Browsing: Opinion

floogHerbert Fuego

Confused by all the cannabis strain names? There are hundreds of them, including one-time varieties named after Jeff Sessions and Peyton Manning. And even strains bearing the same time-honored names can be completely different depending on growing conditions and genetics.

But over the years, I’ve come to recognize that you can depend on the quality of certain varieties, for better or for worse. Here’s a handy guide to which strains deserve their reputations…and which don’t.

shatter.marijuana.concentrate.lindsey.bartlettLindsey Bartlett

Neal Levine, a longtime member of the Colorado marijuana industry who’s now the CEO of the national Cannabis Trade Federation, sees the case for THC potency limits on marijuana concentrates recently made in this space as a Trojan horse for gutting the industry.

“When you start talking about potency and it’s not based on science, it sounds like reefer madness, the next generation,” Levine says.

web_nancywhiteman-wana-pull-2018 (1)Courtesy of Wana Brands

The edibles game can be a screwy one for the legal cannabis industry, with a roulette of changing regulations and constantly evolving market demand. New government rules on dosing and packaging can end a company overnight; if those don’t do it, then ever-changing extraction technology and consumer habits just might, with new forms of consumption popping up more often than expected. That’s not even counting the financing and expansion issues faced by American cannabis brands now that our neighbors to the north have legalized the plant federally.

Despite all of these obstacles, Colorado-based pot companies continue to thrive nationally, and Boulder’s Wana Brands is no exception. The infused-products company, known for its gummies, has branched out with vaporizing, CBD and capsule products on its way to becoming one of the state’s largest cannabis brands, with continued expansion into other states. To learn more about surviving in such a tough market, we caught up with Wana founder and CEO Nancy Whiteman.

img_0663Chloe Summers

Cannabis affects everyone differently, and we’re still trying to figure out what scientific and psychological factors play the biggest roles in each of our “highs.” Some research even shows evidence that one’s sex may play a role in how he or she reacts to cannabis, with male and female bodies carrying different hormones and possibly different endocannabinoid systems.

To learn more about the plant’s impact on women and how they can use it to further their own well-being, we talked to Ashley Kingsley, co-founder of women’s cannabis group Ellementa.

vaping weedJacqueline Collins

Denver may be a leader in regulating recreational cannabis sales, but it’s hard to say the same about recreational cannabis consumption. Despite allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in town for over a decade and retail pot shops for nearly five years, Denver’s attempts to address social pot use have fallen just a few degrees above flat.

To be fair to Denver, the rest of Colorado isn’t exactly diving in, either, and neither are most of the other states legalizing the plant. Denver was the country’s first city to approve a program for issuing consumption licenses to qualified businesses, and one pot lounge is up and running, with another approved business on the way — but the program has its limitations. Approved by voters in 2016, the social consumption initiative was tweaked during its lengthy implementation process, with disputed location qualifications and restricted revenue streams added, to the dismay of the initiative’s proponents.

incredibles_edibles-collinsJacqueline Collins

Founded in 2010, Incredibles made a name for itself with its popular cannabis chocolate bars. But the infused-products brand has expanded its line to include live resin, tinctures, bath salts and suppositories, and it’s even entered the emerging legal markets in California, Illinois, Nevada and Oregon.

To learn more about the edibles trade and what’s next for infused products, Westword spoke with Incredibles founder Bob Eschino about what’s been going on in the kitchen.

Wanda JamesCourtesy of Wanda James

For legal cannabis to spread across the country, people need to speak up in more ways than with Facebook comments and on Gallup polls. Lucky for cannabis users, Wanda James can be loud enough for all of us. The pot entrepreneur and activist was the first black woman to open a dispensary in Colorado, and was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Cannabis Business Awards for her role in the commercial rise of the plant.

But even with all her success in pushing cannabis forward, James still has an ax to grind with state regulators and corporate interests. She’s frequently at government hearings speaking up for consumers’ rights, social consumption and fair pot policy, and is a regular presence at public demonstrations criticizing law enforcement or elected officials for anti-cannabis actions. Westword recently caught up with James to see what she’s been up to.

patrice-3002Maria Levitov

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.

michael-2371Maria Levitov

Trail Blazers is a series of portraits by photographer Maria Levitov spotlighting cannabis consumers from all walks of life.

One young man struggling with alcoholism and a variety of mental pains believes that the plant is key to overcoming his demons and health issues, yet his family hasn’t been as embracing. As Michael Cavin continues to coax loved ones into accepting the cannabis use he feels is essential to a good quality of life, he’s also realizing how much more of his story is left to be written.

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