Although Colorado may be the most cannabis-friendly state in the nation, try lighting up in front of the state capitol and you might find out the hard way that you can’t smoke everywhere. Regardless of where you like to do your toking, there are still some places you can definitely get into hot water by consuming publicly.
Check out this list of 6 places you still can’t smoke marijuana in the Centennial State:
Although you can legally purchase anything and everything under the sun related to cannabis, you still can’t smoke in-store. This might come to a surprise to many of you whom have yet to visit an actual dispensary. According to my friend Dan (whom has never touched a joint in his life): “Aren’t dispensaries just a place to hang out and smoke marijuana all day?”
No Dan. You’re thinking of my house.
2. Personal Vehicles
The only puff-puff-passing you should be doing in your car is getting around slow out-of-state drivers hogging up the left lane. Toking up in your car is still a big no-no and getting caught could land you that three-lettered acronym nobody wants: DUI.
Your safest course of action is to wait to partake until you get home or somewhere private. After all, it would definitely suck to have to walk 10 miles to the dispensary because you lost your license.
This one has a huge gray area surrounding the use of marijuana in public spaces because in some cases it is tolerated (like concerts at the gorgeous Red Rocks Amphitheater), but in others (like your kid’s playground) you will definitely get the cops called. Public consumption is banned and citations are imminent if you feel like pushing your luck on this one.
4. Ski Slopes
Despite the aroma of dead skunks saturating the lift lines at ski resorts like Breckenridge and Vail, smoking on federal land (which most of the resorts are considered) could stick you with a hefty fine and up to 6 months in jail.
5. National Parks
You might think that nothing pairs better with visiting jaw-dropping national treasures like Colorado National Monument or Garden of the Gods than a sensory-enhancing sativa or three, and I’d definitely have to agree with you. However, if you act upon your dank desires in the park, there are plenty of officers and concerned visitors ready to put an abrasive end to your sight-seeing smoke sesh.
Many hotels in Colorado have outright banned the use of marijuana in their facilities and will fine the crap out of you if you get caught, even if the room has a “private” balcony. However, word of mouth says that some hotels are okay with it but unless you know for sure, don’t expect to hot-box your room like it’s a one-man Cypress Hill concert.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado for 19 months now, and since that time, vendors have worked extremely hard to remain compliant with all state laws. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is the state agency responsible for performing compliance checks at the various shops in Colorado. Since the legalization of recreational cannabis in January 2014, the MED has performed nearly 130 underage compliance checks.
Following seven recent checks in the town of Aspen, the agency has confirmed that two citations were issued after two separate shops illegally sold marijuana to minors who were sent into the shops by the MED. These are the first citations issued in Colorado.
Authorities did not give the names of the stores where the infractions occurred, but one business has spoken out, confirming that one of the violations occurred in their Aspen location. Dave Cuesta handles compliance issues for Native Roots, and he commented:
“Needless to say, we’re extremely remorseful. We’ve been through several sting operations and this is the first time our employees have sold to undercover agents.”
Josh Ginsberg, Native Roots CEO, also responded to the incident:
“Native Roots holds itself to the highest standards, and as a company we’ve put measures in place to ensure the highest standards are met.”
Ginsberg confirmed that both the employee and the store manager have been fired. There are also plans to take action company-wide to ensure that all who are employed by Native Roots have proper training in order to avoid any future problems.
Recreational marijuana vendors are required to check identification and are only permitted to sell products to customers over the age of 21. In contrast, medicinal stores can sell to patients who are under 21 if they have certain medical conditions and are registered with the state. Businesses who are found in violation of these rules may face a fine of $100,000 and can even have their licenses revoked or suspended.
Despite the news of the recent citations, Colorado has done remarkably well in preventing the sale of cannabis to minors. Compared to other locations, such as Washington state, where recreational marijuana was legalized at the same time, the violations have been few in number.
photo credit: Drug Policy Alliance
This weekend, November 14-16, all rooms in the Sky Hotel in Aspen, Colorado will be occupied by cannabis industry professionals and enthusiasts for the exclusive, Cannabis Grand Cru event. This is the first of what is sure to become an annual treat.
Colorado laws require that marijuana events may not be open to the public. This means that attendance must be by invitation only. Does this mean that you must receive a formal invitation in the mail in order to attend? No. To get around this, one must go the the Cannabis Grand Cru website, and sign up for a free membership. Once this is done, an invitation to purchase even tickets will be emailed.
This educational, networking event is being sponsored by Wellspring Collective Dispensary of Denver, Culture Magazine, Y5Rx, and Aspen’s own, Silverpeak Apothecary. Friday night opens with a networking event for attendees. Then, bright and early Saturday morning, attendees will be greeted with an optional yoga class before the day continues with thirteen different educational sessions for attendees to choose from. Session titles include, “Brand Building and Evolution of Cannabis Brands,” “Cannabis Genetics,” “Cannabis Business Logistics and Financials,” and “Cannabis Culture Shift.”
But wait! There’s more. There will also be a “Cooking with Cannabis and Edibles” demonstration that promises NO actual marijuana edibles will be used or given to attendees for safety reasons. Throughout the weekend, there are also, more than twenty different people scheduled to speak, including the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, Mason Tvert.
There is one thing, however, that will not be permitted at the cannabis event- smoking cannabis. Event organizers were under the impression that because the entire hotel was reserved for the private event, smoking would be permitted outside on hotel property. The Sky Hotel manager was even on board with this, as long as smoking remains outside because all rooms in the hotel are non-smoking. Event organizers had difficulty reaching city officials to clarify whether allowing adults to smoke marijuana at the event would violate any city codes, and the event had already been scheduled by the time they received the bad news.
Members of the Whaxy team will be in attendance this weekend, so be sure to keep an eye out for event details next week.
photo credit: Sky Hotel