Covering the ultra-high end world of the cannabis biz is an exciting thing for a journalist. There are so many different facets of the business to focus on. The humble cannabis plant itself is so diverse, offering multiple uses from one seed. To be entrusted with the ability to taste and offer cohesive notes on the quality of the product is a great honor. Drilling down a bit deeper, and writing product notes, especially the ones on ultra-high-end cannabis inventions are a most subjective thing, especially to a taste maker. However, one of the downfalls of my craft as a taste maker, is that difficulty that I keep coming across in the broader marketplace. Many of the products that I’ve been given to sample are made with all great ingredients, they have to be tested multiple times for purity. I’ve found in the world of cannabis, pleasure in reviewing the 510 cart. These are pretty expensive products, and through my somewhat educated palate I aspire to give tasting notes that offer a deeper perception of their individual aromatics, effects and terroir. Recently, many of my samples have been skewed towards sweet, sweeter and sweetest, in the form of their aromatics and their overall flavor. The really sticky sweet ones do not appeal to me. It’s as if the entire cannabis community decided that all vape carts were to be sugary sweet. Pretty disappointing to someone who doesn’t make sweet drinks. That is until I tasted the oils produced by the vertically integrated company, located in San Jose California, named Caliva. “The Most Trusted Brand in Cannabis.” The two marvelously juicy cannabis oils that I was fortunate enough to taste from Caliva are the Cali OG, bursting with the earthy delights of the plant and the other beautifully designed 510 cartridge simply named Pillow Talk. Quite the provocative name for a simply designed, and marvelously topped with cool and sanitary stainless steel against my lips.
Session Goods seeks to expand your intellect, one gentle pull off their elegant glass bong at a time. But what does this mean to the consumer? Not since college, back in the early 1980’s, have I even thought about owning a bong, with most of them just too fragile and complicated for my tastes. In recent years I’ve really have shied away from this oft powerful method of imbibing cannabis. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the way they look, but more as a metaphor for their craft, instead of just getting buzzed. I just haven’t enjoyed the experience that they offer from all those twists and turns of the expensive, hand-blown glass. Every time I walk into a high-end “Head Shop” I’m always intrigued by the multitudes of intricate glass bongs, but I really have no use for one. Why? They all seem so cumbersome to use, and most are quite difficult to keep clean. I had a bong in prep school as I remember, and I think I even had a couple of them in college in the 80’s. They were nothing more than straight tube bongs, made of plastic (as I remember), with metal down pipes and harsh metal bowls. They were not well made, nor nice to look at. They leaked and made a mess in my Jeep. They would get incredibly hot, and even dirtier than the worst childhood dream realized of drinking the (unsavory) bong-water by mistake. Let’s just say that they were not the most elegant things, not something that I’m proud of in my fading memories of those years. Then, this Xmas season, I was suddenly overwhelmed by all sorts of electronic implements to smoke cannabis from. Most of these really expensive devices took concentrates, product that I cannot find in my state. They were wildly powerful, and one or two made me feel really physically ill afterwards. Not a good start when someone is supposed to review a machine that costs several hundreds of dollars, and that’s before the raw ingredients are added to the bill. So I’m careful about what hardware I agree to review, and even more careful when it comes to complex glass that requires intricate cleaning. Some glass bongs are just meant to be cleaned by professionals. I don’t have time to over intellectualize the process of cleaning my cannabis glassware, and you shouldn’t either!
HiFi co-founder and brand and communications officer Lee Henderson and co-founder Richard Vinal at HiFi Farms in Oregon.PHOTO CREDIT: SAM GEHRKE
Clean Green Certified Cannabis might not mean anything to you right now, but it should because what you put into your body should be of the greatest importance. With that said, out on the left hand coast of the United States, the thought of being and doing more than just what is necessary really caught my attention. I’ve made a concerted effort to attempt to extract the nerd stuff first and the marketing stuff way down the line. I’m always excited about packaging and the aromatics of a product, but at the end of the day it’s the way a product feels when I imbibe it. No amount of pretty labels, nor expensive swag will change my mind in this regard. It’s the finest that money can buy, or nothing at all. I refuse to cover the 9/10th’s of the cannabis business because it’s just not the very best! What catches my attention is a product that puts the health of their customer in front of the profit. Admirable is the word that describes HiFi Farms because of their Clean Green Certification. They aim to exceed the already high standards set by the USDA/National Organic Program. From a 30,000 foot level, the deep dive on low carbon footprint and good health to the earth, just make sense to the high-end consumer who wants the very best cannabis products that contribute to their healthy lifestyle.
Editor note: Recently I had the rare opportunity to share ideas on the telephone with one of the most intriguing individuals I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to in recent memory. Alex Shah is that person, and he is brimming with enthusiasm and purpose. He is highly conversational, and our interview went into all tangents, but what intrigued me the most was his passion for creativity and even cooking! It is through conversations that surround food that I find the deeper meanings in life. Not only work, but what makes us tick. And that is through the love of food. I saw, very clearly, that this man is not just a thinker. He’s a theorist and a creative being. Photography, food and life, not a bad way to work, doing what you love. It’s crystal clear that Alex is a success in whatever he sets out to do.
Editor’s Note: I first came across the MagicalButter (MB2e) machine at a party I attended several years ago. There was a novice cook turning out professional results that only a trained chef could perform, at least from a culinary perspective. Of course, the final results were infused with certain botanicals, which at that time were no more than whispers under hushed tones. The MagicalButter machine, standing stoic on the counter, whirred away nearly silently. And, that light show! What a marvelous experience. How delightful to deliciously melt away the afternoon while admiring the swirling lights, so lovely! And the end results? Always perfect.
Marijuasana Found Stacey Mulvey: Stacey Mulvey loves teaching movement, viewing it as a spectrum of energy–from yin to yang and everything in between. Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mulvey left the Mormon church at 21 in protest over its discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community, women, and minorities. Overweight and unhappy, she began practicing and teaching mindful movement in Callanetics after having an epiphany about mortality and taking control of her own quality of life. Eventually, Mulvey discovered that cannabis helps her concentrate and enhances her motivation. Upon moving to Colorado, she began teaching pole dancing at Boulder Spirals while training directly under second-generation Pilates instructors and founders of the internationally renowned Pilates Center of Boulder, the world’s foremost teacher training school for classical Pilates instructors. Mulvey continued her studies at Naropa University in yoga, painting, and psychology. After completing her coursework honing her skills in mindful and meditative practices, Mulvey launched Marijuasana where she now travels the U.S. and internationally teaching all-inclusive classes fusing the wonders of cannabis with yoga, flow, and mindfulness meditation. http://www.marijuasana.com
The market for botanically enriched, “health” drinks have exploded over the past few decades or so. There are hundreds of products on the market that promise wellness and health, but nothing could prepare the consumer for the coming wave of micro-dosed; CBD and THC liquids made specifically for wellness. It’s true! All that is required is a healthy thirst and the desire for something different. Case in point with the Monk line of drinking botanicals. This ultra-luxury line of tiny 4 oz bottles are scientifically calibrated to micro-dose just the right amount of CBD/THC to the careful imbiber. Careful because the dosage of CBD/THC is in the micro amounts- nearly undetected after enjoying the scant few sips of this ‘magical’ elixir. What each bottle represents are flavors and health-giving qualities similar to the days of the early apothecary, when fragile herbs and spicesmade their way into preparations that the pharmacist concocted to order. Not unlike the early preparations that made their way to the cocktail bar with drinks meant to heal the gut, like the famous Sazerac, or perhaps you’d be interested in knowing why Angostura is so helpful when you have a stomach ache, or are seasick? It all comes around again with the deep desire to write the first book about creative mixology that uses cannabis. There is a large distinction between non-Cannabis augmented health drinks and quality products like Monk’s Drinking Botanicals. What we have here is a modern framework, one that is more flavor-driven as opposed to effect-driven, with varieties like the brightly aromatic and refreshing grapefruit/cayenne. This delicately spicy, yet not overly sweet concoction is precise and carefully combined to offer amusement, candor and excitement into every careful sip. Careful because the cayenne element is not overwhelming, but it is right there in front of the brightly delineated richness of the pink grapefruit juice. The combination resembles a fine craft cocktail- especially with the balance and the depth of the ingredients. They almost taste as if the grapefruit was freshly squeezed and infused with the cayenne peppers.
Did you have a dug-out in high school or college?I certainly did. It was an unwieldy thing as I remember. Kind of hippy-chic- no, it was not at all elegant, the bat was made from heat conducting brass, it clogged easily, burnt my lips from the heat and left specks of resin-tar and burning cannabis leaf on my teeth. The wooden box that held my herbs, let’s just say it was far from air-tight and once the spring that held the lid on got loose, the entire ‘stash-box’ would open up and empty into my pocket (lint and all), more than my ‘bat’… Those wasted herbs commingled with my pocket change just won’t do any longer now that I’ve grown up! Enter the world of luxury cannabis implements and the Elevate Dug-Out.On first glimpse, this handy-crafted dug out is sleekly elegant. This device screams bespoke…hence, each one is engineered, by hand…One at a time. Crisply manufactured, the softly polished exterior is not a cheap tropical wood product, but one that is finely formed- utilizing the finest exotic wood available. There are the twelve ‘rare-earth’ magnets that seal the well-weighted lid to the base with a satisfying click as the magnets engage-making the entire package scent-proof and certainly nearly waterproof. There is the generous ‘stash’ container that can be filled with about a gram or more of your finest herbs, well ground of course, leaving ample room for some beeswax coated hemp wick to light your glass joint, instead of using using that carcinogenic butane lighter sitting in your hand to do this seemingly mundane task. The ‘bat’ appears to be perfectly blown by hand (mouth) with an interior shelf inserted inside the glass joint itself that prohibits the fine grains of your herbs from flowing back into your mouth, therefore burning your lips and tongue. The size of the bat is not as minuscule in dimension as the dug-out pipe of my memories. It is slightly stout in width, like a miniature cigar, and quite robust in its unique sort of manner. The glass blown joint fits your fingers easily, with alacrity. The polished dark wooden tip offers another level of overall elegance with scarcely a burned lip or tongue to be had. In fact, the very thought of burning your lips, fingers or tongue are sent way into your distant memory.
Jane West is a real person! A real mom and a real celebrity of her own hard work and never-ending, entrepreneurial efforts. Jane is effortless and cool, in a high-mountain, Colorado-Mountain Cool- kind of way- and she has Ultra-LUXURY with a uniquely feminine twist on her mind. This is an exalted place to be, in the tall seat at the front of the room, crowded by mere onlookers. Jane is at the top of the class with her gleaming line of chic and well designed cannabis smoking accessories. And she wants you to know she is different and therefore unique. There is a distinctively feminine approach to the Classic- one of the multitude of well-designed, non-antagonistic cannabis smoking experiences. This device is a true classic dug-out pipe- exceptionally modernizedfor the successful woman about town- who doesn’t want to shout when she medicates. The design of the ‘cigarette’ portion of the classic dug-out is sleek and finished with a tiny Jane West logo and flat matte finish. It does not shout, and smoking through the tiny chamber is cool and care-free. Jane West sent a Classic for review and the results couldn’t have been more wonderful. First of all, her packaging is eye-catching and crisp.
A most venerable beast, the favorite dog of the Queen of England, the Corgi Dog– agile, able, agreeable and friendly. To understand the breed, one must have an open mind because the Corgi Dog is a fast learner- but extremely independence minded. The same holds true for the pragmatic, friendly and highly ambitious owner of the new Corgi distillery located in an ‘up and coming’ section of Jersey City. If you’re coming from out of town, you’ll have to go way off the beaten path. Once there, you’ll find what appears to be a movie studio from the 1920′s. Painted an extremely dark color- the warehouse/distillery calls out to the adventurous, thirsty drinker in the midst of utter urban decay. The new Light Rail line, located beside the distillery is slowly bringing the thirsty and the curious out to the far reaches of the known universe. You might find it may be easier to take a car service out here. The turf is still highly industrialized and there aren’t a whole lot of sidewalks or casual walkers around these parts.