I love Thanksgiving. I don’t celebrate it in any sort of ridiculous old-timey fashion way by celebrating pilgrims, or anything. I celebrate my family and friends.
Sadly, I married young. One of the good things that came from it was having a family to celebrate Thanksgiving with, throughout my 20s, while in the Navy. So many other sailors were alone, with no place to go other than the Galley for the Navy’s overcooked food. My ex-wife, made some fabulous banquets using family recipes, everything was home cooked, and we always invited 3-10 sailors over to enjoy our Thanksgiving, while away from their homes.
I think it is very important to give thanks to those around us, that support us, and help us fuel our dreams and paths towards achievement.
When we (Mike, Michael, and I) opened House of Cannabis – Tacoma, we made a commitment to Tacoma with regards to our operating hours, that we were going to be open 8AM to 11:55PM every single day of the year. Not everyone shares the same positive viewpoint on Thanksgiving, or Christmas, and while sad, no one can predict when a PTSD episode will strike, either. In fact, gathering with family you only want to see once per year (if that) can be stressful, traumatic, and episode inducing. So, we are here for those people.
However, being open requires a labor pool. I would never seek to make anyone work on a holiday that they intended to spend with their family, so when holidays come up, we offer the hours to those who are regularly scheduled, then open shifts from those who declined are offered to the rest of the crew. If no takers, the partners will work the shifts, themselves. Employees are paid time & a half for holidays (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.) No one is compelled to work, except me.
For that reason, Nick (morning), Jessica (morning), Adrian (evening), and I (evening) will be working today. If you’d like to say hey, drop on by. I’ll be there from 4PM until close.
I hope you all have a good holiday, and enjoy your time with friends and family.
Whether your using topical creams to treat aches and pains, or you’re consuming some edibles before hitting the gym on your daily workout routine, cannabis can have a role to play with wellness. Everyday more and more people are hearing of the benefits to using cannabis for relief and the trend of experimenting with it continues to grow.
A couple weekends ago I was at one of those hotel free breakfast deals, I found myself stuck watching a Good Morning America segment to go with my coffee and waffles. They started talking CBD and cannabis and my mind started cooking up some classic OK Boomer memes and they totally killed it, I was shocked.
They did a stellar job explaining THC, CBD, and the benefits of using both together in their two minute segment. So i ate the rest of my breakfast along with my OK boomer hate and figured our little blog could use some sort of a similar little story.
When someone comes into our shop and they’re looking for something to smoke, eat, or even use topically for wellness, I always try to explain the benefits of using THC with CBD. I also find it important to explain how the products we sell in our store differentiate from things that consumers can get tricked into buying on the internet or with the latest wave of Hemp based CBD placebos out there.
Like the GMA segment eloquently touched on, your body uses what we call the endocannabinoid system to intake different cannabinoids into your body. Different receptors will intake the different cannabinoids to various parts of the body. When THC is used with CBD, The rate in which the receptors intake these cannabinoids greatly increases.
So when a customer is looking for a non-psychoactive CBD edible, i always stress to them it is important to have little amounts of THC even at a ratio of 10mg CBD to 1mg THC or a 10:1 ratio. This ensures your cannabinoid receptors will intake all the non psychoactive CBD that you are ingesting, and you wont be getting sold a placebo.
That may have been confusing. And if it was I’m sorry. I’d love to give it another try and can probably do a better job in person. As well as show you firsthand the wide range of wellness products we sell with varying CBD to THC ratios. So come hit up your boy, and keep in mind that we have CBD Sunday sales!
Many patrons thank us upon learning that we are a Veteran owned business. Lots of our customers relate their own service to us when they find out, or they tell us how their parents served, or children currently serve. It’s understandable, as we live in a society which, after a temporary setback in the late 60’s and early 70’s, has and continues to have an AMAZING relationship with its Armed Services, which have been completely volunteer-based since 1973. We may not always agree with an individual Administration, but we can largely get behind the sacrifices that the men and women of the US forces make in service to our civil society. Still, 7.6% of the population is an extreme minority, so most Americans have no idea what it is actually like to serve in the military.
My partner, Michael Endicott, and I both served in the armed forces. Three of our employees, (Derek (Tacoma), Shaun (Twisp), and Marty (Tonasket), served as well. While I can’t speak to the specifics of each of their service, I can tell you about mine.
I enlisted and served in the United States Navy for nine years and two months, from November of 1996 until March of 2005. I trained at Great Lakes, Illinois, then Damneck, Virginia, on the path to becoming a Data Systems Technician. After completing training, I reported to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, homeported in Bremerton, Washington, until February 2002. During that time, I served as the primary Anti-submarine warfare tech onboard, and the Carl Vinson participated in Operation Desert Fox (strikes on the Saddam Hussein regime) and Operation Enduring Freedom, which quickly became the Global War on Terrorism. I left fairly soon after the carrier had returned to homeport, and attached to Naval Air Weapons Center Point Mugu, California. I did three years of radar and communications repair at a tiny airfield just NW of Malibu, CA. This component of my service was an absolute blast. I spent the time raising my young family, surfing Point Mugu’s break, and finishing my college degree. When I left that facility, I returned to Washington State, bought a house in Tacoma, and attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln in Everett, Washington. Onboard that ship I was primarily responsible for maintaining the SIPRnet (secure, secret internet) uplink from the ship, and maintaining many assets on that network, onboard.
I recognize that as an enlisted person, I had a fairly
lavish lifestyle. Due to the classification rating of my equipment, my offices
were often secure, and access codes weren’t exactly handed out. For that
reason, my coworkers and I generally assembled our own clubhouse complete with
TV, game system, kick-ass stereo, and gaming computers. One of the advantages
of serving in a capacity of waiting for something to break is a bit of free
time. I very much enjoyed watching jets take off and land from the crow’s nest
on the O-10 level, 6 decks above the 4 ½ acre flight deck. Despite the fact
that I am fairly independently minded, I managed to get by within the rigid
framework of discipline and order.
Even though we made life onboard as comfortable as possible, we lived for the moments when we pulled into port in exotic cities or foreign countries. In my 4+ years stationed onboard a Naval ship, I visited Hawaii (4x), Singapore (2x), Pattaya Thailand, Hong Kong, Perth (AUS), Hobart (AUS), Dubai (UAE), Jebel Ali (UAE), Bahrain, Sigonella Italy, Rota Spain, and the Azores Islands. Those experiences were truly priceless, and I treasure all the memories and friends.
Prior to joining the military, I had already been a prolific cannabis smoker. I was lucky enough to live on Mercer Island, near Seattle, and we had a pretty amazing, steady supply of BC hydro and Eugene soil grown at the time. My parents, and their honest approach led me to the least harmful adult intoxicant, cannabis. I maintain that an honest approach leads to an understanding that cannabis is for “anytime,” whereas chemicals and booze are for “sometimes.” Cannabis use has been so prolific since Vietnam era, that recruits were coached to say they’ve never tried it or have only tried it once.
I can’t speak to current policy, but I am willing to bet that the policy has changed little. I didn’t smoke any cannabis during the enlistment. I did smoke some the night I got out of the Navy. My mom scored me a quarter ounce of Seattle’s finest from a friend on Capitol Hill in Seattle, and I picked it up on my way through town. Really, quite bizarrely, I wanted to tell someone that I was going to get high, so I called Ricker back when he was at KISW and told him I was FREE of the Navy! He did graciously take my call and relayed to me that he was a Navy brat hailing originally from Pensacola, Florida (there is a massive Naval Air Base, there). We chatted for a few and then I was home. My ex and I decided to wait until the kids got to bed, then we smoked out of a one hitter (aka a bat) and got suuuuuper fucking high.
During my time in the Navy, I did witness a culture that
really steers sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines to drinking, and it just
isn’t a great practice. When I checked in to the Abraham Lincoln, they had
literally just finished fishing dead human bodies out of the water after the
Banda Aceh tsunami that killed 200,000 people near Christmas, 2004. There was a
lot of stress and PTSD onboard from dealing with the event in a humanitarian
manner, and for a while the good crew of the Abraham Lincoln was chalking up a
DUI per day on the streets and highways of Washington State. The mitigation
campaign was in full effect, to be fair, and they had video and stills of car
wrecks (gore included) playing on a projector and large screen in the hangar bay,
where the crew disembarks down a ladder and gangway, off the ship. I do wish
the Armed Forces would choose the safer alternative, because cannabis IS safer
Though my cannabis life and my military life were quite
separate in time, I do treasure the experiences in each of them, very much. In
the end, I got a paycheck for over nine years, my college degree was paid (part
of my grad degree, too), I travelled the world, and put up with a little bit of
shit and showed up in an ironed uniform. I wasn’t much for shining my shoes to
a high polish. But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Its that wonderful time of year again my weed smoking compadres. Crop-tober is finally here. All the beautiful sun grown marijuana is almost finished ripening to its optimal potency. Patience guys, it’s almost ready to hit our stash jars.
Lets dive into this a little bit and think about the impact the outdoor October harvest has on us.
Realistically, the raw bud harvested in October probably wont be ready for packaging or further processing until around thanksgiving or even a little bit after. So we gotta keep in mind it takes a little while to see the impacts trickle down from our crop-tober season.
What I’m getting at here people is we should see a lot more weed be available from producers and processors here in the next month or so, and you know what that means… drumrolll… cheaper prices to the masses!
Right now the price of an ounce of weed in our store is ranging from $50 all the way up to $315 for some top shelf. I don’t see the price dropping any lower than $50/ounce any time soon and like, lets get real, that’s already too low. What we will see is the quality get a lot better at those lower price points.
Bargain shoppers be warned! We are going to start reaping the benefits of crop-tober sooner than later, so stay vigilant people.
So it happened, flavored vape carts are gone. We can all pour a little e-cig juice out in remembrance for what we once had…
I mean, I think pouring out e-cig juice into the trash is probably the best thing you can do with that stuff in the first place, but that’s just my personal opinion.
Back to marijuana vape carts… Our state has drafted legislation on the banning of flavored cartridges. What defines a flavored vape cart you may ask?
Our state Board of Health and Liquor and Cannabis board is in the process of figuring that out. They are trying to lock down what it means to define the word flavor.
According to WAC 246-80-010 they isolate the two words “characterizing flavor” and try to define what that means.”Characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco or marijuana or a taste or aroma derived from compounds or derivatives such as terpenes or terpenoids derived directly and solely from marijuana, as defined in RCW 69.50.101(y), or hemp plants that have been grown and tested as required by state law, imparted by a vapor product. Characterizing flavors include, but are not limited to, tastes or aromas relating to any fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, dessert, alcoholic beverage, menthol, mint, wintergreen, herb, or spice. A vapor product does not have a characterizing flavor solely because of the use of additives or flavorings or the provision of ingredient information. It is the presence of a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, that constitutes a characterizing flavor.
So again we have this definition that I literally copy and pasted from the LCB website, but what does that actually translate to when considering product on our wall? Let us dive deeper.
On Thursday, October 10, it was my coworker’s and my task to take all the flavored vape carts and store them in quarantine, because ya know Governor’s orders.
So were sitting here taking down all our fruity and minty and basically any non-marijuana strain named cartridges out of our inventory. I cant help but notice that it just so happens all of the vape carts that we are ordered to take down are distillate vape carts. Excuse me, flavored distillate vape carts.
I would say that a large majority of the vape cart company’s in the i-502 market happen to be using the distillate extraction method. Many distillate cartridges claim to be strain specific when they are sourcing their terpenes from the same natural terpene vendors that the flavored distillate company’s were.
These distillate vape cart company’s use mixes of different natural terpenes to produce a similar taste and smell as a specific cannabis strain would. WITHOUT BEING CANNABIS DERIVED. We are allowed to continue selling these “strain specific” distillate vape carts despite them being made the exact same way and sourced the exact same way as flavored distillates. Which to me seems like some bullshit.
Lets look at this definition one more time… “Characterizing flavor” means a distinguishable taste or aroma, or both, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco or marijuana or a taste or aroma derived from compounds or derivatives such as terpenes or terpenoids derived directly and solely from marijuana.
To me, it seems like a ruling to allow a strain specific distillate vape cart that is derived in the exact same process in which our now banned flavored distillate vape carts is a complete oxymoron ruling from our governor.
I guess we’ll just chalk this ruling up to that’s what you get when the entity’s who regulate an industry don’t know nearly as much about it as the people who have to follow the rules.
Here’s one more look at a little graph I pulled off the LCB’s FAQ page:
Not-Allowed and Allowed Under Emergency Rule Per the State Board of Health’s emergency rule amending 246-60 WAC and the definition of “characterizing flavor” contained therein:
Synthetic terpenes and terpenoids or other synthetic flavoring compounds
Terpenes and terpenoid derived directly and solely from marijuana, as defined in RCW 69.50.101(y) , or hemp plants that have been grown and tested as required by state law
Botanically-derived terpenes, terpenoids or other botanically-derived flavoring compounds, except if directly derived and solely from marijuana plants tagged within the I-502 system or hemp plants
Any other compounds that impart a “characterizing flavor” that is not specifically excluded
So once again naturally derived terpenes that are found in our strain specific distillate vape carts are allowed to be sold but our almost identically made flavored distillate vape carts are banned.
If you want my real pro-tip, do yourself a favor and don’t buy distillate vape carts, they’re all garbage disguised as recycling.
NPR called our shop last week! It was freaking cool. What
the hell does NPR want with our homegrown little Tacoma House of Cannabis shop you
say? Freaking Vape carts.
In the last week Governor Inslee announced an Executive
Order to ban all flavored vaping products. The reality of that impact for
marijuana businesses is still to be decided. On October 9th the
Board of Health will draft legislation that if approved would ban flavored
cartridges, require much more descript ingredient lists on labels, and other
forms of potentially tightened regulations.
Back to earlier… When the NPR reporter called the shop, I gave my usual “Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger, blah blah blah this is Kyle,” to which he replied, “Budtender Kyle! from the Blog? This is so and so from NPR…” I was a little stoned and thrown off at first, but then flattered that he had referenced our lowly little blog. I quickly put him on hold and handed the cordless to the boss. He was calling of course of the recent executive order from Governor Inslee.
So yea, the boss’ had a sit down with an NPR reporter. Fans of Tacoma House of Cannabis be on the look out for the article, we’ll even try to put a link to it on here, as long as they don’t say anything bad of course.
My boss gave me access to the talking points that they went over in their interview, so I decided to have a little fun and have my own Official unofficial Q&A with NPR.
So, in the universe where NPR reporters interview bloggers/budtenders for their opinion on groundbreaking topics, I imagine the conversation went a little something like this…
Q: What are you hearing from your customers about this? are you hearing anything?
A: Most of our vape cart consumers either don’t know about the concerns in the media lately, or maybe they just don’t care. Three weeks ago when I first heard of vaping related scares in Oregon in the news maybe one or two consumers in a weeks worth of shifts asked me what I thought about the issues. In the last week, I’ve had maybe 10 consumers have concerns on the issue.
Q: How do you go about evaluating these vaping products as retailers?
A: Man you should probably freaking talk to my boss, but as a consumer I’ve always felt weird about vaping or smoking artificial flavored anything, if you ask me it should taste like what it is, not strawberries, or blueberries, or anything that isn’t cannabis derived.
Q: Has there been any noticeable impact on your business?
A: Not my business bro, I’m just the meter maid. What I do know is distillate vape carts make up 50% of the inventory of our vape cart selection, the flavored distillates being probably a quarter of the total section. If the state bans flavored distillates outright, certain processing companies will have to drastically change their business models or cease to exist.
Q: What would you like to see the state do or not do?
A: I think that on October 9th when the state’s Board of Health meets, they are going to continue the ban on all flavored vape carts and impose more regulation on the vape carts that they deem safe. Until then processors and retailers will continue to sell and buy all the flavored vape carts they can. Doesn’t really affect me to much, besides maybe having a few extra disappointed stoners to break the news too. So that sucks.
Q: Do you believe there needs to be more regulation/testing of these vaping products?
A: Honestly man I don’t think there is anything wrong with the vape cart products that we currently sell in the i-502 market. I also however do not have a problem with a bunch of white coats further regulating what is allowed into this industry, as long as where talking the science-y stuff like vape carts.
UPDATE FROM MANAGEMENT:
KNKX, a local NPR affiliate, filed their story, at this link. You can hear an audio version just below this text.
The evolution of the electronic dabber has leaps and bounds in the last few years. I remember my first load your own dab pen, The Game’s Jesus Piece G-Pen. I used to rock that thing with the lanyard like it was going out of style. I bought it secondhand off one of my buddies, man, I got at least a good couple of months out of that thing before it crapped out on me. Keeping in mind the tech of those old school electric dabbers, I chalked it up as not a total loss.
Didn’t I say these electronic dabbers have made some serious leaps and strides in the last few years? The Puffco Peak and Vuber portable dabber are testament to that statement.
We are currently carrying both in stock at Tacoma House of Cannabis.
The Puffco Peak being the crème de la crème.
First time I hit one of these puppies I was in one of our vendor’s hot box on wheels. We were smoking on some strain that I can’t remember, taking fatty globs out of a big jar of what we’ll call one legal limit of dabs.
The strategy we were using that day was to put roughly a half g of our finest into the ceramic bowl, set the Puffco to sesh-mode, and pass that beautiful piece of electronic dabware around until we were righteously baked.
Pros to the Puffco:
20 second heat up time.
4 different heat settings that will keep the bowl/banger at the perfectly desired temp throughout the whole dab with the LED light display/ haptic feedback.
Sesh-mode makes dabbing with the Puffco comparable to dabbing with a hardwired e-nail at home.
Fully charges after 2 hours of charge time, and that charge lasts around 30 dabs.
Silicone wrapped base, keeps glass protected at all times.
Awesome carrying case with all the essential tools included.
Cons to the Puffco:
One-year protection plan.
The Vuber portable dabber is no Puffco Peak, but ill tell you what, it has treated me very well in the past and it doesn’t break the bank for that portable dabbing experience.
My buddy used to whip around with his Vuber portable Dabber perfectly tucked between his Ford Ranger’s captain chair and the center console. That truck had the most perfect stash spot, you’d swear it was tailored to fit that portable dabber. We put some serious miles on that thing whenever we were out and about playing billiards.
The one thing I remember about the Vuber is having to heat it up two separate times to get that nice stable temperature, good enough for a nice fatty dab.
Similar capabilities as the Puffco Peak, but im not gonna lie, not nearly as dope of an all around experience.
Pros to the Vuber portable dabber:
Lifetime Warranty, either handled on your own or by us in store.
3 different nails/bowls; titanium, ceramic, and quartz.
Awesome carrying case with all the essential tools included.
Fully charges after 2 hours of charge time
Cons to the Vuber portable dabber:
35-45 second heat time.
2 different heat settings that keep heat for up to 25 seconds.
Estimated battery life of 16 dabs. (sometimes it takes two heat cycles to get 1 big dab)
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
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
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.
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.