Author Kate Simmons

The Marijuana Enforcement Division has updated Colorado laws regarding cannabis. And starting October 1, one major change will affect customers — while another affects product manufacturers.

After conducting a few studies, MED determined that the THC levels between flower, edibles and concentrates were so different that the state’s regulations had to change regarding how much of each substance could be sold at one time. There’s a higher level of THC in concentrates than flower, for example, so the MED didn’t think customers should be able to purchase the same amount of each. 

The largest comprehensive study of marijuana users is under way. BDS Analytics is working on the industry’s first scientifically rigorous consumer-research survey about cannabis consumption. Headed by Linda Gilbert, a market research veteran, the team is conducting a nationwide survey of 1,000 people in every state who are deemed demographically representative.

“Everyone in the business has common questions but nobody has any answers,” Gilbert says. “We want to understand not just where consumers are right now at this point in time, but where have they been, and where do they seem to be headed. This is not an advocacy study. We want to understand the general marketplace.”

The first time Todd Mitchem’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, she says it scared him more than it did her. “He thought he was going to lose his mom,” Kenny Cummins says. “It was a very fearful time.”

When she was diagnosed with cancer a second time, she started using marijuana as medicine. “Once he saw what I was doing and how it was helping me, he started doing his own research,” Cummins says of her son. “He knew it was saving my life, and he knew it could help other people.”

Camp Bud + Breakfast, a marijuana-friendly business in Colorado.

Yes, tourists are coming to Colorado for the weed — but just not as many as you might think. In fact, according to a state-subsidized survey, only 12 percent of visitors to this state visit a dispensary.

Although tourism boosters shied away from discussing marijuana right after recreational use was legalized, pot was the focus of a panel yesterday morning at the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference in Beaver Creek. During “The Marijuana Message,” two experts spoke to an audience of about fifty tourism representatives from around the state about how many tourists are using cannabis, and how the state is working to educate them when they visit.

BlueKudu founder and CEO Andrew Schrot (right) discusses a rebranding by his edibles company.

Denver Startup Week began in September 2012 as a chance for entrepreneurs to meet and trade ideas. Over the past five years, it’s evolved into an expansive event where anyone hoping to start a business can choose from hundreds of panel presentations featuring people who’ve been there, done that. And this year, ganjapreneurs are among the industry leaders sharing experiences and expertise.

At a September 13 panel titled “From Kitchen to ‘Shelf:’ Smart Growth Tips for Packaged Food Startups” at the Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery, Andrew Schrot, founder and CEO of BlueKudu, a prominent edibles company, joined food-industry reps from 34 Degrees, Saso Pepper Co. and Capello’s Gluten Free; BrandJuice creative director John Bellina moderated a discussion that focused on the ever-growing food market in Colorado.

Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson on stage together in 2015.

Mama, we’re not in Muskogee anymore. Country legend Merle Haggard is throwing his hat into the marijuana market from beyond the grave.

Haggard died on April 6, 2016, on what would have been his 79th birthday. Before his death, however, he had joined forces with the Colorado Weed Co. in 2015 to develop connoisseur-grade marijuana strains. Now, after his death, his daughter Jenessa Haggard-Bennett and her husband, Brian Bennett, are working with the Colorado Weed Co. to follow through on one of her father’s last business endeavors.

Andrew Schrot, the CEO of Denver-based Blue Kudu, moved to Colorado from Tampa, Florida, with his brother in the summer of 2010, excited to get involved in the cannabis industry. “We thought about edibles, because at that time there wasn’t a consistent, quality product that patients could rely upon,” Schrot recalls.

When Schrot was growing up, his family used to visit the animals at Busch Gardens; a family favorite was the African kudu because of its unique coat and long spiral horns. When brainstorming names for the company, he decided to go with Blue Kudu, to “stand out in a sea of cannabis businesses with green in their name,” he says.

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