Sensi Magazine - Denver/Boulder (October 2019)

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Woo-Woo Wellness for Woofers Saving the World

One psychedelic trip at a time





Scientifically formulated with simple ingredients for maximum effectiveness.

@verrawellness OCTOBER 2019 3

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l l a F






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Celebrate the Season Try with your favorite recipe! Pumpkin Spice Latte


+\2 cups milk + 3 tbsp pumpkin puree + 2-3 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spices + 1 tbsp vanilla extract

+ 1/2 cup hot espresso + Whipped cream + Garnish: incredibles Pumpkin Pie chocolate!


Step 1. Mix the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice & vanilla in a saucepan. Step 2. Warm over medium heat. Step 3. Whisk milk mixture into a foam. Step 4. Pour espresso into 2 mugs. Step 5. Divide the milk mixture into the mugs. Step 6. Top with whipped cream & a piece of incredibles Pumpkin Pie chocolate. Step 7. Enjoy! Have an incredible day!

10 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 11

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Introducing 1906 Drops: fast-acting enhancements for modern living. A toolkit of six plant-based experiences to optimize every part of your day. Thoughtful formulations of THC and CBD, plus super effective adaptogens and herbs for energy, arousal, relaxation, sleep, focus, and a happy mood.

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ISSUE 10 //VOLUME 4 //10.2019

FEATURES 74 Woo-woo Woofers

Here in Colorado, you’ll find lots of ways to pamper your pooch.

82 Psychedelic Feminism

Cosmic Sister is working to create diversity through sacred plants.

90 Falling for Bohemia

The people, history, and creative spirit of the Czech Republic.


FURRY FREELOADER Work hard to give your dog the v bestest



Pot or Not?

How the 0.3-percent THC rule is fraying the American hemp industry.

every issue 17 21 28 32

Editor’s Note The Buzz Horoscope NewsFeed


38 TasteBuds


46 LifeStyle


54 AroundTown CALENDAR

62 HighProfile


106 NewsFeed


140 The Scene


144 HereWeGo


Sensi magazine is published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2019 SENSI MEDIA GROUP LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. OCTOBER 2019 15

sensi magazine ISSUE 10 / VOLUME 4 / 10.2019





EDITORIAL sensimediagroup

Stephanie Wilson EDITOR IN CHIEF

Doug Schnitzspahn EXECUTIVE EDITOR


Robyn Griggs Lawrence EDITOR-AT-LARGE

John Lehndorff DINING EDITOR

Dawn Garcia, Nora Mounce sensimagazine


Ruth Cuevas, Mona Van Joseph, Nicole Riggs, Abigail Scott, Rebecca Treon CONTRIBUTING WRITERS


Rheya Tanner, Wendy Mak, Josh Clark sensimag



Liana Cameris PUBLISHER

Ilee Desoto Amanda Patrizi ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS





Hector Irizarry 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 16 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder




Right before I sat down to start writing this note,

I was out walking my pupper (read: procrastinating) and there was that telltale snap to the air, the signal that fall has arrived to usher out the remaining days of summer whether we’re ready or not. I tell myself and everyone who will listen that I’m never ready for the autumnal equinox to put an official period on the end of the best season; I want more days by the pool in the sun. And I really believe

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I do. But then some innate part of my brain takes over, and I start to crave the comfort of chunky sweaters, orange-hued decor accents, and steaming bowls of ramen (my comfort food of choice last winter; Bao Chica Bao at Milk Market is basically addicting). This time of year, our bodies are primed for change, cued not only by our natural surroundings but by something more instinctual. After college, I sprinted south to the tropics of Miami, where September and October don’t bring cool nights and crisp mornings; they bring hurricanes and humidity so stifling you feel like you’re swimming through it. Yet come mid-September, my reptilian brain would say it’s time to start layering up, and I’d find myself pulling on neutral sweaters over the bright tanks I wore like a uniform in June, July, and August. This is all a long way of saying change is in the air this time of year. Literally, where foliage is involved. The aspens this year are predicted to be glorious. If you haven’t picked up on October’s theme yet: it’s change. The only constant. The cover article is perhaps the best manifestation in this issue; instead of having children, millennials are putting their money where their pets are. Splurging on luxury pet items is the norm for the Aspirational Class—a category of individuals whose status is defined by cultural sophistication rather than conspicuous consumption. Think: yoga, Whole Foods, organic everything. It’s a whole new world, and it’s constantly evolving. It won’t be long until someone opens the Canyon Ranch of cannabis—and I aspire to be there when it does. You’ll probably find me lounging by the resort’s pool. Some things never change, even if wardrobes do.

Photos courtesy of Michelle Koster Photography, LLC.


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RE SOU RC E M ED I C AL C E NT E R D r. Sarah Co h e n , MD


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We are devoted to the integrative model of medicine, which thoughtfully combines conventional medicine with time-honored healing wisdom and herbalism.

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Join us for a Night at the Cabaret. Live music, circus performances, silent characters, HUGE prize raffles, and cannabis community all benefitting Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains! Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 7-11:00 PM - Broomfield CO. Location details to follow registration TO RECEIVE AN INVITATION: DM @ccdgawards on Instagram or Facebook Follow us and be entered to win passes to the event and local discounts from sponsors OCTOBER 2019 19

20 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Oh, Word

“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”


—Friedrich Nietzsche OCTOBER 2019 21

Colorful Colorado

This fall is living up to the promise of the state’s welcome sign. The epic winter of 2019 just keeps on giving. All that snow melted into a wet spring, and then steady summer rains added to the abundant moisture—all adding up to make one of the most brilliant fall spectacles Colorado has seen in years. The leaf-viewing is great along all the Front Range’s classic looky-loo drives, but here’s a handful of our fall favorites. To find more, visit CODOT.GOV/TRAVEL/SCENIC-BYWAYS . Trail Ridge Road (US 34) Winding well above tree line through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park to Grand Lake, the highest continuous paved road in North America climbs above 11,000 feet for 8 miles and peaks at 12,183 feet. The road closes for the season on October 14 and temporarily for snow. Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway This old wagon route for miners rambles along County Road 381 from historic Georgetown to Grant passing 14,060-foot Mount Bierstadt along the way. The newly paved road along the South Platte River is peppered with pockets of quaking golden aspen. The road closes for the season in November and temporarily for snow. 22 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Cache la Poudre Scenic Byway (CO 14) The drive through the rugged Cache la Poudre River Canyon takes you through Roosevelt National Forest and over Cameron Pass, with shimmering views of the Medicine Bow, Never Summer, and Rabbit Ears ranges. Peak-to-Peak Highway Acre upon acre of brilliant yellow aspens make this threehour drive from Estes Park down through Clear Creek Canyon—Colorado’s oldest scenic byway—a favorite for locals and tourists alike. You’re sure to see elk. –Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Old Guys, Young Souls

Neil Young and Crazy Horse recorded Colorado, their first album in seven years, over 11 days and nights in a studio near Telluride. Neil Young and Crazy Horse haven’t rocked Red Rocks since 2012, but fans needn’t worry—the legendary singer/songwriter and his roots band haven’t burned out or faded away. Young and Crazy Horse (bassist Billy Talbot, drummer Ralph Molina, and guitarist Nils Lofgren, replacing Frank “Poncho” Sampedro) were back together again last April to record Colorado, their first LP since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill, during an intense session near Telluride. An advance track, “Milky Way,” is already streaming. “It’s old guys,” Young wrote on his blog at on NEILYOUNGARCHIVES.COM . “Old guys still alive in young

souls and the music they make together.” He also called Colorado “one of the most diverse albums I have ever made.” Young and the band hauled their 1970s analog equipment up to Studio in the Clouds, a mesa-top facility in the San Juans, and played for 11 days and nights straight to record the 11-track album. Mountaintop Sessions, a documentary about making Colorado, will be released alongside the album. “You will see the whole process just as it went down!” Young wrote “Warts and all! I don’t think a film about this subject with the openness and intensity we have captured has ever been seen.” Colorado is available in high-resolution audio through NEILYOUNGARCHIVES.COM . (Young’s just-released book, To Feel the Music: A

Songwriters Mission to Save High-Quality Audio, chronicles his passion for bringing back the old-school sound.) A vinyl double album with a bonus 7-inch single with two additional tracks is available for $45; CDs are $19. Young and Crazy Horse won’t be touring for the rest of 2019, but fans should consider a Red Rocks show in 2020 a very real possibility.

–RGL OCTOBER 2019 23

Get Declawed

Hard seltzer is made from fermented sugar water with fresh fruit purees added for flavor.

Summer’s over, but Colorado hard seltzers are here to stay. You wouldn’t drink a Bud Light if a Fat Tire were available, and you’ll always choose Boulder-brewed Rowdy Mermaid over market leader GT’s kombucha. But if you’re like most of the country, you’ve been settling for the Hacky Sack of hard seltzers (completely ironically, we know) when local alcohol waters have been right there all along. Savvy beer and spirits brewers in Colorado saw the Summer of the Claw coming—and though they haven’t been able to touch White Claw’s meme power or market share, they’ve created some pretty tasty seltzers. This summer, the owners of Grand Lake Brewing Tavern started brewing seltzer instead of beer and turned their 17-year-old tavern in Olde Town Arvada into what they claim is the country’s first seltzer taproom, Elvtd at 5280, where you can taste flavors like blueberry, cucumber, acai, and tangelo. Taprooms across the state such as Verboten Brewing & Barrel Project in Loveland and Soul Squared Brewing in Fort Collins are featuring hard seltzer taps with rotating flavors. –RGL Other local favorites include: Upslope Spiked Snow Melt: juniper and lime, pomegranate and acai, tangerine and hops Oskar Blues Wild Basin: classic lime, cucumber peach, melon basil, lemon agave hibiscus Denver Beer O&A: black cherry, lime Epic Brewing Pakka: lemon-lime, black cherry 24 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Odell Zest: lemon-lime, Eddy Mule (ginger and lime)

Moulin Rouge in Broomfield Party with a purpose.

Sponsored by a power trio of female-led cannabis businesses, A Night at the Cabaret will be an evening of magic and wonderment carefully paired with cannabis to benefit Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains on Thursday, October 17, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Chateaux at Fox Meadows in Broomfield. The interactive event for more than 350 of the industry’s leaders and influencers, sponsored by Mason Jar Event Group, Irie Weddings & Events, and Cannabis Doing Good, will feature fire dancers, magicians, treats from culinary and cocktail artists, and cannabis goodies. “Planned Parenthood is an organization that has suffered from lack of funding, especially now in our current political landscape,” says Mason Jar founder Kendal Norris. “This event gives the cannabis industry the opportunity to come to the aid of an organization that is about community, wellness, and reproductive health. Who can’t get behind that?” During the event, the first-ever Cannabis Doing Good Awards will be handed out to business leaders who go above and beyond to champion community outreach, sustainability, and equity. We can get behind that.


To learn more or purchase tickets, email CDGGALA@GMAIL.COM .

Be Aware

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. The world is awash in pink ribbons right now—tiny reminders to book a mammogram everywhere you look. Book one. Now. October 13 is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. It’s also my mom’s birthday. She would have been 72 this year, but…metastatic breast cancer has no cure. It’s fatal, 100 percent of the time. If you’re donating, marching, or buying pink-tinged products this month, do a little research to ensure your efforts go to organizations funding research for a cure, not just paying for awareness/ad campaigns. Or just donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BSRF.ORG ), knowing your contributions will be well spent. –Stephanie Wilson OCTOBER 2019 25

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{horoscope } by M O N A VA N J O S E P H



Las Vegas intuitive MONA VAN JOSEPH has been predicting her clients’ potential since 2002. She’s an author, columnist, host of "Psychic View Radio," and created the Dice Wisdom (DICEWISDOM.COM ) app for iPhone and Android.

your success will be procrasti-

the people for whom you care)

nation. Whether or not you own

your version of perfect. From

your own company, behave as

vacillation and boredom comes

though you are the owner. This

a new perspective.

is your month to be proactive, not to coast. The things and adventures you want are there for the asking…so ask.


Sept 23–Oct 22

yourself out there for what you want, but that’s precisely the


Dec 22–Jan 19


Jan 20–Feb 18

The fastest way to motivate you is to piss you off. That’s unfortunate for whoever has tapped into your ire because

This is not a month of initi-

vibration upon you this month.

Define your version of happi-

no one can hold a grudge like

ation for you; it is a month of

No one can live your life.

ness and success this month.

an Aquarian. This month, give

Do not look at what other

yourself the gift of forgive-

people are doing (or worse,

ness. People are pulling at you,

compare your life to theirs) to

and it’s time to decide. Ask

self-healing. October is a “one” vibration, and for you, that means taking care of health


Nov 22–Dec 21

issues. Consult your doctor

Start asking the questions that

define your happiness. Do not

yourself, “Have these people

about whatever you’ve been

show people how bright you

dwell on the unfairness of life;

been good or bad for me?”

putting off. Avoid using other

are and that you are paying at-

instead, notice that birds still

Step away from anyone in the

people as an excuse for not

tention. Prepare for something

fly, kittens and puppies are irre-

“bad” category and align with

taking care of yourself. You’ve

big to present itself next month.

sistible, and you are here for a

people in the “good” category.



An opportunity for you to be all-

reason. Contemplate what you

Stop taking so many things so

lately about people and events.

in with your work will come, so

do have control over and do not

seriously. It’s time to get back

Stop that! Ask the question

have things lined up so you can

brood about things out of your

to where your genius resides:

and avoid assuming you know

respond. The only enemy to

control. Make your world (and

this precious moment.


what someone will tell you or


how they will act, especially when it comes to your emotional and physical well-being.


Oct 23–Nov 21

It’s not so much about the money anymore, but you’re making it about the money.

Feb 19–Mar 20

Libra, this is not a month of initiation for you; it’s a month of self-healing.

You’ve been fighting many egos lately. It’s time to withdraw from any issue that will cause a conflict, in romance and career. It’s been a year of readjustment and finding the place that allows you to flow with the times.

You are making yourself stay

Unless your dream job comes

in a situation that no longer

along, don’t seek to change jobs

serves you by using it as an

until next year. Avoid romantic

excuse. If your work is too

conflict; you can’t control other

easy for you and you’re bored

people and have to accept their

with it, it’s time to find some-

nature as a reflection of who

thing you truly enjoy. Now is

they are. People’s dramatic be-

the time to prepare for your

havior isn’t about you; it’s about

next adventure, even if it’s on

them protecting their (alleged)

the side. It’s challenging to put

territory. Don’t engage.

28 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder


Mar 21–Apr 19 October vibrates to the number 1, which is Aries’s favorite number. “First at the buffet,” Aries will

Okay Gemini, stop putting off what you want this month. It’s time to be completely transparent with all your relationships.

say. In October, it is absolutely okay to be first in whatever you do. The first three weeks are success-driven, and any new projects started then will be meaningful. You must be willing to be totally committed and step into your limelight. Pursue any nagging projects and follow up with leads. Not necessarily a month for romance, but your charm will attract significant people. It’s okay to coast the last week of the month.


Apr 20–May 20 This is the month to explore partnerships and, more importantly, how you are regarded. This applies to both your business and personal life. Make

October is your lucky month.

anything; you’re just irritating

be grateful you’ve earned the

sure you are exploring legal

You will be in the right place

people around you. Rediscov-

right to do what you love—

agreements thoroughly and

at the right time. There are all

er reading and old movies and

and it’s okay to be self aware.

not taking someone’s word

sorts of spiritual and human an-

creating magic.

for a deal or arrangement. Call

gels working in your favor this

in that favor with an attorney

month, so please pay attention.

friend who owes you and ask

Accept all social invitations.

for advice. Taurus is frequently reluctant to call in favors, but this is the month to do so.


June 22–July 22


July 23–Aug 22


Aug 23–Sept 22 Finally, the catalyst year of

It’s time for you to learn to

struggle is over. You have

have fun again. I don’t care

been (or will very soon be)

what age you are because,

acknowledged for what you

What you do this month sets

Get out of your own way. It’s

as quoted by Ayn Rand, “All

bring to the table. It has been

up your freedom or limitations.

not about making anything

pleasures are personal.” Your

a personally challenging year

happen; it’s about letting

personal pleasure has nothing

of facing demons, protecting

things happen. No one is de-

to do with finding what’s “out

your family, and rejection. I am

liberately out to hurt you or

there” to make you happy; it’s

happy to report that you have

Okay, Gemini, stop putting off

betray you. Your big lesson

about that profound thing that

faced the firewalk, done the

what you want this month. It’s

this month is to learn to trust

you can lose yourself in the

right karmic thing, and evolved

time to be completely trans-

the process. Sincerely, thank

doing. It’s a creative month for

as an even better human as a

parent with all relationships.

the universe for even the sim-

you, Leo. Write that frigging

result. You didn’t need me to

You’ve been great at working

ple things, like toilet paper.

novel, throw paint on a can-

tell you this; you know this in

your environment to your favor,

Good news arrives by Octo-

vas, or learn to make the per-

your heart of hearts. Now the

but it’s time to state your truth,

ber 21…and until then? Do

fect soufflé. Do this to please

anchor is no longer holding

your worth, and what you want.

not verbally complain about

you. Everyone around you will

you back, and you can soar.


May 21–June 21 OCTOBER 2019 29

30 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 31

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

IS YOUR VAPE SAFE? Recent deaths and hospitalizations bring up important questions about vaporizer products. What can you do to protect yourself?

32 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Vaping has become one of the most popular methods of

ported in states where adult-use cannabis is illegal, but

ingesting cannabis. Vaporizers, battery-operated devices

not all. Many seem to be tied to bootleg cartridges, which

that heat cannabis (and tobacco) oil and deliver it in the

can be perfect knock-offs of legitimate ones and sold on

form of vapor, have given many adults the opportunity to

the black market, but a recent case in Oregon seems to be

try cannabis without having to smoke it.

linked to a legitimate cartridge bought in a store.

In the legal era, vaporizers have become fabulously

Scientists are busy tracking down the cause. But what’s

popular. For good reason. For one thing, they are mostly

lacking in most of the early reports is any nuance—what

sleek and stylish, easy to conceal in purses and pockets.

the cartridges actually contained, whether they were

Recent models look like zip drives. They are an especial-

bought legally, and whether they might have been tam-

ly attractive alternative to smoking, which many people,

pered with after purchase. And there is no information

from baby boomers to Gen Z, simply detest. And for ev-

about the users, what their lung health might have been

eryone for whom the perfume of cannabis is a part of its

like before they used vaporizers, or what other factors

attraction, there is someone out there who hates the dank

could be involved.

odor emanating from a pipe or joint. Because they create vapor rather than smoke, vaporizers are easy to use discreetly, an important consideration for many because there are few opportunities to smoke in public, even in legal states. Basically, the idea is that when a substance, in this case oil, becomes gaseous at a temperature lower than its critical point, it’s called vapor. Think of it like steam from boiling water. Though we have historical evidence that the ancient Egyptians inhaled vaporous fumes extracted from plants, the first e-cigarette was introduced here in 1927. In 1963, Herbert Gilbert came up with the “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette,” and the first modern e-cigarette was introduced in the US in 2007. Today there are dozens of models for every taste and style. And they are simple to use. All you need is a heating unit, a cartridge filled with liquid, and a rechargeable battery to operate it. Cartridges that can be refilled are called tanks. Their effectiveness is not in question. But a rash of recent health incidents, including hundreds of hospitalizations and several deaths, have been linked to vaporized products. The symptoms include shortness of breath or trouble breathing, chest pain, cough, fatigue,


and possible fever. The number of cases—and deaths—in more than half of US states has been rising. That something is going on is absolutely real; exactly what it is is perhaps less clear and has led to much confusion. Most cases have been OCTOBER 2019 33

Riverbar Pharms Bud & Breakfast Experience Cannabis in Beautiful Humboldt County, CA

There appears to be a link to chemicals and additives used in bootleg cartridges that when combusted could be causing the condition. Most people admitted to hospitals have trended younger, but there are no absolutes. Evidence is leading to the possible addition of Vitamin E, a substance used in many health products and lotions that can be dangerous when inhaled. Dr. Phillip Lamberty of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who has cared for three patients who became ill from vaping, told the Washington Post that adulterated or contaminated products were likely suspects “because these products have been out there for some time, and we’ve not seen these

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The outbreak has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a warning that people avoid using vaporizers until we learn more. In early September, the CDC said its initial findings pointed to similarities among those affected. “Patients report similar exposures, symptoms, and clinical findings,” and warned of the potential of lipoid pneumonia, a rare condition that RiverbarPharmsscom (707))726-1170 3555RiverbarrRoad,,Fortuna,,CAA95540 34 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

occurs when fat particles enter the lungs. CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration and individual states to find out whether the illnesses are linked to specific devices, ingredients, or contaminants in the devices. And at least part of the reason for the confusion

Stay Informed To keep up with the latest information on this outbreak, bookmark the CDC (CDC.GOV ) and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment websites (COLORADO.GOV/CDPHE ). You will find solid reporting on cannabis issues at the New York Times and Washington Post websites. Cannabis-oriented news sites that continually provide updated information include Leafly (LEAFLY.COM ), the National Organization for Marijuana Legalization blog (BLOG.NORML.ORG ), and Word on the Tree (WORDONTHETREE.COM ), a compendium of cannabis news.

is that vaping cartridges are, unlike other parts of the industry, poorly regulated by federal and state governments. Here in Colorado, the Department of Public Health and Environment is monitoring the situation, with updates posted regularly on its website. And though bootleg products—replacement cartridges that look exactly like legal ones can be reproduced down to the packaging so a customer might not even notice— proliferate, state officials are unaware of any bootleg products in Colorado. So what do you do as a consumer? Whom do you believe? People have been vaping cannabis and tobacco for many years now. Why the sudden spate of illnesses? If you have been buying vape products from a licensed Colorado dealer the last six years and haven’t shown any symptoms, chances are you’re not in danger. Everything we do, whether inhaling vapor or eating ice cream, has risks associated with it. (A recent study suggests that most diseases are caused by the foods we choose to eat.) If you’re curious about vaping, now probably isn’t the best time to start the experiment. In any situation like this, the best thing to do is try to get the most accurate information. Which means knowing your news outlets. Try to avoid the many bogus online “news sources” pushing certain points of view rather than providing accurate information. And remember that people can and do use data to “prove” anything they want. Statistics aren’t facts. They are numbers interpreted by people. Treat them as such. Know what you’re buying. To the extent that you can, ask your budtender, manager, or dispensary owner where the cartridges you’re buying came from, what are they made of, and what kinds of additives are being used along with the cannabis oil. Expect much more regulation of cartridges in the future as this plays out. The main thing for consumers, however, is simply to exercise common sense. Never buy cartridges off the street, no matter how attractive the price. And if you’re doubtful about any product, follow your instincts and don’t buy it. OCTOBER 2019 35


36 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 37

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

THE FOOD ROAD LESS TAKEN Relationships are the route a culinary pioneer took to soulful food travel.

38 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

“Without the usual distractions, you can regain your connection with yourself, your truth, and your food.” –Peggy Markel

Markel has been going over there from here for 27 years, but becoming a travel entrepreneur was the farthest thing from her mind when she first went to Italy. She was there to study the art of mosaics. Instead, she ended up learning how to cook pasta with the brother of a friend at a 15th-century villa. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF PEGGY MARKEL CULINARY ADVENTURES

“I loved that experience of connecting with the food, The most influential Colorado foodie that nobody has heard of pulls up on an old bicycle at a French bakery near

the people, and the place so much, and I wanted others to share it with others,” she says.

her home in Longmont. It’s a rare in-state sighting of the

Culinary travel may be a big business now—especial-

culinary travel pioneer who also helped introduce the Slow

ly after the late. Anthony Bourdain made it cool—but it

Food movement to the United States.

wasn’t a “thing” when Markel took the leap. She launched

The patrons don’t notice, but the gruff baker in his flour-dusted apron warmly greets Peggy Markel. In an accent veering between Alabama drawl and Italian

her initial adventure, La Cucina de Foccolare (Cooking by the Fireside) in Florence and the Tuscan hills in 1991.

opera, Markel admits that when she comes home to Col-

Relationships are the Route She Follows

orado, going out is the last thing on her mind.

“It was all pretty magical. One connection led to another

“I just want to stop moving and eating. Friends will in-

connection. That’s how I started new adventures to other

vite you to do something. ‘You ran all over the world, but

countries. I wasn’t looking for them, but someone would

you can’t go out for dinner?’ Sometimes our spirits need to

say, ‘You have to go here and see my friend.’ So we would

catch up before they can move again,” she says.

start a program there,” Markel says. Next on her agenda is

Peggy Markel Culinary Adventures encompasses eight

starting an adventure in Mykonos, Greece.

current programs, so she is gone six months of every year.

“I don’t ever market this business. Guests are almost

“I started 2019 in India at Jaipur. Then to Morocco, then

always a friend or family member of someone who has

Spain and Portugal, and then back to Italy. Then I came

gone on a trip. It’s by referral, so you tend to get the right

home in July,” she says.

kind of traveler,” Markel says.

She is set to return to Europe, where she maintains a

From the beginning, she knew what her guided adven-

fourth-floor walkup in a 16th-century palazzo in Florence,

tures wouldn’t include. Guests wouldn’t be at a Marriott

in September.

that serves American-style breakfast, and they wouldn’t

“When I’m tired, I have my sanctuary. That’s where I restore myself in between trips over there,” she says.

spend the day on a bus. They wouldn’t be visiting the usual sights or the “English spoken here” tourist traps. OCTOBER 2019 39

40 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

seeing the fields and fishing waters, and also learning how to make the region’s defining dishes. “We end up at the table at least three times a day, and there is always wine. You sit, you eat, and you talk. Without the usual distractions, you can regain your connection with yourself, your truth, and your food,” Markel says.

Slow Food Came to Colorado First While leading tours in Italy, Markel encountered a new and singular protest movement. “I remember sitting at a wine tasting listening to Carlo Petrini talk about Slow Food and why it was essential to reconnect people and food. He was like a preacher or a politician. I thought it was just like what I was doing,” Markel says. A movement initially fueled by outrage that a McDon-

Why Having a Guide Matters

ald’s was opening at the foot of Rome’s iconic Spanish

There are tons of food and culture guide books, travel

Steps, Slow Food has grown into an international orga-

blogs, and You Tube videos as well as organized culinary

nization that stresses saving local food cultures and pro-

bus tours. “I do think there is something to having a guide,

moting sustainability.

somebody who knows a place. People even try to follow my itineraries, but it’s not the same,” she says.

Markel brought the novel Slow Food idea home to Boulder with her in 1995.

Markel famously functions almost as a travel therapist. “I put my arms around the situation. It’s where guests sit at the table, what rooms they get. I think about the quality of the entire experience,” Markel says. For a week, Markel’s adventurers do not have to decide anything. They are gently directed from one good thing to another. “There’s a rhythm to each day. It’s a very feminine

Slow Food in Colorado:


touch, doing it my way,” Markel says. Simple curiosity has been her travel guide. “I go into a bakery somewhere, and I always poke my head in the

“The first official meeting of the Boulder Slow Food

back. What are you doing in there? Typically, the cooks

group was in a tipi with (American craft beer guru) Charlie

and bakers never see anybody, and they are thrilled to be

Papazian,” Markel says. That toast with homebrew was

asked,” Markel says.

one of the first Slow Food events ever in the United States.

The idea, Markel says, is for a small group to take a deep dive

Nearly 30 years later, Markel has proven to be prescient.

into a distinct culture’s relationship with food. “It’s an invitation.

The farm-to-table concept has become mainstream. Col-

Let me introduce you some people I know,” Markel says. After

orado is the epicenter of America’s Slow Food communi-

almost three decades, Markel knows the chefs, hoteliers, food

ty and the site for the past three summers of Slow Food

artisans, artists, and winemakers on a first name basis, as well

Nations, the organization’s premier gathering of American

as the boat captains on the islands off of Sicily.

and international foodies.

“The skippers all call me Peggy Peggy. I’ve met all their families,” she says. Whether it’s Rajastan in India, Marrakesh in Morocco, or Seville in Spain, her guest are tasting, meeting the makers,

The Pluses and Perils of Perpetual Travel A life in constant motion has given Markel a certain clarity about the value of travel. OCTOBER 2019 41

42 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

“I’ve learned that we all have a lot in common. We connect over food and family, even if we don’t speak the same language. We find we have more similarities than differences. In India, you can see diverse religions living and working next to each other. There is always a common denominator,” Markel says. However, she has noticed one significant difference. “If you ask an American what the greatest value is, they will say freedom. Ask almost any other culture in the world, and their primary value is family,” she says. Being a professional traveler is one of those jobs we all think must be fun, but it is not without its occupational hazards. First and foremost is living life at home in absentia. “I was out of the country when my home in Boulder got flooded in 2013. There are personal losses along the way and events you miss. I’ve had my ups and downs over the past 27 years with economic problems and terrorism,” Markel says. “Travel brings out so many things in people. It exaggerates everything you’re going through and offers something beautiful and nourishing in return,” Markel adds.

“What is it With These Tomatoes?” Looking back, Markel now understands the origins of her passion for connecting with cuisine, culture, and locale. She was born in Alabama and spent a lot of time on a farm near Albertville, the self-proclaimed “Fire Hydrant Capital of the World.” “My grandparents lived in the countryside. I remember the trees, the whippoorwills, the smells, and cooking with the season. It was very simple stuff,” she says of the original farm-to-table family cuisine. “I go back and visit now and think, What is it with these tomatoes? Why do they taste so fantastic? I realized that this is what heirlooms seeds, old seeds saved year after year, really mean. It’s that red dirt clay, too. That’s terroir. The taste gives a sense of place,” Markel says. Markel’s 2020 culinary adventures will include Spain in April, Sicily and Portugal in May, and the Amalfi Coast in June. JOHN LEHNDORFF writes Nibbles for the Boulder Weekly and hosts Radio Nibbles on KGNU.

Peggy Markel’s Pasta con le Vongole Veraci Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS • 1 lb dry spaghetti or linguine • 1 1/2 lbs fresh clams, cleaned • 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped (save stalks) • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled • pinch of chile flakes • 1/2 glass white wine • Extra-virgin olive oil • Sea salt, ground black pepper, to taste • Lemon, zested DIRECTIONS

STEP 1: Put a heavy-bottomed pan on high heat and

let the bottom get hot. In a separate pot, bring pasta to a boil in lightly salted water. STEP 2: Add clams directly into pan and stir for a minute. Add wine, parsley stalks, and two garlic cloves. STEP 3: Cover pan with a lid and shake every now and again until all clams are open. Pour into a sieve with a bowl underneath to collect resulting stock. STEP 4: In a large pan gently heat extra-virgin olive oil with remaining garlic cloves and chili flakes. When pasta is half-cooked, add to oiled pan, and add the clam stock. If it starts to dry out, add some pasta water. STEP 5: When the pasta is properly al dente, reduce liquid until there is little left. Turn off heat, add a little pasta water and a drizzle of olive oil, and toss until creamy. STEP 6: Add clams and parsley and toss again. Taste to check seasoning. Serve with a little lemon zest grated over top. OCTOBER 2019 43

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44 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 45

{lifestyle } by DAW N G A R C I A

REVELATORY ON FILM Movies that changed me.

Some of my earliest memories consist of watching B

70s, spoke of it with a smile on her face and a brightness

movies, typically horror films, with my dad. A big fan of Elvira

in her eyes. I was curious. At the old Alex Theatre—erected

and Vincent Price, my six-year-old self could stomach mov-

in the 1930s whose walls had stories of their own, hosting

ies like The Hand, Swamp Thing, and Tarantula, but it was The

an array of Hollywood stars and starlets from once upon a

Worms that would create an anti-bath phase because I was

time—I watched as the red velvet curtain parted and Singin’

convinced worms would rise from the tub drain or descend

in the Rain started playing. I was enthralled. The strength of

through the faucet.

the lead played by Debbie Reynolds, the wit and welcomed

It wasn’t until The Shining came out on VHS that I was told

banter between Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, and the

I couldn’t watch a film because it was too scary, but my par-

joyous feel of a film showing the transition the industry was

ents watched it in the other room, sound blaring. (My dad

facing from silent films to talkies made this exceptional. It is

insists on theater-level volume when movie watching to this

a lesson in cinematic technology, the clear blurred line of a

day.) The horror of it all! I could hear it, and I can assure you,

woman’s place in society, and the beautifully complex world

that film is more terrifying to listen to when all you have is an

of eternal optimism. I watch

overactive imagination. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I real-

this film because the dance

ize what a brilliant psychological thriller and horror film it is.

routines, the story, and the

Fast-forward to being an adult, able to watch whatever I

songs garner a feeling of

please; movies are the way I recall the story of my life. Dif-

happiness so often lacking

ferent films mark pivotal moments in my memory. I have

in modern cinema.

learned so much from the cinematic arts, including understanding that a movie can reach inside of you, open your eyes, give you pause, educate you, inspire you, scare you,

The Power of One (1992)

encourage you, and endear you. I’ve seen hundreds of films,

The Power of One is a

and some forever changed me. And while I can’t list the

compelling tale of war in

many, I wanted to share some. (All these films

South Africa during the

are available to rent or stream if you want to

1930s and 1940s, told from the perspective of a

see them for yourself.)

South Afrikaner boy named P.K. A harrowing story of ex-

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

cruciating loss, childhood cruelty, racism, twisted politics, beautiful friendships, deep love, and standing up for what’s

The first time I saw Singin’ in the Rain was

right, this is a film everyone should see. Starring Morgan

in the 1990s. My grandmother, then in her

Freeman, Stephen Dorff (17-year-old P.K.), Simon Fenton OCTOBER 2019 47



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48 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder


hifiho Tune in: @

(12-year-old P.K.), and Guy Witcher (7-year-old P.K.), The Power of One is a film I return to often. After losing every-

Before Night Falls (2000) Before Night Falls may be one of the most impactful

one he loves, P.K. is sent to a boarding school where he is

films I’ve seen. Exposing the oppression of artists and the

repeatedly tormented by Nazi sympathizers. P.K is taught

gay community in Cuba during the 1950s and 1960s, this

to box as a young boy by Geel Piet, played by Freeman. In

movie takes you through the rise of Fidel Castro and his

an effort to stand up to those who have been bullying P.K.,

impact on a beautiful community that added color and

Piet teaches P.K. to fight “first with the head and then with

culture to the nation. The film stars the insanely talent-

the hands,” instilling integrity, strength of heart and spir-

ed Javier Bardem, who plays the world-renowned Cuban

it, and the mindfulness to think before acting. The film is

poet Reinaldo Arenas, and Johnny Depp, who plays Bon

based on the book by Australian author Bryce Courtenay.

Bon/Lieutenant Victor. The story begins at the start of

It reminds us that we can all play a part in changing the

Arenas’s career when Cuba awards him one of the coun-

ugliness of the past and be instrumental in opening minds

try’s top honors for poetry. Even Castro was enamored by

and creating unity, not division.

Arenas’s poetry, but when he takes control of the coun-

This Changes Everything (2019)

try, artists and the LGBT community are banned. Bodem portrays a brilliant mind from a time in history that shamed the creative and open-minded, and fights

A documentary directed by

with every last bit of his soul not to lose the ability to

Tom Donahue and produced by

see beauty and hope and successfully flee from the

Geena Davis, This Changes Ev-

prison Castro created.

erything spotlights the gender disparity in Hollywood. While women held positions as writ-

Colors (1988) I grew up in Los Angeles during the 1980s and 1990s,

ers and directors during the

when the infamous battle between rival gangs and the

days of silent films, when

Rodney King trial exposed the deep-seated corruption

talkies came on the scene,

and racism within the LAPD. Colors showed the rest of

women were seen as little

the world the truth about surviving in certain parts of LA.

more than actresses. Despite the histo-

This film was one of the only that didn’t

ry of women’s suffrage, civil rights, and equal pay, we’re

shy away from real-time gangs and

here yet again, fighting to be seen as we are: half of the

the hardship of growing up in places

population. No matter how hard the fight, things changed

like East LA, nor did it diminish the hu-

only in increments of nine years before society and gender

manity and goodness of the people liv-

discrepancy went right back to its conditioned response.

ing in and through it, with the help of one

Women are not seen as equal or valued—at least not in

of the best soundtracks of the time.

the film industry. Shadows have been cast on women in the indus-

Colors exposed a very different part of LA, far from the glitz and Hollywood glam-

try, especially as writers and directors. There are sever-

our often associated with the city. Starring

al award-winning women who have had huge box office

Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle, Da-

successes only to then wait some 14 years between jobs,

mon Wayans, Maria Conchita Alonso, Randy

which male filmmakers rarely experience. Featuring Meryl

Brooks, and an unbelievable cast that made

Streep, Natalie Portman, Tiffany Haddish, Jackie Cruz, Jes-

up the world of East LA, Colors shows a very poignant part

sica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Saldana, Marisa

of Los Angeles history in a way that educates, informs,

Tomei, and a dozen other prominent actresses, This Chang-

and sheds light on surviving in a broken system that ne-

es Everything is important. The research and investigative

glected its neighborhoods and allowed corruption to run

data retrieved over the last 70 years is too solid to deny.

far too deep. OCTOBER 2019 49

50 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

It’s a heartbreaking and hopeful tale that has some of the most stunning visuals in cinema, especially at the time, and

In true Rob Reiner form,

put del Toro on the map of cin-

When Harry Met Sally is one of

ematic brilliance. I recently at-

the wittiest and most honest

tended an anniversary screen-

romantic comedies of all time.

ing at the Academy Foundation

Starring Billy Crystal (Harry),

of Motion Pictures, Arts, and

Meg Ryan (Sally), Carrie Fish-

Sciences with the entire cast,

er (Marie), and Bruno Kirby

and I can tell you the film still

(Jess), When Harry Met Sally

resonates as one of the most

follows two oddly matched


people over 15 years, through

promising in movie history.

relationships, engagements, careers, friendships, and holidays. The result is a fast-paced, intelligently written, hysterically acted film that has the greatest (and funniest) fake orgasm scene you’ll likely ever see—in a diner.



Films from here, there, and everywhere. I could name a hundred more movies that impacted me

The story begins with a road trip to New York when Har-

and ultimately led me to my other career of writing for film

ry and Sally (two strangers) are leaving college for the real

and television. Regardless of where you land or what your

world and pair up on the drive for convenience. They bare-

favorites are, always explore not just American cinema,

ly tolerate each other as Harry has wild ideas about men

but foreign films as well. There is immense beauty, knowl-

and women not being able to be friends because of sex.

edge, and truth in films from abroad and, quite honestly,

Five years later, they meet again, only this time it’s less

they are some of the most profound.

awkward and both are in happy relationships. Another five years later, they’re set up on a blind date by their friends, and from there the real friendship begins. Reiner’s masterful way of showing the woes and humor of friendship and the potential of love is genius and, at times, uproarious.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) Seldom is there a movie that can toggle between fantasy and reality and leave you wondering which was more real. Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) is writer and director Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece. This film tells the story of young Ofelia of Spain in 1944, forced to live in a home with her mother and her mother’s new husband, a sadistic army officer, while they wait for the arrival of the baby brother her mother is pregnant with. Treated as less-than, Ofelia turns to her imagination and playful visions, which become more than fantasy. Off exploring one day, Ofelia comes across a place in a tree that leads to a stairwell underground, where she meets an odd creature, Fauno, who informs her she must complete several tasks if she wants

Honorable Mentions

Here is a down-and-dirty list of other films that opened my eyes to the power of cinema: Mississippi Burning


To Kill A Mockingbird

Eat Drink Man Woman

Battleship Potemkin

Cinema Paradiso

Léon (The Professional)

Tucker & Dale vs Evil

Run Lola Run

In the Mood for Love

Memento Nightmare on Elm Street The Matrix Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Beasts of No Nation Elling Restrepo Amélie Roman Holiday In Bruges

to get back to her kingdom, a magical place where she is the princess. OCTOBER 2019 51

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52 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 53

{aroundtown } by A B I G A I L S C O T T

Eat, drink, and be scary at any of these October events around Denver. October ushers in more than just

high haven. Perhaps you’re looking to

rian ball gown purchased from Buffalo

pumpkin-flavored offerings and gold-

sip unusual brews while supporting a

Exchange and hit the town. Whatever

en aspen leaves. It brings a whole

good cause, or maybe you’ve been dy-

the reason, tis the season for an abun-

host of diverse activities to our mile-

ing for an excuse to dust off that victo-

dance of distinctive events that give

54 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder



Coloradans the chance to drink up,

feasting on nature’s bounty. Harvest

Each year, this Denver-based fes-

chow down, or dance the night away.

Week’s nightly dinners are slated for

tival boasts the largest collection

There’s plenty to do around our

October 6–10 and include a vege-

of US beer ever served. Ever. Beer

growing city this October. From spooky

tarian feast as well as an “Untapped

enthusiasts spend months before

Halloween celebrations to iconic mu-

Harvest Night”. This specific dinner

GABF crafting unique plans of attack.

sic performances, get out and take full

gives the second-string produce a

Maps are drawn, lists are created,

advantage of the cooling nights. Eat,

chance to shine by featuring dish-

and pretzel necklaces are strung in

drink, and be scary at any of these Oc-

es made with ingredients that were

anticipation. Groups gather hours

tober events around Denver.

cast-offs from farmers markets,

ahead of time, sustenance in hand,

fields, and other Harvest Night din-

to wait in a giant snaking line that

ners. Come join this distinctive orga-

engulfs the perimeter of the Conven-

nization and share in a unifying meal

tion Center. This is a festival unlike

around the communal farmhouse ta-

any other, but even if you’re not a

ble. Forks will be provided.

beer drinker, there’s still plenty to do


Harvest Week Celebrated Denver nonprofit The GrowHaus is an indoor farming operation located in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood that fosters a sustain-

at this suds-centric festival. Dance GOT BEER?

away at the silent disco, listen to

to food cultivation. Each year, The

Great American Beer Festival

GrowHaus invites the community

It’s GABF time! Need we say more?

the designated drivers lounge. Peo-

to partake in farm-to-table dinners,

Alright, fine, but first beer’s on you.

ple travel from all over the world to

able, neighborhood-based approach

master brewers share their stories, or receive a free chair massage in OCTOBER 2019 55

56 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

attend this festival, but lucky for us,

States donate some of their rarest

ing Stones–A Musical Showdown

it’s right in our backyards. This Octo-

batches to this event in an effort to

gets people doing more than just

ber 3–5, dive head-first into the craft

support prostate cancer research

the monster mash. Don your finest

beer scene at GABF.

efforts, to facilitate the conversation

vintage wedding dress for the per-

about men’s health, and to share a

fect Bride of Frankenstein imper-

good drink. We’ll cheers to that.

sonation, and you just may win the


Denver Rare Beer Tasting For the past decade, Pints for Prostates has been raising the glass

costume contest. But careful not to FRIGHT NIGHT

The Shining Ball 2019

in support of prostate cancer re-

This event is definitely worth

search and awareness. Beer enthu-

the drive. Cinephiles, Stephen King

siasts are invited to come out and


try a variety of uncommon brews

noisseurs all have something in

while engaging in open conversa-

common on this night. The historic

tions about men’s health. In years

Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is the

past, imbibers had the chance to

perfect haunted locale for a Hallow-

taste pours of Goose Island Bour-

een to remember, and its popular

bon Barrel Coffee Stout, Tröegs

ball is back yet again, ready to de-

Splinter Black, Foothills Brewing

liver a steller evening complete with

Sexual Chocolate, Dogfish Head 120

live music, dancing, food, drinks, and

Minute IPA, and more hard-to-find

more, October 19. The Shining décor

beers. Held on October 4, legend-

paints a spooky scene while leg-

ary brewers from all over the United

endary touring act Beatles vs. Roll-


wander off; ghosts of The Stanley may also be out looking for some Halloween fun.



Glow at the Gardens Behold, the humble orange pumpkin. Most of the year, it exists as a simple fruit, hailing from the hardy squash family, but come autumn, this unpresuming



right before our eyes. Glow at the Gardens celebrates the versatility and fun that this beloved bright orb lends to Halloween each year. Starting on October 21 and running to October 25, the denver botanic gardens dons its Halloween costume in the form of hundreds of carved pumpkins. Intricate sculptures made entirely of jacko-lanterns loom large throughout the garden while eerie lighting displays and luminaria light the way. Experience Denver’s treasured Botanic Gardens like never before. OCTOBER 2019 57

58 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder


Fall Market at Mile High Stadium One person’s trash is another person’s treasure at this acclaimed flea market. October 5 and 6, shop till your heart’s content at Horseshoe Market. Over 200 artisans pedal their hand-crafted wares at Lot G in Mile High Stadium. Try on beautiful vintage clothing or find quality antique furniture throughout the marketDEVOUR

Flatirons Food Film Fest

Tang Clan. This legendary ‘90’s hiphop group decided to really treat

What’s better than dinner and a

fans this Halloween by bringing

movie? Maybe popcorn and pollina-

along their friends. Jedi Mind Tricks,

tors, or tacos, tequila, and Tazzeka?

Immortal Technique, and Dillon Coo-

No matter which way you slice it,

per will perform as well to celebrate

Flatirons Food Film Festival, October

the 25th anniversary of Wu-Tang’s

10–13, has a little something for all

album, “Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (35

preferences. Now in its seventh year,

Chambers)”. Not only did this album

this iconic festival continues to fea-

put this Staten Island group on the

ture food-centric films. From how

map, but it changed the game for

restaurants run to food production

future rap and hip-hop artists. Pur-

and cultivation to the origin story of a

chase your tickets now for this Oc-

simple bottle of wine, this year’s films

tober 31 concert for the opportunity

are sure to intrigue. Guests will walk

to witness living legends perform

away with more than an amusing

game-changing hits.

place. Wanting to get a jump-start on Christmas shopping while supporting local business? Look no further. Vendors will offer a host of unique products, including leather goods, candles, personal care products, textiles, and more—you’re guaranteed to find something for even the most difficultto-shop-for relative. In addition, tasty eats, boozy beverages, and live music turn this into a full-value weekend.

night at the movies but with a broadened perspective about the global food industry as it relates to culture, religion, and society. LISTEN UP

Halloween on the Rocks with Wu-Tang Clan If carved pumpkins or horror movie-themed balls aren’t your thing, then you should snatch up a ticket for a Halloween Red Rocks show of epic proportions. Party at one of the most famous concert venues in the country with hip-hop greats Wu OCTOBER 2019 59

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60 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 61

{highprofile } by R O BY N G R I G G S L AW R E N C E

Women Grow CEO Dr. Chanda Macias and designer Korto Momolu

PROJECT WOMEN GROW Project Runway favorite Korto Momolu partners with a national cannabis organization to create a conversation-starting ready-towear collection made from hemp and other sustainable fabrics.

Earlier this year, Women Grow, a national organization for female leaders in the cannabis industry, partnered with celebrated designer and Project Runway fan favorite Korto Momolu to introduce a capsule collection of branded tops and leggings. The collection sold out before the models could walk them down the runway during the organization’s annual conference in Washington, DC. In September, Momolu and Women Grow took to the global stage during New York Fashion Week, with a runway show at Pier 59 Studios debuting a ready-to-wear collection spotlighting the natural intersection of fashion and cannabis, two of the world’s most cutting-edge industries. The size-inclusive collection includes 26 high-fashion and athleisure looks made from sustainable materials such as

62 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

hemp, linen, jute, and cork. Women Grow logos and cannabis leaves weave their way into a few pieces, and a couple models vaped as they walked the runway. Momolu, who was born in Monrovia, Liberia, was the first

What do you want people to know about the collection? It is made to kind of start the conversation—and I’m thankful we were able to really start it.

runner-up on the fifth season of Project Runway and was

At first, we weren’t sure if we were going to have our

on Project Runway Allstars. She’s known for her bold colors

models vape [on the runway]. I wanted to do it. I figure, if

and diverse creations inspired by her African roots and her

we’re going to talk about it, let’s just do it. I use it. [Cannabis

life’s path. Momolu moved to Canada in 1990 when Liberia

is] something that’s working for me medically. It’s helping

erupted in civil war and then to Little Rock, Arkansas, with

me, I’m not ashamed of it, and that’s the whole point: This

her husband after she graduated from design school. We

is what it looks like. This is what a vape is.

caught up with her just after the New York show.

Out the gate, [models vaping] gave that show an energy that I can feel when I watch the video. We wanted to say, ‘This is what cannabis looks like, what Women Grow looks like, and what Korto Momolu looks like,’ all mixed up in there.

What did you enjoy most about creating this collection? The idea of creating something different in every aspect, incorporating different fabrics—especially sustainable ones like hemp, jute, linen, and cork. Things I’d never used in fashion. I had to figure out how to use those and still make the clothes luxurious, rich, flowy, elegant. Along the way, there were challenges. I didn’t realize hemp was so hard to get hold of. I had to get it from Thailand. Maybe I need to investigate how to get more hemp OCTOBER 2019 63

64 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Everything I do is related to my life story. My pieces are never even; they’re asymmetrical. I tell my story through my clothes. So, if something looks a certain way, there’s a reason for it. I just never have straight, even lines or simple block colors—never, ever. I would feel like I was dying if I had to do that. You’ll always see things a little bit different from me—things you wouldn’t expect to be put together.

How did your partnership with Women Grow come about? Women Grow and I have a mutual production company that we’ve worked with in the past. When the conversation began about actually starting a clothing line, it was almost like it was fate. They knew me, and I knew them. Once we connected, it was an easy transition into doing the initial line for their summit in DC in June. Women Grow CEO Chanda Macias reached out to me and explained her vision, and I got it. It’s all about inclusion and changing the conversation. I went into it head first, and it was a success. They loved it. The conversation got started, and here we are.

here for designers. It’s a beautiful fabric. It was also a joy to make clothes for different women of different body types, but that was something that was part of the formula. The public responded to that and appreciated that. The models appreciated it. I’ve never had models reach out to me after a show, and so many of them did this time, saying, ‘Thank you for including me. They saw me tonight. They saw me.’

Do you have a favorite piece? Always my openers and closers are my favorites. I love the pieces I made out of burlap. A lot of people looked at that fabric and said, ‘That’s a potato sack.’ I love the pieces where I was able to transform things we look at as being ugly or harsh or just not beautiful. OCTOBER 2019 65

66 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Will there be more collections with Women Grow and/or the cannabis industry?

When will cannabis be legal in Arkansas? We have medical marijuana. According to what I’ve been

Women Grow and I, we’re stuck together now. I think

learning last few weeks, we also have some of the harshest

we’ve started something here that definitely was needed.

laws, but for Arkansas, that’s still a great leap. It’s a very

When we did the initial collection in June, it was clear when

cautious state, but we’ll eventually get there. When I first

everything was sold out before we even had the fashion

got to Arkansas, there was no fashion. My husband told

show. It’s saying that people [in cannabis] can have some-

me, “You’re going to have to start this.” I had to start it. Now

thing to wear to represent their industry that is fashionable instead of just a generic polo shirt with an emblem on it—a conversation piece.

What’s next for cannabis/hemp fashion? More people will be looking into it. I’m looking into it. Hemp, when you can find it, is $100 a yard, which is not affordable. We’re actually cultivating the plant [in the United States], so I think we’re missing a whole market. It’s time to revisit that. Even as Women Grow, we could figure out how we could cultivate hemp, through our growers, so we can sell hemp fabric to the masses. We can’t get it all from overseas. We need to talk to the growers about how we can make our own hemp happen. OCTOBER 2019 67

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there’s a growing industry here of artists and fashion designers. I’m thankful and proud I was a part of creating that. Now, being part of Women Grow

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and thinking about getting into the cannabis industry, I can be that voice to help them move things along more quickly. I think we’re ahead of the game. I’m shocked we even got that far, but we did. I have arthritis in my arm, and the


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me opioids. I need something for the long term because this is not something they can cure. There are people who really need this to survive every day. This is not leisurely smoking some weed—they need it to get through their day, to function.

Being an immigrant is an important part of your story. Can you talk about that? My refugee life actually started in Canada. We came there with nothing. My

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brother was born in the US, so he was a citizen. In the middle of the war in Liberia,

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68 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

said they would take him—a four-year-old—but they couldn’t take my mom. So,

that’s been happening forever—that was in 1990—and it’s still happening now. For those who don’t understand immigrants and immigration, we’re people who would love to be in our own countries. I had an amazing life in Liberia. I went to school with the president’s kids and lived in a huge house with servants. We lost all of that. It was hard to see my parents suffer, having to take hand-me-downs. A complete stranger at our church who saw something in me paid for me to go to design school—that’s the only way I could go. This is a story all immigrants need to tell. We’re not a threat. If we had a choice, we would be where we’re from, living great lives. We just want a chance at life—that’s it. We want to work for everything we have. I got told no so many times. I had to create a whole different path for myself. You have ability to create your own destiny and follow the voices in your head. Society’s out there telling you you have to do A, B, C, and E, but you have to get up every day and make your story your story. I was going to post a quote on Instagram today: “Nobody cares. Get up and keep working.” Seriously, no one cares. You gotta get up, and you gotta do it. Complaining is just going to make it worse. Every day I wake up to a new challenge, face it, conquer it, and keep moving. I’m still standing, no matter how many noes I got.

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WOOFERS I’m sitting at my desk



The pet wellness industry is taking off in Colorado, where you’ll find lots of ways to give your pooch some extra pampering.

STORY. THERE’S SOFT MUSIC PLAYING, SO SOFT I CAN HEAR GIDGET’S CONTENT SNORES COMING FROM THE PINEAPPLE DOME SHE SLEEPS IN WHEN I’M AT MY DESK. If the music were too loud, she would stomp as much as a chihuahua could out to the living room to get in her pressure-activated heated bed, engulfed by the soft white throw blanket I got for me to use. Gidget saw it, she liked it, she wanted it, she got it. This is the way it works. The nails on my fingertips are past due for a manicure (Gidget got hers done today). My dinner was peanut butter spooned from the jar. Gidget dined on a gourmet blend specially formulated to deliver the exact level of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, probiotics, and minerals she needs for optimal health. After dinner, she got a bath and a towel massage before tucking into the pineapple. That’s when I sat down to start writing. I work hard so my dog can have a better life. The meme


is real.

HOOMANS AND FLOOFERS I wouldn’t have it any other way. Gidget may be a furry freeloader, but she’s my furry freeloader and I love her hard. Because she is awesome. All dogs are. Fight me: I’m an elder millennial, and I’ve got a generational army of pet-pampering 20- and 30-somethings to back me up. Millennials have been accused of killing a whole host of things*. Really, we’re just redirecting our limited discretionary funds to things we deem more worthy than, say, an intrinsically worthless shiny stone that De Beers’

*I typed “millennials killed” into the search bar and autocomplete results included “mayo,” “Hooters,” “golf,” “romance,” and “malls.” We should be thanked, all of those OCTOBER 2019 75 needed to go—yes, including romance as defined by the patriarchal archetype, but that’s a different topic for a different day. We’re talking about dogs here.

St y li s t + M ak eu p A rt is t @ ha i r b y c el i a C e l i a@ T h eP ar l o u r . ne t 30 3 . 44 4. 3 74 7 Th e P a r l o ur .n et 76 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

marketing firm convinced Americans is a token of love

Us hoomans

and esteem that lasts forever. (Read: millennials are killing diamonds.) Millennials do spend money on pets. This year, the US

chase our

pet industry is projected to rake in $75.28 billion, up more

heckin floofers,

than 30 percent since 2010 according to the American Pet Product Association (APPA). A majority of millennials (76

iPhones in hand,

percent) would be more likely to splurge on luxury items

snapping pics

like expensive treats or a custom bed for their pets than for themselves. “The pet care industry is booming, as people around

of their snoots

the world—especially millennials—blur the line between

and bleps to

The senior brand manager of Purina, Ryan Gass, suggests

share with frens, posting with captions about the goodest boy in the world.

human child and animal,” according to Business Insider. that millennials are putting off marriage and having children, turning to pets to “fill that void” but I don’t know what void he’s talking about, so we’re moving on. Millennials’ love for their pups is so intense, it’s spawned its own language. Us hoomans chase our heckin

floofers, iPhones in hand, snapping pics of their snoots and bleps to share with frens, posting with captions about the goodest boy in the world. This has all led to a rise in what more serious folks call the “humanization of pets.” Sounds ominous. But it indicates how much our lives and our our pets’ lives are intertwined—and therefore following the same trends. And what’s trendier or more millennial than wellness, wellness everywhere? In 1979, veteran journalist Dan Rather quipped during an episode of 60 Minutes, “Wellness…that’s a word you don’t hear every day.” Fast forward 40 years, and we’re hearing the word so much every day it’s almost lost all meaning. The fresh “pet wellness” phrase could mean pets are doing well overall or it could mean pets are judging you for not drinking kombucha. Don’t worry, dogs don’t judge. But they are getting more probiotics in their diets, just not from kombucha. Probiotics in pet foods sales grew by 139 percent last year, according to the Nielsen market report, “Trends in Pet Care Mirror Those of Pet Owners.” We eat super foods, our dogs eat super foods; we take CBD, our pups take CBD. We get massages, our dogs get massages. We have fitness studios where you can work out with your dog, acupuncture for pets, doggy day spas with swimming pools you can rent out for puppy parties.

LAYING ON HANDS Oh, yeah, and dog Reiki is a thing here, too. Gidget hasn’t tried it yet; she—like me—thinks it sounds a little bit woo-woo. This is how Health mag describes the basic principle: “Energy medicine (or biofield therapies) is the act of OCTOBER 2019 77

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channeling and manipulating the energy that courses

results from seeing a chiropractor, and I want people to

through your body in order to heal it. This can be done

know that their dog can experience the same benefits.”

with hands-on practices such as acupuncture and Rei-

It’s a non-surgical, drug-free option for correcting dis-

ki, as well as sensory-based experiences, like the use of

orders related to a fixation in the spine or joint. When

crystals, sound baths, and aromatherapy.”

vertebrae become immovable through trauma, injury,

In Denver, Zen Pet is all about these modalities. Run by

or standard wear-and-tear, the joints between them

Dr. Becca Klobuchar, the mobile holistic veterinary med-

become jammed, often affecting the nerves in the con-

icine’s range of services is rooted in energy balancing

gested area. Those nerves are the communication link

and Chinese medicine.

between the brain and the spinal cord, so when they are

“I began exploring holistic therapies in an effort to provide pets with additional healing options when tradition-

out of order, it can set off a cascade of effects that lead to pain and loss of function.

al treatments were unsuccessful,” says Klobuchar. “The

But pets can’t tell us where they hurt or why they’re

intuitive treatment modalities I use approach pets’ health

limping, so treatments are a bit more complicated. When

from the physical, energetic, and spiritual perspectives.”

working with animals, Moran looks for abnormal or re-

The energy balancing service is based on the concept that all living things have their own energy field that,

stricted movement, with a goal of restoring it to reduce pain and improve mobility.

when not in balance, can lead to disease, emotional stress,

“The results I’ve seen have been amazing,” she says.

and pain. During a session, the ancient practice of “laying

Moran has helped dogs who have lost the use of their

on of hands” to transmits healing energy of the universe

back legs because of slipped discs; after adjustments,

through the practitioner to the animal for healing effects.

they’re able to regain use of their legs and walk again.

While energy medicine is the farthest mystical ex-

She also treats arthritic dogs, “getting the pep back in

treme of the modern wellness world, there are some

their step so they can have a better quality of life.”

forms backed by science. Acupuncture, for one, and even

Healthy pets can experience benefits of spine check-

Reiki. Health reports that a 2010 review of research in

ups, too, she points out—especially active and athletic

the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found

ones. The DCC website is clear that the practice is not

strong evidence that biofield therapies such as Reiki and

meant to replace veterinary medicine. Rather, animal

therapeutic touch can alleviate pain.

chiropractors work in conjunction with veterinarians,

The caveat: It could be placebo effect, and our pups ar-

treating areas that often go unnoticed by traditional care.

en’t swayed by the power of suggestion. But if you think

And that pain in your back as result of hunching over

it’s working for her, then the session is working—for

your desk spoon-feeding yourself peanut butter while

you. It’s called the “caregiver placebo effect,” and there’s

your pooch snuggles in your new comforter? As it turns

nothing wrong with it. As long as it’s used in conjunc-

out, living with a dog is good for human health as well.

tion with traditional vet visits—a supplemental part of a

Having a pet lowers stress, reduces blood pressure, and

whole wellness plan.

may even help you live longer. So says science. So they

CHIRO FOR CANINES Dog chiropractic is an another emerging field gaining traction as a beneficial supplemental treatment therapy. At Denver Central Chiropractic (DCC) in Centennial, Dr.

deserve to live the same aspirational lifestyle to which we have made them accustomed. It’s the least we can do to repay the unconditional love. Rebecca Treon contributed to this piece.

Erin Moran is providing holistic health care to both people and pets—“holistic health care for you and your dogs.” While it’s still an emerging field, animal chiropractic at its PHOTO BY STEPHANIE WILSON

core follows the same principles and practices as the human kind. She suggests you consider chiropractic treatments if your pooch is showing signs of pain: reluctant to climb stairs, difficulty getting up after laying down, constantly licking or chewing paws, walking differently. “Dogs get the same back issues as people, and chiropractic is a great option to address those issues without the use of drugs or surgery,” says Moran. “People get great OCTOBER 2019 79









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With Cosmic Sister, Zoe Helene is working to create balance and diversity through sacred plants—an earth-centered antidote to patriarchal malware in the matrix. by R O BY N G R I G G S L AW R E N C E




SHE FELT SAFE, WITH PARENTS WHO ENCOURAGED HER TO FOLLOW HER NATURAL CREATIVE TALENTS. Helene saw during this vision that she had turned inward and given up on her artistic dreams after being

cybin mushrooms, and cannabis, which she calls “nature’s evolutionary allies,” in a safe, legal set and setting.

sexually harassed by a graduate school professor. “We

A few years after she founded Cosmic Sister, Helene—

know now, with the #metoo movement, that what I sur-

who has worked in the arts, high tech, and the natural

vived happens to most females in this male-dominated

products industry—came up with the term Psychedel-

world,” Helene says. “It harms us into silence, which is

ic Feminism as a way to describe the feminism that

a type of censoring. Finding and freeing our voice is

embraces psychedelic plants as evolutionary allies for

something a lot of women deal with.”

women’s healing and empowerment and to popularize

Blown away by the power of her own transformation, He-

Cosmic Sister’s core educational advocacy work.

lene went home to Amherst, Massachusetts, and founded

A tireless and passionate environmental advocate for

Cosmic Sister, an environmental feminist collective that

decades, Helene is convinced that Psychedelic Fem-

advocates for women, wilderness, and wildlife and for hu-

inism is the key to saving the planet from patriarchal

mans’ natural right to work with “sacred” plants and fungi

malware fouling up the matrix. “The entire idea of Psy-

such as ayahuasca, peyote, iboga, San Pedro cactus, psilo-

chedelic Feminism, in a nutshell, is that we humans, as OCTOBER 2019 83

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FROM LEFT: Dawn Musil, Shipibo Ancestral Healer Laura Lopez Sanchez, and Sabrina Pilet-Jones

a species, have survived male-domination for thousands

and post-psychedelic integration. She and her hus-

of years and that system has brought us to where we are

band, ethnobotanist Chris Kilham, who wrote The Aya-

today—destroying our own home and taking everything

huasca Test Pilots Handbook, have been taking groups

else down with us,” she says. “Cannabis and other plant

of pasajeros (journeyers) to experience ayahuasca with

medicines such as ayahuasca, peyote, iboga, and psilo-

Indigenous healers in safe retreat centers in the Pe-

cybin may help save us from ourselves.”

ruvian Amazon for more than a decade. In 2013, she

Helene believes it’s high time women took center

launched the merit-based Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit

stage, and psychedelics can help make that happen

grant, which provides support for women to experi-

by bringing them inspiration, clarity, and perspective,

ence ayahuasca ceremony in the Peruvian Amazon,

as well as liberation from old wounds, self-sabotaging

where ayahuasca is legal. She’s seen la medicina

thoughts and thought patterns, and disempowering so-

work magic on women whose superpowers had been

cial programming. “In the medicine space, women can

blocked by trauma or grief, often the result of a world

explore conditioning and wounds that stunt and si-

that is inherently harsh to women.

lence,” she says. “We can make sense of them, learn to live with them differently, or purge them altogether.”

“So many cases of PTSD from sexual misconduct and assault, ancestral trauma, and abusive relationships,

Psychedelic feminism has nothing to do with promot-

so much anxiety and depression, repressed rage, low

ing victim consciousness, Helene adds. “We’re about

self-esteem,” Helene says. “So many women living with

moving forward. Facing wounds and demons resulting

debilitating eating disorders and body image dysmorphia,

from having been victimized is an essential step to-

with addictions, with obsessive compulsive disorders. So

wards healing.“

much strength and so much needless suffering. Why?”


Ayahuasca, a powerful blend of two plants native to the Amazon, is an intense psychedelic that can “help

Helene has worked with dozens of women in

us access and communicate with our subconscious

pre-psychedelic preparation, immersive journeying,

selves—our pysche—the wilderness within” through OCTOBER 2019 85

The first. the original.





86 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

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sions, which Helene describes as “life-enhancing messages that show up in abstract, symbolic, archetypal, and universal poetic languages.” Dawn Musil, a scientist and pollinator advocate who went to Temple of the Way of Light in Peru with Helene last March, says ayahuasca taught her to face fear, guilt, her rapist, family pain, and the loss of a loved one—all things she thought would kill her but actually taught her how strong she was. Raised in a family that valued women less than men and taught females to keep quiet, Musil came to a deep understanding while she was in the medicine space that her voice had as much value as men’s. “Mama Ayahuasca taught me that my power and strength as a female reflects the feminine power of ayahuasca as a plant spirit and that through plant spirit, we will find our voice and power as females to lead the future of gender equality and human rights,” says Musil, who came home from Peru determined to work with plant spirit medicine. “The medicine taught me who I can be and to know that my voice has as much value as the voices of men in the plant medicine space.”

AMBASSADOR PLANT Cosmic Sister founder Zoe Helene sees cannabis as an “ambassador plant” that is moving the greater plant medicine conversation forward. She considers it a sacred (and sometimes psychedelic) medicine for journeying and an ally for post-ayahuasca integration work. “In the right set and setting, with the right medicine and the right dose, cannabis can get you there,” Helene says. Whenever possible, she implements cannabis into the Temeno (an indigenous Greek word for “sacred space”) Talking Circles she conducts to explore the effects of damaging patriarchal programming and gender imbalance as well as women’s work in the medicine space.

Sabrina Pilet-Jones, an urban gardener who also traveled to Temple with Cosmic Sister last March, had a similar experience of tapping into the essence of all that she could be, empowered by the lineage of her ancestors—an entirely new perception of herself. “Ayahuasca is not a magical pill. It’s hard, deep, transformative shamanic work that forces you into the deepest, darkest parts of yourself to find the unique light we all hold,” Pilet-Jones says. “I left with a strong desire to expand my connection with plants and to continue my research into indigenous plant remedies and now psychedelic plants for healing.”

COEXISTING IN EXQUISITE DIVERSITY The Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit grant is part of an interconnected quartet of merit-based grants that support women’s voices in psychedelics and cannabis. Psychedelic Feminism grants make it possible for women from diverse backgrounds to be heard through writing, photography, and speaking engagements and media placements. Cosmic Sister will play a key role in the upcoming Spirit Plant Medicine Conference (SPMC) in Vancouver, BC, this year, sponsoring all seven of the female speakers, including Helene. The Cosmic Sister Women of the Psychedelic Renaissance and Cosmic Sisters of Cannabis grants help get widespread media placement for women’s stories in support of cannabis liberation and responsible psychedelic use. Launched just last month in partnership with the Sleeping Octopus Assembly on Psychedelics (SOAP) conference in Pittsburgh and Vancouver’s SPMC the first

week of November, the new Emerging Voices Award supports talented newcomers who demonstrate potential in the field of psychedelics by strengthening their visibility and gifting them tickets to important conferences. One of Helene’s goals with the grants is to help more minority women achieve name and face recognition in the psychedelic community because, she says, “the psychedelic scene is white, cis-gendered, and male-heavy— and our psychedelic culture is supposed to be leading in a more enlightened way.” Helene’s also quick to point out that Psychedelic Feminism is about promoting gender balance, and she doesn’t believe matriarchy would be any better than the patriarchy we’ve had for thousands of years because “power over” naturally corrupts. Blaming men for everything is sexist, Helene says, and it’s important for the movement to welcome male allies who are interested in growing when it comes to their own archaic gender programming. “Matriarchy would not be balanced, and it would not be healthy,” Helene says. “It’s all about working together and coexisting in exquisite diversity.” ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE, author of the bestselling Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis, traveled to Peru on one of the first Cosmic Sister Plant Spirit grants in 2013 OCTOBER 2019 87


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88 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 89

BOHEMIA The people, history, and creative spirit of the Czech Republic. by R U T H C U E VA S

90 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder



As a little girl, I was told that anyone who referred to themselves as a Bohemian simply meant they were free spirits. Imagining long, cotton skirts that moved in the air as you twirled, massive oversized hoop earrings, a certain je ne sais quoi—that is what I had in mind when I went to visit Bohemia decades into my adulthood. The moment I landed in the Czech Republic, it instantly seduced me with its natural beauty and expressive passion. Bohemia is a region of romanticism. It’s the place where artists took traditional art forms and made them modern. It’s where writers who, for fear of persecution, wrote in silence or underground, in the labyrinth of an ancient city that still exists below the streets. OCTOBER 2019 91

92 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder



For a different kind of historic adventure, take a

Of all the cities in Bohemia, Prague is the place that

tour of the city’s underground tunnels dating back to

drew creatives in droves. Great writers such as Franz Kaf-

the 13th century. To book an underground tour, visit

ka were inspired here to expose the humor in the human


condition. (The place where he did much of his work is

Above ground, walkways run parallel to the Vltava River,

now a Sofitel Hotel.) It’s where Milan Kundera’s fictional

which runs alongside Bohemian Forest and is about a third

lovers ravaged each other and toyed with ideas of sexual-

of the Czech Republic territory. Cafes, parks, and sculptures

ity generations before it was socially acceptable.

line the route. When you’re in the mood for divine cake and

Prague’s history of wartime activity is worth explor-

coffee, grab a seat on the outside patio at Bella Vida Café.

ing as well. It’s where the assassination of General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich took place during WWII—one of the only successful assassinations of a high-ranking Nazi officer. Prague was also one of the few European


see houses with stained glass, statues and ornate ironwork

The Czech Republic’s transformation and road to freedom was realized during what’s known as the Velvet Revolution, an outburst of protests signifying a desire to return to democracy and put an end to the oppression of the Iron Curtain. This desire for democratization was realized in 1989. Within a few years, the Czechs had a fully democratic government. In the summer of 1989, crowds of Eastern Germans took a stand when asked to return to their homes. They refused to leave Prague, taking the historic step to “live in a free and unfettered world.” After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the canonization of Saint Agnes of Bohemia on November 12, 1989, marked the beginning of a free Eastern Europe.

adorning front doors, and corner windows, making you feel


cities left relatively intact during the war, so traversing through the old town is like being transported to yesteryear. Let’s face it: Prague is pretty badass. The city is an architecture enthusiast’s dream. Brightly colored Art Deco facades adorn the cobblestone streets. You’ll likely come across an array of styles from gothic and rococo to functionalism and the Moorish revival. There are remnants of the Communist era evident in city canals and streets. Among the city’s celebrated modern structures, the work of world-renowned architects still stands out: the über-modern Dancing House by Frank Gehry and Jože Plečnik’s Church of the Most Sacred Heart. Nearby, you’ll

like you’ve stepped into an Alphonse Mucha poster. OCTOBER 2019 93

94 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder



Nothing at the Hotel Schwaiger is typical. According to

Originally built in 1849, the Hotel Schwaiger served

the hotel’s manager, Martin Čelko, the hotel keeps the best

for years as a family residence under the name Villa

of the old and twists it with the new, all while preserving

Klára. Registered as a Czech Republic cultural heritage

the artistic spirit known to the region. “We wanted the ho-

site since 1921 under the name Villa Schwaiger, the hotel

tel to be eco-friendly and economical to the customer while

underwent a full transformation and in August of 2017

offering high-quality products.” Čelko says. “A decade of

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nies on legal issues. “The hemp bill is clearly pro-farm-

giving farmers the chance to make the US a hemp na-

er and pro-cultivation. Let’s grow it, process it, create a

tion once more. “Congress clearly wanted to encourage a

thriving market, and in my opinion also turn it into in-

hemp industry. It couldn’t be more obvious,” says Frank

ternational commerce,” he says. “The language is clear

Robison, a Denver lawyer who works with hemp compa-

that it wanted to create a market.”

98 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

NOT? How the 0.3-percent THC figure is fraying the American hemp industry. by L E L A N D R U C K E R

Some unexpected problems are threatening to under-

In January, a trailer carrying 7,000 pounds of hemp

mine this growth. And it all boils down to this: What is

was seized and the driver arrested by the Idaho State Po-

hemp, what is cannabis, and how is that determined?

lice. A truckful of hemp was apprehended in South Da-

Since the 2018 Farm Bill’s implementation, neither the

kota and the driver charged with cannabis possession

Federal Drug Administration nor the Department of Ag-

in August. A company whose shipment of hemp was

riculture have produced national rules and regulations

seized by Oklahoma police, who claimed it was marijua-

for hemp. And because most hemp is now being trans-

na, are suing the police, the county, and an attorney to

ported by trucks and trailers passing between states,

get their product back.

each with different rules and knowledge about the legality of hemp, it’s causing any number of hassles.

Police and district attorneys in several states are complaining they don’t have the equipment or knowledge to OCTOBER 2019 99

100 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

make the distinction, either. In Florida, the State Attorney’s Office has ruled that the sight or smell of marijuana can no longer be used as probable cause for search because they both smell skanky. Charges against University of Nebraska football players for possession were dropped because the state couldn’t prove whether what they had was cannabis or hemp. In Texas, the Austin district attorney said her office would stop prosecuting possession cases involving four ounces or less unless there was a lab test, and Houston’s DA dismissed 32 felony marijuana cases, estimating that it would cost $185,000 and take up to a year to implement the testing procedure and hire people to run it. In a sign of the significance of the problem, the US Drug Enforcement Administration put out a request for information on private companies that might have the technology for field tests sensitive enough to distinguish between hemp and marijuana. The USDA’s William Richmond said in August that the agency is grappling with the Farm Bill‘s requirement for a national THC testing protocol. “We need to have testing procedures in place,” he said, but coming up with reliable testing methods is “as complicated as you think it is.”

IS IT REALLY THAT TOUGH? Not everybody feels it’s that difficult. Cannabis, or marijuana, and hemp are the same plant species, Cannabis

sativa. Though similar in appearance and odor, they are distinctly different in composition and the chemicals they produce. The national standard written into the 2018 Farm Bill for determining whether a crop is hemp or cannabis is that hemp must contain no more than 0.3 percent of the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry-weight basis. “And that’s just a very random, arbitrary number,” says Cindy Orser, chief scientific officer at Digipath, an independent cannabis testing lab in Las Vegas. “And you

good chance of coming in above that 0.3 percent delta-9 THC percent limit at maturity.”


know, it’s just not right to define a plant species based

In 1937, hemp and cannabis were both essentially

on a chemical that can fluctuate based on its growing

demonized and taxed out of existence. There is reason

environment and by its genetics.”

to believe that other industries—cotton, building—were

Hemp has been grown forever for its fiber and seed

behind the hemp ban, but at least one was because of

for use in a wide variety of products. “When people say

law-enforcement difficulties distinguishing between

hemp, they usually mean industrial hemp, which is also

hemp and cannabis. With both illegal, there was no need

called European hemp,” she explains. “It’s been bred for

to differentiate between the two, and no attempt was

centuries for its fiber content, and it has very low canna-

made. The number 0.3 percent delta-9 THC (3/10 of 1 per-

binoid content.”

cent) on a dry weight basis comes from a 1976 study of

Orser notes that there is also another hemp, what she calls American hemp, or resin hemp, which is grown for

cannabis taxonomy and was never intended as a legal distinction, Orser says.

its higher CBD content. “It’s not being grown for fiber,

While there are several different forms of THC, only one,

it’s not being grown for its flower,” she says. “It’s being

delta-9 THC, gets you “high.” The 0.3 percent legal limit

grown for oil, from either seeds or clones that have a

only applies to delta-9 THC. By law, this is the sole OCTOBER 2019 101

102 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

nabinoid that is considered when determining whether a cannabis plant is lawful hemp or unlawful marijuana. The issue is that gas chromatography (GC), a primary testing method used by both law enforcement agencies and state departments of agriculture, heats up a cannabis sample in order to tease out and measure delta-9 THC levels. THCa, another of more than 100 chemicals produced by the plant which is not mentioned in the statute, converts to delta-9 THC when heated. “In other words, the GC testing method actually creates the very same cannabinoid that is being tested,” says Asheville, NC, cannabis attorney Rod Kight. Here’s what Project CBD says about the number. “The 0.3 percent THC legal limit is an arbitrary, impractical, euphoria-phobic relic of reefer madness. Although it lacks a scientific basis, it has become the latest lynchpin of cannabis prohibition, a dishonest, anachronistic policy that impedes medical discovery and blocks patient access to valuable therapeutic options, including herbal extracts with various combinations of CBD and THC.”

A POSSIBLE SOLUTION Farmers are uncertain, too, and for good reason. If any portion of a hemp crop comes up at 0.4 percent delta-9 THC or higher at harvest time, that entire crop would have to be destroyed. Orser is trying to empirically determine a representative value for THC that would enable farmers and not confuse law enforcement. She has done testing on American hemp and has found that more than half of the plant samples of CBD resin hemp, turn up “hot,” or above the 0.3 percent number. Digipath is currently beta-testing a molecular or DNA-based assay that distinguishes industrial hemp from resin hemp and drug-type cannabis within two hours. Growing hemp for CBD is difficult enough, Kight says, and limiting the strains a farmer can use places an undue and unnecessary burden. “Aside from legal considerations, the reason that this issue is important is because widespread adoption of the total THC position would be harmful to the hemp industry—in particular hemp farmers,” Kight says. “Requiring total THC concentrations to remain within 0.3 percent, rather than just limiting delta-9 THC, severely limits the hemp strains a farmer can grow.” Although the gas chromotography test is the most widely used, Kight and others argue that another test— high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)—does

“We’re talking about such minuscule amounts [of THC]. On or off the record, WHO CARES?”

not use heat to separate and measure delta-9 THC con-

—Frank Robison, Lawyer

be sold or used instead as recreational or medical canna-

centrations, which means it’s testing the actual amount of delta-9 THC in any sample. The HPLC test doesn’t create higher concentrations of the same molecule that determines whether a plant is lawful or an illegal controlled substance. Because GC testing creates delta-9 THC, Kight says that using it to test hemp is contrary to law and can even amount to evidence tampering in the context of a criminal case. One final thing to remember here is that we are talking about minuscule amounts of delta-9 THC. There are no concerns that a hemp crop that comes in at 0.4 percent, or 0.7 percent, or even 1.0 percent delta-9 THC, is going to bis. Most legally available cannabis begins at around 15 percent delta-9 THC and goes up from there. Nobody will ever get high using any hemp product, even if it comes in over the limit. And it’s the farmers, the ones who find out whether their crop is legal or not after it has grown to maturity, who are paying the price for such a fickle number. “Farmers work on razor-thin margins. We should be giving them the most latitude possible and have this uniform from state to state,” says Robison. “We’re talking about such minuscule amounts. On or off the record, who cares? It doesn’t make any sense. Why not give farmers the chance?” OCTOBER 2019 103

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A DVO CACY | ED U CATION | COM M U NITY 104 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 105

{newsfeed } by N I C O L E R I G G S

UNDERSTANDING PLANT, PEOPLE, AND PLACE We spoke with local farmers and French winemakers to understand why cannabis appellations matter. On a warm July morning in Humboldt County, California’s Benbow Valley, 5-year-old Mirabella plunges her hand into the earth. The blue sky shimmers over hills densely forested

Wendy Kornberg, Doug Cook, and their daughters, Coral and Mirabella

with madrone, manzanita, and oak. Down the path flow the emerald waters of the Eel River, where she’ll go swimming later in the day. Mirabella scoops a handful of dirt, adds compost and chicken manure, and lifts her cupped hands to the sky: “This is how I make soil,” she explains. Her 9-year-old sister, quick-minded Coral, makes a different blend: more compost, less chicken manure. They learn this from their parents, Wendy Kornberg and her husband, Doug Cook, who

genetic factors that render distinctive agricultural products.

run Sunnabis, a state-licensed family farm. Nearby, cannabis

Appellations are fundamentally related to what the French

plants (varietal 24K#6) bloom under the Humboldt sunshine.

call terroir, meaning not only soil but the overall native envi-


ronment, which is not to be frelaté (corrupted or modified). In 2018, the California Department of Food and Agri-

The root of appellation, from the Latin appelāre, means “to

culture (CDFA) established the CalCannabis Appellations

invoke, to summon.” Around the world, consumers under-

Project to expand on county-of-origin regulations and

stand appellations to mean a place of origin with unique

create a statewide Cannabis Appellations system by Jan-

106 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

soil gives an appellation product its unique geographic expression, which consumers are willing to pay for. At Sunnabis Farms, Wendy Kornberg admits to being “a research junkie” when it comes to soil. She points to her 8,000-square foot “proving-ground” garden, where she will conduct an A/B test by growing a portfolio of varietals across different soil managements: biologic and Korean Natural Farming (a method that uses indigenous micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi to produce fertile soils). She plans to get feedback from consumers through QR codes. uary 1, 2020. With two months to go, working groups are still actively grappling with what the guidelines will be. Unlike the wine industry’s American Viticultural Area (AVA), which is largely a geographic designation, an appellation is a legally defined and protected indication of not only where an agricultural product comes from but also how it’s produced. Bordeaux wine, Roquefort cheese, Cham-

CONSUMERS UNDERSTAND APPELLATIONS TO MEAN A PLACE OF ORIGIN WITH UNIQUE GENETIC FACTORS THAT RENDER DISTINCTIVE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS. pagne—these are all appellation products because they express their native environment through food and drink. “Appellations express the character of a place,” explains winemaker Pat Knittel, who bottles both North Story wines and Wrangletown Cider in Arcata. To understand the complexity and potential of

Stacey and Lone Barker own Local Worm Guy, voted Best New Business in Humboldt County in 2019. They work with several cannabis cultivators to optimize sustainable farming techniques for “living soil.” “Worms enrich the soil biology and maintain soil moisture,” explains Lone. “Everything is part of the nutrient cycle, and worms, who eat from half to two times their weight every day, are a natural way to convert a biomass into nitrogen-rich, calcium-rich, plant-ready nutrients.” In Holmes Flat, Sunshine Johnston lives and farms at Sunboldt Grown. The daughter of back-to-the-landers, Johnston grew up in cannabis and today, she is one of the leading dry cannabis farmers in California, along with her neighbor, Chrystal Ortiz of True Humboldt. Both farmers utilize sustainable cultivation practices without the use of irrigation. Johnston understands her environment in dialectical terms: “The landscape creates us, and we create it, too.” As state regulations shake out, what might appellation guidelines say about soil regulation in the future? “You want to build soil, not throw it away,” says Johnston. “Cultivate microbiota that are native to your region.”

appellations, we studied each component of a working cannabis farm and how it relates to the genetic expression of a place.

SOIL The soil in which plants grow is a key aspect of appellation products, from cannabis to wine. “The soil is alive,” says Sophie Kumpf, a third-generation winemaker and owner of Kumpf & Meyer in Alsace, France. In her approach to farming, she seeks to “interfere as little as possible in the natural process.” In France, it’s common knowledge that native OCTOBER 2019 107

In France, Catherine Riss is the owner and winemaker at Domaine Riss in Reichsfeld, Alsace. “In Alsace, terroir has a lot to do with the geological composition of the soil. Terroir is complex,” she explains. “It’s the soil, but also the slope, the sun exposition, and the varietal.” Her vineyards are on two soil types: sandstone terroir and slate terroir. Whether it’s wine or cannabis, she sees the future of appellations as “local and sustainable.”

LIGHT Terra Carver is executive director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA), representing more than 270 Humboldt County growers and partners, and participates in the working group that will define appellation guidelines for California’s cannabis industry. Carver believes cannabis farmers are positioned to become leaders in sustainable agriculture, particularly sun-grown. “We want to take her [cannabis] back outside,” says Carver. In Garberville, Kristin Nevedal, founder and executive director of the International Cannabis Farmers Association (ICFA), notes that though most of California’s legal cannabis is grown indoors, it’s impossible to classify by metrics of quality related to appellation. “Indoor high-intensity discharge usage is a modification of terroir—as well as a climate issue—so it should not qualify for appellation,” says Nevedal.

WATER Agriculture needs water, and with climate change, conservation is more urgent than ever. “Understand that water is part of a watershed,” says Johnston. “How do you share that watershed with the environment?” A World Bank report released in August 2019 warns of the economic consequences of a clean water shortage. Forward-thinking cannabis cultivators and winemakers are acutely aware of the challenges ahead. Both industries are innovating with dry farming and/or minimal water use. In Alsace, Riss uses bacteria and micro-organisms as a natural pest repellent to retain moisture in her vineyard. Letting ground cover grow tall between the vines “keeps the soil cooler and moist,” explains Riss. Appellation-designated cannabis farms can draw on practices of minimal water use to provide the sustainability value that consumers demand.

VARIETALS What will appellation guidelines look like when it comes to varietals? Watershed expert and cannabis consultant Hollie Hall says more data is needed. “It’s about the phenotype expression of genes,” she explains. Connoisseurs of cannabis recognize that the same varietal grown with similar practices in different environments still looks, tastes, and feels different. Clearly, terroir plays a role in the final product, as does climate. “Certain mold-resistant strains are best suited to the Humboldt climate,” notes Rob Golightly, co-owner of a 10,000-square-foot farm. 108 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

PRACTICES As farmers come together, they’ll want to define what drying and curing practices specific appellations should follow. Such measures will further differentiate appellation-designated cannabis from commercial products that are often cut too early, flush-dried, and rushed to market—the fast-food of the industry, or “Styrofoam cannabis.” At Sunrise Mountain Farms in northeastern Humboldt County, Lorelie and Dave Sandomeno farm cannabis at 2,500 feet in elevation, bordered by national forest. “The plants drink spring water, root into vital soil, and see the sunrise every morning,” explains Sandomeno. The couple pays careful attention to every step of the process and is especially adamant about proper curing, emphasizing that it takes time. “Curing is an art that is learned over time and transmitted between farmers, a legacy that we can draw on,” says Dominic Corva, the recently appointed co-director at the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HiiMR) at Humboldt State University. “The cultural stories about cannabis provide extra meaning that has exchange value while also reproducing human skill across generations,” says Corva, who is also the founder and executive director at the Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy (CASP) in Seattle. For these reasons, practices and generational knowledge are an integral part of where appellation lines are drawn.

MARKETING Appellations touch on environmental standards, varietals, and cultivation practices. Ultimately, these combine to create an appellation product that is a unique genetic expression of a place. Jesse Fiedler, a cannabis professional with experience across the supply chain, sees “a parallel between Cuba’s cigars that have been crafted by knowledgeable artisans over decades and the Emerald Triangle’s cannabis, cultivated by experienced growers with intimate knowledge of the local climate.” To explain, he asks with a laugh, “Who would you rather get a cigar from? The old lady who’s grown it for 35 years or a guy who just bought a farm?” Amanda Reiman is the head of community relations at Flow Kana, a Mendocino County collective that processes and distributes cannabis from smallscale farms in Northern California. “Appellations are a way to add value and differentiate,” explains Reiman. “If we’re going to establish appellations, we have to hold true to these values.” Whether you think in terms of marketing (value-added distinction in the market) or biology (exploring the genetic expression of a place), appellations become powerful when they mean something—sustainability, craft, or climate. The challenge is to define meaning in the face of a rapidly growing industry, climate change, and ever-evolving laws regulating cannabis cultivation and sale. OCTOBER 2019 109

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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 a member in the Cannabis History category. FOR A FULL LIST OF ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS, SEE THE MASTHEAD ON PAGE 18.


Remember Louis “Pops” Armstrong, a jazz legend? You’ve seen dozens of photos of King Louie, eyes gleefully bugged-out as he worked through a blistering trumpet solo. Did you know he was probably high in all of them? We’re now a century removed from the Roaring Twenties, and we’ve forgotten that jazz, the soundtrack to the era, was then the most radical style to ever hit the music scene. Jazz took traditional orchestral arrangements, cranked them up, and laced them with ragtime rhythm. The hyper snares and swinging beats of jazz numbers drove young couples to the dance floor, and it drove their parents crazy. US Ambassador Henry van Dyke said that jazz was

The Jazz Age of the 1920s coincided with Prohibi-

“not music at all. It’s merely an irritation of the nerves.”

tion—a time when, ironically, alcohol was nationally

The New York Times (falsely) reported that Siberian vil-

banned but cannabis was not. You could get a joint at

lagers used jazz music to scare away wild bears at night.

any big-city “tea pad” (marijuana bar) for 20 cents. Jazz

And Harry J. Anslinger, the man who successfully lob-

players who used cannabis were called vipers, named so

bied for the US Congress’s cannabis ban, despised jazz

for the hissing sound produced by taking a big draw.

(mainly due to ethnicities of those who played it). He

A young Louis Armstrong became a viper himself

called it “satanic” and denounced it as an erosion of all

when, in the early 20s, he traveled from his native New

that was good in America.

Orleans to Chicago to seek music gigs. His search didn’t

114 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder


last very long; he was quickly hired by a local band. Lou-

them a creative kick without the hangover. They called

is had learned to play the trumpet as a young boy in re-

musicians who drank between sets (and grew sloppy as

form school, and then he spent his teens playing shows

the night wore on) “bottle babies.”

every night aboard steamboats on the Mississippi River.

Clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow, an Armstrong contempo-

He put in the hours, and though he was barely over the

rary, said, “We were on another plane compared to the

age of 20 when he pulled up in Chicago, and he’d already

bottle babies. … We liked things to be easy and relaxed,

developed a genius for improvisation.

mellow, and mild…while their tones became hard and

After dark, the vipers played in downtown speakeasies, but they eschewed booze in favor of cannabis. It gave

evil, not natural, soft, and soulful.” Armstrong first tried “the gage” (one of the many street OCTOBER 2019 115

names for cannabis at the time) during intermission at a performance at the Savoy Ballroom. “We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that’s full of liquor.” Louis partook in the gage nearly every day from that point on, and if anything, his new habit only accelerated his rise. Throughout the ‘20s and ‘30s, he appeared in more than 60 Hollywood films, and his radio show brought his wild solos and fast-paced, gravelly scatting into homes around the country. Armstrong had made it to the A-list…as a Black man in Jim Crowe-era America. In 1931, when cannabis had already been made illegal in California, Arm-

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jail before being released. (He was sentenced to six months in prison, but the

mance. But the arresting officer, a fan of Armstrong’s radio show, let him finish his gig before taking him downtown. Louis spent nine days in county sentence was suspended). Armstrong continued to use cannabis at all of his shows, even after it was outlawed nationally in 1937. Before a performance? A stick of the gage. In the studio, about to record? The same. It was part of the vipers’ process. They used it to bond as a band and to loosen up before riffing.


“The fairly small community of jazz musicians…constantly practiced together, brainstormed together, and smoked marijuana together,” Peter Webster noted in a 2001 study titled “Marijuana and Music.” “The herb was often used as a stimulus to creativity, at least for practice sessions, many such as Armstrong praising its effects highly.”

116 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder


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Vipers commonly shouted out cannabis in tracks such as Cab Calloway’s “The Reefer Man” and Stuff Smith’s “If You’se a Viper.” Jazz songs were driven by a bouncy, staccato tempo. It was the pop of its day, and the first style of music that made middle America move. And there’s evidence that cannabis was a catalyst for this groundbreaking new sound. Most of us know that cannabis can slow things down and put you in a relaxed, zen-like state. Now, let’s extrapolate—how would a professional musician operate in this space? Dr. James Munch, a Temple University pharmacologist and an associate of Harry Anslinger’s, said the following when he testified before Congress on the psychoactive effects of cannabis: “The chief effect [of marijuana] as far as [jazz musicians] were concerned was that it lengthens the sense of time. …Therefore they could get more grace beats into their music. …If you’re using marijuana, you’re going to work in about twice as much music between the first note and the second note.” While attempting to present cannabis as a vice of crazed, spastic degenerates (read: jazz artists), Munch inadvertently detailed its creative potential.


The “time-slowing” effects of cannabis changed the jazz vipers’ perception— allowing them to slip on and off beat and transcend the time signatures on their sheet music. This resulted in the wild, bouncy, foot-stomping jazz we know today. Cannabis also made performers less self-conscious, and prone to experimentation. Music psychologist Daniel J. Levitin wrote in his book The World in Six Songs that “THC…is known to disrupt short-term memory. What this



does is keep you in the present, allowing you connect more fully with the music as time ‘stands still’…people stoned on pot live for each note, completely in the moment.” Was every jazz star a viper? Of course not. Duke Ellington, one of the era’s


elite pianists, said that he “never smoked anything without a label on it.” But imagine if there hadn’t been any gage at the Savoy Ballroom for Louis Armstrong to try when he was starting out in Chicago. He’d, of course, still have gone on to be the Louis we remember. But who knows how many killer solos we’d have missed out on?

V JH<W OCTOBER 2019 117

118 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder





















(720) 504-6557 INFO@SENSIMAG.COM

Numbers are based on a 2019 independent audit of the Denver/Boulder Edition from MEDIA AUDIT OCTOBER 2019 119

120 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder


volume will prevail, and smaller companies will fade. Two years ago, CBD isolate (99 percent crystalline CBD powder) was selling for $10,000 per kilo. It currently brings $3,500 per kilo. Prices will continue to drop until only companies of scale or specialization will be profitable. All that said, it is not too late for smaller companies to pivot or entrepreneurs to enter the industry. Hemp product proof of concepts have shown promise in everything

A massive price crash is coming for Cannabidiol (CBD). This is because of simple supply-and-demand economics, but this does not spell the end for the hemp industry. Not even close.

from building materials, compostable plastics, and biofuels to clothing, paper, and foods. Lest we forget, both the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp

CBD is in everything from gummies to eye creams and

paper, and both still exist to be read today. The difference

is the sole current price driver of the hemp market. At the

between hemp paper and tree paper? It takes hemp less

same time, more than 10 states legalized hemp produc-

than six months to be ready for harvest, compared to de-

tion for commercial use in 2019, and states previously al-

cades for trees.

lowing hemp cultivation reported an increase in both reg-

Those wanting to create a more sustainable world, and

istrations and acreage this year. As large companies like

make a lot of money in the process, should look into pro-

CVS, Whole Foods, and Kroger begin selling CBD products,

ducing hemp product proof of concepts at commercial

generous supply will lead to price pressure on hemp pro-

scale. And if you’re in CBD, don’t despair. Expand your

cessors and farmers like never before.

product offering, use different de-scheduled cannabi-

It is not difficult to understand why CBD is the sole

noids, diversify! Hemp will make a lot of people a lot of

price driver of the hemp market. On the demand side,

money, but it’s the visionaries with new ideas or those

CBD has therapeutic potential for individuals with a

who can take current ideas to commercial scale who will

multitude of conditions and is now a pop culture fad. On

end up on top.

the supply side, farmers have been promised 10 times or

So, has the hemp wave already come and gone with no

more profit per acre when growing CBD-dominant hemp

opportunity to invest or start a business? Definitely not,

as compared to corn, soy beans, alfalfa, or even tobacco.

but the focus has to shift away from CBD. Hemp is an in-

The promise of a five-figure return per acre becomes even

credible material; it should be used for more than extract-

more enticing when considering our current trade rela-

ing a single cannabinoid.

tionship with China. There is money to be made in CBD, but the likelihood of all the businesses currently in the CBD space striking it rich are slim to none. With a significant price drop coming, OCTOBER 2019 121

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the option of plant-based medicine in pill form that are fast-acting and targeted toward a specific effect.” The Drops, as the pills are named, will introduce a new 1906 experience: Genius is designed for cognitive focus. “A common thing that people have used cannabis for is creativity,” Barsoom says. “People have been using cannabis to help them focus for thousands of years.” The 1906 experience will also soon be available in vape form, as the brand collaborates with Pax to create 1906 Pax Pods for the Pax Era. Look for these on shelves by the end of 2019. “Now we will be giving consumers and patients new options of how to consume cannabis in two different formats.” 1906 vapes come with targeted CBD/THC ratios, and the team hopes to take it further. “We are also looking at evaluating other, less prevalent cannabinoids…” Barsoom says. “That is what distinguishes us. We are a Former Wall Street financier Peter Barsoom is the CEO of 1906 New Highs, an edibles company he found-

science-driven company. We go where the research is and what it shows.”

ed in Denver a little more than two years ago, focused on making experience-driven products for high-functioning adult consumers. Today, it’s one of the fastest-growing brands in the state.

For more information, visit:


1906’s incredibly popular line of infused chocolates includes Midnight, an all-natural sleep aid made with dark milk chocolate infused with THC and CBD. Love chocolates use optimal doses of five herbal aphrodisiacs and sense-enhancing cannabis for a sensory-enhancing experience. There’s also Chill, for relaxation; Go, for energy; and Bliss, for blissed-out happiness. And soon, those same experiences will be available in pill form. 1906 has become one of the state’s fastest growing brands—and it’s just getting started. Very soon, there will be a host of fresh 1906 options on dispensary shelves for consumers to choose how to best enjoy the experience. “Pills are the number-one way in which we take our medicine,” Barsoom says. “But to date, we haven’t had OCTOBER 2019 125

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The lack of banking in the cannabis industry is as dif-

he says. “So we will see how it goes. People want to

ficult for a cannabis business owner to deal with as it is

pay with their cards or their phones. People don’t carry

easy for everyone to understand: Businesses need banks.

around cash anymore.”

Nobody wants to tote around garbage bags of cash.

The new products have been a long time coming,

Congress recently held hearings on the Secure and

Mills says, but he believes in staying prudent. “People

Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (SAFE) and get-

come and go in the payment and banking side of this

ting loans for cannabusinesses from the Small Business

business, and we have been here almost 11 years now,”

Administration. But it still seems as if the banking issue

he says. “We are here for the long term and not just to

is a long way from resolution.

make money. We try to stay cutting edge and have solu-

Chris Mills, CEO of GreenHouse Payment Solutions, says that the conundrum continues to confound bank-

tions that no one else has. Honesty, integrity, and service are at the heart of GreenHouse Payment Solutions.”

ers and bank-service providers, especially with so many CBD companies looking for guidance now. “The FDIC has not put in place any kind of information to the regulators,” he says. “The big banks that look at it and who

For more information, visit:


have the formula about percentage of assets and bank money on hand can facilitate having cannabis businesses. It’s all nice and dandy that things are getting discussed in Washington and all. But the banks still need direction.” He thinks that medical cannabis will be legalized in all 50 states before banks make any real decisions. “The general business community is pushing their elected representatives, telling them that this is coming and asking them, ‘Do you want to regulate this or not?’” GreenHouse is about to launch two new banking solutions for the industry, one this month and another later this year, both designed to avoid the mistakes Mills sees with other banking solutions. It makes it easy for the customer to use, it’s inexpensive for merchants to operate, and it won’t be shut down. “Those are our parameters.” One is styled after a Google Pay app, where a user will be able to pay either online or use a credit card at dispensaries. “Both use bank accounts, but we won’t charge for the bank account, unlike some other banks,” OCTOBER 2019 129



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Many dispensaries across Colorado have settled into

Matelski says that Higher Grade carries a selec-

a rhythm of relatively steady customer flow, managing

tion of edibles but focuses mostly on exceptional in-

the influx of established and new products and mak-

house flower—hand-staked, hand-watered, and hand-

ing shelf space available for products customers are

trimmed—and boutique concentrate brands.

demanding. It’s becoming more difficult for cannabis

There are no plans to expand beyond the two loca-

brands to stand out even if they have quality products.

tions right now, she says. “We will continue to provide an

This evolution is the driving force behind Higher

exceptional experience for our current medical patients

Grade, a Denver-based dispensary with two stores in

and recreational shoppers. Our budtenders are highly ed-

metro area. “Our goal has always been to deliver a

ucated on all of our products, and we provide constant

unique shopping experience by providing cannabis in

training to keep them knowledgeable so they can be truly

a boutique setting,” says Higher Grade manager Molly

helpful when making product recommendations.”

Matelski. “Owner Mike Leibowitz has always had a pas-

One of Higher Grade’s current projects is terpene

sion for high-quality cannabis, and he wanted to deliv-

testing all strains to better understand their physiolog-

er that to consumers through his own store. Top-shelf

ical effects. “We want to deliver a clear picture of what

cannabis with top-shelf service has been our mission

the consumer can expect, not just based on the indi-

since day one.”

ca, sativa or hybrid labels, but based on the terpene

Matelski says that the beautifully designed stores

content combined with the cannabinoid content. It’s

see a whole range of customers, from the millenni-

about providing as much information as possible so

als to the baby boomer crowd. “People do appreciate

our customers can be informed consumers.”

walking into a clean facility, but the number-one thing is price and availability,” she says. “Right now in Denver, stores are low on product. High-quality flower is far less available than it has been in previous years.”

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mer events to keep our faces and our logo out there in front of clients. We want them to know that we are here for them when the market changes.” The Source team is watching the hemp industry. “We are waiting for the dust to settle a little bit and doing our research,” Thompson says. “We are knocking on doors to see where those relationships could go and where they are going. But it’s kind of a private sales team nightmare in the hemp world. There are so many individuals trying to get in the middle of these large trades that it can be difficult to find the right deals. We want to feel the market out and find the real players before jumping in.” The data analytics Source uses to track sales is a It’s been slow this summer for wholesale canna-

competitive advantage. While Thompson is seeing oth-

bis, according to Source Colorado co-founder Connor

er trading platforms coming online, he is finding that

Thompson, who has seen his fair share of ups and

those platforms are not as seller focused. “People just

downs since getting into the industry in 2010. “Over the

need product, the best product for the price point. And

last six months, the market has tightened up a lot,” he

that’s where we shine in the normal Colorado market—

says. “Demand is through the roof due to last year’s out-

by helping people dig through the mass of product to

door harvest getting damaged by early frost and things

ensure satisfaction with their purchase.”

of that nature.” From its Crested Butte and Denver offices, Source Colorado connects wholesale producers to stores, mar-

For more information, visit:


ijuana-infused product facilities (MIPs), and cultivators. Source has located more than 126 sellers and 259 buyers in the Colorado market that are in its network. Thompson says now the company is focusing on relationships in the face of rising competition. “Less people need our help for sales this summer,” he says. “We are looking to the future to help get people set up and talk to people about their needs, so that we have a pretty good idea of where they are looking to go next.” Thompson says that the company is boosting its onsite visits with stores and that each of the four account managers go to 20–25 stores weekly and pitch their services and products. “We are also doing standard OCTOBER 2019 137

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The annual Clinic Charity Golf Tournament is the dispensary company’s signature fundraising event benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center. So far, the event has raised a total of $785,000. Along with a nine-hole scramble round of golf, attendees enjoyed an after-party featuring a musical performance by The Motet, stand-up by Josh Blue, and much more.

140 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

Where: Arrowhead Golf Course, Littleton When: August 9, 2019 OCTOBER 2019 141

142 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder OCTOBER 2019 143

{HereWeGo } by N O R A M O U N C E

THE SCIENCE OF STOPPING TO SMELL THE ROSES Aromatherapy is an ancient practice for health and vitality. When used as a tired idiom to combat stress, hearing “stop and smell the roses” from a well-meaning friend can be annoying. Intuitively, we know that slowing down and practicing gratitude for simple pleasures is at the heart of a happy life. But in practice… it’s hard. And even harder to believe that a daily whiff of geranium oil will cure the sciatica, depression, or ________ (fill-in-the-blank) that’s keeping you down. But with any holistic modality, an open mind is the first requirement on the path to feeling better. In Colorado, a wide range of herbalists, estheticians, and massage therapists offer services with aromatherapy to promote optimal health. When experimenting at home, it’s important to remember that essential oils are incredibly potent and should only be used as suggested by the manufacturer. But with a wide range of applications, anyone can add essential oils to their life without booking an appointment. Could your digestive system use a tune-up? Try adding ginger, peppermint, and fennel to your daily regime. Essential oils can be applied topically when using a carrier oil such as almond or sesame, rubbed on the soles of your feet, or absorbed aromatically through a diffuser. Even easier, try adding few drops to your next hot bath or rub a few drops into your hands before covering your face and breathing deeply. Curious to learn more? The Institute for Integrative Aromatherapy in Boulder offers an aromatherapy certification program as well as seminars and workshops. Visit RESOURCESFORLIVINGWELL.COM

144 OCTOBER 2019 Denver // Boulder

to learn more. OCTOBER 2019 145

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