The table, adorned with China table-settings, crystal glassware and floral arrangements, looks like a scene from a wedding magazine. Views of the mountains from this private homestead are expansive and unobstructed.
First, participants experience an energizing yoga class. Then, an award-winning chef will serve up a sophisticated meal.
Paired with marijuana.
This is the new scene of cannabis in Colorado -- the higher end of cannabis tourism.
Forget any stereotypes you may have about “stoners” and the less-than-exquisite pairing of cannabis and Cheetos, while lounging on the couch watching “Pineapple Express.” That’s not how everyone in Colorado does cannabis.
Here, it can be indulgent and luxurious, too. Imagine a dinner with a wine pairing or whiskey tasting, except with cannabis-infused beverages, edibles and green nugs to smoke.
People visiting Colorado on vacation who want to experience legal recreational marijuana -- but in an upscale environment -- will find an answer to their travel desires through companies like the Mason Jar Event Group. Mason Jar is one company that blends a farm-to-table meal with seasonal drinks and select marijuana strains.
One of Mason Jar’s events, Yoga With A View, begins with a 15-minute guided meditation, followed by an hour-long Vinyasa-inspired yoga class led by Larisa Ortiz. (Bring your own mat.)
After you’re feeling totally zen, servers will bring out the food. Mason Jar meals are made by award-winning chefs of the Blackbelly Market team.
Participants can also expect live music, and another 15-minute guided meditation to wrap up the event.
Tables are adorned with ceramics made by local artist Karen McPherson.
For participants’ safety and convenience, Mason Jar Events even offers transportation from the Denver/Boulder area to the location of the meals, on the Shupe Homestead.
The Shupe Homestead in Longmont, just east of Boulder, is a longstanding, family-fun facility with roots dating all the way back to 1888. Then, a 23-year-old Austrian immigrant moved to the Front Range of Colorado and decided to make it home, saying it reminded him of “the old country.”
He bought the farm land in 1899, where he lived with his family for years. His grandson inherited the land in the ‘80s, and he raised his family here, too.
Today, it’s still reminiscent of its roots and makes for a simple, sweet getaway less than an hour north of Denver.
A growing trend
Cannabis meals are a growing trend in Colorado and among foodies looking for something new and interesting to try. This goes beyond THC cookies and brownies, with an endless list of both sweet and savory options for discerning "cannasseurs," as they're called.
There's Julie's Natural Edibles, which sells marijuana edibles that are gluten-free, free of refined sugar, pesticide-free and non-GMO.
There's Apothecanna, made with organic, wildcrafted essential oils.
For a different kind of tea party, there's Stillwater Tea,marijuana-infused teas, designed to relax but not intoxicate.
How does this work, legally?
The marijuana laws in Colorado don't allow a public facility to openly distribute marijuana to guests, so all Mason Jar events are technically considered private and invite-only. To get an invitation, visit the website and click to request an invitation.
Because Mason Jar is not a licensed distribution facility, it cannot sell any cannabis itself. So if participants want to indulge in marijuana at the meals, they have to purchase a separate, pre-packaged gift bag from Sweet Leaf Dispensary for an additional, separate charge of $25. The bag is filled with hand-selected goodies carefully chosen to complement that day's meal.
All participants also must be 21 years or older.
You can also get in trouble for driving under the influence of marijuana, which is another reason the shuttles are offered.
Beyond Mason Jar
Although Mason Jar Events has a reputation for its high-quality events, you can find sophisticated cannabis dinners throughout Colorado. Cultivating Spirits in Summit County is another option, if you're traveling in ski country, west of the Front Range and Denver.