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While Denver has only one licensed cannabis lounge,there are several places outside of your home where you can smoke a joint with friends — and we’re not talking about a park or alleyway. Private cannabis clubs that allow members to smoke weed have been operating in Denver since before the recreational dispensaries showed up, with varying degrees of success with city agencies and varying degrees of harassment by law enforcement.

Although a Denver program was adopted in 2017 to license businesses for social pot consumption, that program bans smoking indoors, so the vast majority of social consumption businesses have chosen to stay private. Prove you’re at least 21 with a valid ID, sign up for a membership, and you can go inside and blaze up as much as you want. While a new state law may finally let some private clubs get licensed and continue to allow indoor smoking, Denver is still in the early stages of considering these more expansive opportunities.

Self-quarantines and sitting at home as events and public gatherings are canceled because of coronavirus concerns will lead many of us to break out the bong, but try to keep those smoking utensils to yourself, warns our resident Stoner.

“Start smoking out of your own devices and stop sharing mouthpieces with others — not just because of COVID-19, but because of germs and viruses that cause colds, flus and other sicknesses, too,” Herbert Fuego shared in a recent Ask a Stoner column.

Mouthpieces are natural resting places for germs, and can still carry them even after being wiped down with alcohol — and the coronavirus is definitely on the minds of most cannabis users no matter how much they smoke.

Colorado marijuana dispensaries broke an annual sales record for the sixth straight year in 2019, and they’re already on track for a new high in 2020.

According to data from the state Department of Revenue, Colorado dispensaries racked up just under $140 million in sales during the first month of the new year. Although that figure reflects a slight dip from December 2019’s $143.75 million, January 2020’s sales are easily the highest total for any January since recreational dispensaries opened in 2014, and more than 12 percent higher than January 2019’s $124.9 million.

Dixie Brands, one of Denver’s early marijuana-infused product brands, has agreed to an acquisition deal with a private equity firm that specializes in cannabis mergers.

According to a joint announcement from Dixie and BR Brands, a branch of Connecticut-based marijuana investment firm Rose Capital, the transaction is valued at over $43.2 million and is expected to be finished by the third quarter of 2020.

Have you had ice wine? The sweet dessert wine is made from grapes frozen on the vine, requiring a large labor force to harvest the entire crop within hours after the first morning of adequately cold temperature.

Outdoor marijuana farmers in Colorado had to use the ice-wine harvesting method after an unexpected snowstorm hit much of the state last October. “We ended up having three days of freezing rain and snow last October. In that time period, we had all of our facilities filled with plants,” recalls Bob DeGabrielle, CEO of Los Sueños Farms, a 36-acre cannabis farm in Pueblo County. “From a bud product prospective, we felt like we lost about $7 million last year.”

While the cannabis industry’s appetite for energy use is already widely documented, we’re still learning more about other forms of legal pot’s impact on the environment, such as packaging and extraction waste, as well as how growing nutrients affect soil.

One environmental factor we didn’t see coming? Terpenes.

Terpenes are molecules responsible for the smells and flavors of cannabis, hops, pine trees and every other plant aroma. As growers began to breed cannabis to achieve flavor profiles that taste more like oranges, grapes or pine than weed, terpenes quickly became all the rage in legal cannabis — to the point that they’re now extracted and mixed with THC concentrate for a more flavorful dab.

Marijuana use among Denver teenagers stayed flat from 2018 to 2019, and was lower than the national average in some age ranges, according to a new city study.

The Denver survey, funded by local marijuana sales tax revenue, found that 81 percent of Denver youth aged thirteen to seventeen said they were not regular users of marijuana last year, compared to 80 percent in 2018, while 24 percent admitted to trying marijuana once or twice in 2019, a 3 percent rise from the year before.

It was only a matter of time until cannabis became part of the seltzer craze, and the pot industry didn’t wait long. But instead of diving into fizzy waters alone, Oh Hi, a Durango-based cannabis seltzery, joined forces with the bubbling water’s nemesis: craft beer.

Last year, Jonny Radding and Aaron Miles, co-owners of southwestern Colorado dispensary chain Durango Organics, partnered with Ska Brewing co-owner Matt Vincent to launch the line of fruity THC seltzers.

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