Posts Tagged ‘marijuana’

The DARE Program Makes a Comeback

dareBring up DARE to people of a certain age, and they’re likely to remember the program as the butt of a joke. DARE, an acronym for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, was a nation-wide program that reached the height of its popularity in the late 1980s.

The curriculum brought local law enforcement into schools and sought to curb and prevent teen drug use. DARE warned kids to “Just Say No” and relied heavily on role-playing to get kids to avoid peer pressure.

During the era when DARE was popular, there was huge public consciousness and concern over drug use. There were PSAs on television that urged abstinence–like the one with an egg in a frying pan that admonished, “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.”

At its peak, 75 percent of the country’s schools participated in the DARE program. But that changed in the early 1990s, when a slew of studies came to the same conclusion: DARE wasn’t decreasing the rate of teen drug or alcohol use. One study even found that the program made teens more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol in a sort of “boomerang effect.” In this new era of cannabis legalization, the lucky stoners with the foresight to hang on to their DARE t-shirts are the kings and queens of irony.

But now, it seems, DARE is back, this time with a curriculum called “Keepin’ It REAL“. Maintaining their cheesy acronyms, REAL stands for refuse, explain, avoid, leave. DARE is pushing the curriculum as a prevention program for middle school students as part of its mission to “teach students good decision making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.”

One of the biggest changes the DARE organization has made is their claim that they no longer teach drug abuse resistance education. Now, they claim to “teach students good decision making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.”

However, the Washington Post reported that not everyone is behind the new program. A peer-reviewed study conducted last year concluded that “the systematic review revealed major shortfalls in the evidence basis for the KiR D.A.R.E. programme. Without empirical evidence, we cannot conclusively confirm or deny the effectiveness of the programme. However, we can conclude that the evidence basis for the D.A.R.E. version of KiR is weak, and that there is substantial reason to believe that KiR D.A.R.E. may not be suited for nationwide implementation.”

A Daddy’s Advice on Cannabis

cannabis-parentingMy daughter started college this year. It’s a big time in everyone in the family’s life. She’s legally an adult and if you ask her mom, she’s more of an adult that I am, and I’m okay with this (long live Spiderman and the Avengers). I’ve been very open and candid with my daughter about my life and lessons I’ve learned. In my late teens and early 20’s I was a heavy cannabis user and drinker. I partied hard and of all things I regret doing, none of them were while I was high on pot. So when my only child and little girl began her college adventure, I said something to her that caught her by surprise: I told her I would rather she smoked pot, then drank.

I can just hear the mindless anti-cannabis robots now. “What a horrible father!” “You should be ashamed!”. Well I’m not. You see I love my daughter more than my own life. And while I would hope she would wait till she was 21 and legal before making a decision for herself about cannabis and alcohol use, I’m not so naive to believe that she is going to. I didn’t, most college and even high school kids don’t wait. I would have been remiss in my duties as a father not to talk to my daughter about using cannabis and alcohol and compare the dangers of the two.

She could get high and still retain her faculties enough to avoid being a victim of assault; she can get up the next day and still do her school work and go to work, and she’s far less likely to do things that she would later regret while smoking pot than drinking alcohol. And most importantly, she can avoid death from alcohol poisoning and becoming an alcoholic. No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose, but thousands of kids die every year in the United States from alcohol abuse and many of them go on to become alcoholics later in life.

So this Daddy’s advice is: if you’re not going to wait till you’re 21, smoke a joint and skip the keg.


– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ Secretary & COO

Joshua Furlong is a Colorado native and businessman. He is co-founder of Cheeky Monkey™. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

Facebook Gives a Big Thumbs Down To Cannabis Pages

fb-weedIn a move that’s likely to hurt cannabis businesses, Facebook has shut down more than 20 medical and recreational marijuana dispensary pages across the country. Over the last week, dispensary owners received letters from Facebook indicating a violation of the social media company’s community standards, stating, “We remove any promotion or encouragement of drug use.” It’s not clear if Facebook is targeting dispensaries in particular, or if it’s part of a larger crackdown on marijuana-related businesses.

Social media is vital for cannabis businesses looking to communicate with customers and as a place where they can advertise strains, prices, and promotions. Marijuana Business Daily spoke to Greta Carter, the owner of Inyo Fine Cannabis Dispensary in Las Vegas, whose Facebook page was recently removed: “What’s really frustrating to us in the industry is that we have such limited means to communicate and advertise, so the Internet is an incredible valuable resource.”

Indeed, Facebook itself seems unsure of its own guidelines and “community standards,” targeting some dispensaries and leaving others online. “Why us? There are all kinds of businesses in Vegas,” Carter said. “All of our competitors are still up and running.”

Several cannabis dispensaries are attempting to appeal Facebook’s decision, but so far the social media company has not responded. A strange move considering Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent announcement that he is pro-cannabis legalization.


Colorado Festivals Light Up for HB 1092

cmak-home-header-vape-guyA new bill introduced by Representative Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City), would make public consumption of marijuana legal for special, permitted events. Although Amendment 64 legalized marijuana consumption for adults 21 and older, “open and public” consumption is still technically illegal in Colorado–though toking regularly takes place at cannabis-friendly venues.

If HB 1092 passes in the state legislature, cannabis consumption law will finally catch up with what’s already par for the course. Alaska legislature has already indicated movements toward “open and public” venues.

Moreno explains, “Amendment 64 asked us to regulate marijuana like alcohol. The bill creates the exact same special use permit process that we already have for alcohol.” Moreno’s bill, HB 1092, would make the state permits subject to local government approval and allow on-site marijuana sales from 9am-midnight at events. Additionally, local jurisdictions would have say over whether consumption would be allowed at the events.

Cannabis sellers would also have to be ready for customers’ munchies. The bill language “requires that sandwiches or other or other food snacks must be made available during all hours of service.” Cheetos, anyone?

Marijuana Job Opportunities – Alaska Cannabis Institute

marijuana-jobs-alaska-cannabis-instituteThe Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development predicts Alaska is on track for its first year of job losses in seven years as the price of oil continues to slide. However, those who want to land a job in the marijuana industry are going to have plenty of opportunities.

From cultivators to processors and retailers, there is plenty of work to go around in the marijuana industry. To get an idea, take a look at these jobs that cannabis businesses will be hiring for in the near future.

Demand for trimming labor – or “trimmigrants” as they are called in the lower-48 – is expected to spike in August as the first licensed marijuana growers harvest their first crop for retail. Trimmers are responsible for trimming away all the small leaves away from the bud; and it’s a really important job because consumers’ purchasing decisions are swayed by the appearance of the bud. Trimmers are generally paid by the weight of the finished products, which is approximately $15 per ounce.

Cannabis Cultivator
A lot of people applying for a marijuana cultivation license admittedly don’t know enough about growing top-shelf marijuana as they need to know to compete. That’s why a lot of marijuana license holders will hire or contract a professional marijuana grower; because consumers are only going to buy the best cannabis available. But being a professional grower is a lot of responsibility. They need to know everything about nutrient requirements, mediums, light sources, temperature control, air flow; plant diseases, insects and fungi, and plant treatment; and marijuana genetics and breeding.

Clone Manager
Alaska has some fine cannabis genetic breeders, and a lot of these breeders need help managing production of their mother plants and clones. Clones managers are responsible cutting and labeling clones, maintaining inventory tracking, organization, and cleanliness – so it’s an involved position. For people interested in this kind of job, expect to be paid a minimum base salary with favorable sales and marketing incentives.

Edible Baker
The MCB changed the rules and regulations in the final hour to allow consumption on-site at retail stores. Many people don’t know how the state’s indoor smoking laws and the on-site consumption allowance are going to co-exist, but most agree edibles are no problem. Marijuana product manufacturers are going to be busy, and will need help making products. People interested in this role need to have their food safety permit in addition to their marijuana handler’s permit. A beginner cook can earn $15 per hour while a more experienced chef can earn closer to $30 per hour.

Extraction Technician
Extraction Technicians really are specialists in the marijuana industry. Concentrates are the new new thing, and people who know how to produce the best concentrates are going to be in high demand. Good, quality concentrates can retail for as much as $80 per gram; and a top-quality extraction technician can yield 25% to 30% on “nug runs,” a technique where the technician processes buds instead of trim or shake. Somebody who works as an extraction technician needs to have a solid background on a variety of extraction techniques, including CO2, dry ice, water hash, butane, propane, and others. Extraction technicians can expect to start at $25 per hour, while more experienced techs can earn as much as $50 per hour.

Arguably the most important job in the industry, the budtender acts as a sales person, credible resource, and gate-keeper of all cannabis products. For example, budtenders are consistently asked for recommendations, and if they aren’t up to speed on a particular brand’s product, then that product doesn’t sell as well. Budtenders need to be well versed in the types of marijuana products for sale, methods of ingestion, and how to ring up customers in compliance with state rules and regulations. People wanting to work in this position can expect to earn $15 an hour to begin.

Whether you want to own a marijuana business or work in the marijuana industry, there are going to be plenty of opportunities available beginning in the Summer of ’16.

For more information, remember to check back each week to follow this series of blogs at and

Keeping the Business of Pot Profitable and Friendly

There is a lot of angst in the burgeoning cannabis industry and political arena about Big Business entering the fray and pushing out the small entrepreneur and businessmen or women. Rightly so in some cases. After all it was big business in the 1930’s through DuPont, William Randolph Hearst and Andrew Mellon and their supports in the textiles, wood, paper and pharmaceutical industries that destroyed the Hemp and Cannabis industry in the United States. And for many, the big tobacco, pharmaceutical and oil industries are the evil of our society and a bane on American small business. Leave aside the philosophical differences usually associated with a discussion of big business, there are certain realities we can all agree on when it comes to big business and it’s affects on the small business owner.

  1. Buying Power: The buying power of a big business often forces down costs to a point that a small business owner can’t afford to offer their products for the same price as a big business.
  2. Marketing, brand and name recognition: Admit it, how many of us go to Starbucks for a latte even though they don’t have the best coffee in the business nor the personal service that you may receive at a mom and pop coffee shop.
  3. Legislative and Political power: Big business buys and sells our politicians (Democrat and Republican) like they do their products. They can spend Billions to protect their monopolies and keep new and innovative companies from even entering the market. So how do we in the cannabis business maintain the culture and society and control over what will be one of the largest markets in the world in the next 20 years? I don’t believe there is any one answer. It will take a lot of determination and cooperation between companies and individuals to keep cannabis from becoming big tobacco.

Here are a few of my suggestions.

Keep the Friends you Have While Making New Ones

I wrote a blog awhile back about how many on the left vilify conservatives as if we are the only people fighting against legalized cannabis. I know many conservatives, some who have a moral objections to cannabis who believe it should be legal or at minimum left up to the individual states to decide. We need to work together regardless of political leanings to overcome the oligarchy and power elites who only seek to do what’s best for them and their power. No one on the right side of the political spectrum or the left involved in trying to see cannabis reenter our society in a culturally and socially acceptable way should be tearing down their allies. After all, there are Democrat politicians as well as Republican who are working against our freedom of responsibility and choice. And you better believe it’s because big businesses, who are terrified of all the things that the cannabis plant can do, are spending millions to keep those same politicians in their pocket.

Follow the Rules and Play Nice

I know it’s in our nature to buck the system and fight the powers that be. But right now, we as an industry must, and I mean must, play by the rules we have and not flaunt an arrogant, “we’re gonna do what we want” attitude. Rebel rousing is great for protests, but when you’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the average American voting citizen, they don’t look kindly on rule and law breakers. The era of moonshiners and bootleggers is over. We owe much to the pioneers of the cannabis industry who for the last 80 years kept fighting for our freedom. But now it’s time to come into the legitimate light and work within the system. When an individual or group stands up and flips the bird to the camera and the legislative bodies that are in charge (whether we like it or not) they do nothing to win respect and advance the movement. They set it back, hurt the image of all of us and create animosity and angst. We have to work within the system to change the laws. Is it slow, tedious, and yes sometimes we lose, but we are winning the overall fight.

Encourage the Growth of a New Kind of Big Business

I don’t mean to be a doomsayer, but big business in cannabis is inevitable. You can deny it all you want, but when this much money and power are up for grabs, dominant market powers will emerge. Philip Morris didn’t start out as a tobacco giant after all. In every industry there are going to be business giants. But we can learn from those that have grown in a responsible and moral way while still building profits. Starbucks is a great example. Even though Starbucks has grown to be the largest coffee shop brand in the world, they make great efforts to provide their communities, employees and customers with a responsible, sharing and giving brand. They have managed to increase profits and grow while still caring for the average Joe, while still serving a good cup of Joe. We need to encourage the growth of companies within our industry who set out, not only to make a profit, but to create a positive culture and environment for everyone. Companies that make it a part of their mission to help cultivate the small farmer and businessman in the communities they establish themselves in. It may be tempting to join up with the next up and coming thing in Cannabis, but if we all do our due diligence and research and get to know who are partners are going to be, we can create networks of positive cannabusiness that will keep the cannabis version of Philip Morris out of the industry. It’s up to us, right here, right now to determine the future of the cannabis industry. We shouldn’t cut off our nose to spite our face in the fear that big business will emerge or take over. Big business in cannabis is going to happen and how it happens is completely up to us.


– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ President & CEO

Joshua Furlong is a Coloradan native and businessman. He is co-founder and VP of Operations of CheekyMonkeyAK. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. While a cannabis activist and businessman, Mr. Furlong doesn’t partake of the herb in any form. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

Cannabis Clubs and Weed Bars in Alaska!

Screenshot (120)

Cheeky Monkey celebrates with other Alaska entrepreneurs today as one big step of Cannabis legalization plants a hardy foot forward!

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board (MCB) is made up of five citizens elected by Governor Walker. The MCB is to help clarify regulations ect, and pass it to the legislator.

In the Anchorage Daily News today, Laurel Andrews reported, “The change allows for people to buy marijuana at a retail store and consume it in a designated area on the premises. The board voted 3-2 in favor of the amendment, with Loren Jones, public health board member, and Peter Mlynarik, the public safety board member, dissenting.”

Allowing for a purchase and consumption environment demonstrates the collaboration of all involved. Thank you EVERYONE who helped show the MCB and the citizens of this state that we are here to see cannabis freedoms win an important position. Thank you to the MCB members who have taken their personal time to help consider this new old world of cannabis!

This is a BIG win. This is all part of the ‪#‎CheekyMonkey‬ vision. The legalization of ‪#‎Cannabis‬ is going to be beneficial as the truth about it being a food and not a drug, is proven through our industries example.‪#‎BeResponsible‬ entrepreneurs! celebrating the community by giving access to consumption!

Alaska Marijuana Consumption Locations

Screenshot (117)As Alaska moves forward, seemingly one lumber-some step after another, the public finally had their opportunity to share with the Alaska Marijuana Control Board.  While citizens have been able to write public comments, October 15 and 16th they were able to have a captive audience of the board, at least for 3 minutes.

The Alaska Marijuana Control Board is made up of five citizens appointed by the Governor and have until November 24, 2015 to finish revising the draft regulations and submit them to the Legislator.

It was wonderful to hear the professional, articulate, reasonable statements by the Cannabis community. By far, the largest amount of comments were about legal consumption locations, especially “smoking clubs.” Unfortunately, as current drafts sit, private clubs are banned and there are no means for the industry to accommodate the demand (and right) of consumers to have a location outside of a private home to use cannabis.

Cheeky Monkey’s founder Johnny Furlong posed this statement to the MCB in regards to consumption locations.

“The legal argument being made that the board does not have the authority to make a license for clubs is inconsistent with its position on the Broker’s license.”

Mr Furlong was speaking in regards to the MCB creating the Broker License which was not part of the original draft, but then argued it did not have the authority to draft smoking club licenses into the regulations.

Mr. Furlong continued, If this (MCB) argument is incorrect, than you do have the authority to make a license type, however, we in the industry are not asking for that. We request you simply remove 306.900 and allow the Legislature the option to decide to do this.

If the argument is correct and you do not have the authority to add a license type, Why doesn’t a club have a license type for you to have the authority over?

It is because the clubs do not apply under any of the current license types. Clubs do not make any money directly or indirectly through the sale of cannabis, nor do they broker it in any way.   

This is because clubs are an ancillary business service much like the garden store who sells the nutrients for someone to grow their seeds at the beginning of life stage, or the store where they buy the pipe to put their bud in. The clubs simply are offering an environment and a chair for citizens to enjoy the end of the life cycle of the cannabis which they grew in their garden, with their pipe that was purchased at a store. Offering a private seat in a private club location is not a cannabis transaction.

It stops becoming an ancillary business once they get the retail license and begin to sell cannabis. At this point, they fall under a license type. Private club is defined as; one whose proprietor owns the property and funds and conducts the club to attempt to make a profit. The members are entitled to use the premises and property in exchange for the payment of entrance fees and subscriptions to the proprietor. Private smoking clubs fit this description, thus are not a “cannabis business.”

So, with or without the authority to to make licenses, you do have the authority to remove it and it is this citizen’s opinion it is the most prudent step to take. Remove 306.900 and allow the legislature to make the decision of what needs to be done while the actual cannabis businesses can start moving forward with your great assistance. Thank you very much.”

Thanks to the many folks in the Alaska Cannabis Industry who have worked together to help bring an educated voice to the MCB. Cheeky Monkey™ would like to give special thanks to the AK CRCL who has played an important role in providing information and assistance with understanding current draft impacts.

CRCL Facebook:


Cheeky Monkey Says to Eat Your Vitamin C++

Crystal ParadiseYou don’t wait to take Vitamin C until you get Scurvy, you take it to prevent it.

Medical Marijuana is a misnomer. For the same reason we don’t call “Vitamin C” “Medical C”.

Vitamins are organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and which maintains normal body function by supplying natural elements and is preventative and restorative.

Medicine is used to treat abnormal issues or pain and is gnerally classified as a man made substances. It is defined as, “The art or science of restoring or preserving health or due physical condition, as by means of drugs (Pharmacuticals), surgical operations or appliances, or manipulations: often divided into medicine proper, surgery, and obstetrics.”

The Endocannabinoid system in our bodies needs the natural Cannabis like they need Vitamin C.

It is a natural occurring element that is not manipulated by man in order to provide PREVENTATIVE health benefits.

In every scientific classification, Cannabis is a homeopathic herb that is naturally healthy and thus a vitamin. Although it is strong enough to be a powerful fighter of many diseases after they develop.


Quit Playing Partisan Politics with Pot

“Not much of a surprise there. Refreshing to see that a handful of the right wingers are slowly creeping into the 21st century with their attitudes towards medicinal cannabis. But then, ultimately I wouldn’t imagine there are many with any interest in cannabis legalisation would cast their vote for the Republicans anyway.”

-Facebook comment on Cannabis Law Reform

“Decades of republican hate speech about marijuana has resulted in this: thats the first thing to assert. America has been choked on anti-marijuana propaganda and still the movement to fix it, to get marijuana to be regulated and to get police to stop killing people over it, to stop ruining lives with the law has progressed.”
by xxdrzombiexx on DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform

pot politicsI ask myself constantly, being a conservative libertarian, why my allies on the left in the Cannabis reform movement hate me so bad?

I mean, there are millions of conservatives or as many on the left like to vilify us as gun carrying, God Fearing, racist, bigoted, homophobes who are pro cannabis and anti drug war. I understand that name calling is the lowest form of debate and is purely meant to demean an opponent’s opinion and view when logic, fact and truth get in the way. But in the instance of Cannabis reform, can’t we put aside the partisan politics?

My brother and I are both conservative libertarians. We are much more aligned with the Republican party than the Democrats, yet we own a cannabis business and work in the movement to see cannabis legal for everyone over 21 regardless of what they want to use it for. Not only that, but we find the whole drug war, wrong, evil, misguided and anti-American. So how does it help the movement to have people like xxdr Zombie try to make this a liberal issue? It doesn’t, it creates division and looks to push out people he has a political and philosophical hate towards. He doesn’t want us in HIS movement, we are wing nuts. I thought the liberal movement was one of inclusiveness, well here we are. Millions of conservatives who want to see cannabis legal and he would have us cast out and ruin any chance of seeing just that happen.

Hate speech even when pointed at conservatives doesn’t help move the agenda forward. I would ask all my liberal allies in the Cannabis movement to focus on the issue, not the party affiliations.


– Joshua Furlong, Cheeky Monkey™ VP of Operations

Joshua Furlong is a Coloradan native and businessman. He is co-founder and VP of Operations of CheekyMonkeyAK. He currently lives in Denver and has worked most recently in the New Home Sales market. He has a Bachelor’s of Business from Colorado Technical University. He has worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense in Iraq and spent his early career as a professional driver in the trucking industry. While a cannabis activist and businessman, Mr. Furlong doesn’t partake of the herb in any form. His personal philosophy is Veritas in virtus per libertas (Truth in virtue through Liberty).

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