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Reaching New Highs at the 2017 New England Cannabis Cup

The 2017 High Times New England Cannabis Cup was an indoor hot box like you’ve never seen. Through the clouds of dank smoke, you could find medical marijuana patients socializing and sharing terps. There were booths with grow equipment, heady glass, dope hats, free dabs, music, puppies and more.

To make the New England Cannabis Cup happen, theFarmacist partnered with High Times. The event faced opposition, but theFarmacist fielded calls from the state, supplied the venue and entertainment, secured Big Dawg Security and worked with High Times to make sure the first-ever New England Cannabis Cup was a reality in 2017. You could catch him running around the club cracking jokes in passing, as he worked tirelessly to make sure everything ran smoothly.

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FORBES: Beta Glass Labs: Premium Glass When Only The Best Will Do

I’m a fanatic for museum quality art glass. The kind that begs conversation over glasses of Barolo wine, caked with sediment from years resting in the cellar. Take me to Venice and turn me loose in the historic glass factories in Murano. They have been hand-blowing fine art glass for hundreds of years in Venice, Italy. I see much symmetry in the highest quality glass designed for the cannabis industry as in the very rare hand-blown, Murano glass. The colors may be a bit different from piece to piece in cannabis glass design, but insofar as the curves and bends of the glass, the new styles of glassware for cannabis rigs mimic the fine glass art that I’ve seen in Italy. Do you think today’s glass blowers studied with the old masters in Italy? I wouldn’t doubt that they’d consider my compliment of their craft, one of the “highest” honors. The Beta Glass Rigs that I was sent for review are as intriguing, in my view, as a several-hundred-year-old Murano glass chandelier.

To me it would seem so. And so is my attraction to the finest glassware. Even if I didn’t use the rig for dabbing concentrates- something I really don’t enjoy because they usually are too strong for me, the two lovely rigs that Beta Glass Labs sent to me are still fine for gourmet flowers. And flowers are what I smoked out of them. A dab rig is just the perfect vehicle to enjoy fine flowers through. The concentrates tend to be rather intense, with a dab rig the smoke is drawn through a series of pipes that cascade through vessels containing cool water. There are zigzags and channels that take the smoke through places that defy gravity! Each section is carefully formed with further expressions of quality, medical-grade glass in great evidence. My Petra XL bong enjoys the fine flowers from the Emerald Triangle. I was fortunate to have some Charlie Girl from Casa Humboldt at the ready with sticky dark nugs, oozing their deep secrets in sticky, finger tip-licking good profusions.  A good glass water pipe should be able to capture the essence of a flower. There is certainly a learning curve with regard to glass bongs, or in this case the above mentioned rig. What would that be?

The learning curve has something to do with quantity of smoke generated. All those little tubes get filled up with smoke. The high volume of smoke has to go somewhere and into your lungs it will go, lickity split. And if you are not careful too much will cascade through those Murano glass influenced curves and tubes, water receptacles and compartments, blasting at jet-velocity force directly into your consciousness. Or lack thereof, because the cerebral benefit of enjoying a bong hit, or in this case, a dab rig hit is the quality of the smoke. The smoothness of the smoke is important too. I remember my first bong in prep school at Morristown-Beard in the 1970’s. We weren’t as sophisticated then, cannabis came in one variety and it wasn’t memorable in quality at all. That’s why we used bongs back in the day. To maximize the strength of the middle to low end scratch weed that I was able to buy in Morristown at the time. It wasn’t until about 1978 that I tried real California cannabis, mind blown wide open. I can picture in my mind’s eye the very first time I smoked something from the Emerald Triangle. It was green! The color of Ireland, ten-thousand shades of green all encapsulated into one multi-dimensional nugget. I’d never seen anything like it before. All my cannabis came in a pressed thing. Seeds, stems, brown matter that made me cough like a sailor out at sea for years on end. It was not pretty and the quality of my bong was no better. I think it was a straight tube, plastic in construction with a metal bowl and stem- a US Bong if my memory serves me. Not a shining achievement of my supposedly gourmet upbringing. Cannabis like I use today was impossible to find in New Jersey in 1978. That’s why we used bongs! To make the less than high quality cannabis much more palatable. I remember we used to put ice in the bong to cool it down. No longer! The glass serves to exemplify the ultra-high quality of the nugs and vice versa.

My experience with rigs has never been much of a draw for me. Perhaps it was the difficulty of the cleaning process, or even the loudness of the smoke rushing through the glass. Who knew that concentrates were so intense? But enter the Omega design. No more coughing, even with less than perfect source materials. The Omega- shown above, is for ultra-gourmet cannabis users. If you know that difference between wax, rosin, oil and the multitude of other derivatives- shatter, etc.etc, this rig is for you. I’d be remiss on missing some of them. The Omega is definitely your glassware. I couldn’t believe the quality of the glassware, the smooth smoke and mouth-watering finish that exemplified the quality of the flowers from Casa Humboldt. The action and reaction put a smile on my face and taught me a thing or two about hand-made quality. Thank you for your generosity and kindness.

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