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Do you love lobster but face an ethical dilemma when tossing the live crustaceans into a pot of boiling water? Well, a Maine restaurant owner has you covered. Just get them high first, says Charlotte Gill, who owns Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor.

Gill tells the Mount Desert Islander that she has long been dragged down by the emotional toll of making a living off killing the crustaceans, so she's been looking for a way to make the deed a bit more humane. To that end, Gill experimented on a lobster named "Roscoe," placing it in a box with a couple of inches of water at the bottom and blowing cannabis smoke into it — not unlike the way scores of teenagers across the country hotbox in their cars.

After his stoning, Gill says she kept Roscoe in tank for three weeks to monitor him, and was heartened to see that he "never again wielded his claws as weapons" and seemed content, according to the Islander's story. As a thank you, Gill released the stoned little crustacean guinea pig back into the ocean. Gill now gives customers the choice of ordering that their lobsters be gotten high prior to steaming or boiling, giving them "a kinder passage."

 

As the state of California nears a pivotal milestone for its nascent recreational cannabis industry, some business owners are coming to feel a lot like one of Gill's lobsters, and not stoned little Roscoe, wherever he may be.

Within the next month, the state expects its seed-to-sale track-and-trace program to come online as regulators issue the first round of annual licenses for cannabis businesses. (All 6,000 or so licensed businesses in the state have thus far operated on temporary licenses.)

The track-and-trace program is designed to allow regulators to track where every cannabis product in the state originated, where it was processed or manufactured, who distributed it and to where. The idea is the program will prevent unregulated weed from entering regulated markets, and will stop ostensibly legal weed from being diverted to the black market. The industry is largely on board with the concept but many are concerned about the rollout.

The software crafted by Franwell, a Florida-based company, has reportedly been ready to roll since the beginning of the year but will soon be put to the test. This has some growers and dispensary owners on edge, saying there's been no communication from the state as to how the new program will work and little to no interface with the software company.

"That's not a stable transition," Humboldt Growers Alliance Director Terra Carver tells The Cannifornian. "That's chaos."

 

Van Solkov of Sonoma County has launched Happy Travelers Tours, a first-of-its kind wine and weed tasting tour, according to an article in Forbes.

Solkov says he got the idea after sitting in Sonoma Square and watching a steady stream of wine tasting tour buses pass through town. He launched the new tours in January and says his bookings for the tours, which range from three-hour outings to overnight farm stays, have since grown 25 percent month-to-month.

 

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau — after much internal deliberation and handwringing — has finally included cannabis on its website. Kind of.

The bureau recently included a "cannabis" option under the "Things To Do" tab on its website. Clicking it brings you to a special cannabis page, with links to some outside websites and a list of frequently asked questions, most of which are curiously focused on the places visitors cannot, in fact, use cannabis. And just in case that didn't seem welcoming enough, the page also comes with a note reminding visitors that cannabis remains federally illegal and a disclaimer that the bureau and its affiliates are not, in fact, providing legal advice.

And in a perfect symbol of the bureau's very ambivalent relationship with Humboldt County's largest, most visible industry, its cannabis page is anchored by a full-screen image of ... redwood sorrel. I mean, hey, it's green and it's got leaves, right? And, to be fair, it's pretty difficult to find a photograph of actual cannabis around here. (Actually, it's not. At all.)

It's not hard to imagine why some in the industry are boiling mad right about now.

Thadeus Greenson is the Journal's news editor. Reach him at 442-1400, extension 321, or thad@northcoastjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @thadeusgreenson.

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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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