September 12, 2018 2:59 pm

Gord Gillies: Getting a cannabis store preview in Denver

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It was research for a story. Honest.

On a recent trip to Denver I slipped into a marijuana store to get an idea of what to expect when cannabis is legalized in Canada.

The shop was located on what’s known as the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. Visualize Stephen Avenue on steroids, but really crowded.

Denver’s 16th Street Mall.

Every twenty steps or so your nose reminds you that weed is legal in Colorado.

Euflora is a lower level establishment tucked between a sports store and a 7-Eleven.

To say I was surprised is an understatement!

READ MORE: Online pot shopping will require double ID check in Alberta

Full disclosure: marijuana is not a part of my life and my concept of a weed shop is probably linked to the 1978 movie “Up in Smoke.”

There was no visible bongs or other pot paraphernalia. No flags with five leafed plants hanging on the wall or posters of Cheech and Chong.

The street-level entrance to Euflora in Denver.

I went down a flight of stairs and prepared to enter what looked like an Apple store, minus the Genius Bar.

Colorado legalized marijuana back in 2015, so they’ve had plenty of time to refine the sales displays.

READ MORE: Grocery store locations among first round of approvals for Calgary cannabis dispensaries

Inside a large, well lit open room was a series of neatly arranged tables adorned with iPads. Beside each device was a sealed sample of marijuana. You click on the iPad for a breakdown of your favourite ‘Mob Boss’ or ‘Girl guide cookie’. THC levels are listed along with the price and the expected effect on your body should you consume or smoke it.

I actually wasn’t allowed inside Euflora.

A security guard asked for ID at the entrance and balked at my Alberta drivers licence. He said by law they could only accept a Canadian passport if I wanted to look around.

I thought of mentioning that Tommy Chong grew up in Calgary, but it was getting late. And my passport was hidden away in my hotel room.

READ MORE: Calgary opens door to designated public and festival cannabis consumption sites

Admittedly I was impressed with the store. I bid adieu to the friendly manager and bounded back up the stairs and out onto the shopping plaza.

It didn’t take long to be reminded that marijuana is legal in Colorado.

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