“Free Dabs!”

Those were the two words you’d hear most at Cannabis Cup last weekend. People screamed it through megaphones and barked it from booths. Dozens of bikini girls offered it to you as you strolled past their smoking rigs.

So, yeah, of course concentrates are going strong. There are dab-haters in the cannabis world, but like Bobby Black of High Times told me: “it’s not going anywhere.”

Growing, Growing

Zach, who worked at the booth of a San Diego collective, said the same thing every other dispensary did – their hottest-selling product by far is extract. Sales have been booming for the last 1 ½, 2 years.

But he also said that, “for the last six months patients have been going back to flower.” Why? I asked. He didn’t know. “We’re trying to figure it out.”

Dab Laws

That’s not the only mystery dangling in the universe of dab. There’s also the laws. As extracts become the norm, how do you jive that with the fact that making it is still considered manufacturing a controlled substance in California?

One extractor at the cup said he only makes his wax in Oregon. Anyone who wants to buy it has to come up there to get it. That way he stays out of California’s hair. “It’s not air tight,” he says, “but I’ve take more precautions than most.”

Another extractor said he knew what he was getting into when he started. “I’ll do my year… Even getting busted is good publicity.”

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Mark Wasserman, one of the “Pot Brothers At Law” of Wasserman & Wasserman, represents West Coast Cure and gave free legal advice at one of the cup booths. He said his advice for extractors was, “don’t do it.”

Purer Extract

“A lot of sizzling.” That’s what you heard at the first Cannabis Cup SoCal, in Los Angeles three years ago. But there wasn’t much of that nasty wax at this year’s cup.

Good extractors are getting better and bad ones are going out of business. “Now that the dabs are cleaner, we can try more,” said Jazz, a cultivated dabber and one of the forces behind Highgasm THC lube.

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Dab Together

“Alliances are huge,” Zach from Brutal Bee Concentrates told me. He got started in the business by seeing people “establish themselves with clean meds, and I modeled myself after them.” Rump Wax was a mentor to him, answering basic questions like: what oven do you use? Or what deals do you get from suppliers?

A lot of wax-makers aren’t too into talking about how they make their secret sauce, but Zach says the industry thrives on communication between extractors, “certain people standing up and sharing information.”

So maybe next year there will be more sharing, maybe we’ll have moved a little closer to legalization, and maybe that shatter will be even purer. Who the fuck knows? What do you think?

By Parker Winship
Cannabis Cup photos By Carlos Sical

Wasserman photo from californiapotlawyers.com

Parker Winship