the art of marijuana etiquette andrew ward benzinga business insider journalist guides advice

BOOK REPORT: “THE ART OF MARIJUANA ETIQUETTE” BY CANNABIS JOURNALIST ANDREW WARD

Books about marijuana are like pizza - some are better than others but in the end it's all good when it focuses on increasing cultural awareness and de-stigmatization of cannabis.

Consider this one of the better pizzas then.

At least as it pertains to brand new missives on dead trees about how to practice good etiquette while engaging in cannabis culture. In other words, this is a great item for novice users, as well as seasoned cannabis fans who want another treasure in their personal weed book library.

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based author and writer whose work has been published in PROHBTDThe Marijuana Times, and PotGuide. Ward has been writing for over a decade while putting most of his time into covering the growing cannabis industry. And now he's dropping his newest self-published effort, The Art Of Marijuana Etiquette in June.

the art of marijuana etiquette andrew ward benzinga business insider journalist guides advice
For more on the book and Andrew Ward's work check him out at his website here.

From the description:

"Here is the first, proper guide on etiquette for those using cannabis for recreation and medicinal purposes. Written by a seasoned journalist, both novices and seasoned tokers can now partake without annoying or offending anyone.

When it comes to cannabis, there are numerous unspoken rules that users take very seriously. Whether we're talking about puff, puff, pass or supplying your own munchies, the marijuana community has always tried to keep etiquette as a staple of the lifestyle. Now, from one stoner to another, The Art of Marijuana Etiquette will guide you through all phases of weed life so you can enjoy the highest quality hydroponic without being disrespectful to those around you. Some key lessons include:

Understanding the language and terminology

Step-by-step details on how to roll

Tips and tricks to improve your smoking session

How to prepare for a visit to legal dispensaries

And much more.

As the negative connotation of marijuana begins to dissipate, there will be more people partaking than ever. That's why noted journalist Andrew Ward has sat down with those in the marijuana community to find out what they find the most important lessons to share, so that veteran and amateur smokers can get the most out of this incredible plant. Having this handy guide to teach you in the ways of weed will make sure that you can continue the proud tradition of respect among stoners, while also educating those joining the party on how to carry themselves. Respect is key, and the more you understand about how to enjoy and medicate with cannabis, the better we will all be."

Sounds great. So we decided to rap with Ward about it.

andrew ward cannabis journalist benzinga high times rolling stone author weedmaps
Portrait of the Artist as a Stoned Man. Image of Andrew Ward in his element via iamandrewward.com

CANNA PROVISIONS: Like a lot of independent journos, you have bylines everywhere. Where are you most often writing for now on the cannabis front?

ANDREW WARD: On the publication side I'm writing primarily for Benzinga, High Times and Business Insider. I also write for StratCann, a solid Canadian publication people should check out. Otherwise I've been looking into expanding into the branding space. I used to work in SEO before becoming a writer in cannabis, and have noticed that my skills can be put to use there.

Personal favs, go: Strain, Concentrate, Cultivator, Personality. Your pick and why.

I got my emotional favorites for the most part. Wedding Cake will always have a place in my heart after a bad stomach condition I had in 2019 where I lost about 15 pounds over a 10-day period. I couldn't eat anything and was in constant pain. The only thing that kept my stomach in check and my mood in a tolerable place was Wedding Cake. (I also like Cherry Bomb because I hear that Runaways song every time I light up.)

Concentrates I don't do much of. I worked with a rosin extraction company for nearly four years, and they were good people that paid well, so I'll say rosin.

No choice on cultivator. I'm hoping that will change soon once the Northeast markets come online, but I'm mostly smoking what my service has. I couldn't tell ya who's making it, but it's often fire.I think my favorite people are the people fighting for reform. Amy Povah and Weldon Angelos have both spent years in federal prison for nonviolent drug offenses and have since been fighting for the freedom of others. They're the ones I'm looking at--I guess Steve DeAngleo would be the "personality" of that circle, if you will.

How did you react to New York legalizing and how many sidewalks have you intentionally fired up a joint on to celebrate legal freedom?

I was taken aback a bit. Mostly because it felt like New York was never going to get it done. That said, it's a massive win for the state and citizens--I couldn't believe such a citizen-friendly bill was approved. I was happy to see all the hard work put in by advocates over the years, including greats like Doug Green, who unfortunately weren't able to live to see the day come, finally come to fruition. Without them, it's unlikely New York is where it is on cannabis.
I've smoked a my fair share of sidewalks. I'm still easing into the semi-post-COVID world, so I'm sticking to mostly the same blocks in Brooklyn so far. That said, this past weekend's cannabis parade in Manhattan was a whole other story.

People may not know you wrote a book on Cannabis Jobs. What has changed since you worked on that book and what has stayed the same?

The data. Cannabis industry data is constantly moving. I note in the book that some may even be out of date once it was published. The same thing with job demand by states. Those two concerns were in mind when I wrote the book. I did my best to highlight data and demand in each chapter but more so focus on the professionals in the space because I felt that information would remain current much longer that the data. Right now, it's part of the cannabis curriculum at Stockton University in New Jersey.

Your new book covers how to prepare for a visit to a legal dispensary. What are the top five things a new cannabis consumer should consider?

I've actually only been in a handful of legal dispensaries myself. Most of my buying is with underground options. That said, buying from licensed or illicit shops have similar considerations. There are some general things to consider: how you want to feel/do you have medical needs they want to address, preferred consumption methods, how long you want the effects to last and price point all jump out. If you think over those points you'll have a good idea of the products that fit your budget and deliver the effects you're seeking in a consumption method that works for you.

Tell me about a choice lesson or anecdote by one of the interviews that provided an important lesson to share so that both seasoned and new cannabis consumers can both learn something and get more from the plant?

I didn't have a ton of lessons or rules get brought up throughout the course of my talks with people while writing the book. Most of them were laid out over a couple of months. One chapter stands out to me most though because it was one I had zero expertise in: respecting the law. As a white man in America, my experience is much more different than a person of color's. To fill that gap a bit, I got insights and experiences from a few people of color in the industry to show what they have to do to avoid getting in trouble for cannabis or anything else involving law enforcement.

I think law etiquette is something little to any cannabis rules books or blogs have touched. So, I wanted to shine a light on it, especially with the heightened awareness stemming from the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others.

Who would you like to challenge in a rolling competition? Or, who would you love to roll a joint with and learn some new moves?

I'm probably one of the worst joint rollers you'll ever meet--it's why I stick to my bowls and one hitters. If I'm looking to go from zero to sixty with my skills, I'd shoot for the moon and try to get someone like Seth Rogen who's got a well documented record of making impressive joints. Though, I think I need to work on my fundamentals first.

I need the San Antonio Spurs equivalent of a joint rolling coach, a Gregg Pot-povich, if you will.

What's the worst violation a first time cannabis user can commit in your opinion?

In my book I make it pretty clear that the rules matter to a certain degree, but the underlying point is that cannabis is about community and respect. Sure, taking too many hits is annoying, and breaking the circle can make it difficult to keep track of the flow--but none of that compares to someone that makes anyone else feel uncomfortable.

The purpose of cannabis is to make people feel better and enjoy themselves. Going against that grain is a cardinal sin for newcomer or OG. It's not hard to avoid the pitfalls too. Overall, just be a decent person.

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Please Consume Responsibly.  This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. For use only by adults 21 years of age or older. Keep out of the reach of children. 

This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana used during pregnancy and breast-feeding may pose potential harms. It is against the law to drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product.  KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. The effects of Edibles may be delayed by two hours or more. In case of accidental ingestion, contact poison control hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 9-1-1. This product may be illegal outside of MA.

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