5 Questions Skunk Magazine


Recently I had the good fortune to taste through the line of Rove cannabis products, specifically the vape cartridges. These ultra-luxe products are by far, some of the most authentically reproduced cannabis vape carts I’ve ever enjoyed. I think what makes them so intriguing is the “taste of the place” or in layman’s terms, the terroir of the plant. These carts are so good. They taste like smoking a fat bud, instead of layering your palate with candy flavors. Rove has harnessed the art of the plant, in a simple-to-use format, its well-designed vape pen. Kudos to them!

Warren Bobrow: Chris, please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Why cannabis? When did you first discover the plant? Do you remember what you were listening to? 

Chris Marroquin: I am the Director of Manufacturing here at Rove. I grew up in Nevada after my family relocated from LA in 1993, and Las Vegas will always feel like home. I first discovered cannabis in high school, when my classmate’s dad was growing it and introduced my friend to growing. I was fascinated with all aspects of the plant: how to grow, cure and store it, its effects, how to cook with it, and how to make extracts. Back then Green Day, Bush, and MxPx would be spinning on my portable CD player.

Photo Courtesy of Rove

Warren Bobrow: Tell me about your Ice Hash and Live Rosin. I’ve been sampling the goods and they are incredibly terroir-driven. I can really taste the plant and I find that quite beguiling. Your thoughts on the process? 

Chris Marroquin: We are lucky to have strong relationships with our farm partners, and I’m regularly out in the literal field meeting new and up-and-coming farmers and touching the plant. When I do this, I’m looking at both the overall health of the grow and focusing on the terpene profile’s potential for becoming a well-balanced flavor profile in any one of our different Rove product lines.

The process for our rosin starts with perfectly ripened plants. Once ready for harvest, they are picked and immediately flash-frozen. This technique preserves the flavor profile of the plant at its most pristine without degrading any core properties. From this stage, the plant is ready to be mechanically separated into bubble hash using water as a carrier. The hash is then filtered and freeze-dried before being pressed into rosin. Terroir is a huge part of rosin. Growing medium, growing practices, environment, and light affect the plant’s ability to achieve its genetic potential.

Cannabis production, when optimized through a careful and hands-on process, can produce high levels of terpenoids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. Creating the perfect environment and set of protocols, combined with some of our proprietary Rove techniques to decrease degradation and maintain freshness and purity is what gives the rosin that lip-smacking taste. The result is that the original plant profile can be experienced on a level far beyond its original plant form.

Warren Bobrow: Do you have a mentor?  What are your six and twelve-month goals? What obstacles do you face? How do you anticipate removing them? 

Chris Marroquin: My dad has been a lifelong mentor to me, for pretty much everything. His attention to detail and empathic intelligence really resonate with and inspire me. As far as work goes, our CEO Paul Jacobson has been an integral mentor in helping me understand the business side of cannabis. And beyond my family and close colleagues, I’ve followed The Rev for a long time, reading his books and articles. Haven’t met him yet, but True Living Organics is my favorite cultivation book.

Personally, in six months I’d like to have closed on at least 10 more acres of land. I believe land gives you freedom, and because it’s a finite resource I see it as an investment, too.
My twelve-month goals are to maintain balance at Rove while expanding the brand to other states and possibly internationally.

Currently, we are in the final stages of R&D to infuse our Drink Loud with Live Rosin. Edible rosin is a fast-growing market for good reason, it provides a full-spectrum experience in edible form.

I am also researching the potential for CBG eye drops. I’ve had success in microencapsulating the CBG to allow it to blend with water, but the formulation and process still need work. My father lost his vision in his right eye due to glaucoma, and ever since I’ve looked for ways that cannabis could help others struggling with what he did.

Photo Courtesy of Rove

Warren Bobrow: What is your favorite food to complement your creative extractions? Do you have a go-to restaurant that you want to share?

Chris Marroquin: I go for hydrating fruits like watermelon, passionfruit, mangoes, and berries. I tend to eat in excess when complementing with extracts, so I keep it light and hydrating to remain productive and maintain mental clarity. As far as favorite restaurants, I love Garden Grill in Las Vegas. It happens to be vegan, and my favorite thing on the menu is its crispy chicken sandwich and beer-battered avocado tacos. It’s my favorite sandwich, vegan or not.

If we are talking about a bigger meal, say after enjoying several joints or a cannagar, I like to start with a palate cleanser because I know instead of getting “fuller” my appetite will increase. If I’m consuming live resin or rosin it’s a lot easier to go with a richer dish, such as croquetas or a ribeye steak. With edibles, I like to keep the dishes light and nutritious until I’m ready to ‘give in’ to the edible and eat something heavier, like lasagna or pasta.

Warren Bobrow: What is your passion? 

Chris Marroquin: I love to garden and cook. It’s about the experience for me, whether it’s growing heirlooms/rare genetics of a plant/fruit, or learning a new cooking technique. The most recent cooking skill I’ve been learning is Mornay sauce. It’s basically a béchamel sauce with grated cheese. I love nachos and this is the perfect consistency of nacho cheese sauce. It’s a pretty basic technique but I just recently learned both. It’s so satisfying for me to learn new techniques and then make a beautiful meal using the best ingredients.
Reviews Skunk Magazine Tasting Notes


I’d like to discuss some really fine cannabis for a moment. No, it’s not from my usual array of fine flowers from California, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, or even Michigan. This flower, showing beautifully, jam-packed full of juicy terps, oozing liquid droplets that coat the inside of my nose- extending up into my nasal passages… Well, it has to come from someplace, right?

I’ve been fortunate to write about the fine flowers from Rythm in New Jersey a few months ago, but the flowers that are filling my small office with their perfume are even on a “higher” level than the ones I tasted several times before. These beautifully cured, perfectly trimmed buds elevate my experience with flowers grown in… New Jersey!

Guess what? I’m impressed by Rythm and how their flowers treat my brain and body.

Rythm Cannabis Jar

Tasting Notes for two Rythm strains:

Ice Cream Cake. This Indica dominant strain is not my usual forté. My taste buds usually call out for cultivars that are less sweet-smelling (and tasting). It’s just my way. But maybe I should re-examine this metaphor for sweet- the name Ice Cream Cake, to me, says sweet. And although the words do carry meaning for me, I’m undecided that the name means candy sweet. Because this strain is not like candy. It has a deep earthiness and a tinge of milk chocolate at the very finish. It is not off-putting in any way, quite the opposite, really. This is another intellectual high, reaching deeply into the nether regions of my foggy brain, unlocking rationality and inquisitiveness in equal doses. The flowers are perfectly cured. This is truly gourmet cannabis that is on par with anything grown in Southern California. Care is definitely shown here. The dark labels are stunning against black glass jars protecting the fragile buds held within.

Nose: Salty sweet notes of freshly cut garden herbs, stone fruits, crushed stones, European diesel, tangles of freshly shaved papaya doused in Vietnamese caramelized shallots, and tarragon. This is lip-smacking cannabis that sings a song not yet translated from a place not yet discovered. If cannabis like this quality is grown in New Jersey, I want more of it. This is the good stuff.

Palate: Richly textured against the tongue and lips, the curing of their flowers is lovely to experience as it is patiently executed. Fissures of Asian spices come into view, offering scrumptious mementos that what you are smoking, however cleverly it is named, is not like biting into a heaping slice of ice cream cake. Quite different in reality. I smoked my small sample out of a Stonedware-“purse” pipe so I could get the pure flavor of the flower deeply into my brain without tainting it with a nasty tobacco wrap or sucked through flavor dulling water in a bong. As disappointing as it seems, I cannot roll a decent joint, nor do I enjoy vaporizing my cannabis, too much of a disconnect from the plant for me. This sample of Ice Cream Cake has a richer element that reveals itself over time. You need to take only a couple of hits to experience this rationality. Be patient, and you’ll understand the flavors at work here.

The Stone: As you can tell, I’m enjoying this excursion into the realm of dream time. Ice Cream Cake from Rythm is more than just a panacea for your ills, the pleasure of feeling yourself transcend the normal to some deeper place inside your mind, well, to me, it’s fun. I cannot say it makes me younger or more intellectual, but I can say that it is very encouraging to smoke cannabis of this quality. The experience comes on slowly but with deep reverence. This is a mind experience, leading to the body and a nice colorful expression within my mind’s eye. Lucky to experience this cannabis? Anyone can. Just go somewhere that sells Rythm Ice Cream Cake in New Jersey, and let me know what you think about this strain.

I have some “Brownie Scout” cannabis in front of me right now. Also carefully propagated by the mad botanists at Rythm, this strain says Indica, but to my palate, it feels like a sativa-dominant strain. No matter because it’s absolutely ravishing to my brain. If you remember walking through a freshly mowed field on a hot summer day, you’d understand the all-enveloping experience that shines through every puff of this beautifully sourced strain. Really talented growers are at work here. They are dispelling the axiom that New Jersey cannabis has a long way to go because it is here, and now you can buy it legally.

Brownie Scout is a combination of Platinum Girl Scout Cookies and something called Kosher Kush. These strains usually offer a more sedative effect on my body, but today for some reason, they are doing just the opposite. I’m excited not to spend the rest of my day IN DA Couch. I have things to do and words to capture. This is how we should always get things done, puff a bit of Brownie Scout and watch your day become a much more adventurous place!

Nose: Hints of bittersweet chocolate abound along with earthy, floral notes. There is plenty of plum pudding escaping up my nose, sizzling hot, fried hush puppies woven of cornmeal and bathed in duck fat. That golden ticket of aromatics offers a superhighway to my brain. Succulent ribbons of late summer slaw swirl around my nasal passages. I haven’t coughed at all. Curing is job one at Rythm. Patience, weed hopper!

Palate: Brownie Scout is a “wee heavy” against my palate and not in a bad way. As mentioned above, their curing is spot on, humidity, time, and patience. It’s all there. The buds are carefully trimmed and very pungent. If I were to smoke this in a public place, there would be no doubt about what I was involved in. The clouds that emanate from the compact, fluorescent green buds are impressive, to say the least, and no coughing at all!

The Stone: Brownie Scout offers a richly surfaced experience for your tongue and throat. This is not like other “fruit salad” style California Cannabis strains that offer and deliver on their lineage. What Rythm has created here is purely New Jersey. It is not like any other place that I’ve experienced recently. Tough to say one is better; Brownie Scout, grown here in New Jersey, tastes like it hasn’t been handled as much. Maybe it’s the distance to my home from the dispensary? I see it kind of like seafood or poultry, or beef… Keep your hands off of it, gets tough that way. Brownie Scout brings me to a place of calm as well for my head and neck, and shoulders. This is very relaxing, yet not sleepy time for me as it’s still morning.

I’m nicely stoned and still able to work for a bit longer without the need for an early lunch, either. Really nicely done!

You really must try their Gumbo. Rythm’s strain library is far more than just the sum of its parts. It’s educational and just stupendous indeed. Click on through.

Just one more thing!

With a tip of my hat to the TV Show; Columbo, I’ve been overdue writing some thoughts on Cannabolish, and there is no excuse for me. I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long because this is the very best cannabis smoke-eradicating product that I’ve ever had in my life. It may have made my entire prep school experience different because no one would have known I was getting high out in the barn on our farm in 1971, I was, and they smelled it. It wasn’t pretty. They yelled and didn’t get through to me, obviously…

I can be smoking a joint in my small office with this little candle burning, and even I cannot smell the often skunky/gassy aromas from whatever I happen to be smoking for very long. It’s truly uncanny.

Their lavender scent is also quite beguiling and not too sweet; both the original and the lavender are really nice candles, well poured, including nice heavy, quality glass. I’ve bought several for myself, and they are really incredibly well engineered to work every time. I do have a suggestion.

When burning your candle for the first time, make sure that you burn it until the wax is completely melted on the top. That will take about twenty or so minutes, maybe longer. Be patient…

Candles have a memory… If you burn it the first time and then blow it out immediately, the candle will never burn correctly. Let it gel over completely before blowing any candle out. You’ll get a better burn!

Rythm’s strain library is far more than just the sum of its parts. It’s educational and just stupendous indeed. Click on through: //

Thank you!

All Photographs Courtesy: Rythm Cannabis


Clio Cannabis Awards!

About Clio Cannabis Awards

Expanding on Clio’s enduring reputation for establishing best-in-class programs honoring creative ideas in a variety of specialized verticals, Clio Cannabis celebrates the creators at the forefront of cannabis marketing and communications. Launched in 2019, Clio Cannabis sets the bar for creative work in a rapidly growing industry, builds a greater understanding of a developing category, and elevates creative contributions from top talent and agencies.

2022 Jury

Design & Innovation Jury

Warren Bobrow

Warren Bobrow


Klaus the Gnome Inc Read Bio

5 Questions Interviews Skunk Magazine


Let me tell you about Ben Larson, or better yet, I want Ben Larson to speak for himself. And what an opportunity I had to crawl inside Ben’s head, even for a short while.

Interviewing someone as busy as Ben Larson can be a problematic adventure. But with the help of brilliant overseers, I could capture what I believe is Ben Larson unbounded by your typical corporate double-speak messages. After all, I have a deep interest in what Ben does for Vertosa. Ben has achieved a certain level of nirvana working in weed. Being able to share his passion for the plant with fervent entrepreneurs who have dreams but not necessarily the ability to harness THC-based technology, Ben has brought boundless enthusiasm into this nascent space. What Ben is talented at doing is a thing of dreams. He should know that deep in his heart, as he has achieved amazing things by being a deeply talented entrepreneur in the nano-technology space.

Ben is doing what others can only imagine doing. His deep passion for the plant is evident in his ability to capture the essence of cannabis alchemy. To me, he has truly woven straw into gold.

The things I’ve tasted spun out of the minds at Vertosa are nothing short of brilliant.

Thank you, Ben, for listening to my dreams and helping me achieve

WB: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you living now? Tell me about Vertosa. Where did the name come from?

Ben Larson: I was born and raised in Northern California – setting aside a brief high school career in Utah. After graduating from CalPoly, San Luis Obispo, with a Civil Engineering degree, I spent the first six years of my career as a professional engineer working in the transportation planning and engineering sector. Having moved to the Bay Area and immersing myself in the Silicon Valley community and culture, it wasn’t long before I took the leap of faith into tech startups. Like a true, ill-advised leap where I abandoned my professional license and cashed out my 401K.

While I never did prove myself as a successful tech startup founder – I had my fair share of tries – I did discover my love of the creation phase and the startup community-building aspect. After managing global operations for Founder Institute, mentoring many early-stage founders, and directing programs around the Bay Area and beyond, I decided to take my expertise and passion to the cannabis industry where my business partner and I launched California’s first cannabis startup incubator, fund, and co-working space, Gateway. It was here where I had the opportunity to earn my place in the California cannabis community, was educated on the history of cannabis, and discovered my purpose and responsibility in the movement.

I’ve since settled with my wife and two kids in the East Bay in the City of Walnut Creek, where we’ve called home for the past six years.

I met my co-founder, Dr. Harold Han, while I was investigating infusion technology opportunities in the cannabis space back in 2017. He was just starting to explore the industry and had an infectious curiosity, remarkable humility, and the perfect expertise to fill a void we were observing in the market. Sometime between Harold developing the first prototypes that would eventually become the core offering of Vertosa and the structuring of the business, I discovered I was destined to be back on the operating side of the industry.

Not only did I know that the industry needed reliable technology to create the next generation of infused products, I knew this industry needed a reliable B2B manufacturing partner that infused trust into an otherwise challenging supply chain. We also knew that this industry deserved a company that strived to be the best place to work and walked the talk when it came to building a corporate culture that resembled the ideals that we all sought for this industry. This is what we’ve focused on building over the past four years at Vertosa: superior, proven ingredients, building trust with our partners and the industry at large, and creating the best company culture this industry has seen.

Now, we haven’t always been called Vertosa. We were actually called Nanogen for the first year of business. It was a great starting point as it screamed science and built a great deal of trust, but as we built relationships with more mainstream natural products companies, we knew we would have to rebrand.

The name Vertosa speaks to who we are and the promise we deliver. VERT speaks to both green and truth – in line with our roots in cannabis and dedication to being the best partners to our customers. OSA, Spanish for the female bear, portrays our strength and proud California roots, with an important nod to the power of the female cannabis plant. Vertosa – not too dissimilar from virtuoso – was intended to be the trusted expert that walks the line between plant and science, commerce and medicine, and business and consumers.

WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals? What obstacles do you face? How do you anticipate removing those obstacles?

Ben Larson: For many in the cannabis sector and beyond, the next 6-12 months are all about survival. We know that great companies are born and proven in challenging markets. Those that learn to navigate these waters will have the opportunity to ride the next wave to success. We’ve had great momentum thus far, so I’ve asked our team to give themselves the permission to not only believe that we will survive but that we have the opportunity to thrive in today’s environment.

What does thriving look like? Well, we will continue to create market-leading ingredients that provide the foundation for the fast-acting, infused product category. We believe that all infused products in the future will be fast-acting. It’ll be table stakes. Fast-acting everything.

We have recently launched our private label offering, where we are helping companies map out their future product releases and designing the products that are leveraging our ingredients. Not all brands need this assistance, but not only do we have the greatest knowledge of our products and how to apply them. We’ve amassed a great brain trust internally with professionals that worked at the likes of Mondelez, Constellation Brands, and McCormick.

Finally, we’re striving to continue the expansion of our global platform that allows brands who work with us to access the same reliable ingredients and services in many markets around North America. While we’re headquartered in California, we’re very active in Canada, Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maine, and several other states. The goal is to be a multistate B2B platform that enables brands to grow their total addressable market with ease.

WB: When did you discover cannabis? How old were you? Why cannabis?

Ben Larson: I discovered cannabis when I entered college, but it definitely wasn’t love at first sight. Like many, I chose alcohol in college, or I suppose it chose me. Not saying it was a great choice; that’s just the culture of much of collegiate America.

I rediscovered cannabis when I was at Founder Institute, and people began inviting me to coach cannabis startups and judge cannabis pitch competitions. I remember attending Weed Club’s 420 Pitch Competition back in 2015, where I met many of the OGs still around today. There was so much passion and enthusiasm in the room, but also a lot of really— let’s just say, raw talent. The community needed help—professionalizing— and the ability to speak investor language. This was my entry point. It was my passion for helping people realize their ideas while building supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems that really allowed me to see an opportunity to create value. That was the genesis for Gateway.

However, why I stayed goes much deeper. I became a student of the plant and the movement: the history, the politics, the false stigma, the drug war, all of it. I saw the immense amount of good this plant could bring society and so many wrongs that needed to be made right. I’ve always had a little bit of vigilantism coursing through my veins, and this was a way for me to dedicate my career to it. For the past seven years, I’ve been hell-bent on building up the community around me, being a voice for those unheard, creating opportunities for others as I create them for myself, and ensuring that we all get to benefit from the rising tide.

WB: Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to prepare? Favorite restaurant? Where?

Ben Larson: I love to cook. My wife certainly does the majority of cooking when it comes to feeding the family, but given the privilege of time and freedom of thought, I absolutely love getting lost in the preparation of a meal. Perfecting my art around preparing challenging cuts of meat, like racks of lamb or lamb loin chops, and then creating the perfect sauce to pair it with is probably where I get the most joy, but I really love cooking just about anything. I mean, have you ever had the joy of turning spaghetti squash into actual spaghetti? It’s so awesome and easy. Most of the time, I just love the challenge of creating something from nothing or whatever we have in the pantry and fridge. Finding creative ways to cook vegetables or preparing an unlikely main is where my creativity really gets to show. When I hear someone say, “we don’t have anything to eat,” it’s like a Bat-Signal for me, and I find myself springing into action while saying, “au contraire.”

WB: What is your passion?

Ben Larson: My passion is for helping people manifest their dreams. From the time I was a kid, I always had a lot of ideas but didn’t always see the path forward. My life experiences have allowed me to discover those paths, and I find great joy in lending those learnings to others and helping them see their dreams come to fruition. And in the event I don’t know the path, which is often, I think I make a great companion in the entrepreneurial journey. There is no greater joy for me. I’ve done this for the past decade by working with early-stage startups and now get to continue it every day through the work we do at Vertosa and the hundreds of brands and partners we work with in the space.


Respect My Region

RMR Podcast Ep 44 Ft. Warren Bobrow of Klaus

On this episode of the RMR Podcast, Mitch talks with the legend Warren Bobrow of Klaus. Klaus produces ready-to-drink THC-infused cocktails by famed master mixologist Warren Bobrow. Their 10mg drinks are great out of the can and even better as the base for a cocktail. Whether you have experience and want to go crazy or just add a spritz of something to Klaus, these beverages are bringing some new to the cannabis market. Warren has traveled the world, published books, grabbed notoriety as a mixologist, is a trained chef, and yet he says he found his calling “later in his career” in the cannabis industry. Today we talk about his journey, THC beverages, and more! Looking for more cannabis, CBD, and music content? Visit our website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: #cannabisindustry #cannabisbeverages

5 Questions Skunk Magazine


If you’ve ever enjoyed a cannabis edible in the early part of the cannabis explosion which happened about ten years ago, it was probably a Cheeba Chew. They were one of the first to offer a taffy-like experience, using the best available ingredients, stuffed with a bunch of THC. I have had some memorable experiences with this venerable brand. They do everything beautifully in my book. Their range of flavors and textures remind me of fine French confiture, with a twist of solventless Rosin/THC of course.  It’s about time that cannabis companies work in fine pastry and candy making with just the right balance of sweet to tangy, to memorable. Cheeba Chews have mastered this art of cannabis-infused confections and they have made them available to the discerning consumer. It’s a pleasure to enjoy their ebullient products after visiting their production facility, which is in itself, a joy to see, both ultra-modern and also clean as a whistle. Being a trained chef allows me the ability to taste at a somewhat higher level. What I perceive in Cheeba Chews- and in all their unique varieties that I savored, was quality in each of the small tastes. You don’t need much to have a really enjoyable experience. Their food scientist’s passion for European-inspired flavors oozes through every bite. There was one variety in particular that caught my attention. It was not unlike a confection known as pate de fruits from France and the addition of their proprietary solventless cannabis rosin recipe. Whatever their methods and the techniques that they utilize, these are not the edibles that I whipped up on my stove and crossed my fingers that they’d get me buzzed.

Cheeba Chews exceeds my expectations in every way because they use the best ingredients they can find.  And I know some of their ingredients intimately, from my bartending years. Good call!

Photo Credit: Cheeba Chews

From their website:

PÂTE DE FRUIT CHEWS – Inspired by the elegant flow and organic beauty of freshly pressed premium rosin, Apricot MELTS are jam-packed with all-natural fruit purée, Colorado-grown cannabis extract, pectin, and little else.


Apricot Purée, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Pectin, Solventless Extracted Cannabis Oil (Rosin).


All-Natural, Fruit Purée & Vegan-Friendly

WB Notes: The pate de fruits are really pure in their flavors and quite delicious. Each 10mg. piece offers a really subtle, introspective, and lovely long-lasting buzz.

WB: Please tell me about yourself? Where are you from? Where now? What do you do?

Ryan Kilpatrick: I’m Ryan Kilpatrick, a New Jersey native that’s been a Colorado resident for 22 years. Currently, I hold the position of Colorado General Manager at Cheeba Chews. For the last three years, my role has allowed me to focus on running the day-to-day operations in Colorado, while our founders focus on expanding the business. But I must say, the R&D is my favorite part of the job. I love coming up with new product ideas and putting them to the test.

WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals? What obstacles do you face? 

Ryan Kilpatrick: Currently, we are laser-focused on our wellness line of minor cannabinoid-driven chews and our rosin-infused edible products. Our new dairy- and gluten-free line, MELTS, just launched and is growing rapidly. Additionally, the Live Rosin, Strain-Specific edibles that launched in 2021 continue to grow as new flavor-strain combos are released quarterly. We are very interested in seeing these products succeed, and the next six months will be crucial to that success. Beyond that, we have at least two other potential new product lines we are developing and hope to launch them in the near future. There is no shortage of excitement for what is coming down the pipeline from Cheeba Chews.

Photo Credit: Cheeba Chews

WB: When did you first discover the plant? How old were you? Do you remember with whom? Listening to what music?  

Ryan Kilpatrick: We became acquainted back in the mid-90s. I was hanging out with a couple of my older brothers’ friends who needed a pipe to smoke. I happen to have one. So, we sat in the driveway underneath a house on stilts, listening to Ween and Beck, and got down to business. After that, the quality and availability of cannabis where I lived were less than desirable, but that didn’t stop the occasional session. Upon arriving in Ft. Collins in 1999, I very quickly learned where to find Kind Bud and we became great friends.

WB: Cheeba Chews is a class act product. I’ve been acquainted with it for years now.  Please tell me about the new pate’ de fruits. 

Ryan Kilpatrick: Thank you! MELTS by Cheeba Chews represents the first new brand launched by our company in a decade. MELTS were designed from the ground up to be a completely natural edible experience. A vegan-friendly, limited ingredient product made with fresh frozen fruit puree, solventless extracted live rosin cannabis oil, pectin, beet sugar and little else. We worked for over a year to ensure our MELTS provide a unique, balanced flavor profile rich with cannabis terpenes, supported by an intense fruit character. Our initial launch includes Sweet Strawberry Jam, Fresh Apricot Jelly, and Toasted Coconut Purée. All are amazing in their own way, but the Toasted Coconut is by far my favorite.

WB: What is your favorite Cheeba Chew variety? 

Ryan Kilpatrick: In the last eight months, I have really been enjoying our Live Rosin, Strain-Specific taffy, and gummies, but now I’m obsessed with the Melts. However, my classic go-to edible is our Trifecta Chew–a caramel-flavored taffy infused with CBG, CBD, & THC.

WB: Do you cook? What’s your favorite food? Restaurant? Where? Favorite get high food? 

Ryan Kilpatrick: I dabble a touch. I am the head chef for my household feeding a family of four nightly. I have a plethora of kitchen gadgets that I love to employ in my cooking. My favorite thing is to try something new; even when it doesn’t turn out to be that good, I simply enjoy trying something new. As the household cook, I also enjoy a good night out at a restaurant. In Denver, I have a hard time passing up a great spread of sushi. While it has become pretty common to find great sushi all over town, Sushi Den is still at the top of my list! If I’m sitting down for a smoke session after a long day, I usually have a bag of hard sourdough pretzels close by.

WB: What is your passion?  

Live music! I am a fan of many different styles and genres. I will go see just about anyone playing live, but I tend to gravitate towards blues, jazz, funk, and jam bands. Summer doesn’t start until Widespread Panic plays at Redrocks!


Infused Lemonade | Cannabis Cocktail Recipe

By Warren Bobrow @warrenbobrow

I love the basic cocktails. You know, the ones that are classics because they resonate with history, not just for getting swilled. Sure, they will take to the place of your dreams, but that’s just part of the equation. Back in the day of the early apothecary down in New Orleans, many punches were created to stave off diseases such as scurvy. Citrus was scarce in much of the south and places that saw plenty of shipping traffic, such as New Orleans would attract sailors who, to say the very least, were not drinking a glass of orange juice with their breakfast. The first thing that happens when you have scurvy is your hair falls out. Then all your teeth fall out. Then you take a flying leap off the yardarm. Because the mind is the next thing to go. Of course, scurvy can be prevented by taking citrus. That’s why British sailors were called Limeys for the fresh lime juice they squeezed into their rum cocktails. Only takes a little bit of citrus to make all the difference between sanity and insanity at sea. 

The Pharmacy Punch is a sum of several parts, so follow along with me… I think you’ll like the way this drink turns out.

Part 1: Infused Simple Syrup

First Step… Making the Simple Syrup… This is a 1:1 Spring Water to Demerara Sugar simple syrup… Boil water. Add a cup of Demerara Sugar and ½-1 ounce per cup of decarbed cannabis in a cheesecloth pouch. Simmer the cannabis and the sugar/water mixture at 160 degrees for 45 minutes adding a touch of fresh water as needed. Let cool. Place in fridge overnight. 

The next morning, remove the cannabis flower pouch from the simple syrup and set aside in the fridge until needed. Should last no more than a week. If the syrup starts jumping around in your fridge and speaking lost languages of the Brazilian rainforest, throw it out immediately… 

Part 2: Vietnamese Style Lemonade

I use only freshly squeezed lemons plus the cannabis infused simple syrup… That’s it! You’ll need 2-3 dozen lemons for this part of the recipe… sweetness to taste. Remember the simple syrup has weed in it, so if it gets on your hands, you’re going to get super stoned. 

Recipe: New Orleans Style-Fizzy Pharmacy Punch


  • 1 Quart of Vietnamese Style Lemonade 
  • 1 Cup THC infused Simple Syrup (I do ½-1 oz. of cannabis per cup of simple)
  • Coconut Water Ice Cubes- Freeze a tray of coconut water overnight in an ice cube tray, inside two freezer bags- so they won’t smell like your garlic pasta, lurking in the back of the fridge for a month. it’s back there. I know. I can smell it from here in NJ…. 
  • Fresh Mint, well washed and picked over
  • Sparkling water
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt, and then another pinch. 
  • Creole Style Bitters, like Peychaud’s


  1. Prepare the Vietnamese Lemonade with the THC infused Simple Syrup and a couple pinches of Kosher Salt
  2. Add Sparkling Water to taste 
  3. Add the mint and stir gently to combine
  4. Add the Coconut Water Ice Cubes
  5. Add about thirty splashes of the Creole/Peychaud’s Bitters
  6. Stir Again

I love to serve this punch in teacups, preferably with my pinkies out. Do not under any circumstances wash your fingers in this THC laden punch. It’s strictly a sipped punch, not a finger bowl. 

This punch can also be served in a punch bowl. Under those exceptional circumstances, may I please suggest freezing a large cube of the coconut water, like a gallon sized milk carton filled with above mentioned coconut water, then frozen overnight. Remove the wrapper and add to a punch bowl. Build the punch around that frozen block of coconut water ice. As it melts, the magic really takes place. Yum. 

I estimate this punch won’t let you down. You will get stoned. I promise you that. There is a serious amount of weed in that simple syrup. 

For an added kick, might I please suggest a healthy dosage of something medicinal… Craft… potent. I might suggest Foursquare Rum from Barbados. It’s not inexpensive, nor should it be with all the effort that you’ve put into this drink so far. It’s not always that you make lemonade from scratch. Nor do you prepare simple syrup with enough THC to knock down a small village. Ok, maybe not that much, but you get the gist. This is not a weak plonk punch made with uncertain ingredients. It’s a carefully woven story, best told amongst only a couple of like-minded friends who are accustomed to the best things in the world.

5 Questions Skunk Magazine


Warren Bobrow interviews Eli Melrod of Solful

I love what (full of boundless energy) Eli Melrod has achieved in the craft cannabis retail space. His esoteric and craft-oriented dispensary, Solful embodies my somewhat educated image of what a well-curated cannabis experience should look like. The environment is not overwhelming when entering the shop and the sophisticated, yet somewhat older clientele demands a deeper understanding of the plant. This is much different than the experience at most high-volume dispensaries. They seem to focus on getting the guest in and out, quickly and without much thought to the well-being of the customer.

More than just an allegory is how I describe the experience of visiting Solful. From the first time that I visited this dispensary several years ago, to the present day, I can honestly say that Solful offers a very wine store-esque, cannabis transactional experience right in the center of wine country. And I believe that the terroir of the cannabis mimics that of fine wine. It’s uncanny to taste a Sonoma Chardonnay, then inhale some cannabis, grown in Sonoma. Their terroir is very similar to each other.

Please allow me the honor of introducing you to my friend and fellow entrepreneur in the cannabis space, Eli Melrod, who is the CEO and Co-founder of Solful, award-winning cannabis dispensaries in Northern California

Photo credit: Mary Roll

Eli Melrod is CEO and Co-founder of Solful, award-winning dispensaries in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, California, widely recognized for its broad selection of high-quality, locally-sourced cannabis products, as well as industry-leading in-store experience, and a commitment to making a meaningful impact in the community.

Under his leadership, Solful is dedicated to selling only 100% sun-grown flower purchased directly from small craft farmers in Northern California. A frequent visitor of partner farms, Eli and company directly manage Solful’s supply chain to ensure that every cannabis product sourced is planted, grown, nurtured, trimmed, and packaged according to the highest standards of care.

Eli has been an entrepreneur in the California cannabis industry since 2015. His interest in the health and wellness benefits of cannabis began in 2006, when his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and discovered the power of cannabis to help him manage pain, nausea, appetite, anxiety, and sleep. Inspired by his father’s experience, Eli dedicated himself to bringing cannabis to people whose health, wellness, and happiness could be improved by its responsible use.

Today, Solful is known for its emphasis on cannabis bringing customers health and happiness. Focusing on training, education, and culture, Solful is reinventing the cannabis retail space. Their goal? For all customers – from experienced users to the cannacurious – to walk into their doors feeling comfortable and confident they will find the product they are looking for with the help of a long-tenured team that abides by the highest values, known as the Solful Standard.

Eli Melrod and Mike Benziger of Glentucky Farms: Photo credit: Brennan Spark

WB: Please tell me about yourself. Where are you from originally? Live now? What do you think about terroir in cannabis? Does “biodynamic” mean to you? What about Terpenes?  

Eli Melrod: I was fortunate to be born and raised in Northern California. I spent my younger years in San Francisco and ultimately went between SF and Sebastopol as a teenager after my dad bought property up here. Since then, Sebastopol and Sonoma County have always been home. My interest in cannabis began when my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I saw firsthand the power of the plant and how it helped him manage pain and anxiety from the awful illness.

At the time, I was studying economics at Wesleyan University. Inspired by recreational cannabis use becoming legal in California and being a believer in its health and wellness benefits, in 2014, I left school and dedicated myself to bringing cannabis to people whose lives can be improved by its responsible use. I first worked for an established cannabis testing lab to understand the science of cannabis, and it was during this time that I started to build personal relationships with industry influencers, many of which included farmers. In 2015, I connected with a family friend and entrepreneur, Peter Dickstein, to launch Solful. Since we opened in 2017, Solful has been a destination cannabis retail brand with a focus on educating the community, offering personalized customer experiences, and sourcing the best craft sun-grown cannabis.

For me, terroir means the expression of time and place. All plants are going to be influenced based on where and how they are grown. What I love most about sun-grown and regenerative farmed cannabis is that the plant embodies that specific region and harvest. At Solful we work with farms that have a number of strains that they have developed over the years for their specific region. You can see and taste the variation of that strain each year, showing that the growing season no doubt impacts the end result of the plant. I’ve found that as I get to know our farming partners better when I smoke their cannabis, I feel the expression of their farm and the vibe of that region. It’s an intimate and special relationship that no other plant can offer.

Eli and his father. Photo credit: Brennan Spark.

With biodynamic farming, there’s a strict seven-year certification process by Demeter needed in order to use the term on labeling. That said, there are plenty of farms that use biodynamic practices, but don’t go through the official certification process. Biodynamics is a part of regenerative farming, which focuses on working with the land’s ecosystem – the farmers work with the land to help build a stronger, healthier system.

We are learning more and more about the plant and terpenes show there’s a lot more contributing to cannabis’s effects and medicinal uses than just cannabinoids. The science around terpenes is early and as an industry, it’s important that we are thoughtful in how we talk about the subject. We still have a lot to learn. What we do know is that terpene-rich cannabis tends to be more enjoyable to consume and has a more robust effect, compared to one that is lower in terpenes. Think of terpenes as the fingerprint of that specific strain and harvest. A strain’s terpene profile can act as a guide to help the consumer figure out what they like. As the industry evolves, I think it is great that we are shifting the conversation beyond just cannabinoids, especially for medicinal use.

WB: So many cannabis companies are hung up on high THC levels. Why is this flawed science? What are you doing to change this marketing into something more appropriate for the plant? 

Eli Melrod: At this point, it is clear that higher THC doesn’t mean higher quality or potency. The overreliance on this number is misleading to consumers.

At Solful, understanding each strain of cannabis and product we sell is really important to us. We spend a lot of time educating our team to then educate consumers about where the farm is located, how the plant was grown, and the difference in strains. It’s all of this information that should ultimately play into the buying decision. At our stores, we display full terpene and cannabinoid profiles for each strain we carry. It’s a priority that our team members get to know the farmers we work with so they can speak to them as people.

An important lesson we have learned is that if you don’t train your team on how to translate industry knowledge into practical information for consumers, you aren’t educating them. We believe in meeting the consumer where they are – and we have built a program around this method so our team can offer more of a hospitality experience for everyone who walks through our doors.

Photo credit: Brennan Spark

WB: What are your six and twelve-month goals? How do you anticipate removing obstacles to cannabis?  Who is your mentor/s?  

Eli Melrod: We are excited to continue to expand Solful’s retail footprint. We opened our second location in Santa Rosa earlier this year and have a third location opening in an incredible community and neighborhood in San Francisco in the coming months.

10 best weed drinks of 2022 – L.A. Cannabis News

Klaus infused cocktails

Klaus, a canned cannabis cocktail, is crafted for flavor chasers by mixologist Warren Bobrow. The intense flavor of their THC drink is absolutely cocktail-like and ideal to serve over ice, though you can enjoy it straight from the can as well. The tart, tangy, and ginger flavors would likely appeal to those who usually order margaritas or daiquiris. With 10 milligrams of THC in each can, it was fast-acting and provided me with a potent — but not overwhelming — high. Currently available in one flavor, the Mezzrole, with two more flavors coming soon, each $12 can is priced like a craft cocktail.

You can find Klaus cocktails at two Solful locations in Northern California: Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. So if you’re in Sonoma County, be sure to check them out.

Available: Northern California

Shop Solful Sebastopol

Shop Solful Santa Rosa