Trendwatch: Cannabis tourism


Bells reflected in Maroon Lake in Aspen, Colorado

With the launch of Colorado’s first ‘weedery’,
cannabis tourism is reaching new legal highs in the USA 

Harry Zernike

Brooklyn studio’s vision for an aspirational consumer marijuana brand
in Surface magazine

The psychedelic adventure is a
travel rite of passage. In the 1960s hippies flocked to the Mexican
desert, compelled by the desire to see sandy plains writ in
Technicolor, hungry to ‘ride the snake’ described by Jim
Morrison during his illicit wilderness peyote
experimentations. Then relaxation of Amsterdam’s marijuana
laws in the 1980s led to pot pilgrimages with punters puffing their
way to the meaning of life at cannabis coffee shops. In the 2000s
came shamanism, and for many it seemed the only way to navigate a
mid-life crisis was to pay a visit to the Peruvian rainforest and
its ayahuasca ceremonies in search of psychospiritual

Now, the USA is the destination for those seeking a trip of the
trippy variety. Colorado became
the first state to legalise recreational marijuana at the end of
2012, and as a result over-21s can now buy it for personal use.
Despite the fact that the legislation means people can’t toke in
public, potheads descended upon Colorado’s slick new cannabis
dispensaries. Forget grubby little head shops, these are beautiful
spaces where ‘budtenders’ guide customers through different blends.
The Silverpeak in Aspen, for example,
has a ski-lodge feel with the design elements of a
greenhouse. Websites Bud and
and travelTHC have sprung up touting
cannabis-friendly lodgings, and members’ clubs such as Denver’s
Club 64 allow you to bring your own
blend to smoke while socialising with other stoners.

Although Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia
have all since relaxed their laws, Colorado still offers the most
for connoisseurs. Here, Cultivating
arranges pop-up suppers where each dish is
paired with small-batch green; one variety with oyster burrata,
another with citrus and vanilla crème brûlée. Meanwhile, on
the tours run by My420
keen cooks can make (and taste) their own jalapeño cannabis
poppers, and at Twisted Sister‘s ganja yoga retreats
guests downward dog in the morning and shop for supplies in the

The trend shows no sign of having a comedown, with Colorado
dispensaries now stocking artisanal products: Dixie
‘ cannabis-infused blueberry lemonade;
peaches-and-cream flavoured cannabis chocolate from Leafs by
, the brand from ganjapreneur Snoop Dogg. Later
this year, Colorado will debut its first ‘weedery’. Described as a
winery for marijuana and costing about £24 million, the Colorado Cannabis Ranch and
will run greenhouse tours and talks on
the science of cultivation, all set against the backdrop of the
Rocky Mountains, with a dispensary for those essential dope

This feature was published in Condé Nast Traveller September

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