Posted on

weed to seed show denver

All the places your weed is (commercially) grown in Denver

Spoiler: They are all very near one another. And there’s a limit to how many there can be.

(Data Source: Dever Office Excise and Licenses)

The industrial racks rise 25 feet inside a colossal warehouse in Elyria Swansea. Towering, narrow rows of them are crowded with sprouting green plants and skinny little upright vines sitting on large black containers.

These are marijuana plants, and they take about 18 weeks to grow before they’re ready to harvest, according to Green Solution general manager Kevin McDermott. This 55,000 square-foot, former steel mill site is now the cannabis company’s largest growing facility. The noisy warehouse is also used to process and package marijuana.

“The general question that people ask is how quickly after it’s dried can it end up in the store, and it could be as quick as two days,” McDermott said, standing next to a small conveyor belt sending marijuana buds down a line to be trimmed. “Not typically the case, but it can be.”

The warehouse is one of 249 registered marijuana growing facilities in Denver. Those facilities have 413 cultivation licenses, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses; the number is larger because some facilities are licensed to grow recreational and medicinal marijuana.

A map showing the licensed marijuana grow facilities in Denver, with blue being retail grows and red being medicinal.

Medical and retail growing facilities are restricted to certain areas in the city. They are only allowed in areas primarily zoned industrial, which is why you’ll find most of them near highways and around railroad tracks. There are additional zoning restrictions; for example, they can’t be within 1,000 feet of any school.

“There are businesses that all they do is grow and they supply to retailers,” said Eric Escudero, spokesperson for the city’s business licensing department. “And so there is a chain that goes through as far as growing, but some have the same ownership, some will have a grow and some will have a retail (shop), some have both.”

Inside the Green Solution’s grow facility in north Denver. (Photo Courtesy of Green Solution).

McDermott said the site in north Denver tries to harvest close to 300 pounds of marijuana weekly. It’s allowed to have up to 49,800 plants, but McDermott said they usually hover around 47,000 to 48,000. Each plant has a tag with a serial number allowing the state’s marijuana enforcement agency to track them.

The process of getting a grow license can be long. And expensive.

It costs $5,000 for fees associated with a retail cultivation license in Denver, while the state charges additional fees. That five grand includes a $2,000 application fee and a $3,000 license fee.

The process includes inspections, which Escudero said often involves months-long delays from applicants who want more time to make sure they’re following regulations. And there are state and local laws that need to be complied with for them to operate.

“Unfortunately, it is complicated,” Escudero said.

Green Solution CEO Steve Lopez said he wasn’t a part of the licensing process for the company’s growing facilities, but that Denver’s process has become more and more customer-friendly every year. He said 90 percent of products sold in their retail shops come from marijuana grown at their facilities.

Verde Natural CEO Rudy Ellenbogen inspects a bowl of trimmed marijuana buds at his Northeast Park Hill grow facility. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

“This was a whole new industry and they moved very quickly,” Lopez said. “Everybody was doing the best they could at the very beginning … you’re talking about a highly-regulated product from seed to sale that has to be monitored from every stage of growth.”

The city law only allows up 311 cultivation locations, Escudero said. He said the number of locations could be increased “soon” after the department completes the review for pending grow applications. That means there may be new locations available.

The placement of grows can cause discomfort and reveal equity issues.

Escudero said the odor from growing facilities is a common concern for grows, as well as them being concentrated in some areas of the city over others — a concern made clear when the locations are mapped.

“So those are things that we’re always looking at and making sure that whatever the future of the marijuana industry is in Denver, we want to make sure it’s in the best interest of our community,” Escudero said.

Nola Miguel, director of the Globeville Elyria Swansea Coalition Organizing for Health and Housing Justice, has been an advocate for health and anti-displacement improvements in the neighborhood. It’s an area that has a history of environmental issues due to its proximity to industrial areas and I-70.

“We went through a lot of different stages of feelings about the marijuana industry overall because there’s a lot of neighbors that wanted legalization in the more of the decriminalization aspects and potential for industry that the neighborhood could benefit from,” Miguel said.

Miguel said they were immediately vocal once it became clear that Elyria Swansea seemed to be getting what advocates saw as a disproportionate amount of retail and growing facilities. There were and are concerns about young people being predisposed to marijuana smells; other people told her the constant odor caused some people to want to use more.

And while many neighbors sought more connection between those businesses and locals, she said this connection largely hasn’t materialized.

Nola Miguel, of the GES Coalition, speaks at Denver City Council in support of a zoning exception that would allow an ADU at a home in Elyria Swansea, Jan. 7, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

McDermott said the big warehouse has a special venting system to prevent smells from escaping.

“We take a lot of precautions within the building and the air filtration system here to make sure that we’re compliant with that,” he said.

There wasn’t much of an odor in the parking lot outside the warehouse. The area directly around it didn’t receive any formal complaints about marijuana smells in the last four years, though the odor was the second most common smell complaint citywide, according to the city’s public health department.

Escudero said the city has hired a firm to create a report on marijuana licenses providing information on what the marijuana industry looks like in Denver. It will also help the city determine whether it will adopt a state law passed last year allowing for tasting-room like additions to dispensaries allowing people to smoke inside.

Miguel said they’re approaching issues around grows through an anti-displacement lens. Some businesses have shown up to local meetings and made an effort to reach out, but she’s interested in a stronger relationship between the two that includes a focus on housing. A chunk of money from marijuana sales tax is used for affordable housing. The industry brought in $46.8 million in tax and licensing fee revenue in 2018, according to figures from the city, which is about 3.5 percent of the city’s general fund revenue.

“We would love to have that closer connection instead of (tax money) sort of getting redistributed through the affordable housing fund,” Miguel said. “But why not directly impact the house that’s down the street?”

Want some more? Explore other Denverite Maps stories.

Weird times

Denverite is powered by you. In these weird times, the local vigilance, the local context, the local flavor — it’s powered through your donations. If you’d miss Denverite if it disappeared tomorrow, donate today.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

Colorado Marijuana Tours

People once thought of Colorado as cowboys and ski resorts, today it’s big, bushy green plants and clouds of cannabis smoke. Make your trip to the “highest state” complete with an insider’s tour of real commercial grow houses, dispensaries, and everything about marijuana.

Marijuana Dispensary & Grow House Tours

Go behind the scenes of the rapidly growing, wonderful local world of cannabis. Be mesmerized at thousands of plants growing under industrial strength HID lights, learn from true pros the subtle differences in buds, and get VIP treatment at dispensaries.

You must be 21 years or older to attend these tours, with a valid state or government-issued ID.

Guide to Marijuana Tours in Colorado

Colorado has long been a 420 friendly state, with its laid-back culture and progressive attitude. Few were surprised it became one of the first states (along with Washington) to legalize recreational use of marijuana in January 2014. Now you can experience both public group and private marijuana tours in Denver, year-round.

While most long-time residents were already pot-friendly, with over a decade as a medical marijuana state (since November 2000), outsiders took notice. People moved to CO in record numbers. Some looked to join in the growing industry, while others just heard about how great Colorado is from all the additional media attention.

Guided Pot Tours in Denver

Whether you’re coming to Colorado in the summer or winter, spring or fall, or already live here, it’s worth your time to explore the cannabis industry. Educate and entertain yourself during these historic times because great memories are the best souvenirs.

Complete Cannabis Tour.

Tours are led by experienced guides, who will ensure your safety and make sure everyone has a good time! They are available year-round in Denver, throughout the week, morning and night, depending on what you’re looking for.

Cannabis and wellness have long been interlinked. Uncover the health and therapeutic properties of the plant, the science of the human endocannabinoid system, the latest consumption methods, as well its long history, and its current legal status. Learn the entire process from “seed to sale.”

Cannabis Wellness Tour.

Cannabis has come a long way since its underground days in years past, in terms of everything from THC strength to intake varieties. Marijuana strains are stronger than ever, and concentrates are among the most popular forms of enjoying the plant today. Learn firsthand the different extraction methods and concentrate types on Colorado’s marijuana tours.

Colorado Marijuana History

Colorado’s legal marijuana scene has grown rapidly in the last couple of decades. It’s one of the leading states in the country on the subject, and probably the best known for cannabis-related tourism.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Colorado followed four years later in November 2000. It would be fourteen years of learning, regulating, and living with “legal” pot in a sense before it became permitted for everyone 21+ statewide.

Marijuana grow house tour in Denver, Colo.

In January 2014, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to begin openly selling marijuana on a recreational level. And with that simple law, the flood gates opened.

Colorado’s economy boomed, especially in terms of real estate, with everyone wanting to come and see if they could strike it rich in the new industry, called “green gold”. All the national exposure Colorado got in the media, sent others flocking here, some not caring at all about cannabis, only everything else the wonderful state offered.

Commercial marijuana tours soon followed, guiding the new wave of green tourists behind the scenes. There are now numerous companies offering a range of experiences.

420 tours include everything from cultivation facilities to cannabis cooking classes and CBD-infused massages. If you want to discover what’s leading the development of Colorado’s future, be sure to reserve your spot on a marijuana tour.

10 Moments You’ll Have On A Colorado Pot Tour

Welcome to Denver, the Mile High City and the cradle of marijuana legalization in the USA. Get out there and explore the weedscape. If you’ve never hotboxed a limo bus with 10+ strangers before, this is your chance.

Aboard the weed-friendly party bus in Denver, Colo.

You’re bound to have some truly unique moments on a 420 cannabis tour.

1. You’ll get passed joints from both directions

As the 420 tour bus starts rolling, all guests are invited to take out their personal stash and light it up. Guests are also encouraged to share with others and try something new. Standard smoke circle etiquette applies — puff, puff, pass to the left. Clockwise, my friends.

However, the rotation often gets jumbled once multiple pre-rolled or hand-rolled joints are in circulation. It’s not uncommon to find yourself at the crossroads of the hot box, with offerings being passed to you from both sides. Take both. Smoke both. At the same time if you want. Or just pass. Do you.

2. You’ll toke with a grandma from Texas

Pot tours attract people from all walks of life. It’s impossible to generalize about who you’ll meet onboard. Passengers range from 21st birthday revelers from Utah to a senior couple from Texas celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.

Cannabis is the most social plant on the planet. It’s the great equalizer. Sit back and admire the diversity of the group sharing this experience. You’ll see all skin tones and hear all kinds of accents. Branch out and make a new friend — that’s what travel is about.

3. You get plant sex ed

Once you’re in the grow facility, take a trip down junior high memory lane with a sex education crash course. Your cannabis tour guide will break down the reproductive ins and outs of cannabis cultivation. Find out why the grow facility is a girls-only zone and what would happen if male plants were to invade it.

Learn how to identify a female plant versus a male plant and how they keep it a female-only zone.

4. You’ll discover what terpenes are

What gives different strains of weed their subtle differences in aroma and effect? The answer is terpenes — the natural essential oils that occur in cannabis and many other botanicals.

A 420 tour is the perfect place to follow your nose to a new favorite strain and find out which terpenes appeal to you.

5. You’ll help other travelers celebrate a big day

Chances are high that you’ll be sharing your tour with a group that’s celebrating a milestone. We see all sorts of merrymaking from bachelor parties to 30th birthdays to high honeymooners.

Another fun one is retirement kickoff after decades of being drug tested as government officials, pilots, military, law enforcement, truck drivers, health professionals, etc. Now it’s finally time to cut loose. It’s their party and they’ll get high if they want to.

6. You’ll compare dispensaries to big-name retailers

Most pot tours always include a stop at a premier Denver pot shop. Tours visit the whole spectrum of dispensaries, from local “mom and pop” shops and artisanal boutiques to the largest of corporate chains.

Tour guides will prep you for each retail experience with an analogy to familiar retailers. Depending on which tour you’re on, you’ll see inside the “Apple store of cannabis,” with its chic tablet displays, or the “Ikea of weed” where shoppers pass through the entire maze of merch before exiting the store.

7. You’ll try all-new forms of weed

Before each dispensary stop, the tour guides will hand out a special menu of discounted packages for guests only. These bundled deals are designed to encourage you to try something new. You’re likely to find an edibles pack, a flower (bud) pack, and a vaporizer pack to get you started on vaping cartridges of oil.

For many, vape pens are the first step into the wondrous smoke-free world of concentrates. From there, expand your horizons by dabbing for the first time and exploring the terpene-rich properties of live resin.

8. You’ll lose track of space and time

After spending long enough on the 420 bus, you’ll realize that The Magic School Bus wasn’t a fictional cartoon after all. It’s real, and you’re on it. Ms. Frizzle is standing right there, dressed as a tour guide and dropping pearls of cannabis knowledge all over the place.

Speaking of place, where exactly are we? Is this bus still in Denver? What time is it? As the THC kicks in, your sense of orientation may get a little hazy. Let it. You’re on vacation, you’re in Denver, and you’re getting the full Mile High experience.

9. You’ll hear personalized restaurant recommendations

On the final leg of the tour, the munchies start to kick in. There’s a snack for that. The tour guides have you covered as far as Denver restaurant recommendations go.

Your tour team is a pack of hungry locals who know all the hot spots. They’ll even customize recommendations based on your location and tastes. Craving tacos? Orale pues. Feeling sushi? Learn to roll it. Looking for the best ice cream? You got it, Little Man.

10. You’ll get adopted into the 420 Family

Maybe you’re lucky enough to have 420-friendly parents. Maybe you’re even luckier and your mom or dad is here on the weed tour with you. If not, that’s okay. At the end of the ride, you’ll learn that you’ve been adopted into the 420 Family.

The perks are many. No awkward family photos are required, plus you can come back for special deals and discounts on your next experience. You can also pass on your newfound knowledge and advice to the next generation of our ever-growing clan.

The world of cannabis has grown rapidly in the last decade and continues to evolve. Puff puff pass one to the future!

Latest in Marijuana Tours

What is Colorado is known for?

Colorado is known for a lot of things, but most of the world probably thinks of…

What’s the Difference between Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Colorado?

Traveling to Colorado used to be almost exclusively about the Rocky Mountains, whether skiing the winter…

A New Cannabis Lounge in Denver Is More than Just a Pot Club

A pot club is not a common thing for Denver despite its legal status. Two years…

How Cannabis Tours are the New Brewery Tours

Legal cannabis had a large impact on our country in 2018, and that impact extended far…

Weed to seed show denver

Only show events from organizers I follow

Search for online events

Save SENSI NIGHT 6TH Anniversary & Pre – 420 Celebration! to your collection.

Save SENSI NIGHT 6TH Anniversary & Pre – 420 Celebration! to your collection.

Save Rooster Magazine's 2022 Kickoff To April to your collection.

Save Rooster Magazine's 2022 Kickoff To April to your collection.

Save Fresh Baked — The Business of Baking with Cannabis to your collection.

Save Fresh Baked — The Business of Baking with Cannabis to your collection.

Save Preaching To The Choir – Standup Comedy with Al Jackson to your collection.

Save Preaching To The Choir – Standup Comedy with Al Jackson to your collection.

Save Infused Networking to your collection.

Save Infused Networking to your collection.

Save 2022 Denver Exclusive Whiskey Tasting Festival (April 23) to your collection.

Save 2022 Denver Exclusive Whiskey Tasting Festival (April 23) to your collection.

Save Gateway Show – Denver to your collection.

Save Gateway Show – Denver to your collection.

Save Gorgon City: Premier Buzz Bus Party Shuttle! to your collection.

Save Gorgon City: Premier Buzz Bus Party Shuttle! to your collection.

Save John Mulaney: From Scratch: Premier Buzz Bus Party Shuttle! to your collection.

Save John Mulaney: From Scratch: Premier Buzz Bus Party Shuttle! to your collection.

Save PACHAMAMA to your collection.

Save PACHAMAMA to your collection.

Save (´PRICES GOING UP) 2022 Denver St Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl to your collection.

Save (´PRICES GOING UP) 2022 Denver St Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl to your collection.

Save The Mile High Spirits St Patrick's Day Parade Party 2022 to your collection.

Save The Mile High Spirits St Patrick's Day Parade Party 2022 to your collection.

Save The Onesie 5k @ Blue Moon Brewing | 2022 CO Brewery Running Series to your collection.

Save The Onesie 5k @ Blue Moon Brewing | 2022 CO Brewery Running Series to your collection.

Save Creatively Cannabis – Tokes & Brushstrokes 3PM (3/12/22) to your collection.

Save Creatively Cannabis – Tokes & Brushstrokes 3PM (3/12/22) to your collection.

Save Creatively Cannabis – Tokes & Brushstrokes 3PM (3/5/22) to your collection.

Save Creatively Cannabis – Tokes & Brushstrokes 3PM (3/5/22) to your collection.

Save Premier Roller Derby Tournament! | Hosted by Denver Roller Derby to your collection.

Save Premier Roller Derby Tournament! | Hosted by Denver Roller Derby to your collection.

Save Supper Club: Cart Driver LoHi to your collection.

Save Supper Club: Cart Driver LoHi to your collection.

Save Creatively Cannabis – Pot and Pots (3/2/22) to your collection.

Save Creatively Cannabis – Pot and Pots (3/2/22) to your collection.

Save Happy Camper's St Patricks Day Bash 2022 to your collection.

Save Happy Camper's St Patricks Day Bash 2022 to your collection.

Save Special 420 Edition of Creatively Cannabis: Tokes & Brushstrokes (4/20/22) to your collection.