With more and more states legalizing recreational marijuana, it’s easy to overlook the dangers that still exist when consuming the substance. Driving under the influence of marijuana comes with its own unique set of risks motorists should know.
When most people picture impaired drivers, they assume alcohol intoxication is involved. This is the most common form of impairment behind the wheel, but it’s by no means the only substance people abuse when driving.
Marijuana is also a huge concern. It affects both physical and cognitive functions, and drivers impaired by marijuana exhibit slow reaction times and poor judgment. As cannabis is legalized in more states and used more frequently by a variety of people, it’s more important than ever to understand its impact on driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 18 percent of Americans used marijuana at least once in 2019. These people must not consume marijuana before getting behind the wheel.
EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA: IS IT DANGEROUS?
The effects of marijuana vary between people and the strain consumed, and it can be difficult to predict how it will impact any given person at any given time.
In the short term, these effects are common:
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Increased appetite
- Increased heart rate
Regular marijuana use can also have many long-term implications, especially if consumed in excess. These may include:
- Altered brain development in adolescents and young adults
- Insomnia, which is especially common for daily users
- Weakened immune system and greater risk of pneumonia
- Increased blood pressure and, over time, increased risk of heart disease or stroke
Marijuana use disorder is also a cause for concern. This problem occurs when regular users are unable to abstain from consuming cannabis, even when it has a negative impact on their social lives or performance at work or school. Research from JAMA Psychiatry estimates that this disorder occurs for three in 10 users.
Prescription drugs or mental health concerns can exacerbate the complications. For example, individuals with bipolar disorder may find that their symptoms become more severe when they’re under the influence of weed. Additionally, research indicates that people with schizophrenia are more likely to experience psychosis when they use the substance.
Experts from the CDC believe that marijuana smoke can lead to many of the same heart and lung problems commonly associated with cigarette smoke. While further research is required to determine if marijuana smoke leads to an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with tobacco use, the harmful effects of marijuana smoke are still evident.
All of these potential effects serve to amplify the dangers of mixing marijuana with the operation of a motor vehicle.
Impact of Specific Strains
As the cannabis legalization movement continues to take hold — and medical and recreational consumption increase — dispensaries are eager to release a greater variety of products that will appeal to many consumers.
While different modes of consumption have always produced different effects, the scope continues to increase as the cannabis industry produces new strains. These are sometimes referred to as chemovars (short for “chemical varieties”), as some believe that “strain” is associated with viruses and may have negative connotations.
Some chemovars are specifically designed to increase drowsiness, so using these would be particularly dangerous prior to driving. Most fall into a few main categories, such as:
- Sativa. Known for its energizing effect, sativa is what many people imagine when they think of “typical” marijuana. This strain contains higher levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) than indica and most hybrid strains.
- Indica. Thought to produce a “body high,” the indica strain offers a calming alternative to the energizing effect of sativa. It’s frequently used by people who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders.
- Hybrid. As its name implies, this variety involves a blend of the sativa and indica strains. While the effects can vary from one hybrid product to the next, it’s common for hybrid strains to produce feelings of euphoria.
The cannabis industry increasingly relies on categories such as Type I, Type II, and Type III to reveal the levels of THC and CBD in any of the strains listed above.
DRIVING AND MARIJUANA
Many people use marijuana without suffering any ill effects. As with alcohol, it’s possible to consume cannabis responsibly and in moderation. Marijuana can even address various health concerns, especially among those who respond poorly to conventional treatment options.
Problems arise when using marijuana before or during activities that require the person’s full energy and attention. Driving under the influence of marijuana is particularly risky.
Drowsiness is arguably the most significant concern regarding marijuana-impaired drivers safely operating a motor vehicle. Falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to a catastrophic accident, as tired drivers will focus more on staying awake rather than being aware and alert motorists.
Driving High Is Always Illegal
Consuming marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, although medical and recreational consumption is permitted in many states. Driving, however, is off-limits after consuming marijuana.
Every state has laws prohibiting the operation of motor vehicles while driving under the influence of marijuana. There is no legal limit for driving high since it’s forbidden to drive after consuming any amount of marijuana.
Complications With Determining Intoxication
While it’s relatively easy to predict how long drivers need to wait after drinking, this is incredibly difficult to determine with marijuana. Alcohol volumes are clearly stated on beverage containers, but THC potency levels can vary depending on the product and how much a person consumes.
Frequency of use also has an impact. In a study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention, subjects who claimed to use cannabis on a daily basis tested positive for THC even after abstaining from use for over 12 hours.
Blood tests are the current standard practice for gauging intoxication. These are not reliable, as lab tests indicating THC levels in the blood won’t necessarily reveal the level of impairment related to the drug’s presence.
The unstable nature of THC can also make blood tests less reliable. If blood samples are stored improperly or are not analyzed within three months, THC levels may be underestimated.
This challenge remains relevant as law enforcement shifts from traditional blood tests to more advanced breath tests. The breath-based version draws on nanotechnology to detect THC. Because THC can stay in the body so long after marijuana has been consumed, breath tests aren’t much better than blood samples.
What About Field Sobriety Tests?
Traditionally, law enforcement officials have relied on field sobriety tests (FSTs) to gauge driver impairment. While their accuracy has sometimes been called into question, these tests may provide valuable insight. This is particularly noteworthy in light of the drawbacks of blood and breath tests. Combining FSTs with blood or breath tests may provide the most accurate insights.
FSTs can take many forms, such as:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus. This term refers to an involuntary eye motion that is not noticeable to the intoxicated individual. According to a report published in the journal WIREs Forensic Science, this test is unreliable unless the person with a suspected impairment has also consumed alcohol.
- One leg stand. This test verifies the ability to balance on one leg. The results may reveal heavy drug use.
- Modified Romberg balance. This unique test reveals time perception issues and physical impairments. Test takers stand in one place with their feet together while tilting their heads back. Subjects must hold this position for thirty seconds.
- Walk and turn. This is one of the most recognizable field sobriety tests, which determines whether drivers can walk in a straight line.
Recent advancements in testing take the concept of the FST to the next level. Neurocognitive tests promise to reveal whether drivers’ executive function is significantly impaired.
The Massachusetts company DRUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) has created a mobile app that relies on a test of hand-eye coordination. While initially envisioned as a personal assessment app that could prevent intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel, the app’s usefulness may extend to law enforcement.
Another test known as AlertMeter may distinguish between everyday consumption and genuine impairment. Proposed as a solution for employee drug testing, AlertMeter may also be helpful for verifying whether drivers are capable of operating vehicles safely if they have detectable levels of THC.
Driving While High vs. Driving Drunk
Driving under the influence is always dangerous, but the specific hazards of marijuana are different from those associated with alcohol. While alcohol impairment tends to prompt aggressive behavior behind the wheel, marijuana users are more likely to become drowsy or distracted.
The actual level of distraction largely depends on how frequently users consume cannabis. Surprising results from the previously mentioned Traffic Injury Prevention study suggest that drivers who regularly use marijuana are more likely to perform well on distracted driving tests “after acute cannabis smoking” than occasional users.
Regular use becomes a lot more dangerous for young users. Research suggests that those who begin consuming cannabis before age 16 are more likely to perform poorly when completing driving tasks in a test setting. Neuroscientist Staci Gruber explains, “Early exposure to cannabis … appears to confer greater difficulty with complex cognitive tasks like driving.”
Finally, drivers’ perceptions of their abilities behind the wheel must be taken into account. Those who consume cannabis are more likely to be aware that they’re impaired and less inclined to speed or make sudden lane changes. Alcohol has the opposite effect, increasing drivers’ confidence even when their reaction time and focus are dangerously compromised.
Often, driving while high versus driving drunk isn’t an either-or situation. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out, many people drive under the influence of weed and alcohol simultaneously. This can drastically increase the risk of a collision compared to using either substance alone.
Research detailing the exact prevalence of marijuana vs. alcohol-prompted motor vehicle accidents remains limited. A review of law enforcement data published in PLoS One sheds some light on this comparison.
According to this study, drivers are over 17 times as likely to cause fatal collisions if they’re drunk. Those impaired by marijuana are nearly twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than their sober counterparts.
No national standard exists to determine how long someone should wait to drive after consuming marijuana. However, experts at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommend waiting at least six hours after smoking less than 35 milligrams of THC and eight hours after eating or drinking something containing less than 18 milligrams.
For reference, a “typical” marijuana cigarette contains at least 60 milligrams of THC, and most edibles contain around 10 milligrams per serving size. A 12-hour wait is safer, as the high (and subsequent drowsiness) from smoking a typical amount lasts far longer.
THOMAS MITCHELL OCTOBER 3, 2022 10:36AM
As wholesale marijuana prices reach record lows, a group of Colorado growers has requested that the state stop issuing cultivation licenses.
Medical marijuana sales have experienced their lowest recorded monthly totals five times so far in 2022, and the price per pound of all commercial marijuana reached a record low last month, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The drop in prices has led to a steady decline in recreational sales for over a year, DOR data shows, with inflation and reduced marijuana tourism both cited as contributing factors by marijuana business owners.
However, the biggest contributor to tanking weed prices is an oversupply of product, according to a coalition of thirty Colorado marijuana growers and dispensary ownership groups.
“For the first time since legalization was implemented, marijuana sales and the revenue generated from marijuana taxes will be substantially lower than the previous calendar year,” reads a September 15 memo to the state from the coalition. “The problem is further exacerbated by the country’s broader economic situation, with record-high inflation driving down sales of consumer goods. Despite a decrease in demand, the supply of marijuana continues to increase, with new licenses being issued and additional cultivation capacity being authorized to current licensees.”
There are 798 active recreational marijuana growing licenses in Colorado, according to the MED, up from 716 at the beginning of 2021. During that same span, the average price per pound of marijuana flower has fallen nearly 62 percent, while annual dispensary sales are currently on pace to come up about 20 percent short of the $2.2 billion sold in 2021. As prices and sales continue falling, dispensaries and growers have had to lay off staff; some have shut down altogether.
Colorado’s marijuana regulations enable a tier system for growers, with cultivations allowed to grow a certain number of plants based on the amount of marijuana they sell the previous year. According to Stan Zislis, co-owner of dispensary chain Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, this tier system set up the wholesale market for an inevitable retraction.
“COVID threw a lifeline to the marijuana industry, but once that was over, the marijuana industry in Colorado has been in a free fall,” Zislis said during a MED rulemaking hearing September 30.
Silver Stem and 29 other marijuana producers, extractors and retailers sent a request to the MED proposing a moratorium on marijuana cultivation licenses for two years, according to a MED memo. The moratorium would make an exception for social equity licensees and allow licensed medical growing operations to apply for recreational growing permits. If current growing operations want to grow more plants than their production tiers allow, the coalition would like growers to provide “proof” such as vendor contracts, promise of sale notes or projected inventory data,
“Local jurisdictions such as Denver have already enacted a moratorium on new licenses for non-social equity applicants. A moratorium at the state level would complement those efforts. By stabilizing the supply chain, the state would be able to further pathways of success for small- and medium-sized marijuana companies,” the coalition’s memo reads.
The coalition includes Äkta Creations, Astronomic, Bonsai Cultivation, C8 Brands, Cannabis Insurance Business, CB1 Logistics, Colorado Harvest Company, Dutch Botanicals, Emj’s, Hava Gardens, High Q, Higher Grade, Humble Farms, L’Eagle, Lightshade, Lit Cannabis, Locol Love, NUHI, Olio, Revel Cultivars, Rocky Road Aurora, Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, Smokey’s Cannabis Co, Strawberry Fields Cannabis, the Health Center, the Lodge Cannabis, Three Rivers Dispensary, Treez, Veritas Fine Cannabis and Yeti Farms, according to the memo’s letterhead.
In a separate memo sent September 13, the coalition also asked the MED to implement a holiday on the state’s 15 percent excise tax currently placed on wholesale marijuana.
“As the marijuana market and the country’s overall economic outlook fluctuate, Colorado licensees cannot be expected to continue paying a tax that is widely viewed as fundamentally unfair. We are, therefore, proposing a tax holiday from the retail marijuana excise tax for all retail marijuana cultivation businesses until the issues outlined above are resolved,” the memo to the MED reads. “Suspension of the retail excise tax will allow state and industry stakeholders to collaborate on next steps without continuing to levy an unfair and impractical tax against struggling businesses.”
During the September 30 MED hearing, executive director Dominique Mendiola was skeptical that the MED had the authority to implement a licensing moratorium or tax holiday on marijuana, and suggested that marijuana business owners pursue those efforts through the Colorado Legislature.
Marijuana attorney Brian Vicente co-wrote Colorado’s recreational marijuana legalization legislation in 2012 before expanding his law firm, Vicente Sederberg, into one of the largest marijuana-specific law firms in the country. Nearly ten years after recreational pot laws were implemented in Colorado, Vicente says he believes it’s time that marijuana business owners and state regulators have a “robust discussion” about a licensing moratorium or cap on marijuana growing operations, but adds that there are “certainly two sides” to the discussion.
“There’s definitely an SOS out on growers in Colorado,” he says. “Many of them have been doing this for a decade and are used to a certain level of wholesale prices, so this is affecting everyone’s bottom lime. I’m not sure if a moratorium is the most embraced option, but we’ve heard an SOS for all growers, and we need to consider all options.”
Vicente argues against an excise tax holiday, however, given the revenue the tax collects for the state. Through the first eight months of 2022, Colorado marijuana excise tax brought in nearly $6.6 million a month on average, according to tax data from the DOR.
“I’d hate to see that line of revenue go away, so I think any sort of tax holiday or abatement would have to be talked about at length. The question is: Is it worth the tradeoff?” Vicente notes. “Are we willing to give up providing this legitimizing tax revenue to the state for business owners and consumers to save a couple bucks?”
Vicente expects both topics to continue playing out during industry discussions, and will likely be on the radar of state lawmakers in 2023. In the meantime, however, he believes that Colorado’s state government should do more to empower marijuana growers during their first sustained down period.
“Governor Polis could do more to lobby on this issue, and he could do more to support Colorado [marijuana] farmers by really codifying the issue of whether federal legalization shifts, farmers can export this crop to other states,” he says. “I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to have federal legalization. We’ve shown, in a very powerful way, that cannabis is an excellent crop for Colorado. In some ways, we’re growing too much of it. If we can export Colorado cannabis to other states, it seems like a great move.”
Shop with a discerning eye by learning what sets premium cannabis flower apart from low-quality dispensary bud.
In the era before legalized cannabis, there was no such thing as comparison shopping. Whatever was available, however it looked—that was it, take it or leave it. Thankfully, there’s a lot more choice these days.
Take a stroll through the Veritas strain library, for example, and you’ll find no less than 90 different options on a regular rotation, all representing the best of what Colorado cannabis can be.
We have to admit, we think it’s pretty cool that cannabis consumers have a lot more power in their shopping decisions these days. Dispensary customers can ask budtenders questions, read labels and follow cannabis research trends to find products that work for their specific needs.
For cannabis consumers new to the scene or those who used to source cannabis through “their guy” or a friend of a friend during the underground days of “kind bud,” “mids” and “brick weed schwag,” here are some tips on how to shop for cannabis flower, and what goes into modern cultivation to create premium cannabis flower.
Quality Standards for Cannabis Flower
If you don’t know the lingo, schwag is essentially slang for inferior, low-quality cannabis. But what makes cannabis inferior or lacking in quality?
For ages, we’ve relied on just our eyes and nose to tell us what to think (or the classic Colt 45 by Afroman song giving listeners tips). Are there a lot of seeds and stems? Schwag. And if your back-of-the-drawer baggie of bud has completely lost its scent, gone brownish in color or developed fuzzy pockets of mold, those are tell-tale signs that your stash is way past its window of decent smoking.
However, in today’s dispensary era, it’s not as cut-and-dry as simply checking for the most obvious signs of mediocre weed. Instead, the challenge is a bit more nuanced—but with your effort comes great rewards.
Don’t Judge On THC Potency Alone
The first thing to remember: Potency isn’t the only thing that matters. Beyond the simple fact that there is no singular “ideal” amount of THC (it varies from consumer to consumer) researchers have recently found that the potency of a cannabis product does not correlate with its overall quality or how high it will get you. More than that, a given strain’s THC content isn’t even necessarily the best indicator of how potent it might be.
The best way to assess the premium nature of a strain is, by contrast, to factor in a number of different elements together: This includes THC to a degree, but must also give weight to the flower’s terpene profile and how the flower was grown and processed, including the all-important curing step.
Veritas Cannabis QR Codes
While there’s a lot more information out there, that doesn’t mean you’ll need to make a spreadsheet before heading to a dispensary. At Veritas, we make it easy for you to find detailed information, like cannabinoid and terpene profiles, with a QR code on our packages of flower for maximum convenience.
Scan the code with your smartphone camera and you can learn all about how we do things differently in our craft cultivation.
We’re proud to say that at every step of the way, from planting the seedlings, to tending plants to maturity, through harvesting, trimming and packaging to preserve terpenes, our entire process is completed by hand. Starting with a new cultivation batch that sees as many as 400 cuts taken from our mother plants each week, there’s a whole journey we invite you to take to learn more.
Happy people raise happy plants, and there’s no substitute for the people that care for our crops. Taste the difference for yourself and in no time, you’ll become an expert on the differences between strains of flower at a dispensary.
For bonus points, check out Veritas tips on how to store cannabis flower safely and securely at home for lasting enjoyment.
What’s it like to create new worlds for a living? Read our chat with this talented artist and cherished Veritas Fine Cannabis collaborative partner.
Artist Chris Bohlin can still recall the moment when he decided Denver was destined to be his forever home.
Bohlin, who was born in Washington D.C., says he fell in love with the Rocky Mountains while visiting Colorado on a work trip. “Why am I leaving?” he remembers thinking. “Then an opportunity to move up here fell in my lap, so I took it.”
A graduate of the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design, Bohlin’s ongoing collaborative partnership with Veritas Fine Cannabis can be traced back to an event invite he received from our Director of Experience, Taylor Saralli.
“Taylor reached out and invited me to a Veritas event where I started a painting that was then raffled off to one of the employees. After they watched what I did, one of the owners set up a meeting with me, back at Veritas HQ, about creating something special. The rest is history!”
Bohlin and Veritas have had several fruitful collaborations—including Bohlin’s biggest project to date: A large, four-piece canvas that now hangs prominently at the Veritas cannabis design studio, setting the perfect vibe for creative expression.
Beyond helping us to feel like we get to work in the chillest office space ever, this magnificent piece also features imagery that will soon grace our first official Veritas merchandise collaboration with Bohlin.
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to Bohlin’s paintings, which employ contrasting color schemes and bold imagery to depict surreal landscapes, enigmatic portraits and more. From abstract refractions of the apocalypse to geometric mind-melts constructed with impeccable precision, a Chris Bohlin painting can feel like a portal to another world.
Bohlin, who has a deep interest in color therapy, says the stories told through his art are truly taking place in the mind of the beholder: “Colors affect us all differently—our feelings, our memories, our thoughts. For example, red may make someone feel eager or stressed, while someone else standing right next to them may be feeling grounded or calm while looking at the same piece. I feel that allows the viewer to find sometimes even more hidden expressions throughout my work.”
Though Bohlin doesn’t necessarily strive to infuse his paintings with “easter eggs” or secret references, eagle-eyed viewers may spot the frequent appearance of a character he calls simply “the little wiggly guy.”
Asked about his experience collaborating with Veritas so far, Bohlin shares that “finding companies that actually listen and work with artists nowadays is rare.”
“That’s why it’s been such a treat to work with Veritas.”
We’re as stoked as Bohlin is for the merch release to drop. As far as the ways in which cannabis influences his creative process, Bohlin says it not only feels good, it helps him to “make sense of peoples’ bullshit.”
CALLING ALL CHRIS BOHLIN FANS to save the date of Nov. 3, 2023, when the artist will roll out his fourth solo exhibition in Denver. Titled THOUGHTS | COMMENTS | CONCERNS, the show coincides with Bohlin’s birthday and will feature both new experimental pieces and a look across the artist’s body of work. (Get updates on Bohlin’s personal website and on Instagram: @bohlguy.)
Until then, Veritas is thrilled to have Bohlin as an integral part of our longstanding commitment to working with local artists and making awesome stuff. Be it custom skis, commissioned artworks or our array of psychedelic- and vintage-inspired Veritas apparel, we love to elevate the ways cannabis can inspire and delight the imagination.
We can’t wait to share what we have coming next with Colorado’s seemingly endless crop of talented, cannabis-loving creators—stay tuned!
Get inspired with something new from the Veritas Fine Cannabis rotation of over 90 strains. See what’s available today.
Proper cannabis storage preserves terpenes. Here are tips for keeping your flower fresh and flavorful at home.
Shopping for cannabis flower today is an experience empowered by choice. Within the Veritas Fine Cannabis strain library, countless combinations of terpenes, cannabinoids, flavors and effects are available—and there’s always something interesting to try at your favorite dispensary.
As we’ve built out our rotation of 130-plus strains, we’ve focused on curating a terpene-focused collection that’s as unique as the plant itself. After all, it’s a strain’s terpene profile that offers a tangible taste of cannabis variety.
We’re now at a point where we’ve had the chance to collaborate with celebrated brewers like Oskar Blues to create a sweet, citrusy cannabis-inspired craft IPA, and we’re doing deep dives on popular strains like our Blood Orange and Pudding Pop. But as much as we love talking shop about strain specifics, we also want to give discerning consumers the tools they need to keep their purchases fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
Cannabis Storage Tips and Tricks
Every plant we grow at Veritas is something we take great pride in. And we preserve the terpenes throughout our cultivation and harvest process with a craft approach to care and cannabis curing that ends with perfectly hand-trimmed flower.
The work of caring for one’s cannabis doesn’t stop once you’ve cracked open a signature black jar of buds that haven’t been touched since they left our facility. But don’t worry—we promise there’s no heavy lifting required.
Beyond the importance of storing products in a place inaccessible to children and pets, there is also the matter of ensuring your flower is properly protected from conditions that will cause its spotlight to prematurely dim.
Indeed, just as a bouquet of roses withers and loses its fragrance over time, your buds face a similar fate without proper storage. And no one wants to get home after a long day and fill their bowl only to find their flower has lost a little—or a lot—of its luster.
The good news is that making sure cannabis flower is happy in your home is quite simple. In fact, all it really takes is having an opaque jar in which to store the cannabis and an equally dark, cool environment (ideally under 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for said jar to live.
The Science of Cannabis Storage
Why go with a dark jar and a dark, cool place? Though it’s admittedly a bummer to not be able to stare at your nugs in their full, naked glory out in the open, the primary benefit of keeping your flower in an opaque container is that it will limit a combustion chemical reaction in which oxidation and degradation occurs.
Not to be confused with the act of putting a lighter to a freshly rolled joint (a process known as decarboxylation), in this case the combustion reaction is happening at a flame-free molecular level without your involvement.
Zooming in, the presence of light and oxygen on improperly stored cannabis flower will result in the progressive degradation of the inactive, acid form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THCA) into THC. Though THC is, of course, one of the star cannabinoids of the plant, this conversion can actually render the flower less potent over time, as the THC in turn degrades into cannabinol (CBN), which is less psychoactive than THC.
Additionally, these conditions can also lead to substantial loss of the aromatic terpenes that vaporize out of the container before they can be enjoyed in your next smoke sesh.
What’s the Best Way to Store Cannabis? In the Dark
For these reasons, the best way to maintain cannabis freshness for as long as possible is to keep it in air-tight, opaque jars that are stored in a cool, dark place. Though some take this latter part to its extreme by keeping flower in fridges or freezers, that’s not required. As long as direct sunlight and extreme heat are avoided, there’s no need to put your cannabis on ice.
The payoff is flower that will be as happy in your home as the day we first packaged it. So keep those Veritas black jars handy.
HERBERT FUEGO MAY 11, 2022 6:29AMBlood Orange’s aroma reaches our high expectations. Herbert Fuego
For better or worse, citrus characteristics tend to dominate cannabis aromas, and I’ve inhaled notes of grapefruits, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines and so much more inside of a weed jar. Telling me that I’ll not only smell but taste a blood orange, though? That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.
There are several cannabis varieties named after the blood orange, but the most popular version in Colorado bears Orange Zkittlez and Tropicana Cookies genetics. We’re lucky to have the newer version, because the Colorado Blood Orange packs some of the most impressive and specific fruity aspects I’ve experienced in a long time.
Blood oranges get their color from anthocyanin, a pigment common to plants but rare in citrus. Caryophyllene, a terpene known more for spicy aromas than anything sweet, is essentially the anthocyanin of the Blood Orange cannabis strain, tying together lesser amounts of limonene and linalool — two terpenes with a much stronger connection to citrus fruits than caryophyllene — to create a vivid flavor instantly reminiscent of a juicy crimson orange.
Most citrus-forward strains are associated with daytime use, and you could very well do that with Blood Orange. My brain doesn’t miss a beat after a bowl or two, and the munchies are relatively light. My limbs always get heavy, though, and those hybrid effects like to stick to my legs for a while. If you want to stay active this summer, save Blood Orange for an evening spent inside.
Looks: Don’t expect any deep red spots on Blood Orange’s flower — even the pistils are orange — but don’t expect a ton of green, either. Dark, purple calyxes engulf the buds like a never-ending blob, leaving little spots of forest green fighting to survive. Blood Orange varieties from other states aren’t nearly as purple as the Colorado version, but the color is still common.
Smell: Blood Orange’s citrus notes might as well come from slices of the fruit itself. The push and pull of sharp oranges and sweet raspberries is so fruity that my eyes almost water as I wonder if my allergies have been activated. Dank, skunky, earthy or any other “weed” smells are virtually nonexistent up close, bowing down to the blood orange — though an open jar would probably still raise some eyebrows.
Flavor: Color me surprised: Blood Orange’s flavor holds up in the smoke, whether it’s coming through a dirty pipe or a half-burnt joint. Sour, sweet hints of citrus and raspberries cling to my tongue and cheeks from start to finish, leaving little imagination for anything in between.
Effects: My energy isn’t empty after smoking Blood Orange, but I’m definitely not running on a full tank, either. The even-keeled high isn’t disorienting and leaves enough wit to carry along a conversation, but the physical effects snowball after thirty minutes and only get stronger from there.
Where to find it: We’ve scoped out Blood Orange at 1136 Yuma, A Cut Above, Canna City, Berkeley Dispensary, Buddy Boy, Callie’s Cannabis Shoppe, Cherry Peak, Colorado Harvest Company, Emerald Fields, Everbloom, the Green Solution, the Herbal Center, Higher Grade, Kind Love, Lit, Lova, Lowell Gardens, Magnolia Road Cannabis Co., Mile High Green Cross, Native Roots, Nature’s Medicine, Silver Stem Fine Cannabis, Simply Pure, Solace Meds, Twin Peaks and Tumbleweed. Several Colorado extractors have taken on Blood Orange, as well.
Veritas is responsible for most, if not all, of the Blood Orange flower out there outside of Higher Grade — and if you want a cheaper eighth of the same stuff, that’s the place to go, as Higher Grade is a sister company to Veritas. Popping open a bottle of either is like slicing into a red-blotted rind of the real thing, with a uniquely intense citrus flavor to match.
Veritas Fine Cannabis spills the suds on how this terpene-packed special IPA brew came to be.
It’s amazing what one can accomplish when you pay attention in science class. For Dale Katechis, who’s the brewmaster behind the eponymous Dale’s Pale Ale, such expertise gave birth to Colorado’s beloved Oskar Blues Brewery. In the case of Veritas, the science is in our strain library—it’s a reflection of our tireless search for the tastiest terpenes and developing the best cannabis genetics grown in Colorado.
And now, we are thrilled to share the inside story of the April 2022 joint release of a special new product from two of Colorado’s top craft operations: Veritasty IPA. Clocking in at a 7.0% ABV, this flavor-packed, THC-free beer from Oskar Blues Brewery is inspired by terpenes found in Veritas’ extensive cannabis strain library.
Made possible thanks to a confluence of cutting-edge beer science and the combined passions of a group of Colorado folks who really love craft cannabis and craft beer, Veritasty can currently be found on tap at Oskar Blues Brewery taprooms in both Longmont, Colorado, and Brevard, North Carolina. Denver spots where Veritasty is available on draft are both Fire on the Mountain locations, The Black Buzzard at Oskar Blues, Tap & Burger in Sloan’s Lake and the Highlands, Cochino Taco, and The Golden Mill in Golden, Colorado. Look for canned six-packs at select retailers in the Denver Metro Area like Twin Peaks Liquor, Wilbur’s Total Beverage, World Beverage, Loveland Liquors and County Line Wine & Spirits.
Veritas also simultaneously launched a line of complementary, co-branded flower and pre-rolls featuring terpenes such as myrcene that inspired the IPA. The terps are key players in the limited-release strains Slap N Tickle, Cake Pop, Forbidden Melonz #2, Layer Cake, Sky 600 and Strawberry Milk.
How did it all happen? To help us get the full picture, we asked Veritas Fine Cannabis Marketing Director Jordan Plunkett to share the story of what led to Veritasty and the science that brings great tastes together.
Q: How did the idea for this collaboration come about?
JP: There are a lot of beer connoisseurs at Veritas, and with Dale joining the Veritas team in 2021, we figured this was the perfect opportunity to bring these two worlds together. At Veritas, we put a huge focus on our terpenes. Understanding that cannabis and hops come from the same botanical family, we saw this as a perfect opportunity to craft a product inspired by the flavorful terpenes found in some of our strains with the master brewers at Oskar Blues. Ultimately, they were able to create an IPA that complements those terpenes, resulting in Veritasty Legalized IPA.
What was the single strain that you ultimately selected?
JP: Initially, we brought the Oskar Blues team in to review a few strain options that were typically popular with our customers. The team favored the terpenes most prevalent in Slap N Tickle, so Slap N Tickle became the initial inspiration for Veritasty. From there, they went to work on creating a craft beer to represent those terpenes. Later in the process, due to changes in terpene test results (later tests of Slap N Tickle did not represent the same terpene profile the beer was inspired by) we saw an opportunity to showcase other strains in our strain library that also share a similar terpene profile. For that reason, Veritasty is a collective of the following strains: Cake Pop, Forbidden Melonz #2, Layer Cake, Sky 600 and Strawberry Milk. Notably, all of those are strains that fall under the Rejuvenate category of our strain library.
What hops are featured? Where was the IPA brewed?
JP: The “whirlpool” hop variety is Cascade, which is added to the wort post-boil but pre-transfer to the fermenter. This provides a balanced bitterness to the beer as well as a strong Myrcene aroma and flavor. The dry hops added during fermentation are Amarillo, Citra, Azacca and Idaho Gem. Brewing took place at Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado.
What did you enjoy most about this process?
JP: The overall collaboration is crazy cool to me, but on top of that, the team at Oskar Blues has created a seriously delicious hazy IPA. Personally, I’m a big fan of craft beer and have always loved Oskar Blues and their subtle cannabis references—even prior to our relationship. This partnership gives us the opportunity to showcase two of Colorado’s top craft producers in different worlds. We get to educate people on the parallels between craft beer and craft cannabis while highlighting the importance of terpenes at Veritas. I was lucky enough to try the beer early on and the overall flavor and smoothness is incredible. One of the goals in the creation of this beer was to create something for both the beer consumer and cannabis consumer to enjoy, and the Oskar Blues team nailed it.
What taste do you get from it?
JP: This IPA is not your typical bitter, “hoppy” IPA. There are strong notes of fruit and sweet citrus leaving a velvet-like feeling in your mouth. It’s light enough to be enjoyed at any time of the day, during any occasion. I can’t stress the power of these terpenes enough. This beer is so great because it really highlights the power of the terpenes and the knowledge that comes from two specialists in their respective fields. Oskar Blues and Veritas share a lot of parallels in who we are and what we strive to do. In both cases, everything starts with quality products going in to produce quality products going out.
Want to know how our awesome displays and can’t-miss events come together? Meet the woman at the heart of it all!
Taylor Saralli likes to say that every day at her job is a little different. As our Director of Experience, we rely on Taylor to design and execute the numerous events Veritas puts on over the course of the year. She is also responsible for maintaining relationships with all of our retail dispensary partners, and she oversees our sponsorships and charitable efforts. We joke internally that Taylor is the face of the brand, but it’s also very true!
Her unique role is positioned within both our Sales and Marketing Departments, and with support from Veritas Marketing Support Specialist Natali Cadena, Taylor does everything from hanging new in-store displays to planning and executing complex events like last year’s Elevated Budtender Affair. Pulling double-duty for our sister brand Olio, Taylor is also in charge of event management for Olio, and she supports both brands at over 200 stores across Colorado.
Since joining our team in December of 2019, we’ve been fortunate to have Taylor’s creative spirit and can-do attitude anchoring our efforts to engage with the community, recognize local partners, and, of course, to celebrate Colorado’s finest cannabis. We wanted to give readers some insight into everything that goes into our partnerships, in-store displays events and more, so we asked Taylor to fill us in on how she makes it all happen and what she loves best about her work.
What goes into planning off-site Veritas cannabis events? What about ones that take place at a dispensary?
First, I consider the guest demographic and the objective of the event. Then, I create a budget and build out an event brainstorm: venue, live music, food, drinks, experiences, etc. After that, I get to work! For in-store events, I receive requests from the sales manager associated with a particular store, as well as from our Director of Sales and Marketing. Then I work with both the store manager and our sales manager for that store and receive direction for the event or promotion. Lastly, I create a budget and get to work!
What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging?
The best part of my job is getting to do what I love every day and being valued for all of the work that I do. The most challenging part of my job is physically hanging and assembling some of our bigger / heavier visual merchandising collateral in stores.
What Veritas cannabis event or partnership that you’ve worked on has given you the most satisfaction?
We had an event called the Elevated Budtender Affair on October 24, 2021. That is probably the most satisfying event that I have put on for Veritas and Olio thus far. We had about 750 budtenders join us for the three-part, two venue experience, which we created to show our love and appreciation for the people who sell our products.
What did the event consist of?
We hosted our guests at Evolve MileHi and shuttled them on cannabis-friendly party buses to Meow Wolf, so everyone could experience that fantastic exhibit within its first couple months of opening. We then shuttled our guests back to Evolve MileHi for an evening of live music, drinks and food. It was extremely successful and very memorable for everyone involved. I am very proud of this event!
Anything else you’d like to share about your day-to-day work?
Just that I love my job. Every day is different!
Step inside our cannabis design studio and take a tour with Art Director Sarah Egener.
At Veritas, we’re inspired every day by the incredible crop of artists who call Colorado home. Wherever you look—from the ski slopes and hiking trails to the city streets—local art is peeking out, from outdoor gear to urban alleys.
And we love to elevate the talents blowing us away in our own backyard. Creativity and cannabis go hand in hand, after all.
You can’t spell Veritas without “art.” As part of our quest to collaborate with local creatives for custom skis with Icelantic, eye-catching graphic T’s and new murals in our community, we knew we’d need someone on our team who could bring our vision and aesthetic to life.
Lucky for us, we found Sarah Egener. As our Art Director, she quickly established our brand guidelines before turning to graphic designer McKeever Spruck to flesh things out further. Together, this pair is responsible for crafting most of our visual brand. That means unique designs for special Veritas packaging, merch, stickers, collabs and much more.
Here, Sarah talks about her approach to cannabis design, why partnering with local artists rocks, and how Veritas’s signature dime jar design came to be.
Q: With the exception of guest artists, has design at Veritas always been done in-house?
Sarah Egener: Before I joined, Veritas had a logo, a typeset and a few merch designs. That was basically it. For my interview project, I was asked to design a label for pre-packed eighths. The label I made for my interview project is actually the classic black-and-gold label you’ll see on Veritas eighths today! To create the larger visual brand of Veritas, I brought on Mckeever, who specializes in graphic art, and I continue to source local artists wherever possible as well.
Q: What’s your process for determining and approving new design ideas?
SE: We work as a team to brainstorm product development. Once we’ve done that, the design team starts getting creative and drafting up looks. Though everyone on the Veritas marketing team is creative, McKeever and I are the ones tasked with turning our group’s vision into a reality.
Q: How would you describe your approach to cannabis-specific design?
SE: Art is really fun to look at after smoking—or however you may choose to consume. I think anybody can attest to that. It can evoke a deeper, more emotional experience and connect the dots of our memories. I try to focus inwards and look deeply at art when I consume cannabis. We’ve actually commissioned several art pieces from our artist family to create a gallery of work at Veritas HQ. We are really passionate when it comes to ensuring cannabis transcends the “stoner stigma.” We’re here to show that you can be a stoner and enjoy collecting, making or appreciating incredible art too. We also want to support local artists in their careers because we appreciate what they do.
Q: What inspired the artwork used for Veritas’s Dime Jars and Pheno Hunt packaging?
SE: In cannabis culture, back in the day a dime bag was $10 worth of random flower in a plastic baggie. The idea is that we’re bringing people back, but now they’re getting a great product in a nice glass jar with a nice silver label on it. It’s meant to remind people about how far we’ve come as an industry.
Pheno Hunts are special box drops, so we like to go more strain-specific with the art and brand the entire pheno hunt. It just makes it more special and allows us to show off our artistic talent as a brand.
Q: Are there any hidden meanings or easter eggs in your designs?
SE: I love how art is open to interpretation and making your own connections. Some of our designs do take inspiration from other Colorado brands and outdoors brands. For example, our “Support Your Local Grower” design pays homage to Patagonia’s look.
Q: What is the intended reaction you hope to elicit when a customer sees Veritas packaging?SE: It should look clean, sleek, professional—and most importantly, informative. Our strain chart, for example, provides info on everything from category experience to lineage to weight. It’s important to educate, whether we’re speaking to connoisseurs or inspiring future connoisseurs. Packaging should serve to welcome people into the cannabis community. It doesn’t have to be loud or aggressive. As we’ve proven, cannabis can be sold in elegant, professional packaging and succeed just fine.
The Colorado cannabis scene extends far beyond the plant: From food trucks to creative glass, these local favorites are what’s hot around Denver.
Colorado is known for bringing awesome folks together. It makes sense when you think of all the incredible camping, winter sports and world-class cannabis our state has to offer. But beyond that bounty of sativas and natural splendor, there’s another crucial ingredient to Colorado’s secret sauce: the people.
Whenever we seek creative inspiration, we look to Rob the Art Museum. And when we get hungry, we like to hit up shops like It’s a Bodega for exotic international snacks and Wayne’s Smoke Shack for stellar BBQ. What’s the common thread here? These folks exemplify the type of cannabis-friendly local businesses we love to support.
To thank them for always having our back, we wanted to shout them out, along with other Colorado institutions that definitely clear the bowl as certified Veritas staff favorites. From eats to art to empowerment, here are seven spots we’re all about supporting:
Great name, great snacks from all around the world—It’s a Bodega is a Denver shop that basically has it all. Whether you’re hankering for potato chips from Thailand or the latest limited-edition sodas, no tasty treat is too far out to make it onto these shelves. We also dig that It’s a Bodega has the same passion for tracking down outlandish snacks that our cultivators have for finding exotic genetics and hunting phenotypes. Catch us raiding their candy aisle again soon! Be sure to stop by their new location at 1242 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210.
We love the barbeque wizards at Wayne’s Smoke Shack. And we know we can count on this crew to come through at Veritas special events and budtender get-togethers with a mouthwatering menu of Texas beef brisket, St. Louis pork rib and so much more (including the ever-important fixings and sides). Be sure you have an empty stomach before you swing by their storefront in Superior, and tell them Veritas sent you.
Rob the Art Museum is a Black-owned art collective filling our community with crucial education, inspiration and engagement. From art activations to mural festivals, underground events to NFT projects, Rob the Art Museum leads the way in uplifting Denver’s local artists and creating platforms for them to shine. At Veritas, we see art and cannabis as two dialects of the same language, which is why we have major love for Rob the Art Museum and all they do.
This Denver-based food truck is what’s up if you’re craving chicken tenders and stellar sauces. That’s why we consider it a minor holiday anytime the DownTown Fingers truck stops by our office. Seriously, our mouths are watering just typing this. They even have loaded fries! True hero behavior. Speaking of which: Might we suggest you pair your order with some proper munchie fuel? Veritas’ Scooby Snax makes for an excellent add-on as an appetizer and / or dessert.
This Denver-rooted nonprofit seeks to create greater equity across Colorado’s food system. Ensuring food security for everyone is something that Veritas wholeheartedly believes in as well. We’ve had the pleasure of volunteering with Frontline Farming and can attest firsthand that their comprehensive approach—which includes growing fruits and vegetables, providing education and initiating policy changes—is vital and admirable work. Also believers in the benefits of cannabis, Frontline Farming checks every box for us and is more than deserving of your time and support too.
This shop takes glassware to the next level. Purple Haze is a Colorado leader in providing top-quality, cosmic pipes, bongs, bubblers and other fine smokeware accessories. Together, Veritas and Purple Haze have teamed up on a few events and we continue to treat our eyes to a tour of their superb, ever-rotating selection of both glass and vaporizer products whenever we have the chance.
We’re such fans of DownTown Fingers that when we heard they were branching out with a specialized sushi food truck, we could not wait to roll through. We’re stoked to see a familiar face who’s friendly to the cannabis community sling us inventive rolls, hot gyoza and good vibes. (And how amazing would a combo sushi + joint rolling event be? Stay tuned!) Catch Roll It Up Sushi trucking around the Denver area and making stomachs happy and full.