A Stoner’s Guide to Weed Tourism in Denver
What to see and do in Denver if you love weed and 420 culture
One of my favorite fake holidays, 4/20 is tomorrow, and there’s likely no better place to spend it than in the stoner capital of the U.S.—Denver, Colo. In 2012, Colorado was among the first U.S. states to legalize recreational weed. In the years following, the Centennial State has become one of the world’s most robust cannabis tourism markets.
My friend LJ Roxas and I are big fans of cannabis and travel, so we decided to spend a long weekend exploring Denver dopest tours, weed-fueled excursions, dispensaries and cannabis-related sights while getting really, really stoned.
“Cannabis tourism has been a competitive advantage,” said Danny Schaefer, the CEO of Pioneer Industries and My 420 Tours, one of the first weed tour operators in the U.S. “For the last five to six years, Colorado has been on record-breaking highs for travel and tourism. And I think cannabis has contributed a huge part of that. Also it’s kind of let out the secret about how amazing a place like colorado is in general.”
Our first stop on our weekend of weed was a 3½-hour Budz and Sudz excursion with My 420 Tours. This pub-crawl-meets-dispensary-tour includes a visit to a local grow facility where we see our favorite plant in various stages of cultivation.
“The focus of the Budz and Sudz tour is not on getting intoxicated but on the connoisseur, tasting side of things that makes it a special experience. And one of the main things that Colorado is known for now is not only cannabis but our microbrewery scene,” said Schaefer. “The tour is a really cool opportunity for guests to see and understand the association of hops to the cannabis plant and get to sample and dabble in both industries.”
The highlight for us was visiting Brewability Lab, a microbrewery founded by a special needs teacher who employs and trains adults with developmental disabilities. We loved hanging with the staff and sampling their different brews such as Brewability’s coffee porter that’s served with Nutella-and-coconut-shavings. The tour starts at $79 per person and is offered at 2 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Next on our list: Loopr, a mobile cannabis lounge that knows how to party. Due to stringent cannabis consumption laws, there are few places where Denver visitors can blaze in public. Luckily, Loopr is one of them.
“Onboard, you can meet people from all over the world,” said Hal Taback, co-Founder of Loopr. “Once you are legally onboard a consumption bus where we have authority from the State of Colorado, Department of Transportation as well as a public utilities commission to pull up and park outside of dispensaries anywhere around downtown Denver, picking up and dropping off guests and letting them smoke marijuana responsibly.”
Loopr offers themed tours (starting at $35 per person) as well as a downtown transit loop with nine stops, including dispensaries, popular restaurants and bars. All you have to do is download the app, make a reservation and hop onboard.
You never know who or what you’ll run into on Loopr, but ut you’re guaranteed to have a good time and make some chill new friends. You might even find yourself in the middle of a hip hop performance or trying dabs for the first time with one of Loopr’s custom rigs.
After an afternoon on the Loopr bus, you can bet we had the munchies. Soooooo, we headed to Cluster Studios for a sushi and joint rolling class with My 420 Tours. There, an executive chef taught us how to make salmon, tuna, crab and vegetable rolls. The class included two grams of cannabis for joint-rolling (to be picked up at a partnering dispensary before class) and instruction from a joint-rolling expert. Our group didn’t seem to need any instruction on the joint-smoking part though. Classes start at $79 per person and take place Thursday through Saturday nights.
On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, where else would we head but the International Church of Cannabis? The Church of Cannabis is covered in psychedelic murals created by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel and legendary American painter Kenny Scharf. The church is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays and to members for its Friday night services. Membership to the Church of Cannabis is free, and once you join, you’ll be known in the community as an Elevationist.
“Elevationism is the belief that a ritual use of cannabis can be used to elevate your life, which means to achieve a higher level of spiritual personal goals and also hopefully also achieve those goals within your community,” said Lee Molloy, co-founding member of the International Church of Cannabis.
LJ and I had a blast hanging at the church with Lee, but had to head to the airport eventually. Naturally, we took 420-friendly transportation all the way there. High End Transportation is a minority- and female-owned cannabis transportation company that puts customer service first. Our driver went out of her way to run an errand for us and always had a beautiful pre-rolled joint—along with a bag of snacks and drinks—ready to go in the back seat. Her attention to detail was so impeccable that she even had SiriusXM tuned to our favorite station upon pickup.
Our weed weekend in Denver was epic, and I look forward to going back to try all the themed activities we missed—from weed yoga and a marijuana concentrates workshop to a cannabis-inspired art class. It’s 4/20 tomorrow, so in the words of Major Lazer, “Light it up!”