Ah Warner: 25 Years On The Forefront Of Hemp & Cannabis Culture And Commerce

By David Rheins

WASHINGTON:  “It’s been a crazy twenty-five years,” Cannabis Basics founder Ah Warner tells me via Zoom this Sunday afternoon.  “The word that I really relate to in this journey is tenacity. I am tenacious, and without that I would not be around.”

Tenacious is an understatement.  Since 1994, Ah has been a true pioneer on the forefront of hemp and cannabis culture and commerce.  Her Cannabis Creations, established in 1994, predates the legendary Dr. Bronner by 5 years, selling hemp products “back when people still thought hemp was marijuana – I guess some people still do,” she told me.

Inspired by Jack Herer’s seminal book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy”, which she calls the Bible of Hemp, Ah’s journey began with a love of all things hemp, migrated to a passion for medical marijuana, and then in 2012 when Washington State legalized adult-use, Ah felt the recreational market left inadequate place for her hemp-centric and low THC body products, so she went mainstream.  She now vends her Hemp Basics line all over the country; while her Cannabis Basics products, which contain small amounts of THC, are sold in grocery stores and specialty retail only in Washington State.

Cannabis Basics is allowed by law to sell on mainstream retail shelves due to the landmark CHABA (Cannabis Health and Beauty Aids) law that Ah Warner along with activist Keri Boiter and then State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles passed in Washington in 2015. When I asked her what had changed in the five years since that CHABA legislation was passed, Ah explained “The law that is five years old now still only exists here in Washington State. No other state has replicated this.  No other state has said ‘if you have a little bit of marijuana in your product, and it is non-intoxicating and a topical it can be sold in grocery stores.’   What that means for me is that I have two lines – one is hemp seed oil and CBD, called Hemp Basics that is sold all over the country. And then my CHABA line, Cannabis Basics, which has the marijuana in it, sold here in Washington State in grocery stores. Now people don’t have to go to pot shops to get full-spectrum topicals. And that has changed a lot for people, especially the older generation who don’t want to go into a pot shop for a topical.”

 

By taking her hemp and cannabis brands mainstream, Ah has unlocked a whole new marketplace.  It has been necessary to “pivot, pivot, pivot” Ah notes, as the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the shutdown of her core buyers — massage therapists, and boutique retailers, resulting in a 50% loss of business.

But, always the innovator, Ah discovered a need in the marketplace, and has created a new product line to address it.  She believing that in the age of COVID-19 everyone that wears a mask is a hero, but notes that wearing a mask poses it’s own challenges.  “Unfortunately, masks are uncomfortable and may cause irritation, redness, and inflammation around the nose and mouth,” she noted. “Many masks are made from synthetic materials and dyes, and when combined with sweat and hot breath, can clog pores and create havoc on our sensitive facial skin. This new phenomenon is called maskne.”

“I really wanted to create something that would be helpful and comforting to our frontline workers and dedicated mask wearers in these challenging and stressful times so I formulated the Masked Hero Face Rescue System, harnessing the best that cannabis has to offer. The product blends organic hempseed oil, hemp hydrosols and cannabis extractions and infusions, with many other powerful botanicals, like tea tree, neroli and witch hazel. This skin care system is a three-step process: a cleanser to bathe and detoxify, a toner to balance and tighten and lastly, a moisturizer to nourish, hydrate and protect your face.”

What’s next for the energetic entrepreneur?  Ah will be introducing a new online retail store (Ah’s Cannabis Couch) and a new YouTube channel.  To learn more, watch the entire video interview, presented exclusively on Marijuana Channel One, part of the MJNews Network.

Mary’s Medicinals Coming To Maryland Medical Cannabis Patients

COLORADO: MM Technology Holdings has announced  a partnership with Green Thumb Industries (GTI) to produce and distribute its line of Mary’s Medicinals cannabis products for patients across Maryland.

“Mary’s has developed a line of unique products with unparalleled quality, accuracy and an exceptional reputation for effectiveness,” said Ben Kovler, Founder and Chairman, GTI. “Patients deserve the choice of alternative forms of medical cannabis and we’re excited to bring this trusted, revolutionary, and highly-targeted suite of medical cannabis delivery options to the patients of Maryland. The patients in Illinois have had tremendous success with Mary’s and we look forward to providing the same access, options, and relief to thousands more.”

Mary’s Medicinals has established itself as one of the most trusted and innovative producers of canna-based products in Colorado, and has since expanded into additional states from coast to coast. Mary’s was first to offer THCa and CBN products, discovered harvesting techniques for the isolation of CBC, and continues to develop cutting edge approaches for isolating, manufacturing and delivering medicinal cannabis.

“The potential of cannabinoid therapies as a treatment for many conditions is enormous. However, the traditional cannabis products on the market today don’t appeal to all patients,” said Lynn Honderd, CEO of Mary’s Medicinals. “With Mary’s unique delivery and accurate dosing mechanisms, patients are finding relief that is more effective, more reliable and more targeted than anything else available. We’re pleased to expand our relationship with the highly-regarded and qualified team at GTI to help bring relief to the patients of Maryland.”

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: Alternating Proprietors Package

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be holding a Public Hearing to address amending OAR 845-025-3250 and adopting 845-05-3255 – Alternating Proprietors Package.

As OLCC staff has begun licensing cannabinoid edible processors, staff has discovered that many processor do not own a commercial kitchen to produce their products. Instead, as is common in the catering industry, many edible/concentrate makers rent commercial kitchen space or share space with another processor to save on costs.

Existing rules allow for this practice under certain conditions for processors with an edible endorsement. However, existing rules do not contemplate that many edible makers also produce their own infused products, which requires a concentrate endorsement. The Commission is expanding the rule to allow processors who operate under this rule to also produce certain concentrates for use in their edible or topical products.

Introducing California’s First Mainstream Cannabis Beauty Line, High Gorgeous

CALIFORNIA: It can heal dry skin, reduce inflammation, and kick cellulite to the curb. That’s why cannabis is the star of each one of these new lotions, body butters, bubble baths, and lip balms that will have everyone saying, High Gorgeous!

With packaging that looks perfect on big beauty chains’ shelves, and names like High-Biscus, Plain Jane and Sugar High, the infused-product line is taking the canna-world by storm. The decadent creations are the latest from the all-women team at Yummi Karma, who rocked the edibles scene with their award-winning infused potato chips, popcorn, and tinctures.

“We want to normalize cannabis,” says Yummi Karma CEO Krystal Kitahara. “Gone are the days of boring topicals with medicinal packaging. California voters have spoken, and it’s time to get excited about the future of cannabis products.”

The biggest question people have is, will I get high from using them? Probably not. THC does not enter your bloodstream when you apply it topically. The High Gorgeous line has between 25 to 200 milligrams of THC in each product.

“While you won’t feel the psychoactive effects from the THC, you will feel very relaxed,” says Alysia Sofios, marketing director of Yummi Karma. “The bubble bath, especially, is a life-saver. It makes all the stresses of the day disappear. There’s something magical about these topicals.”

Cannabis can also help with pain and inflammation. Infused topicals are a favorite of professional and amateur athletes alike, as well as anyone with neck or back soreness. Arthritis sufferers have also found comfort in applying cannabis creams.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” says Kitahara. “They have all the medicinal benefits, while smelling amazing and making your skin soft and smooth. I can’t wait for everyone to try them. I know they’ll love them as much as we do!”

While Yummi Karma mainly targets women, the team has been surprised by how many men are looking forward to testing out the topicals.

There is also an option for those who do not have a medical marijuana recommendation, or those with very sensitive skin. Plain Jane is a fragrance-free lotion with no THC and 100 milligrams of CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) is used to treat a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema, allergic reactions, and even skin cancer.

The complete High Gorgeous line will hit dispensary shelves early next year, and already has a waiting list.

Striking Oil: The Business of Edibles, Topicals and Concentrates Is Jan 21st In Tacoma, WA

The Marijuana Business Association and Front Runnerpowered by TetraTrak, have announced their first Professional Seminar of 2016: “Striking Oil: The Business of Concentrates, Edibles, and Topicals.”

The half-day MJBA Professional Seminar takes place on Thursday, January 21st, 2016,1PM-6PM, at the Red Lion Hotel in Tacoma, WA. Hosted by The Marijuana Business Association and business intelligence firm Front Runner, “Striking Oil” will provide I-502 Producers, Processors, Retailers, and industry professionals with an in-depth look at Washington’s emerging marketplace for cannabis concentrates, oils, edibles and topicals.

The legal cannabis marketplace has evolved well beyond the bud, and today Edibles, Topicals, Concentrates and Oils represent the fastest-growing segments for Washington’s legal cannabis industry.  MJBA and Front Runner will kick off the afternoon with a detailed parsing of the LCB sales numbers to date, with forward-looking analysis from Front Runner CEO Brian Yauger.

CannaSol Farms founder Jeremy Moberg will deliver the keynote address, providing his prospective as one of the state’s leading Producer/Processors, and an outspoken advocate for naturally-grown cannabis. He will focus his remarks on the needs for Washington producer/processors to self-regulate.

Exciting new cannabis-infused products and concentrates bring with them a host of new business challenges for our emerging industry, including how to create best practices and common standards for Contaminants/PesticidesDosing and Packaging, and Lab Testing/Quality Assurance.  To provide their insights into these pressing issues and others, MJBA has assembled subject matter experts from Washington’s top cannabis companies to serve as our VIP Panelists.

Leading subject matter experts from Db3 (Zoots) , Mirth Provisions (Legal) , Eden Labs, Cannabis Basics, Avitas, Kush Creams, Mary’s Medicinals, The Goodship, Ethos Extracts, Robotanical, Spot, Integrity Labs, Landrace Labs, Dama, Amoebic Extracts, (and many others) will lead discussions on Edibles; Topicals, Concentrates and Lab Standards.

Industry Thought Leaders Speak at MJBA/Front Runner Seminars

Industry Thought Leaders Speak at MJBA/Front Runner Seminars

Tickets are $99 in advance/$125 Day of Show. MJBA Members and Front Runner Subscribers receive special discount!

Reserve your tickets here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/striking-oil-the-business-of-edibles-topicals-and-concentrates-tickets-20114229201?

“Striking Oil” VIP Sponsors include Robotanical, Eden Labs, Cannabis Basics, PayQwick, Avitas and Great Pacific Packaging. .

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Everyone uses cash because banks, which are federally regulated, aren't keen on the idea of getting into business in an industry that is still federally illegal.

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WA Senator Kohl-Welles Aims To Ease Regulation On Cannabis Health And Beauty Aid Products

WASHINGTON:  Cannabis health and beauty aid products would not be subject to the same regulations as marijuana concentrate or marijuana infused products, under Senate Bill 5493,introduced today by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.

“This bill is about promoting small businesses and allowing entrepreneurs to find new ways to drive our economy, without legal recourse, as we continue to be pioneers in the marijuana legalization process,” said Kohl-Welles. “And topicals can be very soothing on sore muscles.”

Cannabis health and beauty products are not intended to be mood-altering and have no psycho-active effects. Examples of these products, according to Kohl-Welles, are body lotion, soaps, and salves—none of which is ingested. Under Kohl-Welles’ proposal, cannabis health and beauty products would not be able to contain a THC level higher than 0.3 percent, they would not be allowed for human consumption and they would not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier which leads to intoxication.

“This is 20 years in the making,” said Ah Warner, owner and operator of Cannabis Basics, a small business in Magnolia dedicated to creating cannabis health and beauty products since 1995. “My products enhance personal health and wellness by providing the highest quality hemp and cannabis flower topical therapy products. These products are regenerative and can help repair skin, heal wounds and reduce scar tissue.”

The Home Of Fertile Hempseed Oil And Premium Cannabis Flower Topical Therapy

WASHINGTON: Aimee Warner: Cannabis Basics

She is a woman on a mission and we are not saying this as a light play on words. If there is anywhere you wouldn’t find her, it would sitting contently on the sidelines. Instead, she is in the Senator’s office, nose-deep in industry research, and years ahead of the competition in terms of experience. This ravenously passionate soul would belong to none other than Ah (Aimee) Warner, founder and CEO of Cannabis Basics. If you think we’ve spoiled the story and given you all the details of our interview with her, you will be sorely disappointed. We dare you to not read on- the only one who will be at a loss is you. The green rush is a movement and Ah is the one tinkering with the gears of the engine.

What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?

Well, it all started 20 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, Darienne Zoa, and I walked into the Fremont Hemp Company and like I like to say ‘My world has never been the same.’ I saw the possibilities, the multiple possibilities that were there and I began building my own company. When I started out, my company had several different lines, but the line that beat the competition was my body care line, which became the foundation of Cannabis Basics.

About 3 years ago, some friends of mine asked me to help them open a medical dispensary here in Washington and I found myself once again immersed into, not only the culture, but the science of cannabis and realized that there was every reason to add cannabinoids to my already award winning hemp products and here we are now!

What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?

The science of what I do is something that I have really learned along the way; it wasn’t a skill set that I had, it was from the research that I’ve done and from trial and error. 20 years of trial and error working with the cannabis plant. In terms of previous experience, I’m actually a certified draftsman and project manager, so I think both of those skills, mainly the project managing, helps me to stay on task and keep things moving forward in a pretty organized fashion. Also, being a former military personnel in the U.S. Air Force, in the supply unit, then implementing the skills I acquired really works to keep my business going in an efficient and organized manner.

Right now, where are you guiding your passion and energy towards?

Well, there are a couple of things going on right now. I reopened my hemp line, my hemp-only line because the line of products that have cannabinoids can’t leave the state of Washington because of its THC content. The ironic thing about cannabis being legalized is that it really has brought life back into my hemp company, which is great! Currently, we have 6 hemp-only products that we are selling across the country unrestricted because they don’t have the cannabinoids in them.

Aside from that, all my remaining time and effort is going towards working with legislators and decision makers here in the state of Washington that are going to help me to define cannabis topical so that it can be regulated separately from other cannabis products that have intoxicating effects, which mine do not. That means working with Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who has been there for medical marijuana and hemp from the very beginning, and doing a fundraiser for her! She was the first supporter, so I am really proud to be working with her.

 

Pierce County Gets Its First Retail Cannabis Store — But It’s Not Pot

WASHINGTON: With neither fanfare nor protest, retail cannabis came to unincorporated Pierce County on Friday with the opening of The Ultimate Cure in Summit.

That’s cannabis, not marijuana.

Angel Swanson, one of the owners of the enterprise at 5324 84th St. E., said the products she sells contain less than 0.3 percent of THC, the principal active ingredient in marijuana.

Initiative 502, which regulates the production, processing and retail sale of pot, defines marijuana as the parts of the cannabis plant “with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

Anything less, Swanson says, makes a plant cannabis and not pot and therefore is legal to sell. Or buy. By anyone.

The oils, topical lotions and cannabis-infused edible snacks on the shelves, Swanson said, do contain high concentrations of CBD alongside the relative absence of THC.

For Berkeley Jews, Medical Cannabis Is Ethical Imperative

CALIFORNIA: If you want to traffic in stereotypes, Elie Green, Ramona Rubin and Daniel Kosmal — the founders of Doc Green’s, which makes healing cannabis ointments and lotions — look pretty much like what you might imagine when you hear, “Berkeley-based medical marijuana collective.”

That is, of course, until they open their mouths and tell you they’re observant Jews.

“It’s been interesting dealing with [appearances at] weekend festivals,” says Rubin, 36, over an almond milk latte at a Berkeley café. “Being shomer Shabbos, it means just working on Friday and Sunday … it’s a constant balance between serving our own religious needs, doing keruv [outreach], telling people about what we’re doing with cannabis and how it could help them.”

The company’s co-founders, who have been producing lotion made from marijuana plants grown in Northern California and selling the product online and through dispensaries for more than four years, say the average customer is an older person who suffers from chronic pain such as sciatica. [Read more…]

For Berkeley Jews, Medical Cannabis Is Ethical Imperative

CALIFORNIA: If you want to traffic in stereotypes, Elie Green, Ramona Rubin and Daniel Kosmal — the founders of Doc Green’s, which makes healing cannabis ointments and lotions — look pretty much like what you might imagine when you hear, “Berkeley-based medical marijuana collective.”

That is, of course, until they open their mouths and tell you they’re observant Jews.

“It’s been interesting dealing with [appearances at] weekend festivals,” says Rubin, 36, over an almond milk latte at a Berkeley café. “Being shomer Shabbos, it means just working on Friday and Sunday … it’s a constant balance between serving our own religious needs, doing keruv [outreach], telling people about what we’re doing with cannabis and how it could help them.”

The company’s co-founders, who have been producing lotion made from marijuana plants grown in Northern California and selling the product online and through dispensaries for more than four years, say the average customer is an older person who suffers from chronic pain such as sciatica. [Read more…]