Colorado knows the way to grow

An exclusive look at the new legal cannabis industry in Colorado from a legal weed store proprietor.

By Victoria Borealis

As we sat in a circle in a friend’s garage, smoking the 20 sac the 5 of us pitched our lunch money on, sharing stories, and dreams, my friends and I would have never actually thought that our visions of “weed stores” and a broad selection of different strains in a retail setting would become a reality.

Progressive minds see ways to implement a cannabis based system and are diligently working to see it come to fruition. Those individuals run into opposition when confronted with money hungry, controlling individuals who think their way is the only way without any prior experience in the production of cannabis, and it is sometimes challenging to remain professional. But ultimately, people realize their motivation needs to be behind the plant and their patients.

The vibe here is surreal. Those who were hateful have opened their minds and users who were skeptical of the system are now fabulously intrigued, asking all the right questions of activists who have seen the vision of a fully integrated cannabis based system for a while now and have been anonymously and diligently standing their ground in order to see it come to fruition.

Legal cannabis in Colorado: Holistic Life Dispensary

Holistic Life Dispensary

As for myself, I am focused on clearly founding my position in the industry and tying up loose ends in order to solidify business and personal connections. I’d like to see a tight knit, supportive community of pro-active and successful individuals who carry an air of altruism and can swallow their pride enough to take meaningful advice and offer their own in return.

The vision I have for my business is built based on a symbiotic anarchy mentality; where everyone is responsible for consistently taking care of themselves in order to be fully energized to provide service for the whole when necessary.

The emblem I chose is Egyptian and it symbolizes “city/village”, which is the atmosphere I’d like to create. I don’t want to just give people a place to work, I want to give them a place to feel at home and a place to grow.

Green Man Cannabis Weed Store in Colorado

Murial of Green Man Cannabis

As for dispensaries, some are revelling in the successes of a recreational storefront and others are hanging on by a thread, combating lawsuits and more hoops to jump through to stay medicinal. This is where the true colors are coming out and this is a chance for patients and consumers to decide which dispensaries they want to keep supporting and which may be in the industry for completely selfish reasons.

Some experienced cannabis users are turning to home growers in order to get their hands on quality meds. Self-indulgence has become the sole focus of some owners and their patients end up suffering. I hope to be a force in knocking some sense into those owners.

Cannabis price list at the Green Man legal weed store in Colorado.

Artsy photo of dried leaves on top of a legal cannabis menu in the USA.

This time in our history presents a rare opportunity to see the inner workings, pitfalls, and healthy attributes of big business. It is an awesome moment to peek behind the veil and witness the vows between science and nature. It is a must that evolutionaries be aware, attentive, and confident enough to take action when they see innocent people being used or taken advantage of and to stop themselves from doing the same. It is up to us to stay true to our purpose and implement pre-emptive and protective measures in order to ensure balance and ultimately a sustainable system of wealth distribution, symbiosis, and growth. All we have to do is break down those protective walls, for there is nothing to be protected from other than health, wealth, and prosperity.

We need to cultivate humility in order to scratch each other’s backs right now. We have to stay focused and see this through. I hope this community and humanity as a whole realizes that it’s time to leave behind the pettiness and cheap thrills and start discussing ways to clean up our act in order to further our stay here on earth and before we annihilate ourselves out of sheer ignorance.

It takes two doses of humility, a dose of team work, and a strong will to set up a legal cannabis system. We couldn’t have done it without open minds and hearts, and a necessity to evolve. It is a clear, but treacherous path to take, but we wouldn’t have it any other way and we can only hope to be a beacon of light in the darkness of prohibition for other countries who feel the same way.

It has been a wild ride in the industry – learning, giving, receiving, helping, and supporting, and we still have so far to go! I am thankful for all the awesome souls who have made this dream a reality and who continue to place good nature and integrity back into the web of humanity! It is so beautiful to see so many creative individuals coming together to support each other in their diverse business undertakings. We would not be here without each other, remember that. ¢½

Thank you for staying aware and staying lifted.

White Widow Wax at Green Man legal weed store, Colorado.

White Widow Wax at Holistic Life. This process is done by running butane through a receptacle full of bud or shake which freezes off the trichromes and leaves the leaf parts behind. You then heat the butane and trichome mixture until all of the butane has evaporated, leaving concentrated hash.

Victoria Borealis is a Colorado native and 10 year proponent of cannabis acceptance and integration

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  1. We have a further problem in the UK – separating cannabis from tobacco smoking. You cannot make cannabis safe or acceptable whilst the habit is to smoke it mixed with tobacco. I think this British habit is a hang over from the days when you could only buy hash and now it permits people to smoke weed that just tastes awful. Many people who frequent this site will no doubt have great quality stash but what most people get is really dire so mixing it with tobacco makes it more bearable – it is an important factor in the acceptance of poor quality cannabis that is often sold on the streets of Britain. Much of what is now sold would not pass muster in countries where it is smoked without tobacco.
    Having the de facto standard of the mixed tobacco spliff also gives the opposition to legalisation another argument – i.e. cannabis encourages tobacco smoking. There is some truth in this – it is why I had a tobacco habit for nearly 15 years. Also it makes cannabis addictive (as part of this mixture) and leads to the all day problem cannabis smoker that is often touted as an inevitable consequence of cannabis use. So we cannot pretend that what happens in America can be replicated here without tackling our own specific problems first.

    • Yes! I am telling all my friends and trying to convert them to vaporising, great way to enjoy cannabis and also remove the tobacco.

    • A very good point, and one that is often left unaddressed in the UK. As you rightly say, the UK cannabis culture has long been somewhat different to that of the USA, at least as far back as I can remember (I first smoked in the 1970’s), and this difference – most obvious in the tendency to mix cannabis with tobacco has, as you say, contributed to more problems here thatn in the US – from lung disease caused by the tobacco in joints, to increased addiction potential (nicotine, unlike THC and CBD, is indisputeably an addictive drug and is responsible for up to 120,000 deaths per year in the UK – that’s more people every 2 weeks than were killed in 9/11, just to put it into perspective) and, I also believe, has played a role in England in the past becoming a dumping ground for poor quality product: from thenasty soap-bars that crept in in the 80’s; to the tendency in the 90’s of Dutch growers to off-load the lowest grade weed across the North Sea while keeping the better stuff for the Coffee Shop market; to the more recent rise of poor-quality mass-produced domestic bud force-grown with huge amounts of chemical fertilisers, harvested too early, and cured too quickly.
      As the author above says, we need to “start discussing ways to clean up our act” in order to make legalisation an issue that can’t simply be dismissed by its opponents – and part of this process in the UK, I believe, is breaking the insidious link between cannabis and tobacco. Why make it easier for opponents by mixing a relatively harmless substance with a know-to-be dangerous one?

  2. I personally have stopped mixing tobacco with cannabis and I’m finding that i enjoy it alot More, feel alot cleaner inside with a much clearer head. I think it is the blight of the British cannabis smoker and this attitude needs to change
    As for the quality of product we receive, it depends where it is sourced but invariably the more expensive (grade) is disgusting and pre quality. I would grow my own but i don’t think i could get away with it

    • The ‘grow your own’ option in the UK is obviously risky, thanks to the way that the Misuse of Druga Act 1971 is worded. Growing effectively counts as ‘producing’, so in effect by planting a seed and growing a natural plant you are facing the same potential legal penalties as someone who has set up a lab to produce amphetamine sulphate (another Class b drug). And of course its much more difficult to discretely hide one or more growing plants than it is a bag of bought weed.
      UK courts have tended to be remarkaby intolerant of home growers, even when thhey are doing so for medical reasons.
      Often, for example, people are arrested with cuttings or immature plants, and then charrged in court according to a calculation the ‘value’ of the weed they are producing according to the absolute maximum price that could be obtained if every single one of those plants were female, reached maturity, and produced the absolute maximumm amount of bud that would be biologically possible – so you hear of cases where 50 3″ seedlings are described in court as ‘production of cannabis with a potential street value of £100,000’ – as if EVERY seedling will magically sprout into a monster producing 100g of the very highest quality bud that could fetch £20/g (have YOU ever grown a plant that blessed? I havent, despite 30 years of trying!).
      One useful area that I believe we could campaign in is in challenging ridiculous over-estimates of the ‘value’ of cannabis in court cases (which, if someone is growing for personal consumption, is in reality zero – since it will never be sold and therefore NEVER posses a ‘street value’).
      Some years ago, a local newspaper reported that police had seized 3kg of hashish “with an estimated street value of £60,000”. I wrote to the paper, pointing out that either the local police were being deliberately misleading, or else they were paying 2-4x as much as retail price of their dope as the rest of us, and up to 10x the wholesale price – and perhaps it was worth informing them that they were being over-charged?
      Needless to say, the letter was never published…

  3. I think that a lot of people mix tobacco with cannabis simply because they can’t afford to smoke puries. Also I’ve tried to get some many people to switch to vaps and say “I like a joint” but that’s cos really they’re craving evil tobacco. Once it’s legal and the prices come down or we can grow our own there will be a lot more people that smoke puries.

    • Not sure the expense argument wins out – lets do the sums. A good eight of an ounce will produce about 8 decent pure joints (you don’t need a huge joint if you are smoking pure). That eighth might cost £25 – which means each joint costs approximately £3 each which is the cost of a pint of beer (or less). 2 or 3 joints a night is plenty for most people – so your night of drug fuelled enjoyment costs less than £10 which compares favourably with a night out drinking. I know there are people who cannot afford £3 but when you consider you no longer need to buy tobacco and you will smoke far fewer ‘pure’ joints it does work out cheaper. If you really want to save money and get very stoned buy a vaporiser – a sixteenth of an ounce is enough to get you completely out of it every night for a week (that’s less than £2 a day !).
      What I found when I gave up tobacco was that I smoked nearly as many pure joints for the first couple of weeks (I used to smoke 6 to 8 joints a night – I was addicted to the tobacco mixture) then I noticed my consumption reduced drastically to 2 or 3 pure joints a night and less most nights ( a third of the number I used to smoke – so I could put 3 times as much cannabis in each joint to replace the tobacco without spending more money). Once I discovered vaporisers I gave up joints completely and saved even more. I hope this helps some people see that there is a real alternative to an addiction to that tobacco/cannabis mixture.

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