Up Close Shot of Lightshade Durban Poison Cannabis Strain

Classic Cannabis Strains: Durban Poison, Pineapple Express, and Lavender Jones

Get to know three of our favorite classic summertime cannabis strains – and learn how to pair them with your special summer activities expertly. 

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. Especially during summer when school’s out-style nostalgia sends us hurtling into the arms of familiar favorites. Those perfectly broken in cutoffs. The scoop of vanilla soft serve. Watching 80s movies on the lawn. Summer is the ultimate nostalgic season.

And this is certainly true when it comes to cannabis! While there are days when you want the biggest, baddest, newest strain on the market, sometimes you feel like hanging with a familiar friend. Summer and classic weed strains go together like PB&J – or like sunscreen and the beach.

To celebrate the spirit of summer, we’re highlighting three classic strains, perfect for pairing with your favorite summer activities.

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Durban Poison Cannabis Strain

Durban Poison

Durban Poison is a pure sativa (or as pure as a sativa can get these days) from Durban, a South African port city (hence the name). The strain is a certified classic with a history dating back to the late 1970s! People say High Times columnist Ed Rosenthal first discovered Durban Poison, but like most things in cannabis, the truth is somewhat hazy. Still, we know that Rosenthal was in South Africa in the 1970s looking for new cannabis genetics, so it’s possible he located Durban seeds and started cultivating them. 

Because Durban Poison is a “landrace strain,” it doesn’t have a complicated history of cross-breeding or mixing and matching with other strains. Instead, its genetics go back to an era when cannabis strains were closer to nature and experienced little human intervention. As a result, it’s a true cannabis classic! 

It’s a sweet, aromatic, uplifting, and energetic strain which is why we think Durban Poison is perfect for your summertime Colorado activities.

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Pineapple Express Cannabis Strain

Pineapple Express

Most likely named after the classic 2008 stoner film of the same name (for which Seth Rogan claims he and co-writer Evan Goldberg rolled over 100 cross-shaped joints), Pineapple Express was an early breakout hit of California’s legal dispensary scene. 

This sativa-dominant hybrid is a blend of Hawaiian and Trainwreck. It includes a touch of CBD that gives it an extra potent power to relieve generalized aches, pain, and minor anxiety. 

The pineapple isn’t just in the name, either! Fans say pineapple express has a distinctively fruity aroma, with notes of mango, green apple, and, you guessed it, pineapple. In addition, pineapple Express’s terpene profile includes caryophyllene, which gives it a spicy, clovey bite, and humulene, which lends a herbal scent.

Like Red Headed Stranger, Pineapple Express is an energy-stimulating strain that boosts creativity and mood while creating a relaxing, energetic full-body high that lasts all day long. It has a higher and more variable THC content, meaning it’s ideal for laid-back lounging on a pool floaty, or relaxing with your favorite classic summer flick. Do you have to smoke Pineapple Express while watching Pineapple Express? Nah, but we bet it’s a lot of fun!

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Lavender Jones Cannabis Strain

Lavender Jones

Unlike the pop culture inspiration behind our first two classic weed strain lineages, Lavender Jones got its name the same way that kid in your elementary school with the hyphenated spot on the seating chart did – by taking one each from its parents.

Lavender Jones is a dreamy blend of Purple Urkle (hence, Lavender) and Casey Jones. This balanced hybrid is rumored to be a Colorado original, and its unique, floral flavor and perfectly balanced effects give us some serious hometown pride.

This classic strain comes on like a Sativa, elevating mood, relieving tension, and boosting creative inspiration. After the initial upswing comes the Indica kick, a seriously relaxing sensation that washes warmly through the body for the perfect full-body high.

We love indulging in Lavender Jones on weekend afternoons when we’re in the mood to meditate and unwind. This happy strain will lift your spirit while keeping nerves calm and the mind at ease, making it the perfect companion for an afternoon in the sunshine.

What’s your favorite classic cannabis strain? And what are your favorite summertime activities? Drop by and tell us; we’d love to know.

bubbles in amber colored distillate

Lightshade’s Guide to 7/10 (aka Oil Day or Dab Day)

Is 7/10 the new 4/20? Let’s find out. 

Even the most casual cannabis fans are familiar with 4/20. The iconic stoner celebration is so mainstream that even people who have never seen so much as a single leaf of cannabis are familiar with its meaning! 

But as legalization spreads across the US, cannabis fans are reluctant to limit their celebrations to a single day of the year. And thus, 710 Day (otherwise known as Dab Day, or Oil Day) was born, celebrating the potent side of cannabis–in the form of resins, oils, and wax.

What the heck is 710 Day?

So why 7/10? We don’t want to speculate about the mental state of this noble holiday’s inventor, whose identity has never been confirmed. 

What we can say, though, is that they must have been feeling loose enough to look at their calendar upside down. If you squint, 710 looks a little bit like the word OIL turned on its head!

Whoever this innovator was, they wanted to set a day to celebrate the world of cannabis beyond 420s celebration of flower power. OIL day is all about indulging in concentrates in its many delightful forms.

Dabbing Away

Concentrated oils are one of the most ancient ways of consuming cannabis, second only to the flower itself. The history of medicinal cannabis oils goes back to ancient Chinese herbalism, where it was used for its restorative powers. Basically, people have been using concentrates as long as they’ve been consuming cannabis, so in a sense, dabbing has been a common practice for a long, long time.

In the dark days before legalization, dabbing was considered one of the riskier ways of consuming cannabis. Since there were no safety regulations in place pre-legalization (after all, how can you regulate something that’s against the law?), creating cannabis oil was a highly combustible, often dangerous process. The fact that dabbing remained as popular as it was is a testament to the enthusiasm its fan base has for the dab experience.

These days, consumers coming to the world of dabbing and concentrates will find a higher quality, safer, and more potent product. Legalization has brought a new atmosphere of regulatory oversight, eliminating the use of flammable or hazardous solvents in the creation of concentrated cannabis oils and leading to a rise in rigorously tested high-quality cannabis concentrates. It’s the perfect time to celebrate your first 710 in safety and style!

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate on 7/10

It’s official–concentrates are a safe, powerful, and generally delightful way to enjoy 7/10. So what’s the best way to indulge in this exploration of the power of cannabis? Here are a few of our favorites:

This high potency oil packs a serious punch–with delightful flavors available in various targeted strains. We love these cartridges for their ease of use, which makes them perfect for beginners. Simply attach to your go-to vape pen and puff away. But go easy, especially the first time! Select doesn’t mess around. 

These infused joints are the dream product for those who appreciate the classic flower experience but long for a little extra oil kick. Full bud flower is infused with live resin and wax to create a powerfully perfect smoking experience. It’s everything you’ve always wanted a joint to be!

Dedicated to increasing minority participation in the cannabis industry, Viola’s products are as powerful as their mission. Both the Badder and the Live Resin showcase their expertise in whole plant extraction to create BHO (Butane Hash Oil), making the purest concentrates that provide an elevated experience every time. 

Whether you’re a brand new dabber, or an old hand looking to discover a favorite new product, we hope you have an excellent, enjoyable 710 day. Happy dabbing!

Person holding a cannabis leaf up to the sun

The Summer Solstice and Cannabis: What’s the Connection?

Have you ever wondered if there’s a connection between our favorite plant and the summer solstice? It turns out there is! 

If you’re an astronomy nerd, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of the summer solstice. The longest day of the year, the solstice is central to many of humanity’s oldest spiritual traditions—in fact, Stonehenge is home to one of the world’s largest solstice celebrations – thousands gather to witness the sun rising through the structure. 

But what you might not know is that there’s an equally strong connection between the summer solstice and the cannabis growth cycle. The solstice has traditionally been used to measure out the growing seasons of this ancient plant and is still used today, even in the era of high-tech indoor cannabis farming.

Cannabis plant in a sunny field

Sunshine and the Grow Cycle

To better understand why the summer solstice is so critical to establishing an ideal outdoor growing schedule, we need to take a closer look at the world of traditional agriculture. Before developing traditional weather forecasting technology, people used publications like the famous Farmer’s Almanac to determine when to plant, tend, and harvest all kinds of crops. 

Each plant has its ideal conditions for growth. Understanding the different sun exposure of plants in the northern and southern hemispheres is critical to creating the conditions plants need to thrive. This is especially true for cannabis, which uses a process called photoperiodism to determine when to flower. So even for growers working indoors, recreating the cycles of the natural summer solstice can help produce a superior cannabis flower.

The Sunshine/Cannabis Connection

Like many of the people who indulge in it, cannabis loves the sunshine. Photoperiodism enables cannabis plants to register times when there’s a variation between the daily sunlight and the darkness of night. This ratio changes as the earth tilts in its spin across the sun, causing seasons to change. The hemisphere experiencing warmer weather is tilted towards the sun in the summertime, meaning the people (and cannabis plants!) in that hemisphere experience shorter nights, longer days, and warm, sunshiney weather.

Cannabis plants track light patterns to know when they need to grow and when the time has come to flower. This tracking helps ensure they’re using their resources appropriately, flowering only when they’ll have the environmental reserves to support new growth. Indoor growers who want to encourage their plants to produce new growth use grow lights and other forms of indoor farming technology to simulate the earth’s natural light pattern–mimicking the cycles of the solstice. The plant responds to the long days and short nights of summer (whether simulated or real) to use excess energy from the sun to grow new shoots and leaves before the autumn comes.

When Does Cannabis Flower? 

After storing up the excess energy of the summer sun, cannabis plants enter autumn, ready to flower. The extra leaves grown during the summer solstice help the plant harvest more energy from the shorter sunlit hours, while the vigorous shoots grown during that period can help support the weight of new flowers. As soon as the solstice hits and the nights begin to grow longer and longer as the earth tilts away from the sun, plants receive the signal to start bursting into bloom.

Although the summer solstice marks the official start of cannabis flowering season, the actual time plants produce flowers varies considerably depending on the needs of the particular strain you’ve chosen to grow. September marks the start of harvest season for some indicas, but other sativa strains only become ready to harvest from December onwards. Each variety has its own particular photoperiodic needs–but whatever your strain, the solstice signals the beginning of the flowering season to come.

Celebrating the Solstice with Cannabis 

Since the solstice is such an important day for both ritual celebrations and the cannabis growing cycles, it makes sense that many people like to honor both with a little solstice ritual to celebrate the spirit of summer.

Try lighting up a little flower (we love an enlivening, sativa dominant Blue Dream) to celebrate the coming of the flowering season. Pagans traditionally celebrated the solstice by wearing a garland of protective herbs and flowers designed to chase away evil spirits with their beauty and good smells. Recreate the experience with a scented cannabis and herb balm or beauty product, combining the healing power of topical cannabis with a selection of potent botanicals. Or take your solstice picnic to the next level with a quick-absorbing cannabis tincture paired with traditional herbs for an even more powerful solstice experience! 

However you chose to celebrate, the solstice/cannabis connection is a powerful one. So get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Cannabis Products to Kick Off the Ultimate Colorado Summer

Summer is around the corner, and we want to make sure you’re prepared with some of our favorite Colorado cannabis products and activities. 

It’s nearly summertime in Colorado! The warm weather means it’s the perfect time to kick summer into high gear and catch some sunshine while enjoying Colorado’s natural splendor. 

And, in our humble opinion, there’s no better companion to sunshine and adventure than a targeted THC dose. 

To celebrate the arrival of warm weather, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Colorado summertime activities and the perfect cannabis pairings to take your experience to the next level. Whether you love to stay active or enjoy a more low-key variety of summer bliss, Lightshade has you covered.

A Weekend Hike

With almost 5,000 official trails, Colorado is a dream destination for hikers at all levels. Whether you’re trekking through Rocky Mountain National Park’s emerald lakes or simply enjoying a weekend ramble through a wildflower-strewn park, Wyld’s Pear CBG Gummies are the perfect pairing for all your summertime hiking needs. Enjoy the gummies’ delicious flavor, based on a blend of wild pear extract and a light touch of coconut oil, and the balancing effects of CBG combined with THC to create an uplifting, euphoric high.

*Please note that we don’t condone or recommend hiking or driving while high – a microdose will do the trick. 

Mountain Biking

It’s no secret that Colorado is home to some of the country’s best mountain biking, with trails ranging from a looping pathway through the woods to splashing journeys over accessible flowing streams. Cannabis transforms a leisurely afternoon of biking through a familiar spot into a daring summertime escapade. We love to pair our mountain biking with an energetic flower strain like Cannalope Haze, a pleasantly sweet mix of floral, fruity, and juicy melon flavors. Combat fatigue with this enlivening strain and get an extra boost of cannabis-infused energy to carry you over the next mountain and beyond.

*Please note that we don’t condone or recommend mountain biking or driving while high, and public consumption is illegal. Please ride safely – make intelligent decisions, and again, microdosing is the key to good times without problems.

beautiful mountain lake
a picnic next to a river

Hot Springs Soaking 

If you need a break from all that hiking and biking, Colorado’s abundance of natural hot springs is here to save the day! The same geologic forces that shaped the majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains created a network of natural soaking spots ideal for warming sore muscles. Combine a stress-relieving soak with an ultra-potent Escape Artists Infused Joint. Try relaxing indica or enlivening sativa for a super tasty sharable experience, ideal for hot water-based socialization. Plus, since they’re infused, each joint lasts a few days–so just pop your joint back into the tube and settle into that soak once you’re at your perfect level of high. 

*Please note, public cannabis consumption is illegal. Be smart, be discrete, and stay out of trouble this summer. 


Picnicking is the ultimate relaxing summertime activity. There’s nothing better than whiling away a summer afternoon surrounded by tasty snacks and good friends, with the sunshine on your face. Take your picnic adventure to the next level with Stillwater Ripple: Pure Dissolvable THC, an innovation in edible cannabis that lets you infuse any food or drink. Stir a pouch of Pure THC into your lemonade for targeted cannabis action, or sprinkle Balanced on top of your scoop of ice cream for a lighter hybrid CBD/THC experience. Relief brings a CBD-rich experience to that slice of watermelon–the ultimate in easy-infused summer bliss.


Kayaking in Colorado is a genuine choose your own adventure situation. There are so many great options–from a picturesque and sunny float through Lake Pueblo to basking in the shade of the trees surrounding Sylvan Lake. That’s why we love bringing Spherex 1gram Distillate Cartridges along on our kayaking adventures. They’re strain-specific and color-coordinated so that you can find your high consistently, every time. Pick the perfect targeted strain for your desired effect, and watch your troubles float away.

*Please note that we don’t condone or recommend kayaking or driving while high, and public consumption is illegal. Consume safely – make intelligent decisions, and again, microdosing is the key to good times without problems.

Step Out for Ice Cream

Getting ice cream isn’t the most active activity, but with some of the country’s best independent creameries, stopping for a scoop is practically an official Colorado summer sport. We love to pair our summer ice cream tasting with ice cream-themed cannabis flower to add a little extra dose of creamy indulgence. Our two favorites are Gelato Cake, whose creamy, berry, gassy, and vanilla frosting aromas create a powerful full-body high, and Gelato #33 with sweet citrus and fruity flavors that create an energetic, uplifting high. That cone won’t be the only thing melting in the summer sun!

Scenic Train Rides

While we’re on the subject of relaxing, there are few better ways to kick back in the summer than with a low-key ride on one of Colorado’s historic scenic trains. Sit back and relax as you watch the panoramas of the mountains unfold around you–accompanied, naturally, with a dose of super low-key cannabis. We love pairing a scenic summer train ride with Lavender Jones, the perfect mood-elevating day strain. This easy-breezy strain helps soothe and balance with a complexly sweet flavor and aroma, inducing a mildly meditative state ideal for watching the world go by through the window.

person happily eating ice cream

Make the most of your Colorado summer! Visit your favorite Lightshade location and ask your budtender for their favorite summertime cannabis products and activities. 

Please note that flower availability is subject to change. Please visit our online ordering page to see current inventory, or ask your budtender at the point of purchase

man smoking a bong near a window

7 Ways Cannabis Can Help Support Your Mental Health

Cannabis is more than a good high. Discover how weed can provide you with much-needed mental health benefits.

Most of us spent the last year stressed and rocked with unpleasant feelings. As a result, many people are leaning on healthier alternatives to prescription medications to manage their mental health.

Research is still woefully lacking when it comes to understanding the full scope of cannabis’ benefits. Still, studies suggest our favorite plant can have a positive effect on your mental health

Let’s explore some of the ways cannabis may have a positive impact on your mental health.

Who can benefit from cannabis?

A large percentage of people suffering from mental health conditions can benefit from cannabis. 

Centuries before the advent of lab-developed medications, people relied on cannabis for easing a wide array of medical and mental health conditions. 

This is because cannabis interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex system responsible for regulating and balancing many processes in your brain and body, including mood, sleep, and memory.

As states legalize medical and recreational cannabis, more people suffering from mental health conditions have started turning to the plant for relief.

Cannabidiol (CBD), in particular, has seen a massive spike in popularity in the health and wellness industry. Today, CBD products line the shelves of dispensaries, organic grocers, and day spas. Even though studies suggest the hype behind CBD has overshot the science, there’s enough anecdotal evidence and public endorsements to understand its genuine health benefits.

But what can cannabis help with? Well, for starters:

grayscale profile of woman smoking a joint
grayscale picture of a man smoking a joint looking out a window

Cannabis can reduce stress.

Stress is the “silent killer,” and managing stress might be the key to promoting your physical and mental well-being.

From the moment we wake to the time we go to sleep, stress is a part of our daily routines. We head off to our demanding jobs in our busy lives to support our dependent families. Add the weight of the pandemic and social upheaval, and stress can become unbearable.

When we’re stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which in turn produces inflammation as the body begins to mend. Naturally, long-term exposure to stress and inflammation can be detrimental to your health.

A Washington State University (WSU) study suggests “10 or more puffs” of cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can reduce stress. 

Of course, not everyone’s systems are the same, and not everyone will react the same way to cannabis. Micro-dosing is the best practice; start low and go slow.

Cannabis might ease anxiety. 

Many of us experience daily anxiety with symptoms like worry, tension, and unease. And some unfortunate folks experience debilitating panic attacks.

Anxiety is so prevalent among Americans that the disorder has affected over 31% of the population.

All too often, the standard treatment for anxiety is prescription medications like Xanax, and Lexapro, both of which can be habit-forming, and in extreme cases, can cause respiratory failure or death.

The very same WSU study we mentioned earlier also found that cannabis, in moderation, can lessen the intense feelings of anxiety. This may have something to do with the fact that cannabis, when introduced to the ECS, can release the feel-good endorphins people often associate with the euphoric “runner’s high.”

Cannabis might help insomniacs. 

Sleep is essential for maintaining physical and mental health, but according to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million of us aren’t getting enough of it.

When you deprive your body of sleep, your cognitive abilities decline, and your risks of depression, exhaustion, and stress can rapidly increase. It’s the perfect recipe for a mental health disaster.

Shut-eye is something cannabis can significantly improve – much like melatonin; it can restore a person’s natural sleep cycle. 

If you need help alleviating insomnia, you should look at high THC strains; THC is a sleep-inducing cannabinoid. As a bonus, people who have PTSD could benefit from higher THC as THC can reduce REM sleep, reducing nightmares.

Cannabis may lessen the symptoms of depression. 

Depression impacts more than 260 million people today. It’s one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Chances are you or someone you know could be one of these people.

While the research of cannabis’s impact on depression is still in its early stages, scientists at the University of Buffalo speculate that depression can directly result from suppressed endocannabinoids in the ECS. 

When introduced to the ECS, cannabis can help restore those endocannabinoid levels and relieve many depression symptoms. 

grayscale photo of a man exhaling smoke

Americans are increasingly embracing CBD as a more natural and holistic approach to treating depression for this very reason.

old man smoking a joint in grayscale

Research suggests cannabis can help with dementia and Alzheimers. 

Our brains go through a degenerative process as we age. Dementia is a heartwrenching decline in cognitive function that can impair memory, language, behavior, and more. Worldwide, 50 million people have dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease contributing to possibly 60% to 70% of these cases.

Recently, a neurologist at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute stated that the studies of medical marijuana’s effects on dementia show promise.

A 2017 study even suggests that CBD combined with THC could be a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease-related behavioral problems. The jury is still out on the reasons, but experts speculate that low cannabis doses might slow the process of memory loss and improve cognitive abilities.

Studies suggest cannabis can improve PTSD symptoms. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could overwhelm the mental health system in the post-pandemic world.

And PTSD isn’t limited to folks in the military. It can plague anyone who has experienced an unpleasant situation that has left a lasting impression on the brain.

PTSD symptoms can include anxiety, nightmares, hypervigilance, withdrawal, and self-destructive behavior. The treatments for this disorder generally involve increasing serotonin levels, something cannabis can do, but most doctors prescribe harmful prescription opioids instead.  

One study has shown the direct correlation between cannabis and the reduction of activity in the part of the brain associated with trauma and fear. Another study shows cannabis can reduce the intensity of memories related to their trauma.

Cannabis might be an alternative therapy for people with schizophrenia. 

Although not as common as other mental disorders, schizophrenia is a severe mental illness characterized by psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and abnormal behavior.

Most schizophrenia treatments involve prescribed antipsychotic medications like Clozapine combined with psychotherapy. However, cannabis could potentially be an effective and more natural alternative treatment.

While research is ongoing, one study suggests that CBD has antipsychotic properties that can alleviate the psychosis involved with schizophrenia. A similar study suggests cannabis can play a vital role in the treatment of schizophrenia.

This may also have something to do with the fact that the ECS can regulate the part of the brain responsible for reward processing, a function that patients with schizophrenia often lack.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of understanding this beautiful and complex plant. 

Despite the promising research regarding cannabis and mental health, there is still so much work to do. 

The World Health Organization is pushing to have cannabis reclassified, which could open the floodgates to greater recognition and research on the medical and therapeutic benefits of the plant.

Until then, it is essential to consult a physician before starting any cannabis treatments or contact the experts at Leaf411 at 844-LEAF411.

If you’re ready to start responsibly exploring the mental health benefits of cannabis, you can stop by your nearest dispensary.

Silhouette of a man standing by a lake

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay: Honoring Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health has received much-needed attention this past year. Now more than ever, it is essential to realize that it is okay not to be okay.

If you or someone you know is having an emergency, call 911 immediately. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time. 

We’ve all been through a lot in the last year.

The escalating stress of the pandemic, along with economic uncertainty, civil unrest, political turmoil, social isolation, and our nation’s reckoning with systemic racism, has had a deeply profound impact on the mental health of millions. 

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. As we continue to push through and persevere, all of us need to do our part in raising mental health awareness while reducing the stigma often associated with mental illness for far too long.

You’re not alone. 

Life has been out of balance for everyone as of late. And though it may feel like it, you are not alone when it comes to feeling unwell and overwhelmed.

Mental Health America recently released its State of Mental Health in America report, and the results are startling.

One in five Americans struggles with mental illness or a mental health condition. That is roughly 47 million people, and shockingly, these statistics were pulled together before the pandemic. 

Suicide ideation in adults has also increased, mental health among the youth has worsened, and a staggering number of people suffering from disorders have gone untreated. 

man sitting in a ball

Again, this is before the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, a spotlight in this report shows the number of people experiencing depression and anxiety in the last year has skyrocketed—another troubling indication of a growing crisis.

When we began to hunker down last March, we were unaware of just how much COVID and the resulting economic and social upheavals would upend our lives. In a matter of months, each of us had our own laundry list of cumulative individual and collective traumas. 

If anything positive has come out of this widespread, shared trauma, it is the fact mental health has now become a massive part of the national conversation. And with this surge in awareness, the stigma that often prevents people from seeking help has reduced considerably.

Nobody should ever feel ashamed for needing help, and Americans that are becoming aware of this have been able to get a head start down their long path of recovery. 

For some, there is now a light at the end of a once dark and uncertain tunnel.

Here are a few ways you can practice mindfulness and good mental health practices. 

It can be challenging to practice mindful self-care when you don’t even know where to begin.

Fortunately, you can take some easy steps and strategies to start incorporating mindfulness and good mental health practices into your daily routine.

Mindfulness is a type of mental relaxation or meditation that helps you focus on being aware of what you are feeling at the moment. Its ultimate goal is to calm your body and mind while reducing the symptoms of stress and depression.

Arm yourself with an empowering mindfulness tool by simply focusing, recognizing, understanding, and accepting your feelings. This tool can help you make the necessary decisions needed to cope with those nagging feelings of anxiety, anger, isolation, grief, exhaustion, and despair.

With the warmer weather, and the emergence of vaccines, hopeful people have started to venture outside again to bask in the beauty and joy of being in the present. Practicing being in the present can have tremendous benefits on your wellness. A simple walk around the block or a quick two-minute breathing meditation at the start of the day is all it takes too. 

It also helps to remember that the present is the only thing we have control over.

With many people forced to reckon with their mental health, counseling has seen a massive rise in necessity. Of course, mental health services are not always an affordable option, nor are appointments immediately accessible.

The lack of mental health support hasn’t gone unnoticed, and several health agencies and businesses have begun offering the invaluable service of providing people with someone to talk to. 

Crisis intervention services such as SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline or Crisis Text Line (simply text HOME to 741741) have been incredibly beneficial when it comes to free, around-the-clock counseling. 

The SAMHSA National Helpline has been an outstanding resource for people in need of treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

In light of this past year, there has been an urgent need to ease the strain off emotionally burdened Americans. As a result, there has been an outpouring of aid and resources available for the people who feel like they’re sinking so that they may start to navigate out of turbulent waters safely.

What does the future of mental health hold? 

The last year has been fraught with worry, loss, isolation, loneliness, and depression. And because it was a shared experience, we have started developing awareness and compassion towards mental health disorders.

While the lasting effects of COVID will be around long after the virus is eradicated, the wounds can start healing now for so many people.

We now understand that everyone faces challenges that can impact their health, and we now know that depression and anxiety are common and often treatable. 

But there is still much work to be done. We need to address the conditions and the environments contributing to mental illness. And we need to evaluate the glaring issues with our strained mental health system and the unprecedented mental health crisis.

In the meantime, you can start cultivating mindfulness and mental well-being one day at a time. And know that it is okay to ask for help when life has become unmanageable. Never neglect your mental health.

Recovery, healing, and hope will happen, and we should all want this for ourselves, our friends and family, and our community. 

It’s okay not to be okay.

Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry: Lightshade is Going Green(er)

The modern cannabis industry has a significant environmental impact. Here is what we’re doing to help usher in a new era of sustainability.

Cannabis has a long history of human consumption – it’s one of humanity’s oldest cultivated crops. Cultivation flourished worldwide until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

Now, in the wake of widespread legalization and decriminalization, cannabis has gone from an illegal herb to a thriving, billion-dollar industry. 

But aspects of this Green Empire are making the environment go up in smoke. 

Modern cultivation practices have come a long way from the days when the Ancient Mesopotamians and colonial Americans grew cannabis.

Of course, outdoor grow operations still utilize fields and sun, but the recent rise of indoor and greenhouse cultivations creates significant sustainability challenges.

Cultivators must constantly refine their operations as the commercial cannabis industry continues to flower.

What are some of the sustainability challenges faced by the cannabis industry as it grows? 

As the cannabis industry slowly becomes more regulated, more brands and cultivators are adopting sustainable practices. 

Still, there are many roadblocks.

With prohibition still standing in the way of federal funding, research, and support, there has been a woeful lack of studies and information regarding modern cannabis cultivation and how it impacts the climate. 

But cultivation facilities open every day, and with no oversight, these facilities rarely implement environmentally friendly and sustainable production methods.

Naturally, with accelerated industrial growth comes a high carbon footprint.

Researchers began to see the urgent need to understand how modern outdoor, indoor, and greenhouse grow operations impacted the climate.

Their studies revealed that increased legal cultivation was beating the hell out of the environment.

In some instances, cultivation was depleting energy, overwhelming water systems with irrigation, and threatening air quality with increased carbon emissions. 

Cannabis production was choking out rivers and hotboxing our atmosphere. 

The study results aren’t shocking when you consider that cannabis is a resource-depleting, intensive process.

Brands and cultivators have taken note. Many are working together on comprehensive sustainability initiatives. 

We’re one of those brands. Sustainability has always been top-of-mind, but Lightshade has taken things to the next level over the last two years. 

We opened our state-of-the-art greenhouse operation in the summer of 2019. The Greenhouse comprises almost 2/3rds of Lightshade’s total cultivation footprint. And we’ve used significantly less lighting in the greenhouse because it harnesses the sun. 

The facility does not use mechanical cooling or dehumidification, two of the main drivers of carbon emissions in indoor cannabis cultivation facilities. 

In the fall of 2019, Lightshade’s owners brought in CSU grads Dan Banks and Nick Drury as their Vice President of Cultivation (Dan) and Senior Vice President of Cultivation (Nick). 

Dan and Nick understand industrial agriculture and horticulture science, and they’re using their knowledge to make Lightshade’s cultivation more sustainable. 

Our sustainability initiatives have increased substantially across all of our cultivation facilities yields in just under two years. Some of these initiatives include:

Energy Efficiency 

Denver dedicated 4% of its electricity to cannabis production as of 2018. 

That’s a startling revelation. Or is it?

Indoor grow operations are energy hogs with constant artificial lighting, ventilation, and temperature controls. 

Lightshade signed on with Xcel Energy’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program to help take some strain off the city’s power grid in the fall of 2020. The program isn’t new, but Xcel only recently opened access to the cannabis industry. Lightshade is one of its first participants.

Xcel and Cascade Energy connected Lightshade with Jake Mitchell and Damien Markiewicz from the woman-owned sustainability-focused consulting firm, Resource Innovations to take on the project.

Mitchell and Markiewicz have backgrounds in climate action planning for cities and states and strategic sustainability planning for private industries. 

With nine years of sustainability consultation (five in the cannabis industry) under his belt, Mitchell is a valuable Strategic Energy Management program resource.

Energy and production are the main factors that we’re looking at here,” explains Mitchell, “but we also look at water usage, CO2, and waste, and other aspects of the facility for a holistic approach.” 

Jake and Damien are working closely with Dan and Nick to identify opportunities to increase energy efficiency across all of Lightshade’s cultivation facilities, including its greenhouse.

 “All of our flowering areas and cultivation across all of our facilities are in the process of switching from high-pressure sodium lighting to LED lighting,” notes Dan Banks. “That’s going to allow us to increase lighting intensity, especially in our indoor cultivation facilities, while at the same time lowering the amount of overall energy used.” 

Lightshade is now projected to increase its lighting intensity by a quarter with this LED overhaul. That amount will offset enough electricity to power up to over 300 homes.

Xcel is committed to reducing peak energy demand during the summer by decreasing the demand on the grid between 2 pm and 6 pm.

With this in mind, Lightshade switched their vegetative lighting cycles across all facilities, which typically consists of 18 to 20 hours of light with 4 to 6 hours of darkness, so that their downtime falls during those peak demand hours.

Lightshade also reduces the impact of flower lighting by utilizing the sun at the greenhouse, altering indoor light cycles to reduce consumption during peak times, and using dimmers to lower energy usage during early flower when lighting intensity does not need to be as high. 

Once we complete the LED overhaul this summer, we expect a reduction in power usage and waste (lighting fixtures, bulbs, and more) and increased lighting intensity and productivity.

Integrated Pest Management

We’re also taking a more natural (and sustainable) approach to pest management.

Pesticides threaten biodiversity. They contaminate soil, vegetation, and water and increase greenhouse gas emissions. Lightshade uses some organic pesticides, but only as a last resort.

Dan Banks (who minored in entomology) is leveraging facility-specific scouting, biocontrols, and altered cultural practices to reduce the need for pesticides by implementing integrated pest management (IPM) tailored to each of our cultivation facilities. 

Banks explains, “We use insects or mites that are predators of pest species. They’re predators that essentially eat their prey.”

For example, we’re eliminating Aphids with natural predators like Green Lacewing larvae and a parasitoid wasp (a parasite that kills its host), which both naturally feed off Aphids.

Crop protection is one of the things I’ve done a lot in cannabis,” says Banks, “We want to put less harmful chemicals into the environment and produce a cleaner product.”

Water Use and Re-Use 

Perhaps the biggest win so far for Banks and Drury has been reducing Lightsade’s water usage by a whopping 1.2 million gallons in just one year.

Introducing a water recirculation system into the new greenhouse operation and a drip system made it possible.

We invested in a water recapture system, so when the plants are fertigated, which delivers irrigation water and nutrients at the same time, all of the runoff is re-captured and re-used,” explains Banks, “The water then comes back in and is treated, before going back into the nutrient holding tanks, so all of that run-off that goes out is recaptured and reused as opposed to just having it go down the drain.

Initially, Lightshade’s Greenhouse, built using a palletized benching system, relied on an ebb-and-flood watering system. Even after commissioning the water recapture system, this irrigation style still wasted a large amount of water due to evaporation.

Drury tapped another CSU graduate, Forrest Benson of Redstone irrigation, to help the Lightshade team design a custom modular drip system that would work with our palletized benching. Drury’s expertise in nutrient management and plant pathology was also crucial in revising the nutrient recipes and devising the water treatment protocols necessary to reuse the captured run-off. 

Of course, COVID slowed the progress of our sustainability initiatives. However, we were still able to compile a great deal of data on water usage and re-circulation at the greenhouse.

And those results reflected the system’s benefits when it came to recycling and treating captured irrigation water from the plants, which in turn increased water use efficiency while reducing the burden on the municipal water system.

1.2 million gallons is a significant water-use reduction. But we’ve still got room for improvement; please check back later this year for an update on total water usage at the greenhouse!

What’s the future of cannabis sustainability? 

We’ve made significant sustainability strides in just one year. But our journey is only beginning. 

We understand sustainability is holistic and must be a core component of our company values. Jake and Damien understand this, too. 

It has to be systemic – it has to be a virtue and a value that the company holds in its decision-making process.” Mitchell asserts.

The Lightshade team is continually exploring new ways to incorporate sustainability. We’re making constant changes, including compressed coco coir growing medium, recycling nitrile gloves, high-efficiency under-bench heating, better insulating our indoor facilities to reduce HVAC needs, and constantly looking for new sustainable solutions. 

From our budtenders to our cultivation teams and executive leadership, we’ve empowered our employees to voice their sustainability concerns, ideas, and opinions. And we’re committed to educating others in our industry. 

Banks and Drury represent Lightshade as participants in the Denver Cannabis Sustainability Work Group (DCSWG). As part of those efforts, they provide feedback and updates for the City of Denver’s Cannabis Environmental Best Management Practices Guide. The guide is updated annually and gives cannabis producers insights and resources to help their operations be more sustainable. 

Banks serves as the Co-Chair of the DCSWG’s Commercialization Committee, which brings together cultivators and sustainability-focused businesses to increase cooperation and make sustainability resources more available to other cultivators.   

The possibilities for sustainability-focused improvements are endless right now, and the future of sustainability in the cannabis industry looks bright. 

Lightshade is proud to be a part of this growing industry and help mature its processes. We can help humans and our planet and still produce premium flower!

Mindful Indulgence: Our Favorite Vegan and Gluten-Free Treats

Here’s a selection of vegan and gluten-free cannabis products you can find at Lightshade Colorado dispensaries. 

There are few more satisfying ways to indulge in cannabis than with an infused edible (or two – just remember, start low and go slow). For many cannabis connoisseurs, edibles offer a unique quality that isn’t always obtainable through smoking or vaping.

But for those of us who have dietary restrictions, it can sometimes be challenging to track down the perfect cannabis-infused snack that’s both tasty and aligned with our health goals. 

Vegans and folks who try to stick to a plant-based diet need to avoid the all too common baking staples of butter, milk, and eggs; gluten-free folks need to duck even the faintest trace of wheat (no shared equipment, please!). Sugar presents its own host of health problems for people with diabetes or heart issues and anyone cutting down on empty calories.

Fortunately, there’s a growing marketplace of delicious and good-for-you ways to indulge in cannabis-infused treats. We rounded up some of our favorites–take a bite!

REC Gluten-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Free: 

Aliviar Tinctures
DIY your dose with these easy-to-digest tinctures, which you can easily add to any treat. 

Craft Dablets
Packed with energy-boosting nutrients along with a THC dose, Craft Dablets are the perfect edible for a daytime adventure.

Dixie Orange & Peppermint Mints, Synergy Drops
Choose your own adventure with this line of infused mints, with flavors designed to awaken, inspire, and relax.

KJL Black Cherry Tincture
We love the subtle sweetness of this tincture. Add a few drops to sparkling water for a healthy, relaxing take on soda. 

Mary’s Medicinals Remedy Oil
An easy way to add CBD to your wellness routine, with the added benefits of sweet almond, cinnamon, and myrrh. 

ReCreate Tinctures
These fast-acting tinctures provide the perfect dose for any occasion, with blends designed for relaxation, relief, sleep, and everyday indulgence.

Chewy, fruity, delicious, a little bit like your childhood gummy vitamins, except for, you know, the weed.

Stratos Tablets & Tinctures
These blended tablets and tinctures are engineered for precision dosage and free of all extraneous ingredients—the real deal.

MED Gluten-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Free: 

Caregivers for Life RSO Capsules
These tablets are designed specifically for medical consumption and use a potent base of pure Colorado cannabis oil to deliver targeted relief.

Craft Dablets
Packed with energy-boosting nutrients along with a dose of THC, the perfect edible for a daytime adventure.

Mary’s Medicinals Remedy Oil
An easy way to add CBD to your wellness routine, with the added benefits of sweet almond, cinnamon, and myrrh. 

Stratos Tablets & Tinctures
These blended tablets and tinctures are engineered for precision dosage and free of all extraneous ingredients—the real deal.

REC Gluten-Free, Vegan: 

Dixie Elixirs
Boost your hydration station with these vibrantly flavorful elixirs, whose fruity sweetness goes down easy in any beverage.

Escape Artists Lemon & Mint Strips
Uplifting, fast-acting, with enlivening citrus or mint zing, these tasty strips melt in your mouth for an instant, potent dose.

Keef Shots Lemonade
This high-dose mocktail is the perfect cannabis-infused take on a hard lemonade if you’re avoiding alcohol or looking to try something new.

Nokhu Gummies
These solventless gummies offer a full-spectrum high and pack a powerful fruity punch.

Sinsere Vegan Mint Dark Chocolate Bar (incoming)
A classic mint chocolate combo with a bonus dose of cannabis, these bars are a delicious way to relax and indulge.

MED Gluten-Free, Vegan: 

Dixie Elixirs
Boost your hydration station with these vibrantly flavorful elixirs, whose fruity sweetness goes down easy in any beverage

Keef Colas
A healthier take on your favorite soda with a delightful burst of THC. Try their take on classic flavors like orange soda and root beer–nostalgia in a can. 

Wana Gummies
While all their flavors are tasty, we’re huge fans of Wana’s sour gummies, available in various CBD/THC blends that deliver mouth-puckering flavor.

REC Gluten Free Only: 

Dixie Gummies
Choose between berry, citrus, and sour strawberry, with each gummy delivering 10MG of tasty THC

N-Fuzed Gummies
Remember those gummy fruit snacks? N-Fuzed’s variety pack is the adult version, with a landscape of fruity flavors to explore.

Tastebudz Gummies
Strain-specific gummies keep the connoisseur in mind, with isolated cannabinoids that deliver a perfectly calibrated experience to suit your desires. 

Ripple Gummies
Chewy, fruity, delicious, a little bit like your childhood gummy vitamins, except for, you know, the weed.

Wyld Gummies
Based on real fruit juice and infused with fruit terpenes, these gummies are our go-to when we want to walk on the wild side.

MED Gluten Free Only: 

DOSD Gummies
These award-winning gummies are packed with water-soluble cannabinoids for a fast-acting, flavor-packed onset.

Robhots Gummies
Small batch and distillate infused, these gummies take an artisan approach to gluten-free cannabis candy.

Tastebudz Gummies
Strain-specific gummies keep the connoisseur in mind, with isolated cannabinoids that deliver a perfectly calibrated experience to suit your desires.

With so many excellent edible options, it’s impossible to choose just one! That’s why we’d love to see you come in for an in-person snacking session–our budtenders are happy to recommend the perfect health-conscious edible to suit your mood.

Visit your favorite Lightshade location today and explore our selection of recreational and medical cannabis vegan and gluten-free products!

Honoring Women’s History Month with the Women of Lightshade

It’s Women’s History Month, and we want to highlight the women of Lightshade!

March is Women’s History Month, an annual celebration of women’s achievements and a time to honor their essential role in history, not only in the United States but also globally. 

Women’s History Month is the perfect opportunity to shed light on women’s essential cannabis industry contributions. 

We’re proud to have a strong group of women on our team, so we decided to ask some of them about their role in the cannabis industry and why our favorite plant is beneficial for women. 

Keep reading to learn what they had to say! 

Aja Mills – District Manager 

Can you describe your cannabis industry journey? 

My cannabis journey started with Lightshade over six years ago! 

I got my badge after I turned 21, and Lightshade hired me as a receptionist in 2015. I worked my way up from there, and my first day as Store Manager was on my first anniversary with the company. 

I’ve worked at 5 of our 9 locations, and today I’m the District Manager for our Aurora and South Denver stores.

How does cannabis help you every day? 

Cannabis helps me in so many ways as a woman! Not only does it help me cope with the world’s craziness and a global pandemic, but it also helps me sleep and relax. 

Also, CBD is a lifesaver for my PMS symptoms!

What does it mean to be a woman in the cannabis industry?

Being a woman in the cannabis industry is about being assertive and strong. It’s also about vulnerability and compassion. Women in cannabis are on the front lines of an ever-changing industry. And we’re making a difference every single day.

From a woman’s perspective, where do you want to see our industry go? 

I’d like to see more women involved at all business levels. 

The cannabis industry continues to evolve and change daily. We must embrace change to impact the industry and the people surrounding us positively! 

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Women’s History Month is a celebration of all women! 

We’ve come so far as a society, and if that’s not something to celebrate, then I don’t know what is! 

Women are powerful as heck!

Is there anything else you’d like to say? 

Lightshade is terrific! They do a fantastic job of embracing our strong female personalities. I am lucky and grateful to work for a company like ours.

Karen Walkden – Dayton Store Manager

My first cannabis industry job was a budtending position in a shop that catered to Medical patients. The incredible boss that trained me developed an empathic relationship with our customers.  

It was humbling and motivating to be a source of comfort to people who needed it. I hope I still emulate this empathy seven years later.

We all juggle so many different projects on any given day that the ability to navigate all of them with a clean heart and calm soul is a gift.   

Walks, talks, music, and food are all enhanced when cannabis is involved.

I’ve been encouraged by so many outrageous, courageous, and utterly brilliant women in my career. 

As a mother of four (three of whom are girls), it brings me joy knowing that if they work hard and dig some proverbial ditches (or real ones), they’ll be nurtured and encouraged by a generation of strong, successful, slightly rebellious lady leaders.

Financial growth is essential. It pays for all the experiments in our industry and social change, not to mention our paychecks. There is also a hallmark of compassion and responsibility I know we will fight hard to keep as a vanguard.

The conversations sparked between all of us are what I love about this month. It’s not just about how wonderful women are; it’s also about how wonderful we are when we do this world together.

For the first time, I feel like I’m helping to change the world! 

Miranda Garcia – Holly Store Manager 

Can you describe your cannabis industry journey? 

I entered the cannabis industry at age 21. It’s been six years, and in that time, I’ve expanded my knowledge of not only cannabis but also the professional world.

I’ve also grown as a person. 

I have learned a lot about people and business. Cannabis is still a male-dominated industry, and it’s always taken extra work to earn respect from fellow industry employees, especially when people also learn my age. 

Former coworkers have told me since women “can’t decide what they want for dinner, why would they listen to my work decisions?” Despite people having that type of thoughts on women, I believe my determination and strong work ethic have helped me get to the Store Manager position I am now in, and I will only continue to climb the ranks! 

How does cannabis help you every day? 

Cannabis helps ease stress and frequent physical aches and pains. 

What does it mean to be a woman in the cannabis industry?

It means that people are starting to accept that everyone is equal. 

From a woman’s perspective, where do you want to see our industry go? 

I would love to see more women running the show! 

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

It means that at some point, not everyone was thought to be equal. No matter race or gender, every person can do anything they set their minds to, and they should all be treated equally! 

A look back through history shows women’s strength and ability to attain their goals. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say? 

The world still has a long way to go, but I’m happy to be part of an industry that treats people equally. I’m proud to be surrounded by the fantastic team I see every day!

Aryana Rodriguez – HR Generalist

Can you describe your cannabis industry journey? 

My cannabis journey is motivating. I had many wonderful mentors and great work friends that never stopped inspiring me to go after it all.  

How does cannabis help you every day? 

Cannabis feeds me daily relief through the simple reflection of an elevated mind. 

It’s go, go, go, from the time I wake until the moment I rest. As a mom and wife who works a full-time position, the workload never eases. When I reflect on my day after consuming cannabis, it slows down just long enough to think of ways to better everything I am passionate about. 

Cannabis uplifts my perspective. 

What does it mean to be a woman in the cannabis industry?

Cannabis, to me, signifies workplace equality. I’m fortunate to leave my mark in a male-dominated industry and represent the rest of my strong, hardworking women. 

From a woman’s perspective, where do you want to see our industry go? 

I slowly see where I want the industry to go. There are a ton of badass women people recognize for their contributions to our workplace.

 I want equality regardless of who you are, where you’re from, or what you believe.  

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

It’s a time to reflect. And it’s also a time to appreciate women who have paved the way for the special ladies in my life. They had no fear, stood firm in what they believed, and demanded more.

We want to know about the women you’re honoring this Women’s History Month! Drop by and tell us!

Six Black Leaders In Colorado We Want You to Know About

It’s Black History Month, and we want to highlight the vital work of Black professionals, educators, activists, and legislators in our community.

It’s a sad fact that Black Americans are the group most damaged by America’s remaining anti-cannabis legislation.

According to the ACLU, Black people are almost four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than their white counterparts. Even as a growing tide of legalization turns our favorite plant from an illegal drug into an acceptable source of medical relief and enjoyment, the lingering effects of America’s War on Drugs are still painfully apparent.

As more and more states legalize cannabis, the industry has a responsibility to create more Black leadership opportunities. That’s why, this Black History Month, we want to highlight the vital work of Black professionals, educators, activists, and legislators in the world of cannabis and beyond.

Colorado Senate Member James Coleman

Representative James Coleman has been a leading voice in the fight to reform Colorado’s cannabis legislation. Coleman has advocated for legislation focused on increasing Black participation in the world of legalized cannabis, including a bill that promotes social equity within the industry. Colorado’s cannabis market has provided a model for states joining the growing tide of decriminalization and legalization. Coleman’s legislative work offers a model for a nationwide push to create a more equitable world of legalized cannabis for all.

Julian and Darian from Be a Good Person

Julian Donaldson and Darian Simon co-founded their brand Be a Good Person to share a simple message. In a time when political and social tensions have led to an atmosphere of suspicion, Julian and Darian want to help people spread positivity with clothing, face masks, and even a mural decorated with their signature phrase. They hope that their brand will help people experience the simple power of human connection: building communities based on an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.

Black Cannabis Equity Initiative Founder John Bailey

Promoting Black excellence has always been a core value for Colorado business leader John Bailey. For years, he’s been a guiding force behind the Colorado Black Round Table. When the state legalized cannabis, he was inspired to go further, founding the Black Cannabis Equity Initiative. Under Bailey’s leadership, the organization was pushed to advocate for legislation to increase Black stakeholdership in the growing legal cannabis market and provide tools for the industry, including an equity report card businesses can use to improve their inclusivity.

Color of Cannabis Founder Sarah Woodson

Sarah Woodson was inspired to form the influential advocacy group Color of Cannabis by her desire to increase Black participation in Colorado’s booming cannabis marketplace. As the founder of consumption friendly art class Kush & Canvases, Woodson was acutely aware of the barriers facing Black entrepreneurs interested in entering the world of legalized cannabis. Color of Cannabis works to shape public policy to encourage buy-in within BIPOC communities, creating new funding pathways to help people of color start cannabis businesses of their own.

Lightshade VP of Compliance and Auditing Charrise Harris

As VP of Compliance and Auditing for Lightshade, Charrise Harris is responsible for coordinating and implementing compliance procedures, maintaining an internal audit program that allows Lightshade to operate effectively and equitably on a companywide scale. Harris’ role as a leading executive at one of Colorado’s top five cannabis companies represents the Black excellence within the cannabis community advocated by change leaders like James Coleman, John Bailey, and Sarah Woodson.

With only two states remailing where all uses of cannabis are illegal, the industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom. As Colorado moves to expand the state licensing procedure in 2021, we believe that these leaders will continue to provide critical support to an industry-wide push to increase BIPOC access to the profitable world of legalized cannabis within Colorado and beyond.