How Denver is Setting the Tone for the Pot Industry

In other areas of the US, 2016 was the year of the cannabis consumer, from design-forward dispensaries to marijuana content marketing, to pot tourism. In Denver, however, all of that stuff is already par for the course. In another year of marijuana legalization progress and green rush growth, there were touchstones of impressive growth right here in Denver that is inspiring the biggest breakout trends of the 2017 pot industry. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Celebrity strains

Inspired by brands like Marley Natural, Willie’s Reserve and Leafs by Snoop come a whole whack of new Colorado-based celeb strains. Look out for news on strains by Wiz Khalifa and Sublime with Rome rolled out pot products; Tommy Chong’s “high grade medical” collection, and maybe the strain that Hunter S. Thompson’s widow hinted at in 2016.

  1. Marijuana on TV
  1. Cannabis journalism

Ricardo Baca became the world’s first marijuana editor here and last year was named one of Fortune’s “7 Most Powerful People in America’s Marijuana Industry” this past April. Baca has since moved on to a position at Mass Roots, but there’s no question that his position of power helped inspire Leafly to hire Bruce Barcott as deputy editor and for High Times to add David Bienenstock as their head of content. That, on top of all of the new publications: Merry Jane, Sensi Magazine, Mary Magazine.

  1. Pop-up dining

Colorado’s legal era heralded a semi-underground scene of artsy dinner parties, joint- and sushi-rolling classes, and medicated bus tours but nothing quite matched Kendal Norris‘ emergence on the Boulder scene, known for creating the most elegant of fine dining experiences with her Mason Jar Events company. Until more social use laws go in writing, we might have to rely on pop-up dining experiences, but the exclusivity seems to be worth it for cannaisseurs.

  1. Elevated exercise

While there’s something inherently spiritual about matching ganja and yoga to create some deeper poses and some strong third eye focus, we don’t just see weed, yoga, and champagne brunch weekend. Cannabis is finding its way into places like Power Plant Fitness—former NFL running back Ricky Williams’s venture—and Jim McAlpine’s 420 Games.

  1. Cannabis growers go organic

Pesticides remain a hot topic, which is why Colorado’s Organic Cannabis Association developed its pesticide-free certification program. Now that’s a good-natured act to follow.

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