Ms. Pat Opens Up About Her New BET+ Series, ‘The Ms. Pat Show’

Ms. Pat is one of the best comedians around. She could read the phonebook and make it funny. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, next year marks Ms. Pat’s 20th anniversary in standup. In recent years, she’s published a memoir, Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat, and most recently, just sold a one-hour special to Netflix.

As for right now, Ms. Pat is touring and starring in the BET+ series The Ms. Pat Show, which she co-created and stars in as herself. The family comedy is as honest and as funny as Ms. Pat’s material, which can tackle every subject under the sun without ever sugarcoating it. She can turn pain, or anything, for that matter, into comedy gold. 

For Ms. Pat and the audience, it’s catharsis with laughs.

You spent years developing the show. The end result is not watered down, either, but what was the process like of actually making The Ms. Pat Show an actual Ms. Pat Show?

Trying to keep them from watering it down. Fighting like hell. It took five years to get it made, and all of the ups and downs trying to find writers, trying to find the right network, and we finally landed at Hulu, which shot the pilot, and then they ended up dropping it.

And then we ended up at BET+, which I didn’t even know BET had a plus, but I was just happy somebody picked us up. It’s a new streaming service. It was 18 months old at the time when we came over. When we got there, what I liked about being there is that they got it. They gave us a little bit more freedom because they understood what we were trying to do. So, once they gave us that freedom, then they took some stuff back, too. They pulled back a little bit, too, but we were able to get as close as we could to what we wanted. The end product is what the world got to see. 

It’s predictable, but it’s just odd to me why anybody would want to make the show without giving you the freedom you have on stage. 

You know what, that’s what took so long because this show could’ve come out four years ago. I was like, “No, that’s not me. That’s not what I want to put out.” I knew what I wanted to put out, but I had never written a screenplay, so when you’re dealing with writers who don’t get you, I think it’s really hard to create a show for somebody. This is not just your ideas. You have to really connect with the person who you’re trying to write the show for. Picking a writer is very important, and listening to the person who the show is about. So I went through a few writers that wouldn’t listen.

What are the major differences between writing for a show versus writing for the stage?

It’s more dialogue in other people’s mouths. When you’re a comic, all of it comes out of your mouth alone, and you’re doing it for TV now, it’s about everyone together. With the cast, it is just trying to bring everybody to life, because you can just focus on one character, and you’d be like, “Oh my God, I didn’t give this character here any dialogue.” 

So, that was a big challenge for me because we kept leaving [the character] Junebug out, and we would get to the story and be like… the youngest kid is like, “You don’t have any dialogue,” or, “You don’t have enough dialogue.” So that was a big challenge, just trying to have the conversation feel real, just like a family. Everybody, they would always leave Junebug out for some reason.

On stage, you get to play around and go off script, but did you get to do that with the show?

Yeah. Since you watched every episode, you know when Janelle is sitting in the kitchen, there was an ad lib. “Wi-fi nigger,” was an ad lib. When I go out the door and I say, “Wi-fi nigger,” that was an ad lib [Laughs]. When I’m in the kitchen, and my daughter’s eating the cake, and I dig in her mouth and take the cake, that was an ad lib. We had quite a few. I didn’t want to do them because sometimes they can come off so huge and bigger than what’s on the paper, but we did have quite a few. I like to ad lib, but since it was the first season, I really tried to restrain myself. 

As you say on the show, are West Coast crowds usually the worst to perform for?

Yes, because they get to see famous people all the time. So it’s totally different from the South. Kids will come out here and laugh. They’ve got their Hennessy, their chicken wings. They’ve done got their hair pressed, their clothes out the cleaners. They come to have a good time. The people in LA, they Botox, they eat apples. They sit up in the chair like they’re at a private school, and ain’t nobody told them to speak. They just look at you like, “Oh my God.”

[Laughs] How often do you perform in LA?

Well, before the pandemic, I was out there quite a bit. It’s okay. I think sometimes I’m shocking because they’re used to you dancing and skipping, but that’s not what I’m going to do. I’m going to tell you about trafficking cocaine, being shot. I’m going to tell you about me. A lot of times, they just stare at me like, “What the hell?” I mean, but I do have a pretty good set. I am shocking.

Shocking, but cathartic, too, right? The way you joke about painful experiences, I think, can make people more accepting of their own pain.

That’s exactly what I want people to do. And I tell them, I say, “I’m up here telling this tonight because you can’t change your past, so why dwell on stuff you don’t have control over? You can’t change the past, so what you shedding tears over it for? Move on.” You sure can laugh at the past. You can laugh at it. And that’s what I tell them each and every night.

When did you start to get that personal as a comedian? 

Well, when I started to get real personal in my career and not caring, not allowing the audience to control what I do to please them, and I started to please myself, it was a healing mechanism for me. Because, you know, when you’ve been abused and stuff like that, a lot of time, people don’t speak out loud; they just hold stuff in, and they’re angry. 

Well, when I became a comedian and I started to talk about it onstage, it also made me unique, but it was also getting stuff off of my chest. I’m just telling my girlfriends, all my girlfriends, my business, no different from you at home or  a woman at home visiting on the phone with her girlfriend. 

What was your material like the first few years you did stand up?

It was all, “I suck dick, and my man ain’t shit.” And I was like, “Wait a minute, I’m married, I don’t suck dick. My man ain’t that bad.” [Laughs] I had to change my material.

[Laughs] Any funny material there, though?

Hell no. I mean, I thought I was hilarious. I look back, I’m like, “Ooh, I was horrible.” And just doing whatever you see everybody else doing. That’s what I was doing. I’ll tell you the truest thing ever said: “About 10 years in, you’ll find your voice.” And that is real, if you stick with it. 

About 10 years in, I started to develop a voice for myself, nine or 10 years. I started to really understand what a beginning and an ending was, how to write a joke, just how to control the crowd, and be more confident. And once you get those things down pat, hey, sky’s the limit, if you ask me.

Unlike the West Coast, where do you enjoy performing the most?

I’m from Atlanta, so of course I love home. I really like Arizona and DC. Yeah, DC man. I love DC.

I’m from DC. Great comedy scene.

Oh great. Man, they come out to laugh. I love DC. What is another spot that I work? You know, I’m going to say it because you’re going to think I’m crazy: Vermont.

No kidding?

Vermont. Those people up there, they’re in their own little world. There’s no fast food; everything picked is fresh, and grandma cooks it. It’s like Little House on the Prairie. I love going to Vermont.

I think there’s definitely a different sense of humor, as far as crowds go, on the East Coast than the West Coast. 

It’s horrible. It’s fake. “My mother doesn’t make my bed.” I mean, they’ll be onstage, and they have no clue what life is about.

Was the episode in The Ms. Pat Show about not connecting with a local comedy club owner real?

That’s so true. It was Morty’s Comedy Joint. I moved here from Indiana, and the owner was the manager or co-owner. He was a Black guy. I just think he hated Black women. He did not like me. So I tried to do everything to get in, and he literally sat me down one day. He said, “My 7 o’clock crowd will never like you.” I don’t mind being the underdog. And I said, “When I get through with you, your bitch ass, we’re going to see.” 

Then Sheryl Underwood came in and was like, “He’s so stupid. He should put this girl in. She’s so funny.” And he didn’t put me up then, but D. L. Hughley came around. D. L. Hughley was late one day after the snowstorm coming from Chicago, and it was packed. And he was like, “Can you go up and do about 15, 20 minutes?” I destroyed that bitch. I ended up getting my own night called Bust a Gut Tuesday with Ms. Pat and on Thursday night at 10 o’clock, and it was packed. Well, it was packed with all Purdue white students. He couldn’t believe it.

Where do you perform locally the most now? 

Helium. That’s it, Helium. That’s all we have is Helium. I just need one club, and when I’m home, I don’t go anywhere else now. Like, I’m heading home now, so I just stay in the house, and I’m back on the road all the time.

Earlier, you talked about your time dealing. Did you ever sell cannabis? 

A little bit. When I was dealing drugs, nobody smoked pot; everybody wanted crack. Pot wasn’t my thing. The best money was crack. Crack was loose.

Was it also just not very valuable?

It was valuable for young college students, so it was very popular for them, but it was way better to sell crack to grown people. Me, I don’t do drugs. I mean, I grew up in a household with people on drugs and alcohol. I don’t even smoke cigarettes, but I love me some crispy fish filet.

[Laughs] What do you hope to do with Season Two of the show? 

I want to tackle the tough topics like abuse and not water it down, molestation, and not water it down, not put a bow on it, for real. I want you to feel it. We were going to do it this year, but I removed it out of the series. Just have real issues. I mean, talk about real things. I’m actually writing an episode now and getting it together about, why do Black people vote Democrat? They have a conversation about that in the household.

Some good jokes there, I imagine, too.

Oh, you’re going to get some good jokes.

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Comedian Jon Gabrus is “High And Mighty”

The fact that comedian Jon Gabrus is thriving should not come as a surprise to anyone. The host and creator of the wildly popular Headgum podcast, High and Mighty, moved the show to his home studio during quarantine, and it’s where he’s been recording for over the past year. In fact, his first podcast has been so successful, it spawned a second: The Action Boyz, which he hosts along with Ben Rodgers and Ryan Stanger, “breaking down, discussing and ruining all of your favorite action movies.”

When we connect by phone, Jon is enjoying a weed-and-chocolate cold brew, purposely consuming cannabis earlier in the day so that his high will coincide with his High Times interview. Our conversation touches on Jon’s foray into comedy, his relationship with weed and how he quit toking in high school to focus on becoming an FBI agent.

Comedian Tells All

You started pursuing comedy after hosting your high school talent show. Was comedy something you were always drawn to?

I’m sure I have a traditional X-Men origin story in that I was always the class clown and always enjoyed making my classmates and teachers laugh. Anyone who seemed like a hard laugh was my favorite person to try to crack.

I really wanted to go to school to be an FBI agent, and my plan was to major in science, get into the FBI and become a special agent. I’d actually smoked weed in ninth and tenth grade and then quit because I’d heard somewhere that the FBI wants to make sure you’ve never done drugs before. 

When the opportunity to host the talent show arose, the teacher producing the show was like, “Nah, you want to be an actor or a comedian or something. You should host the talent show.” I was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” This was my AP Psych teacher whose class I was taking because, again, I wanted to be a profiler or some shit—and she was like, “No, you want to work in entertainment. Trust me.” I was already set to perform a segment at the show with some friends, lip-syncing to Michael Jackson songs in stupid costumes, so I was like, “Okay, whatever.”

Performing on and hosting the talent show made me feel so fucking alive. My portion of the lip-sync was “Smooth Criminal.” It was 1998 or 1999, so I now understand the problematic issue around Michael Jackson, but, at the time, we had no idea. Screaming, “Annie, are you okay?” while the entire crowd sang along was such a fucking experience. It was like, “Oh, I get it now. I didn’t understand it before, but now I get why theater kids go crazy.” 

So, that was sort of the catalyst for me, and while I thought I’d still pursue biology and join the FBI, I knew I now liked comedy. I didn’t realize all those times I was making my teacher laugh or making my brother laugh when I wasn’t supposed to, how much juice I was getting off that. With the talent show, it solidified how much I enjoyed performing.

Flash forward, day two of college, there’s an activities fair, and I was being a wise-ass, goofing off with everybody, and someone from the theater company asked me to sign up for the comedy group. That was it for me. I switched my major to Communication and focused on figuring out a way to work in comedy. I didn’t even know what it meant at the time to work in comedy, I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.

What was the experience that occurred along that path which made you realize a career in comedy would actually be possible?

If I’m being honest, it’s probably like a death of a thousand cuts or whatever the opposite of that is: A life of a thousand loads. It was born out of a lot of small events.

After college, I was a PA at VH1 for a little while, working on the show Best Week Ever. I would also transcribe comedy tapes and take comedy classes at UCB. I was surrounded by a lot of comedy, but was trying to get more into writing, producing and being in comedy. My friend Kevin [from VH1] was like, “Everyone here is going to think of you as a PA forever, because that’s how they met you. You’ll have to leave to become a comedian.” Whereas, I thought, “Maybe they’ll just let me be on camera on Best Week Ever.” 

Kevin was like, “No, that’s not how it works, you 24-year-old idiot.” Which was completely fair. At the time I was like, “Paul Scheer, Doug Benson—these guys are pretty funny. I’m also pretty funny,” not realizing they had put in the 10 years of working in comedy. Kevin sat me down and told me I could leave, collect unemployment, find myself and start performing on shows and helped send me on my way. That was the last time I ever had a real “full-time” job in 2006 or 2007.

I went off, started coaching and teaching improv and took weird freelance jobs at everything from temping, to dressing up as a main character from Balls of Fury, to taking photos of people at bars. I took on the kind of weird jobs you see in these tv shows where they’re handing out fliers on the street—I just did the dumbest shit. I took psychological tests at Long Island College, anything I could do to make money living in Brooklyn. At the time, I was performing comedy, watching comedy, writing comedy, studying comedy – that was my real grad school, the couple of years I lived in Brooklyn, broke as fuck, eating rice and beans four nights per week.

When I’d go out with friends, I’d put all the drinks on my credit card and then collect cash from everyone so that I could have cash for the week. I’d then put that credit card bill onto a different Discover card and pay the transfer fee until I eventually moved in with my wife. Both of us had racked up like $30,000 in credit card debt trying to live in the city on full-shift, entry level jobs. I look back at that period of my life and see how from 22 to 27 is when I was learning how to be an adult while simultaneously learning how to be a comedian.

I’m even hesitant to use the word “comedian.” I’ve been performing comedy for 15 years, and I am still afraid to say I’m a comedian because it feels it’s a title owed, earned and applies to stand-up comics, not so much what I do. Even though I have performed stand-up, I don’t consider myself a stand-up comic because I’m such a fan of art, and I’m embarrassed to say that what I do is the same thing that Chris Rock does. 

That’s why I always say that I “do comedy” and not that “I’m a comedian” because I feel like stand-up people own that. I “do” comedy in a bunch of ways, so maybe I am technically a comedian? I don’t know. These are all my issues that I’m unpacking.

So your “win” was really you going through the grind and betting on yourself.

There’s been so many other victories along the way, and a lot of them are weirdly tied to financial freedom. For example, me no longer needing to be an improv teacher felt like a victory because I was just performing without worrying about other survivor jobs. Podcasts are my “day job” now, as of a few years ago, and every step of the way has felt like a tiny victory.

What was the inspiration behind your podcast, and what do you think has helped propel its growth?

I was having a lot of fun guesting on my friends’ podcasts when people started Tweeting at me that I should have my own podcast. I started to think, while I’m doing all of this work on other people’s podcasts—and having a blast—I’m not making any money. I didn’t know what show I’d even want to do.

Luckily, my friends Jake and Amir—who I’d known in New York from doing bits for College Humor—said they were launching a podcast network and thought of me as one of their funny friends who didn’t have a podcast at the time. I told them I’d love to, but there was a catch: I didn’t want to do anything beholden to a premise and would want it to be as self-serving as possible without knowing at the time that pretty much every podcast is self-serving.

I ended up launching my first podcast, High and Mighty, as a less agro, less masculine Joe Rogan show—five years ago, and it’s now over 250 episodes and is as self-serving as possible. I haven’t stuck with anything for five years except podcasting and smoking weed.

Speaking of weed, how is it part of your life now as an adult?

As I said earlier, I quit smoking in high school. In college, I was a big-time party animal, but my roommates were potheads and were sort of annoying when they smoked weed, so I never really wanted to get high with them. Somehow, I also made it through college without getting into weed.

When I was 25 or 26, I smoked at my buddy’s bachelor party for the first time in a long time. I was a pretty heavy drinker then and was like, “Man, this is so much better than drinking.” At the time, I was only looking [at smoking] as an excuse to get a little lit, but over the past 13 years, weed has become part of my life. I named my podcast “High and Mighty” because it’s a quadruple entendre of how I’m a big boy; I’m a strong boy; I’m frequently stoned, and I’m high and mighty about my beliefs.

Cannabis is part of my creative process, and it’s part of my bonding experience. I often get lit with my guests on the podcast—though it’s entirely up to them if they want to get stoned or not—but for me, weed is something I use as a carrot. I don’t need it to get through the day, but it does help me get through the day. I’ll use it as a carrot in that I’ll get some work done, get in some exercise and not blaze until three o’clock. Part of me is like, “Just wait,” so I can have something to look forward to each day.

So cannabis for you is a means to relax, but also a prize for doing what you set out to do.

I also use it for pain and stress management. Weed is anti-anxietal for me, and one of the ways my anxiety manifests itself is in GI distress. The way my GI anxiety manifests itself it’s in poop anxiety, in that I have to poop before I leave the house because I’m afraid I’ll have to poop elsewhere. I’m afraid to go to the gym and have to poop there. Smoking or ingesting cannabis settles my stomach, and it’s such a freeing thing.

Also, the things I enjoy in life are video games, movies, conversations, eating, cooking—all the shit for which cannabis is a performance enhancer. I know it’s hack and that a lot of stoners don’t want to get caught saying this, but when they say that most cool stuff to do in life is better when you’re high, there’s a reason.

People aren’t just making it up.

That’s the only thing that bothers me. Whenever a non-stoner is like, “Oh, let me guess. You think we should get high because you think it will make the movie or the restaurant better?” I’m like, “Why are you judging me? Most people believe it makes food taste better. Why are you looking at that as a negative?”

Regardless if you’re getting high or not, if you’re both enjoying the experience in your own ways, that’s what matters.

That’s exactly my point of view. I’m also in my late 30s now. I can’t really be hungover anymore; I don’t have kids, and I don’t have that much responsibility. But I do like the ability to get up and exercise every day. Turns out, some of my previous GI distress was probably from alcohol and gluten, so getting rid of that has made me way healthier. Now, I just get stoned and drink soda water, and I feel so much better about myself.

When I’m creating, I like to write some of the day sober, and then get high and revisit and jam out “weirder,” more free-flowing ideas. Part of the reason why I think I have a good relationship with pot is because I didn’t smoke it in college when I had no responsibility and could have easily been the guy who was having trouble at school because it’s way more fun to smoke weed than it is to go to class. 

Now, with no class to blow off, it makes it a little easier to get baked on a random Monday morning. Like today, we’re talking on a Monday morning, and I had to start the day with a little weed chocolate cold brew. As I said, I normally start at three, but some days, you just have to start earlier.

Follow @gabrus and check out his podcasts High and Mighty and The Action Boyz available everywhere

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6 weed products comedian Jon Gabrus can’t live without

Back in 2005, Jon Gabrus began performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre in New York. He made his way onto several comical improv troupes and teams including Mailer Daemon, fwand, The Law Firm, and Your F’d Up Family. He even single-handedly wrote and starred in his very own one-man show, Blackout Drunk, where he tells tales of getting sloshed and making ill-considered decisions. He then encourages audience members to do the same through the help of special guest bartenders and drinking games. It wasn’t long before both the audience and industry professionals caught on to his hilarious stage preference, which undoubtedly granted him a regular panelist spot on MTV2’s Guy Code for five seasons, along with recurring roles on TV shows like Younger, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and The Hotwives of Las Vegas.

Gabrus is also a well-known cannabis advocate, which has been part of the inspiration for his podcast High and Mighty with Jon Gabrus. The podcast has received over 2.1K reviews on Apple Podcasts, putting it in a coveted 4.8-star spot and features some of Jon’s entertaining (and famous) friends such as Rory Scovel, Julie Klausner, Matt Besser, and many more. His onscreen presence ranges from the goofball frat guy to the loveable teddy bear who can win you over with his charming smile. After chatting with him for an hour about some of his favorite cannabis products at the moment, it’s easy to see how his welcoming and friendly personality simply shines through on the screen. 

Here’s six of his favorite products that have both helped him decompress while he’s not performing and assisted him in getting through the weirdness of 2020 and 2021. 

Cannavis Lemon-Lime THC Syrup

“My tolerance has gone through the roof in the last year, and making cannabis beverages has been one of my go-to moves during quarantine,” said Gabrus. “I’ll put a half shot of the Cannavis lemon-lime syrup into one of my iced teas and my day is markedly better.” 

Available in California, consumers can create flavorful infused beverages with Cannavis syrups by adding it to their favorite food recipes, or simply enjoy the delicious syrup alone. The syrups are sugar and gluten-free and contain zero genetically modified ingredients.

Space Coyote Pre-Rolls 

“When it comes to pre-rolls, I’m a big fan of Space Coyote. They’re sort of all-infused and I just think they have a great flower,” Gabrus shared. “I’m kind of like a child so I have to do a lot of rewarding myself. I’ll tell myself ‘oh you have that great Space Coyote you just bought, if you start writing you can light that up in the evening.’” 

Space Coyote offers a collection of indica, sativa, and hybrid joints which also include resin and hash options. 

Lake Grade Pre-Rolls 

“They kind of look like cigarettes … They have a little white filter so it’s nice to be able to walk down the street with these and not call too much attention to yourself. I loved to go on long walks during quarantine just to get away from my four walls. I’d get stoned to the bone and just walk down to the store to get a cold brew just to get some exercise, sunlight, and have an hour of my day gone.”

Tough Mama Infused Pre-Rolls

“It’s hard to find companies that are using hemp wraps for their blunts,” said Gabrus. “These are great ones. The flavor is good, they are a little infused, and they hit hard. They also have great branding that truly worked on me. It was kind of like picking a horse in a horse race, I was like, ‘I love this name so let me go ahead and try it.’” 

Tough Mama blunts are infused with THC oil and available in indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties. 

Higher Edibles GF Salted Canna-Corn Kernels

“I’m not a big sweets guy so savory edibles are always exciting to come across,” said Gabrus. “This company called Higher Edibles makes cannabis-infused corn nuts, more or less. They’re like a hundred milligram bag and it’s so easy to eat. It’s like popcorn and so nice to have a savory weed snack. There’s not many of those products out there and it seems like a bit of an untapped market.” 

Kiva Confections Lost Farm Fruit Chews

“Kiva has a line of edibles and they really crush it,” said Gabrus. “I don’t think they can legally say this, but I think I can on my own for this article: they taste just like a Starburst, which were my favorite candy growing up. When you’re 39-years old, you can’t just sit around and eat a bag of Starbursts but when the Starburst is anti-anxiety medicine you can justify it. I like to have about 40 milligrams of these things before bed.” 

Featured image courtesy of Jon Gabrus. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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6 weed brands comedian Matt Besser can’t live without

You may know him as Sparks Department Captain Miller in Reno 911!, Dave in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Crazy Ira in Parks and Recreation, or from his multiple appearances in blockbuster TV shows such as Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm and How I Met Your Mother. It is undeniable that wherever Matt Besser goes, comedy is bound to follow. 

Alongside Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, and Amy Poehler, he founded Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), an improvisational theatre and training company that paves the way for a multitude of aspiring young comedians (disclosure: I’ve trained at UCB) to hone their crafts in improv, sketch, and comedy.

In his recent stand-up special, Matt Besser: Pot Humor, you’ll see him take on yet another challenging endeavor: keeping audience members at the Northwest Cannabis Club in Portland, who just so happen to be stoned out of their minds, entertained for an hour. He manages to do so by hilariously reminiscing about the lengths that he and his college friends had to go through in order to get weed back in the day — including driving all the way from Amherst College to Albany in the middle of the night all because “some guy their friend knew” was selling weed. He also reminisced with me about some amazing Phish performances, before anyone knew who Phish was, that he got to experience while he was first starting to smoke weed in college.

While he doesn’t usually light up before a performance, Besser sat down to chat with Weedmaps about some of his favorite brands to consume off-stage. 

Cannabiotix L’Orange 

 “I think I’m an orange guy,” said Besser. “I really enjoy Cannabiotix as a label because their stuff always seems so fresh. I used to ask what is the best, but now I ask what is the newest or freshest off the truck. Their stuff is always so sticky.”

L’Orange is a sativa-dominant flower with 24 – 28% THC, with aftereffects being described as energizing, joyful, and creative. This flower is a cross between the award-winning hybrid Orange Crush and uplifting Lemon Burst and the buds possess extremely sticky resinous trichomes that cling to your fingertips when broken down.

Ember Valley Orange Peels 

“I used to say this was my favorite strain, but I haven’t seen it in a while,” he shared. “That’s the problem is that you can’t get too attached to one product because it might be sold out the next time you go into the dispensary. As soon as you find something you like, it might be gone for the next three months, so I try not to get too attached to any one brand in particular.”

Orange Peels is a hybrid cross between Clementine and Purple Punch with 22.36% THC and a strong citrusy, orange aroma.

Green Habitat Rozé

“I shouldn’t mention any of these because they will get sold out quickly,” joked Besser. Ironically enough, the Rozé from Green Habitat is currently sold out on multiple sites.

“I’ve always gravitated towards sativa. More power to whoever prefers to get indica, but I’m not a guy who just likes to knock myself out with weed.”

Green Habitat’s Rozé is described as having strawberry aromas and flavors, and packs around 25% THC.

3C Clockwork Elves Sativa

 “The moon rocks are not something to smoke casually, but I did it as an experiment for my podcast, improv4humans,” Besser said. “This version of moon rocks had all the kief and resin layered onto some bud. While I don’t usually partake, it really impressed me.”

The Clockwork Elves’ sativa variety is an extremely potent combination of sativa flower and sativa-derived kief. Each nug is rolled in kief, giving it a tan to brown color. Try it if you enjoy sativas and being extremely high.

Tikun Olam’s Alaska

 “I’m also a big container fan … If I like the container, I’ll re-use it for all of my weed products. I’m a really big fan of the Tikun containers and I utilize them a lot.”

With uplifting effects, the Alaska strain has been reported by consumers to relieve an array of medical symptoms including inflammation, pain, and nausea.

Charlotte’s Web CBD Ointment

Leaning more into the cannabidiol realm, Besser noted, “When I discovered that CBD actually works — and actually worked on my back pain — I couldn’t believe it. It seemed too good to be true.”

He said he particularly likes the Charlotte’s Web arthritis aches and pain relief ointment for his back, and that CBD is the one product he has probably used “in the most medicinal way.”

Featured image: Comedy Dynamics / Pot Humor special. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee (Marijuana Moment)

// Montana Bill To Implement Marijuana Legalization Heads To Governor’s Desk (Marijuana Moment)

// Confirmed: Pennsylvania Is Crushing It In Cannabis (Green Market Report)

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// Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Ninth House Committee On Path To Floor (Marijuana Moment)

// Texas Lawmakers Approve Marijuana And Psychedelics Reform Bills (Marijuana Moment)

// Fire & Flower Q4 Revenue Increases 157% to $43.2 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Valens Buys CBD Company In Deal Valued At $60 Million (Green Market Report)

// These License Plates Got the Highest Bids in Colorado’s Cannabis Vanity Plate Auction (Green Entrepreneur)

// Marijuana Packaging Recycling Bill Filed In New York Days After Legalization Takes Effect (Marijuana Moment)

// Seth Rogen Is Making Retro PSAs About How To Safely Consume Marijuana (Bro Bible)

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6 weed products the creators of ‘High Herstory’ can’t live without

Move over, Drunk History, there’s a new inebriated storytelling show in town. It’s called High Herstory, and features hilarious women telling and re-enacting the stories of unsung women while stoned.

Despite the internet clamoring for a high version of Drunk History for years, creator Derek Waters thought it couldn’t be done. But High Herstory creators Annette Mia-Flores (New Amsterdam), Jenny Joslin (Money Monster), and Kendall Watkins have been proving him wrong since 2017, when they first dropped a web series featuring the stories of birth control philanthropist Katharine Dexter McCormick, sexually-liberated author Mary MacLane, and feminist publisher Valerie Solanas. The show’s hosts tell stomach-stitching stories in laid-back, almost ASMR tones that throw viewers into uncontrollable laughter. 

“It is a direct response to Drunk History — a more male focused show that celebrates alcohol,” Joslin told Weedmaps News. “Why can’t we get the perspective of funny women using this magical plant (which, like ladies, has also been misrepresented and suppressed) to interpret history from a female point of view?” The response from both viewers and press was enormous. “We felt like women were telling us, ‘Please make this, I have a story to tell! I want to watch this right now!’” 

In a DIY path similar to HBO’s stoner dramedy High Maintenance, the trio shepherded their concept into the big leagues. At first, they tried to sell the show to a network which ultimately felt that it was too risky, so they self-produced. The first episode of the first season premiered on SocialTV — an age-gated, cannabis-friendly streaming service also hosting the Emerald Cup — on 4/20. 

High Herstory is both the name of the show and a brand new media company catering to the growing segment of cannabis users who identify as women, projected to be 50% of the market by 2022. Both are explicit efforts by a robust community to dismantle the racist, sexist, and oppressive attitudes toward cannabis in America. “It seems like it’s a boy’s club in the cannabis comedy sphere and we wanted to shatter the grass ceiling by joining forces with more women who are funny and witty and ambitious and maybe also consumers,” the trio said. 

The story Behind High Herstory

Joslin, Watkins, and Mia-Flores grew up in Texas, which has some of the most restrictive legal weed policies in the nation. As kids, they learned to “Just say no” from DARE, the multi-million dollar anti-drug program that multiple studies found was completely ineffective

They met waiting tables at a Chinese restaurant while studying at Texas State University San Marcos. They were in various stages in their stoner development at the time — while Joslin and Watkins didn’t partake until college, Mia-Flores tried cannabis for the first time in high school — but it became an important part of their collaborative process. “We have utilized weed throughout every step of our journey,” said Joslin. “It was an instant familiarity upon meeting each other and it’s been a blast ever since.” 

They founded a production company together and came up with the idea for High Herstory while writing another historical fiction series about sex workers. “We had been writing together all day and were taking a smoke break and venting and asking ourselves the question, ‘How do we get people to care about hearing these stories?’” the trio recalled. “It struck us. Just like this. Women consuming cannabis and telling stories about other amazing women whose histories were so suppressed, stolen or colonized out of the history books that many of them only exist orally.”

Who will you see in High Herstory?

Season one is rife with stories from history that are achingly relevant in the modern age. Remember when everyone was up in arms about the Postal Service being defunded? Episode one reminds us of its import with the exploits of legendary mailwoman Stagecoach Mary. Those watching the effort to unionize Amazon can draw inspiration from the story of labor rights activist Lucy Parsons. The tale of Hua Mulan echoes the struggles of any woman who has been told what she isn’t capable of. The brilliant leadership of Dr. Sarah Josephine Baker is the kicker amidst a world collectively traumatized by an international pandemic, and as the first director of New York City’s Bureau of Child Hygiene, she made public health more equitable for women, children, immigrants, and the differently-abled.

The stories are told and reenacted by actresses from every corner of the stream-i-verse, including Roberta Colindrez (Amazon’s I Love Dick, Showtime’s Vida, Amazon’s A League of Their Own, HBO’s The Deuce), Shirley Cruz (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black), Luna Tieu (CBS’s Elementary), Celia Au (Netflix’s Wu Assassins), Pooya Mohseni (Law & Order: SVU), and Cece Suavo (ABC’s One Life to Live).

How High Herstory is making a difference

High Herstory is entertaining, but it also represents solutions to the systemic problems facing the media industry. “Mainstream media really shies away from showing female identifying cannabis users, and we really wanted to see ourselves and the cool women we know represented in that culture,” the trio explained. For Joslin, Watkins, and Mia-Flores, it goes deeper than destigmatizing cannabis users. “Women love seeing portrayals of bad-ass female characters from a female gaze, because so often from a Hollywood perspective, that hasn’t existed. Underrepresentation isn’t just a clickbait term. It deeply impacts the livelihoods of many of us. There aren’t enough quality roles, which translate to well paying jobs, with good representation.”

Working in the cannabis industry has required the trio to make personal and professional sacrifices, “from not being supported by family, to people dismissing very real hard work because of an association to a plant, to people even questioning our reputation.” 

They hope this fun-yet-poignant series will help culture writ large see how normal weed can be. “Some people decompress with a little bit of wine at the end of a long day, and others may choose to have a bit of cannabis,” said Joslin. “We really want to shatter the stigma to show people that they have options and there is no shame in it.’

They’ve also made creative decisions designed to make their company more equitable, such as casting male characters with female actors. “There’s something so cathartic about mockingly playing white men antagonists,” said Joslin. 

They’ve also partnered with the Youth Empowerment Project in New Orleans, which helps formerly incarcerated Americans get jobs in creative industries. “Louisiana has one of the worst incarceration rates in the country because of cannabis arrests, so this is a way for the cannabis industry to provide opportunities in a state where the war on drugs feels very much alive,” she added.

Ultimately, they’ve adopted the philosophy that happiness is the best revenge. “The very act of portraying diverse women consuming cannabis is a statement to dismantle oppression,” said Joslin. “Rolling a camera on someone who is consuming a substance that for 90 years has been stigmatized, and is still very much federally illegal, is an act of defiance. Every time a woman smokes on High Herstory, a man from history who helped demonize cannabis [ahem, Harry Ainslinger] rolls over in his grave. We hope that more portrayals of cannabis use will go beyond the ‘stoner bro’ narrative. Seth Rogan, we love you, but what about a female Pineapple Express?”

The creator’s favorite weed

There are six weed products that Joslin, Watkins, and Mia-Flores cannot live without, making them perfect to pair with the High Herstory premiere on 4/20.

Uff! Moon + Womb tincture from Xula Herbs

“Tinctures from Xula Herbs, but especially Uff! moon + womb blend.“ With 500 milligrams of CBD and 1,000 milligrams of CBG and other sedating ingredients like passionflower, this tincture is best before bed to soothe any cramps, aches or pains. 

Intimacy Lubricants from Foria

Foria‘s intimacy line is a must have.” Infused with 200 milligrams of CBD and organic MCT coconut oil, Foria’s line of lubricants may put you at ease and calm your senses before getting down with your partner. Note: Foria lubricants contain coconut oil, which is not recommended for condoms, as oil-based lubes break down latex.  

Prerolls from Lady Jays

“A pack of Lady Jays.” If you’re all THC’d out, consider lighting up a CBG preroll from Lady Jays. Made with hemp flower from Oregon’s sustainable hemp farm Marshall Farming, each preroll offers a smooth hit after a long day.

Pink Glitterbomb Bong from Chill

“Pink Glitterbomb Chill Bong from Chill – I love how it keeps every hit so icy and you can’t break it.” This limited edition bong will be a gorgeous addition to your smoke collection. It stands at nine inches tall, is vacuum insulated, and you won’t ever have to worry about breaking it’s aluminum downstem.  

Bongs and Pipes from Session Goods

Started in 2017, Session Goods offers unique pieces that are both functional and visually endearing. “Any Session Goods piece! Such thoughtful designs with versatility of color and bowl size — plus they make it so easy to clean with custom silicone plugs.”

PAX 3 Vaporizer from PAX 

Pax 3 Vaporizer.” Enough said.

Image courtesy of High Herstory. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps.

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6 weed brands comedian Rachel Wolfson can’t live without

I first learned about Rachel Wolfson’s work through a mutual connection that grew up with her. She encouraged me to reach out to Rachel for an article I was writing about how stand-up comedy was normalizing cannabis. And after watching one of Rachel’s hilarious stand-up sets, it’s easy to see why she’s considered a trailblazer in the cannabis comedy realm. Not only does she advocate for cannabis consumption in an ethical and humorous way, but the backstory behind her love for the plant is beyond heartwarming.

When Rachel was five years old, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and prescribed a cocktail of Adderall and Ritalin to help treat it. At age 12, the doctors added another diagnosis and ingredient to her already potent combination of pharmaceuticals: bipolar disorder to be additionally treated with Lithium. Rachel’s body and mind did not react kindly to the drugs and she felt helpless — until she discovered cannabis.

The plant instantly made her feel like a better version of herself, but she’s been advocating ever since to remove the “shameful” stereotype around what was once considered a dangerous and illegal substance. A big way she does this is through her stand-up sets, sketches, and overall presence in the LA comedy world. 

“I was at a low moment in my life and something inside me told me to do stand-up. Comedy gave me a place to heal, be humbled, and find joy. I love stand-up comedy because when I’m on stage it feels like home, and no matter what I always get what I need.”

Rachel Wolfson’s favorite weed

As she continues to normalize cannabis use through her comedy and advocacy work, here are several products that leave her feeling like her best and most authentic self. 

Kush Queen Bath Bombs

In less than three years, Kush Queen has grown into a multi-million dollar, multifaceted brand carrying only the finest in both CBD-only, and THC-infused products focused on wellness and accessibility. Their variety of bath bombs contain both CBD and THC, depending upon preference, and one of Wolfson’s personal favorites is the Complete Mini Collection, which is a great way to try the brand’s five original blends. 

“I love taking baths after a long day of work or working out and I can truly feel the CBD/THC absorbing through my body differently,” says Wolfson. “I sometimes have trouble sleeping, but when I soak in a relaxing Kush Queen bath bomb before bed, I know a quality night’s sleep is in store.”

ROACH Vape Pens

“My latest new love are the ROACH vape pens. They’re perfect for outdoor settings and they have a ton of fruity flavors that are delicious tasting. One of my personal favorites is the Clementine Punch. Although the pen itself is small, the hits are so solid. Sometimes you get scared with a micro pen and you’re going to have a micro hit, but not with these guys.”

Royal Key Organics and 710 Labs

Royal Key Organics totes itself as being “obsessed with making the richest flavored, pesticide-free, organically fed, small batch, hand-trimmed cannabis on the planet” and they aren’t the only one with an obsession. “I’m obsessed with their M-Con #8 strain,” says Wolfson. 

She’s also currently crushing on the 710 LabsCandy Chrome strain that is so “beautiful tasting” that she’s still reminiscing about the taste weeks after she’s consumed it. “I can tell their flowers are grown with love.” Edible wise, she’s currently vibing with the 710 cannabis-infused hash rosin gummi, which is made from cultivar-specific rosin. She also recommends 710’s joints as great birthday gifts, anniversary presents — you name it. 

Stigma & Style and Blunted Objects

Stigma & Style was founded by three “millennial stoner” friends, who were tired of the “stigma” and ready to wear cannabis on their sleeves. As an advocate who is also never afraid to rock the cause, Wolfson loves the S&S apparel and branding. 

She also recommends Blunted Objects, for all of your stoner jewelry needs. 

Photo by Andrew Max Levy, courtesy of Rachel Wolfson. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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