If you asked Mayor Michael Hancock how he felt about being dubbed the “Mile High Mayor” by the cannabis industry back in 2012, he probably would have said he didn’t enjoy the title. But a lot can change in seven years.
Cannabis etiquette has its own set of standards. When to ask someone for pitch on a joint or jump in a session circle without permission aren’t situations often posted to Ask Amy; these questions don’t have standard answers like similar queries regarding drinking or dining. Add legalization to the mix, and you’re asking for even more confusion — and fun.
Here to help settle your questions about proper cannabis protocol is Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of famed etiquette writer Emily Post, cannabis lover and author of Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the World of Cannabis, From Dispensaries to Dinner Parties.
Weed the People is not your typical weed documentary full of rants and conspiracy theories. The film, which debuted in Denver on Friday, December 7, at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan’s Lake, is social commentary on the lack of government research into the possible health benefits of cannabis.
Spanning over four years, Weed the People is a journey into difficult territory as families struggle for alternative methods of curing their children’s cancer. Parents take matters into their own hands by dosing their sick children with cannabis oil, oftentimes paying thousands of dollars without insurance to help their children.
Held annually since 2010 by Clover Leaf University, the Cannabis Business Awards celebrate some of the industry’s brightest companies and advocates. Although legalization continues expanding to new states every year, the national CBAs are still held in downtown Denver every December, with the latest edition taking place at the Hilton Denver City Center on Wednesday, December 5.
As they did at the 2017 CBAs, Colorado cannabis influencers owned the national competition this year, with nineteen individuals or organizations taking home twenty awards. Notable local winners include Governor-elect Jared Polis (Political Industry Representative of the Year), Wanda James (Most Influential) and activists Jason Cranford and Alexis Bortell (a teenager) for joining in former Denver Bronco Marvin Washington’s lawsuit against the Department of Justice over federal cannabis prohibition.
Does anyone else regret meeting their heroes? I ran into Chauncey Billups at an NBA event in Las Vegas when I was twelve, right after he won the 2004 NBA Finals. Total dick. No autograph, no hello — he just stood in front of a lobby TV, alone, ignoring the sniveling kid in a Melo jersey asking for his autograph. Michael Jordan stiffed kids, too. If you ask some of my golf-caddying friends, they’ll tell you that John Elway’s a shitty tipper. My point: Sometimes it’s best to only interact with your favorite superstars through a screen.
I’ve experienced similar disappointment with notorious cannabis strains. A trip through Europe promised my first experiences with African, Jamaican and Thai landraces — all of which looked, smelled and smoked like brick weed once I tried them. Purple Thai, either a mix of Oaxacan Gold and Chocolate Thai or a landrace, depending on the source, was even more disappointing; seeing it listed on a Denver dispensary menu brought flashbacks of brown, seedy nugs in a dim Amsterdam coffee shop. But modern American takes on such classics as Colombian Gold and Durban Poison made me optimistic enough to give Purple Thai another shot.
Take a walk around Denver, and it’s nearly impossible to ignore the rise in art projects. Whether it’s new murals on building walls downtown or RiNo’s alleyways, there’s never been more color in Denver. The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, an advocate for arts within the state for thirty years, even says that people now spend more money on the arts than sports in Colorado.
All that money presents new sponsorship and investment opportunities, and the legal cannabis industry wants to jump in. The CBCA is game, even hosting a recent discussion at the Source to talk about how the pot community can get more involved in local culture.
My family has roots in Wisconsin, so my affinity for cheese comes naturally. Cheese curds, grilled cheese sandwiches, goat-cheese spread — if it’s cheesy, I’m easy. I even like the stinky French stuff like Camembert. But the stankiest cheese of all is from England, is grown indoors, and requires at least three weeks to cure.
UK Cheese became popular overseas in the ’90s, after a group of British growers going by the name of Exodus reportedly took a phenotype of Skunk #1 and bred it to pull out more creamy, sweet notes. Thanks to the strain’s unique flavor, it didn’t take long for UK Cheese to spread to Amsterdam, then America. Although it’s much easier to find the sweet, creamy funk of a Cheese strain now than it was thirty years ago, the original UK Cheese’s creative high has kept it on dispensary lineups.
Cannabis historically catches a bad rap in motion picture, depending on your views of the sweet leaf. It may have started with Reefer Madness in 1939, which created an initial scare about the dangers of cannabis use. Skip ahead four decades to the slack-jawed ramblings of Cheech and Chong, followed by such films as Friday, Half Baked and Pineapple Express, and cannabis in motion pictures became a caricature of mislabeled stereotypes.
Remembering Us, a forthcoming short film from Denver’s BS Filmworks, may be a needed step to change the stigmas surrounding cannabis, as well as stigmas attached to other issues. “We have a history of creating films that start the conversation, especially on topics that people don’t necessarily want to talk about,” says director and co-writer Scott Takeda
Matthew Kind can’t do many interviews past noon. Next month, he might have to shut off even earlier, depending on which time zone he’s in. Such restrictions are usually avoided by talk-show hosts, who stick closely to standard production deadlines in order to consistently churn out content. Yet Kind’s ever-evolving itinerary is exactly why he chose this line of work.
The host of the CannaInsider Podcast and his family of four have lived in nearly a dozen countries throughout Europe and North America since 2016, thanks largely to a substance that would get him arrested at most international borders: His weekly podcast, which he hosts remotely with the help of his wife, Bethany, focuses on business and industry trends in cannabis.
Trail Blazers is a series of portraits by photographer Maria Levitov spotlighting cannabis consumers from all walks of life.
Like it or not, Denver is quickly becoming a city of transplants. Patrice Ingham wasn’t born very far away, originally hailing from Wyoming before eventually ending up in Denver — but she took pit stops in New York and Washington, D.C., along the way. Now the 27-year-old is switching careers as she finds her connection to the city, and she’s using cannabis to help the transition.