Maybe one day it will be a national holiday. For now, however, the best way to celebrate 4/20 is to pack your bags and head to Colorado.
Hotel bookings in Denver for April 17-20 are up 60 percent compared with the same period last year, the Denver Post reported last week. And retail stores are stocking up for a rush of cannabis devotees from around the country.
Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, but only Colorado and Washington permit sales at the moment. Of the two, Colorado had a six-month head start when it allowed retail stores to open in January 2014.
Legalization may be sparking interest in Colorado as a tourist destination. According to data from Hotels.com, Denver has risen on the list of most popular U.S. cities to visit, going from #19 to #14 in the last two years.
Marijuana delivery app raised $10 million in venture capital funding
The service is part Amazon and part Uber: you can order medical marijuana with your phone and have it delivered to your house or apartment by a crowdsourced driver.
Investors are betting that the service, called Eaze, will take off in states where weed is legal. Here's a measure of its popularity among financiers: it raised $10 million in its first funding round, a sum that stands out among marijuana businesses, Forbes reports. Snoop Dogg is even onboard.
The app's big funding score hints at the beginning of a shift in the investment field, with more traditional investors warming to the idea of legal marijuana. Last week, another pot company — the Seattle-based Privateer Holdings — announced a $75 million funding round that included investments from PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel.
“The six months’ difference between when we raised seed to now — the investor sentiment has changed a lot,” said Privateer spokeswoman Caroline Vespi told Forbes.
Iowans split on legalizing recreational marijuana
Marijuana could be a hot topic during the 2016 election. In the Republican field, Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky) has already thrown down the gauntlet with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, blasting the "hypocrisy" of Bush's opposition to medical marijuana. Bush, who reportedly smoked weed in his youth, hasn't formally declared his candidacy yet, but is widely expected to run.
The first crucial test for candidates will be the Iowa Caucuses in January 2016 — and a poll released on Tuesday shows medical marijuana could be potential point of contention.
The poll, by Quinnipiac, shows 87 percent of Iowans support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. That's in line with other states, according to pollsters.
Recreational pot isn't as popular. Voters there are split on legalizing the drug for general use, 47 percent in favor and 47 percent against.
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.