Pubdate: Thu, 04 Aug 2016
Source: SF Weekly (CA)
Column: Chem Tales
Copyright: 2016 Village Voice Media
Author: Mary Ladd


Summer is a fabulous time to drink your cannabis.

Doing sporty things in the sun can bring up a strong thirst, and 
outdoor vacation activities - like purchasing an $18 inflatable raft 
called "The Gator" for a self-guided drift down the not-too-frigid 
Truckee River - can generate as much stress as they're meant to 
relieve. (To say nothing of a dusty roadside hike back to the car 
while schlepping The Gator sets up your bare tootsies for a painful 
journey laden with rocks and hot pavement.)

Still, an adult lemonade or a cannabis beverage can be a refreshing 
twist on that medical or recreational routine.

Cannabis bees are a growing category for patients and consumers since 
they're the equivalent of an Izze soda, but with added effects that 
require some getting used to. First, for newbies who usually stick to 
edibles, dabbing, vaping, and smoking, keep in mind that slowly 
drinking small sips of cannabis quenchers is a wise first step. (You 
may flash back to pleasant times when lemonade was served - and yes, 
guzzling Crystal Light pink lemonade while mom sunned herself while 
gardening in the 1980s counts in this realm.) Second, the sweeteners 
may not fully mask that telltale, lightly herby aftertaste, so keep 
some breath mints handy if you'll be getting up close and personal 
with others after consuming them.

The Cannabis Quencher line offers traditional flavors like lemonade, 
strawberry lemonade, cherry, mango, and grape, all made by The Venice 
Cooking Company of Los Angeles. Nursing one of these single serve 
drinks over ice - which seems to up the citrus kick and sweet fruit 
flavors - is a solid way to get 100mg of THC into your body. Via the 
company site, the mango flavor uses terpene myrcene, "which has been 
shown to enhance the euphoric effects of THC." Expect to feel the 
relaxing effects with gradual sipping after 20 to 45 minutes, 
depending on the drinker, and only sample one-quarter of the bottle 
to see how you're feeling before going back for more. (Just store the 
drink for later use in the fridge.) This drink may be cloudy before 
serving, and definitely in need of a good shake before pouring.

Experimental types may be drawn to the "40 + 40" mango quencher in 
this line with a one-to-one ratio of 40mg CBD to 40mg THC. Cannabis 
Quencher 200 bottles go higher on the dosage level, with 200mg THC in 
flavors like passion fruit, which rightly smells and tastes fruity 
and lightly tart. For flavors, the 200 line has an old-fashioned 
lemonade, an on-trend blend of pomegranate, blueberry, and acai, as 
well as a purple-red hibiscus flavor that would not be out of place 
paired with a burrito from your favorite taqueria.

Bay Area Indian summers means these drinks can probably be enjoyed 
through October, if past weather is any indication.

No Label Weed WineCalifornia is the only state where medical 
marijuana users can order online a product that is signed by the 
celeb-singer-slash-famous-lesbian Melissa Etheridge: a "private 
reserve" blend using organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Viognier, 
Chardonnay, and Grenache grapes infused with hybrid strains of 
cannabis. Bottles of "weed wine" for in-the-know winemakers and their 
pals have reportedly been made by Mendocino and Humboldt County 
winemakers for personal consumption since the early 1980s. They used 
dried and ground-by-hand marijuana during the wine's cask-fermentation phase.

Etheridge first became interested in learning about cannabis while 
undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, and has been up front that 
the spendy product ($16 to $20 an ounce) is worthwhile for patients.

Recommended dosage starts at 2 to 3 ounces, and remember: This is not 
your usual bottle of vino.

"No Label" wine - alternatively known as "Know Label" - launched in 
2014 and is, for now, only available on the Greenway Santa Cruz 
website. That dispensary, founded in 2005, pulled off the rare feat 
of having support from both state and city authorities. Greenway's 
Lisa Molyneux, who is also a farmer, makes the wine via cold 
extraction. Producing cannabis-infused wine for consumers is a first 
for the U.S., but San Francisco's Merry Jane Wines lays claim to "the 
worlds first Cannabis Table Wine," although it's only available to 
members of the Fog City Collective.

Each No Label bottle lacks a label and is signed by the 
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter. The practice may be a catchy (if 
cheesy) marketing tool, but it doesn't seem to fit with California 
law. The regulations for products containing medicinal marijuana - 
like the aforementioned lemonades and quenchers - mandate phrases 
like "for medical use," "this product may impair the ability to drive 
or operate machinery.

Please use extreme caution," and "Keep out of reach of children and 
animals," all in bold print.

Beer fans will note with frothy interest that Molyneux also says 
she's experimenting with a cannabis-beer product line that may 
include an IPA, Kolsch, and beyond.

If it doesn't hit the markets until well after the summer ends, at 
least we know the other three seasons are just as good for drinking 
cannabis, too.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom