Legal marijuana is abundant, cheap, and easy to find in Colorado. Voters there legalized the drug for recreational use in 2012, as did those in Washington (Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia joined them in 2014, with more states likely to follow this November).
But not all legal weed is made the same. Nor are all the places that sell it. Colorado is famed for its many great pot shops; here are the five best, in no particular order.
Native Roots Apothecary
With 16 outlets statewide, all licensed to sell weed for recreation, medicine, or both, Native Roots is so well known among Coloradans that the owners offered to buy naming rights for Mile High Stadium in Denver. Though locally owned, these shops are the closest thing the state has to a true chain operation.
Native Roots grows and sells some of the most high-profile marijuana in the business, including a strain branded in the image of Snoop Dogg. Just as important, the prices are reasonable across the board.
The selection isn’t great at any of Pure’s three Denver dispensaries, but the quality and prices are unbeatable. The folks here tinker with their own strains, producing potent originals that rank among the city’s best.
But make sure you have everything you want when you head for the cash register: Pure imposes a one-purchase-a-day limit on customers, regardless of how much they spend – so if you forget something, you’ll have to find it somewhere else. And you’ll probably have to pay more for it there.
This popular pot shop in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood has a simple mission: to “make available safe and friendly access to a naturally grown supply of dank nuggs and flowers.” If word of mouth is any guide, the people here follow through on that promise.
The staff at DANK are accessible and know what they’re talking about, so it’s a good place to buy your weed and ask those pressing cannabis questions. Every strain comes with information about its origins, aroma, and other details, and the more you know, the better.
The Giving Tree of Denver
Every store has its niche. At the Giving Tree of Denver, marijuana-infused food is the specialty, with the largest edibles collection in Denver. There’s also potent shatter, popular strains, vape cartridges, tinctures, lotions, transdermal patches, and just about every other cannabis delivery system known to man.
The good folks at the Giving Tree have a social conscience, too. They offer a 10 percent discount on every purchase for veterans, students, people who work in the marijuana industry, and patients with cancer or HIV/AIDS.
With six locations in the Denver area, Starbuds is another chain-in-the-making. The name says it all: These guys aspire to greatness.
They have some help in the fact that their business is one of the few in Colorado that is fully independent and self-sufficient from top to bottom. That means Starbuds can legally grow the weed they sell, and that improves the reliability of the stock as it makes its way from farm to bowl.
Have you visited any of these shops? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.