The History of Dabbing
Banana Punch Cannabis Microbusiness Ross Johnson
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Mike “Cann” Crawford
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THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
by Stoney Chicken
Ross Johnson of the Legendary
GG Strains Team Has Passed on
Through this World
by Wayne Burrini
Cannabis Microbusiness Applicants
by Mike Crawford
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The History and
Evolution of Dabbing
Quartz Bangers by Toro Glass
Worm Glass Quartz
Hash Oil), first showing up in the 1940s. It is made by stripping
the resin glands from the plant with a solvent, creating a golden oil
that could be smoked or used in foods. For many years extraction
techniques were closely guarded secrets and most people had
never heard of honey oil, let alone had any access to it.
Concentrates, and the way we used them, remained relatively
unchanged until the internet and the first medical marijuana
laws came about in the 90s. As the laws changed and information
became easier to share, people started looking for better ways to
process and consume cannabis. As our extractions techniques
and concentrates evolved, so did the tools we use to consume
Hash was the most common concentrate available, and
there were only so many ways to consume it. Pipes, Bongs, and
chillums were all used to smoke hash, but the most popular way
to consume hash and flower in Europe today.
One of the more…interesting ways of smoking hash is “knife hits”. A knife hit is achieved by
heating the tips of two butter knives up on a stove top and then pressing a piece of hash between
the heated tips. As the hash begins to burn, it is inhaled through a straw. Although this can be done
alone, it is best to have help. “Hash shots” were also a way we would smoke hash. A safety pin is
bent up and hash is placed on the end of the pin. After igniting the ball of hash, a glass is placed over
the pin and the hash burns out. Smoke would fill the glass and you would lift the edge and suck out
As extraction techniques evolved, people quickly realized they needed a better way to con-
Sent in by Cave Smoke Shope in San Mateo, CA.
sume their concentrates. When BHO first became
popular there were no nails or bangers. At first people
would: mix the oil with kief, drizzle it down the side of a
joint, or just top a bowl with it. The oil would burn and
bubble, dripping all over and making a mess. Taking a
knife hit was doable, but cumbersome at best. Especially
alone. Some people would even use a hookah
coal and a straw to medicate. Heat Rods were also
commonly used. By heating the tip of a glass rod to
red hot, you would be able to combust your flower or
concentrates without the use of a lighter. Glass artists
would also play around with “throw away” dab straws or
“Zambonis” as one person referred to them. The problem
with them was they would break after repeated use.
One thing is for sure: the earliest contraptions used to
smoke oil were crude, at best, and some looked more
like a crack pipe than the refined quartz bangers of
Talking with one artist, he remembers using a
glass tube with a bubble at the end, slightly bent down
with a large hole in the top of the bubble. Before ground
joints they would just use an o-ring on the tube so that it
would be used with the old school pull bowls. You would
fill the bubble with oil and the bong would be passed
around with a glass heat rod. You would heat the tip of
the rod and dip it into the puddle of oil and take your hit.
One of the earliest tools for dabbing which had a
huge impact was the TI Swing or “Skillet”, which was an
evolution on knife hits. Wanting a safer and easier way
to smoke oil, HMK (Jake) made one of the first swing
arm TI plates that could be used with a traditional bong
in 2002. In 2003, with the help of his sister Lucy (Ggirl),
Jake would start producing and selling these to the public.
The TI plate or Skillet was a titanium plate welded
to a wire that was attached to a glass tube or a curve
with a glass bell on the end. You would heat the TI
plate until it was glowing red. After lowering it back into
position under the bell you would place the oil on the
red hot plate with a dab tool and take your hit. Although
this was a much easier way to take a hit from traditional
knife hits, it was still imperfect. It was also Ggirl who
made the first water pipe strictly for oil, what we now
refer to as a “dab rig”. Later, in 2010, HMK would start
blowing glass and producing his own rigs.
As concentrates continued to become more and
more mainstream, people continued looking for a better
method to smoke oil. TI Swing arms worked much
better than knife hits, but still could be improved. They
were bulky and could be messy to use. You also had to
be a proficient user; if you didn’t know how to properly
TI Swing Arm or Skillet
Early Quartz Rig
Evan Shore Bangers
Truth Tech Series
Bucket Insert Cap Combo
take a hit you would most certainly waste your dab.
Between the summer of ‘05 and ‘06, JP Toro and his friend JC would create a product that
would change dabbing forever. JC came to JP Toro in need of help with ground joints. Agreeing to
help, but wanting to know why JP asked for some more information. JC explained that he had an idea
of a better way to smoke hash oil. After JP Toro helping him and messing around with some ideas,
JC left. When he returned he presented JP a Borosilicate nail and dome. The glass nail and dome
worked great, except for one thing: after repeated use the boro nail would break. JP toyed with many
different designs but couldn’t find one that would work. Fearing that the nails were unsafe, they were
never went to production.
It wasn’t until a friend came to the shop with a HMK swing arm plate that JP would get the idea
to use titanium. After doing research on titanium he ordered a rod of titanium and made his first nail.
The TI nail was much smaller than the TI swing arm and was much easier to use. The nails were
made to sit on top of a male joints, with a glass dome and female joint that fit over the nail. Because
of its durability, Titanium dominated the market as the go-to product for smoking oil. Titanium dabbing
tools/accessories are sold worldwide. The problem they faced was milling titanium was not an easy
task. Both the material and the cost of manufacturing the nail were expensive. JP would not start
producing them until a few years later and, at this point, Highly Educated had already become the
dominant Titanium supplier. Highly Educated introduced the world to different concepts such as the
adjustable TI Nail, the electronic nail, and TI carb caps.
When dabbing first became popular, “hot and hurt-y” was how most of us dabbed. You would
heat your TI nail or plate up red hot before dropping your oil on and taking a hit. Coughing, dab
sweats, and the aftertaste of hot titanium were just part of the experience. For most of us this was a
suitable method for smoking oil, but for connoisseurs this was unacceptable.
Between 2007 and 2008 quartz would be introduced to the glass community in Colorado by
The godfather of quartz, Ron of Pukin Beagle. Fed-up with his higher paying job at a box factory he
decided to quit and become a glassblower. For 18 years he worked at different companies making
scientific glass components. Scientific glass companies have very strict policies regarding pipes and
bongs and still do to this day. Pipe makers are looked down on from that side of the community and
it wasn’t until Ron owned his own company that they started making smoking accessories openly.
Coming from a scientific background, Ron knew the advantages of quartz and how to utilize it. It was
at this shop that artists like Joel Halen, Ewok, Worm and Quave would first be introduced to quartz.
Ron was the artist behind many people’s quartz devices such as the Quartz Noodle by Worm Glass.
Like many people, Worm wanted nothing to do with smoking concentrates off of TI. Looking for a better
way, Worm came out with the “noodle”, a glass and quartz version of the skillet first made by HMK.
The quartz components and o-rings used in the hinge of the noodle were all made by Ron. He was
also the manufacturer of the quartz nails that Adam G would go on to sell for many years.
As time passed, artists continued to play with different designs of quartz nails. In 2011 Joel
Halen would come out with another innovative design which forever changed dabbing. A local glass
artist, Joel was introduced to quartz at Ron’s shop. The experience would lead him to come up with
a dome-less nail that he called the “Honey Hole”. At the 2012 AGE Event, Halen would begin selling
these to the public. Later, Joel would come out with other designs like the Trough, The HB, The Thermal
Bucket, and a number of other prototypes and customs. Joel remains a leader and innovator in
the quartz industry, some even call him the “King of Quartz”. It was after Joel released his Honey Hole
that other artists started making their own versions of this style nail. Soon after, Pukin Beagle came
out with their quartz bucket and later would design their own Thermal Bucket. The Thermal Bucket
has a second wall inside the bucket that retains more heat. It was after seeing an employee using
a piece of scrap to control the air flow in the thermal bucket that Ron would get the idea for bubble
Highly Educated started incorporating quartz into their TI enail bodies and, in 2016, they started
producing full quartz nails that could be used with their TI carb caps which were already in production.
Finally, in 2017, Highly Educated made the jump to bangers and started producing the Gavel.
Highly Educated is also credited in bringing popularity to opaque quartz bangers.
JP Toro would also come out with his own quartz nail called the “Grail”. Later he would release
the “Core Reactor” style of banger which has a large chunk of quartz in the canter that retains heat for
bigger dabs. The Terp Slurper is also one of his creations.
Quartz inserts were first introduced in 2017 by Ewokglass. Ewok, who previously worked for
Pukin Beagle, was one of the many artists behind the ever-changing quartz scene. He worked closely
with Joel Halen. The duo produced many collabs, including the very first all quartz e-nail. In his garage,
Joel created the first fully-faceted flat-top banger with 5 different flat-top inserts. After auctioning
off the custom-faceted set, he started selling inserts to the public 6-12 months later. Ewok also came
out with the first spinning quartz insert called the “Nautilus”.
One of the newest trends is etched and fumed bangers. Evan Shore Bangers stand out from
the rest. Evan, who started making bangers in 2015, makes truly functional art. His etched bangers
are as fun to look at as they are to smoke out of. Evan started etching bangers in June of 2018. 10
months later he released his Truth Tech Bangers. These fumed bangers come in a wide range of patterns
and look stunning on any rig.
Bucket Insert Cap Combo
Early Quartz Nails & Rigs wit Ground Joints for Nails
Cold Start Bangers or Tear Drop Bangers
(as I like to call them) are the newest evolution
in the quartz world. These bangers are designed
around the cold start dab. Instead of heating the
quartz up and then letting it cool down before
taking a dab, the banger is heated for a short
time either with the concentrates in the banger
or added directly after heating. The result is a
lower temp dab, no wait time, and less butane
used. Cold starts can be done on any banger,
however the teardrop bangers are designed with
cold starts in mind. The longer design helps keep
the oil down where the heat is while the carb
cap moves the oil around the chamber. The carb
caps for these bangers also double as dabbers,
making it easier to load sauces and distillate by
scooping it up in the tip.
Over the years the glass artists have been the driving force behind the ever changing world of
dabbing and that is not going to change anytime soon. As concentrates continue to evolve it will be
interesting to see what we are dabbing out of in 20 years, or if we are even dabbing at all!
Huge thanks to all the artists that took the time out of their busy schedules to chat with me. In
this article I tried to cover as many artists and different tools as I could. There is only so much room
and I am aware I have left out some artists and companies that have also contributed to the dabbing
Special Thanks to:
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Shop: San Mateo, CA
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Ross Johnson of the Legendary GG Strains Team
Has Passed on Through this World
by Wayne Burrini
Ross Johnson was born on Thursday February 6th 1958, shockingly the same day a British flight carrying
members of the United Manchester football team from Germany to Britain. Ross Johnson was
better known as being team member of the award winning GG Strains. In all honesty, Ross, was a
man who grew up to love growing cannabis. In an America where there are 11 states that have legal
cannabis Ross grew up in an illegal to grow America. So illegal that Ross and his friend Don decided
to hide their identities while growing a plant that they both loved. Being fans of Clint Eastwood and
western movies…they decided to call themselves Joesy Wales and Lone Watty. Yes, the spellings
are all messed up, that is how they wanted it. Both of them loved to grow…so much so they both
started in the early early seventies! Ross, was barely 13 when he popped his very first seed! It was
only natural that together they would createand be co-fathers of the award winning strain GG4, the
Original Glue formerly known as Gorilla Glue 4. Just a small time grower growing primarily for himself
Ross could never imagine how big he and his friend Don would get over an accident they had in their
grow room. GG4, would end up making the duo famous! Their “accident” of creating GG4 lead
them to win the 2015 Jamaican High Times World Cup Award, the 2018 highest THC Award and Best
Flower of The Spannabis Cup as well as many awards placing in Top Tens of many events such as
the High Times Top Ten of 2017, etc…
Unfortunately, ross also spent some time in other rooms that weren’t grow rooms. After attending
some private and exclusive Cannabis Cups, Ross also spent alotta time in court rooms. Gorilla
Glue 4 took off so fast. Gorilla Glue 4 became so
well known, that one morning (when would be nice)
Don and Ross would be served court papers. They
were being sued by Gorilla Glue Adhesive Company
in Ohio. Yes, Don and Ross were involved in a
huge federal lawsuit. Struggling to survive financially
they made a settlement. In the end they gave
up their old website GorillaGlue.com and could only
keep their trademarks until 2020 and stuck with their
GGStrains.com site. They also had to rename their
strains yet they were allowed to use the fka (formerly
known as) label on their strains. In the end,
the lawsuit cost them millions, yet it allowed them to
move forward. Now with their GG1, GG4, GG5, they
added to their strain collection. They added GlueChee
and Purple Glue to their lineup. Also, the world
knows GG4 is a clone only plant, so Don and Ross
had a mission to get seeds out, true GG4 seeds!
Make sure you get your GG4S1 seeds!
Don and Ross were trying to set new industry
standards with verifying strains thru genetic testing.
Don and Ross was a stickler for making sure when
people bought GG4 at their local dispensary that it
Don & Ross
Left to Right
Don, Cat & Ross
Left to Right
was in fact GG4! Ross wanted to ensure the consumer was getting true genetics from the breeders.
In the eyes of Catherine Franklin, the COO, CMO and Social Media Guru for GG Strains, she views it
as consumer fraud when consumers are sold genetics that they are not in fact what they claim to be.
Cat aka Catherine was brought in by Don and Ross as Ross liked to say, “Cat brings things to the table
that Don and I don’t, such as she helps us out with the business side of things as well as she has
a creative marketing background!” The three were working on a plan where they could partner with
quality cultivators to get true genetics and allow the consumer the real deal!
On Thursday May twenty third in the year of our Lord 2019, Ross Johnson left this world. To
be honest, when I originally interviewed Ross and we spoke of GG Strains, he told me, it was really
just Cat and Ross, because Don being diabetic and he was in a very bad stage. Ross had wanted
to do many things yet he loved staying in Nevada with his buddy Don. Ross, was really worried
about Don and his health. Out of the two, Ross knew, well he thought he was the healthiest of the
two. Early in 2019 Ross had caught the flu. He died a few months shortly thereafter due to complications
of the flu. Ross leaves behind a wife? Kids? Pets? GG1, GG4, GG5, GlueChee and Purple
Glue. Also, the cannabis community loses a leader, a fighter. The loss of Ross Johnson takes a blow
to those who care genetic testing and being assured what you purchase is in fact the strain you are
being sold. Ross is now in heaven growing for God. Ross will surely be missed but he sure as heck
left his mark on society…just ask any stoner about GG4!
Rest in Peace Ross Johnson
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APPLICANTS DEMAND CHANGES
BY MIKE CRAWFORD OF THE YOUNG JURKS
Frustrated with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control
Commission’s application process and newly proposed
delivery regulations, microbusiness applicants
and their supporters held a rally at the State House,
on May 8th, and organized an online petition. According
to their event page:
Small Local Micro Business has been left out of the
Massachusetts cannabis industry … We are gathering
to show those in power that we will not remain
silent. Licenses have only been awarded to business
with capital outside the reach of the little guy. Show
support for the industry YOU want in Massachusetts
and let the little guy deliver the product you have been
We interviewed five supporters of the rally about why
they’re disappointed with the CCC as well as the
changes they’re petitioning for.
Andrew Mutty (Beantown Greentown, microbusiness
applicant): No micro/local businesses have been
given licenses yet. The people need to get together
and let our voices be heard. … We checked off all
the boxes, but we don’t have $50 million sitting in the
bank like some of the competition.
Mike Brais (Deep Roots, microbusiness applicant):
When local growers are licenced, the big guys won’t
be able to compete with our quality and attention to
Averyl Andrade (Between the Rows, microbusiness
applicant): Not only are microbusinesses a critical
spoke on the cannabis wheel, but [they are also]
an amazing opportunity for people who have been
disproportionately affected by the war on cannabis to
enter into this lucrative new industry.
Ed DeSousa (RiverRun Gardens, microbusiness
applicant): Our community has been driven to a point
where we need to step up our fight. … We sat back
and allowed the commission to license previous medical
marijuana companies into the recreational field.
It stops now. The people, the community has had
enough. When Question 4 was drafted, it was written
in a way that would include small local people to get
into the cannabis market. A set of licenses were created
for the small timers … the microbusiness license.
Look around, do you see any microbusiness licenses
being issued? … Instead, you have the same big
businesses getting licensed every time the commission
Currently there is a huge backlog for license applications
and we small guys and gals are being drained
from everything we have in order to wait our turn. You
may ask yourself, Why would it take us so long to apply
in the first place? The answer is simple, We don’t
buy our way.
We worked with our towns, we created zoning, we
paid rent on empty buildings, lawyers. … We have
followed all the rules set up by the Cannabis Control
Commission, but in the end we are placed on the
back burner while our funds are being bled dry. It
Grant Smith (Massachusetts Patients for Home
Delivery): I would like to see the CCC do two things:
Firstly, I would like the CCC to create a fast track for
reviewing licenses for microbusinesses (cultivators
and manufacturers). Currently, those services are
being forced, even with local approval in place, to pay
thousands of dollars per month to secure warehouse
space while awaiting final approval for the CCC. …
Some of those small local companies have already
paid upwards of $30,000 simply to hold the lease on
their warehouse over the past 6 months while awaiting
final approval from the CCC. Forcing those companies
to continue paying such costs is entirely unreasonable
and the CCC should be doing everything it
can to create a fast track for local applicants seeking
The CCC [should also] include standalone delivery
licenses in their final draft guidelines before they vote
on those proposals in June. Currently, the proposed
format for delivery services would only allow such
services to deliver product from an already existing
dispensary, and the CCC would review the potential
for standalone licenses in the fall of 2019.
While I understand that such a piecemeal approach
has its advantages both politically and otherwise (and
while I very much applaud the work of Commissioner
Shaleen Title [in] ensuring a 24-month exclusivity
period for economic empowerment and social equity
applicants for such licenses), I worry that standalone
licenses will be voted down in the fall. Were that to
occur, a permanent model which mandates delivery
companies provide only products from retail dispensaries
would fundamentally undermine the ability of
smaller companies to exist on a level playing field with
the owners of such establishments. In no way, shape,
or form should the regulations have the effect of giving
any sector of the market a monopoly and forcing
delivery companies to only deliver product from retail
ED: The Cannabis Control Commission made the
rules, but they say it will take a measure by the legislature
to change them. Well, reps, listen up. … Look
out your window and see the people. We voted for
inclusion of local small business, we want inclusion
of local small business. We want microbusinesses
pushed ahead of the line for licensing. We want equity
applicants to get licensed. We want patients to have
affordable access to the medicine they need.
This isn’t about me or RiverRun Gardens, this is about
you and all the other businesses that worked their
tails off trying to get into this industry. This is about
our spouses, who have put up with barely making
mortgage. … This is about our children who wonder
why mom and dad are always working and why they
can’t have what their friends have because their parents
are paying for empty warehouses. This is for the
average consumer who wonders why the state wants
them to go to big marijuana for subpar quality when
the gray market offers premium cannabis for far lower
AA: [We want] priority status for local microbusinesses.
… Between the Rows is a small business
comprised of three local farmers struggling to provide
our community with healthy produce. We feel farmers
should be given the opportunity to supplement their
income through cannabis, but … lack of support from
the CCC and dirty tactics from out-of-state big money
hinder our progress.
AM: There should be some support from the CCC
based on micro licensing priorities. We are just looking
for a little help to get through the system so we
don’t waste money and ultimately fail due to systematic
A number of reasons small microbusinesses haven’t
been approved. It’s very difficult to find an operational
space without spending tons of cash; funding a microbusiness
is not a “micro” amount of money. And finally
we also believe that big business and big influence is
taking a strong front line and getting through quicker.
Why and how we don’t know, but we can speculate.
GS: There are a lot of stakeholders who attempt to influence
the way in which regulations are written within
the Massachusetts cannabis industry, and some of
those players have access to a substantial amount of
capital and political resources. In order for regular citizens
without such connections or monetary resources
to be able to participate in our democracy, we all have
to pay close attention to what is being said and proposed
by our lawmakers and regulators.
Follow Mike Crawford on Twitter @mikecannboston
and subscribe to his email newsletter at
midnightmass.substack.com. You can listen to
The Young Jurks at anchor.fm/theyoungjurks or
wherever else podcasts are streamed.
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