Category Archives: travel

As Colorado Gets Ready To Allow Pot Clubs, Indoor Smoking Still An Issue

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A blinking “open” sign hangs on the outside of an old building in a dark industrial zone just outside the Denver city limits. When the front door opens, smoke billows out.

Inside is one of the state’s few pot clubs, called iBake. Recently, members celebrated the anniversary of its opening.

Glassy-eyed patrons bounce off each other in the small space.

People can smoke pot in here because the club is private; you have to be a member. And it’s outside city limits, away from city police.

It’s not the easiest way to make money, but Steve Nelson Jr. started iBake to fill a need.

“It’s recreation, so it’s to have fun, it’s to relax, it’s to lounge,” he says. “You don’t necessarily want to do that just by yourself.”

But that’s exactly how many tourists, like Alberto Aviles, end up using it. Aviles was visiting from New York. He had no problem finding a place to buy pot at one of Denver’s 150 stores, but aside from iBake, he couldn’t find anywhere to use it.

“Even in the hotels, like the Ramada Inn, they gave me a problem, you know, tried to kick me out just off the smell,” he says.

Hotel owners aren’t the only ones happy to see that city and state lawmakers are close to permitting a mix of private and public communal places to use pot. It’s something akin to what you’d find in Amsterdam.

Vicki Marble, a Republican state senator, says that’s better than cops handing out tickets to tourists using pot in parks and on sidewalks.

“We do not want people coming on vacation and leaving on probation,” she says.

Colorado Republicans have brushed off concerns from the Trump administration about the spread of recreational marijuana, throwing their weight behind a bipartisan bill at the state legislature that would officially allow private marijuana clubs.

“It’s not ideal for consumers, but it is a step in the right direction,” says Kayvan Khalatbari, a marijuana businessman and advocate for public pot consumption.

Seven other states have legal recreational pot, but among those seven, only Nevada is close to licensing public pot use.

“It’s not only something that obviously Colorado’s dealing with, but every single state that’s legalizing recreational cannabis, this will be a conundrum that gets recreated,” he says.

One conundrum is around smoking. Colorado, like many states, doesn’t allow indoor smoking in public places.

But Khalatbari says half of Colorado’s pot sales are for the type of marijuana you have to smoke. Many people prefer that.

“I don’t like edibles,” Khalatbari says. “I don’t like the way they make me feel. I don’t feel that vaporization gives me the sensation that I’m looking for”

Rachel O’Bryan has long fought against the expansion of pot. “Yes, I’m happy to be the bad guy who rains on the parade,” she says.

She says no filtration system can remove all the second-hand smoke from a room. And Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he’d veto the state’s pot club bill if it allows indoor smoking. Think outdoor patios and rooftop bars.

But O’Bryan’s concerns go beyond that. She’s worried that some proposals would allow any type of business — like a yoga studio or a laundromat — to permit marijuana use.

“You know, the encouragement of anything, whether it’s alcohol or marijuana while you’re going about your daily business of, you know, doing laundry — is that a good direction for society to take?” she asked. “And my guess is not.”

She laments that again, Colorado is at the forefront of a big social experiment. She wonders what the effect will be on drugged driving or addiction.

No one knows for sure.

Ben Markus is a general assignment reporter with NPR member station Colorado Public Radio. You can follow him @CPRMarkus.

NWCC Monday Night Sesh

5Here is an article by 420 Culture about NW Cannabis Club and The Monday Night Sesh!

NWCC Monday Night Sesh

An old crow sits atop the sign that says NWCC – Northwest Cannabis Club – a rustic venue off of Powell in downtown Portland, OR. At first glance you may assume it’s another dispensary or headshop, however it is so much more! The NWCC has opened it’s doors to the cannabis community to create an environment where the culture can thrive, the community can network & businesses can grow with exposure. Every Monday night they host the “Monday Night Sesh” – several vendors set up & showcase / sample out products while heady glass collectors from around the world come together to sesh and show off. 

Join us for Monday Night Sesh

Every week NWCC is the host of the Monday Night Sesh, a gathering that brings the community together for an evening of smoking & networking. The venue is in the heart of Portland, OR. – 1195 SE Powell blvd. – a central location for the Oregon community. The club offers a sanctuary for dabbers and weed tokers to enjoy their products in a safe, private environment. Legalities prevent any cannabis products from being sold on the premises, the best bet is to come prepared with your own stash. Occasionally local extract companies or dispensaries will set up as vendors for the sesh & sample out products for free.

The Monday Night Sesh attracts a “heady” crowd of glass collectors & enthusiasts. When you first walk into the club you’re greeted by the friendly staff, once they get you taken care of you’ll have free range of the dab bar & the downstairs lounge.  On any given week during the sesh you can find over $50,000 in functional glass that people are passing around in the downstairs lounge. You can also find a pool table, foosball and a flatscreen TV in the lounge.

Come on down to the NW Cannabis Club and see what it’s all about for yourself. A lifetime membership will cost $20, this will give you the ability to use the club as a social venue for a $5 daily fee. The membership allows the club to operate as a private venue, which is an essential part of providing the community with a safe sanctuary.

Every few weeks we try to make it down to partake in the terpiness, hang out with some friends & network with new potential clients. We always bring our cameras & capture epic moments so we can share the experience with you & everyone else. Enjoy these photos from previous Monday Night Sessions :

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Marijuana-Infused Wine Is Here For Real, Where To Buy?

marijuana-grow-near-albany-for-states-legal-medical-marijuana-dispensariesMarijuana-infused wine is available on very limited stores.
(Photo : Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
First Posted: Oct 17, 2016 05:14 AM EDT
The controversy regarding marijuana is endless. Pro-marijuana people would love to share with others the good effects of the medical cannabis. Marijuana products such as brownies, cannabis oil and so much more flying in. Thus, a new product is made for wine and marijuana fans. The marijuana-infused wine is made available, but people can only buy it in California.

The idea of marijuana-infused wine all started when two girls met on a camping trip in Yosemite National Park in 2010. Lisa Molyneux, a cancer survivor who now owns a dispensary in Santa Cruz and a marijuana retail worked hand in hand with Louisa Sawyer Lindquist of Verdad Wines in Santa Maria. They both want to aid cancer survivors with marijuana and wine.

The result of their brilliant minds is Canna Vine, a high-end marijuana product incorporated with organically grown marijuana and biodynamically farmed grapes, made with the care of Opus One. Celebrities including Melissa Etheridge and Chelsea Handler expressed their support with the marijuana-infused product. As a matter of fact, Etheridge has her own line of wine called Know Label and it was also made by Molyneux.

The catch of the “Pot wine, also known as green wine (described, for legal reasons, as a “tincture”) has probably been around almost as long as there has been pot and wine. Now, the challenge is how to actually get it. Not only it is pricey with a price ranging from $120 to $400 a half bottle. People can buy it only in California, U.S. because it is only legal to buy it there. As for some states where marijuana is also legal such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, the problem is it is illegal to infuse alcohol with it, as reported by Indian Express.

 

However, Sawyer-Lindquist id that “Cannabis wine has been so effective as a stress reliever, as a mood elevator, and as a medicine. I have no idea what the market will be like for it, but whatever I make it I want to be safe, made from pure ingredients and, hopefully, delicious.” Etheridge added that “I think that an herb-infused wine might be the sort of beautiful bridge to helps us to understand where cannabis fits into our culture.” According to LA Times.

 

Oregon’s cannabis fair celebrates growing pot industry

 

Junnelle Hogen, The (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal , KHOU 9:34 PM. EST August 14, 2016

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(Photo: Molly J. Smith, Statesman Journal)

SALEM, Ore. — Marijuana leaves of all shapes and sizes lined a competition alcove at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday. The plants were surrounded by hundreds of booths listing technology, agriculture and business innovations in the cannabis growing industry.

“People say we’ve ‘Microsofted’ the cannabis industry,” joked organizer Mary Lou Burton.

The weekend even was the first marijuana growers fair in Oregon, hosted at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Sponsored by the state marijuana business council, and with presentations from state agencies regulating the newly legalized industry, it highlighted a number of desires from Oregon entrepreneurs and businesses to turn the state into a go-to region for marijuana.

“It’s no longer a black market. It’s a burgeoning market,” said Caleb Hoffman of Colorado. He said he reserved a hotel room for the weekend to attend the fair, to draw inspiration from state innovators.

Saturday afternoon, the fair also hosted the first cannabis live plant competition in the state, featuring 51 leafy plants. Five judges led by Ed Rosenthal, the styled “guru of ganja” by admirers, picked out nine winners for sativa, hybrid and indica varieties.

Several of the winners came from the outskirts of Salem. Danny Grimm and Nathan Martinez hugged after the winning results, and proudly displayed blue ribbons.

The two men, with the cannabis farm Uplifted, won first in two categories, boasting honed indica and sativa plants.

They say they are planning to switch to pure recreational marijuana grows in a few months, and are signing a lease on a new 50,000-square-foot facility, in place of their local 5,000-foot facility.

“I’ve been growing plants for 12 years,” said Grimm. “It’s basically trial and error. It has molded our company into what it is today.”

Portland winner Daniel DeMeulle, whose stocky offering placed first in the hybrid category, is a home grower. He decided to enter the competition “on a whim,” and has been honing techniques from online tutorials.

“The internet, books, trial and error. That’s about it,” DeMeulle said.

The winning plants will resurface at the fairgrounds for the Oregon State Fair in two weeks. Due to controversy with the 4-H, and concern from parents that their kids might get hold of the leafy plants, they will be featured in a separate greenhouse guarded by volunteers, who will card onlookers, only admitting people ages 21 and older.

The upbeat nature of the fair contrasted with a recent ruling from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

On Thursday, the DEA announced it will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose on the federal level, retaining its standing as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Fair administrators found this was a deterrent before the fair. Because of the illegal federal standing, FCC regulations kept them from advertising the event.

Instead, they put a “mobile billboard” on a car to draw in passersby.

Several growers and organizers said they hoped the federal deterrent might keep the Oregon industry out of the hands of big businesses.

Already, the Oregon Department of Revenue estimates the government will take in $43 million from pot taxes this year.

“We have hurdles to jump through,” said Burton. “But where we’re at right now is our silver lining. We’re going to have a couple more years before the big boys come on board.”

 

Why Seattle Is Failing at Pot Tourism

The City’s Regulatory Restrictions Are Partially a Result of Washington’s New Law Eliminating the Medical Marijuana Marketweed-mag

by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

Seattle’s restrictions on pot tourism are yet another unintended side effect of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act.

By all accounts, Denver’s cannabis tourism economy is thriving. As highlighted by a recent New York Times article, potheads are gallivanting about the city, dabbing on minibuses, visiting cannabis concierges, and reclining poolside with joints at cannabis-friendly lodgings. PotGuide.com lists more than a dozen cannabis-friendly hotels in Denver alone, plus bed-and-breakfasts and Airbnbs, as well as more than a dozen “social lounges” in Colorado, but no such businesses in Washington State. Why?

Our regulatory climate has a lot to do with it. While there are certainly bed-and-breakfasts and Airbnbs in Seattle that advertise as cannabis-friendly, they aren’t legally allowed to do so. That’s because any business—even a business operating out of a private home—that advertises itself as cannabis-related must have a cannabis business license with the city. “If a hotel were to advertise marijuana-specific rooms, it would likely bring them under the umbrella of the city licensing ordinance, which allows for it with a license, but those licenses cannot exist under current state law,” said Julie Moore, communications director for the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department. Public consumption is illegal under state and city law.

According to David Watkins, general manager of the Inn at the Market and a former board member of the Seattle Hotel Association, hotels don’t advertise themselves as cannabis-friendly but simply look the other way. “No hotels downtown have smoking rooms,” he noted. “If we smell marijuana in the hallway, we will ask the guest to stop smoking. We have to do that every once in a while. We won’t call the cops. But if someone’s eating an edible cookie in their room, that’s their business.”

In Colorado, lodging facilities are allowed to let guests smoke marijuana in up to 25 percent of their rooms, according to David Rowland, citywide communications adviser for the City and County of Denver. However, they cannot charge guests for marijuana, nor can they offer free products to guests by charging $100 above market rate for a room, as one cannabis bed-and-breakfast was doing. In fact, Denver has clamped down on illegal consumption, raiding at least two cannabis lounges recently. (In Seattle, hotels are also allowed to designate up to 25 percent of their rooms for smokers, though actively allowing cannabis consumption is verboten.)

There’s also the matter of city pot tours. Denver boasts about a dozen tours, while Seattle has only three. Rowland said Denver’s law regarding cannabis consumption inside vehicles is similar to open container laws. “If you’re in a limo or private shuttle or something like that, the driver obviously can’t have it and no one in the front passenger seat,” he said. “But the back of the vehicle, that is allowed for.”

In Washington, passengers of commercial vehicles are not allowed to have open containers of pot, let alone smoke it. Pot must be in the original sealed container and stored behind the backseat or in the trunk.

On a recent Kush Tour in Seattle, I spent three and a half hours in and out of a van, looking at pot, talking about pot, and thinking about pot, but was strictly prohibited from actually smoking any pot. At the end, my guide announced the tour was over, ushered us to a well-ventilated lounge area in the privately owned Seven Studios building, informed us that we were cordially and privately invited by the glassblowing studio to “hang out,” and then left.

“The official answer is ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said Michael Gordon, cofounder of Kush Tourism, when asked about the work-around. “When the tour ends, it’s no longer our responsibility, but they do have that lounge up there and people do seem to meander up that way.”

David Blandford, vice president of communications for Visit Seattle, said that while he’d like to market the city as a cannabis destination, his hands are tied: “Visit Seattle and other marketing organizations have to be cautious about how they advertise or promote to travelers. Legally, we’re not in a position where we can promote usage other than home-based. It does create a lot of challenges for a marketing organization.”

Seattle’s restrictions on pot tourism are yet another unintended side effect of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052), which specifically prohibits cannabis consumption in any business. Regardless of Seattle’s feelings on the matter—City Attorney Pete Holmes is a notable advocate for well-regulated, responsible public consumption facilities—state law takes precedence and the city is obligated to enforce it.

In the meantime, Seattle is leaving a whole lot of cash on the table—although how much is hard to say. “Marijuana tourism is so new that there really is very little [data] out there, it’s all anecdotal,” said Blandford. The evidence, however, points to stacks on stacks. “April is the highest month in revenue for legal marijuana in Colorado,” he said. “[Four-twenty] brought an influx of travelers to Colorado for this marijuana holiday.”

The time to update Washington’s laws on public consumption is, said Gordon, within “the next year and a half, because California is going to go [legal].”

“We have the opportunity right now to brand ourselves as a tourism destination,” he continued. “It’s obvious that we’re failing when you look at the tourism dollars coming into Colorado.”

Illegal Dealers Owe Thanks to Washington State’s Marijuana Regulators

| June 14, 2016

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The state’s doomed scheme for a centrally planned market in pot creates a breeding ground for a completely unplanned and illegal market in the stuff.

Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 and the first retail store opened in 2014 in a popular move widely hailed as a success for reform. So how come the authorities are moving to close a pot shops across the state in just a few weeks? Are they actually trying to revive the black market in pot?

Probably not. More likely, political hubris and managerial ambition have overwhelmed basic knowledge of how economic incentives work.

Tacoma ranks among the municipalities where new licensing regulations will have a major impact on the marijuana market, potentially inconveniencing consumers and creating a huge opening for those willing to work outside official channels.

“Last August, there were close to 70 unlicensed operators in Tacoma,” noted The News Tribune last week. But a 2015 law merged the medical and recreational markets and required all vendors to be licensed—with a strict cap on the number of permitted retailers. “Tacoma is limited by the state to 16 retail licenses, and a recent city ordinance requires every retail operator to also get a medical endorsement to provide for those with medicinal needs,” the article added.

So, let me get this straight. A market that sustained 70 businesses will be adequately served by 16 after the rest are closed by government order? That’s the official story, and politicians and bureaucrats are sticking to it.

Statewide, “the former retail store cap of 334 was lifted to a new cap of 556. The recommendation followed an analysis of the entire marijuana marketplace by the state’s contracted research organization, BOTEC Analysis Corporation,” according to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

“We illustrate the methods and tools for two particular target numbers of stores statewide: 200 and 330, BOTEC noted in a 2013 report before the recent legal change. Still, the company hedged its bets. “[B]ut we do not necessarily endorse either as the ‘correct’ number.”

Washington’s “current grow canopy license limits are sufficient to supply both the recreational and MMJ markets” the University of Washington’s Cannabis Law and Policy Projected predicted separately. The group also hedges and notes “we defer to WSLCB to make that determination.”

That’s right. A quarter-century after the Soviet Union did a face-plant into the ash heap of history, Washington state officials are trying to centrally plan the market for marijuana.

This sort of micromanaged legal-but-only-sort-of market is a characteristic of state officials who were forced to change the law by voters and not as a matter of their own preferences. To carefully control the implementation of the voters’ will, they brought in a consultant who perfectly reflected their reluctance: public policy professor Mark Kleiman. Kleiman is a sort of middle-way type on the marijuana issue, favoring legal reform out of conviction that full prohibition has been counter-productive—not as a weed cheerleader or out of a commitment to personal choice.

“The free market is an excellent system for maximizing consumption. That’s why I don’t want it to apply to this product,” he told an interviewer an interviewer at UCLA where he worked before moving to New York University. “I wouldn’t want that system for alcohol either, but we lost that battle.”

In the same interview, he expressed a preference for state stores, non-profit vendors, and high prices that would make marijuana available, but not cheap or convenient.

Kleiman, by the way, is the head of BOTEC Analysis.

I’ll note here that Kleiman is a tad prickly and has tangled with Reason’s Jacob Sullum over marijuana issues, even when they are in general agreement.

But black market dealers don’t appear just because marijuana—or anything else—is technically outlawed; they arise when restrictions drive prices up, restrict availability, or both, and leave an opening for vendors willing to flout the law to satisfy demand. Eric Garner was killed by New York City cops in a confrontation rooted in his sale of loosies—loose cigarettes—in defiance of state and city tax rules. Cigarettes are legal, but so heavily taxed and restricted as to invite illegal dealers to enter the market and make a buck.

As a former dope dealer myself, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that severely restricting the availability of “legal” marijuana (and otherwise jacking the price with a 37 percent excise tax) creates a wonderful opportunity for black market dealers. Even before the latest change, Washington’s underground economy in marijuana was thriving despite its nominally legal status.

BOTEC’s reports for the state fully acknowledges the existence of the black market. Kleiman and company’s latest submission grants that the scope of illicit sales is not entirely knowable and “the feasible range covers as low as $60 million and as high as $740 million.” In fact, “Due to the considerable amount of uncertainty in the estimation process, as well as the rapidly changing nature of cannabis markets in Washington at present, it is valuable to reference feasible ranges rather than a single point estimate.” That is, the whole marijuana market is too dynamic and in flux to get a firm handle on its size.

So, with “rapidly changing” markets, how do you predict, as a central planner, “sufficient” production capacity? Or the magic number of retail outlets to satisfy demand?

The answer is that you can’t. Central planners can never respond to shifting supply and demand as quickly as buyers and vendors can in their multitude of independent transactions. That’s why central planning failed in the old Soviet Union, and why it can’t any more effectively serve the trade in marijuana in one state. And unable to satisfy buyers, it will inevitably leave room for sellers who don’t care what officials think ought to be.

Washington’s impossible scheme for a centrally planned market in marijuana creates a breeding ground for a completely unplanned and illegal market in the stuff.

Tourism trends: Will travel for food, wellness and weed

traveltypes1_0603-1020x680By Anne Bauso June 3, 2016

More travelers are focusing their trips around these three themes, rather than traditional sights.

It seems business or pleasure are the only options travelers are given when defining the reasoning behind their trips, but motivations for travel aren’t always so crystal clear.

In fact, more and more travelers are going on pilgrimages to very specific destinations for reasons that don’t fall into the classic brackets of beach-laying, sight-seeing or work-trip. Here are three booming forms of tourism.

FOOD TOURISM

Pop quiz time! Have you obsessively documented a trip by dutifully Instagramming every beautifully presented quince tart tatin, honey-drizzled fried-chicken platter or salty-egg-topped papaya salad you’ve encountered?

Have you ever decided where to vacation based, at least partially, on the area’s local cuisine, or eateries and nightlife?

Then you might just be part of the growing sector of travelers known as “food tourists.” When deciding where to go for their next trip, travelers are increasingly factoring in a potential destination’s food and drink scene — whether it’s the local restaurants, food trucks and bars, or the nearby farms and markets, food artisans, vineyards and breweries. Hard-core food and vino lovers are often more interested in exploring a city or region’s gastronomic offerings than they are in the area’s natural or non-food-based cultural attractions.

tourismtypes5_0603-780x1080A merchant bags green beans at one of the many food markets in Barcelona, Spain. (Davide Camesasca/The New York Times)

Travelers on food sabbaticals might be set on sampling Sazeracs and muffelatas in New Orleans, going on a mission to find the best Key lime pie in Southern Florida or navigating backwoods highways in Quebec to come across a classic Canadian roadside sugar shack.

According to a 2015 report published by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) and Skift, a travel news site, “In 2012, it was estimated that tourism expenditures on food services in the U.S. topped $201 billion, nearly a quarter of all travel income.” Because, honestly, show us the traveler who doesn’t want to eat and drink their way through a vacation.

WELLNESS TOURISM

Yoga retreats, spa getaways and other healing-focused trips may sound like a New Age fad, but humans have been going on health-driven vacations for millennia (think ancient Romans traveling to mineral baths, or sun-starved Victorians flocking to Mediterranean climes on doctors’ orders).

These days, wellness tourism is a nearly $500-billion-a-year industry, and it’s estimated to grow to $680 billion by 2017. “Wellness travel is one of the fastest growing — if not the fastest growing — tourism categories today,” says Beth McGroarty, research director at the Global Wellness Institute. GWI defines wellness tourism as “all travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being, whether physical, mental, environmental or spiritual.” It’s a definition that McGroarty says is “willfully broad, because it spans many kinds of travel: destination spas, health and wellness resorts, fitness- or adventure-focused travel (like hiking, water sports and cycling), hot springs and wellness cruises. Even mainstream hotels — almost all the big brands from Westin to the Four Seasons — are adding more health and fitness programming.”

traveltypes4_0603-780x467Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, Utah, offers swimming, yoga, hiking and biking treks.

Tracey Welch, general manager at Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, Utah, says that most of the luxury retreat’s guests are in search of “healthy stress reduction, through reconnecting with nature and increased physical activity.” Many of Red Mountain’s guests want to immerse themselves in the stunning American Southwest surroundings, so the resort offers hiking and biking treks through Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

On the more extreme end of the fitness spectrum is The Ashram, a Calabasas, Calif., wellness resort with pre-dawn wake-up calls and required 10- to 15-mile morning hikes. It’s not “ten-hut!” all the time: Guests get a daily massage before diving into an afternoon agenda of pool, weight and barre classes. Meals are totally organic, gluten-free and vegetarian (and alcohol-less!), with many ingredients coming from the Ashram’s own garden. Definitely not a cushy, mai-tai-by-the-pool experience — but there’s a six-month waiting list.

“Most of our guests come here to stop the clock and reset their body, mind and soul,” says director Catharina Hedburg.

While these well-being-centric resorts are certainly in line with the healthy living movement, McGroarty is positive that “wellness tourism is far more than a passing trend. In the coming years, the concept will increasingly reshape tourism — and how people perceive what they want to get out of travel — as we’ve known it.”

traveltypes2_0603-1020x680Pot tourists can visit Seattle, Portland or Denver and go on tours that visit shops and nurseries like this one.

MARIJUANA TOURISM

Cannabis vacay, anyone? (All in favor, say “high!” Sorry, couldn’t resist.) In recent years, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have legalized recreational marijuana and, as a result, these states are seeing a blaze of pot tourism.

Grass fanatics from all over the country are heading west to visit marijuana dispensaries and other cannabusinesses, go on canna “bus” tours to see local grow operations and other 420 facilities, take edibles cooking classes and even stay in “bud and breakfasts,” which are weed-friendly inns and hotels that allow smoking on the premises.

Those looking to combine wellness and marijuana tourism could consider Kush Tourism, a Seattle-based cannabis tour operator that offers tours in several states, including those that include cannabis massages and biking.

A warning, though, to hash-happy travelers: While recreational marijuana in these states is legal, public consumption of it is not. Here’s to your next — yes — trip.

 

Oregon To Begin Recreational Sales Of Marijuana Edibles In June

by OPB | May 4, 2016 3:59 p.m.20160113_little_amsterdam_marijuana_jr_0089_odokme

Oregonians interested in purchasing marijuana edibles have to wait less than a month until they can get their fix. The Oregon Health Authority issued rules Wednesday for the sale of marijuana edibles under the state’s early recreational marijuana sales program.

Beginning June 2, 2016, adults 21 and older can purchase cannabis edibles from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries for recreational use. The rules follow the state Legislature’s passing of SB 1511 earlier this year which expanded the state’s early retail sales program to include the sale of edibles. Under the early retail sales program, OHA-licensed dispensaries can sell to recreational consumers until Jan. 1, 2017, when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission assumes full control of regulation of the state’s recreational marijuana industry.

Under the OHA rules presented Wednesday, dispensaries participating in this early sales program can begin selling the following:

  • One low-dose cannabinoid edible, containing no more than 15 mg of THC, to a retail customer per day
  • Non-psychoactive medical cannabinoid topicals which contain no more than 6 percent THC
  • One prefilled receptacle of a cannabinoid extract to a retail customer per day that does not contain more than 1,000 mg of THC
  • Currently, more than 300 medical dispensaries are participating in the state’s early recreational marijuana sales. The OLCC has yet to issue a license for a recreational marijuana dispensary. The agency said it plans to issue its first dispensary licenses in October. By Jan. 1, 2017, all recreational sales will have to take place at OLCC-licensed dispensaries.

Oregon Approves First Recreational Marijuana Licenses

18440945234_aab7bb6d9f_o_ul2wuwby OPB | May 1, 2016 12:30 p.m.

Oregon is one step closer to fully implementing its recreational marijuana industry by January 2017.  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved its first recreational marijuana licenses Friday, approving eight growers under the new regulatory system. The agency was tasked with overseeing Oregon’s recreational cannabis industry.

“These licensees reflect the pioneering spirit Oregon is known for,” said Rob Patridge, OLCC Chair in a release Friday. “They come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and possess the entrepreneurial spirit of this industry.”
The eight licenses were issued to growers in Lane, Tillamook, Washington, Clackamas, Jackson and Josephine counties and include a mix of large and medium scale indoor, mixed and outdoor cultivation growers, the agency said. The licensed growers can begin operating under the OLCC’s authority once they pay their annual licensing fee.
The agency plans to meet every week through early June to approve additional licenses.
Earlier this year OLCC spokesperson Mark Pettinger told OPB that it was the agency’s goal to approve growers first in order to establish a supply chain before approving dispensaries. He said the agency expects to begin issuing licenses to dispensaries in October.
As of Friday, the agency has received more than 900 recreational marijuana license applications. It says it expects to issue more than 850 by the end of this year when it assumes full control of the regulation of Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry.
For now, dispensaries licensed under the Oregon Heath Authority’s medical marijuana program can conduct recreational sales to persons 21 and older. That provision expires at the end of the year.
We mapped out all the dispensaries currently up and running in Oregon. More than 300 of them are participating in the early recreational marijuana sales.

5 Overlooked Benefits of Cannabis Tourism

Lorelai Botwin on March 22, 2016

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There was a time, not too long ago, when cannabis tourism meant a trip to Amsterdam. With the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Colorado in 2012, cannabis tourism moved a lot closer, and became more affordable and accessible.

Today, Colorado has a vibrant tourism industry surrounding cannabis, and Washington State and Oregon are gearing up to follow suit.

We know that cannabis tourism is enjoyable, but why is it IMPORTANT?

#1) Reconnecting – Learning the Basics

cannabis-tourism_content_600x400_content2-webWith cannabis, the learning never stops!

After nearly a century of federal prohibition, many people are downright confused about cannabis now that it has been legalized in several states. The vast product selections alone can be intimidating – extracts, oils, dabs, tinctures.

Nothing like hands-on experience to learn the basics!

Cannabis tourism is a great place for beginners, or those reconnecting with the plant, to start learning. Visiting a dispensary can be daunting for someone who has never been. In Colorado, tours provide visitors with a way to gain access, information, and a personal guide to steer your course.

Many cannabis tourism companies offer tours specific for “newbies,” (also good for “returnees”) which include a trip to a dispensary with a knowledgeable guide who can explain the differences between various products. These tours often include a trip to a grow house to learn about how the plant is cultivated in a commercial setting.

These basic tours, when done right, can alleviate a lot of anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the plant.

#2) Education – Taking it a Step Further

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Cannabis education doesn’t end with a trip to a dispensary and a grow house. Today, one can take classes in cooking with cannabis, making extracts and salves, and even growing it.

Classes are an excellent way to really get your hands dirty when it comes to learning about cannabis. High Country Cannabis Tours, with whom I took a cooking class, offers (among other things) classes in rosin production and extraction, sub-lingual tinctures, infused salves, and hash oil workshops.

My cooking with cannabis class, which lasted four hours, included a lesson in kief extraction using a dry ice method. From there, we learned how to make enhanced butter using the kief, and finally used the butter to cook our finished product – a delicious and potent banana bread.

But not too potent! We also learned to estimate baseline THC and cannabinoid levels in our baked goods, as well as tips for proper dosing.

The class provided a lot more education than just cooking. Our instructor, Chef Steve, showed us a variety of different cannabis forms – oils, extracts, tinctures, wax – explained them each thoroughly, and invited us to try any that we were interested in.

Best of all, the small class provided a comfortable forum to ask any questions we had, no matter how silly, in a safe and non-judgmental environment. A class such as this can help raise your experience with this plant to the next level.

#3) Meet Compatible People – Make New Friends

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Cannabis tours can be a great way to make new friends with similar interests.

Many companies now offer bus tours which whisk tourists away to dispensaries, grow houses, and glass blowing galleries, and then on to city sightseeing, dining, nightlife, or adventure. Lean back, relax, learn, and be open to new connections.

Cultivating Spirits, for example, offers a gourmet 3-course dining experience pairing food, wine and cannabis. With 10 guests per tour, it’s an easy way to meet and talk to new people who share a love of the finer things.

In Denver, visitors can take cannabis-friendly walking tours with locals who work in the field, or even take a “Canna-Beer Tour” combining cannabis with an exploration of the Colorado craft beer brewing industry. Or meet fellow foodies at a 4-hour Cannabis Foodie Tour given by My 420 Tours.

#4) Transformative Travel – Enhance Your Experience

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Many cannabis tours include sights that would be included on any tour of the area – tours of Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder for example. As we know, cannabis can enrich experiences and certainly this is the case when viewing the majestic beauty of Colorado. Several companies incorporate cannabis with trips to ski areas or the Rocky Mountains for this very reason.

That enhancement can lead to better and more memorable experiences in museums, galleries, and classes as well. Taking things slower and being more observant, open, and appreciative can make a museum experience far more rewarding.

Don’t just experience art – make it as well: Colorado Cannabis Tours, for example, offers a Puff, Pass & Paint class allowing visitors a chance to get in tune with their creative side (also another great way to make new friends).

Cannabis can also heighten enjoyment of a fine meal, and there are many fine meals to be had in Colorado.

#5) End Cannabis Stigma

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No one blinks an eye at the thought of a bunch of friends going to wine country for a weekend of wine tasting. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet reached the point where the same can be said about cannabis, but we are headed in that direction.

Being open about our experiences with cannabis tourism will hopefully lead to a future where traveling to sample and appreciate the plant is just as easily accepted as a wine-themed getaway.

More important, quality cannabis tourism is a vital way to de-stigmatize and change outdated mindsets.

As cannabis tourism continues to expand, and educational offerings and sightseeing options increase, cannabis use will become increasingly normalized. But for that to happen, people need to be open and unapologetic about traveling in order to learn more about and experience this plant.

Dos and Don’ts

Before planning or embarking on a trip to a cannabis tourism destination, it’s important to do your homework, so here are a few tips:

  • Do your research. There are many options for cannabis tourism, with more popping up every day. Don’t just pick the first tour site you find.
  • Do read reviews and vet tour companies before you book.
  • Don’t try to squeeze too many activities into one day – especially if you’re new or just returning to cannabis use.
  • Do ask questions of tour operators, such as how many participants are on each tour, how long the tour lasts, and where are the pick-up and drop off points.
  • Do look for tours that have a smaller numbers of participants if you want more personalized attention.
  • Do ask tour companies about the age ranges for each tour. Some tours skew towards younger visitors; some are good for all ages. Make sure you find one that feels comfortable for you.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Tours fill up (especially around certain times of the year, like April 20th). Plan ahead of time to get the best selection and avoid last minute worries.

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