Leaf Brief

Leaf Brief: Ready for Danks-giving?

Hopefully, everyone survived election season and is geared up to talk about the results at the family dinner table later this week—or not. We’ve seen a few news releases from companies trying to capitalize on turkey day with promotions for infused drinks, special concentrates or just specialty candles to hide the smell from your weed-totaler granny. (Stick around for the end of this month’s Leaf Brief to learn about our endorsement for this year’s go-to holiday beverage.)

If you find yourself in an emergency low-stash situation while you’re at Aunt Nancy’s house and your cousin wants to take a “walk” before housing some gelatinous, ribbed cranberry “sauce,” don’t count on a reliable weed delivery service. (Especially because the world will basically shut down for most of the day on Thursday.) It turns out that even though weed-on-wheels is completely and totally legal in New Mexico, cannabis businesses aren’t exactly jumping at the opportunity. You can learn all about why in this cover story from last month.

Deep Sky Cannabis is likely the only option for cannabis delivery in Santa Fe and almost certainly the only company of any kind in New Mexico headed up by a member of the band Yellowcard.

Dank Deliveries: Little stands in the way of more drivers dropping off cannabis in Santa Fe, except for maybe the market itself

Since we like to reward our Leaf Brief subscribers, we’ll share a little anecdote that didn’t make it into the story.

The plan was to get a behind-the-scenes look at cannabis delivery, but things took a brief detour towards Yellowcard’s genesis, stories about the music industry as a new thing called iTunes took off and a Cliff’s Notes lesson on how royalty payments work.

There was also the elephant, or, in this case, steel guitar, in the room: Deep Sky’s owner, Ben Harper, also shares a name with a famous musician who once crooned, “If you don’t like my fire, then don’t come around, cause I’m gonna burn one down.

We were locked and loaded with a cheeky quip about the shared name and the cannabis connection. But as it turns out, Harper is not only used to comments, but he’s also had beers with “the other Ben Harper.”

Back in 2007, after Deep Sky’s now-owner left the band he helped create, his friend Scott, who worked security for the Ben Harper who always has to steal his kisses, suggested the two Ben Harpers meet.

“I was living in Long Beach, California, and Scott called me and was like, ‘Come down to San Diego, Ben Harper’s playing, I have you on the list,’” Harper says.

The dispensary owner says Laura Dern’s ex-husband wasn’t smoking weed at the time so the two had Bud Lights together backstage instead of burning one down. They hung out for about 30 minutes and apparently hit it off enough for the “Gold to Me” singer to come up with a nickname for the pair.

“He was like, ‘I got an idea,’” the former Yellowcard guitarist tells SFR. “He’s like, ‘Check this out: Ben Squared.’ He said that to me. I’ll never forget it.”

Speaking of Bens, SFR caught up with a local one last month. Ben Lewinger, executive director of the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, was gracious enough to answer some questions we fired at him about his organization.

For readers who want to work in cannabis, the chamber has a special nook on its website with job opportunities.

Elections have pot-sequences

If y’all are going to break the sacred rule of avoiding politics at the dinner table this week, don’t forget to scare the elders by reminding them two more states voted to legalize it. If you really want to impress your DARE-disciple uncle, you can use this piece from Politico as a crib sheet. Just a quick reminder though: Even though voters in Arkansas and the two Dakotas shot down adult-use cannabis, those states are among the many with legalized medical-use programs. At this point, it’s easier to pinpoint which states don’t have medical weed, but here’s a decent list to show Uncle So-And-So about the nation’s approval rating of the devil’s lettuce.

We’ve never been to Muskogee, so we don’t really know how true Merle Haggard’s words ring anymore, but voters in Oklahoma will get to decide the fate of recreational-use cannabis next March. We should also note that Oklahoma has a pretty free-wheelin’ medical cannabis program in which a would-be patient can bypass trying to shoehorn themselves into a government-approved list of qualifying conditions and instead just get a doctor to attest that weed will help their general health.

We also feel obliged to thank former SFR staff writer Joey Peters for bringing to our attention that Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recently called former Gov. Jesse Ventura to tell him the state is headed for full-on legal weed.

Is this real life?

The news that Circle Ks in Florida would start slinging grass came a little late to include in last month’s Leaf Brief. But as it turns out, it may be a little early for Floridians to rejoice, because state officials say they have yet to approve such a thing. Also, it sounds like the medical cannabis dispensary would be “adjacent” to and not part of the convenience store. But now that the idea’s out there, we’d just like to say: Allsups, we’re looking in your direction and we’ve heard cannabis pairs nicely with your chimis.

Apparently weed has been legal long enough in California that at least one business is facing a lawsuit for what amounts to an allegation of false advertising. Jeeter, a company that claims their pre-rolls will “get you to Mars quicker than Elon Musk,” is facing allegations that their products have significantly less potency than advertised.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone by now that celebrities are jumping in the green game, especially given the increasing normalization of cannabis across the country. We also know by now that nobody can hold Diddy down, so it should not come as a shock that the music industry powerhouse is branching out past clothing lines and vodka to cannabis. In fact, he’s created the nation’s largest minority-owned cannabis company.

Word on the Street

We make no apologies for the novel that is this month’s Leaf Brief, but if you made it this far, we’d like to share a product that has been a frequent topic of discussion in the SFR newsroom. Cannabis beverages have, in recent years, begun creeping into markets around the country. But in our, albeit limited, experience many of those drinks have potency levels that might truly send you to Mars. (That’s what comedians refer to as a call-back). It’s common to find a 16 oz. bottle of lemonade brimming with 100 mg of THC. But we recently discovered Wynk, not to be confused with Witches in Nature’s Colors, which boasts an easy-to-handle 2.5 mg or 5 mg of THC per can.

Until recently we’ve had trouble finding drinkable cannabis that can stand in, gulp-for-gulp, for the traditional quaff. But then Election Day happened.

Booze in a variety of fashions is a common way to put a bow on Election Day in many newsrooms. This year there may have been a couple folks in SFR’s newsroom who tested Wynk as a replacement to wrap-up what amounted to a 20-hour work day. To borrow a sentiment from a former New Mexico governor, if we did have a Wynk or three on election night, that was weeks ago.

Of course we realize there are probably other low-potency, fizzy cannabis drinks and we don’t like to play favorites. So, if you know of another beverage we should try before digging into green bean casserole, let us know.


Podcasts are about as ubiquitous as newsletters these days, so of course the next logical step for the Leaf Brief is to jump right on in. Starting in January, we’ll bring you some cool stories from the world of Santa Fe cannabis that you can listen to while you drive or—if you’re still dealing with this year’s harvest—trim. Just don’t try to do all three at once.

As they say, you can find the Leaf Brief Podcast on your favorite platform and don’t forget to subscribe and tell all your friends to do the same.

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