When the DEA announced the commencement of “Operation Shattered” on July 22, 2014, the enforcement agency had eight people on its list to indict. The names on the list were cited for manufacturing a controlled substance out of their homes using open-blasting techniques to create butane hash oil (BHO).
Citing recent explosions from hash oil making operations in Washington, representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office made it clear they were going to go after those they found breaking the law:
“Manufacturing hash oil is illegal and poses a significant risk to families, neighbors, and the general public,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan announced in a statement released from the Department of Justice.
At 4:00 AM yesterday, the feds widened that net when King County Law Enforcement officers raided the home of Debbie Brechler and Josh Mauk, the owners of Home Blown Concentrates. While the company may be situated in the couples residence, the pair uses a closed loop system and does all of their blasting in an outdoor setting. These conditions should seemingly satisfy the requirements for safely manufacturing BHO.
But Washington law appears clear: “Home-based manufacturing of THC remains illegal under state law, even with the passage of Initiative 502,” according to Mark Lindquist, Pierce County Prosecutor, in the same DOJ release.
The charges brought against Brechler and Mauk include reckless endangerment. According to the warrant served, arrests were also made on suspicion of manufacturing of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm. While they acknowledge their child was in the home, the owners maintain their operations were conducted safely outside and in no way endangered their child.
There has been an immediate response on social media in support of Home Blown Concentrates. Some in the Washington Cannabis Community are calling for solidarity. Jonah Takoma, owner and founder of Dabstars commented on Home Blown’s Facebook page:
“Home Blown Concentrates founders Josh Mauk and Debbie Brechler were arrested by federal authorities today as part of what the DEA is calling ‘Operation Shattered,’ targeting extractors open looping out of their residencies and are actively pursuing our friends and family members in the community. In order for the hash making movement to survive in Washington we all have to adapt and evolve to safer standards and help each other stay out of the cross hairs, even if that means sharing space/equipment and resources.”
However, not everyone in the industry believes these raids to be off the mark. John Davis, for example, a dispensary owner and one of the organizers of Hempfest said, “Where people are acting completely outside the law and foolishly and dangerously, and endangering their communities, absolutely I think that enforcement has a role.”
Daniel de Sailles, owner of Top Shelf Extracts in Denver, Colorado and one of the industry’s most outspoken proponents of Butane Hash Oil had this to say:
“Our community has been doing our best to police ourselves. The idiots causing these explosions are not a part of it. Every single hash oil accident that has happened anywhere happened in a closed in space, the fault of people without even the most rudimentary common sense. I think ‘discharging a can of butane in a closed in space’ should be punishable by a severe prison sentence. These last people didn’t do that and are being made a scapegoat because they picked the unfortunate name “home blown concentrates.” They were in fact ethical caregivers that consistently provided clean concentrates (verified by multiple laboratories) to their patients (all legal under Washington law). I am sad to see Washington State put caregivers who never in their lives put anyone else’s in danger with evil selfish scum bags blowing up apartment buildings and hotels. They’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
According to a news release put out by The Northwest Leaf, the couple remains in police custody. Their child, though, in the home at the time of the raid, was allowed to stay with family members.
The Northwest Leaf further warns MMJ producers and processors in Washington to follow safe practices, suggesting that all processing be done in a commercial setting, “Processing in residential homes, especially where children are present is not advised or legal. All processors need to ensure safe and best practices, for the safety of patients and the industry.”
This dispensary or co-op employee works behind the counter, listening to customers, and recommending strains to match their preferences. Good budtenders are patient, and develop a rapport with their clientele. Handling and dispensing weed doesn’t have to be done by an expert, but you do need a state license; in Colorado, budtending positions are fairly easy to come by, but getting a license is not. The state’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division application process is backlogged. Applicants are photographed, fingerprinted, and pay a $75 fee. Oh, and you have to pass a background check too.
Becoming a marijuana grower is one of the most rewarding -- and confusing -- paths one can take in the legal marijuana industry. Laws differ from state to state, and in California, from county to county and sometimes even city to city. Under California law, you’re only allowed to grow your allotted amount as a care- giver or as part of a collective. California cannabusiness consultant Liana Held suggests anyone interested in growing, “speak with a lawyer and set up a not- for-profit mutual benefit corporation. You can grow six mature, 12 immature and possess eight dried ounces for each person in your collective. Once they are supplied, you can sell the overage to a dispensary.” As far as dispensaries go, it’s a buyer’s market, and it’s likely you will walk away disappointed at the amount you were paid for your “legal” bud.
Then there’s Washington, which voted to legalize recreational marijuana. There was a brief window to submit license applications to become a producer, packager or retailer in the industry. The state received over 2600 applications, and has thus far approved only 70. There is going to be a great need for experienced cultivators as more are approved. A grower looking for work can go to the Washington State Liquor Control Board website and search public records to see the name, addresses and approval status of each company.
Since medical marijuana businesses are vertically integrated in Colorado, Ryan Cook, general manager of The Clinic, recommends growers who have obtained an occupational license to send their resumes directly to medical and retail marijuana centers to get started. canorml.org; liq.wa.gov;colorado.gov
With medical marijuana legal in 22 states and the District of Columbia, becoming a caregiver may have crossed your mind -- especially if you have a genuine interest in helping patients who can benefit from cannabis’s medicinal qualities. Though the definition varies from state to state -- and not every state allows for caregiving -- a caregiver is someone who can grow, possess and provide medical cannabis for a registered patient or patients. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a licensed caregiver, visit your state’s government homepage or go to: marijuana-caregiver.com.
5. Product Manufacturer
Among stoners, there’s no shortage of ideas -- all it takes is one good hit and the creative juices start flowing! So take that great idea for a pot product and turn it into profit. To make your dream a reality, first figure out if there’s an actual need for your product. Poll your friends, get feedback, and fine-tune your inspiration. Before you apply for a patent, you’ll need to have a finished product -- that means building and testing your invention. Then you’ll need to file an application with the US Patent Office. When it comes to retail, the HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup is a great place to start turning your idea into cash.
6. Edibles Chef/Cook
Do you love to bake? Why not apply your culinary skills to the cannabis industry? Personnel with a kitchen background are in demand; many patients and consumers prefer to eat cannabis rather than smoke it. CNN Money recently profiled Joe Hodas, Dixie Elixir’s chief market- ing officer, who said: “As demand for the product grows and stigma falls, I see the [edibles] industry as a tremendous potential creator of jobs.” Dixie Elixir is poised to expand operations into Arizona this year. In Colorado, manufacturers of edible medical-marijuana-infused products must have a food-handling certificate and complete a basic training course. Regulations vary from state to state but to work for any Colorado cannabis company, employees must also have a MMED occupational license.
One entry-level cannabis-industry position that’s in demand is as petitioner. Full- time positions aren’t numerous, but there are plenty of projects that need signatures gathered to gain ballot access for pro-pot initiatives. Whether you’re looking to get involved at the local, state or federal level, Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, says that many cannabis policy reform groups seek public participation. He recommends norml.org for legalization, votehemp.com for hemp and safeaccessnow.org for medical cannabis. With more than 150 state and local chapters, NORML is the “backbone of the cannabis law reform movement,” says St. Pierre.
Since Washington legalized recreational cannabis use, the Seattle law firm of Harris & Moure has been inundated with new clients. Harris & Moure lists its services under the Canna Law Group and specializes in cannabis-related regulatory compliance, applications, taxes and insuring businesses; it has also branched out to include trademark and copyright protection. Though other cannabis-related legal firms are rare, Allen St. Pierre says the SF law group Pier Five Law does great criminal and appellate work -- and he speaks highly of the firm of Evans & Cutler in Massachusetts. For those fresh out of law school, St. Pierre recommends branching out into cannabis law reform by joining NORML’s Legal Committee; attending NORML’s annual legal seminars; and volunteering with a NORML chapter to help challenge cannabis prohibition laws and draft reform legislation.cannalawgroup.com
If you’re reading this article and thinking, “Hey, I could’ve written this,” chances are ... you’re probably right! Websites, blogs, and news organizations are all covering the cannabis industry and its ever-changing landscape. Ricardo Baca was the Denver Post’s music and entertainment editor for 12-plus years before he was selected as the newspaper’s first marijuana editor. If you have an idea for a story or think marijuana is your beat, pitch your local news editor, or create a blog. Use your posts as a portfolio to showcase your beautiful, flower-y prose. And if you think you’ve got what it takes to write for High Times, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every cannabusiness needs a professional who can keep accurate books. From loans to private equity, cash management, payment processing and handling taxes, accountants who understand the industry will increasingly be in demand. Seminars and events tailored to marijuana financials, such as the CannaBusiness Money Show, are offered through sites like Marijuana Business Daily.mmjbusinessdaily.com/money
With more than 500 medical and retail dispensaries in Colorado, security is a major concern for cannabusiness owners -- especially when they’re dealing in cash-only sales and a prod- uct that is considered illegal by the federal government. Kyndall Cowan of Canna Security America says that because of high demand, CSA now offers armed guards and vehicles with bulletproof windows. “Getting the product from the grow to the dispensary is a huge safety concern,” she says. Dispensaries can also hire security staffed by former military or law-enforcement officials (which bodes well for veterans looking to get into cannabis-related business). Video surveillance is also required by law, and must be installed and operated in any area that contains marijuana (cashiers’ spaces, safes, parking lots, growrooms, etc.), so the time is ripe to learn how to install and maintain surveillance units.
12. IT/Computer Programmer
Know a thing or two about ones and zeros? Take your code-writing skills to cannabusiness. It’s standard operating procedure for any successful business to maintain a website with up-to-date information. Colorado’s demanding seed-to-sale laws require every step of cultivation to be tracked -- and software like MJ Freeway has helped revolutionize and streamline data. But the industry needs IT professionals to make it all work. The cannabis-specific job board WeedHire regularly lists open positions for e-commerce managers, tech bloggers and programmers, so be sure to check frequently for new posts, or set up a job alert to notify you. weedhire.com
If you know how to set up a growroom, why not help others get started? Maybe you’re really good at managing an office, or marketing a product. Whatever it is that you do like a pro, there may be a cannabis-industry consultant position for you.
RIP Joan Rivers ! You were the coolest mom ever
Celebrity Moms Who Smoke #Marijuana
wHAT IS MARIJUANA GOOD FACTS
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.
Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.
Marijuana, or cannabis, as it is more appropriately called, has been part of humanity's medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded.
Of all the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use.
Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief -- particularly of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage) -- nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that marijuana's medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors and are neuroprotective.
Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations support granting patients immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician's supervision.
IT IS A PLANT THAT GROWS FROM THE GROUND
The Cannabis Cup is an event designed to promote our fledgling industry. Our aim is to showcase the businesses and the people who are stoking the fires of cannabis commerce. The event is a moment when we can take stock of our industry – a time to look around, exchange ideas and prepare for the future battles ahead. We’ve already seen what legalization can do in Colorado, where recreational cannabis is already legal. In Denver, the Cannabis Cup has been a staggering success with 40,000-plus attending, all reveling in our newfound freedom. In the years to come, we want to see huge industry trade shows in all of our 50 states. Let’s concentrate on making Washington the marijuana powerhouse it should be. The foundation has been laid. Let’s start building the house ! This year's Cup will take place at the Comcast Arena (2000 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA 98201) on September 6 and 7.
What is a Cannabis Cup?
It's a two-day trade show/EXPO incorporating vendor booths in a main building with an extended outdoor component for additional vendor booths. Inside booths range from glassware and clothing to grow equipment and artwork. Inside also features three seminars per day either in a sectioned off area off the main floor or in a private "theater" like setting. The seminar topics include legalization regulations featuring Northwest experts, current political issues, grow seminars with HIGH TIMES editors as well as a cooking seminar from our own Cannabis Cookbook author. The outdoor component is typically a fenced off area with privacy screening that is not visible to the general public. Medicating (smoking) is allowed in this area for those 18+ with a picture ID. Visitors are wrist banded for entry. Security is posted to assure these regulations are followed. No selling or distributing of cannabis is allowed. There is Saturday night entertainment typically starting @ 8PM and lasting till @ 11PM. Either at the venue or in another venue if room does not allow. The entire event is protected by outside hired security. Every security company we're hired for these events has stated that we have the most polite and respectful attendees of any events they work (including sporting events, concerts etc.).
This event is a celebratory and informational gathering for vendors and patients.
DENVER'S CUP WITH DOPE AS YOLA !!!
Dabs, or butane hash oil (BHO), are a new type of cannabis concentrate that have become known as the most efficient way to get high.As marijuana becomes more widely available, it’s no surprise to hear that people are coming up with new ways to ingest marijuana. Besides smoking it, cannabis is now a staple ingredient in edibles, drinks, topicals and more.