Denver as Marijuana Mecca on 4/20

Denver mecca and pending applications

April 20 is a holiday for marijuana enthusiasts because the number 420 is inextricably linked to the marijuana subculture, with most people having no idea why. Regardless of the reason, 420, April 20 and the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado have turned Denver into a mecca for marijuana-related media and entertainment. Rappers, comedians and a marijuana championship will all occur over the weekend up to April 20 in Denver.

It seems no publication has had more to do with injecting the 420 meme into the stoner culture than High Times. It’s fitting that High Times organizes the Super Bowl of weed. The 2015 High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup will be held on Saturday, April 20, right off I-25 just north of I-70, at the Denver Mart, and it will feature panel discussions and a screening of Super Troopers with Broken Lizard. Also, the top strains of marijuana will be recognized. One-day passes start at $45.

A word of warning: pot pilgrims coming to Denver for 4/20 shouldn’t expect any free samples at the 2015 Cannabis Cup, or at any 4/20 function this year for that matter. The Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division sent out a memo reminding Colorado marijuana industry people who have been issued state licenses that since they sell in shops under tight regulations, they cannot give away free samples of marijuana, but citizens can.

As the Cannabist pointed out, the MED memo has changed the face of this year’s Cannabis Cup, compared to the free sample free-for-all from 2014. MED and the Adams County Sheriff will have agents on hand enforcing state laws. Still, there will be marijuana and marijuana use at the Cannabis Cup. Attendees are allowed to bring up to an ounce to share (for free) with everyone in attendance, just so long as they aren’t MED badge holders.

Even though free samples are verboten at the events around town, travelers to Colorado will find there is plenty of marijuana in the centennial state to enjoy. It’s pretty easy for anyone with a valid state-issued ID showing an age of 21 or greater to walk into a shop and buy weed. As further incentive, many shops are offering deals for 4/20.

The Grass Station is overstaffing its location to alleviate the pressure of long lines expected during this special time of year for marijuana users. The Denver 4/20 celebration in 2014 saw an estimated 80,000 revelers in the city overwhelm some dispensaries. The Grass Station CEO Ryan Fox said they expect even more people in Denver this year. The Grass Station is located right near the junction of Interstates 25 and 70, which is a prime place near both Downtown Denver and the aforementioned Cannabis Cup.

While The Grass Station is upping its manpower to save customers time, many other dispensaries have 4/20 deals in Denver to save customers money. Botanico has early bird deals between 9 and 11 am Monday through Saturday, and between 10 am and noon on Sunday. Wax and shatter go for $25 a gram, and live resin for $45 a gram for the early birds, but those products might be more of a “710” thing, as the cool kids say.

Anyone interested in an edibles experience can visit Denver Relief on Monday, April 20, for 10 percent off edibles. Denver Relief also has a daily deal where customers can buy five edibles or pre-rolled joints and get one free. For those looking to get some industry insight, Ean Seeb, co-founder of Denver Relief, will be speaking at Marijuana Investor Summit on April 21, which is an intangible deal for the aspiring cultivators.

For those not yet in the know, but soon to be after this 4/20 weekend, buying weed in Denver is not like buying coffee at Starbucks; many people imagine it that way. It’s more like the deli counter at the supermarket when customers take a number … that is, if the deli required an ID to see the cold cuts. There’s a lot of waiting and looking at products behind glass before the transaction takes place. And then there’s the exit bag. Don’t forget the exit bag.

Matt Berg is a writer from Northwest Denver. Matt writes on a range of topics including science, music, motorcycles, politics, sports and more. He is always looking for adventure and his next story to tell. Connect with Matt on Twitter: @tomjoad187.

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