High Stakes: Pot Comes With Many Choices-Food, Drinks, Pills and Candies

Parents, too, have a responsibility to keep it away from their children, he said, just as they would alcohol or cigarettes.

O'Bryan argued the regulated medical marijuana system hasn't kept the drug out of kids' hands.

According to a survey of middle and high school students in the Denver Public Schools, 2 percent of students said they had obtained pot from someone with a medical marijuana card. Four percent of 11th- and 12th-graders got it that way.

Colorado inspects stores to make sure they don't sell to children.

O'Bryan wants regulations allowing stores to confiscate identifications, as liquor stores can do.

She also wants lower caps on the amount of concentrates that can be sold at one time; those are not as tightly limited in Colorado as they are in Washington, where only up to seven grams of extract for inhalation can be sold.

The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed not to crack down on Colorado and Washington marijuana sales, as long as they meet several goals, including keeping pot out of kids' hands and preventing drugged driving.

As in Washington, Colorado law restricts impaired driving and refers to a limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, although there are differences in how the limit is applied. What it takes to reach that level has been hotly debated.

Inside the Dixie Elixirs warehouse, two workers harvest a golden-hued oil from the bottom of a machine into a flask.

They are at the end of a process that started with 10 to 19 pounds of plant material. Carbon dioxide is used to extract hash oil that will be used to create many of the products.

The warehouse is the company's new home, which will eventually have 20,000 square feet of growing space but was less than half finished during a visit last month.

Two other flasks show what differences in temperatures and pressure can produce inside the machine. A brown oil with a floral smell is made to have lower levels of psychoactive THC.

A yellow powder is more highly concentrated. Recently developed, the Dixie Dust can be sprinkled on marijuana that will be smoked or oil that will be vaporized, making it more potent.

The price: $40 per half gram. "It's kind of a connoisseur product," explained the company's director of science, Shellene Suemori.

Nearby are the light fixtures for a future grow operation and the shell of a future bottling system that, once operational, will replace the manual bottling done now and crank out about 1,000 elixirs an hour.

"This will be the finest marijuana facility certainly in the country but, I don't want to sound too brash or arrogant, likely in the world," Keber said later.

Keber rarely shies away from sounding brash. But he's made a big bet that looks as if it is paying off.

A former real estate developer, Keber admittedly knew nothing about producing marijuana when he gambled four years ago on feeding Colorado's appetite for alternative forms of pot. He prefers a Coors Light or a cigar.

In the early years, the company conformed to a medical market, talking about medicinal properties. Its latest advertisements show a tone geared toward recreational users.

"Our munchies give you the munchies," says one poster advertising edibles such as the chewy chocolate Dixie Rolls and the fudge Colorado Bar.

If it has a little fun with its product, Keber's company prides itself on consistency, on customers knowing how a given amount of Dixie's product will affect them.

The company voluntarily includes activation time on the products' labels and models its nutrition information after the FDA requirements.

The change in the marijuana culture could open it up to people who haven't tried the drug before.

That's what Jane West is counting on.

"I wanted to start this underground event series where people in my demographic, and women I would spend the weekend with, would all feel comfortable at a party where cannabis was consumed," the wife and mother said.

That turned out to be more complicated than she thought.

The name Jane West, you see, is just a pseudonym she uses in the industry. In her day job, her bosses knew her as Amy Dannemiller, and they were apparently surprised to see her on CNBC last month, acknowledging her marijuana use and using a vaporizer.

CNBC's website quotes Dannemiller calling herself "one part Martha Stewart and one part Walter White."

That appearance, she said, broke her employer's drug policy. She ran the western division of an unnamed national company that puts on conferences for high school students who want to be doctors, she said.

The company asked for her resignation, she said.

"Now I'm all in with this industry," she said, splitting her time between her events company and a new part-time job at O.PenVape.

Her target demographic: women who think nothing of drinking wine or popping prescription pills, she said, but associate pot with smoke, smell and stoners.

"They remember an old weed consumed in an ancient way," West said.

But now they can eat it, vaporize it or even take it in pill form. All of those uses are encouraged at the "bring your own cannabis" dinner parties she organizes, where she serves the meals and drinks. There are also opportunities to smoke outside or in a parked bus.

"I really want it to be as normalized as having a glass of wine," West said.

As she can attest from experience, though, normalization hasn't yet fully taken root.

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