blasting it off the surface material and eliminating the need for solvents or other chemicals. 

The device is unique because the product’s design doesn’t require the bong to be submerged. Instead, it only needs to be filled with water. The Ciro’s six-inch base fits most bongs and if you want to clean dirty pipes, grinders or other accessories, simply pop them in a glass of water and place it in the Ciro. Adding a few drops of biodegradable dishwashing liquid emulsifies the resin, making for easy cleanup.

“The cannabis industry is loaded with waste,” Costa says. “One Ciro is about the same cost as about a dozen bottles of cleaner that you’ll never have to buy again. We’re very proud that we created something that eliminates a lot of single-use plastic and toxic chemicals from the environment.”

Ciro Bong Cleaner
The Ciro uses ultrasonic waves to create tiny bubbles that blast even the toughest resin off the glass.

The Benefits

The Full Flavor: Getting the full taste of the terpene profiles is one of the highlights of smoking cannabis. If you’re using a dirty bong containing stagnant bong water, you’re doing yourself and the flower a disservice. “You wouldn’t drink wine from a dirty glass,” Cordoni says. “So why would you smoke weed from a dirty bong?”

Reduced Respiratory Risks: Smoking out of dirty bongs and pipes isn’t just bad for the taste of your flower; it potentially poses health risks, too. Gross stagnant bong water is a haven for bacteria and other microbes that latch onto the gas and resin found inside your bong. Resin-encrusted bongs are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and pathogens. Smoking with them can lead to illnesses like strep throat and pneumonia.

Easy Cleanup: Cleaning bongs can be complicated and time-consuming, not to mention damn near impossible if you have dexterity issues. The sleek hands-free design of the Ciro makes it super easy to use, especially for patients and disabled users who often struggle to maintain the level of cleanliness that they deserve with traditional methods.

Environmentally Conscious Engineering: As well as eliminating toxic chemicals and reducing the need for single-use plastic, the Ciro is also engineered for performance and durability and includes a lifetime warranty. Costa and Cordoni developed a circular business model that will repair or reclaim products at end-of-life.

Ciro Bong Cleaner
Ciro founders Cara Cordoni (L) and Laura Costa (R).

Necessity and Innovation

The Ciro was born out of a two-fold need: a way to clean cannabis smoking apparatus and support her family as they worked through farming bureaucracy, Costa says.

“Many small farmers in the Emerald Triangle didn’t make it through the oppressive red tape and permitting costs of legalization after Prop 64,” Costa says. “Many farmers and their families had to pivot and find other ways to provide for their families.”

Costa is a skilled electrical engineer who spent part of her 20s rewiring airports in the South Pacific. She’s married to a legacy farmer and has spent years overseeing trim crews, tinkering with inventive ways to clean resinous apparatus. Costa built the first Ciro prototype using a thrift store cake pan as Exhibit A to her resourcefulness.

Cordoni is a San Francisco native and accomplished business builder, managing and coaching teams at various Fortune 500 companies and cannabis startups. Her passion for nurturing cradle-to-cradle product development extends into developing profitable businesses that prioritize protecting people and the environment.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with Ciro,” Costa says. “We have the potential to provide a less wasteful and healthier cleaning and consumption experience for the cannabis community.”

Ciro has launched for pre-sale on Indiegogo. A pledge of $185 reserves one Ciro + accessories at 26% off the retail price of $250. Multiple packs are available for dispensaries at a more generous discount. To see Ciro in action, or to pre-purchase a unit, visit @ciro_humboldt.

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