A new Denver 4/20 celebration appears!
While Colorado State Legislators debate if our state should allow cannabis tourism, two Denver entrepreneurs have started the nation’s first marijuana tourism company. My 420 Tours has so-far a signed up a hundred and sixty people who have paid to fly into Denver International Airport and be chauffeured to a cannabis-friendly hotel, watch hash-making demonstrations, visit dispensary-grow operations, and gain access to events such as the High Times Cannabis Cup and various musical concerts. There will plenty of legal sharing of fine Colorado-grown weed, but sales to anyone not a medical marijuana patient are still illegal, even though constitutional law in Colorado has made legal private use and possession of the drug.
Recreational sales of weed are many months away, as the Colorado Legislature discusses its options and vote rules into law. Colorado’s Amendment 64 legalized use and possession of up to an ounce of cannabis to anyone 21 years of age and above, regardless of whether they live in the state or not. Comments from leaders of Colorado’s 9 billion dollar per year tourism industry include “There’s way too much to see and do in Colorado to use marijuana tourism as a platform for marketing our state,” and “Colorado’s brand will be damaged, and we may attract fewer conventions and see a decline in leisure travel.” Before last November’s election, tourism officials condemned marijuana legislation and warned potential MJ tourists that use remains illegal under federal law. They believe Colorado’s image relies heavily on healthy, family-friendly outdoor activities, and according to Al White, director of the Colorado Tourism office “Legalized marijuana promotes just the opposite.”
We who voted this legislation into law have a different idea. We believe that allowing forthcoming out-of state tourists to shop in forthcoming recreational cannabis stores could mean an amount of business rivaling Colorado’s yearly multi-billion dollar ski industry. We believe that visitors to our state might flock here from all over the world to taste our stunning Colorado-grown strains, and MJ events such as World Cannabis Week are our version of wine-country tours. Companies such as My 420 Tours could set up programs in the future for government officials from other states to learn more about MJ regulations. I’d like to learn more about how the industry works and how I might fit in. Visits could be organized about medical marijuana for people who live in the 31 states who do not authorize the use of cannabis. Perhaps there is a future for Colorado to become a center for medical marijuana research. We as Colorado citizens have made opportunities possible with our vote, and will continue to do all in our power to promote this most sacred of plants.
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