Browsing: Cannabusiness

screen_shot_2019-12-18_at_11.12.28_amDenver Police Department

A string of armed robberies at Denver-area marijuana dispensaries over the past two months continued into this week, according to the Denver Police Department, with the latest stickup taking place at one of Colorado’s largest dispensary chains.

Armed robbers barged into a Native Roots location near Denver International Airport on North Tower Road on Monday, December 16, demanding cash from an employee, according to the DPD and Native Roots. Police officials say it’s the sixth armed-robbery attempt at a Denver-area dispensary since early November, and they believe the crimes are connected to the same group of suspects.

honey_pot_lounge_collins20190407_033 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado dispensaries will almost certainly break another annual sales record for the fifth straight year since recreational weed stores first opened for business on January 1, 2014.

According to data from the state Department of Revenue, Colorado dispensaries accounted for just under $150.5 million in sales in October. Recreational pot sales came in just over $121.2 million, while medical marijuana accounted for approximately $29.2 million.

While that figure is lower than the month before, it reflects what’s become a standard seasonal decline in pot sales. It also all but locks up 2019’s rise past 2018 to tally the most marijuana sales dollars in a calendar year.

Another mold and yeast recall has hit Denver’s marijuana business. The contamination level in this recall measures thousands of times the state’s limit, highlighting a growing concern for the commercial pot industry.

According to the city’s Department of Public Health and Environment, marijuana plant material and pre-rolled joints from wholesale grower Royal Resin tested positive for potential dangerous mold and yeast levels. The flagged weed had been sent to six different dispensaries, with most of it going to Diego Pellicer at 2949 West Alameda Avenue.

thc-classic-girls-smoking-public-consumption-collinsJacqueline Collins

America’s vaping problem didn’t just surface in 2019 — it exploded. Well over 2,000 recorded cases of pulmonary illnesses related to vaping have been reported over the past several months, and four dozen of those have ended in death.

Many of these illnesses have been tied to black-market vaping products containing nicotine or cannabis oil, as well as potentially toxic chemical additives. However, there have also been reports of unsafe cannabis products in the regulated dispensary market, prompting Colorado to ban any marijuana vaping products with vitamin E acetate — a chemical linked to vaping illness by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — along with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil), two other chemical vaping additives.

ibakeCourtesy of iBake

Colorado’s cannabis community was surprised when iBake Denver, one of the state’s longest-running consumption clubs, announced that it would close at the end of the year because it would not be ready to comply with a new state law that licenses social pot use. Open since 2013, the club started as an Internet radio show hosted by Thurlow “T.L.” Weed, but slowly transformed into a cannabis club under Weed and his wife, LittleTree Oppy, whom he met when she was a weekly caller to his radio show.

Weed and Oppy both fought back tears earlier this month as they announced the impending closure of iBake, which will shut its doors on January 1, 2020. To learn more about iBake’s story, we caught up with the couple behind the club.

04202018_bruce_polis_420_0019 (1)Kenzie Bruce

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.

smoking-pot-marijuana-420-civic-center-2019-collinJacqueline Collins

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.

pot_zero_grow-buds-marijuana-holschuc-2018Jake Holschuh

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.

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