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May 14 2010

Epic Daze Cannabis Cup

epic_daze.jpgThe first annual HIGH TIMES MEDICAL CANNABIS CUP in San Francisco will include prizes for the best and most medicinal cannabis, hashish and edibles from California's legal medical marijuana dispensaries. Lead by HIGH TIMES cultivation reporter Jorge Cervantes, a small panel of expert judges will award MEDICAL CANNABIS CUPS based on the medical efficacy of the submitted varieties, and will provide notes on the winners designed to help California's estimated 150,000 legal medical marijuana patients make well-informed decisions when seeking cannabis medicine.

HIGH TIMES first annual MEDICAL CANNABIS CUP will also feature a two-day medical marijuana and hemp expo that will include cultivation seminars with HIGH TIMES editors Jorge Cervantes, Danny Danko and Nico Escondido, activism sessions with leaders of the medical marijuana movement and major cannabis celebrities, seminars on how to open and operate your own legal canna-business, an all-star MEDICAL CANNABIS CUP awards ceremony, and an unforgettable Saturday night party with surprise musical guests.

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April 09 2010

Humboldt County, California

Humboldt_County_ca_seal.jpgHumboldt County along with Mendocino and Trinity Counties make up the "Emerald Triangle" famous for the cultivation of awesome weed. In an article by David Samuels of The New Yorker called "Dr. Kush ~ How medical marijuana is transforming the pot industry," he described Humboldt County as:

"the heartland of high-grade marijuana farming in California".

A 2009 report estimates that $35.8 billion of pot was grown in the United States in 2006, with California being the top producing state. The same report said California produced $13.6 billion in marijuana in 2006. It has been estimated that 30,000 residents in Humboldt County are involved in some aspect of the marijuana industry. Prohibition has been the key financial factor in the success of cannabis cultivation in the Emerald triangle, due to more lenient law enforcement and a symbiotic relationship between the citizen/growers and the governing establishment. For decades this was the best place in America for marijuana growers to learn and practice their vocation, this is where the great hybrid cannabis strains were first born and bred, and this knowledge has transferred to all corners of the earth.

In a post financial crisis economy where jobs and good opportunities are increasingly difficult to find, it makes perfect sense that cannabis cultivation will become a growth industry in California. Once it becomes legal there could be an explosion of grass growers all over the state of California. Consider this year's opening of iGrow in Oakland the 15,000-square-foot Costco of grow stores; it has everything you could possibly need for medical marijuana cultivation under one roof, even things you did not know you needed, like bat fertilizer. Members of the "Grow Squad" are there to help and the only membership card required is a pot card which is easier to get than a library card.


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Now the local growers and community leaders are nervous about the prospects of legal marijuana as they're already experiencing declining prices and a more competitive marketplace due to the increase in hydroponic grow operations throughout California and even Colleges like Oasterdam in Oakland teaching classes of enterprising students how to set-up and manage grow-operations. The reality is sinking in that Humboldt County will one day lose it's unique advantage. A new community action group called "What's after Pot?" was formed in Humboldt County and meetings have been held to discuss ideas and plan for the future.

The concept of creating a "Napa Valley" like scenario within Humboldt County has been one suggestions put forward and certainly once marijuana has been decriminalized in California it makes perfect sense to promote Cannabis Tourism but it's hard to imagine that this alone would replace the dollars from growing an selling illicit weed. However, the idea of going on a Emerald Triangle Tasting Tour definitely sounds appealing but after the first farm it would be more enticing to hang-out and kick-back, or go hiking in the Redwoods than driving to the next bud boutique. Maybe a cannabis hall of fame would generate revenue? Or specialized medicinal marijuana health spas would help but again look at the tiny profit ratios compared to growing pot plants. I'd say the growers of Humboldt are faced with a really challenging problem; where to grow from here?

It may be necessary for the Emerald Triangle cannabis growers to form an association (if they haven't already) and hire savvy marketing firms to trademark and develop their brands. They may need to get more scientific about their farming and cultivation techniques in an effort to discover genetic breakthroughs. Adopt methods to take advantage of the trend towards organic and build a stronger reputation for outdoor grown exotic weed, plus espouse the benefits of their geographical location, the soil and unique methods of plant propagation. If it hasn't been done already a growers co-op may need to be formed to negotiate wholesale deals with the leading cannabis dispensaries. These pioneer growers are going to need to work together to overcome the adversity of a new economic paradigm, where anyone can legally grow weed. The great growers of Humboldt are going to need to out-grow the competition.

March 30 2010

Afghani Bullrider

afghani_bullrider.jpgNow here's a weed if there ever was one that surpasses it's mystique and lives up to it's legend. What I love most about this cannabis strain is that it's more often than not grown outdoor because of it's reputation as a hearty breed, fond of the long California summers. In more recent times, with the world gone mad for whole foods and paranoid of chemicals, rightfully so, this durable strain is often grown organically. When primo Afghani Bullrider buds find there way to your grinder be grateful and give thanks to the Cannabis Gods, for you have in your hands one of the most exotic weed strains on earth.

The Bullrider Legend: In the same issue of High Times Magazine as Toker Poker there was a story called "The Bull Rider's Journey" in which the author Jef Tek tells the myth of an African-American dude who was a professional Bull Rider that was passionate about growing weed. As the story goes, this Bullrider traveled allot and knew at least one serious grower from overseas who bestowed the seeds upon him, after which he arrived in California and grew the plant to full-strength and cured it, then the bull-rider and some friends smoked some of the bud, after which one of the friends remarked that he felt like he'd just been riding a bull - bam!

The Afghani Bullrider name stuck and ever since the late '80's the strain found it's way all over California in clone form. At one point someone even created Hats and T-shirts to commemorate the great strain. Growers as far away as Oregon and Vancouver managed to get their hands on either the seeds or the clones as the Afghani Bullrider strain made it's way far and wide. However, it's Southern California where the climate provides an endless budding season, all you need to do is place a clone outside and it will begin to produce buds. As with most indica-dominant strains the Afghani Bullrider will reach maturity within 8 weeks or less and deliver an impressive harvest.

Western Slope Cannabis Crown

cannabis_crown.jpgIf Hunter S. Thompson were still alive he'd have been the "Master of Ceremony" and I'll wager that if he hadn't of thought of the idea he would have thought it was an outstanding concept but none-the-less, the smart folks from "High Country Caregivers" probably got really high one day and dream't up this clever idea. I mean really, is there a better place in continental USA to host such an event? How high do you want to get?

Already the Western Slope Cannabis Crown, held April 17-18, will include as many as 400 strains of weed, live music, guest speakers, and information about medical marijuana. The event is open to the public, but only registered medical users can buy weed or get their hands on "golden tickets" to let them sample all the entries.

"We're really almost sold out already," said Joe McVicker of High Country Caregivers, a Glenwood Springs dispensary helping organize the event. "There were, like, 1,500 tickets and we probably have, like, 40 now."

Luckily, for those of us too stoned and lazy to go all the way to Glenwood Springs for a $25 ticket, McVicker said there's another 80 or so on Craigslist. Oh, and some place in Denver called Green Thumb has them, too, but he wasn't sure where it is. (No joke.)

"We're going to have Hunter S. Thompson's wife here for a chat, and the editor of High Times will be here, too," McVicker said. "We're gonna help people get [medical marijuana] cards, and it's just going to be a good time."

Cannabis strains will be judged based on THC levels and how well they treat different medical problems. Golden ticket holders will help choose a people's choice, but expert judges will select the winner, and McVicker thinks the grower will win a trip to Amsterdam. For more information, you could visit the website, but it's, you know, still in the works. For more information visit www.cannabiscrown.com.

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February 11 2010

Afghani Bullrider

afghani_bullrider.jpgNow here's a weed if there ever was one that surpasses it's mystique and lives up to it's legend. What I love most about this cannabis strain is that it's more often than not grown outdoor because of it's reputation as a hearty breed, fond of the long California summers. In more recent times, with the world gone mad for whole foods and paranoid of chemicals, rightfully so, this durable strain is often grown organically. When primo Afghani Bullrider buds find there way to your grinder be grateful and give thanks to the Cannabis Gods, for you have in your hands one of the most exotic weed strains on earth.

The Bullrider Legend: In the same issue of High Times Magazine as Toker Poker there was a story called "The Bull Rider's Journey" in which the author Jef Tek tells the myth of an African-American dude who was a professional Bull Rider that was passionate about growing weed. As the story goes, this Bullrider traveled allot and knew at least one serious grower from overseas who bestowed the seeds upon him, after which he arrived in California and grew the plant to full-strength and cured it, then the bull-rider and some friends smoked some of the bud, after which one of the friends remarked that he felt like he'd just been riding a bull - bam!

The Afghani Bullrider name stuck and ever since the late '80's the strain found it's way all over California in clone form. At one point someone even created Hats and T-shirts to commemorate the great strain. Growers as far away as Oregon and Vancouver managed to get their hands on either the seeds or the clones as the Afghani Bullrider strain made it's way far and wide. However, it's Southern California where the climate provides an endless budding season, all you need to do is place a clone outside and it will begin to produce buds. As with most indica-dominant strains the Afghani Bullrider will reach maturity within 8 weeks or less and deliver an impressive harvest.

January 31 2010

Western Slope Cannabis Crown

cannabis_crown.jpgIf Hunter S. Thompson were still alive he'd have been the "Master of Ceremony" and I'll wager that if he hadn't of thought of the idea he would have thought it was an outstanding concept but none-the-less, the smart folks from "High Country Caregivers" probably got really high one day and dream't up this clever idea. I mean really, is there a better place in continental USA to host such an event? How high do you want to get?

Already the Western Slope Cannabis Crown, held April 17-18, will include as many as 400 strains of weed, live music, guest speakers, and information about medical marijuana. The event is open to the public, but only registered medical users can buy weed or get their hands on "golden tickets" to let them sample all the entries.

"We're really almost sold out already," said Joe McVicker of High Country Caregivers, a Glenwood Springs dispensary helping organize the event. "There were, like, 1,500 tickets and we probably have, like, 40 now."

Luckily, for those of us too stoned and lazy to go all the way to Glenwood Springs for a $25 ticket, McVicker said there's another 80 or so on Craigslist. Oh, and some place in Denver called Green Thumb has them, too, but he wasn't sure where it is. (No joke.)

"We're going to have Hunter S. Thompson's wife here for a chat, and the editor of High Times will be here, too," McVicker said. "We're gonna help people get [medical marijuana] cards, and it's just going to be a good time."

Cannabis strains will be judged based on THC levels and how well they treat different medical problems. Golden ticket holders will help choose a people's choice, but expert judges will select the winner, and McVicker thinks the grower will win a trip to Amsterdam. For more information, you could visit the website, but it's, you know, still in the works. For more information visit www.cannabiscrown.com.

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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.

November 09 2009

Northern Lights

northern_light.jpgNamed for the glimmer of the trichomes and crystals covering the buds, to conjure up images of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Many of the top Canadian seed companies sell Northern Lights (strain) cannabis seeds and since it's one of the most commonly crossed strains of hybrid cannabis there's legions of stable strains born of these genetics. This magnificent plant has probably won or placed in the High Times Cannabis Cup more times than any other single strain.

Legend has it that the strain was created in Washington State but some say that she may have been amongst the earliest sativa strains crossed with Indica in Humboldt California way back in the mid 1970's. However, Northern Lights strain has been preserved much as it originally was through inbreeding without any marked improvements other than hybridization.

Effect: One hit wonder
Stature: Very short and squat
Phenotype: Mixed, primarily Indica
Indoor: 55 to 60 days: Mid/late September
Smell: A Sweet Classic Skunky odor Yield: 2/3 ounces per plant

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