Now that marijuana is legal in both Colorado and Washington, some curious tourists are coming to the two states to legally get high. At this point, the numbers are hazy, with the spokesman for Visit Denver stating that "they still don’t have any numbers that support that marijuana tourism exists." While 2014 was a record year for Colorado's tourism, Al White, director of the Colorado Toursim Office, said that marijuana played a small role in the increased tourism: "Marginally, yes I think it may be a decision influencer for some people coming.” In fact, only 7% of out-of-state visitors to Colorado used pot while in the state in 2014.
But, that hasn't stopped marijuana tourism businesses from springing up across both states. One of the most interesting developments is the proliferation of the marijuana edibles industry, where THC is included in foods.
Keep reading to find out fast facts about the marijuana tourism industry, where visitors can smoke weed, and other alternative methods of THC consumption. Of course, it is always important to be responsible and safe while consuming marijuana products in these states.
Where Can Tourists Smoke Weed?
Part of the reason pot tourism isn't a bigger business is because Washington and Colorado haven't made it easy for tourists to smoke weed. While pot tourists can legally obtain 1 ounce of dried marijuana, finding a legal place to smoke a joint is difficult. It is illegal to smoke in either states' national parks, on the streets, in most hotel rooms, or anywhere in public. This means that unless out of state visitors pay big bucks to stay in a pot-friendly hotel (see the next slide), are invited to a friend's home, or have their own vacation home, they may not be able to legally smoke the marijuana that they legally purchased.
Read more about the laws on recreational marijuana use in Washington here.
Smoke at Pot-Friendly Hotels
A few hotels in Washington and Colorado are welcoming pot tourists. Check out these popular options:
- The Adagio Bud & Breakfast, Denver, Colorado - As the first Bud & Breakfast in the country, this hotel pulls out all the stops for pot tourists. All of the nightly rates include access to their Bud Bar, stocked with marijuana strains and marijuana-infused edibles, and guests can join in for a 4:20 Happy Hour, where guests can try hor d'ouevres, beer and wine, and a selection of marijuana strains. Rooms start at $299 per night.
- The Bacon Mansion, Seattle, Washington - Smoking is permitted in the courtyard and guests may use marijuana edibles indoors. Rooms start at $110 per night.
Take a Cannabis Tour
If you want to get the most bang for your buck, consider a Cannabis tour. Tours include visiting a dispensary, learning how to use a vaporizer, and walks through a marijuana garden. There are many cannabis tour operators and experiences range from multi-day pot extravaganzas to four hour walking sessions or driving tours in haze-filled vans.
Or, Drink Your Cannabis
For those who want to try marijuana without smoking it, try one of the new "drinkables" or THC infused sodas. Sold at cannabis stores, these sodas include a small amount of a particular cannabis strain. Options include:
- Dixie Elixirs - Dixie Elixirs sells flavors ranging Sparkling Peach to Watermelon Cream with between 5 to 40 mg of THC, depending on the size of the bottle.
- Legal by Mirth Provisions - Legal sells cannabis infused drinks with options like the Cold Brew, containing coffee and cannabis extract, or Sparkling, with Washington cherries and cannabis extract. Each is mixed with 10 mg of THC.
Or, Eat Marijuana Edibles
Think outside hash brownies and marijuana cookies. In Colorado and Washington, visitors can try:
- Reef jerky, or beef jerky smoked with marijuana
- Kushtown's Hot Sauce with THC
- or Herbal Eats Jolly Gems, which are like marijuana spiked Jolly Ranchers.
Individuals 18 and over can even buy some marijuana edibles from a vending machine inside a medical marijuana shop. Colorado is strictly regulating these marijuana edibles because they can pack quite a punch. Colorado has started a campaign encouraging users of marijuana edibles to "start low and go slow."