"Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers"
“EVERYONE SMILES AS YOU DRIFT PAST THE FLOWERS…”
Writer | Melissa Joy
The South Federal Lucy Sky location is one of only four dispensaries in the city of Sheridan, Colorado. All Lucy Sky boutiques are designed with a touch of elegance in mind and to evoke a warm, cozy atmosphere. If you find yourself in the South Federal area, definitely stop and check this space out. A simple layout and minimal design make for an easy, breezy shopping experience — and employees will get you in and out without making you feel the least bit rushed.
Lucy Sky’s customer service is beyond reproach. Instead of the usual budtender, their employees are referred to as cannabis advisors, whose main goal is to educate customers and ensure they feel comfortable and welcome. Cannabis advisors are encouraged to learn the first name of each guest and to create a sense of familiarity each time they visit the store; the owner of Lucy Sky mentioned that their mantra is to leave people happier than they were when they first walked through the door.
One of their recent projects includes a collaboration with the one and only Tommy Chong, who actually visited their grow to make sure the signature strain was up to the Chong standard. Iconically dubbed Chong’s Choice, it’s a cross between Gorilla Glue, Strawberry Kush and King Chong. Other popular strains at Lucy Sky include Witches Weed, Bubba Kush and Purple Champagne. Their head cultivator, Michael Meyer, worked closely under the original breeder of Chem ‘91 before bringing his skill set to Colorado from California. His work has received multiple Cannabis Cup awards, and his connection with exotic West Coast strains has helped Lucy Sky win over customers over the years. All Lucy Sky cannabis is hand-manicured and treated by real people, not some automated garden system. Their selection also includes a fantastic inventory of edibles and concentrates such as 1906, Mary’s Medicinals, Green Dot, Harmony and Ascend.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lucy Sky’s brand was inspired by the classic Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” a name which has helped them become a memorable neighborhood staple.
Dining Out Magazine
"How cannabis transformed the life of Stanley Cup Winner Jeff Friesen"
” HOW CANNABIS TRANSFORMED THE LIFE OF STANLEY CUP WINNER JEFF FRIESEN”
Forget about what you think you know about a dispensary because Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique is in a league of its own. Each location—three in Denver and one in Englewood—has its own unique personality while equally exuding a safe and comfortable environment. The folks behind the counter, known as cannabis advisors, foster relationships with patrons from the moment they walk through the boutique’s doors. With medical and recreational cannabis available, staff will help you find the product that best suits your needs. Although their clientele is as vast as their cannabis selection, professional athletes are considered regulars. Similar to the hospitality arena, cannabis reaps countless benefits for athletes who put their bodies through extreme wear and tear.
We talked with Jeff Friesen, former NHL player, about his firsthand experience with this. After a 13-year career playing professional hockey, Friesen sustained too many injuries to count. His aches and pains were kept at bay temporarily with prescription pills, but they left him not feeling like himself and with a host of new problems and side effects. He turned to a more sustainable option, cannabis, and hasn’t looked back since. Jeff began researching cannabis because of his newfound appreciation for the natural plant, which led him to Evolve Formulas, where he found his saving grace, Evolve’s transdermal NanoSerum™.
“Within 10 minutes of rubbing the product onto my skin, the pain was gone. It provided both targeted relief to problem areas and an overall calming feeling as well. I had spent over a decade trying different topicals, searching for a product that could accomplish this.” Friesen adds, “I envision a future where athletes can replace opioids and responsibly try cannabis for themselves without fear of scrutiny or backlash. With increased research and technological advancement, cannabis is well on its way to becoming a mainstream solution.”
"Cannabis Growing Tips With Lucy Sky's Head Grower"
“CANNABIS GROWING TIPS WITH LUCY SKY’S HEAD GROWER”
Writer | Thomas Mitchell
September 28, 2018
No matter the plant’s legal status, Colorado has never been short of growers of cannabis — so out-of-staters looking to get into the business need to know what they’re doing. And Mike Meyer (without the “s,” so don’t confuse him with Austin Powers or the Halloween slasher) definitely did. He got his start in California, growing cannabis in his attic as a hobby while studying horticulture in college.
In 2007 he jumped into California’s medical marijuana industry, where he spent ten years learning about strain breeding and perfecting his plants. After moving to Denver in 2017, Meyer found himself heading the cultivation department of Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique, which is about to have four dispensaries open under its umbrella. To learn more about the craft of growing cannabis both commercially and personally, we chatted with Meyer about his budding trade.
Westword: What are some differences between growing cannabis commercially and a home-growing level?
Mike Meyer: The first and most obvious difference is the amount of money you need to get started. A home grow, depending on the scale and if it’s an indoor or outdoor grow, can cost a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. A small-scale commercial grow can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but more commonly commercial grows cost millions to get up and running correctly. When growing on a commercial level, it is important to consider your patients’ needs and your customers’ taste, so you will probably have a large spectrum encompassing indica, sativa, hybrid and ruderalis. On the other hand, home growers cultivate for themselves, family and friends and usually will only grow a few cultivar varieties.
Local and state governments are still trying to figure out how to regulate cannabis cultivation, and the federal government won’t touch it. How much harder does that make your job?
A common issue that many cannabis businesses have is with banking, credit and loans. Another vital concern is a lack of standardization in testing for cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles. You can test with different labs and get drastically different percentages, which is very misleading to the consumer.
Should cannabis continue being grown indoors? Other cash crops are grown outdoors — why not cannabis? Laws aside, which environment do you feel is best?
One can argue that many other cash crops have in fact moved indoors. Vertical indoor farms and hydroponic systems are very common for microgreens, herbs, etc. The benefit of growing indoors is that 99 percent of the environment can be controlled; the downfall is energy consumption. I believe that both will continue to be viable growing options in the future. Both ways can produce a very high-quality product. Due to the ability of managing the environment precisely, indoor growing will generally produce a more potent flower.
What are some of the easiest strains to grow, in your opinion? What about some more difficult strains to grow?
Some of the easier cultivars to grow that we have at Lucy Sky are Pre ’98 Bubba Kush, Durban Poison, Flo and Tahoe Alien, whereas some of the more difficult or finicky cultivars we have are Banana Kush, Super Lemon Haze, Strawberry Glue and Rugburn OG.
What are some safe techniques cannabis growers can use to prevent or treat pests and mildew?
The first step is to maintain a clean cultivation environment; a dirty grow will attract insects, molds and mildews. Prevention and sanitation are imperative, and are the first steps to an integrated pest-management program. I am also a huge advocate for using beneficial insects to eat harmful bugs in your garden. Using foliar sprays with microorganisms is an excellent way to prevent mildews and molds. Lastly, controlling the vapor-pressure deficit in your room can also be a large factor in preventing mildew and mold.
Cannabis Business Times
"18 Tips for Creating a Sterile Hydroponic Environment"
“18 TIPS FOR CREATING A STERILE HYDROPONIC ENVIRONMENT”
Writer |Jolene Hansen
January 14, 2019
CBT spoke with three hydroponic growers to learn how they keep their hydroponic systems at the peak of deep clean.
Pathogens lurking in hydroponic systems aren’t always obvious—until they adversely affect your grow. Regular and thorough sterilization of hydroponic components helps maintain an optimal growing environment. That includes cleaning those hard-to-reach crannies that are typically overlooked. Cannabis Business Times spoke with three hydroponic growers to learn how they keep their hydroponic systems at the peak of deep clean.
Ian Andrews, Director of Production Operations, Wellness Connection of Maine
As director of production operations for Wellness Connection of Maine, Andrews oversees two neighboring production facilities that total 22,000 square feet of cultivation. Both produce for the company’s four dispensaries. He models his sterilization approach after traditional agriculture, and he emphasizes prevention.
“A big part of growing successfully is forethought and ensuring that everything is well thought-out, well planned, and then well executed,” he says.
Andrews offers the following hydroponic sterilization-related tips:
1. Start with a good design. To prevent problems before they start, Andrews recommends using materials and fittings that block light and are completely sealed. “Never use clear irrigation tubing; it allows light into the line and allows for algae growth,” he says.
2. Design your system for easy cleaning. “If it’s a pain to take apart, your cultivation team will be tempted to cut corners,” Andrews says. “Run anything that you can in straight lines, without too many elbows or too many fittings. [That’s] just more you need to take apart and clean, and places where you can potentially get buildup in your lines.”
3. Try to keep your systems and manufacturers uniform. “Multiple systems and manufacturers add time and complexity, increasing the possibility of some aspect of sterilization to be missed,” he says. “It is very important to keep it uniform.”
4. Give extra attention to plant-touching components. “Things that actually come in contact with the plant or the roots or the root ball—the drippers or the spaghetti lines that go to the drippers or the pots themselves that the plants are in—those are the things that we definitely take apart and sterilize in between each crop cycle,” Andrews says. That process includes a trip through an industrial dishwasher. “We’re actually bringing those [components] up to temperatures where we’re killing off microbial growth,” he says.
5. Ensure your team understands sterilization’s importance. “Create a standard, comprehensive sterilization procedure and train your team to follow it every time,” Andrews says. “Make sure they all understand the ‘why’ behind each aspect of your procedure.”
6. Never take shortcuts in the sterilization process. “All too often, growers are so focused on harvesting and then refilling the room ASAP with the next crop to avoid any unnecessary downtime, and thus the sterilization of key equipment is overlooked,” Andrews says. “It’s essential that this step is included in the turnover of the room, otherwise the time saved will pale in comparison to the weeks of growing lost.”
Jesse Miller, Cultivation Manager, Giving Tree Dispensary – Arizona
As cultivation manager for Arizona-based Giving Tree Dispensary, Miller’s background in plant pathology influences his approach to hydroponic sterilization and the cultivation operation’s 5,000 square feet of canopy. Miller emphasizes preventing circumstances that can lead to pathogen problems.
Nutrient reservoirs are constant priorities. “Keeping that reservoir clean is extremely important because that’s the source to all of your plants,” Miller says. “During harvest week, there are no plants in the rooms for a few days and we do a deep clean to start everything fresh.”
Miller offers these sterilization-related tips:
7. Keep your nutrient solution moving. “If it becomes stagnant, you can have algae and bacteria and fungi sitting in there, growing,” Miller warns. “Having it circulated with a circulator pump and having it aerated—adding air stones and a bubbler—is very important.”
8.Use a chiller system to control nutrient temperature. “Hook a [chiller system] up to your circulator pump so that you’re maintaining a perfect temperature for the solution. If it’s too warm, you can have certain organisms growing that you don’t want,” Miller says.
9. Avoid using oils in irrigation lines. Miller says oils can lead to blockage and harmful growth in irrigation lines. “Sometimes people will irrigate with oil in order to get rid of root aphids or something like that,” he explains. “I would recommend never to run anything like that through an irrigation system, because it’s very hard to get out.”
10. Breakdown fertilizer buildup with an acid flush. Flushing lines with a pH-down, phosphoric acid solution (near 3 pH) to break down salts is part of Miller’s post-harvest deep clean, but he cautions not to use a solution with a lower pH than that. He once tried a solution below 2 pH, and let it soak in lines overnight. “When I came in the next day, it had corroded all of my plastic manifolds, so when I turned the irrigation on, it basically exploded,” he says. “That would be something not to do.”
11. Don’t recycle irrigation water to other growing zones. “If you’re recirculating water and using it on different zones of your growing operation, you could be recycling and transferring diseases to other zones of the facility,” Miller says. He keeps every room on its own irrigation system.
12. Treat recirculating water with a UV sterilizer. “When you’re recirculating your reservoir, you can have that water constantly transferring through a membrane with UV light. The light is breaking down the cells of all types of organisms that could infect your plants. That is really effective with killing fungi and bacteria,” Miller says; however, he notes, “one challenge is that it can also break down elements in your fertilizer recipe—iron specifically.” Micro-dosing supplemental nutrients to offset deficiencies may be necessary.
13. Don’t forget your tank. “Every once in a while, someone needs to get inside the tank and do a deep clean. Even if you have aeration, there’s a good chance you’re still going to have some sort of residue buildup on the walls of the tank,” Miller says. “We use a couple of different things: hydrogen peroxide and then a product called Physan 20, which is an algaecide, fungicide, bactericide and viricide.”
14. After cleansing, do a thorough flush and water check. Miller recommends a thorough flush with clean water after using any cleansing product in your system. “Make sure you collect that water and that you’re checking the quality of the water coming out of the lines before you start to irrigate the plants,” he says.
Mike Meyer, Head of Cultivation, Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique – Colorado
As head of cultivation at Colorado-based Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique, Meyer oversees 50,000 square feet of cultivation, which supplies Lucy Sky’s four dispensaries and wholesale customers across the state. With approximately 10,000 plants on hand at any one time, Meyer stresses that strict sterilization procedures are essential to success.
“Just because it’s not visible to us doesn’t mean that we don’t have different types of microbes and different types of pathogens and molds and mildews. So we have a list of things that we do every time—after we harvest the room, then the post-harvest room cleanup, and then going forward into the growing cycle itself, all the way through,” he explains.
The following steps top Meyer’s checklist:
15. Sterilize irrigation lines. Meyer recommends two products for sterilizing irrigation lines between crops. “The one that I use is ZeroTol 2.0. It’s a BioSafe product that is hydrogen dioxide and peracetic acid,” he says. “The one that would be used more commonly and that is also safe is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), preferably a commercial use that has a higher concentration than what you would normally buy in the grocery store.”
16. Perform a weekly root flush. Meyer recommends a weekly root zone flush. “In terms of sterilization, it’s imperative that you clean up your lines so that you don’t have any types of buildup of algae, biofilms or waterborne pathogens,” he says. By adding ZeroTol to the mix, “you’re able to kill any potential pathogens that may be present,” he adds.
17. Always put safety first. Meyer emphasizes employee safety and utilizing proper safety equipment as sterilization priorities: “Ultimately, it’s healthy people, healthy plants. We don’t want anybody to get hurt.” Standard operating procedures for sterilization include step-by-step protocols for every procedure, including protective equipment. “It’s important that we have proper eye protection, proper respiratory care and proper coverage for your skin, arms, hands,” he says.
18. Don’t become complacent. “It’s easy to become complacent [with sterilization] and think, ‘I’m not seeing any detrimental effects. I can probably skip this that one time.’ That’s where problems start happening. And once you have a problem, it takes twice as much effort to get rid of it,” Meyer says. “Sterilization is imperative. … It’s really important that you have a tight protocol and that you have a strict regimen.”
"Elegant Labels and Slappable Stickers Give Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique a Branding Lift"
“ELEGANT LABELS AND SLAPPABLE STICKERS GIVE LUCY SKY CANNABIS BOUTIQUE A BRANDING LIFT”
Writer | Andrew Matranga
December 27, 2018
Denver’s Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique started up in January of 2014, when the green wave crested over Colorado and recreational marijuana sales began on the first of the year. On that day, the first Lucy Sky Boutique Dispensary opened in the upscale neighborhood of Washington Park, and set the bar high by providing a clean, safe, environment for recreational and medicinal marijuana and merchandise.
The Lucy Sky Cannabis motto, which is emblazoned on the doors, says “Enter as a guest, leave as a friend.” To deliver on that promise, they call their point-of-sale staff Cannabis Advisors, rather than the industry colloquial term “budtender,” and each Advisor is trained “to ask questions of each visitor, to take a genuine interest, to glean personal information about purpose, use, habits and expectations so that an educated recommendation can be made about strain and method of ingestion.”
Nothing at Lucy Sky is prepackaged. When the marijuana is delivered to the boutiques, it’s weighed with each individual purchase, deli-style. The goal? Each customer gets the experience they’re expecting. They use our matte product labels for their on-shelf jar labels, and they leave empty space to write the product information and strain potency on the label so it’s easily displayed for customers.
Taking their name from a line from the popular Beatles song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” Lucy Sky Cannabis also adds in the diamond shape into their design and branding. For instance, look at the custom die cut circle stickers they call “slappers” that sit at the point of purchase for friends to take with them. You can see all of the different diamond designs on these stickers. They say that they can’t keep these on the shelf, as they are very popular as a bonus takeaway and easy portable for customers.
When running a cannabis dispensary, solid branding and elegant design go a long way. The entire space at Lucy Sky is modern and clean, and the products reflect that aesthetic as well. By using custom stickers and labels to give their brand a visual identity, Lucy Sky Cannabis helps inform potential customers with great design that communicates essential information and creates an experience for their returning customers. This way, their friends get by with a little help from their favorite cannabis brand.
The Denver Channel
"Marijuana dispensary eyes move to Denver's Bonnie Brae neighborhood"
“MARIJUANA DISPENSARY EYES MOVE TO DENVER’S BONNIE BRAE NEIGHBORHOOD”
Writer | Liz Gelardi
November 28, 2018
DENVER — A marijuana dispensary could be moving into Denver’s Bonnie Brae neighborhood and some residents said they didn’t find out until it was too late.
The Wash Park Boutique dispensary would be located at 747 S. University Boulevard, in the same block as Bonnie Brae Ice Cream and The Campus Lounge. The city held a hearing earlier this month, but the decision will ultimately be up to the executive director of Denver’s Department of Excise and License.
“It’s not that they don’t have a right to do it, they certainly have a right to do it,” said Jane Herbst, a nearby resident. “It’s just the placement of where it is.”
Herbst said she is not only concerned about the location. She is disappointed in the notification process. She said she found out about the dispensary one day before the hearing, but was out of town and could not attend.
Tenicia Lowrie, the owner of the proposed dispensary, already owns other locations that go by the name Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutiques. She said she applied to purchase a license from A Cut Off the Top Dispensary, located at 2059 W. 9th Ave., and transferred it to the storefront located in Bonnie Brae. One of her existing dispensaries is half a mile away from that proposed location.
If the plans go forward, the new dispensary will open sometime in the spring. Lowrie said she is excited about the opportunity and looking forward to being part of the Bonnie Brae neighborhood.
A spokesperson for Denver’s Department of Excise and License said the neighborhood organizations received proper notice. He said after the Nov. 9 hearing, members of the public had 10 days to file opposition statements.
“Maybe people are just hearing about it, I guess,” said Tim McHugh, president of the Washington Park East Neighborhood Association.
McHugh said he first received notice on Sept. 24 and it was discussed during the association meeting last month. During that time, he didn’t hear from anyone opposed to the plans.
“Somebody brought up the fact that it’s in the neighborhood and fairly close to a church or school or where kids wait for the school bus, but then somebody else brought up the fact there’s a liquor store and a Campus Lounge which sells alcohol right on the same block,” McHugh said.
"The Next Issue Outdoor Retailer Could Tackle? Cannabis."
“THE NEXT ISSUE OUTDOOR RETAILER COULD TACKLE? CANNABIS.”
Writer | Katie Shapiro
July 20, 2018
When Outdoor Retailer relocated what it touts as “North America’s largest trade show in the outdoor industry” to Denver, the driving issue for the decision was public lands. After 20 years in Salt Lake City, organizers felt Utah politicians no longer valued exactly what the industry so heavily depends upon.
Now after its first successful Snow Show in Denver in January, O.R. (its more common moniker) has settled perfectly into its new home city. And with the annual Summer Market ahead (July 22-26), the next issue the conference could tackle is cannabis.
Similar to the scene at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, where cannabis brands are only involved beyond the tents at unaffiliated, private pop-up parties, we have yet to see any official sponsors or activations on the O.R. floor. But this year, Zeal Optics, Osprey Packs, Outdoor Research and Be Hippy have joined forces with some of Colorado’s leading cannabis companies for the inaugural Green Industry Affair on Tuesday, July 24.
The groundbreaking eco-event’s mission is to “push the environmental movement forward with an unprecedented union of the cannabis and outdoor communities,” which will feature a performance by the electronic duo BoomBox and an educational presentation by Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, and a Time magazine “Hero of the Planet.”
Proceeds from the evening will directly support the Colorado Carbon Fund — an environmental nonprofit that measures, reduces and offsets carbon emissions in the state. Attendees will also be encouraged to partake in the Carbon Neutral License Plate program, which generates revenue and awareness through specialized Colorado license plates to support climate change mitigation.
The Green Industry Affair is the brainchild of the Denver-based marketing agency Cannabrand, whose founder and CEO Olivia Mannix says, “The cannabis, outdoor and environmental industries work very well together because they all, by default, elevate each other. Hemp alone can cut down carbon emissions and energy by a substantial amount.”
“In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, Lightshade just completed construction of a 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art greenhouse which will reduce our water and power consumption by more than 50 percent,” says Shannon Brooks, partner of Lightshade dispensaries, an event sponsor.
As far as bridging the gap between cultural acceptance and brands promoting the actual usage of cannabis in the great outdoors?
“Five years into legalization, cannabis is still considered new to some. For a lot of outdoor companies, they are just now realizing that cannabis has gone mainstream, so feel more comfortable openly talking about it,” says Adam Dickey, director of marketing for Lucy Sky Cannabis Boutique, another event sponsor. “And the average cannabis consumer is becoming much more educated. Colorado is an outdoor playground with endless activities in beautiful places — some more exhausting than others — that affect your body more than others. Rather than turning to pharmaceuticals during their recovery time, people are using cannabis products that are high in cannabinoids like CBD for quicker overall body recovery.”
The big name outdoor brands involved have already made a bold statement just by participating in the Green Industry Affair, which hopefully will only inspire more gear companies to have the long overdue cannabis conversation back in their offices after O.R.