Week in Review: Germany Likely to Legalization; Politics a Hot Topic at SXSW

Germany’s Health Minister Indicates That Legalization Will Proceed

The German health minister has indicated that adult-use legalization will move forward in the European country, reports Marijuana Moment. Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Tuesday that he has received “very good feedback” from the European Commission and expects his bill to be formally presented “in the next few weeks.” 

“We’ll soon present a proposal that works, that is, that conforms to European law,” Minister Lauterbach said. Throughout the lobbying process, the minister has indicated that his efforts aim to improve public health in Germany via regulating adult-use cannabis. In 2022, the Federal Cabinet of Germany adopted a preliminary outline for legalization legislation. Still, the government required EU approval to ensure that adopting the change wouldn’t violate their international duties.

Under the government’s soon-to-be-revised proposal, which is currently only a 12-page framework and not actual legislation, adults 18 and older would be permitted to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis from establishments with federal licenses, potentially including pharmacies. Moreover, they may raise up to three plants for their own use.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andrew DeAngelo. Photo courtesy of SXSW

Legalization the Hot Topic at SXSW 2023

Global Cannabis Consultant and Strategic Advisor Andrew DeAngelo, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) gathered onstage to discuss federal cannabis legalization at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin. The panel, called “Which Political Party Will Legalize Weed?” gave the two representatives an opportunity for a lively discussion on the end of federal cannabis prohibition. Moderator DeAngelo pushed the politicians on the lack of progress in the Capitol, according to Green Market Report.

Blumenauer is said to be “more optimistic” than last year, referencing President Biden’s pardoning of cannabis prisoners and the fact that Biden is also keeping the possibility of descheduling on the table after initiating a review of cannabis classification. However, he was said to be more critical of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) inability to get a voting measure passed by the House, quoted as saying their desire for perfect legislation is behind the continued stalling but believes the two had “learned their lesson” and are more open to compromise.

Mace was reportedly less optimistic, saying if any change is going to happen, it needs to be done before June, as after that, “it’ll be about the presidential election,” she said. The South Carolina Republican also noted that President Biden could use it to his advantage to boost his reelection hopes.

Photo couresy of Death Row Cannabis

Snoop Extends Death Row Cannabis Product Offering 

 Following the sold-out first product drop of its debut offerings LA Runtz, Trop Cherry, Strawberry Garry and SFV OG, Death Row Cannabis has launched two new additions, True OG and Strawberry Gelato (Apple Fritter x Lemon Cherry Gelato hybrid), on March 10. Plus, fans of LA Runtz can be reassured that the popular strain also be returning. Like the first fire drop, these new cultivars were carefully by Death Row Cannabis’ Head of Operations, AK, a longtime West Coast legacy cultivator. 

“We’re very excited to introduce California consumers to Death Row Cannabis’s newest heavy hitter, Strawberry Gelato,” Travis “Shaggy” Marshall, head of product, said. “It has a loud, unique strawberry nose that’s tart and sharp on the front but sweet and creamy on the back. To me, it’s what I’d imagine a strawberry shortcake-flavored milkshake would taste like. Not only is it uniquely delicious, but testing at over 35% it also packs a punch for heavier smokers like me.” 

Arkansas Police: Medical Marijuana Causes Other Crimes

No Increase in Traffic-Related Hospitalizations Following Cannabis Legalization

The introduction of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada isn’t linked to a rise in hospitalizations for traffic-related injuries, according to data published in the journal Addiction, reports NORML. Researchers compared the national rates of hospital admissions and emergency room visits in the years before and immediately after legalization. 

 “Overall, there’s no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada,” the authors concluded.

The results align with an earlier Canadian study from 2021, which “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

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Week in Review: Snoop Goes Global; Colorado’s Cannabis Consumption Bus; A Big Chicago First

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” said Matthew Broderick as 1980s’ icon Ferris Bueller. The same can be said for the cannabis industry. There’s always something new happening.

PHOTO Sterling Munksgard

Snoop Inks Partnership With Atlas Global Brands

Snoop Dogg’s eye on global domination took another step forward following an announcement that the entrepreneur and hip-hop legend signed an “exclusive international licensing agreement” with Canada-based global cannabis company Atlas Global Brands Inc.

“Consumers love Snoop, and our collective goal is to deliver premium products in all cannabis categories that will consistently exceed consumer expectations,” Bernie Yeung, Atlas Global CEO, said in a statement.

The five-year agreement will allow Atlas Global to selectively “source, package and distribute directly in Canada and through approved distribution partners internationally,” including medical cannabis products in Germany, Israel and Australia.

This significant deal also gives Atlas Global exclusive rights to the artist’s name, likeness and other intellectual property “to produce, package, manufacture, distribute, sell, advertise, promote and market cannabis flowers, pre-rolls, concentrates, oils and edibles, and personal vaporizers” in legal markets.

“I chose Atlas to represent and launch my new brands because of their innovation and global reach. I am excited to work with their team to select my favorite strains for my brands and fans,” Snoop Dogg said. “You know they’ll be amazing because they’ll be personally approved by me.”

Sarah Woodson of The Cannabis Experience
The Cannabis Experience founder, Sarah Woodson. PHOTO Kush & Canvases

Roll Up and Roll Out on the Cannabis Experience

Toking tourists and weed-loving locals alike can now enjoy the sights of Denver on the country’s first licensed cannabis consumption bus. Founded by local entrepreneur Sarah Woodson, the Cannabis Experience is meant to provide safe, legal cannabis tours, airport transportation and private party buses that are cannabis friendly, as well as visits to cannabis farms and dispensaries. Private party bus rentals will also offer food and art themes such as “Toking and Tacos” and “RiNo Mural Tours.”

The Cannabis Experience is Woodson’s latest foray into cannabis tourism in the city. The former consultant for Marijuana Industry Group also founded the highly popular consumption-friendly cannabis art class, Kush & Canvases, and says she is “helping move the needle forward in the legalization fight.”

“The Cannabis industry is extremely regulated and not diverse. It took us almost a year to become operational, so we’re excited to be the country’s first safe, legal, licensed mobile hospitality business,” Woodson says. “We’re social equity and African American. We’ll have amazing tours, and grow our fleet over the next 24 months and work on expanding into other local cities such as Aurora. We’re proud to be in the cannabis industry.”

Although there have been previous cannabis buses operating in Colorado, they weren’t officially permitted and were all shut down by authorities. The Cannabis Experience, on the other hand, possesses both a local license and a state-issued cannabis hospitality permit. Here’s how to book your seat.

Grasshopper Club founders
Dianne Brewer and her two sons, Matthew and Chuck celebrate the opening of the Grasshopper Club.

The Grasshopper Club Opens in Chicago

A family-owned company just made history as Chicago’s first independent, Black-owned dispensary. Located in Logan Square, in the 2500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, the Grasshopper Club is owned by Dianne Brewer and her two sons, Matthew and Chuck, along with some “minor silent investors.”

“We don’t have a relationship or get support or have an arrangement with one of the large, publicly-owned cannabis companies,” Matthew told ABC 7 Chicago.

“I’m working on the accounting aspects of this business,” Dianne said. “I’m totally excited. I retired 12 years ago and here I am working again.”

For Chuck, the opening is something of a full circle, as he was arrested for cannabis possession a few times in his youth. “For me to be doing this legally with my brother and my mother…it’s priceless,” he said.

When Illinois’ Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act went into effect in 2020, “social equity” provisions were included in legislation to help communities harmed by past drug policies access the economic benefits of cannabis legalization. But, according to Dianne, it’s been a struggle for some, and her family has pledged to support other African Americans to open more independent dispensaries. “They call it social equity, but you’ve got to have the money to be able to open, and many African Americans don’t have that money,” she says.

The Brewer family plans to open a second Chicago-based dispensary this summer.

California cannabis
PHOTO Konrad

Cannabis Sales Drop in California

According to the latest statistics released by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (DTFA), annual cannabis sales in the Golden State declined in 2022 for the first time since its adult-use market launched in 2018, reports MJBiz.

The fourth quarter’s taxable sales fell 8.2% to $5.3 billion from the $5.77 reported in the same period last year, marking the third consecutive quarterly decline. Additionally, tax revenue was close to $1.1 billion in 2022, a 21% decrease from around $1.4 billion in 2021. Despite the decline, California continues to account for about 20% of the $26 billion market.

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Five Takeaways from CHAMPS 2023

Handblown glass competitions, new product launches and an unparalleled counterculture legacy are what make CHAMPS one of the premiere B2B events. And the Las Vegas winter show is the proverbial jewel in the glittering crown of cannabis trade shows. CHAMPS 2023 ran from February 8-11, and while the temperature outside was cold, inside the glass-blowing competition was hot.

Snoop Dogg with his new brand, Death Row Cannabis. PHOTO Dabsel Adams / CHAMPS Trade Shows

Two thousand booths selling cannabis products, vapes, pipes and other consumption devices gave the 16,000 attendees plenty to look at. Celebrity guest appearances from Mike Tyson, Snoop Dog, Trailer Park Boys, several pro football players and pro wrestlers Rick Flair and Floyd May Weather Senior drew large crowds around their respective booths. One of the show’s enduring highlights, the Glass Games, attracted an impressive crowd, and over $100,000 in cash and prizes were awarded to the talented artists. Pipe Raider by California’s Adam Whobrey, otherwise known as Hoobs Glass, took home the coveted first place and $20,000 in prize money.

A genuine sense of community among the vendors and attendees is a testament to the show’s longevity and continued relevance in today’s ever-changing industry. The overall atmosphere inside the Las Vegas Convention Center was fun, friendly and informative.

“The love and comradery on the show floor was amazing,” said Jeff Hirschfeld, founder and owner of CHAMPS. “I had multiple retailer buyers tell me that CHAMPS Trade Shows have helped them keep their doors open and remain vibrant and profitable. It brought tears to my eyes!”

Masters Finals winner “Pipe Raider” by Hoobs Glass. PHOTO D MiLL / CHAMPS Trade Shows

Stand Out Brands from CHAMPS 2023

But the real MVPs of the 2023 Vegas CHAMPS were brands that are striving for true innovation and pushing legalization forward. As we walked the aisles, the creativity emanating from all the different booths fought for our attention. Here, five stand-out brands from the 2023 CHAMPS trade show share their thoughts on the trade show—and the future.


Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Grav has been creating high-quality borosilicate smokeware for nearly two decades. Founder David Daily is regarded as one of the true innovative pioneers of the glass industry. He began making pipes in 2004 and attended his first CHAMPS back in 2005 on the recommendation of one of his raw glass suppliers. Back then, Daily says, there were only 100 booths. It was very close to Operation Pipe Dream—the DEA sting that put Tommy Chong in jail—so people were nervous about being seen promoting the industry.

Daily decided to take the risk. He remembers looking around the tables of bongs and thinking, “Oh my god, this is where I’m supposed to be.” He sold into hundreds of smoke shops from that first trade show, putting Grav on the map.

“It’s not a stretch to say that CHAMPS made my company,” Daily says. “It would have taken me much longer to figure out how to get distribution in this in this network without the CHAMPS trade show.”

Daily’s favorite thing about CHAMPS is the people. “Smokeshop owners are literally the most amazing entrepreneurs on the planet,” he says. “They’re resilient and they’re smart.”


Stiizy team members
A few Stiiizy team members show off product. PHOTO Dabsel Adams / CHAMPS Trade Shows

Regarded by many as one of, if not the cannabis lifestyle brands in California, Stiiizy strives to influence, inspire and innovate. The company launched its new hemp line at CHAMPS because, as Stiiizy Hemp President Nathan Jo says, “Who does it better than CHAMPS?”

“CHAMPS has been an ongoing dominant show in the space where it brings buyers from every angle with corresponding businesses,” Jo says. “It’s such great timing for us to enter into the hemp space.”

Stiiizy’s new hemp products are available coast to coast and stay under the THC limit stipulated in the 2018 Farm Bill.


Octave is an LA-based high-tech hardware company that designs and manufactures some of the most cutting-edge cannabis gadgets in the world. The company also makes hardware for some of the largest brands in the space and has collaborated with Cookies, MotherShip Glass and Stiiizy.

“The energy was amazing,” says Davis Clayton Kiyo, Octave’s founder and CEO. “It was our best tradeshow yet.”

Kiyo demonstrated his futuristic cannabis gadgets, including the Battpak, a 10,000 mAh portable battery pack with a secret button that opens to reveal a magnetic rolling tray, wallet area and a strap for your joints, blunts, carts and more. 

When asked what’s next for Octave, Kiyo revealed that he’s “working on some flower tech that we believe will disrupt the industry.”


Packwoods is a premium pre-roll blunt company known as one of the first brands to use glass filters in their products to ensure customers enjoy a smooth draw from the first to the last. Founded in 2018, Packwoods has built a strong, loyal customer fanbase with unique hand-rolled blunts that deliver consistent, quality experiences.

“CHAMPS is always a good show,” says Anthony Capone, owner and CEO of Packwoods. “We’re venturing out of the cannabis THC space into other products including hemp wraps, cone filters, delta-8, delta-9 and delta-10, which gives us the ability to spread the brand worldwide. CHAMPS has been a big supporter of our journey.”

Capone says “global expansion” isn’t far off. Currently, Packwoods’ products are available in California, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan and Florida, with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois launches coming soon. Plus, Packwoods will soon be available in Israel. “We’re starting up in Israel, and Canada is on the horizon,” Capone says. “We’re also selling our HHC and delta products all over Europe.”


G-Rollz is an Amsterdam-based smoking accessories company that collabs with the most popular artists to create practical and stylish products. During CHAMPS 2022, G-Rollz approached Aziz Panjwani, founder of Toro Imports, one of the original smoke shops in Texas, to distribute its products. 

“G-Rollz is a family-owned company and we’re a family-owned company,” says Aziz’s son, Aaziel. “It just clicked.”

“I love CHAMPS; it’s the best,” Aziz says. “You get to make good connections; it’s good for networking. My dad has been here for years—probably since the beginning. I’ve only been here seven times.”

Next Up

If you didn’t make it to Las Vegas, there are more CHAMPS trade shows taking place across the country. Check out the list below and visit champstradeshows.com for details.

  • Atlantic City, New Jersey—May 9-11
  • Chicago, Illinois—June 6-8
  • Summer VLAs Vegas, Nevada—July 19-22
  • Denver, Colorado—September 27-28
  • Tampa, Florida—October 25-27

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Film Review: ‘Grass Is Greener’ Documentary Nails It

I have a thing about most documentaries; it’s not unlike the thing I have about Brussels sprouts: I never want to watch/eat them, then I’m always glad I did. Happens. Every. Time. And the idea that I had to sit through a documentary that’s already nearly three years old, well, let’s just say my enthusiasm meter wasn’t exactly jumping with mind-blowing excitement.

Grass Is Greener ostensibly follows hip-hop icon Fab Five Freddy on his often-disturbing trek to uncover the truth about the history of cannabis prohibition in the US. Commencing in the 1920s New Orleans jazz clubs where Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington were forced to perpetually fend off being arrested due to overtly racist policies, the documentary concludes by interviewing rap legends Snoop Dogg and B-Real of Cypress Hill as they expertly discuss the current state of cannabis.

The film, streaming on Netflix, also provides perspectives from relevant lawyers, cannabis advocates and activists. By far the most harrowing are examples of families torn apart by America’s pervasive and unjustified obsession with convicting people of color for minor marijuana infractions. It’s a lot to take in.

The riveting examination provides us with a villain early on, the cartoonishly bigoted first director of the Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger. The political appointee enforced fabricated policies while ignoring definitive scientific studies specifically targeting two groups still grappling (and demanding) social justice in this nation: African Americans and Mexican immigrants. In fact, the very name “cannabis” was purposedly changed to “marijuana” to further connect the supposedly dangerous narcotic more directly with the feared Mexicans crossing the border. It’s all as infuriating as it is outrageous, but given the current societal climate in the US, not at all surprising. C’mon now, is Harry Anslinger all that different from, say, Jeff Sessions, the enforcer of the draconian child separation policy at the US border during the previous administration? Here’s a hint: He’s not.

Grass Is Greener features commentary from music legends Snoop Dogg, B-Real and Damian Marley.

But wait! There are good guys, too. Most surprising, perhaps, was former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who commissioned a report on cannabis that refuted all of Anslinger’s preposterous claims. “Instead of science, the government knowingly and willingly chose propaganda, chose racism over and over again,” said one astute subject of the documentary about the irrefutable evidence found in LaGuardia’s report. But the direct line from Anslinger, to Richard Nixon’s War On Drugs, to Ronald (and Nancy) Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign and to Bill Clinton’s odious Crime Bill all relegated cannabis to be perceived as nothing short of premeditated evil. And it was all a lie.

I was amped up for action by the time Grass Is Greener gets to Jack Herer’s revelatory The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the truth bomb of a book that blew the lid off the perpetuated untruths about weed the US government had been spewing for a century. And by the end of the doc, I’m left with not only a crystal-clear understanding of the history of cannabis, but an even better understanding about American jurisprudence and how acutely unjust it has always been. Always.

Grass Is Greener should be required viewing for cannabis lovers, yes, but also for lovers of our country and democracy and justice. I’m so glad I saw this remarkably important documentary. Not surprisingly, I’m now craving a heaping serving of Brussels sprouts. I got the do-something munchies for sure.

This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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Hall of Fame: The Mount Rushmore of Cannabis Legends

Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong may be some of the more obvious honorees for Cannabis Now’s Legacy: Hall Of Fame, but they’re hardly alone. Cannabis giants Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Ed Rosenthal, Dale Sky Jones and Steve DeAngelo also make the cut of the Cannabis Now “Hall of Fame” for 2023.

Tommy Chong

The grandfather of weed and one-half of the most iconic stoner comedy duo in history needs no introduction. READ MORE.

Hall of Fame: Steve DeAngelo

Steve DeAngelo

The cannabis advocate and author was dubbed “the father of the legal industry” by the former Speaker of the California Assembly. READ MORE.

Snoop Dogg

The Long Beach native and hip-hop superstar’s love of cannabis is legendary. READ MORE.

Melissa Etheridge

The breast cancer survivor and Grammy-award-winning singer/songwriter attributes cannabis to opening her conscientiousness when writing music. READ MORE.

Hall of Fame: Dale Sky Jones

Dale Sky Jones

The President and CEO of Oaksterdam University provided the model for cannabis reform as the spokesperson for the first statewide legalization initiative, California’s Prop 19. READ MORE.

Ann Lee

Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) founder Ann Lee is an unexpected ally in the fight again prohibition. READ MORE

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

The father of cannabis research paved the road for scientists to better understand the herb’s immense resource for medical purposes. READ MORE.

Willie Nelson

The country music outlaw has been an outspoken cannabis advocate for decades—and out-smoked a few notable names. READ MORE.

Ed Rosenthal

The author and activist is widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on cannabis cultivation. READ MORE.

Mike “BigMike” Straumeitis

The renowned and respected CEO of Advanced Nutrients is as passionate about philanthropy as he is about the cannabis plant. READ MORE.

Keith Stroup

The founder of NORML has spent much of his professional life working to legalize cannabis. READ MORE.

Nikki Lastreto and Swami

The Emerald Triangle power couple is a cornerstone of California’s craft cannabis community. READ MORE.

Ricky Williams

The retired NFL star has used his platform and extensive experience to change the conversation around cannabis for athletes and patients. READ MORE.

This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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Snoop Dogg Announces New Death Row Cannabis

Death Row Records, the record label behind many of hip-hop’s biggest superstars for more than three decades, announced today that it’s launching an eponymous marijuana brand: Death Row Cannabis.

Death Row Cannabis dropped a fresh 22-second teaser video on Instagram this morning that featured an updated iteration of Death Row Record’s iconic hooded prisoner logo with a noticeable twist—the inmate is smoking a fat joint. The video is the creation of artist GUAP with a soundtrack provided by Kevin Gilliam, aka DJ Battlecat, the Los Angeles-based producer who’s worked with rap legends including Tupac Shakur, The Game, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg and many more.

According to a statement from the label, the new launch promises to “return Death Row to its former glory, all elements of the former label are being refitted for today’s audience and their evolving tastes.”

Death Row Cannabis Products Revealed

The first products revealed in the video feature eighths of premium flower sold in limited edition commemorative metallic bags. Additionally, liquid diamond-infused .5g pre-rolls will also be available in packs of seven and as individual 2g pre-rolls. Confirmed cultivars include Tropicana Cookies, a Girl Scout Cookies X Tangie hybrid; Strawberry Gary, a Gary Payton X Red Pop; and Runtz, a rare hybrid Zkittles X Gelato cross.

The executive “hand-selected by Snoop himself” to grow the company is West Coast legacy cultivator and industry insider, AK. He’s currently Vice President of Cultivation for TRP LLC, who owns a majority of the Cookies stores across the nation, including their facilities in Florida. 

But AK is perhaps best known as being the man behind the IYKYK brand SMKRS and for his role alongside former partner WizardTrees in sprouting, selecting and expertly growing the Shirazi, RS11 (also known as Rainbow Sherbet #11), Studio 54 and strains from exotic cannabis breeder DEO.

According to a statement, “AK’s reputation for ‘fire’ OG weed keeps kids camped out in lines in front of their dispensaries.”

Death Row Cannabis will first be available at select Cookies California stores throughout California in Brentwood (Los Angeles), San Diego and San Bernardino on January 2, 2023, with other states and location rollouts to follow. 

Death Row Records new packaging.

Snoop & Death Row Records

The news is something of a full-circle moment for Snoop Dogg, who acquired Death Row Records in February 2022 when he said he was “looking forward to building the next chapter of Death Row Records.”

The Long Beach native’s music career began at the LA-based gansta rap record label. Founded in 1991 by Tracy “The D.O.C.” Lynn Curry, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Suge Knight and Richard Gilbert “Dick” Griffey, the label catapulted gangsta rap from being a subculture and placed it firmly into the mainstream.

Snoop’s first appearance at Death Row Records came in 1992 when he and Dr Dre performed on the title track for the movie “Deep Cover.” His debut single “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” was released by the label in October 1993 and became No.1 on Billboard‘s Hot Rap Songs chart and No.8 on the Top 100 chart. The song’s uptempo, funky vibe served as the ideal prelude to the rapper’s debut album, Doggystyle. Produced by Dr Dre, the album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard charts in November 1993 making it the first debut album in history to land in the chats in the covetable position.

Doggystyle sold more than four million copies in the first seven months of its release and it remains one of the most acclaimed and best-selling rap albums of all time.

“I’m thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value,” Snoop Dogg said in a statement at the time. “It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members. This is an extremely meaningful moment for me.”

Snoop’s acquisition has seen the brand make moves to become “a multi-category cultural platform across music, entertainment and cannabis, all united by the blockchain for a new generation,” the label said in a statement.

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Snoop Dogg Unveils Death Row Cannabis

Snoop Dogg announced today that Death Row Records—the legendary West Coast hip-hop platform featuring artists like Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and so on—is entering the cannabis game with Death Row Cannabis

What kind of strains can we expect? Death Row Cannabis will initially launch a trove of OG strains including Runtz, Strawberry Gary, and Tropicana Cookies. The first drop arrives in limited edition commemorative metallic bags featuring the iconic hooded prisoner figure seated in an electric chair on the front—the image found on the Death Row Records logo if you look closely. 

Specifically designed for the Death Row Cannabis drop, the new rendering of the prisoner was designed for the launch of the cannabis brand. The main difference between the new and old images is that the new one has one hand broken free and is smoking a fat doobie.

To do this drop, and considering competition, Snoop Dogg zeroed in on one of the top cultivators around.

Who’s Growing Death Row Cannabis?

The man who curates Death Row Cannabis is the one and only, mighty AK—“hand-selected by Snoop himself.” AK is best known for his role alongside former partner Wizard Trees in sprouting, selecting, and cultivating strains such as RS11 (aka Rainbow Sherbert #11), Studio 54, and Shirazi from breeder DEO Farms. (High Times Vice President of Content Jon Cappetta profiled the high-grade cannabis grown by Wizard Trees last August.)

AK is also behind the IYKYK brand SMKRS and he is also the esteemed Vice President of Cultivation for TRP LLC, the company that owns a majority of the Cookies stores across the nation including their facilities in Florida. AK has also developed a reputation for his knack for cultivating fire OG strains. 

Death Row Cannabis will first be available at select Cookies California stores throughout California in Brentwood, San Bernardino, and San Diego on Monday, January 2, 2023, with other locations and more states to follow. 

Follow Death Row Records and Death Row Cannabis on Instagram for more details about the initial drop. The accounts posted an animation of the Death Row Records logo and revealed a branded pre-roll tube. The teaser video was created by artist GUAP with a soundtrack by Kevin Gilliam, aka DJ Battlecat.

Snoop Dogg and Death Row

Under Snoop’s recent leadership after he acquired the label, Death Row Records is making a lucrative dive into cannabis. Snoop Dogg, under Death Row Records, praised the herb from the get-go, most obviously on albums like Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and The Chronic 2001, or nearly any Snoop Dogg record. (However, Snoop’s acquisition does not necessarily include all the familiar albums.)

At its peak, Death Row Records artists seemed larger than life and defined an era—including the West Coast G-funk sound that was often imitated but not duplicated. 

“For over 30 years, through countless chart topping hits and landmark artists, Death Row Records has stood as one of the music industry’s most iconic and culturally significant platforms,” the label said in a statement. “Today, it is under powerful new management. Recently acquired and under the direction of Snoop Dogg and his family, the infamous musical empire has reemerged as a multi-category cultural platform across music, entertainment, and cannabis, all united by the blockchain for a new generation.”

Ahead of the announcement of Death Row Cannabis, Snoop Dogg acquired Death Row Records on February 10. “It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career,” Snoop Dogg said at the time. This represents Snoop Dogg’s next move with his new platform.

Stay tuned for more drops from Death Row Cannabis, soon to follow.

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Nota por Javier Hasse publicada originalmente en El Planteo. Más artículos por El Planteo en High Times en Español.

Síguenos en Instagram (@El.Planteo) y Twitter (@ElPlanteo).

Tras adquirir la famosa discográfica Death Row Records, Snoop Dogg lanza una nueva marca de cannabis, Death Row Cannabis.

El lanzamiento se anunciará en las redes sociales en @DeathRowRecords y @DeathRowCannabis este jueves a las 11 am ET/8 am PT, acompañado de una animación del logotipo mundialmente reconocido del sello discográfico y una revelación de un tubo pre-roll de la marca.

El vídeo ha sido creado por el artista MylarMen, y la banda sonora, por Kevin Gilliam aka DJ Battlecat.

Death Row Cannabis: un nuevo giro para una marca tradicional

Durante más de 30 años, Death Row Records ha sido responsable de apoyar a algunos de lxs músicos más importantes del mundo, desde Dr. Dre a 2Pac. Con la reciente adquisición de Snoop Dogg, la discográfica recibió un cambio de aire, y resurgió como una plataforma cultural de múltiples categorías a través de la música, la moda, el entretenimiento y, ahora, el cannabis, todo ello conectado por la blockchain.

Contenido relacionado: EXCLUSIVA: Snoop Dogg Explica qué Tienen en Común la Marihuana y las Dietas ‘Plant Based’

Como explica el equipo, todos los elementos de la antigua marca se están adaptando al público actual y a la evolución de sus gustos.

En este sentido, la primera entrega de esta marca de cannabis llegará en bolsas metálicas conmemorativas, de edición limitada, con la icónica figura del preso encapuchado sentado en una silla eléctrica en la parte frontal. A diferencia del preso clásico que representaba a la marca, este nuevo logotipo muestra a un hombre con una mano libre, que la utiliza para fumar un porro bien gordo.

El encargado de la marca de cannabis será AK, un cultivador con vasta experiencia de la Costa Oeste y conocedor de la industria, que fue elegido por el propio Snoop. AK es conocido por su trabajo junto a su antiguo socio WizardTrees en la germinación, selección y cultivo experto de las variedades RS11, Studio 54 y Shirazi del criador de cannabis exótico DEO. AK es el hombre detrás de la marca IYKYK SMKRS y también es bien conocido por ser el vicepresidente de cultivo de TRP LLC, empresa que posee la mayoría de las tiendas Cookies en todo el país, incluyendo las instalaciones en Florida. La reputación de AK de cultivar marihuana espectacular y su paleta a la hora de seleccionar cepas ganadoras mantienen a la gente acampando en las colas frente a sus dispensarios.

Contenido relacionado: Anécdotas Fumonas: Snoop Dogg Recuerda el Día que Fumó Porro en la Casa Blanca

Death Row Cannabis, que saldrá a la venta la semana que viene, no quiere hacer esperar a sus fans: la marca pronto anunciará una fecha exacta y lugares para el lanzamiento debut. Algunas tiendas seleccionadas de Cookies de California (Brentwood, San Bernardino y San Diego) serán las primeras en ofrecer Death Row Cannabis, y pronto lo harán en otros lugares y estados.

Fotos cortesía de Death Row Cannabis

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Oh, To Be Wiz Khalifa

What kind of entrepreneur gives his product away for free? Judging by the decade Wiz Khalifa has enjoyed, a very successful one. (Spoiler alert: He doesn’t give everything away, and definitely not Khalifa Kush.) 

A walking, talking, and—as befits the reputation of a man who once claimed to spend $10,000 a month on cannabis—smoking embodiment of the requisites demanded by the “slash” economy, in which the line between patron and artist isn’t so much blurred as it’s one contiguous broad stroke, the musician-slash-businessman-slash-social media-powered marketing machine broke the internet for three solid days way back in 2010, when he chose to release the critically acclaimed mixtape-slash-lifestyle manifesto Kush and Orange Juice for free. His winning ethos: partying, hanging out with beautiful women, chasing positive vibes and staying extremely high.

The business genius lay in knowing that gifting his audience content also meant growing his audience, and thereby his dollars. The next year, Wiz Khalifa was riding on top of the Billboard 100 with “Black and Yellow,” the addictively catchy anthem paying homage to Pittsburgh—his adopted hometown where his acumen in the recording studio attracted attention from record labels before he was even old enough to drive. 

By 2013, the prodigy was generating $14 million a year, according to Forbes, enough to be mentioned in the same top-ten list as other luminaries—and similarly multi-faceted business empires anchored in music—including the likes of Drake, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg. Of course, there was one major difference: Aside from Snoop Dogg, Wiz was the only one doing it while also centering weed. And he was doing it well before cannabis legalization entered the mainstream. 

Had he been coming up a decade earlier, that might have been dismissed as too risky of a move by Wiz’s handlers in the marketing department over at his record label. Of course, by that time Wiz had already ditched Warner Bros., his original label, for taking too long to release music and went independent via his own label Taylor Gang—and relying on his demonstrated social media virality to do the job a whole floor’s worth of marketing music professionals couldn’t, even if they tried. 

The Taylor Gang co-founder launched his eponymous cannabis company, Khalifa Kush, in 2016.

Looking back now, centering cannabis wasn’t a conscious or calculated decision, Wiz tells me candidly. It was just who he was and what he was about—and what he believed to be right and true. 

“It really wasn’t a choice, just how I came up and the lifestyle,” he insists. “I’m like, ‘This really isn’t that bad of a thing.’ People thought I was crazy putting weed on YouTube on college campuses, but that’s just what it was.”

More than a dozen years later, the man born Cameron Jibril Thomaz outside a lonely North Dakota US Air Force base remains as omnipresent and as squarely on the cutting edge of just about everything there is in popular culture. 

And I do mean everything: In between demanding real estate, in popular video games while also dropping new music in the Metaverse; collaborating with fellow Yinzer Girl Talk and other producers on Multiverse, his seventh album released in July 2022; organizing a free concert; critiquing other rappers who claim to wear expensive outfits once before moving onto the next fit—“not a flex,” Wiz said and praising President Joe Biden’s potentially revolutionary first step towards federally rescheduling (or, maybe, finally, legalizing) cannabis, Wiz visited Florida to launch the latest collaboration selling his eponymous Khalifa Kush—this time in concert with Trulieve, the Sunshine State’s most powerful cannabis business empire. (Along the way, he’s also studied Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing, and is raising his nine-year-old son, born when Wiz was married to the model and media personality Amber Rose.)

Whew. That’s more of a lifetime to-do list than it is a résumé, but it’s all there. How does the hip hop superstar stay focused on so many lanes all at once? He doesn’t, at least not with any kind of one-at-a-time tunnel vision.

“They all feed each other,” Wiz said in between a flurry of meetings and appearances. “I love making music and I love the companies I’ve created. I’ve built a trusted team around me, that knows the vision and knows how to make shit happen.”

Of course, as a brand and as a reputation grows bigger,  the bigger the risk of dilution. Perhaps nowhere has this been more prominently and more keenly felt than in commercial cannabis, where industrial-scaled offerings from Big Weed continue to struggle to compete with tax-free, cottage-industry grown traditional market fire. Trulieve grown-and-sold Khalifa Kush will avoid that trap, Wiz assures me, in part because he has inserted himself into the quality-control process, as any true aficionado would.

The cannapreneur recently announced Khalifa Kush’s latest collaboration with Trulieve, Florida’s most powerful cannabis business.

“We only partner with people that we know we can trust, and that give our genetics the love they need,” he says. “I’ve been smoking KK for more than a decade, and it’s the same thing we put in jars and grown with the same love…  it doesn’t get more authentic than that.”

As for other celebrity cannabis brands and their struggles to break into and stay in a competitive industry, Wiz isn’t all that concerned. 

“There’s a ton of room in the industry for other people to do what they do,” he said. “We focus on putting out only the highest quality products using our exclusive genetics. We just dropped our second strain ever, Khalifa Mints, a cross of KK x The Menthol. We have a bunch of new genetics on deck to launch over the next year and beyond. We’re working more than a year out at this point. It’s all about the strategy and patience for us.”

Someone this busy and this successful might have his very own joint-roller in a swollen entourage, but as befits someone who took heat for a fashion ensemble that’s more athleisure than it’s runway-ready, Wiz says he keeps it simple.

“I usually grind and roll myself, but if I’m extra busy I’ve been prepping cones ahead of time so I’m good for a couple days,” he says.

“If you follow me on social media, you know I’m always rollin’ with it.”

After celebrating his 35th birthday in 2022, Wiz Khalifa still has a few years of growth to go before the mid-life landmark of 40. As for what the next couple of trips around the sun will entail: well, probably more of the same, with whatever else is new and good thrown into the mix. Twitter, Metaverse, Instagram or something else entirely: With Wiz Khalifa, what you see is what you get, and the formula seems to be working just fine.

“When you’re visible it’s important to set an example using your platforms,” the talented Khalifa says. “I focus on being a good dad, raising my son the right way, working hard and taking the stigma out of being a stoner.”

After all, he says, “Everyone smokes weed.” 

This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

The post Oh, To Be Wiz Khalifa appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Liara Roux, Author of ‘Whore of New York’

This article was originally published on Cash Only. Sign up for the newsletter here and follow Cash Only on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos by Zach Sokol.

Cash Only’s 420 Recs is an ongoing series where interesting folks offer recommendations for all things 420 — what strains they like, what weed products are blowing their minds, and what they like to do once stoned.

Liara Roux is a sex worker, organizer, writer, and illustrator whose recent memoir Whore of New York details her ascent into the world of escorting and beyond.

The book is a gem — how often do we get an in-depth look at how someone becomes a sex worker without it being framed as a cautionary tale or something related to martyrdom? Roux’s writing is sharp, fearless, and unapologetic as she brings readers through an underground industry whose ins and outs are rarely described so openly, let alone by the laborers who actually comprise it.

Certain parts of the text are effectively branded into my frontal lobes, but I particularly appreciate a section in chapter nine where Roux recounts the particular nuances and kinks of her varied clients: “The famous director who could only come if someone was peeing on him”; “The programmer who wanted me to ride him like a pony.” Rule #34 of the internet is that if something exists, there is also a porn version of it. Whore of New York can give the impression that the same logic applies IRL — If it exists, someone has a fetish for it.

Liara is a friendly person with a gift for galvanizing community, whether through the Sacred Rites parties she hosts, or the myriad literary events she can be found reading at. Lucky for us at Cash Only, Roux is also a toker with some interesting pot preferences.

Below, New York’s #1 whore details her love of playing Diablo “with the bros” when baked, how she likes to return to the anime from her youth after smoking, and the diverse public figures who’d be at Liara’s dream blunt rotation (Snoop and Slavoj Zizek in the same sesh? Sign us up!)

Photo by Zach Sokol

Do you have a current favorite weed strain and how do you like to consume it?

I am personally a huge fan of THC-only edibles. They’re the perfect way to start my day! If I’m smoking, I absolutely prefer sativas. Indica, for whatever reason, makes me anxious as fuck!

Do you have any favorite weed products — any particular papers, grinders, or whatever?

When I was living in the Bay Area, two of my roommates grew weed in a warehouse. They were perfectionists, and the weed was sooooo good. At one point, they collaborated with this chef who runs a Michelin star restaurant to make delicious grape-flavored gummies. I think it was a very limited run, so it’s not a product you can still buy, but I still dream about them.

Photo by Zach Sokol

What activity do you like to do after you’ve gotten stoned?

I really love playing video games while stoned… Simply nothing better than inviting a few bros over to play Diablo while we are all high as hell. I also really love answering emails while stoned — not sure what this says about me.

Can you recommend something to watch while high?

If I’m too high to function, I love putting on anime I used to watch as a kid — Sailor Moon, Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, anything from Studio Ghibli. Usually I prefer subs to dubs, but if I’m really high, it needs to be dubbed. Anything more complex than cartoons made for eight-year-olds is going to be too much for me to handle. The first time I ever smoked, my friend tried to get me to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer with them. I couldn’t understand what was going on at all.

Photo by Zach Sokol
Photo by Zach Sokol

What do you like to listen to after smoking? Any albums, radio shows, or podcasts?

It depends on the mood!! Often, I’ll put on weird jazz or synthy stuff from the 50s/60s/70s. It’s absolutely peak stoner music, IMO. Alice Coltrane has been my go-to for the past few months, but I also really love Walter Wanderley, Raymond Scott, Mort Garson, Sun Ra, etc.

If I’m gonna be listening to something contemporary, it’d be something sweet and folksy, like Cassandra Jenkins or Haley Heyndrickx, or something a little more upbeat, like Snail’s House or DJ Swisha (duh!). I have a little playlist for when I’m smoking in the park with some friends:

Can you recommend something to read after smoking?

Honestly, comics are my favorite thing to read when I’m high. Something a little psychedelic like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run is perfect.

Who’s in your dream blunt rotation?

Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, Slavoj Zizek, Michel Foucault, Hillary Clinton, Hideo Kojima, Philip K. Dick, Angela Davis, Terry Prachet, Kurt Vonnegut all come to mind, but I really gotta think about this more!

Photo by Zach Sokol

For more on Liara Roux, visit her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Buy a copy of “Whore of New York” here.

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