My First Visit to a Legal Weed Shop in Colorado
When I went to Fort Collins, Colorado, this weekend, I wasn't going out of my way to find a pot shot. I used to party a lot in high school and college. I became a DJ because I was too baked to aspire for an honorable career. These days, I can't party like I used to; my body won't let me. When I passed 35, I lost the ability to speak coherently while stoned. But when the first parking spot I found in Old Town FoCo Saturday was right in front of a shop called Organic Alternatives, I just had to see what all the hype was about.
There was a line of about 25 people waiting to get in the shop. Most of them were scruffy potheads with pony tails and Teva sandals. There were also a few white guys trying way to hard to sound like gangsters and several elderly couples, a couple in wheelchairs.
After waiting outside the store for 30 minutes, a lady in her early 40's invited me in. She looked like your typical suburban working mother of two. Entering the shop felt more like a doctor's office than walking into a head shop. First, you have to check in at the front desk. I was given a menu, asked for ID and told to take a seat in the waiting room. The walls were covered with t-shirts, hats, a map of the World where visitors could mark where they came from and a few charts demonstrating the medical benefits of weed.
I must admit, I was apprehensive about swiping my ID. I'm sure my name is probably on some federal list somewhere. But I'm figured the feds have bigger fish to fry than me, so I decided to roll the dice.
I was surprised the menu didn't have more choices. It explained the difference between the two main types of weed, Indica and Sativa, and offered up three strains of each. There was also a wide variety of edibles, including brownies, cookies, candies, gummy worms and sprays. The prices are high. More than I remembered paying for weed back in my party days.
After about 20 minutes, a hipster/skater/stoner dude in his early 20's came and asked for me by name. He then escorted to me to another waiting room and told me that my "budtender" would be available shortly. After another 20 minutes, I was allowed to enter the room.
There were two sides. One for medical patients, which has a wider selection and had zero customers when I was in the room. The other room was for recreational users and had three budtenders set up at a table with cash registers and several jars of weed behind the them. My budtender was a well groomed, professional looking man in his mid-30's who shook my hand and introduced himself. I was impressed with the way they market themselves to customers. There is a personal touch to their service. And you can tell they really go out of their way to run their business legitimacy.
As an out of state resident, I was allowed to purchase up to 7 grams, all the way down to a pre-rolled joint. Colorado residents can buy an ounce at a time. I bought a t-shirt. I just told my budtender I wanted to witness the process.
I explained to him that, in college and high school, every time I had to write a term paper, it was always about the legalization of pot. All told, I wrote 6 different pot papers in various high school and college classes. I got an A or B on all of them, which was much better than the grades I usually received.. Although I have been in favor of legalization, I never thought it would happen like it has. Or, at least, I didn't think it would happen this soon. He agreed and thanked me for coming into the shop.
Of course, all of their products have to leave the store in a concealed bag that's zipped shut and enclosed with a plastic pin, including my t-shirt. It was tough to open. And yes, I happily paid the 17 % sales tax, it's the least I can do for Colorado's public schools.