Bundling Up Seven Leaves: How Sami Bundlez Turned a Normal Grow Into a Proprietary Powerhouse

Part of what makes competing in today’s legal landscape so difficult is that it takes far more than just a quality product to attract consumers. While back in the medical days, many cultivators weren’t even branding their stuff, let alone designing flashy packaging, today, it’s essential for any producer who wants to see their consumer again, let alone generate any consistency. 

With major grows driving down the price per pound lower with every harvest, cultivators’ only hope to compete against the money guys is to develop a brand that will generate name recognition. One that the consumers come in and ask for, not just buy because it’s available. While there are many brands that have figured out how to generate a cult following that builds demand for their products even in states still facing prohibition, few are as tapped in as Seven Leaves.

You might not guess it, since you can find knock-offs of their mylars in just about any head shop across the country, but Seven Leaves wasn’t always the visibly hyphy brand it is today. In fact, while they’ve been cultivating stand-out flower since 2008, it wasn’t until the end of 2017 that the brand got its modern facelift. This facelift, as well as the curation of many of the strains the market is currently fiending for, like Zruntz for example, is thanks in no small part to the efforts of Sami Bundlez.

Meet Sami

Originally from Yonkers, but having moved to Sacramento at a very young age, Sami’s been running the plant since he was just a boy. Having gotten caught with weed for the first time in 1995, the year before the medicinal legalization of the plant, Sami fondly remembers the experience.

“I got caught with weed at school—a shitload of it too—and it was crazy, bro, because the security guard there was like, ‘Don’t even worry about it. This shit is going legal next year; just don’t fuck around.’” Sami said. “And sure enough it actually went legal, and that’s when my parents stopped tripping off me and weed. But I was never really attached to it; weed just always played a part because I was always into music.”

It was the music that built his network. Between rapping with friends and going to shows with Bay Area-legend the Jacka, who was one of Sami’s best friends before his tragic death, Bundlez built a rapport with many key players across Northern California. He credits much of his network and understanding to Jacka, who even kicked him down some verses for his own projects back in the day.

“This weed shit, and this music shit, go hand in hand. It’s always something I’ve always wanted to do,” Sami told me. “[Jacka] fucked with us in the long way, bro, like where we got phone calls before going out to shows like, ‘Hey I’m performing here, I want y’all to come with me.’ That’s how we built the face.”

Courtesy of Seven Leaves

Bundling Up

“From there, I got into throwing concerts. We brought everybody out—from Future to Uzi, Post Malone, Belly—bringing everybody to Sacramento. I just kept working with the weed shit like I was building my brand—the Sami Bundlez brand. Every time somebody would come to Sac, they would say, ‘Call Bundlez.’

“I know I got some fire-ass weed, and me branding myself as, you know, that guy,” he added. “The name stands for itself. People would always hit me up, but we weren’t branding it, like, on T-shirts or on packaging—nothing like that yet; it was just all an idea. Fieldz from Zkittlez was actually like, ‘Bro, you should start your own shit—just do it!’ But it was funny because once he said it, so many other people came and was like, ‘Yo, you should do this.’”

Understanding that he now had the network and know-how to not only source the products the market wanted, but to get them into the right hands, Sami began plotting his legal play.

“My boy [Brian Khem] hits me up, and he’s like, ‘Yo Bundlez, you know, I work for a company that has a significant amount of lights. And I think that if you came here, it’d be something you know, that you could do here.”

Although the deal certainly didn’t happen overnight, that company was Seven Leaves, and Brian was onto something…

Seven Leaves
Courtesy of Seven Leaves

The Next Level: Seven Leaves

Seven Leaves was founded by Mike B, Tyler Kerns and Gary nearly a decade ago in Sacramento. With a cultivation facility already producing solid work by this point thanks to Brian’s know-how, Sami was able to see a blueprint from their first meeting. 

“I gave [Brian] a list of what genetics I needed. I gave him a list of who I wanted to work with and what I wanted to do, and we moved forward.” Sami recounted. “I brought [former NBA athlete] Matt Barnes on, and the first thing we ever did was the Matt Barnes prerolls. That started everything.”

More than just attention, Sami quickly realized Seven Leaves would need a real brand voice and some help on the genetics side, to transcend. His efforts can be directly felt through the brand’s aesthetic. From the colors to the names, Sami mapped out everything. At one point, there was even a discussion about totally rebranding and running with a new name.

“They said, ‘You know, we’re down to try something new.’ But just to show them what I had to bring to the table, and what I could do, I was like, ‘Nah, we’re going to run with this’—and we RAN with it. I created the menu there that everybody knows. Blue Slush, Bon Bons, VoVo, Brainfood. 

“I brought on guys that I’ve been rubbing shoulders with my whole life, like Zkittlez, from Humboldt and Mendocino County.” He remembered fondly. “When me and Matt came on board, you know, we built Seven Leaves out to be a lifestyle brand—our lifestyle. We brought our lifestyle to this brand, and then we marketed it that way.”

Courtesy of Seven Leaves

Living the Lifestyle

For Sami, ‘lifestyle brand’ isn’t just a fun marketing term. Sami really lives it. In his own words, here’s the daily routine:

“First thing I do in the morning is roll me up a Lemon Slush and make some coffee. After that, I’ll go with the Blue Slush, boom. After my workouts, you know, later on in the day, I’ll smoke the Brain Food. Then, you know, I might roll up some Vovo. And then, absolutely not before 9 p.m., because it’ll ruin my day for real, I’m gonna smoke the Bon Bons because that shit right there is the insomnia killer. That shit will knock you out cold.”

“I followed the Jacka blueprint, the Berner blueprint.” Sami explained. “I followed the guys that came before me that really did this shit. I tip my hat to these guys. We tried to veer off as much as we can so we’re not mimicking nobody, but those are the people that gave me the inspiration to do everything that I wanted to do.”

Although it’s clear Sami’s happy to take the credit for ramping the brand up, he’s quick to admit he didn’t walk into a broken vessel.

“My boy Brian’s the man that made it all happen, like the head grower at Seven Leaves,” he explained. “I tip my hat to Mike and Tyler and Gary and everybody else who had a hand in Seven Leaves. My boy Hansel. And Brian—this dude is like a green thumb’s green thumb, bro. His shit is literally why everybody is talking about Seven Leaves right now. You know what I’m saying? Like, I just came in and put the shit on loudspeaker!”

Courtesy of Seven Leaves

A Rising Tide

With more attention and more consumers coming in by the day, the hype the brand has built, as well as the network Bundlez has amassed over his career, has afforded the brand more opportunities to collaborate and carve out its space within the industry. Through an expanded partnership with the Terp Hogz/Zkittlez team, Seven Leaves has now co-branded a few proprietary strains Sami considers to be among the greatest to ever grow. 

“I think the Zkittlez phenos and flavors, you know, that they’ve been working on for the past five to 10 years are going to be the next thing that’s going to be talked about for the next fucking 10 to 15 years,” Sami said. “Everything else has had its run, bro.”

But the collaborations don’t stop there. The first of many co-brands with musicians to come, Seven Leaves released Wowzers, Belly’s hand-selected personal strain, earlier this year. Bundlez was also able to mention that they’re currently working on something with Cozmo.

“It’s like Coca-Cola, bro! We’re by no means trying to compete, or compare with anybody. We’re just here to let everyone know what we’re doing. Show them what we have and let them experience what we got coming up on the market.”

Fan Leaves

With new flavors and partnerships in development, Sami has now set his sights onto expansion. Having started a skate team during COVID, and a street team on the East Coast, Bundlez has always prided himself on delivering the unexpected.

“I feel like we just got to touch on different shit; I don’t think we should just be staying in that box of you know, this is weed.” He tells me, “We’re working on doing more merchandise. Different designs—not always just the logo, or trying to make a quick buck. We’re doing skateboards. Everything that we do, we want it to be educational—lifestyle educational. You’re going to get something from this other than just high.”

It’s clear from talking to him how excited he is about what he’s doing. He gets just as excited as I do when I open each of the different bags to take a whiff. For someone who’s got the visibility across the industry that he does, despite the frustrations of the legal market, Bundlez remains grateful. In maybe the best example of this, before I leave, he asks me to include:

“I want to shout out the guys who helped me put all this shit together, for real. And, you know, our street teams everywhere. And everybody who fucks with us. Everybody who smoked Seven Leaves and posted it. Anybody who’s ever really took their time, and money, to buy and try seven leaves out, I want to thank those people. Other than that, like you know, shout out to Jay Bape and Jigs and… shit, that’s pretty much it.”

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The Hookah, Vape, E-cig Shootout

All millennial’s and Gen-Zs must by now be familiar with hookah bars and lounges. They must have first or second-hand experience of Vaping e-liquids or tried out e-cigs, at least socially. All of the above activities enjoy great popularity with the younger section of the western populace. Still, there are fundamental differences between the three. […]

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Smoking Weed And Your Rights – A BC Cannabis Consumption Lounge Crossword

In Canada, you can legally buy a joint but there are few places where you can smoke it. At first glance, the issue might seem like a low priority when in fact it’s actually anything but. Smoking weed indoors is a luxury for some and a necessity for others. Clean air bylaws, strata councils and […]

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Why do we say indica or sativa?

When talking about a strain’s effect, why do we say indica or sativa? Technically, these are botany terms; they classify the subspecies of the cannabis plant. They have a lot more to do with plant genetics and characteristics than the way a bud will make you feel. It begs the question, why do we use […]

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The Current Situation for BC’s Cannabis Smoking Lounges

It’s been a rough road since day one and the pandemic has made the struggle even harder; cannabis consumption sites, also known as lounges, do not have it easy. As one could imagine, a virus that attacks the respiratory system is a serious threat to a smoking lounge. With that in mind, here’s a look […]

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Riot Fest Brought the Good Vibes and a Love of Cannabis to Chicago

On day-one of Riot Fest, there was paranoia. Before music-lovers, which the Chicago-based festival attracts alone, entered the festival grounds, many were asking, “What about my legally acquired cannabis?!” I overheard that concern more than once, but those fears were soon laid to rest as festival goers bypassed the lovely security members and enjoyed their vices in a peaceful, three-day celebration of music and community. 

It was truly a celebration, too, with an endearing sense of community. People cared. Not only about quality music and good times, but about each other. Petty arguing and fighting, which are unfortunately common at festivals, were a rare sight, at least for my eyes. When someone was hurt or had a few too many, people helped.

Photo courtesy of Jack Giroux

During a booming set from cannabis enthusiasts Run the Jewels, when a man hit the ground, there was only concern, no laughter. People giving a crap about one another made the music and overall experience of Riot Fest all the more enjoyable. 

A few bands dropped out before the event, including Nine Inch Nails and the Pixies, but the lineup remained stacked. This year, a few of the headliners included Lupe Fiasco, Devo, Slipknot, The Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins. 

Sometimes must-see acts conflicted in the schedule, but more often than not, all the stages presented variety. Depending on one’s mood on the day, there was a band that would cater to it. After a long day, for example, Lupe Fiasco got the energy raised sky-high. The Chicago native performed “The Cool,” and it ruled. The artist’s voice was as beautiful as it sounds on a record. 

Artists were delighted to be back on stage. Several acts admitted to the crowd they hadn’t performed since the pandemic started. Many, such as Run the Jewels, worried they’d show signs of rust. Not the case. Every artist, except Machine Gun Kelly, brought nothing but joy and their A-game to the festival. 

A bit of clarification: Machine Gun Kelly took a swipe at Slipknot as the band performed on another stage and dedicated the show to one of its founding members, Joey Jordison. Kelly mocked the group. In the end, Slipknot had the last laugh because people were actually talking about their performance the next day, while people just groaned about Kelly.

Every day was an embarrassment of riches in terms of acts to catch. K.Flay was a dominant force on stage. Along with her band, she held nothing back. She was thrilling. Sublime ignited a wave of nostalgia in the audience. 

“I used to smoke weed listening to this in college!” a friend shouted. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Living Colour brought it, as well. Those bands have such an infectious on-stage chemistry together. It radiates off the stage and consumes the audience. 

On the more rock side, nobody left Thrice or Taking Back Sunday disappointed. Disappointment was not common at Riot Fest. The massive crowd, which needed to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend, had nothing to complain about. 

Riot Fest
Photo courtesy of Jack Giroux

Shoutout to the attendees, whose phones were not always up and selfies didn’t run rampant. People were respectful of the performances. There was a tangible passion among the crowd there. Everyone, based on my experience, was there for the music alone. 

The audience was maybe at its most rowdy when Run the Jewels hit the stage. The two-man hip hop group, El-P and Killer Mike, have always been known to put on a helluva show. The hype is correct. Their music isn’t even to my taste, but what a fantastic performance the self-admittedly high duo delivered.

Both spontaneous and choreographed, Run the Jewels had an army of music fans on their feet and moving. There were nonstop cheers, especially when Killer Mike said cannabis prohibition needs to stop. He also gave a lovely shout out to his wife in the audience. She, too, was high, Killer Mike noted. 

Riot Fest didn’t stop after the headliners performed. There are late nights after shows to catch around Chicago. I only caught one myself, but it was one worth catching. The feverish punk group from Los Angeles, The Bronx, had my ears ringing in delight at The Cobra Lounge. The band even gave me an excuse to finally put my long hair to good use and bang it around a bit. They hadn’t performed in a long time, but you’d never know it. 

Riot Fest was such an enjoyable experience full of good times that it’s impossible to list off all the damn fine acts that livened up not only the weekend, but the year, for many in attendance. Fever 333, Anti-Flag, Body Count, which is fronted by Iced-T, and many other groups brought nothing but joy to Chicago. This year’s Riot Fest was yet another reminder of why live music is just good for the soul. 

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Cameron Forni Pushes Innovation With Rolling Stone Cannabis Collab

Pulling up to entrepreneur turned cannabis mogul Cameron Forni’s Las Vegas home feels like driving up to the entrance of a Las Vegas Strip hotel. In his driveway, a custom-decalled Ferrari stands out with a monopoly-esque art themed wrap. The wrap showcases his consulting company, an eco-friendly crypto currency, and also pays homage to the brand that started it all—Select. Parked next to it is an all-black Rolls Royce Ghost. On first impression, Cameron Forni has built quite a life as an entrepreneur.  

“I’m glad you found the house!” He says jokingly as I hop out of my car and walk up his impressive driveway to the door. The 35-year-old can’t be any taller than 5-foot-9, and his unassuming black t-shirt and navy-blue shorts suggest that, even with this level of success, he’s still relatable.

We are greeted by a pair of medium-sized Pomsky’s, Meso and Cali. We make our way through the striking entryway to the kitchen where we all sit together to become more acquainted. Forni passes around a plate of avocado toast for us to snack on while we discuss his latest device for Select in the cannabis space.  

We’re here to talk about the recent partnership Select launched with Rolling Stone magazine on co-branded vape pens and Select’s first-ever pre-rolls. Forni explains that his goal is to create a smooth, enjoyable experience for all cannabis users. Further, he is excited about the reach and cultural alignment between the Rolling Stone brand and music. 

Rolling Stone’s president and COO Gus Wenner also speaks to the larger purpose driving the new co-branded product line.  

“There’s a mission here that’s been a part of our DNA since the beginning. Music and cannabis are so connected, and we set out to make a product that is A) really good and B) strikes right at the heart of what makes experiencing great music so special,” Wenner told Cannabis Now, adding that the Rolling Stones team has spent the past three years exploring ways to create this opportunity.

“In CuraLeaf and Select, we found a perfect partner who could design innovative and exciting products that elevate the music listening experience and so much more,” he said. “We both recognize cannabis’ place in music and in history. We’ve covered the health benefits and some of the incarceration issues around how cases are treated for non-violent crime offenders in our reporting and will continue to do so.”

If legal cannabis was a baseball game, Forni insists we’d still be in the second inning of a typical nine-inning game. The black market remains too powerful for the legal industry to reach its full potential, he says. Forni also comments on the tumultuous hemp-based Delta-8 market, which he believes “is finally being cracked down on.” 

The Select founder contends legal weed’s biggest boon will happen when Congress passes the SAFE Banking Act and the STATES Act, opening the way for cannabis companies to list on the New York Stock Exchange. 

“It’ll change the entire financial landscape of the cannabis industry,” he says. “That’s what we’re waiting for.” 

The legal cannabis Green Rush has been good to entrepreneurs like Forni, who got involved early and worked tooth-and-nail to earn significant market share. Forni founded Select back in 2015 after puffing on a marijuana vape and coughing his lungs out. This experience inspired his first business venture, and he set out to develop a smoother cartridge. Select was born. 

Forni built this company from the ground up and filled his first cartridges by hand. From his living room, Forni managed to turn Select into the fastest growing cannabis brand in history. This caught the attention of the world’s largest cannabis company, Curaleaf, which purchased his company for $948 million dollars in 2019. Since the sale, Forni has stayed on as a special advisor to Curaleaf’s CEO Joe Bayern. Expanding the product line beyond its staple cartridge products, Select now also offers THC oil, gummies, tinctures and drink mixers.

Forni brings us to his office and hands over a pack of his newest edibles, “Nano Gummies.” The citrus-flavored edible is made of strain-inspired terpene formulas and are infused with cannabis oil. They are also water soluble which allows the THC to digest quicker. Their new gummies will surely be a hit across the 2,000 dispensaries in 21 states that carry Select’s products. However, Forni isn’t completely satisfied quite yet. “You can taste hints of cannabis, we can make it better,” he says. 

How does a guy in Forni’s position not let all of this get to his head? We ask him how he’s changed, besides the new house and luxury lifestyle. The answer? Not much. Forni says he’s always had a bit of an edge to him. But in a good way. 

“You got to keep it,” he says of his ego. “I always try to be myself; I always try to be kind to everyone around me, and I always try to teach and mentor people to bring them up to the next level. Success follows success, and I always wanted to follow the people that had success before me. I just hope I can inspire people—whether that’s a role model or a mentor—to do and achieve incredible things for themselves, their family and the planet.”  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Laughs] How often do you perform in LA?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Laughs] Any funny material there, though?

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

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

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

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

I’m from DC. Great comedy scene.

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

No kidding?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do you perform locally the most now? 

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

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

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

Was it also just not very valuable?

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

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

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

Some good jokes there, I imagine, too.

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

The post Ms. Pat Opens Up About Her New BET+ Series, ‘The Ms. Pat Show’ appeared first on High Times.

Hip-Hop Mogul Jay-Z Invests in Cannabis Retail Platform Flowhub

Cannabis point-of-sale platform Flowhub announced on Tuesday the closing of a $19 million round of strategic funding, including significant participation from venture capital firms Headline and Poseiden as well as a personal investment from entrepreneur and hip-hop billionaire Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. 

The new round of funding for Flowhub brings the total amount of capital raised for the company to $50 million with a valuation of $200 million, according to a statement from the cannabis dispensary payment transactions processor.

“We are thrilled to announce this capital raise,” said Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO of Flowhub. “Headline is an incredible, Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, Poseidon is a pioneer investor in the cannabis industry, and Jay-Z is a cultural and creative global force no matter the industry he is involved in.”

“I couldn’t think of a better group to be working with as we take this company to the next stage,” Sherman added. “This funding not only underscores the significant value that Flowhub provides to our customers, but also the maturation of the cannabis industry at large. We remain committed to developing innovative products that help our retail customers run better businesses.”

Flowhub processes in excess of $3 billion in cannabis transactions annually, providing more than 1,000 marijuana dispensaries a retail sales platform to serve their customers while maintaining compliance with strict regulations. The company will use the new round of funding to accelerate its expansion into emerging cannabis markets while developing new products for its expanding line of services.

Supporting Cannabis Social Equity

The company also plans to use the new funding to support and grow its social equity program, which was launched by Flowhub in June to invest in communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. 

Through the program, eligible social equity cannabis business owners can receive Flowhub’s POS retail management and compliance software for only $4.20 per year, which represents a reduction of 99.97 percent over regular pricing. The discount is available for up to three years at the social equity owner’s first cannabis dispensary business location.

The Flowhub social equity program also provides participating cannabis retailers with the company’s Stash inventory management and Greet customer check-in mobile apps, as well as the View mobile analytics app and free implementation of the technology. 

To date, Flowhub has awarded more than $1 million worth of software products to eligible cannabis entrepreneurs participating in the program. More information about the Flowhub cannabis social equity program is available online.

Software Allows Debit Transactions at Cannabis Dispensaries

Because of the continued illegality of cannabis at the federal level, most banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions do not offer traditional banking services to cannabis businesses, even those operating legally under state law. As a result, most dispensaries are forced to conduct transactions with their customers and suppliers via cash.

“We’re still a cash industry, and it’s 2021,” Sherman told Forbes. “It’s hard to believe when we barely have cards in our pocket anymore with Apple Pay.”

Flowhub’s POS software addresses the cash issue by allowing customers to use their debit cards to make sales transactions at cannabis dispensaries. But instead of being processed as a debit card sale, the transaction is technically an ATM withdrawal.

“It’s not really debit, but it feels like it,” Sherman said.

Jay-Z and Cannabis

Jay-Z’s stake in Flowhub isn’t his first foray into the cannabis industry. In 2019, he became the brand strategist for Caliva, where he developed his signature high-end cannabis brand Monogram. The following year, Caliva, Monogram and Left Coast Ventures were acquired through a SPAC deal that produced the Parent Company, where Jay-Z heads the social equity venture fund.

“When Jay says, ‘I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,’ it’s true,” said Sherman, recalling a sample of Jay-Z’s well-known lyrics. “He’s got incredible business acumen—he really knows how to surround himself with brilliant people and build great companies.”

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The Top Five CannaMoms For You To Follow

Cannabis legalization is quickly spreading across the globe, most recently in the United States. And while the cannabis industry creates new opportunities like holistic care and jobs, it’s also creating impact for one of the largest communities in the world — mothers. Women today who’ve given birth or have become primary caregivers have been trading […]

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