Legendary artist, activist and Aspenite Thomas W. Benton once said on one of his now-vintage silkscreens, “What the hell. It’s only a weed that turns to a flower in your mind.” Among his most notable works were the political posters for his friend and the father of gonzo journalism Hunter S. Thompson, who ran for Pitkin County sheriff in 1970 on the platforms of legalizing marijuana and other substances.
Now, 49 years later, the adult use of recreational cannabis is a reality in Colorado and in a continually increasing number of states across the country. Locally, Aspen’s roots in Thompson’s counterculture legacy have remained strong, and upon legalization in 2014, our tiny, tony town embraced the new normal.
In the downtown core alone, there are seven stores—the state’s highest density of dispensaries per capita—and in 2017, the city became the first-ever in the country where cannabis outpaced alcohol sales (to the tune of $11.3 million). But there is one store that stands out as the pioneer in what modern cannabis culture could and should look like, helping to shed the stoner stigma early on. Silverpeak Aspen, known for its impeccable interior design and elevated shopping experience (every purchase is presented on a silver platter), leaned into Aspen’s luxury-loving crowd and earned a reputation locally as the “Barneys of weed.”
Its groundbreaking precedent set the bar, well, high, for a much-needed niche within the burgeoning industry. And since the golden gates of California opened to recreational cannabis last year, the market has seen a rush of refinement.
Thanks to Los Angeles-based brand Beboe, which chose Aspen as its first locale of interstate expansion in 2018, a “Barneys of weed” now exists... in Barneys. Opened in March at Barneys Beverly Hills, The High End offers a range of marijuana-minded wellness products along with an exclusive collaboration by Beboe.
In honor of luxury cannabis achieving its most major moment yet, we present an ultimate guide to experiencing the high end of high country.
In honor of luxury cannabis achieving its most major moment yet, we present an ultimate guide to experiencing the high end of high country: