Visitors swarm Denver pot retailers ahead of 4/20; Starbuds Dispensary says most from out of town

DENVER - Late this week, at any given moment the parking lot of Starbuds Dispensary, one of Denver's many pot retailers, was filled with airport shuttles, taxis and cars with out-of-state plates.

Manager Bret Ahroon told 7NEWS about 70 percent of business this week has been people in town for the 4/20 rally or Cannabis Cup. The dispensary has extended its hours for the weekend and increased staff.

"We're pulling people from all over. A lot of people who are normally working in the warehouses are down helping out," Ahroon said. "All the sudden we'll just see 20 Florida ID's come through, then 20 Ohio ID's, 20 New York."

While 7NEWS crews were at Starbuds they noticed two taxis in the parking lot, an airport shuttle and three cars: one from Texas, one from Iowa and one from Illinois.

Sundance Alba drives for Aspen Snowmass Express. Inside his shuttle is a FAQ marijuana sticker that reads "Know the Law, About Marijuana Use in Denver."

"Lots of times when people get in -- if they look OK -- I ask them are we going to be stopping at a dispensary today? About 50 percent of them say yes," Alba said.

That is on any given day, but Alba said this week the number of people visiting specifically for marijuana use has jumped.

"I'm at the airport 12 hours a day ... I've seen a big increase of people coming in right now. All of us shuttle drivers are able to pull in and within a couple minutes people are approaching us to go downtown. Usually it takes half an hour to an hour to get a fare out of the airport."

One of those tourists, Logan Summey, talked to 7NEWS within the first hour of arriving in Denver. Summey and his girlfriend flew in from Harrisburg, Pa. They got in a shuttle and made their first stop Starbuds Dispensary.

"We walked out of the airport and he was like, 'You guys looking for a ride?' We were like, 'Absolutely.' So we got in the van," Summey said. "He [the driver] was like, 'You got to make a stop anywhere?' Yeah, we said we definitely need to make a stop."

Ahroon told 7NEWS this weekend is by far busier than normal, but generally speaking a majority of their business is out of towners.

"We can almost tell what DIA's schedule is because we get tons of calls from the airport, mainly how far away are you."

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