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The blooming business of weed tours

With 11 U.S. states legalizing recreational marijuana and many more decriminalizing use, the industry is growing as quickly as the plant itself. In December 2018, legal cannabis sales at dispensaries in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington hit a combined $599.21 million.

The bespoke travel market is embracing the new economy, with itineraries focusing on marijuana education and adventure. “I’ve definitely seen a rise in cannabis products and tourism across the country and internationally,” says Leah Howe, New York City–based senior director of retreats and member experiences at Equinox. “[There is] a lot of creativity in the space,” she adds.

Here, a selection of elevated tours:

For the active traveler:

Hi-Curious curates customizable experiences in Colorado destinations like Aspen and Vail. Activities include hiking in Chautauqua (with a catered picnic), massages with cannabis topicals, and sunrise yoga at Red Rocks—all enjoyed with edibles. “Our goal is to help people use cannabis for wellbeing,” says founder Lauren Mundell. “The edibles are a really low dose and the products have a fast onset time.” Guests stay at luxury rental homes and have the option to enjoy chef-created, weed-infused meals.

For the oenophile:

Happy Travelers’s wine and weed tour takes place in northern California, where outdoor cannabis farms and vineyards converge. The day trip leaves from Sonoma and continues across the Napa Valley to Mount Veeder, a 70-acre grow site with walking paths, ponds, and majestic vineyards. After a light lunch, the site’s master grower discusses specific plants grown on the mountain and the process of harvesting the product. You'll also compare the aromas of various vintages and plant varieties.

For the gourmand:

My 420 Tours hosts curated three-day experiences. Visitors stay at pot-friendly hotels in Denver and are supplied with vaporizers upon check-in. “A lot of the interest in the cannabis industry is from a culinary aspect, so we have tutorials in how to extract cannabis and cooking classes for a hands-on experience,” CEO Danny Schaefer explains. A popular add-on is the sushi and joint-rolling class.