Jonathan Mintle, @Botanichemist (JM), Sultan of Solventless Sculpting and consultant talks hash, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and legacy culture with Alex Popoff (AP). @Botanichemist has been featured in High Times, his Hash Art has won several of Frenchy Cannoli’s Hash Porn Competitions, he is currently consulting and working with Low-Temp Plates.
He is also an outspoken advocate for cannabis and criminal justice reform, and an incredible resource for anyone looking to improve their solventless extracts.
From Hash Art to NFT Art, @Botanichemist Talks About the Finer Things in Life
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
AP: What led you to start making hash?
JM: So, I first started smoking hash, back in high school. I used to get it from the weed man, he had blonde and red hash. Growing up in Florida, we didn’t always have access to fire bud, a lot of it was mids.. but the has was never mids, and it was always on the menu.
So I always had some hashish with me. You know, smoking while fishing on the boat, going skating with a hash spliff… I’ve loved hash since my first experience with it.
Eventually, I wanted to know how “it” (the hash) was made. The first time I tried to make hash was in 2006. I went to a head shop to buy a water pipe (bong), and also came across one of those wooden boxes with the micron screen in the middle and mirror on bottom, to dry sift buds for kief.
While this was a crude attempt to form my own hashish temple ball, it further stoked my love for cannabis. When I first started smoking hash, I didn’t know the difference between dry-sifting or making charas (hand-rubbed hash) or bubble hash; I just thought, “Cool, I’m smoking the crystals (trichomes)!”
iPhones and the like hadn’t been released yet, and most “smartphones” relied on costly data plans to access internet forums. And my parents didn’t want me looking up “drug stuff” on their computer either. So I got my educational fix from magazines at the bookstore like High Times Magazine or Weed World.
I learned about pollen presses and would press my kief down into a gummy resin, albeit with more plant matter than desirable.
Right after high school, I converted a 55gal barrel into a makeshift grow room/tent that I lined with mylar, 4 x T5 fluorescent lights, and a 150W HPS bulb hanging from the lid. I routed wires in, and also retrofitted a space heater with a bathroom fan to pump air in and out while staying low profile.
It definitely wasn’t the best setup, but it worked just fine for starting out. I popped 4 seeds for my first grow. Two were female and I chopped the 2 males before they grew pollen sacs. Which worked out great, because all four would not have fit in that barrel.
Those experiences got me interested in working with cannabis as a profession, and after lots of unimpressive personal experiments, pursuing a degree in Chemistry, and becoming a beer brewer, I finally got an opportunity to work for a vertical, medical company in FL and co-developed their hash program from scratch with my good friend Rob.
We did extensive R&D with hundreds of kilos of both dried and fresh-frozen material and took full advantage of the plethora of hashing information available online and the friendly hash makers willing to chat. This is why I post information so freely.
Frenchy Cannoli, may he rest in hashy peace, was a huge role model and his writings and videos were of immense help. Much of his educational work can be found at Frenchy’s Articles, and on his YouTube.
Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson aka @bcbubbleman has also been a huge inspiration and veteran hash educator with weekly “Hash Church” episodes where he speaks with other veteran hash & rosin makers, as well as the rest of his videos featured on his YouTube.
IG posts by people like @KennnyWallly, @RosinRyan, @FrenchyCannoli, @Nikka_T, @SoilGrownSolventless, @CubanGrower, @MilaHashQueen and SO many others, have been a tremendous source of knowledge.
JM: To me, a legacy operator has been doing it before it was commercialized and “legalized”.
These are people operating outside of the bureaucratically-desired structure and have literally been pioneering the genetics, the culture, mindset – attitude of the laid-back, happy, pot-smokers. In general, willing to break unjust laws.
These people have taken risks to do something they LOVE. Just because a law is a law doesn’t mean what you’re doing is wrong.
I think the word “legacy” is kind of new, in the sense of comparing legacy to legal. But, unfortunately, a lot of people have recently gotten into it just because of the money. Just for profit. Not because they enjoy smoking, not because it saved their grandma’s life or uncle’s life with cancer, or someone with PTSD, some family member that’s benefited..
Legacy people are those that have done it since before it was legal or “cool”. Also hard to know who is truly legacy, as many OGs never bragged about it or dry-snitched on themselves by posting online. Haha.
AP: What is your personal connection to the Legacy Cannabis Culture?
JM: Weed has never been legal in Florida until somewhat recently, and it’s still medical & vertical; I’ve been smoking for the past 15 years, so… Let’s just say I’ll never quit making hash, regardless of unjust laws.
AP: Have you gotten any hate or pushback for your work in Cannabis?
JM: No, honestly, not really. I feel really fortunate that 99.9% of my interactions with people online are pretty chill. I’m often offering knowledge about hash or rosin, so there isn’t much to argue with there…
My grandfather was a reverend, and even he was supportive of me following my dreams. He would say, “ahh, my grandson, beer brewer and marijuana scientist.” and he would roll his eyes, but he was still proud and supported.
I was doing it for medicine, so he was supportive. If anyone is talking trash, I’m not paying attention and staying in my lane. I’m too focused on the grass I’m smoking to see if theirs is greener.
AP: I saw you minted a “Hash” Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Can you tell readers about this and what an NFT is?
JM: An NFT is a Non-Fungible token. Fungible means something that can be exchanged for another and carries the same value. For example, a fiat dollar bill is fungible (exchangeable) with other dollar bills and isn’t one-of-a-kind – a one-dollar bill is always worth $1.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are also fungible and can be used as mediums of exchange like fiat currency.
NFTs are created when blockchains string records of cryptographic hash, a set of characters identifying a set of data, onto previous records, therefore, creating a chain of identifiable data blocks.
This cryptographic transaction process ensures the authentication of each digital file by providing a digital signature that is used to track NFT ownership. NFTs can represent original pieces of art and even act as certificates of authenticity, or show proof of scarcity.
NFTs can also offer access to certain websites, services, or discounts for products and services and are also being used to represent digital in-game items that can be used in the “metaverse”.
If you’ve ever played World of Warcraft, you know that items, characters and mounts can be purchased, which is similar to an NFT (though not cryptographically secured).
In the case of my NFT, it is a photo of a pizza slice sculpture that I made from 300+ grams of hash rosin. While the NFT does not come with the physical rosin, it represents a token that can be redeemed for free/discounted consulting services, merchandise or access to advanced extraction knowledge.
This is what I’m using NFTs for at this time, but we are still in the infancy of possible applications for NFTs. I’m excited to see what comes next and plan on releasing more of my own.
AP: How can readers support and contact you?
JM: People can support me by sharing my content on IG: @Botanichemist. Shouting me out, and sharing my consulting services with cannabis companies looking to get into solventless production is always appreciated. My new website has educational blog posts and I plan on releasing special content there regularly.
To read more cannabis culture contributions from Alex Popoff CLICK HERE