Office Toking: What Does a Weed-Friendly Work Day Look Like?

It’s only a matter of time before marijuana and work go hand in hand. Right?

Ah, work. The thing we do to pay rent and the reason we never get to spend time in the homes we pay rent for. While the work week has (for better or worse) drastically changed over the last few decades, spending nine hours in front of a computer screen will always be a bummer no matter how optimistic you consider yourself. With this knowledge at hand, bosses—the good ones at least—will do as much as they can to ease the stresses of the angst-filled employee. Enter the work-sponsored happy hour: a light at the end of the tunnel ill filled with Excel spreadsheets. With no signs of these boozy events stopping, one has to wonder when the happy hour will catch up with the few states where weed is legal and replace beer altogether. What does a weed-friendly office look like?

“People have been using cannabis at work since cannabis was discovered,” says Joshua Kirby, CEO of California cannabis brand Kin Slips. “It’s certainly not a new concept, just one that’s becoming more and more socially acceptable.  With more than 55 million adults regularly consuming marijuana and 56% of Americans now finding pot “socially acceptable,” it’s only a matter of time before marijuana and work go hand in hand. Right? Maybe…

Is There a Perfect Way?

“There is no right or wrong way to consume cannabis,” continues Kirby, “it really is up to the individual and the company’s guidelines. Depending on the work environment, smoking flower or vaping may be too obvious or disruptive, so more discreet formats would make sense.” This discreet format Kirby refers to is, of course, the company he runs. Kin Strips specializes in sublingual strips and all natural edibles ranging from 10 to 20mg of THC. And yeah—they pack a punch.

“For any work that requires a high level of precision or responsibility like driving a forklift or working in a hospital, safeguards must be in place to ensure that abilities are not impaired by alcohol, cannabis or any other substance,” adds Kirby, “However, cannabis can be a great asset for work that relies more on creativity and collaboration if used correctly and responsibly. At the end of the day, it really comes down to the individual and the method of consumption.  This is especially true for people who engage in creative problem solving for a living.”

How about jobs that depend on the satisfaction of other people for a living? Ron Silver, owner and chef at Bubby’s in TriBeCa, has already started to explore what a green-friendly workplace looks like.

“The cannabis world has existed underground forever and I believe there already is a weed happy hours… and that’s 4:20. Every single day. Anybody who smokes weed will look at the time, and at 4:20 go: ‘wow, I should really smoke some weed.’” Silver and his team have already introduced Azuca into the menu—a fast-acting CBD-infused sweetener that delivers 25mg of CBD per teaspoon.

“I’m in the weed business,” continues Silver, “And certain cannabis companies have this thing called ‘The Dab Room.” You go for a meeting, but you never leave the Dab Room. You never have the meeting. You’ll fly all the way to Los Angeles for a meeting that never happens—so, yeah, I do sort of find it to be unproductive in a certain kind of way. But also, I’m a boss and I burn doobies with my employees all the time. I’m always the guy at the company party rolling up doobs. So, in our restaurant, we have a cannabis culture—but it’s not always predicated on 4:20. If everybody’s getting high at 4:20 dinner won’t go so well.”

It’s Not Just About Your Boss

Regardless of the stance on weed in the office, it all ultimately comes down to what the government says. At this very moment, weed has been fully legalized in only nine states and D.C. while the rest of the 41 have varying to illegal statuses. Even in a state like Colorado, where adults can legally possess one ounce of marijuana or THC, you’re encouraged to be discreet; Amendment 64 does not “permit the consumption of marijuana “openly and publicly.’”

“Your typical office worker should be allowed to relieve their anxiety or reduce their aches and pains throughout the day,” says David Sutton, COO and President of NanoSphere Health Sciences and Evolve Formulas. Sutton and his team have devised the world’s first nanoparticle delivery system for cannabis. “Discrete products are central to making this happen. My company’s product line has a transdermal that doesn’t require a patch. Others put cannabis in everyday food or beverages that won’t draw attention to the consumer.” Sutton actually believes that products like his could actually make for a stronger case toward a weed-friendly happy hour.

“As Millennials begin making up a larger proportion of the upper management, I think you’ll see the culture change,” adds Sutton, “maybe instead of happy hour early on Friday you see ‘higher hour’ Friday.”

Will these laws change when/if marijuana is nationally legalized? Even if the law eventually starts letting hard-working people spark up on the job, it’ll ultimately come down to the employers of those businesses to designate if, when, and how their employees can consume pot.

Plus, think of all the different kinds of professions out there — you really don’t your doctor performing an emergency appendectomy stoned off his ass. Regardless, for creatives, if all the employers out there were as cool as Bubby’s Ron Silver, the typical workday would look a lot different.


Chef Ron Silver Launches Azuca on CBD Market to Applause

There is no doubt that New York City is changing. Some things are certainly for the better. With open minds the region is always known for taking the latest in everything from food, tech and healthy living and running with it.

The celebrated Ron Silver, chef and owner of Bubby’s restaurants, yesterday announced the launch of his newest business venture that fits the changing face of the city – Azuca cannabis edibles.

Over an exclusive soiree where guests enjoyed the world-famous brunch selections of Silver Dollar Pancakes and Avocado Toast, the line was officially launched. There is a lot to offer with Azuca and the benefits are truly limitless.

The fast-acting cannabis edibles and ingredients are made from chef-quality, all-natural ingredients. The product suite—which leverages first-of-its-kind, patent-pending technology—will fill the cannabis industry’s demand for a trustworthy product.

“Azuca is an idea that stems from both my career as a chef and entrepreneur, as well as my recognition of the cannabis industry’s critical need for trustworthy edibles, both for medical and adult use purposes,” stated the chef. “Our products taste great, and are safer and more predictable.”

Azuca launches with a variety of cannabis-infused sweeteners and syrups, which can be added to food and beverages as the building blocks of a sophisticated culinary cannabis experience.

Over coffee and refreshing lemonade guests sampled the product line includes a wide range of syrup flavors, such as almond, ginger, pomegranate, grapefruit and vanilla. Azuca products enable consumers to create their own flavor combinations.  Azuca sweeteners are available in varieties such as demerara cane sugar, maple sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, date sugar and agave.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Azuca products can be purchased in New York at Bubby’s restaurants inside lemonades, coffees or teas starting today. In legal marijuana markets, Azuca will be launching THC-based products sold through licensed dispensaries, beginning in Massachusetts this summer.


Popular NYC brunch spot now offering CBD-infused sweeteners for coffee, tea

Popular NYC brunch spot now offering CBD-infused sweeteners for coffee... watch video

MANHATTAN – As the movement to legalize marijuana gains traction in New York state, a local chef is blazin’ a new trail.

Ron Silver, the chef and owner of the popular brunch destination Bubby’s is branching out and incorporating the legal chemical compound in cannabis - CBD - into his menu.

The eatery is infusing it into a line of syrups and sweeteners for coffee, tea and lemonade.

“The two go hand in hand,” Silver told PIX11, referring to how he went to serving brunch to now dabbling in the cannabis industry. “These businesses are very separate and they’re obviously approached in a very different way.”

Silver says he took a chef’s approach when developing the CBD-infused edible called “Azuca," which means sugar in Spanish.

After studying the science, Silver developed technology he calls “one-of-a-kind.”

“It’s a fast-acting edible. So that means normal edibles kick in within an hour to four hours, and our technology makes it kick in in 15 minutes,” he said. “It’s an exact controlled dose so if you want more or less, you can take that.”

CBD, unlike THC, does not make people feel stoned. Rather, the compound – according to users - offers medical benefits that reduce stress, inflammation and anxiety, among other things.

“It has a very calming effect, but you really don’t notice it,” Silver explained. “It’s not like it has a negative affect where you’ll be playing video games on your sofa all day.”

The long-term goal for Silver and his venture Azuca is to become a worldwide brand.

Even though his product line is limited to CBD products in New York, the company has ambitions to expand in states where THC is legal.

Azuca is currently on the menu at Bubby’s two locations in TriBeCa and the Meatpacking District. The sweetener will be available for purchase online this summer.


CBD-infused sweeteners introduced at Bubby’s Manhattan restaurants

CBD is a chemical compound that, like THC, is derived from cannabis and hemp, but it doesn't get you "high."

Azuca's CBD-infused products include sugar and lemonade. The company will later introduce syrups. Photo Credit: Nicole Levy

As mounting political pressure makes the legalization of recreational cannabis in New York likelier by the day, the founder of a popular brunch spot known for its family-friendly, wholesome vibe is getting ahead of the curve.

Bubby’s owner Ron Silver, who founded his original upscale diner-style eatery in TriBeCa more than 27 years ago, has introduced the drug’s legal cousin to his menu as a sweetener in coffee, tea and lemonade.

A server adds some CBD-infused sugar to a glass of iced coffee. Photo Credit: Nicole Levy

“CBD is like the penicillin of the 21st century,” Silver, 55, says of cannabidiol, the chemical compound isolated from both cannabis sativa and hemp, a variety of the plant that’s legal in New York. Unlike THC, the cannabinoid that produces effects most commonly associated with pot smokers — euphoria, relaxation, the munchies — it isn’t psychoactive and doesn't get you "high." Users say, however, that CBD offers therapeutic effects like reducing pain, inflammation, depression and stress, and some initial scientific studies back those claims. (The jury is still out on whether it can potentially cure cancer and seizures, as Silver suggests it can.) That’s made the extract an increasingly popular wellness supplement.

At a Wednesday morning launch event at Bubby’s TriBeCa location, Silver unveiled his new CBD-infused product line as attendees noshed on restaurant staples like flaky buttermilk biscuits and fluffy silver dollar pancakes. Azuca, which takes its name from the Spanish word for sugar, is poised to enter the edibles market with a whole range of hemp- and cannabis-derived sweeteners that its creator says offer fast-acting, consistent effects. It’s the outcome of four years’ work for Silver, who characterizes himself as having always had “a passion for cannabis,” but dresses more like a hip dad than the stereotypical stoner.

Diners at Bubby's sampled Azuca sugar at a breakfast launch event on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Nicole Levy

The marijuana enthusiast has taken what he calls a “chef-like approach to solving a big problem in the industry,” namely the lack of consumer control. For example, edibles can take hours to kick in, Silver says, and drug absorption varies.

“The whole thing about these products: you know exactly what your dose is, and you really know how long it’s going to take effect, which is a big thing in this kind of medicine,” the entrepreneur said in his pitch to the breakfast crowd. How can Azuca deliver on that promise? Silver explained the company’s patent-pending technology as “putting a little wrapper around the molecule to make it more water-friendly, so it doesn’t have to go to your liver… It just absorbs into your digestive system.”

So far, the sweeteners are only available in diluted form at Bubby’s, which has New York locations in TriBeCa and the Meatpacking District. The restaurants are charging $10 for a lemonade, coffee or tea containing a 25-mg dose — one ounce of sugar in the former, one teaspoon of sugar in the latter two — that should kick in 15 minutes after drinking. A sample of the sugar itself had no aftertaste.

Bubby’s isn’t the only food business serving CBD-infused beverages in New York (among its peers are the cafes Caffeine Underground in Bushwick, Patent Coffee in the Flatiron District, and Flower Power Coffee House in Glendale), but it does stand out as a neighborhood institution, catering to a more domestic audience with its distinctly simple, homestyle food.

To those who would question whether it’s the best launchpad for Azuca, Silver draws a contrast to the alcohol served as his establishment: “It’s a lot more family-friendly than whiskey.” The father of four also anticipates middle-aged and older women seeking pain and insomnia relief — a demographic particularly vulnerable to opioid abuse — as a target audience for his edibles.

While Azuca will limit its products in New York to sweeteners infused with CBD from hemp plants (for now), the company has ambitions to expand to markets where THC is legal.

Of New York state laws that criminalize the possession and sale of marijuana, with the exception of specific medical purposes, Silver says “the benefits are so obvious, that it’s sort of a joke. The law really has always been… about racism and industry.” (In New York, data shows that individuals from predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods are arrested at a higher rate on marijuana charges than those living in white neighborhoods, and analysts say that cannabis legalization poses a huge threat to the $200 billion alcohol industry.)

“People have used cannabis for thousands of years,” he adds. “I think it’s a natural part of being human.”


The Daily Hit: May 30, 2018

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis News for May 30, 2018.

MedMen Enterprises

Trading for MedMen Enterprises (MMEN) has got off to a rocky start. The much-touted first “unicorn” of cannabis began selling shares following a reverse takeover on Tuesday at the Canadian Stock Exchange. The shares were valued at C$5.63, but on the first day of trading, the prices slipped to C$4.95. The stock was lately trading at C$4.65, slipping another 6%.

Matters weren’t helped when a story from Equity Guru was published the day before the stock began trading. The story did not mince words and said, “This MedMen deal is rank AF.” Readers should probably know what the AF stands for.

Canopy Growth Corporation

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED) is staking a claim in the African medical cannabis market. On May 30, 2018, the company announced that it has acquired Daddy Cann Lesotho PTY Ltd., which trades under the name Highlands.

Highlands is located in the Kingdom of Lesotho, which recently legalized medical cannabis in 2017. Geographically surrounded by South Africa, Lesotho is part of what is known as the “Dagga Belt,” which is a region known for its prolific cannabis production. Dagga is a term used in South Africa for cannabis. Under the agreement, Canopy will issue a total of 999,643 shares of the company to Highlands’ sole shareholder, at a price of approximately $28.76 per share. The sum value of the deal is estimated to be approximately $28.8 million.

Sunniva Inc.

Sunniva Inc. (OTCQX: SNNVF) released its financial results and management’s discussion and analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2018. During the period ended March 31, 2018, the Company generated $5.2 million in revenue from its two subsidiaries, Natural Health Service Ltd. and FSD, which contributed $2.7 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Net loss for the period ended March 31, 2018, was $6.,3 million as compared to $1.0 million during the period ended March 31, 2017. The key components contributing to the change in net loss from the three months ended March 31, 2018, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2017, comprise the following:

Revenue increased from $2.4 million to $5.2 million due to NHS and FSD being acquired mid-way through the comparative period ended March 31, 2017, and stronger Q1 2018 results from FSD. Costs of goods sold increased from $1.2 million to $3.1 million resulting from the increase in revenue.

NeutriSci International Inc.

NeutriSci International Inc. (OTCQB: NRXCF) and Nutritional High International Inc. (OTCQB: SPLIF) are entering into a binding Memorandum of Understanding to develop, manufacture and distribute THC and CBD infused sublingual tablets utilizing NeutriSci’s patent-pending technology, proprietary ingredients, and formulations.

The tablets will combine the benefits of NeutriSci and Nutritional High’s existing technologies and ingredient mixes. The tablets will be quick dissolving and will offer a measured dose of pure THC or CBD oil, combined with the powerful bio-availability & antioxidant properties of pterostilbene. The tablets will be flavored and optimized for efficacy and taste with zero-sugar. Initial manufacturing will be carried out in Nutritional High’s manufacturing facilities in Sacramento, California and Green Therapeutics LLC facilities in Las Vegas, Nevada, with sales and distribution expected to begin in Q3-2018.

Bloom Farms

Bloom Farms, one of California’s leading manufacturers and distributors of high quality cannabis products, has launched its line of vape pen sets and refill cartridges in the Nevada market. This is the first market the Company’s products are available outside BLOOM FARMS’ home market of California and the first step in its plan to expand into multiple legal cannabis markets.

Bloom Farms vape pens and cartridges’ are among the best selling pens and oil cartridges in California where customers choose them because they can vaporize at a low, consistent temperature for better flavor and a safer experience.

Jade & Jane

Cannabis cupcake company, Jade & Jane, broadens consumer’s choices in the edibles market with the recent introduction of single serving, recreational 10mg THC-infused cupcakes. Jade & Jane’s products are available to retail customers through licensed Colorado recreational dispensaries. Wholesale dispensary customers may contact Jade & Jane to place orders. Ordering through LeafLink is coming soon.

Azuca

Ron Silver, Chef and Owner of popular New York City brunch destination Bubby’s, today announced the launch of Azuca, a line of fast-acting cannabis edibles and ingredients made from chef-quality, all-natural ingredients. The product suite—which leverages first-of-its-kind, patent-pending technology—will fill the cannabis industry’s demand for a trustworthy edible product that offers a fast-acting, consistent effect.


New York City Restaurant Takes Comfort Food to New Heights

Bubby's restaurants in Manhattan are putting a little hemp-derived CBD kick in some of its beverages.

In the 28 years since it opened, Bubby’s has become a culinary staple in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, a no-frills, family-friendly restaurant known for such comfort-food favorites as pancakes and pie.

Now, Bubby’s is taking comfort to a whole different level.

The restaurant, which has a second location in the Meatpacking District that opened in 2013, is the latest in New York City to introduce menu items made with cannabidiol, a derivative of the cannabis plant, as in marijuana or hemp.

And while cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, doesn’t yield the “high” associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), another cannabis compound, it often is touted by cannabis supporters and some medical experts as offering a host of benefits, including stress and pain relief.

Starting this week, Bubby’s will feature drinks made with hemp-derived CBD. The offerings, including coffee, tea and lemonade, will sell for $10 each.

Bubby’s owner Ron Silver has long been interested in cannabis from a medical and business perspective.

“I’d rather sell cannabis drinks than liquor drinks any day of the week,” he said. (Bubby’s continues to serve alcohol as well.)

Even without the CBD products, Mr. Silver said business at Bubby’s has been strong during the past year, with sales up nearly 13% over the same period last year.

Bubby’s two New York City restaurants have annual revenue of about $16 million, he said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration considers CBD a controlled substance, like marijuana itself, and therefore is illegal.

But in New York and some other states, the production of hemp-derived CBD is legal as a result of federal agricultural legislation that allows for the cultivation of hemp as a crop at the state level, according to Shawn Hauser, a senior associate with Vicente Sederberg, a law firm based in Colorado that specializes in marijuana issues.

In April, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced an expansion of a state research program that looks at how hemp can be grown for a variety of industrial uses, from food to animal bedding.

“By providing an alternative crop for our farmers, industrial hemp has the potential to change the landscape of our agricultural economy,” Mr. Cuomo said at the time.

In the city, Bubby’s is hardly alone in adding CBD to its offerings. A wave of food and beverage retailers is putting the cannabis compound in everything from frozen desserts to coffee drinks.

Soho Cigar Bar in lower Manhattan recently has introduced a line of CBD cocktails, with names like Quality Burn and Netherlands & Chill.

“You’re always looking for the next new ingredient,” bartender Jared Bailey said.

Mr. Silver said he has plans beyond Bubby’s for CBD offerings. With a team of investors, he has launched a company, called Azuca, that will market CBD and marijuana products in New York and elsewhere, as laws apply.

Azuca CEO Kim Sanchez Rael said the company has raised at least $1 million from investors, including Mr. Silver. “We expect to be a global brand,” she said.


Renowned New York Chef Introduces Line of Innovative Cannabis Edibles

–Breakthrough Patent-Pending Product Offers Fast-Acting Effect–

NEW YORK (May 30, 2018)—Ron Silver, Chef and Owner of popular New York City brunch destination Bubby’s, today announced the launch of Azuca, a line of fast-acting cannabis edibles and ingredients made from chef-quality, all-natural ingredients. The product suite—which leverages first-of-its-kind, patent-pending technology—will fill the cannabis industry’s demand for a trustworthy edible product that offers a fast-acting, consistent effect.

Azuca is an idea that stems from both my career as a chef and entrepreneur, as well as my recognition of the cannabis industry’s critical need for trustworthy edibles, both for medical and adult use purposes. Edibles are notoriously unpredictable in their effects—you can never tell how long it will last, when it will hit, and its overall effect. We developed a way of resolving these issues so that the market finally has high-quality, artisan products. Our products taste great, and are safer and more predictable.” said Silver, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Azuca.

Azuca launches with a variety of cannabis-infused sweeteners and syrups, which can be added to food and beverages as the building blocks of a sophisticated culinary cannabis experience. The product line includes a wide range of syrup flavors, such as almond, ginger, pomegranate, grapefruit and vanilla. Azuca products enable consumers to create their own flavor combinations.  Azuca sweeteners are available in varieties such as demerara cane sugar, maple sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, date sugar and agave.

Azuca CEO Kim Sanchez Rael added, “The combination of breakthrough science and culinary creativity is what makes Azuca truly unique. The launch of Azuca in New York today positions our brand as a leader in chef-created edibles and ingredients. Beyond New York, we are licensing our technology to partners in legal markets for the creation of our infused products.”

Azuca products are set apart by their fast-acting effects and high bioavailability. While an average edible can take 1 ½ hours or longer to take effect, Azuca works in 15-30 minutes. In terms of bioavailability, 18-22% of the active ingredient is metabolized with Azuca versus just 2-6% with competing edible products. This is achieved through a patent-pending technology, developed by Silver, which alters the shape of cannabis molecules to make them more water soluble, in turn allowing for more rapid, predictable and controllable effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Azuca products can be purchased in New York at Bubby’s restaurants inside lemonades, coffees or teas. In legal marijuana markets, Azuca will be launching THC-based products sold through licensed dispensaries, beginning in Massachusetts this summer.

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About Azuca

Azuca is a privately-held, investor-backed cannabis company which commercializes a line of edible products using patent-pending technology. This technology alters the shape of cannabis molecules in order to make them more water soluble, to increase bioavailability and effectiveness and minimize wait-time for more controlled, trustworthy edibles.

The Azuca product line consists of sweeteners and syrups which can be added to food and beverages as the building blocks of a sophisticated culinary cannabis experience. CBD products are anticipated to be available nationwide from summer 2018, while THC products will be launching through licensed dispensaries in legal markets.

The Cannabis Market

Azuca is tapping into the burgeoning cannabis market with its edible line. According to industry estimates, the legal cannabis market is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026. Currently recreational use is legal in eight states, while medical marijuana is legal in 30 states, with edibles representing a fast-growing segment.  New adopters are often health conscious and averse to smoking and vaping, making cannabis edibles the ideal solution.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Emily Kielthy at emily@rosengrouppr.com or 646.695.7045.