A Pocket Full of Felonies

My flight leaves in about 12 hours and the anxiety I usually feel starts to set in. I’m not nervous about the flight at all; at this point, after doing comedy for a decade, I’ve gotten used to flying. No, I’m nervous because I’m a stoner doing 10 shows in five cities in North and South Carolina. Let’s just say, North and South Carolina aren’t the most weed-friendly places in America.

I’m nervous about what clothes to pack, so I pack my Proxy instead and take a fat rip, knowing it’s going to be 14 days before I can take a proper dab again. Usually, my go-to travel setup is edibles, a couple of rosin vape pens, my Peak Pro, and a few grams of that good good.

Weed is currently decriminalized in North Carolina, so it’s like a $200 fine, but I think it’s still a pretty harsh penalty for concentrates. I also don’t want to be that guy on tour that has to be bailed out. It’s been 4 years since I’ve toured the Carolinas opening for Pauly Shore. It’s when I learned that the vape pens were hardcore felonies, or at least that’s what the TSA agent told me on my flight back to California. Unbeknownst to that agent, I had just handed him my fanny pack full of weed cartridges. I was pouring bullets of sweat when they pulled me aside after going through the X-ray. They were wondering if I could introduce them to Pauly Shore.

Everyone loves Pauly Shore but in the Bible Belt, he is like Redneck Jesus.

I decided to stick with some gummies and real deal resin vapes, a gift from a holy-man. I look at my suitcase one more time and remember what my very Mexican mother said the last time I went to North Carolina: “Wear lots of tie dye because it makes you look less threatening, and do not go back to anyone’s house after the shows. You go straight to the hotel.” She has nothing to worry about as long as I don’t run out of weed.

Courtesy of Frank Castillo

RALEIGH

I like to think of my comedy as kind of a tightrope act. Pauly’s audiences are fucking amazing and he sells out wherever we go. Regardless of whatever level you’re at, opening for Pauly is part of growing as a comedian and it’s fun. Driving city to city, It’s like a dysfunctional family road trip but with more laughs. The show is me opening for 25 minutes, Jessie Johnson getting the sweet spot featuring for 25 minutes, and Pauly closing it out.

The first venue was Good Nights Comedy Club in Raleigh. It’s a beautiful red brick building; so much history in this club. Sadly, they are tearing it down and moving to another spot.

I always get introduced to the Comedy Club’s resident stoner, this time it was one of the cooks. He kept asking me if I wanted to hit his contraption he calls the “Blinky”. It’s a homemade bong he kept in his car cup holder. Another employee hit my rosin pen and had a come-to-Jesus moment.

Only one show gave me trouble and that’s because, from what I understand, Raleigh is kind of a liberal city in North Carolina. The people that give me trouble when it comes to my comedy are pearl-clutchers, which could be either side of the aisle; gun rights activists who want to give teachers guns, and people who hate the word “privileged.”

Courtesy of Frank Castillo

GREENSBORO BROOOOOO

I love driving through the Carolinas, but there’s nothing more breathtaking than seeing a Steak ‘n Shake sign the same exit as your hotel. Unfortunately, because it’s fucking Greensboro and it’s a Monday night, everything shuts down at like 10 PM. I’m staring through the Steak ‘n Shake window absolutely devastated that I can’t get a Nutella milkshake. The whole time Jessie and Pauly are laughing in the back of the car. I give my pen a long rip and drive us to the hotel defeated.

The second we get to the hotel, Jessie is listening to her set and in her notebook. I, on the other hand, am covering the smoke detector with the bag you get from the ice bucket. Priorities.

The Greensboro Comedy Zone is family-owned and its green room is attached directly to the kitchen. You’ll be getting ready for the show, going over your notes, as they drop a fresh bag of mozzarella sticks. You can smell the french fries while you memorize punchlines.

I thought Greensboro was going to give me the most trouble and it ended up being my favorite show of the trip. Not because I did well but because I got to watch people not like my comedy. I have a joke about being in an interracial relationship, all the minorities that were in the audience laughed. A good amount of white people laughed as well, but there are always one or two couples that just stare at me, looking at me disapprovingly with their arms crossed. That shit’s my favorite.

Charlotte

As we pull in, I take inventory. I’ve got one full pen and I’ve killed the edibles. I find an ABX pen from an earlier trip to Mexico. Which means I went through their security and they didn’t notice. I count my blessings.

The Charlotte Comedy Zone is beautifully built. Colosseum-style seating and the stage is much higher than the audience below you but rises the farther back you go. Pauly’s got this room sold out and every joke you can feel gets longer because of the laughs.

This crowd is an interesting mix. I see some 1776 shirts, thin blue line hoodies and those guys did not shake my hand or want to take pictures with me after the show. After my school shooting joke, a few people tightened up and I called them snowflakes. It felt like I was in California for a second; it immediately gets them back. We leave that night and drive to Greenville for a show day and a day off.

Courtesy of Frank Castillo

Greenville

We stay in Greenville for two days. The show is on a Thursday and it sold out so fast they had to add a second show. I am officially out of weed. The homie Fumed Glass pulls up and graces us with some beautiful glass pieces and pendants. Explaining to Pauly Shore what a pendant is was very entertaining.

After the shows, people occasionally hand me goodies, usually their best homegrown stuff which is hit or miss. When we get back to the hotel, I ask the valet where’s the best place to smoke weed. He tells me he’s actually the owner of the valet company and that the best place to smoke is the little smoking area where the employees smoke. He tells me the manager of the hotel is gone for the night so I am pretty much free to just blaze up. Love when stoners help each other out.

Black Mountain

Asheville is a cute little town with amazing barbecue. The venue where we’re doing the show is in the next town over in Black Mountain at a place called Silverado’s.

A man in a cowboy hat informs me it used to be an outlaw biker bar and now it’s a country music venue. The show is outside on a rock stage and it’s a full crowd. The show is sponsored by a delta-9/CBD company.

North Carolina has these weird laws where somehow delta-9 and delta-8 slipped through the cracks. They won’t legalize weed, but they’ll try to figure some other weird shit out.

Someone hands me a joint and informs me I’m smoking delta-9 Cookies. It’s one of those joints where I can’t really tell if I’m stoned or not.

I start talking with the owner’s brother about doing concentrates and he says, “Yeah man, I have dabs in my car if you want to try some.” He pulls out a Huni Badger and a gram of what I can only describe as some home grown concentrates. It had sticks and twigs in it and surprisingly didn’t taste that bad.

After my set a fan wants to smoke weed with me before I leave and he says, “Yeah, I own this place. I’m also running for sheriff!” I immediately start laughing. Someone hands me an edible and says “It’s pretty good man, trust me!”

Usually I’m a little bit more wary about the things people hand me when it comes to edibles because you never know. We go to a bar afterwards to celebrate the end of the 10-day tour. We reflect on the trip, life, and comedy.

Courtesy of Frank Castillo

Then everything I took hits me. All of a sudden, my face starts to get hot and my hands get really sweaty. I feel really high and not normal. I start to get a little panicky and my limbs feel like they are disconnected from my body. My face starts to feel prickly.

I text my homie who is in the industry and ask, “Hey man, I think I got delta-9 or delta-8 or some shit.” I recap my whole night and he goes, “Yeah, just take it easy drink some water and take some CBD if you need it. I wouldn’t really worry about the edible.” A wave of relief washed over me.

“What I’d really be worried about is whatever else he smokes outta that Huni Badger.”

We make it back to the hotel, I murder the snack bar and I pass out in a pile of chips.

After a long flight back to Los Angeles I get picked up from the airport and I’m greeted with a packed Puffco and the sweet deliciousness of some California rosin. As we head back home to Hollywood I think, I can’t wait to go back on the road.

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Puffco Proxy: A Classic Hashpipe Reimagined

Puffco is known for its cutting-edge technology, raising the bar over and over again with each product drop. Revered for their revolutionary Peak and Peak Pro smart rig devices, the brand is coveted by dabbers across the board. The company’s latest release, the Puffco Proxy, changes the game yet again with its slick design and modular functionality. The first offering in a new ecosystem targeted at heads and the canna-curious alike, the Proxy takes the form of a classic Sherlock pipe, bringing a familiar favorite into the 21st century. 

“As soon as you hold it in your hand it feels like this old friend,” Puffco founder and CEO Roger Volodarsky told Cannabis Now.

The addition of the Proxy to the Puffco family brings with it seemingly endless possibilities for customization. It likely won’t be long until pipe makers far and wide are adding heady Proxy glass to their portfolios—something Volodarsky has been looking forward to since the device’s inception.

A Dab Rig for Everyone

The Puffco Proxy, in development for nearly two and a half years, was intended to help introduce people to the dabbing experience in an approachable manner. Volodarsky explains that while the Peak was a great start, some consumers still found the torchless rig to be intimidating. 

“This is the thing that is going to reach the masses and breakthrough to people that haven’t yet become comfortable with hash consumption,” he predicts.

The Proxy’s design centers around its removable base unit, the key to the modular capabilities. The 3D chamber within provides even heating while the Oculus carb cap features a directional air-path for a perfect hit every time. Both components can be removed easily for cleaning (be sure to follow the company’s included instructions during this process to protect your hardware).

Like its big brother the OG Peak, the Proxy features four built-in temperature settings controlled by a single button. Fans of terpene-rich hits or newcomers to the concentrate experience can start low, but the hot dab cult looking for a more traditional experience should, in Volodarsky’s words, “put it on the white setting and buckle up!”

Cannabis Now staff had a chance to test out the Proxy prior to its launch. We found the product to be sleek and sexy, with a quick heat-up time and smooth draw. Sessions last around 45 seconds but can be extended with another double-click of the button, sending you into Boost mode. 

The device charged quickly with the included USB-C cord going from red to orange to green in no time. When unplugged, users can triple-click the button to check the device’s battery percentage.

While it lacks the overall horsepower of the Peak, the device still excited reviewers, thanks to its blend of nostalgia and innovation along with its creative potential. The compact size makes the Proxy discreet and portable, another benefit—especially for dabbers on the go.

The included carrying case is a thing of beauty, immediately impressing the CN Team. With space for swabs, dab tools, an extra chamber, and of course, terps, the compact caddy is a true step up from previous products’ packaging. 

When complimented on the design, Volodarsky laughed saying he was initially hesitant about the idea but was eventually sold thanks to the stellar craftsmanship.

“My team really had to push me on this one,” he said. “I didn’t want to go this hard because I wasn’t sure we could really provide the value that it does, but our design team killed it.”

The Sky’s the Limit for Puffco Proxy, With Hash Reaching New Heights

The Puffco Proxy itself is a fantastic addition to any arsenal, but speculation on future drops within the ecosystem is already starting to form. The company is staying tight-lipped on what’s next but is promising plenty of additions to the device’s glass catalog, including ones that will incorporate water filtration and potential collabs from artists such as Puffco fan-favorite Ryan Fitt.

The release of the Proxy signifies a new era for the brand, one that will likely result in even more converts to the concentrates lifestyle. For Volodarsky and his team, it’s all about spreading the gospel of hash to the masses.

“Hash for me is the absolute best experience in the space, I think most of my hash heads agree,” he said. “This is a device that gives us the opportunity to pull people into something that we love so much. For the sake of hash being an economy that keeps growing, if you love this, let your loved ones know how much you love it and why.”

The post Puffco Proxy: A Classic Hashpipe Reimagined appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Hands On With The Puffco Proxy

You don’t have to be a massive stoner to be familiar with Puffco. The device producer has introduced countless innovations to the concentrate segment since its inception in 2013. From improving pen technology to pioneering e-rigs, even the least engaged concentrate consumer has likely tried at least one of their products already. Not happy with settling for the status quo, Puffco is back again with another innovation to propel the hash game—and this time it’s not even water filtered.

Led by Roger Volodarsky, known to his adoring fans as “Jolly Roger,” the company’s latest product is the result of two years of serious research and development. The result is a Sherlock-style dry pipe with a modular 3D chamber vaporizer, dubbed the Puffco Proxy. While that may not be the most eloquent description, it’s hard to overstate just how big this device is going to be. Launching today for $299, I feel pretty confident in saying this little electronic bowl is going to be a hash-head’s new best friend.

Introducing the Puffco Proxy

Last week I got to sit down with Roger to discuss his latest innovation, and the reason behind the rhyme. I’ll admit, when I first heard they were producing a dry pipe, I was a bit skeptical, but I was reassured of its function before it even reached my hands. In his own words:

“This is the most fleshed out Puffco product we have ever released.” Roger told me, “By far the most tested and validated, and ran through quality control. We tested up and down with tons of internal beta testers in the company just abusing the hell out of it and seeing what it’s great at, and what it’s not great at. And we really feel like we got it to a place where it’s hard to imagine it getting any better.”

“It is the first truly modular vaporizer, where the internals completely come out and can be put into any glass form whatsoever. We’re working on our own designs that you can plug it into.” He continued, “It was really designed to be something that is really, really easy to build around, and will integrate super well with the maker community in this space.”

Courtesy of Puffco

In development since February of 2020, the 3D chamber the brand introduced last year was actually developed for the Proxy, but due to shortages in the microchip supply chain, the product is finally releasing in its final form now.

“It really started as like—the original design intention was ‘let’s make something that fits into a banger and just quickly adapts to everything.’ And then our Chief Technology Officer Avi was like, ‘what if the banger neck actually went to your mouth?’”

For The Culture, By The Culture

“Our belief is that hash is the best experience in the space. And we believe that that is what is going to grow. There is something here that is extremely flavorful, easy to dial in, and a beautiful experience for people that don’t typically like smoking. And we believe that that is what the future is, and we’re all on this path to get there together. So if there’s anything I want you to relay, it’s just that we believe that hash is the future and we’re here to build the road there with our community,” Roger explained.

“I believe, and you might not share this perspective and that’s okay, but I believe that hash culture as it is today, this American hash culture of dabs, is the most innovative and fastest growing scene in all of cannabis. There’s new types of hash every year. Like this year I saw cold cure water hash for the first time in Spain, it blew my mind, and every year there’s that mind-blowing experience. Every year there’s new consumption devices, from swing arms to honey buckets, I mean it just never ends. And I believe that is what hash culture has done for our space; it has become the home of obsession.”

I’ve long credited Puffco with lowering the barrier to entry to the concentrate space, and this latest innovation feels like a continuation of that spirit. In Roger’s head, this takes that to the next level.

“I think when it comes to the Peak, the Peak is still something that—to a complete outsider of hash—is intimidating. You’re looking at this big device, you have to load it. It’s a bong and it’s electronic. So it’s just, I think for some, unfamiliar enough that even though it’s so easy, [with the Proxy they’ll say] ‘oh my God, this is 20 times easier than what I was doing before. And I can put my friends on with this.’ I think this is such a well known form (the Sherlock) that it becomes this Trojan horse for hash culture, where if you’re into pipes, if you’ve smoked out of a bowl, you have all the context you need—just load your pipe and smoke it. Everybody is kind of familiar with that.”

But How Does It Hit?

As stated earlier, even though they’ve dialed it in, and it’s in their opinion the best-in-class experience, I still had some doubts. Dabs are known to roast your throat, and the idea of removing the water filtration entirely definitely struck me as strange, as I didn’t think you’d want to risk allowing the smoke to hit your throat at a higher temp, but I’ve got to say: I’ve had this device for just about a week now and I’m already a believer. 

Courtesy of Puffco

While you’re still smoking at the same temperature you would in the Proxy’s larger older brother, there’s something about the size, and the fact that it’s a bowl, that just makes it very intuitive for hitting. You’ll know from your first hit to sip this smoke, as opposed to rip like you would a bong, and I’m actually coughing less hitting this than I did with the Peak. The ergonomics are also much more comfortable, as your hand is already used to how it feels, and you’ll feel a bit more classy than you did before, for sure.

Though the smoke doesn’t overwhelm, which alone is a big selling point, the absolute best part about the Proxy is the flavor you’ll get out of your concentrates. Better than the Peak, in Roger’s own words, this thing SPITS terps. You’ll taste new flavors out of material you’ve smoked countless times, guaranteed. 

For the finer details, the device comes with a one-year warranty, and the team says from a 100% charge the Proxy will last at least 4 months in standby, but I’m fairly confident you won’t ever leave it alone that long. As a guy who primarily smokes joints, I’ve been high on a looooot more hash these past few days…

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