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10. High Times – October 2016

52 Medicating by the Bay High Times October 2016 Andrew Koussevitzky, Bill Panzer, Debby Goldsberry and Chris Conrad led the AUMA seminar. huge issue,” but went on to defend his firm’s pro-AUMA stance. Southern Humboldt Farms grabbed the Cup for Best Sativa Concentrate. “It will help the little growers, the little sellers, and transporters around the state The Gold Drop Company not worry about going to jail,” Koussevitzky won Best Booth. said. “That’s a huge liberty that we think is necessary in order to move forward. And that needs to be a priority for everyone before we consider money and taxes and the economic impact …. We’re still putting people in prison nonstop, and it’s crazy. That needs to stop.” Rounding out the debate was cannabis defense attorney Bill Panzer, who took an even more pragmatic approach to the issue, pointing out that cold, hard cash is the only reason AUMA made it onto this year’s ballot in the first place. “The bottom line is this: Since Prop. 19, every two years there’s been something written that’s better than AUMA—potential initiatives that would legalize,” Panzer said. “And none of them have come up with the money. I’m of the opinion that if we don’t go with AUMA and wait another two years, then, yes, we can definitely get an initiative written that’s better than AUMA—but I don’t see where the money’s gonna come from to put it on the ballot.” Controversy aside, we’re dreaming of the day we can hold a recreational Cannabis Cup, open to all, in California. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another six years. m DAN SKYE, DALE SHIRLEY (2)

54 Medicating by the Bay High Times October 2016 BEST BOOTH by Buds & Roses 1st Place Gold Drop Co. 2nd Place Apple Fritter, by the Great 2nd Place Guild Extracts Indoor Dispensary 3rd Place CE Solutions 3rd Place Sour Girl, by C.R.A.F.T. BEST PRODUCT 2016 NorCal Medical Cannabis Cup BEST HYBRID CONCENTRATE 1st Place EZ Squeeze Rosin Press, by 1st Place Orange Strawnana, by the Gold Drop Co. Share powered by Moxie Extracts BEST CBD EDIBLE Gold Coast Collection 2nd Place Sapphire Kush Pre-Rolls, by 3rd Place Honey Pot Cannabis-Infused 1st Place Healing Honey CBD/THC 2nd Place Fresh Cherries Live Resin Northern Emeralds Healing Spray, by Honey Pot Medicated Honey, by Critical Concen- Cake Batter, by Fresh Off the Bud with 3rd Place Tie – Liquid Shatter, by Royal trates MX710 Gold Extracts and Southern Humboldt BEST INFUSION 2nd Place Liquid Dreams 25 mg 1:1 3rd Place Gorilla Glue Live Resin, by Farms 1st Place Atomik Special Edition Dia- CBD Capsules, by the San Jose Patients Alpine Vapor mond Moon Rocks Collab with Moxie, Group BEST VAPORIZER by Atomik & Moxie 3rd Place Caramel Applejack CBD OG BEST SATIVA FLOWER 1st Place Puffco Plus, by Puffco Lollipop, by C.R.A.F.T. and Ladies Line 1st Place Sour Tangie, by CannaCruz 2nd Place Atomik BEST NON-SOLVENT HASH Collective 2nd Place Super Lemon Haze, by 3rd Place 710 Kingpen, by Greenwolf 1st Place Strawberry Banana God Sap, C.R.A.F.T. and the Cannabis Conserva- by Bubbleman and Blue River BEST INDICA FLOWER tory BEST GLASS 2nd Place Black Mamba Cubantech 1st Place The OG Kush Story, by Cali 3rd Place Sour Apple Haze, by the 1st Place Scozz Dragon, by Exotic Dry-Sift, by Exotic Genetix with Cuban Kush Farms and Greenwolf LA Great Indoor Dispensary Genetix Grower 2nd Place Kosher Kush, by the Canna- 2nd Place Rodeo Smoke Shop 3rd Place Vegan Buddha Candyland Cruz Collective BEST SATIVA CONCENTRATE 3rd Place Atomik Rosin, by Greenwolf with Vegan Buddha 3rd Place Kush Company OG, by Kush 1st Place Blood Orange Tangie, by and Neverfallin89 Company Southern Humboldt Concentrates with BEST VAPE PEN Southern Humboldt Farms 1st Place Velvet Kush Cartridge, by BEST CBD FLOWER BEST INDICA CONCENTRATE 2nd Place Jack Herer THCA Crystalline, Vegan Buddha with New Amsterdam 1st Place CBD OG, by C.R.A.F.T. 1st Place Lemon Fuel OG, by the Gold by Guild Extracts Naturals Coast Collection 3rd Place Orange Nectarine, by Gold 2nd Place Hawaiian Gold, by Gold Drop BEST CBD CONCENTRATE 2nd Place True OG Live Resin, by Coast Extracts and Nameless Genetics Co. and Jahnetics with Blue River 1st Place Strawberry Banana Goo CBD, Elemental Seeds with Cal Hemp Farms 3rd Place The Monarch Florida Juicy by Gold Drop Co. 3rd Place Lemon Candy, by Critical Fruit Cannabis-Derived Terpene Vape 2nd Place CBD/THCA 1:1, by Guild Concentrates & Mally Elite BEST EDIBLE Pen, by the Legion of Bloom Extracts 1st Place Extra-Strength Medicated 3rd Place Sour Tangee Pure Terps CBD, BEST HYBRID FLOWER Honey, Artisan Edition Solvent-Free, by BEST TOPICAL by Pure Terps 1st Place Veganic Platinum Cookies, Baked Bees with Gold Drop Co. 1st Place Prana CBD Roll-On, by Harbor- 2nd Place Sababa Snacks: Caramel side Health Center Cashew Apricot, by Sababa Snacks 2nd Place Lionz Share 500 mg Extra- 3rd Place French Medicated Macaroon, Strength Pain-Relief Cannarub, by Lionz by Madame Munchie

58 High Times October 2016 With more than half of the United States now recog- Tommy Chong nizing some form of legal marijuana use, medicinal CEO & Brand Ambassador for Chong’s Choice or otherwise, the time is right (as in: right now!) to Profession: World-famous comedian, activist, find a job in the cannabis industry. By Jen Bernstein actor and stoner Locations: 25 dispensaries in California elcome to the High of legalization, with seven states—Cali- JEFF KRAVITZ Times Pot Jobs fornia, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Background: Known as one-half of the Report for 2016. The Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont—vot- legendary stoner comedy duo Cheech continued main- ing on whether to approve recreational & Chong, Tommy Chong didn’t find it streaming of mari- use by adults. much of a stretch to create and develop juana means more job growth and more a premier cannabis brand. With careful business opportunities for Americans But if you really need an indicator attention, he handpicks the highest-grade looking to join the green rush. of marijuana’s popularity, get this: In specimens of Chong Daddy Purple, an Cannabis has now become the fastest- 2015, Americans spent nearly five times indica strain; My Friend Jack, a sativa; growing sector of the US economy. as much money on pot ($3.4 billion) as and Choice OG Kush, a hybrid. Round- According to the research firm New they did on Oreo cookies ($711 million), ing out the product line are THC-infused Frontier, 2015 was a “watershed year for according to “Rebranding Marijuana,” a breath strips, disposable vape pens and a the legal cannabis market,” with sales report by the Madison Avenue cultural five-pack of pre-rolled joints. growing from $4.6 billion in 2014 to pulse-takers sparks & honey. $5.7 billion last year—and the company Why cannabis: When it comes to Tommy, anticipates a 26 percent increase in 2016, Along with marijuana’s mainstream do you really need to ask? Unlike many with the market closing the year at $7.1 acceptance comes plenty of exciting budding entrants in the legal cannabis billion. New Frontier further predicts career opportunities in the cannabis industry, Chong didn’t exactly need to go that by 2020, legal market sales will soar space. But if the industry really is rife through a formal interview process, but he past $22 billion. with jobs and there’s money to be made preaches that you “really have to love what Compared with other industries, by budding ganja-preneurs, where you do—and I happen to love weed!” cannabis is experiencing astronomical should you start? How do you get your growth—surpassing the sales figures foot in the door? Getting involved: Chong says he doesn’t for organic foods, craft beer and hybrid seek out marijuana; it just comes to him. vehicles. And if you ask Americans if “The thing about Chong’s Choice, we they think marijuana should be legal, a tried different strains, but there’s so many resounding 56 percent say “yes,” accord- strains growing as we speak. So rather ing to the most recent CBS poll. than going for the strains, we went for the Even bigger news may be in store, whole plant—and the grower. So Chong’s as 2016 could well be the year in which Choice is a collection of the best growers the scales are tipped decisively in favor in America under one banner.” After sign- ing the growers on, Tommy explains the distribution deal and how they connect with compassion clubs and dispensaries. Qualifications: Never shy about his eter- nal love for weed, Chong is “unofficially known as the Pope of Dope—so I guess my title is ‘Pope,’” he says. “Or maybe ‘profes- sional operational pot tester.’”

Tommy Chong found a job that he loves.

60 Getting In On the Green! High Times October 2016 Is the Weed more important is to understand the Industry for Me? laws of the state that your potential employer operates in. If you present David Bernstein of weedhire.com yourself with a full and clear under- suggests asking yourself the fol- standing of both the upside and the lowing questions before deciding challenges of operating a canna- to take the plunge—and mak- business, employers will see how ing sure you have the answers, dedicated you are to the professional, especially before you go for a job career-development side of your interview. goals. Tommy smells sweet success. What’s your interest level? Where do you see yourself JEFF KRAVITZ Are you passionate about cannabis in five years? Advice: “To become good at anything,” Tommy says, and know everything there is to know This is a typical interview question “you have to practice, you have to learn, you have to about the industry and the plant? Or in many industries. For cannabis, it’s study, you have to research. You gotta research! So my are you just starting out and willing to particularly important. Remember, word, for everybody, is research. Do your research. If learn? Whatever your interest level, the majority of businesses in this you wanna become a grower, learn how to grow. It’s employers will be impressed if you’ve industry have been around for only a not hard, but it is hard… done your homework. It also helps short time. This is a crucial stage for if you don’t care about the stigma many cannabis companies, as the “See, in this world—especially in the pot world—no that still surrounds cannabis in many next few years will determine their one is going to give you anything,” Tommy adds. “I places. Being a cannabis user isn’t staying power as established busi- can’t give you the expertise, or the love, or the knowl- necessarily required for getting a job nesses. Most employers don’t want edge, or the impetus to do anything unless you really in the industry; in fact, depending on to deal with high employee turnover, want to do it. Find something that you really love to the position’s responsibilities, a non- and the hiring costs and difficulties in do, and that way you’ll never work a day in your life. user might even have an advantage qualifying new workers can be even That’s the way my life was.” in getting hired. Either way, employ- more time-consuming and expensive ers will be more likely to hire you for cannabusinesses. Gerald Greenspoon if you show you understand that Co–managing director of they’re trying to grow and run a busi- Are you willing to weather the peaks Greenspoon Marder ness just like any other employer in and valleys, or periods in which the Profession: Lawyer any other industry. Remember, your business takes three steps forward Locations: California, Colorado, number-one job is to be a valued, and two steps back? New York and Florida; currently responsible and reliable member of If you’re seriously looking for a career looking into Washington, Oregon, this person’s staff. in the cannabis industry, you’re likely Arizona, Massachusetts and not going to see a big financial payday Pennsylvania What do you bring to the table? in the short term. Are you willing to If you have marketable skills, chances take a lower-level (and lower-paying) Background: With a solid foundation representing are you can apply them to a job in job to gain the necessary experience clients in regulated industries like alcohol, tobacco the cannabis industry. Whether your and get your foot in the door? Employ- and firearms, it made perfect sense that Greenspoon expertise is in office management, ers will know if you’re overqualified for Marder would expand its national corporate practice administration, horticulture or biol- a position very quickly and may not to include cannabis law. From representing inves- ogy, your skillset and past experience have the resources to offer a high- tors to helping processors and retailers navigate the will be selling points to a prospective compensation package right off the complex and ever-changing world of state laws and cannabusiness employer. bat. “Sweat equity” is a term commonly regulations, Gerald Greenspoon and his firm of 180 used in many startup businesses; attorneys even have plans to create their own compli- At the same time, don’t be afraid employers look for potential workers ance program to help shape the cannabis industry. to step outside your basic skills. For who can see the big picture long-term, example, if you have experience in not an immediate payday upfront. Why cannabis: Over the past several years, any area related to agriculture or Greenspoon has observed the maturing of the indus- landscaping, you could fit in on the That’s why it’s important to set try. “Cannabis is a serious business that will continue production side of a cannabis grow. If realistic expectations about what to expand and is here to stay,” he concluded. With cli- you’re involved with construction, you kind of compensation you’re looking ents across the country expressing significant interest can lend your expertise to building for before you start applying for jobs in the industry (and with significant dollars to invest), an indoor facility. The same goes for in the industry. Remember, due to Greenspoon saw a lot of people “waiting to enter this office management, human resources the sensitive nature of working with business and looking for advice and consultation.” or information technology. These cannabis (both legally and, in some are areas that form the backbone of places, socially), employers want Getting involved: “We’ve chosen the road of locating many businesses, including cannabis- staffers who will be in place for many attorneys within each state that have been involved related ones. years and are willing to build their in the marijuana business in some fashion for several career with that business. They’re years and are experienced—so we’re not starting from How committed are you? looking for people who want to go scratch, but with practitioners who understand the Any good candidate will take the above and beyond, not just the typical regulatory scheme and the business issues involved. time to understand the industry. Even 9-to-5 employee.

62 Getting In On the Green! High Times October 2016 Five-Leaf Clover Chloe Villano, the founder and president of Clover Leaf Uni- versity, answers your questions about how to get a job in … Cultivation Gain valuable supercritical-fluid-extraction safety proce- DAN SKYE experience in the dures, and gain occupational experience by Cultivation is the hardest part of the mari- industry with a starting somewhere in one of these facilities. juana business. It takes strict dedication and hands-on job. attention to detail to grow an efficient crop. Machine safety training is also a plus. A We are noticing a huge demand for scalabil- remain in strict compliance to make sure their good recommendation is to apply for a job ity and sustainability for final products for doses do not deviate from those standards. and learn the business while building relation- consumer and community safety. Under- Any Health Department classes for food and ships. A few years of on-the-job training and standing pesticide regulation by receiving safety handling, and all other required classes working your way up will show any employer your pesticide-application certification and regarding diseases, molds, microbials, etc., that you’re committed. pest-management training is one of the most would be beneficial to your expertise and important things to being a legal cultivator. help land you a job working in edibles. Ancillary Businesses These certifications will be imperative to get- ting and keeping a good job in the industry, Concentrates Ancillary businesses are by far the fastest- and they could be mandated in some states. growing sector in the cannabis industry. Concentrates are by far the highest-liability Even though this is a new industry and the Horticulture classes and any agricultural business for an employer. In Colorado, they’ve businesses are very young, they can be excel- experience would be beneficial to the growth implemented a Class I, Division I lab build-out lent places to get started. If you’re a designer, of your skills. You must remember that grow- requirement, which means that employees construction builder, engineer, marketing ing cannabis is not like growing tomatoes, have additional regulations and requirements director, event planner, culinary art chef or and many business owners will want some- to meet to operate machines, use super- have any other type of experience that could body who has had hands-on occupational critical-fluid extractions and produce final be beneficial to the industry, then working for experience. Get a job, start at the bottom and products. There are strict regulations from the an ancillary business would be great for you. work your way up is always a great way to seed to the creation of the infused product, learn and gain experience. If you work really to the packagBgruoibnwbgnleaugnsudimnfginthael transportation. If hard, you can excel with the company. you want toliggehttadejopbrivinatcioonncentrates, you need to undteercshtnainqduesafety data sheets and Topicals If you’re an engineer, scientist, doctor or somebody with scientific experience, topicals can be a very fun side of the cannabis indus- try. The license required to make topicals is a manufacturing license or an infused-product manufacturer’s license, known in Colorado as the MIPS license. These licenses are not required to be vertically integrated (meaning that you also grow your own), but they can be if you desire—some have cultivation jobs attached to the business, but not all do. When it comes to infused-product manufacturers, the most important thing is safety and cleanli- ness. Any safety training, food handling, packaging, labeling, or wholesale transporta- tion classes and experience would definitely help you land a job working in topicals. Edibles While edibles manufacturing can be a lot of fun, it’s also one of the most regulated parts of the cannabis industry. Edibles manufactur- ers are required to hold an infused-product manufacturing license. Jobs and careers include cooking, creative design, packaging, labeling, artistic design, branding, transporta- tion and business expansion. Many states have required minimum and maximum doses, and edibles manufacturers must

64 Getting In On the Green! High Times October 2016 Pot Jobs: Five Spliffy Cannabis Careers Compliance Officers Historically, marijuana’s As more states adopt medical marijuana programs and others legalize popularity spread thanks to recreational cannabis come November, look for a slew of new job openings a freewheeling countercul- in the fastest-growing industry in the United States: weed! ture that existed to break the rules, not follow them. These Chefs, Bakers require a background in with the plant itself, you days, however, the road to and Edibles Creators chemistry or engineering, could potentially operate legalization is being paved The edibles sector is one of not just an expertise in dab- one in any state. And as new by cannabusinesses that the fastest-growing in the bing. But these days, thanks medical states continue to scrupulously adhere to the industry after cultivation. to the increasing popularity come online, businesses rules and regulations that If you have culinary skills, of concentrates, training and will turn to recruiters like guide the emerging industry. why not try them out in a certificate classes such as CannaMed Talent Solutions, Welcome to the brave new kitchen creating recipes that those offered by Havelick & jointhegreenrush.org and world of taxed and regulated incorporate cannabis? The Associates are available to weedhire.com to help staff cannabis, with each state demand for new products help you on your way. dispensaries, cultivation creating legal standards for and innovative food ideas is facilities and offices with the these new businesses—as strong, since a large percent- Recruiters most qualified candidates. well as jobs making sure that age of people using canna- Before pot-legal states came these standards are being bis these days, especially for into the picture, it would’ve Web Developers followed. If you have a pen- medicinal purposes, prefer been impossible to imagine and Programmers chant for dotting your I’s and to eat their weed—which a day when recruitment Most new cannabis ventures crossing your T’s and want to makes it a smooth way to offices would specialize in will need a website to attract help state programs succeed help the medicine go down. hiring professionals for the and inform the public about while getting paid to do so, marijuana industry. Today, their services or wares. Web research the compliance- Extraction Artists there are firms hiring for full- developers and programmers officer jobs posted on Career paths in concen- time positions in Colorado, can easily and seamlessly industry and government trates include operators, Oregon and Washington transition their computer websites, especially on the technicians and managers. State—but since a recruit- skills to any new start-up look- state level. m These specialized jobs often ing business doesn’t work ing to create online presence.

October 2016 High Times 67 Jake Salazar stands in his sprawling Denver greenhouse. Trailblazing Colorado’s MMJ America, guided by Jake Salazar, emerges as an industry leader. Story & photos by Dan Skye W arts and all, the There are parallels with Colorado’s were just caregivers,” recalls Jake Salazar, United States is still cannabis industry. When voters passed the CEO of MMJ America, one of Colo- the land of opportu- Amendment 20 in 2000, the state consti- rado’s premier dispensary chains. “We nity. The settlers of tution was changed to allow the use of were growing small amounts of plants, the American West medical marijuana by doctor-approved doing business with two dispensaries. knew that. Most migrated to new terri- patients. People began to dream—not There were only about 1,200 patients in tories because the prospects for building unlike considering the opportunity to the entire state.” a better future where they came from board a wagon train heading west: Is were few and far between, or because there a better life out there? Could an But the proverbial door marked the lure of adventure simply dwarfed the actual cannabis industry be created? ”opportunity” swung open for Sala- comforts of home. zar—and a whole lot of other people—in Not right away. The industry needed a 2007, when a Denver district judge ruled The dream of owning land, or of safe trail, one relatively free of danger. So that caregivers could not be limited to reinventing oneself, roused the pioneer during the first few years of legal medical just five patients and that the new law spirit in America. Once awakened, it was marijuana in Colorado, the new canna- allowed caregivers to “dispense.” Colo- infectious, and America has never had a businesses operated cautiously. rado’s Green Rush was on! shortage of adventurers. “When we got started back in 2007, we Salazar was already an experienced

68 Trailblazing High Times October 2016 Lead grower Malek has guided MMJ America to multiple Cannabis Cup wins. entrepreneur. A native of Boulder, he “I always loved weed—even as an athlete, it was grew up excelling in sports and earned a my go-to thing. But it was the laws surrounding full baseball scholarship to the University cannabis that got me interested. I knew that of Northern Colorado. But life threw him this industry was only going to advance.” a curveball: In his third year there, he blew out his knee. memorandum (known as the “Ogden It was a small operation, with Web memo”) stating that those who used advertising only, but it flourished. As the At age 22, business became Salazar’s cannabis for medical purposes and those industry took root, MMJ America began new ballpark. He opened a Benihana who distributed it to them should not be working with other businesses that were franchise, which thrived, and sold it five targets of federal prosecution. helping to draw up the legislation gov- years later at a huge profit. “It was my erning them. first introduction to business,” he says. That pretty much opened the Oregon “How to run it, how to sell it.” Trail for cannabis entrepreneurs and “We began to build a business model dreamers in Colorado and elsewhere. based on multiple store locations and Salazar is defined by his energy. He’s By the following year, the number of a larger cultivation,” Salazar says. got the sparkplug mentality of a baseball medical marijuana patients in the state “We dipped into our own pockets and middle infielder: tuned to the action and surpassed 100,000, and hundreds of dis- brought on working partners, and over quick on his feet. By his mid-20s, he was pensaries were in business to serve them. the past six years, we’ve worked together running his own real-estate company, and expanded. We’ve now got seven though he was increasingly intrigued by For Salazar and his partners, the stores in Colorado and another in Las the cannabis industry. “I had a couple of journey began when the dispensary that Vegas, just off the Strip, with 40,000 friends who were really good growers,” had been purchasing their medicine square feet to grow in.” he explains. “I always loved weed—even decided to play hardball. “They tried to as an athlete, it was my go-to thing. But put the squeeze on,” Salazar scoffs. “They MMJ America also offers consulting it was the laws surrounding cannabis demanded a lower wholesale price and services in other states where the laws that got me interested. I knew that this threatened to yank our patients away permit grow operations and canna- industry was only going to advance.” from us. So, instead, we opened our first bis commerce. But the current crown store in Boulder.” jewel of MMJ America is its sprawling By 2009, the number of medical mari- juana patients in Colorado had grown to 20,000. Then, in October of that year, the US Justice Department issued a policy

70 Trailblazing High Times October 2016 Tasha serves MMJ America found as dispensary itself in the winners’ manager at MMJ circle repeatedly at America’s Boul- this year’s Colorado der location. Cannabis Cup in April. In the drying greenhouse in Denver, a 60,000-square- room, future foot facility on 3.2 acres. It was once retail products Dardano’s Flowerland, Denver’s oldest near completion. garden center. When it closed, MMJ America took over the property. Suffice it to say, the flowers growing here are now in great demand. The space is also being converted into an interactive attraction for the public to visit, with a retail space as well as viewing areas of the impressive cannabis garden. One of MMJ America’s foremost goals has been to expand into the genetics game. “In 2011, it became an important part of our business model,” Salazar says. “Before that, we were running everybody else’s stuff and really didn’t understand the breeding process. So we just dipped into High Times, read about these breed- ers—where they lived, how to get a hold of them, like the Amsterdam guys who’ve been doing this for 20 years. We started flying around the world, finding these breeders and learning from them. We wanted to be a one-stop shop. We didn’t want to outsource it; we wanted to do it ourselves.” Salazar credits his lead grower Malek as the force behind the thriving Vault seed bank. Malek leads a gardening crew that nurtures the 18 strains found in the Vault’s portfolio. “It’s almost five years now,” Salazar says. “We really didn’t enter any Can- nabis Cups with the Vault genetics until 2013, and that was when we really started gaining some notoriety. At the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in 2014, with our grower friends in Amsterdam running our genetics, we took home three Cups. That was a huge deal for us, because we don’t sell seeds on the inter- national market; we sell them only in our brick-and-mortar stores.” MMJ America found itself in the winners’ circle repeatedly at this year’s Colorado Cannabis Cup in April, taking top honors for both Best Indica (Larry Walker OG) and Best Indica Concentrate (Cherry Kush Live Resin Batter). The company also saw three of its entries win second-place medals—Tora Bora for Best

72 Trailblazing High Times October 2016 Bright skies over “What really made you MMJ’s Denver money? Were you shop watching the actual nuts and bolts of your company?” CBD Flower; Tora Bora Curese Resin Sap a full-package deal where we come in Larry Walker OG for Best CBD Concentrate; and Peach and lobby high-level politicians and help Ringz Micron 90 for Best Non-Solvent create regulation. We’ve already been your company? Were you watching your Hash. It also grabbed third place in the brought in by government agencies and payroll? Were you watching your taxes? Best Sativa Flower category for J-Walker. consulted on laws. But we help indi- Were you watching what you spend on vidual investors, too, who want to help advertising? Were you actually paying In the dynamic new cannabis indus- move their markets forward. We’ve been attention to what your bottom line is? try, national brand-name recognition brought in to consult on people’s cultiva- Do you know what your price per pound has become the goal. For Salazar, it’s a tion operations and people’s brands. Gen- is, especially if your yields fluctuate? near-obsession. erally, once we work them, people realize Do you watch your balance sheets and that this is a really good brand.” your P&Ls? This is all Business 101 stuff. “I have a dual role as CEO,” he Keeping your attention focused on these explains. “First, we want to expand the However, he’s quick to point out that essentials is the key to success in this brand and the business model of MMJ. dreams and good intentions only go so industry—or in any industry.” m Second, we’ve created a company out of far. “A lot of companies borrow money; Delaware called Blue Label Holdings, to they look at investor money as profit,” which we’ve licensed all of our branding Salazar observes. “That’s because they’ve with all of our trademarks. This includes never had that kind of money in their our standard operating procedures, accounts before, so they don’t know how our genetics, and all of our findings to act. They’ll go out and overspend. But through DNA profiling and genomic what really made you money? Were you research. We now market this consulting watching the actual nuts and bolts of company across the country. We offer

74 High Times October 2016 After 25 years, Chem Dog continues to amaze.

October 2016 High Times 75 25 years of chem dog A quarter-century a er its debut, HT’s senior cultivation editor investigates the origins of the strain that changed the game. By Danny Danko KENT SEA That the work of his day measures more than the planting and growing / Let it grow, let it grow, greatly yield. —John Perry Barlow deal It’s June 1991 in Deer Creek, Indiana, and the Grateful Dead and their entourage are pulling into town for a two-night run. Little does anyone suspect that marijuana history is about to be made. The Dead’s tours had long been known as a nexus for cannabis trades and pot-seed dissemination, but these summertime shows at the Deer Creek Amphitheater are now legendary for more than just their three-hour set lists. Something happened on Shakedown Street that changed the course of can- nabis connoisseurship forever. Because these are the shows at which Chemdog, the man, discovered Chem Dog, the strain. Want to know more? You just gotta poke around…

76 25 Years of Chem Dog High Times October 2016 Chem tops grow went on to serve as a parent for many of dense and covered the most popular strains of the last 25 with aromatic years, including Sour Diesel, OG Kush trichomes. and their many offspring. But these con- tinue to be matters of much dispute, so i need a miracle strains have been preserved all these let’s hear from the folks who were there. KENT SEA years. When I first saw the Dogbud in As the story goes, Chem met P-Bud and 1991, I could not believe what I was did chem dog birth sour diesel? Joe Brand on the lot in Deer Creek and seeing—I’m so glad Chem found those purchased an ounce of a strain called seeds and did what he did with them. Interestingly, another jamband concert Dogbud for $500. Later, he asked Joe And it was never ‘Chem Dawg’—it’s played a pivotal role in spreading the to mail a few more ounces to him in always been ‘Chem Dog.’ It’s a combina- gospel of Chem Dog. Phish’s 1992 show Western Massachusetts, one of which tion of ‘Chemweed’ and ‘Dogbud.’ Joe at the Roseland Ballroom in New York contained 13 magic seeds. Brand and I started calling the Dogbud City is where Chem and Weasel first met. ‘Chemweed’ because it tasted so strong. Once they realized they both had the Joe Brand says he got a few pounds of Chem took the words ‘Chem’ and ‘Dog,’ fire, a friendship was forged and cuttings Dogbud from some friends of a friend in and there you have it… ” exchanged: Chem 91 went with Weasel Crested Butte, Colorado. Allegedly, the to Staten Island, while RFK made its strain originated somewhere on the Cali- When Chem got home from the tour, way to Western Mass. Just as the Dead fornia/Oregon border. They called it the he popped the first four of the 13 seeds. passed their torch to Phish, so did Chem Dog, but Joe thought it tasted “chemmy” One plant was unfortunately a male pass the flame to future generations of and nicknamed it Chem. Some called it and discarded. The three females were enthusiasts. Chemweed and others Dogbud. Chem dubbed “Chem Dog” (now known as the combined the two names and came up Chem 91), “Chem Dog A” (now Chem’s In late 1994, Chem’s New York City with Chem Dog. Sister) and “Chem Dog B.” The 91 imme- acquaintance AJ (short for “Asshole Joe,” diately became the most desirable and though he’s actually quite a nice guy) As P-Bud himself recently recounted named an accidental cross of Chem 91 to me, “It’s amazing that the Chem Dog and an unknown hermie from Weasel’s growroom “Diesel”; it was later dubbed “The Sour” by some friends in Albany, and eventually became famous as the NYC Diesel, AJ Sour Diesel or East Coast Sour Diesel. It quickly became the strain of choice for New York City’s cannabis connoisseurs and hip-hop elites. Follow- ing a crackdown on urban weed spots by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the city’s deliv- ery services began to thrive and make a name for themselves largely on their ability to provide the real Sour Diesel. Retailing at $50 for about two grams, the Sour commanded prices heretofore unknown in the marijuana market. It wasn’t unusual to hear of Wall Street types paying $800 to $1,000 an ounce during the late ’90s, and the demand for super-potent strains continued to increase in the 2000s. The inadvertent impregnation of the Chem 91 with stray pollen, possibly from the DNL, produced one of the most iconic marijuana strains in history—often copied but never duplicated. AJ tells me: “In 1993, I was a young, bright-eyed 20-year-old who was lucky enough to be standing in the right place at the right time. I’m eternally grateful to the spirit of this plant for all that it’s done to enhance my life. The fact that there’s a large, ever-growing constitu- ency of people who have embraced the Dog and want to know everything about its history makes me happy and proud to have had a very small part in that story.”

78 25 Years of Chem Dog High Times October 2016 did chem dog birth Chem family og kush? strains remain frosty to the Less easily substantiated, the tips of the legend of OG Kush starts in leaves. Lake Tahoe, California, where a member of the crew—since growing chem dog BRIAN JAHN, KENT SEA deceased—traveled circa 1994 with an S-1 (selfed first-genera- (from HT, May ’06) tion) bag seed of the Chem 91. Chem’s growing mix is regular Pro-Mix fortified with FoxFarm Marine Cuisine. Alternating Chem himself mentions some between FoxFarm and Earth Juice products, he feeds mildly and only vegetates his plants Dead shows in Tampa as the for a week or so in 1-gallon buckets. Upon flowering, he transplants into 5-gallon buckets possible origin, since there were into which he also adds earthworm castings. certainly some seeded Chem Dog buds sold on the lot during Even Chemdog’s pest-control techniques are all organic. He chooses to use Safer Soap that leg of the tour. The prov- and yellow sticky traps to take care of stray mites and whiteflies. Knowing that vinegar enance of the OG will always be and wine attract fungus gnats, he places the cups at plant level to drown these annoying in dispute, but its resemblance insects. to the 91, and its proximity to the Chem family, makes this In between feedings, Chemdog uses plain water, 1 gallon per bucket every three days and one of the more compelling and then every two days during heavy flowering. In addition to the regular nutrient feedings, he believable origin stories. provides humic acids in the form of Europonic Fossil Fuel once a week. During the last two weeks of flowering, only plain water is used to leach out any remaining salts. might as well The leaching process causes the fan leaves to turn fall colors, some yellows but also radi- In 2001, Chem germinated ant reds and purples, as excess nitrogen and other nutrients are extracted. This results in three more of the magic seeds, clean-burning buds that burn to a light white ash, enhancing the flavor and smokeability of labeling them “Chem Dog C,” these amazing strains. “D” and “E,” with “D” being the keeper and becoming known as the Chem D. Over the years, Chem popped more beans and engaged in some amateur breeding projects, producing several other notable varieties like the Bubble Chem (Chem’s Sister x Sagarmatha’s Bubble- berry), Super Snowdog (Bubble Chem x [Superskunk x Oregon Sno]), Giesel (Chem D x Mass Superskunk) and Dawg Daze, a.k.a. Chem Haze (Chem D x [1993 Sensi Seeds NL #5 x Haze]). the power of the dog In a recent High Times cover story, “The Strongest Strains on Earth 2016,” my colleague Nico Escondido detailed the astound- ing potency of the Chem Dog entered into our 2015 Colorado Cannabis Cup by Next Harvest. Extensive lab tests showed the strain reaching a new milestone, coming in at a whopping 32.13 percent THC—the first time ever that a strain entered in one of our competitions topped the 30 percent mark. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has smoked the pure Chem Dog, but it certainly confirms the strength of this sensi stalwart.

84 25 Years of Chem Dog High Times October 2016 the future of chem dog: the music never stopped Sunshine daydream! In 2006, Chem reunited with Joe Brand and gave him four of the last six beans. Joe preferred the fourth one popped (Chem #4) and calls it the “Reunion Pheno.” Chem-related strains continue to entice pot aficionados and make a name for themselves, culminating in an article by yours truly titled “CSI: Cannabis Strain Investigation—In Search of Chem Dog” (May ’06), as well as my selection of Chem Dog as one of High Times’ Top 10 Strains of the Year for 2006. Unfortunately, the summer of 2011 brought some unwanted attention from law enforcement to Chem’s door, and he was arrested and charged with cultivation and possession, forcing him to lie low for several years while serving his probation. During this lean time—in which Chem lost his home, his car and more—friends like Ben at the IC Collective, Skunk VA and that guy from Maine who kept the strains alive and thriving. Ben even won the High Times Cannabis Cup for Best Indica in 2014 in Sonoma County, California, with Chem Scout! Another person working closely with Chem genetics is JJ NYC of Top Dawg Seeds. JJ changed his strain names to the “Dawg” spelling to honor the original varieties and differentiate them from his own breeding projects, such as the Tres Dawg (Chem D x Double Dawg), Star Dawg (Chem #4 x Tres Dawg) and Black Dawg (Black Widow x Star Dawg). JJ NYC tells me: “I’m just happy and lucky enough to be associated with some of the people who were involved with one of the strongest strains available today. I would like to thank Joe B, P-Bud, Chemdog, the Weasel and Skunk VA. Everyone had a little role in the creation and preservation of the Chem Dog and its hybrids. I’m just amazed they’ve gone on to set the strain trends that we have around the world today. At the time, we had no idea that we were dealing with one of the strongest strains on the planet.” These days, Chem is happy to be finished with his legal issues. He’s blowing glass pipes influenced by his mentor, Bob Snodgrass (follow @chemdog_glass on Instagram), and looking to expand the Chemdog brand. He owns the trademark for the name and will soon be appearing at marijuana gatherings, as well as collaborating with the IC Collective on some new genetics. So, until then: “Don’t be a collector of more than you need / Got a lot of things growing, but keep watching your seeds… ” m RY PRICHARD

ACQUISITION OF LIVE CANNABIS SEEDS IS ILLEGAL IN THE UNITED STATES | PAYABLE IN US DOLLARS FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

October 2016 High Times 89 THE CASE FOR FULL-SPECTRUM LIGHTING Why your plants need a daily multivitamin by the name of ROY G. BIV. Story & photos by Nico Escondido Mixing HPS and MH bulbs, the hues of which are seen on this garden canopy, is a good start in creating better light nutrition for plants. For nearly 40 years, indoor horticultural lighting didn’t change much. CO2 + H2O + photon energy = organic matter (glucose) + O2 Every cannabis cultivator, from clandestine home growers to commer- cial medical outfits and large-scale industrial operations, used tradi- Glucose is the sugar or plant food created by the photosynthetic pro- tional high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, either metal halide (MH) or cess. Without sunlight, plants—to say nothing of all life on Earth— high-pressure sodium (HPS), in their gardens. would have never come into existence. So what does all of this mean for our indoor cannabis gardens? Then things did start to change. We shifted from magnetic bal- lasts to the more efficient electronic and digital ones. Next came digi- Simply stated, it means that our indoor horticultural lighting should tal bulbs that were more compatible with the new technology. As this mimic, to the greatest extent possible, nature’s own powerful source innovation continued, a plethora of new lighting options emerged, of light, which all plants—including cannabis—have evolved under for including light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, ceramic bulbs, double- many millions of years. More specifically, the artificial light generated by ended bulbs, induction lamps and plasma lights. But which of these grow lamps should provide the same photosynthetically active radia- new lighting technologies are truly the best for horticultural use? As tion (PAR) that sunlight does. Our traditional HID bulbs, which date back always, we turn to science for the answer. to the 1970s, did as well as the technology would permit in this regard. Photobiology 101 However, in the past five years, major strides have been made in lighting technologies, and many new products offer varying spec- Plants exist on the planet Earth because of a unique biological process trums for optimal plant growth and yields. Some even claim that these known as photosynthesis, in which the sun’s energy is captured by the spectrums are better for our plants than the full-spectrum white light plant and converted into the biochemical energy needed to power provided by the sun. How can we know which claims are valid, as well life. The sun’s energy, as the visible radiation we call light, travels to as how these varying spectrums will affect our gardens, before we the plant in the form of elementary particles known as photons. The drop buckets of money on new lighting gear? To answer these ques- plants absorb these subatomic particles through various pigments in tions, we first need to look at the various spectral colors (also known their leaves. It is this energy that allows for the photochemical reaction as wavelengths or frequencies) to see just how much they contribute known as photosynthesis to take place. In its most simplistic form, the to the plant’s photosynthetic processes, which directly affect its devel- equation for photosynthesis looks like this: opment, quality and yield.

90 Lighting Nutrition High Times October 2016 How Various Wavelengths This garden uses LED supplements with HPS to create broader The SunPulse Affect Photosynthesis spectrum. bulbs are back! We probably all remember our good friend Green Light (520 nm – 560 nm) ROY G. BIV from grade-school science class: Artificial Sunshine The acronym stands for “red, orange, yel- Contrary to popular belief, not all green light is reflected by low, green, blue, indigo, violet,” the colors (or the plants’ chlorophyll. In fact, green light is often used as a One of the more intriguing wavelengths) that comprise the visible spec- tool for eliciting specific responses such as stomatal control, advancements in lighting trum of light. phototropism, photomorphogenic growth and environmental technologies of the past signaling. Combined with blue, red and far-red wavelengths, few years is the unit shown Much research has been done on the green light completes a comprehensive spectral treatment for the here, originally produced effects of light at various wavelengths on plant’s physiological activity. Because it can penetrate further into by Life Light Technologies plant growth. We know that different pig- the leaf than red or blue light, any additional green light in strong and is now manufactured by ments within the plants utilize specific wave- white (i.e., full-spectrum) lighting would increase leaf photosyn- Garrison Technologies, Inc. lengths, as measured in nanometers (nm), for thesis to a greater extent than additional red or blue light. Thus, The light spinners come in different growth and development processes. the presence of green light serves to boost the plant’s energy and four arm units and spin to In cannabis, these processes directly affect yields, especially in bigger plants during the flowering stage. deliver light from multiple yield as well as cannabinoid and terpene pro- angles for superior light duction. Let’s take a look at the benefits of dif- Yellow/Orange Light (560 nm – 640 nm) penetration into the plant ferent spectral wavelengths. canopy. The spinning system The 624 nm region has the highest photosynthetic relative quan- also cools the light itself and Ultraviolet Light (10 nm – 400 nm) tum yield for a range of plants. At the same time, its action on red- creates air movement within absorbing phytochrome is considerably weaker compared with the growing space. Overexposure to UV light is as dangerous for most that of 660 nm red light, which means it can be used to balance flora as it is for humans. Still, small amounts of near- the phytochrome equilibrium toward lower values (i.e., closer to The real science, however, UV light can have beneficial effects for cannabis. In those of daylight) than those achievable with 660 nm red light, comes into play with the many cases, UV light is an important contributor to especially when used with 730 nm far-red light, as discussed below. SunPulse bulbs, which come plant colors (pigments like purple or bright green) in four different Kelvin as well as tastes and aromas (terpenes). This is an Red Light (640 nm – 700 nm) rated temperatures; each indication of near-UV light’s effects on metabolic bulb produces a specific processes. Research shows that 385 nm UV light Red light, the longest wavelength in PAR, affects phytochrome color of light. By adding a promotes the accumulation of aromatic organic reversibility and is the most important for photosynthesis, flower- different bulb in each arm, compounds and enhances the antioxidant activity ing and fruiting regulation. These wavelengths encourage stem the spinning action creates a of plant extracts, though it doesn’t have any signifi- growth as well as chlorophyll, flowering and bud production. Sev- full-spectrum, white light that cant effect on the growth process itself. eral studies have demonstrated that plants showed the most comes the closest to that of growth in the vegetative phase under 650 nm light. Similarly, in natural sunlight out of all new In cannabis, the plant uses its trichomes (resin the germination phase, 680 nm light spurs the greatest growth lighting tech and has been glands) to act as a sunscreen to protect against rate for freshly popped seeds. unmatched since. abnormal amounts of UV. Some growers have tried giving their plants greater amounts of UV light to The 660 nm wavelength has a very strong action on photo- Additionally, the bulbs cause them to produce more resin and thus increase synthesis and also exhibits the highest action on red-absorbing are true, digitally compatible potency. But while some increases in potency have phytochrome in regulating germination, flowering and other pro- bulbs that use advanced been recorded using this method, most advanced cesses. Also, red light is very effective for extending the light cycle pulse start technology (made growers don’t advocate using “stress factors” like UV to prevent the flowering of short-day plants such as cannabis. specifically for the new light to increase resin production. digital/ electronic ballasts) Far-Red Light (700+ nm) making them far more Blue Light (400 nm – 520 nm) efficient than traditional HID Even though the 730 nm wavelength is outside the PAR range, bulbs. SunPulse created the The blue part of the spectrum, which for our pur- it has the strongest action on the far-red absorbing form of phy- first digital HID lamps for poses includes indigo and violet, enables photo- tochrome, converting it back to the red-absorbing form. Studies horticulture in the 1990’s receptors in the plant called cryptochromes and show that it is necessary for plants requiring relatively low val- and designed one of the first phototropins to mediate its responses, includ- ues of the phytochrome photoequilibrium to flower; thus, far red matched lamp and e-ballast ing phototropic curvature, inhibition of elongated can be used at the end of each light cycle to promote flowering in sets in the industry. growth, chloroplast movement, stomatal opening short-day plants. and seedling-growth regulation. Blue light affects chlorophyll formation and photosynthetic processes and, through the cryptochrome and phytochrome system, raises the photomorphogenic response, which involves the plant’s form and structure. Blue wavelengths at around 450 nm encour- age vegetative growth through the promotion of strong roots and intense photosynthesis, and they are often used as supplemental lighting for seed- lings and young plants during the vegetative stage, especially when stretching must be reduced or eliminated. Blue wavelengths also carry the high- est amount of photon energy of the spectral wavelengths.

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92 Lighting Nutrition High Times October 2016 CHLOROPHYLL B ABSORPTIONCHLOROPHYLL A CAROTENOID 400 500 600 700 WAVELENGTH (nanometers) This nursery is using MH, HPS and fluorescent bulbs to better mimic natural sunlight. Pigments & Light Absorption later. Chlorophyll-b increases the range of Supplemental light that a plant can use for energy, absorb- lighting is still One method for determining the spectral- ing some yellow and heavier orange shades needed for absorption curves in plant photosynthesis as well. full spectrum (chart, top right) is to closely examine the pig- indoors. But ments found in the leaves, which are directly Carotenoids. This is a class of accessory for how much involved in photosynthesis. Scientists can pigments that occur in all photosynthetic longer? measure the rate at which these pigments organisms. They are completely hydropho- absorb light and can even break down their bic (fat-soluble) and exist in lipid membranes. which in turn increases yields and potency. absorption rates for each wavelength. Carotenoids absorb light maximally between When we combine these facts with the 460 nm and 550 nm and appear orange or Leaf pigments such as chlorophyll gener- yellow to humans, as most of these wave- simple notions of evolution and Mother ally reside within chloroplasts, which are sub- lengths are reflected. Carotenoids can also Nature, it becomes quite clear that full-spec- units of plant cells. The chloroplasts’ main role absorb the green wavelengths reflected by trum white light provides the best growth is to conduct photosynthesis, in which chlo- both chlorophyll-a and -b. environment for plants. However, we also rophyll captures photon energy from sun- find a few surprises when we consider light, converts it and then stores it in ATP and Basic Conclusions spectral absorption. First, green light isn’t NADPH (energy-storage molecules). They reflected nearly as much as people assume. then use the ATP and NADPH to make organic At the onset of this article, we asked which Further, yellow and orange light has the molecules from carbon dioxide in a process lighting technologies are truly the best for lowest absorption rates of any of the vis- known as the Calvin cycle. These organic mol- horticultural applications. In reviewing the ible wavelengths. This calls into question ecules are the basis for the plant’s food. science of the last several decades, we can just how effective (and efficient) the more come to some basic conclusions. We see orange-hued HPS bulbs really are during The pigments in the chloroplasts each that every color of the visible-light spec- flowering, but it also offers a strong argu- absorb different wavelengths, and they absorb trum has a significant role to play in a plant’s ment for supplemental lighting during the them at varying rates. As the photosynthetic development. This includes the plant’s struc- flowering stage in order to achieve a fuller process occurs throughout the leaf, various ture, health, growth rate, yield and potency, spectrum of white light. wavelengths of light are absorbed at differ- as both cannabinoid and terpene pro- ent locations, providing different forms of light duction are dependent on optimal plant In the end, we can always turn to science energy, much like a multivitamin provides a development. for the answers, but there is also the easy— range of different minerals to help the human and more obvious—solution: the outdoor body create proteins and energy. Here’s a look Delving deeper to consider the role of the classroom. All we need to do is study plants in at the major pigments in plant leaves and the plant’s pigments in using energy, we see that their natural environs and take a look around. specific wavelengths they utilize most: at every point along the way, these pigments When we step outside and want to see what are absorbing various wavelengths of light at makes a 12-foot cannabis plant thrive, all we Chlorophyll-a. This is the most abundant different rates and in different places within need to do is look up. m pigment in plants. It absorbs light with wave- the plant. Each pigment and wavelength lengths of 430 nm (blue) and 662 nm (red) makes a specific contribution to the overall and reflects green light, making plants appear process of creating sugars. In many respects, green to humans. light serves as a multivitamin for plants, with each wavelength acting as a mineral that Chlorophyll-b. This molecule has a struc- contributes a specific energy and function ture similar to that of chlorophyll-a, and it toward creating the plant’s food. These are absorbs lighter shades of red and blue (453 the processes that lead to better plant health, nm and 642 nm, maximally). It is not as abun- dant as chlorophyll-a and probably evolved

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October 2016 High Times 97 Summer Magic in Michigan High Times returned to the Great Lakes State for the first of two summer Cannabis Cups. By Mary Jane Gibson JOE SCHAEFER “M ichigan again and again and again and again,” croon the Accidentals, a trio from Traverse City, MI, in the upbeat, folkie hit from their latest LP. It’s a musical love letter to the Mitten State, and I’ve had it playing on repeat since the Medical Cannabis Cup in Clio on June 11 and 12. It was such a wonderful time, in fact, that High Times is returning to the Auto City Speedway for a second event in late August! We received a very warm welcome from Michiganders for our June Cup. The two-day event unfolded in a lazy, languid, amiable atmosphere, as the sunny skies and high temperatures kept everyone moving slowly and stopping to hydrate often. The Auto City Speedway is a racetrack, so the expo booths were set up along the curving roadway. Patients ambled through while medicating freely in the open air, and were greeted with wares and medicines of all kinds to sniff and sample, courtesy of premier Michigan cannabusinesses like Arborside Compassion and Mataren Organic Gardens, as well as nationally recognized companies like Advanced Nutrients and Herbal Solutions. VIP guests enjoyed a huge, tented High Society Lounge, where Magical Butter presented a lip-smackingly good brunch, with eggs and flapjacks and infused maple syrup and strawber- ry jam to help folks start the day off lifted. The VIP stage offered all-day programming, with DJ Lotusound spinning chill vibes and the magical comedian Weedini wandering through the crowd, delighting stoners with his sleight of hand. The demos

98 Summer Magic in Michigan High Times October 2016 The Pure West Compassion Club showcased an impressive lineup of top strains. Medicated cotton candy generated smiles. As always, the dab included medicated cotton candy from sampling was hot Sweet Stone, Nacho Kief Queso from Krispy Kief, and a hotly debated rolling contest: Six and heavy. speedy competitors vied for the title of Fast- est Joint Rolled, and the packed crowd was Melissa Etheridge given the task of judging which one burned toked up onstage best. And, of course, the 4:20 smoke-out en- several times veloped the whole lounge in a sweet, skunky between songs. haze as the heat of the day began to break. HT edibles editor Elise McDonough pre- DAN SKYE (4) sented her ever-popular seminar “The Best Cannabutter: Ways to Create Potent Results,” while chief cannabis officer Nico Escondido discussed light, nature and technology in his “Illumination” presentation. HT senior cultiva- tion editor Danny Danko moderated a panel of growers at his packed seminar on cultiva- tion. And the “Veterans and Cannabis” panel was of great interest to the crowd of patients and med-pot activists. Late Saturday afternoon, rock icon and activist Melissa Etheridge sat down with High Times for an illuminating Q&A in the semi- nar tent before taking the stage to perform. Etheridge had much to say about her love for the herb, the importance of cannabis activism, and why she believes middle-aged women are at the forefront of the marijuana move- ment. The attentive crowd hollered when she was presented with a couple of joints that she promised to spark up at her show—which she did that night, proudly puffing and proclaim- ing, “This is the first time I’ve smoked onstage!” Etheridge’s killer one-woman set came to a close as the sky began to darken, the backdrop of trees black against the purple sunset, fireflies winking green in the grass. And then the fireworks went off! A huge show of blazing pinwheels, streamers and flares lit up the sky above Clio, signaling the end of a perfect early-summer day spent at the High Times Cannabis Cup.