WSLCB Issues Emergency License Suspension For Herban Legends In Seattle

wslcbWASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) issued an emergency suspension and revocation of marijuana retailer “Herban Legends,” License No. 420291, located at 55 Bell St. Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98121. The licensee has held a marijuana retail license since February 2016.

This emergency suspension follows complaints from employees, vendors, nearby businesses and Seattle Police Department (SPD) officials. Concerns include the licensee engaging in erratic and criminal behavior on the license premises. The substance of the complaints was validated by the WSLCB during onsite visits, interviews with complainants, and the SPD.

There have been several SPD-involved incidents at the license premises, including a Nov. 21, 2019 incident where SPD responded to a report that the licensee was throwing marijuana products and other merchandise into the parking lot and street of the license premises. Upon arrival, SPD confirmed marijuana products were on the ground outside the business and they were told by individuals in the parking lot that the owner was giving away product – a violation of state law. Over the past several weeks there have been additional law enforcement actions and arrests of the licensee.

Due to the public safety risk of the licensee being unable or unwilling to demonstrate that cannabis product is beings secured on the premises and entered into the state traceability system, the Board issued the emergency suspension. Because the license is held by a single individual, the legal oversight of the business cannot be temporarily assumed by another individual.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal in every way. The WSLCB issued one emergency suspension in 2017, four in 2018 and two in 2019.

Leafly Appoints Former Amazon Executive Tim Leslie New CEO

WASHINGTON: Leafly, the world’s leading technology platform that helps customers around the world find and discover the cannabis product that is right for them, today announced the hiring of Tim Leslie, a 20-year veteran of Amazon, to the role of Chief Executive Officer. As Leafly CEO, Tim will guide the company’s vision and strategy as it continues to expand around the globe.

leafly-logo-w851-oLeafly is the most trusted brand in cannabis; the authoritative source on cannabis, where everyone from consumers to potential consumers to dispensaries to growers go to discover the latest and best information about cannabis and cannabis products,” Tim said. “Leafly has been at the forefront of shaping the conversation on cannabis and demystifying this rapidly evolving product and industry.”

“Whether it’s on the Leafly app or Leafly.com, our vision is to empower customers around the world to find and discover the best cannabis products for them,” Tim said. “There is an ever-growing range of legal cannabis products, and as broader legalization gains global momentum, and new opportunities open up, Leafly will be there with its mainstream voice providing customers with the best cannabis information and content.”

Tim joins Leafly from Amazon where he most recently served as Vice President of Amazon Prime Video International. In that capacity, Tim launched Prime Video in more than 200 countries around the world, managing product, technology, marketing and operations for international expansion. Tim’s background in launching businesses around the world and his deep knowledge of customers and content will help Leafly in its on-going international growth and cannabis-related content strategy.

“In addition to helping customers around the world make informed choices about cannabis, Leafly’s rapidly growing marketplace also empowers cannabis businesses to find and retain loyal customers,” Tim said. “Today we are providing new and existing cannabis businesses with the broadest and deepest information in the industry; information that they can trust to provide a professional and personalized experience for customers in a regulated environment.”

Tim started at Amazon in 1999 as Vice President & Associate General Counsel responsible for Worldwide Retail. He helped Amazon launch businesses around the world and built and managed Amazon’s international legal team, which grew to 150 employees under his leadership. In 2013, Tim joined the Amazon Prime Video business as the Managing Director of LoveFilm, a UK and German video streaming and DVD rental business that Amazon had acquired. Tim was responsible for the management of LoveFilm, integrating it into Amazon, re-branding LoveFilm as Prime Video and launching Prime Video in the UK and Germany, which was completed in February 2014. Tim went on to lead the launch of Prime Video globally in 2016.

With more than 20 million monthly online sessions and 1.3 million crowd-sourced strain, product and dispensary reviews, Leafly connects patients and consumers with cannabis brands, products and retailers. Consumers can use Leafly’s easy-to-use website and mobile app to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs, find those products safely and efficiently from licensed and regulated dispensaries or retail stores around the globe.

Cannabis Activist Partners with Washington Traffic Safety Commission for Impaired Driving Awareness Campaign

WASHINGTON: Vivian McPeak, the executive director of Seattle Hempfest, has joined voices with Darrin Grondel, the director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, to get a holiday season message out about the dangers of impaired driving. The pair participated in the production of a video promoting safe driving through awareness about the dangers of driving impaired on cannabis, alcohol, or other substances.

Vivian and DarrinPSA Video

“Seattle Hempfest takes a variety of measures in the interest of public safety, so this is just another aspect of that approach. We welcome the opportunity to get a message on impaired driving out farther than we could just by ourselves,” says McPeak. 

A recent survey showed that nine percent of Washingtonians report driving after cannabis and alcohol use. These people were also most likely to believe, mistakenly, that using cannabis after drinking helps sober them up. This combined effort puts a focus on advanced planning and alternative transportation.

“One of my personal pet peeves is folks driving after mixing alcohol and cannabis, which is a recipe for driving impaired,” says McPeak. “Driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis increases your chance of getting a DUI as well as having a car crash. The smartest approach is to use an alternative mode of transportation,” he adds.

“Safety is no accident, it takes planning and forethought. If people plan before they party everybody wins,” McPeak continued.

Free Lyft Tickets

We are looking forward to distributing free $20 vouchers for Lyft rides on Tuesday Dec 11 at Uncle Ike’s Smoke Shop at 2310 E Union St in Seattle, and Wednesday, Dec 12 at Piece of Mind at 2808 E 30th Ave in Spokane.  “We hope everyone will come down to these stores and get a free Lyft voucher to help them plan before they party this season, “ says McPeak. “A little common sense goes a long way.”

 

Empower Clinics To Launch Telemedicine Platform For Medical Cannabis, Wellness Treatment

WASHINGTON: Empower Clinics, a leading owner and operator of medical cannabis and wellness clinics in the US,  announced that it is nearing completion of a telemedicine platform that will enable interested patients worldwide to connect with its specialized medical doctors.

Expected to launch in December via Empower’s Website, the telemedicine offering will make it easy for patients worldwide to speak directly with medical doctors about anything related to cannabis-based treatments as well as overall wellness. Patients will be able to select a doctor on-demand or can set a schedule for consultations engineered to take place via private video conference. Over time, the consultations will also involve online chat and other features to facilitate direct patient-doctor communication. Empower also plans to include veterinary options in the coming months, for those interested in discussing cannabis and wellness treatments for pets.

“Telemedicine leverages two of Empower’s greatest assets, in bringing together technology with Empower’s highly specialized medical doctors to provide patients with the expertise they need where and when they want it,” said Craig Snyder, Empower CEO. “This will provide an additional revenue stream for Empower while complementing our expanding physical footprint here in the US.”

In addition, Empower has completed its non-brokered private placement it announced publicly on October 19.

 

Farmer Tom Joins TV Town Hall To Talk Legalization and Normalization In Washington

By Farmer Tom Lauerman

I’m always looking for opportunities to preach the good word about cannabis, as part of my #TodayWeFarm campaignSo of course I said yes when I was asked to be a panelist on KOMO News as they hosted ‘Cannabis Boom or Bust Townhall Meeting.’ 

Along with Seattle Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, it was a major honor to stand up for patients and farmers. The discussion was led by KOMO’s Molly Shen and Matt Markovich, and included participation from law enforcement, addiction specialists and others. We talked about legalization, and how it has impacted the state of Washington in its first five years. 

town hall komo news

With legalization expanding across the country, KOMO parent Sinclair Broadcasting has plans to run the show across its network.  

You can watch the segment here:

Cannabis Ambassador-At-Large: Jake Partakes Of 24K Gold Cannagar

By Jake The Professor

This week in Seattle Washington the single most expensive cannabis product was purchased and consumed. The Leira 24K Gold Leaf Cannagar was sold at Diego Pellicer for $10,000!

The most expensive cannabis product ever sold

Justin Costillo of GRN Funds with Alejandro Cantos Owner of Diego Pellicer and Jake The Professor 

Justin Costillo is a local Seattle Hedge fund manager for GRN Funds.  He and Alejandro Cantos of Diego Pellicer began a discussion over dinner about the future of the cannabis industry. The conversation focused on setting new, higher standards for the consumer.  Alejandro Cantos, an entrepreneur and owner of Diego Pellicer, shared his goals and visions to create the world’s most luxurious cannabis shopping experience.

“Affordable Luxury” is the brand Alejandro aspires to create. The gentlemen crafted a plan to expedite the process. Justin Costillo decided he would purchase the most luxurious cannabis product ever produced. Forever securing his place in history as the first and only person to acquire the $10,000 El Dorado (see my previous column here).  This one-of-a-kind, handcrafted cannabis cigar could only be purchased from the most luxurious cannabis retailer in Seattle, Diego Pellicer.

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This one of a kind hand crafted beauty takes skills to create. A product such as this could fetch $10,000 was the notion of Ariel Payopay CEO of Leira.

Goldleaf Gardens on hand while Ariel and Brian Payopay wait for an approving nod

Goldleaf Gardens on hand while Ariel and Brian Payopay wait for an approving nod


The company name is owned and operated by the Payopay brothers, Ariel and Brian. Leira is Ariel spelled backwards. Ariel and his brother had the vision to create the finest high-end luxury products on the market — the best of the best. All products can’t be a Cadillac. A Buick may drive like a Cadillac, but it still ain’t a Cadillac! 

The Poyopay family are from Hawaii and every aspect of their operation is “Aloha Grown,” they are proud to say.  Ariel and Brian use all natural inputs, pesticide free and  “Clean Green Certified Cannabis” to create the state’s most expensive cannabis products ever manufactured and sold.

Alejandro Cantos 25 year old entrepreneur and owner of Diego Pellicer

Alejandro Cantos 25 year old entrepreneur and owner of Diego Pellicer

On June 18th 2018 at 4:20, in a penthouse on 2ed Ave in Seattle Washington, the 24K Gold Leaf El Dorado was carefully removed from its humidor (generously included in the $10,000 price , along with a fancy lighter and cigar cutter) The El Dorado is a full ounce of premium Goldleaf Gardens cannabis, wrapped in a thin layer of Polar Extracts premium Rosin.  The 7-inch long El Dorado was removed from its protective wax-sealed glass tube. It was closely admired by those of us that who had the good fortune to be present. The new owner then lit his new fancy cigar lighter and began to gently “roast” the very tip of the El Dorado before we all shared in this truly historic cannabis moment. 

We all were very aware what a truly special occasion this was. After all, when does the guy who sold you the weed get to smoke it with you? Unheard of, but there we were! Each of us with a look that said, ‘Can you believe we are smoking a $10,000 cigar?’

Jake enjoys the world's most expensive cannagar

Jake enjoys the world’s most expensive cannagar


The Professors favorite protege, Harley aka @imfamousprude, picks up what I drop:  On that hot June day on the 39th Floor of a penthouse suite cannabis history was made and then smoked. I know, I was there. 

There is an argument that can be made about the ostentatious display of wealth and influence this item portrays. I understand. I also understand the passion and vision of Alejandro Cantos and Ariel Payopay. The both said they wanted to offer the very finest luxury experience in the cannabis market.  I say with the creation of the El Dorado and subsequent sale of this one of a kind product by Diego Pellicer, this is by far the best and most luxurious cannabis product ever produced. History was indeed made.

I heard the the Payopay Brothers speaking about their next project. All I can say is stay tuned on what you will see next from each of these visionaries in this story. One thing this writer is certain of, you haven’t heard the last about the famous El Dorado. 

Cannabis Ambassador-At-Large: Marching For Freedom In Legal Seattle

By Jake The Professor

Spring has finally arrived in Seattle, and the locals are beginning to come out from their winter roosts.  The Cinco de Mayo Weekend was the unofficial kick off of the summer season, with lots of local festivities, including the Seattle Cannabis Freedom March — very important to many of us in the cannabis community. 

Melissa Hysom, longtime medical cannabis activist and organizer of the Cannabis Freedom March, works tirelessly to organize this yearly iconic event. Activists from across the country travel to the Emerald City each year to march in support of cannabis legalization.

Many people in the cannabis industry aren't aware of the real struggles of how we got to where we are today.

Many people in the cannabis industry aren’t aware of the real struggles of how we got to where we are today.

Outsiders may look at ‘legal’ Seattle wonder why we are still marching. Many aren’t aware of the real struggles that continue today.  I was pleased to have been asked to speak at this year’s event — and had the pleasure of following my very good friends and mentors, Vivian McPeak and John Davis.

I wasn’t nervous, as I speak to smaller groups each day at Diego Pellicer, as part of my role as greeter and spokesperson for the popular cannabis shop in Seattle and as  I lead Seattle Cannabis tour groups with Leila Ali, Tour Director at Kush Tours.

2018 Seattle Cannabis Freedom March Lineup

2018 Seattle Cannabis Freedom March Lineup

People from all over the world come to Jake the Professor to learn about cannabis. I make a point to tell my audience about the medicinal uses for cannabis, and relish the opportunity to demystify some myths they might have about cannabis.

I ask visitors to return to their state and tell their friends about what the hippie in Seattle taught them about Cannabis. 

jake from behind

The Cannabis Freedom March is much the same, but bigger, and more dramatic. This yearly march was lead by some of the youngest activists in our community –Seattle Hempfest Volunteer, Morgan Davis and her friend Alyssa carried the traditional Freedom March banner.  Morgan is the daughter of longtime activist and entrepreneur John Davis, and truly represents the future of our movement and our community.

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As I took the podium, I wanted my message to be simple and close to my heart.  I spoke about the need for unity in our industry. We sometimes forget that we all share the same struggles. Many of us do the exact same job as our competitors.  Our companies share similar ambitions, goals and visions for a legal, profitable future. With all that shared positivity, there really isn’t any need or space to speak negative about our competition.

This industry is growing at a much faster rate than when John Davis and I began Northwest Patient Resource Center (NWPRC) in 2011. Back then, as it is now, we learned the necessity of working together and not working against one another.  Now is a very sensitive time, we all need to come together as an industry with a unified message. We must stand for quality — quality products prepared by quality individuals.

Jake the Professor Weekend Unlimited-1As entrepreneurs we are driven to create the best products with integrity, with a sense of sustainability and accomplishment. Negative output about our competitors only distract us from being our best. The market will weed (no pun intended) out the companies and individuals who do not adhere to these principles.

I closed my speech by recognizing my mentors: Vivian McPeak, a good friend and Director of Seattle Hempfest, and John Davis — two better friends you could not find. I thanked them for championing my career, and helping me along the way.  

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I implored my audience not to spend time pointing out the problems of competitors.  The market will seek its own level. Those that offer less than what the market demands will go out of business naturally. They won’t need help from us to bring them down. They are already working hard at that. 

Perhaps the next time we find a crappy product or lousy gram of weed, we don’t write a three page review on Leafly of Facebook. Just scroll up!  You should be too busy creating your own dreams, anyway.  

Just be kind. Play nice with one another. All of us in the cannabis industry share the same struggles: struggles with LCB, struggles with partners, even struggles with employees. This business isn’t for everyone. Some companies will learn this in due time. 

Be patient. ‘Scroll up’ if you don’t like something, and ‘like and share’ if you do.  It brings out your best and puts you back on top! 

Cannabis Industry Ambassador-At-Large: Jake The Professor’s Weekend Unlimited

By Jake The Professor

I am so privileged to be able to attend some of the cannabis industry’s top events.  As a rule, Cannabis Industry professionals are eager to support of our industry, our peers,  and even our competitors to some measure. We attend events honoring outstanding individuals, and enjoy participating with our industry associations, like the MJBA and Cannabis Alliance. These grassroots events more often than not turn into a big party. We see the best events as happenings — reunions of industry leaders and professionals coming together to learn, celebrate and plan our next battle. 

As I mentioned in my last Cannabis Industry Ambassador-At-Large column, the Seattle 4/20 Celebrations were the most spectacular ever. It was a weekend unlimited in its grandeur to be sure. 

Weekend Unlimited is a lifestyle brand. Bridging lifestyle with Cannabis. Weekend Unlimited is about life's highs, anytime and anywhere.

Weekend Unlimited is a lifestyle brand. Bridging lifestyle with Cannabis. Weekend Unlimited is about life’s highs, anytime and anywhere.


Jake The Professor was honored to be a featured presenter at last weekend’s Bongzilla event in Seattle.   Showcasing amazing glass art — including huge Godzilla sized bongs by Jason Harris of Jerome Baker Designs — the gala was sponsored by Weekend Unlimited and Leafly. 

The 420 weekend event included lots of fire

The 4/20 weekend event included lots of fire

The 4/20 weekend event was filled with fire (the kind that melts glass), and some things called Glory Holes and Kilns. There was plenty of open flames, with fire shooting from the torches used to shape and temper the glass.  The thing about Glass Artists is that they all move very quickly in a orchestrated chaos of fire. The nature of the glass artist is to move in a hurry. For one thing, the glass they are working with is extremely hot. From when we were children, we all learned to move fast when fire is involved.  But the main reason is that hot glass cools quickly, and must be shaped hot before it cools and won’t form correctly, or worse breaks. 

Come see Big Green and Jake The Professor at Diego Pellicer Seattle

Come see Big Green and Jake The Professor at Diego Pellicer Seattle

The conductor overseeing the organized chaos of this active working industrial hot glass shop was Jerome Baker Design’s Jason Harris.   Jason invited artists from around the West Coast, who gathered Friday in a rented studio in the shadow of the Space Needle in a collaborative effort to build a 24-foot bong, nicknamed Bongzilla.

“Essentially this is the Freedom Bong,” head glass blower Charles Lowrie told me. Once assembled this larger-than-life Art Glass exhibit will displayed in Las Vegas at the new Cannabis Museum in July. It’s creators believe Bongzilla to be the world’s largest functional bong.


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Our good friends from Cannabition were on hand with video cameras to document the scene. Also on hand were the local press, including The Seattle Times, KING 5, Northwest Leaf and DOPE Magazine.

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One of the more interesting things I witnessed was a an artist who had lost his daughter when she died giving birth. He incorporated her ashes into a 24 foot memorial bong. It was quite moving for all of us who witnessed this.

Another highlight for me was when Chef Jeremy Cooper arrived with a couple of boxes of his delightful artisan chocolates. These delicately-crafted confections are made with the very best chocolate — and for this occasion were made with CBD and terpenes for a unique and effective product. They were a big hit and fit right in with Weekend Unlimited’s, unlimited weekend event. 

Jeremy Cooper

The Dab Doctor was in the house, and really big impression with all who participated.  Accompanied by Chef Jeremy Cooper, the Dab Doctor showed up with a slab of shatter about the size of a pizza! In fact that’s how it was presented — in a large size pizza box. The Dab Doctor soon set up two electric dab rigs and we were Unlimited Dabbing all the do da day.

Many of the industry professionals I see routinely stopped by to get a gander of real Dale Chihuly style big glass art. There were a dozen glass artist actively working very hard for 12 hours strait four days in a row. If you are thinking about becoming a glass artist, start small. This “Big Glass” is definitely not for the beginner. Many of these professional glass artist work with Dale Chihuly. 

It was great to see so many industry friends turn out for the “Big Bongzilla Event.”  Everyone it turns out likes big bongs.  We even put one of the Giants on display at Diego Pellicer.  I call it “Big Green”. 

Big Green On Display at Diego Pellicer Seattle

Big Green On Display at Diego Pellicer Seattle

Please come  by and check out Big Green at Diego Pellicer, 2215 4th Ave South,  Seattle Washington, and snap an Instagram with Jake The Professor.

Kokane Launches ‘Don’t Go’ With Hi-Tunes High Rise Video

WASHINGTON: How much higher can you get?  Well, if you are socially-conscious hip hop artist Kokane, the answer is 39 stories high above the Seattle waterfront.

Signing the deal with Hi-Tunes

Signing the deal with Hi-Tunes

Kokane and crew — Seattle producers — Chris Pack, Zac Levine and Milo Eubank — were recently spotted shooting a music video on the highest outdoor patio in Seattle — the HQ of Hi-Tunes — where they were cutting the deal to become the first song released on the Hi-Tunes platform.

The campaign was the brainchild of Hi-Tunes founder Scott McKinley, who was inspired by a “Higher” a tribute song that the artist wrote about his deal with Hi-Tunes. “Our video shoot with the Legendary Kokane was a huge success,” McKinley told MJ News Network. “The whole day fell in place beautifully — from the weather to the network of people that showed up — we couldn’t have asked for a better shoot.”

Kokane Launches ‘Higher’ With Hi-Tunes High Rise Video Shoot

Kokane Launches ‘Don’t Go’ Featuring Snoop Dogg With Hi-Tunes

As part of the historic music distribution deal, “Don’t Go” featuring Snoop Dogg , will be marketed along with two kief pre-rolls, and sold through Washington legal pot shops.  A special QR code on the label sends consumers to the Hi-Tunes web site where they can stream and download the song, and participate in other band engagements.  The release is scheduled to debut at i-502 retailer Emerald Leaves, where the climax of the video – a fan meet and greet — will be shot.

 

at the Hi-Tunes HQ

at the Hi-Tunes HQ

Hi-Tunes is leveraging digital technology to create innovative distribution channels linking artists with a vast array of marketable products.  By embedding their music into a multitude of consumer purchases, Hi-Tunes provides musical artists with new revenue streams generated from their music sales, plus greater ability to target specific audience segments, and gain valuable insights into consumption behavior and market dynamics.

 

Obituary: Medical Cannabis Pioneer And Seattle Icon JoAnna McKee Has Passed

WASHINGTON:  JoAnna McKee, Medical Cannabis Pioneer and Seattle Icon, has passed away. JoAnna cofounded Green Cross Patient CO-OP with her partner Stich Miller in 1993, after seeing a news report mentioning a medical cannabis dispensary in Seattle but not being able to locate an active dispensary.

When JoAnna and Stich spoke with the Seattle AIDS Support Group, a patient said he was looking for a dispensary in order to help combat wasting syndrome, and JoAnna said they were looking for a dispensary to donate medical cannabis to.

That night, Green Cross Patient CO-OP was born.  The organization would request that patients get a note from the Doctor stating they know the patient is using medical cannabis, and JoAnna would call the doctor’s office to verify the doctor’s signature.

In 1995, JoAnna made the news by collecting signatures for a medical cannabis initiative. A local DEA agent saw the news and had a Kitsap County Sheriff raid their home in which they confiscated 140 pot plants; however, inside the home the sheriff deputies hid the medical cannabis that was packaged in bottles around the house. The case was dropped due to insufficient evidence – this would be the first Medical Cannabis Dispensary Raid in the U.S.

In 1997, Green Cross National Safety Council filed a lawsuit against Green Cross Patient CO-OP for copyright infringement, because of the similarity in name and the green cross logo. JoAnna contacted them and brokered a deal in which they agreed JoAnna could use the name Green Cross, but it had to include Patient CO-OP, and she was required to make minor edits to her logo. This would be the first copyright infringement case involving cannabis.