Carter knows a thing or two about stress. She goes by her last name because inmates of the high-security prison she worked for in Illinois for two years still try to find her. She also served in the military, performing a tour in Iraq in 2007.
When Carter wants to unwind, she paints her nails and smokes cannabis. Six years ago, that inspired the Chicago native and nail technician to start Dope Nailz Lacquer, a nail polish line sold in 32 dispensaries around the U.S., including six in Colorado as of this year.
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Though the polishes are marketed to cannabis enthusiasts, sport gold marijuana leaves and are sold exclusively in dispensaries (and on dopenailz.com), the company limits distribution of its THC- and CBD-infused lacquers to Michigan, a medical-only state with less-complicated barriers to entry and regulations for her business and the dispensaries that want to sell them.
Any relaxing properties of the polish don't come from the polish itself, even the THC- and CBD-infused products, but instead from the act of painting nails, Carter says. "That was the one thing I could do in Iraq: I could polish my nails and feel like a girl," she explains. "I always find it a great stress-reliever to just polish."
Still, Carter, who recently relocated to Denver, is set on speaking directly to the men and women of the cannabis industry and has found other ways to make an imprint, mostly by throwing monthly private manicure parties that allow consumption. (RSVP for the next party, on November 26, here.)
The polishes are named after strains, like Green Crack, which comes in an Army-green shade. Polishes are sold individually and in "OG kits," which include color, top coat and glassware. "It's all about beauty treatments and self-love," Carter says.