Now that recreational sales have opened up in Colorado, cannabis is becoming the new normal. Step off the plane at the Denver International Airport and even the tourist desk will give you a list of over 20 different places to legally buy marijuana. Expensive cannabis tours are barely keeping up with demand. Restaurants either have it on the menu, name subs after flavors of weed, or even pair sushi with different strains like wine.
Right alongside gourmet cakes and gigantic pumpkins, cannabis has even found a spot at the county fair. Colorado’s Denver County will feature cannabis growing contests for the first time this year. No marijuana will actually be on the fairgrounds, as judging will be done off site, but pictures of the plants will be featured like the animals produced by 4H contestants. Judges will decide based on plant quality, not the actual potency or the quality of the herb the plants will produce. Winners receive a prize of $20 along with a blue ribbon.
The fair will also feature a joint rolling contest, though contestants will be rolling oregano, as no actual cannabis will be allowed officially at the fair. The marijuana exhibits will be featured in a “Pot Pavilion” only accessible to those 21 and over.
“We thought it was time for us to take that leap and represent one of the things Denver has going on,” Tracy Weil, the fair’s marketing and creative director, told the AP.
Which is plenty. With names like My420Tours and Colorado Highlife, numerous tourist agencies have sprung up to give out-of-towners a feel for the new scene. They drive enthusiasts around in fancy limos, tour various dispensaries and even share a toke in the back of the bus. Tours can cost as high as $399, not including the ganja.
“The demand for our service has been nearly overwhelming — there’s a tidal wave,” Peter Johnson of Colorado Green Tours told the NY Daily News.
Legal cannabis is bound to inspire the munchies, and Colorado restaurants are ready to meet the demand, featuring cannabis inspired names for their food or even cannabis infused dishes. Downtown Denver features CHeBA Hut, a Quiznos-like sandwich chain that names its subs after weed strains like Jamaican Red, Chronic and Kush.
Or there’s Hapa Sushi, a Japanese joint that features a pairing menu matching certain flavors of sushi with specific strains of marijuana like fine wine. No weed is served on the menu, so toke before making a reservation.
For those hungering for cannabis food, there’s Ganja Gourmet, a medical marijuana restaurant in Denver featuring gourmet ganja lasagna, “Panama Red Pizza” and cannabis cheesecake, muffins and brownies for dessert.
If such cravings ultimately land in a hotel room, the party isn’t necessarily over. The entire city of Denver has over 600 hotel rooms where ganja smoking is officially allowed, according to the New York Daily News.