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Communist Cannabis

I want you to picture a naked Russian man standing next to a horse without a saddle (I promise this has something to do with pot, so hang in there). He’s in the Chu Valley, right between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and it’s a nice day. The grasslands around him are flat and verdant—in fact, he’s standing on the border of a large marijuana forest where the plants are ten feet tall. He’s not alone, but everyone is freshly bathed and naked, just like he is.

The naked man gets on his horse, and a few of his naked friends get on their bareback horses as well, but most remain on their feet. And then the whole group starts singing and laughing, calling out cries of jubilation, right before they ride and run with abandon through the forest of marijuana (which, by the way, is called “dichka” in Russia).

The leaves and buds whip the Russians’ bodies and their horses, and soon, everyone is covered with a thick coating of “kief,” which is a combination of trichome heads and plant matter (all the crystal-goodness that covers ripe marijuana). The group of people, some running and some riding, methodically trample the entire marijuana field so they can collect as much kief as possible, and then they ride or walk back to camp, singing and laughing. Once there, the naked, dichka-covered Russians stand on pieces of canvas, and then different Russians (fully dressed ones) use wooden tools to scrape all the kief off their naked friends and their horses. The mixture of kief and sweat is then pressed into bricks and sundried into Russian Hashish, which they call “Plastilin.” And yes, the grossness of this story makes it a tad difficult to believe, but you can read a corroborating article HERE (but as a tip, do not google “naked Russian hash making” on your company computer like I just did, because the images you’ll find have nothing to do with marijuana). Crazy, right?

This has been going on for as long as dichka has been growing in the Chu valley, and to this day, plastilin is still one of the most sought-after forms of hashish in the world. And the name is interesting, now that I think about it, because once it’s dried, this form of hashish looks and feels just like plasticine clay (the colorful stuff you used to play with in preschool). Granted, most of the reason people search for this stuff is that it’s so rare, so if it were widely available, I doubt people would crave it because hash without human and horse sweat is undoubtably better. And that’s where we come in given that we operate our very own Hash Factory that specializes in making international hashish.

But don’t worry, we won’t be making Russian Hash any time soon because I doubt Colorado would let us do anything naked, and we don’t own any horses. Frankly, I just wanted to tell you about this stuff to prove that we know the down-and-dirty about foreign hashes, and to point out that the international hashes that we do make aren’t nearly as gross. You can read about our Moroccan hash HERE and our Lebanese hash HERE, and you’ll be delighted to know that you can try either one without finding a single horsehair in your pipe. You’re welcome.

That being said, all the blogs I’ve written in the past about our traditional hashes have steered you right here to Durango, Colorado, which is the source for classic concentrates in the Southwest. But did you know that you don’t have to come to Durango to try our hashish? In the past, I imagine it’s been frustrating for you out-of-towners to read about our hash without being able to try it, and for that, I apologize. It’s taken me this long to realize I’ve never told you that our traditional hash is available in over 160 dispensaries across Colorado, and all you have to do to find the closest one is look at our hash-finder map that you can see HERE. Isn’t that wonderful?

The reason that our hashes are so much better than everything else out there is that we don’t use hydrocarbons to make our products; we don’t need butane to make concentrates like everyone else because the old-school way is just fine. We tumble our pot and collect the kief, and then we bake it or press it to make the most wholistic form of hashish you can imagine, and our processes stand the test of time because people have been making hash just like we do for thousands of years. So, come see us, or click on the map to go see one of our friends, because international hashes are wonderful, and because We’re Your Best Buds!

The History of Hashish

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The elusive origins of hashish are steeped in mythology and shrouded in mystery, thus, arriving to a conclusion about just when humans began to craft concentrates from the Cannabis plant is extremely difficult. Archaeological evidence and reference to sieving cannabis resin or hashish seems to appear in 9th century Muslim texts, however, there are also depictions of the Cannabis plant that date back roughly 15,000 years ago to the Neolithic Jomon period, which leads one to ask: when did our ancestors begin to figure out cannabis concentrates? The best we can do is an educated guess: applied knowledge and logical reasoning seem to bring one to the conclusion that our ancient ancestors’ discovery of hashish coincided with evolution of agriculture.

Before moving forward, it may be helpful to clarify what is meant by “Hashish” or, you may have heard it simply referred to as, “hash.” As defined by Hashish Master, Frenchy Cannoli in a Weed World Magazine article, titled The Origins of Concentrate,  hashish is “a psychoactive drug made from sieving the resin glands of dried Cannabis flowers and pressing them with a source of heat.”

As mentioned earlier, there is strong evidence that shows humans have had a relationship with the cannabis plant for thousands of years. In fact, Cannabis was among the very first plants to be “domesticated by humanity” and so, it is reasonable to deduce that we had gained an intimate knowledge of the plant. Anyone with experience in Cannabis cultivation knows the inevitability of the sticky resin buildup on the hands and fingers. Our Neolithic ancestors would have experienced this also, and thus, this inevitable layer of resin on the hands of ancient cannabis cultivators, Frenchy concludes, would theoretically be the first concentrate made, albeit accidentally.

This method of live resin collection, would be rediscovered and named, ‘charas’ thousands of years later in the Himalayas. According to Frenchy, charas is the oldest form of concentrate, and remains the primary collection method employed today in the Himalayas.

Another method of resin collection from dry plants- which involves sieving to separate the resin glands from the plant material- would develop later. While evidence shows that humans have had the basketry technology necessary to sieve seeds from plants, and therefore, adapt that technology to collect dry cannabis resin since prehistoric times, no archaeological evidence exists to date hashish production that far back- although arriving to that conclusion is no great logical leap.

We know, from literary reference  in The Tale of Two Hashish-Eaters from the traditional Arabic text, 1001 Nights, that the use of  hashish was commonly known by the 11th & 12th centuries.  Though it is reasonable to believe it was practiced in 10th century at least from the earliest myth surrounding hashish, The Old Man of the Mountains, Hasan ibn al-Sabbah and his legendary assassins, who were fabled take hashish (it is likely that the word ‘assassin’ is thus derived from ‘hashishin’ as is referenced in the film John Wick III). Beyond these early stories, there is mention to eating hashish in 9th century Muslim texts by alchemists al-Razi and Ibn Wahshiyya. At the earliest, we can be comfortable in saying eating hashish was established sometime around the 9th century.

Early use of cannabis resin concentrate would have first been employed in incense, then the psychoactive properties certainly would have been discovered says master Frenchy Cannoli (perhaps by accidental ingestion of the resin layer on hands of ancient cultivators), and then ingested (as suggested in 1001 Nights), and lastly inhaled as smoke. Cannabis historian, Robert C Clarke, says in his book Cannabis Evolution and Ethnobotany, says that hashish’s use was probably “more widespread than previously recognized.”

Part of hashish’s cloudy origins is likely due to religious beliefs or trade advantages in keeping techniques secretive, explains Frenchy, as was the case with highly valued incense. Olfactory sensations have been used for “sacred or healing purposes” for millennia. Some incenses were valued so highly in the ancient world, that it was obviously advantageous to keep the ‘recipes’ and methods secret. The same would be the case of early hashish methods.

We likely ingested hashish long before we inhaled it, although we could never be certain, there has been three discoveries of pipes that possibly could have been used for cannabis (according to Clarke) that date prior to the Columbian era. What solid evidence that we have, however, seems to indicate that the rise of smoking hashish coincided with the advent of the rise of tobacco smoking from the New World: “Soon after tobacco was introduced to Eurasia, hashish was mixed with it and smoked.” says Robert Clarke. This happens in the early 16th century. Hashish “tagged along on the international success of tobacco, thus the hashish market blossomed anew within a few decades.”

It is impossible to determine exactly when humans began to use hashish or a form of concentrate, however, we do know that the practice had been established by ancient times and was likely discovered long before it was recorded with the methods shrouded in secrecy. Humanity’s relationship with cannabis concentrates has a long and colorful history.

That history is alive today at The Greenery Hash Factory, where we favor tradition in hand-crafting our hashes. The Greenery Hash Factory brings authentic hashish to Colorado in the form of Kief Brick Hash, Lebanese Hash, Moroccan Hash, and Hash Joints. All our hashes can be found at The Greenery, our Durango dispensary, and these dispensaries across the state of Colorado.

We’re your best buds!

History of The Greenery

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A local man walked into our Durango dispensary about ten minutes before I started writing this. He was wearing his puffy coat even though it’s a bit early for down, he parked his Subaru right outside our front door, and he walked in with a comment about tourists, so I knew immediately he was a Durangan. But he also said that he had “no idea a dispensary was tucked back here in Bodo park” even though we’ve been here for years, which I hear frequently.

You see, The Greenery was the first recreational-only shop in town, and we’ve been the best Durango dispensary for almost five years, but for some reason, there are still people in this small city who don’t know we exist. How’s that even possible? Small towns are glorified knitting circles, and word travels quickly amongst our 19K residents, so how has our secret been kept? Don’t get me wrong, our regulars love the fact that we’re the best-kept secret in Durango because there’s always plenty of parking in our large dedicated lot (we even have room for RVs), and they never have to wait long before service, but I wish everyone knew about us because this shop is awesome (and I’m not saying that because I work here; I was a customer before I was an employee). So, we do our best to always be on the radio and out in the community sponsoring events to spread the word. We offer discounts to veterans and we have special deals for members of our Loyalty Program; we do everything we can to be an integral part of the Durango community and I think we’re succeeding.

However, there are still plenty of you Durangans out there (and a couple tourists) who don’t know anything about The Greenery, just like this morning’s man in a puffy coat. Frankly, that’s what we get for having the most discreet location in town. So, this week, I decided to write about our history so you could get to know us. Here it is…

The Greenery opened on April 10th, 2015, and we still have the first $20 we made hanging in the boss’s office. But to know our origin, you’ve got go back a bit further because it’s not like opening a pot shop takes a day: just like all good business origin stories, ours starts with two men sitting in a garage back in 2013, Joel Cameron and Brian Capsay. Joel was a world-class kayaker who’d recently graduated from Fort Lewis, and Brian was a hockey-playing fisherman that was on the US Fly Fishing team, who also called Fort Lewis his alma mater; our humble beginnings were straight-up Durango. And the two gentlemen made an awesome team because Joel was the hungry business type while Brian was the even-keeled type. Yin and yang came together. At the time, Joel was thinking about an MBA as his next step, but he decided to skip the education and to go the real-world route by becoming a cannabis entrepreneur. That, and he loved our town enough to never leave it for something like a piece of paper that’s forgotten after it’s framed and hung on a wall.

See what I mean? All the greats like Zuckerberg skipped the tail end of their graduate schools, and teams like Jobs and Wozniak started in a garage before achieving great heights, so our origin story is off to a good start.

Anyway, Joel and Brian knew they couldn’t do it alone, so Joel’s future wife (who is now his baby momma) came into the picture. She’s our house counsel now, but back in the day, she helped our owners navigate the mazy regulations that stand in the way of opening a recreational marijuana dispensary (because ours is the most heavily-regulated industry on earth). After the endless paperwork was signed and filed, our retail and cultivation licenses were approved, and we started slanging legal pot.

But that wasn’t good enough because Joel and Brian also wanted to grow the best weed in the southwest, so we opened The Greenery Grow, and we started cranking out the best pot period, just as planned. Granted, it took us some time to get it dialed, but we navigated the art and science of cultivation, and our pot is unparalleled as a result.

And then came our Hash Factory. Joel and Brian couldn’t find any decent solventless concentrates on the wholesale market, so once more, they took the pioneer route and opened their own factory to supply our store. That’s when I came along to spread the word across Colorado (and to start writing these blogs), and we’ve managed to get our hash into about 20% of all the shops in the state. The only thing left at that point was to start helping other likeminded business people across the nation open their own dispensaries, so The Greenery Cannabis Consulting firm was opened; we’ve guided teams in multiple states towards successful marijuana operations, and it feels incredible.

Really, it’s quite incredible to sit back and see the scope of our operations when you compare it to our timeline. Six years ago, two men were sitting in a garage—today, our Dispensary is the highest-rated in Durango, our grow is producing some of the best flower in Colorado, our Hash Factory supplies around 100 other dispensaries, and our consulting service is helping other marijuana businesses across the nation get into the game. Crazy, right? Either way, if you’re a local or a tourist in our beautiful town, and you’ve still never experienced what we have to offer, it’s high time (pun intended) you come to 208 Parker Avenue and check us out. We’re tucked away discreetly in Bodo park, we’re Durango’s best-kept secret, and We’re Your Best Buds!

Upcoming Deals at The Greenery

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Insider information makes everyone feel special. It lets you know what you’re getting into, it gives you a secret to share, and it makes you feel like a prescient part of the team. But recently, I’ve realized that I’ve been a bit covetous of my insider information when I should be sharing it freely. Point in case, we’re running a ridiculously good deal on one of our edible brands right now (I’ll give you the details in a moment), and one of our regulars who loves this brand came in, found out about the deal, and then said something like, “why didn’t you tell me sooner?!” Well, he had a good point, so this week, I’m going to tell you about all the deals we have planned up until November so you can be in the know.

Let’s start with right now—for the entire month of September, we’re running a “buy 2, get 1 free” deal on all Stillwater products, and these things are awesome. I’ve written more about this before (go HERE for more details), but basically, there are two types of edibles these days. The first type, which everyone has tried, is lipid soluble: the THC in these products needs to bind with fats before being processed in your liver, which is why the full high can take up to two hours to kick in. The second type is water-soluble: edibles in this category contain microencapsulated cannabinoids that permeate the semi-permeable barriers in your cell walls, which sounds fancy, but all it means is that the full high can kick in within 30 minutes, which is game-changing.

All Stillwater edibles are water-soluble, so if you want to try something new, now is the time, and there are six different products included in the September sale. Three of them are gummies (Blood Orange, which delivers 5mg THC per serving, Green Tea Mango, which delivers 2.5mg THC and CBD per serving, and Honey Lavender, which delivers 5mg CBD and 0.25mg THC, which is perfect for people looking for a high-free CBD experience). And the other three products are different forms of Ripple, which is a tasteless, odorless, instantly-dissolvable powder that can be added to any food or drink. This product revolutionized the edible game because it’s fast acting and discrete, and in comes in three ratios just like the gummies: the Pure 10 delivers 10mg THC, the Balanced version delivers 5mg THC and CBD, and the Relief delivers 10mg CBD and 0.5mg THC.

Alright… that was all stuff everybody already knows, so let’s look into the future (please imagine hearing mystical sounds). Later this month from 9/15 to 9/21, we’re going to run a deal wherein you can save 25% on all Lucky Turtle products, which is huge! Lucky Turtle’s products are as good as they get, and we carry three of their tinctures (a 60:1 CBD/THC, a 1:1 THC/CBD, and a pure THC option), their CO2 oil refill syringes, and their single-serving honey packets (which are by far my favorite single-serving edibles because they contain 10mg THC/CBD, organic honey, and nothing else). But the reason I said this deal is “huge” is that Lucky Turtle makes some of the best vape oil out there, and during this week, you can pick up a 1000mg refill syringe for $45 after tax, which is a ludicrous deal given this oil’s quality (or you can pick up their Restore tincture, which contains more than 600mg CBD, for $82.50, which is bonkers).

Let’s go even further into the future (imagine more mystical sounds) to look at October. For one, our Durango dispensary will be decorated with all sorts of skeletons and cobwebs because Noah is a Halloween freak, but more importantly, all our Green Dot products will be 10% off for the entire month. All you really need to know about Green Dot is that they make the best concentrates on earth (Leafly magazine called Green Dot’s cartridges the “holy grail,” and they weren’t wrong). We sell Green Dot’s full-spectrum Live Resin and Live Batter, both of which are butane-extracted concentrates made from the best fresh-frozen flower imaginable, and we sell their 500mg FSE cartridges, which really are better than anything else out there (having one of these with you is like having a dab rig in your pocket).

Boom! Now you know what’s coming down the pipe (pun intended) in our pot shop. I’m not going to tell you what’s happening during December because some secrets need to be kept (or, more accurately, I don’t know), so stay tuned, but all you really need to know is that we’re always running an awesome deal because The Greenery is the best Durango dispensary, and because We’re Your Best Buds!

Exercising with Marijuana

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Did you know that cannabis gyms exist? For real, THIS one is thriving in California and THIS one was doing alright here in Colorado before they were shutdown for breaking a few rules. And these places are exactly what you’d expect: normal-looking gyms where you’re allowed to consume cannabis and workout at the same time.

I know. At first, that seems like an odd proposition, but trust me, I do it, and it’s wonderful—just think about the people watching. When I’m high, those older ladies in their bright Jane Fonda spandex make me crack up; those steroid-fueled men who walk around like roosters make me shake my head slowly; those people who dance on treadmills instead of run make me think I’ve slipped into a different universe, and I love it. Actually, pot makes everything about the gym better because it’s easier to get into the “zone,” stretching feels much better, and for me, that post-lifting pain is dulled via the warm and fuzzy feeling weed lends to sore muscles.

Hell, even Men’s Health wrote about the wonders of working out high (you can read the article HERE), so the trend is picking up. But really, the reason most of these marijuana gyms opened is that their proprietors wanted to break the “lazy stoner” stereotype. These people wanted to come out loud and proud to prove that active people smoke pot too, and that in many cases, marijuana can make activity easier, not harder. So, just in case you wanted to try it for yourself, I’ve decided to use this week’s post to highlight my favorite pre and post workout cannabis products; let’s get started…

I always start by eating a few GO Beans from 1906, but my tolerance is embarrassingly high, so I’d recommend starting out with one. This is one of those newfangled edibles wherein the cannabinoids have been microencapsulated to make them water-soluble, which sounds fancy, but all you really need to know is that because of this, you start to feel the effect within 20 minutes instead of waiting an hour. Also, chocolate-covered coffee beans are obviously caffeinated, which is perfect for a pre-workout pick-me-up. That, and I prefer edibles over smokables before my workout because the last thing you want before some heavy breathing is a smoker’s cough.

Secondly, every good pick-me-up needs to be followed by a calm-me-down for recovery, so as soon as I put down the weights, I like a good one-to-one ratio vape pen. We sell plenty of these things in our Durango dispensary, and they deliver a perfect balance of THC and CBD, and the combination of the two cannabinoids can bring on that “I just got out of the hot tub” feeling without the malodorous smell of chlorine. The relaxation dispels cramping muscles, and the munchies make protein shakes taste better; it’s a win/win.

And then comes the couch (the best part about exercise is that it justifies laziness). This is when I turn to the real stuff; a deep indica strain like Kandy Kush or Wedding Cake. The body high banishes any residual discomfort, and I melt into my pillows knowing that my day is over. After that, you’re limited only by your imagination. We sell cannabis massage oil, infused salves, transdermal patches, and all sorts of infused topicals that can get the cannabinoids directly to where they’re needed most. It’s all good stuff.

So, if you’re an athlete and you’d like to throw some pot into the mix to see if it helps—or, if you’re a stoner and you’d like to throw some exercise into the mix—come see us at our Durango dispensary on 208 Parker Avenue and ask any one of our friendly budtenders about cannabis products that can get you up and going. We’re all about smashing lazy stereotypes and making workouts more fun, because We’re Your Best Buds!

Buying Marijuana Stocks

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I hope you’re ready for a few disclaimers, because here they come… the opinions per the flowing cannabis stocks are mine and mine alone, not those of The Greenery. Secondly, there is risk involved with all investments and it’s possible to lose money on any speculation, so please don’t think you’re going to get rich quick off cannabis stocks. Trading of this nature isn’t for all investors, and all investments are made at the investor’s own risk (that’s you).  And lastly, I am not a financial adviser.

There. I’m glad we got that out of the way because legalese is language abuse in my opinion, but that stuff was important because realistic expectations are always best when it comes to investing. And frankly, it’s all worth it because this blog has been a long time coming. At least once a day, someone will ask me if I know anything about pot stocks right after they shop in our Durango dispensary, and I’ve always wanted to write something longer than the five-minute rundown I regurgitate in our busy shop for these people to read at home. So, here it is…

Money talks. We all know it. Marijuana was kept illegal for a century because privatized prisons made billions from incarcerating nonviolent pot smokers; rich pharmaceutical companies lobbied against legalization because they didn’t want the competition; alcohol companies didn’t want to compete against a safer intoxicant and police unions wanted to keep their fat budgets so they could chase down people who like growing and smoking plants—you can read all about it HERE, HERE, and HERE. There were a lot of bad guys against us in the beginning, and honestly, they’re still around, but they’re getting their butts kicked because now, we have money of our own: we’ve already surpassed 1 billion (that’s nine zeros) in tax revenue from marijuana in Colorado alone, and it keeps stacking up daily. With that kind of financial backing, the government has become addicted to our industry, so there’s no end in sight, and believe it or not, a lot of the bad guys are starting to invest in cannabis stocks thanks to that whole “if you can’t beat them, join them” paradigm, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

And that’s where investing in marijuana stocks comes in. I buy a pot stock here and there whenever I can, and yes, I do it with the hopes that I’m buying in on the ground floor which will make me rich someday, but really, I do it to support national cannabis legalization. Every dollar I throw behind marijuana in the stock market makes us a little stronger and the bad guys a little weaker, so I don’t plan on stopping. Ever. You know why? The hypocrisy is galling. The national government takes a ludicrous amount of money from our dispensary in the form of taxes even though they say the drug we sell is illegal, and you better believe that I pay income tax to work here. I mean honestly, how do they get away with saying it’s illegal while at the same time making me fill out a W2?

Anyway, I’ve talked about the why, but here comes the how. It’s simple. Just open a stock trading account through someone like Charles Schwab, transfer money through your bank account, find a pot stock you like, buy it, and then brag to your friends about how you’re beating down illegal pot with America’s most potent weapon, capitalism. Fun, right? But, and here comes another disclaimer, most pot stocks are volatile as all get out, and there’s a chance your “I just bought a pot stock” smile will fade right along with your dividends, so I’m going to outline a few of the big players that I think represent safer investments than others, because I’d imagine that’s why you’re really reading this. Here they are:

Tilray (TLRY) In a way, this is the pot stock that got everyone excited about the possibility of investing in legal cannabis on the ground floor. Most cannabis stocks are traded on the Canadian market before the NYSE (because Canada is arguably cooler than we are), and that’s how Tilray started. But then they become one of the first stocks to move from the Canadian market to the one here in the states, and when that happened, their share price rocketed from around $2 to $200 almost instantly, and despite my disclaimer, quite a few people got rich quickly from a pot stock. However, that drastic increase was overvalued, and today, Tilray is trading in the $40 range, and it’s slowly climbing back up because the overvaluation has been mitigated by the market. This company focuses on the possible medicinal aspects of marijuana by conducting studies and fueling wholistic pharmaceutical companies, so if that’s the side of cannabis that interests you, buying Tilray will put your money where your values are.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) This is another Canadian stock that experienced an uptick when it landed on the NYSE, but it only jumped from around $2 to $8 because the market learned its lesson thanks to Tilray. Today, it’s sitting in the $6 range, so this stock is everyone’s darling (especially amongst millennials because the recreational side of this company is trendy). But don’t let the “Canadian” designation fool you because this company has designs on world domination—they’re already operating in 24 countries, and there have been rumors of an impending investment by a well-known beverage company to make CBD drinks, so I’d expect some added value in the coming months. Again, this is my personal opinion, but I’d recommend Aurora for serious long-term investors and it’s the second largest cannabis company in the world right behind this next one.

Canopy Growth (CGC) When it comes to big business, these guys are at the top just like their name would suggest; their canopy covers everything. And this is a perfect example of that shift I talked about wherein the bad guys are buying in, because the makers of Corona beer invested billions into Canopy Growth even though their parent company had lobbied against legal marijuana in the past. Hypocrites. But hey, it’s better late than never, and if one of the world’s largest beer makers is buying into this stock, that should tell you something about its future. In my opinion, no long-term cannabis investment portfolio is complete without at least a few shares of CGC.

Acreage Holdings (ACRGF) If you like hypocrites, you’ll absolutely love this company. Their entire board is made up from proverbial fat cats, and their lead lobbyist is none other than John Boehner, who was the 53rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. This guy spent 24 years in congress doing his dandiest to keep marijuana illegal because his constituents in Ohio were barely out of the stone age, but now that marijuana pays better than congress, John’s values seem to have changed. Go figure.

Cronos Group (CRON) This company has its fingers in everything pot-related, and their reach covers five continents. However, companies like this represent a moral conundrum for investors such as myself, because when I bought this stock, I wanted to support cannabis and nothing else. But then a few months later, Altria, the company that makes Marlboro cigarettes, bought way more stocks than I did ($1.8 billion more), and now, it looks like I’m about to own part of a tobacco company, which isn’t what I wanted. But hey, like I said, money talks.

Alright… those are the “big five” and the stocks that represent the safest bets, but there’s no fun in that, so here are a few up-and-comers that could get big (or fade away into obscurity) for all you gamblers out there:

Harvest Health (HRVSF). This company was born and raised right here on our own Left Coast, and they’re making waves in California. In fact, they own Evo Lab, which makes vape oils that we sell right here in our Durango dispensary. So, if you buy some stock and then come into our shop and buy some vapes, you’ll be supporting your own investment, which is pretty cool when you think about it. Hexo Corp (HEXO) is another Canadian stock, but it landed on the NYSE eight days ago, so expect an uptick soon. Medicine Man Technologies (MDCL) is a consulting firm with low overhead and their stock is in the $2 per-share range. Kushco Holdings (KSHB) is another low priced option because these guys make the auxiliary products used in the cannabis industry (fun fact: they make the child-resistant containers we use in our dispensary). And lastly, take a look at Medmen Enterprises (MMNFF). These guys copied the Mad Men branding from that AMC show, which was an interesting choice, but they run a chain of dispensaries in California, and they plan on becoming the Starbucks of dispensaries, so there’s room for growth with this stock.

There! Those fifteen-hundred words were definitely more definitive than the short spiel I give to people when they ask about stocks after waiting online to buy a joint, and if you’re one of the new people who I referred to this blog, thanks for reading! It means quite a bit to me. But please, if you’d like to talk about this in person, just come down to 208 Parker Avenue and ask for Jesse. We’ll chat as much as you’d like, because if you’re interested in furthering legalized marijuana through buying cannabis stocks, We’re Your Best Buds!

1906 in Durango

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I’ve told you before why marijuana was illegal. You can read the full explanation HERE, but basically, it’s all because of three old buttheads. One of them ran a papermill and he didn’t want legal hemp to compete with his tree farms, one was about to be out of a job after the end of alcohol prohibition so he picked a different drug to target, and one was Richard Nixon, who had more problems than I care to list in a blog. But basically, the first butthead got the ball rolling in 1906 when the Wiley Act (or the “Pure Food and Drug Act”) was passed. This act limited the sale of marijuana to pharmacies, and it started the slippery slope that lead to where we are today, wherein there are still Americans serving life sentences for marijuana possession in medieval states like Florida.

But Colorado is cool, obviously, and we build schools with the tax revenue that comes from selling cannabis as opposed to putting peaceful people in jail for smoking the stuff. Business is booming. New companies are opening weekly, and novel products are hitting the shelves one right after another. Usually, the new products are suspiciously like the old ones, albeit with fancy new marketing campaigns. But every once in a while, a new company will come along with a product that’s outside the norm, and that’s exactly what happened with the company “1906.”

First, I just want to say that I love their name. By coopting the date that started marijuana prohibition, the people over at 1906 are celebrating the fact that the nonsense is mostly over. That, and when you see the year it started, it really makes you realize how antiquated cannabis prohibition really is.

Anyway, 1906 is different. Most of the edible manufactures out there focus only on the THC content of their products; those products are aimed at getting you as high as possible for as cheaply as possible. But 1906 cares way more about the experience and the quality of the food itself. Seriously, 1906 represents the pinnacle of connoisseur cannabis edibles, so if you’re looking for quality over a cheap high, you need to try this brand. Every product they make contains a 1:1 ration of THC to CBD, all their cannabinoids have been nano encapsulated to make them water-soluble (meaning you start to feel the effect within 15 minutes), and 1906 adds secondary plant compounds to elicit certain effects. So, this week, I wanted to introduce you to the 1906 products we’ve added to our shelves, which are broken down into four “experiences”:

Midnight This is a box of delectable dark chocolate containing 6 gems, each of which delivers 5mg THC and 5mg CBD worth of water-soluble cannabinoids, and like the name would suggest, this product is marketed as a sleep aid. Frankly, I don’t even recommend this product to people looking for a recreational high because the Midnight usually makes me pass out before I can enjoy it, but I wake up in the morning with a rested smile on my face. And the reason might be the added corydalis, which has been used in Eastern medicine for a centuries to help people sink into their pillows.

Love These dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, which come 20 to a pack, deliver 5mg THC and 5mg CBD each, but they’re also leavened with Theobromine, Ashwagandha, Damiana, and Catuba, the last of which is known as “the Viagra of the Amazon.” Yes, these beans are designed for you-know-what, and they’re wonderful.

Go These are dark chocolate-covered coffee beans as well with the same 1:1 cannabinoid ratio as all the other 1906 products, but they’re sativa-dominant, and they’re designed to get you going. This 1906 cornerstone product is bolstered with plant derivatives such as Alpina Galanga and L-Theanine, and I can’t remember the last Saturday morning I didn’t improve with a couple Go beans.

Bliss The only thing better than chocolate peanut butter cups are chocolate peanut butter cups that get you high, and these are the best ones out there. This is a single-serving pack of two cups, each of which delivers that 5mg THC/CBD balance that made 1906 the best. The added Kana and Magnolia are said to cover you in a blissful pall that adds a pleasant haze to your day, and I can’t recommend the Bliss peanut butter cups strongly enough.

Sounds nice, right? So, if you’re the type of edible consumer who values quality over potency (aka an adult), and you haven’t tried a 1906 product, get in here ASAP. And for a pro tip, come on a Tuesday, because all our edibles are 15% off. And as always, if you have questions about these products that I didn’t answer, please come into our Durango dispensary and ask. We’ll always take the time to tell you everything we know about every 1906 edible we sell, because We’re Your Best Buds!

How to Tell Your Children You Smoke Marijuana

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A daddy-promise is a sacred thing, something I’d never break, and I made one to my youngest daughter when I said I’d “never smoke another cigarette.” Of course, when I made that promise, I had to include a couple caveats: sometimes, I’d enjoy the occasional cigar, and of course, I’d keep smoking cannabis as much as I wanted.

That’s a strange conversation to have with a ten-years-old little girl, and it’s full of pitfalls because as a parent, you want to set the best example possible. And as the Sales Manager for a Hash Factory, it’s a conversation I’ve had more than once with my kids because it’s pretty obvious what daddy does for a living—I wear my Greenery hoodie almost every day, and I have to answer my phone in front of my kids whenever a client calls for a wholesale order of Moroccan Hash during the weekend. So, this week, it occurred to me that you might also be a parent who enjoys marijuana, but maybe you’re not sure how to start “the talk,” and you’d like a little advice. Well, here are my two cents…

If you have the talk with your kid, you do so for one of two reasons: either you decided to be proactive and talk to your kid about your marijuana consumption (good job!), or little Timmy walked into the garage and caught you smoking (oops). If the “oops” has already happened, there’s no way to go back unless you know how to build a time machine (if you do, hit me up), so let’s start with the latter scenario:

Timmy: “um… what’s that, mom?”

Mom: “Timmy, this is marijuana. It’s a plant that grows out of the ground, and sometimes, I like to smoke it.”

Timmy: “Why?”

Mom: “I find it to be relaxing, and it can be like medicine that helps me.”

Timmy: “Can I try?”

Mom: “No, marijuana is just for grownups.”

Timmy: “Why?”

Mom: “Because grownups have a brain that’s all done growing. If you try marijuana when you’re a kid, it might change the way you get big. I don’t want you to try any until you’re old enough, so you grow up just right.”

Timmy: “Why?”

This is when you should redirect (and if you’re a parent, that’s not something I need to tell you how to do) because reactive conversations like this need to be short and sweet so the moment Timmy caught you doesn’t end up to be a big deal in his memory. But it’s always best to be proactive and talk about pot before you get caught because parental trust is difficult to get back once you’ve lost it, and you’ll have to have the “long talk” sometime after getting caught anyway.

And there’s another reason you should sit Timmy down and talk about marijuana: it’s ubiquitous out in the real world, and Timmy needs to know what to do when he encounters cannabis. As an example, I’ve heard countless stories about some kid who broke into his parents’ stash and then went to school to hand out gummies. So, if you decide to be proactive and sit Timmy down for the talk, here’s the first step: come in and buy some gummies, and then show them to Timmy. The state of Colorado requires that every individual serving of a marijuana-infused edible be clearly marked with the universal THC symbol. If you show this marking to your child and tell him or her that it’s always on “dangerous grownup candy,” he or she will know what to avoid in the school cafeteria.

Now, let’s move on to the talk. Frankly, unlike the down and dirty reactive discussion that gets you out of trouble for being caught in the garage, talks like this should be long and in-depth so you cover all the bases and make Timmy comfortable with the pot-filled world in which he lives. So, I’m not going to pretend like I know how to parent your child by giving you a script, but rather, I’ll focus on a few dos and don’ts:

The biggest mistake is easy to make, which is comparing marijuana to alcohol. If you say something like, “well, Timmy, yes, I smoke pot, but pot is safer than alcohol, and daddy drinks beer every day,” Timmy will start to think that both of his parents do bad things. So, instead, talk about marijuana via its own merits. For one, it’s legal in the state of Colorado (obviously), so make sure to tell Timmy that mommy isn’t breaking any laws. Secondly, it’s natural. It’s just a plant that grows in the dirt, so it’s not full of the addicting and harmful chemicals that can be found in other drugs (yes, like alcohol, but remember not to bring that up). And third, it’s impossible to overdose and die from smoking pot, so let Timmy know that you’re safe.

Now, fair warning, you’re going to get a little pushback because the public-school system is still doling out that antiquated “just say no,” “all drugs are bad” type of education, but I’d recommend not countering it. Instead, tell you child that the schools are right—all drugs are in fact bad for children, but some of them, like mommy’s weed or daddy’s beer, are okay for parents so long as they don’t over do it, which is something grownups know not to do (hopefully). That way, Timmy will think that you’re on the same page as his teachers, and then the hallowed trust children put in adults will be maintained.

The rest is up to you, because as a parent, you know what’s best. But, if you’d like a few extra pointers, please come see us at 208 Parker Avenue and have a chat. Quite a few of us are working parents who’ve had these talks with our kids for one reason or another, and we’d love to tell you about it, because if you’re a parent who enjoys marijuana, We’re Your Best Buds, too!

How to Hide the Smell of Marijuana

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Marijuana stinks. Well, to me, it smells like paradise, but you know what I mean. And it’s one of those smells that most of us are born loving, like bacon or coffee, so in a way, it’s sacrilegious to cover it up. But I get it. Your living situation might not let you blow smoke wherever you want, and at least one person a day comes into our Durango dispensary to ask about ways to mask cannabis’s funk, so this week, I decided to write about it.

First off, please don’t do that dumb thing where you light a ton of incense and shove a towel under the door; you might as well also put a sign on the door that says, “I’m totally smoking pot in here.” I mean, the towel/incense route might get you by occasionally, but it’s not a long-term fix. So, as my first tip, don’t smoke in a box like your bedroom. Go outside. Sit on the roof. Open the window and stick your head out. If you want to throw the towel into the mix, do it, but ventilation and fresh air are the keys.

As my next tip, if lighting a plant on fire and standing in the smoke is too stinky for you, try an edible because there’s obviously no fire involved, or a vape pen. With a cannabis vaporizer pen, the ceramic atomizer (or wick system) inside essentially boils the THC oil, so a vapor is created as opposed to smoke. Vapors don’t cling or linger like smoke, so the minimal smell that exists doesn’t linger. For real, when it comes to “smoking,” there’s nothing more discrete than vaping.

That being said, let’s say you’re dead-set on smoking flower and avoiding the smell; you need to make a “sploof.” Step one: take a cardboard tube (like an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube) and fill it full of dryer sheets. In a pinch, you can spray perfume on toilet paper and use it to stuff the tube. Next, take a single dryer sheet and cover one end of the tube, and tape it in place (or secure it to the tube with a hair tie). Now all you have to do is take a hit and blow it through the tube (please blow through the end that isn’t covered with a dryer sheet). The smoke will travel through all the dryer sheets inside your sploof and the scent will be filtered out. These things work exceedingly well. In fact, they also sell commercial sploofs like the Smoke Buddy that use replaceable charcoal filters to eliminate smells, and that beats a bunch of burning incense any day.

But what about hiding the smell of unsmoked flower? Is that the question you really wanted me to answer? The only reason I ask is that quite a few of our customers come in here looking for “smell-proof bags,” which isn’t something we sell. I’d image that at least one of the people who’ve asked me was looking for a smell-proof bag so they could ship their pot home or bring it on the plane, but please, DON’T DO THIS. They’ll find it, and it’s illegal. For one, dogs can smell anything, and there’s no such thing as a smell-proof bag that’s also x-ray proof, so you simply shouldn’t risk it. Ever. However, if you have a roommate who sniffs around your room like a bloodhound looking for your stash when you’re gone, or if you’re unlucky enough to still live with your parents after turning 21, you might have a legitimate reason to hide the smell of your fresh flower, so I’ll talk about it.

The trendiest way to do this is with a Skunk Bag, which is a “smell-proof” backpack or small bag with built-in charcoal filtration devices. But the problem with these things is that they all have a branded skunk emblem embroidered on the bag, and if you’re trying to hide your pot from a roommate that knows about skunk bags, that little emblem will make your stash obvious. So, instead of spending tons of money online for a smell-proof bag, just use a mason jar. They’re cheap, you probably have a few in your kitchen right now, and glass is always the best thing in which to store your pot. Just keep it out of the sun (and away from prying eyes), and your pot will stay fresh and not stink all at the same time.

Lastly, please remember that we become desensitized to smells pretty quickly. Just about every customer who walks into our dispensary compliments how fragrant our store is, but it always takes me a second to figure out what they’re talking about—if you spend eight hours in a room full of pot, you stop smelling the pot. So, if you get high in a room and sit there for a while, it’ll stop smelling to you, but anyone who walks in will know exactly what you’ve been doing. Keep it ventilated, use a sploof, and keep your pot in a sealed mason jar; you’ll be good to go. Or, if you’re like me and you like to keep the smell loud and proud, come see us at 208 Parker Avenue and take a sniff of what we have to offer (so long as you’re over 21 with a valid I.D.) because We’re Your Best Buds!

Cannabis Science Update

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I can’t tell you how often I hear one of my older customers say something like, “man, marijuana sure has changed since my day,” but the funny thing is that most of these people don’t know how right they are.

In past posts, I’ve told you about how CO2 is used in cultivations to increase photosynthesis; I’ve told you about how super-critical hydrocarbons are used to extract cannabinoids from plant matter; I’ve told you about how cannabinoids can be micro-encapsulated to make transdermal products and about how some distillates are now water-soluble. But today, I have something truly mind-blowing to tell you about: yeast-synthesized cannabinoids.

As I’m sure you know, a “cannabinoid” is a compound like THC that’s found in cannabis. That’s the simple part. And I’m sure you also know that cannabis produces multiple cannabinoids, over 100 of them by some counts, but we don’t know what all of them do. The reason for this is that the cannabis plant is pretty good at producing the famous cannabinoids like THC and CBD, but all the others exist only in trace amounts in the plant—it’s exceedingly difficult to test a rare cannabinoid like CBC or THCV if you can’t isolate enough of the compound for testing purposes.

However, scientists have now figured out a way to genetically modify yeast to make it produce THC instead of alcohol. See what I mean by “mind-blowing”? Usually, yeast like this is used only to make booze. Those crazy little organisms are thrown in with a sugar-rich mash like grape juice, the yeast eats all the sugar, and then it poops out alcohol. It’s kinda gross when you think about it that way, but that’s the way it works. But now, thanks to genetic modifications, a new kind of yeast can be fed a soup of nutrients, including galactose (the sugar in brewer’s yeast), and it’ll pump out whichever cannabinoid the yeast had been modified to make. So now, if a scientist wants to create and isolate a bunch of CBC to see what its medicinal effects might be, they don’t need to grow tons of cannabis to extract a minimal amount of the cannabinoid. All they need to do is reprogram some yeast, feed it sugar, collect the CBC, and then start running tests. You can read more about it HERE if you’d like.

For the record, I know that “GMO” is an evil acronym to most cannabis enthusiasts because we prefer natural things, but it’s important to realize that the THC created by this new yeast is chemically identical to the THC created by cannabis—the yeast is genetically modified, not the THC that comes out. And the implications from this new scientific breakthrough don’t stop with testing. Yeast can produce good ol’ THC or CBD much more quickly than the marijuana plant, so, you guessed it, this will make isolated THC much more affordable, and manufacturers will be able to add it to edibles much more easily because the THC won’t need to be extracted from plant matter. This might make it so retail edible prices drop significantly, the consistency per potency will become much more uniform, and the range of cannabinoids available will grow exponentially. Despite the GMO aspect of it all, I think yeast-synthesized cannabinoids are exciting, and their place in our market is inevitable.

But, that’s all in the future. Today, all the cannabinoids we sell in our Durango dispensary come from the marijuana plant, but the future is fun to talk about. So, if you’d like to chat about what’s on the horizon, or if you’d simply like some good, old-fashioned pot to put in your pipe, bring your valid I.D. proving that you’re 21 or over and come see us at 208 Parker Avenue. Either way, we’ve got you covered, because We’re your Best Buds!