Kate Simmons | Toke of the Town

Tomorrow, April 20, the latest edition of the Denver 4/20 Rally will hit Civic Center Park. The event, which gets under way at 10 a.m., is expected to draw approximately 50,000 people, and there’ll be plenty of food and music courtesy of DJs, local hip-hop groups and headliner 2 Chainz, who’ll emcee the annual 4:20 p.m. countdown. But what do attendees really need to know? We asked Miguel Lopez, the man behind the bash. Here’s his personal Denver 4/20 Rally top ten.

Scott Lentz

“Some people are very lucky — everything they touch works for them,” laments Steve Horwitz, owner of Ganja Gourmet. “But for whatever reason, ever since I opened this business I’ve had a black cloud around me. Pretty much nothing has worked the way it should have or could have.”

Horwitz, a seasoned salesman in his fifties with a hearty Long Island accent and a gold chain around his neck, doesn’t take no for an answer, though; he just shifts his approach and tries again. Over the past eight years — the period during which the marijuana industry exploded in Denver — he’s changed his business model four times. He opened Ganja Gourmet at 1810 South Broadway in late 2009 as a medical marijuana restaurant (and one of the first spots William Breathes reviewed), turned it into a takeout joint in 2010, transformed it into a medical dispensary in 2011, then changed it into a medical/recreational store in 2015. Now, to keep up with the times, Horwitz is gearing up to stamp his candy logo on wholesale edibles and partner with a smoke room once social consumption is allowed.

Sunday After Next Films

There are only two types of regular pot smokers: those who smoke a little extra on 4/20, and liars.

I get it: A lot of you are grownups now and much too busy to dedicate an entire day to cannabis. Me, too. But even if you’re years removed from your gravity bong days and only puffing a few times a week, indulging a little extra on the day of all haze is nothing to be ashamed of.

As a 4/20 veteran with a big-boy job for a few years now, I’ve learned how to appropriately ring in the holiday without being a dirtbag – and, most important, without rubbing shoulders with dirtbags. Want to celebrate 4/20 like an adult? Follow a few of these steps and you’ll feel a lot less shameful Friday morning.

Kristin Bjornsen | Toke of the Town

Up in Tallahassee, state legislators are doing everything they can to undermine medical marijuana in Florida. Voters backed medical pot by more than 70 percent in November, and yet lawmakers responded by inviting the same guy who spent millions trying to defeat the measure to help write the new rules.

But despite all those statehouse shenanigans, medical pot dispensaries are finally a reality in Miami-Dade. Miami’s first legal storefront dispensary opened last week near the airport, and across the bay, commissioners will vote Wednesday on where three dispensaries could open in Miami Beach.

“We have been delivering to the Miami area since July, but we’re very excited to have a brick-and-mortar storefront so patients can avoid delivery fees,” says Kim Rivers, a spokesperson for Trulieve, the North Florida-based firm behind Miami’s first dispensary.

For now, the Trulieve dispensary is operating under rules passed between 2014-15, allowing low-THC products for a limited number of ailments and full marijuana products for terminally ill patients. The shop has a variety of marijuana-based medicines — from vaporizers to pills to tinctures — for qualifying patients.

Shutterstock.com

Florida’s House of Representatives proved today there is nothing its grubby little hands can’t screw up. After more than 72 percent of voters statewide voted to legalize medicinal marijuana for people with “debilitating diseases,” a term that includes cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s, the Florida House today passed its own series of rules regulating the state’s new medical weed industry.

And, this being Florida, the Republican-crafted bill bans smokable weed, creates a state-controlled cartel of legal cannabis farms, and pisses off medicinal marijuana advocates across the Sunshine State. On Tuesday, that terrible bill — HB 1397 — passed the House by a 105-9 margin.

Danielle Lirette

Colorado has been a 4/20 destination for more than a decade, and the allure of tax dollars helped spur a legalization movement that now brings tens of millions of consumer dollars into the state every April.

Data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that Colorado made $2.49 million from the state’s 2.9 percent marijuana sales tax in March 2016. (That includes medical and recreational dispensaries and doesn’t count the 10 percent retail marijuana tax and other local taxes specific to cities and counties.) In May 2016, Colorado made $2.76 million from the same tax. But in April 2016, that tax total was significantly higher than in the preceding and following months: $3.29 million. Dispensary sales aren’t just rising in April; they’re rising annually, at an extremely fast rate.

Kate Simmons | Toke of the Town

Organizers are estimating that there will be more than 80,000 people celebrating in downtown Denver on 4/20, so the Colorado Department of Transportation is partnering with Lyft to give out free ride credits and discounted rides all week.

The collaborators even created a scavenger hunt for people to earn the free rides. There’ll be “Mile 420” signs hidden at prominent marijuana events, each with a promo code to redeem $42 worth of ride credits. Lyft will also have street teams at 4/20 events handing out discount ride codes.

U.S. CBP

The driver of a hearse filled with 68 pounds of marijuana told federal agents on Saturday that he had taken up smuggling because his Tucson funeral-services business “had been slow.

Christian Lee Zuniga, 28, a U.S. citizen from Nogales, Arizona, was arrested after agents became suspicious of him and his hearse and found the pot, court records show.

This is actually the second headline-making smuggling failure for Zuniga.

The Phoenix New Times has the full details.

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