Pulmonary Illness Linked to Vaping?

In the last week the media has produced some fear mongering headlines involving an investigation of an Oregon death linked to vaping.

Articles on various websites in the last couple days are not shying away from pointing the finger at vape products purchased at a legal pot shop to be potentially linked to the cause of the death of the middle-aged Oregon man.

I call these fear-driven headlines blasphemy!

If you ask me the only connection one could make to a hazardous cannabis vape oil is one that would be sourced from the black market.

I was talking to some family members from California that shop around at some of the flea market style cannabis bodegas. We were specifically talking about certain vendors selling rip off vape cartridges that either didn’t work or didn’t get you high. My cousin was jokingly talking about them refilling old cartridges with hot dog water and ripping people off.

Frequently people come into Tacoma House of Cannabis asking about refilling empty vape carts with oil that they thinned out with substances like MCT oil or something else they purchased from the internet or at a tobacco vape shop.

I always tell people that this is a bad idea. Not just because the filaments could burn out in the vape cartridge and leave your oil trapped, but because cutting/thinning pure cannabis oil is not natural and one should never smoke a thinning agent.

The fear mongering that the various media outlets were doing didn’t take any of the black-market aspect into consideration.

NPR published an article that did a really good job breaking down what could have been the source of the health hazard.

In the NPR article they interviewed New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and picked his brain on the issues of what could be the source of the health hazard.

Zucker says that Vitamin E oil was very prevalent in about 13 of the patient-submitted cartridges that they analyzed.

Vitamin E oil could be used as a topical or a dietary supplement but vaping it could be very harmful. When it is “inhaled deep in the lung, [it] can cause problems,” Zucker tells NPR.

Vitamin E oil is not an approved additive per the rules and regulations of the New York medical marijuana program, and the cartridges that contained it appeared to be black market products purchased off the street, says Zucker.

Its reported that officials in Oregon say that the man that died of severe pulmonary illness had used a vape product purchased at one of Oregon’s state regulated marijuana stores.

If Oregon officials are going to make a connection of this death to the product he purchased in a legal marijuana store in their report, they had better also try to make a connection to any and everything that could have hindered this man’s lungs in the previous year.

I say that this type of press release is fear mongering and attempt to smear the name of legal cannabis. And that is totally not cool man.

Those that are still worried from the slough of stories that came out this week, my only advice would be to never purchase any marijuana product from anyone that is not a state licensed marijuana store. But c’mon man, especially a vape cart.

NFL’s stance on Cannabis: No

Football season is finally upon us, for all of us die hard fans our time to rejoice is now! Personally, the nostalgia and joy I get from the NFL season, rivals that of a Christmas morning for your average child. Between the fantasy football, the pig skin pick ‘em leagues, or just watching my Hawks battle it out every week, I freaking love the NFL. Some may call that a little bit immature and you know… I’m okay with that.

What I’m NOT okay with is the stance that the NFL has repeatedly taken on the topic of cannabis. Year after year the NFL is forced to take stances on issues that come up in the media’s spotlight.

Whether it’s the league ambivalently taking sides on social issues like what Kaepernick was kneeling during the national anthem for, or the league straight up enforcing penalties on players for actions in their personal lives.

With Kaepernick, teams around the league boycotted him as a player and wouldn’t roster him even though he was good enough and better than many players around the league. They didn’t want him to use the NFL stage as an outlet for the social issues he was advocating.

On account of this being a weed blog I’ll pump the brakes and get back to my element… cannabis. The NFL in the past, has been notorious for enforcing harsher penalties to players that test positive for marijuana, then athletes who have committed violent crimes.

Martellus Bennett, a retired NFL player, recently went on a Bleacher Report podcast and said that he thinks 89 percent of active NFL players smoke weed.

“There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they start to eat at your liver, kidneys and things like that. A human made that. God made weed.”

Andrew Brandt, writer for Sports Illustrated had this to say about the NFL and cannabis testing, “It is not a drug test; it is an intelligence test. Players who have not previously tested positive are only tested once a year, and only during a four-month offseason window that begins on April 20 (yes, 4/20, maybe the NFL does have a sense of humor) and ends on August 9.”

Nate Jackson, another retired NFL player, was interviewed on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and said that he thinks 50% of players in the NFL locker room smoke weed. When asked on his personal consumption of cannabis in the NFL, Jackson said, “I weeded as needed.” He then went on to say how viable cannabis has been to him as a medical alternative to painkillers.

I may disagree with the league in the stance they take on various issues but I’m not going to lie, they have a goddamn awesome product and I subscribe to it religiously. But hey at least I stream my gameday bootleg-style on the internet.

Happy first week of football ya’ll, GO HAWKS!!!

WA Marijuana News on the Associated Press

The last couple days an article has been floating around various news stations courtesy of the associated press. The headline reads: 5 years In, Washington Considers Overhaul of Pot Regulation.

In the article they detail certain changes that the Liquor and Cannabis Board have been mulling over.

Potential changes that were touched on included spreading out the regulation of marijuana businesses to other state departments and re-thinking the state’s seed-to-sale tracking program. In my opinion, having the Department of Ecology overseeing the certification of marijuana testing labs would tighten up a lot of the slack and misinformation that slips through the industry from time to time.

I’ve chatted it up with a few different lab technicians about the legitimacy of THC percentages on labels and how they might not be as truthful as the average consumer may believe. One of the guys I chatted with who shall remain nameless put it like this.

He said, “Company’s know that the consumer demand is calling for high THC percentages, they are going to do whatever they can to get the highest THC percentages documented on their labels. A lab technician might be able to falsify a THC percentage by altering the formula used to test the product, i.e. use 8ml of solvent instead of 10ml to get a more concentrated test result.”

Right now, the Liquor and Cannabis Board would have to get a significant complaint in order to investigate the malpractice of any specific testing facility. This has happened in the past and testing facilities have ceased to exist. I think that if the Department of Ecology was tasked with certifying and enforcing these testing facilities there may be less issues with funny numbers on our labels.

I’ve said it before and ill say it again, the biggest misconception of the i-502 industry is that the higher the THC on the label the better the product. Oh and one more… that 32% THC on that eighth you’re buying is probably lying to you.

Enough rambling… back to the Associated Press article… They outlined two very progressive proposed bills for the next session of legislature.

One bill would encourage greater ownership of marijuana businesses by minority, women, or veteran citizens and would offer grants and other technical assistance to businesses that qualify.

Another proposal would allow tier-1 producers to sell directly to medical patients either on-site, by delivery, or through a farmers market style as long as it met the regulations set in place.

Lets talk Cannabis Infused Topicals

Before legalization I never thought to much about the benefits or market for marijuana infused topicals. If I am being honest, before our state legalized, I never put any thought into consuming marijuana for any reason than to get a little baked, or a lot baked, whatever you’re into.

Nowadays I get to sell marijuana to damn near every demographic out there. One of my favorite consumer groups being in the minority. Once or twice a week I get the pleasure of selling danks to someone’s wily grandma seeking a little relief for her arthritis, inflammation, or whatever the case. Her danks just differ a little from your average consumer.

 Pre i-502, if you didn’t have your medical marijuana recommendation, I imagine infused topicals would’ve been almost impossible to find if you didn’t know someone who grew their own varieties of CBD dominant strains. Even at that, you then had to put the time and effort into converting that raw flower into a consumable topical. So, let us rejoice! Legalization has brought the availability of things like marijuana infused topicals to the mainstream market.

The average topical consumer generally isn’t interested in feeling the high effect. Whether it be they have to pass a drug test or whatever the case, they do not want THC in their bloodstream. These consumers generally lead with the question, is the THC found in the topicals going to get me high? The simple answer here is no and for the majority of topicals in the i-502 market the answer is no.

Leafly.com wrote an interesting article on cannabis infused transdermal patches and interviewed Dr. Noel Palmer, who had some very enlightening points. The main one being that if the transdermal patch was infused with various cannabinoids including THC, the consumer would feel the psychoactive effect.

 When asked how transdermal patches can get cannabinoids into the bloodstream, Dr. Palmer replied, “There are two effects really going on. You want to create a patch where the cannabinoids don’t really like living in the patch, so they want to get away. So you try to create conditions for them to migrate from the patch into a place that might be more favorable. In the transdermal scientific world we use what are called permeation enhancers and carriers; those are general words that describe additives put in patches to help them transfer into the blood.”

While we don’t currently carry any transdermal patches at Tacoma House of Cannabis, we do carry topicals that will NOT enter your bloodstream. So have no fear Agnes, Mildred, and Ruth, the infused topicals we sell aren’t going to leave you “feeling it,” or have any psychoactive effect.


We carry many different company’s and styles whether you’re looking for infused bath bombs and salts for that extra relaxing soak, or balms, lotions, and creams to take the edge off your lingering ailment.

Kush Creams is one of our best reviewed topicals on our shelf. Kush Creams uses a special blend of cannabinoids and oils which makes their product stand out to the competition.

Kush Creams Natural Sensi is their scent-free variety

Here’s a little explanation I pulled off kushcreams.com on their secret to success, “At Kush Creams, we choose to use highly medicinal emu oil for the base of all topical products. Emu oil is the only oil that penetrates down into your epidermal layer, delivering the rich medication directly where you need it, versus spreading it superficially on the surface skin as with salves and balms, clogging your pores and preventing the medication from penetrating to the area where you need it. Our lotion, however, absorbs into your skin and you are able to reapply repeatedly to increase your dosage. Emu oil is the secret to our delivery system.”

PSA: Vaporizer Cartridge Awareness

When shopping for vape carts in Washington’s legal market it’s very easy to get lost in the huge selection that most stores have available to consumers. Once you get to the counter and start talking to the budtenders its even easier to be misled or misinformed about the product that they have available, intentional or not.

In my opinion, if you’re looking for a full spectrum vape cart that is going to have strain specific qualities you are going to be much better off going with a CO2, Ethanol, or the creme de la creme Live Resin or High Terpene Extract (HTE) oils.

CO2 hash oil is created by using carbon dioxide as a solvent. The process is officially called super or sub-critical CO2 extraction. The CO2 is turned into a liquid and ran over top of the marijuana in a closed loop extraction process which strips the THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and other essential terpenes and oils from the raw plant. After extreme pressures and temperatures you are left with a hash oil that has the full spectrum qualities to tailor to each individuals. CO2 oil is the safest and cleanest way to make marijuana concentrates.

Leaf Werx carries CO2 vape carts compatible with magnetic, 510 threaded, and PAX Era batteries

Ethanol extraction is similar to CO2 in the sense of the full spectrum oil that is returned after the extraction process. Ethanol is even more effective at extracting a full spectrum product in the fact that it can dissolve both polar (water loving) and non-polar (water fearing) substances. In laymen’s terms, ethanol extraction is extracting more cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils out of the marijuana.

RSO+GO is a great example of an ethanol extracted vape cart that can be found on our shelves.

Live resins and HTE oils are becoming some of my favorite options when it comes to what is available for vaporizer cartridges. Processors are using hydrocarbons to extract high percentages of terpenes and other cannabinoids. The majority of concentrates in the dabable world are made from hydrocarbons, processors are mixing these live resins and HTE’s with distillate to make them compatible to be smoked in cartridge form. Basically, these distillate and cannabis derived terpene mixes are making the gems and juice or diamonds and sauce of the cartridge world. A vape cart that finally tastes like your’e taking a low-temp fresh dab.

Acme Diesel’s HTE and Avita’s Live Resin are the creme de la creme of vape carts in our store when considering the 510 threaded battery type

As a retail industry worker, specifically when talking about vaporizer cartridges, I witness lots of sales representatives come through and try to upsell their product or exaggerate the benefits of their products. Look I get it, their sales representatives, their job is sales. I’m a budtender, my job is also sales.

It’s our job to inform you what you’re purchasing and at the House of Cannabis we pride ourselves in doing that in the most honest way possible. With that in mind, gather around, if you don’t take harsh news well, maybe you should grab a seat…

Your 95% THC distillate vape cart that you paid $40 a gram for is, in my opinion, the worst cartridge on the wall. Not because it tastes bad. Or because it won’t get you “high.” Distillate tastes delicious, for what it is. It gets you plenty high, if you’re looking for a pure THC, spectrum-less high.

My bone-to-pick with distillate revolves around the misconceptions of the industry that companies easily exploit, and it happens with many distillate vape cart companies. A lot of these products have artificial terpenes added or fruit derived terpenes when claiming to be a specific strain. If the terpenes are not cannabis derived then they are not going to carry those special qualities that give the specific effect or high that the strain is claiming to be, they will simply taste like it, with a very spectrum lacking, pure THC high.

Every Tuesday at Tacoma House of Cannabis we run a sale on our vape cartridges, that’s every Tuesday, all day long. So, since it is Tuesday, lets freaking do it, let your hair down and treat yourself a little bit. Go ahead and ask one of our budtenders to show you one of those super dope Live Resin or HTE cartridges, you can thank us later.

$40 ounce… Gone forever?

In the past, when my car broke down or needed mechanic work for whatever reason, I generally call around to every mechanic in a nearby radius to get quick price quotes on my replacement transmission/tires/brake pad/ whatever issue I have.

More and more everyday this is how people are going about purchasing bulk marijuana. Over the past year, a significant percentage of the phone calls received at our shop are consumers inquiring about the cheapest ounce of flower for sale.

Where does the $20 you spend at the weed store go?

Two to three months ago you could call your average Tacoma marijuana retail shop and their cheapest ounce of flower would range from $40.00-$60.00. Twenty-eight grams for $40.00. That’s friggin’ cheap.

Fast forward to now, if you call into your average Tacoma marijuana retail shop asking for their cheapest ounce of flower they’re going to tell you $75.00-$80.00. Everybody, lend me your ears, that’s still friggin’ cheap.

Over the last two years Washington’s weed market, similar to Oregon’s, over produced useable flower, which drove prices down and created a demand for that $40.00 ounce. Today, as a retailer looking around for a producer/processor to sell us an ounce at a price point that allows us to get it to the consumer at $40.00 is impossible. With a less than standard 2.5x mark up to cover our own costs and excise taxes Tacoma’s bulk purchasing consumer is demanding a $16.00 ounce from the producer/processor.

Companies that sold their ounces at that $16.00 price point to retail shops do not exist anymore. That is a less than sustainable price to sell packaged marijuana for that is consumer ready.

Some company’s in Washington’s market have a business model in which they operate at a loss to put pressure on the market and drive consumers to their stores or create a demand for their product. This is happening at the producer, processor, and retail level.  

Personally, I am worried what effect this business model will have on the future of the industry. Lets say 30 years pass by and all the sixteen marijuana retail licenses within the city of Tacoma are controlled by 2 people, and they operate as a hive to hike the prices up or only carry certain farms and basically take out the things which make this industry good for the consumer, diversity, fair competition, small businesses, etc.

Whoa now, Ill pump the brakes on the theorizing of the future of Tacoma’s weed market… Back to cheap ounces. I am predicting that the average price of a normal budded ounce in Tacoma’s market will not drop below that $60.00 to $70.00 price point. Unless of course the retail store is letting them out the door at a stupid low price to drown the market.

Governor Inslee signs SB5605, paving a path to force expungement of 69,000 cannabis convictions

Governor Jay Inslee signed SB5605 into law at about 4PM on Monday, May 13th 2019, after its passage in April via both the State Senate and House. The Senate did need a further reconciliation passage after the House amended the bill. The bill would require sentencing courts to vacate cannabis possession convictions, assuming that the person was above the age of 21 at the time of arrest. At the time of passage in the house, The News Tribune quoted State Senator and Bill sponsor Joe Nguyen (D-White Center) as saying:

“This proved you can do transformative justice reform issues and it’s a bipartisan thing,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Joe Nguyen, D-White Center. “Our unjust laws of the past shouldn’t hold you back from being successful in the future.”

(MORE BELOW)

Easy I-5 Access in Tacoma on S 38th St and Pine

This could potentially be a boon to otherwise law abiding citizens who have had to uncomfortably confront this injustice on housing and employment applications, college loan applications, military service, and travel abroad. The Washington State Patrol reports that as many as 68,000 convictions could be expunged, affecting more than 58,000 individuals.

Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick) sought to limit the effect of the bill by sponsoring an amendment that would have given the courts the discretion of vacating the conviction, rather than compelling the court to do so. The amendment failed. However, through the House Appropriations Committee, the bill was further scoped to include verbiage that compelled the same action in all jurisdictions to ensure those charged and prosecuted under local, municipal ordinances were vacated, as well.

The Cannabis Alliance, was instrumental in lobbying the legislative body on this and several other bills during this and the previous sessions. The Cannabis Alliance is an industry group focused on introducing common sense laws and regulations to the industry, that benefit the industry as a whole, as opposed to a selective few.

Of further note, SB5442/HB1095 was passed by both chambers and would allow medical cannabis of certain types and dosages to be administered at public schools in accordance with a physicians instructions. Similarly, HB1401/SB5719 aim to bring Washington State Industrial Hemp laws in line with Federal laws, making it easier for Washington State Industrial Hemp based businesses to compete in the national marketplace was also passed in both houses and await the governor’s signature, on his desk.

DJ Rescue (Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols) at House of Cannabis – Tacoma June 22nd 2019

Zia is coming to town.


Well, The Dandy Warhols (PDX) just got their tour underway, and DJ Rescue (Zia, their bass manipulator) does a series of after-show DJ sets at a watering hole after their legendary psych-rock gigs. The tour isn’t coming to Seattle, Tacoma, or Portland, but on June 22nd, 2019, DJ Rescue aka the one and only Ms Zia McCabe will be at Tacoma House of Cannabis on June 22nd 2019 from 7PM into the night, spinning some tunes! You can say ‘high’ and ask Zia to sign your Dandy merch. We will have some hardcard posters on hand to commemorate the event if you need something for her to shine. We are looking forward to having you in.

RSVP HERE: Facebook Event

Cold-Start Dabs

The first time I took a dab… wow… seems like quite a long time ago. Probably around 2011, my homeboy from work at the time told me to come blaze before work, naturally, I said “Hell yea!” Little did I know the doorways that were about to be opened into the fantastical world of hash oil dabbing.

            I vaguely remember my buddy’s rig at the time, probably your run of the mill bong with a titanium nail equipped, perfect for hot dabs with no flavor and all that punch that goes with smoking hash oil. Before you go to judge me remember it was literally my first time dabbing and the year was 2011, so yeah, cut me some slack.

            Anyways, I was on my way to work, stopped by my dude’s place, took my dab, left shortly after. BOY-O, did I get the most baked I’ve ever been in my entire life!

           I continued to voyage my bicycle to work at the local steakhouse where I worked as a line cook at the time. When I arrived, needless to say, my manager saw right through my Visine lacking eyes, told me I wasn’t allowed to use any sharp knives for the day, and banished me to the dish pit, I abided.

            Fast forward eight years and I’m doing a demonstration on how to do a cold-start dab for my legal weed shop’s online blog. God bless America, and especially our beautiful Pacific Northwest.

           “What is a cold-start dab?”, you may ask? I’ll give you a quick description, as well as a video in which I will demonstrate the speedy cold-start dab.

            A cold-start dab is achieved by simply scooping up the desired amount of hash oil and placing it into a non-heated quartz banger, attached to whatever rig you may have. I personally have never attempted a cold-start dab on any other type of rig besides your standard quartz banger setup. You proceed to cover the banger with your carb-cap, prepare yourself for your dab as you heat up the banger for 10-15 seconds (depending on the thickness of your banger).

            You then use your carb-cap to move the oil around your banger as you hit that shit! Way to go dudes and dude-ettes! You have just completed your very first convenient and tasty, cold-start dab.

            Here is my quick video demonstration, enjoy!

PinkBoots420.com – A strong green job resource

We see lots of resumes from prospective job seekers at all three of our stores. Sadly, there aren’t nearly enough jobs at our facilities for all the qualified job seekers that we see. However, the Tacoma and the Seattle area at large have a great resource for the green job seeker. We have a local blogger, Pink Boots 420, who is dedicated to maintaining all the green industry jobs she see’s posted to her blog. The list of things she posts are a LOT longer than just ‘budtender’. . . From marketing to trimming, in fact. You really should check it out over at website (pinkboots420.com) and her Facebook page.

These Pink Boots were made for writing, and Pink Boots is keeping you up to date on job openings. Seriously.