The cannabis industry is evolving steadily after a rapid growth spurt of legalization. Gone are the days of purchasing whatever strain a supplier has on hand. Instead, consumers today have countless strains, concentrates, and edibles to choose from, allowing them to be incredibly selective and specific about what kind of high they experience.
Anyone who enjoys the legal cannabis industry is probably used to noting two main things when making a purchase at their local dispensary: the THC content and the sativa/indica ratio of the product.
Casual cannabis users typically believe that the higher the THC content is, the stronger and more intense the high will be. Likewise, they also figure that sativas will all perk them up while all indicas will mellow them out.
While these beliefs are incredibly common, the truth is that they oversimplify how and why a specific weed strain produces a unique feeling.
You’ve most likely smoked a strain of sativa that left you a tad anxious, while other sativas leave you happy, energized, and ready to tackle the day. The same goes for indica. Some strains are great for relaxing and watching a flick, while others will put you right to bed. Similarly, you’ve probably heard a friend rave about a strain that just didn’t do much for you.
In order to understand these varied experiences, it’s important to remember that cannabis is a wonderfully complex plant.
It’s Not Just About THC
Budtenders at Smokey’s 420 are continuously trained with the most recent information available based on real studies and science regarding product’s THC content. It’s how many cannabis consumers decide which product to buy. Why wouldn’t you choose the strain with the highest amount of THC? Isn’t that more bang for your buck?
If this is the logic you’ve been using, keep in mind that THC content is only one indicator of how a strain or product will make you feel. Choosing your weed based solely on this factor is often compared to going to a liquor store with the mission of selecting the booze with the highest alcohol content.
There’s a reason no one does this; there’s far more to enjoy a good drink than how much alcohol it contains. Just as a sommelier will pick their wine based on a myriad of factors, true cannabis connoisseurs will pay attention to the entire makeup of the product, not just a single element.
A major influence on how strong and how unique a high will feel is based on the presence and concentration of certain terpenes.
What Are Terpenes?
If you’re tuned into any cannabis industry dialogue, you may have heard of terpenes before. If not, the simple explanation is that terpenes are organic compounds found in the essential oils of plants.
Specifically relating to marijuana, terpenes are responsible for giving cannabis its distinctive flavors and aromatic scents. There have been over 100 different types of terpenes found in cannabis plants, and each strain, specifically each harvest, comes with completely unique concentrations of them. This explains the light, citrusy notes of Lemon Haze and the robust, Earthy flavor of Afghan Kush.
That being said, terpenes aren’t just about aromas and flavors. Research has shown that terpenes also affect the type of experience a specific strain offers.
How Do Terpenes Affect the Cannabis Experience?
While THC is responsible for the psychoactive nature of cannabis, industry leaders are concluding that terpenes help to direct, define, and in some cases, enhance the whole experience. The distinctive types of terpenes and cannabinoids (e.g., THC or CBD) present in a particular strain, along with the concentration levels of each, work together to produce what is commonly referred to in the industry as the “entourage effect.”
In other words, the different compounds work in a synergistic manner to create an experience that’s unique to that strain. The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Different types of terpenes have various therapeutic properties and will also affect a high in various ways. (Here is a good resource for better understanding some of the commonly found terpenes.) Some terpenes produce effects that help enhance mood and energy, while others, such as myrcene, create a sedative calm. Likewise, some enhance the feeling of THC, and others can mellow it out.
This is why you may fall in love with a strain with a lower THC content and favor it over one that has a high concentration. It all depends on what you personally consider a good experience. If you’re looking for a strain that will give you a quick energy boost and appease your anxiety, research suggests that those effects will be determined by the terpene composition, not the amount of THC.
Industry professionals, media, marketing teams, medical users, adult use enjoyers listen up! We are in tumultuous times in the cannabis industry today and an administration that has made less than friendly remarks about cannabis is currently in power. Many of us wonder how we can ensure a positive and healthy dialogue with those that oppose this industry, whether passively or aggressively and I have one simple thing you can do TODAY to pave the way to an open mind. Specifically, we need to stop using industry language that is derogatory when referring to the cannabis world. The term “marijuana” is a slang term made up by a prejudiced and racist group and should be eliminated from our vocabulary. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/where-did-the-word-marijuana-come-from-anyway-01fb
Second, please call it “adult-use” instead of “recreational” when referring to 21+ product. “Recreational” has several negative implications but more dangerously it is appealing to children as “recreation,” while “Adult-use” says NOT FOR CHILDREN. We understand that government agencies and political parties across the nation are using these terms even in their names of governing bodies (IE Marijuana Enforcement Division in Colorado), it may take some time to change those official titles but we as advocates can change RIGHT NOW how we speak. Language is a very powerful medium to illicit feelings and responses in the public, as any marketing team will tell you. Our job is to advocate professionally for our industry and at the same time do everything we can to promote safe consumption and divert all adult use products out of the hands of children.
Here at Smokey’s we make a big deal about following the rules and staying in compliance within this industry. One of the biggest problems we have is litter bugs. Almost daily we find trash thrown and scattered across the parking lot. Speaking of trash, some of the items found are receipts and bags from customer purchases. Not only does it make our store look bad when a customer walks by three pieces of trash before even entering the building; but it puts us at a huge risk for compliance.
Once a purchase is made we make sure things are in order so you are compliant when leaving the building. After that it is up to you to be compliant. When a bag leaves this building it is required to be stapled shut. That staple plays the same role as a seal on a bottle of liquor. Once the staple has been removed or tampered with, or the bag has been opened in any way you the customer run the chance of getting an open container ticket. Your purchase should always remain sealed until you get to your final destination. Help us help you stay compliant.
Every day we make sure to walk the parking lot and check for receipts. Once we find a receipt we look it up in the system and see if we can find who left it behind. At that point a note will be put on each customer's account having left trash behind. The next time we see said customer we let them know that we found their purchase and just let them know the laws. There is also a little handout that we give out to reiterate the laws. Usually that does the trick, but if it becomes a persistent issue with the same person unfortunately our only option is to let that customer know they will not be welcome back to shop at Smokey’s. We all love our jobs and I am sure you all love this industry, so let's work together to keep this industry flourishing!
On another note, wouldn’t the world look way better if it wasn’t scattered with trash and rubbish all over? The laws and compliance are always going to be a bigger deal to us than anything, but we can all chip in to keep Smokey’s looking nice and clean. We love being here to serve all of you and we would love your help in keeping us compliant as well as looking nice!
Thanks from all your friends at Smokey’s 420 House
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.
These blogs are written by Smokey's 4:20 House friends and staff. Please feel free to read, comment, and share!!