REMINDER! Kung Fu Vampire announces first Tour Dates in 3 years!

Reminder! The big homie Kung Fu Vampire recently announced the first of (hopefully) many future tour dates!  This round is a 4 date west coast run that starts this Thursday, July 7th in Reno, NV, and ends Sunday, July 10th in Salt Lake City, UT!

The dates are as follows:

  • 7/7/22 – Reno, NV – Bluebird Nightclub
  • 7/8/22 – Elko, NV – Silver Dollar
  • 7/9/22 – Boise, ID – King Legend Nightclub
  • 7/10/22 – Salt Lake City, UT – Liquid Joes

You can get more info and tickets at KungFuVampire.com!

For those of you who are able to make it to any of these shows, KFV will debut unreleased, brand new songs from the upcoming full-length album: BLACK HEART MACHINE!  That album will be out later this year, but these dates are going to be the first opportunity to hear that new music!  Make sure you show up and show some love!

Click the pic to enlarge!



from Faygoluvers

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Announces Enforcement for Illegal Cannabis Growing Season

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and State Water Resource Board (SWRCB) announced in a press release on July 1 that it would be collectively authorizing enforcement teams for the 2022 cannabis growing season. This is an annual announcement, as the CDFW also announced its preparation for the 2021 growing season in July last year.

This effort is funded by Proposition 64 which enables these government agencies to focus on protecting “priority watersheds and areas with sensitive habitat and/or threatened or endangered species.” The agencies will work with local county, state, and federal groups to ensure enforcement is properly handled.

“The environmental impacts of illegal cannabis operations can last decades and cause irreparable harm to our natural resources,” said CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division David Bess. “Those not complying with state laws and disregarding the environmental impacts associated with illegal cultivation practices will be subject to enforcement actions.”

The water streams of California, and the wildlife that depends on them, suffer when illegal cannabis grow operations divert water. “Tributary streams are often critical in providing clear, cold water for larger waterways,” the press release states. “Many sensitive aquatic species such as southern torrent salamanders, coastal tailed frogs, steelhead and coho salmon rely on these tributaries in the late summer months to maintain water quality and temperatures necessary for survival.”

Furthermore, the health of these streams directly affects the “physical, biological, and chemical impact” of the entire local area, which is home to countless creatures whose habitat needs to be maintained.

The drought in California has hit a historic low once again, making it imperative to protect these waterways. “Complying with the state’s cannabis regulations is even more critical in drought conditions when limited water supply is available and water quality impacts are magnified,” said State Water Resources Control Board Office of Enforcement Director Yvonne West. “I am proud to work with so many individuals in the cannabis community dedicated to regulated and environmentally conscientious cultivation. The State Water Board is committed to taking enforcement action against those who harm our precious water resources.”

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley also provided a statement, addressing the need for enforcement of illegal cannabis growing operations. “My office is committed to criminal and civil enforcement to protect the environment and public safety,” said Dudley. “Environmental harms from cannabis cultivation can be severe and long-term, including exposure to dangerous pesticides, water quality degradation, and wildlife injury. Moreover, cultivators who violate the law should not have an unfair competitive advantage over lawful cultivators who expend time and resources to stay in compliance. My office will continue to collaborate with our local and state agency partners to ensure compliance with the law.”

Other California counties, such as San Bernardino, are also supporting legislation aimed at both protecting groundwater as well as eliminating illegal grows. The County sponsored Assembly Bill 2728 and Senate Bill 1426, which would implement fines for violations. According to researchers, cannabis plants (depending on their stage of growth) could need up to six gallons of water per day during the growing season, which spans June through October.

At a press conference in May, Assemblymember Tom Lackey addressed illegal cannabis growers who are polluting local water reserves. “To any of those who are engaged in the illicit grows: I want you to know there’s a collective effort, and we’re coming after you,” said Lackey. “You come after a very sacred thing: our community. You come after our desert, and you’re stealing our water. You’re poisoning our land, and enough is enough.”

Outside of the growing season, Los Angeles County has also worked on targeting illegal grows. In July 2021, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department made one of its largest seizures of illegal cannabis, which was valued at $1.2 billion.

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Study Shows Flower Still Reigns Supreme in U.S., Canada as Consumer Favorite

Flower is indeed still king, and new research proves it. The paper, which researchers say is “one of the most comprehensive assessments of cannabis consumption at the population level in Canada and the U.S. to date,” examines trends in cannabis consumption patterns in Canada and the United States between 2018 and 2020, with authors recognizing the “rapidly diversified” market in both countries since the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis.

Of course, consumption methods may solely come down to what a user prefers, however, as authors note in the abstract, “… mode of administration has important implications for cannabis potency, pharmacokinetic effects, and consumer patterns of use.”

This study looked at the use of different cannabis products in population-based surveys in Canada and the U.S., examining changes over time in the prevalence of use of different cannabis products, along with frequency of use and consumption amongst each product type.

Respondents aged 16 to 65 years were recruited from commercial panels in Canada and the U.S. in states with and without a legal, adult-use cannabis market. Researchers collected data on frequency and consumption amounts for nine types of cannabis products, including dried flower, oils and concentrates, edibles and more. Consumers were also asked about habits around mixing cannabis and tobacco, and researchers collected sociodemographic information to examine any correlates of consumption.

Findings were consistent with previous surveys, ultimately noting that flower still reigns supreme among consumers, regardless of whether those consumers took part in a legal or illegal cannabis marketplace. However, researchers noted the popularity of other formations of cannabis, especially in markets with the option to legally purchase from licensed retailers.

While dried flower was the most commonly used product, examining the past 12-month use among consumers between 2018 and 2020 showed a decline in Canada (81% to 73%), as well as the U.S. legal (78% to 72%) and illegal states (81% to 73%). When looking at prevalence of past 12-month use, researchers observed an increase for virtually all other product forms, though the prevalence of daily use remained stable throughout the observed years.

Following flower, edibles and vape oils were the most commonly used cannabis products in 2020. The use of non-flower products was also highest in U.S. legal states, though similar trends were observed in all jurisdictions covered by the study.

Men were most likely to report the use of processed products. Vape oils were the most commonly processed product among surveyed 16 to 20-year-olds, consistent with other recent research that cannabis vaping is the most popular method of cannabis consumption among U.S. adolescents.

Researchers also noted that the daily use of cannabis flower has increased in all U.S. states, whether adult-use cannabis is illegal or not, and the average joint size has also increased across all jurisdictions over time.

While it may not seem shocking that flower once again comes out on top, these findings offer some insight surrounding the road ahead. Namely, flower may not be “king” forever.

In the conclusion of their report, authors note, “The findings highlight the rapidly evolving nature of the cannabis product market, including notable shifts in the types of cannabis products used by consumers. … Although dried flower continues to dominate the market, it has begun declining with a notable shift towards increasing popularity of processed cannabis products.”

Recent data from Headset, looking at cannabis markets in California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state seem to echo the same trends, according to an MJBizDaily report. According to retail sales data from the six states, cannabis sales grew from $4.92 billion in 2020 to $5.49 billion in 2021, but the flower’s overall share of the market fell.

According to Headset Senior Data Analyst Cooper Ashley, last year saw a 11.5% increase in flower sales, less than the 18% jump in overall cannabis sales. Sales of edibles, in comparison, increased from $1.14 billion to $1.37 billion over the same time period, up 20.4%. Flower was also the third-slowest-growing product category, ahead of topicals and tinctures/sublinguals.

Even though it has some other contenders to play with in the modern age, it’s unlikely flower will fall from its throne any time soon. Though, as the industry continues to rapidly grow and shift, who are we to predict the trends to come?

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Here’s What Happened When I Used a CBD Topical for Getting Tattooed

Tattooed people are some of the toughest individuals around. The heavily tattooed aren’t prone to lifting heavier weights or be more likely to capture an MMA championship. But they sure can take a shit-ton of pain. Be they a glutton for punishment, a lover of art, or something else entirely, the tattooed sit through the oft-suffering experience of several needles at speeds between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. And we keep coming back for more.

While the machinery and process have improved over the years, getting tattooed is still painful for the artist and customer alike. Penetrating through five sublayers of the epidermis, or 1/16 of an inch into the skin, a tattoo can make even the stiffest of upper lips wince. For the artist, years of tattooing in hunched-over positions does a number on the body. Back, eye, and neck pains are typical, as well as headaches.

The tattoo community is like any other: a lot of people consume pot. Artists do so on or off the clock for recreational and medical reasons. Some tattoo clients report satisfying results using cannabis topicals, highlighting their efficacy during aftercare. The two to three-week healing period for a tattoo is critical. Mistakes can lead to health concerns and a new tattoo lacking saturation.

An abundance of topicals are already on the market, but few have focused on tattoo aftercare. More rare, few, if any, have attempted to address client pain and inflammation during tattooing.

A few months back, while getting tattooed at Brooklyn’s Electric Anvil, my artist, Tron, mentioned a CBD cream explicitly focusing on tattooing and aftercare. Tattoo Nectar, the Michigan-based, 250mg full spectrum CBD topical startup, was launched this past 4/20 by grower Orcannica, Green Fish Seeds and veteran tattoo artists Julian Bast and Danny G.

CBD topicals are a dime a dozen, and someone is always looking to cash in, even on niche markets. But the combination of tattoo and cultivation expertise piqued my interest. Maybe this isn’t just a cash grab claiming CBD cures another random pain.

To find out, I got some Tattoo Nectar, selected a pot-themed flash tattoo from Tron, and set out to see if CBD tattoo care is a hunk of bunk or a possible new option.

Tattoo Healing Methods

Depending on the artist, the recommended aftercare process may vary from lax to almost regimented, with specific product recommendations to pick up at the local pharmacy.

A commonly recommended method includes lightly applying an over-the-counter skin care ointment, typically Aquaphor, for three or so days. Then switch to an unscented lotion, like Aveeno, for approximately 11 more days. Application amounts will vary depending on the shop recs.

Another method is the product-fee dry healing method. Some artists say the process is a safe, all-natural approach, while others feel it carries risks to your skin and tattoo quality. Weirdos like myself endorse it because it makes the bed you share with your girlfriend colorful with skin flakes for a few days. How someone puts up with me remains a mystery, but that’s for another article.

There are also skin adhesive bandages, like SecondSkin, where clients keep the same dressing over the wound for several days. I tried the method earlier this year in Austin, Texas. I’d definitely do it again, especially if I can avoid the familiar “ink sack,” where excess ink and plasma slosh around between your epidermis and the bandage. It’s kind of like a gross human waterbed.

Prior to starting development on Tattoo Nectar two years ago, Bast recommended clients rely on antibacterial soap and avoid direct sunlight early on. He suggests unscented lotion in the following days, applying only when the tattoo itches. He also used adhesives at times, but advises against Tegaderm after two tattoo-damaging experiences of his own.

Tron recommends nothing for the first 5 days then switching to an unscented lotion. However, she and other artists note that, like drug consumption, everybody reacts differently. If you don’t experience an ideal effect, consult with a professional and consider changing course.

No matter your preferred aftercare method, tattoos should be kept away from direct water exposure while healing, save for quick cleanings in the shower or sink. The tattoo will likely go through several noteworthy healing phases. Expect blood and plasma leakage early on. A few rounds of scabbing may come afterward. The urge to itch will rise as body hair grows back in. Fight the desire to scratch or risk pulling off unhealed scabs and diminishing ink saturation in those spots.

Ointment application guidelines remain the same as well. Start with a small amount covering a fingertip. Begin to cover the tattoo in a thin layer of jelly. Avoid using excessive amounts or risk washing out your tattoo, making it look like it’s been on your skin for a decade.

“Less is always always more in any case,” Tron said.

Getting Tattooed With CBD Cream

Orcannica emphasized using the cream during the tattoo process, piquing my interest. Tattoo artists typically use petroleum jelly to help keep blood at bay and bactine as a minor numbing agent. I was excited to see what CBD might be able to do in place of these two items.

Bast feels CBD’s oft-reported anti-inflammatory and skin hydration properties, and a shea-butter based cream, benefit both artist and client.

“Tattooers are used to the feel of the weird layer of petroleum and glide over it,” he said, noting that shea butter absorbs into the skin, leaving less of an oily surface for the artist to work with.

I wasn’t expecting any topical, save for a numbing agent, to entirely remove the pain. But what I did notice was a slight cooling relief when getting tattooed. The effect was particularly noticeable when resuming tattooing after a quick break. The first one or two touches from the gun to my skin after a break are the worst moments during any of my tattoos. Those first couple interactions still hurt with Tattoo Nectar, but the cooling effect cut into the pain, making the transition back to the needles less jarring.

The most beneficial impact of CBD was by far on the final product. After several hours of tattooing, skin is often red and swollen from the trauma it just endured. It’s one of the many reasons why artists request follow-up photos several weeks afterward to see their work in its healed glory. Note the difference between Tron’s tattoo in June to the results after a three-hour quarter sleeve session with the incredible Yoni Zilber back in 2011.

Photo: Jon Bradley/Bradley Visual Co.
Artist: Yoni Zilber, 2011
Artist: Yoni Zilber, 2011

This comparison also reminds me how badly I washed out the black ink in Yoni’s sleeve with excessive ointment. Much of the black is now a blue-grey, a look I enjoy but not what I set out to get. Time to book a touch up session.

Using CBD For Aftercare

Ever the habitual over-applier of ointments, my first non-dry healed tattoo in several years was a new but familiar experience.

The first difference I noticed was the sensation between CBD creams and petroleum jelly. Even the lightest dab of Aquaphor can be a greasy mess on clothes or anything it comes in contact with. Someone like me who erroneously layers it on might as well put a bubble around that new tattoo or risk leaving a trail of oily touchpoints for the next few days. That in mind, I remained conscious of running into people or objects with CBD cream on. I still felt more moisture than usual, but it didn’t feel like I had sticky goop on me. Rather, the feeling went away like any other shea butter topical might. 

Overall, I didn’t notice much of a difference between Tattoo Nectar and Aveeno. Though, my skin appeared to stay moist longer with the Tattoo Nectar. Instead of applying a lotion three or four times a day, I used Tattoo Nectar once in the morning and evening.

After two weeks of applications, my new tattoo healed equally to others that utilized dry healing or other ointments. As a proponent of dry healing, CBD/Tattoo Nectar didn’t convert me on aftercare methods. Still, after two and half weeks, my tattoo maintained its saturation. My skin still needs to heal but that is common for me.

Taken 2.5 weeks after the tattoo/Photo Credit: Tron

Piquing my interest most was its effect on tattooing and pain management. Tattoo Nectar provided a noticeable cooling sensation while keeping inflammation slightly at bay. Tron and others at the shop took notice as well.

“I definitely plan to use it more and see how that affects other tattoos,” Tron said. Since our session, she reports tattooing seven to 10 additional clients with the cream, all to positive results. She reports other artists at the shop showing interest in using Tattoo Nectar or CBD creams, particularly with black and grey tattoos.

With CBD/Tattoo Nectar seemingly holding up to the first challenge, I’m now excited to see if it can sustain its results during a more extended tattoo session. I’d also like to try other CBD topicals and doses to assess their effect.

I’m also interested to see if the company can survive. Cannabis is an oversaturated market where even quality products struggle to break through. Meanwhile Tron wonders if it can be made into a spray as a bactine replacement.

Bast said the company continues to remain a small batch organization, promoting through word of mouth recommendations in the tattoo community. Acknowledging the long and often sacred uses of tattoos, cannabis and psychedelics alike, he said the company hopes to honor each practice properly.

He said cannabis and psychedelics are excellent for connecting with one’s self. In tattooing, “You submit to the pain and you accept that I have to take the ride,” he explained.

Use this experience as you will, and remember that everyone’s experience varies depending on a range of factors. Stick to trusted products that offer clear test results on their website and/or product packaging.

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THC Edibles Now Legal in Minnesota

A new state law went into effect in Minnesota on Friday permitting the sale of edible products containing the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Under the measure, foods and beverages can be infused with up to 0.3% THC, although the cannabinoid can only be derived from hemp.

The measure allows foods and beverages to be infused with up to 0.3% THC, provided that the cannabinoid has been sourced from legally produced hemp, which was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill. The legislation permits edible products with up to 5 mg THC per serving, with a maximum of 50 mg per package. The sale of edibles with hemp-derived THC is restricted to adults 21 and older.

Cannabis advocates say that they are surprised the bill passed at the end of the 2022 legislative session because Republicans in the state Senate have been staunchly opposed to bills that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Steven Brown, the CEO of Nothing But Hemp, said that he plans to begin selling up to a dozen new products with hemp-derived THC at his six retail stores in Minnesota. He expects dozens of more products to be available within a few months.

“In some ways, we legalized cannabis,” Brown told local media.

Hemp THC Products Legalized by 2018 Farm Bill

Although hemp products containing up to 0.3% delta-9 THC were already legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, the legislation did not put a limit on delta-8 THC, which can also be derived from hemp. The Minnesota bill was written in part to address the proliferation of delta-8 THC products, many of which have high amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid.

State Representative Heather Edelson drafted the House version of the bill. She said that the measure is intended to address a public health concern, noting that since hemp-derived THC products have been available in Minnesota, there has been an increase in the number of calls to poison control centers.

“There were these products that essentially didn’t really have regulations on them. But people were consuming them,” Edelson told Minnesota Public Radio. “They were being sold all over the state of Minnesota, and a lot of them in gas stations.”

The legislation includes labeling requirements for foods and beverages containing hemp THC. Products containing either CBD or THC must be clearly labeled and sold only to adults 21 and older. The law does not regulate who can sell hemp THC-infused foods or beverages and does not set a limit on the number of products that can be purchased.

Republican Senator Mark Koran, the author of the Senate version of the bill, said that he followed the lead of state health officials in drafting the legislation.

“With the federal changes in 2018, the [Minnesota] Board of Pharmacy and Department of Agriculture recognized the need for regulations on certain products and worked with the Legislature to restrict the market,” Koran said in a statement. “That’s what this bill does.”

Although the amount of THC permitted is fairly low compared to infused foods and beverages permitted in states that have legalized adult-use cannabis, they contain enough THC to have psychoactive effects, especially for the uninitiated user. And with no limit on the number of products that can be bought, even higher doses are easily available.

“This stuff will get you high, no doubt about it,” said attorney Jason Tarasek, founder of the Minnesota Cannabis Law firm and a board member of the Minnesota Cannabis Association. “Everybody’s calling it hemp-derived THC, which makes it sound like something other than marijuana. But I went on social media and I called it adult-use marijuana, because that’s what most people are going to consider this to be.”

Minnesota Senator Wants New Law Changed

Republican Senator Jim Abeler, the chair of the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy Committee, said that he did not realize that the bill legalized edibles with delta-9 THC, adding that he believed the legislation only applied to products with delta-8 THC.

“I thought we were doing a technical fix, and it winded up having a broader impact than I expected,” Abeler said, saying that the state legislature should consider scaling back the new law.

But Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, who supports comprehensive efforts to legalize recreational cannabis, said that Abeler’s suggestion to roll back the law is “ridiculous,” noting that the senator “voted for it.”

He signed the conference report,” Winkler said. “This is a step forward towards a policy we strongly support.”

Edelson agreed, saying that “Bringing more consumer protections really was my goal.” But she admitted that the new law brings Minnesota closer to the legalization of recreational marijuana. “There was no mystery about what we were doing here.”

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