GreenLeaf Nov 2021

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A Tribute to

Frenchy Cannoli

Ice Water Sieving

Nov 2021



Brett Cogill




Kaitlyn Buckley



Anna Coletti

Assistant Editor



Jarrett Ashley


John Labo



Lauren Loiacono


Mike “Cann” Crawford


Roland Endblazin



What’s Inside

Page 8

Page 16

Page 22

Page 42

Page 46

Page 50

New England Legalization in


Progression or Power Grabs?

by Lauren Loiacono

Cambridge Signs Cannabis

Host Community Agreements

by Mike Crawford


by Mila, the Hash Queen

Ice Water Sieving

by Frenchy Cannoli

Product Reviews

Air Vape X and Growbud

by John Labo

Delta 8

A Dangerous Side Effect of

Keeping Cannabis Illegal

by Jarrett Ashley

Las Vegas Biz Con

A Post Covid Renaissance

by Roland Endblazin

Cover Image & Contents Page

Photography by Sly Vegas


2017 STASH Awards





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Progress or Power Grabs?

by Lauren Loiacono

Photograph by Evan Sumner. NIC at #UNACCEPTABLE

In our lifetimes, we’ve watched cannabis go from

being the cash crop of the black market into a

golden fountain of state revenue.

We all knew that would happen. Remember 20

years ago, there would always be someone in the

legalization conversations ready to say, “Think

how much they could make on taxes!” And today,

we don’t have to think about it - we have the numbers.

"Where is that revenue that is supposed to be

going to communities of color?” Massachusetts’s

Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title

asked last year. “It's been four years. Myself and

community leaders and other commissioners have

worked on different proposals to do equity programming,

technical assistance, other kinds of initiatives

that would give back to these communities.

We've gone through the whole process. Legislators

have held hearings, vetted the bills, passed them

out of the relevant committee. But it looks like the

session is ending with thus far no action on those


So while craft farmers are making dramatically less

in today’s market burdened with layers of legislation

and the boom of corporate competitors, the

state departments get to double-dip on taxes to

fund programs devised by bureaucrats that

nobody voted into office.

Here’s the state-by-state breakdown of New England’s

cannabis market since funding their governments

to regulate it.


Medical legalized 2012

Rec legalized 2016

First rec stores opened November 2018

20% tax: 6.25% sales tax, a 10.75% excise tax, and local

option tax for cities and towns up to 3%

Collected $170 million in 2020

Sales tax goes to the state’s general fund, MBTA, and

School Building Authority funds, which generated $38

million from 2019 - 2020

Excise tax goes to the Marijuana Regulation Fund,

which generated $113 million from its creation in 2018

to 2020

No database exists to show where the $18 million gen-


Photograph by the Maine Cannabis Coalition

erated in annual local taxes are going

In 2021, the state opened up delivery opportunities

while prioritizing tracking personal data of both suppliers

and buyers.


March 30, 2021, the Cannabis Control Commission’s

fingerprinting program now permits applicants to

be fingerprinted out-of-state. Applicants who reside

out-of- state may use IDEMIA’s IdentoGO’s Card Scan

Processing Program.

The Commission may impose a licensing condition

that all individuals be fingerprinted prior to final

licensure. If unable to be fingerprinted prior to final

licensure, upon notification and approval by the Commission,

a condition may be imposed to extend the

requirement to have all individuals fingerprinted within

90 days of the state of emergency ending in Massachusetts.

The Commission’s review of background

checks remains ongoing; however, some elements may

be delayed contingent upon the availability of materials

and access to information.


Standard Operating Procedures should include reports

to the Commission of any instance of an employee

work-related illness resulting in a confirmed

COVID-19 case immediately after obtaining actual

knowledge of a confirmed case, but in no event later

than twenty-four (24) hours. Licensees are to report

this information using the Agent COVID-19 Reporting

Form on the Commission website.

The Commission has learned that licensees are unclear

about the meaning of “employee work-related

illness” for purposes of reporting agents who have

tested positive for COVID-19. Licensees are advised

that the term “work-related illness” means an illness

that affects an employee or workplace, or that poses a

risk of transmission between employees or within the

workplace. The phrase “work-related illness” does not

mean “work-caused illness.” In order to protect the


public health, safety, and welfare, the Commission expects

licensees to report all cases in which a Marijuana

Establishment or Medical Marijuana Treatment Center

Agent tests positive for COVID-19.


Medical legalized 1999

Rec legalized 2016

Rec stores opened October 2020

10% marijuana excise tax, plus the statewide 5.5%

sales tax

Medical sales are subject to the state’s 5.5% sales tax

and 8% for edibles

Projected to generate $50 million annually in taxes

from cannabis sales when fully operational in 2 years

12% of tax revenue goes to the Adult Use Marijuana

Public Health and Safety Fund. 88% goes to the state’s

general fund

As Maine’s recreational market expands, grassroots

growers have been busy resisting over-regulation in



Office of Marijuana Policy introduced 80 pages of

amendments to the state’s medical program to “catch

up with recreational regulations,” despite their campaign

claim in 2016 that recreational legalization

would not impact medical policy. The amendments

aim to cost caregivers an additional $25k a year to

install tracking software programs that monitor their

supply chain, on top of $40 for licensing fees. Without

consulting the almost 3,000 licensed caregivers in the

state, Maine signed a six-year $540K contract with

software company Metrc, LLC..

Caregivers would also have to install security camera

equipment and store more camera footage to track

operations and transactions. While caregivers are

currently required to store footage for 30 days, the new

amendments would require the storage of 45 days for

regulators to review at any time.

PUTTING LOCALS LAST: Maine Cannabis Coalition,

a group of local cannabis businesses, filed a lawsuit

against the state on May 29th following the state’s

decision to eliminate its residency requirement for

adult-use cannabis businesses. As written, state law required

applicants to have lived and paid taxes in Maine

a minimum of 4 years, which was quietly repealed by

Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy in conjunction with

the Wellness Connection, a dispensary chain which is

49% owned by a Delaware investor.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the lawsuit

argues that the department has no authority to abandon

state law since it has not been struck down by a

court or repealed by the legislature, and it seeks an

injunction prohibiting regulators from issuing adultuse

cannabis licenses to out-of-state applicants.


Medical legalized 2004

Rec legalized 2018

Cultivation licensing to open by April 2022

Retail licensing to open by September 2022

0% tax on medical marijuana with card

14% excise tax on marijuana at the point of sale + 6%

general sales tax

Aggressive taxation projected to generate between $20

- $75 million annually

Bill S.54 states that "revenue from the sales and use

tax imposed . . . on retail sales of cannabis or cannabis

products in this State shall be used to fund a grant

program to start or expand afterschool and summer

learning programs, with a focus on increasing access in

underserved areas of the State."

Vermont is catching its 2021 budget up to its 2018



legalizing the possession and use of recreational

marijuana in 2018, Vermont has failed to provide the

means to obtain it. The roll-out will leave Vermonters

to either buy cannabis “off the books,” or to cross state

lines to do so legally for another year.

But the state is catching up to their missed revenue.

Senator Joe Benning explained, “Vermont has been

recognized for a decade now as being at the top in virtually

every category of per-capita cannabis consumption

while it has been sold in an underground market.

We need to get hold of this as much as we possibly can.

Is this the cure-all? Certainly not. This process continues.

This is not waving a magic wand in which all this

is resolved.”



Medical legalized 2012

Rec legalized July 2021

Retail stores set to open May 2022

Personal grows (up to 12 plants per household) to be

permitted July 2023

Approved taxation dictates $6.35% sales taxes + 3% local

tax + tax based on THC content to vary by product,

equating about a 20% tax

Projected $75 million generated in direct cannabis tax

revenues by year 5

60% of revenue to go to social equity programs, 25% to

mental health funds and drug treatment, with the final

15% going to the state’s general fund for regulations,

testing, licensing, & oversight

In 2021, Connecticut became the 19th state to legalize


TROLL TOLL: Connecticut’s license lottery will cost

$1,000 to enter plus licensing fees if awarded, with

reduced fees for “social equity” applicants, which

will receive half of the licenses. Licensure for medical

businesses to enter the recreational market will cost

between $1-3 million.


Medical legalized 2006

Rec legalized June 2021

Rec stores to open April 2022

Cultivation applications to open in 2023

Consumers to pay a 20% tax on products, including

7% sales tax, 3% municipal tax, and 10% new tax

Tax total will also include an estimated 3% wholesale

tax and a “weight-based excise tax on marijuana cultivation,”

according to the current governor

Projected to collect $1.7 million in tax revenue in 2022,

increasing to $16.9 million in 2023

Collected taxes to go to state’s general fund with licensing

fees going to a “cannabis equity fund” to provide

“grants and technical assistance to applicants from

disproportionately impacted areas”

Rhode Island becomes the 20th state to legalize marijuana,

while managing legalization between 2 governors

in 2021.

Photograph by the Marijuana Policy Project (NH)


South Shore CBD

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Please Consume Responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment.

Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration

(FDA). There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana use during pregnancy and

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AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and

judgment. The impairment effects of edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222

or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.

FOR THE PEOPLE?: When Rhode Island Governor Raimando

left her position to become commerce secretary for

the Biden administration, her state-run budget for cannabis

was set in place, but not enacted by lawmakers.

Her predecessor Governor Lt. McKee has instead opted for

a private model that will license by lottery for entrepreneurs

and growers (with a “social equity” quota) - rather than the

original plan which sought to control cannabis like New

Hampshire does liquor stores.

While claiming to support entrepreneurial success over the

state’s, Rhode Islanders criticize the $500K annual licensing

fee for dispensaries as well as the $5K application fees as

having the opposite intended effect.


Medical legalized 2013

NH House approved rec legalization bill in 2014, which

died in the Senate

Medical dispensaries opened in 2016

Rec decriminalized 2017

The last state in New England left to legalize recreationally,

New Hampshire has spent 2021 tossing bill proposals like

pen cartridges.



Telegram @laurenloiacono

BILLS, BILLS, BILLS: Officially surrounded by the cannabis

capitals of the east coast, New Hampshire is the last of New

England that has yet to “legalize it.” Multiple bills entered

the NH House of Representatives that have been “tabled”

for vote until 2022, including HB 237 which would legalize,

regulate, and tax recreational cannabis for adults 21 and

older, and HB 629 which would simply legalize possession

and home cultivation. The bipartisan-sponsored home

cultivation bill HB 350 was unanimously approved by the

House Committee in February, but also tabled by the Senate

in May.

In August, Governor Sununu approved HB 605 to grow the

state’s medical program, including opioid use disorder as a

qualifying condition for medical care. The bill also allows

out-of-state patients to access NH dispensaries. In 2017,

Sununu approved 2 separate house bills that added PTSD

and chronic pain to the list in the very gradual medical

expansion process.

While polling shows 75% of New Hampshire residents

support legalization, New Hampshire is in a unique position

to legalize cannabis for the people rather than its politicians.

The home cultivation bills that the Senate keeps ignoring

would grant users and growers with minimal oversight,

regulation, and taxation.


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Cambridge Signs Cannabis

Host Community Agreements

with seven economic empowerment applicants, Marblehead Police hire more white men, Boston

media fails again on MPAA coverage

by Mike "Cann" Crawford

Chauncy Spencer of Sanofa signed HCA with city of Cambridge

First up, kicking off with the city of Cambridge who recently signed seven cannabis host community agreements

and extended exclusivity for new economic empowerment recreational applicants for another year. Some quotes

from our interview with Cambridge City Councilor Quinton Zondervan.

Next, we’ll take a look at the Marblehead Police Department, under a cloud of scandal, lacking gender and racial

diversity, and the local Marblehead newspaper editorial that swallowed a lot of boot to pretend that women aren’t

a majority of residents in the town.

Also in this one: WBUR Radio carries water for the Mass Patients group reps that routinely sell out patients for

dispensary and doctor office sponsorships. To close, commentary on a lawsuit filed against the state of California

over the excessive state cannabis tax.


The City of Cambridge has extended a cannabis economic

empowerment licensing priority, a moratorium

against existing medical dispensaries from opening

immediately for recreational sales, giving new economic

empowerment applicants exclusivity for a final

third year.

Cambridge City Councilor Quinton Zondervan speaking

to us on our live-streaming show and podcast, The

Young Jurks;

“The good news is that we did hear that seven (economic

empowerment) applicants in Cambridge have

signed host community agreements with the city.”

Zondervan also offered advice to the Cambridge-based,

medical dispensary chain, Revolutionary

Clinics, the organization that strongly opposed the

moratorium with losing court filings and astroturf


“There’s plenty of opportunities to participate. They

(Revolutionary Clinics) are part of our (Cambridge)

law too, our law says once this moratorium expires

they are allowed to operate, I hope they will embrace

that, embrace the equity and the justice that we’re

trying to do, and really become partners instead of


Listen/watch the Zondervan interview with The Young

Jurks on Itunes, Spotify, or youtube

Marblehead Police Department addresses the

lack of diversity by hiring two more white men.

MPD has a gender and racial problem, their force is almost

exclusively white male, and the two newest hires

are naturally white males with institutional family ties,

one of them being the former police chief ’s son, so we

were a bit perplexed by a Marblehead Reporter editorial,

“Diversity should be fostered’ which sounds good

if you only read the title but then closed with, “Maybe

take a break from demanding diversity” and a bunch of

other silliness throughout.

In a town that is 54% women, the Marblehead Reporter

should maybe listen to some women.

It’s good for business, perhaps they want to sell some


We found two informed Marblehead women.

Referencing the civil service list which did include

high ranking female candidates, the list that Marblehead

PD hires from and which has often been cited as

the problem, Laurie Barham, a Marblehead resident

points out, “Note that the female veteran resident who

is 4th (on the civil service list) is ranked significantly

higher than the former police chief ’s son who was

ranked 9th and is not a veteran.”

Marblehead attorney Anne Stevenson points out the

numbers and recent scandals of concern, “The MPD’s

officers are all indeed white men (31 including the 2

white men rubber-stamped in this week by the Board

of Selectmen) and one woman. My concern here is that

by omitting significant recent scandals and lawsuits

against the town which originate in MPD, the editors

of the Marblehead Reporter are glossing over the harm

MPD discriminatory policies are having on this town.

For instance, Officer Chris Gallo has been placed on

leave at least 4 times-most recently after a female victim

of a violent crime alleged that Gallo assaulted her

and called her a “poor bitch.” And let’s not forget the

Swastika incident where nine officers failed to report

that Officer Tufts scratched a swastika into Officer Dimare’s

car, a scandal which in turn Officer Gallo used

as cover and a decoy to save his job. Then the hiring of

the Winthrop Police Chief had just lost a sex discrimination

lawsuit to the tune of $2.3 million. If the editors

of the Marblehead Reporter have confused a long

tradition of MPD perpetuating discrimination against

women and BIPOC with the “glory days” of the MPD,

we are all in deep shit. Discrimination against women

based on sex isn’t just morally corrupt, it poses a real

threat to public safety because at least half the people

who live in this town are women. But of course, this is

Marblehead where nearly every woman can probably

tell you a story about a time when they experienced

discrimination against them based on sex, but almost

no man can identify another sexist man.”

Stevenson asks, “What is MPD doing to recruit, hire

and promote a more diverse pool of candidates?

Nothing. What are the consequences? There are none.

They rig the game against women and BIPOC through

various restrictive and neglectful rules and laws to the



extent that women and BIPOC don’t even apply for

MPD jobs here-and then pat themselves on the back

with these incestuous new hires (who are all white


Stevenson closes with criticism for the newspaper

editorial, ”We have union lawsuits pending against the

town now alleging grossly incompetent labor practices,

and the editors of the Reporter respond with a cowardly

faceless editorial claiming “nothing to see here

folks…keep it moving.”

Speaking of media fluff jobs, WBUR with a

nauseating “Joint Dreams: How an unlikely

friendship reshaped medical marijuana laws

in Massachusetts” on “activists” Jeremiah

MacKinnon and Frank Shaw, two of the most

vocal supporters of the Massachusetts Patient

Advocacy Alliance, the org best known for

selling-out patients to their sponsors which are

dispensary and medical doctors offices.

Last year, Shaw testified at the State House against

a veterans bill that would expand disabled veterans

access to medical cannabis. A patient advocate against

expanding medical access to disabled vets? Yes. Why?

Follow the money. Joining him in that testimony was

an MPAA sponsor who would most definitely lose

business at the medical cannabis recommendation

company that they own. Shaw, his group, the medical

doctor, do not disclose their conflicts when testifying.

April 2017, I reported The MPAA dry-snitching on

caregivers and traditional delivery services to the

Globe and the DPH which effectively decreased patient

access. See a pattern here yet? While the MPAA

collected money from legal dispensaries and medical

cannabis doctor offices.

In July 2019, Dan Adams, Boston Globe reported,

the same MPAA patient advocates had rented themselves

out to big cannabis in Cambridge, “To prove

the point, the dispensaries and, um, “allied” advocacy

groups bused in dozens of supporters wearing shirts

with the word “PATIENT” emblazoned on the front to

Thursday’s hearing on the dueling proposals. One after

another, they testified that the two-year delay would be

unfair to the dispensaries and made them fear losing

access to needed medicine. Some appeared to be dispensary

workers, or said they were “affiliated” with the

dispensaries.” Just this month, Revolutionary Clinics

the big cannabis dispensary in Cambridge disclosed

that they donate $1000 a month to the MPAA. That

answers our long-running question. How much does it

cost to rent the patients group? $1000 a month is all it


Maybe the patients should start up a collection hat to

get their patient group to actually represent the patients?

One can dream.

We can also dream that MPAA and their lackeys will

ever face a tough question from the big Boston media

about their lucrative, intentional conflicts of interest.

Changed the law for who to benefit? For their sponsors.

Report that story WBUR. We dare you.

And finally this week, there’s the eye-opening, LA

Weekly’s “Catalyst takes California to court over cannabis

tax rates” which smells familiar in Massachusetts,

excessive State taxation of legal cannabis propping up

the unregulated market.

Elliot Lewis, CEO of Catalyst Cannabis Co. as reported

by LA Weekly, “I want to be clear – our goal is to outline

a problem that the state has created by failing to

work with the cannabis industry on fair taxes, The cannabis

industry has the biggest potential for job growth

and good-paying jobs with tons of upward mobility

since the tech boom.”

Unfortunately, in both states, it’s being held down

by exorbitant taxation and over-regulation, both for

smaller industry players, just to keep the lights on, and

for consumers who are often economically pushed to

gamble on dangerous synthetic products and various

knock-off products from the street.

What’s different from California to Massachusetts is

that some shady Golden State operators have found a

way to pay for a license and taxes while diverting/selling

their product to the non-legal market. As far as we

know that hasn’t happened in Massachusetts yet.

Perhaps the most interesting part is that the state of

California has an economic incentive not to turn off

this illegal re-distribution, because their tax cut is


Which begs the big question, why not just reduce cannabis

taxes and start to take on the much larger market?

That would make too much sense and bring into

too much tax revenue. Is anybody in government ever

going to count the stacks they are giving up?

It’s not just a

glass, metal, ceramic

& surface cleaner.

It’s the



The Science of Ultimate Clean


A Tribute to

Frenchy Cannoli

A Letter from Mila, the Hash Queen:

I met Frenchy at a dinner, I think it was


We had heard about each other but had never

sat and talked like during that dinner and

we just talked and talked and talked.

I had arrived overland in India in '68 and I

believe Frenchy arrived in '80.

We had both gone to the Himalayas and

would remind each other of villages, Chaishops,

temples, valleys and mountain passes

we'd both crossed and the great hash we

found everywhere. And our love for places

like ManiKaran and Malana.

We had even been at the same New Years

Eve party in Goa, we figured it was in '83,

me a mother of four then and he a young

man, so we didn't really meet, plus he spoke

French and hung out with the French crowd

and I didn't. I even lived on a different beach.

But all these shared memories created a

strong bond, and we had both visited and

loved so many of the same places.

I looked at him at some point and asked

him, "Frenchy, could you ever, ever have

imagined in those years we were bumming

around India that one day you'd become a

Living Legend?"

We both looked at each other and totally

cracked up laughing, laughing at this crazy

unpredictable thing called life.


Mila sends her love!

Mila, the Hash Queen & Frenchy,

Boston Freedom Rally

Photograph by Sly Vegas


Ice Water Sieving

by Frenchy Cannoli


Hashish is a psychoactive drug made from sieving

the resin glands from the dried and cured

Cannabis flowers, which is then pressed into a

resin mass using a source of heat.

Traditional Hashish producing methods protect

the wholeness of the trichomes, which house the

full psychoactive and medicinal potential of the

plant. Hashish is not only the repository of the

wholeness of the plant but this ancient methodology

creates over fifty new and rare compounds

during the transformation that can be traced to

the live and dried plant. Producing traditional

Hashish is like making wine, collecting the ripest

fruit is only the first step of a transformation

towards excellence.

A Hashishin is a craftsperson, and as such needs

to have a deep knowledge of all aspects of the

substance they work with. Learning the science

behind the formation and development of the

terpenes and cannabinoids inside the trichomes

will help to master the craft but more importantly

leads to appreciation of the magic of this unique

gift from Mother Nature. The resin we collect is

the bibliography of the plant’s life, the Book of the


A craftsperson’s mastery of their art is also determined

by the tools they use, in our case we use

a sieve, which is “a device with meshes or perforations

through which finer particles of a mixture

(as of ashes, flour, or sand) of various sizes

may be passed to separate them from coarser

ones…”. The definition of the word clearly implies

that the sieve has to be absolutely clean at

all times, the process of separation simply cannot

happen when the perforations that form the sieve

are blocked. Less obvious, but as important,

is the ratio of raw material to sieving surface.

Working with a small quantity of material on a

large sieving surface is much more efficient than

working with a huge pile of material on a limited

sieving surface.

Hashishins the world over hunt the “melt” which

is expressed by the amount of resin formed in the

resin heads. We seek perfect ripeness and maturity,

as well as purity, meaning the cleanliness of

the trichomes collected.

In producing countries, the quality of dry-sieved

resin is largely determined by purity, contaminants

are unavoidable when working with dry

and brittle material; the more force applied to the

handling of the material the more impurities will

be created. Trichomes have a tendency to fall

easily, little agitation is initially necessary to break

the resin heads from their stalks but the process

needs to be repeated a few times, with more

force applied with each subsequent agitation in

order to collect the majority of trichomes from the

plant matter. Quality, in producing countries, is

mostly dictated by purity and not maturity.

Dry sieving is made up of two inseparable processes;

the agitation of the material and the separation

of the falling matter through the meshes

of the sieve. The incorporation of water into this

equation is a game changer.

By using water we have the ability to rehydrate

brittle material beforehand and work with plant

matter that has fully regained its suppleness. The

obvious benefit is to limit contamination of the

resin by broken leaf matter but more importantly,

the sieving process becomes two separate steps

- 1. Agitation in the machine and 2. Separation

(sieving) in the bags.

Water gives us the ability to agitate and separate

optimally without contaminating the purity of the

resin. We can now focus on the most important

aspect of resin quality, seeking the ultimate ripeness

of the resin heads, the perfect melt.

The following sieving bags sizes, measured in

microns, are available on the market; 220, 190,

160, 120, 90, 73, 45, 25. Each bag size represents

a slice of the plant’s cannabinoid and

terpene spectrum.

Frenchy & TDOG, Boston Freedom Rally

Photograph by Sly Vegas

The vast majority of modern Hashishins hunt the melt by the size of the trichomes; the smaller resin

heads range in the 25-micron size while the largest can be from 220 micron up to 500 micron. It is impossible

to separate adequately resin and contaminants in the 25-micron and the 160-micron bags because

trichomes and impurities are similar in size and cannot be separated by sieving.

The industry recognizes the optimal size of mature trichomes in a range from 45 microns to 120 microns,

73 microns to 90 microns offering the best results. It is important to note that the ideal size of trichome

development is dependent on the plant’s genetics as well. Generally speaking, a Sativa dominant strain

will have smaller resin heads than an Indica dominant, which makes the evaluation of optimal melt by

tricomes size problematic.

I would not trade the wholeness of what I call “full spectrum” Hashish (sieved together using 45 to 160

micron bags) for a concentrate that represents just a single slice of the spectrum, however “full melt” the

resulting resin may be. The melt is an important element when evaluating quality but there is more than

just the visual pleasure when experiencing cannabis resin. It is after all a gustatory experience and should

be approached as such.

Before studying the science behind the process, I did not separate my collected resin by trichome size,

and I also did not separate my washes either since the purity of the resin is not a concern when working

with rehydrated material.

Fact, a resin heads fall at the lightest touch. “A resin head is made by nature like a fruit or a leaf, and as

such falls at the end of its life cycle; an abscission zone develops at the base of the head where the stripe


Frenchy Cannoli

Photograph by Sly Vegas


cells attach to the disc cells resulting in abscission

of glands upon attaining maturity”

This simple piece of evidence was a revelation and

the key to my understanding of the dimensions of


Judging the ripeness of fruits on a tree by their color

before harvesting is difficult to do with accuracy but

collecting every separate dimensions of ripeness the

tree has to offer is actually quite simple. A first light

shake of the tree will bring down the ripest fruits; a

second shake a little harder will bring fruits that are

slightly less ripe and so on until the tree is bare.

And so it is with a cannabis plant. I wash one batch

of material on an average of eight to twelve times.

I agitate my material within a vortex of water that

applies a constant force, and so the strength of my

“shaking the tree” is defined in fact by the length of

my wash cycle. My first wash is hardly longer than

half a minute. The following washes are a minute

or two longer than the precedent and as such each

wash shakes a different level or dimension of ripeness

from the leaf matter, from the ripest to the less

mature resin heads.

My ice water sieving technique is a simple adaptation

of traditional dry sieving methodology and a

basic optimization of the tools.

The Tools:

The Mini-Washer

Mini-washers are available on Amazon and E-Bay

for $70 to $90. Do not buy a model with a pump.

You want the most basic version using gravity to

empty the machine.

These machines are not designed for cannabis resin

collection. This is most apparent in the structure of

the exhaust hose, which is made of groves that collect

resin and contaminants. This can be easily fixed

by opening the bottom of the washer and replacing

the accordion hosing with a 3/4-inch diameter

vinyl waterline and two elbows, one with a

stopper. Cut one 2” piece of hosing and a second

piece 10” to 12” long. Connect them to the elbow

pieces. Use metal clamps to secure in place.

There is also a plastic cover over the exhaust

point, which has to be taken off completely, or depending

on the washer model, the orifices have

to be cut larger so that the flow of the water is not

hampered when emptying the machine.

The vortex created by these mini washing machines

is simply the most effective agitation tool

available. It is powerful but gentle and not only

“shakes” forcefully the material but the water current

created literally strokes the resin heads from

their stalks, optimizing the process to new level.

The loose trim, nugs, or flowers are sucked

down to the bottom of the machine and into the

eye of the vortex, which spins the material in an

ever-widening circle toward the surface where

the material is then pushed towards the sides of

the machine and sucked down to the bottom for

another revolution.

For many concentrate manufacturers the standard

practice is to put the dry leaf material into

the 220-micron workbag that is zipped shut and

put into the washer. When the workbag is put

directly into the washer the agitation and sieving

process are combined, forsaking the advantage

of splitting the two processes. Loosing such an

advantage is illogical but using a 220-micron

workbag also goes against all the basic principles

of sieving. It is challenging to use a workbag

without having the material bundling at the bottom;

the matter is furthermore made worse by the

vortex of water constantly twisting the bag into a

tighter bundle, creating less than optimum sieving

conditions. It is also challenging to clean the

meshes of the workbag while processing, which

is possibly the biggest handicap of using a workbag

especially when working with live resin.

The inadequate agitation process combined with

the use of a sieve with plugged mesh holes will

affect the resin yield; a loss of resin is inevitable.

The only advantage is the protection the workbag

offers from the grinding power of the ice used in

the process.

The Sieve

I had custom-made full-mesh bags to optimize

the most important principle of sieving - the more

sieving surface available the more effective the

separation process will be.

The full-mesh Boldtbags are lighter, stay cleaner,

and are designed to facilitate water flow, maximize

resin separation and collection. They are

made from scientifically engineered material so

that the integrity of the size of the perforations is

maintained over time.

I pull my bags over separate food-grade 5 gallon

plastic buckets that have had the bottoms cut off

at different heights to allow a 2” to 3” separation

between each bag when hanging on the buckets.

These buckets become a frame that holds the

bags perfectly. The bottom of the bags do not

touch each other which allows the water to flow

easily from one bag to the next in order to optimize

the sieving done by gravity and the weight

of the water.

I generally use three bags stacked together:

the 190, which is my catch bag, the 160, which

harvests the ripest and larger resin heads (but

harder to clean to perfection). The third bag is my

main collecting bag, the 45-micron.

I use also the 25-micron bag, but separately.

All the water used in the processing is filtered

through it. Nothing is lost this way, even the

smaller and most unripe resin heads.

The Pressure rinse

I use the “Flat” setting of a garden sprayer to

forcefully move the resin material around the bag,

very much like you would card dry-sieved resin

over a screen. The gentle power of the spray

agitates the resin over the screen and separates

the heads in a unique way that offers the most

efficient separation process I have ever experienced.


The Material:

The Trim:

A Hashishin does not make quality; it is a gift that

only a grower can offer.

The more knowledgeable one is about the material

being worked with the better the process can

be fine-tuned as defined by the specific characteristics

of the plant matter, trim, nugs, flowers

and genetics being used.

Please note: we are not judging quality but material

physiognomy (outward appearance) in order

to optimize our process.

A flower for instance will take longer to rehydrate

than sugar trims, an Indica dominant hybrid like

Girl Scout Cookies can be agitated more forcefully

than a Haze without being damaged and a live

plant will require a colder working environment.

I work solely with live plants or dried material that

has been cured a minimum of three months, the

oldest material I have run was two years “old”

and the resulting resin was remarkable.

Live resin, at the peak of the plant’s flowering

cycle, has a terpenes profile made up of 120 plus

terpenes, many in minute quantities but all important

to the overall psychoactive and medicinal

properties of the resin. Live resin is very much

like Himalayan Charas; the experience is clean,

cerebral, vibrant and energizing.

I never freeze fresh material because plant matter

is made of 90% of water contained between

the cell walls. When water freezes there is an

approximate 9% expansion of the water mass,

small ice crystals are formed in the plant tissues

and damage the cell walls, which will release a

lot of chlorophyll upon defrosting. The membrane

holding the resin volatile compounds will most

certainly be weakened as well by freezing, which

is a threat to the protection of the terpenes and

the final overall quality.

Every Hashishin of every producing country with

the exception of Afghanistan (In Afghanistan the

resin is collected when the plants are dried and is

kept for months in an enclosed and airtight container,

traditionally a goat’s skin.) cures the resin

on the plant three to nine months, fresh resin is

never smoked as far as historic and traditional

evidence shows.

Cannabis connoisseurs unanimously prefer their

flowers cured and not just dried. High quality

flowers and resin needs to be cured slowly, over

a period of at least 3 months to reach its full potential.

There is a major loss of terpenes during the drying

and curing period of the flowers that is inevitable;

approximately 80% of the terpenes present in

the live plant evaporate. However, the remaining

major terpenes are transformed through a polymerization

process, which ultimately changes the

terpene profile, apparent in the olfactory difference

between a fresh flower and a cured flower.

A perfectly cured flower and resin represent the

second peak of quality offered by the plant.

Dry and cured resin is very much like traditional

Hashish; the experience is relaxing, comforting,

warm and soothing.

The Medium:

The Water:

Water is the perfect medium for sieving, while being

classified as a solvent it does not act as such

with trichomes; beyond rehydration and optimal

agitation, water is also an effective containment

medium for a product that is hard to handle when

dry. However, water too often contains sediments

and many chemicals that are not only dangerous

to consume but that could potentially weaken the

structure of the resin gland membranes.

A water filtering system is mandatory. Reverse

Osmosis (RO) systems are recommended but not

mandatory. Remember, the purity of the collected

resin is dependent to a degree on the purity of

the water source.

The Ice:

I classify ice with water because it is part of the


plant nutrients


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medium that agitates and receives the trichomes,

and for that reason the ice cubes should be made

with pure water only. Ice is actually your nemesis.

It is the only variable that has the potential to

crush and damage rehydrated material. Roundish

ice cubes are recommended for that reason. It is

important to understand that ice is only necessary

to create a cold environment that will facilitate the

handling of a product that is sticky by nature. Ice

is not a tool to break the resin heads from their

stalks. The courant of the water will do that.


The ratio of water, ice, leaf material and the

length of the wash cycle are the deciding factors

of the agitation process.

o Water is the receptacle and the

power that detaches the resin heads from their

stalks. As a principle, the more water and the less

material and ice there is, the more powerful and

effective the courant of the water vortex will be.

o Ice gives the ability to work in a cold

environment but it has to be used sparingly. Too

much ice will grind the leaf matter and hamper

the flow of the vortex.

o The material requires space for

agitation, the more space the more effective the

process, the less material the more powerful the

water courant. Simply put LESS IS MORE. I recommend

working with approximately 300 grams

at a time, less when doing live resin.

o The length of the cycle represent

the power behind “shaking the tree” to collect the

different dimensions of ripeness. The first cycle is

hardly half a minute long, it is the first light shake

that will detach the ripest trichomes.

The Process:

The Ice Sandwich:

Complete rehydration of the plant material is

required at the beginning of the process to avoid

leaf matter breakage and contamination. I initially

make an ice “sandwich” to create a cold working

environment, and to keep all my material submerged

underwater to absorb the water evenly. I

place a little ice first to avoid resin sticking to the

bottom of the machine and jamming the turning

plate. It is not pleasant to have to release the

plate manually, in ice water, even with a gloved


The top layer of ice keeps the trim submerged.

However, this requires a disproportionate amount

of ice, for that reason the first cycle of the machine

will constantly have the potential to grind

the material and create contaminants.

Different materials will rehydrate at a different

rates. The time necessary will be defined by the

specific characteristics of the plant matter, trim,

nugs, flowers and genetics. The rehydration process

takes approximately ten to twenty minutes;

the best way to assess complete rehydration is

by manually checking the suppleness of the material.

When the material is sufficiently hydrated it

will bend like a live leaf without any breakage or


The First Wash:

The ratio of water, to ice and material is disproportionate

during the first run. The excess ice will

grind the leaf. To avoid this challenge a very short

cycle is required which essentially fits into our

approach of collecting the different dimensions of

ripeness - only a small shake is necessary for the

ripest fruits to fall.

I stop my first cycle after only a few seconds, as

soon as the upper layer of ice cubes is sucked

into the vortex with the material. The sound of the

ice is the best guide. The grinding sound is unmistakable,

a deep and unpleasant “grrrrr” noise

that indicates, “Stop the cycle!” as soon as you

hear it.

The stacked buckets holding my sieving bags are

supported by a metal grille placed over a large

plastic storage container that allows gravity and

water to flow freely through the bags and into the

storage container, offering the first natural separation

in the sieving process.


The color of the water varies from fluorescent

green to a dark shade of red and purple depending

on the coloration of the plant. The water

should be cloudy with resin heads but not muddy

green from grinded leaf matter.

Rinse lightly the 190 bag with the sprayer set on


There is often a lot of leaf matter in the bag which

happens most frequently with small leaf material

(sugar trims) and is due to the need to maximize

the exhaust flow; simply put the collected

leaf matter back into the machine and clean the

bag thoroughly with alcohol if there is any stickiness.

The cleanliness of the meshes defines the

amount of trichomes that can pass through the

sieve into the collection bags.

Put the bucket frame holding the 190-micron bag

on a clean surface. If dirt or other contaminants

stick to the bottom of the bag it will end up later in

the 160-micron bag that is stacked under it.

Rinse thoroughly the 160-micron bag by moving

the resin around as widely as possible across

your sieving surface to maximize the separation.

It is important to avoid cleaning the resin of the

160-micron bag over the 45-micron bag to prevent

unnecessary contamination.

I do not collect the resin from the 160-micron at

every wash for the simple reason that there is

often little enough of it. I simply rinse and clean

the 160-micron at every wash until the last.

Otherwise, l collect the resin from the 160-micron

solely if there is simply too much of it, and it

hampers the flow of water and by doing so captures

too much of the smaller micron resin heads

in its mass. The amount of resin collecting in the

160-micron is a good, if imperfect, indicator of

quality. Large size resin heads usually indicate


Put the bucket holding the bag on a clean surface

and top it with bucket holding the catch bag so

that any flying contaminants will not land in the

160-micron bag.

The 45-micron bag is obviously the most important.

The first wash will not be the cleanest or offer

the most return, as we have hardly shaken the

material/tree, and at this stage are collecting only

the ripest trichomes, which will have the darkest


Rinse thoroughly the resin, moving it across the

sieving surface pointing the spray under the mass

of resin. When powerfully rinsing the 45-micron

bag, foam will form over the resin. The bubbles

hold all the contaminants and can easily be

pushed through the sieving surface of the bag.

Rinse until the color of the foam is exactly the

same color than the resin and gently push the

resin toward the middle of the bag in as small a

puddle as possible to facilitate collecting.

Gathering the Sieved Resin

to Dry:

Drying is the most difficult and delicate part of

the ice water sieving process. It has to be perfectly

executed so that there is a minimum loss

of terpenes and no humidity left that could later

degrade the resin stability and quality.

Drying in a Room

Room Requirements: Separate room with stable

humidity level of 35%, a temperature of 55°F, air

ventilation, shelving, small fridge.

Tools: Frisbee, dull knife, Pyrex dish, 25-micron

pad, metal sieve, metal spoon, parchment paper.

• Squeeze most of water out of the

sieving bag with your hands before placing the

bag between two clean towels to gently remove

as much of the remaining excess water as possible.

• Stretch the bag carefully across a

Frisbee and over a large Pyrex dish. There are

always jumpers.

• Scrape the resin with a very dull

knife from the 45-micron bag onto a 25-micron

sieve pad laying flat in the Pyrex dish.

• Step into your drying room with the

Pyrex dish holding the collected resin; take the


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spoon and the metal sieve from the fridge where

they had been placed previously to chill.

• Place the resin in the metal sieve

and use the metal spoon to push the resin

through the perforations over the parchment

paper. It is necessary to keep moving slowly and

steadily over the surface of the paper in order to

spread the resin evenly and as widely and thinly

as possible over the surface of the drying rack.

It is not recommended to try separating the resin

further by hand. After a night of drying, the resin

will be easier to manipulate and spread more

thinly and evenly.

• The fineness of the resin spread

over the parchment paper and the characteristics

of the resin will define the duration of the drying,

which can range from 3 to 15 days.

• The overall production is defined

by the ability to dry, in this case by the size of the

drying room.

Drying with a Freeze Dryer:

A freeze drier or vacuum oven can guarantee a

perfect drying process in approximately 48 hours.

The drying process does not limit the overall

production any longer. Since someone will ask, I

currently use a Harvest Right freeze drier.

However, we need to do comparative testing in

order to choose the drying technique best suited

to protecting terpene quality.

Since someone will also ask, I have not yet had

the opportunity to test a vacuum oven.

The Second Wash:

The excess ice from the first wash will melt to

a large degree by the time you have filled the

machine with water for the second wash; the

water ratio, ice and trim will not yet be perfect but

the grinding power of the ice will be greatly diminished.

The sound of the ice will be your guide

again; the sound should be more musical but still

a little menacing. The second wash should be

approximately 2 minutes.

The color of the water will be slightly lighter, the

water should be cloudy with resin heads but not

muddy green from grinded leaf matter.

Follow the step described in the First Wash for

cleaning and collecting the resin of the different


Gathering the sieved resin to dry will be similar

every time, please note than separating washes

on the drying rack is important, every one is a

different dimension of ripeness, unique in itself.

The Third Wash:

The machine will have almost no ice left by the

third wash. It is recommended to add ice before

filling the machine with water for a 3rd time so

that little ice remains once the machine is full.

The sound of the ice will be a gentle clinking

against the wall of the machine by now. As long

as there are a few ice cubes floating, the water is

ice cold, from that point forward add only a handful

of ice cubes at a time.

The third wash should be approximately 3 to 4


Follow the step described in the First Wash for

cleaning and collecting the resin of the different


Gathering the sieved resin to dry will be the same

process each time.

The Fourth to the Last Wash:

Add the ice before filling the machine so that little

ice remains once the machine is filled as was

done previously.

Every wash should be longer than the precedent

by a minute or two.

Follow the steps described in the first wash for

cleaning and collecting the resin of the different



Gathering the sieved resin to dry will be similar

every time. Separate washes on the drying rack.

Collect the resin from the 160-micron bag on the

last wash.

The Cleaning:

Empty the machine by hand, take the moving

parts off and rinse with water.

Clean thoroughly all your bags and tools using

ethanol alcohol.

Run the machine through a short cycle using a

mixture of water and ISO alcohol to sanitize.

Recycle the used trim to be used as compost in a

local garden.

The Pressing:

From Afghanistan to Morocco, local Hashish

smokers actively press resin glands before

smoking. The various pressing technique applied

around the world are all focused on enhancing,

as much as preserving, potency.

There is more to pressing resin glands than mere

transportation, convenience or product marketing.

It is a complex operation that deeply changes the

very nature of the resin glands, their psychoactive

and medicinal properties; an art form with thousands

of years of evolution behind it.

The various pressing techniques, always involve

a source of heat.

Scientific studies show that application of heat

converts THCA into THC. This is important because

decarboxylation releases CO2 allowing

the medicine to pass through the lungs blood gas

barrier. Decarboxylation occurs naturally with

time and temperature, and is a function of drying,

but we can shorten the process by adding more


The more heat, the faster decarboxylation occurs,

within reasonable ranges.

There is another mechanism at play however,

which indicates that we need to control the decarboxylation

temperatures carefully. When we

heat cannabis to convert the THCA and CBDA

into THC and CBD respectively, we are also

converting THC into CBN. “At about 70% decarboxylation,

we start converting THC into CBN at

a faster rate than we are converting THCA into

THC, after about 70% decarboxylation, the levels

of THC actually start to fall sharply. That of

course means that the CBN also begins to rise

and the medication is becoming more sedative”.

The transformation of loose resin glands into

a resinous form brings out the fragrance of the

flowers when breaking the membranes surrounding

the resin heads and “locks” the fragrance

and flavors into the Hashish. The terpenes are

“bound”, for a better term, in the mass with the

cannabinoids through the pressing process.

Jean-Jaques Filippi, Marie Marchini, Céline Charvoz,

Laurence Dujourdy and Nicolas Baldovini in

their research “Multidimensional analysis of cannabis

volatile constituents: Identification of 5,5-dimethyl-1-vinylbicyclo[2.1.1]hexane

as a volatile

marker of hashish, the resin of Cannabis sativa

L.“) determined that traditional hashish production

creates over fifty rare monoterpenes that can be

traced to the live and dried plant.

The resinous mass is “corrosive”, meaning that

it will gradually absorb the resin gland’s membranes

and most microscopic vegetal matter

within the first few weeks after being pressed,

resulting in a cleaner Hashish with a richer, more

complex nose and a higher quality melt.

The decarboxylation process of Cannabis resin

used for edibles, tinctures and capsules in the

U.S. can be applied to Hashish, the temperature

generally range from 180° to 240°F (82.2°C to

115.5°C) for 30 minutes to an hour.

Temperature being such an important factor of

quality, I wanted a pressing tool with some type

of heating technology that would mimic traditional

hand pressing. I settled on simplicity by using

boiling water in a transparent glass container to

harness a source of heat in the 180°F to 220°F



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range that would give me an adequate control of

the decarboxylation process while mirroring as

closely as possible the traditional hand-pressing


Pressing Frenchy Style

Room Requirements: similar to the drying room

with stable humidity level of 35%, a temperature

of 55°F, air ventilation, shelving.

Tools: Solid wooden table, an electric teakettle, a

transparent wine bottle with all labeling removed,

2 insulated potholders, oven bags (some times

referred to as turkey bags), and nitrile exam


Cut a turkey bag in four equal pieces.

Place the room dried loose trichomes or a freezedried

resin patty in the turkey bag and constrain

the pressing to a limited area by folding loosely

the bag like an envelope.

Apply the bottle to the resin inside the turkey bag.

High quality resin will start melting as soon as the

bottle makes contact; slowly stretch out the resin

like you would a piecrust. The amount of pressure

necessary is also a good indicator of quality;

the less pressure required the higher the quality.

Flip the bag over to change sides and continue to

spread the resin like a piecrust slightly wider.

Flip the bag again and press the resin still wider.

After a few pressings on each side, the resin will

fuse partially in a mass showing the lighter sandy

texture of un-pressed resin heads and often

different shades of color from light to darker amber,

especially when multiple washes are mixed


After half a dozen more pressings, the resin will

be like a pancake still showing some sandiness

but with a more homogenous coloration and texture.

Wait a few minutes to let the resin cool down. It

will be easier to snap the turkey bag off the resin.

Fold it back into a mass and place it back in the

turkey bag.

Press again with a bottle of newly boiled water.

The pressing process lasts 10 to 15 minutes and

is repeated 3 times so that over 30 minutes optimal

decarboxylation is completed. The color will

be uniform and no sandiness should be apparent

after the final pressing.

Rolling the resin into a compact ball between the

palms of my gloved hands until I have a perfectly

smooth surface is the last step of the pressing;

it is an amazing resin preservation technique

from the Nepal, traditionally done with Charas

that I tailored to my needs. I let my “Temple Ball”

rest on a drying rack for a week to ten days

before storing. The mass of resin goes through a

“chemical reaction stage” after pressing, a final

polymerization of the terpenes and chlorophyll

dissipation that needs time to “settle down” to a

less-active stage.

Finally, I wrap the temple ball in natural cellophane

(not polypropylene) put it in a glass container

that is kept in a dark and cool place for


Cannabinoids stability is influenced by light,

temperature, humidity and oxygen availability;

the choice of container and aging environment is


Most connoisseurs would agree that the aging

process helps mellow the smoke and improves

the flavors of Hashish but there is no scientific

data available on the subject. However, there is

plenty first-hand reports about quality Hashish

as old as 12 years, 3 to 5 years being common.

Like tobacco, wine, hard liquor or cheese whose

essences are enhanced by aging, Hashish cured

and aged to perfection has no rival in quality.

Frenchy Cannoli was a consultant, educator and

writer in the Cannabis industry with special focus

on hash making using traditional methods. www.

frenchycannoli.com or seen on Instagram


®Frenchy Cannoli 2016

Jerome Baker & Frenchy, Boston Freedom Rally

Photograph by Sly Vegas


Product Reviews

by John Labo

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Quality Cannabis

Is In Our Genes


Delta 8:

A Dangerous Side Effect Of Keeping Cannabis I legal

by Jarrett Ashley

“Delta-8 THC” has exploded into the market in a big

way. You can hardly go to the gas station anymore

without seeing some sort of delta-8 product. Just on

the heels of the CBD craze that spread across the

country, it seems at first glance like another win for the

cannabis legalization and access efforts. In some small

ways, it is - but is there more to it? Is it potentially a

set-back, or worse - a pathway to tighter controls on

ALL cannabis, just as the industry is starting to flourish

and spread? Is it possible that delta-8 is just the

newest example in a long line of cheap, unregulated

“legal highs” with unfortunately dangerous side effects?

With all the attention from authorities, in particular in

states with legal cannabis, it seems that at a minimum

there are some major red flags to address concerning


I know I might ruffle some feathers with this article. I

understand these products are a source of high profits

for a lot of shops out there from small boutiques to

smoke shops and vape shops in areas where the real

deal is still criminalized or otherwise inaccessible. I’m

going to ask you to consider whether it’s worth it to

know what you are selling to people or better to just

make as much money as possible. If it’s the latter, I’m

not sure why you’d read an article of mine because I

have definitely ragged on you in the past and will likely

do so in this piece as well. If you’re in it because you

care about the culture, the cause, or at the very least

the customers in the cannabis market, you may want

to know a few things about these delta 8 products and

how they are hurting, not only people, but the legalization

effort as well. With that said, let’s get into it.

What is Delta 8?

Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid.

It is present in both recreational/medical cannabis

as well as industrial hemp that the majority of CBD

products are derived from. It has been compared to the

better known psychoactive component THC delta-9

in the same way commercial light beer is compared to

craft brew. delta 8 is supposed to get you “high”, but

nowhere near as high as delta 9. Having used delta-9

products for a long time and trying a few Delta 8 products

(before I realized the downsides) out of curiosity

- I can tell you they are worlds apart. Not simply in the

level of the high but in the quality and characteristics

of it as well. There's more of a “I think I feel something

in my body” with delta-8 than the more profound “Let

me ponder the meaning of my own existence” with

delta-9, but that’s maybe for a more philosophical conversation

another time.

If all of this is sounding good to you, you’re not alone.

It sounded good to me too and to many countless

people across the country. People like my mother

who became believers in the benefits of various CBD

products and had their curiosity peaked by this new

product suddenly available to them. The switch came

for me when I was reading the jar of the delta-8 flower

she had picked up from a local health boutique. In

tiny text under the giant “THC △8” on the label, it said

“infused hemp flower”. I immediately told my mom to

stop using it and started to do some initial homework.

“Infused” meant they were adding something to the

flower and that was a massive red flag for me.

While delta-8 THC is naturally present it is not present

in significant amounts and is nearly undetectable in lab

tests. In other words, there is only an extremely tiny

amount of “naturally occurring” Delta-8 in any cannabis

plant. The amount is so small that even a field of

hemp would barely produce enough to make one vape

cartridge. So what do you do? You make it. The delta-8

THC craze was triggered when an oversupply of CBD

extracted from US-grown hemp caused the price of

CBD to drop. That’s how the market is supposed to

work by the way and it ultimately benefits end consumers

but unsurprisingly, producers began looking

for ways to turn the CBD into something more profitable.

Thus, the main source of delta-8 is CBD itself, not

CBD rich hemp plants as we are led to believe. In order

to have enough to create a profitable market, they


found a way to chemically convert excess CBD into

delta-8 through a process called “isomerization”.

Here’s The Problem

The process of turning CBD into delta-8 requires solvents

and acids. In a fully regulated, safety-controlled

market, third party lab testing would be required to

ensure that none of that was left in the final product.

However, since delta-8 is derived from commercial

hemp and is legal through technicalities, it is entirely

unregulated. There are zero requirements around

health claims, labeling or product quality/safety. It is so

unregulated that there are often not even age restrictions

on who can buy these products. Without third

party testing, the risk of contaminated and potentially

toxic end products is much higher. Sadly, the results

are already starting to come out.

According to the FDA, between December 2020 and

July 2021, poison-control centers received 660 calls

about people who consumed Delta-8 THC, almost all

of them children, dozens of whom were hospitalized

with symptoms such as erratic heart rates, sedation,

and even coma. Similarly, the CDC released a review of

emergency room visits where delta-8 THC was mentioned

as the primary complaint. The review indicated

that the vast majority of these visits (73%) were concentrated

in mostly southern states where access to

medical and/or recreational cannabis is still prohibited

by law.

Both agencies released consumer alerts concerning

delta-8 products as well. The FDA consumer alert

warns that enforcement action will be taken against

companies marketing these products in deceptive ways

and/or with unsubstantiated health claims. The notice

also lists five “Things to Know” about the serious

health risks of delta-8 THC:

1. Delta-8 THC products have not been

evaluated or approved by the FDA for

safe use and may be marketed in ways

that put public health at risk.

2. The FDA has received adverse event

reports involving delta-8 THC-containing


3. Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and

intoxicating effects.

4. Delta-8 THC products often involve use

of potentially harmful chemicals

to create the concentrations of delta-8

THC claimed in the marketplace.

5. Delta-8 THC products should be kept

out of the reach of children and pets.

Remember SPICE?

If this is all starting to sound a little familiar to you, it’s

because this has all basically happened before. Back in

2018, the FDA released a statement that included:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has become

aware of reports of severe illnesses and deaths resulting

from the use of synthetic cannabinoid (marijuana)


These unapproved products are being sold in convenience

stores and gas stations as substitutes for marijuana

under names such as “K2” and “Spice.” Use of

these illegal products pose significant public health

concerns for individuals who may use the contaminated


There are a number of synthetic marijuana products

being illegally marketed and used for their psychoactive

effects. [...] Generally, these products have been

known to be associated with adverse effects including

rapid heart rate, vomiting, violent behavior and suicidal

thoughts, and an increase in blood pressure, as well

as causing reduced blood supply to the heart, kidney

damage, and seizures.”

That’s right… Spice. If you aren't familiar with it at

all, you are probably lucky enough to have always had

access to the real thing. Anyone who has had to resort

to whatever is available at the smoke shop is probably

familiar with spice (or one of its various other names)

and probably all too familiar with the side effects that

can often be as random as they are disorienting and

uncomfortable. I once thought I did permanent damage

to my brain and might die after smoking spice on

a work break - an effect I have NEVER experienced in

almost 20 years of using cannabis.

Now, spice and delta-8 aren’t exactly the same thing.

Delta-8 is made by chemically converting CBD

through isomerization while the cannabinoids found

in spice are entirely synthetic and have no naturally

occurring counterpart. Both are created in the lab,

concentrated and then sprayed onto smokable plant


material or made into vaporizer cartridges. In the case

of spice, the plant material itself could be dangerous

to smoke but thankfully, Delta-8 is sprayed onto hemp

flowers which are relatively more safe. flowers which

are relatively more safe.

It all gets shady and potentially unsafe due to the

complete lack of any kind of oversight to the market.

This comes at more of a cost than just the potential of

harming your customers - but that alone should be

reason enough to drop delta-8 like a bad habit. If it’s

not, consider that you may be risking the entire legalization

effort by marketing and selling dangerous,

unregulated products within the context of the overall

cannabis industry. We all know there are special interest

groups that would love to reverse the course of the

recent wave of new legal cannabis laws. The last thing

we should be doing is giving them any fodder at all to

use in their empty anti-cannabis rhetoric. Especially

for a few bucks...

They only see $$$

While there are certainly people making delta-8

products as safely as possible, it is sadly impossible to

guarantee consistency and quality in a completely unregulated

space. There are a number of companies that

lie about testing or use lab results from other people’s

products to pass off as their own. There are questionable

health claims made by some and outright false

ones made by others. It can all be very confusing to

the naive consumer who is looking for a way into the

cannabis world that has been slowly opening up over

the past two decades and extremely profitable to those

who take advantage of them. So many of these companies

could care less about the safety of their products

so long as:

A) It’s legal, even technically

- and -

B) It’s extremely profitable.

Too many of these “bad apples” have saturated the

market and make a bad name for the few that are

trying to do things right and safely. It’s impossible to

name them all since they will just continue to pop up

so long as there is money to be made riding the wave.

That being said, here’s a list of brands that should be

avoided at all costs because of their very clear lack of


1. Catskill Hemp Co

2. Cloud 8

3. Cosmo

4. Delta XL

5. Earthbound Hempz

6. Miracle Leaf

7. Palm Trees

8. Puff Delta 8

9. Saliv-8

10. Straight 8

11. Turnt

12. Your Cure CBD

13. Z.E.N.

The Welcomed Crackdown

Several states have now banned the sale of delta-8

products. The most surprising thing to me early on was

that the states that were taking action first were New

York, Colorado and Nevada - all states that had voted

to legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use.

This was another sign that something wasn’t quite right

with delta-8. Then came the giant sting and consequent

shut-down of Champs in Las Vegas back in July

of this year. Undercover police, FBI and DEA agents

were present at the event. They were looking for people

selling (or even sampling) delta-8 products. When they

found them, they shut the entire event down early and

kept it closed until the next day after all vendors with

delta-8 had been charged and/or removed.

As of this writing, 16 states total have either restricted

or outright banned delta-8 products. Even in light of

all that, the battle to suppress the manufacture and

sale of synthetic cannabinoids like delta-8 and spice

has been largely ineffective. It is cheap to produce,

extremely easy to purchase almost anywhere in the US

and Europe, and virtually impossible to prevent people

from buying and selling online. But there is one way

that regulators could deter people from buying synthetic

ganja knock offs for good - simply legalize the

real thing.

A Side Effect of Ongoing Prohibition

The solution to all of this, of course, is federal cannabis

legalization. If the naturally grown cannabis, with


delta-9 THC were made legal, demand for delta-8 —a synthetic product made to meet a demand where laws prohibit

access to safer cannabis products—would vanish overnight. If and when federal legalization finally happens,

Delta-8 and all other bad-faith “legal high” products will be made obsolete.

The only reason this entire “legal high” market exists is because the safer, more beneficial products are made illegal

under ridiculously outdated prohibition laws. The insanity of the effort to keep cannabis illegal would almost

be comical if it wasn’t so terrifyingly sad to think about the ripple effect these laws have on communities across

the country. So much ground has been gained by incredible people along the way who have fought and sacrificed

far too much to have it all jeopardized now. Especially by something like delta-8 or for profits sake.

Press your local politicians or vote them the hell out. Demand legalization now!


Las Vegas Biz Con A Post Covid Renaissance.

by Roland Endblazin


Las Vegas Nevada, October 2021. The Las Vegas cannabis

business convention returns.

This planet has evolved in many ways since we’ve last

been here. Not only has the world faced a life-changing

pandemic. The Las Vegas cannabis scene has also

evolved into quite a prosperous and profitable industry.

It seems a no brainer that Las Vegas would embrace

this increasingly profitable industry that has mind

altering effects. After all the whole city was built on

welcoming people to a place that is intoxicating in

every way possible.

Why would cannabis be any different?

It has evolved and is continuing to do so. There is still a

ways to go but we’ve taken many steps already.

Although the laws have evolved and possession and

consumption of cannabis is now legal, there is still

plenty of gray area. Anyone over the age of 21 can

possess 1 ounce/28 g of cannabis flower. Or 1/8 of an

ounce/3.5 g of concentrated marijuana. Dispensaries

are plentiful so finding some thing is not a problem.

And there is some amazing quality both in flower and


Federal laws prohibit possession and consumption in

public and in any federal area which includes quite a

few places. As always be careful of your surroundings.

That being said we are in Las Vegas for a cannabis

convention after all. Although there are rules and regulations

which prohibit many things from happening,

clubs and private parties can be very cooperative in

ignoring the cannabis community enjoying themselves.

There is no consumption of cannabis allowed on the

convention floor however there is a smoking area set

up that can be a very fun area to see friendly faces and

share some smoke.

Of course sharing smoke is quite different this time

around. Most people were privately smoking their

own joints and using their own personal equipment.

Covid has turned sharing into something different but

our community will always come together to share a

session in someway.

photography by Peter Papadopoulos

And taking a break from time to time is necessary.

This convention is enormous. Spending the whole

day walking the length of five football fields takes

its toll. It is like Disneyland for anyone in the cannabis

industry. Connecting with the company that

takes care of your companies needs is right at your

fingertips. Surrounded by booths that have innovative

products and old familiar favorites that continue

to evolve, you’re sure to connect with whatever

your company’s needs are.

Top: Roland Endblazin, Mike Tyson & Floyd Mayweather

Below: Tyson Ranch x Futurola Blunt Wraps

From simple products to stocking your dispensary

shelves with the most advanced technology in the

industry, it is all here.

And you never know who you might run into.

Futurola is rolling out a new brand for Mike Tyson.

One of the new products is a tobacco free blunt wrap.

The product really does have the feel of a blunt and I

am all for the idea of tobacco free smoking.

Mike himself showed up and hung out with the crowd.

It was an amazing experience to sit with Mike Tyson

smoking a joint.

As usual, there are friends and cannabis family who

are always at these events. Running into these companies

is always a pleasure. Seeing the Snail brand rolling

paper booth I couldn’t help but go over and say hello.

Their papers are elegant and customizable to the individual

customer they represent. Their products even

feature international artists for limited edition runs.

Very cool. Generous sponsors of Terp Tower invitational,

alway welcome.

Snail Rolling Papers

Black Flies brand

glasses has collaborated

with Dutch

Lighting Innovations

to bring us a

new pair of sunglasses


for the grow room.

Black Flies new

shades will keep you

seeing everything

straight. These glasses

are specifically

designed with lenses to correct the spectrums of light

that is produced in grow rooms to give you a better,

clearer, and more accurate view of your grow room.

The high intensity grow lights are color corrected and

truly give you a completely new look at your garden.

And then there is the cool factor. These glasses are

great looking and super comfortable. Change the way

you look at the world and change the way the world

looks at you.

I also ran into a new product that is very simple but

also has a fun way of bringing color to your joints. Roll

the Life colorful tips. One of the things that make this

product different from others is the way it is presented.

Gumball sized spheres are filled with filter tips of

different colors. These spheres are all loaded into a

gumball machine and from a distance appear to be traditional

gumballs. A simple way to pick up a couple of

filter tips and making it fun as well. These gumball machines

can be filled with special spheres which could

give the recipient a prize. A very fun idea that has


Blackflys Eyewear Protective Glasses

many practical uses. And if you like smoking different

strains different colored tips can solve the problem of

distinguishing strain that you’re smoking.

This family run company was a pleasure to meet and

talk to about their product.

And after a hard day of hitting the Convention Center,

Las Vegas is prime for partying all night. Being invited

to a private party in Vegas is always special. The Wonderbrett

release party was quite fun. Their products are

available in dispensaries throughout Las Vegas. There a

new product, Black Orchard premium cannabis flower

is going to be available soon and is something quite

special. From its elegant packaging to its A+ quality

product the thought that was put into the presentation

of this product is unparalleled. After opening the box

and taking out the light filtering jar that the cannabis is

packaged in, cracking the seal brings a wonderful aroma

of this dank strain. Known for its powerful effects

this product does not let down. It really would be hard

to find something critical to say about this product.

They really got it right.

Black Orchard Premium Cannabis Flower

Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas Strip

At the end of the day we had to jump through a few

hoops and do things a little different than before. But

we evolve. And in doing so there is a rebirth and a

exciting feeling about what the future brings. With

conventions will come festivals and all the wonderful

things that we’ve grown to love throughout our lives.

Thank the universe for all the goodness that it brings.

The journey continues. Until the clearing at the end of

the path.


Roll the Life, Premium Rolling Tips


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