Cancer survivor and CBD medical consumer Felicia Palmer is going face-to-face with Facebook over the platform’s anti-cannabis stance, citing a “pattern of censorship and suppression of information” regarding “legal uses of cannabis”.
Ms. Palmer, founder of the longest-running hip-hop news website in the world, SOHH.com, and her new company, Cannaramic Media, Inc., are commencing federal, civil action against Facebook, Inc., the social media behemoth running Facebook and Instagram, after a series of ads intended to promote the company’s educational Cannaramic Online Summit were rejected on the platforms, and the company’s follower page was disabled temporarily.
Palmer and Cannaramic Media quoted “deceptive acts and practices, and New York common-law fraud” as the formal reasons behind the complaint.
Shop of the Month: Bern Gallery
Whether it’s pushing the glass medium to its outermost limits, providing artists with a platform or patrons a marketplace, the Bern Gallery, in Burlington, Vermont, is, and always has been, the torchbearer and leader of the northeastern counter-culture scene.
Founded in 2004 by Tito Bern and Mikaeeala Boman, the Bern Gallery was the couple’s response to missing elements they’d discovered in other smoke shops they’d visited as both glass blowers and wholesalers.
“We saw tons of people opening shops simply because they knew they could,” Bern says. “For us — we had to open a shop because we were so entrenched in the pipe world and glass blowing community and wanted to represent the way we as glass blowers do things.”
In a time when imported glass is as easily obtained as opening a catalog, many shops seemed to overlook the importance of the independent pipe making scene. The Bern Gallery supports its local artists, but as it’s a small community, only about 20 percent of the pieces for sale come from the New England region. The rest come from around the country, from in-house glass blowers, and from artists attracted to the notoriety of the Bern Gallery’s annual pipe making competition.
The Bern Gallery’s Pipe Classic, started in 2006, has evolved into a nationally recognized live glass blowing event with specially selected entrants — a Who’s Who of glass artists taking part. The annual event holds the distinction of being the very first pipe making competition ever held anywhere. An 11-member committee keeps everything fair. Its winner takes all with pieces judged by some 200 members of the glass community. As the slogan goes: 12 Artists. 12 hours. 12 Pipes. 1 Champion.
Not only can you see beautiful glass pieces at the Bern Gallery, you can also learn to make pipes, pendants, and marbles at the shop’s glass art school. As you’d expect of a shop with a focus on glass, they also offer pipe cleaning and repair.
In January 2018, Vermont became the ninth state to legalize marijuana. The proliferation of cannabis legalization has had an impact on glass sales. But according to Bern, not necessarily as positive a one as you might think.
“The scary thing is that people aren’t using glass as much,” Bern says. And being a smart businessman, he’s made sure to stock other smoking related products.
“A lot of the time that means carrying a product that has absolutely no artistic value — it’s simply a product, like a portable vaporizer or twisty glass blunt, that everyone wants. CBD is one of the fastest selling products in the shop — as long as the company is legit and we have their lab reports, we’ll put it in the case,” Bern says. “Im an entrepreneur before being a glass blower, and having a smooth-running successful business is the greatest joy.”
All any shop can do, Bern points out, is react to the changing environment.
The Bern Gallery is proud to promote independent glass artists, but uses a hashtag rather than linking to them on social media to deter potential customers from buying direct. To get the nicest of the nice glass pieces into the shop, Bern sometimes gives artists a sweet 80/20 commission split. Many times, the artists producing the headies will have less expensive pendants and production lines that are attractive to fans on a budget.
“Glass will always go through ebbs and flows, but it will always be part of the smoke shop community,” Bern says. “If you like flower, a glass pipe is the cleanest, best way to smoke it. Fans of the art part of pipe making are a very small group whereas users of cannabis are a huge group.”
The Bern Gallery – Burlington, Vermont
PREVIOUSLY FEATURED IN SHOP OF THE MONTH:
Eternal Flameworks – @eternal_flameworks
Noah Nuñez enjoys being in the spotlight. Not only has Noah competed at the CHAMPS Glass Games, he recently won a big first place check in the Ray Gun category at the summer Vegas show! And if you visit Homeblown Glass in Santa Rosa, California, you can often see him melting glass in the smoke shop’s front window.
“I’ve always liked to show off things that I’m good at,” says Noah, who’s been at the torch in Northern Cali since way back in 1989. “Glass blowing is an art form that people don’t get to see live very often and they’re just fascinated.”
Sculptures, marbles, shot glasses, jars, earrings, necklaces — anything you can think of, Noah the Glassblowa, as he’s known in creative circles, can make out of glass. Pipes are what he’s best known for — especially handcrafted pieces that for most artists would require a lathe. Many of his pieces incorporate tiny characters capsulized inside of the tube. Then on a whim he might build a two-foot tall water pipe or a pipe in the shape of a sniper rifle or futuristic weapon.
“I call myself a ‘glass artist’ because I don’t just make pipes, and if I do make pipes, they’re more artistic than just being a production line. I like to focus on making one-of-a-kind, artistically cool pieces,” Noah says.
Noah credits his martial arts training for helping him to remain poised under pressure. That’s the kind of mental focus that comes with being a fourth-degree black belt.
“The techniques we use in Kenpo Karate are movements stacked on top of each,” Noah explains. “It’s very similar to glassblowing, where you have many different techniques that you can use to create a single piece.
But don’t expect him to break glass like he might shatter boards. Noah’s pieces are destined for a prized spot in somebody’s collection.
“I’ve always liked people to be happy with things I do — there’s nothing like seeing the appreciation that somebody has for something you’ve created,” Noah says, “—you can’t really get that in a lot of other areas in life.”
Previously Featured Glass Artists
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