Lauren Hoover, the fitness-loving budtender from the CNN docuseries “High Profits,” died Wednesday after being in a coma for three weeks, according to a representative from St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.
Hoover was 26 years old.
“She’s being referred to as a budtender in these stories, but she was so much more than a budtender — but that’s obviously how the world fell in love with her (on TV),” said Philip Wolf, CEO of cannabis tourism company Cultivating Spirits and a friend and colleague of Hoover’s. “You just wanted to be around her. You wanted to be in her presence. All she wanted to do was better people around her — cheering them up or encouraging them to go on a run. She was a believer in fitness and yoga and running. She was all about giving back to her own body, and she encouraged everybody to do the same, to live a better life.
“We snowboarded and did yoga together, and she loved her craft beer and a bowl.”
Hoover was driving from her Breckenridge home to work at Silverthorne pot shop High Country Healing on March 2 when she got into a head-on collision, suffering a serious brain injury, according to a website raising funds for her hospital bills. The accident was on Highway 6, near Dillon Dam Road, and the weather conditions were poor, according to the fundraising site.
More on Lauren Hoover
As of Thursday morning, the Lauren Love Light GoFundMe page had raised nearly $32,000 for Hoover’s expenses.
On “High Profits,” which documented the Breckenridge Cannabis Club’s unusually tricky transition from a medical marijuana dispensary to a recreational pot shop on the resort town’s Main Street, Hoover was the fun-loving, quirky budtender who named her bong and had an infectious energy and magnetism.
Hoover’s free and open-to-the-public Funky Buddha Fitness classes each Friday were just one of the ways she gave back to her community, friends said.
“She had people meet at the park every Friday, and she’d take them through her own workout — a combination of running up hills and yoga,” said Wolf, who employed Hoover as a tour guide and digital marketer. “It was for free, and people would come out and do her little workouts. She never asked for a donation.
“When other tragedies happened in the community, she was always the one who stepped up to help out.”
Hoover grew up in Colorado Springs but has lived in the mountains for years. She was studying business at Colorado Mountain College, and she lived with her fiancé Brandon Austin, according to the fundraising site.
“Her desire to succeed as an entrepreneur, and her willingness to do anything for her friends and family proves the love, strength, and courage that she never fails to share with others,” the site reads.
Lauren Hoover’s bio on Instagram said as much: “Colorado Native, Ganja smokin yogi, world explorer, nature enthusiast, snowboard bunny, runner, Cannabis industry life. Spreadin love on the daily!”
The most recent post on Hoover’s online treatment journal, maintained by her sister Elise Hoover, was posted on March 21 and laid out the seriousness of Lauren Hoover’s injuries.
“Lauren is still fighting for for her lung function as of this morning,” the March 21 post reads. “She is still breathing from a ventilator, and they have to keep her on the sedative and in a paralytic state. The doctors have been discussing the idea of trying to take her out of the paralytic again to see how she breathes on her own, and allow her to to try and wake up; however, she is still not showing enough improvement with her lung function. The doctor’s say fighting bacterial pneumonia is a long process, and so we should continue to be patient.
“Because she has been so touch and go with the lung function, they have not been able to get her to another floor for x-rays and chest and head scans. The goal for today is to get more scans and x-rays so the doctors can see the condition of her lungs and head. Once the docs get the results back from these tests, they should have a better idea of the direction in her recovery process.”