Colorado Gears Up for Marijuana Tasting Tours

Image: Colorado Gears Up for Marijuana Tasting Tours Partygoers smoke marijuana during a Prohibition-era themed New Year's Eve party celebrating the start of retail pot sales at a bar in Denver.

Wednesday, 01 Jan 2014 11:12 AM

By Andrea Billups

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Wednesday marked opening day for recreational marijuana sellers in Colorado where some envision a new culture of pot tourists, much like those who visit California's Napa Valley to sample wine.

Already, tour groups are offering exclusive trips for those hoping for a little cannabis-fueled excursion, NBC News reports, as 18 marijuana stores opened Wednesday in the Denver area under the state's recreational pot law.

"You'll be able to buy a little pot here and there, see a commercial grow, visit iconic Colorado landmarks and take lots of pictures," said Colorado Highlife Tours owner Timothy Vee in an interview with NBC. "It will be like a Napa Valley wine tour."

Outside of Denver, more than 25 other locales have approved marijuana retail vendors, opening up a new industry for the state and what some view as a foot in the door for such legalization efforts and sales elsewhere.

Visitors hoping to sample the Rocky Mountain herb must do so in-state. Colorado law bans visitors from taking any weed home with them, unlike wine enthusiasts who can take their favorite beverages home from California. The Denver airport has a policy in place banning marijuana inside the facility.

Tourism experts are uncertain what the marketplace for pot tours might mean, so they are holding off on efforts to promote such travel. But weed enthusiasts are doing their own advertising, handing out pamphlets with warnings like "Do no eat the whole brownie," and "Remember, Uncle Sam says 'Stay off federal lands with that devil's lettuce.'"

Store owners braced for the onslaught as pot enthusiasts stood in line overnight night and celebrated outside stores as they awaited the 8 a.m. opening, Fox News reported.

Those who are 21 and over with a Colorado ID can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana legally under the state's new law, Amendment 64, which made recreational pot use legal for adults on Dec. 10, 2012. Colorado joins Washington State as among the first states in the nation to decriminalize use and make marijuana retail sales fully legal, the Denver Post reported.

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