My birthday is coming up, but I won’t be asking for cake. I’m a pie guy and always have been. Yet despite my affinity for pies, I’ve never come across a grape pie. Growing up, I saw purple filling in cartoon pies, but those were always filled with blackberries…weren’t they?
Denver’s struggles with regulating social marijuana use have been well documented, but this city isn’t alone in facing such challenges. According to representatives from Alaska and Oregon, cities such as Portland and Anchorage are in the same boat.
During Denver’s annual Marijuana Management Symposium, a three-day conference about pot policy that returned October 31 through November 2, public officials from around the globe gathered in the Mile High City to discuss legal marijuana and its impacts. On top of roundtable chats about business regulations, law enforcement and public-health concerns, the conference offered a ninety-minute discussion about social marijuana use.
Cannabis historically catches a bad rap in motion picture, depending on your views of the sweet leaf. It may have started with Reefer Madness in 1939, which created an initial scare about the dangers of cannabis use. Skip ahead four decades to the slack-jawed ramblings of Cheech and Chong, followed by such films as Friday, Half Baked and Pineapple Express, and cannabis in motion pictures became a caricature of mislabeled stereotypes.
Remembering Us, a forthcoming short film from Denver’s BS Filmworks, may be a needed step to change the stigmas surrounding cannabis, as well as stigmas attached to other issues. “We have a history of creating films that start the conversation, especially on topics that people don’t necessarily want to talk about,” says director and co-writer Scott Takeda
Craft brewers are known for their collaborative spirit. But that’s within the walls of the beer world. When it comes to other vices — like wine, spirits and cannabis — some industry leaders have been a bit standoffish.
Boston Beer Company, the biggest “craft brewery” in the country, for instance, warned in early 2016 that marijuana legalization could hurt breweries if people spent their dollars there, and the Brewers Association has been so uncomfortable around the subject that the industry trade group has barely mentioned it in past years — though it did offer some analysis of that competition in early 2017.
Once a rare treat, cannabis-infused edibles ain’t no longer a thang here in Colorado. In fact, they’re a large and growing presence in the legal pot industry, now accounting for around 15 percent of the recreational market share…and that’s still rising, according to several industry studies. Infused-product companies are using tasteless distillate, isolates and water-infusing powders to cook with cannabis, making the possibilities virtually limitless.
Today you can find anything from coffee to beef jerky and Dutch stroopwafels infused with THC and CBD on dispensary shelves in Colorado, and making pot-infused dishes at home has never been more popular. So what’s still sexy about old-school edibles, such as chocolates? We asked Lauren Gockley, chef for award-winning edibles company Coda Signature, about the evolving art of cooking with cannabinoids.
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.
Legal cannabis is growing fast. Since November 2012, when voters in Colorado and Washington approved legalizing the plant, seven more states followed suit, and two more have legalization measures on the ballot next month. And don’t forget Canada, where marijuana became officially legal in mid-October.
All that growth brings a growing demand for energy and other resources, however. Cannabis business analytics firm New Frontier Data recently released a report showing that electricity consumption by America’s pot industry will increase by 162 percent by 2020, with the industry currently consuming 1.1 million megawatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power 92,500 homes for a year.
A lawsuit filed by two Colorado landowners who claim that a nearby marijuana grow has reduced their property values in part because the smell makes horseback riding less pleasant goes to trial in Denver federal court today. And the repercussions of the suit’s strategy, based on federal racketeering laws, could have far-reaching effects on the cannabis industry in Colorado and beyond.
The case was filed in February 2015 by Safe Streets Alliance, a national anti-pot group, on behalf of two members, Phillis Windy Hope Reilly and Michael P. Reilly. Early on, the effort didn’t seem particularly professional: Note that the organization misspelled marijuana as “marajuana” in its initial press release on the subject. But SSA’s success in court over the past three years-plus has overcome this gaffe.