High Times in the Plague Year: Booze & Cannabis Retailers Shine

Landlords already know this: People are getting more toasted than Wonder Bread.

By John E. McNellis, Principal at McNellis Partners, for WOLF STREET:

Happy Hour starts at 3 o’clock. Tenants selling reality-relief are killing it. I called a number of retailers to double-check my desultory anecdotal evidence. One, the owner of a first-rate supermarket chain, said his alcohol sales are up 25 percent since March. That came as no surprise, but the identity of his best-selling beer — Corona — did.

Along with half of America, I assumed that Corona was destined to become the Adolph of beer labels. Wrong. Drinkers love it — some think calling a hangover a “corona virus” is funny. This merchant said the only limitation on his Corona sales was lack of inventory. Neither he nor any other seller of liquor is asking for any rent breaks.

I called a major beer distributor in the Central Valley. Same story. Up 25 percent across the board. Any brand outselling the pack? “Honey, anything selling in a can or a bottle, our customers are buying it.”

Alcohol is easy to vet, sales are reported — no one’s cooking moonshine in their backyards. Marijuana? Let’s just say the numbers are a little cloudy. Without getting lost in the weeds, the big picture looks like this: Recreational marijuana (“rec”) consumption is up considerably this year, but precise numbers are hard to come by. Point of sale numbers for California’s legal rec were up 29 percent for the month of August.

These reported sales exclude of course the everyday low-cost alternatives of illegal and homegrown dope. How big is the illegal business? No one really knows, but a couple weeks ago California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra touted the eradication of more than a million plants at 455 grow sites by the Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program. Unless CAMP is considerably more effective than most governmental programs, his numbers mean there’s enough illegal pot growing in the Golden State’s hills to blanket a lesser state. Or two.

As for the do-it-yourself crowd, you can grow a single plant on your kitchen window sill and, according to the net, harvest a couple hundred joints, enough to light up your neighborhood like a diesel generator. Grow the six plants you’re permitted under California law and you can buy yourself a tractor. No one has a clue how many pot transactions are free or bartered; maybe Netflix could make an educated guess by counting the number of times “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle” has been downloaded.

On the other hand, medical marijuana — the pain-killing lotions and potions — does lend itself to accurate accounting. It’s highly regulated, legal in 33 states and no one is selling it off the back of a truck. I asked the president of a leading medical marijuana company how the virus affected his business. Surprisingly, he said his sales were off 50 percent in early spring, during the depths of the shut-down, but slowly rebounded over the summer and are now surpassing their pre-Covid levels. He needed rent breaks in the spring.

I had assumed just the opposite: that with everyone in all kinds of pain, his sales would have soared. He replied, “Tinctures and topicals are expensive. When the shutdown hit and people were suddenly unemployed, there was a flight from med to rec, to quantity over quality.”

I think he meant that you can deal with back pain a couple different ways: rub an expensive lotion on your lumbar region or roll up a fattie. In addition to being cheaper, the latter approach has the benefit of making television comedy actually seem funny.

Reflecting on the Cannabiz in general, he said the price of “top flower” (on the street, buds) has risen from $1200 a pound wholesale in January to $1500 today, a result of its increased demand. He said the industry benefited by being earmarked essential from the get-go. (Guns and ammunition were also classified essential from day one; let’s hope the overlap between the two consumer groups is small.)

More than its essential classification, he believed the business was aided by the $600 federal stimulus payments to the unemployed. That figures. And, reflecting trends in the larger economy, he thought one clear Cannabiz winner is its home delivery sub-industry; it’s been growing exponentially at the expense of the bricks-and-mortar dispensaries.

As with alcohol, the real estate industry need not worry about its marijuana tenants. Let’s face it, selling highly addictive products has a distinct upside (just ask Starbucks).

The great toilet paper run may have made all the headlines, but it had nothing on pot. When the dopers belatedly realized their dispensaries were about to shut down in mid-March (“Whoa, dude, for sure? No? Whoa. That’s heavy”), they stormed the Bastille, their lines wrapping around the pot shops for blocks, buying everything green except the AstroTurf. A reasonable response to this the worst year anyone can recall. By John E. McNellis, Principal at McNellis Partners, for WOLF STREET

New York City, San Francisco Bay Area are the big losers. The great 2020 exodus raises the question: Will the techies ever return? Read… The Flight of the Techies

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  98 comments for “High Times in the Plague Year: Booze & Cannabis Retailers Shine

  1. Gabriel says:

    Oh yeah, i think that wfh and a joint are going to be the New normal

  2. Joe Saba says:

    so my neighbor in mountain vacay spot works for HENNESEY distributor in Phoenix
    when all bars and restaurants shut down in March/April they had to dump $2 million worth of keg beer(bud/miller) in stock

    guess merican beer has short shelf life

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Any good beer has a limited shelf life. Look for the “best by” or “sell by” dates on the outside of the six pack or case. Good beer is a natural, fermented product.

      • drexciya says:

        That really depends on the beer style. A Dutch brewery I frequent from time to time, De Molen, has a number of heavy stouts and barley wines which are supposed to age pretty well, they put 25 years on the label. I had one of those last year, which had been stored for about 6 years, and it was excellent.

        The same thing goes for certain sour styles, like the Belgium geuze. That can be stored for 10+ years as well. For all these styles, it will even improve the beer.

        On the other hand, IPAs (hoppy beers) should be consumed within a short time period. As for Bud, Budweiser has been degraded after the mergers (using lower quality hops and using less of it), so that will further reduce its stability. And it was nowhere close to good to begin with. Also note, that the way you store beer, is very important as well.

    • Beyond the rubicoN says:

      Keg beer is not pasteurized so it goes bad quicker then bottled beer.

      • Freedomnowand how says:

        Brilliant observation of current affairs, Wolf. It brought some long ago memories of hemp consumption, and the social aspect around it. Beer on the other hand has survived as a staple of my mental care. Wish I would have bought Corona shares back when the original Corona=Coronavirus jokes first came around. A interesting note here in the Midwest is paint, wolmanised lumber, and garden soil of any kind flew off the shelves this past spring and summer. Ah, the smell of fresh top soil, fresh paint, feeds the mental self, not so much the wolmanised lumber. Good dreams ahead for all.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Freedomnowand how,

          In terms of “Wish I would have bought Corona shares back when the original Corona=Coronavirus jokes first came around”: Corona is owned by mega-brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, ticker BUD

    • otishertz says:

      Bud/Miller is not beer. It’s fizzy headache water made with GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, and Roundup tainted grains.

      You can tell good beer by the label. It comes from Oregon.

      • Zantetsu says:

        Most microbrews are cr** though. They stick a funny name and fancy label on unbalanced garbage and people flock to it.

        If a brewery hasn’t been in operation for at least 100 years, I tend to shy away personally.

        • otishertz says:

          most microbrews are hops.

        • Realist says:

          That’s the reason why the Chinese know how to make nice beer, their best breweries were founded by the Imperial Germans back when Kwantung was a German posession.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Czech or German beer that is bottled there. Used to include bottled Guinness but I think it’s brewed in the US now.

        • Whitey says:

          Is there such thing as “bottled” Guinness? I’ve only seen it in the can. I’m not sure that the widget (which carbonates the beer) works in a bottle.

        • DawnsEarlyLight says:

          Pubs used to bottle Guinness themselves, but the brewery itself started bottling, due to pub inconsistencies.

        • RagnarD says:

          Yes, Guiness comes in bottles, it’s not that hard to find. But I only get the cans, because only they have the nitro widget which makes their canned beer taste like Guiness on tap. Guiness taps are different than regular beer taps as they dispense with nitro added. Guiness in bottles is quite let down from the can experience.

        • Mira says:

          I liked to drink Abbotsford Invalid Stout, it comes in bottles, I would drink from a long neck bottle.
          Good source of Vitamin B is why oldies drank it.

  3. Jdog says:

    What did you think was going to happen when so many people received a windfall from free government money? Did you think they would act responsibly?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Jdog,

      Yes. And they acted “responsibly” in the sense of the stimulus: they SPENT it. 😁 That’s what they were supposed to do with it. If they bought US-made craft brew with US-grown specialty hop, or if they bought US-grown weed, then all of the stimulus money stayed in the US. But if they bought imports, such as Corona or smuggled weed, then some of the stimulus money stimulated the economies of other countries.

      • Dan Romig says:

        And US-grown barley.

        Limagrain Cereal Seeds has four different malting barley varieties for brewing beer. I have to root for them since they bought my family wheat seed company ten years ago.

        The Foxhome, Minnesota seed farm that we worked with as our main location is also where the recent National Barley Growers Association’s president, Pete Friederichs, is. His quote to the House Ag Committee a few years ago, “Without barley, there is no beer.”

        https://national-barley.com/no-barley-no-beer/

    • Whitey says:

      Didn’t this blog mention how many people used their stimulus money to pay down/off credit cards? The number who did so was impressive, but those cards will be charged up again when unexpected expenses roll in. Life for low income people is difficult and precarious.
      Here in Vancouver the most patronized liquor stores tend to be in the most expensive neighbourhoods.

    • MarMar says:

      I dunno if you’ve noticed, but people are anxious and depressed. No surprise drug use is up. No need to wag your finger.

      • MarMar says:

        Also, a quick check and it turns out alcohol sales aren’t really up. They’ve just moved to retail.

      • Heinz says:

        Yes, many Americans are sick and depressed– but they have been that way more or less for ages. Covid only intensified their emotional and mental problems.

        I would expect your average Joe (but not everyone, mind you) walking down the street is pumped full of big pharma drugs for chronic disease and pain, and has a bloodstream reeking with traces of ‘recreational’ drugs like amphetamines, marijuana, coke, meth, or whatever they choose as their poison.

        Medical marijuana dispensaries in my area were recently allowed to open up and the media reports they are doing a bang up business.

  4. Zantetsu says:

    I wish I liked pot, I feel like I am missing out when I learn how much other people like it. But it makes me very paranoid and uneasy, I don’t care for it at all.

    Drinking I don’t care for either, makes me very sick.

    My vice I suppose is certain online video games, card games that at times have sucked $3,000 out of me in a year. But worse is the time waste, just sitting there playing a game instead of living life. And yet I keep coming back to it, something about the zone of intense focus I have when playing has the same appeal to my brain that drugs/alcohol has for other people I guess.

    • sunny129 says:

      @Zantesu

      ‘..something about the zone of intense focus I have when playing has the same appeal to my brain that drugs/alcohol has for other people I guess.’

      It is called ‘being in FLOW zone’ where one is intensively in ANY kind of activity where the individual is lost those hours and the rest of the world ceased to exist during that time frame.

      It is common among musicians, painters or any kind of activity where the ‘reality or the unpleasantness of our living world’ disappears for a while.

      It happens to me while watching a good movies, reading a good book or series of articles while online. While trading, if my portfolio is growing even slowly for that tme frame/day!?

      You are no different. To each his/her or my/our own!

      • Old School says:

        I have heard that the side of the brain that is analytical tends to get stuck and you have to be aware to interrupt that from time to time. Creative side of brain doesn’t tend to get stuck and you can jump to analytical side easily.

    • Chillbro says:

      You smoking the wrong product, talk to your neighborhood pharmacist. You will likely need some indica. A friend told weed works great with online gaming too!

      • Paulo says:

        I grew a bunch of Indica this year for shits and giggles. I didn’t like pot 40 years ago and I still don’t like it. My nephew is getting a pound for Christmas, I guess. The stuff is so damn potent (buds) that if you smoke any more than a pencil eraser size you are totally ripped. (1 puff)

        In BC private possession is a kilo. Medium quality is worth $7,000 dollars. I’d rather have a nice glass of whiskey or a rum on ice, actually. At least with liquor a consumer knows the effects and can better gauge the experience.

        Not wanting to sound like a conspiracy nut, I don’t think Govt minds citizens using pot and limited alcohol. Not only do they try to tax the stuff, but impaired people are not protesting or complaining about inequality, opportunity….. keep ’em nice and stupid.

        By the way, a home made still works great and rum is just made from fermented demarra sugar and is totally safe to distill. I made it for years back in my 20s. If you run it through twice you end up with pure overproof with that nice Island vibe.

        • Trailer Trash says:

          “My nephew is getting a pound for Christmas,”

          My long-lost Uncle Paulo!! How ya doin’??

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Zantetsu,

      You’re not alone. Video games and consoles are having a banner year. Another huge winner in this crisis.

      I’m not a gamer. I think the last time I played was back in the day when Packman and arcades were still a thing. That was when dirt was still young. But I think there are a lot worse things to do if you’re stuck at home than playing games. At least with games, you’re actively engaged. Beats by a huge margin just watching TV for hours (we don’t have a TV either, crummy consumers that we are).

      • Tonymike says:

        I cut the cord 25 years ago and do as you state, actively engaging past times. Also, part of the PC Master Race and a gamer for 35 years. Games these days are works of art (for the most part) and are a better value dollar for dollar in hours spent.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Stop smoking it, and eat it in the clearly very very small quantities needed for relief from pain according to research, such research becoming much more extensive thanks to other countries mostly because of the continuing classification of pot as a high level danger in USA, thanks to our continuingly stupid politicians.
      OTOH, after a couple of years hiatus so that all the local politicians could make the deals with the national pot purveyors, many states have legalized medical pot, and many more have also made their deals so that ”recreational” pot can be sold with the politicians bribes/pay offs/ ”campaign contributions cannot be linked to them in any way, yet,,, in spite of their older brothers mother in law’s new house and subsequent rise out of ”genteel poverty,” with which rise I have no problem at all…
      Pot can be helpful in its many and various varieties, similar to another ”sativa”,,, garlic, possibly the very best ”anti-biotic” ever, and there are other natural and easy to grow similar ”weeds.”
      There is an old story about a group of monks who went directly to the pope of the time to ask him not to forbid ”unleavened bread,” the main food of those monks; the monks carried their point, possibly because their average age was 85 in a time and place where male human average death age was less than 45 years…
      (I hope this is not too complicated for Wolfers, as I have heard many other sites are very challenged by such implications.)

      • California Bob says:

        re: “… continuing classification of pot as a high level danger in USA …”

        Uh, ‘recreational’ weed has been legal in California for a couple years and for longer in several other states (Colorado, Washington and Oregon, for example). Our mid-sized Central Valley town has a half-dozen recreational dispensaries, and CBD oil is sold damn near everywhere (or so I’m told ;).

        • edmondo says:

          All of which can be shut down at any time by the DEA. What’s legal in Cali is also illegal per Washington DC. That’s why you don’t pay for weed with a credit card. It’s a violation of the Banking Act to buy illegal substances with a federally insured bank credit card.

      • otishertz says:

        The largest impediment to being in the cannabis business is IRS reg 280E.

        280E requires that all business expenses related to what is deemed as “trafficking” be called an expense. In practice this means that normally deductible things like sales expenses and management expenses are not deductible.

        For example, as ceo I could only deduct the portion of my salary that was related to growing and I have to tell the IRS which percentage of my labor is growing vs administration labor. The admin percent is considered trafficking.

        If I bought a notebook for my employees it was deductible. When I bought a notebook for myself a part of that normally deductible expense is charged to me as income!

        Every year there are a hundred thousand dollars in non deductible expenses or more.

        Repealing 280E would instantly make pot businesses 20% more profitable. People like to talk about banking access as the big impediment to cannabis business. While banking access is an issue, it is manageable.

        The real problem in the cannabis business is IRS reg 280E.

        • otishertz says:

          In 2016 and 2017 my effective income tax rate as an owner of a pot farm was over 50% due to 280E.

          In 2017 I paid 100 times more than Donald Trumph paid in taxes.

  5. mayod says:

    STZ did not shine in their last ER.

  6. L.j. Hoke says:

    if people want to get ahead of the curve on this, check nasdaq for CMPS and the clinical trials they are running with psillocybin!

    • Sam says:

      Cartel’s stepping up eradication of competition.
      Aguanga (Riverside, CA) grow operation shutdown by extinction of staff, while no cash or product taken. Message “loud & clear” to grower’s community.
      LEO’s investigation response resembles “Sgt. Schultz”.

      • California Bob says:

        Early reports suggest this was a revenge killing among Laotian immigrant growers. No cartel involvement suspected (so far).

  7. Anthony A. says:

    I smoked a little pot when I was in college in Connecticut in the early 1970’s. Not much though, as I was trying to get the engineering degree and needed a clear head for calculus and other rigorous subjects. Other classmates in liberal arts curriculums, well, they were stoned all the time (and so were their instructors).

    Now retired and age 77, I have used some weed for aches and pains, and it’s pretty good! But I have to drive to Colorado to get it legally, and I live in Texas. So, it’s not a usual occurrence these days. I do love those trips though! The wife and I don’t drink much alcohol anymore either. I guess we are not much fun these days! LOL

    I don’t have any feel whether or not alcohol sales are up around these parts, as Texas seems to be one big party all the time!

    • The Original Colorado Kid says:

      I live in Colorado and if license plates are any indication, the state’s being overrun by Texans. This really isn’t anything new, it’s just that their range is increasing, as they used to stay more southernly, like Durango and Pagosa Springs. The Aspen police posted a photo recently on their FB page where someone had replaced the word Aspen with Texas on the Aspen City Limits sign.

      And no, I don’t smoke pot or drink. I get my highs from hiking and being outdoors. I’m actually in the Tetons right now. It’s a lot cheaper to camp out away from the pandemic and hike and see wildlife than to stay home and drink/smoke. More enjoyable, too, a least for me.

      • Paulo says:

        You bet. I kayak all the time and build stuff. Planting garlic today. It beats being impaired.

        Except for the politics I always liked Wyoming for kicking around. My wife and I had a wonderful trip through there about 10 years ago. But those days are long gone as we’ll be staying on this side of the border from now on.

        • Old School says:

          I agree. I have seen too many people self medicate with alcohol and destroy themselves. An emotionally unsteady person and alcohol can get ugly quick. It’s very sad.

    • Sam says:

      Catch a commuter flt. to Pdx to evaluate the tons of product overflowing through 660 (last known OLCC count of active licenses) retail outlets.
      Billboards advertising daily specials by the score.
      US mail always delivers w/out a forethought
      Note: the above comments are not advisory for promoting illegal activities. Consult legal counsel for advice. Ymmv.

      • otishertz says:

        By 2030 there will be a weed dispensary in PDX airport if not sooner. You are safe flying out of PDX now with pot. Your main concern is where you land,

  8. sunny129 says:

    This is a bit off the above subject but interesting:
    about what Trump said about Covid 19 virus since the beginning of the year. It is more than just hilarious! And some people who defend him, apparently have SHORT memory

    Excerpts:
    -January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
    -February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”
    February 7: “It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu… This is deadly stuff”
    -February 10: “Looks like by April, you know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

    February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

    February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
    February 26 : “We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
    February 26: “Well, we’re testing everybody that we need to test. And we’re finding very little problem. Very little problem.”
    March 4 : “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
    May 8: “This is going to go away without a vaccine. It is going to go away. We are not going to see it again.”

    February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
    May 8: “This is going to go away without a vaccine. It is going to go away. We are not going to see it again.”
    June 17: “It’s fading away. It’s going to fade away.”
    June 18: “And it is dying out. The numbers are starting to get very good.”

    pretty long list, too long!
    @mishtalk

  9. joe2 says:

    Wolf, you have your hand on the pulse of the nation. We pretend to care about the deified economy and they pretend to send us fiat.
    Does it sound like the 60’s redux or everyone waiting for the apocalypse like 30s Berlin or summer 1914.
    Somehow everyone knows that 2008, Ebola, pig flu, and China flu were just practice runs for what’s coming.
    And the remoras trying to profit by preying on those under house arrest are pathetic .

  10. Crush the Peasants! says:

    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around

  11. Trailer Trash says:

    The three rules of homegrown:

    Don’t Tell
    Don’t Smell
    Don’t Sell

    Homegrown can be inexpensive if using “bag seed”, growing outside, and variable results are acceptable. But growing indoors under lights uses lots of electricity. High operating costs pushes one towards high-dollar, high-quality seeds in order to reduce risks of a poor crop. The cost of growing gets high in a hurry, but it’s still much cheaper than buying commercial, and there’s no mold, chemicals, etc.

    It would be interesting to know how the seed business is doing. Retail seed prices are unbelievably high. I wonder if they have good margins. There is likely much less regulation and testing, so that would be a real plus. The cannabis regulatory environment is so repressive, who wants to deal with that, without really big margins?

    The liquid concentrates seem like a bad idea. There’s no way to know what is really in those tubes. Combustion in a pipe or a fattie isn’t great, either. Dry bud vaporizers are a good option, although pricey, but the buds go further and taste better. I suspect many folks don’t realize that concentrate vaporizers are very different from dry bud vaporizers.

    Don’t ask how I know. I’m not telling. (Rule #1)

    • otishertz says:

      In Oregon pot and pot concentrates have to pass stringent lab screenings that test for mold and 50 or 60 different pesticides. NO cigarette would ever pass an Oregon pot lab screening. I know, I tested four types of cigarettes through my pot lab. All failed. Legal pot is safer and more pure than most agricultural products in your supermarket.

      Most people in legal states would grow from proven clones that are either traded or bought at a dispensary. Seeds are a crap shoot usually and unless feminized half will be male plants and discarded, as happens with men in general. Nothing wrong with seeds or feminized seeds, or feminized men. You just don’t know for sure what you are getting.

      If you are in a non legal state and mysteriously acquiring seeds go for feminized seeds of proven strains where you have an estimation of indica/sativa ratio which is almost never 1. Pay for quality.

      Indicas are rarer by far and are sedative without the edginess and anxiety inducing terpenes in sativas. Sativas tend to have more flavors from a more diverse terpene profile.

      Pot can have a myriad of effects and flavors. The funny thing is that the flavors and smells affect the effect. The terps spin up the native thc effect in different directions. After years in the business I can tell the effect of a strain largely by it’s smell.

      Short version, buy kush and skunk crosses for indica. Don’t shy away from hybrids. Realize you can get almost any effect from speed with sativas to sleep with indicas but also that there is probably a strain out there that does the trick for you only.

      • Dan Romig says:

        GSC aka Girl Scout Cookies is highly recommended.

        Since I watched my dad breed wheat, I like the way the genetic pedigrees of legal strains are now so openly shared.

        Thank you for the comment otishertz.

        • otishertz says:

          GSC is a skunky indica leaning strain. The flavor and smell of it made me not a fan but the more rare indica effect is there. GSC is a sedative strain.

          Growing that strain produced small buds. Small dense and potent. GSC is a good strain. It has a strong effect. GSC crosses are indica leaning. They don’t yield as much as other strains like OG crosses. Pure Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) plants produce tiny dense buds with a powerful sedative effect.

          Cannabis is a plant that has innumerable phenotype expressions. The genealogy of cannabis is so mixed up that F1 crosses will show amazing and unpredictable differences.

          In the pot business it is possible to create or find a super awesome strain. Like for example, a strain that makes people horny.

          Don’t know if my comment helps anyone but anyway, if you are avoiding marijuana paranoia in your dispensary purchase go for Kush names. go for GSC cross names too.

          There is a reason why there are so many OG kush crosses out there.

        • Dan Romig says:

          Animal Cookies is also one I enjoy. It is a cross of GSC & Fire OG.

          The cereal grains breeder who took over from Dad when we sold, was the breeder for Anheuser-Bush’s barley program. One thing he and the COO of LCS remarked about our breeding program that made me proud of my dad, was how we had such success with, relatively speaking, a small crossing-block each season.

          Monsanto, Syngenta and the three universities of the Dakotas & Minnesota had many, many more F1 crosses made each year, but we made ‘smart crosses’ with a combination of genetics from north and south America.

          A crossing block can be like a lottery – the more made, the more chances of winning. Or it can be made with, to use the new baseball term, ‘analytics’. For each variety out there which will be used as parents, break down four traits they have in the order of their strengths in what they do well. Yield, disease resistance, stand ability and protein are the main things growers want. Milling and baking quality is not as important to growers, but Dad always factored that into our program too.

          My dad passed away a year ago, but I got to work with him for nearly two decades. Things turned out well for us. Thank you and R.I.P my father.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      I think I still have a dry bud vaporizer from the 70’s somewhere around here. It’s nice rosewood but probably would need a new screen in the bottom of the bowl.

  12. Sam says:

    Rule #1) File under “snitches get stitches” thesis.

  13. Dano says:

    I’m a rare drinker but this year someone turned me on to “peanut butter” whiskey. (Two brands I know of are Sheep Dog & Screwball). That stuff is incredibly tasty and way better than you might think! I’ve been told it also tastes like butterscotch.

    Usually I might buy one bottle of spirits a year (usually sipping tequila), as well as a bunch of wine for dinner parties. This year I’ve already tripled my alcohol purchases, and all thanks to that oddball, PB & Whiskey!

    • sunny129 says:

      NOT fan of hard liquor ( wine & Ginger beer-yes) but that ‘peanut butter’ picked my interest. Might try that (like butterscotch taste!) if I know, where to order it from?

  14. Michael Gorback says:

    The real medical utility of cannabis is the cannabidiol (CBD) content. There’s little pain control with THC. However, since most of the medical marijuana market is phony, the dispensaries focus on THC concentration.

    It’s hard to find true CBD that has little THC. I’ve had patients using CBD who tested positive for THC. Some of the CBD products are actually synthetic analogs that can cause significant problems.

    The FDA has limited governance over CBD since it is in the notoriously BS category of food supplements.

    • Trailer Trash says:

      Some people report good results by blending dry bud from a high CBD variety with bud from a high THC variety, especially for early morning migraines, so the sufferer can go back to sleep while waiting for the $20 pills to work.

      There is an “Amnesia CBD” strain that claims 11% CBD and 8% THC. It would be interesting to compare that to a high CBD + high THC blend.

    • otishertz says:

      THC is the first, primary, and most abundant cannabinoid. Its analgesic effect is the cornerstone of the entourage effect of the cbd complex.

      CBDs are good for human beings. We need them for cellular communication and other body processes.

      Real hemp, which is more like grass compared to the oil laden low thc crosses being passed off as non medical right now, is a different market. There are ways to remove THC and yield mostly cbd.

      The science is getting more clear as I’m getting farther from the industry but cbds like thc tend to degrade into cbn which is a sedative cannabinoid.

      Chew a pot but raw in a field and maybe your lips get numb. Juice that bud and you got your cbds for the day. You won’t get high.

      Leave one of your buds to dry on your windowsill through the warm days of summer and the same bud next year will get you high af.

      Most authorities that would pontificate about marijuana have no clue and no experience, as well as no data to support their suppositions.

  15. Barry Williams says:

    I uh know a guy in the freemarket wholesale marijuana business in central Canada.

    12 yrs ago a pound of quad = $3000 cdn
    6 yrs ago = $2400
    Now = $1600 and market is flooded with good product.

    Right now there is enough legal weed in the pipeline to satisfy more than 24 months of legal demand and more new growers are coming on stream daily.

    I predict we’ll see $1000 quads before the end of 2021 and anyone want to buy some ginormous green houses?

    • otishertz says:

      There are two markets. Indoor and outdoor. The economics of running either type are vastly different.

      Outdoor is productive right now when considering inputs and outputs, esp if you own a dispensary. $5 a gram pans out nicely if you own the farm and the store.

    • Fat Chewer. says:

      Excellent. Why is Canada so freaking cool?

    • Sam says:

      Oversupply maximus: couple years back, OR had so much finished supply in the pipeline that wholesale price was down to $100 a lb.
      Yes, you read that # right.
      Economic devastation was a plague across the grow industry, consumers were ecstatic.
      Similar economic curve to negative crude price per barrel early this year.
      Classified as an illegal business [IRS code 280-E], there’s no writing off losses.
      All the state [re OR/WA] cares about is license fees & tax collection. Cue:”Tax man”.
      Comparable to microbrew industry here: for every three that startup, one fails.
      Lot of high profile, long time breweries ceased operations as they did not evolve with changing consumer preferences.

  16. Kasadour says:

    Oregon has two initiatives on the ballot (measures 109 and 110) that seek to decriminalize hard drugs. If passed, will allow individuals to possess certain drugs like cocaine and heroine for personal consumption, and the only bite with teeth these initiatives have is court-mandated rehab with a $100 fine; and redirecting tax money to support rehab institutions. They assured the public that the passage of these will not result in retail shops opening up selling heroine, cocaine and LSD. But they said the same thing about marijuana retail shops, yet there’s practically one on every corner indicated by a green cross like the pharmacies in Europe. There was a line out of Nectar Weed visible from the street the other day. I assumed it was due to social distancing, but there were qute a few peeps in line.

    • otishertz says:

      You are hysterical. Go with it if it feels good.
      There aren’t going to be rouge Mushroom or LSD dispensaries popping up in tents next to the protests.

      In Oregon there were serious hurdles to legality. It took decades, decriminalization of marijuana being the first step. It took decades for there to be so many dispensaries.

      Getting into the pot business: there were background checks, fingerprints, tracing of financing,,, I could go on.

      I want to live in a world where we give magic mushrooms to all our politicians and then put them in a padded room where they will get all the cheeseburgers they need to survive while livecasting the burgerorgy to 100 million followers on the internet

      • Kasadour says:

        Once the vote was cast it did not take decades. I’ve lived here for decades. Once it became legal per referendum it took only a few years (not even that long) before retail shops started opening up. Don’t be daft.

        • otishertz says:

          Cheeseburgers to you my friend. Chomp on and rock on.

          The vote in 2013 was to allow the state legislature to authorize the OLCC to take over the market. There were several ballot initiatives before that.

          Pot was deccriminalized here in the early 2000’s

        • otishymen says:

          Marijuana decriminalization in Oregon began in 1997.

        • Kasadour says:

          Clearly we are referring to a different set of circumstances. Oregon Measure 91 was approved in 2014 and retail shops showed up less than two years later. I am only referring to the decriminalization of personal consumption of weed (I’m not opposed to it btw) from the point of the measure approval to the point of retail sales. Language notwithstanding, Measures 109 and 110 esp 110 similarly seek to decriminalize hard drugs for personal use. Why is this so complicated? It’s not really that complicated.

  17. polecat says:

    I’ve 10 gallons (actually more like 9 after racking off the sendiment before bottling) of polecat’s finest melomel, with another carboy (loganberry-ginger, Yum!) ready to bottle. My honey, My fruit.
    With regard to age, Mead only gets better. No spoilt beer here!

    As for mj … well, a little goes a looooooong way.

    • josap says:

      I keep back a few bottles of my meed to drink 5 and 10 yrs later. What is smooth at racking is wonderful years later.

    • Arizona Slim says:

      Another homebrewer in the house! I’m currently messing around with an orange blossom honey mead with ginger bits in secondary fermentation.

      Also brewing kombucha and am about to start another batch of sauerkraut. And, while I’m at it, there’s an ale kit on my kitchen table. Time to start turning that thing into ale!

  18. Jdog says:

    Being libertarian, I am of the opinion the government does not have the constitutional jurisdiction to impose any law on anyone using whatever medication they deem appropriate.
    Being a practicalist, I realize my fellow human beings are extremely flawed and irresponsible, and that the legalization of all drugs would require a lot more law enforcement capability to deal with the stupid things people do while excersizing their rights to self medicate themselves…
    As sales taxes are the only moral tax, being voluntary in nature I think the solution is to abolish drug laws outside of FDA health regulations for purity and health, and tax the hell out of them making them expensive, limiting use and providing a tax base for stepped up law enforcement to deal with the consequences…

    • sunny129 says:

      @Jdog

      THere is more mortality and morbidity by usage of tobacco and alcohol compared to weed. Yes, they do impair normal brain/body functions for awhile and definitely NOT while oprating autos. For personal use at one’s home, shouldn’t a crime.

      Has any one heard of domestic violence while under the influence of weed unlike under alcohol?

      BTW
      Weed and virtually all drugs are ‘decriminalized’ in Portugal, for ‘personal’ use! NOT exactly ‘legal’ either!

      Portuguese drug policy has shifted the penalty for drug use from a punitive criminal focus to a health, treatment and reintegration focus.

      The Police and judicial systems are no longer being used to punish people using drugs for a crime. They are being used to help people with a health problem get healthy and stay that way.

      ‘Want to Win the War on Drugs? Portugal Might Have the Answer’
      TIME Aug 2018

      • Jdog says:

        “Has any one heard of domestic violence while under the influence of weed unlike under alcohol?”
        Actually, there have been a lot of cases of violent acts caused by the paranoia from pot. I recall in high school, a guy I knew got paranoid after smoking, and thought there was a prowler in his back yard because of some noise, he went back there with a pistol, and when there was a rustling in the bushes, he shot the neighbors cat to death.
        Good thing it was not some kid.

        • sunny129 says:

          I specifically asked the place of weed in DOMESTIC violence compared to alcohol. It is almost nothing compared to tragedies brought on alcohol, around the world.

          Tobacco ingestion/inhalation has inflicted record amount of mortality and morbidity b/c of it’s detrimental effects on throat, LUNG and HEART++

          As a close witness as an intern in 1970, watching a guy in mid 40s die, unable to breath within tent with continuous flow O2 has got imprinted on my psyche. Weed ( too much!) does have some ill effects on heart but nothing to compared the other two!
          I don’t smoke. Social drinking of red wine and ginger beer, yes.
          Firm believer in taking aspirin past 40 yrs age.

      • Trailer Trash says:

        The War On Drugs was always a War On People. If people liked to smoke oregano there would be a War On Oregano. It’s all about social control.

  19. polecat says:

    Wanted to mention that Unlike the other MJ pioneering states, the Idiotic/grifting PTB in Wa. elected to NOT allow for home growing .. most likely because DAs, Police Reps, Sheriffs, and such deemed THAT bad – because Chilluns OMG! .. can’t have them exposed (any more then they already are … to the evil green madness! That’s the excuse anyway. More likely, is the propensity of those very same powers of moral virtue diving headlong into the profits$ of the now legal weed ‘bidne$$’ ..

    I predict that eventually, our State will wise up, and allow me to be grown at home, just like every other civilized entity.

    • polecat says:

      allow ‘mj’ …

      • Fat Chewer. says:

        That clarification was very necessary. I was having visions of Star Wars type clone factories all making polecats. I was afraid… very afraid.

    • Sunny129 says:

      @polecat

      An echo from the past!
      Still a complete shock for the conservatives then & again even NOW!

      George Shultz (Former Secy of State under Reagan) on Legalizing Drugs

      “One small speech for (former secretary of state) George Shultz, one giant speech for mankind. Finally, someone from the Reagan-Bush years has opened his eyes to the drug problem (“Drug Legalization: Interest Rises in Prestigious Circles,” front page ). Decriminalization is the only answer. Hopefully more prominent people will come out of the closet”
      LA Times Nov 20, 1989
      https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/interview-george-p-shultz

      But NOTHING has changed over 3 decades!
      They don’t want any real reformation of drug laws b/c so much MONEY at ‘risk’ for so many ‘vested’ parties on either side of the border, besides the politicians, drug cartels, DEA ++

  20. The Original Colorado Kid says:

    I bought a Canada Parks Pass for last summer and wasn’t able to use it, but I usually go north for at least part of the summer, into BC and Yukon T.

    I’m actually in Alta, Wyoming, the only town in Wyoming you can’t get to from Wyoming. Much quieter here than the park side of the Tetons.

  21. Lisa_Hooker says:

    I tried alcohol and weed and even some stronger things in the 70’s. I don’t need any of that stuff now. I just read the comments on Wolf Street.

  22. Anthony says:

    With all the pot use I must invest in companies that make anti-psychotic meds….. With a 3% looney rate after smoking pot investing in the meds looks a sure fire winner….. I will be rich…..(again) lol

  23. tommy runner says:

    ty Karen o & willie

  24. dj says:

    Always impressed with the experience, humor and wisdom of Wolf Street commentors. Best part of my morning reading.

  25. doug says:

    After reading this excellent thread, perhaps ‘wolfstreet’ rolling papers in addition to mugs?????

    • polecat says:

      Problems is, they’d never roll straight!

      But I’d certainly like to try, nevertheless.

  26. Fat Chewer. says:

    Dre thinks: “@+#+%+&+%+#+@=$$$!!! Mugs! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Comments are closed.