Dear Stoner: What Makes a Boutique Dispensary?

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Dear Stoner: I’ve seen a lot of pot shops advertising themselves as “boutique dispensaries.” Sounds like a lame marketing ploy to me.
Jake ’n’ Bake

Dear Jake: You might already have the Man beat if words like “superfood” and “artisanal” don’t lure you in to pay more, but just because you don’t trust marijuana marketing doesn’t mean everyone is out to hose you. The traditional definition of a boutique is a small, stylish shop that sells specialized products at slightly higher prices. Plenty of Denver and mountain-town dispensaries try to fit that mold — yet the steep prices are the only boutique aspect they achieve. Yes, local art and comfortable furniture is nice, but don’t let trendy interior decorating block your senses. Check out the buds and concentrates, and fire off some questions to the staff. Do they grow in-house? If so, how big is the grow? Do they send trim or nugs to hash companies for concentrates, or do they make their own? If the budtenders are eagerly telling you about strain genetics before you even ask, there’s a good chance you’re at a stand-up shop.

Be prepared to pay a little extra if you’re at a legitimate pot boutique. Properly drying and curing pot for peak smell and taste can take more than a month, and time is money. Likewise, you can buy a fifth of Evan Williams for $13 and regret it the next morning, or spend more on a bottle of small-batch and actually enjoy yourself.

Dear Stoner: I had back surgery as an infant and scoliosis as a child. I was thinking about applying for a medical marijuana prescription for back pain, but I’ve heard it’s harder to get one nowadays.

Dear Janet: Since recreational cannabis and the higher tax rates accompanying it came to Colorado in 2014, the state has put the magnifying glass on medical marijuana patients. Thanks to some cash-hungry doctors doling out pot prescriptions to every twenty-something who suffered a broken arm in grade school, the Colorado Senate passed a law in May establishing stricter requirements for those applying for prescriptions under the condition of chronic pain, the most common ailment treated by cannabis in Colorado.

Despite that, if you’ve had back surgery and have suffered spinal issues since childhood, you’re almost sure to qualify for medical marijuana. Take your medical records to your evaluation and don’t talk like Spicoli, and you should be smoking medicinal soon enough.

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