This Portland Sex Club Offers a Pot-Friendly Patio Where You Can Smoke Naked

This Portland Sex Club Offers a Pot-Friendly Patio Where You Can Smoke Naked

[Canniseur: Portlandia! But why not? Why not consume, and get a little buzz along the way along, with your healthy helping of sex? Wear as much or as little clothing as you’d like.]

Portland’s Hawks PDX is not like any other cannabis consumption club across America’s legal weed landscape. That’s because Hawks isn’t an edible-friendly coffee joint like they have in Denver, or the dispensary-adjacent dab rooms that are popular in San Francisco. Instead, Hawks is a members-only sex club that also welcomes cannabis consumption, allowing visitors to toke up in the nude on a clothing-optional smoking patio.

According to a dressed down piece of investigative reporting from the Willamette Weekly’s Meghan O’Dea, Hawks’ interior features all the trappings of a sex club, with glory holes present in the walls, porn playing on loop, and plenty of wet wipes.

Outside on the smoking patio, though, a more serene scene includes dab rigs, rolling papers, and joint smokers passing pot and mingling — some with towels, others without. Hawks caters to a clientele mostly made up of gay men, but also features a weekly “bisexual night.”

Across the states with adult-use legalization, finding a place to light up outside of private residences runs the gamut from difficult to impossible. Some select cities permit highly regulated consumption lounges, while most cities — and entire legal states — ban public consumption altogether. Since Hawks requires a membership for access, the Southeast Portland sex club can set its own rules about on-site consumption without explicit licensing from the state.

Turns out, bud in the bedroom is a pretty hard proposition to ignore, even if your preferred sex/smoking setting is in the middle of a crowded club.

This Portland Sex Club Offers a Pot-Friendly Patio Where You Can Smoke Naked was posted on Merry Jane.

Baker Mixes Up “Moana” With “Marijuana,” Creates World’s Best Birthday Cake

Baker Mixes Up “Moana” With “Marijuana,” Creates World’s Best Birthday Cake

[Canniseur: Funky funny Friday. All I can say is “Oops.”]

At every level of customer service, the golden rule is that the customer is always right. So when an Atlanta, Georgia bakery received a request for a “marijuana” themed birthday cake, the staff put together its best sheet pastry, and broke out the weed leaf decals. The cake even featured a green My Little Pony character with bloodshot eyes and a joint dangling from its snout. The only problem? The customer in question had actually ordered a Moana-themed cake, and was expecting something a little more Disney-friendly.

In a social media post that has now gone viral, Atlanta resident Kensli Davis wrote that her mother had ordered her a cake for her 25th birthday featuring characters and imagery from her favorite Disney movie. But once the cake arrived, it quickly became clear that her mother’s order had turned into a hilarious game of telephone.

“So my mama called and ordered me a cake telling them how much I loved Moana (because really I do),” Kensli wrote on a Facebook post which has now been shared more than 13,000 times. “Well, needless to say, these people thought she said marijuana.”

It’s unclear why the mishap occurred, and as far as we know, the baker didn’t use any psychoactive ingredients to give the cake an even more adult vibe. But no matter how the cake came to existence, you certainly can’t criticize the execution, with green frosting lettering and some of the most perfect pot pastry imagery we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Thankfully, Kensli is an adult, and found the cake just as funny as we did. She was even happy to chow down on a blazed My Little Pony instead of Moana, writing on Facebook: “That ice cream cake was still good though.”

Now, what bakery do we call to get our own?

Follow Zach Harris on Twitter

Lead image via

Baker Mixes Up “Moana” With “Marijuana,” Creates World’s Best Birthday Cake was posted on Merry Jane.

How to Choose a Dab Rig

How to Choose a Dab Rig

[Canniseur: Some people tell me dabbing is the best thing since sliced bread. Others are not so sure. One thing…it’s pretty complex. A whole lot more complex than rolling and lighting a doobie or loading a pipe. Is it better? I’m thinking I might have try it to find out.]

Dabs are a popular trend used for cannabis consumption. Those who love smoking weed can experiment in dabs and choose an essential rig. Although dab rigs are more complicated and different from standard pipes, their benefits outweigh other factors. The effects of dabbing are immediate. Looking for a rig can be overwhelming for beginners due to the many options available. The following shows how you can choose a dab rig that’s right for you.

Fundamentals of Dab Rigs

A typical dab rig has three separate parts which include a glass piece, a heating element or a nail, and a torch that lights the nail. If you want to experiment with different concentrates, ensure you understand the features of every dab rig part to choose the right one. Understanding everything concerning dab rigs will, in turn, give you a more enjoyable experience.

The Glass Piece

The eye always loves bigger things, and the same applies to larger dab rigs. However, going for bigger dab rigs isn’t a solution. Smaller rigs offer improved flavor, and the vapor remains potent.  If your rig is too large, the vapor might lose potency. Using a smaller glass piece ensures your dabs are tasty and potent. Also, look for a glass piece you can use with water.

The Nail

There has to be a nail for you to do dabs. The best dab rigs have nails sitting on a glass piece that holds the concentrates. When you heat the nail with a torch, your dab will start vaporizing. You can choose any material which will not affect flavor, apart from getting your nail hot for long. These materials could be ceramic, glass, titanium or quartz.

The Torch

Among the most annoying things when it comes to dabs is the torch part. You have to heat concentrates to reach the vapor point. The whole heating process is an essential part when it comes to dabbing, and butane torches do it well. When you are starting your dabbing journey, ensure you select a smaller torch with a gentle flame.

Dab Rig Types

The first step to identify a dab rig is to know their different types and the one that fits you. You’ll find tons of dab rig options on the market. However, the dab rig that works for you might not do the same for another person. Some of the dab rigs available for weed smokers are the everyday dab rigs, vapor straws, and e-rigs.

The bottom line

Those who have an interest in discovering the nitty-gritty of dabbing must choose the best dab rigs to start the journey. Same as other products, dab rigs range from simple to ultra-extravagant. Everyone has their personal preferences and reasons when it comes to dab rigs and cannabis consumption.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to reflect the specific views of the publication.

Original Post: Marijuana Times: How to Choose a Dab Rig

The Dab is Dead, But Dabbing Lives On

The Dab is Dead, But Dabbing Lives On

[Canniseur: Dab? A dance. Dabbing? A way to consume concentrated cannabis. The move part has been around for a long time. The consumption of concentrates has been around for a long time. For at least a few millennia it was called hashish. Now it’s called a lot of names. But it’s not the dance that matters to consumers.]

Think back, if you can, to a time where the world was quieter and calmer. Let your mind wander back to a bygone era, the sepia-toned past: 2015.

Barack Obama was president of the United States. “Uptown Funk,” Fetty Wap and Taylor Swift dominated the airwaves. And for a brief culture moment, when “dabbing” came up in conversation there was genuine confusion as to which dab was the topic of discussion — a cannabis concentrate or the viral dance move?

Concentrated cannabis has been around for thousands of years. It appeared first and foremost in the form of hashish, consumed in Hindu rituals in India and socially in the Middle East, particularly Egypt and Morocco, before making its way to Europe in the midst of colonialism. Basically, human beings have been eating or smoking concentrated cannabis almost as long as they’ve been eating or smoking cannabis flowers.

Cannabis concentrates as we know them, gooey and shiny and cannabinoid-rich, first hit the scene much more recently as extraction techniques advanced. The other kind of dab is also newer invention, with origins that are easier to distill. It’s an uncomplicated series of movements that amount to more of a gesture than a dance: tilt your head down while, in one motion, you bend one arm in front of your face and fully extend the other, angled both about 35 degrees upward with your hands karate-chop flat. This is the cannabis-free way to hit a dab.

According to BET, the dance sprung out of the Atlanta hip hop scene around the same time the city began to spawn superstars like Young Thug and Quavo, Offset and Takeoff of rap trio Migos.

But the dab really found its way into the national spotlight during a series of contentious touchdown celebrations performed by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, according to Sports Illustrated.

Newton later told press his 16-year-old brother had encouraged him to include the move in his celebratory routine with a simple, soon-to-be iconic command: “Dab on ‘em folks.”

From there, the dab was vaulted into meme territory and became a pop culture punchline, often shorthand for victory and subsequent braggadocious behavior. Throw a crumpled piece of paper into a wastebasket and make it? Dab. Beat a friend at beer pong? Dab. Caught on camera at a sporting event or local newscast? Uh, yeah, definitely time to dab.

For certain sects of the populace — teens, rap fans, real heads, football fans and everyone in between — the identical wording was confusing. When a friend said they dabbed at a party or with their cousin over Thanksgiving, one follow-up question was basically inevitable: dabbing or dabbing, with some evocative hand motions thrown in for emphasis. Once that was cleared up, listeners could properly appreciate the rest of the anecdote, whether it be about a particularly lit playlist or a memorably hazy holiday dinner.

But as is the way with all cultural phenomena, especially culture phenomena lifted from black people and diffused into the mainstream (read: white) consciousness, the novelty of dabbing as a dance move was eventually wrung dry.

In this reporter’s opinion, the death knell of the dab as meme came when a congressman’s teenage son dabbed during his swearing-in ceremony, pissing off his family and then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in equal measure.

The dab itself is a masterclass in teenage disrespect, and it’s hard not to be a fan of anything that makes Paul Ryan upset. But the move made headlines and local news stations in a way that brought the dab as dance move to oversaturation in a way that even Hillary Clinton’s infamous “Ellen Show” dab could not (because it was eclipsed in our collective memory by “Pokémon go to the polls!” five months later). It was over. Dabbing was done.

Cannabis concentrates, on the other hand, are doing better than ever. Sure, the regulatory framework around them is varied and a little bit foggy, but from a numbers perspective, dabbing is hot: Researchers contend the global concentrate market could reach a value of over $13.78 billion in less than 10 years. That’s a lot of serious dabbing.

At the end of the day, the only competition between the dab and dabs was linguistic. In fact, one could even say the two practices share a symbolic tilt. They’re both flashy, dramatic and a little goofy — not a bad combo at all.

The Dab is Dead, But Dabbing Lives On was posted on Cannabis Now.

Cannabis, The Divine Feminine: A Talk With Cannabis Sensuality Coach Carli Jo

Cannabis, The Divine Feminine: A Talk With Cannabis Sensuality Coach Carli Jo

[Canniseur: Science shows cannabis affects neural pathways that heighten our senses. Identifying and using our senses is sensuality. Carly Jo takes this and leads people to open themselves to new experiences. As our society discovers new social pathways for cannabis she, and others like her, can play an important part in cannabis normalization in the U.S.]

The idea of ‘wellness’ has gone through many fads over the years. Some insist on solely ingesting organic foods, others hire personal trainers, hike religiously, go on yoga retreats or juice cleanses. This has shifted into a greater awareness on mental health. Therapy, mental health days, meditation, reiki, and the like are emerging as modalities to center, find calm, and heal.

In a world where people are often too scared to call out of work because the needs of their companies supersede those of their wellbeing, there is a mad dash to find something, anything, to manage the rollercoaster that is our western society. While there’s no issue with any of these pursuits, the fear is waking up one day and realizing that you’ve left a key component out of the equation.

Taoists, whose core views center around living in harmony with the universe, believe that when people engage in sexual intimacy, all parties must fully enjoy it to gain benefits of Qi, otherwise known as life force energy. When this energy subsides, according to them, so do we. Sex, Love, and Relationship Coaches aren’t a new concept, but the evolution of their work is finally dipping its toes into the spotlight. The work explores the innermost parts of ourselves that feel blocked, paralyzed and need healing. Parts stuck in old narratives are nurtured through breath work, meditation and guided self pleasure, generating self love, and a sense of permission and acceptance for your sexual nature.

It is the belief of Carli Jo, a Cannabis Sensuality Coach, that cannabis can be a fantastic tool in this work. It unlocks the creative center and makes people aware of what they really enjoy, and let go of the shame that holds them back. “Cannabis is a tool in a sexual toolbox,” she says, “just like a vibrator, a dildo, or lube”.

Courtesy of Carli Jo

High Times: What is sexuality?

Carli Jo: Sexuality is our line to humanity, the way you view yourself, your body, your relationship to others. People like to think it’s an innate quality, that you should just know how to have sex, and it’s just not the case because our whole society was built [by] puritans. This information is out there but it’s not readily available in a positive, celebratory way.

HT: So what is a sensuality coach?

Carli Jo: I focus on helping couples get their sexual needs met. We all have a different pathway to turn on and arousal and you can’t know what that is until you learn it. Prior to two years ago, I only knew there were sex therapists but my limited definition of that was someone who worked with sexual abuse, trauma. There are two sides of the sex coin, there’s pain and pleasure, it’s a very thin line. Many people focus on the pain but as a Sensuality Coach I’m focused on the pleasure.

HT: When did it really start coming into prominence and what do you think was the need to make that switch from sex therapy in terms of pain and sex coaching, focusing on pleasure?

Carli Jo: People have been doing my work for thousands of years. Look at Tantra. It’s just becoming more mainstream because look at mental and physical health. It wasn’t long ago that organic wasn’t a common word. It wasn’t long ago that people made fun of working out. We’re at the dawn of an evolution in sexual health, where people are starting to understand how sexual health is really impacting you emotionally and physically. I truly believe that when we start to feel sexuality in our individual lives, everything starts to heal.

HT: Who are the people coming to you for help and what are they looking for? 

Carli Jo: Some come to me with a solid foundation, they have the love, trust, respect, they see the importance of having a good sex life, and they want to expand. Most of us have a deep sexual desire that’s never been met. Either we don’t recognize it because we think it’s weird so we repress it, creating shame. The other, are couples who are so out of their sexuality that their relationships are hurting. One school of thought when it comes to sex coaching is that we need to fix the relationship first then get into sexuality. I believe on working on sexuality first. In a lot of relationships, what we’re really craving is that feeling of being seen, loved and held. There’s nothing on the planet like being in your full sexual expression and getting your sexual needs met with the person you love.

HT: How did cannabis come into the mix? 

Carli Jo: In 2017, before I was sex coaching, I got invited to a Cannabis Feminist women’s circle. I had never experienced such a thing, but it was in those circles where I started to develop it all. I learned why we call it cannabis and not marijuana and that cannabis is a plant representation of the divine feminine. I was around women who were so empowered, so in their right with their consumption, lawyers, mothers, entrepreneurs, the whole mix. It was when I attended a live training for my Sex, Love and Relationship Coaching (SLRC) certification that I learned just how powerful cannabis was for others expressing their sexuality as well.

In my SLRC training I spent a lot of time in self pleasure. I had had a year long intention of wanting to be present in my body. Every time I tried to connect to my pleasure I’d get knocked out of myself and my partner, I’d shut down, get in my head. I was on my fourth day of doing this hour long Tantra practice and I remembered I had this joint, and decided to intentionally bring it into my practice. It was the first time in my life I was really able to be in my body. For me, cannabis showed me what was possible.

HT: How is cannabis a representation of the divine feminine?

Carli Jo: This has been taught to generations of witches, women herbalists: if you’re consuming cannabis you’re smoking the female plant, you’re bringing the divine feminine into your body. 

HT: So what do you say for people who get paranoid when they consume?

Carli Jo: I have one word for that: intention. I notice for myself that when I’m mindlessly consuming, my heart races, there’s anxiety. I walk my couples through a consumption ritual so they’re grounded and present with the why. Why are you bringing this into your experience? Into your sexuality? So mine for one year was to be present, yours could be to get out of your head, it could be to have multiple orgasms, it could be anything.  

Julia Shepley

HT: What if your intention is just wanting to sleep better at night?

Carli Jo: It can be anything. It’s easy to grab your vape, but take a couple seconds to hold what you’re consuming in your hand, ground, get the why. Then microdose, go low, go slow. Take a little and see how you feel. I had a couple where the guy said he used to smoke all the time when he was younger and he couldn’t do it anymore because he gets so paranoid. He was open to having a cannabis coach walk him through consumption, so I paired what I thought would be best for him. When I asked him how it was he said he low dosed and had no paranoia or anxiety and was fully present in his body.

HT: Is there a similar risk to that of some illegal drugs, where there’s a concern that if you have sex while consuming, it will ruin the sober experience? 

Carli Jo: That school of thought is crap. It’s not the drug giving you the good sex, it’s your body, your mind. If you’re on ecstasy and having amazing sex, all that is, is information that your body is capable of having amazing sex. It’s the same school of thought when women tell me they’re hung up on some guy because he gave her the best orgasm. That guy was a facilitator in the experience but it was her body. If you create it with one person you can certainly create it with yourself or with other people.

HT: What makes you decide to consume when you’re about to get intimate?

Carli Jo: Cannabis is an aphrodesiac, it’s also a vasodilater, it sends blood to the genitals, but also to the frontal lobe, which is our seed of creativity, and sex and creativity go together. My partner and I strive to create intimacy, so we bring cannabis into the bedroom. We have a whole ritual around it, we set our intentions, consume, then we have playdates. Recently we ended up naked, getting the giggles for 30 minutes, and we just decided that that was our sex.That’s intimacy, it doesnt have to be penetrative.

HT: What do you say to couples who have been together a while, had a great sex life for the first half of their relationship and are currently not connecting much, in or outside the bedroom? Why does that happen and is it possible for them to find it again?

Carli Jo: It’s definitely possible, it goes away because they stop making it a priority. We do all these things, feed the dogs, the kids, pay the taxes, and then go into sexuality. It gets put to the end of the list. My most recent mentor, Miss Jaiya, talks about the 5 Stages of Sexuality, which are really important to what you just asked, because that couple you’re describing is in a state of resting.

HT: And they’re somewhere they might be stuck?

Carli Jo: The 5 Stages are resting, healing, curious, adventure, transformational. These stages are ever changing, we’re never “stuck” in one. Whenever I ask a couple which they think they’re in, I explain and they identify right away. When you give people language for what they’re going through, it instantly starts to allow acceptance. People stop thinking they’re broken. Your sexuality can continue to get better as you get older as long as you keep celebrating and accepting it. If we were raised in a society that celebrated their sexuality, imagine where we would be!

Miss Jaiya, the creator of the Core Erotic Blueprint™ types found most people fit into one of five categories. The first is Energetic, turned on by anticipation, tease. The second is Sensual, turned on by all five senses being activated. The third is Sexual, turned on by penetration, nudity, orgasm. The fourth is Kinky, enjoys the taboo, and the fifth is a Shapeshifter, turned on by all and wants it all, encompassing all five of the Blueprints™.

It is my belief that we all encompass aspects of each however, the majority relating strongly to one or two. Understanding the Erotic Blueprint™ gives people language for how their sexual desires and turn ons work. Taking what I learn about each individual’s unique path to turn on and their challenges paired with their Erotic Blueprint™, we can discuss how cannabis can aid in spiritual and sexual growth. For instance, Sensuals have a hard time getting out of their head in sexuality.

Cannabis, specifically THC, induces the impairment of short-term memory, which is suitable for staying present during sex. More information is coming to light on the benefits of pairing sex and cannabis but for now, using this system is the perfect roadmap for determining how and why cannabis effects us on the both the mind and the body.

HT: Do you think people carry that integration once the cannabis wears off?

Carli Jo: Yeah because, like Bob Marley says “it reveals me to myself”. Meditation does this, yoga can do this, there are so many things in life that can help us see our essence, the true core of who we are. It doesn’t go away after you stop meditating, that awareness is still there because our bodies hold so much wisdom.  Cannabis is just a gateway for deeper insight.

Courtesy of Carli Jo

HT: How do you determine someone’s Erotic Blueprint™?

Carli Jo: First we determine by discussing then by going into the body. That’s where your answers lie. For instance, you could tell me you have zero Kinky but when Kinky touches/sensations are applied, your body reacts. It’s a somatic experience so I’m watching for that physical indicator. There are many different and fun practices to determine one’s Erotic Blueprint™.

HT: How long does it take to figure out?

Carli Jo: The more I work with people, the faster I start to see and hear it. The session where we determine the Erotic Blueprint™, we do it based on touch, each type and person prefers to be touched differently.  When working with couples we spend three hours determining one partners’ Erotic Blueprint™, then switch to determine the other one.

HT: Are you using cannabis during this process? 

Carli Jo: Depends. Some sessions and couples lend themselves perfectly with pairing cannabis, others do not. Sometimes we infuse cannabis into the session and other times I give it to them as homeplay. Practices and exercises to continue their growth outside of the session.

HT: How do you bridge the gap if there’s something one partner likes but the other partner doesn’t? Is that something that cannabis is helpful with?

Carli Jo: This is where understanding the Erotic Blueprints is so important. Learning your partner’s unique pathway to pleasure gives more patience and acceptance. We play touch games in our sessions where we use a scale of 1-5. 1 being “never do that again” and 5 being “highly orgasmic”. We celebrate highs and lows because regardless, we’ve uncovered something. Once we determine the Erotic Blueprints™, we learn how to feed one another in order to feel fully satisfied.

I help you create a body map for yourself and your partner so you know where on yourselves is preferred to be touched. This is where cannabis can add a fun, creative way to explore. This work is not just  for partners, I encourage the whole world to take time to learn their unique sexuality!

You can learn more about Carli Jo’s work at Send a message with the subject: HIGH TIMES for a complimentary call to learn more about your Core Erotic Blueprint™.

Cannabis, The Divine Feminine: A Talk With Cannabis Sensuality Coach Carli Jo was posted on High Times.

Professional Golfer Suspended For Medical Cannabis Asks PGA To Drop Marijuana Ban

Professional Golfer Suspended For Medical Cannabis Asks PGA To Drop Marijuana Ban

[Canniseur: The dude makes great points as to why cannabis ban should be lifted in the PGA. I hope he wins his case. Times are changing!]

A professional golfer who received a three-month suspension after testing positive for THC in March is making the case to remove cannabis from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) list of banned substances.

Robert Garrigus told Golf Channel that he used medical cannabis to treat back and knee pain in compliance with state law in Washington. Performance enhancing substances that give players and unfair advantage should remain prohibited, he said, but “[e]verything else should be a discussion.”

“I wasn’t trying to degrade the PGA Tour in any way, my fellow professionals in any way,” he said. “I don’t cheat the game. That wasn’t the intention.”

Now that he’s back in the game, Garrigus said he has a meeting with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan next week to discuss the league’s drug policy. He’s aiming to open a dialogue about creating an exception for marijuana given its legal status in states throughout the country.

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He argued that cannabis “doesn’t help you get it in the hole,” unlike other banned substances such as human growth hormone. And while he’s ceased using medical cannabis, Garrigus said it should be an option available to players.

“If you have some sort of pain and CBD or THC may help that, and you feel like it can help you and be prescribed by a doctor, then what are we doing?” he said. “If you are doing marijuana then we should be testing for alcohol, too. If you can buy it in a store, then why are we testing for it? That’s my opinion.”

For the time being, however, PGA doesn’t seem interested in carving out an exception for marijuana.

Around the time that Garrigus was suspended, PGA Tour issued a warning to players in a newsletter, cautioning them that CBD products that are increasingly marketed to athletes could contain trace amounts of THC that would show up in a drug test.

“Taking a poorly labeled supplement that is contaminated with a prohibited substance is NOT a defense to a violation of the Program,” PGA said.

Garrigus said “100 percent” of players he’s talked to agree that marijuana should be removed from the banned substances list.

“I haven’t heard a bad thing from a single guy,” he said. “Every single guy I’ve talked to said that it’s an absolutely ridiculous rule.”

PGA Issues Warning To Golfers Using CBD Products

Photo courtesy of Golf Channel.

The post Professional Golfer Suspended For Medical Cannabis Asks PGA To Drop Marijuana Ban appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Professional Golfer Suspended For Medical Cannabis Asks PGA To Drop Marijuana Ban was posted on Marijuana Moment.

Do We Talk About LGBTQ Cannabis Inclusion Enough?

Do We Talk About LGBTQ Cannabis Inclusion Enough?

[Canniseur: News Flash: The LGBTQ community includes both people of color & women. Really, you don’t have to choose between groups to add diversity in your organization. An entity can can choose to just not discriminate. Select people to work with that don’t look like you and your world becomes diverse.]

Be honest, be educated and be ready to do the work.

The cannabis industry could serve as the ideal for other industries regarding inclusion and diversity. Much of the discussion has centered on communities primarily affected by the drug war, often being people of color, and women in general. The market does seem to be performing slightly better than most others, but there is room for improvement as the industry matures.

The discussion around such equitable measures will sometimes, but not always, include the LGBTQ community as well. While most in the space agree that people of color and women need to be prioritized, does the same need to apply for LGBTQ people? The responses we received from those we spoke to for this article seem to indicate that the feeling is mixed. 

“While there’s little available data on LGBTQ representation within the cannabis industry, there is some tension around representation – and it’s existed for some time,” said Michael Klein, CEO of cannabisMD. Klein mentioned other prominent outlets covering the topic in recent years. He discussed the need for the industry to acknowledge the impact the community had in growing the market, while also understanding the market’s good intentions. “But there’s a difference between wanting to do the right thing and actually doing it. It’s important that the industry look back and celebrate those that have contributed to bringing it into mainstream consciousness.”

Acknowledging the shared history of cannabis rights and the LGBTQ movement is something that John Entwistle is very familiar with. As director of the Dennis Peron Legacy Advisory Board, he understands how linked the two are, especially in the Bay Area. “Two great advances for human rights everywhere came from San Francisco where gay people and cannabis users combined forces first to elect Harvey Milk and later, during the AIDS epidemic, legalized marijuana for all medical use,” he explained. 

He elaborated on their significant efforts. “Two marginalized groups of people who were entirely underground working together to push back against the dark forces of discrimination and fear. This is a huge story, and it deserves more attention.”

Chris Schroeder owns Somatik, a Bay Area-based cannabis business. He spoke further about the connection between the early cannabis movement and the LGBTQ community. “Historically, the legacy cannabis community has always been very inclusive, but hadn’t necessarily reflected equal representation of all communities. However the LGBTQ impact on cannabis is undeniable.” 

Schroeder added, “As a diverse brand in a changing industry, it’s essential that we take an active role in creating a diverse company by creating space on our board, in our community and within our four walls for representation of each of those communities.”

As such, he does not feel like there is equal representation in the current market. Schroeder explained that businesses need to make conscious choices around equal representation. This includes seeking candidates outside of a person’s usual social and business networks. “Equal representation isn’t just a cannabis goal, it’s a goal for our society as a whole. This is an opportunity for the cannabis industry to set the standard by showing that a diverse team of people running our businesses fosters innovation, better products, and a healthier economy.”

Others feel that while LGBTQ representation and equality is paramount, women and people of color receive more attention because of the implications of the current system. Sara Gluck, Chief Operating Officer of the America Israel Cannabis Association (AICA), delved into why the attention should be focused on people of color, namely African Americans. “Studies have shown that those that identify as LGBTQ+ are twice as likely to use illicit substances, including cannabis. However, to my knowledge, sexuality doesn’t equate to being twice as likely to being imprisoned for cannabis, race does,” Gluck pointed out. 

Schroeder also agreed that diverse representation includes all three of the core groups in the discussion. He also expanded on the differences each group faces in cannabis and beyond. “I would be reluctant to compare it to the other groups because the LGBTQ community has not been targeted by the war on drugs, and the cannabis industry is a good example of how the fight for female inclusion applies to every industry and is a global goal.”

Tess Taylor, founder of the brand TAYLOR + tess said her interactions with women of various ethnicities and gender preferences revealed barriers around licensing, funding, pay and other key areas of the business. “However, this creates a thread of commonality that bands these groups together, which is empowering for everyone.” Taylor added, “I do believe that this is an inclusive industry and a paradigm shift is happening in this industry and beyond.”

That paradigm shift seems to include brand inclusion. Today, Pride events are filled with sponsors promoting openness to the LGBTQ community. This extends past cannabis and into major names like banks, clothing and scores of other brands getting involved. Entwistle mentioned vaporizer brand PAX and its efforts to celebrate LGBTQ history and its participation in Pride week celebrations. 

Others get involved outside of Pride. Dan Karkoska, aka DJ Dank, puts on PUFF, a queer, cannabis, drag party in San Francisco. PUFF has been nominated for best in city awards and has had support from major cannabis brands. Sponsors have included Somatik, Papa and Barkley and other leading names in the cannabis space to give out samples and educate the crowd. “By mixing a party, music and drag with weed education, we created a whole new hybrid show,” Karkoska noted. 

That said, some are dubious to the influx of cannabis brands embracing the LGBTQ. Paul Rathert is the co-founder of Higher Level and considers himself a straight ally. He noted how consumers are becoming wiser to companies pandering support instead of actually embracing it. “Right now It’s easy to throw a rainbow sticker on your packaging and post it on IG with a bunch of community-friendly hashtags. It’s something else entirely to consistently see an LP actually doing good within a community.” 

Rathert expanded on his inside perspective to the situation. “There’s a lot of talk about supporting minorities, but not many LPs actively supporting them or protecting them from being exploited. There’s a lot of talk and marketing behind supporting the LGBTQ community, but not many LPs are focusing time on it or telling the story of the relationship between illegal cannabis cultivation, especially in the famed Emerald Triangle and the AIDS epidemic in the Bay Area in the early 80s.”

With the need for representation and equality a must in the space, cannabis can serve as the fair entry point for LGBTQ people, as well as people of color and women. While the general consensus is that people of color and women deserve a bit more priority, many believe cannabis could be the unifier of all our differences. 

This is something Karkoska hopes to achieve through PUFF – and with the plant in general. “Let’s educate ourselves on the amazing benefits of the cannabis plant, and create a community of all sizes, shapes and colors. Cannabis is a great uniter!”

Top Photo by Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

Original Post: Marijuana Times: Do We Talk About LGBTQ Cannabis Inclusion Enough?

Seniors Are Finding Cannabis Improves Their Quality of Life

Seniors Are Finding Cannabis Improves Their Quality of Life

[Canniseur: Cannabis can improve the quality of life for everyone, not only seniors. But it’s nice to know seniors benefit from cannabis use. Life is complex and it gets more complex as we age. This is about geriatric well-being. If grandma and grandpa want to get stoned and it makes them feel better, so be it.]

According to data in the journal Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, seniors who have consumed marijuana within the past year say that it greatly improves their quality of life.

University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers surveyed seniors about their cannabis use patterns, NORML reported.

“Past year marijuana users reported improved overall health, quality of life, day-to-day functioning, and improvement in pain,” the authors reported.

The seniors most frequently reported using marijuana to treat arthritis, back pain, anxiety, and depression. A range of marijuana products — from flowers to edibles and topicals — were used by the seniors.

Authors stated, “[S]urveyed older persons aged more than 60 who have legal access to recreational and medical marijuana described multiple patterns of use of marijuana in the past year, and the majority felt that marijuana use had an overall positive impact on their quality of life.”

Original Post: Only 420: Seniors Are Finding Cannabis Improves Their Quality of Life

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