Stop texting your dealer and start booking your flight to one of these top stoner destinations in weed-friendly U.S. cities.
Recreational cannabis is now fully legal in eight U.S. states. It’s an exciting time for travelers while cannabis entrepreneurs in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington spring into action, rising to meet the demands of a rapidly-developing industry that’s breathed new life into the tourism industries of many of America’s favorite getaway destinations.
The majority of cannabis-friendly locales are out west and as such, the canna-explorer will find their trip leading them into pastoral valleys adjacent endless acres of vineyards set against majestic mountain ranges. The wine and cannabis industries are coming to share an elegant reputation in these places, often pairing up to shepherd visitors through exhilarating itineraries for an ideal escape.
These are a few of the blossoming regions for those wanting to sample cannabis culture at its apex.
Walla Walla, Washington
Nestled in the Southeast corner of Washington State near the Columbia and Snake rivers rests a small agrarian city known as one of the premier wine destinations of the Pacific Northwest. Walla Walla’s rustic setting is off the radar enough to be relaxing, but it’s an easy drive through the pristine, rolling hills of the Palouse from Spokane, Washington’s 2nd-largest city.
The cannabis community in Walla Walla is tight-knit and focused on locally-sourced, chemical, and insecticide-free products. For an exclusive shopping experience, check out the Walla Walla Cannabis Company and Walla Walla Weedery, both of whom partner with local wine tour companies to marry the two industries and provide visitors a premium area affair.
Colorado led the pack on marijuana legalization with the passing of Amendment 64 in November 2012. Since the amendment went into effect in 2014, cannabis has been so thoroughly embedded into the daily lives of residents that it can be difficult for visitors to know where to start when looking for a definitive area experience.
Denver is one of the state’s most popular destinations because of its world-renowned craft beer scene, beautifully cultivated downtown greenspaces, and immediate proximity to ample hiking trails. Denver is also an epicenter of cannabis innovation. There are multitudes of dispensaries, tours, even 4/20-friendly rideshare services in Denver.
Fortunately, the city’s settled relationship with cannabis means that what could be an overwhelming number of options are well-organized into directories like Colorado Cannabis Tours. Colorado also has progressive regulations that allow for the operation of social clubs and public smoking lounges, “Pot Portrait” painting classes, and cannabis-enhanced yoga. Denver is also home to two of the country’s most lauded cannabis chefs, Jaime Lewis of Mountain Medicine and Scott Durrah of Simply Pure.
Cannabis adventures and the outdoors go hand-in-hand, and in no place is this more true than in Aspen.
There’s a sport for every season here, and while treating oneself to an exclusive ski weekend, testing one’s limits on a rock climbing formation, or fishing in solitude on Ruby Lakes, visitors will also find there’s a strain for every sport.
While it is important to be mindful of geography—possession and consumption are not legal in the surrounding national forests—Aspen is pointedly welcoming to cannabis consumers. There are, famously, seven dispensaries within a four-block radius in the downtown area. This includes Euflora, the luxe shop deemed “The Apple Store of Cannabis” by locals.
North-central California is steeped in rich agricultural tradition, and that now includes cannabis crops. Nowhere else in the country are wine and cannabis production so intertwined, and the culture of cannabis tourism in the area reflects that symbiosis.
All the major tour providers focus heavily on farming, so Sonoma is the perfect destination for those looking for the inside scoop on how their favorite plant is cultivated. Happy Travelers Tours is the preeminent company in the area, with opportunities to get behind the scenes with their “Mountaintop Cannabis Grow” package, a wine country inclusive “Sip and Smell Sunset” and a local dispensary tour package.
There’s a robust craft beer presence in the valley as well, and it’s best steward is the Craft Beer and Cannabis Experience, a San Francisco-based bus that traverses the Golden Gate Bridge into wine country with plenty of stops along the way to take in the stunning Bay Area vistas.
The unofficial motto of this West Coast enclave is “Keep Portland Weird,” and residents take these words to heart.
Portland thrives on expression; its food, music, and art scenes are brimming with imagination. The city’s whimsical reputation fosters creativity in cannabis tourism as well. A self-directed traveler can find their way to any one of Portland’s nearly 200 dispensaries for one-on-one guidance from a bud-tender, but there are also two well-known local tour companies in the area.
High Five offers three tour options: CannaPDX, focusing on dispensaries and local landmarks; the Multnomah Falls tour, and the Green Choice Farms Tour for those interested in learning about how cannabis is farmed in the region. The Potlandia Experience is the other heavy-hitter and enables visiting tokers to indulge in the city’s bustling foodie scene from a 4/20 perspective.
Hikers and those who want to relax in nature while taking in the stunning mountain views of North-Central Oregon should check out Homegrown Weed and Wine Tours just south in Newburg. “4/20-Friendly” hotels are abundant throughout the valley. The Jupiter Hotel even has a “4/20 Package” with a vape pen, rolling papers and a grinder provided in the hotel’s welcome kit.