NEATO MOSQUITO Special Report: Shopping for Legal Weed in Colorado
As our readers know, The Neato Mosquito is where we stash all the other stuff we like to spotlight in popular culture. And speaking of stash, with the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, we thought we’d check in with “J.”, our friend in Colorado who recent shopped for weed at a local marijuana dispensary. J. walked us through his first legal weed shopping experience:
So I finally went to a pot shop. I generally have no need to go to one because of the prevalence of growers around here, but my mom is very sick (cancer) and I thought I’d grab her some edibles to see if it would help with the nausea and general sickness. Talking her and my dad into accepting it, that’s a story for another time…
I went to a place relatively close to my house that came highly recommended by several friends. It’s in a warehouse district of Denver; not a bad neighborhood, just industrial. I pull up, and a Mercedes G Wagon pulls up next to me. Two couples get out, early 60’s, dripping with jewelry. I follow them into the building.
The building is set up like a mountain lodge inside. It’s extremely well-appointed with exposed wood beams and a big, open foyer. Security welcomes us in and asks us to step over in line and wait for a “budtender” to escort us into the boutique; they only allow five or six people in at a time. Due to the cash-only business (federal regulations prohibit banking), there’s a line of cash machines against one wall.
We’re in line — the two couples and myself — and a mid-30’s guy with dreads welcomes us, asks how our days are going, and if we have any questions. He reminds us that it is a cash business, so use the machines if we need to. The two couples are full of questions, asking the differences between Indica and Sativa, whether they should smoke or vape, and what edibles are the best. The guy answers all questions patiently and knowledgeably, offering advice on different strains and recommending what edibles are best.
One of the ladies turns to me and says, “We are so excited. We’ve been waiting so long for this. We live in Cherry Creek (extremely upscale neighborhood) and have a personal chef at the house right now making dinner. The whole afternoon is free and we’re ready to go!”
A budtender comes out of the boutique and escorts them in. I’m up next. The dread guy asks me if I have any questions. I say to him, “Wow, surreal seeing those people here.”
“Not at all,” he tells me, “that’s 75% of our clientele. Baby Boomers are in heaven, man. They spend like crazy.”
He tells me that it’s good to come on a Sunday, it’s their lightest day, and that usually it’s an hour and a half wait to get in the boutique, hence the huge foyer. A young couple walks out of the exit side of the boutique, and a blonde kid comes out and welcomes me in.
The boutique is a medium-sized area, probably 20 x 30, with glass cases around the perimeter and a couple of cash registers at one end. There are pipes, vapes, papers, etc. along one wall. The cases have jars neatly arranged on top with different types of weed in them, all labeled. There are several displays of different edibles: cookies, brownies, crackers, coffee, syrups, tinctures, Cheba Chews (gummy bears,) suckers, jolly rancher-type candies, it goes on and on. There’s another case with different flavors of hash bricks, as well as butters and waxes.
I tell the blonde guy that my mom has cancer and I’m looking for something for an older lady that will chill her out and make her feel better.
He tells me look no further, you want to get her cannabis syrup. It’s the most popular item among the cancer patients who come in. It’s potent but due to the concentration, it doesn’t affect the stomach. One capful is good for a 4 to 8 hour buzz. They have cherry, blueberry, grape, coffee, and cannabis flavor. An 8 oz. bottle is $24. I ask for a bottle of cherry and a bottle of blueberry, and he writes it down on a ticket.
So now that we’ve got that taken care of, let’s look at something for me…
He shows me several jars separated into Sativas, Indicas, and hybrids. He asks me what I’m looking for, and I tell him I’m a once-a-week, Friday night, get loud and have fun smoker, so I like Sativa. He shows me a jar of SB Headband, their strongest and most popular Sativa for people who know what they’re doing. Offers me a whiff. It smells really good, so I tell him let’s do an eighth of that. Great, he says, and writes it down. He also recommends that I smell this hybrid–it’s a very old Indica strain from Hawaii crossed with White Widow Sativa. A very comprehensive buzz, he says, and on special. It smells like the islands. I tell him what the hell, let’s do a gram of that as well.
I could spend all day in there, but I’m up to about $130 so I figure that’s good for now. He takes my ticket up to a register. A stunningly gorgeous hippie chick takes the ticket and hands it to another guy, who fills the order from drawers and racks behind the counter. Two bottles, two little professionally-manufactured plastic baggies with name, batch number, harvest date, and name listed on their labels. The little baggies are put into a larger “smell-proof” bag. I pay and head out the exit door.
This leads me to a hallway with a large window on one side. Another extremely friendly employee stands waiting for me. Through the window you can see the entire grow operation. There are rows and rows of plants in various stages of production.
“Do you have any questions about our cultivation techniques? Our owner came from Amsterdam, where he lived and grew for thirty years before coming to Denver.”
No, I tell him, I’m good, thanks so much. He thanks me back and escorts me to the door.
So here’s the thing. I have no problem getting the stuff from guys I know, and it’s always been good. But I ingested this stuff and…my lord. It is so potent, and such high quality, it’s completely different than anything I’ve ever had. Just outstanding.
Oh–The syrup has really, truly helped my mom. Gets rid of nausea, gives her an appetite, takes away some of the pain, both mental and physical.
As far as the cultural changes in Denver, there really hasn’t been any change. It’s not like there’s pot smoke wafting through the streets. People don’t wander around stoned, bumping into things. And there’s never been much of a social stigma associated with it, at least in the circles we run in, which is mostly parents/professional garden variety folks. The dispensary that I went to obviously caters to a more affluent demographic for the most part.
It’s still pretty surreal, though.
— J., Colorado Weed Correspondent
J.’s gave us five great video picks for sampling the product in our RAVES & FAVES, so don’t miss that.
Check in next time for more fun with The Neato Mosquito section of THE GOLDEN AGE OF MUSIC VIDEO!