Inside The 1K Show: Miami’s Annual Cannabis and Glass Convention

Every February, the city of Miami hosts one of the most unique borosilicate glass shows in the world. Deemed the 1k Show, this annual event combines the budding cannabis and glass scene in Florida with artists from around the globe to give collectors an affordable shot at owning otherwise expensive work. In only its third year, the show has continued to grow in popularity in both attendance and size, showcasing over 100 artists this year to the public for free.  

Organizers Errl Chamo and Jay Stax have teamed up year after year to procure some of the best art from both new and established artists from around the world. While collecting glass and consuming hash is nothing new to them, it has definitely been a learning experience hosting the 1k Show at different venues. Miami has a deep history with art, and the current scene is thriving with events like Art Basel and spaces like the Wynwood Yards. The story that led to the first year starts a few months before the inaugural event. It involves artists in the glass community and an intriguing conversation that sparked it.  

“Basically I was speaking with two glass artist friends about my complaints in the industry,” Jay Stax tells High Times. “Mostly about how pieces were sold before shows even opened, backdoor deals were done, and a lot of the events were huge money grabs. I told them how I wanted to go to an event where everything was the same affordable price. That way it didn’t matter if you were some small no-name artist or a large established one like Banjo, because your price was the same no matter what. The idea was that the people would come to the show and be more focused on the art than the price that they were paying.”

Stax also shed light on what glass artists take away from the show. “A glass artist could use this opportunity to show love to those who have collected their work and seen it go well beyond the $1000 price tag and also give new collectors a chance to still get their work at an affordable price that they would normally not sell at.”

“I think it’s the good-hearted nature of the event and the fact that collectors keep coming back, which really drives [the artists] to keep submitting.”

Some artists have submitted their art all three years, indicating commitment and dedication to the ideas behind the show. Typically, these artists sell their pieces for well over the $1,000 ticket. But the playing field becomes level by making these products accessible to collectors who otherwise wouldn’t be able to purchase them. Sure, artists take a loss by submitting a piece for a lot less than they can sell it elsewhere, but the ability to put their art in the hands of anyone is something that sets this show aside from most.

Oregon artist John Dillinger has been blowing glass for over 19 years. He’s also acquired a large following of collectors during this time, but still takes the time to submit entries. Submitting piece the last two years, the experienced glassblower says he gets a lot out of the event.

“I like the concept behind the 1k Show because of the price point and the people that are running the show,” Dillinger says. “It is good exposure for my work, and shows that artists are still kicking in the glass scene.”  

Inside The 1K Show—Miami's Annual Cannabis and Glass Convention

Courtesy of John Dillinger

Although the majority were Florida-residents, lots of attendees traveled from as far as Texas, Colorado, California, and Massachusetts to check out the art. More than 100 people lined up at 4pm, making the competition to get a popular submission in the show a lot harder. While not everyone walked out with a piece, most people who arrived early were there to invest in glass.

In typical “bigger and better every year” fashion, the 1k Show has grown in size with every event. The artist list has continued to impress with over 100 different names, and the supporters continue to return, which is why the organizers make sure to switch things up.

“Our artist lineup changes every year to bring fresh art to our collectors,” Errl Chamo explains. “Not only do we exhibit recognized names, but we also showcase worldwide up and coming artists. For example, this year Japanese artist Azul’s entries were scooped by a local collector that fell in love with the work not even knowing who the artist was.”

Although glass was the medium that took center stage there were other forms of art on display, too. Artists Emerge710, Wook Wookerson, and Louichyz had canvas art and graffiti work available for purchase as well. Wookerson’s “No Deal” art line showcased his unique approach at social commentary, in addition to cannabis and nostalgic cartoon references. Emerge710 spent the event live-painting a Darth Vader mural on a brick wall that was eventually displayed upon completion. Simultaneously, Florida-based artist Louichyz was live-painting a psychedelic cat.

Attendees seem to be very appreciative of the opportunity to have access to art they’d otherwise have to shell out more money to acquire.

“The idea of a show where artists of every caliber offer pieces for the same exact price point is absolutely revolutionary,” says TrapWook, who traveled from Buffalo, New York, to make it to the show. “I was traveling to different glass shows for three to four years before attending the first 1k Show in 2017, and most of the time the setups were the same: you brought as much cash as you could, and hoped to find a piece in your price range that wasn’t already purchased.”

1K Show’s organizers have already announced that they’ll be seeing everyone again early next year for another installment, according to their Instagram. Until then, leftover pieces remain on sale and entries from the show are available as well on their site.

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Israeli Ministry of Health Approves Therapeutic MDMA for PTSD Treatment

After a government representative was sent to learn about the substance from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Israel has approved the use of MDMA to treat PTSD on 50 patients.

“The ministry is taking this seriously and with appropriate caution, an in-depth investigation has been carried out,” Ministry of Health official Bella Ben-Gershon told Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “There is a considerable population in Israel of people suffering from PTSD that is resistant to other treatment.” Treatment will take place in Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and psychiatric hospitals in Be’er Yaakov, Lev Hasharon, and Be’er Sheva.

MDMA’s effects on PTSD are considered by many to be a crucial point of research. It is estimated that 8 percent of US residents have PTSD at any one time, for a total of 24.4 million people. That rate rises considerably when one looks at the country’s population of veterans, for whom the rate varies between 11 and 20 percent.

States-side, there has also been key movement on the issue. MAPS has announced a $26.9 million strategy to convince the FDA to make MDMA an approved medication by 2021. The organization’s representatives met with the FDA to answer the government entity’s questions regarding a protocol that MAPS submitted for similar tests to take place in the United States. In 2017, the FDA approved two Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA’s effects on the symptoms of PTSD, dubbing it a “breakthrough therapy.

In some states, politicians are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to the drug’s availability for therapeutic purposes. Earlier this month, an Iowa state representative spoke out against the prohibition of MDMA and other hallucinogenic drugs. “A significant body of research indicates that there are substantial medical benefits,” said State Rep. Jeff Shipley, a Republican.

Approval of MDMA in the future would not be the first time that the drug was allowed for use in psychotherapy. In the ‘70s, the substance was utilized in therapy. But by 1985, MDMA was deemed a Schedule I drug. In 2001, the government increased sentencing requirements in the face of the drug’s popularity within the rave scene — as it currently stands, penalties are 500 times higher than those of cannabis.

Two years ago, the U.S. Sentencing Committee began a process to review MDMA’s sentencing guidelines.

“This is an opportunity to learn a lesson from history and get it right this time,” said Jag Davies, director of communications and strategy at the Drug Policy Alliance, at the time. “People who use psychedelics or MDMA shouldn’t be vulnerable to any form of criminal punishment.”

Alternative therapies have been the subject of much interest when it comes to the treatment of PTSD. In February, MAPS announced that it had overcome significant institutional and governmental hurdles to successfully complete the world’s first clinical trial of the impact smoking cannabis has on PTSD symptoms.

PTSD is not the only condition being examined and treated with MDMA. Last year, research uncovered positive effects when the drug was taken by autistic adults. The investigation further suggests that MDMA improves symptoms of social anxiety and caused less avoidance of social interaction.

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Canadian Health Officials Recommend Limiting THC in Edibles to 5mg

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has called for THC limits for edible cannabis products to be set at a maximum of 5 milligrams per package. The recommendation is part of a brief submitted to Health Canada as the federal health agency develops regulations for marijuana edibles and extracts, which are scheduled to be legalized in Canada later this year. The country legalized cannabis flower and oils for recreational use and sale in October of last year.

Under current regulations for medical marijuana products, cannabis edibles are capped at 10 milligrams of THC per package. But the CCSA, an agency that was created by Parliament to provide national leadership to address substance use, believes that the maximum allowed should be lowered for several reasons. The CCSA brief notes that edible products can be unwittingly ingested by children or adults who are not aware they contain THC, that edibles carry a risk of over-consumption because of the increased time for ingested THC to take effect, and “the duration of impairment associated with the increased duration of effect when THC is ingested rather than smoked.” A smaller unit size would also allow for more selective and accurate dosing, according to the brief.

Protecting Public Health

Rebecca Jesseman, the director of policy for the CCSA, said in a press release this week that cannabis regulations should be developed cautiously and from a public health perspective.

“Taking a public health approach to regulating cannabis applies the same principle as taking a harm reduction approach to using cannabis: Start low and go slow,” Jesseman said.

The statement noted that “cannabis containing high levels of THC is associated with greater health risks and harms, including increased levels of impairment, dependence and experience of psychotic episodes.”

In a television interview, Jesseman said that the recommendation would protect children who accidentally consume cannabis edibles.

“A five-year-old gets to a chocolate bar that only has 5 milligrams of THC they’re not going to be in as scary a medical situation as if they had eaten a chocolate bar with 50 to 100 milligrams of THC,” said Jesseman.

The CCSA hopes to avoid a situation like the one experienced in Colorado when unregulated THC levels in edible products caused a 50 percent jump in calls to the poison control center for marijuana exposure in children in the first year of legalization.

In addition to the 5 milligram THC limit, the brief from the CCSA also included recommendations for public education and the packaging and labeling of cannabis products. The agency acknowledged that some may find the recommendations to be very strict, but said that it would be easier to relax regulations in the future if they are deemed too tight than it would be to make them tighter.

“Beginning with more restrictive regulations and providing opportunities to expand them over time is easier and less costly to industry than trying to impose more restrictive regulations should there be unanticipated negative impacts,” the brief reads.

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In Praise of Going to Therapy Stoned

Upon first thought, going to therapy stoned sounds like a bad idea and a waste of money–but is it? Could cannabis actually enhance sessions and help clients get the most out of their treatment? Maybe those of us who go to therapy stone-cold-sober are doing it all wrong.  Mental healthcare is expensive, and there’s nothing worse than leaving a therapy session feeling like you didn’t get anywhere or kept emotions bottled up. For some, however, weed is the antidote.

Let’s face it: Therapy can be awkward–even stressful. If you’re someone who gets anxious before a session, you’re in good company;  plenty of people experience at least a little worry surrounding therapy. While therapy is beneficial for treating anxiety and various mental illnesses, the thought of heading to an appointment might very well get your heart racing. Therapists will often encourage you to dig up the darkest parts of your past and to challenge unhealthy thoughts that you’re having. Doing that is definitely not easy or fun.

Enter our friend, Mary Jane.

If you’re not the kind of person who turns into a quiet zombie while smoking, going to therapy stoned could be beneficial. Dealing with trauma in therapy is often a tricky process in which you have to talk about painful experiences that can be emotionally draining.

29-year-old Alayna K. says going to therapy stoned helps her process trauma in a much less painful way. She says that going to therapy high the first time wasn’t a premeditated plan. During her first mind-altered session, however, she found there was a great difference in the way she felt. “I realized it was helping me and easing me into talking about hard things,” she says. “During the session, I was relaxed and calm, and could tell my therapist things I didn’t think I was ready to.”

Alayna doesn’t smoke before every therapy session, but when she does, she takes note of both emotional and physical benefits. “[Cannabis] slows me down and keeps my heart rate from skyrocketing from thinking about my trauma,” she says. “It just makes me look at things from afar and process them. Things that normally wouldn’t roll off my [tongue]  are suddenly easier to speak about.”

Perhaps most importantly, Alayna’s weed-therapy combo has helped her come to a monumental treatment milestone regarding her past trauma. “It opens my eyes. I can see that things weren’t my fault and that it’s okay that I froze when I did.”

Imagine how many people pop a Xanax before therapy. Therapists don’t see a problem with that, do they?

Even folks who aren’t in therapy for trauma may find attending appointments anxiety-inducing. Gabriela Herstik, 25, has been going to therapy stoned for the past year. She’s found that going to therapy stoned significantly lessens her anxiety surrounding talking about what makes her anxious.

She confesses, “Although there have been times where this has made my experience a little more difficult (A.K.A. I got a little too stoned) for the most part I feel like when I smoke, I not only have less trouble communicating my emotions, but it’s also easier for me to connect with them in the first place.”

Herstik explains that sometimes just the idea of talking about what makes her anxious sparks her anxiety. Thus, weed helps her relax and avoid fixating on anxious thoughts before a session. “I find that when I turn up to my therapist office high I open up easier, and feel more comfortable diving into what’s really on my mind,” she says. “Sometimes it just gets me talking, sometimes I feel like it allows me to connect to my heart so I can express what’s going on from a more authentic place.”

Nina A., 28, has been in therapy for 10 years for generalized anxiety disorder and depression. She agrees that cannabis helps her get the most out of therapy. “I do my best thinking on the ride up to therapy, stoned,” she claims. During her hour-long commute to the therapist’s office, she organizes her thoughts and plans for the session. “I start to pull all of my swirling thoughts for the week down onto paper or into more of a developed thought on my way there,” she says. “I start to organize my ideas or concepts for the week that have floated around. I really think being stoned kinda helps with the fluidity of that process.”

Upon arriving at therapy, Nina shares the same sentiment as Gabriela: cannabis helps her open up. “When I get to therapy I definitely flow more freely with thoughts,” she admits. “I might jump around more, but I think it allows me to access the emotional leads of my thoughts.”

For a mental health professional’s point of view, we spoke to Arizona-based therapist and holistic life coach Vivian Nelson Melle, who also happens to be a medical marijuana patient. She tells me she does not have a problem with clients attending therapy stoned. In fact, she sees benefits to it. “I think cannabis as a treatment for behavioral health should have the same acceptance as pharmaceuticals,” she contends.

Think about it: Imagine how many people pop a Xanax before therapy. Therapists don’t see a problem with that, do they?

Nelson Melle believes that cannabis lowers inhibitions, making a person more open to talking and being honest. “It basically cuts the amount of time needed to be real and get down to the nitty-gritty,” she says.

This theory is in line with the experiences that Alayna, Gabriela, and Nina have shared with us. Weed helps them to feel less reluctant to open up in therapy, thereby getting more in touch with their feelings and right down to the “nitty-gritty.”

But going to therapy stoned isn’t something everyone should do. Nelson Melle says that anyone who is on probation, dealing with courts, or child protective services should avoid using cannabis and going to therapy.  “Basically, anyone who could endanger court cases shouldn’t go to therapy high,” she says. “[A therapist] would likely know if they have to do drug testing. And although I would not report people using cannabis without a card, I think clients should be very cautious using without a medical marijuana card. There are too many counselors who will report it, especially if [a patient has] children. They’ll often call CPS (child protective services). I’ve seen that done. Some drug treatments also don’t allow treatment to continue if cannabis is found in the system, so if the care is in coordination with drug treatment, the client needs to weigh the benefits. For some, cannabis is more helpful than traditional drug treatment. Again, it depends on the client.”

So, if you’re in therapy and also an avid cannabis consumer, you might just want to give this unique approach to therapy a go. It could be the solution you’re looking for if you feel like you’re hitting a wall in your treatment or dreading every appointment. When it comes down to it, whether or not you want to try going to therapy stoned is entirely up to you–but why wouldn’t you make the most of it, and enhance your session?

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Oklahoma House Passes Medical Cannabis Protection Bill

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program has divided patients and health professionals, voters and their elected officials. But a new bill, which cleared the House floor Thursday with a 93-5 vote, aims to create unity on the issue. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act represents a bipartisan effort to craft new rules for the state program. It also marks the culmination of a working group’s efforts to create a framework based on input from proponents and opponents of State Question 788.

Oklahoma’s New Medical Marijuana Rulebook Just Passed in the House

Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City), Oklahoma’s House Speaker and co-chair of the working group behind HB 2612, said the goal of the Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act “is not to fix every issue or deal with every issue that will pop up.”

Instead, Echols said the goal was to establish a framework for the booming industry and move on from there. That framework came as a result of 13 meetings group members held with pro-legalization advocates who helped craft SQ 788 and the law enforcement and medical trade groups who opposed the ballot initiative.

Here’s How Oklahoma’s “Unity Bill” Protects Patients

Among the most important provisions of HB 2612 are those which protect patients and their access to medical cannabis. The bill prohibits any restrictions on the types and forms of medical marijuana and products, quelling fears about a ban on smokable products. And it prohibits any limitations on the amount or quantity of THC products can contain.

The bill protects the housing and education rights of medical cannabis patients. It prohibits schools or landlords from refusing to enroll or lease to medical marijuana licensees. And it protects against sanction in the workplace by prohibiting employers from discriminating against medical marijuana licensees. HB 2612 equally protects parents from losing custody or visitation rights for lawful medical cannabis use. It even protects those around medical cannabis licensees—like friends, family, and caregivers—from drug possession or use charges.

These are just some of the many protections HB 2612 puts in place for patients. There are too many to list. The bill also lays out a host of regulatory and licensing guidelines for business, patients, and caregivers. It establishes testing and labeling requirements. In short, it is a comprehensive framework for a program that enjoyed an accelerated start.

Oklahoma’s Medical Cannabis Program Could See Even More Changes in 2019

After passing the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act on Wednesday, state lawmakers still have a long lineup of proposals to consider. Each would tweak the state’s medical marijuana law in its own way, and most in less patient-friendly ways than HB 2612.

Republican Sen. Ronnie Paxton’s (Tuttle) bill would institute harsher penalties for patients who forget to carry their medical card. Republican Sen. Julie Daniels’ (Bartlesville) bill would add exempt “safety-sensitive jobs” from workplace protections for medical licensees. But it would also prevent the state from revoking or withholding a concealed carry license for medical patients. Sen Kim David’s (R-Porter) bill would fine patients who violated personal possession limits. Still, other bills would let counties opt out of medical cannabis, impose higher taxes on patients and businesses, and fine anyone who fakes a medical card.

Efforts like these by Republican lawmakers are largely responsible for the divisiveness around the issue of medical cannabis–the same divisiveness House lawmakers are now trying to mend. But with a strong network of advocacy groups and popular support, pro-patient groups in Oklahoma have succeeded at pushing back. The important protections in HB 2612 are solid proof. Now, it’s up to the Senate to agree.

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New Hampshire House Green Lights Marijuana Legalization Bill

New Hampshire could be moving closer to legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. Yesterday, lawmakers in the New Hampshire House approved a legalization bill. Although this is in many ways a big step forward for the state’s legalization movement, there are still a number of potentially big roadblocks before full-scale legalization becomes a reality.

House Approves Legalization Bill

Yesterday, the New Hampshire House voted in favor of a bill to legalize the use of marijuana. Specifically, the bill won by a 207-139 margin.

Now, the bill will move on the New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee. And then after that, it will also have to move on to additional rounds of review, voting, and approval.

The question of cannabis legalization has become increasingly important in New Hampshire in recent years. One reason for the growing sense of urgency on this issue is that many of New Hampshire’s neighbors are either legalizing or considering legalizing marijuana.

This includes states like Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont, that have legalized recreational marijuana in one form or another.

In any case, lawmakers in New Hampshire have been seriously considering the question in recent months. The bill approved by the House this week would make it legal for adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis. Additionally, it would make it legal for adults to grow a limited number of plants.

However, the bill did not include anything to set up a regulatory system for actual retail. Such a bill would make it legal for adults to possess and consume weed, but would not provide any framework for cannabis businesses to sell weed.

Support for Legalization

As reported by the AP, a new survey from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center found that over two-thirds of New Hampshire adults support legalizing marijuana.

Similarly, there are a number of lawmakers who are becoming increasingly outspoken in their support of legalization. For example, Rep. Keith Ammon told the AP that legalizing weed would carry important symbolic value.

“It looks bad for the reputation of the Live Free or Die to be an island of prohibition surrounded by a sea of freedom,” he said.

Similarly, Rep. Renny Cushing said that legalization could have important implications for tourism in the state. Conversely, failing to legalize could have a negative effect, according to Cushing.

“The idea that New Hampshire is going to be this sole place where it’s not an option available I think will have a detrimental impact on the state,” he said. “The time is now. We need to move forward.”

Roadblocks Facing Current Legalization Bill

Interestingly, one of the potential roadblocks facing this most current bill is actually an effort to study and prepare for legalization.

Last year, New Hampshire established a commission to study pathways to legalization. The group’s final report is reportedly not due until November.

In the meantime, opponents of New Hampshire’s current legalization bill are calling for the state to hold off on any actions until the commission completes its study and makes its recommendations,

On that timeline, November would be the earliest that lawmakers could begin taking concrete action toward legalization.

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Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Allow School Nurses to Administer Medical Cannabis

Virginia lawmakers approved a bill last week that will allow school nurses in the state to administer medical cannabis to students on campus and at school events. The bill, SB1632, also protects students with the proper medical certification from suspension or expulsion for possessing THC-A or CBD oil. The bill was passed on February 23 in the House of Delegates by a margin of 95-1 and unanimously in the Senate by a vote of 40-0.

Under current laws, possession of all forms of cannabis is prohibited and can result in expulsion and referral to law enforcement for prosecution. The measure was introduced in January by Sen. Glen Sturtevant, a Republican from Richmond, who said then that young people should have the same opportunity to use cannabis medications as other prescription drugs.

“Virginia students and their families depend on new, safely produced and regulated cannabidiol and THC-A oils to treat a host of potentially debilitating conditions,” said Sturtevant.

A staffer from Sturtevant’s office said that the bill had the support of teachers and school administrators.

“Both the Virginia School Board Assn. and the Virginia Education Assn. spoke in favor of the bill in subcommittee,” said legislative aide Nikki Thacker.

Under the bill, the Virginia Department of Health Professions will be required to create a standardized form for health professionals and the dispensing pharmaceutical processors to document student certifications. Diane Powers, director of communications at the department, said that the form would not be ready until next school year.

“The form cannot be implemented until after the law becomes effective July 1, 2019 and the oils will likely not be available for obtaining from a pharmaceutical processor until later this fall,” Powers said.

Jenn Michelle Pedini, the executive director of the Virginia chapter of the National Organization of Marijuana Reform Laws, applauded lawmakers for passing the bill.

“We are incredibly pleased that the Virginia General Assembly recognized the importance of ensuring students have access to these medicines without disruption to the school day,” said Pedini. “Now, instead of parents having to take their children off campus to administer their medicine, school health care providers will be able to provide necessary doses just as they would any other pharmaceutical.”

Second Bill Expands Access to MMJ

Also last week, Virginia legislators passed another bill, SB1157, which will allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants, in addition to doctors, to write recommendations for patients to use THC-A and CBD oil. The bill also will permit regulators to create rules for a broader range of medicinal cannabis therapies, such as topicals, capsules, lozenges, and suppositories.

SB1557 was introduced by Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, who is also a physician and advocate for increased access to medicinal cannabis. She said that the bill will allow patients easier access to their medicine of choice.

“Allowing nurse practitioners to make treatment available will shorten the wait time and suffering for patients dealing with pain,” Dunnavant said. “It is an effective way for physicians to offer low-cost and low-risk remedies to their patients.”

Both bills are now awaiting the signature of Gov. Ralph Northam.

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Classing Up Cannabis: Designing A Dispensary For An Ideal Customer Experience

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. 

When medical cannabis was first legalized in California in 1996, the concept of cannabis branding was essentially non-existent. Dispensaries looked less like retail stores and more like back-alley speakeasies with bars on the window and a generally uninviting atmosphere, accented by packaging products in Ziplock baggies.

Fast-forward twenty years, and the landscape is drastically different. Instead of being sketchy holes in the wall, most dispensaries resemble Apple stores. So, what happened? How did cannabis dispensaries change, and what are the design elements that prospective dispensary owners can implement in their stores? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, we’ve got answers for you.

Great Lighting

Good dispensary design starts with good lighting. When the first handful of cannabis dispensaries opened their doors in the late ‘90s, most were illuminated with harsh fluorescent lights that glared in customers’ eyes and made everything feel and look dingy. Most contemporary dispensaries have done away with hospital lighting in favor of a more pleasant experience.

In order to create a more pleasant lighting experience in your cannabis dispensary, try and utilize the three types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task lighting. Ambient lighting is used to illuminate the room, usually in the form of recessed lighting. Task lighting, on the other hand, performs a specific purpose and often appears in the form of direction light fixtures, pendant lighting, or a simple desk lamp. Accent lighting is used for aesthetic purposes, such as a chandelier, although it may also serve a functional purpose as well.

By understanding how the three types of lighting interact, you can help give your cannabis dispensary an inviting atmosphere. Start with your ambient lighting to get a general feel for your store, and then move on to accent lighting. Is there a place in the store that you want people to focus on? Try placing some accent lighting to draw in their attention.

Classing Up Cannabis: The Great Dispensary Design

Courtesy of Good Chemistry

One dispensary that does a good job with lighting is Good Chemistry. This dispensary has been able to create a warm and inviting storefront that would make any shop owner jealous. They use a combination of task and accent lighting to draw customers to the kiosks in the middle of the store. Notice how the ambient lighting illuminates the store, but doesn’t overpower the senses? You don’t have to copy this lighting scheme yourself. Do take note of how the three types of lighting interact, however, and use that to your advantage.

Customer Education

Not everyone is well-versed in what constitutes good cannabis. And for those people, walking into a 420 retail store can be intimidating. What’s the difference between Blueberry Kush and Lemon Kush? Is it the flavor? Will I get too high? These are the kinds of questions customers and patients will ask, and consequently, dispensary owners need to dedicate some of their resources to customer education.

Naturally, this involves having a team of educated budtenders. But it also goes deeper than that. To start, cannabis products need to be displayed in such a way that customers can easily identify and inspect them. For example, MedMen has clear plastic containers that have dry flower in them and vents so customers can get a whiff of the herb. In front of those containers are tablets that contain information about the strain, including: name, potency, and a detailed breakdown of its cannabinoids. Though many customers don’t particularly care about the percentage of THC-A in their cannabis, being able to see and smell what the product will go a long way in terms of improving customer experience.

Another way to improve customers education is to place educational pamphlets in a convenient location. While having great budtenders and hi-tech tablets is great, some people feel uncomfortable asking questions and would rather find out what each cannabinoid does on their own. Simple, easy to read pamphlets are a great way to ensure this customer isn’t left out of an educational experience.

An Open Floor Plan

Going back to the dispensaries of yesterday, one of the most unpleasant parts about old dispensaries is how crowded they felt– they almost felt like pawn shops. Nowadays, strict regulations limit where a dispensary is located. However, no matter the location of your dispensary, the goal should be to give your customers as much space as possible. The best way to do this is by going with an open floor plan.

Classing Up Cannabis: The Great Dispensary Design

Courtesy of Serra

The term “open floor plan” generally refers to spaces which make use of large and open spaces, and minimizes the use of small rooms. An open floor plan free of clutter can help put your customers at ease and make them feel more comfortable browsing. When considering an open floor plan, keep these things in mind

Keep it clockwise: Most people, at least in North America, look at things and move from left to right. Try arranging your store in such a way that customers move through your store in a clockwise direction. Not only will it make the purchasing processing flow more naturally, but it will help customers relax.

Slow it Down:As much as you would like to have customers coming in and out as fast as possible, great design doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, retailers will strategically place specials or popular items in certain places to help slow down the customer and give them the opportunity to make an impulse purchase. Just make sure that your “speed bumps” don’t end up blocking the customer’s movement through the store.

Use Creative Displays: If you’ve ever been in a grocery store, then the odds are pretty high that you’ve seen creative displays where products (usually soda packs) are put together to create a visually pleasing tiered formation. You don’t necessarily have to create a gigantic pyramid of all your best-selling products, but you should at least experiment with blocking together some of your products (or at least their packaging) and putting them in visually pleasing geometric shapes.

Manage Your Customer Flow

When it comes to owning a dispensary, good days are busy days. Every business owner wants as many customers as possible in their store at all times. But if you don’t have a way to manage all of those customers, it could be a disaster. That’s why it’s critical to design a store that takes customer lines into consideration.

You may find yourself torn over how much space to dedicate to customer lines and browsing, and honestly, there is no simple solution. However, if you’ve adopted an open floor plan you should be able to relieve some of the tension that comes with customer queuing. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a space for customer lines.

Classing Up Cannabis: The Great Dispensary Design

Courtesy of Reef Dispensaries

Keep Them Busy: One way to reduce the stress of your customers waiting in line is to find ways of keeping them busy. MedMen, for instance, has a budtender relay a customer’s order, which allows a customer to continue browsing the store while they wait. Not only does this make the wait seem shorter, but it also gives them an opportunity to make any last-minute impulse purchases.

Keep it Fair: Large lines can turn nasty in a flash, and one of the largest contributors to this turn is perceived unfairness. Maybe someone cut someone in line or darted over to another shorter line. Either way, people can become disgruntled quickly. If you can, try implementing a single line or a ticketing system to give everyone waiting for service a sense of fairness and order.

Encourage Customer Feedback: The easiest way to improve your customer flow is by asking your customers about their experience. At the end of the purchasing process, ask your customers to participate in a short survey and find out about their experience. To increase the number of people taking your survey, try offering discounts or free items in exchange for their participation.

Crafting a well-designed dispensary can be difficult, but it is not impossible. You don’t need to be the trendiest or the coolest person on the planet in order to come up with a good dispensary design. Just follow the fundamentals. Make sure your shop is properly lit and gives off an inviting atmosphere, keep educational resources on hand so customers feel comfortable shopping, and make sure you keep your dispensary open and free of clutter.

Most of all, design your dispensary with the customer in mind. Taking their feelings into account will help you achieve a beautiful and well-designed cannabis dispensary.

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Josh Wolf Brings Smoking Baby Hand And High Live To High Times TV

Since the dawn of time, mankind has used the universal language of humor to communicate their feelings. From cavemen leaving crude phallus jokes on the side of walls to kings in Europe flatulating during grace, everyone can appreciate a little laughter. Josh Wolf is no stranger to the comedy stage, with over 25-years under his belt spent honing his craft he’s seen the peaks and valleys that have sent other comics back to their day job wondering about what could have been. With multiple podcasts, a YouTube channel, and appearances on countless television shows, it’s difficult to understand how he has time for the comedy circuit—or himself. We caught up with Josh while he was in Connecticut for a string of shows along the East Coast to ask him about his childhood, cannabis use, and his upcoming show High Live that’s airing on High Times TV.

High Times: So first off, we gotta say, you were super funny on My Name Is Earl. What was it like working on that show?

Josh Wolf: Wow you really dig deep! I gotta say, working with Greg Garcia (Creator) is fantastic because he is a genius in so many ways and he knows how to write about people in a way that checks every box. For every character he creates there’s always someone you know personally that you can say, I know that guy. His writing is so good and he doesn’t dumb it down for anyone. There was an episode where I needed to be naked for a scene and I asked him if he wanted me to get a tan because I’m so pale I’m light blue, and he glared at me and said, ‘don’t you dare!’ He just knows the right amount of absurdity a story needs.

Our favorite sitcoms were always in that realm of absurdity, shows like Married With Children helped me develop my sense of humor growing up. Where did your style of comedy come from?

I relate it to my time in med school. You spend four years as an undergrad, figuring out stuff about yourself: what you like, what you hate, and after four years you might say fuck this and go do something completely different. For the first four to five years if you’re not trying on different masks, then you’re not doing it right. I can’t tell you how many times I went on stage and tried things that I was 100 percent sure wasn’t going to work—and I was right—but I could check those off the list. Then eventually you settle-in and realize, ‘Ahh. This is what I’m supposed to do.’

The best example I can give you is that up until a few years ago, I still thought I had to attack certain jokes with this intensity like Bill Burr or Joe Rogan, two guys I really admire. I would try to work that intensity into my stories, and it just wasn’t me—the comedy chooses you. If Bill came out and talked about flowers you’d be like, ‘who the fuck is this guy?’ I fought it for years and years because I wanted to be a comic’s comic. But my audience comes to see me, and I’m the silly man. The biggest compliment that someone can give me in a meet and greet is that they had fun, that’s what I’m all about. I only do things I have fun doing. That’s it. That’s my brand.

Do you think that attitude comes from being comfortable with yourself at a certain age? I know you’re a grandfather now.  

Yeah, man. I’ve got four [grandchildren] now, and I think it really comes with being comfortable in your own skin, it’s all about personal belief and knowing who you are. We both know people that walk into a room and they just have this aura around them where you can’t stop looking. Those are the people that are the most comfortable with themselves because there’s a certain confidence you get when you say, ‘fuck it, this is me.’

What do you hope to achieve with this new venture on High Times TV?

I love doing my High Live. Number one, it is the coolest, most chill, hang you will ever have. The people on my show are the coolest people on the internet. We’ve had people meet on the show and hang out in real life. Every now and then we get an asshole and they’ll bombard that person and kick them out—[the show] polices itself. It’s a weird social experiment. You get to see someone go from totally sober to ‘that person shouldn’t drive home’ over the course of an hour.

For the first fifteen minutes, I talk about the weed and there are people who just tune in for that. Then from the fifteen to forty-five-minute mark that’s where you see me at my most high. I’m interactive, I’m chatty, I’m laughing, and playing the guitar. I bring out gags like the smoking baby hand. Then the last part of the show is a disaster. The edibles hit, I’ve smoked two joints and some people just tune in for that. I say it all the time, but it’s literally my favorite hour of the week and it’s really helped my stand up immensely.

Speaking of that, do you use cannabis while performing?

I never get high and go out and do a show. I eat edibles before my late show, but it’s different for the early show. I don’t want someone to come out and think ‘I didn’t come here to see someone get high.’ So I tell people all the time that if this bothers you—I understand. You’re not a hostage, if you wanna get up and go it’s not gonna hurt my feelings. But about forty-five minutes in I’m going to get high, the show may run longer but I’m loose and it’s fun. I’ve developed some of my favorite bits during these times and gone down paths I never would have gone if I would have been sober. So those late shows on Friday and Saturday allow me to dig a little bit deeper and the High Live has given me the confidence to do that.

When did you first start using cannabis?

I was about 14-years-old, this was back when you could smoke a whole joint and all you would get is a headache—it’s not like the stuff we have now. But I was getting it from this guy and he had me convinced that the more seeds your bag had, the better the quality because you could plant them and you’d get more. So I remember I fell for that for a couple of months until I told my brother, and showed him a bag that’s two fingers of seeds and one finger of little buds. I thought I was going to be rich and he was laughing like, ‘you’re so dumb, what’re gonna do with that? Plant it in moms garden? What’s your endgame here?’

But I didn’t smoke much in college and for a while, I was a single dad. During that time I didn’t smoke because I didn’t have a backup or a partner just in case shit went down. I didn’t think with me being the only parent that getting high was the right thing to do at that point. But, as soon as I got together with my wife she asked me, ‘do you always smoke so much?’ because I made up for lost time.

I only smoke during High Live. Other than that I only eat edibles. Before High Live starts, I’ll eat a 150mg Cheeba Chew and I’ll smoke some kind of sativa. I really like Maui’s and Durban Poison–something that really gets the creativity going. Then at the end of the show I like to smoke a heavier Indica, I’ve been really into Bruce Banner.

Catch Josh Wolf every Monday on High Times TV with his show, High Live. You can also listen to his podcast Prinze and the Wolf, which airs weekly and features America’s sweetheart, Freddie Prinze Jr.

Download the HIGH TIMES TV app on Roku, Apple TV, IOS and Android to watch HIGH LIVE 
  • Apple App Store
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  • Roku
And don’t forget to visit High Times TV

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San Francisco DA Plans to Expunge or Reduce Over 9,000 Marijuana Convictions

On Monday, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that his office would be taking on more than 9,300 cannabis related cases, expunging them from people’s criminal records, reducing them from felony to misdemeanor, or from misdemeanor to infraction.

“It was just a matter of dignity,” Gascón told the press.

But the step to help right the Drug War’s historical wrongs is also required by California law. Mass expungement and charge reductions have challenged many law enforcement agencies in what they say is bureaucratic complexity, but they are seen as central as part of the process of restitutions for eras of racially biased policing.

San Francisco is the first county in the state to announce full compliance with the record-change process stipulated by AB 1793, a regulation related to Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana in California that “requires automation of this process across the state” for charge reductions or expungements, Rodney Holcombe, Drug Policy Alliance staff attorney, told High Times.

Luckily, the City By the Bay, which has become a center of programming technology worldwide due to its proximity to Silicon Valley, found an agile partner to help with the alleged bureaucratic morass; a 501(c)3 non-profit named Code for America, which looks to link the public sector with technological solutions.

Code For America’s director Jennifer Pahlka told media representatives that it is now working with other California districts to identify cannabis cases that are eligible for expungement or reduction of charges. It is estimated that in Los Angeles alone, there are 40,000 felony convictions since 1993 that could be eligible for reduction or expungement.

San Francisco’s purge is an important step taken by a city that recently, has made national headlines for its prejudiced law enforcement. In 2010 and 2011, Black people comprised 6 percent of San Francisco’s population, yet they comprised half of arrests related to marijuana charges. In October, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against SF when it was found that its police officers were exclusively targeting the Black population in undercover drug operations.

In the absence of automated systems for dealing with past cannabis crimes, many San Franciscans had to hire lawyers and pay court fees to get their cannabis records cleared or charges reduced post-Prop 64. A grand total of 23 people were able to successfully complete the tedious and costly process over the three years prior to the DA’s automation partnership with Code For America, which was first announced in May.

State drug policy advocates hope that now that the technology has been identified, more expungements and reductions will be on the way. “My hope is that San Francisco will now consider automating other record-change processes so that folks are no longer subject to the retributive and often lifelong consequences attached to non-cannabis convictions,” said Holcombe.

Drug Policy Alliance deputy state director Laura Thomas hopes that the move will provide a model for other districts to take the lead on post-cannabis prohibition justice. “Even convictions from many years ago can have an impact on people’s lives now and this will ensure that doesn’t happen,” she commented to High Times. “We hope that other prosecutors around the country follow [Gascon’s] lead.”

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