Bluntly Speaking, The Lift Cannabis Expo Was “Bought and Paid-for This Year” by Corporate High Rollers.

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Unfortunately this was and is the truth. The Lift Cannabis Expo is a consumer trade-show geared towards empowering the general public to make more informed decisions related to using cannabis. The Lift corporation started these trade-shows in 2014. This was its 3rd year to be held in downtown Toronto.

The vibe was much different last year and was all about embracing and integrating the cannabis culture into every day life.

Last year, we saw equal representation between the small “Mom and Pop” dispensary-style compassion clubs and the government sanctioned Licensed Producers. They both stood shoulder to shoulder and had equal stage presentation time, to share information with the public.

This year, the take home message was clear…this is a billion dollar medical industry…cannabis isn’t a lifestyle, it’s a medication and if you have deep pockets, you will “pay to play” if you hope to run with the big dogs…legally.

This comes as no shock to anyone who has been following the shenanigans within the Canadian Cannabis Industry over the last 2 years. Our government has set the wheels in motion to achieve the monopoly on the sale of cannabis as the country transitions into full legalization for their “go to date” of July 1st, 2018.

TAX, REGULATE and RESTRICT ACCESS is the current Liberal government’s mandate, with proposed revenue generating fees at each level of their involvement.

I saw only a handful of small businesses that had booth space…even the Vape Lounge (which last year was packed and was so “free” that you could use your own equipment) was corporately sponsored by several big vapourizer companies. The actual Vape Lounge space looked like an Apple Store. It had its own security, was carding people for age of majority (25) and was supervised, with company reps who would assist with “vapourizer handling”.

It didn’t provide a warm and fuzzy feeling…like an inviting coffee shop in Amsterdam would have. There was no encouragement to actually linger and take your time.

Instead, it felt snooty and sterile with an underlying tone of high pressure sales. I did not find the space to be inviting. @knarly327 and I took our turn being ushered passed the security guards and through a turn-style to enter the lounge. Once we experienced the cold grip of retail at every turn, we left. I didn’t even snap a photo because I felt like my gear would be confiscated.

“It was too bad,” we thought.

After this, we finally made it through booth after booth of “For Profit” cannabis resource centres. (This felt like you were passing through a gauntlet of carrots dangling from strings, as one company tried to out-do their competitors with the most attractive sign-up bonuses.)

These cannabis consulting companies put their customers in touch with medical doctors who will become their “cannabis doctors”and will sign and grant  medical cannabis licenses. Then, their doctors will issue a medical cannabis license and assign the customer to THEIR preferred Licensed Producer of choice, not the customer’s.  All of this, for a princely sum, of course. Plus, no mention of the kick-backs that they will receive from the LPs who they have back-room deals with and why no choice of LP is given to the customer… I might add.

We quickly realized that there wasn’t much difference between this type of  high pressured sales tactics and the tactics used to sell Time Shares.  It had a very similar feel and vibe.

Along the way, we did see some very cool new gadgetry designed for “a growing industry” and meant for small amounts of gardening.

This is an automatic seed starter. It was unclear if it was a proto-type. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a company name on it or anyone around who I could ask for more details. 🙁

This little cabinet is called a Grobo. It’s marketed as a fool-proof hydroponic grow box. This is what it looks like in its “closed, nothing to see here, I’m just furniture” position.

Electronically, it keeps the plant in both the correct amount of lightness and darkness for each stage of its life-cycle. Artistically, it also acts like a piece of furniture that you can use for soft ambiance lighting in your living room. (The light it throws off into your room can be selected by intensity and colour.)

Here it is lit, with the plant visible on the inside.

It’s a self-contained system for those who want to grow a single plant. It does all the watering, light adjusting and feeding for you, once all the reservoirs are filled up with the appropriate liquids.

When I asked the Grobo rep, he confirmed that you would have to be somewhat selective in what seed you chose to grow. Smaller strains are going to do better in the unit than a strain that normally gets to be over 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide, for example. He also said that 2 ounces of flower produced from a plant grown in one of these Grobos is the average yield achieved.

This unit retails for approximately $1600 USD.

I was also quite taken with the smaller automatic bud trimmers.

This particular one retails for just over $2,000 USD and is a table-top version.

I also talked to some really cool people this year…and I couldn’t help myself, I shared the Steemit opportunity with a few of them.

Like, Michael Mason. He’s a Cannabis coach too.

He helps people to get dignified access to cannabis, teaches skills like how to select strains and how to dose properly. He also runs educational workshops and teaches people how to cook with cannabis. I had a great discussion with Michael and among a slew of other things,  I learned that he has been growing his hair for 13 years!

Michael works for a family run company called Phyto Medical. For more info, you can view the website at: www.phytomedical.ca

They charge a yearly membership fee and then, run all kinds of free seminars and programs for their members to access through their resource centre.

I also bumped into Dana Larsen and got to chat with him for a few minutes.

Dana is well known in the Canadian Cannabis Culture. He’s the Founding Director of the Vancouver Dispensary Society, he’s an author and he was at the Expo, promoting his “Overgrow Canada” campaign which he launched last year.

The goal of the campaign is to bring awareness to the fact that the cannabis industry in Canada should be free and fair. Last year Dana gave away 2 million free cannabis seeds to people across the country who promised to plant them in public spaces. This year he has given away 5 million seeds!

(Although we couldn’t vape in memory of Franco Loja, I had taken some Platinum Banana Kush tincture. By that point, I was having a little bit of difficulty holding my eyes open when the picture with Dana was being taken.)

One more really cool thing was that we were able to pick-up this trade magazine…

It was fantastic to see such an incredible cover shot of Franco doing what he loved to do.

I’m not sure how he felt about corporate involvement in the cannabis culture, but this magazine cover was a beautiful tribute to a fine human being.

I welcome your comments and I invite you to follow me on my journey.

~ Rebecca Ryan

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Homemade Ice Cream Infused with Lemon, Ginger and Cannabis

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Today I learned that I could make homemade cannabis infused ice cream from scratch without using refined sugar, edible oils and the gum fillers that are typically used to make  commercially prepared ice cream. That translates into a healthier recipe with a hand-full of recognizable ingredients that you can easily pronounce.

(Wow!!! I didn’t think that I could do it either…make cannabis infused ice-cream, that is.)

Yet, here we are.

(Now, this recipe will make a very nice non-cannabis ice-cream too. Just omit the 1/4 cup of infused bee honey and increase the amount of regular bee honey from 3/4 cup to 1 cup. This will ensure that all your ratios will remain the same.)

I’m not going to sugar coat this.

It’s a long process of chemical reactions and infusions. Some taking longer than others and spanning over a few days.

This is not a recipe that you can make in the morning and enjoy in the afternoon. It requires cooking without curdling and combining after tempering with the grand finale being the right level of chill to churn the blend into soft ice cream. This can then be followed by hardening the mixture off further. By freezing the soft ice cream for another 24 hours, it will harden to the point that you will require some healthy arm muscles to scoop.

Yeah, it’s a labour of love for sure.

I did think at one point, that the scene in our kitchen was starting to look more like a research lab, than the heart of our house. Between my notes, my camera and a line up of specialty kitchen appliances and tools, it looked a bit serious.

For a special occasion or just to have on-hand in case the mood strikes, I can attest to the fact that it is worth taking the time to make the effort.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  1. a magical butter machine;
  2. a high speed blender;
  3. a stand mixer with mixing bowl, plus, the paddle, and whisk attachment;
  4. an ice-cream maker or ice-cream maker attachment for your stand mixer;
  5. a fine mesh strainer;
  6. a whisk;
  7. a small sauce pan;
  8. a medium size bowl to hold the milk blend;
  9. a medium size pot (It should hold 3 litres);
  10. a rasp to grate the ginger and lemon peel;
  11. a medium size freezer-safe seal-able container (It should hold 3 litres);
  12. and a silicone or soft flexible spatula.

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need:

  1. 1 litre of water buffalo milk or whole milk;
  2. 250 ml of 35% heavy cream;
  3. 6 egg yolks;
  4. 3/4 cup of bee honey;
  5. 1/4 cup of infused bee honey with the cannabis strain of your choice;
  6. 2 tbsp of agave infused with vanilla beans;
  7. the rind of 3 medium size lemons;
  8. 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated;
  9. 1 tsp of cinnamon;
  10. and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg;

Before we even start to make the ice cream, you must make the cannabis infused bee honey first. Here’s one of my previous posts which will explain how to do it:

https://steemit.com/marijuana/@rebeccaryan/how-to-make-cannabis-infused-bee-honey

Directions:

  • Grate the lemon rinds.

  • Grate the ginger root.

  • Add the water buffalo milk to the pitcher of the Magical Butter Machine.
  • Then add all the lemon rind and grated ginger to the machine.

  • Set the lid in place and set the temperature to 160 degrees F. Then, set the timer for 1 hour. (This will infuse the milk with lemon and ginger.)

  • After the hour and the machine shuts off, strain the milk into a medium pot and discard any lemon rind and bits of ginger that the strainer caught.

  • Put the pot on the stove and add the cinnamon and the nutmeg. (Don’t turn the stove on yet. The milk mixture is quite hot and it needs to cool a little bit.)

  • Blend well with a whisk.

  • Just let this blend cool for a few minutes while you separate the egg yolks and blend them with the regular bee honey and vanilla infused agave syrup.

  • Add 1 cup of 35% heavy cream and blend well.

  • Temper the mixture containing the egg yolks by slowly adding 1 cup of the hot infused milk mixture to it. Whisk briskly. The goal is to even out the temperature of the two mixtures without cooking the egg yolks into a scramble. Add one more cup and whisk briskly.

  • Then, pour the tempered mixture (containing the egg yolks) into the infused milk mixture. Set the flame to medium-low and gently heat until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pot.
  • Simultaneously, gently warm the cannabis infused honey in a small sauce pan. Remove it from the heat as soon as it becomes thin and liquid-like in consistency.

  • Pour the warmed milk and egg mixture into a high speed blender and add the cannabis infused honey. Make sure the lid is secured and blend on high speed for a minute. The goal is to make sure that the honey is evenly dispersed through-out the mixture.
  • Strain this mixture one last time into a glass container with a lid. Make sure the lid is sealed and place it into the refrigerator to chill.
  • Chill for 15 hours. (This part is exceptionally important. You must cool the ice cream mixture to between 2-5 degrees Celsius. The colder the mixture is, the better it will churn in the ice cream appliance.)
  • Add the ice cream mixture to the ice cream appliance. (I’m using the ice cream maker Kitchenaid stand mixer attachment. I prepared it by freezing it for 48 hours in advance of churning the mixture.)

  • Churn it for 30 minutes.

  • As the mixture churns, it will freeze and thicken up to the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. As this blend is made predominantly from water buffalo milk, it could be called a “gelato” at this point.
  • Remove it from the ice cream maker and put into a freezer-safe container with a tightly closing lid.

  • Freeze this soft ice cream for 24 hours to create hard, scoop-able  ice cream.

Enjoy! (Start with a baby size scoop.) 😉

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On Location at 420 Toronto.

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In 2015, I decided to officially come out of the cannabis closet and support the Canadian Cannabis Culture, by adding my voice to the growing number of Canadians who were and are open advocates for the “freeing of a herb”.

Admittedly, I’m a little late coming out green, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been a huge supporter of the lifestyle for decades. I just never felt like I could safely and openly speak about it without being persecuted and charged like a felon.

In Canada it is still illegal to possess cannabis, use cannabis, grow cannabis from seed and even share information in the form of ANY printed material related to any aspect of this special life-saving plant. If you have an official medical marijuana license issued by the government, than there is some legitimacy and protection of sorts, but really, if we call a spade a spade it’s still a huge erosion of civil liberties at best.

This 420 event, which was just held on April 20th, 2017, will be one of the last acts of civil disobedience and peaceful demonstrations that will be held at Toronto’s Younge and Dundas Square. Next year, the event which has been enjoyed in the same location for 19 years, will be moving to a new location because the city is concerned about the space being too small to safely accommodate the number of event supporters.

Without further ado, let me take you into the heart of the great city of Toronto, Ontario Canada to 420 Toronto!

The day was rainy and cold. We knew we were going to get wet and we had dressed to be in the elements for several hours. (Long-johns under jeans, wool socks, boots, sweaters, jackets and rain coats and for myself, winter gloves.)

The square that we spent the afternoon in, is just a few blocks away from this historic hotel, called the Royal York.

We arrived at the event shortly after 1:00 pm, thinking that we wouldn’t have much of a problem getting to chat with vendors and listening to the speakers. It was already becoming packed 3 hours before the celebration was really going to kick off.

This is a cannabis plant that Justin Loizos, the owner of Just Compassion and a Canadian Cannabis Activist, representing The Cannabis Rights Coalition had on display.  Just Compassion is a private members medical cannabis club that helps medical cannabis patients who have any one of the following government issued medical marijuana licenses: MMAR, MMPR, and ACMPR.

Justin is a well respected Canadian Cannabis Activist in the province of Ontario and he directly and indirectly helps thousands of individuals muddle their way through accessing the plant and using it as medicine. We really wanted to hear him speak and I am happy to report that we were able to do that and meet him in person too.

(Photo credit goes to Paul H.)

This is Justin speaking with his girlfriend Meghan Jefferies at his side. Justin has used cannabis to treat Multiple Sclerosis, which he is afflicted by. This is one thing that we have in common and is also one of the reasons that it was important to me to be in the crowd, on the day to support him.

(Justin and Meghan making their way off the stage.)

As the afternoon wore on, it became harder and harder to move within the crowd of people.

The vendors are all located underneath the white canopies. It was difficult to get close to them, even shortly after we arrived. With that said, here is some of the promotional swag we were graciously given:

3 t-shirts, some medicated edible cookie dough that require baking, CBD seeds and lots of literature to read.

This is John Vergados speaking. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Highway Canada/Skunk magazine and a vendor in attendance at the event.

There was dancing, by a troop called the Goddess Factory Twerk Squad.

Then, the rain came as we waited for Marc Emery, the Prince of Pot, to speak just before 4:20 pm.

Marc said hello to us and I was able to thank him for everything he is doing for the Canadian cannabis movement.

He shared that 420, as a global movement really got started when his team at Cannabis Culture Magazine decided to start the first event in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada 23 years ago. Last year, Marc said he was able to celebrate 420 in India.

Back-track to 2010, Marc was extradited by the Canadian government to the United States, where he was tried for selling cannabis seeds via mail order, into the States. He served 5 years, in multiple US prisons, FOR SELLING CANNABIS SEEDS. He was not protected or helped by our Canadian government. It was my opinion that they, just like now, are targeting him and his wife Jodie. Our government seems to be quite content to throw them under the bus to attempt to make an example out of both of them…even though cannabis related criminal charges are currently being thrown out of our judicial system which means no charges that were laid are sticking.

Marc is currently facing more than a dozen charges, after a targeted raid on a chain of dispensaries that he owns was carried out across the country in March, of this year.  The most ominous charge being “conspiracy to commit an indictable offense”. Everyone understands that there are no victims of the crimes he is being charged with and it is a complete waste of time and tax payer dollars which could total over a million dollars by the time everything is said and done.

Marc Emery, taking the stage and speaking for approximately 15 minutes just before 4:20 pm.

(This video was uploaded to Youtube on April 20th, 2017 by John RoXx.)

(Then, this video taken by @knarly327, was uploaded to Youtube on April 22, 2017 on his Scrap Fe channel.)

It’s the actual count down to 4:20 pm.

The Younge and Dundas Square became instantly covered in a thick cannabis haze.

Here’s what Vancouver’s 420 event looked like:

(This video was uploaded to YouTube by Mark Klokeid on Apr. 20th, 2017.)

Here’s what Ottawa’s 420 event looked like:

(This video was uploaded to YouTube by Pat GPM on Apr. 20th, 2017)

Every major city across Canada had scheduled 420 events each with keynote speakers.

I consider myself to be privileged to be able to attend a rally and a protest in my country without being arrested for doing so.

Rebecca Ryan

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Power-Up with an Infused St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Green Smoothie

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I celebrate “green” everyday of the year by consuming high amounts of nutritionally dense plant material in various forms. Today is no exception, however it has an added twist in that I also dressed in green to mark the special occasion of St. Patrick’s Day.

For this green drink, you will need the following tools:

  • a sharp butcher’s knife;
  • a vegetable peeler;
  • and a high powered blender (like a Ninja Pro, Blendtec or Vitamix blender).

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 3 big leaves of kale;
  • 2 cups of spinach;
  • 3 stalks of celery;
  • a whole cucumber;
  • 1 cup + 1 cup of spring water;
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli sprouts or any fresh green sprouts of your choice;
  • 1/2 cup of parsley;
  • 1/2 a cantaloupe or green melon;
  • a pear;
  • a 1/2 inch size piece of fresh ginger root peeled;
  • a 1/4 inch piece of fresh turmeric root peeled;
  • a 1/4 of a lime with the peel removed;
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon;
  • a pinch of fresh ground black pepper;
  • 2/3 tsp of infused mct coconut oil, infused with the cannabis strain of your choice. (If you don’t want to medicate this smoothie, just use mct coconut oil that hasn’t been infused.)

Directions:

  • Wash all your leafy greens and add them to your blender along with 1 cup of spring water and blend.

  • Peel and remove the rind from the cantaloupe, lime, cucumber, turmeric and ginger root and add these things to your blender container and blend.

  • Core the pear and add it to the blender along with the celery, fresh sprouts, cinnamon, pepper and coconut oil.
  • Blend well for 30 seconds.

These are fresh broccoli sprouts that I grew on my counter. It’s still winter where I live in Canada and the ground is covered with snow and ice. The only gardening I am regularly still doing is sprouting, but it’s fresh and it works and they are grown by my own hands.

  • Add another cup of spring water and blend again for another 30 seconds.

This recipe makes 2 litres of nutritionally dense, very  green juice.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy.

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A Two Week Tolerance Break to Reset your Endocannabinoid System

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(I just loved this window decal. It adorns a small window belonging to a tattoo studio, called Skulls Tattoos in Cadiz, Spain.)

Sugar Skulls represent change to me. Traditionally they are used to honour the dead and remind the living that their dearly departed have made a change to a state were no pain and suffering exists.

When my husband and I traveled to Spain recently, we had to take a break from our daily use of medical cannabis.

This was a change for us. The last time we took a cannabis reprieve was about 2 years ago.

In Canada, we both have our medical licenses which permit us to possess and use cannabis, legally. When traveling outside our country, even though this plant is medicine for both of us, our medical licenses are not recognized.  We must respect the laws of the country we are traveling to and visiting. The alternative is accepting the consequences, if caught using a substance that is predominantly still prohibited in most parts of the world.

Such was the case with Spain. Spain’s laws allow for medical cannabis use, but only if you are a permanent resident.

Neither one of us was thrilled about not having the freedom to use the plant if we needed it, but we weren’t willing to commit an act of civil disobedience and risk criminal charges or potential incarceration, abroad.

This meant that we went without the plant medicine for 14 days.  Anytime you abstain from cannabis when you are a regular consumer of it, the process is called taking a “tolerance break”. The minimum amount of time for a tolerance break to be be successful is 6 days. However, a full 30 days is recommended for the maximum benefits to be realized.

The benefit of doing this on an annual basis, is to “reset” the neurotransmitter receptor sites, which are found on cells all over our bodies. These receptor sites are biological structures which make up the endocannabinoid system. They are responsible for binding directly with all the cannabinoids of which there are approximately 111, known to date. The two most commonly know ones are THC, which produces a psychoactive effect in the body and CBD which does not.

The endocannabinoid system is self-regulating. This means that when it is regularly exposed to cannabinoids and they are abundant in the body, some of the neurotransmitter sites retract and close. They become no longer “receptive” to cannabinoids. This self-regulating feature is what protects the body from becoming out of balance. This is why a regular cannabis consumer can ingest more cannabis than a person who never consumes or occasionally consumes the herb. It is not related to the size of the body, the person’s weight or the health of their liver.

What tends to happen is that the regular cannabis consumer will insidiously ingest more cannabis, over time to achieve the same effects. The more appropriate approach is to take a tolerance break which will reset the neuroreceptor sites. This opens them again and after the break, the individually will be able to consume less cannabis to achieve the level of desired effects that they want to achieve.

Our experience validated this.

My husband suffers from chronic migraine headaches which side-lines him for days at a time to sunglasses, ice packs darkened rooms and vomiting. In my case, I am consumed with muscle spasms, extreme insomnia and the lack of patience that results with loss of sleep.

At day two, without our plant medicine, my husband had a migraine and I stopped being able to sleep at night and suffered through some wicked muscle spasming in my feet.

We were both feeling rough.

O.K….maybe not as rough as this person…LOL

In my husband’s case he had lots of double espressos, Anacin, ice packs, osteopathy and massage. By day 3, he considered checking himself into this gallery to see if some “rack stretching” would help.

We persevered.  By day 4, his headache had finally broke and we worked really hard to keep ourselves well-hydrated with water. I started sleeping, every other night which I can deal with and we were both having exceptionally vivid dreams. I had some mild night sweats, but over-all the process was completely manageable.

By the time the entire 14 days had passed, and we were back in Canada, both our systems had successfully reset. I am happy to report that we now only require half the dose of cannabis that we were consuming before our trip.

The reset worked and we survived the entire process just fine.

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Rolling Skills Are Necessary. ~ Cinnamon Rolls, Vegan and Grain-free. Can Be Easily Transformed Into a Medible.

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No kidding.  To make these, you will have to roll them, but unlike the agony of rolling your ankle while vacuuming or the frustration that can be felt when you are trying to roll a perfect blunt, this activity is relatively painless and the end result is simply delicious.

I often think that real culinary skill is demonstrated when someone can take a handful of uncomplicated ingredients and transform them into a gastronomical delight that engages most of your senses at once.

I admire this ability in others, and when I see what they have been able to create with common food items which most of us regularly stock in our  own kitchen inventories, I am inspired and it encourages me. It actually motivates me to try my own hand at creating something out of what seems like next to nothing. Then, transforming those simple ingredients or little “next to nothings” into something really special.

These cinnamon rolls are something really special in their finished form.

They are grain-free, Vegan, and almost raw. (Plus, they can easily be medicated with cannabis.)

That’s right. “Almost raw” translates into not baked in an oven at high temperatures, but not fully raw either because some of the ingredients have come into contact with temperatures over 118 degrees F.

Maple syrup is one such ingredient, for example. This natural sugar is produced from the sap of a maple tree, which can only be collected in the Spring and then, is boiled for several days over high heat until most of the water is evaporated out of it.  The end result is the production of a very small amount of exceptionally sweet, syrup.

To make these little gems you will need the following ingredients:

For the dough:

  1. 1 cup of finely ground almonds;
  2. 5 bananas ripened to a medium level (not too hard and not to soft);
  3. 1/3 cup of coconut flour;
  4. 4 tbsp of chia seeds;
  5. 2 tbsp of coconut oil;
  6. 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp of vanilla extract;
  7. and 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.

For the centre filling:

  1. 24 Sayer pitted dates (soaked for 20 minutes in hot water);
  2. 2/3 of a cup of coconut oil;
  3. 1/8 cup of medium chain triglyceride coconut oil infused with the cannabis strain of your choice. *See note.
  4. 1/2 cup of pure creamed coconut;
  5. 1/4 cup of full fat unsweetened coconut milk;
  6. 2 tbsp of maple syrup;
  7. and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon.

You’ll notice that I have kept the medicated amount of coconut oil on the lower side. This recipe produces 12 cinnamon rolls and with this amount of medicated oil, you can expect that each roll will contain approximately 10 mg of THC if you’ve used a cannabis strain in the 2o% THC range. I consider this to be a comfortable starting dose for most people.

With that said, it is advisable for “first timers” to start with a small piece, and wait 2 hours before they consume another portion. Start with only 1/3 of a roll. On average, it does take about 2 hours for someone to feel the effects of a medicated edible and it is better to err on the side of caution, then be “uncomfortable” because you’ve inadvertently over medicated yourself by eating too big a portion at once or another portion too soon, after your initial portion.

If you are a “chronic eater”, meaning that you regularly eat cannabis, then you can use up to 1/3 cup of medicated infused coconut oil and lower the amount of the regular non-medicated coconut oil by the same amount. This recipe can tolerate this kind of adjustment just fine and will still maintain its structural integrity.

For the topping on the centre filling:

  1. 1/4 cup of roughly ground almonds (keep it chunky).
  2. and 1/4 cup of Sultana raisins.

For the frosting:

  1. 1/2 cup of cashews (soaked for 4 hours, rinsed and drained);
  2. 1/2 cup of medium shred desiccated coconut;
  3. 2 tbsp of maple syrup;
  4. 1.5 tsp of lemon juice;
  5. 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  6. and a pinch of ground cinnamon to dust the tops of the finished and frosted rolls.

The tools required are:

  1. a food processor;
  2. a spatula;
  3. a selection of measuring cups and spoons;
  4. and a food dehydrator with non-stick drying mats.

Directions:

  • Grind the almonds in a food processor.

This is the level of crumb that you want to achieve:

  • Clean the food processor out and add 5 bananas to the bowl.

  • Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil and blend well.

  • Add the ground almonds, coconut flour, chia seeds, vanilla bean paste and cinnamon and blend again.

  • Pour the dough mixture into the centre of a lined, non-stick, food dehydrator tray.

  • Spread the mixture into a 1/4 inch thick square, using a spatula.

  • Dehydrate this mixture for 4 hours at 118 degrees F.
  • After 4 hours, take it out of the dehydrator. Using another lined, non-stick sheet and tray, flip the square over so that the bottom can now be exposed to air and continue drying for another 2 hours.

Notice that the edges are now dry and starting to lift a little off of the drying mat, but the majority of the bottom is still wet. It will require 2 more hours of trying time so that it won’t fall apart.

  • Soak the dates for 20 minutes in hot water to soften them.

  • Add them to the food processor along with the coconut oil, cannabis infused coconut oil (if you want to medicate them), creamed coconut, full fat coconut milk, maple syrup and cinnamon.

  • Blend well. It will become the consistency of creamy caramel and it will taste like it too. (Dates remember?)

Just transfer this date mixture from the food processor and put it into another bowl. Leave it at room temperature, until the dough has finished dehydrating. If you put it in the refrigerator, it will harden and you’ll have to heat it up before you’ll be able to spread it.

  • Remove the dough from the dehydrator and spread the date caramel layer evenly on top of the dried dough square with a spatula.

  • Add a 1/4 cup of roughly chopped almonds to the top of the caramel layer.

  • Add a 1/4 cup of Sultana raisin to the top of the caramel and nut layer.

  • Soak the cashews for 4 hours. Then, drain and rinse them well.

  • Add the cashews, medium shred desiccated coconut, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, and maple syrup to the food processor.

  • Blend well.

  • Roll the loaded dough in one continuous movement to create a very large cylinder. (This is where your rolling skills will come in really handy. 🙂 )

Rolling…

Rolling…

Rolling.

  • Cut into 12 equally sized pieces and put on an un-lined dehydrator tray.

  • Decorate the top with more roughly chopped almonds and dehydrate for another 3 hours.

The cinnamon rolls are thick and sturdy enough to stand up-right on their edge after 9 hours of total dehydrating time.

  • Spread the cashew frosting to the top and dust with ground cinnamon.

Even the cashew frosting is thick enough to pass the “standing on edge” test.

Medicated or not, this cinnamon roll is made with simple whole food, plant-based ingredients.

(5 bananas, 24 dates and coconut in its different forms.)

If you can roll a fatty, you can make and roll one of these.

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7 ACRES of Medical Potential, Emerging as a Global Cannabis Production Leader

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In October of 2016, I had an opportunity to interview John Fowler who is the CEO of Supreme Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

Supreme is a publically traded company (OTC PINK:SPRWF)(CSE:SL) and owns 7 ACRES, a hybrid greenhouse, that boast 342,000 sq/ft of medical cannabis growing space.

7 ACRES is located on a 16 acre parcel of land just outside of the small town of Kincardine, Ontario Canada.

(The Kincardine Lighthouse)

It’s close to the eastern shores of Lake Huron and is part of the Bruce Energy centre which is a collection of industrial enterprises including wind power generation.

   (The eastern shore of Lake Huron, at Inverhuron Beach, is a stone’s throw away from 7 ACRES’ facility.)

(Across the street from7 ACRES is Ontario’s first commercial wind farm, known as Huron Wind.)

The existing greenhouse was built in the 1970’s and grew hydroponic tomatoes and peppers.

(This is a picture inside the original greenhouse in 1987. Marilyn Ryan is tending to hydroponically grown tomato plants.)

After sitting vacant for many years, Supreme undertook the process of refurbishing the facility in 2013. They are one of Canada’s largest medical marijuana growing facilities and the only hybrid greenhouse of its kind and size in the world.

The full production approval process has been a long-time coming due to Health Canada’s onerous and heavily inspection process.

In the spring of this year, after almost 3 years of meeting bureaucratic standards and policies, very similar in requirements to what a pharmaceutical manufacturing laboratory is held to, 7 ACRES was given the approval to put cannabis seeds into soil for the first time.

(This is 7 ACRES hybrid Greenhouse. The Greenhouse’s overall foot-print literally takes up 7 ACRES of land and gives concrete definition to its name. It’s also heavily fortified by fencing and surveillance, which is something you would expect considering that 7 ACRES is being treated like a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, by the Canada government.)

7 ACRES’ first crop is currently being tested for safety, efficacy and medical quality. When it meets Canadian government standards, 7 ACRES will be given more access to grow legally sanctioned cannabis crops for re-sale within the country. They are set to become one of Canada’s projected 50 approved licensed cannabis producers. Currently there are 34 facilities operating with full government approval.

7 ACRES employs approximately 20 full time employees. However, on Wednesday, Dec. 7th, 2016, the company announced that it was able to secure an additional $55 million dollars to continue the development of their current operations, on site. This will eventually translate into the creation of 200 full-time jobs, for qualified individuals, on their successful completion of phase four of their business development model.

This is a picture of 7 ACRES’ core staff.

( John Fowler, 7 ACRES’ CEO, is centred in the picture to the right and is the gentleman in a suit-jacket with dark hair. The only structure that is remaining from the original greenhouse is some of the glass roof. Everything else is brand new. (Photo credit: 7 ACRES.)

He was gracious enough to provide some of the internal photographs inside the greenhouse and answer my very specific questions related to their growing practices.

7 ACRES are growing using coco coir, which provides the benefits of a hydroponic system but is more sustainable and user friendly.

In terms of water filtration, they are using multiple systems including media filters, UV and in limited cases, reverse osmosis.

(Photo credit: 7 ACRES.)

The air filtration system that they are using is a combination of Hepa filters, Ultra Violet and inside the growing rooms, the air is ozonated, as well.

In addition to sun-light, the lighting system includes 1000 watt, DE HPS fixtures.

7- Acres’ preferred nutrient brand is “Remo Brand nutrients. This is “veganic”, meaning it is plant-based organic-based food. It’s not certified organic but it’s basically organic without the designation of being certified as organic.

In order to influence the flavour profiles of their plants, 7 ACRES is employing the use of great genetics and tender loving care throughout the entire growing cycle. Upon harvest, they are focusing on keeping their high quality processing procedures strong when it comes to properly drying and curing the harvested material. This includes a slow, whole plant drying and dry trimming process. 7 ACRES feel that this gives them an “artisan” quality finished product, even though they are producing on a commercial scale.

(Photo credit: 7 ACRES.)

At this point in time, 7 ACRES is still only growing in 3,000 square feet, as mandated by the government approval process. Due to the government, they haven’t been able to recognize their full economies of scale, yet.

(Photo credit: 7 ACRES.)

Over the next 2 years, as approvals are granted by Health Canada, they plan to scale up in their production from 100 KG per month to 4,000+KG per month. When this occurs they will realize and achieve their true economies of scale. Exactly what their hybrid model has been designed to achieve.

Raw data is still being collected. Their operating decisions are not all price driven.

The 7 ACRES team believes they can offer unique product quality using both their controlled indoor growing practices and natural sunlight together.

So far, 7 ACRES has been able to achieve indoor quality in terms of look, smell and feel and they are expecting strong analytical results once testing of their first harvest has been completed.

(Photo credit: 7 ACRES.)

Their first harvest has produced more than what 7 ACRES originally predicted it would in their strategic business plan. Originally, they predicted that they would be able to achieve a 30 gram production from each plant. According to Mr. Fowler, they have already been able to exceed that.

7 ACRES is currently still waiting on analytical results which will focus on measuring the strain profiles of the plant material that they have produced but they feel confident that the outcome of the results they have achieved will be impressive based on their own internal evaluation.

From 7 ACRES’ vantage point, they see the international cannabis production industry headed towards global commercialization of cannabis in the not too distant future. As a result, the race is on to finish building out the entire 342,000 sq. ft. facility. This is approximately the size of 6 football fields as a frame of reference.

(Photo credit: 7 ACRES.)

The 7 ACRES team expects to have their facility fully completed within the next two to three years. Currently, 7 ACRES is planning to keep separate growing rooms dedicated to the recreational cannabis market and separate growing rooms dedicated to the medical cannabis market. To them, it’s the same plant but they are preparing this way in order to accommodate any new laws that may be introduced in the future as Canada moves into full cannabis legalization in 2017.

They are also positioning themselves to be able to offer growing room rentals and custom growing contracts to meet the Canadian legal requirements related to personal growing. Currently, all medical marijuana license holders are permitted to grow 5 plants inside for every gram of cannabis prescribed to them by a medical doctor. Any medical marijuana license holders who wish to grow can either grow for themselves or designate a grower on their behalf. The license holders must submit an 18-page application to grow and register as a personal grower with the government, if they wish to exercise their right to do so.

Strategically, 7 ACRES primary business model has positioned them in the Canadian cannabis industry as a “co-packer” of cannabis. This means that they intend to supply other Licensed Cannabis Producers with finished plant material that can then be sold to the “end consumer”.

7 ACRES are not positioning themselves to deal directly with the intended end consumer of their product. If a consumer wishes to know if 7 ACRES have produced the plant material they are interested in purchasing, this information will be clearly listed and found on the packaging label. This will ensure that all consumers will be able to make an informed decision about the cannabis they are purchasing.

Look for 7 ACRES to emerge as one of Canada’s biggest cannabis producers and be a major industry leader with publicly traded stock. They have set their sights high, in more ways than one.

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Can there be more “Joy” in an Almond Joy?

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You bet there can be! Especially, if these well loved Christmas treats are laced with Super Lemon Haze coconut oil tincture, clocking in at 22% THC.

 

Please don’t be put off or intimidated by this recipe if you don’t consume cannabis.

It isn’t an essential component to the success of this recipe.

You can be joyful too, just leave the cannabis out.

The rest of us, will just be a little happier and a little more relaxed during the fester,… I mean festive season, that’s all.

To make this recipe you will need the following tools:

  • a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Ninja Pro;
  • a medium size pot;
  • a medium size mixing bowl;
  • a selection of measuring cups;
  • a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or waxed paper;
  • and a large spoon.

The ingredients needed are:

  • 1 cup of medium shred desiccated, unsweetened coconut;
  • 1/2 cup of caoco powder;
  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds with visible almond chunks
  •  1/3 cup of maple syrup;
  • a 141 gram package of pure creamed coconut;
  • 1/4 cup of Super Lemon Haze cannabis infused coconut oil;
  • 22 full almonds to decorate with;
  • and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt.

Directions:

  • Grind the almonds, but leave some visible almond chunks or pieces.

This is what they should look like:

  • Next, blend the cocoa powder and the maple syrup in the blender. Blend well.

  • Next, heat the pure creamed coconut in a pot on your stove top on medium heat. Stir continuously because it can burn quickly. Once it is liquefied, add it to the blender with the maple syrup, cocoa and cannabis infused coconut oil. Blend these wet ingredients really well.

  • Next, put 1 cup of shredded coconut in a medium size mixing bowl.

  • Next, add the ground almonds and a pinch of salt and mix well.

  • Next, add the cocoa mixture and blend again.

The mixture should look like this, once it is blended well:

  • Next, drop spoon size dollops of the mixture on a lined cookie sheet and place 1 full almond in the centre of each piece of almond joy.

  • Refrigerate for 8 hours.

 

This is the happiest little treat. It’s grain-free, dairy-free, vegan and doesn’t contain any refined sugar. Plus, it’s the perfect delivery method if you want to medicate with them. You can’t taste the cannabis concealed within them and they are little bundles of pure joy. 😉

What’s not to love about that?

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Hand-made Cannabis Infused Topical Liniment Using Previously Vaped Bud.

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The skin is the human body’s largest organ. Among other structures it contains pain receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors.

The CB1 and CB2 receptors also respond directly to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, when they are applied in a topical form, …not just when they are ingested.

The role of these receptors in the skin is still being studied but what is known is that they play a role in immunity, pain modulation and in the growth and death cycles of skin cells.

As a result, many people report achieving  great pain-relief, from applying cannabis topically to inflamed joints and sore muscles. (Myself included.)

Hardly anyone I know has found a beneficial use for their previously vaped bud material. It often is simply discarded because it is considered to be spent and nothing more than waste.

This is not the case. If it’s been properly decarboxylated, it will still contain approximately 48% of it’s active medicinal qualities. 

I never throw mine out. I simply save it in a glass jar with an air-tight lid until I have about 30 grams or 1 ounce saved up.

The glass container on the right-hand side, with the “green happy face” is previously vaped ground cannabis. The liniment that I will be making with it, also contains calendula, comfrey, and St. John’s Wort.

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From left to right: Calendula, Previously vaped Cannabis, Comfrey and St. John’s Wort.

All of these herbs are known for their skin soothing, wound healing, pain-relieving characteristics. All of them can be grown in your garden, harvested and dried for long term storage and later use.

There are 6 components to making a topical liniment. They are:

  1. herbs;
  2. oils;
  3. essential oils;
  4. an emulsifier;
  5. a thickener
  6. and a preservative.

The herbs I used are:

  • 30 grams of previously vaped Cannabis
  • 20 grams of St. John’s Wort
  • 10 grams of Comfrey
  • 5 grams of Calendula

The oils I used are:

  • 1 cup of Olive butter
  • 1 cup of Aloe butter
  • 1 cup of Cocao butter

The essential oils I used are:

  • 15 ml of Rosmary
  • 15 ml of Orange
  • 5 ml of Clove

The emulsifier I used is:

  • 1 tbsp of Sunflower Lecithin

The preservative that I used is:

  • 1/2 tsp of Vitamin E

The thickener I used is:

  • 1 1/2 cups of Arrowroot powder

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The tools that I used are:

  • a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon;
  • a 1 cup measuring cup;
  • a large mixing spoon;
  • a large mixing bowl;
  • a fine mesh strainer;
  • a muffin tin and paper liners or any container to store your liniment in;
  • and a Magical Butter Machine.

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If you’ve never seen a Magical Butter Machine before, you can watch the short video, I made in a previous post here:

https://steemit.com/marijuana/@rebeccaryan/a-look-at-the-magical-butter-machine-a-kitchen-applliance-that-infuses-herb

Directions:

  • Place all the oils in the Magical Butter Machine.

(All of the oils are a solid at room temperature. I turned the machine on for 30 minutes and let it heat to 120 degrees F to make it easier on the machine to infused the herbs and oils.)

  • Add the herbs, followed by the sunflower lecithin, vitamin E and essential oils to the machine.

  • Put the lid on it, set the temperature to 160 degrees F and select the 2 hour cycle.
  • After 2 hours, strain the mixture over a medium-size bowl with a fine mesh strainer to catch the herbal pulp.

( I recommend straining the mixture when it is still warm. As the oil cools it will start to solidify and that makes it tricky to strain properly. Throw the strained pulp into your composter or trash bin. We are finished with it now.)

20161120_000155_resized_zpsuzpbpbtb

( You can see that the liniment is quite dark.)

  • Stir 1 1/2 cups of arrowroot powder into the liniment mixture, with a large spoon. This will lighten the colour and it will thicken the mixture. Arrowroot powder is very finely ground and resembles corn-starch in consistency. Stir really well to make sure the final mixture is smooth and lump-free.
  • Prepare your containers for filling.

20161119_230146_resized

( I used 4, 50 gram applicator containers for ease of application and storage. I also made 8, 50 gram “muffin-base size” pieces that can be put into other containers and easily cut into small pieces. You could also put it into small 125 ml glass sealer jars.)

20161120_005007_resized_zpsc81tcmc6b

Notice that the liniment is still a liquid at this point. The mixture is easy to pour, because it’s still warm.

  • Let the mixture cool and it will solidify. If you put it in the refrigerator, this process will speed up substantially.

20161120_100542_resized

Muffin-tin size liniment tarts.

20161120_100645_resized

As there are a lot of oils and herbs in the liniment, I tend to keep it in the refrigerator and dispense it as I or anyone in my family requires it.

It’s excellent to treat sore aching muscles and relieve pain topically. All the herbs can be grown in your garden and the base recipe can be modified with any herbs you might want to try.

I specifically chose the herbs and essential oils that I used because they are all known for creating similar effects on the skin. Making your own liniment is especially rewarding when you can use herbs that you have grown and harvested from your own garden or from a friend’s garden. A lot of love goes into the final product that way and I think it lends towards the healing potency of the ointment. If you don’t have access to herbs, they can be purchased at better Health Food stores and are sold by weight, in their dried form.

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How To Make Cannabis Infused Bee Honey

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You can successfully infuse bee-honey with cannabis. It’s not a hard process but it takes some time and careful selection of just the right honey to use as your base.

The cannabinoids in cannabis, which are the active medicinal molecules, are fat soluble. This means that they readily dissolve in fat, are absorbed more efficiently in the presence of fat and can be stored in fat.

This is why, when we make an infused cannabis edible, we would choose a high fat medium, like a butter or an oil as the most common infusion mediums, especially for homemade edibles.

Bee honey isn’t typically recognized as a high fat food, so it isn’t something that many people would try to infuse with cannabis or, even know that it is possible to do.

In order to successfully do this a honey that hasn’t been highly filtered or processed, must be used.

This type of honey is typically found in the backyard gardens of bee-keeping hobbyists and very small apiaries.

You want to use the cloudiest honey that you can find because this means that the honey still maintains lots of beeswax particles. It’s the wax particles that THC, CBD and the other 109 cannabinoids are binding to.

Cloudy honey is typically not very translucent. This is what it looks like:

As you will notice, you can’t really see through it. This is the type of honey you want to use.

When I infuse honey, I use the following ingredients:

  • 2 kg container or 1 litre of cloudy honey;
  • 1 ounce or 30 grams of decarboxylated whole cannabis buds, not ground;
  • and 4 tbsp of bee-pollen or sunflower lecithin.

This is bee-pollen. It contains lecithin and just like sunflower lecithin, it helps to attract both water and fatty substances. Basically, it gives the cannabiniods additional molecules to bind to and makes the infusion more efficiently blended or emulsified.

Special Tools Required:

A Magical Butter Machine or a crock pot;

A strainer;

A spatula;

And a Mason jar with its lid or another glass container that will hold 3/4 of a litre of infused honey.

Directions:

  • Decarboxylate 30 grams or 1 ounce of the cannabis strain of your choice. As I prefer to use a Magical Butter Machine, I put the buds into the machine whole and don’t grind them in advance. I always decarb them first though. Here’s my previous post on how to do this step:

https://steemit.com/marijuana/@rebeccaryan/strain-teslin-indica-19-5-thc-decarbing-to-make-mtc-coconut-oil-tincture-part-1-the-decarb

  • Place the buds in the bottom of the Magical Butter Machine. This is what the machine looks like:

Here’s 30 grams or 1 ounce of bud in the machine:

  • Add the 2 kg or 1 litre of cloudy honey on top of the buds and the bee-pollen on top of that.

  • Place the lid on the Magical Butter Machine and set the temperature to 130 degrees F and run it for 8 hours.

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If you decide to use the crock-pot method, you’ll want to grind your decarboxylated bud and be prepared to monitor the temperature and regularly stir your honey blend for 8 hours. It is important that you use a low setting because the honey will burn if it gets too hot.

  • After the infusion has been heated and stirred for 8 hours, strain it off. In the Magical Butter Machine, you may only be left with a sandy pulp and the odd bit of  partially intact bud material. If you pour it and strain it while it’s still warm, it will actually pour. If you let it cool, it will harden. It’s easier to strain when it’s still warm and I recommend this.

Any pulp or cannabis sand that you strain off can be added directly to a recipe that calls for a sweet component. It will medicate it nicely and add to the sweetness of the recipe. It’s great in cookies or squares.

  • Place the cannabis infused bee honey in a glass container for long term storage. I keep it refrigerated and it will last indefinitely.

Cannabis infused bee-honey is incredibly versatile. It can be eaten right off a spoon, stirred into beverages, drizzled over other food and used directly in all kinds of recipes. It’s most definitely a super-food and a medicine. We need to thank all our gardeners, bee keepers and of course the bees for creating this wonderful elixir.

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