Gooey’s Cannabis Queries, Part 4

Welcome to the fourth in a series of answers to queries directly from readers—all of which come in at exactly 420 words (out of respect to your time).

To set the mood, just listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is…in 1932 (five years before cannabis became illegal in the United States).


Today’s cannabis query comes from Danielle Muggli, an actor and advocate for cannabis legalization in Montana. Danielle asks: “Do you know if there is a specific terpene that smells skunky or if it is a combination of terpenes?”

Great question, Danielle.

For queries regarding the chemistry of cannabis, I turn to my friends who are extraction wizards. In this case, I inquired with Sean Gee, founder of Medusa Labs in Los Angeles. Medusa Labs is an innovative startup that produces top-shelf cannabis extracts, including distillates. The company synthesizes its own terpenes and injects them into the distillate, with a focus on quality and medical efficacy.

I guessed that more than a single terpene is responsible the “skunk” aroma of some strains of cannabis. With 111 cannabinoids and 200 terpenes possible in an individual strain of marijuana, one must remember that this chemistry gets relatively complex. (In addition, expert Mara Gordon estimates there are 6,000 strains of cannabis.)

Said Gee:

“You’re right on the money: It’s a mix of terpenes, led by myrcene, carophyllene (BCP), limonene, linalool, and pinene. These are all bonded together by the metabolic compound called Pre-ACOA (Acetyl Coenzyme A).

“That specific compound is hard to study because it’s a byproduct. In order to find the skunk-specific compound within the larger terpene compound, one must isolate that specific byproduct in relation to the terpene compounds that exhibit flavor and smell.”

By the way, there are chemicals in cannabis other than cannabinoids and terpenes that influence how humans perceive the herb. Chiefly, there are flavonoids, which—as their name implies—convey flavor.

One must always remember the issue of subjectivity whenever considering cannabis efficacy. Sativa strains typically are energizing and uplifting, while indica strains may cause lethargy or couchlock (although they’re typically better at things like killing pain). Some patients and consumers, however, react very differently.

There you are, Danielle: Many terpenes delicately co-mingle in a complex dance to create a unique aroma or flavor in a particular strain of cannabis.  Sometimes this mix results in a “skunk” aroma.


Click here for a list of 18 articles I’ve written about terpenes for a variety of media outlets.


All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.

Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANEEmerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.coThe KindSkunk, Cannabis Culture, WhaxyHeads, Weed World, Green Flower MediaCannabis HBK11RenderHealth Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.

His cannabis-related freelance photos, spanning back more than a decade, are available on Instagram and Flickr. He tweets from @GooeyRabinski.

Advertisements

Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, Part 5

In this series, I’ll take exactly 420 words of your day to discuss social, political, and legal topics related to the business and science of the emerging cannabis industry. I promise to address any feedback in the comments.

To set the mood, just listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is…in 1932 (five years before cannabis became illegal in the United States).

Also check out my latest interview with Annenberg Media at the University of Southern California regarding the new cannabis business regulations in Los Angeles.

Gooey Rabinski

Previous installments in this series:


Selecting an Industry Segment

Some of my clients are quite certain of the cannabis industry segment they wish to enter. Others are less sure. This is especially true with small, non-institutional investors with between, say, $100,000 and a million dollars to invest.

 

Such clients can’t engage with me to develop a permit application until they have decided upon an industry segment and jurisdiction. Given the population density of Southern California, this is no small task. Often, investors and entrepreneurs want to position their business close to home, typically to minimize their commute and support their local communities.

However, other investors and entrepreneurs are less tied to a particular jurisdiction. In these cases, difficult decisions must be made with respect to location. When there’s no outside influence pushing the selection of a particular jurisdiction for the location of a cannabis business, spreadsheets and application fees come into play.

Why Edibles Will Rule

While nobody has a crystal ball, several of my colleagues and I have come to a few basic conclusions regarding the emerging cannabis industry. Let’s consider the basic market dynamics of adult use legalization in a state like California.

There is a significant portion of society that simply will not indulge in an activity if it is illegal; let’s call them Legal Only Adopters (LOAs). There’s also a large portion of society that regards the act of smoking as vile and offensive—regardless of what is being smoked. The anti-tobacco backlash of the past few decades has created a generation with a serious disdain for smoking.

We’re predicting that LOAs who also dislike smoking will be the majority of the consumer market. This is really important if you’re considering entering the cannabis industry. While many consumers who were willing to break laws to indulge in cannabis consumption will forever combust the herb, smoking is simply not the future of cannabis consumption in the United States.

Edibles, topicals, and vaping (including the increasingly popular vape pens for mobile users) will rule the day. Some startups that intelligently position themselves as “craft” producers of specialty small-batch edibles, such as cookies, cakes, and artisanal chocolates, will become immensely successful.

More to come….

Gooey Rabinski


All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.

Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANEEmerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.coThe KindSkunk, Cannabis Culture, WhaxyHeads, Weed World, Green Flower MediaCannabis HBK11RenderHealth Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.

His cannabis-related freelance photos, spanning back more than a decade, are available on Instagram and Flickr. He tweets from @GooeyRabinski.

Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, Part 4

In this series, I’ll take exactly 420 words of your day to discuss social, political, and legal topics related to the business and science of the emerging cannabis industry. I promise to address any feedback in the comments.

To set the mood, just listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is…in 1932 (five years before cannabis became illegal in the United States).


Lessons Learned

I moved to Los Angeles to focus on municipal-level compliance documentation for legal cannabis businesses. Immediately prior to relocating, I developed more than 100 county-level applications for outdoor cultivation in Humboldt County, California. Before that, I was developing state-level cannabis business applications for clients in Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

In this installment of Gooey’s Coffee Shop Cannabis, let’s discuss what I didn’t know before I came to Los Angeles to help legal cannabis businesses get permitted.


Most of us know that the “greenrush,” the label for the fledgling and disjointed cannabis industry in states like California and Colorado, is a hot market.

While the rumors and mainstream press give the impression that there’s more money in the industry than there actually is, there is certainly plenty of opportunity (and some folks are currently making bank). Especially for insightful, humble, hard working entrepreneurs.

Lesson #1: Clients Need Strategy

I have to, somewhat embarrassingly, admit that I anticipated moving to Los Angeles and jumping right into the hardcore development of permit applications for legal cannabis businesses.

I’m spending much of my time, however, consulting clients on strategy and direction. Big picture decisions, such as which market segment to enter.

Take an individual, non-institutional investor with between half a million and three million dollars. Do they launch a delivery business? Transportation? Maybe distribution? Will cultivation and dispensing be such crowded markets that margins will become too thin?

Ah, the questions. I am spending so much time in this strategy determination phase with clients because they know that, two to five years from now, they’ll either be multi-millionaires or one of the 70-90 percent that didn’t make it.

Lesson #2: Cultivation Will be Crowded

I moved to Los Angeles to surround myself with cannabis industry professionals. All of the smart kids I talk to are cautioning clients to think very carefully before getting into cultivation. Some industrial players in Colorado have, according to rumor, gotten production prices down to about $300 a pound.

Now that’s probably nothing to write home about in terms of top-shelf quality. But look at Budweiser’s market share in the beer industry.

Think transportation, security, distribution, and delivery. Think different.

— Gooey Rabinski


All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.

Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANEEmerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.coThe KindSkunk, Cannabis Culture, WhaxyHeads, Weed World, Green Flower MediaCannabis HBK11RenderHealth Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.

He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.

His cannabis-related freelance photos, spanning back more than a decade, are available on Instagram and Flickr. He tweets from @GooeyRabinski.