There are many reasons why people flock to the city of Denver, from enjoying the sights and sounds of the historic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater to shopping and people-watching at the 16th Street Mall.
But the attraction our city has become best known for isn’t a physical place at all: it’s marijuana. Colorado became one of the first to legalize recreational use in 2012.
Many tourists and first-time visitors aren’t familiar with the local regulations. If you’re visiting a Denver dispensary for the first time, it’s important to know the laws about purchasing, possessing, and consuming adult-use cannabis. Enjoy it safely and legally in this amazing city we call home.
Here are six things tourists might not know about recreational cannabis in Denver. For more information on the local regulations, visit the marijuana FAQ page at Denvergov.org.
Adults who are at least 21 years old can buy adult-use marijuana in Colorado, but that doesn’t mean you have access to unlimited products.
Legally, you can buy up to one ounce of flower a day, or up to 8 grams of concentrates. Or you can buy products (such as edibles) amounting to a maximum of 800mg of THC in a single transaction. Most dispensaries only allow customers to shop once per day.
At Local Product, however, we allow customers to shop more than once per day. You just need to have your receipt that shows you haven’t already purchased your daily legal limit.
While you can only buy one ounce of cannabis at a time, if you’re 21 or older, you can legally possess up to two ounces.
Once you’ve purchased recreational cannabis in Denver, it’s important to know where you can and can’t legally consume it.
Marijuana use is permitted in private homes, as long as the homeowners are OK with it. If you’re renting a vacation property, as many tourists do, make sure it’s 420-friendly. Consumption is also permitted at licensed marijuana hospitality businesses.
Where can you not legally consume cannabis? In general, avoid all public spaces. Consumption is only allowed on private property, as long as that property allows it.
Not only can you not use cannabis in public — you can’t show it off, either. In other words, the products you’ve purchased technically shouldn’t be visible to others while you’re touring Denver, sightseeing and walking the city streets.
Once you’ve left a Denver marijuana dispensary, we recommend keeping products stored in your shopping bag or purse until you reach a location where you can safely (and legally) consume them.
Dispensaries seal their products for freshness, but there’s another reason too. Just like with alcohol, it’s illegal to drive with an open container of cannabis in your vehicle. Keep everything sealed and wrapped until you’re at a location where you can use it, like a private residence.
Similar to alcohol, it’s against the law to drive under the influence of marijuana. And of course, it’s unsafe!
The legal limit for cannabis is technically 5 nanograms or less of THC per milliliter of blood. If you’re wondering how to measure that, your guess is as good as ours. For that reason, there’s no “breathalyzer” for marijuana, and you could be arrested based on an officer’s observations.
If you live in a nearby state, it might seem tempting to cross the border, visit a Colorado dispensary, and return home with your purchases. Nut if you’re caught, you risk being arrested.
That also counts for bordering states where recreational marijuana is legal, like New Mexico. Cannabis hasn’t been legalized on the federal level, and state borders and interstate highways fall under federal jurisdiction. So if you have leftover products when you’re about to head home, make sure you consume them (responsibly, of course) or dispose of them before you leave Colorado.
We welcome folks from out of town and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Take it from Alex Gamble, who visited our dispensary as part of a tour:
“This was my first time in Denver and local product was my first stop for a dispensary tour. Their selection was outstanding and the staff was extremely helpful. I felt as if they took care of us extremely well and they made us want to come back asap.”
Get in touch or visit our dispensary and chat with us at 419 W. 13th Ave. in Denver.