Concerns about the impact on the environment coming from the marijuana industry are popping up in articles all over the internet. Some articles question whether the industry will ever be environmentally friendly, while others praise the job that has been done so far; a mixed reaction to primarily the cultivation centers that remain resource intensive without any initiatives in place. One of the biggest sustainability issues stems from the fact that Cannabis is a thirsty plant, so water conservation is a must. Growers are listening to these environmental concerns and some are even hosting and teaching innovative sustainable practice workshops. While many people are on the fence with the sustainable grows, not much is said about the other areas of the industry just yet.
So, we raise the question of sustainable practices in the realm of packaging, retail, and the cannabis consumer market. Sustainable grows are an important point to start but Smokey’s invites you to extend this notion to the packaging and consumption end of the cycle. We challenge to steer this industry towards having a positive impact on our environmental footprint, instead of leaving us in worse shape than during the times of prohibition. How does the cannabis industry support sustainability beyond the grow, and how can we, as consumers, help?
The use of a guesstimated million+ tubes and drams each year (those colorful plastic containers that hold your flower, pre-rolls, and edibles) are 100% reusable and/or recyclable. Why throw them away? If you are like me you have a few of those reward cards/keychains and accounts with local businesses that give you points for dollars spent, including some dispensaries such as our beloved Smokey’s 420 House. To support sustainability, Smokey’s extends those rewards to the consumer by giving customers points for returned tubes and drams; one of the many reasons I am thrilled to work here. Sometimes you might even get an extra point boost, as we occasionally sneak in a double points recycling day (check the monthly calendar for possible dates) to show our appreciation for the consumer efforts to help the industry’s environmental footprint.
So what happens to these tubes and drams that are returned for recycling? Well, customers bring them back into either Smokey’s location (Garden City or Ft. Collins) to be collected. You can bring in containers from ANY dispensary, though we only give you points for our containers! From there, they are picked up by to be sterilized. The sterilization process exceeds the regulations set by the FDA. (Meaning that the containers/drams can then legally and safely can be reused. At which point, Smokey’s brings them back into the cycle to go back into the consumer's hands packaged with a bit of cannabis yet another time. With the scale Coloradans are consuming cannabis, you can see how this can quickly add up. To that I say fabulous!
Why is this important? Efforts are focused on the grows/cultivation centers right now. With a little education, that may also change the retail and consumer end of the industry soon. What better way to prove that this industry is not only concerned with sustainability in the grow, by supporting full reuse and recycling of marijuana packaging and extending those habits to the retail and consumer side of this exploding industry.
Have you stopped in your local dispensary lately and noticed many of your favorite edibles have changed? Well, there is a reason for that! Starting October 1st all edibles must follow new regulations with the new universal symbol either stamped, marked, or otherwise imprinted onto the product. These regulation changes came about as a result of a few highly publicized news stories concerning unintentional over-consumption of unmarked edibles.
One of the most publicized incidents involved New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd. Ms. Dowd was enjoying Colorful Colorado while visiting to research her upcoming article on our state’s emerging industry. She opted for a hands-on account to report about the legal cannabis scene. However, she missed out on some rather pertinent information her budtender should have shared with her during this greenhorn cannabis consumer shopping experience. Ms. Dowd expresses in her article, Don’t Harsh Our Mellow, Dude that she is not an experienced consumer and basically had a little too much of a good thing. Which we all know, isn’t a good thing at all. She is rather vague in explaining how much of the bar she chomped down, but is quite descriptive of the intense, paranoid high she experienced from overindulging in the chocolate. This article received a lot of national attention and prompted discussion on edibles and consumer safety.
It was shortly after the New York Times article that some other news stories became prominent in the media. Catalyst discussions emerged after there was a reported increase in children being hospitalized after getting ahold of their parents’ edible stash. The Marijuana Enforcement Division worked to draft up new regulations aimed to address this pressing issue of consumer safety. Fast forwarding through the timely process of drafting and implementing regulation on this constantly evolving industry, October 1 is fast approaching. These updates have been making waves to say the least.
Practically every edible company in the state has been preparing for this regulatory change, many companies spending thousands of dollars to meet the new compliance standards. It has proved to be an easier transition for some companies and products, and not so much for other. Some companies have been forced to eliminate their best selling products because there is no way to meet these new standards. It is unfortunate to see some of our favorite gummies and other edibles disappear, but most of these companies are bringing new and exciting products to the scene!
An employee favorite at Smokey’s has always been the Highly Edible Gummy line by CannaPunch. Budtenders and customers alike were bummed to hear that the Cherry Watermelon Hearts weren’t available anymore. Then went the Gummy Bears, and lastly their Peach Rings and Watermelon Rings. CannaPunch recently launched their Puck Gummy Product Line!
The new line of Puck Gummies will soon have the universal symbol making it a completely compliant edible option. As a consumer, you should be seeing these in the stores very soon! Budtender feedback on this newly shaped edible gummy is that you get a lot more gummy in your dose, which makes it less tempting to overindulge. Our favorite new flavor and product recommendation for this edible is the Golden Strawberry, definitely a unique and delicious flavor!
When it comes to edibles, get educated! Each candy is a maximum of 10mg. Every edible is different, read your packaging, if you’re uncertain on dosing call the dispensary you purchased from to ask! The recommended starter dose is between 5mg-10mg. Don’t forget what we always say at Smokey’s 420 House “Start Slow and Low!” There are so many tasty edibles out there, stop in and talk to one of our budtenders to pick out the right edible for you.
For anyone curious here is the article link from the New York Times
“Don’t Harsh Our Mellow, Dude” by Maureen Dowd
Do you remember what it was like getting “the kind”, “dro”, or “schwag” back in the day, never really knowing that there was a whole world of strains and flavors of amazing herb to explore? The whole realm of cannabis has exploded over the past few years as a result of legalization. The education and knowledge of cannabis has grown exponentially over the past decade and cannabis consumers are now becoming cannabis connoisseurs. Think microbrewery mentality, always seeking that new flavor or strain that you’ve never had the chance to experience. It is a beautiful time to be alive in the cannabis world, with a multitude of top notch growers sharing quality strains that have been coveted by the underground scene until recently.
Here at Smokey’s, our growers take extreme pride and LOVE in the beautiful plants they cultivate. We have a small team of growers that work hard 7 days a week to make sure that our customers get the best quality, hand selected, trichome packed buds. Our plants get plenty of one and one attention and you can definitely tell when you break it down and spark it up. All of our cones are hand packed by our AMAZING and hard working process team. This small but crucial team cranks out over 1,000 pre-rolls daily, all by hand. These people are so instrumental to the success of Smokey’s and yet many of our customers don’t get a glimpse into ‘behind the scenes’ and how much goes into keeping our stores stocked with quality choices. With so many great choices,produced by our own crew, it’s hard to pick a favorite! Smokey’s Grown Connoisseur Recommendations: Island Sweet Skunk, Black Russian, Vortex, Kali Diesel, and Sour Diesel (SO MANY GREAT STRAINS)
The “support your local business” movement does not exclude the cannabis industry by any means. As legalization has transformed this beautiful state, we have seen a wide variety of Medical and Recreational stores flooding the scene in Colorado. There are many big names in the game, and most massive companies have disconnected with the reality that this industry has opened up the door to connoisseur consumers. One of the main reasons I personally wanted to work for Smokey’s 420 House was the fact that we are a smaller, locally owned and operated business. I am proud to know everyone I work with, even as we have grown in our success over the past two years since I joined the Smokey’s family. We have successfully grown enough to open our Ft. Collins store for Recreational sales, and will continue to grow and succeed but without losing sight of why we are all here. Everyone at the Smokey’s family has a passion for the benefits and relief that cannabis provides to so many people in our state. It is truly an inspiring business to work for within the cannabis world. Smokey’s cares about more than just dollar signs and profit margins, we care about the quality of our product, the communities we are involved in, as well as the people we serve.
It is important for us at Smokey’s to also work with other companies within this industry that share that same passion for quality and love into what they are producing. We do work with a handful of carefully chosen wholesale growers that take the same pride in producing quality, potent, hand trimmed buds. Some of my favorite wholesale growers we work with are Mayflower Farms, Verde Natural, Locol Love, and Fire From Water. If you haven’t had the chance to check out some of these amazing connoisseur strains, do yourself a favor and stop in often. Our variety and selection changes day to day so you are sure to find something new to check out each visit.
Mayflower Farms Connoisseur Recommendation: Hells Angel OG & Smurfette
Verde Natural Connoisseur Recommendation: Face Off OG & Sno Cap
Locol Love Connoisseur Recommendation: Bear Dance & Bio Diesel
Fire From Water Connoisseur Recommendation: Sour Tangie & Legend Killer Chem
If you ever want a strain or product recommendation shoot us an email! We would love to also hear your thoughts on anything cannabis related or other topics you would like us to explore.
Journeys of the Wandering Stoner
Do you ever wonder what it is like to work in the cannabis industry? Or what it’s like to walk up, excited to go work at a place some people would consider a dream job. Well, I have that dream job and let me tell you my story of how I started working for Smokey’s.
It was the fall of 2009, I was just finishing up my last semester of college out in Nebraska when I got “the call” and yes that call was from an owner of a medical marijuana dispensary. The call kind of caught me off guard, I really had no idea that Colorado was a medical state. I mean I had heard of people getting a medical marijuana card but I had no idea that there were shops that actually legally sold cannabis. So after a nice long talk, I was on board with the idea. Really I had no idea what I was getting into, but as a person that really had no clue what he was going to do after college this move made sense. So I packed up all my stuff and moved back to the wonderful state of Colorado.
I started working that December of 2009. My first job title was a Budtender, and I remember thinking it was so cool to be called a budtender. Someone who sits behind a counter full of so many different marijuana products, and is able to talk with people and learn little things about people and cannabis products that you wouldn’t ever experience at another job. I just thought it was so cool. Starting as a budtender was really great for me, it taught me so much about marijuana- things that I really don’t think I would have ever learned otherwise. Simple things like the different between Indica and Sativa, and that you can pretty much infuse anything with marijuana. Also that there are so many different cannabinoids that are beneficial for many different ailments. Basically, being a budtender educated me in the world of cannabis. As the company grew it started to create other job opportunities, those opportunities were mine for the taking, and I didn’t hesitate to take advantage. I was soon promoted to store manager of our location in Garden City. It was there were I truly fell in love with this industry and knew that this was something I was going to do for a lifetime.
With my promotion, there was so much I had to learn. Being a budtender I learned how to sell the product, but as a manager you learn so much more. Managing in a new industry was not easy, I truly had to make it up as I went because there really wasn’t any precedent to follow. And yes, I learned things the hard way but is that not the story of life? I only worked that position for a few months but what I learned from that will stick with me a lifetime. Being manager opened up the door for me to start working in the grow, the job I really wanted to do when I was offered the opportunity to work in this great industry. So as the transition started from retail store manager to grower I had to wear multiple hats, these hats consisted training a new manager while also receiving training from the grower at the time. Luckily we had good people in place to step up and learn quickly, which made my training of the new manager fairly easy.
At this time in my Smokey’s history, I am in the grow working behind the scenes- getting my hands dirty doing some true manual labor. Yes, everyone thinks that growing marijuana is so easy and all you have to do is give a plant water and it will become this beautiful thing we know as cannabis, ganja, or whatever people are calling it these days. I learned that it’s not that easy, in fact growing is pretty difficult and if you don’t have your big boy pants on then really you’re not going to make it in the grow. Let’s just say the job never really stops when you’re working in the grow, but this job is by far the most rewarding work I had done so far in the company. Working in the grow gave me a sense of accomplishment.
What I mean by that, is you really get the first hand experience of watching a plant grow from start to finish, knowing you helped nurture it to the final smokeable product. Seeing a plant in such a small vegetative state grow into this beautiful and intoxicating plant that produces these buds of jaw dropping beauty is the perfect satisfaction. Not every plant is a true beauty, you do come across your ugly ducklings and those are the plants you learn from. Those are the plants that make you work harder and challenge yourself to be better. Being a grower was something I loved doing, but you can’t always do what you love. The company at this point was getting the great news that Colorado would be legalizing cannabis, opening the door for recreational sales. We all know that Amendment 64 was a game changer for everyone that worked in the industry. What it did for me, was basically put me in a position to become the face of Smokey’s, as I was the only person that had the opportunity to work all of the different jobs within the company. Being the face basically meant that I was a PR guy, so I started to attend city council meetings which led to being an active member of the Garden City Business Association.
With legalization happening it lead to a lot of media coverage, everybody wanted to get a story to share. That helped me in developing skills talking to people, being able to handle all the questions that people come up with, and answering those questions in a professional manner. PR is only one side of being the face, the other side is dealing with all of the vendors that this industry has created. Honestly, that really was the hardest part about being the face because you have so many people and companies creating great product and growing great weed, but don’t always have the room for every product. You have to be able to tell people no, but in a way that isn’t rude. The positive aspect of dealing with all the vendors is that you meet some really cool and down to earth people. Also, you get first dibs on all the samples these vendors bring to you and who doesn’t love samples, especially ones that get you high. Now being the face of the company has brought me to where I am today. Really if I look back on the last six and half years I wouldn’t change a damn thing. My journey at Smokey’s has set me up for what I am planning to do now. What I am going to do now, is going to change my life forever and I am so happy that I get to take Smokey’s with me as I travel South America for six months. You may ask how am I going to take Smokey’s with me to South America, well friends, I will be sending in blogs keeping everyone up-to-date on the Journeys of the Wandering Stoner. I will be trying to get other cultural perspectives on cannabis- both the positive and negative. I hope to experience some really unique interactions with the people I come across on my journeys, so stay tuned for my next rant will be coming from Ecuador.
Ways to layer your medication:
There is a way to layer your cannabis intake and to customize the experience to fit your recreational or medical needs. The cannabis plant has roughly 111 different cannabinoids and each one does something different. It’s all about which cannabinoids are present in your bloodstream and how they interact with your body's chemistry.
THCa and CBDa are found in the raw plant matter and turn into the commonly known cannabinoids THC and CBD. These cannabinoids are activated by the process of decarboxylation (having it reach a certain heat level).
If you intake just one cannabinoid, such as THC, there are specific results. However, when you layer cannabinoids you unlock different “achievements” so to speak. This allows you the fun and freedom to tailor your consumption for what you need or want to experience. For example THCa in its Base form before the process of decarboxylation, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can provide relief from depression and anxiety as well as being a neuro protective.
THC:tetrahydrocannabinol is known for its psychoactivity. Effects include: psychoactive, euphoria, sensory enhancement, anti-cancer, anti-nausea, pain relief, improves appetite, helps glaucoma, muscle relaxant, helps for autoimmune disorders, and anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD: cannabidiol is Non-psychoactive, yet it modifies the effects of THC. CBD has great medical potential, and effects include: anti-depressant, anti-cancer, anti-nausea, anxiolytic, pain relief, mitigates spasms, improves blood circulation, help for autoimmune disorders, and bone growth stimulant.
CBG: Cannabigerol is Non-psychoactive and is known for its anti-tumor qualities. Effects include: anti-cancer agent, lowers blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, and bone growth stimulant.
CBC:cannabichromene is Non-psychoactive. Effects include: anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and bone growth stimulant
There are a variety of products to target different intake areas of your body. And there are many ways to get cannabinoids into your bloodstream.
First-pass Metabolism is a term used to describe how much medicine is actually absorbed.
For example: Smoking cannabis provides you with about 30% of the cannabinoids that you are consuming. If you eat an edible it is about 60% absorption rate, depending on your liver and gut wall lining.
Utilizing a variety of cannabis products can help with layering cannabinoids into your system. There are less explored cannabis products such as Transdermals that penetrate through many layers of skin, where the cannabinoids can directly enter your bloodstream. Transdermals include patches, salves, and transdermal gels.
Another, more common way, to intake cannabinoids is to inhale smoke or vapor. Colorado regulations due to legalization, allows the consumer to know specific testing of each product sold in a dispensary. Testing will show what cannabinoids are present, in addition to THC levels.
I have had the chance to try a variety of concentrates and flower that are CBD dominant. There are different ratios that promote different layering effects- such as 2:1, 4:1 and even 20:1.
For My first CBD smoking flower experience I tried our Pandora’s Box strain which tests about 3.6%THC and 8% CBD levels.
I have severe inflammation in my fore arms as well as other whiplash injuries. Smoking Pandora’s Box made me feel like someone was constantly giving me a great shoulder rub. I tend to get very anxious and depressed when I get to those inflammation levels. For that reason, I see my own cannabis use as preventative care. I try to keep a constant dosing of CBD and THC and when I notice that they start to leave my system and my symptoms start to return it’s obvious my body needs replenished of those cannabinoids. Also when self-medicating it seems that getting the cannabinoids as close to contact with the symptom area is optimal for maximum relief. It always seems to help pumping that blood stream full of the “entourage effect” of BOTH CBD and THC is the best way to go, for me.
One of my favorite brands is Mary’s Medicinals www.marysmedicinals.com . Mary’s Medicinals products target certain cannabinoids while honoring a whole plant medicine mentality. Every product will have just enough of the other cannabinoids to enhance the main cannabinoid you’re targeting without overpowering the cannabinoid you need. For example, their THC Sativa patch has 20mg of THC and under 1mg of THCa, CBD, CBDa, and CBN.
The patches can deliver a steady dosing into your system for over 12 hrs. What is great about shopping on the recreational side is that every edible, concentrate, or flower is required to be tested for the major cannabinoids. Since testing results can change from batch to batch, it’s important to check each products testing information before purchasing if you are seeking specific ratios/layers/dosing. For example: A multipack of the CBD Cheeba Chews is one of my favorites to supplement a whole plant medicine regiment. A box will contain 8 servings or doses of infused chocolate taffy.
The whole box has 4.72mg THC, 83mg CBD, 2.64mg CBG, and 4.8mg CBC.
Not everyone wants to smoke, vape, eat, or dab their cannabinoids. Some people are seeking pain relief and have no desire to feel high.
For someone looking for localized pain relief, another great product with a nice spectrum of cannabinoids is the Mary’s Way Salve made by The Growing Kitchen .
The current batch is testing at 8.6mg THC, 8.8 mg CBG, 3.2mg CBN, and 3.5mg THCa.
Used topically, these molecules power out anti-inflammatory properties and provide pain relief. I am continuously fascinated by this plant and I think it enjoys surprising us. I encourage everyone to experiment with layering your cannabis and see how the plant provides a higher quality of life.
Peace and love,
So You Want to Grow?
Part 1: Before you Grow- state and local regulations, and issues to consider for your home.
As a resident of Colorado, I have discovered the joy of producing my own cannabis indoors using my small grow tent. In a space that takes up 8 square feet (48 cubic feet when you factor in tent height), I am able to produce a variety of strains to keep me stocked and smiling for several months of the year. With a little investment of time and money, it is simple to create an environment conducive to producing top-quality buds in a space the size of a spare bedroom closet.
In the first installment of So you want to Grow? we’ll focus on the preparation and planning stage of your first home grow, and discuss the main issues to consider before you start growing your own cannabis in Colorado.
Though it is legal to grow cannabis for personal consumption, there are several state and local regulations to consider before you plant your seeds or purchase clones. State and municipality regulations can conflict, so it is extremely important to know the laws before you set up your grow. For example, the state allows each individual in a household to grow 6 plants (3 flowering plants, 3 in vegetative stage), but the city of Denver only allows 12 plants per household regardless of the number of adults occupying a dwelling. Also, if you are a medical patient, regulations surrounding your personal grow will be different. The state and local laws of Colorado will dictate how you set up your grow, thus it is imperative that you understand these regulations before you begin setting up your grow.
The following links provide information on state and certain municipality regulations concerning growing cannabis for personal consumption.
Home Grow Guidelines- State of Colorado
Safety Guidelines for Home Growing -State of Colorado
Cannabis Regulations, including personal cultivation- City of Fort Collins
Cannabis regulations, including personal cultivation - City of Greeley
The next set of issues to consider are where you intend to grow and the utilities needed to grow. Again, to emphasis the importance of knowing the laws, one cannot grow cannabis outdoors legally. If you live in an apartment, duplex, or any type of building with shared units, you are prohibited from growing cannabis for personal use. If lucky enough to have a house, one should make sure the electrical system is up-to-date, and the area that you selected for your grow is located near a reliable power source, and said power source can handle the electrical needs of your growing setup.
Like any other plant, cannabis needs air, water, and nutrients to grow, and depending on your grow setup, each of these items may require electrical energy to adequately supply your grow space. Will your space require fans for ventilation and air movement? Will you be running pumps for watering? What type of light do you plan to use, and what are the power needs? Can your circuit handle your electrical load? Best to find out beforehand, or you could risk an electrical fire. Also, clean running water nearby your grow space (or better yet, in the same room) helps in maintaining your grow in the long term (or putting out fires in the short term).
We have only scratched the surface of preparing for your grow.
In the next installment of “So you want to Grow?” we will examine some of the equipment you may want to consider for your home grow, including lighting, tray tables, fabric pots, and hydroponic equipment. Did you know that some forms of lighting, such as HID lamps like Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium lamps can no longer be used in certain municipalities?
These topics will be discussed in the next installment of So You Want to Grow?
The following links and book suggestions are for those eager to learn more on their own! Happy Growing!
Jorge Cervantes Ultimate Grow DVD- Beginner’s Guide to Growing Cannabis
Closet Cultivator by Ed Rosenthal : Easy to ready cultivation guide. This was my first book about cultivation, and still serves as an excellent guide to growing cannabis for personal consumption.
Ready, Set, Grow – High Times Growing Guide .
his week on Notes from the Stoned Age, I wanted to pass along a review for an AMAZING product that we are carrying here in the shop- Mary’s Medicinals 100mg CBC cream. A note about CBC: Cannabichromene is a cannabinoid that has been suggested to have uses in helping with a few different things such as pain management, anti-inflammatory properties, as well as stimulating brain growth, & combating depression . Before writing this, I looked for other reviews online but felt that some were lacking. For this review, I will be focusing on the pain management side.
Two weeks ago, I fell off of the side of an 18 wheeler trailer during an event that we helped sponsor for Garden City. When I tried to step up into the trailer (about 5 feet high) I wound up losing my balance and falling directly on my backside. I had a bruise (which didn’t show up until the next day) that spanned my entire rear and all the way down to my shorts line. I was in so much pain for those first 2 days, that every time I sat down or laid in my bed my entire right leg and back would lock up to the point that I could not move. Well, shortly after all of this difficulty, I acquired a small tub of Mary’s CBC 100mg cream. The first thing that i noticed about the product, aside from the packaging, is the smell: piney, strong, and pleasant, with a light green color that is very satisfying. I rubbed a very liberal amount all over my backside and legs to try and heal my leg a bit. Within 10 minutes you can feel a tingling sensation on your skin and within 15 minutes you can feel the pain start to melt away. 20 minutes in, and my leg just felt sort of numb. I was completely blown away by how well this product has worked for me. I mean, I was able to throw my leg around and not feel the pain it was giving me. It is now a week later, not only has my bruising gone down but the pain or the issue with my entire leg locking up has dissipated. Completely gone! I have since used this rub on my wife as well, who reports very similar results to mine. Another thing that I like about this cream is the consistency. It isn’t too creamy or oily, like Nivea cream. It’s more of a solid that you break down yourself. It feels a little grainy at first, but this is quickly forgotten after rubbing it in. Now, let it be known, that if you are relying solely on this cream, your results may vary a bit. I was stretching the muscles out after my leg went numb to speed up recovery time, which I would recommend. This CBC cream is FANTASTIC and from now on I plan on always keeping some in my medicine cabinet at home. It’s the perfect size too, to fit in your back pocket or your disc golf bag. Also, it should be noted that while this product DOES contain 100mg of THC and CBD, it is non-psychoactive so you do not need to worry about applying to your skin and then being incapacitated.
9/10 The only thing that could break this into the perfect 10 would be if it got you stoned immaculate along side the pain relief. It works just as advertised, and I would recommend it for everyday use if you have chronic pain.