Page 1

THE NEW NORMAL

05.2016

V I S I TOR ’S GUIDE

Four Days in

Denver

Coltyn Turner

SPEAKS OUT { ANY

QU EST IO NS ? }

S P ECIAL REPORT

Can Cannabis Help

SENIORS?

Answer: yes.

canna PIONEERS

Do you know Wanda James?

{ YO U

S H O U L D. }

8 Mile-High Restaurants + Closed Consumption + The Art & Business of Glassblowing


contents.

ON THE COVER Wanda James of Simply Pure

ISSUE 1

KIM SIDWELL © CANNABIS CAMERA

VOLUME 1

05.2016

FEATURES 20 Making a Difference

24 pioneers who helped the thriving legal cannabis industry get to where it is today.

28

VI S I TO R ’S GUIDE

Get out of the tourist traps and show your visitors how we live like locals with our handy 420-friendly guide to our Rocky Mountain-adjacent playground.

34

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When traditional medications couldn’t heal his Crohn’s disease, and actually made him worse, Coltyn Turner and his family went searching for an alternative. They found it here in Colorado. Now they’re telling their story in an effort to help others in similar situations.

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S PEC I A L R E P O R T

Seniors: The Age of Cannabis

40

Seniors in Colorado are finding cannabis can help them deal with pain relief, sleeplessness, anxiety, and a lot of other maladies, too. And today, to reap the benefits, they don’t even have to smoke it.

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8 RESTAURANTS

to visit when you’re elevated.

EVERY ISSUE 6 8 10 12

Editor’s Note Sensi Buzz Ask Leland/Q& A Perspectives CLOSED CONSUMPTION

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CannaBiz SYMBIARTIC GLASS

48

BackStory STRENGTH OF CHARACTER

50

Sensi Scene ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH

EdibleCritic

EDIBLES FOR SENIORS?

© CHAUTAUQUA DINING HALL

40

Coltyn Turner Speaks Out

DENVER

Four Days in Denver

ELEVATED DINING

Sensi Magazine is published monthly in Denver, CO, by Sensi Media Group LLC, 6565 East Evans Ave., Denver, CO 80224. © 2016 SENSI MEDIA GROUP LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

M AY 201 6

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editor’s

NOTE

WELCOME TO THE NE W NO R M AL

masthead. sensi magazine

ISSUE 1

VOLUME 1

05.2016

EX ECUTI VE Ron Kolb, CEO, SENSI MEDIA GROUP

THE “NEW NORMAL” THAT’S ESTABLISHED ITSELF IN THEIR STATE, THE REST OF THE COUNTRY IS FASCINATED BY IT. NO ONE BEYOND OUR BORDERS SEEMS ABLE TO FULLY COMPREHEND JUST HOW THE LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS IS WORKING OUT HERE, OR THAT IT’S HAPPENING AT ALL. IT’S A MYSTERY TO MANY PEOPLE, A SOURCE

E DI T ORI AL Rob Feeman, CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER/EDITOR

Leland Rucker, SENIOR EDITOR

LELAND.RUCKER @ SENSIMAG.COM

John Lehndorff, FOOD EDITOR

EDIBLE.CRITIC @ SENSIMAG.COM

Randy Robinson, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR RANDY.ROBINSON @ SENSIMAG.COM

Tabatha Deans, CONTRIBUTING WRITER CHRISTINA.ODET TE @ SENSIMAG.COM

DE S IGN & P H O T O GR A P H Y Jennifer Tyson, DESIGN DIRECTOR

JENNIFER.TYSON @ SENSIMAG.COM

Stacey Jacobs, DESIGNER

STACEY.JACOBS @ SENSIMAG.COM

Kim Sidwell, CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER INFO @ CANNABISCAMERA.COM

sensimag

M AY 2016

ALEX.MARTINEZ @ SENSIMAG.COM

Christina Odette, EDITORIAL INTERN

sensimagazine

www.sensimag.com

Alex Martinez, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

STEPHANIE.WILSON @ SENSIMAG.COM

sensimediagroup

6

TAE.DARNELL @ SENSIMAG.COM

Stephanie Wilson, MANAGING EDITOR

ON WHERE THEY STAND ON THE SUBJECT.

Rob Feeman,

Tae Darnell, PRESIDENT, SENSI MEDIA GROUP

ROB.FEEMAN @ SENSIMAG.COM

OF JOKES, OR ENVY, OR CONSTERNATION, OR ANGER, DEPENDING

Practically every day, somewhere across the country, someone — a late night comic, a politician (they might be the same thing), a celebrity, a major magazine, or newspaper, or website, or cable news outlet — has something to say about cannabis. It’s become a national conversation, the subject that’s on everyone’s mind. It’s the Noble Experiment, the Great Debate, the Wild Unknown, the Risky Proposition, or perhaps Anarchy Unleashed, or even just plain Good Common Sense. But, to be honest, for many who live and work here in the Denver/Boulder area, it’s just Business as Usual. Or, more accurately, New Business as Usual. What’s perhaps most interesting about legalization is how easily cannabis has integrated itself into our daily lifestyles with minimal interruption. Chaos does not reign supreme. We do not run crazy through the streets. We still get up on Monday morning. We go to work. We get things done, we spend time with family, we pay bills, we have fun. On weekends, we head outside, to the mountains, or stay around town to enjoy the myriad recreational, entertainment, and educational opportunities available to us here in Denver. We might work in an office, or a hospital, or a bakery, or a dispensary. We stop for groceries and a few edibles on the way home. We relax with friends over drinks or nachos or a bowl of a new strain. Cannabis is just part of our daily lives, another choice available to us as we navigate life’s journey. Our goal at Sensi Magazine is not to create another cannabis magazine, or another lifestyle magazine, or another community magazine. Instead, our goal is to create something new and a little different — a publication covering all of the various lifestyle and life choices available to us here in our state. We hope to be enlightening, entertaining, informative, and fun. We’ll tell the stories that matter. We’ll focus on people like Wanda James, Tyler Golz, Coltyn Turner, Leo Dunaev, and our 24 Canna-Pioneers profiled in this issue, and show how individuals and groups are working to achieve positive change. In the end, we hope, in some small way, to remove some of the stigma that surrounds the use of cannabis, and show that, essentially, it’s just another lifestyle choice, one of dozens or perhaps hundreds we make every day. It should be a fun journey, and we hope you’ll join us as we chronicle the New Normal.

RON.KOLB @ SENSIMAG.COM

B U S I NE S S & A DM I N I S T R AT I V E Tyler Tarr, PUBLISHER

TYLER.TARR @ SENSIMAG.COM

Alec Varipapa, BUSINESS ANALYST

ALEC.VARIPAPA @ SENSIMAG.COM

Sam Guerra, DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION SAM.GUERRA @ SENSIMAG.COM

A DV I S O RY B OA R D Boss Tubes Cannabis Clean Cannabis Patients Alliance Concentrate Supply Co. EndoCanna Extract Craft Extracted Colorado

GreenHouse Payment Solutions Hemptations High Society Jett Cannabis Jezebel’s Southern Bistro & Bar Lab Society Lucid Mood

marQaha Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser Pathways Natural Wellness Center Simply Pure Symbiartic Glass Terrapin Care Station Wana Brands

M E D I A PA RT N E RS EDITOR

National Cannabis Industry Association Students for a Sensible Drug Policy Women Grow

KIM SIDWELL © CANNABIS CAMERA

coloradans MIGHT BE HO-HUM ABOUT

FOLLOW US

WHILE MOST


THE NE W N O R M A L

sensi

buzz

AnnaBís H IG H FA S H IO N

AnnaBís Chelsea Cross-Body

This hot new handbag brand, pronounced AnnaBee instead of like cannabis without the C, was born out of necessity. It’s for the sophisticated consumer of cannabis products who knows that style is just as important as .... smell. The bags come with an odor-blocking technology that conceals the telltale scent that accompanies our favorite fragrant plant. The collection includes vape cases, clutches, and wristlets along with our very favorite, the leather Chelsea Cross-Body {$295} in a luxe gold leather. The drawstring-enclosed upper compartment fits all the necessities, while bottom bit zips open, revealing a hidden place to stash your stash in style while expressing your pro-cannabis stance.

WWW.ANNABISSTYLE.COM

–STEPHANIE WILSON

THE SENSI GLOSSARY

Pot used to just be pot. Sometimes we called it weed. But it typically was green and you smoked it to get high. That was then. With the onset of legalization, it’s a whole new world out there. And it’s got its own language. Here’s a primer on some terms and phrases you’ll find throughout this magazine to get you started. –STEPHANIE WILSON

Cannabis vs. Marijuana: The term “marijuana” is closely

associated with the prohibition era. Some even feel it’s a bad word. We use it, albeit sparingly. Cannabis is the go-to term of choice, and an umbrella word that applies to the plant in all its many forms.

Flower: This is what we are calling bud, the green part of the plant that you smoke, these days.

THC: Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol This is the chemical component that gets you “high.”

CBD: Another chemical found in cannabis that has no

psychoactive effect but does have powerful medicinal benefits.

Amendment 64: This is the law that made adult use of cannabis legal in Colorado.

“It ’s legal, but it ain’t a hundred percent legal.” VINCENT VEGA

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M AY 2016

FROM THE FILM PULP FICTION

If you’re looking for a bite-sized chocolaty, peanut-buttery treat, check out ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH’S PEANUT BUT TER FUDGE GANACHE TRUFFLES (a name that’s quite a mouthful despite being the approximate size of a Dum-Dum). I snagged these from the Cannabis Station located in downtown Denver. These little candy-splashed morsels carry a light flavor that blends the dark chocolate, the peanut butter, and the infusion into a soft, waxy, melt-in-the-mouth experience. My particular batch tasted notably light: the sweetness didn’t overwhelm, and I couldn’t taste the cannabis, either. These truffles are ideal for anyone who wants something that’ll go down quick and effortlessly. Each piece contains roughly 9 mg of THC, so just one should suffice for the novice or casual edible consumer. After half an hour, its fluffy, uplifting effect remained focused, so a single piece is excellent for anyone looking to smooth out the day’s edges while still being functional.

–RANDY ROBINSON

light ON taste HEAV Y ON

FUN


HAPPY TRAILS M O U N T FA LCO N PA R K , G O L D E N

The outdoor lifestyle is a big part of the draw here in Colorado, and now that spring has finally sprung, we’re trading our skis and boards for boots and trail runners and heading out to relish the landscape and the views. Finding dry trails in the wet spring season can be tough, so it’s best to stick to the very front of the Front Range. Some of our go-to trails can be found in the 2,330-acre Mount Falcon Park in Golden, Colorado, part of the amazing Jefferson County Open Space park system. The park encompasses 11.1 miles of trails. The 3.8-mile-long Castle trail connects the lower east parking area with the upper one in the west. Park in the east, and the trail begins with a series of pleasant switchbacks, each one rewarding its own take on the views of Red Rocks to the north and downtown in the distance. Once you’ve made the climb, the trail levels out with a gradual increase up to the plateau, where you’ll find the ruins of the Castle. It’s also super popular with mountain bikers, so prepare to share the path. –STEPHANIE WILSON

M AY 201 6

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Our curious cannabis expert, LELAND RUCKER, answers your questions about all things pot related.

ask

ONE -TIME

presidential candidate

CARLY FIORINA SAID IN A DEBATE LAST YEAR THAT “THE MARIJUANA THAT KIDS ARE SMOKING TODAY IS NOT THE SAME AS THE MARIJUANA THAT JEB BUSH

ARE TODAY’S

SMOKED 40 YEARS AGO.”

STR AINS OF HIGH-POTENCY

On that point, she was correct. The cannabis on High Times

CANNABIS MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE POT WE ALL SMOKED IN THE 1960s AND 1970s?

A NN E DENVER

ask it. Got a question about anything marijuana related? Email your query to: ASKLELAND @ SENSIMAG.COM

and if we answer your question, you’ll get some cool Sensi merch.

magazine’s annual list of the world’s most potent strains is all lab-tested and certified at more than 23 percent THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that gives users the high they seek and that prohibitionists seem to fear more than anything. NBC News last year found the average potency in Colorado flower cannabis to be about 19 percent. (And we’re dealing here only with flower marijuana, not concentrated oils that often are higher than 50 percent THC.) Some estimates claim pot in the old days was 3 to 5 percent THC. Stronger strains have always existed, and those low levels are more likely for industrial hemp than recreational cannabis. Though much of what I bought in the 1970s was from Mexico, I sometimes splurged (spent $40) for an ounce of Colombian or some exotic sensimilla that was far more potent than the standard $15 lid. So the idea that your grandfather's pot was barely stronger than hemp just doesn't wash—why did so many people risk breaking the law to use it? There isn’t a smidgen of actual evidence that shows today’s Ghost Train Haze or Bruce Banner strains are any more dangerous for adults than Panama Red or Maui Wowie were for a previous generation. It’s not that difficult to figure out how today’s commercial U.S. strains, hybridized and grown to contain higher levels of THC, would be more potent than plants grown in 1973 in Mexican fields under who-knows-what conditions and crushed into brick kilos to smuggle across the border. If today’s product has a higher THC level, cannabis users don’t need to increase their intakes to get the same effect. It’s easy to argue that today’s strains aren’t more dangerous, since most of us will just use less than we would of weaker strains. We moderate our intake—just as we do with any cannabis strain or product. Some medical experts believe that all cannabis use is abuse, and that all the effects of THC are negative. Millions of people know better. Until something proves otherwise, this is just another scare tactic from those continuing to bring you the War on Drugs.

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KIM SIDWELL © CANNABIS CAMERA

Leland Rucker

LELAND


{perspectives } C LOS E D C ONSUMPTION

How Colorado’s pot laws drove away big business. by R ANDY R O B IN S ON

It’s March 1, 2016. I’m in a conference room at the Denver mayor’s office with the organizers of Denver’s 420 Rally. Across from me is Larry Linietsky, the COO of Trans-High Corporation, the parent company of High Times. Right now, they’re secretly discussing a joint venture: “High Times at the Official 420 Rally,” they’re thinking of calling it. Two iconic cannabis organizations are negotiating what could turn out to be the world’s biggest and baddest marijuana celebration. I think I’m witnessing history. Linietsky, however, isn’t thinking about history. He’s thinking about profits. He’s trying to navigate the complex regulatory maze known as Amendment 64. He’s concerned that at the event the park will be surrounded by an army of cops, that there are all these weird rules that prevent cannabis consumption. He’s especially concerned about even weirder rules that say licensed cannabis companies can’t advertise at the 420 Rally: No logos. No signs. Colorado’s multimillion-dollar powerhouse dispensaries can only be present at the 420 Rally if they stay underneath unmarked tents. “I didn’t know it was so restrictive,” Linietsky said. “I thought marijuana was legal here.” I’ve heard this same thing from tourists, friends, family, and coworkers. The national news makes it sound so cut-and-dried: We legalized pot. Game over,

I’ve heard the same thing from tourists, friends, family, and coworkers. The national news makes it sound so cut-and-dried: We legalized pot. Game over, the stoners won. It’s regulated like alcohol now, right?

Not

www.sensimag.com

Not really. In Colorado, cannabis use can still be a crime, especially if it violates “open and public consumption” laws. It’s a crime to smoke marijuana in a bar, at a restaurant, or pretty much anywhere in public view. You can smoke at indoor private events held on private property, but there’s a catch.

Out of Sight, Still in Mind� This public consumption issue is why High Times was meeting with the 420 Rally. Since 2011, the High Times Cannabis Cup has been in Colorado, and, in 2014, our state made history by hosting the first nonmedical U.S. Cannabis Cup. Yet

really. 12

the stoners won. It’s regulated like alcohol now, right?

M AY 2016

this year, Adams County denied High Times its permits on the grounds that the Cup didn’t respect local public consumption laws. So High Times looked elsewhere. Pueblo was considered but was a no-go. Denver was another option, but the Mile High City had no available venues.


Except one. Miguel Lopez, the chief organizer of the 420

as it is in most Colorado cities, smoking in public will catch a

Rally, reached out and offered Linietsky a space at Civic

public consumption citation, a fine that ranges from $100 to

Center Park during his event.

$999. It’s up to city governments to lift or loosen this ban.

High Times wasn’t the first to experience this public consumption blowback in Colorado, either. In 2014, local entre-

Think Fast, but Don't Think Twice

preneur Jane West teamed up with the Colorado Symphony

One of the big fears surrounding our state’s (mostly) legal

to create the world’s first “weed symphony.” Through public

weed was that it’d scare off business. Over two years and

fundraiser events, the orchestra would play to a crowd that

hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue later, we’re

could toke during the show.

still hearing this echo from prohibition’s lingering specter.

The city of Denver decided allowing anyone to smoke

On March 8, Colorado’s very own Gov. John Hickenlooper

cannabis at the orchestra violated city and state laws. As

warned other states against legalization. At a Dallas con-

a compromise between West and the city attorneys, the

ference, he said, “Let me tell you, if you’re trying to encour-

64 AMENDMENT

does not approve or ban public consumption, it just prevents law enforcement from seizing assets of anyone over 21 who publicly consumes.

weed symphony had to be an “invite-only” event. Accord-

age businesses to move to your state, think twice about

ing to Adams County officials, the High Times Cannabis Cup

legalizing marijuana.”

didn’t follow these invite-only guidelines. Anyone with a

Hickenlooper’s doom-and-gloom caution is at odds with

ticket could hit up the Cup and blaze until they passed out.

reality. Four months ago, the governor said, “Colorado now has one of the best economies in the nation.” According to

Regulate Like Alcohol Under Amendment 64, the details of public consumption

Business Insider, we have not only the third-best economy in the U.S., but also one of the fastest growing.

were left to local and state governments. The amendment

To date, there’s no evidence that businesses have avoided

just prevents law enforcement from seizing assets of any-

or left Colorado because of our marijuana market. Amend-

one over 21 who publicly consumes.

ment 64 allows businesses to have any pot policy they want,

Marijuana isn’t the only commercial product that can’t

even if that means firing employees who get stoned off the

be consumed in public. You can’t drink alcohol out on the

clock. Ironically, High Times packed up and left Colorado be-

streets, either. However, local governments permit open

cause of our regulations, not in spite of them.

and public alcohol consumption at restaurants, bars, con-

High Times ultimately pulled out of the partnership with

certs, and some events such as those held in parks. Why is

the 420 Rally. Linietsky explained, “We decided it was not

public cannabis use restricted more than booze?

a good fit given the stringent advertising restrictions for

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act bans smoking at private

the marijuana businesses that were attached to the permit.”

businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and bars. Yet both

But he did mention that our state hasn’t been permanently

booze and cigarettes are allowed on private patios. Then why

stricken from High Times' to-do list.

is smoking cannabis on the patio of a hotel, bar, or restaurant

“We're always interested in putting on great events that cel-

outlawed? That’s where local laws come in to play. In Denver,

ebrate cannabis,” he added, “and Colorado is always a favorite.” M AY 201 6

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{ediblecritic }

B E YO N D T H E M U N C H I E S

Colorado offers the perfect setting for elevated dining. by JOHN LEHNDORFF

Like grilled cheese sandwiches and cream of tomato soup, cannabis and dining go hand in hand. Cannabis does not make food taste better. It makes you a better taster. THC heightens perceptions of flavor, aroma, texture, and the sights and sounds of a dining environment. Being in an elevated state can allow you to appreciate layers of spicing in a Thai tom kha soup and how the seasonings clash, harmonize, and make you sweat. Heck, a hot dog eaten during a game at Coors Field or an ice cream cone at the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park can taste like the best food anyone has ever eaten anywhere. Decades of stoner films and television characters have reduced the grand tradition to a punchline. It comes down to one dismissive moniker: the munchies, the compulsion to mindlessly inhale everything from Girl Scout Thin Mints to entire all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. Millions of Americans dine after consuming cannabis each day. They just can’t talk about it in public the way everyone else does about small-batch bourbon lists, craft mixologists at restaurant bars, and elaborate wine-pairing dinners. Even in post-legalization Colorado, little has changed when it comes to dining. You still cannot smoke or vape at any restaurant (or public place) nor legally stand outside and enjoy cannabis next to the cigarette smokers. You definitely can’t dine on cannabis-infused cuisine except at home or at a private event. As a result, we still come to the table after a predinner smoke or vape at home or huddled in cars in restaurant parking lots across the state. If you are new to cannabis, I recommend starting with a small amount and picking your restaurant carefully. If you don’t enjoy eating buffalo while a stuffed buffalo stares at you under normal circumstances, then you probably will like it even less after you get high. A brewpub might be perfect if pot makes it impossible for you to sit still and eat lunch in a Zen garden. For this inaugural Edible Critic column, I am sharing some of my favorite culinary destinations in Colorado especially suited to memorable elevated dining experiences. JOHN LEHNDORFF is the former dining critic of the Rocky Mountain News, food editor of the Daily Camera, and chief judge at the National Pie Championships. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Town and Country, and Bluegrass Unlimited. His Nibbles column appears in the Boulder Weekly and he hosts Radio Nibbles on KGNU (88.5 FM, 1390 AM, KGNU.ORG ).

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M AY 2016

do tell.

Please share your good and bad experiences with elevated dining in Colorado. Email comments to:

EDIBLE.CRITIC @ SENSIMAG.COM

PHOTOS FROM TOP TO BOT TOM :

Chautauqua Dining Hall and Oskar Blues


{1 }

My Brother's Bar : The coolest watering hole in Denver has no sign on the outside of the building and the jukebox only plays classical music. This is where “On the Road” inspiration Neal Cassady used to run up a tab. Elevation is grandfathered in. It is exceptionally blissful to sit at the bar or on the embowered patio to become one with a beer and the signature burger. Griddled beef patties on a sesame seed bun come to the table in a unique plexiglass carrier that includes onion rings, condiments, and bowls of pickle slices and pepperoncini. 2376 15TH ST., DENVER; 303.455.9991

{ 2}

Domo Restaurant : The nondescript building and

neighborhood don’t prepare you for the transport you en­ counter inside Domo. Customers sit on cushioned tree stumps at stone tables at this northern Japanese-style restaurant near downtown Denver, which includes a small cultural mu­ seum and martial arts dojo. The ultimate spot for elevated dining is the garden populated by Buddha statues and koi in ponds, where it’s easy to forget time while nibbling raw fish served over rice or curry with udon noodles.

sweet tooth?

For a good time, pair an energetic sativa strain with a visit to the Russell Stover Factory outlet store in Montrose. Imagine an acre of marked-down seasonal candies with air like chocolate perfume.

970.249.5372

PHONE

1365 OSAGE ST., DENVER; 303.595.3666; DOMORESTAURANT.COM

{3}

Chautauqua Dining Hall : After a hike through the wildflower meadows under the Flatirons, brunch on the

wrap­around porch at the historic eatery is a relaxing rite of spring. The al fresco setting adds a little oomph to fare that ranges from spinach and artichoke eggs Benedict to a green chile-topped cheeseburger. Summer weekends are überbusy here, so reservations are recommended, as is a nap under a tree afterward.

900 BASELINE ROAD, BOULDER; 303.440.3776; CHAUTAUQUA.COM

{4 }

Pikes Peak Summit House : The stunning views from Pikes Peak are elevating enough, especially with the breathtaking oxygen level at 14,115 feet after a cog railway climb. Add in a little cannabis, a cup of coffee and warm doughnut, and you’ll be singing an anthem. The altitude affects people and baked goods. The Peak’s famous cake doughnuts seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg have a cloud-like texture. Expect long lines at the café during prime season, so be sure to bring snacks. C ASC ADE; 719.473.0208; PIKES-PEAK.COM

{5}

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse : Otherworldly. That’s the way teatime feels inside this ornately decorated work of art shipped piece by piece as a gift from Boulder’s sister city in Tajikistan. Everywhere you look are eye-candy details like hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling tiles, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels. The rose garden outside is a perfect spot for a pot of lapsang souchong on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings in the summer, when the award-winning Boulder County Farmers Market is in session. Pick up some kale, crusty bread, and pan-seared dumplings to take home. 1770 13TH ST., BOULDER; 303.442.4993; BOULDERTEAHOUSE.COM

{6}

Tennessee Mountain Cookhouse : A one-mile hike (or ski, in winter) through mountain backcountry brings

{7}

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew : This landmark eatery in the foothills town of Lyons boasts a trifecta of attractions.

{8}

you to the door of this quintessentially Colorado destination. The menu leans toward the timeless versus the trendy, with four-course meals such as grilled elk tenderloin with blueberry sage port reduction plus appetizers, salad, and fruit pie for dessert. The wine list includes Two Rivers cabernet sauvignon made in Fruita on the Western Slope. The final highlight comes as you amble back under a twinkling comforter of stars. LEADVILLE; 719.486.8114; TENNESSEEPASS.COM/THE-COOKHOUSE

First, award-winning craft brews, including Dale’s Pale Ale; next, a menu of comfort favorites ranging from barbecue pork to chicken Parmesan; and finally nationally known Americana, blues, and rock bands. Notable local players tend to turn up for the free Tuesday night bluegrass picking session. Besides, Oskar is next door to a classic parlor featuring a truly elevated pastime: pinball machines. 303 MAIN ST., LYONS; 303.823.6685; OSKARBLUESFOODERIES.COM

Royal Gorge Route Railroad : Time travel is on the menu on this leisurely eatery that never stands still. The 2 1/2-hour trips snake through otherwise inaccessible western scenery along the Arkansas River. The dinner trains offer a choice of four entrées (including prime rib) and a full service bar. For additional role-playing fun, hop on board one of the Royal Gorge’s murder mystery trains. C AÑON CITY; 888.724.5748; ROYALGORGEROUTE.COM M AY 201 6

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{cannabiz } B E YO N D PA R A P H E R N A L I A

With a unique vision and a definite goal in mind, Boulder-based artist Tyler Golz combines a variety of skills to build his business, Symbiartic Glass.

who?

Tyler Golz Glassblower + Entrepreneur

by ROB F E E M A N

The Science of Art, The Art of Science Tyler Golz’s world lies at the intersection of art, science, and business. On most days, you’ll find him in his Boulder studio, toiling away over an industrial-sized lathe with goggles on, torch in hand, creating something unique and beautiful out of glass. A self-taught glass artist by trade, Tyler originally planned to be an engineer or an architect, and studied civil engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. But neither profession provided the level of creative, out-of-thebox thinking he sought as a budding artist. So, in 2009, he headed in a different direction, buying a basic $700 glassblowing kit from an online arts supply store. Then, he says, “I taught myself glassblowing in my barn in New Jersey. I got a little torch, watched some YouTube videos, and just started cracking away at it.” His science background, he found, provided a good foundation for learning the art of glassblowing. “When I picked up glass, I was learning engineering topics—physics and chemistry. So as much as I was watching videos and listening to what people said, I also drew from my knowledge of engineering,” he says. Initially, he spent a lot of money just to learn the craft. But his skills grew, and as the only artist creating glass pipes within a 50-mile radius, he began to develop a reputation for himself. He also began to develop his own style, as well as a signature glass design that he calls the chandelier, which channels water through the pipe in a unique way. “When I found that design, I thought, ‘All right, I have something that is at least different enough that I can create a name for myself in the industry.’” As he worked and learned, he began to develop a business plan, which would take him in a different direction than typical glass artists. He was also careful to avoid problems with the local New Jersey authorities, in part by working under an alias. Still, he found that having to constantly look over his shoulder affected his art and creativity. “On a daily basis, it hindered me, because I was worried that what I was doing was gray,” he says. “And that, in the back of my mind, 16

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M AY 2016

where?

Tyler’s creations can be seen and purchased at a few local dispensaries, such as The Farm. You can also view his work online at WWW.SYMBIARTICGLASS.COM.


affected my ability to fully focus on the work.”

There’s also a spiritual aspect to his work, he says. “Glass

It was time for a change. In April 2015, along with friend

blowing is extremely difficult, because not only do you have

and business associate Zac Bushberg, Tyler made the move

to have the skill, but you need to have the spiritual connec-

to Colorado. When he landed here, he started his own glass-

tion with what you’re doing. Every second I’m on the torch

blowing business, Symbiartic Glass, with a unique vision

is a challenge for me to learn something new, to figure out

that’s reflected in the company’s name. The word symbiartic

something that no one else is doing.”

means, quite simply, the art of science or the science of art. It’s an apt description of Tyler’s work.

And for Tyler, that means creating more artistic and unique works that push the envelope of design and

Now, in the workspace he’s dubbed the Supernova Studio, Tyler draws on both art and science as he works to develop his skills and grow his business. He makes all the pieces the company sells himself, creating a variety of glass pipes with exotic names such as the Hollow Foot Diskflip Inception Klein Recycler ($1,200) and the one-of-a-kind, 20-inch-high Illuminati Lamp ($5,000), as well as less expensive, new-for-2016 creations like the Squat Ty Chandelier Showerhead, the Ray Gun, and the Chandelier Klein Recycler. Some are straightforward clear-glass pipes for a small production line he sells to dispensaries and other outlets, while others feature sci-fi and fantastical elements, eye-catching colors, and out-of-

I’D LIKE TO HAVE “ THIS WORK BE SEEN AS

FINE ART,

AND EVENTUALLY IN MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES.

this-world intricacies and embellishments that push the limits of art and creativity. Often

function. “When you buy

he incorporates designs and attach-

from an established art-

ments created by other glass artists

ist, you are buying a piece

to produce more complex pieces.

that may have taken a day

When creating any glass pipe, Tyler has

or four days or five days to

a singular goal in mind: “Ultimately, I think a

make, but requires 20 years

pipe is something that should not be

of experience and hard work

seen as a piece of parapherna-

to create that piece. That’s

lia, but as a well-crafted tool,

what a lot of people in the

an artistic piece.”

industry are finally realizing.

To achieve that goal, he

I’d like to have this work be

imbues each creation with

seen as fine art, and eventu-

a little bit of himself. “It’s

ally be in museums and art

like a dance,” he explains.

galleries. Just because you

“When you’re blowing glass,

can smoke out of it doesn’t

you’re working in windows

mean it’s not art. A whole lot

of seconds, and everything has to be done perfectly every single time. It takes all of your attention.” 18

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of work, thought, and experience went into making that piece what it is.” ROB FEEMAN is the Editor of Sensi Magazine.

M AY 2016


by L E L A ND RUCKER

M A K ING A D I F F E R E NC E

IN C O L O R A D O

photography by KIM SIDWELL, C ANNABIS C AMERA

RECREATIONAL

cannabis

WENT ON SALE JUST

A LITTLE MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO IN COLORADO, AND THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY TOPPED ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN S A L E S I N 2 0 15 . N O B O D Y K N O W S E X A C T L Y H O W M A N Y P E O P L E ARE EMPLOYED IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY HERE, BUT THERE ARE MANY THOUSANDS, AND AT LEAST SOME OF THE PEOPLE MOVING TO COLORADO IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS ARE THOSE LOOKING TO GET INTO THE CANNABIS BUSINESS. W H I C H M E A N S T H E R E ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN A NASCENT BUSINESS THAT CONTINUES TO GROW AND MATURE.

SO WE T HOUGH T I T WOUL D BE HEL PFUL TO L E T O U R R E A D E R S G E T TO K N O W A F E W OF THE M A N Y P EOP L E P A R T I C I P AT I N G I N CRE AT IN G THE NE W NORMAL IN COLOR ADO. THESE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY, NOR ARE THEY THE TOP PEOPLE. EVERYBODY IS PLAYING A PART, BUT THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE MANY PEOPLE IN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE INDUSTRY—LOBBYISTS, LAWYERS, ACTIVISTS, ACADEMICS, AGITATORS AND POLITI­ CIANS—WHO ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE STATE’S MORE REASONABLE WAY TO APPROACH CANNABIS.

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1

WA N DA JA M E S

Simply Pure ENTREPRENEUR

+ DOG LOVER

Do you know Wanda James? If not, you should. Wanda has amassed an impressive résumé as a media planner, political strategist, campaign manager, consultant, marketer, restaurateur, and officer in the U.S. Navy. Along with her husband, chef Scott Durrah, she owns and operates Jezebel’s Southern Bar and Bistro in LoHi. In 2009, the two opened the Apothecary of Colorado, the first African-American-owned dispensary in the state. They eventually sold the dispensary to focus on edibles, pioneering a number of products and processes. Last December, the two opened a new dispensary, Simply Pure, also in LoHi. In their spare time, the two are passionate about rescuing and rehabilitating abandoned dogs. So far, they’ve rescued over 30 pups.


2

TERI ROBNETT

Cannabis Patients Alliance

RxMARYJANE + MEDICAL MARIJUANA MAVEN

Teri Robnett, aka RxMaryJane, founded and heads the Cannabis Patients Alliance, an organization that offers information and consultation about medical marijuana and lobbies for the rights of cannabis patients. She is concerned that, as cannabis is accepted recreationally, medical marijuana will fall through the cracks because it’s not as profitable. “We need to stop the attacks on home cultivation,” she says. “With bans and moratoriums in place across the state, access to the medical marijuana industry is limited. Attacks on home cultivation continue, with patients and caregivers being targeted .... Amendment 20 guarantees a patient’s right to grow their own medicine, and Amendment 64 would not have passed in Colorado without including the right to cultivate. It’s not true legalization if those rights are not preserved.”

Shawn Coleman heads 36 Solutions, which provides lobbying support for cannabis businesses. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he began working on policy issues as a legislative assistant to a U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in Washington before transitioning to advocacy, first with the Cannabis Business Alliance and then with 36 Solutions, which he started after the passage of Amendment 64. His favorite memory of legalization is the Classically Cannabis event, where he played the Mozart Clarinet Quintet. He says that current state rules limit access to funding for local businesses to improve and grow. “Improving access to capital is the most important way (apart from not passing discriminatory license requirements) to allow the cannabis industry to be the socioeconomic reform it has the potential to be.”

4

S H AW N C OL E M A N 36 Solutions LOBBYIST + CLASSICAL MUSICIAN

5

I believe that Amendment 20 guarantees a patient’s right to grow their own medicine, and Amendment 64 would not have passed in Colorado without including the right to cultivate. It’s not true legalization if those rights are not preserved. T E R I R O B NE T T

M A S O N T V E R T Marijuana Policy Project

3

JA N E W E S T

Jane West Enterprises

BUSINESS OWNER + COFOUNDER OF WOMEN GROW

After being fired from a corporate job after being seen on national TV with a vape pen in 2014, Amy Dannemiller became Jane West full-time, and her company, Edible Events, now hosts events like the Classically Cannabis series with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Women Grow, the organization she helped found, now has more than 60 chapters nationwide and has become an important advocate for women’s success in the industry. “In Colorado, we need to keep pushing for the social-use initiative, which is a huge hurdle to overcome,” she says. “For the organization, we’re using 2016 to focus on the foundation and supporting chapters around the country, and getting women connected nationwide.”

NONPROFIT ADVOCATE + COMMON SENSE CHAMPION

Mason Tvert moved to Colorado after finishing college in 2004 and has been involved in the cannabis legalization movement ever since. He founded Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), which led several ballot initiatives that continued through the passage of Amendment 64. Tvert presses for reform as director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national nonprofit advocating cannabis legalization, and is a familiar face in media, arguing common sense on cannabis issues and laws. Besides supporting MPP’s ongoing legalization efforts, Tvert is working on changes in public consumption rules. “It’s important that we establish laws that allow for social consumption by adults,” he says, “and we need to allow people to congregate just like they do when they consume alcohol.”

M AY 201 6

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6

RICA RDO BACA The Denver Post' s The Cannabist NEWSPAPER EDITOR + DOCUMENTARY STAR

The editor of The Denver Post’s The Cannabist, Baca was tapped in 2013 to become first editor of a section devoted to marijuana in a major newspaper. He is featured in Rolling Papers, a documentary film based around its first year of publication. Baca thinks that the pesticide issue will become even more prominent in the coming months. “I think it’s barely even started. It’s fascinating how the industry has been fighting it, and that many still haven’t gotten the memo. They’re still using products that are illegal on the plants. This will dominate the news this year,” Baca says. “Public consumption is another issue …The mayor and legislators are coming to the conclusion that it’s not a joke.”

Art Way began working with the Colorado Progressive Coalition in 2008, heading its Racial Justice Program, which helped pass state legislation against racial profiling and disproportionate police impacts on people of color. Since 2011, Way is the Senior Director of National Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and State Director for Colorado, which promotes drug polices based on science and compassion and establishing a public-health approach to dealing with drugs. He was heavily involved in the passage of Amendment 64. “I think we’re having an issue of needing marijuana clean-up laws, primarily for patients, when it comes to housing rights, employment rights, and parental rights,” he says. “I think we should ensure that tax revenue is used more for drug policy issues.”

8

ART WAY

TRIPP KEBER

Drug Policy Alliance LEGISLATOR + POLICY ANALYST

9

TRIPP KEBER

We’re not asking for special privileges. We don’t need loans. To be able to take a check and deposit it in a bank seems simple and straightforward. It’s an industry creating metric tons of profit, and we need a place to put it.

7

MIKE ELLIOTT

Marijuana Industry Group EXECUTIVE + MEDICAL LOBBYIST

Mike Elliott is executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a trade association for cannabis businesses based in Denver. He founded MIG as the Medical Marijuana Industry Group and lobbied to pass Colorado HB 10-1284 in June 2010, which created the licensing structure for medical marijuana businesses. He says that the presidential election this year is important because many of the most difficult problems the state is facing today are ones that need to be dealt with on a federal level first. ”There are a lot of issues to be worked out, developed, and tweaked. A federal issue like lack of access to banking is a really serious problem. And we can’t fix it in Colorado.”

Dixie Brands

ENTREPRENEUR + INFUSER OF CANNABIS

Vincent “Tripp” Keber started Dixie Elixirs, now part of Dixie Brands, in 2009. Today, Dixie is one of the best-known companies in the state and nationally, selling a wide variety of cannabis-infused products, from drinks and chocolates to tinctures, balms, vapes, and capsules. “The single greatest opportunity and single greatest threat is banking,” Keber says. “You have an industry that is accelerating faster and faster, and 85 percent of the business is in cash. We’re not asking for special privileges. We don’t need loans. To be able to take a check and deposit it in a bank seems simple and straightforward. It’s an industry creating metric tons of profit, and we need a place to put it.”

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M AY 2016


HOT TOPICS

10

1 Tax deductions for cannabis businesses

BRIAN VICENTE

KIND OF A BIG DE AL IN DE N V E R

Attorney

CO - AUTHOR OF AMENDMENT 64 + ADVOCATE

Brian Vicente and Christian Sederberg are Denver attorneys and founders of the Vicente Sederberg firm. Vicente helped create the framework for legislative regulation of medical marijuana in 2009-10 and co-authored Amendment 64. Sederberg helped spearhead the medical marijuana rules passed in 2009 and was part of the governor’s task force to create rules and regulations for the industry. Vicente says that this is one of the most important years in the history of marijuana law because of major ballot initiatives in six states. “If they pass, I think that is firmly the end of marijuana prohibition. But if they fail, it could be a setback.” Sederberg feels that the big issue is “continuing to change hearts and minds in the city and around the state about what legal, taxed, and regulated cannabis looks like.”

11

CHRISTIAN SEDERBERG Attorney

CHANGER OF HEARTS + MINDS

14

CHRIS WOODS

2 Continued issues with banking access

3 How will the next administration

affect federal prohibition

12

MIGUEL LOPEZ

Denver 420 Rally Lead Organizer BIGTIME ACTIVIST + CULTURAL SURVIVOR

Miguel Lopez is the lead organizer of Denver’s world-famous 420 Rally. In 2014, Lopez transformed the party/protest into a two-day festival complete with vendors, games, and musical acts. This year, the rally occurs on a single day. Lopez also organizes events for the Annual Smoke-In at the White House in Washington, D.C., and the Global Marijuana March in Denver. He challenges laws that restrict cannabis use, such as the public consumption ban and discriminatory housing ordinances. “I was born into a family directly involved in the Xicano movement, which is based off of cultural survival, the fountain of life, the spirit of family orientation—brotherhood and sisterhood —and humanitarian efforts. Those were impressed upon me as a child, and I extended those to marijuana.”

Terrapin Care Station

In 2002, Larisa Bolivar cofounded Caregivers for Safe Access, a patients and caregivers group that helped usher in some of Colorado’s first registered medical patients. In 2004, Caregivers for Safe Access became the Colorado Compassion Club, the state’s first dispensary. Since then, she’s led cannabis legalization efforts by working in political analysis, event promotion, consulting, and public relations.Today, Bolivar runs the Cannabis Consumer Coalition, a nonprofit watchdog group. She’s also the vice president of business development and strategy for 7Leaf Consulting and on the board at Colorado NORML. Looking back, she says one of her greatest successes was “being one of the first people to set a model for what we have today. Because there was nothing before. It was just people finding other random people as caregivers.”

13

L A R I SA B O L I VA R

Cannabis Consumer Coalition EARLY CO DISPENSARY FOUNDER + WATCHDOG

BUSINESS OWNER + MATHELETE

Chris Woods graduated from CU in 2009 with an applied mathematics degree. He was on his way to Telluride to ski for a year when a sequence of events brought him into the Colorado cannabis business. He was an active participant in the push to pass Amendment 64, and is a staunch supporter of local businesses and nonprofits. He operates four Terrapin Care Station outlets: a medical and a recreational facility in Boulder, and two recreational stores in Aurora. When asked what problems businesses face this year, he lists a host of regulatory issues, including federal tax law 280E, which prohibits tax deductions, a lack of capital, and continued issues with banking access. Also concerning, he says, “is who will make up the next administration after the 2016 election.” M AY 201 6

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23


15

R AC H E L G I L L E T T E

Attorney

ENTREPRENEUR + MOUNTAIN BIKING ENTHUSIAST

When attorney Rachel Gillette told her former law professor that she was going to focus on marijuana law, the professor warned her that she would lose her license. “We didn’t have any clarity of authority from the Attorney Regulation Counsel that we could even practice in this area of law, which is technically illegal under federal law,” she recalls. But she has been passionate about legalization since she arrived in Colorado at age 18, drawn by the state’s superb mountain biking terrain. Today, she translates her passion into advocacy and legal work with leading cannabis industry organizations, including NORML (where she served as executive director of Colorado for three years), Women Grow, the National Cannabis Bar Association, and the National Cannabis Industry Association.

16

HYLER FORTIER

MassRoots

CANNABIS INGENUE + HURDLE JUMPER

Hyler, pronounced just like Tyler but with an H, is the ingenue of the Cannabis Pioneer bunch. The 23-year-old is a cofounder of MassRoots, an online community for cannabis users that’s created quite the buzz in the tech world. She is also a senior content strategist, responsible for creating and curating some of that content that keeps MassRoots’ one-million-and-growing users coming back for more. Not on MassRoots? Think of it like Facebook with more pot pictures. Her cofounder wanted to keep his bong shots away from his grandma’s newsfeed. Hyler feels the biggest challenge facing the industry this year is education. “The cannabis industry has so many hurdles to overcome, many of them stemming from the outdated and inaccurate ‘stoner stereotype’,” she says.

17

HUNTER GARTH

General Cannabis Corp. MARINE CORPS VET + ENTREPRENEUR

For such a young man (he’s just 27 years old), Hunter Garth has accomplished a lot—and he’s just getting started. Currently managing director of General Cannabis Corporation, Hunter joined the Marine Corps at 19 and served tours of duty in Africa and Afghanistan, where he participated in 175 combat missions as a designated marksman. After leaving the service in 2012, he came to Colorado and started Iron Protection Group, which focuses on security for businesses in the cannabis industry. After 18 months, he sold his company to General Cannabis Corporation, and became a shareholder and partner in the company, which now has five divisions. In describing his company’s success, Hunter says, “Our approach is to be either the first-to-market or better-to-market.” 24

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M AY 2016

As the owner of Pathways Natural Wellness Center in Arvada, Tyler has devoted her life to helping children with autism. A Colorado native, Tyler attended Regis University in Denver, where she received a degree in bio­chemistry. Her experience with the disorder began when her son, Donovan, was diagnosed with severe autism at age three. When told he needed to be institutionalized, she sought an alternative path, and began to research ways to heal his autism using natural remedies, detoxification, and medical cannabis. She was able to restore her son’s skills and quality of life, and now uses a number of methods and techniques to help autistic children achieve the highest possible level of healing. Thanks to her success in this area, Tyler is now known as “the Autism Whisperer.”

19 TYLER DA H M

Pathways Natural Wellness Center AUTISM WHISPERER

+ BADASS MOM

18

AARON SMITH

National Cannabis Industry Association FEDERAL L AW ACTIVIST

+ CANNABIS LOBBYIST

Aaron Smith became a cannabis activist right out of high school as a volunteer in California. He joined the Marijuana Policy Project in 2005 and worked on initiatives in his home state and Colorado before cofounding the National Cannabis Industry Association, the only national trade organization for cannabis businesses, with more than 1,000 members in 35 states, in 2010. The NCIA is working around the country to eliminate what Smith calls “the crushing burden of 280E,” the federal law that doesn’t allow legal state businesses to take federal tax deductions. “We work at this one on a federal level, but it applies to everyone,” he says. “Overall, federal law being in conflict with state laws continues to be a real problem.”


M AY 201 6

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25


Companies “

20

JESSICA B I L L I NG S L E Y

grassroots activism.

MJ Freeway

ENTREPRENEUR + MARKET SHIFTER

K AY VA N K H A L AT B A R I

Longtime advocates for the medicinal value of cannabis, Amy Poinsett and Jessica Billingsley founded MJ Freeway to provide software tools and services to improve efficiency and processes for dispensaries, retailers, edibles producers, and growers, including seed-to-sale compliance tracking, in Colorado and around the country. “There i​s much empirical research showing the efficacy of cannabis for many illnesses. In 2010, we founded MJ Freeway because we knew we had the skills to create a technology solution that would enable the legal cannabis industry to grow success­ fully and help business owners achieve their goals.” The biggest issues facing the industry in 2016, they say, are learning to deal with consolidation and growth. “Where you see the market shift from one-retail-location businesses to multilocation, either through organic growth or the buying of existing shops.”

21

AMY POINSETT MJ Freeway

ENTREPRENEUR + TECH TITAN

24

are getting bigger and taking the soul of the industry. It's taking away

22 EAN SEEB

Denver Relief CANNA CONNECTOR

+ EMPOWERER OF PEOPLE

As an activist in the legalization movement helping people find doctors and medicine and co-owner of Denver Relief, an early dispensary and consulting operation, Ean Seeb says he’s been given a unique opportunity to help people’s quality of life and empower them, whether creating the Denver Relief GREEN TEAM or his work with MassRoots and the National Cannabis Industry Association. “Banking and taxes continue to be the leading challenges to making the state’s regulated system work properly,” he says, as well as getting cannabis off the Controlled Substances Act so state and federal laws won’t conflict. “It’s a challenge to operate a legitimate business without access to the tools most businesses have—banking, merchant services, and the ability to use deductions.”

JONATHAN S I NG E R U.S. House of Representatives

From his longtime volunteerism for Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation—he was the guy in the chicken suit who chased Gov. Hickenlooper around for his cannabis hypocrisy—to his work today with Denver Relief bestpractices consulting business, Kayvan Khalatbari has always believed that being an advocate and entrepreneur are intertwined, or that they should be. Consolidation, he says, endangers that concept. “Companies are getting bigger and taking the soul out of the industry,” he says. “Not that we didn’t expect it to happen, but it’s taking away grassroots activism. We could lose that here in Colorado. Now, when we talk about public consumption, there aren’t enough in the industry fighting for this because they’re making money. There’s still a lot of work to do.”

23

K AY VA N KH A LAT BA R I Denver Relief

ADVOCATE + THAT GUY IN THE CHICKEN SUIT

PRO -CANNA LEGISLATOR + NON -USER

Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont) is perhaps an unlikely voice for cannabis in the Colorado Legislature. He’s never used the plant, but as a former social worker knows the downside of marijuana criminalization. He was the first legislator to support Amendment 64, and helped pass last year’s amendment to allow children to receive cannabis medicine at school. “The biggest thing we’re dealing with now is finding a way for people to have a safe place to consume marijuana outside their homes that’s similar to how we deal with alcohol. That will be the heaviest lift,” he says. “Among other issues, one of the biggest is making sure that cannabis is adequately testing for pesticides and other contaminants so consumers will know what they’re getting.”

26

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M AY 2016

LEL AND RUCKER is the Senior Editor of Sensi Magazine. ROB FEEMAN, STEPHANIE WILSON, and RANDY ROBINSON also contributed to this piece.


days

V I S I T O R' S GUIDE

by TABATHA DEANS & S T EPH A N IE W I L S O N

in

WHETHER YOU’RE VISITING FOR THE

420 HOLIDAY OR JUST HERE TO TAKE

IN THE GLORY THAT IS LIFE IN THE MILE HIGH, THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO AND SEE IT CAN BE HARD TO KNOW WHERE TO START. SO WE ROUNDED UP SOME SUGGESTIONS AND HIGH­ LIGHTED SOME OF OUR TOP SPOTS TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THIS GLORIOUS CIT Y. DENVER HAS A LOT OF WONDERS IN STORE. THIS HIGH-PLAINS METROPOLIS IS A GATEWAY TO THE WONDERS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, BUT IT’S CERTAINLY NOT JUST A TOWN YOU PASS THROUGH ON YOU R WAY TO THE HILLS —ALTHOUGH THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO DO JUST THAT.

As the city continues to attract nationwide atten-

But chances are, it will be sunny outside while

tion as the best place to live, locals will continue to

you’re here. It’s sunny some 300 days of the year—as

welcome a rotating cadre of visitors, some of whom

many sunny days as Miami Beach, the official city

grace our guest bedrooms.

literature likes to brag. Take advantage of it, live like

So what to do when you have someone come to

a Denverite, and get outside—whether it’s to enjoy a

town? How do you show off the best of the city like a

locally brewed sour beer on a patio or to hike some

local? Or how do you see the city like a local, even

of the crazy awesome trails that weave through the

if you don’t have a local tour guide? What are the

Front Range just outside the city itself.

places you can’t miss, what are the places that are best avoided despite their ubiquitous popularity on

get Elevated

travel and tourism board lists of the best (16th Street

Denver is 5,280 feet above sea level, a solid mile.

Mall, anyone?). We’ve done our research, we’ve visit-

And you’ll quickly notice that altitude is real. Prepare

ed hundreds of places, and we’ve asked some of the

to be out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs, no

most in-the-know people we could find. We’ve done

matter what kind of shape you are in back at sea level.

our best to compile the ideal ways to see this city dur-

It takes awhile to get used to, so if you’re thinking of

­ing this tricky time of year when it could be 75 degrees

heading out to the hills for some hiking, biking, or

and sunny or 30 and snowing—you never know.

skiing (depending on the weather, all are options this time of year), give yourself a few days to acclimate

28

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M AY 2016


trek. And drink plenty of water. If you are going to be drinking, a good rule of thumb is to have a glass in between

HIGH THERE! HOPPER : The makers of the HighThere! app (which is kinda like Tinder for cannabis consumers) introduced the HighThere! Hopper, a bus that rolls on a set route around downtown and lets users jump on, toke up, and be on their merry jane ways.

each alcoholic beverage.

go for the Green

meet your Budtender

South Broadway, one of the city’s main thor-

Be honest with your budtender. He or she is a

oughfares, is a haven for shopping, drinking,

professional, trained to advise cannabis consumers

dining, and more, with neighborhood taverns,

such as yourself on the effects of the products. Be up-

vintage clothing stores, unique eateries, book stores,

front about your consumption habits and what it is

art galleries, ethnic restaurants, craft shops, an art-

you are looking for (something giggly to try before a

house movie theater, and live music venues. The one-

SexPot comedy show? Something heady before you

mile strip of Broadway directly south of downtown

wander around the Clyfford Still Museum? Or per-

has earned the official moniker as Denver’s Antique

haps something nutty and chocolaty to help you sleep?)

Row, thanks to its compelling concentration of eclec-

so you are steered in the right direction. Don’t be em-

tic shops. This part of town also boasts way more

barrassed to ask questions. A) They have heard it

dispensaries than most, a fact that led

all before. B) This is a new thing. Everyone has a lot

one local group to try to officially rebrand

of questions. We’re in virtually uncharted territory.

the neighborhood as the Green Mile.

Embrace the chaos and make it work for you.

At one count, there were 17 dispensaries along South Broadway.

respect the Edibles

Check out Gallagher Books, located on An­

Edibles are awesome. (Current favorite: anything

tique Row, for rare, out-of-print and unusual book

by Love’s Oven—strain-specific baked goods that are

re­quests. Make sure you stop by Illuzion Glass

oh-so-delicious. Except the rosemary cheddar crack-

Galleries at 238 S. Broadway to see some of the

ers, they sound better than they actually are.) There

most incredible glass pieces around. They run the

is a seemingly endless variety of products (salted

gamut from ten-dollar one hitters to incredibly in-

caramel chocolate bars, sour gummy bears, infused

tricate works of display-worthy art with

sodas— oh my!), and each package comes divvied

price tags upwards of ten grand.

up into 5- or 10-mg serving sizes. That means when you buy that big yummy chocolate bar, you are sup-

consumption Laws

posed to exercise self-control and only eat one little

First things first: it is illegal to smoke

square of it at a time. No self-control + stoned people = a few high-profile disasters, most notably Maureen

cannabis in public places, as well as in most hotel rooms. In fact, there are very few places where it IS

Dowd of New York Times fame, who ate 16 times the

legal for you to consume —sorry about that. The best

recommended dose and proceeded to hallucinate in

rule of thumb is to be discrete and courteous at all

her hotel room, thinking she had died and no one had

times, or risk spending a hefty chunk of change on a

told her. Seriously. Don’t do that. The rule of edible

ticket for consumption. So how does one consume if

thumb is to start low and go slow. Have 5 or 10 mg, then

you aren’t lucky enough to have a Mile High domicile?

wait at least an hour before eating more if you ha-

BUD + BREAKFAST : Next time you are coming to town, check out the AirBNB-style listings at www.BudandBreakfast.com. The booking site has listings for 420-friendly inns, rooms, bed and breakfasts and more— some of which even come fully stocked with some combustible goods and/or smoking devices for your uplifting pleasure.

ven’t achieved your desired state of enlightenment.

getting Around Uber. Or Lyft. If you happen to be around the 16th Street Mall, there is a free shuttle that runs the length of the mall every ten minutes, just hop on, hop off. Denver also has one of the highest ranked transit systems in the nation, including buses and light rails that run almost around the clock. But if

M AY 201 6

neighborhood taverns vintage clothing stores

to our thinner air before you start your

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29


it’s nice out, nothing beats our bike trails. For short,

one thing you don’t want to miss is the Denver Botan-

half-hour-or-less jaunts around town, look for the

ic Gardens, one of the top-ranked flowering spots in

B-Cycle stations around the city—there were some 87

the U.S. and a super fun place to go once you’ve got

of them at last count with 700 bikes throughout 10

your buzz on and want to spend an afternoon literal-

Denver neighborhoods. Check out and return a bike

ly stopping to smell the roses.

at any one of the stations from 5 a.m. to midnight for just $9 a day or $15 a month. If you’re up for a longer ride, hit up one of the bike trails. Denver has more than 85 miles of paved paths. Check out the Greenway Trail, which follows the South Platte River for almost 30 miles. It takes you past historic highlights, Confluence Park and its nearby famous beatnik hangout, My Brothers Bar (see Edible

Critic, pg. 14 for details), and Hudson Gardens, which

SA NTA FE ART WALK : If you’re here the first Friday of the month, head on over to the Santa Fe Art Walk, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., where some 60 galleries, studios, and restaurants await your perusal. It attracts a lively, eclectic crowd as well as a slew of food trucks that gather to feed them. Walk around, take in the vibe, and enjoy yourself. B R E WE R I E S : There are a ton of them to choose from all over town. Head to the RiNo neighborhood for some fun options.

may not be up at its prime in April or May but is pretty nonetheless. There are a bunch of places around town to rent bikes for the day; give it a google.

getting OUT of town This time of year, you’ll want to stick to the Front Range, as the higher you go, the snowier or muddier

the Mile-High city The “Golden Triangle” is home to many of Denver’s

Evergreen, Morrison are your best bets. Try Mount

museums, including the Denver Art Museum, the

Falcon or Dakota Ridge for some great views of town.

Firefighter’s Museum, the Money Museum, the Den-

Head to Red Rocks—not just the best natural amphi-

happy420! Weed is legal here!! And that's worth celebrating. There are a ton of events happening around town during the week surrounding 4/20. In fact, some are even calling it World Cannabis Week. Here are some of the highlights: SENSI MAG L AUNCH PART Y Friday, April 15, City Hall THE OFFICIAL 420 RALLY SNOOP DOGG’S 3RD ANNUAL MERRY JANE WELLNESS RETREAT

ver Mint, and the Clyfford Still Museum. The pyramid atop the Denver Public Library is a sight to behold, and the larger-than-life art installations make for great photo ops. If you’re into something heavy, there’s the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab. It’s an intense, interactive experience spotlighting terrorism, and it’s not recommended for children under 12—or really for those under the influence. Denver has an impressive zoo and aquarium as well as a celebrated museum of natural history. But 30

it may be. So south- or east-facing hikes in Golden,

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M AY 2016

theater like anywhere ever but also a great spot for some relatively easy hikes. And we say relatively easy because the altitude (in the 6,000-foot range) there is still a beast if you are coming right from sea level. You can see where some massive dinosaurs remains were found. Look out over the crazy scenery and imagine what it looked like when the enormous creatures roamed this part of the earth.

Red Rocks : Quite possibly the most famous venue in or around Denver, this natural amphitheater is on the bucket list of many performers and

art-house movie theater

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ethnic restaurants art galleries up an appetite, head into Boulder and check out the

ing a show in this magnificent setting. And if you’re

Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare

in town for the April 20 festivities, check out the 420

that CBS Sunday Morning once called the Happiest

Eve on the Rocks with Method Man and Red Man. The

Place in the United States.

lineup in May was still being announced as of press time, but there’s a solid schedule ranging from The

Nightlife : There is so much to do in Denver, it’s

1975 to the Flaming Lips, with some Thievery Corpo-

just a matter of deciding what type of vibe you are

ration and Shakey Graves in there for good measure.

looking for. You could head to LoHi and have dinner

But if you can’t make it to a show, there’s still plen-

at Linger, an old mortuary with some solid views

ty of reasons to head to Red Rocks. The athletically

from its bustling roof deck. Then get a scoop or two

ambitious can take part in the running of the amphi-

of ice cream at Little Man—you can’t miss the giant

theater, up and down the stairs over and over. Or ex-

milk jug with the line stretching down the block. Or

plore some of the mild hiking trails that wind among

check out Avanti, a European-style food and bev-

the 868 acres where dinosaurs once roamed—and

erage collective with seven restaurant concepts

bones have been discovered to prove it.

housed in repurposed shipping containers.

While you’re in this part of town, head over to

If you’re looking for a scene, opt to bar-hop down

Lookout Mountain and check out the impressive

Colfax or South Broadway. Some local favorite hot-

views. No hiking required.

spots (which may or may not be complete dive bars— the unsung gems of Denver’s scene) include: the Irish Snug; the 1Up; and Sancho’s Broken Arrow.

Boulder : Colorado is known for its outdoor pursuits to be sure, and there are plenty of ways to get out and connect with nature. For a solid day hike that’s not too long but certainly not too easy, head to Boulder’s Chautauqua Park at 9th Street and Baseline Road. The park itself gives way to rolling meadows that climb to the striking Boulder Flatirons. For a solid workout with quite the rewarding view, head up the Royal Arch Trail. After you’ve worked

32

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M AY 2016

craft shops live music venues

concert-goers alike. There is nothing quite like see-


KIM SIDWELL © CANNABIS CAMERA

COLT Y N

T URNER SPE A K S OU T by ROB F E E M A N

When traditional medications couldn’t heal his CROHN’S DISEASE, and actually made him worse, Coltyn Turner and his family went searching for AN ALTERNATIVE. They found it here in Colorado. Now they’re telling his story in an effort to help others in similar situations.

34

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I N O C T O B E R 2014, A C O L O R A D O S P R I N G S T E E N AG E R N A M E D

Coltyn

MADE

A SHORT VIDEO AND POSTED IT ONL INE. SO FAR, THE VIDEO HAS BEEN V IEWED ALMOST 2 0 0, 0 0 0 T I M E S A ND DR A W N T H E AT T E N T I O N O F P AT I E N T S , P A R E N T S , A N D FA M I L I E S A C R O S S T H E C O U N T RY A N D I N T E R N AT I O N A L LY. T HE R E A S O N ? I N J U S T 36 S E C O N D S , U S I N G O N LY 30 W O R D S , C O LT Y N S U M S U P H I S LONG BAT TLE WITH CROHN’S DISEASE, A D E B I L I TAT I N G IN F L A M M AT I O N OF THE INTES­ T I N E S A N D D I G E S T I V E T R A C T, A N D V I S U A L LY S H O W S H O W C A N N A B I S O I L — R AT H E R T H A N Y E A R S O F T R A D I T I O N A L M E D I C A L T R E AT M E N T S A N D M E D I C AT I O N S — R E D U C E D T H E I N F L A M M AT I O N I N H I S G I T R A C T, P U T H I M B A C K O N H I S F E E T, A N D H E L P S H I M M A N A G E T H E SY M P T O M S O F T H E D I S E A S E O N A DA I LY B A S I S .

“Medical cannabis has helped me in many ways,”

Unable to get an accurate diagnosis, the family de-

Coltyn said recently while speaking at a medical

cided to take Coltyn to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,

marijuana patients event in Denver. “It’s given me

Minn. That’s where they discovered it was most likely

more energy, it’s helped me gain weight, my Crohn’s

Crohn’s disease. “That’s when the true journey began,”

pain is gone, and I’ve been in remission for almost

Wendy says. “We knew what we were up against.”

two years now.”

After the diagnosis came “pharmaceutical after

Coltyn has become a spokesperson of sorts for the

pharmaceutical,” says Coltyn. A long list of medi-

benefits of using medical cannabis for Crohn’s dis-

ations was prescribed in an effort to improve his

ease. He’s spoken before the Colorado legislature, had

health. However, none of them helped, and some

his photo taken with the governor, been showcased

came with debilitating side effects. He even devel-

on the new Viceland network, and told his story at

oped lupus.

numerous events around the region.

And then it got worse. One of the drugs made his

It’s a story he’s happy to share, because he believes

lymph nodes swell and caused him pain. But when

in the benefits of cannabis and wants to get the word

he went in for surgery to have a node removed, the

out. “Cannabis probably will not work for everybody,”

surgeon mistakenly took out his salivary gland. “I

he says, “but people should have a choice. People

have dry mouth all the time now,” Coltyn says.

should be able to have the right to take it, to save their life.”

By this time, the disease had taken its toll, as had the many medications. He stopped gymnastics, stopped

The evidence is strong that cannabis may have

riding his bike with his brother and their friends. He

done just that for Coltyn. When he was 11 years old,

spent most of his time lying on the sofa. At one point

he nearly drowned in a lake at a Boy Scout camp

he was even confined to a wheelchair. “I was on my

near the family’s home in southern Illinois. Coltyn

death bed,” Coltyn says. “I was ready to write my will,

says, “The bacteria in the water kicked my Crohn’s

because of all the pharmaceuticals I was on.”

into full speed.”

In February 2014, Coltyn underwent a colonoscopy.

“At first, we thought he had appendicitis. He had

“He was in full flare mode,” Wendy remembers. “He

major pain,” says Wendy Turner, Coltyn’s mom.

had inflammation and ulcers throughout.” Faced

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35


advice

for PARENTS Here are a few tips for parents with children experiencing situations similar to Coltyn’s: RE AD THE LABELS AND WARNINGS

“I wish that parents would do this,” says Wendy Turner. “I wish parents would take out that little bitty piece of paper in the box that the medicine comes from, and read it. This paper we got for Humira was two feet long. It’s the smallest print you could possibly read, and it was all about how you can get T-cell lymphoma, and you can get serious infections, and you can get tuberculous. This is a medication that is supposed to be fixing Coltyn’s Crohn’s disease, and it’s giving him a disease that is going to kill him. I’d read these things and I would think, ‘Why am I reading it? I don’t want to know.’ But I needed to know.”

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THC

Current research indicates that for CBD to be truly effective in healing the body, a little THC is required. “It opens up the receptors,” Wendy explains. “I didn’t know that back then —we didn’t know anything back then. We googled. If you do a Google search, you’re going to find something.”

EXPEC T SOME TRIAL AND ERROR

When trying to find the right balance of CBD and THC in an oil, trial and error is the best way to proceed initially. “Everyone’s body is different,” says Coltyn, “and the plant affects their body differently. So it’s hard to figure out what exactly would work for you. It’s a lot of trial and error. If you take a large dose of THC and you get knocked out, then you might want to lower the THC a little. But if you need that much, then there’s really not much you can do about it. So I just say trial and error is so far the only way we can do it.”

DO RESEARCH AND ASK QUESTIONS

“All we do is research,” says Wendy of her family. “I feel like I’m on the Internet all the time, and talking to people, and talking to patients, and saying, ‘Okay, this worked for this patient, this worked for this patient. What are the similarities? Why is it working? How many milligrams are they taking? Where did they find that?’ We try to compile all that information, so we know what is best for Crohn’s patients, because we have a lot of questions about it.”

with more appointments, more medications, and possibly more surgery, the family decided to head in a different direction. Coltyn explains, “We had only three options: Another pharmaceutical, which would give me a 66 percent chance of developing lymphoma. Surgery, to remove part of my colon. And the third option was alternative medicine.” At first, doctors and nurses were reluctant to provide the family with more information, but one of the nurses finally said, “Go see what’s going on in Colorado.” “That,” says Coltyn’s father, Tom, “was the green light we needed. Coltyn and I packed our bags, and on March 4, 2014, four days after Coltyn’s 14th birthday, we just drove out here.” Right off the bat, they ran into a few roadblocks. “As for the dispensaries in Colorado Springs, you couldn’t walk into them unless you had your medical card. So I drove up to Denver with Coltyn, and we found the highest-CBD/lowest-THC ratio cannabis you can find in a rec shop.” Tom knew that CBD was the part of the cannabis plant with medicinal and healing properties, while THC provided the typical psychoactive high, which he wanted to keep as low as possible for Coltyn, in part because of his age. In addition, Tom didn’t want his son to have to smoke cannabis. His best option, he thought, was to infuse it into edible brownies that they baked. Tom started with very low doses of cannabis, and although he is not a cannabis user, he tested the brownies on himself before giving them to his son. When he thought he had the right dosage, he gave Coltyn a half-portion right before bed. “He didn’t feel anything,” Tom says. “Next morning, I gave him another one. And by the next morning, I noticed he had a little energy, and he was in a little bit better mood.” For Coltyn, that was the turning point. As he continued to eat the brownies, the pain and inflammation began to recede. His energy started to return, and his disposition improved. Soon after, someone suggested they contact Jason Cranford at the Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation, which helps provide access to cannabis oil medication for children suffering from various diseases. Jason is Coltyn’s current caregiver. “I’ve been on his medicine every day since,” Coltyn says. After

36

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M AY 2016


“A lot of people think this plant is just made to get you high, and it’s bad for you,” he says about cannabis. “But it has so many uses, and it can do so many things. It should be available to everybody, and everyone should have the choice to use it.” Although medical research on the benefits of cannabis for Crohn’s disease is still limited, there are some promising initial reports. A 2011 trial conducted by the Department of Gastroenterology and

A lot of people think this plant is just made to get you “high, and it’s bad for you. But it has so many uses, and it can do so many things. It should be available to everybody, and everyone should have the choice to use it.

some trial and error, they decided on an oil with a 1:1 ratio of CBD/THC, since current research indicates that THC helps the CBD work more effectively to heal the body. Coltyn takes the oil four times a day, in a capsule form, which he simply swallows. Wendy is quick to point out, however, that cannabis oil isn’t a cure for Crohn’s. “Granted, cannabis is doing a fantastic job of keeping him in remission,

Flowering H.O.P.E. Foundation WWW.FLOWERINGHOPE.CO

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America WWW.CCFA.ORG

Coltyn’s Video

WWW.SENSIMAG.COM/COLTYN

but that’s what it’s doing—keeping him in remission. If he stops the cannabis, he goes right back into a flare.”

moreinfo

For now, though, Coltyn is taking full advantage

Hepatology at Tel Aviv University in Israel was the

of his newfound health. After a recent snowfall, he

first study to show that, while remission of inflamma-

shoveled the driveway for the first time in his life,

tion was not fully achieved with the use of cannabis, it

noting he was too small and tired to help out be-

did provide “significant clinical, steroid-free benefits

fore. He’s gotten into snowball fights with his dad

for patients with Crohn’s disease, without side effects.”

(“That’s when I knew I had my son back,” Tom re-

Another study, from the Medical University of Graz

calls). He’s gone to Scout camp again, and partici-

in Austria, said “the medicinal plant Cannabis sati-

pated in a memorable starlit trek up Blue Mountain

va has lived up to expectations and proved highly

one morning to catch the sunrise. He spends time

efficient in cases of inflammatory bowel diseases.”

with his older brother, Skyler, an Eagle Scout and

In Coltyn’s case, however, no further testing is

musician, and his younger sister, Ryleigh, an ac-

necessary. He believes he’s found the medicine he

complished ballerina. He plays chess. He tells jokes.

needs to keep him functional and living life. And

And he’s been very opinionated about the journey

he’s willing to speak out about it, and tell his story to

he and his family have taken through the medi-

all who will listen.

cal community, and their search for an alternative medical treatment.

38

www.sensimag.com

M AY 2016

ROB FEEMAN is the Editor of Sensi Magazine.


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SE NIORS The Age of Cannabis

Seniors in Colorado are finding cannabis can help them deal with PAIN RELIEF, SLEEPLESSNESS, ANXIETY, and a lot of other maladies, too.

And today, to reap the benefits, they don’t have to smoke it if they don’t want to.

40

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M AY 2016


SPECIAL

REPORT

by LEL AND R UC K E R

Bonnie Rush

I S R E T I R E D F R O M T H E R E A L- E S TAT E B U S I N E S S A N D

L I V E S I N L O U I S V I L L E , C O L O R A D O . S H E U S E D M A R I J U A N A W H E N S H E WA S YO U N G B U T STOPPED BEFORE HER DAUGHTER WAS BORN. NINE YEARS AGO SHE WAS AT A PARTY W H E R E A J O I N T WA S PA S S E D A R O U N D . S H E T O O K A C O U P L E O F P U F F S . “ I WA S A M A Z E D AT H O W W E L L I S L E P T,” S H E S AYS . L AT E R , S H E B E G A N U S I N G C A N N A B I S TO D E A L W I T H T H E S I D E E F F E C T S O F P R E D N I ­ S O N E P R E S C R I B E D F O R A N A U T O I M M U N E D I S E A S E . “ T H AT ’ S W H E N I S TA R T E D U S I N G IT QUITE A BIT.” SHE SAYS CANNABIS ALSO HAS HELPED EASE SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRIT IS A N D C O L I T I S . “N O W I ’ M G R O W I N G I T,” S H E A D D S . “ I T ’ S SO M U C H F U N .”

Besides the medicinal effects, Rush feels that can-

other close family member? If you are a senior in Col-

nabis helps her deal with the general indignities of

orado, there’s never been a better time for you to find

advancing age. “It’s a godsend for relaxation and pain

out about whether or not cannabis might help you or

relief,” she says. “And you’re treating your entire self.”

someone in your family. Cannabis has been used for

Rush is part of the fastest-growing segment of the

centuries in many cultures as a remedy for various

cannabis market. There are about 1.5 million people

ailments. It was even an ingredient in drugs manu-

aged 50 or older in Colorado, about half of those over

factured by U.S. pharmaceutical companies until the

age 60. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 21 per-

government taxed cannabis and hemp out of busi-

cent of Colorado’s population will be over age 60 in

ness in the 1930s. Medical marijuana was approved

15 years. Many Colorado seniors are already aware

by Colorado voters in 2001, with a regulatory system

of cannabis. As of January 1 of this year, 107,534 Col-

approved in 2010. Cannabis is a drug, and not for ev-

oradans have medical marijuana cards. More than

erybody, but there are plenty of organizations and in-

37,000 of them are over 50.

formation available to help you find out if it’s for you.

There’s no real magic here. Baby boomers in Colo-

The Cannabis Consumers Coalition, Cannabis

rado are retiring or moving here to retire. A growing

Patients Alliance, NORML, and Americans for Safe

number is learning that, while cannabis is still con-

Access can aid you in getting a medical card and

sidered outside the medical establishment, it can

finding the right doctor and dispensaries where you

help them deal with certain age-related problems:

can purchase the cannabis strains and products you

chronic pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia, nausea,

need. “These organizations are nonprofits that in-

muscle tension, arthritis, loss of appetite, glaucoma,

corporate public education into their mission and

and memory and brain function. And they’re finding

advocacy work,” says Larisa Bolivar, executive direc-

many more ways to get cannabis in their system—

tor of the Cannabis Consumers Coalition.

vaporizers, edibles, tinctures, tonics, balms, salves,

Teri Robnett founded and runs the Cannabis Pa-

lotions, sprays, and ointments—that don’t involve

tients Alliance, which works to protect the rights of

smoking or “getting high.”

patients who use cannabis. “I get a lot of inquiries

But is it for you? Or for your mother or father or

from seniors, and more from their children,” she says.

M AY 201 6

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41


“‘My mom has arthritis or has been diagnosed with

terrified of cannabis, or their family is scared for

whatever. What do I do?’ We try and point them in

them,” Hackett says. “I counsel the whole family so

the right direction and give them access to research

they know what mom or dad will be going through.”

to help make their decision.”

Hackett has designed cannabis medications for

Martha Montemayor is a clinical nutritionist and

dozens of diseases. Her process is to educate and

founder of Healthy Choices Unlimited, a medical

explain what to expect when a person uses canna-

cannabis evaluation clinic with five locations in

bis. “We want to make sure that people make edu-

the state. She says seniors who use cannabis have

cated decisions. We track them for seven or eight

a positive experience 70 percent of the time, but

days,” she says. “Everyone responds differently, and

there’s often still a negativity attached to the plant.

it takes a couple of weeks to see if you’re responding

“Years of prohibition and social messages perpetu-

correctly and to understand how your body is pro-

ating myths make many seniors ashamed to use cannabis,” Montemayor explains. “Because of this, many only consider cannabis when conventional medicine has failed them. Clinics like Healthy Choices Unlimited are frequently the doctor of last resort, helping people who have exhausted all other options.” Robin Hackett has been compiling years of data on more than 800 patients she has worked with at Botanicare, a plant nutrient company. “Some are

{ get started }

Want to learn more about how seniors are benefiting from cannabis? These organizations and websites include a lot of good information to get you started.

Cannabis Consumers Coalition

cessing cannabis.”

It takes at least an hour “ for an edible to start to show its effects, so starting at low doses such as 5 or 10 milligrams and waiting an hour or two before consuming more is the safest way to gauge the impact of THC and other cannabinoids.

The biggest majority of seniors use cannabis for pain relief. Currently, the medical community pre-

WWW.CANNABISCONSUMER.ORG

scribes pharmaceutical drugs for pain relief. Opioid

Cannabis Patients Alliance

finding that cannabis can help reduce pain without

addiction is a serious problem in the U.S., and people are

WWW.CANNABISPATIENTSALLIANCE.ORG

the side effects of many pharmaceuticals. Ex-Chicago

Americans for Safe Access

former NFL players now talking openly about how

WWW.SAFEACCESSNOW.ORG/COLORADO_ADVOCACY

Bears quarterback Jim McMahon is among the many cannabis helped them end addictions to painkillers, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren earlier this year asked the Centers for Disease Control to consider using canna-

The Silver Tour

WWW.THESILVERTOUR.ORG

Senior Medical Cannabis

WWW.SENIORMEDICALCANNABIS.COM

bis to help solve the opioid-addiction problem. Cannabis is made up of dozens of cannabinoids, the two best-known being cannabidiol (CBD), which is usually associated with its medical properties, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces the marijuana “high.” As restrictions on research ease, more products will become available that include little or no THC.

42

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M AY 2016


Seth Yakatan is CEO of Kalytera Therapeutics, a com-

Bolivar warns that seniors should make sure that

oporosis but don’t get the patients high. “As it relates

the cannabis they are consuming has been tested for

to seniors, most drugs on the market today that inhibit

pesticides, fungicides, and particulates, especially

bone loss tend to be extremely toxic,” Yakatan says.

mold and powdery mildew. “For those with compro-

“Our drug not only limits loss but promotes growth of

mised immune systems, powdery mildew and mold

new bone with no limiting toxicity.” Kalytera’s products

can be dangerous,” she says, “as can certain synthet-

are still several years away from release.

ic chemicals found in some pesticides and fungi-

Many medical doctors, including mine, won’t prescribe cannabis, and seniors can run up against equally

The best way I would describe the effect of the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.

STE VE JOBS

cides that are potential neurotoxins. “Also, for those new to cannabis, medical or recreational, the rule of thumb is start low and go slow, especially for edibles,” Bolivar says. “It takes at least an hour for an edible to start to show its effects, so starting at low doses such as 5 or 10 milligrams and waiting an hour or two before consuming more is the safest way to gauge the impact of THC and other cannabinoids.” As for insurance not covering medicalmarijuana, look for caregivers who grow marijuana for patients in their homes or co-ops. Finding a small, local caregiver can help manage costs, Bolivar says. “There are also some dispensaries that

unsympathetic family members. Montemayor says the

have sliding scales or indigent programs. Finding

two most common things she hears from patients and

them is a challenge, but local advocacy groups can

families is that marijuana is a “gateway drug” or a

also help navigate that as well.”

“dangerous narcotic.”

44

pendence, such as with coffee, sugar, or chocolate.

pany developing synthetic CBD drugs that treat oste-

Basically, if you’re curious and over 60, you really

Neither are true. The gateway theory has been

have little to lose by trying cannabis. Just as with

with us for awhile, even though there is no credible

most medications, if it does nothing for you, no loss.

evidence to indicate that cannabis leads its users

The most important thing, of course, is to stay in-

to try other, stronger drugs. Still, politicians trot this

formed. Check in with one of the nonprofits. Spend

one out as a reason to keep it illegal. The only “ev-

some time with a search engine and the Internet.

idence” is that some people who use drugs like co-

You might be surprised what you find.

caine or heroin used cannabis earlier. They also

No one has ever died from marijuana. Don’t be-

generally have used tobacco or alcohol—or all three.

lieve me? Read the literature—pro and con. Be skep-

And if there were a big problem with this, we would

tical of everything. Make up your own mind. And you

know it. Montemayor says her teenage son asked

might find what millions of satisfied users already

how many Coloradans are on the Medical Marijuana

know: The “getting high” part might not be so bad,

Registry. When she told him, he asked why Colorado

either. “The best way I would describe the effect of

wasn’t overrun with heroin addicts. “It seems obvious

the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make

to a 13-year-old that the gateway theory is a myth,”

me relaxed and creative,” Steve Jobs once told Pen-

she says, “but older adults sometimes still worry.”

tagon interviewers.

And it’s not a dangerous narcotic that hooks us-

That certainly doesn’t mean it will do the same

ers, either. Pharmacologically, it is not associated with

for everyone, but then again, it doesn’t take much to

the opium derivatives in many pain medications. You

find out. “It’s fun to have a laughing spell every now

can’t use too much cannabis or overdose on it, since

and then,” Barbara Rush says. “And it’s really nice to

it’s not toxic. There is no physical addiction, though

be totally relaxed, isn’t it?”

some individuals could develop a psychological de-

LELAND RUCKER is the Senior Editor of Sensi Magazine.

www.sensimag.com

M AY 2016


Cannabis Patients Alliance

Changing hearts and minds one conversation at a time.

Be an Ally! Join the fight for patients! Denver, Colorado 303.455.3801 CannabisPatientsAlliance.org CannabisPatientsAlliance@gmail.com facebook.com/cannapan twitter.com/CannaPatients

COLORADO’S PREMIER SOURCE FOR NATURAL HEALTHCARE — Integrative Family Medicine — Integrative Nutrion — Herbalism — Homeopathy — Fascial and Physio therapies — Massage — Chronic and autoimmune illnesses — Autism Treatment — Detoxification Pathways Integrative Wellness 14715 W 64th Ave, Suite H — Cannabis Counseling

www.pathwaysintegrative.com

Arvada, CO 80004 Office: 303-456-5858

M AY 201 6

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Providing Colorado with The Finest Non-Solvent HasH Oil.

— Only company providing Flower Rosin processing. — Turn your flower into high–grade concentrate using ZERO solvents.

ExtractedColorado.com

303-551-2048

Extracted Colorado

46

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M AY 2016

ExtractedCo


S T R E N GT H OF C H A R AC TE R

by R ANDY R O B IN S ON KIM SIDWELL © CANNABIS CAMERA

{backstory }

Meet Leo, the martial artist helping others find their chill.

Leo Dunaev stands roughly six feet tall, weighing in at 145 pounds. He’s lean yet slender, chiseled yet relaxed. He speaks fluent English, though his voice still carries a hint of his Russian accent. When he’s discussing cannabis strains, his previous experience in the restaurant business shows. This budtender at Botanico describes the bouquet of a well-cured flower as if introducing a classic cabernet. “I’ve been enjoying cannabis since I can remember,” Leo says, laughing, “and ever since I can legally say I’ve been enjoying it.” Today, after Leo helps his patients and customers find the perfect cannabis product for their needs, he’s mastering his craft: Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art based on Japanese jiu-jitsu. Like its Japanese counterpart, BJJ is a “soft-style.” Instead of focusing on punches and kicks, it redirects the opponent’s force against them. In BJJ competitions, fighters don’t tally points from strikes. Instead, a fighter concedes defeat by “tapping out” once they’re hopelessly trapped in a hold or joint lock. “When I went to my first jiu-jitsu class,” Leo recounts, “I was tapped out, about twenty times, from a girl who weighed a hundred pounds. I couldn’t do anything.

MY CONSUMPTION “ COMES AFTER TRAINING, TO RELAX MY MUSCLES. ”

Every time she tapped me out, I thought it was a fluke. I thought, ‘I wasn’t ready. I’ll get it this time.’ But she beat me every time. I realized later that it was like I was trying to play chess—when I had never even seen a chessboard before.” Leo displays no pretenses of arrogance, either. Rather, he exudes an aura of quiet tenacity, a tenacity he credits to his art. “I always remain patient no matter what the situation is, because I know I can think through it.” Cannabis may help in the patience department, too. “The bulk of my consumption comes after training, to relax my muscles,” Leo says, which may explain his love for Colorado’s CBD products. However, he cautions everyone to exercise moderation, which is why he periodically takes breaks from cannabis so his body can biochemically reset. “You can’t train while ripped every time. But for an experienced cannabis user who trains—totally, cannabis enhances what I’m doing.”

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his faves Strain: Any crossed with OG Kush Edible: Pure CBD Cheeba Chew Concentrate: Golden Goat live resin {available at Botanico}


SPRING I N THE ROCKIES

sensi

SCENE

The lucky guests enjoyed delectable courses prepared by Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg and the Blackbelly Market team. The chef said he prepares double the food for these signature cannabis-pairing dinners.

MASON

Mason Jar Event Group sets the bar high. The Spring luxe cannabis-pairing farmto-table dinner attracted a sophisticated crowd of consumers to the quaint town of Black Hawk for an evening of fine dining and imbibing in a stunning mountain setting.

JAR

EVENT Maureen McNamara of Cannabis Trainers; Kendal Norris, founder of Mason Jar Event Group; and Meg Sanders, owner of MindFul. 50

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M AY 2016

Blissful attendees enjoyed MindFul’s Colorado-grownwith-love cannabis and locally sourced beverages.

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Sensi Magazine-Denver/Boulder (May 2016)  

Sensi Magazine-Denver/Boulder (May 2016)

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