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How to Plan a Cannabis-Inspired Vacation to Colorado

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Book an Experience

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.

Cannabis spa treatments are a growing trend in Colorado. Find cannabis-inspired body wraps, scrubs, and facials. You can even find cannabis oil treatments at the big name, luxury spas, like at the Hilton Inverness hotel in south Denver.

Shop for Artistic Glassware

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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

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The Rosen Group

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.

Study Marijuana

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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

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Puff, Pass & 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.

Discover where to stay, hang out, shop, party, and eat if you're traveling to Colorado for a 420 vacation.

The 10 Best Places to Get Marijuana in Colorado

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

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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

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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.

Planning a cannabis vacation? Discover the top 10 marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, all with top-shelf products and professional service.