Marijuana

Keeping the Cannabis Industry Green: Second Cannabis Sustainability Symposium Tuesday
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by Amanda Pampuro

 

How many gallons of water does it take to grow a joint? How many watts of electricity? How many man-hours go into the cultivation, trimming, and processing?

If you’re a concerned consumer about the way your food is grown and how much the farmers were paid for it, why would you tune out when you toke up?

That is the reason d’etre behind the Cannabis Certification Council (CCC), which is hosting the second annual Cannabis Sustainability Symposium from Oct. 17 to 18 at the Embassy Suites Denver.

“One of our biggest hurdles is educating, telling people who come into the shop what can be recycled — just like anything else, it can be washed off and put in the recycle bin,” said Amy Andrle, founder of L’Eagle Dispensary and a CCC board member. “It’s about getting people asking what can be recycled? What can be composted?”

In addition to talks from cannabis industry stakeholders, the conference will feature discussions from environmental science leaders, including Derek Smith, founder and executive director of the Resource Innovation Institute, Shelley Peterson, VP of lighting technologies at Urban-Gro, and Dr. Elizabeth A. Bennett, director of the political economy program at Lewis & Clark College.

The agenda includes panel discussions on sustainable packaging and waste diversion as well as energy management and the need to implement industry-wide standards.

“A little bit of investment on the side of the business can have a big impact to lessen your footprint,” Andrle said. “As far as low hanging fruit go, something very easy to implement is to look at waste management (and consider) what can you do to offset what you’re sending to the landfill.”

According to a press release, the event was planned “with in-kind support from Denver Environmental Health and sustaining sponsorship from Denver Relief Consulting.”

For Andrle, the much-touted buzzword, “sustainability,” simply means asking, “How are we managing our resources? As a business owner, I want to make sure I’m not spending more than I need to and that I’m not using any more than I need to. The other buzzword everyone is using is corporate social responsibilities.”


Tickets and agenda are available at www.cannabissustainability.org.

Go Energy Chocolate Beans by 1906
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Who doesn’t need a little boost every now and then? These bite-sized balls are just the thing when you need a little pick me up. Each chocolate covered coffee bean is dosed with a pleasant mix of five milligrams THC and five milligrams CBD, incorporating the benefits of both cannabinoids with a slight boost of caffeine. The light dosage means you can dial it for the exact experience you want, and the uplifting effect of the combination is great for the start of a busy day. I’ve found that five milligrams is just about the right amount of THC to keep me energized and happy without being stoned and unfocused, so one of these is all I really need. But if you want to crank it up further, these are tasty enough that you won’t mind having a few more. There’s very little hash taste, just smooth chocolate and the slight grittiness of the coffee bean. If you’re not a fan of coffee these might not be for you, but if you’re looking to add some pep to your day, look no further.
www.1906newhighs.com

Sweet Sweet Distillate Cartridge 500mg by Craft Panacea
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Craft really know what they are doing when it comes to concentrates. These pens are sleek, flavorful and easy to use. The battery is sturdy and kept its charge for several days before I needed to recharge it. The distillate chamber looks super clean, golden and clear. The full spectrum distillate in the cartridge contains 100 percent cannabis-derived terpenes, which is totally obvious because the vapor smells a lot like the sweet, sweet smell of our good friend Mary Jane. So if you are looking for a discreet, non-marijuana smelling vape pen, this is not the pen for you. But if you want a flavorful and fragrant vaping experience, then you need to pick one of these up. www.craft710.com

Red Licorice Bites (Microdosed) by incredibles
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Incredibles has been killing the chocolate game for a while, now they are doing the same with their gummies. Each flavor is better than the last. These red licorice bites are so delicious it was truly hard to not eat the whole box in one sitting. If you love red licorice as much as I do, I would advise you to also grab some Red Vines to eat after you take your preferred dose of these gummies, because you will definitely want to eat more. The good news on that front is that they are microdosed; so even though I ate three gummies, I only consumed 15 milligrams. The effects kicked in after about 25 minutes, I was feeling happy and relaxed. I was able to drift off to sleep relatively easily, which is not a minor victory for me, and I slept through the night like a champ. I will definitely be buying these regularly. They come in 100-milligram packs for adult-use consumers and 300-milligram packs for medical consumers. Check them out at iloveincredibles.com.

Josh Blue's Blue Dream Cherry Sucker by Mountain High Suckers
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Josh Blue is Colorado’s comedy superstar. The season four winner of Last Comic Standing, the prolific comic has made appearances all over the place, from Mind of Mencia to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He’s also a resident of Colorado with a well-documented fondness for weed, so it only seems natural that Blue would lend his celebrity status to a cannabis product sold in the state where he resides. Mountain High Suckers’ line of Josh Blue’s Dream suckers sticks with the play on words, infusing every lollipop with ethanol-extracted Blue Dream. There are three flavors available, cherry, watermelon and blueberry, and I opted to give the first option a try. Though a little on the cough syrupy side with slight undertones of hash, the suckers are great to  absentmindedly slurp throughout an afternoon. I popped one in at the end of a day at the office and was nicely toasted by the time I got home, feeling energized and slightly silly, which is what I would imagine Blue would want. www.mountainhighsuckers.com

Zootblast 10mg Energy Shot by Zoots
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Zoots brownie bites are so good I wanted to try something else in their product line. Their 10-milligram energy shot was a natural choice. The flavor is intense, like other energy shots you’ve tried. Derived from yerba mate and guarana, each bottle contains as much caffeine as a cup of espresso, about 70 milligrams. This drink also contains lemon balm that is said to maintain energy levels and mental clarity. The package recommends you only consume half of the shot but I drank the whole thing. This, in hindsight, was a bad choice on my part. Effects kicked in about 45 minutes after I drank the shot, a little longer than usual for me but not by too much. The energy effects were great, I felt energized and alert. That lasted for a couple of hours, but then the THC took over and I fell asleep — hard. I proceeded to wake up every 30 minutes or so in a panic. I am hesitant to blame the drink for this though, since I hadn’t gotten much rest the night before. I would  definitely buy Zootblast again, but next time I will stick to the recommendation and only drink half. www.zootology.com

Mixed Berry Fruit Snacks by Sweet Grass
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Flavored using only natural ingredients, these gummies won’t smack you in the face with a flavor that screams, “THIS IS WHAT FRUIT TASTES LIKE!” Rather, these berry gummies have a more subtle, almost earthy taste. They’re not overly sweet in order to mask an overwhelming hash taste, just a subdued taste of berry in a chewy, manageable bite. At just five milligrams per gummy, there’s not a lot of hash taste for the natural flavoring to overcome. The light dosage might be off -putting for some veteran edible eaters, but it’s great for the inexperienced or light weights like myself, offering an easily scalable experience. I found one was enough to get me energized and uplifted without feeling noticeably stoned, with full effects taking hold in about an hour and a half. These are a good option for those trying to take it slow, those who just want a slight pick me up during the day without becoming impaired, or those who want to avoid the sometimes-overwhelming taste of artificial flavoring agents. www.sweetgrasskitchen.com

From a Bonger's Perspective: The 34th Colorado Invitational Bong-a-Thon
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photos and article by Ben Owens

 

There’s a positive vibration that you can feel throughout your entire body when you are truly excited about something. It finds its way from your head to your toes, creeps into your thoughts, invades your workspace, and often permeates the moments before with joyful anticipation. As someone who has always preferred bongs to bowls, this is how the week leading up to the 34th Invitational Bong-A-Thon felt.

As I arrived Friday morning to Hummingbird Ranch, I thought I might be in the wrong place. I’d never been here for Sonic Bloom, and the only visible sign of civilization was a small fifth wheel camper parked up the road. No signs. No people. Just a camper. Of course, the property unveils itself the second you pass through the security checkpoint, and continues to unfold for what seems like miles. As I was camping with longtime bongers “Shady Norm” and “Raspy,” I was directed to the staff camp, which was quickly filling up with longtime Bong-A-Thon patrons like Camp Texas, as well as the bands, BAT Committee members, and the sponsors that make Bong-a-Thon a reality.

Bong-a-Thon veteran, Shawn Honaker, mid-competition - photo by Ben Owens

After setting up a small addition to the camp — a hammock, a few tents, and a 10x10 American Flag EZ Up—I joined Raspy, Norm and the crew in setting up, firing up the bongs, and enjoying a few dabs as invited guests began building their own camps. Large white canopy tents and a stage were being hoisted up in the  main area, while patrons arrived in sedans, vans, campers and even single-wheeled “hoverboards”. Outfits like “Camp Shenanigans” and “Camp 13,” staples of Bong-a-Thon, were among the larger and more recognizable camps.

As arrivals slowed down, Shady Norm’s smoked meat was ready for a tester, and a lucky few are able to sample what can only be described as the best aspects of brisket, rib-eye and beef jerky combined in one savory slab. This meat would be served in a variety of preparations at Eat-n-Out, the food truck that satiated the Bong-a-Thon camp all weekend. While attendees enjoyed the food truck and the music kicked off on the main stage, VIPs, Golden Tickets, and band members were offered the opportunity to smoke, dab and chat in the forested VIP area. As campers swapped bowls and bongs, some enjoyed homemade edibles and cannabis delights while others tucked away into hammocks and tents in preparation for a long day of competition on Saturday.

Saturday morning came with the smell of weed, bacon, eggs and more wafting through the ranch as campers drearily made their way towards porta-potties, grills and showers. Some campers like the two guys in the gorilla and banana suits hunted for Bong-a-Thon “Easter eggs” hidden throughout the property—specially made marbles that could be redeemed for prizes. Meanwhile, the merchandise booth and stage began attracting lines hours before opening around 11 a.m., while contestants anxiously waited entry to the coveted Bong-a-Thon events, including the Individual and Team Bong-a-Thon competitions. I was lucky enough to score a spot with my team in the Relay Bong-A-Thon, which challenges seven people to smoke seven grams of cannabis as fast as possible. 

Custom Bong-a-Thon awards, photo by Ben Owens

But the main event is the Individual Competition, with reigning champions like Shawn Honaker, Mark Rice, Shady Norm, and Bear Coronado competing among 27 total entrants to take down a quarter ounce. Bear Coronado set yet another record this year with a final time of 4:06. They aren’t kidding when they say professional smokers come out to compete. Bear is also a member of the Collector Buds professional smoking team, the only sponsored relay team at the event.

After the other competitions like the Open Invitational and Dab Out were completed, musical guests took the stage and a wet t-shirt contest was held with the 420 Nurses and one brave man. Nearby, a bong and rig setup by Pukinbeagle Glass was frozen in a slab of ice, available for all to use. It was the subject of many photos, snaps and dabs before eventually being  melted out on Sunday. Around 11 p.m. the announcements and awards began, as well as the highly anticipated raffle. As the winners for each event are crowned and raffle tickets given out, the camp had no intentions of settling down for the last night.

Camp shows and shenanigans were commonplace after the raffle completed, with attendees venturing throughout the camp to explore geodesic climbing domes, a nearby river, and up towards the far end of the campsite, a laser light show by DJ Diablo that could have been mistaken for a festival or concert. The entire crew at Bong-a-Thon from the staff to the first year attendees really go out of their way to contribute to the atmosphere and experience. As Sunday morning lazily rolled in, with many campers still awake and enjoying the last moments of this truly sensational event, tents began to come down and campers began to make their departure, turning back for last glimpses and photos at the gate — just enough time to take a few final bong hits before beginning the journey home.

Bong-a-Thon organizer, Chris Jetter, announces the winners - photo by Ben Owens

To really understand what Bong-a-Thon is, you need to attend, to truly be there in the moment with your fellow ‘bongers.’ As someone who’s watched every Youtube video and documentary on Bong-a-Thon, read all of the articles, and smoked with many of the people involved prior to going, I can tell you that the experience is incomparable to any written, filmed or otherwise conveyed story of the experience. If you’re still reading, mark your calendars for next year and make sure you grab an invitation — you won’t be disappointed. See you there. ♦


Main Event Results:

Individual Bong-A-Thon (7 Grams, 1 Person):

  1. Bear Coronado 4:06 min. "Macho Man Randy Savage Bong Hit"
  2. Matt Servold 4:33 "Dr. Puffer"
  3. Sammie Thatcher 5:20

 

“Fastest Gram”:

Winner: David Pionke 49.91 sec.

 

Team Bongathon (Five Person Hookah w/One Ounce of Power Papaya):

Winner: Studio420 1:55 min.

    Marty, Cody, Shaun, Red, Jeff & Cruz

 

Relay Bong-a-Thon (7 Grams, 7 People):

Winner: Team In-N-Out Hemp 6:49 min

    Ric, Jesse, Jamie, Dan, Troy, Stephen & Luke

 

Dab Out (.1g dabs even 60 seconds until you “dab out”):

Winner: John Bottoms with 6 Dabs.

 

Wet T-Shirt Contest:

Winner: Marisa

The 8th Annual Clinic Charity Classic
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 by Samuel Farley

For eight years, The Clinic has organized the annual Clinic Charity Classic golf tournament to benefit the National MS Society, becoming a staple of cannabis philanthropy and one of the year’s most memorable events within the cannabis community. Held on August 11 at the Arrowhead Golf Club, this year’s charity classic was a familiar yet equally fun event. With sponsors including incredibles, Leafbuyer, Coda Global, LiveGreen, Native Roots, Pax, Craft 710 and others, the event was packed full of new products for players to try as they made their way around the course. Various companies had games set up for golfers to enjoy and to help raise additional money for MS while out on the course. “It’s something we are proud to take part in and it’s great event for an important cause,” said Cole S., a player and manager with LiveGreen. 

This year, the event raised more than $100,000 for the National MS Society, serving as an example of what the cannabis community can accomplish. The event has become a staple within the cannabis industry and something many look forward to.

Steven Chang, sales director of incredibles, was thrilled to be a part of the event. “We are really excited that we have been involved for so long and it’s a tradition now, both with incredibles and with our relationship with The Clinic. Raising money for MS and continuing to increase awareness is just a really good feeling and at the end of the day it’s all for a great cause,” said Chang.

 Everyone involved, from The Clinic to the event sponsors, was excited as the day rolled on and the golfers made their way around the course. A dab island and joint carts were available  for players, making it the definition of mile high golfing. This year, carts were provided for non-playing participants to make the day even more fun for those who wanted to come out and party. Ryan Cook, The Clinic’s general manager, relayed the excitement of being able to continue the fundraising work with the National MS Society through the tradition of The Clinic Charity Classic. “Last year was amazing, but this year we took on a lot more, we had full transportation and served breakfast, lunch and dinner for the players. With year eight, I am super excited to say we passed the $100,000 raised mark, and this is all for the MS Society,” said Cook with a huge grin. In total, the event this year raised a little over $115,000 for the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National MS Society.

As it continues to cement itself as a part of the Colorado cannabis scene, The Clinic Charity Classic will continue to cast the cannabis community in a positive light while providing money to the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter National MS Society to help individuals with a variety of needs such as vehicle adaptations. This year, the winning team was Team Scruggs, with Sweet Leaf and Organa Brand coming in second and third, respectively. The 8th Annual Clinic Charity Classic was a fabulous time for everyone involved, and it will be great to see how the event can possibly get even bigger next year. ♦

 

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