The Scanning Trend, and Why We Don’t ID Scan

scanning identification cards at dispensary

With the use of scanning devices of all kinds ever growing, and our right to privacy becoming more and more endangered, Mary Jane’s House of Grass has taken a stance that may make us seem like the outsider, or behind the times. However, we believe that respecting the privacy of our customers is important, so we’ve decided to stand firm and not use electronic ID scanning devices.

You may have noticed some changes in the local cannabis dispensaries lately. Many of them have adapted the new ID scanners to help verify age. We see this, as many of our customers do, as an unnecessary violation of privacy. When your privacy is compromised, without a good reason, then it just feels wrong.

It’s not required by law to scan your ID when you walk into a dispensary, it is only required to show your ID for the purpose of proving your age. We also know that, even with the scanner, mistakes are made. One local dispensary was recently cited for selling to a minor after their ID was scanned, twice. Not only are scanners an invasion of privacy, but they can also be inaccurate due to the human factor.

In lieu of using a machine to track and profile our customers via a state police database, which many devices link to, we have chosen to train our staff very thoroughly to recognize and dismiss underage IDs, fake IDs and otherwise unqualified identifications. We are proud to be one of the only Vancouver dispensaries with a completely clean identification record, having never been cited for selling to a minor. That is due to our stringent training programs in cooperation with the LCB.

We want our customers to feel safe and welcomed in our House. Cannabis has been legalized for adult use in Washington state, and we are working hard to destroy the stereotypes and taint of prohibition still circling the industry like vultures. Why feel criminalized for walking into a legal store?

If you’re feeling uncomfortable with the new ID scanning trend, visit Mary Jane’s House of Grass dispensary in Vancouver. We won’t scan your ID to the state system, and we’ll even let you use a nickname for a further level of anonymity. We know you value your privacy, and we do, too.

Best Priced Gram Vs. Washington’s Best Cannabis

economy stimulating cannabis money

The debate between the $5-dollar gram and the $15-dollar gram

The Experiment Parameters

We all have our preferences when it comes to cannabis. Some are looking for the best deal, some look for the best quality, some are looking for the most potent, and some look for the highest THC. No matter what we look for in our cannabis we can all agree on one thing; we at Mary Jane’s House of Grass do our best to make sure we have an option available for everyone.

Since we have a lot of options, I decided to do a direct comparison between a strain that was available from one of our top tier farms, House of Cultivar, and our budget friendly option, Cowlitz County Cannabis. They both offer a strain called Honey Bananas. For this direct comparison, I have decided to smoke each one and vape each one then supply my findings and opinion.  For this strain review I used both, a Special K Bullet Beaker and the Ghost MV1.

Background of the Farms

Cowlitz County Cannabis (CCC) is a processor for Hydro Pro which were the producers of this batch of the Honey Bananas. Hydro Pro is a Tier 3 producer/processor dedicating their resources to its sun-grown cannabis using no pesticides. The heads got into the cannabis industry when they identified the additional benefits of cannabis when put into other mediums than smoking, such as topicals. They maintain an extremely low overhead which allows them to keep their cannabis at a competitive price no matter what variances the market gives. They roughly crop over 2,000 pounds of cannabis per harvest but understand at the end of the day, quality will shine through. In their practice they maintain quality knowing that the best weed stands out and consistently sells because no one wants their product associated with dry dirt.

House of Cultivar is a Tier 3 State-of-the-art producer/processor who recently took the DOPE Cup for Seattle essentially making them Washington’s premier level cannabis. The founding partners started in medical, although on separate projects, back in the mid 2000’s, then making the move into the I-502 market in September of 2016. They have also revolutionized using tissue culturing with cannabis as an alternative to cloning to minimize and prevent genetic drift a strain gains over time. Genetic drift (also known as allelic drift or the Sewall Wright effect) is the change in the frequency of an existing gene variant (allele) in a population due to random sampling of organisms. A population’s allele frequency is the fraction of the copies of one gene that share a form. In other words, a strain can lose key characteristics over time thru consistent cloning, which can make it less potent overall, grow differently, yield less, etc. Tissue cultures are the growth of tissues or cells separate from the organism. This is typically facilitated via use of a liquid, semi-solid, or solid growth medium, such as broth or agar. Using this process, which House of Cultivar have fine-tuned, they were able to figure out how to reset a plant’s genetics back to its original state.

Initial Findings

The $5 Gram

Hydro Pro’s (Cowlitz County Cannabis) Honey Bananas tests around 15.22% total cannabinoids. This was the first to be sampled for the experiment. For the first test I smoked using the bong. Initially opening the bag, you do get the whiff of the banana smell. It broke up nicely by the fingertips when breaking down to load it in the devices used. The initial pull got a decent dose of the banana flavor with a bit of honey on the aftertaste but after the second hit, the taste was no longer present. The onset of the stone was immediate and I noticed the feeling down into my shoulders. The feeling from it wasn’t super intense but noticeable and probably would have gotten a heavier stone out of it if I had consumed a little more.

When vaped the concentration of the banana flavor came out and was consistent through the whole vape session. The stone felt a bit more intense than when I smoked it but not incredibly so.  If I were to grade it on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being un-smokable and unpleasant and 10 would be best thing ever, I’d give it a 7. Knowing the variety of outdoor cannabis here in Washington, keeping a pesticide free environment outside can be a hassle or a constant state of maintenance and they show they’ve done an excellent job at that. Flavor is about what I expected out of it and even though it is possible for the plant to perform better; Maintaining 450 plants each with its own genetics is a Herculean task of its own. At the end of the day it is outdoor which means that it had to face the elements instead of focusing its energy entirely on growing to the best it can perform.

The $15 Gram, Washington’s DOPE Cup Winner

House of Cultivar’s Honey Bananas test around 21.6% total cannabinoids. Initially opening the bag, you get a heavy whiff of the banana smell and it gives of a sweet musky tone. It was a bit stickier than the outdoors version of the same strain and the hues from it looked more of the lime green look with noticeable hairs. The initial pull gave a heavy dose of green banana with the honey being more present on the exhale, but the biggest difference I noticed was how long the flavor lasted on my palette after taking the initial pull, which lasted about another 3 minutes. The flavor lasted throughout the rest of the bowl even on the charred bits. The other noticeably different thing was I felt about twice the initial stone compared to the Hydro Pro iteration of the same strain. Also, I felt more of the cannabinoids and terpenes affecting my body since I felt it affecting the top of my head down to my shins.

When vaped everything was amplified even more, and felt more of the Indica traits from it feeling slightly sleepy afterwards.  If I were to grade it on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being un-smokable and unpleasant and 10 would be best thing ever, I’d give it a 9. They did a really good job with the honey bananas as far as maintaining the true genetics. The only reason for it’s score is that I feel they can push the genetics a little further and they also had other strains that came in at this time which caught my attention more so than the honey banana.

Conclusions

Now if we compare the two we must note the noticeable differences. One was grown in an environment where it was able to perform at its best, with the environment around it being tailored to its every need; the other having to battle the elements of mother nature to be a producing plant grown the way it has for thousands of years before modernized growing practices. One is working to be competitive with pricing, the other being competitive as the best farm Washington has to offer. The winner of the two is obvious, House of Cultivar. But is it that much better to invest the extra $10 for it? If we compare cannabis to alcohol and the way we shop for it, are we always looking for the highest alcohol content or are we looking for taste? That is going to depend on the kind of person you are, the tool being used, and the kind of experience you are going for.

Some people are completely opposed to outdoor weed and will spend the extra to know that someone has taken the time, effort, and special care to make sure they are getting the most out of their cannabis. Some people are looking for the best deal they can get. Some people would pass over these since the THC level isn’t what they are used to getting. I do see the value of the $15-dollar gram and it’s my personal go-to, since I believe that the other cannabinoids are vital to a strain’s experience. I also have, in my opinion, some of the best devices to consume cannabis. Not everyone has a vape, bong, pipe, or even want to use glass, but in the same sense not everyone can roll. Not everyone has the knowledge base of a bud tender or wants to use a bud tender to help select strains.

We are all going to see value in cannabis a bit different than the next person, but the value a person sees in cannabis is directly tied to a person’s knowledge and experience with it. We mustn’t forget though, the grower sees value in cannabis as well and price point is usually linked to the grower investing time; which is months at a time for a batch of a strain; resources such as nutrients and pesticides; money for electric bills for indoor growing; maintenance & care which is even more important when growing with the sun; and most of all love for producing a product that people will consume and creating the desire and drive for people to come back to their product. House of Cultivar has a state of the art facility with the drive and passion to push bud genetics to their limit and Hydro Pro lets mother nature facilitate the growth of cannabis the way nature intended. Now whichever one you decide on is completely up to you.

 

Author: Reuben

Sessions’ Threat to Legal Marijuana: What it Means for You

What to expect on your first visit to a dispensary

If you’ve tuned in to any news source recently you’ve probably heard about the recent move by Jeff Sessions (US Attorney General) to rescind the Cole Memo. The Cole Memo, which stated that individual states have the right to regulate marijuana as they see fit, was a memorandum released in 2013 under the Obama administration by then US Attorney General James Cole.

To put it simply, what the Cole Memo said was that the federal government would not interfere with states that have legalized marijuana, regardless that it is still a Schedule 1 drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Current AG Sessions has rescinded that memo, and caused a ripple of outrage and fear among the many Americans who have voted for or partaken in marijuana either recreationally or medically.

So what does this mean for medical and recreational users in Washington state? We’re here to help clear up many of the questions and concerns we’ve heard in the dispensary since the statement was released.

First and foremost, we should tell you that we are operating business as usual. Be assured we will be here for you and continue to carry the products you love, and need, with the same friendly faces you recognize. Mary Jane’s House of Grass is a medically endorsed store. Should recreational use come under attack, we intend to hold our ground as a medical shop.

The Facts

  • Marijuana remains a federally illegal substance under the Federally Controlled Substances Act.
  • Marijuana is legal for use by adults over 21  in Washington state.
  • The memo released by Jeff Sessions IS NOT LAW. It is guidance for state Attorney Generals and prosecutors.
  • Sessions’ new memo does not explicitly set forth how prosecutors should treat medical marijuana.
  • President Trump has neither endorsed, nor spoken against, recreational cannabis.
  • Congress has, since 2014, essentially codified the Cole Memo in each of its continuing spending resolutions, forbidding DOJ from spending tax dollars to prosecute individuals acting in accordance with state law. Those decisions were not rescinded with the Sessions memo.
  • Currently twenty-nine states allow the use of medical marijuana and eight, including the entire West Coast and the District of Columbia, allow recreational use. Which means that more than half of America has legal marijuana laws that were voted for by the American people.
  • Governor Jay Inslee (WA) has come to the defense of the cannabis industry in Washington, and has issued the following statement:

“In Washington state we have put in place a system that adheres to what we pledged to the people of Washington and the federal government; it’s well regulated, keeps criminal elements out, keeps pot out of the hands of kids and tracks it all carefully enough to clamp down on cross-border leakage. We are going to keep doing that and overseeing the well-regulated market that Washington voters approved.

“Make no mistake: As we have told the Department of Justice ever since I-502 was passed in 2012, we will vigorously defend our state’s laws against undue federal infringement.”

Other leaders in legalized states have come forward to oppose the memo. Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon, another legal recreational state, said, “Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he’s breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states’ rights only when they believe the state is right.”

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner tweeted his response stating that the issue “must be left up to the states.” He went further to threaten to hold up the confirmation of DOJ nominees.

The feeling and pulse in the industry is certainly charged, but with the support of our state government, and the support of other legalized states, we hope to prevail over those who are opposed to and/or uneducated about marijuana legalization. The end of prohibition was never expected to be easy, but we intend to keep up the fight. We remain hopeful and will continue to carry on.

Know Your Legal Cannabis Limits in Washington

marijuana regulations WA Washington State law, WSLCB

A question we hear on the daily is “How much can I buy?” Every state is different, and Washington has limits for both recreational purchases and medical purchases. So here’s a quick and easy breakdown of what those limits are so that you can be prepared when you visit your local dispensary.

Let’s start with the basics. First of all, you will need to be at least 21 years of age to enter a local pot shop, and you must be prepared to present a valid, government issued ID. Drivers license and passports are the most common forms of ID we see. If you have a medical card, you’ll want to bring that too. That will help you save a little dough, and buy more of what you need. Medical card holders in Washington state will save the local sales tax (approximately 8.6%), so that can help take the sting out of your purchase just a bit.

Recreational limits:

Flower – up to 1 oz. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s roughly the size of a large mason jar. That’s 28 grams, if that helps you picture it.

Concentrates – 7 grams of concentrates. If you dab, you know that 7 grams is enough to last you and your friends a while.

Edibles (solid form) – 16 ounces of solid form edibles. Now, the most common follow up question we get is, “Is that 16 ounces of cannabis or the actual edibles?” It is indeed edibles themselves by weight. So, oddly, you could buy a very lightweight edible with a high dosage and walk out of the store with enough to last you a good long time. Biggest bang for your buck (and limit) we have found to be the altoid type mints.

Liquids – 72 ounces. Again, like the edibles, you could purchase a very high dosage liquid edible and get a very nice bang for your buck.

Medical limits:

Medical patients who register with the state can grow up to 6 plants, and possess up to 6 ounces of dried flower.

They can also purchase up to 3 ounces from a medically endorsed dispensary.

Currently there is no clause in the law allowing medical patients to access clones, seeds, or home growing supplies. If you are a medical patient, and want to be able to access these items, please speak up. Let your representative know what you think.

NORML is hosting an event this month in regards to medical patients rights. October 4th. Read more here.

 

Wherever you shop, it’s important to know your legal purchasing limits. We at Mary Jane’s House of Grass in Vancouver wish you happy shopping and smoking. Stay lifted, friends.

 

Legalizing Cannabis Personal Home Growing in Washington

home grown medical cannabis

If a person can legally buy a bottle of beer, they should be able to brew their own. If a person can buy a bag of cannabis, they should be able to grow their own. But we residents of the Evergreen State are left, if you will, seedless in Seattle.

Of all the states that have legalized cannabis, Washington is the only one that still does not let its adults, 21 and over, grow their own cannabis plants at home for either recreational or medical purposes. When the law was written and voted on in 2012, lawmakers did not include a provision for this. Granted, it was literally the first legal cannabis law in the history of the United States, and most of the world. But this oversight has stayed with Washington ever since, and it has only recently been revisited by lawmakers.

A Plethora of Misinformation

But you’ll find it hard to convince legislature to change the law. Prohibiting people from growing their own weed means more people purchasing in stores. By keeping home grows illegal, they see it as more tax money for the state.

Not only is this an egregious stance on cannabis law, it is also quite a bit of an oversight. I’ll take it back to my first analogy of home brewing beer. Any Washingtonian age 21 or over has access to home brewing supplies. Home brewing is also much, much cheaper in the long run than going to the store and buying a six pack. By that logic, pubs and liquor stores should be out of business, because everyone is brewing their own! And yet, only a miniscule amount of Washingtonians brew their own beer. This is because buying a case is much easier and more convenient.

The same can be said for cannabis. Cultivating takes time, patience, and lots of hard work. This, combined with the fact that most people don’t want to dedicate a place on their property to some large, bushy cannabis plants that will either take up a room inside, or stink up the neighborhood and arouse suspicion outside. We believe that most people would still choose the convenience of coming into Mary Jane’s House of Grass and picking up some premium weed!

Making a Change

So legalize home growing of cannabis in Washington State. It’s a mockery of cannabis legalization that we are not allowed the same freedom of other states. Those who choose to grow their own should be allowed, and those who don’t want to, don’t have to!

I encourage you to reach out and contact your state senators. Tell them that this is an important issue to you, and that your voting will be impacted by their stance on this issue. The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) makes it easy to contact them, just go here!

As always, stop into Mary Jane’s House of Grass and ask your friendly budtenders about anything cannabis related, including growing at home, medical and recreational uses, and local laws and ordinances. We’re experts, and we love to educate.

See you soon!

-Budtender Matt

Is Cannabis Addictive?

addictive cannabis Vancouver WA dispensary

You’ve probably had the talk at some point. Or maybe you were the one giving it. Either way, it might have gone something like this: “There will be times when your friends are going to do things that you don’t agree with. They will experiment and get into dangerous situations. You’ll end up at a party where things quickly get out of hand. It’s up to you in those moments to make the right decision. Stand up to peer pressure. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t do drugs. If you do, you’ll get addicted, end up in jail, and ruin your life.”

Ok, so I’m paraphrasing, but the idea is the same. Too many people with authority lump cannabis in the “bad kid” box and said it was addictive.

Yes, there are strong scientific reasons why teens should not be experimenting with cannabis, but is it actually addictive?

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of mythological nonsense about cannabis floating around. Stop by marijuana shops in Vancouver, Washington, talk to anyone behind the counter, and you’ll quickly realize that there is so much misinformation about cannabis that the person’s job is almost less about selling you the sativa you want as it is educating the clientele on all sorts of topics from dabbing, to the benefits of using a bong, to the best storage containers, and so much more.

While we’re faced with all sorts of questions on a daily basis, one I still hear more often than you would think happens to be, “Is cannabis addictive?”

While it’s too often become common place for nearby cannabis connoisseurs to smirk at this question as if it weren’t legitimate, I can tell you that I’ve heard much more ridiculous queries, and that this is actually a question with an answer that keeps evolving, it seems. And, while some marijuana shops in Vancouver, Washington are quick to tell you, “No, cannabis is not addictive”, it turns out the true answer is more convoluted.

Addiction

To better understand if one can have an addiction to marijuana, let’s start with another question: “What is addiction?”

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “Addiction is a complex disease, often chronic in nature, which affects the function of the brain and the body.”

“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry,” states the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

“Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance or engages in an activity that can be pleasurable but the continuation of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary responsibilities and concerns, such as work, relationships, or health,” according to Psychology Today.

Here in lies our first problem.

While all of these statements from reputable sources are correct and there is overlap, they are also very different. And that’s because while we have learned much about addiction over the last half century, addiction is still not well understood.

The lack of understanding is just one of the reasons we treat the symptoms and not the disease. Remember, there is a reason they call it the study of medicine.

But, let’s get back to the issue at hand. Based on these definitions, is cannabis addictive?

The answer is yes.

But, you may say, cannabis doesn’t have any addictive properties like nicotine found in cigarettes. While we might not yet be able to pinpoint addictive chemicals in cannabis, it’s not so much the cannabis, but the behavior that is addictive. So much so that Cannabis Use Disorder was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5). In fact, they estimate one in three regular users can qualify as having Cannabis Use Disorder.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis Use Disorder is diagnosed by the appearance of 11 symptoms. Any two symptoms and you can be diagnosed, but as more symptoms appear the severity increases. Here are the symptoms as shared in Very Well.

  1. Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than you meant to
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  3. Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  4. Cravings and urges to use the substance
  5. Not managing to do what you should at work, home or school, because of substance use
  6. Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
  7. Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use
  8. Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger
  9. Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
  10. Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance)
  11. Developing of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance

In addition to the above, people who are diagnosed with Cannabis Use Disorder also complain of disruption of function due to use, an increased tolerance, cravings, and the development of withdrawal symptoms that can include the inability to sleep, restlessness, nervousness, anger or depression.

A recent study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) find that 2.5% of adults – about 6 million people – have experienced Cannabis Use Disorder in the last year. And, those who consume cannabis before 18 years old are seven times more likely to experience these symptoms.

However, while the numbers suggest addiction, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that Cannabis Use Disorder is more closely associated with dependence problems than full on addiction. Their estimates say about 4 million people in 2015 were dependent on cannabis and under 150,000 sought treatment for their behavior.

Their concern is the rising potency of cannabis. It’s well known that THC levels in cannabis strains are increasing. This, the institute states, could lead to more accounts of dependence down the road.

Ultimately, while cannabis itself isn’t considered addictive, people are occasionally developing a dependence on this substance and in some very rare instances, this elevates to addiction.

You Can Fly With Cannabis, Sort of

flying travel with cannabis

“Can I fly on a plane with my cannabis that I legally purchased?” This is a question we hear on a pretty regular basis. The answer, unfortunately, is a complicated one. But, let’s try to break it down anyway.

First, let’s assume that since you’re purchasing your cannabis at Mary Jane’s House of Grass, our Vancouver Washington dispensary, that you’ll probably be flying out of Portland International Airport, just across the river.

Then, let’s next imagine that you’re just taking a short hop over to Eugene and will be landing at Eugene Airport, also known as Mahlon Sweet Field, without leaving the state. Then, based on state regulations, you would legally be allowed to carry up to an ounce of cannabis on your commercial flight. Airport officials changed its policy after the statewide recreational cannabis law went into effect.

With that said, you better be flying within the state.

If you are flying to literally anywhere else and have to cross state lines, then you might just be in trouble.

That’s because, if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Portland International Airport finds that you are carrying cannabis, their first action is to report you to the Port Police.

What, I thought you said I could fly with cannabis?

Yes, you can fly with cannabis within the state of Oregon and if you are 21 years old and if you have one ounce or less. According to an article in Travel + Leisure, “[TSA agents] ‘do not search for marijuana and other drugs’ but will refer any that are found to local law enforcement.

So, if you carry your ounce of weed through the security checkpoint in your carry-on bag and a TSA agent finds it, you have to deal with Port Police.

What happens next?

First, you’ll probably have to wait a long time and you might even miss your flight. They’re not interested in your travel plans. They’re just doing their job and usually that takes awhile.

But seriously, Port Police will then check to see how old you are (confirming you are above 21 years of age), check to see if you are carrying within the legal limit (one ounce), and check your final destination, which must be within state. If those boxes are checked off, then you are free to go . . . find the next flight available because you just missed yours.

 

What if I’m carrying an ounce or less, but try to take it on an out-of-state flight?

Well, you’re in luck, kind of. Since cannabis is legal in the state of Oregon, the Port Police will most likely just make you ditch your stash before your flight rather than prosecute you.

As Steve Johnson, media relations manager for the Port of Portland, told Travel + Leisure, “most commonly the traveler will be asked to leave the secured area . . . and safely secure the recreational marijuana before traveling.”

You just got so lucky! Traveling with cannabis across state lines is a federal crime.

What  if I’m traveling through another airport in a state where cannabis is legal?

Well, it varies. The laws in Washington are very similar to Oregon, so if you’re flying out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport you’re cannabis will only be confiscated if you’ve committed a violation of the law. So, like Oregon, the charge is based on fact rather than a premeditated act.

However, the rules change if you’re in Colorado. You can’t even bring cannabis anywhere on the Denver International property. It is banned. And, in Colorado Springs, amnesty boxes have been set up so anyone who “accidentally” brought cannabis with them to the airport can safely deposit it before boarding a flight.

But, what if I’m flying from Oregon to another state where cannabis is recreationally legal?

Unfortunately, it’s still technically a no-no and the reason is multifaceted.

For one, transporting cannabis across state lines is illegal as it’s considered interstate transport by the federal government. This could involve jail time, according to an article in Weed News.

However, you might ask, “What’s the deal? If I’m traveling from one legal cannabis state to another; this should not be an issue.” Nope, it shouldn’t, but it is. Again, the reasons are multifaceted, but let’s start with the fact that states who have legalized recreational cannabis added a byline that prohibited purchasers from leaving the state where the cannabis was legally obtained.

More importantly, the air where planes travel is mostly made up of federal air space. And, if you don’t recall, cannabis, while legal at the state level, is illegal at the federal level. So, even if you legally fly with cannabis from Portland to Eugene, if you fly into federal air space, you are breaking the law.

So you’re telling me it’s a bad idea?

Not so fast, buddy. It’s definitely not worth the hassle if you get caught, but not that many people even get caught – or maybe not that many people are taking the risk? Nope, I think not that many people are getting caught.

According to data from Denver International Airport, 55 million people traveled through this hub in 2015 and not a single person received a ticket related to cannabis possession. And, more astoundingly, only 30 people were stopped by TSA and were asked to toss their cannabis; they did.

And honestly, I’d be more concerned about the people trying to bring loaded guns in carry-on bags. Not the friends wanting to get high on vacation.

In the same 2015 timespan, TSA saw over 708 million passengers in the U.S. and scanned 1.6 billion carry-on bags at which time they discover 2,653 guns, 83% of which were loaded. That was a 20% increase from 2014.

Ultimately, TSA is concerned with actual security threats, not your one-ounce cannabis. So, do what you will, but know that if you’re within the legal carry limits, you’re more likely to miss your flight than end up with a ticket, or worse, in jail. So, stop by our Vancouver Washington dispensary and just try to smoke all the cannabis before your next flight.

How Marijuana is Regulated in Washington

marijuana regulations WA Washington State law, WSLCB

Medical and recreational cannabis are now legal in the State of Washington, but there are strict regulations in place to protect everyone involved from the growers, to the marijuana stores in Vancouver, to you, the consumer. So what rules are in place to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved?

For starters, if you’ve visited in marijuana store in Vancouver you’ll know that you must be 21 years or older to legally purchase and possess cannabis. In fact, if cannabis is sold to a minor under 18 years old, this person is subject to up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Just like alcohol, cannabis is a well-regulated substance. However, the restrictions are even more limiting. In addition to the age minimum, there are also purchasing restrictions. In Washington, if you enter a marijuana store in Vancouver or another city, you are limited to purchasing up to one ounce of recreational cannabis flower, as well as 16 ounces of solid, marijuana-infused edibles, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of concentrate. However, medical marijuana purchasers can obtain up to 24 ounces of bud and grow up to 15 plants as long as they received a valid prescription from a licensed physician, and are purchasing from a medically endorsed dispensary.

Pesticides & Fertilizer

In Washington, the organization responsible for regulating and licensing cannabis is the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. This board evolved to ensure safe growing practices, distributions, sales, and consumption. They also work closely with other state agencies.

When gardening, it’s not uncommon for farmers to use pesticides to rid vulnerable plants of harmful insects to ensure the crop survives, and cannabis is not immune to these practices. In order to protect you, the board worked closely with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to compose a list of pesticides that meet specific criteria. While the list is not an endorsement or recommendation, it is a comprehensive guideline for pesticide use.

Ultimately, pesticides are allowed if, at a minimum:

  • They are registered with the EPA and WSDA.
  • The product label states it is safe to use on food crops.
  • The pesticide is used according to the specified instructions.

To see a comprehensive list of approved pesticides, visit the Washington State University Pesticide Information Center Online.

Similarly, if fertilizer is used to bolster plant growth, the used item must also be registered by WSDA. The ones specifically omitted from the list are those labeled for turf use only.

 

At Mary Jane’s House of Grass we are committed to purity and when we vett farms, we ensure they are using 100% natural pest control solutions.

Testing for THC & CBD

In Washington, it’s not enough for a cannabis grower to just list the THC levels of their strains and then pass it straight along to a marijuana store in Vancouver. Instead, following the approval of I-502, strains are first tested by a certified third-party laboratory. However, potency is not the only test performed. The third-party labs also perform required tests for microbial analysis, pesticide analysis, heavy metal analysis, and residual solvents.

Drugged Driving

While the purchase and consumption of medical and recreational medical marijuana is legal in the State of Washington, it is not permitted for individuals to consume cannabis in public. Similarly, since it does impair one’s senses, it is also illegal to drive drugged.

Similar to rules related to drinking and driving, a driver in Washington provides implied consent and, when pulled over, if an official deems a person has been driving drugged, this person can be subjected to breath or blood testing to determine if alcohol or drugs were indeed within the person’s system while he or she was operating a motor vehicle.

If convicted, even just one offense can lead to mandatory imprisonment, a hefty fine, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. In Washington, a motorist with detectable THC amounts above 5 ng/ml is guilty of DUID.

Dispensary Locations

To ensure a safe community setting, it is required that a cannabis dispensary must be at least 1000 feet from the following locations:

  • Elementary and secondary school
  • Playground
  • Recreation center
  • Child Care facility
  • Public park
  • Public transit center
  • Library
  • Game arcade

 

However, in some instances, local government can now alter this buffer and decrease the distance from 1000 feet to 100 feet.

Environmental Permits

Air quality is regulated in tandem by various agencies and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Both the production and processing of cannabis are sources of odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can negatively impact the environment if not regulated. For this reason, growers may be required to have construction and air quality permits.

Similarly, growers may be able to discharge wastewater into local sewage treatment plants. But, if this is not allowed, a water quality permit is needed to protect surface and groundwater. They may also need a water rights permit.

Like all businesses, cannabis growers and dispensaries are subject to rules and regulations to ensure that the local environment is protected. In addition to the permits, cannabis and its waste cannot be burned and all waste that contains 10% or more THC is considered “dangerous waste” that is toxic and needs to be handled appropriately.

Before you ever step foot in your local marijuana store in Vancouver, the State of Washington imparts strict practices for growers, processors, and distributors to ensure public and environmental safety are first priority.

In addition to state requirements, at Mary Jane’s House of Grass we take things a step further and impart even stricter standards for products that come into our store. We want our customers to have an optimal experience whether they are purchasing bud, edibles, or oils. For this reason, we only offer the highest quality products developed by top-notch producers.

Anatomy and Life Cycle of a Marijuana Plant

infographic, life cycle of marijuana plant, growing

When you pull up to your local cannabis dispensary and walk in the door, wafting in the glorious scent of various strains, you’re probably not thinking about the intricate details of the marijuana plant. You might not even know what a cola, calyx, and pistil are, and that’s ok. But, in case you had any interest in delving deeper into the anatomy and lifecycle of cannabis, today is your lucky day because we’re here to break down the details.

Just like humans, the cannabis plant is divided into male and female, also called dioecious. While some are hermaphroditic, for the most part, a male and female have to come together to create new baby cannabis flowers, just like us. But, for our consumption, the female flower is the one to covet as it carries the desirable amount of THC, so we’ll focus more on the lady bits.

 

While having male and female plants sounds like a good thing, to growers, it’s bad news bears in bulk. That’s because the male plant’s goal is to pollinate the female plant and then she will put all her energy into producing seeds instead of THC-packed resin. For this reason, growers do their best to weed out most males.

Now let’s get to the anatomy!

Flower

The flower is the part we know and love as it contains the highest concentration of THC. They grow toward the top of the plant and, as you probably know, are also referred to as buds.

Cola

Also know as the apical or terminal bud, this part of the plant denotes the cluster mass of flowers at the top of a cannabis plant. Thankfully, growers are actually able to manipulate plants to increase cola to produce greater yield. This is a win-win for all!

Trichomes

These are the resin glands found on a flower’s leaves and calyces. They kind of look like tiny translucent crystals, but are more similar to a crystallized mushroom if you have the chance to view trichomes with a microscope.

This is the essence of hashish, kief, BHO (Butane Hash Oil), and more, so some cannabis strains are developed specifically for a high trichome count. That’s because it contains the “miracle molecules”, cannabinoids and terpenes.

Calyx

Just like in others flowers, this is a portion of the flower that encloses and protects the ovule and pistils. It is part of the bud itself. This is where the highest amount of trichomes are found, which is why it’s the part of the flower you care most about, knowingly or not, if you smoke or vape.

Pistil

The pistils, or hairs, are the part of the plant that seems to poke out from inside each of the calyx. When they first peak out, they are white, but quickly transform to orange, red, or brown. This part of the plant is only found in a female and it’s the main function is to capture pollen from the male. This is also known for its high THC concentration.

 

Fan Leaves

The fan leaf is without a doubt the part of the plant that’s most recognizable. However, it does have an actual function. Aside from being the poster child for cannabis, it is focused on photosynthesis, the process of using energy from the sun to feed the plant. Most often, you will see fan leaves featuring five leaves; but there are also plants with seven and even nine leaves, which is most common among sativa strains.

Sugar Leaves

This is a smaller leaf that grows within the flower. It’s usually covered in trichomes and trimmed when flowers are harvested. They are, however, used when making edibles because of the trichome coating.

Seed

The seed is hidden within the calyx, as described above. In addition to planting a seed to grow a new cannabis plant, oil can also be extracted. In a sativa plant, this will generate THC cannabis oil, while an indica is more commonly referred to as hemp oil, which has high CBD and low THC content.

Stem

Just like all flowers, stems provides structural support and stores nutrients. They are not known to contain THC as that’s directed solely to the flower, but it can be repurposed for its fiber.

Node

A node, like all flowers, is where a leaf branches off from a stalk.

You now have an understanding of the various parts of the plant, so let’s get more into the lifecycle.

When the plant is first sprouting, the first two leaves are not the typical marijuana leaves you’d expect to see. Instead, they have smooth edges. It’s the next two that have the classic points associated with cannabis. The baby stage lasts 1 to 3 weeks at which time it will grow 4 to 8 leaves.

Next, the plant will begin growing more notes where more branches with more leaves will sprout. During this time, the plant needs fresh warm, dry air and lots of nitrogen-rich nutrients as it’s working to grow from an 8-inch baby to a 3-foot tree in a short 3 to 6 weeks. For this reason, it also needs long summer sunlight hours or 18+ hours of fluorescent light per day to produce the required amount of photosynthesis. If daylight or fluorescent hours are cut, the plant will not grow quite as tall.

It takes 1 to 5 months for a cannabis plant to enter the pre-flower phase. This is when the sex is presented. If male plants are recognized (green sacs near the node), a grower will either kill this plant or separate it from the females so, as explained above, the females can concentrate on producing THC instead of seeds. This needs to be done before the sac opens, spilling its pollen.

At some point, it’s required to decrease light time from 18 to 12 hours, at which point potassium and phosphorus nutrients should be added. If everything went as planned, you will both see and smell trichome-filled cola growing from you plant within 8 to 10 weeks after light is reduced.

Finally, the plant is ready for harvest and distribute to you local cannabis dispensary. You’ll know it’s ready when the pistils in the cola buds turn from white to the orange, red, or brown.

Congratulations, after months of work, you can now get high!

 

Thankfully, your cannabis dispensary works closely with growers to provide you the best and most diverse strains. Just like many plants, growing cannabis takes a lot of time and dedication to achieve the desired results.

What to Look For When Buying Your First Bong

bong, glass, how to, shop, cannabis, vancouver

When you started smoking cannabis you likely opted for a joint or chose a small, handheld glass pipe. These were effective and fun for a while, but maybe you want to take more control of your smoking experience? You may be looking for a cleaner, less harsh inhalation or just enjoy watching the smoke waft through various chambers. Either way, you’ve decided to make the move from your former pieces and are ready to purchase your very own bong. But, where do you start? There is no right or wrong option, but here are some things to consider before you visit one of your local Vancouver dispensaries.

There are various ways to categorize bongs, but we like to separate them into grommets: glass on glass or standard slide.

The slide is the area of the bong where the cannabis is placed. In some versions, the grommet is rubber, but glass on glass literally means that the slide, just like the bong, is all glass. This creates a tighter seal.

The glass on glass slides come in three sizes (10 mL, 14 mL, 18 mL), while the standard slides come in two (standard and oversize).

While the bong you choose to purchase will come with a slide, there are various replacement slides sold separately, which is why it is important to know the style slide you opt to get.

Similar to those who say they don’t enjoy wine until they find the one that perfectly matches their palette preference; at Mary Jane’s House of Glass we agree that there is a bong for everyone. Just like finding the perfect wine, finding the perfect bong is an adventure. Thankfully, you don’t have to try bongs you don’t like before finding the right one. All you have to do is chat with one of our bong experts and you will find one that meets your needs. Whether you are looking for an American-made bong, one that is hand-blown, or the one that offers the coldest hits, we help direct you to the ones that best meet your needs.

Here are some of our of best tips and top options:

M.I.O. Glass

M.I.O., or Made in Oregon Glass is one of the first brands we recommend for new bong users. These particular bongs, as the name suggests, is made in Oregon, and we love promoting local artists. However, it’s the experience that brings their products to the next level. While they are not as intricate as other bongs, the glass-on-glass sliders create a tight seal. It’s also made with glass that is 6mm-9mm, which is thicker and more durable than other options. Additional tidbits we like include the optional UV glow, ice pinches to cool the smoke for a smooth inhalation, and the few removable pieces. It’s undeniable that this is a quality product offered at an affordable price.

Taylor Sims

Taylor Sims is a resident of Eugene, Oregon, and develops true works of art when it comes to glass bongs. His pieces are often divided into two categories. They are usually “heady” and look very colorful and trippy, or “scientific”. His scientific pieces are not always the first bong purchased as they are often more fragile with additional water chambers, but they are definitely works of art. It’s impossible not to get flashbacks to high school chemistry even before getting high. His inline recycler is a favorite. He designs smaller pipes as well if you are a fan of Taylor’s craft.

Sheldon Black

Sheldon Black designs American-made glass bongs, each of which is emblazoned with the trademark logo. These pieces range from basic to intricate designs as the Sheldon Black designs date back to Los Angeles in 1988. These are considered pioneer pieces that were created from the curiosity and passion for the smoke culture. While these bongs are strong as they are made of German Glass, it is still important to be careful. Ultimately, it’s a favorite among our bud experts who often say the inhalation is as “light as breathing.”

Here are some additional questions to consider before purchasing a new bong;

  • Do you want a colder hit?
  • Are you looking to admire the smoke move through multiple chambers?
  • How fragile or durable of a bong do you need?
  • Do you mind if the bong starts to turn colors from smoke residue?
  • How often do you want or expect to clean your bong?
  • Where will you be using your bong?
  • Are you looking to regularly exchange your slider for fun pieces?
  • Do you want something colorful or clear?
  • Do you want something American-made?
  • Would you prefer German glass?

Ultimately, if you know which kind of hit you prefer (cooler, smoother, etc), then an expert at one of your nearby Vancouver dispensaries will be able to direct you to the bong that is perfect for you.

Be sure and check out the latest cannabis reviews from our staff.

If you have any additional questions, you are always welcome at Mary Jane’s House of Grass. We have an extensive collection of bongs, whether you are a first time user or a connoisseur. We also carry bud, storage containers, edibles, salves, and more.  

Vancouver’s Favorite Cannabis Strains

Silica Phoenix frosty purple cannabis

We asked our budtenders and our customers what their favorite strains are. Here is what the cannabis consumers of Vancouver are really diggin’.

At the top of the list is the infamous Gorilla Glue #4, otherwise known as the Colorado strain. It is a potent hybrid strain that delivers heavy-handed euphoria and relaxation, leaving you feeling “glued” to the couch. Its chunky, resin-covered buds fill the room with pungent earthy and sour aromas inherited from its parent strains, Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel. Taking first place in both the Michigan and Los Angeles 2014 Cannabis Cups as well as the High Times Jamaican World Cup, this multiple award-winning hybrid’s supremacy is no longer a secret, and consumers will search far and wide to get their hands sticky with Gorilla Glue #4.

Look for it at Mary Jane’s from Sunshine Farms, Vancouver. But hurry!

Another one that is getting a lot of buzz (no pun intended) is Lemon Sweet Skunk. Lemon Skunk was conceived from two separate Skunk phenotypes that displayed exceptionally zesty lemon traits. The skunky, citrus flavor draws you in immediately, and the happy, energetic buzz will shake you out of any funk. DNA Genetics has developed Lemon Skunk as great strain for combating depression and stress.

You can also find this favorite at Mary Jane’s.

A hot new strain exclusive to us right now is Pinkberry. This is a cross between Pink 2.0 (which is also fantastic) and Plushberry. Pinkberry is an indica-dominant hybrid with powerful body-focused effects. In its exceptional variations, pink hairs burst from bright green buds barely visible under a blanket of sugar-like trichomes, with traces of a sweet vanilla and candy perfume. The potency of this strain could be considered overpowering, and even small doses are known to eliminate pain, insomnia, and appetite loss. Pinkberry induces a deep relaxation in the mind and body, with calming qualities that melt away stress.

Pink 2.0 and Pinkberry are available from Northwest Recreational at Mary Jane’s.

XJ-13 is a sativa-dominant strain cherished for both its therapeutic potency and enjoyable euphoric buzz. This hybrid cross of Jack Herer and G13 Haze induces unencumbered cerebral effects perfect for stimulating creativity and conversation. As if we needed another reason to love this lightweight sativa, XJ-13 consistently exhibits a strong citrus aroma accented by notes of earthy pine. Novice consumers looking for an easy, paranoia-free experience can depend on XJ-13 as a surefire way to relieve stress and mood-related symptoms.

We have it from Heavenly Buds.

Master Yoda has been a fan fave for years. With lab-tested THC levels that reach over 20%, strong medicine, Master Yoda is. This strain, however, is not about brute “Force,” as the original Master Yoda would know, and the sativa side of this mostly indica buzz has just enough of an uplifting balance to please just about anyone. Master Yoda clinched 1st Place at High Times Los Angeles Cannabis Cup in 2012, where the OG Kush and Master Kush cross was already a local favorite. Growers also like this strain for its hybrid resilience and its 8 week flowering time.

Also in the store now from Heavenly Buds.

One we can’t seem to keep on the shelf once we get it is Orange Crush. Orange Crush is a sativa-dominant cannabis strain with a super sweet tangy flavor and aroma. Bred with California Orange and Blueberry for parents, Orange Crush produces a powerful cerebral sensation that can last up to two hours. It has small, dense buds that contain a large amount of trichomes and many orange pistils. Orange Crush has a flowering time of 7-9 weeks and a THC content of up to 15%. Don’t let the % fool you, though, those trichomes and terpenes work wonders.

Find this in our store from Fireline.

And who could forget Snoop Dogg’s favorite, Green Crack. Few strains compare to Green Crack’s sharp energy and focus as it induces an invigorating mental buzz that keeps you going throughout the day. With a tangy, fruity flavor redolent of mango, Green Crack is the perfect daytime medication for patients treating fatigue, stress, and depression.

You can find an oil infused Green Crack joint by Willie’s Reserve, or flower by Shango at Mary Jane’s.

10 Reasons The Stoner Stereotype is Dead

stoner stereotypes, friends gathered smoking cannabis, playing games

Even with recent outspread legalization, many people still believe in the old stoner stereotype that people who use marijuana are unkempt, lazy, stupid, unproductive, or otherwise unsavory. But the recent legalization and opening of recreational stores are proving those stereotypes are just plain wrong.

Today’s recreational user is more like what you might see in your local coffee shop. Maybe because the new retail recreational stores are looking and feeling more like your local coffee shop. From the soccer mom to the college professor, from the young hipster to the white collar business professional, we are seeing a drastic trouncing of the old stoner stereotypes. Here’s why we think the new retail store format is helping to shape the new face of cannabis consumers.

1. Safer access. Gone are the days of the back alley deal with unsavory characters. Consumers over 21 can enter a clean store with professional bud tenders who are knowledgeable and friendly. That’s causing folks who wouldn’t go to the black market before, to come try the new legal retail market instead. And these are folks who definitely don’t fit the typical stoner stereotypes.

2. Safer products. All of our products are lab tested for quality, potency, pesticides, and to make sure there’s not a bunch of excess leaf, twig or other unsavories in your cannabis. Just the good stuff.

3. Higher quality products. Gone are the days of ditch weed. Legalization has brought formerly underground grow operations out into the open as Washington’s new producers. These are people who have been growing for years but are now able to expand their facilities and production, allowing for better growing conditions. These folks aren’t your average stoner growing pot in his mom’s basement. These are true artisans at their craft who are now able to grow in the most desirable conditions. Top quality growing facilities = some pretty amazing cannabis.

4. Control over the experience. If we haven’t experienced it ourselves, we know someone who has. A bad trip. When all you wanted was to feel stimulated and party all night, and what you got was a 6-hour couchlock. What was available in the market before was mostly indica. Why? Because it is smaller (read: easier to hide), and faster to flower (read: faster to market). But indica is the variety that can sometimes leave you couch-locked. So, if you bought from your dealer looking for something to get your motor going, or inspire your creative side, you may have been disappointed with the experience. The realization that you can be highly functional on weed, even more alert,  AND predetermine your outcome, is changing that stoned-on-the-couch stereotype.

5. Wider selection available. Post prohibition marked a rapid increase in the types of available liquor, beyond bathtub gin. The landscape is no different here. Legal growers are out in the open, allowing them better facilities and resources. They are cross breeding and creating new strains with great fervor and the result is an outstanding selection of flower. Want it to smell like berries? No problem. Want to taste an earthiness and enjoy a heightened sense of creativity? You got it. Need sleep? We’ve got you covered.

6. Closet consumers are “coming out” in droves. In a brilliant and touching ad, Green Flower Media calls out these closeted consumers and asks them to share their story. It’s called #ComingOutGreen. And we love it. Mostly because it shows average people. People that you might see in your local coffee shop, at a PTA meeting, at the high school football game, at work. And here’s the kicker, most of the time you would never have guessed they used cannabis.

7. Legality makes it legit. Those law-abiding folks who were reluctant to try it before because it was illegal, are more willing to step into a clean store to purchase it safely and legally. Also, see #6.

8. Tasteful advertising. Gone are the images of scantily clad women in compromising positions surrounded with smoke and holding a bong. Also gone are the slew of slang terms that bring the stereotypical stoner to mind.

You know, terms like pot, weed, dope, grass, green, ganja, herb, reefer, cheebah, chronic, Mary Jane, bud, skunk, doobage, sticky icky, and wacky tobaccy. As well as phrases like getting high, stoned, baked, ripped, faded, sparking up, smoking up, toking up, and, lest we forget, getting blitzed out of our gourds.

The best MJ marketers will not be using any of these terms because of the derogatory associations and because they really no longer apply.

9. Viewing cannabis growth for the art it is. We spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the art and craftsmanship that goes into our favorite beers and wines. Cannabis is no different. Much the way a viticulturist is a master of the grape vine, the people growing cannabis are experts in plant breeding, growth conditions, nutrients, and masters of the plant itself. With the new legalization, these folks can finally spread their wings, and it’s causing an amazing and sharp increase in the quality and variety of the products they are able to bring to market. With retail stores offering “meet your grower” experiences and featuring weed like fine wines, the stigma surrounding it is quickly fading.

10. Consuming responsibly. The new industry is being forthright in its advertising and advising folks to consume responsibly with ad campaigns focused on  anti-over-consumption and starting slowly – because let’s face it, this shit is getting real. Some strains are testing at 40% THC! And the edibles? Whoa. So seriously, start slowly and consume responsibly.

Our recreational clients are getting better quality, safer products and the education to empower them to make the right choice for them and the experience they want. All of those things put the power in the hands of the consumer for the first time. Consumers are finally emboldened to “come out”, and that alone is blowing the stereotype away (and blowing the doors off some closed minds).