veganillegalCourtesy of Illegal Burger

A Denver burger company is about to help you get a dose of cannabis with your lunch.

West Coast Ventures Group Corp., the parent company of Illegal Burger, which has two Denver locations (as well as outposts in Evergreen, Glendale and Arvada), has teamed up with a California company named Biolog, Inc., to test out a method of infusing cannabinoids directly into food.

The product they’ll be using is called CannaStix, a solid spice pack containing cannabis extracts that can be inserted into food — ground beef, for example — before cooking. The CannaStix pack liquefies and spreads its goodness into the food being cooked, giving it what the company describes as “a very accurate dose of fast onset, highly bioavailable cannabinoids.”

hemp-field-campout-2018-lirette (1)Danielle Lirette

Hemp is where it’s at right now, especially in Colorado. Legal cannabis is cool and all — and we welcome Michigan and Vermont to the recreational party in 2019 — but that’s so 2015 in this state.

More about substance than style, industrial hemp’s many uses were finally recognized by the federal government in December, when President Donald Trump officially legalized it by signing the 2018 Farm Bill. Now that the plant is out from under the shadow of the Controlled Substances Act, it’s regulated by the Department of Agriculture and legal to farm in all fifty states.

mason_jar_spring_dabbing-collins-2018 (1)Jacqueline Collins

A collective effort by several marijuana business groups could help bring social pot use to Colorado dispensaries, hotels, music venues and dozens of other types of businesses — if the concept makes it through the state legislature.

Marijuana industry lobbyists, tourism companies, lounge owners and dispensary representatives are planning to submit a marijuana hospitality bill to lawmakers that will propose creating two new business licenses that would allow social marijuana use in a manner similar to alcohol use.

purple urkleHerbert Fuego

I can’t be the only person who instantly thinks of Family Matters the minute Purple Urkle makes an appearance on a dispensary shelf. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m in the majority.

The history behind the fruity, tranquilizing indica’s name is cloudy. The prevailing theory is that Purple Urkle was named for the strain’s potent high, which often leads to bumping into walls, irritating behavior and falling and not being able to get up — all hallmarks of everyone’s favorite nerdy annoyance in the ’90s, Steve Urkel.

stonerWestword

If we got a dollar for every time we’ve been asked a sane question about cannabis, we’d be one broke outfit. But crazy and interesting tend to go together, as is the case for most of our Ask a Stoner readers, who never fail to bring up queries that stray into interesting issues, such as whether you can use a dishwasher to clean a bong, if you should call off work on 4/20, or whether there is any truth to conspiracy theories about CBD oil and dick cancer.

Here are ten of our weirdest questions from 2018 (click on the link to read our answer). May next year’s crop be even weirder.

first.legal.recreational.marijuana.sale.coloradoBrandon Marshall

January 1 will forever be a day of celebration in Colorado, where recreational cannabis sales began on January 1, 2014. When 2019 begins, Colorado will mark five years of such sales, with an expected $6 billion collected during that span.

If anyone qualifies to be on the guest list of an anniversary celebration, it’s Sean Azzariti. The Marine Corps veteran, cannabis activist and medical marijuana patient consultant wasn’t just present during the first legal cannabis sale in Colorado: He made the purchase. With plenty of cameras and onlookers present, Azzariti bought an eighth of Bubba Kush and some infused chocolate truffles for $59.74 from Toni Savage Fox, then-owner of 3D Cannabis Center at 4305 Brighton Boulevard. All that attention would make anyone nervous, but for Azzariti, who uses cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder after his time in the military, it was much more than a photo opportunity. It was a first step into national acceptance for his medicine of choice.

mandarin cookiesHerbert Fuego

Tasked with the assignment of reviewing one strain per week, it’s hard to pick just ten favorites from 2018. The ever-expanding web of cannabis genetics provides buds that smell and taste like everything from cornbread to papayas and nearly everything in between. Those variances extend to effects on the mind and body, too, with some strains glueing us to the couch and others making the heart race.

In a grueling effort, we picked ten of our cannabis reviewer’s favorite strains of 2018. This skunky mix of indicas, sativas and hybrids look, taste and feel like every color of the rainbow — and make you feel just as magical.

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.

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