Tag: california

The Wonderfully Weird ‘Hicksville Pines’ Is Your New Must-Visit Bud and Breakfast

Hicksville Pines is already one of the kitschiest lodging options in all of Southern California, and it just became one of the state’s first “bud and breakfasts.”

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In just a few months, Californians should be able to purchase recreational cannabis from their local dispensaries. Many businesses are preparing for this new industry by offering cannabis-friendly experiences, including infused meals, virtual reality, and sound baths. It seems like an obvious strategy for certain hotels to begin allowing guests to indulge freely, too, without forcing them to sneak surreptitious puffs on their balconies.

Hicksville Pines is California's Best New <strong><a href=Marijuana-Friendly Bud and Breakfast | Leafly" width="840" height="525" />(Courtesy of Steff Walk)

Some California operations have already explored that path, like the now-shuttered, five-room Compassion Flower Inn in Santa Cruz. Similarly, AirBNB reveals a few current options, including a vegan “bed, bud, brew & breakfast” in Tahoe. Hicksville Pines, however, offers 10 rooms, lots of communal space, and a bus that ferries guests to and from a nearby dispensary.

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Hicksville Pines can be found in Idyllwild, just over 100 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s a relatively small community, with a population of fewer than 4,000 people, but its scenic setting makes it a popular tourist destination. Of note, Idyllwild’s mayor is a golden retriever named Max. (Turns out if you’re an unincorporated community, you don’t have to have a human mayor.)

Once there, guests can choose among 10 suites housed in picturesque A-frame cabins, surrounded by mountains, trees, and sometimes snow. Perhaps the 420 Room strikes your fancy. It’s a bit on the nose for Hicksville Pines, thematically speaking, and that’s perfectly fine. The sunken bed is level with the floor, blacklight posters line the slanted ceiling, and an in-room vending machine is there to satiate any munchies.

Hicksville Pines is California's Best New <strong>Marijuana</strong>-Friendly Bud and Breakfast | Leafly(Courtesy of Steff Walk)

Then there’s the Dita, a retro-glam suite designed by burlesque star Dita Von Teese and her designer, Stacia Dunnam. It features a sleek black and pink bedroom, and a glittery pink soaking tub in the bathroom. Other rooms pay tribute to singer Dolly Parton, Nashville’s Third Man Records, Twin Peaks, geek culture, filmmaker John Waters, and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.

Owner Morgan Night already had one similar motel—Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree—when he came up with idea for Hicksville Pines. Hicksville Trailer Palace launched in 2010, and offers guests the opportunity to stay in one of several spectacularly themed trailers in a desert setting. While on a serendipitous trip to Idyllwild in 2015, Night decided he could replicate his Joshua Tree success in a woodsy environment.

Night views both as works in progress, as he’s always contemplating new features or amenities to add. He said he was already anticipating adding a coffee shop to his Idyllwild location when he came up with another idea. “When [Proposition] 64 passed, I thought maybe we could have a place that made really great food for when you’re high, and also sold pot,” he said.

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Night was also inspired by a recent trip to Colorado, where recreational cannabis has been legal since 2012 and sold in licensed stores since 2014. “Colorado is the way America should be and the way California will be,” he said. “I’m just excited that there are states out there that are on the cutting edge, and that California is one of them.”

So while Night’s on-property café and dispensary are still in the works, he decided to pull the trigger on transforming Hicksville Pines from a peculiar weekend getaway to a stoner retreat now. Starting September 15, 2017, only guests 21 and up will be allowed, ensuring everyone on property is of age for cannabis use. Additionally, a free shuttle will make daily trips to nearby dispensaries, enabling guests to pick up their sundries with ease. They’ll also begin serving a home-cooked breakfast at 10 a.m., fulfilling the “breakfast” portion of the deal.

Hicksville Pines is California's Best New <strong>Marijuana</strong>-Friendly Bud and Breakfast | Leafly(Courtesy of Steff Walk)

Guests will always be allowed to bring their own stash, if they prefer, even after the on-site dispensary is up and running. Night firmly believes that cannabis just needs to be available, regardless of whether his guests source it from Hicksville affiliated dispensaries or their own preferred vendors.

Night himself has been using cannabis for the last decade or so, when he decided to pursue a medical marijuana card to see if it might help him with migraines and insomnia. “[Cannabis] helps me get a great night’s sleep, and then the rest of the week, I’m also less stressed,” he said. “Cannabis has really changed my life for the better.”

Though Hicksville is not intended to be a 5-star resort, guests do have a variety of fun amenities at their disposal, including a hot tub, a tipi with a fire pit inside, and a rec room with shuffleboard, ping pong, TV, and free arcade games—no quarters required. This is in addition, of course, to whatever oddities might be inside the individual suites, which could include a private hot tub, a shower head that’s actually a bidet mounted upside-down to the ceiling, record players, arcade games, or a king-sized waterbed.

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“There’s no argument that whatever you’re doing on the property, whether it’s playing video games or having sex, it’s always better when you’re high,” Night said. “And there’s nothing safer than having a place where you can smoke pot, and then fall asleep in your own bed.”

Those wishing to book their stay at Hicksville Pines can browse the rooms (no two are the same) and book online here. Singles range from $100 to $150 per night while The Great Northern—a three-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen—rents for $250 to $300 a night.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

California Lawmakers Pass Bill to Restrict Edibles

California lawmakers have backed legislation to prohibit the sale of marijuana edibles shaped like a person, animal, insect or fruit.

The bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday is an attempt to prevent cannabis-infused sweets from appealing to children.

Brown vetoed similar legislation earlier this week that sought to define standards for packaging that would not appeal to children. The governor says his administration is working on regulations to packaging and labeling marijuana edibles.

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California voters legalized marijuana for adult use last year and the state is preparing to begin sales at state-licensed stores next year.

Critics of AB350 say kids are attracted to sweets regardless of the shape.

The measure was written by Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

California County Calls for State Aid to Combat Cannabis Farms

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California state senator has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to help a rural county deal with a dramatic proliferation of illegal marijuana farms by declaring a state of emergency.

Siskiyou County supervisors earlier declared a local emergency after the sheriff said his department is outmanned by the illegal farmers, who some residents complain are wrecking the environment and attracting violent crime. Emergency declarations give government officials flexibility to quickly react to natural disasters and other catastrophes and can lead to grants and other financial help.

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Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines, who represents the county, said on Wednesday that he formally asked the governor for the emergency declaration to compel state officials to help Sheriff Jon Lopey in crack down on the illegal farms. Gaines said that could include making the California National Guard available to help.

Gaines recently toured the county by helicopter with the sheriff, who says there are more than 2,000 illegal farms in the county along the California-Oregon state line about 300 miles north of San Francisco.

“The grows are vast and numerous, and it’s indicative of a community that is overrun by unlawful behavior, and of a criminal class that is in complete contempt of the law,” Gaines said.

Kelly Huston, the deputy director of the governor’s Officer of Emergency Services, said the agency is reviewing the senator’s request. Huston said there are ways state officials can help even if the governor doesn’t declare an emergency.

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Lopey said the county is “overwhelmed” by the illegal farmers, many of whom he says live in tents and other temporary shelters and some are diverting streams, using illicit fertilizers and degrading the environment. Lopey said three farmers died of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by faulty heaters last winter.

Lopey last month worked with federal officials to arrest two farmers who he says offered him a $1 million bribe to shield their plants and workers from law enforcement scrutiny.

Lured by inexpensive land and privacy, marijuana farmers are flocking to rural counties in Northern California seeking to cash in on growing demand in the state and across the country. Many farmers are squatting illegally on state and federal lands in the region as well.

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California was the first state to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in 1999 and voters in November legalized the recreational use of cannabis. State officials are drafting regulations ahead of a Jan. 1 deadline to start issuing licenses to legally grow and sell marijuana for recreational use.

“We need all the help we can get,” Lopey said. “Our quality of life is being impacted negatively.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

San Diego Considers Plan to Expand Industry Licensing

With adult-use cannabis sales set to become legal on Jan. 1, cities across California continue to hash out local rules and regulations for industry. The latest, San Diego, is scheduled to consider a proposal Monday that would legalize cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and testing in the city.

If approved, the plan would continue San Diego’s slow loosening of restrictions on cannabis. The city only began allowing dispensaries in 2015, and earlier this year, officials agreed to allow 16 already-approved medical marijuana dispensaries to expand sales to non-medical consumers once recreational sales begin.

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It’s anyone’s guess as to which way the City Council will fall on the proposal, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The nine-member body is made up of five Democrats and four Republicans. Democrats reportedly have shown “more enthusiasm” for relaxing the law than have the four Republicans.

San Diego’s police department has recommended the council reject the proposal, claiming concerns about crime and safety. Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman suggested there would be a “significant” increase in service calls, predicting an increase in explosions and fires. Law enforcement in the region has long had a fractured relationship with the cannabis industry.

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Local industry representatives such as Phil Rath, executive director of The United Medical Marijuana Coalition, say it’s crucial to have a complete supply chain for cannabis locally, which could build in efficiencies and decrease prices by eliminating transportation costs.

But Rath said there are some concerns with the proposal to allow cultivation and processing. The plan would limit the number of cultivation and manufacturing businesses to a maximum of two per City Council district, for a total of up to 18. Rath has said the suggested two-per-district cap would not produce enough cannabis to meet demand in the city.

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“To meet local, legal demand, the number of these permits is going to have to be somewhere in the range of 40 to 50,” he said.

Cannabis taxes will also be on the council’s agenda. San Diego voters approved a local tax on adult-use cannabis in November that starts out at 5%. It rises to 8% in July 2019. The tax can increase to as much as 15% with council approval and would apply to cannabis cultivators, producers, and dispensaries.

There are a few other cities in San Diego County that also sell cannabis legally, including La Mesa and Lemon Grove. La Mesa has indicated it might also begin to allow cultivation.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

California County Supervisors Declare Cannabis Cultivation Emergency

This story originally appeared in the Siskiyou Daily News. Republished with permission.

YREKA, CA — A request by Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey that the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors declare a local emergency due to illegal cannabis cultivation sparked an hours long discussion on Tuesday afternoon at the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka.

Numerous people packed the supervisors’ chambers for the afternoon meeting, where the board was tasked with deciding whether or not it would proclaim that the proliferation of illegal cannabis cultivation presents a problem that is beyond the control of local agencies.

Lopey spoke first, stating that he believes the proclamation is necessary due to a large number of illicit cannabis cultivation sites discovered throughout the county. He said that he believes the sites present myriad dangers to the environment, quality of life, and public safety.

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Lopey called attention to the use of illegal pesticides, improper storage of waste, the lack of permitted living quarters, and other issues that might exist at the site of an illegal cannabis cultivation operation.

Many stated that they were fearful that it would mean that federal authorities would descend upon the county and raid their private property.

What the proclamation could do, he posited, is open up possibilities for outside resources from the state and federal governments to assist the county in addressing illegal cultivation.

Lopey also stressed that the focus of the proclamation is on illegal cannabis cultivation, stating that people using medical or recreational cannabis within the confines of the law are not the target.

The board then opened up the public comment period, which featured testimony from dozens of constituents, both those opposed to and in support of the proclamation.

The majority of speakers – many of whom stated that they were of Hmong descent – expressed opposition to the proclamation, and stated that they were fearful that it would mean that federal authorities would descend upon the county and raid their private property.

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A number of speakers took an opportunity to share their personal histories, detailing the impacts the Vietnam War had on their families and themselves, and how those experiences have shaped both their expectations for living in America and how they expected they would be welcomed.

The stories ranged from one man, who said he was called upon at the age of 10 to help fight against the spread of communism in Vietnam, to another man who said that he had assisted the Central Intelligence Agency cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail and rescue downed American bomber pilots.

Many speakers who shared their stories of the war said, in one form or another, that they wanted the county – and country – to love them as they loved America.

The discussion touched on a number of issues surrounding the Hmong commmunity’s struggles both in and out of the county, with a large number of speakers urging the board to not label the entire community as drug dealers based on the actions of a few.

Many members of the Hmong community expressed their opposition to the proposed proclamation, and a number of residents in areas with large numbers of cannabis cultivation sites spoke in favor of it.

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Sheriff Jon Lopey explained that it was hoped that the proclamation would help the county leverage resources from the state and federal governments in order to respond to what he estimated to be approximately 2,000 illicit cannabis cultivation sites spread around the county in such subdivisions as the Klamath River Country Estates, Mount Shasta Vista and Mount Shasta Forest areas.

Dozens of members of the public spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, touching on a wide array of topics.

The vast majority of speakers identified themselves as members of the Hmong community, urging the board to not adopt the proclamation. Many said that they were fearful that the proclamation would lead to federal raids on their property regardless of whether or not they were cultivating within the confines of the county’s ordinances.

Various themes were consistent in the speakers’ words, including being left alone on private property and having Constitutional rights respected, and requests to have the board understand that many are cultivating cannabis for various maladies. Some speakers indicated that they use cannabis to relieve pain from prior surgeries, and one speaker noted that many members of the Hmong community use cannabis to reduce the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from experiences during the Vietnam War.

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Various speakers explained that they had themselves participated in the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret war in Laos during the Vietnam War, or had lost family members in the war or to the communist regime that ultimately took over the country.

Still others invited people to get to know members of the Hmong community, and argued that the county and law enforcement should differentiate between cultivators growing illegally and the property owners who either do not grow or are operating within the county’s guidelines.

Some members of the Hmong community also expressed fear of law enforcement actions, and many said that they support Lopey’s efforts to root out illegal cultivators.

Those supporting the proclamation touched on a variety of concerns, with one major concern being the condition of certain lots both during and after the cultivation season. Echoing concerns in the proclamation itself, many said that they were concerned about impacts to property values, with various sites left full of garbage and other forms of waste. Others said that they were concerned about dogs roaming free, and shared that they felt intimidated by some cultivators who did not want anyone near their property.

Some speakers in support of the proclamation, along with Lopey, stated that they believe no one who is growing within the county’s laws has anything to fear from enforcement efforts, and many repeated the idea that, if members of the Hmong community wanted to be welcomed in the county, they must follow the county’s laws.

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The hours-long comment period became a back-and-forth, with subsequent speakers answering questions posed by earlier speakers. For instance, members of the Hmong community, responding to a question of why they do not have children on their properties if they want to be a part of the community, noted that they are of retirement age and have children who are now in college or simply do not live at home.

One speaker also related that some members of the community had been led to believe that they could not have children on the parcels they purchased, even if they had an established home.

Miscommunication between groups and education about the various laws at play were also themes throughout the discussion. Mouying Lee, who has been at the forefront of the Siskiyou cannabis cultivation discussion in recent years, told the board that he has had difficulty explaining to some members of the community that even if a doctor prescribes up to 99 plants – a limit set by the state – local jurisdictions can set their own limits, such as Siskiyou County’s 12 plant cap.

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Lee urged the board and Lopey to step up efforts to help educate members of the Hmong community, and suggested possibly producing brochures in their native language. Many speakers utilized the assistance of a translator during the meeting, and Lee said that having the laws explained in the Hmong language could help reduce the number of sites that have more than the allowed number of plants.

One final theme that came out of the meeting was a desire to open communication between the various communities at the heart of the issue. Lopey and members of the board explained that they are open to town hall meetings to help constituents understand rules and regulations.

Lopey also clarified that the emergency proclamation does not target any specific community, but ultimately is an attempt to respond to illegal activity that has proven to be beyond the county’s capability to address.

He also shared some of his military experience, noting that he spent time overseas defending people of different cultures, explaining that he had sworn to give his life protecting the people of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and other southeast Asian nations.

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Lopey touched on some of the comments about his department noting that he has been called a thief and a terrorist, and has been accused of harassing the Hmong community, and argued that he and his department seek justice and fairness for all.

“We welcome all people to our county, but I ask one thing: They know the law and everyone should follow the law,” he said.

The board’s discussion came at the end of the public comment period, and each supervisor expressed support for the proclamation, calling attention to the impacts of illegal cultivation, from illegal pesticide use to the increased risk of fire from cooking outdoors.

District 4 Supervisor Lisa Nixon asked members of the Hmong community for help in explaining what the law is and how to follow it, and supervisors Michael Kobseff and Ray Haupt both noted that they support the proclamation as a measure to protect the general public as well as cultivators who may be at increased risk living in non-permitted housing and using campfires to cook in dry conditions.

Taken to a vote, the board unanimously supported the proclamation of a local emergency. District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela closed out the comments with a call for continued outreach and communication so that constituents and the county can work together toward a common goal.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

California Won’t Ban Cannabis Ads, for Now

California lawmakers have backed away from a plan to impose significant restrictions on cannabis advertising, agreeing to kill a bill that would have banned cannabis-industry ads on clothing and other merchandise.

The proposal, by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), would have prohibited state-licensed cannabis businesses from advertising “through the use of branded merchandise, including, but not limited to, clothing, hats, or other merchandise with the name or logo of the product.” Nonprofits and other noncommercial speech would have been exempt.

“This was a commonsense measure.”

Sen. Ben Allen, SB 162 sponsor

Allen and other supporters of SB 162 said the measure was aimed at protecting children from potentially harmful marketing practices. But critics complained that the bill went too far and could ultimately do more harm than good.

“SB 162 is broad enough in its language that it could cover branded merchandise worn by employees or even merchandise produced by an unlicensed third party if it was done so for the licensee,” Rebecca Stamey-White, a San Francisco-based lawyer who works with the cannabis and alcohol industries, told Leafly in June, as the bill made its way through the state Legislature.

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In May the state Senate passed the measure unanimously, 40–0. In June, an Assembly committee OK’d it on a 12–0 vote. But from there it languished, and lawmakers on Friday of last week chose to let it die.

Some opponents argued the proposal risked unfairly restricting free speech. Others worried it could hamstring small businesses. And yet others argued that, because the bill applied only to state-licensed cannabis businesses, it might lead to absurd outcomes, such as barring even tasteful apparel by licensed cannabis businesses while ignoring more problematic merchandise sold by non-cannabis entities.

After the bill’s failure, Allen defended the bill to the LA Times, calling it a “commonsense measure.”

“The Legislature in the past has wisely prohibited advertising with branded merchandise by tobacco companies, expressly because items like hats and t-shirts are known to entice kids to smoke,” he said. “This was a commonsense measure to apply similar restrictions that would help prevent marijuana use by teens.”

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California’s current cannabis laws already include restrictions on the use of certain music, language, shapes, cartoon characters, and other content shown to capture kids’ attention. And in addition to staying away from schools, daycares, and youth centers, advertisements can be served only to audiences where at least 71.6% of people are 21 and over.

Branded merchandise is also currently restricted, with distribution allowed only at “an industry trade show or other similar venue where the attendees are required to be 21 years of age or older.”

While SB 162’s failure is widely seen as a win for the legal cannabis industry, it’s unlikely the advertising fight is over. Fears of industry influence and advertising to minors were among the more politically potent arguments against Proposition 64, the state’s adult-use legalization measure, as voters considered it last year. Expect to see further efforts by lawmakers aimed at putting voters’ minds at ease.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

After Service, These Veterans Are Finding New Careers—in Cannabis

Under the bright light and cool air of one of the cultivation rooms, Navy veteran Zac Williams clutches a tall can of Monster energy drink as he walks between rows of flowering cannabis plants. Though it’s not yet noon, this is Williams’ second super-caffeinated beverage of the day; his schedule requires he leave his Inland Empire home by 4:30 a.m. to make the 2 ½ hour commute to THC Design’s lab.

Williams was released from the Navy last year. Stationed as a medic at posts across the world— Micronesia, Hawaii, the Middle East—he learned the fundamentals of laboratory health and safety. He worked a great deal in industrial hygiene compliance, becoming well-versed in processes such as water purification. Though he’s been working at THC Design’s lab only for about a month, he speaks about the science of cannabis with the familiarity of a long-time professional.

“Since I got out, I lost 50 pounds switching from alcohol to weed or cannabis.”

Zac Williams, Navy veteran

When Williams applied for the internship, THC Design saw his background and offered him a full-time job. Occupational health and safety are expected to be huge issues for California’s cannabis industry when the adult-use market goes legal next year, Williams says, noting that he’s already fluent in standards like federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lab requirements, which dictate things such as where saftey placards and eye-washing stations need to be located.

Though Williams brought a bounty of knowledge from his time in the service, he’s also been learning as he goes. His Navy background, he says, helped prepare him to dive right in.

“Ninety percent of all military knowledge is on-the-job training, so we’re accustomed to not necessarily reading the books but listening to our superiors,” he said. “See one, do one, teach one—and we’re ready to go.”

Program participant Brandon Waller in THC Design’s reservoir room. (Alexander Drecun for Leafly)

As a salaried employee, Williams doesn’t get paid for working overtime. Yet he still clocks plenty of 12-hour days, he says, in large part because this is the first time he’s ever really looked forward to going to work.

In addition to his full-time job at THC, Williams is going to school for chemistry at National University in Ontario, CA, and hopes to attend UC Irvine for his master’s degree.

Like many in the cannabis biz, Williams also regularly consumes the product, both for medical needs and recreation. When he was in the military, he drank heavily and gorged on prescription pain medications and muscle relaxers—a habit he couldn’t afford once he returned to civilian life, he says.

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He’s not alone. The fallout from prescription pills, such as liver damage, addiction, and overdose, has hit veterans especially hard. According to a 2013 report from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had issued, on average, more than one opiate prescription per patient over the course of two years.

For many, cannabis offers a healthier, more holistic alternative.

“Since I got out, I lost 50 pounds switching from alcohol to weed or cannabis, and now I use it every day pretty much,” Williams says.

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In Williams current role, he’s involved in THC Design’s “post-extraction” processes, which include operations such as ethanol winterization—purifying and refining the end product—as well as testing new concepts for concentrate-based products. The position allows him to experiment with low-dose vape pens that provide enough CBD to manage his pain but not so much THC as to have psychoactive effects.

“We do a little bit of research and development,” he says with a grin and a laugh. “A new product comes out, we like to test it and see how it tastes.”

Futureberries on Day 54 of flower in Flower Room 5 (Alexander Drecun for Leafly).

According to Ophelia Chong, the company’s community liaison, the internship program allowed THC Designs to make the most of its community investment. While the company can “give $5,000 and put our logo on a conference,” Chong says, speaking with veterans helped the team determine that a paid training program would make a more lasting impact.

“We can give people as much cannabis as we want,” she says, “but it doesn’t really help. What they wanted … what they came back with is, ‘We want to work.’”

Seth Smith, Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance’s vice president of communications, says that while his organization is often approached by companies wanting to hire or create internships for veterans, THC Design was the first to hire a dedicated staff member to oversee the program and really “put their money where their mouth was.”

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The next class of THC Design interns are slated to begin in January, says Chong, and she’s hoping that at least half the incoming veterans will be women. The company also hopes to eventually make its course information public so entities across the country can reproduce the program.

In the meantime, Zac Williams says he’s just happy to have found a place where he belongs.

“The cannabis industry is so welcoming and inviting, because it really is a bunch of rebels,” he said. “People that didn’t fit in anywhere else, who weren’t accepted by regular society.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Cannabis Growers Accused of Offering California Sheriff $1M Bribe

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two Northern California marijuana farmers have been charged with offering a sheriff $1 million to turn a blind eye to their cannabis growing operations.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento charged siblings Chi Meng Yang and Gaosheng Laitinen with attempting to bribe Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey to protect their farms from raids. The complaint, unsealed Thursday, also alleges the brother and sister intended to sell their crop in Missouri, where efforts are underway to legalize marijuana in that state.

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Lopey said it started on May 17 when Yang met with the sheriff and a department captain in his Yreka, California office, about 300 miles (483 kilometers) north of San Francisco near the Oregon border.

Lopey said Yang offered to donate $1 million to any charity or cause the sheriff desired once he sold his crop in exchange for shielding 10 large-scale cannabis farms from raids. Siskiyou County bars the outdoor marijuana farms and limits the number of indoor gardens to 12 plants.

Lopey contacted federal authorities after the meeting and agreed to pretend to cooperate with Yang while secretly recording subsequent encounters. He met with Yang six more times and received $10,500 in cash as partial payment. Yang’s sister accompanied him to several of the meetings and gave the sheriff cash at one.

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Yang was arrested Thursday and authorities were searching for Laitinen. Yang appeared briefly in federal court Friday in federal court in Sacramento, but did not enter a plea. Yan’s public defender Doug Beevers didn’t return a phone call.

Lopey said deputies raided the farms Yang wanted protected, arresting 13 people and uprooting about 1,000 plants.

Rural counties throughout California have experienced a large influx of marijuana growers seeking to cash in on growing demand in the state and across the country. California was the first state to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in 1999 and voters in November legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Missouri and several other states are considering similar legalization laws.

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In response, farmers have been snapping up inexpensive land in rural California while others trespass on state and federal lands to grow.

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by a large volume of marijuana growers,” Lopey said. “It’s transforming our community significantly and negatively.”


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

San Diego Sets Sights on Illegal Delivery Services

After a year and a half of going after unlicensed cannabis dispensaries, San Diego authorities are stepping up enforcement against illegal delivery services, which local officials say have proliferated in response to the city’s continued crackdown on retail stores.

“Now that we’ve shutdown illegal storefronts, we’re seeing a barrage of illegal delivery services come online,” Chris Cate, a San Diego City Council member, told local KUSI news. “Now the attention has shifted from those illegal storefronts to illegal delivery services.”

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Earlier this month, authorities marked the shift with a splashy raid on a business operating out of the city’s Midway District. Police raided the facility on Aug. 2 and arrested 12 employees. They also confiscated more than 41 pounds of cannabis, 8,000 edibles and concentrate products, more than 100 cannabis plants, cocaine, $5,600 cash, and business records.

“This is our first delivery service case,” San Diego police Lt. Matt Novak told the San Diego Union-Tribune following the raid. Novak’s team in the police narcotics unit previously spent 18 months chasing unlicensed storefront dispensaries around the city, closing more than 60 so far. Delivery services, Novak said, “will receive the same enforcement we have been giving the dispensaries.”

Only a handful of dispensaries are currently licensed to operate in the city, KUSI reports. Local retail licenses allow these businesses—and only these businesses—to offer delivery services. But a quick online search shows dozens of other, unlicensed operators willing to drop off cannabis at a customer’s door. Some estimates put the number of illegal delivery services at 100 or more.

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Elizabeth Wilhelm, the founder of the nonprofit San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance, is one such delivery operator. While her group doesn’t have a local license to deliver, she told KUSI that she nevertheless aims to run an above-board business.

“We’re incorporated. We’re paying our state taxes, our federal taxes. We’re paying our sales  taxes. We’re paying our personal income taxes. We’re doing everything,” she said. “We’re not denying that there’s some bad actors in the bunch, and we as much as anyone support getting rid of them. It’s not what we want. It’s not what we’re about. We’re about taxation, regulation, and safe access. Period.”

Meanwhile, some of the already-licensed businesses say they’re just fine with the crackdown.

“We support the City Council’s decision to regulate the delivery system,” Will Senn, owner of Urbn Leaf dispensary, told KUSI. “We appreciate what they’ve done so far for the industry.”

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San Diego’s frustration isn’t unusual. Metro areas across California have struggled to eradicate illegal cannabis operations and limit cannabis activity to licensed businesses. But after nearly 20 years of scant regulation from the state, local authorities have been overwhelmed by the scope of the task.

In Los Angeles, for example, the city attorney’s office has spent the better part of two years targeting delivery services after working to eradicate illegal storefront dispensaries (only 135 operate legally in the city). Just as in San Diego, LA operators whose shops were shut down often simply reopened as delivery services, which proved harder for authorities to track down.

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San Jose, too, banned deliveries as part of its effort to winnow down the number of illegal cannabis businesses. It took local officials years of enforcement efforts to shutter the bulk of illegal operators.

In San Diego, officials didn’t officially ban delivery services until April. Prior to that, the city kept them in a gray area, allowing the services to operate but refusing to grant them business licenses. Officials announced in June that the city would begin to shift enforcement from illegal storefront businesses to deliveries, which left many operators exasperated.

Observers have been forecasting a clash between San Diego officals and unlicensed delivery services—the Voice of San Diego called it a “collision course—since at least January, when officials began considering an official ban on deliveries.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Smoke and Mirrors: How Far Will LA Cannabis Brands Go to Out-Market Each Other?

There is a new, invite-only art gallery coming to Los Angeles that will focus on “functional glass art,” which is something of a euphemism for fancy bongs. These elaborate, hand-crafted bongs cost tens of thousands of dollars each, and are part of Grey Space Art’s collection, which is relocating from SoHo, New York to Los Angeles’s Arts District later this year.

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As California cannabis companies prepare to market to recreational consumers, several brands are throwing exclusive events to entice and impress their future customers. In Los Angeles, the bar is being set higher than anywhere else, with events that blend cannabis, wellness, technology, and luxury popping up weekend after weekend. Lord Jones held a cannabis-infused sound bath on a Hollywood rooftop, while 1964 Supply Co threw an “art fight club.” Luxury brand Beboe’s swanky, celeb-studded launch was written up in Vanity Fair; other companies, like Grassfed, combine cannabis with upscale dining and virtual reality in hopes of standing out.

Grey Space Art seemed bent on outdoing it all. In the midst of Coachella earlier this year, I received an invitation to an exclusive cannabis-infused brunch that would serve as preview of this gallery. I initially dismissed the invitation—the preview was all the way in Rancho Mirage, and I was in LA without a car at my disposal. But the day before the event I received another message—there was one seat left on a helicopter, and it was mine if I wanted it. Who says no to that? I was told a car would pick me up and take me to the rendezvous point.

Smoke and Mirrors: How Far Will LA Cannabis Brands Go to Out-Market Each Other? | LeaflyAttendees socialize over brunch. (Courtesy of Grey Space Art)

So the surreal experience began. Sure enough, a black Denali arrived at my apartment in Koreatown at noon and whisked me away to a private airfield in Santa Monica. I boarded a luxury helicopter with six others: a music journalist, a magazine writer, and four totally gorgeous young Insta-famous models who looked like they had stepped straight out of a magazine.

The helicopter dropped us off in Palm Springs, where we got in another car to Rancho Mirage’s Imago Galleries. Imago Galleries was founded by Leisa Austin in 1991, and it is both vast—at 18,000 square feet—and gorgeous. We were greeted by a woman named Century, who led us to a courtyard and sculpture garden complete with a reflecting pool and glasswork by Dale Chihuly.

The first thing I did was score a mezcal cocktail at the bar; then I went to check out this “functional glass art.” Each piece was colorful and incredibly intricate: There was a bong that looked like a blossoming vase, a bong that looked like a satellite, and a bong that represented a goddess. I was then told that a ‘Mr. Grey’ would show me around.

Smoke and Mirrors: How Far Will LA Cannabis Brands Go to Out-Market Each Other? | LeaflySmoking implements on display. (Courtesy of Grey Space Art)

This turned out not to be some 50 Shades situation, thankfully. Mr. Grey is a 22-year-old entrepreneur who recounted how he invested money in cannabis stock five years ago and used the resulting windfall to open his gallery in SoHo. After proving himself in the New York art scene, he said that now was his chance to shift coasts and move the gallery to LA. It’s probably a good move, considering that California has voted to legalize recreational cannabis and New York has not.

It was nearly 100 degrees in Palm Springs, but Grey still wore a terry cloth blazer with shiny gold buttons. His grandmother, invited as well, had in tow an immaculately groomed poodle. In addition to the bongs displayed in the gallery, there were more on the tables. An assault rifle-shaped bong by artists Robert Mickelsen and Calvin Mickle was especially fantastical. Known as Jungle Gun, it is embellished with vibrant glass geckos and detailed leaves and retails at $60,000. It was moved to make way for brunch from Chef Antonia Lofaso (Scopa Italian Roots), which included sweet pea ravioli, charred octopus salad, rib-eye, and vanilla bean bread pudding.

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As a pièce de résistance, the event was sponsored by Cartier—a first for the luxury jeweler, which created high-end gold, rose gold, and stainless steel lighters (retail: $900 each) to pair with the glass art. There was, of course, no shortage of cannabis, which guests could dab, eat, or smoke out of 24K gold rolling paper. Dipstick Vapes was on hand, explaining their new product which made it easy to use rosin: Press a button to heat the tip, then dip it into the rosin and inhale.

We were taken back to the airport after the event, where everyone began eating out of a popcorn machine ravenously despite the earlier feast. The pilot asked if they had failed to feed us at the party, but eventually seemed to catch on to the fact that everyone was pleasantly stoned, and we were whisked away back to Santa Monica, once again by private helicopter.

Smoke and Mirrors: How Far Will LA Cannabis Brands Go to Out-Market Each Other? | LeaflyAttendees mingle at the brunch. (Courtesy of Grey Space Art)

It’s an odd thing, to grow up in a world where getting caught with a baggie of weed earns you a trip to jail, and to emerge as an adult in a world where you be flown in a private helicopter to a cannabis brunch. Events like Grey Space’s are harbingers of the industry’s entrance into luxury spaces in California, a move other industries, including wine and spirits, have already made. These events elevate cannabis while allowing guests a chance to sample new products—which for now are freely given, as selling cannabis to recreational consumers would violate the changing laws.

Then again, one can also argue that ultra-exclusive events catering to the rich and influential are capable of alienating the same kind of mainstream consumer that the industry has long been working to attract. Just how far will brands go to court the upper echelons of potential customers? Surely there’s a brand out there already looking to top Grey Space’s recent display—and others will follow suit. With LA poised to become the unmitigated leader in the recreational cannabis scene when California officially opens its adult-use market in 2018, there’s no telling how far brands will go to outdo each other as they scramble for a slice of market share—or how these types of events will change the face of the industry.

Smoke and Mirrors: How Far Will LA Cannabis Brands Go to Out-Market Each Other? | LeaflyGrey Space Art will display multi-thousand-dollar bongs like the one above when it opens in LA later this year. (Courtesy of Grey Space Art)

Grey Space Art will maintain its air of exclusivity when it opens in the coming months in Los Angeles, meaning that guests will need to call a number to view the space. That number can be acquired via different means, including asking someone like me—who has been given the requisite business card—if you can borrow it.


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.