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15000009_1604946479810387_8509006308196225342_oPhoto courtesy of Olio on Facebook

The two founders of one of the most highly regarded concentrate labs in the state have gone their separate ways. A fan favorite, 710 Labs won the High Times People’s Choice for Best Hash in 2014; it became known for its golden-tinged, crystal-clear products that include wax, sugar wax, ice wax, live resin, shatter and more varieties. Now the creators of this wax company have split up, and in Colorado, co-founder Wade Sanders has created a new company: Olio. 710 Labs still exists, run by co-founder Brad Melshenker, but is currently not operating in Colorado.

Until recently, the company had produced medical concentrates — but last month Olio began selling its product recreationally, with the same high-quality standards. A pioneer in the field of concentrates, Olio continues to play with innovation. It’s now creating two new types of wax — Sauce and Distillate— with the aim of perfecting terpene flavor and achieving high THC percentages. Sauce, which has a texture similar to sugar wax with a liquid film on top, hit shelves just last year and is currently for sale both recreationally and medically. Distillate is still in its final stages before sales begin.

Westword sat down with Olio GM Renee Sanders to talk about the new company, these new products, the future of concentrates in the cannabis world, and the importance of emphasizing quality over quantity.

hempTree Free Hemp

For the first time, hemp paper is being produced in Colorado from seed to sheet. Loveland’s Tree Free Hemp has been producing hemp paper since 2013, but until this year, it’s been getting the fiber from other countries. Now the entire process is local.

“It’s grown in Colorado, it’s processed in Colorado, it’s manufactured in Colorado, it’s printed in Colorado. It’s truly homegrown,” says Morris Beegle, a former concert promoter now focused on promoting hemp through the Colorado Hemp Company, which he founded in 2012, and the NoCo Hemp Expo.

alina-2Courtesy Christian Rodas/CMW Media

While both the United States and Mexico continue to suffer in their own ways from the War on Drugs — one from skyrocketing overdose rates and the other from ruthless, omnipresent cartels — the neighbors are now linked by the unlikely exporting of cannabis-related products from Southern California to Latin America.

HempMeds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana Inc., has formed the first cannabis-based export partnership to Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile with its export of Real Scientific Hemp Oil and its THC-free counterpart, Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X. The plants for these treatments are grown in northern European microclimates and claim to be free of pesticides and herbicides.


And so it begins. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for the country’s next attorney general, took center stage on January 10 at his confirmation hearing. Marijuana supporters had been quick to voice their concern over Sessions’s nomination because of his stance on marijuana, as well as his positions on other social issues.

Sessions’s most recent statements on marijuana were made during a Senate hearing last April, when he said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” that “we need grownups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized” and that “it is in fact a very real danger.”

9204701.0Rennett Stowe/Flickr

The National Park Service has announced that vaping will no longer be allowed in any national parks. NPS revised its regulations and amended the definition of smoking to include electronic cigarettes and all other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

“Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service,” Michael Reynolds, the acting director of the National Park Service, said in a statement. “It is clear from a recent rule by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a report by the Surgeon General that electronic cigarettes are a threat to public health, especially to the health of young people.”

Last May, NPS announced that it would consider placing ENDS products under the same regulations as tobacco. Now it’s made its decision.

munchie_crawl_photo_by_lindsey_bartlett_45_Lindsey Bartlett

WeedStream has been an ally to the legalization movement since 2014, producing a 24/7/365 soundtrack for the cannabis community. It’s been an advocate for the medical, cultural and financial benefits of marijuana, pushing legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana as a positive influence on society.

“For me, this is a local opportunity to do something for something I believe in. I think it’s important that this culture has an entertainment platform and a positive way of messaging all the positive things that come about with legalization — medicinal in particular, but also recreational,” says Mike Henry, CEO of WeedStream.

WeedStream has become a “peephole” for the rest of the world, so people everywhere can see what’s really happening with marijuana in Colorado. “People have seen us enough to know we’re not some corporate monster. We’re just a local family business,” Henry says. “We use this top-ten list every year to highlight what we think are the top songs with a marijuana theme.”

This year’s list is very eclectic, Henry says; it’s got everything from reggae to the Motet, a Denver band. Here are the station’s picks for the top ten marijuana songs of 2016:

vangst_career_fairVangst Talent Network

Karson Humiston knows how to help you get a job — and how to create your own. At 24, she’s the CEO and founder of Vangst Talent Network (formerly Graduajana), a company she started in college. Vangst will be holding a career fair and product showcase in Denver on Thursday, January 19, to help anyone interested in the cannabis industry learn more about the available opportunities.

“Most of the country is beginning to see that the cannabis industry is a huge job creator, and it’s really only going to get bigger,” Humiston says. “A lot of the candidates who come aren’t in the industry yet, but they like what they do and feel they can apply their skill sets to this industry. I think at this point, that’s what the industry is looking for.”

Here are the five areas Humiston sees as the main job opportunities in the cannabis industry.

socialuseBrandon Marshall

The City of Denver has selected the members of its Social Consumption Advisory Committee, which will oversee implementation of Initiative 300, allowing social consumption of marijuana in the city, and has three meetings scheduled through February.

The twenty-person committee, which comprises city officials, Denver City Council members, community members and marijuana-industry representatives, will meet a total of six to eight times between now and June to draft the rules and regulations governing social-use licenses.

freedmanpodiumKate Simmons | Toke of the Town

Andrew Freedman is moving on from his position as Colorado’s Director of Marijuana Coordination, Governor John Hickenlooper announced on January 5.

Freedman will still be involved with the cannabis industry and constructing policy: He’s launching a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski LLC, which will advise state and local governments on the implementation of marijuana legalization. (The firm’s website is already live, and packed with pot info.)

After working as Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia’s chief of staff from 2011 to 2013, Freedman became the campaign director for Yes on 66: Colorado Commits to Kids; from there, Hickenlooper hired Freedman to head up the state’s marijuana coordination office.

21005120690_5b24d9bd22_oMartin Alonso

In the last two weeks of 2016, LivWell Cares, the philanthropic arm of LivWell Enlightened Health, gave nearly $800,000 worth of cannabidiol (CBD) to members of American Medical Refugees and the CannAbility Foundation, two prominent advocacy groups for medical marijuana patients.

“We want to get the product into the hands of the people who really, really need it going into the holiday season,” said Neal Levine, senior vice president of government affairs at LivWell. CannAbility and AMR “work with so many people hand to hand, I couldn’t think of anybody [better]to work with to make sure it gets to as many of the right people as possible.”

It is illegal under Colorado law for businesses to distribute medicated product for free, so when LivWell introduced the program last month, the company said it would charge qualifying patients one penny for an ounce of cannabis. In exchange for less than $80, the company gave away almost 8,000 ounces to thousands of patients over the holiday season.

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