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.
Ski or snowboard, it doesn’t matter — the season is right
around the corner, and Cliff Mass thinks we are going to have a wet and wild
winter! Avid borders are getting their Subarus, VWs, and Audis up for multiple
trips up the mountain. If you don’t have your own gear, and helicopter, getting
to some of the more desirable, dangerous, and exhilarating spots is difficult;
go to the touristy, more expensive spots is an arduous journey in crowds, high
costs, and long lines at the lifts can really put a damper on the spirit. If
only someone put out a guide of a couple awesome spots with no lines and
awesome runs, where to stay on the cheap, where to eat, and of course – where
to grab some pot.
The Seattle metro area has a habit of going to three places to ski – Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie Summit, and Mount Baker Ski Area where the prices are steep, and the lift lines can be daunting on those perfect days on the weekend. So, one might wonder how to get a fulfilling and reasonably priced ski adventure in without heading to California, Montana, Colorado, or Wyoming. House of Cannabis has you covered in so many ways. For those of you in our loyal, loving Tacoma crowd, you may never have been to our ‘East of the mountains’ stores. Both are wonderful, fabulous cannabis stores in small towns buoyed by the recreational atmosphere of Okanogan County. There are also at opposite sides of the county, so the landscape and to do list can be varied and wide. For the price of a day at Crystal, Summit, or Baker, you can stay and ski the weekend in Okanogan County. I shall elaborate.
The second store we opened has become House of Cannabis – Twisp, in the Methow Valley. It is the closest store to Lake Chelan, and it is right on the Loup Loup Hwy 20 / Hwy 2 Scenic byway. Twisp offers several affordable, clean places to stay, including the Sportsman Motel ($, Rustic, Clean), Idle-a-While Motel ($, Cute, Quaint, Private), Twisp Terrace Lodge ($$, Modern, away from town), Twisp River Suites ($$$, Modern, walk the town), and even the uber ritzy Sun Mountain Lodge ($$$$, in Winthrop 8 miles North, mountain bike / horseback / cross country ski paradise). There are many other options as well that a simple google search will reveal – Abby Creek Inn, Mt Gardner Inn, and these AirBNBs. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SKIING??
Loup Loup. Yeah, it’s a funny name, but it’s what it has. About 10 miles east from Twisp on Highway 20 is the summit of Loup Loup pass. A couple hundred yards after the summit is the turn to the left of the Loup Loup Ski Bowl, which is well marked. The road is well maintained, oft plowed, but you should have an AWD vehicle and/or chains or the appropriate fitting for your vehicle just in case conditions change while on the mountain. Two different lifts and a tow rope introduce you to varying levels of slopes available for your shredding desires. 1,240 vertical feet of skiing starting at the summit at 5,260 feet awaits you, with little to no lift line, and the highest single day pass starting at $55 each. Ski rentals are available in the towns of Winthrop, Twisp, and at the base of the Loup Loup ski bowl, so if you don’t have your own equipment, that’s ok!
The ski bowl has several long, enjoyable beginner and intermediate slopes, and many short and medium run expert slopes, with a skill level and ability to work on form with a variety of hill challenges. Loup Loup also has a tubing hill, and 23km of groomed cross country skiing available. Of course, House of Cannabis is there for you, just down in the town of Twisp, for all your cannabis needs during your stay. Check out the pics below for a current view of the mountain from their webcam, the ski map, and a pic of our fabulous store in Twisp. Continue past the pictures to read up on the Sitzmark ski area near House of Cannabis, in Tonasket.
Just 35 miles past Twisp, to the east, is our 3rd store, House of Cannabis – Tonasket. Aside from being an absolute gem inside its’ central location in the town, the interior is amazingly crafted through the vision of our partnership. Like Twisp, there are several great places to stay like the Red Apple Inn ($), Omak Inn ($$), The Junction ($), and many AirBNB and small resort style stays.
As for the hill, Sitzmark is ideal for families, or those
just learning to ski. Base elevation is just over 4300 feet, and the summit is
4950 feet. Sitzmark has two lifts (one of them is decidedly the main, and most
trafficked lift) serving the mountain. One of the things I really like about
Sitzmark is positioning of the runs, relative to the main lift. The three
expert runs are immediately under and to the sides of the main left, while beginners
and intermediates after unloading from the chair will ski to the left quite a
bit before beginning their runs. Expert skiers can expect to make frequent runs
during a day, maximizing on slope time because of quick access at the top to
the black diamond slopes, and at the bottom to the queue for the lift. Beginners
and Intermediates will enjoy the long runs back to the base down a variety of
green or blue rated slopes. Lift rates are a bit more value driven at Sitzmark,
compared to Loup Loup, with the basic adult pass clocking in at $45 for a full
After your day on the hill is done, there are lots of dining
options in the Twisp/Winthrop area until about 8-9pm on weekdays, and as late
as 11pm on weekends. In Tonasket, there are several options but the town closes
down a bit earlier, but for the night owls, Omak is 20 miles to the south, and
features great dining into the night, and also has 12 Tribes Casino on the
south side of town.
For more information, you can always check out their
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.
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.
Every once in a while I like to practice my stoner habits in your classic stereotypical ways, and hey that’s just fine man. With that in mind, one of the go-to low-key activities is kickin’ back, getting nice and stoney, and taking in some cinematic culture. Whether it be a date night with the significant other, the K-9 companion, or even solo-dolo, cannabis and movie consumption for me, goes hand in hand.
The girlfriend and I have our routine down pat on how to approach
movie night, varying a little of course whether were staying in or hitting the
theater. Lately our recipe for the perfect stoney movie night has been the sum
of 1-part infused drink and 1-part doobie or blunt.
If our movie night is destined for the theater, we would most
definitely be practicing safe and legal consumption and would never advise
against. Our version of safe consumption just might include passing the infused
drink back and forth while blazing our pre movie doobie in the parking lot, but
hey each to their own.
The infused marijuana drink must be one of my favorite additions to the marijuana industry since legalization. In my opinion, the infused liquids hit your system much faster than infused edibles or activated concentrates. Whenever I split a 75-100 mg infused drink the high sneaks up on me within 45 minutes of consuming the thing. The infused drink high will last anywhere from one to another two hours after it starts kicking in, making it the perfect addition to any movie night. My favorite infused drinks that we have in stock now and for the foreseeable future are Wild Side by Green Revolution and Ray’s Lemonade by Dogtown Pioneers.
The infused drink takes 45 minutes to kick in?!? Have no worries, that’s what the doobie’s for. Lately my favorite infused pre-roll has actually been that of the blunt persuasion. Sensi Organix’s Blunt Royale line makes wood tipped, hemp wrapped blunts that come in one and two gram varieties.
Hardest decisions I’ve made in a while was narrowing down my
favorite stoner movies to create a little list for ya’ll. One through four were
easy, these will probably always be my top four stoner flics, unless somebody super
epic from the stoner community makes a cinematic masterpiece, until then, they
are set in stone.
Holy smokes though man the number five slot was hard to
narrow down. Some titles that just quite didn’t make the cut, but I feel I must
list anyway: Harold and Kumar, Cheech and Chong, Jay and Silent Bob, Grandma’s
Boy, the almost contender list could go on and on.
But alas, my top five stoner movie list. If you hadn’t seen any
of them, go ahead and crawl out from the rock you’ve been under for the last 20
years and thank me later, I just made you plans for the night.