4/20 may fall on a Thursday this year, but for cannabis enthusiasts in Denver, a new weed-themed church will make it feel like a Sunday. The International Church of Cannabis will open on the highest of holidays, as “the first large venue in the world where adults can legally consume cannabis in a social environment.”
According to NBC News, the church will be the home of Elevation Ministries, a non-profit religious group who base their spirituality around the cannabis flower.
“Our life stance is that the cannabis is a sacrament and that we use it to elevate our lives and achieve the best versions of ourselves that we can be,” Lee Molloy, a church member, said.
Practitioners call themselves “Elevationists” and the non-profit religious status will theoretically shield them from the city’s indoor smoking ban.
“Elevationists believe that one can find the path to spiritual fulfillment through the ritual use of cannabis,” Steve Berke, the church’s landlord, said.
The church won’t sell any cannabis products, but will allow on-site consumption. And while the building has been around for 113 years old, the new tenants have spruced the place up, with giant, brightly colored murals on the inside and exterior. Still, despite the facelift, some long-time residents aren’t yet sold on their new neighbors.
“I hope they’re respectful of neighbors of folks who have lived 50 years on this block,” Cat Vielma, who lives across the street from the church, said.
But if Vielma wants to keep the charm of the neighborhood intact, the cannabis church might actually have been the best option.
“We were looking at condos and apartments,” Berke told reporters. “Then ultimately, a group of my friends convinced me to keep this as a community church, but with a little different angle to it.”
The church will host community events, speakers, comedians and documentary nights, as well as regular cannabis-themed services.
The International Church of Cannabis will open to the public on 4/20 at the corner of South Logan Street and East Dakota Avenue.
“This is not just a bunch of lazy stoners getting together to get high,” Burke said. “We really want to positively impact Washington Park West neighborhood. We want to do great things for the community.”
Sounds a lot better than condos if you ask us.