Rocky Mountain High. For Real.Marijuana tourism is the newest way to take a vacation in Colorado.
What To Expect at a Vail Pot Shop
The Vail Valley offers an array of medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries. What can you expect when visiting a local dispensary? Let’s go inside one of our local dispensaries Roots RX to get an idea.
First of all there, is ALOT of security
You can’t just walk in, you will need to ring a buzzer at the dispensary, and you’ll definitely be asked to show photo ID, no matter your age. You can also expect camera surveillance as state law requires that dispensaries record who’s doing all the buying and selling. Dispensaries are often cash-only businesses so they usually put extra security measures in place. Which brings us to the next point.
Pay with Cash
Few dispensaries will accept any form of payment other than cash. Because of the discrepancies between state and federal marijuana laws, banking for marijuana-related business owners can be limited. Recognizing this, some dispensaries conveniently house an ATM. Otherwise, bring your cash, not your card.
Take your time
Buying Marijuana at a dispensary is not just simply saying you want some weed.
You will be presented with a menu (like a restaurant) with dozens of marijuana strains to choose from, available in loose form (with names ranging from “Ghost Train Haze” to “Oaktown Crippler”), along with edible products (cookies, candies, you name it). And that’s on top of yet other products, including concentrates in wax or “shatter” form (shatter is the “purest and most potent” form, according to High Times). Frankly, it can be overwhelming for first-timers so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. The person behind the counter is there to help you.
Speaking of the person behind the counter
That person is know as a “Budtender,” like a bartender who serves buds. And the professionals behind the counter are highly informed and trained to answer your questions to guide you through the the selection process.
It may be legal but it ain’t free
At a recreational (as opposed to medical) dispensary, marijuana in loose form will run about $18 for one-sixteenth of an ounce — the smallest amount that the store sells — and that’s before about 20% in state and local taxes. Still, cheapskates can find deals by cost-comparing from dispensary to dispensary. And some dispensaries even offer coupon savings.
And of course, souvenirs…
Dispensaries sell more than pot. They also sell pot paraphernalia, and if your not ready to make a marijuana purchase you can always just buy the dispensary’s T-shirt as a souvenir.
There are a huge number of reputable dispensaries in the Vail area. Visit our complete directory of dispensaries.
Things to Know About Marijuana in Colorado
- Colorado has legalized both Medical and Recreational Marijuana. Colorado began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana in 2014 to anyone age 21 or older.
- Only licensed retail marijuana stores may sell retail marijuana, and only to those 21 and older.
- Anyone over the legal age can buy marijuana like alcohol without any special license. Cannabis purchase is limited to an ounce for Colorado residents while visitors from outside the state can buy up to a quarter ounce.
- Buyers of medical pot won't face the additional taxes that recreational pot purchases entail, but medical marijuana requires a state red card, which can only be obtained by Colorado residents with a recommendation from a doctor.
- Marijuana may not be consumed openly or publicly. You cannot smoke pot in public and, in fact, can't even smoke in the pot shop or other establishments governed by the state's Clean Indoor Air Act. You are only allowed to smoke on private properties, with the owner's permission.
- You must be 21 and older to buy, possess or use retail marijuana. It is illegal to give or sell retail marijuana to minors.
- It is illegal to use or consume marijuana in a motor vehicle and it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. A motorist in Colorado can be ticketed for impaired driving if his or her blood shows more than 5 nanograms of active THC, the active constituent of marijuana. Marijuana may be carried in cars but it may not be in an open container and cannot cross state boundaries.
- You cannot take marijuana through airport security or travel out of state with it.
Keep in mind that marijuana laws are constantly evolving and changing please check with www.colorado.gov for the latest updates to marijuana laws.
If you’re taking advantage of legal marijuana during your visit, don’t drive! There are numerous alternatives to keep you – and others – safe on the roads.
Commission a Group Shuttle
Summit Express offers shuttle transportation for your group according to your activity schedule. If you want to guarantee safe, reliable transportation - on your timeline - for your Bachelor Party evening or afternoon river trip or pot shopping event, they can provide 14-passenger vans. Don't worry about a Designated Driver - you've already got one!
With the growing popularity of marijuana tourism in Colorado, a new service has sprung up: Marijuana Tours. Tours include transportation and include a visit to one or more dispensary with a variety of entertainment and activity provided along the way. From Vail, the closest one is the Brews, Booze & Bud Tour in Frisco, a half hour drive to the East. The trip is a three-and-half tour that includes visits to a local distillery, a local brewery and a dispensary. There are four tours a day, and it's sure to be an experience you find anywhere else.
Public Transportation: It’s WAAAAAAY Better Than a DUI
The Town of Vail, Town of Avon and Beaver Creek Resort all offer FREE transportation within their areas. It’s frequent, convenient and will save you the added expense and hassle of trying to figure out parking in these largely-pedestrian destinations. For aan added adventure, take the Riverfront Gondola from Avon to explore the dining and shopping of Beaver Creek (or VICE versa).
Eagle County runs ECO Transit, a very affordable bus service that covers the entire length of the valley. It’s affordable – and offers you the leisure to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery. You couldn’t even get a driving tour of a Rocky Mountain river valley this cheap!