Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jan 2014
Source: Virgin Islands Daily News, The (VI)
Copyright: 2014 Virgin Islands Daily News
Author: Maureen Dowd, New York Times


DENVER - So you want to get high in a high-end way in the Mile High

You could call Dale Dyke and his wife, Chastity Osborn, a massage
therapist, who run Get High Getaways. They gutted their brick house in
Bel Mar and let it go to pot, refashioning it as a clothing optional,
or as Dale calls it, "textile optional" bed-and-breakfast.

They're still waiting for their first big booking, but Chastity says
they're busily adding amenities to create a "resort environment," like
a stone labyrinth with a tether ball, a camera in the living room to
Skype your friends stoned, an outdoor swing "where you can have a good
time and catch a buzz," and "maybe a nerf horseshoe court."

They charge $199 per person per night - you have to be over 21 - and
offer two rooms, 24/7 car service and a hot tub. They can give, rather
than sell, their homegrown pot to guests.

Chastity will even serve her marijuana-infused "yummies" textile-free,
if you like. (The couple are proud members of the American Association
for Nude Recreation.)

"We want the higher-end clientele," the 38-year-old Chastity says.
"Comedians. Adult film entertainers. Musicians."

Dale chimes in: "We're trying to keep stoned tourists from getting
lost in Denver and causing mayhem. Our motto is 'Don't come on
vacation and leave on probation.' "

The blooming pot industry here is still more seedy than glossy. Yet
the budding bud growers are eager to help Denver elude the stigma of
Rocky Mountain Low, a shadowy place overrun by "The Dude Abides"
hippies and Jeff Spicoli stoners.

"People are learning not to be ashamed," the 45-year-old Dyke said.
"No more talking in whispers. We're moving away from the image of dumb
stoner teenagers to older successful businesspeople who can admit
they're stoners."

They want it to be a better Amsterdam. "That whole city," Dyke said,
"smells like pot."

Some relatives are still leery. "My mom won't befriend me on
Facebook," Chastity says.

But they are thrilled to be part of the huge social experiment
transforming Colorado as jittery politicians press on the gas and
brake at the same time, state government builds a regulatory system
from scratch, entrepreneurs deal in "Breaking Bad" cash, and towns
decide if they will allow retail pot stores (Aspen) or not (Vail).

"We want to be the Napa Valley and the Silicon Valley of weed," says
Matt Brown, who co-founded My 420 Tours, which will shepherd guests to
marijuana-friendly hotels and host special events like Stoner Bowl and
a Valentine's Weekend Tour that includes a "Threesome With Mary Jane"
party and a trip to glass blowers, where couples can design their own

Could there be a Facebook effect, where young people lose interest as
older people rush in?

"There is something not cool about a 22-year-old," the 31-year-old
Brown admits, "who has to wait in line for an hour with people his
parents' age." Much less his grandparents' age.

Now that Coloradans can buy recreational pot, the mood has shifted
from self-consciously therapeutic, medicating "patients," to
self-consciously scientific and capitalistic, serving consumers.
"Education managers" in white lab coats and marketing executives in
suits are swarming in. Many use the more formal term cannabis and
refer to themselves loftily as "the 420 community," so intent on
setting a good example they could be Shakers.

"I don't want to use the word 'pot' or 'weed' or 'smoke' or 'joint,"'
says a pretty 37-year-old event planner who uses the nom de pot Jane
West (Mary Jane in the West) and owns a company called Edible Events.
"If we redefine it as consuming cannabis, then maybe people will be
more open to that. There are only so many hoodie-wearing stoners in
town. This needs to be opened up to other demographics." West is
especially interested in wooing women, getting them to equate cannabis
with a glass of wine.

"Many women think it's something that makes you dumb," she says,
arguing that women should leave the Valley of the Dolls - anti-anxiety
pills and Ambien - and switch to "the Napa Valley of cannabis."

She wants to arrange corporate events, but concedes she may only
attract cannabis corporations for a while. Her first big party, aptly
held at the (nonsmoking) Space Gallery, was Friday night. Guests could
"blaze," as West put it, in a bus parked outside, which she had
decorated with peacock feathers so it would look less "cheesy." They
could smoke, vape and nosh on savories soaked in sauce and cream to
alleviate dry mouth. "Munchies for foodies," she calls it.

At a warehouse under construction in a spot that used to be a bakery,
Dixie Elixers is cooking up edible, drinkable and topical pot treats,
trying to become the Coke of toking. With a big foil-covered Willy
Wonka machine, they extract the THC from the plant and whip up
products from chocolate truffles to bath soaks to massage oil, all in
modern silvery packaging meant to scream "safe."

Nonetheless, Denver is the Wild West of weed. And things will be
confusing, evolving and dicey for some time. As Dixie Elixirs Chief
Operating Officer Chuck Smith tells his team, "We're building the
airplane while we're flying it."
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D