The Fellowship of the Flower


Heat and genuine Michael Koehn of the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of San Francisco offers the most effective hugs. Koehn and his associate David Goldman are longtime medical marijuana activists and always wear matching baseball caps with pot leaves on them. At a press convention in San Francisco asserting the upcoming arrival of SF Hash Week, Goldman tells me that carrying the hats has enabled them to satisfy like-minded folks all around the world. Koehn and Goldman had been the primary folks I met within the hashish group at a protest for the rights of medical marijuana patients in 2012. Weed has introduced us collectively for greater than a decade, and after all of the modifications we’ve seen in hashish coverage over this time, it nonetheless appears like our hearts are aligned. 

Hashish is a robust device for constructing camaraderie, one thing that feels much more valuable following the collective traumas we skilled in the course of the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Occasions have been significantly difficult for California’s hashish trade lately. After the authorized hashish market opened in 2018, gross sales confirmed their first drop from the previous year in 2022 and noticed another drop in 2023. First reported by SFGate, latest knowledge launched by hashish analytics agency BDSA reveals that Michigan bought extra authorized hashish merchandise than California this March. These corporations which have managed to outlive the transition from California’s medical marijuana program to the adult-use authorized market proceed to have hope for the trade and seek for alternatives to band collectively. The gathering to announce SF Hash Week on Wednesday felt like a hash-filled homecoming. Held on the headquarters of Meadow in San Francisco—a spot stacked with reminiscences, together with a hash-making class I took with Frenchy Cannoli in 2015—the occasion was a preview of the week of occasions deliberate across the vacation for hashish concentrates, 7/10, aka July 10. Following this April’s first SF Weed Week, SF Hash Week is popping 7/10 right into a seven-day celebration of all issues heady.

“The plant does a lot for us, and for us to have the ability to collect in honor of what it could actually produce, it’s fairly unimaginable,” Meadow’s David Hua stated on the SF Hash Week kickoff occasion. “[San Francisco] is not only a particular place; it’s a particular group of individuals. I’m extraordinarily humbled to be sitting right here amongst everybody that’s nonetheless standing, that’s nonetheless preventing, that’s nonetheless pushing. It’s not simple, however the high quality is insane.”

Photograph by Religion Schneider-Reuter

The whole lot is Written within the Resin

In 2015, Frenchy instructed me and the opposite folks in my hash-making class that “every thing is written within the resin.”

 “The entire story of six, seven months — it’s proper there in your hand,” he stated, describing making hash as “actually having the ability to take that pure essence of the plant.”

Photograph by Religion Schneider-Reuter

Frenchy was an artisan who was keen about accumulating the resinous trichome heads off of hashish crops and was at all times fast to credit score the farmers who grew the flowers he labored with for his creations. As a part of SF Hash Week—a first-time occasion incorporating focus releases at hashish lounges all through San Francisco—there will probably be a screening of his movie “Frenchy Dreams of Hashish” at Meadow on July 11. 

“It was all about planting the seed of the plant,” Kimberly Hooks, aka Madame Cannoli, stated of her late husband’s legacy. “He actually felt that the plant was right here to type of save humanity, and it was via group involvement like this, of us getting collectively and smoking and having a beautiful time.”

As a lot as SF Hash Week will present alternatives to attach with outdated mates, it’s additionally a approach for corporations to introduce themselves to newcomers.

“We’re making an attempt to succeed in an increasing number of folks that don’t even smoke hash,” stated Jeremy Richarson, proprietor of Forté. “I actually admire everyone popping out to and being part of the group as a result of everyone that’s out right here proper now has been preventing and preventing. Everyone knows what we’re up in opposition to, too, so bringing the true tradition to it’s actually what we’re all about.”

Nasha hash/Photograph by Religion Schneider-Reuter

Terryn Buxton, the proprietor of Oakland Extracts, echoed that sentiment.   

“Alternative to hang around with the purchasers, it’s at all times a very good factor,” Buxton stated. “Hanging out with individuals who love the product, followers of hashish typically, spending time with them. I feel personally the most effective a part of the occasion is simply issues like this. Truly having the ability to hang around with individuals who have been within the enterprise for therefore lengthy. Hash makers are a particular breed… there’s a variety of OGs right here. The fellowship, to me, is the most effective a part of Hash Week.”

Angela Pih, chief advertising and marketing operator at CCELL, stated her firm was wanting to assist the upcoming occasion. 

“What actually makes at present particular is seeing our model companions like Nasha are available in, take the most effective of their craft into the most effective of our expertise, and bringing it to all of you to be able to get pleasure from it,” Pih stated. “So the place craft meets expertise meets group, that’s only a good trifecta.” 

In his remarks, Ben Grambergu, the director of operations at 7 Stars in Richmond, California, praised SF Hash Week founder David Downs, a longtime hashish journalist and award-winning writer who’s now a senior editor at Leafly

Photograph by Religion Schneider-Reuter

“Primary, I consider in you, David, and I feel all of us do as properly,” Grambergu stated. “Quantity two, I consider in all of us. You already know, have a look at this. When’s the final time that one thing like this has occurred within the Bay Space? We’re going to have competing occasions. We now have to resolve the place to go to go smoke hash within the Bay Space? Like what is that this?”

Representing the model Ember Valley, Mikey Tebb constructed upon the theme of camaraderie.

“Being part of a group like this and getting concerned shouldn’t be solely how manufacturers develop, however how manufacturers keep alive,” Tebb stated. “All people out right here is simply an absolute warrior for going via what they’ve been via to even simply survive and keep within the inexperienced and keep optimistic.” 

Photograph by Religion Schneider-Reuter

Protecting the Flame Burning

Whereas I joked that I solely got here to the occasion to eat Chronic Kitchen’s smash burgers, smoking hash with my weedy mates on a sunny San Francisco afternoon was the largest draw. I used to be capable of attempt the rosin featured in a picture shot by Chris Romaine, aka Kandid Kush, set to be included in his hash photograph opening on July 10. One other spotlight included a dab of rosin from Arcata Fire created from Ridgeline Farms’s award-winning pressure Lantz. That dab was my final puff and floated me via the streets of San Francisco on my journey residence through the sixteenth Road BART station. 

Lantz rosin by Arcata Hearth/Photograph by David Downs

Regardless of the challenges the California hashish trade faces at the moment, SF Hash Week reveals that optimism for the longer term stays vibrant. Through the press occasion, Downs continued to highlight the activist organizations that proceed to battle for hashish legalization and social justice. 

“We all know that solely 45% of the authorized market is being served by the authorized market; the remaining continues to be underground,” Downs stated. “So that you go searching right here, these producers, take into consideration this trade being 3 times as large on the authorized aspect after which the ancillary aspect of it being 5, ten instances greater. We’re actually nonetheless on day one for this and what we do via teams just like the Brownie Mary Democratic Membership and California NORML on the state and native stage goes to be the distinction in how briskly we rise up that hill.”

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