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December 16 2010

LA Confidential

 LA Confidential cannabis strainOf all the great strains I smoked in California, LA Confidential was not the best, although it was right up there, however, to me, it's often about timing (how long since harvest) and some times it's about the finish (flushing out the hydro) and always it's about the attention to detail. Have you ever noticed buds where all the trichomes are gone and there's hardly any pollen left, or just a butcher trim job? Then you know what I mean by the attention to detail. One grow-pro I met from the Bay area told me that his coveted Kush buds were manicured not twice but 3 times - now that's attention to detail.

The LA Confidential I bought didn't look quite like the sample in this photo (sadly), mine was from a weed home-delivery dude who was referred by a friend from Hollywood. So here's how it went down; this funny, scrawny little character (almost bald but with a thin little pony tail) arrives in a beat-up Japanese car, at my friends house in Beverly Hills, I waited at the gate and jumped in his car when he arrived, to avoid bringing him on the estate but also since I was going jogging anyway, and love running on Mulholland Drive but not crazy for the steep uphill incline getting there. Anyway, my delivery dude pulls over at the top and proudly hands me, what he calls, a grab bag - which was kind of cool, since it was strains I wouldn't normally have bought from the dispensary; such as AK47 (which was the best of the grab bag), Green Crack, a couple other strains and LA Confidential. The grab bag was 8 grams, an extra gram free since I was a friend of his friend, and a new potential customer (yeah, yeah, etc... So the next thing that happens, as we're smoking a sample (so I can get tuned for my run), he asks me if my friend with the mansion would like to rent it out, to shoot a porn movie around his pool - I start laughing and ask him why someone with a multi-million dollar mansion would need to rent it for shooting porn movies? he laughs back, and tells me it happens all the time. Next thing you know, he pulls out a bunch of DVD's from under the seat and tells me it just so happens that he's a porn producer, also a leading man in his own productions - Damn! how about that, delivering weed is just his side-job, and sure enough there's his smiling funny-face, grinning from the covers of his own DVD's while he's mounting some buxom wanna-be porn star, poolside at somebody's luxury California crib. I congratulate him for his entrepreneurial zeal, stash my grab-bag, kindly refuse the DVD, since I had no room in my running shorts (and didn't want to insult the dude), then hit the trail. I laughed for 5 miles as I ran, and was never sure how good the sample was, because I couldn't stop thinking about how crazy it is, to live in LA.

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December 11 2010

Best Hash Bar in LA

Scoring lousy Arizona ditch weed from the Mexican escort promoters (hooker hawkers), working the crowds on Las Vegas Boulevard, with their girly photo handouts, took me about an hour, and I'm not sure it was worth the hassle but I'd just picked up a SUV/Crossover with satellite radio and GPS from a rental car company at the airport and was looking forwards to driving into the sunset on my way to California. Side-note: always make sure you have a GPS when driving in Los Angeles (unless you really know the city). The dirt weed was so mild and sad, after the massive quantities of BC Bud I'd been enjoying for the prior couple of months, and the desert temperatures so ferocious, that I was forced to grab a cold six-pack to help me make through the night. I drove straight to the sea.

paradise_cove.jpgThe Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH as it's known, is about the only safe place I know-of where a person can sleep in a car in Southern California, but also I had a lunch meeting scheduled for a swank seaside restaurant called Geoffrey's, so it just made sense to drive directly to Malibu, then pass-out in the back of the SUV, since I'd been awake for about 36 hours at that point. It was nice to awake to the smell and the sounds of the beach, so I drove until I found Paradise Cove (see photo) and went for a big run along the shore, under the houses of the rich and famous, then had a nice shower and got cleaned up for my first big meeting. The scene was right out of a movie but I'd cased the place that morning and was completely prepared, so the luncheon went down like it was rehearsed. I left Malibu with an invite to come back to what turned out to be the coolest poker room I'd ever seen (up until that day), feeling confident, based on the extensive conversation, that funding for Reefer Poker was imminent.

The drive from Malibu to LA is one my favorites and one that I was to make a few dozen times, in both directions, in no less than a dozen different cars. My trick for getting great cars on the cheap, is to use Priceline and bid on full-size cars by the week, for pick-up at the airport late in the evenings, when you know most of the business users are dropping cars off to fly back east, then upgrade to better rides. Same for cheap hotel rooms, you can nab 4 star rooms for $60 per night at LAX if you know when to bid on them, same with rooms in downtown, it's all a matter of knowing how many nights, what to bid and for what nights. Forget about Hollywood or Beverly Hills using Priceline, beside with a nice new Camaro, Challenger, Mustang, or Corvette who cares about the extra drive time, as long as you land a good deal on a 4 star room and a great car for $25 per day. So I'd use hotel rooms a couple nights per week, hang-out all night at poker home-games a couple nights per week, then drive back to Vegas for the $50/night Vegas Hilton (or similar), stay there a few nights, lurking the poker rooms and meeting with people at the Bellagio, then drive back to LA at attend more poker home-games in Beverly Hills, Malibu and other cool cribs.

medical-kush-beach-club.jpgVenice Beach is was my next stop after Malibu, on my first day in California, straight to Dr. Kush, the examination and medical marijuana licensing process took about 30 minutes and cost about $125, or the equivalent of a good quarter oz. of bud, however the benefits of Kush Beach Club membership, as they say on MasterCard, was priceless. The dispensary is on the second floor and looks directly on to muscle beach, where on any given day there's a small platoon of ripped, buffed, and/or swollen body builders, pumping away on the iron, under the hot California sun, right on the edge of the sand. We can see them but they can't see us through the one-way glass, which is good because they'd be as disgusted in what we were doing, as we were disgusted in what they were doing - at least our abuse is of an herb and not a chemical, and in all fairness, some of the dudes using the weights on muscle-beach were not exaggerated from anything other than discipline and hard work but others were almost comic.


The big space is split in half, with the dispensary on one side and the hash bar on the other. I'd always score my stash first before hitting the best hash bar in LA. There was almost always a short line-up, which provides enough time to make your selection from the substantial menu displayed on a huge flat-screen monitor, the strains, quantity and price are listed in columns, and categories added to make choosing your gear a little easier. Every strain has an associated number and many people just ask for the strain by the number, often people ask to see several varietals and inspect each with a sniff test before they make their decision. I realized that the cute girls working behind the bullet-proof glass knew more about what was what than anyone else, so I'd just ask; "what's the freshest, most popular Indica hybrid that people are raving about?" which was how I stumbled upon the deadly Kushinator. On a couple of occasions I met and got to talking to other customers while waiting in line, and then get together later over a bowl in the hash bar. The entire experience of buying weed (with my credit card) in a professional, regulated, and secure environment, was extremely righteous for me, and I found the atmosphere to be really relaxed and peaceful.

The hash bar is through a partition of the big space, the scene is very hip once you cross through the door into the hash bar, both rooms have comfy couches by the window, overlooking muscle beach, but what sets this experience apart is that immediately you notice they you're in a bar, the actual bar of which is made of laminated wood like an old long-board surf board the runs the entire length of the room and wraps around at the end by the window to form a really nice lounge area. In this area, at the end of the bar, there are soft, low, leather couches against the glass looking out on the beach. The décor is simple rock 'n roll style, the music is usually not over-bearing but it's the vibe of the place that's hip.

I'll never forget my first time getting high at the Has Bar, as I was all alone at first (which never happened again) with this cute Asian girl as my bud-tender, she asked me if I wanted an "ice-coil" and of course I said yes, since I didn't know what she was talking about, then I realized I only recognized a couple of things on the flat-screen monitor (menu) Kief and Alaska Thunder-fuck, under that was "Dragon" for $8, so that was my choice to smoke through an ice-coil, whatever that was. Next the bud-tender sets-up an immaculately cleaned bong base of clear glass, with clean water, then she brings the ice-coil from the freezer and stacks it on the bong base and begins to assemble the glass stem with spotless bowl, loaded-up with my choice of gear. Once the bong is assembled and I've finished inspecting the product, she asks me if I'm ready, I give her the nod, she pulls-out a butane torch and begins heating a glass rod until it's pink, then gives me the nod, so I settle-in over the bong mouth-piece, and as soon as the red-hot rod hits the bud pollen, I begin to slowly inhale. I can see the smoke curling around the glass coils and then wham - Houston we have lift-off, as I suck the Dragon into my lungs.

The leather couches are necessary when smoking from an ice-coil because after of each of the 3 mega bong-hits, I'd fall back into the plush leather and try to hold-on to the smoke without coughing. If you cough once, you're doomed on each subsequent bong-hit but the other benefit is to just lay there listening to the music and staring out past the muscle-heads at the blazing hot beach. After the third and final hit I'd linger awhile in the lounge until I'd groove on, then adorn the shades and walk out onto the busy boardwalk of Venice Beach and off to face the rest of my day, with a giant buzz on.

Not that I needed to use the on-board GPS to get back to Venice Beach but since it was the first place I programmed in to the computer, in the first car I rented and every car after that, I found myself pushing that destination on the GPS a couple of times per week, from different places in the LA basin, even if there were dozens of other dispensaries that I'd be driving by to get there. Also, I shout-out has to go to my friends at WeedMaps.com for providing an outstanding service, that save my sanity in parts of Northern California when I started running low. And another side note - during the license application process the good Doctor asked me if I ever suffer from anxiety - I answered: only when I run out of weed. No wonder I love California....

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The 2010 Emerald Cup

emerald_cup.jpgIf there was one place I'd rather be than Brazil this weekend, it'd be in Mendocino County, California for the 7th Annual - Medical Marijuana Emerald Cup because what makes this particular growers contest special, aside from where it is (ie. The birthplace of modern day cannabis cultivation), is that it the world's only "Outdoor Organic", Medical Marijuana Cannabis Cup. Btw: side note: I'll plainly state what I'm sure many others are thinking - can't we please drop the "medical" term from our lexicon when it pertains to growing, as the majority of us, even licensed smokers, love great weed for recreational purposes and the Emerald Triangle because of that reason. Yes, I understand the political correctness, but hey, just saying it....

As I post this the party is well under-way. So if you're reading this and anywhere within driving distance, have a car and little spare dough, then roll-up and roll-out - here's the details:

7TH Annual 2010 - Medical Marijuana Emerald Cup

It's Going to be BIGGER and BETTER than EVER......

Portion of proceeds to benefit Mendocino County Aids/Viral Hepatitis Network (MCAVHN).
Emceed by MC Marv (By The Way).
This is an Alcohol-free Event!

FRIDAY MOUNTAIN PARTY:
WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 2010
Gates Open At 2 pm • Music Starts At 4:20
Music Goes til 11pm

WHERE: Area 101
54895 N. Highway 101
Laytonville, CA 95454

2010 Mountain Party, part of the 2010 Emerald Cup Awards: Lukas Nelson for ONLY $20!!
Get ready for some affordable down home Emerald Triangle Entertainment this Friday Night at Area 101 in Laytonville, as Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real along with the Reflectables, and the Dirt Floor Band perform for this years 2010 7th Annuaal Emerald Cup "Mountain Party" In the tent we're going to have DJ's Goz, Chill'Alien & Moon Juice dropping the beats.

The Entertainment won't stop here, there is also free food with admission served up in a "family style" meal, there will also be a screening of the New Emerald Triangle Filmed movie - "Cash Crop".

The gates open at 2:00 with music starting a...t 4:20, there will an awesome home cooked family meal served at 6:00, this is the event of December, you won't want to miss, the Mountain Party will be followed up on Saturday with the Beginning of "The Emerald Cup", the world's ONLY, OUTDOOR, ORGANIC, Medical Cannabis Cup!

SATURDAY THE EMERALD CUP AWARDS AND EVENT:
WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 2010
Gates Open At 2 pm • Music Starts At 4:20
Music Goes All Night

INFORMATION: (707) 843-0375
FAX: (888) 386-5051
WEBSITE: www.area101.org
http://www.theemeraldcup.com
TICKETS: $80 ON SALE NOW!
VISIT THE WEBSITE TO BUY ONLINE! or $100 at the door

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January 24 2010

OG Kush

og_kush.jpgOG Kush is a super-potent variety of medical-grade, Indica dominant Cannabis with very distinct lemony citrus, pine-sol aroma. The look of OG Kush is remarkable, it's lime green and covered in white trichomes but the main reason it's so popular in medical marijuana dispensaries is the long-lasting, heavy-hitting sativa buzz effect which is both a soaring cerebral high and physically stimulating.

Whenever I think of OG Kush I think of Los Angeles, since that's where I first tasted this legendary cannabis strain and the only place I've ever seen this great bud. Amongst the details that make this strain so interesting is that OG Kush is mostly a Cannabis Sativa hybrid, so really doesn't even deserve having Kush in it's name, although it's probably bred into it's genetic heritage. Added to that, OG Kush is a 1st generation offspring of a self-pollinated hermaphrodite and is only privately available in clone form and not in seed.

OG Kush clone-only cultivar is rumored to have been grown from a cutting of 91 Chemdog, which means that unless you live in Southern California it may be very difficult to get your hands on this strain. However, if you are lucky enough to locate some clones for your grow-op these plants are reputed to yield a great crop and for medical marijuana patients living in the greater Los Angeles area, they can score this wonderful medicine for an average of $75 USD for an 1/8 of an ounce.

January 05 2010

Medical Marijuana Bootcamp

medical-marijuana-bootcamp.pngAs if Weedmaps and Nugporn wasn't enough, on the first day of this new year those clever (and crazy) folks from the Marijuana News Network launched another new website: Medical Marijuana Bootcamp.

Tang the creator of WeedMaps.com (medical marijuana dispensary finder website) is the brainchild of this new killer project. As (one) of the owners of WeedMaps, he's in a unique position to speak about the medical marijuana business in general, especially in California, because the site is a meeting place for both patients and collectives and Tang is on first-name basis with many of them, plus has an understanding of the cannabis strains that they purvey, which goes way beyond expert.

To not be outdone on the intake and creative output of Tang, a seasoned nug expert was needed, so the dev team recruited the expertise of Chubbs, the founder and connoisseur/weed critic extraordinaire of MarijuanaReviews.com as well as NUGGETRY SD, the premier cannabis collective located in east San Diego. Chubbs has been actively involved in the marijuana movement since 1989, when he started to;experiment with hydroponics. He started the NUGGETRY delivery service based out of Orange County, CA in June of 2009 and became an overnight success.

What's cool about Medical Marijuana Bootcamp is that unlike their earlier projects the primary form of media is video via YouTube and it's light-hearted but serious content about the medicinal cannabis strains and the cannabis collectives of California. These videos are not just a couple of stoners quaffing back huge bong hits, although they do, and then mumbling the first random thoughts to the top of their minds, this content is coherent and interesting. The episodes are fairly improv, so their not scripted, they do have meaning and you will gain value in watching. I'm very impressed with this effort and give the Tang and Chubbs to enthusiastic bongs up!

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