Cannabis Tourism On The Rise
An EcoChi Vital Abstract
This article was posted on July 3, 2019 by Susan G. Hauser, The New York Times.
As more states legalize the use of cannabis, entrepreneurs are organizing painting classes, bus tours and other marijuana-infused experiences. Sam Rosenbaum has Stephen Colbert to thank for his career switch from accountant to cannabis tour operator. The newly minted M.B.A. was watching an episode of “The Colbert Report” in 2014 when the comedian spoke of a “cannabis green rush” coming to Colorado, which had recently become the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. “I came up with High 5 Tours and registered it the next week,” Mr. Rosenbaum, 34, said. One year later, when Oregon voted to legalize cannabis, High 5 Tours was the state’s first cannabis bus tour. Eleven states in the US so far have voted to allow people 21 and older to buy regulated amounts of cannabis product for consumption on private property, but not all have buying and selling systems in place yet. However, in six states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington), business is booming at cannabis dispensaries and related businesses. As for cannabis tourism, it’s hot in Colorado and California and emerging in others. The Original Colorado Cannabis Tour includes visits to two dispensaries, after which onboard consumption of purchases is encouraged. Visits to a growing facility and a glass-pipe blowing demonstration round out the $89 bus tour, which lasts precisely four hours and 20 minutes. Colorado Cannabis Tours is also behind the Puff, Pass & Paint class created in 2015. For $49, the tour includes teacher guidance and art supplies, including a canvas to take home. “There are really some amazing paintings that come out of it,” artist Heidi Keyes said. ”With smoking you’re able to concentrate better. The colors are more vibrant, and people are more willing to think outside the box.” My 420 Tours offers the Blaze & Gaze Graffiti Walking Tour ($29), a post-consumption 2.5-mile walking tour of Denver’s RiNo Art District, and the Sushi & Joint Rolling Class ($79). “It’s our plan to copy and paste this model across the country,” said Danny Schaefer, the chief executive of My 420 Tours. Heavy on the Regulations: California has also rolled out the green carpet for tourists. West Coast Cannabis Tours, in San Diego, offers various tours and classes, including an exclusive tour of a 32,000-square foot growing facility ($99). Todd Green, who started the company when only medical marijuana was legal, said, “Now that it’s recreational, people are coming out of the woodwork.” But there are regulations. In Colorado, Oregon and California, passengers on tour buses can consume what they have just purchased at cannabis dispensaries, which is almost every tour’s first stop. However, in Washington and Nevada, laws prohibiting smoking in moving vehicles limit operators to tours that are strictly educational. West Hollywood, as well as some cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, have circumvented state restrictions by allowing cannabis social clubs or consumption lounges. And in late May, Colorado’s governor signed a bill allowing cannabis “hospitality spaces” at dispensaries and at B.Y.O.C. clubs.
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