Marijuana and Cannabis Product News, Reviews and Views

Growing Marijuana: Yes, There's Room For Another Grow Book
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm
growing marijuana mccarthy cover.jpg
Photo: Mobipocket
Tommy McCarthy's "Growing Marijuana" isn't just an instruction book -- it's a celebration.
If you're entering the increasingly crowded market of marijuana grow books, you'd better be good. There's a plethora of cultivation guides available, from some of the biggest names in cannabis culture, and if you don't want to get lost in the crowd you've got to shine.

Shine is exactly what outdoorsman Tommy McCarthy does in his book Growing Marijuana: How To Plant, Cultivate, And Harvest Your Own Weed. If I'm going to be taking cultivation advice from someone, I want that they should be as passionate about pot as am I, and McCarthy bountifully proves himself in this delightful book.

"...[P]lants your pot garden produces with seeds culled from a bag of street marijuana may vary noticeably because the plants they came from were of different species and strains," McCarthy writes. "I actually kind of like this grab bag of mixed greens, because you never know when you're planting just what will come up -- as I stated at the beginning of this book, personal-use growing should be fun."

Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal Leading Grow Class Wed. Night
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 11:20 am
Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal at Hempfest last weekend. Ed will be leading a medical cannabis cultivation seminar tonight (Wednesday, August 24) in Seattle.
Ed Rosenthal, the Guru of Ganja and author of The Marijuana Grower's Handbook, the official course book for Oaksterdam University, will lead a ganja growing seminar tonight in Seattle.

The indoor medical cannabis cultivation seminar, presented by Northern Waters Patients Network, will benefit the Seattle-based Cannabis Defense Coalition.

Attend this class and learn the terminology of the indoor gardener: seed germination, clones and cloning, hydro, N-P-K balance, pH, light cycles, begging, flowering, pruning and trichomes are just a few of the terms you'll be using correctly after a session with Ed.

Rosethal will present a comprehensive overview of cultivation. Gardeners at all levels, new or advanced, will find tips and techniques to save time, labor and energy. The seminar will include Q&A time with "Ask Ed."

Rosenthal starts at the basics and takes you through the entire process of how to grow a personal indoor garden -- with little or no experience required. You will learn what equipment to use, how to care for plants, the different stages of plant growth, and how to harvest beautiful buds.

What Do You Look For In A Medical Marijuana Dispensary?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm
Graphic: Dispensary Business News
What do you look for when choosing a medical marijuana dispensary?

If you live in one of the 16 states where medicinal cannabis is legal, Dispensary Business News is interested in how you select a shop. Is it price? Location? Ambience? Selection? Specific strains? (If your state doesn't yet allow medical marijuana, keep working until they do.)

This is a good way for you to help keep the best dispensaries in business, and give new ones a fighting chance to win your business.

Seattle Hempfest Photos: Sunday (Day 3)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm
All photos by Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Seattle Hempfest, the world's biggest and best cannabis protestival, for the first time ever ran three days this year.

We've already given Toke of the Town readers a look at the first two days of Hempfest -- now here are photos from Sunday, Day 3 of the event. Enjoy!

A NORML Life: Cannabis Documentary Is Top Notch
Monday, August 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm
Photo: Cinema Libre Studios
Director Rod Pitman's just-released cannabis documentary, A NORML Life, goes beyond the recitation of facts and figures to capture the beating heart of the legalization movement, in all its passion, its commitment and its excitement.

It's an extraordinary job by Pitman, producer Doug Ross and a rich cast of cannabis characters including Seattle Hempfest founder Vivian McPeak (who, near the beginning of the show, rightly says America's marijuana laws are "fixing a problem that never existed,"), and it wastes no time in going for the emotional resonance which is the reason many of us are involved in this movement.

The documentary, which compellingly tells the proud story of advocates fighting for the legalization of marijuana, was released by Cinema Libre Studios on DVD last week. The film presents a strong case that the use of medical marijuana is effective, and that it is a safe alternative to pharmaceutical medicines.

Seattle Hempfest 2011 In Photos: Friday and Saturday
Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 10:20 am
All photos by Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ unless otherwise noted
Hempfest 2011, the biggest ever (as in, for the first time ever, three days, man) is still happening at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle until 10 p.m. Sunday night. The first two days saw plenty of memorable moments.

For me, speaking for the first time from the Share Parker Memorial Main Stage on Friday was a sure enough rush. Looking out, seeing and hearing that many cheering, happy people was definitely one of the high points of my weekend -- and one that I was able to replicate again on Saturday from the Seeley Memorial Stage, where I spoke just before 4:20 and got back up onstage with a big crowd of folks at the magic moment.

Here are some of the best photos from this weekend to remember.

Find The Right Marijuana Strain For You At
Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm
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Leafly helps you make sense of the plethora of medical marijuana strains available., online for just over a year now, is a powerful resource which can help medical marijuana patients find the strains which work best for them. Since its debut in June 2010, patients have used the site to explore the dispensary options available and to match strains with symptoms. 

When I entered one of my favorite strains, Afgoo, Leafly told me the effects, medical uses, and where I could find it, listing five dispensaries from 10 to 35 miles away.

Toke of the Town had a chance to chat with Mike Juberg, on the sales team at, about what the site has to offer.

Growing Marijuana? Get The Secrets of the West Coast Masters
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm
Photo: West Coast Masters
Do you grow medical marijuana? Would you like to have more of it? Ounces are for amateurs, according to Dru West, author of The Secrets of the West Coast Masters. West wants to teach you how to yield a pound per plant -- indoors.

The West Coast Masters are medical marijuana growers and patients from California, Oregon and Washington state. After researching the leading cannabis cultivation techniques from around the world, including bonsai and tomato horticulture, they developed what they call the "ultimate techniques" for growing medicinal marijuana.

"Throughout the mountains and valleys of the US West Coast resides a secret society of master growers who are producing marijuana of unbelievable yields and potency," we're told on the cover of this $34.99 hardback. "While most growers are content with a yield of two ounces per plant, these West Coast Masters consistently yield over a pound, and in some cases over two pounds, all while staying within the limits of their medical marijuana programs."

Cultivator's Handbook Still Around After Almost 40 Years
Monday, August 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm
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Graphic: Homegrown Goodness
Back when I first started noticing such things in 1977, Bill Drake's International Cultivator's Handbook was already a classic. Published in 1974, the book was one of the very first to market that went into detail on how to grow not only marijuana, but also coca and opium.

The volume, which became quite hard to find after it went out of print in the early 1980s for a few years, is now available again in a new large paperbound edition from the author.

Author William Daniel Drake Jr. is a writer, teacher and social inventor living and working on a biodynamic vegetable and flower farm located on Johnson Creek in the Texas hill country. Bill is a former professor of international management at the University of Texas at Dallas.

His counterculture books have sold more than three million copies in six languages worldwide since his first book, the Cultivator's Handbook of Marijuana, in 1969. 

Breathe Deeply: 4:20 Yoga Class Offered In California
Monday, August 15, 2011 at 11:47 am
Graphic: Cafe Press
​Classes are being offered in California and elsewhere which combine two kinds of relaxation and centering: yoga and marijuana.

The 4:20 Remedy Yoga Class at Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Atwater puts together "two of hippy-dippy California's favorite feel-good, vaguely medicinal pastimes," reports Amanda Lewis at LA Weekly.

Yoga teacher Liz McDonald noticed that many of her private clients showed up high to practice yoga, so she decided to offer a class specifically catering to a cannabinated clientele.

She conceived of the class as "a gathering of creative minds, a very non-judgmental place where all are welcome," McDonald said. "Do I really want a couple of uptight conservatives in here? Ideally, no, but ... my business welcomes all types of people, especially those tight-asses that may need it most!"