Arizona Voters May Have Recreational Cannabis on the 2020 Ballot

A campaign is underway in Arizona to put the question of recreational cannabis legalization on the ballot for 2020. The group spearheading the effort, Smart and Safe Arizona, was behind a push to legalize cannabis in 2016. Their previous campaign faced major opposition from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. But Smart and Safe Arizona says their new proposal addresses the problems and concerns state officials had with the 2016 measure. The current proposal would allow adults 21 and over to legally possess up to an ounce of cannabis.

Arizona Group Starts Petition to Put Legal Pot on the 2020 Ballot

The last time Arizona tried to legalize recreational cannabis, the state tried to do it through the legislature. In 2018, a bipartisan pair of House lawmakers introduced a bill to legalize possession up to an ounce and permit home cultivation of up to six mature plants. The bill also would have banned public smoking, and like statutes in many states, it would have let municipalities opt out. But Representatives Todd Clodfelter and Mark Cardenas couldn’t get their proposal past the judiciary committee.

This time, however, Arizona legalization advocates want to put the issue directly to voters. It’s the same approach the state took in 2016, when voter initiative Proposition 205 made it onto the ballot, only to lose by fewer that 100,000 votes.

But this time is different, says Stacy Pearson, who’s leading the campaign to get recreational legalization on the 2020 ballot. “It’s just simply a better policy,” Pearson said. “We’ve had four additional years to see what’s happened nationally,” she added.

In 2016, 899,605 people voted in favor of Proposition 205. And to get the new measure on the ballot, Smart and Safe Arizona only needs to collect about 240,000 signatures. Smart and Safe Arizona has already filed the paperwork with the Secretary of State to put its proposed measure on the ballot. The high likelihood that the campaign will succeed could pressure lawmakers to forward their own proposal ahead of a voter referendum in 2020.

Arizona Divided on Cannabis Legalization

Arizona has had legal medical cannabis since 2010, when Proposition 203 eked by with 50.1 percent of the vote. That split over cannabis has persisted, and well-funded opposition could hinder the latest push to put recreational legalization to voters in 2020. This time, however, advocates feel like they have the evidence and the arguments to convince the opposition to change its tune.

Pearson said the argument her campaign hears most is that cannabis products aren’t safe. But that “doesn’t mean it’s not here,” Pearson said. “What we’re asking voters to do is take something that is on the black market currently and move it to a place where it’s tested, taxed, controlled, regulated, and ensure that it’s not being sold to minors.”

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce has stated it’s willing to give legalization proposals a new hearing. But in light of past opposition, the burden of proof will be high. “The new initiative for the 2020 ballot—we’ll look at it with fresh eyes,” said Garrick Taylor, Senior Vice President, Government Relations & Communications for the Chamber of Commerce.

That look should pick out a few different things this time around. Borrowing for successful legalization measures in other states, Smart and Safe Arizona’s proposal includes provisions for expunging criminal records for prior marijuana convictions. It would also ban certain “candy-type” edibles in an effort to head off arguments about legalization’s risk to children.

Tax provisions in the new proposal might also bring some state officials on board. The measure would tax retail sales like any other consumer product, while including an excise tax of 16 percent. Smart and Safe Arizona says revenue from excise taxes alone could raise more than $300 million for the state budget.

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Choosing Filling Machinery for CBD and THC Products

As the legalization of cannabis continues to spread across the U.S., both THC and CBD products are rapidly growing in popularity, and we can expect that popularity to increase in the coming years. The cannabis industry alone is expected to account for nearly $16.9 billion in revenue this year.

Subsequently, there is a rising need among infused product manufacturers for sufficient filling machinery for CBD and THC products. These products, including CBD oil cartridges, require filling equipment that can provide quick turnaround, detailed parts and simple changeover and cleanup, among other factors. Let’s go over the different types of filling machinery used for these products.

Vial Filling Machines

For small vial packages made of glass, metal or plastic, vial filling machines are available. Often used for a variety of pharmaceutical products, they’re now suitable for filling liquid THC and CBD oil. Vial fillers are also often suitable for filling liquid products of varying viscosity levels, with either the installation of peristaltic pumps or volumetric filling stations.

Rotary Fillers

Rotary fillers can also fill containers at high speeds and with quick turnaround, and are ideal for filling various types and sizes of containers made of materials such as plastic, metal or glass. A good rotary filler will be able to meet the demands of high-speed environments consistently and with accuracy.

Fixed or Variable Volume Cartridge Filling ToolsAs the industry develops more demand for high-quality filling and other types of equipment, more machines are likely to be manufactured or configured specifically with these types of products in mind.

Fixed and variable volume cartridge filling tools often feature a single-handed operation and are used to rapidly fill cartridges for THC and CBD oils used for vaping. With fixed volume fillers, you’ll be able to designate a specific and consistent volume, while variable volume models allow for different fill volumes for applications requiring versatility.

Automatic Fillers

Automatic filling machines will be able to fill a large number of products at varying speed settings, without the need for manual operation. These machines can fill many different types of products with consistency that helps maintain optimal productivity. As with other fillers, automatic fillers are often customizable in a wide variety of configurations.

Filling Syringes

For concentrates, filling syringes are ideal in many cases. Many patients are in need of a specific dosage of oil, and a syringe can allow for accuracy through the inclusion of measurement indicators. Many dispensaries sell syringe units, so this type of packaging method is likely to continue to rise in popularity.

Other Types of Equipment for Liquid Cannabis Packaging

In addition to reliable filling systems, manufacturers should make sure every other aspect of their packaging lines is covered with high-quality equipment. Facilities will require a variety of conveyors to transport products from one end of the line to the other, cleaners to ensure that bottles or other containers are clean prior to filling, and labelers to apply custom labels to packaging, among other machinery.

With one or more of these types of liquid fillers in a facility, companies can maintain accuracy and efficiency throughout their operations when filling CBD or THC products. As the industry develops more demand for high-quality filling and other types of equipment, more machines are likely to be manufactured or configured specifically with these types of products in mind.

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Dear Danko: Expert Grow Advice on Plant Stages, Strains, and More

High Times’ cultivation specialist Danny Danko answers all your burning questions about being the best grower you can be. But first, some quick tips from the expert himself:

  1. Calibrate your pH and PPM meters monthly in order to ensure they’re working properly.
  2. Use a timer to turn off CO2 supplementation equipment when your lights are off.
  3. Intake fans for fresh air should be installed low in your room, and, because heat rises, exhaust fans should be installed near the top.

Subject: Vegetative Stage
From: Martha M.

How do I know when plants are in the vegetative stage? I’m new and I don’t understand all the growing terms. Thank you!

Dear Martha,

There are two main stages of cannabis plant growth: the vegetative stage and the flowering stage. These stages represent the different growth patterns of annuals from spring into summer and then into fall, when the plants reach maturity. When a seedling sprouts, it enters the vegetative stage, during which it grows branches and leaves. Outdoors, as summer ends and light begins to diminish, the plant enters the flowering stage, during which it slows branch and leaf growth while focusing its energy on producing male or female flowers in order to fill up with seeds before it dies with the first frost of winter.

Indoors, we re-create these seasons using a timer into which we plug our grow lights. For vegetative growth, we provide our plants with 18 or more hours of light per day. When we decide to induce flowering, we cut the light cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off per day. The plant will then transition from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage and begin its march to harvest.

A cellular cutting is suspended in agar in the tissue culture lab at House of Cultivar in Seattle/ House of Cultivar

Subject: Preserving
a Strain
From: Charles T.

My question is in regard to the preservation of a strain that has been reduced over time from environmental or genetic drift by using colloidal silver to produce feminized seeds. I’m talking about an incredible strain that I obtained through clippings when it had already been cloned many times and has since been cloned many more times. My biggest concern comes from the difficulty I’m lately having getting this strain to root during the cloning phase. I’m waiting on a shipment of 120 PPM colloidal silver; once it arrives, I plan to begin my first feminized-seed project. I would like to know what I should expect from the seeds produced. Will they also have difficulty rooting, or should the genetic blueprint be completely restored? Thanks for any help you can give me!

Dear Charles,

You are embarking on an interesting but difficult breeding project. You’re planning to spray colloidal silver on your female flowers in order to force them to show hermaphroditic tendencies and induce “male” flowers to form within them.

The pollen from these flowers contains no male genes, so this should result in females or hermaphrodites. When this pollen is spread onto the same female flowers, it’s called “selfing,” or creating an S1. If all goes well, the resulting seeds will be similar or identical to the original clone-only plant.

A different way to bring back the vigor of the original hybrid is to use a tissue-culture technique. This is similar to cloning, but on a smaller, cellular level. Once a plant has been duplicated with tissue culture, the resulting cuttings will be free of any pests, pathogens, diseases or other issues that result from stress, such as difficulty rooting or a general lack of vigor or potency.

Two seedlings emerge from one bean/ UP Grower

Subject: Twins!
From: UP Grower

Hi! We love reading your expert grow advice in High Times. We’ve been growing in Michigan for about six years and have used both seeds and clones. We recently purchased some feminized Gelato seeds, one of which sprouted twins! (Included is a photo you can publish to show what we mean.) We’ve never seen this mentioned in High Times. Is it a rare occurrence?

Dear UP,

Thanks for the kind words! Your plants are exhibiting a common mutation called polyembryony, in which two or more embryos exist inside one seed. Thus, like identical human twins, the seedlings that emerge will be exact copies of each other.

Subject: No-Till Tent
From: Giggle Grassachusetts

Greetings again! I’ve been wanting to create a no-till living soil (teeming with worms and microbes and using soil blended
with compost). I have a 2′ x 2′ and a 2′ x 4′ tent. Is this possible?

If so, do you have any recommendations as to what to use to hold the soil? I have found a few fabric containers, but they have compartments. Do I need to build my own container? I’d prefer to use fabric instead of wood. Also, would it be a bad idea to bury compostable kitchen scraps in the soil? Thanks for the awesome podcast!

Dear Giggle,

No-till farming is a very interesting growing concept in which soil is left undisturbed and organic material is added on top. Compost and other natural soil enhancers are piled on, and cover crops such as clover are grown and gently mixed into the top layer of soil in order to avoid destroying the beneficial mycelia that permeate the medium.

No-till growing can be accomplished in beds, boxes or fabric containers in even the smallest of spaces, but the important thing is to avoid adding any nonorganic or toxic nutrients or pesticides to your soil mix. It’s better to put your kitchen scraps into your compost bin or pile in order for them to heat up, break down and cure, rather than adding them directly into your soil. Thanks for your support of the Free Weed With Danny Danko podcast!

Subject: Don’t
From: Peter G.

Remember the good times from three years ago on the 420/710 catamaran cruise? This is Pete, who was disgusted with the Amsterdam
Cup the previous year. You said you remembered me, but I don’t know how because you obviously come into contact with many people.

Anyhow, I’m happy to report I’m four weeks into flowering a spectacular Acapulco Gold grown in coco under LED and fluorescent lighting to limit my power footprint. She’s looking great despite the lighting limitations. I’m alternating nutes and water every fourth day, and it seems to be working great. This way I’m not overwatering or overfeeding.

I switched to a 10/14-hour light/dark photoperiod from a 12/12 cycle a week ago as advised by Jorge Cervantes in his Cannabis Encyclopedia. The branches have just started to sag from the bud weight, and I’m now staking the plant to relieve any stress. Maybe next time I’ll just go with SOG netting, but it didn’t seem feasible to go that route in a closet. I really don’t have a
question, I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for all the great advice you give in your column.

Dear Pete,

Wow! Thanks for reaching out and thanks for the tips on properly feeding your plants. Overfeeding and overwatering are the two biggest mistakes made by beginner growers, and it’s always best to err on the side of caution as you describe. I’ll have to do a bit more research on the 10/14-hour photoperiod you mentioned because I haven’t heard of that being used before, unless it’s to save money on electricity or to reduce heat at the canopy level.

Subject: Wet and Dry Cycles
From: Humdrum Bum

I’m about to start a RDWC (recirculating deep-water culture) six-bucket system, which does not allow the plant’s roots to receive a dry period. Is the dry period important, or will plants thrive
with the proper amount of oxygen?

Dear Humdrum,

The wet/dry period relates to growing in a soil or coco-based mix. With most types of hydroponics, the nutrient solution is so well oxygenated that the roots can handle not drying out; in fact, they must remain moist at all times.

Deep-water culture relies on the roots dangling into an aerated solution so they have access to water, food and oxygen at all times. This mist feeds the roots and allows the plants to exhibit explosive growth rates. The important thing is to always keep the solution at the right temperature, pH level and PPM levels of nutrient salts in order for the plants to thrive.

Subject: Wick System
From: A. Cabrera

I am currently in the process of setting up a hydroponic grow. I have chosen to go with wick hydroponics, since this will be my first run of growing. I have built a frame for a box that will be 4″
tall, 4′ long and 20″ wide. The walls will be wood sealed with caulking then covered with Mylar. I am going to use a 120-volt 4-foot T8 ballast with two 16-volt LED bulbs until the plants are about 1 to 1½ feet tall in the vegetation stage, and from that point I will change to an LED grow lamp. I’m planning on using 5-gallon
buckets as reservoirs with rope leading up to either a 3-gallon bucket or a 1-gallon nursery pot. I am at a loss on which grow medium I should transfer the plants to once they are out of the seedling stage. I currently have the plants outdoors in Sunshine brand seedling mix. I water once or twice daily. I have two
questions: What is a good material to use as a wick that will not rot? And what grow medium can you recommend?

Dear A.,

A wick system uses capillary action to suck up water from a reservoir as plants need it. Cotton ropes are easy to find and use as a wick, but they are also prone to rot when exposed to water over time. Nylon rope will last longer, and it’s the best material to use for a wick system as long as you’re not opposed to using something acrylic and unnatural.

You can continue to use the Sunshine mix or transplant your plants into a different soilless mix such as ProMix, which is peat-based, or coco coir, which is made from the recycled husks of coconuts. Your roots will suck up whatever they desire, but you must be sure your reservoir buckets contain nutrient solution.

Subject: Mixed-Up
From: Uncle Buck

Hi, Danny—please help! I’ve accidentally mixed my seeds, both autos and feminized. I have managed to separate them by size.
Now I have three normal-size and nine small grey ones, and I have no idea which are which. Additionally, I don’t know how many of each I originally had. Cheers from Australia!

Dear Uncle Buck,

The size of the seeds will not tell you which are auto-flowering and which are feminized. You must plant them and grow them out to determine which are which. The ones that begin to flower regardless of the amount of light they receive are the autos. The others will be the feminized ones. Good luck!

Send your cannabis-cultivation questions

This feature was published in the March 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.

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High Folks: Lisette Barajas on Healing Herself Through Henna and Marijuana

Cannabis encourages us to express our vulnerabilities. For those of us, who, through trauma and pain, have hidden from ourselves and the world, the plant has encouraged us to dive deep into ourselves and heal the pain that we’ve run from most of our lives. When Lisette Barajas, better known as Mehndi420 on Instagram, first started smoking in 2009, she didn’t know that the plant would help her heal from childhood sexual assault and allow her space to discover her passion for art therapy through henna.

“Unfortunately, I was sexually molested by my neighbor when I was 5-years-old,” Barajas shared with High Times. “That experience created a lot of shame and confusion.”

Courtesy of Lisette Barajas

When she was younger, Barajas attended therapy but it was to address the domestic violence issues she was experiencing at home. “I never addressed the molestation because my brain created a defense mechanism known as childhood amnesia,” she said.  

In 2009 while working on obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles, Baraja’s began to use cannabis recreationally. Around this time she was also taking a sociology course, which forced her to accept that her molestation was real. 

“Although I started using cannabis recreationally, it transcended into something more than that. Through cannabis, I have been able to cope with and process childhood trauma.” she said. “Smoking helped me deal with some of the emotions and triggers that come with working through abuse. I decided to become a social worker and now [I’m] transitioning into [art] therapy because of my lived experience.”

Courtesy of Lisette Barajas

It wasn’t until 2018 when cannabis became legal in California that Barajas began to take her henna hobby seriously and design cannabis motifs.  

“I have always doodled and loved to draw on myself. Henna allowed me to do just that minus the toxic chemicals of a [marker]. I first began by making my own paste, then I practiced elements, then [I] developed my own design style. My style is unique [because] I use the cannabis leaf as a motif and that isn’t common in the henna community,” said Barajas. “I began to apply henna designs with paint onto my personal smoking accessories. I started with a lighter, then a bubbler, and now I’m doing bongs.” 

She hopes that her work will help break the stigma of the plant and usher in more feminine energy into an industry that is heavily dominated by men. The cannabis industry is a boys club, and artists like Barajas want to shift the aesthetic to one that celebrates the feminine energy of the plant and the women who also indulge in marijuana’s goodness. 

“The [cannabis] industry is heavily dominated by men. Due to this, a lot of smoking accessories aren’t very appealing, some even look like penises. I want to smoke out of a piece that is pretty and that makes me feel good. Most pipes and bongs are just for function, and I want function and aesthetic,” she shared with High Times

Scrolling through her Instagram you will see her feminine designs grace the curves of bongs and women.  “I want to feminize the cannabis industry and make it more female-friendly. Whether that be through designing bongs or doing lingerie-style henna on influencers. I want to bring out the creativity that cannabis inspires in women,” she wrote over email. 

Through her relationship with cannabis, Barajas has become aware of herself in so many ways. Her henna designs exemplify so much. She uses the traditional henna art form on cannabis accessories to illustrate how, if we all continue to search, we can find various ways to explore our vulnerabilities and heal our pains.

Courtesy of Lisette Barajas

“Cannabis has helped me cope with the triggers that come with abuse. It has helped me relax and reflect on my trauma, thus helping me connect with other people with similar experience,” shares Barajas. “Combining cannabis and henna to practice mindful meditation through art therapy has helped me heal and I want to share that with others.”

She is preparing to go back and get her masters in Art Therapy, and she plans to incorporate all forms of cannabis and plant medicine into her her future work. Currently, she is working on collaborations with MAV Glass and Functional China.

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NYC to Seal Marijuana Misdemeanor Records for Roughly 350 People

In a decision that attorneys say could open the door to other class-action lawsuits, a petition has been approved to seal the criminal records of 350 people with marijuana misdemeanors in Manhattan.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. worked with nonprofit and pro-bono lawyers from groups like the Legal Aid Society to make the mass record sealing a reality. The move was set into motion by a change to New York’s Raise the Age Act. That 2017 legislation stated that people with two or less nonviolent offenses would be eligible to have their records sealed after a decade if they had no new offenses on their record.

But as good as that provision sounded, it has been difficult for individuals to access on their own. 1,200 people have managed to get their records wiped clean, out of the estimated 600,000 who are eligible for the program. That’s due to barriers that stand in the way of average citizens, who may not be aware of the policy change, or have issues navigating the bureaucracy that is obligatory to claim the record sealing.

New York has taken a singular approach to marijuana policy over the past year, a period that began with Governor Andrew Cuomo pledging to legalize recreational cannabis during his reelection campaign. After much hype, the plan ran aground over issues of social justice and tax structure. But a few weeks ago, legislators somewhat resuscitated the state’s desire to change marijuana policy when they passed a bill that decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, reducing penalties to $50 for one ounce and $200 for amounts between one and two ounces.

But while policy debates raged in Albany, local jurisdictions in New York were also considering measures that would dismantle harmful Drug War policies. In April, the New York City Council considered a bill to ban many employers from instituting mandatory drug tests for employees. It ended up being passed by a vote of 40 to 4, and will apply even to companies whose headquarters are located outside of New York state. The council also passed a bill that bans people on probation from being tested for marijuana, a common parole and probation violation that can have disastrous effects on a person’s job and housing prospects.

Much of the push to remove marijuana offenses from the state’s criminal justice system is based on the growing acceptance of the fact that much of the war on drugs was racially motivated. Although usage rates have largely been shown to be consistent across racial groups, Black and Latino individuals have consistently been arrested and convicted at higher rates than whites. That disparity led one group of Black lawmakers to threaten to oppose Cuomo’s legalization plans if they did not include sufficient plans to correct past marijuana-related racial injustice.

The Wall Street Journal article announcing the mass record sealing quoted a 43-year-old single father named Devin whose two 1997 marijuana possession misdemeanors were proving prohibitive in his job search. “I feel vindicated and grateful,” he said. “Everyone in my family had good jobs, and I’m trying to follow in their footsteps. If I can get a job with the city, I’ll be doing even better than I’m doing now.”

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