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marijuana-gingerbread-house-santa-istock-2018iStock/AlexeyBorodin

Thanks to online retail, you don’t have to get stuck at the mall during holiday shopping season. That doesn’t eliminate the stress of choosing the right gifts, though: After pondering all the possibilities, many of us fall back on buying a bottle of booze, some golf balls or a gift card. But since Colorado has an entirely different spectrum of presents — the pot-related kind — from which to choose, why not take full advantage of those options?

Although it’s about to conclude four years of legal recreational sales, our state’s cannabis industry continues to innovate, creating products and consumption methods that were unheard of when this grand experiment started in 2014. The CBD craze has only added to that, giving us another platform for cannabis use, one that employs the same consumption methods for very different effects.

To impress both the stoners and the squares on your list, here are six cannabis gift ideas guaranteed to be a hit during the holidays — and beyond.

teapot-antonaiyton-2016Mark Antonation

‘Tis the cold and flu season, when judgment is never more important…and your brain is never more foggy. Thinking that your immune system is ready to withstand your degenerative ways one day too early can keep that throat sore much longer than necessary, so it’s best to play it safe by avoiding the booze and pot-smoking. Still, according to cannabis sales and delivery platform Eaze, 40 percent of cannabis consumers continue to use pot when suffering from cold and flu symptoms, and a majority of them are smoking and vaping.

While smoking and vaping definitely should be avoided when your throat is burning and covered in mucus, combustion isn’t the only way to take in the plant. Some medical marijuana products could even help alleviate the aches and pains of sinus pains, muscle aches and sore throats, while others can boost your immune system and prevent another bout of illness.

hemperorCourtesy of New Belgium Brewing

It took long enough, but the country is finally starting to come around to hemp. Kansas is just taking a little longer than the rest of us.

The non-psycoactive cannabis plant and the oils, fibers and cannabinoids derived from it have seen a huge boom in consumer interest over the past few years and grew 16 percent in sales from 2016 to 2017, according to a recent analysis from Hemp Industry Daily. Hemp has even become an ingredient in beer, with Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Company (the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country) releasing a pale ale in March that is brewed with hemp seeds to extract cannabis-like flavor and aromas.

the_green_solution_collins20171215_003 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado’s cannabis industry is still changing at a rapid pace. The industry’s watchdog, the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, updates its rules and regulations every year in hopes of catching up with the expanding field, which is growing like a weed in more ways than one.

The MED’s annual meetings aren’t unique to cannabis; plenty of regulatory agencies update their rules each year. But governing a federally illegal industry that is continually developing new methods for ingestion, packaging and product extraction takes a lot of work. That’s why the MED held six stakeholder meetings over the summer and into the fall, with public health and regulatory officials, industry members, law enforcement representatives and other individuals that make up Colorado’s legal cannabis picture.

dixie elixirs Courtesy of Dixie Brands

Once Canada began its cannabis legalization efforts, investors’ eyes shifted from the fragmented state policies in America to a federal government up north that was open for business. The money soon followed: Reports of massive investments from companies like Molson-Coors and rumors of interest from Coca-Cola continue to swirl around Canada’s new legal cannabis sector (legalization will officially begin October 17) — and Colorado brands have taken notice.

Dixie Elixirs is one of a handful prominent cannabis companies based in Colorado that has already began establishing itself in the Canadian market, but Dixie took it a step further last week when the brand announced its intentions to go public in Canada. To learn more about the financial obstacles pot companies face in America, and how they’re going north to avoid them, we talked to Dixie CEO Chuck Smith.

sunset sherbetHerbert Fuego

There’s nothing wrong with letting loose at the bar sometimes, but too many drinks tonight can lead to sharp headaches and a pukey stomach tomorrow. Especially in Colorado, where three IPAs can suck the moisture right out of you.

Like the nurturing yin to alcohol’s belligerent yang, cannabis can be your savior when you wake up to the self-mutilation from the night before. You might need a greasy burrito, a gallon of water and a three-hour nap to bring it all home, but for many of us, Miss Mary is an essential first step in ditching a hangover.

Virtually every strain of weed can help with a hangover, as THC and CBD both induce appetite and relax the muscles — but some strains will hold you closer to their bosoms than others. To help get past that smelly day after, here are twelve strains we’ve reviewed that are prime hangover helpers.

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