Skip to main content

How to vote on Proposition 119

Unless you’d like to start paying a 25% tax on legal marijuana, you need to vote no. Actually, you need to stand on a street corner holding a big sign that says “vote no on Proposition 119” because it’s extortionate.

Do you know what’s hilarious? Way back when Amendment 64 was adopted, thereby creating the legal cannabis market here in Colorado, it said that marijuana would be “taxed in a manner similar to alcohol,” but guess what? That little tidbit was straight-up ignored by our politicians (which, coincidentally, is why nobody likes politicians).

Currently, alcohol is taxed at 8.4% here in Durango, and Marijuana is taxed at a 20.5% rate, which is two and a half times higher.

Granted, I have a degree in English, so I might have a better grasp on basic definitions than politicians, but still, “two and a half times” is nowhere near “similar,” so the madness needs to stop; that brings us to Proposition 119. If this initiative were to pass, the tax rate you pay for legal, recreational marijuana would slowly climb over a period of three years from 20.5% to 25.5%, which is insane. We’d move even further away from the “similarity” that was supposed to exist between marijuana and alcohol tax, and we’d once again be asking legal, adult marijuana smokers to pay more than their fair share. It’s not cool, and it’s not American, no matter which side of the aisle you sit.

The money from this tax would go to after-school programs for underprivileged students, and that’s the rub. It makes you sound like Ebenezer Scrooge if you stand on a soapbox and demand that more money not be given to underprivileged students, but I promise that’s not the case. If you read the fine print of this initiative, if we pass it, the state will also take $22 million out of our state land trust to fund the bill initially, and that money would otherwise go to general school funding. So, we’d be taking from kids to give to kids.

Look. For the record, I have children. The people who own this dispensary have children. We do everything in our lives for our children, and we care about kids in general. But disproportionately hurting our industry isn’t the way to help them. Just think about our underprivileged customers: should we really make the unemployed veterans who come in here for relief pay more for their cannabis? What about the cancer patients who come in trying to stimulate their appetites, or the ones who are trying to make the horrors of chemotherapy more bearable with weed? Are these really the people who should bear the burden of higher tax rates while family-ruining alcohol escapes unscathed?

And here comes the most ridiculous part: the proponents of Proposition 119 say it’d generate over $137 million annually, but that’s a lie. It would only generate that much money if people kept purchasing marijuana at the rate they did last year, which simply will not happen if we make it all 5% more expensive. One of the reasons for this is that the illegal cannabis market here in Colorado is still alive and well, and if the legal stuff gets taxed more, the illegal stuff will take more of the market share. It’s all just simple, infallible logic (you know, the kind not possessed by your average, greedy, baby-kissing politician).

For real, if all that you just read sounded a bit vitriolic, I apologize. It’s just that most of us in this over-regulated, over-taxed industry have become jaded. In fact, I wrote THIS article over four years ago the last time our industry was put into the crosshairs of avarice, and nothing has changed since then. Cannabis is still seen as a newly legalized, unnecessary thing by the old guard, and whenever a financial shortcoming is discovered, the powers that be turn once again to cannabis taxes to bridge the gap without even looking at other revenue sources such as an increased alcohol tax. It sucks, and we need your help fighting it.

So, please, please, please, vote “no” on Proposition 119. We don’t want to charge you more than we already do just to come buy some legal weed that’s already over-taxed. We want to keep things fair and legal, and we want to continue providing you with the same affordable quality you’ve become accustomed to here at The Greenery, because We’re Your Best Buds!

Buying Marijuana Stocks

best buds, best dispensary, budtender, buying cannabis stocks, Buying Marijuana Stocks, cannabis, cannabis connoisseur, cannabis stock, Colorado, colorado cannabis, colorado marijuana, dispensaries, dispensaries durango, dispensaries durango co, dispensaries in durango, dispensaries in durango co, dispensaries in durango colorado, dispensary, dispensary deals, dispensary durango, dispensary durango co, dispensary durango hash, dispensary near me, dispensary operating hours, Durango, durango co dispensary, durango dispensaries, Durango Dispensary, durango dispensary durango, durango dispensary menu, durango weed, edibles, greenery hash, hash, marijuana, marijuana blog, marijuana dispensary, marijuana edibles, Marijuana Stocks, menu dispensary durango, menu durango dispensary, recreational marijuana, Southwest Colorado Dispensary, The Greenery, the greenery colorado, the greenery durango, the greenery durango dispensary, the greenery menu, we’re your best buds

I hope you’re ready for a few disclaimers, because here they come… the opinions per the flowing cannabis stocks are mine and mine alone, not those of The Greenery. Secondly, there is risk involved with all investments and it’s possible to lose money on any speculation, so please don’t think you’re going to get rich quick off cannabis stocks. Trading of this nature isn’t for all investors, and all investments are made at the investor’s own risk (that’s you).  And lastly, I am not a financial adviser.

There. I’m glad we got that out of the way because legalese is language abuse in my opinion, but that stuff was important because realistic expectations are always best when it comes to investing. And frankly, it’s all worth it because this blog has been a long time coming. At least once a day, someone will ask me if I know anything about pot stocks right after they shop in our Durango dispensary, and I’ve always wanted to write something longer than the five-minute rundown I regurgitate in our busy shop for these people to read at home. So, here it is…

Money talks. We all know it. Marijuana was kept illegal for a century because privatized prisons made billions from incarcerating nonviolent pot smokers; rich pharmaceutical companies lobbied against legalization because they didn’t want the competition; alcohol companies didn’t want to compete against a safer intoxicant and police unions wanted to keep their fat budgets so they could chase down people who like growing and smoking plants—you can read all about it HERE, HERE, and HERE. There were a lot of bad guys against us in the beginning, and honestly, they’re still around, but they’re getting their butts kicked because now, we have money of our own: we’ve already surpassed 1 billion (that’s nine zeros) in tax revenue from marijuana in Colorado alone, and it keeps stacking up daily. With that kind of financial backing, the government has become addicted to our industry, so there’s no end in sight, and believe it or not, a lot of the bad guys are starting to invest in cannabis stocks thanks to that whole “if you can’t beat them, join them” paradigm, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

And that’s where investing in marijuana stocks comes in. I buy a pot stock here and there whenever I can, and yes, I do it with the hopes that I’m buying in on the ground floor which will make me rich someday, but really, I do it to support national cannabis legalization. Every dollar I throw behind marijuana in the stock market makes us a little stronger and the bad guys a little weaker, so I don’t plan on stopping. Ever. You know why? The hypocrisy is galling. The national government takes a ludicrous amount of money from our dispensary in the form of taxes even though they say the drug we sell is illegal, and you better believe that I pay income tax to work here. I mean honestly, how do they get away with saying it’s illegal while at the same time making me fill out a W2?

Anyway, I’ve talked about the why, but here comes the how. It’s simple. Just open a stock trading account through someone like Charles Schwab, transfer money through your bank account, find a pot stock you like, buy it, and then brag to your friends about how you’re beating down illegal pot with America’s most potent weapon, capitalism. Fun, right? But, and here comes another disclaimer, most pot stocks are volatile as all get out, and there’s a chance your “I just bought a pot stock” smile will fade right along with your dividends, so I’m going to outline a few of the big players that I think represent safer investments than others, because I’d imagine that’s why you’re really reading this. Here they are:

Tilray (TLRY) In a way, this is the pot stock that got everyone excited about the possibility of investing in legal cannabis on the ground floor. Most cannabis stocks are traded on the Canadian market before the NYSE (because Canada is arguably cooler than we are), and that’s how Tilray started. But then they become one of the first stocks to move from the Canadian market to the one here in the states, and when that happened, their share price rocketed from around $2 to $200 almost instantly, and despite my disclaimer, quite a few people got rich quickly from a pot stock. However, that drastic increase was overvalued, and today, Tilray is trading in the $40 range, and it’s slowly climbing back up because the overvaluation has been mitigated by the market. This company focuses on the possible medicinal aspects of marijuana by conducting studies and fueling wholistic pharmaceutical companies, so if that’s the side of cannabis that interests you, buying Tilray will put your money where your values are.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB) This is another Canadian stock that experienced an uptick when it landed on the NYSE, but it only jumped from around $2 to $8 because the market learned its lesson thanks to Tilray. Today, it’s sitting in the $6 range, so this stock is everyone’s darling (especially amongst millennials because the recreational side of this company is trendy). But don’t let the “Canadian” designation fool you because this company has designs on world domination—they’re already operating in 24 countries, and there have been rumors of an impending investment by a well-known beverage company to make CBD drinks, so I’d expect some added value in the coming months. Again, this is my personal opinion, but I’d recommend Aurora for serious long-term investors and it’s the second largest cannabis company in the world right behind this next one.

Canopy Growth (CGC) When it comes to big business, these guys are at the top just like their name would suggest; their canopy covers everything. And this is a perfect example of that shift I talked about wherein the bad guys are buying in, because the makers of Corona beer invested billions into Canopy Growth even though their parent company had lobbied against legal marijuana in the past. Hypocrites. But hey, it’s better late than never, and if one of the world’s largest beer makers is buying into this stock, that should tell you something about its future. In my opinion, no long-term cannabis investment portfolio is complete without at least a few shares of CGC.

Acreage Holdings (ACRGF) If you like hypocrites, you’ll absolutely love this company. Their entire board is made up from proverbial fat cats, and their lead lobbyist is none other than John Boehner, who was the 53rd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. This guy spent 24 years in congress doing his dandiest to keep marijuana illegal because his constituents in Ohio were barely out of the stone age, but now that marijuana pays better than congress, John’s values seem to have changed. Go figure.

Cronos Group (CRON) This company has its fingers in everything pot-related, and their reach covers five continents. However, companies like this represent a moral conundrum for investors such as myself, because when I bought this stock, I wanted to support cannabis and nothing else. But then a few months later, Altria, the company that makes Marlboro cigarettes, bought way more stocks than I did ($1.8 billion more), and now, it looks like I’m about to own part of a tobacco company, which isn’t what I wanted. But hey, like I said, money talks.

Alright… those are the “big five” and the stocks that represent the safest bets, but there’s no fun in that, so here are a few up-and-comers that could get big (or fade away into obscurity) for all you gamblers out there:

Harvest Health (HRVSF). This company was born and raised right here on our own Left Coast, and they’re making waves in California. In fact, they own Evo Lab, which makes vape oils that we sell right here in our Durango dispensary. So, if you buy some stock and then come into our shop and buy some vapes, you’ll be supporting your own investment, which is pretty cool when you think about it. Hexo Corp (HEXO) is another Canadian stock, but it landed on the NYSE eight days ago, so expect an uptick soon. Medicine Man Technologies (MDCL) is a consulting firm with low overhead and their stock is in the $2 per-share range. Kushco Holdings (KSHB) is another low priced option because these guys make the auxiliary products used in the cannabis industry (fun fact: they make the child-resistant containers we use in our dispensary). And lastly, take a look at Medmen Enterprises (MMNFF). These guys copied the Mad Men branding from that AMC show, which was an interesting choice, but they run a chain of dispensaries in California, and they plan on becoming the Starbucks of dispensaries, so there’s room for growth with this stock.

There! Those fifteen-hundred words were definitely more definitive than the short spiel I give to people when they ask about stocks after waiting online to buy a joint, and if you’re one of the new people who I referred to this blog, thanks for reading! It means quite a bit to me. But please, if you’d like to talk about this in person, just come down to 208 Parker Avenue and ask for Jesse. We’ll chat as much as you’d like, because if you’re interested in furthering legalized marijuana through buying cannabis stocks, We’re Your Best Buds!

Why is Marijuana Illegal?

dispensary, durango dispensary, the greenery, the greenery durango, durango, durango co, colorado, dispensary durango, dispensaries durango, cbd oil, dispensaries in durango, dispensary in durango co, marijuana dispensary, dispensary durango co,

Well, it isn’t in Colorado, but we’re much smarter than those federal people who can’t seem to figure out that pot is just a plant. However, it’s not really their fault when you think about it because ignorance is an insidious thing when it gets intrenched, and that’s what Washington has been dealing with for decades. But truth is the best remedy for ignorance, so that’s what I’m gunna give you in this week’s post.

For the record, I made it all the way through my writing program in college without writing a single paper on the absurdity of criminalized cannabis because that’s the type of paper every student writes at least once, and I wanted to avoid the cliché. But as it turns out, this choice was an ironic one because now that I have my writing degree, I spend my days writing only about marijuana… whatever, I’m going to embrace it. So, this week, I figured I’d write for you the paper I avoided for all those years, because after all, there are some things about cannabis prohibition that everyone needs to know. Here we go:

A Brief History of Cannabis Prohibition

In the beginning, it was the snake oil salesmen who ruined it for everybody. They’d travel through towns and make all sorts of nonsensical claims, like “cannabis cures erectile disfunction!” So, in 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed which made it illegal to make medicinal claims about any substance without proof, and it limited the sale of narcotics and cannabis to pharmacies. This was the first time cannabis was mentioned in any sort of legislation.

As an aside, it’s infuriating when people refer to legalized cannabis as a “social experiment” because when you think about it, weed has only been illegal for about 100 years. Throughout the rest of our history, cannabis was legal, so criminalizing a plant was the real social experiment, and it didn’t work. Anyway, moving on…

Then came the first of three butt-heads you need to meet: William Randolph Hearst. This guy was your archetypical fat-cat—he owned the world’s largest newspaper chain and a bunch of forests that he used to feed his paper mills. And do you know what’s a threat to people who make their living making paper out of trees? Hemp. It grows faster and makes better paper, so Hurst hated it. And it didn’t help that Pancho Villa invaded one of Hurst’s forests because Pancho was from Mexico which is where all the pot came from back then. So, Mr. Hurst used his newspapers and political clout to spread all sorts of misinformation about “evil marijuana.”

The second butt-head we need to talk about is Harry Anslinger. This guy rose to prominence as the head of the Treasury Department during the alcohol prohibition years, but when alcohol was legalized (because making drugs illegal doesn’t do anything), Anslinger found himself twiddling his thumbs. He was about to be unemployed, just like all the jerks under his command who used to make their livings busting alcohol smugglers, so he used his influence to spread false propaganda about pot. People believed him because people are dumb, and then Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937.

1935 Anti-marijuana postermarijuana, durango, colorado, the greenery, durango dispensary, dispensaries, dispensary, durango dispensaries, marijuana dispensary, dispensaries in durango, dispensaries in durango co

You see, nothing in the constitution allowed the federal government to ban a plant like cannabis, so they decided to “tax” marijuana, but then they intentionally forgot to create the system to generate licenses or collect the taxes. Ergo, since nobody could get a license or pay tax, it became illegal to grow or sell cannabis.

Everyone has heard of the third and final butt-head: Richard Nixon. He championed the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Under this act, marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug (right alongside others like crack) because it was a “harmful substance with no medical benefits.”

This brings us to where we’re at today. A handful of states have pulled their heads out of their butts and legalized pot because it sure as hell isn’t a harmful substance with no medical benefits, but most places still believe all the “reefer madness” lies and propaganda that got us into this mess, even though papers like this one are written every year by college students who are smart enough to look in the history books. And lobbyists from privatized prison systems and big pharmaceutical companies spend millions each year to keep pot illegal because there’s a ton of money to be made by locking up pot smokers and making pills that don’t work nearly as well as a plant.

There… that’s why marijuana is illegal in most places. Isn’t it irritating? But hey, Colorado isn’t one of “those places,” so if you’re like us and you prefer fact over propaganda, come into our Durango dispensary at 208 Parker Avenue and we’ll set things straight with some of the highest-quality cannabis on earth. We’re Your Best Buds!

Who smokes marijuana?

Dispensary, Durango dispensary, the greenery, the greenery Durango, dispensary Durango, cbd oil, dispensaries in Durango Colorado, dispensaries in Durango co, Durango co dispensary, marijuana dispensary, dispensary Durango co, Durango, Colorado, The Greenery, dispensary, dispensaries, durango dispensary, marijuana, cannabis, weed, pot

The short answer: everybody. I’ve seen all types of people walk into our dispensary, and I’ve written about it before, but for some reason, the archetypical stoner stigma still exists. It’s frustrating. We’re not all lazy losers or burnt-out pot heads in much the same way that people who shop at the corner liquor store aren’t all comical drunks. But hey, marijuana has only been legal for a few years, so I get why the misconception lingers.

The last time I tried to make this point in writing, all I had to back me up was my opinion (which is far from gospel), but now, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released THIS study, and it proves my point. Basically, they polled over ten thousand Coloradan adults and found that 14.6% of them used cannabis currently, and then they asked follow-up questions to find out exactly who these “stoners” were.

But first, here’s the demographical breakdown of the 10,169 people who were interviewed:

Male: 5,138
Female: 5,031

Age 18-25: 625
Age 26-34: 1,251
Age 35+: 8,187

White: 7,823
Black: 259
Hispanic: 270
Multiracial: 1,416
Other: 194

Alright… now here’s the good part: the part proving that people who smoke pot didn’t list “sitting on the couch” as their profession. Here’s what we “stoners” do for a living:

Accommodation and Food Services: 30.1%

Administration, Support, Waste Management, and Remediation Services: 18.8%

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing/Hunting: 14.4%

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation: 28.3%

Construction: 19.7%

Education: 5.8%

Finance and Insurance: 13.5%

Health Care and Social Assistance: 7.4%

Information: 18.2%

Management of Companies and Enterprises: 13.1%

Manufacturing: 16.3%

Mining, Oil and Gas: 5.2%

Other: 20.9%

Professional, Scientific, Technical Services: 14%

Public Administration: 5.8%

Real Estate, Rent, Lease: 19.6%

Retail Trade: 18.9%

Transport and Warehousing: 10.2%

Utilities: 5.8%

Wholesale Trade: 11.4%

See?! We “stoners” are actually doctors and teachers, bosses and entrepreneurs, scientists and blue-collar workers, and we don’t deserve the stigma that we’ve earned thanks to close to a century of misinformation. And who knows what those “other” people from the list do for a living? They could be politicians or even closeted preachers who prefer natural drugs to the pharmaceutical kind, and it’s time that we forget the nonsense that pops into our heads when we hear the “stoner” label.

So, if you’ve been sheepish about trying cannabis, step out of the shadows and come see Your Best Buds at the finest Durango dispensary for dispelling stigmas: The Greenery at 208 Parker Avenue. We’ll help you find the best product for your needs, and together, we’ll help bring safe and legal cannabis into the mainstream where it belongs!

Stoners and Stigmas

Dispensary, Durango dispensary, the greenery, the greenery Durango, dispensary Durango, cbd oil, dispensaries in Durango Colorado, dispensaries in Durango co, Durango co dispensary, marijuana dispensary, dispensary Durango co, the greenery, durango dispensary, durango dispensaries, marijuana, cannabis, stoner

I recently met a man in our dispensary who builds skyscrapers in Cincinnati. He started small, of course, building his business out of the back of his truck, but after a few decades of work, real work, he found freedom. He landed the type of life that allows him to fly to Durango on his private jet—a G6, like the one Pitbull raps about—to spend the weekend here just for the hell of it, buying a fistful of tickets for his friends so they could all ride that railroad of ours on a whim. And this man was carefree. He asked me if cameras were allowed (of course they are!), and then he asked his wife to take his picture. She shook her head slowly with disappointment, the way wives do, and she asked the man what would happen if his employees saw the picture, or worse yet, his mother. His answer sticks with me:

“This is how I party, and there’s nothing wrong with marijuana. I’ve worked hard my whole life to stand here holding this pot, and anybody who has a problem with it can go fill in the blank.

Such a statement sounds inelegant at first, but really, it’s a beautiful declaration of honesty and freedom. So, the man’s wife smiled in that long-suffering way that only comes from love, and then she took his picture. The man shook my hand, put thirty dollars in our tip cup, and then walked out with his bag of weed in one hand, his wife’s bejeweled fingers in the other.

And even more recently, I met four men in our dispensary who flew here together on their private jet from Houston. They were tall and gracile in their leather boots, laughing and slapping backs, and they looked like they came from old money, the kind that’s black and bubbled up in their grandparents’ backyard. The four men flew in for the snow, but when they couldn’t find any, they decided to get high instead. They walked into our dispensary and saw something kindred in me, I guess, because each man made sure to shake my hand and get my name. I sold them edibles and vape pens and a whole panoply of pot products, and I threw in a couple koozies for fun, thinking men from Texas might find them especially useful.

I went to the bar later than night with my wife and a few friends on one of those random trips out, and as soon as I walked into The Ranch, I heard a loud chorus of “Jesse!!!” from the back of the bar. Those four guys from Texas were standing around the pool table, holding up beers wrapped snuggly in koozies that said, “The Greenery.” I introduced them to my wife (she shook her head slowly at my new friends, the way wives do), and we played pool for a while, right before they jumped back on their jet for another trip to find skiable snow.

Look, I know I’m rambling, but the picture I’m painting for you here proves that “stoners” aren’t always what you’d expect. Yes, wooks exist and their hippie magic is frightful, but for the most part, people who smoke pot are just like people who don’t smoke pot. I kid you not, I’ve sold to priests and teachers and surgeons and diplomats, and if not for the fact that each of them stood in front of me and bought marijuana, it wouldn’t have been possible to tell they were stoners, as if being one were a bad thing in the first place.

So why is the term “stoner” still a negative thing? Is it thanks to the stigma the bad guys birthed to justify their righteously unjust war on drugs? Probably.

Don’t worry, I’m not gunna get all preachy and complain about the fallacy of prohibition, but I do want to address the anti-pot stigma that seems to be sticking around like a virulent flu. I think this might be the seventh time I’ve put it in writing, but marijuana is medicine, and if not for that pesky stigma, this medicine could help more people. From the sweet old lady with tired hands who could find reprieve from her arthritis with a cannabis salve, but doesn’t, to the stage-four cancer patient who could find relief with marijuana, but never does: there are plenty of people out there denying themselves something legal and effective simply because of the stigma. Doesn’t that suck?

And that same stigma stops some people from getting high recreationally too, you know, for no other reason than to feel abnormally good, and that’s a travesty too. Because guess what? Pot is awesome. It makes good days better, and it doesn’t come with a hangover. Most of us at The Greenery smoke the stuff loud and proud because we have more pressing matters to worry about than stigmas, but that’s a luxury. Not everybody lives in a place like this or has a job like this, and that stigma is heavier for them.

But I want you to know that we’re trying to fix that. There are real life badasses who toil here behind the scenes. They stay in the backrooms of our dispensary and they write letters and lobby law makers, and they do their damnedest to defeat that annoying “stoner” stigma we’ve been living with for years. I’m not making that up, even though it sounds a little cryptic; we even have a consulting service that helps people in other states figure out the legal weed game. Cool, right?

So, don’t worry. There’s no stigma in our shop. We won’t judge you for a damn thing when you walk in, even if you’ve been putting off your first experience with cannabis for seventy years (which is something I heard from a customer just last week). Our people are professional and forthright, and we do our best to break the “stoner” stereotype daily with our service, because We’re Your Best Buds!

The Greenery 3.0

The Greenery, durango, colorado, dispensary, dispensaries, budtender, marijuana, pot, weed

It’s been a while since I gave you a peek behind our leafy curtain, the way I did in that #DispoLife piece from a few months back, so I figured now would be a perfect time to do it again, because things are changing at The Greenery.

For one, I don’t get to sit crisscross-applesauce in the corner of that fake leather couch I told you about anymore—they gave me a real desk with a chair and a stapler and a trashcan just like all the other grownups have (I stole the trashcan). Instead of that laptop screen that once stared back at me as I wrote, now I have three monitors; it feels like I’m piloting a spaceship instead of checking my email. And now things are quieter in the warehouse than they were when we last chatted, because my desk is the only one back here, but I’ll still tell you what you would see if you were sitting right next to me…

Now the floor is covered with one of those plush, ersatz Persian rugs, the kind that makes you want to walk around in your socks, and it almost goes wall-to-wall. That couch I love so much sits on top of it, and there’s a coffee table right where it should be, covered with a pile of legal paperwork. Our inventory shelving still covers the walls, but now you can see places where someone has applied this or that swatch of paint, trying the color on for size. I’m still not sure if this room will end up as grey or green, but either way, things are changing, just like I said.

I can hear Karen somewhere up above me, clicking away on her keys as she tracks the numbers that flow in and out of this place like liquid digits, and Ashley sounds like she’s right next to her, talking confidently in her legalese. If I were to walk out of this warehouse and down the hall, Joel’s and Brian’s office would still be the first door I found. It almost seems like that room is the only constant in this business: Joel still lives in there, the far-reaching visionary who’s steering this company towards something everyone who works here was lucky to fall into, and Brian is still right there too, using his even-keeled attention to detail to make sure this company is the epitome of perfect.

The next office, the one that might as well not have a door, is my favorite because it’s always full of friendliness. Melissa is in there now instead of up front because she was promoted to Retail Operations Manager (now she’s the head cheese just like her dad), and Faith sits at the other desk, wearing her new title of Chief Marketing Officer right along with that smile of hers that spreads from face to face whenever she walks into one of our meetings. Actually, wait…

Did you know that everyone you’ve met in this blog so far has a college degree? I’m sorry for breaking the narrative so abruptly right there, but recently, a certain someone on the national stage did this industry a disfavor, and he tried to paint as villains those of us who sell pot legally, doing his best to pawn us off as illicit miscreants. But we’re not. We’re parents; we’re educated professionals; we’re tax-paying Americans who’d like to think that we live in a democracy, a real one where we can vote for laws that work, and I’m not a fan of the stereotyping that’s come our way.

Just for fun, I want you to picture in your head someone who sells pot. Who do you see? A bad guy? Someone who looks like their last photoshoot was a mugshot? I don’t—I see one of the professional budtenders I work with daily, someone who deserves respect and a voice and constitutional rights. You know, all that stuff politicians talk about when microphones are in their faces, but then forget about just as soon as the election cycle dies. Granted, the budtenders at The Greenery are a step above the rest (sorry, it’s true), but just about everybody in this industry is working to keep things compliant and clean, and that troll I told you about on the national stage needs to slink back into his cave.

Anyway, the next room down the hallway is Zach’s, and now, he’s growing with this company (just like the weed he weighs for you daily) thanks to his new responsibilities. Savanna and Libby share the front office right across from Zach’s pre-weigh room (the office you see to your right as soon as you walk in our front door), and if you’ve been here before, you know these two: Libby is the one who’s always running from point A to point B, hustling like crazy for this company, and Savanna is the tall one who never fails to be affable when our front door dings.

Next comes the dispensary itself, and you’ve probably seen a few new faces behind the counter if you’ve come in lately, you know, because New Year, new us, or something like that. TJ is the warm motherly type, and she loves selling pot. Seriously, she loves it, but I won’t tell you too much about her because she gets a post all to herself next week. Jonathan is taller than Savanna (or at least I think he is; it’s difficult to tell from down here), and he’s a pot sommelier in his own right, always telling customers exactly what type of high to expect with this or that flower. Chris is the newest ninja on our team; he’s the calm one who’s always quick to pick you up with a laugh. And Noah is up there too, doing anything and everything that needs to be done on our dispensary floor with professionalism; I like to think Noah is going places with this company.

And that’s it. Don’t worry, Clay is still with us, getting his hands dirty at our grow while Mike fills his head with equal portions of knowledge and hilarity, and Sloane is still with us too, “rockin’ balls” of Moroccan hash for The Greenery Hash Factory while Chitty puts up with her shenanigans, smiling all the while like a patient parent.

Holy shit… for real, I love this team: I love my job, and I love being a part of The Greenery. We’re all bona fide professionals, living and working around legal marijuana for the first time in our lives, and we all share a kindred vision, which is a rare thing in any industry. Above it all, we all work hard, we work well as a team, and we do it all for you, our customers, because We’re Your Best Buds, and that’s something that’ll never change.

Take a look at our amazing Greenery team!

The greenery, durango, dispensary, dispensaries, marijuana

budtender, the greenery, best durango dispensary, dispensaries durango

greenery hash, hash, the greenery, durango, dispensary

Buying Marijuana in Colorado for Nonresidents

Dispensary, Durango dispensary, the greenery, the greenery Durango, dispensary Durango, cbd oil, dispensaries in Durango Colorado, dispensaries in Durango co, Durango co dispensary, marijuana dispensary, dispensary Durango co, The Greenery, durango, co, durango dispensary, durango dispensaries, legal marijuana

I sold marijuana to a man who showed me a license from Alabama when I asked for his I.D., and after I handed him his order, he just stood there and stared at the bag in his hands. The moment stretched on, seeming stranger by the second, so I asked if everything was okay.

“No,” he said, “It is not… I’m standing here holding this while my cousin is in prison back home for doing the exact same thing.”

His expression was complex, troubled. I’m sure he knew it was an injustice—the fact that people get locked up in brick boxes just for possessing a plant—before coming into our dispensary, but as he stood there holding legal marijuana, I think he felt it for the first time. And his face showed it. He wore this mashup look of frustration and indignation and profound confusion, and every single emotion he felt was justified: right now, there’re plenty of people in this country sentenced to life in prison for marijuana possession, and that’s a hard thing to wrap your head around when you’re standing in a marijuana store. Know what I mean? We all know there’s nothing wrong with pot, and we all know there are still places in this country that haven’t figured it out, but none of us really knows it until we’re connected. We never feel the deep depravity of the injustice until we have two personal things to compare, like a bag of pot in our hands juxtaposed against a cousin back home who won’t get out for another decade or two, just for holding some weed.

Anyway, the man and I talked about it for a while, I told him that I understood the way he felt, and then he turned to leave, still shaking his head dumbfoundedly as he walked through the door. But I kept thinking about the encounter long after the man left, and doing so helped me realize exactly how much I love Colorado. And no, I don’t love this place just because of the sensible marijuana laws, but rather, I love it because it’s the type of place that can have those laws in the first place. Get it? Our marijuana laws are just a symptom of how tolerant we are, how openminded—we’re not cool because we have legal weed, we have legal weed because we’re cool. It’s an important distinction to make, and frankly, it’s why so many tourists cross our border every year. In fact, we’ve broken our tourism record every year for the last five years, and now, nearly eighty-million people come to this state every year just to see how awesome it is, and they spend around nineteen-billion dollars along the way. We have wonderful people and wonderful scenery; we have wonderful weed and plenty of 420 friendly places where you can enjoy it. Do you think the man from Alabama could say the same thing about his home state? Well, that’s why he wore that look.

We have a large map on the wall in our dispensary, and when customers from out-of-state come in, they usually walk over to it, find the little dot they call home, and stick in a pin from the little box we keep stocked on the table right below. After three years, that map looks like a pincushion, and each one of the pins sticking here or there is like a testimony against illegal weed—if that map were a voodoo doll representing marijuana criminalization, it’d be dead by now, and weed would be legal everywhere. But it isn’t, and every day I work, I meet at least four people from out-of-state who’ve never shopped in a dispensary. After all, The Greenery is the closest dispensary to New Mexico, and we’re the closest dispensary to the Durango airport, so we’re usually the first stop for tourists who come in for a weekend spent where marijuana laws are reasonable. And these tourists usually ask the same question before shopping: “Um, I’m from out-of-state. Is it okay for me to buy marijuana?” Of course, I always say, “YES!” a little too emphatically, and then I tell them all the stuff I’m about to tell you…

It’s perfectly legal for nonresidents to buy marijuana in Colorado so long as they’re twenty-one years of age or older, and so long as they have a valid and acceptable form of identification. Driver’s licenses from all fifty states work, as do passports. Once upon a time, people from out-of-state weren’t allowed to purchase as much marijuana as Colorado residents, but that restriction is long-gone (once again, because Colorado is sensible). Nonresidents are allowed to buy up to one ounce of flower in a single purchase, but that’s not something you’ll need to worry about because we’ll never sell you in a single transaction more than you’re allowed to have on your person, because at The Greenery, we follow the Colorado marijuana laws down to the letter. Other than that, all you need to know is that marijuana can only be consumed on private property with the property owner’s permission, and it’s illegal to transport any marijuana products across state lines. Pretty straightforward, right?

But again, sometimes things like this don’t click until you’re standing there, holding something tangible, so please, if you have any questions after reading this, just give us a call at (970) 403-3710, or come in and talk to one of our friendly and knowledgeable budtenders. The Greenery is located at 208 Parker Avenue, Durango, Colorado 81303. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about marijuana, regardless of where you’re from, because We’re Your Best Buds!

Colorado Marijuana Laws

Dispensary, Durango dispensary, the greenery, the greenery Durango, dispensary Durango, cbd oil, dispensaries in Durango Colorado, dispensaries in Durango co, Durango co dispensary, marijuana dispensary, dispensary Durango co, Colorado Marijuana Laws, cannabis laws, driving high, recreational marijuana, western slope

Every so often, after I’ve sold someone marijuana in our dispensary and handed over his or her order, he or she will look at me as if they’ve been left holding the bag (quite literally). He or she will hold their pot like it might bite, and then he or she will confess: “Um… this is my first time buying marijuana legally… what’re the rules?”

Honestly, I’ve had to assure customers in the past that they wouldn’t be arrested as soon as they left—as if our store were nothing more than a trap rigged by the man—and I understand; one hundred years’ worth of nonsensical marijuana laws are bound to make the first-time shopper a little nervous. So, when I encounter the “now what?” type of question, I always do my best to assuage the fears associated with purchasing marijuana, and I give those first-time shoppers a little legal lecture that goes something like this:

“Here at The Greenery, we always staple your bag shut with the receipt on the outside—as soon as we do this, your purchase becomes a ‘closed container,’ and so long as you keep it that way and out of the driver’s reach, you’re good-to-go regarding traffic stops.” At this point, I usually staple the bag for emphasis, and then I continue…

“And it’s perfectly legal to possess the amount I’ve sold you. But in case you were wondering, in Colorado, you can legally possess a maximum of either one ounce of marijuana flower, eight-hundred milligrams of edibles, eight grams of concentrate, or any combination thereof that does not exceed the ‘marijuana equivalency rules.’ For example, you’re allowed to have on your person a half-ounce of flower, two grams of concentrate, and two-hundred milligrams of edibles. But you don’t need to worry about that when you shop here because we will never sell you more in a single transaction than you’re allowed to possess.” This is usually when my fearful first-timer will start to relax…

“Also, you must be 21 or over with a valid ID proving as much to purchase or possess marijuana, but you already knew that because I carded you when you walked in the door. And it’s important to remember that it’s a felony to give or sell marijuana to a minor.”

For the record, this is one of the longstanding marijuana laws that I agree with wholeheartedly. I have a teenaged daughter, and another one who isn’t far behind, so I have strong opinions when it comes to children and marijuana. And just like with alcohol, kids will walk around “tapping shoulders,” as they call it, asking grownups to go to the dispensary for them. It’s important for first-timers and regulars alike to know that saying “yes” is a federal offence, and at The Greenery, we simply will not sell to a customer who we suspect might’ve had his or her shoulder tapped. Anyway, moving on…

“When it comes to driving, it’s important to remember that it’s illegal for a driver or passenger to consume or use marijuana in a vehicle, and just like with alcohol, it’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. The legal limit is five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, and it’s very easy to get to this limit, so please don’t smoke and drive.”

At this point, the first-timer is usually completely at ease, but they might have a follow up question or two, like, “well, if I can’t smoke in my car, where can I smoke?”

“Well,” I say, “it’s illegal to consume marijuana in public. You’re only allowed to smoke or consume marijuana on private property with the property owner’s permission. If you’re staying at a hotel, just ask someone at the front desk if it’s okay, because plenty of the establishments in Durango are 420 friendly.”

And that’s about it. I’ll ask if there are any other questions, I’ll answer them if there are, and then the first-timer and I will part ways, usually with a handshake. Today, I simply wanted to be proactive and write about Colorado’s marijuana rules and regulations because you might be a potential first-timer, and this is stuff you need to know. But if it’s still a little foggy, just check out Good to Know for more information. Or, if you’d prefer, just stop by our dispensary; we have flyers in our store you can take for free that sum up everything you just read. And as always, please don’t ever be afraid to come in and ask one of our affable budtenders about the rules and regulations. We’ll make sure your first-timer frown turns upside-down, because We’re Your Best Buds, and that’s what we do.

420 Friendly in Durango, Colorado

pre-roll, joint, 420, 420 friendly, marijuana, cannabis, weed, pot, smoke

420, smoke weed, pot, marijuana, dispensary, dispensaries

Just about everybody knows that “420” has something to do with pot, and just about everybody knows that “420 friendly” has something to do with businesses that support recreational marijuana use. But do you know where “420” comes from?

As it turns out, some kids in California coined the term, but I didn’t know that when I was a college freshman. At the time, I lived in Eugene, Oregon. My balcony overlooked Pine Street, and I remember watching from my lawn chair as all the other college kids went to class, exercised on the streets, did all the things college kids were supposed to do. I remember the taste of that west coast weed, I remember the deep bass bleeding from our living room speakers, and I remember laughing with my friends as we smoked our way into oblivion at 4:20 on some random afternoon.

Eugene is a verdant place, where the heat is ripe and everybody looks like they belong in an outdoors magazine. It’s a liberal college town, one so quintessential that you’ve seen it in movies, and pot was just a part of life. We got high every day at 4:20 because that’s what you were supposed to do. We had our rituals, we used alarm clocks. But we thought “420” was the call-code cops used to radio in a charge for marijuana possession. It made sense: when Snoop Dog said “187 on an undercover cop,” he meant murder; the band 311 chose their name because “311” is the call-code for indecent exposure; “420” obviously had something to do with cops and smoking pot (which is why it was so cool). But I was young and clueless—sometimes, clichés really do fit best—and I didn’t know the truth:

Back in 1971, there was group of Californian kids who called themselves the “Waldos,” and San Rafael was their hood. They were athletic teenaged boys and best friends. I’m sure they wore sweatbands in their shaggy hair, and striped socks pulled all the way up to their knees—I’m sure their music was loud, and I’m sure the ‘66 Impala they drove around town still felt modern and new.

One day, one of the Waldos heard about a military man who lived in the Point Reyes Forest. He was shipping out somewhere, leaving his post on the peninsula, and he wouldn’t be around to guard his pot-patch, growing somewhere out in the forest. One of the Waldos even had a treasure map. So, they made a plan: every day after school and track, they’d meet at 4:20 by a Louis Pasteur statue next to the wall behind which they usually got stoned (incidentally, this wall put the “wall” in “Waldos”). They’d start smoking immediately, and then they’d drive out into the Point Reyes Forest. They’d get out of that ‘66 Impala and they’d roam the loamy forest floor, hunting through the dappled sunlight for a hidden glen of unguarded pot plants. They never found what they were looking for, even after two weeks’ worth of searching, but they did find a form of immortality, because the Waldos created something that’ll live on forever.

The rest of the story is easy-cheesy: one of the Waldos had a loose connection to one of the Grateful Dead, and “420” found a carrier, just like the common cold. And it spread through the Waldos’ school, like things do. The virgin-minded freshmen watched with awe as the Waldos got high behind their wall, and after each graduating class, the Waldos lived on, reincarnated in a younger troop. After time, those two weeks’ worth of raiding into the Point Reyes Forest were forgotten, but the time to get high wasn’t: school still ended at the same time, so did track practice, and that statue of Pasture still stood watch over the new kids, doing his best to keep their minds from curdling. The original Waldos grew up and moved and had children of their own, and the origin story behind 420 was diluted with myth and by geography until it found me sitting on that balcony in Eugene, smoking my way into oblivion, convinced in totality that my alarm was going off because of a police call-code.

Anyway, seventeen years later, businesses have started adopting “420 friendly” as a lowkey way to advertise that they’re cool with pot; it provides for their customers an appreciated level of discretion. And at least five times a day, someone will come in and ask me if I know of any 420-friendly places in town. First and foremost, I tell these customers that per Colorado state law, marijuana can only be smoked on private property with the property owner’s permission. Quite a few of the local hotels that have smoking rooms will allow you to smoke marijuana in their rooms, but here’s the important part: always ask first. I know it might seem a bit counterintuitive to ask someone at the front desk if it’s okay to get high in your room, but trust me, these people are used to the question, so there’s no point in being timid (after all, it’s legal now). And if you’re staying in a hotel that doesn’t allow in-room smoking, just ask if you can use their designated smoking area—the same principal applies, and if you get permission, everything is peachy on the legal front.

And there are a few other businesses in town with outdoor seating that don’t mind too much if you get high on their property, especially if you’re using something discrete, like a marijuana vape pen (again, always ask). But if you’re still leery on the legality, please feel free to come into The Greenery and ask one of our knowledgeable budtenders about the regulations; after all, The Greenery is the friendliest 420-friendly place in town. We’ll tell you when and where you can smoke, and we’ll do our best to make sure your 4:20 is comfortable and legal, because We’re Your Best Buds, and that’s what we do.

Children and Marijuana

children and marijuana, legal marijuana, legal pot, teens and marijuana,

You can pick your platitude—oil and water, family and business, drinking and texting—because they all work: children and marijuana don’t mix. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience: I was one of those not-so-good children who started smoking way too early, and I have a precocious teen who smells a little suspicious from time to time. She’ll walk in our door after a night out and start being super nice, which for a teen, is a dead giveaway that something is amiss (the red eyes and copious amounts of perfume round out the trifecta of obviously-stoned-minor). Of course, I tell her that smoking pot at such a young age isn’t the best of ideas, and of course, she always comes back with the classic teenaged rejoinder: “dad, you smoke, and you work in a dispensary, so you’re a hypocrite.” But am I? Am I failing to practice what I preach, as my daughter would have you believe, or am I making a prudent parenting choice by yelling “hell no” every time my daughter thinks it’s okay to ask her parent who works in this industry for marijuana? Well, I’ll tell you the same thing I tell her, and let you decide. And if you’re a parent, please take notes because this information might come in handy.

The first issue to consider is addiction. Most professionals in my situation will tell you that marijuana isn’t addictive, and to an extent, this is true because all the studies out there show that the human body doesn’t become chemically dependent on cannabis, even after long-term use. As a side note, did you know that it’s actually possible to die from alcohol addiction withdrawals? Crazy, right? Anyway, while marijuana might not be chemically addictive (like every other recreational drug known to man), I will admit that it’s possible to become emotionally addicted to pot. For the record, it’s also possible to become emotionally addicted to donuts, and diabetes will kill you, so I’d still argue that pot is safe for adults.

The National Institute for Drug Abuse calls an emotional addiction to weed “marijuana use disorder,” and as a parent, it’s important to know that teens who start smoking at a young age are four to seven times more likely to develop this condition. The reason for this is simple: the frontal lobe of a child’s brain (the place where decisions happen) isn’t fully developed. If a child makes a decision, like using marijuana as a coping mechanism, and the decision turns out to feel beneficial, the choice becomes validated mentally and the teen becomes more likely to make the same decision over and over again. The teen will start to rely on marijuana as a crutch because it worked out the first time—this same thing can happen with alcohol and sex and all the other things we try to steer our children away from. That’s why it’s important to have an adult’s maturity and life experience before smoking pot: we know what’s responsible and right, just as we know what’s just a temporary fix, like getting high.

The health risks associated with marijuana use also need to be considered. The truth is that we just don’t know what happens to children when they smoke because it hasn’t been studied sufficiently. True, we know for a fact that medical marijuana offers a much better alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals when it comes to treating seizures, the pain and appetite loss associated with cancer, and many other illnesses that befall the young, but we really don’t know what stems from chronic recreational marijuana use by children. The experts say it might interfere with cognitive development or that it might lead to a lower IQ, but only time will tell. And that’s why it’s important to arm yourself with something better than “I’m a grownup and it’s legal for me, and you’re a kid who will get in trouble, so that’s why I can smoke and you cannot.” Teens will rebel against such a line with all the angst in their arsenal, and it’s important to tell them the truth: children who use marijuana might become dependent or underdeveloped mentally, and they don’t have the maturity needed to make good decisions about repetitive marijuana use because their brains aren’t as developed as an adult’s. Saying something like this to your child will shut them right up because no amount of teenaged attitude will defeat facts and logic, and there’s no way they’ll be able to call you a hypocrite.

At The Greenery, we take this issue very, very seriously. We’re stewards of this industry, and quite a few of us are parents; we don’t want our kids smoking pot just like we don’t want your kids smoking pot. We card everyone who walks through our door, and if the ID doesn’t prove that someone is twenty-one-years old, we kick that someone out our door with quickness. But this doesn’t mean that we don’t support an adult’s right to smoke marijuana openly if they have children. That’s why we provide for parents in our dispensary educational pamphlets on how to talk to your teen about marijuana, that’s why we write blogs like this one, and that’s why we’ll take the time with any customer who asks to talk about being responsible with marijuana around children. Doing so is completely possible. We recommend that adults keep their marijuana locked away from their children, just like a responsible parent would do with alcohol and firearms. And believe it or not, there’re products on the market designed to help you get it done. There’re lockable, odor-proof stashboxes out there like this one—hell, there’re even safes out there like this one that’re designed specifically for keeping marijuana edibles in the refrigerator. All the tools you’ll need to be a responsible, marijuana-smoking parent are out there; you just need to look, and you just need to ask. So please, do exactly that. Come in to The Greenery and pick up one of the pamphlets I mentioned, or ask one of our budtenders about ways to keep your marijuana use discrete. We’ll give you the tools and advice you need, because that’s what Your Best Buds are for.