The Toker’s Travel Guide to Denver, Colorado

Any cannabis consumer interested in 420-friendly travel will find that Denver is one of the most accommodating cities in the country. With Colorado in its fifth year of recreational weed, the capital city of Denver has become one of the most popular destinations for cannabis enthusiasts from all over the US.

Why Denver as a 420 Travel Destination?

Denver at sunset

In the past few years, the number of dispensaries where you can legally purchase recreational cannabis in Denver has exploded. Since 2014, the number of dispensaries in the Mile-High City has increased 400%. When recreational cannabis sales started in Colorado on January 1, 2014, the list of rec dispensaries was less than four pages long. Today this list is almost 13 pages long.

That whole, “there’s a pot shop on every corner” rumor? It’s true. Denver has twice as many dispensaries than Starbucks and is known to have the highest concentration of pot shops in the entire state. If you’re a cannabis consumer, being in Denver is a lot like being a kid in a candy shop. So. Much. Weed.

What’s the Average Price of Weed in Denver?

If you’re traveling from a state where recreational weed is still illegal and you’re buying it on the black market, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the price of weed in Denver is likely a lot less than what you’re paying back home. We’ve broken down the numbers so you know what to expect to pay when traveling to the state that started it all.

Keep in mind that most dispensaries in Denver have options when it comes to strain quality. You’ll typically pay top dollar for top quality strains (think Cannabis Cup and other award-winning strains), but there are usually options for bud that is still considered chronic that doesn’t cost as much. On average, here’s what you can expect to pay when buying weed in Denver.

  • Gram: One of the coolest things about buying a gram of weed is that it won’t cost you but ten bucks at most dispensaries, and it’s an awesome way to test out different strains. The average price for a gram of weed in Denver is right around $10.
  • Eighth:  You can find an eighth for as little as $19 at some dispensaries and as high as $60 at others depending on what strain you choose. The average price for an eighth of weed in Denver is right around $30.
  • Quarter: A quarter-ounce of weed in Denver can cost as little as $43 and as much as $90 depending on what dispensary you visit and the type of strain. The average price for a quarter in Denver is right around $50.
  • Half-Ounce: A half-ounce of weed in Denver can be bought for relatively cheap. Some dispensaries are selling half-ounces for as little as $66, while at others you might pay $160 or more. The average price of a half-ounce in Denver is right around $100.
  • One Ounce: In Denver (and the rest of Colorado), one-ounce is the legal limit you can purchase in one transaction. If you’re looking to purchase an entire ounce at once, you’ll find prices ranging anywhere from $125 to over $300 at some dispensaries. The average cost of once ounce in Denver is right around $200.

What are Pot Laws Like in Denver?

Yes, weed is very, very legal in Denver. But this doesn’t mean you can just walk down the street with a lit joint in hand. Public consumption is considered illegal and tourists who light up where they please are generally frowned upon. This is why knowing the laws before you go is vital. Please don’t be that guy that sparks a blunt at the park surrounded by a bunch of other people.

Can Tourists Smoke Weed in Denver?

Man smoking joint

Tourists, you are free to smoke weed in Denver. As long as you aren’t doing it in public…or in public where you’re going to get caught. You do not need to be a Colorado resident to consume cannabis in Denver, just 21 or older. 

Can You Bring Weed in the Airport?

Feel free to bring your weed to the airport. Just don’t try to get on the plane with it. Flying out of Denver with weed is prohibited, but there are plenty of places to toss it before you go through security.

If you feel you just can’t bring yourself to throw away your leftover stash, remember you run the risk of getting caught by TSA. If you do get caught, the most that will happen is they will toss your weed and possibly call the local police. If you don’t get caught, enjoy that piece of Colorado when you get home!

Where to Stay: Weed-Friendly Lodging in Denver

Marijuana tourism in Colorado is big business and hotel owners are well aware of it. On your trip to the Mile-High City, you’ll find plenty of place to stay that welcome weed with open arms. Whether or not you can smoke inside is completely up to the discretion of the hotel owners. That being said, there are plenty that cater to the cannabis consumer.

Your best bet for finding weed-friendly lodging in Denver is to visit My 420 Tours, where you’ll find a detailed list of hotels and other lodging accommodations in the Denver area that permit cannabis use.

Then there’s always the Adagio Bud & Breakfast, where weed rules and you’re encouraged to enjoy cannabis consumption in a warm, safe, and open social setting. At the Adagio you’ll be treated to a Wake & Bake Breakfast everyday from 8:30-10am and 420 Happy Hour everyday from 4:20-7:30pm for food and the freedom to freely consume whatever weed product you desire.   

Be Sure to Visit These Dispensaries When You’re in Denver

Lightshade

If you’re close to downtown Denver, you’ll find one of Lightshade’s eight awesome dispensaries at 745 E. 6th Ave. and conveniently close to all Denver has to offer. Why Lightshade? Because they’re that good. For one, they’ve got their customer service game down. Walk in to any location and you’re made to feel welcomed, whether its your first or 50th time visiting a recreational pot shop.

Visit Lightshade

Then, of course, is their product. Flower and concentrate are labeled to let you know what affects you can expect to experience. Want something that gets you going and offers some creative inspiration? Check out any of the strains they offer labeled “Inspire” or “Enliven.” Looking for a strain to mellow you out? Those labeled “Calm” or “Rest” should be perfect.

Lightshade makes it easy to get your legal weed on, in an environment that’s bright, clean, and completely welcoming. They were also voted “Best Dispensary for a Native” in the Westword 2018 reader’s choice awards. If it’s the best dispensary for locals, you know its got to be good.

L’Eagle

L’Eagle is no stranger to awards itself. In 2017, this Denver dispensary was named “Best Dispensary in Colorado” by Leafly. In 2018, they did it again, voted as “Best Dispensary in Colorado” by readers of the Cannabist. Reviews of L’Eagle are consistent with the awards they’ve received. This is one of the best you can find in Colorado. What makes L’Eagle stand out in an otherwise saturated market?

First, their budtenders are some of the best. Super friendly, helpful, and not one hint of the attitude you can (unfortunately) find at some other dispensaries in the area. Staff at L’Eagle is helpful and knowledgeable, with the patience to answer any and all questions you might have about purchasing weed in a dispensary.

L’Eagle cultivates almost all the product they sell and specializes in certified organic and sustainable agriculture. If organic weed grown without pesticides is your thing, L’Eagle is definitely a dispensary to check out while you’re in Denver. They’ve got a great selection of flower, concentrates, and edibles, as well as clones for sale if you’re looking to take home a “souvenir” from your trip to the Mile-High City. If you enjoy high-quality cannabis, killer customer service, and support small businesses, stop by L’Eagle and see how a dispensary is done right.

Native Roots

As the largest dispensary chain in Colorado, Native Roots could be considered “corporate cannabis.” In the past almost decade, they’ve grown to become one of the most respected (and profitable) dispensaries that exist. With 20 stores (and more to come), Native Roots has their legal ganja game down.

Step into any Native Roots store (you’ll find 10 in Denver) and you’re immediately hit with their chill vibe and unforgettable black and white themed décor. The people behind Native Roots have created an atmosphere that keeps customers coming back. If you’re visiting Denver, hitting up the downtown Native Roots location is convenient and definitely won’t disappoint.

Their selection of flower, concentrates, and edibles is awesome, and the plastic, odor-free bag your stash comes in is one you’re going to want to use again and again. Budtenders have been trained to provide you with awesome customer service and answer any and all questions you have. They’re one of the best in Colorado, and a must-stop for cannabis consumers checking out Denver’s legal weed scene.

What’s the Denver Dispensary Culture Like?

If you’re from a state without recreational laws or you’ve never legally bought weed in a dispensary before, it can all seem a little surreal and a lot intimidating. Here’s the thing, though. In Denver, no one thinks twice about it. Weed’s legal. No biggie.

For the most part, the atmosphere and culture at dispensaries throughout Denver is super chill. Budtenders understand that not everyone that walks through the front doors is used to buying weed in a store and are generally extremely helpful and understanding of their customer’s needs.

Is there really anything cooler than legal pot sold in a store? Not really, especially if you’ve been buying on the black market your whole life.People who work at dispensaries in Denver understand this. That cool extends itself into Denver’s entire dispensary culture. Just a bunch of stoned, happy peeps selling legal weed to other stoners.

Fun Things to Do in Denver When You’re High

Check out the 16th Street Mall

The 16th Street Mall is an outdoor mall that runs 1.25 miles long in downtown Denver. Think more than 50 restaurants to feed those munchies, a movie theater that serves booze, over 300 retail shops, street performers, and some of the best people watching you can imagine. While you’re there, hit up the Cheba Hut, a restaurant that serves up sandwiches (and more) with names like “White Widow”, “Cali Mist”, and “Silver Haze.”

Explore the Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanical GardensDo yourself a favor and get baked and stroll through the Denver Botanic Gardens. Situated on 24-acres, there are several gardens that are both internationally and locally inspired. The gardens offer a peaceful reprieve from the business in the city and is an awesome spot to enjoy in the company of Mary Jane. And while smoking weed in public is prohibited, you’re likely to find a sneaky stash spot to sneak a toke while you’re there.

Visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Expand your marijuana-fueled mind with a trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. With several exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater, you could get lost for hours learning about things you didn’t even know existed. The museum is conveniently located in City Park, making it easy to go chill by Ferril Lake when you’re finished…which by the way, is a great spot to sit and smoke.

Elitch Gardens

If you’re into amusement parks, getting high and going to Elitch Gardens is a must. It’s uniquely located downtown and open May-December. With both an amusement park and a water park, Elitch’s offers hours and hours of fun-filled adventure on your next trip to Denver. Ever been on a roller coaster when you’re high? Exactly.

See a Show at Red Rocks

If you happen to be in Denver at a time when an artist or band you like is playing at Red Rocks, seeing them at this world-famous venue is a must. Red Rocks is located about 20 minutes west of Denver and is a natural outdoor amphitheater that has hosted some of the biggest names in music since it was established in 1906. If you only end up doing one thing you do when you’re high in Denver, let it be seeing a show at Red Rocks.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

You’re in Colorado, people. Let yourself get out and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. While Denver is obviously a major city, there are plenty of outdoor spaces and trails that can still be enjoyed. Rocky Mountain National Park is only a 1.5-hour drive from Denver and is straight awe-inspiring. If you can’t make it out of the city, Denver has more than 80 miles of walking trails for you to get out and enjoy.

The Toker’s Travel Guide to Denver, Colorado was last modified: by
Jen Keehn

About the author: Jen Keehn is a Colorado-based writer focused on inspiring others to live their best lives. She writes regularly about recreational and medical cannabis, holistic health, addiction, and psychedelic therapy.