Budzilla is back in original Vancouver location

Budzilla is back in original Vancouver location

Like its namesake Godzilla of monster movie fame, Budzilla knows a thing or two about battling a city.

In this case the city of Vancouver rather than Tokyo, Osaka or San Francisco.

It’s been half a year since the bustling East Van business specializing in edible cannabis products was locked out by its nervous landlord on July 12, but owner Rejean Houle says he expects to re-eopen the original location at 2267 Kingsway by Dec. 12.

“When I came back into the store a couple of days ago, it was like a time warp because we were in summer mode and barbecue season back then” said Houle in a phone interview Friday. “We are actually open now but we are mostly doing renovations and also updating equipment and cleaning up six months’ worth of dust.”

The problems with his landlord began after Houle was denied a business license.

“The city of Vancouver started issuing fines [to unlicensed dispensaries] and the landlord got so freaked out and, coupled with the fact they had sent them the letter of refusal for us getting us a business license, that was enough for the landlord to terminate our lease.”

He successfully appealed the city’s decision in October by going through the Board of Variance.

Budzilla Dispensary Clinic was originally denied a chance to go through the city’s licensing system after losing out in the “de-clustering” process set up by officials to determine which applicant will advance when more than two dispensaries are within 300 metres of one another. Houle’s application received more demerit points than another applicant in the area that had not yet opened at the time. Houle received 17 demerits for his application, including 10 for operating as a for-profit business and three for doing work on the space without a permit. Budzilla was also given four demerits for having a “location considered a problem premise” by the Vancouver Police Department.

The other dispensary ultimately withdrew its application.

“After the Board of Variance cleared us, we had to make basically as legal as possible. So everything needs to be spelled out, every word needs to be scrutinized because it is legalese, so it took since the Board of Variance until now be able to secure the termination of the previous lease.”

Houle said he spent roughly a quarter of a million dollars fighting the decision while juggling other projects, including running the cafe-style Budzilla Skylounge a few blocks away at 2121 Kingsway under a different landlord. He said that while the whole process has been stressful, he doesn’t entirely blame the owner of the original location.

“It has been very difficult and could have been avoided if the landlord had been more receptive but at the same time I understand that when you are threatened by the city, it can be very scary. They did act irrationally by terminating our lease but I need to bury the hatchet and make peace so we can move forward with the business.”

He added that he was grateful for the assistance of Jade Maple, a media and outsourcing company focused on the cannabis industry, in helping get the original Budzilla back in business again.

“Jade Maple has been the corporate management company that takes care of Budzilla’s affairs an they’ve done a lot of helpful services. They take care of my general legal needs and helped us negotiate at the board of variance. What my specialty is is cannabis but when it comes to law and managing, these guys take care of that.”

Rejean Houle Budzilla Board of Variance

Twitter: @flematic
Published at Sat, 10 Dec 2016 22:06:21 +0000

Obama says marijuana should be treated like ‘cigarettes or alcohol’

Obama says marijuana should be treated like ‘cigarettes or alcohol’

The Columbian / Associated Press

In an “exit interview” with Rolling Stone magazine, President Barack Obama said that marijuana use should be treated as a public health issue similar to tobacco or alcohol and called the current patchwork of state and federal laws regarding the drug “untenable.”

“Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse,” Obama said. “And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it.”

Obama has made comments to this effect before. In a 2014 interview with The New Yorker he said that marijuana was less dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” More recently, he told Bill Maher that “I think we’re going to have to have a more serious conversation about how we are treating marijuana and our drug laws generally.”

In the Rolling Stone interview published this week, Obama also reiterated his long-standing position that changing federal marijuana laws is not something the president can do unilaterally. “Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict,” he said, “but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently turned down a petition to lessen federal restrictions on marijuana, citing the drug’s lack of “accepted medical use” and its “high potential for abuse.” Congress could resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws by amending the federal Controlled Substances Act, but have thus far declined to do so.

Marijuana legalization advocates have been frustrated at what they see as Obama’s unwillingness to use his bully pulpit to advocate for their cause. “It would have been very helpful if he had taken more concrete positive action on this issue before it was almost time to vacate the Oval Office,” said Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority in a statement. “That this president didn’t apply pressure on the DEA to reschedule marijuana this year will likely go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the Obama era.”

There’s little disagreement on either side of the legalization debate that personal marijuana use should be treated primarily as a public health issue. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the nation’s leading anti-legalization group, says that it “seeks to establish a rational policy” for marijuana use and possession that “no longer relies only on the criminal justice system to address people whose only crime is smoking or possessing a small amount of marijuana.”

But there’s vehement disagreement over what such a “rational policy” might look like. SAM advocates for a policy of decriminalization of marijuana use, but not full-scale commercial legalization. Groups like the Marijuana Policy Project, on the other hand, are pushing for the creation of Colorado-style commercial marketplaces where it’s completely legal to buy, sell and consume marijuana.

Published at Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:59:57 +0000

Vaporizer Guide: Best Portable Vaporizers For 2017

Vaporizer Guide: Best Portable Vaporizers For 2017

Planning to enjoy cannabis? Rolling joint is no longer that hip in today’s modern times.

If you plan on taking your joint outside the house, the most popular way to do it is by using portable vaporizers.

Unlike the desktop vaporizers, the best portable vaporizers are handy, while some other versions can even be discreet. Some might even be mistaken for a phone, making vaping enjoyable without the unnecessary attention.

But not all portable vaporizers are equal. There are those options that offer better overall experience to its users.

Here are some of the best portable vaporizers of 2017.

#1: Mighty Vaporizer By Storz and Bickel 

mighty

Made by the same company that made the Volcano, this product doesn’t disappoint. Unlike most portable devices that are considered conduction vaporizers, the Mighty is convection and conduction type portable vaporizer. It is a hybrid vaporizer that brings twice the battery life and capacity than Crafty, its smaller counterpart.

Because of its size, the Mighty can bring the heat without the aid of a separate app. Heat up time takes around 1:30 to 2:00 minutes which is quite faster than the Crafty. In contrast to other portable vaporizers, this can be considered a bit slow, since a lot of portable vaporizers can easily heat up at one minute mark. However, you’ll notice that the Mighty can provide much more consistent temperature during draws.

The chamber size of the Mighty can hold around 0.2 grams of dry herb, while it can extend to 0.3 grams if you grind the herb quite fine. This can give you around 5-6 hits. And because of the size of the Mighty, it was able to accommodate a decent sized battery that can give you a good number of sessions before it gets drained. You can get around 8 sessions from this device.

But of course, if you are the type of enthusiast who is particular about being discreet in public, its size can be a problem.  And coming from the same makers as the Volcano, expect that this product can be quite pricey. 

You can Read our full review here: Mighty Vaporizer Review

#2: Pax 2 By Pax Labs 

pax

Considered by many critics as one of the best functioning portable vaporizers, Pax by Ploom is a vaporizer for dry herbs. It is a user-friendly, discreet and high-quality product that fits more or less in your hand.

It is an efficient device. The chamber can hold around 0.2 to 0.4 grams, and could already give you 10 to 20 draws. You can use this device for an hour. Ploom also has a 10-year warranty for this device.

To use the Pax portable vaporizer, you can just push the mouthpiece, and it becomes ready for sessions. Once the mouthpiece pops up, the heater also warms up immediately, and the device is ready to use within a minute.

#3: K-Vape By Kandypens 

kandypen

Another portable vaporizer on our list is the K-Vape by Kandypen portable vaporizers. Kandypen portable vaporizers are available in different colors. This portable vaporizer has a discreet simplified design that looks like a lipstick.

Just like any other vape pen design, it makes use of an atomizer to heat the material. It produces decent sized clouds with a slight relative draw. Unlike most vaporizers in the market that make use of ceramic chambers, the K-Vape made use of quartz to prevent absorption of the concentrated. This prevents any weird burnt taste on your draws. What it provides users is a purer and cleaner tasting vapor.

The capacity of K-Vape is at around 0.3 grams which allow you to get around more than 30 hits depending on how long you draw from the device. To get good sized clouds on your draw, you’ll need to give do at least around 5-second draws.

Despite the small design, the device offers three temperature options that you could choose from. It is also color coded to give you an idea if the device is on low, medium or high settings.

#4: G Pen Elite By Grenco Science

 g-pen-elite

Grenco Science is one of those brands that made a reputation for making generic portable vaporizers straight from Alibaba. The G-Pen Elite, on the other hand, is a bit different than other products from Grenco Science. It is considered by critics as the device that showcased a “monumental leap in technology”.

The G Pen Elite is a vaporizer that has been designed for flowers. It measures around 3 inches which make the device handy and comfortable to use. The device can handle around 0.75 grams in its ceramic heating chamber. According to the company, it is a combination of both conduction and convection system.

The device can heat up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit in just half a minute. The mouthpiece functions as an airflow restrictor. But it was made for a good reason. If not for the air restriction function of the mouthpiece, the vapor would’ve been too hot. The downside about the G Pen Elite is that it has minimal room for cooling.

You can read our complete review here: G Pen Elite Vaporizer Review

#5: Arizer Air By Arizer 

arizer-air

The Arizer Air is the updated and improved version of the Arizer Solo portable vaporizer. You can get around an hour of vaping with the Arizer Air. This device can be used even while it is being charged. Also, it has a safety feature which turns the device off right after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Regarding components, the Arizer Air has a ceramic chamber and glass components. This helps keep the vapor to be pure. It has five temperature settings, not to mention one button to control everything. 374 and 394 degrees Fahrenheit are two of the best options that provide the best tasting vapor.

There’s not much draw resistance from the Arizer Air. To get maximum vapor, you can do 5-10 second draws.

You can read our complete review here: Arizer Air Vaporizer Review 

#6: Firefly 2  By Firefly Vapor

firefly

Last but not least on our list of best portable vaporizers for 2017 is the Firefly. The first impression on the Firefly is that it looks like a flip camera. Rounded in size, the Firefly is a portable device that isn’t quite discreet because of its size. It has a sleek design though which gives it a modern feel.

It heats the material via convection method. Since the material isn’t in direct contact with the device’s heater, it helps create the best tasting vapor. This means that the material doesn’t get combusted and you get clean vapor. The downside is that it may take a bit of time before the herbs are heated up.

What is your Vaporizer? Comment below and share it with us!

 

Published at Sun, 13 Nov 2016 14:38:33 +0000

Report: Oregon’s strict pot rules hurting industry

Report: Oregon’s strict pot rules hurting industry

The Columbian / Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — A new report argues that Oregon’s strict rules around pesticide testing are hurting the state’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry.

The Statesman Journal reports that the report issued Wednesday says some businesses are closing their doors because of strained supplies.

The Oregon Health Authority started enforcing new testing regulations on Oct. 1.

Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the state’s health agency, says the tight rules are intended to protect the public.

But economist Beau Whitney — a former marijuana executive — and the Oregon Cannabis Business Council say the rules are shifting business to the black market and costing pot entrepreneurs thousands.

Oregon made $40 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana so far this year — but the report says that could drop $10 million in the fourth quarter.

Published at Thu, 01 Dec 2016 18:45:08 +0000

Where things stand on weed in the workplace

Where things stand on weed in the workplace

The Columbian / Associated Press

Farmworkers inside a drying barn take down newly harvested marijuana plants after a drying period Oct. 4, at Los Suenos Farms, America's largest legal open air marijuana farm, in Avondale, southern Colorado. Newly approved laws in four states allowing the recreational use of marijuana are seen as unlikely to change rules regarding use of the drug in the workplace. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

BOSTON — Changing marijuana laws aren’t necessarily making weed more welcome in the workplace.

For now, many employers appear to be sticking with their drug testing and personal conduct policies, even in states where recreational marijuana use is now permitted. Others are keeping a close eye on the still-evolving legal, regulatory and political environment.

Voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada voted Nov. 8 to approve the use of recreational marijuana, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, where it had previously been legalized. (A recount of Maine’s close result is scheduled.) More than two dozen states have medical marijuana programs.

But the drug is still against federal law.

A closer look at what it all means for workers and businesses:

• CAN MY EMPLOYER STILL TEST ME FOR POT?

Bottom line: You can’t come to work high. You can still be drug tested. And you can still be fired — or not hired — for failing a drug test even if you’re not the least bit impaired at work.

All the states with legalized recreational pot have exemptions for workplace drug policies.

In Massachusetts, for example, the law includes language stating that “the authority of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the consumption of marijuana by employees” is not changed.

“Yes, you may be able to have (marijuana) at home, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK in the workplace,” said Edward Yost, an HR specialist with the Society for Human Resources Management.

• WHAT ABOUT WORKPLACE SAFETY?

Advocates for marijuana legalization said it was never their intention to compromise safety, a central reason offered by employers for drug testing.

“We don’t want anyone to come to work impaired on any drugs,” said David Boyer, campaign manager for the ballot initiative in Maine.

A 2013 survey by the employee screening firm HireRight found 78 percent of employers conducted drug tests either randomly, as a condition of employment, after accidents or for some combination of those reasons.

The federal government requires drug testing for some workers, including truck drivers and others in transportation.

Quest Diagnostics, which performed nearly 11 million laboratory-based drug tests for employers in 2015, said the percentage of tests coming back positive has shown a modest increase in recent years. Nearly half of all positive tests showed evidence of marijuana use.

• CAN I GET FIRED EVEN IF I’M NOT HIGH?

THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, can stay in a person’s system for days or even weeks, experts say — long after the buzz has subsided.

“It’s the equivalent of firing somebody who drank a glass of wine on Friday evening and then came to work on Monday,” said Tamar Todd, legal director for the Drug Policy Alliance, who believes employers should reconsider zero-tolerance policies in light of changing laws and attitudes.

A number of efforts are underway to develop an accurate method, akin to the Breathalyzer for alcohol, to measure actual marijuana impairment. Such a test might be useful not only for employers, but also for police and prosecutors trying to determine what constitutes driving under the influence of marijuana in states where recreational pot is legal.

• WHAT SHOULD COMPANIES DO?

At a minimum, companies should review their current polices, make sure their managers are trained and make clear to employees that marijuana use on or off the job can still land them in trouble, said James Reidy, a New Hampshire-based attorney who advises clients around the country on drug-testing issues.

Tina Sharby, chief human resources officer for an Easter Seals affiliate with about 1,700 employees in New England, said the organization, which provides services for people with special needs, is monitoring the evolving legal and regulatory environment but is sticking with its drug-testing protocols for now.

“We have a drug-free workplace policy, and we believe that the current policy we have is effective,” Sharby said.

But drug testing and zero-tolerance rules can also make it difficult for businesses with a need to recruit young professionals who may harbor more liberal attitudes toward pot.

“We have ski industries out here, and if they really took a hard line on marijuana use, they would have to shut down,” said Curtis Graves, information resource manager for the Colorado-based Mountain States Employers Council.

After Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, surveys showed an uptick in workplace drug testing, Graves said, but that trend has begun to shift in the other direction.

“Employers who have a zero-tolerance policy maybe shouldn’t apply that to nonsafety sensitive workers, because if they do testing on them, they run the risk of inviting an invasion of privacy claim,” suggested Amanda Baer, a Boston-area attorney who specializes in labor and employment issues.

• WHAT DO THE COURTS SAY?

Adding to the uncertainty is the scarcity of legal precedent in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. But several cases involving employees with permits to use medical marijuana have reached the courts, and most have been decided in employers’ favor.

The most widely cited case is a 2015 Colorado Supreme Court that upheld Dish Network’s firing of a disabled man who used medical marijuana and failed a drug test. The court ruled that a state law barring employers from firing workers for off-duty behavior that is legal did not apply because pot remains illegal under federal law.

Similar rulings have been issued in other states including California, Montana and Washington.

As medical marijuana programs become more common even in states where recreational pot remains outlawed, some companies have begun to weigh accommodations for workers with permission to use marijuana for an existing health condition.

Published at Sun, 04 Dec 2016 14:05:24 +0000

Vaporizer Buying Guide: Best Portable Vaporizers Under $200

Vaporizer Buying Guide: Best Portable Vaporizers Under $200

Planning to buy a vape, but with limited funds on your wallet?

Does it mean that you have to settle for a plastic taste on your vaping experience? Or just stick to smoking cannabis? Fortunately, you have great options for portable vaporizers under $200!

Thanks to the growing demand for cannabis and vape products, the industry evolved and is now catering affordable, high-quality vaporizers. You don’t have to settle for a less satisfying vape experience just because you aren’t willing to pay for a  Volcano.

These days, there are a lot of portable vaporizers in the market that are sold for under $200. These portable vaporizers are known for their portability, unique design, and high-quality vapor.

Check our list for the best portable vaporizers under $200 in the market.

#1: G Pen Elite By Grenco Science 

gpen portable vaporizers under $200

Dubbed as a monumental leap in technology according to Grenco Science, the G Pen Elite is unlike your ordinary generic portable vaporizer made from random Chinese OEM factories. It measures around 3.4 inches tall and 1.2 inches wide and made of plastic material. This device can hold around 0.75 grams of cannabis.

According to the manufacturer is a convection vaporizer. This means that air heats up the material via the chamber. When most vaporizers, especially small portable ones make use of conduction method in heating the materials, Grenco Science claims that they have a convection device. But according to cannabis connoisseurs online, they are convinced that the G Pen Elite is a combination of both conduction and convection technology.

What exactly can you expect from this vaporizer? For starters, it heats up to 428°F in roughly half a minute. The good thing about this device is that you don’t get a plastic taste, which could indicate that it makes use of dominantly a convection vaporizer.

As for the downside, it appears that the device is designed with an airflow constrictor. Why exactly did Grenco Science design the device with an airflow restrictor? This avoids instances when you taste hot vapor in your mouth. And because of this, minimal cooling seems like a necessity for this device.

And lastly, the design of the G Pen Elite is discreet. It looks like a kitchen equipment or some music player made of plastic, rather than a cannabis paraphernalia.

#2: Magic Flight Launch Box By Magic Flight 

magic-flight-launch-box portable vaporizers under $200

Another portable vaporizer under $200 that you should check is the Magic Flight Launch Box. This vaporizer looks nothing like other portable versions out there in the market.

The Magic Flight Launch Box offers a simplified approach to vaping. A carved box made of wood, it is quite surprising how this device can compete with some of the modern vaporizers in the market. This device is handmade in San Diego, California via an 87 step process that the company designed specifically to enhance the overall vaping experience.

Looking at the device, The Magic Flight Launch Box looks primitive with no buttons to overcomplicate things. On the other hand, looking at the inside of the device tells a different story. The Magic Flight Launch Box has superb engineering that works using two double A batteries. And to get the device working, you’ll need a plastic tube for your draws.

The best thing about this device is that it is discreet. You won’t recognize the device as some vaporizer. In addition to this, it has a huge chamber to accommodate a decent amount of herbs. In terms of vapor quality, it is comparable to the most expensive options in the market.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the sturdiest product that you can depend on. But still, for its price, it makes a good option if you plan on taking your vaping sessions outside the comforts of your home.

#3: K Vape Vaporizer By Kandypens 

k-vape-vaporizer-by-kandypens portable vaporizers under $200

If you are looking for a device that isn’t pricey and easy to use, then K Vape might interest you. Measuring 5.5 inches tall and around 1 inch thick, this device only has one button and two lights. It has three pre-set temperatures: 360°F (Red), 380°F(Green) and 420°F(Blue).

The K Vape can easily outperform similar products in the market in terms of vapor quality. And despite the size, you’ll never experience combustion from this device. It also provides an accurate temperature for its users. The lowest temperature is suggested for extracting flowers while the highest setting can produce some of the thickest vapor by a portable vaporizer.

The Kandypen K Vape is a dry herb vaporizer, small enough to fit in your pants and has a comfortable rubber grip. When being used, the device can get a bit hot, but it isn’t too hot that it can hurt your hands.

The device also has an auto-shutoff feature which can help preserve the battery when it isn’t in use. It automatically turns off within three minutes of being inactive. It can also fit around 0.6 grams of material in its chamber.

#4: DaVinci Ascent By DaVinci 

davinci-ascent portable vaporizers under $200

Are you the type who is into loose leaf vaping? Then DaVinci Ascent makes perfect sense for you. It is a multi-functional vaporizer that also works well with essential oils and concentrates. Its size is roughly around two iPhones that are stacked above each other.

It has a high-tech design meant to deliver quality vapor to its users. Da Vinci Ascent offers flexible temperature from 38 to 430°F. What makes this device superb in terms of quality is its glass pathway design. This prevents any type of plastic taste that usually comes from portable vaporizers on the market.

The lower third of the device is where you can place the material. It swings 180 degrees to open the chamber. You’ll need to make use of a glass insert if you are going to use this device, while loose leaf should be grounded into tiny pieces to get the best results.

The device heats up to your desired temperature in half a minute. Also, this device is known for its steady draws. Unfortunately, if you are after milky flavorful draws, you might be a bit disappointed with this device. Another downside of this particular device is that it can get a bit sticky after a session, not to mention it is quite hard to load the material on the device.

#5: Alfa Vaporizer By Goboof 

alfa-vaporizer portable vaporizers under $200

The Alfa by Goboof is a tough contender not only for under $200 portable vaporizers but even for the other flower vaporizers in the market. It’s a small, simple and easy to use a device that can make everyone happy.

The cylindrical chamber is well designed by Goboof. For one, it has one of the easiest to clean designs in the market. Next, its heating chamber makes use of a heating pin which allows equal distribution of heat to the cannabis. Though this device is a portable conduction vaporizer, you will not be getting a plastic taste from this particular device. 

In terms of design, the Alfa is compact and smaller than most standard portable vaporizers. It is even considered as one of the smallest vaporizers made. However, despite the small size, it doesn’t seem quite fragile. Also, it has a straightforward design that is easy to understand, regardless if you are new to vaping or experienced.

But one drawback from the Alfa is that you need to grind the material well. Loose material won’t give you a good result since this is a conduction vaporizer. 

Bonus Product: Magical Butter 2 By MB

magical-butter-2

Another product that we want to include in this list is the Magical Butter. Though the Magical Butter isn’t a portable vaporizer, this can easily compliment your portable vaporizer.

What makes the Magical Butter special is its ability to create cannabis-infused butter, oil and tinctures in seconds. If you think that you’ll need to follow complicated steps, this is something that isn’t complex to use.

It also has self-cleaning capabilities, which minimizes maintenance concerns. Aside from cooking cannabis products, the Magic Butter can also be used for culinary herbs, wherein you can make salad dressings and even skin care products.   

Conclusion

There’s no reason to be frustrated if you plan to vape outside but only have a small budget. Given the number of options in the market today, there are plenty of varieties you can get with just $200. 

Do you prefer vaping dry herbs or maybe essential oils? Comment below and share it with us!

 

Published at Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:41:15 +0000