christopher wallaceHerbert Fuego

Any cannabis user can attest to the nostalgic feelings brought on by music and a joint. Before the chorus even hits, a certain artist or song can have you yearning for the golden years, whether they were before a breakup, when you were coming of age, or during any other formative time of your life. And, as with many other cannabis users, my early years of trying the plant coincided with experimenting with new forms of music.

My favorite flashbacks come on when a Notorious B.I.G. song starts playing; I can’t help but feel like a lost, irrationally confident teenager as his deep voice booms over the speakers. His violent tales of growing up in Brooklyn told of a world that was the opposite of the rural desert where I was raised. Songs like “Gimme the Loot” and “What’s Beef” thrilled my ignorant mind as I smoked blunts in garages, strengthening a subconscious bond in my head between Christopher Wallace and cannabis. Nearly a decade removed from those days, my Biggie flashbacks happen less often now, but I’m hoping that will change thanks to Trill Alternatives.

humulus_lifestyle_24_of_43_CMW Media

Cannabidiol enthusiasm is reaching a fever pitch in Colorado. Consumers snarf CBD down in doughnuts, slurp it up with CBD-infused lattes, lather it on with lotions, gulp it down in capsules and, of course, puff it the old-fashioned way with high-CBD pot strains. But while the CBD craze consumes Colorado, CBD remains illegal in many American markets, since it is still labeled by the DEA’s Schedule I as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

But there is a loophole: for CBD that is not derived from cannabis. And the Peak Health Foundation took advantage of that loophole to create Real Scientific Humulus Oil (RHSO-K), a CBD oil derived from the kriya brand humulus plant. Because that plant is a variety of hop, not cannabis, the oil is legal in this country.

papaya strainThomas Mitchell | Toke of the Town

Being a cannabis critic is far from a stressful gig, but we could all use a little vacation sometimes. Unfortunately, the most my budget can afford is a free trip to the park, but there are other ways to escape. While I’ve never been a huge Corona guy, the brewery’s “Find Your Beach” campaign, in which opening a Corona takes you to an imaginary tropical paradise, isn’t a total crock: Enjoying certain flavors or aromas is a great way to forget where you are and instead imagine where you want to be.

Given the plant’s head-changing qualities, a cannabis strain with sensory characteristics that remind you of a vacation can be very effective at “taking you away” from a shitty job, dumpy apartment or sweltering back yard. A recent trip to the pot shop even helped me escape a bad case of the Mondays after Papaya, an indica-leaning hybrid, presented itself.

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.

ecobond.marijuana.smell.paint.croppedCourtesy of ECOBOND

More evidence that the economic impact of marijuana goes far beyond the sale of cannabis products: A Denver-metro company is now marketing a brand of paint specifically designed to cover up the smell of pot smoke.

The label wrapped around cans of OdorDefender Paint, created by ECOBOND, a company based in Arvada, sports a green-suited cartoon superhero and text that boasts that the product offers “DEFENSE AGAINST … Marijuana & Odor-producing Drug Fumes.”

john_lord_2018_headshotCourtesy of LivWell

Since legal sales of recreational cannabis started in Colorado on January 1, 2014, some potrepreneurs have done very well. As owner of LivWell Enlightened Health, one of the state’s (and country’s) largest dispensary chains, John Lord looks up to few in the world of legal cannabis.

The New Zealand native has guided the growth of his company to include fourteen Colorado pot shops, as well as a dispensary in Oregon and partnerships in Canada’s emerging legal market. The first licensed pot business to feature Snoop Dogg’s branded cannabis line, LivWell is no stranger to putting itself out there, so we hit up Lord to see what his team has been up to.

sovinemillerAnthony Camera

When Cindy Sovine submitted her application for a social cannabis consumption license to Denver in February, she was confident that her pot-infused spa would be approved. The health-care-turned-cannabis lobbyist had influential friends in the city and had even helped lobby for Initiative 300, the voter-approved measure that created Denver’s social-use licensing program in November 2016.

Her plans for Utopia All Natural Wellness Spa and Lounge in Capitol Hill called for educational seminars, cannabis-infused massages and medical treatments, support groups and a new ventilation system to make sure that neighborhood nostrils wouldn’t notice. Her business plan submitted to the city included letters of approval from five neighborhood organizations, four more than what Denver requires.

They weren’t enough.

joey.hopper.dara.wheatley.facebookFacebook

As of last July, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office Hoppz Cropz prosecution was likely the largest marijuana conspiracy case in the state: thirteen defendants charged with a combined 244 crimes, including racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, for illegally peddling nearly 200 pounds of cannabis.

Nearly a year later, a hefty 175 of those allegations have been dismissed and ten of the original thirteen people accused, including Dara Wheatley, the significant other of presumed ringleader Joseph “Joey Hops” Hopper, have pleaded guilty to comparatively minor crimes that haven’t resulted in any jail time whatsoever. A document detailing these twists and turns is accessible below.

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