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After Denver Environmental Health prohibited sales of kratom for human consumption in the wake of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert late last year, advocates for the plant-based pain reliever spoke out, with many saying the product had helped them kick addictions to powerful opioids, including heroin. These testimonials are echoed by Roxanne Gullikson, facility director for Portland, Maine’s Greener Pastures Holisticare, a residential treatment center opening next month that will use kratom in combination with marijuana as part of a formal and comprehensive addiction treatment regimen. To her, Denver’s ban is both unjustified and potentially damaging.

“It’s very counterintuitive,” Gullikson says. “With the rising rates of deaths by overdoses, we need to have all options on the table. And certainly, removing one that’s non-toxic and non-lethal makes no sense at all.”

Courtesy of Alertmeter.com

Today, February 21, as we’ve reported, Denver’s National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws branch is taking part in a lobbying day at the Colorado State Capitol during which lawmakers will get the chance to learn about a major element in the group’s attempt to fix drug-testing laws that put cannabis users at risk of being fired for lawful use. Specifically, they’ll be able to try out Alert Meter, which tests for impairment rather than relying on blood or fluid draws that Denver NORML sees as undependable and unfair.

Jacqueline Collins

If you’re thinking about starting a cannabis grow in your house but aren’t an expert botanist, don’t worry: There’s now an app for that. The first app to offer personal horticulture services specifically for weed launched on the Apple App Store at the end of January.

Three a Light, released by cannabis consulting firm Medicine Man Technologies, is based on the book of the same name that uses simple methods to teach regular people how to increase their yields — up to three pounds per light, thus the name of the book — from their cannabis plants.

cannabis schoolShutterstock.com/Per Bengtsson

Classes teaching the ins and outs of the cannabis industry have been around since the birth of the industry itself, but one new institution wants to reach professionals further away from the plant than trimmers and growers. Inspyre, a school aimed at accountants, engineers, human resource professionals, government regulators and legislators, plans to educate individuals who can affect the future of a pot business but have little experience or training in the growing industry.

“We’ve identified a lack of continuing education. A lot of folks have their heads down trying to put out these day-to-day fires,” says co-founder and vice president of business development Eric DeWine. “Technology, tracking systems, lighting systems, heating and air technology — you have to seek that knowledge out. It’s not provided.”

Shutterstock.com/underworld

Pre-filled hash cartridges are one of the most popular cannabis products to come out of legalization, providing a discreet and convenient way for consumers to toke where and when they want. Butane hash oil has been the dominant variety of cannabis oil used to fill the cartridges since retail sales began in Colorado in 2014, but now distillate, once an expensive treat, is pushing old techniques out the door.

cbd lubeCourtesy of Privy Peach

After launching a line of CBD-infused products this month, Kim Koehler is making her debut at the Indo Expo in Denver on Saturday, January 27. Her star product? CBD-infused lube.

Koehler says she was inspired to create her brand, Privy Peach, to empower women after dealing with pain and trauma in her own life. After experiencing a sexual assault and living through an abusive marriage, she faced pain and anxiety during sex. Her doctors recommended physical therapy, but she didn’t feel comfortable with that.

Shutterstock.com/Andrey_Popov

Nobody likes to spend the holidays alone, but what’s an anxious single who’s trying to mingle supposed to do when cold feet and a zesty burp hit? Spray a little hemp in your mouth, according to Boulder’s Honest Hemp Company. The company’s Super Breath Blast Nano Spray, a quick spritz of hemp-infused peppermint freshness, highlights a new consumption method for cannabinoids.

hemp farming in ColoradoBen Droz

Hemp, marijuana’s non-psychoactive counterpart, can be turned into a large variety of products. And in 2016, Colorado farmers produced half of the hemp grown in the United States. Even after more states started growing the crop in 2017, Colorado still planted over three times more of it than any other state in the country, with North Dakota and Kentucky following next, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

But Colorado’s ability to process the plant is limited, because it doesn’t have a decorticator, a machine that separates hemp’s stringy outer layer, called the baste, from its woody core, known as the hurd. Traditional farming equipment and wood chippers get jammed up by the fibers, a kink that Cuno Hansen, head of clothing company All Seeing Colorado LLC, aims to fix by bringing in the state’s first decorticator.