Higher Profile: Ed & Jane Rosenthal, Quick Trading Publishing

Ed Rosenthal is an icon—an OG in the cannabis space with more than a dozen educational books on growing the plant in print. He’s known as an authority on the subject, teaching long-running classes at prestigious Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, where he makes his home with his wife and partner of more than 30 years, Jane Klein.

As one of the founders of High Times Magazine in New York City in 1974, Ed was dubbed the Guru of Ganja, writing his “Ask Ed” column for more than 20 years—long before online community forums or social media were places to gather and share information.

“Tom Forcade, Ron Lichty, and myself developed the concept for the magazine,” Ed shared. “I’d been doing statistical analysis based on a paper by Peter Knocke comparing the number of imported rolling papers over five to six years. The implication was that any increase in imports was generated by increased cannabis use. We looked at other factors as well to guesstimate the number of people using cannabis, including how many joints a day someone would smoke. Our conclusion was that the number of cannabis was vastly underestimated and a large enough community to support a monthly magazine.”

This scientific approach to the early stages of launching a national magazine entirely about weed was encouraging to the team, who were already fringe journalists and cannabis rights activists in the 1970s and had run the Underground Press Syndicate for many years.

“We mapped out 100 stories we thought we could publish, including my column,” Ed added. “Those stories became the first two years of the magazine. We didn’t have any ads at first, so we used national mainstream ads without permission, and that brought in a lot of advertisers to follow.”

As a journalist, Ed was embedded in the underground, reporting on grows that were considered illegal activities at the time. His “Ask Ed” column became the go-to for growers large and small at a time when doing so could land you in Federal prison. Ed knew that though the plant was illegal, people would grow it anyway; showing how to grow it better was a much needed service.

When asked about the decades worth of misinformation about cannabis as a medicinal plant, Ed responded vehemently, “It’s not misinformation, they lied to us to achieve the goal of discriminating against minorities and cannabis users! Even more shameful was the fact that the government knew about the medicinal benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids, patenting them while lying to the public.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Shafer Commission’s report, published in 1972, calling for the decriminalization of cannabis, as it was about to be put on the Department of Health’s Schedule 1. Authored by then former Pennsylvania Governor Raymond P. Shafer, the report was ignored by the administration under Pres. Richard Nixon—who appointed Governor Shafer to the task, then proceeded to keep cannabis on the list of dangerous drugs with no medicinal value.

For those of us like Ed, who have been penning articles and columns to the contrary for years, positive changes have been slow in coming, but we persist.

Courtesy of Ed Rosenthal

Deputized, then Raided

In 2002, Ed was raided at his nursery where he grew plants for patients that got distributed through medical dispensaries in the San Francisco Bay area. The subsequent court case was one of the most high-profile at the time, as Ed had been Deputized prior to the raid by the City of Oakland as an officer, able to distribute legal medical cannabis under California’s Proposition 215, as voted on in 1996.

The Federally selected jury, however, was not privy to this State recognition, and Ed was convicted in 2003 with all charges overturned by the Federal Appeals Court in 2006. This was due to a cannabis-sympathetic juror questioning the trial to a lawyer friend, who provided misinformation about juror responsibilities. But, Ed had a firm belief that he’d never do time for the plant. 

“The judge lost friends over my trial—he and his wife were socialites in San Francisco, but they stopped being invited to parties. Everyone was against convicting me for this plant,” he said. “I was an educator and an activist—I did everything with the plant but sell it. For me, the trial was just another way to help change the public opinion of the law.

Unlike many who’ve been raided, persecuted, and judged for working with the plant, Ed went back to life as usual, publishing, educating, and advocating for the right to grow and use cannabis.

Nuptials, Lilies, and Weed

Through all the trials and tribulations, one little-known aspect of Ed’s life is the one he’s shared with his longtime partner and wife of 33 years, Jane Klein.

Ed was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and Jane grew up in Hempsted, Long Island—but the two might as well have been from two different worlds.

They met through mutual friends, but Jane said he was too much of a hippie for her at the time.

In actuality, Ed’s past life included working as an Assistant Compliance Officer for a stock brokerage company. The year was 1967, and a co-worker brought Jane over to visit; but it wasn’t until the 1980s, after Jane and Ed had both put down roots in California that they became close.

One rumor within the cannabis community is that Jane also grew cannabis when they met, but the truth is, Jane grows other kinds of flowers, and they both grow vegetables together in their at-home hydroponics garden.

“I love to grow lilies, and Ed has a hydro bumper crop of tomatoes growing now,” Jane said. “Ed made onion soup the other night from scallions, zucchini, and peppers from the garden.”

Jane has been indispensable as CEO of their Quick Trading Publishing company, publishing most of Ed’s and other writer’s books for more than 25 years. 

“We don’t just regurgitate his old columns or how-to books,” she said. “Each book is updated to the times, as lighting and growing practices are always changing.”

His current effort, The Cannabis Grower’s Handbook, with Dr. Robert Flannery and Angela Bacca, includes a preface by Steve DeAngelo, a forward by none other than Tommy Chong, and an introduction by Angela Bacca. It’s an epic, updated compilation of just about everything you’d like to know about growing cannabis, and then some.

Ed has collaborated with many talented writers over the years in the space, including Angela Bacca, Ellen Holland, and David Downs.

As for their longevity in the space, both Ed and Jane agree the plant has something to do with that, as well.

“We are very fortunate to be in our 70s and aren’t taking any pharmaceutical medications,” Jane concluded. “Cannabis has taken the steam off tension, anxiety, stress—which can all cause illness, disorders, and psychological damage.”

In classic Ed form, he chided, “Besides my relationship with Jane, cannabis is the longest running relationship I’ve had with a woman in my entire life.” As he said this, Jane chuckled beside him.

Rosenthal
Courtesy of Ed Rosenthal

Backyard Weed for All

Ed’s accomplishments over the years as an activist are too numerous to name, and he has no intention of stopping yet. Recently on stage during the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Barcelona, Spain, he quipped to an amused audience, “Everything they told us about weed is wrong. They said weed would lead to hard drugs, but we all know weed leads to hash.”

“Ed has just launched a lifetime dream towards fulfilling the goal of helping people to grow free backyard weed for all,” Jane shared. “Legalization in the U.S. is almost the law of the land now, and we are focusing on the POWs—the Prisoners of Weed.”

Ed’s Prisoners of Weed book pack includes two of his books, Cannabis Grower’s Handbook and Ask Ed: Marijuana Success, and a pack of seeds—genetics approved by Ed. Ten percent of proceeds go to the Last Prisoner Project, supporting the release and financial help to POWs.

“This is a real win-win-win,” Ed surmised. “I didn’t have to do time after I was raided, and I looked at it as just another form of activism. But, there are still people out there doing time for a plant many are profiting on now, and that’s wrong. We need to change that yesterday.”

For more information on Ed visit edrosenthal.com 

For more information on The Last Prisoner Project visit, lastprisonerproject.org

Follow Ed on Facebook
Instagram @edrosenthal420
Twitter @edrosenthal 

The post Higher Profile: Ed & Jane Rosenthal, Quick Trading Publishing appeared first on High Times.

Jon’s Stone-Cold Cop List #24: The Green Hall of Flowers Street Festival

It seems like I haven’t stopped smoking, or going to events about smoking, in the past two months. Not that I’m complaining whatsoever, but with so much going on it’s getting harder to distill everything down for these lists. So with that in mind, you’re getting a few extra this edition, as we’re recapping both Hall of Flowers, and the Green Street Festival. I know there were several other events this month, and while I was truly bummed to miss them, one dude can’t be everywhere. Unless you’re Jimi Devine, I guess—and speaking of which, Solventless Against the System was my favorite event of this past weekend—I won a rig in a raffle!

It was excellent seeing some of my favorite people, like Mike Glazer and Mary Jane Gibson, on stage in front of an adoring crowd, and all the brands on display vying for our collective attention, and, and, and all the industry friends & colleagues and their individual plights & trophies, but you know what I’m looking for—and it rhymes with ‘neat’. I found a LOT of great brands this haul, and am happy to present an almost entirely fresh list of brands for you guys—including a first time category entry to this bad boy, so let’s get into it.

As always, blow me up in the comments or on Twitter if I missed your favs—or be nice and tell me what to check out that’s dope and maybe we can be friends. I’m pretty easy like that.

CAM

Courtesy of CAM

CAM’s admittedly been on my radar for awhile now, but somehow they’ve managed to slip through the cracks of my compilations so far, so I’m kicking this one off with them. Every time I see this crew they’ve always got something better than they did the time before, and their flower has been tops as long as I’ve known them. The most recent cultivars, from their Dosi Kush, to their Gasanova, to CAM’s Runtz, clearly illustrate that they deserve to be among these ranks. Not to mention the leader of this crew, Anna, is one of the sweetest and most hard working women in the game. While the team she has assembled is second to none, it’s important to note just how much she has taken on on her own thus far.

Kalya

Courtesy of Kalya

Speaking of great people, there are few brands I enjoy seeing out in the wild more than Kalya. Marc is seriously one of the best people in the industry to be around, his joy is infectious, and you can feel the love in all his work. These guys have won tons of awards over the years—from CC’s to Emerald Cups, so I know I’m not being partial to his charm—his products are all top of the line, and boy does he know how to pick em. If you’ve read a lot of my lists you’ll know I definitely favor flower, but if there’s one brand I will always risk my joint tolerance for, it’s these guys.

Blueprint – Item 9

Courtesy of Blueprint

Blueprint has been the star of the last several Hall of Flowers for me, so it’s no surprise that of all the flowers I peered at and inhaled the past few weeks, theirs was among the best. Fresh on the scene is their latest ‘Item 9’, and while they are certainly a camp that consistently puts out bangers, this one is truly something special. While I was expecting something more downy, Item 9 performed as a balanced hybrid for me, putting me into an excellent, giggly mood, without any of the drowsiness. If you weren’t already, you should follow the Blueprint.

Willie’s Reserve – Whitethorn Rose

Courtesy of Huckleberry Hill Farms

I’ve been hearing the folklore about the Whitethorn Rose from Huckleberry Hill Farms for awhile now, but my first actual taste came via Willie’s Reserve, who partners with legendary legacy growers like the aforementioned farm to promote amazing cultivars. I was fortunate enough to meet Nicole from their team, who slipped me a jar, and while I was expecting something special, this one truly knocked even my socks off. They’re not kidding about Johnny at Huckleberry’s work. With an amazing sweet floral aroma that will not only stain your palate, but your grinder too, this refreshing and uplifting flower is exactly what I’m looking for when I search for a daytime strain. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to try this magical varietal yet, put it at the top of your list.

Wood Wide

Courtesy of Wood Wide

These guys are a totally new name for me, but this one’s kismet. I met Corbin at a HOF after party and we smoked a blunt and got to talking. The next morning I caught him hanging by the pool at my hotel, and he pulled out some of his work to show me. It’s extremely rare I meet someone with as big of a portfolio as this, but even more so when each new cut seems to be better than the last. It’s hard to choose a favorite out of the lineup he showed me, but here are some standouts: Bucking Runtz, Cowgirl Cookies, Hall of Famer 3, Marilyn Monroe, and the Lemon Pinecone Biscotti x Fire as Fuck.

Flight Path – Oreoz

Courtesy of Flight Path

I know I might get some slack for this one, so let me come right out and say it: I never got Oreoz before this. I know it’s been popular the past few years, but none of those cuts ever really spoke to me, and I never understood how it got it’s name. Well friends, Flight Path has the answer—not only did they manage to get some seriously standout buds from their run of this cultivar, but they legit, no joke, smell exactly like Oreo cookies. It’s not surprising to me though, because while these guys are still newcomers to the space, every varietal I’ve seen from them so far has been a spectacular expression of the plant, so I expect the kids to keep coming from this camp, even when they do something you won’t expect to dig.

Courtesy of High Caliber

This is my pick for most unexpected MVP of Hall of Flowers. While I admittedly wanted to hate these guys when I heard them call themselves the ‘champagne of flowers’, I am comfortable acknowledging their flower smacks despite the silly reference. Although supposedly limited edition and small batch, it was their Mint Cookie Dough specifically that kicked my ass. Testing the highest for Pinene—and just the fact that they give you that information clearly on the jar is considered a win for me—but pair that with some truly badass flower and I’ll look past the gimmicks with the tagline.

Med Tree – Grape Gas

Courtesy of Med Tree

This one was a rec from my dear friend Sam Zartoshty, the founder of Blunt Talks, and as he rarely misses, this was one I was excited to dig into. Grape Gas was my first taste of Med Tree, but it’s clear from both the packaging and the flower that these guys have been around since the old days. But while they may be legacy, they’re certainly speaking the language of today’s market. Everyone wants purple, a lot of people say they’ve got grape something or another… but this, this one’s the real. Although these guys have historically been breeding, having even won a few of High Times Cannabis Cups back in the day, they’re just entering the rec market, and they’re certainly ones to watch.

Cream of the Crop

Courtesy of Cream of the Crop

I’d seen their prerolls, but this Hall of Flowers was my first chance to see COTC’s flower, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. While their portfolio ran the gamut, I was pleased to see the COTC gang steadily holding down the more uplifting side of the smoke spectrum, as opposed to just the knockout terps most people are pushing for today. Out of the selection my two favorites were (of course) Watermelon Mimosa (a consistent fav) and their Lemon Freeze Pop, which I was just trying for the first time. Both have been godsends this past week while trying to find inspiration during the day, with smooth highs that put a battery in my back, as opposed to strapping me down with weights.

Brothers Broadleaf

Courtesy of Brothers Broadleaf

Who knew I’d be writing about tobacco products one day? You know, I didn’t really experience Backwoods until I got to California. See, I grew up on Dutch Masters, so when I started seeing these thick-leafed, messy looking blunts on the west coast I was honestly curious why anyone was smoking them. The blunts I was used to were clean, smooth… they were presentable. I had almost written off blunts on this coast until my guy Barney introduced me to Brothers Broadleaf. These thin, perfect-every-time tobacco wraps were like a dream come true. The perfect size, the perfect flavor, and even better, they roll like a dream. I was lucky enough to meet up with the Brothers this past weekend at the Green Street Festival and I’ve got to say, they’re just as dedicated to their craft as you’d expect. Keep in mind, they’re hand rolling all of these, so they’re dropping in batches, but trust me when I say that every blunt smoker will not only benefit, but truly prefer these leaves.

High Season

Courtesy of High Season

These guys have been around for awhile now, but they’ve got a new face (Josh Karchmer) shaking things up behind the scenes, and boy is he making his presence felt. On top of the new look and feel, Josh has ensured the brand is disclosing its primary terpenes on its packaging so that its consumers can better prescribe the experience, which y’all know I like very much. That said, they’ve also got a great variety within their portfolio, offering something for most any occasion. Their Tropical Julius and Dosi Shmintz are two of my daily drivers right now.

Foreign Genetics

Courtesy of Foreign Genetics

When I first heard Squints was in the weed game I was honestly excited. It’s not a regular celebrity play, IDK if you could even really call him a celebrity, but the Sandlot will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart, and for that alone I was interested. While I imagined dude had to know what good flower was, I wasn’t expecting what was in his bag to be as good as it is. Although it was unlabeled so I’m not 100% sure what it is, and I don’t want to disrespect the brand and assume it was a good cut of a more basic strain, I will say the nose straight up punched me in the face out of the bag—and that’s through the double-sided plastic bud protector inside.

Team Elite Genetics

Courtesy of Team Elite Genetics

Another consistent HOF standout is Team Elite Genetics. At the last event I got to try Pearadise for the first time. This time their newest flavor was Styrofoam Cup. As with all of the cuts I’ve seen from Team Elite, these buds looked magnificent—alive almost. With an unusual nose, it was the taste where the name really presented itself. It’s flavor almost burnt the tongue. I also got a look at some of their private reserve daytime smoke, and let me tell you, if they ever release that wide it’s going to be game over for a lot of the classic ‘sativas’, because this one’s the real jet fuel. Also a quick note, pictured is their Orange Soda, since I couldn’t find a picture of the Cup yet, and since that’s an all time fav that’s back in the mix. It’s a must cop too.

818 Brands

Courtesy of 818 Brands

Without question one of my favorite new finds of the trip was 818. I hear they’re not new to the game, and that tracks as my first experience with their flower had me seriously impressed. From their Garlicane, which had one of the most stand-out aromas on the floor—with notes of garlic, cake and gas—to their Classic OGs, 818 clearly has some experienced cultivators and premiere genetics on their hands. If you get a chance, grab a bag of that Garlicane—its taste presents almost menthol and that minty goodness will be a breath of fresh air for your lungs.

Have Hash

Courtesy of Have Hash

These guys are another that have been putting out good work for a minute now, but for whatever reason I just haven’t given them their proper shine. Part of the High Grade Distribution family, Have Hash produces some seriously high-end products, and at price points designed to satisfy both connoisseurs and entry-level smokers, with their private reserve and value brands respectfully. The latest flavor I caught, their Green Zkittle, which was grown by Talking Trees Farms, was seriously delicious, and that’s coming from a guy who only dabs when it’s important to. It’s also worth mentioning that I also would recommend saving this hash for dabbing, as it’s far too flavorful to get lost in a donut!

See ya in a few weeks!

The post Jon’s Stone-Cold Cop List #24: The Green Hall of Flowers Street Festival appeared first on High Times.

Germany Speeding Up Legalization Process

Germany appears to be speeding up its legalization process. Finance Minister Christian Lindner tweeted cannabis will be legal “soon.” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said there are a lot of technical details to work out, which are supposed to start this summer. Expect a draft legalization bill sometime before the end of the year. The Germans […]

The post Germany Speeding Up Legalization Process appeared first on Cannabis News, Lifestyle – Headlines, Videos & Cooking.

AAPI Appreciation in the World of Weed: Movers and Shakers

Race is a topic that comes up a lot in cannabis, as social equity and the War on Drugs is discussed, but APPI folks are often left out of the conversation completely. Due to the harmful and racist “model minority” myth that Asians have to be model citizens, it is often assumed that they won’t have anything to do with even the world of legal cannabis—a myth that also shows there is still a major stigma against weed. To dispel those antiquated notions, we spoke with some of the major movers and shakers in cannabis who come from an AAPI background and are proudly bringing their cultural heritage to the world of cannabis. 

Photo courtesy of Fusion-Studio

Clark Wu – Attorney, Bianchi & Brandt 

Clark Wu is an attorney with Bianchi & Brandt and appreciates that the team he is on, specializing in cannabis law, has a variety of different backgrounds and strives to increase overall diversity in the cannabis industry through their practices. His work with the firm includes assisting groups that secured social equity licenses in Arizona and providing them with the tools they need to succeed.

“I give back outside of work through the American Bar Association’s judicial internship program by mentoring law students to encourage a more diverse generation of lawyers,” he says. “I’m also a part of the International Cannabis Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, which seeks to promote diversity and inclusion in the industry while reducing barriers to entry by developing tools to help social equity groups succeed. My firm has not only supported but encouraged these efforts.” 

AAPI
Photo courtesy of Angela Cheng

Angela Cheng –  SVP of Marketing and Communications at Pacific Stone  

Angela Cheng was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Vancouver in a progressive household with artist parents. She feels that the immigrant experience and growing up creative helped inform her choice to work in cannabis marketing and help brands tap into their creative energy. 

“I would love to see more people who look like me working in cannabis. Representation is important, and as the cannabis industry continues to evolve it’s important to not just show up but to actively participate in the conversation,” she says. “My parents are now very proud of my work but it took time, and I think part of the reason it took time was because there were very few platforms for AAPIs in cannabis.” 

AAPI
Courtesy of Socrates Rosenfeld

Socrates Rosenfeld, Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies, Inc.

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Jane, a cannabis e-commerce provider, Rosenfeld initially got some pushback from his mom when he entered the cannabis space. As an Indonesian man, his mom had a lot of preconceived notions about cannabis but eventually, Rosenfeld was able to educate her about the good it can do. 

“My mom came around once she realized our ultimate mission is to help people, and that Jane was founded on my own healing experience with the plant,” he says. “As Asian-Americans, cannabis is a part of our history. It’s up to the current generation to redefine what the plant represents for ourselves—as well as for previous and future generations.”

AAPI
Courtesy of Anne Fleshman

Anne Fleshman, VP of Marketing at Flowhub

As an active member of the cannabis industry for almost four years now with Flowhub, a cannabis point of sale company, Fleshman compares her cannabis journey to “coming out.” Cannabis was never something she spoke about openly before, and it took her a while to get over her stigma. 

“For a long time, I felt guilty about my personal consumption of cannabis,” says Fleshman, “There is still a stigma for sure, but I believe it’s diminishing. It’s refreshing to see communities normalizing cannabis as medicine and more states legalizing adult-use sales. As the industry matures, we have a unique opportunity to create a diverse and inclusive workforce that reverses the damages of the War on Drugs. We must create clear pathways to mentorship and educational opportunities, and prioritize the experiences of people of color and women in industry leadership roles.”

AAPI
Courtesy of Marion Mariathasan

Marion Mariathasan, CEO and Co-founder of Simplifya

As CEO of compliance software company Simplifya, Marion Mariathasan has founded numerous cannabis startups and is no stranger to the industry. 

“It is nothing like how it was back when I first got into the industry in 2015,” he says of the stigma he faced. “When I first told my family and friends about my interest in the cannabis space and that I was starting a RegTech company, they were super shocked. Much of the shock I believe had to do with the fact that cannabis was still federally illegal, and due to the negative perception they had of cannabis—primarily due to misinformation.” 

AAPI
Courtesy of Vince Ning. Jun S. Lee (left) and Vince C. Ning (right) (Co-Founders & Co-CEOs) 

Vince Ning – Nabis 

Vince is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Nabis, the licensed cannabis wholesale platform. Vince’s prowess in technology, finance, and data analysis have helped him partner with cannabis brands across the state of California, where he has helped hundreds of businesses launch and scale. In doing so, he is always conscious of both his marginalization as an Asian person as well as his privilege. 

“It was definitely something that was on our mind,” he says when discussing being Asian in the industry. “We knew we’d be put in that category, and we really tried to first learn more about the existing cannabis culture. We didn’t want to come in and just be these Asian techies coming into the cannabis industry, trying to just do things our way. We really wanted to learn about how the industry got here and really integrate ourselves into existing fabric and try to help it and help shape it rather than forcing anything.”

Photo by Ellen Jaskol. ellenjaskol@gmail.com.

Sonya Lo, Executive Board Member, urban-gro

As the only female AAPI CEO of two major indoor growing ventures under urban-gro, Sonya Lo would like to see more representation in leadership positions, because she knows it is there in the grow room. Many of the world’s poorest farmers are women of color, and she believes that for them, seeing that representation is critical. 

“Sustainability isn’t just about carbon reduction, but also about creating better opportunities for farmers who wouldn’t otherwise have access to technology opportunities such as the ones I’ve had,” she says. “Over the next 10 years, I hope the indoor growing industry will reflect the increased diversity of industrialized nations’ populations and the adoption of these technologies in countries where women of color are the farmers.”

The post AAPI Appreciation in the World of Weed: Movers and Shakers appeared first on High Times.

Neil Magnuson Arrested

Police arrested Neil Magnuson in Downtown Eastside Vancouver last Tuesday. The long-time cannabis activist sold high-potency edibles out of his RV for low-income, opioid-addicted residents.  The Vancouver Police raided his supply and confiscated his RV.  Magnuson told CityNews, “I shudder to think of what would happen to many of our members. They’re going to go […]

The post Neil Magnuson Arrested appeared first on Cannabis News, Lifestyle – Headlines, Videos & Cooking.

Nipsey Hussle’s TMC Hosts Documentary Screening for ‘The Marathon (Cultivation)’

As the brand expands and “The Marathon Continues,” Hussle’s team announced an upcoming documentary. High Times was invited to an advanced screening on the rooftop of their new store on Melrose.

The aptly-named documentary, The Marathon (Cultivation), explores the life of Nipsey Hussle, the entrepreneur. We get a deeper dive into how Nipsey and his older brother Blacc Sam built a million-dollar cannabis business from the ground up, and the challenges they faced during a time when selling weed was not as popular as it is now.

Guests trickled into an empty white building at a prime location near Melrose and La Brea. After folks took photos on the red carpet, they were led up the stairs to an intimate rooftop with white chairs lined up in front of a screen. 

In true entrepreneurial fashion, The Marathon Clothing set up shop in a small store displaying the latest drops and iconic Crenshaw tee shirts. His platinum records hung behind the register and Puma shoes were perfectly lined up on shelves around the room.

Courtesy of Mark Escalante

Delicious hors d’oeuvres were served throughout the night and there were even two beautiful women lounging in a hot tub Jacuzzi to set the vibe. 

As people mingled, Nipsey’s presence was strongly missed. His dad greeted friends, Sam said hi to familiar faces, and All Money In rappers like J Stone came to support the screening. Less than 100 people gathered for an exclusive look into this never before seen footage.

Puffs of smoke filled the air and the lights went down to signal people to take their seats. Sam then took the microphone and shared a few words about what the film would entail. “We’ve been in the marijuana business for a minute, illegally,” Sam said, “We always had our eyes on a legit license and we wanted to put together something that explains the journey.”

Courtesy of Mark Escalante

From the beginning, Hussle was known for having the best of the best. To this day, Marathon OG maintains a consistent reputation among stoners craving an old-school LA flavor. Recognized by High Times as one of The Cure Company’s best strains, it has become a favorite among long-time smokers that enjoy a heavy-hitting Indica.

The film starts where Nipsey Hussle’s journey initially began, on the corner of Crenshaw and Slauson. Images of him smoking at this memorialized intersection flash on the screen as the lyrics from his music narrate the clips. This was the block where he jump-started his career, selling shirts, CDs, and according to many, the best weed in town. Cameos from customers like Snoop Dogg, give context to how potent this stuff was.

Clips of Nipsey smoking and talking about their dream to open a legal weed shop feel surreal as the audience sits atop this beautiful roof in Hollywood. A stark contrast to the life they once knew in South Central and a bittersweet moment, knowing that Nipsey cannot be there to relish in the fruits of his labor.

We get an inside look into the first dispensary they opened, located down the street from The Marathon Store. This is where they first pushed Marathon OG, a strain Nipsey specifically hand-picked because it was a “pure OG.”

The highlight of the film was Nipsey giving a walk-through of the Marathon OG grow room. “This is all Marathon OG,” Hussle says, as he opens the door to a brightly lit room, “there is nothing else growing here except for Marathon OG.” Hussle pinches a nug and invites the cameraman closer, you can almost smell the screen as we see the crystals on each bud.

Courtesy of Mark Escalante

As the documentary caught up to the present day, Sam expressed the lengths they would go to get the highest quality flower. “It doesn’t matter the price, we just want to get what people want,” he said as he fiddled through bags of inventory. Shots of him traveling from Oakland in sprinter vans show just how far they had to go. 

The audience was left inspired by Nipsey Hussle’s words from the song “Perfect Ten”:

“That’s why I call my thing The Marathon (yeah)
Because I, I’m not gon’ lie and portray, um, this ultimate poise
Like I been, had it figured out
Nah, I just didn’t quit”

The song faded into the background and the audience gave a round of applause. Nipsey’s dad took the microphone and shared a few words to express how hard Sam worked to make money for their family. “I don’t know how he [Sam] got into this, he doesn’t even smoke, but he looks at it and smells it and he knows better than the people that do smoke,” he said, making the crowd burst into laughter. 

This documentary is but a slice of Nipsey Hussle’s legacy and is stamped in time for the cannabis industry as laws continue to change across the country. Entrepreneurs of any business can take inspiration from Nipsey’s ability to adapt to his circumstance. His journey exemplifies how difficult it is for people of color to break into the legal cannabis business, even if you are an award-winning musician.

Courtesy of Mark Escalante

Today, The Marathon (Collective) in Canoga Park is a one-stop shop for a variety of THC and CBD products. Their rewards program allows customers to save on future purchases for several different brands. However, their Marathon OG is a must-try but my personal favorite is the Uncle Sam OG. 

The documentary officially drops on Friday, May 20th. Keep an eye out for the grand opening of The Marathon Store on Melrose and follow The Marathon Clothing for more information.

The post Nipsey Hussle’s TMC Hosts Documentary Screening for ‘The Marathon (Cultivation)’ appeared first on High Times.

How To Discover and Connect With Discord’s Budding Digital Cannabis Community

Once primarily catering to gamers, Discord now offers public and private channels for a range of popular topics, including but far from limited to NFTs, politics, school, and cannabis.

Discord has corralled just about every possible way a person can connect online. Community members can connect via chat rooms, video calls, and voice chats. Unlike social media apps that have succeeded to varying degrees with multi-chat options, Discord has done so rather successfully so far.

The platform has gained users and financial backers. Today, it boasts 150 million active monthly users and $482 million in venture capital funds raised to date, according to Earthweb

Discord’s cannabis community is not as prominent as enthusiasts may desire. But sources tell High Times that it is changing as more servers launch, either entirely focusing on the plant or having a dedicated space to discuss it.

Discord did not answer a request for its opinion regarding cannabis servers and forums. Even so, the plant’s popularity on the platform is a refreshing change. When much of the Internet can’t or won’t allow pot communities to flourish, Discord appears to be doing so.

Discord: A World Of Topics, Cannabis Or Otherwise

Several sources say Discord offers a change of pace from social media, where federal U.S. law prevents much of a presence. Kassia Graham, director of community and strategy for equity advocacy group Cannaclusive, has become a regular user.

“Discord is becoming more popular every day due to the limitations of many social media platforms when it comes to the discussion of cannabis and other ‘vice’ topics,” she said. Today, most social media apps ban or limit cannabis content and accounts due to U.S. federal laws. Graham reports using the app five to seven times a week, exploring cannabis, politics and culture servers and channels. She said she feels freer to talk about cannabis with a great sense of security on Discord.

Others say they enjoy community building through Discord.

“I like how easy it is to find and connect with communities whose interests are similar to mine,” said Wilfred Maina, a Kenya-based cannabis PR professional for the firm NisonCo. He uses Discord daily to connect with professionals and personal interests like Dungeons and Dragons.

Several niche interests have taken off in part thanks to the platform. Discord played a significant role in helping grow the NFT community while also providing a platform for the growing crypto community. Today, many popular NFT communities thrive on Discord, with some using the platform to authenticate purchases.

Business operations have also turned to Discord, especially during the pandemic. Steven Phan, owner of New York City-based CBD retail brand Come Back Daily, used Discord for gaming early on. Over time, he branched out, using it for business conversations and cannabis consumption. He enjoyed the range of topics and ways to connect.

Phan said, “I like that I can do almost everything I need on one platform: video calls, voice calls, and dab.”

Various Cannabis Servers Taking Shape

Compared to gaming, NFTs and other popular topics, cannabis isn’t as well-represented on public Discord servers. Some of the most popular public cannabis servers have between a several dozen and a few thousand members. Many public NFT servers have groups hovering around 1,000 and over 15,000 members.

Despite the low subscriber numbers, new Discord users may want to use these public servers as a jumping-off point into the cannabis conversation. Using tags like ‘cannabis,’ ‘weed’ and ‘marijuana’ can turn up several popular pot servers geared towards cultivation, culture, and miscellaneous plant-related topics. Some of the more well-populated public servers include:

Quantity doesn’t equal quality. Discord servers with fewer enthusiasts can still produce valuable connections and conversations. Smaller groups like Tokin’ Up 3.0 have just 280 members as of May 2022 but had nearly half active.

Maina highlighted two smaller servers, Canna Wiki (69 members) and Grows R Us (over 700 members), as destinations to learn about plant cultivation and care. He finds the discussions valuable and full of “information that’s pretty hard to come by in Kenya because cannabis is pretty taboo.”

Servers may target specific regions of the world. Ryan McHale, a multimedia journalism student at Dublin City University, runs the 800+ person Discord server for Crainn, an Ireland-based organization advocating for cannabis reform and education in the country. On its server, the group discusses cannabis topics specific to the country. Like most other Discords, additional channels deviate from the group’s agenda, providing various places to share memes or discuss other like-minded topics.

McHale compared Discord to Reddit, and said each allowed users to focus on specific interests.

“Discord is definitely rising in popularity, but it certainly seems to be used more so by those who do have a passionate interest,” he said.

Private servers are also popular destinations if you can gain access through purchases or invitations. Some servers are exclusive to cannabis, while others loop in the plant as part of a more robust community. Phan is a part of the Rasta Rabbits NFT server.

“I use their channel to stay up to date on new developments and milestones from the creators/owners of the NFT project,” said Phan, adding that he also belongs to a private server for cannabis cultivators. Additional sources report they are part of private cultivation servers that target certain states or the market at large.

Discord’s growth has companies smelling opportunities as well. Those standing out appear to embrace the community-building spirit. Graham feels cannabis events group ontherevel has done a good job replicating its years of in-person community, building events on its server, which is part of its Dope People community. She credits the group for creating a robust server discussing topics from activism to fashion, though cautions the group largely discusses New York-centric topics. Additional features include weekly expert-led talks.

“It’s all really well organized and very intentional with regards to maintaining contact with industry professionals in between ontherevel’s bespoke events,” said Graham.

She also praised cannabis platform Hybrid‘s server as a source for product drops, networking, and reviews. Calling the vibe “chill and welcoming,” Graham added “It’s a good place for both professionals and consumers to see what’s new in product innovation, and possibly next.”

While cannabis communities aren’t as prominent as gaming or NFTs, cannabis enthusiasts and companies are finding ways to learn and connect. Only time will tell if the plant remains accepted on the platform.

The post How To Discover and Connect With Discord’s Budding Digital Cannabis Community appeared first on High Times.

If Hashcoins Were Real, Would Inflation Exist?

If you’re a fan of the show Trailer Park Boys, odds are you’ve heard of hashcoins. In the show, one of the main characters presses his hash into circular coin-like objects and uses them as a currency in the local economy. It’s a funny take on a small-time cannabis grower who’s always short on cash but […]

The post If Hashcoins Were Real, Would Inflation Exist? appeared first on Cannabis News, Lifestyle – Headlines, Videos & Cooking.

Introducing the BC Craft Farmers Co-Op 

The BC Craft Farmers Co-Op shouldn’t have to exist. For decades, British Columbia has been Canada’s natural home of cannabis. Thousands of small farmers have cultivated high-quality and potent cannabis known as “BC Bud.”  But the federal government’s overregulation of cannabis, and the BC government’s lack of backbone, means thousands of these farmers are still […]

The post Introducing the BC Craft Farmers Co-Op  appeared first on Cannabis News, Lifestyle – Headlines, Videos & Cooking.

High-Class Consumption in the Mile High City

Early on, I realized I was not really a “going out” person. While I appreciate cannabis and psychedelics, as well as a good show or event, the idea of hanging around and being social for the hell of it just because alcohol consumption is involved has never been my cup of tea. 

Like most Americans, I experimented with overconsumption of alcohol young in life, and did not come away from the experience a fan. And while on the very surface level, alcohol can work as a social lubricant, I usually end the night feeling emotionally drained from small talk and with the beginnings of a nasty headache. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I always daydreamed, if social gatherings in the adult world, including networking events, could be hangouts and smoke sessions? Now, in certain parts of the Mile High City, that is not only the case, but an emerging part of Denver cannabis culture. 

Time machine room at the Marijuana Mansion. Courtesy of Roxanna Carrasco

Marijuana Mansion 

The first time I attended a networking event at the Marijuana Mansion, I was pleasantly surprised with how much genuine fun I had, and how deep the connections and conversations were, despite the fact that we were all there for business. I met contacts and personal friends I still stay in touch with to this day, not something I can say for any night out at the bar. And instead of stumbling away with a headache to get a pricey Uber, I left happy and full thanks to complimentary Chipotle, having forgone alcohol for a joint and some edibles. 

Each room in the Mansion is unique, offering a curated experience as you float through. The bottom floor is mainly an entrance, a main room, dining room, and kitchen, that at most events is a staging area for drinks, smokes, music, and checking in. But the rooms on the second and third floor are each a universe of their own, from a bohemian pad full of throw pillows and giant ashtrays to an old-fashioned, 1820s-esque cigar parlor, to a typical hippie bungalow with beaded doors, beanbags, and day-glo blacklight paint. 

As well as being gorgeous and tons of fun to explore when you’re under the influence, the mansion, located in Capitol Hill just above downtown Denver, also has a deep-rooted weed history. It only gained its nickname in the past decade, but it has been the site of many cannabis milestones over the years, including the creation of Amendment 64, the bill that legalized cannabis for recreational use in Colorado. 

consumption
Hallway at the Marijuana Mansion. Courtesy of Roxanna Carrasco.

“Now, the mansion provides a safe space for like-minded people to gather during private events and share how cannabis has helped them, both personally through the countless medical benefits and professionally through the booming billion-dollar business it’s become in a matter of years,” says April Emma, event director for the Marijuana Mansion. 

“The mansion serves as a great vehicle for spreading the message that social consumption should be allowed,” adds owner Lisa Leder. “It’s crazy to think you can drink alcohol on almost any given block in this nation, but there are very few places where people can consume cannabis in a social setting. We’ve hosted a wide variety of events here: educational events where brands connect with people in the industry to provide in-depth knowledge about their products and gain feedback. We’ve had holiday parties for cannabis companies where their entire staff can come together for an evening and celebrate another successful year of helping people in our community.” 

As a private consumption space, open to the public at other times without consumption on site, the Marijuana Mansion is keeping its secret, speakeasy-esque history of late-night cannabis consumption in dimly lit rooms with strangers alive and well. 

consumption
Tetra Lounge. Courtesy of @twistedfallacy.

Tetra 

At Tetra, the vibe is different. The space is open and vibrant, white and airy, with cozy sofa nooks and a full-scale hangout area on the back porch and in the yard. Touting themselves as “Denver’s premiere cannabis social club” and located in the RiNo (formerly River North) neighborhood just northeast of downtown, the lounge is also Black-owned and located near Five Points, Denver’s historically Black neighborhood. 

Floating through an event at Tetra, networking truly is elevated, as the open floor plan lends itself well to plopping down on a couch next to a group who are rolling up and passing it around. Somehow, the space manages to combine the flowy, airy feel of a modern home or office with the cozy familiarity of an urban smoking space. 

Tetra has been through a lot since the early days, and has just recently been recognized by both the mayor and the governor in an official ceremony as the first open-to-all consumption space within the city limits. The space earned its local license to operate as a cannabis hospitality lounge from Denver License and Excise in March of this year, and they opened to the public in April.

Since 2018, Tetra has operated as a members-only cannabis smoking lounge, but has been striving to be a public consumption space. Tetra applied and received favorable recommendation from the city to be able to change the currently almost nonexistent landscape of public consumption. 

“Cannabis hospitality will likely be the fastest growing sector in the industry over the next couple of years,” owner DeWayne Benjamin tells High Times. “It has the ability to become one of the best business to consumer marketing platforms for brands and companies looking to cultivate a culture within the industry. Hospitality is inclusive in that it encompasses music, art, food, and connection. This kind of cannabis license model can be successful as the industry continues to evolve.”

consumption
Tetra Lounge dab bar. Courtesy of @twistedfallacy.

As the space continues to evolve now that it is open for walk-in consumption, the idea is to bring more specific events to Tetra and expand their offerings. 

“We’ll be expanding what we offer to include educational events, industry mixers that encourage networking, and panel discussions that focus on the changes in the industry,” Benjamin says.

The time to skip the after-work happy hour and light up with your friends and colleagues is nigh. In Denver, both Tetra and Marijuana Mansion offer refuge from the daily drudgery of happy hours and boozy, shallow conversations. 

The post High-Class Consumption in the Mile High City appeared first on High Times.