Search Results: haskell (4)

Library Foundation of Los Angeles

Editor’s note: Los Angeles writer Mark Haskell Smith’s new book Heart of Dankness sprang from his news coverage of the Cannabis Cup for the L.A. Times. Novelist Smith sampled varieties of marijuana that were unlike anything he’d experienced before, unlike any typical stoner weed. In fact, it didn’t get you “stoned,” as such. This cannabis possessed an ephemeral quality known as “dankness.”

Haskell began a journey into the international underground where super-high-grade marijuana is developed. He tracked down the ragtag community of underground botanists, outlaw farmers, and renegade strain hunters who pursue excellence and genetic diversity in cannabis. The dank journey climaxes at Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup, which Mark portrays as the Super Bowl/Mardi Gras of the world’s largest cash crop.

Cannabis writer and connoisseur Caitlin Podiak got a chance to chat with Haskell Smith about the book, about good cannabis, and about what, exactly, constitutes a state of dankness. Enjoy!

Discussing Dankness
By Caitlin Podiak
Special to Toke of the Town
Caitlin Podiak: Your quest for the “heart of dankness” centers on the annual High Times Cannabis Cup event in Amsterdam. But how relevant do you think those awards are to cannabis users in California? I know many of the strains we have here come from Dutch seeds, but beyond that, I wonder how much the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup results should matter to us in the United States.
Mark Haskell Smith: Oh, I think they’re very relevant to what goes on in California. The strains that win the Cannabis Cup ultimately become the popular strains you find in medical dispensaries or being sold by dealers. AK-47, Super Silver Haze, Willie Nelson, Lavender, LA Confidential… these are all fairly common strains nowadays, but they were first introduced at the Cannabis Cup. I imagine Kosher Kush, which is originally a SoCal strain, will become huge in the next year or two because it just won the Indica Cup in Amsterdam. It’s sort of like Coachella for cannabis. It’s where the unknowns get their shot at the big time. And that resonates in California. We want those seeds.

Legal Medical Marijuana States
The tax rate on that marijuana goes from 5 percent to 7 percent as soon as it’s poured in the brownie mix.

​How patients use their medical marijuana affects their tax rate, according to a recent opinion from Maine Revenue Services — and choosing the healthy option of smokeless edibles will result in higher taxes.

After Maine residents approved medical marijuana, lawmakers decided pot sold for medicinal purposes would be subject to the five percent sales tax. But now MRS has issued an opinion that prepared foods such as brownies that include cannabis will be taxed at a higher, seven percent rate, reports Mal Leary of Capitol News Service.
Many patients, advocates and others question the logic — and the legality — of the odd ruling.

Graphic: Maine Medical Marijuana

​Maine lawmakers on the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a proposal to expand access to cannabis under the state’s medical marijuana program. A second bill that would have legalized and taxed pot was voted down 7-3 in committee, but observers say the issue promises to resurface in the future.

The first measure, LD 1296, would make registration with the state voluntary rather than mandatory for patients who wish to use marijuana with the support of their physician, reports Meg Haskell at Bangor Daily News. This measure is intended to protect the privacy of patients, according to Rep. Deborah Sanderson (R-Chelsea), who sponsored the bill.
According to Sanderson, some people will prefer to register in order to make sure they don’t run afoul of law enforcement agencies. But patients should not be forced to be listed in a state registry to seek lawful therapeutic medical treatment, she said.

Graphic: Reality Catcher

​Maine’s medical marijuana program took a big step towards safe access for patients Friday, with the announcement of three licensed, non-profit corporations to grow and sell marijuana.

Northeast Patients Group, a recently formed corporation with roots in California, was selected to establish four of the eight approved dispensaries. The nonprofit organization will establish facilities in Portland, Thomaston, the Augusta area and the Bangor area, reports Meg Haskell at Bangor Daily News.
Aroostook County will be served by Safe Alternatives for Fort Kent, and western Maine will be served by the Remedy Compassion Center.
With 27 separate applications to start one dispensary in each of Maine’s eight public health districts, the state approved only six. According to state officials, the criteria for approval included applicants’ experience and proposed plans for record keeping, inventory control, security and patient education.
No applicant was approved for the districts that serve York County and Washington and Hancock counties., said applications for these regions failed to meet the state’s dispensary standards.