There are movie critics, fashion critics, food critics and now marijuana critics?
Recently the Denver publication Westword published an ad for a freelance medical marijuana critic to review marijuana dispensaries in their feature entitled, “Mile Highs and Lows.” With the legalization of small amounts of marijuana in Denver, staff writer Joel Warner said he saw a growing need for these establishments to be reviewed.
“There’s a wide variety [of dispensaries] from sketchy to really nice, but there wasn’t an objective resource that allowed readers to see a variety of locations,” Warner said.
Westword has received 130 to 150 applications, said Joe Tone Westword’s Web editor.
“Certainly it’s been a range of people in their twenties, but there aren’t a lot of current college students,” Tone said. “There are more males than females, probably two to one men to women.”
Westword stopped accepting applications about three weeks ago and now is preparing to finalize their staffing decision. How the final hiring steps will be conducted is yet to be determined, Tone said.
“We don’t know if we will have a formal interview; we haven’t really decided,” Tone said. “We have some finalists based on their letters and resumes and some sample reviews.”
Tone said he believes Westword will probably choose several applicants to share the reviewing duties because they are filling a freelance position.
Warner said he went through the process of getting a medical marijuana license and has been reviewing dispensaries until Westword finds a permanent critic.
He said some establishments have been more unique than others.
“There’s one operation in Denver that opened a coffee shop and you could pay more like three bucks for a cannabis tincture into your tea or coffee,” Warner said.
As the dispensary business continues to grow, Warner said he sees marijuana acceptance increasing.
“It seems in this state, it’s busting wide open,” Warner said. “People are much more public than ever before. Activists are optimistic to shift the stigma.”
But Warner said he also sees a potential backlash due to the law’s vagueness.
“It’s like a wild west in terms of regulation,” Warner said. “Can you imagine buying food products that have never had any regulation? In any other establishment, that would never fly.”
Justin Kever, a 19-year-old sophomore political science major, said he also see possible controversy in hiring a critic despite the benefits.
“It puts out another marijuana stereotype about Colorado, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out,” Kever said. “I don’t think it’s a problem, it’s just like a food critic.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Josephine.email@example.com.