Opening Statement



Friday, 21 September 2018

Teacher Free Speech Fall 2018 News y Views!

HEY hO! kEEP ChECKing BAcK! LaTeR AdDITIoNs WiLL bE AddED In LaRgE TYpe SeT! mY Acronym Guide IS @ hErE! ... LegaLIZation nEws noW Moved to "Oh Cannabis!" ThErE MuCh, mUch morE to coMe .....



EDUCATION BEAT


No Consent: Ontario secondary school students rally across the province to protest the Ford PC's social conservative "repeal" of Ontario's modern, inclusive, sex education curriculum. Our young student activist's tell the Premier that they don't consent to his regressive move in no uncertain terms @ Star @ Globe @ We The Students!

Sex Ed Charter Violation: The CCLA [Canadian Civil Liberties Association] argues that censoring LGBTQ issues from Ontario's sex ed curriculum will "do real harm" to the province's LGBTQ students and their parents. Of course, our new Premier might just once again brazenly evoke the Notwithstanding Clause, to override their Charter Rights, as he has threatened. But as the saying goes -no justice no peace. More @ CBC

Soc-Con Snitch Line: The Ford PC's quickly pick a fight with Ontario's teachers, as our provincial Conservatives are apt to do, once again forgetting whom helped bring about the Great Tory Demise of 2003. Get this -Parents that discover their children's teachers aren't blindly following Dougie's social conservative sex ed dictates, on the repealed curriculum, are supposed to report them to him by phone. Sadly, Ontario's teachers are now caught between a rock and a hard place -Ford verses the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, their professional standards and the Ontario College of Teachers. ETFO and OSSTF quickly guarantee their union member's legal assistance, if they get caught in the middle, as Ford's shit hits the fan. More @ Star



Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals: As the Catholic Church is increasingly exposed for systemic, widespread corruption as the biggest pedophile organization in the world, Canadians, even those who are practising Catholics, must now ask ourselves: Should we be publicly funding the separate school system and providing the church with tax breaks any longer? Truly it's impossible to enable, hide or ignore the long track record of horrific abuse, least of all in the name of God and ahem ... Christian values @ CBC @ Buzz Another POV @ CV

Why Do Unions Matter! Even if you don't belong to one? You like weekends, holidays, maternity leave, safe working conditions, healthcare, worker rights and a pension don't you? Thank the union movement! More @ NYT

OH CANADA



NotWithThinking: Ontario Premier Doug Fraud is found guilty by a judge and shell shocked Torontonians of violating our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, without even giving it much thought. His new PC government has arbitrarily cut city hill from 47 to 25 elected councillors. Dougie thought that it would've been okay to abuse the Charter's "Notwithstanding Clause" to nix the verdict, rather than even bother to wait for an appeal. The Notwithstanding clause? Well, it's a very Canadian constitutional oddity and he uses it sort of like how Trump abuses his "Executive Orders", just to get his own way. Now, in grotesquely throwing our fall city election into total chaos as a part his lingering grudge match with city council's progressive wing, he is also unfairly disadvantaging many candidates, and undercutting our citizen rights to fair and equal representation. Very sad! Pathetic! Even tragic! More @ Star

Majority Rule?!?: Premier Fraud won Ontario's spring election with a majority of seats if not the actual vote. He now insists that gives him the complete right to do as he bloody well pleases, supposedly by "majority rule". In so doing, he displays a complete lack of respect and understanding for how Canadian democracy really works, vis a vis the rule of law, our Charter Rights, and the very important role of the judiciary within our constitution. Sadly, it looks like he'll actually get his way with city council. So what's the silver lining, if any? The PC's political honeymoon, on short notice, is now all but over. Our Fraudster Premier's fitfully revealed himself rather belatedly to the electorate in no uncertain terms. At least now the battle lines are clearly drawn, so everybody finally knows where we stand in the big fight ahead, over the next four years @ CBC @ Star


A Pandora's Box: Premier Fraud seems totally oblivious that he's crossed a very dangerous political line, in evoking the Notwiththinking Clause to override our Charter Rights, opening up a real Pandora's box for year's to come. Let's be completely objective. Imagine future NDP or Liberal governments using the clause to do whatever they want too! What a horror show! A truly ugly, impulsive precedent has been set totally without any sober thought or care. It's no way to govern responsibly in a complex, developed country and democracy like Canada. For shame! @ CBC



Everything Is Broken: Surprised? Premier Fraud has a long, very shady and disgraceful political record, dating back to his term as councillor and wingman for  brother Mayor Rob Ford at Toronto City Hall. Still the putz has managed to easily seize control of the provincial PC party, win the spring election, and turn our Canadian constitution upside down on it's head. Not only do we desperately need to defeat the PC Fraudster in the next provincial election, but it clearly shows that our legal and political system also carefully need to be fixed, so that this chaos doesn't happen again @ NatPo

Rise and Fall of Caroline Mulroney: Lots of Ontarian's had high leadership hopes for Caroline as our our new AG [Attorney General]. She's also the daughter of a former Prime Minister who ironically, is a very strong critic of the "Notwithstanding Clause". However, her complete spineless inaction and compliance during the recent crisis has now totally overshadowed all of that. Surely, it's time for her and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives to drop any pretence of being "Progressive" and change the party name. As for Ms. Mulroney, it's going to be a very long, and nasty 4 years before we can bid her 
adieu. But meanwhile we can give her a damn good run for her money @ Star

Fact Check Time: Premier Fraud didn't conduct any public consultation whatsoever on his plans to slash Toronto City Council, despite his claims of widespread support for his haphazard actions. Like buddy boy President Trump, south of the border, our Fraudster's frequent, bogus lies always, invariably, and without reservation require that we very thoroughly fact check everything he says More @ iPol and @ Globe and @ Star



The Ticking Clock: The polling numbers are clear, both across Toronto and the province. Ontario overwhelming opposes PC Druggie Ford's crude and uncalled for use of the notwithstanding clause. He's clearly exposed and branded himself as the crass, unabashed Neo Con Fraudster that he really is, despite his manipulative,  mainstream charm. Doesn't even seem to care that smack in the middle of his government's honeymoon period he's gone shot himself and the party in the foot. True, it's still very early in his term, but he's now painted a huge, inviting target on his political back for all to clearly see. Really, our Fraudster Premier is only making our job to unseat him and his lackey, unethical PC government, all that much, more easy over the four years ahead @ Global

Election Meddling 101: Folks are understandably very upset about the prospect of Russian election meddling south of our border. However, quite ironically the US has also regularly rigged elections in other lots of other countries, including Canada, for many years. Consider President Kennedy's successful coup de etat in helping defeat Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Why? Because he refused to arm Canada with US nuclear US tipped weapons of mass destruction, without being properly consulted or warned, thereby royally pissing off JFK during the controversial Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962!? Whew! Now it can be told! A must read @ Boyko 1 and @ Boyko 2

IN THE NEWS

US Mid-Term Elections: Also, see my reports and links in "Oh Cannabis Fall 2018 News y Views" @  

Corruption Central: What's worse? A corrupt leader or a corrupt country? Wow! Here's why Trump supporters don't believe he's corrupt, nor worry much about it. Consider all points of view @ Atlantic

Ex-Gay Files -The End of Gay to Straight Electro Shock Therapy in the UK: Here's how an investigative journalist helped finally expose and end the horrifically abusive "conversion" practice in the UK @ Ind




Attack of the Online Bots Etc: Here's how the lowly, often undetected "bot" can help swing popular opinion and effect election results without us even knowing it. Includes instructions on how to spot them @ WP

Much More To Come ......

KULTURE KULT INK



Lennon Remembered: This fall, the ex-Beatlemeister finally gets the "Imagine" 6 disc deluxe box-set treatment to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic rock album's official release. Imagine that! Of course, the faithful have long ago already scored a nearly endless, unreleased stream of Lennon "Imagine" bootleg outtakes, rare songs and videos! So why take so long to try to cash in?!? Does anybody beside the aging Beatlemaniac still care? BTW, in our crazy, post 9/11 world, Mr. Lennon is very sadly missed. Can just imagine what he'd have to say! @ UCR



The Falling Man: Photos of 9/11 jumpers from the WTC are often censored or viewed with shame in the US. They were hardly cowards, nor few or far between. Rather they were just simply everyday people like you and me. Truly, they are among the real unknown soldiers in the horrific terror wars that still continue to brutally victimize innocent folk of every colour, faith and nationality around the world, as collateral damage, even today! A very powerful piece @ Esquire 

COMMENTS

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Oh Cannabis Fall 2018 News y Views!

Inhale! Hold! Exhale! Smile! Then Read "Oh Cannabis News Y View" @ Summer @ Spring  @ Winter 2 @ Winter 1 @ Fall 2 Fall1 Summer @ May-June @ Spring 2 @ Spring 1 @ Jan-Feb @ December Live tweets @ davidchiarelli -Inhale! Hold! Exhale! Smile!


Justin Trudeau: Legalization Sinner + Saint! Thanks but .....

HEADLINES

Canada Legalizes Pot October 17th!

Prohibition 2.0 -Huge Dispensary + Pot Lounge Crackdown Looms!

We Won't Back Down: Medical and Recreational Cannabist's React With Uncertainty to Legalization and Prohibition 2.0!

Canadian Medical Cannabis Rights To Remain In Place!

Late Start: Ontario's Ford PC's Promise Open Market Weed, maybe in 6 more months!

Midterm Madness: US Government Fake News Offensive Aims To Thwart State Legalization Process, while Democrats eye progressive cannabis vote!

South African Courts Legalize Weed!

Uruguay Legalization Updates!

Pot: The China Card!

Willie Nelson Smokes Pot! [Eh? You didn't know?!?....]

Much More ......

OH CANNABIS



Handy Guide: Here are the different regulations that will come into effect across Canada, in each province, as the Canadian Cannabis Act takes effect on October 17th. They effect sales, consumption, cultivation and age limit etc. etc. etc. @ Leafly

Cannabis Offences: Here's a handy chart explaining what you can be charged with, under our new act and the penalties, courtesy Brazeau Sellar Law @ FB

Cannabis Activism Now: Here's how some of Canada's leading cannabis activists are reacting to the Trudeau government's unclear, arbitrary, and very repressive legalization act come October 17th. Think Prohibition 2.0 @ Global

Think Middle Class: Trudeau's plans for legalization were very much formulated with Canada's middle class values in mind, in this interesting piece @ NewState

Ontario Premier Druggie Fraud: Sure Doug said he'll look into allowing private dispensaries, but with the October 17th almost upon us, but there are still absolutely no new details yet. Nor have the previous Wynne government's plans for a government weed monopoly actually been replaced with any new laws or regulations for moving forward. Confusion and uncertainty reigns supreme across the province. City officials and law enforcement claim that they don't know what to do @ Global

LP Woes: Druggie Ford's deals in launching Ontario cannabis retail stores for nearly 6 months after October 17th, means some of our LP's are taking the ex-hash dealer turned Ontario Premier to court over a federal $82 million levy and lost revenues @ Globe

LP Snitches: Corporate Canopy Growth and Tweed are busy lobbying Ottawa to shut down Canada's thriving underground mom and pop dispensary market so that they can claim it all for themselves. Nothing new here but watch this get real nasty! To be fair, they did as they are told, but the government has tied their hands behind their back, as legalization approaches, and quite frankly, for the short term, they are screwed, unless police can succeed in shutting down the open market and eliminating any competition. Don't gamble on it! You might not want to buy too many stocks just yet, if you are so inclined @ Globe

PC's Bare Their Fangs: Doug Ford's Ontario PC's are threatening to blacklist any dispensaries that are open for business come October 17th. Like the landlord, they will also face huge fines! Here's the situation in Hamilton Ontario @ HSpec

BC Crackdown: There will only be one legal pot shop open for the whole of British Columbia come October 17th. The BC government is threatening to bust anyone else who's open for business. Otherwise you need to buy government licensed crud online from them and wait for Canada Post, who might be on strike, to deliver it. Sound crazy? A new police unit has even been set up to carry out the dirty deed. And you thought things were bad before legalization? Watch out! More @ Global

Political Suicide: Here's why the dispensary crackdown in BC might well not work as planned @ VIA



Hot Box Hard Times: Many Canadian will be surprised when they wake up October 17th and learn that cannabis smoking, though now legal, will actually be banned in many apartments and condos, not to mention out on the street, or in the park etc. etc. etc. So where to go out to party and smoke? Across Canada, the prohibition laws against your friendly neighbourhood cannabis lounge's remain strictly in place, pretty much wherever you go. So congratulations! Now you can possess weed but have nowhere you can smoke it. Welcome to Canadian legalization! More @ TStar

Not So Higher Ed: Canadian colleges and universities are moving quickly to ban smoking before cannabis is legalized. Note: These are complete indoor and outdoor bans! @ CTV

Mail Strike: Government LP [Licensed Producer] Canopy Growth worries that an impending Canada wide mail strike will drive medical cannabis patients, not to mention recreational users, to the countries flourishing underground cannabis market. What?!? That's how most of us are already mostly buying our weed! Just think: The Ontario's PC's under Premier Ford will only allow government licensed mail order sales come October 17th. Just watch to see how quickly the government's ham fisted legalization plans crashes off the rails into chaos, across Canada, if the posties walk. A divine comedy! Duh @ Globe

Med Pot Backlash: The CMA [Canadian Medical Association], in trying to protect it's doctors against the current legal and medical uncertainties of prescribing weed, recommends eliminating Canada's medical cannabis regime, and simply lumping patients in with Canada's recreational pot smokers to fend for our own, come October 17th. Medical cannabis activists quickly speak out against their short sightedness  Even the CNA [Canadian Nursing Association] strongly disagrees with the CMA. Fortunately, the Trudeau government decides to not take the CMA's advice, for now at least, but it's best to always remain vigilant, as you can see @ Leafly and @ Huff @ CBC 

Surete Du Quebec announces that a new Quebec police squad has been formed to crack down on weed dealers after legalization. The goal? To strictly protect the government corporate weed monopoly! Great shades of BC! More @ MTLB

No Cannabis Leafs Allowed: Quebec has banned retailers from selling or giving away anything with a cannabis leaf shown on it. But is that constitutional?!? Arguably, it limits free expression. They'll also need to prove it's harmful enough to warrant such a law. If so, then why aren't they going after beer and ciggies too? @ Huff

Canada-US Border Patrol: A well known, alleged, former Canadian hash dealer makes it across the US border just fine. There's no problemo. That's despite widespread fears anyone that who was associated with drugs will be hereto barred entry. Eh?!? Who wuz it??? Why Ontario Premier Druggie Fraud, that's who, ostensibly on his way to the US to fight Trump's NAFTA plans. Power does have it's privileges eh? @ Vice

IN THE NEWS



US Government's Not-So-Secret War On Cannabis: A news leak reveals the Trump administration's MPCC [Marijuana Policy Co-ordination Committee] is going to try to thwart both the positive cannabis messaging and successful state legalization drives across the USA, by spreading lots of fake news stories, or as we used to say "lies", about our favourite weed. Hello Reefer Madness 2.0 @ Buzz

Flopping Bigly: Trump, with an eye on the polls, might not even support the plan. Plus the cat is now out of the bag about the MPCC's nefarious plot. Here's more on why their fake news strategy will fail @ Motley

Election High: US Democrats, also with an eye to this fall's mid term elections, are cautiously supporting legalization across the US, to get out the progressive vote against Trump and the GOP @ Politico

Uruguay #1: In 2013 Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize pot. It sells for $1.40 a gram, or you can grow up to 480 grams yourself, or as a part of a growing club, each year. Quite predictably, US the nation's US banking interest's are not impressed @ CNN

South Africa #3: As far as legalization goes, South Africa now joins Uruguay and Canada in the world leadership department. It's high court has overturned the countries cannabis laws prohibiting adults from possessing it for their personal use @ BBC

China Weed: Did you know that China grows half the world's weed? That they have been secretly raving to corner the world market? More @ Civilized

GREEN MARKETING



Sisters Got The Power: Black women face a lot of racial and sexist discrimination, subtle and otherwise, in participating in the cannabiz industry. With legalization spreading across Canada and the UDS, the stakes are high, but they are going for it anyway @ Essence

Misogyny + Weed: Seems our sisters of colour are not alone with some of their concerns. Is the cannabiz community headed towards it's very own "Me Too" moment?! Here's how to spot if your business is at risk to hopefully, as concerned and caring cannabis activists, safely level the sexist player field before the situation explodes. Certainly, we can do better than this! @ BigBud

Karma Cup 2018: A splendid time was guaranteed for all. What a vendors market too! Read my blog series! Here's a recap of the winners @ Dankr

Karma Cup Snitch: Seems a certain government LP couldn't stand the Karma Cup competition during the TIFF [Toronto International Film Festival]. So they got the Adelaide St. West location shut down after Day 1. Drat? Foiled! It reopened on Church Street, business as usual on time the next day. Ha! More @ TLeaf

Ker-Trumped: China responds to the Donald's trade war with a bunch of new new tariffs that are going to drive the price of your vape pens waaaaaaaay up @ WeedR

Higher Learning



Fake News: The Pot Stigma: False and misleading news misinformation has falsely been the main driving force in creating feeding, and sustaining cannabis' negative image. The author Chris O'Brien examines Toronto's Project Claudia and Gator busts as a case in point, in his essay. He quotes numerous local activists, including yours, truly, on Noam Chomsky and manufacturing consent. Thanks Chris! I somehow missed this one. Lotsa real great info links here too @ Dankr

Marijuana -The Weed With Roots in Hell: Of course, we can't leave out the film industry for helping create the pot stigma too! Have you seen this oldie oldie from 1936 before? Guess what? You can get pregnant, dance and dress funny or even drown, if you dare smoke weed! Gotta love the hopped up beach party weed scene too! Yowza! Boy! Those 30's gals y guys sure knew how to get wrecked! Lotsa reefer madness @ Youtube

Pot For Pets: Here's a "must read" guide on CBD oils for your pet @ LeafSci

HIGH TIMES



It's All Going To Pot: 85 year old, country legend and pot head Willie Nelson speaks out on weed and politics. Says he'd like to get high with SnoopMeryl Streep and Pope Francis. Ha. Ha @ ET

High With A Little Help From Our Friends: How John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Led Zeppelin, Allen Ginsberg and the Grateful Dead helped kick start Canada's counterculture legalization movement way back in the day. Includes a history of prohibition in Canada too! Hmmm. Have I spotted this before?! Well, it deserves another read @ Star


COMMENTS

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Oh Cannabis: Judging Notes -Karma Cup 2018



OK Karma Cup Fans! Here are some of my judging notes from this year's show, to compliment my "Intro" [HERE] and "Review" [THERE!]. A link to the complete results is included below. It includes the full names of all the products and producers, and how they placed. 

Where to begin?!? There were a lot more buds [34] and a little less shatter [23] this year. A lot more Terps [14]. About the same "Glass" [14], "Topicals" [12] and "CBD's" [3]. A lot less "Pens" [4], "Edibles" [23], and "Solventless" [9]."Budder/ Live" is no longer a separate category. However, there were two new categories; "Distillates" [2] and "Pre-Rolls" [2].

Girl Scout Cookie strains scored well in the "Hybrid Solvent" category. As with the buds, [1- Zombie, 2-Wedding Cake, 3-Gorilla Glue #4] some of the most appealing Karma Cup strains for me, were definitely in the Hybrid category this year, with Sweet SkunkGorilla Glue and Locktite 777 locking up the top 3 "Hybrid Solvent" spots. Loved all the wonderful Sativa-Indica blends! Definitely, the best of both worlds!



Ghost Train HazeTrainwreck and Grapefruit Haze were the top 3 "Sativa Buds", in that order. Ditto FrodoOld School Haze Wax and Thai Stick, which likewise won in the "Sativa Solvent" category. Quite frankly, all the entries were very solid Sativa's! So much to sample! Ka-boom! Definitely left me high AF! 10 samples X 10 times over!

Remo Kush, Tahoe OG and Grape Pie were the top 3 "Indica Buds". Regretfully, there were only 4 "Indica Solvent" entries this year, with Death Bubba, Destroyer and Purple Terps being the top 3. At #4, the Nuken still was on par with the others. Actually it was my second choice, with the Purple Terps being my personal favourite.

Everybody loves a great THC high! The Karma Cup 2018 judge's pack certainly delivered in that department! However, I was still kind of disappointed as a medical cannabis patient. I would've like to see a lot more Indica's, not to mention CBD's at this year's show!

The Mendo Breath [#5] and Crimson Crush [#7] quite quite delightful. However, what  little hash [2] there was in "Solvent-Less" pretty much got lost among the other 7 entries. Alas! This category is now a mad mix of concentrates, rosin's, oils, budder, what have you. Sometimes, the contestant's choice of containers and wraps left me judging a horrible mess. That didn't do these entries much justice, I'm afraid. Nor, in many cases, did the lack of generic info on ingredients and directions for use on many of the different substances, help much. In general, I wasn't impressed, nor did I particularly enjoy this category much this year. Messy! Messy!



I was glad to see Toronto's Sofa King Good Bakery score the #3/4 "Edible" spots with their  delectable Cosmic Pretzels and Space Bombs. Sofa King is always a big hit at our local High 5 and Toronto Green Market shows too. The Twisted Tiramisu Cannabiscotti was #1 again, a huge crowd pleaser for sure. Still, I'm Italian-Canadian, so I can say it .... Biscotti?!? Reminds me of stale cookies! They're just not my thing! 

There was lots and lots of chocolate to judge, that's for sure. Sadly, one of my samples had a hair in it! Blech! However, I really liked the Raw Organic Dairy Free Chocolate Bar [#17]. 100 mgs/ 10 pieces. Perhaps it's just a little too raw and organic for many stoner tastes. However, as a judge, I tended to vote for edibles with natural ingredients in them. I was glad to see a lot more this year. I know junk food is a whole lot of stoner fun, also a 420 tradition of sorts, but it's just not that great health wise, and I do eat a fair bit of medibles .... 

Missed the gummy bears this year! Know there's tons of great, local gummies in the GTA alone, but they were largely MIA!

Otherwise the white Choco-budz [#2] definitely topped my Edibles list! They look just like a nice, big, fat bud and get you high AF. Break off a piece, as little or much as you wish. Then munch. Wow! A new, pot party snack favourite! For sure!

The "Topicals" also proved to be another mad pot pourri of balms, creams, soap, oils and even a sexual "personal lubricant" too. As a judge, I didn't try voting for what was the best product in each category. Really it often would be like trying to choose between apples and oranges. The Releaf spray [#7], and Mother Mary Pain Balm [#9] sure helped soothe my sore and aching muscles after all the kayaking I've been doing out here at the lake, while I judged the Karma Cup. So although they didn't make the official Karma Cup 2018 top three, they definitely work for me.



My personal favourite? Dr. Errl's Refreshing "Lavender Soap" [#4] is all natural. Very organic. I really enjoyed using it for bathing on the far side of the lake, during my morning swim, when I was out kayaking. Add a nice little toke. Off I go, for the day ....

I quite enjoyed Dr. Errl's "Warm Earth" [#5] massage oil too, but my wife found it had a medicine smell about it that she didn't like. Next we tried Bast Silk [#6] a personal lubricant. I love the idea. I truly wish Bast Box only the very best in their future endeavours. However, we found it was way too watery. Very messy. Not very romantic either! 

The instructions say to "apply 2 or 3 squirts of lube to your intimate areas 30-60 minutes before playtime". Unfortunately, I can't comment on any special effects the lubricant might have because, doggonit, there's no way we were going to wait around a friggin' hour to get our jollies, with wet goo smeared all over our "intimate" parts, so to speak. No way! Suppose it would've been much better to test it out with multiple partners too, strictly for ... ahem ... research purposes, but am quite sure that kinda playtime could be really, really bad karma for me. Quite love my gal! Wasn't about to test my luck! Yiiikes! Still, after all is said and done, it was quite smooth and silky, if not very sloppy fun, when you do finally get down to it, between the sheets for a good workout, if you know what I mean! Nudge. Nudge. Wink. Wink. Er ... Er ... Er ...



My favourite "Pens" were the disposable Black Dog OG [#2] and Holy Grail Kush [#4]. Quite frankly, I mostly make my own cheap refills these daze. My biggest concern would be the price, which we of course, did not know. The Terp Distillate cartridge [#3] was a nice touch. A great terp idea. The way to go. But it was rather flavourless and nondescript. Some product info on the packaging for each sample would've been a great help! 

The lack of info on the "Pre-Rolls" was also very confusing. Plus consistency and price point would seem to be the real deciding factors here. Fukushima's Citrus Skunk [#1] was a very fancy joint with lots added to it, smeared and dusted on the wrapper and so on. But just what exactly? Unfortunately  I couldn't really tell in a blind taste test. Dirty Dave submitted a Triple Hash Joint [#2] that I could readily taste and recognize. A fun new category, but but but ....

Super Love PotionSuper Old School Lemon and Black Dog Og were the top 3 "High Terpenes" respectively. This is a great Karma Cup category, still with a very strong medical cannabis angle to it. It was incredible to be able to try all 12 samples. I spaced them out throughout the testing and learned a lot. Came to realize, I've got a lot more to learn. Like the Karma Cup as a whole, it was a real learning experience -an invaluable one, useful for any pothead, medical or recreational, who enjoys the many flavours, moods and medicinal qualities of their favourite, different strains. Once again though -some more info please! The specific type of terp? How to use?

Finally, we come to "Glassware". Let me be quite frank. Although most of the pieces were quite excellent, showing a high degree of artistic creativity, craftsmanship and design, I much prefer simple functionality and a simplicity of design, especially when it comes to bongs. I'd be too afraid to smoke, mess up and/or drop an artist's very complicated and intricate masterpiece to actually friggin' enjoy using it. Price point also would be an all important deciding factor. Plus I like a fun, good time vibe, when I'm toking, nothing creepy or negative in the design, though that wasn't really much of a problem with the submissions this year. That said  Redbeard's "Pool Sharks" [#2] and Tropical Iceberg's "Peacock Alien" [#3] were both pretty cool, but not really my thing. Still, there was lotsa fine work all around with Korey Glasses "Dragon's Breath" [#1] rounding out the Cup's top 3.



So, all in all, a splendid time was guaranteed for all. Karma Cup 2018 was very educational and it was truly an honour to serve as a judge again this year. One can appreciate how very hard it must be to set up, organize and run under prohibition. Please carefully consider all of the criticisms I've made here in my judges notes, in light of that. 

Really, there is great weed. Then there's crud. But for the most part it all comes down to what you personally like. In the final analysis, it's what works best for you that actually counts the most in getting high. So my advice is to just consider the final judging results as but a rough guide, to help you discover what really turns you on!

Here's a link to the Karma Cup 2018 results, so that you can see the complete results, including the full names of all the products and producers I've reviewed, for your scholarly erudition of sorts! Enjoy! @ HERE!

LINKS

Karma Cup 2018 Intro @ Here!

Karma Cup 2018 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2017 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2016 Review @ Here!

COMMENTS:

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Oh Cannabis: The Karma Cup 2018 Review!



Saturday morning: Strolling towards 217 Adelaide Street West, deep in Toronto's Soho entertainment district, I'm greeted by a huge, omnipresent whiff of good old fashioned weed spreading out from Karma Cup 2018. It waffles past the long line ups of eager TIFF [Toronto International Film Festival] goers, excitedly gathered outside the local movie theatres and swinging chi chi club hot spots. Offering a none to subtle and enticing, hint of the reefer madness lying await just inside the Karma Cup gates!

This year's tightly packed Karma Cup main stage, vendors market and outdoor lounge has been set up in a parking lot narrowly wedged between Soho's office towers, condos and converted warehouses, under the looming shadow of Toronto's CN Tower. The huge line up to get in, without an advance pass, stretches outward from the gate and around the block, by far the longest I see. Clearly, this weekend, TIFF is not the only show in town!

Most of my Karma Cup weekend was spent shuffling back and forth between partying at the trez kool vendors market on Saturday on Adelaide Street West, and on Sunday at 612 Church Street. Then taking in the fabulous speeches and presentations at the Vapor Central Lounge on Yonge street, later on during the day, after I'd tied on a really good buzz. A dab or two. A door. Some medibles ...

It certainly was a helluva lotta fun getting high AF on all the free samples and show specials at the market. I also met with the good folks from High 5, Weeds Canadian Glassware, and Shatter Blaster. I stand in awe. Ditto the fine folk from Shatterizer, where I picked up some more coils and caps, and an extra charger, as well as a few other Shatterizer accessories. 



Let's Get Shattered!

My vendor market favourites? For weed? CandeliveryFukushima Pre Rolls, Lotus Toronto, Phat Farms, Sendrbud, and Top Shelf were out in force, with lots of top strains show priced at from $125-$280 [1] for a big, fat, ounce bag! Many of them offering free same day delivery options across the GTA! Very important with a postal strike looming by Oct 17. That's the official legalization date in Ontario, and as we now know, the province will only be selling government licensed crud by mail order at first! Good luck!

For shatter? Extracts? Concentrates? Distillates?: Diamond was on hand with lotsa dabs of "Pineapple Express", "Gorilla Glue #4", and "Laughing Buddah". Loved the great deals on shatter at the Quadfather. The $15 "God Bud" proved impossible to turn down! Ditto Top Shelf's "Ghost Train Haze" distillate! For $25, I also scored a kool Hippie Hills "Headband" vape pen too. Cheap!

Shatter was widely available, throughout the show, ranging in price from $15 to $65 a gram, with plenty of $2-$10 dabs, and lotsa free ones too! Same for the joints, with some of the better ones, quite frankly, wildly available in the lower price range! 

In the Medibles Department? Lucky and the crew from Buudobomb were back in force with their potent and mind expanding 10 X 10 mg organic gummies, also offering free delivery across the GTA.  Sugar Shack Edible's 15 X 10 mg "Blazed Blueberry" gummies also helped cheerfully brighten up my Karma Cup day!



Free Gummy Bears Courtesy Lucky from Ka-Buudobomb!

I went hog wild loading up on Purple Crown's 200 mg "Choco Budz" for the post Karma Cup party with all my good buds back at the trailer park. Everybody loved it. Definitely a personal favourites of all the many medibles I judged this year. Also loaded up on Gizen's super fine rolling papers for myself and all my friends. Scored some of Mary's Teas, in particular their "Peppermint", "Sleepy Time" blends for Janet. Also their "Original Blend" instant coffee, for me. Each with 60 mg of THC. Likewise, I scored a 10 pack of High Tea's 15 gm "Chamomile Smile" an irresistibly tantalizing, quick morning-pick-me-upper. And of course, I once again picked up some infused pretzels, peanut butter and blueberry jam from SKG Bakery. And one of CanaNorth's new finagled glass and metal, cork screw, twisty, refillable blunts.

On Sunday, day 2 of the show, the vendors market was suddenly moved to 512 Church Street, just east of Yonge, the same location as the last two Karma Cups, possibly because a certain Licensed Producer with a TIFF hospitality suite couldn't cope with the competition. [2] An omen of the bad things to come with legalization come October 17th? Nothing new!



Gimmie a "High 5" [or 2]!

Alas! With less space, Sticky Zoo's huge testing tent, along with a few other venders, got tightly downsized and squeezed into the now much tighter digs. But undeterred the show went on! Suffice to say, Day One of the Karma Cup usually features the best product. Day 2 the best deals. This year, as in years past, neither were in short supply. Plus it was still one helluva great weed party, at either location!

However, in my autumn, retirement years, I'm drawn less and less to big crowds. Plus another irony for me, as a Karma Cup judge, is that by the time the big weekend show arrives, I've already toked, dabbed, rubbed on myself and ate over 130 cannabis samples. Whew! I'm already partied out to the max! 

Quite frankly, there just isn't much more boo I can still ingest, short of sticking it up my butt! [3] Seriously! And so, by early afternoon each day, I'd invariably make my way to the Vapor Central Lounge stage for the presentations and speeches, in search of another more relaxing, less frenzied way to feed my mind!



For me, the outstanding Karma Cup 2018 presenters included:

Caryma Sa'd's legal presentation on "Cannabis and the Landlord and Tenant Act." Very timely and helpful! See my blog @ Here!

CFAMM's James O'Hara on "October 17th: What to Expect?" Surprise! Many Ontario condo owners and apartment tenants will wake up on October 17th, to sadly learn that they can't toke in the privacy of their home, let alone out in the park or out on the street.

It's a pretty grim scenario but fear not. There will be plenty of court challenges ahead. I look forward to working with James to see what can be done.

Peace Natural's Gordon Hagen's power point show on "Legal Cannabis Extraction Challenges" provided much insight into the unreasonable government restrictions and limits plaguing Canada's legal "Licensed producers" as they try to compete, with hands tied against their back, against Ontario's fabulous, flourishing underground market. Whoa! Low THC levels? Product restrictions? Quite frankly, as things now stand, come legalization -they are royally screwed! Expect a lot of corporate cannabis fireworks ahead!

High Society Chef Reena's "Cooking With Cannabis" lesson dished us all up a big, scrumptious, THC infused vegan taco to eat, along with Reena's insights into microdosing and cooking with extracts. Chef Reena is certainly no stranger to our southern Ontario audience. Indeed, see my blog @ There!



Chef Reena Cooks Up a THC Infused Storm!

Hopefully, with legalization, the Karma Cup can now better organize and unite the show within one main location, so as not to divorce these very, all important, broad based speeches and presentations from the more readily accessible green marketing aspects of the show. It is info that we, as counterculture cannabist activists and enthusiastic will need to know in the coming daze ahead.

As the speakers were quick to point out in their presentations, legalization in Canada is going to be one, great, big legal mess. As cannabists, we will need to be able to wrap our heads around Prohibition 2.0, more than ever before, just to stop it from becoming a total horror show. At present, the $30 cover charge for the show includes a great green market and one helluva big pot party. That's all fine and dandy, but the invaluable info from the presentations certainly needs to be a much, more central and integral part of the show!

Of course, Karma Cup 2018 was once again, a throughly excellent event, from the judging down to the vendors market, presentations and speeches etc. etc. etc. Considering weed's still not legal, it was a remarkable achievement for which, under the circumstances, one is loathe to seek fault. Still, here's a few constructive suggestions to hopefully make the Karma Cup even better in the years ahead:

Organizers: Could we possibly get the judges packages early in the summer? Testing over 130 products in two or three weeks does not really do all the fine products justice and can be quite the challenge, even for the more seasoned toker! A judge's inservice on the evaluation categories and criteria could also help make sure that we are all on the same page, and grading the many different products correctly! Also, how about a follow up debriefing with the judges after the show? Surely, we have a lot of good, ground level insights to share, which are otherwise wasted ....



Yup! Really good girls do sell and smoke weed!

Contestants: Why not include more product info and instructions in the space provided on the packaging for your samples? Ingredients? Usage? Etc? It's often quite lacking. That can be very confusing for a judge facing the daunting task of quickly testing all 130+ samples. Regretfully, I found many products in the "CBD", "Distillate", "Topical", "Terps" and "Solvent-Less" categories often, though not always, lacked even the most basic info, to help us as best give your vast array of quite different products all due consideration. It certainly can't hurt you in the marks department when it comes to judging the very important and critical "Enjoyment", "Medicinal Effects" and "Visual Appeal" categories, among others!

Ditto the apparent attempts to save on packaging costs, especially in the "Solvent Extracts" and "Solventless" categories. Why spoil a truly great product's chances of winning by wrapping it in a cheapo wrap or crappy container? They make it very difficult to correctly judge your products "Texture", besides also creating a whole lot of doubts in the other aforementioned categories. Chances are that your sample will go through many temperature changes between when you package it and it's finally opened by us to be tested. Sometimes, with cheap packaging even the finest of the fine oil, shatter, resin, and budder ends up little more than a horrible mess!

Last but not least, please don't scrimp on the samples. Most of this year's buds weighed in at least a gram, later providing plentiful leftovers for further reconsideration. However, the shatter samples seemed rather meager on the whole, for Karma Cup 2018. Think about it -What happens then when we want to retry and compare your product again after we've tested the other samples? If it's a lost saving measure, that's definitely not in your best interest for winning, if you've truly got an award winning product!



Howzabout a $2 Joint?!?

In Conclusion: Please don't be confused. These reservations are strictly meant provide constructive criticism. Truly, one realizes the terrible constraints and often insurmountable challenges that must be overcome in staging a successful Karma Cup. Even so, a splendid time was guaranteed for all at Karma Cup 2018! 

With legalization just around the corner, Karma Cup 2018 showcased what a vibrant, top quality, free market, Canadian cannabiz industry can really look like. Contrast that with the tired, exploitive, corporate weed model being pushed upon us by the Trudeau government. As your retired-teacher-turned-Karma Cup judge, I can only conclude by heartfully saying; "Keep up the good work!"

And so, with no further ado -Here's the Karma Cup 2018 judging results @ HERE!

Another blog, including my judging notes, will follow .....



 FOOTNOTES

1 = All prices quoted in Canadian dollars, currently hovering at the 75 cent US range!
2 = Why did the Karma Cup change venues? One theory @ Here!
3 = Ha! Bet there's a THC suppository included too, for good measure next year ....  However, if one is LGBTQ then Bast Silk's personal lubricant will do.

LINKS

Karma Cup 2018 Intro @ Here!

Karma Cup 2018 Judge's Notes @ Here!

Karma Cup 2017 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2016 Review @ Here!


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Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

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No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

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Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

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Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!