Are you getting into cannabis for the first time? Are you returning to cannabis after a long hiatus? Are you a cannabis tourist traveling to Colorado? Here’s everything you need to know to have a great experience. 

Since 2012, Coloradans have enjoyed recreational cannabis legally without a qualifying medical condition (way to be a cultural trailblazer, Colorado!). 

Because of our early adoption, Colorado has gained a reputation for being an excellent place to (legally) indulge in the world of cannabis. With beautiful natural scenery, a famously laid-back vibe, and legal weed, it’s no wonder our state is a cannabis industry hub.  

But if you’re new to the world of legal cannabis, it can be hard to keep track of the rules and regulations regarding consumption in Colorado. 

Fortunately, Lightshade is here to help with our handy dandy guide to the rules of cannabis consumption in Colorado.

Where can I legally purchase cannabis in Colorado?

You can legally buy cannabis in Colorado from any of the state’s 500 plus retail stores, including one of Lightshade’s many accessible locations. 

We think we’re the best, but whatever location you decide to visit, ensure the state properly licenses them. Otherwise, the cannabis you purchase might actually be a sneaky alternative, like synthetic cannabis or salvia. And when it comes to cannabis, we think there’s nothing like the real deal.

How can I legally purchase cannabis in Colorado? 

Suppose you’re a Colorado native; good news! All adults living in Colorado can legally purchase up to 1 ounce (or 28.35 grams if you’re fancy) of cannabis at any licensed retail store in the state. Nonresidents are still welcome to purchase cannabis, but the limits are slightly lower. Visitors can buy just a quarter ounce (or 7.08 grams) at their licensed dispensary visit.

In both cases, you need to be at least 21 and have a valid government-issued ID to show at the dispensary—passports, driver’s licenses, and even, in a pinch, your birth certificate all count. In addition, you must consume the cannabis you purchase yourself – no gifts allowed! 

So how about paying for your cannabis purchase? While you used to be able to buy cannabis exclusively with cash, due to a complicated network of regulations on the federal level, most Colorado dispensaries will now allow you to use a debit card to pay for your purchase or withdraw the necessary cash from their onsite ATM. Just don’t try to put it on the AmEx–federal laws make it impossible for the major credit companies to handle cannabis transactions.

How do I legally consume cannabis in Colorado? 

You’ve got your legal cannabis–now comes the fun part. But how can you consume cannabis legally in Colorado? The answer is, it depends where you want to indulge. 

Public cannabis consumption, whether indoors or out, isn’t allowed. Since cannabis is still a controlled substance on a federal level, you’re also prohibited from consuming on federal land. But there’s good news–indulging in marijuana in any form, smoked, eaten, or vaped, is allowed on private property for any adult over age 21. So if you have a private place to enjoy that cannabis, go wild! 

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One thing to note is that property owners are allowed to decide whether or not they’re comfortable with cannabis consumption. So check your lease to make sure your landlord hasn’t explicitly prohibited cannabis if you don’t own your residence, with the same rule of thumb applying if you’re visiting a friend. 

Out of town visitors should check with their hotel or Airbnb host to make sure they’re comfortable with on-site cannabis consumption. If not, Colorado has a few private lounges and event spaces where visitors are invited to indulge in cannabis in a legal, social setting.

How do I consume cannabis in Colorado for the first time? 

You’ve got your cannabis, found the perfect place to unwind, and you’re ready to begin your legal cannabis journey. Congratulations! Let’s talk about the best way to consume legal cannabis for the first time.

For many Colorado residents and visitors, legalization takes a substance that used to feel out of reach and transforms it into a fun, accessible resource for unwinding with friends. If this is your first time, make sure to let your budtender know. They’ll suggest the perfect product for your experience level and desired outcome and help you manage your experience. 

As always, our advice is to start low and go slow, beginning with the smallest amount of cannabis and ramping up slowly as you get a better feel for your tolerance and what kind of cannabis experience you enjoy.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Lightshade welcomes you to the world of legal cannabis. Enjoy your exploration!