When the world of weed is at your fingertips, it can be tough to choose which cannabis company to fork over your hard-earned cash to. But not to worry, I’ll be going over both boutique and large scale cannabis operations to make sure you’re happy with your replenished stash.
The boutique cannabis culture and the large-scale producers of cannabis in Colorado both produce quality bud. You can bet on it tasting better than anything the average consumer can get off the black market in non-recreational states.
The differences can’t simply be boiled down to a matter of manufacturing efficiency, which usually results in a lower cost per gram. The fact is, cannabis cultivators – large and small – are taking on ‘celebrity strains’ or simply have expensive top-shelf cannabis.
Many of the smaller pot shops in Denver strive to be cozy and catering. It’s easy for those who see less foot traffic in and out of the store to spend more time on their return consumers because they tend to have bigger tickets overall. As a result, the boutique businesses may pay more attention to their solid sellers: flower and concentrates.
Unfortunately, it can be at the expense of shelf space that could go toward displaying a more eclectic variety of cannabis products.
Clearly, the increase in time spent per person at a small shop is worth it for many, especially for those who need to talk to their budtender about which strains work for them and their health issues.
One of the most intimate experiences I’ve had the opportunity to explore was learning about Lotus Medical, a medical-only dispensary in Denver. The owner took great pride in the personalized service they offer to patients and was gushing over the flower they grow for their patients. Lotus medical reminded me that cannabis is medicine, and the art of growing the ‘perfect’ cannabis plants differ from one cultivator to another.
Boutique cultivators, like Verde Natural in Denver, are boutique in the way they grow. At Verde, they swear by growing in small batches for better quality control overall.
Verde does such a great job with their growing techniques that Tommy Chong selected them to be the official bud of his Colorado cannabis brand, Chong’s Choice.
The Larger Companies
Denver is home to some of the earliest adopters of legal cannabis reform. Therefore, some already have nearly a decade of experience in the green space. That’s more time for trial and errors in growing cannabis, which has afforded many of the bigger cannabis companies business growth and national media attention.
The problem presented to successful cannabis companies right now is being labeled as ‘big cannabis’ sellouts. The undeserved label ignores that they are the ones paving the way for cultivation standards and supporting federal legalization.
For example, LivWell is a cannabis company that spends millions on philanthropic endeavors and legislative efforts. They are constantly striving to make the best cannabis, most efficiently. It’s a family business and the father-son duo bring business acumen and laser-sharp focus and logistical skills one would expect from a commercial industry warehouse (the CEO is from the logistical warehouse side of other industries).
Whether small or large, one thing that rings true for any cannabis company is that the morale of the cannabis industry in Colorado is at an all-time high. Just about every employee I’ve run into on the manufacturing and customer service side looks happy, and say they are thrilled to be working in a state legal cannabis company.
Originally published: The Marijuana Times
Tommy Chong is a Naturalized American treasure. Though he hails from North of the border his influence on the counter culture, cannabis community and antiestablishment is global. He’s an outlaw, a style icon, an entrepreneur, a writer and an actor; he’s a musician, a comedian, a philosopher, a husband, a father and a grandfather. Having survived prison, cancer and making 1984’s The Corsican Brothers, it seems nothing can faze him.
Colorado has been one of Chong’s favorite places the since the 1970’s when he first visited on tour with his seminal comedy group Cheech & Chong. The pair have broken up, reconciled and headed back on the road a few years ago. Evolving from small venues to colleges and then big arenas, now they’re back on college campuses and performing at casinos across the country bringing laughter to a country in a time when it’s sorely needed.
The Chonger was recently in Denver promoting his new line of Chong’s Choice cannabis (Click here to read an expert’s review of Chong’s Choice Indica Grape Stomper) and also being paraded through the local media circus. Twenty or so minutes in the company of Mr. Chong felt more like an hour or two during this trip of an interview. Sitting in a Cherry Creek hotel conference room, Chongster was was casually dressed in all black Chucks and socks with his and Cheech’s likeness emblazoned on them. On the table between the two of us sat a ‘Get America Stoned Again’ hat, which has become a staple of his wardrobe during the recent election cycle.
Warm and conversational, the late morning interview touched on a number of topics, meandered often. Joking about cunnilingus or riffing on his character from Half Baked filled the spaces between the regularly scheduled questions. Pushing 80 years old, Tommy Chong has not given a fuck in a great many years. He says what he wants and doesn’t have handlers hanging onto his collar tightening their hold when he starts rambling.
Below are the word-for-word thoughts Mr. Chong shared openly during the interview with Whaxy’s own Emmett Nelson:
On his first time smoking marijuana
When I first started smoking it was 1957, and a jazz musician gave me a joint and a Lenny Bruce record up in Calgary. I took the joint and I put it in my pocket—so he lit his own joint and I smoked pot for the first time. It was probably one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I’d smoke a couple of tokes and put it out. The joint lasted me a month and the Lenny Bruce album lasted me for my life. And you had to really respect it. You never knew when you were going to get more. Back then you never knew. That joint was very valuable to me. And I got to tell you, this isn’t the best for kids or anything, I smoked the joint and I think the next day I went in and quit school because I knew I wanted to be a blues musician. I was 17 or 18, I guess. So I quit school and started working day jobs and playing music at night. We put a band together. I wasn’t smoking regularly. I’d smoke whenever we had it.
On the evolution of his stage show
Cheech and I had broken up and I was on my own. Blind Melon Chitlin’ was my alter ego. I was in Boston. I went on after one guy, he looked straight but he was gay. He attracted a big gay crowd. And I did that character. I said, “Here’s a song I wrote one day when I was beating my old lady”, and I got booed, oh I got booed. Almost booed of the stage. One leg over my shoulder would barley make it now. I had to drop that from my show.
It was a death sentence a few years ago. If I didn’t act on it right away it would have been a death sentence for me. Again, cannabis didn’t cure it, but it helped me heal and it gave me a reason to live. It gave me the will to live. You know when you get the munchies, that’s really getting the will to live.
On President Elect Trump
“I think he’s going to be the best president we’ve ever had.”
Cheech and I were out on the road during the election and we were getting 50 percent Trump audiences. They were our fans. You know—Trump attracted the deplorables—those are our fans.
I’m against all the bigotry and building a wall and all of that shit. I’m totally against it. Then all the sudden, after the election, I realized this guy is a hell of an actor. I think he’s going to be the best president we’ve ever had. I’ll tell you why. He’s got experience. The apprentice. You think about it…what was his job on the apprentice? Being the CEO and designating jobs to people and seeing who did the best.
The nature of this campaign, he would not take advice or shit from anybody. That’s what we need in a leader. And when they talk about the nuclear codes and all that shit, don’t worry about that. All Trump’s going to do is…nobody know what’s he’s going to do. So they’re not going to be fucking with us.
On the future of America (and exactly how Trump cheats at golf)
Trump is a builder, and he’s smart. Yea, he’s had a lot of failures, but who hasn’t? You don’t win anything unless you know how to fail. Just like golf. I know for a fact Trump cheats at golf…this is how he cheats. If he’s on the green, he’ll trap the ball between his foot and his club and he’ll move the ball up closer to the hole.
He wants to win. He wants to win at anything. What resonated with me is, he said, “I’m a winner, I want to win.“ So when he negotiates with China or anybody else he’s going to get the best deal possible.
On the prospect of another mass shooting and gun control
You’re going to see gun laws change like you’ve never seen them before. He’s (Trump) going to go “Hold on. This is wrong.” He’ll call in these people dealing with this gun shit, and he’s going to say, “Listen man! This is what your product is doing and we’re going to have to do something about that.“
On cannabis legalization this election
This election opened my eyes. We have a whole electorate out there that voted with their hearts and not just the propaganda that was thrown at them. In their hearts they know that cannabis is good for you and it should be legal and there is no reason that it shouldn’t be legal. Every test has shown that marijuana isn’t addictive and that is the biggest thing.
On cannabis in prison
“So when I was in prison I would just think about the pot and I would get into that mellow mood.”
The thought of marijuana will get you high, you know its body memory. Just like when women are pregnant and certain smells will make them sick, and your body reacts to the thought or the smell especially. So when I was in prison I would just think about the pot and I would get into that mellow mood.
I was offered pot almost daily…by snitches. They were trying to bust me and I turned them down. The first time I almost didn’t turn them down but I had my dog, my buddy with me. He was my guide through prison. He’d been in all of his life so when they offered me he told them to get that crap out of here.
On life imitating art
You know the funny thing about prison; we had squirrels. I had one. It was a pet. He was out in the field. We’d go out there with the prison food, cause you couldn’t eat it yourself but you could feed the squirrels. It would crawl up your leg and you could feed it.
Draped in dreamy green and orange hues, this hand-picked hybrid from Master Chong has truly been cultivated to perfection. Hailing from Humboldt County, this euphoric strain grown by Denver-based Verde Natural brings the easy-going creativity of the West Coast straight to the Mile High City.
Blue Dream’s super dense flowers have the appearance of fluffy sand-covered limes that beg the observer to gaze deeper into its crystalline depths. The coconut brown-tinted pistils weave throughout these jungly nugs while gigantic glittering trichomes stick to the fingers like Gorilla Glue.
Despite its starry-eyed namesake, this specimen has a subtly floral scent well-suited for family gatherings or other important events where you may not want to advertise your elevated status. After a quick grind, a hint of Sweet Tarts presents Blue Dream’s sassier side and gets the salivary glands kick-started into action.
No session with Blue Dream would be complete without the proper apparatus, so I took Angelina Bowlie (a.k.a. my large-lipped 3-foot bong) out of retirement and put her to work. With a heaping salad bowl loaded up, the first hit produced a cloud so thick the neighbors probably thought I built a sauna in my living room.
The heavy-hitting tokes let you know right away why it’s called “Blue Dream”; it’s simply one of the most sensational highs you’ll experience outside of being deep inside of a dream. Calming, relaxing, uplifting and body-buzzing, this hybrid truly showcases the generations of hard work that have gone into producing this incredible strain that is designed to saturate both body and mind.
There are few strains that can consistently impress even the most seasoned of cannaseurs. Chong’s Choice Durban Haze grown by Verde Natural is a perfect union of tangy aroma, dazzling aesthetics and long-lasting effects that prove Tommy Chong knows how to pick a winner.
Sustainably grown, hand trimmed and masterfully cured, Chong’s Choice strains like Durban Haze are also genetically certified by Medicinal Genomics.
This sample of Durban Haze gives the impression of a thick emerald hedge coated in sugary cream-colored trichomes with short, stout burnt-sienna pistils. A simple pull on its bulky foliage reveals a hidden stash of crystals sure to satisfy any grinder.
The unmistakable scent (terpenes) of sweet citrus and sharp accents of pine poured from this sample while fruity undertones pungently announced their presence. Based on smell alone, this is one of the finest sativas on the market. When her smoke finally hits your lips, it tastes exactly how it smells — delicious.
With a brand new glass Leonardo piece in hand (of TMNT fame), I put the fattest nugget of Durban Haze into a space case and ground it down to its mouth-watering constituents. When flame hit herbs, magic happened and a thick cloud of smoke appeared while sobriety quickly disappeared. This could easily double as a tangerine air freshener if you ever have the in-laws show up sporadically during a smoke session.
The first hit immediately sat between the eyes while a freight train of THC was delivered straight to the dome and a smile stretched across my face. After only 5 minutes, I began to realize that this is the Olympic powerlifter in a field of sporadic gym-goers. The word “potent” barely does Durban Haze’s effects justice. The clear-headed, slightly energizing cerebral effects slowly crept down into the body over the next hour.
Testing has shown Chong’s Choice Durban Haze to be higher than average in the cannabinoids THC-V and CBG. You’re less likely to develop the munchies with this strain because THC-V acts to suppress the appetite. CBG battles inflammation, making it especially beneficial in the treatment of such conditions as glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.