The digits “555” are used almost exclusively for imaginary phone numbers in Hollywood, but that’s not the only set of numbers taken over by an industry. Marijuana stores have been giving us a wink and a nod with their phone contacts for years.

Denver dispensaries such as Buddy Boy, Cannabis Station, Ganja Gourmet, the Herbal Cure, High Level Health and Rocky Mountain High, half of which are chain operations with multiple stores, all have phone numbers ending in “9333.” So do mountain dispensary chain Roots RX, Boulder dispensary Karing Kind and a handful of medical marijuana centers in Colorado Springs.

The code isn’t handed out by the government to mark marijuana operations. Many dispensaries ask their phone-service providers for this combination, because the numbers “9333” on a phone keypad spell out the word “weed.”

Around thirty current dispensaries across Colorado have this sequence of numbers, but ending a pot shop’s phone number with “weed” was even more popular at the beginning of retail marijuana sales. In 2015, over twenty dispensaries in Denver alone had “9333” at the end of their numbers, but the fad began dying out around 2017 as commercial cannabis became more buttoned-up — or just less

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