Nana Meets the Big Lebowski

budtender sign“You can wait here for the next available budtender.”

If I had any doubt, those words let me know that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

That was the second thing the woman who greeted me at the door of the recreational marijuana store said to me. The first words were, “Can I see your identification?”

I did it sort of on a dare. My nephew Erik has been egging me on. If I stop writing my blog and do nothing from here on but smoke pot and bowl, all the while calling everyone “Dude,” blame him.

Still, unless you live on Mars, you know that what I did was perfectly shelveslegal as Colorado citizens eagerly approved the sale of recreational marijuana a couple of years ago. Colorado was the first; Washington state, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have followed suit. A handful of states also have legalized the sale of medical marijuana, allowing those with a budscooperative doctor to purchase pot to supposedly relieve the pain caused by anything from arthritis to Parkinson’s Disease.

What was it like is the first thing everyone asks me. The answer is that it was not much different than if I’d gone into a store looking for a new pair of shoes. The employees were professional and knowledgeable and, though I can’t say how hard he laughed after I left, my “budtender” was very sweet to me, an obvious pot neophyte.

I identified myself immediately as an amateur. He managed to refrain from saying, “No, really?”  Despite the legality of it all, I was a nervous pariphenaliawreck. I don’t know what I thought would happen or what I expected. Maybe the Big Lebowski. The terror likely emanated from me like sweat from a jogger the moment I walked in.

“Are you looking for something special?” my budtender (I just can’t stop saying that word!) asked me.

“Nope, just tell me all about it,” I replied.

creamsSo he did. In great detail, he identified all of the loose marijuana buds and how they affect those who imbibe. Some were for pain relief. Others would help you sleep. Still others would stimulate your appetite. They will roll your joints, or you can do it yourself.

Then he moved on to the edibles, in case, just like President Clinton, you don’t inhale.

He showed me cookies, and mints, and chocolates, and gummy bears, cannabisand hard candy, and even creams that apparently enter your system through your pores. Each was commercially wrapped (no homemade brownies from Aunt Pearl) and the level of cannabis was clearly marked on the packaging. One was called the Rookie Cookie.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I learned was that because federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana, banks won’t work with the business owners. Because of this, retail pot stores are an entirely cash enterprise. Transactions are cash, employees are paid in cash, taxes are paid in cash, and money is kept in safes right there on the premises. As you can imagine, there are a plethora of cameras all around the stores.

mapI just couldn’t get over the professionalism of the whole thing. At one point I was shooting photos, and a budtender politely told me I was welcome to take photos, but please make sure that customers weren’t included in the photo. I guess no one wants to see your grandchild’s school principal purchasing pot.

Here were my takeaways….

I couldn’t believe the variety of edibles available, and it scares me to think that while the majority of folks likely keep their pot locked up, some don’t. I mean, gummy bears?

I can’t believe I don’t hear about store robberies on a daily basis. Can you imagine the amount of cash in each store each day?

Maps hanging on the wall indicated all the different places from which customers come. Wow. From all over the world. Except Amsterdam.

Been there. Done that. No one needs to worry about an intervention, Dude.

Interesting afternoon, however. And never forget that Nana does things so that you don’t have to.

Oh, and no recipes today, I’m happy to tell you!

7 thoughts on “Nana Meets the Big Lebowski

  1. I must admit at first glance, I thought you might be reorganizing your kitchen pantry with all those pretty bottles on the shelves. Silly me.
    I can’t see you rolling a joint, but then we all laughed when you said you were getting a motorcycle too. So now, from your bucket list, you can check off visiting a pot shop to befriend a budtender. Who knew?

  2. Interesting takeaways! Especially the one about the robberies. I used to think the same, until I became a (proud) member of the stoner community. You’d be surprised at how much violence is not tied to legal marijuana. Everyone in the industry wants the same thing, and since risk is cut out of the picture, violence is cut out too (not including the police in that, that’s another conversation)

    I can’t wait to visit my first legal dispensary and write about it!

    • I understand what you’re saying; still, it surprises me that with all of that cash on the premises, bad people don’t try to get their hands on it. I guess the cameras are a deterrent.

  3. Great post! 🙂 Bummed I didn’t get to hound you with questions on Saturday. You won’t be so lucky next time. Lastly, I agree with the other posts…fantastic job of investigative reporting. But this story really deserves a follow-up. I suggest an annual review to identify trends and changes in the recreational marijuana world. I’ll reimburse you for the Cheeto’s.

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