Nine Cannabis-Related New Year Resolutions

Nine Cannabis-Related New Year Resolutions 

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions dates back almost 4,000 years to the Babylonians. It’s said they made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year. The practice of making New Year’s resolutions remains ever-present today, although more often in the spirit of self-improvement than currying favor with the spiritual world. If you’re a cannabis connoisseur, here are 9 ways to make 2022 the best year yet for you and Mary Jane. 

1. Try Something New 

We’re living in the golden age of weed. There are more cannabis products today than ever, and they’ve never been more accessible. One in three Americans lives in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. This New Year, resolve to try new ways to ingest cannabis—for example, if you’re a smoker, make this the year to try edibles or concentrates. Another way to mix up your cannabis consumption is to try a different strain of weed. Your local dispensary can recommend a strain to meet your preferred flavor/aroma profile, potency, and desired effects. 

2. Cook with Cannabis 

Gone are the dark days of making guesswork homemade pot brownies that resulted in snacks ranging in strength from humdrum to hair raising. Products like cannabis-infused butter, flour, and sugar have made it easy to cook with cannabis from the comfort of your own kitchen. Pick up one of any number of great cannabis cookbooks to get started or swing into your local dispensary for inspiration. Shops like Lowkey Dispensary are stocked with a cornucopia of cannabis edibles.

3. Eat Healthy Munchies 

Marijuana and munchies go hand in hand; when the brain interacts with THC, it stimulates the appetite. For most of us, our natural inclination is to reach for sweet, salty, and generally unhealthy food when the munchies strike—pizza, chips, and chocolate all immediately spring to mind. However, keeping healthy snacks like fresh fruit, nuts, or air-popped popcorn (not like the stuff from the theater slathered in butter and salt) is a simple step to a healthier year ahead. 

4. Get Active 

The munchies are an easy way to pack on the pounds over the course of the year, especially when combined with inactivity. Getting high and kicking back with your favorite movie, video game, or music are favorites, but consider pairing cannabis with exercise. After all, the World Anti-Doping Agency considers cannabis a performance-enhancing drug. A study by the University of Colorado Boulder found that 80% of marijuana users in states where cannabis is legal use it shortly before or after exercise, reporting it increases enjoyment, improves recovery, and serves as motivation.

5. Show More Generosity 

Nothing kills a good time faster than the person always showing up empty-handed. If you haven’t been contributing to smoke sessions, this is the year to turn it around. If you don’t have easy access to weed—for example, Lowkey is an hour from both New Hampshire and Rhode Island, two states where recreational marijuana remains prohibited—no worries, just bring the snacks instead. 

6. Break Stereotypes 

There’s no shortage of stigmas about cannabis users—it’s common for people to characterize pot people as lazy, unmotivated, forgetful, and easily confused. Of course, that isn’t the case. Successful marijuana enthusiasts include people like:

  • Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft 
  • Michael Phelps, winner of 23 Olympic gold medals 
  • Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple 
  • Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream 
  • Redman and Method Man, rappers and actors 

Make this the year that cannabis is associated with smart, ambitious, healthy, and successful people.

7. Cannabis and Creativity 

The connection between cannabis and creativity has a long and storied history, although there is little scientific proof of cannabis as creative fuel. That said, a 2017 study found that marijuana users are more likely to have creative personalities. Turn off the television, tackle an art project, and keep your right brain busy. Painting, drawing, writing short stories or poetry, and even an adult coloring book are great ways to keep your artistic side active while consuming cannabis.

8. Make a Difference 

There are a lot of great organizations working toward making the world of cannabis a better place and they need support—from groups working to legalize weed to those creating a more equitable industry to those trying to expunge the offenses of those with cannabis-related crimes. Commit to helping one of these causes this year, whether it’s with funding, showing up to a march, or a letter-writing campaign.

9. Support Your Local Dispensary 

Beyond the convenience of having a dispensary in your neighborhood, there are a lot of great reasons to support your local dispensary. Building a relationship with your local budtender can lead to more reliable and effective recommendations and an increased personalization of service. 

Dispensaries like Lowkey, in Dorchester’s Codman Square, are also adding value to the community. Lowkey is renovating an older building, hopes to stimulate business in the area, and is initially adding about 30 jobs that we hope to fill with local employees. 

Lowkey is also importantly bringing minority representation to an industry that is overwhelmingly white. When we open this Spring, Lowkey will be just the second Black-owned dispensary in Boston and one of ten (out of 280) cannabis business licenses awarded in Massachusetts that have gone to Economic Empowerment or Social Equity applicants.

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    Lowkey Social Justice and the Cannabis Industry

    Lowkey Social Justice and the Cannabis Industry

    In what seems like the blink of an eye, cannabis has gone from a prohibited substance to a profitable product. Recreational cannabis is currently legal in 19 states along with Washington, D.C., and the future is bright for cannabis—the state-legal cannabis industry is now estimated to be worth over $18 billion and supports more than 300,000 full-time jobs. The future is also white. A 2017 survey found that 81% of cannabis business owners and founders were white, while 4.3% were Black, a particularly disparate proportion considering that people of color have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.  

    For the cannabis industry to become socially equitable, it’s vital that Black-owned businesses like Lowkey Dispensary succeed and help increase the inclusion of minorities in this rapidly expanding industry. Last year, the cannabis industry added 77,300 jobs, a 32% increase in year-over-year growth, a faster job growth rate than any other industry in the U.S.

    What is Social Equity?

    Social equity can mean different things to different people. In the cannabis industry, it’s generally focused on the meaningful participation of those who’ve been unfairly impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Black Americans are arrested for cannabis offenses at almost four-to-one compared to whites—a rate that has gone almost unchained for a decade

    Even in places like Massachusetts—home to Lowkey Dispensary—Black people were four times as likely as white people to get arrested for marijuana possession between 2010 and 2018, despite the state decriminalizing marijuana in 2008 and legalizing it in 2016. Black-owned dispensaries like Lowkey are crucial to overcoming the damage done to the Black community by discriminatory law enforcement.

    Social equity is one of the reasons why we’re set to open our first location in Codman Square, Dorchester, a neighborhood where 40% of the residents are Black. It’s also why we’re committed to hiring candidates from within the neighborhood and training them for long-lasting careers in the cannabis industry, a market that is expected to top $90 billion by 2028

    The War on Drugs and People of Color

    The 1930s

    The war on drugs has historically coincided with a war on people of color. The first director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, was appointed in the 1930s. Anslinger left behind a legacy of racist rhetoric and is known for helping to popularize the word “marijuana,” something he used to tie cannabis to Mexican immigrants.

    The 1970s

    In the 1970s, the Nixon administration established the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The intention of the agency was to target illegal drug use and smuggling in the U.S., but history has shown an ulterior motive—in a 1994 interview, President Nixon’s domestic policy chief explained that the Nixon campaign had two enemies: “the antiwar left and Black people.” 

    He went on to say: “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.”

    The loser of the war on drugs that began in the 1970s is the American people and especially people of color. The incarceration rate of Black people in the U.S. shot up from about 600 per 100,000 people in 1970 to 1,808 in 2000.

    The Present Day 

    Today, despite minorities and white people using and selling drugs at similar rates, the percentage of incarcerated people is completely out of whack. Almost 80% of people serving time for a federal drug offense are Black or Latino and people of color make up 60% of those serving time for drug charges in state prisons.  

    Black Ownership of Cannabis Businesses

    Black people and their communities have paid a heavy price in the 50 years following the war on drugs—and as more and more states move to legalize cannabis, it’s imperative that those most hurt by cannabis prohibition reap some of the rewards of its legalization. Unfortunately, so far this isn’t the case.

    A 2021 report found that only 2% of America’s estimated 30,000 cannabis companies are Black-owned, but Black Americans hold business equity in only 1 in 50 cannabis companies.  A large amount of funding is often required to start a cannabis business, yet because cannabis remains illegal federally, finding financing is extremely challenging—meaning cannabis owners need access to considerable capital, something challenging to locate in communities where the war on drugs limited employment opportunities, and something not easily accomplished for those coming from communities that have been subjected to practices like Jim Crow, redlining, and bank loan denials.

    It’s just not equity where Black people are underrepresented in the cannabis industry. In Massachusetts, 73.5% of staff at cannabis companies identify as white. Black cannabis business ownership and Black-owned dispensaries are key to introducing more people of color to the cannabis industry. 

    Building Back Better Black Communities

    Black ownership is vital to creating an equitable industry and building wealth into communities ravaged by the war on drugs. Dispensaries like Lowkey not only build equity in the cannabis industry, but also open doors and create careers for Black people in an industry that’s predominantly white. Our Dorchester location will also drive traffic, revitalize business, and spur economic activity in a largely Black community. 

    Lowkey Dispensary

    Lowkey is on track to open our Dorchester location early this winter and is already working on securing a second location in West Roxbury. We hope to see you in the shop when we open and want our customers to know that by shopping Lowkey, they’re not just purchasing a product but supporting the Black community and contributing to social equity in one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation.

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      What is Cannabis Dabbing and How to Dab Marijuana

      What is Cannabis Dabbing and How to Dab Marijuana

      Roughly 44% of the U.S. population lives in a state where it is legal, or soon will be legal, to consume cannabis recreationally. As cannabis becomes more commonplace, so does the familiarity users have with the popular methods of consumption such as joints, edibles, and pipes. One less familiar, but increasingly popular, way to consume cannabis is by dabbing.

      What is Dabbing?

      At its most basic, dabbing is the consumption of concentrated cannabis (a dab) through vaporization. Driving the interest in dabbing is that cannabis extracts generally contain very high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which makes it one of the fastest and most efficient ways to feel the effects of marijuana.


      Dab Rig 

      The classic way to dab is with a dab rig—a water pipe similar to a bong specifically designed for use with concentrates. A dab rig consists of a few parts:

      • Pipe: the chamber, or chambers, which dab vapors run through    
      • Nail: the piece that the cannabis extract is heated on; commonly constructed from titanium, ceramic, quartz, or glass 
      • Dabber: the dentist-like tool—generally made of glass or metal—used to apply the concentrate on the nail
      • Blowtorch: used to heat the nail; butane torches are popular but many dabbers use torches specially designed for dabbing (it’s worth noting that some dab rigs feature an electronic, nail which allows for flameless operation)
      Pulsar RoK Electric Dab Rig

      There’s some debate among those who dab over the merits of using a dome with a dab rig’s nail. Proponents argue that a dome makes the rig safer and helps retain vapor. Detractors argue that a domeless dab rig is simpler and allows for bigger hits. Domeless dabbers commonly employ a carb cap to help control the temperature of the dab for a cleaner taste.

      Dab Pens/Vape Pens 

      Heating the nail with a blowtorch is intimidating, especially for many first-time dabbers, which is one reason for the popularity of torchless dabbing devices like pens and vaporizers that use a heating element, rather than a flame, to heat the cannabis concentrate. Other reasons users favor dab pens are that they’re easy to operate, portable, and discrete—similar to other types of vape pens or e-cigarettes, they’re easily stashed in a pocket. 

      Types of Dabs

      Cannabis concentrates can take a variety of forms depending on how the oil was processed after extraction. Common types of dabs include:

      • Shatter: Thin and semi-transparent, shatter looks like an amber-tinted pane of glass and is typically thought of as one of the purest extracts.
      • Butter/Budder: Similar in texture to peanut butter, but with an amber/yellowish color, butter or budder, is known for its ease of consumption and storage.
      • Wax: Alike in appearance to a candle or ear wax, wax is popular for its appealing smell and flavor, easy handling and storage, and its potency.
      • Oil: This thick, dark gold liquid (sometimes also called honey oil) is produced using carbon dioxide instead of butane, leaving it with a distinct taste.
      • Distillate: A unique tasteless and odorless oil that is devoid of compounds other than THC, making it extremely potent.
      • Rosin: Created by applying heat and compressions to the bud of a cannabis flower, rosin is a sticky substance that doesn’t contain any solvent residue, making it favored by users who prize flavor and purity. Rosin is sometimes confused with live resin.
      • Live resin: A sticky matter with textures varying from sappy to jellyfish, live resin is a favorite of users who value flavor and aroma, in addition to effects.

      The Benefits of Dabbing 

      Marijuana users find that dabbing professionally produced cannabis concentrates procured from their local dispensary offers several advantages over other methods of consumption:

      • The effects are felt swiftly and the effect is potent
      • Since dabs contain no plant material, they are cleaner tasting, smoother, and contain fewer compounds compared to smoking 
      • It’s a more efficient means of consumption than the 10-15 minutes it takes to smoke a joint or bowl, or the 30 minutes to two hours it can take for edibles to kick in 
      • Dab vapor has a much more subdued smell than distinctly scented marijuana smoke, making it a more inconspicuous option, especially when consumed using a vape pen
      • Cannabis concentrates are more expensive than other forms of cannabis, but thanks to the small amounts required to achieve effects, they’re often the most cost-efficient method to consume marijuana 

      The Downside of Dabbing 

      The quality that draws many to dabbing is also its greatest drawback: dabs are strong. Cannabis extracts often contain between 70% to 90% THC; conversely, in 2015, researchers found the average THC level of legal marijuana in Colorado was 18.7%. The combination of quick effects and strong potency adds up to a form of marijuana that is very easy to go overboard with, no matter if you’re a new or experienced cannabis user. 

      If you’re new to dabbing and want a positive first experience, it’s advisable to start slow with a tiny amount. 

      Get Dabs from Your Local Dispensary 

      Even though it’s somewhat common to come across homemade dabs and DIYers can easily find directions to make do-it-yourself dabs, it’s best to get your dabs from 

      your local dispensary. First and foremost, making your own dabs is dangerous and more than one person has blown up their house (and gotten into heaps of legal trouble) trying to make their own cannabis concentrate. 

      In addition to eliminating the danger of production, the professionally made dabs available at a dispensary near you also are also transparent about how they are made and the amount of TCH they contain. 

      Lowkey Dispensary

      Lowkey Dispensary is a trustworthy source of all your cannabis needs and stocks everything required to get started dabbing—from dab rigs and pens to shatters and waxes to accessories such as blowtorches. Our trained staff can even offer advice to help you find the right method, form, and strain to get the dab experience you want.

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        Cannabis Real Estate: Purchasing Dispensary Space 

        Recreational cannabis is growing quickly. For example, in Massachusetts (home to Lowkey Dispensary), recreational cannabis sales topped $2 billion less than three years after the first dispensary opened its doors—only a little less than a year ago, the state passed the $1 billion mark. Massachusetts is now home to 165 cannabis retailers and while numerous factors will affect their long-term success, a critical element is whether they own or lease their space. 

         

        Buying Cannabis Real Estate

        Cannabis real estate is a tricky proposition and if you’re looking to open a dispensary, there are numerous hurdles you must clear to simply secure a location. Everything from state and local regulations to recalcitrant property owners to a tight supply of suitable locations can make just finding an acceptable storefront a challenge. While leasing provides a low-cost and often easier solution to finding a location for your dispensary, owning the property your dispensary is on can be a boon for the long-term health and success of your business.  

        Buying property for a cannabis dispensary offers numerous advantages, but isn’t without its drawbacks. Understanding the reasons why to buy and how it will build a foundation for the future of your business is a key step in starting a successful dispensary. 

         

        The Pros and Cons of Buying Cannabis Real Estate

        The Pros of Buying Cannabis Real Estate 

        In many states, the license to sell recreational cannabis is tied as much to location as it is an operator. For example, in Massachusetts a “licensee is limited to performing operations at a single location,” which must be secured by either buying or leasing property to even apply for a license. This can mean your location sits empty for an extended period of time while your license awaits approval and a storefront is built. Owning a location that has been approved to sell recreational cannabis is a valuable commodity and the equity you accrue on it can help offset the expense of an empty space during the startup stage.  

        The numerous restrictions and regulations governing recreational marijauna dispensaries, in combination with a limited number of locations that offer the characteristics of a flourishing retail shop, have created an imbalance between the demand and supply of potential property for dispensaries. There simply aren’t enough locations that deliver the accessibility, visibility, and traffic that a retail operation needs, while also meeting municipal requirements for operating a dispensary (such as being at least 1,000 feet away from schools, public parks, and hospitals).  Possessing one of these scarce properties provides you with financial flexibility and creates the possibility of renting the property to another dispensary in the future.

        Another reason for owning the property your dispensary is housed in is that you stand to benefit from any economic improvement brought about by your dispensary. 

        Dispensaries create jobs, increase tax revenues, and drive up property values. A 2021 study found that home values increased $22,090 more in cities with recreational dispensaries, compared to home values in cities where recreational marijuana is legal but dispensaries are not available—with each new dispensary a city adds, property values increase by $519. A survey from the National Association of Realtors found that 13% to 22% of respondents saw an increase in commercial property values near marijuana vendors in their markets.  

        Lastly, buying your dispensary’s property is a smart hedge against a shift in cannabis policy. If, for some reason, operating your dispensary becomes legally unfeasible, you can convert the property to court another retailer or different type of business. 

         

        The Cons of Buying Cannabis Real Estate 

        The biggest downside to purchasing cannabis real estate is finding funding. Because cannabis is illegal on the federal level, federally insured banks and other lenders will generally not finance cannabis real estate. In order to purchase a piece of property for your dispensary, you’ll need to have access to a considerable amount of capital or have an investor(s) lined up. 

        While the absence of appropriate inventory is a benefit, it’s also a challenge. Demand for high-quality dispensary locations outstrips supply, which drives up property prices, that is if you can even find a suitable space. The aforementioned National Association of Realtors survey reported an 18% to 19% increase in demand for cannabis storefronts in states where both medicinal and recreational marijuana were legal.

        Great retail locations are hard to find—even more difficult if you’re a cannabis retailer—and the right location can make a difference between being in the red or rolling in green. Unfortunately, the best retail locations are not always for sale or fetch a premium price. A willingness to lease, rather than buy, can increase the number of location options and may offer a location better suited to success.     

         

        Why We Buy 

        Lowkey Dispensary believes in purchasing our property, not just as business decisions but as a commitment to the community. When we acquire a property, we’re not just buying a storefront for a dispensary, we’re investing in the surrounding neighborhood by adding jobs and creating pathways to careers in cannabis. Lowkey is one of the few Black-owned dispensaries in the Boston area and is dedicated to improving minority representation in the recreational marijuana industry—Black and Latino people make up less than 12% of the marijuana workforce in Massachusetts, comparatively White people make up nearly 75%.

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          The Challenges of Cannabis Real Estate

          Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and has passed through a ballot measure in South Dakota—although a lawsuit has so far prevented it from going into effect. According to 2020 U.S. Census Bureau apportionment numbers, more than 145 million Americans now live in a state that has legalized marijuana. This all adds up to a rising interest in cannabis real estate, particularly in retail. One of the most important decisions facing recreational cannabis businesses is where to set up shop.   

           

          The Challenges of Cannabis Real Estate 

          It’s estimated that cannabis businesses will contribute $130 billion to the U.S. economy by 2024, yet finding and securing real estate is one of the largest hurdles facing cannabis companies. One of the primary challenges to finding cannabis-friendly real estate is regulations—federally, on the state level, and locally. 

           

          Federal

          While the number of states with legalized cannabis continues to grow, it remains illegal federally, which makes opening a recreational cannabis dispensary more challenging than other types of retail operations. One of the most notable problems created by this is that it builds a barrier to funding. Most dispensaries struggle to find a bank willing to lend them money, which means they’ll need to find investors or have a large amount of capital available to them. 

          Because leasing is often less costly in the short term, this pushes many dispensaries down this path, even if it’s not always the best long-term business solution. 


          State

          States also place a burden on retail cannabis businesses. For example, in places like Massachusetts, where Lowkey Dispensary is set to operate, a retail cannabis shop must have secured a site—whether they own it, have the option to purchase it, or have signed a lease—before they can acquire a license. This commonly means that retailers are sitting on an unoccupied property or paying a lease on a space that isn’t generating any income while they move through the licensing process and build out their spaces. 

          If the license doesn’t come through, it’s a huge loss—particularly for those who have signed a lease. Those who own a piece of property at least have potential to rent it to another business or to try and flip the property. 

           

          Local 

          Even after a recreational cannabis dispensary overcomes the federal and state-level real estate challenges, it also must ensure it conforms to local regulations, guidelines, and restrictions, which vary from community to community. There are 351 municipalities in Massachusetts (where Lowkey Dispensary operates), each with its own codes and regulations. In Massachusetts, municipalities can control the number of licenses it awards, the zones where they can operate, and in some cases even restrict dispensaries altogether.  

          Because of the strict number of licenses awarded, limitations placed on where a dispensary can operate, and the need to have secured a location to attain a license, there are limited location options to place dispensaries. This may push even those wanting to buy a space into leasing due to the lack of inventory. 

           

          Additional Real Estate Challenges Facing Cannabis Dispensaries 

          In addition to federal, state, and local regulatory challenges, there are a host of other issues commonly encountered by those trying to establish a retail cannabis location.

           

          Wary Landlords and Sellers

          For some landlords and sellers, there is a stigma around cannabis, which makes securing a location even more difficult. For operations looking to lease, some landlords are simply unwilling to rent to cannabis dispensaries, while others like large shopping centers with well-known national chains have tenants with clauses preventing them from renting to businesses like cannabis dispensaries. Even when a landlord is willing to rent to a dispensary, it’s not uncommon that they will pay a higher-than-market rent. 

          Operations looking to purchase property can also run into people with a reluctance to do business with a cannabis company. While most sellers will be excited to unload a property, there’s a chance of running into one with strong feelings about cannabis or their community who is willing to hold out for another buyer. 

           

          High Demand and Low Supply

          The cannabis business is booming around the country—and in Massachusetts, where recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts recently surpassed $2 billion. Big business and a limited number of locations that comply with state and local locations have led to a tight real estate market. There is simply more demand for cannabis dispensary real estate than available inventory. 

          The imbalance between supply and demand forces up-and-coming dispensaries to make a difficult decision: wait for just the right space or settle for good enough? Or, perhaps it pushes a willing property buyer to settle for a lease.

           

          Why Buy 

          Every business is different, but at Lowkey, we believe in owning our location. This is why we bought and are in the process of fully renovating our Codman Square, Dorchester, location—the former home of a restaurant. We see owning the property we operate on offering our business several advantages

          The most notable of those advantages is that, since there’s a tight supply of locations that meet all the regulations and codes required of a dispensary, even if things don’t work out for your cannabis dispensary, you’re well-positioned to serve as a landlord. If your business (or one you rent to) is a success, it can stimulate economic development, attract other businesses, and increase the value of your property. 

          Buying property is also a hedge that the increasingly liberal thinking about cannabis continues. If for some reason your dispensary becomes legally unfeasible, your dispensary’s property remains an asset and can be converted to home another type of business. 

           

          About Lowkey Dispensary 

          Another reason for purchasing our location in Dorchester’s Codman Square is that it shows we’re buying into the community. As one of only a few Black-owned dispensaries in Massachusetts, we’re committed to the neighborhood we operate in. We’re excited to bring a Black-owned business to a neighborhood where over 40% of the residents are Black, creating good jobs, and putting our employees on a path to success in the cannabis industry—an industry that has left minorities behind, nearly 75% of the Massachusetts marijuana workforce is white.

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            Lowkey Events & Experiences!

            Lowkey is happy to announce the introduction of its lifestyle events and experience program!

            At Lowkey we will constantly hold fun and engaging events and community gatherings which can be made more enjoyable when paired with cannabis. We will help host and provide events, entertainment, and general planned activities on scheduled dates. We will then engage with cannabis to make the best of these privately held events. Events will be posted on our website and will have limited capacities. If you would like to receive more information and be notified when events will take place, please enter your email below.

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              The Difference Between a Joint, Blunt, and Spliff

              The Three Types of Cannabis Rolls: Joints, Blunts, and Spliffs

              Cannabis culture has its own distinct language and while an outsider may think that terms like joint, blunt, and spliff are interchangeable, there are some distinct differences between the three. Before heading to your local dispensary, brush up on the lingo and understand the unique characteristics of the three broad categories of rolled cannabis.     

              What is a Joint?

              Joints are arguably the most classic way to smoke marijuana. A joint is simply any strain of cannabis, with no filler, rolled inside a thin rolling paper and often features a crutch—a filter or tip that improves airflow, blocks plant matter from getting in your mouth, and keeps you from burning your hands or lips when smoking. 

              According to a 2016 study, the average American joint contains about 0.3 grams of marijuana; however, thanks in part to the wide variety of rolling papers available, joints come in all sizes—from super small pinners to full-on fatties. 

              Traditionally, joints have been rolled with white or tan paper made from wood pulp—think of the classic pack of orange Zig Zags—but these days, there are all sorts of artful wraps coming in a wide array of colors and patterns, made from a variety of materials, and available in numerous flavors. 

              The Pros and Cons of Joints

              Pros: The low profile of joints has made them the go-to roll of many marijuana users—they’re discreet, portable, and easily disposed of. Joints are also convenient, easy to roll once you learn how (insert how to roll a joint article link here), and only require cannabis, papers, and a lighter. For smokers who prefer a crutch, they’re easily constructed from a business card or from a rolling paper’s packaging. Joints are also versatile; you can roll small ones for smoking solo or large ones for getting high with a group. 

              Cons: Rolling really good joints takes practice, and poorly rolled joints can burn quickly and require frequent relighting—of course, if rolling is problematic, you can always buy pre-rolled joints at your local dispensary. Because joints don’t use any filler, they also require more cannabis than some other options.    

              What is a Blunt?

              Like a joint, a blunt is strictly filled with just cannabis. However, unlike a joint, which is rolled with papers, a blunt is rolled with cigar or tobacco papers. 

              In general, blunts are the largest of all the rolled categories and contain the most cannabis—they commonly contain a gram or two of marijuana. In addition to containing more cannabis, blunts pack an extra kick as the tobacco wrapper can add a little buzz to a cannabis high. 

              As a rule, blunts are brown and while some smokers might dream of the fun colors and novelty designs of rolling papers, many cannabis connoisseurs find beauty in the contrast between a blunt’s rich brown exterior and vibrant green insides. Blunts typically have a tobacco taste intermingled with that of cannabis, although it’s not uncommon to find flavored blunt wraps at a dispensary near you. 

              The Pros and Cons of Blunts

              Pros: Between their larger amount of cannabis content and tobacco wrappers, blunts are popular with smokers chasing a buzz. Blunts also burn slower than their counterparts, which in combination with their larger size, make them ideal for social smoking and passing around groups. Blunts are also discreet—they look like an everyday cigar and are easily disposed of. 

              Cons: Blunts can pack a punch, which makes it easy for newcomers to overdo it. Blunts are also the trickiest to roll, although that is easily overcome by simply purchasing pre-rolled blunts on your next trip to the local dispensary. 

              What is a Spliff?

              On the outside, spliffs and joints look similar, if not the same—they’re rolled using the same types of papers as joints and commonly incorporate a crutch in their construction. The difference between joints and spliffs lies on the inside: spliffs are filled using a combination of tobacco and cannabis. 

              The use of tobacco allows the smoker to use less marijuana and provides an even buzzier effect than that of blunts. Blending tobacco and cannabis also enables the roller to control the potency of a spliff by adjusting the tobacco-to-cannabis ratio of their roll. 

              The Pros and Cons of Spliffs

              Pros: The ability to adjust the strength of a spliff makes it a popular option for newer smokers. Blending tobacco with marijuana also makes spliffs a cost-effective option for smokers on a budget and can make cannabis last longer for those who don’t have a dispensary nearby. In addition to their lowkey effects, spliffs are arguably the most inconspicuous of all the types of rolled cannabis—they look like a rolled cigarette and the tobacco helps cover up the tell-tale smell of ganja. 

              Cons: The most obvious downside of spliffs is all the bad stuff that comes along with smoking tobacco. Furthermore, smoking marijuana and tobacco together can increase cannabis dependence. Lastly, while newer users will enjoy the lower potency, some smokers might find them to not pack enough of a punch. 

              Lowkey Dispensary 

              Lowkey doesn’t discriminate—we welcome j smokers, blunt hitters, and spliff tokers alike—and we’ve got all your cannabis needs covered. If you’re still not sure what’s right for you, our experienced staff can help you discover the best type of roll to meet your desired experience. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest Lowkey news, updates, and promotions.

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                Why the Classic Joint Reigns Supreme

                Cannabis Culture: The Joint

                Cannabis consumption is constantly evolving and today’s users are blessed with a variety of ways to get high, from high-tech vaporizers to outlandish edibles to colorful bowls. Despite all the innovation, the classic joint remains a favorite among marijuana enthusiasts—from low-key East Coast dispensaries (like ours) to laid-back West Coast ones—providing an analog solution in a digital world.

                What is a Cannabis Joint?

                From Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday to Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Marley to Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, joints are an iconic part of not just pot culture, but pop culture. For something so celebrated, joints are remarkably simple, consisting of just two to three parts:

                • Rolling paper: the classic is white and cigarette sized, but papers come in a variety colors, patterns, and sizes.
                • Cannabis: a joint just contains marijuana and no extra fillers like tobacco. 
                • Crutch: also sometimes called a filter, tip, or mouthpiece. Equipping a joint with a crutch is optional, but their benefits are numerous:
                  • Keeps the end of your joint open
                  • Increases airflow, which makes smoking easier 
                  • Prevents you from inhaling plant material
                  • Allows you to you burn your joint all the way 
                  • Prevents you from burning your fingers or lips

                7 Reasons Why Joints Rule 

                1. Immediate Feeling: Joints kick in almost immediately—taking anywhere from mere minutes to a half hour to deliver a high—offering quite a contrast to edibles, which can take up to two hours to deliver the desired effect. 
                2. Taste: Some argue joints are the top choice of marijuana connoisseurs, allowing enthusiasts to savor the flavor of their favorite herb without introducing other flavors like cigar leaf or tobacco. It’s worth noting that there are numerous flavored rolling papers available for those with palettes that crave more variety.   
                3. Discreet: Unlike brightly colored bongs and intricately designed pipes, joints more easily blend into everyday life. From a distance, they look like common cigarettes and are easily disposed of when finished—especially when hanging out outside. 
                4. Cost Efficient: Simple rolling papers are comparatively cheap compared to fancy bongs, bowls, and vapes. They’re also available everywhere from your local dispensary to the corner store. 
                5. Adaptable: You can roll a joint for almost any occasion and number of people, from a small joint for a quiet night at home to a monster J to share with a group of friends.  
                6. Social: Joints aren’t the only thing getting sparked during a smoking session—so is conversation. Passing a joint around is the ultimate ice breaker, as everyone anxiously awaits their turn to puff. 
                7. Artful: Rolling a joint is an art, and experts are true craftsmen concocting crazy shapes including crosses, tulips, and braids. While it might take a while to perfect your shotgun joint, rolling a regular joint is surprisingly simple and requires just a little practice. 

                How to Roll a Joint

                The ability to roll a joint is a timeless skill and easy to learn. Just follow the steps below, put in a little practice, and you’ll be rolling envy-inducing Js in no time. 

                1. Gather Supplies: Cannabis, papers, crutch, and grinder. A dabber tool, pen, or something similar is often also useful to pack the joint.  
                2. Grind: A grinder ensures a fine, even grind that provides optimal airflow and a smooth burn rate. An added benefit of using a grinder—as opposed to breaking it down manually—is that it keeps your hands from getting sticky, which can make handling rolling papers tricky. 
                3. Create a Crutch: Make an accordion-like fold in sturdy paper or thin cardboard—rolling paper packaging and business cards are the go-to options—then roll it into the thickness of the joint you’re going to roll. A crutch is optional, but once you get in the habit of using one you’ll find it tough to go back to smoking old-school joints. If making your own crutch feels like too much work, a dispensary near you should carry premade ones.  
                4. Fill: Place the crutch (if you choose to use one) at one end of the rolling paper, fill the paper with shake (finely ground cannabis), and shape the joint with your fingers. Wondering how much cannabis to put in your joint? A 2015 survey found the average joint contains about 3.3 grams of marijuana.  
                5. Roll: Once a joint is loaded and formed, it’s time to roll. Pinch the paper between your fingers and roll starting on the clutch end with the non-glued side of the rolling paper. When you reach the glued side of the paper, use a little bit of moisture to secure the seal. 
                6. Pack: Use a dabber tool, pen, house key, or something similar to pack the end of the joint for a better burn.   

                The Tokeaway 

                Whether you’re excited about edibles or vote to vape, the classic joint isn’t going anywhere and the ability to roll a J is prized in pot culture. Of course, if you lack the dexterity or just want the convenience of smoking without the trouble of rolling, hit up your local dispensary for pre-rolled joints which provide all the benefits of the classic J with none of the effort.


                A Beginner's Guide to Cannabis Edibles

                Everything You Need to Know About Eating Cannabis Edibles

                Cannabis edibles (marijuana-infused foods) are among the most popular products not just at Boston dispensaries, but at dispensaries across the country. The variety of cannabis edible options—from classic brownies to candies to colas—along with the different effects of edibles vs. smoking, however, may intimidate some new users. If you’re new to edibles, here’s what you need to know before visiting your local dispensary.  

                What is a Cannabis Edible?

                Marijuana edibles are simply foods or drinks infused with cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in cannabis. Edibles are an easy and intuitive way to consume marijuana and provide a different experience than smoking it because cannabinoids are processed differently when ingested rather than inhaled. In general, edibles take longer to kick in and have stronger, more consistent, longer-lasting effects than smoking. 

                Popular cannabis edible products you’ll likely find at a dispensary near you include: 

                • Brownies
                • Cakes
                • Candies
                • Chocolate
                • Coffee
                • Gummies
                • Mints 
                • Muffins
                • Soda
                • Syrup
                • Tea

                Cannabis-curious cooks can even find infused butter, olive oil, sugar, and flour for whipping up their own cannabis-infused creations. 

                The Best Edibles for Beginners

                The best advice for new edible users is to start slow and stick to low doses. A good guideline for new users is to begin with edibles containing between 1 and 2.5mg of THC and gradually increase the dosage 1-2.5mg until you find the optimal amount for you. Even experienced cannabis consumers who are new to edibles are advised to start slow and work up to find the dosage best for them.  

                Over-consumption is a common mistake made with edibles, which rarely results in an enjoyable experience and is a good case for visiting your local dispensary. The edibles procured at a dispensary are highly regulated and are required to state their potency on the label—making it easy to avoid overdoing it—while the dosage of the treats cooked up in a friend’s kitchen is more difficult to nail down.  

                How Long for Edibles to Take Effect? 

                Your body needs to digest an edible for it to take effect and the speed at which they kick in can vary depending on a variety of factors, including your metabolism, weight, and cannabis tolerance. 

                Normally, it takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes for an edible to take effect. In some cases, it can take up to two hours for some to feel the effects—which makes waiting two hours before consuming more edibles a good guideline to follow and will help you avoid overdoing it. Users who are very new to eating edibles should play it even safer and let 12 to 24 hours pass before taking a second dose.

                The type of product you consume can also play a role in how fast an edible takes hold. Sublingual edibles (e.g., hard candies and lollipops) enter your bloodstream through your mouth and produce faster results than ingestibles (like brownies and gummies), which have to work through the digestive system. 

                How Long Does an Edible High Last?

                Similar to how long it takes to feel the effects of edible, how long the high lasts also depends on a handful of factors, such as the dose and potency of the edible and the weight, metabolism, and tolerance of the user. In general, the effect of edibles lasts between six and eight hours, but it’s not uncommon for users to feel their influence for up to twelve hours—especially if they’re particularly sensitive.  

                Start on a Full Stomach

                A good rule for consuming cannabis edibles to avoid eating them on an empty stomach. Taking edibles on a full stomach slows down how long it takes for them to kick in and makes the feeling they produce last longer. Importantly for beginners, it keeps the high from coming on too quickly and intensely and helps users avoid nausea.  

                It’s worth noting that eating food after consuming an edible can potentially have an alternate effect—pushing more cannabis into your system and increasing its potency. 

                Are Cannabis Edibles Safe?

                No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose and many consider marijuana a safer alternative to other legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. When it comes to marijuana, edibles are often thought of as the “safe” alternative to smoking—it’s easier to measure the dose and is easier on the lungs.   

                The most common issue with eating cannabis edibles is overconsumption, which while can be a bad time, is something you’ll survive. If you do overindulge, try to:

                • Stay calm and remember that it will pass
                • Drink water to dull your high and combat dry mouth (some people believe that adding black pepper or lemon zest can ease the effects)
                • Put on soothing music or stream a calming movie or show 
                • Sleep it off 

                Overconsumption is easily avoidable—just start small with low-dosage edibles and incrementally increase the dosage until you find what works best for you.  

                Lowkey Experience 

                Another way to ensure an excellent experience with edibles is to work with your local dispensary. Lowkey can help you sift through the huge variety of edible products to find one that works for your lifestyle and desired experience—whether it’s leveling up to go out or calming down for a relaxing night in. Our staff can also offer advice for getting started on edibles, help you decipher the dosages of particular products, and take the guesswork out of adult-use marijuana. 

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                Launching Lowkey Dispensary

                When we open the doors to Lowkey Dispensary in Dorchester’s Codman Square neighborhood this fall, it will be a monumental moment—not just for us, but for the city of Boston itself.

                A Boston Black-Owned Dispensary

                Just how important is the opening of a Black-owned dispensary in the city of Boston? The answer is very. The opening of Lowkey and other Black-owned dispensaries bring inclusivity to an industry that is overwhelmingly white and unrepresentative of users. While marijuana use between Black and white Americans is nearly identical, ownership of cannabis businesses is not. A 2017 survey from Marijuana Business Daily found that 81% of cannabis business owners and founders were white, while just 4.3% were Black.

                It’s not just ownership in the cannabis industry where minorities have been left behind, nearly 75% of the Massachusetts marijuana workforce is white, while Black and Latino people make up less than 12%. All this adds up to the opening of Lowkey being a big deal—it’s overcoming the odds, increasing minority representation in the cannabis industry, and bringing a Black-owned business to a neighborhood where more than 40% of the residents are Black. It’s also adding jobs—the cannabis industry is creating jobs at a faster rate than any other American industry.

                Minorities and Marijuana

                Boston has taken steps to create more diversity in the cannabis industry, most notably through their “economic empowerment” application process, which gives priority review to qualifying applicants, such as minorities and veterans, but has seen moderate success. It was reported that just 27 of the 122 applicants initially given “economic empowerment priority” in 2018 applied for licenses, and only eight received them.

                The exclusion of Blacks and other minorities from the cannabis industry is particularly notable, due to the effects marijuana policing has had on the communities over the years. Despite similar rates of marijuana use between Black and white populations, Black people are almost four times more likely to get arrested for marijuana possession. The results of this disproportionate policing have been significant and, in many cases, have life-altering consequences—affecting everything from the ability to receive public benefits like health care and housing to limiting employment opportunities.

                Lowkey Community, Location, and Hours

                Lowkey hopes to initially employ about 30 workers—we plan on holding job fairs in and around Dorchester in advance of our opening and have a career page on our website for interested applicants. We’re not just looking to staff our dispensary, though—we’re also looking to hire and educate employees from in and around the neighborhood and provide them with the tools to have long-lasting careers in the cannabis industry, a market that’s forecasted to be valued at $84 billion by 2028.

                We’re currently in the process of “leveling up” an old restaurant at 571B Washington Street, next to the Citizens Bank in Codman Square. Designed with a modern, lively look—but a low-key vibe—Lowkey dispensary will have 1,700 square feet of retail space and will stimulate economic development in the community.

                The dispensary is conveniently located near the Shawmut MBTA station and is adjacent to a municipal lot with about 40 spaces available to Lowkey visitors. We’re also planning on installing a bike rack for those who prefer pedal-powered travel. Initially, Lowkey will be open seven days a week from 10 am to 9 pm, but we’ll adjust to accommodate shopping patterns as we start getting people in the door.

                About Us

                Lowkey Dispensary’s goal is to provide a superior experience by delivering everything from top-notch products to exceptional service while helping level up our community by creating opportunities for residents and building something that feels like their own. If you’re interested in learning more about Lowkey, sign up for our newsletter for the latest news, updates, and promotions.

                Lowkey is just one of many projects our CEO, Jeff Similien, has founded to empower economic growth in Black communities. In 2020, Jeff founded the Co-Pad, Mattapan’s first community-minded co-working space. In addition to providing office space, the Co-Pad frequently hosts events like the Kings Amongst Kings Meet-Up, a monthly series of meet-ups for men of color.