Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, tourism has exploded. While some tourism experts say it’s a total coincidence, others are organizing cannabis-specific vacations and tours to tap into the market.
But it’s not just as easy as walking into Walmart and buying a joint and smoking it on the spot. You have to know the laws and you have to know where to go. Not all marijuana dispensaries sell recreational cannabis; some are medicinal and require a card.
It can also be hard to sift through the many options to know where to go for the best experience.
We asked the locals where they like to shop. Here are their top 10 cannabis dispensaries in Colorado.
Note: Before you visit a dispensary, make sure you are versed on the Colorado recreational marijuana laws, and start with a low dose to prevent overdoing it (especially when trying a new edible for the first time).
Infinite Wellness Center, Fort Collins
Infinite Wellness promotes the positive aspects of marijuana culture and sells top-shelf cannabis, plus a wide assortment of cannabis products. Infinite Wellness aims for exceptional, professional, non-judgmental customer service.
This Fort Collins shop claims to have the biggest selection of “quality flower,” concentrates and edibles in Northern Colorado. Strains grown in-house contain no pesticides, so their product is nice and clean. It boasts more than 500 infused products.
Native Roots Dispensary, 20 locations throughout Colorado
Native Roots is known for its high-quality marijuana (both medical and recreational).
Find 20 different dispensaries (and growing) across the state, from the city to the mountains. Even with so many locations, these well-known shops tend to get pretty busy, so you are likely to encounter a line. But that’s just a testament to their product, and it’s worth the wait to get some of the best.
Native Roots sells a variety of different strains and products, spanning edibles, bubble, cannasap, shatter and wax. Don't know what all of these terms mean? It's OK. If you're new to this style of shopping, Native Roots has experts who can guide you to choose the right products for your needs.
Need evidence? Native Roots has a ton of esteemed awards, including being named Colorado's top dispensary in 2016 by Cann Awards. It also won the state's most popular infused product in 2016.
RiverRock Cannabis, two locations in Denver
RiverRock is a boutique-style dispensary that offers rec and medical. One thing that makes RiverRock stand out is it’s teamed up with musician Wiz Khalifa to make his own line of Wiz-curated strains, concentrates and more.
Another claim to fame is RiverRock's founders helped pioneer the regulated cannabis industry across the country.
RiverRock has been around since 2009 and is considered a leader in the industry. It cultivates all of its cannabis itself, entirely from seed to sale.
Starbuds, 11 locations across Colorado
Starbuds offers a variety of award-winning products and knowledgeable “bud-tenders.” As a bonus, Starbuds offers a great rewards program with a loyalty card that collects points that you can use toward future purchases. Get both medical and recreational cannabis at these 11 (and growing) reputable branches. Don't know where to start? Try Starbuds' Cannabis Cup-winning sativa.
Also, admit it, the name is pretty clever.
Check out Starbuds' useful blog on how to celebrate 420 in Colorado, complete with some crazy CBD-infused products, like CBD donuts, cereal, and coffee.
Lightshade, multiple locations in Denver
Lightshade is a high-end dispensary (both med and rec) with a handful of locations across Denver, plus Federal Heights and Aurora (making eight locations total). Lightshade claims to sell the highest THC levels in lab results for its strains.
Lightshade has its own growing facilities throughout the state. Visit the I70 and Holly shop if you want to see a dispensary connected to a grow room. In the lobby, you can peek through the window and see the buds budding.
The cannabis bath and body line is a unique way to experience the products.
Good Chemistry, Aurora and Denver
Good Chemistry runs three totally professional, large, state-of-the-art facilities that offer more than 60 strains. The branches are in the Denver-metro area. You can also buy Good Chem products in Nevada. The products are conveniently organized in a category system that helps you pick the right products for your needs.
Staff is knowledgeable and friendly; everything done here aims to be guided by “science, access, dignity and compassion.”
Good Chemistry has been around since 2010 and claims to be considered one of the “finest vertically integrated cannabis companies in the world.”
Looking to try something unique here? Good Chem sells Cannabis Queen Bison Jerky. Yup, that's meat that can get you high.
The Green Solution, locations throughout Colorado
The Green Solution is another well-known dispensary in the state. It’s one of the most-awarded dispensaries, with more than 50 awards for everything from edibles to concentrates. It has 16 different locations.
Green Solution is a great place for newbies because the staff acts as a professional and educated weed concierge to help you pick the best match out of hundreds of different options. Check out the gorgeous chocolates that are almost too lovely to eat. For something fun, Green Solution sells herby sodas and coffees, too.
Bonus: You can even place online reservations if you need your bud on the run. This claims to have launched the first eCannabis website where you can order online.
Medicine Man, Denver and more
Medicine Man is ideal for tourists. It's Denver's single largest cannabis dispensary.
It boasts a huge 40,000-square-foot production facility that you can tour with Colorado Cannabis Tours. Second, it offers several rare varieties and claims to have the largest variety of strains and products in the state.
Medicine Man’s products are all grown right there in its cultivation facility. It has a Denver, Thornton and Aurora branch.
Medicine Man is family run.
Ajoya, Louisville and Lakewood
Ajoya offers more than 150 strains, all cultivated from seed, and you can usually find more than 20 strains at any time at one of its locations.
In addition to the product, another thing that makes Ajoya definitely worth visiting is its design. This sleek, white, contemporary shop looks like an Apple store. It couldn’t be classier. Prepare to have your notions of a weed shop completely rewritten.
Green Tree Medicinals, Boulder, Berthoud, Longmont, Northglenn
Green Tree sells organic, medical-grade cannabis and products. Green Tree is known for its medical cannabis, and it regularly has good deals and daily specials. Customer service here is top-notch. The staff is patient and not pushy. If you are visiting Colorado with a medicinal card, head here. You won't be disappointed.