A Traveler’s Guide To Buying Cannabis in Colorado
You will not regret your trip if you have only 24 hours or several days to spend in Colorado. You could visit Colorado a hundred times and yet discover something new, thanks to its award-winning culinary scene and spiritually inspiring outdoor places. However, many Colorado travelers don’t care about the green of the prairie as much as they do about the green of its dispensaries.
Legalizing recreational marijuana has been a godsend for Colorado, but you should still check your facts before lighting up. With more and more people traveling to the state for cannabis tourism, some budtenders are providing excellent value while others are taking advantage of the influx of new customers. This guide has simplified legally purchasing cannabis in Colorado for out-of-state visitors. After all, with remarkable flower comes great responsibility, especially when the law is to be followed.
Colorado Cannabis Laws
Though Colorado may have been the first state to legalize recreational marijuana sales in 2014, numerous others have since followed suit. Even while buying and, more importantly, consuming marijuana products comes with a complete set of rules, the ability to do so makes this state a bit more enjoyable to visit.
Here are Colorado’s essential laws and regulations to keep you out of trouble and eliminate any ambiguity you may have when visiting the state. Understanding these laws will prevent you from facing legal issues while visiting the state.
The significance of age becomes immediately apparent. To purchase or use cannabis in Colorado, you must be at least 21 years old. The legislation in Colorado does not differentiate between locals and visitors concerning the possession, purchase, or use of marijuana.
However, it would help if you were a Colorado resident to qualify for a medical marijuana card, which only grants you access to a discounted and more potent version of the substance. Inquire beforehand whether the dispensary serves patients who have not registered with the state to use medicinal marijuana. Despite this, with the proper forms of identification, anybody of legal age may purchase cannabis in Denver.
A dispensary purchase limit is one ounce or 28 grams. However, various items have varying standards for what constitutes an ounce. The only thing covered by the initial ounce law was the blossom of the cannabis plant. It is a different story with edibles and concentrates.
As a result of the potency of concentrates like shatter, wax, and cannabis oil, the laws restrict consumers from purchasing no more than 800 milligrams of THC in consumables daily. This restriction is irrelevant to the vast majority of users. When on vacation, an ounce of marijuana is way too much to smoke, an edible with 800 milligrams of THC is enough to wreck most people’s day, and 8 grams of concentrates would be a nightmare for your lungs.
Restricted Store Hours
As of right now, dispensaries in the state may be open anywhere from 8:00 a.m. until midnight. Within the allotted period, however, municipalities may set their regulations. Retailers in Denver are required to shut their doors at 10 o’clock. Edgewater and Glendale (two communities neighboring Denver) allow retailers to remain open until midnight so that you can buy marijuana after 10:00 p.m. in Denver.
Aurora is an excellent alternative since its shops are open till 10 p.m. The closing time for medicinal dispensaries in Littleton has been moved from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is crucial to know the dispensary’s hours before heading there to purchase cannabis.
Where to Purchase
The state first granted permission to sell marijuana to 136 businesses around the state. Do not forget that towns, cities, and counties, like those of Colorado Springs, have the right to prohibit the sale of marijuana.
Where is the nearest dispensary located? Due to the green gold rush, many shopping places and discounts are now available. The trendy art districts of RiNo and Santa Fe, the downtown area around the Colorado Convention Center, and even the ‘burbs of Aurora all sell pot at lower prices and higher quality than prohibition states.
Mountain Annie’s Cannabis has incredible prices. You should go there if you want to get tremendous value for your money. No matter how much or how little knowledge you have, their staff can help you out. Friendly, knowledgeable, and respectful budtenders are what you can expect to find at Mountain Annie’s. With four locations in western Colorado (Durango, Ridgway, Cortez, and Silverton), you can find Mountain Annie’s while traveling through Colorado.
You may also utilize services like PotGuide or Weedmaps to find a dispensary, then either give them a call or visit their website to make sure they are available to the public for sale.
The good news is that consumers in Colorado do not have to provide any information to a retailer other than showing an ID with proof of age.
They want it to work like buying alcohol from a liquor shop, where you have to provide proof of age with an ID, but they do not keep records. No centralized database keeps tabs on where you shop, and no retailers send lists to the government.
Stores selling recreational marijuana are not obligated to gather personal information from you, but they are also not forbidden. Therefore, there is no standardization between businesses regarding client privacy policies. If using a credit card to make a purchase, some shops may request your name and contact details. In contrast, others may provide the option of entering your phone number or email address into a tablet at the register to sign up for newsletters or a rewards program.
Most shops know their consumers are wary of their data, so they are straightforward about what they gather and why. If you have any doubts, inquire about their ID policies before you provide your own. Communicate your displeasure with their policy if you disagree with it. You should go elsewhere for service if you need help to meet your needs.
As a last piece of information, know that Colorado law mandates video surveillance in all recreational marijuana establishments. This includes both the register and the front and back doors. The state’s law enforcers have the right to review the recorded video from these cameras at any time throughout the 40-day retention period.
Consuming Cannabis in Colorado
This is the greatest obstacle for those from other states who want to go to Colorado to consume cannabis. Using cannabis in public in any form (including smoking, vaping, or ingesting) has always been prohibited in Colorado.
Toking in public places, including ski resorts, music venues, bars, and alleyways, is illegal. The federal law still prohibits the use of cannabis in all general settings, including state and national parks and even specific ski slopes.
Driving after using marijuana is equivalent to driving after using alcohol. Neither is it safe or allowed. Not to mention that smoking in rental vehicles may result in expensive fines—not precisely the kind of holiday activity anybody wants to be involved in.
The good news is that it is permitted to use cannabis in private settings such as residences, certain hotels, and clubs. As private clubs, several establishments in Colorado are exempt from the state’s prohibition on smoking within public buildings. It is a club where, for a bit of cost, you may bring your weed and use their electronic dab bar or vaporizer in a relaxing setting.
Tobacco smoking became legal in Colorado’s bars and restaurants as of 2020 thanks to a bill that exempted the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act. It “authorizes a retail food establishment to apply for a marijuana hospitality establishment license” and “allows for the establishment of marijuana hospitality spaces in which medical and retail marijuana may be consumed on site.” However, this only applies to businesses that do not already hold a liquor license. So look out for more lounges, canna-cafés, and Puff-and-Paint studios to hang out while touring Colorado.
Traveling With Cannabis in Colorado
Can you travel from one state to another with your “legal” pot now that several states have legalized or decriminalized possession?
The answer is no. The federal government still considers marijuana illegal. Therefore anybody caught transporting it anywhere might face federal prosecution. Transshipping marijuana between “legal” states is dangerous even if the federal government turns a blind eye. What one state considers “legal” marijuana is likely to be unlawful in another.
Take precautions by not driving for at least six hours after consuming cannabis. Do not consume anything for at least eight hours after consuming food or drink. Even if you are only a passenger, you can not smoke bud in the vehicle. Like alcohol, you should keep your cannabis purchases sealed and unused in the car on the way back to your cannabis-friendly rental. The safest option is to store them in the car’s trunk until you get there.
Possession, use, exhibition, and transfer of marijuana are all illegal at Denver International Airport. However, passengers are seldom arrested or issued penalties for the offense. Some Colorado airports are more lenient than others, but others have at least the same basic guidelines (and, in some cases, even disposal containers for marijuana).
Also, be cautious on the road since certain states like stopping vehicles with Colorado license plates.
Bringing marijuana into another state is not worth the potential consequences of being caught. Discuss your questions with a criminal defense attorney who has worked on cases involving violations of the drug laws in the state you want to visit.
Stay Safe, and Have a Good Time!
Marijuana tourism in Colorado is much like any other kind of vacation. Make an effort to prepare, brush up on the rules, and avoid becoming so wasted that you must reschedule your vacation. It is best to ease into using cannabis, particularly regarding edibles and concentrates. It is essential to stay hydrated and take breaks from smoking if you are hanging out with a group of individuals passing around several joints. There is always time to get even higher, but the high itself tends to stick around for quite some time.