Cookies Partners With Good Day Farm To Launch Company’s First Dispensary in Arkansas

One of the most recognizable cannabis brands in the world is teaming up with the largest medical weed producer in the southern United States. Their destination? Chenal, Arkansas. That will be the location of “Berner’s By Good Day Farm,” a new medical cannabis dispensary from Good Day Farm and Cookies.

With more than 4,000 square feet of retail space in Chenal, a suburb of the capital city of Little Rock, the store represents “Cookies’ entry into the Arkansas medical cannabis market and will provide the state’s patients with an expanded assortment of curated cannabis products and exclusive merchandise,” the companies said in an announcement on Tuesday.

The store is slated to have its grand opening on Friday, which will include food, giveaways, and an appearance by Cookies founder and CEO, Berner.

“I never imagined our first store in the South being in Arkansas; I actually never pictured opening a store in the South in general,” Berner said in the announcement on Tuesday. “We are extremely excited about our partnership with Good Day Farm and look forward to providing real menus and a curated customer journey for those in Arkansas, especially those who have never experienced cannabis before. The last time I was in Little Rock, I was on a tour with Snoop and we had a blast. I look forward to setting the tone with Good Day Farm and giving Arkansas a taste of California.”

Only two years after its founding, Good Day Farm bills itself as “the largest licensed medical cannabis producer in the South, supplying the region with an abundant selection of cannabis products in a diverse range of formats, including premium flower, edibles, vapes, concentrates, syringes, tinctures and topical creams.”

Cookies, meanwhile, was founded more than a decade ago and has grown to be one of the best known cannabis companies in the world, with thousands of products and retail locations in four different countries.

Both companies view cannabis as more than just business. Good Day Farm says it “prides itself on being an ambassador of this healing plant in the South, where every day the Company is on a relentless quest to grow, nurture and share really good cannabis,” while Cookies has worked actively “to enrich communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs through advocacy and social equity initiatives.”

The companies said that Berner’s By Good Day Farm “will carry products from both Cookies and Good Day Farm, including exclusive merchandise such as bespoke skateboards and apparel designed with the spirit of Little Rock in mind.”

“As ambassadors of cannabis in the South, it’s an honor to be the first cannabis company to bring the iconic Cookies brand to Arkansas patients,” Laurie Gregory, the chief marketing officer at Good Day Farm, said in the announcement. “Our new dispensary will offer the best of both brands, featuring 30+ new cultivars and all the products Good Day Farm’s customers know and love, from honey, gummies, chocolates and vapes, to our newly launched live resin collection. This store is the first of many planned collaborations between Good Day Farm and Cookies across the South, a partner who shares our commitment to helping good people and providing good cannabis.”  

Arkansas voters approved a measure legalizing medical cannabis in 2016. Sales began three years later.

The state said there were $264.9 million worth of medical cannabis sales last year, bringing the total sales figure to more than $500 million since dispensaries opened in 2019.

And there’s reason to believe than Arkansans would be receptive to more than just medical cannabis.

A poll earlier this year found that 53% of voters in the state believe that weed should be legal for adults aged 21 and older.

The post Cookies Partners With Good Day Farm To Launch Company’s First Dispensary in Arkansas appeared first on High Times.

The High Times 100 of 2021

Welcoming back the High Times 100—our celebration of the top market movers and culture creators in the cannabis space. Although we took a brief hiatus while the world shut down amid COVID-19, we’re back this year with a vastly different landscape. Enter 2022, and there are more public companies than ever. It was difficult to narrow the list down to just 100 entries, as there are many more fighters who are not included. Browse through the list of honorees that were selected this year.

Courtesy of 4Front Ventures Corp.

Leo Gontmakher
CEO, 4Front Ventures
Leo Gontmakher is CEO of 4Front Ventures—a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operator that manages over 25 different cannabis brands and strives for high quality as well as efficiency. His leadership has kept 4Front Ventures on the path to success—so much that the company was recognized as one of Inc.’s “Best-Led Companies of 2021” at the end of last year. Gontmakher co-founded Northwest Cannabis Solutions, and he previously served as the COO at Cannex until it merged with 4Front Ventures in 2019.

Courtesy of 710 Labs

Brad Melshenker
Co-CEO, 710 Labs
Brad Melshenker is a successful entrepreneur, having founded The Greenest Green in 2009 and 710 Labs in 2012, as well as creating ancillary businesses The Faulty Pelican and Green Life Consulting. Aside from these efforts, he also put his best foot forward to help the Colorado Department of Revenue create draft rules for extract regulations. Melshenker embraces a great commitment for his companies to produce excellent product that he himself would buy, and is devoted to embracing social equity involvement and other community services whenever possible.

Courtesy of Advanced Nutrients

BigMike Straumietis
CEO, Advanced Nutrients LTD.
A grower since 1983, BigMike is founder and CEO of Advanced Nutrients, creator of the ONLY complete cannabis growing system that Hits the Shift and optimizes all phases of the vegetative and bloom cycles to bring the plant to its true genetic potential. BigMike has dedicated his life to decoding the cannabis genome and making cannabis an acceptable and everyday part of healing humanity. For his work he’s been featured on HBO, Showtime, Yahoo Finance, Cheddar’s, CannaBiz, Kennedy on Fox; and in High Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Rolling Stone, and Playboy.

Courtesy of Ted Lidie, Facebook

Ted Lidie
Founder and CEO, Alien Labs
One of the world’s most recognized cannabis brands, Alien Labs has become a huge success since its inception in 2014, thanks to founder and CEO Ted Lidie. His vision and relentless passion for cultivating cannabis led him to create a premium-flower empire—strains like Melonade and Kryptonic might ring a bell as some of the winners at the High Times Cannabis Cup Arizona: People’s Choice Edition 2021 (not to mention many more products like pre-rolls and edibles, too).

Courtesy of Ardent Cannabis

Shanel Lindsay
CEO, Ardent Life, Inc.
The Boston-based biotechnology company known as Ardent Life, Inc. was founded by CEO Shanel Lindsay to bring about real change for medical cannabis patients. Lindsay spent over 15 years using cannabis to treat pain from ovarian cysts, and after witnessing the inconsistencies of decarboxylation methods, Lindsay invented the Nova Precision Decarboxylator. She’s also retained a strong presence in the cannabis community, having served two terms on the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board and is the cofounder of the nonprofit Equal Opportunities Now and the Northeast Cannabis Coalition.

Courtesy of Abner Kurtin, Instagram

Abner Kurtin
Founder and CEO, Ascend Wellness Holdings
Abner Kurtin, Founder and CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings, has been managing capital for two decades. The Harvard Business School graduate initially began his career at The Baupost Group, was a member of the Presidents Council of Massachusetts General Hospital and Chairman of the Hill House. He is also the founder of the K Capital Partners (a multibillion dollar hedge fund) and Ca2 Group (a Massachusetts-based real estate firm), before he founded Ascend Wellness Holdings in 2018.

Courtesy of Aurora Cannabis

Miguel Martin
CEO, Aurora Cannabis Inc.
Miguel Martin has been an integral part of Aurora Cannabis Inc. since September 2020 when he was appointed the role of CEO. With over 25 years of background in consumer-packaged goods paired with firsthand cannabis industry expertise, Martin is leading Aurora to succeed in the Canadian and European cannabis industries. His former roles include President and CEO of Reliva, CBD Wellness, and President of Logic Technology Development Inc, one of the largest e-cigarette manufacturers in the US.

Courtesy of Auxly Cannabis Group

Hugo Alves
Co-founder and CEO, Auxly Cannabis Group Inc.
Tasked with directing Auxly Cannabis Group Inc.’s strategic vision, co-founder and CEO Hugo Alves is a longtime cannabis industry pioneer who has had many interactions with various Canada-based companies, brands, patient access groups, and events and played an important part in Canada’s recreational cannabis industry. Alves also co-founded Hope for Health, a registered medical cannabis charity, which focuses on medical cannabis access and education, and is an adjunct professor who teaches Marijuana Law and Practice at the University of Western Ontario Law School—the first ever course of its kind offered at Canadian law schools.

Courtesy of Jonathan Sandelman, Twitter

Jonathan Sandelman
Chairman and CEO, Ayr Wellness
Jonathan Sandelman is a 30-year veteran of Wall Street and former President of Bank of America Securities, but his experience in the cannabis industry launched when he founded Ayr Wellness—a vertically integrated cannabis company operating in multiple states—with brands such as Kynd, Origyn, Stix Preroll Co. and Levia. Sandelman shares on his LinkedIn profile that he personally values investing in his “employees, customers and communities,” and strongly supports the company’s approach to capital and expansion.

Courtesy of Curaleaf

Bernard Noble
Co-founder, B Noble
Bernard Noble was sentenced to 13 years hard labor in 2010 for being in possession of two joints. After having served seven years of that sentence, he was released in 2018, and the experience inspired him to create his for-profit cannabis brand, B Noble, with Fab 5 Freddy. B Noble has become an important representative and advocate in ending the War on Drugs after personally being convicted for small amounts of cannabis. Most recently, the B Noble brand partnered with Curaleaf, where 10 percent of the proceeds from every two-joint pack go toward helping those who have suffered as a result of the War on Drugs.

Courtesy of CAN-DO Foundation website

Amy Ralston Povah
Founder, CAN-DO Foundation
Clemency advocate Amy Ralston Povah was imprisoned for nine years, out of a total of 24-year sentence, for “conspiracy” in a trafficking case related to MDMA. After being commuted by former President Bill Clinton in July 2000 (and a full pardon later by former President Donald Trump in January 2021), Povah founded the CAN-DO Foundation, which strives for clemency for anyone who is convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. A majority of her life has been dedicated to fighting for criminal justice reform and against the War on Drugs.

Courtesy of Canaccord Genuity Group Inc.

Dan Daviau
Canaccord
Dan Daviau is President and CEO. Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. Mr. Daviau served as President of Canaccord Genuity’s North American Capital Markets business from February 2015. From 2012 to 2015, he was President of the firm’s US Capital Markets business, where he helped to structure the firm’s investment banking, research, sales and trading operations in the region and improve cross-border capabilities. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Daviau was Head of Investment Banking for Canaccord Genuity.

Courtesy of Cannabiotix

Neema Samari
Owner and Co-founder, Cannabiotix
Born and raised in Santa Monica, Neema Samari first got into the cannabis industry as a youngster over 22 years ago.  Samari co-founded Cannabiotix back in 2014, and quickly garnered the brand national attention as one of the elite connoisseur cannabis brands in the space, after building and running the brand’s first legal, vertically integrated facility in Las Vegas.  After Samari and his team grew CBX into the #1 brand in NV, he returned to CA to blueprint and build the company’s second vertically integrated headquarters.  Since re-launching into the CA market in 2020, Samari and his team have quickly grown Cannabiotix into the #1 selling premium flower brand in the state.  This year Samari decided to try his hand in a different sector of the space as he recently launched his new brand Highatus, an edibles company that produces some of the best tasting infused sour gummies on the planet.

Courtesy of CSE

Barrington Miller
Director, Canadian Securities Exchange
Director of Listed Company Services at the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) Barrington Miller works to help retain listed companies who work with the CSE through promotion and marketing. He also helps the company with business development, education and outreach regarding the programs. Before joining the CSE, he worked as a professional trader through Dundee Securities and Raymond James, as well as trade work with Weyerhauser and ED&F Man. He is a leader when it comes to cannabis trading and someone with a unique understanding of the industry.

Courtesy of Jon Lohne

Dennis Hunter
Co-founder, CannaCraft
CannaCraft Co-founder Dennis Hunter grew up in Mendocino County, California, and tuaght himself to cultivate cannabis from an early age. With his roots and experience stretched deep in the famed Emerald Triangle, he was destined for it to become a lifelong career. Early on he developed large-scale grow operations in California, which were raided in 1998 and forced Hunter to spend six-and-a-half years in prison. However, this event only fueled his passion for the industry, as he proceeded to found Left Coast Garden Wholesale, a company that specializes in cannabis-related equipment. This led Hunter to meet Ned Fussell, a one of Left Coast Garden Wholesale’s biggest customers, with whom he partnered with to found CannaCraft.

Courtesy of Canopy Growth

David Klein
CEO, Canopy Growth Corporation
As CEO of one of the world’s biggest cannabis companies, David Klein is one of the people behind Canopy Growth Corporation’s ongoing success as a leader in the cannabis industry. Klein formerly worked for Constellation Brands (known for managing a wide variety of beer, wine and spirits) for over 15 years where he held numerous roles, such as Executive Vice President and CFO. With his resume of experience, he transitioned to the cannabis industry as a member of the Board of Directors in 2018, followed by his current role as CEO in 2020.

Courtesy of Cansortium website

Robert Beasley
CEO, Cansortium
With over 10 years of experience in many facets of the cannabis industry, Robert Beasley is a dedicated leader who has been instrumental to the success of Cansortium. In the past, he co-founded a law firm, Litvak Beasley Wilson & Ball LLP, in 2001, which assisted cannabis businesses in obtaining licenses in California, Florida, Oregon and Washington D.C., followed by taking part in crafting the Florida Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act and Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. Now he is not only CEO of Cansortium, as of 2020, but in early 2021 he was also appointed to the Board of Directors.

Courtesy of St. Thomas Aquinas College Press Release

Jacques Tortoroli
CEO, Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc.
Jacques Tortoroli assumed the role as CEO of Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. in December 2021. His 40-year career includes launching ecommerce platforms, global finance, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnerships through various senior executive roles at Bacardi, Viacom Inc. Young & Rubicam Inc., PepsiCo Inc., and KPMG. Charlotte’s Web of course was named after Charlotte Figi, a child with epilepsy who went on to inspire a CBD movement before passing away at age 13.

Courtesy of Columbia Care

Nicholas Vita
CEO, Columbia Care LLC
One of the highest honors from the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp is the “Captain of Industry”—and Nicholas Vita received this award at the 2021 Marijuana Business Conference & Expo. Vita is CEO of Columbia Care LLC, one of the largest multi-state operators focused on medical cannabis in 18 jurisdictions, and his leadership has led Columbia to great heights in the industry, including leading corporate strategy and expansion into new markets among many other responsibilities.

Courtesy of Rachel Wolfson, Instagram

Rachel Wolfson
Comedienne
Rachel Wolfson, native of Las Vegas, Nevada, is a stand-up comedienne known for her intimate hyperfocus on cannabis, which typically is part of her highly-esteemed stand-up material.  Wolfson is the latest major cast member to be included in the fourth installment of the infamous Jackass franchise—Jackass Forever—which debuted in theaters in February 2022 and pushed her further into the public eye. She was the first Jewish person to score significant airtime on the show.  Wolfson resorted to weed for relief, which she says works wonders for ADHD. Wolfson has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dish Nation and Entertainment Tonight.

Courtesy of Felipe Recalde, LinkedIn
Courtesy of Christopher Lynch, LinkedIn

Felipe Recalde (CEO) and Christopher Lynch (Chief Executive Wizard)
Compound Genetics
Felipe Recalde is CEO of Compound Genetics, while Christopher Lynch serves as Chief Executive Wizard and Founder. Compound Genetics is a seed breeder. Through rigorous phenohunting, collecting and collaboration—Compound Genetics combines rare and sought-after flavors to create the best cannabis on the market.

Courtesy of Caleb Counts, LinkedIn

Caleb Counts
Founder, Connected Cannabis Co.
Caleb Counts, founder of Connected Cannabis Co., has spent over 10 years building the brand with his passion and dedication to creating the highest quality strains imaginable. The journey began in 2009 when the first Connected Cannabis Co. medical dispensary opened in Sacramento. Since then, the brand has been phenohunting and cultivating numerous highly sought after strains, which are available in many dispensaries across the country. Under Counts’ leadership, the brand has grown exponentially in Arizona and is continuing to build in California.

Courtesy of Farid, Cookies

Gilbert Milam Jr., aka Berner
CEO and Co-founder, Cookies
The word “cookies” is no longer just associated with a baked good, but represents the massively popular Cookies cannabis brand, founded and led by CEO and Co-founder Berner. With amazing positivity as he endures chemotherapy as a result of a recent cancer diagnosis, Berner’s Cookies empire continues to thrive and expand under his leadership, which now offers a wide variety of brands, products, unique strains, clothing and more. The Cookies brand is also well-known for its collaboration efforts, such as Cookies x Snoop Dogg, and its dedication to its Social Impact Program.

Courtesy of Cresco Labs website

Charles Bachtell
Founder and CEO, Cresco Labs
Founder and CEO of Cresco Labs Charles Bachtell has a myriad of unique corporate and legal compliance experience that has led to the company’s ongoing success, including eight years working at the nation’s seventh largest mortgage bank prior to his involvement in the cannabis industry. Aside from his role at Cresco Labs, Bachtell is also one of the founding members of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association, as well as various cannabis-related trade associations in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and is an adjunct professor for the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

Courtesy of Cronos Group

Kurt Schmidt
CEO, Cronos Group
Kurt Schmidt entered the cannabis industry as President and CEO of Cronos Group in 2020 and was chosen to usher in the “next phase of growth” for the company. Schmidt’s resume showcases an extensive background with consumer products, with leadership roles both in the US and internationally, including the Campbell Soup Company, The Blue Buffalo Company, Nestle and other roles in the food and beverage industry.

Courtesy of Joe Bayern, Twitter

Joe Bayern
CEO, Curaleaf Holdings
With over 20 years of experience in consumer goods, Joe Bayern has a successful track record of business transformation. He was appointed as Curaleaf Holdings’ CEO in November 2020, following previous roles as President of INDUS, a vertically integrated cannabis company, as well as CEO and COO of VOSS of Norway. Among his many accomplishments, he lists his role in the creation of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and the evolution of Cadbury as a leader in the confection industry.

Courtesy of The Cure Company

Patrick Stad
CEO, The Cure Company, The Originals, Jungle Boys
CEO Patrick Stad is behind some of the most legendary cannabis companies in Southern California, dating back to The Cure Company’s Proposition 215-era founding in 2006. Today The Cure Company is behind some of the most beloved strains in the region. Instead of wasting time on sleek packaging and branding alone, The Cure Company is instead focused on great top quality flower. The Originals family-run grow operation and Jungle Boys award-winning phenos are highly respected within the growing community and the cannabis sphere.

Courtesy of Decriminalize Nature

Julie Barron
Decriminalize Nature
As a psychedelic/cannabis therapist, Julie also now works outside of the therapy office to promote healing on a larger scale, healing in community and healing through our own personal relationship with nature. Barron is an activist and pioneer of the Michigan psychedelic community. Barron led Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor’s win to successfully decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi in September 2020. Barron then helped to create Decriminalize Nature Michigan who is currently collecting signatures for a November 2022 statewide vote to decriminalize plants/fungi and reduce penalties for all drugs. She also sits on the national board of Decriminalize Nature.

Courtesy of Delic Corp

Matt Stang
Co-founder and CEO, Delic Corp
Matt Stang is Co-founder and CEO of Delic, which he founded with his wife, Jackee. Delic is a leader in new medicines and treatments for a modern world, improving access to health benefits across the country, and reframing the conversation on psychedelics. Stang arrives in his latest role after 17 years serving in the cannabis media industry before shifting gears, moving into private equity funds.

Courtesy of Morning Coffee Photography

Scheril Murray Powell
Attorney / Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair and Dishowitz LLP
Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. dedicates this award to the “BRAVE ONES”…The ones who risked it all to use cannabis because they did not like how narcotics made them feel…the ones who contributed to biodiversity by transporting genetics around the world…the ones who baked herb brownies for HIV/AIDS/Cancer patients…the ones who risked incarceration and personal freedoms to develop a market, law enforcement who turned a blind eye because they know what addiction really looks like, and the physicians that were the first to recommend cannabis for their patients. She is a Cannabis, Agricultural, Dietary Supplement and Trade Attorney and the Cannabis, Food/Beverage/Entertainment, Transportation and Healthcare Business Development Manager at Creative Services, Inc.

Courtesy of Hilary Swift NYT

Kassandra Frederique
Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance
Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance Kassandra Frederique is always busy. Drug Policy Alliance is a national nonprofit that works to end the War on Drugs, which has disproportionately harmed Black, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant and LGBTQ communities, and build alternative solutions instead grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights. Frederique was the architect of the campaign that cut the number of New York City cannabis arrests by more than 99% since 2010—an astounding feat for the largest city in the US.

Courtesy of Dutchie

Ross Lipson
Co-Founder / CEO, Dutchie
With the help of the remote needs of the pandemic, the U.S. cannabis boom and need for accessible cannabis services, Ross Lipson, co-founder and CEO of Bend, Oregon cannabis delivery service Dutchie, is helping to usher in a new era for our favorite plant. He’s versed in the delivery biz, with 15 years of experience working within food ordering systems, eventually taking that expertise and applying it to the cannabis space. The Dutchie platform works with dispensaries to manage their ordering systems and will soon celebrate its fifth birthday.

Courtesy of Javier Hasse

Javier Hasse
Founder, El Planteo
We have to give a shout to our fellow cannabis journalists, especially one with a portfolio so massive. Along with his best-selling book, Start Your Own Cannabis Business, his managing director role at Benzinga Cannabis and more than 4,900 articles published on outlets including Forbes, CNN, CNBC, Entrepreneur Magazine, Leafly, Yahoo! News, Nasdaq and many more, this media hound founded El Planteo in 2020, a Spanish-language outlet focused on cannabis, hemp, psychedelics and other topics scarcely covered by local media.

Courtesy of John Fetterman Campaign

John Fetterman
Current Lt. Gov. Pennsylvania
Acting as Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania between 2005-2019, and sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in January 2019, 2022 is going to be John Fetterman’s last year in office—but it’s certainly not the end of his extensive career. Fetterman shared in November 2021 that in his role as a chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, he wants to see as many people pardoned for cannabis convictions in 2022 before his run ends. Fetterman also announced his run for Senator of Pennsylvania, the primary of which is approaching on May 17, 2022.

Courtesy of Fire & Flower

Trevor Fencott
CEO, Fire & Flower
Trevor Fencott is President/CEO at Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. Mr. Fencott has been an executive in the cannabis industry since 2013 as a co-founder of Mettrum Health Corp. where he also served as its chief legal officer, corporate secretary and director through its go public transaction in September 2014 and its subsequent acquisition by Canopy Growth Corporation in January 2017. Additionally, he is a director of Push Capital Limited, an early-stage venture capital company focusing on the high-growth cannabis and digital technology industries.

Courtesy of Fyllo

Chad Bronstein
Founder and CEO, Fyllo
Founder and CEO of Fyllo, Chad Bronstein is passionate about leading by example in the world of business and focusing on the technological aspects behind cannabis. Fyllo is a technology company that deals with data, media and regulatory solutions for the cannabis industry. Bronstein has helped lead Fyllo to become an innovator and major player when it comes to compliance and regulation in the legal cannabis industry. He’s also considered a go-to source of social commentary on regulations in the industry.

Courtesy of Fabian Monaco, Twitter

Fabian Monaco
CEO, Gage Growth
While Fabian Monaco has a vast investment banking and legal background, he’s found his home in the cannabis space as CEO of Gage Growth, centering the mission of providing premium cannabis to market, positively shaping cannabis culture and nurturing the community. Currently, Gage is working to build itself as the most dominant brand in Michigan, though the goal is eventually to expand into other states. Along with prioritizing top-shelf retail and premium cannabis products, Gage also looks to give back through volunteer engagements and their social equity program.

Courtesy of Glass House Brands

Graham Farrar
CEO, Glass House Brands Inc.
Graham Farrar owns and operates Glass House Farms, located in the Santa Barbara County coastal city of Carpinteria, which comprises two greenhouse operation sites totaling 10 acres of cannabis. Farrar launched Glass House Farms in 2015 when Proposition 215 was still in effect. Farrar grew up in Santa Barbara County and studied molecular biology and biochemistry in college. After college, he got into the tech side of cannabis cultivation through marketing and selling a variety of products to support the industry, including fertilizers and growing systems.

Courtesy of Mike Robinson

Mike Robinson
Founder, Global Cannabinoid Research Center
As a multiple cancer survivor who has used cannabis oils and CBD extensively for those and other symptoms, Mike Robinson knows firsthand the healing benefits of cannabinoids. As the founder of the Global Cannabinoid Research Center in Santa Barbara, California, he’s shared his journey and analytics on cannabis medicine research globally, helping to assist patients and teach clinicians globally. Additionally, he’s founded multiple nonprofits for children with disabilities and boasts an extensive history of leading programs to provide disadvantaged cannabis patients with medicinal alternatives.

Adam Schoenfeld, Courtesy of InsiderTrades.com
Nick Kovacevich, Courtesy of InsiderTrades.com

Adam Schoenfeld and Nick Kovacevich
Co-Founders, Greenlane Holdings
Greenlane is a leading global platform for the development and distribution of premium cannabis accessories and lifestyle products, serving global markets and more than 11,000 retail locations—including dispensaries, smoke shops and specialty retailers. It’s led by Co-Founders Adam Schoenfeld and Nick Kovacevich. As CEO, Kovacevich ensures the company executes its mission and is integral to the company’s most crucial decision making. Chief Strategy Officer Schoenfeld was an early adopter and pioneer of vaporization, playing an integral role in the adoption and success of numerous successful brands in the vape space.

Courtesy of Green Thumb Industries

Ben Kovler
Founder, Green Thumb Industries
With extensive experience managing complex-operating companies and his deep commitment to philanthropy, Ben Kovler moved forward in 2014 as the founder, CEO and chairman of Green Thumb Industries, a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer manufacturing and distributing a wide portfolio of branded cannabis products. Kovler is also the co-found of Invest For Kids, an annual forum meant to share investment ideas to benefit children in Illinois.

Courtesy of mascience.com

Darren Lampert
CEO and Co-Founder, GrowGeneration
Darren Lampert has been CEO of GrowGeneration since 2014. Lampert began his career in 1986 as a founding member of Lampert and Lampert, where he concentrated on securities litigation, NASD (now FINRA) compliance and arbitration and corporate finance matters. GrowGeneration Corp., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates retail hydroponic and organic gardening stores. It engages in the marketing and distribution of horticultural, organics, and lighting and hydroponics products, including lighting fixtures, nutrients, seeds and growing media.

Courtesy of Hall of Flowers

Dani Diamond
Founder, Hall of Flowers
Dani Diamond is founder of Hall of Flowers—an industry-only, highly curated, B2B tradeshow, specifically inspired and designed to facilitate the trade of premium cannabis products. With over 30+ years experience producing the most influential fashion & music tradeshows, the founder of Hall of Flowers understand the importance of providing a professional platform for buyers & sellers to conduct business.

Courtesy of Headset

Cy Scott
CEO/Co-Founder, Headset
Cy Scott, a self-described “entrepreneur at heart,” traversed his career working in startups and large organizations, though he’s no stranger to the cannabis space. Prior to Headset, he helped accelerate the adoption of legal cannabis as the co-founder of Leafly, now serving six million monthly visits. His current venture, Headset, is an analytics company for the cannabis industry, made to help operators make informed business decisions based on data, helping their customers to navigate the rapidly changing and emerging industry.

Courtesy of Leo Bridgewater

Leo Bridgewater
National Director, Heart Community Capital/Minorities for Medical Marijuana
After enlisting in the United States Army following the events of September 11, 2001, Leo Bridgewater has been a longstanding cannabis advocate in his home state of New Jersey for many years. He was a co-founder of the NJ Cannabis Commission between 2016-2018, and proceeds to act as the National Director of Veterans Outreach for Minorities for Medical Marijuana and most recently became a partner at Heart Community Capital in March 2021 to collaborate with numerous “pro athletes, creatives and activists, and cannabis industry experts” and invest in minority owned-cannabis businesses.

Courtesy of HERBL

Michael Beaudry
Vice President of Business Development, HERBL Solutions
Michael “Mikey” Beaudry is the Vice President of Business Development at HERBL Solutions, California’s largest cannabis supply chain company. An integral part of the leadership and strategic team since the company got its start in 2018, he has had a key role in developing over 30 partnerships with many of the top brands across the California landscape. With both the assortment and infrastructure Beaudry has helped to build, HERBL has sold over a half-billion dollars of cannabis products in California, becoming one of the most robust and scaled distribution supply chains in the country. Passionate about building relationships and successfully helping businesses grow, Beaudry’s continued focus is to build on ensuring cost-effectiveness to meet beneficial long and short-term goals for both brands and HERBL. His extensive knowledge of the industry, the strategic partnerships he has built, and his ability to understand and adapt to the evolving landscape make Beaudry the strong leader he is in the industry.

Courtesy of HEXO press release

Adam Arviv
Investor, HEXO Corp
Adam Arviv invested in HEXO, through his fund KAOS Capital Ltd.. Adam Arviv is currently the Chief Executive Officer of KAOS Capital Ltd. and a Strategic Advisor for ORYX Gaming. Previously, Mr. Arviv served as the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a director of Bragg Gaming Group Inc., a publicly-traded company on the TSX, and President of Will-Power Management Inc. He was also the co-founder of Gaming Nation Inc., Green Growth Brands and the BRN Group. Mr. Arviv also serves as a Chairman on a number of boards, including, GhostRetail, the BRN Group, and Legacy Eight Gaming.

Courtesy of High Tide

Raj Grover
CEO, High Tide Inc.
Establishing himself early in his career as one of Canada’s most prominent business strategists and deal makers, Raj Grover moved forward in 2009 to found High Tide, which has grown from a small shop of two employees into one of Canada’s largest cannabis retailers. He’s also founded High Tide’s subsidiary companies, Valiant Distribution and Canna Cabana, and co-founder of subsidiary Famous Brandz. Though he’s committed to his business, Grover believes that those who enjoy success should give back, spearheading High Tide’s support of World Vision, which sponsors children in under-developed countries.

Courtesy of Highsman

Ricky Williams
Founder, Highsman
Best known as a professional football player and running back for a number of teams, featured on the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Toronto Argonauts and Baltimore Ravens, former player Ricky Williams has since shifted his focus to the cannabis space with the Highsman brand, which he defines as an “appreciate for greatness.”. He cites the scrutiny for using cannabis to “take care of his body,” hand-picking his favorite strains and breaking barriers in streetwear, sports and cannabis to further destigmatize cannabis in the sports space.

Courtesy of Hiller, PC

Jessica F. Gonzalez
Attorney, Hiller, PC
Jessica Gonzalez currently serves as a Cannabis attorney at Hiller, PC, as well as outside General Counsel for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. Gonzalez led the social impact committee for NJ CAN 2020, the coalition that ran one of the most successful cannabis legalization campaigns in the country and helped shape cannabis policy on the statutory, regulatory, and municipal levels in New Jersey. Gonzalez assists clients in navigating the legal cannabis industry in the areas of IP and state licensing applications. She has been designated as a Cannabis Law Trailblazer by the National Law Journal, named on NJBIZ’s 2021 Next Generation of Leaders list and recognized as one of the top 20 cannabis influencers in New Jersey three years in a row.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Seth Rogen
Founder, Houseplant
It’s no secret to most that funny guy and comedian Seth Rogen is a fan of weed, but the Pineapple Express star has since moved forward to embrace the plant in a larger capacity, co-founding cannabis brand Houseplant. The cannabis at Houseplant represents the strains that Seth and Co-Founder Evan Goldberg love, along with the “finest product that growers across the state of California have to offer.” The brand embraces THC-rich cannabis, prioritizing the top colas of the plant where the biggest buds are found, hand-picking, -trimming and -packaging each Houseplant offering.

Courtesy of Innovative Industrial Properties

Alan D. Gold
Executive Chairman, Innovative Industrial Properties
Since the formation of Innovative Industrial Properties, Alan D. Gold has served as a co-founder and as executive chairman of the company board, also serving as executive chairman of IQHQ Inc., a privately-held life science real estate company, with an impressive resume of leadership positions in the life science industry and beyond. Innovative Industrial is the pioneering real estate investment trust for the regulated cannabis industry, founded in December 2016 as the first publicly-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange to provide real estate capital to the regulated cannabis industry.

Courtesy of Raquel Peyraube

Raquel Peyraube
Doctor, International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines
Specializing in the problematic use of drugs, with abundant training in psychiatry, toxicology and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Raquel Peyraube has 28 years of experience in the field. Over the decades, Peyraube has made contributions in training, prevention, treatment and damage reduction, including innovation of theoretical and methodological developments with a focus on ethical issues. She’s currently working on the development of clinical trials, medical education of medicinal cannabis and dissemination of information and advice for reform of drugs policies in a number of countries.

Courtesy of Jazz Pharmaceuticals website

Bruce C. Cozadd
Chairman, CEO, Jazz Pharma
Helping to innovate and transform the lives of patients as the CEO and chairman of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company, Bruce C. Cozadd is pushing the company forward to set a new standard of care to those living with complex conditions who deserve new and improved therapeutic opportunities.. He’s been with the company since 2003, moving into his current position back in 2009, which is developing a cannabinoid platform to help further navigate the healthcare space. Outside of Jazz Pharma, Cozadd is passionate about education and the arts, especially music.

Courtesy of Jushi Holdings

Jim Cacioppo
CEO/Chairman/Founder, Jushi Holdings
With a resume spanning more than two decades, managing the business and allocating capital in senior management positions at several large hedge funds, Jim Cacioppo brings his start-up, operating, financial and investment know-how to his role as the CEO, chairman and founder of Jushi Holdings. Jushi is a national, multi-state cannabis company focused on developing and operating high-end retail locations, premium brands and state-of-the-art cultivation, processing and manufacturing facilities. Under Cacioppo’s leadership, Jushi looks to set a new standard for a sophisticated and modern cannabis experience.

Michael King, Courtesy of Kings Garden
Charlie Kieley, Courtesy of Kings Garden

Michael King and Charlie Kieley
Co-Founders, Kings Garden Inc.
Kings Garden started in 2015 in the Coachella Valley region of California, since growing into a profitable cultivation company birthed through funding from friends and family. With Michael King’s financial savvy and background on Wall Street, along with Charlie Kieley’s experience working directly in the cannabis industry, opening and operating our retail and retail cultivation facilities, the two joined forces. Kings Garden is continuously building and prioritizing the production of high-quality, indoor flower; giving back to local communities and prioritizing the advancement of the cannabis space as a whole. Kings Garden is currently operating 3,400 indoor lights via 250,000 square feet and is in the process of building out an additional 8,500 lights via 415,000 square feet, thus bringing the total operational footprint to 12,000 lights via 665,000 square feet by 2024.

Courtesy of Last Prisoner Project

Mary Bailey
Managing Director, Last Prisoner Project
The Last Prisoner Project was founded in 2019, centering the belief that no one should remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses. Managing Director Mary Bailey similarly believes that everybody fortunate enough to benefit from cannabis legalization should feel a moral obligation to assist those still suffering due to prohibition, dedicated to helping right the wrongs of cannabis criminalization. Prior to launching Last Prisoner Project, she was the CEO and founder of a Maui, Hawaii-based production company that specialized in events that inspire positive social change.

Courtesy of LoadedCo. website

Daniel Chu
CEO, LoadedCo.
Founded in 2017, with quality craftsmanship in mind, LoadedCo. Takes pride in its reputation for collaborating with some of the best brands in the industry, and for creating unique high-end products. LoadedCo. Are the makers of handcrafted pre-rolls and a variety of collaborations frequently involving infused flower and other ingredients.

Courtesy of MAPS

Rick Doblin
Founder, MAPS
Richard Elliot Doblin is an American drug activist and executive who is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which he launched in 1986. MAPS is on the forefront of psychedelic research and development. Since 1986, MAPS has distributed over $20 million to fund psychedelics and medical cannabis research and education. Doblin received his masters and PhD in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His 2019 TED Talk explored the vast potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Courtesy of JW Headshots

Rosie Mattio
Founder, Mattio Communications
Rosie Mattio is CEO and Founder of Mattio Communications, which was ranked as the number one cannabis PR firm by Green Market Report. The company can be found practically everywhere in the cannabis space. Mattio was able to land the first-ever cannabis article in Oprah magazine. Based in New York, Mattio Communications represents 50 marquee cannabis clients, including Headset, Green Thumb Industries, Papa & Barkley, LeafLink, Greenlane and Curaleaf. Long ago, Mattio learned to hustle, growing up in the Bronx, and it’s certainly evident in her firm’s success.

Courtesy of Metrc website

Lewis Koski
COO, Metrc
Lewis Koski is the Chief Operating Officer for Metrc. Before joining METRC in 2019, Lewis ran his own consulting firm, helping agencies develop smart cannabis regulatory policies. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Senior Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Enforcement Business Group, directing state policy surrounding regulated markets and its enforcement. Lewis also served as the Director of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). At MED, he helped build the first state agency in the US to develop and implement medical and adult-use cannabis policy.

Courtesy of Syracuse.com

Christopher Alexander
Executive Director, New York Department of Cannabis Management
Christopher Alexander works with the New York Department of Cannabis Management to help move policy forward. A New York resident from birth, his passion is for policy and politics, as well as enacting change through the democratic process. He formerly served as a legislative aide, advocate and attorney, and was appointed by Governor Kathy Hochul to lead New York’s Office of Cannabis Management. The agency oversees all things policy for the newly budding New York cannabis industry, as well as all procedural aspects of legal marijuana.

Courtesy of Old Pal

Rusty Wilenkin
CEO and Co-Founder, Old Pal
Can flower be both affordable and beautifully crafted? For Old Pal’s Co-Founder and CEO Rusty Wilenkin the answer was a resounding “yes.” After spending 4+ years in the cannabis space, Rusty started Old Pal in 2018, creating one of the industry’s most recognizable brands— and also one of the most successful. Currently a top California brand, Old Pal has expanded into seven additional states, and in 2021 they were the #3 brand based on units sold in their five active states (according to BDSA).

Courtesy of Pacific Stone

Skip Motsenbocker
CEO, Pacific Stone
As CEO of Pacific Stone, a state-licensed California-based cannabis brand, Skip Motsenbocker has more than 25 years of professional experience in asset management, private equity and corporate finance and management. Pacific Stone provides both large scale greenhouse cultivation facilities and over one million square feet of flower. Pacific Stone Brand is offered in over 600 stores and includes packaged flower, pre-rolls and cartridges. Motsenbocker oversees the brand’s product launches and expansion, among other strategic initiatives.

Courtesy of Troy Datcher, Facebook

Troy Datcher
CEO, The Parent Company
With a background in the consumer goods market and experience with consumer products, sales negotiation, strategic planning, and trade marketing, Troy Datcher brings myriad business skills to his role as CEO of The Parent Company. He has a background in Political Science thanks to a Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, and Datcher actually worked with Clorox Co. before he joined forces with The Parent Company. Today, he is responsible for their worldwide success and leadership in the cannabis market. He is also the first Black CEO of a major, publicly traded marijuana company.

Courtesy of PRmediaNow

Robert Groesbeck
Co-CEO, Planet 13 Holdings
As Co-CEO of Planet 13 Holdings, Robert Groesbeck is a long-time entrepreneur, starting and assisting in the creation of a number of businesses, including work in the cannabis industry. Mr. Groesbeck was designated as one of the top 40 Southern Nevada Business Executives under the age of 40, on the basis of his professional achievement and community service by the Las Vegas Business Press. Planet 13 has opened some of the largest dispensaries in the world, with impressive locations in Las Vegas and in Orange County, California.

Courtesy of Puffco

Roger Volodarsky
CEO, Puffco
Roger Volodarsky is founder and CEO of Puffco, and has been working to perfect the company’s handheld vaporizer device over the course of the last decade. Volodarsky is described as a serial entrepreneur, a tech fan and cannabis connoisseur, who is highly successful at a relatively young age. Volodarsky helped introduce the Puffco Peak Pro—now a standard in vaping technology. Developing vaporizers for cannabis concentrates and “turning consumers into connoisseurs” is one of his long-term dreams. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and New Jersey.

Courtesy of High Times

Josh Kesselman
Founder, RAW Papers
He’s quite the personality, which is great for marketing and branding in the world of cannabis-adjacent industries. RAW papers are a go-to standard for rolling paper needs, and they’ve been around forever. RAW Founder Josh Kesselman is on a mission, “Uplifting the world one beautiful natural sheet at a time.” Kesselman launched RAW clear back in 1995, and the company’s success has been linked to his continued presence in the public. Kesselman was arrested for selling a bong to a federal informant, and continues to fight for the right to sell cannabis accessories.

Courtesy of Realm of Caring

Heather Jackson
Co-founder, Realm of Caring
As co-founder of the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Realm of Caring (RoC), Heather Jackson is also president of the board. RoC is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization who serves anyone in need of more information about cannabinoid therapies. Through revolutionary research, innovative education, and life-changing grants, RoC seeks to facilitate and encourage the mainstream acceptance of transformative, plant powered therapies to benefit individuals and families and serve healthcare providers as well as the hemp and cannabis industries.

Courtesy of RAMP website

Ann Lee
Co-founder, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition
Ann Lee and her husband Bob founded Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) based on the belief that the prohibition of marijuana is “diametrically opposed to the Republican principles of limited government,” and personal freedom. Lee has been a leader and activist in the Republican Party since 1970. That year, she became precinct chair in the Harris County Republican Party serving from 1970 to 1992. Her first campaign activity came in 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater. In 1983, Lee co-founded the group Women for Reagan.

Courtesy of Red White & Bloom

Brad Rogers
CEO, Red White & Bloom
Brad Rogers is CEO and Executive Chair of Red White & Bloom. He has an extensive track record of building tremendously successful and profitable businesses in the cannabis sector and beyond. He also grew two of Canada’s largest licensed cannabis producers to a combined market cap of $2 billion. Red White & Bloom’s growing portfolio boasts strong brands and proprietary product development capabilities—focusing on a “house of brands” strategy in both cannabis and hemp-derived product lines.

Courtesy of Ridgeline Farms

Jason Gellman
Owner, Ridgeline Farms
Growers up north all know the trusted name of Ridgeline Farms. Ridgeline Farms owner Jason Gellman was honored for the 2018 Business of The Year Award at the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce—the first time for the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce, and for Jason Gellman, to have the award go to a local craft cannabis farmer. Humboldt County-based Ridgeline Farms focuses on quality over quantity, family values and environmental stewardship in the company’s owner-operated cannabis farm. Gellman and Ridgeline Farms have won multiple awards including Emerald Cup wins.

Courtesy of Matthew Zingler, LinkedIn

Matt Zingler
Co-founder and Co-CEO, Rolling Loud
Some careers are more exciting and rewarding than others. Co-founder and Co-CEO of the Rolling Loud Festival Matt Zingler works with his business partner Tariq Cherif. The two of them also founded Dope Entertainment, Florida’s premier Hip-Hop touring company. The Miami-based festival Rolling Loud has turned into one the hottest lifestyle events. In past years, the company’s massive lineup has featured superstars such as Travis Scott, Post Malone and A$AP Rocky. Part of his resume includes adapting to the massive setbacks from COVID.

Courtesy of Sapphire Risk website

Tony Gallo
Managing Partner, Sapphire Risk Advisory Group
Considered in the industry as the “O.G. of Cannabis Security,” Gallo is the Managing Partner at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, voted one of the Top Cannabis Ancillary Firms. Since 2013, Sapphire Risk has been focused on developing cannabis security strategies for businesses and has worked with over 500 clients in 35 States. Tony has spoken at over 100 conferences nationwide on cannabis security from application to operation. Tony received his degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey, and is a published author.

Courtesy of theglobeandmail.com

Andy DeFrancesco
SOL Global
Andy DeFrancesco is well-known for being a dealmaker on wall street and in cannabis, not only as a co-founder of Aphria but through his investment company SOL Global Investments. DeFrancesco pulled off some of the biggest success stories in the cannabis industry. Deals include Liberty Health Sciences, which was sold to AYR for $290 million, and another Florida-based operator Bluma Wellness which was acquired by Cresco Labs for $230 million. He co-founded both of those companies. DeFrancesco plays a major role in Simply Better Brands, which owns PureKana.

Courtesy of Scotts Miracle-Gro

Jim Hagedorn
CEO, Scotts Miracle-Gro
Jim Hagedorn is Chairman/CEO at Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., a household name in nutrients. Hagedorn’s father Horace launched the original Miracle-Gro in 1951, and later, he grew up watching the Miracle-Gro brand earn the trust of gardeners all across America, and he’s committed to maintaining that legacy with gardeners today. A former fighter pilot known for “boldness and ingenuity,” Hagedorn helped orchestrate Miracle-Gro’s merger with Scotts in 1995, creating the leading consumer lawn and garden business in the world. He became CEO of the combined company in 2001.

Courtesy of Dr. Sue Sisley

Dr. Sue Sisley
Scottsdale Research Institute
Dr. Sue Sisley’s unparalleled research into medical cannabis broke through boundaries. As President of Scottsdale Research Institute and best known serving as Principal Investigator for the only FDA-approved randomized controlled trial in the world examining safety/efficacy of smoked marijuana flower in combat veterans with severe post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Her studies were approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and she runs a thriving private practice in Phoenix as well. Sisley’s research has been supported by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based nonprofit psychedelic organization.

Courtesy of bizjournals.com

Michael Serruya
Serruya Brands
Michael Serruya began his fruitful career at age 20 as one of the co-founders of Yogen Früz®. Michael was also the CEO of Coolbrands®—then home to CPG brands including Weight Watchers®, Eskimo Pie®, Tropicana® and Godiva® Ice Cream. Serruya joined MedMen’s board in August 2021 as part of a $100 million investment in the Company by Serruya Private Equity to expand its operations in key markets and identify and accelerate further growth opportunities across the United States. Michael has also participated on the Boards of Directors of a number of both publicly and privately traded companies.

Courtesy of Sundial

Zachary George
CEO, Sundial
Zachary George is CEO at Sundial Growers Inc. He is an entrepreneurial and seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in alternative investments and evaluating opportunities across the capital structure of North American companies with a focus on real assets. George previously worked in senior management and board capacities focused on large-scale restructurings and operational turnarounds, influencing corporate action and governance policies in order to maximize shareholder value. He also founded FrontFour Capital Group LLC and he has been the head of five different companies.

Courtesy of Jason Wild, Twitter

Jason Wild
Chairman, TerrAscend
Jason Wild is the President and Chief Investment Officer of JW Asset Management, LLC, and the advisor for five investment partnerships with over $2 billion in assets under management. Mr. Wild received his license as a pharmacist in 1997, and subsequently founded JW Asset Management, LLC in 1998. The firm has a strong history of finding opportunities within the healthcare sector. He is a graduate of the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy. Mr. Wild is the Chairman of the Board of TerrAscend Corp. and Arbor Pharmaceuticals. He is a board member of Vensun Pharmaceuticals and Vitruvias Therapeutics.

Courtesy of Tilray Brands

Irwin Simon
CEO, Tilray Brands
With more than 30 years of experience building industry-leading, consumer-packaged goods companies—ranging from foods, dietary supplements, personal care and cannabis—Irwin Simon now leads Tilray Brands, a global leader in cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution, as CEO. Tilray is the first GMP-certified medical cannabis producer to supply cannabis flower and extract products to patients, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals, governments and researchers on five continents. Irwin is also the executive chairman of Whole Earth Brands, Inc., a leading platform in packaged goods and ingredients, and lead director at Stagwell Inc., a digital-first global marketing network.

Courtesy of archive.kpcc.org

Chrystal Ortiz
Advocate, True Humboldt
Sharing the core community values surrounding sustainability, community service and mindful cultivation that her “Back to Lander” parents held close in the Emerald Triangle region, Chrystal Ortiz since returned to the hills of Humboldt County in the late ’90s, raised their two children off the grid and embraced her current role at True Humboldt. The group is composed of Humboldt cannabis farmers who have joined together to support one another through the ever-changing-and-evolving cannabis industry, with the aim of preserving the unique heritage of the area.

Courtesy of Trulieve website

Kim Rivers
CEO, Trulieve
Kim Rivers joined Trulieve, an industry-leading, vertically-integrated cannabis company and multistate operator in 11 states, at its inception and has been a key player in the company’s customer-centric vision, growth and expansion. Rivers oversees every part of the cannabis process, from the seed-to-sale. She previously worked in a private practice as a lawyer, specializing in mergers, acquisitions and securities for multi-million-dollar companies. When she’s not busy at Trulieve, Rivers also plays an active role in her community and serves on numerous charitable boards.

Courtesy of Delane Rouse/DC Corporate Headshots.

Brittani Cushman
Senior VP and General Counsel, Turning Point Brands
Brittani Cushman is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Turning Point Brands, Inc. As a female leader in the industry, Cushman works on public policy, legal and governmental affairs in the heavily regulated tobacco products industry. She specializes in tackling complex policy matters and legislation in the areas of federal and state regulation, marketing and taxation. She also helps to execute strategies as part of the senior executive management team.

Courtesy of Valens

Tyler Robson
CEO and Chair of the Board, The Valens Company
With over a decade of experience in cannabis science, research, and development, especially focusing on propriety extraction processing and medical application, Tyler Robinson came to his role as chief executive officer and chair of the board with The Valens Company with plenty of established science experience. He graduated from University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences and a biology focus. He has been with The Valens Company since 2012, moving from COO to CEO and growing alongside the company.

Courtesy of Vangst

Karson Humiston
Founder and CEO, Vangst
Karson Humiston is the Founder & CEO of Vangst, the cannabis industry’s recruiting platform. Since launching in 2016, Vangst has connected thousands of people with jobs at leading cannabis businesses around the world. Karson was featured on the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 list and Vangst was featured in Entrepreneur’s 100 Brilliant Companies of 2018. Prior to founding Vangst, Karson founded On Track Adventures, a student travel organization based out of St. Lawrence University.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Gary Vaynerchuk
CEO, VaynerMedia and Co-owner of Green Street
Gary Vaynerchuk, aka “Gary Vee” is the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, and the active CEO of VaynerMedia. The Belarusian-American is a renowned entrepreneur, author and personality. He’s also the co-owner of Green Street, a full service creative agency that built a seven-story cannabis incubator in the heart of Los Angeles. Most people are drawn to Gary Vee’s no-nonsense attitude, as he effortlessly motivates his audiences.

George Archos, Courtesy of Verano
Sammy Dorf, Courtesy of Verano

George Archos (CEO) and Sam Dorf (Chief Growth Officer)
Verano Holdings
George Archos is CEO and founder of Verano Holdings. He has experience coordinating complex freight delivery and operating successful restaurants. He first joined the cannabis industry in 2014, and since then has risen in the ranks at various companies to take on a leadership role in this one. Sam Dorf, chief growth officer of Verano Holdings, has a background as a criminal defense attorney, and became a cannabis entrepreneur in 2013. He is known as a revered merit-based cannabis license application strategist and is responsible for supporting the growth of the team.

Courtesy of Anthony Camera Photography

Brian Vicente
Lawyer, Vicente Sederberg LLP, Lawyer
A passionate supporter of cannabis reform, Brian Vicente, lawyer, founding partner, and one of the major players behind Vicente Sederberg LLP, has over a decade of experience helping to shape cannabis law, the area he specializes in. One of his major claims to fame was helping to draft Colorado’s historic Amendment 64 and co-directing the campaign in support of it. Vicente has worked with cannabis entrepreneurs, investors and businesses all across the US. His focus is on helping folks start and grow compliant and profitable businesses in the cannabis sector.

Courtesy of Viola

Al Harrington
Founder, Viola
Most well-known for his storied career in basketball, Al Harrington was pro for 16 seasons, but that’s not where his legacy ends. He is also a major player in the world of cannabis now. He founded Viola Brands in 2011, a cannabis company that now spans multiple states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Michigan, as well as a recent expansion to Oklahoma to work with their medical market. With the success of Viola, Harrington has shown that celebrity partnerships can be a lot more than lending a name and clout to a company.

Courtesy of Brian Malin

Brian Malin
Co-Founder, Vital Grown
Founder and CEO of Vital Garden Supply and co-founder of Vital Grown, Brian Malin strives to show the world the importance of organically grown cannabis for both growers and consumers. He has been learning about organic farming and soil biology for over 25 years, and his mission is to use his natural gardening experience to help cannabis teams grow, both literally and figuratively. Malin is well-known from appearances on the Hash Church podcast, judging cannabis competitions like the Emerald Cup and Ego Clash, and spreading the gospel of organic pot.

Courtesy of Wana Brands

Nancy Whiteman
Co-Founder and CEO, Wana Brands
Nancy Whiteman is co-founder and CEO of Wana Brands, an edibles company based in Colorado. One of the leading edibles brands in the mile high state, Wana Brands has grown-from a start-up to a successfully bought-out company, as Canadian-based cannabis giants Canopy Growth bought the business for $297.5 upfront. Whiteman is a legal in the pioneering industry of legal edibles, and her name is known throughout the industry. She’s known as both “the queen of legal weed” and “the Martha Stuart of edibles.”

Courtesy of Lauren Hurt

Mike Glazer
Comedian, Weed + Grub
Weed + Grub is exactly what it sounds like—a comedy routine about cooking culture, comedy and cannabis. According to Emmy-nominated comedian Mike Glazer and cannabis culture writer Mary Jane Gibson, it’s also about “calling shit out” as the two smoke, snack and interview celebs. Glazer is known for his work on Night of Too Many Stars, Worst Cooks in America and other media featuring comedy, food and cannabis. He has cooked with Gordon Ramsay and was named as a 40 Under 40 Rising Cannabis Star.

Courtesy of Weed for Warriors Project

Sean Kiernan
President, Weed for Warriors Project
Sean Kiernan is president of the Weed for Warriors Project, a well-respected veteran advocacy group that speaks out about the need for veteran cannabis access. He also served in the Army airborne infantry/pathfinder until receiving an honorable discharge and attended UC Berkeley. His background after college was in finance, working for companies like JP Morgan and Caxton Associates. He has contributed to MAPS research on cannabis and PTSD, and his goal in life is to help veterans access the medicine they need.

Courtesy of B. Fraser Photography

Dasheeda Dawson
Founder, The WeedHead™ & Company
Dasheeda Dawson is founder of The WeedHead™ & Company and author of the bestselling workbook, How to Succeed in the Cannabis Industry—now in its 3rd Edition. Dasheeda is a corporate-to-cannabis crossover pioneer and business strategist with experience as senior executive leader and strategy. More recently, she was selected as the Cannabis Program Supervisor, to oversee all regulatory, licensing, compliance and equity initiatives for the city of Portland, Oregon’s cannabis industry. She is a co-host on She Blaze, an award-winning weekly cannabis news and culture podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and iHeartRadio.

Courtesy of Weedmaps

Chris Beals
CEO, Weedmaps
Chris Beals is Chief Executive Officer at Weedmaps LLC. Weedmaps is a tech company serving the cannabis industry, founded in 2008. In March 2019, Beals was named CEO of Weedmaps. A few months later, in August 2019, Weedmaps launched a 30,000 square-foot Museum of Weed in West Hollywood, California. Weedmaps not only connects people to cannabis retailers, but the company recently explored a social media platform alternative to Instagram with Berner.

Courtesy of Weldon Angelos

Weldon Angelos
Founder, The Weldon Project
In 2003, a low-level cannabis case put a halt to Weldon Angelos’ budding career in the music industry, though it also helped to birth a national movement aimed to reform the U.S. criminal justice system. He became a bipartisan symbol for justice reform, and in 2016, he was finally released from prison after serving 13 years for a first-time, cannabis-related offense. Angelos moved forward to help others with similar experiences and founded the Weldon Project, dedicated to funding social change and financial aid to those serving prison time for cannabis-related offenses.

Courtesy of WeSana

Daniel Carcillo
Founder and CEO, WeSana
Prominent athlete-turned-cannabis-entrepreneur Daniel Carcillo is founder and CEO of WeSana, a Chicago-based ketamine clinic. During his hockey career, he won two Stanley Cup Championships. Because of what he noticed first-hand while playing hockey, he became an advocate for mental health, concussions and traumatic brain injuries. His interest in how those things can be treated with plant and psychedelic medicine triggered the opening of WeSana. The Chicago-based business is currently making a splash in the world of ketamine medicine.

Courtesy of Kevin Jodrey, LinkedIn

Kevin Jodrey
Owner, Wonderland Nursery
Kevin Jodrey is one of the most well-known growers in Humboldt County and is an internationally respected cannabis expert. As a world-renowned hunter of ganja genetics, Jodrey is fascinated by the search for rare, desirable, and marketable traits. Jodrey is the creator of Port Royal, owner of Wonderland Nursery, and co-founder of The Ganjier. He’s been cultivating for decades, running his own operations and offering consulting services. He’s spoken at universities, judged at the Emerald Cup, and consulted on cannabis related educational shows for National Geographic and A&E.

Courtesy of Zuber Law website

Tom Zuber
Managing Partner and Founder, Zuber Law
Tom Zuber is managing partner and founder of Zuber Law. Zuber is a litigator who specializes in intellectual property disputes and global intellectual property council for the cannabis industry on a worldwide scale. He manages Fortune-level clients through the firm and celebrates and advocates for his cannabis clients. He founded Zuber & Zuber, now known as Zuber Law, in 2003. When he started out, he had no clients and was a third-year associate. Now, Zuber Law is a world-known cannabis firm.

The post The High Times 100 of 2021 appeared first on High Times.

B-Real Debuts Flower Line at Select Dispensaries

Hip-hop legend B-Real is dropping his first-ever line of flower on March 28 at Dr. Greenthumb’s and Cookies dispensaries. We chatted with the Cypress Hill rapper about how his career led to a love of cannabis, the story behind his new strain, his selection process and more. Read on to get inside the mind of B-Real.

Courtesy of B-Real

What inspired you to start this line of flower, and why is cannabis important to you?
Dr. Greenthumb’s goes back to a time when the only people around cannabis were the ones who loved it, or perhaps trying to lock you up for it. So much has changed over the years. I just wanted to do something that I knew was going to bring the mindset back to the late 90s or early 2000s. I just think that for so many of us, that was the heart; those are the days when we talked about weed being legal, like really legal, across the country and just not even really believing it was gonna happen. 

And now, here we are, and so many of those people are washed up already, run over with taxes or regulations or just the investment needed. For better or worse, this is what legalization looks like, at least right now, and I guess I just feel like what people want are those days gone by. At the same time, there are a lot of people out there just getting access and still learning, and the right thing to do when there’s a new person is to invite them into the smoke circle. But, you teach them the culture, you share what’s important. I think that’s what I’m trying to do here. I want to point out what’s important in our history and our culture.

What was your process like selecting strains and genetics? 
Man, that’s always the fun part, right? You know, my team, they do a great job; my man Kenji has been in the game since forever. He’s out looking for those farms, those dope spots done right by the people who should be here, who should be winning in this new legal world. When he finds them, then I get samples. Really, it’s like it always has been. The sight, the smell, feeling the bud, rolling it up, that whole experience. And then, of course smoking. The flavor and high. When it’s the good stuff you know, that’s what we’re looking to highlight.

What is your favorite strain, and why? 
OG Kush—I mean, hey, a legend is a legend for a reason. It’s the whole package.

What do you want the future of your line to look like, and what are your goals? 
You know, the future of my line is the future of legacy cannabis. What do WE want it to look like? Do we want it all exotic? Do we want it back in the kush days, or even the pre-kush days? I’m not trying to be the one voice telling people what they should like or what cannabis should be. That’s not really it. I’m more like trying to provide the open-mic night, the forum and the stage, so these guys, and gals, can show the world how they are holding it down.

B-Real
Courtesy of B-Real

I want to make sure that when we look out 10 or 20 years from now, and this industry is just commonplace, we don’t just have a bunch of Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs. I want the heart to still be there; I want us to be happy we won, that we got weed legalized. I don’t want us wishing we had just kept it illegal because we all lost. Fuck that.

Why is cannabis advocacy important to you, and what do you do to support it? 
Cannabis has always been there. I never felt there was anything wrong with it. You know, recently I was reminded by a longtime friend of mine, Jdee, that back in the early ’90s, he tried to put me on a malt liquor 40oz commercial payday. He reminded me that back then I told him that I didn’t care about alcohol, that I wasn’t giving a shit about people drinking malt 40s.

Apparently I told him that I was trying to legalize weed. I believe it, because as far as I can remember, that’s been how I’ve felt. I try to lend my voice where I can. I’ve never been afraid to be open about it. I just try to keep the topic in front of people, do my best to support the culture. That sort of thing.

Do you have any upcoming music announcements or other projects you’d like to plug? 
Yeah for sure, the new Cypress Hill Album is called Back in Black, and it dropped on March 18. We’re going on tour; it’s gonna be a great show for sure. Also, I dropped a solo album not too long ago called Tell You Somethin; definitely peep that, worked with Scott Storch on that one.

The post B-Real Debuts Flower Line at Select Dispensaries appeared first on High Times.

Best-Of Picks: The Harvest Ball 2021

Earlier this month marked the inaugural Emerald Cup Harvest Ball. The Santa Rosa County Fairgrounds came alive as the epicenter of craft California cannabis. The two-day Harvest Ball event showcased an epic craft cannabis farmer’s market and celebrated the season’s freshest fall flower. It’s an extravaganza of excellence that honors the year’s most dope organic and sun-grown flower.

After two years of smoking in solitude, returning to live events is an exciting prospect for California, the cannabis community and the culture. I made sure to be among the crowd of 10,000-plus excited cannabis enthusiasts in attendance for the inaugural Harvest Ball and Craft Cannabis Marketplace. 

Planning for my trip to the Bay Area, I knew that I would find fire flowers from all over the state. Coming from the East Coast, I was pumped to see what California cannabis was all about. Top priority? Advance my understanding of the quality of the sun-grown smoke coming out of the legendary Emerald Triangle.

Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Sun-grown, Not Schwag

“The sun-grown herb has a whole different effect and flavor,” said Jason Gellman, second-generation Southern Humboldt Cannabis Farmer and Founder of Ridgeline Farms. 

Gellman went on to say, “We have dedicated our lives to growing the finest Cannabis on earth. There are so many amazing farmers in the Emerald Triangle that the quality and potency keep climbing. We grow the best so you can smoke the best.” Color me intrigued.

Jason was kind enough to put me in touch with a handful of other legacy growers from the Emerald Triangle’s Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity Counties. With my leads from Ridgeline in tow, I sent some messages on Instagram and boarded my flight to SFO.

Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Into the Triangle… Kind Of

I woke up the next day to a text from the legendary Johnny Casali of Huckleberry Hill Farm fame. The man is an actual living legend in California cannabis culture, but more on that later. 

Johnny had heard I was here to see the heat grown up on the hill this past season, and he wanted to make sure I saw it perfectly.

He extended an invite to hit the fairgrounds and meet with some cannabis farmers a few hours before general admission. 

Early access to the Harvest Ball Cannabis Marketplace? Awesome! A chance to meet with these legacy growers to see and sample their finest flower? Hell yes!

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Breakfast of Champions

I met the homies for an early breakfast at the now weed-famous Flamingo Hotel. 

Each table in the Flamingo dining room is packed before 9 a.m.—it was a room filled with the architects and arbiters of West Coast cannabis culture, all sharing breakfast together. The feelings of joy permeated the room; it was apparent everyone in attendance was extremely pumped to be back together again.

Breakfast was a vibe, during which, as fate would have it, I was gifted a pre-roll of one of Huckleberry Hill Farms legendary strains: “Whitethorn Rose.”

This heady breakfast joint would be my first experience smoking sun-grown bud from the triangle, and it did not disappoint. Post-puff, I arrived at the fairgrounds parking lot buzzing with excitement and blasted by the berry terpene profile of the classic Casali strain.

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Not in NYC Anymore

I must have simply flown inside the fairgrounds because shortly after parking the car, I found myself right in the heart of the event, literally hours before it opened to the public. 

In an instant, I was surrounded by food trucks, epic outdoor staging and branded consumption lounges galore, met with giant indoor pavilions and a solid selection of epic, custom-built outdoor activations from some of the biggest hitters in the game. Included were the likes of Seed Junky and STIIIZY.

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

The Best Indoor Bud and Outdoor Booths

AlienLabs/Connected/Doja Pak shared a fantastic installation for their booth, an epic collaboration with some truly iconic offerings. I grabbed some super stupid good Biskantè indoor-grown by AlienLabs for a friend with serious FOMO who could not attend (shout out, Jon Cappetta).

My runner-up pick for most dope outdoor activations is Cookies. They came through and set up a neon-lit, color-changing geodesic dome. After securing a small stash at the outdoor activations, I continued my way down the central ave.

Compound Genetics was next to catch my eye. They have always had an objectively sick style and consistently clean approach to their brand aesthetic. 

The two-story, multi-purpose structure they assembled on-site from a repurposed shipping container. The creativity of this booth alone makes it my choice for the most dope outdoor activation at the Harvest Ball. 

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Instagram Comes to Life

Inside, on level one of the Compound Genetics booths, I spot two friendly faces, the legendary Breeder and Compound Genetics founder Chris Lynch plus the one and only Jimi Divine, aka one of the hardest-working weed journalists in the game.

We all chatted briefly, and I got the chance to congratulate Chris [Lynch] on the new Apples and Bananas crosses seed drop. Chris told me it was “the culmination of a lot of hard work… extremely excited to be here all together with everyone to celebrate.” 

Chris and his relentless optimism always humble me. This positivity appeared to be echoed by everyone during a magical two days north of the bay. Even the cold NorCal rain that poured down all of day two was no match for the positive vibes this group of humans collectively radiates.

Harvest Ball felt like Instagram had manifested itself into reality. I was scrolling through my feed in person, using my legs, not just my pointer finger. I wandered the grounds, sparking up with old homies, new friends and personal heroes, wading through an epic sea of West Coast weed legends. Truly a trip.

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Small Farms Initiative

By now, it was close to 10 a.m., and I was excited to get a peek behind the “Redwood Curtain.” so we all said goodbye for now and set off to the indoor “Hall of Flowers” Pavilion.

The Small Farms Initiative at The Harvest Ball aims to provide a platform to promote the foundational local growers to the thousands of cannabis connoisseurs attending the event.

Collectively, those selected farmers represented every corner of the Emerald Triangle. Twenty-seven legacy cannabis farms were assembled and given pro-bono exhibition space, all with the vision of lifting and amplifying these small farms in the global marketplace.

Courtesy of Jesse Hershberger

Death by Taxes

It is essential to understand that the past few years have been incredibly tumultuous in California cannabis. Further regulatory hurdles, a flooded market, falling prices and inconceivably high taxes are particularly tough pills (for anyone) to swallow. Given these hurdles, most small, craft cannabis farms have struggled to stay afloat. 

Even from an outsider’s perspective, it’s clear as day that the cultivation tax is broken at best and downright predatory at worst. The state’s idea to raise the tax in January to $161.28/lb Feels like an open slap in the face to most of these legacy farmers, in addition to local taxes. 

I would love to see anybody try and make a case for how an initial tax rate of over 50 percent is even close to reasonable. Anybody? Go on; I’ll wait.

All that said, the resilience of these Emerald Triangle farmers is impressive, and so was their flower. 

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

A Warm Welcome from the Farmers

Time seemed to race as I spoke with over a dozen legacy cannabis farmers about growing the best sun-grown bud. Everyone I met was so excited to share their stories, passions and labors of love with me, a relative stranger. Undoubtedly a heart-warming experience amid these strange days of social distancing. 

I have to shout out Johnny Casali personally here, who leveraged his legendary status among his community of Emerald Triangle farmers, granting me access to their world and their weed. 

For those who don’t know, Johnny Casali is a second-generation cannabis grower and breeder. Johnny runs Huckleberry Hill Farm with his girlfriend Rose, where he cultivates and breeds some of the dopest genetics in all of Humboldt.

Casali followed a rocky path to becoming one of the state’s first licensed cannabis operations. In 1992, when cultivation was still very much illegal in California, Casali was arrested after federal agents raided his gardens. Although he was a first-time, nonviolent offender, mandatory minimum guidelines meant he would be sentenced to 10 years to life in federal prison for a plant, and he served eight. Upon release in 2000, Johnny returned to his home in the Emerald Triangle, a folk hero. 

Farms Worth Fighting For

While this community is by no means out of the woods (no pun intended), after meeting the people, hearing the stories and smoking the bud firsthand from the farmer, I can say wholeheartedly that this pillar of the cannabis culture deserves saving.

Regardless, one thing is abundantly clear. These farmers care about their communities with such depth that they’re willing to go above and beyond to work through byzantine and largely pointless regulatory hoops to bring you the heat. 

I need to give everyone an enormous shout out for showing this East Coast kid what West Coast weed is all about. With that said, let’s get down to it. Here is a rundown of the best buds and hottest heat from the 2021 Harvest Ball. This opportunity warmed my heart, and I can’t wait to see everyone again next year!

Harvest Ball
Courtesy of Harvest Ball

Standouts from the Show

This is by no means a complete list of all the heat that one could come upon at the Harvest Ball. We all walk our own path, so by all means, if you saw the heat, and it’s not here, hit me up on Instagram and let me know: @east_coast_kid_

Ridgeline Farms

Second-generation grower Jason Gelman of Ridgeline Farm has come into some minor celebrity as of late. He is what I call weed famous. One of the first legacy growers to team up with Berner’s Cookies through the Humboldt Grown Initiative, Ridgeline’s award-winning genetics speak for themselves. The organic, sun-grown flower was the top-selling SKU in Cookies California retail locations for weeks in 2021. That’s saying something.

For Jason and the team at Ridgeline Farms, “The most exciting thing about this collaboration is how many people that have never smoked sun-grown can now enjoy true craft cannabis,” he told me. That said, Jason’s farm in SoHum focuses on quality over quantity that is clear to see.

Best-in-show buds from Ridgeline included Lantz, Green Lantern and Ridgeline Runtz. My favorite was Green Lantern. This strain is pure gas and a powerful illustration of the best that Kush can be. The nose is Diesel fuel dominant, and the flower reaches THC levels as high as 35 percent. 

Green Lantern was my go-to ganja all weekend. Far from a fan of pre-rolled pot, I proudly puffed at least 15 of them during my two-day stay in the bay. Keep an eye on Ridgeline Farms in the New Year; definitely cop some yourself if you get the chance. 

AlienLabs

AlienLabs’ Harvest Ball offerings were impressive. AlienLabs has a stellar reputation for pushing the envelope to create unique exotic strains. The brand is constantly moving the conversation forward, which has earned the team my respect. 

Honestly, I vouch for everything that comes out of its operation. Alien is all about finer things, for those who like their finer things a little weird… this is something I can appreciate.

Native Humboldt Farms

I am incredibly excited to get the opportunity to talk about this next heady contender. Native Humboldt Farms is a small farm in Southeast Humboldt owned and operated by Lindsey Renner and Jon Obliskey. To say this small farm is doing big things is putting it mildly. 

This past season 5,000 square foot of canopy space was dedicated to growing three top-notch genetics for Cookies. This dynamic duo produces storied strains like Cheetah Piss and Sunshine #4 as a collaboration between legacy cultivators in the Emerald Triangle called the Cookies Humboldt Initiative.

My favorite from Native had to be its organic, sun-grown take on the famous Orangutan genetics by Heavyweight heads. I had the opportunity to compare the Orangutan indoor and sun-grown versions side-by-side. Feel free to call me crazy, but the sun-grown smells gassier and just smacks harder than the same genetics grown indoors. Maybe the most full-spectrum experience does come from the sun? I’m a believer.

Briceland Forest Farms

These heads had an excellent setup at The Harvest Ball. An immersive, farmers’ market-style experience highlighted a cornucopia of buds grown under the sun. The growers at Briceland Forest Farms are faithful stewards of their land, and their passion for the plant is palpable. Briceland’s organic and regenerative farming practices make a perfect model for authentic pot permaculture.

My pick is their Mother’s Milk Pheno #31—a cut from the original Bodhi Seeds cross. THC levels in the Mother’s Milk from Briceland Forest Farm’s reserve is a strong 22 to 23 percent with terp levels exceeding four percent on this latest batch. Needless to say, this fresh farm bud blew me away. 

Canna Country Farms

Ted Blair and the team from Canna Country Farm, along with their Forbidden Fruit x Cherimoya cross “The #26,” is a perfect reminder of how variety is the spice of life. 

The team at Canna Country painstakingly bred this bud in a clear labor of love that you can feel when consuming the flower. The #26 won the Breeders Cup and took second place in the sun-grown flower category at last year’s Emerald Cup Awards.

The #26 stands out as a favorite from the event for many reasons. Perhaps most notable is the expression of an incredibly rare terpene called Ocimene. The #26 has a sweet, woodsy fragrance and undoubtedly holds therapeutic properties.

The #26 aside, Blair’s breeding prowess is evident. He and his team entered three cultivars in the Emerald Cup, and all three strains were selected within the top 21. That said, you should consider yourself lucky to get your hands on anything these guys breed. I certainly do. Keep an eye out for Canna Country Farms.

Connected

The people over at Connected pretty much always do it proper. I have been a massive fan of their Gelonade x Biscotti cross Lemonatti. Not going to lie, I love the name, and I know it’s not the “newest drop,” but I think it is some of the best bud available at that price point.

The result of a tirelessly epic pheno-hunt (#17, to be exact), I think it is a perfect expression of the best of what both parents have to offer. Get yourself some.

Huckleberry Hill

Earlier, I noted Huckleberry Hill Farms and briefly touched on the legend of Johnny Casali. Casali is Second Generation grower and breeder in Humboldt. Now I want to let everyone know what’s good with his weed.

Every offering Johnny gave me that weekend was packed with pure power and super-expressive flavors. The Whitethorn Rose; if I put things in a box, I categorize this cultivar as “Dessert Wine Weed.” The perfect antidote to the dessert strain hype. 

Courtesy of Jesse Hershberger

His other most notable is “Mom’s Weed”—which Johnny grows as an homage to his beloved mother, who taught him all he knows about the plant. This strain aims to honor the vital, though often overlooked, role that women have historically played and continue to play on cannabis farms.

This is one of many things that make Johnny unique as a cannabis grower. Each strain he breeds and cultivates on his farm is rich in narrative. A born storyteller, he believes in the power of the place. His weed has resonated with many because it is unique to the farmer. Especially in the cannabis market today, authenticity is a veritable currency that must be valued and preserved. 

My favorite of Johnny’s buds? Personally, that pick goes to the Paradise Punch x Zookies cross called Amalfi. Testing at a substantial 27.98 percent total THC, I challenge any skeptic of sun-grown to hit that and still hold that outdated opinion. With an intense aroma of muddled fruit in a gas can, this strain smells and tastes fantastic, with a cerebral effect that certainly smacks. Ask for it by name. Tell them Johnny sent you.

The post Best-Of Picks: The Harvest Ball 2021 appeared first on High Times.

Jon’s Stone Cold Quarantine Cop List: 17th Edition

Just in time for Green Wednesday, we’re back with another collection of the latest and greatest products the industry has on display. 

This month we’re talking almost exclusively flower since we’re coming out of a heavy Croptober, and stars from every level of the league are out swinging for the fences. While the top shelf is ALWAYS covered here, this one’s holding court from high percentages to high value, and everything in between. As my favorite pot journalist Jimi Devine would say, “we’re smoking for every tax bracket” here.

Before we dig in, as I was packing to head home to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t help but be thankful for the crazy spiral these past almost two years has taken. Somehow between cancelled plans and mask mandates our industry has continued to dredge forward, and although taxes and the government (of every type) is still on our asses, and despite corporate weed somehow still having a market, we’ve continually proved the resilience of not only the plant, but it’s freedom fighters as well.

Sure, almost none of us are where we planned to be at this point three years ago, but we’ve turned lemons into lemonade—and a pandemic into a fkn weed parade. I’m proud of you all, and I hope you’re seeing the fruits of your labor. While there’s plenty more work to be done, we’ve never been closer to our goal.

With that, let’s dig into number 17. As always, holler with requests, things I missed, or just to complain—I’m used to it @joncappetta

Turtle Pie’s Sunday Paper

Cop List
Courtesy of Turtle Pie

I just can’t say enough good things about these guys. While I’m the first to admit I was way late to this party, they’ve quickly become one of my favorite producers simply because everything new I try from their portfolio knocks my socks off. Their latest showing, Sunday Paper, is worth publicizing. While I certainly see my fair share of picturesque produce, the varietals these guys bring to market consistently impress even seasoned snobs like myself mostly thanks to the incredibly pungent aroma they all pack in. While the buds themselves look as good as they possibly can, it’s the flavor you’ll remember long after the smoke clears.

Astro Hippie

Cop List
Courtesy of Astro Hippie

While I’m typically sus of celebrity drops, here’s one to actually get excited about. I’ve been a fan of Griz’s music for years, so when I heard he was gearing up to launch of course I had to score a taste. The sax slayer has been elevating his craft for years, so it’s no surprise that he didn’t settle when it came to his buds. Launched initially in his home state of Michigan, Astro Hippie is not just an influencer owned brand with well designed branding—the buds slap too! Bringing to market three strains—Tie Dye Medusa, G Funk & Mr. B OG—all with ample nose and flavor, it seems Michigan knows better than to try and pass off some boof!

Redline’s Super Chief

Cop List
Courtesy of Redline

I’ve said in this column before that when Red breeds something I know I’m in for a treat, but the mad scientist behind Redline Reserve has outdone himself this time. Now while I’m not one to let percentages take the wheel, this latest crop is yielding over 40 percent total cannabinoids, which is far from commonplace for the industry so far. Arguably more important, these plants are grown by true lifers, so they’re not just some guys who bribed a lab for numbers or grew purely for sales—these numbers are real, and the plants were grown for smokin,’ folks. I also got a preview of his upcoming Purple Blossom line and let me tell you, those bouquets don’t quit either. In case you needed another co-sign, hear this: you should take a trip on the redline.

Flower Company

Cop List
Courtesy of Flower Company

As we get into gifting season, I think this ones an important introduction for two reasons: one, they’re price conscious, so you can afford to be generous with your gifts, and two, they provide great bang for your buck, so you can spoil yourself as well without ending up in the poorhouse. For those not in the know, the Flower Company is a membership delivery service that has some of the best prices I’ve seen in recent years. And not only are the prices good, but their buds can stand up against A LOT of their significantly higher priced competitors.

It’s worth noting that while you can get an ounce for under $100, I’d recommend *splurging* for the halves on sale at the same price—the quality increase will far offset the slimmer quantity, so both your lungs and your wallet will thank you.

Bazquiat

Cop List
Courtesy of Bazquiat

This one’s got a little something for everybody. While I have no idea how they’ve avoided a C&D from the namesake’s foundation, I’m on board however long this ride lasts. Put out by The Association and sporting a fit more than ‘inspired by’ the Pop-art legend, this Z cross (which is hilariously fitting given the situation) is a true work of art on its own. With a sweet aroma and beautiful purple laced buds, the Bazquiat is sure to please even the most refined pallets. While these guys were in the last Za-lympics, so I’m surely late on this call, this one gets a fat stamp of approval all the way around.

No Till Kings

Cop List
Courtesy of No Till Kings

I’ll be honest, I’m not one of those guys who really cares about organics. Lab made food has always been fine with me—scientifically designed to be delicious, right? So when it comes to sungrown or all natural cannabis, although I do love weed in all its forms, it’s just never really been the strong selling point for me that it is for others. That is, of course, until I started digging into the benefits of living soil. Now while I’m not here to pretend I’m some master grower or anything of the like, it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s something to this.

The No Till Kings invited me down to check out their grow and while I’ll admit much of it flew over my head, it just makes sense that a living ecosystem would produce the best products—and in pretty much the greenest possible way you can indoors. After sampling a few of their products I can confirm, the flowers were much more vibrant and flavorful than most other indoor I’ve seen of late.

Rapper Weed’s Ghost

Cop List
Courtesy of Rapper Weed

Rapper Weed had already won me over with their numerous pop-culture flips and the fire inside their bags, but the new collab they dropped with Rook takes everything to a new level. Let me start by saying that I LOVE Casper the Friendly Ghost, so these guys were stars in my eyes before I even cracked the bag, but the flower does not disappoint. It’s worth noting that these guys are a white label operation in California, which while I know for some can be a turn off, to me just means they’re constantly ensuring the best is in their bags—not just the best they grew.

Stundenglass Kompact

Cop List
Courtesy of Stundenglass

I’m going to start this one by admitting upfront that I totally expected the ‘Kompact’ to be much smaller than it actually is, but I don’t know if any sane person has ever complained that a bong was too big before, so let’s get that out of the way. From a technical perspective this thing is every bit as good as it’s larger counterpart, it’s just a smidge smaller. However, the decreased size resulted in increased portability, now with an included traveling case, making this device far more maneuverable than its predecessor, and therefore much more likely to get ample usage. Although I love the old model, that ones much more of a centerpiece, whereas this one can still stop a show, but it fits much more nicely on your bar top.

Fidel’s Cookies Hash Holes

Cop List
Courtesy of Fidel’s and Cookies

This is another one I was a skeptic on. Considering the history behind these products, I had little faith the recreational market could do justice for the ‘Super Doober’ as I like to call it. Well friends, allow me to once again stand corrected, Fidel has cracked the code. Although a bit skinnier and with less hash than you’d see on the traditional market, these heavy-hitting pro-level smokes delivery the full effect of the concentrate core combustible, and without any of the work. While I know many of us like to roll our own, rolling the extract snake is always a chore, so let Fidel take the work out of the fun. And remember, Donuts are for cops.

BTY Fresa

Courtesy of BTY

Now I’ve said numerous times that I’m a flavor guy, so this next one checks all the right boxes for me. BTY’s latest release, Fresa, is like a strawberry field daydream. With the sweetest nose and taste you can imagine from a cannabis plant, the smoke surely maintains the flowers allure, and set me up for a wonderfully blissful afternoon. While I know this has far less funk than the OG’s, and is much sweeter than even the Gelato and Runtz crosses flooding the market, BTY and Heisenbern certainly have a winner on their hands here, and one I expect to resonate well with newcomers to the space.

The post Jon’s Stone Cold Quarantine Cop List: 17th Edition appeared first on High Times.

NBA Icon Chris Webber Unveils Detroit Cannabis Facility

NBA Hall of Famer and entrepreneur Chris Webber on Tuesday broke ground on Players Only Holdings, a $50 million cannabis production and training facility in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. Once completed, the new facility sitting on nine acres near the Detroit River is expected to create hundreds of jobs over the next three years.

Co-founded by Webber with fellow entrepreneur Lavetta Willis, Players Only is a Black-owned business focused on cannabis cultivation, real estate development, brand partnerships and creative content development and management. The 180,000 square foot Players Only facility, dubbed the Webber Wellness Compound, will include a 60,000-square-foot cannabis cultivation operation, an 8,000-square-foot cannabis dispensary and a private consumption lounge. 

At Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Webber announced the creation of a distribution partnership for Players Only branded products with Gage Growth Corp., a leading, Michigan-licensed cannabis operator headed by CEO Fabian Monaco.

“This will be the shining jewel of Michigan. Everything great in Michigan starts in Detroit, and I am excited to collaborate with Gage to bring our premium line of Players Only products to this community,” former Detroit Piston star Webber said in a statement from Players Only. “Gage is the HOF of cannabis operations. With Fabian Monaco as a teammate, this relationship is a winner on every level.”

Courtesy of Players Only Holdings

Cookies U Comes To Michigan

Webber also took the opportunity to reveal the Detroit expansion of cannabis training program Cookies U, founded by rapper and cannabis mogul Berner in partnership with The WebberWildWillis Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on uplifting and enriching Black and Brown communities negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. In a statement, Berner characterized the state of Michigan as “one of the most important markets in the cannabis industry.”

NBA
Courtesy of Players Only Holdings

“Detroit is the first city we opened a flagship store in, outside of California. I have to salute Chris Webber, Jason Wild and Lavetta Willis for supporting our vision to build out Cookies U in Humboldt California and extending the program to Detroit, which happens to be Chris’s hometown,” said Berner, co-founder and CEO of Cookies. “Michigan has always been an advanced and educated market, and we couldn’t be more excited to offer underrepresented people an opportunity to learn the industry from seed to sale.”

Cookies U is a hands-on, fee-free training program that will recruit students from underserved communities and prepare them for jobs in the cannabis industry, including access to a GED program with a financial literacy component. In addition to the educational curriculum, a job-placement program will help graduates find employment in Michigan’s booming legal cannabis market.

“This Detroit training and operations facility is only the first step in bringing tangible opportunities to the people of this city—one that means so much to me—while eliminating barriers to an industry with unlimited economic potential,” Webber said. 

“We will create, foster and provide a cannabis ecosystem that celebrates diversity, creates jobs and benefits this community—focusing intensely on those who are being left behind. As social equity programs struggle in many states, we are here to support legacy operators who created the foundation for this industry so that they are included in future iterations of it while we wait on the politics to catch up.”

Construction on the first phase of the Webber Wellness Compound is expected to begin this fall, with work slated to wrap up by March 2022. A $125 million second phase, which as of yet has no announced timeline, will expand the cultivation area by 80,000 square feet.

“This is my biggest priority in life,” Webber said. “I’ve seen who (Willis) and I have helped across the country and the lives that have been disrupted by cannabis. Hopefully, we can do a little bit of repairing. Hopefully, we can help the city.”

The post NBA Icon Chris Webber Unveils Detroit Cannabis Facility appeared first on High Times.

Jon’s Stone-Cold Quarantine Cop List: 14th Edition

I’ve run out of fun intros for the cop list features, so let’s just go with what’s up y’all—back again with the latest and greatest to get your spirits lifted out of the dumps of whatever the hell dystopian future we’re living in. Seriously, have y’all been feeling this dark cloud, too? Feels like the last few months, it’s been a chore to try and get that serotonin in, but never fear—new drugs ALWAYS help! (For the five of y’all that will get mad at me for calling weed drugs, I’m sorry, but it’s fun.) Let’s get you laced up.

Although we’ve already run 13 of these cop list features, number 14 has a surprising number of firsts—ALL of which are worthy of your attention and adoration. We’ve got new experiences, new flavors, and even home goods—since, vaxxed or not, you’re likely still spending a great deal of time at home. Oh well, while the world burns, the industry moves forward—c’est la vie! As per usual, I’m always hungry for more, so don’t hesitate to drop me a line when you find something that excites you—I’m here for it! 

Cop List #14:

Courtesy of Holy Water

Holy Water

It’s rare I include an extractor in this list, but I couldn’t let this discovery pass up without a mention. While there’s a lot of excellent work being done in labs right now, few are focused on creating an EXPERIENCE out of dabbing—save, of course, the product guys. 

That said, Holy Water is definitely worth delving into if you’re interested in the art of extraction. With split containers that hold two different types of small batch craft extracts, sometimes half is Live Rosin and half is BHO Badder, and other times, they’re splitting diamonds on one side and their ‘holy water’ sauce on the other. 

And, in case you needed another reason to check them out, these guys just took home the crown at our most recent NorCal Cannabis Cup with their Pina Açaí UNHOLY collaboration with Grandiflora. This ain’t just my praise; they’re winning trophies.

Courtesy of Avant

Avant’s 123

A new supergroup has officially hit the scene. Comprised of expert breeder Deep East, seasoned exotic producer Wizard Trees and Joey Colombo, the currency artist behind Money Trees, the Cookies’ Cheetah Piss design and much more, the new brand Avant has hit the legal market with its first proprietary genetics, dubbed ‘123’ after its pheno number from the hunt in true head fashion. 

Another first-at-Cookies drop, and crossed with one of the hottest cultivars of 2020, RS-11, this Sherb BX1 cross is a heater. With dark nugs that will surely turn on the purp fiends, in true Wizard Trees fashion, this is some of the cleanest smoke on the market. Expect a nice white ash and your head in the clouds.

cop list
Courtesy of Dodi Blunts

Dodi Blunts

I’ll admit, I kinda slept on this one. The brand was founded at least in part by Marshawn Lynch, and while I 100 percent know dude smokes heavy, you know how it can be with celebrity brands … you just never know if it’s just a cash grab. Well, friends, allow this to serve as my official ‘I was wrong on this’ statement—Dodi’s blunts smack! 

Aiming to provide a smoke that’s ‘always right for an afternoon of watching football or playing Madden’, Dodi’s diamond-infused tobacco-free blunts ARE a great afternoon smoke that will take you way up without putting you out, if you’re a seasoned vet. Capable of chilling Beast Mode, it’s worth noting that this definitely isn’t an entry-level product—this one had me couch-locked, so while I’m not questioning your tolerance, I would encourage football fans new to the giggle bush to hit light and slow.

Courtesy of Kapow Berries

KaPow White Berries

This one’s not easy to procure, but if you’ve got the plug, don’t sleep… I have a feeling these guys are going to be bubbling to the surface more and more the next few months and years. The White Berries is the latest release from the Berries family, and boy is it clear from the nose that these plants were properly cared for. 

I’m told these guys are super small batch, adding to the exclusive allure, but in true traditional fashion, you can grab your Berries by the seven, which is a quantity much more manageable for us lifers than the 3.5s that have somehow become the norm. Keep an eye out at local events across CA, or at designer events across the country, and I’m sure you’ll hear the legend of Kapow before long.

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Courtesy of Potli

Potli Cannabis Infused Shrimp Chips

I’ll be honest, I was really scratching my head about these at first. I’ve been down for prawn crackers in the past at restaurants, but the bagged snacks never really interested me, so when I saw these naturally I thought, ‘Oh, that’s cool for other people,’ as I understand the allure this snack has, especially abroad, but, ‘not for me.’ 

Well, sports fans, you know how they say you should just try it? Turns out they’re right sometimes because it seems I actually really like these Potli jawns. Upon further investigation, it seems the market does, too, because these things have been flying off the shelf. If you’re like me, and are over the sweet edibles that seem to be the current market leaders, grab a bag of these low dose delights. You may not feel the high (only 11mg per package, 0.7mg per chip), but your tastebuds will thank you for the new flavonoids!

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Courtesy of Cure Co

Biscotti Fritz

I know at this point I’m a Cure Co stan, but trust me, go try the Biscotti Fritz. The taste of this smoke is the best I’ve had this year, by far. So good, in fact, it’s got my ass driving across LA to cop more on the regular, and I’m not one who leaves home often let alone goes out during traffic hours. 

I promise I will try not to repeat entries on here or give too much love to any one brand but truuuust, you want this. Even if you don’t think you do, even if you’re not a Biscotti fan, even if you’re like, ‘Oh they must be paying him’—they’re not and you will be, you do. I take these lists seriously—many people are very mad at me that I haven’t included them or their products here—but I will still 10 times out of 10 put the products I believe you need to see and try because I love you, and I want you smoking the best.

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Courtesy of Ben Baller

Ben Baller Did The Strain

The jewelry design genius behind some of the most iconic chains in the world has officially entered the industry. It’s worth noting, as this is a celeb launch that my homie and seasoned lifer Joel (Designer Weed) is the guy who helped set them up, so I was immediately more confident in this brand than most celebrity-founded ventures, but here’s another salute (two in one post!) to a celebrity brand doing it right from the get go. 

It’s not surprising that Ben Baller, a man who made a career off of high-end luxury products, has come to market with some tops, but these buds are stand-out even compared to legacy brands, which never happens with celeb plays. Coming to market with Cat Dicc (lol) and Jonas B, already available at dispo’s across the state, both of these packs belong on your top shelf.

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Courtesy of Heirloom Rituals

Heirloom Rituals

So I don’t think this one actually gets you high, but these are candles that not only smell incredible—they actually make special ones that have a THC count! Sometimes infused with THCa diamonds, real buds, crystals, dried flowers and more, Heirloom Rituals also make regular, beautiful candles for your normie friends, but honestly, when else are you going to get the chance to have a weed candle? Or sneak weed into your normie friends’ houses and have it end up on their mantle?? I might even send one to my mom. 

I just got mine a few weeks back, and it smells so good just sitting there, I honestly haven’t even felt inclined to light it yet, but I’m going to have to hotbox a room with it and find out if it will get you high, one day, for science. Or at least before I start giving them out as holiday gifts … or, actually …

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Courtesy of Cann

Cann Passion Peach Mate

Y’all know how low-dose products affect me, but I’m definitely a fan of Cann’s new Passion Peach Mate flavor. Now combining caffeine with low doses of cannabis in their beverages, this flavor is, in my opinion, the brand truly living up to the “social tonic” tagline it’s coined. 

Providing a buzz that only brings you up, this is the mocktail the space has been waiting for. Delicious, light, and packing a nice energetic kick, without trying too hard to be different, I definitely see this becoming a staple behind the bar at industry events going forward, and eventually, once regulations change, at actual bars as well.

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Courtesy of Vibes

Cali by Vibes

I’m not 100 percent sure if these have hit shelves just yet, but they’re on their way, and I have a feeling the new papers from the Vibes team are going to be crowd-pleasers. Leaving behind the traditional cone and moving toward the bigger, cylindrical cigarette shape, the new Cali tubes have already become a staple in my routine. 

While I’ve always loved rolling my own, it’s been more about ensuring a consistent smoke over the pleasure of an added task to complete. The new Cali tubes alleviate much of the frustration I’ve found from pre-wrapped cones in the past—these pack easy; they stay lit, and they smoke evenly—what more could you ask for? It’s also worth noting that they come sized by the gram, so packing up one, two or three grams for a session is as easy as picking the size you want, as opposed to eyeballing or weighing out how much you’re about to, or would like to, consume.

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Nevada Gives Green Light to Cannabis Consumption Lounges

Cannabis consumption lounges will be coming to Nevada next year under a bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak earlier this month. The measure, Assembly Bill 341 (AB341), was signed by Sisolak on June 4 after being passed by lawmakers in both houses of the state legislature in May. Currently, onsite cannabis consumption is only allowed at the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace on Las Vegas Paiute tribal land north of downtown.

The legislation permits two types of cannabis businesses. Retail cannabis lounges will be operated by licensed marijuana dispensaries, while independent cannabis consumption lounges will not be connected to a retailer. Both types of businesses will sell ready-to-use or single-use cannabis products for onsite consumption by adults 21 and older. Live entertainment is permitted, but alcohol will not be allowed.

“You can think of it like a bar, except obviously there will be no alcohol,” Assemblyman Steve Yeager, the sponsor of the legislation, said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing, as quoted by Forbes. “It could be a joint, an edible, it could be an infused food or infused soda, whatever the concept might be.”

Yeager added that more original concepts would also likely arise, noting that ideas such as fine dining restaurants serving cannabis-infused dishes, cannabis-friendly yoga classes, and comedy clubs offering marijuana products could all become reality. 

“Whatever you could think of could be possible,” Yeager said.

Ben Kovler, the CEO and founder of multistate cannabis operator Green Thumb Industries, said that the company is planning a lounge for the dispensary opened on the Las Vegas Strip by GTI in May under a licensing deal with the founders of the brand Cookies, rapper Berner and his cultivation collaborator Jai.

“When people come to Vegas for a bachelor party, a wedding, or just to see friends they haven’t seen in 15 months, they’re going to want to get together and consume cannabis and pretty soon there will be consumption lounges and they’re going to want to come to Cookies,” Kovler said. “What better place than Las Vegas? It’s an experience city in the middle of the desert.”

Consumption Lounges And Social Equity

Nevada’s foray into cannabis consumption lounges will bring a measure of equity to the state’s efforts at marijuana policy reform. Before AB341, cannabis consumption was legal under state law only in private residences with the owner’s permission, leaving renters and visitors open to the disparate enforcement of drug laws that has been repeatedly documented. Consuming cannabis in hotels and casinos is not allowed.

“Consumption lounges are important because they help protect people from prejudicial law enforcement or being fined or sanctioned in a way that causes real harm, that perpetuates the War on Drugs,” cannabis and social equity advocate and Las Vegas resident Noel Gordon told Filter.

The legislation also has social equity provisions built into the licensing regulations for cannabis consumption lounges. Nevada’s legalization initiative, passed in 2016, is lacking in robust equity measures. Such oversights are likely to doom or delay legalization proposals today, a fact seen in recent and eventually successful reform efforts in New Jersey and New York.

Qualified social equity applicants who wish to open a cannabis consumption lounge will receive up to a 75% reduction in application fees, which can cost as much as $30,000. Under the bill, a social equity applicant is a person “who has been adversely affected by provisions of previous laws which criminalized activity relating to cannabis, including, without limitation, adverse effects on an owner, officer or board member of the applicant or on the geographic area in which the applicant will operate,” according to the legislation.

Additionally, the number of independent cannabis consumption lounge licenses will initially be capped at 20, with half reserved for social equity applicants. But despite the efforts, Gordon is uncertain the social equity provisions will work as intended.

“I’m not all that optimistic we will still deliver on the social equity pieces,” Gordon said. “We still live in a prohibition lite version of legalization here in Nevada whereby you can purchase and consume cannabis in your home, but short of that, if you were to consume it on the sidewalk, in a hotel room, at a friend’s place, you will still be subject to some kind of criminal penalty or sanction.”

AB341 goes into effect in October, and state regulators are expected to begin accepting applications for cannabis lounges in July. But with regulations still being drafted, it is likely to be next year before the first consumption clubs open.

“The Cannabis Compliance Board is continuing to review the bill and its requirements in establishing consumption lounge licenses in Nevada,” said Tiana Bohner, public information officer for the agency. “The Board will aim to promulgate regulations and begin issuing licenses by early 2022.”

Bob Groesbeck, the co-CEO for Planet 13, a 112,000-square-foot Las Vegas dispensary billed as the world’s largest, said that his company has been planning a cannabis lounge for the site since AB341 was introduced two years ago.

“Our SuperStore is one of the only dispensaries with the space on site and the proximity to the Las Vegas Strip to create a truly Vegas style club,” Groesbeck said in a statement from Planet 13. “As with the rest of our dispensary we look forward to setting the bar and showing the industry what is possible when your goal is to Out Vegas, Vegas.”

The post Nevada Gives Green Light to Cannabis Consumption Lounges appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Cooking With Cannabis 101 – Critical Kushmas Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas is only four days away so for this week’s segment we’re going to be making some delicious holiday treats! For this special holiday segment of Cooking with Cannabis 101, we’ll be making critical kushmas gingerbread cookies using cannabis oil. For this recipe of critical kushmas gingerbread cookies we’ll be using Organigram’s cannabis oil. Alternatively, […]

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Cooking With Cannabis 101 – Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

In this week’s episode of Cooking With Cannabis 101, we’ll go over how to make cannabis-infused peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. For the infusion, we’ll be using cannabis-infused butter. Click here for our guide on cooking with cannabis concentrates, including how to make cannabis-infused butter. Follow the instructions above, here’s your list of ingredients to […]

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