Cannabis Insider: A Local Dispensary Owner Meets President Obama + GMO Weed Is Now a Thing5 min read
A local marijuana reporter’s field notes and gossip from the intersection of pot, money, and power in the epicentralized San Francisco Bay Area.
SEEN: President Obama recognizes the Green Cross
The founder of The Green Cross San Francisco pharmacy, Kevin Reed, was spotted posing with the leader of the Free World this month in what must be a world first for cannabis pharmacy-government relations.
Reed followers on social media noticed the inn in February when he said, “Up to meet POTUS.” Then on March 2nd, “Here are pictures from last month’s meeting with President Obama!”
The February 11th event was a private fundraiser for the DNC at an Atherton residence. Anyone who meets the President has their property and people checked by the President’s Security Department.
“I wasn’t sure I would be able to wear my Green Cross pin in the pictures, but the Secret Service actually allowed it,” Reed wrote.
“After asking him to consider postponing medical cannabis before leaving office, he replied, ‘Oh yes, I saw your pin!’ What a wonderful and unforgettable moment. Let’s hope he actually does! “
President Obama has announced he will sign a Congressional bill to change cannabis scheduling, but said the White House has bigger priorities for 2016, including broader reforms of the criminal justice system.
A record 61 percent of Americans support cannabis legalization, a new AP poll found.
The meeting will crown a number of official victories for the longtime Excelsior neighborhood pharmacy that began as a licensed delivery service and now serves hundreds of patients a day at its 4218 Mission Street location.
In late January, the Green Cross took home four proclamations at once: a California Congregation Certificate of Appreciation signed by Congregation member Phil Ting; a Certificate of Special Recognition by Congress signed by Congressman Nancy Pelosi; an award from Fiona Ma, a member of the California State Board of Equalization, and a certificate of honor signed by all current San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Kevin Reed continues to make tracks. On March 5, he was spotted at the Castro Theater on Fiona Ma’s birthday, and on March 24, he mentioned meeting with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Congressman Jackie Speier.
Reed, always the gentleman of the south, writes that he played cool with the former secretary.
“When I met Secretary of State Clinton, I said, ‘It would be amazing if you were to consider decriminalizing cannabis when you arrived in office.’ She looked at my Green Cross pin and replied, ‘I’ll check it out.’ “
Sec. Clinton has promised to downgrade cannabis from its place on the government’s widely ridiculed official list of dangerous drugs and move it to second place. Rival Bernie Sanders has promised to move the pot to the federal level and let states set the policy.
HEARS: GMO pot attracts Irish people, investors
Cannabis science and culture are on a collision course as legalization releases existing technology onto the once malevolent herb.
Case in point: The weed biotech startup Librede, based in San Diego, plans to grow THC and other cannabis derivatives in a laboratory, resulting in a 90 percent cost reduction.
The idea was a hit with investors at the last big cannabis tech investor pitch in SF, despite the unanimous booing of marijuana purists in the crowd.
At Weed Club’s @ 420 Pitch on March 3, 10 cannabis companies, each looking for investment, competed in a public spectacle at an Investors Summit in Hilton Union Square. Hundreds of people heard presentations on credit card-sized vapes, apps, luxury handbags, and weed chewing gum, but it was Librede’s plan to genetically modify yeast to make pot compounds at a fraction of the cost of growing the plant that seemed most reasonable to the moneyers. Librede won the event, much to the horror of the cannabis purists in the crowd. On March 22, the biotech company also received a $ 221,000 government grant to advance its technology – a development that could radically undercut any cannabis grower on the planet.
“The cannabinoid production in yeast looks very similar to a microbrewery,” says Librede Produkt in terms of yield, purity and consistency at 10 percent of the cost. The potential for our technology is enormous. “
About $ 215 million in venture capital went into the cannabis space last year, according to CB Insights. In February of this year, SF-based Ackrell Capital predicted that the legal cannabis industry will grow to $ 100 billion by 2029.
(Van der Pop’s Happy Sack keeps your weed under lock and key in style. Photo courtesy of Van der Pop)
TOUCHED: Van der Pop Rocks
Finally cannabis paraphernalia for mods! Keep an eye on @ 420 pitch contestant and luxury accessories designer, Van der Pop, who makes cosmetic-grade airtight jars, light blocking, as well as chic but child-proof handbags, minimalist-designed papers, herb shredders and more.
The Seattle-based brand was launched in January 2016 by April Pride, “a serial entrepreneur with a Masters from Parsons and a degree from the University of Virginia School of Architecture.”
The Pop Pack ($ 35) combines Van der Pop signature papers, grinder, and matchbox. The brand’s Happy Sack ($ 395) is a luxury 10-inch bag with a glossy white patent leather lining, a programmable 3-digit lock and key. Van der Pop has a Seattle pop-up shop at Unkle Ike’s Glass this March. Next, we recommend the Harborside Health Center in Oakland.
(Om Edibles of East Bay adds a mushroom and miso broth to its range of award-winning CBD-rich edibles. Photo via Instagram)
TASTED: Edibles Award watch
Om Edibles’ high-CBD mushroom and miso soup broth wins an award. The East Bay company has won a number of awards for their previous creations, and this 10mg CBD per tablespoon soup broth is the hottest and newest. Om wins the awards by growing its own cannabinoids, sourcing the best ingredients, and keeping it simple – the broth is made from ACDC organic cannabis, for example; organic soft white miso; 14 types of organic mushrooms including reishi, shiitake and chaga; and seaweed. It’s probiotic, nutrient-dense, and “designed for people who may not have much appetite and only eat one or two bites a day.”
Om recently won consecutive first place awards for their CBD Raw Sipping Cacao (High Times NorCal Cup 2015) – we picked up a glass from Harvest on Geary Street and it was love at first sip – and for their current holy anointing Oil (World Cannabis Cup, 2015, Jamaica). You can also try their medicinal bath salts.
(The sleek, strong, cute, bright pineapple headband is the burden du jour.Photo via StickyGuide)
SMELL: pineapple headband by CRAFT
Spring is here and with it some epic surf sessions, beach barbecues and the CRAFT Pineapple Headband that can be delivered to select parts of the Bay Area.
Pineapple Headband from breeder IC Collective joins the award-winning line-up from CRAFT, with its light, loud, sweet, pine-like, fuel-like aroma, which you get with a cross between the sativa pineapple and headband (a mixture of OG Kush and Sour Diesel) would associate. IC Collective harvested this batch flawlessly – it’s light green, with light orange stamps, excellent resin, and a tight hand trim; The taste is super smooth with strong hybrid sativa effects. It’s lab tested, contains 25 percent THC, and promises “uplifting and focused” results. Have fun!
Contact Herb Caine of Cannabis Insider with event announcements, tips, notes, and rumors at highsociety@7×7.com. Herb Caine is a pseudonym for Bay Area cannabis reporter David Downs – a columnist, editor, and best-selling author with The Medical Marijuana Guide Book (Whitman), which came out in 2016.