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The Greenery Grow

I was a teenager the first time I saw a marijuana plant. It was a sickly thing, growing stunted and slightly brown in an Alaskan basement, but it was still wonderful.

My friend had modified his chest-of-drawers. He’d taken the fronts off each drawer, and then he’d nailed them back onto the front of his bureau. And then he’d hinged the entire front face of his chest-of-drawers so it would open, like some sort of secret enclave. He’d drilled a hole in the back and wired it for electricity, and then he’d lined the inside with tinfoil to make it reflective. A single grow light had been hung in the top, and a fan was attached right below it. In the dark of night, glowing light escaped from the cracks in my friend’s modified bureau and the whole thing hummed with the fan’s white noise—my friend’s chest-of-drawers looked and sounded haunted, as if a porthole to another dimension were contained inside instead of a growing plant. It was downright Narnian.

And it really was mystical the first time I saw my friend’s contraption. He took me down into his basement—we told his parents we were doing homework—and he stood in front of his chest-of-drawers with a wide smile, looking like a gameshow host about to do a big reveal. He unlatched the front of his bureau and then he swung it open while singing out a single note, as if what he was showing me were holy: the inside of my friend’s invention was gleaming golden with a little green plant right in the middle, and it blew my mind. My friend was MacGyver! How the hell had he figured out a way to grow marijuana in his parent’s house without them noticing? How’d they overlooked the fact that my friend had stopped putting away his clothes because he’d turned his chest-of-drawers into a grow room? I was dumfounded, and twenty years later, I still shake my head in awe when I think back to that moment.

But the first time I saw a growing pot plant was nothing like the most recent time: our head grower gave me a tour of The Greenery’s Grow, and the experience was so striking that I simply had to write about it. For the record, marijuana is a weed, plain and simple. If you walked by a ditch and threw in a few pot seeds like a cooler version of Johnny Appleseed, they’d eventually sprout and grow into flowering marijuana. But ditch-weed is a far cry from the flower that a master grower can produce, and the product that comes from our grow is simply the best in town because our cultivation team takes the art seriously:

Before walking into our facility, Mike had me step into a shallow rubber tray containing a mild solution of bleach and water. And before walking further, I had to step on a huge mat of sticky paper (kind of like flypaper for humans) to remove all the unwanted particulates from the outside world that might’ve hitched a ride on my shoes. Once inside, it felt like I was standing in a laboratory. There were professionally labeled metallic tents everywhere, looking like they came straight from NASA. There was a huge bottle of CO2 secured to the outside of the building; it pumped in regimented amounts of the gas pot-plants like to eat. There was a maze of custom air conditioning ductwork webbing across the ceiling; there were light-emitting ceramic lights humming above the plants like artificial suns; there were professionally constructed trellises around the plants and mounted fans to give the plants healthy stress. And the plants themselves were beautiful: huge colas of crystalline flower bowing their stems with weight, perfuming the air with an intoxicating smell. Everything was perfect, and the amount of thought and effort and science that went into our grow facility made me proud to be a part of this company, if I’m being honest, because this sort of thing matters. And I’ll tell you why.

Every so often, someone will come into our dispensary looking for a specific strain, and last Friday, one such man came in looking for True Berry. No kidding, he said it was the “best strain for meditative flute playing.” I smiled, told the man he was in luck, and then I let him smell a sample of our Greenery-grown True Berry. And as soon as I did, I could see via his expression that that he’d found something unexpected. His eyes got wide and he looked up, saying with his face that this was the best pot he’d ever smelled. So, I told him all about it, and I told him about our grow. I told him how we use living soil instead of hydroponics, and I told him that we use predatorial bugs instead of insecticides. I told him that we grow it in small batches, just like distilling fine whiskey, and I told him that he wouldn’t find a better True Berry flower anywhere else in the world. And because of the effort put in by our growers, I wasn’t lying.

So please, if you’d like to experience what it’s like to smoke something grown with true skill in a real grow facility (or if you’re looking for the best meditative-flute-playing marijuana in the world), just check out our menu to see if we’re selling Greenery-grown True Berry. And then come in so one of our budtenders can show you exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll see that we really do have the best pot in town, and you’ll see why we say We’re Your Best Buds!

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Best Bud of the Month

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Mike Michon
Cultivation Manager

It came up casually in my conversation with Mike that he’s seen Phish in concert fifty-two times. He said it like it was no big deal, nothing out of the ordinary. But it is, and I stopped him halfway into a new subject so we could talk about it:

Me: “Dear god man, seriously? Fifty-two times?”
Mike: “Yeah, some people think it’s strange.”
Me: “Actually, that’s pretty badass.”
Mike: “Yes! There’re so many people out there who aren’t passionate about anything. You need something like that in life, whether it’s mountain biking or model trains or Phish.”
Me: “… I like model trains. Especially the tiny ones.”
Mike: “Damnit. Now I want a train.”

Mr. Michon is The Greenery’s Senior Cultivation Manager; he’s our Master Grower. He spends his days about five minutes out of town tending our grow with a level of skill that borders on wizardry. And that’s not something I’m writing just to promote the weed we grow and sell; Mike’s pot is sublime. His Pakistani Chitral Kush is so good it made me want to get a “PCK” lower-back tattoo—Mike’s Indiana Bubblegum is so good it made me regret the tattoo I wanted to get because “IB” is the only pot for me.

Anyway, I sat down with Mike over the weekend and conducted one of the most entertaining interviews to date. However, I had to redact about ninety percent of what follows because Mike pulled the “off-the-record” card no fewer than twelve times (and for pretty good reason). Here’s the G-rated version:

Q: When did you start working for The Greenery?
Mike: “June 9th, 2016.”

Q. What’s your favorite way to enjoy marijuana?
Mike: “Joints. And Grape Ape is my favorite strain.”

Q. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Mike: “Snowboarding.”

Q: Tell us about your pet.
Mike:Walfredo is a border collie named after a Phish song.”

Q. Which station do you stream while you’re working at The Greenery?
Mike: “Grateful Dead Radio. It’s channel twenty-three on Sirius XM, but I hate Sirius XM. I’m only listening to it because of the free introductory subscription that came with my new truck. But yeah… I love The Grateful Dead.”

Q: What do you like most about working at The Greenery?
Mike: “I like plants better than people. And real jobs are a shame.”

Mike gave that last answer with a smile. I laughed. But below the hilarity lives a truth—I can’t imagine how peaceful it must be to work with those plants all day, to care for them and feed them as you walk slowly through the verdure, calmed as you go by the intoxicating perfume all around. Mike is lucky to have such a station in life, but we’re just as lucky to have him on our side, because Mike is the type of person who doesn’t suffer from a dearth of passions—he isn’t “one of those people.” He loves his dog and his Phish, he loves his east coast hockey and his deep-dish pizza, and he loves growing marijuana. He takes these things seriously, and because he grows for us, we reap the benefits: thanks to Mike, The Greenery sells the best marijuana in Durango, Colorado. And that, my friends, is why Mike Michon is your Best Bud for September. Thank you, sir!

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Marijuana Edible Serving Size

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“I ate way too many edibles this one time,” said every stoner, ever. For real. Everyone I know who enjoys the occasional edible has a similar horror story—one they look back on with an embarrassed shake of the head—because eating one milligram too many is an easy thing to do. So, as a stopgap, I’m going to share my story with you, and then I’ll tell you how to avoid the same mistake. Here it is:

I have my medical card, so I have to be especially careful—The Greenery is a recreational-only dispensary, so our edibles are limited to ten milligrams of THC per serving, but the medical shops around town don’t live under the same restrictions: I’ve seen them sell one-hundred-milligram brownies that’re small enough to eat in one bite, and that’s just scary, when you think about it (but I’ll get to that in a second).

Before I hired on here, I shopped at a medical place downtown. The sour gummies they sold were my favorite. Each gummy was ten milligrams, and two of them would put me exactly where I needed to be. But this one time (see?), the company that made my favorite sour gummies doubled their per-piece dosage. Nobody told me. And I’d just made it through an especially trying week, so I decided to have three gummies instead of two, because, you know… dumb. Anyway, as soon as the flavor faded from my mouth after gummy-number-three, something on the package caught my eye. I read on. And then the “oh shit” bubble appeared over my head as I realized I’d just eaten sixty milligrams instead of a hearty thirty. I got a glass of water and hunkered down with my afghan. Crazy things were coming…

I’m going to take a break here and tell you what you’re supposed to do if you eat too many edibles: stay hydrated, and remind yourself that the world isn’t ending. Pot isn’t anything like alcohol or narcotics, and for an adult, it impossible to overdose, even on edibles. All you need to do is find a safe place, drink water, and weather the storm, because nothing about marijuana is permanent. Anyway, let’s get back to it…

My story doesn’t end like a few of the good ones I’ve heard: I didn’t end up marooned in a tree or lost topless at a music festival. But I did end up on my bed, small and bundled as I fought the panic with the fetal position. I’m not going to minimize the feeling just because I’m a proponent of selling edibles to people; it’s my job to be honest with you and that’s what I’m going to do.

That night, it felt like my brain was interdimensional.

The world around me shrank and expanded, and I lost communication with my extremities somewhere along the way—there were dizzying thoughts and tumbling worries, and I just wanted it to end. Of course, I eventually passed out after an hour that was amusing only in retrospect, and the next morning, everything was right as rain. I didn’t even have a marijuana hangover, because they don’t exist. But I’ll tell you here and now that taking sixty milligrams of edible marijuana is something I’ll never do again.

But really, that doesn’t do you any good because everyone is different when it comes to edibles. We all have different metabolisms. So, while sixty milligrams might be a Hunter S. Thompson novel for me, the same dosage might not do a damn thing for you: everyone must find their own dosage. The trick is to take it slowly and not be reckless (you know, pretty much the way you’re supposed to live life), because if you do it right, an edible high is a wonderful, warm thing that you’ll want to relive over and over. So, I recommend that you start by taking a single serving, or less, and then gauge the effects. As I mentioned, at recreational shops in Colorado, everything tops out at ten milligrams per serving and one-hundred milligrams per package, so the “single serving” you should start with is ten milligrams. I rarely repeat myself or use bold typeface, but this occasion warrants a break from tradition.

Secondly, after you eat those ten milligrams, wait a solid hour before even thinking about eating more. That boldness was justified, too. For most people, it takes an entire hour before edibles start affecting the brain, and it takes two hours before you feel the full effect; the last thing you want to do is get impatient and toss more kindling into the fire. And after an hour, if the effect isn’t strong enough, remember that THC is lipid-soluble. If you’re not feeling anything, eat a handful of peanuts or half an avocado; the healthy fat will get down there and help the pot do its magic; it’s a symbiotic trick that’ll save you from an experience like mine.

Third, if you’re small like my wife, I’d recommend taking it a step further and halving that “single serving.” At The Greenery, we sell quite a few edibles that come in five milligram servings—like Highly Edible Pucks or Mountain High Sweet Pieces or Dixie Mints—and if you have a low THC tolerance, this might be the place to start.

And lastly, don’t feel like you need to remember all of this, and please don’t let it scare you away from a good time. Edible marijuana is the greatest invention since marijuana-infused sliced bread (learn how to bake it here), and all you need to do is be responsible when you experiment. As to remembering it all, at The Greenery, every single one of our budtenders knows what you just read—if you have questions, come in and ask them. If you buy edibles, and you’re interested, we’ll even throw into your bag a cheat-sheet that talks that talks about dosages and times so you don’t have to take notes. That’s the least we can do, because we’re Your Best Buds, and we want you to have a safe, enjoyable, edible time.

The Greenery Hits a Theme Song

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Darth Vader is cool only because he has theme music. Granted, the lightsaber helps a little bit, as does his freaky ability to choke fools from a distance, but if it wasn’t for the sonorous, tonal music that follows Vader wherever he goes, he’d be average at best. All the other aliens in that far, far away galaxy wouldn’t even notice when he walked in the room, despite his awkward breathing, and there’s no way he could pull off that goth cape without his theme song. It’s sad, but true.

That’s why I’ve always wanted theme music. Sometimes, when I’m especially high, my brain obliges. I’ll be walking from point “A” to point “B,” and something groovy will start playing in my head. My walk will morph into a strut, and I’ll start humming “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees. The world around me will slow down and start to sparkle, and I’ll bob my head to the rhythm. And if that were to ever happen in the real-world, I’d know that I’ve arrived, because anybody who’s anybody has theme music.

Think about it. When the President of the United States steps up to the podium, he’s accompanied by brazen fanfare—an entire orchestra announces his arrival with pomp and circumstance. When Stephan Colbert steps on stage, his audience knows it thanks to his Late Show theme song. Hell, a couple years ago at The Oscars, Tom Hanks got pissed-off because the band played the Forest Gump song when he walked on stage instead of the song from whatever movie he starred in that week; Tom Hanks is so famous he has multiple theme songs. That’s just crazy. But now, The Greenery is catching up to his level, because we have a theme song too—put that in your box of chocolates, Mr. Gump.

Dexter Davis is a student at Arkansas State, an artist who goes by ICEberg Slim, and he sent us his song a few weeks back. It’s called “The Greenery,” and really, it’s just a happy coincidence; the song has nothing in common with our dispensary save for its title, and Slim has never walked through our door. But theme songs don’t just fall from the sky every day, so for this blog, at least, we’re coopting Slim’s song as our own. And the song is alright. It sounds like the type of music Shaft would wake-and-bake to—warm and scratchy, vinyl straight from the turntable, it’s an old-school stoner jam.

Listen to it here, and then come in to tell us what you think. Feel free to walk through our door humming your own personal theme song, because your best buds won’t judge you. We know exactly what it’s like having a theme song, thanks to Dexter Davis, and just like Darth Vader, The Greenery has arrived.

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Dexter Davis, aka ICEberg Slim, at a recent performance.

Indica vs. Sativa

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There’re over four-thousand different strains of marijuana growing across the globe, sprouting like the wondrous weeds they are, but each of them falls into one of two categories: Indica or Sativa. Of course, most strains have been crossbred so many times that it’s difficult to tell which is which, and just about everything out there is a hybrid thanks to the incestuous way plants get together and make more plants—after decades of desultory pollination, there’s no longer a definite line in the sand between the two categories, and that can make things difficult when you’re chasing the effects that come from one side or the other.

But at The Greenery, we’re here to help. We know the lineage of each strain we sell and we’ve smoked all of them. We can tell you which bud will make you sleepy, which bud will perk you up, just like that Cheshire cat could tell Alice which side would make her bigger, which side would make her small. But before we get into specific strains, we should discuss the two, overarching categories so you have a jumping off place; we’ll start with Sativa.

You probably drew a Sativa leaf on your notebook back in high school. Yes, all pot leaves have the same number of fronds and they’re instantly recognizable thanks to the jagged edges, but Sativa leaves are a little different than their fatter Indica cousins. They’re light green and thin and they spread out perfectly to form the symbol we use for all marijuana. And the plant itself is special too. It can grow into a veritable tree, standing over two-stories high if you let it, but most varieties top-out at around ten feet.

Sativa is a day-time pot. The high is energetic and creative, and it’ll give you a bright haze that’s perfect for summer days, happy times. These cerebral strains live in your head and pollinate your thoughts with creativity, they make you giggle and go out, connect with what’s important. Sativa strains should remind you of tie-died T-shirts and road trips and the highlife we’ve been trying to recapture from the hippie days our parents reminisce about. And from a medical standpoint, these strains can battle back pain and headaches and depression, and for some, they can even act as an appetite suppressor, thereby destroying the “munchies” stereotype you see in cliché pot movies. However, I’d be lax if I didn’t tell you about Sativa’s darker side, so I’ll be honest about the possible negative side effects: with one puff too many, these strains are more likely to bring with them anxiety and paranoia. But you know what? Given that traditional pharmaceuticals and other recreational drugs (like booze) can kill you, I’d say a little anxiety is worth it (there’s no such thing as a pot writer who doesn’t toss in a caveat like that, so please forgive me).

Now, on to Indica—these varieties are famous for their dark green, broad leaves, and a musky scent. The plants themselves are short and squat, usually topping out at about six feet, and they’re originally from India and the Middle East (ergo, the name). Indica is a nighttime pot, perfect for good movies and comfortable blankets thanks to the body-high these strains bring with them. This strain should remind you of relaxed, fragrant evenings and smiling camels and that odd sitar music that makes sand dunes so exotic. Medicinally speaking, Indica strains can help with appetite stimulation and insomnia and anxiety relief. But one puff too many can put you down, and lethargy or insatiable munchies are the worst you can expect. It’s a cheesy one-liner, but all you need to remember is that “Indica will put you in-da-couch.” It’s the down to Sativa’s up, the mellow yin to Sativa’s energetic yang. And it’s wonderful.

Personally, before I started working in a dispensary, I used to think that Indica was the way to go, and that Sativa wasn’t for me. And now, I meet people who think the same way (or visa-versa) every day. They’ll come in and say something like “I hate Sativa because it makes me paranoid,” and they’ll ignore completely any of our Sativa-dominant hybrids. For the record, I don’t judge these people because my tastes used to run parallel to theirs. But now I’ve learned a few things, and I share them with as many customers as possible. At The Greenery, we always have at least ten, top-shelf strains available for purchase—five are Indica-dominant, and five are Sativa-dominant. You can see them here on our menu.

However, it’s the “dominant” in the description you need to pay attention to, because like I said, there’s really no such thing as a pure Indica or a pure Sativa anymore because just about everything out there has been mixed with everything else. But you know what? This is a good thing. Now, if you ask the right people (like us), you can find a perfect 50/50 hybrid that’ll give you both the head high that comes from Sativa and the body high that comes from Indica. If you come in and ask us, we can show you 70/30 strains that lean closer to the Sativa side of the spectrum—these can give you creativity and relaxation at the same time which can be sublimely mind-blowing. Or we can point you towards a 70/30 Indica-leaning strain that’ll bring with it deep body relaxation and a touch of the giggles. Isn’t that awesome?

Seriously, here at The Greenery, we can do that for you, and we won’t lead you astray as you bounce back and forth in the Indica vs. Sativa battle. Come in and tell us the specific high you’re looking for, and we’ll give you options. We’ll let you smell them and buy them at a fair price, and we’ll pay attention to your feedback. That’s how it should be, and that’s how it is with Your Best Buds.

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The Greenery menu description for an Indica-dominant strain.