One of our contributors took a 420 bus tour during a recent trip to Colorado. Read about her experience.
We land at Denver International Airport and friends from college pick us up. The driver hands my boyfriend a rolled joint she bought for his arrival.
They drive us to the Crown Plaza where I am surprising him with a 420 Tour, the first cannabis-friendly tour company advertising 420 friendly hotel rooms, dispensary tours, vacation packages and cooking classes (my420tours.com). I ask the hotel desk clerk where I sign up for the tour and she points me to two people in green t-shirts with brochures at a table in the coffee shop. We head to the table and I give them our names. My boyfriend looks at me confused. I hand him the brochure and say, “Happy Birthday!”
A friend meets us there. We show our IDs (you have to be 21), sign waivers and are invited to get on a 40-passenger bus with smoked windows that looks like a typical limo party bus. The people on board are passing a large joint around. My boyfriend and I find a seat, introduce ourselves and imbibe. The tour guides, Jenny and Mike, show up and give us an intro to our next five hours: Drink lots of water because of the altitude, eat edibles with care (10mg to start, if not an every day user of cannabis) and have a good time legally smoking pot on the bus.
Our first stop is a dispensary called Le Conte’s Clone Bar and Dispensary, on the outskirts of Denver. The building looks like something out of a 1950s western and the storefront sign is green neon. The guide tells us that the store’s manager will welcome us, provide an overview and announce specials for those of us on the tour.
It’s like the manager is speaking Greek. “Fifty percent off any ¼ oz of flower; purchase 2 grams of wax or shatter, get 50% off the go-pen; buy 2 OpenVape cartridges, and get a free o-Pen.” He tells us it is okay to take pictures. The inside looks like an old bar converted into a store. The recreational customers (us) come in through the front, show IDs and head into a roped-off line to meet with one of three cashiers. On our right is a counter loaded with clones, or plants. Each one is labeled with its type. They are guaranteed for 30 days and cost $15 a plant for medical customers, and $30 for recreational. The medical customers enter through a door on the side of the building and head to a back room designated for people with medical cards.
We get waited on by the budtender and feel like kids in a candy store because we really have no idea what to buy for our week in Denver. I suggest we purchase some regular old pot, and we end up buying two eighths, the OG Stomper and the Chem Geisal. One is an indica and the other is a sativa. Sativa is the “upper” of pot and Indica is the “relaxer.” The bud tender explained, “If you had stuff to do, smoke the energetic/active Sativa and if you want to chill on the couch at the end of the day, smoke the Indica.” Sativa is more heady while Indica is more body high, and they also sell hybrids of all of this. We also bought some brownies and a glass bowl. Because we were on the tour, we got the second eighth for a penny. You can’t beat that price. An eighth cost us $40. Tourists (or non-Colorado residents) can only purchase a quarter at a time.
We get back on the bus and head to the manufacturing plant, owned by Le Conte’s. We enter a small reception room and put on badges, and are told that we can take pictures but cannot step into any of the grow rooms due to pests. Humans apparently can give cannabis plants mites and other diseases. We enter a long hallway with rooms on each side. Each room contains different sets of plants at a different stage in the grow cycle.
We talk in detail with the two managers giving the tour about the different career opportunities in the industry. Our friend, who has moved to Denver, is looking for part-time work and we discuss her being a trimmer. It sounds to me that trimmer is on the low end of the cannabis industry jobs, but that is how one gets their foot in the door.
We get back on the bus and head to a glass shop/museum filled with hundreds of pieces of pipes. One pipe costs over $10,000. The 420 Tour stops for lunch at a taco place before heading back to downtown Denver for our final dispensary stop at Native Roots (nativeroots303.com), which has five locations around Colorado.
You enter a waiting room, much like a doctor’s office, and get called in one at a time as the budtenders become available. At this shop, my boyfriend learns about vape pens for cannabis oil. The special for the 420 tour is to purchase a container of oil, called canna sap, and get a pen for a penny. We also purchase chocolate candy, the Blue Kudu and hard candy here. My friend and I talk at length with the budtender about Foria, a sexual spray for women made with coconut oil and cannabis. It’s described as “a cannabis-infused sensual enhancement oil designed for female pleasure. Foria is hand-crafted from the female ﬂower of the marijuana plant — one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs in the world — using modern extraction techniques for optimal potency and purity.” I decide it’s too pricey to only purchase it for the vacation, since bringing it home would be considered illegal. The budtender raves about it (foriapleasure.com/pages/about-colorado).
The bus ends up back at the Crown Plaza, at 4:20pm, and the tour guides invite everyone to the roof where they allow public consumption. A fitting end to a highly educational day.