America has led the world in the creation of cannabis culture, yet within the U.S., almost every state has evolved its own variation on cannabis attitudes, behaviors and trends. You might be abundantly familiar with weed slang and habits in Colorado, but if you take a trip to another corner of the U.S. with legal recreational bud, you will undoubtedly find yourself in a whole new world of sticky, green experiences — and for most cannabis connoisseurs, that is certainly a good thing.
Here are a few places to consider visiting over the next few years to broaden your budding worldview of weed.
Since the middle of the 20th century, California has been the cultural capital of cannabis. The West Coast has long been a haven for counterculture revolutions, and Californian cities largely ignored cannabis use for decades before ultimately legalizing the drug for recreational consumption. From the productive cultivation center of the Emerald Triangle in Northern California to the laid-back lifestyle of stoners in SoCal, California continues to hold cultural cachet, and a trip to any corner of the Golden State would provide some enlightening insight into the past, present and future of cannabis culture.
If you only have time for one California cannabis vacation, you should probably plan to visit the San Francisco Bay Area. The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in particular was the epicenter of counterculture in the 1960s and home to the country’s first-ever headshop. Today, you can find plenty of celebrations of cannabis culture around the city, and you can even stop to socialize in a legal cannabis lounge. Most Bay Area cities are somewhat lenient when it comes to public consumption, but you should exercise good judgement and avoid calling attention to your cannabis use in spaces with children.
When one thinks about cannabis culture, one rarely imagines the Midwest. However, Michigan was among the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, largely thanks to the large cosmopolitan populations in more progressive cities and towns in the southern part of the state — think: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, etc. In fact, Ann Arbor was the first town in the U.S. to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, allowing adults 18 and over to carry up to 2 ounces of cannabis and be subject to only a $5 fine.
You can travel around Michigan to different recreational marijuana dispensaries to get a feel for the different cultural environments of the state, but places like Detroit and Ann Arbor will have more cannabis-centered locations for you to visit. You can find a handful of social lounges where it is legal to consume with other cannabis connoisseurs, but you should probably avoid blatantly using weed in public, which is still generally frowned upon across the state.
Alaska’s nickname is the Last Frontier — for good reason. Despite being the largest state, Alaska is one of the least populated, meaning that a significant portion of the state is natural wilderness, and as such, there is a pervasive sense of rugged individualism that residents of Alaska maintain. Many Alaskans believe that the government has little role in the day-to-day doings of citizens, which extends to whether or not Alaskans enjoy some good bud in the safety and privacy of their own homes.
Though Alaska is considered a conservative state, Alaskans passed recreational marijuana regulations as early as 2014 — though there was a legal precedent for adults to consume in their homes as early as 1975. Today, you can visit a recreational dispensary in larger towns, like Juneau, Fairbanks and Ketchikan, before continuing on your Alaskan vacation. Technically, it is illegal to consume in public, but discreet use in secluded areas like dispersed camping in state parks likely won’t get you in trouble. However, you should be careful to avoid bringing cannabis onto federal territory, which includes national parkland, because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level.
If you can’t make it to one of the other states in this list, there are plenty of iconic places to visit just a short drive away. And as one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, Colorado has developed a wide array of unique cannabis locations and 420-friendly accommodations.
While Denver got its Mile High nickname from the city’s elevation instead of the residents’ love of cannabis, that doesn’t make it any less pot friendly. According to a Rocky Mountain PBS I-News report, Denver has more than three times as many dispensaries as Starbucks. So pick up your favorite strains or edibles in Denver or Boulder before heading up to the mountains to enjoy the many incredible trails and ski resorts. Catch a show at one of the state’s iconic music venues (Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Fox Theatre, Boulder Theater). Or drive south to tour the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. Speaking of springs, the state’s many natural hot springs are a relaxing, rejuvenating way to wrap up any Colorado road trip.
Want something a bit more cannabis-specific while enjoying your fresh bud? Book a cannabis tour, including airport pickup, concerts, Puff Pass & Paint classes, and more. Or try to schedule a tour of one of the many well-known cannabis brands that call Colorado home, including Baker Technologies, The Flower Collective, Leafbuyer, 1906, and more.
Full menu of THC and CBD available in North Boulder.
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Everywhere weed is enjoyed, a unique cannabis culture has evolved. Whether you journey around the United States to experience different American perspectives on marijuana or you venture abroad to places like the Middle East, South America, Africa and Europe to learn about their cannabis customs, you are sure to expand your weed worldview in a positive way.