Suds ’n’ Buds: Lagunitas Brings Hoppy Cannabis Drinks to Colorado

If the White Claw memes and CBD sections at liquor stores haven’t tipped you off, let us be the ones to tell you that the beer business is struggling. Non-alcoholic drinks and less caloric options have made the once-thriving craft-beer industry look for new ways to satisfy your thirst.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, already known for its love for cannabis, took a natural route toward the pot-infused side of things. The brewery’s Hi-Fi Hops drink, a hoppy seltzer infused with CBD, THC or both, hit Colorado dispensaries this fall, giving users a terpene-filled splash of cannabinoids. To learn more about how the drink is made and the loving history that Lagunitas has with the plant, we chatted with Hi-Fi head brewer Jeremy Marshall.

Westword: Do you come from a background of brewing beer? How does one end up making this beverage?

Jeremy Marshall: I’m a brewer by trade. I’ve worked in all functions and operations at the brewery, from cellar work to filtration to brewing, so I know beer. Since the dawn of time, there’ve been sodas or drinks that aren’t beer but still have hops in them. They’re typically made by the Germans.

So we noticed how terrible most non-alcoholic beers are, and we wanted something that was NA but still tasted like beer. We landed on this idea of a hoppy refresher, which is basically what would happen if you left the grain out of brewing beer and kept all of the other steps, especially the hopping. It’s got yeast and hops in it, and some beer PH to bring the water’s PH level down.

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We were hanging out with the people at CannaCraft in California, drinking some of those, and someone asked why we didn’t just infuse those drinks [with cannabis]. It was a few of us just chillin’ at the time, and that idea went on to become Hi-Fi.

How does the brewing process work?

It’s like making beer, but skipping the malt. Malt is what gives you ferment-able sugars, like booze. Malt is also what gives you calories, gluten and mouthfeel. When you think of beer as liquid bread, it’s the malt that makes that comment ring true. But when you take the malt out, it makes the drink sort of a hop tonic or hoppy water. We didn’t invent this category — Germans have been doing it for a while — but we’d seen a few come out to the market, and we wanted to make one with our hops and our ways, with that big punch of myrcene that hops can give.

We didn’t want any bitterness, because there’s no malt in it. Brewers typically add hops to provide bitterness that counteracts the malt. In this case, since there’s no malt, we did all dry-hopping instead of kettle-hopping, so you get the flavor without the bitterness you’d get from kettle-hopping.

Since terpenes are also in cannabis, could you brew or dry-hop beer with cannabis?

Absolutely. However, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau needs a much-needed update in its hemp policy. It basically says we can only use seeds and stems in brewing, and those don’t have any terpenes. I see no reason why brewers can’t use hemp, because it only has 0.3 percent THC, and it won’t put any THC in the beer. I’d like to do that, but I can’t legally.

Alcohol and cannabis share a lot of similarities: they’ve both been subject to prohibition, and people could get them during Prohibition with a prescription. Hops and cannabis are almost the same plant, and some people think they were the same plant around 27 million years ago. When you look at their genetic records, you could trace the markers to the point where hops diverged to chase water and cannabis stayed to grow in dry climates.

Have you or any of your brewer friends tried making cannabis beers at home?

Oh, yeah. There are loads of tales from growers in the Emerald Triangle, in the ’80s and ’90s, brewing some stuff in Humboldt [County, California]. There’s a story about a brewer out there who got fired for taking a bunch of nugs and soaking them in a keg of beer.

If you can brew it with hemp and don’t have THC, it could be done at breweries. I don’t see a future where the government allows mixing alcohol and THC together. But if you just want to capture that bouquet of terpenes and the smell, maybe we can get a policy change to allow brewers to brew beer with hemp. I’ve been working on that concept. [The New Belgium Hemperor is brewed with hemp seeds.]

Most brewing companies that have gotten into THC and even CBD-infused drinks haven’t used their own names. Why do you think Lagunitas does?

Well, we wanted people to know where it came from! Some of the guys who are spinning off to make CBD drinks are technically breaking the law, because the FDA has said they’re not legal, so that could be why they’re using different names.

I think the tie-in here is the hops. Most of those drinks you’re talking about don’t have hops in them, but this does, because we want it to be like a beer.

And the brewery has never really shied away from its love for cannabis, has it?

Nope. Remember, we’re the only brewery that’s been raided and shut down for weed consumption. Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale comes out every spring [to commemorate that]. I was there in 2005 when we got raided, and there were these commando guys in all-black with machine guns. And ultimately, they found one joint.

They thought Lagunitas wasn’t even a legitimate brewery. They thought we were a front for selling weed, so they were trying to send in agents to make purchases from people working on the bottom, guys making $ 12 an hour. What was funny is that when the agents tried making purchases, no one would sell them anything; they’d just break off a piece of a nug and give it to them for free.

They couldn’t arrest them for trafficking, because they just gave it to the agents. They also tried to get us busted for allowing underage drinkers, and we didn’t. They thought we were some elaborate operation, and at the end of the day, they charged us with a disorderly house, which is used for brothels and places like that. The other charge was moral turpitude, which is some Bible term. They’re really old, arcane laws.

Funny how you ended up here, then.

With time, it appears, we were on the right side of history after 2005. Our founder, Tony Magee, said, “Do the crime, do the time, and get the bragging rights.”

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Ask a Stoner: Smoking Hemp Buds

Dear Stoner: Are hemp cigarettes or joints a thing? Like, all hemp?

Dear Justine: Smoking hemp is turning into very much of a thing, as well as a headache for law enforcement. Since the feds legalized hemp late last year, state and local prosecutors have had to drop hundreds, if not thousands, of low-level marijuana cases because of how hard it is to tell the two plants apart. (Hemp is supposed to have under 0.3 percent THC, but that measurement takes weeks and resources to verify.) And police are getting pissed off about the similarity, because it’s forcing them to back off marijuana enforcement, even in states where pot is still illegal, like Texas.

Checking out the plants at Veritas Farms, a hemp cultivation in southern Colorado.EXPAND

Checking out the plants at Veritas Farms, a hemp cultivation in southern Colorado.

Jacqueline Collins

But are people actually smoking lots of hemp flower? Not as much as the concentrate, but the short answer is yes. High-CBD hemp buds, which look strikingly similar to pot, and hemp cigarettes are now sold in smoke shops, CBD stores and even online, while rolling papers and blunt wraps made of hemp leaves are sold by the bagful at dispensaries. Hemp-marijuana spliffs are even a thing, too. Welcome to 2019.

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Adolphus A. Busch V Talks About Branching Out From Beer to Buds

When Adolphus A. Busch V, the great-great-grandson of Eberhard Adolphus Anheuser Busch, announced the launch of his Colorado-based cannabis brand on October 10, there were plenty of easy assumptions to make about big alcohol’s infiltration of legal weed. But the Colorado State University graduate says Budweiser and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, have nothing to do with his new venture, ABV Cannabis Co.

According to the Adolphus V, he started his company thanks to a “small investment” from his father, Adolphus Busch IV (the last Busch to control Anheuser-Busch), and that came after several years of grinding through the the beginning of Colorado’s recreational pot industry. Now he’s selling CO2-extracted hash pens across Colorado, with plans to expand into flower sales and jump into other states soon. To learn more about his background and plans in pot, Westword caught up with the young Busch.

You’ve been working in legal cannabis for some quite some time. How’d you get your start, and why’d you decide to start your own brand?

I started applying for jobs in the cannabis industry right after I graduated. Through a networking connection, I met the CEO of BioTrackTHC and began a consumer-relations and sales role for the company. After a couple of months, I moved on to Lightshade to learn the retail side of the industry. At the 2015 X Games, I met some investors in Keef Cola, and they introduced me to the owners. I started with Keef in February of 2015 and stayed with them as a sales rep, and then as a sales manager and account manager. I stepped out of Keef at the end of August 2017 to start my company.

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to start a business of my own since high school. I was working on business plans in college, but knew it would be smart to work in the industry and learn the ins and outs before I went down my own path. My goal is to create a legacy of my own similar to how my great-great grandfather created Anheuser-Busch.

What was your family’s response when you jumped into legal cannabis?

My family has always been very supportive. My mother and sisters questioned the industry when I first got into it, but they still supported my decision. My father was on board from the moment I got into the industry. He saw the potential and knew that this would be the industry I could create a legacy in.

I see that you were denied a job by Anheuser-Busch. Why was that? Will the Busch family or Anheuser-Busch be involved with ABV Cannabis Co.?

Anheuser-Busch implemented a nepotism law. They would no longer hire Busch family members after the sale of the company [in 2008]. I applied in 2012-13 and was told the interviews went well and things were looking up. I received a call two weeks later letting me know that they could no longer hire Busch family members.

My father has invested a small amount into my business. It is funded solely by me and my father so far. Anheuser-Busch is not involved.

How will your name help you in legal cannabis? Is there any way you think your last name could hurt you?

We are dedicated to creating consistent, quality products, just like my family did for so many years in the beer industry. I hope that when people see my name and my company, they’ll think of consistent, quality products for the everyman.

There will always be people with their opinions, assumptions and false facts. The facts are that I paid my dues in this industry to get to where I am, I have self-funded my company (other than my father’s investment), we are not affiliated or otherwise associated with Anheuser-Busch InBev and haven’t been since 2008, and my goal is to create a company of my own and to give back when and where we can.

Why do you choose CO2 oil instead of BHO or distillate?

We are currently filling our disposable vapes with CO2 oil because we believe in our full-spectrum CO2 oil. Full-spectrum, CO2-extracted cannabis oil is going to give most consumers a more desirable high that will mimic the high of the flower it was extracted from.

Distillate is pure THC. A pure distillate has been ripped of all other cannabinoids. This is not to say we will not be getting into distillate products — we are — but we wanted to start with a simple formulation that consumers can enjoy for an affordable price. We use natural, strain-specific terpenes for increased flavor and effects. Each one of our disposables will taste the same every time you buy them.

What are some of your favorite strains?

I prefer indicas, as I tend to consume more frequently at night to unwind from a long day, or to help me sleep. Grand Daddy Purple has always been one of my favorite indicas, and it sure brings back memories.

How do you get your cannabis? Is it grown in-house, or do you get it from other growers?

I have a licensing agreement in place with Pure Greens, located in Salida. I have an incredible relationship with this group. They are some of the most professional businesspeople I have met in this industry, and it is a pleasure to get to work with and for them. We hope to grow together as a team.

Sorry, but I have to ask: Any plans for a THC-infused beer in the future?

There are currently no plans to create a THC-infused beer. However, there has been a lot of internal talk about creating other beverages in the cannabis and CBD spaces.

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Flowers and Friends:’s Guide to National Best Friends Day With Your Best Buds

Who do you want to unwind and smoke with after you roll up? Your best friend. No one knows you better than your best friend. We appreciate their existence and blunt (no pun intended) honesty (sometimes), so let’s take a minute to celebrate our partners-in-crime and treat them to a day of adventurous nonsense. Whether […]

Frass Happens: Insect Detritus Can Likely Nourish Budding Buds

Cannabis growers are discovering a secret weapon of experienced gardeners – and Mother Nature herself – in the form of insect poop. Also known as frass, this natural soil enhancer is said to trigger plants’ autoimmune response by exposing them to chitin. The results of this self-defense mechanism is an overall healthier plant, along with […]

Connecticut Considers Legalization: Bills, Buds, and Big Bucks

Connecticut lawmakers are facing an intriguing dilemma – they must either reform their marijuana law and legalize recreational use, or sit back and watch as neighboring states that passed adult-use laws reap the fiscal benefits. Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana in November 2016, and are scheduled to implement their adult use marijuana program on July 1. […]

Canna Claus Survival Guide: Buds, Dabs, and Oils for Christmas 2017

Canna Claus will be busy packing mom and dad’s stockings with something new this year on Christmas Eve, sparking joy with the gift of marijuana and her intoxicating derivatives. Marijuana dispensaries in Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Washington State will most likely witness their average per-person sales increase by double digits the week before […]

Seattle’s DOPE Cup Runneth Over with Buds, Entertainment & More

The DOPE Cup is coming to Seattle brimming with live music, competition, vendors, food and an awards ceremony. Organized by Seattle’s own DOPE (an acronym for “Defending Our Plant Everywhere) Magazine, the event is in its 5th year and recently branched out, hosting its first event in Portland in 2015.

The upcoming Seattle event, billed as the longest running cannabis competition in the Pacific Northwest, promises to be an experience for the senses, bringing together producers, processors, retailers, industry affiliates and consumers alike for a celebration not to be missed.

Although there are no shortage of engaging sights, sounds and people, the one-day event is primarily focused on the competition. Categories to be judged fall under flower, concentrates, edibles and topicals, with subcategories tailored for each. Entries will be designated and judged as either medicinal or recreational. In addition to a People’s Choice Award with online voting open to all, the judging panel will consist of celebrities and industry experts.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 17th to attend the Dope Cup Washington 2016 in Seattle and come see what’s new in merchandise, what’s hoppin’ with strains all while jamming to the musical beats of Waka Flocka Flame. For additional information, please visit

The DOPE Cup Washington
Sunday, April 17th 2016
1728 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134


JLab JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds with Universal Microphone (White) (Electronics) newly tagged “music”

JLab JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds with Universal Microphone (White)

JLab JBuds Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds with Universal Microphone (White) (Electronics)

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Customer tags: music

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Buds, Banking, And The DOJ: Treasury Department Releases Marijuana Banking Guidance … Next Stop, House of Representatives

Friday, the Department of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network division of the Treasury Department released long anticipated guidance to banks and other financial institutions on how they can interact with marijuana businesses that are licensed under state law.

Under current regulations, financial institutions are required to file suspicious activity reports when they suspect the transaction has a drug connection. The new guidance creates a three tiered system for these reports: marijuana limited, marijuana priority, and marijuana termination. This will allow these institutions to work with marijuana businesses as long as they were operating in accordance with state laws and regulations. The Department of Justice reserved the right to pursue criminal charges when they suspect businesses are breaking the guidelines they released late last year and would still require banks to report any activity they suspect to be as operating outside of state regulations.

“Now that some states have elected to legalize and regulate the marijuana trade, FinCEN seeks to move from the shadows the historically covert financial operations of marijuana businesses,” noted FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery in a press release. “Our guidance provides financial institutions with clarity on what they must do if they are going to provide financial services to marijuana businesses and what reporting will assist law enforcement.”

“This reduces the burden on banks,” FinCEN stated during a briefing on the memo, “Marijuana under federal law requires a SAR. Now, the necessity is limited, reducing the banks’ burden a bit and more importantly clarifies where law enforcement focuses its attention.”

While this is a good start when it comes to allowing marijuana businesses to operate the same as those in any other regulated industry, memos such as these can be ultimately overturned by future administrations. To make this change lasting and binding, Congress must now act to codify it into law. The Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act is currently pending before the House of Representatives and would do just that. You can click here to quickly and easily write your representative and urge him/her to support this important legislation.

You can view the full text of the memo from FinCEN here. The DOJ memo can be viewed here.


Anonymous Brooklyn “weed fairy” leaving buds around town uncovered

Thumbnail image for weedfairy.jpg
Courtesy of Instagram.

Last week some very, very kind person decided to leave small bowlpacks of some Kushage in dozens of locations around Brooklyn affixed to a note reading: “These are tough times, take this week and keep your pspirits high #TheGardenBreath”.

Unfortunately, a lot of people thought the pot was laced or somehow fake and rumors spread on social media. But Gawker’s Rich Juzwiak managed to find some, smoke it and get good, old-fashioned stoned from it.

Which is exactly what the then-anonymous (more on this below) wanted, according to their twitter handle:


By the weekend, though, it seems the true identity of the weed fairy, 23-year-old Yeni Sleidi, had been discovered — which, again, seems to be what she wanted, according to her twitter:

turn false”>weedfairy-realtweet.jpg

Our sister blog over at the Miami New Times did some further sleuthing and managed to get Sleidi on the phone, but she declined to comment about her Janie Potseed adventures in New York or say if she planned to keep up her joy-making endeavor.

More links from around the web!

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Diminished Taste Buds Noted in Obese Children

THURSDAY Sept. 20, 2012 — Obese children have less sensitive taste buds than normal-weight children, according to a new study.

This diminished ability to distinguish all five types of taste — bitter, sweet, salty, sour and savory — may lead them to eat larger amounts of food in order to get the same taste sensation as normal-weight children, the German researchers suggested.

The study, published online Sept. 20 in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, included 99 obese and 94 normal-weight children, aged 6 to 18 years. All were in good health and not taking any medications that affect taste and smell. The children’s taste sensitivity was tested by placing 22 taste strips on the tongue. The strips included each of the five types of taste at four levels of intensity, plus two blank strips.

Overall, children were best able to identify sweet and salty tastes. They found it hardest to distinguish between salty and sour, and between salty and savory. Girls and older children were better at identifying tastes.

Obese children had a significantly more difficult time identifying the different tastes and taste intensity than normal-weight children, Dr. Susanna Wiegand, of the department of pediatric endocrinology and diabetology at the Charite University of Medicine in Berlin, said in a journal news release.

Genes, hormones and exposure to different tastes early in life are believed to play a role in why people have different taste perceptions. Previous research suggests that people with heightened taste sensitivity may eat less food because they don’t require as much to get the same taste sensation.

Although the study showed an association between obesity and diminished sensitivity in taste buds, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more about taste and taste disorders.

Posted: September 2012

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