Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado Springs cannabis enthusiasts gear up for 420 festivities

photo - Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music, at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver on April 20, 2013. Colorado Springs residents have options closer to home to celebrate 420 this year.. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) + caption
Members of a crowd numbering tens of thousands smoke marijuana and listen to live music, at the Denver 420 pro-marijuana rally at Civic Center Park in Denver on April 20, 2013. Colorado Springs residents have options closer to home to celebrate 420 this year.. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
By Andrea Sinclair Updated: April 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

As Denver braces itself for what's being touted as the biggest "420" celebration yet, Colorado Springs has enough going on Sunday to keep cannabis enthusiasts enjoying the day without traveling north on what has become the annual day of marijuana celebration.

One of the top events will be the International Cannabis Technology Expo at The Wyndham Grand Mining Exchange Grand Hotel , at 8 S. Nevada Ave. . The expo is expected to fill the hotel's halls Saturday and Sunday with 17 keynote speakers , 40 vendors , live music and lectures on the latest developments and advances for marijuana entrepreneurs.

KC Stark, owner of the social club Studio A64, said the expo, the first of its kind, stands to attract a considerable number of investors to Colorado Springs and El Paso County for the growing industry.

"The expo is going to be amazing, and it won't be a one-time thing, we plan on partnering with The Mining Exchange for many years to come to hold this event," Stark told The Gazette on Thursday. "There will be scientists, doctors, lawyers, scholars, and investors present."

The free expo starts Saturday at 7 a.m., with lectures on advanced aquaphonics techniques, cooking with cannabis, and business strategies for medical and retail marijuana entrepreneurs.

After lectures wrap up Sunday, an after-party from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Mining Exchange's Gold Room will feature live music by K.C. and the Canna Band. For more information, visit http://mmjbusinessacademy.com/.

At The 64 Store at 502 W. Colorado Ave., music, food, and Easter-themed prizes will keep the party going all weekend, said manager Kate Penaloza.

"There will be discounts and promotions for all red card holders and members," Penaloza said. "On Sunday, we'll have an egg grab promotion and customers will find coupons and prizes inside Easter eggs."

Unlike Denver's 420 Rally at the Civic Center, Colorado Springs will not be holding any public smoke-outs, but police would not offer specifics on what preparations were being made for the weekend.

"CSPD is aware of the significance of the date. We are situationally prepared," said police spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley in an email to The Gazette. "Obviously there are certain preparations and tactical operations which we cannot go into detail about in order to protect the community and officers alike."

In Denver, police have said they will not arrest or cite any public smokers, but will focus on public safety during the events.

Even without any clarity from police, Colorado Springs dispensaries are bracing for a busy weekend of celebration and lots of business.

"We're pretty confident, or at least we're hoping, that most red card holders will know that there's absolutely no partaking on premises, and definitely not outside," Penaloza said. "Usually people come in, make their purchase, get a bite to eat, and head out."

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