The cannabis industry in Colorado is constantly changing, and that’s often challenging for new consumers. So, we decided to make things easy for you with this helpful guide, updated for 2021. 

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, visiting a legal Colorado dispensary for the first time can feel overwhelming! So what questions should you ask at a dispensary? How should you find the best dispensary in Denver for tourists?

Keep reading to learn the answers to questions like these (and more) directly from the mouths of our expert budtenders.

How do dispensaries work in Denver?

So now you know how Colorado dispensaries work, you might be wondering how to get weed in Denver during your visit.

The best policy is to find a dispensary that caters to tourists, go prepared with cash and your ID, and ask lots of questions. 

Pro tip: Lightshade’s Peoria location is just minutes from Denver International Airport (DIA). If you’re smart, you’ll plan a stop after landing to grab provisions for your trip. Click here for location details. 

Interior Waiting Area Shot of Lightshade Sheridan

What do I need to know before walking into a dispensary?

As long as you have your ID, medical cannabis card (to make medical cannabis purchases), and bank card (or cash), you’re all set. Tourists love visiting Colorado’s dispensaries, so budtenders are accustomed to interacting with out-of-towners, many of whom have little to no dispensary experience. 

Trust your budtender! They’re passionate cannabis experts who love to make product recommendations. We suggest you tell your Lightshade budtender your plans for the day (or week) and how you want to feel. They’ll take care of the rest. Come as you are, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

What do I need to bring to purchase cannabis from a Colorado dispensary?

Here’s what you need to know before your first Colorado dispensary experience. First, bring your state-issued ID, your good vibes, and possibly cash; banking is still challenging in our industry, and many dispensaries accept cash only (Lightshade accepts debit cards and cash). 

Can I use credit cards at Colorado dispensaries?

Right now, the answer is no, or at least, not yet.

Because cannabis is still federally illegal, most credit card companies will not process payments taken by dispensaries. So instead, you can get cash from onsite ATMs or use a debit card. But we anticipate that things will change soon.

Interior Shot of Lightshade Dayton

Do you need an ID to enter a dispensary?

Yes. You must present a valid state-issued photo ID to enter a Colorado dispensary. Dispensaries are no different than bars or liquor stores. You can’t order a drink without an ID, so why would it be any different in a dispensary? It’s not! 

So if you’re wondering, “can I go to a dispensary without identification? The answer is no. 

Still, every law has its nuisances! For example, 18+ Coloradoans with a valid medical cannabis card can legally purchase medical cannabis from a Colorado dispensary. 

Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • 18+ Coloradoans CAN purchase medical cannabis with a Colorado MMJ card. 
  • 21+ Coloradoans (and tourists) can legally purchase recreational cannabis in Colorado with a state-issued ID.

Why do they take your ID at dispensaries?

Dispensaries take your ID for the simple reason that they need to verify your age. Acceptable forms of ID for colorado dispensaries include:

    • A state-issued driver’s license
    • A passport book
    • A passport card 
    • Active military valid ID (with picture and birthdate)
    • Colorado Native-American Tribe Card
    • Colorado Temporary Driver’s License paperwork with voided Driver’s License

Why do Colorado dispensaries scan your ID?

People often ask if Colorado dispensaries scan customer IDs, and the answer is yes! Again, similar to your local watering hole serving cocktails to 21+ patrons, Colorado dispensaries scan IDs to verify their validity. After all, a Colorado dispensary can lose its license if it accepts a fake ID. 

Do dispensaries accept temporary paper IDs? It depends on the dispensary. But generally, if you have a secondary form of ID matching the name on the temporary ID at the dispensary, Colorado laws will allow the dispensary to admit you. Likewise, an expired license with the same name and information will do the trick.

Lightshade Sheridan Worker taking id from customer

Can I use my out-of-state license at Colorado Dispensary?

But can you use a passport at a dispensary? What if you want to visit a Colorado dispensary with your out-of-state ID? 

It’s no problem. Not only do dispensaries take passports, but they can also process valid driver’s licenses from any state in the US. So just like you can still use your ID at bars when traveling to another state, you can use your license at any dispensary in Colorado.

How much weed can I buy at dispensaries in Colorado?

For individuals making their first visit to a dispensary, Denver, Colorado, laws are different depending on the type of cannabis user you are. 

  • Medical cannabis patients: can purchase up to two ounces of cannabis per day. 
  • Recreational consumers: can purchase up to 28 grams (or 1 ounce) per day.

Do dispensaries keep track of how much you buy?

No. Colorado dispensaries cannot legally collect personal customer information. Your legal cannabis purchases are private. It’s between you and your budtender. 

Cannabis Flower in Glass Jars on Shelfs

How much does an ounce of weed cost in Denver? 

Now that you’re ready to buy let’s talk pricing. How much is an ounce of weed?

We crunched the numbers, and while the price varies considerably between dispensaries, the average cost for an ounce of cannabis in Denver is $150. 

But, of course, you can get cannabis for more or less than that, depending on what you’re looking for, so your best bet is to check in with your budtender and see what you can try within your budget. 

5 cannabis joints

Will the budtenders explain the difference between products & strains?

Yes! You should always turn to your budtender for expert purchasing advice. They’ll explain the differences between products and strains and help you find the perfect fit for your desired cannabis experience. 

Can I take photos inside the store?

Denver marijuana dispensaries have different policies, but most won’t let you take photos inside their stores.

It’s mostly a privacy issue. After all, would you want someone taking your photo on a cannabis shopping spree? So if you’re going to take a picture of just you and your friends, ask your friendly budtender. We bet they’ll be willing to accommodate you!

What’s the best Denver dispensary for tourists? 

There are so many marijuana dispensaries in Colorado that tourists can find it challenging to know where to start. Many places claim to be the best dispensary in Denver–but which holds the title? 

We might be biased, but we think that Lightshade’s vast selection, many locations, and friendly staff of budtenders make it the perfect dispensary for any first-time consumer. So visit us, and see if you agree!

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