The Grow House

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coloradoAcross the street from where I work is a nondescript building with boarded up windows and a heavy-looking door with deadbolt locks and giant padlocks.  It’s a grow house, a place where they grow mj legally for the Colorado retail and medical mj markets.

It doesn’t appear to be a particularly large building, but looks can be deceiving.  It’s not very wide, but is very long, so it disappears well behind the street-facing profile.  When I started working here, they cautioned me about it and the folks who come in and out of there, doing so in hushed tones reminiscent of an elderly person speaking of the ill or dead in such a way so as to not bring down whatever had inflicted that person onto themselves.

You can always tell when a crop is being harvested; the street is lined with beat-up cars and there’s nary an empty spot to be had.  I say ‘beat-up’ cars because they all look, well, beat-up.  Old.  Grungy.  There’s a truck whose bumper is being held on by some wire.  Another car has had the little 50 mile max spare tires in all four tire-spots for about 6 months now.  A third that comes to mind has 2 doors of different colors than the rest of the car and a rust pattern along the hood reminiscent of a piece of toast with the face of Elvis looking back at you from the burnt bits.

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but, damn!

I’ve also noticed that only men work there.  And they’re always young – easily in their 20’s, and they smoke cigarettes.  Lots of them.  When I go to lunch, I see them standing around their cars smoking.  The air takes on a scent equal parts skunk and cigarette smoke.

They all wear security badges like you’d see in any Fortune 500 company’s corporate headquarters.  I imagine security in such a place has to be tight.  Not sure why there are no women, though.  Are women not interested in working there?  Hrm.

It’s funny – what I call ‘skunk smell’, other people have called ‘ambrosia’.  Bleh.

More of these places are popping up around the state, but from what I understand, they’re having a hard time.  Not everyone wants to rent to them.  And I’ve seen articles about how the banks don’t want to give accounts to anyone related with legalized mj because they’re afraid they’ll get in trouble with the federal government.  How do you become a business if you can’t find space and can’t start a bank account?

This is an interesting little experiment we have going on in Colorado.