Ten Ways Cannabis Can Revive a Depressed Economy

An economic winter is coming, but don’t worry; we’ve compiled ten ways cannabis can revive a depressed economy. When many people hear “cannabis,” they may think of it as a recreational activity or a medical necessity. And it is. But it’s more than that. So while politicians will inevitably announce “stimulus” and bailouts, the real solution will come from entrepreneurs in a free market. And since Canada has already legalized cannabis, that’s one hurdle out of the way. Next, cut […]

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Mycoremediation: Using Mushrooms to Clean Environmental Toxins

Global waste is expected to increase to 3.4 billion tons by 2050. To put it into perspective, by that time, there will be more plastic waste than fish in the world’s oceans. So we need to make some changes fast. Scientists are looking at numerous different ways to weaponize natural resources in the fight against pollution. One of the more interesting methods they’ve come across is known as mycoremediation – in which mushrooms absorb various toxins from the earth. From wildfire zones in California to oil spills in South America, mushrooms are working their magic to make the world a better and safer place.  

Global pollution statistics  

Pollution is not a new phenomenon, but it has definitely become a much bigger problem over the last century as industry and agriculture became cornerstones of our society. Use of pesticides and herbicides in crops, urbanization, forest fires, and overuse of plastic products, and inadequate waste management have escalated the pollution issues at an alarmingly rapid rate, especially in low- and middle-income communities and countries. Economically impoverished people who do not have the resources to protect themselves from pollution tend to suffer the worst outcomes.  

Although some environmental regulations over the years helped to cut back on the toxic waste we create (think about how bad it was in 1970s era New York) it’s still not enough. To this day, pollution is the leading environmental cause of disease and early death. Pollution causes more than 9 million premature deaths annually, the majority of them due to air pollution. This is several times more than global deaths from tuberculosis, AIDs, and malaria combined.  

Pollution depletes our natural resources

Pollution also depletes the natural resources we need to live. According to a pollution overview from The World Bank, “Intensive material consumption depletes natural resources and causes negative environmental impacts at every stage of the product life-cycle including production, use phase, and end-of-life.” In the US alone, nearly 50% of freshwater is too polluted for drinking, swimming, or fishing. This not only impacts the water itself, put all the plants and other animals near the waterways that rely on that water. What happens when money doesn’t matter anymore because there is no clean water to drink, food to eat, or air to breathe? 

What is bioremediation? 

Bioremediation is the process of using living organisms or microbes to remove or neutralize contaminants from the earth. Bacteria is often used to “consume pollutants) and convert them into harmless and sometimes beneficial compounds like carbon dioxide, but a variety of plants, including hemp, can be used to detoxify soil, water, and air. The latter is a subset of bioremediation known as phytoremediation.  

It’s amazingly effective, even on products once believed to be irremediable like oil and plastic. For example, a study led by Kenneth J. Locey of Rush University Medical Center and published in Pnas a few years ago found that certain microbes can “degrade between 50% and 60% of [automobile] fuel, convert mercury to non-harmful chemicals, consume plastics at the bottom of the ocean, and even thrive within oil spills.” All this in just a few weeks.  

The research paper explains: “Bacteria have evolved for billions of years, and, as a result, they have developed a very diverse range of metabolic pathways that makes them capable of obtaining energy from virtually every organic compound. Their ubiquity in nature, metabolic diversity, high growth rates, and their ability for horizontal gene transfer, shapes them into perfect candidates for bioremediation of pollutants, including fuels.” 

The team conducted their study by examining the surfaces of automobile tank lids to find what type of different strains of bacteria have survived or developed there. Any such microbes would be adept at living under high stress situations, as the tank lids come in contact with fuel and high temperatures. Simplified, they would then take the bacterium, multiply them, and introduce them in greater numbers back into the polluted environments. 

Co-author of the study, Biologist Manuel Porcar Miralles, added that, “there are two fundamental biological strategies: either you wait for the microorganisms to act on their own or you can intervene, inoculating the selected ones because they degrade hydrocarbons particularly well.” 

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Cleaning the world with mushrooms 

Mycoremediation is a type of bioremediations that uses fungi for pollution removal. Different fungi function in different ways when it comes to cleaning up toxins. Some use their mycelium network, which is their very complex root system, to absorb, degrade, and convert various toxins into compounds that are no longer harmful.  

Other mushrooms, like oysters for example, absorb toxins toxins and store them in their fruiting bodies (caps). In these scenarios, the mushroom caps would then need to be treated as if they are toxic and properly discarded. Afterwards, a new generation of mushrooms can be grown in the same area and most toxins will be completely removed after a few flushes.  

Mycoremediation is already being used throughout the world to clean different areas of concern. In California, where record wildfires have been recorded over the last few years, researchers are testing different strains and methods for mycoremediation in Paradise, a town in Butte County, California, that was decimated by a wildfire in 2018.  

Remnants of a burned home in Paradise, California, after the ‘Camp Fire’ that occurred in November 2018

In Washington state, ecologists from The Lands Council managed to reduce levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Spokane River by using native bacteria and fungi. By the end of their experiment, there were 46% less PCBs in the water. Mushrooms were also used to clean up toxic oil pits left in Ecuador, in what is known as The Amazon Mycorenewal Project. Scientists and mycologists are also trying to determine if mycoremediation is effective on heavy metals.  

Hundreds of non profit organizations and independent research teams are developing all over the world, and they’re promoting mycoremediation as one of the safest, most effective, and least expensive solutions to our rampant pollution problem. Fungi are also becoming a go-to alternative for many local clean crews as well.  

Air pollution – the silent killer  

It’s clear that mycoremediation works well for water and soil, but what about air pollution? Air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to public health, globally. Here are a few statistics you should know: 

  • Air pollution alone accounts for an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year (out of the 9 million total caused by overall pollution).
  • In 2019, just under 99 percent of the world population was living in a place where the World Health Organization’s strictest air quality guideline standards were not met.
  • Exposure to air pollution can lead to a wide range of diseases including stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischemic heart disease, and lung cancer.
  • Air pollution also has a huge impact on our largest organ – the skin. Toxins in the air can cause eczema, acne, psoriasis, and even skin cancer.   

As it turns out, fungi can be useful for cleaning up the air as well. Data suggests that fungi can break down up to 80% of carbon they absorb and turn it into food for other organisms. As per the research, “When the mycelium-fused fungi grows, it safely sponges up hydrocarbons, helping create cleaner air in towns and cities”.

As such, a design student at London’s Brunel University developed a prototype that uses hexagonal mycelium tiles to cover building facades. “Myco-Hex tiles are a great example of biomimicry,” said Brunel Design School lecturer, Ayca Dundar. “It is using nature to solve a global problem that is also fully sustainable and renewable.”

In Northern India, one of the most heavily pollution regions in the world, researchers have created a fungal spray for farmers to use that will help degrade agricultural waste from local crops. Initially, the goal was to cut back on the air pollution which plagues their major cities, but there are other obvious benefits like cleaner soil and better-quality food. 

Final thoughts

“For so many years, humans have worked against nature and have slowly destroyed it,” says Thomas Sault, creator of Netflix documentary Fantastic Fungi. “Instead of working against nature, we need to look to nature and see that it contains the answers to our environmental issues.”

It certainly seems that bio and mycoremediation are the long-awaited solutions to our problem with environmental toxins. We’re quickly getting to the point where the majority of our planet and natural resources are polluted, and we desperately need cost effective alternatives that get the job done. Once again, it’s mushrooms to the rescue.

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Vic Mensa Pays It Forward

Victor Kwesi Mensah—known professionally as Vic Mensa—is a man who fully embodies what it means to be an artist. He’s got the drive, the spirituality, the sound, and most of all, the confidence. But how does one attain the knowhow to be a successful artist, let alone be successful at anything?

The answer lies in a strong support system. Mensa has been surrounded by supportive people for most of his life, dating back to high school where his band Kids These Days was drawing the eye of major record labels and prominent record producers. It was during these formative years that Mensa realized he had talent, honed his craft, and was propelled by the love and support of family and friends to tap into his potential. That potential is now culminating with a second full-length album, a record that’s sonically rooted in hip-hop, jazz, and African music.

When we connect over Zoom, Mensa reveals more about his upbringing and how it helped shape the man he is today. He lays bare his longtime relationship with cannabis, morphing from a teen trying to sell pot he didn’t possess, to owning a socially conscious weed company—93 Boyz—Chicago’s first Black-owned cannabis brand, and how the intersection of weed, fashion, art, and music provided the bedrock for his ascension from a Chicago fresh kid to an inspiring artist kids can look up to.

High Times Magazine: Growing up in Chicago, did you always know you wanted to pursue music?

Vic Mensa: I was a skateboarder first from age 6. By the time I was in third or fourth grade, I was starting to choose my own music, and was more interested in rock and roll. So I started playing guitar when I was 10. After that, I started writing graffiti, and that was really my introduction to hip-hop.

I was climbing 15-story fire escapes, painting rooftops and jumping on train tracks to paint trains before I was technically in my teens. Zoo York was a big influence of mine and there was a Zoo York video—I think they called it the Zoo York Mixtape—that had some KRS-One in there, which was probably the first hip-hop that really resonated with me.

Did you have a particular style of graffiti art and/or skateboarding, and did that style evolve into what you were doing early on with music?

I think all of those things are intertwined because they’re street culture and counterculture. As far as a particular style of graffiti art, in Chicago, we have a lot of styles but I think we’re most known for straight letters, and I was influenced primarily by the Chicago graffiti legends. Straight, block letters, a kind of straight letter tag style. But I was also a student of the game from my earliest days. I was studying Los Angeles graffiti crews like MSK and New York guys like SKUF and Cope—all the OGs.

When I started to release and promote music, I was already familiar with traveling across the city promoting my name [through graffiti], even though at first it wasn’t my real name. I’d do my own wheatpaste posters and shit like that when I was in high school. I mean, I’ll still do a wheatpaste poster to this day, don’t get it fucked up, but off top, I’d definitely be out on a street corner with the bucket and the posters, treating it like graffiti. Because in a way, graffiti is street marketing. A lot of the people that do street marketing for record labels are graffiti guys. So graffiti and skateboarding are my two primary stylistic inspirations.

Photo by Gabe Oviawe

So you’re immersed in the graffiti world. Was there a moment when music suddenly became the primary focus?

Probably around freshman year of high school when I started to record. Just receiving positive feedback and reinforcement from people around me—not everybody, obviously, but from some people that I respected—did a lot for me. I recognized that I had a particular talent for writing rhymes, but you know man, honestly, I think one of the reasons why I focus myself on doing so much for the youth is because in the dawn of my youth, I know how much those votes of confidence did for me.

Like my big brother Dare who I have tatted on my wrist and who I’ve written a bunch of songs about—may he rest in peace. He was older than me—near my age now when I was a kid—and he brought me into Jam Crew, which was the primary southside Black graffiti crew and took me under his wing. He was like, “This my shorty, he’s dope. He’s dope in general.” Nobody knew I could rap, but they were just showing me love, boosting my confidence, and giving me opportunity. As I found my own path in what I really wanted to do, I already had that network of older guys in the city who supported me and would let me rock stages when they’d have shows and stuff like that.

So your brother helped you see that you were dope in a particular way—just as a human—and then from that, you were able to grow into yourself musically from that sort of base.

One-hundred percent. Those same people who showed me love when I was a kid trying to dress cool and do graffiti and all of that shit—those same people when I picked up a mic or released music to this day still give me opportunities.

In Chicago, one of our primary forms of cultural currency and a hub of creativity came from the boutiques and sneaker stores. We had a shop called Leaders that’s still around that was incredibly impactful to all of our upbringings, a place called Sir & Madame, which is also still in existence, and a place called PHLI. All of those places were these centers of inspiration, creativity, sneaker culture, art, hip-hip, and graffiti all at once.

Some of the first guys I knew who were heavy with weed, who were cutting edge, having the best weed and the most knowledge and information—all played into our existence as fresh kids from Chicago. We’ve always been involved with art, we’ve always been involved with fashion, we’ve always been involved with music, and we’ve always been involved with weed.

How did your relationship with the plant start and how did it evolve as you evolved as a human?

My relationship with cannabis began when I was 11. I was just like any other kid living in the city, sneaking out of my mom’s basement to smoke in the middle of the night, before school, or after school. In those ways, I became very familiar with weed and trying to sell it. But the problem was, I didn’t have any weed to sell!

So I was trying to sell all types of shit. I was trying to sell blunt guts in a bag to the kids at the private school down the street. I remember the first time I tried to sell some weed I was in seventh grade and had a dime of Reggie. I tried to take it across the way to the high school in the area and tried to sell it to one of my friends. He was like, “Damn, man. You ain’t even got no mids?” I was like, “Man, this is all I got right now. You gonna buy it or not?”

As I got into high school, a lot of my big homies sold weed and I caught a couple plugs and became the guy with the specialty product. It was me and my boy Joey Purp—we had the best weed in the school and we’d pride ourselves on having cutting edge strains at the time. I really thought I was the man when I had Jack Frost, which was a Jack Herer cross strain. I’d be having the OG Kush, the Master Kush, some OG Master Kush. That was our thing, being at the cutting edge of our community as far as weed was concerned.

I used to go as far as bagging up my weed in Nike SB lace bags. For somebody I was trying to impress, I’d bag up an eighth of Jack Frost in the Nike SB lace bag and they’d be like, “Oh, this thing’s fresh.”

I honestly learned so much from selling weed. Selling weed was my first entrepreneurial pursuit. Before I was selling a mixtape or anything like that, I was selling weed. To make it to school on time, I had to get up and bag up mad early. Sometimes people would want to shop super late, so I’d need to stay awake. I had to be punctual—or as punctual as a weed man is—but I’m just a punctual person in general. In those ways, selling weed provided the building blocks for my understanding of work ethic, and through selling weed, I funded all of my first music projects, purchased all of my studio time, paid for all of my music videos—everything. Cannabis enabled me to be in the studio and to express myself.

Photo by Gabe Oviawe

When it got you into the studio, was there a moment or set of experiences where it became clear that music had taken over and was going to be your main path?

The moment when I sort of stopped everything else was when I got robbed, as a high schooler selling weed inevitably does. I was hustling serving guys who were way older than me—guys in their 20s who had newborn babies but were shopping with me buying quarters and halves daily—and I’m just a little ass kid. Eventually, I did get set up and robbed and lost a laptop with a bunch of important music on it. But around that same time, my father was really supportive of my music shit and was sometimes giving me money to go to the studio. So I just kind of fell back, you know?

It was the same way with graffiti. We kept getting arrested and eventually that was just in the way because music was starting to support itself. Everything else became ancillary—graffiti, hustling—things that were not my primary focus anymore—and I dove into music headfirst.

As you started to hit a certain level professionally, was there a “good omen” like in the Alchemist book that made you feel entrenched in music?

I was in a band in high school and we were performing at SXSW and different festivals courting all of the major record labels. In fairness, a lot of that was people reaching out to me, but I was loyal to the band. People loved the band as well, don’t get me wrong, but No I.D. reached out early on and was rocking with me so much that he was like, “I’ll check the band out.” The real life attrition was there, and this was the blog era, too, so we were getting love on all the blogs—2DopeBoyz, iLLRoots—and building relationships with all of those people. Even before music was paying anything, it was already real in high school and we were building a grassroots fanbase. We were selling out 1,500-person venues in Chicago when we were 16 and 17, so pretty quickly, the music became real.

I personally already had an understanding of grassroots marketing and communication from graffiti and hustling, so I’m selling tickets in the hallway the same way I’m selling dope, you know? Maybe at the same time. I’m putting up posters and stickers all over the city the same way I was just busting tags. On top of that, we were just making good music. The music became a clearly viable pathway pretty quickly.

Throughout your career, you’ve been outspoken about psychedelics and mental health. When did you start to understand the benefits of psychedelics and did they play a role in your success?

I got into psychedelics when I was 18 or 19. The first day I ever took shrooms I was sleeping on my manager-at-the-time’s couch and Chance [The Rapper] came over and he had a hook and a verse for a song that would become Cocoa Butter Kisses. I took the mushrooms, went into the other room, started writing my verse, and just caught a spirit. It was like, “Whoa, this is different.”

From there, I was taking mushrooms constantly in the making of that album called the INNANETAPE and [mushrooms] became a real part of my lifestyle. Throughout my life, plant medicine has been important to me and has played a big role in my different journeys as a human being. I chilled out on shrooms for a while after [INNANETAPE] because I had just overdone it.

The ways in which I’ve used mushrooms in recent years have been in a microdosing capacity and in a much more healing capacity. I started taking antidepressants when I was 15. I started seeing psychiatrists at that same age—therapists shortly after—and in the last 14 years, I’ve taken over 10 antidepressant medications. In that same time period, I’d probably had one year when they were effective, which is a dismal efficacy rate.

I’ve found that plant medicine has just been far more impactful to me in addressing my mental health than pharmaceuticals have, and I think the pharmaceutical industry is scared shitless about the potential for disruption that all of these different medicines present.

It’s like you start taking [pharmaceuticals] and you think that it’s helping because if you miss a couple of days you’re like, “Oh shit, I’m really bad, I’m suicidal now.” Then you remember you were never suicidal when you started taking the medication! The medicine is making me dependent on it. I was struggling when I first started taking it, but I wasn’t trying to kill myself. When you’re dealing with some of these plant medicines, you’re getting a more straight deal.

In the best moments, I think [plant medicine] can help move inhibition. Creativity is not of man in its purest form. It’s given to us from whatever you believe is above us. If it’s God or it’s Allah or the universe or the ancestors—at the end of the day—I believe we’re all just a vessel for a more powerful, divine energy. In the best moments of our creativity, we’re the most uninterrupted sacral. It’s like a radio, and [plant medicine] can help you pick up [the frequency]. They can help pick up the signal.

I’m learning more how to harness things as tools, but to train myself to be the primary influence. These days, I stray away from relying on being under the influence of anything other than myself. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever have external influences, but I work on my meditation a lot. Meditation has been the most powerful tool for me in addressing my mental health.

I’ve been meditating since I was 16, and in recent years, my meditation has become far more consistent and more extensive. I’ve learned more techniques, I’ve been on five-day silent meditation retreats, and I’ve studied different meditations from different places in the world. In terms of cannabis, some of its traditional uses were as a meditative tool. People think of Rastafarianism as a happy-go-lucky “by the beach, mon,” lackadaisical idea. In reality, those Rastas are vegan, deeply spiritual, deeply meditative, deeply revolutionary, and they meditate with the ganja. Meditation is my medicine above all.

If I haven’t meditated in a day, I find myself getting aggravated over little things I can’t control. Meditation is my first line of defense.

The paradox is that sometimes you’ll need a plant medicine experience to understand that you don’t need plant medicine to get to an elevated place.

There are breathing exercises and meditations you can do that will get you as high as any weed or psychedelic spirit medicine. One of my favorite things these days is to microdose mushrooms and complete an hour-and-15-minute-long meditation from a book by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I usually don’t do guided meditations because I like the practice of disciplining myself, but the meditation in this book Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself is so wicked that it’s like being on an astral plane. When I microdose, I’m taking non-psychoactive doses, which helps me tap into my internal power.

Photo by Gabe Oviawe

In January, you had an incident with psychedelics that made headlines. How did it go down?

I was headed to Ghana for about a month and I’d decided to get off my antidepressant medication. For the past few years, I’ve been dabbling with microdosing, but not really in the most consistent way. I had that experience that I mentioned previously where I had recently started taking a new antidepressant, took a few days off and started to feel suicidal. But I then realized I wasn’t suicidal when I’d started taking the medication, and decided to get off of it.

So I was off to Ghana and was going to quit the antidepressant cold turkey. I was going to get on a real microdosing regimen, not have a drink when I got there, and take this step for my mental health. I reached out to a couple different companies just to get the right microdose of shrooms and they sent me a bunch of shit. Pretty carelessly, I threw it all in my bag and took off.

I had a great experience there, no issues getting off of the antidepressants. All of the microdosing was cool and I just put all the shit back in the bag, wasn’t thinking too hard about it, and then I ended up going to jail.

In all honesty, what I had on me probably added up to an eighth of shrooms and a single tab of acid—which was an LSD microdose—so the entire bottle was one dose. It was a very miniscule amount of psychedelics in big packaging. But I was in such a cool place in my mind, had been meditating a ton, and was in such spiritual alignment that I wasn’t stressed.

I’ve been working with a lot of folks recently in the prison release space and was actually able to help a friend of mine come home 12 years early on a 25 year sentence in 2020. So at the end of the day, being involved in clemency processes and legal processes for bringing other guys home made being in jail for a couple days—especially with the perspective that I have of these friends who are living years of their life in prison—a miniscule experience.

My meditations also gave me a brilliant edge in there, to the point where I was just meditating the whole time to avoid thinking negatively. I’d come in front of the bail court and she was like, “Yeah, we’re going to move your court date to three months from now.” It’s those things that will make your mind want to freak out, but I was in a place of real alignment, so I wasn’t stressed and decided to see things as a blessing in the form of a lesson, and was like, “I’m going to get into the psychedelic game, too!”

Photo by Gabe Oviawe

At this point, the medical and health benefits are undeniable.

The actual, tangible, biochemical serotonin levels in your mind are boosted. It’s like the laws of this nation are proven time and time again to be ineffective at meeting the needs of the people. The people are sick, are in constant fear and danger of gun violence, are poorly fed nutritionally, and the laws of this nation are incapable of addressing any solution to those many needs. So sometimes, you gotta go to jail for some shit that’s stupid.

In May, I launched the first black-owned cannabis brand in Chicago, Illinois—93 Boyz. We’re in quite a few dispensaries and are rapidly expanding. We all know what the War on Drugs has done to Black and brown communities, but it still stands that our representation in the industry is miniscule. So we’re taking steps to change that.

Our brand is standing on high quality and cutting edge genetics in a market that doesn’t really have that yet. Also baked into our ethos is that a portion of all of our proceeds are going to community-driven efforts. And that’s what 93 Boyz is all about: Tastemaker weed mixed with socially-minded initiatives.

Our first project that we’re launching in August with the release of our full strain portfolio is a project called Books Before Bars. We’re putting over one-thousand books into Illinois jails and prisons. This is an idea I had from my own experience sending literature to people in prison and seeing how their entire life experience can be—and has been—shifted by reading the right books. If you can’t attain freedom yet in the physical, you can get it in the mental while you’re still in the cage.


This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

The post Vic Mensa Pays It Forward appeared first on High Times.

The Cannadelics Sunday Edition: Amanita Mushroom Tinctures, Psilocybin Cup, Cannabis DUI and more

Welcome to our weekly newsletter, The Cannadelics Sunday Edition, going out every Sunday morning at 11am est with the main headlines of the week. This week we look into Amanita Mushroom Tinctures, Psilocybin Cup, Cannabis DUI and more trending stories from the world of Cannabis and Psychedelics.

If you happen to like Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, we have a great product in this weeks spotlight: the new 1000mg Amanita Mushroom Tictures, finally available online. We even have a 25% discount code you can use. Read more below.

In our deals section, you could find great offers on Amanita Muscaria extract powder, Free 1250mg HolyRope and as mention above, the Amanita Mushroom tinctures.

As always, the best offers on legal cannabis and psychedelic products are reserved to the subscribers of our weekly newsletter, The Cannadelics Sunday Edition.

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The Cannadelics Sunday Edition: Amanita Mushroom Tinctures, Psilocybin Cup & Cannabis DUI (3/19/2023)


Welcome to the Cannadelics Sunday edition, going out every Sunday with the top trending stories of the week. This Sunday we have an great selection of items, as well as an exciting deal on legal cannabis and psycheelic products. Scroll down to learn more.


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Amanita Mushroom Tinctures – Watermelons

If you’re interested in trying legal psychedelics, a new product has been developed just for you: the Amanita Tincture. This potent tincture is infused with 1000mg of muscimol complex, derived from the Amanita Muscaria mushroom, which is known for its psychoactive properties. The tincture offers a unique and trippy experience. The experience may involve feelings of euphoria, a dream-like (lucid) mental state, and out-of-body experiences.

The Amanita Tincture is available in three enticing flavors – Watermelons, Blue Bliss, and Lemon Dream – ensuring there’s a choice to suit everyone’s taste preferences.

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The week in review:

This week we have a little bit of everything for you such as including coverage about the world’s first magic mushroom competition, a living PC made from mycelium, Amsterdam’s ban on public cannabis smoking, Amanita Mushroom tinctures and more. Scroll down for our most exciting industry stories!

Opioid Lawsuit Money: Where Does It All Go?

How is opioid lawsuit money doled out
How is opioid lawsuit money doled out

With how may overdose deaths opioids have caused, it should come as no surprise that every state in the US has at least one active lawsuit against one of the many companies manufacturing these drugs. The Johnson & Johnson lawsuit is probably the most prolific though, as despite them refusing to admit any wrongdoing, they have still been ordered to pay out a lot of money for their misdeeds. But exactly how much will they have to cough up, and where does all the money go?

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Ann Shulgin And Her Contributions to the World of Psychedelics

They say that behind every great man is an even greater woman. Many people in the psychedelics industry are familiar with the name Alexander Shulgin, a cutting-edge researcher from the mid 1900s who focused on utilizing MDMA in psychotherapy. But what about his wife, Ann Shulgin, who worked right alongside her husband and helped bring supporters to his cause?

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Special deal on high-potency Amanita Muscaria gummies

Hyphae Psilocybin Cup Is 1st Magic Mushroom Competition

There are a lot of variations of cannabis cups these days, with the High Times cannabis cup being the most popular and well-known. But as the psychedelic industry continues to grow, people are wondering if such substances can be judged in the same way as weed. Enter the Hyphae Psilocybin Cup, the world’s first magic mushroom competition. 

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Science Meets Nature – New “Living PC” Powered by Mushrooms

mushroom computer, Amanita Mushroom Tinctures
Grow It Yourself: Different Drugs You Can Grow at Home

When science and nature meet, you get as close to seeing magic as seemingly possible. Using a new age concept known as “wetware”, a team of researchers from the UK created a “living computer”, which utilizes a mushroom motherboard for power and data storage. The idea combines technology, mycology, and AI into what sounds like something out of a science fiction novel. But it’s not, this is real life, so let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

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50% OFF Amanita Muscaria Extract Powder

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Important news and stories from the week.

Amsterdam: Ban on Cannabis Smoking in Red-Light District?

amsterdam cannabis ban, Amanita Mushroom Tinctures
Will Amsterdam ban smoking Cannabis in the famous Red-Light District?

Amsterdam, known for its liberal and progressive culture, has almost become synonymous with drug use. The local coffee shops that sell weed and magic truffles have been a draw to tourists from all over the world. However, this reputation has been under scrutiny from the Dutch establishment in recent years, with visitors seemingly coming to the beautiful city for all of the wrong reasons. In response, Amsterdam has decided to ban smoking cannabis on the red-light district streets. 

Continue reading »

What Gas Station Heroin Says About Our Need to Get High

Gas station heroin is an antidepressant
Gas station heroin is an antidepressant

Despite the name, gas station very little similarities with actual heroin. It’s not an opioid, but rather an antidepressant of the tricyclic class. It’s sold at gas stations and cornerstores in the US under the names Za Za, Tiana, Red Dawn, and others. It’s addictive, and possibly dangerous, although virtually no statistics exist. Some states are making laws against gas station heroin, but is this distracting from the bigger issue of opioid abuse?

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High-potency THC gummies

What It Really Means to Be Charged with a DUI for Cannabis

cannabis dui, Amanita Mushroom Tinctures
What It Really Means to Be Charged with a DUI for Cannabis

When we think of a DUI, we tend to think of people driving drunk. It makes sense, as a huge number of vehicular accidents are indeed caused by drunk drivers. But as cannabis legalization sweeps the country, the topic of getting a DUI for using cannabis while driving has become of greater interest and importance. We know that smoking weed and driving is illegal, but is it really as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs?

Continue reading »

The Unlikely Treatment for Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

One of the enigmas of cannabis use is that, although in many situations it’s used to alleviate digestive issues like nausea and vomiting, in some rare cases, it can actually cause it. The condition is known as cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, and it’s characterized by periods of intense vomiting following cannabis use. The exact cause is unknown though it’s believed to result from a desensitization of cannabinoid receptors. To date, there’s only one cure and that necessitates stopping all use of cannabis.

Continue reading »


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Amanita Mushroom Tinctures: A Potent Elixir for a Mind-Bending Experience 

Amanita Mushroom Tinctures: A Potent Elixir for a Mind-Bending Experience 

Today, we examine a new product: the Amanita Mushroom Tinctures, an innovative and potent formulation containing 1000mg of muscimol complex derived from Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. This remarkable tincture invites you to explore its diverse flavors, learn about appropriate dosing, and investigate its various applications, all while deepening your understanding of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom and its primary active compound, muscimol

The Amanita Tincture offers a unique and intriguing experience due to the psychoactive properties of the infused muscimol complex. Discover the Amanita Muscaria mushroom’s historical background, cultural relevance, and the role of muscimol in eliciting its characteristic effects. 

Learn more about the captivating Amanita Mushroom tinctures, a scientifically-formulated product that combines taste and sensation with the intriguing properties of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom.

Learn more about the new Amanita Ticture

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News from the Week:

*** The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Menopause

*** Amanita Phalloides & Cancer – What Kills You, Can Save You…

*** Are Cigarette Butts Recyclable?

*** Are Pain Medications Preventing You from Healing?

*** Oils, Tinctures, Tea? How to Make an Amanita Extract

*** Mushroom Deaths – How Many Are There?

Amanita Mushroom Tinctures and more – Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this week’s review. We work hard to find and verify the best products, so we may include affiliate links to support the maintenance and development of this site. We hope you enjoyed our articles.

The Cannadelics team 

*** Disclaimer: As the legality of cannabinoids and psychedelics changes between state to state, you should always check with your local authorities first.

The post The Cannadelics Sunday Edition: Amanita Mushroom Tinctures, Psilocybin Cup, Cannabis DUI and more appeared first on Cannadelics.

Cannabis Recession 2023

Is a 2023 cannabis recession inevitable? While an economic downturn is inevitable, how the cannabis industry weathers the storm remains to be seen.  For sure, saturated retail markets will feel the hit as consumers cut back or make more discerning purchases. And large-scale industrial grows that have been more about selling equity than weed will feel the impact.  But why? Why has the value of cannabis stocks been removed from fundamentals? Why are small cannabis business owners – through no […]

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Amsterdam: Ban on Cannabis Smoking in Red-Light District?

Amsterdam, the capital of Holland, is famous around the world for its liberal and progressive attitude. You can buy cannabis from a variety of coffee shops, you can purchase magic truffles from smartshops and sex work is respected as a profession in the red-light district. However, this reputation has been under scrutiny from the Dutch establishment in recent years, with tourists coming to the beautiful city for all of the wrong reasons.

With many threats and potentials over the last few months, it seems something concrete is actually going to be done. Amsterdam has decided to ban smoking cannabis on the red-light district streets. Is this just an anomaly, or are many more clampdowns soon to follow? Let’s find out. 

Amsterdam: the Liberal City

Amsterdam is a city known for its unique culture and progressive attitudes towards social issues. The city’s liberal mindset is a defining characteristic that sets it apart from other places in the world. From its liberal drug policies to its acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, Amsterdam is a place where people can feel free to be themselves.


One of the most famous aspects of Amsterdam’s liberal attitude is its policy towards drugs. While drugs are illegal in the Netherlands, the government has taken a lenient approach to soft drugs like cannabis. This has led to the birth of “coffee shops” throughout the city, where customers can purchase and consume cannabis. There are over 160 of these establishments in the capital, and together they add around 400 million euros to the nation’s wealth every year.

The policy has been in place for decades and has been largely successful in reducing drug-related crime and improving public health. Many visitors come to Amsterdam specifically to experience the city’s cannabis culture. In fact, in 2019, the capital received around 20 million tourists. Smartshops also sell other sorts of substances, particularly magic truffles. These contain psilocybin and are essentially a legal, embryonic version of magic mushrooms. Those in Amsterdam are free to purchase these products, head to Vondelpark and trip out. 


Another aspect of Amsterdam’s liberal attitude is its acceptance. One case of this is in regards to the LGBTQ+ community. The city has a long history of tolerance and inclusivity, and it was one of the first places in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The annual Amsterdam Gay Pride celebration is one of the largest and most vibrant Pride events in the world, drawing visitors from all over to celebrate diversity and acceptance. In addition to these well-known policies, Amsterdam is also known for its progressive attitudes towards issues like sex work. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, and sex workers are unionized and protected under the law. The red-light district in De Wallen – one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam – is a section of the city where sex workers can do their job safely. 

The Problem

Whilst Amsterdam is known globally as this beacon of acceptance, it also has another side to it. Tourists from all over the world come to this city to take advantage – to utilize only the hedonistic pleasures. You’ll only have to walk the streets for a few minutes before you see a couple of young Brits falling over themselves, throwing a whitey, after smoking too much weed. It’s a common sight. The incorrect assumption is that Dutch locals smoke cannabis constantly due to the fact that it is accepted, but as is often the case, the legality of it normalizes it and thus makes it less common.

Or, for those that enjoy recreational substances, they do so respectfully and privately without causing a commotion. Amsterdam’s liberal attitude is not without its critics. Some argue that the city’s policies towards drugs and sex work contribute to social problems like addiction and exploitation. However, supporters of Amsterdam’s approach argue that it allows for greater personal freedom and reduces harm by regulating these industries rather than driving them underground. But the issue lies in tourism, not the policies themselves. 

Red-Light District

The red-light district, in essence, is an incredible idea. A place where sex workers can exist, work and be protected. It is also a place for those who desire sex, to come and not feel judged either. Whatever you think about the world of prostitution, in a world where it exists, the red-light district is probably the most ideal and safe solution. However, this is not how it always runs. Amsterdam is now having to tackle the fact that much of their tourism is based around exploiting sex and drugs. The mayor of the city, Femke Halsema, has announced the idea of moving the red-light district somewhere else. Dutch news quotes her saying:

“Sex work belongs to Amsterdam and it will never go away… But the situation in the inner city is unsustainable. Livability has been under pressure for years for residents due to the stream of tourists who regularly misbehave and cause nuisance… By setting up an erotic center, we will lessen the pressure on De Wallen and at the same time create an extraordinary place where sex workers can work safely, legally and undisturbed”

The issue lies in how the red-light district ends up working. Obviously sex workers desire pay, like any other profession. However, many tourists stroll around the red-light district, gaping at the workers, acting abominably and never actually paying for sex. Beyond even the disrespect, the workers aren’t even receiving any financial gain a lot of the time. This is why Halsema wants to move the location, creating an exotic center, where the new spot would hopefully encourage visitors who want to pay for the services. However, as of yet, this idea has not been given the green-light. 

Amsterdam Cannabis Ban

This isn’t the first time the mayor has had an idea that hasn’t come to fruition. Over the last few years, the idea of banning tourists from coffeeshops has also been floated. Whilst these ideas may not have materialized, what it shows is that those who care and live in Amsterdam want a change in how tourists are existing there. The issue, of course, is how much money tourism brings in. Nonetheless, after much uncertainty, there seems to be some concrete change right around the corner. The Guardian announces that Amsterdam is to: “outlaw cannabis-smoking in the red-light district streets”. It reads:

“Smoking cannabis on the street in Amsterdam’s red light district will soon be illegal, the city council has announced, as part of a range of bylaws designed to deter tourist excesses and make life more bearable for despairing local people.”

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This cannabis ban will not only be within the red-light district, there will also be a ban of any weed smoking in the entirety of the inner city of Amsterdam starting mid-May. Other changes are also included. Sex workers will now have to shut at 3am, rather than 6. Restaurants will also be forced to close earlier at 2am, rather than 2 on weekdays. On weekends this will be 3am instead of 4. In regards to drinking, shops within the inner city will have to remove alcohol from their windows anytime that it’s illegal for them to sell it (which is now anytime after 4pm, Thursday-Sunday). The city where anything is possible – has now begun closing its doors. 

The Positives

Whilst some may look upon this news with disappointment, the cannabis ban truly a necessary decision and – in many ways – a positive one for Amsterdam. Ever heard the phrase: ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it’. For too long, tourists have taken advantage of Amsterdam’s uniqueness and turned it sour. Openness, freedom and acceptance should not mean irresponsibly taking recreational drugs, making too much noise, disrespecting locals and using the city as a theme park. Like Icarus, as a society we have yet again flown too close to the sun. We have turned something beautiful into something ugly.

For locals in Amsterdam, the inner city was becoming practically unlivable. Something had to change. But this change isn’t a negative one. For those tourists who still love the city for its immense and diverse attractions – the beautiful canals, the museums, the cafes, the bars – they will have no problems. The city is open and always will be for those who truly love its identity. But for those weekenders who came to Amsterdam for cheap and legal thrills – to cause havoc and leave without cleaning up after themselves – they will be deterred. Is that a bad thing? Probably not. 


Ultimately, Amsterdam’s liberal attitude is a defining feature of the city’s culture and identity. Its policies have made it a unique and fascinating place to visit, and they continue to draw people from all over the world who are interested in experiencing a different way of life. However, this tourism has caused debates over the years and has turned from curiosity to exploitation. It is no surprise that the mayor of Amsterdam has enforced a cannabis ban in the red-light district. Until tourists begin treating the city with the respect it deserves, these sorts of law changes will continue to happen. 

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Legal Weed Sales Projected To Grow 14% in 2023

Sales of legal cannabis in the United States are projected to grow by 14% in 2023, according to a recent report from Colorado-based cannabis industry market analysis firm BDSA. In an updated five-year global legal cannabis market forecast, the company reports that global spending on legal cannabis increased by 4.8% to $32 billion in 2022. BDSA projects that the global cannabis market will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2% from 2022 to 2027, resulting in a total worldwide regulated cannabis market size of $59.6 billion by 2027.

The U.S. legal cannabis market has shown significant growth across the industry as more and more states legalize adult-use cannabis and medical marijuana. And while the industry’s growth slowed in 2022 in response to market conditions including rising inflation and economic uncertainty, BDSA expects the U.S. legal weed market to again show significant growth this year, projecting a 14% increase in the market in 2023.

“Legal cannabis spending slowed significantly in 2022 due to rapid price declines across all markets,” Roy Bingham, co-founder and CEO of BDSA, said in a statement from the company. “Despite this, our updated forecast predicts strong growth in the U.S. driven by developing markets, particularly the adult-use markets of Missouri, New Jersey and New York.”

Currently, 21 states have legalized cannabis for adults, while 37 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories have passed laws to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana. Additionally, 11 states permit the use of low-THC cannabis formulations for medicinal purposes. Only Idaho and Nebraska continue to prohibit all forms of cannabis. 

Some Mature Cannabis Markets Contracted In 2022

The U.S. cannabis market posted rapid growth during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns kept consumers home and dispensaries were designated as essential businesses in many states. But last year marked the first decline in overall cannabis spending in some mature cannabis markets in the United States. In the West, early cannabis policy reform adopters California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon saw a combined drop in spending on legal adult-use cannabis of 16.5% in 2022, according to the updated report. BDSA expects most mature cannabis markets in the U.S. to return to positive growth in 2024, although more slowly through 2027 than in the years leading up to the pandemic. 

Newer legal cannabis markets showed strong growth in 2022, despite the decline seen in more mature markets. BDSA also projects new legal adult-use cannabis markets to launch by 2027, predicting a start of legal sales in Maryland in 2024 and in Florida and Ohio in 2025. The launch of new recreational marijuana cannabis markets is also possible in Minnesota and Hawaii by 2027, BDSA notes, but the company does not expect to see federal cannabis legalization during the five-year forecast period.

Brian Vicente, founding partner of the cannabis law firm Vicente LLP, agreed that emerging markets will help fuel the growth of the legal cannabis industry in the upcoming years.

 “The future remains bright for the cannabis industry in the United States. Despite a recent setback at the polls, with Oklahoma voters shooting down legalization this month, we are still seeing other domestic markets expand and commence sales,” Vicente wrote in an email. “This includes significant revenue growth in newly-legal cannabis markets like Missouri and New Jersey, and also emerging medical markets like Mississippi. With additional states like Florida and Ohio looking likely to legalize in the next several years, we can expect continued expansion in cannabis sales.”

By 2027, U.S. sales of adult-use cannabis are forecasted to contribute 78% of the total spending on legal cannabis worldwide, up from 64% in 2022. U.S. legal cannabis spending is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.3%, from $26.1 billion in 2022 to $44.5 billion in 2027, with the industry’s growth driven primarily by the New York, Florida, New Jersey and California recreational marijuana markets. 

Globally, cannabis markets outside the U.S. and Canada are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 40% to $9.5 billion in 2027, up from $1.8 billion in 2022. BDSA forecasts the Canadian market will see overall growth of 12% this year, increasing to a $5.7 billion market by 2027 at a CAGR of 6.3%. New adult-use markets in Germany and Mexico are expected to be the primary drivers of global growth, while existing limited medical cannabis programs are expected to expand, particularly in the European Union and Latin America.

The post Legal Weed Sales Projected To Grow 14% in 2023 appeared first on High Times.

What It Really Means to Be Charged with a DUI for Cannabis 

When we think of a DUI, we tend to think of people driving drunk. It makes sense, as a huge number of vehicular accidents are indeed caused by drunk drivers. But as cannabis legalization sweeps the country, the topic of getting a DUI for using cannabis while driving has become of greater interest and importance. We know that smoking weed and driving is illegal, but is it really as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs? Let’s take a closer look.

What is a DUI? 

The terms DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI/OWI (Driving/Operating While Intoxicated), are pretty self-explanatory. It means that a person was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Most often, these cases involve alcohol or some type of illegal substance like heroin, methamphetamine, or even cannabis. In some circumstances, even OTC medications like Nyquil and Benadryl can lead to a DUI arrest because they cause drowsiness and can negatively impact motor skills. 

While some people can handle perfectly handle driving after smoking a little bit of weed or taking some cold medication (pro tip, opt for the non-drowsy varieties), the general rule of thumb is that you should be sober and clearheaded when behind the wheel of car – and never drive after drinking alcohol or using any other heavy substance. Afterall, driving is a huge responsibility. It’s not just your own life you hold in your hands, but those of your passengers as well as other drivers and pedestrians on the road.  

That being said, an alarming number of people seem to disregard this fact and drive while intoxicated anyway. In the United States, 10% of all criminal arrests are for driving under the influence, more than all violent crimes combined. South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming lead the nation in DUI arrests, and in In Rhode Island, North Dakota, and New Hampshire, more than 40% of traffic deaths involve drunk drivers. Vehicular accidents are also the leading cause of death among young people ages 12-19 years old.  

What happens when someone is charged with a DUI is dependent on several different factors such as what substances where involved and level of intoxication, whether an accident occurred, if someone was injured and the severity of the injuries, and so on. What state you are in also plays a role, but generally speaking, if you’re involved in a simple DUI incident (one that in which illegal drugs were not present and an accident wasn’t caused), you’re still looking at heavy fines and a suspended license for your first offence.  

Cannabis and DUIs 

Although cannabis is legal in more than half of the US, and is expected to be federally legal soon as well, it’s still illegal to drive while under the influence of it. This holds true anywhere in the US, but the laws and penalties still vary from state to state. For example, some states affirm that something as simple as a positive urine test is enough to charge someone with drugged driving, despite the fact that urinalysis can detect THC in the system for up to 4 weeks after use. This is obviously problematic, especially in medical situations where a patient might have used cannabis many hours before driving and are no longer “intoxicated”. 

A small number of states take these testing limitations into consideration and prosecutors have to prove impairment, regardless of how much THC is detected in a person’s system. Examples of acceptable evidence include erratic behavior, speech patterns, or the arresting offer’s testimony that they smelled cannabis in the vehicle (but that last one also raises the question of whether police can use it as an excuse to unlawfully search someone’s car).   

A newer method used to test for cannabis impairment behind the wheel, is check for blood-THC content. In the US, this is typically measured in nanograms per milliliter of blood, but there is no general standard and each state has their own limits. Some companies are also working to develop THC breathalyzers that can be utilized in the field.  

Cannabis DUI statistics  

It’s up for debate whether cannabis intoxication even has that much of an effect on driving at all. Although driving stoned can sometimes affect reaction times and peripheral vision, people typically compensate for these shortcomings by driving more carefully. 

That being said, some people really just do not drive well after using cannabis products and they should avoid doing it. What’s nice about these situations, is that people are can’t drive stoned usually avoid doing it anyway because it’s unpleasant and causes anxiety. When it comes to accidents involving only cannabis and no other substance, there is very little statistical data indicating that it’s as unsafe as driving drunk.  

For example, a 2010 study published in the American Journal on Addictions, which compared the effects of driving on cannabis versus alcohol, researchers stated that “Epidemiological studies have been inconclusive regarding whether cannabis use causes an increased risk of accidents; in contrast, unanimity exists that alcohol use increases crash risk.” 

They did mention that the effects of driving on both, alcohol and cannabis combined (cross-faded), were more enhanced than driving on either substance alone. And of course, alcohol and driving don’t mix, all studies will tell you that. But the fact remains, the results of their research were “inconclusive” as to whether cannabis was even that much of problem for drivers or not.  

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Another, more recent, study published in 2022 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, claimed that legalization of recreational cannabis was associated with a 6.5% increase in injury crashes overall. However, the rates varied quite a bit, with some legal states reporting an 18% increase and others actually reporting up to 8% decreases in crashes. With such a wide range, it’s unlikely that cannabis has anything to do with the changes at all, and it’s likely something else (or a number of different factors) entirely. It’s also important to note that these statistics were only temporary. About 1 year post legalization, the numbers went back to normal.

Other studies even found that car accidents decreased overall in areas where cannabis was legal, and even more so near dispensary locations. In states/cities with dispensaries, insurance premiums went down by an average of $22 per year after legalization. According to the study authors, “we find premium reductions are larger in states with greater patient enrollment and in states that allow smoking.” They added that “existing legalization has reduced health expenditures related to auto accidents by almost $820 million per year with the potential for a further $350 million reduction if legalized nationally.”

Weed DUIs in the news 

With cannabis DUIs still being less charted territory from a legal standpoint, and because we know that weed doesn’t cause the same level of impairment as alcohol and other drugs, we rarely hear stories of arrests or car accidents related to cannabis use. However, some occasionally do make the headlines. The arrest of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell in 2014 for driving under the influence of marijuana got a lot of attention. 

During a traffic stop, police found 20 grams of cannabis in his possession, and as expected, they confiscated and he was to be charged with possession of an illegal substance. Much to Bell’s surprise he also received a DUI citation for the cannabis, to which he responded “I didn’t know you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I’m not high anymore. I’m perfectly fine.” As a regular cannabis user, I can safely attest to the fact that 2 hours after consumptions, I’m definitely stone-cold sober.  

Another arrest that has garnered some media attention is that of 22-year-old Isabella Herrera, who was recently arraigned for hitting and killing man on Vista, CA, freeway while “high on pot”. According to documents, at around 10:20 a.m. on February 26, Rafael Cardona was changing his tire in the center median of State Route 78 at Emerald Drive when Herrera’s car hit and killed him. Rafael was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The prosecutor said they believed the suspect was “high on marijuana”, but they did not offer any additional information as to why they believed that. Was a field sobriety test performed? Did the police find evidence of cannabis use in her vehicle? Did Herrera undergo any type of blood testing? All the articles I found about this are incredibly vague – probably intentionally so – but the fact of the matter is, a young woman is going to trial for killing someone while driving stoned, and the outcome of her trial is something we should all pay attention to.  

Final thoughts

It’s important to note that we’re not encouraging anyone to use any substance while driving. However, based on years of anecdotal evidence, as well as recent data on the subject, it’s safe to assume that weed is safer to drive on than alcohol, heroin, or pretty much any other intoxicating substance. Regardless, if you’re pulled over for some type of traffic violation and the officer believes you’ve been smoking in the car, you can still be charged with a cannabis DUI.

Thanks for making your way over! We appreciate you stopping in at Cannadelics.com; where we work to bring you the best in independent news coverage for the cannabis and psychedelics spaces. Visit us regularly for daily news, and sign up to the Cannadelics Weekly Newsletter, so you’re always on top of what’s going on.

The post What It Really Means to Be Charged with a DUI for Cannabis  appeared first on Cannadelics.

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) & the Cannabis Industry

What is the relationship between Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) – the largest U.S. bank failure since 2008 – and the cannabis industry? Fortunately, SVB doesn’t (or didn’t?) have any cannabis companies as significant clients. Despite the venture capital investors have pumped into the industry, U.S. cannabis banking remains elusive. That said, the cannabis industry will feel SVB’s collapse. Here’s how. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) & the Cannabis Industry While SVB has no major cannabis companies on their roster, there were […]

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Hyphai Psilocybin Cup Is 1st Magic Mushroom Competition

There are plenty of cannabis cups at this point, though perhaps the High Times Cannabis Cup is the most well-known. As mushrooms become a bigger deal, the question comes up, can they be judged in the same way? And the answer is a resounding yes!  The company Oakland Hyphae is the first organization to create the Psilocybin Cup. Read on to find out more about it.

What is a cannabis cup exactly?

A cannabis cup is a competition whereby growers can compete on different levels to essentially see who has the best bud. Different aspects are judged, like potency, flavor, smell, how it looks, benefits, and how smooth the experience. Sometimes these competitions, like the High Times Cannabis Cup, also act as a trade show and festival for weed itself; including tie dying, body painting, lectures, and other fun activities. In the past, High Times Cups have even had high-class entertainment like Wu Tang Clan or Nas.

One of the benefits of participating in these events, is that it brings a lot of attention to winners, and is associated with increasing sales for those whose buds are judged as best. It’s also how we, the public, hear about new strains, some of which go on to become household names. And at the same time, it means we learn more and more about weed and these different strains in general.

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The High Times Cannabis Cup is one of the most popular and longest running of these competitions. It was founded back in 1988, and was originally held in Amsterdam, as at that time, Amsterdam was one of the more lenient places for weed use. It has since become an industry leader in the cannabis competition field. The panel of judges identifies the top three products per each judging category (mentioned above), and the top spot wins the trophy.

The Cannabis Cup used to be more of an underground thing, when weed was still completely illegal everywhere in the US. Then it morphed into a competition for medical products only, when that avenue was opening up. And now it, and similar competitions, operate openly, and usually hold their competitions in weed friendly states.

Many different people can be judges, including unknown names. However, some of the interesting past judges for the High Times Cup, include: “Tommy Chong, Snoop Dogg, Patti Smith, Wiz Khalifa, Joe Rogan, Damian Marley, Kid Cudi, Method Man, Redman, Rita Marley, B-Real, B.O.B., Alex Grey, and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love,” among others.

The High Times Cannabis Cup might be the most prestigious and well known, but its joined by a host of others, like “The WEEDYS Awards; Best Bud, D.C. State Fair; Cultivation Classic; Sticky Icky Carolina Cup & Title Belt Asheville NC 420; Dope Cup; Emerald Cup; High Times Medical Cannabis Cup; Northwest Cannabis Classic; Oregon Cannabis Growers’ Fair; Stony Awards; and The Grow-Off. These are all US competitions, but there are plenty more held internationally as well.

What’s the Hyphae Psilocybin Cup?

Right now, though cannabis cups are all the rage, there’s a new entrant into the world of judging drugs and giving awards: magic mushrooms. Not only are they being decriminalized and legalized in different places; but their overall growth in acceptance, has led to the opening and growth of markets. And this opens the door to similar competitions, in which psilocybin mushrooms compete against each other. As of yet, there is only one in the US, the Oakland Hyphae Psilocybin Cup, hosted by Oakland Hyphae.

The founder of the competition is one cool dude, and he’s quite the entrepreneur in the mushrooms field. The guy’s name is Reggie Harris, and not only is he a seasoned veteran of political campaigns, working on everything from city councils to presidential elections, but the guy is also one of those really awesome figures who sees the problems in his own neighborhood and fights for change. In Oakland, California, Reggie worked with the Black Organizing Project in West Oakland to institute guidance counselors, instead of police, in Oakland public schools.

Psilocybin Cup judges different aspects of magic mushrooms

He’s been in the mushrooms world a while, consulting and working with large-scale cultivators. Within the past few years, he established the company Oakland Hyphae, which hosts not just the Psilocybin Cup, but a range of nationwide conferences on psychedelics as well. He also created Hyphae Labs, which is a leader in testing for mushroom potency; as well as Hyphae Nootropics, which is geared toward providing products made from non-psychedelic mushrooms. On top of all this, he’s the creator of HyphaeLeaks, a news publication which among other things, seeks to promote small businesses and legacy operators.

What does the Hyphae Psilocybin Cup judge?

So now we know a pretty cool guy, started a pretty cool competition, that acts like the many cannabis cups out there; except that its for magic mushrooms. But what exactly is the point of this competition, and what are the judges judging?

First off, this competition is (at least for now) solely about submissions of the specific magic mushrooms species Psilocybe cubensis, which is home to many popular strains. Hyphae Labs is the tester for all participants in these competitions. The lab looks at the percent of both psilocybin and psilocin in each specimen, and the percent of tryptamines as well. The results of these tests dictate some of the winners of the competition.

Awards are given in different categories, just like with cannabis cups. These include: the effects of the mushrooms, aesthetic appearance, and strength: which accounts for the balance created by both strength and overall effects. The titles given to winners include: Spiritual/Therapeutic Champion, Recreational Champion, Microdose Champion, and Bag Appeal Champion.

The very first Hyphae Psilocybin Cup was held in the spring of 2021. So far there have been four of these competitions. In both spring and fall of 2021, and both spring and fall of 2022. I unfortunately did not see information for a competition this spring (2023), but it’s quite possible the announcement is coming, or that it might be becoming a once-yearly competition. For information on the previous competitions and winners, you can look here.

As a side note, while the Amanita muscaria mushroom industry grows, it is not a part of this competition, as these mushrooms contains different compounds for which Hyphae does not currently test. Perhaps in the future this will change. For those interested in how Amanita products fair in competition, this year’s People’s Choice Hemp Cup – also put out by High Times – actually has a couple products that include Amanita mushrooms.

How does such a competition help?

Remember that part under the cannabis cups section, when I said these competitions greatly help growers in gaining publicity; as well as introducing the public to more and new strains? Well, the same applies here. Plus, as a new field, with new compounds to measure and things to consider, this competition helps bring information and awareness on the topic in general, right to the masses.

Lab testing psilocybin mushrooms
Lab testing psilocybin mushrooms

According to one of the biologists and researchers at Hyphae Labs, Ian Bollinger, its hard to know how to dose mushrooms by weight alone, which is the general strategy, regardless of strain. This competition, and the lab itself, aim to bring more specific information to users, so things like dosing per strain can be more accurate.

Much like cannabis cups expanding our general knowledge, the Psilocybin Cup works similarly. With all the hundreds of samples submit to the lab as part of the competition, the organization is able to get a much better view of the landscape of potency between different Psilocybe cubensis strains. Which means more information, and more precise purchasing and dosing strategies, for users.

Want to be a part of it?

Unfortunately, no information is posted yet for the next Hyphae Psilocybin Cup. But registration is generally announced not long before the competition is held. Anyone with a submission to make, is welcome to register and participate. Information for registration for the competition is posted on the Oakland Hyphae site. Alternatively, (since its not there yet), you can contact the company directly for further details. You may use the contact form from the website, which is here.

While registration is open to anyone, there’s less information available for the requirements that actually get a mushroom grower approved for entry. Once you’ve registered, the company will contact you with more information for submitting your product, with plenty of further information on how exactly the submission process goes.

I see no information stipulating an end to this competition, so I expect a Psilocybin Cup will be held sometime in 2023. However, as mentioned, I also see nothing specifically related to it yet. With the mushrooms industry only growing, there are sure to be more of these competitions popping up in the next few years; so interested and prospective registrants should definitely pay attention. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!


It was bound to happen. Cannabis cups are huge because cannabis is huge. And as the magic mushrooms industry grows, so does the desire for competition. Reggie Harris sure made something special with the Hyphai Psilocybin Cup; and we should all keep our eyes out for information on the next competition.

Psilocybin mushrooms
Psilocybin mushrooms

This competition is certainly one to keep track of. But with psychedelics (and hallucinogens, in general) growing in popularity, there are plenty more events to check out. In the US, here are some of the psychedelics events you definitely don’t want to miss this year. And if you’re not in America, or looking for a good reason to travel, check out these events, which happen worldwide.

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