There are nine purveyors of recreational marijuana within Aspen city limits. That’s roughly two pot shops per square mile, but in the commercial core it feels like there’s a dispensary on every block. Hunter S. Thompson did propose sodding the streets of Aspen as part of his campaign for sheriff in 1970, but I’m not sure this is the grass he had in mind. Though the good doctor probably would have approved.
Once upon a time getting high was binary:
You either smoked reefer, or you didn’t. Relations could get dicey between those who partook and the straitlaced set. These days, much of the stigma around stoners has dissipated, with the decriminalization of marijuana in all but six states. It’s not whether you get high or not, it’s how. Thanks to the miracles of modern science, the effects and benefits of marijuana can be consumed in many forms—from blunts and gummies to sparkling water and soap. Marijuana merchants have gone from lawless dealers in dark alleys to wellness healers in glittering boutiques. Weed is a luxury item now, and the form factor of your weed says a lot about you.
THE DOG WALKER
The great thing about walking a dog “on weed” is that you barely have to lift a finger, and once the dog lifts its leg, everyone has accomplished something. Pot makes minor accomplishments seem like huge victories! Mini pre-rolled joints that contain .5g of flower or less come in a variety of strains and are perfect for strolls around town with your best friend. Check out Willie’s Reserve from the braided-and-beloved country crooner for canine good times (that’s Willie Nelson for those of you residing under a rock). Editor’s note: No dog is actually required for any of this.
THE CELEBRITY SUPERFAN
Willie Nelson is not the only celebrity lending a name to the pot biz. Cannabis products are the new concert T-shirt: All your favorite artists are selling them. Rappers Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg both have strains bearing their name; Jim Belushi farms his own pot for his Blues Brothers brand; and Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg recently launched Houseplant—a line of pre-rolls and gel caps—with Canadian cannabis behemoth Canopy Growth. Even the doyenne of domesticity Martha Stewart has gotten into the biz, introducing a line of gourmet CBD products. Celebrities, they’re just like us!
For the canna-curious just looking to stake out the scene, make your way to Dalwhinnie Farms boutique, the latest addition to Aspen’s bustling marijuana market. With an equestrian flare and luxury retail vibe, Dalwhinnie is the Ralph Lauren of pot shops. Your mom would be comfortable shopping here for Dalwhinnie-branded hats, socks or home goods (like a cut-glass decanter set), while you’re stocking up on dank. Their windproof lighter is this season’s gadget to gift for the holidays, and they also offer their own line of CBD topicals and some très chic candles for the home.
Historically, the munchies were a by-product of getting high. Now you can get high while getting your snack on. There are a plethora of delicious candy options available—the gummy and chocolate flavors from Wyld are particularly appealing, and a Stroopwafel from Dutch Girl pairs perfectly with hot coffee. To elevate your home cooking, introduce THC-infused cannabutter or coconut oil to your recipes. Enhance a smoothie or a salad dressing with tincture—an alcohol-based cannabis extract. But this is Aspen, after all, so why not go all out and arrange a Dinner and a Movement event with local chef Randy Placeres? Placeres prepares a full meal with dishes highlighting various terpenes—the aromatic oils that give cannabis its smell—while also delivering a significant buzz. His signature Dope Sauce, a Thai-inspired cannabis condiment, is good on everything. In other food-meets-pot news, the new owners of the locally loved Silverpeak have partnered with restaurateur Troy Selby on Silverpeak Grill and Silverpeak Cafe, collaborations that will make them one of the first dispensaries in the country with food-and-beverage service. At the Grill, Selby serves his classic fare (which he perfected at his former eatery, 520 Grill), with the option of cannabis-extract add-ons. The yet-to-open Cafe will be a full-service coffee shop with hemp products.
THE TECH TOKER
A three-foot-glass bong tucked into a dorm-room closet once represented the height of THC-extracting technology, but in Silicon Valley, if it doesn’t have a USB cable and a mobile app, it’s not venture-backable. (Translation: It doesn’t exist.) Enter Firefly 2.0, the connected cannabis device that produces ideal temperatures for activating terpenes from high-grade cannabis flower in every puff.
For the hip set who don’t smoke, there are plenty of wellness options that deliver the benefits of cannabis without the buzz. Among the hundreds of non-psychoactive cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are renowned as natural remedies for an array of ailments—from epilepsy to anxiety. They also possess powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Antedotum—a local skincare brand founded by Karina Perez Marcon—harnesses those benefits in their proprietary CBD Complex which promises to soothe irritation, reduce redness, control oil, and protect against cell degradation. Antedotum’s Skin Perfecting Pair includes a Vital Face Oil and Elixir Firming Serum, both of which provide relief after a harsh day on Aspen’s sunny slopes.
The Bottom Line
Partake responsibly and abide by the law. This goes for everyone, but especially for flatlanders visiting Aspen excited to play a round of “not my town.” Aspen is a high desert (ha!), and you are likely dehydrated, so the dope hits differently up here. Take it easy—edibles take time to take effect. Any true pro knows that pacing and patience are paramount.