Budding Out: Towns With Great Dispensary Scenes Outside of Denver

Terrapin Care Station has three locations in Aurora and Denver, but it actually started in Boulder.
Terrapin Care Station has three locations in Aurora and Denver, but it actually started in Boulder. Scott Lentz
It's no secret that Colorado loves its craft beer. For residents of the Mile High, spending a full day testing breweries is a common pastime, with hard-core fans regularly traveling as far as Greeley or Divide for popular beers from trendy breweries like Paradox or WeldWerks. The dedication and pompous attitude of beer snobs can be annoying sometimes, but their willingness to travel and spend big money on a finite indulgence is admirable.

Buying and trying cannabis around the state isn't as social as drinking beer, and it may never be as fun a field trip thanks to social-consumption laws, but it's high time that the dispensary scenes outside of Denver got some love. Where are the Greeleys and Divides for pot geeks? We're here to help you plan a summer road trip: Here are five towns that helped make Colorado the poster child of pot.

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Headquarters Cannabis
Scott Lentz
It's only fitting that the hippie capital of Colorado have a respectable dispensary presence. Terrapin Care Station traces its roots back to Boulder, and its two original stores are now part of almost thirty medical and recreational dispensaries in the city. Pot shops are easy to find on and off the popular Pearl Street Mall, with recognizable names like MMJ America and Native Roots, but you really want to visit one of the stoner shacks. Fresh Baked, Headquarters Cannabis and Village Green Society are all located in converted homes that fit the Boulder experience – and they're town pillars of prime herb.

Other dispensaries worth visiting: 14er Holistics, The Farm, Helping Hands, Magnolia Road and Trill Alternatives.

Colorado Springs
It's a damn shame that Colorado Springs doesn't allow recreational sales, but it has over 120 medical dispensaries for red-card holders. The state's second-largest city has a few recognizable names for Denverites: Doctor's Orders, LivWell, the Pink House and Rocky Road Remedies all have outposts down south. Native Roots doesn't just have an outpost, it also has two "Gas n' Grass" locations that sell both weed and petrol. But the real fun about shopping for pot in the Springs is all the dispensaries you won't find in Denver. Altitude Organic Medicine, Canna Meds and JP Wellness are just a few of the pot shops you don't hear about in the Mile High, but they're definitely worth a visit in the Springs.

Other dispensaries to try: A Cut Above, Best Budz, Briargate Wellness Center, Grow Life, Secret Stash and Tree of Wellness.

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The Spot 420
Jon Drake/The Art of Style Photo
Pueblo and unincorporated Pueblo West have embraced cannabis as a way to help Pueblo County's economy. The agricultural hotbed has some of the largest legal outdoor cannabis grows in the world, growing flower for chains specific to southern Colorado. Maggie's Farm, the Spot, The Cannesseur and Strawberry Fields are all growing brands with strong retail presences in Pueblo, while smaller, independent joints like Seven One Nine stay focused on medical patients.

Make a day of it: Tour this old industrial town that's been revived by pot, and be sure to sample southern Colorado's finest.

Other dispensaries worth visiting: The Canna Cabinet, Compassionate Care, Nature's Gift Shop, NuVue and Pueblo West Organics.
Despite having fewer than 10,000 people, Trinidad has nearly twenty dispensaries. The former sex-change capital of the world and mining town saw businesses leave and factories close over the past two decades, but cannabis has helped Trinidad rebound. The town has seen hundreds of new jobs and nearly $1 million in tax revenue in 2016 thanks to pot. CannaCo, Faragosi Farms and Trinidad's Higher Calling U are some of the originals, but familiar chains like LivWell, Native Roots and The Green Solution have all opened dispensaries in Trinidad since the getting got good.

Other dispensaries worth visiting: Magnolia Road, Tri Canna and Trinidad Harvesting Company.

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Sante Alternative Wellness
Don't let a recent FoxNews report on how legal marijuana has brought the homeless to Durango discourage you: We busted that contrived story open in June. This town in western Colorado is always fun to visit, and dispensaries just add to the fun. Durango's variety isn't as big as Boulder's, Pueblo's or even Trinidad's, but the place makes up for that in quality and character. Anyone tired of the constant storefront turnover would appreciate the longevity and buds at community stalwarts Animas Herbal Wellness, Colorado Grow Company, Durango Organics and Sante Alternative Wellness.

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego