Pot shops

Alpine Wellness owner Michael Grady displays two of the many strains of cannabis flower his shop offers. (Planet file photo)

While most local businesses have been shuttered due to state orders in response to the COVID-19, Telluride marijuana shops have been maintaining a steady stream of customers. 

Such shops have been deemed an essential business in Colorado, though Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the closure of city recreational marijuana dispensaries — along with liquor stores, a non-essential business — Monday to no avail. Crowds flocked to buy up whatever they could before the closures, violating proper social distancing practices and forcing the mayor to reverse his initial decision only hours later. The state stepped in and issued an emergency rule adoption to allow over-the-phone and online orders, as well as curbside pickup, as recreational dispensaries are open to employees only until at least April 10. All Telluride dispensaries that are still open are offering online or phone orders, and curbside pickup. 

Delilah’s manager John Cline explained the shop experienced a spike in sales last week, as people were seemingly “stocking up.” 

“That was crazy. As far as this week, it’s been different every day, depending on who wants to leave their house and who doesn’t,” he said. “ … This week is definitely a lot slower than last week.”

The shop has adjusted its hours to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. For more information and to order online, visit cannabistelluride.com or call 970-728-5880. 

Similarly, Telluride Bud Company COO Rick Scicchitano said the store tweaked its hours to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, but that hasn’t necessarily hindered business. 

“Across the board, sales are up,” he said. “It’s just part of people’s lives and maybe it’s how people cope with what is going on.”

He explained there was an increase in sales the past two weeks, as much as 30 percent year over the year, and it hasn’t fell off so far like other pot-friendly states like Washington and California have experienced recently. 

“Our two biggest weeks to date have been last week and the week prior,” Scicchitano said. “ … They’re coming back for more and re-upping. For whatever reason, people’s lives have been so disrupted, this is clearly one way they’re coping and dealing with our current reality.”

To order from Telluride Bud Company, visit telluridebc.com or call 970-239-6039. 

Representatives from Alpine Wellness and Green Dragon were not immediately available as of press time Friday afternoon, but both businesses are still open. Alpine Wellness’ hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information, visit alpinewellness.co or call 970-728-1834. Green Dragon’s hours are currently 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to its website greendragon.com, where pre-pickup ordering instructions are also available, or call 970-422-1422.

The Telluride Green Room is currently closed, according to a recently recorded message on the store’s answering machine. Green Room may open for at least one day a week moving forward, according to the message, but was still closed as of Friday. Call 970-728-7999 in case hours change and visit the Green Room for any potential updates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the health benefits of marijuana, particularly in managing chronic pain and more severe illnesses like cancer. It also assuages depression and anxiety, may prevent seizures in some cases, and can be used to treat schizophrenia

In a VICE article published Thursday, Dr. Michael Verbora, the chief medical officer of Canadian medical marijuana company Alefia Health, said the medicinal uses of cannabis can’t be underestimated. Plus, people use it recreationally in times of stress as a way to cope, as well as alcohol. 

“They help distract people from stress,” he said. “Obviously, yoga and meditation is better, but not always easy for most.”