I can’t tell you how much I wish you were here!
While it’s still mostly Winter, it’s only mostly Winter, like mostly dead, it’s not that bad. Some of the flowers are blooming, the birds are ready to party and it smells like the perfect combination of Christmas tree farm and freshly tilled garden soil. It’s every bit as incredible as you remember. In fact, if you can get away – come over! I’ve found some truly sweet spots to show you.
Short of that, you gotta know: Now would be the ideal time to check out what Colorado is doing with all this legal weed. FOR.real. I thought I knew more than I did and feel like I can make some things easier for you. I share because I’m hopeful that you won’t handle this the same way you did that whole Prohibition thing. That was embarrassing for all of us and I wasn’t even born yet.
If you’re not familiar with the whole history of weed and have the patience of a saint with burning all-night kinda curiosity, check out this piece. I think it’s fairly legit, but I believe nothing, so the diligence is on you. I think we’ve talked about this, so I know that you know and I trust your ability to think critically.
I’ll try to tell you all the good stuff… I’ll Try mightily to not talk too much.
GOING TO THE WEED SHOP (or Rec Store, depending on who you ask)
I felt dorky and awkward and saw people in suits and soccer moms and hippies and skater punks. It was all good, I didn’t look like it was my first time.
There was a security guard standing in the parking lot and the adjacent 7-11 is fat with signs that threaten to tow cars within nanoseconds if the drivers dare park there to shop weed. Seemed kinda intense and we hadn’t even gone in yet. It kinda looked like a renovated gas station with crazy locking doors installed indoors to keep people in and out of protected areas.
Business is brisk from open to close and all exchanges are done in cash, just like the last 40 years in America, but the business model is clinical and way more impersonal than going to see your buddy a couple blocks over. I’ve been told there is most often a line that wraps around the outside of the buildings, but that wasn’t the case when I was there.
This one had a big entry with a counter along the wall and two certified weed workers (you have to be registered to work in the industry, apparently. Cost $150) standing at ASUS laptops, next to a kinda gigantic ATM. Made me wonder what they charged for transaction fees and how happy they were with those laptops and if they got insurance and how they were paid.
Once they’ve put your driver’s license information into their system, you sit for a couple minutes on the benches that line the room. When the Clipboard Person comes through a door and calls your name, you go through a different set of locking doors to sit on another long bench facing a bunch of doors with all kinds of signs about what to do and what not to do, on them. Before too terribly long, a person comes through the door and calls your name and points you to one of the doors and says “Go in there and have your ID in your hand.”
Our Weed Concierge (That was not his formal title, but that’s what he did) was one of those quintessential young Colorado men with chiseled features and a flavor of handsome that speaks to good breeding and life outdoors. He had the enthusiasm of a cheer-leader and had either memorized his patter, or he truly had done his research and spoke from truth. Regardless, he was more than able to field all the questions and he was a treat to work with.
Sativa or Indica? (I have a preference, but wondered what the company line was on this) He recommended Indica for 1) Creativity 2) Pain Relief and 3) Focus
How much are lollipops? $5/each
chocolate bars? $22/$35
weed? $55/ish for an eighth PLUS tax. If you’ve got an out-of-state driver’s license, your tax is going to be way higher, CO residents are taxed less and Medical Card carriers are taxed even less. Maybe way less, like none. Regardless, if you’re coming all the way here from KS, with cash – bring more than you think you need. (Colorado will gladly relieve you of all that extra cash and turn it into smarter kids, or something.)
What’s the difference between Medical and Recreational: 1) Medical is typically stronger 2) You have to have a card to get Medical (that involved a whole’nother cattle call and some days of patience, supposedly, wherein you go see a recommended physician who DOES NOT give you a prescription for weed, but a note that says something about something and the quality of your life improving. Essentially.) The important parts are right in that sentence.
When you decide what you want, he uses a walkie-talkie to tell the workers in the weed packaging room to be looking for you. You wind through some skinny places to a door with a waist-high window that looks pretty Shawshank Hollywoody, and some mysterious hands reach through the opening with your order. I think there was a one-way mirror involved and lots of cameras. Then you’re in a darker room with another counter and 3 more workers, checking people out at a pretty good clip, on Mac Books. These people had some crazy.good.gear.
In retrospect, I wished I’d asked more about the grow practices because I suspect that, like food, it won’t be long until Monsanto becomes a buzz kill in the mix. I could be wrong and didn’t ask, so I can’t say for sure, but I know the locals say they trust only themselves and can legally keep 2 plants going to meet their needs for about $20/month after the $500 initial set-up.
There are about a bazillion more slices to this pie, that I am way too curious about, so I’ll write again soon. Remind me to tell you about the mountains of cash. No. FOR real. Mountains.of.cash. Cash that can’t be put in an FDIC insured bank. Yea. Think about it. This is a trip! There is SO much to tell you.
I love you and miss you and hope you’re eating out at local restaurants, buying locally made art and no longer changing in phone booths. That was always kinda awkward for me.
PS: If you find my shoes, just give them to Bobby or CeeCee. Xoxo