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RECENTS

Shattering the Retail Narrative: Legal Tampering Period in Full Swing

After drawing parallels to cannabis, "The Legal Tampering Period" in NFL free-agency can be described as such:

"Welcome to the legal tampering portion of NFL free agency. The term itself might sound like a contradiction, but legal tampering gives NFL teams the ability to contact pending unrestricted free agents on opposing teams who remain under contract until the official end of the league year."

Legal tampering in cannabis looks like federal criminality and state legalization. It looks like retail sales in one county, and new cannabis arrests in another. Cannabis convicts in prison in one state and new entrepreneurs in another. Cannabis' legal tampering period is allowing corporate cannabis brands to set their hooks in deep, owning the industry and dictating the narrative long before Federal oversight arrives.


Retail Infancy

The true story about the cannabis industry has roots all over the map. California had co-ops and other semi-retail style medical cannabis stores first, but legalization and retail shopping began in Colorado in 2012-13. As the first state to legalize the plant for retail sales (Oregon legalized too but didn't open its first retail store until a year later), we watched the hidden markets transform into something no longer recognizable.



2012-2013

A bunch of law abiding squares who abstained from cannabis their entire lives, suddenly began to light-up in public. People really took state legalization seriously! It was shocking to witness the brash willingness of many to immediately and publicly consume! It says something about a person willing to abide and obey laws they don't believe in, only to happily partake the moment it becomes partially allowed. Everyone knew cannabis was safe and enjoyable and yet, they still refrained from use for legal reasons alone, until all of the sudden in 2013! Welcome to the newcomer's, glad you are here, but to all those who waited for state legalization to partake, let me urge you to reflect on what other injustices you silently adhere to, with questionable cause. Civil Disobedience isn't just a right, it's a moral responsibility in Democracy.


My experiences with arbitrary policing left a strong distaste for state sanctioned "justice". I still hide my weed and fear arrest at every turn. No, I certainly wasn't about to trust a state-only legalization, which simply granted an ever greater authority to discretionary policing, and even more uncertainty on what laws would or simply would-not be enforced.


If one were crazy enough to be inclined, one may even imagine that it was all a government-run plan. There's no better way to eradicate the "dirty reefer's" after-all, then by getting them all on paper first. Then they can identify, round-up, and eradicate the criminal plant growers once and for all, am I right?


Caught in a Whirl-Wind

Everyone was so enthralled with the idea of legal weed, that we laid out an industry, to sell a plant we still know very little about. The key components of cannabis have only recently been discovered and yet there's so much more to learn in order to properly regulate the industry. This is telling, as state governments would never attempt to regulate something they know so little about. It makes no sense. Then you remember the influence of corporate lobbying and remember that in Corporate America, the corporations write their own regulations (or buy them). Only the pressure and payday of corporate lobbying efforts could convince state's to create stringent regulations and guidelines out of thin air.



We Do What We Want


We began this market and industry without Federal oversight, and regardless of the legal technicality of state laws, there is greater value in adequate and proper testing of the cannabis plant that only Federal oversight allows. Blind studies at research institutions, proper-trials and tests, none of it has been done. So far third-party chemists and private labs are responsible for the state testing, without any kind of standardization. Minimum levels of detection, levels of quantitation, and other basic testing norms were never established. This has made comparisons from one lab to the next impossible, beyond making sure toxic contaminants don't exist. However, without terpene and cannabinoid profiles, quality comparisons cannot be made from this kind of testing.


Evident in Testing

The testing reflects mass consumerism, as testing in state labs looks for contaminants and materials detrimental to one's health (to cover their asses), but makes no effort in understanding the presence of terpenes or hundreds of other cannabinoids contained in the plant. The information setting the worst product apart from the best is never provided. Standards are low, very low, with nearly anything uncontaminated (but can include measurable amounts of solvent chemicals) passing right on through. It's the perfect testing equation for mass production, without concern for quality, transparency, cannabis, or the consumer. The current lab testing is a farce, but is right in line with State regulations.


Catch-22

The problem becomes multifaceted, realizing the same people needed for Federal Cannabis support, still believe government sponsored and CIA approved misinformation. Science and research is necessary to disprove decades of propaganda to those who still think Reefer Madness is true.


The same government agencies (CIA) and officials who falsified information, lying to the general public with an onslaught of new media propaganda, should now be responsible for telling people the truth. Not about the plant, as they don't have a clue, but about the smear campaign of fabricated misinformation. One of the earliest uses of mass-media was to deceptively influence the nation against cannabis and toward deadly alcohol, followed by tobacco. Radio and TV painted the earliest picture of cannabis, and alcohol to everyone. They have clearly lied and misled this nation, however to rebuke the government's false information, would again, require Federal oversight.



Big-Ag/Big Pharma

With the new industry forming, Big-agricultural companies became involved and with a very inadequate understanding of cannabis, implemented methods and procedures still being used today. At first we were absolutely amazed at the ability to create a wax-form of hashish using butane. What many did not know for years however, was that the cannabis flowers were being sold-off for top dollar and the concentrates or extracts were made from trim and scraps from harvest. As chemical extraction methods matured, we were able to secure THC with phenomenal ease, doubling profits from the same "biomass" of cannabis scrap.


The chemical solvent extraction methods in use (and still in use today), had no idea of the molecular complexity within the plant's trichome glands. Cannabis doesn't work like essential oils, minerals, vitamins, or other single molecules extracted with chemical solvents. The ability to isolate THC with ease from any quality of cannabis, made for resourceful products, utilitarian by nature. However, there's never a mention of how this is an affordable option, never to be preferred. Instead, any product infused with pure THC distillate was considered premium, organic, craft-quality, full-spectrum cannabis, charging a fortune for bottom of the barrel products. Now throw the dirty scourge of greed and late-stage capitalism into the equation and imagine the worst...


The Root of the Problem

And the people hired to spread misinformation and sell these awful products to uninformed and unaware consumers, make up a large part of the cannabis industry. Coming back around the cannabis scene with the good news of solventless products, I was alarmed by industry ignorance and a lack of curiosity. Everyone pretended to know everything, but had answers to nothing it seemed. The retail industry hired up corporate managers from other industries who went on to hire more of the same. Anyone with a clue is a long ways from consumers with the least knowledgeable and least cannabis-experienced workers making up the front lines for the spread of product deception. Bud-tenders and those helping consumers directly are always the newest employees, while anyone who understands the plant manages behind the scenes. The retail environment was designed in reverse, helping corporate cannabis to easily control the retail narrative. Without the Feds in sight, checks and balances could not materialize. Had the savior that is solventless hash not come around, we would probably still be sucking down cheap extracts from the worst grades of cannabis, believing whatever the companies told us.


Education or Misdirection ?

Bud Tender sales demos and presentations to these same workers, dictated the rhetoric, all well hidden behind the wall of "General cannabis education". Well-done corporate cannabis, then again no one ever claimed you weren't master manipulators. Power works through punishment, but also in reward, or the appearance of such. General cannabis education has been the perfect misdirection to sneak low-quality products right on by. The perception of a helping hand, finally here to liberate through cannabis education, always failed to explain how products are made or what they contain.


Solvent Greed

Chemical solvents meant big things for the industry, as companies bought up farmers biomass of trim and scraps, creating a whole industry around it. Buying, selling, moving, and extracting with chemicals made some people a whole lot of money, meanwhile consumer's were kept entirely in the dark. It wasn't until they began to sink, that some BHO companies decided to teach about what they were doing. Too little too late, as these methods are replaced by ice water hashish and solventless products. The change over is currently taking place and while BHO and chemical extracts should always have a bargain basement place in the cannabis industry, it's beyond time to reveal the truly disgusting methods of chemical extractions.


With nothing positive to say about their product or the cannabis or the method in which it was made, Corporate Cannabis turned to the other option. Let's pay people to show off our products and hire influencers to subconsciously sell products. Advertisements should be purely informational about the product itself, giving consumer's a fair and honest evaluation of their product. When you have nothing good to say and exposing your methods would only hurt the company (distillates), you rely on manipulation to sell your product. Much like other industries, information is scarce and the incentive to buy is pure fiction, selling a belief with a shitty product.


Every new brand with a celebrity, a basketball player, athlete, movie-star, or Justin Bieber on their product, have a bad product and we don't have to waste a dollar to find out. It's obvious when brands have nothing to bring to the table but a celebrity name (who was certainly misled). Cannabis is corporate.


As distillates and BHO came from increasingly undesirable cannabis trash, the solventless revolution moved the needle to the far opposite end of the quality scale. Unlike BHO products, all solventless hash products must use the whole plant. It also requires only the highest quality of cannabis, a quality you will not see sitting on retail shelves.


Real Black and White

Let's imagine this, you have two products to sell. One is harmless, the other is lethal. One passes through FDA testing while the other would never pass testing for human consumption. If educating the reader factually, the choice would be no choice at all. So what did they do? Made the safe substance illegal and pushed the dangerous one. While a smear campaign was launched on the one side, a positive propaganda campaign took full advantage of television advertising to show us how desirable drinking alcohol was. They replaced that with distillate vaporizer cartridges smoked by celebrities. Speaking of vape cartridges and athletes, did Brittany Griner ever get out of Russian jail?


 


The Hashish Manifesto Hardcover book that is black and white with graphic images and a subtitle: "A critical Lens for informed cannabis consumers"