Is the Boutique Dispensary in Trouble?

Is the Boutique Dispensary in Trouble?

Big money is slowly starting to sink its teeth into the cannabis industry.


This should come as no surprise, as the industry is projected to reach a valuation of $50 billion by 2026, and big money is known to get involved when more money can be made. For the local dispensary with one location, this could mean problems.

This urges the question; as a grassroots movement that has gotten to where it is because of the people, will we let the industry become commercialized and commoditized by these big time players? This could already be happening in California, where new regulations and costly fees are pushing out the small business owners and opening the door for big players to come in and clean up.

The commercial dispensary

Just in Denver, there are already several dispensary chains with multiple locations throughout the city, who get their supplies from large-scale commercial growers who are pumping out hundreds of pounds in a single harvest and distributing to multiple stores. There are still those small-scale, artisan or craft grows that focus on providing a quality product to their customers, whether it’s a boutique dispensary with it’s own operation, or a small-scale grower that works with small dispensary businesses.

But will they be able to withstand the exponential growth that continues to bring in entrepreneurs with more money, and the demand for even more product?

Quality vs. Quantity

The shift from traditional forms of cultivation like outdoor, seasonal cultivation, to newer indoor methods has put a wedge between the cannabis community. There are those who think pumping out as much cannabis as possible to get the best prices and highest sales is what is important. Then there are those who want to grow small-batch, quality product using less chemicals and additives for a more organic and natural product, usually at the cost of quantity.

The issue arises when these small-scale growers can’t get their cannabis into storefronts because the commercial growers offer their product at a fraction of the price that the store will be able to make a greater profit from. This puts small businesses in a hard spot as well.

With business already suffering due to big players getting involved, boutique dispensaries either save money by getting commercial cannabis, or they provide better quality products at a higher price and risk going out of business even faster.

It will be the latter dispensary that the people want in the end.

The people’s choice

Voters and cannabis consumers have a choice to make in the future. Do we want to keep our small businesses that may cost more, but provide a better, full experience? Or do we want cannabis to become like alcohol, where no matter where you go you will always see the same product, from the same brand, for the same price? Seems like an easy choice to me.

The Real Dirt on Cannabis Strains

The Real Dirt on Cannabis Strains

It is a highly debated fact whether or not music can help cannabis strains’ growth.


It is undeniable, whether it’s classical, hip hop or death metal, certain strains just like certain music. Maybe it’s just their personalities, the result of flowering teen angst, or some unique terpene profiles. Either way, these strains like to jam out to their favorite tunes.

Check out some of the cannabis strains we have extensively researched to discover their unique musical tastes. Maybe you’ll be as surprised as us with some of them.

Blue Dream

Somewhere over the Rainbow by Iz Kamakawiwoʻole

We suspect the song helps to promote Blue Dream’s uplifting and light-headed effects that Iz was definitely feeling when he wrote this song. Bluebirds, dreams, flying…The song might as well be called Blue Dream.

This sativa hybrid will have you up and about on 420 while you drift somewhere over the rainbow.


OG Kush

O.G. by Ice T

There’s imitators and then there’s the OGs. The original gangsters that made their own unique sound that ended up paying out big. OG Kush is a classic strain that will never be outdone, only imitated. You can usually see most of the OG varietals bumping in the back corner of the room while they talk about how strains were way better “back in the day”.

While it may be hard to find true OG Kush these days, at least we have its favorite jam to connect us.


The Fiddlestix Dosido

It’s rare that a strain loves a song so much it actually requests to be named after it. Do-Si-Dos is the exception. You can taste the sense of irony in this strain, as you most certainly won’t be up dancing all about after a joint of this stuff. Just Do-Si-Don’t hurt yourself if you try (it’s 420, we’re all a little spacey).

Ironically this strain will most likely lock you into the couch instead of get you up dancing, but you can dance in your head while your nugs dance to the Fiddlestix on your table. Yes, you’re starting to trip a little.

Sour Diesel

Semi-charmed Life by Third Eye Blind

Sour Diesel has always lived a semi-charmed kind of life. It burst onto the scene in the 90s and quickly became a favorite, which led to its hybridization and cross-breeding. After a consultation with the band, Third Eye Blind agreed to be the sole music provider for Sour Diesel. So even though it has gotten split up into god knows how many hybrids, it’s still living the good life. Though it might be regretting signing Third Eye Blind right now.

This gassy bud will help you see the greener side of things, and you’ll start see the charm in the song. Just prepare to have it stuck in your head for the next week.


Bad and Boujee by Migos

There’s something about mentioning the strain’s name repeatedly that helps build rapport and plant confidence. Blasting Bad and Boujee at full volume for at least 3 hours a day has shown to make Cookie strains much more resinous, as well as arrogant and flashy.

It’s been through plenty of controversy, from lawsuits with the Girl Scouts to shooting it out with competitors, but Cookies ain’t no strain to f*** with.

Purple Haze

Purple Haze by Jimmy Hendrix

Purple haze was one of those cannabis strains lost in the world. Unknown, unpopular, and songless. That is until Jimmy Hendrix gave it a puff. The two then entered into a mutual business agreement where Jimmy would promote the strain through his music, and Purple Haze would listen exclusively to Jimmy Hendrix. Their relationship had its ups and downs, and the strain officially settled on Purple Haze after Hendrix’s death. 

While you’re sitting back as the purple smoke billows up and hazes, you may notice yourself kissing the sky. In fact, you’re body is unconsciously gasping for air because you’ve been in the hotbox too long. TAKE A BREAK!


Happy 4/20 from The Real Dirt Podcast! We hope you liked our take on some of cannabis’ favorite songs, but we’d love to hear you’re strain’s favorite tune! Share it with us on Instagram or Facebook @therealdirtpodcast!


420 Blaze it! What to do in Denver for 4/20

420 Blaze it! What to do in Denver for 4/20

420 Blaze it! Right?


April 20th has a special place in the hearts of cannabis lovers everywhere, and for good reason. It’s a celebration of all things cannabis, good and bad. We have come a long way from the prohibition days, and over half the states in the U.S. have legalized or decriminalized cannabis in some form.

While for some, “420 Blaze it” will be the chant they yell at 4:20 on 4/20, others aren’t so gung-ho on expressing their love for cannabis to the world, but rather just enjoying the day with some festivities. When it comes to finding something to do on 4/20 other than just blaze, The Real Dirt has your back.

Check out our recommended 4/20 events in Denver for 2018. You might not be able to go to them all, but a couple of these events will add some much needed activities to your smoke-filled day so you aren’t left on the couch in a hazy state of FOMO.

420 on the Block

Probably the most well-known (and most hyped) event going on for the 4/20 weekend is 420 on the Block.

The music festival and cannabis celebration goes from Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd, with three days packed full of events and activities for the community to enjoy. Featuring Action Bronson, Matisyahu, Washed Out and more live artists, the event boasts some of the biggest 4/20 names.

If you are willing to shell out some bucks (only ~$60 for all 3 days, or $25 for one day), you can get the full Denver 420 blaze it experience with awesome live music, plenty of vendors and giveaways, and one of the largest coming togethers of the cannabis community in Denver.

Mile High 420 Festival

If you’re looking to save your money for the important things (like more quality ganja), check out the Mile High 420 Festival at Civic Center Park in Denver.

Featuring Lil Wayne, Lil Jon and a bunch of local acts, the festival is free for everyone with plenty of stuff to do. Boasting itself as the largest, free 420 festival on Earth, the festival takes up the full Civic Center Park with vendors, arts and crafts and more.

The event runs from 10AM to 7PM on 4/20, so you can stop by at the beginning or swing through toward the end without having to worry about a ticket.


World Cannabis Week

While not an actual week-long event, World Cannabis Week goes from 4/20-4/22. The event takes place at the Fox Street Compound in Denver’s RiNo district.

Starting with a 420 Bazaar featuring a plethora of cannabis brands and products in an open marketplace and ending on Sunday with a 420 on the Block Tailgate, the three-day event has something for everyone. The event also includes a 420 Challenge where cannabis lovers can compete in axe throwing, nug tossing, and more.

Plus, other than 420 on the Block, it’s all free!



420 Eve on the Rocks

If you’re looking for something outside the city but still 420 friendly, check out the 420 Eve on the Rocks at Red Rocks. Featuring 311, Method Man & Redman, Collie Budz and more, the night is full of cannabis inspired music.

While the concert takes place on 4/19 so it’s not the full 4/20 experience, the concert will most likely go past midnight, after which time everybody at the Rocks will most likely start celebrating simultaneously, as if they hadn’t been celebrating during the whole show.

420 blaze it with some of the most well-known cannabis-enthusiastic artists on 4/19 at Red Rocks, ticket prices start at $55.

If you’re not into the huge public gatherings where the majority of cannabis tourists will be spending their time, look around your local area. Plenty of dispensaries are hosting their own events on 4/20 through the weekend.

Multiple vendor pop-ups, food trucks, and a lot of the same activities that will be at the Mile High 420 Festival and 420 on the Block will also be around the city at various dispensary locations. Maybe your favorite dispensary is featuring a prominent glass-blower or concentrate brand.

Lastly, there is nothing wrong with staying at home and have a nice smoke sesh with friends, or skipping 4/20 entirely. However, if you’ve made it this far in this article and your not celebrating 420, you’re definitely in the wrong place, and you should smoke about it.

Happy 4/20 from The Real Dirt Podcast! We hope you all have a safe and lifted holiday.

Marijuana Jobs in a Regulated Market

Marijuana Jobs in a Regulated Market

You’re going to have to get a job doing something.”


Some days I really do hear the words of my father ring through my ears. I heard him say it over and over again. Mostly to my sister; I was always a hustler, but I got it sometimes too.

Regulation isn’t the end

I’ve been passing this sentiment on to a lot of my friends lately. They have been involved in the unregulated cannabis industry for years, and are now literally scared of getting regulated marijuana jobs. Well, I know it can be difficult when you work for yourself for years, on your own schedule, paying yourself what you think is a lot of money.

I get it. You quit mainstream society because you didn’t like the boss you had. Or maybe you didn’t like the hours. Or May not of even had a skill. Washing dishes sucks and you wanted out of it. That’s what cannabis did for thousands and thousands of people. And that’s what cannabis still does for people. The plant cultivates us as much as we think we’re cultivating it.

Move with the times, or get run over

Times are changing. You can resist change, and like the salmon, swim upstream. Or you can relax, fire one up, and float down the river with the rest of us.

The first thing to realize is there’s more to weed than just growing. Many cannabis farmers love their job growing or being a cannabis farmer. Now some people get lucrative paychecks under the title grower. Most make 25 bucks an hour.

“So where is my future?”, you ask. The way I see it, California cannabis farmers have two options.

Marijuana Jobs

Option one: Get regulated and become the boss. Start your own business in the cannabis industry and create marijuana jobs. That’s right. Start a business, stop complaining, and do something. Cannabis regulations aren’t that much harder than any other business or franchise.

Swallow your pride, and trade the war stories about the good ‘ol days with a smile instead of a scour. The old days are over, and I predict 10 to 20 times profit on a pound of cannabis are over as well. Let’s look for 10%.

You don’t have to start a cannabis business in order to find marijuana jobs. There are other opportunities servicing the cannabis industry that are regulated in the same methods, which brings up option two.

Option two: Get a job at a cannabis facility.  Think of everything that it takes to operate a large scale commercial cannabis grow. From installing light bulbs and watering plants to harvesting. Find your passion within one of those things, develop a resume, and find your dream job.
If you love to harvest weed you can be a harvest manager.

Maybe it’s clones, or trimming, Security, management or accounting. There is something out there that you can do that still keeps you in the industry, even if you aren’t doing what you were before.

If you are committed to staying in this industry and sticking along for the wild ride, you will find a way. If you were a boss in the unregulated market, you can be a boss in the regulated market. It might just take extra effort (and more taxes).

Green Week 2018: the community 420 fest

Green Week 2018: the community 420 fest

From April 13-22, 2018, Humboldt Green Week brings people from all over to celebrate nature, cannabis, and community.

Humboldt Green Week is a manifestation of culture advancing the ideals of our community while building bridges, honoring the environment, supporting the local economy, and promoting music, art, and solutions through action.  The events showcase a week of gatherings to celebrate Earth Day and this special place we call home.

While the real 420 fest known as Cannifest has been delayed due to new laws, Green Week will still celebrate all things green.

A Different 420 Fest

Humboldt Green Week can’t really be compared to other 420 fest events like the Cannabis Cup, Dope Cup, and the like. While these other events focus solely on cannabis, Green Week merely includes it as an aspect of nature. While people appreciate their cannabis during the week long event, they will also learn about the environment, sustainability and community stewardship.

The week is full of different classes and activities for people to participate in, from cannabis yoga to cooking classes, concerts and farmer’s markets.

A week for everybody

Organizer of Green Week and the 420 fest Cannifest Steve Geider talked with Chip about what the week is about:

Everything from bee keeping workshops to healthy eating workshops to music workshops for kids, families to interact. We showed some folks how to do their own compost at home and a number of other different things, or medicinal teas. All types of things that are just part of our community, part of our subculture if you want to call it that. That are also just the part of the way we like to see the world change.”

Green Week has events for everybody including children, making it a family friendly event that can get everybody in the community involved and more conscious of the environment.

Steve is also the founder of North Coast Horticulture Supply and Humboldt Wholesale, making him a well-known and respected member of the community.

Green Week 2018

This year’s Green Week boasts a plethora of different events and activities for locals and visitors to enjoy. Event-filled days start as early as 7 AM and some events go until 8 PM. While the events will be fun and educational, the main purpose of Green Week is to bring the community together.

With or without a full-blown 420 fest, Green Week’s focus is on the community and the environment. With one of the largest farming populations in the country, Humboldt boasts a community that is very connected to nature. When they all come together and share their ideas, sustainability practices and new innovations with each other, everybody wins.

While the event takes place in California, Cannifest may soon be hitting the road and going national! We could soon see a Cannifest in Denver.

Listen to Steve talk about Green Week and the 420 fest Cannifest on this week’s episode of The Real Dirt Podcast.

California Cannabis: get on board or get out

California Cannabis: get on board or get out

So I have been in Northern California on and off for the past couple of months. I mostly live in Denver these days, but I still have my home up in Humboldt.


For 15 year’s I’ve supplied the cannabis industry with soil, nutrients and lighting. I sell grow equipment to people all over the country. So I’ve seen several states go legal, so to speak. Maybe regulated is the better term. 

The end, or the beginning?

I saw what happened in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. All three states with cannabis history, but marginally regulated or unregulated cannabis. All of those states progressed in their cannabis movement, cannabis growing, and general awareness about the plant.

Price per pound dropped in those regulated states, and I also stopped having to buy anybody out of jail or refer them to an attorney. Now, there is so much doom and gloom here. So many people think, “the California cannabis industry is over.”

Unfortunately if you’re quitting on California cannabis, or don’t want to be involved in what comes next, it’s over for you. But more people smoke weed every day, and demand for cannabis increases every day. The opportunity to sell regulated cannabis or be involved with regulated cannabis is exploding; and it’s just begun.

Get on board with California Cannabis

What is over? The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle? The endless buckets of cash? The untaxed income? The vacations, the toys? Yes, It’s a lifestyle change. Now it’s gonna be more like normal farming, but still profitable.  

Four out of five people I talk to are selling their properties and quitting (or they say they are today, let’s see what happens if their properties don’t sell).  I have never seen this much inventory of real estate in Humboldt, Trinity or Mendocino Counties.

Now, in the largest concentration of cannabis production in the world, the government says there are as many as 13,000 commercial farms in Humboldt County alone. This will be a significant impact to the supply chain of the entire cannabis market.

Do it for the right reasons

So here it is. We’re separating the men and women from the boys and girls so to speak. People who were in it for the greed and the people who are in it for the weed.

No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making money, but you have to work for it. Regulations, taxes, government control, or in any business you could ever think about being in. Being involved with several other businesses, these new cannabis regulations are not difficult. They may be confusing, but try to get a USDA composting permit. That is difficult.

My suggestions:

– PTSD’s a bitch. You might have to conquer that one in order to get into the regulated market.

– Stop whining. Put a smile on your face that you’re not going to jail.

– Curtail your lifestyle and spending. This one is also difficult.( turn those month-long vacations into long weekends)

– Learn some computer skills. If you don’t have them already going to need them.

My predictions:

– The market is currently flooded with properties for sale throughout Northern California. Half of those who don’t sell will go back to work, growing unregulated ganja.

– At least in Humboldt County, a chunk of those people are going to be regulated by the county and forced to stop growing. They put up zoning restrictions that fine people $10,000 a day. The helicopter didn’t work but I think this will.

– The price of California cannabis is going to rise. Both in the private market and unregulated market. It’s simple supply and demand. If the private cannabis market is separated from the regulated market, there will not be enough weed for the potential 15 million puffers in California.

– Most of the counties in California are not going to regulate cannabis, leaving the potential production to a smaller and smaller area. Mendocino and Trinity County have limited it to 10,000 ft.². San Luis Obispo is limited to 22,000 ft.².

– Many people that enter the legal cannabis industry will not succeed. They are farmers, not businessman. It’s important to find your place. I’m definitely better at business than farming (Yet my thumb remains Green).

Times are changing, and the California cannabis industry is rapidly changing with them. You can either get on board, go legal and pursue an honest career in the regulated market. Or, you can complain about things changing, quit the unregulated market because you have to, and avoid the new industry for the sake of your pride. Remember it isn’t ALL about your profits, it’s about the plant.

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