THIS MONTH IN THE GANJA GAZETTE

As the Gazette continues to grow and blossom, exciting things are happening here at Dank Media! We are excited to announce that we are rolling out several new mainstays and recurring articles, starting this month. From local pub and coffee house reviews, to the office favorite Ask a Stoner, The Ganja Gazette continues to evolve to bring you everything marijuana, counter culture, and local scene. Have an idea or a story for the Gazette? Email Tim

  • Specials and Coupons — August 2015
    Specials and Coupons — August 2015
    You know, cause you're awesome
Specials and Coupons — August 2015
You know, cause you're awesome

Tooltip TextEvery month, you will have access to awesome deals and coupons through The Ganja Gazette! Make sure you check back regularly for the sweetest deals out there.



August-2015-page-19-for-web


  • The Incredible Edibles
    The Incredible Edibles
    Cover Story
The Incredible Edibles
Cover Story

The month of July could appropriately be named the ‘Edible’ month here at Dank Media. For some reason, everything this hot summer month decided to point us in the direction of getting high from delicious confectionary treats you ingest, in lieu of smoking. We had euphoric time and it was one I was happy to share with my peers in our office. After working through a considerable amount of edibles for testing and product review (Side note, by saying considerable I mean we literally sampled one of everything from Nature’s Kitchen CannaSweets line) and simply put, we got high! Super high depending on who you talked to. It was very apparent that the tolerance levels varied per capita. Each and every test subject had a different experience and story to report. Not only did we eat edibles, I also got to tour two operations, the Sweet Grass Kitchen and also Nature’s Herbs and Wellness Garden City dispensary. Besides seeing an abundance of pot plants, walking through fields of leafy green and seeing first hand the intricate process of THC/CBD extraction for the purpose of making edibles. I made it a point to talk with two separate bakers, chefs and chemists responsible for the production of these delicious treats. Here’s what I learned about these weed-infused morsels of yummy, euphoric goodness how they are capable of impacting your perception, your body, and your high:

People are Polarized on Edibles

Across the board, some people love them, and some people hate them, but no one seems to be neutral on the topic of how they are eating, or not eating, their cannabis. The reasons for this likely varies because everyone metabolizes ingested marijuana in an entirely different fashion than when it’s smoked.

It quickly became apparent that different types of treats get you high in different ways. Just like strains in their complexity. Generally if you smoke, you smoke in a manner delivering the high you desire. With edibles, however, the high can be much more complex. For most people, the onset of the initial high doesn’t happen immediately (it can take up to 60 minutes). In a bout of impatience, some folks decide to consume more before the THC metabolized, causing a very bad high, and thusly a negative impression of the subsequent euphoria. The rest, who let the edibles take their course report back with stories of 4-6 hours of relief and laughs. Regardless, just like the preference for indica or sativa, there is a distinct separation between those who rage on edibles and those who staunchly shun the sugared delectables.

Mode of Consumption Impacts High

This one kind of goes without saying. Interestingly enough, even the expert stoners do not understand the full puzzle of edibles. I am definitely not an experienced edible consumer, so I decided to talk to a few. Based on my conversations, it turns out that different edibles produce different highs. If the edible takes longer to dissolve or consume, as in the case with hard candy, it might hit a little slower than something you can swallow and digest on a much quicker level. In addition, it boils down to the consumer’s metabolism – some folks have a tolerance, and others clearly do not. Lastly, the type of butter or oil used in the baking process can greatly impact the THC delivery, just like a different strain produce different highs. The elements all contribute to the changes and ebbs and flows – meaning one experience with a pot brownie is never really enough to judge to judge the potential high from a THC infused gummy.

Be Careful What You Buy

Not every dispensary is created the same. The world of marijuana is a business and like any other industry, there is quality and there is junk. Some shops are great. Others just straight up suck, giving us cannabis connoisseurs something to complain about. Just the cold hard truth. This fact echoes true of edibles as well.

What I found touring Sweet Grass Kitchen and Nature’s Herbs kitchen is these places are consistent. They invest a great deal of care into ensuring the same strains and plants are being used in their edibles. Sweet Grass even went so far as to stop buying outside harvest to guarantee a consistent high across their cannabis-infused consumables. Since Nature’s Herbs also grows in-house, they heavily control what they are putting in their CannaSweets products.

The same cannot be said for other brands or dispensaries. I talked with some shops, and it was blatantly apparent that they had no idea what was going into their consumable treats. One owner directly told me it varied and changed quite a bit. In my mind it bakes down to this: while the cookie recipe might be consistent, the quality of the ingredients and subsequently, the high was certainly not. It is important when you are purchasing edibles, you find a brand and product line that YOU trust. When you’re exploring a new form of edible or a new brand, make sure you ask the right questions.

We’ve covered quite a bit on the process of making edibles, what makes them potent, and the importance of quality when baking. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the fun part: consumption and reviews. All of these products come from Nature’s Kitchen CannaSweets line of edibles. And damn, they got us high!

Hard Candies Review

People in our office had mixed reviews on the hard candies. I enjoy the flavor but hate the high. Others seemed to enjoy them more. One of the shared opinions was that the hard candies took a while to kick in. However, when the buzz hit, it hit hard. For me, the euphoric onset took about two hours, but it introduced itself with a very powerful handshake on the 121st minute. I felt superbly stoned for a good three to four hours before finally it faded away.

Ultimately, my dislike for the hard candies stems from their ability to only operate in the world of extremes. I went from no high to extremely high to nothing all at very rapid paces. It was an intense, don’t get me wrong, the kind where you do not want to do anything but watch a good movie, take a nap in the sun, or even initiate a deep sleep. In my opinion, I wish it was a little more subtle and gradual in its entirety.

I recommend hard candies if you are looking for an effective high mellowing you out substantially and helping you drift into a world of instant intensity, even if you can’t gauge when that moment is going to come.

Gummy Bear Reviews

The gummy bears were the collective favorite. Everyone with Dank Media loved them. Similar to the hard candies, these confectionary treats were stellar to consume, allowing us the same intense high with a much more rapid onset. The gummies, potentially because of their chewable consistency, took less time to kick in. However, ease of consumption and ingestion did not make for an easy transition from sobriety to euphoria. These sugar covered treats packed a wallop. For me, these were some of my preferred edibles if I wanted a guaranteed high that would only last for a few hours at a time.

Similar to the hard candies, the effects of the gummies came with a quick onset. You go from feeling pretty normal to pretty stoned in a matter of minutes, and the fade is just as sudden. I knew when I was high and when I wasn’t. Again, because of their intensity, I would recommend these for a high when you want to relax or sleep, hoping to drift off or allowing yourself stoned in the mentally foggy way. Since these hit quicker, I also recommend them over the hard candies, but that is just a matter of preference.

Zombie Brains and Coffee Toffees

These were my personal favorites, and at least one other person on staff has echoed similar sentiments. The zombie brains (coconut clusters) and the coffee toffees pack a little bit higher dose of THC per each edible and also come in great flavors. Of all the products, these offered me the least potent taste, resembling more “normal” treats sold in stores. They also packed quite the day long high. Due to the increased dosage and likely the strains used, I love the effects of these items. The high was much more subtle kicking in but faster even than the gummy bears and hard candies. I felt it after a short amount of time but by felt it, I mean it crept into my system. I didn’t just feel high but instead gradually felt my mental state and body shifting in slow increments. The high was long, lasting almost six to eight hours across each of my consumptions, but it wasn’t overbearing.

I loved the high offered by these edibles because I felt productive. Make no mistake, I was high and at one point, extremely so, but I was still able to write and feel creative. It was the perfect day high for when I was off work, and engaged in some personal writing with no professional obligations. With no immediate reasons to operate a vehicle and the ability to walk between locations, this edible fueled my day long adventure. From going to restaurants to writing to taking a walk outside, I never felt too stoned and enjoyed the trip.

Due to the quick acting nature of these and their long-term effects, I would recommend these edibles for when you want to get high for a long hike, a casual day on the slopes or even a camping trip. These are perfect addition for the summer month activities – being outdoors and for the lazy days of vegging in the couch.

Cookies Or Brownies

These items were similar to the Zombie Brains and Meteor Bites above. They got me high in an efficient manner but much less than the higher dosages of the products above. If you are looking for a lesser higher but still want the mellow euphoria that creeps in and creeps out, feel free to pick up a few of these. They are the perfect middle ground between all the other products listed here and great for a beginner or a tourist. More serious users might want to steer to the other items for higher doses and such.

Conclusion

Regardless of what you do with edibles, remember to take them in moderation. It goes without saying but don’t get too high and allow yourself the chance to experience what you are taking. It can take edibles up to two hours to kick in and don’t do the rookie mistake of taking too many because you don’t feel the high right away. Having a good edible high can be great. A bad one sucks. But no matter what, finding the right edibles that suit your mood can be a great experience.

My favorite part of writing all this was asking our staff for product reviews. Where many people took it seriously, some of our staff are a little more comical in their nature. And we also all got extremely high with varying results. Many of our team gave me great reviews on their edibles. The best one, however, came from Alex, who had quite the journey.

To quote him on his edible high “I got fucked up and thought I saw a ghost. After that, it was awesome. #Prolific.”

And that my friends sounds like an incredible edible experience.

  • The Growing Gazette
    The Growing Gazette
    Letter From the Editor
The Growing Gazette
Letter From the Editor

Here at The Ganja Gazette, we like to dream big. Between the laughs we share when our office gets jointly high on a slow Friday afternoon to the times we make jokes about our edibles, we are cheery about the prospects of the future and pot. These feelings are none truer than when we talk about the potential we see for The Gazette in the coming years.

When our team was first asked to take over writing for the magazine, we came together under two concepts.

  • Unlimited potential in the booming marijuana industry
  • Differentiating from the obstinately clichéd cannabis culture

Funnily enough, these two elements operate hand and hand. Our brainstorming and creative sessions opened conversations to establish goals and milestones through the spread of a new and reinvigorated Gazette – the sessions provided us the grounds for a new path. We wanted to make a commitment to our readers to tell new stories, unique stories – to look at cannabis in a manner not being previously explored. The negative stigma with weed is still very much alive, but we seek to challenge the perceptions of cannabis in the industry and in the minds of the naysayers.

The Ganja Gazette provides us a creative and entertaining outlet and we’re passionate about it’s message. We are not only weed advocates, we are firm believers in the content we put forth each month, and we want the word to spread.

To proliferate this, to help water and nourish the life of our creation, we are going to take quite a few steps:

First, Partnership. The Gazette has begun accepting advertisements and is proactively seeking to bring relevant advertisements that intentionally enhance the lives of our readers. Much effort has gone into carefully outlining a media plan allowing us the opportunity to target brands, products, and partners of interest to our readers.

Second, Spread and Penetration. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out new ways for our readers to interact with The Ganja Gazette team. From social media to new print distribution locations, we are channeling new avenues for our content. The Gazette is going to start popping up in more places, get more frequent updates, and will continue to evolve into a print, digital, and social outlet for all things Cannabis. We look forward to continuing to gain your readership.

Third, Insight. As our Partnerships, Spread, and Penetration grow, our industry Insight will blossom as well. New writers and challenging viewpoints will grace our pages. The more we work on diving deep into the multi-faceted cannabis industry, the more time we invest into the intricacies of weed, our readers will benefit from consuming the stories that no one else is telling.

As we stand at the beginning of this exciting and continuously evolving journey, there are some steps you can take to be a part of this experience. First and foremost, please share us. If you like the magazine, pass off a print copy. Give someone else an edition and let them read it. If you don’t want to take that much time, share us on social media. You’ll find us at www.theganjagazette.com.

In closing, if you are interested in advertising, contact us via www.dankmediagroup.com. It would be the ultimate honor to partner with you and share your story with thousands of readers, every month. We encourage you to keep reading and to stay in touch. Feedback and personal interest in our content is the lifeblood of the Gazette, and it’s our commitment to you to put it into print.

As always, thank you for the time and your attention. We are excited about what our future holds.

Best,

Tim

  • Little Owl Coffee
    Little Owl Coffee
    The Bean
Little Owl Coffee
The Bean

About a block away from my office, lies a quaint, minimalistic java mecca. With its oaken wood panels, this small, little oasis offers up third wave coffee with a touch of hipster class.

Little Owl Coffee, located at 1555 Blake St. not too far off the 16th street mall and a hop, skip, and jump away from Union Station. The coffee, much like the aesthetic, fits into much of what any Denverite knows about this magical liquid in our town – we treat our java beans like we also treat our bud: seriously. If you ask the right person, they’ll likely rattle off the best spots for a cup o’ joe as well as their proximity to the nearest dispensary.

Here at Dank Media Group, we love coffee like any good creative types do. We work in the design field after all and thus, regularly pump our veins with espresso. It should be noted that we employ the use of our very own single-boiler Rancilio espresso machine aka Miss Silvia. When one of my coworkers recommended we begin reviewing local-area shops, I was excited. Little Owl was a great spot to start.

The environment inside the coffee shop fits their clean, modern style and the coffee being served. It is efficient from the menu to the delivery. The moment you walk in the door, you know you are there to buy a good cup of coffee or espresso, a variation of the two, and not much else. While Little Owl offers the standardized fare of espressos, cortados, lattes, and drip or Aeropress – all fine offerings intricately detailed in describing their aromas and tastes on two pieces of paper, laid side by side – they stand out in their delivery.

Make no mistake, the people behind the counter know what they’re doing. The coffee, which you can tell was carefully selected and offered, was flavorful and brewed at the right temperature. The cortado expertly crafted in a manner perfectly layering the crema and espresso, came together in an efficient but delectable glass cup.

For anyone looking to host a meeting in the Lower Downtown area or looking for a morning jolt of caffeine that doesn’t sacrifice the flavor, skip the Starbucks line and make a trip to Little Owl Coffee. The price is worth the bean and the flavor leaves a memorable taste.

  • CannaSweets Gummies
    CannaSweets Gummies
    Product Review
CannaSweets Gummies
Product Review

For August’s review, I’m going to mix up the routine a bit. Instead of applying any of Nature’s Kitchen CannaSpa products to various body parts and letting them soak in, I’m going to ingest the gummies from their CannaSweets edible product line and let the hilarity ensue.

I’ll be honest, as I’m opening the childproof container, I’m expecting a whole gaggle of Haribo gummy bears to jump out and entice me with their sweet, delicious yumminess. I’m surprised to find 8 squares of multi-colored soft candies, frosted in tiny sugar crystals – much like a fresh nug covered in scintillating trichromes. I’ve elected the green one for today’s review, it seems fitting, and I pop into my mouth. Instant sweetness, with a touch of a dank weed flavor fills my palate. Judging by the taste, I know I’m in for a fun ride for the remainder of the day. I’ve got a bit of experience ingesting edibles and I’ve decided that I’m going to wait a full hour to allow the THC to metabolize in my system, before deciding to nosh on another. Trust me folks – eating too many edibles before allowing them to work into your system is a major no-no. A few years back a friend of mine ate 4 100mg brownies in the period of an hour because she didn’t “feel” the effects kicking in. Before the end of the night, she was in the ER suffering from grand mal seizures and getting her stomach pumped. So let that be a word to the wise, folks. Let these sweet morsels of euphoria take their time before you decide to ingest more!

Fifteen minutes in, I’m elated to report that I can already tell the gummy is making me feel a bit like Gumby – I’m limbering out and wearing a shit-eating grin on my face. I’m quickly finding my happy place and ready to ride it out for the next few hours.

Another 15 clicks off the clock and I’m coming up with so many great things to say about this little green, sugary square, but I’m forgetting what I want to iterate before I can type it down. I’m flying at this point – I was thinking I had a good 60 minutes of clear headedness to reasonably talk about what’s happening to me as I review. My body is numb and my head is in the clouds. My crew here at Dank Media is chatting about August’s issue of The Ganja Gazette and I have zero intelligible thoughts to add to the mix. I’m in my own little world, and life is good.

…Two hours have now past since I’ve written anything down. Frankly, I’m incapable of doing anything productive and I’ve retired to the office futon to soak up the office antics. Drew’s riding around on a skateboard, Patrick and Alex are building media kits for the Gazette, Robert and Tim are writing content for a website, and I’m literally doing nothing. My high is buzzing in and out. One moment, I feel like the effects are wearing off, and then I stand up. Definitely not sober yet. Definitely still stoned. I smile and calmly sit back down.

Two-hundred and forty minutes post-consumption: I’m concluding August’s review. What a day. What a high! I’m leaving my keys behind tonight. Now if I can only figure out how to work this Uber app, I can get home safe and sound.

  • Sleep Well Destroyer – Aviate
    Sleep Well Destroyer – Aviate
    Music Review
Sleep Well Destroyer – Aviate
Music Review

I only have one problem with Aviate, the new album, by Sleep Well Destroyer. It is quite a significant problem but one I suppose I will have to swallow. I’ve listened, and I’m already pining for more – the length of the album is far too concise. At four tracks, the band’s newest introduction to music sits about eight or nine tracks short of perfection. At the time of writing, I have listened to the album on repeat over 30 times, an easy feat due to its under-15 minute run time. For the past few days, the album has sat recycled across my computer and iPod, helping me move throughout the work day and transition from my morning commute to my walk to the office. Just as the album flows so superbly, so too does its capabilities to infiltrate the mind, infecting with the desire to listen to its tracks yet again.

I often tend to do this with single tracks. I let songs play on repeat time and time again until I get tired of them and forget them until a later date. For now, this entire album is functioning as one giant track. A 15-minute melding of beautiful sounds exciting to my ears and titillating my brain. To say that Aviate flows well would be like saying that Natures Herbs edibles get you a little high. Both are understatements and both miss out on the opportunity to describe a beautiful symphony where the brain mixes with the ear lobes and reverberates throughout the heart. Sleep Well Destroyer has produced an album that meshes well together. Every track is new and unique, but every one leaves you with something poignant. You Know Nothing Jon Snow could be a little longer, The Lockett might have a few minor lyrical changes. Across the board, this is a strong album deserving of strong praise.

___

How is this album on my radar and not on yours? I was fortunate enough to learn about Sleep Well Destroyer because I was involved in their recording process, listening as their lead singer Drew detailed his frustrations and joys of the effort first hand. I was there on days when his voice gave out and days where his voice overflowed with energy. The reason you haven’t heard about them? After three years of touring the local Denver music scene from 2010-2013, Sleep Well went dormant. The good news: they’re back with a vengeance and they deserve the next spot on your playlist. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Although the band has a full-length CD from years past, their new album Aviate provided an entirely different experience. I tuned into their former work, to gain some perspective, and compare it to their current effort, in order to gauge how the times have influenced their style. (Their track, ‘You Know Nothing, Jon Snow’, clearly highlights cultural references to the Game of Thrones) By now, their musical influences and style have evolved, holistically and naturally.

Looking at each of the tracks on Aviate individually, it is, in fact, the title track that shines through. The song Aviate, matching the name, is a catchy one. From the first guitar riffs, all the way to the chords fading near the end. A full thirty seconds of instrumental noise ensues before the vocals kick in, and the track gives itself a healthy chance to build. As each strum progresses, you are anticipating a lyric to hit, and when it finally comes, you are not at all disappointed. When the lead singer finally does break into verse, he makes your efforts well worth the wait, providing the listener with melody mixing perfectly with the harmony. Verse after verse echo reminiscent of the inspirations evident from Sleep Well Destroyers past, heralding to the early 2000’s of the Warped Tours and Drive Through Records. This album is made by a rock band and meant to play with higher energy for audiences and crowds. It reminded me a bit of some work from The Foo Fighters or other rock bands emerging in the post-grunge scene. Their songs play with fervor and this album, where cohesive and well-recorded, it is not mean for a chill out session. It is meant for a much more manic pace and frantic hurry.

I enjoyed my chance to delve into the mind of the new Sleep Well Destroyer, reemerging after a hiatus but still delivering rock fueled anthems shaking your ear drums. The production value was done well, the music meshes, and the vocals are as easy on the ears as rock can be. Where the quickened tempo of the tracks might dissuade you from listening to them in a chill smoke session, they are still a great asset to a more creative or energized high. Whether playing video games, making some art, going for a bike ride, cooking dinner, or taking a hike, Aviate by Sleep Well Destroyer is a good band for a more upbeat high demanding, the kind demanding more from you energy wise. Just like ganja can allow us to lose time, believe me, by the time you finish Aviate you won’t believe 15 minutes have passed. It is the perfect background music for countless activities, making it a prime target for the next album you enjoy.

  • Cannabis Infused Confections
    Cannabis Infused Confections
    Cover Story
Cannabis Infused Confections
Cover Story

I have seen and consumed their products before. It is hard to miss the Sweet Grass Kitchen line of edibles when entering almost any dispensary in the state of Colorado. Their brand is everywhere and with good reason. They are offering a great line of cannabis-infused confections and with a wonderful background story to boot, imagine my surprise when the head of their media reached out to me. They offered me a tour of their facility and the chance to meet their founder, Julie Berliner. As any ganja enthusiast would, I jumped at the opportunity. Based on what I knew about the company, I went into my interview excited for what I would find. I left even more thrilled about the outcomes. Having spent some time in their bakery, I can tell you Sweet Grass Kitchen isn’t just a company I enjoy, it is one I am proud to write about. (At this point I would like to add I receive no benefit from writing about this company and have paid full-price for their products like any other consumer. My praise of this company stems from great interactions with their team, their history, and what they are doing for pot.)

To understand Sweet Grass Kitchen, it is important to explore a little bit of their foundation before moving forward to the present. Five years ago, Julie was frustrated. Having just received her degree to become an elementary school teacher, imagine her chagrin when she couldn’t find a job. Teaching wise, she was out of luck finding a job. Baking wise, her new career was quickly about to take off. If you remember the climate of cannabis in the year of 2009, you will remember a few things. First, there was no recreational side of pot. Second, likely because of this, there was much more freedom in its use in the medical side of the industry. Thus, Sweet Grass Kitchen was born from freedom to test edible boundaries and a natural inclination towards baking. One of Julie’s friends who happened to own a dispensary asked her if they could borrow her cookie recipe to create some THC-infused edibles. A few batches later, very well-received batches, and Julie had found her new calling. The choice of getting into the edible bakery business was elementary really. When life handed her lemons, Julie said screw that and got people high instead.

The next few years were not easy for her. She initially built her kitchen into an old race car trailer, revamped like a food truck, so if ever required to move her kitchen location, she only had to hitch it up and drive away. This first kitchen had the necessities, but it was still a time of toil. Things were never as cushy in the beginning but as kush began to spread, so did her baked goods. Over time, Sweet Grass Kitchen went from making maybe 1,200 cookies a week to sometimes producing as many as 10,000 cookies a day. Sweet Grass went from buying wholesale pot to growing their own in-house to ensure quality. Now with five recreational edibles and four medicinal edibles, along with seasonal products, Sweet Grass Kitchen currently serves over 300 dispensaries across the state of Colorado.

I had the privilege of meeting Julie in person and let me tell you, I am glad no one hired her to teach because she’s been an instrumental element in the Colorado cannabis industry. In Julie, we have a keen businesses woman, baker, ganja enthusiast and positive advocate. Not only has Julie worked to make edibles, she also invested time in Colorado’s public campaign to educate consumers on safe edible consumption. Julie is a badass baking fiend. I asked Julie a few questions – read on…

Julie, tell me how did you being to bake edibles and what were your first few years?

Due to the regulations at the time, I found out I had room to test the waters. Medical wasn’t as regulated back then as now, so I was able to take more risks and bake for a friend. After they asked me to make my cookie recipe with their product, we found something out. The cookies were selling, and people loved them! The medical side was a huge driving force in making the decision to pursue baking full-time because I was helping people and they enjoyed what I was making. It was still difficult though because everything was up in the air. I laugh today when people say it is the wild west because back then it was the true wild west. It was madness before the regulations started. There were times we were making pot ice cream with smoke machines in the background, but then the kibosh came in with regulations. Still, the very beginning fascinated me. I didn’t ever see dollar signs in the beginning. The first few years were not lucrative at all. Instead I saw it as a social movement, I found it more exciting to be part of something bigger than myself than making money. I often say that eating a brownie is so much more than getting high. It is the ability to make a choice to do something here I couldn’t where I grew up because at home I would be arrested where, here, it is my freedom. It inspired me.

“ONCE THEY CAME AND SAW THE LEGITIMACY, THEY BECAME MY BIGGEST SUPPORTERS.”

How did the people in your life react when you told them what you were doing?

Back then or now? Back then, try to imagine a place where my parents had just finished paying for college, I was originally supposed to be a doctor so even being a teacher was still iffy. But I had just graduated and applied for over 27 jobs with no call backs. We were in a huge recession. It was tough. The baking came as an alternative. When I first told my parents, and it took me a while, they were understandably concerned. It was all so new back then; you had to see it to believe it, and they were so far removed. Imagine the conversation of “Hey, look, I am going to start making weed cookies.” My whole family must have thought “Julie is in CO not wearing shoes and dancing around outside.” Once they came and saw the legitimacy, they became my biggest supporters.

To answer now, when I tell people the response is curiosity, excitement and interest in learning about the business. For lack of a better term, it is a sexy industry. People are excited about it. Like I said before, it is a social industry, a social movement. Legalization wasn’t Republican or Democrat. It wasn’t driven by any one group; it was what the people of Colorado wanted.

How has your business grown and changed over the past few years?

In 2010, it was just me operating out of my converted trailer. Then finally I was able to hire one employee. For a good two and a half years it was me and one other person. Finally, after that, we hired another part-time employee. It was a HUGE deal to bring someone else on. For the longest time, we were slow. In the medical industry, we weren’t always the biggest contender because we firmly believe in cannabutter so our products are not as potent. People with a medical need have a higher tolerance, and we were limited about how much we could put in it. Our medical products tend to be considered a low dose where on the recreational side they work much better. It took a while to grow because of this. At the beginning of 2014 we only still had two employees.

Now fast forward not even two years and we are at 20 employees. We didn’t get our recreational license until after our first harvest was ready so we were still small until April. Then we were hiring to meet the growing demand. Here is the thing, there are a lot of people in this industry who consider it a race, and it is, but I am trying to keep it as slow and steady as possible. I’ve certainly treated it as an opportunity, and I like to keep the pace going. There are countless possibilities to expand to other states but I would much rather offer a great product in my backyard than needlessly spread. It is important for me to do well in Colorado before I go everywhere.

What have been some of your biggest challenges the past few years?

Financials. It is such a hard thing. We finally have a bank but that is all I can say about it. We’ve been shut down by countless other banks. I have had to lie about it with banks because of the taboo. Its a scary thing to do, because you are exposed by operating with cash and your staff is at risk. Everyone is dealing with it, even us. The bank is very recent, in fact, my husband and I popped a bottle of champagne the other night because getting one was so exciting.

Building the first kitchen was another huge obstacle, especially moving from a trailer to a full kitchen. You are constantly doubling down as well, spending money to make money. Every dollar spent is hopefully a dollar earned. For the longest time I was paying myself the salary of a teacher that we all know is not very much.

Then there is the heat on edibles. You are on constant defense because of the stigma around them and what people think. I get it because people don’t understand them and thus resort to panic. In fact, edibles are much safer than alcohol but must be used in moderation. The problem is people don’t know how to use edibles. There is only so much the industry can do before consumers have to step in and accept responsibility.

Jesse: We are trying to build a cultural of intuition around edibles with our products.

Julie: Exactly. It is all so new to many people. When you buy a bottle of vodka, you just know not to drink the whole thing. That is culturally intuitive. With edibles, this has not fully been established.

What is your favorite recipe? What about a favorite recipe for customers?

Oh god, the original chocolate chip cookie. I shouldn’t pick one, but I love them. They are a classic. Overall, the peanut and jelly cups have had a fantastic response. It depends on who you are talking to. Smokers prefer the single serve. Non-smokers like the stacks. It depends on tourist as well. People who are just visiting to hit the slopes can’t consume a nine stack at once. Also, it rotates along with the product. Pies are quite popular when they are in season, in fact when pies are in off season we keep getting request for them, email after email asking when they will be back. Every one loves something different.

Any plans for new recipes?

A lot of it is driven by packing because of the strict requirements. Our kitchen staff has so many wonderful ideas but we have to make sure we can meet the needs of continuously child-proof, opaque container. To work around these, we stick to things that are round and can last on the shelf but our kitchen does a lot of R & D. We will try five different recipes and choose the favorite. Sometimes we will take request from customers but it sucks having to shoot people down. Due to the nature of the industry and ensuring products are actually viable, a lot of our work is done in-house. We have a slow but steady release of products as well. Right now, we always want to ensure quality so it is easier to keep the menu short and sweet instead of overextending our offerings. But we always keep our eye open towards grocery stores and farmer markets trying to find inspiration. I mean I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to recipes I wish I could make!

Julie, last question, if you could make any one recipe what would it be?

Hmmm, hard question, I have never been asked that…. Oh! Full wedding cakes! Yes, I would love to make wedding cakes. Some social, adult-use entity but something for an event with countless people. Damn, I would love to make some kind of catered meal. A coursed menu where you could create the entire list of each individualized item to serve, kind of like Thanksgiving. But yes, wedding cakes. I would’ve tried to make that work, there was a short time on the recreation side where you didn’t have to break up servings. I wanted to do it, and I suppose it might be possible if you sold them in the cupcake style. We always have great ideas, but sadly the policies haven’t caught up yet.

Overall, I had a great time touring Sweet Grass Kitchen with Julie and Jesse, learning about Julie’s background, how the bakery came to be, and how it has evolved over time. My trip served as a nice reminder of the human side of the production of pot we sometimes forget is a huge part of the growing experience; getting cannabis from the kitchen to the consumer. It also is a reminder of all the work that must be done, not just behind edibles but all pot in general. If we are going to make the substance much more acceptable for regular and medical use in society, it will take time and advocates just like Julie and Sweet Grass Kitchen blazing the way. Personally, I hope we get to the point where policy and public opinion catches up with cannabis-innovators like Sweet Grass Kitchen so the plant becomes something much more innovative, accepted and understood. After all, having sampled Sweet Grass Kitchen’s product offering, I cannot wait to have Julie cater a wedding cake whenever I decide to get married.

  • Ask a Stoner
    Ask a Stoner
    Monthly Street Interviews
Ask a Stoner
Monthly Street Interviews

Casual Smokers: Lynn & Tracy

How did you get to Denver, and why?

Lynn: I came out here for a man. I was drunk while riding the train.

Tracy: Drove straight from Saint Louis to Denver to hang out with friends and see Wilco Tuesday night.

What is your favorite strain of marijuana?

Lynn: Blue and in the past.

Tracy: Dutch Dream. It’s a good Sativa. I’m a Sativa guy. It’s hard to find in Washington, and I’m a dispensary guy in Washington. I get that usually and some Indica sometimes.

What is one thing Colorado could do to improve your situation?

Lynn: Healthcare for all. Not just for women.

Tracy: Colorado is already doing a lot of things at least for the legalization. But one of the things that I just noticed from this shop that on the menu, while you’re waiting to go in, that for edibles, one dose is ten milligrams. In Washington it’s a big deal right now that people try to ban them or not make them not look like candy because people don’t read or know anything about the dosage they take them and then freak out. They don’t know what they are getting into, but it is much better here.

They were a little resistant in Washington because the other things with the retail market out, they just passed a law this last winter that they are going to phase out dispensaries because they aren’t taxed of course. And they are going to put the dispensaries in where you can still get tax-free if you sign up for the registry. And now there’s a big backlash on it against a registry.

Stoner Friend: Christopher

How did you get to Denver and why?

I was at a friend’s house in Utah. This is a true story. It’s kind of long. I’ll make this short. I was at a friend’s in Utah…. There’s no marijuana in UT. Everyone smokes spice because they sell spice at the store. And I got addicted to it. And I got pissed off because all my bud dealers were smoking it because they were on probation. Long story short, I got tired of smoking spice. I was hanging out with my last friends that smoked marijuana and during the election I saw that Colorado was legalizing marijuana. I instantly got up and said “I’m out of here!.”

How long have you been in Denver?

I got here two weeks after the election… so like November 2012. It was a good move.

What would you say your favorite strain of marijuana is and why?

Space Queen. It’s a hybrid that comes from a ramulin, which is a Sativa, and another strain called Cinderella 99, and that’s my favorite one. The high is very smooth, tastes very good, it’s a strong Sativa and I like them because they keep me awake. Do I like Indicas? Right before I go to bed.

What is one thing Colorado could change to improve your current situation and why?

They need to judge me on the quality of my work and not the quantity of THC in my urine. If a cop can still have a beer, why can’t he have a joint? You can’t just go wake and bake and go on duty. Everybody should know not to get high at work. Which to me is a waste because after you get off work you want to get high, and you just wasted your weed. But yeah they need to get rid of the urine test.

One sentence of insight or advice for someone that just got to CO to help with the grow movement?

There is no limit at all on the benefits of medical and recreational marijuana even emotionally spiritually physically as long as you have no inhibition that it helps.

  • Buzz Feed
    Buzz Feed
    What games are you playing?
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What games are you playing?

WHAT GAMES ARE YOU PLAYING THIS MONTH?

Growing up, I was always partial to the Marvel world over the DC Universe. I always found the Marvel lineup more captivating than Batman, Superman, and the Green Lantern. I now feel as though I may have done myself a disservice. Batman Arkham Knight is a wild ride through Gotham and one I should have experienced years ago.

Arkham Knight is the third installment in the trilogy and it does not fall short. Visually, the balance of light and dark elements is captivating and downright terrifying at times. The storytelling is among one of the title’s strongest assets. Arkham Knight weaves a tale and delivers from start to finish.

Several expansions have been announced, increasing the replay value of the title. If you are looking for a well balanced combat system, gritty visuals, and a balls to the wall story, look no further than Batman Arkham Knight, out now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

See you online!

  • GAUNTLET SLAYER EDITION — 8/11
  • GEARS OF WAR ULTIMATE EDITION — 8/25
  • MADDEN NFL 16 — 8/25
  • UNTIL DAWN — 8/25
  • DISHONORED DEFINITIVE EDITION — 8/25
  • DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 — 8/30

OUT NOW

BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT
DRIVE CLUB
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT
FARMING SIMULATOR 15

  • The Roundup
    The Roundup
    Roundup of the August Edition
The Roundup
Roundup of the August Edition

Cannabis Generates Washington $70 Million in Tax Revenue

Who ever said cannabis was bad for business has never understood the power of this potent plant. As of this month, marijuana sales has been decriminalized in the great Pacific Northwestern state of Washington for one year. During this time, the results have been more than stellar with the state generating close to $70 million in tax revenue for the government. Quite a bit of green being raised by green it seems. With the 2016 elections approaching, these positive, measurable results is exactly what’s needed for positive cannabis advocacy.

Report Shows Less Crime, More Profit

Interesting news recently emerged out of Colorado Springs as a result of marijuana big data analysis . Reports show over the past few years that crime rates involving the plant have dropped while the revenue of businesses tied to marijuana have steadily increased. This positive news combats the generalized “broken-window” theory that pot proliferates violence and crime. What’s next? Tackling the tricky business of pot and the banking industry…

The Government Makes Ganja Easier to Research

If you read the Gazette’s story about the History of Weed in July’s issue, you would know the government has never hesitated to put unnecessary roadblocks on the advancement of the marijuana industry. These obstacles included criminalizing research often proving their Class 1 Scheduling was wrong and even outright faulty. However, the Obama administration has made cannabis research a bit easier. They recently elected to eliminate the U.S. Public Health Service oversight and review of all cannabis-based studies, thus enabling outside entities to research the plant for practical purposes without Big Brother breathing down their necks. This striking of dated law is a great win for pot because the more relevant, factual research results, the harder it will be for Washington to crusade against weed and its countless benefits.

Marijuana Continuing to Expand

In July, a few more states took advanced measures in the advocacy of marijuana, namely Minnesota and Oregon. Medical MJ is now being formalized in Minnesota, while Oregon has opened its borders to the recreational side of the plant for anyone 21 and up.

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