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Makin' munchies

If it seems like there's a disconnect between the public's perception of alcohol and its perception of cannabis, well, there is, says Denver resident Wanda James. She has a unique perspective as co-owner of both 8 Rivers restaurant and Apothecary of Colorado with her husband Scott Durrah.

"It's funny that I can talk about rum and people get excited about that, but they look at me strange when I talk about marijuana," she says, laughing. "Just don't understand."

With 8 Rivers already a popular downtown stop, James and Durrah are looking to duplicate their success in medicinal edibles through their new company, Simply Pure (check simplypure.com after Dec. 1 for more).

It's an area in need of help, James says.

"Some of the [current] edibles are pretty decent, but none of them are consistent, because they're all made with trim," she says. "And the very basis of making it with trim is, you know, it's a bunch of different bud from a bunch of different places."

Thus, a chef team of Durrah, Lauren Gennett and Rachel Wolpo will be churning out 100-percent bud, lab-tested, all-organic (in food and cannabis), professionally packaged and labeled, date-stamped edibles. Simply Pure will be soft-launching Dec. 1 with availability in roughly 20 centers in Boulder, Colorado Springs and Denver. James expects to have peanut brittle, granola bars, peppermint patties and more, all available immediately.

"We want to be able to give the consumer a sense of confidence," she says. "It's kind of like right now, when you walk into a 7-Eleven or Safeway and you grab a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, you're not thinking to yourself, 'I wonder what's in this — is it fresh?' You don't think that.

"We want the same visceral reaction."

Council on counsel

When we contacted the Colorado Springs City Council by e-mail at the end of last week, two of the three respondents indicated they're not interested in the stricter guidelines the Planning Commission recommended regarding medical marijuana zoning.

"I thought 400 feet was the right number, and I am concerned about adding pre-schools, universities, colleges, and seminaries to the list," writes Councilor Bernie Herpin in an e-mail, referring to the 1,000-foot barrier between the named facilities and centers.

City Councilor Sean Paige reiterated his distaste for stricter guidelines, adding: "It's time we stopped kicking this can down the road and get some reasonable and workable rules in place."

Councilor and future El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn replied that he's committed to "reserving judgment on this issue until I can review the planning commission's recommendation and receive public input."

The city will consider the guidelines at its formal meeting Dec. 14.

  • One Denverite's view on alcohol vs. MMJ and Council's take on county buffers.

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