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The Beginner’s Guide to Legal Marijuana in Colorado

Posted on December 17, 2021 by Allen Brown

If you’re planning a winter escape to the Rockies, you may be in for more than just a ski trip and gorgeous mountain views. This could be old news to you, but as of 2012, the state of Colorado legalized the possession of marijuana for recreational use. That means that you’ll find dispensaries open to more than just people with a medical marijuana card. Even if you’re just visiting, you can stop in and purchase a stash for your trip! 

This may be a little intimidating for first-time smokers (especially those from out of state), so we’ve put together a quick and easy beginner’s guide to legal marijuana in Colorado. 

Colorado state law is pretty clear when it comes to the age limit for marijuana use. Like many other states where weed is legal for recreational purposes, you have to be over 21 in order to purchase and consume any high-THC cannabis products. 

It’s strictly illegal to purchase marijuana for anyone under the legal age limit, and if you’re not 21 yet, you may want to re-think your travel plans if they were based around the possibility of smoking legal weed. 

2. You can purchase weed from a dispensary 

Fortunately for us travelers, Colorado law makes no distinction between residents and non-residents when it comes to purchasing marijuana from a dispensary. All you’ll need is a valid, government-issued ID showing your age or birthdate, and it’s off to the races.

When you walk in the door, you’ll likely have to show your ID, and then you’ll be greeted by a budtender -someone who acts as a bartender, but for weed. Budtenders are usually experts who can help you find a product to make your smoking experience as good as it can possibly be. 

You’re usually allowed to visually inspect and smell the cannabis flower prior to purchasing, but for health and safety reasons, you won’t be able to physically touch it. No worries though -you can trust your budtender! Just make sure you bring cash, as most places won’t accept credit or debit cards. 

If you’re planning a trip to Colorado, make sure you check out on Veriheal to find a dispensary nearby!

3. You can’t smoke just anywhere

A minor roadblock that many Colorado tourists run into is finding a place to smoke. Imagine traveling across the country, getting settled in a hotel room, and then shopping around for weed only to discover that smoking in public is illegal! 

It may sound exciting to hit a bong before hitting the ski slopes, but it’s against the law (and extremely dangerous). While smoking pot in public is technically a petty offense to , carrying a meager $100 fine with it, simply being in possession of marijuana on federal land (like parks) could cost you up to $5000 in fines. 

So it’s best to keep your pot-smoking limited to designated smoking areas, which you’ll often find attached to marijuana dispensaries. If you’re really having trouble finding a place to smoke, check with your host to see if they’ll allow it on their property, but don’t get your hopes too high -private property owners reserve the right to restrict the use of marijuana on the premises. 

4. Traveling with marijuana can be tricky

You’ve probably heard the saying, “don’t drink and drive.” In the state of Colorado, this applies to marijuana as well. Driving under the influence of any amount of marijuana is not only dangerous to yourself and others, but it carries with it plenty of legal ramifications. 

If you simply need to transport your marijuana from one place to another, it’s best to keep it in the trunk, and sealed in the original packaging if possible. This way, if you get pulled over, the police officer will at least be able to see that you’re just transporting your goods! 

5. Possession “limits”

In Colorado, any single person is allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis flower, or 8 grams of cannabis-concentrate. If you’re new to the world of weed, trust us when we say that’s way more than you’re going to need on your vacation!


Colorado is a beautiful destination for hikers and skiers alike. If you’re a cannabis enthusiast looking to enjoy the freedom Colorado provides, make sure you follow these five tips, and you’ll be safely and legally sparking up with no problem at all! 

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