Based in Denver, Colorado, photographer Theo Stroomer has long been covering marijuana legalization. During an assignment to cover Medicine Man, one of Colorado’s largest marijuana dispensaries, Stroomer asked if he could spend some additional time photographing the establishment for a broader story.
“When you’re driving around Denver, it feels like there are pot warehouses and dispensaries all over the place,” Stroomer wrote via email about Colorado’s decision to make pot legal for anyone older than 21. “I got interested in exploring what goes on inside those space to flesh out the nuts and bolts of the process that brings marijuana to customers.”
“I don’t think most people realize the scale that his happening, or the advances in technology and efficiency that growers are incorporating to keep up with the boom.”
While shooting the story, Stroomer said Medicine Man and the employees who worked there gave him freedom to focus on anything he liked. He said the biggest change since the legalization of marijuana has been from the customers.
“It felt like everybody used to say no when i asked if i coudl photograph them purchasing medicinal pot,” he said. “Now i get plenty of ‘Why not? It’s legal now’ style answers in recreational dispensaires.”
Stroomer said since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, he hasn’t noticed much of a change apart from increased tax revenue and media attention.
“New dispensaires pop up around the city and maybe I smell it more often in the street, but that’s about it,” he said.
He said he feels he has done enough covering marijuana, apart from focusing on festival culture, which he hopes to wrap up later in the year.
“I expect I’ll get a few more gigs this year doing pot-related pieces, but I have accomplished what i want to do with this story.”