Field Guide

Weekend’s Best: L.A. 420 Games, Fleur De Mal threads, Grape Jelly Donut strain

Travel author, TV show host Rick Steves relaxes at home by playing Chopin and smoking a joint, he said. | Photo courtesy of Rick Steves

GreenState caught up with travel legend Rick Steves to talk cannabis law reform this week. | Photo courtesy of Rick Steves.

Good afternoon!

I’m on a reporting trip this week to get a sense of how the other half of the state is doing. Recreational stores are open from the shores of Venice Beach to the deserts of Palm Springs. Most new customers are stoked to be able to walk in at all. It’s the dispensary regulars that carp about the new taxes and limited selection. One exasperated budtender at MedMen LAX said he doesn’t know how supplies will hold up week to week.

The edibles shelves are looking a little bare here in Los Angeles, and it’s weird to see. As we detail in a new special report on GreenState, the vast majority of California became a no-bake zone on Jan. 1. Edibles chefs need a local license to keep operating, and few cities or counties are issuing them. So the edibles brands are hitting pause, and waiting for conditions to improve. When a company finally does gets a local license to bake, they get slammed with back orders from retailers, and supplies run out again.

In the meantime, sales of vape pens are surging. There are 10 times more cannabis oil factory licenses in California than kitchen licenses. We’re becoming an oil state.

Over at the headquarters of the largest, most dynamic retail chain in California, MedMen, the executives have resigned themselves to the market turbulence. Yet they remain optimistic. They have deep pockets filled with private equity funds. They can ride it out. It’s the little guys who are crying in their infused beers.

I can see a future where there is less diversity on California’s shelves, but the brands left are higher-quality. They’re the survivors.

“It’s like what happened to the energy drink market,” a MedMen exec quips.

It’s too early to tell, though. Licensing and regulations are in flux. The future is not written. It will belong to those who dare to shape it. — David Downs

WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT

Readers’ reactions to ‘Hit This’ — our heavily curated weekly listings of the best cannabis events in each GreenState. Plus, our updated California map of licensed retailers is a thing of beauty … unless you’re in Fresno. Then you’re sad.

MONEY | POWER | FAME

Legendary four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana has become the latest major celebrity to support cannabis legalization in a recent interview with Playboy: “Legalization is picking up steam on a global level and I feel like now is the time to spread information about the curing capabilities of this plant. As with any medicine, increased accessibility comes with the need for education.”

That gives a new meaning to “super bowl.”

Travel author and legalization advocate Rick Steves was kind enough to answer GreenState’s questions about America’s journey into legalizing cannabis: “It’s exhilarating how fast it’s going, considering how regressive our government is on it and digging in.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is breaking character by supporting a bill to legalize industrial hemp farming. “We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become sometime in the future what tobacco was in Kentucky’s past,” said McConnell. Via AP.

FASHION | ART | DESIGN

Luxe lingerie and chic ready-to-wear brand Fleur De Mal has a classy new print sweatshirt for your languorous Sundays. Via our style expert Elise McRoberts.

Professional marijuana packaging has become so wasteful that it could rival the crisis of unrecycled plastic water bottles and shopping bags. Via the Rooster.

VIRAL

Brewer Blue Moon will get into the cannabis drink game in Colorado this fall with a beverage dosed to mimic the effects of standard beer. Via USA Today.

WELLNESS | HEALTH

A preclinical study published in the medical journal Neuropsychopharmacology finds that using CBD can effectively reduce addiction relapse provoked by stress and drug cues. Via Science Daily.

PICKS OF THE WEEK

STRAIN: North Country Pharms Grape Jelly Donut is a lip-smacking indica-heavy hybrid crossing Birthday Cake OG with Grape Sherbet, and is available at the Northstar Holistic Collective in Sacramento  . . .  EDIBLE: The Las Vegas-based Glacé Edibles provides luxurious bonbons and gold bars infused with high quality cannabis  . . .  HARDWARE: Extract fans are going to retire their water-filtered hash pipes in favor Puffco’s new ‘smart dab rig,’ the Peak.

FOOD | TRAVEL

GreenState’s resident cooking expert Laurie Wolf provides a delicious recipe for an infused chocolate birthday cake with pistachio-flavored frosting.

NEWS

GreenState’s Elise McDonough explains how California has become a no-bake zone for edibles makers since Jan. 1. The vast majority of local cities and counties are not permitting the once-common business type. So bakers have to move or close.  “We spent many years waiting for adult use to come into reality, thinking it would be great, but it’s made it really hard for us to stay in business,” says Auntie Dolores Edibles founder Julianna Carella.

Berkeley’s Amoeba Records is set to pair music and cannabis with the opening of its next-door dispensary, Hi-Fidelity. The grand opening is scheduled for the week before 4/20. Via ABC 7.

HIGHLY DUBIOUS

A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine finds that more than 45 percent of employees in the legal cannabis industry get stoned at some point throughout the work day. Via Denver Westword.

READ THIS

GreenState’s guest columnist and comedian Ngaio Bealum explains to readers why dispensary lines are so long these days: “At least you have a dispensary in your town. Vast swaths of the state are legal cannabis retail deserts.”

Never gardened with cannabis? No judgment. Neither has Sunset Magazine’s former Garden Editor Johanna Silver, who takes you along on her horticultural journey.

WATCH | PLAY | LISTEN

Director Steven Spielberg’s latest film “Ready Player One” is pure pop culture fan service for anyone who enjoys movies and video games … HBO’s pot delivery comedy High Maintenance features an original soundtrack that skews away from typical stoner anthems … Baseball is back, and so is Sony Interactive’s solid video game interpretation, MLB The Show 18, available exclusively on PlayStation 4.

FOLLOW

@thirdeyesmokeshop — American functional glass art based in New York.

@budsandroses — High end cannabis boutique located in LA’s Studio City.

@cannaflowoc — Premier cannabis yoga classes held in Orange County.

Best wishes for a relaxing, rewarding weekend, dd + oscar pascual