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Our Most Popular Marijuana Stories of 2020

A visitor inside Denver's new Cookies dispensary gazes upon the store's supplying cultivation.
A visitor inside Denver's new Cookies dispensary gazes upon the store's supplying cultivation. Jacqueline Collins

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click to enlarge Customers wait to enter the new Cookies dispensary in November. - JACQUELINE COLLINS
Customers wait to enter the new Cookies dispensary in November.
Jacqueline Collins

"First Colorado Cookies Dispensary Opening November 5"


Official Cookies strains have been available in Colorado since May through a licensing deal with another grower, but the first Cookies dispensary finally opened in November. Located on South Broadway's Green Mile, the new Cookies store had inspired long lines of excited customers before the doors opened on the first day, and the store had stayed full since.

"Why Some Airports Carry Weed Amnesty Boxes and Denver Doesn't"


Tourists visiting Colorado are a big part of the state's marijuana economy, and some of them end up tossing out their leftover vacation weed at the airport, a few of which have special boxes for marijuana disposal. Although Denver International Airport doesn't have marijuana amnesty boxes, the next-largest airport in the state does. According to Colorado Springs airport officials, the boxes were rolled out in 2014, and collected a total of 17,003 grams of marijuana through the end of 2019. Aspen-Pitkin County Airport also has marijuana amnesty boxes; it started with one in 2014 but eventually increased to three because of how full the bins were getting.

"Sixteen Places Where You Can Consume Weed Legally in Denver (Not Including Your House)"


Whether you agree with the rules or not, people are always looking for somewhere outside of their homes to smoke weed. This happened before the pandemic, it's happening during the pandemic (even though the vast majority of pot-friendly events and establishments are closed during COVID-19's winter wave), and it will happen after the pandemic.

click to enlarge The Green Solution, one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains, announced that it was going to be purchased by a publicly traded company in 2019. - COURTESY OF THE GREEN SOLUTION
The Green Solution, one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains, announced that it was going to be purchased by a publicly traded company in 2019.
Courtesy of the Green Solution

"A Budtender's Essential Observations During the COVID-19 Pandemic"


A Denver budtender and standup comedian wants dispensary shoppers to act right during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes practicing social distancing, pre-ordering before visiting the store, and tipping your budtender.

"Major Dispensary Takeover Set for September 1"


The Green Solution, one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains, first agreed to be acquired by Columbia Care Inc., a publicly traded company based in New York, in 2019. The deal — $110 million in Columbia Care stock, $15 million in cash and $15 million in senior loans for 23 TGS dispensaries and six growing operations — was expected to take place in early 2020, but that projection was pushed back to the year's second quarter, which ended June 30, and then pushed back again. As several other announced marijuana acquisitions disappeared in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic brought financial uncertainty to the stock market, questions about the future of the TGS deal began to emerge. Those questions were answered in September, however, when the deal officially closed.

"Stimulus Checks, the Unofficial Federal Aid for Weed Shops"


The marijuana industry didn't receive any official federal aid from business bailout packages (and probably won't in future federal legislation), but it did receive some help thanks to April's round of national stimulus payments, just in time for the 4/20 holiday. According to dispensary ordering platform I Heart Jane, 1,300-plus dispensaries across the country saw an average 48 percent increase in sales dollars on April 15, compared to an average weekday. According to Flowhub, another dispensary data tracker, recreational sales in Colorado were up 57 percent and medical marijuana sales up 39 percent on April 15 compared to the prior Wednesday.


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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell