Marijuana: Buying recreational pot in Denver
Westword has a team of writers and photographers around Colorado today covering the start of legalized cannabis sales to adults 21 and up. Though the rest of the Westword blogs are sleeping today, we'll be updating The Latest Word through the day with dispatches from the field.
Read on for William Breathes' account of The Clinic on Colorado's last-minute opening.
As of 4:45 New Years Eve, The Clinic wasn't going to open for recreational sales today. But some last-minute scrambling, pleading and begging got them through the process enough to legally open their doors this morning at 8 a.m.
The crowd was minimal at that point, with a lone would-be customer who drove all night from Montana outnumbered by a few reporters sensible enough to avoid the media circus at other dispensaries (we got reports that cameramen were openly cursing each other well before 8 a.m. at Denver's 3-D).
Over some softly-playing Bob Marley, general manager Ryan Cook said that he was in line at the state Department of Revenue at 8 a.m. yesterday morning asking for his inspection card. After that, he said it was a mad dash to get the various city inspections made before 5 p.m. when he had to have everything over to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division for final approval - after 5 p.m. he said.
(Full disclosure: I met Cook in person several years ago after reviewing their medical marijuana center on Colfax, so this wasn't exactly my usual secret shopper routine)
The shop has what is called "virtual separation", meaning medical patients and recreational patients can shop in the same room. Check-in is the same as it has always been, with a small window in the waiting room near the locked security door leading back to the bud bar. But unlike medical marijuana purchases, all I had to do was hand over my Colorado ID for a quick visual check, and I was through the doors into the bud bar for my selections - of which the Clinic was limited due to such short notice.
The shop didn't have much to offer, only five strains - but that should grow considerably over the next few months (along with every other recreational shop's supply). The shop had five strains on deck, including a funky Chemdawg-cross called Shakedown, Grape Skunk, and a rich, OG-funky Grunk.