Whether you're staying at Denver's Four Seasons hotel or elsewhere, know before you go: Marijuana use isn't condoned by all establishments. (Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

Cannabist Q&A: Hotel pot policies, tracking rec buyers, hefty tax rates

Welcome to our new Ask The Cannabist column. Clearly you have questions about marijuana, be it a legal concern, a health curiosity, a Colorado-centric inquiry or something more far-reaching. Check out our expansive, 64-question Colorado marijuana FAQ first, and if you’re still curious, email your question to Ask The Cannabist at askthecannabist@gmail.com.

Hey, Cannabist!
We’re coming to Colorado to celebrate legal pot, and we’ve heard of there are hotels that are friendly to our kind. Can you direct me to a couple of them?
–Vacationing from Vermont

Hey, Vacationing from Vermont!
Is it true Half Baked has surpassed Cherry Garcia as the number-one selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor?! I’m a fan of Late Night Snack, myself.

Enough about ice cream. For hotel options, please know the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act was recently amended to include marijuana smoke, so it’s not legal to smoke indoors. That being said, various hotels currently “turn a blind eye” to indoor marijuana smoking by guests. The evidence of being in a smoker tolerant hotel will be smelled and not seen as you walk through the lobby or down the hallways.

To have peace of mind you are being appropriate during your visit, talk with the hotel when you book your room and tell them what you need. Ideally, you want a designated smoking room or a room with an outdoor balcony out of sight from public view. Not all hotels with balconies are smoker friendly, so it’s important to clarify the hotel policy before booking the room.

Whatever the tolerance for cannabis smoking at your hotel, be a good guest and resist the urge to hotbox your bathroom, hourly or daily, if you didn’t get a smoking room.

Ultimately, this smoking quandary shouldn’t put a damper on your visit. You can have smoke-free fun with edibles and vaporizers. XO

Read more Cannabist Q&A: Out-of-state travel, spice, fighting insomnia.

Hey, Cannabist!
I went to buy recreational weed at Evergreen Apothecary. They wanted to record my name and personal info in their computer. I objected and was asked to leave by a very grumpy security dude. WTF???

I thought it was illegal for them to predicate a cash sale on adding my name to a computer database.
–John Doe

Hey, John!
You are correct, age verification from a government-issued ID card is the only proof you need to make a legal purchase of recreational cannabis. Amendment 64 actually forbids acquiring personal consumer information. It sounds like the center was carrying over some of its data-collection habits necessary for medical marijuana purchases.

I inquired on your behalf, and manager Tim Cullen explained Evergreen Apothecary’s sales policy. “Customer data (name and phone number) is required if they wish to pay in a way other than cash. Otherwise it is not. This data is used to contact them if they dispute a credit card charge, not to track sales.”

Cullen also said they do not pay the security guard to be grumpy, he’s usually not sour.

Knowing this, definitely take cash and give them another try, or find another recreational store with customer service more to your liking. XO

Map — Find a recreational marijuana store in your area

Hey, Cannabist!
I’ve read about the taxes involved with the new recreational pot — 25 percent! Should I keep paying to renew my red card instead to avoid those hefty fines?
–Uncle Sam

Hey, Uncle Sam!
The total tax per purchase depends on local tax rates.  Fortunately, 15 percent of the total tax is an excise tax paid by the business  on the wholesale level, so you won’t see this tax on your retail receipt.

What’s on the retail receipt is the 2.9 percent state sales tax that is applied to all goods, as well as a 10 percent retail marijuana state sales tax, plus any local sales taxes and local excise taxes.

To clarify, the tax is not a fine for an offense. The hefty tax is
special to recreational marijuana and not a penalty, even though it
may feel like it. Fortunately, the feel-good part is the first $40 million of the excise tax revenue goes to public school construction.

Since you already have a medical marijuana card, renew it.  Beginning in February, the annual card fee is only $15, and patient purchases bypass the special recreational tax. XO

Even more Cannabist Q&A: Donating blood, synthetic medical marijuana, cannabutter leftovers.