Classing Up Cannabis: Why Your Cannabis Brand Needs A Solid Website

Editors Note: Welcome to our newest bi-weekly column, Classing Up Cannabis. Consider this your go-to spot for fluid, applicable advice regarding the image, design, marketing, and branding of your cannabis business. Right now, most of the content in the cannabis zeitgeist neglects to highlight or speak to the minds behind businesses—you know, those fueling the industry.  Whether you’re just launching a brand or your long-time business has weathered the transitional storm of complex regulation, we dedicate this column to you. 

Anyone who has ever dated in the digital-era has likely, at one time or another, searched their potential partner online. Why wouldn’t you? Safety is the most important aspect to dating. But this puts us in a position of constantly being judged (and judging others) for our online content. We live in a time when our digital lives are becoming a bigger part of our offline existence. Trolls can’t hide, avatars give way to real people, and embarrassing tweets resurface decades later.

How we present ourselves online is no longer separate from our daily lives. The same goes for a company and its online presence. With so much information being disseminated online, sometimes the best place to start reaching new customers is with a website. It gives your company an online home and a place to share news, events, and products.

Here are four important roles your website should fulfill in order to be an effective tool in your marketing toolbox:

Locate your Product

With myriad restrictions on selling cannabis products, the information and merchandise available on a canna-business site differs from what’s allowed on non-cannabis related pages. Potential customers need to know where to find your product, whether it’s physical locations, online only, or a mix of the two. Do you have a brick and mortar store? How about a pop-up that only appears at certain times? If you have an impressive list of retailers selling your products, show off your stockist list.

Provide Contact Info

Provide your customers with a way to find you. If you’re a startup working out of a home office, you shouldn’t give out your mailing address. But give any contact information you feel comfortable providing online, including a phone number and all social media platforms where customers can connect with you. At the very least, provide a contact form or an email address so people have some way of reaching you. This isn’t a time to play hard to get.

Give Interested Parties An Opportunity To Explore Your Brand Persona

This is where you show off your personality, tell your story, and highlight what your company is doing (and who is already covering your company in the media). Through design, logos, and copy, you have the opportunity to stay in control of your brand’s narrative. If you want to go the extra mile consider adding a blog that allows you to expand outward from your products and look at the industry as a whole. Don’t forget to add a space where you can mention press coverage so you can show your customers that people are talking about you.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Don’t let Amazon have all the fun. Sales opportunities are one of the main reasons to have a website. More and more companies start every day that have no physical store. If you sell cannabis accessories, hemp products, or an ancillary cannabis product that you can legally sell online, don’t pass up the opportunity. Take advantage of interweb sales!

Think about the three main types of website viewers—the skimmers, swimmers, and diversand what each wants to know about you. Maybe the skimmers only want to see where you’re located; swimmers want that along with knowing whether they can purchase products online; and the divers want it all. Create a balanced website and you’ll have the opportunity to reach all of them.

A well-made website helps you reach more customers and introduce yourself to them. They may not find you in a store, and without that discoverability, you could miss out on a lot of potential new customers. Where people once browsed the aisles of stores for hours at a time, people are now listlessly strolling online. A clean, well-designed website that balances pertinent information with personality will help you cut through the noise and attract new customers or clients.

But we can’t make any promises for your dating life.

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What Consumers Need To Know About Phase Three Compliance Testing

Phase Three compliance testing became the official standard for all cannabis products produced within California. While this news didn’t exactly dominate headlines, the fact is, Phase Three testing is a major step forward for cannabis consumer safety — and for the industry as a whole.

Phase Three Compliance Testing Explained

In an effort to ease the transition to full regulation, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control rolled out its compliance testing program in three phases over the course of a 12-month period, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Phase Three — which formally took effect December 31, 2018 — added four more categories to the mandatory testing panel:

  • Terpenoids testing
  • Mycotoxins testing
  • Heavy metals testing
  • Water activity testing of solid or semi-solid edibles

Some cultivators, manufacturers, and cannabis testing labs have claimed that the extensive requirements are burdensome and costly, but the truth is, these tests are in the consumers’ best interests.

What Consumers Need To Know About Phase Three Compliance Testing

Courtesy of Advanced Nutrients

Why Heavy Metal And Mycotoxin Testing Is Critical

One often overlooked fact about cannabis is that it is extremely efficient at absorbing certain elements found in its environment, including toxic heavy metals. In fact, cannabis has been used for the remediation of soils contaminated with toxic heavy metals.

This means that toxic heavy metals present in the grow environment can be taken up by the cannabis and potentially inhaled, absorbed or ingested by consumers.

Toxicity from heavy metals — including mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic — can result in severe health issues, including heart disease, brain damage and cancer.

Mycotoxins are byproducts of life-threatening fungi and molds that can colonize crops. The two major types of mycotoxins associated with cannabis can wreak havoc on humans and have been linked to liver cancer. They can even suppress the immune system and mutate DNA.

Terpenoids And Water Activity Testing

The Phase Three requirements also include terpenoids testing for products that make terpene claims, as well as water activity testing.

Terpenes — organic compounds that produce aroma and flavor within plants — are not dangerous to humans. Rather, they play an integral role in determining the type of high you’ll feel from a particular cannabis product.

Water activity testing is necessary to determine the likelihood of microbial contamination in a cannabis product. High water activity means more opportunity for harmful microorganism growth — so, the lower the water activity level, the less susceptible the product is to contamination from harmful microbes.

What Consumers Need To Know About Phase Three Compliance Testing

Courtesy of Advanced Nutrients

Compliance Testing Means Consumer Safety

It’s true that Phase Three requirements are costlier for cannabis cultivators and manufacturers. However, compliance testing is all about consumer safety — and that should be priority No. 1 across our industry.

One cutting-edge company that’s embracing the new regulations and taking consumer safety a step further is BigMike’s Blends, a new line of ultra-premium, outcome-based pre-rolls. Aside from being among the first California-based companies to be completely Phase Three compliant, BigMike’s Blends is backed by the Patient Protection Promise, company founder BigMike Straumietis’s commitment to providing only the safest, highest-quality cannabis possible.

With 15 years of cannabinoid research by 25 world-class PhD’s, BigMike’s Blends Pre-Rolls are the most sophisticated, science-backed, outcome-based pre-rolls on the planet, because each pre-roll is made with 4-6 top shelf strains. These strains are blended in exacting ratios to achieve a complex cannabinoid and terpenoid profile to deliver a precise outcome unmatched by any single strain. In addition to California’s mandated Phase Three testing, BigMike’s Blends are laboratory tested both pre and post production to ensure maximum purity, potency, and standardization.

Here’s the bottom line: Tough cannabis compliance testing is the new normal, and that’s a good thing. Stricter standards are going to serve the industry by ensuring only safe, quality products reach the hands of consumers. The more contaminated cannabis we can weed out of the supply chain, the better.

Find BigMike’s Blends in a dispensary near you simply by using the BigMike’s Blends locator.

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$2.5 Million Worth of Marijuana Seized at Philadelphia Port

Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized more than 600 pounds of marijuana at the Area Port of Philadelphia last week, according to media reports. The pot was discovered on March 7 in a shipping container that had been transported to the City of Brotherly Love from Puerto Rico. Agents found approximately 614 pounds of weed, with an estimated street value of $2.5 million, in the container.

“This is one of the largest seizures of marijuana that Customs and Border Protection have encountered in the Area Port of Philadelphia,” said Casey Durst, the director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in Baltimore. “This is an outstanding example of how CBP keeps our communities safe from illegal drugs.”

Customs agents found 252 bricks of cannabis in the container, which was bound for New Jersey. Steve Sapp, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, confirmed that the seizure was unusual for the port.

“Philadelphia is not a common drug trans-shipment port, but we do get an occasional ‘ripload’,” said Sapp. “A baggage handler may have a friend in the Dominican Republic or Jamaica or Puerto Rico put a load on a plane. When it arrives here, they’ll have someone divert it from the international baggage belt to the national belt, then send somebody out from the street to run in and pick it up. Something like this is not common.”

High Tech Bust

The shipment of pot was discovered after sensitive Customs and Border Patrol x-ray scanners determined that the density of the cargo in the container was not consistent with what would be expected for the reported contents.

“All containers get some level of scrutiny,” Sapp said.

A drug-sniffing dog was then brought to investigate the shipping container further and alerted to officers. When agents then searched the shipment they found the bricks of cannabis hidden under the floor in the container. Officers then extracted a “green leafy substance” from one of the packages. The sample was analyzed and tested positive for marijuana.

Sapp noted that despite the continued reform of marijuana laws, interstate cannabis commerce is still not legal.

“Marijuana may be legal for medicinal use in Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” Sapp said. “But it’s not legal federally and it’s certainly not legal to smuggle in 614 pounds.”

The investigation into the illegal marijuana shipment has been turned over to the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the confiscated marijuana will be destroyed. Customs and Border Protection seizes an average of 4,657 pounds of narcotics every day in the United States. The agency announced on Tuesday that it had confiscated 3,200 pounds of cocaine worth $77 million in a shipping container at the Port of New York and New Jersey in Newark on February 28. The bust was the largest seizure of drugs at the port in more than 25 years.

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The Real Problem in Cannabis: Cash Flow

California recently passed the one-year mark of recreational cannabis legalization. Many of the major regulatory problems are being addressed and enforcement is underway. Operators are adapting to the latest compliance rules, but there’s still a major problem with actually staying afloat as a cannabis business in 2019: cash flow.

It is no secret that venture-backed and Canadian operators are bringing a massive influx of capital into the U.S. market. Meanwhile, long-standing brands and farmers are fighting an uphill battle to claim their fair share. For a brand, it can take up to 60 days from the first day of production to see any payment for their products. For a farmer, it takes even longer. This has led to an imbalance in working capital where operators are struggling to pay their staff and invest in future production capacity. The resulting production lag also negatively affects retailers (dispensaries and delivery businesses) by making inventory replenishment less reliable.

Nabis, a leading licensed distributor of cannabis products, has seen first-hand how harmful this long feedback loop can be to cannabis businesses throughout the supply chain. After working with 40 brands and shipping products to 90% of all licensed retailers in California, Nabis has discovered two particular problems that cause this imbalance: rejected deliveries and payment terms.

Rejected Deliveries

Even if cannabis products pass the numerous testing requirements to ensure they are safe for consumption, there is still a substantial risk that they will be rejected by retailers. Retail delivery of products is one of the most heavily regulated parts of the cannabis supply chain. Making a successful wholesale delivery is so fraught with challenges that some dispensary owners in San Francisco estimate they accept less than half of all orders placed with brands. Nabis identified recurring patterns associated with deliveries that result in failed or rejected orders (Figure 1).

The most frequent cause of rejection is compliance—over 50% of order rejections are a result of non-compliant packaging or inaccurate documentation. There are a host of state-mandated regulatory requirements on cannabis packaging and transportation that are evolving constantly. Strict cannabis regulations encompass all aspects of an order delivery: vehicles, employment status of drivers, product, documentation, and payment. Regulations also vary by municipality, further complicating delivery requirements.

The Real Problem in Cannabis: Cash Flow

Courtesy of Nabis

As a direct response to this issue, Nabis has invested resources in developing software that automates compliance and makes close coordination between brands and retailers easier. These targeted efforts have led to a 98% order delivery success rate in 2019 – a bar Nabis looks to continue raising as the year progresses.

Payment Terms

No transaction is complete until payment is collected. So far, Nabis has seen that more than 40% of all orders are placed on net payment terms as opposed to cash on delivery (COD) (Figure 2). Net payment means that the transaction amount on the invoice is expected to be paid by the buyer sometime in the future. As the bargaining power of retailers increases due to the cap on the number of retail licenses issued by each municipality, net payments are quickly becoming the norm for wholesale cannabis transactions.

The Real Problem in Cannabis: Cash Flow

Courtesy of Nabis

According to thousands of wholesale transactions coordinated by Nabis in 2018, one out of four orders carry a 30+ day payback period. Not only do net terms strain working capital for producers, they also effectively double the logistical challenges for operators, as they must coordinate return trips for collections along with additional orders. Nabis has devoted significant operational resources to help brands keep their outstanding payment balance in check. The task has also grown more manageable as Nabis increases the frequency of return trips, allowing for more streamlined collections and order delivery efforts overall.

Operators should ensure the issues above are not bottlenecks to growth, and understand:

  • “What is our delivery rejection rate and corresponding impact on revenue?”
  • “How do we minimize order rejections and complications?“
  • “What is our outstanding account receivables balance?”

To learn more about these topics, come talk to us at Nabis and find us on Instagram. For any inquiries, please reach out to Nabis’ Director of Strategy & Information Rob Koch.

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Michigan Adds Cerebral Palsy to List of Conditions for Medical Marijuana Program

Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has announced that cerebral palsy will join the list of medical conditions that make patients eligible for enrollment in the state’s medical marijuana program. Its addition, approved by unanimous decision and announced on Monday, expands the number of qualifying conditions in the state to 28.

The most common qualifying condition cited by the 292,905 patients in the state’s medical marijuana program is chronic pain, followed by muscle spasms and severe nausea. 41,000 care providers are licensed to provide Michiganders with cannabis to help managing the symptoms of cancer, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, wasting syndrome, and various other conditions.

Past studies have proven that medical cannabis can have tremendous effects on the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Tel Aviv’s Wolson Medical Center hosted a study of 36 children with the condition, many who had high levels of motor disorders. They were treated with two kinds of cannabis oil, one with a THC-CBD ratio of 1:6 and another of 1:20. Within three to four months, doctors reported in 2017 that motor function, pain symptoms, and bowel movements had all improved in study participants.

A 2011 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that the use of marijuana was the most effective treatment for pain among people with cerebral palsy.

Michigan legalized medical marijuana back in 2008, but it took the state six years to get a regulatory system in place, and didn’t open a state-licensed cannabis dispensary, or “provisioning center” as Michigan terms the locations officially, until November 2018. In December, state lawmakers legalized recreational marijuana, authorizing the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.

But Michigan’s authorities continue to deal with fall-out from the lag in medical marijuana implementation, as the delay and the sets of “emergency rules” that it occasioned gave unlicensed growers and distributors a chance to establish themselves. The state has given these unauthorized entities until the end of the month to obtain the proper permitting or close down. At the start of the year, officials shuttered 72 unlicensed distributors.

Concerns have been raised in the past that any lock-out of these unlicensed dispensaries could cause interruption in supply to the state’s medical marijuana patients, particularly given past criticisms that the state’s system has not moved nimbly enough when it comes to processing applications for license in a timely fashion. But state officials hold that the transition is essential to guarantee that individuals are receiving high quality marijuana, arguing that unlicensed distributors are far more likely to sell un-tested product.

Earlier this month, LARA announced that medical marijuana sales at the state’s 54 licensed dispensaries have reached $42 million, amounting to roughly $2.5 million in tax revenue for the state.

Additional qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program are added to Michigan’s list through a petitioning process. The licensing department also took the opportunity to announce that a petition for Chronic Aggressive Behavior had been denied after a review panel’s unanimous recommendation.  

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Ohio Medical Marijuana Patients May Soon Be Able To Buy Edibles

Ohio regulators have awarded the state’s first medical marijuana processor certificate. And that means there is now one company in the state, Grow Ohio, that can produce the cannabis products that are standard issue in many other medical-use states. Grow Ohio still has to run a few tests on its THC extractor equipment. But once it does, medical cannabis patients will soon be able to buy edibles, and they’ll have several types to choose from.

Grow Ohio Becomes First Licensed Medical Cannabis Processor in Ohio

Unlike the rapid, accelerated start of medical cannabis programs in places like Oklahoma, Ohio is still looking to gain its footing. Ohio legalized medical cannabis in mid-2016, but dispensaries didn’t open until mid-January 2019. And in between, patients had to wait through multiple setbacks. Businesses faced delays and threatened lawsuits over the licensing process. That bumped the growing timeline and delayed the first crop of medical cannabis. Meanwhile, the state kept missing deadlines to announce dispensary locations and certify doctors.

Since January, patients have had to deal with aggressive law enforcement, confiscations, interference from healthcare provider networks, and limited dispensary access. Soon, at least, they’ll be able to buy more than just flower at the dispensary. Grow Ohio is the first medical marijuana producer to receive a processor permit. But state regulators will soon award permits to another 39 processors.

Licensed processors will be able to convert their own harvested bud into a number of different forms, from oils, capsules and tinctures to lotions and edibles. Grow Ohio says it plans to produce gummies, edibles oils and tinctures first. After that, the company will move on to producing capsules and topical creams, likely in late-April.

Edibles and Oils Will Improve Patients’ Access to Medical Cannabis in Ohio

Like many medical-use states, Ohio prohibits patients from smoking their medical marijuana. But that rule has been a burden for Ohio patients, since flower has been the only form of cannabis available. As a result, patients have had to purchase expensive herb vaporizers to lawfully consume legal medical cannabis. Smoking cannabis can impact respiratory health, but it remains the most cost-effective means of consumption for many patients. Furthermore, inhalation is not the preferred method of consuming THC for several of the state’s 21 qualifying conditions.

States that banned smokable medical cannabis products made edible and topical alternatives available. Ohio, by contrast, is only now allowing companies to produce those alternatives. And that’s crucial for patients. “Different forms are going to be better for different conditions,” said Grow Ohio Executive VP Justin Hunt. “For arthritis, a patient would probably prefer a topical over plant material.”

Grow Ohio boasts a 60,000 square foot indoor grow and processing facility, making it a “Level 1” cultivator under Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program. The facility, located in Zanesville, Ohio just east of Columbus, employs nearly 80 people. “We hired the right people, we have the right formulas and we are just excited to make a broader market available [for patients] that have registered in Ohio,” Hunt said. The company plans to hire more workers once its processing operations expand.

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What’s In Your Stash? Cannabis Alchemist Warren Bobrow

Cannabis alchemist and author of many spirited books, including Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics and Apothecary Cocktails, Warren Bobrow, hails from New Jersey, where he still makes his home.

While his grandfather was one of the makers of Aqua Velva and Geritol, Bobrow started leaning toward cannabis as a teenager, which eventually led him away from the family circle.

Diagnosed with glaucoma, Bobrow turned his love for the herb into remedy in the state of New Jersey, which had just recently came on board for cannabis as medicine.

Glaucoma is progressive condition, passed down through generations, caused by a deterioration of the optic nerve, leading to high fluid pressure on the front part of the eye. The increased pressure damages the optic nerve that transmits images to the brain. While there is no cure and no warning signs early on, it’s only detected via a routine exam for glaucoma. If not managed properly it can lead to permanent blindness.

A paper published in the National Institute of Medicine’s site states that glaucoma patients who smoke cannabis have decreased intraocular pressure (IOP). This is due to the discovery of ocular cannabinoid receptors, prompting more studies on treating glaucoma with cannabis.

These findings make Bobrow’s smoking habit serious, keeping the pressure down and his spirits lifted. As he openly admits, he really likes the feeling of being high.

Interestingly enough, Bobrow doesn’t really consider himself a full-fledged patient, stating that he uses the herb mostly to de-stress. That said, distressing can also be done by taking a pharmaceutical, such as Valium, making chilling just for fun a highly debated subject.

What’s In Your Stash? Cannabis Alchemist Warren Bobrow

Courtesy of Warren Bobrow

What’s in Your Stash, Warren Bobrow?

His finely made leather stash bag is the brainchild of New York wardrobe stylist Jessica Cadmus, via her company Rogue Paq. Cadmus is a Goldman Sachs alumna, also known as the Wardrobe Whisperer, as she’s also a guest stylist for brands such as Hugo Boss, Reiss, and Alexis Bittar.

When Cadmus saw her friends and colleagues putting cannabis inside old pencil cases and plastic baggies, she jumped into action, designing attractive soft-tooled leather pouches, purposefully for the mindful partaker.

“I enjoy a plethora of flavors and effects during the day,” Warren shares. “I’m fortunate to enjoy [them] during the day, and my Rogue Paq stash [bag] is scent-suppressant and elegantly visual. I’m always proud to whip it out in social situations.”

Inside Bobrow’s Rogue Paq holds a Stonedware pocket pipe, makers of high fashion and high quality pipes created in Portland, Oregon.

Bobrow penned a piece about Stonedware’s pipes for Forbes. He praised the artist Ariel Zimman’s work stating, “The GeoPipe is that good because the person who created it is filled with abundant love and oozing with unending creativity.”

Also in his stash are Lobo and Xiaolin cannagars, both equally high-end and hand rolled, with the skill taking up to a year to master as each leaf must be carefully rolled over the next.

Fashioned after a high-end, hand-rolled fine cigar, cannagars, which can cost several hundred dollars each, go a step further and are often rolled in the leaf from the premium flower inside. They are also typically infused with hash, concentrated oils, and last up to a week or longer, depending on the partaking and how many partakers are involved.

The flower in his stash was purchased from a local New Jersey shop, Harmony Dispensary, led by self-proclaimed leading botanists using “advanced robotic controlled environment.”

A stash comes in many forms, and while his Rogue Paq sits in one pocket, in the other you’ll find a small flask filled with his latest cannabis-infused creation.

Recently featured on Viceland, the brew nestled in his breast pocket was inspired from a classic whiskey punch. Here’s how to whip it up:

Viceland Punch For Two

  • 2 oz. Cannabis (THC/CBD) decried and infused into Bourbon of your choice
  • 8 oz. Oven Caramelized Blood Orange Juice- peel- remove the bitter white pith- and split the blood oranges. Scatter some Demerara Sugar over the tops, dot with Angostura Bitters, and roast for an hour at 300 degrees, cool and juice- you’ll need a couple pounds of oranges!
  • 2 oz. Fruitations Craft Soda and Cocktail Syrup- Tangerine Flavor (just three ingredients!)
  • 2 oz. Plain Seltzer
  • Dash of Cardamom Bitters
  • Dash of Chocolate Mole’ Bitters

Prep:

  • Add the juice and the Fruitations to a Boston Shaker filled 3/4 with ice
  • Cap and shake hard
  • Add to two old fashioned glasses with ice
  • Splash seltzer over the top
  • Dot with cardamom bitters
  • Dot with Chocolate mole’ bitters
  • Serve.

Warren Bobrow waxes poetic about the first time he smoked cannabis, knowing full well the herb has brought him to a place of wellness, wonder, and a newfound acceptance by his peers.

“My family used to spend time in Bermuda every summer,” he shared. “We stayed at a place with pink cottages and cerulean blue waters with massive parrot fish that splashed up against pink beaches. I made friends easily with the bartenders, who made me Pina Coladas and fruit punches – minus the rum.”

“One summer a bartender sold me outdoor grown island weed. It may or may not have gotten me high, but what it did for me was make me a cool kid, when I was really a nerd. I’m thinking it still does that for me today, but in a more high profile way,” he laughed.

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Doug Benson On Animashups: High Times TV’s Newest Cartoon Series

Whether you know him from his catalog of comedy specials, hilarious twitter feed, or weekly podcast, comedian Doug Benson deserves his spot on the Mount Rushmore of cannabis advocacy. From continuously smoking jazz cigarets for 30-days in the name of science to getting Jack Black way too stoned on his podcast, Doug always knows how to get a roomful of strangers to shed their inhibitions and melt into the moment. We caught up with Doug at SXSW to talk about his upcoming tour, his workout regimen for playing “Bane” on Lego Batman and how teaming up with High Times TV in cartoon form for Animashups was the next obvious step in his career.

High Times: Alright Doug, we’ve seen you on the big screen, we’ve seen you on stage, you’re in our ears whispering sweet nothings to us during each podcast—why should people tune in to you in animated form?

Doug Benson: The animated me has less blemishes. And he can hold his breath for an incredible amount of time, which is great for holding in bong rips.

If you could animate any event in your real life what would it be and why?

Oh, definitely the time I was at the Emerald Cup and a dude was smoking cannabis out of a leaf blower. It looked cartoonish but it was real!

Doug Benson On Animashups: High Times TV's Newest Cartoon Series

High Times TV

How did you get involved with Animashups?

Someone asked me if I’d like to see parts of my internet show Getting Doug With High animated, and I said ‘hell yes!’ I mean, who doesn’t want to be in a cartoon?

Do you prefer animation or real life?

Animation because in real life I would never get to play “Bane” in a movie, but thanks to Lego Batman I got to do just that. And I didn’t have to wear a mask on my face or work out eight hours a day like that poor slob, Tom Hardy!

Are there any similarities between you and your character on Animashups?

Yes, all of them. Except for my shape, I guess.

It seems like many of the characters on Animashups are your friends. Do you mind going into that a bit?

Yeah, my friends are guests on all of my podcasts–I have shows about cannabis, food, and movies, so it’s fitting they’re also on Animash.

Doug Benson On Animashups: High Times TV's Newest Cartoon Series

High Times TV


Do you remember the first time you saw an issue of High Times and who was on the cover?

It was a long time ago and Cheech & Chong were on the cover. I’m guessing. Feels like they’ve been on the cover a lot. I was a fan of those guys pretty early in my life, even though I didn’t understand the culture and many of their references. I didn’t start using cannabis until after I started doing stand-up, but those guys are a huge influence on me.

Concentrate, flower, or edibles. What’s your preference?

Flower, please! But I won’t say no to the others!

What have you been smoking lately?

I’ve been on a couple of cruises so stealthy stuff. Vape pens and dabs are great for not stinking up the cabins.

What’s next for Doug Benson?

Doing some shows at SXSW in Austin, TX, then touring with my stand-up and live tapings of my podcasts through the summer. Hope to see some High Times readers at my shows!

To watch more episodes of Animash, download the HIGH TIMES TV app on Roku, Apple TV, or your iPhone or Android mobile device: Roku; Apple | iPhone; Android. Or you can watch on the HIGH TIMES TV website!

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Subjects of Mass Weed Arrest Sue Over Violation of Constitutional Rights

A federal lawsuit has been filed against Georgia law enforcement officers responsible for the mass arrest of more than 60 party-goers for a single bag of weed. The legal action, entered on behalf of seven named individuals and a “class of similarly situated persons,” alleges that deputies with the Cartersville, Georgia police department and the Bartow County Sheriff’s Department violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights when they entered a private home without a search warrant and arrested more than 60 people enjoying a party.

“Without any reasonable or particularized suspicion to believe that any individual visitor, let alone every person at the party, possessed, had knowledge of, or exercised control over the suspected marijuana located in the private home, Cartersville police officers announced that no one was free to leave and detained and seized everyone at the party,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed with support from the Southern Center for Human Rights.

On New Year’s Eve, 2017, according to court documents and media reports, Cartersville police officers responding to a call of shots fired entered a private home where the party was being held. Once inside, police found an unattended bag containing less than one ounce of marijuana and announced that everyone was under arrest for possession of marijuana when no one claimed ownership of the pot. More officers and deputies from the sheriff’s department and the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force were called to assist. The house was cleared and everyone was detained for two hours while a search warrant was obtained. During that time, the party guests were detained outside the home in freezing temperatures without access to bathroom facilities. Eventually, all of the party attendees, their hands secured with zip ties, were searched and transported to jail in sheriff’s department vans.

Cops Claim Warrant Unnecessary

The first officer to arrive at the scene, Joshua Coker, said that under department policy, the law enforcement officers did not need a warrant because they could smell marijuana outside the home.

“I had exigent circumstances to go inside and clear the residence … and make sure of no destruction of evidence prior to the Drug Task Force arriving,” said Coker, who claimed he could already smell marijuana while still inside his police cruiser with the windows up.

The lawsuit also alleges that the plaintiffs were strip-searched and mistreated by deputies while being held at the jail, some for up to three days until charges were dropped by the district attorney. The plaintiffs maintain that they were held in crowded, unheated cells, and denied required medical treatment, medications, and the use of restroom facilities.

“One person who experiences seizures informed a jail nurse of her condition but did not receive her anti-seizure medication until the third day of her detention,” the complaint reads. “A pregnant woman was denied prenatal pills and received no care when she vomited repeatedly in a holding cell garbage can.”

Those who complained about the treatment the group was subjected to by deputies at the jail were threatened with a Taser or held in isolation cells. The sheriff’s department also posted to its website mug shots of those who had been arrested, which were then published on the television news and social media, causing some to lose jobs or suffer other repercussions.

Sun Choy, an attorney representing the City of Cartersville, said that he was “comfortable in saying that we believe that any plaintiff will have to overcome some significant legal hurdles if he/she pursues a claim.”

Gerry Weber, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said that his clients are still experiencing fallout from the action by police.

“Each of our clients has had their life turned into a nightmare in a lot of ways,” said Weber. “They’ve got this scar on their records that will never disappear.”

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What’s In a Name? 10 Tastiest Sounding Cannabis Strains

Some people may pick a cannabis strain based on name alone. Many strain names sound random or downright comical to new consumers on the hunt for a ‘go-to’ strain. With cannabis being among the hottest trends, more and more people are becoming curious about the plant.

The confusion for these consumers, however, lies in the disconnect between cannabis culture’s long history and the recent cannabis surge. The seemingly misleading strain names are rooted in the deep values and ideals of a vintage cannabis era.

To help navigate the most flavorful strains—often the first choices for beginners—we’ve compiled a list of the 10 Tastiest Sounding Cannabis Strains and their effects.

Gelato

The well-loved Italian frozen dessert is now in cannabis form. Gelato is a gourmet mix of Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. It has a medley of fruity, cookie, mint, and lavender flavors. This THC-packed strain is said to help with fibromyalgia, nausea, insomnia, and lack of appetite. Gelato provides a boost of energy and euphoric lift. Gelato’s potency is delightful and its delicious flavor-profile is the cherry on top.

White Cookies

White Cookies was developed by crossing White Widow and Girl Scout Cookies. It smells like a blend of lemon and pine, and has a buttery cookie flavor. The strong body high it produces works well to dissolve the tension of stress, mood issues, anxiety, and nausea. Despite a high THC-content, it won’t make you jumpy. White Widow relaxes, but also sparks creativity. This just might be your new yummy go-to wake and bake strain.

What’s In a Name? 10 Tastiest Sounding Cannabis Strains

Courtesy of Crop King Seeds

Chocolope

Swap your cup of coffee for the delectable Chocolope. Seductive cocoa and coffee notes intertwine beautifully with sweet hints of melon. This name is a portmanteau of its parents: Chocolate Thai and Cannalope. Despite its funny (but still tasty) sounding name, Chocolopes mood enhancing and energizing effects are no joke. It is effective at curbing stress, depression, and PTSD. It perks you up in ways that coffee can’t: No jitters, just a lucid and euphoric high.

Cream Caramel

If you love custard desserts, you will adore this three-way cross between Blue Black, Maple Leaf, and White Rhino. It derives its name from the taste and aroma of crème caramel. Relaxing, anti-depressant, pain-relieving, and time-warping. It is the perfect sit-and-stay strain. Cream Caramel is the ultimate dessert-y, dream-like indulgence. You will find yourself begging for another bite, or puff.

Blueberry

Blueberry is a true classic strain. It’s a solid relaxer with a timeless flavor. It is one of the cannabis strains that taste and smell exactly like fruit. The smooth taste melts in your mouth as deep relaxation and euphoria set in. It scores more points for its potency, long shelf life, and lasting pain-killing effects. Blueberry will melt all the stress, worries, and blues away.

What’s In a Name? 10 Tastiest Sounding Cannabis Strains

Courtesy of Crop King Seeds

Strawberry Cough

It tastes and smells like juicy strawberries so much that when you close your eyes you forever melt into endless acres of strawberry fields. Strawberry Cough increases appetite and helps with a wide array of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, PTSD, and paranoia. While its flavor and aroma impress the senses, the thick smoke it produces throws even the most seasoned smokers into a coughing fit.

Candy Cane

You don’t need any festivity to light up Candy Cane. This holiday-themed hybrid has a fruity and sour flavor with mild menthol undertones. Besides its succulent taste, this strain is loved for its ability to keep your spirits high, stimulate appetite, and fight off fatigue and tension. Candy Cane is flavorful and powerful. It’s a great pick-me-up strain for those who find it difficult to make it through the day.

What’s In a Name? 10 Tastiest Sounding Cannabis Strains

Courtesy of Crop King Seeds

Bubblegum

This strain has a distinctive smell and flavor that mirrors chewey bubblegum. Notes of berries, flowers, and cream linger on your tongue after the smoke is gone. Bubblegum gives a nice body and cerebral high. It offers relief from chronic pain, body tensions, menstrual cramps, migraines, headaches, anxiety, and nausea. It also causes a serious case of giggles—and then munchies.

Sweet Tooth

Entice your senses with a sweet berry scent accented by floral undertones and a sugary aftertaste. Sweet Tooth has an outstanding knack for stimulating the Endocannabinoid system in such a way that makes you instantly feel better. It conjures up warm and cozy feelings of being wrapped in a blanket. It works amazing for insomnia, depression, glaucoma, pain, and inflammation. Sweet Tooth lives up to its name. Even the most discerning smokers will find it enjoyable.

Juicy Fruit

Juicy Fruit almost meets the exact flavor profile of its namesake chewing gum. Those suffering from eating disorders, nausea, stress, and depression, and muscle spasms will find benefit from the energetic and relaxing effects. This happy strain also shifts your imagination into high gear and seemingly slows down time. Juicy Fruit tastes like a fluffy cotton candy dream, and feels divine. It also alters reality so treat it like an edible.

These tastiest sounding strains truly deserve their yummy reputations. Be sure to expand your cannabis knowledge by growing the tasty cannabis seeds of your choice and grow a real treat.

The post What’s In a Name? 10 Tastiest Sounding Cannabis Strains appeared first on High Times.