The spark to start: Why Southwest Colorado folks get into the business of weed

by Patty Templeton

People use cannabis for medicinal, lifestyle, and party purposes, but what gets someone so jazzed about Colorado herb to be on the business-side of weed? DGO asked a few folks to find out.

Durango Rec Roomwww.durangorecroom.com

Why they’re in the biz“A friend of mine who has MS was telling me all of the medicinal benefits of marijuana,” said Pat Dalton. “I was going through a very difficult time. [My friends] were all saying, ‘You have to try this.’ I was like, ‘I don’t smoke weed.’ I was busy being a dad and working hard and focusing on business, but finally, I told them I would take a hit if they would leave me alone. I took one hit and it was the first breath I had taken in 10 years. I literally went, ‘Wow, this is the first time I’ve felt normal in a decade.’ That was the light bulb moment that made me think that this could help everybody. It did this for me, and I want to share this experience with other people … I want people’s buying experience to be really good. When you walk out, we want you to know that we care about you and that we want you to feel good.”

The Herbal Alternativehttp://theherbalalternative.net

Why they’re in the bizAfter serving for five years in the U.S. Coast Guard, Garrett Smith exited military service. Smith, the owner of The Herbal Alternative, developed a debilitating seizure disorder: “I really couldn’t find a product at the time that would curb my epilepsy, other than cannabis. I started using cannabis and then it got fairly expensive for me to purchase, so I got into growing at my residence. Then, an opportunity came by, with a friend, to purchase a dispensary in need of revitalization.”

The Bud Farmhttp://thebudfarm.net

Why they’re in the bizOwners Lea and Jim Cody came to cannabis culture through pain management. Jim, a former college football player, found that marijuana was the only pain medicine that allowed him to keep a clear head. It was a discovery he wanted to share: “We believe in the medicinal properties and benefits of [marijuana],” said Lea Cody. Cannabis “has helped people we know who have had cancer or debilitating diseases, and [we] feel it should be available. We believe in educating the public about the plant and its uses.”

Good Earth Medshttp://goodearthmeds.com

Why they’re in the bizBill Delany is a veteran who Western medicine could not remedy. In 1999, Delany developed Crohn’s disease. In 2007, he was put on 100 percent disability. “My Crohn’s was so bad that I never thought I’d work again,” Delany said.

After not having marijuana in over two decades, Dealny tried it after reading a chance notice in the paper about medical marijuana becoming accessible in 2009. “There is more scientific proof on how marijuana works on Crohn’s and MS than on any other diseases,” said Delany, “and I’ll be damned if it didn’t turn it around for me.” Delany wanted to openly share the success of cannabis’ medicinal properties and opened Good Earth Meds.

Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer

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