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The Greenery 3.0

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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!

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Buying Marijuana in Colorado for Nonresidents

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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

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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.

Children and Marijuana

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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.

Marijuana Sales Tax

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Easter Island is a dark place. It’s an atoll sheltered by isolation deep within the Pacific Ocean, and it’s hard to hear the lessons that island screams because it’s too far away—leagues of surf and time have quieted the prescient warning. Think about it: when you first read the words “Easter Island,” you pictured one of those gigantic stone heads and scoffed at the notion that something so comical could come from a “dark place,” so you probably don’t believe me; you probably don’t know that those gigantic stone heads are the only remnants of a once proud culture that committed suicide with greed.

As a side note, yes, this is a blog about marijuana taxation, and yes, I promise to get to that in a second, but first, we need to go back a little bit (just bear with me because I promise it’ll all make sense in the end). So, here we go…

The Moai

The Rapa Nui were fierce voyagers. They made their clothing from palm fronds, their skin was covered with black tattoos. They lived off the ocean and first made landfall on the shores of Easter Island around thirteen-hundred years ago. Back then, the island was a paradise. It was tall and safe, with sheltering cliffs that broke incoming storms—egg-laying birds had made a rookery out of those cliffs, and the flocks were thick enough to feed all the Rapa Nui. The high-rolling hills of Easter Island were forested with budding fruit trees, the valleys were verdant and rich with fresh water. And the island lizards were so majestic that rainbows shot out of their asses every morning at sunrise… That last sentence wasn’t one-hundred percent accurate, but you get the point: the Rapa Nui had found a home better than the sea, so there they stayed.

But then one day, some dude carved one of those gigantic stone heads. And then some other dude on the other side of the island saw the gigantic stone head and decided to carve his own. This one was a little bit bigger, a little bit better. The carving started to spread. Things started to change. The Rapa Nui started felling their forests faster than the fronds could grow. Wood was needed for scaffolding and for the moving of larger and larger stones, and barren patches started to appear on the rolling hills of Easter Island like a metastasized cancer. The rookeries were picked clean, and if the biologists are to be believed, an entire species of cliff-dwelling seabird was eaten into extinction because the Rapa Nui were too busy carving gigantic stone heads to farm. The meat ran out and the forests disappeared and those island people who once lived on the sea turned to the caves. They dug into the hills, and in the end when things were at their worst, the Rapa Nui embraced cannibalism. The last man died one-thousand years after the first man landed, and all they left behind was a barren island covered with eight-hundred and eighty-seven gigantic stone heads called “The Moai.”

Greed did that; greed did all of that. And it’s not like our species has evolved that much in the three-hundred years that’ve passed since the Rapa Nui started eating each other; that same brand of insular capitalization is alive and well in our culture today. When we stumble upon something good, we milk it and milk it until there’s not much left to bleed dry, and then we move on to the next craze, the next thing to consume and use up. Today, right here right now in Durango, Colorado, we’re milking recreational marijuana by taxing the hell out of it.

For the record, I’m not saying that if we overtax marijuana we’ll turn to cannibalism like the Rapa Nui because that would be far too hyperbolic even for someone who smokes as much as I do. But I am saying that if we’re not responsible—if we don’t battle back the greed that defines our species—we’ll ruin something wonderful just as it’s starting to grow. And in that vein, the amount of sales tax that’s applied to recreational marijuana in this town is ludicrous. I’ll give you an example to prove my point. The total sales tax someone in Durango pays when he or she buys alcohol is 7.9%; three percent goes to the city, two percent goes to the county, and the remainder goes to the state. But when someone buys recreational marijuana in this town, he or she pays 20% in sales tax; three percent goes to the city, two percent goes to the county, and an exorbitant fifteen percent goes to the state of Colorado (and to make it more confusing, fifteen percent of that fifteen percent also comes back to Durango).

Doesn’t that seem somewhat unfair? I mean seriously, wouldn’t you think that the root cause behind drunk-driving fatalities should be taxed more than the reason this town is seeing such a boom in tourism? And to make it worse, “they” are considering a five percent increase in marijuana-related sales taxes in this town, thereby charging more than three times the rate levied against alcohol sales. The bump would all go to our city. It sucks, but you can read about it here in The Durango Herald if you’d like (a couple of your Best Buds from The Greenery were even interviewed).

To switch gears, I will admit that from the outside looking in, it probably seems like local marijuana dispensaries are making money hand over fist, and it probably seems like a good idea to tax the hell out of legal weed so this town can prosper. But unfortunately, statements like these are rife with ignorance. You see, marijuana dispensaries are taxed twice: we have to pay an extortionate amount of tax when we buy our pot wholesale, and then believe it or not, we have to pay anywhere from sixty to seventy percent in federal income tax after we sell our marijuana to the community (yes, you heard that right, the federal government doesn’t see anything wrong with taxing an industry that they refuse to legalize). At the end of the day, our profit margins are just as thin as they are in traditional retail industries, and we simply cannot afford another tax increase, especially since we’re still recovering from the one that just went into effect on July first.

The reason for this is that we simply cannot lower the retail prices on our quality marijuana and stay in business; we’d have to keep our base price constant and hope with crossed fingers that people would be willing to pay higher prices for legal weed. But would they? If this new tax is accepted and implemented, and top-shelf pot starts selling for around sixty-three dollars an eighth in this town, do you think people will still buy it legally, or do you think they’ll go back to “their guy” who sells the same bag of pot for fifty bucks on the street? Do you see what I mean? We’re taking too much; we’re chopping down too many trees. I know this tax sounds just a little bit bigger, a little bit better, but it’s just too much. It’s just another gigantic stone head when we already have plenty of Moai. It’s more than this small island of Durango can support, and our industry needs your help. So please, call our city representatives and county commissioners and tell them that we’re already paying enough; you can find city council contact information via this link and county commissioners contact info via this link. Or use our letter to mail your concern, Letter to County, City on Marijuana Tax.  Or better yet, please attend the upcoming County Commissioner Meeting at 5:30pm on July 20th in the Board Room of the County Administration Building and the City Council meeting at 6:30pm on August 15th in the Smith Chambers at City Hall and fight against this initiative because in the end, such a tax could limit your options when it comes to purchasing legal marijuana.

Thank you,

-The Greenery


Marijuana Terpenes

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My mom used to throw uppity wine parties when I was a child. She’d sit around with her friends and they’d spend more time sniffing their wine than drinking it, swirling it around in their oversized tasting glasses while they wore on their faces the serious expression of a wannabe connoisseur. They’d stick out their pinky fingers and raise their glasses, and then spout all sorts of pompous nonsense like “oh my, this one has a delightful tobacco finish,” or, “the nose on this one is reminiscent of figs on a warm summer’s day.” I’d stand against the wall shaking my head, doing everything I could to stop myself from shouting “it’s just alcoholic grape juice, you idiots!”

But then I got older and realized that there really is a marked difference between the white zinfandel sold in gas station coolers and the stuff sold in boutiques with labels inked entirely in French. Now I can appreciate the tannins and sulfites, or the lack thereof, and I don’t mind paying extra for the good stuff because that’s what life is about. And there’re plenty of parallels to be drawn between wine tasting and pot smoking because the taste matters—as it turns out, if you pay attention to the smell and flavor of your favorite flower, you can figure out exactly which type of high you can expect.

Distilled down to its essence, marijuana is a substance that we smoke to feel good and it’s possible to be too supercilious, saying all sorts of weird words like decarboxylation or cannabinoids just to sound smart, and I promise I won’t do that right now; the information I’m about to share with you is real, and we’re just now starting to understand it. Eventually, marijuana will be marketed by the specific effects each strain provides after the scientists figure it out definitively, but for now, a good deal of this is iffy around the edges. So, it goes without saying that the effects and smells listed below are subjective. Here we go…

“Terpenes” are hydrocarbons. They’re found in almost all green, leafy plants, and they serve as natural protection against mold and bugs and whatever else plants are afraid of. They’re the fancy little chemicals that make pot smell and taste the way it does, and they work in concert with other cannabinoids like THC and CBD to make you feel good when you smoke marijuana—the THC gets you high, but the terpenes effect how that high feels. Know what I mean? If THC is He-Man, a muscle-bound do-gooder who always saves the day, then the terpenes are Battle Cat, an unsung hero who helps the hero do what he needs to do. And each terpene does something different, something you can intentionally look for in your pot by taste and smell. Again, what follows is subjective, so you’ll need to fiddle around with this a little on your own to get the most out of this:

  1. Pinene. This one is easy to remember because it smells like a pine tree, just like the name suggests. It might help with asthma relief or memory problems or inflammation.
  2. B-Caryophyllene. This is a hard one to pronounce (and my spell-check hates it), but it smells like cloves or pepper, and it might help with digestive problems like ulcers or an upset stomach.
  3. d-Limonene. This is another easy one because it smells like lemons, and it might help with immune system problems.
  4. Terpinolene. This one will smell like flowers, and it’s an antioxidant with antibacterial effects and mood enhancement possibilities.
  5. Linalool. This one will smell sweet and fruity, and it might help you with pain or anxiety of depression.
  6. B-Ocimene. This one will smell like a woody orchard (I promise that’s as poetic as I’ll get) and research suggests it might be antifungal/antiviral.
  7. B-Myrcene. This is the dank stuff, the musky perfection that permeates my favorite Indica strains, and it might bring with it relaxation and pain relief and respite from insomnia.

And there you have it; I’m sure you’ve already figured out how this list might help you: if you’re having stomach problems that you’d like to try to treat with marijuana, come into our store and walk up to the counter. Grab one of our sample jars and unscrew the lid, and smell one of our strains—look for something that smells like cloves or pepper and see if the B-Caryophyllene terpene does something for your belly. Or, if you’re in a bad mood, sniff around our samples looking for something that smells like flowers to cheer you up, buttercup. And so on and so forth. Let you nose be your guide, just like Toucan Sam used to tell us in his Fruit Loop commercials, and see where it leads you—it might bring you the relief you’ve been looking for. At the end of the day, that’s what matters, and that’s why we’ve decided to put this out there for you, because we’re your Best Buds.

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Medicinal Marijuana

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The Greenery is a recreational-only marijuana dispensary. However, we offer a twenty-percent discount to medical patients (so long as you can show us a valid Colorado MMJ card), and we do so for good reason: for many people, marijuana really is effective.

Frankly, most people buy pot to get high, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When they walk through our doors, they’re looking for THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), plain and simple, because it’s the psychoactive compound in pot that can turn any frown upside-down. However, THC is just one of the cannabinoids found in flower—there’re least one-hundred and thirteen of them of them in marijuana—and as the THC percentage increases, the amount of the others decreases. The proverbial “they” still don’t know what most of the other cannabinoids do, but I’m sure it’s only good things, and if you shop only for a high THC percentage, you might be missing out on a few other benefits. Specifically, the higher the THC level climbs, the lower the CBD (Cannabidiol) and CBN (Cannabinol) levels fall. If you’re a medical marijuana patient, or if you’ve always wanted to try pot to see if it helps you, this is something you need to know.

CBD isn’t psychoactive (it won’t get you high), so most people don’t pay too much attention to it. However, the stuff is wonderful. It’s been called the compound that gives you “relaxation without intoxication,” and it brings with it a whole smattering of additional properties. I’ve read studies that show CBD may combat everything from PTSD to epileptic seizures, and from personal experience, I attest to CBD’s ability to fight my insomnia. Here at The Greenery, we always have a high CBD strain on the shelves, and our friendly budtenders can show you a wide variety of CBD-infused edibles or topicals if you’d rather not smoke flower to try CBD.

CBN won’t get you high either, but it looks to be just as promising as CBD. According to Steep Hill, “The consumption of 2.5mg to 5mg of CBN has the same level of sedation as a mild pharmaceutical sedative, with a relaxed body sensation similar to 5mg to 10mg of diazepam.” Isn’t that crazy? CBN is a non-psychoactive plant derivative with no known side effects, and it’s twice as effective as a nasty, old-school pharmaceutical. Secondly, you can buy CBN tablets from The Greenery for a fraction of the price you’d pay for an artificial chemical at the pharmacy. CBN has been shown to do all sorts of things, and if you’re looking for some alternative options, this compound is a great place to start.

Look, I know it’s possible that I just created for you more questions than I answered, and the breadth of alternative cannabis is far too wide to address a laconic post like this one. There’re plenty of online resources out there you can use to answer CBD and CBN related questions, but The Greenery is right here in Durango, and personally, I like talking to people instead of Google. So, come in and see your best buds. Ask us your questions about CBD and CBN, and we’ll show you all the available options, because that’s why we’re here. And as always, please remember that we cannot provide medical advice and recommend you consult with your healthcare provider before introducing any marijuana products into your regimen.

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Legal Marijuana, and Homelessness

Greenery Grown hand-crafted cannabis

I’ve never met Joseph Kolb, or anybody else from Fox News for that matter, but I’d like to. I’m pretty good at explaining things to people, especially matters of simple logic, and Mr. Kolb needs a lesson of sorts. Recently, he wrote an article for Fox News titled “Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet,” and once I realized I was reading a nationally syndicated column as opposed to a tabloid, my smile turned upside-down. You can read it here, if you’re interested, but I’ll sum it up for you: Kolb was talking about our town, Durango, Colorado, and for twenty-two paragraphs, he wrote nonsense ad nauseam. This myopic man seriously thinks that legalized marijuana is ruining our town by luring in the homeless, even though from an objective point of view, things look a little differently. Let me explain.

It’s a logical fallacy of the worst order to tie two things together without researching the connection. As an example, I stubbed my toe when I got out of bed this morning, and at the same time, the sun was popping up above the horizon. But when I told my wife about it, I didn’t say “honey, I stubbed my toe when the sun came up today, ergo, solar radiation is making me clumsy,” because such an assertion would be asinine gibberish.

Basically, Kolb took two unrelated facts and tied them together with no regard for journalistic integrity whatsoever. True, the legalization of recreational marijuana came to our town in 2014, and our homeless population started booming around the same time, but the two occurrences are unrelated. In 2014, the ACLU sent a letter to Durango’s city council wherein they threatened to sue if our local police kept enforcing our “anti-loitering” ordinance. According to the ACLU, it’s an infringement of free speech to stop homeless people from panhandling, because when they write “anything helps” on a piece of cardboard, they’re exercising a constitutional right… seems legit. Anyway, the cops stopped herding the homeless away from Main Avenue because the ACLU isn’t an organization to take lightly. The homeless people in this town took note, they told their friends, and the rest is self-explanatory.

Our town is beautiful. We have a narrow-gauge railroad straight out of antiquity; we have world-class skiing in the winter; we have an ever-adapting whitewater course on the Animas River that runs through this town like an artery. We have abundant camping spaces and temperate weather and affluent locals. We have bars and comfortable park benches and a generous homeless shelter. And most importantly, we have cops who won’t bother you if you want to dress in a sleeping bag and stand on Main Street with your hand out.

That’s why our homeless population is booming—it has nothing to do with legal pot, and people who think otherwise are subscribing to old-think. These are the same fools who watched “Reefer Madness” and took it as gospel—these are the same people who rallied against legalized marijuana, and now that they’ve lost, they’re grasping for straws and doing their damnedest to find an “I told you so” buried somewhere amongst all the positive results stemming from decriminalization. And as a professional in the marijuana industry, my frustration is palpable.

I sell pot for a living, and I can tell you from personal experience that our clients come from all walks of life. I’ve served giddy college seniors, bubbling about the fact that they just turned twenty-one. I’ve served sweet old ladies, smiling like my grandmother, who’re happy to get carded because octogenarians have forgotten what it feels like. I’ve served people who’re just as broke as I am, and I once served a man wearing a watch worth more than my education. These people hold down jobs and pay taxes and care for their families just like Americans are supposed to. And unfortunately, people like Kolb can’t see these things because they write about our town from far away, looking at us through a tinted telescope of assumption. They tie to legalized marijuana unfair and negative “facts” because people like Kolb harbor a personal prejudice against legal pot, and at times, it seems as if no amount of factual evidence can dilute their bias. It’s unfortunate, but I guess it’s just part of the game.

All I can do is tell you this: here at The Greenery, we know that legal marijuana is a good thing, and we take our jobs seriously. We have to—we’re stewards of an industry facing a good deal of ignorant skepticism. We run a clean and legal operation, and our attention to regulation compliance borders on the obsessive. And for as long as we’re around, we’ll do our best to educate our customers and our community vis-à-vis the truth about legal marijuana, so please, keep checking in, and as always, if you have any questions, call your Best Buds at (970) 403-3710. Thank you.


The Greenery checks age requirements in Colorado

Marijuana is perfectly legal for recreational use in Colorado, and frankly, it should be. Pot is a plant that grows out of the ground, and if you light it on fire and breathe in the smoke, it makes you feel good. For many, it’s a medicine—one that doesn’t bring with it the crippling side effects commonly associated with traditional pharmaceuticals—and medicine should be legal. It’s a simple truth, one that’s axiomatic to those of us who know the difference between right and wrong, and that’s why I support legalized marijuana; that’s why I’ve chosen to work in this industry.

However, I also understand that not everybody feels this way. Plenty of people still think that pot is a problem. They look at that plant and see a vice that needs to be eradicated, and they subscribe to the antiquated paradigm that kept marijuana illegal for decades. Some people fear change; that’s just the way it is. So, occasionally, discretion is necessary.

I’m one of the fortunate few who can be who I am both at work and in my personal life because my coworkers, friends, and family all have modern views regarding marijuana. In short, I don’t have to hide the fact that I smoke pot—hell, I’m pretty loud about it sometimes. But you might not have that luxury, and here at The Greenery, we understand, and we offer a level of discretion you won’t find at other dispensaries.

For one, we have a discreet location. We’re nestled in at 208 Parker Avenue, right behind Morehart Murphy. We’re close enough to be convenient, but far enough away to keep things comfortable. When you leave our shop, you won’t have to run that downtown gamut where it seems like you recognize everyone around you on the street. You won’t have to walk down a long alley carrying a bag full of marijuana back to your car parked on Main; you won’t have to feed a meter. We’re open early and we close late, and you can come and go with a level of privacy not offered elsewhere. But that’s not the most important part: here at The Greenery, we don’t track your purchases.

I’ll admit that I shopped around at other dispensaries before I worked at The Greenery. I was a creature of habit, and I didn’t stray far from my home when I went shopping, be it for groceries or marijuana; I usually stayed on the north-side of town for convenience. And it didn’t really bother me that the other dispensaries tracked my purchases (you know, because I’m “loud about it”), but in retrospect, the practice is a little sketchy.

I’m sure you’ve noticed it. Most dispensaries will swipe your ID when you walk in to make sure you’re twenty-one. One place even has a metal turnstile that opens only after you’ve swiped your card, in case you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to get carded by a robot. But guess what: every time your ID is swiped, the machine keeps a record of your visit. So here at the Greenery, we take the time to read your ID by hand. Granted, it might take us a little longer because we have to check diligently your picture and your birthdate and your card’s expiration date, but that’s something we do for you because it’s your business if you buy marijuana, and nobody else’s.

Secondly, we don’t track your purchases at the register. True, we have a loyalty program—an awesome one that I’ll tell you about in a different post—but we use punch cards instead of an electronic system. There’re other dispensaries here in Durango that keep track of every single purchase you make, and they do so via a computer database that’s just as vulnerable to hacking as all the other systems in this inescapable digital age. With the click of a mouse, anyone who cares to look can find a record of all the marijuana you’ve purchased, and considering the fact that federal laws haven’t yet caught up to our local ones, some people prefer the discretion offered here at The Durango Greenery.

So, come see us, your best buds. Come find a place in our parking lot and walk through our front door. Someone will check your ID with a smile and then give it back without recording your visit. We’ll sell so you some ridiculously good pot, and then you can go on your way, legally, rightfully, and discreetly. Cheers.

We’re Your Best Buds!

2016 Presidential Candidates Views on Marijuana Legalization

2016 Presidential Election and Marijuana

2016 Presidential Candidates Views on Marijuana Legalization

With the current presidential candidates dwindling down in numbers, we here at The Greenery in Durango, Colorado have to wonder what changes could affect our recreational marijuana dispensary with the general election right around the corner.
Let’s take a look at the three candidates who are still in the race to see where they stand on the legalization of marijuana:

Donald Trump (R)

He could be one of the most interesting candidates to run for president of the United States to date. Trump’s view on the legalization of marijuana has changed just a few times:
Back in 1990 at a speech in Miami, Florida he once said We’re losing badly on the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”Sarasota Herald- Tribune April 14, 1990.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference in June 2015 in discussing the legalization of marijuana, Trump stated “I say it’s bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about it,” further stating “[T]hey have got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado. Some big problems.” Washington Post, June, 2015
More recently Trump expressed his opinion of medical marijuana legalization versus recreational marijuana legalization. After Nevada legalized medical marijuana in October 2015, Trump was speaking at a rally outside of Reno and stated “Marijuana is such a big thing… I think medical should happen – right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”Washington Post, October 29, 2015
So where does Trump stand? On the Bill O’Reilly show in February 2016 when asked about his position on marijuana legalization in Colorado:  “I would, I would really want to think about that one Bill because in some ways, I think it’s good and in other ways, it’s bad.” – Bill O’Reilly show, February 10, 2016
All in all, it seems Trump supports each state’s right to vote on medical marijuana, but as far recreational use and legalization goes, it’s hard to tell officially where Trump stands.
Thus, we at The Greenery agree with the Marijuana Policy Project and give him a C+ rating for his views on the legalization of marijuana.

Hillary Clinton (D)

Hillary Clinton has a more solid stance, but will not firmly state whether she supports or opposes marijuana legalization. She does believe marijuana needs to be dropped from a Federal Schedule I Drug to a Schedule II so it can be further researched. – Claflin University on Nov. 7, 2015
Hillary historically indicated that she wants to take the “wait and see” approach to the legalization of marijuana.  She once stated: “I’m a big believer in acquiring evidence, and I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana, before we make any far-reaching conclusions…We need more studies. We need more evidence. And then we can proceed.”  – CNN Politics, October 16, 2014
When recently ask if she has taken a stance on marijuana legalization, Hillary responded “No. I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we’re going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief.” 2016 Democratic Presidential Debate, October 13, 2015
In addition, Hillary indicated her support for Colorado and said: “I really believe it’s important that states like Colorado lead the way, so that we can learn what works and what doesn’t work. And I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado, and enforced by your elected officials, as to how you should be conducting this business that you have approved.” MSNBC, October 14, 2015
While Hillary doesn’t seem to have committed to a particular stance on the legalization of marijuana, she has recently said that she supports states moving toward medical marijuana and moving toward legalizing it for recreational use. – Jimmy Kimmel Live, March 24, 2016.
Hillary’s support for the state of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana is a positive sign despite her failure to take an official stance on the legalization of marijuana at the federal level.
We again agree with the Marijuana Policy Project’s rating of a B for Hillary as it relates to her viewpoints on the legalization of marijuana.

Bernie Sanders (D)

Bernie’s has “burned” before: the politician admitted that he tried marijuana twice in his life, ultimately deciding it wasn’t for him. – Washington Post, June 2, 2015
As of now, Bernie Sanders supports each state’s decision to legalize marijuana medical and recreational marijuana use. With that, he also supports federal legalization of marijuana in addition to lifting the federal prohibition, allowing states to decide whether to legalize.  This would also allow marijuana businesses and entrepreneurs to have access to the banking system. – Vice News, October 29, 2015
Bernie is also proclaimed to be a co-sponsor for the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015, which provides a safe harbor for financial institutions providing depository services to legitimate marijuana businesses. – US Congress, July 9, 2015
Check out Bernie’s website for further information on his stance regarding the marijuana legalization and the war on drugs.
Given Bernie’s consistent stance on the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical use, Bernie gets an A rating from The Greenery when it comes to his views on this issue.