‘Tis better to give than to receive. But ’tis even better when you live in a state where marijuana is legal and you can pick up some cannabis-themed gifts to spread holiday joy.
Yes, after another year of significant progress on marijuana reform, it’s finally time to celebrate the holidaze. And to mark the occasion, Marijuana Moment put together a gift guide featuring cannabis (or cannabis-adjacent) products that can be tucked under the tree for all kinds of enthusiasts.
Some of the ideas below were crowdsourced, while others are personal favorites.
This reporter and Marijuana Moment did not receive payment or any other form of remuneration for including any product, though in some cases press samples were accepted.
1. Kikoko cannabis-infused tea set, $28.
I attended a Kikoko “high tea” event at a Los Angeles dispensary earlier this year and, at first, really didn’t think the product would be for me. But I walked away with some samples, steeped a packet of their Tranquili-Tea blend—which contains just 3mg of THC and 5mg of CBN—and it did the trick. Despite the low THC, it put me in the right headspace to fall asleep. Added perk: it tasted great. All four of the company’s infused tea blends—for sleep, arousal, mood elevation and pain—are available in a ready-to-go gift box for the holidays.
2. VETCBD, $40-$70.
Pets can suffer from many of the same ails that lead humans to seek out medical cannabis, and they have cannabinioid receptors that respond to components of marijuana, too.
Medical marijuana is helping pets too. pic.twitter.com/HOihB7VIUK
— ATTN: (@attn) February 21, 2017
VETCBD is a 20:1 CBD:THC tincture formulated by veterinarians, and while you can read through the many glowing testimonials online, you can also take my word for it. I’ve been incorporating VETCBD into my elderly German Shepherd’s diet for almost two years, and it visibly helps her manage pain from arthritis and enhances her mobility in general. For now, VETCBD is only available in California.
This was one of the first suggestions I received and, while it’s not quite something you can wrap up and tie a bow around, it deserves top placement. While those of us in a growing number of states now enjoy the freedom of a legal cannabis market, prohibition dealt a long-term blow to millions of Americans caught up in prohibitionist prosecution. Here are a few organizations working to get automatic expungements included in drug policies, or helping to facilitate expungement applications, that you can donate to in order to help spread freedom: the Equity First Alliance, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Code for America, and the Drug Policy Alliance.
Separately, if you happen to be a governor reading this, you can always give the gift of pardons and commutations to people needlessly punished for marijuana or other drugs with a simple stroke of your pen…
4. Pro-reform advocacy t-shirts, $25.
Show your support for marijuana reform by sporting t-shirts from national advocacy groups on the forefront of the effort to change laws, like the Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and NORML.
5. Bloom Drop, $50
For people who aren’t exactly pros at dabbing but still enjoy a nice concentrate from time to time, Bloom makes it easy with its “Drop” product line. Each dropper contains 560mg of THC and 240mg of terpenes and other cannabinoids. Simply pull off the cap and push down on the syringe for a smooth and consistent stream of viscous cannabis oil. The dropper can also be used to give joint or edibles an extra kick.
6. Books! $8-$15.
When I put out a call for marijuana gift ideas, I got a lot of book recommendations. Though I haven’t gotten around to reading all of these, my sources know what they’re talking about and I added a few of them to my own wish list this year.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (as recommended to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker)
7. My Bud Vase, $79-$350.
My Bud Vase sells a variety of artisanal bongs to choose from. I really like this one, called “Coyōté.” The ceramic bong “features a sand textured covering and a matte painted full bodied base” and also “comes with the succulent topper and the bottle-brush style faux flower poker.” Fancy!
8. Nail Crown, $25.
This recommendation comes from cannabis influencer Coral Reefer, who definitely knows a thing or two about dabbing and how to simplify the process. The Nail Crown is made of silicon and can be used to “grab and store hot metal, glass or quartz” and also serves as a storage unit for sticky tools and concentrates. The company behind the product, Cruz Culture, also says the Nail Crown can be used as a tripod for a cell phone—which could be great for people who like to post videos of themselves getting stoned.
9. Lord Bryon’s Smoker’s Candle, $11.
There are plenty of stoner hacks out there to help keep a room smelling fresh after a good toke, but this odor-eliminating candle is a lot more simple and effective than blowing smoke through a tube with a sheet of fabric softener attached to the end.
10. Classic BIC pack, $12.
Full disclosure: I am the person who accidentally pockets lighters after a sesh. So this year, I’m paying it forward and gifting this 12-pack of BICs.
12. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hemp pen, $17.76.
Finally, celebrate the pending legalization of industrial hemp with your very own hemp pen. Now, I can’t say definitively that this pen is the same one that McConnell used to mark the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes his hemp legalization provision, but it looks pretty similar.
Making it official with my hemp pen!🖋️ Proud to have served as conferee on #FarmBill & to fight for #Kentucky priorities. With today's signature, my provision to legalize industrial #hemp is 1 step closer to reality. Looking forward to voting YES on this bill & sending to @POTUS pic.twitter.com/8ypwBebXy7
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 10, 2018
You be the judge.
Marijuana Moment does not provide legal or medical advice and is not responsible for any consequences associated with the purchase, use or gifting of any product mentioned above.
Photo courtesy of Public Domain Pictures.
Marijuana Activists Protest John Boehner’s SXSW Speech
Advocates for social equity in the increasingly legal marijuana economy are protesting keynote speeches by former Republican House Speaker John Boehner and MedMen CEO Adam Bierman at South by Southwest (SXSW).
The Equity First Alliance, a group that promotes racial and social justice in the cannabis industry, said that Boehner and Bierman’s scheduled Friday appearances at the festival are a reflection of an ongoing trend where mostly white men are profiting off a market while people of color continue to disproportionately face criminalization for marijuana offenses.
Boehner has been the subject of ongoing criticism from marijuana advocates, who point out that he failed to act on cannabis reform, and opposed certain criminal justice reform legislation, during his 24 years in Congress. While he never introduced, cosponsored or voted in favor of marijuana bills in that time, he joined one of the largest cannabis firms, Acreage Holdings, as a board member last year.
Bierman has been accused in a lawsuit filed by a former employee of making racist and homophobic remarks. His company, which was valued at $1.6 billion last year, was also a member of a New York-based medical marijuana industry association that advocated against allowing home cultivation in a memo submitted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (The company told Marijuana Moment that it supports the right to home cultivation, but did not answer questions about its involvement in drafting the document. It was later asked to leave the group over Bierman’s alleged remarks.) Acreage remains a member of the same association.
“Our protest at SXSW sends a bold message in support of cannabis equity, justice, and repair,” the Equity First Alliance’s Felicia Carbajal said in a press release. “We stand together, recognizing that by defending the most marginalized among us, we defend all of us. We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities, and we call on all defenders of human rights to join us.”
Activists held protest signs over a nearby highway and at a hotel where Boehner’s speech—which covers “the likely paths to national legalization and the challenges and opportunities America’s fastest growing industry face today”—will take place on Friday. The signs condemn “big marijuana” and call for social equity policies such as community reinvestment.
— Ministry of Hemp (@MinistryofHemp) March 15, 2019
“It’s clear this market is going to expand,” Boehner told CNBC in an interview ahead of the event. “And as it does, lawmakers in Washington have to look up and realize that the federal government is way out of step. It’s time for the federal government to get out of the way.”
In the press release, Equity First Alliance listed additional reasons they’re protesting as well as policies they support.
“In protest of:
—Those profiting off of cannabis without an intentional plan to repair and make whole individuals, families, and communities that have been devastated by the War on Drugs;
—Those profiting off of cannabis who once participated in prohibition;
—And those who would profit before freeing all cannabis prisoners and vacating all cannabis convictions
And calling for:
—10% of companies’ annual revenue to be reinvested in communities disproportionately harmed by the
War on Drugs;
—A new paradigm of social responsibility in the cannabis industry;
—And public policies that create an equitable, just, and reparative industry.”
“It’s hypocritical for an Austin based company like SXSW, a company imbedded in a city that preaches diversity and inclusion, to neglect the work of committing to create an inclusive space, and instead give a keynote platform to John Boehner,” Chas Moore, executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition, said. “This is disgusting.”
— AcreageHoldings (@AcreageCannabis) March 15, 2019
Marijuana Moment reached out to Acreage for comment, but a representative did not respond by the time of publication.
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.
Marijuana Tourism From China To Amsterdam: Study Sheds Light On Motivations
Marijuana use in China is strictly forbidden. In fact, when Canada legalized cannabis last year, the Chinese government sternly reminded its citizens living in or visiting the country to “please avoid contact or using marijuana.”
Yet, despite their nation’s strict views on marijuana, research shows that significant numbers of Chinese tourists are heading to Amsterdam to take part in its prolific cannabis culture. A new study published in the journal Current Issues in Tourism sheds light on some of the motivations for the cross-continental cannatourism.
The punishment for drug use of any kind in China, including marijuana, is up to 15 days in detention and mandatory rehabilitation, the study’s authors write. But the Chinese government has been known to enforce harsher sentences for other cannabis-related charges. For example, Jaycee Chan, the son of actor Jackie Chan, spent six months in a Beijing jail after police discovered more than 100 grams in his apartment.
Because Chinese citizens are “widely educated to stay away from any kind of drugs,” the study states, researchers were curious to know more about who these tourists heading to the Netherlands for cannabis really were. Between February 2014 and October 2016, they randomly approached Chinese tourists in or exiting Amsterdam coffee shops where marijuana is sold over the counter and invited them to complete a confidential questionnaire. A total of 654 surveys were collected and analyzed.
About 80 percent of respondents said they’d never tried marijuana prior to their trip to Amsterdam.
Participants were divided into three segments based on their responses: cannabis enthusiasts, diversionists/recreationists (people who were seeking pleasure or a diversion from their daily lives) and people who were simply curious about cannabis culture.
Survey responses from the first and third groups “demonstrate that Chinese drug tourists desire to ‘experience all’ and seek authenticity out of their normal daily life and society during the overseas travel,” the study authors wrote.
The largest number of tourists surveyed (almost 44 percent) fell into the category of diversionist/recreationist. In other words, they used cannabis as a way to enjoy their vacation—not unlike tourists from other countries.
“They travelled and consumed cannabis mostly for the sake of experiencing/experimenting with the local cannabis culture in Amsterdam as well as relaxation, pleasure, and to escape from stressful social environments,” the authors write.
Cannabis enthusiasts were the smallest segment of the sample. In terms of demographics, almost half of the survey respondents were women. Overall, a majority of participants reported being college-educated, under 35 years old and not married.
In a recent interview, lead study author Jun Wen discussed why Chinese tourists are especially attracted to the Netherlands.
“You can do a lot of things there that are illegal in China – gambling, paying for sexual services, and buying cannabis for recreational use,” he said. “So Chinese tourists want to go there to find a different way to relax that’s not traditional.”
Congressman Talks Cannabis With ‘Captain America’
Actor Chis Evans of “Capitan America” fame met with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on Friday, and the two discussed marijuana reform, among other issues.
The congressman, who is a long-standing champion of loosening federal cannabis laws and outlined a blueprint to federal legalization last year, said he enjoyed the conversation and that he could “do this all day” in a tweet.
Enjoyed speaking with Captain America, @ChrisEvans, about marijuana reform, voting rights, and bipartisanship in times of division in the nation's capital.
I can do this all day! pic.twitter.com/eNy03QUvSB
— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) March 8, 2019
The chat was “part of a project Chris is working on with several members of Congress,” a spokesperson for Blumenauer told Marijuana Moment in an email. “Earl spoke about issues that he cares about, and marijuana reform was one of them.”
“Chris asked for the basics on why it’s important, explaining the reasoning behind scheduling and what pros and cons of legalization were,” he said.
The details of Evans’s “project” are unclear. He’s met with several members of Congress in recent weeks, according to a number of tweets, but he’s declined to get into specifics when pressed. There’s speculation that he’s launching a political media organization, however.
— Zach C. Cohen (@Zachary_Cohen) February 5, 2019
— Rachel S. Cohen (@rachelkaras) February 6, 2019
In response to Blumenauer’s tweet, NORML asked: “How disappointed was the Captain to be unfrozen in modern times and see we are still locking up over 600,000 Americans for marijuana?”
How disappointed was the Captain to be unfrozen in modern times and see we are still locking up over 600,000 Americans for marijuana? #NotMyFuture
— NORML (@NORML) March 8, 2019
Evans is the nephew of former Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA), who lost his bid for re-election in last year’s midterm election.
Blumenauer filed a bill in January, appropriately numbered H.R. 420, which would regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Photo courtesy of Twitter/Rep. Early Blumenauer.