Wherever you stand on the laws, it’s no question that cannabis tourism is a big draw to Colorado.
And while you won’t find tourism boards here promoting cannabis as a reason to come visit Colorado, many travelers interested in the novelty of legal recreational marijuana come to Colorado to see a “pot shop” for themselves.
If that's you, and you're looking for a little Rocky Mountain high, here are 12 things to help you get the most out of your trip.
Visit a 420 Celebration
A big one is the Denver 420 Fest with vendors, music, and entertainment.
There is also a weekly CannaBingo event at Studio A64 in Colorado Springs, various expos (including a cannabis wedding expo), a women's grow leadership summit and more.
Sign up for a Tour
Colorado Cannabis Tours is just one of many companies (and the offerings are always growing) that organizes free (safe) transportation to various pot-related activities. But be warned: These guided tours can get pricey, even if they offer discounts on purchases.
Check out an MJ-Friendly Hangout
Just because a cannabis tour stops at a restaurant most definitely does not mean you can smoke freely there or anywhere else you want. In fact, bars (and all public places) are not cannabis-friendly. But there are a few places you can visit to openly imbibe, like private clubs and private events. In private membership clubs, like iBake Denver, members of legal age can buy and smoke marijuana on site. Because this is a private club, it does not fall under public consumption laws.
You have to buy a membership to join this club, but it's super cheap. It's worth noting, though, that private cannabis clubs are rare. (iBake claims to be the first members-only cannabis club in the Denver Metro area.) It's best to take your cannabis and enjoy it in the privacy of your own home or one of the few cannabis-friendly hotels in Colorado.
Some companies, like Cultivating Spirits, aim to offer educated and responsible experiences. Try three-course, three-strain cannabis pairing dinners or book a food, wine, and cannabis tour. Cultivating Spirits uses small-batch, craft cannabis.
You can also book a private cannabis tasting event at your private residence or for a private party.
Relax With a Cannabis Massage
Primal Therapeutics brings cannabis-infused massage therapy to your location in the Denver metro area. The company aims to educate people about plant medicine and holistic health as an alternative medicine. It offers a wide range of massage services, as well as guided meditation and full-body scrubs.
Shop for Artistic Glassware
Pipes can be a true work of art. Visit a glassblowing shop to see a demo, or swing by one of the reputable glass shops, like Illuzion Glass Galleries in Denver. Whatever you think you’ve seen before, expect to be surprised. Even if you don’t smoke, galleries like this can provide creative insight into this dimension of Colorado’s culture.
You can find high-end glass shops that feel like museums and art galleries in many cities, from Boulder to Dillon.
Stay in a 420-Friendly Place
Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere, not even in your own room. In fact, many hotels explicitly forbid smoking cannabis, including vaporizers, on grounds, and even on balconies. A balcony is considered a public space, like a sidewalk (and you definitely can't smoke on the street).
It’s hard to find many cannabis-friendly places to stay around the ski resorts, but you can find some in the Denver-metro area and in southern Colorado. The Steam Train Hotel in Southern Colorado is a solid choice, with a dash of history, too.
B&Bs and vacation rental properties are a good place to start. You can even find homes whose owners will help you find the best shops. Some allow you to smoke in your room and anywhere on property and even offer distillery tours.
In Fort Collins, you can vape indoors and smoke outside at the Shangri-La Inn at Gaia’s Farm and Gardens. This old farmhouse also includes access to gardens, a petting zoo, a koi pond, flowers, fruit trees, and mountain views. But beware: Because not every hotel offers this “luxury,” many of the 420-friendly lodgings and private homes have steep rates, especially around mid-April.
Pair Yoga With Cannabis
Both aim to relax you, so fans of the combo say it's a fitting match: cannabis-infused yoga. These are private yoga classes where participants are welcome to be high or get high during, before, or after class (depending on the structure of the class).
These kinds of classes pop up in cities all across Colorado. Ganjasana is one reputable cannabis-yoga company that also plans retreats, sacred gatherings, birthday parties, and more.
Take a Cannabis Cooking Class
Learn how to make your own edibles during a cannabis cooking class. You can find these private classes throughout Colorado. Puff, Pass, and Paint is one place to go for a 420-friendly cooking class. During this 2.5-hour class, you'll learn how to make everything from hard candies to entrees to ice cream, all infused with cannabis.
The Cannabis Training University will help you earn your Masters of Marijuana Certification.
This school's headquarters are in Denver, although you can study this topic online from wherever you may be. This school aims to teach students about medical marijuana to prepare them for a career in the cannabis field. You will learn from marijuana attorneys, insurance agents, business owners, dispensary managers, and even marijuana accountants, to name a few.
Puff and Paint
You've heard of wine and paint get-togethers. In Colorado, there's also puff and paint events. They're just like wine and painting classes, except with marijuana instead of a glass of red.
Kush and Canvases in Denver calls its Sunday events Marijuana and Mimosas. These gatherings are great for people who want to tap into their artsy side. Of course, you don't need to be an artist, and you don't have to get high to participate. You can paint whatever you want.
Kush and Canvases also offers more focused classes, like pet portrait painting, for example.
Do Just About Anything
In Colorado, people pair cannabis with just about every activity.
If you enjoy writing, sign up for the Get Lit on Lit gatherings. These 420-friendly writing classes are for people who feel inspired to write when they imbibe.
There are classes about cannabis skin care, pottery classes, pipe-making courses, and even a cannabis-friendly needlepoint gathering.