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Colorado symphony strikes high note in cannabis-friendly concert

By Eric M. Johnson

(Reuters) - The Colorado Symphony is giving new meaning to hitting a high note, announcing on Tuesday a bring-your-own marijuana concert series, the first of which features its chamber ensemble and South-of-the-border food and booze.

The U.S. states of Colorado and Washington became the first to legalize the possession and use of recreational cannabis in 2012, and the first retail pot shops opened in Colorado in January.

The orchestra's "Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series" seeks to tap the blossoming market in a series of summer fundraising concerts, at a time when more than half of Colorado voters believe legalizing recreational marijuana has been good for the state, a recent poll showed.

The Denver Post newspaper reported the events are aimed at boosting attendance, including drawing younger concert-goers, at a time when the Colorado Symphony has struggled financially.

"Join us as we travel along the Pan American Highway with stops for Chimichurri, arepas & the best salty roasted jalapenos you've ever had," the orchestra said on its website.

The first concert, on May 23 in Denver, is sponsored by companies operating in the nascent pot industry, including a medicinal marijuana dispensary and a company that specializes in growing supplies.

The symphony's website listing for the 21-and-up event contains more warnings and culture-guidance than cannabis-friendly features, such as it being strictly "BYOC" and costumes and "thematic clothing" can be eschewed in favor of clothing more suited to an "art gallery setting."

Parking? "Due to the nature of the event, we encourage alternative modes of transportation," the orchestra says.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Michael Perry)

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