High End Highs

I say this all the time, but our battle for cannabis normalization didn’t just end when recreational systems were put into place. We’ve still got a long way to go to reduce the stigma around the plant, and today I’m presenting you with a doozy to destigmatize: paraphernalia. Not your uncles’ rasta colored bong, several companies are offering gorgeous and artful alternatives to the more stereotypical equipment. Even high end retailer, Barneys New York, has gotten in on it: Barneys Adds Bongs to Its Beverly Hills Store . In this blog, I’ve compiled 5 websites that hone in on a high end market, and are offering accessories that even your mother would look at and say, “ooh that’s pretty.”

illuzion glass.jpg

Based out of Denver, CO, Illuzion Glass Galleries hosts dozens of artists, and almost feels more like an art gallery than a headshop in their physical store. Selling everything from rigs, pipes and accessories to apparel and pendants, they’ll elevate your consumption easily. 

high roller glass

Based out of Lakewood, CO, High Roller Smoke feels different from a headshop from the second you walk in. Also offering a ton on their online store, they have literally everything you could need, including e-cigarette mods, storage solutions, and apparel. 

stonedware co

Based out of Portland, OR, Stonedware Co specializes in handmade ceramic pipes and one-hitters. With a unique and fresh geometric design, these fit-in-your-hand pipes would be a beautiful addition to your mantle. 

my bud vase

At first glance, the pieces from My Bud Vase look as though they’ve been left out of your vintage display hutch. Even after realizing you can pack a fat one in them, the furthest word from mind is paraphernalia. I would literally never put it away; even if (god forbid) I stopped smoking, I would slap some fresh flowers in that baby and use it as a conversation piece. That’s how gorgeous these are.  

tetra glass

If you’re looking solely for fresh, clean and modern smoking accessories, Tetra is your sight to go to. Even their incense sticks have a certain vibe to them. 

~written by Melinda Gardner~

Turn Over A New Leaf: Why It Matters

At the beginning of 2019, the city of Denver rolled out a new initiative entitled the “Turn Over A New Leaf” program. From the city website, the program aims to overturn any low-level cannabis offense committed in Denver. This includes possession of less than 1 ounce of cannabis, and cases involving hemp, paraphernalia, or infused products. Since the 4th of July is upon us and is of course focused on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, I thought it would be a good time to talk to this program and why it matters to people. 

no more drug war.jpg

Failed War on Drugs

It’s no secret that the American public feels as though the so-called “War on Drugs” was a huge failure. With public opinion on cannabis constantly on the rise, it’s clear that times are changing. Additionally, these policies have cost American citizens billions of tax dollars between police resources, court proceedings, and incarceration. And while legalization is an important first step, if we as a country truly want to move on from the War on Drugs, it’s important to also include compassion for those who were victims of a failed era, as well as stop the cash hemorrhage. 


Social Justice

It’s also no secret that people of color are disproportionately targeted and charged with these sort of convictions. Now that a legal market is emerging for cannabis, wealthy investors are poised to make millions for doing the same thing that generations of people of color have been locked up for. This is egregious, and must be made up for. The Turn Over a New Leaf program is a good step in the right direction for the city of Denver. While I could list facts all day about how the War on Drugs has disproportionately affected people of color, I’ll leave you with a link to the Drug Policy Alliance’s page on race and the War on Drugs: http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/race-and-drug-war 



I really think it’s worth repeating that now that a legal market is emerging, investors are making big bucks for the same thing folks have been locked up decades for. It’s only ethical to allow those convicted to right their past mistakes, and have a chance in the market. Many of these people would be valuable additions to the cannabis industry, but are instead left out because of antiquated laws and minor charges. These people should have their freedom, and should be allowed to participate in the normalization of cannabis we are all now benefiting from. 

mile high city

How to Participate

According to the City of Denver’s website, people who have committed low-level offenses within the city of Denver are eligible. If you are unsure whether you would qualify, the city hosts clinics with volunteer lawyers to help. I’ve also linked the webpage, which will lead you to resources as well as the application. https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-marijuana-information/DenverMarijuanaEquityandSocialJustice/TurnOverANewLeafProgram.html

~written by Melinda Gardner~

DIY Summer CBD Brunch

It’s summer, friends! For me, that includes long hikes with my pup, trips to the pool, and of course grilling every meal for three months straight, no matter what it is. This blog, I’ve prepared a brunch recipe for you, and it’s all infused with local CBD products. A deliciously relaxing infused brunch screamed mid-June to me, so I’m excited for you to read it! I also included this great website, https://cbddosagecalculator.com/# that will allow you to use whichever dosage you deem correct for yourself. If you prefer THC in your recipe instead, I’d recommend using this site: http://www.howtoedibles.com/. But, again, in my original recipe, we’ll be using CBD. All of the products I’ve used can be purchased here at The Coffee Joint!

CBD Tea – from Pure Hemp Botanicals, based in Brighton, CO

  • 1 Hemptealicious Tea Bag, Spearmint Lemongrass flavor
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of almond milk
  • Local honey/preferred sweetener (to preference)

Boil 1 gallon of water. Once boiling, add 1 Hemptealicious tea bag and 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Leave on stove to cool and steep. Once cooled a bit, add preferred sweetener to pitcher. Pour in tea and stir. Store in refrigerator around 4 hours or until chilled; serve over ice.

*Note – the almond milk (or any sort of fat molecule) is essential! CBD is not inherently water soluble, so because Hemptealicious is made using the leaves and buds from industrial hemp plants, you need to add a fat molecule to grab hold of the CBD and pull it out into the water. However, you can also use regular milk, oat milk, coconut oil, butter, etc. Whichever you prefer!

Summer Salad + CBD Dressing – from Extract Labs, based in Boulder, CO

  • Summer greens (kale, spinach, various lettuces, sprouts, etc.)
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Chopped walnuts (to preference)
  • Feta cheese
  • Homemade CBD balsamic vinaigrette


  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Dijohn mustard
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Extract Labs 1000mg Unflavored hemp tincture
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare salad: toss greens to combine them. Chop berries and walnuts; crumble feta. Prepare salad dressing by combining all ingredients and shaking well.

Toss with dressing, add berries and feta, serve chilled!

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches – from Extract Labs in Boulder, CO

  • Zucchini
  • Bell pepper
  • Mushroom of choice
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Provolone cheese
  • Whole grain bread of choice
  • Olive oil
  • CBD shatter in your preferred flavor from Extract Labs

Chop veggies. In grill-pan over very low heat, add olive oil and desired amount of CBD shatter. Gently heat and stir until melted. Add vegetables and grill until desired softness is reached. Once veggies are done, assemble sandwich. Put back on grill just long enough to melt the cheese. Plate, cut, and enjoy!

Grilled Peaches with a CBD Honey Glaze – from Colorado Hemp Honey, based in Parker, CO

  • Fresh, ripe peaches
  • Cinnamon
  • Colorado hemp honey: raw relief flavor
  • Vanilla ice cream

Wash and cut peaches in half. Grill peaches to preferred consistency. Glaze with CBD honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Grill 3 minutes more to give the honey time to soak in. Serve peaches hot over vanilla ice cream!

Conclusion & Notes

I hope you and your loved ones are zen and feeling great after this brunch recipe! For all recipes, I used both produce and products that I love and tend to eat a lot. However, the sky’s the limit! Don’t be afraid to substitute an ingredient with something you’d rather try. For example, Extract Labs recently released a mango flavored tincture, and I think that might set you up for a really amazing salad dressing! Let me know if you have a CBD recipe that you love to make!

~written by Melinda Gardner~

Plant-Based Decriminalization

There is a new day dawning for plant based medicines, friends. The conversation around cannabis and psychedelics has changed vastly in the last decade, and the elections of 2019 have proven it. On May 7th, 2019 the city of Denver voted to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, and on June 5th, 2019 the city of Oakland took it one step further, decriminalizing all plant-based entheogens. But what does that mean for these cities? And what now?

yes on 301


In Denver’s case, psilocybin mushrooms have been decriminalized. While this does not mean psilocybin can be found in your neighborhood dispensary and it is still illegal to distribute them, it does mean that psilocybin becomes a low priority issue for law enforcement. They cannot arrest anyone (over the age of 21) for personal possession, consumption, or growth of psilocybin; it also prohibits city funds from being accessed to prosecute such cases.



As for Oakland, they took it one step further than the city of Denver. The voters approved the decriminalization of all plant-based entheogens, which isn’t just limited to psilocybin. This includes mescaline, ayahuasca, dimethyltryptamine as well as a few others. Basically, if it comes from a plant, you can’t get arrested in Oakland for it, and, like in Denver, law enforcement cannot use city funds to prosecute folks 21+ for possession, use or cultivation.

decrim den skyline

What now?

So what now? Does this mean magic mushies will be legal soon? In short, no. While Denver and Oakland could in the future decide to put legalization on the ballot, in my opinion, what happens now is a steady paradigm shift in how we view these substances. The consensus around the country in recent years has been that the war on drugs was a failure, and with more and more clinical research being done, as well as powerful anecdotes coming out, public opinion is changing. The very fact that these initiatives not only made it on the ballot in the first place, but passed the first time, is a very good indicator of this. Now that these cities have broken the initial barrier, I think by the end of the summer we’re going to hear about a multitude more cities putting these kinds of initiatives on the ballot. And come next November, I think national conversation on psychedelics will steadily start to become the norm. Colorado and California obviously have unmistakable voting power, and the fact that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a bill to increase federal research of both cannabis and psilocybin last week is very telling of that. The times, they are a-changin’.

~written by Melinda Gardner~

A Memorial Day Thank-You: Veterans & Cannabis

I mentioned in my last blog, A 2020 Look at Cannabis, that we’re coming back into an election year. And as we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, I can’t help but feel as though those are connected. I talked about constituents wanting greater access to cannabis, and what better constituents than veterans?

Currently, veterans are able to access medical cannabis, but only through their state programs. The VA has stated that it doesn’t have a problem with veteran patients trying out cannabis, however, due to its federal status, physicians are not permitted to recommend, prescribe, fill or pay for prescriptions, or conduct research. Patients also have to declare their medical cannabis use, both so it can go on record as well as be considered in conjunction with other treatment methods. Supposedly, participation in state cannabis programs does not disqualify veterans from their benefits, but considering its federal stance, many are apprehensive to either try it or declare it. Considering the VA’s entire purpose is to be the institution to provide veterans with healthcare, it’s a bit frustrating to me that they won’t advocate or do research. I also imagine that this is for patients who have access to medical cannabis – as far as I understand, if veterans wanted to participate in recreational markets they would not be allowed to do so.

So what option do vets have, other than medical or recreational cannabis? As far as 100% legal options in every state, industrial hemp-derived CBD would be the best bet. The reason I specify industrial hemp is because these plants are specifically bred to be low THC, high CBD – aka purely medicinal. This is also the reason those products are legal to possess, carry over state lines, etc. Even though the VA doesn’t currently support veterans and cannabis, there are a ton of other great organizations getting their hands dirty. A quick Google search for “organizations for veterans and cannabis” yields a ton of different non profits. Additionally, the Colorado-based CBD companies Extract Labs and Colorado Hemp Honey both donate a portion of their proceeds to both veterans and research benefiting them.

Lastly, I’d like to close with a thank you note to our veterans and service members. As a military child, the struggles and sacrifices our service members face is not lost on me. Family members, friends, and peers of mine have all risked their lives, and I’m truly, truly grateful. I hope that in the future our service members have all treatment options available to them. Thank you for your service!

~written by Melinda Gardner~