As I’m typing this at my worn desk in our new apartment, surrounded by boxes of office supplies yet to be sorted through, my brother is playing Phasmophobia at his, recovering from his first long drag. We’re newbies to the cannabis industry, each of us having only tried gummies in Vegas.
We grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., a state famous for bearing leaders who delay approving what residents have already voted in favor of. After joining my brother in Denver, Colo., a few weeks ago, we noticed several dispensaries on our way to I-25. Now that our parents have flown back home, we decided to take a short trip to Lightshade off East Evans Avenue.
With its pastel green and bright white façade, this dispensary is far more inviting than area competitors. Through its glass door waited a plain room with a friendly face behind a teller window. My brother and I provided our IDs and were led to a room to the right, which opened up to a colorful lounge area and glass booths in the back.
I was called back after a few minutes, and I immediately ordered a variety pack of fruit gummies (which are two for $15 right now) and asked about other options. The budtender went over batteries and cartridges and pre-rolled joints. I’ve never vaped, but the scent of some of those juices has always been irresistible.
The batteries come in two colors (black and white), and the cartridges come in five flavors. I chose a black battery and a two-pack of the lemon-flavored cartridges and checked out for a grand total of $57 and some change. We were in and out in fewer than 15 minutes.
The ride back was exhilarating. Since childhood, we’ve been overly concerned about following the rules: no staying out late, no underage drinking, no partying. And here we were, driving back to our apartment with two bags of drugs.
As soon as we walked through our front door, we headed to the kitchen and dumped our bounty on the dining room table as if it was Halloween in 2003. We each ate a gummy (10 mg) and set up the battery. After several minutes, we discovered we had to hold the button on the battery to take a hit. I went first.
I inhaled much more than I should have, letting the air fill my lungs. When I exhaled is when I first felt it: the catch in the back of my throat. I thought I could cure it with a glass of tea, but I ended up spitting it up between deep coughs at the sink. Then there’s my brother, whose subconscious arrogance always gets in the way. He took a longer draw than I did, and on that exhale, I could see the moment he realized he should have listened to me.