March 2016by Dell Kaniper
This past spring my boyfriend, Sam, and I packed a minivan with all our belongings, left New York City, and headed west—like pioneers—for a new home in Seattle, where we hoped for opportunities that didn’t exist on the East Coast.
Sam’s a creator of cookies and artisanal candies, including some of the finest caramels I’ve ever tasted. It was a career that, although highly competitive, was both socially acceptable in New York and—illegal. Sam’s treats contained marijuana. While living in a city of small-batch bourbon, specialty cheese shops, and imported foods, Sam had discovered that the one way to get ahead was to get people high. His products, which were already delicious, had a hook that made them a sought-after commodity in New York, where they became a success, thanks to black-market delivery services. In his mind, when he fed people he was a chef, and when his treats helped someone with their health, a shaman. Put him in a green state like Washington, and the sky was the limit.