As Colorado wraps up its sixth month of legal recreational marijuana sales, we at The Cannabist are looking back at those six months to see what we’ve gleaned in that intensely brief amount of time.
One thing we’ve learned: Businessmen and women are striking while the iron is hot.
If ever there was a time to launch your marijuana-oriented business it’s now. People are risking their life savings on ideas that could flop or thrive — and some of those ideas are particularly compelling given their ties to normalization.
Six Months In:
A special report from The Cannabist
Here are 10 strange but true stories from the first six months of 2014 — from Colorado, California, Washington and beyond:
1. THC between the sheets: Some folks won’t be comfortable talking about Foria in public. So what is it exactly? “It’s a sensual enhancement oil designed for female pleasure — a therapeutic aphrodisiac,” said Mathew Gerson, Foria’s Los Angeles-based creator. “Women have described it as relaxing, and they’ve said it’s heightened their sensations. They’ve associated it with warming and tingling, localized in the sexual region.” Read more about the THC-infused sexual stimulant.
2. An all-marijuana farmers market: On July 4th weekend, a group of southern California-rooted ganjapreneurs will celebrate their freedom by opening a marijuana farmers market in Los Angeles. But is the California Heritage Market a greedy marketing ploy or legitimate patient outreach? The way organizer Paizley Bradbury tells it, the market — which requires a California medical marijuana license for entry at 1500 Esperanza St. in L.A. — could save customers time, money and headaches, given California’s current medical marijuana infrastructure. Read more about the unusual farmers market.
3. Spliffs in spas: Cucumber water, complimentary slippers, freshly warmed robes and cool, mint-scented eye towels — the spa industry is all about these nuanced details. In Denver, another treatment option has made its way onto the menu: cannabis. The marijuana-infused massage we recently wrote about is an example of how the recreational marijuana industry can find a foothold in the $14-billion-a-year spa industry. Read more about the cannabis spa movement.
4. Real-life jazz cigarettes: The cigarette is an American icon, like it or not. And while Big Tobacco and anti-cigarette activists alike can (and will) take advantage of its iconic visage, they’re not the only ones utilizing its familiarity. A Colorado company debuted its all-marijuana cigarettes a few months ago, and now the Rifle, Colo.-based makers of Cranfords Cannabis Cigarettes are hoping their sharply marketed and smartly designed product takes off in Colorado — and soon other markets. Read more about Cranfords’ all-marijuana, high-THC, machine-rolled cigarettes.
5. A Pot Pavilion at the County Fair: Pot plant-growing competitions. Pot brownie judging. Pipes. Vaporizers. Rolling papers. And oh, by the way, there’s also a county fair taking place. But excuse the Denver County Fair organizers for making hay with marijuana while public interest is high. Organizers said recently that the fair’s “Pot Pavilion” will now occupy an entire floor of the National Western Complex during the event Aug. 1-3. “Originally the pot pavilion was going to take just half of the third floor,” said fair director Dana Cain. “But the response has just been enormous. We’re having to turn away sponsors.” Read more about the Denver County Fair’s booming inclusion of marijuana.
6. A cannabis-friendly comic con: Welcome to the man behind Chromic Con: “This will be a comic con where you’ll be able to nerd out and get high and have fun in a safe, acceptable, friendly environment,” organizer Jaymen Johnson said. “I’ve always liked opportunities to come together and nerd out and dress up as your favorite fantasy character or comic book hero or sci-fi character. At every event I attended there was cannabis use happening in corners or parking lots. But it was covert. This seems like the perfect event for cannabis — it shouldn’t be discriminated against.” Read more about Chromic Con, which is coming up in September 2014 in Colorado.
7. Coffee with your cannabis: It was only a matter of time before somebody brought new meaning to the popular stoner rite of passage “wake and bake.” And it makes perfect sense that such a creation is coming out of coffee-crazy Washington state, which will soon start the legal sale of recreational marijuana in the coming weeks. Read more about Legal, the coffee drink packaged with 20 milligrams of THC.
8. You can now buy weed from a vending machine: A few months ago we wrote about the wow-factor of marijuana vending machines: Their legality, how they work and why some feel these machines represent a future that revolves around convenience, control and automation. But those pot vending machines sit behind the counter, and only the budtenders would have access to them — taking something away from a consumer’s experience of, “Whoa, I just bought marijuana from a machine.” A different kind of machine, one customers can access, debuted in Colorado in April. It’s called ZaZZZ, and maker American Green calls it “an automated, age-verifying, climate-controlled marijuana dispensing machine.” Read more about the ZaZZZ.
9. This food truck sells only infused edibles: We’ve already discussed the merits of buying marijuana from vending machines and smoking cannabis via professional, machine-rolled cigarettes. But I’m not sure any of that prepared us for a food truck that only sells infused edibles and foods. Ready or not here is your introduction to the Samich Truck, the 40-foot school bus-turned-food truck which debuted on April 19-20 at the U.S. Cannabis Cup in Denver. Read more about the unique food truck, which opened recently in Seattle.
10. Wait, a pot piñata? Matthew Taijeron had me at “marijuana piñata.” “Our Freedumb Fest party is on the Fourth of July,” said Taijeron, co-owner of the Speak Easy Vape Lounge in Colorado Springs, “and we’ll have raffles and lots of free bud, DJs and a marijuana piñata and barbecue — you can’t have July Fourth without barbecue.” Hold up, a marijuana piñata? “Sure, we’ll have between 30-50 pre-rolls in there and some medicated candies and some grams of hash.” Read more about this adult treat.