NYS Legalization – The Home Stretch!

So, we started off the 2021 legislative session with the usual promises of the past 2 years; this year we’re “committed” to legalizing and that it was a “priority” for Gov. Cuomo. Nothing much changed at first, legislative leaders wanted to pass their MRTA while Cuomo wanted the CRTA to pass as part of the budget process. They seemed to be locked in a stalemate, again.

This all changed due to other issues Cuomo was suddenly facing. First, he is under accusations that he directed officials to report different nursing home COVID death numbers. Second, he is also facing several sexual harassment accusations. Both of these, combined, are adding significant pressure on Cuomo to demonstrate he can effectively lead. Using this pressure, legislative leaders were able to finally negotiate the details of a legalization bill that both houses and Cuomo agreed on.

At around 10PM on March 27th, the final bill text was released. While I don’t think the bill is perfect, I see it as a good compromise with the following highlighted details:

  • Automatic expungement of criminal records for things that are no longer crimes
  • Homegrow is allowed with a maximum of 6 plants
    • Homegrow is delayed until 18 months after the first recreational shop opens
    • Final regulations for homegrow will be provided by the Office of Cannabis Management(so, it could still be overly restricted).
  • Employment protections remain for off-work cannabis use
  • Strong provisions for equity and social justice measures
  • Adults can possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis outside of the home
  • The odor of cannabis is no longer a reason for searches

As of this writing, the bill is starting to make its way through committees with a planned vote as early as Wednesday the 31st.

While all the news of legislative leaders and Cuomo agreeing on the bill and promises that it will pass, the biggest tell is when the prohibitionists start admitting defeat:

So congrats, NY! We’re finally going to have legal cannabis! Smoke one if you got one!

FLWR City 2020 Harvest Cup

The FLWR City Harvest Cup was used to showcase the variety of hemp being grown within NYS. FLWR City partnered with other organizations, such as ROC NORML and New York Cannabis Growers & Processors Association, to put on such an amazing event. One of ROC NORML’s missions is that for every event they put on, they must give back to the community in some way. With FLWR City Harvest Cup, they were able to raise almost $6000 which was put back directly into non-profit food organizations who supply food to those that need it in both Buffalo and Rochester NY.

FLWR City received over 50 submissions from hemp farmers across NYS. The organizers whittled down the list to 20 “best” hemp samples that they then prepared to be sent out to the judges for grading. There were two types of judges for this event: industry judges and people’s choice. The industry judges represented individuals who are in the cannabis industry within NYS. People’s choice judges had the opportunity to participate with a $50 ticket. That $50 got us 20gs of hemp flower, a dynavap M, a torch, and a few other swag pieces. Really, the entry price along made this event worth it for me.

Having the opportunity to sample all this hemp flower was simply amazing. Some of the hemp flower was really just phenomenal and being able to sample such a wide variety exposed me to some I probably never would have purchased or sampled on my own. There were some unique colors and flavors such as berry notes, funky cheese, and some dark purples with bright green that really produced some stunning flower.

I’m not going to give a detailed review of all 20 samples, but I want to highlight the ones that I liked the best and the winners:

  • Cultivar 7 – Gatsby from Weaver Road Farms
    • This flower, when opening the bag, just smelled so dank. I got some serious diesel notes out of this and it was my number 1 strain until I got farther into the cultivars. The flavor carried through nicely in the dynavap and was a very pleasant sesh.
  • Cultivar 55 – Hawaiian Haze from Miss Perry’s Farm
    • This flower had a really nice bud structure with some light purple mixed throughout the flower. The aroma was a bit of a subtle cheese flavor that came through slightly in the vape as well as another flavor I just couldn’t place. The vape experience was really nice and had me wanting more. I also got some decent effects from this flower and a slight headchange.
  • Cultivar 38 – Lifter from Breathing Web Farms
    • I’m a sucker for Lifter strains. I’ve always found these to be the most pleasant and this one I gave the highest scores to. The flower gave off some citrus notes followed by a bit of diesel and it was probably the best cured flower out of the whole bunch. The diesel notes came right through with the vape.
  • Cultivar 20 – Amy’s Hemp CBD from Premium CBD Spot – People’s Choice winner!
    • Looking back at my notes, I really didn’t enjoy this flower as much as others. It gave off some orange aromas coming out of the bag and in the dynavap. It was a very smooth vape, great trichome coverage, and was trimmed nicely.
  • Cultivar 27 – Abacus CBD from Heartstone Organic Farms – HARVEST CUP WINNER!
    • This flower had a wonderful mix of purple throughout and nice red pistils. The trichomes were super thick on the flower and very easy to spot with the naked eye. I picked up some pine aromas out of the bag and through the vape; it was not very overpowering and provided a really nice vape experience.

Overall I am super happy to have been part of this event. Looking at it from the outside, the event was put together very well and it was a very smooth experience for the judges. My only negative is that we were given only 9 days to sample and judge 20 hemp strains. With life and other things happening it was tough to find time, some days I was sampling like 4 strains a night.

Hopefully NYS doesn’t carry through with its hemp flower ban; it would really be a negative blow to farmers in this craft industry if they were unable to sell their flower. Hemp has shown me cannabis has many different sides and qualities and the flower should be celebrated and cherished!

If you want to watch the entire finale, they have it up on Youtube.

Cooking With r33f Part 1: Infused Oil

Making cannabis edibles was something I had wanted to do for a long time. Basically to do anything with cannabis interests me as it provides another side to explore the plant. Edibles seemed out of reach for me normally since buying the quantity needed would never make edibles worth it. Luckily, with the proliferation of Hemp AND the wondrous Franklin, making THC edibles was finally within my grasp.

Having a pound of hemp is certainly an interesting experience. Biggest concern is what to do with all of it. Not wanting it to go to waste, I started searching for ways to store it and prolong it’s usefulness. I decided to order a Magical Butter machine as an all-in-one solution for making awesome Franklin based edibles.

It is hard to get more convenient than an all-in-one machine that also includes basic recipes and an online community. Getting started I broke apart 2 ounces of Frank and placed it inside a mason jar for decarbing in the oven. I did it at 250F for 30 minutes, burping the jar and shaking every 10 minutes.

Once the 30 minutes was up, I took the Frank out and placed it inside the Magical Butter machine with 2 cups of MCT oil and 1 Tbps of Sunflower Lecithin. I then put the lid on, plugged it in, set the MB to 160F and hit the one hour button.

That’s it! The machine goes and does its thing for an hour and while I waited I was sure to get a good sesh in with me D8 vape.

After the hour elapsed I removed the head of the unit and poured the oil through the straining bag that came with the MB. The result was about 2 cups of infused oil that had a nice dark green appearance.

Cleaning the MB is a breeze, the entire inside is stainless steel so it is easy to just rinse off and wipe dry. I then poured the oil into a dark container for longer storage.

In Part two, I’ll go over how I made up some delicious infused chocolates!