Expert Joints LIVE!: That’s Doap

Expert Joints LIVE!: That’s Doap

Original air date – June 29th, 2017

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Published at Mon, 26 Jun 2017 01:49:48 +0000

Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

Study links legalized pot with increase in car crash claims 

The Columbian / Associated Press

DENVER — A recent insurance study links increased car crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

The Highway Loss Data Institute, a leading insurance research group, said in study results released Thursday that collision claims in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon went up 2.7 percent in the years since legal recreational marijuana sales began when compared with surrounding states. Legal recreational pot sales in Colorado began in January 2014, followed six months later in Washington, and in October 2015 in Oregon.

“We believe that the data is saying that crash risk has increased in these states and those crash risks are associated with the legalization of marijuana,” said Matt Moore, senior vice president with the institute, which analyzes insurance data to observe emerging auto safety trends.

Mason Tvert, a marijuana legalization advocate and communications director with the Marijuana Policy Project, questioned the study’s comparison of claims in rural states such as Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana with Colorado, Oregon and Washington that have dense population centers and how that affected the study’s findings.

“The study raises more questions than it provides answers and it’s an area that would surely receive more study, and deservedly so,” Tvert said.

Researchers accounted for factors such as the number of vehicles on the road in the study and control states, age and gender of drivers, weather and even whether the driver making a claim was employed. Neighboring states with similar fluctuations in claims were used for comparison.

Insurance industry groups have been keeping a close watch on claims when auto accidents across the country began to go up in 2013 after more than a decade of steady decline. Insurance companies found several possible factors at play in the spike that included distracted driving through texting or cellphone use, road construction, and an improved economy that has led to leisurely drives and more miles driven, as well as marijuana legalization.

“It would appear, probably not to anyone’s surprise, that the use of marijuana contributes to crashes,” said Kenton Brine, president of the industry group Northwest Insurance Council that represents companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. He added: “It would be difficult to say that marijuana is a definitive factor, lacking a citation, in a significant number of crashes to say that what we’re seeing here is a trend.”

The Highway Loss Data Institute said its study examined claims from January 2012 to October 2016.

“The problem here is that it’s a pretty new experience,” said Carole Walker of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, an industry group that covers Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. “This is the first study that has been able to isolate legal pot as one of the factors.”

Eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana for adults.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader adds that alcohol impairment remains one of the biggest concerns on the road.

“While we have proven countermeasures, proven strategies for reducing alcohol impaired driving, there are a lot of unanswered questions about marijuana and driving,” Rader said.

A study released last year by AAA’s safety foundation found legal THC limits established by states with legal marijuana have no scientific basis and can result in innocent drivers being convicted, and guilty drivers being released.

Moore of the Highway Loss Data Institute said they hope the study’s findings will be considered by lawmakers and regulators in states where marijuana legalization is under consideration or recently enacted.


Published at Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:37:53 +0000

Investor Ideas Talks to Ian Tostenson, Director of ParcelPal and President & CEO of B.C. Restaurant & Food Services Association

Investor Ideas Talks to Ian Tostenson, Director of ParcelPal and President & CEO of B.C. Restaurant & Food Services Association

POINT ROBERTS, WA –(Marketwired – June 20, 2017) –, a global news source covering leading sectors including technology, cannabis, and food and beverage, releases an exclusive podcast interview with Ian Tostenson, Director of ParcelPal (CSE: PKG), (OTC PINK: PTNYF) and President & CEO of the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association.

Ian talks about how technology is changing the restaurant industry and how ParcelPal can play a role as an “Uber-like” company providing on-demand delivery to customers.

Hear the full podcast interview here:

Ian discusses his background in the sector, which spans over twenty-five years and included Cascadia Brands, who owned Granville Island Brewery, Kelowna Wines, Sandhill and a fifty percent interest in Burrowing Owl. He also chaired the BC Wine Institute for five years before entering the restaurant sector.

“The BC restaurant industry is a $12 Billion dollar industry with 180,000 employees and is a very significant contributor to our economy. As the business becomes more competitive, we have more technology being applied to make it more effective and more efficient.”

He went on to say, “We live in a world of immediacy and Amazon has wired our DNA so when we want something, we want it now. ParcelPal started off initially as business to business and was the first introduction of this Uber-like service here. Kelly, the CEO, has innovated and realized there is an incredible opportunity with business to consumer and it will have a profound effect on my organization to deliver a technology company like ParcelPal to the industry that could affect different streams of business like home delivery, which is becoming a more important part of the industry both in Canada and in the US. The US is ahead of us and we are seeing restaurants that are not opening up for retail operation but simply opening up kitchens to deliver food to people’s homes. I think ParcelPal is well positioned to seize on that trend.”

When asked what made ParcelPal different from services like Skip the Dishes or DoorDash Food Delivery he said, “I think it’s the fact ParcelPal is home-grown. They are good at customizing solutions, understanding what their values are, what customers want and are building their technology to adopt what customers want vs. a cookie cutter approach.”

Ian also talks about some of the current challenges facing the restaurant industry including labour shortages and how his passion project H.A.V.E. Café can help fill that gap, while also providing a much needed opportunity to the Vancouver Eastside community.

Mr. Tostenson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association. He spent most of his career as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascadia Brands Inc. In addition, Mr. Tostenson was British Columbia’s second chairman for the British Columbia Wine Institute, a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a recipient of Business in Vancouver’s Under 40 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He has served on the board as a director and was the President of the David Foster Foundation for over 22 years. He co-founded H.A.V.E. Café which focuses on helping people in the Downtown Vancouver Eastside.

About ParcelPal Technology Inc. (CSE: PKG), (OTC PINK: PTNYF)
ParcelPal is a technology driven logistics company that connects consumers to the goods they love. Customers can shop at partner businesses and through the ParcelPal technology receive their purchased goods within an hour. The Company offers on-demand delivery of merchandise from leading retailers, restaurants, medical marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores in Vancouver and soon in major cities Canada-wide.

How it Works
Through the ParcelPal iOS app, customers enter their address and view a list of merchants available in their neighborhood. Once the customer makes a selection, they simply place the order and pay online through ParcelPal secure ordering platform. The order is then prepared by the restaurant and brought directly to customers by a ParcelPal driver anywhere they choose to be in Vancouver. Customers will also have the option to order and pick it up themselves.

ParcelPal Technology Inc is a featured company on


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Published at Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:22:16 +0000

Clark County cannabis market booming

Clark County cannabis market booming

The Columbian / Associated Press

It’s been three years since Clark County’s first cannabis businesses appeared, and this corner of Southwest Washington has grown into the fifth largest cannabis market in the state, according to sales and excise taxes collected. What started out as a chaotic industry with major supply-side issues has dramatically changed and matured into a both a revenue generator and a job creator for the region.

“Locally Clark County stacks up quite well (in the Washington cannabis market),” said Gareth Kautz, co-owner of the High End Market Place dispensary in Uptown Village. “We have some of the best weed in the state, some of the best low-cost product in the state and one of the best medical processors (Fairwinds Manufacturing) — if not the only one — in the state.”

Clark County today has 23 growers and processors and 13 stores clustered in Vancouver and Battle Ground, the only two jurisdictions that allow cannabis businesses. Those operations employ 250 or more, although there is no formal tally.

By excise taxes collected, Clark County ranks fifth in the state, behind King, Spokane, Pierce and Snohomish counties. From 2014 through 2016, Clark County residents paid about $34 million in excise tax, which helps fund addiction health services, research and public schools, among other things. In comparison, King County, the largest market, paid about $116 million over the same time period.

Clark County’s retail stores have done especially well, capitalizing on their close proximity to the Portland market. Vancouver’s largest dispensary, Main Street Marijuana, is also the largest store in the state, with $41 million in sales since 2014. That store expanded last year with new locations in Vancouver and Longview. The Herbery also expanded to three stores — all in Vancouver — since its first location opened in 2015. Together those stores have netted $23.1 million since opening. New Vansterdam had the third-highest sales in the area, with $22 million since 2014. And a host of other dispensaries including High End Market Place, High 5 Cannabis and the Cannabis Country Store are all in the $5 million to $7 million range since opening.

The story is a bit different on the grower/processor side, however.

A maturing industry

A maturation and sorting out of the grower/processor industry has led to stiff competition for dispensary shelf space and basic survival — and some smaller farms are starting to get crushed.

“It’s definitely changed,” said Brian Stroh, owner of Cannaman Farms, the first licensed grower in Clark County and the third one in Washington state. “There’s so much supply. You have to stay relationship driven with stores, otherwise you may not get shelf space. It’s a very capital-intensive business, and there’s constant downward price pressure.”

Originally the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board limited the canopy — the amount of cannabis allowed to be grown — to about 2 million square feet total. The agency also licensed the first stores in 2014 before there was enough product on the market to sell, which led to spikes of $40 a gram for a product that now generally sells for between $8 and $14.

Since that time, WSLCB has further expanded canopy to about 12 million square feet, and has allowed growers in its three-tiered canopy system to expand production as well. But that, in turn, has led to a bit of an oversupply, Stroh said.

“Family farms, small farms, are having problems unloading everything they grow,” Stroh said. “And in general if you lose one crop, you lose too much money to stay in business.”

Cannaman Farms, for instance, had problems with crop loss after an electrical fire broke one night. It’s taken a long time to recover, he said.

“We’ve had a lot of failures,” Stroh said. “It’s a very capital-intensive business for sure. But we’re in the same boat as a lot of people. It’s a struggle. Payroll, rent, bills, these things aren’t just a given. There’s not a lot of people making money right now.”

At least two small Clark County growers have gone out of business already. One failed after burglars stole a harvest; the other closed due to pesticide issues.

Kautz said he sympathizes with the struggles small growers face.

“Most of these growers are one harvest away from going out of business,” Kautz said. “I’m talking about the big guys, too. If you lose one crop, you’re in a lot of trouble.”

Still, not all small farms are struggling. Skord, a Tier 2 grower in Battle Ground, has been successful using a slow roll-out strategy, said owner Joshua Anderson.

“We’re trying to not oversaturate stores, so our plan is to have one store in each community,” said Anderson, who in Vancouver sells through High End Market Place.

“So far, that’s worked out for us. It’s been advantageous for us to demand the price we want and to have some exclusivity in stores. Our reputation is spreading and we’re doing very well.”

Growing big

Two of Vancouver’s larger grower-processors also are doing very well — Cedar Creek Cannabis and Fairwinds Manufacturing. Each has its niche.

Cedar Creek, operated by Clark County native Mark Michaelson, has found its niche by providing consistent quality, which has led to an unusual problem. Its products are now found in more than 20 stores statewide, but at least a dozen more stores want to buy product from the company. Michaelson doesn’t have enough supply to meet all the demand.

“We can’t expand fast enough,” Michaelson said. “We’re afraid of losing market share if we don’t expand faster. We’re actually hoping to buy more grower licenses at some point.”

From 2014 to 2016, Cedar Creek had $3.6 million in statewide sales. It sold $800,000 more in the first five months of this year.

To ramp up production, the company recently rented a 20,000-square-foot facility in Kelso, in addition to its current operations in Vancouver. The plan is to expand the grow operation at the Kelso site while also ramping up cannabis oil and concentrate production in Vancouver, he said.

“Probably the most important thing that gets you on store shelves is consistency,” Michaelson said of his success. “Consistency of the quality of the product. Consistency with the lab results. That, and relationships. The relationship you have with your retailer is critical. They take care of you and your customers, and you take care of them as well.”

Finding and retaining quality employees has been a good strategy for keeping his products consistent, he added.

“We don’t pay our help minimum wage,” Michaelson said. “When you find good people, you have to pay them well to keep them.”

Fairwinds may have found a niche by becoming the most diverse and unusual grower and processor in the state.

The company, owned by James Hull, a mechanical engineer who used to build military ships, is one of only a handful of Washington businesses that makes Department of Health-compliant medical marijuana wellness products.

Fairwinds got into the market early with cannabis infused coffee and K-Cup compatible beverage pods, which made a national splash on a handful of TV networks fascinated by the novelty factor. Since then the company has built a reputation for having very clean, easy-to-consume products like tinctures, pills and vapes.

At the same time, Hull has also worked with scientists and patients whenever possible to develop products for the medical side of the industry, although Fairwinds’ products are available through the recreational market as well.

Those products include Flow, a topical gel which can be used externally to alleviate pain; menstrual relief suppositories; rectal suppositories to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease; and more recently a pill-based product called PTSFree, aimed at veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The PTSFree product was developed with Operation Ward 57, a veterans group based in Seattle. Fairwinds gives a portion of the proceeds to the group, and recently completed a fundraising effort with The Herbery which netted $5,000 for the nonprofit.

“We want to lead this industry with information, science and facts,” Hull said. “And we want to help people along the way.”

So far, Hull’s business model is paying off. Fairwinds is the largest producer-processor in Clark County, netting $6 million in sales from 2014 to 2016, and another $1.7 million through May 2017.

“Fairwinds has been blowing up — and they’re blowing up everywhere,” Kautz said. “They have everything down to a science.”

Both Fairwinds and Cedar Creek are likely immune from the shakeout that’s consolidating smaller growers and driving some out of business, but both companies also remain aware of the threat.

“Thousands of licensed growers are out there, but that’s going down,” Michaelson said. “I think we’ll end up with somewhere around 100 of them in the end, out of the 1,000 or so that are out there. Personally, I don’t want to be the biggest, or even the absolute best necessarily — I just want to be one of the biggest and the best.”

Clark County marijuana market

Local marijuana businesses

Growers/processors: 23

Retailers: 13

Total excise tax paid: $43 million

Note: Operations are legal only in Vancouver and Battle Ground

Clark County’s biggest grower/processors, total sales 2014-2016

Fairwinds Manufacturing, $6 million

Agrijuana, $3.9 million

Cedar Creek Cannabis, $3.6 million

Sunshine Farms, $2 million

Skord, $1.6 million

Cannaman Farms, $480,000

Local retail marijuana sales:

2014: $5 million

2015: $38 million

2016: $50 million

Total: $93 million

Local marijuana grower/processor sales:

2014: $0

2015: $4 million

2016: $10 million

Total: $14 million

Local marijuana excise tax collected:

2014: $2 million

2015: $14 million

2016: $19 million

Total: $34 million

Statewide marijuana dispensary sales:

2014: $31 million

2015: $323 million

2016: $696 million

Statewide marijuana grower/processor sales:

2014: $19 million

2015: $163 million

2016: $413 million

Statewide marijuana excise tax collected:

2014: $16 million

2015: $129 million

2016: $256 million


Published at Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:54:47 +0000

Morneau and Provinces Talk Pot and Taxes

Morneau and Provinces Talk Pot and Taxes

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau met with provincial counterparts this week to talk pot and taxes, among other things.

With Ottawa delegating legal distribution and consumption details to the provinces, all eyes were on Morneau.

The twice-a-year meeting had to live up to its otherwise officially dull agenda — to facilitate a “co-ordinated approach to the taxation of cannabis.”

Or how the provinces interpreted the meeting: what can we squeeze from Ottawa?

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao said Quebec should have “equitable sharing of tax revenue,” which I take to mean legal equitable interest in the legalization model, rather than “fair” or “impartial” sharing of tax revenue.

Equalization payments clearly demonstrate why I would have my suspicions over his choice of words.

While Quebec sniffed around for federal funds like an anteater, Manitoba got wet feet like a duck.

“We’re not ready yet!” cried some bureaucrat in Winnipeg, his echo carrying through the office and on down the corridors. Eventually making its way to Manitoba’s finance minister who told Morneau that their government was feeling a bit “rushed” about the whole thing.

Just not ready, so to speak.

Interestingly enough, Ottawa didn’t care and instead pushed for a low taxation rate, fearing that too high of a tax burden would undermine their efforts to eradicate the “black market.”

Which goes to show how nefarious the Liberal deficit and tax hikes are. Morneau and the Liberals know exactly what grows an economy and what doesn’t.

Low taxes and minimal infringement on entrepreneurs generate prosperity. Throw in a frugal population and a high savings rate, and you’ve got yourself a pretty prosperous government since the Liberals would be getting more bang for their buck on the taxation front.

But Morneau and the Liberals have gone the opposite direction, anticipating a $23-billion year-end deficit and raising taxes on the middle class. Task Force Liberal Anne McLellan even said cannabis legalization would cost Canadians money before any revenue could be realized.

And don’t let these deficit numbers fool you, it takes 31 years to count to one billion. There is a staggering amount of debt in the Canadian economy and asset prices are only as good as the inflated stock market.

Government debt isn’t like household debt. Governments can endlessly borrow funds by putting a newer generation of taxpayers up as collateral. Yet, this scheme rests on a planet of finite resources.

So Morneau knows exactly how the economy works.

Meanwhile, federal-provincial coordination is nothing new nor unexpected. That cannabis legalization is on the agenda only goes to show how effective breaking the law can be.

So let’s keep overgrowing the government until we’ve freed the weed, and then let’s overgrow them some more.


Published at Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:42:53 +0000

Mexico Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Mexico Legalizes Medical Cannabis

A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Mexico has officially been passed into law, according to President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The new law directs the Ministry of Health to draft and implement regulations, with  “public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.”

The new law was passed by the nation’s lower house of parliament in April with an overwhelming vote of 371 to 11. “The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes,” the Lower House said in a statement on its website after its passage.

Mexico now joins just a small number of countries, including Canada, Uruguay and Portugal, that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at


Published at Tue, 20 Jun 2017 04:45:26 +0000

Bipartisan Measure to End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana Introduced in U.S. Senate

Bipartisan Measure to End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana Introduced in U.S. Senate

The bipartisan CARERS Act would allow the possession, production, and distribution of medical marijuana in states that have legalized it. It would also lift the ban on Veterans Affairs doctors recommending it to patients in those states.


The bill was reintroduced Thursday by U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), with Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) signing on as cosponsored.

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (or CARERS) Act of 2017 would allow individuals and entities to possess, produce, and distribute medical marijuana if they are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. It would also open up avenues to medical marijuana research and allow physicians employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where it is legal. The bill also proposes excluding cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, from the federal government’s definition of “marijuana.”

This is the second time the CARERS Act has been introduced. It was first introduced on March 10, 2015, during the 114th Congress.

“The reintroduction of the CARERS Act is the first of many steps we hope this Congress will take to end the federal prohibition of medical marijuana”, Don Murphy, director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The addition of Sens. Lee and Murkowski as original co-sponsors should inspire other Republicans to seriously consider this legislation and the absurd federal overreach that it seeks to correct. Marijuana is effective in the treatment of several debilitating conditions. The federal government should not be meddling in state laws that allow it or obstructing research into its many medical benefits.

Murphy continues; “Polls show overwhelmingly strong support for medical marijuana, and it spans the political spectrum. There is no better example of an issue that garners the level of bipartisan support necessary to pass meaningful legislation. Twenty-nine states and our nation’s capital have enacted effective medical marijuana programs, and an additional 19 states have adopted laws that recognize marijuana’s medical value. There is no rational reason to continue prohibiting seriously ill patients from using this medicine or punishing those who provide it to them.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at


Published at Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:17:54 +0000

5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Vaping Products

5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Vaping Products

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Whether you’re a smoker or not, you cannot deny the effects smoking has on your body. From literally destroying your lungs to making you prone to harmful diseases like cancer, smoking causes everything. Fortunately, the majority of smokers are starting to shift to vaping, or at least consider the move.

Why Vape?

Well, for starters, vaping does not cause cancer. It does not squeeze the life out of your lungs, and it does not make you prone to critical illnesses. If that isn’t enough reason for you to begin vaping, here are some of the enticing factors about it.

  • One of the best things about electronic cigarettes is that they limit the intake of nicotine to a bare minimum. In fact, most vaping products don’t even contain nicotine.
  • Vaping liquids come in a variety of flavours. This means that you don’t have to resort to that unpleasant smoky tangent coming from your mouth.
  • The key element that causes cancer is tar that is present in abundance in a regular cigarette. When you shift to vaping, you are exposed to absolutely no tar, reducing the chances of extracting cancer by a huge margin.

Keep Your Money in Your Pockets

One of the best things about vaping is that you get to make the most of your hard-earned money instead of just smoking it out. If you are planning to make a shift, here are five great ways to make sure that you save a good portion of your money while using vaping products.

#1: Enter a Contest

One of the simplest ways get your hands on some vaping products is to enter a contest. There are several different contests held by companies throughout the year that offer free vape gear. This is a way for the vaping community ad manufacturers to make sure more people switch to this healthier alternative. So, look out for contests and giveaways!

#2: Write Testimonials

The vaping industry on a whole is still in its infancy. Businessmen that are a part of it require more people to use their products for the industry to flourish. There aren’t many ways to get a person to vape than a true testimonial. You can simply contact a vendor and ask them for a vaping kit, and in return, you can write a true testimonial. You can even offer to sponsor them on your social media in which case you can give their product a shout-out.

#3: Deals and Discounts

Want to keep things simple? Always watch out for deals! Companies tend to offer discounts from time to time and this can be a great way to save some money and get a vape pen at an extremely affordable price. You can find discounts that start at 10% and go up to an amazing 45%.

The key to landing a great product on an excellent deal is to always be on the lookout.

#4: Incentive Programs

A lot of companies also offer a variety of referral programs. Whether you use the product or are planning to make a purchase, these programs are a great way to keep your money in your pocket while getting a vaping kit. The way it works is that you will be required to refer a potential user to the company. Some manufacturers offer you points simply by referring, while others would offer your points if the referred person purchases something.

Either way, you can gather enough points to eventually purchase vaping gear on a discount. You can even get something for free, provided you have enough credit points from referrals.

#5: Engage in a Gathering

People who vape often form a co-op. This means that they acquire a large amount of vaping pens and kits from a wholesaler. This allows them to get these products at extremely low prices. You can look for such groups online or even ask a fellow vaping partner if they know someone from a co-op.

In a Nutshell

The benefits of vaping outweigh the reasons you smoke conventional cigarettes. Not only does vaping allow you to stay away from the detrimental aspects of a cigarette, it replaces them with benefits that you can enjoy! The only thing that bars a lot of people from vaping is the initial costs.

Once a person has those covered, it is expected that the vaping industry will grow at an even better pace. You can make use of the above-mentioned ways to get an e-pen without paying the full retail price.


Published at Wed, 07 Jun 2017 04:42:58 +0000

Listen: Country music has a new cannabis anthem

Listen: Country music has a new cannabis anthem

Greta Gaines didn’t intend to write a country cannabis anthem–or record an album, for that matter.

But the six songs comprising her new album “Tumbleweed,” available today on iTunes, poured out over a two-week period last fall as an act of post-election artistic activism, Gaines told The Cannabist.

“I felt helpless, so I turned to music, the only touchstone in my life capable of ameliorating the pain I was experiencing as a patriot,” she said. “I was struck by deep pains of nostalgia, so each song is like a Polaroid of a different place in time.”

Greta Gaines new album
Country artist and marijuana advocate Greta Gaines’ new album “Tumbleweed” includes bonus track “Light it Up.” (Courtesy Big Air Records)

Opening track “Tumbleweed” flashes back a care-free childhood; “Begin Again” recounts a breakdown experienced while hiking deep in the woods; “Sweet William” channels a bygone era of Americana; “Heal Me” celebrates cannabis as lifesaving presence.

Whereas the first six songs on the album were written from a subconscious place, bonus track “Light it Up” is a cannabis anthem that is conscious and very much in the present, Gaines explained.

“I wrote it with ‘This Land is Your Land’ on my mind,” she said.

Gaines will donate all proceeds from sales of “Light it Up” to cannabis non-profits National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Patients Out of Time and Tennesseans United.

Though Nashville resident Gaines is “an activist at my core” and a member of the NORML Advisory Board, she hadn’t previously written a song overtly advocating cannabis legalization.

But the Trump administration’s stance on marijuana and the rhetoric of Attorney General Jeff Sessions inspired her to take a stand.

“This horse is out of the barn,” she said. “Across the country, Americans are using cannabis, and I wanted to write about that–this movement is happening and you can’t tell us how to light it up.”


Published at Fri, 16 Jun 2017 23:30:27 +0000