It was all about freedom of speech and a “fuck you” to the haters when Scott Jennings opened the first Cheba Hut in 1998 in Arizona, he says. Over two decades later, his passion for toasted subs hasn’t burnt out, much thanks to his restaurant chain’s home away from home in Colorado.
Since opening his first Colorado outpost in Fort Collins in 2003, Jennings has secured thirteen more Cheba Hut locations statewide, good for the most Cheba Hut franchises in any state. In the last five years alone, Cheba Hut has opened three locations in Denver, with a fourth on the way in Sloan’s Lake, and new locations in Colorado Springs, Longmont, Johnstown and Greeley.
The Colorado Supreme Court has overruled a district court decision that upheld a county court ruling requiring a doctor’s testimony for medical marijuana patients who want to use their medication while on probation. The Colorado Supreme Court decision, handed down November 18, weakens the restrictions and burdens of proof that Colorado judges can place on medical marijuana patients.
Colorado’s cannabis history stretches much further back than November 2012, when voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana. The state’s skunky roots were planted decades earlier, when home growers and college students began creating a real Rocky Mountain High. Now, some of their sons and daughters are helping to shape the current commercial market.
Lama Brand Cannabis owner Tony Karas grew up in Evergreen, and, after graduating from Colorado State University nearly twenty years ago, slowly waded into the pot industry with his friends. Today, the avid fisherman and father runs his own cannabis supply company, Lama Brand, growing award-winning strains while still sharing laughs with the people he grew up with.
Colorado’s legal marijuana sales finally took a fall in September, according to data from the state Department of Revenue, and past trends indicate that this dip is likely to continue until next spring. However, 2019 is still very much on pace to become the highest-selling year ever for the state’s legal pot industry.
Colorado dispensaries racked up over $155.4 million in sales in September, DOR data shows. That’s a drop of over 10 percent from August — but still rises almost 13 percent over the same month in 2018. Recreational sales accounted for more than $126.8 million in September 2019, according to the figures, while medical sales came in at $28.6 million; they’ve been on a $25-to-$30 million plateau for over a year now.
In a random assessment conducted by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment in September, Denver dispensaries failed health inspections for mold and yeast. Westword studied reports for tests conducted at 25 dispensaries over a two-day period, and at twenty of them, some form of cannabis tested over the state’s limit for total mold and yeast. That’s an 80 percent failure rate. Many of the failing products came from outside growers whose marijuana had already passed state tests.
The results of the assessment and what they might mean for city and state pot programs are still under review by the DDPHE, which won’t publish its report on the study for some time. But the department acknowledges that concerns over contaminated cannabis inspired the test. In 2019 alone, Colorado has seen a handful of commercial pot recalls over mold concerns. Rumors of shady practices to pass mold testing abound, and industry insiders also gripe about the state’s testing process for mold, as well as the lack of context that most testing labs provide for mold and yeast specificity.
No disrespect to strains from previous decades, but there’s no comparison between the potency of early chronic and today’s sugar-dipped space nuggets. I’m not saying that’s always a good thing — nowadays strains can be too strong for a simple afternoon toke — but we’d be fools not to recognize the evolution of cannabis. That’s like saying LeBron James wouldn’t dominate the NBA in the ’90s. Save those stale takes for the Moose Lodge.
During our recent conversation with hash-maker extraordinaire Kennn Wall, he talked about the need for stronger, sturdier strains for worthwhile cannabis extraction. According to Wall, only 5 to 10 percent of strains on the market today have the quality and quantity of trichomes to make those stiff, terpy rosins and live concentrates that connoisseurs love. Some of his favorite strains that do? Papaya cuts, specifically from Oni Seed Co. So what did I buy during my next trip to the dispensary? Papaya Cake, a mix of Papaya and Wedding Cake, bred from Oni Seeds.
Colorado has banned the state’s marijuana industry from adding vitamin E acetate, the chemical additive linked to vaping illnesses by federal health officials, to products meant for inhalation.
On November 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a potential culprit behind the recent vaping illnesses: vitamin E acetate. However, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division had already prohibited the additive as an ingredient days earlier, and also banned two more ingredients with connections to short- and long-term health issues. In addition to vitamin E acetate, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil) are now ruled out for marijuana products meant for inhalation.
If the White Claw memes and CBD sections at liquor stores haven’t tipped you off, let us be the ones to tell you that the beer business is struggling. Non-alcoholic drinks and less caloric options have made the once-thriving craft-beer industry look for new ways to satisfy your thirst.
Lagunitas Brewing Company, already known for its love for cannabis, took a natural route toward the pot-infused side of things. The brewery’s Hi-Fi Hops drink, a hoppy seltzer infused with CBD, THC or both, hit Colorado dispensaries this fall, giving users a terpene-filled splash of cannabinoids. To learn more about how the drink is made and the loving history that Lagunitas has with the plant, we chatted with Hi-Fi head brewer Jeremy Marshall.
Growing up in the rural desert gave me lots of opportunities to shoot things. Nothing living, of course, other than my friends. Before discovering fireworks, we lit each other up with paintballs and air-soft BBs without mercy. The welts and burns were temporary, but the memories should last a lifetime.
The baddest mother bleeper in the paintball squad was always the one who scouted the enemy’s defense — or did recon, as a bunch of tweens playing war liked to call it. That job usually involved getting pelted by the other team, and groin shots were always on the table. As a tall kid with a long groin, I thought the concept of recon could fuck right off. Now, as a pothead with road rage and little tolerance for dumb questions, I don’t think Recon’s so bad.