Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene

Heaven is real.
Heaven is real.
Eric Gruneisen

It's now been almost an entire year since marijuana was legalized for recreational use here in Colorado. The experiment, by most accounts, has been a successful one, with other states following in our footsteps. It seems inevitable that we'll see the entire country follow in the next decade.

Although, because recreational marijuana has been legal for several years, things didn't change a whole lot here in terms of the availability of pot, the boom has made a substantial impact on all kinds of tangential industries: Music, for example. Here are a few of the ways recreational weed has changed Colorado's music scene.

See also: Photos: Musicians Buying (Legal) Weed in Denver

Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene
Ken Hamblin

8. The weed industry has turned into a benefactor for live music. Dispensaries have taken notice of the effect marijuana legalization has on music. It's only logical that many have started to take a pro-active role in the organization and sponsorship of concerts and festivals. --Gina Tron

Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene
Eric Gruneisen

7. There are fewer drug searches to get into concerts. Because marijuana is no longer illegal, there is less reason to be searching concertgoers, and getting pot into a show seems to be easier. At many concerts that Westword has attended this year, including shows that are synonymous with pot-lovers like Phish and Trailer Park Boys, there were no searches for drugs being conducted at all for people getting into the big venues. However... GT

Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene
Ken Hamblin

6. You're more likely to get busted for smoking at a show. It's harder to smoke inside venues (as in you're more likely to get kicked out or get a ticket for it). Establishments have cracked down on indoor weed smoking, because it now resembles smoking cigarettes -- if they don't enforce the ordinance banning indoor smoking (and smoking weed in public places), they can be held responsible. GT  

5. The demand for grow houses makes it harder for DIY venues to operate. The cannabis industry has already impacted the potential for DIY art and music spaces to find affordable buildings. Warehouses that might have been unwanted (and therefore inexpensive) are now potential grow houses. --Tom Murphy

This dude definitely isn't a tourist.
This dude definitely isn't a tourist.
Eric Gruneisen

4. There are now pot tourists, who often don't know the rules. Out-of-state residents have flocked to Colorado thinking it is a weed haven (which it is), but they are unaware of the rules and regulations surrounding legalization. Some tourists assume you can smoke inside venues. They try to light up, and they get in trouble. GT

Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene
William Breathes

3. We really put the "high" in high art. In May, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra partnered with recreational marijuana dispensaries and industry groups to create "Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series." Besides being a good marketing tool for the continually struggling symphony, the handful of private, 21 and up, B.Y.O.C. (Bring Your Own Cannabis) events also dispelled the stereotype that classical music can't adapt to new cultural developments. --Ian Gassman  

2. Rent has gone up, hitting musicians particularly hard. The creative class in Denver is rapidly being priced out of the city, due in part to the cannabis industry, which has brought an influx of demand for real estate in central Denver.TM

Eight Ways Legal Weed Has Changed Colorado's Music Scene
Eric Gruneisen

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1. We got a ton of extra shows featuring weed-loving headliners. More musicians that love pot have been coming here to show their support. While doing so, they usually perform. This has brought more diverse and new musicians to the state. Method Man and Redman have taken to calling Colorado a second home, Snoop Dogg played at least four times here this year, and everyone from the Polyphonic Spree to King Khan and the Shrines have posed for pictures while visiting dispensaries. GT

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