Coinciding with how cannabis prohibition is slowly coming to an end throughout the United States, cannabis users are more comfortable with coming out of the cannabis-closet to friends and family. Similarly, smoking the plant has also been shown more frequently in mainstream cinema and social media outlets. The business aspect of the rapidly expanding cannabis industry has also recently been presented to viewers through reality based television shows.
However, there has yet to be a mainstream show to depict smoking marijuana as a normal thing that millions of Americans do frequently. A show of this caliber would help to answer many questions and quell many anxieties in people who are unfamiliar with the fascinating plant.
Ben Huh, founder of the Seattle based company Cheezburger, recently announced that he secured $2.7 million in funding to fill the void where a show about smoking marijuana should be.
The funding will be used to create a show where Huh smokes pot with successful entrepreneurs, technology leaders and any other prominent local Seattle guests, and then they collectively attempt to explain things or tell stories. Huh described his plans for the show in a blog post.
“The goal — first and foremost — is to make our audience laugh,”
“I also want to bring a sense of averageness to marijuana — a substance that’s used by almost 20 million Americans every month.”
This announcement about funding for the new project came as a pleasant surprise after the company, Cheezburger, was forced to let go of much of the staff just over a year ago. Ten new employees have joined the team since the lay-offs, bringing the total to 50 employees. Cheezburger is a comical website which brings the best in animal memes like the one below.
Thanks to the success of the comical site, millions of Americans may soon be able to better understand what it is like to smoke marijuana without actually having to try it first through Huh’s new show. It will be very interesting, and most likely hilarious and fun, to see what Huh and his creative team come up with for the first episode.
photo credit: Mashable, Cheezburger
A new chapter for the marijuana history books has been penned in Seattle with the launching of the first vending machine able to dispense cannabis flowers. Although vending machines filled only with marijuana edibles and snacks were launched in Colorado last year, this is the first in the United States to dispense dried buds. The new line of machines, called ZaZZZ, are being installed in medical cannabis dispensaries in Washington.
Greg Patrick, ZaZZZ representative shared his excitement about the launch with NBC.
“It’s historic, there’s just no other way to state it. We saw the repeal of prohibition in the early 20th century and the mark that made on our country and the companies that did it right.”
“We’re in that stage. This will only happen once in our country’s history, the repeal of this prohibition.”
Having these machines located inside a medical marijuana retailer ensure that identification and age are verified twice. IDs or driver’s licenses are presented to dispensary staff, usually before entering the facility, along with registered medical marijuana patient identification. IDs must also be swiped by the ZaZZZ machine before the cannabis flowers will be dispensed, creating a system of double verification.
The vending machines have a modern design with a user-friendly touchscreen for consumers to use for more than just purchasing marijuana. This vending machine also provides literature about each available strain and it’s recommended medical uses to aid buyers in the decision making process. But wait! There is more. Consumers can also play video games on the ZaZZZ machines.
Due to federal regulations, customers must pay either in cash or in the electronic currency, Bitcoin, as the use of credit or debit cards to purchase marijuana is currently prohibited.
The company behind the vending machine hopes that it will be one attractive alternative to those who would like to purchase products without having to wait in line.
ZaZZZ vending machines have been installed in Washington and will be available to the Colorado recreational marijuana market. For now, American Green has had to make partnerships with in-state growers because medical marijuana products cannot legally be shipped or carried across state lines under federal laws.
The company is hoping that, as acceptance of marijuana grows around the nation, it will be able to expand its reach into other states. Unlike some other vending machines, like those that dispense snacks, ZaZZZ does not have a glass window panel that could be easily broken. This machine stores the merchandise inside a secured compartment that is similar to what ATM machines use to secure money, thus providing a deterrent against theft. This machine is so sterdy, in fact, that Patrick described it as, “a little Fort Knox.”
Image Credit: MSN, NBC
Fresh off a historic comeback win in the NFC title game, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch might have something else to be happy about.
A dispensary in Washington state has named a strain “Beastmode 2.0” after Lynch’s on the field nickname. Nate “Diggity” Johnson, the owner of Queen Anne Cannabis Club in Seattle said the original Beastmode strain sold out in record time last year.
In lieu of raising the bar and supporting the Seahawks efforts to be repeat Superbowl champs, Johnson said Beastmode 2.0 tests at 5% higher THC levels than it’s predecessor.
When asked what the strain’s effects were like Diggity responded, “it hits you just like Marshawn, hard and fast.”
Photo Credit: Complex, Seattle Times
In a recent study conducted by Nerd Wallet, some nerds got together to take a look at how the 50 largest American cities stacked up against each other when it comes to health. They looked at fitness levels, obesity rates, and healthcare accessibility to determine which city deserves the title of America’s healthiest.
The results of the study were in no way groundbreaking; 4 of the top 10 were west-coast metro areas. You know, the kale smoothie yoga types. While we could anecdotally say these folks are the Whole Food shopping hippies, they have one other thing in common: legal pot.
1. Boston – A hub for medical research, Boston ranks first in the nation with the highest number of doctors per capita. They also rank highly for exercise rates and, on average, are covered by health insurance a higher percentage of the time.
Along with healthy residents the state of Massachusetts has established a medical marijuana program that will allow up to 35 dispensaries for the state.
2. San Francisco – San Francisco ranks second for healthiest city in the nation. The city is among the most fit in the nation and scores very highly for walkability. The city did it’s part to establish the first medical marijuana dispensaries in the country, and until recently, California led the nation in progressive marijuana laws.
3. Portland – Portland ranks third in the nation with a high rate of healthcare coverage and an extremely active population. Known for bike commuting, it’s no wonder that Portland has secured it’s place at the top of the list. In November, Oregon residents voted to tax and regulate recreational marijuana for the state.
4. Seattle – Coming in 4th is the rainy city of Seattle. Their high scores for the fitness index and healthy body weights pushed them to the top of the list. Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana back in 2012 and in July of last year they sold their first recreational joint.
5. Denver – Denver rounds out the top 5 cities because of their extremely active population. Outdoor sports like skiing and hiking keep the Denver population active all year round. As the first major city to experience recreational marijuana, it may come as a surprise that residents are among the most active in the nation.
via Smell The Truth
About 200 miles east of Seattle, four young entrepreneurs are living the startup life in many of the same ways as Silicon Valley technologists. These guys aren’t writing code or creating the next 3d printing technology though. Instead they are wiring greenhouses, calculating nutrient formulas, and tweaking hash oil extraction methods.
The four twenty-something entrepreneurs have diverse backgrounds in politics, engineering, physics, and economics, but as so many students do, bonded smoking pot in college. After graduating from school and dabbling in the corporate life, the team converged in Washington on to use Miles and Connor Deife’s family farm for a large scale marijuana grow.
It took some convincing to get the family on board with the idea, as Miles and his brother Connor’s grandfather had once threatened their inheritance if they even smoked weed. As it turns out Grandpa Deife had a soft spot that you probably won’t find shocking; money. Miles and Connor’s mother was the one who pitched the idea to their grandpa, all but guaranteeing a return on his sizable investment.
The foursome got the ball rolling with $350,000 in capital and a 20 acre purchase of the family land. They submitted their paperwork to acquire three Tier 3 licenses (allowing for 21,000 feet of marijuana grows) back in December of 2013 and waited for their approval. Meanwhile they were each honing in on the task ahead, combing through every grow regulation, studying plant physiology, and fine tuning their leadership skills.
The team rolled up their sleeves and built out the grow facility by hand. It took the better part of a year to complete, working on things like constructing security fences, building the greenhouses, and wiring the facility by hand. As with any startup the guys wore many hats, worked through the night, and figured it out as they went.
Now that their grow facilities are built and operational, the young startup is moving full steam ahead. The team is processing marijuana into hash oil and say that they can make $40,000 a day doing so. Even with the high overhead of $10,000 monthly electricity bills, the team expects to pay off their $350,000 investment plus interest in early 2015.
The four guys are currently still sharing a small farm house (more like a frat house) and pulling all nighters. Miles spends most of his days making deliveries across the state and has secured a contract to turn 4 tons of marijuana into hash oil concentrate in the coming year.
It seems that the teams startup approach to the pot farm and entrepreneurial spirit will soon pay off. Big time. Similar to the Silicon Valley of the early 90s these guys got in at the ground level, and now the sky is the limit. As Washington and a slew of other states begin expanding their marijuana programs, this will be one of many more success stories of young entrepreneurs to come.