Reflections on Visiting a Legal Pot Shop

I wrote this in 2014. Given that it is Thanksgiving week-end again, I thought I’d share. I do love Colorado!

I LOVE Colorado. One of the things I missed while running for office was getting out of town. Today I decided to drive to Glenwood–it is a nice drive, about 180 miles round trip, and the highways are good. I crank the stereo up and enjoy the music and scenery I love.
When I got to Glenwood, I considered just continuing up the highway to Aspen, but then I remembered I had Jackson with me and he probably wouldn’t like starving, so I decided to turn around and go back home. And what was right there next door to the Auto Zone parking lot that I was aiming for? A shop called “greenworkz.” Yep, right there on the road to Aspen is a retail pot shop. Of course I stopped. First Jackson stretched his legs a little in a tour of the parking lot, where he did leave some yellow snow. And then I went into my first legal pot shop. I never imagined it would happen in my lifetime, but there I was.
Colorado is kind of quirky in many ways. If I remember correctly, we were one of the first states in the nation to legalize abortion. And now we are one of the first states in the nation to legalize pot. One of the first female bank presidents was the president of a bank for women, which was highly successful. And yet, we elect every kind of whackadoodle in the book when it comes to local, state, and national government.
So, the entrance to the pot shop is sloped like a handicapped ramp, but I’m not sure I’d want to use it in winter, unless it is always well shoveled. No handrails. There is a very charming young woman who greets you at the door, asks to see your ID (yes, even the ID of a 66 year old woman.) and directs you around the corner and into the shop, while mentioning that there is an ATM by the door and all sales are cash only. Walking up the stairs into the shop, one can’t miss the dazzling display of hookahs in a glass case.
Entering the shop space, one is immediately struck by how white and clean everything looks. The shop is brightly lit, with a frame of glass display shelves, surrounding a work space, surrounding a product storage space, which is painted an appealing grey. It reminded me of perfume counters in upscale department stores. There are drinks, inhalers, cookies, brownies, lemon drops, tinctures, pipes, eye drops, all displayed on the glass shelves. And jars of pot, with exotic names and brand new descriptive words. It was like suddenly being transported to a foreign place, where one does not know the local language.
There were two sales clerks, both young men, who were polite to everyone, but having a bit of a problem giving everyone attention. It seems there were a lot of tourists who were as interested as I in seeing what a pot shop looked and felt like. Tourists need guides and translators. Remember, Aspen is just up the road.
Eventually I decided on the deal being offered to all “locals.” There is a sign on the counter that defines “locals” by listing places they might live. Yep, Grand Junction is on the list. Right next to that sign was an offer of an Eighth for $35 for locals. After getting a translation, the decision of what to buy was made easy. I mean, what woman doesn’t like a good bargain, and nothing else was on sale.
The young man, while weighing out my purchase, explained that after all of his years of smoking pot, he just goes to hash when he smokes these days. By then I was too intimidated to ask if they sold hash too, but I did see a jar that was named LSD, so I guess anything is possible. After careful weighing, the pot found itself sealed in a black plastic container with a childproof lid, and then sealed once again in a white plastic “purse” with a childproof zipper. Evidently the “purse” is a state regulation, and one is encouraged to save it for future purchases. My purse was $35 lighter.
On the way home we passed a well that was being fracked. It was on the North side of the interstate, up gradient from the river. Lots and lots of red and blue trucks and men dressed in red jumpsuits–guess they wanted to be sure to be seen. Something was kicking up a plume of dust. It is hard to get a lot of detail when viewing from a vehicle traveling at 75 miles per hour.
After following the river through DeBeque Canyon and into Palisade, we stopped at the little Palisade grocery store where I bought some currants and apple juice. The currants are just in case I get motivated to bake some Saffron Bread. The apple juice is for my guests tomorrow–no worries it is organic.
Happy Thanksgiving from Colorful Colorado!

About Ckonola

Retired banker, community and economic developer. Born in Deadwood, but raised in Colorado.

One Community Comment, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    And happy Thanksgiving weekend celebration to you, too. 

    I'm pretty certain the only things that have changed are the prices (inflation is everywhere, donchaknow) and Colorado's politics.

    Colorado is kind of quirky in many ways. If I remember correctly, we were one of the first states in the nation to legalize abortion. And now we are one of the first states in the nation to legalize pot. One of the first female bank presidents was the president of a bank for women, which was highly successful. And yet, we elect every kind of whackadoodle in the book when it comes to local, state, and national government.

    We gave up on electing every kind of whackadoodle in the book … Not certain if that means we've expanded the book since then or if our increasingly BLUE victors prevent them from winning, but between the primaries and the general election, we seem to have avoided several types of whackadoodles this year.

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