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International Church of Cannabis opens in old Denver church

DENVER -- It's a beautiful building. Lots of friendly faces and a great Denver neighborhood for a church.

But as you get closer, you realize this church is unlike any you've seen before.

Welcome to the International Church of Cannabis.

"Elevationists are what we call our congregation," said Steve Berke, CEO of Bangholdings.com, which owns the property. "An individual's spiritual journey and search for meaning is one of self discovery that can be heightened and deepened through ritual cannabis use."

Before the church opened its doors, a little renovation was in order.

"It's a 113-year-old property. Some of the initial things that we did were just aesthetic improvements and then we're really proud of the art that we feature in the church," he said.

By definition, Berke said church is a real church.

"It's going to do all the things that churches do," he said.

Plus one more: Allow the consumption of marijuana by invite only and for special events.

"People who use cannabis as a sacrament for their own spiritual and religious purposes can come and feel safe that they're not going to be prosecuted or arrested for practicing their religion in peace," Berke said.

For some surrounding neighbors, the jury about the marijuana church is still out, but the choir is already singing.