From jaw-dropping wildlife to iconic geysers and geothermal springs, Yellowstone National Park never fails to dazzle the senses. But the summer of 2022 is gonna be extra special.
For the first time since adult-use cannabis sales launched in Montana this January, the nearly five million people expected to make the trek to Yellowstone will also have access to the area’s spectacular array of marijuana shops and products.
The Treasure State offers a strikingly different marijuana shopping experience than many other markets: Tons of the shops here are straight-up mom and pop boutique operations. Virtually all of them are in-state, homegrown companies, too, and carry a blend of popular, well-known strains and niche products.
Want to know which strains are flying off the shelves, the latest trends in the Montana market, and how much money you should expect to spend on your visit? Leafly has you covered.
To get the scoop—and smoke the real zaza—my friend Chris and I explored nearly a dozen shops close to the park: In West Yellowstone, Big Sky, and the bigger hub of Bozeman. The only thing that rivaled the excellent weed on our road trip, we found, was the humbling, radiant beauty of western Montana in peak springtime.
Don’t forget: Since the national park is on federal land, it remains illegal to consume marijuana or marijuana products there. As Leafly has reported, getting busted with weed at a national park can carry huge penalties.
All recreational marijuana and marijuana products are subject to a flat 20% sales tax in Montana. Medical patients pay 4% tax.
Inside Lone Peak Caregivers’ mini pot shop in West Yellowstone
Only one dispensary can claim to be the closest to the West Yellowstone park entrance, and that’s Lone Peak Caregivers.
LPC’s shop isn’t exactly a conventional dispensary, however. Housed in a 10×20 foot shipping container in a pull-out on the side of the road, only a few customers can fit inside at a time.
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Yet once you make it inside, you’ll find a robust selection of flower and products from across Montana—in addition to LPC’s in-house products—behind the sole sales counter.
I’m a big fan of the solventless, extra-terpy vape carts from groove and the top-shelf flower from Sacred Sun Farms, and Collective Elevation—all of which were available at LPC.
These guys are already super busy! The Idaho border is only a few miles away, bringing in extra traffic from the prohibitionist Gem State. Want to avoid a potentially long wait? You can check out LPC’s other stores in Big Sky or Bozeman, too.
1860 Targhee Pass Hwy, West Yellowstone
Betty’s sells Cookies strains and more in Big Sky
The small community of Big Sky sits about halfway between the Bozeman airport and West Yellowstone. Visitors can find a handful of pot shops there, clustered just off the dazzling Highway 191. Even in mid-May, a healthy layer of snow still covered many of the meadows, and the blue-green Gallatin River ran lazily alongside the road.
We definitely recommend checking out Betty’s Roadside Provisions. Cheery, well-lit, and spacious, Betty’s similarly offers a mix of excellent products—including a handful of branded Cookies strains!
When we visited, the shop’s supply was low across the board. But you could still grab an eighth of Laughing Gas, Red Velvet, or London Pound Cake—all from Cookies.
Betty’s also carries gummies and chocolate bars from High Road Edibles, one of the most popular brands in Montana.
All of High Road’s gummies contain 5 milligrams of THC—a great choice for novice and low-tolerance consumers. I grabbed a bag of the delicious Inspire gummies, a balanced sativa/indica product that comes in a blend of peach and green apple flavors. The gummies cost $20 before tax, and come twenty to a package.
Note: If you’re driving to Betty’s from West Yellowstone, be cautious of the left turn into the parking lot. Even in May, before the rush truly begins, it was hectic out there.
Looking for more Cookies strains in the area? Check out Betty’s other shop in Bozeman.
48025 Gallatin Rd, Gallatin Gateway
Pure Remedies’ A-list genetics hide in plain sight
Flying into the Bozeman airport and looking to pick up some stellar Montana marijuana? You’ll have tons of options either heading east towards Bozeman, or south to Big Sky and West Yellowstone.
For the real genetics nerds, we recommend checking out Pure Remedies, one of the closest shops to the airport.
Let’s be clear, however, Pure Remedies ain’t fancy. Tucked into a small room in a warehouse-like space, the shop may weird out novice consumers or folks seeking a more upscale shopping experience.
But Pure Remedies’ products undoubtedly speak for themselves. Co-owners Michael Lentini and Myka Perry offer a spectacular selection of highly-curated flower and a variety of different phenos of each strain. Their amazing cut of The Whoa!!! (from Exotic Genetix), for one, won the Montana Lovers Cup earlier this year. On this visit, their extraordinary Jealousy x Gary Payton #4 proved to be one hell of a knock-out.
Pure Remedies estimated that, with summertime approaching, 60-70% of their customers are looking for sativa-dominant products. It makes sense; when you’re hiking or fishing Montana’s grand rivers, you wanna be buzzing along at cruising altitude, not asleep at the stern.
215 Arden Dr Unit 26, Belgrade
Big Sky Buds offers stellar product and great cheer
If you’re heading south from the Bozeman airport, you’ll hit the busy commercial stretch of Four Corners. A handful of shops have staked out claims there.
Big Sky Buds is one of my favorites. Boasting a wide counter and an extremely visually-accessible menu, the shop carries a wide range of genetics and edibles, including their award-winning—and insanely terpy—Trop Runtz.
Not many Montana shops are doing deli-style sales any more; I really appreciate that BSB keeps their flower front and center.
Co-owner Alec Johnson noted that the rec market has led to a lot more interest in terpenes from customers. “Hardly anyone asks me anymore about the highest testers,” he told Leafly.
Bonus points: The budtenders at Big Sky Buds are some of the nicest around. It’s hard to walk in and not immediately feel at home here.
81549 Gallatin Rd Unit 6, Bozeman
Juniper Cannabis’ upscale vibes
Only a handful of Montana dispensaries lean into the minimalist, upscale aesthetic of more mature markets. Juniper Cannabis, however, with locations in downtown Bozeman and closer to the airport, in Belgrade, nails that vibe to a T.
I’ve really enjoyed Juniper’s CBD-rich products in the past. On this visit I tried the pungent, piney Hawking Kush for $12 per gram, pre-tax. A 2:1 CBD-dominant strain, it’s a great choice for daytime smoking and novice consumers.
Also: Don’t sleep on their Sports Weed, a buzzy sativa blend made in collaboration with the merry pranksters of Dangle Supply, an excellent local bong and pipe company.
120 N Grand Ave, Bozeman
Collective Elevation pulls off excellent flower at a big scale
Our trip ended with a visit to Collective Elevation’s expansive grow and manufacturing facility. Unlike most of these other shops, Collective’s operation is huge, at least by Montana standards. Priding themselves on a living soil, organic approach, their strains like Leafly Strain of the Year 2021 Do-Si-Dos, Donnie Burger, and Super Sherb get a lot of love across the state.
Co-owner Adam Arnold pointed out that vape carts are having a moment right now. “It’s probably our biggest growth sector,” he told Leafly. In addition to their own CO2 carts, Collective also sells live rosin carts from Dancing Goat Gardens, one of my favorite brands in the state.
2230 W Main St, Bozeman
More great shops near Yellowstone to explore:
Needless to say, many other shops near Yellowstone are worth a visit. Here are just a few:
Sacred Sun Farms
This veteran shop is beloved for their concentrates and organic approach to cultivation. Sacred Sun’s infused fruit roll up is one of my favorite edibles in Montana.
Located just west of downtown Bozeman, Bighorn Buds is all about the flower. On our visit, they were keen to hype their indica-dominant OMFG strain.
On the eastern end of downtown Bozeman, near the excellent Mountains Walking brewery, Grizzly Pine rocks beautifully-packaged edibles, and a wide variety of strains and vape carts.
And with that, fellow adventurers, happy trails!!
Remember: Your friendly Montana budtenders have been serving a population of 40,000 medical patients until this year. Please be patient, have fun, and be sure to let us know in the comments which shops, strains, and products you loved the most on your Yellowstone adventures!