Just because weed is legal in Colorado doesn’t mean you can spark up a blunt on the steps of a police station and expect everything to be all good. Instead, you have to treat cannabis like liquor—and every 6 pack needs a proverbial paper bag. In response to witnessing countless rookie mistakes, and we mean everything from smoking in public to hot boxing the hotel room, we’ve put together this guide specifically for smokers who are traveling to Colorado for the first time.

One could say that we’re cultured in Colorado’s cannabis scene. We’ve been blazing in Colorado since long before Amendment 64 was even on the ballot, and we’ve watched the subsequent transformation that’s occurred since medical and recreational weed have become legalized.

We’ve noticed not only an increase in medical use but an influx of toking tourism: fellow smokers from places like Texas, Utah, and Iowa flock to the herbal oasis that is Colorado like refugees fleeing a natural disaster. But much like Augustus Gloop visiting the Wonka factory, many of these pot-seeking pilgrims overindulge, and end up — instead of drowning in a river of chocolate — comatose in hotel rooms, surrounded by half-eaten pizzas and virtually untouched bags of weed. That’s no way to enjoy Colorado’s sunshine.

Please—don’t be that guy. Instead, take a rolling paper out of our book, and follow these 5 tips to make your Colorado weedcation the best it can possibly be.

  1. Research the Dispensaries

    Just like you Yelp restaurants when you visit a new city, it’s worth researching dispensaries. We recommend using an app/site like WeedMaps or Leafly. Why? Well, different dispensaries have different growing protocols, which results in different calibers of product. Two dispensaries may have the exact same strain, but one may be markedly better because it was grown organically (as opposed to large-scale hydroponics). Our favorite dispensaries supply organic, soil-grown cannabis—that rules out some of the bigger growers that could give a shit about flavor and quality and instead focus on high-yield, high-THC crops. Ask yourself this: would you rather shop at Whole Foods or Costco for your medicine?

  2. Go for Variety

    Just because you can legally buy an ounce (we know, it’s very exciting) doesn’t mean that you should. If you’re going to host a beer tasting, would you rather buy a keg or an assortment of six packs? Part of the beauty of going to a dispensary is that you can pick and choose, mix and match. Instead of buying an eighth, start with a gram each of an indica, a sativa, and a hybrid. If you’ve been buying flower from “your guy” for your entire cannabis career, being able to talk to a professional budtender about things like flavor profile, THC vs. CBD content, and individual strain effects will be nothing short of mind-blowing. The phrase “weed is weed” is an idiotic fallacy chirped by pot smokers in bud-barren tundras like Texas. More accurate a phrase would be “weed is like wine,” because every smoker could use the advice of a bona fide strain sommelier. Our advice? Take your time at the dispensary, relish the process, and don’t overdo it at first—everything in moderation, including recreational pot. You can always go visit another dispensary down the line—in fact, we recommend it.

  3. Book 420-friendly lodging

    Ok—so you can’t just smoke anywhere. According to Colorado laws, you must be 21 to buy, possess, or use, and you must consume in private. That said, the last thing you want on your trip is to be paranoid. Not every hotel allows patrons to smoke, so be sure to do your research before booking. Staying at a homeowner-rented AirBnb is an option, but you can also look into staying in a Bud & Breakfast, which allows tourists a novel opportunity: to smoke openly with like-minded travelers in a fun, easygoing setting.

  4. Vape it or smoke it—don’t eat it!

    Rookie mistake number one? Diving straight into the edibles. With shelves upon shelves of tasty treats ranging from staples like brownies and cookies to more eccentric options like cannabis-infused sour patch kids and buffalo chicken wings, it’s no wonder why traveling stoners have been tempted into overconsumption. Edibles — aside from being delicious — make mismanaging dose size extremely easy, and they also last for a significantly longer duration (and with higher intensity). We recommend you start with a joint, a bowl, or a vaporizer. And if you do decide to go with an edible, start by nibbling a fraction of the recommended dose and waiting forty-five minutes to an hour (and be aware that it can take even longer to kick in). Most dispensaries place the standard edible doseat 10mg of THC, but we know even some regular smokers who prefer half of that.

  5. Use a Smoking Kit

    Just because weed is legal in Colorado doesn’t mean that stigmas have evaporated. If you don’t want people sending you winks and grins because you’re swathed in the overwhelming stank of dank, then we recommend you invest in a high quality smoking kit. The Black Rock Originals product line allows you to keep all of your smoking supplies in one place for convenient use throughout your weedcation. Hit the dispensaries, store your stash, and then take advantage of all that this beautiful state has to offer, from the ski slopes to the music scene—all while knowing that your cannabis and smoking accessories are protected by a true Colorado brand that true Colorado smokers trust.

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