Browsing: Dispensaries

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.

papaya cakeHerbert Fuego

No disrespect to strains from previous decades, but there’s no comparison between the potency of early chronic and today’s sugar-dipped space nuggets. I’m not saying that’s always a good thing — nowadays strains can be too strong for a simple afternoon toke — but we’d be fools not to recognize the evolution of cannabis. That’s like saying LeBron James wouldn’t dominate the NBA in the ’90s. Save those stale takes for the Moose Lodge.

During our recent conversation with hash-maker extraordinaire Kennn Wall, he talked about the need for stronger, sturdier strains for worthwhile cannabis extraction. According to Wall, only 5 to 10 percent of strains on the market today have the quality and quantity of trichomes to make those stiff, terpy rosins and live concentrates that connoisseurs love. Some of his favorite strains that do? Papaya cuts, specifically from Oni Seed Co. So what did I buy during my next trip to the dispensary? Papaya Cake, a mix of Papaya and Wedding Cake, bred from Oni Seeds.

mason_jar_winter_collins20180216_049 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado has banned the state’s marijuana industry from adding vitamin E acetate, the chemical additive linked to vaping illnesses by federal health officials, to products meant for inhalation.

On November 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a potential culprit behind the recent vaping illnesses: vitamin E acetate. However, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division had already prohibited the additive as an ingredient days earlier, and also banned two more ingredients with connections to short- and long-term health issues. In addition to vitamin E acetate, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil) are now ruled out for marijuana products meant for inhalation.

reconHerbert Fuego

Growing up in the rural desert gave me lots of opportunities to shoot things. Nothing living, of course, other than my friends. Before discovering fireworks, we lit each other up with paintballs and air-soft BBs without mercy. The welts and burns were temporary, but the memories should last a lifetime.

The baddest mother bleeper in the paintball squad was always the one who scouted the enemy’s defense — or did recon, as a bunch of tweens playing war liked to call it. That job usually involved getting pelted by the other team, and groin shots were always on the table. As a tall kid with a long groin, I thought the concept of recon could fuck right off. Now, as a pothead with road rage and little tolerance for dumb questions, I don’t think Recon’s so bad.

img_1171Westword

The Green Solution, one of Colorado’s largest marijuana dispensary chains, announced today, November 5, that it has been purchased by a publicly traded cannabis corporation.

According to the Green Solution’s representatives, Columbia Care Inc. has agreed to buy the Green Solution and its twenty dispensaries across Colorado for approximately $140 million. The deal also includes the Green Solution’s growing facilities and infused-product brands — of which there are many — as well as three more dispensaries that haven’t opened.

den_011217_veritas_grow_slentz038Scott Lentz

Denver recently conducted random tests of more than two dozen local dispensaries to learn more about potential yeast and mold issues with marijuana, and the results weren’t good.

On August 19, the City of Denver sent a notice to every licensed marijuana dispensary in the city, warning that investigators would be conducting random assessments at about 25 stores in the coming weeks “to evaluate contaminants in products on store shelves.”

“Each sample will be tested for pesticides and total yeast and mold by a state- and ISO-certified marijuana testing facility. Results of their respective testing will be shared with each facility and will also be shared broadly within a write-up of results,” the announcement read.

solace-meds-sticky-buds-colax-mitchell-2019 (2)Thomas Mitchell | Toke of the Town

Brian Garret almost tripped as he approached his favorite dispensary, Sticky Buds, on September 3 — and it wasn’t because of Denver’s lousy sidewalks. Garret’s pot shop of choice on Colfax Avenue had a banner hanging out front, announcing new ownership.

“I called the other location [on South Broadway], and they said Solace Meds took over that one, too,” he said at the time. “Everything inside was pretty much the same, but things will probably change with time.”

Garret, who just wanted to get home for an after-work dab on a hot summer day, probably didn’t realize how metaphorical his statement was. Natural market evolution and new state laws allowing out-of-state investors, publicly held companies and more large venture funds to own pot companies have set up Colorado’s cannabis field for some big changes late this year.

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