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By the ounce  

'I love smoking weed'

Jenn Larry has never been shy about her cannabis use.

Since her first puff as a young teenager, she knew weed was something special. Decades later, Larry is the chief commercial officer at Montreal-based MTL Cannabis.

“It’s important now that we’re normalizing, we’re reducing the stigma, and we’re affording people an opportunity to lean into what legalized cannabis is supposed to mean: to not be afraid to say, ‘I love smoking weed, and lots of it,’” she tells the oz.

MTL has built its reputation on a single strain. Hundreds of thousands of jars of Sage N’ Sour have been sold throughout Canada. The high-THC, Sativa-dominant Sage N’ Sour is unique in its high CBG percentage.

“We are amazed that we get to be on so many shelves,” says Larry.

Ironically, MTL is not available in Quebec (just yet), but Larry says the hand-trimmed flower represents Montreal’s rich cannabis history.

“We have so much of our own nomenclature, we have so many of our own genetics, so many of our own stories; and while we may not be as advanced as maybe the B.C. market is in some of the outdoor grows, we certainly have a craftmanship that exists in Montreal,” she says.

“We grow in small rooms, it’s our homage to our own backyard.”

Larry has used her experience in the music industry, as well as regulated spaces like tobacco and gambling, to guide her in cannabis.

She even compares bud tenders to record store clerks.

“The bud tenders are becoming almost like that person at the record shop, who just knew so much. You’d go in for an afternoon and chat with them just because you had this shared passion for something that spoke to you both on totally different levels but was still a connective piece.

“Being with MTL Cannabis and having our chance to put out our ‘song,’ which is Sage N’ Sour, it’s been really cool to see how many people are connecting with that.”

MTL is continually looking to how they can “own more of the process,” says Larry.

They recently made the move to packaging in-house. That’s led to significant job creation. When Larry started at MTL earlier this year, there were 40 employees. That has quickly grown to about 100 people.

“When you function as a cultivation company, then you really mature into a manufacturing company, it really shows you how many more people you need to get the job done.”

In a feature interview with the oz., Larry talks about:

  • Whether MTL is short for Montreal;
  • Her history of working in "vice" industries
  • Why she’s cool with being the poster child for smoking pot.

Read the Q&A. https://okanaganz.com/oz/features/qa-with-mtl-cannabis/

All these reviews — and more — are featured in Issue 3 of the oz. magazine. Here’s where to pick up a print copy. https://okanaganz.com/oz/news/where-to-find-a-print-copy-of-the-oz-magazine/



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Local cannabis worth trying

5 great cannabis products made by Okanagan companies

You might be surprised to know that many top-tier legal cannabis products are from right here in the Okanagan.

Here are five cannabis products from local cannabis companies that are worth trying.

BLNT by BLK MKT

Canada’s first legal blunt comes in a solid glass container with an easy twist-off cap. The BLNT, an abbreviation for blunt, has one gram of Candy Rain (18.3% THC, Hybrid) inside a hemp wrap; blunts are rolled in a similar fashion to cigars.

Once out of the container, it has a nice heft. It’s beautiful, neat and tidy. It burns perfectly with tight grey-white ash. Full-flavoured, with a nice sweetness, this is a treat.

They’re about $15 each and worth it. The strain crosses Gelato and London Pound Cake. BLK MKT is under the umbrella of Kelowna-based GTEC.

Cherry Punch by Organnicraft

This Okanagan-grown Cherry Punch hits the nose every time you open the jar. Sweet and rich scents come off the tight and sticky flower.

They are beautifully trimmed. The effect is strong and mellow. A 23% THC Hybrid, it has total terpenes listed on the bottle as 3.49% — mainly made up of Myrcene, Caryophyllene, and Limonene, with some Ocimene and Pinene.

It’s grown indoors and hand-harvested in Vernon. It comes in a nice hefty recyclable jar that does a great job of keeping it from going too dry too quickly.

Gummies by Verse

The Sour Medley pack of gummies from Verse adds something new to cannabis edibles — a variety of flavours in one package. Five colourful gummies come in the bag, and each individual chew is 2mg of THC. Overall, they have a nice texture with an inviting sugar coating. The gummies were more candy-like in flavour than we’d expected. The five flavours are cherry, watermelon, blue raspberry, green apple, and tropical.

Verse soft chews also come in baked apple flavour. They were by far our favourite and tasted just like fresh apple pie. The gummies are made by LYF Edibles, located in Kelowna.

Peanut Butter MAC by BLK MKT

It’s as satisfying as peeling the seal off a new jar of peanut butter. The Peanut Butter MAC, another offering by BLK MKT, is smooth and nutty.

A cross between Peanut Butter Breath and Miracle Alien Cookies (MAC), this high-THC Indica-hybrid is premium priced. If you’re looking to treat yourself, this is worth it.

We got four beautiful, dense, sticky buds, trimmed with care, in our eighth. The hefty little glass jar protects the treasure inside, and a Boost humidity pack keeps it fresh.

Our lot was 23.54% THC, with 3.28% terpenes.

BC Black Cherry by Flowr

This 24.7% THC Indica is beautiful. Its smell and flavour are fruity, with some peppery notes. First impressions are important.

Flowr’s BC Black Cherry comes in a fancy blue glass container, and the bud inside is worthy of the vessel. Grown in the Okanagan, where cherries are a main crop, it’s fitting that Flowr got this strain so right.

Released at the crest of the cherry craze in the cannabis market, this Indica is sweet smelling and potent. When we first got it, the buds were dense and sticky. It has aged nicely.

All these reviews — and more — are featured in Issue 3 of the oz. magazine. Here’s where to pick up a print copy. https://okanaganz.com/oz/news/where-to-find-a-print-copy-of-the-oz-magazine/

Email the author: [email protected].



Weed company taking a hit

Would you snort cannabis?

That’s what something called Canna Bumps proposes. The name Canna Bumps is a play on taking a small sniff of cocaine — a bump.

The product has sparked a heated conversation around where to draw the line, so to speak, when it comes to cannabis delivery methods.

“Have some fun with your cannabis with our unique cannabis concentrate. Canna Bumps are just what they sound like – cannabis concentrate designed to be consumed through the nose, ingested directly or added to your favourite food,” says the product description.

Canna Bumps was listed by licensed California cannabis company THC Living early this month, and appeared on the company’s site, Leafly and Weedmaps. It’s since been removed after an uproar.

The product description from Canna Bumps says it’s designed to allow THC molecules to transfer directly into blood circulation through the nasal cavity, bypassing the liver and digestive system for immediate effect.

The three-gram container is said to contain 600 mg of THC, and each 10 mg bump provides 2 mg of THC. Apparently, the kit comes with a little coke spoon.

Initially, it wasn’t clear whether the product was real or a joke.

However, Leafly provided an update after receiving a statement from a law firm representing THC Living. It says a few months ago, THC Living was approached by a third party that wanted to use the company’s proprietary formulations to create Canna Bumps.

“As soon as our client learned more about the product, it took the temperature of its customers and those in the industry to gauge how they felt about Canna Bumps. Because of its own concerns, those expressed by consumers, and the misgivings of those in the industry, our client made the decision to terminate any licence granted to any third party that would use its proprietary information to produce or market a product like Canna Bumps,” says the statement.

Still, Leafly points out that THC Living didn’t merely license its technology; rather Canna Bumps was marketed as a product in the THC Living consumer line.

Canna Bumps has made one thing abundantly clear — most people don’t want the product to even exist. Online, the cannabis community has reacted mostly with mockery and derision.

Here’s a sampling of the feedback from Reddit and Facebook:

  • “Screw this company and their horrible product! Glorifying cocaine/meth culture. Just what we need is to explain how cannabis is not a gateway drug…again. This is so far away from what the plant represents. This product makes me embarrassed to be a part of cannabis culture.”
  • Save your money and grab some canna-heroin. Why just smoke it when you can inject that THC straight into a vein.”
  • “Shameful. Ammunition for those who would keep Cannabis controlled.”

There are so many different ways to partake in the cannabis plant, it boggles my mind why someone would want to take it up the nose.

David Wylie is publisher of the oz. Reach him at [email protected]. Keep your eye out for the latest edition of the magazine, which is about to drop.



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NDP should be ashamed

A top B.C. Liberal critic says he would shut down all unlicensed cannabis stores.

Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, the provincial critic for Public Safety and Solicitor General, says the B.C. NDP government should be ashamed for allowing unlicensed dispensaries to freely compete with licensed cannabis retailers.

“I would make sure the law was enforced,” says Morris in an interview with the oz.

“If we have illegal cannabis stores we would be shutting them down. Tolerating illegal unlawful activity in any respect when it’s been brought to your attention is not the way to go, so we would be doing a strict enforcement regime there.”

There are numerous unlicensed cannabis stores on Indigenous land throughout the Okanagan.

Cannabis retailers have been pressuring the B.C. NDP to apply cannabis laws equally on First Nations lands. Morris says he’s heard from people across the province who are extremely frustrated.

A chain of emails dating back a year ago obtained by the oz. shows retailers have been trying to work with officials and communicating their concerns with the RCMP’s Community Safety Unit and the B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch about unlicensed stores, but they’re being bounced back and forth.

Government defers to the RCMP, while the RCMP defers to the government — and nobody claims responsibility.

Morris says laws of general application are applicable on First Nations reserves as well, but the Solicitor General sets the tone.

“It’s like a hot potato,” says Morris. “They keep tossing it from one person to the other hoping that it’ll cool down and somebody will run with it.”

Morris says those following the legal path put thousands of dollars on the line and follow all regulations, yet find themselves competing with unlicensed stores that don’t play by the same rules.

“Shame on government for allowing that to happen,” says Morris.

“It’s a rigorous process; they disclose their entire life to the folks that are screening for this. They finally get a licence, and at the end of the day, they get 11 shops opening up in direct competition with what they do and they can’t make a go of it,” he says

“Yet, they get blown off. There’s a responsibility on government to correct that.”

Meanwhile, unlicensed operators are buying products from illegal sources, says Morris.

“It’s bad news all the way around,” he says.

Morris suggests the RCMP’s Community Safety Unit is probably under-resourced to do the massive job they’re tasked with. Morris says he’s written to Mike Farnworth, Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General, and has had private meetings with him on the issue.

“Nothing has changed,” he says.

“The fact that nobody has been paying attention to this is an issue that government needs to tackle head on.

“Public health is at risk here… there’s safety, there’s health, there’s criminal activity, there’s a number of factors involved here I think that government has to turn their mind to.”

Still, delays continue to defer a review of the controversial file.

A B.C. Auditor General review of cannabis licensing and regulations is being pushed forward to sometime in 2023-2024.

Morris says he understands the Auditor General has a long list of priorities.

“It is something that should have been looked at sooner than later,” he says. “What can we do to plug some of these holes that still causes our black market to flourish in this province?”

David Wylie is publisher of the oz. Get in touch by emailing [email protected].



More By the ounce articles

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About the Author

David Wylie is publisher of the oz. — a cannabis newsletter that covers the growing legal weed industry from the Okanagan Valley.

He has been a journalist for nearly two decades, working in newsrooms all over Canada.  

David is active as okanaganz on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Subscribe to the email newsletter at okanaganz.com.

An ounce of info goes a long way.

 

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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