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Larry Reed Tours SoL Reno

By Larry Reed, Man On Weed

I was recently invited to tour the SoL facilities in Reno, NV.  The vertically integrated cannabis company is a sponsor of The 4th Annual Jack Herer Cup in Las Vegas, NV.  Named after the man who racked up hundreds of  thousands of miles crossing the country for nearly 40 years campaigning to restore the hemp plant to American agriculture, The Jack Herer Cup is different from the normal cannabis cups you might be familiar with. It’s not three days, there is no vending, and you won’t find $5 dab stations. This Cup is a very respectful way to say thank you to someone who has in some way shape or form taken care of your family by helping his family.

 

Sol_logo_withsocialLocated about 15 minutes south of Reno, “The Biggest Little City In The World,” SoL’s location is easy to get to from anywhere in the area and worth the drive even if you’re not, because what you will see there is that epic!  After signing in at the welcome desk, and entering through the security door, I turn left and whamo: a continuous span of 20 foot high windows, over 100ft long,  that provide a view into the field of mean green goodness! The complete view of the working garden is right before your eyes: 1,000 cannabis plants all in bud cycle producing an amazing landscape of colas super swollen, trichomes glistening in the light and the aroma of Mother Nature’s finest bouquet of cannabis.

Are you familiar with the term “hog leg?” Pungent with distinctive terpene profiles pack in the 23,000 square foot greenhouse! All grown in natural sunlight. I’m no scientist but it would seem to me that 1 Sun is greater than however many lights you want to try and emulate the most powerful light source in our universe.  No corners were cut in the creation of SoL, the greenhouse is on the forefront of technology in the under roof organic cannabis farm. There is even a 3 foot riser that allows you to see over the canopy. Think Bob Ross after he paints happy autumn trees. All of this is in the lounge area. Yes a lounge area, a kin to a common area in library or office, a place to decompress, perhaps grab a beverage from the coffee bar (yes there really is a coffee bar there) and go view what is happening in the commercial kitchen. Commercial Kitchen? Yes, the row of windows that permit you to see in the farm terminate into the side of the kitchen that is also behind windows.  Transparency, that is what is happening here: from the transparent garden roof to the see through walls, the glass windows of the kitchen, all in full view. And for good reason, SoL has an amazing chef ready to create and everyone gets to watch his culinary creations.

If you’re able to pull yourself away from the cannabis carnival going on in your ocular sockets, there is still the state of the art dispensary to visit.

A wonderful combination of high tech meets hands on.  Digital menus drape the walls giving you the luxury of strolling and shopping while being able to see the menu from any place in the dispensary.  Between the menus, the walls are adorned with helpful information and an innovative way of helping you decide which cannabis fits what effects you are desiring.  It really will help you, if maybe you have a hard time deciding over 100 different medical and recreational cannabis products.

How did this gregarious garden of ganja, the Taj Mahal of THC transparency, this kingdom of kindness ever to come into existence.  It was the brainchild of Ed Alexander and his partners; each facet of the facility has been well thought out and implemented to provide a very warm and welcoming experience to all that visit.  Two things really jump out at you when you meet Ed, first, he puts the effort in to do it right.  When I asked about his timing into the market he replied. “SoL could have been known for being first. but we would rather be known as the one(s) that lasted”.

SoL’s sponsorship of the Jack Herer Cup fits into the company philosophy. “Jack was all about making cannabis transparent, seeing what was actually behind all the misinformation, it is our plan to keep that going,” Alexander told me. “That’s why SoL is better.”

After you’ve reached your buying limit and have tickled your THC bone so much that you just gotta get going, you exit onto a 2,000 sq ft deck, complete with comfy couches to relax and enjoy the mountain air.  Look to the horizon and you see the largest ski mountain in the area. The trails are visible from the deck and with adult use facilities on the horizon, this space is going to be a favorite for weeders world wide.

From the moment you walk in to the last moment you walk out, the motto repeats itself, SoL is better. SoL provides you with the most unique experience in the emerging dispensary market that can be found today.  SoL’s grand opening celebration kicks of October 26/27/28, lots of good times and great cannabis, make it if you can, tell them Larry Reed sent ya.

Larry’s Tripping On The Road To Oklahoma Hempfest

By Larry Reed, Man On Weed

Oklahoma: where the wind comes whipping through the plains, and soon the cannabis will too.  Having been to Oklahoma numerous times, I was astonished when I became aware that they had passed the most liberal medical program in the country.  It was like watching a monkey walking a chicken in rain-boots!

Consider some of the not-so-wonderful statistics about the state: 1 of 4 residents is a felon; Oklahoma leads the country in incarcerating women; and it pays the lowest wages for teachers in the US.  Together, along with severe marijuana laws, it means that this a very dangerous place for canna-centric peoples, places and things.  Despite this, the fine people of Oklahoma took initiative and voted to legalize medical cannabis, overcoming a last-minute power play to reverse the people’s will by adding ludicrous stipulations — like requiring a licensed pharmacist in each dispensary. In the end, most of the draconian amendments did not make it, and the governor signed the decree that will allow the medicine to grow and flow.

OKC Hemposium

OKC Hemposium

Promoter and Hi-Tunes founder Scott McKinley put Oklahoma Hempfest together. Originally from Norman, Oklahoma,  Scott invited many of the key players from Seattle Hempfest to help him put on this historic first cannabis event.  The event was held at the Sheraton Midwest City, a modest event center directly across from Tinker Air Force Base.  I admit running a bit of reconnaissance before pulling up. The tides of change happen fast but I’m still wary of Sgt. Stedenko holding onto the past. The coast was clear! A dual level facility, populated with Hempfest participants on each level, with Rap and Hip Hop downstairs and Progressive Rock on the bottom. Seemed like a good mix on each level and there was plenty of people talking with the vendors/exhibitors.  CBD was the dominant product showcased, since it is the only cannabis product currently legal in the state, with a wide variety of products including tinctures, salves and hemp flowers.

Hemp flowers!  This was a first for me.  Attendees could buy hemp flowers from several vendors, and sponsor Hi-Tunes was offering a joint packaged in a doob tube with a free downloadable song, including songs from the artists that were part of the program and participating at the event.  The hemp flowers are high in CBD, but negligible in THC. One vendor had a jar of it and we rolled up a big ole fatty. The dry material was exactly like the traditional cannabis I’m used to.  The material rolled nice, and burned well. It had a smell and taste of the weed I first started smoking when it was transforming from brick weed to the light wispy sativas.  The effect was good, and the CBD could definitely be felt.  It left me melancholy and relaxed, all without making me hot for a THC screening. I showed a Hi-Tunes CBD joint to a friend who is under such a risk, and he put the tube in his pocket.

Connie Johnson at The Road To Oklahoma Hempfest

Connie Johnson at The Road To Oklahoma Hempfest

There were some tremendous featured speakers, including Connie Johnson, a pro-cannabis politician with gubernatorial aspirations, and several members of the Seattle Hempfest crew — volunteers who share their love for people via the cannabis plant.  It’s quite amazing in a world of greed and selfishness, these folks are the exact opposite.  Grandma Cat Jeter’s shared the story of her mission to help children had me reaching for the eye dabber. The local news showed up and interviewed Scott. There was food and libations and most of all there was cannabis talk! Hempfest to me is many things, one of them, and my favorite, is a kind place for like minded people to share ideas. We talked and joked and spun our canna-dreams large and grand!

Sesh Tables

Sesh Tables

Outside by the lake, really a glorified retention pond with big wrought iron style tables and chairs that enabled us to have a comfortable place to feed our bellies and also our heads, participants gathered around ‘sesh table.’  I noticed we all did the same thing, approached the table, gave a look to the left, look to the right, a look to someone already at the table, asking with their eyes, “we good?”

And every glance back said “Hell Yes!!!”  We enjoyed the weather out back late into the night.  At one point the Oklahoma City’s finest rolled through and adjacent parking lot but it was momentary and probably routine.  Though to us at the time it was neither. Everyone took notice towards reality, and that what is and what shall be are currently very different things.  My pulse definitely quickened as well as it should. This is a huge step for cannabis in the state however, it’s still a long way from decriminalization and national declassification.  Oklahoma Hempfest is a huge step towards these.

Overall, I had an amazing time.  The beautiful thing about the cannabis community is that it is welcoming and inviting.  We all seem to open up and share who we are and what we are about. So, if you would like to participate and join the conversation, pull up a seat.  The people I met, the information I gathered, and the messages I took away with me are all apart of my fabric now — along with two servings of chicken fried steak.

There are two more events that will finish the roll up to Oklahoma Hempfest 2019. Three events were needed due to the amazing response to the first, the one we attended.  If you can make it on 4/20 or 6/7-8 -9 2019 in Oklahoma City, it would definitely be worth your while.

Man On Weed: Phish And NuLeaf In Las Vegas

By Larry Reed, Man on Weed

My journey led me to the MGM Grand for the Phish Halloween run.  Since ‘94 it’s always been on my radar to attend this annual event.  That the band was playing in the legal cannabis state of Nevada, gave even more cause for celebration. Marijuana unlocks the magic of the music. In today’s environment, with ample supply of cannabis products available for sale legally, one does not have to hope your neighbor passes a joint your way. A simple trip to one of the many dispensaries in the Las Vegas metro and you will be more than good to go.

This is the story of my visit to Nu-Leaf dispensary located at 430 E Twain Ave, a very classy establishment with a great staff and wonderful menu featuring the wide spectrum of legal cannabis products available today.  I was in a hurry to make it to the show on All Hallows Eve, cat herding, trying to gather up your passel of people all whom are headed to the show, just at different times.

I found myself with a silicone dish half-filled with some delectable DosiDo dabs, a nectar collector hummingbird and a torch — not a big blazer style, but one you might get for a light plumbing job.

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Trying to dab at the show was not really enjoyable as the psychedelic roar of the audience began to swell, it pretty much signaled the end of my “in the crowd” dabs, especially after I saw one of the phish kids flounder as his cotton laced costume went up in a flash fire as he attempted to light his bowl. Stop, drop and bowl!  I found it much funnier than he did.

Now, I’ve been a dabber for quite some time and have forgone the flowers, but that night, I really had the hankering for a joint of something fruity and juicy. I was entranced by the smell of burning buds streaming their terpene-laced smoke around the venue as the crowd shaked and shimmied to the jams of the Vermont Quartet. I did take a walk to a place less crowded where I met Larry, who was dressed as a jester. Once he found out we had the same first name, Larry declared, “I have to smoke my pot with you! “

Well sure Larry, lets! He had a bowl filled with weed, and I believe I might have tasted a seed. It was fun and as the night finished up, I decided the next night would be different.

Being an East Coaster, morning comes early in Vegas, but as the new day dawned, I was excited to see another Phish show — this time with a fist full of joints!  Which brings me back to NuLeaf and my experience at the dispensary. It took a $10 Uber ride, which is always fun when you’re going to buy weed in a legal setting.  The chit chat with the driver, a wonderful woman from El Salvador, who once she saw the address, she remarked, “I take a lot of people here, seems people like to smoke, you people are always so friendly.”

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I picked to go to NuLeaf because of the dynamic manager that runs the operations over there, a man named JC Coats.  You might know him as the person who designed and implemented the “First Friday” for cannabis – a must-attend event for anyone interested in the Las Vegas cannabis scene featuring live music, vendors and food, definitely check it out sometime.

People buy from people. If you are a business person and you don’t invest in your most valuable assets — your people — your story will be short in the cannabis world.  As you enter NuLeaf you are greeted with wonderful smiles, as you are vetted, and ID checked. The waiting area has a really cool 1950’s art deco vending machine — a piece of art that foreshadows the motif of the actual sales area. Walking through the doorway, customers are transported to an ol’ west style old school pharmacy and soda shop. Instead of licorice whips and candy straws, there are live resin pens and canna candies. From the white tile with black mosaic to the deep rich wood adorning the walls to the hardwood cabinetry and menus, everything is presented in a western motif.

The store was very clean looking, welcoming and warm, and I experienced it to be very relaxing to just browse a little before talking to one of the tenders. When I was ready to purchase, I met Cory, who seemed to be knowledgeable about the many facets of cannabis consumption. I told him I was after something super sour, the loudest that he had back there in the bevy of botanical blazery.  We discussed a few couple strains: the “strawberry lemonade” was a must, along with the “purple haze” and also a flower called “Joe Fix-It” which is what I was steered to when I requested something that didn’t necessarily have to have a discerning taste but the high should be powerful. That is one of the most wonderful things I find about the legal market, is the plethora of flavors along with knowledgeable bud tenders who help guide you to your promised land, wherever that land might be.

I hurried back to the hotel as showtime approached. Back in the room, my crew was all smiles as they saw the sack of goodies I had brought.  Along with the ganja, I remembered to get rolling papers and gave the table a good forearm clean for some rolling space. Two of the flavors were in sealed plastic jars and the other in a mylar bag.  All were cured properly and broke up well, creating some wonderful piles of rolling material.

I twisted up a bunch of 1+ gram, the size of a finger, doobers and put them into my Chroncontainer before heading out to the show.  As these things go, the crew had to make a stop at another room to see more of the crew’s crew, and so I had the opportunity try out the Purple Haze. Wow, my NuLeaf budtender was correct. It tasted wonderful and had a very nice stoney wispy high that had us all on the balcony staring at the Vegas skyline before the voice in my head began to scream, GET TO THE SHOW!

Snapping out of it, we finally got in motion and arrived at a row of 10 chairs. With about 15 people, there was not a spot for me.  The lights went down, the band came on and I am left standing on the stairs wondering where I should post up. There it was, an empty on the end, I scooted into the spot and began to bebop with the show opener. I noticed the guy next to me kind of give me one of them, “oh dang you just grabbed my extra space I had planned to get my Soul Train dance machine on.” I reached into my pocket and produced one of the rather healthy joints that resided in my pocket. He went from the straight face emoji to the one where it’s winking with the tongue out.  It was a Strawberry Banana joint, with a very citrusy bouquet. We hit that thing for a good long time, with his friend getting in on it. Everyone took their sweet time roasting up a nice coal before passing it along. I sparked one about every other song in the first set. During the set break, my new phriends told me of how they were just young men out in the world, seeking tasty waves and a cool buzz. Ski instructors up in NorCal, trimming weed to make ends meet during the off season.

The second set led off with the “Joe Fix-it” joint and again, Cory from NuLeaf had it dialed in, these buds took us to the next level of nirvana.  I was baked like a chicken listening to the band play some of their best jams of the tour, as I was totally immersed in the chords and harmonies and Trey cooking up scrambled eggs in the kitchen of the mind.  Not sure what the other guys had for set-break, but they were much more animated than the first set (the one doing what I thought to be a Jim Morrisonesque dance). I moved a bit over and let the brother have plenty of space to get his Lizard King on.  I finished up most of the joints to my head, which is really my favorite part, the final quarter of the joint is the most flavorful part.

The show ended, and the lights came on. It was a really good show, everyone had miles of smiles as now the party was to move to another location.  I had bought two eighths of the Strawberry Lemonade and saved one for them for after the show. I visited another friend and we sat on the 46th story balcony watching the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas and smoked it up till dawn.

What a grand and festive time I had in Vegas, thanks in part to the wonderful folks over at NuLeaf. If you find yourself in Sin City, definitely check out NuLeaf for all of your cannabis needs and tell them Larry Reed the “Man on Weed” sent you.

 

Cannabis Pioneers Clear The Path In The Sooner State

By Larry Reed, Man On Weed

Sooners is the name given to settlers who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before the official start of the Land Rush of 1889. According to the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, the designation “Sooner” initially had a very negative connotation. However, that began to change by the time of statehood, and the appellation is no longer considered negative by most residents.

Its time for round two in a bit of a different context.  Cannabis, specifically medicinal cannabis is happening and there are plenty of Sooners on the path. The early settlers certainly will have their trials and tribulations, clearing the path for the future of cannabis, culture and commerce in the state.  The Sooner spirit is alive and well Oklahoma, and we have one of the most sensible medical program in the country.

Last Friday I attended the first OK Entrepreneurial Cannabis Leadership meeting organized by Jay “Greengrow” Wright.  Wright has created a space where those interested in medical cannabis business opportunities are welcome to come share who they are, what they do, and what they are looking for or have to offer.

It was a great event, with many people taking initiative to get up and speak.  There were growers, processors, retailers along with doctors and lawyers, scientists and engineers.  An amazing array encompassing the true vastness of the cannabis industry. The meeting lasted about two hours with many of us staying to keep the networking going into the night.  

A beautiful aspect of all this was, two hours before, none of us knew anyone at the meeting.  If you have ever gone down the cannabis commerce road, you know it is a pretty lonely feeling.  The tasks are many and some of the hills, turn into mountains with the amount of effort it takes to get over them.  Here we found fellow climbers, many with other skill sets that perhaps we lack that would compliment our dreams and we have perhaps the key that might help it unlock it for them.  Cooperation and teamwork are essential to success in any business and here in our canna-world it is probably even bigger.

Planet 13 Awarded Nevada Dispensary License

Planet 13 awarded Nevada retail cannabis license through settlement of the lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation

NEVADA:  Planet 13 Holdings Inc., a leading vertically-integrated Nevada cannabis company, today announced it has agreed to a settlement of its ongoing lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation and other parties which subsequently joined the litigation. As part of the Settlement, Planet 13 is receiving one provisional adult-use dispensary license in unincorporated Clark County, Nevada. The License will be used to re-open Planet 13’s former dispensary located at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas, Nevada that closed on October 30, 2018 (the “Medizin Dispensary”).

“We’ve always known that as one of the top operators in Nevada, responsible for 9% of the state’s sales, we deserved to win a license from the Nevada Department of Taxation. Although we are not happy with how long the process took for us to obtain the license to re-open our original location, we are thrilled to be able to service our loyal customers who supported Planet 13 from day one,” said Larry Scheffler, Co-CEO of Planet 13. “The Medizin Dispensary at 4850 Sunset Road in Las Vegas is a fully built-out 4,750 sq. ft. store that offers the same dedication to customer service, high-quality products, and innovation that Planet 13 is known for, all in a compact footprint designed to compliment its local neighborhood.”

The Medizin Dispensary was closed on October 30, 2018, to transfer the license to the Planet 13 SuperStore located next to the Las Vegas Strip. During the last full quarter of operations, Q3 2018, the Medizin Dispensary generated $4.9 million in revenue with a gross margin of 53%. The Medizin Dispensary requires no additional CAPEX to open.

Activists To Celebrate 4 Years Of Philadelphia Marijuana Decriminalization At City Hall

PENNSYLVANIA: Cannabis consumers will gather at Philadelphia City Hall on Saturday, October 20, 2018 to participate in a Pop Up Weed Garden to celebrate a bit more liberty for the plant.

Four years ago, Philadelphia Police (PPD) began issuing civil fine tickets in lieu of a criminal arrest for small amounts of marijuana.  Jeanine Campbell with South Philly NORML said, “We’re celebrating because this day marked the beginning of a new era of cannabis reform in Philadelphia.”

The bill was championed by Jim Kenney, who at this time was the at-large City Councilor, and passed with a super-majority. Mayor Michael Nutter signed the bill on October 1, 2014,  and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey implemented the new procedure on October 20, 2014.

Instead of handcuffs and prosecution, those found in possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis or 8 grams of hash/concentrates are written a $25 Code Violation Notice (CVN). Smoking in public gets a $100 CVN fine.

Arrests of cannabis consumers immediately plummeted from more than 5,000 per year to less than 600. This means there have been nearly 20,000 fewer people bought into the criminal justice system over small amounts of weed. Budget savings are estimated at more than $16 million since the ordinance went into effect.

This year, newly elected District Attorney Larry Krasner announced his office would no longer charge anyone with a crime – even if they are still arrested – over a decriminalized amount of cannabis. Activists have marked the shift from the first day when U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran and legalization advocate Mike Whiter met with a PPD officer at City Hall to receive the first ticket.

Two years later, on October 20, 2016, a “Pop Up Weed Garden” was staged in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Eakins’ Oval. Hundreds of cannabis consumers celebrated the plant, and a hint of newfound freedom.

This year,  advocates who worked on the effort, including Chris Goldstein, will gather at City Hall on Saturday, October 20th to mark the occasion with local consumers at 4:20 PM. Goldstein said, “It’s time for Philadelphia to begin charting the path forward for full legalization. There are hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers here in Philly,” said Goldstein, “It’s time to begin offering safe marijuana products at a low price, and allowing home cultivation.”

Philadelphia’s 2014 decriminalization shift inspired other cities to downgrade possession fines and penalties. Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, Bethlehem, Allentown, Erie, State College, and Lancaster have passed ordinances. The PA House Judiciary recently approved HB928 to consider the move statewide.

Meanwhile, reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Newark Star-Ledger have shown a recent spike in marijuana possession arrests in communities that maintain criminal prohibition.

Advocates remain hopeful that a full legalization effort, spearheaded by Rep. Jake Wheatley (D- Allegheny), will gain momentum in 2019.


CONTACT: Chris Goldstein (267) 702 3731