Pubdate: Fri, 22 Aug 2014
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Page: B1
Copyright: 2014 New Haven Register
Author: Randall Beach


Vacationing in Colorado these days now gives you a chance to
experience far more than what John Denver long ago hailed as a "Rocky
Mountain high."

Oh yes, my wife and I did travel around Rocky Mountain Park last week
when we went out to visit my sister in Boulder. The Rockies are
breathtaking, fabulous to behold.

But there were other memorable spots on our itinerary, including a
store called Cannabis in Nederland and another retail outlet, the
Village Green Society in Boulder. (We also saw ads for Cannabis
Station, Kindman Marijuana, Heads of State, the Weed Show, Green
Fields, Cannasseur, etc.)

These enterprises have been springing up like, yes, weeds, ever since
a new law went into effect in January, making it legal to sell
marijuana products in Colorado. It was the first state to do this and
it's been a big hit with residents and tourists. It's also become a
revenue-enhancer for the state: by the end of May, $23.6 million had
been realized from taxes, licenses and fees.

Naturally, I was curious. It was an opportunity to do some column

My wife and sister decided to wait outside. My sis doesn't even like
the smell of the stuff.

When I walked into the Village Green Society, I was expecting to smell
incense and hear Grateful Dead music amid a hippie-dippie decor, like
the "head shops" we have around here.

But this place was very clinical and austere, almost like a doctor's

As I entered the lobby, a man sitting behind a kind of ticket window
immediately asked me for my ID to verify I was 21. It reminded me of
the time my dad, at age 80-something, got proofed at Fenway Park
before he could buy a beer. But Colorado's new dope shops can't be too
careful, so I fished out my Connecticut driver's license.

Once I was "buzzed in" to the shop, I saw two rooms with large glass
cases of merchandise. One of the two merchants told me these are
called "bud bars."

Store manager Ilsa Duncan showed me the offerings. The buds in the
bottles had exotic names such as Lemon Skunk, Daisy Queen and Cherry
Durban. Describing this last item, Duncan said, "That's more relaxing;
it gives you more of a body high."

Then she showed me Maui Wowie: $60 for onethird of an ounce. "That's
a very high grade marijuana, very high in THC."

I knew I would be driving my rental car around town later that
afternoon, so I had to be very careful. No Maui Wowie for this dude.

Duncan told me I could buy a single joint for $12.50. If I wanted to
be even more conservative, she could sell me a "sweet grass cookie"
(10 milligrams) for $4 (plus $1 for the state of Colorado).

She said they sold cookies of up to 100 milligrams. As for the 10
milligrams offering, she remarked, "Some people don't get high on it.
It's not going to do anything crazy to you."

And so that's what I bought, in an elaborate plastic pouch with a
childproof zipper opener. There were all sorts of warnings on the
packet, including: "The marijuana product contained within this
package has not beeen tested for potency; consume with caution."

I stepped outside, gave a thumbs-up to my wife and sister and showed
them what I had. We decided to sit on a bench outside the store and
split the cookie three ways.

They said they didn't feel anything; no "high" at all. As for me, I
thought I detected a subtle buzz as we walked around Boulder.

Maybe next time I'll eat the whole cookie myself.

One day later we visited the small town of Nederland, a mix of
touristy shops and funky secondhand stores with a counter-cultural
atmosphere. That's where I saw a shop called Cannabis and decided to

Again I went through the ID check-in and found another couple of rooms
with glass cases. Some of the edibles were advertised as being "gluten

I saw more of those 10 milligram cookies (in snickerdoodle or peanut
butter flavors) for $5 but I held back. Again, I would be driving that
rental car, this time on some very winding mountain roads.

Nederland is also the home of Club Ned, which bills itself as
"America's first legal cannabis cafe." But the lady at the adjacent
junk shop told me I'd have to sign a "code of conduct" to get in, plus
pay a $14.20 membership fee.

So I didn't go in there. I looked at the "club" from the sidewalk; it
looked like a little shack, adorned with signs: "security cameras in
use," "no trespassing" and "BYOC."

Anyway, the new marijuana law is up and operating and people aren't
going crazy in the streets. As I told Duncan in the Village Green
Society, Colorado is blazing the trail for the rest of the country.
I'll bet that within a few years we'll have the same set-up in
Connecticut, the "land of steady habits." And we won't go crazy, either.  
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D