I am still trying to figure out what kind of format this weekly column will take. I think that I should try to educate as well as chronicle some of my experiences but I have a feeling that I will just let the format evolve as it will.
To begin with I want to show off just how beautiful this plant can be. This is the flowering head that contains the “buds” that have the highest monetary value. The sparkly crystal structures seen on the leaves and flower are called trichomes and are the part of the plant that contains most of the THC (gets you high compound) and CBD (cancer-fighting compound).
Harvested and about to get trimmed pic.twitter.com/3EXVT6qlat
— Chris Rudi Cruz (@chrisrudicruz) October 28, 2014
We have to send samples off to a testing lab for every batch so we know exactly how much of these compounds are in each batch. This information is on all the packaging much like an ingredients list on food products. This way any adult in Washington can go to a retailer and use this information as part of their buying decision.
Plants with higher THC counts are sought after by people wanting to get high and plants with higher CBD counts are sought after by people utilizing cannabis for health. There are other qualities that are taken into consideration like smell, taste and whether or not it is a sativa, indica or hybrid stain but I am not getting into all that here.
Below is more cannabis than I had ever seen in my life until I took this job. Now it is almost an everyday sight.
This week also saw my first experience with an inspection by the state’s Liquor Control Board! Two men who looked like plainclothed cops showed up unannounced and spent quite a bit of time walking around making sure everything was up to code. It was interesting to watch although I was not privy to most of the conversation between the owner and the inspectors. Luckily for us we just had to make some modifications to our security. We have until this week to fix the issues or else be fined.
I want you to understand that our product has many restrictions, regulations and checks. All to make sure that the product is “good”, that my company is “good” and that the state tax collector gets its cut.
Speaking of rules, regulations and tax income, this is an important time for our industry. Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. are all voting on legalizing cannabis. If any or all pass, it will mark a major turning point in this nation’s history with this plant. Since Oregon is a neighboring state, we have had plenty of discussions about Measure 91 (as the law is called). I hope that our country’s Northwest will be a major two state foothold for further legalization efforts.
Here are some key headlines and links from this past week:
- Why Oregon Is About to Be the Poster Child for How to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana – Huffington Post
- Legal marijuana could be $130 million a year business in D.C., study finds – The Washington Post
- Marijuana Legalization Lessons From Washington’s Shaky Start – Forbes
- 2014 “Marijuana Midterms” to Establish 2016 as Most Crucial Year for Cannabis in America – Brookings Institution Good
Video of the week:
Memory of the week:
Learn more about trichomes here and catch you all next week.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @chrisrudicruz.