img_8197_1_Kate Simmons | Toke of the Town

The NoCo Hemp Expo is one of the largest gatherings of hemp companies in the world. Now in its fourth year, the expo features more than 130 exhibitors and more than 60 industry speakers. The expo held an industry-only day on March 31; today at 10 a.m., it opens to the public at the Ranch in Loveland. In the meantime, here are ten hemp businesses we couldn’t wait to write home about.

lee_roy_strainHerbert Fuego

I’ve always preferred smoking flower to concentrates, but I’m starting to miss the dumbfounded highs of my rookie year, when one bowl of chronic had me laughing at Good Burger and eating 24 Bagel Bites in minutes.
Now, even after a full joint, I’m usually still worrying if I was the person my boss was referring to in an irate e-mail about picking up the slack this quarter.
That’s why I was pleased to find a new friend who gives me the carefree, Taco Bell-inspiring high of my youth. His name is Lee Roy, and he’s an indica.

A must-try for anyone who likes OGs, Rare Dankness’s Lee Roy is a cross of Triangle Kush, a heavy indica with Chemdawg origins, and Rare Dankness #2, a phenotype of the popular Rare Dankness #1, which carries Ghost OG, Chemdawg and Triangle Kush genetics. I won’t bore you with all the back-crossing inbreeding details, but the innovative process resulted in one of the Colorado breeder’s most potent hybrids.

den_20151124_headquarters_boulder_slentz_04Scott Lentz

Denver has come a step closer to allowing late-night dispensaries.

Under state law, dispensaries can stay open until midnight, as they do in Edgewater and Glendale. For the last several months, Denver City Council’s special marijuana committee has discussed extending those hours. At a meeting on April 3, councilmembers settled on 10 p.m. as a closing time, which mirrors Aurora rules, and moved the proposal to the full council.

2.chainz.la.weeklyTimothy Norris for LA Weekly

Following a 2016 event that was postponed because of a snowstorm and finally staged a month later, the 2017 Denver 4/20 Rally is scheduled to take place on the actual date of April 20 for the first time in four years. That means it should happen on a Thursday instead of a weekend, but this timing hasn’t caused promoter Santino Walter of Civic Center Park Productions to lower his expectations for the gathering, which is centered around a free concert headlined by 2 Chainz.

“I think it’s going to be huge,” Walter says. “Denver is still the biggest destination to travel to and legally buy and consume retail cannabis for 4/20. You can see it in the way the hotels are already booked out, the cost of flights out here, how flights are booked up, the amount of superstar celebrities who will be in our city the four or five days of 4/20 weekend. So I think we’re probably going to have the largest event we’ve ever had.”

den_011217_veritas_grow_slentz008Scott Lentz

States with legal medical marijuana have fewer opiod-related hospitalizations per capita, according to new research published early this month in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence. At the same time, those states did not see an increase in hospitalizations related to the consumption of cannabis, the study determined.

Yuyan Shi, the lead author of the study, is an assistant professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California in San Diego. Using the State Inpatient Database, Shi looked at hospital records in 27 states between 1997 and 2014. Over that time, she found that marijuana and opiate hospitalizations increased by an average of 300 percent. (Over 50,000 people died in this country last year from drug overdoses.)

katephotoofamericaKate Simmons | Toke of the Town

After the passage of Amendment 64 in November 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper, who had not endorsed the measure, reminded supporters of the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado that “federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or [Goldfish] too quickly.

Today, governors of the four states that were first to legalize recreational marijuana —  Hickenlooper in Colorado, Jay Inslee in Washington, Kate Brown in Oregon and Bill Walker in Alaska— sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, urging them to respect the rights of the states to pass such measures, and to consult with the states that have been operating under 2013’s Cole Memorandum before making any enforcement changes. Here’s the letter:

john.oliver.colorado.marijuanaHBO via YouTube17

HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which has become the go-to spot for what is essentially investigative comedy, devoted the lion’s share of its latest episode to a shredding of current federal marijuana laws. And among the stories Oliver used to illustrate his points were several from Colorado.

Central to Oliver’s thesis was the tale of Brandon Coats, whom we first introduced you to back in 2012. That year, as we’ve reported, Coats, a paralyzed medical marijuana patient fired by DISH for failing a drug test, filed a complaint over the issue in Arapahoe District Court. When he lost there, attorney Michael Evans took the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals, where jurists also rejected Coats’s argument. Evans, though, wasn’t ready to give up. He subsequently submitted what he described to us as a final document in an effort to get the Colorado Supreme Court to take on the matter — and in January 2014, the jurists agreed to do so.

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