Medical Marijuana Reviews, Recipes, Grow Guides, News & More

OG Kush Strain Review

July 30th, 2009 Dr. Skunky
Strain: OG Kush
Lineage: Sour Diesel X Chem Dawg
Genetics: 85% Sativa / 15% Indica
THC Level: 15% – 20%
Grow Medium: Indoor, Soil-less
Purchased: Peace in Medicine, Sebastopol, CA
Price: $16/gram , $54/eighth, $105/quarter, $395/ounce
Overall Rating: 7.6

“Happy Stupefier, daytime appropriate”

Looks: 7.5
Dense light green buds covered in trichomes.

Smell: 7.5
Very unique smell. Has a piercing fragrant scent of lemon and pine.

Taste: 7
Kind of lacking in taste, slightly sour. Smooth on small hits but you can defiantly feel its potency on larger rips..

High: 8

Heavy onset. Clear high in smaller quantities. If smoked in large quantities this OG Kush marijuana strain is evening appropriate and will leave you couch locked.

Value: 8
OG Kush was a decent strain. It accomplished it job of sedating. For the all the hype ive heard about this strain, I felt it didnt live up to its reputation.

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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Thrive in Colorado

July 29th, 2009 Dr. Skunky

BOULDER, Colo. — Boulder County Caregivers offers 16 glass jars of marijuana with names like Skinny Pineapple and Early Pearl Maui, priced at $375 to $420 an ounce. There are marijuana capsules and snacks made with cannabis butter, such as rice crispy treats.

Co-owner Jill Leigh urges customers to try a syrupy tincture she calls “the Advil of medical marijuana.” A drop under the tongue gives less of a high but the same pain relief as smoking, she says.

Leigh’s sales are legal — and taxed — under Colorado’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. Her marijuana dispensary and nearly 60 others serve a rapidly growing number of users with little oversight. Critics of the system say it’s prone to abuse and point to a growing number of younger patients. But a recent state effort to impose more controls failed.

More than 9,000 people are registered in Colorado to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation — up 2,000 in the past month.

The total is expected to rise to 15,000 by year’s end, according to the state health department, which blames the rapid increase on patient confidentiality guarantees and federal plans to stop raiding medical marijuana operations, which the U.S. government considers illegal.

Last week, the state health board rejected a proposal to limit suppliers to five patients. Dispensary owners said the plan would force many to close. Others, including Leigh, say Colorado should better regulate its dispensaries to deter abuses. But Chief Medical Officer Ned Calonge said he simply doesn’t have that authority under the 2000 law.

Some towns are stepping in. On Tuesday, Breckenridge will consider rules to keep dispensaries away from schools and restrict their hours to prevent thefts. Police Chief Rick Holman said the ideas came from Cannabis Therapeutics, a Colorado Springs dispensary believed to be the state’s largest with 1,400 patients.

The Denver suburb of Commerce City also is drafting its own rules. In Boulder, police have reached out to dispensaries after thieves stole two 20-gallon barrels of marijuana from one business in June.

Leigh’s waiting room could be found in a dentist’s office, save for coffee-table reading material that includes a copy of High Times and a Timothy Leary book. Spice jars feature samples of marijuana available for sale. All sales are by appointment only, and Leigh’s business collects about $10,000 in sales tax a month.

Leigh’s patients are mainly middle-aged women with multiple sclerosis and men coping with hepatitis C. One employee said he takes tincture drops to help prevent seizures. A customer, a jiujitsu coach, said he uses it to treat pain from four surgeries and regular fights.

Leigh said she and her husband, who uses marijuana to cope with degenerative disc disease, started selling marijuana he was growing to avoid running up against the law.

Patients can only possess up to 2 ounces of usable marijuana under Colorado law. But a patient or his designated caregiver can grow six marijuana plants — but only three can flower at any time.

Today Leigh, a self-described soccer and karate mom, has seven employees, offers health insurance and plans to add 401(k) benefits. She worries federal agents might raid her business, even though the Obama administration says the government will stop targeting medical marijuana operations that are in line with state law.

For luck, Leigh hangs Tibetan prayer flags in her offices and has a statue of the elephant-headed Hindu god of Ganesh. She says a California dispensary that had both items was spared in a recent federal raid.

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Blue Dream Strain Review

July 27th, 2009 Dr. Skunky
Strain: Blue Dream
Lineage: Blueberry X Haze
Genetics: 80% Sativa / 20% Indica
THC Level: 15% – 20%
Grow Medium: Indoor, Soil
Purchased: Peace in Medicine, Sebastopol, CA
Price: $16/gram , $54/eighth, $105/quarter
Overall Rating: 8.0

Looks: 8
BlueDream is a very unique looking strain. Dense bud with blue and purple hues packed with trichomes that glisten like a christmas tree!

Smell: 8
A spicy smell with an overpowering fruity aroma.

Taste: 7
Smooth thick smoke that was not at all harsh or cough inducing. The blueberry taste was not as light and ‘fruity’ as I expected but more deep and best experianced through a bong or a joint.

High: 9
Hits you within seconds. Starts with a very stoney head high then finishes with a nice mellow body high. Nice functional high that you can go about your day no problem while not feeling the urge to smoke again for hours.

Value: 8
For me to spend $60 dollars on an 8th im expecting some killer pot! Blue Dream is defiantly that. Ive always been more of an indica guy but I could defiantly switch to this in a heartbeat.

If you would like more information about the marijuana strain Blue Dream, please take a look at our Marijuana Strain Guide.

State voters could get a say on pot

July 27th, 2009 Dr. Skunky

Statewide Legalization of Marijuana might find it's self on the ballot soon.

Fresh off their ballot victory in Oakland, marijuana advocates plan to submit a initiative to the secretary of state to legalize the recreational use and taxation of pot statewide.

“We’ve already hired a professional petition firm to take start collecting the signatures,” said Richard Lee, whose Oaksterdam University has been at the forefront of the pot legalization movement. He expects the effort to hit the streets in September.

The initiative, which Lee hopes to file Thursday, would make possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults legal throughout California. It would also give cities and counties the option of allowing the cultivation, sale and taxation of marijuana within their borders.

“It’s patterned after Texas liquor laws, which leave it up to cities and counties to decide if they want to be ‘dry’ or ‘wet,’ ” Lee said.

The initiative would also leave open the door for a statewide per-ounce pot tax, something has already been proposed by state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.

The move to qualify the initiative comes in the wake of a special election Tuesday in which Oakland voters overwhelmingly approved Measure F, to tax medical marijuana sales in that cash-strapped city.

The statewide measure would expand the idea to include taxes on recreational-pot sales to adults.

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California finds pot is a huge cash cow

July 22nd, 2009 Dr. Skunky

SAN FRANCISCO — A drug deal plays out, California-style:

A conservatively dressed courier drives a company-leased Smart Car to an apartment on a weekday afternoon. Erick Alvaro hands over a white paper bag to his 58-year-old customer, who inspects the bag to ensure that everything he ordered over the phone is there.

An eighth-ounce of organic marijuana buds for treating his seasonal allergies? Check. An eighth of a different strain for insomnia? Check. THC-infused lozenges and tea bags? Check and check, with a free herb-laced cookie thrown in as a thank-you gift.

It’s a $102 credit-card transaction carried out with the practiced efficiency of a home-delivered pizza — and with just about as much legal scrutiny.

More and more, having premium pot delivered to your door in California is not a crime. It is a legitimate business.

Since the state became the first to legalize the drug for medicinal use, the weed the federal government puts in the same category as heroin and cocaine has become a major economic force.

Based on the quantity of marijuana that authorities seized last year, the crop alone was worth an estimated $17 billion or more, dwarfing any other sector of the state’s agricultural economy.

And pot also props up local economies, mints millionaires and feeds a thriving industry of startups — stores that sell high-tech marijuana-growing equipment, pot clubs that pay rent and hire workers, chains of for-profit clinics that specialize in medical-marijuana recommendations.

The plant’s prominence does not come without costs, some critics say.

Marijuana plantations in remote forests cause severe environmental damage. Authorities link the drug to violent crime in otherwise quiet small towns.

Still, some lawmakers are pushing for broader legalization as a way to shore up the finances of a state that has teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. The state’s top tax collector estimates that taxing marijuana like liquor could bring in more than $1.3 billion annually.

On Tuesday, Oakland will consider a measure to tax the city’s four marijuana dispensaries, which the city auditor projects will ring up $17.5 million in sales in 2010. The city faces an $83 million budget shortfall, and it expects the marijuana tax to raise $315,000.

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With a recent poll showing more than half of Californians supporting legalization, pot advocates believe they will prevail.

And they say other states will follow.

Tim Blake is the proprietor of a 145-acre spiritual-retreat center that holds an annual marijuana bud-growing contest in the heart of Northern California’s pot-growing country.

Politicians, he says, are “going to see the economic benefits, they’re going to see the health benefits and they’re going to jump on the bandwagon.”

Where it’s grown

On a property flanked by vineyards, Mendocino County farmer Jim Hill grows marijuana for up to 20 patients, including himself and his wife.

Hill’s plants enjoy careful nurturing in a temperature-controlled greenhouse. On a recent spring day, his college-age son spread bat guano to fertilize two dozen 6-foot-tall plants.

Hill, 45, says he spent $10,000 to set up the garden. Patients receive their drugs free in exchange for helping with his crop.

“It’s kind of like living on an apple orchard,” Hill said. “You don’t pay for an apple.”

Although marijuana is cultivated throughout California, the most prized crops come from the forested mountains and hidden valleys of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties — the Emerald Triangle.

The economic impact is difficult to gauge. Authorities say the largest grows are run by Mexican drug cartels that simply funnel money from forest-raised crops into their bank accounts.

Still, marijuana money from outdoor and indoor plots inevitably flows into local coffers. Marijuana increases residents’ retail buying power by about $58 million countywide, according to a Mendocino County report.

Business boost

In Ukiah, the county’s largest city at 11,000 residents, business owners say the extra cash is crucial. “I really don’t think we would exist without it,” said Nicole Martensen, 37, whose wine and garden shop is stocked with bottles from county vintners.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman says medical-marijuana operations that follow state and county laws will face no hassles from his department. His deputies left intact 154 marijuana grows they visited last year, he said.

“If you’re living in the boundaries,” Allman said, “I’m not going to mess with you.”

Which is not to say there is no legal risk to growing, selling or buying marijuana. Federal laws still apply, and pot dealings not deemed medicinal are considered criminal by the state, where police made about 74,000 pot-related arrests in 2007.

Even people accustomed to buying marijuana over the counter are impressed when they visit the Farmacy, a dispensary-cum-New-Age apothecary with three locations in Los Angeles. Decorated in soft beige and staffed by workers in lab coats, the Venice store sells organic toiletries, essential oils and incense along with 25 types of marijuana stored in glass jars.

During a two-hour span, the dozen or so customers who made a purchase all bought pot products and paid the 9.25 percent state sales tax on top of their purchases. The clubs, which are not supposed to turn a profit, call their transactions “donations.”

“Green rush”

Allen Siegel is 74; he is dying of cancer and wants to try smoking marijuana to ease his pain without knocking him out like prescription drugs do. So his wife, Ina, brought him to the Farmacy for his first visit as a legal pot patient.

“You go in there, and they have so many choices,” she said.

California’s “green rush” was spurred by a voter-approved law 13 years ago that authorized patients with a doctor’s recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use.

Although a dozen other states, including Washington, have adopted similar laws, California is the only one where privately owned pot shops have flourished. Los Angeles County alone has at least 400 dispensaries and delivery services, nearly twice as many outlets as Amsterdam, the Netherlands capital whose coffee shops have been synonymous with free-market marijuana for decades.

California’s pot dispensaries now have more in common with a corner grocery than a speak-easy. They advertise freely, offering discount coupons and daily specials.

Justin Hartfield, a 25-year-old Web designer and business student, founded WeedMaps.com, where pot clubs and doctors who write “medi-pot” recommendations list their services and users post reviews. Hartfield says the year-old site brought in $20,000 this month, an amount he expects to double in August.

Like virtually everyone else connected to the cannabis trade, Hartfield has a letter from a doctor that entitles him to buy medical marijuana. But he sees no point in pretending he is treating anything more than his taste for smoking weed.

“It is a joke,” he said. “It’s a legal way for me to get what I used to get on the street.”

The future of cannabis

What would happen if marijuana was legal — not just for medical uses, but for all uses?

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, wants the state to tax and regulate all pot as it does alcohol. State Board of Equalization Chairwoman Betty Yee, a supporter, projects the law would generate $990 million annually through a $50-per-ounce fee for retailers and $392 million in sales taxes. (The state now collects $18 million each year in taxes on medical marijuana.)

Meredith Lintott, Mendocino County’s district attorney, argues that big-time growers never would bother filing tax returns. “Legalizing it isn’t going to touch the big money,” she said.

But others predict the black-market business model would fall apart.

Large-scale agri-businesses in California’s Central Valley would dominate legal marijuana production as they already do bulk wine grapes, advocates argue. Pot prices would fall dramatically, forcing growers to abandon costly clandestine operations that authorities say trash the land and steal scarce water.

And legalization, supporters insist, would save state and local governments billions on police, court and prison costs.

But others survey California in 2009 and say the cannabis future is now. Richard Lee has parlayed two Oakland dispensaries into a mini-empire that includes a marijuana-lifestyle magazine, a starter-plant nursery and a three-campus marijuana trade school. Oaksterdam University’s main campus is a prominent fixture in revitalized downtown Oakland.

All without legalization.

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More than 100 line up for medical marijuana giveaway

July 22nd, 2009 Dr. Skunky

More than 100 people lined up outside a marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley this morning, lured by the offer of free cannabis for the first 100 patients.

The nonprofit dispensary in Canoga Park,  Roscoe’s Compassionate Collective, advertised the offer last week in Kush L.A., a monthly cannabis magazine, with a pull-out coupon for patients with marijuana medical cards and updated prescriptions. Since then, the collective has fielded hundreds of calls from people essentially asking the same question: Is this for real?

JT Wiegman, 37, the owner’s son, said it is indeed for real and as of 11 a.m., they began giving 3.5 grams of marijuana, worth $55, to each recipient. The shop has been open only three months, and though Wiegman admitted the giveaway was in part a promotion, he said that wasn’t the main point.

Through the pot promotion, the dispensary hopes to draw attention to collectives that overcharge and lack compassion, Wiegman said. He said there are too many people in the industry looking to make a fast buck.”I’m showing what true compassion is for this industry, for all the patients that really need the medicine,” he said. “I think collectives in general have not done a good job of taking this professional, we are a pharmacy and we have medicines that are legal.”

At 11 a.m., patients began filing into the lobby,  filled with incense and Bob Marley music. Outside, those still waiting were entertained by volunteers conducting raffles.

“We love it, reggae all day,” Wiegman said of the music.

Less than a mile away, another giveaway was going on this morning — pastries at Starbucks. Wiegman said there was no connection between the two, though he didn’t mind the idea: “Starbucks and RCC,” he said.

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