Vancouver City Council Has Voted To Decriminalize All Drugs

In an unprecedented move in Canadian history, on Wednesday the Vancouver city council voted to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of all illicit drugs. Once it is approved by the federal government, the motion will be the first of its kind in Canada, following in the recent footsteps of Oregon, the first US state […]

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Cannabis tourism in Amsterdam coffeeshops

Amsterdam is known the world over for their famous coffeeshops,  easy access to weed, and safe consumption spaces. But what is the history behind Amsterdam’s storied cannabis establishments and its seemingly permissive and lenient laws, especially given that, even in Amsterdam, cannabis remains illegal? Let’s take a look behind the scenes. 

First things first: As mentioned earlier, despite all evidence that suggests otherwise, cannabis is not legal in Amsterdam locally, nor the Netherlands in general. What the Netherlands does have is progressive drug policy that distinguishes hard drugs from soft drugs

According to the Netherlands government, hard drugs like LSD, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, and ecstasy are incredibly hazardous to your health and have a much higher level of risk associated with their use. On the other hand, soft drugs, which include substances like cannabis, hash, sleeping pills, and sedatives, are considered to be less hazardous to your health. While not specifically decriminalized, the “more or less” official policy is one of non-enforcement for small use and possession.

Prior to the distinction between hard and soft drugs, the Dutch government passed the Opium Act in 1953,  which criminalized possession and consumption of drugs that bore “unacceptable risk,” cannabis among them. However, an amendment to the act in 1976 brought about the distinction of hard and soft drugs, and was also one part of broader drug policy reforms. 

How drug policy and reform shaped cannabis in the Netherlands

Interestingly, an abstract on the Opium Act of 1976 amendment says that the policy not only establishes basic principles and operating practices for contemporary drug policy, but that Dutch policy is “pragmatic and non-moralistic…Within the ideology of normalization, illegal drugs are seen as a limited and manageable social problem rather than as alien threat forced on an otherwise innocent society.” 

In other words, a complete 180 from federal drug policy in the United States. 

The amendment to the 1976 Opium Act created a more welcoming landscape for coffeeshops, never mind that Amsterdam’s first cannabis coffeeshop, The Bulldog, opened its doors in 1975. But the amendment provided tacit permission for all other coffeeshops to follow. In the 1990s, the Netherlands had more than 1,500 coffeeshops. Today, there are about 570 shops throughout the country, approximately one-third of which are in Amsterdam alone. 

Even with all the stark differences between Dutch and U.S. drug policy, there are some similarities. For example, the government does indeed monitor and regulate the industry with measures that will sound familiar to U.S. consumers: No selling to people under the age of 18, no sales in excess of five grams per person per day, and no sales or consumption near schools. However, one policy that is specific to the Netherlands (but de facto in the U.S) bans the sale of hard drugs.  

Another familiar regulation tactic could be pulled right out of the U.S. drug policy playbook, and that is patchwork regulation policies, whereby each municipality can decide their own local policies. Some may have no coffeeshops at all, while others espouse “no growth” policies, and create ever wider “no coffeeshop” zones. This has the accumulated effect of confusing and discouraging consumers, forcing them (and their wallets) to more lenient jurisdictions. 

The ins and outs of Amsterdam’s booming cannabis tourism 

There have been efforts to forbid tourists from consuming at coffeeshops, a money-losing proposition given that approximately 65 percent of travelers ages 18—35 said that cannabis was the primary motivator for their visit (caveat: this number was unearthed pre-COVID). In defense of the Netherlands, lawmakers in Amsterdam have been looking for ways to decrease nuisance complaints that often accompany overtoursim to cannabis cafes and brothels, and to preserve cultural treasures and maintain quality of life for the locals. 

Nonetheless, visitors spanning the globe set their sights on Amsterdam — who have fewer limitations on their coffeeshops — for a rare cannabis cultural experience. In a coffeeshop, consumers can partake in food, non-alcoholic drink, and enjoy some local ganja, all while law enforcement looks the other way. 

However, the weed that finds its way to the coffeeshop isn’t grown in the backyard. Even the most up-and-coming coffeeshop owners have to do legal contortions to run regulated establishments while having to procure their product on the illicit market. 

Despite lax soft drug laws in the Netherlands, cannabis raids by law enforcement are ongoing, putting the farmers supplying coffeeshops at legal risk. The government itself has recognized the limitations and contradictions of this policy, and has enacted “an experiment with controlled supply of cannabis” to ascertain how a regulated supply chain affects crime, safety, public nuisance, and public health. 

Covering 10 municipalities, legally produced cannabis cultivated by 10 selected growers will be sold in participating coffeeshops. The experiment, which will take place over the course of four years, will be monitored by an independent guidance and evaluation committee overseeing the researchers, who will then take the results of their findings and recommendations back to  government officials. After that, the fate of Dutch coffeeshop policy will be in their hands. 

Will enjoying weed in the marijuana capital of the world continue to be a foregone conclusion? We shall see. 

Featured image by Steven Bostock 

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New Music Friday: Lil Yachty, SAINt JHN, Sabrina Claudio, Juicy J

Welcome back to another week of fresh music. We’re sure that these picks will have you jamming out the entire weekend. This week includes music from Lil Yachty, SAINt JHN, Sabrina Claudio, Juicy J. Flex Up – Lil Yachty, Future, Playboi Carti A dream collaboration from some big players in the trap scene, Lil Yachty, […]

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4 weed brands Andrew DeAngelo can’t live without

Cannabis activist and legal market pioneer, Andrew DeAngelo, has been fighting the good fight long before it was trendy to do so. In his thirty years spent working on the front lines of cannabis legalization, his diplomatic and equity-minded approach to policy reform has been instrumental in shaping the market we enjoy today. 

Not only did he co-found Oakland dispensary Harborside with his brother Steve DeAngelo (where they helped develop childproof packaging and set standards of lab testing), DeAngelo worked to help to pass Props 215 and 64, which legalized cannabis in California, and also co-founded The Last Prisoners Project, a nonprofit that works to free cannabis offenders. 

“I’m working to create better frameworks for regulation and taxation and access to consumers for legal adult-use cannabis in California,” DeAngelo told Weedmaps. “When Harborside opened, we were one of the first six retail licenses for cannabis anywhere in the world. We had a unique vision for cannabis retail at that time. And much of what we pioneered, whether it be lab testing or child-resistant packaging for edibles, senior outreach, any number of other things that we pioneered with respect to public policy and Oakland, have now sort of set the standard for the whole industry.” 

Pioneers in the cannabis industry

Prior to DeAngelo’s work building Harborside, the California legal market existed in a wild west state characterized by the pre-Prop 64 era. Lab testing had yet to be standardized, meaning products sold legally often had amounts of contaminants or pesticides that weren’t being caught because the labs themselves weren’t regulated. Packaging had yet to be homogenized. Inventory was a mess. 

Through Harborside, DeAngelo and his brother worked to set systems in place for cannabis to operate like any other legitimate industry. “Lab testing is now part of pretty much every framework, everywhere, childproof packaging too. I think the regulators went a little out of control with that particular one, similar with taxes, which we unfortunately also pioneered. Not a lot of people know that, but we pioneered the first local tax for cannabis and Oakland.”

DeAngelo no longer works with Harborside, having exited last year to become an independent strategic consultant for the cannabis industry and focus on his epic nonprofit, The Last Prisoner Project. 

The responsibility of the industry and the Last Prisoner Project

Founded in 2019, the Last Prisoner Project is a nonprofit that works to free all cannabis prisoners and help reintegrate them into society. “Our mission is pretty simple,” said DeAngelo. 

“Get all cannabis prisoners on earth out of jail and successfully reenter them into society.” 

He continued, “There’s a whole bunch of ways that we do that and people can learn about that on our website. I’m proud to say the organization is blowing up. We’re raising more money than ever. We’re actually getting people out of prison. I think our industry has a moral obligation to do that, and it’s been an extremely rewarding thing to work on.” 

When asked what changes he would like to see in the industry in the next five years, DeAngelo said, “I want to see an industry that has small, medium and large companies owned by Black people, brown people, queer folks, straight women and privileged white men.” 

He continued, “We need to show the world that industries can be diverse. No industry in America right now is diverse really, and our industry has an opportunity to lead by example. We’re not leading by very good example right now, because only 4% of the cannabis industry is owned by people of color. So, we have a lot of work to do to correct the wrongs of the past. It’s similar to getting people out of prison. We have a moral obligation to do this, and it’s not that hard.” 

Andrew DeAngelo’s favorite weed

Here are equity-minded and POC-owned cannabis brands that Andrew DeAngelo can’t live without. 

The Congo Club 

“As you can imagine, I’m supporting mostly legacy-owned, Black-owned, queer-owned, women-owned, or just little micro businesses with my cannabis purchases,” said DeAngelo.

“On the flower side, there’s a group called The Congo Club here in Oakland. They’re doing something I think is terrific. They have a grower who is a legacy grower who Harborside was buying weed from in the early, early days, and they specialize in landrace strains from Africa like Red Congolese and the Congolese strains.” 

Founded by Amber Senter of Supernova Women, an organization formed by and for women of color to foster community empowerment in the cannabis industry, and grown by Red Top Farms, The Congo Club produces high quality flower from rare and sought after landrace strains with a dedication to environmental preservation. 

“I love their flower and that smoke because it’s a very creative smoke,” said DeAngelo. “I like to take The Congo Club products before I sit down to write. 

Check out The Congo Club

SF Roots 

“Another flower brand I love here in the Bay is SF Roots,” said DeAngeo. “I smoked some of their weed a couple of weeks ago, and it really got my attention. You know, when you smoke a lot of weed like I do, not every batch or every eighth or every joint gets your attention. These folks got my attention right away.” 

SF Roots is an equity cannabis brand specializing in fire weed products and uplifting the POC community within cannabis. He continued, “They’ve got terrific strains, terrific flower, a terrific smoke on all ends.” 

Check out SF Roots

Guild Extracts

Known for high quality products with a focus on cannabinoid isolation, Guild Extracts has made a name for themselves in the highly competitive (and judgmental) world of concentrates, as well as continuing to help push that corner of the cannabis industry into the future. 

“Guild is cool because they’re hispanic owned-and-operated. There’s not many Latinx cannabis companies, so I like to support them,” said DeAngelo. 

Check out Guild Extracts

Blue River Extracts 

“And finally, for the super high-end hash that I can’t afford to smoke, Blue River Extracts,” laughed DeAngelo. Blue River Extracts is renowned in the industry for their ability to produce solvent-quality extracts without the use of solvents. 

Founded by Tony Verzura, a cannabis inventor with over 80 awards in the industry, Blue River produces extracts mechanically, including water, which is all but unheard of. This proprietary method of extraction produces an insane level of terpene preservation, all with zero impact on the environment. 

“These concentrates are $70-$90 dollars before you even pay the taxes on them, but it’s because they’re so handcrafted. The amount of time and energy it requires to achieve this level of concentrate with no solvents used at all makes them worth it.” 

Check out Blue River on Weedmaps

Featured graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps

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The Best Delta-8 THC Vape Cartridges To Buy This Black Friday

When thinking of Delta-8 the first product to pop in our mind is Delta-8 THC vape cartridges. This is not a surprise, as vape carts are the number one product for this cannabinoid and most of the people tried Delta-8 did it by vaping. Whether you are new to Delta-8 THC or you already used it, the products below are the ones you should buy this Black Friday.

As always, the best deals on Delta-8 THC products are always reserved for the subscribers of the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter. Subscribe below to be included!


Why vapin is the best way to experience Delta-8 THC?

The short answer is that vaping isn’t the best way to consume Delta-8 THC, it is just the easiers and fastest ones, which is what most people have in mind when they want to experience cannabis. Beside vape cartridges Delta-8 THC can be found in gummies, tinctures, flowers, softgels, dabs, and in-fact any way you can consume regular cannabis, as Delta-8 THC is a hemp-derived product.

However, if you want to feel the effect immediately, you should either choose vaping, smoking or dabbing. This is the speediest delivery system to experience most cannabinoids, only a few minutes until you feel the effects. However, it comes with a price and, the experience woldn’t last for long, only a few hours, sometimes less.

If you are looking for a long-lasting experience, then you should choose other methods, such as tinctures, softgels, gummies etc. However, while it will stay in your system for a longer time, sometimes even 6-8 hours, it will require much more time to start working.

BDT or CDT Terpenes

Generally speaking when you are using a product that includes additive terpenes, you should choose between BDT (Botanically Derived Terpenes) and CDT (Cannabis Derived Terpenes). The general sentiment in our industry is that CDT are better, because we like our products to be as natural as possible, so any cannabis product should contain only cannabis derived elements. Therefor, Terpenes coming from cannabis are oreferred over he ones from other plants…

While this logic has a solid ground (taking us to the debate of full-spectrum vs isolates and following scientific discoveries, such as Mechulam’s Entourage effect, AKA the ‘Family effect’), when it comes to vaping, the flavor is the first thing that you experience, so flavor counts! In addition, we still don’t know (yet) enough about how exactly terpenes interact with our body and how do they combine with other cannabinoids, especially with the relatively new Delta-8 THC, so if you love a certain flavor, just look for it, no matter it’s origin.

Moreover, as Delta-8 THC vape cartridges are now cheaper than they ever been you can just buy a few of each, CDT and CBT and still have a change from a 100.

1ml or 0.5ml, Carts or Disposables

As a new market, only a few months old, the Delta-8 THC market is still very limited when it comes to variations of products. Therefor, while 0.5ml are cheaper, you should avoid them alltogether and focus on 1ml, which is the standard. You will get a better variety and the price won’t be much higher.

Regarding vape carts vs disposables, the same applied. As the industry is currently focused on growing, most of the available vape products are based on carts, original and white-lable alike. Even pods are still hard to be found, and too expensive, in compare to carts.

If you like dabbing then you best choice should be the syringes, as most concentrates didn’t migrate yet from Delta-9 and CBD to Delta-8. It is just too early for these products, but we are seeing new ones every week, so by 2021 the situation will be completely differnt.

COA / Lab Results

When it comes to medicinal products (even those with recreational aspects) you should always verify that the product is safe to use. Always check that the seller has a reliable COA (Certificate Of Analysis), and that the product is clean from residual solvents, pesticides and heavy metals.

Pricing

The price of quality 1ml Delta-8 THC vape cartridges should be between $20-$30. The price of 0.5ml should be between $15-$20.
Currently, as part of the Black Friday deals, we have a lot of premium products sold on a BOGO deal (Buy One Get One FREE), so quality carts could be found at anywhere between $12-18/cart. If you are looking for a special formula you can expect to pay more.

Lucky for you, we have found the best deals! Make sure to subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter and get the list of the Best Delta-8 THC Black Friday deals!


Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges Deals:

1ml CDT Delta-8 THC Cartridges – Only $12.49/cart

1ml CDT Delta-8 THC Cartridges – Only $12.49/cart

Looking for the BEST vape cartridges, try these new CDT (Cannabis Derived Terpenes) carts! Using only the highest quality terpenes these carts are providing a natural vaping experience, second to none.

Choose from the following terpenes profiles: Sunset Sherbert, Fruity Pebbles X Birthday Cake, Gorilla Glue, Blue Cheese, Kushes and Cream, Girl Scout Cookies, Mango Skunk, Bubba Kush, Lemosa, Zkittles, Snerval OG and Cali Red AK.

Current deal: Take advantage of the Black Friday BOGO deal (Buy One Get One FREE) and buy these premium Delta-8 THC cartridges for as low as $12.49/cart
Stocking-up options: Buy six carts or more and take the price down to $11.49/cart.

The sale starts at the 26th and goes all the way to the 30th.

As supply is limited, this deal is reserved for the subscribers of the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter.

Click here to SUBSCRIBE and get the list of the Best Delta-8 THC Black Friday deals!


Delta-8 THC Vape Carts – Only $9.99/cart

Delta-8 THC Vape Cartridges – Only $9.99/cart
Delta-8 THC Vape Carts – Only $9.99/cart

Only this weekened we have some of the best brands offering their top Delta-8 THC vape cartridges for only $9.99/cart, as part of their BOGO (Buy One Get One FREE) deal.

Black Friday deal: BOGO (Buy One Get One Free – Sitewide!). The sale starts at the 26th and goes all the way to the 30th.

As supply is limited, this deal is reserved for the subscribers of the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter.

Click here to SUBSCRIBE and get the list of the Best Delta-8 THC Black Friday deals!


LOOKING TO STOCK-UP?

Delta 8 THC Vape Carts – 10 Pack Special

Delta 8 THC Vape Carts - 10 Pack Special
Delta 8 THC Vape Carts – 10 Pack Special

While slightly more expensive, if you can afford to pay $18/cart you can get a bag full of Utoya’s top-level vape carts.  

Each package contains 10 full gram Delta 8 THC cartridges (two of each strain): Blue DreamBubba KushPineapple ExpressGreen Crack & Blue Zkittles.

This is a great choice for anyone looking for an effective and potent product.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter for our additional 20% discount code!

Click here to SUBSCRIBE and get the list of the best Black Friday deals on Delta-8 THC


SPECIAL BLENDS:

Comfortably Numb – Delta 8 THC:CBN Vape Cartridge – For Ultimate Relaxation

Comfortably Numb – Delta 8 THC:CBN Vape Cartridge - For Ultimate Relaxation
Comfortably Numb – Delta 8 THC:CBN Vape Cartridge – For Ultimate Relaxation

If you are interested in something special, you should try one of the targeted formulations, such as the Comfortably Numb vape cartridges, designed for maximum relaxation.

This product was created  based on a CBN:Delta-8 THC 1:1 ratio formulation with some CBC, CBD and ultra-relaxing Strawberry Napalm terpenes.  All this results in a very effective product, if you are looking for relaxation.

Comfortably Numb will have you feeling just like its name 20 minutes after a puff or two…

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter for our special Black Friday deals eddition!

Click here to SUBSCRIBE and get the list of the best Black Friday deals on Delta-8 THC


1ml CDT Delta-8 THC Syringe – Only $12.49/syringe

1ml CDT Delta 8 THC Syringe - Only $12.49/syringe
1ml CDT Delta-8 THC Syringe – Only $12.49/syringe

If you are looking for the highest purity Delta 8 distillate, we have found one just for you!

With a special blend of highly pure cannabis derived terpenes (CDT), this pure Delta-8 THC oil is something you must try! We know you’ll enjoy making your own carts or dabs, therefore, this Delta-8 THC CDT syringe is all set to offer you an exceptional vaping experience

Choose from the following terpenes profiles: Fruity Pebbles X Birtday Cake, Zkittles, Girls scount cookies and Kushes and Cream.

Current deal: Take advantage of the Black Friday BOGO deal (Buy One Get One FREE) and buy CDT Delta-8 THC syringes for as low as $12.49/syringe
Stocking-up options: Buy six of them or more and take the price down to $11.49/syringe.

The sale starts at the 26th and goes all the way to the 30th.

As supply is limited, this deal is reserved for the subscribers of the Delta 8 Weekly newsletter.

Click here to SUBSCRIBE and get the list of the Best Delta-8 THC Black Friday deals!


Affiliate disclaimer: We work hard to find and verify the best products, so we may include affiliate links to support the maintenance and development of this site.

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