What was once Colorful Colorado has been turning greener since recreational cannabis became legal, especially on 4/20. For music fans, the holiday has been attracting some of the greatest talent around, for block parties and concerts alike, making this state a place where you can match your extracurricular smoking activities with some of the best local and national music acts, all for the love of everything green.
Author Toke of the Town
When Amendment 64 passed in 2014, adults in Colorado not only had the right to possess recreational marijuana, we gained the right to grow it. However, growing the potent, stanky cannabis many of us are used to smoking is no easy task for a rookie. Home growers spend years perfecting their lighting, nutrients, feeding schedule and more, but few have the time and bandwidth to breed their own genetics.
Most experienced home growers will tell you that the best way to grow your own is by planting reliable seeds, growing your own clones from a mother plant or finding a trustworthy clone breeder that doesn’t have anything to lose from selling you his or her best genetics – but for newbs and those too lazy to build a community, dispensaries provide a convenient place to start your home-growing journey.
To my chagrin, not too many pot shops in Denver sell clones anymore, making them hard to track down even after a Google sesh. Here’s a list of dispensaries in Denver that sell the green little guys (in alphabetical order), with more to be added as I find them.
Dear Stoner: An old friend is visiting soon, and I was thinking of welcoming him with a marijuana goodie bag. What should I put in there? I have about $150 to spend.
Dear Heidi: I’ll leave the artful arrangement of the gift basket up to you, but I can help with the grocery list. For a visitor who’s new to legal cannabis, you’ll want to start with the three staples: flower, edibles and concentrates. An eighth of bud shouldn’t be more than $45 to $50 after tax at the pricey spots, so that leaves you $100 for more goodies.
I’ve always loved fruity-flavored cannabis. Not the citrus-heavy strains like Lemon Skunk or Grapefruit, which are great in their own way — but sweet and decadent strains like Cannalope Kush, Cherry Pie and Strawberry Cough. They’re a welcome break from OG-heavy kushes and pungent Diesels and Skunks. Everyone enjoys a visit to the candy shop sometimes, and when you get there, you’re going to want to pick up some Blueberry.
Blueberry is one of the few varieties of flower that you’ll find in a dispensary that might be older than you, other than landrace strains — and that’s because it was bred from them. Blueberry is part of an old genetics line developed by famed breeder DJ Short that includes other hits like Blue Moonshine and Flo. In the 1970s, Short introduced Blueberry to Europe after mixing together a pure Afghani indica with pure Thai and possibly Mexican sativas. The result was a heavy, indica-dominant hybrid with a smell and taste unknown to cannabis but familiar in kitchens: sweet, sweet blueberry pie. The strain’s rich flavor is much closer to frozen-juice concentrate than it is to diluted juice. Like Strawberry Cough, Blueberry has a syrupy aspect, but with earthy notes of hash at the end for balance rather than zest and spice.
Dear Stoner: I broke my femur a while ago and still have problems, thanks to an unsuccessful surgery. I use recreational marijuana for pain, but is it worth it to get my medical card? Better products? Service?
Dear Creak: With a Colorado medical card, you’ll have access to stronger products, more attentive service and — perhaps most important — cheaper prices. WAY cheaper prices. Next time you’re in a shop with separate medical and recreational menus, compare the prices; you might be shocked. Medical flower and edibles are sometimes half the price of their recreational counterparts, and most medical dispensaries have lucrative member deals if you sign over your caregiver rights (that is, if you don’t want your own plants or a private caregiver — both worth considering). And the state sales taxes on MMJ are 10 percent lower than they are on the rec side, which adds up when you’re paying $40 for an eighth.
I’ve always preferred smoking flower to concentrates, but I’m starting to miss the dumbfounded highs of my rookie year, when one bowl of chronic had me laughing at Good Burger and eating 24 Bagel Bites in minutes.
Now, even after a full joint, I’m usually still worrying if I was the person my boss was referring to in an irate e-mail about picking up the slack this quarter. That’s why I was pleased to find a new friend who gives me the carefree, Taco Bell-inspiring high of my youth. His name is Lee Roy, and he’s an indica.
A must-try for anyone who likes OGs, Rare Dankness’s Lee Roy is a cross of Triangle Kush, a heavy indica with Chemdawg origins, and Rare Dankness #2, a phenotype of the popular Rare Dankness #1, which carries Ghost OG, Chemdawg and Triangle Kush genetics. I won’t bore you with all the back-crossing inbreeding details, but the innovative process resulted in one of the Colorado breeder’s most potent hybrids.
Dear Stoner: I’ve noticed something called “distillate” next to the wax and shatter in dispensaries. Employees try to explain it to me, but it’s hard to follow. WTF is it?
Dear Rip: The future, man. Also called “the clear” by some dispensaries and extraction companies, distilled THC is one of the most potent forms of cannabis out there, but it’s created by a process unknown to most.
After the passage of Amendment 64 in November 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper, who had not endorsed the measure, reminded supporters of the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado that “federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or [Goldfish] too quickly.”
Today, governors of the four states that were first to legalize recreational marijuana — Hickenlooper in Colorado, Jay Inslee in Washington, Kate Brown in Oregon and Bill Walker in Alaska— sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, urging them to respect the rights of the states to pass such measures, and to consult with the states that have been operating under 2013’s Cole Memorandum before making any enforcement changes. Here’s the letter:
Dezy Saint-Nolde, better known by her activism name, Queen Phoenix, has emerged as a prominent organizer of protests and demonstrations in recent months. These included the thousands-strong November 10 protest against Donald Trump’s election, the February 18 Defend our Constitution march, a health-care rally on February 25, and a Demand Russia-Trump Ties Investigation march on March 18.
But Phoenix also believes that her activism made her the target of an undercover Denver Police Department investigation in which she was arrested and charged for offenses related to marijuana.
In a January cover story in Westword concerning DPD’s social-media surveillance and how it related to the department’s old “Spy Files” program, Phoenix shared her experience of having her house raided by cops in December on charges that she was distributing marijuana without a license.
Dear Stoner: I’ve seen some dispensaries that have rooms for only medical customers, some for only recreational customers and some that sell to both. It seems inefficient, so why all the separation?
Dear Joey: Yes, it does seem inefficient when you see the exact same products on both sides. But when recreational marijuana became legal in this state, the law called for separating medical patients from retail customers.
As a result, any pot shop that sells to both medical and recreational crowds needs to have licenses for each, and to keep those licenses, it needs to have separate medical and retail marijuana inventory, tracking and customers. If a bud room only has one point-of-sale system, then only one of the consumer demographics can be served. While some dispensaries prefer individual rooms for each side in order to ensure privacy, others will install two POS systems in a bud room and simply split it in half with an imaginary line or rope.