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Cool Cannabis Careers: Rachel Wolfson, Weed Comedian And Podcaster

Welcome to the “Cool Cannabis Careers” series. In it, I feature people who’ve built successful professions and big followings focusing on fun, interesting niches of the cannabis industry. In this edition, I’m featuring Rachel Wolfson, weed comedian and host of the podcast “Chronic Relief.”

When I first heard about Rachel getting into cannabis comedy, I instantly wondered: How does someone with a judge for a mother, a district attorney for a father, and a prosecutor for a sister, a.k.a. someone living in a “giant Law & Order episode,” get into this business?

A Long History With Meds

As it turns out, Rachel’s history with cannabis started when she was five years old, and diagnosed with ADHD, she says. At the time, she was prescribed Adderall and Ritalin to treat it.

At age 12, Rachel was given another diagnosis: bipolarity.

This meant she now had to also take Lithium to treat her condition.

“For as long as I could remember, the pills never made me feel right. I was supposed to be taking something to make me feel better but it only made me feel worse. By the time I was in my mid 20’s, anytime someone would mention an antidepressant, anti psychotic, or an anti-anxiety med, my response was ‘Oh yea, I’ve taken that!’”

By the time Rachel got to college, she was fed up of pharma drugs. This is when she started smoking cannabis. “I immediately remember liking the way it made me feel, but I also felt some shame behind it because it was illegal.”

However, this changed during her last year there. In the context of a social movements class, the teacher asked students to pick one social organization and write about it. Rachel picked the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, best known as NORML.

From Recreation To Creation

How did Rachel go from just consuming cannabis to making a career of it?

According to her, it was an accident.

It all started with a memes account, @wolfiememes, which she created as a way to remain motivated while learning how to use Adobe’s Photoshop. “Naturally I loved weed, so that’s what my humor gravitated towards,” she explained.

As her following built up, Rachel decided to start working with her best friend, Olivia Alexander, founder of Kush Queen. Olivia had a YouTube channel called “The Budd,” formerly “Buddfeed.”

I definitely think there is money to be made in the cannabis industry no matter what field.”

“We both saw a demand for high end weed content,” Rachel continued. “I definitely think there is money to be made in the cannabis industry no matter what field.”

The YouTube channel and memes account rapidly became successful, and Rachel decided to take a swing at stand up comedy – with an emphasis on cannabis topics. Within months, she was performing at L.A.’s iconic The Laugh Factory.

Seeking to diversify, Rachel started her own podcast.

“I saw the value of podcasting years ago. I have a background in marketing and I knew this medium was going to be big,” she said. “I also saw there was a shortage of cannabis podcasts. The only one I had heard of was Doug Benson’s Getting Doug with High. I approached Olivia a few years back and told her Buddfeed needed its own podcast. So we recorded 3 seasons of it and interviewed people we admired and respected in the cannabis industry.”

However, as Olivia’s brand Kush Queen took off, the podcast moved to the background and was finally put on hold.

As time went by, Rachel often missed podcasting, so she started her own, new show, “Chronic Relief,” which combined all of her passions.

Jim Belushi And Rachel Wolfson After Podcast Recording – Courtesy of Rachel Wolfson

“My intuition inside of me was screaming mental health. I couldn’t get it off my mind for months. Shortly after this, the comedy community suffered a huge loss in the form of suicide. I was shook, and so were a lot of my friends. I really wanted to find a way to connect with people over mental health and talk about the hard stuff. Comedians are really good at opening up and finding the funny in life’s darkest moments. I grabbed my favorite comedians and started recording.”

Before ending our conversation, Rachel shared some advice for other people seeking to make a living off cannabis entertainment: “Get to know the plant and be original!”

This article was originally published on Forbes, and republished here with permission.

For the latest in financial news, exclusive stories, memes follow Benzinga on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. For the best interviews, stock market talk & videos, subscribe to Benzinga Podcasts and our YouTube channel.

Dealing with weeds

Most weeds are easy to eradicate if spotted early enough and can be controlled without the use of chemicals.

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About weeds

A weed is technically just a plant in the wrong place. It could be an unwanted seedling from another plant, or something more pernicious and invasive that you really want to eradicate. However, while you’ll never be able to completely stop weeds from popping up, there are ways to ensure they have less places to grow.

Bare patches of soil will quickly be colonised by both annual and perennial weeds, so a well-stocked border is less likely to support a thriving population of these pesky plants. If you have gaps in your borders, plug them by planting ground covering plants.

Prevention

Bare soil

  • Mulch with a thick, 8cm (3in), layer of bark chippings, well-rotted manure or leaf mould in the spring. Not only will this prevent weeds from growing, but it will help to retain moisture in the soil.
  • If you have a large area, such as an unused patch at the allotment, cover with plastic, landscape material or even old carpet to prevent weeds from germinating.

Weeds in the border

Annual weed seeds can survive for years in the soil, waiting for the perfect conditions to grow. They germinate at lower temperatures than most garden plants and can grow and set seed very quickly. It’s important to recognise them at the seedling stage, so you can eliminate them without accidentally removing your flower or vegetable seedlings.

Potpourri: The top 10 reads from the week in weed

Actress and comedian Whitney Cummings said a little pot was behind the nip slip on an Instagram story she posted in April.

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In case you missed your daily dose of cannabis, here are our editors’ picks from the week at The GrowthOp:

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Lakeport Brewing entrepreneur sows seeds for eastern Ontario weed tourism

Canada’s hemp acreage is shrinking, and not just a little

New Brunswick has a long and complicated history with cannabis

Potpourri: The top 10 reads from the week in weed Back to video

Forget world peace, Miss Universe Canada has her eyes on weed

Alyssa Boston, 24, Miss Universe Canada, holds a cannabis plant as she’s pictured Thursday, November 21, 2019. Photo by Dax Melmer / Windsor Star

The 24-year-old beauty queen told the Star she plans to make the case for global marijuana legalization during the Miss Universe competition Dec. 8 in Atlanta, Ga. Her approach to that pot pitch is still a secret, but she admitted television viewers would be seeing green during her time on stage.

“It’s a little different for a beauty queen to talk about cannabis,” Boston said. “It’s something that we’re very proud of here in Canada. It’s a brand new industry and there’s a lot of potential that we see in the future. I’m happy to bring awareness to it in a whole different light.”

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Seriously? Whitney Cummings blames weed for that topless photo

Sigh! The controversial things cannabis can make one do. Don’t believe us? Just ask Whitney Cummings.

“It was actually my own fault. I was doing Instagram Stories one night and weed is now legal in California, which is not a good mix. I had done (a story) and it kind of slipped a little bit,” she told PEOPLE.

1) In April I accidentally posted an insta story that showed nipple. Once I realized, I deleted. The people who took screen grabs are trying to get money from me, some said they have offers to sell them, some are asking for money to not post the photo.

— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) August 12, 2019

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The nip slip, Cummings revealed, led to blackmail by sleazy online users who had taken a screenshot. That’s when she decided to one-up them.

“I just took the bargaining chip off the table,” she said, explaining why she later posted the naked photo herself. “It was the only thing I knew how to do. It’s a boob! I was like, I’m not giving you my money, I’ve worked too hard. I paid good money (for my boobs)! I’m proud of them. There are better nude photos of me. I’m in the bathtub. I look like I’m having a home birth,” she said.

2)They all must think I’m way more famous than I am, but they also must think I’m way more easily intimidated than I am. If anyone is gonna make money or likes off my nipple, it’s gonna be me. So here it all is, you foolish dorks. pic.twitter.com/cet4YEXVyG

— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) August 12, 2019

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Unfortunately, the tactic didn’t work. “Now, I’m getting threatened with, ‘We have access to your iCloud’. I’ll be honest, I stand by most of my nudes,” she said.

“Frankly, I’m way more embarrassed by all the inspirational quotes I’ve screen-grabbed.”

Edibles countdown: Is Manitoba becoming Canada’s edibles manufacturing capital?

A cannabis company is planning to pump out 1,000 cannabis edibles per hour in its Winnipeg plant.

AgraFlora Organics International Inc. recently completed the construction of its pharmaceutical-grade research and development laboratory inside the 51,500 sq. ft. edibles factory.

The lab will allow scientists to test the microbiology in edibles and contents of liquids. Even more, the Winnipeg plant will include an automated system to make the edibles, infuse them with cannabis and package them, with the potential to make more than 15,000 packages per hour.

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Sorry Drake! Rapper loses bid to trademark Canadian pot label

Now that Drake’s in the Canadian weed business, the 33-year-old is wasting no time trying to do things his way.

Earlier in November, news broke that Champagne Papi had submitted a trademark application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to secure the rights to an image of a red stop sign with a cannabis leaf and the letters THC on it. The very same image is used by Health Canada and is a mandatory fixture on recreational pot products.

While the rapper intended to use the symbol for apparel such as sneakers, hoodies and other streetwear, many debated whether Drake would be able to outsmart Health Canada — it is one of the agency’s trademark symbols after all.

Drake is trying to trademark Canada’s pot warning label, and may be in for a fight.

This is. interesting. If nothing else it illustrates the absurdity of the stop sign requirement. https://t.co/wiuFphmaFJ

— KirkTousaw (@KirkTousaw) November 9, 2019

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Turns out, it wasn’t Health Canada he had to worry about.

Earlier this week, the U.S. government publicly filed the rejection letter for the rapper’s bid — Pineapple Express Inc., a California-based weed delivery business, owns the trademark in that context.

Since when did Lowe’s start selling cannabis?

Like the “Is it a black or a blue dress?” debate of 2015, this photo could have divided the internet.

But it didn’t — because it’s obviously not “just some kale chips,” but a pile of cannabis on top of the Ozeri 420 Kitchen and Garden scale on the Lowe’s website.

“The scale’s digital screen displays 14 g in the photo, so you’re probably in luck if you ever need your Ozeri 420 to weigh half an ounce of… anything for you. The Ozeri site clearly knows what’s up, touting the device’s precision weighing technology as being perfect for ‘all your garden herb and greens,’” The GrowthOp notes.

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The post went viral on Reddit and, unsurprisingly, was swiftly removed from the company and Amazon’s website.

But not before a Reddit user aptly pointed out: no matter what you are looking for, the place sure has “Highs for your Lowes.”

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A farmer grew pot strains named after Trump and Obama — the bipartisan crops still didn’t thrive

This past summer, farmers in the U.S. were able to obtain a licence to produce industrial hemp for just US$500. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A farmer at the annual convention of the Utah Farm Bureau reported using strains named after the two U.S. presidents, in hopes that the bipartisan crops might thrive together.

But it was not to be. “Trump was super-aggressive,” farmer Kenny McFarland said.

This past summer, farmers in the U.S. were able to obtain a licence to produce industrial hemp for US$500. Industrial hemp is similar in appearance and odour to marijuana, but the crop contains less than 0.3 per cent of THC, the psychoactive component that gets people high.

But the first grow season was still disappointing. “It was pretty much a train wreck,” said Mont McPherson, a farmer who planted 2,100 seeds per acre over 60 acres — there were almost 15,000 males mixed in what was supposed to be an all-female grow. “Culling males is a very difficult thing. Males have zero value in this game,” he said.

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Even the combined power of Trump and Obama was of no help.

Runner’s high: should I ditch cannabis to train for a marathon?

By TGO columnist Ben Kaplan, Health Nut: People ask me how I run marathons and smoke weed. For me, the balance is tenuous. Now that I was too stoned to be out in public, I considered the question as I walked around the block outside of the awards about 10 times.

Health Nut Ben Kaplan, middle, prefers to (mostly) sober up before a big race. Photo: courtesy of Ben Kaplan

I train through the winter, but like most normal people, it’s harder to do so when there aren’t gloves thick enough to keep my hands warm. When I’m not explicitly training, I run four times a week and, on separate occasions, I smoke three times a week. It’s a perilous balance and one I need to manage: both exercise and cannabis are habit-forming and I need both in my life.

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Canopy is on a roll, scores yet another high-profile celebrity

From lifestyle maven Martha Stewart to Canadian treasure Drake, it appears the Canopy brand in Canada likes its star power.

The latest to join the Canopy pot wagon is NBA star Kevin Durant.

Thirty Five representatives will sit on the board of Canopy Rivers and help the company expand its portfolio and advance business interests Photo by USA TODAY Sports

Canopy Rivers, whose largest investor is Canopy Growth, is joining forces with Thirty Five Ventures, a venture capital firm owned by Durant and his manager Richie Kleiman. As part of the deal, Thirty Five representatives will sit on the board of Canopy Rivers and help the company expand its portfolio and advance business interests.

It was a shared vision on the future of cannabis that made the partnership a natural fit, Narbé Alexandrian, president and CEO of Canopy Rivers, told Forbes.

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Infused coconut oil: it’s vegan, easy to make and a batch can last an entire year

By TGO columnist Doug McNish: When it comes to making cannabis edibles, there’s a rule of thumb: don’t forget to decarboxylate.

Decarboxylation activates cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, so a user can get the full effect. The most common method of decarboxylation is to heat the cannabis slowly, at a low temperature in an oven, but this can be tricky because ovens have varying temperatures.