Micro-growing has become a delightful trend over the last few years, with forums offering up images of cannabis plants growing in computer towers and shoe boxes, or a sea of single colas rising out of one-gallon pots.
Micro-growing is a form of indoor growing that aims to produce cannabis from the smallest possible space. For many growers, it has become a game to see just how small of a space can still produce the most cannabis. Often, this involves pruning and shaping the plant to limit the plant’s growth and guide it into certain shapes, and inevitably, a new trend emerged: the cannabis bonsai.
What is Cannabis Bonsai?
“Bonsai” does not refer to any specific species of tree, but rather is a growing technique descended from ancient Japan and China. It is the art of growing trees a fraction of their normal size, maintaining relative scale, in order to create a miniature replica of the natural landscape. The result appears as if a fully grown tree has been shrunk to fit on a desk.
Traditionally, the practice of bonsai rewards the practitioner through the meditative practice of caring for the plant. Every time you sit down to tend to it, you build a relationship with the plant that grounds you in the present, and endures after the process is finished. Zen Buddhists who practice bonsai and similar crafts might refer to this as “elevated purposelessness,” an act done for its own sake. That said, you can totally harvest a cannabis bonsai too. But once a cannabis plant has flowered, its life cycle will naturally end. If the plant is kept in its vegetative stage, it can remain alive for years.
The process of training or bending the plant may look familiar if you’ve ever grown before and administered low-stress training (LST). Low-stress training is a growing technique that softly stresses the plant by bending the stems and branches to induce more, or more efficient, growth. One common example is using a mesh screen to even out a canopy, called a Screen of Green (ScrOG). The opposite of this is high-stress training, like “topping,” which goes as far as breaking the plant.
More than a beautiful form, canna-bonsai can serve a function in growing as well: cloning. Miniature cannabis plants are perfect for sustaining genetic lines and producing small limbs that can later be cut and transplanted to grow a full-sized plant.
How to Grow a Cannabis Bonsai
Select a small pot or tray. The small container limits everything from the reach of the roots to how much nutrients the plant can hold. These limits, combined with your pruning and shaping over time, will determine the plant’s ultimate size. There is nothing genetically different about a bonsai tree, you are only playing with the plant’s ability to fit whatever space it’s given.
In the rim of the small pot, drill several holes. You’ll be threading soft wire or twine through them to pull branches, influencing them to grow in a given direction. If you are using a tray, or don’t have a drill, you’ll need some other way of anchoring or influencing the direction of the branches. Consider tying a stone or weight to the branches that you can then move around the pot to bend them (though do not hang anything, and risk breaking a branch).
The first bending you’ll do is with the main stem, or “trunk” of your tree. Many bonsai trees do not grow straight up, but are often bent into more striking or fantastic shapes. Sink a stake into the soil beside your stem, careful not to damage any roots. The stake will act as an anchor for you to bend or twist the trunk around in any direction you choose. Then use the twine to pull the stem however you like, and tie it off through one of the holes you drilled. Leave the knot or any wire loop a little loose so it does not cut into the “trunk” of your tree as it grows wider. Similarly, you will tie and train the branches in whatever directions you choose.
Inevitably, your plant will try to grow as large as it can, and you will need to prune it back down to whatever size and shape strikes your fancy. This is also an opportunity to increase the airflow around your plant, and prevent mold from forming in dark, humid pockets. Be sure to prune new branches, not the older ones. Cutting older branches will not only remove the most mature and effective parts of the plant, cutting new growth will also discourage the plant from growing larger.
Of course, whether or not your canna-bonsai goes to flower is up to you.
What Strains are Best for a Cannabis Bonsai?
As a general rule, sativas tend to grow taller, doubling — or even tripling — in height during the flowering phase. Indicas will only double at most, with many only growing by about half. However, if you keep your plant in the vegetative stage, you will not have to maintain the aggressive growth of the flowering stage.
Autoflowering plants are great for micro-grows, but that doesn’t mean they’re great for bonsai.
They don’t rely on specific lighting schedules or spectrums to switch from the vegetative stage into the flowering stage, and they tend to remain relatively small. The catch is that they are often smaller because they switch to flowering after a specific amount of time, regardless of light. An autoflowering plant can be used as a bonsai tree, but it will flower and die within a few months. If you plan on harvesting your bonsai, then this is not a problem. The problem, then, is that you will have less time to prune and shape the tree. Remember, a photoperiod plant that relies on light schedules can survive in the vegetative stage for years.
The Wrap Up
Remember, the beauty of bonsai is in the process as much as the product. You don’t need a plan to begin, as long as you begin. Still, we’ll want to see those crazy little trees, so share your experiences or links to images below!
Have you ventured into cannabis bonsai or are curious about it? Share in the comments!
“Sativa for the head, indica for the bed” is maybe the second thing most people learn about marijuana (the first being “There’s a plant called marijuana that’s enjoyable to consume.”) However, the classic sativa/indica/hybrid genres are actually pretty limited when it comes to predicting a particular strain’s effects. Depending on the strain and your own biochemistry, a sativa might leave you yawning on the couch all afternoon, while an indica may keep you up until 3 a.m. writing your Godzilla vs Donkey Kong crossover script.
Moving beyond the whole indica, sativa, hybrid classification is an important step for any cannabis consumer. Marijuana cultivars are less like alcoholic drinks and more like alchemical potions. Finding that one strain that helps calm your social anxiety or soothes your back pain can seem like magic. Or simply finding the one that gives you the best time every time.
Winding up with a library of favorite strains should be a goal for any cannabis consumer. The sooner you move on from “I like sativas mostly” to “I prefer piney-smelling strains, preferably with some Strawberry Cough or Jack Herer lineage, but if you’ve got any Blue Dream crosses let me know,” the better an overall cannabis experience you’ll have.
That’s why PotGuide is here with some helpful tips for finding the right strain for you.
The nose knows (as the saying goes.) In the case of cannabis, your nose may know more than you realize. If you find that one strain of weed really agrees with you, give the unburned part of it a whiff. Does it smell like a fresh lemon peel, or a lilac field, or sharp and spicy? Those are the terpenes and they have a large effect on how each strain makes you feel.
If a particular strain puts a big grin on your face, figure out which of those smells seems the strongest and ask your local budtender for any strains that might smell similar.
Or if you smell a new strain that’s particularly enticing, that could be your nose telling you those are the terpenes you want in your brain.
A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but names are far more important when it comes to cannabis than to other flowers. Paying attention to what the strain is called can tell you something about its effects, due to its parentage.
For example, Cheese strains are known for their funky odor, as well as their blissed-out and subtle effects. If you smoked some good Cheese OG that let you turn down the dial on reality at the end of the night, be on the lookout for any strains that have similar names. Blue Cheese, or Cheesel could be your ticket to that same experience, with some added effects that may improve upon it. If you were a fan of the creative energy boost of Lemon Skunk, you’ll probably like Super Lemon Haze, Lemon Kush, or Lemon Drop.
On the other hand, sometimes the name can’t get you all the way there. It can also pay to fill that search bar and do some ancestry.com-style research on a strain you liked.
Let’s say you liked the narcotic heaviness that comes with some L.A Confidential. A quick search on PotGuide’s strain library will tell you that L.A Confidential has a strong Afghani lineage (which you’d never know from name alone). Now you’ll know to search for any other strains with Afghani parentage as well and discover a whole line of genetics you may have otherwise missed.
Just as important as the strain is who is growing the plant. Local cultivators will gain a reputation for consistently producing quality bud, so ask at the dispensary if there are any brands of flower that get high marks. Similarly, if you find a strain of bud that you really enjoy, see what else that cultivator is growing that may be of similar quality.
“Know thyself” can take a lifetime to fulfil, so maybe just work on “know what kind of stoned thou art are trying to get.” Once you have a good idea of the effects that you like the best, or what you plan to do while elevated, head to your local dispensary and tell the budtender your preferences. If you like being creative but have found that some strains also make you anxious, ask the budtender what they would recommend.
Be specific as you can with the name of the strain that you had before, who grew it, what you liked about it, and what you’re going to use it for. Eventually, you’ll want to get to something like “I really liked the effects of Kiona Farm’s Big Sur Hippie Weed because it was super happy but still relaxing. I’m looking for a strain like that for when I practice guitar in the evening.” A good budtender will nod knowingly and bring back some strains that may hit your target.
The Wrap Up
Depending on your individual body chemistry, sativas can put you to bed while indicas will dance in your head. That’s why finding the right strains makes all the difference when you’re trying to maximize your cannabis experience. When on the hunt for a new strain, pay attention to how good it smells, who grew it, and what strains it’s crossed with. Most importantly, know what type of experience you’d like to have at the end. Then let your budtender get you the rest of the way there.
How do you discover your favorite strains? Tell all about your terpene tips in the comments!
For many Americans legal cannabis feels so normal and unremarkable that it’s easy to forget that long before Colorado legalized the herb for adults 21 and over in 2012, activists, advocates, and groups like the informally named mommy lobby had been pestering state lawmakers for years to change laws on cannabis criminalization, access, and legality.
With states like Virginia, New Mexico, and New York recently legalizing cannabis through the legislative process, it often feels like legal access to the plant is a done deal. But for every New York there is a South Dakota, and for every New York is a Mississippi, where local lawmakers are actively working to undo the will of the voters who resoundingly passed cannabis ballot initiatives last November.
Even as progress marches on there is still much work to do, and as a conscientious consumer you’re probably wondering what you can do to help cannabis reform efforts in your hometown. Join us as we take a look.
How Marijuana Gets Legalized
To learn more, PotGuide talked to Jenn Michelle Pedini, Development Director at NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), a cannabis advocacy organization that has been working to change marijuana laws since 1970.
But first, a word or two on how cannabis gets legalized in the first place.
“There are two ways in which cannabis is legalized in states or territories,” said Pedini. “Either through voter referendum (ballot initiative) or through the legislative process. In the early days of legalization, most states that have legalized have done so through the ballot initiative. We are just now starting to see states like Illinois, Virginia, and New York legalize through legislation.”
Pedini points out that legalization – whether through ballot initiatives or legislatively – is largely driven by grassroots organizers and activists. “It is through these organizers at the state and local level, citizens, who are tired of public policy failing them, that step up to change laws,” they added.
The Work Involved
However, changing cannabis laws in your hometown or state is much more involved than making some phone calls, staging smoke-ins, or carrying around an enormous inflatable joint (though the latter go a long way toward visibility). “We’re not seeing ‘big marijuana’ or other companies fund these efforts,” Pedini said. “But you have to find other advocates that are also interested in legalization.”
Let’s say you believe there are cannabis laws that need to be changed. There are many items you’d have to check off a to-do list, including fundraising, creating an infrastructure, bringing people together, holding educational events, finding signature collectors then actually collecting signatures for ballot initiatives — it’s a lot. You need to be acting with others and have the financial resources to get things moving.
Notable Marijuana Reform Organizations
Luckily, there is no need to reinvent the wheel; there are already a lot of existing groups to help you get the work done. Pedini notes that the first step in becoming a cannabis reform advocate is to check in with your local advocacy organization. NORML is one, but there are many others that may be focused on a specific issue that matters most to you. Here are some of the key players working to reform cannabis policy and the industry:
- Americans for Safe Access
- Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
- The Minority Cannabis Business Association
- The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis
- Patients Out of Time
- Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
- The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)
- Veterans for Medical Access
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- The Last Prisoner Project
- Doctors for Cannabis Regulation
Connecting with organizations like those listed above can put you in touch with like-minded people, and organizations such as NORML often have information, courses, and resources available that aspiring advocates can utilize for cheap or free. Many of these organizations also operate as nonprofits, so if enacting cannabis reform is meaningful to you, making a donation can have an impact.
The Wrap Up
However, if joining an organization isn’t your thing, you can still make a difference. Have open-minded conversations about how and why cannabis consumption is meaningful to you and/or your loved ones with those who may not support cannabis legalization (and be sure to avoid the “all or nothing” thinking that tends to undermine cannabis conversations). The next step is to thoughtfully educate yourself and your children about the benefits, drawbacks, and risks of cannabis consumption. And be sure to spend your money wisely by supporting local, licensed cannabis businesses that uphold your personal values, whether that be giving back to the community or keeping everything organic and sustainable.
Got any tips for getting into cannabis reform advocacy? Share in the comments!
Tabletop vaporizers continue to gain popularity, particularly as more (and more affordable) options arrive on the market. Though with prices for prominent machines reaching as high as $700, consumers would do well to know what separates these devices, and which device is best for them.
Do you want convection heat, or is conduction okay? Would you prefer to draw vapor from a whip or balloon? If you’re feeling lost or just looking for your next machine, here are some of the most attractive options for tabletop vaporizers currently available.
Favorite Tabletop Vaporizers
As mentioned, features are what tend to set these options apart, so be sure to consider how you’ll personally be using your vape when shopping. Knowing what you prioritize will help to keep from being overwhelmed by the list of bells and whistles for each.
Every conversation about tabletop vaporizers begins with the Storz and Bickel Volcano. The German-engineered conical powerhouse continues to set the gold standard with their latest model, the Volcano Hybrid.
The Hybrid now offers a whip alongside its signature balloon bag, and heats up ten times faster than previous models, as quick as 1-2 minutes. It retains the digital display and now offers a remote control via Android app (currently unavailable for iOS).
Renowned for its engineering and craftsmanship, the Volcano carries a high initial cost, but rest assured it will not depreciate. The Volcano Classic — which is bag-only with an analog temperature control — still retails for nearly $500.
The latest Volcano uses forced air convection heat, and liquid pads, sold separately, allow for the use of concentrates, making this a truly hybrid machine.
Storz and Bickel receive another honorable mention here with the Plenty. This vaporizer can cook dry herb or wax concentrates between 266° – 294° F, and is drawn from a metal coil whip.
The manufacturer calls it a handheld vape, but it’s hardly meant to travel. The Plenty still plugs into the wall, but you can pull from it while sitting back on your couch. Squeezing the large trigger in the handle heats the unit, and releasing the handle automatically shuts the machine off. Most users will probably appreciate this, but frequent users, or those with fine-motor control issues may not want to squeeze the handle and heat the unit back up each time they lift it.
The Plenty is the most affordable Storz and Bickel product and presents a good option for users who want to experience that name-brand craftsmanship without breaking the bank.
Arizer Extreme Q
A less expensive alternative to the Volcano is the Arizer Extreme Q. This dry herb vaporizer uses forced air convection heating to feed a silicone whip or fill a balloon with thick clouds of vapor.
A digital display allows users to adjust the temperature by single degrees between 122 – 500 F, and a remote control allows users to adjust temperature or automatic shutoff timers.
The remote also includes six preheat settings between 50 and 230 degrees, and options for fan speeds and light settings.
While the engineering can’t trace its lineage back to Germany, by all accounts the Extreme Q is extremely durable and well made, with consumers logging years of daily use without a problem. This is the preferred model for a lot of the PotGuide crew.
7th Floor Vapes score twice on this list, beginning with the Silver Surfer.
Another hybrid vaporizer, the Silver Surfer can cook herb or oil with a ceramic conduction unit. The heat-up times are relatively high at 3-5 minutes, but no flavor is lost for the sake of speed, and it delivers satisfying clouds. The Silver Surfer 2 uses a new forced air system that allows for a balloon bag, but the original Surfer uses only a whip with a glass mouthpiece.
The temperature control is an analog glass knob, hand-blown so each one is unique. However, that also means your temperature knob is hand-blown glass, so don’t drop it. The rest of the unit is housed in hardly aluminum and comes in a few different colors, but the value of your investment ultimately rests on that (admittedly slick) ball of glass.
Here’s a fun sentence: The Silver Surfer’s little brother is Da Buddha.
If you’re shopping for a dry herb vaporizer only, then you could save about $50 and select Da Buddha instead. This whip vape shares the same aluminum shell as the Silver Surfer, and uses all glass components. The convection vaporizer heats up in about 90 seconds, and the temperature is adjustable between 212° – 500° F — with a metal knob.
The Ditanium offers a truly hybridized vaping experience by heating its dry herb chamber with its titanium quartz e-nail. This allows it to cook dry herb or concentrates, or both at once.
The ceramic chamber heats up quickly, but patient users will be rewarded with thicker clouds after a few minutes, more so after ten. With a max temperature climbing toward 900 F, the Ditanium is a fog machine.
Unfortunately, you may never know exactly what temperature you’re at. A modern, domestic design strips the unit of any script or numbers, so find a direction you like the knob pointing in. However, that minimalist design does include a woodgrain finish so it will never look out of place in the room, blending in like a piece of furniture. Between that and the lifetime warranty, the Ditanium is designed to stick with you for a while.
Dr. Dabber SWITCH
The SWITCH boasts impressive speed, able to produce palpable clouds in a matter of seconds, though finding your optimal temperature may be harder than it needs to be. Instead of a knob or digital controls, the temperature is selected from two dozen preset modes between 300 – 500 F. It doesn’t use a bag or whip, but the vapor is collected in the glass percolator, which can then be drawn from.
But the SWITCH really shines when you take it off the table. While most tabletop vaporizers plug into the wall and stay there, the SWITCH uses a removable battery pack that takes only an hour to charge 150 uses. At ten inches tall and weighing over a pound, it’s impractical to walk around much with, but it’s easier than anything else on this list to take to a friend’s house, or even move around your own place.
There are some admittedly high prices behind these links, but buyer’s rarely have any remorse. There are loads of benefits to owning a tabletop vaporizer including the customization, the flavor, and the health benefits of vaping over smoking. They will last for years (many items on this list offer a 3-year warranty or more) taking miles off your portable vaporizer and saving money in the long run on replacements for lost or broken devices.
What’s your favorite tabletop vaporizer? Let us know in the comments!
Wedding Cake S1 cannabis seeds is from our selected cannabis cup-winning pheno, it is a cross of Girl Scout Cookies and Cherry Pie.
Solid buds of sweet earthy dankness, bushy plant with medium stretch in flower, respectable yields in 9 weeks flower.
With so many great cannabis brands releasing exciting new products in new markets, it can be hard to keep track of every release. So we’re rounding up a few significant releases. This week, we look at releases by Monogram, Select, and more.
Houseplant: New Gravity Glass bong
Houseplant, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s cannabis brand, dropped a new bong July 15, 2021, from its Housegoods line. The glass piece is a take on the classic gravity bong, and is now available via Amuse exclusively for customers in L.A. and San Francisco.
Monogram: Release of limited-edition art prints
A limited release of prints, shot by Hype Williams and based on the work of mid-century American photographer Slim Aarons, will be available for purchase from Jay-Z’s cannabis brand, Monogram. The brand is printing a limited run of premium, poster-sized vignettes for $320 each and featuring stills from Monogram’s new “The Good Life, Redefined” campaign.
Select: Launch of two new live resin concentrates
Cannabis oil brand Select just launched two new live resin concentrates for its Select Elite Live line, Select Diamonds and Select Sugar. The diamonds line contains tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) crystals that are larger than 3 mm in size, while the sugar line contains THCA crystals that are smaller than 3 mme, so you can choose which concentrate method suits you best.
Available: Arizona and California
Baker’s Cannabis: New infused prerolls
Baker’s Cannabis just launched a new line of infused prerolls available throughout California. Its latest prerolls are infused with high-potency oil and feature blend-specific terpenes to boost both flavor and intensity.
Featured image courtesy of Power Digital
The post 4 new weed products to try from Baker’s Cannabis, Houseplant, and more appeared first on Weedmaps News.
The current market for hand-held cannabis vaporizers has become intensely competitive. With all the advanced features and add-ons, you have to be honest and ask yourself: “what works for me and what’s really worth it?”
DaVinci has been an exceptional brand in the vaporizer industry since it began designing vaporizers more than five years ago. Not only does DaVinci put purity, innovation, and control at its core, it also responds to the needs of consumers with every update.
You may have seen the DaVinci IQ2 and the MIQRO vaporizers, both are highly acclaimed by cannabis vaping connoisseurs across the board. The newest release — the IQC — is the perfect balance between the two, delivering the same sleek look, but now with a shorter charging time, lower price, and an even cleaner approach to the design.
Here’s everything you need to know about the DaVinci IQC.
What is the DaVinci IQC?
The DaVinci IQC is a portable, dual-use vaporizer well-equipped with customizable, high-tech features and convenient tools. Compatible with both dry herb and concentrates, this device offers pure and precise draws that enhance the terpene flavors of your cannabis through its zirconia glass-lined ceramic oven. Long, light draws are recommended.
The IQC costs $229 — a luxurious purchase, but well worth the spend if you favor efficiency and components that make dosing easy on-the-go. The IQC also has app connectivity through bluetooth, which serves as a control and personal tracker for your temperature and usage that will soon be available on the iOS app store and online.
How is the IQC different from the IQ2?
DaVinci has been actively listening to the reviews on their previous devices, and came back with an updated product that the people have been asking for. The IQC has thoughtful upgrades and embodies a more simplified DaVinci vaping experience.
- One of the main differences is the patented Sharesafe mouthpiece crafted from an FDA-approved antimicrobial polymer. Antimicrobial polymers inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses, making this a more sanitary smoking device. In a time where we must be vigilant about hygiene, the IQC was designed with these health aspects in mind.
- No more six hour charging time: Now, the IQC has longer battery life and can get a full charge in as little as two hours, thanks to the new Type C charging port.
- A notable feature missing from the IQC that you’d normally find on the IQ2 is the adjustable airflow located at the bottom of the device. The adjustable airflow allows users to gauge how much air passes through the device, changeable with a dial. The IQC’s airflow is non-adjustable, meaning the vapor is more likely to get hotter.
- For about $66 less than the cost of the IQ2, the IQC still offers DaVinci’s most impressive features. But keep in mind that the warranty on the IQC is good for five years instead of the ten year warranty on the IQ2. Might be considered a downgrade, but you definitely get what you pay for.
How do you use DaVinci IQC?
Let’s get into how the DaVinci IQC works and what comes with the vaporizer kit.
- Zirconia “Flavor Chamber” vapor path
- Replaceable 18650 battery
- Onboard pick tool
- LED display
- Control/navigation buttons
- Pearl Zirconia adjustable spaces
- Glass-lined ceramic oven
- Alcohol wipes
- Extra pick tool
- USB-C charging cable
- 10mm water tool adapter
*Those who pre-order will also receive a Smell Resistant Carry Case.
- Open the IQC’s bottom lid to reveal the glass-lined ceramic oven.
- Pack herb tightly for maximum vapor. Close the bottom lid to allow the pearl to firmly pack the herb.
- Power on/off by clicking the control button five times.
- Adjust the temperature up and down with navigation buttons. Choose from the four preset ranges called “Smart Paths.” Note: the IQC is programmed to start in Smart Path 3 (390-410ºF).
- IQC will vibrate when the target temperature is reached.
On the IQC, there are a couple of modes you can play around with.
- Smart Path Mode: There are four “Smart Paths” preset with temperatures that’ll gradually build over eight minutes. Adjust between paths with navigation buttons.
- Rest: 410 – 430ºF
- Body: 390 – 410ºF
- Mind: 370 – 390ºF
- Flavor: 350 – 370ºF
- Precision Mode: With temperature accuracy up to +/- one degree, you can choose an exact temperature. Click the control button to display the current temperature, then use the navigation buttons to adjust to your temperature preference.
Is the DaVinci IQC worth it?
The intent behind the design of the IQC is what truly makes this device worth buying. The IQC was created with the consumer needs and health safety in mind without making the product more expensive — instead, DaVinci made it more affordable. It’s the ultimate combination of the simplest yet cutting-edge technology, which translates into an ideal vaporizer for just about anyone.
Sometimes the extra bells and whistles aren’t necessary on a vaporizer and all you really need are top-notch materials and technology to ensure a divine vaping experience. The IQC is practical, high-quality, and now that its iOS app software will be available soon, there’s a lot to love about this device.
Check out the DaVinci IQC at davincivaporizer.com. Photos courtesy of DaVinci.
Maggie Connors is the founder and CEO of Besito, an Los Angeles-based cannabis brand specializing in “mini-joint” prerolls of classic California-grown strains. Besito was recently acquired by vertically integrated Bay Area cannabis operator SPARC, with Connors joining the SPARC executive suite as VP of Brand Marketing.
Though a longtime and passionate cannabis consumer with a keen eye for brand and an appetite for business, the idea of going into the business of weed wasn’t an immediate one for Connors. Her interest in people, how they think, and what motivates them initially drove her to want to be a therapist, but a love for art and a built-in awareness of emerging brands and consumer conversations eventually led her to a position in Brand Management at Pepsi in 2009.
In her five years at Pepsi, Connors had reached a level in the company that MBAs are accepted into, which made the thought of going back to business school seem counterintuitive. Still, she was itching for a change, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that her career would be bigger than her if she stayed on the Pepsi track.
So she switched gears and went to the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2015.
“This was right about the time that I was like, ‘I think I’m gonna go into cannabis.’ In between my first and second year [at Stanford], I started diving [into cannabis] as a consumer. Someone was like, you can just get your card and go to dispensaries and buy weed, and my mind was blown. At the same time, my business mind started ticking. These brands are all sort of similar, and there’s a lot of black packaging, very masculine, potent, and I wanted a more accessible brand … It came together as not just my personal interest, but an advantage in business.”
Connors was part of a group of students who loved to smoke weed, but when she told them she was thinking of starting to work in cannabis professionally during a sesh, the initial reaction was something along the lines of “dude, you’re harshing the vibe here.” Doing research was also tricky at a school funded by federal money. But she persevered and eventually applied all of her business and design interests to what would subsequently become Besito.
“I think a lot of big corporations were turning to design then,” Connors explained. “This idea of human-led design thinking was also drilled into me at Stanford. The way great design can inspire innovation, new concepts, new brands, stuff you’ve never even thought of when you can really think creatively.”
Anyone in the cannabis industry is well aware of the eternal tension between the OG culture of lifers who took unimaginable risks to facilitate cannabis consumption before it was legal, and the new generation of venture-backed brands and businesses. For Connors, who didn’t come from money and, like many of us, had to go into debt to go to school, there was no other option but to raise venture capital.
“I was very lucky to find my first investor here who had already done several early, early cannabis deals, and believed in me and in what we were building,” said Connors. “Interestingly, our first round of investors in 2017 was a lot of international folks. Americans knew the state of cannabis here, and it was still too early and scary. Back in 2017, there was no institutional money, but I had a few institutional groups in 2019 come in. They were best in class consumer funds, and I was the first cannabis one next to their other investments in Warby Parker, etc.”
Today, she’s is still hyped on weed, and remains committed to honoring the communities that paved the way for the industry she occupies.
“I think the thing in this industry that always helps me keep it in perspective is, this was not as tough as the queer community in California that pushed for laws to help their friends dying, and it’s not as tough as hundreds and thousands of mostly Black and brown males sitting in jail for the same thing. I’m very aware of the history and the privilege it was for me to come in when I did. So I always try to use our platform to educate and make sure everyone knows the history of this plant and the advocates before us and what a privilege it is for even just a consumer to buy something. We’re all privileged.”
Here are six products Maggie Connors can’t live without.
Homegrown Gorilla Glue
“I grow, so I mainly smoke my Gorilla Glue out of my garage in Venice. Just smoking a joint in the evening is my preferred method. I’m looking for that end-of-day wind-down but still be able to do some emails. I have a little porch and I go out there and roll and smoke, so it’s a ritual and that perfect end-of-day reset.”
“I love our pack of Minis on the go, especially rolling up to a group. ‘It’s so cute!’ is usually the reaction. People are like, ‘that’s the perfect amount!’ You can finish it in four big hits then you’re wonderfully high. Then for some of us, maybe I’ll have another one in 30 or 60 minutes. And there’s ten of them so it’s perfect. Everyone has their own, no sharing and no throwing away weed. That’s my party-on-the-go-one, I love to bring it to a beach or backyard moment.”
Marigold Dip & Dust
“Marigold has a Dip & Dust pre-roll that’s dipped in oil and rolled in kief. It’s so good. I like their one-gram and usually am sharing it at a moment that’s strictly focused on getting high.
“My sister and I shared one on 4/20 in her yard in San Francisco and it was perfect. We’re both heavy consumers, but this got us to the next level. We were giggling and our partners came back and we were like, ‘we can’t help you with dinner.’ Love that Dip’ n Dust for a special occasion.”
Sonder Space Crystals
“I love the Sonder pop rocks. One of the Besito team’s favorite brands. Just a really sharp design, and an awesome, different point of view. And that’s what we’re all about. I’m so impressed with the innovation. Everyone likes a pop rock that gets you high. I love the idea of nostalgic products.”
“My favorite edible is Rose Los Angeles. They have a turkish delight, and it’s not your average gummy. Similar to turkish delight, less sweet, different sort of texture. They have a dope brand and do collabs with chefs and artists, very much cultural touchpoints that resonate with me. That’s the homework of a great brand. They’re speaking my language.”
Featured image courtesy of SPARC. Graphic by David Lozada/Weedmaps
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It’s summer y’all, which means it’s time to cozy up with some sungrown bud and indulge in the great tradition of summer movie watching. Whether you’re hitting the vape and venturing into a cool, dark theater to escape the heat, catching a cult classic at a retro summer evening drive-in, or just throwing a classic summer comedy on your TV at home while nursing an indica from your favorite bong, there’s no summer-movie experience you can’t successfully augment with a little cannabis.
Now, the “summer movie” is sort of a nebulous idea, encompassing movies that have big summer releases, movies that are actually about summer, and movies that simply take hold as “summer movies” in the zeitgeist because they capture summer vibes in some way or another.
Last year during quarantine, my best summer-movie experience was doing fat dabs on 7/10 and letting Stanley Kubrick’s ultra-slow-burn costume dramedy Barry Lyndon melt into my eyeballs. But listen, I’m also self-aware enough to know that’s not the optimal summer movie experience for everyone — minus the fat dabs part. So for the purposes of drafting the best movies to watch when you’re baked, we’re gonna cast as wide a net as possible, though the chill summer vibes will undoubtedly reign supreme.
Here’s an eclectic set of 10 great, hazy movies to vibe on when you’re stoned this hot, hot summer.
We’re starting off with a classic stoner comedy that’s aged relatively well, though it probably kickstarted the tradition of cocaine-fueled summer blockbuster productions in the ’80s.
Caddyshack oozes with the hazy counterculture vibes from which the National Lampoon-born cast and crew emerged. Stars Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield set an anarchic sativa-leaning tone that bleeds through every corner of every antic frame. Pair with a generously rolled fatty and let the chill summer vibes and cool laughs roll over you.
Do the Right Thing
I was mad late to the game on this one, but finally got around to watching Spike Lee’s classic joint of American racism and class struggle during a brutal Brooklyn heatwave. And it couldn’t have been more appropriate and felt more tragically evergreen during the summer of COVID and George Floyd.
Like most of Spike’s films, Do the Right Thing operates on a hazy, cinematic dream logic that will open itself up to you and just hit right, both emotionally and intellectually, if you’re watching it under the influence. It booms with perpetual life and a type of understated, human psychedelia that only Spike Lee can pull off.
Michael Mann’s movies are dank as fuck. Thief, Manhunter, Heat … take your pick, any of ’em will make a hyper-sensory feast after a fat dab or edible high. By the mid-2000s, Mann was the premiere champion of making early “standard-def” digital look immaculate, and Miami Vice — a feature-length update of Mann’s style-defining series from the ’80s — is almost all vibes.
A clean head high and mild body buzz from a reliable edible is just the thing to experience the deep ocean blues and icy-cool cyberpunk cityscapes for all their worth.
As director Allan Arkush puts it in the clip above, “What movie could be bad if it has a 360° shot that starts with Dennis Hopper passing a joint?”
Released near the end of the Summer of Love, Roger Corman’s The Trip captures the psychedelic vibes of Los Angeles circa 1967 and still makes for a great high watch today. Written by Jack Nicholson when he was still in Corman’s early-indie repertory company, the film stars Peter Fonda as a commercial director whose dissolution with his life leads him to take LSD for the first time. Director Corman famously took acid before the shoot so he could better adapt Nicholson’s experimental script. The charmingly low-budget results on the screen, while certainly of their time, evoke a visual palette that’s sure to please the modern, stoned summer viewer.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino is in the generation of filmmakers whose films were deeply influenced by the weed culture of the ’90s, borrowing heavily from the stoner-flick tradition and infusing their own genre-mixing, pop-culture-obsessed joints with stoned hangout vibes at every turn.
Tarantino’s latest — and the movie that owned the summer of 2019 — Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, uses the psychedelic late ’60s as a springboard for a hazy, emotional journey through time, space, and LA mythology, which really cooks when you’re nursing a joint all the way on through to the other side.
No summer movie playlist is complete without a little horror, especially for those of us who are well versed in the art of smoking weed and watching horror films.
The Burning is one of the absolute best summer-camp horror romps to come out of the post-Halloween/Friday the 13th slasher boom of the early ’80s. It’s got dank cinematography, an effective masked killer, a bunch of teen assholes who meet a series of satisfyingly gruesome ends, and an early cameo from a pre-famous star (George Costanza himself, Jason Alexander, which I suppose makes this film the first “Summer of George”). Next time you’re looking for a campy late show as you wind down with your final tokes of the night, take The Burning for a spin.
The Nice Guys
A welcome addition to the canon of summer movies that take place at Christmastime (Gremlins, Die Hard, Batman Returns, Iron Man 3), The Nice Guys is another retro-LA hangout movie with a hazy noir plot and killer comedic performances from co-stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. I’ve toked up and watched this one several times now, and the laid-back, heartfelt, stoner-logic charm of it becomes more apparent to me every time. It’s a funny, low-stakes buddy comedy with a loose, prismatic sense of time and place that goes down smooth with a couple of evening bong rips.
From the hazy mind of Robert Altman, the patron saint of stoned cinephiles, Nashville is an experimental time-capsule epic that follows the interweaving lives of musicians, politicians, socialites, movie stars, and regular folks over a few days in Nashville, Tennessee during the 1976 presidential election.
All of Altman’s films have a kind of delayed effect that mimics the headspace of a cannabis high. There’s a sort of indescribable communication of images, ideas, and satirical humor that’s quite rewarding to pick up on when you’re high, even if you can’t describe or translate it to someone else.
Mad Max: Fury Road (Black & Chrome Edition)
Is Mad Max: Fury Road the greatest action movie of all time? I won’t make a definitive statement on that here, but I will say you can’t do much better than the clear, frenetic visual pleasures of this immaculate post-apocalyptic crystalline joint, especially if you’ve got a weed product around that offers up a clean, powerful head high.
And if you really wanna crank this shit up to an 11, I highly recommend the Black & Chrome edition, which is somehow an even danker strain of cinema than the Fury Road OG.
Everybody Wants Some!!
A spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater’s 2016 sports comedy/college-hangout movie offers up the same vibes as its predecessor, drawn from ’80s stoner comedy classics like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, infused with a hazy Gen-X sensibility, and made sharper by the more mature eye of a more mature Linklater.
Set over the course of the last weekend before a freshman pitcher’s first day of college, Everybody Wants Some!! captures the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it vibes of the end of summer and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in a young person’s life — all with a stoney, half-lighthearted, half-melancholy ambiance of a time and place both long gone and frozen in the amber of vivid memory. Pair this one with your favorite vintage strain on a Saturday afternoon in August.
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
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