Nature's Herbs and Wellness Distribution Center
Fruit Snacks, Gold Dropz, Item #9, MIL, OZ Kush, Slurricane, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon
Rino Supply
Bananaghani, Peking Duck #6
Ripple
Durban Kush #8, Gold Dropz, Item #9, Macchiato Haze, PZ3, Papaya Cake, Shock Tart
Rocky Mountain Cannabis
Forza Sans Souci #4, MIL, OZ Kush, Slurricane, Square Grouper #2, Super Sour Lemon
Rocky Road
Bananaghani, Forza Sans Souci #4, MIL, OZ Kush, Slurricane, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Triangle OG
Rocky Road Remedies
Colorado Cutthroat, MIL, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, Unicorn Poop,   Yuk Mouth
Roots Rx
Black Amber, LCS, Malibu Mirage, Peach Crescendo #2, Peking Duck #6, Sour Rado, The Sauce, Unicorn Poop, Veritas Cookies, WOF
Simply Pure
Carat Cake #2, Melonade #8, Purple Milk, Sour Rado, Sueno, The Sauce, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop
Skunked
Forza Sans Souci #4, MIL, OZ Kush, Slurricane, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Strawberries N Cream, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, Unicorn Poop
TGS
Colorado Cutthroat, Forza Sans Souci #4, GG #4, Gold Dropz, Grape OZ, LCS, OZ Kush, Peking Duck #6, Platinum Kush Breath, Shock Tart, Slurricane, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop, Veritas Cookies, WRZ
THE GREEN SOLUTION LLC
Grape OZ, Purple Milk, Sueno
The 404 Dispensary
Bananaghani, Black Amber, OZ Kush, The Sauce, Veritas Cookies
The 64 Store
Colorado Cutthroat, Forza Sans Souci #4, Oz Kush, Peking Duck #6, Platinum Kush Breath, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Triangle OG
The Dispo
MIL, OZ Kush, Peach Crescendo #2, Slurricane, Sour Diesel, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Veritas Cookies
Tumbleweed
Colorado Cutthroat, Dosilato #8, Item #9, LCS, Macchiato Haze, Unicorn Poop
Canna Cabinet
Bananaghani, Black Amber, Carat Cake #2, Dosilato #8, Durban Kush #8, GG #4, Item #9, KPF, Macchiato Haze, OZ Kush, Papaya Cake, Pineapple Blast, Purple Milk, Root Canal #2, Sour Rado, Super Sour Lemon, The Sauce, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop, Veritas Cookies
Cannabicare
Colorado Cutthroat, Forza Sans Souci #4, Oz Kush, Peking Duck #6, Platinum Kush Breath, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop
Colorado Harvest Company
Colorado Cutthroat, Gold Dropz, OZ Kush, PZ3, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, WRZ
HERBS 4 YOU
Sour Diesel
High Octane
Bananaghani, Black Amber, OZ Kush, The Sauce, Veritas Cookies
Kind Care of Colorado
Colorado Cutthroat, Forza Sans Souci #4, Frozen Dessert, Fruit Snacks, Gold Dropz, Item #9, KPF, OZ Kush, Peach Crescendo #2, Platinum Kush Breath, Root Canal #2, Slurricane, Sueno, Super Sour Lemon, The Sauce,   Yuk Mouth
Lightshade
Gold Dropz, Peking Duck #6, Root Canal #2, Sueno
Magnolia Rd
Bananaghani, Black Amber, Carat Cake #2, Cereal Barz, Colorado Cutthroat, Gold Dropz, Grape OZ, Lava Breath #2, MIL, Macchiato Haze, Malibu Mirage, Peach Crescendo #2, Peking Duck #6, Platinum Kush Breath, Purple Milk, Root Canal #2, Slurricane, Sour Diesel, Super Sour Lemon, The Sauce, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop, Veritas Cookies, Wedding Crasher
Magnolia Road
Bananaghani, Black Amber, Cereal Barz, Colorado Cutthroat, FUN, Forza Sans Souci #4, GG #4, Gold Dropz, Grape OZ, Item #9, LCS, Lava Breath #2, MIL, Macchiato Haze, Malibu Mirage, Muffinz Breath #1, OZ Kush, Peach Crescendo #2, Peking Duck #6, Platinum Kush Breath, Purple Milk, Sherb Crasher, Slurricane, Sour Diesel, Sour Rado, Strawberries N Cream, Sueno, The Sauce, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop, Veritas Cookies, Wedding Crasher,   Yuk Mouth
Medicine Man
Bananaghani, Peking Duck #6, Triangle OG, Unicorn Poop
Native Roots
Carat Cake #2, Colorado Cutthroat, Dosilato #8, Forza Sans Souci #4, Frozen Dessert, Fruit Snacks, GG #4, Garlic Breath, Gold Dropz, Grape OZ, Item #9, KPF, Lava Breath #2, MIL, Macchiato Haze, Melonade #8, ORE, OZ Kush, PZ3, Papaya Cake, Peach Crescendo #2, Peking Duck #6, Pineapple Blast, Platinum Kush Breath, Purple Milk, Root Canal #2, SOZ, Shock Tart, Sour Rado, Square Grouper #2, Sueno, Super Lemon G, Super Sour Lemon, The Sauce, Triangle OG, WRZ, Wedding Crasher, White 99

Why Colorado Tokers Love Red Bullz

Original article link: www.westword.com/marijuana/red-bullz-strain-review-18260169

So much for expectations.

By Herbert Fuego

November 22, 2023

Red Bullz wasn't as uplifting as anticipated, but it showcased an intriguing side to grape flavor.

Red Bullz wasn’t as uplifting as anticipated, but it showcased an intriguing side to grape flavor. Herbert Fuego

Share this

Red Bull has a seemingly endless budget for fun. It dominates Formula 1, sponsors athletes in everything from aerobatic flying to wind surfing, and has one of the craziest Instagram pages known to humankind — which is exactly why I’ll never drink it. How cheap can an energy drink be for one company to afford all of that extracurricular activity?

Conspiracy theories aside, I was more than happy to try a cannabis variety named after Red Bull. Finding decent new daytime strains is getting harder by the day in this commercial climate, especially as customers flock toward more relaxing highs in the winter. I always want something in my stash that gets me lifted and motivated in the afternoon, though, and Red Bullz, a hybrid of Grape Gas and White Runtz, sounds like a strain laced with sugar and taurine.

So much for expectations.

Although Red Bullz will more than satisfy dispensary shoppers in search of colorful bag appeal, the rush was mediocre at best, and my focus was weaker than I’d anticipated. While that doesn’t mean the strain is without merit or can’t help you float through the day, I want to be flying on all cylinders after smoking something named Red Bullz. A short-lived sugar rush isn’t good enough.

EDITOR’S PICKS

If Red Bullz were named something like “Grape Taffy,” then I’d probably be more impressed by the strain, because this flavorful mix of grapes, citric acid and gas is one of my favorite candy-forward smokes so far. The high is jovial enough and even capable of bouts of creativity — but chances are good you’ll forget that incredible thought before acting on it, and even if you don’t, Red Bullz’ wings evaporate just as fast as they appear. Keep real caffeine ready after smoking it, or you’ll be headed for the couch soon enough.

Looks: Red Bullz is often more violet than green, with thin, wispy trichomes and orange-brown pistils playing a beautiful contrast against the deeply purple calyxes. The buds have a candy appeal the moment you lay eyes on them, and the aroma backs it up.

Smell: Sweet notes of artificial grape candy or soda play well with a chemical-heavy diesel scent at the beginning. The back end is a little spicier, with hints of tropical fruit, too, giving Red Bullz somewhat of a punch-y, sangria quality.

Flavor: Fruit and candy characteristics are easy to find in Red Bullz. Hints of apples, grapes and a mango-papaya aftertaste are all common and often amped up thanks to a sweet acidity that attacks the sides of the tongue. Gassy, spicy flavors jump in toward the end.

Effects: Red Bullz brings a 50/50 high instead of an energetic buzz. It won’t bring you down unless you’re already tired to begin with, though, and the physical effects make me feel more warm and loose than sleepy. Focusing on simple tasks is easy, and sparks of creativity can fly, as well. Still, the inability to multi-task or sustain energy longer than ninety minutes makes it difficult to rely on Red Bullz before 5 p.m.

Where to find it: We’ve spotted Red Bullz at Berkeley Dispensary, Cherry Peak, Colorado Harvest Company, Green Tree Medicinals, the Herbal Center, Kind Meds, Lowell Gardens, Magnolia Road Cannabis Co., Nature’s Medicine, RiNo Supply Co., Rocky Mountain Cannabis, Strawberry Fields, Twin Peaks Dispensary and Verts Neighborhood Dispensary so far, but more stores probably carry it.

The Frost Collective, Higher Function and Veritas Fine Cannabis, which also grows for the Compound Genetics label, all have different versions of Red Bullz flower in dispensaries right now, while Fuego sells pre-rolls of the strain, too. The Veritas and Compound cuts are essentially the same and provide a solid toke and photo-worthy nugs at $30 an eighth or less. However, Higher Function’s has a slightly better cure.

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? Email marijuana@westword.com.

VERITAS CANNABIS SOUR DIESEL IS A COMBINATION OF SUPER SKUNK + CHEMDAWG. COMMENTARY AND TASTING NOTES

BY WARREN BOBROW

Article Link

11/17/2023

cannabis world news promos strain reports packaging for Veritas cannabis products

It’s a Sativa by nature, but sometimes it feels more Indica-leaning- but certainly not like hybrids… It reminds me of the fine cannabis that I used to get in southern Maine back in the mid-1980s. This was when I first discovered really fine East Coast weed. I was reared on mostly West Coast flowers early on. It was that or the “whatever we could get,” which was nothing to write home about in the 1970s and 1980s. Unfortunately for me, whatever we could get still remains vivid in my imagination; it was that brick stuff, brown and pressed. But the strains that taught me something were grown by really passionate people who loved the plant.

Smoking these early craft strains was like nothing I had ever experienced before, especially since the overall quality level of the swag I’d get in NJ was pretty low in the 1970s! This was until someone introduced me to New York Sour Diesel at a nightclub in NYC circa the mid-1980s. Nothing else smelled like that. Like sour cream, lemon curd, European gasoline, and roasted orange zest. To this very day, every time I smell Sour Diesel or the myriad of incarnates, I’m blasted back to that first hit of Sour Diesel and my experience of that day, so many years ago.

The Veritas Cannabis Sour Diesel reminds me of the years of wandering on the streets in Boston if you knew the right people of course… It’s what we smoked during weekends up in the New Hampshire mountains or up on MDI in Maine. It was this famous, now infamous Sour Diesel—probably grown in Western Massachusetts—or otherwise it was Blueberry, from Southern Maine. And that was it. And I’m pretty happy of those years of smoking flowers that remind me now of those years because they were formative in my experience of smoking truly gourmet/craft cannabis. Something that would follow me forward. This is quite important to me.

Every time that I smoke Sour Diesel I’m brought back to a day before yesterday, and it forces me to re-examine the flavors that are known as the classics. What Veritas has achieved is remarkable in this regard. I would like to make mention of a couple things before I dive into the tasting notes. Cannabis that is grown and cured in high altitude and dry places like Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada…smoking this cannabis I’ve discovered a big something shocking. (At least to me…) I react far differently with cannabis grown and cured at sea level. It’s just a different experience. I’ve done some experimentation on this axiom, purchased cannabis that has been grown at 6000 ft plus and opened the container at nearly sea level with lots of New Jersey humidity filling the room, well it’s an entirely different experience. In a plus way, certainly not a minus way.

Something biophysical takes place by growing and curing in a carefully engineered humidity adjusted space, but what I experienced at sea level was something completely different. I’m very impressed by the flavor and terpenes I sensed at 650 ft. instead of 6500 ft. The cannabis almost reacted like cryo-cured flower, dried, perfectly cured, and aged in a fraction of the time, leaving an end result that is encapsulated in time and space. And when I smoked it at 650 ft. with lots of humidity? What I experience is bliss…

Veritas Fine Cannabis: Sour Diesel

Nose: It’s that baby skunk that’s lurking under your bedroom window. Someone stuck a couple gallons of buttermilk under there too, the sour-lactate rich liquid is stuck up inside my nose. Coming into view, snapping a canna-flower in my fingers, I smell crushed, juniper wood smoked chiles, a tangle of caramelized lemongrass shards and slivers of just snipped back yard chives, sauteed in brown butter. This is friendly cannabis that layers the inside of my head with softly folded whipped cream and unleashes the nasal driven memories that say springtime in Portland, Maine-1986. The overall nose is sometimes salty, sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, leading into the funky, but certainly- always memorable.

Mouthfeel: Veritas in Colorado has re-created the classic mouthfeel of Sour Diesel that some would say exemplify the early cannabis strains like New York Sour Diesel. Laden with European Petrol, Kerosene, and Baby Skunk, it’s unmistakable. Others say the classic Sour Diesel smells like citrus juices and cracked white pepper. I think it’s a combination of Pan-Asian spices, baby skunk and kerosine lamp oil. Citrus oils and the act of licking wet shells at the beach in the summer make your palate sing.

Veritas Sour Diesel unlocks my mind after inhalation. Remarkable in the depth of the experience. The mouthfeel is rich, savory, and full-bodied. After a couple small hits, I’m ready to experience the Veritas Sour Diesel in my Chill Bong- instead of my usual one hitter. The reason why I want to share the Chill Bong with you is the cooling experience that you feel when using this masterful piece of cannabis accoutrement.

Stone: This is not cannabis for the beginner. Of course, you have to start on the really strong stuff in your own way, but the pro-tip is take your time. There is no rush in cannabis, all those magical cultivars, so many that I forget which one is my favorite. I will say that Sour Diesel of Veritas Fine Cannabis is elegant and charming. It also gets me to another place with alacrity. There is no lack of amusement when imbibing Sour Diesel from Veritas Fine Cannabis. This is a Sativa that acts to help you get the job done. Scrub the tub, wash all the kitchen floors, take out the trash that is lurking in the hallway. There aren’t enough hours in the day because you’ll be full of steam to get all the things behind you and still other tasks to be hatched.

If Veritas Sour Diesel doesn’t take you to the next Bardo, I don’t know what will. Ok, you may not discover DF Tram on your own personal musical journey, but it did stimulate your inquisitive nature. This nug of perfectly cured cannabis is the Sour Diesel of my dreams. It takes me places that money can’t buy. Experience gleaned from emotion and being able to taste great cannabis like Veritas teaches me lessons not yet taught.

Cheers.

Photo Credit: Warren Bobrow

Share Skunk Magazine With Your Friends

FacebookTwitterEmail

WARREN BOBROW 

Warren Bobrow has been a dishwasher, the owner of the first company to make fresh pasta in South Carolina , a television engineer and he even worked at Danceteria in NYC, then a trained chef which led to a twenty year career in private banking. A cannabis, wine and travel aficionado, Warren is a former rum judge and craft spirits national brand ambassador. He works full time in the cannabis business as an alchemist/journalist. Cocktailwhisperer.com Drinkklaus.com Instagram: warrenbobrow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Bobrow

Why Colorado Tokers Love Gastro Pop

The high is quite uplifting if you can manage the munchies.

By Herbert Fuego

October 25, 2023

Gastro Pop turns everyday lunch hunger into desert island starvation.

Gastro Pop turns everyday lunch hunger into desert island starvation. Herbert Fuego

Share this

There’s a sect of people who believe that all ailments can be cured with proper gut bacteria. I’m not here to dispute that notion; yogurt is fantastic. But probiotic drinks or sea moss probably won’t be part of my diet any time soon. Besides, I don’t need help with an upset stomach now that I have Gastro Pop.

Give a seldom smoker a bong hit, and chances are they’ll want to mow down a sandwich or bag of chips. Give them a rip of Gastro Pop, and you’ll have no choice but to find a buffet. This accurately named hybrid of Apples and Bananas and Grape Gasoline can make stomachs growl thirty minutes after lunch and turns an everyday appetite into desert island starvation. Such munchies are divisive among the joint circle unless they’re expected, but we’re about to reach bulking season, so get that frozen pizza ready.

Ignorant to its other effects, I waited a while to smoke Gastro Pop on a legitimately full stomach, but then quickly discovered an energetic, creative and talkative side to the high. Still, the munchies become so strong that all of these social and uplifting effects will be reduced to side effects unless a proper amount of protein is in my belly. Besides Gastro Pop’s obvious ability to induce hunger or gluttony — which is going to come in handy for Thanksgiving — I’ll be keeping it around for after-dinner walks and adventures.

Looks: Compact and covered in blue and purple spots, Gastro Pop is modern, striking, and screams “couch lock” to most users. The plant itself is even more intimidating, with purple fan leaves and bulky buds that look stacked on top of each other. Don’t let its vivid colors and trichome coverage scare you away during the day, though.

EDITOR’S PICKS

Smell: A blast of overripe fruit, rubber and spicy wood comes first, but on further inspection of Gastro Pop, I notice clearer hints of apples, berries and a subtle chemical undertone. It’s an invigorating smell, to say the least, similar to white wine or funky cider.

Flavor: Despite all of its characteristics, Gastro Pop is quite balanced and very enjoyable. Its sweeter flavors shine at first, with hints of everything from apples to grapes to strawberries noticeable up front. Spicy, gassy notes appear toward the end of the hit, but a funky, almost fizzy taste takes over after the exhale.

Effects: Eat a hearty meal before smoking Gastro Pop, and you’ll likely find the high refreshing and focused, which is great for a daytime session. At night, it can even be somewhat of an aphrodisiac if you’re lucky enough to have a pot-smoking partner — yet every time I smoke it on anything close to an empty stomach, I become Jabba the Hutt. Hunger, curiosity and social interest are all heightened after smoking Gastro Pop, but the hunger can dominate the experience if you’re not careful.

Where to find it: We’ve seen Gastro Pop at Berkeley Dispensary, Boulder Wellness Cannabis Co., Callie’s Cannabis Shoppe, Cherry Peak Dispensary, Colorado Harvest Company, Emerald Fields, Frost Exotic, Green Dragon, the Green Solution, Jars Cannabis, Life Flower Dispensary, the Lodge, Magnolia Road Cannabis Co., Medicine Man, Native Roots, Oasis Cannabis Superstores, Park Hill Gardens, Pig ’N’ Whistle, Rocky Mountain Cannabis, Rocky Road, Social Cannabis, Solace Meds, Star Buds, Strawberry Fields and Trees Dispensary, but more stores likely carry it, given the growers who have taken on the strain.

Boulder Built, Super Farm and Veritas Fine Cannabis all grow Gastro Pop flower right now, while Callie’s Cannabis Shoppe has an in-house take on the strain. Extractors Billo and Dadirri make concentrated versions of Gastro Pop for dispensaries, as well. Boulder Built’s dark, resin-glazed flower has been my favorite way to enjoy Gastro Pop so far, but I haven’t taken a dab of Billo’s wax yet.

Doodle Artist Joe Palec Combines Halloween and Cannabis

Palec’s new vape battery is full of cannabis and scary movie references.

By Thomas Mitchell

October 27, 2023

After working in the cannabis industry for years, Joe Palec is now illustrating it.

After working in the cannabis industry for years, Joe Palec is now illustrating it. Joe Palec

Share it

As both an artist for hire and the delivery coordinator for THC vape company O.pen, Joe Palec has never minded mixing his two passions. Cannabis brands like the Mile High 420 Festival, Colorado Harvest Company, Good Chemistry, Groovy Gravy, Police & Thieves, Herbs4You and Veritas Fine Cannabis have all commissioned illustrations from Palec, but his art hasn’t been used on any dispensary products from his day-job company — until now.

O.pen’s Haunted Feast Battery, a standard hash pen battery now for sale in Colorado dispensaries, is full of cannabis and scary movie references, from Chemdog mad scientists to Strawberry Cheesecake coffins, all done by Palec. The collaboration “was a long time coming,” Palec says, and he’s excited to share his doodle-like illustrations with fellow dabbers this fall. In this interview, he shares more about his monster-mashing illustrations and how he combines drawing and cannabis.

Westword: What’s your legal-cannabis origin story?

Joe Palec: I moved here in 2011. I instantly got a medical card and started working at Jimmy John’s on the 16th Street Mall, back before the mall was what it is today. I would make these mini Jimmy John’s sandwiches, walk down the mall and remind people to get their lunch and catering there. I’d also go into the [now-closed] Native Roots off 16th Street every other day with free sandwiches, and they started remembering my name. One day they asked me if I wanted to be a sign spinner, so I put in my two weeks at Jimmy John’s that day.

From there I became a trimmer and budtender at Native Roots, then I moved over to Pink House and Verde Natural, and then I got an offer to be on O.pen’s marketing street team. Then I was in customer service, became a sales rep, and now I’m a delivery supervisor.

EDITOR’S PICKS

That’s quite the journey. How were you able to gain momentum as an artist while working in cannabis?

Well, I was an art school dropout in Wisconsin. After that, I was given the option of sticking with school and transferring to somewhere else, like Milwaukee, or move in with my mom in Colorado. Are you kidding? I went to Colorado.

Not to sound cocky or pretentious, but I’ve always been good at drawing. I never thought I could make a career out of it, especially when I was at art school. They really beat you down there and say you’re not going to succeed. It’s rough. But my drawing became kind of a party trick, and my friends really pushed me to do more and said I was good at this. So I entered some contests, ended up working for a few companies, and then decided to take the leap and get a studio in the Santa Fe Art District. I’ve since been able to work with the Selfie Museum  — they have flown me all across the country to do murals for them — and for a popular toy brand called Kendama Co., and for other brands like Deep Eddy Vodka and a lot of cannabis brands.

O.pen’s Haunted Feast battery is for sale through November.

O.pen Vape

The cannabis industry seems like a fertile space for local and up-and-coming artists. Is that accurate?

Definitely — and it’s not just me. I can’t think of another industry that is so open-arms for local artists and taking big swings on artists. The only thing remotely close I can think of is craft brewery cans, but when you have to start diving into corporate crafted design and these deeply scientific logos — no. No, the cannabis space is talking to artists and getting their work out there.

How would you describe your work? I’ve heard some Where’s Waldo comparisons.

It’s doodling. Doodling and line work. It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed, but it’s been cool to see how popular it is right now. Once I started networking and had a presence on Instagram, I realized there were so many other artists out there doing stuff like this.

Are there hidden references in your professional doodles?

It’s all Easter eggs. If you look at my designs from afar, it just looks like a bunch of doodles. Then you look closer and realize every piece has a story, and it flows into another element of greater design. I think of everything I do as an Easter egg, or hidden — except people are always looking for the penises…they’re not in there! Not purposefully, anyway.

What are some hidden references or characters in your Haunted Feast Battery?

O.pen’s first prompt was a Halloween battery, and Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. They wanted to include certain strains, and they wanted it to be a dinner scene. So I went with a haunted feast or dinner party, which was really fun and easy. I watched all of the Addams Family movies, Hotel Transylvania and Scooby-Doo, just to get some influences going, and I was really inspired by M.C. Escher. I wanted things to pop and come out of the dinner table, so on the battery you’ll see strain references like a Chem Dog — which is a dog in a lab coat — as well as Strawberry Cheesecake coffin slices and a Wednesday Addams Apple.

This one came easy, honestly. Maybe five years ago if they had asked to do this, I’d be sweating bullets, but I’ve had so much practice with this now. These batteries really are a great canvas to do things seasonally and keep it fresh — and it’s so easy to lose things, so it’s a trip down memory lane when you find a Halloween battery in your couch.

How does it feel to drop off gear at dispensaries with your artwork on it? Do you ever mention it when trying to sell products?

In that scenario, I don’t talk about who I am. At the end of the day, I’m modest about my artwork, and these are people I work with and see every day — but for lack of a better term, it does feel really cool. It feels good to know that there are batteries out there with my work on it, and it’s been one of our top-selling devices in October. Anybody can take one of my designs and slap it on a battery, and that’s that. But O.pen has been very nice about my brand awareness, and I appreciate how they celebrate the artists behind the art. 

Wholesale cannabis prices rise in key states, but downward pressure expected

author profile picture

By Kate Robertson, Writer
September 25, 2023

Link to article

It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN on MJBizCon savings. Get your tickets by Thursday Sept. 28 for the 12th annual cannabis business conference, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Las Vegas.


Image of an indoor cannabis grow

(Photo by Kim/stock.adobe.com)

Wholesale cannabis prices stabilized or rebounded in some key markets through the summer, but cultivators should brace for renewed downward pressure as the fall harvest boosts inventories through the end of the year, experts say.

Chalk it up to simple supply-and-demand dynamics.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Over the course of this month, you start to see a huge buildup of inventory across the industry,” Ben Burstein, strategist at New York-based wholesale cannabis platform LeafLink, told MJBizDaily in an interview.

“You start to get huge surpluses of excess product, and at these times, especially around the harvest season, it causes big price declines.”

Data collected in 13 states by the LeafLink platform shows that after months of record-breaking lows, wholesale marijuana flower prices have stabilized in a few key, older markets such as California and Michigan.

Producers in the states, who have long struggled with low prices, will benefit, while retailers already face higher costs.

Stores were paying 29%-plus more in August year-over-year for wholesale cannabis flower in California because the amount of licensed square footage has dropped by more than 15%, Burstein said.

Prices in Michigan rebounded by 19% since the end of 2022 and were up by more than 4% compared to a year ago as the number of marijuana retail outlets expanded and authorities cracked down on illicit sales.

Flower prices in Oklahoma and Oregon, which have reported some of the lowest wholesale cannabis prices in the United States, increased by more than 7% and 5%, respectively, versus a year ago.

Overall prices in the 13 states tracked across LeafLink’s platform were up by 4% year-over-year in August 2023 and 15% compared to the end of 2022.

But price compression amid a glut of inventory continues to be a challenge for wholesalers in most states.

Connecticut-based wholesale marijuana data and analysis company Cannabis Benchmarks wrote in a recent blog post that prices have hit a “historic low,” with the spot index reaching only $936 per pound – a 7.3% decline from September 2022.

Market maturity and seasonality

Burstein said very little is surprising about the wholesale cannabis price data that LeafLink collects.

“All states follow a relatively similar path in terms of the growth of a cannabis program and ultimately how the market matures,” he said.

When medical marijuana programs launch, the price per pound of cannabis flower can be as high as $7,000-$10,000, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

As cultivators ramp up capacity and production to take advantage of higher prices and more growers become licensed – often to serve new adult-use marijuana markets and take advantage of higher prices – prices decline.

Wholesale cannabis prices rose in Maryland, for example, by more than 40% from August 2022 to August 2023.

Adult-use sales launched in July.

Rebecca Raphael, the chief revenue officer at Curio Wellness, a Baltimore-based vertically integrated operator, wrote in an email to MJBizDaily that inflation contributed to oversupply at the company four months ago when the state was still medical-only.

In short, medical consumers, squeezed by rising costs, were spending less each week, she said.

“Now in an adult-use market, where we expected normalization due to increased demand, it appears that other licensees have over-forecasted the size of the Maryland market and continue to dump flower in an effort to right-size their inventory,” Raphael said.

Curio is at full capacity and has no plans to expand, she said.

In Missouri, where adult-use sales launched in February, wholesale cannabis flower prices rose from roughly $1,500 per pound in the final quarter of 2022 to more than $2,000 per pound in August.

Rightsizing supply and demand

Colorado had the lowest wholesale marijuana prices in the country in August at $810 per pound, according to LeafLink data.

“Pricing has held consistency since early summer, but dispensary traffic is down and we are seeing store partners run sales more frequently than we used to,” Jon Spadafora, president of Colorado-based Veritas Fine Cannabis, told MJBizDaily via email.

Cultivators have reduced their planting schedules, he said, but a lot of wholesale product is still available – and prices are still weak.

As times get more difficult, the industry will see producers making wild deals to keep their lights on, which brings down pricing across the market.”

Arizona’s massive greenhouses oversupplied the market through 2021 and 2022, LeafLink’s Burstein said, but prices were up slightly in August, year-over-year, by more than 2%.

Eric Offenberger, CEO of Arizona-based vertically integrated cannabis company Vext Science, told MJBizDaily that’s why he and his team chose to strategically shift their focus from wholesale cannabis flower sales.

They sell the company’s cultivated products through owned retail channels instead.

“We made the determination that we didn’t want to be a [flower] wholesaler,” he said. “We wanted our supply to match our demand.”

Wholesale cannabis in the Massachusetts market is also rightsizing after losing cross-border shoppers from states that have now legalized marijuana, such as Connecticut, New York and Vermont, Burstein said.

According to Burstein, the portion of total sales from out-of-state buyers dropped from 25% to closer to 10%-15%.

As a result, wholesale marijuana prices declined by more than 18% since the end of last year and more than 27% since August 2022.

“Massachusetts, compared to Arizona, is much more of a demand-driven story,” Burstein said.

Flower in Massachusetts is largely grown indoors. In states where outdoor grows are more common, July and August tend to have the highest prices.

Burstein said to expect declines through the latter half of the year.

“Almost all pricing declines in cannabis happen between the harvest and then the early months of the spring,” he said, “when a lot of that product availability has been used and sold.”

Kate Robertson can be reached at kate.robertson@mjbizdaily.com.

Wholesale cannabis prices rise in key states, but downward pressure expected

author profile picture

By Kate Robertson, Writer
September 25, 2023

SHARE

It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN on MJBizCon savings. Get your tickets by Thursday Sept. 28 for the 12th annual cannabis business conference, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Las Vegas.


Image of an indoor cannabis grow

(Photo by Kim/stock.adobe.com)

Wholesale cannabis prices stabilized or rebounded in some key markets through the summer, but cultivators should brace for renewed downward pressure as the fall harvest boosts inventories through the end of the year, experts say.

Chalk it up to simple supply-and-demand dynamics.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Over the course of this month, you start to see a huge buildup of inventory across the industry,” Ben Burstein, strategist at New York-based wholesale cannabis platform LeafLink, told MJBizDaily in an interview.

“You start to get huge surpluses of excess product, and at these times, especially around the harvest season, it causes big price declines.”

Data collected in 13 states by the LeafLink platform shows that after months of record-breaking lows, wholesale marijuana flower prices have stabilized in a few key, older markets such as California and Michigan.

Producers in the states, who have long struggled with low prices, will benefit, while retailers already face higher costs.

Stores were paying 29%-plus more in August year-over-year for wholesale cannabis flower in California because the amount of licensed square footage has dropped by more than 15%, Burstein said.

Prices in Michigan rebounded by 19% since the end of 2022 and were up by more than 4% compared to a year ago as the number of marijuana retail outlets expanded and authorities cracked down on illicit sales.

Flower prices in Oklahoma and Oregon, which have reported some of the lowest wholesale cannabis prices in the United States, increased by more than 7% and 5%, respectively, versus a year ago.

Overall prices in the 13 states tracked across LeafLink’s platform were up by 4% year-over-year in August 2023 and 15% compared to the end of 2022.

But price compression amid a glut of inventory continues to be a challenge for wholesalers in most states.

Connecticut-based wholesale marijuana data and analysis company Cannabis Benchmarks wrote in a recent blog post that prices have hit a “historic low,” with the spot index reaching only $936 per pound – a 7.3% decline from September 2022.

Market maturity and seasonality

Burstein said very little is surprising about the wholesale cannabis price data that LeafLink collects.

“All states follow a relatively similar path in terms of the growth of a cannabis program and ultimately how the market matures,” he said.

When medical marijuana programs launch, the price per pound of cannabis flower can be as high as $7,000-$10,000, he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

As cultivators ramp up capacity and production to take advantage of higher prices and more growers become licensed – often to serve new adult-use marijuana markets and take advantage of higher prices – prices decline.

Wholesale cannabis prices rose in Maryland, for example, by more than 40% from August 2022 to August 2023.

Adult-use sales launched in July.

Rebecca Raphael, the chief revenue officer at Curio Wellness, a Baltimore-based vertically integrated operator, wrote in an email to MJBizDaily that inflation contributed to oversupply at the company four months ago when the state was still medical-only.

In short, medical consumers, squeezed by rising costs, were spending less each week, she said.

“Now in an adult-use market, where we expected normalization due to increased demand, it appears that other licensees have over-forecasted the size of the Maryland market and continue to dump flower in an effort to right-size their inventory,” Raphael said.

Curio is at full capacity and has no plans to expand, she said.

In Missouri, where adult-use sales launched in February, wholesale cannabis flower prices rose from roughly $1,500 per pound in the final quarter of 2022 to more than $2,000 per pound in August.

Rightsizing supply and demand

Colorado had the lowest wholesale marijuana prices in the country in August at $810 per pound, according to LeafLink data.

“Pricing has held consistency since early summer, but dispensary traffic is down and we are seeing store partners run sales more frequently than we used to,” Jon Spadafora, president of Colorado-based Veritas Fine Cannabis, told MJBizDaily via email.

Cultivators have reduced their planting schedules, he said, but a lot of wholesale product is still available – and prices are still weak.

As times get more difficult, the industry will see producers making wild deals to keep their lights on, which brings down pricing across the market.”

Arizona’s massive greenhouses oversupplied the market through 2021 and 2022, LeafLink’s Burstein said, but prices were up slightly in August, year-over-year, by more than 2%.

Eric Offenberger, CEO of Arizona-based vertically integrated cannabis company Vext Science, told MJBizDaily that’s why he and his team chose to strategically shift their focus from wholesale cannabis flower sales.

They sell the company’s cultivated products through owned retail channels instead.

“We made the determination that we didn’t want to be a [flower] wholesaler,” he said. “We wanted our supply to match our demand.”

Wholesale cannabis in the Massachusetts market is also rightsizing after losing cross-border shoppers from states that have now legalized marijuana, such as Connecticut, New York and Vermont, Burstein said.

According to Burstein, the portion of total sales from out-of-state buyers dropped from 25% to closer to 10%-15%.

As a result, wholesale marijuana prices declined by more than 18% since the end of last year and more than 27% since August 2022.

“Massachusetts, compared to Arizona, is much more of a demand-driven story,” Burstein said.

Flower in Massachusetts is largely grown indoors. In states where outdoor grows are more common, July and August tend to have the highest prices.

Burstein said to expect declines through the latter half of the year.

“Almost all pricing declines in cannabis happen between the harvest and then the early months of the spring,” he said, “when a lot of that product availability has been used and sold.”

Kate Robertson can be reached at kate.robertson@mjbizdaily.com.

Why Colorado Tokers Love Dolato

Also known as Dosilato, this leathery strain smells like something Ron Burgundy would appreciate.

By Herbert Fuego

Article Link: https://www.westword.com/marijuana/dolato-strain-review-17799686

September 20, 2023

Dolato's dazzling looks may lure you in, but the nurturing high brings you back.

Dolato’s dazzling looks may lure you in, but the nurturing high brings you back. Herbert Fuego

Coming to grips with the fact that you’re no longer young and hip takes time, and I’m still working through it. As I battle with aging pop-culture references and a fading ability to drink or digest junk food, though, weed is there to ease the pain.

There’s nothing new and hip about Dolato, also known as Dosilato, either. As candy terps take over dispensaries, the strain’s parents, Do-Si-Dos and a Gelato phenotype, are no longer new kids on the block. Take a look at Dolato’s bespeckled buds and enjoy its no-nonsense high, however, and you, too, will stop wondering if you’re in touch or not. It’s the children who are wrong.

Dolato smells like something Ron Burgundy would appreciate. Opening a jar reminds me of rich mahogany, leather-bound books and pipe tobacco, and most of that successfully reaches my tastebuds. The high is straight to the point, eradicating minor stress while keeping curiosity and interest alive. After getting cut off for the third time on your drive home or having credit-card information stolen again, it’s a good strain to have in your corner.

With strong bag appeal, a distinguished flavor and a firm but gentle high, Dolato’s ability to shine through in today’s world gives me hope that outdated concepts can be cool again one day. Maybe it’s time to pull out the Brylcreem, spray on some Brut, and hit the town this weekend.

EDITOR’S PICKS

Looks: Known for a rich array of reds, purples, blues and greens with impressive trichome coverage, Dolato’s buds are a sight to behold, even by modern standards. Of the handful of cuts I’ve seen, all of them were above average in size and density.

Smell: Despite the strong Cookie influences in Dolato’s parents, I get a lot of pine, tobacco, leather and teak. It’s quite a manly combination, and anyone who enjoys a cigar bar or the smell of an old-school barbershop will probably enjoy it.

Flavor: Dolato’s rich, tarry flavors are bitter and earthy, but mostly in a good way. Playing off the pine and tobacco aroma, the smoke does remind me of an unflavored blunt wrap, but with a heavy layer of gas and a zesty back end. I could use a small hint of citrus or a little more sweetness, but still appreciate the taste overall.

Effects: Unless I’m dealing with a major problem, stress ceases to exist after smoking Dolato. I move a step slower and might forget how to spell a word or two, yet the high leaves plenty of physical energy for leisurely activity. Physical relaxation is inevitable, so I like to keep Dolato for the evening or nap-friendly afternoons, but the doldrums can be avoided with caffeine or responsible toking during the day.

Where to find it: We’ve caught Dolato or Dosilato at Cherry Peak Dispensary, Everbloom, Golden Meds, Good Chemistry, Green Dragon, Green Valley Dispensary, Kind Care of Colorado, Laughing Grass, LivWell Enlightened Health, the Lodge, Lova, Magnolia Road Cannabis Co., Medicine Man, Mighty Tree, Native Roots, Oasis Cannabis Superstores, Park Hill Gardens, Rocky Mountain Cannabis, Social Cannabis, SoHi Dispensary, Standing Akimbo and Twin Peaks Dispensary.

Clarity Gardens, Dro, Good Chemistry, Natural Remedies, Shift and Veritas Fine Cannabis have all recently sold Dolato or Dosilato around Denver, with pre-rolls from Good Chemistry, Haze Silver and Natural Remedies. Denver Dab Co., Eureka, Green Dot Labs, Mile High Xtractions and Natural Remedies have produced various concentrates of the strain, too, though more growers and extractors probably work with Dolato.

Dro, Good Chemistry and Shift all grow solid takes on Dolato at good value for the price, but the Dosilato #8 from the First Cut line by Veritas has been my favorite rendition so far. It might be too late to grab that First Cut run, but you can still find Dosilato from Veritas across Colorado.

Growing Green: Cannabis Farmers Tackle Sustainability

JUL 24, 2023

Gia Mora

With a burgeoning demand for marijuana, both legal and illegal operations face scrutiny over water issues, energy usage, and plastic pollution.

Lex Corwin inspects the plants inside the greenhouse at Stone Road Farms

Photography courtesy Stone Road Farms.

In 2016, when Lex Corwin opened his off-grid, biodynamic cannabis farm in Nevada City, California, he incorporated sustainability into every facet of the company. He powered the greenhouse with on-site solar panels, opted for natural pest control instead of synthetics and sold his products in recyclable, 99% plastic-free packaging. “It’s a very important political topic for a lot of people in our generation,” says the 30-year-old founder and CEO of Stone Road

Not only do Millennials and Gen Z-ers widely support marijuana legalization, but they also engage more with issues surrounding the climate crisis. With sales of legal cannabis expected to more than double by 2030, producers of the nation’s sixth-most valuable crop have a problem: Cannabis has a substantial environmental footprint. 

Research on the sustainability of cannabis cultivation, although nascent because of its illegal federal status, indicates an array of environmental impacts. Growing cannabis requires massive water and energy resources while contributing to air, land and water pollution and soil damage. Corwin is part of a small but growing group of farmers working to transform the least green parts of the industry into more sustainable and profitable practices.

Photography courtesy of Stone Road Farms.

Turning Grass Blue

Cannabis is a water-intensive crop. Grown indoors or in the wild, each plant requires between five  and six gallons of water per day—nearly twice that of other commodity crops. In California, irrigated agriculture already accounts for 70 percent to 80 percent of all water consumption. 

Inside Stone Road’s half-acre of greenhouses, says Corwin, the plants require much less than five gallons of water per week because they’re small, thanks to their two- to three-month lifecycle. The outdoor plants grown on his 57-acre outdoor farm, however, grow for four to six months and require much more water “because they’re massive.”

Unlike most cannabis operations, Stone Road doesn’t use municipal or stream water, instead irrigating its indoor and outdoor plants from two wells that draw from an underground aquifer. This geologically unique system preserves nearby aquatic ecosystems and ensures that Stone Road has ample supplies, even during droughts. 

Stone Road’s sustainable infrastructure stands in stark contrast to the water stolen by unlicensed cannabis operations across the Golden State. In San Bernadino County alone, a reported 4,000 acre-feet of water was stolen in 2021—enough to submerge 4,000 football stadiums in a foot of water.

Water woes aren’t just an issue for California farmers; Colorado cannabis growers face an even drier future. Home to the worst conditions in the West, more than half of the state is in some level of drought, with 86 percent of the water supply already dedicated to agriculture. 

Those numbers don’t concern Andrew Mahon, head of cultivation at Veritas in Denver. “We built our own irrigation system to fit the style of growing we do,” he says. Seasoned cultivation staff, not a digital sensor, determine the precise amount of moisture the plants need. 

Consequently, the 20,000 square feet of grow space at Veritas uses significantly less water than the average indoor cannabis farm—half to one gallon a day during flowering and just 100 to 200 millilitres a day during the vegetation stage, says Mahon. 

Water-conscious techniques like these don’t just prevent overwatering. They can also stem the flow of runoff, which can tax local water treatment systems. That’s because many cannabis operations apply insecticides, acaricides, fungicides and plant growth regulators that can disrupt habitats of fish, amphibians and rare carnivores. 

While Mahon could use EPA-registered pesticides, he says he primarily chooses minimum-risk pesticides “typically composed of essential oils like rosemary oil [and] thyme oil.” Corwin eschews chemicals altogether, instead opting for “an army of predator mites, ladybugs and beneficial fungi” to deter other pests, stave off mold and keep the farm’s water supply clean.

LED growlights at Veritas Fine Cannabis. Photography courtesy of Veritas.

Cooling Down Energy Use

Indoor grow houses allow farmers to govern the lifecycle of cannabis using artificial lighting and climate control, which enables rapid turnaround for sometimes dozens of harvests each year. But with that speed comes massive greenhouse gas emissions from lighting, heating, cooling and dehumidification—powered mostly by petrochemicals. 

“The elephant in the room,” says Mahon, “is LED lighting.” For years, the industry has relied on high-intensity discharge lamps such as metal halides and high-pressure sodium lights (HSPs), fixtures considered efficient by 1960s and 1970s standards. Compared to HSPs, light-emitting diodes provide more light, require very little energy to run and emit far less heat, substantially reducing the demand for cooling and the energy in general required to produce cannabis.

Dion Foley, chief of operations at Koala Green Development in Adelanto, California, prefers the new tech. “LEDs are insanely more energy efficient,” he says. Koala Green Development has been growing with LEDs since 2018, and its 15,000 square feet of grow space costs $20,000 per month to power. Similarly sized facilities not growing with LEDs, says Foley, spend between $50,000 and $60,000.

For some growers, the cutting edge of sustainability in cannabis has moved toward energy generation. At Stone Road, on-site solar panels provide enough power to run the supplemental LED lighting in the greenhouses. Because the sides can be opened manually to cool the plants and prevent mold, there’s no need for HVAC or dehumidifying, says Corwin. 

Growing under LEDs also allows for much higher yields each harvest, “meaning that grows will not have to be as large in the future and, therefore, the footprint of the industry will decrease over time,” says Mahon.

While Veritas has not fully switched to LEDs, Mahon says the company has plans to upgrade in the near future. In the meantime, more than a quarter of Colorado’s energy currently comes from wind and solar, and 2022 was the first year that renewables generated more energy than coal and nuclear power. As the grid continues to decarbonize and LEDs become the industry standard, the emissions of indoor cannabis cultivation will continue to shrink. 

.

LED growlights at Koala Green Development. Photography courtesy of Koala Green Development.

Pot’s Pernicious Plastics

Zipper bags, rigid “doob tubes,” spent vape cartridges and other plastic pollution generated by marijuana packaging also contribute to the global plastic crisis, although it’s unclear how much of an impact cannabis packaging has on an already massive problem . A jaw-dropping 363 billion pounds of plastics choke the world’s oceans, eventually finding their way into the human food chain. Single-use plastics also take hundreds of years to decompose, releasing harmful methane and ethylene gasses as they do. 

A daily surfer, Corwin says he can’t imagine swimming into a piece of plastic packaging that his company had created, which is why Stone Road’s current packaging is made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials and will soon be 100% plastic-free.

Stone Road’s plastic-free packaging. Photography courtesy of Stone Road Farms

Yet plastic remains the most popular packaging material in the industry. Of the limited number of options that meet the child safety regulations, plastic is the most economically priced, says Foley. A glass jar, for example, can cost $1.50, whereas a Mylar bag can cost as little as $0.20.

When opting for plastic over glass, Foley says an established company could save between $10,000 and $75,000 a year, depending on the number of accounts. That might not seem like a lot of money in the context of a $37-billion industry; but, he says, “cannabis companies are operating on extremely tight margins in the current struggling cannabis market. 

“You’d charge a dispensary somewhere between $2.50 and $5 more per eighth (3.5 grams) for jarred cannabis,” he continues, with the cost of sustainable packaging passed on to consumers. That poses a problem for producers in a market increasingly flooded with product, driving down prices for both legal and illegal cannabis. Corwin says this has led consumers to prioritize “value over everything.”

Foley swore up and down he’d never sell cannabis in plastic until the price of doing business pushed his hand. Many farmers simply “can’t justify doing something that’s good for the environment when it costs more,” he says. 

Without financial incentives to encourage more eco-friendly practices, Foley fears many smaller-scale operations won’t have the working capital to make the sustainable switch. To survive the second decade of recreational legalization, cannabis farmers will have to be as resilient as the plants they cultivate.

This new MIP could be a social-equity force multiplier — here’s how

And inside the Legislative debate over hemp-derived intoxicants with Christian Sederberg

JUN 29, 2023

Share

Welcome to another edition of Regulated State! Thanks for letting me hit your inbox.

It’s a relatively slow week in Colorado cannabis news, what with the MAPS conference, Pride and all. But I still have some great conversations for you to check out, a new Social Equity Spotlight with a beverage manufacturer whose product was born out of both joy and tragedy, a new drop from Veritas Fine Cannabis, and some proper news briefs too.

Speaking of Pride: I was at the parade last weekend — which was amazing as always. But the lack of cannabis brands representing stood out to me like a sore thumb. Did I miss any? Let me know so I can give them a shout!

And, here’s a white paper on the state of LGBTQ representation within the cannabis industry that I wrote last year.

This is also the first regularly scheduled newsletter to implement a paywall. As promised, the overall format has stayed the same, but I’ve saved some juicy bits for those of you willing to cough up $5 a month to get the real inside scoop.

No matter what, I appreciate you taking the time to read. It’s a pleasure.

Did somebody forward this to you? Are you ready to upgrade your subscription? 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼Subscribe

Let’s do it, starting with some quick hits:

California-based Jetty Extracts, a cannabis manufacturer, is expanding its Solventless product collection to Colorado, marking its third U.S. market entry. Touting its one-gram Live Rosin Vape free of fillers and cutting agents, Jetty is partnering with Colorado cultivator and retailer Leiffa for the launch. The expansion follows a successful debut in New York, according to a press release. Jetty’s Solventless products, available in a range of strains, can be found at several Colorado dispensaries with more to come in the next months. Further Jetty product lines are set to roll out in late 2023.


Boulder-based Wana Brands, meanwhile, just doesn’t stop making moves. This time, its targeting new customers over the summer with product innovations, unique events and over $15,000 in premium giveaways. They’ll be promoting their “Quick” line of products — the two most recent of which utilize minor cannabinoids to relieve stress and “address a range of recreational and wellness goals,” according to the company. Wana plans to expand its audience by participating in non-traditional cannabis industry events and launching a nationwide “Enhance Your Summer” sweepstakes. For each Wana purchase until Labor Day, consumers can enter to win prizes, including a $10,000 dream vacation or equivalent cash.

In the meantime, the Canadian MSO that paid nearly $300 million for the rights to purchase Wana Brands isn’t doing so hot. A quick analysis of their 2023 fiscal year earnings report is near the end of the newsletter.


How a new MIP could be a social-equity gamechanger and force multiplier

Sarah Woodson, provided by The Color of Cannabis

Sarah Woodson is an advocate, an executive and entrepreneur who owns or leads three (soon to be four) businesses. And just weeks ago, she announced that she’s signed the lease on a 9,000-square-foot “turnkey” cannabis manufacturing facility, or MIP, in Denver proper through her organization The Color of Cannabis.

She recently took the time to chat with me about the why of it all, and how she envisions it working out

FWIW: Her other businesses include My Cannabis Tours — the first ever licensed cannabis bus that promises a “high-flying” experience as it makes stops at dispensaries offering exclusive deals and discounts, along with roundtrip airport transportation. The Color of Cannabis helps aspiring social-equity entrepreneurs learn the complex ins and outs of Colorado cannabis compliance and laws, while Kush & Canvases offers a place to toke up and make great (or not so great) art.

That fourth business? It’s a “small CBD store” that will soon celebrate its grand opening, Woodson said.

“Essentially, I’m always trying to find ways for people to actually open their businesses,” Woodson told me over the phone. “There’s a lot of organizations that help. I consider us to be the best in our market, and I stand on that. But as a business owner, I have an additional insight and I know what the challenges are.”

One of the biggest challenges she noted was the cost of space, especially for folks who were looking to start infused-products businesses. And many of the entrepreneurs she works with are young in their roles — first-timers — and some are a little gun-shy when it comes to working with landlords. She would show up with them to important meetings as the executive director of The Color of Cannabis, which carries some weight.

But the costs: $10,000, $12,000, $15,000 — “astronomical amounts,” as she puts it, were just too high.

“I know that a $15,000 overhead in a space where it’s gonna take you about six to seven months to even get licensed, it’s just not — it’s not possible,” Woodson told me. “The people that I work with don’t have that type of capital.”

So when this facility became available, she couldn’t let the opportunity pass by.

It’s a plan more than a year in the making, Woodson said.

She approached the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division with a novel approach that would allow each separate space inside a manufacturing facility to be addressed individually so that it counts as a physical location to meet the state’s rules surrounding licenses. A cannabis manufacturing license must have a physical location tied to it.

“They came back and they were like, ‘Yeah, we think it’s possible.’”

The MED and Denver’s Excise and Licenses department, which regulates cannabis in the Mile High City, have been a tremendous help, she said.

One promising location fell through — a misfortune that “devastated” her and her fellow entrepreneurs.

“I was like, ‘You guys, don’t worry. You know, hang in there. It’s the long game.’”

And then the “completely turnkey” location showed up and things are happening.

The Color of Cannabis has an office space on site. They share the costs of doing business — rent, security, compliance, software — with four other businesses currently, and two more on the way.

And compliance is key: If products want to be transferred between spaces in the building, they must complete a Metrc manifest just like any other businesses moving cannabis. The space is unique, but the rules are universal (at least in Colorado).

“What we’ve created is essentially almost like a coworking space where everyone’s covering the overhead, but everyone’s an individual business — and when you step out of the door, it’s like you’re stepping out on the street,” Woodson told me.

Most of the four businesses that have committed to working out of the new space will be familiar to my readers: C’est la vie Coffee, owned by Nicholas GoodwinLa Vida Dulce, founded by founded by husband-and-wife duo Desiree and Dijonn Duran; Strain16, owned by Jamana Jamison (keep reading to meet her and her company); and resin manufacturer Monster Melts, who I haven’t yet had the pleasure of speaking to.

One of the more exciting aspects of this whole thing to me, personally, is the scalability of it. Each entrepreneur can use their space to host an accelerator program — a function created by the state that allows a “accelerator-endorsed licensee” to “host” a social-equity licensee on their licensed premises.

That means, technically, that this space for six businesses actually has the potential to launch 12 social-equity companies. It’s a big move. A big deal.

Only one established cannabis company — Smokey’s Cannabis Co. in Trinidad — has offered their space as an accelerator host, Woodson told me, while all of her current tenants have made a commitment to act as accelerators.

“And that is something that’s doable, and that is something that will help people get their business started and hopefully operational,” Woodson said.

Why Sarah Woodson is done with the term “social equity” — and inside the stakeholder process to even the playing field for cannabis delivery drivers.

Paid subscribers get access to bonus content, intelligence and insights. $5. Sign up today!Subscribe


Inside the compromise hemp-intoxicants bill with Christian Sederberg

Christian Sederberg, provided by VS Strategies

While I’ve spent a lot of time in this newsletter focused on the social-equity side of this past Legislative session (also: see above), a bill potentially just as important to the cannabis industry — both reputationally and economically — passed with a quieter, but just as serious, debate.

Senate Bill 23-271 tackled the proliferation of hemp-derived intoxicants, or often chemically modified extracts such as delta-8 THC. These intoxicating chemicals, federally legalized through the 2018 Farm Bill and essentially unregulated, are being sold at natural-food stores and gas stations across the country.

In Minnesota, these products arguably led to the full legalization of adult-use cannabis. But anecdotally, I’ve spoken to people who’ve had some seriously dark, scary experiences consuming the supposed same product by the same brand that once gave them a great high.

And as a matter of fact, more than 100 “reports of adverse events in patients,” over half of which required emergency medical services (such as hospitalization), have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since Dec. 1 2020.

In Colorado, the first state to regulate the sale of adult-use cannabis, this posed a potential problem — both to the status and health of the already-struggling traditional cannabis sector, and to hemp farmers and extractors who were making a product technically legal.

“We definitely had at the beginning, I would say, sort of two camps — trusting, but looking at the other side thinking, ‘OK, this is the cannabis industry; they’re trying to protect their business.’ [and] ‘This is the hemp industry; they’re trying to protect and expand their business, and this is all about money,’” VS Strategies Partner Christian Sederberg told me during a recent video call. “But pretty quickly, we all agreed that this was really about public safety.”

Sederberg was in the room as an industry leader who represented both camps that both worked hard to find compromise, he said.

He pointed to other leaders, like the Stanley brothers of Charlotte’s Web, and other members of a task force created by the Legislature last year in creating guardrails in what he called “a belt-and-suspenders” approach.

“The belt being we established very clear serving sizes, package sizes, age-gating, and other safeguards,” Sederberg said. The suspenders are that the state agencies can look at these things as the market adjusts and as we see things coming online and make further adjustments going forward.”

The new legislation, signed by Gov. Jared Polis on June 7, includes several new rules and restrictions, including:

  • Classifying both “hemp- and marijuana-derived compounds and cannabinoids” into three categories (as explicitly listed in the bill):
    • Nonintoxicating cannabinoids;
    • Potentially intoxicating compounds; and
    • Intoxicating cannabinoids
  • Giving the MED and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regulatory authority over all three classifications
  • Allowing Colorado hemp manufacturers and extractors to sell their federally legal intoxicating products across state lines
  • Defining and limiting serving sizes
  • Age-gating purchases of intoxicating hemp products and hemp products designed to be eaten or smoked to 21

“So I think we really came together by the end, even though nobody on either side was super happy with the end result and had some pretty significant concerns,” Sederberg told me. “That usually is the sign of a good bill, when everyone’s got their complaints.”

Get wonky and dive into the details of the legislation as broken down in a VS memo and letter to the governor.

Paid subscribers get bonus content like this in their biweekly emails, in addition to bonus newsletters, analysis and breaking news. $5!Subscribe


Social Equity Spotlight: Strain16

Jamana Jamison, provided by Jamana Jamison

Strain16 is an infused-beverages manufacturer launched by Jamana Jamison. The result of years of experimentation and an homage to her passed brother, Strain16 will be setting up shop in the new MIP leased by The Color of Cannabis. Jamana was kind enough to spend some time chatting with me.

The following Q&A has been edited for style.

Share

First, let’s talk about your brand and products. Strain16 has developed a line of infused beverages — a hot commodity in the cannabis market right now. Tell us about the flavors and dosage. Strain16 is a small-batch craft-beverage company that will offer high-quality, euphoric drink experiences. We’ve developed an initial line of lemonade-based beverages with signature pairings of other fruit favorites like strawberry, mango and pineapple.

It was a high priority to create a drink that found the sweet spot in balancing great taste and desired effect. Our plan is to dose each drink somewhere between 30 and 50 mg per package, and I truly believe we’ve curated a product that is dosed for the consumer’s enjoyment. We’re in the final stages of product development and look forward to sharing our fresh take on such a classic drink.

And the THC is relatively fast acting. How soon after drinking your lemonade will the average consumer feel its effects? Yes, our beverages are infused through a nano-emulsion process and the average consumer will feel the effects within 15-20 minutes. I’ve made the age-old mistake of doubling up on an edible when I believed the feeling wasn’t happening fast enough. Then shortly afterwards I felt like I could touch the moon for 13 hours. I wouldn’t want that to be an experience any of my customers have.

You weren’t always a “weed person.” Like many of us, you were raised with the “Just Say No” ethos. Tell us about how and why you decided to start experimenting with cannabis-infused food and beverage. I was raised in the era when “Just Say No” was one of the most memorable marketing campaigns. There was this commercial where there was a hot frying pan, and then a voiceover guy said, “This is drugs.” Then an egg was cracked open over the hot pan and as the egg started the fry, the voiceover guy says, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” It was kind of a scared straight moment for me. I was convinced drugs were bad and marijuana was too.

However, in 2014, my older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38. I remember the day she received the diagnosis. I remember crying a lot! Once the family was able to talk through our tears, my brother (middle child) said to my sister, “Well, it’s not your time to lay down, so we’re going to get through it together.” And those were our marching orders.

We all sat in the hospital with her whenever allowed. Chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery — she did it all. My sister started to realize that she has so many prescriptions and all the side effects began to negatively impact her quality of life. She expressed an interest in finding a new pain management option, and she was open to using marijuana for pain relief, but discreetly.  

I decided to experiment with cooking with weed. I fell in love with it. I researched online how to infuse foods with cannabis. I went from making flavored butters, dipping sauces, and meals for her to hosting “elevated” dinner parties at my brother’s house for 30 guests at a time.

And what was the impetus that led you to focus on cannabis beverages, and how does the story of your brother tie into your brand? Growing up in a single-parent household, my sister, brother and I grew up very close. They’ve always been my biggest supporters in whatever I decided to pursue. If I needed a taste tester, a party host or help pivoting my vision my brother was the first phone call.

When I decided to incorporate drinks into the menu for my dinner parties, he made a point to pull me to the side and say, “The dinners are great, but the drinks are the best move.” That ignited the spark for me to adjust my products exclusively focus on creating THC-infused craft beverages.

Unfortunately, my brother passed away unexpectedly in January of last year. Our family was completed devastated. I questioned everything about my purpose and continuing this path of being a cannabis entrepreneur.  2022 shifted into a time of introspection and being intentional in determining if this journey was one I wanted to continue. He was so present in developing this brand, and him not being here (physically) to see it come to fruition was never a part of any plan.

Ultimately, I chose to push forward. I decided to rebrand, and it was so important to find a name that reflected the journey I am on. According to Merriam-Webster, the first definition of the word “strain” means “lineage, ancestry.”

When my brother passed away, he was 44 (4×4=16) and I gave birth to my second son 16 days after his passing. Strain16 means so much more than creating infused craft beverages. It’s a way to honor my brother and curate a drink experience that shares his legacy with the world. I believe in my heart Strain16 a pivot he’d be proud of.

You’re currently renewing your MIP license. Tell us about the brick-and-mortar you’ll be able to connect to that license. Yes! I am extremely excited about this new space. I originally initiated the application process back in 2021, but since I was not able to find a manufacturing space within a year, I had to start the licensing process over. I attended a cannabis business conference last year and I met Sarah Woodson, CEO of The Color of Cannabis. I was able to sign up for a 10-week business course through her organization. She is truly championing for the social equity small business folks and helping develop a blueprint for success in this industry.  

TCC has secured a MIP shared space and I am fortunate enough be able to lease a manufacturing space there. 

What is Colorado doing right when it comes to social equity, and what could it do better? Colorado is on the right track in leveling the playing field when it comes to social-equity applicants gaining access to the industry. I’m grateful the policymakers are giving space and opportunity to develop a more inclusive plan for those small business owners who may not have access to large amounts of capital or an extensive network of resources. They’ve made tremendous strides in implementing licensing fee subsidies and renewal cost adjustments. However, getting into the industry is only one aspect of it. Right now, many social equity licensees live in the blind spot of corporate cannabis. Once smaller businesses get up and running, there’s still the hurdle of getting products and services on shelves of dispensaries and out to consumers.

If the industry gave true consideration and opportunity for collaboration on bills like HB23-1020, which would afford license holders a level of autonomy to establish their own customer base, that would eliminate so many barriers to entry and provide a true chance at building successful and sustainable cannabis companies.

As it stands now, our success is at the mercy of a dispensaries’ interest in partnering with us and if the interest doesn’t exist, then all our investments will be for naught.

The business of cannabis is one that comes with a high price tag and some of us have cashed in our savings and are tapped out on our limited resources, while others have paid the cost with their freedom. And we’re still met with opposition.

We want to follow our passions, build our legacies, and do good business and we have every right to do so. It’s imperative the generation of entrepreneurs after us to know we were here, and we understand the value of building an equitable framework that will prove beneficial to their dreams as well.


EARNINGS

Canopy Growth Corporation had a pretty terrible fiscal year 2023, with net revenue dropping 21% year-over-year to $403 million. Despite cost reduction initiatives, decreased debt by approximately $500 million and SG&A and COGS cutbacks, the company that paid $298 million for the rights to purchase Wana Brands still grappled with revenue decreases due to divestitures.

A major concern was discovered with material misstatements in Canopy’s BioSteel sports drinks business unit’s financial statements, leading to a securities class action in California Central District Court — and management changes.

However, there were some positive developments: The company’s Canadian medical cannabis revenue grew 6% year-over-year, and the Tweed brand, which manufactures edibles and sells flower, saw a resurgence in the adult-use market.

An agreement with Indiva Limited will allow the distribution, marketing, and sales of Wana branded products in Canada, which is expected to boost Adjusted EBITDA and advance the company’s leadership in the edibles category.

We’ll see.


NEW DROPS

Denver cultivators Veritas Fine Cannabis have released a new product line — and this time it’s as much about the quantity as it is the quality.

Press photo. Provided by Veritas Fine Cannabis.

“When consumers buy an eighth of an ounce, one of the most popular flower offerings in dispensaries, they find themselves out of cannabis so quickly,” President Jon Spadafora said in an email. “But for consumers purchasing a full ounce, they can’t finish their product before it dries out. That’s where Veritas comes in.”

The solution? Pre-packaged half-ounce jars.

You can soon find the jars at the following locations:

  • Rocky Mountain Cannabis, Trinidad
  • Canna Cabinet, Pueblo
  • The Dispo, Pueblo
  • Magnolia Road, Boulder
  • Magnolia Road, Broomfield
  • Spark Dispensary, Denver
  • Best Budz, Colorado Springs
  • Cannabicare, Cimarron Hills

Dream Team of Artists Turned a Dispensary Into the Meow Wolf of Marijuana

THOMAS MITCHELL JUNE 29, 2023 10:41AM

Spark Dispensary enlisted over twenty artists to work on the new store, including Birdcap, who painted part of the west wall.

Spark Dispensary enlisted over twenty artists to work on the new store, including Birdcap, who painted part of the west wall. Thomas Mitchell

Ruben Cabrera, better known by his artist moniker of Rubezilla, has painted murals for nearly twenty dispensaries around Colorado. It’s fun, steady work, Cabrera says, and the store walls provide him with large canvases.

When Spark Dispensary decided to upgrade its retail space and move next door into 4799 Colorado Boulevard, general manager Dan Holom thought Cabrera was a natural choice to work on the new store. The Denver artist was interested, but thought he saw an opportunity to do more than a mural.

What the two parties eventually settled on was a playground for Denver’s art space that stretches from the inside of the dispensary to the area around it.

Locally and nationally renowned street artists like NychosChris HavenDetour, Birdcap, Shane Huss, Casey Kawaguchi, Hiero Veiga and Marissa Napoletano are just some of the people whom Cabrera persuaded to paint on Spark’s walls, rooftop and awnings. Cabrera didn’t stop there, though. He also convinced SMiLE to create animal-focused stencil art and got painted vases for the interior from Joshua Genius, as well as collages from art duo Grantedly Cordial and indoor graphic projections from Actualize Visuals. And, of course, Rubezilla’s work is represented, too.

RELATED STORIES

300-style collaboration from Spark artists. 

Thomas Mitchell

“The paint days just turned into sessions. It really turned into a collaboration of Denver’s art scene,” Cabrera says. “The goal here was turning this place into an art museum. These are more than regular murals, though. These are AR-activated.”

Paintings on Spark’s outdoor walls and several indoor installations have QR codes and marked spots where visitors should stand to look at augmented-reality versions of the artists’ work, which can involve anything from changing colors and patterns to new details and characteristics on murals. Artist collaborations are easy to find throughout the property, including a long retaining wall that echoes the Spartan movie 300.

SMiLE’s stencils and animal art can be found outside, on the west side of the building. 

Thomas Mitchell

Upon walking into the dispensary, customers see an oil painting on the ceiling by Chelsea Lewinsky — “we wanted to make it like the Sistine Chapel, and she nailed it,” Cabrera says — as well as a “virtual-reality corner” for selfies and photos, an old gutted Macintosh computer filled with a Lego diorama, and a history of cannabis laws in the United States on the wall under a customer-service desk.

“There’s street art, there’s fine art, and there’s a lot of other stuff. These are all artists I’ve followed and been inspired by during my career,” he continues. “Their response was great, too. For people who didn’t get their own wall, we kind of just left it up to them and the homies.”

A LEGO diorama is just one of several indoor art instillations. 

Thomas Mitchell

Spark co-owner Joseph Gira was excited to create a Meow Wolf-like marijuana store, but paying a fair rate for so many artists — some of whom rarely exhibit their work, according to Cabrera — took a decent amount of money. To help foot the bill, Holom and Spark connected Cabrera and the artists with Colorado cannabis brands like 710 Labs, Artsy and Veritas Fine Cannabis, which sponsored various pieces around the dispensary.

“We’ve done murals before, but we wanted to do something different. The best part is, you don’t have to be 21 to see a lot of the work that is outside of the dispensary,” says Spark marketing consultant Robert Folse, who helped coordinate the installations and buildout.

On top of being a “summer camp for artists” and giving him an excuse to watch 300 again, Cabrera hopes the dispensary’s installations will help sell artists’ merchandise. The store has retail space set aside for T-shirts and other gear made by Spark creators, and he and Folse plan to have live-painting sessions at the store.

Although most of the art at Spark was completed in April, it’s only “about 80 percent done,” Cabrera says, and updates are always a possibility.

Find a video tour of Spark Dispensary below.
https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cs6gkRLAoqP/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=14&wp=758&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.westword.com&rp=%2Fmarijuana%2Fdenver-artists-turned-spark-dispensary-into-the-meow-wolf-of-marijuana-17088065#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A1010.5%2C%22ls%22%3A95.60000000149012%2C%22le%22%3A875.5%7D

KEEP WESTWORD FREE… Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we’d like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it’s more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Make a one-time donation today for as little as $1.

THOMAS MITCHELL has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He’s currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.

CONTACT: Thomas Mitchell

FOLLOW:

Facebook: thomasmitchelljourno

Instagram: @tompettie

Donate to Last Prisoner Project

$