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COLORADO:  At the after-party for the National Cannabis Summit — an annual conference thick with entrepreneurs and business people, held in the bowels of the Sheraton in downtown Denver — eight of us attendees boogied alongside one of the more engaging speakers, the medical researcher Dr. Suzanne Sisley, who wore throughout the party a towering, purple velvet Mad Hatter’s hat. Remembering that in her speech she had said, “I’ve never tried marijuana in any form,” I wanted to whisper in her ear, “But your millinery tells a different story.”

Outside in a cordoned-off area of a parking lot at the marijuana growers’ supply warehouse where the party was held, hundreds of attendees were smoking and vaping. The conference’s essential leitmotifs — self-promotion and schmoozing — reasserted themselves.

A man who had spent a good part of the conference selling his outhouse-size turbine (to help marijuana growers “get off the grid”) was pitching it to anyone within earshot; another guest’s party banter ran, “The five reasons to consider a pen vape are high quality, safety, consistency, discretion, and … I can’t remember the fifth reason.” Then he picked up a glossy promotional card listing these five reasons and told me: “Oh, and purity. Purity’s important.” Dude.