Dirty Water Organics
an Indepth an Indepth Interview Interview with with Peezy Pez
The Creator of
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Orange Harle Tsu
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Orange Harle Tsu
by Kaitlyn Buckley
An Interview with the Famous:
by Wayne “the Cannabis King”
The Legal Weed Series:
New Jersey Weedman,
Political Prisoner #420
by Mark Ward
DIRTY WATER ORGANICS
An Interview with Peezy
by Kaitlyn Buckley
What is CBD, and
Why Should We Care?
by Kassie Kristoff
Moldy Mass Medical
by Mike “Cann” Crawford
Jerry Krecicki Photography
Sly Vegas Photography
Mike “Cann” Crawford
Lauren C. Moore
Cover Photograph Courtesy of Dirty Water Organics
Cover Photo: Barnyward Animals
Contents Photo: Katsunana Kush
BOG Seeds are Available
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Orange Harle Tsu
Orange Creamsicle x Harlequin
Breeder: HBK Genetics
Orange Harle Tsu is a cross between Orange Creamsicle and Harlequinn,
the original high CBD strain that helped pave the way for the current widespread
knowledge of the compound. Though little information is available on
this strain, HBK Genetics have done a great job creating this beauty. She is a
strong plant, that produces resinous, white trich flowers with bright orange
hairs which does best taking her 70 days until harvested. The aroma and flavor
of Orange Cremesicle Popsicles comes through very prominately.
I have only grown this strain indoors thus far, though I am sure she
would grow well outdoors also. I would recommend using continous preventative
foliars on her for bugs. And would suggest to keep her covered during
the fall rains. Orange Harle Tsu is a very relaxing body high without any
overactive brain stimulation and racey thoughts. It is great for bed time and
anxiety relief. Though she is not a heavy indica, body pain management is
available with this medicine.
y Wayne “Cannabis King” Burrini
An Interview with the Famous:
Mr. Sherbinski aka Sherbs, and/or Mr. Sunset Sherbert! Mr. Sherbinski, breeder, grower, Muay Thai
Instructor, creator of thee Sunset Sherbert, Gelato, Mochi (a pheno of Gelato) Gello (another phenol of
Gelato) and Acai Berry (yet, another phenol of Gelato) and Owner of the Flavor factory, a fully licensed
California grow facility, which pumps out his famous Sherbinskis line, as interviewed by Wayne
“Cannabis King” Burrini aka “CK”!
CK: What/Who is the CookieFam and how did you become involved?
SHERBS: CookieFam is a group of guys from San Francisco responsible
for making GSC (Girl Scout Cookies) and a bunch of other fire genetics.
I met Jigga through my friend Matt, one of my Muay Thai students.
Jigga and I became close friends and we started experimenting in my
gardens, the rest is history. I have a lot of love and respect for that
man, we did our work with love and positive intentions for good medicine
to come out of the work we did. We would pray over the seeds
before we sprouted them. And you know what? We changed the
world for the better. That’s what our life work is about and we did that
together. He has a gift for working with plants, and he helped me find
out I have been given that gift as well, the connection with the plant.
CK: How old were you when you first smoked a joint?
SHERBS: My mom (RIP) let me go on the side of my house with my sister and her boyfriend and smoke
a joint when I was about 12. My mother was a free spirited hippie.
CK: Which do you prefer, joint, bong, vape? Flower or concentrate?
SHERBS: I’m a flower/Joint guy for sure. And I like a good vape pen with some live resin in it.
CK: How did you come up with the famed Sunset Sherbert Strain?
SHERBS: Jigga and I worked together for many years, the Sherbert got made in the first grow that
Jigga and I had together. It was in the basement of my Grandma’s house on Alemany Street in San
Francisco. I put a small Pink Panty plant inside a flowering room to help me see what sex it was. I came
back 3 or 4 days later and it pollinated
the room. I was upset at first, but those
seeds got sprouted and ended up being
the Sunset Sherbert. We called it Sherbert
because it had all types of flavors,
and Sunset because we all lived in the
Sunset District in San Francisco.
CK: Sunset Sherbert who are the
SHERBS: Pink Panties x GSC
CK: Sunset Sherbert is classified an Indica
dominant hybrid your thoughts?
SHERBS: Sunset Sherbert is a hybrid
that is a very well balanced variety. It
has the heaviness of a indica, however
it’s Burmese grandparent (sativa dominant)
gives it a well balanced uplifting
effect. It increases your sense of well
being while allowing one to use this as
a daytime “functional” smoke. Sunset
Sherbert is also the strain of choice for
people who suffer from PTSD.
CK: When and why did you start growing
and what was the first strain you grew?
SHERBS: I grow to provide safe, quality
medicine for myself and others. At
first I just grew for myself, but people
seemed to like my work so I kept doing
it. I’ve been growing for 15 years. I was
27 when I first started growing. The first
strain I grew was the Afgooey. I grew
buds the size of two liter soda bottles
my first run.
CK: Which do you prefer, growing Indoors
SHERBS: I prefer organic lightdep
greenhouses. You get indoor quality
but you are utilizing the sun. That light
can’t be reproduced indoor, they try but
Mother Nature has got ‘em on that. Indoor
will always be “less damaged” and
pretty because it’s protected the most
by being indoors and doesn’t face the
brutality of an outdoor environment. But
that’s what a greenhouse does, protect
the plant and the sun gives the plants a
spectrum that indoor lights cannot do.
So I see the genetics really doing what
Mother Nature intended them to do and
it’s always the best smoke to me.
CK: What would your perfect grow set up look like?
SHERBS: It’s all about having a perfect grow environment, so for me having all the proper equipment.
Lighting, air conditioning, dehumidifiers etc. all have to be proper so the plants can grow without issues.
CK: Ok, let us talk genetics, that word seems to be popping everywhere where weed is becoming legal
whether recreationally or medicinally…how do you explain genetics?
SHERBS: When I explain genetics to friends of mine that are not in the industry, I explain it like this.
Cannabis has males and females. Let’s say your parents had 100 children. Out of those children there
is going to be variations in appearance, height, intelligence,
etc. but they will all look similar. When
you work with cannabis plants, we select the best
“children” out of the seeds that we sprout. Just like
parents having kids. It’s selective breeding.
CK: What is your favorite medium to grow with?
SHERBS: I use soil outdoor, and coco indoor.
CK: What are your favorite products to use?
The First Envirocann Certified Organic
Nursery in California. The New Home
of Sherbinskis Mothers.
SHERBS: Vital all the way, shout out to Bri
an at Vital Garden Supply on grass valley,
California. He’s the best in the business,
hands down, the owner showed me how to
CK: Are there any certain lights that you
SHERBS: I like to use Gavita double ended bulbs for flower and 630MH for veg. Generally speaking.
CK: In veg do you do 18 or 24 hours of light or something different?
SHERBS: 18 hours, plants need to sleep just like we do. They sleep for 6 hours.
CK: How did you come up with the strain names…
SHERBS: When you taste it for the first time, you try to capture what it tastes like and how it makes
you feel medicinally. Those subtle hints that hit your senses guide you to a name. That’s the fun part
and it is amazing when a name fits the strain perfect.
CK: Please explain how you germinate?
SHERBS: I use Jiffy Pro forma Cells. They work great you can drop seeds in them, or use them for
clones. They have a small charge, so only need to give it water the first few weeks and it really takes
off. Highly recommend jiffy’s pro forma products.
CK: Any tips on how to sex your plants?
SHERBS: A few ways to sex your plants:
Nowadays they have genetic testing where
when the plant is very small (a few inches)
you can cut a small part of the leaf off, have it tested
and in a few days they can tell you of it’s a male or
female. These tests have become more popular in
recent years as a tool for farmers to sex earlier and
save valuable time in the long process of breeding.
Another way is to let the plants grow up a little
and about 18-24 inches normally the plant will show
you during veg what sex it is. You look at the nodes
and if she has got two little hairs sticking up it’s a
female. If it’s got two little “nuts” on the plant nice it’s
a male. And that is pretty damn accurate. Sometimes you have to wait longer to see on some plants.
CK: Let’s talk pheno…recently I bought a zip of Gelato #41…I fuqin LOVED it…why #41? Why Phenos?
I am starting to think a few of your famed strains Gello & Mochi, are just different phenos of Gelato…
can you describe what pheno means to you?
SHERBS: Let’s get something straight, the 25, 33, 41, 45, 43, 47, 49 are all phenos of Gelato.
I explain phenos like this to people, those numbers are the numbers that were on the side of the pots.
That’s all it is. When they don’t have names yet, all you can do is give it a number. It is funny to me
how the numbers stuck. Now you see all types of people copying that. Imagine your parents had 20
kids, each child is a different phenotype. There will be variations of your brothers and sisters, however
most of them will look alike but have their own qualities.
CK: What are your favorite strains to grow? What is your hardest strain to grow?
SHERBS: Favorite strain to grow is Mochi. She’s short and fat and throws huge buds.
Gello is the most difficult strain I work with. She can’t take the stress the other strains can.
CK: What are your top favorite strains to smoke?
SHERBS: Gelato of course, specifically Mochi and
Gello. I like a good OG as well.
CK: Gelato, Who are the parents?
SHERBS: Sunset Sherbert feminized polin x GSC.
Gello, Mochi, Acai berry are all gelato phenos I selected.
CK: How can you best describe “breeding”?
SHERBS: Breeding is something that is not as hard
as people may think. When you stick a female in a
room with a male, what tends to happen? Well many
times as humans we mate, plants are not that any different.
You place a male together with a female and
nature takes its course, and they mate!
CK: Is there any special tips you can give any
grower to help them be more one with the plant?
SHERBS: It’s true that we “growers” are blessed with
the honor of caring for these amazing plants. It’s a gift
to be able to grow and care for these magic medicinal
plants. I don’t like to use the word “magical” but it’s
truly what it is. This plant gives so much more to us
then we could ever give to it. It cares for us, provides
for us. And it will live on, long after we are gone. It’s
here to help and nurture us. And that’s why I’ve dedicated
my life to this plant and to the people that need
it in this world. That’s a life worth living. The best way
to connect to the plants is to
care for them. When you
begin to care about the
plants well being, you
start to begin to understand
the level of commitment
to the growing
process it takes
to make good medicine,
and when one is
passionate about that, it
takes you over and it becomes
more then a job, it’s
a lifestyle. And the plants “always”
come first no matter what.
CK: Any new flavors coming from you soon?
SHERBS: I’m seeing a lot of people just cross
gelato back to more gelato. All these so called
“new strains” are just old regurgitated crosses
I’ve connected with Josh D, Bubba, and my friend
Ian. These guys brought Kush to California many
years ago, and helped make Kush what it is today.
I want to take the old school, and work it into
some of my new school and see what we come
up with. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve as
well. Europe is knocking on my door, so it may be
time to do some work on that side of the globe
this year as well.
CK: What exactly is the flavor factory?
SHERBS: Flavor factory is what we call our
f first grow facility in Sacramento, California.
We pump out flavors, that is what we do.
Sungrown, Organic Cannabis
Sherbinski trimming some
of his topshelf Flowers
Disposable Vaporizer that
goes inside the Double Barrel.
CK: What is the future of Sherbinski Farms?
SHERBS: At The Flavor Factory a fully licensed
California facilitiy, we have worked very hard to
revolve with the industry and we are proud to be
in a position to expand and being able to continue
to bring our products to the great people of
California and the other legal states we will be
working with as Sherbinskis solidifies it’s licensing
deals this year.
CK: Are there “official“ dispensaries that carry
your strains and your Sherbinskis line?
SHERBS: Look for Sherbinskis products in Medmen
in SoCal. The Greendoor in SF, Garden of
Eden in Hayward, and a few other select dispensaries.
We will be delivering straight to consumer
through a new delivery service we are launching
Acai Berry Gelato
this year. Any of our products delivered to you in
30 minutes in LA and SF.
CK: Let’s discuss the new SHERBINKSKIS product
line… What is coming? Vape pens, pre-rolls,
clones, seeds...I wanna know everything you have
and are planning and when we can expect it!
SHERBS: We are launching our apparel this year,
our merchandise and apparel will exclusively be
available on WWW.Sherbinskis.com Check is
out. In addition to our world famous flower (what
we are known for) we are now bringing our vape
line to market. We have partnered with one of
the top manufacturers of vape products in California
and are excited being that to market. We
also have our prerolls and concentrate line available
at select dispensaries in California. Contact
your local shop and let them know you want
CK: Cannabis is now outright legal in California,
your thoughts? With legalization a reality, where
do you envision the future of Sherbinskis?
SHERBS: I’m excited that people have safe access
now and that our kids don’t have to grow up
in a environment like we did, I would get busted
for having a single bowl of weed. Sherbinskis is
going to continue to service the cannabis community
and work hard to be a role model for compliance
and share my knowledge with the people
that have built this community and do it for all the
people that gave their lives in one way or another
for us to be where we are today. One love and
please stay up to date on what we have going on
by following us on:
Instagram: @sherbinski415 and @sherbinskis
Please check out our Website:
An Indoor Grow Facility run by Sherbinski
The Legal Weed Series:
by Mark M. Ward
New Jersey Weedman,
Political Pristoner #420
It is early February, 2018 and as legalization
initiates in the state of New Jersey many are
overcome with great feelings of excitement and
jubilation, while others… not so much. While
some have plans of big business venture and expanding
profit margin, some still have concern of
being targeted or incarcerated for what for them,
may still be considered cannabis crime. Some
feel this soon to be instated legalization will only
benefit modern kings and not the common. Case
in point: NJ Weedman, who now is nearing his
344th day incarcerated without bail, for a charge
he was found not guilty of 3 months prior to present
Robert Edward “Ed” Forchion, Jr. (born
July 23, 1964), also known as NJ Weedman, is
an US military veteran, Rastafari, cannabis rights
activist, free speech and jury nullification activist,
writer, as well as a restaurateur. Forchion, a resident
of New Jersey and California, is a registered
medical cannabis patient. He has been arrested
and convicted for some of his activities and has
taken part in several legal defenses and contested
laws regarding cannabis. In his home town
of Trenton, he also owns a licensed eatery “NJ
Weedman’s Joint”, which is a 420-friendly soul
food restaurant that is changing the concept of
NJ cannabis, as well as medical cannabis consumers
choices in healthy eating.
Directly adjacent to NJ Weedman’s Joint
you will find his registered sanctuary and cannabis
church, the “Liberty Bell Temple III”. Forchion
created this sanctuary as a place of safe refuge
for those that, in their religion choose to use cannabis
as a form of holy sacrament, or ritual tool
of ceremony. As a Rastafari himself, NJ Weedman
finds great need for such places of worship.
Others who also consume the plant as sacrament
come from near and far to enjoy this holy place
and their right to freedom of religion and the use
of to their ritual herb.
Forchion’s latest saga of what he and
many others feel is corruption and race-based
incarceration, initiated when he and patrons of
his restaurant and sanctuary began being approached
by Trenton police, as they entered or
exited the establishments. Local police didn’t stop
there, but also ticketed and towed patron vehicles
while they were in use of the restaurant or
church. Not even Forchion’s iconic Weedmobile
was safe, as it was also soon impounded and
crushed by local authorities.
The accounts of what NJ Weedman had
considered blatant intimidation and harassment
only continued. The Trenton police soon began
issuing late night citations to the restaurant itself,
under what they filed as a business operating
past 11:00 pm zoning hours. This continued to
transpire even though Forchion had brought to
their attention that NJ Weedmans Joint was in
fact in the business zone which can close shop at
2:00 am according to business zoning and planning
charts (ordinance 146-22). Tickets and citations
accrued according to Weedman, “They went
so far as to ticket the restaurant when it wasn’t
even open, but the Temple was in use.” Forchion
Without being able to conduct proper
business under legal hours and without being
able to practice his religion freely with his peers,
Forchion decided neither the restaurant, nor his
sanctuary deserved such a fate. As last-ditch
effort to save the integrity of both, Weedman filed
a (religious) federal civil rights lawsuit against
the City of Trenton for harassment on March
8th, 2016. This, of course wouldn’t sit lightly with
Trenton’s Police, as Forchion was well aware.
What Weedman didn’t know and What Forchion
would soon learn was that on March 10th, 2016
and only 2 days after he filed his lawsuit, Police
Detective Yolanda Ward hired a confidential informant,
in attempt to finally close down Weedman’s
Joint for good.
Well a rat is never good in a restaurant,
and this time was no different. On numerous
occasions this unknown informant would pose
as a NJ Weedman’s Joint patron. Often while at
the 420-friendly eatery the informant would ask
Forchion if he had any available sacrament or
cannabis for sale. This was to no avail time and
time again, as Forchion denied his requests.
After some time, the informant made himself
right at home, as rats do. Eventually this informant
became a faithful restaurant customer and
Temple member and even donated $300.00 to
the church. As a shared blessing and sacrament
between trusted friends and clergy, the informant
was able to procure cannabis.
Trenton police found this all that need be
to incarcerate Forchion, so on April 27th, 2016
Weedman was arrested by officials, based on
informant testimony. This however was not Ed’s
“Ed” Forchion, aka NJ Weedman,
smelling the Flowers of an
HPS Flower Room
final arrest during this debacle of ongoing
citations and charges. On May 13th,
2016 Weedman was arrested for cyber
bullying of Officer Flowers, after making
comments about him on social media.
This too was not Weedmans final arrest
that led him to his 344-day stint behind
A lawyer named Edward “Heftybag”
Heyburn soon contacted Weedman,
stating that he wanted to represent
him and his case pro bono. Forchion
accepted his offer, which may have witness,
as this would make his name no
longer confidential rendering the motion
At this point, Weedman admittedly
was gloating about the prosecutions
weak defense openly online, also as
part of Heyburn’s strategy. Forchion
accounted “I exercised my free speech,
to openly complain about the police
tactics” Weedman explains over his call
with me while imprisoned, “And between
August 2016 and February 2017 my
lawyer Heyburn and I sought the public’s
help in identifying my RAT. Once
identified, we sought info on him and
once gained through legal means, we
exposed that info online which included
the RATS criminal activity, his living conditions,
his addictions, and his personal
info which was all legally obtainable for.”
Heyburn coordinated & pre-approved of
the posts and claimed STATE vs MIL-
LIGAN, justified this strategy. In retaliation,
the state called it “Witness Tampering”.
After this strategy was already
put into effect, on Feb 23rd, 2017 Judge
Massi signed the prosecutors requested
protective order (5 months late). Even
though Weedman already put his informant
on a social media blast prior to this
signed order, he still was indicted for
witness tampering on Feb 28th, 2017.
“This is in violation of the EX POST
FACTO clause of the US Constitution”
Forchion explains, “Nothing we did
between August and February was in
violation of any order, so to be charged after
the fact is unconstitutional. Additionally, I was
the only one charged with witness tampering for
HEYBURNS legal strategy!”
On March 3rd Robert Edward Fochion Jr.
was arrested and detained on the current witness
tampering charge. To add final insult to injury
Weedmans attorney Edward Hayburn did the unthinkable
and quit his position as Forchion’s defense
council and started working for Forchion’s
prosecution. The state of New Jersey filed a
motion on March 7, 2017, for pretrial detention
to incarcerate Forchion until trial. Forchion held
a hunger strike for nearly two weeks while being
held without bail, calling himself a political prisoner.
The trial began October 26, 2017. On November
8, the jury found him not-guilty of one charge
of second-degree witness tampering, which
supposedly was the charge that had clause of
being held without bail and the jury was hung on
another charge in the third degree.
So why is it that on January 2018, NJ
Weedman was again denied bail pending a re-trial?
Why is it that only after having his business
targeted and even his business license revoked,
did the city clerk and zoning officer both admit
that the revoked license and in turn the original
citations for 11:00 pm closing hour were done in
error? Why is it that 43 charges, a hung jury and
a not-guilty verdict later, a man is sill in jail almost
a year for non-violent charges? Is it because Ed
Forchion is dangerous, or is he just NJ Weedman,
Political Prisoner #420?
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An Interview with Peezy the Owner and Breeder of:
Sour Dubb Tre
Peezy has been growing and breeding cannabis since the early 90’s. Born and raised
in Massachusetts, he grew up with a family of the same trade. Learning skills from his
father and uncles, he was blessed to have access to great genetics passed on to him
as well as ones he has acquired throughout the years. He began outdoors, crossing
the few strains he had at the time. In 1999, he started to line breed for generations
using an old Northern Lights and DJ Short 90’s Blueberry Pollen. Back then the Blueberry
was highly sought after. Around that same time, he started getting ordering
seeds from across the pond, collecting genes from festivals/concerts he would attend,
other growers and friends, all to widen his span of genetics to work with. In those
days, there were a lot of skunks and dog bud, diesel, lots of hybrids from Amsterdam,
Canada, Cali, Washington and the Northeast. Over time, the landraces slowly disappeared
and the name game started to boom on the scene, the popular names you hear
of today. Throughout time Peezy has created an extensive collection of strains to work
with that most people do not have access to today.
Peezy had the name Dirty Water Organics locally for years. Around 2010 he
started to come out more publicly, at least on the internet. Around that time he linked
up with Bean Boys Genetics as their second head breeder and crew chief and head
breeder for Karma Kings. Under those companies he had many world wide seed releases,
all while continuing to do his own thing under D.W.O. in MA. Eventually, he left
BBG and Karma Kings, took all of his work with him and went “officially” live and public
with D.W.O. in 2018 and hasn’t looked back since. D.W.O. is a “real breeding” craft
seed company that only uses living organic methods to grow, create seeds and make
by Kaitlyn Buckley
What are some of your favorite strains? Overall as well as
one(s) you have created.
PEEZY: I like Skunks / Chems / Diesels / Kushes / Cookies and
Hazes. I really love everything to be honest. Anything from
the Chemdog Ffamily has to be on my favorite list. Chemdog
91, Chem d, Chem 4, etc etc. Also the old Original Diesel stuff
as well as. That Kerosine Gas Rank Dank. Love the old OG
Kushes, a few types of Old Hazes and a bunch of old land races
are for sure my favorites. There is many out there it is hard to
choose just a few. Some of our stuff would have to be Kookie
MOB aka MOAB, Fooman Chu, Cinco de Chem. Our Old
Mass Chem Skunk work, some of our newer Cookie crosses
and Old Diesel, Old Chem work. All the Kush stuff. East Coast
Sour Dawgz, Katsunana, Chalet Creme, there’s so many… It’s
all awesome in its own way really. You can’t go wrong with any
of our seed/clone cultivars.
aka Mother of all Berries
You make both feminized and regular seeds, which do
you prefer or focus on?
PEEZY: I prefer regular sex breeding and seeds in general.
But I do like feminized too. We make both types avail to
cater to everyone’s likes and needs. Some want fems. Others
want regs. They both have their advantages and disadvantages
as well as both have their place in the market .
How far do you normally take your breeding process F1,
F2, F3, F4 so on and so forth.
PEEZY: It all depends on the projected outcome of the project.
If I’m just making some new outcrosses, I’ll just bring
it to it’s first and second generation, but if I’m working the
line, I like to go further. I go to f3-f4-f5. Usually stop around
then to keep vigor and less drift, and I’ll back cross back to
the original f1 cross parent or p1 parent of the cross if I’m
trying to pick something like either of those parents. I will
also use the cubing method to lock down a specific parent in
Seed form. This means no forward filial breeding, but only
backcrossing. For instance. Say you make a Kush Cross F1
x Kush p1. = Kush bx1 then take Kush bx1 x Kush p1. = Kush bx2 etc. etc. Doing
this to bx4-5 will eventually lock down that Kush into seed form so most seeds will be
very similar to that Kush parent originally used for the bx. This needs to be done with
proper selections though as this takes years to do if done right. We do this also but it’s
not something that’s released much. If I’m breeding for new traits I like to filial breed
with one side a semi/stable poly. Or true hybrid or landrace ibl then uses a poly hybrid
parent and cross them together and you will get less variation than a poly x poly but
enough to still get a bunch of new things to hunt for, this in turn will make it easier
later on to line breed your selections further. There’s many ways
to line breed. I love having fun with it really. It’s a huge passion of
mine. Always has been.
What are some ideal phenotypes in your opinion?
PEEZY: Ideal “plant types”. As I call them, would really depend
on what it’s being used for or the person who is choosing it and
their likes. But me personally I think a short flowering time, not
too tall, med/large height/med stretch, perfect internode length
, big chunky nugs from the bottom up but not too dense or airy,
big thick calyxes and Minimal pistils. Also it has to be very resisto
molds and bugs, and very sexually
stable and easy to grow / not
finicky. Big yields. Amazing terpenes/smell,
taste and bag appeal.
High resin content and high potency
, High calyx to leaf ratio. Throw a
little CBD and other healing cannabinoids
in there for good measure
besides just high THC. And last bit
not least, it would be a great breeder
to pass on it’s genes to other plants
09 Animal bx
aka Chalet Creme
How do you choose strains you want to work with?
PEEZY: I choose things based on my many years of breeding and growing experience, also what I personally
like and want as well as I’ll listen to what the market is looking for at the time. It also matters on the projects being
worked on. I’ll choose differently for things like terpenes or a fast finisher or a high cannabinoid profile like
high CBD or THC etc etc. Smell and taste are extremely important to me and we like to impart that in all our
work. Who wants something that doesn’t smell or taste good. I know I don’t. I highly suggest to your readers to
use real Living Organic methods when growing our seeds or anyone else’s, this is how one will achieve superb
outcomes in all departments. I used to grow non organic for years and when I switched, and have never looked
back. It was like a night and day difference. Explosive terpenes and resins,
yields and smoothness of smoking flowers is off the charts. Just remember,
everything you put into your cannabis when growing it will be in its final product.
Less is always more when growing living organic all natural cannabis as a
medicine or for recreation.
What type of terpene profiles do you tend to lean toward?
PEEZY: I like anything really, but I’m always going for the gassy funky super
stank dank. I really love the fruity sweet stuff too. Big time. We breed for it all.
It is a one stop shop with us. I’ll never hate on any type of cannabis or terpene,
strain etc etc. I embrace it all with as much love and respect as I can.
Preferred method for collecting pollen? Picking the
PEEZY: I mainly breed and pollen collect in many
breeding/pollen chambers, both big and tents rather
than one big area. This helps me to be able to do nu
merous things at once, collecting pollen, testing
males, testing females, selecting plants, pollinating
plants with different pollens, reg and fem breeding,
plant preservation, clone keeping, mother keeping,
vegging flowering , propagation, plant reversals etc. etc.
It is imperative for a real breeder like myself to have 20-
40 different air tight light tight smaller spaces to do all
this. The only time I’ll use big open spaces is when I’m
open pollinating for Seed increases naturally as well as
selectively . I like keeping projects as far away from one
another as possible, especially when pollen in involved.
I collect it as well as use it in live pollinations. To collect
it you need one male in its own small chamber, run it
till it’s finished and cut most leaves off wet before the
latter part of the pods open, this helps with collections
later on when the plant dries out. Keeps the mess down
and more pollen can be directed toward the area of
collection…then once it’s dry and cured the pollen will
be a mustard yellow in color , now it’s time to collect it.
Once collected it needs to be screen sifted/ cleaned for
debris and can be used right away or stored for many
years. I personally use rice mixed with the pollen to absorb
moisture when stored in its final container. Then
we use the freezer to store our pollens. The longest I’ve
used frozen pollen was 6 years old stored in the freezer.
I’m going to be testing some 10 year old frozen pollen next to see if it will
work. Fingers crossed…
Picking the best males involved many things. I personally like to
do this over a long Period of time. First I like to keep seed plants in tiny 9
ounce keg cups . Run them in veg very late to see if they start to flower in
veg from the small pots. If they do, usually I won’t use it. But it also depends
on the type it is. Some have more auto tendencies in their genes. Also
some are acclimated more to certain climates or grow styles. Like landraces
for instance. If it’s one of these I’ll give it a second chance and grow it in a
regular pot. Fluctuate veg times to see if it auto flowers. Also see how well
it takes drought and over water. Then when it comes to flowering, I’ll do all
the same stuff but do heavy nutrients and no nutrients alike, also over and
under water, light intensities, time fluctuations, all types of pruning and
cropping/and even topping right before flower and during flower (usually
topping happens in the second test run as I like to see how it fairs untopped
first ). I’ll run them very deep in flower. Basically try to stress them out as hard as I can to see if they can
handle it without throwing herms or dropping leaves or being very finicky. I call it stress testing in the tent of
torture. Usually only the most smelly, vigorous males make it to-this test. Also resinous males can be great to
look for but not all males breed the same so it all matters how it breeds. This is why resinous males aren’t a big
factor in my personal selection process but it definitely helps. Smell and stability is a big thing for me. Usually
I can just tell how well a male is gonna be by just looking at it . It’s sort of like having an eye for it and after 25
years experience , you tend to know what to look for. The best way is just to test the male with a few well known
females to make some out crossings, then run the progeny to see what said male has to offer. It’s best to use females
your familiar with in other crossings, for instance, what they pass over when out crossed. This way you can
better judge what the male has passed on. All this is very time consuming so this is why it is important to have
many places to do this all at one time. You can’t do all this in one room. The only things that can really happen in
one room is pollen chucking mostly.
If you had to chose one strain (any strain ever) to work with or grow what would it be?
PEEZY: One would probably be something like a northern lights #5 x Neville’s haze (nl5haze).
Or straight old school northern lights, a skunk 1 or old Hindu/afghani/Thai. etc etc. I love the old stuff. Those
genetics have changed the game years back and are in so many of today’s cultivars. They are basically referred to
as building blocks of today. It’s very hard to honestly say what one plant I would like. I adore them all so much.
I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I only had to pick
just one. There is some stuff from our genetics, like in our
Katsunana Cultivar, East Coast Sour Dawgz or our Mass
Chem Skunk among many others of that I could see myself
choosing. This question has really got me stumped to
be honest. Haha.
Branded Animal Fire
What are the hardest strains to work with in your opinion?
PEEZY: Old Hazes or landrace Thai’s, any long flowering Sativa
and or old Sativa landraces are the hardest to grow in my
Now that there is the availability to have strains tested for
aspects such as THC, CBD, THCA (to name a few) percentages,
terpene profiles, has that become part of your regime
for breeding selection?
PEEZY: No. We breed the old school way. The way our fore
fathers have been doing it for centuries. Selective breeding and
testing the long way. The only way I’d see myself using labs
for breeding would be to make high CBD strains, or specific
cannabinoid profile strains for a patient or someone who requests
such a thing… Although it is cool to know your plants
potential, I’ve just always found it to be sort of cheating in
breeding sense. There’s no skill, experience, or even work involved in lab test
breeding. It also sort of takes the spiritual connection and passion it takes to
have “the eye for it “ out of it as well. Lab test breeding is not something I’d
never do. I’m open to try anything. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll give it a
Tell us about your garden environments and techniques. i.e. Lighting, temperatures,
soil or hydro. organic or synthetic nutrients/technique or No-till
PEEZY: Well, my garden isn’t really a garden per-say. It’s all for breeding for us
here mainly so
it is made up of
a many gardens - small chambers and tents all
with their own micro climate for all the different
projects we are constantly working on. Line
breeding isn’t your typical clone only pollen
chucking one and done type of deal. No sir. Real
indoor breeding and selecting involves many
many different environments all going on at the
same time in my opinion. managing this gets
very tiring and tough at times. If I didn’t keep
notes I would probably forget what half of the
projects are doing as there’s so much going on at
once to deal with. I’m sort of an OCD perfectionist
so it’s hard to find good help who will actually
understand how I want things and do things. It’s
mostly taken care of by myself.
I love led lighting, I think that’s the future as
its power consumption and heat output are very
minimal compared to other methods like hid
lights. We only use living organic methods so all
natural and organic ingredients in our own soil
mixes, we use top dressings or sometimes super
soils style or spikes or teas, it really is the bene-
Dirty Water Organic Stardawg Cut
cial organisms that make what we do great . The method used really all matters on what’s being done. I’d like to
try out soil no till beds for some seed increases soon so that’s my next venture to try out. Surprisingly I haven’t
done that yet with breeding. It’s up next on the bucket list.
What are some of your most sought after strains?
PEEZY: I would say our Kookie MOB aka MOAB. Or our Velvet Cookies or The Cinco de Chem or our Mass
Chem Skunk line. Fooman Chu, Puptarts, Chalet Creme, Barnyard Animals, Katsunana, Sour Dubb Tre., Mob
Stomper, there is a bunch of them!
What are some of your tips/tricks/methods for germinating seeds?
PEEZY: I suggest using a glass of distilled water with a little bit of h202. I call this our float tek.
You put seeds on top of the water in the cup, put a cover on top so it’s dark and kept moist , keep in warm area /
room temp works fine. Don’t move the cup and let seeds sit there till they all open up and shoot out nice size tails
while floating on top of the water. It can take a few days. Don’t sink them. You can plant them right away after
or put them in between wet paper towels to finish opening up and shed their shells and then plant. Your choice.
If Seeds are hard to pop or old I’d suggest some skuffing or shaving along the seem with a file or emery Board to
help water get in. One could even crack the shells in between ones fingers. Also good enzymes or using gibb acid
bath. Even a positive pressure seed bomb with gibb acid can help a lot. The gibb acid will help give old Seed legs
again. They will be a bit stretchy but pop none the less. I never suggest putting cannabis seeds directly in soil
when buying them on the market. You never know where a Seed has been or where it’s been sitting before it gets
East Coast Stardawg
to you. It’s best to keep them in the fridge but not all breeders
and seed vendors do this, so germ rates go down. We however
keep all ours in our 3 dedicated seed fridges as ideal temps so
even our old Seeds still pop good. There’s many ways to germ a
cannabis seed. These are just a few tried and true methods to try.
For our New England gardeners, which of your strains will
grow the best outdoors around this part of the country?
PEEZY: For outdoors I’d say Katsunana, Sour Dubb Tre, Chalet
Creme, Fooman Chu. Star Stomper, Branded Animal Fire, pretty
much anything as most things finish within 9ish weeks give or
take. We try to run things outdoors too but it’s usually all tested
indoors with some of them having the outdoor test. By now, a
lot of our strains we offer at the vendors have been ran outdoors.
Acclimation might be a bit different at first but they will grow
into it eventually. We want everyone to do what they want with
any of our genetic offerings.
Meaning we love
it when others use them
for their own breeding
plans, if you want to
make more generations,
crosses, use males,
females etc etc. Please
do so as we do this for
the community and our
gene pool as well as for
ourselves. It’s an honor
when we hear someone
gets some use out of our
work. Genetics made indoors will acclimatize better
for outdoors when bred outdoors over a few generations
in my own experience with it. I’ve had things
grow way better outside than indoors. And visa versa.
If you could give a few “words of advice” on growing
to other growers who may not be as experienced as
you what would those be?
PEEZY: Advise I can give to someone starting out or
in their early years would be to have an open mind,
be willing to try anything and keep your mind like a
sponge. Stay in the grow room constantly and immerse
yourself in it all. Practice everything and mess up as
much as you can cause we learn best from our mistakes.
Trial and error is the best form of learning, in
my opinion. Strive for excellence.
Who are some breeders you look up to (or have
PEEZY: I’ve always been a huge fan of the legendary
breeders Nevil Schoenmakers and
Shanti, also Henk Van Dalen, Luc Krol, Wernard
Bruining, Ben Dronkers, Soma, Tony from Sag, Simon
from Serious, DJ Short, Angus from Real Seed Co,
also the guys from Cannabiogen and Ace etc etc. So
many others. Too many to list. Also some newer guys
too like Bodhi and Mephisto, JJ NYC, Nespecta. There
are lots of underground folks too including my fathers
side of the family which whom I learned from when
I was a kid in the early 80’s to the early 90’s. When
I finally started myself already going into it with a
vast knowledge of old landrace cultivars and growing
plants. Thanks Dad.
What is your opinion on auto flower seeds?
PEEZY: I myself personally Am not a big fan of auto
flowering seed. I understand their worth and respect
what it takes to truly breed them properly like the guys
from Mephisto. I’m just not really into them nor do I
have a use for them or breed them. I’ll probably never
make autos available for our customers.
What are some new strains/projects you are working
PEEZY: We are constantly working on numerous
line breeds to further stabilize specific seed cultivars,
there is lots of new out cross breedings happening in
the form of new Seed Series releases set to be let out
sometime this year in both regular and feminized
form. I don’t want to reveal too much, but folks can go
check out our social network pages for more up to date
info in real time as it happens. We are updating our
Instagram profile daily with pics and info, just search
for our company name, Dirty Water Organics and it is
There are many more exciting new ventures
that have been in the works as well in the form of new
seed/clone/flower collaboration companies, all sorts of
great stuff happening in the near future. We will be at
some upcoming events here in mass as well as others
across the country to meet folks in person. We also will
have some cool t-shirts and sweatshirts available soon
as well, which will be announced where and when over
on our Instagram page for those interested.
Where do you see yourself/company in the future of
the upcoming times of recreational/legalization of
PEEZY: I see myself and my companies going much
further as the times switch into a more normalized
industry. We don’t plan to be going anywhere anytime
soon. This is just the beginning of a new era as far
as I’m concerned. There’s going to be obstacles and
hardships but stuff like that is no stranger to us here as
being on the demonized side of underground breeding/growing
the better part of my life the past 25 years
or so. I think the legal side shouldn’t be much different
in terms of hardships and obstacles, it just changes the
types there will be… I see myself and our companies
prospering more as the times change. This is and has
been my whole life’s passion and life blood. We want to
help others who are legal get the best most unique actually
bred, real organic, non GMO all natural cannabis
seeds to grow for their much needed medicine and/
or for recreation as well as for novelty souvenirs and
preservation until laws change around the globe.
Where can our readers purchase your seeds from?
Neptune Seed bank
Oregon Elite Seeds
Labyrinth Seed Co
The Rare Seed Store
What is CBD,
and Why Should
At this point in human history, almost everybody has at
least a basic understanding of what THC is. Even my 85
year old grandmother can probably tell you that it has
something to do with that wacky weed plant that all those
kids have been smoking ever since women were accused
of burning their bras in the sixties. In fact, if you are
reading this article and you don’t know that THC, otherwise
known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive
cannabinoid in cannabis that is currently getting you
so stoned that you are having trouble making out the
words on this page, please set your lighter down right
now. You’re cut off.
Yes, we all know about THC, and why shouldn’t
we? For much of American history, cannabis has been
viewed singularly as a tool to get high, making THC and
its mind-altering effects the sensible focal point for most
Darrell Gudroe, owner of Pharmer’s
cannabis users, along with every doomsday politician
Market in his local cannabis caregiver storefront
located in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
and hysterical anti-marijuana campaign from the 1930’s
on. Until recent years, very few people were looking at
cannabis as a medicine, and those that did were not being taken seriously. Today, we know differently. And
because we know differently, we are getting more familiar not only with THC and what it can do, but also with
some of the other 200-odd cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis plant. With so many contenders to
choose from, the only logical place for researchers to start was with THC’s sister cannabinoid, CBD.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it, like THC, is present in virtually every strain of cannabis that exists.
In fact, plants with primarily CBD content and.03% or less THC are not even regulated as cannabis, but are
instead classified as hemp. You can look at CBD as the yin to THC’s yang; in the simplest of terms, CBD and
THC balance each other out. While it is true that the type of cannabis plant (Indica, Sativa, or hybrid) plays a
large role in determining what our experience will be when we light up, this is also affected by the ratio of THC
to CBD, in addition to the presence of a host of other cannabinoids and terpenes, deemed the “entourage
CBD is not only a major factor in determining the quality, or “flavor” of the high experienced from smoking
cannabis, but, like THC, possesses a host of medical benefits. It is an all-star at treating inflammation and
related pain, anxiety and seizures, and it is frequently used for the treatment of PTSD, ADD and ADHD, due
to its anti-anxiety effects and its ability to enhance focus and concentration. It serves the additional purpose of
regulating the degree of psychoactivity that is experienced as a result of THC. CBD on its own is non-psychoactive,
and doses of it can be administered to level out, or completely negate, a THC high.
So why should we care about CBD, aside from the medical benefits and the fact that too much of it may
prevent us from getting so blitzed that we begin wondering if Beyonce is, in fact, a reptilian invader from another
galaxy? The answer lies in the question, my friends. Because CBD is non-psychoactive, it is not regulated
by the federal or state government, and is legal for anyone to harvest and to sell, provided their plants meet
THC content guidelines and are subsequently classified as hemp. There are the two types of CBD found in
CBD products: isolates and whole plant extracts. Whole plant extracts are seen by many in the industry as the
A Variety of CBD Products available at
preferable option, as they still contain all of the terpenes,
cannabinoids and other beneficial qualities of
the hemp plant. The isolate holds its own, however,
and is a great option for someone who gets urine tested
regularly, and doesn’t want to risk trace amounts of
THC causing them to fail a drug test.
Because CBD is legal, you can buy CBD products
just about anywhere without a medical card. That
being said, it is important to know what you are buying,
because all products are not created equal, and
all vendors are not created honest. Buying CBD from
a non-verified vendor is sort of like accepting a drink
from a stranger at a bar- it could be a vodka tonic, or
it could be GHB. You want to know your supplier, and
you want to see the lab results from their products.
Reputable CBD vendors will have this information
available for you, should you ask for it.
CBD is a miracle not only for those without
legal access to cannabis, but also for those who just
plain don’t want to get stoned. This concept may be
mind boggling to some, but it turns out that a lot of
potential patients, particularly those belonging to older
generations, avoid medical cannabis as an option because
of the psychoactive effects, and also because
of the stigma surrounding its use.
CBD is a miracle not only for those without
legal access to cannabis, but also for those who just
plain don’t want to get stoned. This concept may be
mind boggling to some, but it turns out that a lot of
potential patients, particularly those belonging to older
generations, avoid medical cannabis as an option because
of the psychoactive effects, and also because
of the stigma surrounding its use.
I had an opportunity to sit down with Darrell
Gudroe, a cannabis consultant and co-owner of
Pharmer’s Market, a local cannabis caregiver storefront
that has become quite well-known in Boothbay
Harbor, Maine for its wide variety of CBD products.
Said Gudroe, “I will start [first time patients] by saying,
‘If you have never used either [THC or CBD products],
and you have no inclination to be high, then let’s start
you with the stuff that doesn’t get you high, and if
that’s not enough for you then we can talk about using
the other products that you may have to deal with
having the psychoactive effect from.’” Gudroe went on
to say, “The reality is that the aging population is trying
to keep their clarity…they are excited to be able to
come in and get a product that is going to relieve their
pain, with the knowledge behind it that will tell them
that they won’t get high, and they are still participating
in not using pharmaceuticals to get there.”
CBD is so effective at treating anxiety, inflammation
and pain that many of Gudroe’s medical
card-carrying customers rely on it solely to control
their symptoms, even with the option of THC products
available to them. Gudroe himself, a two-time cancer
survivor who deals with chronic pain as a result of
multiple knee and back surgeries, uses cannabis in all
of its forms, but swears by CBD topicals for generalized
aches and pains. Says Gudroe, “I use cannabis
and CBD all of the time, but when it comes to the topical
that I am putting on, it’s just the straight CBD.” He
never leaves the house without his CBD body butter,
and after being given a sample, neither do I. It works
marvelously for my joint aches and pains, as well as
any muscle soreness that I may be experiencing.
I spoke with Ryan Leighton, a resident of
Newcastle, Maine, who used the CBD body butter
to recover from a hand injury that doctors told him
would require physical therapy. After hearing about
the Pharmer’s Market and reading glowing testimonials,
Leighton decided to give the butter a try, and was
astounded when he regained full dexterity in his pinkie
within three days, despite assurances from a physical
therapist that this would take much longer. Says Leighton
of the discovery of CBD products, “I don’t have to
go to the hospital and spend thousands of dollars every
time I have a quirky pain. I can go buy a jar of CBD
butter for forty bucks.”
I spoke also with Terry Serino, another patient
at the Pharmer’s Market, about what CBD has done
for her. Said Terry, “It’s not a cure for what ails you. But
it improves the quality of your life so much… It would
kind of disingenuous for me to sit here and say well,
I’m a candidate for a double knee replacement. I have
arthritis, I have bone spurs…my knees are just a train
wreck. It would be stupid
for me to say, now with
the CBD, I don’t have to
have a knee replacement.
That’s not true. But
because of CBD I am
not living with constant
pain. Therefore, if I’m
not in pain, I can extend
the amount of time before
I have to have a knee
can cut down the pain,
it’s not going to improve
the functionality, but it’s
going to allow you to function
as a normal person.”
Serino, like many
others, was initially concerned about the legality
of CBD, as well as the stereotypes and stigma surrounding
cannabis use. Gudroe captures the essence
of the issue of misinformation and stigma when he
describes the weeks surrounding the opening of the
Pharmer’s Market; “When people first started coming
into our store… they came with big, brimmed hats and
big glasses, and they came in their husband’s trucks
because they didn’t want their cars to be seen in the
driveway. And they sent their husbands. We had police
officers that came in here because their wives were
interested in the products but they didn’t want people
to see them in the marijuana store. And after the first
month, when everybody did that or sent their friend…
they started coming in as teams. To bring their friend in
so that they would dare to come in and see what it was
that we had, because they really wanted what we had
but they didn’t dare to come in.”
Leighton acknowledges this issue as well, addressing
those who hold outdated views of cannabis as
he tells me, “I think the social norm of marijuana being
taboo is changing, and I think we should have a more
open mind when it comes to products. One may think
that these products with cannabis have a ‘witch doctor’
healing effect. In reality, I know for a fact that when I
apply [CBD body butter] to an area that is experiencing
pain; the pain is then alleviated almost instantly. [CBD
is] just a great use of the cannabis plant, something
found in nature…it’s legal, over the table, non-psychoactive,
and you’re not smoking anything. I would
recommend it to anyone who is experiencing pain,
whether a little or a lot, because it could be a remedy.”
In addition to bringing relief to a wide
variety of more conservative patients, CBD is also a
god-send for another population that very few peo
Gudroe standing behind the CBD display
in his store.
ple consider when
thinking about medical
I spoke also with Laurel
Sheppard, a Nurse
Practitioner who has
been practicing at the
Falmouth, Maine branch
of Integr8 Health, a
medical marijuana clinic
with a second location
in Manchester, New
Hampshire, for the past
5 years. A nurse of 30
years and Nurse Practitioner
of 16, Sheppard
began studying Integrative
Medicine and training
under Integr8’s Dr.
Dustin Sulak. Sheppard was amazed at the staggering
success rates of cannabis treatment, and became
dedicated to joining the fight to improve lives through
The main conditions that Sheppard’s pediatric
patients are being treated for at Integr8 are epilepsy,
chronic pain, cancer, ADHD and Tourette ’s syndrome,
and she tells me that CBD has been shown to treat
autism as well. Sheppard says that she has treated
children who came to her non-verbal and watched
them, through CBD treatment, cut back on their seizure
meds and improve their comprehension to the point
where they were eventually able to speak. When all
conventional forms of medical treatment have failed
their children, medical cannabis is the final frontier for
many parents, and it is very often successful.
To make parents feel more
at ease, Sheppard shares information
about the safety of cannabis.
Says Sheppard, “The more we learn
about this medicine, the more
amazed we are by its potential,
and it is so unbelievably safe. The
research study that was done recently
wanted to see how high could
they pump the dose of CBD and
THC and still have no organ damage,
and no effect to the heart and
the lungs. And obviously they couldn’t
do human studies, so they did
animal studies. And they raised
the dose to 1,000 times above the
recommended dosing range and
there were absolutely no heart or lung issues, and no
organ damage. I think these mice ate for three days,
and then they slept. They were so chill.”
Though cannabis is incredibly safe even in astronomical
doses, the smallest effective dosage is always
preferable from a medical standpoint. There are
a couple new players in town that are showing great
promise when it comes not only to decreasing dosage
ranges, but even micro-dosing, and these new
up-and-comers are THCA and CBDA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic
acid and cannabidiolic acid, respectively.
They are the pre-cursors to THC and CBD, essentially
the cannabinoids in their raw, wet form. Once dried, or
decarboxylated, either naturally or through the process
of adding heat, the acid component is removed,
transforming THCA into THC, and CBDA into CBD.
This is especially relevant in the case of THC,
as it is the conversion of THCA into THC that activates
the psychoactive factor - put more simply: if it
ain’t dried, you get no high. THCA can therefore be
used in its raw form in tinctures and other varieties to
treat patients without the mind altering effects, while
still preserving specific medicinal qualities. CBD is
already non-psychoactive, but CBDA, like THCA,
is showing itself to be far more potent, with a much
smaller amount going a much longer way.
The increased potency of raw cannabinoids
is important: because raw cannabinoids have a
much smaller dosing range than their heat activated
counterparts, or range of dosing that is necessary
to achieve a therapeutic effect, this translates to a
smaller price tag for patients, who are paying out of
pocket for cannabis currently. In addition to this perk,
a smaller dosing range also helps to shorten the often
lengthy process of helping patients to find relief. The
versatile qualities of cannabis allow it to be tailored
specifically to each patient and their individual needs;
unfortunately, the flip side to this coin is that the pro-
CBD Products by Healing Harbor, varying
in Tincture, Roller Relief cess and of finding Lotion the right combination and dosage ca
n sometimes be frustrating. Because every patient’s
endocannabinoid system and receptor sites are not
uniform, the same strain of cannabis or combination
of cannabinoids will affect individuals differently. When
it comes to cannabis treatment, there is no such thing
as “one size fits all,” though there does appear to be a
size to fit almost every patient, if they have the patience
to discover it.
Sheppard estimates that Integr8 has been prescribing
THCA to medical patients for the last 12-18
months, and CBDA for mere months. Because
research is still in its infancy, THCA is generally only
prescribed at Integr8 for pain and seizures, though
Sheppard expects both THCA and CBDA to be used
with much more frequency as research continues.
Countering the psychoactive properties of THC with a
larger dose of CBD is still, at this junction, the preferred
method when treating patients who need the
benefits of THC without the high.
As cannabis continues to be studied and
experimented with, it is becoming clear that the possibilities
for its use are, quite literally, endless. The
only thing going up in smoke is the stigma that labels
cannabis a dangerous drug, and portrays its users as
extras from “Reefer Madness”. Cannabis is instead
showing itself to be one of the safest and most versatile
medicines known to date, with CBD and raw
cannabinoids further proving that cannabis’s ability to
get us stoned may very well be the least remarkable
thing about this bountiful plant. So stick that in your
pipe and smoke it.
Moldy Mass Medical Cannabis
Contaminated flower may be getting patients and employees sick
by Mike Crawford @mikecannboston
Anne Hassel had high hopes for a new career when
she applied for a job serving medical marijuana
patients at New England Treatment Access (NETA),
a registered medical dispensary (RMD) in Massachusetts.
A licensed physical therapist, she believes in the
efficacy of cannabis and says that she appreciated
how NETA was presented “as having a new business
paradigm, one of worker input and responsive management.”
That was then. Now, nearly a year after
she quit working at NETA and filed a complaint with
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) claiming she was
regularly exposed to mold
via cannabis flower, Hassel
mockingly says NETA stands
for “Never Ethically Treating
Anybody.” “Mold was an issue
at both [NETA’s] Franklin
cultivation center and the
Hassel wrote in her complaint
to OSHA. The former
budtender reported that she
“observed powered mildew
flower” while trimming cannabis
in 2016 in Franklin but
was instructed by a supervisor
to “cut around it.” She
also says that management
dunked “marijuana flower into
a hydrogen peroxide solution
to treat the mold.”
In response to a
request for comment, a NETA
spokesperson wrote, “Our
product is tested for mold,
yeast, bacterial and other biological pathogens, by
independent laboratories… No product is delivered
to the dispensaries that has not passed state testing
protocols.” Regarding hydrogen peroxide, the
spokesperson offered information that was previously
unavailable in the company’s response to regulators:
“NETA has been open and public about our use. The
[response to Hassel’s OSHA complaint] pertained to
our Northampton RMD and would be misapplied when
discussing our harvest practices.” In her May 2017
complaint, in which she detailed her employment as
an RMD agent from September 2015 through March
2017, Hassel claimed that she was “not informed” that
people were breathing in potentially hazardous mold.
She says, and another former employee confirms,
that NETA supervisors said the use of hydrogen peroxide
to clean moldy cannabis is the “industry standard.”
But some experts claim otherwise.
According to Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Harvard
Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital-trained
physician who specializes
in cannabis treatment,
“Hydrogen peroxide isn’t going
to contaminate the flower as
peroxides are too unstable to
remain. However, they are quite
caustic and will react with the
plant material. This may change
the cannabinoids, as well as
general plant material, into God
knows what. So, not a great
idea. Moldy flower should be
tossed.” Hassel’s complaint,
drawn from her experience as a
budtender at NETA, continues:
In the dispensary the marijuana
flower is kept in bins that are
constantly opened in order to
weigh the flower in front of the
patient. At times while dispensing
I would experience allergic
reactions including throat
irritation. On multiple occasions
I observed moldy flower in the
bins and when management was approached, I was
told to take out the visibly moldy flower but sell the
remainder in the bin. The NETA spokesperson wrote:
“Regarding the use in harvest, hydrogen peroxide
applied to harvested plant material last occurred more
than two years ago to remediate powdery mildew. We
are pleased to report that there have been no signs of
this issue for the past 18 months at our cultivation facility.”
(Ed. note: Not to be confused, mold and mildew
Experienced and educated cannabis consumers
are concerned about mold in their medicine. They
talk about it at conferences and online, and report
negative experiences to vendors, hoping for corrections.
Patientadvocates I contacted for this story said
that another Massachusetts RMD, Sage Cannabis,
has a record of addressing such a complaint with
transparency. Contacted for this story, Sage CEO
Michael Dundas emailed: We had a patient inform
us that there appeared to be mold on several buds in
an ounce of White Walker Kush. We asked the patient
to return the unused portion of the product and
immediately began an investigation. We pulled all
remaining units from the same batch off the shelf and
inspected them. No contaminants of any kind were
found. According to Dundas, Sage additionally took its
response a step further: “We also reached out to every
patient who had purchased any product from the
same batch and informed them of the situation. They
were given the opportunity to return the product for an
exchange or refund. To my knowledge, none of those
individuals reported finding any contaminants.”
Sage has been applauded in chat forums and
among more learned cannabis consumers for its handling
of said complaint. In the case of NETA, OSHA
closed Hassel’s complaint without consulting other
employees, past or present, or even visiting the workplaces.
While NETA responded to the federal agency
by denying the presence of mold, stating that
it has not used hydrogen peroxide as charged.
As proof of its position, the RMD included lab
results of tested cannabis marked as moldfree.
I have spoken with several former NETA
employees, all of whom confirm the presence
of mold as well as hydrogen peroxide used
to clean affected cannabis. Said one source:
“When I worked in cultivation everyone was
getting red rashes. … No ventilation in the
room and certainly no one forcing us to wear
a mask for safety.” Another ex-employee
confirmed the presence of “H2O2” (hydrogen
peroxide), posting on Facebook: “I was… a
cultivator there at the point when they decided
“dunking” [cannabis in hydrogen peroxide] was
somehow a good idea. … There’s no way in
hell they threw all of that [moldy] crop away. …
They prided themselves on “do the right thing”
everywhere they go but couldn’t manage to
put out a good product because of the lack of
care for the environment the crops were growing
In September, one of the NETA founders,
Kevin Fisher, had a scare related to
banned pesticides at a dispensary he co-owns
in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As was reported by
the Aspen Times, after “tests by the Colorado Department
of Agriculture showed that there was a pesticide
called Avermectin Bla found in some of the [dispensary’s]
marijuana,” “the Colorado Department of
Revenue sent out a public health and safety advisory
for some marijuana grown by Rocky Mountain Remedies.”
In response, Fisher denied the allegations. “I
know that we didn’t spray it,” he told reporters. “If we
sprayed it, we would spray it at all of our grows.” He
added, “that product’s not out there. … It hasn’t been
sold,” and said the pesticide “might have came from
cloned plants that had been properly acquired from
a third-party vendor.” Fisher’s run afoul of the Commonwealth
regulatory process as well. As the Daily
Hampshire Gazette reported in 2014, “The executive
director of the company planning to open medical
marijuana dispensaries in Northampton and Brookline
resigned over the weekend after misrepresenting his
academic credentials in an application to the state.”
Following the incident, NETA announced Fisher’s
resignation from his executive director role. But
Fisher has had a continued presence at their facilities
as a registered agent and consultant, speaking at
subsequent employee meetings in Northampton and
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In an attempt to understand
ow such an issue can contine
unmitigated, I reached out to
S Department of Labor respond-
ormal complaint, emailing: The
non-formal (phone/fax ) investiation.
It contacted New England
reatment Access describing the
afety and health concerns raised
y an employee. It accepted New
ritten response to the complaint
egarding hazards alleged by the
omplainant in the Northampton
ispensary and the non-formal
hone investigation was closed.
gency “does not regulate or have
ny jurisdiction regarding the safey
of the marijuana product(s) for
onsumers or the public,” but “is
illing to review additional informaion
regarding employee exposure
o hydrogen peroxide and mold
s a result of work activities in the
orthampton dispensary and could
onsider re-opening the investigaion
in order to perform an on-site
nspection.” Furthermore, the
pokesperson wrote: “There is no
old in the workplace,” while
do not normally include
n investigation to verify employer
tatements made in response to a
In her part, Hassel has
ontinued to pursue the issue
ith regulators and has also
ontacted the Mass Department
f Health and the state attorey
general. She worries that
ome former NETA workers are
fraid of being blackballed by
ther dispensaries and that by
omplaining they could violate
lone in speaking out publicly,
ETA employee, Gregg Padula,
posted his grievance on
Facebook: “I personally soaked
hundreds of plants in [hydrogen
the powdery mildew enough to
get it into the dispensary. The
solution—strong enough to
high gloves slipped off. Plants
dripping water, strewn all over
the ground, then hung back to
dry. I have a list of at least a
dozen ex-employees who are
sick. You can literally taste the
Padula and another
former NETA employee, Maggie
Kinsella, also spoke about their
experiences on a July show of
my WEMF Radio program The
Young Jurks. They describe an
experience in which employees
who expressed concerns about
their safety were unfairly scrutinized,
ignored, and intimidated.
Though NETA has reportedly
been unresponsive to employee
gripes, there is one case in
which management responded
to a problem that was covered
by the Globe. Last May, reporter
Kay Lazar revealed that NETA,
among other dispensaries,
“placed low-income patients
on waiting lists for discounted
products—creating delays that
run afoul of state law.” And they
were “effectively denying those
low-income patients the discounts
state regulations require
hardship, with no cap on the
Following the Globe report,
NETA reportedly honored
dispensary operation in Mass
with political ties, but its prox-
From the start, as was reported
in the Globe in 2014, the
company employed a patient/
medical director who was “a
key former DPH staff member,”
and “a nurse who helped craft
regulations before retiring
from government.” It may have
been good luck or such plentiful
connections in high places
that helped NETA get over the
hurdles formed after Fisher,
a founding co-owner, ran into
In 2014, then-Gov. Deval
Patrick said, “If somebody lied
on their application, they are
not going to get a license.” But
that rule apparently did not ap-
whether, in fact, it was a lie,”
Patrick told reporters in 2014.
certainly an inaccuracy, and
In the end, NETA got the green
light from the DPH.
Critics of the dispensary
who were contacted for
this article point to the top of
is owned by recreational cannabis
operators with established
Colorado grass roots, so to speak,
who, according to a Bloomberg
Hospital, United Way of Massachusetts
Bay, Babson College and
Kessler, a Palm Beach
staple who has hosted Hillary and
ill Clinton at his $30 million beachfront estate,
as given to the campaign funds of multiple
lected pols. According to the Massachusetts
ontributions over several years include $8,000 to
ecretary of State William Galvin, $2,000 to Gov.
harlie Baker, $1,000 to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito,
3,000 to Treasurer Deb Goldberg, and $1,000
ave made comparable contributions, spreading
oney all across the state into the war chests of
Also of note, former US Congressman
arney Frank was for a short time listed as
elations—until NETA was approved by then-Gov.
in Boston, including Brigham and Wom-
Kessler, a Palm Beach staple who has
osted Hillary and Bill Clinton at his $30 million
eachfront estate, has given to the campaign
unds of multiple elected pols. According to the
inance, his contributions over several years inlude
$8,000 to Secretary of State William Galvin,
2,000 to Gov. Charlie Baker, $1,000 to Lt. Gov.
aryn Polito, $3,000 to Treasurer Deb Goldberg,
nd $1,000 to Boston Mayor Marty
omparable contributions, spreading
oney all across the state into the war
Also of note, former US Conressman
Barney Frank was for a short
and community relations—until
ETA was approved by then-Gov. Pat-
o MassLive, “Fisher said Frank served
e on staff moving forward.”
Hassel, as well as the other former NETA
employees who spoke for this story, fears that
she was exposed to a moldy product, as a worker
and as a consumer, that negatively impacted
her health. She says she paid to have physical
evaluations, the results of which she offered: “My
high for cadmium.” Last June, she wrote a letter
to the DPH: Two months after beginning to consume
NETA products, I began to experience the
following symptoms: headaches, sore throat and
concentrates (shatter, wax) were released in
2016, I began consuming them. My symptoms
progressed to bloating in my abdomen, nausea,
Neurological symptoms such as neuropathy
(numbness in the toes and ball of my foot)
and tetany (spasms) in my calves greatly increased
in escalating pain intensity and frequency
starting November 2016, and I also began to
experience fasciculations (twitching) in my calves
when seated in the beginning of 2017.
NETA, meanwhile, is apparently eyeing
the legal market. As was reported by the Globe
advocated for cracking down on gray market
providers, all while asking that existing medical
consumers. Considering how things have gone
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