Showing posts from 2018

Cannabis Market Lull

The cannabis market is now in a quiet steady state. It was exciting to go from the black market to the gray market. But now, with tighter controls over quality, etc, it’s dialed back the growth, excitement, and adventure. Any pop-up gray market collectives are quickly squelched by licensed collectives. While the market has shrunk, the safety has increased. 

Introduction to the Cannabis Industry at SDSW

I lead the cannabis topic track at San Diego Startup Week, this year (SDSW18). Here's a video, with so-so sound (some clicks and pops) from my presentation in June: You can skip the first four minutes and twenty seconds and see a better (HD) version of my intro video here:

San Diego's Cannabis Valley

Former credit union, soon-to-be cannabis dispensary When a place becomes a magnet for a certain industry it typically gets a nickname, generic name, or a play on words. High tech has Silicon Valley in the S.F. Bay Area, Silicon Alley in NYC, and Silicon Beach in L.A. American movies have Hollywood. Indian movies have Bollywood. Etc. The Sorrento Valley area of San Diego is quickly becoming a magnet for cannabis dispensaries due to its favorable zoning. Today, I nicknamed this area Cannabis Valley North . I came up with this name while touring a new dispensary that's planning to open in the spring under the OutCo brand . What makes Cannabis Valley North so zone-friendly is that it's an industrial area, plus it's about dead center, in the middle of the county, along the coast. One of the requirements for dispensaries is they have to be at least 1,000' from another dispensary. Ironically, there's already a legal dispensary less than 100 yards away, but,  since

Sativa vs. Indica

Summary: The key difference between sativa and indica is that sativa is felt predominately in the head while indica is felt in the body. When it comes to cannabis flower, there are two basic types (strains) on the market: sativa and indica (plus a combination called hybrid). Think of it like wine: there's red, white, and a combination, rosé. (Piece of trivia, red wine comes from red grapes, but white wine comes from both red and white grapes since the grape juice is clear). Sativas tend to get the brain racing which can lead to paranoia in people who tend to be anxious. Creative people, who like sativas, find that it can enhance their thought process and help them recognize trivial connections. (It can also create thoughts that don't make sense.  Today's version of “Write drunk, edit sober" – legendarily attributed to Ernest Hemingway – would be "Write high, edit low."  In other words, don't believe everything you think – make sure your thoughts can h

'Disjointed' on Netflix

A buddy from Studio Unseen (formerly 3rdSpace) told me checkout the new Netflix comedy series, Disjointed . It stars  Kathy Bates who, after spending decades advocating for medicinal marijuana, now owns a legal cannabis dispensary in a Southern California strip mall. What's interesting about this series is its technical accuracy, much like The Big Bang Theory . The show portrays most every "type" of person in the industry while referencing actual cannabis strains, brands, etc. solidifying its authenticity. As an added touch, the show also spoofs pot-themed commercials for real and fictitious brands. Kathy Bates plays Ruth Whitefeather Feldman whose hippie roots go back to the Vietnam War. She loves what she does, but resents that the cannabis movement is now a commercial industry. For decades, she was the oppressed and now she's coming to grips with the reality that, in a way, she's become " the man ." Her son is a recent MBA grad who wants to run

Handling Too Much Edible

When smoking or vaping cannabis, the onset of the drug's effects is fairly quick, from seconds to minutes. This makes it easier for a person to better control the desired effect. Edibles, on the other hand, are where cannabis consumers get into trouble and have bad experiences. I've mentioned, ad nauseum, there's never been a recorded death in an adult from cannabis, alone. But, it doesn't mean you can't have a bad experience.  Many people who've tried cannabis edibles for the first time end up consuming too much. It's such a common issue that people say, "Don't pull a  Maureen Dowd ," named for a New York Times reporter who ate too much of a cannabis infused edible while covering the cannabis industry in Colorado.  Edible Issues One key issue with edibles is knowing the dose (10 mg THC is the ideal starting point, then wait two hours). Companies that professionally make edibles are the best at measuring accurate doses, but the st

Hard Drugs vs. Soft Drugs

Cannabis isn't injected. Q: What the difference between hard drugs and soft drugs?  The answer is relative for recreational drugs. At the very least, soft drugs tend to be things we don't even consider a drug. On a daily basis, most every American uses some type of recreational, psychoactive drug to help them get by, perhaps starting with caffeine (world's most popular drug) and ending with a glass of wine. Legal drugs verses illegal drugs isn't a fair comparison between soft and hard drugs. Consider that alcohol wasn't merely illegal, it was, literally, unconstitutional due to the 18th Amendment (repelled by the 21st Amendment). An average of six people die from alcohol poisoning each day ; compare that to cannabis (marijuana) where there hasn't ever been a recorded death from cannabis , alone,  in an adult  (I still find that statistic hard to believe). My point is that a drug's legal status, which changes over time, isn't a good litmus test

Cannabis and Combat Vets

For veterans, cannabis is controversial. For active duty military, cannabis is taboo. There is no mechanism for active duty military personnel to use cannabis simply because it is federally illegal. However, a lot of the issues from active duty injuries usually don't present themselves until years after leaving the service. PTSD is a extremely common symptom for combat vets. Plus, it's difficult to diagnose compared to a physical wound. With PTSD, the main treatments are counseling and medication. A vocal segment of those using medication (especially antidepressants) to treat PTSD report negative side-effects such as drowsiness, loss of motivation, nausea, insomnia, etc. Because of these side-effects, many choose to self-medicate with alcohol or harder drugs. One predominate side-effect of PTSD is the inability to sleep through the night. I suspect the reason for this is that victims fall asleep and, since the trauma is on their mind, it appears in their dreams as nightm

Kids and Cannabis

Kids and recreational cannabis don't mix. Over the past decade, multiple studies have shown that marijuana use in adolescence can be a contributing factor in triggering or worsening the symptoms of serious psychotic mental illnesses, most notably schizophrenia. But studies have also found that young people with a predisposition to developing a psychotic illness may be drawn to pot at an earlier age — possibly as a form of self-medication — than other adolescents. So it goes both ways. That finding seems similar to what I've also read about childhood (ages 14 – 19) alcohol use. It appears that recreational psychoactive drug use is linked to negative effects on the developing brain. I'd like to see more studies, but it seems to make sense. Think about psychoactive drug use as a rollercoaster ride for your brain. There's nothing wrong with a rollercoaster ride, except you'd never attempt it while the rollercoaster was still under construction. Medicinal cannabi

Welcome to Bliss Comma: My Story

This blog covers cannabis for consumers from the perspective of a Californian. Think of it as a starting point for people not familiar with cannabis, both medicinally or recreationally (AKA adult use). The use and consumption of cannabis has changed over the past few years as it become more mainstream. Five years ago, I despised cannabis, having never touched it even after going through six months of chemo, in 1999, for late-stage, widespread cancer (Hodgkin's lymphoma, stage 4). I'm happy to say that I'm completely cured in every sense of the word.  Paradigm Shift The event that changed my mind about cannabis was this CNN article by Sanjay Gupta ; specifically, he mentioned that he couldn't find a recorded death as the result of a cannabis overdose, alone. Despite the fact that Gupta is CNN's chief medical correspondent, a neurosurgeon, and former White House Fellow, I was immediately skeptical until I did my own research and confirmed his findings. While