Author Kate Simmons

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.

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.

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.)

coloradocultivarsKate Simmons | Toke of the Town

The fourth annual NoCo Hemp Expo this past weekend featured more than 130 vendors and 60 speakers, all sharing information about this amazing plant. Here are ten things we learned about hemp, from its history to its modern-day applications.

1. Hemp enriches the soil where it’s grown.

Hemp has such deep roots that it can easily grow in many different types of soil and terrains. It even holds the soil together, and increases its microbial content. Once the plant is harvested, the stem and leaves are so nutrient-filled that many farmers put what they don’t use back in the soil, which rejuvenates it and results in an even bigger yield the next year.

mjBrett Levin

Five measures concerning marijuana were introduced in Congress on March 30. Three came from Oregon lawmakers regarding taxes, baking restrictions and descheduling marijuana; Representative Jared Polis reintroduced his 2015 legislation that would essentially regulate marijuana like alcohol, and another bill that would give people in states with legalized marijuana extra protections from federal prosecution.

Here are the most significant provisions of those proposals, for both the cannabis industry and consumers.

img_8184_1_Kate Simmons | Toke of the Town

On March 30, Representative Jared Polis reintroduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, as colleagues introduced four other measures in the U.S. House of Representatives that would protect states with legal marijuana from threatened action by the Trump administration.

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice followed the 2013 Cole Memo, which essentially protected states with legalized medical or recreational marijuana from federal interference. When Polis originally introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act in 2015, it did not pass — perhaps in part because states with legal marijuana did not feel threatened.

ask_a_stonerWestword

Dear Stoner: My roommate and I were thinking about getting into growing. I own the house and am learning about equipment, but what are some good strains to start with? Are some better for beginners than others?
New Jack

Dear Jack: Treat growing cannabis like cooking: Some dishes are easier than others. There are so many factors that can make one strain more difficult than another, including vegetation and flowering time, reaction to trimming, resilience against pests, temperature and light changes, and much more. Only experience will help you control these variables with different strains, but some are definitely more low-maintenance than others.

homegrowMark Eggrole

In an effort to curb the illegal marijuana market in Colorado, the Colorado Senate approved HB 1220 on March 29 by a unanimous vote; the measure would set a new, lower limit for the number of plants a medical patient or caregiver may raise in a residential area. Senator Bob Gardner sponsored the bill to change the statewide cap in an attempt to cut down on outsized grows that could become tools of cartels.

Amendment 64 permitted Coloradans to have six plants for recreational purposes, but medical patients and registered caregivers were allowed up to 99 plants unless local rules called for lower limits. New Mexico has the next highest limit: twelve immature and four mature plants.

trump_oct_rally2016_18_of_75_Brandon Marshall

President Donald Trump has a plan to stop the opioid epidemic, and (surprise!) it doesn’t involve cannabis.

The president’s latest executive order lays out a blueprint for a commission that will address the nation’s opioid epidemic. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in this country: The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) reports that there were 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015, and 2 million people had a prescription pain-abuse disorder.

Cannabis has been widely discussed as an alternative for opioids, but there’s no indication that the commission will consider its medical benefits. In fact, marijuana-hater Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, has been chosen to chair the commission. Others on the panel include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, another staunch critic of cannabis, as well as Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Washington Post reports.

Shulkin, a physician who also worked with the Obama administration, is the first non-veteran to lead the VA. Despite marijuana’s federal prohibition, he’s said he’s open to discussing whether veterans can participate in state-run marijuana programs.

1 2 3 24