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The 20 Most Valuable Happy Meal Toys From McDonald’s

When you were much younger, did you drive your parents crazy for a McDonald’s Happy Meal? Are you still buying Happy Meals? Maybe the recent Cactus Plant Flea Market collaboration has you feeling nostalgic! If you’re like me, you were always asking for them when your parents drove you places.

Related: Cactus Plant Flea Market Nike collaboration

Either way, this is a great time to look back at the 20 most valuable Happy Meal toys of all time! Let’s see if you owned or still own any of these Happy Meal grails.

20. Potato Head Kids (1987) – $30.05
McDonald’s

Ah, the Mr. Potato Head Kids. These toys were from the animated Potato Head Kids show that aired from 1986 to 1987. The Happy Meal Miniature Mr. Potato Head toys are difficult to find sealed copies; meanwhile, the loose ones are relatively cheap, with a set of 11 selling for $30.05 on eBay in June. 

19. Despicable Me 2 (2013) July – $35.00
McDonald’s

Despicable Me Minions took over the Happy Meal craze in 2013. The toys were made available at the same time as the movie release, which ended up the 2nd highest-grossing animated movie at the time. The Minions came in a set of 8, and recent sales are around $35.00.

18. Fraggle Rock (1987) – $60.00
McDonald’s

Fraggle Rock was a part of the Muppet Universe and was immensely popular in the late 1980s. Surprisingly, you can complete this set on eBay for less than $60.00. 

17. Furby (2000) March 24 – April 13 – $69.00
McDonald’s

Furby! The 1998 toy line was a massive success that led to two separate McDonald’s Happy Meal toy lines. The 2nd Furby toy line, the 2000 set of 12 Furby key chains, is the more valuable of the two today. The most recent complete sealed set sold was for $69.00.   

16. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990) August- September – $69.95
McDonald’s

The most popular video game character had to make his way to Happy Meals, right? Absolutely! Super Mario made his first appearance in 1990 as a set of 4, including Luigi, Little Goomba & Koopa Paratroopa. The most recent set sold was in April for $69.95. There are still complete sets available near that price.  

15. Inspector Gadget (1999) July 16 – August 12 – $70.00
McDonald’s

The Inspector Gadget set is unique. This is the first set on the list that is built into one character. You would have to have all 8 pieces to make the full Inspector Gadget, which is currently available around $50.00-$70.00 on eBay. 

14. Star Trek Meal (1979-1980) December 1979 – February 1980 – $90.00
McDonald’s

This is certainly one of the more unique Happy Meal promotions. There were 5 custom Happy Meal boxes for Star Trek, which included games & comics for the Movie. One of the notable scenes on the boxes was the death of 2 crewmembers. Imagine that being on a happy meal box today.

The toys available with the Happy Meals were a Star Trek Video Communicator, Star Trek Rings, which snapped together & a board game where you go through outer space on the Enterprise. A sealed Bracelet recently sold for $90.00 in June, and the Star Trek Communicator recently sold for $25.00 in July. Meanwhile, a case of the Happy Meal boxes recently sold for $121.73 on eBay.

13. 101 Dalmatians (1997-1998) December 26 – January 29 – $96.00
McDonald’s

This is probably the coolest set McDonald’s ever released as part of Happy Meals. The 101 Dalmatians were available in happy meals, but there was also the caveat that you could win the whole collection as part of a McDonald’s program that promoted the movie 101 Dalmatians. Recently a complete set with authentication sold for $96.00 at auction on eBay.

12. 1993 Barbie Set – $105
eBay

This set is interesting in that the concept would never fly today. McDonalds and Mattel did this collaboration at the same time they were handing out Hot Wheels toys in the Happy Meal boxes. Children were asked to choose between a “boys toy” and a “girls toy”.

This set sold for $105 on eBay, but with them all looking pristine in their original boxes, I wonder if the buyer got a steal!

11. Changeables – Transforming Food (1987 & 1989) – $100.00
McDonald’s

When I mentioned the most valuable Happy Meal Toys, my father immediately picked the Changeables. These toys would change into dinosaurs and robots from items on the menu. Recently a sealed set of 8 Changeables from 1989 sold for $100.00. 

10. Clone Wars Happy Meal Box (2008) August 15 – September 11, 2008 – $135.00
McDonald’s

Star Wars finally makes the list! This set is based on the animated Clone Wars show that aired from 2008-09. The Clone Wars complete set of 18 is quite reasonable despite being 13 years old. You can complete the set for under $60.00 if you can find a lot available. There is also a 9 piece collectible box available that recently sold for $135.00 in May. The cardboard boxes that the Happy Meal came in are also desirable, selling for $15.00 recently. 

9. Pokémon 25th Anniversary Pikachu holo #25 PSA 10 – $150
McDonald’s

To end this countdown, we have to go with the Pokémon 25th Anniversary Packs that were available in the Happy Meals. Why? The craze for packs and cases of packs was ridiculous; people were making offers to store managers and doing their best to buy cases and flip them for insane markups.

Simply put, these cards/packs are #1 on the list because a PSA 10 graded Holographic Pikachu sold for $445 on eBay in July. However, they are currently selling for around $150. While that’s certainly trending in the wrong direction, it’s still not a bad return on what was supposed to just be a fun Happy Meal giveaway.

Regardless, of whether this card is worth $100 or $400 (if graded a pristine PSA 10) today, it’s still more than most other single item on this list.

Over 42 years, McDonald’s has included toys in Happy Meals, and yet one of their most valuable is a Pikachu Card that’s just over a year old, which illustrates just how powerful and collectible the Pokémon brand is.

8. 2013 NFL Rush Zone (Complete Set) $225
eBay

NFL Rush Zone was an animated show on Nickelodeon that only ran for three seasons and focused on an 11-year-old San Diego Chargers fan (Ish) that protected a power source which was hidden in all 32 NFL stadiums. NFL stars and head coaches such as Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Mike Tomlin made guest appearances on the show, and every NFL team was represented by one of the “Rusherz”, a race of humanoid aliens that in some way resembled the logo or the city.

As weird as that concept sounds, this set going for $225 is proof that you can pretty much sell anything with an NFL logo on it.

7. Snoopy (1998-1999) – $350.00
McDonald’s

The Snoopy World Tour came with 28 figures and was available as a complete set in a case designed as Snoopy’s house. Each toy represented a different country. The 2nd set of Snoopy toys was also available individually in 1999, and recently 27 sealed copies sold for $52.28. There is one complete set in the case listed currently on eBay for over $350.00.

6. Power Rangers (1995) – $350.00
McDonald’s

The Power Rangers Mania was real, with demand causing shelves to be empty and families calling Bandai direct demanding toys. The demand wasn’t nearly that great for the Happy Meal toys, but they were popular. I remember having each one and enjoying a lot of happy meals when these were released. Recently a loose set sold for $85.04 in May, while a sealed set is valued at over $350.00.

5. Underwater Monsters By Diener Keshi (1979) – $400.00
Diener Keshi

The first two sets of toys made available in Happy Meals were from Diener Keshi. Both were also multi-purposed as toys & erasers. Loose sets fetch over $80.00, and sealed sets, which are very rare, are valued at over $400.00. 

4. Robots By Diener Keshi (1979) – $400.00
Diener Keshi

Like the Underwater Monsters, Diener Keshi also made the Robots. These are the first toys available for Happy Meals and the first Keshi toys shipped to the USA. The set contains 14 figures, and some are still available loose on eBay. A sealed set would also fetch north of $400.00, like the Underwater Monsters.

3. “Cactus Plant Flea Market” Adult Happy Meal Toys – $551
eBay

Adult Happy Meals might seem ridiculous to some people, but I disagree. You’re never too old for a Happy Meal!

McDonald’s linked up with Cactus Plant Flea Market for this collaboration that features four figures, Grimace, the Hamburglar, Birdie and Cactus Buddy. There is also a website where you can purchase some gear that celebrates the collab!

“We’re taking one of the most nostalgic McDonald’s experiences and literally repackaging it in a new way that’s hyper-relevant for our adult fans,” said Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA’s chief marketing and customer experience officer, in a statement.

This set of all four figures sold for $551, which is quite a return on the tasty investment.

2. Hot Wheels (1983) -$875.00
McDonald’s

The McDonald’s Hot Wheels are the most underrated of all the toys listed. Sealed vintage hot wheels have been climbing in value steadily, and the 1983 McDonald’s set is no different. A complete 15 car sealed set was recently sold with the original sheet for $875.00 in May. Of all the items on this list, these are likely to be the most valuable moving forward.  

1. TY’s Teenie Beanie Baby Boos (1999) April 11, 1997 – May 15, 1997 – $1,000.00
TY

If you weren’t around for the Beanie Baby craze, let me just say it was worse than the Pokémon Packs being sold earlier this year. Parents were buying out all the Teenie Beanie Babies at McDonald’s, and with limited supply, there were multiple incidents that led to injuries and arrests. One McDonald’s employee was charged with theft after being caught stealing $6,000.00 worth of them.

The Teenie Beanie Babies were smaller versions of the Beanie Babies and were available in Happy Meals or individually for sale at $2.00 each. Sealed versions of the original Teenie Beanie Babies fetch over $50.00, and as a set, they are worth over $1,000.00. Not bad for 22-year-old Happy Meal Toys. 

Categories
Culture News

The Top 20 Cannabis Companies You Should Know

Whether it be in the form of flower, oil or serums, the legal marijuana industry is going to blow up. We’re betting that the industry will totally eclipse a slew of other vice industries in years to come. Like with any burgeoning field, it’s often difficult to determine who we’ll be talking about in ten years and who’s just saturating the market. So Rama Mayo—the president of Green Street—and I rounded up the top 20 Cannabis companies to keep an eye on.

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1. Pure Beauty
  • Brand type: Cultivator / Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Menthol cannabis cigarettes / Little Strong Drink

The appeal is in the name. Pure Beauty is doing something unique in the cannabis space by emphasizing the aesthetic of both their online user experience and their product design. They’re still pretty early in their entry into the space, but their beautiful visual style and commitment to ethically growing their product make Pure Beauty an absolutely necessary cannabis company to keep an eye on.

learn more
https://purebeautypurebeauty.co/products/
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2. Alien Labs
  • Brand type: Cultivator / Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Flower / Smell proof bags

If you could get free weed forever, Alien Labs is where you should go. The brand’s flower is absolutely legendary; it’s the Don Perignon of weed. Of course, the best comes at a price, but the hefty price tag is absolutely appropriate. With some of the best cultivators in the game, Alien Labs is an absolute must-try brand for real flower aficionados.

learn more
https://alienlabsshop.com/
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3. Jungle Boys
  • Brand type: Cultivator / Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Flower

Jungle Boys is a unique brand because of their position as both an incredible cultivator and a destination for buying. They have their own retail locations, their own cultivation and a pretty sick merch line. Jungle Boys represents a growing trend in the cannabis space: the conflation between weed companies and lifestyle brands. They don’t do any shows or expos, and sell all of their product themselves. The LA brand has been around since 2006, and will likely be one of the biggest companies in cannabis as we continue to watch the industry explode.

learn more
https://alienlabsshop.com/
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4. Cannacraft
  • Brand type: Cultivator
  • Key products: Oil / Lagunitas Hi Fi Hops

Cannacraft is different from some of the aforementioned brands because of their emphasis on oil. They do huge outdoor grows which are processed for oil, and are fast becoming one of the most revolutionary brands in cannabis. During the raging California fires of 2017, the Cannacraft owners let the Red Cross set up in their facilities. The brand is really the poster child of how to be a cannabis company that gives back, while simultaneously making huge strides in the production of weed products.

We also have to mention the breakout product of 2020, Cannacraft’s collab with brewery Lagunitas (a subsidiary of Heineken): Hi Fi Hops. The beer replacement contains 0 calories and 0 sugar, but still gives drinkers the refreshing buzz of a traditional beer. It’s an absolute game changer for not just the cannabis industry, but the beverage industry generally.

learn more
https://www.cannacraft.com/
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5. Henry’s Original
  • Brand type: Cultivator
  • Key products: Pre-rolls

Part of what makes Henry’s so great is their commitment to farming and growing good outdoor flower. They’re mostly known for their pre-rolls, filled with weed grown in Mendocino County on the company’s property. Henry’s is farmer owned and operated, and is culturally a bit similar to many of the Northern California wineries, emphasizing a commitment to agriculture and building a beautiful space to grow. You can check out this Forbes article about their amazing fundraising efforts as well.

learn more
https://henrysoriginal.com/
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6. Country Cannabis
  • Brand type: Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Good Neighbor flower

Country is meant to be a hard working weed, grown for people who like to smoke while remaining productive. Many of their strains are lower in THC dosage while maintaining a higher CBD dosage, reducing the fogginess of traditional smoking but with all the good stuff. If you want to learn more, check out the profile we did on the brand last year.

learn more
https://pillar.io/country
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7. Cookies / Lemonnade
  • Brand type: Retailer / Cultivator / Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Lemonnade’s sativa flower

Cookies is the closest thing the Cannabis Industry has to a titan like Nike. Helmed by legendary recording artist and entrepreneur Berner, Cookies aims to embody what makes California unique, through fashion, cannabis, sports and music. The clothing line alone records profits which dwarf that of a lot of other cannabis competitors. Berner was originally a cultivator, but now partners with farms and other cultivators to create Cookies dispensaries. You can’t talk about Cannabis in 2020 without mentioning Cookies.

We’d also like to address Cookies’ sister company, Lemonnade. Founded in 2015 by Berner and Brett Wilson, Lemonnade is known for its amazing Sativa flower and beautiful aesthetic. They’ve collabed with artists like Rick Ross, Michael Corleone, and Run The Jewels, and their overall vertical integration (they use a seed-to-sale business model) gives them total control over their customers’ smoking and buying experience. If you’re a sativa-head, then Lemonnade might just be your brand.

learn more
https://www.thereallemonnade.com/
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8. The Cannabis Brothers
  • Brand type: Cultivator
  • Key products: Flower

The Cannabis Brothers is a family Cannabis company. Their flower is on the level of Alien Labs and Jungle Boys; their mission is truly just to grow amazing flower. It’s a 100% family business, helmed by two brothers. The owners are some of the nicest dudes you could possibly meet (The Cannabis Gardener and Payaso Grow are the OG brands, named after brother master growers Terence and Philip) in cannabis or any space, and their flower lives up to their standards.

learn more
https://www.tcgindustriesllc.com/the-cannabis-brothers
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9. The Originals / The Cure Company
  • Brand type: Cultivator / Retailer
  • Key products: Flower

The Originals and the Cure Company are an example of two brands working side by side in cannabis. The two brands are run by two iconoclasts; they work together to sell from their own dispensaries and also sell directly to other businesses. In addition to growing their own line of signature strains, The Originals grows select flower for Mike Tyson’s brand and Shavo’s brand 22Red. The Cure Company is partnered with the late great Nipsey Hussle on his Marathon OG strain. These two brands are the operation behind a lot of the biggest name releases in cannabis in the past few years.

learn more
https://www.thecurecompany.com/home
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10. Cream of the Crop
  • Brand type: Cultivator
  • Key products: Rest line

Cream of the Crop grows crazy flower, but unlike some of these other flower-first brands, they also have their own line of full spectrum oils. The brand’s commitment to healthy living manifests in their “Rest” line, which contains cannabis and other essential ingredients (including Coconut Flour, Beeswax, FSO, and their REST Terpene Blend, Melatonin, Valerian Root, and Ginkgo Biloba) to create a true rest-aid for cannabis users and non-users alike.

learn more
https://www.creamofthecropgardens.com/
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11. Trees By Game
  • Brand type: Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Premium bud

As you may have guessed, Trees By Game is the cannabis brand brought to you by west coast hip hop icon, the Game. The flower is “hand picked” by the rapper, and the brand’s stated mission is to “deliver CA’s highest quality flower to ‘the real smokers.'” Like some of the other brands on this list, Trees By Game is a great brand for real flower aficionados looking for that upscale, premium bud. 

learn more
https://www.instagram.com/treesbygamecalifornia/?hl=en

These next three brands are all affiliated with the Green Street, which has deep ties to Gary Vee. Rama Mayo, the President of Green Street, helped co-author this article. However, regardless of any affiliation between Green Street and ONE37pm, these brands would make our list of companies to look out for because of the incredible work they are doing in the space.

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12. Gas
  • Brand type: Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Tiered flower

When you think about celebrities surrounding cannabis, one of the first people you think of should be 2 Chainz. Gas is majority owned by the rapper; he chose the name, the strains, and he chooses all the products. He is truly a weed aficionado and arguably knows cannabis better than any artist in the world. The brand sells multiple tiers of weed (something unique compared to some of these other brands), and funny enough, their best sellers are their highest end pre rolls and then their more affordable eighths of flower.

learn more
https://campnovaonline.com/author/gas-by-2chainz/
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13. Vacation
  • Brand type: Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Bud / Cool accessories

Vacation is fun. Their goal is to help you get in that Vacation mindset no matter if that means chilling with friends at a BBQ, watching a movie or sitting on the beach doing absolutely nothing. The company is a joint venture (pun intended) between Sho Labs and Green Street, and their weed is “grown by the best northern california stoners we could find.” The burgeoning company also boasts a great lineup of eye-popping accessories and a laid-back visual style.

learn more
https://vacationcannabisco.com/
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14. Asterisk*
  • Brand type: Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Artwork / merch

Asterisk is going to be the Avengers of the Cannabis space. Gary Vee and Juicy J are already among the investors in the brand, and they brought on legendary designer Cody Hudson to create the merch. Weed is merely one of many avenues Asterisk aims to capitalize on. Between their merch and high-profile investors, Asterisk is set to be a true lifestyle brand.

learn more
https://www.asteriskgoods.com/
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15. Jeeter
  • Brand type: Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Live resin / Pre-rolls

Jeeter boasts the title of having the “#1 Pre-Roll in the world.” The brand, which sells a wide array of pre-rolls, flower, concentrates and more, was born in Miami before expanding to California and other legalized states. Jeeter is much more than just a cannabis brand, with an expansive roster of apparel, experiences and more.

learn more
https://www.jeeter.com/
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16. Wizard Trees
  • Brand type: Cultivator
  • Key products: Flower

Wizard Trees is a great cultivator based out of LA. Like a lot of the other cultivators on this list, they don’t sell flower direct to consumer but you can find where to get your hands on their bud on the website.

learn more
https://wizard-trees.com/
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17. Wonderbrett
  • Brand type: Cultivator / Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Flower that emphasizes flavor and terpenes

Founded in 2014, Wonderbrett grows some of the best flower around creating small batch, premium cannabis at their Long Beach, CA facility. You can find out where you can get your hands on Wonderbrett-grown products here.

learn more
https://www.wonderbrett.com/retailers
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18. STIIZY
  • Brand type: Retailer / Cultivator / Lifestyle brand
  • Key products: Live resin vapes

STIIZY has some of the most innovative vape tech in the game, comprising the industry standard for convenient and portable marijuana consumption. Something that sets STIIZY apart is the use of proprietary technology through the entirety of their vapes, allowing the brand to fully cultivate the entire experience of smoking. They’ve earned a cult following over the years, with good reason.

learn more
https://www.stiiizy.com/
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19. Cannabiotix

Brand type: Cultivator
Key products: Premium flower, live resin cartridges

The founders of CBX have been in the game for nearly 20 years, officially starting the brand in 2014. Today, CannaBiotix boasts one of the most expansive rosters of cannabis strains available on the market with one goal in mind: “to be able to provide their friends and family with the craziest weed they have ever seen or smoked.”

The account linked above is a subsidiary of Cannabiotix and you can click through to the brand’s primary private IG.

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20. Lobo Cannagar

Brand type: Pre-roll company
Key products: Presidentes / Mini pre-rolls

Lobo produces a wide range of pre-rolls, most notably their Presidente cannagars—premium cigar-style wraps. It’s one of the most luxurious smoking options on the market, combining the relaxing vibe of cigars with the heavy weed smoker culture of blunts. They also sell a really great pack of minis for a casual smoke on the go, which is their best-selling product. To learn more about Lobo, check out this profile we did on the brand’s founder, Eduardo Whittington.

learn more
https://www.one37pm.com/popular-culture/lobo-cannagar-eduardo-whittington-pre-roll-interview
Categories
News Popular Culture

From Gaming and Digital Content to Web3: How These Creators Use LinkedIn

Perceptions of social media are constantly shifting. What was once deemed a medium destined for distraction is now one of the greatest resources around, allowing users of all different backgrounds to connect with like-minded individuals and develop their craft—whatever it may be. And no platform is quite as beneficial as LinkedIn, which gives users the opportunity to curate their feeds in a way that’s focused on building oneself as a brand and a business.

Anyone on LinkedIn can be what’s known as a creator—they’re the heart of the platform, creating professional content that encourages dialogue and connects people.

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We had the opportunity to catch up with four creators who are doing an incredible job educating others in their lanes and demonstrating the fullest potential of everyone’s favorite networking community.

Nathan Klingseis, Metaverse Strategist
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathan-klingseis-20aa90121/
LinkedIn

“LinkedIn gives me access to a highly targeted audience, rather than the broad masses I find on other platforms,” says Nathan Klingseis, a metaverse strategist who’s worked with a vast array of Web3 brands. “Almost every single follower, connection and interaction is with someone who is within the field I work in or someone interested in the services I provide. I’m able to build audiences of highly engaged individuals that are heavily niched down, compared to other platforms where my content appeals to a wider audience.”

When it comes to best practices for growing your audience on LinkedIn, Nathan focuses on authenticity: “Be honest and post with integrity. LinkedIn is a ‘professional network,’ but professionals still desire creativity and great storytelling.” As far as actual mechanical suggestions go, he offers: “Once you’ve got that down, make sure you’re posting consistently (take breaks when needed) and interacting with your comments and connections.”

We were also curious to hear Nathan’s perspective on introducing newcomers to the world of Web3. “The best way to understand is to do your research on what ‘decentralization’ actually means,” he explains. “Don’t start with NFTs or Blockchain, start with decentralization. Because everything else in Web3 is just the technology that pushes us as a community towards decentralizing. Once you understand that, everything else kind of pieces itself together,” he elaborates. “Watching videos, exploring LinkedIn posts and reading blogs will always help improve knowledge.”

Noémie Marguerite, Photographer and Creative Entrepreneur
https://www.linkedin.com/in/noemiet/
LinkedIn

For photographer Noémie Marguerite, LinkedIn has been most helpful connecting her with the right collaborators. “LinkedIn helps build the business relationships that us creatives may overlook, providing the key information of who is doing what in which company,” she explains.

And the platform makes it easy to connect with new creators: “LinkedIn helps me be intentional about who I want to build relationships with,” she explains. “If you want to work with photo editors, all you have to do is search them. If there’s an advertisement or production you enjoyed, it’s a lot easier to find who’s responsible. It’s also key to note that—even if you’re building a relationship with someone that’s not directly in your field—you can’t underestimate who they know or work with.”

As far as making your content stand out on the platform, “LinkedIn is a great way to explain who you are and what you do,” she reveals. “It’s like a one-sided interview where you decide the question and answer it to your connections. As cliche as it sounds, the best way to stand out is to stay true to yourself. No one else is like you, so emphasize that!”

We were also curious to hear a bit about Noémie’s perspective on her career as a photographer. “I love the experience. I love being on set of a shoot and it coming together,” she says. “The process is more interesting to me than the end result. I love being a documentarian at events. It feels like I’m capturing a moment in history. I’m so grateful that my job is to photograph and film life. It’s such an honor.”

Marcus Howard, Lifelong Gamer and Published Author
https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcus-esports-howard-60785023/
LinkedIn

Perhaps no one represents the true potential of LinkedIn as well as eSports guru Marcus Howard. “I’ve been using LinkedIn for over 10 years because it helps me build an amazing community of professionals,” he tells ONE37pm. “Unlike other social platforms, users on LinkedIn understand (and even appreciate) that the social exchange can include a business context: Nearly 90 percent of the business that I’ve generated over the last four years has come from LinkedIn.”

Marcus is also very well-positioned to highlight other creators on the platform he admires: “My favorite influencers are regular people from my professional community who share consistently bold perspectives that help me think and grow.” Think: Kathryn De Shields-MoonSebastian “Chosen1” Burton and James O’Hagan.

As a creator who’s seen immense growth on LinkedIn, he shares some insight into how to best grow your audience. “Regularly post meaningful content, and regularly engage in meaningful conversations,” he says. “The first part helps you maximize your visibility and thought leadership. The second part helps you build valuable relationships via comments to others on your posts, comments to others on other peoples’ posts, or conversations in LinkedIn DMs. The ‘know, like, trust factor’ isn’t built overnight, but if you’re consistent with your content and conversations it’s well worth the time invested,” he elaborates.

To dive more into Marcus’ wealth of knowledge, check out his new book, INNOVATE® Gaming & Esports, which aims to answer the question more deeply.

Reed Duchscher, CEO of Night
https://www.linkedin.com/in/reedjd/
LinkedIn

Reed Duchscher, CEO of Night Media, explains how the business focus on the platform has presented a unique opportunity. “The people on LinkedIn consuming my content are more industry-focused (marketing managers, brand managers, execs, etc.) as opposed to other social platforms where my audience is much younger (16-24).”

He also has some keen insight into the development of growing his audience as a LinkedIn creator: “A few things have worked. 1) Putting thought behind the things you post, not just re-sharing articles without context. 2) Staying consistent when you post. I’ve been posting 4-5 times a week for over six months. 3) Experimenting with new features—polls, video, live-streaming. 4) Interacting on other creators’ posts.”

As far as favorite LinkedIn tools go, Reed lists a couple of key features: “In terms of growing my audience, I would have to say polls. In terms of new business opportunities, I would say the videos I post breaking down different aspects of the creator economy.”

More Info on LinkedIn Creators

To learn more about the many tools and opportunities provided to creators on LinkedIn, click here. And be sure to follow along with the four creators above—their stories encapsulate so much of what can be done with LinkedIn’s platform.

Categories
Culture News

As Seen On TikTok: Baken-Ets’ Spicy Beat Is Stuck in Our Heads

Who doesn’t love a good snack? But when it comes to snacking, we all have our different preferences and “moods.” If you happen to be in the mood for tons of flavor and crunch (and when aren’t you?), look no further than Baken-Ets fried pork skins. Delicious with a savory crunchy texture, they’ve got you covered with four unbeatable specialty varieties: Hot ‘N Spicy, Traditional, Queso and Flamin’ Hot.

Each pork rind (also known as chicharrones) is fried and seasoned with zesty flavors, making it our go-to snack any time of the day. Which is why we teamed up with a bunch of snack-savvy TikTok creators to show us exactly how they “Crunch to the Beat” with Baken-ets.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@chandlerandalexis/video/7075801653202636078" data-video-id="7075801653202636078" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@chandlerandalexis" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@chandlerandalexis">@chandlerandalexis</a> <a title="ad" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ad">#ad</a> BAKEN-ETS has got the crunch! @Baken-Ets <a title="crunchtothebeat" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/crunchtothebeat">#crunchtothebeat</a> <a title="chicharrones" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/chicharrones">#chicharrones</a> <a title="porkrinds" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkrinds">#porkrinds</a> <a title="porkskins" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkskins">#porkskins</a> <a title="fritolay" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fritolay">#fritolay</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Crunch-to-the-Beat-7075723686795332394">♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets</a> </section> </blockquote> ","hedChandler and Alexis","buttonTextBUY NOW ($2.29)","buttonUrlhttps://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/</code>
Chandler and Alexis

The cheesy and fiery flavor combo of Queso, followed by Flamin’ Hot Baken-Ets inspires these two to show off their best salsa dancing moves. Talk about turning up the heat.

BUY NOW ($2.29)
https://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/
<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@missbedhead/video/7075761254970707246" data-video-id="7075761254970707246" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@missbedhead" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@missbedhead">@missbedhead</a> <a title="ad" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ad">#ad</a> BAKEN-ETS Pork Rinds crunch test @Baken-Ets <a title="baken" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/baken">#BAKEN</a>-ETS <a title="porkskins" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkskins">#porkskins</a> <a title="chicharrones" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/chicharrones">#chicharrones</a> <a title="crunchtothebeat" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/crunchtothebeat">#crunchtothebeat</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Crunch-to-the-Beat-7075723686795332394">♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets</a> </section> </blockquote> ","hedMiss Bedhead","buttonTextBUY NOW ($2.29)","buttonUrlhttps://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/</code>
Miss Bedhead

Miss Bedhead wakes up her taste buds with a mixture of Hot ‘N Spicy and Traditional flavors. If a snack can make you shimmy, you know it’s delicious.

BUY NOW ($2.29)
https://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/
<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@dadandboujiee/video/7075759682601635118" data-video-id="7075759682601635118" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@dadandboujiee" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@dadandboujiee">@dadandboujiee</a> <a title="ad" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ad">#Ad</a> My kids love the Hot-N-Spicy, but Queso is my go to! @Baken-Ets <a title="dadlife" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/dadlife">#DadLife</a> <a title="crunchtothebeat" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/crunchtothebeat">#crunchtothebeat</a> <a title="chicharrones" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/chicharrones">#chicharrones</a> <a title="porkskins" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkskins">#porkskins</a> <a title="fyp" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fyp">#fyp</a> <a title="viral" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/viral">#viral</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Crunch-to-the-Beat-7075723686795332394">♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets</a> </section> </blockquote> ","hedDad and Boujee","buttonTextBUY NOW ($2.29)","buttonUrlhttps://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/</code>
Dad and Boujee

Dad and Boujee certainly needs all snacks on deck with four active children. This dad’s got every flavor for every single one of his moods (and dance moves).

BUY NOW ($2.29)
https://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/
<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@jamesandcaleigha/video/7075832072224492842" data-video-id="7075832072224492842" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@jamesandcaleigha" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@jamesandcaleigha">@jamesandcaleigha</a> <a title="ad" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ad">#ad</a> Whose girlfriend says they aren’t hungry then steals their BAKEN-ETS! @Baken-Ets <a title="crunchtothebeat" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/crunchtothebeat">#crunchtothebeat</a> <a title="chicharrones" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/chicharrones">#chicharrones</a> <a title="porkskins" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkskins">#porkskins</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Crunch-to-the-Beat-7075723686795332394">♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets</a> </section> </blockquote> ","hedJames and Caleigha","buttonTextBUY NOW ($2.29)","buttonUrlhttps://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/</code>
James and Caleigha

We can’t help but relate to James and Caleigha. She’s not hungry when James brings out the Flamin’ Hot flavor, but can’t help herself as soon as he leaves ’em unattended.

BUY NOW ($2.29)
https://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/
<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@beautyofthefoodie/video/7076122192819293483" data-video-id="7076122192819293483" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@beautyofthefoodie" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@beautyofthefoodie">@beautyofthefoodie</a> <a title="ad" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ad">#ad</a> Crunching my way through this bag of BAKEN-ETS! @Baken-Ets <a title="porkskins" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkskins">#porkskins</a> <a title="chicharrones" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/chicharrones">#chicharrones</a> <a title="crunchtothebeat" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/crunchtothebeat">#crunchtothebeat</a> <a title="fritolay" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fritolay">#fritolay</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Crunch-to-the-Beat-7075723686795332394">♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets</a> </section> </blockquote> ","hedBeauty of the Foodie","buttonTextBUY NOW ($2.29)","buttonUrlhttps://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/</code>
Beauty of the Foodie

This skilled chef and foodie loves two things: the Traditional flavor of Baken-Ets and showing off how many different ways she can crunch.

BUY NOW ($2.29)
https://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/
<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@bakenets/video/7075723716063186218" data-video-id="7075723716063186218" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@bakenets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@bakenets">@bakenets</a> <a title="ad" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/ad">#AD</a> It’s crunch time! This is your sign to <a title="crunchtothebeat" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/crunchtothebeat">#crunchtothebeat</a> with Baken-Ets! @irene kim <a title="porkskins" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkskins">#porkskins</a> <a title="chicharrones" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/chicharrones">#chicharrones</a> <a title="porkrinds" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/porkrinds">#porkrinds</a> <a title="fritolay" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/fritolay">#fritolay</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Crunch-to-the-Beat-7075723686795332394">♬ Crunch to the Beat - Baken-Ets</a> </section> </blockquote> ","hedIrene Kim","buttonTextBUY NOW ($2.29)","buttonUrlhttps://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/</code>
Irene Kim

TikToker Ireneykim is the snack queen, so of course we had to get her input. She rates every flavor and has a few fun crunching tricks up her sleeve.

BUY NOW ($2.29)
https://lets.shop/6D9/baken-ets/
Categories
Culture News

Talking Pre-Rolls with Lobo Cannagar’s Eduardo Whittington

“Often times, we think we have to change for the world. But the world can change to you,” Eduardo Whittington—co-founder of Lobo Cannagar—reflects to me between milky hits of his brand’s proprietary pre-rolls.

For a lot of consistent smokers, there’s long been a stigma around the pre-roll. Since legalization has begun to escalate nationwide, most dispensaries have treated pre-rolls as the chicken nuggets of weed, comprised of the leftover bits and pieces not deserving of premier billing. But Lobo Cannagars is changing the perception of pre-rolls, promoting them to a position as an elite tool in the regular smokers’ arsenal. I had the opportunity to catch up with Eduardo to hear about the inception of the brand and the ethos driving him forward to this day.

https://lobohemp.com/product/lobo-cannagar/
Lobo

Eduardo’s Genesis

Prior to starting Lobo, Eduardo worked for a long time with a little brand called PuffCo—if you’ve heard of it. He was the third employee ever hired there, and helped them to build out their creative structure as the brand’s Creative Director for over 3 years. He got the gig in 2014 after attending a cannabis event for 4/20. Growing up in New Jersey—a place that highly criminalized weed until recently—Eduardo wasn’t used to seeing such a positive culture around the drug. “It blew my mind,” he tells me, adding: “I saw some shit I couldn’t unsee.” 

“I saw cops telling me how good it is for business to sell weed,” Eduardo recalls to me, summarizing that the trip and events “definitely gave me the confidence to go home and quit my job.” This trip was the jumping off point of his career in cannabis, where a friend referred him to Roger Volodarsky, who was in the middle of getting his vape company off the ground.

“Roger from Puffco really was the Morpheus that freed me and showed me a whole other way to live life,” Eduardo tells me; he’s deeply grateful to Roger and Puffco throughout our conversation in his reflection on how he got into the space.

Lobo Cannagar

“I thought pre rolls sucked,” Eduardo chuckles to me as he begins to tell the story of starting Lobo. But the realization soon emerged: “If I can just make pre rolls as I good as I roll them, this is a solid business.” Lobo is essentially Eduardo’s love letter to cannabis, driven by his commitment to sharing the plant with people and a love of gift giving. He founded the brand in 2018 with his business partner Aaron Raskin, “the back of house brains behind the operation,” Eduardo explains.

Eduardo Whittington

Who doesn’t like bomb weed rolled up ready to smoke?

“I really look at this as a cannabis experience company, where I get to share my enthusiasm for this plant and elevate people’s day to day,” he explains to me before exhaling a hit of one of the brand’s signature joints.

“My goal is to put out the best product propionate to the market, with a real focus on story,” he tells me, after explaining how Lobo is now sold in 4 US states (Oregon, Arizona, Michigan, California) and nationally in Canada. He draws a comparison to the wine industry when describing how he thinks about Lobo’s products.

Eduardo Whittington

As the industry matures, we care less about how much alcohol the wine has, and more about the grape’s journey.

Lobo now operates under a franchise model. Eduardo brings on a manfucaturing partner in the various states he’s operating in and gives them the tools to create a pre-roll structure. Regulations are very different from market to market; Canada’s government, for example, actively oversees the distribution of weed in their territories.

One of the most interesting things about Eduardo’s franchise model is the innovative way he produces the tools necessary to the craft. “I’m a big fan of disruptive technologies,” he tells me, going on to explain how he’s integrated 3D printing into his process. “I use a 3D printer to create all the jigs and tooling we use to roll pre-rolls,” he tells me, adding that it helps with supply chain restrictions and allows him to focus on pre-rolls as the product, rather than pre-roll tools. 70% of the tools he supplies his manufacturers with are 3D printed, and they’re all made of hemp plastic. 

The Products

So many of the products sold by Lobo are manifestations of ideas from Eduardo’s mind and history as a smoker. They have the field kit, which is essentially a “deconstructed pre roll box,” that allows the buyer to customize their smoking experience.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CZXO48OJk-9/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

He also mentions the Presidentes, large 2 gram pre-rolled blunts for when you have to really sit down and smoke. They have a glass tip and are hash-infused; ”It’s the perfect blunt for when you need a blunt.”

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CXg7kiGvKix/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>

“It’s the product that, when I was in high school, the thought of it existing would blow my mind,” he chuckles to me. So many of the products are creations based on his teenage smoking years and a lifelong commitment to cannabis.

Eduardo Whittington

If you’re lucky, you get to do what you did as a kid, but at scale.

I got a chance to indulge in Lobo’s pack of minis, a collection of 7 half gram joints infused with hash. “I smoke damn near a pack of minis a day,” Eduardo tells me, demonstrating again that he is selling a product he is personally passionate about.

Lobo

They also produce a myriad of other lifestyle products, and Eduardo prioritizes the aesthetic of their packaging. “You learn a lot from the booze and perfume industry,” he notes, adding that he is essentially “using old school marketing tactics with good efficacy.”

The Future

When we turn to the future, one of Eduardo’s life long dreams is to be able to sell weed legally in NJ and NYC, the areas in which he was raised. Growing up steeped in heavy criminalization of the drug, getting to change perceptions and tangible outcomes of smoking in the place he hails from would be an unbelievable culmination of an already impressive career.

“My goal is to continue our eastern expansion and end up in New Jersey or New York,” he tells me, elaborating: “I just want to sell weed where I grew up, the right way. And really have my business be a springboard for other creative people to enter the space. Because I really do believe in passing it forward.”

Eduardo is such a wealth of insight and retrospection throughout our conversation. From landing kickflips between hits of our shared J to reflections on the state of web3 and future markets, hanging out with Eddie is dynamic and immensely fulfilling.

If smoking a Lobo product replicates even a fraction of the experience of hanging with the man himself, run—don’t walk—to the nearest dispensary.

Categories
Culture News

Here’s How You Can Help the People of Ukraine Right Now

For nearly the past week, we have all watched the invasion of Ukraine unfold—almost in real-time—on our TVs and social media feeds. We’ve seen the people of Ukraine struggle to survive and escape this unjust invasion, looking for any means to protect themselves and their families and friends. As technology advances, so does the ability for warfare to become even more destructive and the potential to inflict casualties that much greater.

Civilians caught in the crossfire are always one of the most tragic consequences of war, and with many in Ukraine trying to find a way to flee the conflict, it’s only right that those with the ability to do so step up to help in any way we can. If you’ve been looking for places to donate, we’ve compiled a list of organizations supporting various causes in Ukraine right now. These are just a handful of groups on the ground helping, so we also encourage you to look to other places and spread the wealth.

Support Civilians
<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CaYICXEFz8D/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
Donate to CARE

Per their mission statement, “CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. We seek a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security.”

In addition to the great work they already do, CARE has started a fund that is dedicated to providing more than four million people with much-needed aid. The packages include food, water, and hygiene kits, and the organization is also providing psychosocial support.

With Ukrainian men aged 18-60 temporarily prohibited from leaving the country to fight, CARE is prioritizing the well-being of women, children, and the elderly.

DONATE HERE
https://my.care.org/site/Donation2?df_id=31067&mfc_pref=T&31067.donation=form1&s_src=172220UCF000&_ga=2.216054870.1391704333.1646060383-1001133444.1646060383
<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CabqitANi0G/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
Donate to Voices of Children

This Ukrainian-based charity, Voices of Children, started in 2015 to respond to the conflict that began in the eastern portion of the country. Its goals include the protection and welfare of children affected by this war, and as the invasion unfolds, they are offering non-stop support for families across the country. In addition to providing psychological support, they are helping in the evacuation process for civilians.

DONATE HERE
https://voices.org.ua/en/
<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CaaU-FDOZKB/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
Support Razom for Ukraine

Prior to the war, Razom for Ukraine was dedicated to “unlocking the potential of Ukraine” by creating spaces for people to cooperate and foster growth. Now, the non-profit is focusing on purchasing medical supplies and ensuring they reach the proper areas using their team of volunteers and logistic professionals.

DOnate here
https://razomforukraine.org/donate/
<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/Caf3H2MpeK8/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
Support Save the Children

Save the Children has supported the welfare of children across the globe for more than a century, and its latest mission is to protect those kids in Ukraine. Per their website:

  • “$50 – can provide enough food to keep 3 children from going hungry for a month
  • $150 – can wrap warm, cozy blankets around 30 children affected by conflict
  • $300 – can provide 150 face masks to refugee health workers on the front lines”

You can also set up a recurring donation system that will charge you monthly and will go towards helping those in Ukraine and other warzones.

Donate Here
https://support.savethechildren.org/site/Donation2?df_id=5748&mfc_pref=T&5748.donation=form1
Support Journalism in Ukraine
<code><p class = "twitter-tweet">https://twitter.com/KyivIndependent/status/1498305661779820551?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></code>
Keep Ukraine’s Media Going

Many journalists from around the world, and more specifically reporters from Ukraine itself, are doing fantastic work to keep the world informed of what is happening on the ground.

Unfortunately, the war has impacted the industry significantly as outlets and journalists constantly have to shuffle around to keep themselves safe and move to where the stories are. Unlike international outlets like CNN or the BBC who have the funds necessary to operate, Ukrainian media lacks the means to keep things running. Your money will go towards relocating journalists, security, medical supplies, and more.

Donate Here
https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-ukraines-media-going
Other Organizations to Check Out
Getty Images

In addition to the organizations listed above, groups like UNICEF, The International Committee of the Red CrossDoctors Without Borders, and the United Nations Refugee Agency have begun to set up operations in Ukraine.

While they are receiving assistance from foreign powers like the United States, NATO, and European Union countries, the Ukrainian military is underfunded. It desperately needs supplies in order to push back the Russian forces. You can help raise funds for them here.

Promote Awareness
Getty Images

It doesn’t sound like much but ensuring that people are made aware of certain situations in Ukraine is crucial right now. In conjunction with reporting on the ground, we all have access to our social media accounts that afford us the opportunity to keep stories alive.

This idea all comes with the caveat of promoting disinformation and false narratives. The more certain posts and pictures are shared, the faster the information spreads, so it is of the utmost importance to verify things as best you can before doing so.

Getty Images

It’s on all of us to do what we can, no matter how small of an impact you might think you might be making, to help in some way. We encourage you to donate to one of the organizations listed above or others that you can find in order to help the people of Ukraine.

Categories
Culture News

From Heisman to Highsman: How Ricky Williams Has Grown Since the NFL

Ricky Williams is a giant. 

He looks like he could throw you from one side of Miami Gardens to the other, without spilling his drink. But that’s the last thing you’d expect from such a good-natured, pleasant, and engaging soul like Ricky’s. 

You’re more likely to receive a breathless hug.

If you looked over his shoulder a few years ago, you’d likely see a football stadium. You’d hear the roaring thunder of the fans, the crack of shoulder pads, you’d smell hot dogs and body odor and you’d be screaming for the Dolphins. 

Zoom out now and you’re more likely to see rows of quiet plants. You’d see Ricky with a watering can or a mister, and you’d smell something far, far more enticing.

Yes, this is the same Ricky Williams who won the Heisman trophy in 1998, the same Ricky Williams who was repeatedly suspended from the NFL for failing drug tests, the same Ricky Williams who has grown immensely since his football days, and is growing still.

Not content with simply consuming cannabis (he has his own range of flower, Highsman), Ricky, like many Americans since the end of prohibition, learned to grow his own. And to grow his own naturally, from seed.

What better way to follow his dream than to team up with the Homegrown Cannabis Co, who themselves have some interesting partnerships. They have indoor expert Kyle Kushman, they have their own outdoor, greenhouse and hash experts (see Nikki Lastreto & Swami Chaitanya, Eric Brandstad, The Dank Duchess), not to mention a close collaboration with the Father of the Cannabis industry himself, Steve DeAngelo. It’s little wonder Ricky chose a company with such a prestigious list of friendships. 

Ricky’s as authentic as they come. His journey has many parallels with the rise of cannabis in the US. Cannabis grew from a vilified, demonized drug to a billion dollar industry, while Ricky grew from a troubled ‘baller to successful businessman, astrology expert and spiritual muse to thousands of adoring fans.

But where did Ricky’s journey with cannabis begin? What made him risk his football career for such a misunderstood herb? And what is it he finds so magical, so rewarding, so soulful and satisfying about turning a tiny seed into a giant, flowering cannabis plant?

<code><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/605173479?h=4b1faf2a59\u0026amp;color=05cb7b\u0026amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Ricky, Weed and the NFL

It’s Ricky’s senior year at Texas and he’s just broken up with his girlfriend. To add humiliation to heartbreak, she immediately starts dating one of Longhorn’s quarterbacks. Ricky’s teammate!

One of Ricky’s friends had a suggestion: smoke some weed. It worked.

“The high was introspective. Calm. Like meditation. I made it a habit.” Ricky explains, “And as far as football was concerned, it actually made me a better player.”

Cannabis helped Ricky reflect on his on-field performances, it helped him analyze his game and make improvements. But there was a price. 

“Pro-athletes and weed, it’s not a combination you hear very often. I often felt apart from my team, an outsider, especially during my early career.”

While his cannabis use led to feelings of conflict, Ricky knew he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Cannabis was natural. It was a plant. And it was keeping him centered. 

It helped with the physicality of the NFL, too. Even after training sessions, most professional players are given a raft of injections for pain, inflammation etc. Ricky found cannabis worked a whole lot better than team doctors pushing opioids, at least for him. But this wasn’t a sentiment shared by many, especially those with the power to make or break careers.

Ricky would be suspended twice before finally hanging up his cleats. He was hounded by the NFL, forced to take more than 500 drug tests, and ostracized for his outspoken views on cannabis. Views that would only deepen in response.

Today’s NFL isn’t so draconian when it comes to weed. America as a society seems to have gone through its own introspection. Hostility has become acceptance. Ignorance has become understanding. Mandatory prison sentences have become jobs in a rapidly-growing industry. It’s all looking up.

It’s a change Ricky played a huge part in, setting the tone for his post-football growth.

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/cultivars-with-character/ricky-williams?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman
Homegrown Cannabis Co

Grow Your Own Way

Ricky’s love of cannabis is no secret, and we’ll talk later about his superb range of Highsman flower. What’s less well-known is Ricky’s passion for home growing. 

“There’s something special about growing anything, especially something like cannabis that can open your mind and contribute to your spiritual growth. And to know that you can take a seed and put it in the ground and literally nurture yourself in that way, it’s truly something amazing.”

When it comes to the toke, he loves a powerful, cerebral sativa, but these aren’t the easiest plants to grow, especially for beginners. Sativas are taller, lankier plants. They take longer in flower than their indica or indica-dominant cousins, and require more light, more heat, and more skill. See below.

Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Classic sativa cultivars (we should stop calling them strains, it’s disrespectful… they’re plants, not bacteria) are challenging to grow. But Ricky loves them. So he gave Homegrown’s breeders a challenge. To develop easier-to-grow versions of his favorites. The result? Well, it took a long time to make him happy, to get the phenos just right, but see for yourself…

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/cultivars-with-character/ricky-williams?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Ricky’s Chocolate Orange. 12 – 17% THC. 18oz weed per seed. Beginner-friendly.

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/products/ricky-williams-chocolate-orange-feminized-marijuana-seeds?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman&utm_content=chocolate_orange
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Ricky’s Purple Haze. 18% THC. 24oz weed per seed. Intermediate-level.

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/products/ricky-williams-purple-haze-feminized-marijuana-seeds?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Ricky’s Panama. 15 – 21% THC. 18oz weed per seed. Beginner-friendly.

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/products/ricky-williams-panama-feminized-marijuana-seeds?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman&utm_content=panama
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

His choice of Homegrown cultivars is smart and relevant. They mean something to him. Much like his range of Highsman flower. You can enjoy his limonene-heavy Pre-Game, a refreshing sativa set to make you sparkle. You can relax with Post-game, a sweet indica that’s all about recovery. And you can always find room for Half-time, a delicious hybrid that delivers ‘a smooth, leveled euphoria’ perfect for time out of the game.

“I tested hundreds of cultivars before settling on the Heisman range, which was a lot of fun! Choosing the Homegrown seeds was different, more time-consuming, but I’m super-happy with the results. People are going to love growing my plants, they’ll find it therapeutic. There’s a certain serenity you can only achieve by spending time in the garden and nurturing new life.”

While Ricky’s love of growing helped him find peace, his deep dive into astrology helped him find control. And it’s become a huge part of his life.

<code><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/592194220?h=82db0d9281\u0026amp;color=05cb7b\u0026amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></code>

Written in the stars?

Growing cannabis is fairly predictable. If you give a plant too much (or too little) water, or you don’t feed it correctly, or starve it of enough light, you’re going to wind up disappointed. There’s cause and effect but at least you know you’re in control.

Ricky discovered something similar with astrology.

“Astrology gives you a rough outline of the life you’ll live. It’s by no means prescriptive, it’s more a template that shows how high you can reach.”

His discovery of astrology was somewhat fortuitous. Already a big fan of meditation, he visited a NorCal ashram in 2004, on his year out from the NFL. After the session, he met with the director, Swami Sita, who gave Ricky an impromptu astrological reading.

“I wasn’t immediately hooked, but I for sure felt a moment of lucidity. Swami planted a seed that took more than ten years to grow.”

For Ricky, astrology provided enlightenment, a road, a knowledge of self that would make even time-served yogis jealous. He felt he understood his past, present and future with equal precision. It gave him the means to recognize and forge his own path. 

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/cultivars-with-character/ricky-williams?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

“Kyle Kushman tells us that once you learn the language of the plants, once you understand what they need and when they need it, you’re on the road to success. This might sound odd, but if you were able to produce the astrological chart of a cannabis plant, you’d see its capacity to become a huge, sticky, super-stinky beast, but you’d also perceive the potential for failure. The basic, abstract form of the plant is fixed. It’s up to the grower to produce something beautiful. That’s how it is with us, too.”

Ricky would love to combine astrology with healing, cultivation with meditation, perhaps creating his own holistic ashram with multiple paths to wellness.

“Yoga, meditation, readings, tending to cannabis plants in the garden, a place to smoke together… that sounds like the coolest place on earth.”

He’s not wrong.

Ricky Williams and the Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Ricky teamed up with Homegrown to reach a new generation of fans. If you follow the NFL, you’ll know Ricky the athlete. If you smoke weed, you’ll know Ricky the toker. But not many people have heard of Ricky Williams the cultivator.

“I grow outdoors, at my place in Idyllwild. The San Jacinto mountains are a great place to cultivate cannabis plants. Long, hot summers. Not much rain. Spring starts slowly but by April we’re up into the 70s pretty consistently. I love sativas and sativas love Idyllwild. But it’s not just about being in the garden. There’s a bunch of amazing reasons to grow your own, not least because it’s now legal.”

The partial end of prohibition isn’t the only reason to make the step up from smoker to grower. Even complete first-time absolute beginners will likely end up with a better product, especially if you absorb all the free info and guides found at Homegrown. 

You can grow safer weed, because you’ll know exactly what went into it. You’ll be the envy of your 420 friends. You’ll learn an amazing new hobby and you’ll likely start growing other things, too.

“I learned a lot from Nikki and Swami, Homegrown’s outdoor experts. They tell us that once you know how to grow cannabis, the temptation is to start growing your own herbs, your own vegetables. It connects you to the rhythms of nature and makes you feel whole.”

https://homegrowncannabisco.com/cultivars-with-character/ricky-williams?a_aid=one37pm&utm_source=one37pm&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=highsman
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

It’s not lost on Ricky that many growers cultivate primarily to save money, even with indoor set-ups. Homegrown cannabis is a far superior product and the cash savings can be staggering, especially for heavy tokers. It’s a win-win situation but Ricky wants more people to grow outdoors, naturally.

“Outdoor grows save even more cash. All you really need is sun, water, and nutrients. You won’t need lights or aircon or any expensive, energy-hungry equipment. At the most you’ll need a fan and maybe a dehumidifier for the drying room. But you’ll run these two weeks at most, not for the entire duration of the grow. And sun-grown weed is awesome. All the terps. All the THC. All the crystals. For me, it’s what it’s all about.”

If you’re interested in learning to grow cannabis, or checking out any of Ricky’s cultivars, please visit the Homegrown Cannabis Co

Categories
Culture News

The Return of the Saga Comic Series

Last week, Saga returned.

For comic fans, it’s likely to be one of the biggest events of the year. The acclaimed series returned last Wednesday after a nearly four year hiatus.

Image Comics

What is Saga?

For those that aren’t familiar: Saga is an immensely popular space opera series written by Brian K. Vaughn with art by Fiona Staples. The series follows Alana and Mako, a pair of lovers on opposite sides of an interstellar war who desert their respective armies to start a family together.

The cast spirals out far beyond them, though, with storylines following a dozen other characters either pursuing or assisting the pair as Alana and Mako struggle to stay one step ahead of the authorities. Some side characters, like bounty hunter The Will and his truth-sensing feline companion Lying Cat, have long-running and compelling arcs despite only occasionally interacting with Alana and Mako. 

The series revels in bizarre locales and exotic character designs, but is anchored by Alana and Mako as grounded characters with real relationship struggles; like conflicts between career-goals and family obligations, difficult relations with in-laws, and poor communication rooted in insecurities. Like most great sci-fi, Vaughn and Staples use the outlandish trappings as background for a very human story.

Vaughn had a pretty significant pedigree before the launch of Saga. His series Y: The Last Man ran for six years and won three Eisner awards and Vaughn’s Runaways is one of the most beloved Marvel series. Staples had previously worked comics at DC Comics, IDW and others before Saga, but the series helped propel her into being a household name in comics.

The Return of Saga (Issue #55)

It’s been a long wait for fans of the series. The series left off on a cliffhanger in July 2018 with issue #54. Like Game of Thrones, Saga’s built a reputation as a series more than willing to kill central characters and take the story in shocking and unexpected directions. But even with that expectation, the end of issue #54 still managed to leave readers stunned.

Saga #55 hit stands last week. Vaughn and Staples have said the series is broken into two 54 issue halves, with the latest issue marking the start of the second half of the series.

Where can I read the Saga comics?

For those looking to catch up, the series is available in trade paperback volumes (volume 1 is $9.99), but the entire first half of the series is available in a larger compendium for $41.

Categories
Culture News

Sad_Papi: From Fine Dining to a 2 Million TikTok Follower Fanbase

Tik Tok chef sensation @Sad_Papi (aka Brandon Skier), has experienced an incredible rise since jumping over to the TikTok scene two years ago. As you may know, Brandon has +10 years of restaurant experience in Michelin star fine dining. His last kitchen experience was Auburn (pre-pandemic), and his journey to TikTok began as a creative outlet to refuel his passion for cooking. His Sad Papi handle has now amassed close to 2M “papitas” and has grown into platforms where he shares educational food content and recipes while also giving insider tips from his days in a traditional kitchen.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@sad_papi/video/7051762758274207022" data-video-id="7051762758274207022" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@sad_papi" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@sad_papi">@sad_papi</a> Crispy potatoes with green chili sauce made from @Sir Kensington’s plant-based Mayo <a title="sirkensingtonspartner" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/sirkensingtonspartner">#sirkensingtonspartner</a> <a title="foodtiktok" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/foodtiktok">#foodtiktok</a> <a title="veganrecipes" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/veganrecipes">#veganrecipes</a> <a title="tiktokfood" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/tiktokfood">#tiktokfood</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ original sound - Sad_papi" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7051762745079237423">♬ original sound - Sad_papi</a> </section> </blockquote></code>

Skier’s direct and honest approach in the kitchen has inspired premium condiment brand, Sir Kensington’s to collaborate with him this month on a delicious Vegan Mayo-inspired “Shattered Potatoes with Vegan Green Chili Aioli” dish. It is all about taking something simple, like potatoes, and showcasing ways to level up with high-quality ingredients and bold sauces. 

We spoke with Brandon last week to talk about the partnership, and discuss his meteoric success.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@sad_papi/video/7042425442074135854" data-video-id="7042425442074135854" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@sad_papi" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@sad_papi">@sad_papi</a> Answer @luv3_your_face the love in the comments on this one really had me 🥲 <a title="foodtiktok" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/foodtiktok">#foodtiktok</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ Own Brand Freestyle - FelixThe1st \u0026amp; Dreya Mac" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/Own-Brand-Freestyle-7019087686937872386">♬ Own Brand Freestyle - FelixThe1st \u0026amp; Dreya Mac</a> </section> </blockquote></code>

ONE37pm: Great to be talking with you! Your career spans 10 plus years, and you’ve been able to parlay that success onto social media. Could you just talk a bit about your journey?

Brandon: I had been working in restaurants for over 10 years. We couldn’t keep up with the pandemic, and restaurants weren’t hiring. Nobody knew the direction the restaurant business was going, and that’s when I discovered TikTok. I was encouraged to start posting my chef videos there. I didn’t know that you can make a living doing this!

ONE37pm: You were able to transition your career through the course of this pandemic where you began to use TikTok as a creative outlet for your cooking. How was that revamp?

Brandon: I feel like through the course of this pandemic people have obviously been on their phones a lot more, and TikTok is a great platform for people who are skilled. When I first started I didn’t know how to do anything on it. I learned how to edit and film, and it paid off. 

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="https://www.tiktok.com/@sad_papi/video/7036920358678646063" data-video-id="7036920358678646063" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@sad_papi" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@sad_papi">@sad_papi</a> Maple and cardamom cinnamon rolls <a title="foodtiktok" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/foodtiktok">#foodtiktok</a> <a title="tiktokfood" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/tiktokfood">#tiktokfood</a> <a title="amazonmusicjinglebelltok" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/amazonmusicjinglebelltok">#AmazonMusicJingleBellTok</a> <a title="thesplashdance" target="_blank" href="https://www.tiktok.com/tag/thesplashdance">#TheSplashDance</a> <a target="_blank" title="♬ original sound - Sad_papi" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/original-sound-7036920358192220975">♬ original sound - Sad_papi</a> </section> </blockquote></code>

ONE37pm: You have a pretty cool collaboration with Sir Kensington’s to kick off the new year which is a delicious recipe using their mayo products. How did that come to be?

Brandon: This was a great opportunity for content creators who are vegan and sharing plant based recipes. We took something simple—a chilli dish with potatoes, and we just crafted this really fun idea.

ONE37pm: What else do you have planned for 2022?

Brandon: I’m working on a lot of stuff. We are writing tons of recipes for a book, we’ve got a website in the making, and I’m just making sure I stay busy.

You can keep up with Brandon via TikTok.

Categories
Culture News

8 Products to Get For the Best At Home Weed Growing Kit

Let’s open this article with a few interesting stats.

According to Flowhub, a full 12% of Americans are now active marijuana users (approx 39.5 million).

Out of these 39.5 million users, 6% already grow their own weed at home, with the numbers increasing month on month, year on year. We can thank amazing resources like Homegrown Cannabis Co for helping with that!

This means there are now 2.5 million Americans cultivating cannabis at home. Even the numbers are growing!

If you like weed, chances are you know someone who grows it, and you’re probably thinking about trying it yourself!

Do you love weed? Do you want a new hobby? Do you want higher quality weed for a much lower cost?

Whether you’re an active grower, just starting out or simply toying with the idea of maybe growing at some point in the future, these are our top 8 products you can’t ignore. 

1. Cannabis Seeds
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Homegrowers can choose to grow from clone or seed. 

Clones have their advantages. They’re a little further along in life than seeds, so they save a bit of time and effort in the tent. 

They’re pretty easy to work with too, as long as they haven’t picked up any problems from the mother plant, the cloning scissors, the other clones, or any of the 100s of customers walking past them in the dispensary every day.

The problem with clones is they’re generally smaller and weaker than plants grown from seed. 

A big reason for this is that clones don’t have taproots.

The first big milestone in a plant’s life is when the seed pops and a tiny taproot emerges. A process known as germination.

This taproot shoots down into the soil and forms the basis of a strong, healthy root system.

It helps plants grown from seed deliver 20 – 30% bigger yields than their clone-grown cousins.

As far as buying is concerned, seeds are far easier to deliver than clones (clones don’t transport well). Plus, the choices you have are staggering (Homegrown Cannabis Co – the best site in the US to buy seeds, for example, has over 500 cannabis strains to choose from, and they ship quickly, direct from California). 

This choice means you can tailor your purchase to your own personality and likes. 

Do you like a high-THC, super-potent smoke? Get a pack of 28% THC Gorilla Glue!

Do you like being ahead of the curve? Get a super-original strain like Baked Apple, Cold War Kush, Caffeine Bomb or Sticky Dickie.

Perhaps you want a strain with an amazing reputation, like Leafly’s 2021 Strain of the Year, Do-si-dos, which is one of Homegrown’s most popular sellers. 

One last piece of advice about seeds. Make sure you know the difference between fems and regs.

Feminized seeds produce an all-female crop. With regulars, the grower needs to grow double the plants, because around half will become males. 

Males need to be identified and removed as early as possible, before they pollinate the females and ruin the crop.

Some growers don’t mind this, some like having males for breeding purposes, but most growers want the most efficient way to fill their jars with bud. This means feminized seeds from a premium-quality source.

Buying seeds is literally giving yourself the gift of life. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?

2. Cannabis Nutrients
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

The best nutrients are often found in the same place you buy the seeds. 

Take Homegrown for instance. They sell the same nutrients that their breeders use for the mother plants, and for the plants that actually produce the seeds.

It’s little wonder that Homegrown nutes bring the best out of Homegrown seeds, it’s like giving them a home-cooked meal, every time!

Homegrown’s nutrient packs simplify cultivation by delivering the exact ratios of micro and macronutrients the plants need for each growth phase. Everything is marked stage-by-stage and comes with instructions, perfect for growers of all ability.

They also include a plant booster – an incredibly useful formula to boost hungry plants or to help with recovery from illness or injury (we’re talking about the plants here, Homegrown nutes won’t help your sprained ankle).

Buying an Organic Nutrient Pack from Homegrown will ensure you get the absolute best from your Homegrown seeds.

3. Grow Kits
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

You can go even better than both of the ideas above, by combining the ideas above.

A basic grow kit usually contains seeds and nutes, but Homegrown include a bottle of kelp-based Germ Genie with theirs. 

Germ Genie can boost germination rates, it makes a useful foliar, and will enrich the soil at any stage of growth. Check it out here.

Depending on skill level, you can choose from a Quick Start Grow Kit (ideal for beginners), or an Advanced Grow Kit.

Your beginner kit ($115) has a year’s worth of standard nutes, a bottle of Genie Genie and 4 x White Widow Auto feminized seeds.

Your advanced kit ($120) has a year’s worth of organic nutes, a bottle of Genie Genie and 4 x Kyle Kushman’s Cherry AK feminized seeds.

Pick the right kit, and you’ll be laughing all the way to harvest!

4. LED Grow Lamps
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

When growing cannabis indoors, you need equipment to mimic sunlight. There are several lamp types to choose from, and it’s usually a question of cost-efficiency and efficacy.

LEDs are the future. The best ones are lightweight, super-efficient and will cater for all stages of grow. This includes flowering, when plants need more energy than ever to produce big, juicy colas.

Our only caveat with LEDs is there’s a lot of bad products on the market. You need a reputable brand like growershouse.com to ensure you’re buying appropriate stuff.

5. Meters
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Humidity meters, pH meters, thermometers—it’s vital you give your plants the best conditions possible, and these tools are a BIG help. Too much humidity can lead to mold and mildew, but you won’t know unless you have a good way of measuring it. 

Same goes for pH – this is impossible (and wholly unadvisable) to guess, but if the pH of your soil is out, your plants are going to suffer, big time. These gadgets are essential to a successful grow but they shouldn’t break the bank.

6. Drying racks

You can DIY a drying space for cannabis buds, but a drying rack makes things ten times easier. 

These products come in mesh, metal, and food-grade plastics, suitable for all budgets and harvest sizes. 

Of course, if you don’t want to use a rack, you can make a drying line with string. It’s just not as cool!

7. Storage
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Any grower worth their salt will tell you that airtight storage is vital for curing and preserving the buds. These units lock in moisture, prevent cannabinoid degradation, and keep the cannabis fresh and potent.

Your choice now goes way beyond Mason Jars (although Mason Jars are great, too). You can choose budget-friendly or luxurious options, but you need to choose from a reputable supplier.
The range at growershouse.com is a good place to start!

8. Extraction machine
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

As our final pick, we have a leftfield suggestion more suited to serious growers. 

Modern extraction machines can make use of the full plant, producing hash, shatter, oils, tinctures and all manner of exotic substances.
This is a big-budget product and a serious statement, so choose the best kit from the best supplier.

The right stuff

We hope this article has given you plenty of food for thought.

It’s important to have the right kit to grow cannabis, but getting the right seeds and nutes is absolutely VITAL.

Seeds are the gift that keep on giving. They represent an endeavour, an adventure, and a delicious, long-lasting and super-enjoyable reward. 

They’re the key to a successful grow and the first step into a greener, happier, higher world.