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A Mile High in Denver: My Solo Cannabis Tour

Recreational marijuana becomes the guest of honor at a solo birthday trip with weed-centric fun and activities.

My 32nd birthday was coming up, and I needed to decide how I would spend this day. I was on the fence between celebrating the day on a beach or near the mountains—getting zooted on a solo birthday trip. I choose the latter and headed to Denver, Colorado, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, to partake of the pleasures of a recreational cannabis tour.

Cannabis is still taboo to some, like those who believe they’re too old to get high. Others just aren’t into it. Some want to do it but can’t because of their job.  And some of us just get high. I like to smoke, but sometimes I do feel like I’m too old to be having a weed man. This made Denver so much more appealing since it was the first city in the US to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But it was a dope experience—pun intended.

Carla in Denver.
photo courtesy of Carla Thomas

Weed tourism is a real industry in Denver, to the point where there are tour companies devoted to helping you curate the best cannabis experience. I hooked up with Colorado Cannabis Tours, and they helped me book a room at a hotel with a pool (I needed a pool—I was on vacation!) that also allowed smoking in the room. There were so many cannabis-related activities to choose from too: paint and smoke, cooking with cannabis, puff, pass & pottery, and even a yoga session if you needed to strike the most mellow warrior pose.

This made Denver so much more appealing since it was the first city in the US to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But it was a dope experience—pun intended.

My first stop when I arrived was Medicine Man, near my hotel. Let me tell you, a dispensary is next level, like a McDonald’s for bud, with a menu and specials. It’s cash only, and you have to leave any big bags by the door. Medicine Man is broken up into two sections, recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis. The recreational section has a huge digital menu screen that lists the weekly cannabis specials, and in the cases you’ll find the edibles.

I had no idea what I wanted since I only smoke when my homeboy brings me some weed. I was like a deer in headlights, but thankfully the “budtenders” were super helpful. You let them know what kinda high you’re looking for, and they’ll hook you up.

I let my budtender know that I enjoyed a mellow high that still allowed me to be productive. At night, I wanted something that knocked me out ’cause the hustle is real. In the end, she gave me what I needed: a gram of sativa that kept me up and moving, a gram of indica, which is a more mellow sleep-time high, and way too many edibles of weed cookies, gummies, and chocolate truffles. It was a lot. Like, where was I going with all this weed? It was just me.  I went through all the edibles, and at the end of the trip, I gave the rest of the weed to my Lyft driver.

Poolside Carla.
photo courtesy of Carla Thomas

My hotel provides their guests with vapes, which I had not used before, but the instructions seemed simple enough. As soon as I got to my room, I lit up, wondering how many Black women travel alone to Denver to smoke weed by themselves. My Snapchat was lit as I showed off a custom-made Mary Jane bathing suit in the pool.

I also treated myself to a cannabis-infused massage, where you don’t get high, but you get the benefits of the herb’s healing properties. My massage therapist, Jordan, of Primal Therapeutics, told me how alternative medicine can do amazing things, and I was lit all day afterward. It was the most relaxing massage I’ve ever had and convenient too, because the massage therapist set up in my hotel room.

My time in Denver was complete with good eats, window-shopping, and meeting the locals. I dropped into Williams & Graham, a cool speakeasy that looks like a bookstore. And I made sure to head up the mountains to check out the hot springs, like at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. My solo Denver trip was an awesome learning experience of just doing you. I wanted to experience something new and visit a random place just ’cause, and I did. It’s a little strange getting high in the mountains by yourself, but my trip was the touch of adventure and relaxation that I needed. The next time I return to Denver, it will be with friends to enjoy the mountains in a dope cabin, go skiing, and of course enjoy a pantry of edibles.

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