Some Basics About the Winter Weed Wonderland That Is Colorado

12.30.13 Bucky Turco

The future is now. Beginning January 1, some of the most upstanding brands of weed can be legally purchased in the state of Colorado for recreational use. There are official laws you HAVE to follow and some etiquette tips you SHOULD follow, but for the most part it will soon be as easy as buying beer. Here are some ground rules.

Age: Anyone–regardless of country or creed–who is 21-years or older with a valid ID, will be able to buy cannabis with absurdly ridiculous names at licensed dispensaries. There will be about a dozen open in Denver on New Year’s Day with nearly a hundred others across the state waiting for the green light. The following locations will be opening their doors for business in a little over 48 hours: The Health Center, Dank Colorado, Dixie Elixirs, Strainwise, 3D Cannabis Center, and Medicine Man.

Limit: Colorado residents can purchase up to an ounce or 28 grams ($200) at a time and out-of-towners are limited to a quarter or 7 grams ($60). Sweet deal. That’s way cheaper than Amsterdam or medical weed dispensaries in California. (Due to the small amount of stores opening New Year’s Day, there could be a shortage. Don’t panic. More is on the way.)

Private smoking: Unlike Amsterdam, you won’t be able to sit back in a relaxing coffee shop in Denver and roll up a nice spliff and smoke it. But you will be able to order from a menu of options and ask questions about the type of high you’re looking for and for that you should be happy. Go home and smoke. It’s not like you drink a six-pack in your local bodega. Ironically, although public consumption will remain unlawful, many dispensaries will offer tours of their grow facilities, whereas most of the farms in Amsterdam are hidden, clandestine operations.

Edibles: When eating cannabis-infused treats, pace yourself. Don’t chow down a bunch of them and assume they’re not working. Edible weed products can facilitate a very potent high, so just be patient and smart about it. Same with the dabs and other concentrates.

The borderline: Don’t bring home the merchandise. For now, weed is legal in Colorado (and Washington), not the entire United States. So treat it like a novelty. Of course, sneaking a little back never hurt anyone, unless you get caught.

DIY: Residents of legal age with know how can grow up to six plants at home and a maximum of 12 plants per residence.

Snowboarding and skiing: Despite what pundits and government officials tell you, smoking some chronic while carving through fresh powder is one of the best feelings in the world. There’s a reason why some of the world’s best snowboarders smoke weed. Just keep it cool, because the kids! Small portable vaporizers are the tool of choice.

Feds aren’t feeling it: Keep in mind, weed is still illegal under federal law, so definitely don’t camp outside of the DEA’s Denver branch. A federal officer with the most liberal name ever said the agency’s position remains firm. “The DEA will continue as well always have to target large scale operations,” said Special Agent Michael Moore to ANIMAL. “We don’t target individual users. We maintain that marijuana is harmful and still illegal under federal law.”

When asked if agents would continue to raid dispensaries, he responded, “That’s all I have to comment.”