THE CANNABIS RENAISSANCE: Is The Pinnacle of Cannabis Creativity Now?

Nestled in the rolling Italian hillsides lies the home of the greatest emergence of art known to mankind: Florence. In the 15th century, the town brought us the likes of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Donatello…and that’s just the starting lineup. Historians, sociologists, psychologists and even geologists have tried to understand how and why a renaissance happened in this tiny town.

I say this renaissance because there have been multiple, despite historians forgoing the official title. The musical renaissance in 17th century Vienna, the philosophical renaissance of 15th century Edinburgh, the technological renaissance in Silicon Valley; all sudden bursts of profound creativity, defining their fields for centuries to come.

Examining the commonalities in past cultural epicenters, it would appear we are at the forefront of a cannabis renaissance in places such as Denver, Portland, Seattle—even Anchorage. Creativity steams from every corner in legalized states. The Cannabis Renaissance is upon us, and here’s why:

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CANNABIS VS. BEER: Which Industry Will Reign Supreme?

Would you rather light up a joint, or drink a beer?

According to new research by the Cannabiz Consumer Group (C2G), which studied the behavior of 40 thousand participants, marijuana is “canna-balizing” the beer industry. In states where cannabis has been legalized, 27 percent of drinkers have already substituted cannabis for beer. And if marijuana were legalized nationally, C2G predicts that the beer industry could lose more than $2 billion in retail sales.

However, just because cannabis is becoming more widely accepted, there’s no evidence that alcohol is going anywhere; it’s part of our culture. That’s why some innovative companies are coming up with new ways to combine the two.

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THE OLDEST DISPENSARY IN BUSINESS: Berkeley Patients Group Defines Longevity

Longevity can be defined as having a long life in the face of both favorable and adverse conditions, and finding the strength to persevere. Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) is a prime example of longevity.

Old BPGSimply put, BPG has outlasted the competition by being the best dispensary it can be. By serving the patients of Berkeley year in and year out with exemplary customer service and knowledge of the plant, BPG has established itself as an East Bay institution.

Berkeley Patients Group was founded by Jim McClelland in 1999. After his passing in 2000, he left the business to three successors whose mission was to provide the people of Berkeley with a reputable and compassionate dispensary they could rely upon. Maintaining a standard of excellence is what has kept the dispensary running and thriving nearly 18 years later.

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REPRESENTATION MATTERS “I AM HER AND SHE IS ME AND THAT IS OKAY”: Reflection and Recognition this Pride Month

For many of us trying to define ourselves in a primarily binary world is uncomfortable, and in the end, impossible. Seeing ourselves in these polarized “male” or “female” versions of the societal “norms” is like attempting to fit a puzzle piece from one puzzle into another. It just won’t fit, no matter how badly someone else might hope that it will, no matter how angry someone gets because of it, it simply does not fit. I understood this at a young age but was unsure of how to articulate it, and in all honesty afraid of vocalizing it at all for fear of what my homophobic father and people at school would say or do. I clearly remember the first time I saw the movie that changed my perception of myself forever though, Set It Off.

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. A city that is most widely known for The Strip and its tourist attractions. The Vegas I knew was a bit more volatile. It’s flashing lights consisted of the red white and blues of the local police harassing the people in my neighborhoods, so when I came across a movie with four leading woman of color, from neighborhoods similar to my own, with a character that I could relate to on so many levels, I was struck. Queen Latifah plays Cleo, a strong, proud, take no shit, lesbian. Finally, there was someone on screen who I felt mirrored my anger and shared my preferences. I was her and she was me and that was okay. 

Representation matters and although comfort with myself and understanding the spectrum of gender and sexuality didn’t come for a long time after, this was a turning point in the acceptance of my strength and my power. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me.

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WHAT ARE THEY SMOKIN’?

The fashion world is a chaotic land full of outlandish Instagram photos and Kanye West shows, but every once in a while something magical happens. A phenomenon unlike any other.

The fashion world (and yes the sports world) were blessed this past month with the RompHim.

What’s the RompHim, you ask? Well, that’s a great question. According to the Kickstarter page—which is currently hovering at just under $360,000—the RompHim is a romper designed for men. It’s described as “your new favorite summer outfit,” which almost certainly isn’t true.

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I’M A FRIEND OF DENNIS

Dennis Peron is a hero in the cannabis community. He opened the Cannabis Buyers Club (the first dispensary in the US), coauthored Prop 215 and has dedicated forty years of his life to helping others. Here in California, his impact can be seen in person. He still advocates and helps those in need, every single day. Having recently received a lifetime achievement award from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, DOPE Magazine decided to similarly honor the amazing things Peron has done, not just for the pro-cannabis movement, but for the LGBTQ+ community as well. His dedication to healing and helping, becoming family for thousands of AIDS patients who no longer had support, as well as his personal sacrifices have all led to a better world for those in need of medicine. And, according to Peron, anyone who smokes cannabis is using it to medicate mind, body or soul.

, BrDuring the Vietnam War, Peron saw unfathomable pain and suffering. When he returned to the states, he decided to bring back a desire for peace and compassion for those going through hard times…and about two pounds of cannabis. During the 1970s and ‘80s, Peron sold cannabis out of his living room, with the phrase “I’m a friend of Dennis” becoming a sort of password for entrance. Peron could more effectively challenge authority, feeling he had nothing to lose—a gay man with no spouse, no children, no house. They couldn’t bully or blackmail him. He was arrested over a dozen times, and was even shot in the thigh by an officer during a raid. The officer was later quoted as saying that he wished he had killed Peron, so that there would be “one less f*ggot” in San Francisco. Yet even throughout the terror and persecution, Peron continued to supply cannabis to those in need.

Peron didn’t just challenge the laws by breaking them—he made his own. He drafted and collected the needed signatures for Prop W, which made the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis in San Francisco legal. He worked alongside Harvey Milk in both his 1973 and ‘74 campaigns, and eventually tipped the vote for Milk in his historic 1977 victory by encouraging all those hippies in the Haight to register to vote. Peron’s greatest achievements would come years later, however, during and after the wake of terrible tragedy.

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FASHIONABLY DEFIANT

Fashion, like film and music, tends to be a reflection of the time so it makes sense that politics often intersect with the arts. For many wearing clothing is more than a social norm, it is a way to break those social norms. Fashion is a way to show society, without ever having to say a word, what your beliefs are both socially and politically. Every decade has had its movements and its political leaders who’ve impacted the social atmosphere through fashion and vice-versa.

The ‘60s was a decade of mass social movements. People began to question politics, civil rights and gender equality. In the 1965 Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District the Supreme Court ruled that political fashion is protected as free speech after students were told they could not wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War.

This is also a time when people of color took their power and identity back through distinctly African-American stylistic clothing. The civil rights movement and the black panthers took to their roots, figuratively and literally. Beginning to wear their afros with pride and cornrow braids. The popularity of kente cloth, the dashiki and imported African jewelry grew and the Black Panthers donned all black clothing and military beret style hats—a clear political fashion statement. All of this was pride of self and sent a message to the establishment that black was beautiful and here to stay.

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DRONE DELIVERY: WILL IT GET OFF THE GROUND?

Stoned and craving Scooby snacks? Just puffed up the last of that Tangerine Dream and needing a re-up? Don’t despair – drone delivery is here! Or at least the idea…

All you have to do is call up your local recreational weed store, pay probably too much for a quarter ounce (but hey it comes with papers and a variety of strains in fancy glass containers), you don’t have to worry about your lost car keys and boom, buzz-buzz-buzz and your friendly neighborhood drone is flying out there with a fresh stash.

What Could Go Wrong?

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THE PROUD PAPA

If a business is created with the honest purpose of healing others, success often follows. Those who seek wellness intuitively sense the purity and reliability of Papa & Barkley’s fine selection of medicinal products.

The company produces soothing and pain-relieving products made from pure cannabinoids and cannabis terpenes, including topicals, massage oils, balms and Releaf™ Soak bath salts. Their highly popular patches are particularly impressive, providing incremental amounts of cannabinoids to the wearer during a 12-hour period.

The meaning behind the company can be found in the name. “Papa” explains a lot. While caring for his father, who was suffering from a debilitating disease, Papa & Barkley CEO Adam Grossman created a homemade, THC-based pain balm. After witnessing its powerful healing effects, Grossman was driven to create a retail product. Then he met Guy Rocourt, Papa & Barkley’s Chief Product Officer, and the rest is history. They tirelessly worked together to create their Releaf™ line of products.

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THE ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS

When you read headlines about the economy, the subject matter usually relates to whether the markets are up or down, the changing value of currency, oil prices or job market statistics, and a deeper inspection of the overall economy will often cite GDP results. But what does all this translate to in our day to day lives? Does it make us all more content when the market is doing well? Does a growth of 10,000 more jobs in a month mean that 10,000 more people are doing a job that brings them satisfaction? Can a thriving economy accurately fulfill our aspirations? Is growth making us happy?

Even GDP’s creator, Simon Kuznets, stated that “[t]he welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income” in 1934. Do we need to find new economic indicators, ones better suited to providing contentment and a feeling of prosperity?

The GDP you’ve likely heard of is an acronym for Gross Domestic Product. GDP represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say if in 2016, as a country, we produced $100 worth of goods and services, and in 2017 we produced $103. Economists would tell us our economy has grown three percent. Obviously, the United States of America aims to produce far more than $103 worth of goods and services—in 2015, the GDP reached a record high of $18036.65 Billion.

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