Justin Timberlake performs at Pepsi Center on Jan. 22. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

Justin Timberlake in Denver: “It smells legal in here tonight” (video)

Justin Timberlake is an outspoken fan of the herb.

The pop star has often spoke of his admiration of marijuana. When I saw him play to a 800-capacity club at SXSW 2013, he thanked the crowd and the “wonderful, weird city of Austin for having me” as he told stories about hitting Amy’s Ice Cream earlier in the day and ordering a chocolate chip dip.

“Sorry, I’m on drugs,” he said candidly. “I’m just being serious.”

After somebody in the packed Austin crowd pretended to be the Amy’s employee who’d helped him earlier that day, Timberlake nodded no: “It wasn’t you. I’m not that high.”

I saw Timberlake perform again Wednesday night when I reviewed his Pepsi Center show in Denver. And early on in the concert, Timberlake was giving the crowd his ever-charming banter when he noted a particular aroma:

“It smells legal in here tonight,” Timberlake crowed. “Yep, I can smell y’all coming from a mile away — it smells legal in here tonight.”

Did the Pepsi Center smell more dank than it normally does for a big pop show? Actually, it did. If you compared the presence of pot at this show with pop concerts from 2012 and earlier, it was significantly more present. I saw more than a few vape pens being passed around the excited audience. It remains illegal to ingest marijuana in public places, the Pepsi Center included.

Of course Timberlake’s banter touched on the other big news coming out of Colorado.

“Y’all feeling like they’re going to go to New York and be Super Bowl champions?”

The crowd’s response was an overwhelming yes, as you’ll see in the video above.

Cheers to our colleague Matt Miller at Reverb for the video.