Lansterdam in Review: Bongs

The sky is falling on Skymint


Dimondale-based Green Peak Industries, the parent company of Skymint, once one of the largest cannabis companies in Michigan, is allegedly more than $127 million in debt to Canadian investment firm Tropics LP. It’s now under the control of a receiver and at risk of losing possession of its assets, including Skymint’s three indoor grow operations in Dimondale and Lansing and 24 cannabis dispensaries throughout Michigan. 

According to a lawsuit filed in Ingham County Circuit Court earlier this month, Tropics LP issued Green Peak a $70 million senior secured term loan in September 2021 to acquire 3Fifteen Cannabis and its 12 dispensaries. One of 3Fifteen’s major shareholders, Merida Capital Holdings, also provided Green Peak with an $8 million equity investment for the acquisition. 

Green Peak agreed to repay Tropics LP in full by September 2025 at an interest rate of 12.5%, compounded monthly, and maintain a minimum cash balance of $7.5 million. It failed to fulfill these requirements and other loan obligations, and it also owes back rent and taxes at multiple Skymint locations. 

The landlord of Skymint’s leased cultivation facility in Dimondale is attempting to evict the company, saying it owes more than $1 million in rent, and it has also failed to pay back rent at its facility on East Jolly Road in Lansing. 

Merida Capital Holdings also sued Green Peak, alleging misrepresentation of financials and mismanagement in Oakland County Circuit Court. Court filings report that Green Peak’s daily sales revenue has dropped from $356,953 in April of 2022 to only $184,579 this past January.

On March 3, Ingham County Chief Circuit Judge Joyce Draganchuk appointed Gene Kohut, a partner at Detroit-based business advisory firm Trust Street Advisors, as a receiver for Green Peak. A court-appointed receivership assists lenders in recovering funds if a borrower defaults on a loan and can help troubled companies avoid bankruptcy. Since cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, cannabis companies cannot file for bankruptcy like other companies looking for financial relief.  

Between the back rent, loans and unpaid taxes, only time will tell what will happen to Skymint and its almost 600 employees throughout the state. 


Bong's the word

One of my coworkers broke her favorite bong of more than 20 years this week. After we mourned her loss, I helped her do some research on what kind of bong to get next.

Bongs are not only a staple of stoner culture; they’re also pretty easy to use despite their intimidating appearance. Although they come in different shapes, sizes and colors, the basic design elements are universal: a long mouthpiece, a chamber for water, a bowl to hold the weed and a downstem that connects the bowl to the main chamber.

One of the most iconic bong designs is the beaker. With its conical shape, it looks like a piece of lab equipment. The heavy bottom adds stability, making it great for daily use. The wider the base, the more smoke will be generated. My favorite bong has a beaker shape and features art from the late artist and activist Keith Haring. I love its size and its weight in my hands. I’ve had it for more than two years, and it hasn’t let me down yet. 

A straight-tube bong is pretty self-explanatory: it’s literally a straight tube with a downstem that’s submerged in water. Smoke isn’t able to gather in the water chamber like in the beaker bong, so hits are much more direct and, sometimes, more intense. Because of its simplistic design, it’s also pretty easy to clean. 

Recyclers, or multi-chamber bongs, deliver a super smooth hit due to their built-in filtration systems. The smoke passes through a percolator and a water chamber before being inhaled through the mouthpiece. The result is a smooth, tasty smoking experience. Many high-end dab rigs feature a recycler component for an extra layer of filtration.

Zig-zag bongs (sometimes called “zongs”) are known for their unique shape. Because of the sharp angles, water isn’t able to rise through the chambers of the bong, so there’s virtually no chance of getting bong water in your mouth (which is unpleasant, trust me).  

No matter its shape or size, a bong is a must-have for any stoner regardless of experience level. With 420 just a little over a month away, now’s a great time to head to your favorite local smoke shop and see what deals it may have. 


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