Passengers flying out of Denver International Airport (DIA) after a vacation, work-related travel, or to visit family have plenty of choices when it comes to getting in a last minute shopping excursion. Travelers can enjoy local craft brews and coffees at places like Rock Bottom and Boulder Beer, grab a bite to eat at Elway's or Steve's Snappin' Dogs, and get some shopping in at The Tattered Cover or Kazoo & Company. They can buy Denver Broncos apparel in any size, shape, and form imaginable, Climax beef jerky, underwear imprinted with the state flag, shot glasses, spoons, and of course Rocky Mountain T-shirts.
When it comes to Colorado's booming marijuana industry, however, the only souvenir tourists can acquire at DIA is perhaps a photo of an airport sign prohibiting the herb's use. Many DIA vendors are up in arms, and rightly so over this new airport-wide, anti-cannabis policy. Evidently DIA officials have in the past gone so far as to encourage new retail stores to embrace Colorado's new pro-marijuana stance, and thus sell related wares. One store in particular High-ly Legal Colorado is almost completely stocked with cannabis-related swag, and is dumbfounded by the state’s willingness to miss out on millions in potential sales, employment, and tax revenue.
"That's what really gets me," says Ann Jordan, who recently incorporated her business, High-ly Legal Colorado, to sell flip-flops, socks, and other souvenirs depicting marijuana leaves. "How can you sell the Colorado flag on shot glasses and underwear—and that's okay—but not this? I don't know where they're drawing the line." Jordan says she approached a program manager for Provenzano Resources Inc.—the company that handles all of thee retail lease agreements at DIA—last month about selling her wares in the terminal. "She was very positive about it," Jordan says. "She said a lot of tourists complain because there's nothing [marijuana-related] at the airport that they can take home.
Those tourists are already frustrated because they can't smoke, vape, or eat cannabis products at DIA, let alone bring them on a flight—so being able to buy a souvenir might be a good way to calm them down, Jordan says the woman told her. But later the PRI rep said that Jordan's souvenirs wouldn't be allowed after all.