Author Toke of the Town

tetra_lounge_glitter_bong_collins20181025_008Jacqueline Collins

While Denver has only one licensed cannabis lounge,there are several places outside of your home where you can smoke a joint with friends — and we’re not talking about a park or alleyway. Private cannabis clubs that allow members to smoke weed have been operating in Denver since before the recreational dispensaries showed up, with varying degrees of success with city agencies and varying degrees of harassment by law enforcement.

Although a Denver program was adopted in 2017 to license businesses for social pot consumption, that program bans smoking indoors, so the vast majority of social consumption businesses have chosen to stay private. Prove you’re at least 21 with a valid ID, sign up for a membership, and you can go inside and blaze up as much as you want. While a new state law may finally let some private clubs get licensed and continue to allow indoor smoking, Denver is still in the early stages of considering these more expansive opportunities.

pot_zero_slideshow-32 (1)Jake Holschuh

One way to protect doctors, nurses and patients from further spread of illness during a pandemic is telemedicine, or remote doctor visits by way of video conference calls. As coronavirus fears grow in Colorado, health-care suppliers and insurance companies are taking advantage of this option.

Just as long as they’re not involved in medical marijuana.

cougher-smoker-flickr-2020Flickr/Thom Chandler

Self-quarantines and sitting at home as events and public gatherings are canceled because of coronavirus concerns will lead many of us to break out the bong, but try to keep those smoking utensils to yourself, warns our resident Stoner.

“Start smoking out of your own devices and stop sharing mouthpieces with others — not just because of COVID-19, but because of germs and viruses that cause colds, flus and other sicknesses, too,” Herbert Fuego shared in a recent Ask a Stoner column.

Mouthpieces are natural resting places for germs, and can still carry them even after being wiped down with alcohol — and the coronavirus is definitely on the minds of most cannabis users no matter how much they smoke.

img_9408Jacqueline Collins

The FlyHi 420 Festival, part of the annual celebration of the unofficial 4/20 holiday at Denver’s Civic Center Park every April 20, has been canceled over coronavirus concerns.

Shortly after Mayor Michael Hancock banned all on-site service at Denver bars and restaurants as of March 17, and days after Governor Jared Polis temporarily banned any public gatherings of over 250 people, 420 fest organizers announced that the festival and free concert set for Monday, April 20, at Civic Center would be canceled.

snowballHerbert Fuego

Natives, try not to get flustered at this admission: It took me about three years of living here to realize that February was Colorado’s worst month. If it weren’t for all the stouts that breweries pour in February, the month would turn Denver into a cold pit of despair for those of us who aren’t avid snowboarders or skiers. Thankfully, March brings some warm stints and sunny reprieves, but I’ve learned not to get suckered into thinking spring is here in March, either. That doesn’t come for certain until fucking June.

To make sure I didn’t get lulled into a false sense of summer-bound security, I went with a strain called Snowball during a recent trip to the pot shop, to remind me of the impending dumps that Mother Nature will take on us in March and April. Consider me chilled and refreshed, though I’m still not certain I’ll be able to walk for another week after getting frozen to my couch.

Snowball is a cross of The White and Chem 4 OG (a hybrid of Chemdog and San Fernando Valley OG Kush) from Ethos Genetics, and it’s name is well deserved.

img_9357Jacqueline Collins

Virtually every part of the economy has been affected by efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus, and that includes the legal cannabis industry. Marijuana and hemp conferences in Colorado that had been scheduled for the spring are postponing or canceling altogether, while pot-friendly hospitality establishments are dealing with cancellations and non-stop efforts to sanitize.

Business owners and travelers have been scrambling to respond to daily developments, leaving event organizers “with loads of uncertainty,” according to Philip Wolf, CEO of Denver’s annual Cannabis Wedding Expo. Originally scheduled for April 5 in Lakewood, the expo was postponed until October 25 after Wolf spoke with vendors, would-be attendees and government officials. He’s also pushed back a Cannabis Wedding Expo in Las Vegas from March to October.

9553075.0 (1)Ken Hamblin III

Colorado marijuana dispensaries broke an annual sales record for the sixth straight year in 2019, and they’re already on track for a new high in 2020.

According to data from the state Department of Revenue, Colorado dispensaries racked up just under $140 million in sales during the first month of the new year. Although that figure reflects a slight dip from December 2019’s $143.75 million, January 2020’s sales are easily the highest total for any January since recreational dispensaries opened in 2014, and more than 12 percent higher than January 2019’s $124.9 million.

veritas_farm_collins20190807_001Jacqueline Collins

Two powerful federal agencies have given some optimism to Colorado hemp farmers and CBD companies.

Late last month, the United States Department of Agriculture announced a temporary suspension of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s involvement with industrial hemp testing, a factor of federal hemp regulations that worried Colorado farmers for a variety of reasons. Days later, the Food and Drug Administration announced a more collaborative approach toward future CBD regulations with stakeholders of the hemp-derived CBD industry.

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