Security systems, cameras and armed guards have dominated the cash-rich cannabis business since the inception of legal medical and recreational marijuana laws.  Recently, drones and robots have been introduced to defend against outside threats to businesses’ valuable and vulnerable assets as well as to minimize the often-costly consequences of human error.

Mechanically, robots and droids can conduct a complex series of actions automatically and efficiently with the capability of alerting human monitors when they detect that something is wrong.   They differ from armed guards because they ‘don’t shoot back at intruders’ and ‘can take a gunshot better than humans’’.  Though there is a chance that they will soon arm the robots with pepper spray.

Canndescent, a grow in Desert Hot Springs uses Hardcar Security to monitor and secure the perimeter of their site. A UGV, or Unmanned Ground Vehicle, made by a group called Intellos, provides the evening patrol and delivers more assurance than the visions of a lonely night guard falling asleep or playing video games at his post.

Recently, Eaze, a cannabis delivery company demonstrated the use of a drone at the Cannabis Cup in San Bernadino.  A spokesperson for the company said “We see it in the future.  It’s on the horizon”.

Automation seems to be all over the industry.  Smokey Point Productions in Washington has automated the seeding, feeding and trimming processes in their cultivation business and find it to be incredibly efficient.  “This saves me from having a person mix the nutrients and do it manually”.  A person however is used to place the product in a package but then the machine finishes the process when it seals, bar codes and counts the packages.

With the industry on a trajectory to very rapid increased growth, it only follows that the size of grow operations and delivery warehouses will need to embrace automation and the use of newer more efficient ways to deal with their volume and demand for speed.

VEG PayQwick








It may be counterintuitive, but what if marijuana is not a ‘gateway” drug to other more dangerous drugs at all, but rather is quite the opposite?

Made possible by the growing legalization of marijuana, rehabilitation centers like High Sobriety in Los Angeles are overseeing the use of marijuana as a substitute for more potent drugs and as a bridge to the addict’s new sober life.

Dr. Marks Wallace is the University of California San Diego’s chairman of the division of pain medicine in the Department of Anesthesia and has treated hundreds of patients with marijuana over the past five years to help in the transition off opiates. He like others do agree that more studies are needed for this specific use.

Even though a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences “found no evidence to support or refute the conclusion that cannabinoids are an effective treatment for achieving abstinence in the use of addictive substances”, the group did find strong evidence that cannabis and related compounds can be used to treat chronic pain in adults. As chronic pain is a different animal, experts remain skeptical if this applies to wean people off opioids.

Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Willenberg, who treats addicts and oversaw research at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, calls it completely absurd! He says that it doesn’t work and it is like “trying to cure alcoholism with valium”.

The idea for this type of treatment is a result of several emerging factors in the world of addiction. There has been an explosion in the number of opiates consumed in this country and an increased death toll to go along with it. The traditional 12-Step program requiring abstinence with its prohibitive costs often leads to relapse and failure. A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study found that states with medical marijuana laws have seen lower rates of death from opiate overdose. The Schedule 1 label by the federal government has made funding for additional studies to test this hypothesis, sparse. A combination of these and other factors have led to alternative ways to treat addicts.

The national opioid epidemic will continue to encourage and necessitate the need for better options as the climate of addiction treatment struggles to find a better way.

written by VEG PayQwick

Brownie Mary; A True American Hero

Photo credit: Nation builder

BROWNIE MARY, legally known as Mary Rathbun, this unassuming grandmother-like-type woman was born in 1922 and was instrumental in the legalization of medical marijuana, helped pass California Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, and helped in the establishment of the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, the very first medical marijuana dispensary.  How, you ask?

Back in the 1980s Mary became well known and was arrested for selling pot brownies to the gay and lesbian communities in the Castro district in San Francisco.  She was baking about 50 dozen a day calling them ‘magically delicious’.  Her sentence was to do community service which she fulfilled by working at SHANTI, a support organization for the terminally ill.  When AIDS exploded into a crisis, she had a front row seat of the carnage, all the while continuing to work at SHANTI.

AIDS was a “terrifying and mysterious disease and thousands of terminally ill patients became skeletons in their own bodies and were “horrifyingly disfigured”.  So Mary would slip them marijuana brownies so they could become hungry, happy and eat.

A pot dealing friend of hers and gay rights activist, Dennis Peron, donated plant trim and sack ‘shake’ to her so she could bake.  One day while she was cooking at his home, the police came with a warrant for Dennis but instead arrested and jailed Mary for trafficking.  Dennis bailed her out.

Brownie Mary became quite the television personality.  She looked directly into the camera and spoke with her heart when she said “If the narcs think I’m going to stop baking pot brownies for my kids with AIDS, they can go f-ck themselves in Macy’s windows”.

So it was that these series of events helped ignite “the state-level rebellion against the federal refusal to allow the seriously ill to use cannabis as a medicine”.

Brownie Mary died in 1999 as a true American hero.


Marijuana Butter

1 pound of butter or margarine

5 oz marijuana (leaf and/or shake of high grade pot.  Cleaned, ground in a blender and sifted through a flour sifter)

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Add marijuana.  Cook covered on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes.  Let cool overnight, then store in a covered dish in refrigerator.

Use 1 pre-made box of brownie mix and substitute marijuana butter. BAKE, DISTRIBUTE RESPONSIBLY.  CHANGE WORLD.