Sacred Smoke Sanctuary: A Home Away From Home for Cannabis Lovers

Carol A. Morrison and May Alice Wells, known as Cush and Cat, respectively, were enjoying the social use of cannabis before social use was cool. The pair operates one of the most unusual venues on Colorado's cannabis scene: Sacred Smoke Sanctuary, located at 3704 Downing Street.

After moving from New York to Colorado in 2014, they started renovating the 4,000-square-foot space. Since then, it's been part church, part art studio, part rehearsal space, part theater, part lounge and part residence, and the couple has welcomed all cannabis-loving people into their world. Since the building is a private residence and their landlord has okayed cannabis use, they've been able to host events with cannabis on the property since long before Denver voters approved 300, the social-use ordinance — and they can continue to do so.

"For me, [creating this space] was about getting back to the sacredness of the plant and how people can use it to be enlightened," Cush says.

Cush and Cat are both ordained ministers in the Oklevueha Native American church, and they got married on Sacred Smoke Sanctuary's rooftop two years ago.

The Sanctuary is divided into two parts. The front of the building is used for Sacred Smoke Sanctuary activities, including yoga sessions, open-mic nights and ladies' nights where cannabis is welcome. They're definitely open to booking more events, too.

The back section is where Cat runs her women-only Maze Haus, a residence with three bedrooms and three baths. One room operates as an Airbnb, but the rest are open for anyone who needs a safe place.

Previously owned by a carpenter, the building features beautiful wood details in the residential area. In the back yard, which has a hot tub, they host Freedom Fridays, where women are encouraged to smoke marijuana, body paint and simply relax.

"My vision was to have a space specifically for women to come and have a place where they can experience their spirituality, their art and themselves and get back to who they are as people and experience their divinity in a safe space," Cat says. "I feel like there aren't enough spaces for us to just come together and just be women."

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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.