¿Quién es la Candidata Presidencial Argentina que Promete Legalizar el Cannabis Recreativo?

Nota por Hernán Panessi publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

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En el marco de las próximas elecciones presidenciales argentinas, la candidata del espacio Nuevo MAS, Manuela Castañeira, se refirió a la legalización del cannabis recreativo y afirmó que “la impulsaría”.

Desde una mirada “anticapitalista”, que suele derivar en largas conversaciones y forobardos en redes sociales, Castañeira suele meterse en terrenos ásperos como los montos de los salarios mínimos y el futuro de la deuda que Argentina mantiene con el Fondo Monetario Internacional.

Y ahora, también, en conversación exclusiva con El Planteo, Castañeira se anima a dar definiciones a propósito del cannabis. “Es una planta, déjense de joder”, arremete rápidamente.

¿Por qué Manuela Castañeira quiere legalizar el cannabis?

“Les jóvenes hoy pueden tomar alcohol y fumar cigarrillo, pero no fumarse un porro. Rechazamos la criminalización de la juventud, que sufren especialmente les jóvenes de los sectores populares”, señala Castañeira.

Desde el espacio político trotskista Nuevo MAS sostienen que “que cada generación tiene que ser libre de hacer sus propias experiencias y sin querer ningún tipo de alienación, confiamos en que pueden probar y ponerse sus propios límites”.

Contenido relacionado: Gabriela Cerruti, Portavoz Presidencial: “Tenemos que Ir por la Despenalización Total del Cannabis” en Argentina

Manuela Castañeira asume que “la legalización es una medida para frenar el narcotráfico, que se apoya en la ilegalidad de la producción y del consumo y agrega todo tipo de sustancias tóxicas y peligrosas para la salud”.

Por eso, considera conveniente que estas iniciativas estén acompañadas de la promoción de políticas públicas de salud, información y contención.

El termómetro de la izquierda argentina

Por estos días, la Convención Nacional del Nuevo MAS votó un programa de “7 medidas anticapitalistas de emergencia frente a la crisis”.

¿La más conversada en redes sociales y medios de comunicación? Su propuesta central, que anida en el establecimiento de un salario mínimo de $500.000 indexado mensualmente a la inflación.

“Esta medida produciría una mejora inmediata y generalizada en los ingresos de las y los trabajadores y sacaría de la pobreza a millones en un país en el que hoy el índice de pobreza se encuentra en torno al 40%. Pero también es una medida de soberanía porque obligaría a los grandes empresarios a invertir un mayor porcentaje de sus ganancias en el pago de sueldos en vez de fugar los dólares al exterior y seguir causando la falta de divisas que sufre el país”, explica la candidata.

Contenido relacionado: [EXCLUSIVA] Valeria Salech de Mamá Cultiva Argentina: Autocultivo, Feminismo y Economía del Cuidado

Asimismo, aprovecha para criticar las propuestas del Frente de Todos y de Juntos por el Cambio, dos de los frentes políticos más importantes de Argentina, y se entusiasma destacando las “enormes posibilidades de la izquierda” de cara a las elecciones de octubre.

Sin embargo, encuentra un “pero” en la configuración de la izquierda nacional y empuja la discusión para lograr una votación interna para dirimir a sus mejores candidatos: “Para darle volumen a esta alternativa ante el crecimiento de los discursos de ultraderecha, nosotros estamos proponiendo una PASO de toda la izquierda”.

Cannabis: desafíos y miradas a futuro

Volviendo al ecosistema del cannabis nacional, Manuela Castañeira destaca el lugar del REPROCANN, el programa nacional que procura mejorar el acceso al cannabis con indicación médica: “Fue un logro de la lucha de un montón de sectores que reclamaban por el acceso al cannabis medicinal de manera imperiosa, como Mamá Cultiva. Por eso consideramos que es progresivo frente al prohibicionismo amparado en concepciones oscurantistas y anticientíficas”.

No obstante, considera que no resulta suficiente porque “no resuelve el problema de la persecución y de la criminalización de la juventud, que afecta especialmente a los sectores populares”.

Contenido relacionado: Primera Ministra Finlandesa Toma Test de Drogas Tras Videos Filtrados: ‘Bailé, Canté y Festejé, Cosas Perfectamente Legales’

¿Vos sos paciente, fumadora o consumidora de cannabis?

—No soy consumidora, actualmente.

¿En qué otros aspectos legislativos pensás que se puede avanzar a propósito del cannabis?

Imprescindible que se despenalice. No puede ser que se siga criminalizando a la juventud. Hay que seguir desarrollando legislaciones para la investigación y el desarrollo del cannabis medicinal, pero sobre todo hay que avanzar en asignaciones de presupuestos para que la investigación se pueda llevar a cabo.

Más contenido de El Planteo:

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Basic Cannabis Economics

Basic cannabis economics. Wherever you find reefer madness, a poor grasp of basic cannabis economics is right behind it. For example, public health busybodies demand THC limits. As if adults choosing high-THC strains of cannabis will simply shift their demand to lower-THC strains once public health tells them what their preferences should be. Most, if not all, government workers lack an understanding of basic economics and, therefore, basic cannabis economics. So let’s clear up some misconceptions. First, let’s start with […]

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Higgs Cannabis Means Happiness

Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” And in California’s highly competitive cannabis market, you need to have heart—and a product that screams “Pick me!” Higgs cannabis Founder Oliver Higgins can successfully check both those boxes.

“I’ve been a joint smoker since I bought my first bag of weed, rolled up a joint and played Goldeneye on N64,” Higgins says. “So that love affair was always going to be the first product I created.” 

The Los Angeles native founded his eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand in 2017 to create exceptional, high-quality products for recreational users seeking an unparalleled cannabis experience. “Our goal is to spread happiness,” Higgins says. The stylized branding and good-vibes-only, retro-nineties aesthetic represents the essence of the SoCal lifestyle.

Higgins believes that cannabis consumption is more than just a means of relaxation; it’s a lifestyle choice that fosters a sense of belonging and place. “Growing up in Southern California, there were so many outdoor activities where weed is a welcome addition, from surfing, skiing, golfing, hiking, to just going to the movies,” he says. “I wanted to create something that could be a part of all those adventures while simultaneously being something where if you left it on the restaurant table, people asked, ‘What is that?’ without even knowing it was cannabis. My favorite part is when someone opens the box up for the first time without knowing what’s inside and seeing their reaction.”

Higgs Cannabis Is Created for the SoCal Lifestyle

Meticulous attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to excellence are the guiding principles that shape the Higgs brand. This steadfast dedication is palpable in the refined taste, enticing aroma and impeccable presentation of every Higgs product. Each item is a testament to the pursuit of crafting an extraordinary experience that exceeds expectations, leaving a lasting impression on discerning connoisseurs who appreciate the finer nuances of exceptional cannabis offerings.

“As a lifelong cannabis user and joint smoker, I make sure we take an artisanal approach in every aspect of our business,” Higgins says. “From hand-selecting the finest genetics to carefully monitoring our cultivation and production processes, we maintain the highest standards of craftsmanship.”

The brand’s strive for perfection has enabled Higgins and his team to consistently deliver cutting-edge creations, setting a benchmark for unrivaled consistency and uncompromising quality. By continuously staying at the forefront of emerging trends and anticipating consumer demands, Higgs cannabis products exude a sense of freshness and excitement, captivating and delighting an ever-growing audience.

Higgs offers an expansive array of products thoughtfully catered to the diverse palates and preferences of cannabis consumers who embrace the Southern Californian lifestyle and want their products to be cool, casual and carefree. The product portfolio encompasses personally curated flowers, masterfully crafted pre-rolls, convenient infused mini-joints and delightfully flavorful live resin vapes. Every product is a testament to the careful craftsmanship of Higgs’ collaborative team of cultivators, scientists and product developers.

Higgs cannabis
Higgs pre-rolls are available in indica, sativa and hybrid.

Expansion Plans Into Canada

Higgs is proudly preparing an expansion into Canada. The product line will feature

the finest small-batch craft cannabis sourced from legacy growers and passionate microprocessors spanning from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

Higgins says the same lifestyle ethos of the original SoCal launch exists in Canada.

“I have so many fond memories of smoking weed in Canada over the years that it feels as natural to launch there as launching in California,” he says. “I believe that Canadians have always embraced the culture of cannabis.”

Higgins says that America’s delays in reaching federal legalization have hindered efforts to join the international conversation. “It’s exciting to be dealing with actual set rules, regulations and real government bodies,” he says of the northern expansion.

The first products in Canada will be jarred flower available exclusively at all Oceanic Releaf retail stores and coffee shops in Newfoundland. 

As Higgs continues to evolve and expand, the company remains dedicated to delivering exceptional products and transformative experiences. With a steadfast commitment to pushing boundaries, Higgs endeavors to elevate the cannabis industry to new heights and redefine the very standards of excellence within it.

But beyond premium products, Higgins says, Higgs is a mindset, a way of life. “I just want people to be happy, and I think cannabis does that for a lot of people in many different ways,” he says. “Higgs, to me, means happiness.” 

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Pot Smoking Ban Takes Effect In Amsterdam’s Red Light District

A new era kicked off in Amsterdam’s Red Light District on Thursday, with a ban on smoking cannabis on the streets officially taking effect.

The ban is part of a city-wide effort, pushed by Mayor Femke Halsema, to make the famous area more hospitable to its residents and workers.

According to Reuters, signs “were posted in the canal-lined neighbourhood known for its brothels, sex clubs and marijuana cafes, which attract millions of tourists a year, but are a nuisance to residents.”

Those found in violation of the new law will face a €100 (or about $110) fine.

The law was proposed earlier this year by the Amsterdam city council.

“Residents of the old town suffer a lot from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse in the streets. Tourists also attract street dealers who in turn cause crime and insecurity. The atmosphere can get grim especially at night. People who are under the influence hang around for a long time. Residents cannot sleep well and the neighborhood becomes unsafe and unlivable,” the city council said in a statement at the time.

“A smoking ban on the street should reduce nuisance. We are also looking at a pick-up ban at certain times for soft drugs. If the nuisance does not decrease enough, we will investigate whether we can ban smoking on terraces at coffee shops,” the council added.

The city council gave final approval to the proposal earlier this month, setting the stage for Thursday.

According to Reuters, people “will still be allowed to smoke inside and on the terraces of coffee shops selling marijuana and hash in the district and other parts of the city.” 

The pot smoking ban is part of an effort led by Halsema, Amsterdam’s first female mayor, to improve conditions in the Red Light District. 

CNN reported in 2019 that Halsema had “presented four options aimed at protecting sex workers from degrading conditions, tackling crime, and reducing the impact of tourism in Amsterdam’s De Wallen red-light district.” 

“Four scenarios have been proposed for discussion including closing the curtains on the windows so sex workers can’t be seen from the street, fewer window-style rooms, moving the brothels to new locations elsewhere in Amsterdam and the possibility of a sex worker “hotel” being created,” according to CNN. The plans aim to protect sex workers from gawking tourists and their camera phones, and also to combat a rise in abuses such as human trafficking. The four proposals will be discussed with sex workers, residents and businesses in July, before being taken to the city council in September. The plans will ultimately be developed into a new policy on sex work, the mayor’s office confirmed.”

The Red Light District, known locally in Amsterdam as the De Wallen neighborhood, has long been a popular destination for tourists visiting the city. 

CNN reported earlier this year that it is “estimated that about 10% to 15% of Amsterdam’s tourist industry is based in the red light district.”

“City officials want the De Wallen neighborhood, as the district is known in Dutch, to draw visitors who can appreciate its unique heritage, architecture and culture rather than sex and drugs,” CNN reported at the time. Over the past few years, there have been multiple initiatives to reduce the impact of mass tourism and nuisance visitors, and to revamp the area’s image.

In 2020, guided tours were prohibited from passing sex workers’ windows, and there was talk of moving the window brothels to a neighborhood outside of the city center—conversations that continue to this day.”

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Biotech Company Seeks FDA Approval For Psilocybin-IBS Treatment

Tryp Therapeutics announced on Wednesday that it had “submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its planned Phase 2a clinical trial investigating the effects of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of patients aged 21+ suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).”

The Canadian company said in the announcement that the “planned open label study in collaboration with Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital will evaluate the effect of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in patients with treatment-resistant IBS who experience chronic abdominal pain and other debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms.” 

“Many of these patients also suffer from fibromyalgia, anxiety and fatigue. The primary efficacy endpoint of the study will be improvement in abdominal pain. The proposed study will also explore changes in brain connectivity and responses to pain at baseline and at four weeks, six months and twelve months post the psychedelic drug sessions, along with numerous other secondary endpoints,” the announcement said. 

“Tryp and our collaborators at Harvard/MGH believe there is tremendous potential for the treatment of debilitating IBS symptoms by utilizing the combined administration of psilocybin and psychotherapy. The clinical study will examine how psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy may alter brain networks involved in chronic abdominal pain and gastrointestinal-specific anxiety in patients with IBS to improve their symptoms. Submission of IND 163994 is an important step in advancing our program,” said Jim Gilligan, the chief executive officer of Tryp Therapeutics.

Gilligan told Green Market Report that the “most important thing is a clinical data – to be able to not just assume or hypothesize that we’re going to have a benefit, but to actually demonstrate that we can do something positive for patients.

“We’re looking at things a little bit differently than the big guys, looking at unique areas where we can have first-mover advantage. But we’re judicious in selecting areas where we really think that we’ll have a positive outcome,” Gilligan said.

According to Green Market Report, Gilligan “likened the planned administration of psilocin to the work of anesthesiologists.”

“Using an IV to induce and subsequently awaken the patient from the psychedelic state, the approach might also allow for the use of serotonin antagonists to terminate the psychedelic experience, if necessary,” the outlet said, which noted that TRP-8803 will be “central” to the company’s approach to the therapy.

TRP-8803 is “Tryp’s lead program,” the company says, describing it as “a proprietary formulation of IV-infused psilocin (the active metabolite of psilocybin) that alleviates numerous shortcomings of oral psilocybin including: significantly reducing the time to onset of the psychedelic state, controlling the depth and duration of the psychedelic experience, and reducing the overall duration of the intervention to a commercially feasible timeframe.

“The Company has an ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial for the treatment of Binge Eating Disorder at the University of Florida, an upcoming Phase 2a clinical trial with the University of Michigan for the treatment of fibromyalgia and a planned Phase 2a trial for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome at Mass General Hospital, all of which are utilizing TRP-8802 (synthetic, oral psilocybin) to demonstrate efficacy in these indications. Where a preliminary clinical benefit has been demonstrated, subsequent studies are expected to utilize TRP-8803 (IV-infused psilocin) which has the potential to further improve efficacy, safety and patient experience,” Tryp said in Wednesday’s announcement. 

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Colorado Governor Signs Psychedelics Bill

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law on May 23 that established a regulatory framework for psychedelic substances. 

SB23-290, also called Natural Medicine Regulation and Legalization, was signed just a few weeks after it was approved in the Senate with House amendments. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Steven Fenberg and Rep. Judy Amabile, and is set to take effect starting on July 1.

The Colorado Times Recorder spoke with Tasia Poinsatte, director of the Healing Advocacy Fund of Colorado, last month about the bill’s potential. “Our state is facing a mental health crisis, and our current system has been unable to meet the needs of those who are struggling, including the many veterans in our state who are at a high risk of suicide,” said Poinsatte. “Colorado voters agreed with the passage of Prop. 122 that we need to open new, innovative pathways to healing for those who are struggling with mental health conditions.”

The law doesn’t place limitations on personal possession for any psychedelic substance, ranging from dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline, ibogaine, psilocybin, or psilocin. Psilocybin and psilocin will be administered at “healing centers,” but it does allow other substances to be added later.

The bill also states that anyone under 21 who possesses or consumes a natural medicine product will only be subject to a fine of $100 or less, and a maximum of four hours of “substance use education or counseling.” More than one offense results in the same fine and education requirement, with an added 24 hours of “useful public service.”

The cultivation of natural medicine is permitted if it’s happening on a person’s private property within a 12-by-12-foot space. However, anyone who is not licensed and “knowingly manufactures [a] natural medicine product using an inherently hazardous substance” is committing a level 2 drug felony. An “inherently hazardous substance” refers to solvents such as butane, propane, and diethyl ether.

The bill also includes protections for consumers, stating that a person using a natural medicine doesn’t solely constitute as child abuse or neglect, is not grounds for being denied health coverage, doesn’t disqualify a person to be discriminated against if they’re eligible for organ donation, and “must not be considered for public assistance benefits eligibility.”

A person with a natural medicine conviction is also eligible to have the conviction record sealed “immediately after the later date of final disposition or release from supervision.”

The bill calls for the creation of a natural medicine advisory board to examine “issues related to natural medicine and natural medicine product, and making recommendations to the director of the division of professions and occupations and the executive director of the state licensing authority.” It also requires the creation of a division of natural medicine to be established within the department of revenue to regulate licensing for “cultivation, manufacturing, testing, storage, distribution, transport, transfer, and dispensation of natural medicine or natural medicine product between natural medicine licensees.”

Colorado voters passed Proposition 122, also referred to as the Natural Medicine Health Act, by 52.64% last November to decriminalize psychedelics. “This is a historic moment for both the people of Colorado and our country,” said Natural Medicine Colorado coalition director Kevin Matthews. “I think this demonstrates that voters here in Colorado are ready for new options and another choice for healing, especially when it comes to their mental and behavioral health.”

The initiative took effect in December 2022. “Coloradans voted last November and participated in our democracy,” said Polis. “Officially validating the results of the citizen and referred initiatives is the next formal step in our work to follow the will of the voters and implement these voter-approved measures.”

Coverage from Westword shows that advocates aren’t happy with the law, stating that it’s too restrictive. According to sponsor Amabile, the bill is solid but won’t make everyone happy. “My takeaway from the testimony is that ballot measure 122 is controversial,” Amabile said at a meeting in late April. “It has a lot of aspects that some people like. It has aspects that the people who like some parts of it don’t like. It has parts that nobody likes.”

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D.I.Y. Edibles Essentials

Christina Wong is a culinary cannabis educator, recipe creator, and self-described “baked baker” whose expertise making her own edibles has garnered widespread attention throughout the industry. From beautifully decorated shortbread desserts, elaborate cakes, and a wide variety of other delicious creations, Wong frequently celebrates the intersection between culinary art and cannabis.

Through her creative media company Fruit + Flower Co., Wong teaches others how to properly understand the process of making their own edibles by demystifying the terminology, reviewing the methods of infusion, discussing correct dosing, and providing numerous recipes to put all the learning into practice. High Times took a moment to chat with Wong about tips for beginners, which infusion methods are best, and what’s trending in the edibles scene.

The Art of the Home Edible

To Wong, food and cannabis are a perfect combination.

“If you like cannabis, you love food, because the best thing in the whole world is to get high and eat,” she says.

Despite this, many people miss out on the enjoyment of homemade edibles because cooking with cannabis can be intimidating.

“When I first started looking [for information], there was this mystique and mystery to making edibles,” Wong says. “For me, there was definitely a fear of messing up or making it too potent, getting too high, or giving something to somebody that gets them too high. I want to challenge people to rethink that we can make cannabutter and edibles at very low doses, it doesn’t have to be all super high dose.”

Buying edibles at the dispensary is convenient, but it can be cost prohibitive, she says. 

“I think that cannabis is such an important plant medicine that the more people know how to cook and bake at home so that they can give themselves and their loved ones medicine, the better.”

Photo by Cherrnor Malekani @visualsbychern

Understanding Infusion

Wong shares that one of the most primary essentials to creating edibles is understanding proper dosing. Instead of decarbing flower and infusing a fat like cannabutter she recommends beginners try adding an oil-based tincture in which the THC dosing is already measured. Once confidence is established, home cooks can start to learn how to decarboxylate their flowers or trim. All of the recipes Wong posts online use whole flower infused with either cannabis-infused butter or oil, and include directions to dose at 5 mg per serving or less.

For first timers, Wong recommends going for an easy decarboxylation method: Mason jars in an oven.

“Everyone has a Mason jar, everyone has an oven, and it’s foolproof,” she explains. “It’s smell proof. There’s less smell. And even if it’s not the most efficient way of getting all of the cannabinoids to convert and to infuse, at least that’s the place to start. And then they can get their confidence, and then try something new.”

Wong explains in more detail on Fruit + Flower Co. that her usual process to decarb cannabis includes placing cannabis flower in a pint-sized Mason jar and sealing the jar with a lid. After setting the oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit, she heats the cannabis an hour, shaking the jar every 20 minutes. After it is left to cool, the decarbed cannabis can be infused to a fat such as butter or oil.

Courtesy Fruit + Flower Co.

Expanding Expertise

While Wong has made it her goal to educate and inspire others to learn how to make their own edibles, it is but one facet of her expertise. In the past, Wong worked with brands and organizations to create unique desserts, such as Source Cannabis and Stündenglass. Most recently, she helped host the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) 3rd Annual Mogu Magu party (Mogu meaning mushroom in Chinese, and Magu is the name of a Chinese hemp goddess) held in September to celebrate the mid-autumn festival.

Although she recommends using whole flower for beginners, Wong sometimes branches out to use a variety of other types of cannabis ingredients in her more elaborate creations.

“I’ve been experimenting more cooking with concentrates just because I love the pure flavor of that,” she says. “You can get so much flavor and terpene profile and high potency using concentrates.”

Making edibles at home offers unlimited potential, but edibles sold in dispensaries are usually more limited. But recently Wong has noticed an increase in edibles infused with solventless concentrates as well as savory edible offerings.

“I’m seeing more solventless edibles coming out onto the market because I think people are caring more about the quality of not just the ingredients of what goes into their edibles, but also the quality of the cannabis that goes in,” Wong says. “But I think if you are a plant enthusiast, and you want to appreciate all flavors, and everything the plant has to offer, solventless is absolutely the way to go.”

fruitandflower.co

Courtesy Fruit + Flower Co.

Recipe: Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Shortbread Bars

by Christina Wong

Soft and crumbly, these luscious browned butter and vanilla shortbread bars are glazed with a creamy vanilla bean icing. Infused with 10 mg of cannabis each, strains such as Wedding Cake and Biscotti with doughy, creamy aromas, would pair well with the nutty, vanilla notes of this edible. 

The showstopper decor is my signature “botanical bandit” style, made with pressed cannabis leaves and organic edible flowers. Inspired by my friend The Velvet Bandit, who spreads positive art through wheatpasting.

Time to Prepare: 55-60 minutes

Makes 20 approximately 3” x 1.5” bars dosed at ~10 mg each

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups all-purpose flour

⅓ cup cornstarch

1 ½ cups cannabutter (200 mg THC total), softened*

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon choice of milk (whole, oat, hemp, almond)

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped

½ teaspoon salt

Vanilla Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped

¼ cup choice of milk 

Other:

Small cannabis fan leaves and edible flowers for decoration, rinsed and pat dry (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the cannabutter over medium high heat until the butter starts bubbling and turns golden brown. Butter browns at 250 degrees F, a low enough temp to prevent cannabinoid and terpene burnoff. Remove from heat to cool to room temp, then refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to chill until the butter has solidified from liquid to softened state. Stir occasionally. Can be made ahead and stored until ready to use.  

2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together flour and cornstarch. Set aside. 

3. In a large bowl, beat together softened cannabutter, powdered sugar until creamed and fluffy. Beat in 1 tablespoon milk, vanilla bean, and salt on medium speed until combined. 

4. Slowly stir in the flour and cornstarch mixture a little at a time until combined. Continue beating until a crumbly dough comes together. It should feel like crumbly soft sand that holds together. Press together and make sure any crumbly flour bits are mixed thoroughly into the dough. If the dough is too dry and crumbly and not holding together, drizzle and mix in a little more milk until the dough can press and hold together. 

5. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. Place into the oven and bake on the center rack for 40 minutes. Turn the pan halfway through baking to bake evenly until slightly golden brown on the edges. Remove pan from oven and place onto a rack to cool. 

6. Make the Vanilla Glaze: In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with milk and vanilla bean until you get a smooth, thin, runny glaze that just coats the back of a spoon with a thin film. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Set aside. 

7. Glaze + Decorate: Place the small cannabis leaves and edible flowers (optional) each scattered across the top of the cookie. Pour glaze evenly on top of the entire cookie pan and over the cannabis leaves and flowers. Using a small spatula or pastry brush, gently spread to evenly distribute the glaze and coat the decoration. The leaves should look like they’re covered with a sheet of ice.   

8. Let the cookie and icing cool completely in the pan until the glaze hardens, three or more hours. Using the sides of the parchment paper, lift the uncut cookie out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into 20 rectangles. Store covered in a cool, dry place.

This article was originally published in the December 2022 issue of High Times Magazine.

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A Love Letter To The Mylar Bag

I get stoked every time I see a discarded weed bag on the sidewalk.

Okay yeah, litter is a bummer and the bags themselves aren’t great for the environment, but I can’t help it. Every time I walk past a mylar bag lying on the street I stop to check it out, kicking it around and flipping it over against the cracks in the sidewalk until I can see the art, the strain name, the branding, and every word of text. As cannabis and the cannabis community mesh further into the fabric of American life, the mylar bag has quickly become the artistic bellwether for the industry, pushing creativity, trends, and creating a lasting record of the culture akin to skateboard graphics, album covers, craft beer labels and countless other visual staples of counterculture scenes.

Existing both in concert and completely separate from the weed inside, graphic bags have hit all the early hallmarks of subculture evolution, creating a design language that extends past the cannabis community into its own distinct style of art complete with moral panic, bootleggers and copycats, regional intricacies, and iconic standouts. 

The intersection of commerce and counterculture is always contentious, no matter how niche, and while the artistic merits of each particular bag are certainly up to personal interpretation, it is already clear that graphic bags have reshaped the world of weed at damn near every level.

Evolving from RX labels scribbled with a strain name and stuck to black, silver, or plastic windowed bags in California’s pre-recreational medical market, as soon as cannabis sellers turned into cannabis companies the open space on the front of every bag became a billboard for branding and expression, setting strains and sellers apart on dispensary shelves and black market menus. 

Fueled by an influx of legalization laws, increased competition amongst distributors, a flood of flower, and tons of custom print shops and pre-printed bags a Google search away, graphic bags grew from the domain of top-shelf brands and exclusive suppliers to a ubiquitous facet of the regulated and unregulated markets. In 2020, with pack prices high, traditional businesses on hold, hustlers and smokers flush with extra pandemic unemployment funds put the bag game into overdrive, turning branded bud into a status symbol, with dye-cut shapes, holographic printing, and wilder subject matter – the more outlandish the bag, the more clout on social media, the faster it flies out of dispensaries and backpacks alike. 

Just like limited-edition Nikes and Supreme t-shirts, the exclusive aesthetics were immediately bootlegged, with overseas printers churning out cheap knockoffs of every popular brand and bag under the sun, turning downtown L.A. into Canal Street for trappers, with blocks of storefronts dedicated to fake packaging. It might piss off brand owners, but for the culture as a whole the bootleg obsession is a mark of legitimacy to be proud of. 

Outside the culture, cannabis bag art has become a convenient boogyman for prohibitionists, who argue that cartoon characters and bubble letters appeal to kids. Disregarding decades of rated R (or worse) animation holding a significant place in pop culture, a number of legal markets have sided with the prohibitionists on the limits of adult artistic expression, strictly restricting bag designs.

But if the past is any indicator, loud, newsworthy, and eventually unsuccessful protests against rap, metal, controversial movies back to Elvis’ hip shaking and countless other moral outrages aimed at saving kids from deviant art, the long-term odds are in our favor. Besides, you can’t ban cartoon art or bubble letters on the black market, no matter how sick of red eye Rick & Morty we all are.

Like the culture’s cousins in skateboarding, graffiti, and streetwear, the design language that dominates bag art from seshes to sidewalks is highly referential, drenched in parody, nostalgic, psychedelic, obsessed with local flavor, global ambitions, and luxury aspirations. 

Be it licensed collaborations with superstar athletes like Cookies’ Gary Payton and 33 by Backpack Boyz, a very unofficial dye-cut Supreme Air Force One sneaker by Shiest Bubz and The Smoker’s Club, a genre-defining run by Jokes Up culminating in the, um, unique, Coochie Runtz bag, hyper-local creations like Chopped Cheese by Buddy’s Bodega, all the way to dime bags printed with hastily photoshopped collages of The Joker, graphic bags are an amalgamation of every corner of cannabis culture, highbrow to lowbrow, political to patronizing, original to bootleg, calligraphy to cartoon and everywhere in between. At the end of the day, seeing a graphic weed bag on the sidewalk – an unavoidable happenstance walking through any American city these days – is saying the same thing – weed is here, weed is everywhere, and you’re gonna see it. 

Because bags can be designed and produced so quickly, mylar art is constantly rotating and reacting at the pace of our collective attention span, with print houses like Sticker Farmer dropping new bags memorializing every Academy Awards slap, viral challenge, and athlete, celebrity, or politician to be “turned into a pack,” all dropping days if not hours after the event itself. 

The evolution of bag graphics is still in its early stages, and if cannabis giants, small brands, and local trappers continue to put significant creative effort and funding into creating the next bag to set their strains apart, go viral on IG stories, and sell out on menus, weed bags are going to continue to solidify a place in the pantheon of modern art. 

I have high hopes, but for the medium to really stick, it is time to start giving respect to the artists and graphic designers behind the bags. Brands, start tagging the artists more frequently on posts, put a signature on the back of the bag, sponsor and host art shows. Smokers, if you like a bag seek out the artist, give them a follow on IG and see if they have any pieces for sale – anything you can do to continue pushing their art as a core facet of the industry and culture. 

The possibilities for bag art are endless going forward and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

The post A Love Letter To The Mylar Bag appeared first on High Times.

Big Tobacco’s War on Cannabis Ignites: Are Pre-Rolls and Cones Under Attack?

The claims made by Big Tobacco against major cannabis companies and the celebrities behind them are often outrageous, if not laughable. In recent trademark lawsuits, a tobacco company claimed that pre-rolled cones, organic hemp papers, and more staples of the rolling paper industry amount to paraphernalia.

The latest claim is that pre-rolled cones, organic hemp papers and hemp gum are intended for use with pot—but not traditional rolling papers—which some tobacco companies sell. 

“Big Tobacco is coming for legal marijuana,” The Boston Globe reported, referring to Marlboro owner Altria’s endeavors in pot. And while some Big Tobacco companies are attempting to buy their way into the industry, others have a different tactic: attacking competitors. Here’s a few trademark lawsuits targeting the industry that appear to have ulterior motives.

Big Tobacco’s Trademark War on Cannabis

High Times was informed of a smear attempt on cannabis consumers—and a hypocritical argument, at best. Republic Brands, a tobacco company owned by Don Levin, manufactures and sells OCB, Top, Job, and Zig Zag rolling papers. Republic sued RAW’s parent company, HBI International in an injunction announced on Feb. 9, and RAW founder Josh Kesselman recently took a lot of heat. (RAW is a more popular rolling paper brand.) High Times was eventually pulled into the vortex of this lawsuit as well as evidence that rolling papers are intended for pot. 

RAW was under fire for alleging its papers were made in Alcoy, Spain, home of legendary Bambú papers, among other claims. In Republic’s filings, they sought to invalidate RAW’s trademark by arguing that Republic wanted to make cones and other materials used for the consumption of cannabis illegal. Republic’s attorneys argued in federal court that “…cones were developed in the 1990’s specifically to hold marijuana. They are marketed primarily for that purpose today.” Republic’s attorneys argued pre-rolled cones are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act as related to drug paraphernalia. 

The court filings include several social media images of Miley Cyrus and Wiz Khalifa using the cones, drawn from RAW ads. Republic further pointed to RAW’s ads with High Times Magazine as evidence that the rolling papers are used primarily for pot and should be illegal. Court filings included photos involving The Emerald Cup, High Times back issues, and Cannabis Cup posts.

HBI International also filed a counterclaim against Republic. The jury found that HBI International violated the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act by claiming its rolling papers were manufactured in Alcoy. The jury, however, sided with HBI’s counterclaim that Republic infringed on one of its copyrights and trade dress, awarding HBI with over $1 million in lost profits and statutory damages.

The company has repeatedly brought lawsuits against smaller competitors to bolster their market presence, the counterclaim contends. 

Trademark Wars Continue

RAW isn’t the only business under fire. Law 360 reported last February that Kool menthol cigarette maker ITG sued Capna Intellectual, which does business as Bloom Brands, claiming that the company violated state and federal trademark law by stealing the Kool’s signature logo. (Some have argued that menthol cigarette makers unfairly targeted Black communities.)

In this case, the interlocking O’s of the logos were under scrutiny, though one could argue that other logos like the Dolce & Gabbana logo look similar as well.

Court filings say Bloom filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2019 seeking to register the similar mark for e-cigarette and vape sales. The company called Bloom’s acts deliberate “and intentionally carried out in bad faith, or with reckless disregard for or with willful blindness to ITG’s rights in the Kool marks, for the purpose of trading on ITG’s reputation and diluting the Kool marks.”

“Here, a fundamental part of ITG’s argument is that the interlocking ‘O’ design is iconic and distinctive enough to be afforded broad protection, and that a mark that incorporates this design on smokable cannabis products could lead consumers to believe that the brands are affiliated or originate from the same source,” Harris-Bricken reports in its Canna Law Blog.

Candy companies, and food companies such as Tapatio have gone after copycat cannabis brands as well. Often lawsuits of this nature have multiple motives at play, with the goal of taking out competitors.

The post Big Tobacco’s War on Cannabis Ignites: Are Pre-Rolls and Cones Under Attack? appeared first on High Times.

Best 14 TV shows to watch high

The scene is set: your weed is rolled or packed, cushions are fluffed, your plateful of snacks is piled high and ready to be indulged — all you need now is something to watch.

Do you spend a half hour or more cruising down multiple streaming service rabbit holes or do you opt for broadcast television? Do you spiral into your YouTube suggestions or finish the video podcast you started last week? Either way, it sounds like a lot of work before you get to relax into your sesh.

We’ve been there too, which is why we rounded up not only our own favorite shows to watch while high, but those of our respective stoner squads as well.

From deep-cut sitcoms to unproblematic classics, to newer, buzzier watches, there’s almost certainly something on this list for all y’all. Plus, we went the extra mile and rounded up some of our favorite deep-stone cultivars we love specifically for spacing out and binge watching.

Comedies

Party Down

For anyone with food service experience, this is the holy grail of job site sitcoms. An ensemble cast with obvious histories in catering and odd-jobs, Party Down nails it to the most niche detail.

Watchers can drop in on any episode without missing out on larger story arcs, and since there’s an LOL moment every few minutes, it’s a perfect choice for Hollywood and/or food industry insider types, as well as stoners and comedy aficionados with about 25 minutes to kill.

Strain suggestion: 33 Bananas

This cross of OG Kush and Bananas reportedly delivers a super-stoney high that’s lightly sedative in the body, mildly euphoric in the head, and powerfully munchie on the downswing. Expect a piney perfume and lemon exhale.

I Think You Should Leave

Tim Robinson is a former SNL writer whose rogue series on Netflix features many sketches deemed too wild for Saturday Night audiences. The episodes are a very bingable 15-ish minutes long and contain 3 or 4 sometimes raunchy, sometimes absurd, always ridiculous skits.

Bonus: guest stars like Bob Odenkirk, Patti Harrison, and Sam Richardson make timelessly viral appearances that are extremely re-watchable.

Strain suggestion: 9lb Hammer

These jokes hit especially well for the stoned to the absolute bone, and 9lb Hammer is a dependably tranquilizing cultivar that delivers a reportedly silly-sweet euphoric head high. Expect a funky nose and earthy exhale.

High Maintenance

This sleeper HBO series follows a fixed gear bike riding pot dealer as he makes deliveries to a wildly diverse client list in New York City. The series plays out in vignettes that typically focus on sordid-lives-style of NYC cannabis consumers, with the dealer acting as a ribbon that braids each of their stories together.

It’s an easy series to drop into, with most episodes being completely self contained. Tune in for the deep-cut, stoner-only laughs, stay for the superb writing and charismatic backdrop of a pre-rec, pre-pandemic New York City.

Strain suggestion: Acapulco Gold

This cultivar has a reputation for delivering happy, peppy highs, so consider it a watch-party smoke that’s sociable, giggly, and reportedly spacey enough to enhance your overall viewing experience. Expect a funky nose and a dank, botanical exhale.

The IT Crowd

For fans of low stakes workplace comedies, this fan favorite BBC series is a must watch. It’s made from mostly bottle episodes that take place in the IT department (ie basement) of a nebulous fortune 500 style mega-corp. And in case you need a couple of TV trivia points, this is the series that broke the careers of both Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade.

Strain suggestion: Afghani

This landrace strain reportedly delivers complex, deeply stoney highs that are blissful in both the head and body. Expect a sweet, funky, earthy perfume and commensurate exhale.

Martin

In 2023, we’re still using the catch phrases that originated on this 90s-era sitcom. Developed by Martin Lawrence, Martin ran from 1992 to 1997, essentially preserving a prime slice of 90s culture.

Phrases like “Damn, Gina”, “You so crazy”, and “You go girl”, are etched into the American consciousness because of Martin; furthermore, he plays excellently in drag. Revisit this program next time you want to feel your peak-of-civilization 90s fantasy.

Strain suggestion: Zaza

This cross of Scott’s OG and Gas Station Bob is the heady relaxer we can imagine Martin and Gina smoking together, reportedly delivering a heartwarming euphoria in the head and a cashmere soft body buzz. Expect a sour, gassy aroma and a lemon-pine exhale.

The Golden Girls

If it’s been a while since you contemplated the enduring popularity of Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty, now might be the time to reconnect with the ladies on the lanai. Well, after blowing an enormous smoke cloud, of course.

For its time, The Golden Girls was cutting edge. It dealt with all manner of taboo topics, and well past its seven season run, remains the gold standard for ensemble comedies.

Strain suggestion: Velvet Glove

Bred from a cross of GMO and Nookies, Velvet Glove reportedly delivers a warm, comfortably sedative body high and an airy, mellow head high — perfect for chilling on the lanai. Expect a funky fruit nose and a sweet earthy exhale.

Doctor Who

Cannaisseurs with a penchant for sci-fi already know how committed one can become to The Doctor, but curious stoners dipping their toes into science fiction should be warned: you may quickly be sucked in. And before you know it, you’re a time lord traveling the cosmos in a British police box and comparing anything that belies a spacious interior to a TARDIS.

Even those who don’t self identify as sci-fi nerds can get onboard with this long running, mind bending series made all the more fantastic when viewed hella stoned.

Strain suggestion: Timewreck

Get ready to cheer for your favorite Doctor. Timewreck reportedly delivers an enthusiastic high for an energetic watch party. Expect a skunky, lemon perfume and a dank, woody exhale.

Think Pieces

You

For stoners who want a bit more of a puzzle than a carnival, Netflix’s You is a compelling soap opera centered around a unrelentingly romantic sociopathic murderer whose sometimes cornball narration is the stuff memes are made of. Content warning: this series is violent, with women often on the receiving end. Though, if you can stomach the horror, the main character’s comeuppance in season two is a payoff.

Essentially, this is a great hate watch for anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of an entitled, inauthentic, human catastrophe’s attentions — or anyone else who enjoys getting wrapped up in psychological thrillers when extremely stoned

Strain suggestion: The Gift

This therapeutic cultivar is a low THC, high CBD phenotype of Ringo’s Gift excellent for low-tolerance smokers or the canna-curious. Consumers report uplifting, blissful head highs and effervescent body effects. Expect a sweet, minty aroma and exhale.

Lodge 49

This esoteric, slightly dramatic, mostly surreal comedy is a fever-dreamy “fable” about a sad sack stoner’s entanglement with his local fraternal lodge and the eerie secrets beyond Lodge 49s threshold. It’s equal parts goofy, bittersweet, and California beach-weird; which, if you’re not familiar, is a specific flavor of weird uniquely satisfying to cannabis consumers the world over. Plus, even the more complex story arcs are space-cadet friendly, so smoke away.

Strain suggestion: Sweet Tooth

This balanced cross of Afghani Indica and Hawaiian Sativa reportedly delivers a mellow, long lasting, creative high. Expect a botanical perfume and a candy-sweet exhale.

Reality Bites

The Great British Bake Off

If soothing vibes are your cuppa tea, there are few scenarios more satisfying and cozy than this amateur home baker’s amicable competition for a big crystal dish and bragging rights.

Without a gargantuan cash prize to galvanize the competitors, the energy stays super genial, supportive, and — lucky for us viewers — instructive. Case-and-point: once, during an epic dab/Netflix binge, a mid-season episode taught me both how to make choux pastry and how to calm a manic British Grandma (a deep breath and a cup of tea).

Strain suggestion: Royal Cookies

Too on the nose? This rare GSC phenotype’s reported effects include a deep body stone and a refreshing, blissful head high. Expect an herbal nose and a sweet, nutty exhale.

RuPauls Drag Race

Any TV viewer who appreciates top-tier art and performance — from comedy to acting to dancing to creating show-stopping runway looks — should be engaging with this technicolor, life affirming, gender-euphoric reality program. The show even introduced a cis, male, straight drag queen on one recent season, and a lesbian drag king on another, shaping the conversation on masculinity, femininity, and gender expression in ways never before seen on primetime TV. Honestly, Survivor could never.

Strain suggestion: Purple Panty Dropper

Also known as PPD, this three-way cross of Purple HazeOregon Grape, and Matanuskan Mist is allegedly damn sexy, so prepare for big aphrodisiac energy from both the Drag and the weed. Expect a funky fruit aroma and grassy, berry exhale.

Ink Master

Not unlike the the Drag Race universe, Ink Master is replete with a wide variety of amazing artists at the top of their game, and even viewers with nary a drop of subdermal ink can appreciate the skill, talent, and commitment of many of these artists.

And of course, the contestants produce thrilling behind the scenes drama, made all the more thrilling by the sheer number of neck, head, and face tattoos many of them sport.

Strain suggestion: Sour Tsunami

Often bred as a therapeutic strain, this gently euphoric cross of Sour and NY Diesel can frequently be found as a 1:1 THC:CBD hybrid with a 10% cannabinoid average. Expect a gassy perfume and a funky lemon exhale.

Wildcards

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Stoners in the mood for some lightweight spookery might enjoy this anthology series produced, and in a few cases co-written, by genre master Guillermo Del Toro. Watchers can go in for a penny or a pound, with the episodes lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. Prepare for jump scares lest you scatter your snacks, fumble your bong, or choke on your hit.

Strain suggestion: Kryptonite

Kryptonite is a hard hitting, long lasting, deeply relaxing cultivar that reportedly unfolds into a romantic, euphoric head high. Expect a pungent skunk in the nose and a sweet exhale.

Kiff

For twee smokers who’d rather get lost in a magical animated wonderland than deal with anything resembling realism, Kiff is an adorably easy-to-watch all-ages cartoon featuring Kiff the squirrel and Barry the bunny on chaotic adventures in their magical mountain town.

For fans of Adventure Time, this is an even breezier series that could be a great background watch for stoned crafting or sketchbooking.

Strain suggestion: Herijuana

Consumers report cushiony-soft body highs and blissed out head effects making for an altogether dreamy experience. Expect an earthy-sweet aroma and a grassy exhale.

The post Best 14 TV shows to watch high appeared first on Weedmaps News.