Okay greenies, this is one that really hits home for me (pun intended). I recently had to move The Green Baker location. And you know moving… it’s already a pain in the ass. But when you add being a cannabis company to the mix things get even more complicated. 

Cannabis and real estate are still struggling to work together. It’s just one more barrier to legitimately having a cannabis business that isn’t in the legacy market. This is especially true in states like Florida. And what are cannabis companies supposed to do? What are the options? 

A Growing Demand

Over one-third of realtors are saying residential real estate inventory is tight thanks in part to the cannabis industry–specifically in those states where marjuana has been legalized. Similarly, over 30% of realtors in legal states have seen an increased demand for warehouses, 23% for storefronts, and between 18% to 28% increase in demand for land because of the cannabis industry.

There’s no doubt–cannabis companies are growing like crazy! And with that comes a growing demand for real estate. With that said, it’s still not easy for us small cannabis brands. 

First, I had to get a hemp license to sell cannabis edibles. In our beautiful state of Florida you need to have a commercial kitchen to obtain this permit, so no making your brownies out of sweet old grandmother’s kitchen.

  • First Option: Rent a Kitchen– Rental by the hour kitchens can cost anywhere from $100- $300 an hour and you’re sharing that space with other businesses that may or may not be cannabis-friendly.
  • Second Option: Get Your Own– So let’s get our whole own kitchen, right? Well, a second-generation kitchen can cost from $2000-$5000 a month depending on its size. Oh, and did I mention each permit is $650 EACH! So you wanna do farmers markets? That’s $650! You want to sell to other businesses? That’s $650! You want to just sell to your customers that’s $650. Costs not associated with your kitchen rental begin to add up pretty quickly. So having access to well-priced and safe kitchen space could make or break your bottom line.

A Lingering Stigma

Unfortunately, when I was forced to look for new real estate, I was hit with so many no’s that I started to panic. 

Once, I got told no because the location was near a school. For the record, there are no laws or regulations preventing cannabis companies from being near schools. Why should there be? 

While opinions like these may be well-intentioned, the bottom line is–there’s a bad stigma surrounding the cannabis space. And real estate is just one more obstacle for cannabis companies like mine to overcome. 

In fact, overcoming this deep rooted stigma remains one of the biggest challenges of the cannabis industry today. Successful businesses are forced to take warehouses, kitchens, spaces, etc that are less than ideal all because of perceived security risks. For example, some places have zoning laws that only allow cannabis companies to purchase real estate in very limited areas in certain industrial spaces. 

This means it’s super common for us cannabis businesses to compete with each other over a few measly parcels of land.

It’s rough out there!

Financial Implications for a Small Business

Lack of real estate trickles down to the financials too. The cannabis industry is very dependent on real estate. Why? Because cannabis needs to be grown, processed, and sold. Without a physical space to do it, how can I have a business at all? Owning or leasing property is crucial for the financial success and growth of any cannabis business. 

On top of that, since cannabis is still federally illegal, financial institutions can’t give loans to cannabis companies–despite the growing adoption of cannabis use and legalization throughout the country. Imagine trying to start a new business without taking out a loan from the bank? It’s hard as hell!

To get around this, most small cannabis businesses have to use tactics that aren’t in their best interest to get things going, like borrowing money from friends or dipping into their own personal savings. And if businesses can find a way around the bank loan barrier, they are still faced with a shit ton of other issues–like the daily management of money. 

Imagine trying to pay bills without a business checking account.  The cannabis industry has to deal in cash to get around problems like not being able to accept credit card payments, open bank accounts, or pay payroll taxes by check. But having to manage all that cash on a daily basis can attract some sketchy shit. So these companies often have to rely on–and pay for–armored trucks and armed security guards to transport and secure their money.

When Will the Cycle End?

The cycle continues–a cannabis company can’t get a location and can’t get access to funding thanks to banks not being able to give loans. Without real estate, the company has no way to make money to support its business. Then the company is forced to continue in the legacy market, or give up on their business altogether. 

It’s a vicious ass cycle, isn’t it?

Waiting for Equity

Florida has a long way to go before we see true cannabis equity. We should look to states like California and Colorado as examples of what we could be doing better. California has generously permitted zones for cannabis businesses to occupy, and both states have implemented social equity programs in an effort to erase the stigma around cannabis. 

If we want to see our cannabis market bloom in Florida, we should be taking notes from some of the first states to fully legalize it.

So yes, the struggle is hella real when it comes to real estate and the cannabis industry right now. But no matter the struggles, you can bet yo girl is going to keep pushing to provide quality products and education about the benefits of cannabis! The way I see it, that’s the only way shit is going to change. So stay tuned for my next phase cause I’m not done yet creating and making waves to educate and shine a light on the disparities within the cannabis industry here in the state. 

See what we’ve got cookin. 

You’ve heard it before–that marijuana can do magical things like increase sex drive, curb pain, and ease PTSD. But what about creativity? Is marijuana creativity real? Can marijuana really help you think outside the box? Well greenies, I’m here with the answers. 

Where Creativity Starts

Let’s start with the basics. All the way to where creativity starts–your brain. Research has linked creativity to the frontal lobe–that’s where “creative divergent thinking” happens. The term sounds fancy but it just means you’re more likely to use spontaneous and free-flowing methods like brainstorming and freewriting to come up with creative solutions to problems. And creative divergent thinking is what scientists use to measure creativity.

So where does cannabis come in? Glad you asked. When blood flow to the brain increases, the activity of the brain increases, too. And guess what? Consuming cannabis increases blood flow to your frontal lobe–juicing up your creative center.

How Cannabis Connects Random Dots

Scientists have decided that divergent thinking is a key component of measuring creativity, but testing divergent thinking isn’t so easy. Clinical psychologist Gráinne Schafer is a lead researcher on the topic of cannabis use and creativity, and even she recognizes that the relationship between the two isn’t understood well enough. However, her team did find that cannabis use can help you connect the dots between seemingly unrelated concepts, which might help with that random creative shit that leads you to paint cool art or come up with a crazy good recipe. 

In her experiment, Schafer categorized test subjects as either having “low creativity” or “high creativity” and tested everyone on their verbal fluency–another way of saying how many words you can retrieve from your memory. The participants were tested while they were sober, then again after a week of cannabis use. 

You’ll never guess what they found…

The “low creativity” group raised their fluency scores to the same level as the “high creativity” group! Kinda crazy, right?!

The “high creativity” group, however, didn’t experience any increase in their verbal fluency under the influence of cannabis. 

Shafer’s findings show that cannabis seriously helped get the creative juices flowing for people who didn’t think they were creative. But for those who already considered themselves creative, cannabis didn’t have any impact on their creativity at all. 

Another study from 2017 found similar results as Dr. Shafer, and it also took into account each participant’s personality type. The study concluded that while cannabis users did have higher creativity levels, their “openness to experience” levels came in higher during their personality evaluations. 

The report begged the question–does cannabis make people more creative, or are creative people just more likely to use cannabis? 

The Dose Matters

When it comes to juicing up your creativity with cannabis, mind your dosing. This study from 2014 found that low doses of THC–5.5 mg to be exact–can improve creative divergent thinking. 

The researchers separated participants into a “low dose THC”, “high dose THC” and a placebo group. Then they tested their divergent thinking based on three categories: 

  1. Fluency– The number of responses
  2. Flexibility– The variation in answers
  3. Originality– the uniqueness of each answer

The study found that the “low dose” group had a slightly improved score in fluency and flexibility than the placebo group. Not surprisingly, the “low dose” group scored way higher in originality than the placebo group.

But when the dose of THC was raised to 22 mg, scores in all three creativity categories dropped significantly–coming in even lower than the placebo group! 

The perfect dose is different for everyone, but the results of this study show that loading up on a shit ton of THC is probably a bad idea if you’re trying to boost your creativity. That’s why it’s important to find your sweet spot. 

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

There’s still a big ass pile of research that needs to be done before we fully understand the link between cannabis and creativity. But the science so far suggests that there’s definitely a connection. 

We know from the current research that your current level of creativity will play a huge part in how much benefit you’ll get out of using cannabis to boost your creativity. And we know that dosing matters. Low doses of THC can have major creativity perks, while big doses might make you less creative than you are when you’re stone sober. But your perfect dose might vary. Ultimately, it’s up to you to experiment and find what works for you.

Make Sure to Get the Good Stuff 

So where does all this info leave us? Here at The Green Baker, I can hook you up with amazing cannabis-infused foods to help spark your creativity. The best part–I offer varying doses that you can try while you find your perfect fit. 

Get your creativity flowing and enjoy some good ass food at the same time. It’s a win-win, my friends. 

Get your creative juices flowing

Let’s talk about sex, baby! No, but for real. Why be shy (or quiet) about something we all do…and enjoy? Sex is just a normal, fun part of life! The beauty of sex is that there’s always something new you can discover about yourself or your partner. I’ll be the first to say that trying new things in the sheets with your boo can light that spark back up or keep it going strong!  

Something new you can try to take that bedroom game up to the next level is to perfectly marry food, weed, and sex altogether. Talk about that threesome, Greenies. You already know that’s a life-changing combo. When you add natural aphrodisiacs and cannabis into your sex life, magic happens. Keep reading to find out how. I promise you won’t regret it. 

First, what are natural aphrodisiacs?

For most of us, we all have some sort of sexual drive—and that’s one of the most incredible things about being human. We have a natural want for sexual connection and pleasure! And it only makes sense that our big, beautiful Earth supports that sexual lust we all have with natural aphrodisiacs. 

If you’ve never heard of aphrodisiacs, or haven’t tried any of them before, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for. Aphrodisiacs are foods that can straight up help you get in the mood, enhance your performance, and even increase the pleasure you feel. I know, it seems unreal. But, this is real ass life, Greenies. 

Incorporating aphrodisiacs into your daily life has the potential to up your bedroom game! And it’s not just hearsay, it’s backed by actual science too. 

The best natural aphrodisiacs out there 

If you’re curious about playing around with natural aphrodisiacs, you’ll definitely want to know what’s out there, right? Yes, some foods have been backed by scientific studies and data, but there are also some that are well known from more anecdotal experiences among society.

Some of the aphrodisiacs backed with science are:

  • Maca: A sweet root vegetable that grows naturally in Peru that can help boost your libido 
  • Red ginseng: A popular herb in Chinese medicine that may help increase sex drive, arousal, and erectile function
  • Pistachios: They increase blood flow that contributes to firmer erections
  • Saffron: A southwest Asian spice that can improve erectile function and lubrication for women

Some of the other well known aphrodisiacs that don’t have strong scientific evidence are:

  • Spinach
  • Dark chocolate
  • Peppers
  • Oysters
  • Crab

I won’t lie, I believe wholeheartedly in the magic of aphrodisiacs, but when you add cannabis to the mix…game over! 

Weed and sex: The perfect combo  

I’m just going to say it, having sex while high is bomb. That’s my personal opinion, but I know I’m not the only one who feels that way! Weed is already known to heighten your senses in different ways, but it’s actually been proven to enhance your sex life. 

Check this shit out: 

  • In a study done in the Journal of Sex Medicine, they found that cannabis users had more monthly and daily sex compared with those who never used
  • They also found that women who smoked weed before having sex had 2.13 higher odds of reporting a satisfactory orgasm

When it comes to men though, there’s a higher possibility of erectile dysfunction, according to the studies done. So, my ladies out there, give weed and sex a try if you’re open to it! 

The best cannabis options for sex

At this point, we know that weed and sex make the perfect match. But, are there particular strains or mediums that are most effective in upping that bedroom game? 

Of course, it’ll differ from person to person based on preferences, but here’s what some cannabis users and sex doers say:

Greenies, if you want to have an unforgettable night of weed and sex with your partner, or even just solo, I’m throwing some recommendations your way. Straight from the heart. 

Food & cannabis pairings for a steamy night

Grab your sweetheart, or your favorite toy, and give these food and cannabis combos a go. And please, reach out to me and tell me how your experience was! 

Dark chocolate & cannabis-infused wine

This is one of my favorites ever because it feels so romantic. Really lean in and set the mood for your steamy night of food, weed, and sex:

  • Go to the store and buy some dark chocolate, and I mean the real shit. 
  • Don’t forget to grab the vino too! I always like a dry red. To infuse it, get your hands on some of my THC oil and put a drop in each of your wine glasses after they’re poured. 
  • Have an intimate dinner at home, just the two of you. Sip on your wine, eat your meals and then enjoy the chocolate as a dessert afterward. Then, it’s on! 
  • Shoot, bring the chocolate and the wine into the bedroom too. If you could go for another glass, depending on how you feel, do it up!

Oysters & a sativa strain flower

If you’re a seafood fan like me, this one’s for you. Oysters are too good. The fact that they’re also natural aphrodisiacs makes me love them even more. Here’s what I would do for this food, weed, and sex pairing:

  • Have date night at your fave seafood restaurant and order the oysters 
  • On your way home, stop by the dispensary and grab a Sativa strain of flower. I absolutely love super lemon haze. The effects are so energizing and definitely put me in the mood!
  • As soon as you get home, smoke a bowl together, get cozy, and let your freak flags fly

I seriously can’t think of a better time than mixing food, weed, and sex together for a more than memorable night. Embrace your sexuality. Revel in your love for food. And enjoy cannabis for everything it has to offer…all at the same time. I’m telling you, you’ll love it. 

I’m not even gonna play, fall is my favorite season. All the pumpkin-flavored goodies come out, that sweater weather starts rolling in, and it always seems like there’s a little more family time. 

It’s also that time when I start bustin’ out my fall flavors and creating all kinds of sweet cannabis treats that only make sense when the leaves start changing colors. I hope you’re ready for my best homemade edible recipes for fall, Greenies! 

These 3 will have you feeling some type of way during my favorite season. Mouthwatering and all!

Fall Edible Recipe #1: Apple Cider Weed Donuts

Nothing else says ‘fall’ quite like some sweet apple cider. You seriously can’t go wrong. It’s basically the infamous drink of autumn. In true Green Baker fashion, I’ve taken one of my favorite fall flavors and married it with one of my favorite sweets — donuts! 

Honestly, these cannabis-infused babies can be enjoyed any time of the day (not just at breakfast) and they’re so, so good when they’re still a little warm from the oven. These homemade edibles just hit. Here’s how to whip them up yourself:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) apple cider 
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted The Green Baker cannabis butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated The Green Baker cannasugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated TGB sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted TGB butter, melted

PREPARATION

Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc. until you have 1/2 cup (120ml). Mine takes about 20 minutes. If there are any spices or solids on top of your reduced apple cider, leave them. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.

Spoon the batter into the donut cavities — for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.

Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donut bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.

Coat the donuts: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.

Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Fall Edible Recipe #2: Cannabis-Infused Marshmallows

I absolutely love this homemade edible recipe because it’s so versatile! Not only that but marshmallows and fall go together like me and cannabis. You can use these cannabis-infused marshmallows in your hot chocolate, your s’mores, and even in your sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving. 

Hey, they’re totally good by themselves too! This is a judgment-free zone, Greenies. Here’s how you can make regular marshmallows even better:

INGREDIENTS

  • .75 oz unflavored gelatin 3 envelopes of Knox plain unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups The Green Baker granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp Amoretti® Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract Water Soluble 2x (optional)
  • 1.5 – 3 tbsp Amoretti® Artisan Natural Flavor OR 1 ¾ tsp Amoretti® Extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar

PREPARATION

Prepare a 9 x 9-inch pan or sheet pan with lightly oiled plastic wrap (if you want thinker marshmallows use a 9 x 9 pan for thinner use a sheet pan). In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water. Let soak while preparing the next step.

Combine ¼ cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved bring to a roaring boil for 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat and carefully pour sugar mixture into the gelatin mixture.

Attach the whisk to the mixer and mix starting on low. Add salt and increase speed to high gradually. After about 10 minutes when the mixture has cooled add in your Artisan or Extract flavor of choice. Mix until incorporated scraping the sides of the bowl if needed.

Grease a rubber scraper and hands with oil. Transfer marshmallows to your prepared pan and press in evenly. Sprinkle the top with powder sugar and smooth over the marshmallows.

Let set overnight.

Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar and carefully remove marshmallows from the pan. Oil a large knife or pizza cutter and slice into your preferred size marshmallows. Toss in a bowl with a bit more powdered sugar. Enjoy alone, on s’mores, hot chocolate, and more!

Fall Edible Recipe #3: Canna Candied Pecans 

You know when you’re at one of your local fall festivals picking out pumpkins with your family and there’s the strong, sweet, and cinnamon-y smell that fills the air? You know what it is. It’s always those candied nuts that you have to get every year because the smell gets you every time!

Well, now you can make them in your own house and also get to enjoy the wonderful effects of the cannabis plant. My canna candied pecans are super easy to make and are drool-worthy. I promise. The crunch alone is *chef’s kiss*.  Here’s how to make the magic happen:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup white The Green Baker sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound pecan halves

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl, set aside.

Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes until pecans are evenly browned and dry for about 1 hour. Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

If you don’t feel up to making these fall homemade edibles yourself, you can always hit your girl up! The Green Baker’s got you. Check out my Instagram page for my latest seasonal weed treats!

See what’s new 

Cannabis has come a really long way. More and more states are legalizing its use and it’s becoming more socially accepted. Unfortunately, that stops with banking. It’s probably nothing that has ever crossed your mind, but cannabis banking is a whole ass mess! 

In fact, since weed isn’t federally legal yet, a lot of cannabis businesses don’t have access to banking at all. And in my opinion, that’s total BS. Let me give you the lowdown, Greenies. 

#1: Cannabis businesses experience endless banking barriers.

If you’ve ever wanted to open your own cannabis company, just know there are some major banking barriers coming your way. 

What does that mean exactly? Basically, some of the simplest, and most important banking needs for your company to operate efficiently won’t be accessible to you like: 

  • Accept credit cards payments from customers
  • Open up bank accounts or credit cards 
  • Make wire transfers to other businesses
  • Pay their payroll taxes by check
  • Take out loans to expand the business or hire staff

As a result of all this cannabis banking drama, the marijuana industry is straight cash. Can you imagine how much cash these businesses are pulling every single day? Imagine having to manage all that without the help of a bank! It really does come with its own host of problems. 

For one, in order to transport and protect all that cash, cannabis businesses have to rely on armored trucks and armed security guards. That’s why you’ll always see guards at the dispensaries. They have to physically protect their cash from potential criminals–because of the way they deal with cash, they easily attract more crime too. 

Non-related, small businesses are also affected

The even crazier part about all of this is that other small businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with cannabis are also affected by these cannabis banking issues. 

How? Marijuana companies can’t deposit all the money they’re making into a bank account so that money can’t be used to issue loans to businesses that need them. Just think how many other small businesses could thrive if the weed industry’s $9 billion was accessible to issue out loans. 

And speaking of loans, if you work in the cannabis industry in general (as in, not a business owner), it’s still going to be challenging for you to do things like take out a home loan.   

#2: Banks can get into big legal trouble if they work with cannabis companies.

Trust me, I know what you’re thinking…why? Why are banks so unwilling to work with weed businesses? Because they get reprimanded when they do. 

“Any bank that provides services to a legal marijuana business faces possible criminal prosecution for “aiding and abetting” a federal crime and money laundering.” 

Since marijuana isn’t legal at the federal level, and it’s a Scheduled I Controlled Substance, these banks can technically get into legal trouble. Isn’t that something else? These businesses do have a choice though, they can still take on the risk if they want. They just have to jump through hoops. 

If a bank wants to do business with a cannabis company, they have to:

  • File suspicious activity reports, even in states where it’s legal
  • File reports for anyone depositing funds ‘derived from illegal activity’
  • File a report when a state government deposits tax revenue paid by marijuana firms into the state’s bank account

Having to comply with a heavy set of regulations like these is exactly what’s deterring banks from working with cannabis businesses. It’s sad! The good news though is at least some progress has been made in different ways. 

#3: There’s been progress, but there’s still a long way to go.

Cannabis banking has always been an uphill battle for marijuana business owners. Fortunately, we’ve been able to adapt to the current barriers thanks to fintech companies–who get the struggle. Many have stepped in to offer payment and compliance solutions like

  • ACH/e-Check solutions
  • ATM solutions
  • Bank to bank transfers
  • Cryptocurrency solutions
  • Point of sale systems
  • Seed-to-sale tracking
  • Taxation and other compliance solutions

With the help of these innovators, cannabis companies can at least do business! In addition to that, things are starting to move in congress with the SAFE Banking Act.

Crossing our fingers for the SAFE Banking Act 

Right this very moment, the SAFE Banking Act is sitting in the committee, patiently waiting to be passed (hopefully). If and when this act passes, it will  “ensure access to financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses and service providers”. Hallelujah! 

In a nutshell, marijuana companies’ revenue won’t be considered “proceeds from unlawful activity” and they won’t face the majority of the banking barriers they’re facing today. The SAFE Banking Act has been in the works for 2 years, so let’s hope it gets moved forward sooner than later!

Personally, I think as marijuana is more widely accepted everywhere, we’ll inch closer and closer to federal legalization. Which will lead to cannabis banking being a lot more accessible. I won’t lie, there’s going to be so many growing pains in the process. But, I’m here for it.