WeedInFocus
Jul 8, 2016 9:05 AM

Your Guide to Marijuana Tourism in United States

In the two years since Colorado first permitted the sale of recreational weed, a cannabis tourism infrastructure rapidly emerged. Cannabis-friendly charter SUVs will drive you to the mountain slopes any time of day or night. There are stoner mountain treks for those who like to spend a little time in the mountains while baked. There are stoner chefs who are happy to cook you a four-course cannabis dinner. Stoner painting classes will help you discover your talents or just be a part of a relaxing, open-minding atmosphere. This holistic world of cannabis, of course, has its own “informational infrastructure” in the form of services like Weedy, Leafly, and Weedmaps that will help you track nearby marijuana vendors.

The cannabis industry is successfully changing its image; there is not much surprising about the ongoing marijuana tourist boom. The phrase “Napa Valley of weed” does no longer sound bizarre. More and more tourist are interested in states where they can legally buy and consume cannabis, and the local pot businesses are seeking to serve those travelers. Consequently, there are self-described “cannabis sommeliers” and “ganjapreneurs” of every kind. They will guide you into the “cutting-edge world of cannabis legalization and marijuana news,” according to one of Colorado's most popular pot tourist companies.

Although 24 states have made medical marijuana legal, only four of them (and the District of Columbia, of course) decided to legalize recreational cannabis use. Many people believe that the weed tourism industry is purely a function of timing. As more states end prohibition, the need to go on a pot vacation will dissipate although Colorado and Washington will probably remain a great place for spending your weekend.

Colorado

Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use, paving the way for millions in tax revenue and creating a wholly new market niche.

In 2013, marijuana industry officials estimated thirty percent of recreational sales could be made to out-of-state visitors. Recently, the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce pushed a bill that allowed pot businesses to open tasting rooms like those wineries and breweries have.

Some years ago, there was no such thing as cannabis tourism. No one even though about taking tourists around local dispensaries, marijuana farms, or labs in order to help them to navigate what might look like a maze to an outsider. No one did, except two Denver entrepreneurs, Matt Brown and James Walker.

They are the founders of My 420 Tours, the first America's marijuana tourism company. Now, for $1,295, you can buy an “all-inclusive cannabis vacation”: My 420 Tour will pick you up at the airport, connect you to a marijuana-friendly hotel, organize a thematic tour for you, and provide you with tickets to weed-themed events and cannabis cooking classes. In the four-hour Dispensary & Grow tour, which starts at $129, you will be put on a party bus (filled with pot smoke, obviously) and given a brief marijuana user's guide.

During the tour, you will visit the Native Roots Apothecary to buy some weed at a discount, enjoy your meal at the Icehouse Tavern, and end your trip by visiting a top-notch head shop known as Illusion Glass Gallery.

Other noteworthy places in Colorado include an all-organic dispensary Helping Hands, a dispensary, called Telluride Bud Company, that grows all its weed locally, Maggie's Farm, and many others.

Washington

Washington is not far behind Colorado when it comes to marijuana tourism.

When the state legalized recreational marijuana use in July 2014, Washington's tourism industry has got a new opportunity. Naturally, Seattle is the epicenter of the state's cannabis business. According to the local entrepreneurs, the city has the potential to become a marijuana tourism mecca akin to Amsterdam.

Kush Tourism is one of the leaders in cannabis tourism in Seattle. This tour operator offers pot enthusiasts several premium tour options. For $150, the company provides a three-and-a-half hour educational excursion led by guides dressed in casual khakis and polos. The tour includes a walkthrough of a growing facility on Harbor Island, a tour of a pot-testing lab, a short master-classes on making pipes, and a visit to a popular marijuana shop Uncle Ike's. According to the founders, the tours are more than just about education—you could see something you cannot see any other way.

Oregon

On Nov. 24, 2014, Oregon legalized recreational marijuana by passing Oregon Ballot Measure 91.The weed business is booming in Portland specifically and in Oregon in general. There are now cannabis-focused tourist activities and 420-friendly accommodations where enjoying marijuana is not just tolerated—it is encouraged.

You can order a room at the grand old Tudor house of Mt. Scott Manor located between Leach Botanical Garden e and Powell Butte Nature Park. At the 1431 NW 53rd Bed and Breakfast, marijuana use is prohibited inside the facility, but vaporizing is allowed. This way you do not even have to leave this meditative place.

After having a great sleep, you can go to the world-famous Cannabis Cafe. At nights, there even exotic activities like Cannabis Karaoke and Stoner Bingo.

Alaska

Alaska is almost every outdoorsman's dream—wildlife, mountains, glaciers, authentic culture. Julie Saupe, president of a tourism industry group Visit Anchorage, believes that in order to be effective and efficient, state's marijuana tourism needs to see research that convinces them that this activity is a travel motivator. There would need to be indicators that travelers are really interested in Alaska as a marijuana tourism destination first. Until then, legal cannabis will likely to be enjoyed by visitors with or without targeted sales.

Although both recreational and medical cannabis use is legal in Alaska, the tourism industry is walking with a limp. In Alaska, smoking cannabis in public places is prohibited, that is why marijuana-friendly accommodations are the most suitable place to stay for people willing to take a weed tour.

However, dozens of marijuana-related businesses are popping up in the state: Alaska Cannabis Tour, 420 Friendly Alaska Cruise, Phatt Phreddies Marijuana Dispensary, Juneau Cannabis Consulting, and many others.

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