What Is a Sploof and How Do You Make One?

While the pros of smoking weed certainly outweigh the cons, there are some minor annoyances when it comes to toking up. Particularly, in its plant form, where discretion isn’t necessarily the name of the game. Sure there are essentially odorless vape cartridges and edibles that could keep even the shrewdest observers at bay, but some of us still prefer to smoke the old-fashioned way. Or, perhaps, only have access to dried buds. Luckily, there’s the sploof.

Making a sploof is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and one of the easiest ways to hide the smell of your bud when you’re trying to smoke up indoors. But what is a sploof? If you’re unfamiliar with the vaunted sploof, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the illustrious history of the sploof and how you can easily make one yourself.

What Is A Sploof?

So, what is a sploof, you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple. It’s essentially a filter for your weed smoke. A muffler of sorts. Ganja has one of the most recognizable scents there is, so if you’re looking to smoke without getting hassled by your cranky old neighbor, or some un-chill parents, then you’re probably going to want to make one of these devices.

Here’s the top definition on UrbanDictionary.com (yeah, we went there, deal with it!):

a plastic bottle with the end cut off, filled with dryer sheets, and covered with a thick sock; is used to smoke grass when you don’t wanna get caught, cause it hides the smell”

Although Urban Dictionary references a plastic bottle, a sploof can also be made out of an old paper towel roll. Either way, all sploofs are, essentially, a sealed tube with holes on both ends, with a filtering agent attached.

Now let’s take a look at how to make a sploof.

How To Make A Sploof

Luckily, you only need a handful of commonly used household items, so making your device should be pretty damn painless.

Here are some of the materials you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Scented dryer sheets
  • Plastic bottle or toilet paper/paper towel roll
  • Tape, rubber band, or some form of string

Now actually putting together the whole thing takes three easy steps.

Step 1:

If you’re using the toilet paper roll, simply remove all of the paper until you just have the tube. If you’re using a paper towel roll, cut it to a smaller length. So yeah, obviously a toilet paper roll is ideal here.

If you’re using a plastic bottle, simply cut the bottom of the bottle off.

Wow, that was easy. On to step two!

Step 2:

Here’s where the real sploof action begins. Well, sort of.

Fill the tube/bottle up with a few dryer sheets. Two or three should suffice, but if you want to be extra careful, go ahead and throw a fourth in there.

Now…

Step 3:

Time to cover up the sploof, and you’re done. Just take another dryer sheet, fold it in half, then place it over the top like a drum. Ideally, you should use a rubber band to keep it tight, but you can also tie it with string or just tape it up. If there’s a lot of excess material after it’s tied, you can also just take the scissors and cut it off. However, a little extra dryer sheet sticking out from the sides shouldn’t make or break an effective sploof.

Step 4:

Get super high. You’re sploof is ready to go. Just be sure to change the dryer sheets inside after a few uses, and you’ll have a solid sploof for ages. Then again, it’s so easy to make, you can always just refer to this guide and keep making fresh ones.

Either way, now that you know how to make a sploof, you’re a lot less likely to get caught smoking pot by your R.A. with one of these bad boys.

The post What Is a Sploof and How Do You Make One? appeared first on High Times.


California College Paying People to Smoke Weed and Virtually Drive for Study

In an effort to better understand the ways cannabis use impacts traffic safety, UC San Diego is conducting a virtual driving study that tests how driving high impacts the ability to respond to common challenges on the roadway. The study, the largest of its kind to date, is being conducted by the college’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. And to make sure they’re attracting the right candidates, researchers are paying people to smoke weed for the study.

For Participants, It Pays To Drive High

If the idea of getting paid to smoke weed and get behind the wheel sounds good to you, you’re in luck. UC San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is still recruiting participants for its study on cannabis and driving.

And for the study’s participants, it pays to drive high. The CMCR is giving participants $50 for an initial appointment. But when participants come back for their full day assessment, UCSD is prepared to drop an additional $180.

Those involved in the study will have their work cut out for them. Besides a long day of simulated driving, there’s no guarantee a participant will even get high.

Anyone participating in the study, however, will get to smoke a joint. The study’s design involves administering joints rolled on site and of varying THC concentrations. Some have none, while others are high-potency.

Researchers want to know how different cannabis doses impact a person’s ability to drive. Timing is another variable the study will examine. If a person consumes cannabis in the morning, how long will their high last? And at what point is a person no longer under the influence of cannabis?

Study Wants To Find When It’s Safe To Drive After Consuming Cannabis

CMCR’s study is investigating these questions because traffic safety continues to be a priority issue in states with legal adult-use cannabis. Concerns about drivers under the influence of cannabis are omnipresent in policy discussions about legalization.

And not without good reason, according to Tom Marcotte, Co-Director of UC San Diego’s CMCR. Marcotte says cannabis absolutely impacts driving.

But the study isn’t only about providing data to support that claim. It also aims to figure out how long it takes the average person to sober up after cannabis use.

And that, Marcotte says, could help cannabis users make smarter decisions about whether they should pick up the keys or get a ride.

The study will also analyze how well high drivers react to common road challenges, like making a left turn against traffic or deciding whether to brake or roll through a yellow light.

Marcotte says drivers under the influence of cannabis definitely struggle with some common driving tasks. Swerving and braking seem to be particularly affected.

Cannabis and Driving Study Will Help Law Enforcement Detect High Drivers

After smoking a joint and taking their turn on the research center’s driving simulator, participants will have to take a field sobriety test.

And that, in turn, could help cops better detect high drivers. For now, officers rely on field sobriety tests to check for cannabis intoxication. But the cognitive nature of cannabis’ effects makes it hard to know for sure whether a person is too impaired to drive.

With the data from CMCR’s study, however, officers could develop field sobriety tests better calibrated to cannabis.

Finally, the study will collect blood and saliva samples from participants. This will help researchers determine what level of driving aptitude corresponds to THC amounts in those fluids.

The post California College Paying People to Smoke Weed and Virtually Drive for Study appeared first on High Times.


Winners of the 2018 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup

This past weekend, we traveled abroad to the Netherlands for this year’s Amsterdam Cannabis Cup. The competition brought attention to dozens of hard-working and inspiring people—growers, innovators, and company owners. Here are the seed companies that are the winners of the 2018 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup:

Hash

1st Place: Gelato 41 by Field Extracts x Connected Canabis

2nd Place: Headbanger by Nature Boyz x Karma Genetics

3rd Place: Sour Power OG by Karma Squad x Flawless Extract

Hybrid Flower

1st Place: Biscotti by Connected Canabis

2nd Place: Rainbow Rider by Karma Squad

3rd Place: Smarties by Kush for Breakfast

Indica Flower

1st Place: Wedding Cake by PhenoFinders Seeds

2nd Place: Spumoni by The Plug Seed bank x Alien labs

3rd Place: Gelato 41 by Connected Canabis

Sativa Flower

1st Place: Gelonade by Connected Canabis

2nd Place: Purple Strawberry Sherbert by PhenoFinders Seeds

3rd Place: Purple Lemon Punch by The Plug Seed Bank

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Munchie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel

You’re in a grocery store. You’re staring blankly down the aisles, in search of the perfect snacks. You’re having a Treat Yo Self night, and only the finest of products will do when the munchies creep up.

Then it hits you—a breakfast pastry sounds perfect. Pop-Tarts and Toaster Strudel immediately spring to mind, but you’re not sure which one to go for. Which of these fine breakfast pastries rank supreme?

Well, I found out. For you. And for science.

Foreward

It’s important to note here that I am a lifelong preacher of the Pop-Tart gospel. The Pop-Tart is an incredible marvel of human ingenuity.

Toaster Strudel, on the other hand, I had never actually had before. But I am a scientist and a professional, so I went in with an open mind.

The only way to do this right was to create a points-based rating system. Since I’m a Strudel virgin, I asked a real-life fanatic about which flavor to get. She swore by the Strawberry, so I went with that. Most people can agree on Strawberry Pop-Tarts (though personally, I prefer Brown Sugar Cinnamon), so I went with those as well. Then I ate them back-to-back, using a very advanced system you probably wouldn’t understand — but I will try to dumb it down for you.

The Very Advanced System You Wouldn’t Understand

Prep Time
These are stoney baloney food. A treat for the lazy man. Anybody as dumb as me should be able to make these relatively easy; ain’t nobody got time for a complicated, multi-step process. How many steps are needed beyond just toasting them?

1 Point for a long prep time, 2 Points for a quick prep time.

Pros
What does it have going for it?
1 Point for every pro.

Cons

What does it have going against it?
1/2 point subtracted for every con.

Taste

On the classic 1-5 scale, how do they taste? Keep in mind, this is a scale for munchies. A perfect 5 does not mean it’s as good as a Michelin star restaurant. A perfect 5 just means it’s as good as it can be for a munchie.

1 – 5 Points, depending on the taste.

Overall Rating

Using this point system, what score did it receive?

Grab your goggles. Follow me into the lab. Let’s do this.

Munchie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel

Wilder Shaw/ High Times

Strawberry Toaster Strudel

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes. You need to thaw the pastry, toast it, and then apply the icing.

Pros:

  • Stellar icing.
  • The flaky crust makes you feel like you’re eating a real pastry.
  • Moist filling.
  • You only need to eat one to feel satisfied.

Cons:

  • The flaky crust is messy as the dickens.
  • You have to be Marie Curie to understand the science required to toast it properly.
  • You can’t eat it untoasted.
  • Your fingers are sticky afterward.
  • The box doesn’t tell you that you need to thaw the pastry before toasting.

Taste: 3.5

Overall Rating: 6

Munchie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel

Wilder Shaw/ High Times

At first glance, it’s instantly clear that a Toaster Strudel is a good deal smaller than a Pop-Tart. This soured me right away. However, upon closer inspection, I realized that a Strudel is about twice as thick as a Pop-Tart, so that evens things out.

Waiting three to five minutes for a Toaster Strudel is far from acceptable. It’s also quite difficult to master the entire process. My first attempt to toast one didn’t quite work out, as it was still not hot enough, and I had to re-toast it. This resulted in a molten magma hot crust, yet an Arctic tundra cold filling. This is not my toaster’s fault–everything else I toast comes out perfectly.

I consulted my Strudel-loving source, who told me that Toaster Strudels should be thawed a bit before toasting. There are two problems with this: A) The box does not tell you that, so if an insider tip is needed to make the product functional, that is a huge issue and B) WHO HAS THE TIME? I don’t have the time. Do you have the time? Of course not. We’re all so busy. We could make scrambled eggs in the time it takes to make a Toaster Strudel.

I decided, in the interest of fairness, to try again. I let this one thaw until it was room temperature. I popped it back in the toaster, and while it did work a little better, the end result still wasn’t incredible. It was again hot on the outside, and only sort of warm on the inside. Toaster Strudel seems to present itself as having an ooey-gooey inside, but I’m afraid that’s simply not the case.

Strudels are, I will say, quite tasty. The icing is top-notch. They’re mad flaky though, which is both a pro and a con. It helps the taste experience but also makes a big mess. You also can’t really even hold one without getting icing all over your fingers. Even if you apply the icing on the top without touching the sides, the heat from the pastry melts the icing, causing it to drip down the sides. Eating a toaster strudel is to take a flakey, icing-filled shower.

Munchie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel

Wilder Shaw/ High Times

Strawberry Pop-Tarts

Prep Time: 1 minute. Toast that sucker, pull it out, and you’re ready to rock.

Pros:

  • Always hot on the inside, even after toasting for only one minute.
  • The weird crunchy frosting is outstanding.
  • You can, if you must, eat them untoasted.

Cons:

  • A tendency to go overboard with silly flavors that nobody wants.
  • The frosting never fully covers the entire thing.
  • You need to eat two to be satisfied.

Taste: 4.5 (Brown Sugar Cinnamon would get a perfect 5 for me)

Overall Rating: 8

Munchie Showdown: Pop-Tarts vs. Toaster Strudel

Wilder Shaw/ High Times

Pop-Tarts come in packs of two, which suggests that you should be eating them in that quantity. Healthwise this isn’t ideal, but you probably won’t be satisfied after eating just one. I will give the Toaster Strudel some credit in that department.

It is undeniably easier to make a Tart than it is to make a Strudel (you can even microwave them, if need be). After exactly one minute in my toaster, it was perfect: hot on the outside, hot on the inside. If it takes only one minute to make a Pop-Tart perfectly, there is absolutely no reason you should be settling for a five minute thawing time, and then a three to five minute toasting time for a Toaster Strudel, especially when it’s not a guarantee it will even be hot all the way through.

The Strawberry tastes great and it’s not even my favorite flavor. I love the way the frosting cracks open when you take a bite. Admittedly, Pop-Tarts can go overboard with their insane flavors (S’Mores is garbage), but we are pitting the best flavors of each brand against each other here, so the bad flavors shouldn’t factor in. In other words, I’ll ignore the Boston Cream Pie Toaster Strudels as well as those whackadoo Wild Thornberrys-looking Pop Tarts.

The real issue here is that these products are stoney snacks. Even if Strudels tasted as good – which they don’t–they simply require too much effort. A Strudel lover might argue that you’re not meant to eat one late at night when you’re high, but rather you are meant to enjoy it at your leisure from the comfort of your home in the morning. I might argue that if that’s really the case, you should just make a normal breakfast like a human being.

With a final score of 8, Pop-Tarts defeat Toaster Strudels’ 6, and claim the title. Well done, Pop Tarts. Y’all deserved it.

To the victor, the spoils.

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First Alcohol Association Supports Recreational Marijuana

For the first time, an alcohol industry trade association has expressed support for the states’ right to legalize recreational marijuana. The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) announced the policy shift in a recent press release. The WSWA represents wine and liquor wholesalers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The 370 companies that make up the group distribute more than 80 percent of the alcohol that is sold wholesale in the U.S.

The WSWA called on the federal government to respect the right of states to legalize cannabis. The trade group also noted that the legal marijuana market generated more than $7 billion in economic activity in 2016.  Dawson Hobbs, the WSWA Acting Executive Vice President for External Affairs, compared the fledgling legal cannabis economy to his industry’s challenges of the 1930s.

“Eight decades ago, Americans acknowledged that the Prohibition of alcohol was a failed policy. The state-based system of regulation, adopted after Prohibition, created a U.S. beverage alcohol market that is the safest, most competitive, and best regulated in the world,” he said.

Regulation is Key

The WSWA said that cannabis should be regulated similarly to alcohol, and included a specific list of recommendations. The group holds that recreational cannabis should be limited to adults 21 years of age and older. The association also calls on governments to establish standards to define impaired driving.

The state should license all manufacturers, processors, distributors, and retailers, according to the WSWA, and prohibit monopolies and vertical integration of licensees. Regulation should include restrictions on sales and delivery by common carriers. States should also create systems to ensure that all products in the market can be tracked and traced to their source processor or producer.

The group also wants restrictions on advertising and hours of sale similar to those for alcohol. Potency and safety testing should be required and health claims on packaging banned, the group says.

The WSWA also called for recreational cannabis to be taxed and enforced. Penalties should be on par with those for the alcohol industry, according to the association.

Big Shift for the Industry

So far, the WSWA is the only alcohol trade group that has expressed a new attitude toward cannabis. The adult beverage industry has a track record of opposing cannabis legalization efforts. The Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association contributed $10,000 to a group fighting a legalization initiative on that state’s ballot in 2016. The same year, the Beer Distributors PAC in Massachusetts gave $25,000 to the anti-pot group Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts.

Leaders in the alcohol industry have admitted that they see legal cannabis as a threat to their companies’ bottom line. Sam Adams parent The Boston Brewing Company admitted in a financial filing that cannabis legalization could “adversely impact the demand” for beer.

And the makers of Jack Daniels whiskey and Finlandia vodka, the Brown-Forman Company, warned investors that “consumer preferences and purchases may shift due to a host of factors, many of which are difficult to predict, including … the potential legalization of marijuana use on a more widespread basis within the United States, and changes in travel, leisure, dining, gifting, entertaining, and beverage consumption trends.”

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How To Make Firecrackers

Looking to whip up a weed edible that takes the least amount of time and effort possible? Look no further than the humble firecracker, quite possibly the simplest cannabis treat you can make. Learning how to make firecrackers is easy, and for the most part foolproof. But there are some things to keep in mind to make sure the firecrackers weed doesn’t burn up, leaving you with a worthless, if tasty, snack.

Here’s How to Make Firecrackers

Let’s start with what you need to pull off an amazing firecracker recipe.

First, you’ll need some high-quality flower. If you’re making firecrackers just for yourself, about a half gram (0.5 g) should do. Use more if you’re planning to make enough to share.

Next, you need your graham crackers. Nabisco or HoneyMaid work best due to their higher fat content. Spice things up with the cinnamon version!

Finally, you need peanut butter. Go for the natural stuff with the higher amounts of fat. The higher (the fat), the better! Nutella also works well in combination with the peanut butter or on its own.

That’s why firecrackers are so simple to make. The firecrackers weed easily bonds to the fats in the peanut butter, eliminating many of the steps needed to make other weed edibles.

And don’t forget the tools: a toothpick for stirring, aluminum foil for baking, and an oven with an accurate temperature control. Toaster ovens work well, especially the digital kind.

Don’t Forget To Decarboxylate Your Firecrackers Weed!

In order for this firecrackers weed recipe to work, you have to activate the THC and other cannabinoids in your buds before you eat them. That means using heat to decarboxylate your cannabis.

For the first-timer, figuring out how to make firecrackers weed decarboxylated can be a little challenging. But really, the process is simple. Just remember, low and slow.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F (120 C) and wait about 10 minutes for it to get warm. While you’re waiting, break up your nugs by hand or coarsely grind them.

Next, put the weed in the oven. Set a timer for about 15 minutes. That’s plenty of time for a decarb, so don’t go any longer. Heating too long can ruin your weed.

After 15 minutes, set your weed to the side and let cool.

Assemble Your Weed Firecrackers

Now, heat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 C). As it gets to temp, spread a thick layer of peanut butter (and/or Nutella) on one side of each graham cracker.

Pro Tip: the fat in the peanut butter is what absorbs the THC from your weed, so the more fat the better. That’s why you should really spread it on thick.

Now, evenly sprinkle your weed on the peanut butter-covered crackers. Now’s the time to use that toothpick to stir and fold your weed into the peanut butter.

Mix your weed in very thoroughly, so that all of it is covered with fatty peanut butter. Don’t rush this step.

To finish assembling your firecrackers, add a second peanut butter and covered cracker on top and sandwich them together.

Get Baking! Here’s How To Make Firecrackers …the Right Way

At this point, lots of people will simply toss the firecracker into the oven and bake it. But that’s not the best approach.

Instead, wrap your firecrackers in foil. Wrap them up completely, like you would if you were cooking something over a campfire. This will lock all the good stuff in and make sure no THC escapes!

Now, go ahead and put your foil wrapped firecracker into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The perfect amount of time to enjoy an episode of “Broad City” while you wait.

Cool Down, Then Chow Down!

This last part is the best. Giver your firecrackers time to cool down and remove them from their foil wrappers.

Smells delicious, right? Of course it does, it’s weed and peanut butter (and maybe cinnamon and chocolate).

Finally, eat your firecracker! They’re so good, it’s easy to get carried away and eat the whole batch. But make sure you wait at least a half hour to 45 minutes to see how all that firecrackers weed is hitting you before diving into another.

Bon appétit!

The post How To Make Firecrackers appeared first on High Times.


Oklahoma Health Department Sued Over Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Two separate lawsuits have been filed in response to restrictions tacked onto Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law by government regulators. Voters passed State Question 788 (SQ 788) by a margin of 57-43 percent in a June 6 election. SQ 788 legalized the medicinal use of cannabis and created a framework for a regulated supply chain.

Earlier this week, the State Department of Health released proposed rules to govern the program. But then the Oklahoma State Board of Health voted to add restrictions to the rules, including a provision banning the sale of smokable forms of cannabis at dispensaries. Another requires medical marijuana dispensaries to have a pharmacist onsite.

Activists Fight Back

One of the lawsuits has been filed in Oklahoma County by Green the Vote. The advocacy group is suing the state, Gov. Mary Fallin, the Oklahoma State Health Department, and five members of the board. In a release, the group said the board’s actions do not comply with SQ 788.

“The lawsuit filed today is our endeavor to undo the wrongful acts of the Oklahoma Department of Health in adopting amendments to the regulations implementing State Initiative 788. It is our hope that this lawsuit will quickly resolve the improper regulations and allow Oklahoma citizens to exercise their rights to manage their own health care,” they said, according to local media.

The suit states that the board members met behind closed doors before their public meeting to discuss potential amendments to the proposed rules. The legal action alleges that the meeting was in violation of legislation requiring transparency in government.

“Their informal gatherings prior to the regular meeting constitute a meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act given that their discussions were about actions to be taken by the Board during the July 10, 2018 full meeting,” the lawsuit claims.

Patients and Providers Also Sue

A group of eight potential medical marijuana patients and caregivers also filed suit, in Cleveland County. Their suit claims the Board of Health exceeded its authority and that the regulations are “arbitrary and capricious.”

“The reality here is that this failure of leadership will now cost our state more than the limited special session needed to put patients before profit,” Green said.

Will Lawsuits Delay Access?

Shawn Jenkins of the Yes on 788 political action committee said that he fears litigation could delay the initiative’s implementation.

“We’re obviously very concerned with anything that would compromise the rollout of 788 and getting patients what they need,” Jenkins said.

“We don’t want to see people suffer that shouldn’t be suffering, especially at the hands of political organizations and trade groups,” he added.

More Initiatives to Come?

Whatever the outcome of the lawsuits over SQ 788, Oklahoma voters may have more decisions to make about cannabis. Green the Vote is currently circulating petitions for two more initiatives to codify medical marijuana and the use of cannabis for adults in the state’s constitution.

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9 Cannabis-Infused Beers to Try

The craft beer renaissance and the legalization movement are a match made in heaven. A number of West Coast breweries, big and small, are releasing cannabinoid-infused beers, despite its legal grey area. Can’t bring yourself to choose between a joint or a pint? You don’t have to with these cannabis-infused beers and ciders.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Coalition Brewing Company

Coalition Brewing Company

Kylie Hoyt and Elan Walsky of Oregon-based Coalition Brewing are leading the charge when it comes to weed-infused beer in Oregon. They’ve married CBD and hops—”kissing cousins,” as they put it—to create seasonal CBD beers. Currently, you can buy Two Flowers IPA and Herbs of a Feather, which Mr. Walsky described to High Times as a “lemon and basil sour CBD beer.”

Last winter, you could find Special Brownies, a chocolate milk stout with CBD. Coalition Brewing is planning the release of another CBD and terpene-infused beer that will be called Certified.

Elan Walsky has a background in science and a lifelong passion for beer and marijuana. He explained, “The original impetus for brewing the beer was to show the natural synergy that exists between hops and hemp. They’re both in the family Cannabaceae and, in fact, they’re two of the most closely related plants, genetically speaking, in that family.”

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Long Trail Brewing

Long Trail Brewing

This Vermont brewery is experimenting with CBD-infusions, to great success. Specifically, they’ve partnered with local CBD-rich hemp producer, Luce Farm. Long Trail Brewing started off by selling the farm’s CBD-infused honey with their cheese plates.

Next, they took a different approach. Joe Pimentel, who runs Luce Farm, told High Times, “We got a call three days later saying ‘hey, why don’t we try brewing a beer with it?’ It sounded like a great idea.”

Since then, this Bridgewater Corners brewpub has released two batches of Long Trail’s Honey-Ginger IPA. Eventually, they began offering a straight-up IPA called the Medicator. Communications Manager Drew Vetere told High Times, “In its most recent iteration, Medicator featured hemp oil and terpenes which delivered the weed-like character to the beer.”

Unfortunately, Vetere reports that they’ve had to stop brewing infused-beer, at least for the time being. Long Trail Brewing remains hopeful that, one day soon, they’ll be able to offer it again.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Ceria

Ceria

This Colorado-based brewery has created quite the stir, even by Colorado standards. Last year, Keith Villa, the brewmaster who famously invented Blue Moon beer, left a 30-year career at MillerCoors to launch Ceria, with his wife Jodi as CEO, and brew THC-infused beer.

Not only will this non-alcoholic beer get you ‘high’, but you’ll be able to choose which kind of high you’d like to experience. Working with research company Ebbu, Villa explained to us that they use CBD, THC and other cannabinoids to achieve specific results.

“They’re [Ebbu] able to accurately dose in the cannabinoids that are required for certain sensations such as ‘energy’ or ‘chill’ or ‘bliss’,” Villa explained to us.

CERIA will be releasing three beers sometime between Thanksgiving and New Years. The first will be a light American lager with a low level of THC. This beer will be aimed at drinkers who want to “have as many as those as they would a regular beer with alcohol,” Villa says.

The second type will be a Belgian style wheat ale with higher THC content, an estimated 6 to 10 mg of THC per serving. According to Villa, “That one will have the bliss sensation.”

An IPA will be Ceria’s third release. It will contain between 10 and 15 mg of THC per serving. All Ceria’s brews will be clearly labeled, from lower strength with a green marijuana leaf label to more potent options will a black one.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Xylem Cider

Xylem Cider

Oregon-based Xylem Cider offers a unique array of weekly changing terpene-brewed ciders. Check out the aptly-named INDICAtion, Hashtag, Joint Custody and Blunt Tool, all either on the menu right now or coming in the upcoming weeks.

Co-founder Nick Fillis loves cider and the brewing process. “You could just call us fermentation enthusiasts,” he related to High Times. “Pickles, salami, cheese, beer, cider, wine, meat—you name it. Fermentation has been a passion for us.”

Xylem Cider teamed up with True Terpenes, an FDA-approved company that sources the terpenes found in cannabis from other plants. “What we’re doing is we’re using terpenes to mimic that flavor and aroma of cannabis plants without the THC,” Fillis explained. Xylem Ciders has completely replaced hops with terpenes.

Though Xylem Cider has only been open for four months, they have big plans. In addition to selling their cider to 50 Oregon-based restaurants and bars, they’re going to start canning some of their seasonal ciders. And as of next month, you can sign up for their monthly subscription plan.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas has taprooms in Chicago, Seattle and their home base of Petaluma, California. In addition to their beer staples, the California brewery also ventured into the realm of infused-beer.

Though they haven’t worked with CBD, Lagunitas released SuperCritical, an ale brewed with terpene oil from absoluteXtracts in Sonoma, California. In tandem, absoluteXtracts sells cannabis and hops vape cartridges. One is IPA style, while the other is more citrusy.

A spokesperson for absoluteXtracts explained to us, “The beer was a limited-edition release from Lagunitas and is no longer available. But we have more planned with Lagunitas in the future!”

You can find SuperCritical vape cartridges at a number of Cali-based dispensaries. Unlike the beer, these contain a lot of THC.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

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Happy Apple Cider

Washington State-based Happy Apple Cider combines home-grown apples with the best quality Northwest weed. They also emphasize using all natural ingredients and forsake all artificial coloring and flavors.

They offer three different types: 5mg, 10mg and 100 mg of THC per 12 ounces, none of which contain alcohol.

And for those who aren’t a fan of the flavor of weed, rest assured that you won’t taste it at all. Happy Apple Cider uses Sōrse, a company that creates cannabis emulsion without its taste or scent.

You can find Happy Apple Cider at dozens of dispensaries across Washington.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

The Come Up Show / Wikimedia Commons

Stay Gold

In case you hadn’t heard, Run the Jewels has been brewing beer. Partnering with Interboro Brewing out of Brooklyn, Run the Jewels released “Stay Gold” IPA last year. Next, they released  The Panther Like a Panther Stout and Legend Has It, a pilsner. Later this year, Double Down IPA will hit stores.

Until then, beer lovers can lust after Legend Has It, to which they added CBD. This drink was only available in Europe on 4/20. Though this was a limited time run, Run the Jewels is expanding their beer line. To date, they’ve worked with six breweries across the U.S. and Europe.

They might run out of songs to name their beers after.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Dads & Dudes Breweria

Dads and Dudes Breweria

“I decided to team up with my father who always wanted to do restaurants,” said Co-Founder Mason Hembree to High Times. Together, Mason and his father Thomas built a brewery slash pizza joint in Aurora, Colorado. “We were the first brewery to produce a high CBD hemp infused beer back in 2015,” he explained.

A year later, Dads and Dudes Breweria made history when they received formula approval for a beer that infuses cannabinoids. This beer was named General Washington’s Secret Stash, paying homage to the first president’s hemp farming habit. Dads and Dudes also brewed their beer from industrial hemp.

Today, they offer a medley of classic bar food, pizza and pasta that cater to the lit. Pineapple Express 420 pizza and the Munchies are only three of Dads and Dudes 420-friendly menu options. “We’re the trademark owners of the 420 pizza,” Hembree said. Despite their prohibition-inspired names, these menu options do not contain marijuana.

This father-son duo places an emphasis on teaching their customers in suburban Colorado about weed and hemp. Hembree remarked, “We’re slowly normalizing it by bringing in those names and explaining what they are.”

9 Cannabis-Infused Beers To Try

New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium

New Belgium is going back to its Colorado roots with the Hemperor IPA (which they’ve dubbed an HPA). This light IPA combines hemp hearts with dry hops. Technically, it does not contain terpenes from hemp. Rather, brewers use other components of the plant that mimic the flavors of hemp terpenes. There is neither CBD or THC in the Hemperor IPA.

Getting this beer to market wasn’t an easy road for New Belgium. A press release quotes Research and Development Brewer, Ross Koenigs, who says, “This beer has been over two years in the making, most of the time spent learning and reacting to laws that really suppress this crop’s usage.”

Due to restrictions on industrial hemp, you can’t find The Hemperor in Kansas.

Nowadays, The Hemperor had led New Belgium to advocate for hemp legalization. For each barrel of The Hemperor sold, New Belgium donates to the federal hemp legalization effort.

Brewmaster Koenig looks forward to the day when hemp brewing is federally legal. “One day we can brew The Hemperor HPA with hemp flowers and leaves as we originally envisioned,” he hopes.

9 Cannabis Infused Beers To Try

Quinn Dombrowski / flickr

There has been a lot of talk about marijuana antagonizing the liquor industry. But these CBD, THC and terpene infusions show us that you don’t have to pick a side. For health nuts, beer nerds and potheads alike, infused beer is a dream come true. Sláinte!

The post 9 Cannabis-Infused Beers to Try appeared first on High Times.


German Authorities Will Issue New Cannabis Cultivation Bid

According to Kermit the Frog, it’s never easy being green. It is also tough to be “first” in the cannabis biz. Anywhere.

One of the most remarkable features of the first years of state-level legalization in the U.S. was the sheer number of mistakes by the authorities in issuing licenses and bids for state-sanctioned cultivation and dispensation once the voters had forced legalization. There were several state-level “redos” and lots of legal mumbo jumbo thrown around as the green-rush kicked off at the state level.The real news? There is going to be a completely new one.

Fast-forward a couple of years and it is clear this is not just an issue of the confused state of legalization in the U.S.

Canada too, on a federal recreational level, has moved forward in fits and starts. And even though a fall start date to the market has now been enshrined into law, the continued moving target of the same has been a topic of fraught conversations and bargaining ever since the country decided to move ahead with full Monty recreational.

Across the pond, things are not going smoothly on the cannabis front. In the first week of July, the much stalled medical cultivation bid in Germany finally came to a limpid end. It remains to see if there will be any legal “bangs” as it whimpers away.

The real news? There is going to be a completely new one.

A Do-Over

According to documents obtained by Cannabis Industry Journal, the Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (or BfArM) issued letters to original bid respondents in the first week of July. The letters appear to have been sent to all parties who originally applied to the first bid – far from the final top runners.

The translation, from German reads:

“We hereby inform you that we have withdrawn the above-mentioned award procedure…and intend to initiate a new award in a timely manner.”

The letter cited the legal decision of March 28 this year by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court as the reason the agency cannot award the contract. Specifically, because of “necessary changes to the tender documents…inparticular with regard to time, we have decided to cancel the procedure altogether and initiate a new award procedure.”

Per the letter, the new procedure will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. No date was mentioned.

An Expensive Surprise and a Global Response

Conventional wisdom in the industry about the fate of the first bid has been mixed since last September when the first hint of lawsuits against the procedure began to circulate. Highly placed sources within the industry have long had their doubts about the bid’s survivability, although nobody will talk on the record. The bid process is supposed to be secret.However, it is clear that another bid will be issued

Furthermore, for the last 9 months, BfArM has maintained that the agency would go full-steam ahead with the original tender. None of the major firms contacted by CIJ about this notification would confirm that they had received a similar letter, nor would they comment.

However, it is clear that another bid will be issued. Further, this time, it is also obvious to the extent that it was not before, the applicants will indeed hail from all points of the globe. On top of that, those who are qualified to respond and who missed it last time are unlikely to sit the bid out this time around.

German Parliament Building

It remains unclear of course, what the response of the finalists to the first bid will be. Including, theoretically,legal action forpotential damages. BfArM was, technically, held at fault by the court. This means that all the companies who made it to the previous “final round” have now suffered at a minimum, an expensive time delay where other outlays of cash were also required. That includes the leasing and retrofitting of high security real estate, but of course,is not limited to the same. If any of these firms do not obtain the bid in the second go around, will they sue?

At press time, there were no cannabis industry companies willing to comment on the matter as this is still a “secret” process – even if it now apparently has come to an end for this round.

Who Is Likely To Be a Major Contender This Time?

German firms who were sleeping the last time this opportunity arose (or brushed it off as a “stigmatized” opportunity) are not likely to sit the second tender offer out. Especially given advancements in legalization if not the industry both in Europe and globally in the period of time the bid has stalled.

Add to that Canadians, Dutch, Israeli and Uruguayan firms, and the mix of applicants this time is likely to be the who’s who of the global cannabis industry. Americans are still not qualified to participate (with experience at least). Why? No federal reform.Domestic cannabis will not be harvested in Germany until at least 2020. 

It is also likely to be even more expensive. Not to mention require easy and quick access to European-based or at least easily confirmable pools of cash. It is conceivable that successful applications this time around will not only have to prove that they have a track record in a federally legal jurisdiction but will also have to be able to quickly access as much as 100 million euros. And there are not many cannabis companies, yet, who can do that, outside of the presumed top 10 finalists to the bid.

Will Bid Respondents Be Limited To “Just” the Cannabis Industry?

It is, however, absolutely possible that this time around the bid could include a more established pharmaceutical player or two who realizes that the medical market here has absolutely proved itself. Within the space of a year, according to the most recent “market report” on the industry (from the perspective of one of the country’s largest statutory insurance companies – Techniker Krankenkasse), there are now just over 15,000 patients.

Cannabis, in other words, is no longer an “orphan drug.” It is also still, however, considered a narcotic. For that reason, seasoned European and German players may upset the market even more with an entry via this tender bid.

Here is what is certain for now. Domestic cannabis will not be harvested in Germany until at least 2020. And until that time, it will be a growing, but import-based market.

The post German Authorities Will Issue New Cannabis Cultivation Bid appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is often cited as the origin of the US federal government’s ban on cannabis. Sure, the language of prohibition has changed over the years, but this is the law that set the precedent for the ongoing policies we live with today—or so the story goes. Yet few know that The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 is neither the beginning nor the end of the story of the federal government’s divisive dealings with the drug.

Rather, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 is best understood as a critical turning point in the country’s attitude toward the plant, its possibilities and its “perils”. And seen through this lens, as a contested, controversial and tremendously unpopular measure, the current state of weed politics in the US makes a lot of sense. Not too much, in other words, has changed.

We all know history has a tendency to repeat itself. First as tragedy, then as farce, as Marx memorably quipped. Keep that in mind as you dive into this brief history of the Marihuana Tax Act—emphasis on the “h”.

We’ll look at what the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was, what it did, and how in so many ways it is the perfect embodiment of everything that’s backward and frustrating about the federal government’s steadfast refusal to end the ban on cannabis today.

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937: Regulation or Prohibition?

Most people think of the Marihuana Tax Act as the law that began prohibition on cannabis in the United States. Technically, however, the act gave the federal government the power to regulate marijuana.

There was a legal strategy behind regulation. Unlike outright prohibiting marijuana, placing a tax on it was more difficult to challenge in court. And from that perspective, the strategy worked. The Marihuana Tax Act stood from 1937 until 1969.

But regulation and taxation; that sounds a lot like arguments made today in favor of federally legalizing cannabis. So what did the act really do? And why do people consider it to be the birth of cannabis prohibition in the United States?

On The Eve of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937…

The truth is that the United States federal government began regulating and restricting the sale of cannabis as a drug more than 30 years ahead of the Tax Act, starting in 1906. Local laws had regulated cannabis as far back as 1860.

But by the mid-1930s, the popularity of cannabis was on the rise. On top of that, industrial hemp production was experiencing something of a resurgence.

The hemp point is worth mentioning because of a popular theory about the Tax Act. This theory holds that the Tax Act was an effort to subvert the reemergence of the hemp industry, orchestrated at the highest levels by some of America’s most prominent businessmen.

So let’s introduce a few characters into the story. Enter Andrew Mellon, William Randolph Hearst, and the DuPont family. Each had reason to fear competition from the burgeoning hemp industry and financial incentive to halt its expansion.

Hearst was a logging and timber tycoon. Hemp was quickly becoming a much cheaper substitute for paper pulp, especially during the Great Depression.

The DuPont family had just developed nylon, a fiber in direct competition with hemp-based textiles. (To this day, the DuPont family denies this connection. They say they were up against silk and rayon, not hemp.)

And Andrew Mellon was at the time the wealthiest individual in the US. He also happened to be Secretary of the Treasury and have extensive investments in DuPont.

So that was the situation leading up to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. It was one in which powerful forces appeared in league to make sure that if marijuana was going to be a cash crop of the future, the wealthy had better get their cut. Sound familiar?

What The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 Did and Didn’t Do

The Tax Act wasn’t a straight-up prohibition on marijuana. What it did was impose a bevy of exorbitant taxes, regulations and restrictions on the commerce in marijuana from top to bottom.

It takes only a few minutes to read through the Marihuana Tax Act, which spans just six pages. But here’s the tl;dr version.

SEC. 2. (a) Every person who imports, manufactures, produces, compounds, sells, deals in, dispenses, prescribes, administers, or gives away marihuana shall […] pay the following special taxes respectively:

What follows is a five-item list of special costs for anyone and everyone involved with marijuana. And it’s not just importers, growers, manufacturers, producers. Physicians, dentists, vets, and other healthcare professionals, who had up to that point been pioneering the study and use of cannabis as medicine, now had to pay up.

The problem was that these special taxes were so high and so comprehensive, with so few exemptions, that most of the people involved in the commerce of cannabis would not be able to pay them. And if you didn’t pay your weed taxes, the Marihuana Tax Act made you a criminal.

SEC. 4. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person required to register and pay the special tax under the provisions of section 2 to import, manufacture, produce, compound, sell, deal in, dispense, distribute, prescribe, administer, or give away marihuana without having so registered and paid such tax.

There’s a few more nuts and bolts, but that essentially sums up the law. Under the guise of taxing and regulating marijuana, what the Marihuana Tax Act actually ending up doing was making marijuana illegal, since no one was about to register and start paying the outlandish taxes on something people could grow in their own backyards.

The Legacy of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Fight For Legalization Today

In 1937, as now, the federal government’s restrictive policy on marijuana was the subject of intense debate. Then, as now, marijuana prohibition was tremendously unpopular and actively resisted. And then, as now, proponents and detractors came to the table with different, competing sets of data.

Now’s a good time to introduce one Mr. Harry J. Anslinger, the godfather of prohibition and archetype of virtually every anti-cannabis zealot in the United States.

If you have a problem with the federal government’s ban on cannabis today, blame Anslinger. Have an issue with the decades of racial disparity in drug enforcement? You can blame Anslinger for that, too.

As first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, a post he held from 1930 to 1962, Harry Anslinger was instrumental in birthing the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. But before he became head of the Bureau of Narcotics, Anslinger had frequently denounced the fear-mongering around cannabis use.

Anslinger disputed claims that cannabis use was a problem and harmed people. He once said “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the notion that cannabis makes people violent.

Harry J. Anslinger: The Jeff Sessions of the 1930s?

But in the early 1930s, Anslinger did a heel turn on the issue of cannabis. Historians point to two reasons. First, after the prohibition on alcohol ended in 1933, the Department of Prohibition Anslinger headed became obsolete and he was out of a job. Ushering in a prohibition on cannabis would reinvigorate Anslinger’s career. Now, he had a purpose again.

The second reason is, unfortunately, more familiar. Harry Anslinger was a virulent, unapologetic racist. And as he ratcheted up his fight against marijuana, he doubled down on the racist overtones of his rhetoric, best encapsulated by this cringe-worthy epithet: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

Insofar as Anslinger frequently couched his anti-marijuana campaign in the language of white supremacy, he was basically the Jeff Sessions of the 1930s. That racism is embedded in the title of the act itself. Marihuana, with an “h,” was a derogatory term Americans would have associated with anti-Mexican and anti-black sentiment.

Trump might have taken a liking to Anslinger as well. Both cunningly used the mass media to propel their fringe views to the political mainstream. And both used these platforms to disseminate “alternative facts” designed to mislead public opinion.

Indeed, Anslinger partnered up with none other than William Randolph Hearst to flood the public with false or fraudulent stories about the terrible crimes supposed to have been committed by marijuana users. Anslinger called these the “Gore Files.”

Fun fact: Anslinger also hated jazz about as much as he hated jazz musicians. He went so far as to set up a nationwide dragnet of jazz musicians and kept an official file called “Marijuana and Musicians.”

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 Was An Attack On Healthcare and Patient Rights

While Harry Anslinger and his wealthy cronies succeeded in whipping up a frenzy of “reefer madness” in the United States, calmer heads remained committed to challenging the Marihuana  Tax Act of 1937 on the basis of the restrictions it put on healthcare providers and patients.

In the lead up to Congress passing the act in 1937, the American Medical Association came out sharply opposed to the bill. The AMA argued that the tax placed an undue burden on physicians prescribing cannabis, the pharmacists who sold it and medical cannabis producers.

Dr. William Creighton Woodward, legislative counsel for the AMA in 1937, blasted the bill for being prepared in secret. The formal opposition had no chance to make its case. Woodward also seriously doubted the widely circulated claims about marijuana addiction, violence and overdosing.

And he pointed to this interesting fact about the Tax Act. By using the term marihuana, Woodward argued that healthcare professionals weren’t aware of the act’s full implications.

Doctors, in other words, knew the drug by its botanical name Cannabis Sativa, not the derogatory and racially tinged word used in the Tax Act. Indeed, few at the time really knew the word “marijuana” at all.

“Marijuana is not the correct term,” Woodward wrote. “Yet the burden of this bill is placed heavily on the doctors and pharmacists of this country.”

Despite Woodward’s last-ditch efforts to stop the act from passing, Congress made their decision based on a different set of reports supplied by none other than Anslinger himself.

The Death Of The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Birth of Modern Prohibition

Rushed-through legislation, behind-closed-door meetings, lawmakers making decisions based on incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading information that serves the interests of wealthy individuals over the general public’s. In so many ways, the story of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 bears many resemblances to the story of the fight for cannabis reform in legislatures across the US today.

The Supreme Court finally overturned the Marihuana Tax Act in 1969, in Leary v. United States. The court ruled that the act violated the Fifth Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. Indeed, you had to incriminate yourself in order to pay your marijuana taxes.

But the spirit of the Marihuana Tax Act lives on. Namely, in the Controlled Substances Act Congress passed in 1970, which ultimately repealed (and replaced) the 1937 law. Jumping ahead nearly fifty years—well, more than 80 since the Tax Act—the US federal government still considers cannabis to be a Schedule I substance, with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” We live with that prohibition today. But times, they are a’changin’.

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