My do’s, don’ts, and recommendations for enjoying a cannabis vacation in Colorado. Sponsored by City Sessions.
Colorado Cannabis Tourism
With its world-class ski resorts and incomparable scenic beauty, Colorful Colorado has long been a destination for vacationers from around the world. Add legal cannabis to the mix and you have the ingredients for an unforgettable getaway. Colorado has a lot to offer the cannabis enthusiast, but there are a few things that are helpful to know before you are Rocky Mountain bound. In this post, I’m sharing my do’s, don’ts, and things to remember when planning your next great cannabis escape.
Legalization in Colorado
In 2012 Colorado voters made history by passing Amendment 64, legalizing private recreational use of cannabis for those aged 21 and up. The first retail dispensaries opened up in January 2014, and since then Colorado has been at the forefront of cannabis tourism for the curious, the enthusiast, and the medical refugee.
Things to Keep in Mind when Planning a Colorado Cannabis Vacation
1. Private cannabis use is legal; public use is not
The Colorado constitution protects private use. That means you can legally and openly use cannabis inside a residence or on private property, as long as the property owner allows it. This includes vape and smoke-friendly hotel rooms and other lodging like Airbnb’s and vacation homes.
It is illegal to consume cannabis openly in public spaces and on city property like on streets, sidewalks, and parks. This includes ski resorts and open-air theaters (somebody tell that to Red Rocks). It should also be noted that many of Colorado’s national parks are on federal land, where cannabis has yet to be legalized.
2. Vaping is the cannabis tourist’s friend
Vaping gets a bad rap in the media, but vaporizing pure cannabis flower (not cartridges or concentrates) is the best option for quick, effective, and discreet cannabis consumption. It’s in a completely different world from vaping cartridges and concentrates, and is leagues healthier than smoking. Best yet? The vapor produced from cannabis flower is lighter, nearly odor-free and is far more discreet than smoke. It dissipates almost immediately and is appropriate for use in any lodging you’ll find in Colorado.
Because of our strict public use laws, you’ll want to do the majority of your seshing in your private lodging. Bring your own dry leaf vaporizer from home (I have several recommendations in The Stoner Mom Shop), or pick one up from one of our many headshops and dispensaries. You can also arrange a vaporizer rental through a cannabis tourism company like City Sessions.
3. Finding a social space for consumption can be a challenge
After a day of buying all manner of cannabis delights, you might get stuck when it comes to finding a place to actually try it all. Safe social spaces for consuming cannabis is one of the few areas where Colorado falls short. You can get around this by purchasing tickets to cannabis events or inexpensive memberships to 420-friendly social spaces.
These workaround social spaces are few and far between, but they come in handy if you don’t have any other options. Here are some of the most popular social spaces where consumption is encouraged. Please note, I’ve never been to any of these spots but they are popular with tourists and locals alike.
- Loopr – Denver’s most popular party bus has several options for a cannabis-fueled evening.
- Tetra Private Lounge and Garden – Denver’s premier private smoking lounge located in the RiNo arts district. Purchase an inexpensive membership and you’ll be able to sesh here during your stay. The lounge provides a dab bar, high end vaporizers, and a safe space to consume.
- iBake Denver – Another membership-based private smoking lounge. Members are provided with a large range of pipes, papers, bongs, dab rigs and vaporizers to use. All cannabis lounges are BYOC.
Your best bet for being able to use your legally purchased goodies is to find 420-friendly lodging and to plan on attending a few cannabis-focused events where consumption is encouraged.
4. Book a City Session to get the most out of your Colorado cannabis vacation
Colorado is home to a few cannabis tourism companies dedicated to educating and entertaining those new to Colorado’s cannabis scene. They offer services like behind-the-scenes grow and dispensary tours, cannabis-friendly classes, and other events that can add structure to your vacation as well as safe spaces to consume.
I’ve attended several of these classes and tours over the years and my absolute favorite has been my experience with City Sessions. City Sessions offers private cannabis tours with a wide range of experiences to choose from. They can create customized cannabis-focused vacations that will satisfy your curiosity and have you exploring everything this great state has to offer.
In addition to tours for regular consumers, City Sessions offers medical relief tours, tours for cannabis novices, industry tours for investors, private parties, corporate retreats, cannabis cooking classes and more. Explore your choices here.
On a City Sessions tour, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Colorado’s thriving cannabis industry. Start with an educational smoke sesh at the City Sessions lounge, then stop and smell the flowers at a huge commercial grow. Check out the nations #1 glass shop, take selfies holding giant bags of weed, and shop at premium dispensaries with an exclusive discount. And that’s just the beginning!
City Sessions offers several different experiences like the informative Cannabis Education Tour to the comprehensive Tour of the Senses. Their private tours run anywhere from two to six+ hours and can be as adventurous as heading up the mountains to take in the Rockies after a morning of cannabis education. Every City Session begins with a phone call where you’ll get to truly customize your session to fit your interests while in Colorado.
Sample Itinerary of City Session’s Tour of the Senses:
- Pick up from Denver-based lodging location or the City Sessions’ Office
- Walk through a commercial grow facility to see and learn the process of cultivating Cannabis from Clone to Cure (or its full life cycle)
- Dispensary stop to review the product line and to purchase (with a discount)
- City Sightseeing
- Snack/coffee stop
- Explore further and choose one of the following unique Colorado experiences:
- scenic drive to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater to see Colorful Colorado;
- scenic drive to Lookout Mountain to take in the beauty of the Rockies;
- stroll through the RiNo Art District to check out the incredible street art;
- detour through a few of Denver’s many charming parks!
- Stop at the #1 Glass Gallery in the country that houses pieces that are worth upwards of a million dollars for your viewing pleasure
- Return to lodging location
City Sessions was founded by the incredibly knowledgeable and charming Goldie “The Knower” Solodar. The attention and care she puts into everything she does are more than evident in your session. You truly couldn’t put your cannabis vacation in better hands. Working with only a select few of Colorado’s best companies, Goldie has curated a premium experience for her guests that goes far beyond the standard 420 experience and will leave you informed and entertained.
One more thing, City Sessions offers vaporizer rentals, so if you’ve ever dreamt of using the legendary Volcano or the high-end Puffco Peak, City Sessions can accommodate. Learn more about private tours, vaporizer rentals, lodging and transportation at citysessionsdenver.com
5. Be prepared for dispensary rules and regulations
Colorado does not mess around when it comes to regulating our commercial cannabis. You’ll be wowed by some of our states professional and beautifully appointed cannabis dispensaries, but there are some things to know before you drop-in:
- Have your ID. Adults aged 21 and up must have a valid photo ID to enter a dispensary. ID’s must be in good condition and can’t have any cracks or be held together with tape. Temporary paper ID’s are not accepted, and most dispensaries won’t accept a vertical or minors ID, no matter your age.
- Cash is king. Many dispensaries only accept cash and have ATMs onsite. Avoid ATM fees by having cash on hand before you arrive.
- No consumption onsite. No consumption is allowed on-site at any dispensary. Don’t bust open your purchases inside, and don’t try to hotbox in the parking lot.
- Taxes are high! Be prepared to pay close to 20% sales tax on your legal cannabis purchases.
- Know the limits. Adults 21 and older can purchase and possess up to 1 ounce of retail marijuana at a time.
However you plan to spend your time in the Mile High City, I encourage you to go slow and be responsible with your cannabis use. Even those with a high tolerance should take note of our higher altitude and our potent commercial cannabis products. If you start low and go slow, you’re bound to have the time of your life in our beautiful state!