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NWCC Monday Night Sesh

5Here is an article by 420 Culture about NW Cannabis Club and The Monday Night Sesh!

NWCC Monday Night Sesh

An old crow sits atop the sign that says NWCC – Northwest Cannabis Club – a rustic venue off of Powell in downtown Portland, OR. At first glance you may assume it’s another dispensary or headshop, however it is so much more! The NWCC has opened it’s doors to the cannabis community to create an environment where the culture can thrive, the community can network & businesses can grow with exposure. Every Monday night they host the “Monday Night Sesh” – several vendors set up & showcase / sample out products while heady glass collectors from around the world come together to sesh and show off. 

Join us for Monday Night Sesh

Every week NWCC is the host of the Monday Night Sesh, a gathering that brings the community together for an evening of smoking & networking. The venue is in the heart of Portland, OR. – 1195 SE Powell blvd. – a central location for the Oregon community. The club offers a sanctuary for dabbers and weed tokers to enjoy their products in a safe, private environment. Legalities prevent any cannabis products from being sold on the premises, the best bet is to come prepared with your own stash. Occasionally local extract companies or dispensaries will set up as vendors for the sesh & sample out products for free.

The Monday Night Sesh attracts a “heady” crowd of glass collectors & enthusiasts. When you first walk into the club you’re greeted by the friendly staff, once they get you taken care of you’ll have free range of the dab bar & the downstairs lounge.  On any given week during the sesh you can find over $50,000 in functional glass that people are passing around in the downstairs lounge. You can also find a pool table, foosball and a flatscreen TV in the lounge.

Come on down to the NW Cannabis Club and see what it’s all about for yourself. A lifetime membership will cost $20, this will give you the ability to use the club as a social venue for a $5 daily fee. The membership allows the club to operate as a private venue, which is an essential part of providing the community with a safe sanctuary.

Every few weeks we try to make it down to partake in the terpiness, hang out with some friends & network with new potential clients. We always bring our cameras & capture epic moments so we can share the experience with you & everyone else. Enjoy these photos from previous Monday Night Sessions :


Oregon’s cannabis fair celebrates growing pot industry


Junnelle Hogen, The (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal , KHOU 9:34 PM. EST August 14, 2016


(Photo: Molly J. Smith, Statesman Journal)

SALEM, Ore. — Marijuana leaves of all shapes and sizes lined a competition alcove at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday. The plants were surrounded by hundreds of booths listing technology, agriculture and business innovations in the cannabis growing industry.

“People say we’ve ‘Microsofted’ the cannabis industry,” joked organizer Mary Lou Burton.

The weekend even was the first marijuana growers fair in Oregon, hosted at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Sponsored by the state marijuana business council, and with presentations from state agencies regulating the newly legalized industry, it highlighted a number of desires from Oregon entrepreneurs and businesses to turn the state into a go-to region for marijuana.

“It’s no longer a black market. It’s a burgeoning market,” said Caleb Hoffman of Colorado. He said he reserved a hotel room for the weekend to attend the fair, to draw inspiration from state innovators.

Saturday afternoon, the fair also hosted the first cannabis live plant competition in the state, featuring 51 leafy plants. Five judges led by Ed Rosenthal, the styled “guru of ganja” by admirers, picked out nine winners for sativa, hybrid and indica varieties.

Several of the winners came from the outskirts of Salem. Danny Grimm and Nathan Martinez hugged after the winning results, and proudly displayed blue ribbons.

The two men, with the cannabis farm Uplifted, won first in two categories, boasting honed indica and sativa plants.

They say they are planning to switch to pure recreational marijuana grows in a few months, and are signing a lease on a new 50,000-square-foot facility, in place of their local 5,000-foot facility.

“I’ve been growing plants for 12 years,” said Grimm. “It’s basically trial and error. It has molded our company into what it is today.”

Portland winner Daniel DeMeulle, whose stocky offering placed first in the hybrid category, is a home grower. He decided to enter the competition “on a whim,” and has been honing techniques from online tutorials.

“The internet, books, trial and error. That’s about it,” DeMeulle said.

The winning plants will resurface at the fairgrounds for the Oregon State Fair in two weeks. Due to controversy with the 4-H, and concern from parents that their kids might get hold of the leafy plants, they will be featured in a separate greenhouse guarded by volunteers, who will card onlookers, only admitting people ages 21 and older.

The upbeat nature of the fair contrasted with a recent ruling from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

On Thursday, the DEA announced it will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose on the federal level, retaining its standing as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Fair administrators found this was a deterrent before the fair. Because of the illegal federal standing, FCC regulations kept them from advertising the event.

Instead, they put a “mobile billboard” on a car to draw in passersby.

Several growers and organizers said they hoped the federal deterrent might keep the Oregon industry out of the hands of big businesses.

Already, the Oregon Department of Revenue estimates the government will take in $43 million from pot taxes this year.

“We have hurdles to jump through,” said Burton. “But where we’re at right now is our silver lining. We’re going to have a couple more years before the big boys come on board.”


Oregon Cannabis Legalization: State Fair Will Display Blue Ribbon Winning Marijuana Plants

BY @LYDIATOMKIW ON 07/29/16 AT 9:09 AM

Amid the chocolate layer cake bake off, the homebrew competition and displays of curvy vegetables, something new will be making an appearance at the Oregon state fair in August: marijuana.

In a sign of changing times as voters face questions of legalization across the U.S., marijuana growers in Oregon will compete for blue ribbons alongside other agricultural products.

“We regularly reach out to the community with some form of education, to de-stigmatize the industry and the plant,” Don Morse, chair of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, told earlier this week. “For the people at the state fair to let this happen is really groundbreaking.”

marijuanaA cannabis plant is pictured at the “Weed the People” event as enthusiasts gather to celebrate the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon July 3, 2015. Smoking marijuana became legal in Oregon on July 1, fulfilling the first step in a voter-approved initiative that will usher in a network of legal weed retail stores in 2016, similar to the systems already operating in neighboring Washington state and Colorado.PHOTO: REUTERS/STEVE DIPAOLA

The state’s growers will showcase their winning plants at the fair that runs from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 in Salem, Oregon. Over 60 growers are expected to show off their leafy greens at the Oregon Cannabis Fair from Aug. 13 to 14 where three winners will be selected in three categories: sativa, indica and hybrids.

“This is really a reflection of where Oregon is now as a state,” Dan Cox, a spokesman for the fair, toldthe Oregonian. He said the state fair is meant to be a reflection of Oregon’s agricultural sector which has seen an uptick in marijuana farming.

“We are doing it 4H style,” Cox said. “You get a blue, purple or yellow ribbon. We are celebrating the plant as a farm crop from Oregon.”

Oregon has approved medical marijuana use and in 2014 legalized adult recreational consumption of the leafy green plant. Sales of recreational marijuana began in the Beaver State in October 2015.

The plants will be on display in the fair’s greenhouse and visitors must be 21 years old or older to enter the building and no smoking of any of the plants is allowed. A security guard will monitor the display.

Whoever takes home the grand prize will have the distinction of being the first blue ribbon winner in the U.S. of a plant that is still banned by the government, the Los Angeles Times reported.




Why Seattle Is Failing at Pot Tourism

The City’s Regulatory Restrictions Are Partially a Result of Washington’s New Law Eliminating the Medical Marijuana Marketweed-mag

by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

Seattle’s restrictions on pot tourism are yet another unintended side effect of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act.

By all accounts, Denver’s cannabis tourism economy is thriving. As highlighted by a recent New York Times article, potheads are gallivanting about the city, dabbing on minibuses, visiting cannabis concierges, and reclining poolside with joints at cannabis-friendly lodgings. lists more than a dozen cannabis-friendly hotels in Denver alone, plus bed-and-breakfasts and Airbnbs, as well as more than a dozen “social lounges” in Colorado, but no such businesses in Washington State. Why?

Our regulatory climate has a lot to do with it. While there are certainly bed-and-breakfasts and Airbnbs in Seattle that advertise as cannabis-friendly, they aren’t legally allowed to do so. That’s because any business—even a business operating out of a private home—that advertises itself as cannabis-related must have a cannabis business license with the city. “If a hotel were to advertise marijuana-specific rooms, it would likely bring them under the umbrella of the city licensing ordinance, which allows for it with a license, but those licenses cannot exist under current state law,” said Julie Moore, communications director for the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department. Public consumption is illegal under state and city law.

According to David Watkins, general manager of the Inn at the Market and a former board member of the Seattle Hotel Association, hotels don’t advertise themselves as cannabis-friendly but simply look the other way. “No hotels downtown have smoking rooms,” he noted. “If we smell marijuana in the hallway, we will ask the guest to stop smoking. We have to do that every once in a while. We won’t call the cops. But if someone’s eating an edible cookie in their room, that’s their business.”

In Colorado, lodging facilities are allowed to let guests smoke marijuana in up to 25 percent of their rooms, according to David Rowland, citywide communications adviser for the City and County of Denver. However, they cannot charge guests for marijuana, nor can they offer free products to guests by charging $100 above market rate for a room, as one cannabis bed-and-breakfast was doing. In fact, Denver has clamped down on illegal consumption, raiding at least two cannabis lounges recently. (In Seattle, hotels are also allowed to designate up to 25 percent of their rooms for smokers, though actively allowing cannabis consumption is verboten.)

There’s also the matter of city pot tours. Denver boasts about a dozen tours, while Seattle has only three. Rowland said Denver’s law regarding cannabis consumption inside vehicles is similar to open container laws. “If you’re in a limo or private shuttle or something like that, the driver obviously can’t have it and no one in the front passenger seat,” he said. “But the back of the vehicle, that is allowed for.”

In Washington, passengers of commercial vehicles are not allowed to have open containers of pot, let alone smoke it. Pot must be in the original sealed container and stored behind the backseat or in the trunk.

On a recent Kush Tour in Seattle, I spent three and a half hours in and out of a van, looking at pot, talking about pot, and thinking about pot, but was strictly prohibited from actually smoking any pot. At the end, my guide announced the tour was over, ushered us to a well-ventilated lounge area in the privately owned Seven Studios building, informed us that we were cordially and privately invited by the glassblowing studio to “hang out,” and then left.

“The official answer is ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said Michael Gordon, cofounder of Kush Tourism, when asked about the work-around. “When the tour ends, it’s no longer our responsibility, but they do have that lounge up there and people do seem to meander up that way.”

David Blandford, vice president of communications for Visit Seattle, said that while he’d like to market the city as a cannabis destination, his hands are tied: “Visit Seattle and other marketing organizations have to be cautious about how they advertise or promote to travelers. Legally, we’re not in a position where we can promote usage other than home-based. It does create a lot of challenges for a marketing organization.”

Seattle’s restrictions on pot tourism are yet another unintended side effect of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052), which specifically prohibits cannabis consumption in any business. Regardless of Seattle’s feelings on the matter—City Attorney Pete Holmes is a notable advocate for well-regulated, responsible public consumption facilities—state law takes precedence and the city is obligated to enforce it.

In the meantime, Seattle is leaving a whole lot of cash on the table—although how much is hard to say. “Marijuana tourism is so new that there really is very little [data] out there, it’s all anecdotal,” said Blandford. The evidence, however, points to stacks on stacks. “April is the highest month in revenue for legal marijuana in Colorado,” he said. “[Four-twenty] brought an influx of travelers to Colorado for this marijuana holiday.”

The time to update Washington’s laws on public consumption is, said Gordon, within “the next year and a half, because California is going to go [legal].”

“We have the opportunity right now to brand ourselves as a tourism destination,” he continued. “It’s obvious that we’re failing when you look at the tourism dollars coming into Colorado.”

Tourism trends: Will travel for food, wellness and weed

traveltypes1_0603-1020x680By Anne Bauso June 3, 2016

More travelers are focusing their trips around these three themes, rather than traditional sights.

It seems business or pleasure are the only options travelers are given when defining the reasoning behind their trips, but motivations for travel aren’t always so crystal clear.

In fact, more and more travelers are going on pilgrimages to very specific destinations for reasons that don’t fall into the classic brackets of beach-laying, sight-seeing or work-trip. Here are three booming forms of tourism.


Pop quiz time! Have you obsessively documented a trip by dutifully Instagramming every beautifully presented quince tart tatin, honey-drizzled fried-chicken platter or salty-egg-topped papaya salad you’ve encountered?

Have you ever decided where to vacation based, at least partially, on the area’s local cuisine, or eateries and nightlife?

Then you might just be part of the growing sector of travelers known as “food tourists.” When deciding where to go for their next trip, travelers are increasingly factoring in a potential destination’s food and drink scene — whether it’s the local restaurants, food trucks and bars, or the nearby farms and markets, food artisans, vineyards and breweries. Hard-core food and vino lovers are often more interested in exploring a city or region’s gastronomic offerings than they are in the area’s natural or non-food-based cultural attractions.

tourismtypes5_0603-780x1080A merchant bags green beans at one of the many food markets in Barcelona, Spain. (Davide Camesasca/The New York Times)

Travelers on food sabbaticals might be set on sampling Sazeracs and muffelatas in New Orleans, going on a mission to find the best Key lime pie in Southern Florida or navigating backwoods highways in Quebec to come across a classic Canadian roadside sugar shack.

According to a 2015 report published by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) and Skift, a travel news site, “In 2012, it was estimated that tourism expenditures on food services in the U.S. topped $201 billion, nearly a quarter of all travel income.” Because, honestly, show us the traveler who doesn’t want to eat and drink their way through a vacation.


Yoga retreats, spa getaways and other healing-focused trips may sound like a New Age fad, but humans have been going on health-driven vacations for millennia (think ancient Romans traveling to mineral baths, or sun-starved Victorians flocking to Mediterranean climes on doctors’ orders).

These days, wellness tourism is a nearly $500-billion-a-year industry, and it’s estimated to grow to $680 billion by 2017. “Wellness travel is one of the fastest growing — if not the fastest growing — tourism categories today,” says Beth McGroarty, research director at the Global Wellness Institute. GWI defines wellness tourism as “all travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being, whether physical, mental, environmental or spiritual.” It’s a definition that McGroarty says is “willfully broad, because it spans many kinds of travel: destination spas, health and wellness resorts, fitness- or adventure-focused travel (like hiking, water sports and cycling), hot springs and wellness cruises. Even mainstream hotels — almost all the big brands from Westin to the Four Seasons — are adding more health and fitness programming.”

traveltypes4_0603-780x467Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, Utah, offers swimming, yoga, hiking and biking treks.

Tracey Welch, general manager at Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, Utah, says that most of the luxury retreat’s guests are in search of “healthy stress reduction, through reconnecting with nature and increased physical activity.” Many of Red Mountain’s guests want to immerse themselves in the stunning American Southwest surroundings, so the resort offers hiking and biking treks through Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

On the more extreme end of the fitness spectrum is The Ashram, a Calabasas, Calif., wellness resort with pre-dawn wake-up calls and required 10- to 15-mile morning hikes. It’s not “ten-hut!” all the time: Guests get a daily massage before diving into an afternoon agenda of pool, weight and barre classes. Meals are totally organic, gluten-free and vegetarian (and alcohol-less!), with many ingredients coming from the Ashram’s own garden. Definitely not a cushy, mai-tai-by-the-pool experience — but there’s a six-month waiting list.

“Most of our guests come here to stop the clock and reset their body, mind and soul,” says director Catharina Hedburg.

While these well-being-centric resorts are certainly in line with the healthy living movement, McGroarty is positive that “wellness tourism is far more than a passing trend. In the coming years, the concept will increasingly reshape tourism — and how people perceive what they want to get out of travel — as we’ve known it.”

traveltypes2_0603-1020x680Pot tourists can visit Seattle, Portland or Denver and go on tours that visit shops and nurseries like this one.


Cannabis vacay, anyone? (All in favor, say “high!” Sorry, couldn’t resist.) In recent years, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have legalized recreational marijuana and, as a result, these states are seeing a blaze of pot tourism.

Grass fanatics from all over the country are heading west to visit marijuana dispensaries and other cannabusinesses, go on canna “bus” tours to see local grow operations and other 420 facilities, take edibles cooking classes and even stay in “bud and breakfasts,” which are weed-friendly inns and hotels that allow smoking on the premises.

Those looking to combine wellness and marijuana tourism could consider Kush Tourism, a Seattle-based cannabis tour operator that offers tours in several states, including those that include cannabis massages and biking.

A warning, though, to hash-happy travelers: While recreational marijuana in these states is legal, public consumption of it is not. Here’s to your next — yes — trip.


BBQ Season Is Here! Here’s How You Smoke Cannabis-Infused Pork Ribs

imgBy Rick Bakas

Smoking pork ribs really isn’t that hard. Search Google for smoking pork ribs and you’ll find an endless amount of forums where people claim their ribs are competition worthy, and superior to the rest. Really it just comes down to seasoning, cooking slow and low and finishing sauce if desired.

True pit masters swear by using real wood, preferably dry aged real wood to smoke their meats. But most of us aren’t true pit masters. We just want to make a rack or two for our family or friends.

Being a lover of smoking and BBQ, it was high time to start testing out some different techniques to infuse my favorite smoked meats with a gentle lift of THC. Since I rub most of my meats with olive oil before seasoning, it was a logical step to use cannabis-infused olive oil instead.



One of the benefits of doing that is the oil gently cooks into the fibers of the meat. But it also gives a hint of herb flavor that can best be described as rosemary, which is the herb I used to add to my dry rubs.

The reason for becoming a pellet grill convert is because of the most important part of successfully smoking ribs—you have to control your heat over a long period of time. I was going to go with the Traeger pellet grill because that’s the brand I associate with pellet grills.

However, upon further investigation I found Traegers tend to have jamming problems where the pellets won’t load automatically. That could be a manufacturing thing that has since been corrected.

Then I came across the Camp Chef while searching for good quality, low cost grills. The two things I liked about it were (1) The temperature dial can be set to any temperature (not just high or low), and (2) There are two temperature sensors. One reads the temp inside the grill. The other is a probe you can put in the meat. That’s about as foolproof as you can get. Not many smokers have a probe to measure the internal temperature of smoking meat. That’s a big deal. And Camp Chef is based in Oregon where weed is legal, so there’s that :).

1. Start with Pork Spare Ribs

Not the baby backs, go with the Spare Ribs, which are St. Louis style with the breast bone cut off. Trim them up nicely so they look good around the edges, and make sure to trim off loose pieces of fat. Spare ribs are big and they are filling. I find they lend themselves nicely to the pellet smoker.


2. Turn on Camp Chef to 275°

Fill the grill with pellets of your choice. I find Hickory flavor to be a bit too strong for pork, so a combination of Mesquite and a fruit wood like cherry or apple are a good way to go.


3. Season with cannabis olive oil and seasoning

Coat both sides of the ribs with a thin layer of cannabis-infused olive oil. That’ll help keep the seasoning stuck on. It’ll also gently cook into the meat providing a gentle dose of good vibes. Use whatever seasoning you like. I like to use a Texas style seasoning called Hard 8 that I mail order from a smoke house in Dallas. It’s basically salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I like to mix in a little paprika because it gives the ribs a reddish color during the smoke.

When applying the seasoning, sprinkle the seasoning from a seasoning container about 24″ above the ribs. That way the seasoning will distribute evenly and create a sexy looking rack when finished. Make it rain goodness up in there.


4. Smoke Ribs for 30 Minutes at 275°

A lot of people do the 3-2-1 thing, which is fine. That’s 3 hours in the smoker, 2 hours wrapped in foil with (or without sauce), and 1 more hour out of the foil. I tweak that a bit and play to the Camp Chef’s ability to change the temperature to whatever I want. The higher temp kick starts the breaking down of fat.

5. Change Smoke Setting to ‘High Smoke’ and smoke 2 hours

The temperature will change to about 225°. You’ve rendered some of the fat at the higher temperature, now you can go slow and low with it for 2 hours or so. Pellet grills aren’t famous for imparting a heavy smoky flavor, so ‘high smoke’ actually achieves what I would consider a ‘normal’ level of smoke flavor.

6. Spritz with apple cider vinegar

Use a clean spray bottle and use it to spray a fine mist on the ribs. Sometimes I’ll season a few Tri Tips with the Hard 8 season as well. That helps keep the meat moist.

Since Tri Tips like to cook at an hour per pound at ‘High Smoke’ as well it works out nicely all this delicious meat will be done at the same time. I like to let the tri tip sit out for an hour before smoking. Season the tri tip liberally with your seasoning.


7. Sauce the ribs (extra canna-oil optional)

Using a plastic squirt bottle make a mixture of BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar. Sometimes I do 50/50. Sometimes I’ll do 75% apple cider vinegar, and 25% BBQ sauce. You can opt to add a bit more cannabis-infused olive oil in at this stage if you’d like, but the initial dose added at the beginning should provide enough of a gentle lift.

The BBQ sauce can clog the squirt bottle, so going heavier on the vinegar will help the mixture spread evenly.


8. After 15 minutes wrap the ribs

Lay the foil dull side up and spritz the foil with apple cider vinegar where the meat will touch. Put the ribs sauce side down in the foil and wrap them tightly. Put back in the smoker and smoke for another 2 hours, give or take.

9. Get ready to chow down

You can unwrap the ribs and smoke them longer if you wish at 225° or ‘high smoke’. Take a toothpick and insert it into the meat between the bones to see how done they are. Smoking longer will dry the ribs out a bit and might not be necessary.

Sauce ’em if you like. Leave ’em dry if you like. There’s no wrong way to do this. I find the apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce mixture gives enough flavor, but sauce on the side isn’t a bad idea. Take a good slicing knife and carefully cut between the bones and serve accordingly.


Extra Credit: The Tri Tip

The Tri Tip is super easy to hit out of the park. The key is starting with a good quality cut. The USDA Prime from Costco (blue styro) is butter if meat could be butter. Just rub with cannabis-infused olive oil and season on both sides then smoke one hour per pound on ‘high heat’ using Hickory if possible but if smoking with the ribs you’re probably using Mesquite and a fruit wood pellet.

That alone won’t do it. The magic happens when you heat your regular gas grill up as hot as you can get it and finish the Tri Tip by searing on high heat on each side for about 2-3 minutes. It activates the juices and gives a nice crust on the outside. Let the meat sit covered in foil for 5-10 minutes before devouring. Good Lord it’s delicious!!


‘Stoned’ sheep go on ‘psychotic rampage’ after eating cannabis plants dumped in Welsh village

stoned-sheep-news-large_transeo_i_u9apj8ruoebjoaht0k9u7hhrjvuo-zlengrumaBy Telegraph Reporters

Sheep are feared to have gone on a “psychotic rampage” after eating cannabis plants dumped in a Welsh village.

The remains of an illegal cannabis factory was fly-tipped and worried locals fear the sheep have been munching the plants.

County councillor Ioan Richard raised the alarm, saying the sheep have been “roaming the village” causing havoc by breaking into homes.

Mr Richard said: “There is already a flock of sheep roaming the village causing a nuisance.

“They are getting in people’s gardens and one even entered a bungalow and left a mess in the bedroom.”

He warned of the dangers of the rest of the flock discovering the remains of the cannabis plantation dumped at Rhydypandy, in the Swansea valley in South Wales.

He said: “I dread to think what will happen if they eat what could well be cannabis plants – we could have an outbreak out of psychotic sheep rampaging through the village.”

The councillor has been waging a crusade against frequent fly-tipping in the countryside in his area.

He said the remains of the cannabis factory, on a road above Salem Chapel near Rhydypandy, was the latest danger.


Mr Richard said that there had already been instances of sheep being killed in the village after straying into the road in the neighbouring village.

He said: “I told the council officers to make sure it was reported to the police before removing any evidence of what looks like the dumped remains of a cannabis growing establishment.”

A Swansea Council spokesman said it acted swiftly to clear the cannabis remains, but could not confirm if any sheep had eaten the plants.

He added: “We made the police aware of this incident as soon as it was reported and arranged a site visit together.

“The fly-tipped waste has now been removed, but we’d urge anyone with information about who may be responsible to contact either ourselves or South Wales Police.

“Fly-tipping has a negative impact on local communities, so we’re doing all we can to both prevent it and clean up as quickly as possible at known hot spots.

“We also investigate all cases of fly-tipping and will take enforcement action if there’s sufficient evidence.”

Artisanal marijuana crabcakes: Is this the future of getting high?

May 19 at 3:15 PMmarijuana0011463414110Matt Doherty teaches a class on how to make butter with cannabis during the “Blazed and Glazed” event at Mess Hall on Sunday May 15. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

As Matt Doherty wrapped up his cooking demonstration, a woman in the audience raised her hand to ask a question: How long would the cannabis-infused butter he had shown them how to make keep in the fridge?

“I’ve never had it go bad,” replied Doherty, the manager of a Capitol Hill hydroponic supply store. He paused. “It doesn’t last long in my house.”

The audience at the cannabis food festival “Blazed and Glazed” giggled a little too hard at the joke. Many of the onlookers had arrived at culinary incubator Mess Hall as baked as a tray of the green herb that Doherty had put in the oven.

But wait — it’s not what you’re thinking. Hosting a cannabis cooking class is tricky when D.C. law permits a person to possess only 2 ounces of marijuana, so Doherty used oregano instead. That herb is a good stand-in for the real thing in recipes for a tincture and a mossy green cannabutter, the building blocks of cannabis cooking — which has reached new highs as penalties for growing or possessing marijuana are eased across the country.

Forget the dorm room ­brownie. Instead, think cannabis-infused burritos, French macarons, salad dressings, duck breast or a ­cannabis-infused sous-vide (or “sous weed,” as chef Mathew Ramsey put it) burger. Today, serious chefs are tinkering with the science of getting high, taking it into more rarefied culinary territory.

To the extent permissible by law, of course.

marijuana0071463414171Chocolate mousse with mint contained 25 mg of cannabis at one booth at Mess Hall’s “Blazed and Glazed” event. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

First, some chemistry: Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the marijuana molecule that gives you that buzz. It’s soluble in fats and alcohol, and cannabis cooks often infuse a slow-heated butter or oil with marijuana and then use it as a substitute in conventional recipes. The technique has been around for decades, but now chefs are experimenting with it more openly.

“This industry is in its infancy, it’s fascinating,” said Raquel Pelzel, a former editor at Cook’s Illustrated and the co-author of more than 20 cookbooks. Her next one, co-authored with Bob Marley’s daughter Cedella, is a collection of Caribbean-inspired recipes for dishes such as quinoa and mango salad, with instructions for making cannabutter and cannabis oil infusions and adding them in the proper dosage. It will be released on April 20 — yes, 4/20, “Weed Day” — next year.

Last month, Pelzel participated in the first-ever panel discussion on cannabis cooking at the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference. “It’s like the wild, wild West, and everyone’s looking to stake their claim,” she said.

But to do so, they have to work within the laws of various jurisdictions — and each one treats edibles differently.

Warren Brown, who brought the cupcake craze to Washington with his bakery, CakeLove, is now a partner in DC Taste Buds, an edibles company. But he won’t be the one actually putting marijuana in his jarred cakes when the effort launches later this year.

In the District, “there’s no legal way for an organization like mine to put a finger on cannabis,” he said. The company is taking a conservative approach after consulting multiple D.C. agencies and finding the laws “pretty difficult to navigate,” said partner Victoria Harris. “The language is incredibly vague.”

Instead, they will make the products and partner with medicinal cultivation centers, which will incorporate the cannabis — how, exactly, is a “trade secret,” Brown said — and sell the cakes at dispensaries.

“We’re just going to stay within the bounds of what we can do with the law, and if the law expands to allow us to bake on-site with cannabis, we’ll bake that way,” he said.

Other chefs aren’t so concerned. In New York, where medicinal marijuana is legal but recreational pot isn’t, “Hawaii” Mike Salman and his wife host a private, invitation-only cannabis supper club, preparing free five-course meals for up to 30 guests at least once a month. Their first seating takes place at — naturally — 4:20.

Salman, a self-taught chef, uses THC-infused oils and butters in dishes you might see on a restaurant menu: sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna, sous-vide chicken breast, miso black cod, lamb chops with cauliflower puree. He says he may bring the dinners to Washington someday — he has already perfected a cannabis crabcake recipe.

But the tricky thing about cooking with cannabis is that it affects every diner differently. One person’s stairway to heaven is another person’s bad trip.

With edibles, “it takes a little bit longer to metabolize and digest. You don’t feel the effects so soon,” said Kevin Sabet, president and chief executive of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a bipartisan organization that opposes legalization. Sabet considers edibles extra dangerous: “You could be eating a beautiful lemon chiffon, and you don’t feel anything, and then half an hour later, you could be having a psychotic episode.”

“We want you to be responsible, and part of being responsible is knowing when you’re good,” said Salman, who said he paces his meals to help guests achieve a pleasant high without going overboard.

Still, he acknowledged, “You can’t control everybody.” Sometimes, people “go a little crazy, and they’ll take something off someone else’s plate. We walk through the experience with everyone in the beginning. We really try to provide an environment that is safe and comfortable.”

Cannabis restaurants are on the horizon, too, though so far, they still face plenty of obstacles. Garyn Angel is the chief executive of MagicalButter, a company that sells a $175 suite of kitchen tools to help home cooks make cannabutter. He tried to open a cannabis restaurant in Seattle two years ago, but no dice.

“It was a little ahead of its time,” he said.

Because Washington state’s Initiative 502 doesn’t permit public consumption, “you can’t have marijuana in public view in any way,” said Brian Smith, spokesman for the state liquor and cannabis board.

Even if public consumption laws were changed, a state-by-state patchwork of testing requirements and regulations governing edibles — in Washington, a sample from every batch must be tested for potency — would still pose numerous hurdles for a cannabis restaurant. And then there’s the fear of legal troubles should a guest have a bad reaction to a marijuana-infused dish.

In the meantime, trained chefs who like working with cannabis have found work in grow labs. Dain Colandro, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is now director of production at Connecticut’s Advanced Grow Labs.

The more grow labs expand their product lines, “the more there’s going to be a need for chefs or trained cooks,” Colandro said. Given the amount of food science that goes into cannabis cooking, “I think they should start to teach this kind of stuff in culinary school.”

Chemistry, of course, isn’t the only important thing — chefs are interested in the flavors, too.

“Cannabis is a hard ingredient to work with,” Colandro said. “Because it’s so bitter, it could be a very aggressive or strong taste that you have to work around or try to mask.” He has found that it doesn’t pair well with acidic fruits, such as lemons. There’s also a harmony to be found in pairing certain strains with certain foods. The sativa strain produces a more vibrant buzz, so Pelzel, the cookbook author, says she thinks it goes well in breakfast foods, or a granola bar before a long hike. The mellower indica is better for desserts or an evening tea.

“Once all the stigma and the negativity surrounding it is put to bed, it will be interesting to see all the incredible ways that people dream up to use the plant,” she said.

Until then, aspiring marijuana foodies learn online, or in oregano-scented sessions such as Mess Hall’s, which drew more than 200 attendees, from 20-somethings to elderly couples.

After the demonstrations, people strolled around a marketplace where they could buy paraphernalia or, with the purchase of a T-shirt, choose a “gift” made by Giovanni Merle, a French-trained pastry chef whose chocolate mousses and macarons each contained a mellow amount of active ingredient.

“This opens the door to a lot of things,” said Melissa K., 36, who declined to give her last name. She said she usually just makes brownies, but now, “I was thinking about making some cinnamon toast, or being a little bit hipster and making avocado toast.”

But even as savory uses for cannabis enter the mainstream, junk food is still where the business is. Pot brownies will never lose their appeal. Even chef Mario Batali has posted his recipe for them. And at Colandro’s Advanced Grow Labs, they’re still the top seller.

The industry still has some growing up to do.

“I think that it’s like when you turn 21 and everyone goes out and does crazy shots and drinks silly drinks. And as you get older, you learn about Scotch and whiskey, and you start to refine and curate your palate and your collection,” Pelzel said. “I think the same thing will happen with cannabis. Everyone will be silly, and then they’ll mature.”

Tag along as Oregon’s cannatourism industry formally kicks off (Photos)

It didn’t take long for the notion of cannatourism to hit Portland.

About six months after the recreational use of marijuana was legalized, the BridgeTown Weed Tour will give visitors a chance to view the state’s cannabis culture from the comfort of a tour bus.

Ryan McFallo of the Tour said his group offers glimpses of the state’s “urbane approach to cannabis culture.” The first tours will launch April 16.

Click on the picture above for a look at a few places the BridgeTown Weed Tour will visit

We threw a few questions at McFallo by email. His answers are below. He also sent some pictures our way of a few of the spots the Tour will visit.

Are you the first Oregon cannabis tour providers? Yes.

Where did you get the idea for it. Well, in 2014, prior to the legalization of marijuana in Oregon…

We don’t take for granted the unique position Oregon is in, being one of only four states to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use. We realize there are countless numbers of marijuana advocates, patients, and recreational users in the U.S. that may not have the pleasure to go to a legal dispensary, visit a growing facility to learn the horticultural aspects of cannabis, or freely partake in cannabis without the risk of arrest and jail.

Considering all of this, we felt there was an untapped opportunity and that people would be interested in an urbane approach to cannabis and the cannabis culture of Portland.

How are you marketing it outside the state? As you can imagine, as a start-up, our budget for indirect and direct marketing is relatively small compared to larger or more established companies in the cannabis industry … We felt that building name recognition in Portland first is instrumental for us to have future successes. Since 2014, we have been directly involved in every aspect of this company and pride ourselves on face-to-face connections and the knowledge that when you are working with Bridgetown Weed Tour you are not only getting a fantastic brand and product; you are also getting us. This philosophy has been instrumental in every meeting we’ve had, every owner we’ve met, and every partner we’ve made.

More to the base of your question, how have we marketed ourselves out of the state, first and foremost our SEO work has been phenomenal. We have self-built a top of the line responsive website and are currently ranked first for a number of cannabis related tour searches in Portland. This has generated a lot of interest nationally and directly led to us being featured in the March issue of an industry leading magazine, MG Magazine. It also led to partnering with a national multiple cannabis tourism agencies, who specialize in all-inclusive cannabis experiences.

Secondly, our social media marketing team have been forging connections locally and nationally with medical and recreational dispensaries, growing facilities, nonprofit organizations, retail cannabis companies, and individuals alike. This has been great for initial contact, lead generation, promoting our brand identity, and promoting causes that affect the entire cannabis community. It has been an instrumental part in curating our online presence, developing partnerships with locally owned farms and boutiques, and establishing a connection to the national cannabis community at large.

As we grow, we plan to expand our in state and out of state marketing, but feel that our current marketing strategy using SEO, social media marketing, and good old fashioned face-to-face meetings and handshakes offer a low cost high reward marketing strategy that builds our brand identity and has put us in the position we are in; a top tier cannabis tour in a top tier city.

What are some of the cooler places you’ve been to as you put the tour together?One of the cooler places we have had the pleasure to go has been Chalice Farms. They are in the process of building their national headquarters (24,000 total square feet) which will include office space, commercial kitchen space, state of the art growing facility, extraction lab, and dispensary. It’s pretty much a one stop shop for any cannabis connoisseur.

We are very excited to be in the beginning phases of forming a partnership with them as one of our featured shops. This is a great facility and a great opportunity for everyone involved. It highlights every aspect of the plant, from a seed through maturity to harvest and processing. We feel the more people learn the science behind cannabis cultivation the more it will be destigmatized.

Just to end on a touching note, speaking of destigmatizing cannabis, we received a touching email from a breast cancer survivor who was interested in booking a tour. Without knowing the extent of her circumstances, she wrote of her struggle with chemo, the after effects, and how cannabis was the perfect medicine for her. Her struggle and strength were inspiring to say the least and a direct result of this email, we are in the planning stages of hosting a breast cancer survivor tour with proceeds going to a locally owned nonprofit focusing on breast cancer research.

This anecdote is just a little reminder to why we do what we do. As individuals and as a business, we are here to connect communities to all of the beneficial aspects of cannabis.

Review: NW Cannabis Club

By Tyler Hurst

Published November 25, 2015

One day we’ll be able to stroll up to a bar, buy a dab or bong rip or Volcano-produced vapor bag, consume it right there or take it back to our table with friends, and laugh about how people used to be so scared of legal cannabis.
Today is not yet that day. Until then, places like NW Cannabis Club (1195 SE Powell Blvd., 2 pm-midnight daily) will do just fine. NWCC is located in a former strip club-turned-nightclub next to a 24-hour coffee shop, and its Seattle owners are proud to share the success of their NW Cannabis Market with Portlanders. “Our goal is to normalize access and not treat cannabis users like criminals,” says Aiden Powell, a NWCC manager who moved from Seattle. “This is something we’re proud of and helps fill a need we helped preserve in Seattle.”


(Adam Wickham/WW)
NWCC has everything you’d expect in a lounge—leather chairs and couches, mounted TVs, a small stage and a massive bar upstairs—along with a basement being remodeled with more tables and seating for private events. There are board games, at least one Sega Genesis emulator (Altered Beast, bitches) running on the PlayStation 3, and 50 mbps Wi-Fi that should keep everyone but the most dedicated PC gamers satisfied.

Like the World Famous Cannabis Cafe and the Other Spot before it, NWCC doesn’t sell cannabis onsite. Like WFCC, there are sealed snacks and soda available for purchase. Like TOS, members are free to bring or order food. Like both places, alcohol is prohibited.


(Adam Wickham/WW)
On our first visit, we were greeted by the butler-polite J.T., who checked our IDs and explained the daily and monthly membership pricing, reminding us that they did not sell cannabis, and leading our party to a MacGyver’ed bar either left over from the previous nightclub or grabbed at a closing sale. While functional, it stands out like a relic in a space designed to be experienced in low light. The bar stools look new, and the plethora of options available at the bar made me forget how much the white shelf and marble bar clashed. Dab rigs were ready with hot e-nails or torches to light, bongs were within an arm’s reach, and a Volcano vaporizer loomed on the other side. Pre-rolls from local dispensaries were also available, and flower with paper were available to use on a joint roller.


(Adam Wickham/WW)
The bud/dab tender was especially proud of the Sacred Extracts rosin made from the Fresh Connection flower, though he was more hands-off during the dabbing process than expected—unlike the full service of Steve Shumate at WFCC, these guys scraped the dabs and handed me the stick. The low bar height and rig-mouthpiece angle made dabbing on my own slightly awkward, though this should only be an issue for novices or those like me used to more hand-holding and a custom-height dab bar. The building’s former occupants were nice enough to leave intact a corner stage, where Powell says they plan to host events like Cottonmouth Comedy Night.

NWCC offers three entry-fee options: six months for $150 plus $1 per day, one month for $20 plus $5 daily, or $10 for one day. It’s free for new visitors. Parking is next to nonexistent, so plan to park south across Powell Boulevard or take transit. Actually, given the dab situation, plan on transit.5

(Adam Wickham/WW)