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Flying To or From Denver? Forget About Buying Marijuana Souvenirs

It should come as no surprise that marijuana tourism is a very real and very “trendy” thing in Colorado. Ever since the state legalized recreational marijuana use last year, “ganja-preneurs” have organized everything from luxury marijuana tours to cannabis clubs.  Some small mountain towns have even reported that tourists account for 90 percent of their marijuana sales, with the ski town of Breckenridge predicting $8.3 million in marijuana sales for 2015.

But if you’re looking to bring home a souvenir of Denver’s “stoner experience,” you shouldn’t plan to do your shopping at the Denver International airport.

No Souvenirs Allowed

Denver International airport recently banned the sale of all pot-themed souvenirs out of fears they would tarnish the state’s image. Their policy formally bans all depictions of pot plants, items with the word “marijuana” and any publications devoted solely to pot.

However, the airport can’t outlaw items with weed-related puns like “Rocky Mountain High” or other similar slogans.

“We don’t want marijuana to be the first thing our visitors experience when they arrive. Frankly, there’s a lot more to Colorado than pot,” said airport spokesman Heath Montgomery. “[But] there’s only so much we can do.”

Taking it to Court

The airport ban on marijuana knickknacks could lead to a possible lawsuit from one potential vendor. Ann Jordan, owner of High-ly Legal Colorado, was denied permission to open a kiosk with marijuana-themed items including boxer shorts with pot leaves on them. She argued that the souvenirs were legal and smaller airports in the state don’t have similar bans.

Jordan also pointed out the hypocrisy of Denver airport devoting an entire walkway to celebrating Colorado’s beer. The exhibit, “Colorado on Tap: The State of Brew Culture,” features souvenirs from the state’s 250 craft brewers and was even endorsed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is quoted as praising Colorado as “a mecca for quality beer.”

No Souvenirs, No Smoking

The Denver Airport didn’t stop with souvenirs. In December 2013, they also banned the sale and use of marijuana on airport property. Although 29 people were caught trying to board planes with marijuana last year, police did not give any possession citations and they were allowed to board their flight after throwing away the pot. Police also declined to issue the potential $999 administrative fine in all cases.

Although the airport won’t sell pot souvenirs, they won’t stop anyone from boarding with them. Marijuana travelers are more than welcome to stock up on belt-buckle pipes with pot compartments or marijuana sex lube on their own time.

Given the enormous financial boom surrounding legal marijuana in the state, it could just be a matter of time before the airport backs off their principles for profit.

Additional Reading: 5 Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Weed