Kristin Amescua (Simply Pure “Budologist”) with Director Windy Borman.

Retail therapy for the cause-inspired mind

Before I moved to Denver, everyone teased me that I would see a pot dispensary on every corner. In a few parts of town that is true and plenty seemed to offer an experience akin to the back room party from college. Since I had waited 37 years to buy weed, I was looking for a premium experience.

I opted for a visit to Simply Pure, where I knew my spending could reflect my social justice values. CEO Wanda James and her husband Scott Durrah were the first African-Americans to own a legal marijuana dispensary in the entire United States, and she is still the only woman of color to own a dispensary in Colorado. Since people of color are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites for marijuana possession, they felt it was important for as many people of color to participate in the legal cannabis industry as possible to begin repairing the many harms of the racist Drug War. They don’t just run a business, they have become prominent and outspoken advocates for inclusivity in the industry.

Wanda gave me a tour of Simply Pure and introduced me to Kristin, my “Budologist” (pronounced “BUD-all-o-jist”), which is like a “mixologist” for alcoholic beverages but for weed.

She asked what kind of experience I was hoping to have. I was clear that I wanted to have a fun, giggly “glass of wine with the girls” kind of feeling, so we looked for a hybrid strain that would give me a relaxed, happy feeling.

The nose knows” was common advice shared by the cannabis professionals I had met over the last year, so I smelled several jars of cannabis “flower” (or “buds”) to find one that smelled the best to me. I decided to purchase a gram of Skunkberry, an earthy/ berry-smelling strain.

For the full experience, I also wanted to try some of the edibles that have flooded the market in legal states. The next generation of “pot bakers” includes professionally trained chefs and master chocolatiers. I’m a chocolate girl, so we skipped the fruity/gummy stuff, and Kristin pointed me in the direction of the Sweet Mary Janes award-winning “Love At First Bite” dark chocolates. With dark chocolate, butterscotch, pretzels and potato chips, I couldn’t say no!

What do I do with this weed now?

Even though I legally purchased cannabis, Denver does not currently have any social use laws, so I would have broken the law if I consumed cannabis on the street. I don’t own my own home, so I would have broken the terms of my lease if I consumed cannabis in my apartment. My only legal option to consume my legally purchased cannabis was to head to a friend’s house.

So, did I “Dowd out”? Did I feel anything? Did I get the munchies? Did my brains land in a frying pan? Next week, I will dish the details on my very first “sesh”.