Legal pot: What you should know before coming to the Mile-High City



Smoking, eating, vaping — hell, even drinking — marijuana is totally within your rights in Colorado. But this cowboy state employs more than the code of the West when it comes to the industry and its users. Read over these basic rules, and our words of advice, before making your trip to Denver for the conference.

  1. Plan to visit a dispensary even you’re not interested in purchasing or partaking.

It’s a cultural novelty and a historical moment that’s worth seeing for yourself.

Some head shops are still medical-marijuana only (there’s a different licensing process), so make sure to look for recreational stores. You can use to find the nearest ones. Also, bring cash — at least $40 — and make sure to have your ID with you.

  1. "Blueberry Kush, Indica-3" by Dank Depot is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    “Blueberry Kush, Indica-3” by Dank Depot is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Ask your “budtender” (seriously, that’s their official name) questions.

They are there to assist you in your experience, inform you about rules and regulations and, of course, about the products. Most budtenders are highly trained and passionate about what they do.

  1. Almost everybody has a “too high” anecdote.

You don’t need another one, so don’t be that guy who makes the rookie mistake.

  1. "Amsterdam 420 cannabis products window" by nickolette is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    “Amsterdam 420 cannabis products window” by nickolette is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Possibly the beacon of everything that is great and wonderful about having a legal and highly regulated marijuana industry are the delightful little treats known as edibles. (Literally, they’re tasty.)

Producers have expanded their offerings from casual candies and cookies to beverages, mints and even trail mix. The recipes come from honed science, and the flavors themselves have evolved from something reminiscent of old wheat grass to, well, the weed-less version of whatever the snack is. Which takes us back to rule number three: Do not eat too much of the delicious thing you have just purchased. You will regret it later. I promise.

The statewide recommended dosage for edibles is 10 milligrams. Every item has its total milligram content clearly marked on its package, and items like candy bars or gummies are individualized into 5, 7.5, or 10 milligram pieces (its label will specify).

Editor’s note: While 10 mg is an absolutely safe amount, my own experience implores me to recommend you start with about half that (5 mg) and wait an hour or more before ingesting another piece. Everyone’s tolerance is different; how it will affect you depends on your metabolism, what you’ve eaten, how the altitude affects you, and likely countless other physiological factors.

Also remember: edibles take longer than smoking to produce a high — roughly one hour, and even up to two — and the effects can last up to four to six hours.

  1. Don’t smoke in public or anywhere that any kind of smoking is prohibited. (Including your hotel room.)
  1. Do not try to take anything home. Marijuana is still federally illegal, and airlines — which are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration — must abide by the higher law.

Have fun! And if you’d like more specifics on recreational marijuana use and laws, please visit this website.

Jerilyn ForsytheJerilyn Forsythe is a key member of 5280 magazine’s digital department, and an instrumental player in all of its digital functions and initiatives. In addition to the daily editing and publishing of articles, she also manages the magazine’s social media presence; helps maintain’s editorial calendar; authors service packages and features for 5280, its ancillary publications, and; oversees the digital production of both print and online-only stories; and hires and manages the digital-editorial department’s interns. She studied political science, justice studies, and African American studies at Arizona State University as an undergraduate, before earning her master’s degree in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Jerilyn is a native Phoenician who moved to Denver in the fall of 2012.