A Tourist’s Guide to Recreational Marijuana in Colorado

The State of Colorado updated its marijuana laws, legalizing the possession and sale of marijuana on December 10, 2012, by passing Amendment 64. This made Colorado one of two places in the world where an adult, over the age of 21 can legally buy, possess, and consume marijuana recreationally. Since that time, I have received countless phone calls from people wondering how much pot they can buy in Colorado, if anyone can buy weed in Colorado, and other marijuana-related questions while planning a visit to not just Colorado Springs, but the State of Colorado. It is my goal to address many of the common questions I’ve been asked.


In this Guide:


do you have to be a colorado resident to buy pot can i buy weed in colorado without a medical card how much weed can an out of state person buy in colorado


Can Anyone Buy Weed Or Marijuana In Colorado?

Yes, any adult, over the age of 21 can purchase, possess, and consume marijuana in the State of Colorado. The law makes no distinction between residents of Colorado versus tourists who are visiting, in terms of the possession, purchase, or consumption of marijuana in Colorado. If you want to know more on the legal age to buy weed in Colorado read this related article.


How Much Pot Or Marijuana Can You Buy In Colorado?

Wondering how much weed can an out-of-state person buy in Colorado? While Colorado law has made a distinction between residents and visitors in the past, currently, a non-resident may purchase the same amount of marijuana as a resident. Here’s how much an adult with a valid ID can purchase: up to one ounce of marijuana. Keep in mind that all marijuana is not flower, and the 1-ounce restriction applies to flower marijuana only. Colorado considers 1 oz of flower to be the equivalent of 8 grams of concentrate (shatter, wax, etc.), or 800 milligrams of edibles.


How Do I Purchase Marijuana In Colorado?

Think of purchasing weed or marijuana much like purchasing alcohol. All you have to do is present a valid government-issued ID, showing you are over the age of 21, and you are free to make your purchase of marijuana up to the legal amount. Can I buy weed in Colorado without a medical card? Yes, you can buy weed in Colorado without a medical card as the state doesn’t require a medical reason for purchasing marijuana.


Where Can I Buy Marijuana In Colorado?

Initially, the State licensed 136 stores, statewide, the allowance to sell marijuana. Keep in mind that cities, towns, and counties are allowed to ban the sale of marijuana, and many have, like Colorado Springs for instance. Probably the best guide I’ve seen on legal pot shops and reputable places to purchase weed is curated on PotGuide.com.


Are There Restricted Store Hours For Purchasing Weed From Pot Shops?

Yes, Colorado marijuana law states that stores cannot open before 8:00 am and cannot be open past midnight. Keep in mind though that each jurisdiction is allowed to make more restrictive hours and many have. Denver, for instance, only allows stores to be open until 10 pm. Make sure to check the hours for the specific store you plan to buy marijuana from.


How Can I Transport Weed I Legally Bought?

The best advice I can give on the issue of transporting weed is to place it in a closed trunk. This way, if you are stopped by law enforcement, there’s no question that you weren’t consuming it.


Can I Get A DUI For Smoking Weed In Colorado?

YES. Colorado has made it easier to prosecute you for driving stoned on marijuana. Colorado has adopted an “express consent” law for marijuana, which sets a per se limit on how much THC can be in your blood, much like a BAC of .08 is the per se limit for alcohol. This means that by virtue of operating a motor vehicle on Colorado roads, you consent to a chemical test of your blood or breath if an officer has probable cause to believe you are impaired from drugs or alcohol. If the Officer believes you are high, they will require a chemical test of your blood. This allows them to determine how many nanograms of active THC metabolites are in your blood at the time of driving. If you have more than 5 nanograms of active THC metabolites, you are presumed to be substantially impaired, meaning that a DA could tell the jury that, regardless of any other indicators of impairment, or how well you did on the roadside tests, it’s OK for them to presume you were driving stoned. In short, don’t drive high. If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a drug-related offense, contact a Colorado Springs drug defense attorney near you today.



Yes and no. Marijuana remains illegal under Federal Law. That being said, the federal government has said that they will not prosecute the possession or sale of marijuana, so long as state law is being complied with, and those laws are “robust.” Colorado has tried to make the regulations regarding possession and sales of marijuana robust and well-regulated, to prevent federal interference.


Can I Use My Credit Or Debit Card To Purchase Weed Legally?

Laws have relaxed a bit, you can use a debit card or cash to buy weed in Colorado. Most dispensaries have ATMs and if you pay with your debit card, it looks like an ATM transaction – and you generally have to pay an ATM fee. You cannot use a credit card to buy marijuana in Colorado.


Where Can I Smoke Pot In Colorado?

This is probably the biggest challenge for out-of-state residents traveling to Colorado to smoke marijuana. Public consumption remains illegal, therefore, it’s best to consume it in the privacy of your own home (although this too is an issue because landlords have the right to say no). You cannot consume it in National Parks, at Ski Areas, or outdoors, and even a hotel has the right to say no, just like they can prevent you from smoking cigarettes in your room. I’ve been asked if you can smoke in your parked car. No, please don’t ever smoke pot in a car, regardless of whether it is parked or off, this is a recipe for disaster.


Anything Else I Should Know Before Coming To Colorado To Purchase And Smoke Marijuana?

First, the rules are constantly changing; I’ve tried to be as up-to-date as possible, but it’s best to check with a nearby attorney before coming. Next, keep in mind that Colorado’s legalization is essentially an experiment, and many other states and the federal government are watching it closely. Don’t do anything that could jeopardize its success. Don’t commit crimes, don’t provide marijuana to underage people, don’t try to take it home with you. Remember, if you ever want pot to be legalized in your state, it likely has to succeed in Colorado, don’t do anything that would potentially add to the negative statistics. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related crime, you do not have to go down without a fight. At Rodemer | Kane, we will fiercely advocate for you. Contact us today.

-Steven Rodemer, Esq.