Most-read stories of 2016: Breckenridge woman featured in CNN’s ‘High Profits’ dies at 26 (No. 9)
December 23, 2016
Editor's note: From Dec. 22-31, the Summit Daily will be reposting the 10 most-read stories on summitdaily.com in 2016. The below story is No. 9, originally published on March 24, 2016.
Lauren Hoover, the free-spirited Breckenridge budtender featured in the CNN documentary "High Profits," died on Wednesday after spending three weeks in a coma following a car accident in Summit County, The Cannabist is reporting. She was 26.
Hoover suffered a serious head injury after a head-on collision at around 7:45 a.m. on Highway 6, near Dillon Dam Road, on March 2. She was commuting to her job at High Country Healing in Silverthorne, a cannabis dispensary where she had worked for the past three months. Because the white-out weather conditions prevented a Flight For Life transport, she was taken by ambulance to the Denver area for emergency treatment.
Hoover's fiance, Brandon Austin, said the doctors at St. Anthony Hospital at Lakewood did all they could.
Hoover had lived in Breckenridge for the past 5 years. She quickly made an impact.
Friend Ali Nitka said that she met Hoover in 2014 when she hired her as a budtender at Breckenridge Cannabis Club, where Nitka was the director of retail. She said that Hoover brought a bright smile and contagious laugh into the store during a tense, controversy-filled time that was later broadcast on CNN and is now available on Netflix.
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Along with store owners Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire, Hoover was one of the prominent characters featured on "High Profits," a documentary series on the beginnings of legal marijauna retail sales in Colorado.
Hoover, the self-proclaimed "ganja-smokin yogi," cut a striking figure right away in the series, taking bong rips before starting an intense yoga session. Her friends, however, said that she was far deeper than the blonde bohemian depicted on television.
The Colorado Springs native was a central figure in Summit County's marijuana-industry network, having worked as general manager at Breckenridge Cannabis Club before moving over to High Country Healing. She was also a fitness entrepreneur who ran her Funky Buddha Fitness classes at Carter Park.