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Beer companies are looking for new brews with a marijuana edge.






{plus} Haunted Happenings Cider Season And More!

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 3

P e r f o r m a n c e | T e c h n o l o g y | I n n o va t i o n

Los Angeles | San Francisco | Denver | Michigan *OEM & ODM Projects Accepted, Private Labeling 4 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Vape Different7 sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 5

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8 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 9

10 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

ISSUE 10 // VOLUME 3 // 10.2018

FEATURES 75 Scary Stuff

What’s on tap in Colorado’s houses of horror this month.

84 Hanging with

Orphan Elephants

An African safari used to be all about big-game trophy hunting. How lucky for us all that has changed.

94 Gut Feelings

Cannabis could be one part of a holistic depression treatment that starts with the gastrointestinal tract, not the brain.



EAT YOUR FEELINGS Trust your gut and improve your mood

every issue 13 Editor’s Note 18 The Buzz 28 NewsFeed


36 CrossRoads


44 TasteBuds


52 AroundTown


58 LifeStyle


64 TravelWell


126 The Scene


128 HereWeGo

JESSICA LANG DANCE Sensi magazine is published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2018 SENSI MEDIA GROUP LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


High on Hops

Cannabis was once thought to be a threat to the alcohol industry, but beer companies are now looking for new brews with a marijuana edge.


SHE’S WAITING FOR YOU Learn about life from elephants in Africa

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 11

sensi magazine ISSUE 10 / VOLUME 3 / 10.2018


Ron Kolb ron@sensimag.com CEO, SENSI MEDIA GROUP

Tae Darnell tae@sensimag.com PRESIDENT, SENSI MEDIA GROUP

Alex Martinez alex@sensimag.com CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

EDITORIAL sensimediagroup

Stephanie Wilson stephanie@sensimag.com EDITOR IN CHIEF

Leland Rucker leland.rucker@sensimag.com SENIOR EDITOR

John Lehndorff edible.critic@sensimag.com DINING EDITOR

Robyn Griggs Lawrence CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Ricardo Baca COLUMNIST sensimagazine

A RT & D E S I G N Jamie Ezra Mark jamie@akersmediagroup.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Rheya Tanner, Wendy Mak Josh Clark, Deb Matlock akers@sensimag.com DESIGN & LAYOUT


BUSINESS & A D M I N I S T R AT I V E Liana Cameris liana.cameris@sensimag.com PUBLISHER

Richard Guerra richard.guerra@sensimag.com Sarah Hall sarah.hall@sensimag.com Olivia Kemp olivia.kemp@sensimag.com Amanda Patrizi amanda.patrizi@sensimag.com Tyler Tarr tyler.tarr@sensimag.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS

Amber Orvik amber.orvik@sensimag.com CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR

Andre Velez andre.velez@sensimag.com MARKETING DIRECTOR

Hector Irizarry hector@sensimag.com DISTRIBUTION

M E D I A PA RT N E R S Marijuana Business Daily Minority Cannabis Business Association National Cannabis Industry Association Students for Sensible Drug Policy

12 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder





As I write this, the first cool day of fall has ended the long string

of 90-plus degree days in September. There’s something about the waning days of the hot season that makes your body yearn for a little reprieve, to start to crave chunky sweaters, orange-hued decor accents, and steaming bowls of comfort foods. Around the equinox, the human body is primed for change, and I’ve found this feeling to be universal, no matter one’s current climate. I grew up in New Hampshire but spent 12 years in Miami on my way to Colorado; September and October were the height of hurricane season, among the hottest and most humid months year after year, but come mid-September, my instinctual brain would tell me it was time to start layering up. The theme of change is running through this issue, an umbrella topic uniting all of the various stories, from the special report on big-name beer brands getting in on the marijuana magic to the intriguing feature on how gut health is essential to one’s mental health—a change in the long-term school of thought that depression starts in the brain. There’s also a lengthy roundup of all the changes you can find at Colorado’s top ski and snowboard resorts this coming season—which may start this month, if A-Basin and Loveland have any say in it. But really it’s Mother Nature’s call, and despite the break in heat at the end of September, it doesn’t look good for any early-season runs this year. I hope to be proven wrong; it happens often, something my Type-A brain finds challenging, but I am working on creating better habits, striving to make little changes to my daily routine in the pursuit of a better self. This quest is aided by some of the habit-tracking apps I rounded up in the Buzz this month—handy tools that make it easy to celebrate the little wins throughout the day. This change issue came about as a way to do a politics issue without doing a politics issue the month before what’s on track to be one of the most consequential midterm elections of my lifetime. The NewsFeed this month deals with some of Colorado’s pot-friendly politicians, and it’s both informative and engaging—not always the easiest feat for a political piece, but one our senior editor handles with aplomb. Change is in the air. Be the change you wish to see, to paraphrase that quote misattributed to Gandhi. Vote like your life depends on it.


sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 13


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High-End Infusions The LEVO II debuts this month.

It may look like a sleek espresso machine, but that’s not a caffeine buzz you’re feeling. The LEVO is the first-ever kitchen appliance designed to infuse butter or oil with any herb—including the elevating one with the herb nickname. An herb is an herb after all, as LEVO founder Chrissy Bellman often says. Bellman came up with the concept after watching her roommates struggle to make infusions, making a mess, smelling up the dorm room, and arguing about best practices the whole time. She knew there had to be a better way. The resulting LEVO devices make creating infusions easier than brewing a cup of coffee. 1) Fill the herb pod with the herb of your choice. 2) Put it in the reservoir. 3) Fill the reservoir with the oil of your choice. 4) Hit the “infuse” button, adjust the time and temperature based on the handy Time & Temp calculator, and let the LEVO work its magic. 5) Dispense your infusion with the touch of a button—no filtering required—and enjoy. 6) Toss the components in the dishwasher and call it a day. The LEVO II, debuting this month in a spectrum of catchy hues, also features a range of new functions and features—including the cannabis-specific “activate” mode, which preps the plant for elevated infusions. From lavender-infused sesame oil to Blue Dreambased cannabutter and beyond to basil-infused coconut oil used to make body scrubs, there’s no limit to the range of concoctions you can DIY. Tip: dispense into a pretty jar, top with a bow, and voila! Homemade gifts for the holidays. LEVO I, $149.99; LEVO II, $349.99. LEVOOIL.COM

18 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

– Stephanie Wilson

Gimme S’More

The Green Solution’s truffle treat is no trick. If this summer’s prolific fire bans left you craving some more s’mores, the Green Solution has the solution—and it doesn’t involve camping, firewood, or skewers. It does, however, involve a 10 milligram dose of THC. Part of TGS’s NectarBee line, the elevat-


Grilled Cheese & Beer Fest

ing S’more Truffles are made with white chocolate ganache pumped into milk chocolate shells coated

On October 6, the same

group behind delicious and delightful Denver festivals such as Whiskey + Doughnuts, Den-

with a chocolate glaze and a gra-

ver Mini Derby, and Brunch-

ham cracker crumble, all infused

fest present this celebration

with an indica-specific hash oil.

of three of life’s greatest plea-

The delicious nuggets, available

sures: melted cheese, toasted

at all TGS dispensaries, are $2.95


each and worth every penny. –SW


sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 19


Dinner at the Growasis Self-Improvement Starts Now While the school of thought for decades was that it took 21 days to form a new habit, recent studies have shown it can take anywhere from 15 to 254 days to integrate a new behavior into your routine. So, if you want to kick off the New Year with a new you, start working on it now. Developing any new habit starts with routine, and there are so many apps out there designed to help you integrate new behaviors into your daily life. These are three of the top-rated options.

Productive Habit Tracker This app helps you build a whole routine of life-changing habits. It’s fully customizable, making it easy to stick to it. Set goals, watch your progress, get reminders based on location, build streaks for motivation, and celebrate victories with a swipe.

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Mac & Fulton Talent Partners is the most knowledgeable and attentive recruiting service in cannabis, dedicated to promoting professionalism and follow-through follow-th concerning our peers as well as clients, one that will help lay a solid foundation for industry growth and progress.

From October 7 to 11, the ninth annual Harvest Week brings together chefs from 35 of Denver and Boulder’s finest independent restaurants for a dinner series that pays tribute to Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and producers. Each night, six area chefs come together to create a one-of-a-kind popup dinner at the GrowHaus, a nonprofit indoor farm in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. For just $85, diners are treated to a cocktail hour with signature drinks and passed apps, optional GrowHaus tours, a five-course dinner, and an open bar. The week kicks off on Sunday with Boulder Country Farm Night, a culinary celebration of the Boulder farm region. The North Fork Vallley, Arkansas Valley, and Denver farms are all honored through the week by chefs hailing from kitchens at FNG, TAG, Bar Helix, DBar, The Way Back, Julep, Blackbelly Market, Bistro Vendôme, Acreage, Jax Fish House, Ace Eat Serve, El Five, and other top area restaurants. Harvest Week concludes with a zero waste dinner made using the untapped meats and vegetables from the meals prepared throughout the week. It’s all for the benefit of ticket holders’ tastebuds, of GrowHaus, and of Eat Denver, a nonprofit network working to support Denver’s independent restaurant community. Tickets will sell out. –SW


Done: A Simple Habit Tracker What sets this free app apart is the ability to set a goal and track it multiple times a day. Because if your goal is to drink more water, drinking one glass and checking it off the todo list isn’t gonna cut it.

StickK Developed





Yale University, StickK is based on the science-backed idea that you are 300 percent more likely to achieve your goal if you put money on the line. So this app is based on a Commitment Contract you make with your future self, and allows you to bet real money on whether you will reach that goal. Lose that bet, and the money you’ve committed goes to the person or organization of your choice. The StickK developer suggests choosing an Anti

Call us today at (303) 499-2700 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Charity—an organization with a mission you oppose—for an extra layer of motivation. –SW

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 21

Art Lives Here

Step into the homes of Boulder artists during the 2018 Open Studio Tour. The first three weekends of October, more than 130 artists in and around Boulder open the doors of their studios, inviting you in to not just see their work but to learn about their process. It’s part of the Open Studio Tour, which has been happening for the last 23 years. The goal: connect artists with people who love art. The self-guided tour is an adventure of discovery—not to mention a rare opportunity to acquire art right from the creator in the space it was created. To make the most of it, start by downloading the catalog from the Open Studios Tour website and studying it. It’s got info on all 139 artists and their work, the tour schedule, maps, and more. Head to the Museum of Boulder starting September 24 and check out the preview exhibit, which features one piece from each artist in the tour. Then hit the streets. As you navigate Boulder, look for the yellow signs on street corners to help you locate the participating studios. For more info, including tips on buying art directly from the artist, head to OPENSTUDIOS.ORG.

22 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


Feast Your Eyes on This

The 6th-Annual Flatirons Food Film Festival What: A multi-day feast celebrating culinary cinema, complete with film showings, expert speakers, discussions, and food and beverage events. Where: Mostly downtown Boulder, with some films screened at CU-Boulder When: October 11–14 Highlight: Homage to Anthony Bourdain @ 6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 13. It starts with a street food reception, followed by one of the late chef’s favorite films, Babette’s Feast. It’s followed by a Q&A featuring Laurie Woolever, a writer/editor/long-time Bourdain gatekeeper who’s currently writing an authorized book on him. The evening wraps up with an afterparty at Bramble and Hare. How: That depends on the event. You can save by buying a film pass for $70 and see all the features or pick up tickets to individual screenings. –SW MORE INFO: FLATIRONSFOODFILMFEST.ORG

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 23

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{newsfeed } by L E L A N D R U C K E R

HIGH-MINDED CANDIDATES Looking at the future of Colorado cannabis under a new governor. Adult-use cannabis will have been legal in Colorado five years as of Jan. 1, and, for the first time, when the legislature opens that month, John Hickenlooper will not be governor of our state. With about 40,000 Coloradoans involved in the industry and strong support for marijuana from the general public, it’s an important moment. Hickenlooper, who has been in office eight years, has been, to be charitable, lukewarm to cannabis legalization. A beermaker and successful tavern and restaurant owner before serving as Denver mayor and as governor since 2010, the Hick openly opposed Amendment 64, which legalized the recreational market, and only grudgingly implemented its terms. Since then, he has wavered in his support, generally with the back-handed compliment that it hasn’t been as bad as he feared. On this issue, he’s even to the right of Sen. Cory Gardner, who opposed Amendment 64 but defends the state’s right to legalize even to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Hick’s final stab this spring was to veto several cannabis bills supported by both parties, especially one that would have added autism to the list of medical conditions cannabis can treat and another that would have allowed limited social consumption and given tourists a few places to consume. There’s some speculation that he did it because he’s considering a presidential run in 2020 and it makes him look more conservative, but his vetoes stopped some of the momentum that has been building in the legislature to actually treat marijuana like alcohol, as the constitution states. 28 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 29

Term-limited Rep. Jonathan Singer is running as a representative from Longmont for the last time in November. Time was, right after voters passed Amendment 64, that Singer, not a cannabis user himself, was the dominant voice for cannabis reform in the legislature. He says that voters have a real choice in the governor’s race, which pits Democrat Rep. Jared Polis against Republican and state treasurer Walker Stapleton, and that the election will likely make a difference in how marijuana policy is formulated in the state for the near future. “Basically, we have to deal with it or stick our heads in the sand in terms of where we’re going next,” he says. “I wish this weren’t true, but the next governor will dictate how much on the cutting edge we can be on marijuana policy in the next year. Polis has opened the door to thoughtful policies. Stapleton might be a step backwards.” Polis has been a hardy campaigner for cannabis in Congress, though like Sing-

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—Gubernatorial Candidate Jared Polis er, he’s not a user himself. Who could forget his grilling of DEA administrator Michele Leonhart during a 2012 hearing on whether cannabis was as dangerous as heroin? He raised a hemp flag over the dome of Congress, and his business cards, he will proudly tell you, are made with hemp. There are a couple of things, he told me recently, that have defined his position. “As long as you’re not bothering your neighbor, it should be legal, and I saw it as an economic issue for the state for jobs and revenue.” At the same time, he says, “I’ve been watching failed decades of prohibition and how it has distracted law enforcement.” With legalization part of the state constitution and enjoying overwhelming voter support, Stapleton can’t come out against it, but he has called for greater oversight of the medical marijuana industry, suggesting more oversight, especially about what he calls lax rules about obtaining a medical card, which exempts the

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buyer from state taxes, that he claims is hurting the state. He has also associated mental health issues with cannabis use. “Our goal is to showcase Colorado as a model for legalization and how it can work to increase revenue and jobs,” Polis says. “Walker wants to phase out medical marijuana. We would make sure that it was safely available for patients.” To that end, Polis has hired Jonathan Cherkoss as his cannabis outreach coordinator, the first such position in a gubernatorial race, but certainly not the last. Cherkoss is the Polis-campaign’s go-to guy for information and spreading the news about legalization. “We think it’s important not only for economic growth and public safety, but we want to spread the word to everyone,” Polis says.

W W W.C H O O S E T H E L O V E .C O M 30 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Singer says he’s most excited about watching other lawmakers from both

sides of the aisle step up for improving marijuana legislation. HB18-1286, which allows school nurses to give student medical patients their medicine was sponsored by freshman Rep. Dylan Roberts from the Steamboat Springs area. “He gets the credit. He saw how far we had gotten before,” Singer says. “He jumped into it and got it passed.” Polis has been visiting dispensaries and farms during his travels around the state in pursuit of the governorship. He says that talking with voters, he’s hearing from former naysayers that prohibition was a failure. “There are many great stories,” he says. “The Trinidad mayor told us that 20 percent of the city’s revenue comes from cannabis. Pueblo County is handing out scholarships with some of the money. We’re finding decreased crime, decreased underage use, and we’re hearing from patients who benefit medically.” In other state races that could affect cannabis companies, Jena Griswold is running for Secretary of State against Wayne Williams. The office is known for overseeing elections and campaign finance, but it also works with business licensing. She’s a strong supporter of medical marijuana after seeing it benefit her grandmother when she had epilepsy. “I want to make sure that all businesses, including cannabis businesses, have all the tools they need when they organize,” she says. “A lot of people don’t know the steps you need to take to be compliant. I want to streamline that.” All in all, if you support it enthusiastically or are just cannabis-curious, the governor’s race should be slam dunk. “I think the choices are stark,” says Singer. “You’ll see a congressperson who is always pushing the envelope and a state treasurer who doesn’t fundamentally understand how it works in Colorado.”

VO Lik TE! It’s e Yo Rig ur ht

The midterm election on Nov. 6 will shape Colorado— and the nation—for years to come. Make your voice heard. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 31

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{crossroads } by R I C A R D O B A C A

IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE Changing Public Opinion = Changing Drug Policy.





36 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


Changing minds on long-held beliefs is a nearly impossible feat—something we witness daily in 2018 via flame-filled social media threads. So imagine, then, how monumental our national conversation on cannabis has been in the last 25 years. I’ve written this before, but I regularly find it’s worth repeating: The legalization of marijuana represents the single-biggest drug-policy shift of our lifetimes—and that applies equally to the millennials entering high school and the senior citizens entering retirement. But perspective can be difficult, especially in such a rap-


idly changing landscape, so let’s allow this simplified cannabis-in-America timeline to tell the story of how we’ve changed—how we’ve come around to marijuana—and how unbelievably fast this process has happened:

1998: As the first voter-approved cannabis ballot initiative in the world, Proposition 215 passes with overwhelming support in California, creating the first state-recognized medical marijuana program.

2004: Still eight years after Prop 215’s passing, only 20 percent of American Republicans support legal marijuana, according to Gallup, which has polled voters on this one question for more than 50 years. 2012: Eight years later, voters in Colorado and Washington state say yes to a regulated adult-use cannabis market, becoming the first municipalities in the modern world to embark on such a path.



The next year, a majority of Americans support legal mari4uana for the first time, according to Gallup.

2014: A year later, two more states and the District of Columbia legalize recreational weed—the same year as state-regulated recreational markets in Colorado and Washington state open for business, representing the first legal adult-use cannabis sales in the modern world. 2016: Nine states vote on recreational and medical marijuana initiatives. Eight of them pass, including adult-use in California and medical in Arkansas.

2017: The following year, a majority of American Republicans support legal marijuana, according to Gallup.

2018: Canada legalizes adult-use cannabis federally, becoming the first G7 country to do so.

Just look at how hard-fought that change came in those early days. There’s a 16-year gap between medical marijuana passing in California and adult-use passing in Colorado and Washington. But then, everything changes— most notably, our public opinion. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 37

A year after the big elections in Colorado and Washing-

to what they believe. Feeling even slight reservations about

ton—and still a year before they implement those mar-

your current beliefs can set the stage for shifting more of

kets—national opinion finally tips toward legalization

your support toward an alternative point of view.”

for the first time ever. And a few years later a majority of

Of course, the emotional attachment component of our

American Republicans come out in favor of legal marijua-

recent shift in public opinion on cannabis is everything.

na for the first time—a 155 percent increase from not

Californians said yes to medical cannabis when nobody

even 15 years before, when only 20 percent of conserva-

else was considering MMJ legalization in part because

tives supported legal cannabis.

they had a front-row seat to the AIDS crisis in San Fran-

It’s no coincidence: We changed our relationship with cannabis. Then we changed our opinions about marijuana. And then we legalized it.

cisco, where terminally ill patients were finding unparalleled relief in cannabis. More than 15 years later we had another compelling

Yet as historic as these varying marijuana markets are,

human story displaying the still-mysterious medical ef-

none of them exist without this change in public opinion

ficacy of marijuana in Charlotte Figi, the Charlotte’s Web

we’ve witnessed. And given that marijuana has been one of

namesake who was described by an International Business

those long-held issues that divides us, this very recent shift

Times headline as, “The Girl Who is Changing Medical Mar-

in public opinion is that much more compelling and important.

ijuana Laws Across the Country.”

As this smart Fast Company piece points out: “The sense of

That headline is true, though I’d argue that Char-

coherence many of us maintain over our beliefs reflects both

lotte’s amazing story changed hearts and minds before it

knowledge and emotion. Being settled in what you believe

changed actual laws. That’s how this works.

feels good. Ambivalence doesn’t. So to change someone’s

And while the shift in public opinion seems sudden, it was

mind, you also need to address their emotional attachment

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“From the outside, it may look like someone’s changed their mind suddenly, but that’s seldom the case. Usually the steady accretion of facts supporting an alternative position has taken time to build up. Some people may go through a period when they’re explicitly ambivalent about what they believe, but many simply go from strong support for one position to strong support for another…Belief change is a war of attrition, not a search for the knockdown argument that gets someone to see things differently in one fell swoop.” And so to the many innovators and advocates who

nce: hip e d i c n tions o coi It’s n d our rela changed e e hang s. Then w rijuana. c e W nabi about ma it. n a c with pinions legalized our o then we And

came before us—including young Charlotte and Prop 64 author Dennis Peron, who died earlier this year—I give a deep bow of appreciation. Because of their extraordinarily difficult lives and hard work and sharing their stories far and wide, we have been gifted a world of legal cannabis and more compassionate drug policy. RICARDO BACA is a veteran journalist and thought leader in the legal cannabis space and founder of Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency, which handles public relations, content marketing, social media, events, and thought leadership for brands and executives in legal cannabis and other highly regulated industries.

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{tastebuds } by J O H N L E H N D O R F F

THIS CIDER LIFE Colorado’s apple-centric autumn celebrates cider, wood-fired fare, and community. Cider season arrives like a big, deep sigh. It’s that sense of

Happily, cider is undergoing a renaissance with more than

relief that comes when the hot, frenzied weeks of summer

800 cider producers in the United States and the introduction

are over. Autumn here is all about bright blue skies, the slap of

of a Certified Cider Professional exam to graduate the cider

the first frosts, sun-splashed yellow aspen leaves quaking in a

expert equivalent to a wine sommelier or beer cicerone.

breeze scented with fireplace wood-smoke. And for the past

After all the hoppy, heavy craft ales, it’s understandable

four decades, fall in Colorado has centered on craft breweries

why cider is gaining a dedicated following as the kinder, gen-

with pumpkin ales abounding and the state’s internationally

tler adult beverage.

known Great American Beer Festival taking center stage. However, Colorado—in fact, America itself—was built

Colorado is for Apple Lovers

on cider. When iconic arborist “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman

Colorado’s nascent cider movement has seen the num-

planted orchards across the land, he wasn’t thinking about

ber of cideries in the state more than double in two years

apple pie. This fruit was intended for hard cider, a safer bever-

to more than 20, according to the Colorado Cider Guild.

age than most water supplies at the time.

Wineries are mainly centered on the Western Slope, but

Cider is the natural beverage of autumn, when the local trees

cideries are popping up across the state like, well, brew-

all produce fruit at once, and the community gathers for apple

pubs. There are five cideries in Denver alone, and others

pressing, cider making, and general post-harvest frivolity.

range from Big B’s Hard Cider in Hotchkiss and Haykin

44 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Family Cider in Aurora to Snow Capped Cider in Cedaredge and Talbott’s Cider Company in Palisade. Denver was recently ranked as No. 4 among the Top 10 Cities for Drinking Cider by real estate news site Redfin, which noted “Denver is a Rocky Mountain paradise for cider aficionados…teeming with great pubs and cideries.” Local liquor stores are displacing craft beers to create room for more ciders, and cider lists are becoming common on restaurant menus. By apple cider, we mean a mildly alcoholic beverage made from apple juice. Cider geeks will tell you there’s no need to call it “hard cider.” Only in America is unfermented apple juice also called cider. (By the way, cider made from pears is technically known as “perry.”) Adults who haven’t sampled a real hard cider assume it will be sweet, like the few nationally advertised ciders. Real hard cider can be sweet, dramatically dry, so tart it makes you pucker, or barrel-aged and oaky. Sometimes infused with flavor. Not always sparkling. In many ways, cider is closer to wine than beer.

The Cider City on the Hill The supreme evidence of Colorado’s growing embrace of cider consciousness is Acreage, an ambitious two-acre restaurant, cidery, and taproom set on a hilltop on the eastern edge of Lafayette. Pull up to the building, and you

“It’s indeed bad to eat apples, it’s better to turn them all into cider.” –Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

see cornhole games in the courtyard garden that have a 50-mile panoramic view of the Front Range peaks beyond. The breeze carries a waft of wood smoke from the

Busy since the day it opened less than a year ago, Acre-

kitchen. You can see the land that will eventually be plant-

age is a collaboration between Stem Ciders, chef Daniel

ed with a cider apple orchard.

Asher (who launched Root Down and Linger and owns

Everything about Acreage speaks to the tradition-

Boulder’s River and Woods), and chef Kelly Whitaker

al communal nature of cider houses, from the long, low

of Boulder’s award-winning wood-fired Basta and The

community tables to the shareable dishes of wood-fired

Wolf’s Tailor, freshly opened in Denver.

fare. It was inspired by the seasonal Basque cider houses

Stem Ciders debuted as a tiny taproom in Denver’s RiNo

known as sagardotegis that thrive in the French-Spanish

neighborhood in 2014 by two Michigan cider purists, Eric

border region.

Foster, and Phil Kao. It has grown rapidly, distributing

Walk into Acreage and grab a menu, order a cider (or fresh

its canned ciders to nearby states. Acreage’s bar pours

apple juice for the kids) and some food at the open kitch-

Stem’s core ciders, including Real Dry, Off Dry, Raspberry,

en counter. Big windows allow for unobstructed mountain

Crabby Neighbor, L’Acier, La Chene, and special releases

views. Outside, picnic tables and fire pits fill the deck and

such as A Salted Cucumber cider, made in collaboration

garden area which has a small stage for live music.

with The Real Dill artisan pickle folks. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 45

As with Colorado’s raise-all-boats mentality in craft brewing and distilling, cider makers support each other. Stem’s guest taps pour other locals such as the Dry Ginger Cider from Longmont’s St. Vrain Cidery, the Jalapearño (pear and jalapeño cider) from Snow Capped Cider, and the Cherry Glider Cider from Colorado Cider Co. The bar serves cider slushies and cider cocktails—but not one beer. A stroll to the restroom gives you a birds’-eye view of the cider production area. The new tank room has increased Stem’s production capacity upwards to about 70,000 barrels a year—the size of some larger local craft brewers. Both Kelly Whitaker and Daniel Asher are champions of organic and locally grown produce, ethically raised meats,

COLORADO CIDERS TO SAMPLE • Rome Beauty Cider // Haykin Family Cider / Aurora: Made with apples from Masonville Orchards, this is a pure expression of a single apple species in 750 ml champagne bottles with corks to maintain the bubbles. • Dances with Squirrels // Summit Hard Cider and Perry Company / Fort Collins: An easy-sipping dry, sour cider made from local MacIntosh apples and heirloom crabapples.

and sustainably produced ingredients. Asher’s current

• Bulldog Cider / Colorado Common Hard Cider /

menu is stocked with simple comfort dishes. You can start

Colorado Springs: This is traditional British-style

with olives, heritage ham, cast-iron cornbread with pi-

very dry cider not unlike the cider early genera-

mento cheese or soft pretzels.

tions of Coloradans sipped.

Pork spare ribs, striped bass, and cauliflower roasted on a hearth fed with hickory and white oak wood. Burgers come with cheddar and onion jam on brioche. Sausages— think bison green chile or venison and Port wine links— are served with house-made mustard and ketchup,

46 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

• Block Two / Colorado Cider Co. / Denver: Seek out this wonderful, lip-smacking, one-time-only cider, composed of juice from 11 local cider and heirloom apple varieties.


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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 47

It’s worth visiting solely for the frites—fried potatoes with sea salt and cider vinegar aioli—and the fresh cider

When you’re

REACHING for your



doughnuts with pear cider glaze and cinnamon sugar.

Restoring Colorado’s Apple Corps There was a time when Colorado was a big name in apples across the nation. From the mid-1800s onwards orchards were common features on the Front Range and especially in Montezuma County and Fremont County. Colorado-grown apples won gold medals at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. However, Prohibition, the Depression, drought, disease and the dreaded Red Delicious apple eventually combined to reduce the state’s apple industry to a whisper of its former self. That trend may reverse thanks to the demand



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CELEBRATE THE HARVEST Cedaredge Applefest // Oct. 6–7 // Cedaredge The 41st annual celebration of all things apple-oriented and small town fun. CEDAREDGECHAMBER.COM/EVENTS Cider Days // Oct. 6–7 // Lakewood The 43rd annual fest features apple pressing, apple cider, and Apple Annie’s Baking Challenge. LAKEWOOD.ORG/CIDERDAYS

PICK YOUR OWN APPLES These orchards offers u-pick apple harvesting. Always call before visiting to assure availability. Ya Ya Farm & Orchard // Longmont // ( 303) 485-5585 YAYAFARMANDORCHARD.COM

Masonville Orchards // Ault // (970) 231-6399 MASONVILLEORCHARD.COM

Happy Apple Farm // Penrose // (719) 429-6300 HAPPYAPPLEFARM.COM

48 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Beyond Cider: Colorado Apple Brandy, Vinegar, and Butter State 38 Distilling // Golden // producing excellent apple brandy from cider using apples contributed by friends, neighbors and others with trees full of fruit. STATE-38.COM Big B’s Cidery // Hotchkiss // bottles a healthful rarity: Organic Colorado Apple Cider Vinegar, sold unpasteurized and refrigerated. BIGBS.COM Ela Family Farms // Hotchkiss // creates firstclass Fully Fuji Apple Sauce, Apple Butter, and Apples Aplenty Dried Fruit. ELAFAMILYFARMS.COM

from Colorado’s growing farmers’ markets and cideries for Jonathans, Braeburns, Romes, McIntoshes, and Winesaps as well as heirloom varieties such as the Honecker Shackleford, the pretty Colorado Orange apple, and the crisp Esopus Spitzenburg. Across the state, arborists are looking for obscure apples—and finding them. For instance, the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project is methodically rediscovering and reviving antique Western Slope apple varieties found in historic and abandoned orchards in Montezuma County. The search promises to find more apple diversity and create orchards to bear fruit that can become a future glass of crisp dry cider to be enjoyed with family and friends some future sunny, Colorado autumn afternoon. JOHN LEHNDORFF is the former chief judge at the National Pie Championships. Listen to his Radio Nibbles podcasts: BIT.LY/RADIONIBBLES.

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 49





sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 51

{aroundtown } by S T E P H A N I E W I L S O N

This is the first in a new occasional series highlighting people, places, and things that exemplify Denver’s slowand-steady transformation into a primary market with global appeal. First up: LoDo’s new Dairy Block development, billed as a celebration of artful and unexpected experiences.

It’s 11 a.m. on a Saturday in early June, and Milk Market is bustling. Almost shockingly so, considering the new food hall opened just 24 hours ago. Word about the delightful mix of dine-in and take-away venues had earned its fair share of pre-opening publicity, thanks in no small part to the restaurateur behind the 15-venue concept: Colorado chef Frank Bonanno, whose Bonanno Concepts is behind tastebud-tempting, chef-driven establishments such as Luca, Mizuna, Bones, Green Russell, Vesper Lounge, and other top-rated spots. The crowds grow throughout Milk Market’s second day,

52 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

almost to a tipping point of chaos. Later in the evening, the chef and his wife will be manning counters, doling out scoops of ice cream and steaming plates of fresh-made pasta to the hungry hordes of trend-setting patrons. And set a trend they did. Fast forward to the end of August and the crowds at Milk Market keep the establishment at a steady hum, as the various venues pump out dish after dish from the array of counters: there’s Lou’s Hot Naked fried chicken. Albina by the Sea, where crab cakes and lobster rolls reign. Bao Chika Bao, where the bao buns are just as delightful as the establishment’s punny name. A butcher shop, burger spot, grinder counter, creperie, poke place, pizza bar, wine room, and more: it’s all here to satiate, in an open-concept dining venue where you’re free to move about with drink in hand. Just don’t try to take that drink into the rest of the Dairy Block space. “We’re hoping to soon have one liquor license unite the entire Dairy Block, but it’s a work in progress,” explains Julie Dunn, who handles marketing and communications for the massive mixed-use development in the heart of LoDo. Along with the Milk Market, the Dairy Block consists of the 172-room Maven Hotel, the buzz-worthy Huckleberry Roasters outpost, Sage Restaurant Group’s Kachina Cantina, and Poka Lola Social Club by restaurateur Peter Karpinski, the Perfect Petal flower and gift shop, and more, all accented by one of the city’s most impressive art collections, curated by Denver’s NINE dot ARTS. That collection is comprised of more than 700 original art pieces, all of which were created by emerging and established Colorado artists—“the majority of which are from Denver or along the Front Range,” Dunn explains. The first visitors encounter upon entering the property from Wazee Street is the large-scale hand sculpture suspended from the ceiling, a wooden carving to beckon you into the industrial space. The massive work is by Colorado artist Andrew Ramiro Tirado, whose work is but one example of the thoughtful and thought-provoking collection on display throughout the property, infusing the space with a simultaneous mix of urban sophistication and unexpected whimsy. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 53

Cumulatively, the art is meant to express the “DNA of

to open by the end of the year, fully activating that space

Dairy Block” through artwork, and that’s best exemplified

and infusing the once derelict block with life. Some of the

by an entrance on the other side of the building. At the

concepts include Run for the Roses—an intimate cocktail

entrance to what Dunn describes as an “activated alley,”

“lair” in an underground lounge; Free Market—a retail gal-

a large-scale sculpture by Airworks Studio depicts a jug of

lery; Foraged—a restaurant by executive chef Duy Pham;

milk pouring out its contents and making a splash, paying homage to the historic building’s original purpose as home to Windsor Dairy. Past that piece, scattered artworks surround patrons on all levels. Look down for reminders like, “You are cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.” Look up at what Dunn shares is the largest mirror in Colorado, highlighted by string lights shaped like milk jugs. “Those are a recent addition; this is all a work in progress,” she confirms. Throughout the alley are multiple entrances into the main Dairy Block spaces, all of which can be and are opened as often as weather allows, allowing for a free-flow of movement between the various venues—something a continuous liquor license will certainly aid. Because there are going to soon be plenty of reasons to visit that alleyway. Multiple must-see venues are scheduled

Suspended in the lobby of the Maven, Artist Andrew Ramiro Tirado’s hand sculpture “The Quantifiable and the Ineffable” weighs more than 500 pounds.


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Will Leather Goods; Eagle Company—a boutique featuring statement jewelry and bespoke goods; and more. Perhaps the most exciting is Denver Flea, a modern retail space by the founder of the eponymous marketplace, which will create a brick-and-mortar outpost for some of the most popular vendors from the popup events. Taken altogether, the Dairy Block is transforming the formerly bro-tastic LoDo into an enclave of posh sophistication, helping Denver’s transition into a world-class city with even more international appeal. It’s popularity is only growing with each new addition to its already stellar lineup.




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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 57

by L E L A N D R U C K E R


Livin g in a la b eyo nd t h n d f a r e clic hé s .

The first time I saw Boulder was on the cover of an al-

Boulder is at the absolute edge of the Great Plains, and it’s a

bum by a surf band, the Astronauts, around 1964, stand-

college town. Go west and you’re up in the mountains; go east

ing at the overlook off Flagstaff Road. That there was a

and you’re on the prairie. It was the best of both worlds.

surf band based at least a thousand miles from any beach

Since then, I’ve been amused, bewildered, and aston-

never dawned on me until later, but for some reason I re-

ished by my town. The clichés have been especially fun.

membered the photo of the town far below and behind

Besides the hip/trip rhyme, there’s been “25 square miles

the band. Then, in 1969, at a truck stop somewhere in In-

surrounded by reality,” “heaven on earth for latte lovers,”

diana, a heavily bearded hitchhiker smiled at me and said,

and “where dropouts drop in,” among them. And you hear

“You got to make it to Boulder. Heavy times.”

a lot about “Boulder liberals.” Gubernatorial candidate

In 1980, a Newsweek magazine headline claimed that Boul-

Jared Polis is currently being pilloried by Republicans as

der was the place “where the hip meet to trip.” I swear it wasn’t

one right now. But Boulderites aren’t all liberals. It’s just

because of that, but it was about that time we started to visit

another cliché.

more regularly, usually spending a week holed up in the Boul-

A lot of people think only the very rich live in Boulder. I can

derado, then a rundown flophouse that had just been pur-

tell you for a fact that that’s not true. We have the same prob-

chased by Frank Day and was being refurbished. In 1983, Billie

lems everybody else does. For every Californicator moving in

and I quit our jobs and moved here. We’re Midwesterners, and

and bulldozing a reasonable home for a generous mansion,

58 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


{lifestyle }

there are thousands of us who are only here because we hap-

government that has served the town so well for so long.

pened to have bought a house before the real-estate boom.

I think that bothers the city hierarchy sometimes. It’s get-

Because I don’t want to turn that home into a co-op or com-

ting harder to stay hip. The L-towns are currently standing

mune, I am sometimes called elitist. I get a kick out of that.

up to the oil and gas industry to move wells and derricks far-

The city has changed a lot since we arrived. Back then,

ther from their towns, homes, and schools. Boulder, which

with a population of 80,000 people and 20,000 more at CU

capped its last well in the 1990s and is in no danger of having

(that’s the University of Colorado, Boulder, if you weren’t

one, put a symbolic measure on the ballot to tax oil and gas

aware), Boulder used to get regular mentions in the trendy

companies if they drill in Boulder. It will no doubt pass easily.

magazines in the “most livable” or “coolest” town catego-

Only in the last couple of decades has Boulder become

ries. The current population has swelled to 108,000 plus

known as a “foodie town.” When we moved here, Around

35,000 students, and now those awards mostly go to the

the Corner, which had telephones at each booth for patrons

Boulder County L-towns—Longmont, Louisville, Lafay-

to place orders; the LA Diner, where the waitresses rolled

ette. All are smaller than Boulder and somewhat similar

on skates; and the Aristocrat, which offered an omelet that,

to how it was when we moved here. Boulder is nearing

if you could eat the whole thing, you got free, were among

the point, perhaps already past it, where it is large enough

the top eateries. None are around today, and the city gets

that it might be outgrowing the city-manager style of

written up now for its high-end brasseries. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 59

Sitting on a volunteer city board for five years, I found that for the most part, the city doesn’t like to levy fines or heavily enforce its millions of statutes, relying mostly on citizen complaints for everything from over-housing to trash removal and noisy parties. Quite often, the loudest voices prevail. The city often thinks it knows more than anybody else. Voters are split almost evenly down the middle about whether to create our own electrical utility, yet the city continues to pursue it at all costs, even while dealing with a slowdown in sales tax revenue that has forced cuts to

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other parts of the city budget. The city council spent most of 2017 arguing over co-ops and came up with an ordinance that seems to have satisfied no one. This year, it’s the plan to keep south Boulder from flooding after the devastating storms five years ago. I’m guessing we’re not any closer to an answer than when we began. When cannabis was legalized, you would have expected the city where the hip meet to trip would welcome it

for processing and wholesale info please call 1.833.420.PURE(7873) or email dana.therefinery@gmail.com 60 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

with open arms. But you would be wrong. The city decided the state’s rules weren’t harsh enough on cannabis businesses—though it had no experience regulating cannabis,

either—and came up with some of the silliest rules ever devised to restrict cannabis businesses. Things came to a head after the Terrapin Station dispensary was cited for having a booth at a gay pride festival, and not long afterwards, the city thankfully backed off its most onerous rules. (During a meeting to review the original city regulations, a city council member asked why there needed to be a physical barrier between a medical and adult-use facility— the only city in the state to demand that—and was told by a city lawyer that it was for “bookkeeping” purposes. Go figure.) We argue over affordable housing, building heights, traffic, parking, infrastructure, open space, water, food, plastic bags, garbage, the number of banks in town, signage, sewage, bicycles, crosswalks, the homeless, electricity, ditches, bears and mountain lions, trash, sister cities. Yet for all its clichés and inconsistencies, this is my home. And no matter where I’m coming from, when I reach the crest of the hill before dropping into Boulder, the view of the Flatirons and the Front Range remind me that I’m returning to an equally beautiful place. But no longer where the hip meet to trip. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 61



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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 63

{travelwell } by S T E P H A N I E W I L S O N

The mountains are calling with news about off-season upgrades you can look forward to during the 2018-19 season. 64 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

It was still deep in the heart of summer when the first photos of snow-speckled peaks near Vail began infiltrating Instagram feeds. While daytime highs in Denver may average near the 70s during October, out in high country, the nighttime lows dip below the freezing mark. And when that happens, the snowmaking begins. In October, Colorado’s highest elevation ski resorts are in the annual Race to Open, and Arapahoe Basin is the reigning champion to beat. (Opening day at A-Basin in

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

2017: Oct. 13.) Loveland, vying to reclaim the first-to-open

new features for the coming winter.

bragging rights it has earned eight of the last 13 seasons,

The majority of Colorado’s mountain resorts have spent

announced plans to begin snowmaking Sept. 28. And once

the spring, summer, and early fall elevating the high-ele-

that happens, opening day isn’t far off.

vation experience. At Breckenridge, Keystone, and Eldora,

Ultimately, it’s up to Mother Nature whether the

those upgrades focused on snowmaking efforts. Else-

2018–19 ski and snowboard season kicks off in October,

where in the Rockies, you’ll find new lifts, more terrain,

and the vast majority of the state’s 28 ski resorts trickle

fresh programs, enriched experiences, better dining, oh

open throughout November. This month, teams are busy

my! Here are some of the latest and greatest reasons to

putting the finishing touches on a host of upgrades and

endure the traffic and hit the slopes. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 65

Arapahoe Basin

OPENING DAY: AIMING FOR MID-OCTOBER New terrain—the most new terrain

in Colorado—is the highlight of A-Basin’s off-season upgrades. This year, 468 acres of new terrain will open, including high-alpine bowl skiing, tree skiing, rolling groomed runs, and steep, rocky chutes. There’s 34 new runs in store (intermediate, advanced, and expert) PLUS a new four-person lift called The Beavers. At the summit, there’s a a new European-style bistro named Refugio’s at Snowplume. While feasting your eyes on the high-alpine views that surround you, feast on a selection of antipasto, charcuterie, and imported cheeses. wine or an imported beer. But perhaps the best new addition to A-Basin: Tikka, a golden retriever puppy/avalanche rescue dog in training. She’ll be out and about on the mountain this winter with her handler Erich, who’s showing her the ropes on the slopes.

Aspen Snowmass OPENING DAY: DEC. 8

The upgrades here aren’t on the mountain so much as at the base. In the heart of Snowmass Village, there’s a 10-year, $600 million resort development project well underway, adding new lodging, residences, and amenities to the resort. The first round debuts next month and includes the new ski-in, ski-out Limelight Hotel. It’s going to be home to the Snowmass Mountain Club, a private club limited to 230 members who gain access to private parking, lockers, and lounge space at the base of the mountain. For the rest of us, the November reveal also includes

Beaver Creek

OPENING DAY: NOV. 21 The luxe family resort added a second signature learning

area to its offerings for the 2018-19 season. Haymeadow Park has a beginner gondola and lift, adjacent magic carpet areas, and learning terrain—plus other off-ski amenities, including an ice cream parlor and a kid-designed restaurant. More discerning palates can be satiated at the new gourmet ski-in SaddleRidge Restaurant, serving Colorado regional cuisine. But the star of Beaver Creek’s new offerings is undoubtedly Willy the Mountain Safety Dog. The golden retriever will be roaming the mountain with his handlers dispensing safety tips and drumming up likes on social media with the #WillyBeSafe hashtag.

Breckenridge OPENING DAY: NOV. 9

a new central events plaza with an ice-skating rink, fire

More than 50 snowguns on Breck’s Peak 9 were up-

pits, and other amenities that serve the community gath-

graded in preparation for the 2018–19 season. The result:

ering space.

more snow made in less time using less energy.

Other than that, you can also expect some upgrades to

Also debuting this season: Emma, the Epic Mountain Assis-

the Aspen Snowmass App, including the introduction of

tant, an artificial intelligence-powered digital resource for all

rewards and enhanced year-over-year stat tracking.

sorts of information at any Vail Resorts property. (In Colorado,

66 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


Opening Day at A-Basin 2017

Toast to the experience with a split of

that includes Breck, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and of course Vail.)

Snowmaking at Breckenridge

Got a question? Emma has answers. And you don’t have to download an app and type in your query. All you have to do is text her. Want to know if a trail is groomed? Shoot her a message. Wondering how long the lift line is? She’ll tell you. Weather, conditions, parking—she’ll even recommend where to eat in town. Just ask her. Keep an eye on the website for the number. EMMAISEPIC.COM

Copper Mountain OPENING DAY: NOV. 16

Copper Mountain

This winter, skiers and snowboarders will enjoy swifter access to the trails. The two main lifts out of center village have been replaced, increasing uphill capacity by up to 40 percent. American Flyer, formerly a high-speed quad, is now a six-person chair with bubble enclosures; American Eagle, also formerly a quad, is now a combo of six-person chairs and eight-person gondolas. Near the American Eagle, the new Rocky Mountain Coaster is making its winter debut after a successful summer run. Its bragging rights: with a track stretching 5,800 feet, it’s one of the longest alpine coasters in the nation.

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 67

When you’re ready to unbuckle your boots, head to the new Downhill Dukes. Located between the two new lifts, this dog-friendly dining spot has a killer south-facing patio and a great cocktail menu.

Crested Butte OPENING DAY: NOV. 22

What was known last season as “the last great ski town in Colorado” is going to experience an influx of skiers and snowboarders on the Epic Pass (sarcastically known as “Every Person In Colorado”) this winter. This comes on the heels of the June announcement that Crested Butte’s family-owned parent company is being acquired by corporate giant Vail Resorts. As of press time, the transaction is still in the closing process, so the full details of what changes to expect under the new ownership are under wraps.


OPENING DAY: NOV. 9 Improved snowmaking means more terrain open earlier

in the season. Plus there’s a new Kidtopia Signature Event Series, which kicks off Nov. 24 with a mountaintop light-

68 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


Avalanche rescue dogs at Crested Butte

The peaks in Telluride

ing ceremony for the world’s largest snow fort. You should text Emma and ask what time it starts.

Another upgrade comes in the form of more mountain access. Loveland joined the Powder Alliance, which gets its season pass holders up to 54 free days at 18 other


Powder Alliance Resorts, including Monarch in Colorado.

OPENING DAY: AIMING FOR MID-OCTOBER The second-oldest ski area in Colorado, Loveland began

operations in 1937. Now, 81 years later, it has its first-ev-



er high-speed quad, Chet’s Dream. Its namesake is former

Roaming the mountainside to satiate hungry skiers

Loveland partner, the late Chester Upholm Jr. Upholm be-

and snowboarders, the Taco Beast is Steamboat’s new

came a partner at Loveland in 1956 when it was named

snowcat food truck. It debuted this summer and will be

Loveland Ski Tow Company. He soon convinced the other

in mobile operation throughout the winter, serving up

partners it was time to install the mountain’s first chair-

carne asada and al pastor trail tacos, breakfast burritos, a

lift—only the third such lift in the state. The new Chet’s

street-food-style corn, and Mexican beers. (There’s also a

Dream replaced Lift 1, cutting the ride time down from

new base restaurant called Timber & Torch, but that’s not

eight minutes to just under three.

nearly as exciting as slope-side tacos.) Snowmaking at Loveland


OPENING DAY: NOV. 22 The most epic news about Telluride this season? It’s on

the Epic Pass. Don’t worry: Telluride wasn’t swallowed up by Vail Resorts; it’s still privately owned. This partnership was billed as a “longterm alliance” when it was announced last January. That alliance grants top-tier Epic Pass holders seven days at Telluride, plus 50 percent off additional lift tickets, with no blackout dates. Sorry, Epic Local Pass holders, this alliance doesn’t include you. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 69

What else is new this winter in Telluride? Boutique Air planes touching down daily after nonstop flights from Denver. The United partner launched year-round daily service to Telluride Regional Airport, thanks to Telluride Ski Resort’s continued investment into air access. Along with up to six daily flights from Denver, the winter seasonal service to Montrose-Telluride Airport has new flights coming in from Dallas-Ft. Worth, Charlotte, and Salt Lake City.


OPENING DAY: NOV. 16 The biggest on-mountain enhancements to this resort

are to snowmaking, with 10 upgraded large-capacity, low-energy fan guns on the Born Free Trail. Elsewhere in Vail, the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum has reopened after a year-long $2.6 million renovation, the Vail Marriot Mountain Resort has undergone some major upgrades, and there’s a new float tank at The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort—the only one in Eagle County. Text Emma and ask if she can help you book it.

Winter Park

OPENING DAY: NOV. 14 It’s last alphabetically but leading the pack in off-season

upgrades. Last spring, Winter Park Resorts announced $30 million in planned improvements for the winter 201819 season. Roughly half of that—$16 million—went to 70 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


Vail Gondola

the construction of a new 10-person gondola running from the base to the summit. The goal: move 1,000 more people up the mountain every hour, decreasing wait times at the bottom and increasing access to more runs from the top. Another $4 million went to upgrading the 42-year-old snowmaking system, increasing the capacity by three times in hopes of opening more terrain earlier in the season. In Village Plaza, there’s a new stage, chairlift chairs Winter Park Resort

from the historic Timberline Lift, and a fire pit. In the Eagle Wind Territory, an expert-level tree-skiing spot, loggers cut glades into 21 acres, removing dead or dying timber and introducing new lines into the powder-heavy area. And to help you navigate all the offerings, there’s the new Adventure Concierge to make your mountain experience even better. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 71


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Get high on horror at Denver’s most haunted happenings.



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jolts of terror.

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 75

When we’re scared, we achieve a weird kind of high. Fear triggers the natural fight-or-flight response, causing a rush of adrenaline to be released into the system, priming the body for action. That adrenaline is joined by dopamine, the hormone associated with pleasure. According to research at the University of Michigan, that neurological “reward” conditions the brain to respond to scary situations with consistent fight-or-flight reactions. Our brains love getting dosed with dopamine, especially if the conscious mind knows there’s no real danger. Fear fiends can binge on that scarily addicting horror high all month long. Here are some of the top spots to get a fix, plus some more wholesome, less heart-pumping Halloween happenings around town this month.


Colorado’s largest scream park, this iconic attraction takes over a 30-acre corn field in Thornton. This year, there are four contrasting interactive haunt experiences that prey on a whole spectrum of innermost fears. There’s the Condemned, a Saw-like setting with escape room elements; the Zombie Paintball Massacre, which conjures up scenes from the Walking Dead; Dead Man’s Maze where the only light comes from the moon; and don’t miss CarnEvil in the Corn, an abandoned freakshow in the cornstalks. Tickets start at $39.99, with pricier


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This legendary scary-as-hell haunted house is created by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, the world’s largest Halloween-themed entertainment company. The group is behind world-class, live-action horror experiences in cities across the country, including the largest haunted house in Denver. It’s often listed among the country’s top haunted houses, thanks to its terrifying repertoire of demons, killer clowns, and nightmare-causing creatures that you encounter roaming the parking lot. Open every night except Monday; tickets start at $20 on weekdays, $34 on weekends, and there are also fast pass options that let you skip the line. 13THFLOORHAUNTEDHOUSE.COM

BOO! American consumers were projected to spend $9.1 billion on Halloween in 2017. SOURCE: National Retail Federation

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 77


Family by day, fright by night: that’s what to expect at the downtown amusement park. All the rides are open for you to enjoy, but stay on your toes: there are creatures around every corner. There are also additional haunted attractions promising multi-sensory experiences, one of which is overrun with flesh-hungry clowns. Which one? You’ll find out, if you’re willing to pony up the extra fee to enter. Tickets start at $30. ELITCHGARDENS.COM

The 13th Annual Denver Zombie Crawl OCT. 6, 11 A.M. – 4 P.M. @ SKYLINE PARK, DOWNTOWN DENVER

An almost scary number of people are expected to once again participate in this legendary yearly gathering. More than 20,000 wannabe walking deads of all ages stagger down Denver’s 16th Street Mall and gather in Skyline Park, where they dance the Thriller and crawl their way through a full day of entertainment. The costumes are elaborate, thanks in part to the makeup booths that open hours before the festivities begin. The official crawl ends at 4 p.m. after some dance lessons and costume contests, but after the party is the official after party, which is technically two parties under one roof this year. The Stay Alive event, produced in part by the Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, is running alongside the Zombie Prom, where the theme is A Night to Dismember. So punny, it kills. The Zombie Crawl is free; tickets to the parties start at $20. DENVERZOMBIECRAWL.COM

78 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Victorian Horrors OCTOBER 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 @ THE MOLLY BROWN HOUSE MUSEUM

For a quarter century, this immersive theater experience has taken over the Denver mansion-turned-museum, delighting literary nerds with a tribute to spooky Victorian literature. Visitors wander through the dimly lit rooms while tales from Gothic greats like Edgar Allen Poe are brought to life by a roaming cast of actors. An after party with what the ticketing page describes as “macabre music, twisted treats, and ghastly games� honors the 25th anniversary of the sellout event. Tickets start at $20. MOLLYBROWN.ORG


sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 79

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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 83

Hanging with orphaned

An African safari used to be all about big-game trophy hunting. Luckily for us, all that has changed. by L E L A N D R U C K E R 84 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder




being hand-raised by DSWT’s keepers. The ultimate goal is to reintegrate them with the wild herds of Tsavo.

up bottles from the ground; the others take them from a

For now, these orphans are dependent on their keepers.

keeper and noisily suck them dry in just 30 or 40 seconds.

They spend their nights in a stockade, where they get their

That’s when one of them, impatient, trumpets for another,

milk formula, eat, and sleep. In the morning, they are re-

an un-throttled roar piercing the stillness of the morning.

leased into the wilderness, where they spend the day with

We are deep in the wilderness of Kenya’s Tsavo East Na-

their keepers and wild-born elephants and former orphans

tional Park on an intimate safari led by the David Shel-

that have successfully reintegrated into the herd, returning

drick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), an organization dedicated

to the area in the late afternoon. The enthusiasm of these

to orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation. The infant

young creatures, which by rights shouldn’t even be alive, is

elephants we just met are part of DSWT’s Orphans Project,

so infectious, so palpable. I can’t get enough.

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 85

Elephants in Action Watch videos of our safari at


Vacations and Safaris My love Billie and I have always preferred adventures to simple vacations. If we’re gonna leave home, our reasoning goes, we should try to get as far as we can from daily reality. We look for new adventures, something we haven’t ever done before when planning our getaways. Which is how we found ourselves on a weeklong elephant safari, visiting three Sheldrick Trust facilities with six other people. Out there, it’ll be just our two guides, the elephants, their keepers, and the eight of us. This isn’t one of those safaris of yore, the kind that traditionally conjures the image of hunting. While hunting safaris do still exist—more about that in a minute—for the most part, safaris today emphasize watching, not killing, big game animals. The only clicking comes from cameras, the only shots taken from cellphones. The most common and best-known safaris are excursions to see the Big Five or Big Six animals in the wild. In Kenya, they go to the nearby Maasai Mara or Amboseli National Park and drive around in Range Rovers following lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, and hippos on the plains. These are the safaris that provide those amazing photos you often see of a giraffe in silhouette by a baobab tree as the sun sets behind it. The one Billie and I are on is different: Instead of trying to see a variety of animals, we get to watch one species up close and personal. To interact with the animals, to meet them, really. Just the thought of it is wild. 86 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Why an Elephant Safari? Throughout my life, I had no particular fascination with elephants. Sure, I cried the first time I saw Dumbo, and I do remember seeing elephants during zoo visits when I was a child, but it didn’t go beyond that until 2003. I was working on a news story and communicating by email with Dr. Harvey Croze, a leading scientist who had been studying elephants in Africa since the 1960s. When asked what he found to be the most interesting aspect of studying elephants, he replied, “Let’s just say that they are right up there with the higher apes and whales and dolphins: complex, fluid society, very close to a spoken language, high intelligence, insightfulness, compassion, altruism, consciousness of self.”

Altruism? Consciousness of self? What was he talking about, I wondered. These were so far from the concepts I grew up with: that animals are guided only by instinct and never by emotion. Then, during a presentation by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Denver, I saw a film of those orphans enthusiastically running for those bottles and began to get an inkling what he had been saying. That’s when we got serious about going to Kenya. Fears? We had many. Malignant mosquitoes, ant infestations, larcenous baboons, and especially black mambo snakes dropping from the ceiling filled my dreams in the weeks before we left. Traveling a third of the way around the globe and back to spend a week with elephants was as far from reality as I could imagine. Change beckoned.

its cutoff tail, as our president’s oldest son once did, is so abhorrent that it motivated us to support DSWT’s efforts.

Elephants Everywhere We flew into Nairobi, and our first visit was the Sheldrick nursery, which sits at the edge of Nairobi National Park, a giant savanna just a few kilometers from the city center where more than 400 species roam its plains. All elephant orphans are brought into the nursery upon being rescued, and they can spend up to several years becoming acclimated before entering the wild world again. This was our first chance to mingle with the orphans while a sounder of warthogs lin-

The Tragedy of Ivory

gered at the perimeter and a large male baboon crashed noisily across the shelter roof. We’re in Africa now, baby.

There was another reason we decided to do this. In early

The care of these orphans is an amazing, 24-hour-a-day

2016, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to total of

process. Elephant adolescence lasts about 10 years, simi-

105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn and

lar to humans. To make them feel welcome again after

exotic animal skins, turning them into billowing smoke

the trauma of losing their parents, family, and friends, the

and ash, an in-your-face protest against poaching, which

keepers are with them at all times, feeding them at three-

is threatening the wild future of both elephants and rhinos.

hour intervals day and night, keeping their colorful security

Though poaching has declined in Kenya and other eastern

blankets and food available, playing with them, consoling

African countries, elephants are still being killed for their ivo-

them, sleeping with them, and preparing them, ultimate-

ry, which is used to make trinkets, jewelry, and chess pieces.

ly, to become wild elephants again. (And yes, they become

The concept of killing one of these animals and posing with

very attached to the little ones.)






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The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The second day, we take a small plane out to DSWT’s Umani Springs facility, where elephant orphans who have been wounded are taken for rehabilitation. Here, we fell into the safari pattern: get up early to spend time with the elephants as they’re leaving for the day, catch up with

To learn more about the

them at the waterhole midday,

mission of the David Sheldrick

and see them again in the late

Wildlife Trust and how to

afternoon for their return to the

foster an orphan, visit

stockade. Three to four hours a


day surrounded by elephants?

ORG. And don’t miss Love,

No complaints here.

Life, and Elephants:

In the morning, the orphans

An African Love Story,

head off in a line for a small

the stirring biography

clearing the keepers had filled

of the organization’s

with lucerne, an elephant delica-

founder, the late

cy. Standing there in the forest, we

Dame Edith Sheldrick.

have our first up-close-and-personal experience. Dawn is breaking, and we just stroll among the elephants in quiet wonder, brushing


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up against their bodies, hard enough to hold their weight

We marvel at their deep, rumbling voices. Research-

and withstand the rigors of the Kenyan outback yet some-

er Dr. Joyce Poole has observed that the “greeting rum-

how soft, too. We let their trunks touch us, we scratch their

bles or bonding rumbles, in particular, show an extreme

paper-thin ears and feel the gentleness behind them. We

range in the frequency of calls.” Most of their rumbles

look into their eyes and marvel that we are in the wild

are too low in frequency for humans to hear, but there is

communing with another intelligent species.

plenty of communication going on between them. Ele-

I spend some quality time with an orphan named Mwashoti, who had been brought here last month from

phants have also been found to “hear” rumbles from long distances through vibrations they feel in their feet.

the Nairobi nursery after the lower part of his left front

Our last afternoon, we watch 20 or 30 elephants stand-

leg had been nearly ripped off by a cable snare, a partic-

ing around the edges of the waterhole area. They are most-

ularly insidious poaching implement. He is still sporting

ly large, older, and wild, some of them born in the 1960s

a limp, but his enthusiasm is encouraging. The orphan

when Richard Nixon was US president. Looking into their

in the enclosure next to him had his genitals and tail cut

eyes, I wonder what they have learned in all the years

off in a hyena attack, and a US surgeon had to be brought

since, what they know about humans, how many of their

in to repair the damage. He’s also recovering nicely.

relatives have been poached for ivory, how many droughts

After a couple of days at Umani Springs, we climb

they’ve lived through. Oh, the stories they could tell.

in the Range Rovers for the six-hour drive to Ithumba

What we saw throughout the week reinforced every-

Camp inside East Tsavo National Park, where we spend

thing Dr. Croze had suggested in that email exchange

the next three days. East Tsavo is large, 8,000 square

back in 2003. Two of DSWT’s keepers admit that when

miles, and home to Kenya’s principal elephant popula-

it comes to caring for each other, they believe the ele-

tion, currently numbering about 12,000 individuals. It’s

phants are smarter than humans. And after watching

the only park in the country that offers the space that

them for a week, it isn’t that hard for me to believe.

many elephants need for quality of life.

Perhaps the greatest joy of the trip was a baby named

This was the epitome of safari living. Our tent is com-

Wiva. She was born to Wendi, who had been rescued

fortable, with colorful rugs on wooden floors, a thatched

by the Orphan Project after she was left for dead in the

roof built over the top, and a zippered entrance to an out-

Imenti Forest in 2002. Wendi made the transition back

door bathroom with a six-foot stone wall surrounding it

into the wild and is now one of about 30 rehabilitated

and a clear view of the Milky Way at night from the toilet.

orphans who remain in the area. Watching her daughter,

There is a larger building where we eat (the food is al-

a baby wild elephant whose mother was raised by DSWT,

ways freshly prepared, delicious, and plentiful), recharge

is the culmination of everything the organization stands

our phones and cameras, and watch an assortment of

for and a chance for preservation of the species.

wildlife stop at a nearby waterhole: vervet monkeys, ba-

It’s an adventure we will never forget, and it lives on

boons, warthogs, mongooses, greater kudu antelopes,

through our sponsorship of DSWT orphan elephants. For

ground squirrels, hornbills, and parrots among them.

just $50, anyone can foster one of these amazing crea-

And we get seriously acquainted with the dik-dik, the

tures for a year. That donation helps keep the elephants

diminutive antelope that are as ubiquitous as squirrels

in milk formula and food and provides clothing and

in the US. Turns out even these tiny animals are being

equipment for the keepers. I look forward to the monthly

poached, their meat sold in local villages as a delicacy.

updates on my orphan and all the other animals and ac-

One afternoon, an ex-orphan elephant comes rambling

tivities. This is a trip that just keeps on giving.

over to our group, trunk extended in greeting to Benjamin Kyalo, who runs the facility. Like he’s waving hello to an old friend, which he is, really. Behind me, elephants at the watering hole spray mud and water on themselves and at each other. Off to the left, a group of Kenyan children are experiencing the elephants’ mad dash for milk, some holding the bottles for the babies. Just ahead of us, another group of elephants moves along in a line while the wild bulls stand off in the distance. There are elephants everywhere, and all I feel is complete and utter joy.

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 89

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Cannabis could be one part of a holistic depression treatment that starts with the gastrointestinal tract instead of the brain.


94 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder




definitively, that “dysregulation to the gut microbiota is ca-

hole life becomes. Maybe you join the more than 30 mil-

pable of facilitating the behavioral and physiological symp-

lion Americans (one in seven women) who use antide-

toms of depression and anxiety.”

pressants, which are among the most prescribed, bestsell-

How can this be? Well, it turns out that some 90 to 95 per-

ing drugs in our pharma-soaked country. Maybe the

cent of our serotonin is produced not in the brain but in the

doctor promises, as she scribbles out the script, that

gastrointestinal tract, and production is highly influenced

Prozac will deal with the chemical imbalance in your

by the bacteria that make up our intestinal microbiome.

brain, and you take that and run with it, because who can’t

This, in turn, influences brain functioning and behavior.

see that something’s really, really wrong with your brain?

When we eat bad food that’s high in refined carbohydrates

You take the Prozac (or the Celexa, the Lexapro, the

and sugars and take other toxins such as alcohol into our

Paxil, the Zoloft, the Cymbalta, the Effexor, the Abilify… ),

digestive system, our guts respond with inflammation,

and serotonin—the neurotransmitter that regulates mood,

which eventually spreads to cause havoc in our brains.

appetite, and sleep—starts pumping in your brain. Despite

“Some 40 trillion cells, almost three pounds of your

the bloating, cramping, and gastritis you were told to ex-

body mass, is bacteria,” Dr. Jack Gilbert, a microbial ecol-

pect as side effects, you feel a bit better. Those thoughts of

ogist who directs the Microbiome Center at the Universi-

suicide? An unfortunate side effect. Those brain zaps

ty of Chicago, explained to the Chicago Tribune. “They

when you try to go off the drug? Totally normal.

live mostly in the intestine. It’s like an ecosystem, like a

Or maybe you’re among the 40 percent of people whom the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports

rainforest that lives inside of you—a living, breathing environment—which we can affect by the things we eat.”

can’t find any relief using antidepressants. That’s a lot of people, and that statistic (which many believe is lower than reality) has sent even mainstream medical institutions like the NIH scrambling to seek alternative therapies. They’re finding solutions, but not in the brain. The key to depression, it appears, actually lies in the gut.

Our Mood is What We Eat “Prozac was supposed to be a massive cure for depression that would reduce institutionalization. Instead, we’ve seen an increase in institutionalization,” says Dr. Mary Van, clinical director at ThriveX medical spa in Fort Lauderdale, who specializes in both pharmacy and nutrition. “It becomes readily apparent that mainstream medicine missed part of the puzzle.” In recent years, the microbiome (all the bacteria, fungi and viruses in your body)-gut-brain axis has emerged as a significant player in the development of depression, and medical researchers believe gut microbiota (colonies of organisms) may play a causal role. Regulating microbiota with diet, probiotics, and a new treatment called fecal microbiota transplantation may have important benefits for preventing and treating depression, according to an NIH report. The New York Academy of Sciences reports, more

Eat to Beat the Blues A plant-based, fiber-rich diet devoid of processed foods, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup has been proven to keep depression at bay. Include lots of the following: • Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and miso are rich in probiotics. • Cruciferous vegetables (sulfur-smelling ones like kale, cauliflower, and broccoli) provide roughage that feeds prebiotics in the gut, says Dr. Mary Van. • Legumes, seeds, and nuts are high in zinc and amino acids, which feed serotonin transmitters. • Black chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are being proven effective against major depression. (Herbalist Brigitte Mars soaks them in water, then adds other super-nutrient foods like blueberries, goji berries, bee pollen, and maca for depression prevention.) • Leafy green vegetables and lemon water help cleanse the liver, says Mars. • Organic extra-virgin olive oil should be your staple fat; avoid butter, canola oil, and palm oil. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 95

These discoveries have led to an emerging health care practice aimed at preventing and treating depression known as nutritional psychiatry. At its most basic, this “new” field recognizes that what we eat directly affects our brains’ structure and function and, ultimately, our moods, according to a Harvard Medical School report. Diets high in refined sugars promote inflammation and oxidative stress, which impairs brain function and worsens depressive symptoms. Studies have found that Mediterranean and traditional Japanese diets high in vegeta-

Cannabis and Depression: Still an Unknown

bles, fruits, unprocessed grains, and seafood and void of

Depressed people have been self-medicating with

processed and refined foods—those staples of the Amer-

cannabis for as long as cannabis has been available, and

ican diet—lower the risk of depression by 25 to 35 percent.

the modern medical community has been condemning

“We dig our graves with our forks,” says herbalist, author,

them for just as long. Traditional doctors argue that can-

and natural food chef Brigitte Mars. “We really need to stop

nabis use can trigger depressive episodes and make de-

thinking the body is not affecting the brain or that our

pressive symptoms worse over time. But if gut and brain

moods are not affected by our physiology. When treating de-

inflammation truly are major factors in depression, as

pression, a good holistic practitioner will ask if you’re eating

research is showing, it only makes sense that canna-

enough leafy green vegetables to nourish the liver and help

bis—renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties—

the body better utilize oxygen, and will make the diet more

could be good therapy.

rainbow-like with fresh, local fruits and vegetables. The

THC and CBD have been proven beneficial for depres-

American diet has gotten very beige, and that is depressing.”

sion in animal models, and states with robust medical

According to the “evolutionary mismatch” or “paleo-defi-

cannabis programs have seen a 5 percent decrease in to-

cit disorder” theory of depression, the poisons of modern

tal suicide rates and an even greater decrease in suicides

living—processed food, environmental toxins, isolation,

among men in their 20s and 30s, according to Project

constant stress—are pushing people into depression, which

CBD. But as is so often and sadly the case with cannabis,

according to holistic women’s health psychiatrist Dr. Kelly

clinical research is lacking.

Brogan “is simply a message from our bodies trying to protect us from the madness of the modern world.”

Toxic Gut, Toxic Brain

In one of the very few studies that has been done on cannabis and depression, researchers analyzed data from Strainprint, an app used by medical cannabis users to track changes in symptoms as they experiment with different

Van says most of the patients she treats for depres-

doses and strains, and found that 50 percent perceived a

sion also have digestive disorders such as diarrhea or

reduction in depression after two puffs. However, cannabis

constipation. “It’s all intertwined, and it’s all due to tox-

use appears to have exacerbated baseline symptoms of

icity,” she says. “Our bodies work in a biofeedback loop.

depression over time.

You cannot touch one part and not affect another part.

At Washington State University, researchers found

First and foremost, you have to understand that if you’re

that adults reported that their depressive systems were

depressed, it’s not just your brain. It’s every part of you.”

reduced after just one puff of medical cannabis high in

One of the first things Van must determine when

CBD and low in THC. Just like the Strainprint study,

treating a severely depressed patient is whether they’re

however, the researchers found that long-term use of

in crisis, or suicidal. If so, bringing down their anxiety

medical cannabis could aggravate depression.

level and getting them out of physical danger is crucial.

Cannabis is an unpredictable herb, says herbalist

She could prescribe medications like Xanax or Valium,

Brigitte Mars, who sometimes recommends it along

but she finds them too harsh. Instead, Van often recom-

with other herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, and St.

mends a high dose of one-to-one ratio of THC and CBD

John’s wort to patients as part of a holistic approach to

“just to get the edge off so the patient can think clearly.”

treating depression that includes dietary changes, light

“We have to get patients out of the red zone, where they’re freaked out and can’t think, they’re catastrophically indecisive, or maybe they’re shut down emotionally,” Van says. “Cannabis therapy with a high dose of THC 96 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

therapy, aromatherapy, and even feng shui. “I’m totally a fan of cannabis and every herb,” says Mars. “But don’t just take an herb.”

gives them a calming sensation, helps regulate their

mordial, but often that is the cause,” she says. “They’re not

sleep and helps them deal with anger issues and feelings

sleeping and not utilizing the bathroom properly.”

of not knowing what to do next. CBD also helps with anxiety and sleep, but THC evokes a more rapid response.”

Science Says

While the patient is getting cooled down, Van checks

The link between microbiota and depression is not a

out the inflammation in their brain and digestive tract.

new discovery. German physician Hermann Senator sug-

If it’s bad, and usually it is, she often continues cannabis

gested in the 1860s that mental health disorders could be

therapy with high doses (25 to 50 milligrams) of oral CBD

rooted in intestinal “self-infective” processes, and a new

to control anxiety and bring the immunological and in-

frontier of autointoxication research began exploring the

flammatory response down. She’ll also suggest the pa-

role of harmful intestinal bacteria in mental diseases.

tient change their diet to include more cruciferous vege-

“Oral bacteriotherapy” was a health trend in the 1920s, led

tables and probiotics, live bacteria and yeasts found in

by producers of probiotic-rich acidophilus milk and char-

yogurt and fermented food. She asks about their poop.

acterized by ads like this one for Walker-Gordon: “It’s a

Most patients—particularly older women who were

fact—and your doctor will agree—that your attitude…is

taught not to talk about such things—don’t want to dis-

largely influenced by the condition of your intestinal tract.”

cuss their chronic constipation or diarrhea, Van says,

Drinking acidophilus milk to build good bacteria, another

even though most of them have one or the other. She

ad promised, would bring results “nothing short of amaz-

jokes with them that they need 12 inches in their lives

ing. Not only a banishing of…depression but a flooding of

every day and recommends they add more fiber to their

new vitality throughout the system.”

diets to regulate their bowel movements. Having seen the

Today, we have science to back up these claims—and ev-

exorbitant amount of antidepressants elderly patients

idence is mounting. Earlier this year, Canadian researchers

take when she worked in nursing homes, Van is well

found in a clinical trial that 32 percent of people who

aware of how rampant depression is among that popula-

changed their diets went into remission from depression,

tion. “Sometimes we have to get very primitive, very pri-

while only 8 percent in a control group did. Australian re-

sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 97

“You cannot touch one part and not affect another part… If you’re depressed, it’s not just your brain. It’s every part of you.” —Mary Van, ThriveX Medical Spa

searchers found that one-third of study participants report-

consumed in Western diets, where we have substituted

ed significant improvement in symptoms of major depres-

certain types of beneficial fats—polyunsaturated and

sion after 12 weeks of eating a plant-based, fiber-rich diet.

monounsaturated in nuts, vegetable oils, and fish—for the

In perhaps the largest study to date, European researchers analyzed the diet and lifestyle of more than 12,000 peo-

saturated and trans fats found in meats, butter, and other products such as mass-produced pastries and fast food.”

ple over six years and found that polyunsaturated fats

More human studies and clinical trials are needed,

(fish and vegetable oils) and olive oil were associated with

everyone agrees. Gilbert, for his part, is pushing hard for

a lower risk of depression. The study’s authors wrote that

that to happen sooner than later. He’s driven, he told

they believe the global rise in major depressive disorder

The Scientist, because “there needs to be a revolution in

could be because of “radical changes in the sources of fats

how we deal with mental illness in our society.”



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Once considered a threat to the alcohol industry, cannabis is the new darling of the beer industry.

Keith Villa is no stranger to beer. THE CREATOR AND FORMER HEAD


the CERIA label that will be on shelves in the coming

adult sales this month and which has far fewer regulatory hurdles than states in the US where cannabis is legal.

months. Instead of alcohol, these beers will contain

“This is an enormous opportunity to create a full indus-

THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis. The goal

try comparable to the beer industry,” says attorney Steve

is to offer a THC high with the predictability of beer, and

Lenn, a partner at the Greenspoon Marder business law

he hopes to have it on the market by fall. “You know

firm, which works largely with mergers and Fortune 500

what happens when you drink one or two or three

companies. He says an investment this large helps legiti-

beers,” he says. “We want you to get that same experi-

mize the industry. “Think of what that means in the ramp

ence every time.”

of opportunity,” he says. “This kind of money is going to

It’s a tall order, but Villa is just one of many entrepreneurs loitering at the growing juncture between craft

draw investment bankers like honey to bees. In terms of the world market, I don’t know how big it could become.”

beer and pot. People love beer, and they love cannabis,

In the States, hemp/hop beers are popping up around the

and who can blame people for trying to find some syner-

country. Colorado beer maker New Belgium sells Hemperor

gy between the two? You can get cannabis in tinctures

HPA—a new style of IPA made from hemp and hops—and

and salves and consume cannabis oil via vaporizers and

Lagunitas Brewing Company, a California brand owned by

dab rigs. Why not inside a carefully crafted beer?

Heineken, last year released a limited run of SuperCritical

The market possibilities are mind-boggling. Legal

Ale, a THC-free brew made with hops and infused with can-

cannabis is now about a $15 billion business, but the il-

nabis terpenes. This spring, the company introduced Hi-Fi

legal market is at least three to four times larger than

Hops, an IPA-inspired sparkling water infused with THC, to

that, making it appetizing for investors. American con-

dispensary shelves in California. As legalization spreads, it

glomerate Constellation Brands, the corporate overlord

seems, the sky’s the limit for beer and pot.

of Corona and Modelo Especial beers, now owns a $3.9 billion stake in Canopy Growth Corporation, the largest

CBD in Hops Plants

Canadian cannabis grower, and there’s speculation that

Family bonds are another reason for the symbiotic

the move might be the beginning of a bid for complete

relationship between the cannabis and the hops plants.

ownership. At the least, it confirms a commitment to

Dr. Bomi Joseph was the first to identify the cannabi-

become seriously involved with Canopy.

noids THC and CBD in a plant that isn’t cannabis when

Molson Coors, Blue Moon’s parent company, is also looking into the Canadian market, which is set to open for legal

he found them in Humulus, or hops, which give beers their distinctive flavors. sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 103

Cannabis and hops both belong to Cannabaceae, a small family of flowering plants that also includes

“And I wanted to get my hands on cannabidiol and couldn’t find it.”

hackberries. Joseph was seeking substances that might

He had to look elsewhere for a CBD source and found

have a positive effect on liver cancer cells when he ran

several strains in Humulus plants. Because all hops

across cannabidiol (CBD), and soon found out that it is

plants in the United States are controlled by beer com-

federally illegal because it comes from the cannabis

panies who find the right combinations of flavors and

plant. “I was restricted from using cannabis,” he says.

compounds, patent them, and reproduce them endlessly, Joseph roamed the Silk Road regions of India and Mongolia to find wild varieties. “We started looking for nothing more than wild hops,” he says. “If you want the wild stuff, you have to go into the wild.” Joseph spent nearly three quarters of a year collecting the plants he needed. “It took eight months of mucking around to get samples. I was possessed,” he says. “When I think about it now, today I wouldn’t have done it. My friends said, ‘What are you thinking?’” He came back with plenty of specimens and hired botanists and experts to crossbreed the strains, and they came up with an oil containing 18 percent CBD. He has applied for a patent for Real Scientific Humulus Oil (RHSO-K), the first non-cannabis CBD oil on the market, for sale at the


If you’re silly enough to drive…

company’s website, REALSCIENTIFICHEMPOIL.COM. Joseph admits the hops/cannabis connection is more marketing tool than reality. “Everybody uses the word hops for our stuff,” he says. “But if you’re a botanist, you say, ‘What the heck’s going on?’ It is a Humulus, the same species, but not the plant that gives you beer flavor.”

Buds and brew go together, brah, and sometimes they don’t. Mixing beer and pot isn’t generally a good idea, and it’s especially bad if you’re getting on the road. A 2017 Colorado Department of Transportation study found more alcohol-related deaths than any other, but it also found that the number of drivers with cannabis and some other substance in their systems rose dramatically–and that’s scary. There isn’t a lot of solid science on how cannabis and alcohol interact in the body. I know from personal experience that the effects of both become more profound and dramatic and I should stay the hell away from driving my car.

Big Science Blue Moon’s Villa explains that CERIA Beverages is vying to introduce a line of cannabis-infused nonalcoholic craft beverages containing THC. Basically, he says, they will brew beer, then extract all the alcohol and infuse it instead with special concoctions of cannabinoids and terpenes to produce the desired effect. His goal is for all consumers to have quantifiable, comparable experiences every time. There’s a lot of science involved, and CERIA partnered with Colorado-based cannabis research company Ebbu to create the infusions for the new brews. Ebbu has been researching terpenes and cannabinoids since 2013 and sells a line of exclusive oil products. Ebbu president Jon Cooper says the company is working with others beyond CERIA that are interested in cannabis and beer collaborations. There’s a growing market for cannabis-curious people who don’t want to smoke cannabis, he says. “We know how to drink. Our piece of the technology is to figure out how to control the experience like with a beer in a product that tastes the same and smells the same.”

104 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Cannabis plants are notably dissimilar and contain

Staying Nimble

dozens of compounds that vary even from plant to plant.

After Lagunitas Brewing Company released Super-

“It’s like chemical chaos,” Cooper says. “How can we

Critical beer made with hops and hemp, the state shut it

create a consistent experience from the chaos of the

down. “We were told we couldn’t do that,” says Laguni-

plant? We tear it down to individual ingredients, so you

tas’ marketing rep Karen Hamilton. “No CBD or THC. It

have what you need to make a consistent product. To

was unexpected. We didn’t realize that.”

deliver that awesome experience, we have to get super geeky. It’s the same way we do in medicine.”

While waiting for things to change, the company did its research and came up with a fun idea in Hi-Fi Hops, which are 12-ounce cans of sparkling water infused with cannabis. There are two varieties or doses:


one with 5 milligrams of CBD and THC, and the other with 10 milligrams of THC. Both varieties are now on sale in California.


The company is marketing Hi-Fi with some clever hints that it contains cannabis—“this drink will get you high, just don’t call it beer”—and Hamilton says that sales have been going strong in dispensaries. “It’s sell-

Ebbu scientists separate specific sets of cannabi-

ing like crazy, so we had to limit how much per person

noids to deliver certain experiences and eliminate any

each consumer could buy,” she says. “That’s a good

chemicals in THC that might make people anxious or

problem to have.”

paranoid. “I don’t believe in full spectrum,” Cooper says.

New Belgium Brewing in Ft. Collins, CO is celebrating

“Besides being inconsistent, you have some compounds

the passage of the 2014 Farm bill, which changed the

doing what you want and some doing what you don’t.

way the federal government regulates industrial hemp

This way you’re not limited by what the plant does.”

and could loosen restrictions, with its Hemperor hemp-






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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 105

and-hops HPA, which public relations coordinator Jesse Claeys says “showcases the game-changing union of hop and hemp.” At first, Hi-Fi was made from hemp flowers. When this ran afoul of the federal ban on hemp, so New Belgium started using de-shelled hemp seeds instead. New Belgium has partnered with Willie Nelson’s Willie’s Reserve cannabis company for an education campaign about bringing hemp back into the mainstream. “Right now all efforts are about using beer to have a conversation,” Claeys says. “We really think we have a good shot on the Farm Bill this year. Let’s get the laws changed and updated, and then let’s brew the beer we want to make.”

106 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


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Moving Product as a Trusted Source FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, A DIALED-IN CANNABIS WHOLESALER HITS ITS STRIDE. Source Colorado co-founder Connor Thompson start-

The cannabis business is different now than when he

ed working as a grower in 2010, helping build a dispen-

started, and that’s one of the reasons that Source Colora-

sary where he began dabbling in more of the cannabis

do has thrived. “Some people think you just hop in and

business that was developing in Colorado.

sell cannabis products like you used to do,” he says. “Now

The grow operation he was working in was getting

you have to be really dialed in as a cultivator, very cost-per-

bigger and bigger, and around 2012, he got introduced

pound conservative. There are tons of product, and there

to the independent wholesale brokering of cannabis.

are not enough stores to consume all of that product,”

“At that time, nobody was putting together wholesale

he says. “We are seeing the rise of 100,000-square-foot

brokering contracts who was also reputable,” he says.

greenhouses, so there is just a lot of product out there.”

So he brought in a couple of college friends, including

He says that the market is evolving. Where outdoor

co-founder Dan Lauber, and launched Source Colorado

grows once had the market’s business, now green-

out of Crested Butte (another office opened in Denver

house-grown products are catching up in quality with

later), working out of his camper truck and beginning

a much lower cost-per-pound.

by canvassing the dispensaries in the state, from Denver

But there remains a price point fluctuation. “Finding high-

to Pueblo to Trinidad, where he soon started getting

end affordable product is easier than ever,” he says. “We

orders. “Over the last two years, we have made ourselves

have to be close to the market leveling out at some point.”

one of the desired wholesale or brokering companies

The company wants to work in California with a dis-

to work with, with some of the best people in the state,”

tributor there soon—“it’s a great time to get in now,” he

Thompson says.

says—and is watching developments in Florida, Mich-

“We qualify the companies that we work with, get-

igan, Pennsylvania, and New York, ready to help busi-

ting the unprofessional people out of the way and work

nesses there save money because of the company’s ex-

with the real guys that are ready to do real business,” he

perience meeting compliance regulations. “We want to

says. “There is a need for people who treat this industry

help people with their projects in other states,” he says.

like a normal industry.”

“But we are kind of holding tight. We have this Colorado

He says that they broker product to stores, marijua-

market pretty dialed in right now.”

na-infused product facilities (MIPs), and cultivators. Source Colorado has worked for 126 sellers and 259 buyers over the lifetime of the company.

112 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 113


Testing Over and Above Requirements AGRICOR CONTINUES TO FIND BETTER WAYS TO TEST CANNABIS PRODUCTS. The services provided by Denver-based Agricor Lab-

ing the minimum state-mandated requirements to

oratories have their roots in the pharmaceutical indus-

become a testing laboratory is simply not enough. The

try, a perfect background for testing cannabis and a

state has decided to sort of skip what was already in

natural extension of what Mike Branvold, president of

place in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reg-

Agricor, has been doing most of his life.

ulated space and invent their own wheel. Until they

Branvold worked in the pharmaceutical industry for

get over that and reach into what the FDA has de-

13 years before starting a business to validate equip-

termined is necessary to generate confident data, it’s

ment and processes in laboratory, manufacturing, and

going to continue to be this cobbled system.”

production spaces in the pharmaceutical sector. He

In the meantime, Agricor will continue building on

grew that business to 27 people before it was acquired

its current suite of tests, keeping an eye on what’s to

in 2012 by a publicly traded validation business. “After

come. “I think the next thing that we will see are prob-

that, I started kicking the tires of the marijuana busi-

ably tests required for mycotoxins,” Branvold says. “And

ness to see if that would be a space for us,” he says.

I would say heavy metals are somewhere down the

Through all of 2013, he did his due diligence. “I interviewed as many folks as I could get my hands on, ask-

line as well. Those are probably the two that are on the radar at this point.”

ing them about the business, about what their pain points were with regard to lab testing,” he says. “So that year became my investigational year.” He started Agricor in January 2014 with a management and lab staff from the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) regulated pharmaceutical industry. The criteria for the testing services that Agricor does—potency, homogeneity, terpene profile, residual solvent analysis, microbial contamination, pesticide screening—are generally regulated by the state. But Agricor goes further than other labs to secure its legitimacy, by working within the guidelines of GMP and Good Laboratory Practices. Last year, the lab was granted ISO/IEC 17025 endorsement by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, a highly prized certification for cannabis testing labs. Branvold wants to keep a seat at the table for discussing the evolution of lab-services professionals in the cannabis industry and help guide regulators as the industry matures. The current state system is not the answer, he says. “Testing labs have struggled from day one to the present in generating accurate and repeatable test results,” he says. “And that is because follow114 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 115



There is a lot of moving and shaking in the canna-

By 2014, Keef became the largest 10-milligram,

bis-infused beverage industry— or is that just bubbling

high-volume beverage product in Colorado, distribut-

and fizzing?—but one of the first to lead the pack was

ed to 415 dispensaries. That was just the beginning.

Keef Brands, which was founded in December 2009,

“We took that licensing agreement we created in 2011

and began sales in Colorado from its base in Boulder

and refined it in 2015 and signed the first two licens-

the following year.

ing agreements out of state, in Arizona and California,”

That was when Erik Knutson, CEO of Keef Brands,

Knutson says.

along with his co-founder brother, Kelly, plus several

The licensing company they work with, Colora-

friends, founded the company only to be forced out of

do-based CanCore Concepts, licensed the first man-

Boulder, running afoul of what Erik called “bureaucratic

ufacturing facility outside the US mainland in Puerto

issues.” Basically, Denver would not allow a company

Rico in 2016, which was up and running in January with

not based in that city to sell edibles.

product marketed to most of the dispensaries there.

“It took two months to get up and running in Den-

In addition to its sparkling water, and other products

ver, and we basically lost part of our investment capital

under the Keef Brand (cola and health drink), OilStix

in Boulder,” Knutson says. “All we had left was our ma-

(vape pen) and VitaCanna (spray and capsules), Knut-

chinery and anything else that wasn’t bolted down.”

son says that Keef recently launched a tea line and is

That was when the company decided to work on a

looking at introducing a line of coffee products. “We

licensing strategy to continue building its business, op-

just signed a deal with Koios Beverage Corporation, the

erating under a “quasi-Coca Cola” intellectual property

Canadian company that

agreement that got it into more than 400 dispensaries

creates Nootropic bever-

in Denver by the end of 2011.

ages, which is basically a

A couple of failed partnerships later, Keef finally found

line of functional cog-

profitability and created a Denver packaging company


in September 2013, then got the operational license to

erages,” Knutson says.

relaunch its recreational line of beverages.

“We are set to launch in


The brothers developed a second product offering—a

that category sometime

vaporizer line—building on the success of brother Kelly’s

early next year. But we

spinoff CO2 extraction system business, Isolate Extraction

are definitely looking at

Systems. “He built the largest extraction system com-


pany in Colorado, now with over 100 systems in North

ucts and seeing how to

America, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico,” Knutson says.

incorporate those.”



Keef’s vape pens are now available in dispensaries such as Native Roots, LivWell, and other dispensaries across the state.

116 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 117


A Denver District Gem Keeps the Community at the Top of its Agenda A BUSINESS VISIONARY CREATES A BUSY CANNABIS BOUTIQUE THAT ADDS A DISTINCT FLAVOR TO A DIVERSE ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT. Don Novak, founder and president of the Denver Bluebird District board since 2013, is one of those city vision-

now as well, with increased competition for dispensaries and other tourist attractions.”

aries who has spent nearly 20 years as a supporter and

She says that the two best-selling products overall are

developer of the city’s formerly gritty Colfax Avenue, and

gummies—Wana Brands products are top sellers—and

co-founded a respectable cannabis boutique business in

cartridges from Ascend Cannabis. “Oil and cartridge

the process.

products are a really in a competitive market right now,”

That 3,500-square-foot cannabis boutique, Ground-

Dougherty-Altieri says. “You are seeing more and more

Swell Cannabis Boutique, began selling medical can-

high-quality cartridges and oil on the market now. You

nabis in 2010 and added recreational products in April

don’t see any low-grade choices anymore.”

2015 in an attached space that was formerly the Ground-

This quality cannabis boutique operation in a popular

Swell Art Gallery, which curated monthly art shows from

entertainment part of the city lends itself to speculation

2012 to 2015.

about the potential of a social-use development space,

The community respect for the district continues to-

possibly adjacent to the store. “That would be amazing,”

day as GroundSwell works with Propaganda Labs, a mar-

Dougherty-Altieri admits. “But realistically, we all know

keting and events company, to organize large communi-

that is a long way away. It poses a lot of challenges to

ty events as it has for more than nine years. In fact, many

have it attached to a licensed facility that is so heavily

of the 20-plus employees working at the boutique have

regulated. Still, that’s a goal of ours.”

lived and worked in the neighborhood. (GroundSwell’s nearby 12,000-square-foot grow employs 12.) Business at the boutique has been booming this year, according to general manager Sarah Dougherty-Altieri, tending to be strongest beginning in late April with a bit of a slowdown after Labor Day. As with many of the dispensaries in the state, much of Groundswell’s steady customers are the baby boomer crowd attracted to the cool, calm look and feel of this facility designed by Christian Butler of Studio Limited using a reclaimed, pine-beetle-kill motif. But the boutique also serves neighborhood regulars— which is about 20 percent of the customer base—and millennials who are generally visitors from other states. “It’s been great,” Dougherty-Altieri says. “But this has been one year that has been different for many licensed facilities because a lot of other states are selling product

118 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 119


Using Academia and Biotech Pros to Make Cleaner Cannabis Products NFB’S CAREFUL, CONTROLLED METHODS LEAD TO CONSISTENT DOSING LEVELS AND A FOCUS ON IMPROVING TASTE PROFILES. confusion about what a sublingual spray is,” Colagiovanni says. “We learned that over time. That word was confusing to a lot of people, so we realized we needed to change our terminology to meet the needs of the community.” NFB uses a clean room set-up for manufacturing the micro-mist and nasal spray, she says, which is a self–contained unit that gives them an extra level of cleanliness that greatly exceeds a food kitchen type of environment. The world of cannabis products ingested by humans can be tricky, especially in Colorado where new product testing laws went into effect July 1. When it comes to Founded in 2014 and on a growth surge since, Next

matching or exceeding all the state requirements for its

Frontier Biosciences (NFB) moved to a new, approxi-

products, Colagiovanni says, the company approaches

mately 4,000-square-foot facility in late July in West-

that issue utilizing science and analytics criteria culled

minster, Colorado, to expand and continue its work as

from their backgrounds in academia and biotechnology.

a combined research and development lab and manu-

Colagiovanni, plus both the chief scientific officer of NFB,

facturing facility.

Paul Johnson, and the director of formulation sciences,

NFB develops its formulations in-house and then

Steve Cape, all have PhDs. In fact, the team at NFB has

sources whole plant extract and distillate to use in the

a combined 100 years of pharmaceutical drug develop-

final product manufacturing process at an outside con-

ment experience.

tractor facility in Denver.

NFB is eyeing expansion soon. By the end of Septem-

“We do a lot of that formulation work upfront to de-

ber, Colagiovanni says, the company will launch in Cali-

termine the most stable, the most accurate, and best

fornia, working with Berkeley-based BAS Research as a

tasting,” Dot Colagiovanni, vice president for product de-

partner. “BAS is going to be sourcing all of the oil—they

velopment at NFB, says. NFB developers have discovered

are really involved with getting clean oil for all of their

that one of the more important elements to consider in

products—and doing the manufacturing process in-

their formulation process is the taste profile. “We really

house.” She says that she and other NFB leaders will go

spend a lot of time on that because the cannabinoids are

to BAS and work hand-in-hand to make sure that the

so bitter that we want to work on improving the flavor

extraction and manufacturing processes adhere to NFB

profiles and the taste,” Colagiovanni explains. “That is an


art. And that helps separate us from the other products

“We are also in some agreements right now to go into

out there that just have a sort of hash-y tasting product.”

four US states,” she says. “And we are interested in going

NFB has three products in its Verra Wellness offerings

into Canada as well.”

aimed at a demographic aged 35-plus: three topical salves, three nasal sprays, and three micro-mist sublingual sprays with different ratios of cannabis. “There was a lot of 120 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

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sensimag.com OCTOBER 2018 121

As the cannabis industry grows, so does the number of professionals within it, acting as incredible sources of insider info on the trends and issues driving the marketplace forward. The Sensi Advisory Board is comprised of select industry leaders in a variety of fields, from compliance and education to concentrates and cultivation. They are invited to share specialized insight in this dedicated section. This month, we hear from members in the tax + accounting and soil categories. FOR A FULL LIST OF ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS, SEE THE ADVISORY BOARD ON PAGE 14.

The next major component to a living soil system as it is to all ecosystems is water. All living things need water to survive, and a living soil is no different. The existence of the fragile ecosystem within a plants rhizosphere always requires the surrounding medium to be slightly moist and must never be allowed to fully dehydrate. Loss of soil moisture may disrupt the essential cycles regulating the healthy growth of plants. The fifth and final component to a healthy living soil is aeration. The beneficial microbes and likewise all of the beneficial organisms that exist in a living soil system are aerobic, meaning they thrive in oxygen-rich environments. The presence of silica and the addition of worms


and even small pea gravel all work to prevent soil compaction and waterlog in heavier soils rich in clay. Good aeration will also help to prevent population growth of anaerobic plant pathogens that damage crops.

THE BENEFITS The benefits of creating a living soil system are abundant, from minimal impact on the environment to responsible sustainability. The innumerable health benefits of living soil for humans and countless species would no longer be negatively impacted by harsh agricultural chemi-

In the constantly evolving world of cannabis cultivation, there are many different grow media utilized—everything from inert soilless blends for synthetic nutrient regiments to deep water culture hydroponic systems. We will be discussing the benefits and basic composition of living organic soil. An ideal living soil system is comprised of five important components: minerals, organic material, worms, water, and air. Minerals are the first and primary components of a living soil, and should consist of a loamy mixture of clay, silica (sand), and silt. This will comprise the bulk of the soil at up to 50 percent of its overall makeup. The next component is the addition of organic material including compost, manures, and other organic amendments such as oyster shells, bone meals, kelp, and alfalfa. The next and arguably one of the most important components of any living soil system are worms. A healthy population of worms, including red worms (Eisenia foe-

tida) and red earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus), two popular species among organic gardeners, are essential to the breakdown of compost and organic amendments to more useable forms for plants to metabolize as well as the production of nitrate rich castings and the production of humic acid. 122 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

cals. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of water abstraction globally and is the primary source of surface and groundwater pollution in the United States. By converting to living soil systems and sustainable farming practices, this can change dramatically. Utilization of living soil can also greatly reduce or even eliminate the need to use chemical pesticides. A healthy supportive ecosystem within the grow media creates a healthy immune system and allows plants to fight off pests and diseases. These are but a few benefits of growing with living soil systems.

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OCTOBER 2018 123


So, what can you do to defend and protect yourself? In the past, the belief was as long as you accounted for the non-cannabis activities separately, such as different classes in QuickBooks, you would be ok. It doesn’t appear this will fly any more. The single biggest step you can take now is to set up your non-cannabis activity as totally separate entities. Completely segregating the businesses will give you a much better path to justifying the revenues and fully legitimate deductible expenses of the non-cannabis activity. Another crucial factor in determining the success or failure of your cannabis business is choosing what profes-

Just when you think you have 280E figured out, BAM!

sionals to work with. I have had several new clients come

Here comes another curveball. Recent court cases (Alter-

to me with tax returns and financials prepared by non-can-

man and Alpenglow among them) have empowered the

nabis accountants that bordered on criminal; they were

IRS even more and have seemingly weakened landmark

that bad. No 280E recognition, balance sheets not tied out,

cases like CHAMP.

incorrect codes, no disclosures. If you hire professionals

Attorneys representing clients in audits have told me

who don’t know 280E (accounting and legal) then you are

the IRS has now taken the position that if you do not have

digging a huge hole for yourself. This industry is filled with

“enough” non-cannabis revenue from products such as

very complex accounting, tax, and legal issues; not having

glassware and T-shirts, you will not be able to take related

the proper people in place will kill your business.

deductions. What is enough? Good question, and one we

Until marijuana is removed as a Schedule I drug, it will

are still trying to figure out. Another adverse position the

still be the Wild West when it comes to figuring out what

IRS is taking concerns advertising. If you have your brand

you can and can’t do to maximize your deductions and

name/logo on T-shirts, hats, or any non-cannabis item you

minimize taxes. Seek out the best representation and

sell, it can be construed as advertising, which falls directly

you will be on your way to providing your business with

under 280E. Disallowed deduction.

the best chance to survive and succeed.

124 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

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Ricardo Baca and the Grasslands team hosted an invite-only, Colorado-chic evening of conversation, heavy passed appetizers, drinks, and cannabis under the stars— and the full moon. The Grasslands Nightcap experiential event series is a celebration of community, bringing together thought leaders from Colorado’s cannabis and journalism industries for gatherings highlighted by conversation and conviviality.

126 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

What: The Grasslands Nightcap Where: The Bacas’ Backyard When: August 25, 2018

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT : Sam Pendleton, Chloe Steerman, Shawna McGregor, Emily Gray Brosious, Ricardo Baca, Melana Baca, Aleta Labak, Emily Trigg, Emily McCarter, Jennifer Boeder

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128 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder


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More than just a showcase of dance and music on a stage, Jessica Lang Dance creates a celebration of substance. The New York-based company is coming to Boulder to present a balanced program of immersive works from globally celebrated choreographer Jessica Lang’s contemporary repertoire. There are 10 pieces in the planned program, and the common thread running through it all is Lang’s signature category-defying blend of styles, a classically modern mix of ballet and modern movement enhanced by music and a striking use of lighting, space, and other elements. It results in a surreal journey that’s dynamic and immersive, and it will sell out. CU PRESENTS JESSICA LANG DANCE at the University of Colorado Boulder / Fri., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. / Tickets start at $20. / CUPRESENTS.ORG

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130 OCTOBER 2018 Denver // Boulder

Profile for Sensi Magazine

Sensi Magazine - Denver/Boulder (October 2018)  

Sensi Magazine October 2018 - Denver/Boulder Digital Edition

Sensi Magazine - Denver/Boulder (October 2018)  

Sensi Magazine October 2018 - Denver/Boulder Digital Edition