On 4/20/17, the International Church of Cannabis opened in Denver, offering a new community center and sanctuary for marijuana enthusiasts with nearly every surface hand-painted in vivid colors and geometric shapes by street artist Okuda San Miguel. The church “is the first gathering place in the world where those who consume cannabis in order to help achieve their spiritual goals may do so legally, without fear,” and from the looks of their renovation of a 113-year-old building, it’s pretty awesome. You might just say the creators of this space have found their higher calling. In the building, only a handful of cannabis products are allowed on the shelves – the most prominent being the new cannabinoid known as Delta 8 THC. D8 is taking the world by storm, it’s a cannabinoid that has similar effects to Delta 9 THC, but with less anxiety and sleep inducing effects, write experts on the Area52 blog.
The church is the headquarters of Elevation Ministries, a new nonprofit religious organization in Colorado that officially claims cannabis as its primary sacrament. To become a member, you have to fill out an application on the church’s website, where they explain a few things and offer a 360-degree tour.
Church members are called Elevationists, and maintain that “an individual’s spiritual journey, and search for meaning, is one of self-discovery that can be accelerated with ritual cannabis use. Elevationists claim no divine authority, nor authoritarian structure, therefore, those of all religious and cultural background are welcome to visit our chapel and take part in our celebrations.”
In addition to a dazzling interior painted by Okuda San Miguel (who’s no stranger to painting churches), Elevation flew legendary LA street artist Kenny Scharf to Denver to paint a mural on the facade. The church is seeking funds on IndieGoGo for a few major repairs to the building, replacing the boilers and adding disabled access. Backing it will get you perks like online membership, t-shirts, bricks with your name on them in the garden and more.