Willy Wonka: And Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he’d ever wished for.
Charlie: What happened?
Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
You remember the sheer amazement you felt while experiencing Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory as a kid? It seemed like it was a place full of joy and *cue singing* pure imagination. As I walked into Nexus Social Lounge on the highest of holidays, it was the only comparable feeling that came to mind. I felt like a kid walking through the Chocolate Factory, except instead of chocolate waterfalls and Everlasting Gobstoppers, there was a medicated taco truck, arcade-style Tekken, and a musical lineup that would’ve satisfied Veruca Salt.
I showed up to Nexus around 3:30 PM so I could check the place out before it was inevitably packed when the doors officially opened. It was a good thing I did too because apparently people don’t show up fashionably late when there are unlimited free dabs being given away all day. Upon entry, the dab bar wasn’t open yet, but I brought an emergency stash of tree with me and was promptly offered blunts, papers, or glass to burn. After seeing the pristine collection of glass Nexus had to offer, I chose the bong emblazoned with Waka Flocka Flame’s face, and started looking for a good spot to chill out and light up.
Right away, it’s easy to tell Nexus isn’t your run of the mill lounge or bar. There were four distinct areas in the building that all provided unique vibes depending on how you were looking to spend your 420. With something for everyone, it’s no surprise the place filled up as quickly as it did.
The first area I explored was a luxurious lounge reminiscent of nightclub VIP sections. The eventual landing spot for many dabbed-out Nexus patrons was the perfect place to kick back and relax; comfortable couches, mounted big screens in every direction, and beautiful aquariums to mesmerize you once you were deep under (insert favorite strain here)’s spell. While chilling out, maxing, and relaxing all cool, a magician walked up and introduced himself. He told me his name was Danny Magic, and he was a two-time World Champion magician. In my mind, he already hyped himself up way too much and oversold it. I was expecting a magical let down, but Danny blew my mind with a few card and dollar bill tricks. I instantly understood why he’d taken home the hardware multiple times in his respective field. Shouts to Danny Magic for restoring my belief in the craft.
Once the Wellness OG had loosened its grip on yerboi (shout out to Nameless Genetics), I ventured into the arcade. I saw claw machines, shoot ‘em ups, and pinball- oh my. From Time Crisis 3, to Fast & Furious Racing, to South Park pinball, and everywhere in between, this place was getting more lit by the second. They even had a cotton candy maker, and before you ask, I couldn’t tell you if it was medicated or not because the inherent contact high of the arcade was all encompassing. I played a few games solo while I battled back the hazy restraints on my motor functions, then smashed a few unsuspecting victims in pop-a-shot.
Once I had left a trail of bodies in the arcade, it was time to do what I really came here to do- DAB.
The dab bar at Nexus was like nothing I’d ever experienced in my life. Think of your neighborhood watering hole, then replace the beer in front of you with top notch glassware and e-nails, and swap that shot of Jame-o out for a fat dab of the golden good good. I sat down and was quickly greeted by a smiling budtender with an alcohol swab ready to clean my rig’s mouthpiece and set me up with a fresh dab. I tried some excellent Grandma’s Cookies shatter, from Bee Hive Concentrates, before catching the Pistons vs. Cavs game on one of the bar’s TVs. One thing that stood out from the whole night was Nexus’ pneumatic rosin press behind the bar. My man Magnus told me for just about a gram of flower, I could yield about a third of a gram of wax. I immediately passed him some of my Wellness OG and watched him go to work. I live streamed it on Periscope, so excuse the video quality but it’s still a sight to see.
A video posted by Duke London (@longlivetheduke) on Apr 22, 2016 at 4:04pm PDT
Around this time, people started showing up for the main attraction of the night; 420 Dab Fest assembled some of the hottest artists in hip-hop today for an unforgettable night of performances. Attendees would get to watch sets from the likes of Key!, Rich the Kid, Playboi Carti, and Glo Gang head honcho Chief Keef, among many others. There was a much bigger stage setup in Nexus than I expected, with ample room for everyone at the party to come in and enjoy the show once it got started.
Between sets, I took a step outside to grab some fresh air and grub up. All this smoking had generated a hunger inside me worthy of a Snickers commercial, and Nexus planned for that. Kush Tacos came through clutch with the medicated tacos and nachos, so I remember about 30 minutes after eating those and then not much after.
When I came to I was standing in the crowd waiting for the headliners to start, with Atlanta’s favorite fat man Key! up first. At this point, my phone was long dead and my memory slightly taco-fied, so forgive me for not recalling specific set lists. Just know that it was very turnt up, especially when crowd favorite Playboi Carti came out and ran through recent hits like “Broke Boi” and “Fetti.” The main event wouldn’t come until well after 1:30 AM, when Chief Keef took the stage and everyone immediately lost their collective shit. The energy throughout the whole show was electric, contrary to what one may have expected with everyone crushing dabs for hours beforehand. After the show I went outside to find my car had been towed, the city of Los Angeles clearly trying to harsh yerboi’s still-fresh mellow. Little did they know, even if I wasn’t taking my car home with me, I was taking home scattered memories of the greatest 420 I ever did have.
COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF WALTER W. BRADY
Earth Day is the perfect time to bring awareness to the many ways hemp can help to save the environment. As a renewable, raw material, hemp can be incorporated into many products, making them more eco-friendly. Even the hemp flowers and seeds are used, leaving nothing to waste. With so many great ways to use hemp, it’s no wonder this magical cannabis cousin has the potential to save the world.
Hemp has been used for thousands of years to create everything from ropes to oils to paper. It’s a fast-growing, sustainable crop that has gotten a misunderstood reputation, due to the strict drug and cultivation laws surrounding cannabis. While hemp is derived from the same family of plants as marijuana, it comes from cannabis sativa L strains that contain less than 1% THC, meaning they carry no psychoactive properties. While closely related to the herb we all know and love, genetic differences allow the use of hemp to span much wider than delivering a high.
Deforestation is one of the hardest things our environment endures, causing animals and plants to lose their habitats and waterways to become polluted. Every hemp plant grown saves 12 trees from being cut down, and can be used to make every product, including timber and paper, that trees are responsible for; all while using 1/7th the pollution of standard manufacturing.
Unlike the fossil fuels we have come to rely on, hemp is a 100% sustainable resource and delivers almost no harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Producing yearly hemp crops could ease dependencies on the rapidly decreasing fossil fuel supply and help to clean the air.
Hemp fabrics are 100% non-toxic. While many textiles are treated with chemical compounds, to extend their life and preserve the material, hemp is already extremely strong and durable. It also keeps it shape and regulates heat well, making it an ideal clothing fabric.
Better even than ethanol, hemp could be used to produce cleaner, more efficient biofuels. One acre of hemp could produce 300 gallons of oil; the operative word here is “could.” Governments around the globe have worked tirelessly to stop hemp biofuels from being mass produced. I can only image it’s because the crude oil industry would suffer a devastating blow, right along with many politicians bank accounts.
Seeds from the hemp plant can be made into butter, milk, flour and oil, creating endless food sources. In many countries, the seeds are roasted and eaten whole; they’re said to have a nutty taste. Often called a super food, these tiny seeds are packed with vitamins and nutrients, making hemp especially important to under-developed nations.
Even in extreme heat, with a little water, hemp plants can thrive and produce. They convert energy from the sun into cellulose, used to create everything from biofuels to tanning lotions, faster than any other plant, with four times the potency.
Hemp has proven to remove not only toxins but also radioactive materials and metals from contaminated soil. Planted around the famous nuclear disaster site Chernobyl, scientist found the hemp conducted phytoremediation, the process of removing the chemicals from soil, better than any other plant.
Pesticides can leak into the soil and leak into the water, causing major contamination issues. These pollutants not only hurt the environment, but they can also affect the physical health of anyone who might ingest them. Hemp requires no harmful pesticides, as its’ chemical makeup is naturally resistant to pests.
Steady cultivation of hemp, and the manufacturing of hemp products would lead to many new, green jobs for our economy. These new positions would help to lessen the environmental impact of other non-green industries.
All those harmful plastic grocery bags and six-pack holders, not to mention bottles, floating out in the ocean could be a non-issue if they were made from biodegradable hemp plastic. Unlike other plastics, hemp plastic can be used to reinforce other materials or on its own, making it 100% biodegradable.
With so many uses for hemp, it’s time we stop ignoring Mother Nature’s needs and demand cleaner, greener production of goods, from a renewable resource. This Earth Day, do your part to help clean up the community and make our environment a little more livable.
What other ways can hemp help save the environment? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.
Will 2016 be the year that we change the typical “stoner” image? Society has labeled cannabis users as tie-dye wearing hippies for some time now. That’s all about to change as female entrepreneurs begin to introduce fancy cannabis attire and accessories.
Sparkling pot-leaf necklaces, diamond-studded bongs, and lipstick lighters are only a few examples of upscale products that women are bringing to its more fashionable pot smokers. According to Jeanine Moss, co-founder of AnnaBís luxury purses for herb, lady entrepreneurs these days are a little more Prada and a little less tie-dye.
Jeanine Moss is one of many women that are entering the fast-growing industry. This is an industry that is destined for success, especially in California if voters express their approval for its recreational use in November. Over 20 million American women who earn a minimum of $75,000 per year have consumed cannabis, according to a Pew Research Center report done in June of 2015.
Moss has labeled 2016 as “year of the upscale cannabis consumer”. Not at all surprising, considering the high number of products that women are bringing to the table. This industry is an opportunity for many entrepreneurs, especially new and flourishing businesses popping up in L.A.
For example, designer Jacquie Aiche, who is responsible for $400 diamond studded pot-leaf earrings called “Sweet Leaf”. These highly fashionable earrings have grown in popularity as more and more people turn green (pro-cannabis). They’ve even appeared on the lovely Rihanna’s Instagram feed. “It’s a statement and a strong movement”, says Aiche.
According to a Marijuana Business Daily survey done in October, Women hold 36% of all executive-level positions in the cannabis industry (compared to the 22% among U.S. businesses). Numbers don’t lie, women are taking over this industry by storm. The survey also discovered that women account for 63% of the executives in marijuana testing labs and 48% of those involved in infused or processed product manufacturing.
“We set trends on a global scale, and that’s why L.A. has an opportunity here to set a standard,” says Lisa Sweeney, Los Angeles chapter chair of Women Grow. “The women I see here are coming in because they see [the cannabis industry] as a level playing field with equal opportunities.”
Women are taking on a big role in demolishing the typical pot-smoker stereotypes. Take Whoopi Goldberg for an example, who has created cannabis items designed to treat PMS. Of course, we can’t forget Bethenny Frankel’s “Skinnygirl”, a munchie-free marijuana strain. These products prove that there’s more to this business than lighting up, it’s about successful people producing products that reap benefits.
“In L.A., the women who are getting into the space are more mainstream,” Sweeney says. “As far as how that elevates the industry or changes the stereotype, those types of wellness products send out a positive message that cannabis has a medical purpose, a well-being purpose.”
Cheryl Shuman, director of the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club and Moms for Marijuana, is yet another inspired woman who wants the industry to be represented in a more positive fashion. “When people think of cannabis, they think of a bunch of weed in a Ziploc bag. Our packaging, with 14-karat gold leaves, porcelain and crystal, is very high-end, something you’d expect at Tiffany’s, [that] shows the high society, if you will, of cannabis”. Shuman’s Beverly Hills Cannabis Club does just that by providing cannabis yoga retreats, cannabis-infused cosmetic products, and more.
Shuman says that her normalizing abilities help to inspire people to come out with their love for cannabis, and even flaunt it! “When you have a vaporizer, it can either be a simple, black vape pen, or you can treat it as a fashion accessory. Decorate it with ruby or 14-karat gold, and people are like, ‘Oh my God, what is that?’ It gets the conversation started”. I think we can all admire her ways of empowering people to be more open about their cannabis use. If more and more entrepreneurs continue to enter the business with unique and beneficial products, we will be able to vanish the stigma once and for all.
Did you know that so many women are taking over the industry? Who do you think will enter the industry next? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.
The post Female Entrepreneurs & The Year Of The Upscale Cannabis Consumer appeared first on HERB.
Surrounded by hundreds of patients and advocates at the state capitol, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bill on Sunday afternoon that will make the Keystone State the 24th state in the nation, plus the District of Columbia, to pass a law creating an effective, comprehensive medical marijuana program.
The bill, Senate Bill 3, was given final approval last week by both chambers of the Pennsylvania Legislature, and Wolf’s signature on the bill marks the end of a seven year battle to bring medical cannabis to the Commonwealth, a journey marred by roadblocks and detours. Opposition from House Republicans almost killed the proposal last year, and recent changes to wording in the bill had many advocates worried that final concurrence between both legislative chambers could have prevented the bill’s passage before the end of the legislative session this summer, forcing the legislature to start the process over next year.
“I am proud and excited to sign this bill that will provide long overdue medical relief to patients and families who could benefit from this treatment.” — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D)
“I support the legalization of medical marijuana and I believe it is long past time to provide this important medical relief to patients and families across the Commonwealth,” Gov. Wolf said last month while the bill was still in limbo in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
After the bill received final approval and concurrence from both chambers of the legislature, Gov. Wolf praised the legislature for passing a medical marijuana bill that, at times, appeared to be destined for failure.
“I applaud members of both parties in the House and Senate who have come together to help patients who have run out of medical options and want to thank the thousands of advocates who have fought tirelessly for this cause,” Wolf said in a statement Thursday, after the bill’s final passage.
Now that Senate Bill 3 has been signed into law by Gov. Wolf, it will take effect in 30 days. The Pennsylvania Department of Health will then begin the process of implementing the medical marijuana program, which is expected to take between 18 and 24 months. The Department of Health is required under the law to propose temporary regulations within six months.
Once the program is fully operational, medical marijuana products will be made available at state-licensed dispensaries to patients who are under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition. Up to 150 medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed in Pennsylvania. There will be a total of 50 licenses available to companies, who may operate up to three dispensaries each. The state will issue up to 25 permits to growers and processors to supply the dispensaries with cannabis.
Similar to recently implemented medical marijuana programs in New York and Minnesota, patients in Pennsylvania will not be allowed to smoke marijuana, and dried marijuana flower won’t be available at dispensaries for patients to purchase. Language in the bill allows the Department of Health to consider allowing raw marijuana in the future, but that won’t likely be considered until the program has been operational for some time.
Medical marijuana will be available to patients as liquids, oils, pills and tinctures. Home-cultivation is not allowed by patients, and neither is medical marijuana purchased outside dispensaries — either on the black market or in other states. Medical marijuana edibles will not be allowed for sale in dispensaries, but patients will be allowed to infuse their own edible products with medical cannabis products purchased at in-state dispensaries.
Medical marijuana patients from other states will not be allowed access to dispensaries, as there is no reciprocity included in the new law.
Patients must suffer from specific qualifying conditions in order to be eligible for the state’s medical marijuana program. Patients suffering from the following ailments will qualify for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania once the program is operational, which is expected to take at least two years:
In addition, terminally ill patients, as defined as those with a prognosis of less than one year of life expectancy, will qualify for medical marijuana regardless of their medical condition.
Once the program becomes functional in about two years, a patient will need to be under the continuing care of a physician who is registered with the Department of Health in order to purchase medical marijuana. The physician will need to provide a signed certification to the patient stating that the patient has a serious medical condition that qualifies for the medical marijuana program. The patient will then need apply to the Department of Health for a medical marijuana identification card. Once the patient receives an identification card, they can then purchase medical marijuana products at an authorized dispensary in Pennsylvania.
Patients under the age of eighteen are eligible to participate in the medical marijuana program, but they must have a caregiver — such as a parent or guardian — who is approved by the Department of Health in order to obtain medical marijuana authorization.
Since 2009, many attempts to pass medical marijuana legislation in previous sessions failed in the legislature, including Senate Bill 1182 from the 2013-14 legislative session. That bill had been approved by the Senate, but never received consideration in the House. Then-governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, was staunchly opposed to medical marijuana and had threatened to veto the bill if it ever reached his desk.
When Tom Wolf, a Democrat, defeated Corbett in Pennsylvania’s 2014 gubernatorial election, patients and advocates were optimistic that the upcoming 2015-16 legislative session would see swift passage of a newly announced medical marijuana bill. Enacting a medical marijuana program was among Wolf’s campaign platforms during the election, a stark contrast from his anti-marijuana predecessor.
In preparation for Pennsylvania’s upcoming 2015-16 legislative session, two unlikely state senators — conservative Republican Mike Folmer and liberal Democrat Daylin Leach — announced that they were teaming up to present a new attempt at passing a medical marijuana bill in the state. Originally anticipated as CBD-only legislation aimed at helping children with epilepsy, by the time the bill was filed both Senators agreed that CBD-only legislation was too limited in scope, and Senate Bill 3 seemed fast-tracked to passage with bi-partisan support and encouragement from a newly elected governor.
It quickly became evident to advocates, however, that the road to bringing relief to sick Pennsylvanians would still be marred by roadblocks, speed bumps, and detours. Opposition from House Republicans almost killed the proposal last year, and recent changes to wording in the bill had many advocates worried that final concurrence between both legislative chambers could have prevented the bill’s passage before the end of the legislative session this summer.
Meanwhile, patients and advocates were faced with overcoming many restrictions being placed into the bill’s language, successfully preventing CBD-only legislation, a proposed sunset expiration date on the program, strain limits, THC limits, and medication delivery methods that could have rendered the program unworkable.
After winning approval in the Senate, the bill was assigned to the House Health Committee, who’s chair, Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga County) opposes medical marijuana. Within days of the bill reaching his committee, Rep. Baker — a recipient of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies — announced that he had no intention of allowing his committee to take up the Senate-approved medical marijuana bill.
Advocates were not deterred by Baker’s stall tactics, and following a month of pressure on lawmakers, it was announced that one representative, State Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park), intended to take the unusual step of filing a discharge resolution to strip the bill from Baker’s committee and bring it up before the full House of Representatives for a vote.
Only 25 signatures from lawmakers were needed, and the petition was closed with 40 signatures. When Rep. Miccarelli rose to call the petition, in a surprising move, Health Committee Chair Matt Baker moved to instead call a vote to move SB 3 from his Health Committee to the House Rules Committee. The Health committee unanimously agreed, moving the bill to Rules and ending the stalemate.
What followed, however, was not the swift road to House concurrence with the Senate that advocates hoped for, prompting supporters, led by the Campaign for Compassion and joined by other groups from around the state, to create a “Still Waiting” room in the state house, where parents, patients and advocates established a daily presence to bring attention to legislative delays by Republican House leadership in passing the bill.
Nearly a year after passing overwhelmingly in the Senate, when the full House of Representatives was ready to take on the bill, an estimated 200 amendments to the bill were drafted, worrying patients further. Finally, just before St. Patrick’s day this year, the House met to consider the proposed amendments, leading up to a final vote. Over the course of two days, House lawmakers debated and voted on dozens of amendments to the proposal, with very few passing, and many amendments were withdrawn by their sponsors before being considered by fellow lawmakers.
Among the many failed amendments were several amendments proposed by Rep. Baker, and were aimed at reducing the effectiveness of the bill, including removing HIV/AIDS as a qualifying condition; limiting the number of dispensaries authorized in the state to only five; banning the use of vaporizers and edibles by patients; requiring authorization from two separate doctors to become eligible for medical marijuana; prohibiting patients on probation or parole from accessing medical marijuana; and setting a four-year expiration date for the program, similar to Illinois’ sunset clause.
The most significant changes to the bill by the House came as a result of the Marsico Amendment (A5835), which passed by a vote of 152-38. Some of the notable highlights include:
A 10% limit of THC was imposed when the omnibus Marsico Amendment was passed in negotiations early in the week, but only lasted a few hours. Later that day, an amendment was filed by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) to remove the 10% THC cap. That amendment passed by a vote of 97-91, removing the 10% cap in one of the largest wins for patients and advocates.
Following nearly three days of deliberation and compromise, the bill was finally called for a vote by the House in the early evening of Wednesday, March 16, and was approved by a vote of 149-43, sending it back to the Senate for concurrence and setting the stage a potential showdown between both chambers that advocates feared could kill the bill for the year.
When the bill was returned to the Senate, primary author Mike Folmer was concerned that some of the wording in the bill, as amended by the House, could have rendered the law unworkable. The Senate was faced with a difficult decision — correct the language and send the bill back to the House hoping it gets called for a vote before the end of the legislative session, or pass the bill as-is and work to correct the language in an upcoming legislative session.
Ultimately, Sen. Folmer concluded that changes to the bill were necessary, although many advocates were pushing for the bill to be passed as is for now and fixed later. Many of the final changes to the bill, approved by the Senate Rules & Executive Nominations Committee on April 11, were technical and designed to “ensure the bill will work once it becomes law,” according to Folmer:
Folmer’s gamble paid off. The full Senate voted to agree to the changes to the bill on April 12 by a vote of 42-7, with the House concurring the next day by a vote of 149-46. Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law on Sunday, April 17, making Pennsylvania the 24th medical marijuana state.
Patients will still be waiting for medical marijuana access for a couple more years, but now the end is in sight.
The full text of the bill can be found here.