Welcome to our Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 64-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What about possessing both guns and marijuana at the same time? What about concealed carry permits? –Pistol-packing Pothead
There are differences on the state versus the federal level. According to marijuana attorney Sean McAllister: “Guns are only a problem under state law if you possess them with illegal drugs. Guns and illegal drugs can result in a five-year mandatory prison sentence. Guns and legal things do not create a problem under state law. So there is no issue under state law if you possess a legal amount of marijuana.” That legal amount is one ounce for anyone 21 and older (two ounces if you are a registered Colorado medical marijuana patient).
However, at the federal level where marijuana is not legal, McAllister says there are potential consequences. “The most common problem is if people admit on an Alcohol Tobacco Firearms (ATF) background check for purchasing a gun or getting a concealed-weapons permit that they use marijuana,” McAllister says. “They will likely be denied that license or gun purchase since the federal government considers it a drug of abuse.”
Since 2011, the ATF has prohibited medical marijuana patients from buying guns because marijuana is not federally legal. In Colorado marijuana centers, shop owners are allowed to have guns on premises. XO
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What gives with the lack of European style hash in Colorado? After much research, I have found only a few shops that sell ice-water processed bubble hash. The ice-water process results in a mellow tasting substance which is very similar to Red Lebanese. If we can make this, we can also make Nepalese Temple Ball, Black Pakistani, Red Afghani, Turkish, Moroccan, Jamaican finger and El Primo! We have in our state the potential to make some of the finest high grade smokables in the world. Out there is a fortune, waiting to be had! –C. Baudelaire
Hey, C. Baudelaire!
Nice enthusiasm for traditional hash!
Adam Dunn, host of “The Adam Dunn Show” on iCannabis Radio, compares the two styles: “The main difference between Colorado hash and European-style hash is a traditional hash is hand rubbed or dry sieved. Dry-sieved hash is lower in THC than water hash and solvent-extracted hash that is available here in Colorado.”
Dunn says production methods for hand-rubbed hash are not consistent. “In Nepal for instance, cannabis plants are often wild and have their own unique profile. The ‘charas’ is rubbed off of the live plant or as they call it, ‘milking the plant.’ Each hash maker has his own unique method, which makes it very hard to produce the same product every time.”
Colorado hash has developed differently than the European market. Selecta Nikka T owns the Colorado-licensed water hash company Essential Extracts. His prize-winning product has won first place for non-solvent hash at the Denver High Times Cannabis Cup for three consecutive years. Nikka T says: “We have more regulation, which in turn gave way to more control and sterile lab environments to improve upon processes and variable changes. Real ‘import’ hash doesn’t make it to Colorado because it is illegal to bring it across borders. Shops can’t buy from outside sources, and we have higher quality extractions being made in state. There are very few European hash makers in Colorado.”
Modern hash is made by separating the plant’s THC trichomes with water and ice or by using solvents to extract the trichomes. Hash production methods commonly include heat to decarboxylate the plant matter, whether trim or buds or whole plant, to maximize the THC potency. “Colorado is really at the beginning of the concentrate road with many new developed methods of extraction,” Dunn says. Hash is generally classified as bubble, shatter, budder, wax, sap, or resin. “We are seeing a myriad of different textures, flavors and styles of hash,” waxes Dunn.
Dunn acknowledges the real missing element from the Colorado hash scene is properly pressed dry-sieve hash, or what most Europeans consider hash. By special order, Essential Extracts does make pressed hash and temple balls for marijuana centers.
Because of advances in cannabis knowledge and production methods, making hash with traditional methods would probably be a niche market in Colorado at best. “This would be like serving someone uncooked cake dough,” Dunn says. “Sure, it tastes good, but imagine if it was baked!” XO
How is it legal for cops to draw your blood to check for DUID? Isn’t that a violation of privacy or something? –Skeptical on Syracuse Street
I looked to McAllister again for the skinny on driving and DUI-related testing. McAllister says: “Everyone who drives on Colorado roads expressly consents by law to a blood or breath test when there is probable cause to believe they are driving impaired, even to the slightest degree. Express consent has been upheld as legal because driving is a privilege, not a right.”
Trooper Nate Reid of Colorado State Patrol gave some details on the procedure for a DUID blood draw. He said the police officer first must obtain probable cause for DUID. This includes a field sobriety test and possibly more tests if the officer has received additional training for spotting stoned drivers.
McAllister says, “I advise my clients to take a blood/breath test if the cop demands it, otherwise there is a high likelihood you will lose your license.”
If the officer has a reasonable suspicion and probable cause, the driver is arrested and transported to a licensed phlebotomist, either at a jail, detox facility or hospital to draw a blood sample. After the blood draw, the arrestee either goes to detox, jail, a medical facility or is released to a sober party.
The test takes about two weeks to be processed and if the results are positive for DUID, the driver’s license may be revoked. For marijuana DUID, McAllister says, “At this time, there is no direct driver’s license consequence of testing over the 5 (nanogram per milliliter) marijuana limit in blood. There may be some impact on your criminal case in court, but you won’t automatically lose your driver’s license with the Department of Motor Vehicles if you test positive over 5 nanograms of THC.” XO