The Cannabis Pilot Test: Denver, CO

Colorado Cannabis Capsules

The Cannabis Pilot Test: Denver, CO

The past few years have been nothing short of monumental for the cannabis industry. We’ve seen nearly half of our nation’s states open up some form of a regulated cannabis program. Though the near majority of states have legalized the use of cannabis, each state holds the right to regulate itself in their own unique way; Twenty-three states comprised of twenty-three unique cannabis programs.

As part of the initiative to continuously gain industry knowledge and expertise at CannabisCapsules, we flew out to the unique city of Denver, CO.  As one of the first and only cities to have legalized and accepted use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana, Denver is an exemplar from which we can learn and use for guidance.

By being the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, Colorado launched a worldwide phenomenon. All eyes were on Colorado’s marijuana pilot program. Should the recreational cannabis industry thrive under this model, it could potentially be duplicated and implemented in other states across the nation. Previous to this pivotal change, cannabis was available solely for medicinal use, which left many users reliant upon the black market. With the introduction of recreational dispensaries however, the market opened up and was drastically transformed forever.

What we sought to do at CannabisCapsules was to gain an inside understanding of the market through boots on the ground, firsthand experience. After observing the multifaceted Colorado recreational cannabis market, we picked up on many nuances, the greatest being the clear divide between the medicinal and recreational markets. While Denver had succeeded in creating a blooming and prominent cannabis industry, they have not yet achieved a unified and equal market.  In reality, this translates into a split between recreational and medicinal products; everything from product development, quality, and pricing. As such, Denver created a very limited market for many recreational users. For example, as a recreational user there are certain products and brands that you simply cannot purchase. In addition, stores often segregate the two products by either choosing to sell exclusively either medical or recreational products. Others rely on separating the two products with a physical barrier. It is often the case that as a recreational user, certain products are off limits due to the nature of its potency, going so far as to implement a 10 mg per serving limit. This cutoff has both negative and positive outcomes. It will, with any luck, set a tone for moderate use and can be beneficial for those who enjoy the temperate cannabis experience. Even more, it can help to eliminate the possibility of over medication; serving as a level of protection.

However, as a tourist centralized location, people come from all over and regardless of what they customarily consume recreationally or how experienced a user they are, because of this convention, it is more difficult to obtain the amount they are typically accustomed to.

This emphasis on single serving use is only one example of the overall tone of safety that permeates the market in Colorado. Just as this 10 mg recommendation serves as a safeguard, Colorado has instigated other protective measures as well. For example, Colorado will soon be implementing a universal THC label that will be stamped on edible products to ensure, unambiguously, that customers are aware it contains psychoactive THC. By using this label, customers are automatically aware of what’s inside. Moreover, a universal THC symbol will also help keep medicated products out of the hands of children. In addition, while in Denver, we noticed many cautionary measures taken such as recalls for pesticide use and occasionally for inconsistent product dosing.  The vigilance in Denver has created an atmosphere of safety, ensuring customers that the greatest care is taken to provide them with the finest products.

Though Denver appeared to be a paradise for cannabis products, we saw that there were only a few brands producing cannabis capsules. As part of our mission to progress the industry further and further, we posed a question to each and every budtender that we met, ‘how are the capsules selling’? To our surprise and joy, almost every budtender had the same reaction. They were finding it nearly impossible to meet the demand of both medicinal and recreational cannabis capsules. What amazed us was the fact that the recreational market had embraced cannabis capsules almost equally as much as the medical market. To say the least, we were very pleased.

Though capsules may have been on the shelves, the variety available could be called laughable by patients and consumers. No matter which dispensary we would walk into, there were no more than two brands of capsules available, and furthermore, only available in 10 mg potencies. We would have loved to see a plethora of mg dosages, for all levels of cannabis enthusiasts. At that moment, I knew that Denver, and all of Colorado, needed our help.

Since our first visit, I am elated to report that cannabis capsules have gained acceptance into the mainstream cannabis industry. We at CannabisCapsules are proud to see the shift in cannabis perception, not just in Denver, but palpable throughout all of Colorado.

If you’re considering encapsulation for your cannabis product, whether in Colorado or any other legal state, please give us a call. With over 35 years of encapsulation and formulation experience, CannabisCapsules has the expertise to help you go from concept to reality. Our services include a full range of customizable premium hard capsule products (including flavored capsules, flavored capsules for pets, and Enteric  Capsules), formulation assistance, product branding, facility design, capsule machine sourcing and installation, staff training, and more. To learn more, give me a call at 1-800-852-9238 or email us at