Author Toke of the Town

gruvi-beer-courtesy-2019 (1)Courtesy of Gruvi

Cannabis legalization has not only spurred a wide variety of new industries, but it’s reinvigorating some old business models. Noticing the growing interest around terpenes — plant compounds found in cannabis and hops (and fruits, flowers, coffee and pretty much anything else grown on Earth) — Niki Sawni decided to start a line of non-alcoholic beverages geared toward cannabis users.

Using terpenes to make non-alcoholic IPAs, sours and even wines, Sawni’s beverage company, Gruvi, has been able to breathe new life into sober drinks; Gruvi products are now on the shelves of 45 liquor stores and craft breweries around Colorado. We recently sat down with Sawni to learn more about how drinking terpenes without the booze can affect our experiences with cannabis.

purple_punchHerbert Fuego

Have we crossed the halfway point of 2019 already? That means we’ve profiled over 26 strains so far this year — and smoked a few dozen more just for fun.

Each strain of cannabis carries a unique flavor profile and range of effects, which are only amplified by plant genetics and growing conditions. Despite all of the variables, Colorado cannabis growers have been pumping out fire since legal recreational sales began in 2014, raising the bar for flavor and potency every year.

Customer infatuation with Cookies and Glue strains continue to influence dispensary selection in 2019, but there’s still plenty of diversity in local stores. To help narrow your choices during weed shopping, here are our favorite eight strains through the first half of the year.

purple_punchHerbert Fuego

A couple of friends and I recently lugged about fifty beers three miles up a mountain for a camping trip, then argued over who was carrying all those cans back down. My buddy’s girlfriend, meanwhile, brought two liters of pinot noir in a bag and didn’t have to worry about shit. Not only did it make me realize how dumb my drinking habits are, but it also reminded me how much I miss that purple stuff. Not purple drank (R.I.P., Pimp C), but purple weed — and I wasn’t particular about what kind during a dispensary run on a hot July afternoon.

My visit turned up several popular choices in Blackberry Kush, Northern Lights and Purple OG Kush, but I decided to try something new in Purple Punch. Or new to me, at least. Purple Punch began making a name for itself in dispensaries in 2017, with fat, supple buds that win in the looks department and trichome production. A mix of Grand Daddy Purple and Larry OG, Purple Punch’s potential to create amazing hash has made the sedative strain a hit among regular users and medical patients, while its dense, violet buds draw in excited newbs like flies to a bug zapper — and then fries them just the same.

12647199_546498392176755_1397639000356818163_nCourtesy of Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care

“My whole life lately seems to be about hemp,” says Lily Morgan. And for good reason: The founder of Colorado-based skin care company Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care has owned and operated eighty acres of farmland to supply her own production in Keenesburg, Colorado, for over thirty years, Now nearly 90 percent of it is devoted to hemp.

Morgan, who also owns an additional 170-plus acres spread throughout the state, has been making cleansers, moisturizers, toners, lip balms and other products for her certified organic skin care line since 1986. But she’s recently shifted, jumping on the CBD bandwagon and growing hemp for her new CBD-infused line of therapeutic lotions.

civic-center-mile-high-420-19-collins (1)Jacqueline Collins

Although not as hip as it once was, Facebook is still an easy place to connect with others who have similar interests such as music, sports, food and even cannabis.

Officially, the social networking giant isn’t that keen on the plant, barring any groups with the words “cannabis” or “marijuana” in their names from coming up during general searches. But if you keep looking, you’ll find Facebook communities full of hungry and creative stoners, pot growers, edibles chefs and more. Here are eight we’re fans of so far.

suenoHerbert Fuego

When you’re an adult, there’s really no upside to being sick. You either don’t get paid when you miss work, or you get paid but still have to do all the work you missed when you return. But at least being sick is a rare excuse to use nighttime cough syrup, which knocks me out as hard as cannabis ever has without completely zapping my dreams.

Research has shown a link between regular cannabis use and decreased REM sleep, or the stage of sleep when your body relaxes enough to let your mind dream. Still wanting to keep up my REM activity without totally ending the cannabis use, I hoped a strain by the name of Sueño (the Spanish word for “dream”) would bring me some good juju.

the-motet-clinic-marijuana-petrovic-2019Nina Petrovic

Members of the Motet call themselves “avid connoisseurs” of cannabis, so when the chance came to collaborate with a local dispensary, it was an easy match. Partnering with the Clinic dispensary chain, the Denver band’s input helped develop Starmatter 303, a new summer strain that’s just as loud as the funk-soul band’s tunes.

During a recent appearance at the Clinic’s Colorado Boulevard location to promote the new strain (and the band’s upcoming show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre July 11), trumpet player Parris Fleming said he’d been pushing the idea of the band having their own strain for some time.

seed-smith-grow-collins-2019 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado’s fluctuating marijuana prices may have found some stability, according to the latest data from the state Department of Revenue. The DOR’s official estimate for the average price per pound of marijuana flower in Colorado has risen slightly for the fourth straight time, up to $850 as of July 1.

Brendan McCormick, sales director for wholesale marijuana provider Bonsai Cultivation, believes wholesale marijuana prices are actually higher than the DOR’s estimates now that outdoor grows are done harvesting, reaching anywhere from $1,000 to $1,300 per pound.

michael-bowman-willie-nelson-hemp-flag-2013-courtesy-one-time (1)Photo courtesy of Michael Bowman

It’s been six years since Colorado native Michael Bowman pulled off a monumental coup for hemp on the Fourth of July. With the help of Jared Polis — a Colorado congressman at the time — Bowman briefly raised a Denver-made American flag above the United States Capitol Building on July 4, 2013.

That flag was made from hemp fibers, which were federally illegal at the time. Six years later, hemp is now federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, and Bowman has co-founded his own publicly held hemp venture.

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