Marijuana is widely available in Colorado. There are certain cities and counties which do not allow the sale of cannabis products, but you will not have to go far to find places where you can fulfill your cannabis cravings. If you’ve never done it before, buying weed in Colorado can be intimidating. What do you get? How do you know what to ask? Will I look like a noob? Don’t worry, here are a few things to know about buying weed in Colorado.
There are two types of dispensaries for buying weed in Colorado: Recreational and Medical. Many companies have dual storefronts as Colorado laws demand a separation of medical marijuana products from recreational store products.
For recreational marijuana buying access is restricted to people over 21 years of age. If you possess a medical marijuana card you can start buying at 18 years old. For recreational marijuana, you just need your photo identification and your money and in the time it takes to get a coffee you can get an ounce from a dispensary.
By contrast, a medical marijuana card is not something you will just find on the street or come across by chance. It is a tool, available to those with medical conditions that must be obtained in steps. To obtain a medical marijuana card you must be a Colorado resident, visit a doctor, fill out the paperwork with the Colorado Department of Public Health, and wait for your approval. You will then receive approval in your email which you can print.
Then you only need your card and your cash and you are on your way to finding the best-priced weed this side of the Mississippi River.
Cannasaver has a page dedicated to this privileged segment of customers.
The difference between recreational and medical marijuana is not the buds or concentrates. It is largely a difference based on price and quantities.
Colorado taxes medical marijuana at a lower rate of just the standard state tax of 2.9% while recreational marijuana is taxed at 15% in addition to the standard state tax.
The other big difference between medical and recreational marijuana legalities is the amount you can possess. A medical card carrier can possess up to 2 ounces of buds and someone who shops recreationally is only allowed up to 1 ounce.
Cannasaver has a page dedicated to helping you find the best ounce deals. You can expect to pay a low of $39 for shake and up to $200 for top-shelf nuggets. Concentrates are also available to both medical and recreational customers. The same rules apply as with buds, medical cardholders can buy and possess more concentrates legally.
Dispensaries are heavily regulated and will let you know what your max carrying and purchase limits are for the day. Once you reach your limit for the day you cannot buy from the same place until the next day. Additionally, many places will only allow one visit per day even if you don’t max out your legal allotment. Plan wisely to avoid disappointment.
Edibles, concentrates, and flower buds are all factored into the maximum purchase per day at any certain dispensary. You could max out on one of these products or select a combination of products. Your budtender during your visit will give you the best advice.
Another legality regards the way in which you carry your goods. The law requires “sealed” packages while traveling in public with your weed. Some dispensaries will charge you a few bucks for special bags designed with fancy “childproof” locks. Other dispensaries will simply staple your bag shut and the requirement is met. It may be tempting to rip open your bag before driving home but be aware that this could invalidate the “seal”. In the event you are examined by law enforcement there could be the question about if the seal is broken.
Beware of traveling with open packages and be aware of heavy, “skunky” odors that could attract unwanted attention. In the state of Colorado, drug dogs are no longer used to detect marijuana and the smell of marijuana is not an automatic cause for the search of an automobile. Be sure that you are discrete when transporting from dispensaries to your private property to preserve your freedoms.
Consuming and driving is against the law. There are charges such as DUI for marijuana use when operating an automobile. If it is edibles or vapes or good old fashioned buds it is a requirement of the law that you do it on private property.
Although it might seem fun to get high while skiing or hiking be careful as this could be a violation of state and federal laws as many of our favorite outdoor places are considered public lands.
Unfortunately, federal law does not allow one to cross state lines with marijuana products. This also applies to flying through Denver International Airport. It is illegal, although due to the decriminalization in Colorado and the city limits of Denver extending to the airport, it is rare for arrests to occur based on possession of Marijuana. Depending on where you are going, if caught with cannabis, the local authority will determine what charges, if any, should be brought.
Another issue to be aware of is resale of marijuana is also against the law. Any sale of marijuana must be authorized by the state at a sanctioned dispensary. Not to worry about gifting your favorite stoner some buds though, as adults can still “gift” each other up to an ounce legally.
The moral of the story is that responsibility is required when dealing with the laws surrounding marijuana. Be careful, know your limits, and be responsible. There are numerous resources to explore to ensure you are aware of boundaries and laws such as CDOT’s website around drugged driving.
Another great resource to consider is the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environments resources on getting a medical card.
Some activist events that cannabis lovers should consider attending to further the cause of access and decriminalization is the annual 4/20 rally in Denver civic center park. Also, consider writing your senator and house representatives to remove marijuana from the DEA schedule one drug list.
End the war on cannabis and happy highs!