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June 30, 2020

Best Places to Consume Cannabis in Colorado

Learn about some new opportunities that Colorado has to offer for consuming cannabis legally. Some are pretty unique!

Now that we’ve covered the worst places to consume cannabis, here are the places where it is welcome.

Cannabis Friendly Hotels & Cabins

For many visitors to Colorado who want to try cannabis, a cannabis-friendly hotel may be the best option for consuming cannabis legally. Since cannabis can be consumed on private property out of public view, it is up to hotels, cabin rental companies, and even private Airbnb owners to decide whether they want to allow cannabis consumption.

Be prepared to not be allowed to use an open flame inside though. Many cannabis friendly short-term rentals will not allow you to use a light to smoke flower or a torch to heat up a dab. Alternatively, you would likely still be able to use a vaporizer to inhale flower, or a vaporizer cartridge for a high-potency option. Electronic dab nails are also sometimes allowed since they do not use an open flame. Of course edibles are a discrete, odorless option as well.

Marijuana Consumption Businesses

Around Denver and Colorado Springs, there are a few marijuana consumption businesses open and operating for business currently. The state of Colorado also recently instituted a way for cannabis consumption and hospitality businesses to get licensed through the Marijuana Enforcement Division. However, it will still likely be a year or so until any MED-licensed consumption facilities open, due to the fact that they must have a local license as well, and Colorado municipalities are still debating on if and how to license these hospitality businesses.

Still, in Colorado Springs, which still only allows medical marijuana, there are a few cannabis consumption businesses open for business today. The most well known one is the Speakeasy Vape Lounge & Cannabis Club Dab Bar which has been operating since 2013. They offer different membership levels as it is a private club. One option is to get a one-day “trial membership” if you’re only in the Springs for one day. Another well known option is Studio A64, which has a phenomenal juice and smoothie bar downstairs with a cafe, and upstairs you can consume your own cannabis that you bring with you.

In Denver, there are not as many consumption businesses. That is because in 2016 the city instituted a social consumption business pilot program before the state was even licensing marijuana consumption businesses. The pilot program is infamous for having such strict zoning and location requirements that only 2 businesses have been able to find suitable locations. One is The Coffee Joint, which is the only one still in operation today.

The other location was on Broadway. First, it opened as “Vape and Play”, a cannabis consumption lounge and arcade, but it shut down after only a month of operation. Social consumption licenses in Denver cannot be transferred or sold so Vape and Play contracted out the license and the lease to Dean Ween’s Honey Pot Lounge. 

The lounge opened in the same location soon after, but also went out of business after only 2 months of being open. It was a cannabis friendly lounge and concert area, where the business’ namesake, the band Ween, including front man Dean Ween, would often perform live shows. The two businesses are currently trying to work out a deal to re-sign another contract to reopen after their first contract expired, and they were forced to close their doors.

Privately Owned Camping Sites

Another fun way to experience consuming cannabis is at a weed-friendly privately owned camping site. Camping in the summer is a quintessential Colorado pastime, and what better way to enhance your experience than by eating an edible or smoking a bubble blunt?

Since the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act prevents state-owned campsites from allowing people to light up on-site, and possession of cannabis on federal campgrounds is a no-go, many cannabis tourists turn to privately owned campgrounds across the state that are “420 friendly”. Campgrounds on private land can decide to permit marijuana possession and consumption in Colorado.

Many of these campsites provide multiple ranges of options when it comes to lodging and activities. CanyonSide Campground, an hour northwest of Ft. Collins boasts basic tent camping spots, RV camping with hookups, and even full furnished cabins. While there, you can hike, fly fish, go horseback riding, and even explore miles of ATV trails if you’re feeling adventurous.

Wilderness Bud and Breakfast, 20 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs, even has fully furnished tipis you can smoke and stay in. You can choose to join the “420” campfire and happy hour, go swimming, rock climbing, or even have lunch with a llama.

As you can see, there are many places to legally consume cannabis that are better than outdoors in public view or while partaking in risky activities. It may involve a little more planning ahead, but it is worth it to be sure you can fully enjoy your Colorado cannabis experience.

Written by Lindsay Aronson, Director of Licensing & Compliance for Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

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