Three local Denver businesses are collaborating on a plan to bring weed-friendly ghost tours to the Mile High City next month.
Every Wednesday in October, the Dark & Dank Side of Denver will be offering customers a chance to get high AF while exploring the city's creepiest locations. Tour guides will ferry passengers to Union Station, a hotbed of paranormal activity, along with some of Denver's most historic haunted hot spots. The tour will also hit some lesser-known locations, including a network of secret underground tunnels that stretch beneath the city's oldest buildings.
"I'm very interested and intrigued in how it will play out,” said ghost tour guide Rachel Beckemeyer to Westword. “I think there can be elements of open-mindedness that occur, and an openness — maybe into the spirit realm. Maybe they're more in tune. Cannabis could add to the element, for sure. Our intention isn't to scare anyone, but it happens. Things happen on this tour sometimes that you just can't explain."
Local tour company Dark Side of Denver has been conducting walking ghost tours of the city since 2017, but the new collaboration is their first attempt at adding weed to the mix. The new tours are part of a collaboration with local dispensary chain Native Roots and the Cannabis Experience, one of Denver's only legal mobile consumption lounges. The tour will make its first stop at a Native Roots dispensary, where customers will be able to stock up on their choice of legal bud.
While the tour bus is traveling from one haunted destination to the next, passengers will be able to smoke as much weed as they please. The Cannabis Experience has been running stoner-friendly city tours and shuttles to the Denver International Airport since it received the city's first mobile cannabis consumption permit earlier this year. The company runs a custom bus equipped with proper ventilation to filter out the dank smoke and an airtight divider to ensure the driver stays sober.
"I didn't know Denver had so much paranormal activity! Considering its history, and since we are downtown and check out some of those really old places, it makes sense," said Cannabis Experience CEO Sarah Woodson to Westword. "Dark Side does these tours often, and they know how to set the mood. They provide really good historical accounts, so our job is to make sure folks have a safe, legal place to consume and get them around town in a safe way."
"We have some great spots that we're going to be talking about and visiting,” Beckemeyer told Westword. “We get to explore inside of some buildings, which not every tour gets to do. We talk to people firsthand about a lot of the history and haunting. Union Station will be a part of the tours, because that's where Denver was pretty much founded, and there's a lot of history there. We'll also go to one of Denver's most old and legendary hotels, but [the name of] that one will be a mystery."
The new tours are offering a rare legal option to help boost Colorado's pot tourism industry. Despite being one of the first two states to legalize adult-use cannabis, Colorado only got around to issuing its first public consumption licenses in 2019. And even now, most localities still prohibit cannabis consumption in public, essentially forcing pot tourists to break the law if they want to get high. Denver is one of the few cities to fully embrace legal consumption lounges, but even so, the city has only issued mobile consumption permits to three businesses so far.