Visiting the International Church of Cannabis
THE CHURCH IN DENVER, CO founded on a shared love of cannabis, and what to know before visiting.
Tucked away in a neighborhood on South Logan Street in Denver, there’s an unexpected, non-traditional church whose members are brought together by one simple thing: A shared love of cannabis. (Only fitting that it was founded in the Mile High City.)
Jokes aside, you can actually get a firsthand look inside this one of a kind hidden gem in Denver.
Know before you go:
Hours of Operation: Friday 1-3pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-5pm
Cost: They asked for a donation of $5 when I visited on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t know if that’s the standard all weekend, though.
What to Expect: The church will actually be pretty empty, probably, due to the fact that they only allow visitors during non-consumption hours. So no, you can’t actually get high while you’re there (sorry), and you won’t be dodging weed clouds at every turn. But you will be able to ask as many questions and take as many pictures as you’d like.
And then go get high somewhere else after, if that’s what you’re into. It is Denver, after all.
Restrictions: Due to local laws, the church is only open to those 21 and older.
About Elevationism & the Church:
Elevationism is the official religion of The International Church of Cannabis, which was opened on April 20th (did you expect anything less?) of 2017. In the early 1900s, the church first housed a prohibitionist congregation that was working hard to try to keep alcohol illegal - showing just how much of a 180 the building has done since then, lol. Over the years, the church has been home to about 6 different religious groups until Elevationism finally took over.
I chatted with one of the church’s members, a super friendly woman who was working when I visited (I didn’t catch her name unfortunately), and she explained to me that they meet up on Friday evenings each week. They’ll hold a service where they’ll smoke and play music, and then afterwards everyone just kinda hangs out, talks about whatever everyone’s going through that week, maybe watch a movie, that sort of thing.
Elevationists do believe that cannabis consumption is a sacrament of sorts, but don’t require those interested to convert from other religions or follow any strict rules to become a member. They basically believe that everyone can hold whatever spiritual or religious beliefs they so choose - they’re brought together on the shared notion that regular cannabis consumption is healing and helpful during one’s own personal journey through life and self-discovery, whatever that may look like from person to person.
You can learn more about Elevationism on their website - it’s very informational and answers just about any question you could have! (Also their sassy responses are on point and should just generally be appreciated.)
Inside the Chapel: About the Murals
The art on the outside of the church was completed in just 24 hours by American artist Kenny Scharf, while the inside of the chapel was painted by the famous Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel.
Following the opening of the church in 2017, the technicolor church obviously saw a ton of attention from the press - the most impressive feat being the fact that when Alicia Keys saw the article in the New York Times, she invited San Miguel to come paint her townhouse for her in New York. (Is that what it’s like to have money??)
Okuda San Miguel has done some seriously impressive work around the world, definitely check him out on Instagram if you have the chance.
The International Church of Cannabis is a must-see in Denver for all stoners and non-stoners alike. I have my new friend from the church to thank for all of these little known facts - so I highly recommend chatting up the staff if you stop by. There’s also a small gift shop and cafe in the basement/downstairs area of the church, if you have the chance to check that out, too!