See the color purple at Grannys’.
ight off Highway 24 in Lake George, Grannys’ High Altitude Super Hemp
(H.A.S.H.) is nearly impossible to miss on a drive through the scenic area en route to the Collegiate Peaks and beyond.
The hemp-based CBD business is located in a 1939 home that’s painted a deep lavender hue, and dubbed “the Granny” by co-owners Jo Dee Weaver, 56, and Karen Kinne, 54. Its color scheme draws inspiration from the older women’s group, the Red Hat Society, of which Weaver’s mother was a member. The spunky society’s name was inspired by a poem by Jenny Joseph that states “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.”
“The purple is to signify that hopefully people won’t be too shocked when I’m old and start doing outrageous things,” says Weaver, in reference to her decision to open Grannys’ H.A.S.H. with friend and former co-worker Kinne in March 2015.
Weaver and Kinne both served as paramedics in Colorado Springs for a combined total of over 50 years and met during Kinne’s EMT training where Weaver was an instructor. Kinne says that Weaver is the reason she chose the profession, working on an ambulance to care for countless people in times of emergency.
In those moments, Weaver and Kinne began to notice the harmful side effects of so many medications and the often dire consequences of unintentional overdoses. An additional sticking point, Weaver mentions, were the military personnel she met who had returned home from deployment only to find a disappointing lack of non-narcotic options to properly treat their PTSD.
In 2014, when Amendment 64 went into effect, legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado, it was the catalyst spurring Weaver and Kinne to explore alternative medicine and the new avenues that medical marijuana could offer.
“I thought, how hard can it be? It’s a weed,” says Weaver. “It went from that little speck of a thought to a long process.”
Before-and-after X-rays chart one woman’s journey with CBD and cancer.
Weaver and Kinne chose to immerse themselves in the culture and happened to stumble upon the hemp industry. Once that discovery was made, it became obvious that hemp served their true mission: finding a direct way to help people through natural and organic processes.
After observing multiple grows, they were able to add valuable knowledge to their independent research and “a lot of on-the-job training,” says Weaver. “Thank goodness they’re forgiving little plants because we’ve learned a lot in three years.”
Kinne was also able to integrate her degree in agricultural economics to move their business forward and laughs that she was finally able to tell her parents she was using her college education.
According to the Department of Agriculture, hemp is a cannabis plant that must contain 0.3 percent or less THC, and Grannys’ tests at 0.03 percent. Due to the low trace amounts, there are no psychoactive effects, ensuring that it’s safe to use, even for individuals who undergo routine drug tests.
Summer traffic does tend to bring in some confused customers, but Kinne says when people come in under the wrong impression a good majority still leave with one of their products in hand.
“Unless they want to get high, that’s the only time we can’t help them,” says Weaver. “But we have crossover, there’s no doubt. We have young people that are taking it preventatively to stay healthy [and] 90-year olds that are like, ‘this is the first time I’ve been comfortable in years.’”
The primary focus at Grannys’ is education, designed to showcase everything the hemp plant can offer. The business carries clothing and bath/beauty products and features an interactive table with roots, stems, seeds and fibers that illustrate the plant’s incredible versatility. Weaver and Kinne grow all of their plants from seed without cloning and use pollination and the clusters it generates to multiply their capacity. Then using full-plant home extraction methods, they evolve the natural substance into numerous forms of healing products.
While CBD isn’t approved by the FDA for the treatment of any condition or disease, Grannys’ does recommend certain products for various ailments. A herbaceous, golden-green CBD tea is recommended for those with PTSD, depression and anxiety; topical salves for managing pain, inflammation and skin issues; and oral concentrates for other issues like diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases. Weaver and Kinne actively guide clients through the proper dosages and explain that accuracy and quality control are required to ensure that CBD works appropriately for each case.
“What we found is as we’re using CBD we require less over time,” says Kinne. “With narcotics we build up a tolerance, it’s strictly a symptom reliever and we need more. With CBD it actually heals and repairs.”
Since Grannys’ uses the whole plant, regardless of the size or sex, each batch of “mutts” differs and is sent out for regulatory lab testing to measure the potency and confirm accurate, consistent product.
“We’re about what’s going to work for that person’s health,” says Kinne, noting that domestic pets also find relief in their products.
Index cards with personal stories from satisfied customers are taped to surfaces all over the store, full of gratitude and some with photographs of their improved life experiences. The handwritten accounts fill the house with a hopeful, positive energy. A before-and-after image of a woman in Texas shows two X-rays of her body. The first exhibits Stage IV endometrial cancer with lymphoma and leukemia — her condition was considered terminal and the woman was sent home to die after a year and half of unsuccessful chemotherapy and radiation. The second states that it shows the effects of just seven months of CBD treatments and the cancer is practically non-existent.
Kinne (middle), son Darien, and Weaver.
“We love our testimonials all over the store because they’re so diversified,” says Kinne. “From pain and inflammation to seizure control to a brown recluse spider bite. All these people where the traditional modern medicine wasn’t working, they come to us and it works. It’s so multifunctional, it’s awesome.”
Grannys’ asserts it can ship products nationwide because they are categorized as “industrial hemp” versus CBD products that are a derived from recreational or medicinal cannabis.
“It boils down to where does the seed come from,” says Weaver. “If it is from medical marijuana, even if it has no THC, it’s not legal.”
The benefits of hemp go far beyond what’s offered within the four violet walls of Grannys’. The plant can be used to make a waterproof, mold-proof and bug-proof building material; to make plastic; or to manufacture a gasoline alternative for cars and airplanes. Professors in the University of Colorado system are conducting experiments with hemp — or its carbon atoms anyway — in batteries.
“The seeds are good health: non-medicinal, but full of omegas, one of the highest sources of protein we can consume, great for our skin and our hair,” says Kinne. “The leaf and stalk has the CBD and the other cannabinoids that are so good for us. The roots of the plant can be tilled back in, full of nitrogen so farmers can leave it in the soil and it fertilizes their next crop. It helps the air and it doesn’t take as much water [as traditional crops].”
Weaver and Kinne say they simply aim to bring a more accessible and viable option to individuals searching for organic alternatives to conventional Western health care. They believe the fact that hemp continues to be dismissed based on its relationship to cannabis is unfortunately preventing the widespread use of a plant capable of medical miracles. Grannys’ hopes to inform and inspire people who are struggling with or curious about hemp, while eliminating stigma that breeds ignorance regarding its effects.
“We learn things every day with our products and how it helps,” says Kinne. “If we can just bring [CBD] back in, it can do it all."