Tattoo parlor and dispensary walk into a bar … er, join forces to create killer strains and art

by Amanda Push

Snacks and weed go together like pepperoni and pizza. But you know what else goes well with the ganja? Tattoos.

Now that certain strains have big followings among stoners, dispensaries like Seed & Smith, a Denver shop, are getting creative with how they debut some strains. To do this, Seed & Smith is partnering with Marion Street Tattoo Gallery to create art and merch around the dispensary’s strain releases.

“We wanted to be sure our friends in the artistic industries are weathering the storm and still performing or are finding the resources they need to keep practicing. Because cannabis and tattooing grew up together in the counterculture, it made sense for us to reach into that realm and see if there was a way we could help,” Seed & Smith community outreach director Robbie Wroblewski told Westword.

The two businesses are partnering up over the next six months and will offer a collection of merchandise like hats and shirts paired with each new monthly strain debut, like Grease Monkey, a pairing of Gorilla Glue and Cookies and Cream, which they recently released.

“My creativity is primarily driven by coffee and Sour Patch kids. But I’m definitely pro-cannabis,” said Nate Stephens, one of the tattoo artists. “I heard the name [Grease Monkey] and immediately had an image of what it needed to be. I tell stories with pictures on a daily basis and oftentimes develop images from a few simple words.”

As COVID-19 disrupts everything and changes the business landscape — hitting tattoo parlors particularly hard — it’s hopeful to see industries and organizations joining forces to support one another.

“We wanted to be sure our friends in the artistic industries are weathering the storm and still performing or are finding the resources they need to keep practicing. Because cannabis and tattooing grew up together in the counterculture, it made sense for us to reach into that realm and see if there was a way we could help,” Wroblewski said.

The relationship between the two businesses started several years ago when Seed and Smith employees got tattoos at Marion Street. After the tattoo shop closed for almost two months because of COVID, the tattoo artists started selling their artwork to support themselves. That’s when Seed and Smith decided it was high time to do a collaboration.

“In this instance, we are creating gigs for these guys to keep their creativity flowing as they grow their schedules again. We want this art to be as natural to the artist as if they were throwing it on some skin permanently,” Wroblewski said.

Amanda Push

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