Saturday, 25 March 2017

We Have the Power to Change the ACMPR

I work with the LPs daily & I used to work with the banks daily.
Like many of you, I criticize some and support others.

I also own technology made by manufacturer's who don't care about their employees or source for materials.  We all own material goods with parts made in factories that have no clue what employment standards are.

We wish it were different, but we accept it because we like having material goods and we believe
our voice has no power.

What is really blowing my mind lately is how so many of us can't see the legal Cannabis industry in the same way.  We have no problem yelling about that.    Keep it up!

But I believe that every industry has good & bad players.  Some deserve our respect while others deserve legal action.  To cloak them all as evil is incorrect in my opinion.

We humans are adaptable, opportunistic, and eager.  Some of us learn very quickly how to make money.  You can't really be surprised that the LPs are taking advantage of the absolutely chokingly lax regulations surrounding their operation!!


I love reading your rants and I love seeing your passions in print, on protest signs, in tweets, on forums.   Keep it up!!

But put pen to paper PLEASE and yell at your Members of Parliament!

They think the status quo is working!!  They believe that Canada's legal Cananbis program is efficient and doesn't require their attention.

When they see the many ways that this entire program is inefficient, unsustainable, and NOT about health, they'll pay more attention!

But right now, our members of Parliament think mail-order medicine is working.  They'll never know any different if we don't tell them.

Please write your MP & MPP and tell them how you feel about our legal Cannabis program.
Any contact is engagement, but remember ... hand-written is always better.


Canadian Member of Federal Parliament contact info.
Canadian Member of Provincial Parliament contact info.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Coconut Cannabis Alchemy~Apartment Style

**** the oil from this process was fairly weak.  If you have been ingesting Cannabis or oil made with it for a while, you may want to increase the amount of product used.  If you are a brand new user or are planning on feeding this to your pet, this recipe is a safe place to start.

Infusing Cannabis into a fat is a surprisingly straight forward process.  It involves two distinct steps that rely on strict heat control and timing.  There are a bazillion different methods and for small batches I've come up with this one.  Mainly, you need to set aside about 4 hours of your time and voila ... you just made your own medicine.

Cannabinoids bind to any fat, I prefer coconut oil.  I made some oil a few nights ago in my small apartment.  It yielded me about half a cup of medicine that I take sublingually (under the tongue).

I used:

2 grams Cannabis buds
1.5 grams Cannabis trim
1/2 cup Coconut oil

You will also need:

Heat-safe gloves/mits
A double boiler
medium sized mason jar
ceramic dish with lid
thermometer that goes over 200F
cheese cloth

The first process is called "decarboxylating" or "activating" your Cannabis:

To put it simply, in their natural form many of the medicinal cannabinoids in Cannabis are like jigsaw puzzle pieces that don't fit into our body's receptors.  Everything from sea sponges to humans have an endocannabinoid system~ a naturally-occurring system of receptors that accept this plant's compounds.  By burning or heating the Cannabis, you break off an excess piece of the jigsaw so now it easily fits.

For my fellow cooks, you're basically roasting here.  Pre-heat the oven to 290F.  While it heats, the Cannabis will exude an herby, almost onion-y scent.  Wrapping it in a little pouch of parchment paper definitely reduces the smell and also ensures even heating of the buds.

Break the buds apart with your fingers to cranberry sized pieces.  Many recipes tell you to grind, but there's a new train of thought suggesting that the cannabinoids leach out of the Cannabis more easily left intact than when ground into the organic material.  Halfway through the Coconut oil simmer, the buds easily mash up with pressure from a wooden spoon.

Place the parchment pouch inside a ceramic or glass baking dish with a lid (or foil in a pinch).
Roast for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, melt 1/2 cup Coconut oil in a mason jar.

Add your "activated" Cannabis.  At this point, I took the mason jar out of the
water and placed it into the ceramic dish so that if any buds fell too quickly,
they would be in that dish and easy to scoop out.

Halfway through, remove the oil from the double boiler and gently mash the
buds around to allow for effective leaching.

Simmer for 3 hours being careful that water doesn't boil dry underneath (kept
at #5 on my stove-top burner.)
Use a thermometer and ensure that the oil doesn't go above 220F.
The double boiler is a control measure as it's difficult to get the oil above 210F
or so.  At this point, the Cannabinoids need more time than heat to leach out into
the fat.

Strain when oil is cool enough to ring out with hands.
I always keep the bud in a waste-not-want-not fashion.  I usually add it to
my next batch.  It keeps for a long time in your fridge in a baggie.

And ... voila!  All you need now is a dropper/syringe measuring ml's.
Start low and go slow.  Dose on a full or partially full stomach.
Start by taking .25 ml held under the tongue and held for 30 seconds, then swallowed.
Wait 2 hours and judge how you feel.  Wait 4-6 hours before re-dosing at this point.

You can start increasing often when needed by .05 intervals until you reach the
proper dose.  This could take several days.  Go slow!  Each of us must find that
sweet spot.  If you cannot stand the taste,  gelatin caplets can be purchased online
or at any health food store.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Barb's Crunchy Canna-Yogurt Parfait

Good memories of active lives are what many a senior can boast.  But physical activity catches up to us and the wear and tear on our joints is a major draw-back to this aging thing!  We ache when we move, we ache when we don't move.  And the pills they prescribe only do so much.  When the side effects from the ineffective medication starts getting old, many people look to other ways to kill the pain.

At least that was the case with Barb and Jim, two lovebirds in their mid-70's living their golden years in their homestead out in the country.

"Well, says Jim, they put us out to pasture and we got bored y'see.  But every time we made plans to DO anythin' we'd spend more time sitting and resting than actually doing! We knew we had to find something new.  The cane helps but y'know..." shrugged Jim almost whispering in his slight Irish brogue.

Without as much as a breath Barb takes over, "Well the grandson Jimmy was the one that got us on to the Cannabis, he bugged Jim for months to take a puff off his wee little pipe but Jim didn't want anything to do with smokin' it.  And that was just as fine with me."

When they invited me over for tea, I knew I was in for a treat.  I was told that Barb had an herb garden out back so our tea would no doubt be home-grown.  Because of this, using Cannabis in Barb's kitchen felt pretty normal to her-- after all it's just another plant.

As promised Barb waited for me to arrive before she began to prepare Jim's medible.  She was a bit of a foodie so each day brought about a different creation of love, fruit, and activated cannabis.  Step by step Barb went through her process.  Jim sat at the table pretending to read the paper and sipping his decaf, peeking over the rim of his favourite old mug.  He loves the special treatment;  and Barb loves him.

Barb's Crunchy Canna-Yogurt Parfait

1/2 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt
Unpasteurized Honey
Cherries, Blueberries
Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
0.65 grams Cannabis hybrid strain 8% THC 8% CBD, decarboxylated.

Within 20 minutes to an hour, Jim begins to feel the medicinal compounds taking effect.  His stiffness and pain subsides, his worrying lessons and he finds it effortless to smile.  Now he and his bride can leave the house for a day of visiting in their community.

Decarboxylation/Activation process:

This process changes the shape of the molecules so they can be absorbed by our bodies easing our pain and ameliorating our health.

1) Carefully chop bud into course pieces with a knife
2) Wrap in parchment paper and place inside a covered pyrex dish
3) Roast in over at 275*F for 20 minutes
4) Let cool

It turns out that Barb's crunchy canna-yogurt parfait is so great that it'll take your pain away so you can throw your cane away!!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Alternative Views on the CC Dispensary Closures

I get digital rotten tomatoes thrown at me a lot some days.  But for years I bit my tongue and these days my tongue wags too fast for me to catch it between my teeth so here it goes again ...

I can't help but look at the dispensary raid situations and Cannabis Culture closures from more than one angle.  I see so many angles here.  They force me to urge you to please be careful with your activism.

The laws surrounding the sale and supply of Cannabis in Canada SHOULD be different.  However, they remain firm and pushing the envelope can leave you with hands covered in paper cuts.  These are cuts that, like criminal records, brand you forever with lifelong future-changing scars.

You have to ask yourself how much the CC closures have to do with Cannabis at all?

Many of us are disheartened by this Project G (so ridiculous I refuse to allow it the digital tag).
We see it as a break in the forward momentum that leads to us having legal storefronts.  But I don't think we should be very surprised that the law was upheld--however unjust, and that those who broke it over and over and over and over again, were arrested.  If this were a Shakespearean play, we'd all have seen the foreshadowing as time and time again JT told us the law will be upheld.


It is undeniable that CC has made law enforcement look like a joke.  And, law enforcement wasting time and tax-dollars stealing medicinal dried plant products from the market IS a joke.  Especially at times on a Sunday--is nothing sacred?

Yet, in my opinion these charges are NOT about your right to consume, buy, or grow Cannabis.

This entire thing is because of the ongoing defiance.  We have to ask ourselves, would we be so upset if the one in cuffs was your buddy on the street?  Because as far as the law is concerned, CC & buddy on the street are the same thing.  That in itself is a cry for regulation!  All the buddies on the street providing safe affordable medicine deserve to do so in a storefront NOT just the ones with deep pockets and long distance connections.

This isn't about placing blame or pressure on anyone but those making the rules or in this case,
not making the rules.  And as each day more and more baby-boomers get legal to use and possess medicinal Cannabis, they're confused to watch the news and see bags of it being taken out of storefronts by Police!

So, I will attempt to slow my tongue and present this as a loud call for action to our Parliamentary body:


Is it legal or is it not?  The plant grown in the factory is licit but the plant grown in a basement is illicit?  What does that even mean?  With proper testing, quality control can become an industry and home-grown norm that is only now being implemented by big players like Aurora.

This confusion and lack of transparency puts legal Cannabis patients at risk daily and the snail's pace we're using to finalize recreational legalization is forcing otherwise law-abiding citizens into the position to break the law just to use this plant.

I for one am a law-abiding, tax-paying Canadian and I demand Cannabis dispensing storefronts by summer !!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cannabis Chit-Chattin' on Amherst Island

After years and years as the couch activist, I'm fightin' the lock and lifting up and out and on the town.  I'm puttin' myself out there with no fears or cares.  At least none that I'll admit to myself.  In this, I'm making friends, connections, sharing knowledge, giving power and hope to others.

A few weeks ago I tweeted about getting legal in my city and a local radio station CJAI 92.1 FM liked that tweet.  So I took that as a break in the ice ... ice that I'm learning is always thinner than we think it is.  I suggested we hook up for a chit chat show about Cannabis.  From there, plans were made and here we are.  Have a listen here.

From the Ferry dock to the barn was a punishing walk as the wind chill tried its best to hold us back. The barn is the studio now, a fitting retrofit for this ultra-rural speck of dirt just off the edge of our great Lake O.  This was my first ever radio chat so I was nervous at first, no doubt about it.  But the host Eric made me feel right at home.

As it turns out, I like to talk Pot.  I have a Cannabis confirmation bias where I see its potential everywhere.  For instance, that speck of dirt called Amherst Island would make a wonderful rural area for Cannabis to be grown.  I know for a fact that there are serious organic farmers over there growing heirloom wheat like Ref Fife, who would appreciate the incredible growing power that lives within this plant and all of its many strains and sub-species.

As Eric explained, I'm in a position now to see many sides to this situation.  I'm a legal medical Cannabis user who manages my depression with Cannabinoids alone.  I buy my medicine through the mail now.  But I also work in the industry helping other patients get legal to possess and use this new and exciting medicine.  For years I've been telling anyone who will listen about Cannabis.  It's a bit of an inside joke that people now come to me to hear it, rather than me just bombarding them with info they didn't necessarily ask for :-)

The clinic I work for has many locations and each one is here to help you learn.  Canadian Cannabis Clinics evolves with the laws and the regulations so we're able to keep you informed at all times. Every day I get emotional listening to success stories and every day I'm told to do what's in the best interest of the patient.  Working inside that sentiment every single day feeds my desire to scream it from the roof tops even more!

And, of course it wouldn't have been a radio show without some awesome music.  Here are five of my faves from the requests we received.  Some I hadn't even heard before:

"Hits from the Bong"-Cypress Hill

"I got stoned and I missed it" -Dr. Hook

"Smoke Two Joints"-Sublime

"Roll Another Joint"-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

"Legalize Marijuana"-Peter Tosh

I'm hoping to hit the show with more Canna-chat news and info in the spring.  See you then!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Top Five Reasons Why Legal Patients Buy Street Cannabis

***this blogpost was published here thanks to Cannabis Life Network.

The macro view of the supply chain of legal Cannabis in Canada looks effective enough.  When you zero in however, you see the many problems.  I'm sure to many on the outside, with the 35+ licensed producers growing pot like eager beavers, the "black market" should dissipate in no time.  The supply will always and only follow the demand though.  The "black market" will disappear when there are no more customers left without better access or price.  As things stand today, many patients would rather buy street Cannabis than buy from a legal licensed producer.

So, let's look at why a legal medicinal Cannabis patient would buy "street" Cannabis?

#5)  Quality/ Safety Concerns

At the moment, pesticides are on the minds of many a legal Cannabis patient.  To many, this means they all must use them, and if this is the protection Government regulation provides, then who needs it?

To others, the damage to the aroma-therapeutic terpenes that gamma-radiation leaves is clearly evident in the effects felt.  I'm still waiting for the evidence that ingesting killed microorganisms is healthy either!

I'll be honest, a lot of patients have no confidence in growing a plant inside a factory.  There are a lot of us who believe that the Sun cannot be replaced by a light bulb.  There are many who believe that the plant truly thrives outdoors in the presence of millions of minute microorganisms, buried deep down in the ground.  Super-sterile may never be the best way.  Nature is balance after all.

#4)  Choice/ Availability/Touchability

Most patients are locked into buying from one producer at a time, so when they have shortages, the patient suffers, literally.  The alternative is to switch producers, but this is about a two week process. Many of us require THC and THC only at night to ease us into restful sleep.  If you can't buy this from your producer, what will you do?  You'll go to the other supply chain you know of.  If you had a storefront that dispensed Cannabis 24 hours a day like we have for pharmaceuticals, you'd likely go there.

It's also difficult to break out of old habits like seeing and smelling your bud before you buy it. Online photos look pristine but by the time your buds have jostled around a truck for a day, they may look a little rough.  It only takes one rough delivery that cannot be returned to sour even the most law-abiding patient.

#3)  Delivery Failure

Delivery personnel country wide have mixed up the meaning of the word "delivered".  Leaving the slip in your mail box is far from a job well done, especially if you've neglected to buzz up to us!  This happened to me this morning as a matter of fact.  No one buzzed my number.  Luckily I actually ordered properly this month and had some left over, or I too may have had to break bad and call buddy for a quick interim supply!

#2)  Credit vs. Cash

When your medicine is as expensive as Cannabis is, it's truly choking to know that it's going to cost you to pay for it.  Whether it's the cheap $1.50 e-transfer fee, or the interest on your credit card, it's still more than you'd pay if you were able to pay cash.  Buddy takes cash.  Even the fact that we have to pay for someone to deliver it is infuriating when your contact on the street would likely deliver for free or even just meet you for coffee-talk.

#1)  Free Credit

For a very long time now, the people selling us our Cannabis gave us interest-free credit on a regular basis.  I've known people who "front" a few grams now and then and I've had friends who "front" ounces weekly only to square up on pay day and start the process over.  I've fronted many times in years gone by and my gratitude to those people is immense.  The LPs won't "front" you.  Loaning a few grams till tomorrow is not something their stockholders would allow.

Of course in Canada, we await recreational legalization and so the macro view once again sees that allegedly seedy black market disappear quickly.  But it will go no where unless the need disappears, and the need will never disappear if we're made to buy mail-order and factory-grown.  We are green-thumbed Canadians!  Stubborn too.  After all, it wasn't compliance that got us this far was it?

Please join my "Letters for Storefronts" initiative whereby we're sending hand-written letters to our members of parliament demanding storefronts and an inclusive supply chain.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Stop Visually Profiling Your Cannabis!

***this post was published here on MonroeBlvd. com

To trim or not to trim;  that is the question.

And if you trim, how close do you trim?  Do you leave a little leaf like a fringe on a skirt?
Or do you trim only for the full bud experience?  My friend's hubby has no use for trimming.  He's a 'trim before ya grind kinda guy' and I say, why not?  No need for mix!


Cannabis users all over the world have been judging their ganga by looks for years.  I've even heard some people tell me they can decipher the strain just by looks.  I giggle to myself each and every time I hear that.  Truth is, a good trimmer can take four buds from the same plant and trim them so differently, you'd swear they were different strains.

As it stands today, there are likely 1000's of different strains of Cannabis and more being bred as I type.  And of course there are similarities.  I mean, they don't call it purple for no good reason.  The problem however, is that we do indeed ingest with our eyes first.

The culinary industry uses this fact every single day.  Presentation is everything!  Chefs believe very strongly that when you make a judgement on a dish based on looks, it definitely affects how you will perceive the taste.  The same thing is happening with our Cannabis.  Magazines and books only show the cream of the crop and we have new users believing that anything less than sparkly white coated nugs is inferior.  This could not be further from the truth.  I've ingested some pretty shabby lookin' buds and made friends with them quickly.  Looks mean nothing and the idea that you can visually profile a strain before you even touch, taste, or smell it is a fallacy in my opinion.

Much of our legal Cannabis is getting visually profiled.  Patients open up the bottle--a new experience for many who are used to the z!ploc entry method--and immediately make a judgement. Those poor little buds have had a long trip!  Let them freshen' up a bit!  They were jostling around in their plastic jars for hours trying to get to you, the least you can do is try them!  But no, some judge by looks and deem them of lesser value.  Even after ingesting, those bad looks remain in their memory effecting their opinion of the strain and the hand that grew it.

The term "hand-trimmed" is a seal of quality not all offer anymore.  I've had buds that were each carefully manicured by a human, and I've had buds that looked like hard green moon rocks.  Hand-trimmed vs. machine-trimmed.  The truth comes out in the grind every time.  We have to remember that these are flowers and flowers differ vastly sometimes.  If you open your order of Cannabis and don't recognize the flower inside, don't panic!  It may never look like the one in the magazine but that is no reason to shun it.  Grind it, vape it, smoke it!  Experience your receptors' reaction to it.  Feel the aroma-therapeutic action of the terpenes opening you up and motivating your thoughts.  You may find that the ugliest duckling fits your system best.  And you'll never know, unless you try.

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy