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Do I Really Need a Grinder?

Do I Really Need a Grinder?

Many people who enjoy marijuana have their own method of doing it – perhaps you like using a bong or have jumped aboard the latest in vape trends. If you learned how to roll the perfect joint from a friend or family member, there’s a good chance that you learned using just the bare minimum – your fingers and some papers.

However, for today’s modern weed smoker, there are a plethora of tools that can help you to not only make your experience more enjoyable but actually easier. Let’s explore some of the ways that you can use a variety of products to your advantage.

A Modern Marvel – The Grinder

Some might say that we have our own grinders built in, as many use their hands to break up nugs of flower before smoking. If you’re looking to keep your equipment to a minimum, you can continue to use this method, but a grinder is an inexpensive way to dramatically improve your marijuana experience.

Grinders come at a range of price points, and depending on the features they bring and the material they’re made of, you can enjoy their help in a rather inexpensive fashion. Your basic grinder involves two pieces that fit together and rotate various sets of nubs or teeth on the inside. This allows your bud to be separated and literally ground up into small pieces.

More complex grinders offer multiple sections that are best described as interlocking trays that you can stack one on top of another. As you grind your product, it separates out the useable bud from the precious kief, leaving you with a stash for later use. Grinders can also be used to take a little bit of flower with you on the go if needed.

If you’re used to doing things the old-fashioned way, you may be wondering why a grinder is essential. In short, it offers a variety of benefits including:

  • A faster method of grinding up your bud
  • Keeping product off of your hands and limiting the potential for waste
  • Allowing your weed to be broken up into very small pieces that pack into your bong or bowl much easier

Still not sold on the idea? Try using an inexpensive one to see if it makes a difference in your routine.

Rolling A Joint? Try A Tray

Anyone who prefers to roll a joint over consuming cannabis in other ways knows about the frustration that comes when you have a mishap. Whether your dog came up and bumped your hand or you’re super tired after a long day of work, we’ve all dropped our fair share of unfinished joints, thus essentially trashing the product that’s inside.

Like grinders, trays come with a variety of options and can be as basic or as lavish as you like. Made of out plastic, metal, wood, or nearly any other material you can think of, trays are designed to make rolling joints easier and for passing your bud around to others in social situations. Many of today’s trays come with predefined compartments, allowing you to store papers, pre-rolls, and more.

Aside from the storage benefits offered and its ability to be portable, the main benefit of using a tray when smoking weed is that it saves your product if you happen to accidentally drop some. Let’s face it – those who are experts at rolling still have their off days, and a tray can ultimately save you money by allowing you to conserve every last speck of weed. Certain tray designs can also help you funnel your flower into a bowl, eliminating the need to pinch and pick it up with your fingers.

A Crutch By Many Names

Many people use the term crutch but others know this helpful tool as simply a tip or a filter. Whatever you call it, this handy little device brings a ton of benefits to you from the time you start rolling to the last drag you take. Just like our other recommended tools, a crutch can take on a variety of forms and price points.

If you consider yourself to be a little more fancy, you can purchase a crutch made out of wood or even glass. These small nubs are designed to sit at one end of your joint and make rolling a perfectly cylindrical blunt super easy. Those who are on a budget or who may not know about reusable ones for sale often take thin pieces of cardboard and roll them up to create a similar effect.

How can a crutch help? Instead of it being an extra step that’s just for looks, using a crutch can:

  • Act as a barrier between your lips and the burning weed when smoking, reducing the chance of burns. It also gives users a nice little spot to hold onto while taking a drag or passing it around.
  • Increase airflow to your product, giving you a better burning joint that’s not difficult to smoke.
  • Reduce the instance of a soggy tip in social situations where your blunt is being passed around to friends and strangers alike.

While using a crutch doesn’t provide the same types of benefits that a cigarette filter does, the concepts are somewhat similar. If you want to look like a pro when you smoke or roll, your best bet is to invest in one of these handy tools.

What’s Your Go-To Tool?

We all have our own preferences when it comes to smoking weed, and whether it’s the strains we favor or the ways we consume it, it goes without saying that having some equipment handy makes the process a lot easier and more enjoyable. If you’re totally new to smoking weed or simply want to change things up and see what your options are, stop by The Bakeréé to see our extensive line-up of accessories.

Not sure what to purchase? Our budtenders will give you the low down on all of your options and can help you to craft the most perfect set-up possible. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a whole new way of smoking weed thanks to some of the items we’ve mentioned!

Storing Your Product For Maximum Freshness

Storing Your Product For Maximum Freshness

Consider the money you spend on cannabis as an investment. Just like a car or an expensive piece of jewelry, your flower, edibles, or oils provide you with a value that you want to treat with care. Obviously the weed you buy isn’t nearly as expensive as a luxury item, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat it like one.

As the marijuana industry has grown in its ability to utilize cannabis in some amazing ways, so has the complexity of keeping these products fresh. Rather than sealing your weed in a zippered plastic bag and calling it good, users are getting more crafty with the ways they store their product. If you’re interested in learning about how to treat your marijuana right, continue reading this handy guide.

Keeping Flower Fresh

Depending on who you ask, some might say that storing your nugs is one of the most important items to pay attention to, while others place a higher emphasis on how they care for their edibles or tinctures. No matter which camp you fall into, your weed will last a lot longer with a little extra TLC.

Think of your weed as a living organism, one that will dry up and die if left in the sun for too long. More often than not, when you purchase your nugs they will be stored inside a well-sealed container. Sometimes these containers are opaque to keep light out while others focus more on the level of airtight protection they offer.

In general, you’ll want to keep your flower in a cool and dark place whenever possible, but refrigeration will actually work against you, so steer clear of the kitchen here. Items that can be sealed properly, like a mason jar, vacuum sealed bag, or even a zippered plastic bag are better than nothing at all. Feel free to keep your product in the packaging that it came in, as long as you have the option to open and reseal it with ease.

Some connoisseurs go the extra mile to purchase fancy equipment that creates airtight seals, and while that’s nice to have, it may not be necessary unless you’re in a distribution type of environment.

Storing Edibles Properly

Consuming marijuana by eating yummy treats is certainly a method that many prefer, yet for some reason the concept of storing edibles brings up unnecessary confusion. The combination of food and cannabis tends to cause people to pause and wonder how to treat it – do you store it in the pantry like a cookie or do you have to do something special instead?

While it’s important to remember that heat, light, and oxygen are all elements that will cause your cannabis to expire faster, storing an edible isn’t as complicated as you’d think. Items like hard candies or gummies can live on your kitchen shelf as long as they are in a sealed package. More sensitive treats like cookies, chocolates, or infused drinks will do better when refrigerated. Again, ensuring that these products are properly wrapped up is crucial to their longevity.

Above all else, manufacturers take the guesswork out for you by including a “best by” or “expiration” date on the packaging. In many cases, products are crafted to last several months or even up to a year, although you’ll find this varies based upon what you purchase. When in doubt, only buy enough edibles to last you for the next week or two, as stocking up might cause some of them to pass their prime.

Tinctures, Oils, And More

Those who prefer alternative methods to getting their cannabis fix may find that a range of products other than flower or edibles work best for them. Items like balms and salves, cooking oils, infused butters, and concentrated tinctures all serve their own purpose, yet require even more care when storing in order to maintain their potency.

Remember the guiding idea that light, oxygen, and heat will degrade cannabis faster than intended, so when possible use airtight and opaque containers to store these items. Thankfully, most upscale dispensaries like The Bakeréé already offer these items in the proper storage containers, so as long as you don’t transfer them into anything else you should be good to go.

When it comes to cooking oils or infused butters, you can opt to make larger batches at a time and freeze them for future use. Many home chefs like to make their cannabis butter and store it in ice cube trays for easy portioning, while smaller batches can be put into your fridge.

Product quality and storage conditions will always vary from home to home, but one item you can bet on is that of a tincture, which is said to have an indefinite shelf life assuming that it’s stored and packaged correctly.

Using Common Sense

 Cannabis compounds do tend to degrade at the same rate whether you’re dealing with flower, food, or other products, but it’s the addition of extra ingredients that can play a major role in how long your items will last. Manufacturing processes, original packaging components, and the full ingredient list will always determine just how long your items will stay fresh for.

When in doubt, employ your common sense if you come across some hidden weed or a long lost cookie before simply going for it. While flower can be smoked even if it’s past what many would consider its prime, extra caution must be used with ingested items. Much in the way you might get food poisoning by eating an old taco from under your couch, an expired cookie or gummy is a gamble you probably don’t want to take.

If you’re looking for high-quality flower, edibles, tinctures, and more, head over to The Bakeréé and visit with our experienced budtenders. They’ll be able to give you even more information about how to properly store your products for maximum freshness and the greatest benefits possible. After all, consuming cannabis has come a long way in the last few decades, so it’s smart to get your money’s worth by utilizing proper storage techniques.

If You Want a Career Change, Budtending Might Be For You

If You Want a Career Change, Budtending Might Be For You

Finding the dream job is a task that few people in life actually achieve, but if you’re looking to make a change and want a position that offers a ton of perks, then budtending might be as close as you can possibly come. As the marijuana industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the Pacific Northwest, openings for budtenders have flooded online job boards.

But how exactly do you become a budtender and what’s required of you? How does it differ from other customer-facing positions, and most importantly, do you make good money? Today we’re going to explore everything related to budtending and why it’s an awesome career.

The Landscape Of Budtending

The numbers vary all the time, but it’s safe to say that the opportunities to budtend in Washington are growing nearly every day. At last count, there were over 100 recreational marijuana dispensaries in the area with far more medical establishments adding to the overall number. When you estimate that each location probably has at least a handful of staff members, you see there’s a lot of potential to break into this industry.

To the untrained eye, working in a dispensary might seem like just another retail job where you’re selling weed instead of shoes, but that assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. The marijuana industry is highly regulated, and budtenders need to know compliance rules like the backs of their hands. Those who work in a medical dispensary even have to take a 20 hour class to learn what they can and cannot say to patients.

While you certainly need to have an upbeat personality and exceptional customer service skills, there isn’t a long list of qualifications to become a budtender. In the State of Washington, you must be at least 21 years old to work in a dispensary and at the current time, no permit is required.

Benefits Galore

What exactly makes being a budtender so great? The reasons people love working in the industry are varied, but overall it’s a stable position that allows for growth and is truly enjoyable. It seems as if some people believe that working in a dispensary means you can be high on the job, but that misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. Being a budtender means being held to high employment standards just like any other career.

Depending on the shop you work at, you might find that you get paid an hourly wage plus part of the tips that are collected each day. Other shops tend to pay a higher wage and omit the option for customers to tip, but either way you’re going to be seeing some good money coming in. How much exactly? It depends on where you work.

Some data shows that budtenders who are new to the industry make around $12 per hour, while more experienced employees can easily earn $15 per hour or more. After you’ve been in the industry for a while, and if you show some promising leadership skills, you could move into a store manager position which earns anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 per year.

Just like other companies in various industries, you may or may not have the option of health insurance or paid time off. If these items are important to you, be sure to talk with your potential new employer about all of the benefits you’ll receive before you’re hired.

What’s It Really Like?

There still seems to be some mystery surrounding dispensaries, in that people outside of the industry feel as if it’s a magical position that only a few lucky people can land. Because it’s such a highly regulated industry, there are certainly specific qualities that you have to bring to the interview table in order to get hired.

If you’re new to the marijuana industry, do your homework and learn about the nuances of being a budtender. Since you can’t promise certain results with a specific strain or product, practice some phrases you might say to customers in case you’re asked to do some role-playing during your interview.

Once you’ve been hired, expect to learn a lot in a short amount of time. Unlike other retail settings where you can just let customers pick out the shirt they like the best and ring them up at the end, budtending requires a consultant type of approach. You need to know about every flower, what its effects are, and how it might taste or smell. When a customer comes into your shop who has never smoked weed before, you’ll be their guide and it’s expected that you know how to point them in the right direction.

Don’t worry, as your comfort level with all of this new information will grow the more shifts you work. Once you feel confident in your knowledge base, the fun really starts as you become an individual who is truly helping others to manage certain symptoms or to impart more joy and relaxation into their lives. You’ll start to have customers who see you regularly and you’ll get to develop relationships with these individuals.

Most dispensaries aim to have a welcoming and fun atmosphere, so there’s a good chance that you’ll get to listen to music all day long and many places will even let you dress how you like, within reason of course. Much like other jobs you’ve had in the past, you’ll create friendships with your co-workers and before long, you’ll wonder why anyone would ever want a job other than being a budtender!

Interested in breaking into this industry but not sure where to start? Stop by The Bakeréé and talk with our helpful budtenders. They’ll give you the lowdown on how they got started and can share some tips for how you might prepare for an interview. While you’re there, be sure to check out the full selection of premium flower, pre-rolls, edibles, and more. The Bakeréé offers upscale products in a down to earth environment, so stop in and say hello the next time you’re in the area!

Tired of Paying Taxes When You Buy Weed?

Tired of Paying Taxes When You Buy Weed?

Remember the days when you used to call your friend to buy some weed and you handed him a few crumpled bills? In exchange, you likely got a zipped bag full of flower, and even way back when you felt like you were getting a deal. Now that marijuana is legal in Washington State, the price you pay for weed is probably a lot higher than you remember.

However, not all of your money is going toward the cost of the flower itself, nor are you simply lining the pockets of the dispensary owner. Part of the initiative to legalize marijuana in Washington in 2012 included detailed information about how to tax weed purchases and where that money actually goes.

We won’t lie – it’s a high tax rate that residents of The Evergreen State are forced to pay. More than double the rate of any other legal state, purchases in this upper corner of the Pacific NW are slapped with a 37% tax rate, but for good reason. Let’s find out why. (more…)

Cannabis And Drug Testing: Things To Be Aware Of

Cannabis And Drug Testing: Things To Be Aware Of

Whether you have been using weed for years or are just now dipping your toe into the waters of legal marijuana, you should know that legalization doesn’t equate to a free pass. In Washington State, employers can have varying opinions on marijuana use, and getting drug tested can bring on a whole new meaning.

So what is a Washington resident supposed to do if they enjoy marijuana but also need to bring home a paycheck every other week? Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get a wide range of answers. In general, let’s review the basics of what you need to know when it comes to cannabis and drug testing.

First Things First

Before diving too deep into drug testing laws and employer outlooks on weed use, it’s important to know why cannabis is becoming such a big issue in the workplace. Unlike alcohol, an unarguably popular recreational substance, marijuana stays in your system long after use. If you have a beer the night before you’re about to get drug tested, it’s typically no big deal. Yet if you smoke a joint even weeks beforehand, you may find it poses a challenge.

Why such a huge discrepancy? Marijuana affects many major organs, including the brain, liver, and your heart. Because your body processes it much differently than other compounds, even a one-time smoke can stay in your system up to four days. People who use weed fairly often will have at least a 10 day waiting period before a urine test would show up drug free, and heavy users could have 30 days or more to wait before being able to pass a drug test.

In many cases, individuals who are on the job hunt don’t think about this element of their weed use, and poor planning can lead to the inability to pass a drug screening. When the prospect of waiting at least one month before obtaining employment is on the line, people often get frustrated and blame employers for not being more lenient. However there’s a good reason for standards to be as strict as they are, as we’re about to learn.

What’s The Law? 

Washington residents as a whole are still getting used to the idea that marijuana is now legal to use for both medicinal and recreational purposes. With such a big change in legalization, it’s only natural that it will take some time for certain guidelines to become formally established. At this point in time, the law is a little gray when it comes to weed use.

Despite the fact that it’s legal, you can never use weed on the job, similarly to alcohol or any other substance that would be questionable in the workplace. But what happens if you want to smoke over the weekend and show up to work Monday morning? That’s where things get a bit hazy.

At this point in time, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to testing positive for marijuana while on the job. If you are obviously high, your boss does have the right to exercise suspension or even termination from your job. When you haven’t smoked in days but test positive for weed, it’s up to the employer as far as how to handle the situation.

Some take the approach that what you do on your own time is fine, and as long as the only thing showing up on your test is legal weed, you’re good to go. Other hard drugs will probably lead to different types of conversations, but you get the idea.

Others have a strict no-tolerance policy and will instantly fire you if your drug screening shows positive results. Why are they so harsh? Ultimately, marijuana is still illegal on a federal basis, and certain employers in Washington want to maintain their reputation as individuals who follow every law to the letter. Furthermore, any type of on-the-job accident that can be attributed to weed use creates panic in the eyes of many employers.

Still some jobs will be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, and may ask that you talk to their HR department before returning to work, or might ask you to take some vacation time until your test can come back negative. How your employer chooses to handle the situation is as unique as each company themselves.

When You’re On The Hunt

 We’ve talked about what might happen if you test positive for weed when already employed, but what happens if you’re job hunting and you are asked to take a drug test? More and more staffing agencies in Washington are starting to enforce mandatory urine testing along with the submission of your application, and sadly this strict policy is causing more and more people to go without work.

Some estimates show that over 30% of people who apply to work with a temp agency are failing their drug test, a number that is significantly higher than it was in past years. Perhaps taking such a hard stance on marijuana is creating more problems in the job market than many anticipated.

Possible Solutions

 Once you’ve taken a hit, whether it’s your first ever or you’ve now lost count, you need to start thinking about how it will affect your current or future employment. Many individuals often try to get around drug testing and utilize over the counter products that claim to rid your system of all traces of marijuana. Stories have been told for years about people smuggling fake urine into the test with them, although the success of this method isn’t very high.

Your best bet just might be to have a candid discussion with your employer and ask what their stance is on marijuana. You may end up surprised to find that they don’t care what you do on your own time, while others will make it very clear how they feel about any kind of weed use. Once you have that information, you can then determine what makes the most sense for you should you ever get randomly drug tested.

Still unsure about what to do? You can always visit the team at The Bakeréé, as our budtenders are well-versed in all things marijuana. If losing your job isn’t worth it, visit us to pick our brains about how you can still enjoy weed without the worry.

A Traveller’s Guide To Marijuana

A Traveller’s Guide To Marijuana

In case you haven’t heard, marijuana is legal in Washington state! Smoking weed for medicinal purposes has been permitted since 1998 as long as you have proper documentation, and in November 2012, residents voted to legalize the product for recreational use. However, just because you can legally consume it doesn’t mean you have a free pass to go all out and enjoy total freedom.

As of the beginning of 2018, it is still illegal to consume marijuana in many places, essentially anywhere outside the comfort of your own home. Think of the restrictions in a similar manner to consuming alcohol, except more stringent.  With that being said, what if you’re a resident of Washington but need to take a trip outside of the state?

Whether your travel is for business or pleasure, there’s a chance you may want to take a few nugs of your favorite strain with you on the road. Before you pack your bags, it’s imperative that you understand the law regarding marijuana use in whatever state you’re visiting. To save you some time, we’ve compiled a quick guide to traveling with weed!

Legalization In Several Forms

By now you’ve probably realized that the term “legal weed” can bring some nuances along with it. Regulations typically separate medicinal usage from recreational enjoyment, and while you might be able to take advantage of one in certain areas, the other may be strictly prohibited.

As of January 8, 2018 you can consume marijuana for medical purposes only in the following states:

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Hawaii
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont

That seems like quite an extensive list, doesn’t it? On paper it does look like the world is your oyster when it comes to traveling with marijuana, but in reality, only about half of the US will allow you to partake.

Defining Medical Usage

 An important thing to note is that the states which allow medical marijuana enforce this regulation wholeheartedly. If there’s even the slightest inkling that you’re using cannabis for recreational purposes you could potentially face some strict punishment – more on that later.

So what’s the caveat to this long list of places where you can smoke pot? Nearly all of them do not allow out-of-state usage, meaning that if you hold a Washington medical card but you travel to North Dakota, your card means virtually nothing.

As of the end of 2017, only seven states that allow medical marijuana grant out-of-towners the freedom to consume within their borders. While some areas will give you a free pass if you’re smoking in the privacy of someone’s home, others prohibit visitors from purchasing at a local dispensary with an out-of-state medical card.

With that being said, the idea of traveling with weed to another state can be a huge gray area. If you have a medical authorization to consume and you’re visiting a state that allows you to smoke, should you bring weed with you? If you’re headed to an area where you aren’t allowed to purchase, it seems like you should, right?

These questions are tough to answer, and ultimately we aren’t here to tell you one way or another. Instead, let’s shift the focus over to the states where you won’t have to worry one bit – the places where recreational use is allowed.

Feel Free To Smoke Away!

 Ready for an epic road trip? You’re in luck, as all of the West Coast has gotten on board with allowing marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. Your full list of green light states are as follows:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Alaska

In most cases, you can purchase and consume marijuana as an out-of-towner just as you would in Washington. One element to keep in mind, not only at home but when on the road, is that each state does have different limits on purchasing and possession. The laws on this can change from time to time, so be sure to do a bit of homework before heading to the nearest dispensary.

Penalties For Misuse

You might be tempted to bring some bud across state lines and covertly partake in a private setting. Again, we’re not here to tell you yes or no, but you should understand the ramifications if you choose to indulge. No matter where you are, whether weed is legal in any form or not, you’ll face serious consequences if you are driving under the influence. A DUI doesn’t look good on anyone’s record.

As far as the consequences are concerned for getting caught with marijuana on your person, in your car, or actually smoking it, they will vary depending on the state you’re visiting. Some see it as a small slap on the wrist and might simply confiscate your material while others head straight to charging you with a felony.

Ultimately the choice is yours – if you have a medical need for your weed and you won’t be able to function without it, you may decide that it’s worth it to take the risk and smoke in a state where it’s illegal. Others may want to hide their bud in the form of edibles and try to pass it off as normal candy if questioned, while still other cannabis connoisseurs don’t want to take the risk that’s involved.

If in doubt, head over to The Bakeréé where our knowledgeable staff can help you to understand the consequences of taking weed over state lines. The cannabis community is a big one but we’re here to support one another, so we’ll be sure to share any recommendations we may have for shops you can visit on your trip.

One last thing – keep in mind that legislation regarding cannabis is constantly in flux, and the information we’ve discussed today might have changed by the time you’re ready to take a trip. Always do a bit of research before you travel with marijuana just to make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk. Bon voyage!