There’s one word to describe the experience of first using the Puffco Pro portable vaporizer: Flavor.
While many other labels come to mind, such as stealthy, sleek, and durable, those dropping even a mediocre-quality concentrate into this popular mobile vaporizer will be impressed by the integrity of the terpene profile flavor it produces.
The Puffco Pro is rugged, but will rarely be described as such, simply because it is such a svelte gunmetal ballerina. Its all-ceramic concentrate chamber features a titanium heating coil and achieves vaping temperature nearly instantly. With some top-shelf concentrates offering up to 90 percent THC, mobile vaping is an excellent and practical way for patients to gain on-the-go relief from pain, nausea, and inflammation.
Metal + Ceramic + Titanium
Forget the specs. What does it feel like to use the Puffco Pro?
Simply wonderful. The fact that this Applesque unit is fully void of any plastic or glue goes beyond its stellar performance and great in-hand feel. For example, to ease cleaning, the atomizer can be placed upside-down in an oven at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit; residual concentrate will drip out of the unit, almost perfectly cleaning it. That would not work with a cheap plastic vape pen — many of which are considerably more expensive than the Puffco Pro.
Battery life is stellar. If dead, it requires about three hours to fully charge via USB. Once charged, it will provide multiple days of concentrate vaping. The unit’s metal even features a protective UV coating, giving it a unique feel and ultra-durable enclosure. Sadly, I accidentally kicked my Puffco across a busy street after it fell from my pocket. Only slightly scuffed, it remained fully functional.
Most vape pens offer only a single temperature, one that is relatively high and may produce harsh tokes. Models like the Puffco Pro, which allow users to dial in the temp they prefer, can produce much smoother hits via the lowest setting. To change the temperature of this model, simply click the button four times; it will cycle through low (green), medium (blue), and high (red). To prevent unintentional vaping of a pre-packed chamber, this pen can be toggled on and off via five clicks.
At $79, the Puffco Pro is an excellent value and certain to catch the attention of a wide range of concentrate and vape fans — even those on a tight budget. It features minimal draw resistance, the biggest chamber in the business (it can accommodate nearly half a gram of wax, shatter, or one’s favorite concentrate), and simply feels great in the hand.
photo credit: Puffco
On Thursday, October 1, Oregon joined the ranks of those rare, but increasingly prevalent states that sell cannabis through dispensaries and retail outlets to citizens who are 21 and older. When Oregon passed Measure 91 in 2014, which legalized recreational cannabis possession and consumption for fans of the culture in the Beaver State, all stakeholders knew it would probably be 2016 before adults were actually able to legally walk into a safe, regulated retail outlet without a medical exemption and purchase cannabis.
The state surprised everyone when, over the summer, it announced that it would make recreational cannabis sales legal through existing dispensaries to expedite the rollout of the recreational market and get a leg up on illegal dealers eager to supply a newly motivated and hungry population of consumers. Said Portland resident John Finley:
“Before, I had to go through potentially dangerous, weird people in motels, for instance. Or just people I didn’t want to deal with or don’t trust. It was legal, but I didn’t have any options.”
A Short History
In 1998, Oregon became the second state in the nation to pass a medical marijuana law that permitted and regulated the cultivation, processing, and dispensation of medical cannabis to patients with a wide range of ailments.
Roughly 200 of Oregon’s 345 medical dispensaries have registered with the state to expand their customer base to recreational consumers. On June 30, Oregon passed HB 3400, a law to regulate recreational sales, including a detailed seed-to-sale tracking system and the progressive expungement of thousands of non-violent cannabis offenses.
Senate Bill 460, which Oregon governor Kate Brown signed during the summer, allowed recreational sales via dispensaries beginning on October 1 as a means of kickstarting the state’s recreational legalization while the Oregon Liquor Control Commission crafts regulatory language that will set the rules for all recreational marijuana sales in the state. Recreational sales will be tax-free until January 4, 2016, when a 25 percent tax will go into effect.
On July 1, Oregon’s recreational law went into effect, making it legal for millions of Oregonians to possess up to eight ounces of the herb, grow small amounts at home (four plants, if kept out of public view), and take up to an ounce outside their residence. But with only a network of medical dispensaries and no existing recreational retail outlets, cannabis consumers in the state have been trapped in a Catch 22, with no convenient and safe access to the herb that has finally been legalized.
By allowing medical dispensaries to also sell cannabis to recreational users, the state hopes to establish an advantage over the black market and cartels, pushing organized crime out of communities and generating much needed tax revenue. Unfortunately, the state will not even begin accepting applications from entrepreneurs and businesses for retail licenses allowing cultivation, processing, testing, and retail sales of cannabis and cannabis products until January 4, 2016. Recreational retail outlets are expected to begin opening later in 2016, most likely the third and fourth quarter.
Oregon joins Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia to offer adults 21 and older the legal right to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis for non-medical purposes. Ironically, while California was the first state to establish a legal and semi-regulated environment for medical cannabis in 1996 with Proposition 215, technically speaking, recreational sales are still illegal in the state (a recreational ballot issue scheduled for 2016 is expected to pass). Like Oregon until now, Alaska, which has legalized possession and consumption for all adults, also has not begun legal sales of cannabis to recreational consumers.
While pot sales between individuals remains illegal, gifting and sharing herb is permitted in Oregon. The new recreational law allows citizens to purchase “flower and dry leaf products, plants, and seeds,” according to Oregon.gov. Note the distinct exception of concentrates and edibles. Unfortunately, residents of Oregon who choose to take advantage of the state’s new recreational legalization will be limited to only seven grams (a quarter ounce) of flowers (buds) and related products (the same daily amount that Colorado allows tourists to purchase, while residents can purchase an ounce per visit).
This restriction will be teasingly painful due to the fact that recreational consumers can currently legally shop only in certain medical dispensaries, most of which also sell edibles and concentrates to patients. While displayed direction in front of customers, dispensaries won’t be permitted to sell such prominently promoted products to recreational shoppers. Oregon’s recreational smokers and vapers simply won’t have legal, safe access to concentrates such as Butane Hash Oil (BHO) and its myriad variants (like wax, shatter, and crumble), tinctures, CO2 oil, and live resin.
For those thinking of purchasing and consuming recreational cannabis in Oregon who aren’t tapped into the details of what’s permitted, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has published an infographic that may help. Those sad about a lack of legal access to edibles and concentrates can print out a copy and use it to blow their nose and wipe their tears of frustration.
Where Things Stand
Oregon has set a new record in the sparsely crowded field of states that allow recreational cannabis sales. It sold $11 million worth of non-medical weed after one week of sales. Compare this to what other recreationally legal states sold during their first week of legality:
- Colorado: $5 million
- Washington: <$1 million
- Alaska: $0 (rec sales have not yet begun)
Marijuana concentrates are gaining popularity in the state of Colorado. There are many different ways to produce cannabis concentrates, but at least one way can be very dangerous. Using a flammable solvent like butane to make hash oil has resulted in 26 felony charges in the state of Colorado in 2014. All of which involved a person blowing up a home, car, building or something else while making butane hash oil.
The at home way to produce butane hash oil usually starts with loading a pipe with cannabis flowers, leaves or trimmings. Next a person will release butane into the pipe, which extracts the THC and other cannabinoids into the liquid that drips out the other end. The liquid is then heated before it is left to slightly solidify. Butane is a flammable gas, and the fumes being released into the room in which the extraction is taking place is very dangerous because any little spark could result in an explosion.
District Attorneys throughout the state have taken different stances on the issue of homemade butane hash oil, and now the Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers, has released his opinion on the issue. In a statement released by the office of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, he explains why he feels it is illegal,
“Amendment 64 expressly prohibits an individual from making marijuana oil and unfortunately, Colorado is experiencing a real public safety issue as a result of unsafe and unlicensed manufacturing and production. The Blue Book made it clear that Amendment 64 allowed for the responsible and safe use of marijuana, so to decriminalize dangerous and unreasonable behavior in which people are getting hurt and houses are blowing up, defies the intent of voters.”
This released statement came after Attorney General Suthers wrote a brief on the case of Eugene Christensen. Christensen is currently being charged with arson, reckless endangerment and manufacturing cannabis concentrate after he caused an explosion while making butane hash oil. He is facing up to 4 years in prison, and his defense is that marijuana concentrates are covered under Amendment 64, as it allows for the “processing” of cannabis plants.
Attorney General Suthers disagrees. According to him, anything classified as “oil” is exempt from the definition of marijuana in Amendment 64. This is because in the Amendment, part of the definition of marijuana reads that it does not include oil.
One of the Amendment co-authors, Christian Sederberg, told the Denver Post that he agrees that making butane hash oil at home is dangerous. However, the way that the attorney general is using the definition of marijuana could lead to even hash oil possession being illegal.
photo credit: RollingStone, bloximages
The first smokable art contest in Denver, Colorado will be held at the 710 Social Club in February. Begin perfecting your skills now, so you are ready for the big day! There will be a category for sculptures formed from anything dab-able with accents permitted and encouraged, and a second category for spliffagami to debut twisting skill and creativity. What is a spliffagami? That is up to you. See the photos below for examples.
There is no charge to enter your art into the competition. Contest rules state that the most creative sculpture will be triumphant. The more intricate, creative and unique your art is, the more your chances of winning increase. Sculptures and spliffagami entries must be submitted and checked in at the venue on Thursday February 6. One winner will be selected from each category. The winning pieces will be smoked on Sunday February 8 during the awards ceremony, and those that do not win may be taken home.
All creations must be formed from one-hundred percent smokable materials including flowers, water press hash, kief, co2 oil, and all forms of butane hash oil. Flowers may only be used as accents for your artistic vision, and may only account for five percent of the total weight. There will be one winner in each category.
Check out the contest poster below, and look at the contest facebook page for full details before you plan your art.
Examples of spliffagami:
Examples of dab-art sculptures:
photo credit: facebook, Humbolt Extracts, nugbrand, fbexternal, pinimg
Emmy award winning journalist, Mike Sugerman, is a registered medical marijuana patient in the state of California. Recently, while suffering from a bacterial infection in his aorta, he was medicating with cannabis, and realized he did not know exactly what was in the medicine he was smoking and eating. He decided to purchase $600 in cannabis flowers, concentrates and edibles for a CBS San Francisco report to have them lab tested in order to satisfy this curiosity. Unfortunately for the medical marijuana world in California, the findings were not good.
The Federal Drug Administration is not permitted to regulate the cannabis industry because the plant is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which means it is considered to have no recognized medical use in the United States. It cannot be government regulated until it is re-classified or unclassified all-together. As of October 2014, all cannabis sold at dispensaries in Colorado must be lab tested, but California has no such regulation.
Sugerman realized through ingesting cannabis edibles that the effects produced were inconsistent. Sometimes he would not feel any relief from eating a certain amount of marijuana edibles, while another day eating the exact same amount would cause him to feel overly medicated. The same amount did not result in the same effect.
The investigation included products purchased at 12 different dispensaries throughout San Francisco and Oakland. This $600 worth of medical marijuana buds, edibles, and shatter wax were taken to Steep Hill Labs in Oakland for thorough testing.
An Edipure brand edible scored the worst during testing. According to the label, this particular item contained 100 milligrams, but when lab tested, it only contained 1.3. That is off by 98.7 percent. Chief research officer at Steep Hill, Dr. Kymron Decesare, told Sugerman that they tested this particular item multiple times because of the extreme misrepresentation. Other tested edibles were off by 25 and 50 percent. Steep Hill Labs also concluded that gummy bears and lozenges sold in the same package were not consistently dosed because the measure milligrams varied from piece to piece.
The cannabis flowers that were tested also produced worrisome results for medical marijuana smokers in California. Both mold and pesticides were abundant, and over 40 percent of the flowers tested would not be sold under Colorado regulations. Molds like aspergillums and penicillin contain deadly toxins that could result in death.
The cannabis shatter, a concentrated form that is used for dabs, also tested poorly. Steep Hill found that 15 percent of this product contained benzene. Benzene is a hydrocarbon component of gasoline that is not approved for human consumption.
Unfortunately, this means that medical marijuana patients in California, specifically in San Francisco and Oakland, may not know what they are purchasing. A lab testing fail of this magnitude will hopefully spawn regulation reform in the state of California in the very near future.
photo credit: Dank Depot