Georgia Senate Votes in Favor of Medical Marijuana Access Bill

The Georgia Senate voted to approve a bill on Friday that would give medical marijuana patients a legal avenue to obtain their medicine. Under the bill, HB 324, a regulated system for growing, processing, and distributing cannabis oil would be established. Georgia’s medical marijuana program only permits the use of cannabis oil with no more than 5 percent THC by registered patients with one or more of 16 qualifying serious medical conditions. However, current regulations do not allow for medical marijuana cultivation, processing, or sales, which leaves patients with no way to legally obtain cannabis oil. The bill was approved by the Georgia House of Representatives earlier this month.

The Senate voted 44-8 to pass the measure on Friday, but only after significant changes were made by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Wednesday. Under the Senate version, only two cultivation licenses would be issued by the state, one for a large operation and one for a small grower, instead of the 10 licenses in the House bill. Amendments also reduced the number of retail dispensaries for the state’s 8,400 registered patients from 60 to 10. The Senate’s amendments also would allow two universities to create cannabis research and manufacturing programs. Another change made by the Senate committee would create a commission to regulate the sourcing of cannabis oil from other states.

“That will be the fastest way — for sure— to get products our citizens need,” said Sen. Bill Cowsert.

Mom Seeks Support of Lawmakers

Before the bill was approved by the committee on Wednesday, a tearful Shannon Cloud pleaded with senators for their support of the measure. Her 13-year-old daughter has a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, which can cause dozens or even hundreds of seizures per day.

“Every morning, when my daughter wakes up, I wait to see when I go into her room: is she going to be breathing or am I going to find her face down in her pillow?” Cloud said. “If that one seizure can be prevented and that’s the one that can take her life, then that’s why we need access to this medicine.”

Rep. Micah Gravley, the bill’s sponsor in the House, addressed concerns that cannabis oil would still be illegal under federal law, saying the bill would send a message to residents of Georgia that “your state is going to give you immunity to treat your loved one with something you know works when all the other prescriptions have not worked.”

Gravley emphasized that the bill “is not tied to legalizing recreational use for kids and adults.”

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan apparently believes otherwise, however, saying after the vote that “there is no part of me that wants any steps toward recreational marijuana.”

Sen. Matt Brass argued for passage of the bill, saying that it would allow families with sick children to more easily access cannabis oil.

“Some may argue that this is not medicine,” Brass said. “But we had testimony of children having 80 to 100 seizures a day, but after taking the oil are having just one a week.”

HB 324 will now head back to the House for consideration of the Senate’s amendments. To pass, both bodies will have to approve a compromise measure before the end of the legislative session on Tuesday. Without elaborating further, Gravley said that there are “many, many problems” with the Senate’s version of the bill.

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Humboldt Farms Handing Out Bouquets To Celebrate Los Angeles Debut

California is in super bloom, a dramatic ramp-up of its wildflower population caused by the state’s recent heavy rain and ideal warmth conditions. Perhaps touring the poppy fields in Antelope Valley or Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s lilies and primroses is the perfect stoned activity. At any rate, the super bloom has one California cannabis company thinking floral. Throughout the weekend of March 30th, Humboldt Farms is celebrating its products’ arrival to Los Angeles by passing out flower bouquets to dispensary customers.

The company is aiming for nature vibes with its product line, which includes flower, resin, and vape cartridges. Lisa Curiel Parker, Humboldt Farms communication and marketing manager, hyped that earthy link when she told High Times about this weekend’s flower giveaway with LA’s The Unlikely Florist, calling the company “completely in tune to the beautiful nature in the state.”

Humboldt Farms was founded in 2016, and puts a focus on sourcing sun-grown cannabis from farmers who have been in the Northern California cannabis industry for upwards of a decade.

“Humboldt Farms is a family business and knows the county’s rich history,” says Curiel Parker. The company likes to hype the fact that indoor cannabis grow ops constitute 3 percent of California’s energy usage — a rather staggering figure in a state with a population of over 39 million.

Fans of sun-grown buds will be pleased to know that Humboldt only recently started selling its products in Los Angeles. Those looking to snag one of its free bouquets in celebration of the SoCal arrival should keep their eyes peeled for The Unlikely Florist’s VW van outside one of the company’s distributing dispensaries (list below).

The marketing ploy is actually a very feasible way for Californian cannabis users to commemorate the super bloom — one that’s possibly even better than going out to see the flowers themselves, speaking in terms of conservation. Some nature reserves have overwhelmed by the record-breaking numbers of park visitors since the phenomenon began. One group even flew a helicopter into the middle of the delicate plants, and were stomping around in the poppies when authorities chased them back into their plane. Better to enjoy a bouquet at home with a joint in hand, if we’re not very much mistaken.

Here’s the Bloom Truck’s tentative schedule — more stops will be added throughout the weekend:

  • 3/30 at 10 AM Sunset Herbal Corner
  • 3/30 at 2 PM Exhale WeHo
  • 3/31 at 10 AM Green City Collective
  • 3/31 at 2 PM LAPCG

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Macy Grey Talks About the Evolution of Music: Our Video of the Week

Title: Dope Life | Macy Gray
Creator: Dope Magazine
Description: Grammy Award winner Macy Gray sits down to discuss the evolution of the music industry, her new album, travel as an influence and cannabis as a medicine.
For more videos, download the HIGH TIMES TV app on Roku, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad or Android mobile device or visit tv.hightimes.com

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The Sweet Taste of Healing: Jelly Belly’s David Klein Finds His Calling in Cannabis

David Klein’s claim to fame is his invention of one of the world’s most beloved candy, the Jelly Belly; but his sweet disposition is his trademark and his sincere desire to help others, his legacy.

No longer connected to the historic bean he created in 1976, this past year he launched his own line of CBD (cannabidiol) infused jelly beans, with flavors to rival the candy that made him famous.

“All the good I’ve done for people comes back in spades,” he shares. “I’m so thrilled to be in this culture that embraces and cares about other people. The cannabis industry is definitely a greater good community, and I’ve been instantly welcomed into the fold.”

Over the years he’s been asked to create a cannabis infused bean, either with or without the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that causes the high, or psychoactive response, but he declined due to the legalities.

With CBD only now legal across the country, and the promise of no jail time, the space was opened up for his creations. But, it took an accident involving his wife and a fall to get him fully onboard.

“My wife Rebecca and I were in a hotel near Colorado Springs, and she slipped 25 feet off a patio that wasn’t level,” he explained. “The pain was tremendous. We visited a dispensary in Trinidad, Colorado, and bought some cookies with THC. When I saw how much it helped her level of pain, I was helped to get on board, and the CBD bean idea began.”

Klein admitted that he has never done drugs – he’s never smoked cigarettes, let alone cannabis – never had a sip of alcohol, never experimented with street drugs of any kind. His introduction to cannabis and THC via his wife’s fall was a learning moment.

“People who use cannabis are forward thinkers,” he said. “You have to think out of the box when it comes to this subject, because the Federal Government is still insisting there is no medicinal value. All I know is that it helped my wife with that nasty fall.”

Since launching the CBD infused jelly beans, Klein said he’s been contacted by many people all over the country with real ailments, all helped with the use of cannabis in some form, be it with or without the high from THC.

Known for creating exceptional flavors with Jelly Belly, his current line of 38 flavors with 10 milligrams of CBD in each bean is no exception. And he says he has plans to create even more unique flavors.

His line of Spectrum™ Jelly Beans and Sour Jelly Beans are sweetened via a powdered sugar-like dextrose to mask the flavor. Dextrose is a type of sugar made from corn, similar to fructose and chemically identical to glucose; with dextrose used by doctors to raise a patient’s blood sugars when low.

His Spectrum™ Sugar-Free Jelly Beans are dusted with maltitol, a sugar made from alcohol. Other similar alternatives would be plant-based stevia, agave, and coconut.

“The taste of cannabis has to be masked,” he explained. “What better way to mask the flavor than in a jelly bean!”

The Sweet Taste of Healing: Jelly Belly's David Klein Finds His Calling in Cannabis

Courtesy of Sharon Letts

Concerns of sugary cannabis products disguised as remedy are hotly criticized by many, with bans on kid-friendly designs shunned. But that line of thinking also ignores an entire demographic of cannabis patients who’d rather eat a piece of candy than take a pill.

Case in point is Primrose Engaged Living center in Santa Rosa, California. It’s a private facility specializing in the care of patients with Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. There, the patients are allowed to use cannabis as a remedy, with permission from their private doctor and families.

“Dementia patients don’t really like to take pills,” explained Dan O’Brien, RN. “It’s easier for them to eat a piece of candy. We give them 15 milligrams of an infused chocolate bar with THC after dinner. The patients given the candy are more alert, less agitated, and are able to sleep through the night. It also quells tremors associated with Parkinson’s and anxiety disorders.”

Children on the Autistic Spectrum, suffering from disorders such as ADD or ADHD helped by CBD, also want candy over pills.

Shelly Matthews’ is a medical cannabis refugee from Ohio, now living in California. Her son, Robert, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and Bi-Polar Disorder at 11. While still in Ohio, she began making him cookies covertly, with results too good to ignore.

“He’d eat one before school, and the staff asked me what changed, as it really calmed him down” she shared. “I just told them we changed his meds and left it at that. They said the new meds wore off by lunchtime. If I would have had infused candy available I would have given it to him, without hesitation.”

Today, Robert is 23 and still medicating via ingesting edibles and smoking dabs, with continued success in treating his disorders.

Jamie Cooper is the founder and CEO of Cannabiz Connection, a networking platform for the industry in Michigan. Her six year old son, Kylan, was diagnosed at the age of four on the Autistic Spectrum, with a Sensory Processing and Development Delay.

“I give him infused CBD in a gummy – it’s definitely the easiest way to dose him,” she shared. “We treat it like a vitamin. We’ve used the gummy bear type candy before, and I really don’t see an issue. The package is secure – we keep it in a safe place just like any other medicine.”

Education is key in treating anyone with cannabis infused products, and Jamie agrees that understanding the plant and how it heals is half the battle. Once you are helped with cannabis – CBD only or THC activated, it becomes more difficult to criticize the delivery if the outcomes are positive.

As for Klein, he feels that cannabis is God’s plant, and everything he’s done up until this point – including his success with the Jelly Belly – has brought him to this place of helping others.

“I’m more excited about this product than any other candy I’ve ever made,” he joyously shared. “It’s something to help mankind – and that gives me the motivation to go forward. I was born to make jelly beans, and if they heal people, so much the better.”

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New Hampshire House Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

A New Hampshire House of Representatives committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would legalize the use of cannabis by adults. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 14-6 to recommend passage of the measure, House Bill 481. The full House voted 209-147 on February 27 to approve the bill but referred it back to the committee for further consideration of the tax and regulatory structure. The House must approve the measure again before an April 4 deadline to be considered in the state Senate.

If passed, HB 481 would legalize possession of up to one ounce of cannabis and up to five grams of hashish or concentrates for adults 21 and older. Home cultivation of up to six plants and possession of the cannabis harvested from a home grow would also be allowed. The bill would also establish a regulatory framework for commercial cannabis production and sales.

Matt Simon, the New England political director for cannabis law reform group the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release that approval from the House Ways and Means Committee was a promising show of support.

“This is a major step forward and suggests support and momentum are growing in the legislature,” Simon said. “In previous years, this committee’s negative recommendations turned out to be death sentences for legalization bills that had initially received approval from the full House. This time around, it has given its blessing to a proposal that received record-high support. It’s time for the House to approve HB 481 and send it over to the Senate.”

Committee Amends Tax Rates

Before voting to approve the bill, the committee amended the tax structure to enact a 5 tax on cannabis cultivators and a 9 percent tax on retailers. The original version of the bill called for a tax on cultivators of $30 per ounce of marijuana.

With Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont already approving legalization bills and movements to do the same in New York and New Jersey, the Northeast is joining the West as a hotbed of cannabis reform.

“There is a growing sentiment that prohibition is not working and that legalization is inevitable, both in New Hampshire and the surrounding region,” Simon said. “With HB 481, lawmakers have developed a sensible path forward for the state. This was evidenced by the strong majority support we saw during the initial House vote, and it was confirmed by the committee’s about-face compared to previous years.”

Rep. Patrick Abrami, who served as the chairman of a legislative commission to study cannabis legalization last year, opposes the bill. He said that he is afraid that state and local governments will become dependent on tax revenues generated by cannabis businesses.

“Just because states around us are legalizing doesn’t mean we have to do it,” said Abrami.

Gov. Chris Sununu has indicated that he will veto any cannabis legalization bill passed by the legislature. But House Speaker Steve Shurtleff believes that a veto could be overridden in the House, and similar action by the Senate is also possible, according to media reports.

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Kansas House Approves Bill to Allow Use of CBD With Small Amounts of THC

The Kansas House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would allow the use of CBD oil with small amounts of THC by people with debilitating medical conditions. The measure, House Bill 2244, was passed by a vote of 89-35 early on Wednesday morning. The bill will now head to the state Senate for consideration.

HB 2244, also known as “Claire and Lola’s Law,” would give a legal defense to adults with debilitating medical conditions who use CBD oil containing up to 5 percent THC or the parents of seriously ill children who do so. Rep. Susan Humphries, a Republican from Wichita, said that sick people in the state should have the option to use cannabidiol medicinally.

“CBD oil is a remedy,” Humphries said. “It’s a medical treatment that many families in Kansas would like to use for their children with debilitating diseases or their selves.”

The bill is named for Claire and Lola Hartley, two sisters with a rare condition known as microcephaly which causes children to be born with underdeveloped brains and abnormally small heads and can lead to a host of other serious medical conditions.  The girls’ parents, Gwen and Scott Hartley, say that CBD oil could help save 12-year-old Lola’s life. Claire, who had cerebral palsy and epilepsy, died in December of last year at the age of 17.

“I guess the most disappointing thing for me is that we weren’t able to try the low THC CBD oil with her,” Scott Hartley told members of a House committee two weeks ago. “I know it would have helped her with some of the struggles in her life and it would help so many other kids, too.”

Another parent, Brianna Baskerville, said that she believes CBD oil with THC could also help her child, who has muscular dystrophy and an autoimmune disorder.

“We’re really excited and I think that this bill is going to impact a lot of people on a huge level,” said Baskerville after the House approved the measure.

Not a Legalization Bill

HB 2244 would not legalize cannabis cultivation or the production or sale of CBD oil, leaving no way for patients to legally obtain their medicine. Instead, the bill only provides an affirmative defense in court for someone who can prove that they or their child have a debilitating condition that they were treating with CBD oil. A letter from a doctor indicating a diagnosis would be required. The measure would also prevent the Kansas Department of Children and Families from attempting to remove a child from a home solely because of CBD oil use by a parent or child.

House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, also a Republican from Wichita, said that the bill does go far enough and voted against it, saying that it  “doesn’t really move the needle” to only allow an affirmative defense in court.

“That’s all it did,” said Hawkins. “So why wouldn’t we have done something that’s actually a solution to the problem instead of something that’s just a band-aid or something.”

Predictably, Claire and Lola’s Law is opposed by the Kansas Medical Society, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and law enforcement groups, who plan to lobby against the bill’s passage in the state Senate.

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Ketamine IV Infusions Made Me Myself Again. Here’s Everything You Need To Know

“I don’t want to die, but I can’t shake these suicidal thoughts and imagery,” I told Dr. Glen Brooks, Chief Medical Director of NY Ketamine Infusions. Through my own research and my psychiatrist’s help, when traditional SSRI antidepressants weren’t putting a dent into my depression, I was ready for something new.

Science shows that ketamine infusions help treatment-resistant depression—and quickly. While medications such as SSRIs take up to six weeks to work (I was already on them; they weren’t doing much), ketamine infusions begin providing relief hours after the treatment.

“The real work that ketamine does doesn’t even begin until 10 hours after you leave here, and then quite quietly in the middle of the night, you’ll be unaware of it. Ketamine is all about is restoring structure and anatomy,” Dr. Brooks told me during my intake session, which he let me record.

Why Did I Seek Out Ketamine IV Treatment?

In 2013, after a sexual assault and a series of unfortunate events, I found myself deep in a depression. That is when I sought out my psychiatrist, who referred me to Dr. Brooks. While it wasn’t legal yet (now you can get a medical cannabis card for PTSD in New York), I found that cannabis was one of the few substances that made me feel like myself again. It put my flashbacks on hold and eased the social anxiety that kept me holed up in my apartment, wanting to die, as the city I lusted after my entire life kept its lights on.

Five years later, while I knew that I was still a complicated and creative person prone to anxiety and depression, I thought I had treated and outgrown the type of depression that keeps you in bed, wakes you up with nightmares, and plays suicidal films of your own death even if you don’t want it to happen. It came back. In my defense, 2018 was a shit show of a summer.

While visiting my hometown, the Virgin Islands, for an assignment on the effect of the hurricanes on reproductive health care, I found myself down on the floor of a pub during a shooting. Then my grandmother, who I was extremely close with, died. Three days after her death, on a day meant for mourning, my partner dumped me. And then at my grandmother’s funeral, someone groped me. Someone else groped me when I was back in New York at a bar.

All the side effects of PTSD from the previous sexual assault came back—the nightmares, the self-loathing, the ruminating thoughts of suicidal imagery. I found myself back in bed, spending the 4th of July alone with earplugs in because any sound of a firework reminded me of gunshots.

I was no longer 25—I was 30. And I had an unfolding career for which I’d worked my ass off. I didn’t want to stay in bed, and I didn’t want to think about suicide. I did not want to die. I wanted help. I wanted to live and get a book deal. I wanted something that would get me better, and my current medication wasn’t cutting it. That determination lead me to Dr. Brooks’ office, where I began a course of ketamine IV infusions which just might have saved my life.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic. They give it to kids before surgery, and even animals—my cat got ketamine recently for a dental procedure.

It’s also a club drug, but oddly I’ve never tried it for that purpose.

“I’m an anesthesiologist; I’ve been administering ketamine since 1974,” Dr. Brooks told me. “It is on the world health organization’s list of Top 10 essential drugs. But very different than its use as an anesthetic is that it’s found a new role in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.”

One study, on ketamine IV for PTSD, which is published in the JAMA psychiatry journal, concluded that: “Ketamine infusion was associated with significant and rapid reduction in PTSD symptom severity…Ketamine was also associated with reduction in comorbid depressive symptoms and with improvement in overall clinical presentation. Ketamine was generally well tolerated without clinically significant persistent dissociative symptoms.”

What Else is Ketamine Used to Treat?

Ketamine IVs are used for mental health off-label, meaning that while it’s approved for anesthesia, the FDA still needs to approve it for mental health concerns. You likely read recently that the FDA approved a ketamine nasal spray for depression, which is news that unfortunately isn’t as life-changing as it sounds (more on that to come).

Ketamine IV infusions are used to alleviate treatment-resistant depression, suicidal ideation, bipolar depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, extreme anxiety, postpartum depression, and chronic pain, particularly neuropathic pain, says Zinia Thomas, M.D., a psychiatrist certified in IV Nutrient Therapy of Radiance Float + Wellness in St. Louis.

“After decades of conventional psychiatric practice seeing rates of chronic and childhood disease climb, seeing a multitude of pharmaceuticals flood the market providing a ‘pill for every ill,’ yet marginal improvements in core symptoms with loads of side effects, I knew I needed to find a change,” Dr. Thomas says. “My patients were demanding it.”

How Does Ketamine Work?

For some people, a mental health diagnosis is welcome. Someone finally identified the issue, and now you can treat yourself properly. I felt such relief when I learned about PTSD, but before that, when I was searching for the right psychiatrist many years ago, I just felt like a crazy girl.

One doctor said I had generalized anxiety disorder. Those ruminating thoughts? Another one said they’re because I have OCD. Trouble getting out of bed and focusing? It must be ADD. I knew I was depressed, but as it turns out, all those other side effects are just part of the PTSD umbrella.

“For the last 50 years psychiatrists have been separating out the symptoms: anxiety, depression, OCD, rumination, eating disorders, rage and anger, and treating them individually as if each represents some sort of a chemical imbalance. So that’s why over the years you’ve been given drugs that increase serotonin, or dopamine, or norepinephrine, or in some cases lithium,” Dr. Brooks told me.

“But none of them have really gotten you better. What the ketamine researchers have been saying for the past two decades is that’s because when you’re dealing with PTSD what you’re really dealing with is not a chemical imbalance, but a structural problem.”

If SSRIs and therapy are the software, he compared ketamine to a hardware fix, which is especially useful for those who experienced trauma, which I have, as a child, which could be everything from a natural disaster, to war, to fighting parents.

BDNF, or brain derived neurotrophic factor, is a protein that allows the mood centers of the brain to communicate. “When you raise brain cortisol levels during those developmental years, it ends up suppressing the production of the brain derived neurotrophic factor. So chances are you were going through your grammar school, and your middle school, and your high school years under reasonable amounts of stress for various reasons, suppressing, BDNF development and mood center development,” Dr. Brooks told me.

Without that connectivity intact he likened the brain to two octopuses trying to communicate without arms. “What ketamine does, unlike the other medications you’ve been on, is turn on, or back on, the brain derived neurotrophic factor that should have been flowing during those developmental years, and it now stimulates the dendritic and the synaptic growth you need to restore connectivity,” Dr. Brooks says.

Scientifically, this is known as a synaptogenic neuroplastic repair, which means that a ketamine IV works on structural repairs of the brain rather than chemical ones. Does this mean it can cure treatment-resistant depression or PTSD? We need more research, but some patients do notice a major difference.

“Now that the depression is more manageable, I just get way fewer episodes. I’m the most even-keeled that I’ve ever been,” says Ilana Masad, another ketamine IV patient.

How is it Administered?

Ketamine can come in pills, which some ketamine IV patients, such as Masad, use for management in between sessions. There is also the nasal spray that made headlines when the FDA recently approved it.

“Spirato, an intranasal ketamine spray, was approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression last month. The news coverage and hype is funded with pharmaceutical dollars,” Dr. Thomas says. However, the IV is simply more effective.

“Although Esketamine, also known as Spravato, has been FDA approved as a nasal spray treatment for depression, IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy has been found to be more effective at lifting mood and relieving suicidal thoughts,” says Steven L. Mandel, MD. the founder and president of Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles. Back in New York, Dr. Brooks agrees.

“We do it by intravenous infusion because it’s the only way to get the right amount of drug in roughly based on your weight. It can’t replicate the bioavailability with nasal sprays or pills,” Dr. Brooks told me before I headed into a nearby room to start my first treatment.

Most people, myself included, do a six-course treatment, with a check-in halfway to see if it’s helping and if it’s worth the cost to continue. Ketamine infusions are not cheap and not often covered by insurance; they can cost upwards of $400 per visit. After you complete the six-course treatment, then patients come back for “booster” visits. Some people come in every three weeks, some once a month, some twice a month. It depends on how much you need and what you can afford.

“Coming in on a regular basis isn’t for the rest of your life,” Dr. Brooks says. “It’s about a year, a year and a half, and then what you’ll notice is that your need to come in just becomes less and less and less and the interval between visits becomes greater and greater.”

What is a Ketamine IV Treatment Like?

Never having tried ketamine before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Delightfully, they encourage you to listen to upbeat music during the session, so to feel as shiny as possible, I created a glam rock playlist full with Bowie and Queen.

“Most young adults like yourself enjoy the whole experience especially if you have some fun music to listen to,” Dr. Brooks says. They hook you up and then leave you alone for an hour. I felt wonderful. I closed my eyes and let the experience take over me. It’s a dissociative experience, so opening your eyes can feel a little odd sometimes. It’s not insanely out of this world, and while it takes a few minutes or two to get your bearings when it’s over, you come back to Earth when the drip is finished. Exploring music, I discovered that ketamine also really enjoys The Cure.

I liked the first round but knew that my experience in the clinic, while meant to be enjoyable, was not the real medicine. That would come afterward. That first night, two of my close friends came over to record a podcast. I felt…calm. Peaceful. At one point in the night I was confronted by someone unhealthy from my past, and rather than engage, I texted with a woman I met on Twitter who was also curious about ketamine IVs.

Who was this person, letting bygones be bygones and moving forward with healthy relationships?

Over the next two weeks, in which I completed my six rounds, my suicidal thoughts and imagery simply disappeared. It was like they were zapped from my brain. I struggled to recall what it was like to have them. If before beginning ketamine IV treatment, I could mentally drop to a nasty place in which I didn’t matter, in which there was no hope, in which there were upsetting visions, it’s like an elevator came and lifted up my “bottom” to be a pretty well-designed and pleasantly curated floor.

Sure, I can still get sad, or angry, or stressed. I still see a therapist, and I’m still on medication. But I feel those emotions from a calm place in which I can healthily manage them. There is no more catastrophic thinking, suicidal thoughts, or uncontrollable sobbing. There is healthy communication and emotional processing and believing in myself. Not to brag, but not I even have a girlfriend (yes, the ketamine texter) and a book deal and am happy.

Sometimes hard things, unspeakable things even, still arise. I book a ketamine booster visit when this happens, and go back every month or so. What ketamine IVs did for me was yank me out of the dark place and back on solid ground so I could deal with my shit, while magically zapping away suicidal thoughts and imgary, because those were of no use. I hope that the next steps are insurance companies working with ketamine IV patients to make the treatment accessible for everyone who can benefit from it.

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Florida Distillery Releases Hemp-Infused Vodka and Gin

Floridians have had a lot to celebrate recently when it comes to cannabis culture. The state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana was lifted this week, and other limits on regional dispensary locations have likewise been challenged. Those looking to toast to a cannabis-filled future are also looking at a cup that’s half full — Ybor City’s Fat Dog Distillery has announced the launch of the company’s hemp-infused gin and vodka, Nirvana Spirits.

An important note: those who are not up on their weed terminology may be a bit thrown off by Nirvana’s vague marketing language, which centers on its “cannabis-infused” products. Though technically correct, it is so vague as to be misleading. Make no mistake, these are non-psychoactive hemp-based products with no marijuana in them and very low levels of THC. Hemp products tend to have less than a .5 percent concentration of the trippier cannabinoid.

The floodgates to hemp products have been opened up with the passage late last year of the new US Farm Bill, which amended the Controlled Substances Act to omit the ban of hemp production and research. Florida is on the brink of passing legislation that would legalize hemp agriculture, as well as establish hemp pilot programs at institutions of higher education.

The Nirvana campaign takes on a recent Wall Street Journal article that held that cannabis beverages, for all the commercial speculation surrounding them, actually don’t taste that great. “This is simply not true with our product,” CEO of Fat Dog Spirits Dr. Rama Ramcharran told ABC Action News. “I challenge anyone to try it and tell me that it tastes like oil or a ‘barnyard’!”

The gin-making doctor did throw his cannabis drink selling peers, however, under the bus — ABC reports that he thinks the WSJ article “is generally correct in its assertions,” just that they don’t apply to Nirvana products.

One may ask why you would make a cannabis alcohol that is not psychoactive and aims to have little perceptible cannabis taste. Nirvana’s website is somewhat foggy on the reasoning behind the consumer products, but states that, “In June 2016, Dr. Ram Ramcharran had a vision. He wanted to create a craft vodka that tasted great and used the best natural ingredient on earth — cannabis.”

But Fat Dog Distillery is far from the only producer looking to cash in on the hype surrounding cannabis bevvies. A short round-up of major corporations that have announced their interest in developing cannabis products include: Molson Coors, who paired with Canadian cannabis company Hexo Corp last year and Coca-Cola, who entered “serious talks” with Aurora cannabis in September. Anheuser-Busch InBev has signed a $100 million partnership with Tilray, Inc as well.

Analysts have forecasted that Starbucks may be the first major chain to hawk CBD drinks, which are already banned by the New York City Health Department in its wariness over potential FDA non-compliance. Smaller producers are already experimenting with surprising new drink-canna-combos — House of Saka’s non-alcoholic sparkling rosé provides a three-to-one THC/CBD blend that kicks off in five to 10 milligram glass doses.

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Marijuana Legalization Bill Passes in Guam Senate, Heads to Governor’s Desk

Guam just took a potentially huge step toward fully legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Key lawmakers voted today on a new legalization bill. And after a very close vote, the bill came out on top. It will now move on to the governor’s office for final review and, advocates hope, to be signed into law.

Guam’s New Recreational Bill

Today, senators in Guam voted on Bill 32-35, also known as the Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019. If the bill passes into law, it will make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess and consume recreational cannabis.

Additionally, the bill also calls for Guam to legalize the production and retail sale of cannabis. And as with many other legalization bills, this piece of legislation would establish a framework in which Guam could regulate and tax marijuana sales.

Lawmakers have been working on the bill for some time. And recently, the bill underwent a series of amendments before going to the senate for today’s vote.

Ultimately, Bill 32-35 passed the senate by a narrow 8-7 margin. As a result, it will now pass to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. Because the bill received some relatively recent changes, she will likely have to review the bill in its entirety before signing it.

Lawmakers who helped draft the bill and who for advocated for its passage hope Gov. Guerrero will make her decision soon. The bill is expected to be transmitted to her no later than the end of Thursday, after which she will review the bill and make her final decision.

The Guam Cannabis Industry Act of 2019 had six sponsors in the senate. And it needed a minimum of eight votes to pass in the senate.

Marijuana Laws in Guam

Bill 32-35 represents the latest step in Guam’s cannabis laws, many of which have evolved relatively quickly. For example, Guam voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana back in 2014.

However, Guam’s medical marijuana program is still not up and running. According to Pacific Daily News, the biggest obstacle is that there is still no marijuana testing laboratory in operation on the island.

Along with medical marijuana, Guam has seen significant changes to its recreational laws. Prior to Bill 32-35’s senate victory today, the island had already decriminalized marijuana.

“Let’s get one thing straight. Currently, it is legal to consume cannabis. It’s actually only a violation,” senator and leading sponsor of Bill 32-35 Clynt Ridgell told Pacific Daily News.

He added: “It’s technically not a crime. It’s been decriminalized already.” According to Ridgell, anyone caught with an ounce or less of cannabis is subject to a fine of up to $100. But once Bill 32-35 is passed into law, even that fine will go away.

As per Ridgell: “So it’s not considered a criminal act if you’re caught [with] under an ounce currently. So what we’ve done is we’ve actually removed that fine so now there won’t be a fine if you’re caught with anything under an ounce.”

At this point, it’s unclear exactly when legalization would go into effect. Similarly, it’s unclear how long it would take before any sort of retail program is up and running—especially in light of Guam’s ongoing struggles to launch its medical marijuana program.

The post Marijuana Legalization Bill Passes in Guam Senate, Heads to Governor’s Desk appeared first on High Times.


The High Times 100 of 2019

The High Times 100 celebrates the 100 most influential people in the cannabis world. From entrepreneurs and activists to entertainers and cultivators, the women and men on this illustrious list are shaping the current cannabis industry. Learn more about the most influential people in marijuana in our second annual HT 100.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jim Belushi
Belushi’s Farm

Actor, comedian and singer Jim Belushi lost his older brother John to an overdose in 1982 and he often remarks that John would be alive today if he’d only stuck with cannabis. A true believer in the medicinal properties of pot, Jim started Belushi’s Farm in Eagle Point, OR, to grow craft-quality marijuana. With beautiful views of the Rogue River, Belushi’s 22,000-square- foot state-licensed growing facility produces pristine healing flowers with wellness in mind.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Vicente Fox
Former President of Mexico

Having served as president of Mexico for six years, Vicente Fox knows the failure, futility and costs of the War on Drugs better than anyone. As a business- man, he sees the tremendous opportunity presented by a legal landscape. Having grown up on a ranch, Fox knows what the industry can do to help farmers who suffered under cannabis and hemp prohibition. In 2018, he joined the High Times board to help advise and guide the renowned brand into the future.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Montel Williams
Lenitiv Scientific

Some may know of Montel Williams as the longtime Emmy Award–winning TV talk-show personality, but he’s also one of the highest-profile early advocates of medical and adult-use cannabis in the United States, and he’s been using cannabis to treat symptoms of his multiple sclerosis since 1999. He created Lenitiv Scientific in 2017, a purveyor of high-end hemp and cannabis products, and he’s even used his status as a former Marine and Navy officer to help veterans access cannabis without losing their benefits.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Elizabeth Hogan
GCH Inc.

GCH Inc. was established in 2014 with the legendary singer, songwriter and longtime cannabis advocate Willie Nelson, and the company’s product lines include the flagship brands Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy. As a co-founder and vice president of brands, Elizabeth Hogan employs her development expertise to lead and elevate the marketing strategy for the cannabis and hemp-derived product lines. Expect GCH’s portfolio of clients and partners to continue growing under Hogan’s skilled tutelage.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Kristi Knoblich Palmer
Kiva Confections

Kristi Knoblich Palmer co-founded Kiva Confections in 2010 with the mission to consistently produce safe and delicious edibles. Knoblich Palmer makes our list of influential people for the second straight year thanks to her guidance of Kiva Confections’ excellent customer service, employee development and best practices in manufacturing, business and marketing. In addition to her work with Kiva, Knoblich Palmer is a board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Berner
Cookies

Berner is both a devoted family man and a busy entrepreneur with a seemingly endless parade of work achieved in the cannabis realm – he’s even been called “the Emperor of Cannabis.” Berner’s Cookies boutique has partnered with CannaCraft, Absolute Ex- tracts, Care by Design, and more and created two new locations in LA that are now hotspots. Berner also manages multiple other projects, both in his cannabis-sector pursuits as well as in his flourishing music career. See our interview with Berner in the June 2019 issue.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Mike Tyson
Ranch Companies

When he was just 20 years old, Mike Tyson became the world’s youngest heavyweight boxing champion. He remains one of the most formidable fighters the sport has ever known. Since retiring, Tyson has had a successful career as an entertainer, motivational speaker, author and philanthropist. In 2017, he and partner Robert Hickman teamed up to launch the Ranch Companies, a world-class branding organization with a diversified cannabis product and entertainment portfolio that includes Tyson Ranch.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Brendan Kennedy
Tilray

Brendan Kennedy left a successful career in investment banking to explore the greener pastures of the emerging cannabis industry. Since his co-founding of Privateer Holdings with Christian Groh and Michael Blue in 2010, the company has grown into the biggest American-owned cannabis private-equity firm in the world – acquiring and developing properties such as Tilray, Leafly, Marley Natural, Goodship, High Park Company and more. Learn more in our Privateer Holdings profile in the June 2019 issue.

The High Times 100 of 2019

BigMike Straumietis
Advanced Nutrients

Michael “BigMike” Straumietis is the founder of Advanced Nutrients, the powerhouse cannabis nutrient company that does over $110 million in sales annually worldwide. BigMike boasts four decades of cultivation experience and innovation, and now he’s channeling that expertise into cannabis consumables. Straumietis recently launched BigMike’s Blends, an ultra-premium line of pre-rolls, as the initial offering from Lacturnus Labs – a $30 million state-of-the-art cannabis research laboratory in Los Angeles, the first facility of its kind in the United States.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Damian Marley
Stony Hill

Reggae legend Bob Marley’s youngest son, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, has made quite a name for himself in both the music world and the cannabis industry. The Grammy Award–winning reggae artist entered the cannabis space with his company Stony Hill, through which he’s released a line of CBD products. Marley also teamed up with Ocean Grown Extracts, which creates high-quality concentrate products like the Speak Life OG vape cartridge. Additionally, Marley is part of a team of investors that bought High Times magazine in 2017.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Billy Levy & Peter Miller
SLANG Worldwide

Before launching SLANG Worldwide, Billy Levy and Peter Miller co-founded Mettrum Health Corp., a Canadian licensed producer that was acquired by Canopy Growth. With backgrounds in tech, marketing and, of course, cannabis, Levy and Miller founded SLANG Worldwide, an industry leader in branded consumer products. SLANG’s impressive portfolio includes brands like O.penVAPE, Firefly and Organa Labs.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ramsey & Adam Hamide
Main Street Marijuana

Brothers Ramsey and Adam Hamide moved from online ticket brokering to finding success in the cannabis retail space. Their three Main Street Marijuana stores were the highest-grossing retail stores in Washington State from 2015 through 2018, with over $1 million in sales as of 2014. They credit their success to stellar customer service, competitive prices and top-quality products.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jennifer M. Sanders
CNS Equity Partners/ Aura Ventures & The Green Heart

A Harvard grad and the founder of CNS Equity Partners, Jennifer M. Sanders has a deep understanding of alternative agriculture, holistic health, philanthropy, international investment regulatory compliance and enterprise risk management, along with 15-plus years of leadership and business-management skills. She boasts a slew of cannabis and related business certifications and she has worked with regulatory authorities in Canada, China and elsewhere.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jeff & Shanna Droege
SOL Distro

Husband-and-wife team Shanna and Jeff Droege are the founders of SOL Distro, a multi-million dollar distribution company that delivers quality cannabis products to storefronts throughout California. These cannabis industry veterans have decades of experience with the ownership, operation and consultation of over a dozen dispensaries. Their knowledge and experience help make SOL Distro an industry leader, boasting award-winning products for medical cannabis patients and adult-use customers.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Adam Bierman
MedMen Enterprises

MedMen Enterprises is the brainchild of cannabis champion Adam Bierman and his business partner Andrew Modlin, who, since the company’s inception in 2010, have expanded MedMen to become a powerful brand with retail locations in cities across the US. Bierman has been featured on CNBC and CNN and in Bloomberg News, Forbes and Time, among other major news outlets, to discuss his work redefining the way society interacts with cannabis. This entrepreneur uncovered a great opportunity in cannabis, resulting in a successful and inspirational story of huge proportions that is still being written.

The High Times 100 of 2019

William MacLean
Wildflower Brands

The CEO of Wildflower Brands, William MacLean, boasts over 20 years of professional sales experience ranging from ad sales to marketing to the medical industry. He’s traveled extensively to hospitals across North America and met a variety of patients. His medical-facility visits paired with his business experience left him well-poised to create teams of highly qualified experts to produce high-quality, eco-friendly medicine and wellness products.

The High Times 100 of 2019

John Yang
Treez

The co-founder and CEO of the point-of-sale software company Treez, John Yang, boasts technology-management expertise that helps his company serve high-revenue retailers with a variety of locations. As a 12-year-old, he worked in his father’s computer shop and later solidified his experience at Slalom Consulting, a top business and technology firm. Today, his innovative software creations can be found in use at companies across the cannabis industry.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Cy Scott
Headset Inc.

The former founder of Leafly, Cy Scott went on to co-found and hold the CEO position of Headset Inc., a company that helps cannabis businesses make better decisions based on data-driven market intelligence and insights. He also founded the monthly Cannabis Tech Meetup, bringing droves of entrepreneurs and tech wizards together. The meetup has gone on to flourish across America. Scott has a preference for the Tangie strain.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Steven Dang
Flav

Flav founder and CEO Steven Dang started his company in his mother’s garage. With a knack for cannabis-product innovation and cultivating strong relationships and partnerships with major cannabis players, he was able to grow his product line to include vapes, edibles, oils and more. Flav’s top-of-the-line facilities can be found in six states and counting. Most recently, its FlavCBD line has been launched worldwide and is enjoying high demand.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jared Polis
Governor of Colorado

Before making history in 2018 as the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States, Jared Polis was the cannabis-industry-supporting US Representative for Colorado’s Second Congressional District and directly involved in fighting for the rights of marijuana consumers and the budding industry throughout the tumultuous stages of legalization. During his time in Congress, Polis became known for reaching across the aisle and getting things done for his constituents, and his governorship remains strong and steady as well.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Doug Benson
Comedian

Stand-up comic Doug Benson didn’t become a cannabis user until he was 28, but he’s made up for it ever since. He co-created and performed in the stage show The Marijuana-Logues and starred in the film Super High Me. While performing all over the world, Benson also hosts the hugely popular podcasts Doug Loves Movies and Getting Doug With High and the television show The High Court With Doug Benson.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Kashif Shan
Folium Biosciences

After a successful career in the tech industry, Kashif Shan’s interest in the myriad medical benefits of CBD drew him to the cannabis space. He founded Folium Biosciences

in 2014. Since then, the company has become the largest vertically integrated producer, manufacturer and distributor of hemp-derived phytocannabinoids in America and a global leader in nonpsychoactive cannabinoids. Folium’s ground- breaking products have helped patients around the world, and the company has become known for developing rare extraction and product formulations.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Bob Eschino
Medically Correct LLC

As co-founder and president of Medically Correct LLC, Bob Eschino’s main focus is on the company’s sales, marketing and US growth. The company is known for its award-winning “incredibles” line with cannabis-infused chocolate and gummy products. Eschino, a founding member of the Edibles Council of the Cannabis Business Alliance, is also passionate about educating the public on responsible edibles consumption, and he has helped shape cannabis regulation at the state and federal levels.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Toby Skard
Futurola

Futurola is dedicated to creating and developing high-quality rolling and smoking accessories. As a founding partner, Toby Skard has helped oversee innovative Futurola products like the Knockbox, which can roll 100 joints in two minutes, and the Shredder, which can prepare three pounds of pot for rolling in just seconds. The company also partnered with Tommy Chong to produce the King Size Cone Roller. Futurola has headquarters in Los Angeles and Amsterdam.

The High Times 100 of 2019

George Zimmer
Generation Tux

“You’re gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it” was entrepreneur George Zimmer’s slogan as a spokesman for years after he co-founded, built and led Men’s Wearhouse into a formidable clothing retailer. He’s long been outspoken about the injustice of pot prohibition, and he’s also one of the biggest donors to marijuana-law-reform organizations and efforts. Now, as the chairman, CEO and founder of Generation Tux and zTailors, he remains as relevant as ever in clothing and cannabis.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Dustin Johnson
Huxton USA

Dustin Johnson originally founded Monarch – Scottsdale, AZ’s first dispensary – in 2012. Two years later, he launched Omaha Farms, the Arizona-based cultivation, production and distribution company. In 2016, he co-founded Huxton USA, a high-end lifestyle cannabis brand. Huxton focuses on the experience of consuming marijuana, labeling its products based on effect. Huxton is rapidly expanding into new markets and recently launched a national cannabis lifestyle marketplace.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Elizabeth Caffrey
Loudpack Farms

Elizabeth Caffrey, the owner and director of Greenwolf, one of California’s most successful (not to mention clean, convenient and efficient) medical-marijuana dispensaries, was also an original founding member of LoudPack/Kingpen. She has led her company through an era of cannabis being merely tolerated to that of today’s legal environment – and she’s excelled with that responsibility.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Christian Groh, Michael Blue & Brendan Kennedy
Privateer Holdings

In 2010, entrepreneur Christian Groh and his partner Michael Blue (along with Brendan Kennedy) co-founded Privateer Holdings. Groh quit his job in venture capital and investment banking and brought with him more than a decade’s worth of strategic sales and operations experience to the team. Next, he met with growers, dispensary owners, medical-cannabis users, scientists, lawyers, activists and others to shape his private-equity firm to become a far-reaching pioneer in cannabis cultivation, research and production. Learn more about Privateer in the June 2019 issue.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Cameron Forni
Cura Cannabis Solutions/Select Oil

When a friend was afflicted with Barrett’s esophagus and couldn’t smoke cannabis to treat his condition, Cameron Forni dismantled every vaporizer he could find on the market to make sure he could develop one that didn’t use any cancer-causing components. A cotton wick was the answer, and shortly thereafter the Select cartridge brand was born. Forni, the CEO of Cura Cannabis Solutions, has seen his company featured in Oregon Business magazine, the Portland Business Journal and Marijuana Venture Magazine. Cameron also sits on the advisory board of the LA Cannabis Task Force.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Brad Melshenker
710 Labs

Responsible for award-winning products including concentrates, flower, pre-rolls and high-end vape cartridges, Brad Melshenker’s company, 710 Labs, values quality tremendously. With 15 years of experience in the cannabis space, Melshenker emphasizes innovation as paramount to his success. 710 Labs uses pesticide-free soil and hand-crafted compost tea, hand-trims its organic plants and goes to other great lengths to offer a top-of-the-line product. Melshenker has also spent the last 20 years documenting glass-pipe art and has even co-authored a book about it, This Is a Pipe.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Charlie Bachtell
Cresco Labs

Named among the top 100 cannabis industry leaders of 2018 by Entrepreneur Magazine, Cresco Labs owes a major part of its success to CEO Charlie Bachtell, who led it through a series of well-received merit-based state application processes, the creation of a million-plus square feet in grow space, a handful of market acquisitions and being listed on the Canadian stock market. The future looks very bright, indeed.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Afzal Hasan
Origin House/ Cannaroyalty Corp.

Origin House provides more than 50 cannabis brands to more than 400 retailers. Any company handling that many moving parts needs a good lawyer, and Afzal Hasan does not disappoint. His past experience includes working with Cassels Brock & Blackwell, the Ontario Securities Commission and the United Nations, as well as a major multinational bank in Thailand.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Adam Laikin
Tryke Companies

The chief marketing officer of Tryke Companies, Adam Laikin, is living his dream, succeeding as the cannabis marketer of six busy cannabis outlets with Tryke’s vertical, Reef Dispensaries, including the flagship location near the storied Las Vegas strip. With a business acumen he acquired as a former Las Vegas casino analyst along with a top-notch team at Tryke, he has helped the dispensary’s brand thrive.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Brooke Gehring
Patients Choice Colorado

Brooke Gehring is co-founder and CEO of FGS Inc., Patients Choice Colorado and LiveGreen Cannabis, which proudly provide quality marijuana to medical patients and recreational consumers. Gehring founded LiveGreen Consulting in 2009. Additionally, she is a founding member of Women Grow, a founding board member of the Council for Responsible Cannabis Regulation and a sustaining member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

The High Times 100 of 2019

B-Real
Greenthumb’s

As a founding member of Cypress Hill, Louis Mario Freese (or B-Real, as he’s better known) has been a loud and proud cannabis advocate and supporter since the group put out their highly influential self-titled debut album in 1991. He opened his first dispensary, the critically lauded Dr. Greenthumb’s, in Sylmar, CA, in 2018, and he hosts The Dr. Greenthumb Show, The Smokebox and Meditation on his hugely popular breal.tv video-streaming site.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Kris Krane
4Front

Kris Krane’s career in cannabis began as an activist, and he served as associate director of NORML from 2000 to 2005 and executive director of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy from 2006 to 2009. In 2011, he applied his activist vision to the private sector by co-founding 4Front Advisors, where he serves as president. He oversees a consulting team that solves complicated problems in the cannabis space and has earned a reputation for success, helping his partners secure over 50 licenses and counting.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Tim Blake
The Emerald Cup

Having owned property in Mendocino County since the 1980s, lifelong cannabis activist Tim Blake purchased an old campground north of Laytonville in 1998 and named it Area 101. Thirteen years ago, he founded the Emerald Cup in Northern California to shine a light on the sun-grown cannabis for which the region is known. Since then, the event has grown and blossomed into the world’s largest outdoor cannabis competition, and it’s on every cannabis connoisseur’s don’t-miss list.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Amanda Reiman
Flow Kana

After receiving her PhD from UC Berkeley, Amanda Reiman served as director of research and patient services at the Berkeley Patients Group and the manager of marijuana law and policy for the Drug Policy Alliance. As head of community relations for Flow Kana, she now helps small farmers in the Emerald Triangle bring their small-batch craft cannabis to market and compete with larger production facilities. Reiman’s work supports the local grow ops that create superior sun-grown flowers using traditional farming methods.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ben Kovler
GTI

In only five short years, the founder, CEO and chairman of GTI, Ben Kovler, has grown his business into a successful cannabis cultivator, dispensary outfit and consumer packaged-goods operation with 10 manufacturing facilities and 70 licensed retail locations across the United States. He also works as chief investment officer with Kovpak II, allocating funds to an assortment of businesses. Furthermore, he also co-founded and serves as CEO for Invest for Kids, which has raised $11 million to benefit over 85,000 needy children.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Joseph Lusardi
Curaleaf

Strategy is Joseph Lusardi’s focus within Curaleaf, specifically in encouraging the advancement of cannabis science among the company’s subsidiaries. With a decade of experience working

in the cannabis industry and 20 years’ experience in finance and private equity, this entrepreneur has held executive roles in the Liberty Mutual Group, Fidelity Investments and the Affiliated Managers Group. This experience helped Lusardi raise over $500 million for Curaleaf with which to invest and bloom.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jeff Chen, MD/MBA
UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative

For his impressive and pioneering research at the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, the first-of-its-kind university program for studying cannabis, Jeff Chen has been asked to speak everywhere from the RAND Corporation to Yale. He is a recipient of both the David Geffen and Anderson fellowships, a UCLA Wolfen Entrepreneurial Award winner, a US patent holder and a Helena Group member. He graduated from Cornell University magna cum laude and has been featured by Rolling Stone, Time, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Don & Aaron
DNA Genetics

DNA Genetics founders Don and Aaron uprooted their operation from Los Angeles, relocated it to Amsterdam and, from there, created a genetic catalog of cannabis strains, developing a new set of standards for genetics selection, breeding and cultivation for a growing industry. The business is thriving in the United States, Canada, Europe and South America, and it boasts the most awards of all cannabis companies. Now the duo’s consulting and licensing business is helping others develop successful cannabis businesses as well.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Daisy Mellet
Merida Capital Partners

One of the few female cannabis executives in finance, Daisy Mellet is partner and chief administrative officer of the Merida Capital Partners private-equity firm. Mellet oversees more capital than almost anyone else in the industry while also managing the flow of communications with over 200 shareholders in one of the fastest-growing cannabis funds. She also spearheads Merida’s licensing efforts for both medical and recreational dispensary and cultivation facilities.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Edward Fields
DionyMed

Edward Fields, chairman and CEO of DionyMed, a cannabis marketing and distribution platform, has over 20 years’ experience working to develop educational technology and software solutions with the Learning Company, ProductFactory Inc., Agile Software Corporation and HotChalk, one of the largest online education communities in the world. Fields also serves
as a board member of Camfed, a nonprofit organization committed to educating and empowering girls and young women in Africa.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Vivien Azer
Cowen and Company

Vivien Azer is a senior research analyst at Cowen and Company and the first Wall Street analyst to cover the cannabis industry. As the go-to source for industry trends, Azer is a trusted thinker and has earned plenty of acclaim. She has been selected by Business Insider as a “Rising Star of Marijuana Investing,” and she’s made the Institutional Investor “All-America Research Team” multiple times. Serious investors seek out her analysis before making a move in the marijuana sector.

The High Times 100 of 2019

David Tran
DOPE Magazine

David Tran co-founded DOPE Magazine in 2011 and helped it grow into a premier media, sales and event platform with a massive global audience. “DOPE” stands for “Defending Our Plant Everywhere,” and Tran’s mission is to protect pot patients by ending the stigma attached to cannabis consumption. He’s now the VP of brand at DOPE Media, which was recently acquired by High Times, and he also hosts The DOPE Chronicles, which features his wild travels behind the scenes in the industry.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jake Salazar
Solari Hemp

Thanks to a decade of work in the cannabis industry, which includes helping to craft the legislation to legalize marijuana in Colorado, Jake Salazar is on our list of influential people for the second consecutive year. Salazar founded the dispensary giant MMJ America in 2009 and served as its CEO until stepping down in 2017 to co-found Solari Hemp, along with Colin Gallagher and Myorr Janha. Salazar is currently Solari’s president of genetics research and business development.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Kim Rivers
Trulieve

An award-winning cannabis influencer and magna cum laude grad – in addition to being a member of both Women Grow and NORML – Kim Rivers is the CEO of Trulieve, Florida’s first and most profitable medical-cannabis company. Leveraging experience in corporate law and real estate, Rivers supervised all aspects of Trulieve’s advancement, including construction, marketing and even the firm’s grow, processing and distribution facilities. Cannabis-company purchases in California and Massachusetts alongside partnerships with national brands further illustrate Rivers’s prowess as a cannabis-industry visionary.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jason Pinsky & Nick Fasano
Eaze

Jason Pinsky’s colorful background spans across music, technology, food and cannabis and includes the first IMDB weed credit as cannabis producer for Viceland’s Bong Appétit. He’s also the chief cannabis evangelist at Eaze (a sort of weed Seamless) and has the tongue-in-cheek title “King of Mainstream Marijuana.” Nick Fasano started out in the cannabis industry as an investor in the California market before becoming the chief revenue officer at Eaze. He’s passionate about changing negative public perceptions about the plant.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jordan Lams
Moxie

Jordan Lams handles market expansion, operations, compliance and brand development for his extraction and genetics company, Moxie, which is a self-funded start-up that distributes products in 40-plus countries. He’s a leading manufacturing advocate in cannabis, and legislators in Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, South America and Europe work with the not-quite 30-year-old to create responsible regulations. Moxie’s products and practices have garnered over 50 awards, and the company received the first licenses to distribute and manufacture cannabis recreationally in California.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Claudio Miranda
Guild Extracts

Since the late ’80s, Claudio Miranda has been a part of the cannabis world. In 2015, after nearly 30 years of honing his cultivation skills, working in the natural-products industry, mastering brand-marketing consultation and advising start-ups, he returned to the cannabis industry. He went on to lead the strategic and creative growth of award-winning concentrates producer Guild Extracts and other Guild family products.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Dave Maggio
Cheeba Chews

In 2009, Dave Maggio started working in the cannabis industry during the early stages of Cheeba Chews, a popular edibles brand that has gone on to win awards and become a notable go-to product sought after by cannabis edible fans in over 800 dispensaries. His dedication to operational efficiency and a high-quality product have helped the company thrive internationally.

 

David Aguilar
Brass Knuckles

The competitive THC-cartridge market has become more difficult to navigate for product users and companies alike, but award-winning Brass Knuckles co-founder David Aguilar has had the opportunity to help create a top cartridge business. Brass Knuckles’ quartz oil cartridges are of the highest quality, and the company’s three-story “speakeasy” mega-booth attracts attention at events wherever it goes.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jelly Wang
Smoore/CCell

Jelly Wang has not one but two successful cannabis companies. He is the vice president and co-founder of Smoore, a top e-cig and vaporizer company, and the CEO of CCell, a subsidiary of Smoore. Smoore has developed disruptive and innovative technology in the cannabis industry, and CCell has employed 2,500 people, sold products in over 20 countries and boasts over 80 million vaporizers sold in North America alone.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Tarek Tabsh
New Amsterdam Naturals

A pioneer in business development, Tarek Tabsh has more than a decade of experience building innovative businesses throughout the cannabis industry. As co-founder of New Amsterdam Naturals, Tabsh helped bring legal cannabis to Las Vegas and has won over 30 marijuana-industry awards. He’s also co-founder of the Toronto-based cannabis beverage company Province Brands, which produces high-end marijuana-derived beer and spirits. Additionally, Tabsh co-founded Alta Flora, which distributes med-pot products throughout Europe.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Garyn Angel
MagicalButter

A notable invention of husband and father Garyn Angel, the MagicalButter MB2e is an innovative kitchen gadget that infuses herbal essences into foods. Angel is not only a founder of this company, but many others, and he’s won awards for his work in finance, inventing and philanthropy. CNBC placed him on its “NEXT List” of business visionaries for his work in the cannabis industry, alongside noted CEOs of Apple, GM, Google, Tesla, Netflix and Twitter.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Barry Schroeder
Ultra Trimmer

Barry Schroeder found his way into the cannabis industry through gophers. He developed patents for devices aimed at thwarting burrowing pests from destroying cannabis crops. After creating the Varmitgetter, Schroeder set his sights on trimming. As a marijuana grower, he found that the trimming machines on the market destroyed the valuable trichomes on his crop. He soon created the Ultra Trimmer and became the first person to hold a patent for a cannabis-trimming machine. Cannabis cultivators trust the Ultra Trimmer to trim their crop while preserving the plants’ trichomes.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ryan Kunkel
Have a Heart Compassionate Care

Ryan Kunkel began serving the Washington State medical-cannabis community in 2011 as CEO of Have a Heart Compassion Care. Have a Heart has since embraced the recreational market and now boasts six recreational shops in the Evergreen State and is expanding into Hawaii, California and Oregon. Under Kunkel’s leadership, Have a Heart is consistently recognized as one of Washington State’s best dispensaries.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Michael Gorenstein
Cronos Group

Michael Gorenstein is the chairman, president and CEO of the Cronos Group, a vertically integrated group that helps build companies in the cannabis space. It operates within Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and is internationally recognized. Gorenstein is also a member of Gotham Green, a leader in the cannabis investment community. Prior to that, he was a partner at Alphabet Ventures LLC.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Chris Wagner
23 Health Investments

Chris Wagner, president of 23 Health Investments, prides himself on having a company that’s different. He has filed 17 cannabis-related patents and constructed and licensed a million-plus-square-foot cannabis-cultivation space. In doing so, he has contributed to quadrupling his company’s value. Cutting-edge cannabis science and brand-focused marketing are Wagner’s focuses and the secrets of his success.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Scott Van Rixel
Bhang Corporation

A master chocolatier boasting over 25 years’ experience in the field, Scott Van Rixel is CEO and co-founder of the Bhang Corporation. His success in commercial gourmet chocolate has landed him high-end retail clients such as Whole Foods and Dean & DeLuca. He has also won eight High Times Cannabis Cups. Van Rixel is a founding member of the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association and was an early sponsor of Women Grow.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Lori Ajax
California Bureau of Cannabis Control

The former director of California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and current chief of the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, investigator Lori Ajax (called the “pot czar of California” by the Los Angeles Times) also gives speaking engagements. She was the keynote speaker at the Palm Springs Cannabis Film Festival and Summit and interacts daily with legislators, government officials and business owners to make decisions and find common ground between the legalities and commercial realities of cannabusinesses large and small.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Joa Helms
Green House/Strain Hunters

A devout advocate of the legalization of cannabis in the Netherlands, a winner of many High Times Cannabis Cups and the head of busy retail locations in Amsterdam and Barcelona for Green House and Strain Hunters, Joa Helms brings nearly 25 years of experience in the cannabis industry to the table. He’s doing all right in the social-media game too, with a rich Instagram profile boasting nearly 165,000 followers and pictures of lots and lots of pretty flowers.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Rico Tarver
Baker Technologies

Rico Tarver is the California market manager for Baker Technologies, the cannabis industry’s largest software company, which helps over 1,000 dispensaries generate increased revenue and has raised nearly $12 million in capital. Tarver has also co-produced successful cannabis-based peer events using the Baker platform in conjunction with his own outfit, the Suave Life, in addition to CannaGather and the CBD Sundays health-and-wellness series, along with a video podcast partner-ship-in-progress with MJ.com and Hits Blunt Live.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Richard Yost
Airo Brands

Staten Island native Richard Yost is the founder and CEO of Airo Brands, the company behind the development and distribution of “the finest vaporizer on the market.” Yost was selected by New York State to operate one of only five original medical-marijuana outfits in New York City, Bloomfield Industries, a 235,000-square-foot facility which was later acquired by MedMen. He strategically advised Colorado’s cannabis market and managed a business which created cleaner soil for farming.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Vincent D’Accolti
SHO Products

A fierce advocate for cannabis and extracts free of solvents, Vincent D’Accolti is the co-founder and “creator of opportunities” of SHO Products, a product group with 5,000-plus worldwide wholesale partnerships. With locations in New York, Los Angeles, Europe and South America, SHO Products helped start a solvent-free extract movement with Rosin Tech Products. D’Accolti’s brand, Dab Nation, aims to further raise cannabis’s social stock by connecting cannabis, art and culture worldwide.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Brian Athaide
Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.

With a 25-year background working in finance roles spanning eight countries with Procter & Gamble, Brian Athaide was the CFO of a multibillion-dollar business in Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia before his time as CEO with Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. His strengths include developing corporate strategy, managing foreign-exchange devaluations, and handling economic, political and banking crises, including high market volatility, among others.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Bruce Linton
Canopy Growth Corporation

Having raised $6 billion in capital, Bruce Linton founded Canopy Growth Corporation and co-founded Tweed Marijuana Inc. CGC was the first cannabis business to be listed on a major stock exchange – both the TSX and NYSE. Business strategy is Linton’s main focus, partnering with the Fortune 500 beverage company Constellation Brands and creating a coherent path into cannabis-based medicines and consumer products.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Trent Overholt
14th Round Inc.

Trent Overholt, the CEO-meets-product-engineer of 14th Round Inc., has a background that includes design, manufacturing and the distribution of consumer goods. His vast knowledge of the cannabis industry has helped him blaze trails for the growing design and technology company, which focuses on integrated product development and packaging and design, and has built countless cannabis brands.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Sher Joudeh
Starbuds Consulting

In just five years since becoming VP of finance for Starbuds Consulting, Sher Joudeh grew a local business into a retail chain of international dispensaries. With her background in account management, she helped the company expand from Colorado into Maryland, and the company’s consulting throughout the industry guides clients through the state-specific regulations. Joudeh’s expertise is featured on the MSNBC show Pot Barons.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Will Senn
Urbn Leaf

A prolific cannabis entrepreneur and businessman, Will Senn builds cannabis businesses, and the company that he founded, Urbn Leaf, is one of the most successful cannabis retail brands in the Golden State. Senn has also helped create many cannabis trade associations, such as the United Medical Marijuana Coalition, the Patient Care Association of California, the Alliance for Responsible Medicinal Access and Citizens for Patient’s Rights.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Green R. Fieldz
Zkittlez

A co-creator of the beloved Zkittlez brand, Green R. Fieldz is also a co-founder of the busy cannabis breeding company Terp Hogz and the high-end extract business Field/FieldZ. With over 20 awards from his 10-year tenure in the cannabis world, Fieldz is a pioneer of smart marketing and branding for cannabis-related products and services who’s also well known for his work in music, which is evidenced by a healthy social-media following.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Mario Sherbinski
Sherbinskis

A master cannabis cultivator, Mario Sherbinski oversees a high-end lifestyle, eponymous weed brand that saw business explode after its impressive Gelato strain won countless fans across the country. Its cousins Bacio, Acaiberry, Mochi and Gello further cemented a demand for the Sherbinskis product line. Celebrity musicians including John Mayer and Wiz Khalifa love Sherbinski’s products, Entrepreneur magazine awarded his company “Top in Flower” in 2018, and his business’s brand growth includes a new accessories and apparel line and a Los Angeles-based dispensary in progress.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ron Gershoni
Jetty Extracts

A founding board member of the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association and Oakland Citizens for Equity and Prosperity, Ron Gershoni co-founded Jetty Extracts and directed its growth into a major extract company with products carried in hundreds of California outposts. Jetty’s collaborations have led to intriguing innovations, like cannabis-derived terpene-infused beers, Mind Tricks artisanal medicated toffee, a trademarked (and very strong) Dablicator doser pen and the Shelter Project, which provides free cannabis oil to cancer patients.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ean Seeb
Denver Relief Consulting

A cannabis industry veteran and seasoned Denver-based entrepreneur, Ean Seeb is a founding partner of Denver Relief Consulting. Since it launched in 2011, Denver Relief Consulting has partnered with top brands including Silver Sage Wellness, Standard Wellness, Cresco Labs and Silver State Relief. Seeb is the former co-owner of the Denver Relief dispensary – one of Colorado’s best-known medical-cannabis companies – which he sold to Willie Nelson in 2016. In addition to his work with Denver Relief Consulting, Seeb is also a board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Tony Verzura
United Cannabis Corporation/Blue River

Chief technology officer Tony Verzura, who has won nearly 80 cannabis awards, oversees the manufacturing, quality assurance, product creation, staffing and brand identity of UCANN, including developing phytotherapeutic medicine for countless patients. He has been featured on CNBC’s Money Talk and in the Washington Post, Vice, DOPE Magazine and more, and is a weekly guest on the popular cannabis-oriented educational YouTube show Hash Church, hosted by Bubbleman (for whose company Verzura is also the US brand ambassador).

The High Times 100 of 2019

Adrian Sedlin
Canndescent

In 2017, Canndescent was responsible for selling the most cannabis flower in the state of California, and leading the luxury cannabis brand was CEO Adrian Sedlin. The company’s calling card is to drop strain names in exchange for descriptives, such as “Calm,” “Cruise,” “Create,” “Connect” and “Charge.” Additionally, Sedlin has had a hand in both the Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network and the Policy Council of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Greg Engel
Organigram

Organigram, a publicly traded and licensed company, owes some accolades for its position as a leading producer of cannabis in Canada to CEO Greg Engel. With his 30-plus years of experience in the biotechnological, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries, Engel is an innovative influencer in the cannabis realm. He prides himself on being wholly committed to the quality of the organically grown medical cannabis his company produces.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Aaron Smith
National Cannabis Industry Association

Denver-based Aaron Smith set himself apart in the cannabis sector with his work as a public advocate for marijuana-policy reform, both with Safe Access Now as early as 2005 and then later via the Marijuana Policy Project. In 2010, he founded the NCIA. He has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times for his work and can be seen commentating on cannabis-related themes on national TV.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Dennis Hunter
AbsoluteXtracts

Dennis Hunter, a self-taught agriculturist in the cannabis sector and the creative and innovative founder of CannaCraft Inc., has spent the last 25-plus years developing his skills, creating his cannabis manufacturing and distribution business, and advocating for legal cannabis. His hard work has led to stellar success in creating one of the largest companies of its kind today, which produces more than 200 products including edibles, beverages and vape pens.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Sasha Kadey
Greenlane

The award-winning chief marketing officer of Greenlane, Sasha Kadey, works with luxury brands in the cannabis arena to provide quality products at competitive prices, with a strong emphasis on customer service and a knack for disruptive innovation. Greenlane has over 235 employees and operates in eight cities across the United States and Canada. His past achievements in working with the wine and spirits and luxury cosmetics fields were highlighted by InStyle, Ad Age, Tech Times and more.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Nancy Whiteman
Wana Brands

As founder and CEO of Wana Brands, Nancy Whiteman has blazed a unique path to success in the cannabis space. A Cornell graduate in her 60s, Whiteman is touted as the “Queen of Legal Weed” and the “Martha Stewart of Edibles.” Wana Brands holds the top position for sales revenues in the US edibles game per BDS Analytics, thanks in part to its best-selling Wana Sour Gummies and WanaCapsXR, in addition to Whiteman’s direction of her company’s partnership development, licensing and growth.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Nick Kovacevich
KushCo Holdings Inc.

At the helm of KushCo Holdings Inc. is Nick Kovacevich. Founded in 2010, the business oversees many aspects of the cannabis industry via its assorted companies, including divisions that manage creative design for cannabis brands, research and development, sales and distribution of vaporizers, packaging and accessories, and even distribution of hydrocarbon gases and solvents. Kovacevich led the company of nearly 250 employees to sell over a billion products and set it on track to reach $115 million in annual revenue.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ruben Cross
Kush Punch

Ruben Cross is the entrepreneur behind Kushy Punch, an award-winning, highly identifiable cannabis brand taking users from “Happy to blissful in under 60 minutes” via its line of edibles, vapes and CBD products. Cross helped create new (higher) compliance and consistency standards for a still-in-flux industry. Locally sourced low-sugar, low-calorie and non-GMO ingredients helped Kushy Punch’s success, but the company’s spirit of charity to the needy, animals and veterans sure doesn’t hurt.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Keith Allen
Canna Paid

Canna Paid, a kind of PayPal for cannabis businesses, is the brainchild of Keith Allen, who serves as president of the company, bringing with him experience as an entertainment exec, an accomplished business owner and a valued leader who thrives in fast-paced environments. The company’s major sponsorship of the first annual Budtender Awards in Las Vegas in 2019 shows a sampling of Canna Paid’s enthusiasm for the people who put their hearts and souls into the cannabis industry every day.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Louie Cazarin
Louie the XIII

Louie Cazarin is the inventor of the eponymous proprietary Louie the XIII strain, an indica-dominant flower known for its rich flavor and strong potency. His famous hand-rolled doobies sport glass tips and have been enjoyed by celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Buffet. He boasts hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and uses the hashtag #HuntForLouie, part of a scavenger hunt in which he rains down free weed on lucky followers every week, like a cannabis Johnny Appleseed.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Terry Booth
Aurora Cannabis Inc.

Terry Booth is a founder and CEO of Canada’s Aurora Cannabis Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing cannabis companies in the world. Utilizing over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience, Booth led Aurora through ever-changing legal, licensing and acquisition issues to grow it into an industry juggernaut that trades among the highest cannabis stocks on the NYSE. Aurora Cannabis produces over 500,000 kilograms of marijuana per year, and with Booth at the helm it’s sure to keep on growing.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ivan
Jungle Boys

The Los Angeles–based breeders Jungle Boys have been providing their incredible genetics for cannabis connoisseurs for over a decade, primarily out of the TLC Collective dispensary. Ivan, one of Southern California’s most respected cultivators and seed breeders, made a name for himself through painstaking pheno-hunting. The Jungle Boys are known for the time and attention they put into their strains, and the resulting cuts – like Purple Punch and Orange Cookies – are sought after the world over.

The High Times 100 of 2019The High Times 100 of 2019

Steve White
Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.

CEO Steve White provides strategic leadership for Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., a company he also founded. In school, White won a national athletic championship, spent time as a law-journal editor and graduated early, summa cum laude. Later, he started a highly rated boutique law practice with a focus on business litigation and regulatory law. His Harvesting Hope nonprofit supports children with seizure disorders, and his companies have donated over $1 million to people in need.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Smoke Wallin
Vertical Wellness Inc.

As CEO and president of Vertical Wellness, Smoke Wallin, an award-winning entrepreneur, thought leader, speaker, board member, father and husband, has nearly three decades of success in the consumer product, alcohol beverage and technology worlds. He has worked with start-ups in branding and marketing, distribution and sales, and business growth, as well as in regulated industries at the local, federal and state levels. He’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars and has been featured in countless publications.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Tick Segerblom
Nevada State Legislator

As a county commissioner in Las Vegas, Tick Segerblom served in the Nevada Legislature for 12 years, representing the fourth generation of his family to do so. Before that, he served in the White House under President Carter and was the state chair of the Nevada Democratic Party from 1990 to 1994. He gets his nickname, “the Godfather of Marijuana,” for his work promoting Nevada’s marijuana industry, authoring Nevada’s medical-marijuana law and by pushing for public-use lounges, among his other important roles in Nevada’s cannabis-reform scene.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Peter Aceto
CannTrust

Before he was the CEO of CannTrust, Peter Aceto was a founding member, president and CEO of Tangerine (formerly ING Direct). Aceto helped orchestrate the $3.1 billion acquisition of ING Direct by Scotiabank, and he spent time as the US chief risk officer, chief of staff and chief lending officer at ING Direct over the course of his eight years with the company. He is a respected business leader, board member, mentor and adviser to financial start-ups, and a speaker, a writer and the author of Weology, a Globe and Mail best-selling book.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Dorian Schraner
Beezle Extracts

The popular Swiss-born founder of Beezle Extracts, Dorian Schraner, is a highly respected member of the cannabis culture who hobnobs with an A-list crew of cannabis-industry professionals. Raised in Northern California, Schraner has a passion for cannabis that has driven and directed his business’s success as a top provider of premium cannabis concentrates including live resin (budder, batter, shatter and sugar), distillates and sauce. Schraner takes pride in providing responsibly sourced ingredients and working with local farmers.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Kevin P. Murphy
Acreage Holdings Inc.

Holy Cross alum Kevin P. Murphy is the CEO of Acreage Holdings Inc. (formerly High Street Capital Partners), whose website boasts they’ve “been doing this a long time,” this being managing the largest collection of rights to grow, process and sell cannabis across 14 states and counting. Murphy works with legislators, doctors and researchers to raise the bar for standards in the cannabis industry. His history of raising capital, his impressive business acumen and his ace team of retail, food and beverage, and finance veterans show he’s thinking sky-high.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Dan Anglin
CannAmerica Brands

CannAmerica Brands, a branding, licensing and intellectual-property business, owes its success
to co-founder, CEO and former marine Dan Anglin, who has been a notable presence in the regulated cannabis world and is an expert in policy reform. He serves on rulemaking working groups for the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division and founded the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit advocacy group. He graduated magna cum laude, served in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and speaks fluent Navajo.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Paul Rosen
Tidal Royalty Corp.

Constitutional lawyer and serial entrepreneur Paul Rosen founded the Cronos Group (formerly PharmaCan Capital), the first NASDAQ-listed cannabis business. Cronos’s Canada-based medical marijuana companies comprise 126 acres. Rosen also founded BreakWater Venture Capital, which boasts a portfolio of over 150 investments. Rosen is currently director of the Hill Street Beverage Company and sits on the boards of many cannabis businesses, including iAnthus Capital Holdings. His leadership has been paramount in developing several start-up ventures.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Jared Stanley
Charlotte’s Web

As VP of cultivation at Charlotte’s Web, a company that specializes in the production of hemp- based CBD health and wellness solutions, Jared Stanley has developed proprietary genetics, which became the foundation for the company’s line of non-intoxicating health products. Jared is a pioneer in the hemp industry, efficiently cultivating high-quality hemp at low cost for Charlotte’s Web’s full-spectrum plant compounds that offer relief to patients around the world.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Ryan G. Smith
LeafLink

With a background creating B2B firms, Ryan Smith was the first cannabusiness CEO featured on the Forbes “30 Under 30” list, and his business, LeafLink, the first cannabusiness ever placed on the Fast Company “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” list. Known for excellent customer service, LeafLink is an industry-standard platform for ordering, management and product sales. It’s raised over $14 million in capital, and over 2,500 retail shops use it to order more than 800 products across America.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Sam Dorf, Esq.
Verano Holdings

A true people person and merit-based application strategist, Verano Holdings’ co-founder and chief growth officer’s strengths lie in building solid teams, creating strong alignments via funding and real-estate assets, and working with local governments to help organize strong applicants. Sam Dorf has raised over $140 million and has secured 19 licenses across eight states. To top it off, his charity supports woman’s shelters, domestic-abuse prevention, job creation and helping veterans in need.

The High Times 100 of 2019

Luke Coleman
Connected Cannabis Company

A 10-year veteran of the legal marijuana industry, Luke Coleman founded the Connected Cannabis Company with Caleb Counts in 2013. Coleman is known for the creation and cultivation of some of the most exclusive genetics in the cannabis world. He is currently helping Connected expand its already impressive retail and cultivation facilities, which provide high-quality recreational and medical-marijuana products throughout California.

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