Pot Dispensaries and Colorado's Adopt-A-Highway Program: Full Speed Ahead

Pot Dispensaries and Colorado's Adopt-A-Highway Program: Full Speed Ahead
Thinkstock.com

The Colorado Department of Transportation doesn’t want you to smoke weed and drive, as we report in this week's cover story, "Weed Limit," but thinking about where you can stop off to buy weed is apparently just fine. In fact, there are now small signs along I-70 and I-25 that say things like “This highway is sponsored by LivWell Enlightened Health” — hyping a do-good project, to be sure, but also serving as a clever advertising ploy for marijuana.

The primary goal of CDOT's Adopt-A Highway program is to keep Colorado roadways clean — and that’s exactly what pot shops like LivWell and Silver Stem Fine Cannabis are helping to do by sponsoring stretches of asphalt.  And it’s not like this is some good deed that the dispensaries can write off on their taxes: The national tax code known as 280E prevents marijuana dispensaries from claiming any tax deductions or credits because of the plant’s status as an illegal Schedule I substance. According to Stan Zislis of Silver Stem, the cost of keeping the highways clean comes out of the pockets of the pot shops.

“We just wanted to get involved in any way we could,” Zislis explains. “We wanted to show the public that legal marijuana is good for Colorado and that it’s here to stay.”

Zislis became involved with the program when he adopted a stretch of ten miles of Colorado highway while working for Metro Cannabis before it merged with the Silver Stem chain. Silver Stem now sponsors around 25 miles of Colorado highways, he says, and that includes paying two workers to clean up each one-mile stretch of highway twice a month. The average cleanup nets five to seven forty-gallon bags of trash, he notes.

But cleaning the highway roadsides is also a savvy way to advertise a business that faces marketing restrictions because of marijuana’s illegal status federally; while pot is legal in Colorado, some media outlets are wary of any cannabis-related enterprises. In February, even Facebook put the hammer down on marijuana outreach, when it shut down the pages of marijuana dispensaries and product manufacturers that advertised their products on the sites.

So for now, pot businesses must rely on local newspaper and radio ads, fliers and other clever options — like highway signs that advertise their do-good efforts.     

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

1 W. 1st St.
Nederland, CO 80466

303-258-3552

silverstemcannabis.com

miles
Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

1086 W. Littleton Ave.
Denver, CO 80220

720-771-9866

silverstemcannabis.com

miles
Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

3700 W. Quincy Ave.
Denver, CO 80236

303-734-0420

silverstemcannabis.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

2863 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

303-484-1662

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

1941 W. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80223

720-361-2981

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

3980 Franklin St.
Denver, CO 80205

720-524-8273

livwell.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

3955 Oneida St.
Denver, CO 80207

720-573-4735

livwell.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

3000 Folsom St.
Boulder, CO 80304

720-389-4920

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

1414 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80905

719-634-0420

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

570 N. Murray Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80915

719-574-8443

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

3234 N. Nevada Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

719-622-6652

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

2647 8th Ave.
Garden City, CO 80631

970-616-6007

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

432 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209

720-428-2550

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

5660 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226

303-922-9479

livwellco.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

1660 Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80203

303-952-9150

livwell.com

miles
LivWell Enlightened Health

124 Santa Fe Trail
Trinidad, CO 81082

719-442-8251

livwell.com

Upcoming Events


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >