International Church of Cannabis.
The church's ceiling and walls are filled with Okuda San Miguel's artwork, Sistine-Chapel-style.

International Church of Cannabis

Field review by the editors.

Denver, Colorado

"This is a Sistine Chapel for a new generation," said Steve Berke, an enthusiastic founding member of the "Elevationists" and their International Church of Cannabis. The church, which opened in 2017 on Cannabis Culture Day (April 20), is a genuine century-old house of worship, sold by its pastor to the Elevationists when it became too large for his dwindling congregation.

International Church of Cannabis.
L.A. street artist Kenny Scharf flew to Denver, painted this in a day, then flew back to L.A.

The Elevationists, in contrast, have a congregation that's growing like a... um, weed.

What sets the Cannabis Church apart from all others (aside from its cannabis-smoking members) is its dazzling artwork, painted by artists Kenny Scharf and Okuda San Miguel.

"It's surreal, existential, visceral," said Steve of the art. "We've had atheists walk into this church and have spiritual experiences." That's actually the point; the Elevationists believe that by smoking their "sacrament" and contemplating the colorful art, church-goers can receive enlightenment (We spotted a couple of artsy cow heads in the ceiling, if that counts).

The presence of all that smoke made us wonder: won't it end up coating the art in exhaled weed gunk, lessening its transformative power? Steve said that the Elevationists were mindful of that, and were looking into outfitting the church with smoke extraction equipment.

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use in 2012. Steve said that those who dismiss the church as an excuse to smoke dope seem to forget that its members can smoke dope anywhere in Denver. "It's not your typical church crowd," he admitted, but he added that the Elevationists' emphasis on good works still made the group "very churchy."

Aside from being a place of worship, the Church of Cannabis is also an attraction, with regular smoke-free hours set aside daily so that the public can visit, and "one of the coolest gift shops you've ever seen," according to Steve. "I predict we will end up becoming one of the top two or three tourist destinations in all of Colorado."

International Church of Cannabis

Address:
400 S. Logan St., Denver, CO
Directions:
South side of the city. I-25 exit 207B (southbound) or 206 (northbound). From the exit, drive north two blocks. Turn right onto Exposition Ave. Drive six blocks. Turn left at the stoplight onto Logan St. Drive three blocks. You'll see the church on the right, at the intersection of Dakota Ave.
Hours:
Daily 12-5 (no smoking during those hours) (Call to verify)
Phone:
303-800-5644
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

20-Foot-Tall Dog Made of Dog Tags20-Foot-Tall Dog Made of Dog Tags, Denver, CO - 1 mi.
Abandoned TV Walk of FameAbandoned TV Walk of Fame, Denver, CO - 2 mi.
Giant Metal Cow StatuesGiant Metal Cow Statues, Denver, CO - 2 mi.
In the region:
Forney Transportation Museum: Amelia Earhart's Car, Denver, CO - 5 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Colorado

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Colorado.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

May 28, 2017

My Sights

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Colorado Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Stumpy's Hatchet House, Eatontown, New Jersey (May 22-28, 2017)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Denver, Colorado

Nightly rates found:

Find Hotels Near:

Book Online Now

 

Favorite Quirky City Sights