Colorado's New Pot Paradise

Welcome to Telluride, the best little stoner town in America

colorado telluride smoking marijuana tourism

joint     Photo: Daniel D. Snyder

Starting in January, it’s legal to smoke marijuana recreationally in Colorado. You can buy it, carry it, admire its crystals, and use it in private without fear of getting busted by state or local authorities. (It’s technically still illegal under federal law, but the Justice Department has said it has little intention of getting involved.) In response, Centennial State entrepreneurs are launching weed-tourism businesses, from pot-farm tours to a toker-friendly airport-to-resort shuttle. Among mountain towns, tiny Telluride (pop. 2,300) is doing the most to welcome red-eyed skiers and snowboarders. The former mining hub has four—four!—recreational dispensaries, and unlike Breckenridge, which is forcing its pot shops out of the downtown area, Telluride is stoking legal-weed businesses by fast-tracking permits and allowing operators to grow plants within city limits. Here’s a street-level guide to the new Rocky Mountain high.

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