The party bus is a Las Vegas staple. Hop on board with a few of your pals and cruise around the Strip while taking in the sights and energy of Sin City, typically with a beverage in hand. Some buses come with a bar, others come with a stripper pole, but Herbology Tours is putting a new spin on the concept altogether by focusing on the culture and community of cannabis.

“We decided to go the education route,” says CEO Matthew Minor. “We take a person on a tour bus and give them an experience where they can relax in a fun environment. In addition to that, we give the history and background of how Las Vegas got involved with marijuana.”

The tours seat up to 15 people and include stops at some of the top dispensaries in Vegas, where guests may get a look at a kitchen or lab while doing a little shopping. One popular detour includes a visit to a glass-making facility. Guides are well-trained in discussing the medical benefits and legalities of edibles, flower, and concentrates while keeping the atmosphere light and fun. But unlike most other Vegas party bus tours, drinking is discouraged.

“It’s one of those things we frown upon,” says Minor. “Because you’re not allowed to walk into a dispensary with alcohol. At some of the dispensaries, if you’re drunk or have alcohol on your breath, they’re not going to let you in.”

The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture

Courtesy of Herbology Tours

The tours frequently include visits to NuWu, a 16,000-square-foot marketplace on Native American territory that claims to be the largest dispensary in Las Vegas. It’s also the only one with a 24-hour drive-thru window.

“We usually team up with a budtender who will take us through the dispensary, show us the different products, different strains, and give us a 20 to 30-minute educational process as well,” says Minor.

So what about the question you’re really thinking—can you smoke on the bus?

“Here in Nevada, you’re not able to smoke on the bus. It’s illegal.”

No big deal. Just take the stash back to your hotel room, right? Well, it’s not that simple. Las Vegas has always had a complicated relationship with cannabis — with progress coming in fits and starts. Nevada was actually one of the first states to legalize marijuana for medical use back in 2000 but didn’t actually approve dispensaries to sell the stuff until 2013. Recreational marijuana was passed by voters in 2016 and went into effect the following year, but smoking in any public space, including hotel rooms and businesses, remains forbidden.

“Current law in Nevada doesn’t allow for consumption of cannabis anywhere but at a private residence,” says Scot Rutledge, a lobbyist and cannabis advocate with Argentum Partners, a Nevada-based government affairs firm. “Some local jurisdictions don’t view any place that’s open to the public at any time as private property.”

The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture

Courtesy of Herbology Tours

Rutledge says in most cases, if someone is caught smoking cannabis in a public space, like a sidewalk or park, the person will likely be asked to simply extinguish their joint or put away their vape pen, although discretion is in the hands of law enforcement. So where does that leave the 42 million people — give or take — who visit Las Vegas every year. It’s safe to assume at least a few of them would like to enjoy some herb.

“I’m hearing about people smoking in their hotel rooms, maybe on their balcony,” says Rutledge. “But then they’re forced to pay a pretty hefty fine the hotel enforces, anywhere from $250 to $500 for an infraction. I hear of people smoking in parking garages, alleyways or around the corner out-of-sight. Of course, you can smell it anywhere.”

Both Clark County (which regulates the unincorporated Strip) and the city of Las Vegas (which governs Fremont Street and other parts of Downtown) are both weighing options to legalize public lounges or smoking parlors with approval expected within a matter of months. But even if that happens, most resorts will maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward cannabis, at least ones that have a casino on the property. Doing anything at all that would put a gaming license at risk is simply out of the question.

The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture

Courtesy of Essence

“Because marijuana is still federally prohibited, we don’t want to see marijuana and gaming intersect right now,” says Rutledge. “That’s not good for the gaming industry and it’s not good for the marijuana industry.”

That means if lounges are approved, you won’t see consumption in any tavern that has slot machines or video poker either. It feels like a contradiction for a tourist destination that built its image and reputation on vices like gambling, drinking, strip clubs and nightclubs. Billboards can advertise “girls direct to you” for hotel guests on the Vegas Strip, but an ounce of marijuana? Forget about it.

Even the city’s own tourism bureau, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which famously marketed the “What happens here, stays here” catchphrase and took a progressive lead in releasing a beautifully produced commercial promoting Las Vegas to the LGBT community won’t even touch anything to do with marijuana. A representative simply says, “Since the approved statute limits the use of marijuana to private residences and does not allow use in public spaces or within the businesses in the resort corridor, the LVCVA has no plans to promote recreational marijuana use as a tourism attraction.”

Rutledge believes the tourism board is taking the right approach. “If we don’t provide a place for tourists to consume legally, we can’t promote it in a way we should,” he says.

That leaves business owners on their own to champion a new wave of cannabis tourism, including one that takes advantage of being in the so-called wedding capital of the world. The Cannabis Chapel allows couples to tie the knot in “weeding” ceremonies that feature pot-themed props and custom altars decorated in plastic marijuana plants. The 800-square-foot chapel is an intimate space with room for up to 20 guests indoors and a few more outdoors.

“The ceremony includes a monologue and script that is very specific to people who are not only embracing each other, but the love they share for cannabis,” says chapel director, owner, and ordained minister Drew Gennuso. “It’s a novelty-themed wedding, which is why a lot of people go to Vegas. It’s like an Elvis wedding on weed.”

There’s no smoking allowed inside the venue itself, but the chapel’s services can be hired for private homes or Airbnb rentals where cannabis use would be private. If consumption isn’t a priority, the pop-up version of the ceremony, which includes an altar, backdrop and reggae recording of “Here Comes the Bride,” can be used almost anywhere in Vegas, whether by the Bellagio fountains or in front of the couple’s favorite dispensary.

The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture

Courtesy of Cannabition

Another business banking on current trends is Cannabition, a first-of-its-kind museum and art installation scheduled to open in early August near the tourist-driven Fremont Street Experience. The 10,500-square-foot venue will feature photogenic interactive exhibits tailor-made for sharing on social media. Guests can hug seven-foot-tall buds, pose next to a 10-foot bag of weed, pretend to smoke an oversized joint, and ride down a slide as if being “exhaled” through a pair of lips. The centerpiece is a two-story exhibit billed as the world’s largest bong. “My contract says it’s supposed to actually work,” says founder J.J. Walker with a laugh.

The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture

Courtesy of Cannabition

A journey through all of the exhibits will take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes and include education about cannabis from seed to consumption. “We hope guests not only leave feeling they had a good time and got some great pictures but also learned something about this beautiful industry and beautiful plant,” says Walker.

Another take on the museum concept can be found at Acres, a dispensary that dedicates a long hallway to artifacts and exhibits, including vintage High Times magazine covers, a military parachute made of hemp, and an aromatic terpene station.

“It’s one of my favorite places,” says Matthew Minor of Herbology Tours. “You get to educate people on the marijuana experience in different cultures over the years.” The dispensary also sets itself apart with The Underground, an on-property flea market that invites third-party vendors to showcase discounted cannabis products on weekends.

Acres and a growing number of other dispensaries are a quick walk or Uber ride from the Strip, but there’s only one that can claim to have an address actually on it. Essence has one of its three locations on Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, an intersection that anchors the far north end of the Strip.

“It’s a marquee location,” says CEO Armen Yemenidjian. “About 85 percent of our sales are tourist transactions.”

The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture

Courtesy of Cannabition

Essence is close to the Stratosphere tower, SLS, Circus Circus and perhaps most important of all, the Las Vegas Convention Center. Yet Yemenidjian says there’s still a surprisingly high amount of visitors who don’t even know that recreational marijuana is now legal in Las Vegas.

“The gaming industry pays a (hotel) room tax that goes to the LVCVA, who executes on campaigns like the commercials you see about Las Vegas,” he says. “It’s going to take a little bit of time for the cannabis industry to catch up to that, but there’s a tremendous opportunity to increase tourism to Las Vegas with cannabis.”

Yemenidjian acknowledges that Essence will look to expand business with a lounge of its own when the law allows it. For now, it’s a waiting game as the cannabis and tourism industries feel the growing pains of merging together — and the newest economic driver in Las Vegas comes to terms with the biggest one.

The post The Weird and Wonderful World of Las Vegas Weed Culture appeared first on High Times.

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1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.

CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.

2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?

Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.

3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. organic hemp seedsTypically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!

99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.

In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?

The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.

5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?

colorado growing operationWe feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.

6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?

Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.

7. What is the best method of use?

For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.

8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?

There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.

9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?

Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative CBD Oil Extractside effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.

10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?

As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.

When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.

The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.

For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.

THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?

In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.

12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?

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Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.

13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?

No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.

We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor thereCannawell.

14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?

Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†

Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.

15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?

We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. mjna message boardWe also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.

16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?

We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.

17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?

CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.

18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia

There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).

For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.

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