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What is Craft Cannabis?

What is Craft Cannabis?

The quality of cannabis has come a long way since seeds started spreading in the 70s.

While baby boomers smoked low THC strains and sinsemilla (or seedless cannabis) was hard to come by, the new generation of cannabis connoisseurs is growing and smoking craft cannabis strains with more potent effects and overall quality, and one must go out of their way to purchase seeds or clones .

Not your father’s ganja

The potency and overall quality of cannabis available to the everyday toker has definitely increased over the years, but not much has changed in terms of how cannabis is produced. Mainly, not much has changed from the cultivation side of cannabis since the introduction of hydroponics and indoor grow operations in the 70s.

In fact, some people now look for cannabis that is grown under much more classic, strict conditions that provide a more organic and overall better quality product, known as craft cannabis.

While a lot of cannabis sold in dispensaries comes from large scale or commercial grows that can produce hundreds or even thousands of pounds of cannabis, craft cannabis is usually grown on a smaller scale with much more attention to detail.

Craft cannabis

Compared to a large grow operation that produces cannabis en masse, craft cannabis is usually grown in small batches, with each individual plant in a batch getting close attention every step along the way, making it much less likely that a plant develops any sort of mold or disease that goes unseen in a large group of plants. Keep in mind a “small” batch can still be over fifty plants.

Think about craft beer; microbrews, and slow-brewed coffee. These are all considered “craft” due to their small batch production and high attention to detail, giving way to much better flavors, aromas, and overall quality. Craft cannabis is no different.

More bang for your buck

It may cost more than regular cannabis, especially to grow, because it is taken better care of in order to produce a top notch product, just like craft beer will always cost more than a domestic option. But the difference is self-evident, and you get what you pay for.

Craft cannabis will have much better flavor, aroma, smoothness of taste, among other superior qualities compared to its commercial counterpart. This makes craft cannabis a must-try for anybody looking for the best product available at a relatively affordable price for the cannabis connoisseur wanting to try something new and different.

Hear all about craft cannabis and what makes it so special on the new episode of The Real Dirt Podcast! Chip talks with Jefe from Little Hill Cultivators about growing all-natural, organic craft cannabis in the hills of Trinity, California, and where they see the new industry in California going.

Listen right here on The Real Dirt website or stream from your favorite podcast app on the go!

California Cannabis Laws and Growers

California Cannabis Laws and Growers

The majority of Californians celebrated the passing of Proposition 64 on New Years which officially legalized cannabis use for adults 21 and older. For some, it’s causing serious problems.

The main parties affected by these new laws are the small-time growers and farmers that have been growing cannabis in an under-regulated market for years. These farmers must now meet new standards in pesticides, chemical levels and more regulations for their plants.

California Cannabis Laws: too strict?

Some are starting to claim that these standards are so strict that even organically grown cannabis is unable to meet certain standards. The other issue with these chemical limits is that pesticides and chemicals can drift from other farms that don’t have the same restrictions, contaminating cannabis farms in the area.

While these other crops are allowed to use fungicides and pesticides, cannabis growers cannot use any due to the plant’s Schedule 1 status on the federal level. Due to these new California cannabis laws, pesticide manufacturers, whether organic or synthetic, cannot register their products for use for a commercial cannabis crop.  

More harm than good?

The fear for many is two fold; that these new California cannabis laws and regulations will either force growers to conform to the new standards, spending copious amounts of money to comply, or force them back into the private market. Due to this, the California market will likely still see a decrease in “clean” cannabis. Prices may rise in the legal market, and continued access to the private market will remain steady.

Growers in California are now working to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for everything from inventory and quality control to transportation, security and cannabis waste disposal. All of these procedures and regulations must be met by July 1, 2018 to ensure a smooth transition into a newly regulated market.

It is too soon to say what affect these new California cannabis laws and regulations will have on small growers, but we are already starting to see changes. Demand for cannabis is increasing every day, and with the new regulations, supply will decrease. That sounds like potential market share and profit to me.

Listen to Craig Nejedly of Talking Trees Farms in Humboldt talk with Chip about California laws and the changing industry in the new episode of The Real Dirt Podcast! You can listen right here on The Real Dirt website, or go to iTunes and subscribe to get notifications of new episodes every week.

What is CBD?

What is CBD?

If you walk into a dispensary or a smoke circle, you’re more than likely going to see or hear about CBD, and rightfully so.

This wondrous compound has gained a lot of attention recently, mainly for its aid in fighting seizures in children and adults, but its uses are broadening. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found largely in hemp, known for its excessively low THC levels. But it is also found in the everyday psychoactive cannabis you might find at a dispensary.

What is CBD?

The difference between the two types of CBD is mainly that of where it comes from. Not necessarily the genetic makeup of the cannabinoid. In order for hemp to be legal, it must have THC contents lower than .3%. Compared to the cannabis you might find in a store with THC levels surpassing 20%, one can see where the difference starts to show.

Hemp is known to have much higher levels of Cannabidiol compared to its sister plant, making it perfect for pure CBD products like cosmetics, creams, and medications like tinctures. Female cannabis is known for its potent THC, but it does not lack CBD altogether. While still much lower, almost all cannabis has this chemical in it in some quantity.

However, in today’s rising hemp industry, hemp is overwhelmingly supported for its CBD content over it’s sister plant.

The Entourage Effect

THC may potentially increase the effects of Cannabidiol when used in combination, leading many organizations to promote “full plant medicine”, which utilizes all of the different cannabinoids within cannabis to provide a full range of medicinal and psychotropic effects. However, the jury is still out on whether THC and CBD in combination provide a more complete medicinal effect compared to each cannabinoid on its own.

For those that want medicinal benefits without the high that comes with THC, Cannabidiol from hemp is the solution. The benefits of CBD are becoming more well known as access becomes easier, and most dispensaries will have products in stock.

Be careful when you search for CBD products, and if you can’t consume THC for any reason, ensure you’re CBD comes from hemp and not from female cannabis flower to avoid potentially higher THC levels.

Oregon Cannabis Overload

Oregon Cannabis Overload

Oregon is facing an issue that a lot of people never though would rise in our time. They have too much cannabis.

There is currently over a million pounds of unsold Oregon cannabis sitting idle. Just for fun, that million pounds breaks into over 120 million eighths, or over double the amount of Oregon cannabis consumed in 2017. With the overflow of product and lack of demand, prices are noticeably dropping.

All supply, not so much demand

The average cost of a gram in Oregon has dropped to just $4, compared to another legal state such as Colorado, where the cheapest gram averages around $10. While Colorado has been experimenting with legal cannabis since commercial sales starting in 2014, legal Oregon cannabis is still new, only taking effect in 2015.

While it was slow to pick up at first with just 99 licensed recreational dispensaries at the end of 2016, new regulations propelled the industry through 2017, seeing that number rise to over 260.

The best Oregon cannabis

With so many stores opening so fast, competition is fierce. Breeders and retail stores have to compete with dozens of other businesses in their area, and it has quickly become a race to the bottom.

While more people try to get involved in the Oregon cannabis industry, those already with their hands in the pie are beginning to wonder if they should take them out. Coupled with the inevitability of big business coming into the industry with investor backing, those already involved either have to beat out the competition to stay in business, or bail.

It’s too soon to say what might happen with the Oregon cannabis industry. After all, it’s young, and Colorado went through a similar stage in its legalization infancy in which the bad business models were quickly filtered out.

While for the consumer it might seem like a great time to move to Oregon for super-cheap cannabis, there’s no way to know how long the low prices will last, and if the quality will still be maintained with the inflation. For now, we can just watch and see who the top Oregon cannabis producers are as they compete to stay alive.

Hear first hand what one of the top breeders in Oregon is facing on The Real Dirt Podcast. Fletcher Watson works at Archive Seed Bank and Archive Portland, and he shares his experience in the Oregon cannabis industry.

The Resilience of John Newmerzhycky

The Resilience of John Newmerzhycky

What started as a questionable traffic stop turned into lengthy legal battle about forfeiture.

 

John Newmerzhycky was travelling through Iowa with his friend William Davis after playing some poker at a casino when they were pulled over by a member of the Iowa state police interdiction team. With reports concerning a red vehicle, the police officer followed John and William for ten minutes before pulling them over for failing to signal when passing another car.

 

After being pulled aside and questioned by the officer, John began to show signs of breathing rapidly and fidgeting, which increased the officer’s suspicion. After telling John he was free to go with a warning, the officer asked if there were any drugs in the car.

Without a direct response, the officer called in a K-9 unit.

John and William told the officers there were no drugs or currency in the car. This would turn out to be untrue when the officers found Davis’ $85,000 packed inside a locked briefcase. The police also found a grinder and a very small amount of cannabis, but enough to charge John with a misdemeanor. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Police Overreach

The state of Iowa confiscated the duo’s money and called California authorities where the men are originally from, leading to both of their houses being searched. Despite both John and William having medical marijuana cards, the searches led to felony charges in California.

Jump to today, and every charge has been dropped, and the original sum of money confiscated has been returned.

There was more of a reward for John and William than just money however. The case of these two men resulted in a stringent analysis of the forfeiture tactics used by Iowa police, and the eventual disbandment of the interdiction team that originally confiscated the money.

A bigger problem than John

The counter lawsuit from John and William led the state to find that Iowa police more often than not (86% of the time) pulled over drivers with out-of-state tags, showing a clear bias on behalf of the department. The two are also expected to receive additional compensation for lawyer fees, plus damages.

This case represents a national trend, and an overarching problem where authoritative figures use their power to confiscate private property with no justification. This places the burden of proof on the defendant to get their own property back. John came out on top of his case, while many other are still stuck in the courts fighting for what is theirs.

Hear John’s full story when he sits down with Chip on The Real Dirt Podcast!

YouTube Goes After Cannabis Accounts

YouTube Goes After Cannabis Accounts

YouTube is cutting cannabis content. But you can still learn how to build bombs, so don’t worry.

 

It doesn’t make any sense, yet it isn’t all that surprising. YouTube has been taking down popular cannabis accounts over the past couple weeks with no explanation whatsoever. Some accounts had millions of subscribers, and were still taken down without any notice.

YouTube’s responsibility

You may not be a big YouTube watcher, but millions of people are. Add to that the billions of views that the platform’s videos get on a daily basis, and you get a massive online community with varying opinions, ideologies and the chaos that comes along with it.

Social platforms haven’t been known to manage their communities in the best way — just look at Twitter or FaceBook — but YouTube has taken it to a new level.

 

Cannabis content creators have faced their share of issues in the past, but mostly with resolve. A video would be taken down, they would appeal, and it would later be put back up. If it made it to the extreme of an entire channel being taken down, even then it could be appealed rather easily.

YouTube supposedly runs on a “strike” system, consisting of three strikes for channels. The first strike bans the channel from live-streaming for 90 days, the second prohibits the channel from posting content, and the third strike is channel removal. Yet, for these accounts that have been removed as of late, there were no strikes.

YouTube’s Failure

The issue with this is two-fold. Many people rely on YouTube cannabis channels for information, news updates, and other cannabis related issues they can’t find elsewhere due to its already negative stigma. With these channels removed, people are losing valuable information which can have dangerous consequences.

We all know how the D.A.R.E. program worked out. It is better to teach about safe and controlled, legal drug use than to hide the facts about them and tell them to “just say no”.

The second problem comes when YouTube has taken these channels down with no strikes, no warnings, and no explanation. This sets a dangerous precedent when a global giant like YouTube can pick and choose what content it allows without explaining its reasoning.

While YouTube has every right to restrict certain content (as they should), it makes no sense that the most popular cannabis content creators on YouTube who have built massive, overwhelmingly positive and vibrant communities would be removed while channels showing how to make pipe bombs stay active.

The Future of YouTube

It would actually almost make sense if YouTube’s reasoning was that of safety concerns. I get it, some of those YouTubers take some huge dabs that would knock out a normal person. So take down all the videos of people chugging bottles of whiskey too, because that’s way more dangerous.

Maybe their explanation will be that it isn’t federally legal, so take down the other accounts that inform people on the safe use of LSD, or DMT or Psilocybin. Oh wait, but they didn’t.

So as we wait to hear which accounts might be un-banned and why they were banned in the first place, we should all be wondering what this means. If YouTube can take down content without any explanation and there is no backlash, it will only continue. The channels that don’t YouTube enough money might be next, then the channels that have an opinion they disagree with.

People need these cannabis YouTube channels. They inform, teach, enlighten, inspire, and connect the cannabis community through an online platform that was built on creativity and innovation. Don’t let YouTube start going backward.

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