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Master mixologists reveal the secrets of cannabis drink recipes

The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and trees are back to swishing their leaves in the wind. It is official: summer is on the way. This means it’s time to fire up the grill and host cherished friends and family. For some, that means blending up some margs, and others may pull out the cannabis drinks.

The easiest way to infuse a gathering is to grab some weed seltzers and call it a day, but some may want to shake up their own craft cocktail for the occasion. There are cannabis bartending bibles available, complete with drink recipes and other valuable knowledge, but there’s also the possibility of creating something new.

Perhaps inspiration is growing in the herb garden this time of year or a luscious fruit at the farmer’s market tempting you to blend new flavors. Whatever the inspiration, maybe it’s time to run with it. Those who are new to mixing up a THC cocktail may be looking around for advice. Well, it’s right here.

Cannabis drink mixing advice from master mixologists

There’s no one better to give advice to newbie cannabis mixologists than the experts. Jamie Evans has authored multiple cannabis drinks cookbooks and contributed to acclaimed food, cannabis, and beverage publications. As for advice for first-timers, she’s all about leaning into the flavor.

“When crafting cannabis mocktails and other infused drinks at home, there’s bound to be an herbaceous taste,” Evans said to GreenState. “Knowing this, a tip that I like to recommend is to not mask the flavor of cannabis but complement it instead. One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating terpene-inspired ingredients often found in cannabis’s aroma and flavor profiles.”

make cannabis drinks
Jamie Evans // Photo by Monica Lo

Over the years, many edible brands and infusion recipes have worked to hide the weed flavor as if it were off-putting. Evans and many others in the weed community have shifted into a mindset that the many smells and flavors of weed are a gift rather than a curse. Flavor is of the utmost importance, but so is dosing.

Angel Belman is the beverage director of Original Ninfa’s, a historic Texas bar and restaurant that recently added the infused Tranquilita Margarita to its menu. He has learned some THC dosing lessons as he figures out how to merge 20 years of bartending experience with cannabis mixology.

“My best advice is to start with a low dose and to go slow. Pace yourself, observe how you feel, and take note as you increase consumption to have a general understanding of the guest experience while remembering every person’s tolerance is unique,” Belman said.

make cannabis drinks
Angel Belman // Photo by Becca Wright

People often want to enjoy one or two cocktails on a night out, but if it’s dosed high, that’s probably not happening. This is why Warren Bobrow, co-founder of Klaus beverages, regrets the doses in his original recipes in Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics, the first cannabis bartender bible. He echoed Belman’s advice.

“Start slow. Don’t destroy your friends. Don’t be like me. I took too much cannabis in each drink; they can catch up on you,” Bobrow shared in a brief email exchange.

The master mixologist has a point: dosing is the most important aspect of cannabis drinks. But once that’s figured out, the flavor is key.

make cannabis drinks
Warren Bobrow

Best flavors for weed drinks

Leaning into the herbaceous quality of the plant is preferred over masking it with sweetness or robust flavor notes. This requires an understanding of the terpenes and compounds in the product infusing the drinks. Learning about these aspects of the flower, syrup, tincture, or other weed product can help the novice bartender key into the flavors best paired with their drink recipe.

Once the terps are clocked, it’s time to plan the other components of the bev. Evans shared her favorite weed-friendly flavors in mocktail recipes.

“Some of the best ingredients include fresh citrus juice, tropical fruits, fresh berries, fresh melon juice, mint, lavender, cinnamon, black pepper, mixed herbs, fresh dill, and sometimes ingredients with savory, earthy flavors. All of these ingredients will blend effortlessly with cannabis flavors.”

Novice bartenders looking to get creative may want to start with a classic drink recipe and riff off of that. Earthy flavors are excellent in a bloody mary, and sweet strains would taste divine in a spritzer.

Jake Wall, chief innovation officer of Maison Bloom, recommends finding recipe inspiration in the wide world of gin. The dynamic liquor can complement many classic cocktail flavors and inventive new creations, much like weed. Gin drinks commonly use a wide range of ingredients from lavender to orange peel, vanilla pods to cucumber.

“Gin, similar to cannabis, is largely informed by the similar aromatic and taste-forward compounds that, in our flower-powered world, is where terpenes step in. Whether it is a bramble or a take on a gimlet and everything in between, look to the world of historic and creative gin-based recipes and hack them with all the best plant magic you can. You can thank me later,” Wall said.

make cannabis drinks
Jake Wall

Cannabis mixology is all about balance

Finding a recipe that uses a liquor that plays into the complex flavors of various cannabis products makes it simple to plug cannabis in place of the liquor without much flavor adjustment. However not every weed drink is going to be a play on a gin drink, and that’s where balancing comes in.

The last piece of the puzzle is the final step to balance the flavor. The infusion method may come into play here. At Ninfa’s Belman noticed the oil tincture required a sweetener like an agave because it added bitterness to the drink.

Evans also pointed out that the best start materials deliver the clearest, fresh flavor.

“Quality cannabis mocktails and cocktails begin with quality cannabis—pay close attention to expiration dates to best gauge freshness,” she said.“If the packaging dates are old, chances are the terpenes have diminished, and the phytocannabinoids have oxidized, which is not ideal when preparing cannabis infusions at home (tinctures, simple syrup, bitters). Choose the freshest products for the best outcome.”

And above all else, follow Evans’s golden rule: “Don’t mask the flavor of cannabis, complement it.”

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5 Questions Skunk Magazine

BEE WHISPERER: ELIZABETH VERNON SENSES THE VIBRATION OF THE BEES

I first met Elizabeth through our mutual friend, Zoe Wilder, a few years ago. Elizabeth’s article in High Times Magazine piqued my interest in these marvelous and essential creatures pertaining to the correlation that they hold with cannabis. It’s not just for pollination, but cannabis, in the decarbed form, works very well with honey — and in honey. I discovered this through writing my book, which utilizes infused raw honey in craft cocktails infused with THC, Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails, and Tonics.

Rather than try to explain who she is, I’ve offered Elizabeth a place to share her knowledge surrounding her love of bees and the universe at large.

Elizabeth Vernon:

It’s hard to summarize who I am. I have many interests and developed a wide set of skills and talents. I am a beekeeper, educator, fire performer, dancer, musician, entrepreneur, freedom advocate, primitive skills student, farmer, thought leader, natural healer, herbalist, content creator, digital marketing consultant, mother, wife, and all-around renaissance woman managing an online apothecary focused on natural products with real ingredients and as little processing as possible. We offer lots of apiary products as well as products that offer health benefits, but our big focus currently is educating the public on what greenwashing is and why all products, including honey, are not equal. Teaching consumers to learn to discern so that they know what to ask to get what they want from their shopping experiences.

I was originally born and raised in NYC but spent time growing up in London and eventually doing a beekeeping internship in Jamaica, spending five years living on the island as much as my visa permitted. I have traded in the city life these days, and I am currently living in the Poconos; however, to ensure people in the city have access to clean food, I often set up vending events to bring farm shares into NYC, Long Island, and surrounding areas.

In 2009, I wanted to learn how to grow my own food. By the end of 2009, I had joined a farming cooperative and wanted to learn it all. A beekeeper came to teach the group, and I was hooked. The power of the bees was evident the minute I saw them up close. Feeling their vibration, it felt like home. They provide food, their role as pollinators is critical to the world’s survival, and how they work has inspired me to keep going and put more and more energy into my work, both in business and personal growth. Continuing my education in bees, I sought out the top mentors I could find. I worked alongside some of the great beekeepers on the East Coast, Roman Oscada, Jim Kile, and Thomas Webb, all of whom have since passed on. My beekeeping experience in Jamaica made me realize that this is what I would do in life.

cannabis world news environmental sustainability image of bee hive within framed glass enclosure with Queen Bee Farmacy certificate above

The Honeybees have always shown up in a way that left not only me breathless but also people who witnessed it. The first time I went to Jamaica, honeybees covered the door of my hotel room. The housekeepers and I went to every room to check if anyone else had honeybees on their doors; there were none. Queen Bee is the name the Jamaicans gave me when I was living there because honeybees would land on me even in the middle of the ocean.

I think one of the really cool things about beekeeping is that I am always learning. I am adapting to what they need and what is best for them. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me, but the bees are the real heroes. There is always new power and new medicine to work within the hive, and I think that is the coolest thing about an apiary. We utilize pollen, propolis, royal jelly, honey, and wax. Everything they do creates a beneficial relationship with us, and that is an amazing superpower they have. The hives are always evolving, and so am I right alongside it. I am always met with challenges that help me grow. This past summer, we had a robbery; another bee colony came and stole hundreds of pounds of honey. That decimated one of our strongest hives; moments like that rock me. It took a lot to rebound and overcome that mentally and fiscally, but we did, and we and the other hives are now stronger and better prepared for it. These setbacks help us adapt to the ever-changing industry and what we need as a society.

Right now, I am seeking beautiful land to expand my apiary. The goal of this location would be to bring about an educational resource suited to meet ALL people and an alternative health care center where people can explore their relationship with the honeybees and apitherapy. We will have about 28 colonies by the end of the 2024 season and will be looking to increase that as we go. On the right property, we can better safeguard against predators, we can utilize more efficient practices to give wild bees a safe place to settle, but also create a space for education and growth at a societal level of building more harmonious relationships with the hardest working friend we humans have in the animal kingdom. This location would become the main vessel for our amazing Bee School program for kids and adults.

Bee School™️ beckons young adventurers aged 4 to 12 to don bee suits and embark on a captivating exploration of the intricate world of honeybees. Guided by expert beekeepers, children delve into the fascinating realm of pollination while engaging in hands-on hive-inspired crafts that ignite their creativity. Bee School™️ is not just an educational journey; it’s a shared odyssey that bridges generations, all set against the backdrop of nature’s blossoming wonders.

We are looking for the right investors who see the importance of the work I have been doing not only from an educational perspective but also as laying a foundation to be built on in the future of sustainability and even apiary-based tourism programs. We want people who understand the gentle relationship we have with nature and get a full-on experience in appreciating and immersing in that relationship, bringing awareness and seeking to build community. Our long-term goals would be to expand this concept into several locations, including Mexico, Jamaica, and Canada, which are the countries in which we have established business partnerships.

In 2017, I was featured in High Times magazine for my cannabis honey, which is a combination I still use to this day and one of our best pain remedies. When we first launched, there was a lot to be said about combining the forces of cannabis and honey. Cannabis Honey is one of my favorite pain relief and sleep aid remedies. Cannabis, for us, has always been a vehicle to help drive medicines into the cells both topically and internally. We’ve had customers successfully manage many painful afflictions while consulting on ways to modify their diets to eliminate the underlying causes.

It may seem like I have a lot of different passions, but I think there is an underlying motivation for service. I love to serve my community. I have a strong relationship with God, and he has always benefitted me with a great vision for my path. Whether it’s seeing the look in kids’ eyes as they experience learning or helping someone guide their business to a new level of productivity, uniting the community around farms, or just performing to share my energy with the audience, I find giving myself to service of others is what triggers my flow state and helps strengthen that relationship to God who keeps that path extremely clear before me.

Thank you.

All photos courtesy of Elizabeth Vernon

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5 Questions Articles Interviews Skunk Magazine

RYTHM REMIX: ALL THE GOOD STUFF IS IN THERE

I’m fascinated by the art of ‘pre-rolls’, primarily because I have a lot of trouble rolling a joint by hand. You would think after fifty years of enjoyment of the plant I’d have found my way towards joint rolling proficiency, but no! I’m next to inept. I say next to because of my cone making tool from Veosa out in New Mexico, but that’s not a hand rolled joint, although it looks like it is.

Truth be told, I usually don’t have the lung capacity to smoke an entire joint by myself, because I don’t have anyone to smoke with! That’s why I asked if Rhythm will be offering a smaller version of their celebrated 1 gram pre-roll, because I cannot finish an entire joint all by myself. Just wasteful for me!

There is another reason why pre-rolls are so attractive, you can taste through strains to learn more about them, without having to buy an entire eighth and finding that you don’t like what you purchased. That’s one of the key reasons to enjoy pre-rolled joints, diversity of flavors and effects.

cannabis-world-news-product-reviews-promos-image of pre-roll doobie

Sure, I could buy premade cones and stuff my own, but isn’t it more fun to try many different kinds of flower without making a large outlay of cash? That’s more like it.

WB: Why pre-rolls? Why not simply focus on your high quality flower?

Rythm: While flower is still king, the pre-roll category has been steadily gaining traction in popularity year after year. Recent data shows that pre-rolls have solidified their position as the third-largest product category in the US market, following closely behind Flower and Vape. We want to continue providing new ways for consumers to find their RYTHM, so naturally, RYTHM Remix was born to show love to the growing number of pre-roll fans. By infusing our premium indoor-grown flower with THCa diamonds, natural terps, and kief coating, RYTHM’s new line offers ultra-potent, convenient ways to consume.

https://www.headset.io/industry-reports/pre-rolls-analyzing-category-performance-sales-trends

cannabis-world-news-product-reviews-promos promotional image with categories

WB: What are they composed of? What’s in there? How did your scientists choose the concentrates? Why? Please explain what the concentrates are. Why are they important? What do they do.

Rythm: RYTHM Remix pre-rolls are double infused with THCa diamonds and kief to hit high marks in potency, and then infused with natural terpenes to offer bold & unique flavor experiences.
Our proprietary in-house isolate extraction methods allow for maximum cannabinoid infusion, without all the harshness and sub-optimal flavor profiles that can occur from other infusion methods. Our kief is sifted from only the highest-quality input material using fine mesh screens–This approach yields maximum trichome content, while limiting fine plant matter. The final output is a product that boasts high potency & smooth, clean combustion.

WB: How much do they weigh? Any plans to do smaller (.35) joints with more potent concentrates in them? Smaller is better! What’s the THC concentration?

Rythm: RYTHM Remix Pre-Rolls are filled with 1g of our premium flower. Be sure to keep an eye out for REMIX 0.5g five packs launching in April!
Available in 10 different strain profiles:
• Maui Wowie (Sativa)
• Strawberry Sour Diesel (Sativa)
• Mai Tai (Sativa)
• Blue Dream (Sativa)
• Durban Poison (Sativa)
• Pineapple Express (Hybrid)
• Watermelon Zkittles (Indica)
• Strawberry Short Cake (Indica)
• Blue Zkittles (Indica)
• Blueberry Kush (Indica)

Follow online: https://rythm.com/

Photos courtesy of Rythm

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Recipes

The Cocktail Whisperer’s Take on Spaghetti Westerns

By Warren Bobrow

Do you remember the genre of motion pictures named the Spaghetti Westerns? Do I see a glint of recognition over there? Perhaps you’ve heard of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly? Well, you may be a bit young for Westerns, but these fantastically authentic, Westerns were filmed, not in the United States, but in Spain! It’s probably a reach to imagine the actors- those faces were not American ones, but very, very European- look at their teeth for clues. At any rate, Spain is the topic of this piece, and the way that the Gin and Tonic is made in Spain, brings me back to the Spaghetti Western genre. You’re always looking for a way to bring sales forward. New ideas are hard to come by when you’re slogging through that 1000th Vodka Soda with Lemon. How boring! 

As a bartender/mixologist, it is your responsibility to make intelligent responses when your boss, owner, investor, friend, guest- whatever, and whoever asks for a Gin and Tonic. And how will you do this?

By watching the Spaghetti Westerns of course. To fully appreciate the flavor of a Spanish Style Gin and Tonic, you must first understand, deeply- the principal of Terroir. Quite simply, Terroir is the taste of the place. You must have this understanding to expand your mind, and that of your guests. Who will teach this to my guest? You, of course will now want to teach your guest about Terroir and fun. But how will I do this? Well, again it comes back to the Spaghetti Westerns. The territory that is Spain is not all Barcelona or Madrid. There are miles of canyons, deserts and open ranges that, for a film-maker is the perfect background for a Western movie. Especially one that has Clint Eastwood shooting up less fortunate foes. I’m a massive fan of Lee Van Cleef, the late-New Jersey native who also fit in to the overall scenery in a more or less- authentic fashion. Eli Wallach, the late actor who played Tuco, in the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, lived his years out, not in balmy Beverly Hills, but in New York City.  

I bring you at least from a flavor perspective to a place where Gin and Tonics get a much-needed lift. Spain is the precipice from which the Gin and Tonic takes its path. The flavors are grounded in fresh herbs. Think about the landscape in the picture that I painted in your mind from the Spaghetti Westerns. The unforgiving earth, rock and dust, no rain except for floods. A harsh existence where roaming cattle eat every last leaf of anything that grows out of the ground. Flavors like the herbs that grow in the chaparral have to be pretty tough ones to survive. Let’s take those flavors and apply them to the principal of the Spanish Style Gin and Tonic. This is an entire art form that probably hasn’t hit your local watering hole yet. It may never, unless you help. You can start by renting a Spaghetti Western to get into the spirit of creating some delicious drinks. Put yourself in the mindset of the 1800’s and use herbs that come from arid environments, like Spain! Where, coincidently they are having a Gin and Tonic Renaissance. 

Please pay attention to the world outside our fast-food driven country. You might make a couple more bucks along the way, by showing your excitement for flavor!  

Tuco and Tonic– Really a Gin and Tonic- but you get the gist…

(author’s note: my drinks err on the strong side…)

Ingredients:

2 oz. Tanqueray 0.0 – I like this drink to speak of the herbs, not of the Gin-which is bone dry

.25 oz. Very Dry Fino Sherry (always chilled, do I need to tell you?)

.10 Dry Spanish Vermouth (Opens the appetite, Spanish Vermouth is very herbal)

4-6 oz. Fever Tree or Q-Tonic

Freshly cut lime and the zest expressed over the top

Peppercorns, fresh thyme and the wood

Prep:

Prepare your Collins Glass by filling it with Ice and water to chill (set aside)

To a mixing glass, fill ¾ with ice

Add the Gin

Add the Vermouth

Add the Sherry

Mix well, rest for a minute while you prepare the glasses

Add the peppercorns and the thyme to the chilled Collins glass

Add ice 

Strain the chilled Sherry, Gin and Vermouth over the ice

Top with Tonic Water

Express the lime over the top and notch a piece over the edge of the glass

Serve with a smile

Angel Eyes- Named for Lee Van Cleef

Ingredients:

2 oz. Fluère Gin (Angel Eyes was the consummate gentleman, with a gun)

1 oz. Spanish Vermouth

1 oz. PX Sherry (float)

1 oz. Campari

4-6 oz. Fever Tree Tonic, or Q-Tonic

A few, no more than this- needles of Rosemary- you don’t need the whole branch! 

Fresh Lime

Prep:

Chill the Fluère Gin with the Vermouth and the Campari

Pour over fresh ice in a Collins Glass

Top with the tonic

Float the PX Sherry over the top

Express with the lime 

Serve

The Good, The BAD and the Ugly

Ingredients:

2 oz. Ritual Gin- definitely available in the NYC/CT/NJ area… 

1 oz. Spanish Vermouth

1 Spanish Anchovy on a bamboo stick with an orange slice, don’t mock it, it’s delicious! 

4-6 oz. Fever Tree, or Q-Tonic Water 

Dehydrated Orange round

Prep:

Chill your Ritual Gin with the Vermouth 

Strain into a Collins Glass with the Anchovy and the Orange slice inside with the ice

Add the tonic 

Drop the dehydrated orange round on top and serve 

There are three excellent ideas for really fine.  

Uniquely Spanish. Gin and Tonics 

Read More Here at

https://harmonycraftbeverages.com/the-cocktail-whisperers-take-on-spaghetti-westerns/

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5 Questions Articles Interviews Klaus Skunk Magazine

HONEST GRINDER AND WATER PIPE: EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN

Honest.. just the very word makes it all clear. An honest way to do things. An honest path in life. When things are done right, they are honestly produced.

Well designed, made up of simple parts, crisp and easy to use. Modernist, architectural and bold. Fun to look at on the desk, complementary to design. Sleek.

Easy to clean because this is very important.

Several years ago I received a Path Pipe. I wrote about that early device and kept it in my box of pipes—many, including that one are still in there. The ones that I rotate through that is. I love the Path Pipe.

I had the opportunity to review some items from a new design line from Honest. A really well designed water pipe, a grinder that looks as good on your desk as your favorite paperweight and air-tight, easy to seal and to open, glass vessels for storing your precious flowers after grinding. How did the fine folks at Honest know that I was due for a new grinder? Well, not really—but I could always use something new to play around with and the Honest grinder is super esoteric and easy on your eyes. It’s made for people who may have mobility problems in their hands, that is- very easy to turn.

cannabis world news interviews Klaus, the author's gnome and the Grinder System with an 1/8th of A Golden State
Klaus, the author’s gnome and the Grinder System with an 1/8th of A Golden State. Photo: Warren Bobrow

Responses from Honest Co-Founder, Mason Palmer:

Warren Bobrow: Are you a design professional?

Mason Palmer: One of the Honest co-founders is a product designer by background. After graduating from UCSB, we struggled to find products that fit the style of our homes as young professionals. We created an aesthetically pleasing range of high-design pipes, accessories, and more, to help folks get into their flow state, entertain, and unwind in their space. The Honest product range fits together as an all-in-one home ecosystem to enhance the experience and presentation of a sesh.

WB: What was the inspiration behind the grinders, glass storage jars and that gorgeous water pipe?

MP: We employ rather minimal design principles and stay away from embellishment or stylizing on the products themselves, for a classic and timeless visual appeal. With materials being similar to those used in other high-quality kitchen, coffee, and bartending tools, these accessories will blend naturally into your functional home environment and everyday life. Much like how many Americans have bar carts and barware, we make smokeware that is designed to be seen, rather than stashed away.

cannabis world news interviews 11 Square
11 Square: Photo courtesy of Honest

WB:  How much of a rip do you recommend? I may have overdone it!

MP: We typically tell folks to start small unless you’re a regular bong user. Although the Capsule Water Pipe may be a smaller piece, it hits like a bong. (my bad… I did overdo it!)

WB: What’s next for Honest?

MP: We’re launching Kits by April 1st, in time for 4/20! The way we think about our smokeware is almost always as a kit, so we’re very excited for these. We will have limited editions, new material options, and new products on the way this year as well. Sign up for our newsletter to find out when new releases drop.

I love the way the Honest Grinder and the sturdy Cannabis storage jars show off my fine herbs… Especially the incredible flowers from A Golden State…

I want to ogle at them, and the Honest Grinder and storage jars take their display with fashion to an entirely new level.

Cheers! WB

Follow online: https://www.smokehonest.com/

Feature photo: Grinder-hand-held, courtesy of Honest 

Read More Here!

Honest Grinder and Water Pipe: Exceptional Performance and Design

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Articles Interviews

One for the Road: Talking Cannabis in Bars & Restaurants

Bar & Restaurant News is introducing a number of new content pieces in 2024, including Polls, From the Editor, and this column, One for the Road.

In this monthly column, we ask a question about a theme or topic covered during the month, and industry experts weigh in with opinions, advice, and real-life experiences.

For January, we’re revisiting cannabis in the on-premise industry. If you missed our deep dive into the topic, check out “Welcoming Cannabis into the Bar & Restaurant Industry.” We asked some industry experts: 

Do you think cannabis consumption and/or cannabis-infused food & drink will find its way into more bars and restaurants in the future?

Warren Bobrow

Warren Bobrow, CEO & Co/Founder of RTD THC-infused cocktails Klaus the Gnome, Inc.

I wrote the first book in the world on infusing cannabis (THC, not CBD or hemp) into craft cocktails of my own invention. As a master mixologist, former rum judge/ former day drinker, and now the creator of Klaus in California, I have some very defined thoughts on the addition of THC to food/drink. 

I believe that you will start seeing those ubiquitous hemp-infused seltzers around in places where it is permitted by law. They are pretty uncomplicated and very low dose, more akin to a light cocktail or a mocktail in strength, which means you probably won’t feel very much of anything. [It will be] similar to the addition of the CBD craze in craft cocktails a few years back. You can’t feel anything with CBD, there is no buzz whatsoever, but I digress.

If you are looking for a THC edible or a cocktail with THC in it, I’m hoping these will make their appearance sooner rather than later. But everyone has different metabolisms, and eating cannabis can be problematic for some people. Care needs to take place, especially when mixing alcohol and THC. I should know a bit about this topic!

I’d love to see the combination of food and cannabis-infused craft libations like my own alongside a carefully prepared meal, or even tacos!

Read more here at Bar and Restaurant! https://www.barandrestaurant.com/operations/one-road-talking-cannabis-bars-restaurants

Categories
5 Questions Articles Interviews Reviews Skunk Magazine

Just under 36 hours in the snow encrusted shadow of Mt Shasta- A Golden State; My Observations

My soundtrack for this very short journey was some inspirational music for me, attached below. It followed me throughout the trip as part of the framework for my writing these observations. So, indulge me with a listen to my friend DF Tram while you read my words.

I find that his imaginative explorations work with my visual and emotional interpretations of that elongated day and a half in Redding, California. This music influences the sky and my dreams, and that looming, snow-covered mountain is where the water used to nurture the plants really comes from. https://canopyofstars.bandcamp.com/album/the-upsweep 

The Spiritual Guides

cannabis world news product reviews promos photo of Nishant Reddy if Golden State

Nishant Reddy and his crucial EO, Leslie… took care of everything just perfectly as I, too, worked as an EO for decades, and I understand the pressure. It’s hard work, and she does it with alacrity and deep humility. Everything was perfect in my vision. From the sounds of the birds outside my hotel room balcony (I left deep/snowy winter in NJ, so having my door open and letting in the sound of the birds gently waking me after a long flight from NJ…To the first wake and bake of the day, inhaling a micro joint of A Golden State with the freshness of the mountain air surrounding my head. Those little joints of Woods — appropriate somehow being up in the mountain forest — this is what I enjoyed first thing in the morning — a pleasure and an honor. Then, a real mountain breakfast with far too much handcrafted food; each glimpse around me was of freight trains going by (lots of trains) and the metaphor for my journey, the omnipresent snow-covered mountains that encircle this magical place. They are the reason why I am here. The water that melts down off Mt. Shasta is life-giving! It’s amazing! I experienced much visually during my visit, both inward and outward. Smoking cannabis of this quality from A Golden State, at their elevation, really was a pleasure. My interactions with the terroir were punctuated by the ring of snow-covered mountains spilling their visual secrets whenever you gazed up. 

Thank you for allowing me glimpses of your world. It was just perfect. 

A Golden State… Wow, what you have achieved here is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and I get around the world. Is there a term for ultra-craft? I hope so because of what “Bear” and Nishant have achieved with a cast of artists — all striving for a canopy of dreams… It’s striking for me to view the inner vista. The Aboriginal people call it the Dreamtime. When I’m around thriving plants, the energy from these creations fills my brain for lucid dreaming later on — the scent, the visuals, the feel, the conversation. It was a university course, condensed down to a couple of hours. I could have spent all day asking questions with just observations. Lighting from below, the side, on top, hands giving energy and taking the experience to another level. Like the great masters of art, cannabis of this complexity is not manipulated. There is a purity that oozes off each densely textured inhalation.  

The Resin

It was that sticky stuff, and it was all over my fingers and surrounding my head. I couldn’t even focus my Leica; the lens was fogged up anyway from the room’s inner rainforest terroir (forest floor and almost visible droplets of humidity experiment), nor my iPhone, because my beforementioned fingertips were stuck together from that juicy bud of Lemon Creamsicle smeared all over the lens. The plethora of dazzling LED-lit plants that surrounded me was gluing up my nostrils with their perfumes and my glove-covered fingers with their gummy juices. The air hung weightily in my head and fingers, coated with a certain lifegiving sap. Pan Asian spices like cardamom and bursts of Thai Chilies stung the inside of my nose. The rainforest-like humidity made my usually comfortable wool socks dripping sweat buckets. As I walked around each plant, drinking in her energy, I realized that it wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I wanted to spend the rest of the day in there, like in a friendly steam room located inside a country club. In this case, the rooms filled with thirsty bushes of perfectly hand-tended flowers. Just gazing at each happy plant and marveling at the sticky stuff that was suspended in each breath, the aromas literally coating my glasses with ebullient plant juices. 

It was ironic, but as I was searching for a way to keep my fingers and everything else from sticking together, my spirit guide on the personal tour recommended that I “run my fingers through my hair.” Hmmmm. Why, I wondered. As if on cue, the explanation given to me was perfectly simple. The oils in our hair dissolve the cannabis resin nearly immediately. Just one more thing I learned about the plant. No soap and water were needed, and that effusive perfume of their juicy strains enveloped my airspace in her sweet/gassy aromatics of the opulent cannabis varietals. 

I want to wear the myriad of her olfactory-pleasing perfumes as my cologne all day long. 

The Grow

Each room is consistently tended to, from the top down to the absolute bottom up. The air smells clean, and everything gleams like the first day the system was installed. Each grow room is different, with micro-experiments held right within their more traditional approaches. Metrics are essential, with vast amounts of data brought into the grows. Each room is a consistent experience in these metrics as they reference and compare certain observations. Constantly day in and day out, hour by hour, pressure, humidity, temperature, light, dark, watering, feeding, testing, and retesting, hand watering, weighing, spoken kindly to, I think it matters…. I’d hoped to have music played for the plants. I’m sure they’d enjoy some of the Upsweep. 

In the end, it’s all about her, the plant. She is carefully hand-tended, and it is grueling, nonstop work. She rewards this completely mind-numbing activity by offering a deeply Zen experience that requires profound patience. What it really requires is a sense of swiftness because there are thousands of plants to tend to. Each plant is essential and equally important to life itself.

The Mantra

Starting at the bottom is not working as a plant-touching person at A Golden State; there are many steps to take before the plant becomes the primary focus. It really becomes an intonation or a mindful activity in the grand sense of the word because there is always something to do in the care of the facility and the cleanliness of everything within. Perhaps the explanation for this, my explanation, lies in the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which should be in their welcome new employee kits, as this book might help in the nature of their work. I’ve been to grows all over and this was the first one that I wanted to hook up an electrical current reader to the plant and listen to the sound of the good energy that flows through each flower. Aside from the technical stuff, this is an organic plant that just feels good to be around. If the entire universe was in a microcosm of cannabis scent, each sniff was coating the inside of my nose and filling my head with all sorts of canna-driven possibilities. 

I couldn’t wait to taste what was waiting for me later back in my jacket pocket. A Golden State grows some of the finest cannabis I have ever savored. True, I am well-traveled and have enjoyed many a fine grower’s special home stash… Without factoring in the basic premise that I couldn’t possibly have tried everything, of course, in the fifty years I’ve appreciated the plant. What A Golden State does is profoundly unique due to the relentless determination exemplified by every team member from the bottom up — from the flower trimmers to the master growers. They clearly love what they do, and it shows in every essential task, from vacuuming out an entire room and breaking down each part of the air-conditioning to the dehumidification units to the combination of lights to their very placement, vertically, horizontally, and from above and below. It’s all an encyclopedia of the plant and how to do better by her.

My observation? This is a deeply crafted project. Sure, they want to be perfectly efficient, but patience is absolutely a virtue. Their positive methods are many, and each experiment is meant to emulate something greater than it was prior. How else do you learn? And my favorite strain? Empanadas Diez… the sense of elation is paramount to me. I get things done. 

cannabis world news product reviews promos front of cannabis dispensary building

The effort that goes into every 1/8th of an ounce glass jar from A Golden State is not just physical; it’s a deeply emotional experience. Each cultivar is an involvement in the anti-stoner experience. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I got plenty “high.” But cannabis, on this level, does more for me than just being obliterated. It opens my mind and forces me to think about what I’ve been experiencing in life. My thinking offers a certain clarity and intellectualism. I don’t feel like I’m going to be sleeping; I want to create beautiful articles.  

A Golden State’s THC levels are lower than most, and that’s a really good thing. I’m on the record, and I want to reiterate again that ultra-high numbers from THC cannabis do not help me from a medical standpoint. They just don’t reduce my eye pressure. It doesn’t do anything but give me a headache; it’s no fun when using medical cannabis for a specific purpose. What the strain named Empanadas Diez offers is just right for me. A coating on the backside of my brain. Lagniappe is my description. A little something extra.  

What A Golden State has achieved through its commitment to the uncompromising equilibrium of craft cannabis to commerce in the macro sense is exemplified in its purely noble approach to the plant. What I initially envisioned as something more mechanical in nature was immediately dispelled by the fact that this ultra-craft cannabis grow exists because of exemplary reasoning. The details and attention shown to every plant in the rooms are utterly mind-blowing. 

Sure, you can robotically mechanize a cannabis grow; I’ve seen it and wondered how the plant likes being manipulated in this way. But why would you when every plant in every room at A Golden State is loved, every single day, around the clock? Day in, day out. It’s their life work. 

If they were glass blowers, I’d be watching them hand-pull fragile Murano glass. It’s that level of expertise without fail because they are dealing with extremely expensive materials. Cohesive, behavioral, consistent perfection in everything they do in the life-cycle of the plant, from popping seeds to packaging the flowers, it’s all done right here. 

If you can’t do the best, don’t do it at all. At A Golden State, they have achieved something very distinctive through what appears to be an intense, laborious series of mind-numbing exertions. Tending their vast myriad of miniature and fragile seedlings right down to the elegant, finished product, all by hand, is arduous work taken on with a profound desire and even empathy. Their work is mindful, and their jobs can be deeply fulfilling on an innate level. Something that craft cannabis allows us to experience that special feeling I felt. 

What A Golden State has achieved in craft cannabis is very different from the corporate cannabis machine, which unfortunately shows very little finesse, so we won’t be discussing that genre! 

 The art of craft cannabis shows in everything they do, from their pastel “California Desert” hue packaging in the slender little tins containing tiny hand-filled joints to their handsome glass vessels sitting in tiny cutouts inside their thoughtfully designed packages. Each is devised to eliminate any lateral or vertical motion that may damage the unsullied, hand-trimmed flowers. And the end result? That’s for you to experience. 

Seek out A Golden State and see what their eloquent purpose brings to you. I think it is very special, rare, pleasurable, and intensely transcendent.  

cannabis world news product reviews promos dispensary with display

Their Brand New Redding California Dispensary 

Located just around the corner from the Redding Airport is their brand new flagship dispensary/grow. You’ll need to see what they have accomplished; it’s essential to your gourmet cannabis edification. 

They’d love to see you at the dispensary, and the warmth that is emulated in the room is not just something you can see. It’s something you feel inside. Rest your legs awhile on the sumptuous couches and savor the stylish architecture of the building. Enjoy the view of the fully scaled cannabis grow situated just behind large windows facing the equally large windows fronting their always-changing streetscape in a very safe area of town. 

I’ve never been in a facility anywhere in the world that looks as visually beautiful as this facility. It’s organic in style and peacefully designed, yet vividly lit from the inside. A blazing series of LED lighting arrays. They are immediately punctuating your entire visual experience. The plants growing behind you are oozing with green, purple, orange, and white flowers. Others, in their trimmed state, are displayed in jewelry cases, set prominently on the broad, modern mountain-designed stone counters with roughhewn edges reminiscent of George Nakashima wood tables, yet fabricated by local stones- are interactive and demand your touch. Shopping is encouraged, or just let the friendly and deeply competent budtenders personally guide your canna-centric experience with gentleness. Their verbal anecdotes and canna-vision are pleasant and non-sales pushy. That get ’em in and out in five minutes or fewer minutes just doesn’t exist here. You are encouraged to come as you are and enjoy the views, either outside or inside. I loved both because I’d never experienced a dispensary with a full-sized grow just behind. Sure, I’ve been to Colorado and Oregon, where there were micro-grows of a couple of plants in the shops. But this was a completely full-scale operation, with no messing around with it just for show grow. The space is pristine; they are always cleaning and hand-tending to the plant. This is what is always going on in the background. The plant is what is important here, with the visionary plants from A Golden State guiding my dreams. 

The store itself is visually more akin to a high-end NYC design shop, reminiscent of the Museum of Modern Art store in Soho. A Golden State has achieved another arrow in its quiver with its non-obtrusive design. The plant in her glory is presented in large glass cases. The lighting is soft, and the color palate is earthy and calming. The entire length of the dispensary is punctuated by large glass windows facing an LED-bathed professional grow.

 An experience in architecture, light, the giant windows gazing into another dimension. A fully in action, craft cannabis grow. Very impressive indeed. 

May I have another twenty minutes? 

Thank you to Nishant Reddy, who helped me go further emotionally on this trip than I thought possible at this time of my life. Nishant redefined my enlightenment by offering something tangible in a manner I’d never experienced before. Remarkably, I was open to being taught because I truly know nothing about this purely craft side of the cannabis business, and each visit to A Golden State going forward is with full mindfulness and thirst for future knowledge.

My soundtrack from the auditory artist, DF Tram. https://canopyofstars.bandcamp.com/album/the-upsweep 

https://www.agoldenstate.com/content/flagshipretail

Photo Credit: Warren Bobrow, except for the photo of Nishant Reddy (Courtesy of A Golden State)

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Digging Deeper into Joe Castelo, Founder of The Station Dispensary


I first met Joe Castelo a couple of months ago in Hoboken, NJ, and at that time, his company had just opened their gleaming new cannabis dispensary. In a mid-1940s-era imposing edifice of a former office building, located just across the vast expanse from the NJ Transit/Erie Lackawanna railroad and ferry complex, Joe has forged himself a bulwark to his neighborhood. This area is teeming with potential customer-friendly businesses… Namely, banks, bars, restaurants, and commuters. It’s always busy down here for a reason. You are forced by necessity- There is the river on one side, the roadway, and the rails on the other. Thousands of potential customers stream by his front doors hourly on their way to the immense corporate canyons located just across the Hudson River. These potential customers live nearby or further away, but they all share a common task. They walk right by his front doors.

But a dispensary does not make a man, just like a building does not make intellects from mere plaster walls. But fill this building with thinkers and fellow consumers of all types working towards many goals, both creative and practical; then you have a better picture of what Joe represents to me: that’s someone who can teach me something without effort. He took me on a personal tour of his corner location, making sure that I saw the crown on the head of his building. The top floor, with the most commanding view of Manhattan, is located just beyond the river. It’s an impressive space with floor-to-ceiling windows on all the sides that matter; facing the glitter of the City is a good start. It looks like a place where some serious thinking and entertainment go on. The view is that striking.

After a couple of hours of wandering through the building and listening to Joe speak of the myriad of projects he’s contemplating and currently creating- a renaissance man for certain is riding the elevator with me. Made my day for certain.

Humble, kind, and a natural teacher, Joe Castelo wants you to know that he’s from Hoboken. Not a carpetbagger investor from New York. That’s cool, Joe. I, too, was born and raised in New Jersey, maybe not in a vibrant city, but on a farm…. I never thought I’d see that day that cannabis would be in Hoboken. You give me deep hope for change in our state.
Cheers!

WB

cannabis world news industry business interviews image of old brick building

Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you now? What about your new dispensary? Where is it? Please tell me about it.

Joe Castelo: I am a restaurateur, filmmaker, cannabis entrepreneur, father, and husband who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey. My family has been in business in Hoboken for over 70 years. I truly love this town of firsts (and Hoboken is known as “The City of Firsts!”) —from the people, the Hoboken community, and how the close proximity of family, friends, business, and fun always keeps me in a creative and connected state. Because it is a mile-square city, you are always within walking distance of anything you love, and you are never too far from anyone. And we’re here to serve at The Station (86 River St.), with the best cannabis New Jersey has to offer. Our dispensary sits right outside the storied Lackawanna Train Terminal and NJ PATH station. There is a tremendous amount of foot traffic, so we anticipate being a convenient stop for commuters, Hoboken locals, and those picking up cannabis on their way into the city. Our staff has decades of combined experience in the industry, and they are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about sharing that knowledge.

WB: Why cannabis? What brought you to the plant? Do you remember the first time you imbibed? Who turned you on to cannabis?

JC: I was brought to cannabis because it has the power to heal and motivate introspection, personal growth, and creativity. It transforms and provides quality of life, not only to individuals but now economic benefit to communities. The first time I imbibed I was amongst friends and the first thing I noticed was just how curious I became about so many subjects—music, art, existence—and how much I laughed…and I love to laugh. And the stigma and fear that was generated around the plant was distorted for so many reasons. I had friends who were persecuted because of their use of cannabis, and I’ve witnessed so much injustice against cannabis users, and none of it made any sense. Who turned me on to cannabis? I suppose it was Donald Sutherland! I somehow managed to watch Animal House as a kid, and Donald Sutherland played a weed-smoking philosophy professor. It was the first time that I’d ever seen anyone smoke cannabis. It seemed like a very pleasant experience, nothing negative about it, and it didn’t seem like the stigmatized experience that everyone else had described it to be. Like other scenes in movies about alternative culture, I knew this probably had to be the truth. I loved independent films, and there was always some aspect of cannabis culture represented in movies; that’s where I think a lot of people were educated over time about the plant. And it was what made it appealing to me.

cannabis world news industry business interviews inside of dispensary

WB: Please tell me what your six and twelve-month goals are.

JC: In six months’ time, I’d like our dispensary to be a vibrant hub for the community. We are hiring locals and giving a percentage of our sales to charitable organizations in Hoboken, including the Boys & Girls Club, a charity that I am personally very passionate about. If we can also educate about how to implement cannabis into a healthy lifestyle, that would be an excellent outcome in the next six to 12 months. I’ve already done this to great success with a relative of mine who was unable to sleep and was forced to turn to Ambien. She was having a very negative experience with traditional sleeping medicines, and it was adversely affecting her health. Once she switched to a very easy-to-take Indica lozenge, she began sleeping soundly every night. Simply amazing. Beyond the dispensary in the next 12 months? I’d like to find more time to connect with family and nature, hopefully at the same time. And to find more energy! It is out there somewhere…

WB: What is your passion?

JC: My passion is staying connected and growing with the people that I care about and the community I live in, Hoboken. Being useful, being a part of a community of people of character who inspire me to get better every day. I really enjoy working with people who love to collaborate and create and are driven by a common purpose: to build something that will make people’s lives better. With our hospitality group, our members’ workspace, and countless cultural events, I’ve seen the positive benefits of having a place where people can come together, develop friendships and business connections, and generally expand their personal horizons through art, music, food, and communal events. And our dispensary will be part of that experience.

All Photos Courtesy of Joe Castelo/The Station

Essential link: Joe placed it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4eS2SceeFk

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FIVE CRISP QUESTIONS WITH TEDDY BANG, CEO: CALI FLWR FARMS

The other day, I was perusing through some emails that I hadn’t dug into yet- and I saw one from a guy named Teddy Bang. It was quite forward, actually… He was asking me to interview him.

I replied that it had been a while since someone asked me to interview them… Usually, it’s the other way around, with me doing all the pitching. And that’s ok because it’s nearly impossible for me to find all the best… Because I’m seeking something intangible.

“Sir Warren,

My name is Teddy Bang, and I’m a cannabis owner and operator in SoCal. It’d be great to chat and maybe do a 5 question article or fun piece. There are lots happening, developing, and market patterns and insights I could share that could interest you and your audience- like how we can make something work or happen.

Teddy Bang | CEO and Operator
Cali Flwr Farms MHPC | Distribution + Manufacturing
Cali Flwr Farms | Dope Town | Viva Sativa | Sofa King”

This was the letter; how could I resist?

But getting back to Teddy’s story. It’s pretty clear that he’s doing what he loves: working with the plant. In ways that seem to fly in circles, I’ve not yet surveyed in my path. And no, I hadn’t heard of him, not yet anyway. But I think that’s going to change… Thank you, Teddy, for reaching out to me and putting your creativity and craft on my radar. I can’t wait to do a ‘tasting’. Cheers! WB

cannabis world news interviews caricature of Teddy Bang, CEO: Cali Flwr Farms

Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you located now? What have you been working on? How did you get to where you are today?

Teddy Bang: Highly educated and have a medical degree- but I sell weed and build brands in Southern California. Born and raised LA, California boy- all the licenses and warehouses are in the Valley or North LA, I live down in South OC- on a beach in San Clemente. I am building a team and culture that can stay calm and positive in a super volatile unknown marketplace- high level. Low level, we’re always trying to stay net profitable and especially create new customers- that’s a big problem. There are too many licenses and not enough consumers. Always looking to learn and get better every day- I’ve found surrounding yourself with good quality people and no bitching or complaining, just focusing on what you want. You are defined by the problems you can solve.

WB: Why cannabis? What did you initially want to be “when you grew up”?…. Tell me about your company (s). What do you do that sets you apart from your competition? What makes you better?

TB: This is personal. For years, I would tell my teenage daughter you have to be passionate, and you have to be purposeful and live the truth of your soul- and one day, she flipped the script and asked if I thought selling medical devices was my passion and purpose, and the answer was no. The things I loved were surfing and cannabis. I reached out to Kelly Slaters’, a pro surfer, wave pool company and got knee deep and realized shit, this isn’t passion, you aren’t surfing that wave every day. It’s emails, meetings, and ex-corporate guys. So, the second one, cannabis- it was going legal in California, and I decided this was it, I’m going for it. Growing up, I wanted to be a playboy photographer, for obvious reasons, or bongo rockstar, because growing up in LA in the 70s, being a rockstar was that bitchin lifestyle- playing by your own rules.

cannabis world news interviews black man with hands handcuffed behind back, with cops arresting him, and business logo

Our companies are dope; we have a lot of fun, a lot of respect, and a great crew. We’re building brands, integrating with the farm, making the whole operation net profitable and reproducible. We don’t pay too much attention to our competition; we just go out to the marketplace and talk to our customers and dispensaries- we hear what problems they have and build solutions around that. We have boots on the ground every day and strong pulses on the market. My partner, Antione, and I will spend 30+ hours a week on the road delivering and talking to dispensaries and customers, what other company has their head operators in the stores, on the ground like that every day. It’s just old-school hustle paired with some serious soul. This is hard to beat.

WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals? How do you anticipate getting there? Do you have a mentor? Did someone teach you?

TB: We are so in the moment, we have some big visions but its fluid. Ultimately, we want to be net profitable, have fun, make sure everyone is passionate and the culture is tight, and bring as much reproducibility as we can- just solve problems over and over. Our team is the vehicle to get there; it’s all about the culture, communication, love, and kindness. No one gets irritated when someone makes a mistake. The team just jumps in and helps- no blame. Tik Tok is my 2024 mentor, the algorithm knows what I wanna hear and when I want to hear it. But overall, I have always been a slow learner and have to figure it out myself- still, till this day, I like to figure out the problem or system before handing it off to someone, just because I don’t ever want to ask someone to do something that I am not willing to dig into or do.

cannabis world news interviews Cali FLWR Farms logo on indoor cannabis cultivation operations

WB: What is your favorite kind of food? Restaurant? Where? Do you cook? What do you eat for lunch?

TB: I eat basic whole food, nothing in boxes with weird chemicals that I don’t know what they are. I cook lots of steak, chicken, lettuce, carrots, vegetables- real basic foods and just add salt and pepper. Sugarfish is the go to celebratory spot, sometimes Miley Cyrus meets me there… Okay, only one time we were there at the same time…
https://sugarfishsushi.com/

WB: What is your passion?

TB: My passion is passion. I am a very soulful person; I love what I do. I love to listen to people talk about things they love and see the world through their eyes, and build a connection with people built on genuine acceptance. I also have two beautiful dogs, and a passion project is to make sure they just have the most dope, peaceful life possible. Which usually includes daily beach trail walks, ocean swim sesh’s and many, many fetch hours in the park.

For more cannabis industry insights and breakdowns, follow cali_dopecrew on Instagram

Photos credit: The black and white cityscape, sunset swing photo, LA mural, and arrested photo; Norman Schwartz 

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THE ART OF CANNAGAR SOLUTIONS FROM KELLY ANDERSON

Cannagars. Just the very thought of the word stimulates my taste buds: hand-built using the finest flowers, adjuncts, and elegant covering wraps, like rose petals, rice paper, gold leaf, or even hemp.

I think of all the truly gourmet cannagars I’ve tasted over the years and wonder, can I do that? Well, the short answer is yes. I can. And I have. Maybe not as finely detailed and potent- as a Made in Xiaolin Cannagar, or a Leira Cannagar handmade and dipped in pricy gold leaf, or even those fantastic Bull Run Cannagars that I had a couple of years ago. With the right equipment and patience, well, I can do it, too. However, I’ll need a really well-made form. Something built for the job. A professional cigar mold made from specially sourced materials. Something that won’t warp nor break easily. What I need to craft a cannagar are carefully constructed forms honed with aircraft-quality-grade aluminum from the nearly ten-year-old company named Cannagar Solutions. These are the creations of Kelly Anderson, who came to cannabis later in life, as you’ll discover shortly. But it’s never too late, and the invention that I have sitting in front of me has earned a well-deserved trademark. Kelly is doing something others have attempted, but none of the others have yet to be as artful nor as crisply.

Please allow me the pleasure for you to meet Kelly Anderson—inventor of the Cannagar Solutions Cannagar mold/press.

cannabis world news interviews commentary Kelly Anderson, owner of Cannagar

Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself. Why Cannabis? Where are you from? Did you enjoy the plant growing up? What was your first experience with a cannagar? Who smoked one with you? Where?

Kelly Anderson: My experience with cannabis is limited to the past ten years. Initially, my exposure to cannabis came from individuals around me who used it to alleviate various ailments. Witnessing the positive health effects it had on them sparked my interest. I suffer from severe sleep apnea, and I had at the time been relying on prescription medications to sleep. My health would deteriorate into other issues when I didn’t get good sleep. In addition, I was concerned about becoming dependent on these drugs and sought an alternative. I decided to give cannabis a try, and I was pleasantly surprised. The first time I used it, I had the best night of sleep I had ever experienced, without any negative side effects like those associated with sleep medications. This positive outcome led me to continue using cannabis, and I have successfully eliminated the need for prescription medications. During this period, I was also involved in creating wooden cigar molds and collaborated with a prominent influencer to modify them for Cannabis Cigars. As our product line gained popularity, we eventually transitioned to using more refined aluminum molds.

cannabis world news interviews commentary woman standing at table with Cannagar products

WB: Please tell me about your company. What do you do differently, i.e., better than your competition? How long have you been working towards your success?

KA: We are thrilled to have developed the molds and processes for creating Cannagars in a more sophisticated manner just over nine years ago. Our company is the exclusive holder of a patent for both our molds and the process of making Cannagars. It’s quite noteworthy to be one of the few companies with a patent for a product specifically designed for the Cannabis industry.

Shifting from our wooden molds to aluminum ones, we aimed to create a highly versatile product line that could be expanded and had interchangeable parts. Our primary focus was on providing high-quality products, offering commercial-grade performance, a wide range of options, and a dynamic product line that could be adapted by anyone.

We provide seven different gauges and three lengths in our offerings. Our entry-level mold consists of two slots. If you desire more slots or larger sizes, you can simply purchase an additional mold and a new tip, allowing you to create different sizes or molds with additional slots. For customers who require even more slots, we offer inserts to expand the mold. Many of our clients have molds that can accommodate making 60-70 Cannagars simultaneously, eliminating the need for them to purchase new molds and simply opting for inserts instead.

cannabis world news interviews commentary cannagar case, buds, and cannager in ashtray with lighter

Considering our aim to cater to commercial needs, we ensured that our molds were easily sanitized and capable of withstanding the demands of commercial usage. As a result, we chose aluminum to be our standard material. Our packing tool, featuring a steel shaft, can be adjusted to any gauge size by simply unscrewing and replacing the tip. The packing tool also boasts a large ball at the end, which ensures a comfortable grip.

Unfortunately, many imitators in the market make use of plastic or 3D-printed molds, which are considerably inferior. While they may be suitable if sanitation or durability are not concerns, we frequently encounter customers who switch to our products after experiencing failures with cheap molds. Finally, we take pride in our prompt responses to customer inquiries and our commitment to shipping out orders as soon as they are received.

WB: What obstacles stand in your way to succeed? Do you have six and twelve-month goals? What are they?

KA: Everyone involved in the Cannabis industry is aware of the significant difficulties in marketing and advertising. We are no exception, as it poses our biggest challenge. Social media platforms often restrict content related to paraphernalia, leading to account suspensions without warning. Traditional marketing methods are not effective for us. Therefore, this year, our main objective is to elevate our marketing efforts to a new level.

cannabis world news interviews commentary Cannagar weedstick

Our immediate and future objectives involve enhancing market visibility, reducing product expenses, and introducing innovative products and accessories.

WB: What is the learning curve of your product? Do you include instructions or links to YouTube videos for the paper instruction impaired? How easy is it to utilize? How long do you cure the Cannagars? Does humidity- or lack thereof help?

KA: Many underestimate the complexity of crafting a Cannagar. The necessary equipment is quite simple, consisting of a mold, skewer, packing tool, and quality herb. Creating a Cannagar is considered an art, and beginners often become easily frustrated. Initial attempts might not meet expectations, and the cigar may break when removed from the mold. What works for one person may not work for another due to various factors such as herb quality, moisture content, grinding techniques, packing intensity, duration in the mold, storage, and herb variety. Our recommendation is to have herbs at 62% moisture and tear buds into ¼ to ½ inch pieces, as the cigar holds together better than when using ground herb. Packing requires significant pressure and should be done forcefully. Some believe the cigar should stay in the mold for hours or even days, but we advise removing it immediately and proceeding to wrap. Once wrapped, store the Cannagar in a humidor with 62% moisture packs. When ready to smoke, be mindful of drawing gently to avoid inhaling excessive hot smoke. With experience, the process becomes faster, allowing you to create a Cannagar in just a few minutes. The ease of smoking and extended burn time make the effort worthwhile.

cannabis world news interviews commentary 3 sizes of metal Cannagar boxes with cleaning plungers

WB: What is your passion?

K A: We are deeply committed to assisting individuals, and our strongest inclination lies in helping others. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to our customers who are dealing with medical or PTSD conditions. We fully acknowledge the potential of our products in providing support and relief amid these unfortunate circumstances.

About Cannagar Solutions

Established in 2017, Cannagar Solutions has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the cannabis industry. Based in the picturesque heart of the Ozarks in Missouri, we are dedicated to delivering innovative and high-quality solutions for both commercial and consumer cannabis enthusiasts.

At Cannagar Solutions, we take immense pride in being pioneers in our field. We hold the distinction of being the sole business with a US Patent on the design and process of creating Cannagar molds. Our dedication to precision and excellence is reflected in our meticulously crafted aluminum molds engineered to meet the rigorous demands of commercial use.

But it doesn’t stop there. We’ve extended our inventive designs to the consumer level, ensuring that enthusiasts of all backgrounds can create their own perfect Cannagars with ease and precision. Our products are not just tools but a testament to our commitment to providing the best for our customers.

cannabis world news interviews commentary woman holding Cannagar above ashtray

Beyond our passion for innovation and quality, Cannagar Solutions holds deep-rooted values. We embrace the natural world and strive to utilize the earth’s offerings in their purest form. We firmly believe in the healing properties of cannabis, and our products are a testament to our commitment to making its benefits accessible to all.

At the core of our business lies our customers, who we consider an extension of our family. We actively seek and value their feedback, incorporating their suggestions into our evolving line of offerings. This collaborative spirit fuels our dedication to improving and innovating continually.

Cannagar Solutions is not just a business; it’s a mission to redefine the cannabis experience. Join us on this journey as we celebrate the art and science of Cannagars and strive to make them accessible to all who seek the relief and joy that cannabis can provide.

Work smarter, not harder. From their website… Brilliant!

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Photos courtesy of Cannagar Solutions