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Remember two years ago when, in these very pages, we quoted Emerald Cup founder Tim Blake dismissively noting in a Bloomberg interview that, "Nobody smokes flowers anymore," and that good, old-fashioned joints taste "dirty" in comparison to all the concentrates and extracts flooding the market?

Well, the sentiment is now part of a concentrate movement that is taking over the industry to the point that some feel it requires its own holiday as an alternative to April 20, which has long been celebrated by tokers across the nation. Apparently, the dabbers among us no longer want to be lumped in with their knuckle-dragging, flower-smoking counterparts and have spurred an effort to make July 10 national Dab Day.

If you're scratching your head wondering why July 10, it's because 710 is "OIL" spelled upside down. Seriously.

And the industry is taking note. According to a story on www.greenmarketreport.com, concentrate sales spiked 15 percent on July 10, 2017, versus comparable days and were predicted to spike 25 percent this year with California's newly opened recreational market. Dispensaries have taken note and many offered 710 promotions this year.

Meanwhile, concentrates generally continue to take over a larger share of industry sales, having grown 412 percent over the last four years, according to the report.

Unfortunately, in the Golden State, the holiday hit as many dispensaries are struggling to keep shelves stocked in the wake of the state's July 1 rollout of new laboratory testing requirements.

Eureka may soon have two new pot shops.

The Eureka Planning Commission approved conditional use permits July 9 for a pair of dispensaries proposed for the city's main drag on Fourth Street. Humboldt Patient Resource Center, which has long operated a dispensary in Arcata, is looking to open up in the long-vacant building at the corner of Fourth and F streets that used to house Bank of America. MOCA Humboldt, meanwhile, is looking to open a few blocks away, at the corner of Fourth and C streets.

While the commission's approval is a big step forward for the two projects, both still need to secure cannabis licenses from the city and state before opening their doors, meaning it will likely be a while still before Eureka triples the number of options for folks looking to recreate with the area's largest agricultural export. (Ecocann, located on F Street between Third and Fourth, is currently the only operating dispensary within city limits.)

A couple of years ago, we reported on the formation of the First Church of Cannabis in Indiana, which launched as an unintended consequence and, some would argue, a delicious middle finger toward now Vice President Mike Pence's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The act was billed as a protection for religious liberties but was widely considered a way to legalize discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.

But cannabis activists in the cannaphobic state — possession of a joint could get someone a year in the pokey — seized the opportunity to become a protected group under the law and formed the nation's first cannabis church, which boasts tenets like, "Help others when you can," "Do not be a 'troll' on the internet," and "Don't be an asshole."

The church had been puffing along happily for years, using marijuana "as a religious sacrament," but then Marion County Superior Court Judge Sheryl Lynch came along and harshed its mellow with a July 6 ruling that found the church could become "a tempting target for non-believers looking to turn marijuana intended for sacrament into a source for recreational use or illicit trade."

By that logic, communion wine may be next on the chopping block, posing a temptation for altar boys looking to lift the stuff for "recreational use."

The church has promised to appeal Lynch's ruling, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

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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