Ask a Stoner: Why Don't Dispensaries Let Me Sniff Weed Anymore?

Dear Stoner: Why can’t I smell weed at dispensaries anymore? Is it a law?

Dear Shane: Dispensaries like to say that their rules are mandated by state law, which is usually the case. With ID checks, purchasing limits and take-home warnings, buying cannabis is the most regulated retail experience in Colorado, even more so than buying guns (go to a Tanner Gun Show and tell me I’m wrong). There are stores in Denver that aren’t as strict, however, and the occasional store will still give away free whiffs, because smelling open weed jars isn’t a crime.
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Jacqueline Collins
Dispensaries stopped showing off open jars of buds or allowing up-close customer sniffs during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of their social distancing policies. The majority of Colorado pot shops have kept this practice going or switched entirely to pre-packaged flower to avoid germs entering jars. While that makes sense for product safety, it’s not a state law. Neither are cell-phone bans, ID scans or the requirement that IDs be horizontal at dispensaries. These rules take fun away from the experience and make shopping for cannabis feel like something to be ashamed of, but they’re products of cautious operators in an overregulated environment.

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