MEET DOUG DRACUP—
THE MARIJUANA MOGUL BEHIND
HITMAN GLASS & CHALICE FESTIVAL
WHO JUST OPENED THE FIRST OFFICIAL
CANNABIS COFFEESHOP IN LOS ANGELES
East Coast Editor
West Coast Editor
Jerry Krecicki Photography
Sly Vegas Photography
Mike “Cann” Crawford
Blazin’ With Bobby Black
Featuring Doug Dracup
by Bobby Black
Strain Review: Kookie MOB
by Kaitlyn Buckley
The Tokin’ Truth
A Sergeant’s New Mission:
Helping Veterans Get Off
Opiates With Cannabis
by Mike Crawford
An exclusive interview with
Doug Dracup (owner of
Hitman Glass / Chalice)
inside his hot new cannabis
cafe Hitman Coffeeshop.
by Bobby Black
Centerfold: Chalice Festival
Hemp Hemp Hooray Part 2:
A Victory for Families of Mexico
by Mark M. Ward
From Political Persecution
to Medical Acceptance
by Mike Crawford
A sitdown with Warren Puffit
from Puffit Family Farms
by Kaitlyn Buckley
Cover and Contents photos by Dave Weems
Our infamous West Coast
Editor shares interview
highlights from his
potcast each month.
The owner of the Hitman brand and creator of Chalice discusses
what makes his hash, glass, art and music festival one of the
best attended and regarded cannabis events in the world.
BOBBY BLACK: Last year was my first time going to Chalice and I was
really impressed. Quite possibly the best cannabis event I've been to in
a long time. Not overcrowded, a plethora of entertainment and things to
do and see…just a really mellow, chill vibe. Even the police seemed to
get a kick out of being there.
DOUG DRACUP: Absolutely, man. That's my main concern for Chalice: to
ensure the safety of the attendees. We went above and beyond to be compliant
with the local authorities. We were very transparent with them the
entire time—we made sure the sheriff knew the nature of the event, so
when they walked in, they weren't shocked. I've been in scenarios where
they didn't do their due diligence and the place was fucking raided. You’ve
got to communicate with the police from the get-go and they won't be a
fucking problem. When I try to get away with something, that's when we
could have a problem. What it comes down to is just being shown respect,
compensated for their services and not being in the dark. They knew there
were going be patients donating for different kinds of medicine and all the
different booths really just have different flavors of the same thing. It's all
medicine. As long as we present it that way and make sure that underage
people aren't in the medicating area, then hopefully it will open up the
door for us to throw more events like this closer to Los Angeles and major
BB: I remember looking at all the branding that you did—the website, the
promotional materials, the talent and the kits—and thinking, “This must
have cost him a fortune,” because it was really well done. I thought, “I hope
he can break even on this event,” because I know from experience working
at High Times that they were very careful about not overspending so that
the event would be profitable.
DD: Contrary to what people might think, Chalice wasn't a profitable festival.
I've put myself in uncomfortable positions financially to get this to where it is
today…I've made a lot of personal sacrifices. Doing this by raising the money
Showing off the
Chalice judges’ kit.
for it the entire time has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but it makes it all
the more of an accomplishment that we're not reaching into a big pot of gold
to do it. I'm taking a risk to try to improve the quality of these events. I've
helped build the trademark, the name, and what they represent, and that is
the true value. I have faith that what we've built is something of value, something
that the industry looks forward to and that will be hard to top. It could
be over a hundred thousand people attending it within two years. That’s why I
don't want to burn it out—I don't want to do it four times a year. It doesn't really
mean anything when you have an event every month.
BB: Glass Village was something that I think really differentiated the
festival from other cannabis events. I've seen live glass blowing at
events before, but not on this scale—not a whole section of top-name
talent from around the country all together in one place on view for
people to check out and buy their merchandise.
DD: Being someone who's collected pipes for over a decade, I know what it
means to get to shake someone’s hand whose art you smoke out of every
single day. Glass pipe culture is very unique and I'm proud to be a representative
of it and a catalyst for these artists to get their names out there. I'm
also really thankful I have [Glass Village manager] Derek White on the
team—he's got a great reach. I also know a lot of artists personally through
my businesses, so together we're able to put together something quite
unique and beautiful.
Wu-Tang Clan tearing up
the stage at Chalice 2016.
BB: Another thing that was different than most of the cannabis events I've
been to was the absence of competing music and loud noise in the various
vending areas, which makes it hard for vendors who are trying to talk to the
customers and hard for attendees to enjoy the day. Instead of that, what you
had was just all-day entertainment on the stage, so people could hear it
pretty much throughout the festival but it wasn't imposing.
DD: Absolutely. Our event provides an atmosphere where you can talk
to somebody in a normal tone of voice and make a valuable networking
connection with them without getting a headache. Our festival is bringing
it back to the pot and the hash, and the actual connections and
friendships and memories you're supposed to be making—all of those
are more valuable than somebody being able to put their iPod on and
think they're hot shit. I'm over it—I'm sick of having to scream to try to
tell someone how much my products cost, when I spend thousands of
dollars to be there. It’s ridiculous. These other events have lost control.
We're bringing control back—we have rules, it's not a free for all.
We're not letting everybody have a golf cart, not letting everybody be a
DJ and have performers at their stage. I'm not going to let a vendor go
bigger than I am. That's just not happening. That's unsafe and it's creating
a bad name for our industry.
BB: And the music lineup...I mean, Wu-Tang Clan? That's pretty legit.
DD: Right? What an accomplishment, to have bands like Wu Tang Clan and
Cake and whatever. I'm a firm believer that if you spend solid money on a
music lineup, people are coming. We're trying to create a different vibe each
year, trying to outdo what we did this year for next year. We're really our
own competition as far as cannabis events are concerned because these
other guys aren't going to do the little things. At least, it hasn't happened
yet. And I encourage them to do it, because the truth is, they can do it right,
they're just consciously choosing not to.
BB: You're quite the personality up there and stage. You're very genuine—
you speak your mind about the community and the politics and everything
else. That's pretty cool.
DD: Thanks man! That means a lot coming
from you. We just try to put our heart and soul on the
table. It's a great opportunity to let people know who we are, what's important
to my crew and what we're willing to do for this community. I'm proud
of my entire staff and every person that helped make it possible for the
event to be a success—including all the volunteers, the attendees, the vendors...everybody
made it possible.
BB: I always credit you and your late partner, Erik, for being the ones who
got me into dabbing in the very beginning. I’d never even heard of a dab
pretty much before I met you guys and got turned onto it. I got my first true
dab from a Hitman piece and been a devoted fan ever since.
DD: Pretty sure it was in my van, right?
Doug shows off
an artfully crafted
BB: Yeah—in the parking lot by Easy Street Gallery in Brooklyn. And I have
to say, at the risk of being a bit too sentimental...when I was standing on the
side of the stage at the awards, I couldn't help but think of Erik and how
proud he would be of the festival you created and seeing you standing there
in front of all those people. I could almost feel him looking down and smiling
at all of that and I got a little choked up, I'm not going to lie.
DD: That means a lot bro. A big reason why I even have a hustle is because
of that dude. He might be gone, but I feel like his hustle was kind
of breathed into me and I will always give respect to everything that he
represents. I wish he was here to see it, but I feel like he's watching and
he's probably really proud of everything. We're literally making history,
man. I feel like, we could not even throw Chalice ever again, and it would
live on as being some fucking baller-ass dope shit. The mic could be
dropped and left as-is. That's pretty sick.
Excerpted from Episode #23 of Blazin’ With Bobby Black. Listen to the
full, unedited interview on CannabisRadio.com, iTunes, iHeart Radio and
other popular podcast apps. For more info visit facebook.com/Blazin-
WithBobbyBlack. Check out our Hitman feature on page 16 and our
Chalice preview centerfold! For more info visit chalicecalifornia.com.
TRISTAN BELLISIMO (2)
Lineage: Mother of Berry (M.O.B. clone) x Girl Scout Cookies S1 (OG dom.)
Breeder: Dirty Water Organics
Flowering Time: 60 days, 8-9 weeks
Medical Uses: Pain, Anxiety
Kookie Mob is definitely a favorite of mine. Normally I tend to stay away
from feminized seeds, but having always liked mother of berry growing up I
was interested in growing it. Though I have only seen her flower so far inside,
she was a pleasure to grow. The Kookie Mob filled out beautifully will dense,
flowers and faded into a rainbow of color very smoothly within only a couple
months. This strain has an array of berry flavored terpenes, with crystal trichromes
that sparkle on the deep purple flowers. The high is one that can be
used at any time of the day or night with an over all mellow vibe. A must try
for the fruity flavor enthusiasts!
A SERGEANT’S NEW MISSION:
HELPING VETERANS GET
OFF OPIATES WITH
A SERGEANT’S NEW MISSION:
Helping Veterans Get off Opiates with Cannabis
by Mike Crawford @mikecannboston
Stephen, MA Senator, Elizabeth Warren and his wife, Jessica
during a march in Boston. Stephen had previously met
Elizabeth in DC. The two are currently working together on
the opioid epidemic and marijuana issues in Massachusetts.
Stephen Mandile was injured while deployed 12 years ago for Operation Iraqi Freedom III.
As the Uxbridge native and sergeant in the US Army National Guard explained to the Milford Daily
News in 2012:
I was the lead vehicle in a convoy driving through Baghdad to bring a prisoner to a courthouse
for a hearing, and there was a car driving erratically trying to get out in front of our convoy,
which they knew not to do because we had signs saying not to do it, and not to get too close … We
were going 50 or 60 (mph), and once he caught up he came to a dead stopped, which is the M.O. of
suicide bombers. I didn’t have time to do anything besides crash into him, and run the vehicle off the
Mandile was seriously injured in the ordeal, and has been recovering since. As was noted in
the same profile: “Mandile suffered a slew of injuries during the crash—including five ruptured discs,
spinal stenosis, damage to the sciatic nerve, radiculopathy in both legs, and a traumatic brain injury—and
was taken to hospitals in Iraq and Kuwait before returning to Fort Dix in Sept. of 2005.”
Following his return, the US Department of Veterans Affairs offered a decade of free drugs to
treat Mandile’s pain; among them: Methadone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Fentanyl,
Benzos, muscle relaxers, you name it. He took them until he started feeling suicidal last year, at
which point his wife stepped in and suggested that he try marijuana instead. It worked, and Mandile
has been on a crusade to help other veterans ever since.
Last year, frustrated by Gov. Charlie Baker’s non-response to a request for a meeting, Mandile
took his advocacy to the people through local media outlets; he picketed and even slept outside of
the State House, then also posted up outside of Baker’s home holding a sign requesting an appointment
(which the veteran never got).
Knowing that Mandile has met privately with many elected officials over the past several months,
I asked him to provide a list of those who have been willing to hear him out. Among those who were
willing to hear what the governor wouldn’t make time for: Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Attorney General
Maura Healey; state senators Patricia Jehlen, Jason Lewis, Jennifer Flanagan, Linda Dorcena Forry,
Michael Rush, and John Keenan; state reps Mark Cusack, Mike Connolly, and Kevin Kuros; Secretary of
Public Safety Daniel Bennett; Boston City Councilors Tito Jackson, Michelle Wu, Ayanna Pressley, Michael
Flaherty, Frank Baker, Annissa Essaibi George; and Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung.
Clearly someone who is influencing policies and people in high places, I caught up with Mandile so that
he could explain his invigorated mission and course of action.
MC: What’s your past week been like?
SM: I met with [Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy] Co-Chair Rep. Mark Cusack [and] laid out a formal
plan for veterans collectives. We want the gray market not to be gray, for it to be legal because it [the
gray market] serves more patients than the current operating [state-registered marijuana dispensaries].
We suggested that these collectives would be required to gain local host agreements and be 501(c)(3)
nonprofits for a year, [and] that they be membership-driven with no retail locations.
I also suggested allowing the collectives to sell the overflow of our products and strains to the
dispensaries as well … [and recommended that there be] no criminal restrictions for employment at
these collectives for any [prior] marijuana offense. Rep. Cusack was interested in hearing more, and I feel
he might even co-sponsor a bill we are working on. I am confident [Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy
Chair] Sen. [Pat] Jehlen will sponsor it.
I’m hoping to have my nonprofit, Veterans Alternative Healing, Inc. (VAH) be able to qualify for
this very program. Once they let the veterans do it, it would be only natural to allow other patients to
MC: Any other politicians in particular who you have been
SM: Yes, [Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Tito
Jackson has been] very supportive, as his district has been hit by
the opiate issue and the marijuana injustice issue.
I’m also communicating with Sen. [Linda] Dorcena Forry
to host a private meeting with the entire marijuana committee,
specifically for veterans, some with PTSD, who might not feel
comfortable testifying [in public]. She gave me her card after I
testified, so I followed up, [spoke] with her for a few minutes in
person in her office, and additionally have been working with
her office. She’s trying to get the entire committee together, or
as many as possible.
Sen. Jehlen is great too, we are emailing back and forth
quite a bit. It feels [surprising that] they are not blowing smoke
up my ass like you expect from most politicians. They really do
want to work together. At least some of them.
MC: Can you elaborate on plans for your VAH collective?
SM: We are hoping to have as many strains as people want, with the lowest cost to our members, and
will offer greater discounts for vets who want to volunteer.
Stephen, his wife, Jessica and two daughters at the Whitehouse.
He was invited there by Megan Smith, Obama’s Chief Technology
Officer and former VP at Google. Megan and Stephen met at her
Opiod Hackathon event.
MC: What kind of work would they be doing volunteering?
SM: Trimming [and] daily activities [at] the grow facility … We would also hope to offer emergency
Stephen and General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. is the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal
military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. This photo was taken at a Memorial Day Service.
support and access to veterans getting off opiates, so that’s a priority. Also peer-support group
programs. [We will] be doing community outreach. Veterans helping other veterans is the focus.
MC: You have tried to get a meeting with Gov. Baker in the past. Where are you with that now?
SM: I stopped reaching out to him because I’m so focused on helping people instead of asking people
for help. I’m positive that eventually our paths will have to cross. Which works out because when I first
called to meet with him, I had nothing to offer. Now I have VAH and another new nonprofit, We are
Allies. I’m the president and founder of both.
We Are Allies started when I was invited to be a mentor at the opiate hackathon back in September—an
event put on by GE, [Gov. Baker], and Mass General Hospital. The group I was in won the
Anti-Stigma Award. Out of that, we got incorporated and now are teamed with doctors from Mass
General, some graphic designers, and another [person] in recovery … We are Allies will [be] participating
at Moving Beyond Stigma, [a forum series] put on by William James College in Boston with Mayor
Marty Walsh. Your boy [is] giving opening remarks on [May 23].
Additionally, I’m personally setting up a peer-support group for homeless vets in recovery from
addiction at New England Center and Home for Veterans in Boston next to City Hall—250 homeless
vets sleep there every night.
Mike Crawford is a medical marijuana patient, the host of "The Young Jurks" on
WEMF Radio, and the author of the weekly column The Tokin' Truth, which is
produced in coordination with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He
formerly wrote the column Blunt Truth under the name Mike Cann.
n an age before Starbucks were sprinkled
across the landscape, hearing the words
“coffee house” conjured images of bohemian
painters and romantic writers scribbling on
napkins in 19th Century Paris, of beatniks
waxing poetic and folk singers plucking
acoustic guitars in NYC’s West Village, of radicals
and revolutionaries exchanging ideas
and manifesting manifestos. And then of
course, there’s Amsterdam—whose fabled
coffeeshops were, until just a few years ago,
the only places in the world to purchase and
imbibe herb and hash in a semi-public place
without fear of ejection or arrest.
Obviously, things have since changed a
great deal here in the States—but while
there may be places in ‘Murica where
cannabis is now legal to purchase, there
still technically aren’t any places outside
one’s home (or the occasional prop 215 area
at an event) where it’s legal to consume.
But that changed on April 7th, when Hitman
Coffee—L.A.’s first official cannabis coffeeshop—opened
its doors. I stopped by the
shop two days prior to the grand opening for
an exclusive sneak peek and sit-down with
the man behind the brand, Hitman owner
As I enter the shop along L.A.’s celebrated
Miracle Mile, I’m immediately impressed
by its sophisticated style. With it’s
smoked glass façade, dizzyingly high
wooden-raftered ceilings, and displays of
glass art, the cavernously comfortable
space reads more as a high-brow art gallery
than stoner sesh spot. Upon my arrival, my
host approaches and greets me warmly. A
self-made marijuana mogul originally hailing
from the suburbs of Boston, Dracup
seems remarkably relaxed for a man who’s
staging a massive grand opening party in
less than 48 hours.The secret to his calm,
however, is soon obvious—he’s radiating
the jubilation of a man watching a life-long
dream come to life before his eyes.
“There’s such an unbelievable energy to
this space,” he beams. “I found the location
about a year ago, but I just wasn't in a spot in
my life to pull it off yet,” he admits. “I'm a
firm believer that everything happens when
it's supposed to, and this is definitely supposed
to be happening now.”
As we speak, the space is abuzz with
eager activity: paintings are being hung on the
expansive white walls, merchandise is being
stacked in the cubby cases along the side of
the room, and a koi pond is being constructed
from stacks of cinder blocks around a pillar
towards the back.
DAVE WEEMS (2)
The man behind the brand:
marijuana mogul Douglas J. Dracup,
owner of Hitman Glass, Hitman
Farms, Hitman Coffee, the Chalice
and Happy Place festivals, and now
“It's coming along,” he says as I take it
all in. “I’m still waiting on some plants, coffee
tables, side tables, a pool table…but it's
He leads me out the back door to a
fenced-in yard lined with benches and a staggered
with wooden picnic tables, flanked on
either side by stone walls—one of which is
currently being spray painted by a cute young
“This is the Flower Garden,” Dracup proclaims
proudly, then turns toward her. “And
this is Jules.”
“The Flower Garden”—so named not for
the flowers that grow there (there aren’t
any), but for the flowers that shall be smoked
there. Club policy, I’m informed, will be vapes
and dabs only inside—plant material may
only be smoking in the yard. The reason for
the segregation is twofold: chiefing blunts
and bongs inside would not only stain the
walls and artwork, but also make it uncomfortable
“I'm not looking for you to walk in and it
be smoky,” he explains. “I want you to feel
comfortable staying here for a few hours
without feeling like you can't breathe and
need to get out.”
We reenter and ascend the stairs along
the wall to the balcony which overlooks the
main room. It’s a cozy, classy VIP lounge populated
by black leather couches, wood tables
and visually vibrating art on the walls.
“This is going to be more of a private
space… kind of my little area,” says Doug.
Which is what makes it the perfect place to
conduct our interview, naturally. As we get
comfortable, he sets down a rig from Hitman’s
latest series, the Compound Collection:
a network of interconnected glass
bubbles resembling a bunch of grapes, inspired
by molecules and compound elements.
“I try to design pipes that don't look like
other peoples’,” he says. “And I'm fortunate
to have a great team of very hard workers
that help make my designs a reality.”
Hitman’s coffees, teas, mugs and thermoses.
Jules hard at
Because Hitman’s pieces are so sought
after, headshops have notoriously been
flooded with cheap knockoffs from China,
which many mistake for actual Hitman products—inspiring
a horde of haters to slag
them online. It disheartens Doug, because
few have supported the glass art community
as much as he has. But rest assured folks,
all of Hitman’s glass is handmade here in the
good old U.S. of A.
“With the Compound Collection, I haven't
subcontracted any of it,” he assures me. “I'm
making it all in house—literally, in the garage
at my house.”
This particular Compound piece is also a
torch tube (aka “Borch”)—a rig with a builtin
blowtorch. Designed by scientific glass
artist Steve Bates exclusively for Hitman
brew coffee line.
Have a hit, man!
back in 2011, it’s the unique innovation that
helped put the brand on the map. (The fact
that I put it on the cover of High Times’ first
ever dab issue probably didn’t hurt either).
Doug dials up the flame and scoops up a
glob of the Skywalker OG Sauce sitting on the
table in front of us. It’s one of the entries in
the Sauce-Off hash competition he’s hosting
Is In Our Genes
“Not to be cynical, but it’s like there's
another sesh every weekend,” he says.
“The fact that you can sell weed and hash
in a parking lot is pretty cool…but once
you get past the vendors, why else are you
there? What I wanted to provide was a true
celebration of the culture that surrounds
cannabis and pipes. That's why
I did Chalice.”
good to the
Chillaxin’ with the bros.
That’s also the raison d'etre of
this shop—to set an example for the cannabis
community and provide a classier environment
for people to get their smoke on.
“With all these emerging concentrate
brands, cultivators and products being released
in the industry, people need a
place. That's why they go to these little
trade shows and seshes. But we're not
scrubs—this isn’t some warehouse set up
with folding tables and banners. We've
done all that. I've fought my whole career
against the judgments based on cannabis
businesses and people. This is going be
different—this is going to set a new standard
in our society when it comes to
cannabis. This is a place we can all truly
be proud of.”
Having created this elegant venue,
Dracup is now in a position to host a variety
of small-scale events—on a weekly or
even daily basis.
“This place is going to be a
stage for the entire industry,”
he brags. “We're going to be
hosting monthly concentrate
black tie events, banquets, launch
parties, educational seminars…from an art
installation, to cannabis yoga in the morning,
to one-on-one classes on how to use
different equipment…the possibilities here
Obviously, it wouldn’t be much of a coffeeshop
without a full-service
coffee/espresso bar, serving Hitman’s new
branded line of coffees and teas. Sadly
though, that bar is not yet equipped today—
so when that familiar caffeine craving hits
us, we decide to mosey on over to the Starbucks
around the corner, where Doug generously
orders us and his whole crew a round.
The irony here is palpable, considering that
his company was sued by the coffee giant for
copyright infringement over the “Dabuccino”
rig series they released a feww years back—
a fact he’s not kept secret from the baristas
here, who seem to get a kick out of it. Doug
insists the Dabuccino rigs—inspired by the
chain’s Frappacino cups (including a nearly
identical logo)—was merely a parody. The
judge in the case, however, apparently failed
to see the humor
who designed it, to pay the corporation
nearly half a million dollars in damages. Hitman,
Doug tells me, has managed to settle
out of court for a more reasonable amount.
When asked if he regrets doing the line, he
flashes me a Cheshirean grin.
“Are you kidding? Do you know how
much they’re worth now? Besides—being
sued by Starbucks got my company’s
name into national news. It was the best
publicity I could’ve asked for,” he chuckles,
nodding mischieviously at the barista:
“This guy gets it.”
Choking back a smirk, the barista hands
us our drinks: “Enjoy your day.”
Like a lovable imp, Dougie seems able to
get away with anything. I mean, how does he
get away with opening a cannabis coffeeshop
in the heart of downtown L.A. anyway? According
to him, it’s really very simple.
“This is private property, and I just happen
to be a cannabis-friendly landlord,” he states
as we return to the shop. “This is a private
lounge—it's not open to the public. It's a safe
space where we make sure we do our due
diligence, just like a bar or anything else.”
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Dougie does a dab.
SHON LINDAUER (5)
A private lounge—meaning you can't just
buy a ticket at the door. To get in, you have to
be 21 or over and a registered member. And
while it sure ain’t cheap ($400 a month or
$4000 for the year), membership certainly has
its privileges. What it doesn’t have, however,
is cannabis. See, unlike the coffeeshops in
Amsterdam, Hitman Coffee doesn’t actually
sell any cannabis or hash (which would be illegal
under current regulations).
“I’d love to sell weed here, but that's not
going to happen yet,” he acknowledges. “This is
a stepping-stone towards that. At a later point,
when there are the right licenses, we can just
plug that in and it’ll be game over.”
In the meantime, though, it’s strictly
BYOTHC: Patrons are permitted to enter possessing
the legal personal amount (eight grams of
concentrate and/or an ounce of herb), grab a
latte, squash some nugs at the rosin bar, and get
their dab on in style.
“The beauty about my business plan is that it
has nothing to do with the selling of hash or
marijuana, and everything to do with the
lifestyle surrounding it,” Dracup says confidently.
“I’m selling an experience. The people
that you're going rub elbows with here are the
who's who in cannabis—they're weed industry
people that you would want to know.”
That claim certainly rings true when I return
on opening night. Among the many fellow
pot stars I blazed with that evening were
reggae singer Marlon “Ganja Farmer” Asher,
Emotek/Giddyup Extracts owner Giddyup, Hive
Ceramics/Madrone Farms owner Herbert Huckabee,
B-Real TV’s Adam Ill and Vice TV’s Abdullah
Saeed, who told me they plan to shoot here
for an episode of their cannabis cooking show
With the incredible turnout and overwhelming
feedback, its safe to say the club
is already a smashing success. But this is
just the beginning: Dracup has plans to
open Hitman Coffeeshops in 10 or 12 more
major cities nationwide within the next couple
of years, starting with America’s original
bohemian bastion San Francisco. It’s
just the next evolutionary step in the long
legacy of creative congregational spaces
known as coffeeshops—one that you can
expect to see me at on a regular
basis, now that Doug has named me
a lifetime VIP guest.
Yes—membership does indeed have
For more on the Hitman brands, visit
Coffeeshop manager Fabian helps
a customer at the coffee bar.
Chilling with Vice TV’s
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Hemp, Hemp Hooray Part 2,
A victory for Families of Mexico
By Mark M. Ward
It has been 80 long years that the US government has prohibited
cannabis from crossing the Mexican border into its territories.
For nearly a century no expense has been spared by our government,
whether be it monetary, or be it the freedom of our good
citizens. But what if you were to be told, that as of recent the US
is now legally exporting cannabis, in oil form, across its border
into Mexico? Recently, the California-based company Medical
Marijuana, Inc. (MMI) has become the first enterprise to legally
import CBD oil into Mexico and do just that.
I first started chronicling the endeavors of MMI in DOPE
in August of 2016, in “LEGAL WEED: Hemp, Hemp Hooray, a
Victory for Families of Brazil”. In the issue I brought to you the
story of a courageous mother by the name of Katiele Fischer that
risked her freedom by illegally importing CBD oil into the cannabis
barren country of Brazil in order to treat her daughter Anny’s
devastating illness. While successfully treating her daughters
CDKL5, a rare form of epilepsy, Katiele was caught and charged
with illegally smuggling cannabis products into the country. She
then issued a lawsuit back against the federal government and
ANVISA, Brazil's FDA and won making Medical Marijuana, Inc.'s
Real Scientific Hemp Oil the first-ever CBD product approved for
importation into Brazil.
Currently Medical Marijuana, Inc. is the first publicly
traded cannabis company in the US, traded under the ticker
symbol MJNA. The primary business is currently high-concentrate
CBD products made using the hemp plant, which has led to
momentous import authorizations for the company first in Brazil,
and now Mexico and Paraguay, but the company does claim
they also are positioned to move into marijuana (THC) as well.
The announcement came after years of intense scrutiny on
Mexican authorities from medical marijuana activists and advocates
who were pleading on behalf of two families with children who have
severe forms of epilepsy. First of the two girls to receive an import
permit was Alina Maldonado Montes de Oca, a young girl from the
small town of San Andres Tuxtla in the state of Veracruz. Alina
experienced her first seizure when she was just an infant. Almost
immediately Alina’s seizures became more frequent and intensified,
peaking at 25 to 40 mild attacks per day, with grand mal seizures
occurring up to twice per week. Doctors soon found that she had
hypoxia, an oxygen deficiency to certain parts of the body, which
affected her brain development and caused both epilepsy and
infantile cerebral palsy. Young Alina was barraged with 14 different
Graciela Elizalde Benavides, age 10 who suffers
kinds of medication, each one with an array of painful side effects,
from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and is using CBD oil
including liver damage and gastritis.
to combat her symptoms.
during series of congressional hearings in Mexico
City in January of 2016 fighting for the right to use
CBD as treatment for Graciela and Alina.
Eventually while researching, Alina’s father Abelardo
came across a similar case in the United States that was
treated successfully by CBD. Cannabidiol has been gaining
support stateside as an alternative to harsher drugs after
numerous American studies indicated that it can radically
reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures in small
children with severe forms of epilepsy such as Lennox-Gastaut
(LGS) and Dravet syndromes. The Maldonado family learned of
another Mexican family in Monterrey, Mexico with a child
possessing the same disorder.
Second of the two licenses was awarded to Graciela
Elizalde Benavides, born on July 10, 2007, apparently in good
health. However her parents quickly observed that she
seemed to have difficulty hearing and would cry for extended
periods of time. Graciela was found to be allergic to numerous
Graciela with her father, Raul Benavides
foods and was having many gastrointestinal issues and it wasn’t until after her doctors operated for acid reflux that
they recognized her convulsions were not triggered by intestinal trouble. Graciela was ultimately diagnosed with
Graciela’s mother Mayela Elizade, had studied as an engineer and worked in economic development, but
caring for Graciela became her life. Once, Mayela had documented 19 anti-convulsive pills and powders that Graciela
had taken in numerous combinations since August 2008 in an Excel spreadsheet. Medications caused side effects such
as damaged peripheral vision, persistent drooling and difficulty chewing and swallowing. Graciela’s parents have
frequented more than a dozen neurologists, orthopedists, gastroenterologists, optometrists and geneticists. They
experimented with homeopathic drops, acupuncture and even homeopathic herbal infusions. Graciela’s father Raul
had even once driven three hours to the border town of Laredo, Texas, and spent $5,147.07 to fill a prescription for
Cortrosyn, just to find it ineffective.
An alarming percentage of children with her
disorder do not survive past childhood. Saul Garza
Morales, a neurologist in Mexico City, eventually recommended
surgery to split the corpus callosum, the nerve
fibers dividing two hemispheres of her brain, in an effort
to stop the seizures from spreading. The Elizaldes
chanced the procedure, but Graciela’s condition only
worsened. “The girl had so many seizures that her development
couldn’t advance,” said Garza, the chief of the
neuroscience department at the National Institute of
Perinatology. “We have exhausted all known recourses.”
Fearing the worst, the Elizade’s turned to the one thing
they hadn’t tried… cannabis.
The two families joined their efforts and partook
in a series of congressional hearings in Mexico City in
January of 2016. Soon later on February 1, 2016, they
were remunerated when Cofepris, the Mexican health
department, approved permits for the young girls to
receive CBD treatments coming from abroad. These children are finally getting the results their parents have been waiting so
patiently for, and the care these children deserve. With this new CBD medicine Graciela and Alina are finally thriving for the
first time, with dramatically fewer seizures and between them quickly weaning down to only about half of the prescription
For time being, all cannabis imports into Mexico need be free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and contain no psychoactive
properties. HempMeds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana Inc., has generated the first cannabis-based export partnership
to Mexico with its export of Real Scientific Hemp Oil and its THC-free counterpart, Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X. One of
Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s chief plans is to move on from the zero-THC product and with the senate vote; MMI can start to get
additional products containing THC approved for import into Mexico. This plan is rooted in the belief that not only CBD, but
also THC is medically valuable and with the addition, more families like Alina and Graciela’s will bear witness to a better quality
of life through the plant.
CHAMPS brings you the best glass artists in the country to compete
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By Mike Crawford
Kevin Kafka is the founder and CEO of Canna Care Docs, which operates in more than a dozen locations in
Mass, and provides recommendations to patients for medical marijuana. Canna Care, which also offers recs
in Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, is often lauded for its
veterans appreciation events, where vets are offered free evaluations. Nevertheless, the company faced
turbulent times last year, as it was viciously and quite unfairly smeared in several Boston media outlets.
The negative characterizations came as part of a campaign led by Governor Charlie Baker to prevent
the passage of legal cannabis. In the heat of things, the Commonwealth’s Board of Registration in Medicine
(BORIM) suspended the medical license of head Canna Care physician Dr. John Nadolny. Nadolny was later
exonerated by a judge who ruled that he should have never been suspended, but even after that the BORIM
took several months to reinstate his credentials.
Kafka, a cannabis consultant and former commodity broker at the Chicago Board of Trade, is a
resident of Colorado, but was recently in town for a visit. During that time I had a chance to interview him
live on my WEMF show, The Young Jurks, which is partially sponsored by Canna Care Docs. What follows are
some choice quotes from our conversation.
On the Board of Registration in Medicine taking so long to reinstate the license of Dr. John Nadolny …
KK: [I was] quite surprised. We thought after the appeal was won, John would immediately be reinstated
and it dragged on for about another six months—six months of torture for Canna Care and more importantly
[for] John’s family.
On the fear of Canna Care Docs getting shut down in Mass …
KK: We stood up to [the] pressure, but our entire team—over 100 team members—felt it. A lot of gray hairs
… We didn’t know if we were going to make it. Quite frankly it was a blow we didn’t know if we would recover
from. This time last year was hands down the most difficult time Canna Care has ever seen, and [that] John
Nadolny has ever seen, and Nadolny outside of cannabis has been practicing medicine [as an ER doctor] in
the Commonwealth for over 30 years with an unblemished record until this. A political persecution.
On Canna Care Doctors donating nearly half-a-million dollars of free medical recommendations to veterans
and other patients in financial straits …
KK: One of our core principles at Canna Care Docs is to ensure that no patient should stay in the black
market for just financial reasons, and that principle has served us and [the patient] population very well.
I’d also like to call out Massachusetts dispensaries. It’s time for them to step up to start servicing our patients
as well … we’re out here alone in the woods [offering] discounts to veterans … We have to figure out a way
to cover the costs for veterans. (Note: Sage Naturals in Cambridge offered $225 ounces all weekend on three
strains—Rocklock, TheOG18, and White Walker Cush—and also have a year-round 15 percent discount for
On recreational legalization stepping on the medical marijuana market …
KK: It’s different in every state. In Massachusetts, I’m certainly not worried about it. I think medical has a long
shelf life. We’re going to have to adapt; we believe patients in the Commonwealth will continue to be
patients. Naturally we’ll lose a percentage of our base, but we feel medical will be here for the long haul …
Especially with Massachusetts being such a medical state, this is really the forefront for medical cannabis on
the whole, where the marriage happens between mainstream medical society and cannabis …
The evidence is overwhelming at this point … There’s no doubt that narcotic usage goes down when cannabis
usage goes up …
A healthy cannabis market, where patients are [sold] ounces of cannabis for $200, that’s where we are
Mike Crawford is a medical marijuana patient, the host of "The Young Jurks" on
WEMF Radio, and the author of the weekly column The Tokin' Truth, which is
produced in coordination with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He
formerly wrote the column Blunt Truth under the name Mike Cann.
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A Sit Down with Warren Puffit, from Puffit Family Farms.
Recently, we had the pleasure of catching up
him about some of the crazy stuff he has been
up to lately, simply just for fun… These activities
BREAKING THE WORLD RECORD for the
(rolled at 7 lbs.), to his involvement with
helping the homeless.
Warren and two beautiful patients posing with his World Record
GreenLeaf: When did you know the Cannabis Industry was something you wanted to be apart of?
My mother was a free spirit, and after unfortunately seeing her pass away of a “cocaine overdose” and always
feeling a lack in trust in the government looking out for it’s people, I felt it my duty to want to aware people
of the non addictive aspects of alternative medicines. Naturally, Cannabis being a major part in that focus.
GreenLeaf: In your activism, we are always seeing and hearing about how much Cannabis you give away.
What drives you to donate so much to others?
The saying, “It’s always better to give, then to receive” is absolutely true for me. I feel to giving is very pure
of heart. And also, in terms of my work I hope that if people are able to enjoy the true nature that the Cannabis
plant provides, they will not feel the need for other, more destructive alternatives like hard drugs.
GreenLeaf: How long have you been providing the homeless with food and free medicine?
I have been providing service work to the homeless since I was a kid. It is just more public now due to
things like social media. I only give out free food and medicine, as long as we make a deal for next time.
GreenLeaf: Really, what kind of deal?
What I do is I put a box of contractor bags in the back of my truck. Then I make plates of food and bag
up about 400 pre rolls of Cannabis Medicine then I head out to the various homeless areas around where I am at
that time. Once I get there I try to get all the people to come gather around me so we can make a deal on how I
can feed them and give them medicine. For example, I will ask them to help me pick up trash on the side of the
roads where they sleep. Cleaning up their own environment might just make things feel even just a little better,
when everything can seem so hopeless at times.
GreenLeaf: Is it true you have been known to travel to see different fans who are ill, to medicate with them all
around the world?
Yes, this is correct. I pay for it all on my own expense with no outside sponsors of any kind. It’s hard to
sponsor someone like me who doesn’t need anything in the material sense.
GreenLeaf: Tells us about your movement called “Cloud Dedication.”
Well this has been super private so far… It first began as me wanting to do it just to do it, believing I was the
only one to think to do it.. I had a fan contact me, who was dying of cancer. He explained he wished he could have
a smoke session with (at the time) YukMouth of Luniz and myself. While attending an event hosted by YukMouth,
I approached him and explained to him what I was all about, and the wish of then fan. We then did what I now call,
a “Cloud Dedication.” What we did was we took a video for the fan where we pulled a few hits on the blunt we had
rolled, and wished him a very speedy recovery and that we were thinking of him getting well. I then took that same
blunt, put it in an airtight bag, and got on a plane to deliver it and the video directly to the fan. It was such a great
feeling and I knew right then and there we could heal the soul with just a little personal effort. In the future I look
forward to doing “Cloud Dedications” with Snoop Dog as a few special people have requested him.
GreenLeaf: How many joints do you personally roll and give away each year?
Wow. Let me think... Close to about 10,000 per year. I use roughly 23 lbs. for them.
Which doest even included the product I use when I am rolling big boy joints.
GreenLeaf: What was it like to break the World Record for the Biggest Joint ever rolled?
It was very cool.. In fact so cool we contacted Guinness Book of
World Records and i filed the paperwork for it to be registered as an official
world record. My goal was I wanted to keep it a classic style joint,
Warren, blazing a blunt with a patient at Hempcon.
GreenLeaf: Was it difficult to roll?
Yes, She had her moments for sure. The hardest
part was trying to get real people actually involved in
the Cannabis industry involved. There are so many
people these days pretending to be something they
aren’t, and adding a negative vibe to the scene. A large
part of that is due to social media. Just because someone
has a lot of followers or likes, doesn’t mean they are
actually doing anything productive or influential.
GreenLeaf: How long did it take to complete the
process of putting this joint together? From breaking
down the Cannabis to rolling, so on and so for?
It took us about 9 hours from start to finish and
she burned for hours once lit.
GreenLeaf: If you could do it all over again, what would you do different?
I would have added more concentrates, or asked Hello Hemp, to make me a custom wrap.
GreenLeaf: What should we expect from Warren Puffit in the future?
Lots of Clouds. We are working on a few things for 2018 and with our new green house sponsor. We will be
dedicating a full green house to beating all the world records for joints, blunts, whatever it may be. I look forward
to seeing what great things we can do here at the Puffit Family Farms!
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