House Of Cannabis is ESSENTIAL! Here’s how we will handle it.

Jess, holding down the bud bar in Tacoma, incognito.

In light of the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus and associated regulations on public behavior, we at House of Cannabis wanted to let you know about the steps we are taking to ensure the safety of our customers and staff during this a-typical moment.

OUR INITIAL RESPONSE COVERING OUR SANITATION AND SPACING STANDARDS CAN BE FOUND, HERE.

The Governor has declared cannabis retail stores and grow/process operations essential. What does this mean?

Well, this is a privilege for society. It means we need to follow the rules. Maintain social spacing, don’t make needless trips, buy enough to last a while when you do venture out, and combine trips for eligible household members to minimize exposure, if possible.

For House of Cannabis stores, we are taking several steps to minimize risk to our employees, as well as the general public. We continue to sanitize frequently. All budtenders are wearing gloves 100% of the time, and we are deploying masks as this week progresses. All shifts have disposable masks, or washable, reusable masks at this moment. Every employee is being issued protective equipment to protect you, and them, should someone be non-symptomatic. As the COVID-19 Coronavirus infection appears quite virulent, I would personally avoid shopping at retail establishments that aren’t taking sanitation and personal barriers very seriously. I assure you that we, at House of Cannabis, are taking this health threat very seriously.

As this situation develops, we remain reactive to the orders of the Governor. He is the singular ultimate authority on if we stay open. It also may become necessary to reduce our hours at any or all of our three stores. If a situation develops locally that creates an environment that means we can’t safely serve the public, we will close our doors.

The State of Washington has just opened up curbside service to all adults 21+ given COVID-19 concerns, and we will be evaluating how to implement that, if possible. If you know what you want from our menu, please feel free to place an online order, and call the store when you arrive if you don’t want to come in.

Online ordering - Click this image
Click here for online ordering!

We are leveraging our partnerships with other cannabis businesses, cannabis professionals, and cannabis trade associations in order to keep up with 1) industry-wide coronavirus best practices and 2) maintain an up-to-date understanding of national and state restrictions on small businesses that could potentially impact our ability to operate.

3/24/2020 @ the Okanogan Stores

If there is any sign that we will need to close up shop, we are committed to communicating this to you, our customers, as soon as we find out. You have been good to us over the years, and so we are committed to being communicative and transparent with all of you through all of this.

Our Requests to Our Customers:

  • If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. Even if you are feeling well, consider the importance of limiting unnecessary trips out of the house for the sake of public safety.
  • If you are one of our Tacoma patrons, you can order online in order to reduce wait times and limit the length of 1:1 interaction inside of the store. When you order via our online menu, we will prepare the order for you in real-time and set the product aside for up to 48 hours. You can find our online order menu here: Tacoma Online Menu

Thank you for your continued patronage at House of Cannabis. We look forward to continuing to serve you during this difficult time. If you have any questions about how we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Stay safe and sane out there!

Tacoma: (253) 212-3711, 8AM-11:55PM Every Day

Twisp: (509) 997-4200, 9AM-9PM M-Sat, 11AM-5PM Sunday

Tonasket: (509) 486-0919, 9AM-9PM M-Sat, 11AM-7PM Sunday

Our Vendor’s responses to COVID-19

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING CONTINUED OPERATIONS AT HOUSE OF CANNABIS

Our vendors are starting to issue their own responses to COVID-19 / Coronavirus. Where possible, I have saved PDFs and linked them for download, below:

House Of Cannabis; A statement on COVID-19, and our response.

Lavarse sus manos

In light of the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus and associated regulations on public behavior, we at House of Cannabis wanted to let you know about the steps we are taking to ensure the safety of our customers and staff during this a-typical moment.

First of all, we are taking extra precautions to maintain a clean and sanitary environment within our stores. As frequently as possible, our budtenders are wiping down all surfaces with disinfectant spray, particularly high traffic areas like counters, cash registers, and ATMs. Our budtenders are also wearing gloves during their shifts to prevent the spread of germs while selling cannabis products and facilitating transactions. We have installed public sani-can hand washing stations in front of our Twisp and Tonasket stores.

We are also keeping up with the CDC’s suggestions regarding social distancing and reduced gathering size. Luckily, the smaller footprint of our stores means that crowd size is not likely to exceed 20+ customers at any given time. As we serve customers over the coming weeks and months, we will be sure to move through any lines as quickly as possible. If required, we may implement a policy to reduce the number of customers inside the store at any given time.

Finally, no employees will be allowed to work while displaying symptoms of illness. If any of our budtenders do start to display symptoms, they will be sent home and will be eligible for sick pay.

At this time, we do not anticipate any service interruptions. We are a medically endorsed facility, and we intend to stay open as long as possible to serve everyone’s needs. We will be here in the stores, serving you, for as long as we are permitted to.

While the LCB has just legalized curbside service or delivery for patients and designated caregivers, we are examining how to do this in the most efficient manner. For the time being, if you are a medical cannabis patient and have concerns about stepping inside the store, call and work with a tender in advance to coming in.

That said, we are leveraging our partnerships with other cannabis businesses, cannabis professionals, and cannabis trade associations in order to keep up with 1) industry-wide coronavirus best practices and 2) maintain an up-to-date understanding of national and state restrictions on small businesses that could potentially impact our ability to operate.

If there is any sign that we will need to close up shop, we are committed to communicating this to you, our customers, as soon as we find out. You have been good to us over the years, and so we are committed to being communicative and transparent with all of you through all of this.

Our Requests to Our Customers:

  • If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home. Even if you are feeling well, consider the importance of limiting unnecessary trips out of the house for the sake of public safety.
  • If you are one of our Tacoma patrons, you can order online in order to reduce wait times and limit the length of 1:1 interaction inside of the store. When you order via our online menu, we will prepare the order for you in real-time and set the product aside for up to 48 hours. You can find our online order menu here: Tacoma Online Menu

Thank you for your continued patronage at House of Cannabis. We look forward to continuing to serve you during this difficult time. If you have any questions about how we are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Stay safe and sane out there!

Tacoma: (253) 212-3711, 8AM-11:55PM Every Day

Twisp: (509) 997-4200, 9AM-9PM M-Sat, 11AM-5PM Sunday

Tonasket: (509) 486-0919, 9AM-9PM M-Sat, 11AM-7PM Sunday

LINK TO OUR VENDORS RESPONSES AND PLANS OF ACTION WITH REGARDS TO COVID19

Things to do while stoned #84

Cleaning your crib is always a little better after reefing up.##This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.

Posted by House of Cannabis – Tacoma on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Flavored Vape Carts Return Feb 8th

Back in October the Center for Disease Control (CDC) declared a state of emergency from the national outbreak of pulmonary illness linked to vaping. Governor Jay Inslee, The State’s Board of Health, and the State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) banned flavored vape cartridges from the marijuana industry in accordance with the national outbreak in hopes to save the children. Well guess what folks?! The storm has passed, the children are secure, and we’re getting our flavored vapes back.

The LCB sent out an email yesterday, January 23, briefing the rules going forward and the plan to re-implement flavored vape carts to the industry. The main points of the email are outlined below:

  • The State Board of Health emergency rule temporarily banning flavored vapor products remains in effect through February 7, 2020. On February 8, 2020, retailers may legally sell flavored vapor products.
  • As of February 8, 2020, you no longer are required to post the warning sign about the severe lung injury. 
  • The State Board of Health emergency rule temporarily banning vapor products with vitamin E acetate remains in effect until March 19.
  • The Board is expected to withdraw all LCB flavored-vapor-product rules that are tied to the State Board of Health rules.
  • Marijuana Vapor Product Ingredient Disclosure forms are still required to be submitted by all producer/processor and processor licensees for each vapor product. For more information, see the Links to Required Documents box on our Vapor and Public Health

Now I get to rant about the over regulation of our beloved LCB, and the fallout businesses deal with from them out thinking the room on this issue.

I get it, the CDC declared a state of emergency, and thats a big deal. Instead of looking toward the black market for the issue, our governor put a 4 month halt on legal, regulated businesses. This was a completely unnecessary move that messed with the production line of a lot of companies. For instance, lets take a company like Hellavated, who solely made flavored vapes, and take a closer look at how they were impacted.

Pre-October, Hellavated had a myriad of flavored vapes like strawberry, blueberry, watermelon, mint, yada yada, you get the picture. At any given time in our store we had at least 6 different flavors in disposable vape carts, full gram 510 threaded carts, and the pax pod line. They had flavor specific, color coded packaging, and hardware to go with each flavored product.

On October 9th, our governor deemed their product not safe for consumption. Hellavated then had to halt production and re-market and re-think their whole line of products to tailor to the new rules. I don’t have the specific stats nor do I need them to tell you this was not a cheap task, that could have very well crippled smaller businesses that didn’t have the capital to jump over this hurdle tossed in by the LCB.

Anyways fast forward to yesterday and the LCB abolished all the unnecessary over regulation of flavored vape carts effective February 8th. Vapor blazers everywhere rejoice.

Cannabis and Wellness

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.

I like layman’s terms, so I use them. This is some science level stuff right here courtesy of physicians lab

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!

Michael Winslow, “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” @ House Of Cannabis on Sunday, 10/20/2019

Michael Winslow is coming to Tacoma! Appearing Sunday, between 5PM and 6PM at House of Cannabis – Tacoma for a Meet and Greet. Come meet “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” and experience his stunning gift in person, in an intimate environment. After the meet and greet, 30+ lucky fans will board a party bus with Michael to enjoy an elevated tour of evening-time Tacoma with hilarity and hijinx certain to ensue over the next 60-90 minutes.

Michael Winslow is bringing his multiple talents to House of Cannabis

In order to be entered to join the VIP bus, you can do one of two things (no purchase is necessary… You must be 21 years old.

1) you can share the Facebook Event to your own Facebook page (it needs to be a public share so we can see it and put your name in) OR…..

2) Come in to the store and write down your first name and phone #, and put it in the envelope for the drawing. That happens at 5PM on Saturday, and we’ll be reaching out via phone immediately thereafter to notify folks.

Spaceballs

Loup Loup Ski Area and Sitzmark – under celebrated and not crowded.

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??

From the “Double Z” ski run at Loup Loup Ski Area

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!

Loup Loup Ski Area Trail Map

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.

A topigraphic trail map of the Sitzmark ski area
Sitzmark trail map

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 day pass.

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 websites:

Loup Loup Ski Area

Sitzmark Ski Area (not mobile friendly, really… not the worst, either.)

Online ordering - Click this image
Click here for online ordering!
Ski The Loup • Mountain Webcam view from the Top (NOTE: If this view is missing, camera is temporarily offline.)

The current view from the top of Loup Loup

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!!!