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The Fellowship of the Flower

Warm and authentic Michael Koehn of the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of San Francisco gives the best hugs. Koehn and his partner David Goldman are longtime medical marijuana activists and always wear matching baseball caps with pot leaves on them. At a press conference in San Francisco announcing the upcoming arrival of SF Hash Week, Goldman tells me that wearing the hats has enabled them to meet like-minded people all over the world. Koehn and Goldman were the first people I met in the cannabis community at a protest for the rights of medical marijuana patients in 2012. Weed has brought us together for more than a decade, and after all the changes we’ve seen in cannabis policy over this time, it still feels like our hearts are aligned. 

Cannabis is a powerful tool for building camaraderie, something that feels even more precious following the collective traumas we experienced during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Times have been particularly challenging for California’s cannabis industry in recent years. After the legal cannabis marketplace opened in 2018, sales showed their first drop from the previous year in 2022 and saw another drop in 2023. First reported by SFGate, recent data released by cannabis analytics firm BDSA shows that Michigan sold more legal cannabis products than California this March. Those companies that have managed to survive the transition from California’s medical marijuana program to the adult-use legal marketplace continue to have hope for the industry and search for opportunities to band together. The gathering to announce SF Hash Week on Wednesday felt like a hash-filled homecoming. Held at the headquarters of Meadow in San Francisco—a place stacked with memories, including a hash-making class I took with Frenchy Cannoli in 2015—the event was a preview of the week of events planned around the holiday for cannabis concentrates, 7/10, aka July 10. Following this April’s first SF Weed Week, SF Hash Week is turning 7/10 into a seven-day celebration of all things heady.

“The plant does so much for us, and for us to be able to gather in honor of what it can produce, it’s pretty incredible,” Meadow’s David Hua said at the SF Hash Week kickoff event. “[San Francisco] is not just a special place; it’s a special group of people. I’m extremely humbled to be sitting here amongst everyone that’s still standing, that’s still fighting, that’s still pushing. It’s not easy, but the quality is insane.”

Photo by Faith Schneider-Reuter

Everything is Written in the Resin

In 2015, Frenchy told me and the other people in my hash-making class that “everything is written in the resin.”

 “The whole story of six, seven months — it’s right there in your hand,” he said, describing making hash as “really being able to take that pure essence of the plant.”

Photo by Faith Schneider-Reuter

Frenchy was an artisan who was passionate about collecting the resinous trichome heads off of cannabis plants and was always quick to credit the farmers who grew the flowers he worked with for his creations. As part of SF Hash Week—a first-time event incorporating concentrate releases at cannabis lounges throughout San Francisco—there will be a screening of his film “Frenchy Dreams of Hashish” at Meadow on July 11. 

“It was all about planting the seed of the plant,” Kimberly Hooks, aka Madame Cannoli, said of her late husband’s legacy. “He really felt that the plant was here to kind of save humanity, and it was through community involvement like this, of us getting together and smoking and having a wonderful time.”

As much as SF Hash Week will provide opportunities to connect with old friends, it’s also a way for companies to introduce themselves to newcomers.

“We’re trying to reach more and more people that don’t even smoke hash,” said Jeremy Richarson, owner of Forté. “I really appreciate everybody coming out to and being a part of the community because everybody that’s out here right now has been fighting and fighting. We all know what we’re up against, too, so bringing the real culture to it is really what we’re all about.”

Nasha hash/Photo by Faith Schneider-Reuter

Terryn Buxton, the owner of Oakland Extracts, echoed that sentiment.   

“Opportunity to hang out with the customers, it’s always a good thing,” Buxton said. “Hanging out with people who love the product, fans of cannabis in general, spending time with them. I think personally the best part of the event is just things like this. Actually being able to hang out with people who have been in the business for so long. Hash makers are a special breed… there’s a lot of OGs here. The fellowship, to me, is the best part of Hash Week.”

Angela Pih, chief marketing operator at CCELL, said her company was eager to support the upcoming event. 

“What really makes today special is seeing our brand partners like Nasha come in, take the best of their craft into the best of our technology, and bringing it to all of you so that you can enjoy it,” Pih said. “So where craft meets technology meets community, that’s just a perfect trifecta.” 

In his remarks, Ben Grambergu, the director of operations at 7 Stars in Richmond, California, praised SF Hash Week founder David Downs, a longtime cannabis journalist and award-winning author who is now a senior editor at Leafly

Photo by Faith Schneider-Reuter

“Number one, I believe in you, David, and I think we all do as well,” Grambergu said. “Number two, I believe in all of us. You know, look at this. When’s the last time that something like this has happened in the Bay Area? We’re going to have competing events. We have to decide where to go to go smoke hash in the Bay Area? Like what is this?”

Representing the brand Ember Valley, Mikey Tebb built upon the theme of camaraderie.

“Being a part of a community like this and getting involved is not only how brands grow, but how brands stay alive,” Tebb said. “Everybody out here is just an absolute warrior for going through what they’ve been through to even just survive and stay in the green and stay positive.” 

Photo by Faith Schneider-Reuter

Keeping the Flame Burning

While I joked that I only came to the event to eat Chronic Kitchen’s smash burgers, smoking hash with my weedy friends on a sunny San Francisco afternoon was the biggest draw. I was able to try the rosin featured in an image shot by Chris Romaine, aka Kandid Kush, set to be included in his hash photo opening on July 10. Another highlight included a dab of rosin from Arcata Fire created from Ridgeline Farms’s award-winning strain Lantz. That dab was my last puff and floated me through the streets of San Francisco on my journey home via the 16th Street BART station. 

Lantz rosin by Arcata Fire/Photo by David Downs

Despite the challenges the California cannabis industry faces at this time, SF Hash Week shows that optimism for the future remains bright. During the press event, Downs continued to spotlight the activist organizations that continue to fight for cannabis legalization and social justice. 

“We know that only 45% of the legal market is being served by the legal market; the rest is still underground,” Downs said. “So you look around here, these producers, think about this industry being three times as big on the legal side and then the ancillary side of it being five, ten times bigger. We’re really still on day one for this and what we do through groups like the Brownie Mary Democratic Club and California NORML at the state and local level is going to be the difference in how fast we get up that hill.”

The post The Fellowship of the Flower first appeared on High Times.

Rerolled from a High Times Original Article