Tavern in the Green

River Rock Wellness hosts a unique luncheon for some of their best buds.

Being an editor at High Times is a fun gig, but that doesn’t mean the workload can’t get pretty hectic at times—especially when preparing for our biggest event ever, the U.S. Cannabis Cup in Denver this past April. So if I’m given the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours and break bread with some good friends, I’m grateful. And if that meal happens to be a catered Italian lunch in the middle of a greenhouse full of pot plants? Well, even better.

That was exactly the invitation extended to me by Tony Verzura, the owner of River Rock Wellness, a few days before the beginning of the Denver Cup. Tony greeted us in the lobby, where we were given our visitor tags and led through several buildings out back and into Building 2—a 20,000-square-foot mega-grow warehouse filled with plants, predominantly high-CBD strains. Since River Rock’s Sour Tsunami Oil won the High CBD Award for Concentrates at our 2012 Denver Cup, they’ve gone on to develop over 20 CBD-rich medicinal strains, most of which were cultivated right here.

Against the far wall of the greenhouse were a series of tables set up with a soft-drink station and Sterno trays filled with such culinary delights as baked ziti, meatballs, sausage, chicken and eggplant parmesan, as well as salad and cheesy garlic bread. In front of this gastro-euphoric display was another horseshoe-shaped grouping of tables with neat place settings and colorful centerpieces featuring the fragrant flower tops of cannabis plants. Joining the River Rock crew for this feast of friends were Don and Aaron of DNA Genetics, Scotty and Pam of Rare Dankness, Kenny of Trichome Technologies and his lady Connie, Jibs of Trichome Heavy Extractions, my HT colleague Rick Cusick, as well as concentrate connoisseurs (and friends of the mag) Brendan Dabs, Sean Black (no relation), Jason Pinsky and others.

After a delicious and leisurely lunch, Tony took us on a full tour of the facilities—a total of seven indoor rooms housing a genetic library of more than 220 strains from around the world. The mother room, veg rooms and flowering rooms were a well-organized jungle of cannabis plants, all in different stages of growth. But Tony seemed most excited to show me the Rare Dankness room, loaded with mostly terpy, veganic head-stash plants and run by a grower who calls himself Dread. Once inside, I was taken to one corner to see the Jenny Kush plants—a medical strain developed by Scotty Dankness and named after the young Colorado marijuana activist who was killed by a drunk driver last year. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this strain will be donated to the memorial fund set up to help Jenny’s orphaned children.

Before leaving, we were treated to some strawberry shortcake and free River Rock T-shirts. It was an extremely enjoyable afternoon—in fact, we all had such a good time that Tony proposed doing it again next year. “It could become a new tradition,” he promised me on my way out.

Consider my reservation for next year confirmed, Tony.


Watch the video here.


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