Let Our People Grow – Q&A with Pietro Milici

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Let Our People Grow – Q&A with Pietro Milici

Pietro Milici is a freelance photographer and visual artist based in New York. His ongoing project titled ‘Let Our People Grow’ is an insightful investigation into the world of cannabis. He says, “Let our people go. Let our people grow”, this was a slogan that the American government circulated during the Second World War. This message, aside from encouraging the population to fight for its country, had the secondary aim to encourage the farmers to plant cannabis. It refers to the growth of a plant that years ago was outlawed, the growth of the people that had to defeat the German navy.”

The idea to research this world was born in January, 2013, when after living in Barcelona for a few months, someone brought Pietro to a social cannabis club. The first club that he approached was in the neighbourhood of Gracia, this is where he had the idea of photographing the members of the club to immortalise them during the action of smoking. He wanted to register the exact moment of symbiosis that is established between the subject and the object.

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Q. Have you always wanted to be a photographer?

Actually no. Photography is a passion that I had probably been avoiding for a long time because the real first photo I took was in 1990. I was with my parents in Rome. My father taught me how to take a picture, I was using a Minolta x700, the same I sometimes use now. I was 6 years old, and I was pressing that button for the first time while my parents were hugging and laughing. I still have that photo and the memory it comes with. Only in 2005 I started using that camera again. In my life I have been doing a lot of jobs. I am a marine biologist. And only in the last years of university – while I was working as a photographer – I realised that I wanted to do something more with that. And then I decided to put all of my time and all of myself into this art.

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Q. During your time in Barcelona, was there anyone whose story particularly stuck with you?

This is a tough question to answer. I met so many people that it is hard to have just one favourite story; At the same time it would not be fair to all the other people and all the other stories. When I think at all my time there and the people I met, I see it like all these people are making one story, one model they are sharing and taking one step forward everyday.

Q. What are some of your favourite cannabis clubs in Barcelona?

I have a lot of clubs passes, of course my investigation gave me a way into all these clubs. But my favourite is ‘La Maria Gracia Club’. I like ‘Club Fum’ and the ‘StrainHunters Club’ as well.  Each one of them is particular in its own way, and what you live and feel in each one of them is very different.

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Q. Where did you find inspiration in the city, other than the cannabis communities?

Well the city is full of inspiration, and can give you different points of view. Of course reading and researching gives me the bases to develop my project, but  my inspiration was already in me. I mean that in my case it was something I knew, something I was discovering everyday and really close to me. I just used a camera to share it with the world. It was like an insight research, digging in to my world more deeply.

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Q. Where will you be for 4/20 next year?

This is a really tough question to answer now. I am constantly travelling, I’m never sure where I’m going to be next. But if I am not working on something in particular, I think next year I will be in Palermo in the South of Italy, I guess enjoying a good batch of marijuana.

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Q. Do you have a nemesis?

No! I guess not at the moment! Sometimes I think I am my own nemesis. Sometimes working on artistic projects is hard: finding the inspiration, the right spot to shoot a photo, the right point of view, the right words, the right image, etc…That’s what I challenge everyday. But that is also what gives me the strength to continue to do what I am doing.

Q. What’s the first thing you do when you walk into a party?

It depends of what kind of party is. But most of the time I go near the DJ or group playing to see what they use, what instruments, how they act, etc.. And if I like it I go straight to the bar.

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All images by Pietro Milici   |   Website / Instagram / Behance

Published at Mon, 02 May 2016 12:44:50 +0000

Trailblazers / Tokyo Smoke / Q&A with Josh Lyon

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Trailblazers / Tokyo Smoke / Q&A with Josh Lyon

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Tokyo Smoke is the coffee shop we’ve been dreaming of. Their impeccable commitment to high quality design drives their entire operation, and the flagship store in Toronto promises to be an emotive experience for both coffee and cannabis lovers alike. In a recent article, co-founder Alan Gertner said, “Tokyo Smoke wasn’t to be a Bob Marley-inspired head shop, or one of the many illegal dispensaries, but instead a home to the creative class. It’s not about the prototypical stoner, we want to build a brand for the contemporary urban citizen—it’s clean and elegant, which signals quality and transformation.”

To find out more, we chatted to Josh Lyon, Head of Marketing & Partnerships while he’s been on tour visiting Portland, Seattle and Denver in the lead up to the launch of Tokyo Smoke’s new series of strains, and a brand new location opening in Seattle.

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Q. What can people expect when they visit Tokyo Smoke?

JL – No matter the Tokyo Smoke location, people can expect a delightful and immersive experience. Each location has beautifully roasted coffee beans, a selection of the finest Cannabis paraphernalia and Tokyo Smoke merchandise as well as a special section unique to the location. They can also expect a group of interesting and friendly regulars eager to chat and meet new people.

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Q. We’ve heard about the many curious and unusual ‘artefacts’ on display – what are some of your favourites?

That’s tough to say! I’m a big fan of the discontinued architectural lego sets that we have on display. The old medicinal Cannabis merchandise we have is also fantastic. To see where the industry was to where it is now and where it’s going provides such fantastic perspective on the Cannabis movement.

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Q. Can you tell us about the special strains you are developing?

Currently, there is no real stratification in the Cannabis space and it’s also lacking a common nomenclature. Our Cannabis will be sold in 4 strains, ‘Go’, ‘Relax’, ‘Relief’, ‘Balance’. Go – energizing Sativa; Relax – calming Indica; Relief – soothing CBD; Balance – consistently crossed Sativa/Indica hybrid. These particular strains have been refined over the past 20 years. Tokyo Smoke will offer a consistent, quality, beautiful experience in the Cannabis space. We are educating consumers through known verticals like coffee and clothing. So, someone can have an energizing ‘Go’ espresso, an experience that will showcase what ‘Go’ means in the Cannabis space.

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Q. How has Tokyo Smoke been received by the local community?

We have been very lucky to be embraced by the community, both locally around the shop and those interested in the Cannabis space. The shop is often filled with neighbourhood residents including families, cyclists, people taking their dog for a walk or just those looking for a great cup of coffee. As well, we frequently get Cannabis enthusiasts both new and old, looking through our merchandise or just wanting to have a conversation about the industry and the exciting times ahead.

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Q. What advice would you give to other cannabis entrepreneurs, who are hoping to appeal to the creative class?

Recognize that Cannabis itself isn’t the lifestyle, rather it’s a modern lifestyle that includes Cannabis.

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Q. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this brand new, contemporary cannabis industry?

There’s so much! First off, the energy and enthusiasm that the industry has right now is infectious. There’s a genuine feeling of optimism and excitement that is palpable industry-wide. As well, the people and organizations that we get to connect with are truly a pleasure. People are passionate, creative and, for the most part, always looking for ways to further the Cannabis revolution together. For us personally, it’s incredibly gratifying talking to Cannabis users who say they feel at home in our shops and with our products. Understanding that we’re tapping into something meaningful and authentic let’s us know that the space we’re carving out within the industry is one that is both needed and desired.

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Q. Do you have a particular favourite strain/product/ritual that you enjoy?

The amazing thing about Cannabis is that it’s so multi-faceted and the experiences can be tailored to your unique needs. For me personally, I can never stop my mind from racing. Tokyo Smoke ‘Relax’, a soothing Indica, before bed allows me to unwind from a long day as well as sleep soundly through the night. I really cherish that little bit of time away from work and the race that is my day to day life.

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All images courtesy of Tokyo SmokeInstagram | Facebook

Published at Wed, 25 May 2016 22:07:27 +0000

Election Night Expands Cannabis Industry

Election Night Expands Cannabis Industry

Election Night Expands Cannabis Industry

Amidst the suspense and commotion of the presidential election, the cannabis industry in the United States quietly, but significantly, expanded on Tuesday night. A record number of medical and adult use initiatives were on ballots across the nation, and the large number of victories drastically expands the scope of the industry, while also likely setting the stage for further initiatives in 2018 and beyond.

According to the Associated Press, adult use ballot initiatives passed in three states – California (56 percent of voters approved Proposition 64), Massachusetts (54 percent of voters approved Question 4), and Nevada (54 percent of voters approved Question 2). Proponents of the adult use initiative in Maine are also claiming victory on Question 1, although national media outlets have refrained from calling the proposition, as precincts continue to report and the margins remain razor thin. Overall, the only blemish for recreational ballot measures last night was in Arizona, where 52 percent of voters defeated Proposition 205.

Once the laws approved at the ballot box last night go into effect, more than 64 million Americans will live in states where adults can legally use cannabis under state law. Moreover, while the cannabis movement had been confined to the West Coast, the passage in Massachusetts (and, potentially, Maine) gives adult use marijuana laws a foothold on the East Coast.

In addition to adult use proposals, Arkansas (53 percent of voters approved Issue 6), Florida (71 percent of voters approved Amendment 2), and North Dakota (64 percent of voters approved Measure 5) approved medical marijuana ballot initiatives, bringing the total number of states that have approved such laws to 28.

It remains to be seen whether 2016 will be seen as a tipping point with regard to efforts to legitimize and legalize cannabis in the United States, but last night’s victories establish significant momentum going forward. While concern remains that President-Elect Trump may appoint individuals who are antagonistic towards the cannabis industry to key positions, such as Attorney General, the likelihood that the Department of Justice will amend its Cole Memo-enunciated stance on the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (the “CSA”) seems to be diminishing. With more than half the states in the nation having now approved medical marijuana laws and approximately one-fifth of the country’s population now residing in a state that has approved recreational usage of cannabis for adults, the pressure seems to be mounting on the federal government to either address the legal dichotomy directly or, at the very least, to continue to exercise discretion while also beginning to tackle issues such as access to financial services and taxation.

For summaries of these ballot initiatives and information on implementation, check back to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog.

 
Published at Tue, 08 Nov 2016 17:00:00 +0000

RITUALS: PART TWO – INTENTIONS

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RITUALS: PART TWO – INTENTIONS

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Why a Cannabis Ritual?

People engage in all kinds of different, personal rituals every day. Even the smallest rituals are paramount to how we function. If we didn’t practice a daily personal hygiene ritual, we’d probably offend others. Likewise, if we chose to ignore the ritual of waking up at a decent hour and getting dressed, we’d feel uncomfortable and exposed.

Recent research shows that rituals, in all their forms, may be more rational than they appear. Combine this with Cannabis (known for its stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects) and you can enjoy the benefits of both as part of your wellness routine.

Setting Your Intentions

So let’s consider using cannabis as a ritual act. Allow the ritual act of consuming cannabis with intention help bring meaning to everyday life. In the moment it takes to reflect and re-centre yourself before meditating, or smoking a bowl, give yourself a positive intention. Let go of what no longer serves you on an exhale and on the next inhale, hold it and know that you’re bringing happiness to yourself.

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The Vedic priests believed consuming bhang (a marijuana infused almond milk drink) without intent was foolish.  If you enjoy enjoying the ‘wake and bake’ ritual, then set an intention that will resonate with you for the rest of the day. A quick simple one from A Course in Miracles is, “What will you have me do, what will you have me say and to whom?” Cannabis is known to allow you to see things from a different perspective, and this can set a positive and receptive tone for you to enjoy the rest of your day. At the end of the day, take time to let go and better understand any problems or emotions that you felt. Why not think about the intent of your action and manifest some good, while you’re loading up your evening bowl? For some, this is the only action or time to reflect.

Rituals help us stay grounded. A practice that is repeated over and over becomes easier as time passes and gives us normality. When everything seems to go wrong and off kilter, a ritual helps you pull back into yourself and become centred as you give your focus to one action and nothing else. There are plenty of times when I forget my practices and have to start over. I often have to refocus and remind myself that these seemingly silly rituals will bring me balance. Rituals take time, that’s the point, but during that time you’re able to reset and recenter. While they make take time to get used to and time out of our already busy lives, rituals bring us a brief moment of simplicity and allow a shift to occur within ourselves when needed.

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Sativa or Indica?

There are many cannabis strains you can use in your ritual. In small doses, indicas won’t be overwhelmingly sleepy. Indicas are best for night reflections and for those who suffer from high levels of anxiety. Sativas are more for creative or outdoor activities during the day but be warned that some strains can be overly energetic and racy. Hybrids are a perfect combination, some leaning more sativa or indica heavy, so ask your budtender what they’d recommend for you specifically. I enjoy high CBD strains because they elevate pain but for some it makes them tired. Everyone is different, ask questions and research what consumption methods are right for you.

I have a simple ritual I use for very bad days, or days when I’m overwhelmed and need to get my head straight. As someone who is very accustomed to the depths of my subconscious, I’ve had to learn a few tricks over the years to stop myself from sinking, but it may take some time to get used to.

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First, I intentionally load my pipe or vaporizer while I think about what I’m doing and why. Why am I smoking? How can cannabis help me? Do I need to let go of something that’s holding me back from my fullest potential? Then, I focus on the question as I inhale and exhale.

Remember, not everything is going to go away after you finish. Acknowledge any feelings that come up even if they’re tears, pain or a soft sense of peace. There’s no one to judge you on your response because it’s needed in order to move past what’s pulling you down. A ritual has many components, so feel free to incorporate this quick ritual into your own practice.

Click to read ‘Rituals: Part One – Origins
Written by Aleecia Head / Images by Canna Curious Club

Published at Thu, 02 Jun 2016 21:14:16 +0000

RITUALS: PART TWO – INTENTIONS

file_000-1.jpeg

RITUALS: PART TWO – INTENTIONS

Rituals - 1

Why a Cannabis Ritual?

People engage in all kinds of different, personal rituals every day. Even the smallest rituals are paramount to how we function. If we didn’t practice a daily personal hygiene ritual, we’d probably offend others. Likewise, if we chose to ignore the ritual of waking up at a decent hour and getting dressed, we’d feel uncomfortable and exposed.

Recent research shows that rituals, in all their forms, may be more rational than they appear. Combine this with Cannabis (known for its stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects) and you can enjoy the benefits of both as part of your wellness routine.

Setting Your Intentions

So let’s consider using cannabis as a ritual act. Allow the ritual act of consuming cannabis with intention help bring meaning to everyday life. In the moment it takes to reflect and re-centre yourself before meditating, or smoking a bowl, give yourself a positive intention. Let go of what no longer serves you on an exhale and on the next inhale, hold it and know that you’re bringing happiness to yourself.

Rituals - 2

The Vedic priests believed consuming bhang (a marijuana infused almond milk drink) without intent was foolish.  If you enjoy enjoying the ‘wake and bake’ ritual, then set an intention that will resonate with you for the rest of the day. A quick simple one from A Course in Miracles is, “What will you have me do, what will you have me say and to whom?” Cannabis is known to allow you to see things from a different perspective, and this can set a positive and receptive tone for you to enjoy the rest of your day. At the end of the day, take time to let go and better understand any problems or emotions that you felt. Why not think about the intent of your action and manifest some good, while you’re loading up your evening bowl? For some, this is the only action or time to reflect.

Rituals help us stay grounded. A practice that is repeated over and over becomes easier as time passes and gives us normality. When everything seems to go wrong and off kilter, a ritual helps you pull back into yourself and become centred as you give your focus to one action and nothing else. There are plenty of times when I forget my practices and have to start over. I often have to refocus and remind myself that these seemingly silly rituals will bring me balance. Rituals take time, that’s the point, but during that time you’re able to reset and recenter. While they make take time to get used to and time out of our already busy lives, rituals bring us a brief moment of simplicity and allow a shift to occur within ourselves when needed.

File_000 (3)

Sativa or Indica?

There are many cannabis strains you can use in your ritual. In small doses, indicas won’t be overwhelmingly sleepy. Indicas are best for night reflections and for those who suffer from high levels of anxiety. Sativas are more for creative or outdoor activities during the day but be warned that some strains can be overly energetic and racy. Hybrids are a perfect combination, some leaning more sativa or indica heavy, so ask your budtender what they’d recommend for you specifically. I enjoy high CBD strains because they elevate pain but for some it makes them tired. Everyone is different, ask questions and research what consumption methods are right for you.

I have a simple ritual I use for very bad days, or days when I’m overwhelmed and need to get my head straight. As someone who is very accustomed to the depths of my subconscious, I’ve had to learn a few tricks over the years to stop myself from sinking, but it may take some time to get used to.

Rituals - 4

First, I intentionally load my pipe or vaporizer while I think about what I’m doing and why. Why am I smoking? How can cannabis help me? Do I need to let go of something that’s holding me back from my fullest potential? Then, I focus on the question as I inhale and exhale.

Remember, not everything is going to go away after you finish. Acknowledge any feelings that come up even if they’re tears, pain or a soft sense of peace. There’s no one to judge you on your response because it’s needed in order to move past what’s pulling you down. A ritual has many components, so feel free to incorporate this quick ritual into your own practice.

Click to read ‘Rituals: Part One – Origins
Written by Aleecia Head / Images by Canna Curious Club

Published at Thu, 02 Jun 2016 21:14:16 +0000