Their Cup runneth over
A few years ago, the thought of winning at High Times' U.S. Cannabis Cup was just a dream for Ryan Moore and his six partners. Most of them were living in Kentucky, and were nowhere near running a dispensary in Colorado Springs.
However, they recently became the proud owners of a first-place finish in the U.S. Indica Flower category for their Granddaddy Purple strain, just four days after their center, Herbal Healing (597-0776, herbalhealingmmj.com), opened at 1785 N. Academy Blvd., #165.
"We all pretty much worked on our own dime," says Moore, 25. "We're not getting paid, just kind of creating the dream. We pretty much created this whole thing with our own hands, all the way from construction to growing to everything. Every little last bit of it.
"It's been pretty tough times. When you work for free for a while it gets tough, and financially it gets tough, and we're all living under the same roof trying to make ends meet."
Despite that, they bet on the contest's $1,000 entry fee, and came out winners for their Purp, which, like all of Herbal Healing's plants, was hand-trimmed and exhaustively flushed. "It's hysterical: It really, really makes you laugh like crazy," Moore says of the strain's impact. "I don't even understand. ... This has its own special, euphoric way. ... If you take it during the middle of the day, it's not just going to make you go to sleep. It's going to be a nice mellow, smooth effect."
The owner estimates the center has around two pounds of the winning strain remaining, and plans to sell it for around $250 per ounce.
As far as Colorado Springs' MMJ center scene as a whole, Moore has not been impressed. "There's a few strains in a few places that have good quality, but no place has quality across the board. It's all too commercialized, it's all too Big Industry. There's not enough of the small-time people that really, really care about it. Everybody's thinking about production costs and how to lower them, and all it does is lower the quality all the way across the board."
• Mayoral candidate Mary Lou Makepeace has issued a statement in support of allowing recreational-marijuana stores in Colorado Springs.
• The city has unveiled an informational cannabis website at coloradosprings.gov/marijuana.
• Last week, Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced she will depart in May. She's faced criticism related to Colombian sex parties involving DEA agents, but is best known in these parts for her hostility toward marijuana. She gained notoriety in 2012 for a Q&A session with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who kept asking whether drugs like heroin or meth were worse for your health than cannabis. "All illegal drugs are bad," she responded.