Pot enthusiasts line up for chance to judge the state’s best weed as Cannabis Cup kicks off -By Tom Schuba
Dozens of eager pot enthusiasts swarmed a Logan Square dispensary Tuesday hoping to get a chance to judge the dopest dope Illinois has to offer as the state’s first-ever High Times Cannabis Cup kicked off.
Unlike previous iterations of the competition, which have boasted raucous parties and celebrity judges like Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong, homegrown Kush connoisseurs will vote on the winners from the comfort of their own homes.
By late morning, a line was already stretching down Milwaukee Avenue outside MOCA Modern Cannabis, the only Chicago store selling kits of pre-selected pot products submitted for consideration.
For one judge, the contest offers a welcome respite from the monotony that’s followed the COVID-19 shutdown.
“If it’s the only activity that we really can do during this period, it sounded like a good event to get involved in,” said Amanda, a West Loop resident who declined to give her last name. “It’s something to do … when everything else is kind of canceled right now.”
Given that she’s recently moved away from drinking and has instead been using infused cannabis products to unwind, Amanda selected the testing kit that includes a range of edibles. Judges can also choose from six other categories of products, including three types of cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints, concentrates and vape cartridges.
The testing kits, which range in price from $80 to $300, were expected to remain on sale until Sept. 23 at MOCA, Zen Leaf in St. Charles, the Rise stores in Effingham and Niles and the Beyond/Hello locations in Sauget and Normal. However, High Times Executive Chairman Adam Levin said the early demand has been so high that all the testing kits may sell out before the end of the first day.
“People have waited for hours to get the best of the best, and our partners are seeing one of the best days they’ve had since their grand openings,” noted Levin.
Pat Hannigan, sales manager for the downstate Anna-based pot firm Aeriz, said he’s excited to grade some of the best hybrid strains on the market, including some grown by his company. Though he works in the industry, Hannigan has had a hard time finding “a choice selection of flower” as the state continues to grapple with a supply shortage.
Tom Schuba/Sun-Times “It’ll probably take me more than one run to really sit down and give my best reviews,” said Hannigan, of New Lenox. “I’ll probably sit down, look at the smell, look at the structure, check them all out that way.”
High Times, the vaunted pot publication, hosted the first Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in 1988. The event has since became a staple of stoner culture, with cannabis icons like Wiz Khalifa and Method Man performing at recent incarnations of the bacchanal. The winners of Illinois’ first Cannabis Cup will be announced during a virtual awards show on Sept. 27, though no performances or celebrity appearances have been announced.
Danny Marks, MOCA’s co-owner, lauded High Times as “a pioneer in cannabis culture.”
“As the industry and cannabis in general has evolved, it is exciting to be a part of the legal 2020 version of the famous Cannabis Cup event,” Marks told the Sun-Times. “And to see it happening in Illinois is almost surreal. We’ve come a long way.”
Voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Montana2 measures qualify for November ballot -By: Mike Dennison - MTN NewsPosted at 7:06 PM, Aug 13, 2020 and last updated 7:13 PM, Aug 13, 2020
Montana voters will decide in November whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, for adults 21 and older.
New Approach Montana, the group formed to back ballot measures to legalize marijuana, said Thursday that two complementary measures to achieve that goal have qualified for the Nov. 3 ballot: Initiative 190 and Constitutional Initiative 118.
“Our research has always shown that a majority of Montanans support legalization, and now voters will have the opportunity to enact that policy, which will create jobs and generate new revenue for our state,” said Pepper Petersen, campaign spokesman for the group.
New Approach Montana already has spent nearly $2 million on the signature drive and related expenses of getting the two measures on the Nov. 3 ballot. It said they collected more than 130,000 signatures of registered voters.
The initiative needed about 25,000 verified signatures to qualify and the constitutional amendment needed about 50,000 signatures.
I-190, if approved by voters, would legalize the sale and possession of limited amounts of marijuana and also levy a 20 percent tax on the sale of non-medical marijuana in Montana.
CI-118 would amend the state constitution to allow the Legislature to set the age of for adults allowed to possess and consume marijuana. Under the current state constitution, anyone 18 or older has all rights of an adult, except for the possession of alcohol.
New Approach has said legal marijuana sales would generate $48 million in tax revenue for Montana by 2025.
FORT BENTON — A Fort Benton man has defied the odds when it comes to cancer. Instead of going through the usual rounds of chemotherapy, he decided on an alternative treatment. While it may not be the reason for his amazing recovery, it was enough to make him a believer.
About four months ago, Joseph Curl went to the doctor for what he thought was an ear infection, it turned out to be much worse. “Small cell lung cancer, aggressive type,” said Joseph when describing the diagnosis.
It was the same type of cancer that killed his mother. Joe was determined not to suffer the same fate. “I said, 'I’m sorry, but you do not give me an expiration date, that is above your pay grade,'” said Joseph. “'You do not tell me when I’m going to leave this planet.'”
It made him an immediate chemotherapy and radiation candidate. “No one goes directly into chemotherapy when they’re diagnosed with cancer,” said Amberly Carter-Curl, Joseph’s daughter. “What the doctor explained to me was he would have been dead within hours.”
“Only two percent of people who are diagnosed with small cell lung cancer survive it,” said Amberly.
“The tumor was about the size of my hand and it was wrapped around my throat,” said Joseph.
Amberly dropped everything, leaving her job in Washington headed for Montana, unprepared for what she was about to see. “His face was almost completely black,” said Amberly. “It was the most terrifying thing I had ever seen, my dad looked like he was dead already.”
Joseph underwent the first of several rounds of experimental and grueling chemo. “It was absolutely horrible. I couldn’t go to the bathroom, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t lay down, I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t do nothing,“ said Joseph. “I said if this is the quality of life you can offer me, doing chemotherapy and radiation, I don’t want it. I would rather get on the boat and go.”
The former Marine kicked his nearly one pack a day cigarette habit and did some research. He eliminated meat and sugar from his diet and decided to take Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO. Named after a Canadian wellness advocate, its main ingredient is pure tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. “It’s the thing that gets you stoned when you smoke greenbud,” said Joseph. “But I didn’t want RSO to get stoned, I wanted to kill the cancer.”
Over three months, he took a graduated regimen of 60 grams of RSO and says his last checkup was nothing short of a miracle. “Cancer’s not there, not in remission, not in my body,” said Joseph. “The doctor’s still trying to figure out how that’s possible.”
Joseph, who has a medical marijuana card, says one drawback in Montana is the cost of RSO, at 40 dollars a gram. He was able to obtain the drug out of state at a fraction of that price. “I am on Social Security, disability,” said Joseph. “I have a very limited income. And there’s people out there like me that are dying because they can’t afford this medication.”
Joseph and his doctors can’t say for sure what made the cancer disappear. Joseph says it could have been the RSO, the new diet, a strong faith, or even his military mentality.
“Marines are known to be tenacious,” said Joseph. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of the Corps for 50 years. They’re like bulldogs. We get our teeth sunk into something and we don’t let go of it.”
“There wasn’t a single moment that he outwardly thought he was going to die or would say anything like that,” said Amberly. “I’d ask him, 'Are you scared?' and he’d say, 'Scared of what?'”