don’t eat pot. I don’t smoke it either. But for this issue, for strictly professional reasons, I ate a sugar-coated gummy bear laced with 10 mg of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Clarifying THC to an audience from Southwestern Colorado seems moot. It’s like announcing to a Civil War regiment that “the black powdery substance … that is the active ingredient in your muskets. Proceed with caution.”

      And here is what I thought as I moon-walked in a haze of somnolent indifference with a mouthful of what felt like corn starch: “What am I missing?” Folks, edibles are not for amateurs. I can attest because my intake was kind of a beginner’s dose. Yet I don’t recommend more. Neither do the professional bud tenders. Newby or not. Especially before the allotted hour (see page 32) that one should wait before considering an additional gummy bear, Swedish fish, cookie or JuJu fruit. And yes, if you are an enthusiast, that can be one very long hour. 

       For this issue, Rachel Turiel, our managing editor, set out to Telluride to explore this new cash crop (and hopefully land a new pair of used sunglasses).

      Right now, it is the “it” crop (although hops are a close second (see page 24). The latent industry is as local as local can get. Telluride is bustling.

      So, we ate lunch together, me and my high. Then we took a nap. We pondered the dogs. We pulled random weeds. And several hours in, damned if we weren’t sharing a pizza. Obviously my company overstayed its welcome.

      I think it is safe to assume that Bessie White, a lifelong dryland bean farmer, has never given our newest cash crop one iota of thought. “I am the last of the original people who settled in this area,” Bessie said, sitting at the kitchen table she and her husband purchased in 1962. This kitchen table where fifty years of family meals have worn the pattern off the surface.

       Bessie, who along with her sister Velma (she lives on the other side of Pleasant View), started the Cortez Farmers Market a few decades ago (see page 28), had not heard of our magazine. “Oh, we are about farmers, like you,” I said. Farmers, cast iron skillets, recipes, hunting and chefs. “That’s nice,” she politely said. What I didn’t have the heart to tell this great-great-grandmother, while staring at the three mushroom-themed cookie jars on her kitchen counter, is, as of this issue, we also talk about Colorado’s new brand of lettuce. I envisioned her looking at me first with a little confusion and then with soul-sapping disappointment which would, in turn, send me tumbling backward to a time when disappointing my parents was tantamount to the end of the world.

      The truth is she probably wouldn’t have given one hoot.

       Issue 18 brings you all points of our continuum. There is the matriarch who was part of one of the first families to rediscover and then cultivate the Anasazi bean. And then there is the hyper-local (yes, grown and packaged right here) cash cow on the very opposite end of the spectrum. And somewhere in between we have the bustling market for (and shortage of) hops … another new Colorado crop that is gaining traction every day. Although Colorado could begin cultivating coconuts and – as long as cannabis is in the neighborhood – it would fail to make the evening news.

      I am thinking there are few safe havens for the road weary, for refuge runs counter to age. What constitutes home eventually whittles down to just that, your home, a kitchen table and the memories it stores. Beyond that, there are few places where one can lay one’s burden down. For some, sanctuary can be salvaged from the local dispensary. For me, at this age, it just might be the quiet retreat that only an elder can provide.

    Although a hoppy beverage works well, too.