Talking Joints Potcast
By Talking Joints Memo (Host & Editor Chris Faraone)
Talking Joints PotcastMar 20, 2023
Interview: Dr. Keith Saunders On The Future Of Cultivation In Massachusetts
Here's an excerpt from a conversation with longtime cannabis activist and NORML Board Member Dr. Keith Saunders about how the Delta-8 in your edibles came to be that way and how states could require labeling that identifies the process used.
This won't be the last time we discuss this but it will get you thinking for sure ...
Video Interview: Heavy Metal Cannabis Launches In Massachusetts With Berkshire Roots
There is no doubt that the Heavy Metal x Berkshire Roots collaboration will go down as one of the Bay State’s early memorable high-profile cannabis collaborations, right up there with Little Steven’s Underground Apothecary x Canna Provisions and Plant Jam x Jim Belushi ice cream.
For the uninitiated, Heavy Metal magazine is not a music thing but rather an iconic entertainment brand that helped put fantasy and sci-fi graphic art on the map. It’s not necessarily a stoner emblem, but it’s certainly an imprint that has been consumed by pot smokers for generations. Furthermore, in the past couple of decades they’ve expanded into other areas—film, books, and now cannabis.
As the companies jointly explained, “The launch is part of an exclusive licensing deal with Heavy Metal Entertainment (HME) for Berkshire Roots to offer and create unique cannabis products in Massachusetts branded ‘Heavy Metal’ to coincide with HMEs plans to deliver exciting new media and experiences for its fanbase and to attract new people to its rich history of stories and characters.”
I ran into the team behind this joint venture at NECANN, and asked how it all came together.
“You get opportunities sometimes and you have to decide if you're going to walk through the door or not,” Berkshire Roots CEO James Winokur said. “I thought, this is a great connection. I know cannabis is a big part of this world and I connected with [Heavy Metal President] Tommy Coriale and said, Hey, I think we could do something with your assets and your animations and your images.”
Yes, Chemdog Really Does Sell Clones Of Classic Strains Via Canna Provisions
Even for those of us who got busy on the illicit cannabis scene for decades before legalization, the idea of waiting in line for weed is kind of a strange new concept. Back in the day, if you went to see your plug or dealer and there was a queue of cars out front, that was probably a sign that you should leave and come back later.
Now, however, in this brave new world and marketplace, heads are finding themselves showing up at special shops like sneakerheads ahead of hot-product releases. And of the elite goods that tend to attract serious crowds, those born in the magical workshop of iconic cultivator Chemdog are among the most coveted.
While aficionados have been traveling to Canna Provisions in Western Mass from all over the country for Chemdog’s Smash Hits products (as well as his glass pieces) for more than a year, the team there recently added actual clones to the menu (on an occasional basis, for now), which may turn out to be the guru’s most popular offering yet.
We asked Chemdog about the clone program and more ...
Interview: The RiverRun Gardens Team On "Selling Kobe Beef For Hot Dog Prices"
For a company that’s classified as a microbusiness by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, RiverRun Gardens has an oversized footprint in the state’s green culture and economy.
For starters, there is the company’s co-founder Ed DeSousa, who has been an effective and outspoken advocate for sensible regulations since long before his current business existed, and even before the Bay State had a framework for recreational cannabis. From the importance of social equity to the unfairness of community host agreements for cannabis companies, he’s always a reliable voice cutting through industry nonsense. That proclivity applied on my recent trip to the RiverRun cultivation in Newburyport.
“The problem right now is we’re selling Kobe beef for hot dog prices.” Before he and Director of Operations Will Ried showed me around, we spoke briefly about plummeting prices, and how the tailspin even impacts the likes of their outfit which is known for its superlative flower. DeSousa continued …
“People are just finally coming out of the cannabis closet and getting comfortable going to stores, but unfortunately the original market keeps on winding down unless you know where to go. You go to a dispensary and there is no leveling of product—it’s mostly all on the same shelf. You have products that are sitting right next to our product that are from the set, forget, cut, sell [type of businesses].”
Which brings me to the other asset that helps account for the micro RiverRun’s mighty rep—those outstanding aforementioned buds. DeSousa’s vision that Ried and the team there takes from seed to sale is a simple, straightforward one: “Bring the original market to the legal market.” Asked to clarify, DeSousa explained, “You’re not just taking someone off the street who wants to work in cannabis, teaching them a thing or two, and hoping for the best.” Instead, he takes pride in the value they place on “… hand-crafted, hand-packed prerolls, whole-bud prerolls not sifted for kief … not taking any shortcuts.”
All of which was on display during my visit. DeSousa describes Riverrun’s approach as a “meticulous cycle of maintenance,” and from the clone room to the trim op, everyone is all-in—leaning over plants, taking notes, plotting the best approach to trim a new crop before breaking out the shears. (They have an electric bud-trimmer on site, but after mixed results decided to unplug the thing; it’s currently being used as a note stand.)
“As a group here at RiverRun, we are all consumers, smokers,” Ried said. “We want the best product—we’re not going to put something on the shelf that we wouldn’t consume ourselves. When we are going through our quality control process, that’s what we go for—we want to invoke that same reaction about the flavors, the aromas, the crystallization of the trichrome. We grow for people who want to get excited about a really high-quality product.” (His current favorite is their Project Z, a Runtz x Zkittlez cross from Exotic Genetix, while the overall team’s top pick is Payton’s Pie (Gary Payton x Georgia Pie) from Raw Genetics, which Ried reports yield “big, huge baseball-sized nugs”).
“It stinks being out of the shop [selling, running the business side of things], but I get to come back here and be like, Look at what we just did!” DeSousa said. “It’s like, your favorite show just came out with a new episode, and now that’s your new favorite episode. … Coming in and seeing the finished product it’s like, Oh my god, you guys topped what you did before.”
Don't Be Afraid Of These Inexpensive Gummies, Muncheas Fruit Gems Are Damn Good
We're not just here to drop gems on you about the latest and greatest. Sometimes, like in this case, we just feel like waxing on about something that has been on the market for a while and is basically a staple in our stash.
Muncheas Fruit Gems by Green Gold Group match that description and then some, and most importantly, you can often find them at Massachusetts dispensaries for $15 a jar or even 2 for $20.
If you've been passing over these because you're turned off by the low price, then you should re-think that. They're quite delicious.
Then again, if you're on a budget and love chewing things that get you high, then we're probably not telling you anything you didn't already know. Hopefully you're too stoned to forward to the next episode though and listen anyway.
Video Interview: Novel Beverage Co. Head Of Production Andrew Sheffield Talks Buzzy, Cannarita & Pine Star Infused Drinks
We walked over to the Novel Beverage Co. booth at NECANN 2023 to chat about their collaboration with Harpoon Brewing as well as their Pine Star drink, which is so amazing that we grab cases of it every time we're in Maine. We learned that we no longer have to travel north of the border, and that they have a bunch of other awesome products too ...
The AiroPro Is The Must-Have Vibrating Gadget For Anyone Who Is Vape Curious
It’s a tough row beyond the world where casual consumers screw new canisters onto the same old 510 handle they have used since two summers ago (that being the universal-size equipment for distillate and certain other carts, named for having 10 threads measuring 5mm).
Few companies will last outside that catchall realm, and what we’re saying here is, well, Airo ought to be one of them.
We should get into a few more specifics, since any review of vape products is sure to draw the eyes of curious new consumers. If you’re one of those experimenters looking for something more discreet and less stinky with far less mess than flower in a bowl or even preroll, then you may have tried a number of tanks that screw onto the 510 pen you got at the corner store. But you may be missing out on two whole categories—disposables, like the Traveler Pocket portable by vape leader Fernway, for example, which comes in one piece*, and also the few pens or pen-like devices that are not 510 compatible but that have replaceable carts that screw or click into a handle you keep. The Pax Era, for example.
The Airo is a handle you’ll remember, and not just for its chic minimalist “enclosed aluminum alloy nonagonal design.” Nor is its chief flaunt merely the 320mAh Li-ion battery that lasted for days in my own trials, or even the “ceramic atomizer and cellulose wicking system” that in tandem with said power “consistently delivers 3x the vapor” of mere mortal vapes. Beyond those bona fides, what makes the Airo extra special—a true keeper—is that it vibrates. Or, as they put it, “rather than buttons or lights, the AiroPro vaporizer provides haptic-feedback as a use indicator.” The functionality goes beyond just sensation, too: “when the battery is low, the haptic feedback will change into short pulses.”
The company’s description also notes their working in the interest of those searching for smoothness along with potentness. Which we can attest—the indica Biscotti plugged into our sleek Bond-worthy Airo has assisted nicely at nighttime, and we’re excited to experiment with their whole smorgasbord, from the Live Resin LA Kush Cake to a new Artisan line.
Put another way, this is a must-have gadget for anyone who is vape curious. Just watch, you won’t be able to help but to stick one in the face of everybody in your family and friend circle who is of age. You gotta try this thing, you’ll say. It literally vibrates when you hit it!
A phenomenal show-and-tell party favor that’s good for spurring a shared buzz on multiple levels, this weapon in the war on vibration-less sobriety is a practical addition to any arsenal of flower alternatives.
*We hate to lead you down more of a rabbit hole, but even these are all different. Some of them, while regarded as disposable, still have charging ports, so you can at least get the most distillate thrill for your bill to the very last pull. Also, while some are indeed single-use only, it’s worth noting that Fernway has a recycling program for its Traveler line.
This New Camino Gummy Put Us To Sleep Without Boring Us
With more than 20 varieties that cover everything from intended outcomes like “bliss,” “uplifting,” and “social” plus more or less any flavor a sweet tooth might crave—from wild berry to pineapple habanero to peach, orange, and pear—you have probably tried Camino gummies by Kiva at this point. Chances are you’re even a fan.
It’s not just that they’re solid on the basics, deliver on impact, and pack a sweet-sour punch out of aesthetically pleasing canisters. There’s another benefit in that Camino edibles are available in lots and lots and lots of dispensaries—in Mass as well as other legal states—which we have heard from readers is a major factor for those of you who are creatures of habit.
We’re not into munching the same treats over and over, so while there’s always a can or two of Kiva gummies within reach, for this round, we went for two varieties that are at least new to us—the Excite Wild Cherry, which is available in Mass right now, as well as their Blackberry Dream Sleep drops, which are only in Michigan, California, and Illinois at the moment (though some of their others for sale in the Bay State have similar ingredients).
READ OUR FULL REVIEW AT https://talkingjointsmemo.com/this-new-camino-gummy-put-us-to-sleep-without-boring-us/
Why We’re Choosing & Chewing Caramel Apple Chewee’s
Even in their cheapest, most commonly found dime-store form, caramels are utterly amazing. Those little square delights have served as a gateway drug for countless candy freaks, and kept more dentists in business than your local meth dealer over the years.
And now let’s have a quick chat about apples. As far as things that come directly from the earth go (as opposed to things like beer that take hard work to make), apples are a universal favorite. Also, carnivals are fun, and that’s where you tend to find these delicious crunchy treats slathered in sugar. The sticky-red coated ones break your teeth, ruining the good time. But that softer caramel apple, the one with the buttery-sweet sheath hugging a fistful of juicy-green crispness, it’s pure perfection, serenity on a stick.
You see where I’m headed with this. Imagine if you took that already legendary recipe, added THC, removed most of the potential for severe oral damage, and packaged it in convenient milky cubes. You’d have something to write home about. Something like the caramel apple Chewee’s manufactured by New England Cannabis Corp. Speaking of which, I’ll be recommending these to my mother and others who ask me for indica products in particular. I
Interview: Fireball Re-Tooled Their Gummies & Bubbalicious Margarita Chill Gummies
The Fireball gummies were pretty mellow when they first came out in Mass, but they've been reengineered and now they bring the pain. That and we interview a marketing rep about those and the incredible Margarita Chill watermelon gummies that remind us of that old Bubbalicious gum.
Interview: Corey Smigelski Of Root & Bloom On Their Joy Bombs Collab With Joyibles
I have personally drooled over the prospect of this drop since a recent trip to the Root & Bloom grow and manufacturing facility in Salisbury, a real-life Willy Wonka type of situation, where I even got a sneak peek at the Joy Bombs packaging, as the whole crew there was thrilled to finally release the colorful candies after months of experimentation.
But now it is officially official—you can fill your mouth with these fruit bombs across the state.
What’s the big occasion? While there are innumerable edibles in play in Mass, there are none that look and taste quite like these. The manufacturers can’t exactly acknowledge what famous brand’s flavors they are emulating, but let’s just say that you can taste the rainbow with these sweet delights. Take enough of them and you might see some rainbows too.
A collaboration between Root & Bloom and the Colorado-based Joyibles, Joy Bombs “are precisely dosed with 2.5mg THC in each bite-sized piece,” with a full bag packing 40 pieces for a total “THC bang” of 100mg. Currently, they have Original Fruit Joy Bombs with strawberry, lemon, fruit punch, and grape, and word is they’re already working on a sequel.
“Bringing cannabis products to Massachusetts from another state is no easy task, due to the complex laws and regulations governing manufacturing and sales,” Root & Bloom CEO Tom Regan said. “Root & Bloom is proud to have refined the capabilities and expertise to help out-of-state innovators, like Joyibles, bring unique, high quality cannabis products to Mass consumers. Joy Bombs is like no other product on the market, replacing the traditional ‘gummy’ with handmade, candy-coated fruit chews.”
Joyibles CEO Don Novak added, “We focus on developing products that feel comfortable to use, especially if you’re new to cannabis. With Joyibles our goal is to create fun, familiar candy experiences for adult consumers. Joy Bombs are easy to share, pocket-friendly, non-melting, and perfectly dosed to suit everyone’s preferred amount of THC.”
Drinking Smoke Shop X Bountiful Farms BBQ Sauce Straight From The Bottle!
I’ve been drinking BBQ sauce for two days.
My whole team has.
That’s not hyperbole.
It all started with our introduction to Sweet Victory cannabis-Infused BBQ Sauce, which is exactly what it sounds like and then some. The stuff is smooth on ribs and brisket, but it’s also fun right out the bottle.
But from where does this sweet nectar come?
You may have heard of Andy Husbands. He’s the pitmaster and owner of the Smoke Shop brand and its various locations, and the co-founder of a competition squad that, as he explains, “became the first non-Southern BBQ team to win the Grand Champion title at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Tennessee.”
It’s his sauce we’ve been ladling straight to the tonsils, so you can imagine. And he’s entered the endeavor with Bountiful Farms, one of the Bay State’s most vaunted cultivators and manufacturers. That’s also no exaggeration; guided by General Manager of Cultivation Zach Taylor, their team has captured multiple ribbons including one at the Massachusetts Cultivator’s Cup and a first-place in the High Times Massachusetts Cannabis Cup for Best Indica Flower.
Like Husbands in the food realm, Taylor is a humble celebrity in his own right in the cannabis space, with credentials including getting his caregiver license in Colorado at 18 years old back in 2007 and going on to run major grows out west before coming to Mass.
“It’s been amazing to work with Andy on this infused BBQ sauce because it represents both of our lifelong passions and is a unique way to enhance the barbecue experience,” Taylor said. “I’ve grown up around barbecue my whole life as my 90-year-old grandfather is a passionate hobbyist who has taught me how to barbecue from a young age. Having the chance to blend my passion of growing cannabis with something that’s brought us both so much joy over the years has been incredible.”
As for the sauce itself, it’s delicious. As Husbands explained at a launch event this week, Sweet Victory—whether the infused version or the standard-issue one you can find on the table at any Smoke Shop—is very different from a molasses-thick store-bought BBQ sauce like Sweet Baby Ray’s. Think more along the lines of a Peter Luger’s steak sauce; as Husbands describes his creation, it’s “sweet, spicy, and herbaceous … perfect for all types of barbecue and can be used as a finishing glaze on meats like ribs, burgers, pulled pork, and brisket.” Also, regarding the dosed one, “it is intended to be brushed on after cooking to enhance the flavor of the meat, and represents a way to deliver the effects of cannabis in edible form.”
“Barbecue is the cuisine of celebration and togetherness; people don’t cook barbecue for just themselves, they cook to bring people together,” Husbands said. “Teaming up with Bountiful Farms on this BBQ sauce has been such a cool experience; we know that consumers will be able to taste the passion and craftsmanship behind both of our brands as they enjoy the sauce at the table with family and friends.”
Some Props For Fernway, The Vape Company That Actually Recycles
But as Fernway Chief Marketing Officer Liam O’Brien contends, it doesn’t have to be that way. His company has looked to other markets and consulted experts, and is trying to step in the right direction—away from trash cans, and toward recycling bins.
That’s literally speaking, since Fernway is now placing receptacles for their Traveler products via a new Fernway Recycling Program at dispensaries across the state. We asked O’Brien what it took to build the system and about the potential implications it has for broader recycling in the Mass industry.
The Trailstix Slack-Pack Is A Show Stopper Complete With A Match Striker
We also like the way that these are spun like cigarettes; there’s nothing wrong with a cone that is twisted at the end, but the straight-leg format and exposed leaf makes for big and even puffs from start to finish. Inside the ones we grabbed was a Gushers hybrid that got us ripe with a clean and heady high that neither energized nor exhausted. A solid strain for sure, but let’s face it, you’re copping this one for the package. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Video Interview: Zyp Run Co-Founders Talk About The Popularity Of Social Equity Brands And Importance Of Keeping Prices Low
This clip was excerpted from our interview with co-founders Elis Omoroghomwan and Gabe Vieira about their Dorchester, Massachusetts-based cannabis delivery company ZypRun.
“The name and the brand speak for themselves—it’s a double-entendre. It’s fast delivery, and ‘zip’ is also slang for an ounce of weed,” Omoroghomwan said. “We want to be able to take a mixture of the corporate cannabis market and the black market and bring the best of both worlds together to show acceleration and growth in the cannabis industry.”
“Social equity brands have been flying off our shelves,” Vieira added, specifically name-dropping Major Bloom out of Worcester, Berkshire Roots, and Mission as companies whose products have done well with ZypRun.
For more video and our longer interview be sure to visit talkingjointsmemo.com.
Betty's Eddies, An Outstanding Gummy Alternative That Chews Like Soft Taffy
Old Pal's Clever Pouch Of Ground Cannabis (Rolling Papers Included)
These Double Baked Goods Are Top Shelf And One Flavor Even Has Pop Rocks
The cake batter cheesecake ones are blended with pop rocks, while their blueberry-cheesecake graham-cracker pucks had us dancing on rooftops.
They all melt in your mouth, making for a sensory experience more interesting and complex than is typical of most sweet treats that get you ripped.
Interview: Dr. Keith Saunders On CBD Being Processed Into Delta-8 THC
This won't be the last time we discuss this but it will get you thinking for sure ...
These Infused Sodas Are Worth Traveling To Maine For
Need proof? Just look in our office mini fridge.
I’m also not even really that mad at our state’s Cannabis Control Commission, which made it so the maximum amount of THC that one beverage can hold is 5mg. As I’ve been told by several friends who are not total degenerates like yours truly and who are very much loving the 2.5 and 5mg products we have available here, that’s quite enough for most people. Understood.
As for me though, I like to get whacked. Stupid. Too stoned to drive. Even a bike. Basically inebriated to the point where I can only play video games and write these reviews. Not always, but at least on weekends. And if I plan on doing that with drinks, it helps to shop in Maine, where there are several outstanding 10mg numbers available (and I also have a friend who lets me crash at their house provided I share any weedstuffs I pick up on my way to their place). I bought three such drinks on my most recent trip to the lobster state and enjoyed them enough that I thought they were worth telling you about in case you find yourself traveling north …
First up is my absolute fave of the bunch—Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade by Pine + Star THC Drinks. In case you weren’t already aware, blueberries and lemons complement each other wonderfully. You may not find those actual items next to each other in real life too often, but they work extremely well in some foodstuffs—and gumstuffs—including this one. It’s super sweet without being too sweet, if that’s possible, and I’m flowing with the low-to-medium carbonation level too. But mostly, more than anything else, I’m here for the candy flavor. This stuff is delicious.
Vibations Is Basically The Convenience Of Emergen-C But With Vitamin THC
Be sure to read this and more plus see videos of our reviews at talkingjointsmemo.com.
Slurping Every Sip Of Left-Handed Brand Infused Ramen Broth w/ Cousin Noam
Their most practical offering for everyday caffeine sippers are Left-Handed’s infused sugar packets (as well as their sugar with cinnamon option), which come in convenient 5mg foils to add to your Folgers or artisanal pour over. The crystals are flaky and dissolve nicely, especially with hot water (though cold brew is an option too). That’s how far soluble technology has come; not too long ago, samples seemed to always sink right to the bottom of the glass, while now they blend into whatever you’re grubbing or chugging.
Out of the Left-Handed line, their ramen packets seemed worthy of our biggest rave. With a flavor more resembling a Lipton cup-o-noodles packet than a dorm room ramen, plus a pretty perfect pinch of pepper for its spiciness, we are really loving these. We have been sprinkling two packets (5mg apiece) on a plastic-wrapped package of noodles, but there’s no reason you couldn’t go a little higher end instead, maybe even asking a local restaurant for a big unflavored bowl for you to drop more like four or five into.
Plant Jam X Bountiful Farms Seasoning Even Makes Vegetables Taste Good
A bite of either of the chocolate bars that they concocted together shows how seriously they take their flavors, and with their salts the magic’s at your fingertips. They advise you to put the porcini on pizza, steak, popcorn, or veggies, and we attest that it somehow kicks any food you can imagine into overdrive without overpowering. Watch out for a chili lime variety with others to follow as well, making it so you can dose every course a little differently and dress all dishes to impress stoner dinner guests galore.
Terra Blueberry Bites, A Sweet Alternative To Gummies & Chocolate Bars
Whatever they are, I certainly didn’t know what the hell I was buying at the dispensary the other day.
I don’t want to call out the specific shop or budtender, because it wasn’t their fault. It was mine. I probably wasn’t listening. Or reading carefully enough. Or both.
If I had been paying attention at all, I would have seen before getting home that I wasn’t going in for just another tin of gummies. Nor was this just one more chocolate product bound to melt in my car in the summer heat, causing a mess not just in my console but also on my chin since I tend to lick out anything that oozes into cracks.
What can I say, I’m dedicated.
Anyway, had I read the description, I’d have seen that I was purchasing “award-winning bites [that have] spawned a thousand imitators,” as their creators at the California-based Kiva put it. They continue, “Delicious dried blueberries are dusted with cocoa powder then finished with a generous coating of creamy milk chocolate infused with cold water hash. Each of these handcrafted treats takes 10+ hours to create.”
Sounds about right to me. They’re phenomenal, something different and then some. Small enough to shoot out of a small straw and hit your friend in the face. But why would you want to? That would be awfully generous.
Plus they’re fruit, so health nuts, line up. And speaking of nuts, I have some combinations in mind (some of which feature the other spinoff versions of this product, one with espresso bean and the other with sea salt and caramel).
I know that some of you are reading this and saying, Yeah General Obvious, Terra Blueberry Bites, I’ve been munching them for long enough to simply call them the “Blueberries” (the manufacturer’s nickname). To which I reply, Then where the hell were you to recommend them when I started to get sick of gummies months ago?
Or who knows, maybe you did tell me, and I wasn’t paying attention.
Intro: A Potcast For The Constant, Curious & Conspicuous Consumption Of Cannabis Products (From The People Who Brought You Talking Joints Memo)
Our podcast may be new, but we've been doing this for years. In this episode, TJM Editor and Talking Joints Potcast Host Chris Faraone gets right to the point—we're here to talk about great products, and that's about it. For the other stuff, you'll have to check out talkingjointsmemo.com. We're here to get stoned. And we're glad you came along.