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Handicapping Sacramento Cannabis Lounges

pay-ed-2

Top five contenders for opening capital city’s first cannabis lounge for social consumption.

BY ED MURRIETA

Sacramento’s City Council recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of the nations’s first event featuring open consumption of cannabis in public.

The next milestone facing Sacramento is whether the city should permit cannabis lounges — licensed and regulated places where adults age 21 and over can congregate to consume cannabis in social settings, like the lounge scene in San Francisco.

The city is expected to consider allowing cannabis lounges this fall. If allowed, applicants will be limited to currently operating businesses holding retail sales licenses from the state, and locations will be tied to stores’ physical addresses.

Until then, here are my top five contenders for opening Sacramento’s first cannabis lounge:

  • Northstar
  • Hugs
  • A Therapeutic Alternative
  • 515 Broadway
  • Abatin Wellness

My observations and comments, based on the nature of the current operation, management’s credibility, and future lounges’ locations and proximity to public transit, are contained within the embedded map below.

Here’s my vision and pitch deck for a cannabis lounge.

Read all of my previous cannabis lounge coverage.

Ed Murrieta’s Cannabis Lounge Pitch Deck

Wherever cannabis is legal, the public needs safe and comfortable places to smoke pot and socialize. Here’s a vision for such a place, even a chain of smoking lounges. 

BY ED MURRIETA

San Francisco Cannabis Lounges Reviewed and Mapped

4/17 update: SPARC now now recreational.

Barbary Coast, Urban Pharm, Lounge 847 and ReLeaf Herbal serve recreational cannabis consumers in the heart of hotels, museums, entertainment and shopping.

BY ED MURRIETA

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Denver. America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Las Vegas. Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too. America’s first legal cannabis lounges are already open in San Francisco.

Permitted for more than a decade and tolerated since the earliest days of the city’s medicinal cannabis community in the 1990s, San Francisco cannabis lounges are models of public use in social settings. They’re now serving the city’s legal adult-use recreational cannabis market, including locals and tourists.

Here they are, reviewed and mapped.


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San Francisco Cannabis Lounges Reviewed and Mapped

Barbary Coast, Urban Pharm, Lounge 847 and ReLeaf Herbal serve recreational cannabis consumers in the heart of hotels, museums, entertainment and shopping.

BY ED MURRIETA

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Denver. America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Las Vegas. Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too. America’s first legal cannabis lounges are already open in San Francisco.

Permitted for more than a decade and tolerated since the earliest days of the city’s medicinal cannabis community in the 1990s, San Francisco cannabis lounges are models of public use in social settings. They’re now serving the city’s legal adult-use recreational cannabis market.

Here they are, reviewed and mapped.


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San Francisco Scores First Public Cannabis Lounge in U.S.

Update 2/11: ReLeaf Herbal’s bare-bones lounge is now serving recreational adult-use customers.
Update 2/8: Green Door’s Lounge847 is now open for recreational consumers.
Update 1/18: Urban Pharm opened for recreational sales and lounge use today, Thursday Jan. 18.

Decadent, safe, comfortable and regulated, Barbary Coast is now serving recreational cannabis consumers.

Barbary Coast

A view of the dab bar at Barbary Coast’s lounge. 

BY ED MURRIETA

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Denver.

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Las Vegas.

Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too.

America’s first legal cannabis lounge opened Thursday in San Francisco.

Actually, Barbary Coast Collective opened its luxe lounge next to its South of Market medicinal cannabis dispensary in March. Barbary Coast started serving adult-use recreational customers Thursday, making it the first legal, regulated cannabis lounge in America — the holy grail of the modern cannabis era.

“It’s something we’re proud of and excited about,” Barbary Coast director Jesse Henry told me. “I think we are going to get a lot of people who’ll think it’s like going to Amsterdam, and we’ll provide a safe, clean, comfortable place for folks to smoke.”

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Hot Box Cannabis Lounge Pitch Deck

Ed Murrieta’s Cannabis Lounge Pitch Deck

Wherever cannabis is legal, the public needs safe and comfortable places to smoke pot and socialize. Here’s a vision for such a place, even a chain of smoking lounges. 

The First Cannabis Lounge of the Legal Era in America Will Be in San Francisco

‘We have eight existing lounges in the City, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,’ S.F. cannabis czar says.

san-francisco

BY ED MURRIETA

While Denver, Las Vegas and Massachusetts are racing to claim the honor of being the first place in America to host a legal, adult-use cannabis consumption lounge, eight San Francisco medicinal cannabis dispensary lounges are poised to give San Francisco claim to being the home of the first  legal, adult-use cannabis consumption lounge in America come 9 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2018 — the first day of the new legal era in which the city’s currently permitted medicinal social lounges can serve the recreational market.

Anyone wanting to be the first cannabis lounge in America has until 8:59 a.m. PST on the first Saturday  of January.  You’ll be competing with the Apple store of cannabis lounges, a Burning Man-inspired lounge that feels like a steampunk sex club and the newest most decadent lounge in town, which I just had the honor of helping to name the best cannabis lounge in the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState Awards.

“We have eight existing lounges in the City, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,” San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis director Nicole Elliott told me in an email this afternoon.

California has not yet created a licensing scheme for cannabis lounges, nor does the state expressly prohibit cannabis lounges.  Absent state prohibition, local governments like San Francisco, Denver and Las Vegas can approve cannabis lounges.  San Francisco’s eight existing medicinal cannabis dispensary lounges — along with one that was shuttered by the federal government in 2011 and is preparing to re-open near Twitter headquarters — will be allowed to operate under city regulations they’ve operated under over the past decade.  Dispensaries that apply for new licenses in 2018 will be subject to stricter ventilation and  hermetically sealed smoking room requirements.

California pot czar Lori Ajax told regulators in Sacramento last week that when the state licenses cannabis lounges some time next year, lounge licenses will be tied to dispensary permits. There’ll be no stand-alone pot cafes in California.

San Francisco is the de facto model for pot lounges and social cannabis consumption in America.

Three of San Francisco’s leading dispensary lounges — Barbary Coast, Urban Pharm and Sparc — told they’re pursuing the state permit that’ll allow them to transition to the adult-use market. I’m checking with the other five dispensaries regarding their plans.

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Urban Pharm

Sparc

Sparc

Barbary Coast

Barbary Coast

 

Here’s a tour of San Francisco cannabis lounges  I wrote last year.Here’s one San Francisco pot lounge story I wrote for the Denver Post’s The Cannabist in 2015. Here’s another.

Which San Francisco pot lounge do you want to visit when the first recreational pot lounge(s) opens in America on Jan. 6, 2018?

Urban Pharm Review: Dispensary/Lounge Meets Steampunk Sex Club

BY ED MURRIETA

Since the 19th century, when robber barons’ wives insisted they spend their railroad riches in San Francisco, Sacramento Valley elites have aspired to the greater heights of the city.

Two San Francisco medical cannabis dispensaries match that migration. Cookies SF emerged from Sacramento’s Collective Efforts, which breeds and markets the hell out of Cookies strains. Urban Pharm has roots in Sacramento’s Northstar Holistic Collective, since 2010 my go-to dispensary in the state capital.

Opened in December 2015, Urban Pharm is among San Francisco’s new design-intensive gilded-age cannabis dispensaries.

Quality, selection and value of Urban Pharm’s flowers, extracts and edibles meet or beat other top pot shops in the city.

Urban Pharm outdoes them all, however, with an on-premises, open-flame consumption lounge where anything goes — smoking, dabbing, vaping, ediblizing, even stoner comic heckling and karaoke singing.

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Urban Pharm: Cannabis Dispensary-Lounge Meets Steampunk Sex Club

Urban Pharm
122 10th St., San Francisco
415-872-9488
urbanpharmsf.com
8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

QUICK HIT: Urban Pharm exudes lounge — moody lighting, groovy music and furnishings you’d swear were reclaimed from a steampunk sex club. All forms of consumption allowed — smoking, vaping, dabbing. Bring your own rig or belly up to the dab bar featuring $5, $7 and $10 dabs administered by knowledgeable and friendly staff.

GO IF: If you want excellent selection of top-quality flowers, concentrates and edibles — and a place to enjoy them.

STAY FOR: Manufacturers’ product demos and free samples, and open-mic comedy and karaoke.

EXPECT: Top-shelf eighths, $50. Top-shelf concentrates $50 per half-gram. House joints $7. Dabs $5, $7 and $10. Cash only. $2 ATM fee.

BY ED MURRIETA

Since the 19th century, when robber barons’ wives insisted they spend their railroad riches in San Francisco, Sacramento Valley elites have aspired to the greater heights of the city.

Two San Francisco medical cannabis dispensaries match that migration. Cookies SF emerged from Sacramento’s Collective Efforts, which breeds and markets the hell out of Cookies strains. Urban Pharm has roots in Sacramento’s Northstar Holistic Collective, since 2010 my go-to dispensary in the state capital.

Opened in December 2015, Urban Pharm is among San Francisco’s new design-intensive gilded-age cannabis dispensaries.

Quality, selection and value of Urban Pharm’s flowers, extracts and edibles meet or beat other top pot shops in the city.

Urban Pharm outdoes them all, however, with an on-premises, open-flame consumption lounge where anything goes — smoking, dabbing, vaping, ediblizing, even stoner comic heckling and karaoke singing.

The prevailing trend in high-end cannabis dispensaries smacks of bespoke yogawear boutiques. Not here.

If the Power Exchange desired a template for a steampunk sex club slash cannabis store and lounge, Urban Pharm could be it in spades. Fronted by a spanking-new Edwardian-ish facade lacquered in green and black and offset by signage composed of golden-hued bulbs, Urban Pharm exudes a club-like vibe: moody lighting, caged entry, reclaimed wood and cut metal accents throughout.

Is it medical? Is it retail? Yes.

You may recognize Urban Pharm’s 10th Street location as the former SF Medical Cannabis Clinic. Urban Pharm replaced that scruffy dispensary following an increasingly common real estate do-si-do that includes the sale of a property and an ensuing eviction.

Where SF Medical Cannabis Clinic was a second home to the disenfranchised living in the single-room occupancies that have given way to today’s SOMA developments, Urban Pharm feels more like an office-away-from-the-office for entrepreneurs in hoodies who gather to share dabs and their latest beats. If Urban Pharm caters to workers from nearby Uber and Twitter headquarters, it happens discretely.

If Urban Pharm enforces the 20-minute time limit that signs on the the wall advertise, I saw none of it. In fact, with Urban Pharm providing electrical outlets for charging phones and powering laptops, I and everyone else I encountered in a half dozen visits overstayed the time limit with abandon.

Urban Pharm boasts a state-of-the-art HVAC system. Still, “that smell” assaults you like Macy’s perfume counter when the lounge’s eight bar stools and bench seating for a dozen more fills up.


In my recent visits, Girl Scout Cookies strains dominated the top shelf. One mid-tier offering caught my attention: Skittlez, a Mendocino hybrid I encountered at a food-pot pairing event earlier this year. I have two memories of my first Skittlez: It was an amazingly effervescent high that tickled my sinuses like citrusy phosphate soda had gone up my nose, and people at the event indiscriminately scooping up Skittlez buds by the handful. Last week, I bought a gram for $15. Creative brain sparks rattled in my head like a shaken bag of hard-shelled fruit-flavored candy chews.

Dabbing super-potent concentrates may be too heady of a trip for the casual cannabis consumer. But whether you’re a first-time dabber or someone whose backpack contains a glass rig, butane torch and variety-pack of shatter, wax and budder like a wide-brimmed dude dabbing next to me last week, Urban Pharm’s budtenders double as dabtenders, offering advice on choosing and consuming concentrates, and, most importantly, handling everything that involves sticky substances and hot surfaces. Just press your lips to the mouthpiece and inhale.

I chose a $5 dab, extracted with propane, not the butane I was expecting at that price. The high notes were clean. The bottom notes were herbaceous. Like hitting off a Volcano vaporizer. Not bad for the price, and served with a heavy hand that yielded three good hits that held on for hours.

The $7 dabs included some fruity Brass Knuckles brand strains that I’d tasted a week earlier at a product demo. The $10 dabs included the live-resin style through which oil is extracted from buds that have been freshly harvested and immediately frozen, giving the terpene-rich oil an ice-wine intensity.

I’d like to try a dab flight for the full range of comparison.

Urban Pharm scores where it counts — at the lowest-cost item in any dispensary’s display case, the joint. A $7 house cone made from the kind of leftover buds no one would enter in a weed-porn contest but which nonetheless have wonderful personality burned evenly and smoked smoothly.

New West Summit Cannabis Lounge (and Dining) Guide

Touting the city before it hosted the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, President William Howard Taft declared San Francisco to be “the city that knows how.” One hundred and one years later, on the ongoing eve of cannabis legalization in California, these medical cannabis dispensary lounges show off San Francisco’s know-how when it comes to the social use of cannabis — a hot-button issue even in states where recreational cannabis is legal. San Francisco’s smoking/vaping lounges range from cannabis chic to hippie humble. Six are located downtown and there’s one more due to open this fall — all in easy proximity to hotels, restaurants, shopping and museums. You must be a California resident with ID and the requisite medical cannabis paperwork to enjoy these lounges.

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Cruising for Cannabis: Go Ashore and Legally Score — Juneau to San Diego (Updated Story Pitch)

World-class legal cannabis
and some decadent places to smoke it
await West Coast cruise-ship travelers
in 10 North American pot ports 

cruising-for-cannabis

THC beer
CBD minibars
CBD massage
local tours

BY ED MURRIETA

This year, North American cruise-ship travelers can disembark to legal cannabis on the West Coast of the United States and Canada.

Cruise ships docking along the West Coast today through the end of the year — in Juneau, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach and San Diego are just gangways away from legal ganja. In September, Vancouver, BC, will become the West Coast’s 10th significant legal pot port. 

Pull into a North American West Coast port on almost any major cruise line and immerse yourself in the best cannabis stores and activities. In premier markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles you’ll find the best cannabis lounges and the best cannabis-food activities. Book tours or DIY day, overnight and multi-day excursions depending on how long your ship berths in a pot port. In San Diego, California’s defacto craft beer capital, visit the brewery that crafted CannaCraft, the nation’s first non-alcoholic beer infused with THC. 

But just don’t carry or use cannabis on board cruise ships, whether in port or sailing the Pacific. Here’s the bottom line from one major cruise line servicing the West Coast:

No illegal drugs or other illegal substances are allowed onboard or may be utilized during a Royal Caribbean International cruise vacation, including during transfers to and from ships, inside terminals, while onboard, at our ports of call, during shore excursions or at our private destinations. Illegal drugs or substances will be confiscated and appropriate action taken, which may include removal from the ship …

Royal Caribbean says its interpretation of illegal is based on international law, not Alaska’s, not Washington’s, not California’s and not Canada’s. Expect similar rules from Princess, Norwegian, Holland America and other major cruise lines sailing the Pacific from Juneau to San Diego.

Of course, what paying adult passengers do in port is totally up to paying adult passengers. Go ashore. Local cannabis and cannabis culture are expecting you.

Here’s a cruise-ship travelers’ guide to buying, consuming and experiencing cannabis in 10 West Coast port cities.
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Cannabis Business Consulting

Ed Murrieta’s Cannabis Lounge Pitch Deck

Wherever cannabis is legal, the public needs safe and comfortable places to smoke pot and socialize. Here’s a vision for such a place, even a chain of smoking lounges. 


Ed Murrieta’s Cannabis Edibles Safety App Pitch Deck


Ed Murrieta’s California Cannabis Cookies Pitch

EDIBLES

F2FEDIBLESLIST
FARM-TO-FORK EDIBLES POWERED BY
SMALL-BATCH, HIGH-TECH CANNABIS OIL

EDZ California Cannabis Cookies are the first in a line of farm-to-fork edibles hand-crafted to precise dosages.

Every EDZ cookie begins with cannabis grown in California’s Emerald Triangle. We press pure cannabis oil in small batches. Then we formulate our recipes to precise dosages, giving you only the most beneficial, aromatic and flavorful elements.

Created by Ed Murrieta, an edibles expert and food journalist who helped market the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau’s inaugural Farm-to-Fork Capital of America campaign, EDZ California Cannabis Cookies contain local ingredients at their natural heights:

Olive oil from the Capay Valley northwest of Sacramento makes our cookies luscious.

Nuts from the San Joaquin Valley give our cookies gluten-free body and flavor.

When we use wheat, it’s grown in the northern Sacramento Valley.

Many of the herbs we use come from friends’ backyard gardens.

We buy our cheese from the oldest family-owned cheese company in the state.

We’re hella California, dude.

Look for EDZ California Cannabis Cookies in dispensaries next year.

  • Pistachio Herb
  • Almond-Chocolate
  • California Parmesan
  • Red Velvet Vadouvan

Cannabis Journalism in Leafly.com, S.F. Chronicle, GreenState.com



CANNABIS NEWS, CULTURE AND LIFESTYLES JOURNALISM
IN LEADING PUBLICATIONS

Recent stories first.

To Make Dank Beer, Brewers Forced to Get Creative — in Leafly.com

National Music Promoters Want a Slice of the Cannabis Pie — in Leafly.com

Dollar Dabs & Penny Pre-Rolls Fire Up the Sacramento Cannabis Cup — in Leafly.com

Onsite Sales Bring Cannabis — and Scrutiny — Back to Cannabis Cup — in Leafly.com

Permit Denial Leaves 420 Cannabis Cup Dry, Not High — in Leafly.com

An Oral History of Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke — in Leafly.com

Cultivate your ultimate Las Vegas cannabis weekend — in San  Francisco Chronicle GreenState.com

Top 5 California cannabis tourist destinations — in The San  Francisco Chronicle

Marijuana-friendly bud and breakfasts — in The San  Francisco Chronicle

Cannabis will be a major food trend in 2018. Here’s why — in San Francisco Chronicle GeenState

Work friends get 20 percent off at The Apothecarium SOMA’s grand re-opening — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

How to save a bundle on California cannabis — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

How much will cannabis cost under California’s legal marijuana taxes? — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Palm Springs Is California’s Smoking-Hot Cannabis Tourist Destination — in Leafly

Ten highlights and lowlights from California’s new marijuana rules — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Nevada Marijuana Guide: How to have an awesome weed weekend in Reno & Lake Tahoe — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Cannabis-friendly California AirBnBs that gift you weed — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Going to Burning Man? Stock Up in Reno First — in Leafly

Pot edibles ‘community center’ opens in San Francisco — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Tommy Chong’s new joints taste like the ‘70s, man — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

How to Beat a Cannabis Ban? Buy a Ghost Town — in Leafly

America’s top 10 cannabis chefs — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Leslie Bocskor: Nevada ‘Best Regulatory Framework in the World’ — in Leafly

Nevada’s recreational pot launch explained — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState.com

California marijuana guide: Day-tripping Sacramento dispensaries — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState.com

Dirty Trickster Roger Stone Talks Cannabis Legalization & Trump — in Leafly

Las Vegas Casino Bans MassRoots CEO For Cannabis Ties — in Leafly

High Times magazine sells to Bob Marley’s son, others — in San Francisco Chronicle

High Times’ pot mega-fest returns to Sonoma County — in San Francisco Chronicle/Green State

Why More Seniors Are Using Cannabis to Sleep — in Leafly

50 Years Ago: What Was the Summer of Love Like, Grandpa? — in Leafly

Will California’s New Drugged Driving Device Finally Get It Right? — in Leafly

Meet Shanya Schonauer, California’s First State-Certified Budtender — in Leafly

Industry Bristles at California Regs on Potency, Closing Hours — in Leafly

Survival Guide: How to win 420 in Golden Gate Park — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Nevada: From Life for Sales to Legitimate, Legal Pot Massage — in Cannabis Now

California Looks to Unite Cannabis Laws — in Cannabis Now

Your Weed Card Works in Vegas, Baby! VEGAS! — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

What Is Nevada Medical Cannabis Reciprocity? — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Oakland Licensing Plan Builds Diversity Reparation — in Leafly

Tick Segerblom Wants Cannabis Stores in Las Vegas by Summer — in Leafly

Where to Find the Best Legal Cannabis Lounges — in Leafly

Canna-Sports Entrepreneur Jim McAlpine Courts Tahoe Ski Resorts in Uphill Quest to Address Pot on the Slopes — in Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Emerald Report

Passport to Pot: Nevada Law Opens Doors To All — in Emerald Report/Santa Rosa Press Democrat

New ‘Ritual’ for Cannabis, Coffee Lovers — in The San Francisco Chronicle

Marijuana mega-fair expected to draw 30,000 to Wine Country — in The San Francisco Chronicle

Mark Twain’s 1865 hashish escapade inspires revisit — in The Cannabist

California’s vape havens: Bay Area model for social cannabis use — in The Cannabist

Op-ed: Making political sausage with California marijuana laws — in The Cannabist

California Hall of Fame’s top 10 potheads — in Smell the Truth

End 49ers attacks, lawsuits — with marijuana — in Smell the Truth

CapCannabis

Totally Legal and Nowhere to Toke — in CapCannabis

CapCannabis

Butterly Love — in High Times Medical Cannabis Magazine

Ed Murrieta’s Vegan Cannabis Carrot Muffins — in The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook

Weed Weekend: San Francisco

Legal cannabis is best enjoyed in social lounges, with gourmet food and in the hands of five-star hotel spa masseuses.

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — Like Amsterdam, this lusty city-state boasts picaresque history, edgy authenticity, mind-blowing art and Instagrammable sights,  and among inclined travelers is a cannabis bucket-list destination. From Barbary Coast Bohemians to Beat generation poets and the Sixties’ Summer of Love to today’s legalized renaissance, cannabis has enshrouded San Francisco in intoxicating fog, a heady come-hither whether you wear flowers in your hair or Kate Spades on your feet. Once, tourists scored baggies of pot from hygiene-challenged ragamuffins on hippie-haven Haight Street; modern visitors marvel at the commercialization and wide-spread availability of California’s top agricultural product now that it’s taxed and regulated by the state and innovated by artisans and entrepreneurs. So dive into world-class cannabis retailing; decadent social-consumption lounges; gourmet meals and five-star hotel spa massages incorporating the plant; and local craft beer and cocktails spiked with cannabis extracts, toasting San Francisco’s gay and high history.

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Pairing San Francisco’s Culinary and Cannabis Treats

Enhance the city’s 2018 James Beard winners with the city’s best dispensaries and smoking-vaping lounges.

Dominique Crenn, left, and Barbary Coast.

Dominique Crenn, left, and Barbary Coast.

BY ED MURRIETA

Four San Francisco culinary stars were recognized by the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards this week. By way of toasting their accomplishments and complementing their allure, here are my suggestions for pairing San Francisco’s Beard award-winners and the city’s best legal commercial cannabis experiences.

Dominique Crenn + Barbary Coast

Poetic, adventuresome, traditional and modernist all describe San Francisco’s two Michelin star chef and the city’s sexiest cannabis destination.  Dominique Crenn, chef and owner of Atelier Crenn, Bar Crenn and Petit Crenn, won the Beard award for best chef in the Western United States. If there was an analogous award for best all-in-one store-dab bar-smoke lounge in the West, it would be Barbary Coast. Aesthetically an homage to old-school San Francisco’s Gilded Era vice district. Barbary Coast is straight-up state-of-the-art — from high-end concentrates to high-tech vaporizers and HVAC systems that silently suck smoke from the room so it doesn’t stink up your clothes.  

B. Patisserie + SPARC

The work-and-life partners behind B. Patisserie, a small Pacific Heights bake shop with a cult-like following, are San Francisco baking royalty. Belinda Leong was pastry chef at San Francisco fine-dining notables Gary Danko and Manresa. Michael Suas founded the San Francisco Baking Institute. Get their killer kouign amann to go and enjoy the buttery Britney-style croissant buns South of Market at SPARC, along with Volcano-vaped, farm-grown, lab-tested cannabis and free hot tea from the self-serve bar. (SPARC told me $2 cups of organic family-farmed coffee are on the way.)

In Situ + Urban Pharm

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s restaurant serves “borrowed” dishes “on loan” from world-renowned chefs. Feed your head on a la carte dabs at Urban Pharm (or smoke joints if that’s your jam) then feast your eyes on intentionally spare alternate dimensions at In Situ, which won the Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant Design (76 seats and over). Like In Situ, Urban Pharm elides polished and raw, a steampunked Burning Man blend of cut metal and re-purposed wood.   

Zuni Cafe + The Apothecarium

The iconic restaurant’s roast chicken and hamburger are both longtime legends. Now. Zuni’ Cafe‘s front of the house gets its due — Beard’s Outstanding Service award. Hop on a classic street car for a half-mile ride to The Apothecarium, the flagship of three local cannabis stores where chandeliers, marble counters and soft music ooze elegance of high-end jewelry boutiques. To match Zuni’s service, let The Apothecarium’s professional consultants guide you through a delicious selection of California’s best edibles, concentrates and cannabis strains.

California Cannabis Tax Revenue Short of State’s Projection

The state’s $141 million shy of the $175 million it predicted cultivation and excise taxes would generate by the end of the fiscal year.

Ed’s Note: Ed Murrrieta is an experienced, versatile journalist who needs full-time work.  Read him. Hire him. 

BY ED MURRIETA

SACRAMENTO, CA — California adults are not purchasing enough taxed-and-regulated cannabis to meet the state’s revenue projections for the first six months of legal, levied sales.

A report due Friday from the Department of Tax and Fee Administration will show the state collected $34 million in cannabis sales for the first quarter of 2018 — leaving the state $141 million shy of the $175 million it predicted cannabis cultivation and excise taxes will generate by the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, June 30.

The figures were published online Tuesday in a blog post by an economist at the state Legislative Analyst’s Office and are the latest indication that California cannabis consumers may be turning to the black market to avoid paying up to 45 percent taxes when local sales taxes are factored.

The Department of Tax and Fee Administration figures do not address local taxes, which range from 7.25 percent to 9.25 percent, and are tallied at the local level.  

In addition to black-market sales affecting state projections, lower-than-forecast tax revenues may be due to the number of California cities and counties banning cannabis businesses, and the late start of adult-use retail sales in Los Angeles, the state’s largest market.

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Follow Northstar to Top-Shelf Flowers and Budget Deals in Sacramento

BY ED MURRIETA

Prohibition-era zoning pushed many cannabis stores to cities’ industrial fringes. Northstar Holistic Collective, while technically in the heart of downtown Sacramento, is located in a neighborhood that was, just a generation ago, an industrial edge of the capital city, where Victorian homes, leafy trees and tired warehouses comfortably coexist today.

It’s here on a quiet corner near a light-rail station, a historic highway and a Quonset hut that one of Sacramento’s oldest shops consistently proves why it’s one of the city’s best: fine flowers, concentrates galore, across-the-board prices, smart budtenders, easy parking and no pretense.

Check-in is no-fuss and high-tech. Get buzzed in, hand your ID to the receptionist and look into a camera connected to software that’ll digitally compare your facial features to the photo on your ID, one of the ways cannabis stores are trying to prevent ID fraud and over-visiting.

Easy-to-read flat-panel menus on the waiting room wall are helpful and convenient — not just because you’ll be sitting in a comfortable chair in a spacious room for 10 to 15 minutes at peak times but because Northstar’s old-school glass retail cabinets aren’t much to look at and pretty much serve as storage and counter space.

Northstar is my go-to store for bargain bud. While you’ll find many great top-shelf strains (Animal Cookies and Titan OG tempt me at $50 an eighth, pre-tax), you’ll also find incredible strains (recently: Mr. Nice Guy, Kalifa Kush) for $50 per half ounce (that’s four eighths), pre-tax.

House joints ($7 mid-grade, $10 top-shelf) are pleasurable and priced right. While I don’t buy concentrates, I recognized many of the resins and shatters I’ve sampled in the lounge at Urban Pharm, Northstar’s San Francisco cousin. Northstar has a good selection of edibles and topicals, too.

Northstar recently added a great new perk for its medicinal cannabis customers. Your printed-on-paper Prop. 215 recommendation — no need for the $100 county-issued card — will save you nearly half off the 23.75 percent combined state and local taxes Northstar charges adult-use customers.

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Cannabis Consumer, Lifestyles, Culture & Service Journalism

 Food  |  Travel  |  Culture  |  Consumers  |  Health

me-2I’m a veteran reporter, writer, editor and multimedia producer whose cannabis journalism  appears in the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState.com, Leafly.com and other leading cannabis publications. I’ve worked as a food writer, restaurant critic, features writer,  sportswriter, copy editor and online producer. McClatchy, Knight-Ridder and Universal Press Syndicate have distributed my work internationally. The content on this page is my vision of “the cannabis features section” I sought to create when I launched Pot Appetit in 2010.

edmurrieta@gmail.com



FOOD

Cannabis will be a major food trend in 2018. Here’s why — in San Francisco Chronicle GeenState

Jeremiah Tower, Pot-Cuisine Pioneer (and America’s Original Celebrity Chef) — in PotAppetit

Slip These ‘Edibles’ Under Your Tongue for Fast-Acting, Great-Tasting Highs — in PotAppetit

How to Make Any Cookbook a Cannabis Cookbook — in PotAppetit

Fall Harvest Pear-fection — in PotAppetit

Pot edibles ‘community center’ opens in San Francisco — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

America’s top 10 cannabis chefs — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

New ‘Ritual’ for Cannabis, Coffee Lovers — in The San Francisco Chronicle

Butterly Love — in High Times Medical Cannabis Magazine

Ed Murrieta’s Vegan Cannabis Carrot Muffins — in The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook

Like salt for cannabis, CBD flavors THC’s effects — in Sacramento Bee advertising section

Cookies fit for a Claus but baked with cannabis — in Sacramento Bee advertising section

Know your edibles: A pot-infused primer — in Sacramento Bee advertising section

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TRAVEL

The 5 best places in California for marijuana tourism — in The San  Francisco Chronicle

Marijuana-frienddly bud and breakfasts — in The San  Francisco Chronicle

Palm Springs Is California’s Smoking-Hot Cannabis Tourist Destination — in Leafly

Nevada Marijuana Guide: How to have an awesome weed weekend in Reno & Lake Tahoe — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Cannabis-friendly California AirBnBs that gift you weed — in San Francisco Chronicle Green State

Going to Burning Man? Stock Up in Reno First — in Leafly

How to Beat a Cannabis Ban? Buy a Ghost Town — in Leafly

California marijuana guide: Day-tripping Sacramento dispensaries — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Sin City vs. the Marijuana Mirage — in PotAppetit

Cruising for Cannabis — in PotAppetit

Sin City vs. the Marijuana Mirage — in PotAppetit

Denver Cannabis Travel Planner — in PotAppetit

Humboldt Cannabis Country Vacation — in West Coast Cannabis

 

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CULTURE

San Francisco Scores First Public Cannabis Lounge in U.S. — in PotAppetit

California Traffic Safety Agency Pulls Ad Depicting Responsible Cannabis Users — in PotAppetit

High Times magazine sells to Bob Marley’s son, others — in The San Francisco Chronicle

High Times’ pot mega-fest returns to Sonoma County — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Survival Guide: How to win 420 in Golden Gate Park — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

50 Years Ago: What Was the Summer of Love Like, Grandpa? — in Leafly

Meet Shanya Schonauer, California’s First State-Certified Budtender — in Leafly

Tick Segerblom Wants Cannabis Stores in Las Vegas by Summer — in Leafly

Where to Find the Best Legal Cannabis Lounges — in Leafly

Canna-Sports Entrepreneur Jim McAlpine Courts Tahoe Ski Resorts in Uphill Quest to Address Pot on the Slopes — in Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s Emerald Report

Marijuana mega-fair expected to draw 30,000 to Wine Country — in The San Francisco Chronicle

Mark Twain’s 1865 hashish escapade inspires revisit — in The Cannabist

California’s vape havens: Bay Area model for social cannabis use — in The Cannabist

California Hall of Fame’s top 10 potheads — in Smell the Truth

End 49ers attacks, lawsuits — with marijuana — in Smell the Truth

Totally Legal and Nowhere to Toke — in CapCannabis

Pot and Bad Attitude Send Nick Diaz’s MMA Fighting Career Up in Smoke — in CapCannabis

‘Pot POW’ Eddy Lepp in His Own Words — in PotAppetit

Who the Fuck is Roger Stone? — in PotAppetit

Who Said It: Jeff Sessios or Harry J. Anslisnger? — in PotAppetit

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CONSUMERS

Work friends get 20 percent off at The Apothecarium SOMA’s grand re-opening — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Tommy Chong’s new joints taste like the ‘70s, man — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

How to save a bundle on California cannabis — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Frequently asked questions about getting a California state medical marijuana ID card — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Ten highlights and lowlights from California’s new marijuana rules — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Nevada’s recreational pot launch explained — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Passport to Pot: Nevada Law Opens Doors To All — in Emerald Report/Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Your Weed Card Works in Vegas, Baby! VEGAS! — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

What Is Nevada Medical Cannabis Reciprocity? — in San Francisco Chronicle GreenState

Urban Pharm Review: Dispensary/Lounge Meets Steampunk Sex Club — in PotAppetit

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HEALTH

Why More Seniors Are Using Cannabis to Sleep — in Leafly

Will California’s New Drugged Driving Device Finally Get It Right? — in Leafly

Whole-Plant Cannabis Oils and On-Demand Vape Pen Are a Perfect Pairing — in PotAppetit

Cannabis and Opioids Crisis

Cannabis and Epilepsy

Cannabis and Glioblastoma Brain Cancer

Cannabis and Migraine Headaches

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Screenshot of 2010 Pot Appetit Prototype via Wayback Machine.

Screenshot of 2010 Pot Appetit Prototype via Wayback Machine.

Go Ashore and Legally Score in 10 North American Pot Ports

World-class legal cannabis
and some decadent places to smoke it
await West Coast cruise-ship travelers 

cruising-for-cannabis

THC beer
CBD minibars
CBD massage
local tours

BY ED MURRIETA

This year, North American cruise-ship travelers can disembark to legal cannabis on the West Coast of the United States and Canada.

Cruise ships docking today through the end of the year in Juneau, AK, to San Diego, CA, including, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach,  are just gangways away from legal ganja. In September, Vancouver, BC, will become the West Coast’s 10th significant legal pot port. 

Pull into a North American West Coast port on almost any major cruise line and immerse yourself in the best cannabis stores and activities. In premier markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles you’ll find the best cannabis lounges and the best cannabis-food activities. Book tours or DIY day, overnight and multi-day excursions depending on how long your ship berths in a pot port. In San Diego, California’s defacto craft beer capital, visit the brewery that crafted CannaCraft, the nation’s first non-alcoholic beer infused with THC. 

But just don’t carry or use cannabis on board cruise ships, whether in port or sailing the Pacific. Here’s the bottom line from one major cruise line servicing the West Coast:

No illegal drugs or other illegal substances are allowed onboard or may be utilized during a Royal Caribbean International cruise vacation, including during transfers to and from ships, inside terminals, while onboard, at our ports of call, during shore excursions or at our private destinations. Illegal drugs or substances will be confiscated and appropriate action taken, which may include removal from the ship …

Royal Caribbean says its interpretation of illegal is based on international law, not Alaska’s, not Washington’s, not California’s and not Canada’s. Expect similar rules from Princess, Norwegian, Holland America and other major cruise lines sailing the Pacific from Juneau to San Diego.

Of course, what paying adult passengers do in port is totally up to paying adult passengers. Go ashore. Local cannabis and cannabis culture are expecting you.

Here’s a cruise-ship travelers’ guide to buying, consuming and experiencing cannabis in 10 West Coast port cities.
Continue reading

San Francisco Cannabis Firsts

BY ED MURRIETA

Despite its history as California’s capital of drug culture and commerce, San Francisco was not the first city in the state to legally sell medicinal cannabis and will not be the first city in the state to legally sell recreational cannabis. (Berkeley nabbed the medicinal honor and Oakland will get the recreational glory.)

Historically, San Francisco’s other cannabis firsts include:

  • The Psychedelic Shop, the  first and most influential head shop in America, opening in January 1966, becoming the epicenter of hippie culture and commerce, including extra-legal drug sales and on-premises pot smoking.
  • Activist Dennis Peron, in 1974, opening The Island, a cannabis-friendly restaurant where pot was in the air and for sale upstairs.
  • The Board of Supervisors approving the first medical cannabis initiative in 1991, five years before California voters authorized medicinal cannabis.
  • Dennis Peron, in 1992, opening America’s first medicinal cannabis dispensary, San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, where people obtained and consumed cannabis.

Dennis Peron

Meantime, I’m on record predicting San Francisco will host the first legal cannabis lounge in America.

Tokechella Is California’s Smoking-Hot Desert Cannabis Tourist Destination

Massive Cultivation, Most Dispensaries Per Capita
and Cannabis-Friendly Resorts and Rentals
Make Palm Springs, Cathedral City and
Desert Hot Springs a Pot, Pot, Pot, Pot World

BY ED MURRIETA

It’s high season in the Coachella Valley — for tourism and for pot.

Now’s the time to combine them both.

If you want to visit California next week for a taste of historic cannabis legalization in the Golden State, the Coachella Valley — in particular the resort-town cluster of Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs —  is one of the best places to plan a cannabis getaway for Opening Day of legal pot sales, better than other California cannabis travel destinations like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe, all lagging behind the Jan. 1 start date.

A longtime playground for movie stars, mobsters, sunseekers and alternative lifestyles 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the Coachella Valley has the key elements intrepid cannabis travelers need to ring in California’s new legal era:

  • massive local cultivation;
  • most dispensaries per capita set to sell flowers, edibles and concentrates to adults age 21 and over;
  • cannabis-friendly lodgings, including two cannabis-friendly (and clothing-optional) hot springs resorts and a colorful mountain hotel with a vape-friendly cabin and smoke-friendly grounds;
  • and cannabis-fueled stargazing in Joshua Tree National Park.

Tokechella’s a pot, pot, pot, pot world for sure.

Continue reading

Ask Your Question or State Your Concern About California Cannabis Regulations

SACRAMENTO ALLEYS BREED ENTREPRENEURIAL EATERIES

Rising rents for street-side properties and a push for infill development drive trend in urban alleys.

 

By Ed Murrieta

SACRAMENTO — Alleys in America are most commonly associated with illicit activities and unsavory characters. Even if people visit such alleys, few know their names.

Today in Sacramento, alleys within the city’s downtown and midtown core are breeding grounds for hipster entrepreneurs, urban infill development and local branding — homes to third-wave coffee roasters, a kaleidoscopic cantina, a displaced dive bar and a beer-and-pizza joint where you can play games like corn hole inside a foodie fortress made of shipping containers.

Unlike like San Francisco’s Belden Place, a narrow pedestrian alley in the Financial District that serves as the main entry for a cluster of well-known restaurants that border its one-block path between Bush and Pine streets, Sacramento’s alleys hide single outposts that feel like real finds when you happen upon them as you crisscross leafy-green streets and paved alleys while looking for parking.

Utilization of Sacramento’s alleys is driven by a public-private project that funds alley repaving, sewer upgrades and new names that that replace alphabet-based names (B Street Alley, C Street Alley, et. al) and honor Sacramento culture and history with names like Tomato Alley, Solon Alley and Liestal Alley, the latter for the Swiss town where Sacramento pioneer John Sutter was born.

I propose a go-and-do day-trip travel story that spotlights Cantina Alley, Federalist Public House, Pre-Flite Lounge, Old Soul Coffee, Pachamama Coffee and Oakhaus — the latter being the latest Sacramento project opened by Bay Area restaurateur Thomas Schnetz on the edge of an alley in a brand-new development in a gentrifying neighborhood.

Las Vegas Cannabis Tourism Travel Guide

ACTIVITIES  |  FOOD & DRINK   |  LODGING   |   LOUNGES   |   STORES  |  TOURS  |  VEGAS WEEKEND BOX

INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO INTRO


ACTIVITIES  |  FOOD & DRINK   |  LODGING   |   LOUNGES   |   STORES  |  TOURS  |  VEGAS WEEKEND BOX


STORES

Convenient to The Strip and other frequented locations.
Menu


Lodging: Cannabis-friendly. Others: Not affiliated with casinos.
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Activities: Tours. Classes. Roller skating. Adventures.  Amusements. Guns. Cars. High-Roller Wheel. Slotzilla zipline. Other rides. Museums. Topless pools. Shows.  Spas.
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Lounges: Not yet but the background.
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Law: What’s legal. Where it’s legal. Staying legal.
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Museums: Atomic, Mob, Pinball, Neon.
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TOURS TK
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Dining: Eat where Las Vegas chefs eat and leave the decadent buffets to the wild-eyed beardos buzz-feeding at troughs of stoner-friendly gastronomy.
Menu


Drinking: Craft beer.  Available 24 hours a day.
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Transit: Lyft and Uber. Monorail. Downtown bus. The Strip bus. Airports, public and private. Greyhound. MegaBus. Note Amtrak status.
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Debut Newsletter

Nipton update — Munch & Co. chosen to head cannabis hospitality efforts w/hand-out art

Pot advertising in-flight magazine w/art

Las Vegas vs. Amsterdam

News — Mass. canna bus update. Las Vegas airport update. Las  Vegas cannabis lounge update

Sin City vs. the Marijuana Mirage

Las Vegas cannabis tourism is a roll of the dice
two months into recreational pot legalization

BY ED MURRIETA

In the struggle for cultural commercialization and mainstream acceptance of cannabis, Sin City straddles miracle and mirage.

In less than three years since Nevada voters authorized medical cannabis, this oasis of indulgence has blossomed into a vertically integrated capital of cultivation, processing, manufacturing and retailing packaged for the masses amid glitz, glam and government regulations as keenly choreographed as Cirque du Soleil.

Thanks to voter approval in November and fast-tracked retail sales that began July 1, weed’s now legal for adult recreational use in Nevada, joining gambling and prostitution on the list of activities adults can enjoy in the Silver State but go to jail for elsewhere.

But is the Nevada pot experience attainable in toto? Is Las Vegas ready for its pot prime time?

Continue reading

Cultivate Your Ultimate Reno-Tahoe Cannabis Weekend

BY ED MURRIETA

RENO — The Biggest Little City in the World is dwarfed only by Las Vegas in Nevada’s newest bonanza — the greenrush of recreational cannabis and drug tourists’ dollars.

Thanks to Reno’s scale, getting a taste of Nevada’s newly legal recreational cannabis is a lot easier here than it is in sprawling Las Vegas, and Reno is a good place to begin exploring Nevada cannabis as growers, processors and edibles makers from Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Incline Village supply Las Vegas dispensaries. You can even buy a tourist-oriented welcome basket of Nevada cannabis products, marketed as the Vegas Weekend Box in both Las Vegas and Reno.

Whether you’re traveling to the Reno-Tahoe region to gamble, ski, see shows, engage prostitutes, make a pit stop en route to or from Burning Man, or solely to purchase pot legally, making cannabis part of your next visit here is easy — especially if you can swear off odiferous buds and commit to enjoying locally made edibles, tinctures and vape pens.

Arrive by automobile, bus or train and begin your Reno-Tahoe cannabis trip a short walk away from Reno’s “Biggest Little City” sign at Mynt, downtown Reno’s only cannabis store and creator/purveyor of Kynd, the locally produced, widely available line of flowers, edibles and concentrates.

Or reach Reno via Lake Tahoe, where recreational cannabis at Incline Village’s tony NuLeaf dispensary is the North Shore’s buzziest attraction since The Ponderosa Ranch “Bonanza” TV Western theme park invigorated the historic logging hamlet in the Sixties.

Along the way, behold breath-taking lake and mountain scenery, drink craft beer brewed from Lake Tahoe’s famous blue water and eat a cut above buffets.   

Bring your medical cannabis authorization from any legal medical cannabis state and avoid paying Nevada’s 10 percent excise tax.

California residents with medical cannabis recommendations will hit the pot-tourist jackpot a mile from the California-Nevada state line in South Lake Tahoe, where dispensary and grower Tahoe Wellness Cooperative operates a rare tourist necessity: a cannabis consumption lounge, in this case endorsed and sanctioned by city leaders expressly to keep people from smoking pot on South Lake Tahoe’s shore and streets.

South Lake Tahoe is also home to what the Reno-Tahoe region (and Las Vegas) needs to cultivate in higher volume — a bud, bed and breakfast run by an innkeeper who provides locally grown cannabis and the greenlight to smoke it legally, no matter where you come from.

Can’t bear the thought of foregoing joints, dabs and bong hits while you’re visiting Reno or the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe? Forget about staying at hotels. Instead, reserve a 420-friendly gypsy camping wagon, custom-made by a Burning Man artisan and easily towed or delivered to campgrounds or private properties in the Reno-Tahoe area.

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Check into the gift of pot on your pillow

California tourist rentals give guests recreational cannabis — no doctor’s note or state residency required.

Photo courtesy The Om House

BY ED MURRIETA

Full-on legalization that will allow tourists from other states and other countries to purchase California cannabis from regulated retail stores is at least four months away.

But a provision in the Golden State’s recreational cannabis law provides a legal path to pot right now.

It’s called gifting, and since Prop. 64 took effect upon voter approval in November 2016 it’s been a way that cannabis-friendly tourist rentals — from an upscale cannabis resort on a historic ranch in the fabled Emerald Triangle to a modest apartment in a workaday Southern California neighborhood to a vegan bud, bed and breakfast in Lake Tahoe — can legally provide all of their adult guests tastes of local cannabis, similar to the way bottles of wine and wedges of cheese welcome guests in boutique hotels and inns across America.

“We don’t sell cannabis,” said Lisa Donnelly, proprietor of The Red Barn House guesthouse in remote Shasta County, 220 miles north of San Francisco. “But I can give guests a couple of grams from my own personal what-I’ve-got.”

Whether you’re a California resident who lacks a doctor’s recommendation to use state-legal medical cannabis, whether you live in any of America’s 49 other states or whether you’re visiting from any country in the world, it’s legal in California for one adult to gift another adult up to 1 ounce of cannabis.

But don’t expect that kind of weight awaiting you at California’s cannabis-gifting vacation rentals.

In most cases, expect gifts closer to one Michael Mischer filled chocolate, not a boxed assortment of Poco Dolce confections.

Continue reading

Reno-Tahoe Cannabis Travel Story v. 1.0

BY ED MURRIETA

RENO — The Biggest Little City in the World is dwarfed only by Las Vegas in Nevada’s newest bonanza — the greenrush of recreational cannabis and drug tourists’ dollars.

Thanks to Reno’s scale, getting a taste of Nevada’s newly legal recreational cannabis is a lot easier here than it is in sprawling Las Vegas, and Reno is a good place to begin exploring Nevada cannabis as growers, processors and edibles makers from Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Incline Village supply Las Vegas dispensaries. You can even buy a tourist-oriented welcome basket of Nevada cannabis products, marketed as the Vegas Weekend Box in both Las Vegas and Reno.

Whether you’re traveling to the Reno-Tahoe region to gamble, ski, see shows, engage prostitutes, make a pit stop en route to or from Burning Man, or solely to purchase pot legally, making cannabis part of your next visit here is easy — especially if you can swear off odiferous buds and commit to enjoying locally made edibles, tinctures and vape pens.

Arrive by automobile, bus or train and begin your Reno-Tahoe cannabis trip a short walk away from Reno’s “Biggest Little City” sign at Mynt, downtown Reno’s only cannabis store and creator/purveyor of Kynd, the locally produced, widely available line of flowers, edibles and concentrates.

Or reach Reno via Lake Tahoe, where recreational cannabis at Incline Village’s tony NuLeaf dispensary is the North Shore’s buzziest attraction since The Ponderosa Ranch “Bonanza” TV Western theme park invigorated the historic logging hamlet in the Sixties.

Along the way, behold breath-taking lake and mountain scenery, drink craft beer brewed from Lake Tahoe’s famous blue water and eat a cut above buffets.   

Bring your medical cannabis authorization from any legal medical cannabis state and avoid paying Nevada’s 10 percent excise tax.

California residents with medical cannabis recommendations will hit the pot-tourist jackpot a mile from the California-Nevada state line in South Lake Tahoe, where dispensary and grower Tahoe Wellness Cooperative operates a rare tourist necessity: a cannabis consumption lounge, in this case endorsed and sanctioned by city leaders expressly to keep people from smoking pot on South Lake Tahoe’s shore and streets.

South Lake Tahoe is also home to what the Reno-Tahoe region (and Las Vegas) needs to cultivate in higher volume — a bud, bed and breakfast run by an innkeeper who provides locally grown cannabis and the greenlight to smoke it legally, no matter where you come from.

Can’t bear the thought of foregoing joints, dabs and bong hits while you’re visiting Reno or the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe? Forget about staying at hotels. Instead, reserve a 420-friendly gypsy camping wagon, custom-made by a Burning Man artisan and easily towed or delivered to campgrounds or private properties in the Reno-Tahoe area.


Photo courtesy of Mynt Cannabis.

RENO ITINERARY

You don’t want to spend your weekend visiting all eight dispensaries in and around Reno. Most carry similar products at similar prices reflective of a city governed by industries — gaming and tourism — designed to take your money. Shop according to your lodging proximity and save yourself trips across town — unless you’re a hard-core fan of San Francisco rapper and pot mogul and just have to try his high-end strains or need to pick up a cannabis survival kit specially designed for Burning Man.  

Staying at Harrah’s, Circus Circus, Eldorado, Whitney Peak or the Burning Man-themed Morris Burner Hostel in downtown Reno? You’ll surely check out Mynt, downtown Reno’s only dispensary,  located across the street from Harrah’s, within view of Greater Nevada Field, two blocks from the Reno Arch and an easy walk to the Truckee River and the RiverWalk pedestrian trail. Mynt’s sister company, Kynd, produces the region’s leading brand of strain-specific concentrates and artisan edibles, including THC and CBD chocolates and salted caramels hand-crafted exclusively for Kynd by a noted local chocolatier.

Mynt is also where you can get a taste of Las Vegas in a welcome basket, of sorts, curated for tourists. The Vegas Weekend Box launched in Reno’s larger sibling, Sin City, this summer, featuring cannabis products showcasing the best of Las Vegas and designed to last up to four newbie cannabis consumers throughout a weekend. Price at $199, Vegas Weekend Boxes contain consumer safety tips and a $30 discount to a vegan restaurant in a hip container park. They’ve been flying off the shelf at Mynt, never mind that the restaurant discount is for a restaurant in Las Vegas. A Reno Weekend Box is in the works but for now Mynt’s selling the Vegas version exclusively in Reno. In September, Vegas Weekend Boxes will include Mynt’s cannabis caramels.

Staying at Grand Sierra Resort a mile and a half east of downtown? Sierra Wellness Connection is nearby.

Staying in Sparks? Reef and Silver State Relief are close to each other in a light industrial area.

Staying north of Reno in Sun Valley? Reef and Kanna Reno are located 2 miles apart.

One reason to visit either Reef location is Exotikz by Berner, connisseur-grade cannabis strains personally pheno-hunted by Berner, the San Francisco rapper and pot mogul, priced starting at $60 an eighth.

Luxuriating at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa or Peppermill Resort Spa Casino south of downtown Reno? Sate your need for weed at Blum or The Dispensary, both of which are en route to both destinations by car or frequently running city buses from downtown.

Headed to Burning Man? Not only will you want to take advantage of the room discounts and special spa packages that major Reno hotels offer before and after the counterculture gathering in the Black Rock desert 100 miles north of Reno, you may want to shop for a Burner Box at Blum.

Whether this is your first or 31st trip to Burning Man, you’ll be the envy of your theme camp when you unpack a Burner Box, a curated kit of cannabis essentials that includes cannabis oil, edibles, bud and joints from leading Reno and Las Vegas cultivators and producers, including salted caramels from Reno’s Mynt, enough to keep a Burner buzzed, along with other substances, for a week on the Playa, plus a pipe and rolling papers. Priced at $299, the Burner Box comes with a Vapor Slide cannabis oil vaporizer, a high-tech hybrid that retails for $99 and works on its own or in the stem of a water pipe.

While hotels woo Burning Man attendees, that doesn’t mean they’re drug-friendly, even toward legal recreational cannabis. “Despite the fact that recreational marijuana is legal to smoke in Nevada, smoking is not allowed at any Nevada hotel either on property or in the rooms,” a public relations representative for the Grand Sierra Resort said.

You may have your favorite places to eat and drink in Reno but consider local options beyond the air-conditioned confines of casinos. Shopping for cannabis at Blum or The Dispensary in Reno’s hip Midtown district? Stop by Brasserie Saint James, winner of the Great American Beer Festival’s 2014 Mid-Size Brewpub and Mid-Size Brewpub Brewer of the Year and the inspiration for the offshoot San Francisco brewpub. The menu features Belgian- and German-style beer and beer-friendly food like steak tartare, braised short ribs and oxtails and fried chicken and waffles. Walk three blocks and you’ll reach SixFour Growlers, a barebones taproom where you can get take-out growlers filled with 30 local and regional beers. For higher style and abstract art, Loulu’s serves a sophisticated New American menu.

In downtown Reno, a meal at the Nevada Museum of Art is a must. Tucked inside the museum, Chez Louie serves French-inspired fare — pate, terrines, bouillabaisse, crepes, tartines — for lunch and dinner and fortifies Sunday brunch with a Bloody Mary bar and live jazz. After brunch, enjoy a free guided tour of the museum, an arty gem that boasts rare accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.  

For hipster casual with a side of cornhole, hit The Eddy, an open-air cluster of shipping containers on the north side of the Truckee River on Sierra Street featuring three bars, multiple patios, food trailers and games, including ball-rolling bocce and beanbag-tossing cornhole.

For amusement, you could load up on edibles and lose yourself in immersive video-game-style slot machines. For non-casino shiny-object fun, check out the classic collection at the National Automobile Museum. Or test your pot-addled deductive skills and claustrophobic tolerance by locking yourself behind a door and playing an escape game at Puzzle Room.


Photo courtesy of NuLeaf.

INCLINE VILLAGE ITINERARY

About an hour’s drive from both Reno and South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village is a picturesque hamlet on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe — located smack in the heart of the fictional Ponderosa Ranch of “Bonanza” fame and home of the former theme park that celebrated the long-running TV Western.

Today, Incline Village is home to some of the richest people in America and home to one of the better brands in Nevada’s cannabis industry — NuLeaf, a dispensary with operational ties Berkeley Patients Group.

Located on the town’s main boulevard, NuLeaf hosted more than 2,000 customers in the first week it sold recreational cannabis on Aug. 5-6. Choose from NuLeaf brand flowers, concentrates and edibles grown and produced in NuLeaf’s cultivation and manufacturing facility on the other side of the Carson Range in Carson City.

Indulge in edibles then indulge yourself and your senses with spa and massage treatments at Stillwater Spa & Salon at the Hyatt.

For lunch, grab a sandwich or the fixings for a meat-and-cheese picnic at Village Meats, a full-service butcher shop and smokehouse that also serves breakfast tacos and breakfast burritos and housemade quiche. For dinner, assemble a small-plates feast a Bite, a thoughtful, casually elegant American tapas cafe. For craft beer brewed from Lake Tahoe’s famously pristine water, don’t miss the snappy Saison or toasty porter at Alibi Ale Works.

You can search Airbnb.com for cannabis-friendly private lodging. If you want to forego smoking, check into dependably comfortable Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort overlooking Crystal Bay (where luxe rooms feature Keruig coffee makers, the easiest way to prepare the cannabis-infused Jane’s Brew coffee you’ll buy at NuLeaf). But for an exotic Lake Tahoe experience as colorful as anything Hoss and Little Joe encountered with gypsies on “Bonanza,” reserve a cannabis-friendly gypsy camping trailer wagon.

Tow the wagon behind your vehicle from Reno or have it delivered to Zephyr Cove Resort’s RV Park and Campground on the South Shore. Check with the Zephyr Cove operators; they’ll tell you it’s OK for adults to smoke cannabis inside recreational vehicles and trailers.

Photo courtesy of Gypsy Getaway Wagons.

Measuring 5 feet by 14 feet and outfitted with two double beds, propane stove, coffee press, solar-powered lights and 12-volt plugs and USB adapters for charging cellphones, Gypsy Getaway Wagon’s Sun Salutation wagon accommodates four people.

Close the door for private hot-box smoke seshes or prepare cups of cannabis-infused coffee, tea or hot chocolate (again, the Jane’s Brew brand).

Rates are $100 to $149 per night, plus $100 minimum delivery fee.

Photo courtesy of Gypsy Getaway Wagons.

 

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Photo courtesy of Gypsy Getaway Wagons.

If camping under Lake Tahoe’s Ponderosa pines and the influence of cannabis isn’t entertainment enough, you can catch a show at a Stateline casino-hotel, say Cheech and Chong on Aug 18, Michael Franti and Spearhead on Sept. 15 and Los Lobos on Oct. 6, or the Electroswing Burlesque Show on Aug. 31 at The Loft Theater Dining Lounge.


tahoewellnesscollective

Photo courtesy of Tahoe Wellness Collective.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE ITINERARY

Jonesing for a dab after a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the Bay Area to South Lake Tahoe? Gotta smoke a joint after a toke-free, edibles-only weekend in a Reno hotel?

California residents authorized to use medical cannabis will make Tahoe Wellness Cooperative their first stop in South Lake Tahoe, the lakefront city on the California-Nevada border.

Fragrant of cannabis, reggae music and psychedelic art, Tahoe Wellness Cooperative exudes South Lake Tahoe’s laid-back, casual vibe. Along with the only public consumption lounge in the Reno-Tahoe region, Tahoe Wellness grows its own house strains — a sativa (SourBand), an indica (The Purps) and a hybrid (Girl Scout Cookies). Bongs and rolling papers are provided in the comfortable consumption lounge, which is open all day and transforms into a solvent-free hash bar at 4:20 p.m., when you can use house e-nails and purchase hash that Tahoe Wellness staff will heat-press into oil-rich full-melt rosin at no charge.

Not from California? Don’t have a medical cannabis card? Don’t worry. The innkeeper of The Om House, Tahoe’s only bud, bed and breakfast, has you covered. Under California’s recreational cannabis law, it’s legal to gift cannabis. That sweet treat in your charming South Lake Tahoe mountain retreat won’t be chocolate on your pillow — it’s going to be Tahoe-grown cannabis that the innkeeper gifts to his guests. There’s even pipe to enjoy it.

You don’t have to be a California resident to receive or use a cannabis gift at The Om House. Just be at least 21 years old.

Craft beer drinkers, rejoice, too: The Om House also gifts crowlers of beer from South Lake Brewing Company,

Photo courtesy of The Om House.

Located in a tranquil, tree-filled residential neighborhood on Gardner Mountain, about a mile from where Highway 50 meets Lake Tahoe Boulevard, The Om House is a 15-minute drive to Tahoe Wellness and a 5-mile hike to picturesque Fallen Leaf Lake via a nearby trail. Priced $149 per night for two people, it’s dog-friendly, too.

Photo courtesy of The Om House.

Sound too good to be true? There is a catch. The Om House is strictly vegan — no meat or dairy are allowed on the property, even the grill on the deck. The Om House is well-stocked with healthful snacks and pantry items in case you get the vegan munchies from the all-natural cannabis on your pillow.

Photo courtesy of The Om House.

Photo courtesy of The Om House.

 

For lunch, Red Hut Cafe serves breakfast all day so you can enjoy the meal you skipped traveling here and get your fill of bacon and milk shakes without upsetting The Om House’s vegan vibe.

For dinner, take advantage of The Om House’s well-appointed kitchen and prepare a meal from local sources gladly recommend by the innkeeper. Or slurp dinner at The Oyster Bar at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino across the border in Stateline, Nev., before catching an outdoor concert at the nearby MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, one that surely will be enhanced by the edibles you consume before dinner — say Cheech and Chong on Aug 18, Michael Franti and Spearhead on Sept. 15 and Los Lobos on Oct. 6, or the Electroswing Burlesque Show on Aug. 31 at The Loft Theater Dining Lounge.

In the morning, wake and bake and rise and fly — getting as high as you can in body and mind before going as high as $299 per person takes you over Lake Tahoe via balloon. Enjoy a pre-dawn toke to start your day the cannabis connoisseur way then top off your high with a low-dose edible eaten with your bagel and vegan cream cheese and set out at sunrise for a 90-minute flight with Lake Tahoe Balloons, eventually reaching peak air altitude and peak edibles altitude at about the same time. A light meal and a glass of wine are included. Afterward, come down to earth with grounding CBD capsules or relaxing tokes at Tahoe Wellness. Balloon season ends Oct. 16.


RESOURCES

Reno Dispensaries
(Recreational and Medical)

Mynt Cannabis
132 E 2nd St.
myntcannabis.com

Sierra Wellness Connection
1605 E 2nd St #103
sierrawell.com

Blum
1085 S Virginia St., Reno
www.letsblum.com/reno

The Dispensary
100 W Plumb Lane
thedispensarynv.com

SPARKS
(Recreational and Medical)

Silver State Relief
175 E Greg St,
Silverstaterelief.com

Reef Dispensary
195 E Glendale Ave.
reefdispensaries.com

SUN VALLEY
(Recreational and Medical)

Reef Dispensary
5105 Sun Valley Blvd., Building B
Reefdispensaries.com

Kanna Reno
5398 Sun Valley Blvd.
kannareno.com

CARSON CITY
(Medical only)

Sierra Wellness
2765 US Highway 50 E
sierrawell.com

RISE
135 E Clearview Dr #119
risedispensaries.com

INCLINE VILLAGE
(Recreational and Medical)

NULeaf Incline Village
(Recreational and Medical)
877 Tahoe Blvd.
nuleafnv.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
(California Medical only)

Tahoe Wellness Collective
3445 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Tahoewellnesscoop.org

CANNABIS-FRIENDLY LODGING

The Om House
South Lake Tahoe
Reserve via Airbnb.com

Gypsy Getaway Wagons
Serving Reno-Tahoe region
Reserve via gypsygetawaywagons.com


PRO TIPS

The Law
In Nevada, cannabis is legal for adults, age 21 and older, to consume in private residences and private buildings with owners’ permission. It’s illegal to consume cannabis in public, in hotels, in casinos and in moving vehicles. You can take a 2-hour wine-tasting cruise on the lake but you can’t smoke on the water. Lake Tahoe is under the jurisdiction of the United States Coast Guard, a branch of the military that enforces federal drug laws.

Deliveries
Deliveries are allowed by Nevada law but under a statewide emergency order that allowed recreational cannabis sales to begin July 1, deliveries to hotels are banned. Deliveries can be made to any other public or private — a coffee house or your aunt’s house.

Purchasing Limits
Nevada’s recreational pot law allows adults to purchase 1 ounce of flowers, 3.5 grams of concentrates or 3,500 mg of edibles per day. Odds are you won’t come close to consuming in a weekend.

Personal Limits
First-timer? Resist kid-in-candy-store urges to purchase and consume mass quantities. A little pot can go a long way. One eighth of an ounce of cannabis flowers can last a seasoned cannabis user three days or more.

Consuming Edibles
Go slow, star low, especially with edibles and even if you’re experienced. The standard edible portion size in Nevada is 10 mg. Some low-dose edibles are 5 mg. 25 mg is strong enough make an experienced user wobble and swoon. Eat edibles after eating other food to aid digestion. It can take up to two hours before you feel edibles’ effects. Start with 5 mg, gauge effects and consume more as desired. Sublinguals have a faster onset time. Smoking effects are immediate, vaping slightly longer. Take a puff or two, gauge effects and consume more as desired.

Hotels and Resorts
While hotels and resorts woo Burning Man attendees, that doesn’t mean they’re drug-friendly, even toward legal recreational cannabis. “Despite the fact that recreational marijuana is legal to smoke in Nevada, smoking is not allowed at any Nevada hotel either on property or in the rooms,” a public relations representative for the Grand Sierra Resort said.

Swear Off Smoking
Avoid causing any sort of stink at hotels and commit to going smoke-free in Reno, opting instead for discrete edibles, tinctures and vape pens. You won’t incur a room-cleaning fee for eating cannabis-infused candy or brewing a K-cup or pouch of Jane’s Brew cannabis-infused coffee or tea. Harrah’s, Peppermill, Whitney Peak, Hilton Garden and The Nugget feature Keurig K-cup coffeemakers in rooms.

Stay Hydrated
They can’t grow pot in the high desert and mountain altitudes without water and you won’t be comfortable without it. Smoked or eaten, cannabis can dry you out. Think cottonmouth is bad? Think about headaches, dizziness and muscle cramps from dehydration.

Wear Sunscreen
Save your skin with cannabis-infused sunscreen. Evergreen Organix is THC infused and SPF 30. It not only provides anti-aging sunblock protection but it’s anti-inflammatory and reduces localized pain should you get burned. Available at NuLeaf, Reef, Rise, Silver State Relief, Sierra Wellness and these dispensaries.

Reciprocity
Reciprocity is a unique Nevada program that honors medical cannabis cards from other states, allowing non-Nevada residents to purchase medical cannabis products. Not only can medical card holders avoid paying Nevada’s 10 percent excise tax but they can purchase cannabis products recreational customers can’t — like high-potency edibles up to triple the limit of the recreational market’s 100-mg-per-product-unit limit.

Brothels
Cannabis and prostitution are both legal in Nevada but the twain can’t legally meet, never mind that science calls cannabis an aphrodisiac. A bill that would have authorized smoking and vaping lounges in all manner of Nevada businesses, including brothels in and around Carson City, stalled in the state Legislature in June. The governor vetoed a bill that would have legalized cannabis-infused massages. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance brothel sex with cannabis. Like erection enhancers Viagra and Cialis, edibles take a while to kick in so plan your aphrodisiac intake accordingly.

California Side of Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Wellness Collective is the only medical cannabis dispensary on the California side of Lake Tahoe. Dispensaries are banned on the western shore of Lake Tahoe and inland into Squaw Valley and Truckee. Delivery firms service the region.

Traveling with Pot
It’s illegal to take Nevada cannabis out of Nevada. Don’t take cannabis on airplanes. Don’t carry cannabis on Greyhound, MegaBus or Amtrak. Don’t drive across state lines with Nevada cannabis in your car. Don’t get on a local bus from Incline Village to Truckee or anywhere on Lake Tahoe’s California side.

Sin City vs. the Marijuana Mirage

Las Vegas Cannabis Tourism Is a Roll of the Dice
Just Two Months into Recreational Legalization

Cultivate Your Ultimate Las Vegas Pot Weekend
— But Don’t Bet on Toking on The Strip

BY ED MURRIETA
As far as legal pot goes, Las Vegas straddles miracle and mirage.

In less than three years since Nevada voters authorized medical cannabis, Sin City has blossomed into a vertically integrated capital of cultivation, processing, manufacturing and retailing packaged for the masses amid glitz, glam and government regulations as keenly choreographed as Cirque du Soleil.

Thanks to voter approval in November and fast-tracked retail sales that began July 1, weed’s now legal for adult recreational use in Nevada, joining gambling and prostitution on the list of activities adults can enjoy in the Silver State but go to jail for elsewhere.

But is Nevada’s newest formerly illicit indulgence attainable in toto?

You can buy pot on The Strip — from a boutique whose name sounds like a showgirl’s: Essence. But odds are overwhelmingly stacked against any pipe dreams of toking up at gaming tables, where cigarettes are legal, or in rooms and suites or poolside at major casino-hotels.

Cannabis no longer carries the threat of 20 years in state prison for possession or life behind bars for sales. But openly enjoying pot still seems shady, fueled by casinos’ fealty to federal regulators who mandate opposition to cannabis, which, after all, is legal only at the state level in Nevada, one of eight American states that embrace the controversial botanical drug.

You can’t legally smoke a joint, burn a bowl, hit a bong, vape a pen, do a dab or consume an edible anywhere in Nevada except in private residences and private buildings with owners’ permission, never mind the state’s live-and-let-live libertarian leanings.

Of course, only you and your budtender know if the gummy candies you’re gobbling contain cannabis, and people do indeed pass off their vape pens for e-cigarettes in some hotels. But smoke a joint on The Strip or in hotels and casinos and face a $600 ticket, a pricey room-cleaning fee or outright ejection.

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Reno-Tahoe Cannabis Tour

Selling soon: recreational pot.

BY ED MURRIETA

RENO — The Biggest Little City in the World is second only to Las Vegas in Nevada’s newest bonanza — the golden greenrush of recreational cannabis in the Silver State.

Despite a court order to prevent the state’s new cannabis regulating body from allowing dispensaries to begin recreational sales next month, cannabis retailers are determined to meet the July 1 start date.

Whether you’re traveling to gamble, see a show, to make a pit stop on the way to or from Burning Man, to soak up nature or to buy pot, here’s everything you need to know about making recreational and medical cannabis part of your next visit to the Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Incline Village, South Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach or Truckee.

Recreational Rules
Adults age 21 and over. An individual may purchase X amount of cannabis in X period. Nevada’s recreational tax rate is X percent.

Medical Reciprocity
People authorized to use medical cannabis in their home states can use their valid doctor’s note and identification to shop at Nevada dispensaries. An individual may purchase X amount of cannabis in X period.

Where to Legally Consume
Cannabis use is legal only in private residences with landlord’s permission. Cannabis is not legal in hotels, rental cars or in public. That said, major hotels court Burning Man attendees. The likelihood of people smoking pot in Reno hotel rooms without hassled has been tested. Based on my two stays at both the Circus Circus and the Sands Regency in December, smoking pot in cigarette-smoking rooms probably won’t cost you cleaning fees or your loss of your damage deposits.

Silver State Souvenirs
What’s grown and processed in Nevada, stays in Nevada. It’s illegal to transport cannabis — flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, creams, transdermal patches and suppositories — across state lines, even if you have a doctor’s note to use it. Amtrak, Greyhound and airlines prohibit transportation.

5 Reno Strains to Try

  • Kynd’s CBD Shark
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • X

5 Reno Edibles to Try

  • CannaBella brand dried fruit (mango, apricot, kiwi), hard and gummy candies, olive oil and honey
  • Mynt brand dark chocolate and milk chocolate bars; dark chocolate, milk chocolate and caramel singles; chocolate-cherry balls; and tinctures.
  • CanaTabs brand micro-dosed pills, 5mg
  • Products from Denver-based Dixie, many of which you don’t find in Northern California dispensaries.

5 Reno Concentrates to Try

  • X
  • X
  • X
  • X
  • X

RETAIL STORES & MEDICAL DISPENSARIES

Reno

  • Mynt Cannabis — The only cannabis retailer or dispensary in downtown Reno. Located across the street from Harrah’s, within view of Greater Nevada Field, less than three blocks from the Reno Arch and an easy walk to the Truckee River and the RiverWalk pedestrian trail.
  • Blum — Branch of the company that runs the Blum dispensary in Oakland. In Midtown neighborhood, near many bars and restaurnts. Catch No.1 Bus from downtown 4th Street Station.
  • Sierra Wellness Connection — Drive or catch the No. 18 Bus from E 2nd and Lake streets in downtown Reno.
  • The Dispensary — Near Peppermill and Atlantis hotel-casinos. Drive or catch No.1 Bus from downtown 4th Street Station.
  • Kanna Reno — In the tony suburbs.

Sparks

  • Silver State Relief was the first dispensary in the region when it opened in July 2015

Carson City

  • RISE — Yada Yada Yada
  • Sierra Wellness — Branch of the Reno store.

Incline Village

  • NULeaf Incline Village operates in partnership with the Bay Area’s Berkeley Patients Resource Group.

South Lake Tahoe

  • Tahoe Wellness Collective is the only dispensary on the California side of Lake Tahoe. On-premises smoking lounge. Must have proper California medical cannabis authorization and identification.

Truckee
Dispensaries are banned in Truckee. However, medical cannabis delivery companies serve people in Truckee, Kings Beach, Carnelian Bay, Tahoe City, Olympic Valley, Squaw Valley, and elsewhere in the region. Must have proper California medical cannabis authorization and identification.

  • Tahoe Herbal Care Delivery
  • Green Trees Wellness Marijuana Delivery
  • Tahoe Meds Marijuana Delivery Truckee

BURNERS WELCOME
All of the big hotels in Reno welcome Burning Man attendees, offering specials and discounts for pre-Burn partying and after-Burn decompression. Be prepared to prove you’ve purchased a Burning Man ticket. Details TK. Meantime, click on hotels in the embedded map that accompanies this article.

EAT

  • More than hotel buffets. Napa. French. Farm-to-fork. Barbecue.

DRINK

  • List of craft breweries and craft-cocktail bars.

GO, SEE, DO

  • Hot August Nights nostalgic car show and classic rock concerts, in Reno, Sparks and Virginia City, Aug. 4-13.
  • The Nevada Museum of Art is a rare gem — an institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Only about 1,000 of America’s 33,000 museums are accredited by the AAM. Sunday brunch with Bloody Mary bar and live music in the museum’s cafe.
  • Greater Nevada Field — home of the Reno Aces, the Triple-A minor league Pacific Coast baseball affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Never mind peanuts and Cracker Jack. Try locally made Kynd and CannaBella edibles and enjoy the old ballgame.

FLY
Newark, NJ, to Reno, with layovers in Chicago, Denver or San Francisco is just under $420 on United Airlines. Non-stop from Los Angeles about $250 and non-stop from Miami about $600, on United and American. Flights from remote Humboldt county are $xxx.

TRAIN
Get on board America’s best mode of subsidize train travel before Amtrak is eliminated by President Trump’s proposed budget. From Seattle ($xxx) and Portland ($xxx), transfer trains in Sacramento, where a trip starting from the California capital costs $xx. From Los Angeles ($xxx), transfer trains in Stockton. From Denver, it’s an overnight train trip that’ll cost approximately $100 to $160.

BROTHELS
Cannabis and prostitution are both legal in Nevada but the twain can’t legally meet, never mind that science calls cannabis an aphrodisiac. Nevada brothel kingpin Dennis Hof told me he’d welcome cannabis use in his Bunny Ranch and other brothels. But that was before the bill that would have authorized smoking and vaping lounges in all manner of Nevada businesses stalled in the state Legislature. [Quotes available.] Meanwhile, a bill that would have legalized cannabis-infused massages, was vetoed by the governor. Too bad. As Bunny Ranch veteran Sable Renae told me, “I use edibles to control Celiac Disease and would love to offer massage with infused oils.” If you ever popped Viagra or another erection enhancer, you’ll know to take them ahead of time because they take a while to kick in — just like cannabis-infused edibles, the other aphrodisiac you may want to consume before visiting brothels.


Las Vegas story and interactive map in the works.

Smoke Your Hearts in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — Got a bud-loving bae who insists on pot as a prelude?

She’s right.

“When you have a smoke sesh with someone, it’s a great bonding experience,” says passionately pro-pot dating expert Molly Peckler.

Whether you’re looking for your cannabis love connection or just a hopped-up hookup in San Francisco’s sexiest dispensary lounges this Valentine’s Day,  you’ll surely take precautions, and especially in public smoke-sesh situations. Foremost because the valid California medical cannabis recommendation you need to carry to keep things legal here protects you like a prophylactic pot passport.

But more importantly because cannabis compatibility is a prerequisite for successful relationships under the influence. Your taste for old-school joints and his thing for high-tech vape pens could snuff out what might otherwise be true love.

You’ll know other deal breakers — like when he over-compensates with elaborate bongs, or when she dumps the contents of the Volcano chamber when the weed contains more good hits.

Of course, you’ll recognize your stoner soul mates should you meet cute over cannabis. If so, may the cherries on your doobies burn hot and long.

Here, then, are seven places where you can blaze, dab or vape your Valentine’s Day hearts content in  the pot-lovingest smoke-sesh city by the bay.

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Reciprocity: Your Passport to Nevada Pot

One-of-a-kind program lets out-of-state visitors buy medical cannabis — but there’s a catch for Californians

BY ED MURRIETA

RENO — Here’s a new word for your cannabis lexicon, one that will serve you well if you’re a gambler, skier or business traveler seeking medical cannabis in Nevada:

Reciprocity.

In woo-woo terms, reciprocity is an exchange of mutual benefit. In potspeak, reciprocity means people from California and 26 other states and the District of Columbia can legally obtain and use medical cannabis in Nevada.

While dispensaries and the state attorney general haggle over the exact documentation California residents must provide, Nevada offers reciprocity to qualified medical cannabis patients from any state where medical cannabis is legal.

Medical cannabis users no longer need to transport their stash across state lines. They can buy it Nevada.

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Your Smoking, Dabbing, Vaping Escapes from San Francisco Holiday Shopping Madness

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — Those who make a day of holiday shopping around Union Square and the Westfield San Francisco Centre — and, especially, those who accompany shoppers against their better judgment — often need a break. Medical cannabis dispensaries and lounges are plentiful in downtown San Francisco, and much of what you’ll find reflects the best of what the city has to offer.

Even though cannabis was recently legalized for use in California by adults age 21 and over, your valid doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis is your required  passport to holiday shopping escape at these dispensary lounges.  

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Northern California Cannabis Travel Planner

BY ED MURRIETA

Like cannabis itself is to different people who prefer distinctive highs from smoking, vaping or eating, cannabis tourism is a different experience for different people seeking different things.

Cannabis tourism used to be as simple as being a tourist looking for pot.

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SAN FRANCISCO: The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed. — Ed Murrieta

HIGH-END DISPENSARIES
San Francisco dispensaries have blossomed from black-windowed dope dens where you view goods behind bullet-proof glass into haute retail salons where you can handle merchandise displayed on reclaimed-wood shelves. Design-wise, SPARC set the standard with its Genius Bar tones. As for those that feel like day-spa gift shops, The Apothecary recently outgrew its sanctuary-style space and moved into new gracefully designed digs next to Whole Foods. Apothecary will open in the tony Marina District soon. Harvest Shops, San Francisco’s newest and most luxe dispensary, belongs in Union Square, not the fog-bound Richmond District. Prices and quality at these dispensaries, of course, reflect their surroundings.

SMOKE & VAPE LOUNGES
San Francisco dispensaries are models of social cannabis lounges, providing locals and tourists safe and convenient spaces to smoke, vaporize or ediblize cannabis. Many are located South of Market, near major downtown shopping and entertainment destinations. SPARC, sleek and cold like a nightclub inside an Apple store; Igzactly420, homey and warm in a high-rise jungle; and Bloom Room, hip and colorfully arty in an alley, are vape-only and provide high-end Volcano vaporizers. If you purchase something at The Green Door, go next door to its lounge, the appropriately loungey Lounge847, which, when not being rented for private events, accommodates all forms of cannabis consumption. Exhuding a steamy steampunk sex club vibe, Urban Pharm allows smoking and vaping but provides no vaporizers. Surfers will appreciate 1944 Ocean Collective’s proximity to Ocean Beach, plus its stellar lineup of concentrates and cozy Volcano bar. Some dispensary lounges post time limits. Some offer perks like hot tea stations and lemony water. All offer clean restrooms, a top tourist perk anywhere. Planning a longer-term visit? Harvest Shops offers San Francisco’s most exclusive place to smoke pot — a plush private lounge that requires management approval of prospective members and $100 monthly dues. Member perks include cannabis concierges and private stash lockers.

JUST DAB IT
Dabbing cannabis concentrates — consuming shatter, wax, budder and other newfangled forms with the assistance of white-hot metal tools — is de rigeur. Urban Pharm offers $5 dabs at its budtender-manned dab bar, double-rigged so you can dab with your bestie. Barbary Coast Collective features four pages of concentrates in its book-like menu and plans to open a dab bar this fall.

GANJA YOGA
Do you prefer to smoke, vaporize or ediblize before double-dog downing? Ganja Yoga instructor Dee Dussalt is flexible. She has different classes at different private locations South of Market and near Civic Center, $25 per stretch sesh, vape pens, edibles and cannabis included for yogis and yoginis who possess California medical cannabis recommendations.

POP-UP POP POT DINNER
The Cannaisseur Series is a pop-up dinner South of Market featuring four courses containing no cannabis but paired with pot — intermezzos of buds, joints, extracts and edibles. Note: The amuse bouche are always amusingly medicated; help and pace yourself. A recent dinner celebrated Oktoberfest. The Nov. 20 fall-harvest dinner ($149) promises seasonal vegetables, sun-grown cannabis and a vapor bar. The Cannaisseur Series anticipated legalization but says on its invite, “Until further notice you are required to have a California medical cannabis recommendation to attend this event.”

EDIBLES LESSON
Learn to make gourmet cannabis butter and cannabis oil from Jeff the 420 Chef. Bring your own cannabis (an eighth is recommended) and your doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis; Jeff the 420 Chef will provide all the other ingredients and kitchen tools you’ll need and guide you through recipes from simple hors d’oeuvres to gourmet meals. Classes are $85 and $175 (the latter includes the chef’s home-kitchen butter/oil-infusing kit).

ENHANCED VIEWING
The second thing cultured cannabis travelers do in Amsterdam is visit museums. In San Francisco, enhance your art appreciation by vaping or smoking sativa-dominant strains at Igzactly420, Lounge847, Bloom Room, SPARC or Urban Pharm before entering nearby SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Gardens and the Asian Art Museum.

COOKIES CLOTHES
There’s more to shop for on Haight Street than pinched baggies of pot. Cookies SF, the dispensary with the eponymous genetics, is way off the tourists’ path in the city’s southern Excelsior District. But its clothing boutique is smack-dab in the center of San Francisco on Haight Street, selling $40 t-shirts and $100 hoodies emblazoned with the Cookies SF logo.

FORE PLAY
Tripping balls from your sesh at Igzactly420 or Lounge847 and got the urge to hit balls into a video golf simulator? Trip into nearby Eagle Club Indoor Golf, where it gets even tripper hitting balls into a simulation of San Francisco’s exclusive Olympic Club, one of dozens of elite courses around the world programmed for play. If paddles and plastic balls give you pleasure, hit SPiN, pothead actress Susan Sarandon’s ping pong cafe. The joint wears its “street” vibe like Axe Body Spray; so wear your $100 Cookies hoodie here.

LODGING
Visit enough smoking and vaping lounges and you won’t think twice about consuming in your hotel room. If you must book a room and smoke, there’s a reason all the best cannabis industry conferences use the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero: smoking balconies. If you’re willing to give up a few star ratings in exchange for a brush with San Francisco cannabis royalty, book a room at Castro Castle, a smoke-it-if-you’ve-got-it bed and breakfast that doubles as the Flintstonian hippie home of Dennis Peron, the pot activist who ushered medical cannabis into California.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


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SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
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MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
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HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
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HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
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MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
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TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
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SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
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TAHOE: For the Bros

If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky. — Ed Murrieta

MEDICAL CANNABIS
There’s only one dispensary on the California side of Lake Tahoe. Visit Tahoe Wellness in South Lake Tahoe for flowers, concentrates and edibles — plus an on-premises smoking lounge and free haircuts by a collective member/stylist, the latter by appointment on Fridays.

CROSS THE LINE
Got a California state medical cannabis ID card? Medical cannabis dispensaries in neighboring Nevada offer reciprocity. (Translation, if you’ve got a Golden State medical cannabis ID card — available for $200 at your local county health department — you can buy medical cannabis in the Silver State.) A 20-minute drive to the North Shore from South Lake Tahoe, NuLeaf, a joint project with Berkeley Patients Group, is the lone dispensary on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Head to Reno and Sparks for even more dispensaries offering reciprocity. Note the laws: What you buy in Nevada stays in Nevada, and don’t bring California weed into Nevada.

SEXY TIME
Brothels in Sparks and Carson City offer some of Nevada’s other legal pleasures. As you must for sex acts, negotiate with your sex worker whether you can use cannabis in the room. And be sure to tell her if you’re packing cannabis lube.

STAY
Score a smoking room and a balcony the Hard Rock Casino just across the California state line in Stateline, Nev. Or check into Harrah’s — where few will smell the weed in your pocket for all the cigarette smoke in the house. On the California side, The Lakeshore Lodge and Spa offers lake-view balconies, patios and 500 feet of private beach in South Lake Tahoe.

PLAY
Boarding, dude. Don’t forget to pack a magnifying glass for igniting Tahoe OG solar hits in your glass pipes atop Sierra peaks.

DRINK
For local craft beer, crawl South Lake Tahoe Boulevard: Cold Water Brewery and Grill, The Brewery At Lake Tahoe, Stateline Brewery & Restaurant. In Incline Village, Alibi Ale Works resists over-hopped West Coast IPA in favor of well-rounded flavors.  To the northwest in Tahoe City and Truckee Tahoe Mountain Brewing and FiftyFifty Brewing specialize barrel-aged beers.

EAT
Add tacos — Taqueria Jalisco, Taco Taqueria and Taqueria Jiminez to your South Lake Tahoe Boulevard craft beer crawl. Go German at Himmel Haus. Mustang Ranch Steak House in Carson City has nothing to do with Mustang Ranch brothel in Sparks. Play it safe with steaks at the Hard Rock.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440
SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rs
HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

MARIN: Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties. — Ed Murrieta

MEDICAL CANNABIS
If you’re driving to Marin from San Francisco, you’ll want to kill some traffic time approaching the Golden Gate Bridge and visit Harvest, the city’s newest and swankiest dispensary that makes shopping for cannabis feel like buying underwear in Union Square. Once you’re in Marin (and pre-registered), make a beeline for HerbaBuena, the San Rafael dispensary/events space. HerbaBuena sells primo edibles, including frozen raw cannabis juice shots rich in CBD, the cannabinoid that mend your body but doesn’t mess with your mind. Curious about HerbaBuena’s Sonoma-grown biodynamic cannabis? HerbaBuena offers your group private Avon-style products demonstrations. Once you’re at your destination, HerbaBuena delivers.

STAY & SPA
Located in a historic former Army base with in-your-face views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito is one of Travel + Leisure’s top-rated hotel spas in the continental United States. It offers no cannabis spa treatments; its rooms are non-smoking; and, per its website, “Outside food and drink of any kind is not permitted” in the meditative tea garden. So forget about hemp-seed body scrubs. Re-think pre-soak tokes. Never mind sipping gogi-lime coloadas spiked with cannabis tincture. But do partake of facials, body treatments and massages — enhanced by the edibles you enjoyed in your room, the vaporizer you hit on a hike and the cannabis balm your besties rub in the aching places you can’t reach. For now, merely dream about learning to cook gourmet cannabis meals in Cavallo Point’s dreamy classroom kitchen.

PLAY
Hike or bike the Marin Headlands.

TOWN
Drive (12 minutes), bike (12 minutes) or walk (50 minutes) to Sausalito’s waterfront for dining, shopping and sightseeing.

EAT
Awake to baked goods and coffee in lobby. Cavallo Point restaurant serves all meals: breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Or walk to Sausalito for the wood-fired meatballs and lemon mousse at Poggio.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440
SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rs
HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

SACRAMENTO: Perfect for The Parents

Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car. — Ed Murrieta

GET MEDICINE
Sacramento dispensaries fit every style and budget. Some of the best are clustered in the trendy, tree-lined Midtown area. For a wellness-minded experience in a classic Sacramento craftsman a short walk from a manicured city park rose garden, visit A Therapeutic Alternative. For connoisseur-quality genetics, visit Abatin Wellness. For a cannabis flowers and concentrates of the quality you’ll find in San Francisco, Northstar Holistic Collective calls. For a dose of what corner-market-style legal retail pot might look like, All About Wellness is the place. You’ll likely score some first-timer freebies — joints, grams, low-quality edibles.

MEDICATE
There are no dispensary smoking lounges in Sacramento but California’s capital — and the state Capitol itself — brims with opportunities to burn one. In California, you can smoke medical cannabis where cigarettes are allowed. All those designated smoking areas outside downtown state buildings — and on the steps of the Capitol building — aren’t just for state workers and their cigarettes. You can jump aboard a downtown pedicab sponsored by local dispensary All About Wellness — but it’s illegal to light up when the pedicab’s rolling.

STAY
Sacramento has no shortage of smoke-friendly lodgings, not all of them Motel 6. Amber House Bed and Breakfast features a cannabis-friendly smoking garden and two private smoking balconies attached to rooms in two vintage houses in tree-lined Midtown. Overlooking the Sacramento River in the golden shadow of Tower Bridge near Old Sacramento, Embassy Suites offers four smoking rooms on the third floor. If you can get through the weekend on edibles, Sacramento Hostel is non-smoking, fabulously historic and offers guests use of its full kitchen.

PLAY
Rent a bike and pedal the American River Parkway, a riparian corridor that wends 30 miles from Old Sacramento to historic Folsom, passing Cal Expo, CSU Sacramento, Lake Natomas and the Nimbus Fish Hatchery, Ride part or all of the paved path; ride light rail back downtown. Riverside smoking opportunities abound.

EAT
Sacramento boasts of being the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America, where even the new arena’s hot dogs are locally sourced and sustainable. Ella and Grange are elegant takes on the trend. Empress Tavern has enough meat on its menu to cover for its nearby vegetarian sister cafe, the lunch-only Mother. Ordering is confusing at South, but fried chicken is the crystal-clear favorite. For Japanese, Kru’s chef has a rock-star rep. For great food without the farm-to-fork fanfare (and few millennials), Waterboy, California-French and tres grown up, is for you. Not far from Sacramento’s farmers-market-under-the-freeway is Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Catholic church where on Sundays a pop-up festival of food vendors — menudo, tamales, tacos, tortas, churros and duros — spills from the church’s dining hall into the street facing Southside Park.

DRINK
Like seemingly every other mid-sized city in America waking up to the movement, Sacramento is awash in craft breweries. Midtown’s Rubicon is Sacramento’s oldest. Bike Dog is worth a short trip over the Tower Bridge to an industrial section of West Sacramento. Device Brewing and New Glory are near each other and are two more reasons to venture beyond the downtown-Midtown grid. Track 7 is the other. While you can’t smoke on downtown pedicabs, you can drink on Sacramento’s dozen-passenger beer bikes that roam Midtown. For third-wave coffee downtown, Temple, Insight and Chocolate Fish are on fleek.  

LAUGH
Sacramento is a hotbed of pot comedy. Local pot comic and activist Ngaio Bealum performs often at Laughs Unlimited in Old Sacramento.  Bealum’s got his own brand of Blueberry buds from OrganiCann Natural Cannabis Company; look for it at Two Rivers, a dispensary just beyond downtown near Sacramento’s homeless badlands. Los Angeles-based comedian Doug Benson is a regular at the Punchline, in the suburbs near Cal Expo. Touring pot comics play both venues. Two joint minimums? Not even funny. Yet.  

ART
Two tasty Thiebauds — pies and cakes — grace the permanent collection of significant California paintings at the Crocker Art Museum, one of the West’s small gems. Robert Arneson’s stoned chef bust sculpture features an in-joke oven baked right in. Check out the dreamy, farmy mural painted on the belly of the freeway above the Sunday farmers market, then fly by the Royal Chicano Air Force’s multicultural mural adorning the bandstand at Southside Park. Stroll galleries, shops and cafes on tree-lined Midtown streets during Second Saturday art festivals. The public commons area of Sacramento’s new downtown arena features a controversial piece of public art: an $8 million sculpture of the Winnie the Pooh character Piglet by international artist Jeff Koons.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440
SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rs
HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

HUMBOLDT: Outdoorsman’s Oasis

You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch. — Ed Murrieta

MEDICAL CANNABIS
You’re probably a grow-your-own type so be sure to visit Wonderland Nursery in Garberville for local seeds and clones, and an excellent stock of edibles, including many made-in-Humboldt brands. Humboldt Patients Resources Center was voted Arcata’s 2015 Business of the Year. Around the corner, The Heart of Humboldt Dispensary is about the size of a garden shed. Yep, Humboldt eighths start at $30. Quality is what you expect and why you came to Humboldt.

STAY
Upgrade from county beach campgrounds and check into Oyster Beach Resort. Nestled in a 14-acre eucalyptus grove on the Samoa Spit fronted by a quarter-mile stretch of sandy beach between Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean, Oyster Beach Resort is more rustic than resorty. Oyster Beach offers three cabins of varying size and comforts, just a 10-minute drive from downtown Eureka. Bring your kayaks, surfboards and all-terrain vehicles — the Samoa Dunes are just across the road. How’d you like to barbecue oysters on the beach then go to the drag races? Catered oyster picnics are available; Samoa Drag Strip is across the road.

EAT
Order another round of everything — breakfast, lunch and dinner in a lumberjack-style restaurant and museum located in an old logging town. Samoa Cookhouse is more filling than fancy, offering a set daily menus of all-you-can-eat comfort foods at every meal. Barbecued pork belly are the only words you need when ordering at Humboldt Smokehouse in Eureka. It smells more like motor oil than cooking oil inside Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe in downtown Eureka but that’s because of the vintage motorcycles on display. Light breakfast fare plus sandwiches named for famed motorbike brands. You can’t get any more local than the grass-fed beef raised by Ferndale 4H kids at Ferndale Meat Co. Grab sandwiches to-go or steaks to cook.

DRINK
Humboldt has six craft breweries. The smallest, Humboldt Regeneration, grows its own wheat and hops on a 1-acre farm in McKinleyville. The nano-brewery makes and serves 20 different beers in a storage unit. Grab a growler to-go. Lost Coast Brewery opened a new production facility in Eureka this year and is now offering tours and tasting room visits. Want something stronger? Humboldt has four craft distilleries. Humboldt Craft Spirits in Blue Lake and Humboldt Distillery in Fortuna have tasting rooms. Visit the latter for a sip of hemp-infused vodka. End your afternoons at Eureka’s Carson House Inn, which serves $2.50 martinis made with Humboldt Distillery’s (non-hemp) vodka during happy hour, 4-6 p.m. daily.

EVENTS
Feeling extra adventuresome? Discuss legalization with some of the anti-legalization pot growers who’ll come off the hill for Hempfest Nov. 11-13, combining music, vendors and activism in the 26th annual celebration of Humboldt’s harvest. In the spring, there’s Cannifest, an annual growers Olympics of sorts. Pot-growing supply store Trim Scene Solutions in Redway dresses up its monthly vendor trade shows and product demos with free dab bars and concentrates contests.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440
SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rs
HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

HUMBOLDT: Firing Up Foodies

You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters. — Ed Murrieta

MEDICAL CANNABIS
At $10 per gram, medical cannabis in Humboldt is a bargain and makes it easy to sample strains that will increase your appetite or quell any post-pigout queasiness. Humboldt Patients Resource Center in Arcata has the best selection of cannabis and the best customer service. Wonderland Nursery in Garberville has the best selection of edibles, including many made-in-Humboldt brands.

SMOKE
Pair Humboldt Cannabis with a delicious view of the Pacific Ocean at Moonstone Beach. North of Arcata, Fern Canyon is the greenest place in the county. Closer to town, Arcata’s Community Forest is where you’ll find Humboldt State University students holding en mass smoke seshes at halftime of home football games.

EAT
Yes, the local pot is potent, but you are not hallucinating. Downtown Arcata is starting to look and feel like Bernal Heights North. Lucky for foodies. Brunch: Make reservations at Harvest. Lunch: Pot pies, hand pies and cider at Bittersweet, a mashup of a local pie company and a local cider bar. Happy Hour: Oysters (and other seafood) at Salt. Dinner: Folie Douce blends locally sourced sustainable and organic ingredients with global flavors. Once a month, the restaurant prepares a prix fixe menu that benefits the region’s public schools. All-in-one Humboldt showcase eating experience: Taste, a cafe/bar operated by Humboldt Bay Tourism Center in Old Town Eureka, serves local oysters, local cured meats, local cheeses, local chocolates, and craft beverages brewed, fermented and distilled in Humboldt. If you rent lodging with a kitchen, you might want to make a meal. Grass-fed local steaks from Ferndale Meat Co. and oysters from Arcata’s Aqua-Rodeo farms are surf-and-turf terrific raw or grilled. Get a taste of Humboldt before you even hit the county line. Peg House in Leggett (northern Mendocino County) serves Humboldt oysters and Humboldt grass-fed burgers.

DRINK
If you drink just one Humboldt beverage, make it drinking chocolate at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in downtown Eureka. The local chocolatier sources single-origin chocolates from around the world and crafts its bars using only cacao and sugar. Ground chocolate bars are combined with milk from local grass-fed cows to create the most haute of hot chocolates — something closer to a liquified chocolate bar. Eel River Brewing in Fortuna is America’s first certified organic brewery. Humboldt Regeneration grows its own wheat and hops and bills its tiny operation in McKinleyville as a “beer farm.” Its growlers to-go are pressure-filled so they’ll be fresh when you get home. Winery tasting rooms abound. Local cideries (Wrangletown in Arcata and Humboldt Cider in Eureka) and local distilleries (Humboldt Craft Spirits in Blue Lake and Humboldt Distillery in Fortuna) have tasting rooms too. End your afternoons at Eureka’s elegant Carson House Inn, which serves $2.50 martinis made with Humboldt Distillery’s (non-hemp) vodka during happy hour, 4-6 p.m. daily.

PLAY
Combine outdoor recreation with food education and take a kayak tour of Humboldt Bay oyster beds. Sign up for tours at Humboldt Bay Tourism Center in Old Town Eureka and receive three free oysters.

STAY
Can’t resist a catered oyster barbecue on the sandy beach outside your cabin? Check into Oyster Beach Resort, rustic getaway tucked into a eucalyptus grove 10 minutes west of Eureka between Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean, featuring three cabins with full kitchens. For a more urban experience, the Coat Shop Loft in Old Town Eureka is a full apartment with its own private entrance and roof-top access for smoking and views of Humboldt Bay.

INFUSE
Pick up a bag of ground drinking chocolate at Dick Taylor’s and a bag of cannabis trim at Humboldt Patients Resource Center. Since you’ve rented lodging with a stove and basic kitchen equipment, infuse Humboldt Creamery half and half or heavy cream with Humboldt cannabis. Proceed to making cannabis drinking chocolate. Consider infusing grassy-sweet Humboldt Creamery butter too. Spreads great on Arcata-baked Brio bread.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440
SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rs
HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

MENDOCINO: Retired Hippies’ Heaven

Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine. — Ed Murrieta

MENDO MEDICAL
Discover medical cannabis dispensaries whether you drive to Mendocino by coastal Highway 1 or inland Highway 101. Mendocino’s must-hit dispensaries are Emerald Pharms and Mendocino Organics, both in Hopland. Located at the Solar Living Center (itself a destination for off-the-grid growers), Emerald Pharms is partially solar powered but that’s not its most shining quality; local heirloom genetics and a big selection of CBD-rich cannabis products are. Bring your vaporizer or purchase a vape pen: Emerald Pharm allows non-smoking consumption on its deck. (Ask a budtender whether solar hits — igniting bud with light from the sun aimed through a magnifying glass — equal smoking.) Mendocino Organics specializes its name and local artisan concentrates. In Mendocino Village, Leonard Moore Co-Op is a boutique-like experience. Love-In-It features house-grown genetics, including good-for-your-body, easy-on-your-mind Jamaican Lambsbread. On the coast, High Tides in Gualala and Herban Legend in Fort Bragg are your options.

FARMERS MARKETS
Local, organic and reasonably priced. Not vegetables. Pot. Local events producers Terroir Mendocino hosts the monthly 215 Farmers Market in Mendocino Village, featuring flowers, clones, concentrates and edibles. North and inland in Laytonville, Healing Harvest farms runs a monthly cannabis-and-produce farmers market from spring through fall. Driving from Napa or Sacramento, arrive in Mendocino via Lake County to the southeast and visit the modest 215 Farmers Exchange at Good Karma Growers Collective in Lucerne. Valid doctor’s recommendation and ID required at all locations.

EAT
Come back after Terroir Mendocino’s 215 Farmers Market for dinners featuring cannabis fusion cuisine from local chefs. Perhaps you’d rather center yourself before a plate of vegan Buddhist dumplings in the restaurant at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the spiritual school and retreat located on the grounds of the former Mendocino mental hospital? Like the fare and decor of this simple restaurant that helps fund City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, dumplings contain no onion or garlic, recipes said to keep your consciousness clear — handy on this trip, in case you smoke too much pot. Boonville Hotel serves local food family-style.

JUST ADD WATER
Those CBD-rich edibles and tinctures you bought at Emerald Pharms pair soothingly with the waters at both Orr Hot Springs and Vichy Hot Springs in Ukiah.

STAY
You may want to seriously consider the VW (or maybe an RV) when you learn the only cannabis-friendly commercial bed and breakfast in Mendocino (and California) closed last year. Alas, a local cannabis grower who’s investing in other tourist-oriented interests operates word-of-mouth-only, no-money-exchanged-for-cannabis bud and breakfast inns on three of his four pot farms.  He plans to open the inns for business next year. Otherwise, Apple Farm in Philo is not a cannabis destination but offers the country setting and cottage comforts that go together like pot and apple pie. And just dream of taking edibles cooking lessons in Apple Farm’s gleaming commercial-grade kitchen. New Mendocino Campground, two miles from Mendocino Village, just finished its first season of high-end tent-and-real-beds camping on the beach and will resume glamping in the spring.

MENDO @ HOME
Take home the trimmings of Mendocino’s cannabis harvest. Take home Mendocino olive oil. Infuse the former into the later. Bake batches of your Mendocino pot weekend vacation memories into your next homemade edibles. Pour your own Stella Cadente Olive Oil from European-style olive oil bars inside Boont Berry Farm and Philo Ridge Tasting Room in Boonville, Westside Renaissance Market in Ukiah and Harvest Market in Fort Bragg.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440
SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rs
HUMBOLDT

Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls’ Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Check into a four-star spa. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the Bros
If the Rat Pack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is, bro. Grab your goggles and go for solar hits and back-country boarding; ganja-fueled gambling; Nevada dispensaries and brothels; and a free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

SAN FRANCISCO: The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed. — Ed Murrieta

HIGH-END DISPENSARIES
San Francisco dispensaries have blossomed from black-windowed dope dens where you view goods behind bullet-proof glass into haute retail salons where you can handle merchandise displayed on reclaimed-wood shelves. Design-wise, SPARC set the standard with its Genius Bar tones. As for those that feel like day-spa gift shops, The Apothecary recently outgrew its sanctuary-style space and moved into new gracefully designed digs next to Whole Foods. Apothecary will open in the tony Marina District soon. Harvest Shops, San Francisco’s newest and most luxe dispensary, belongs in Union Square, not the fog-bound Richmond District. Prices and quality at these dispensaries, of course, reflect their surroundings.

SMOKE & VAPE LOUNGES
San Francisco dispensaries are models of social cannabis lounges, providing locals and tourists safe and convenient spaces to smoke, vaporize or ediblize cannabis. Many are located South of Market, near major downtown shopping and entertainment destinations. SPARC, sleek and cold like a nightclub inside an Apple store; Igzactly420, homey and warm in a high-rise jungle; and Bloom Room, hip and colorfully arty in an alley, are vape-only and provide high-end Volcano vaporizers. If you purchase something at The Green Door, go next door to its lounge, the appropriately loungey Lounge847, which, when not being rented for private events, accommodates all forms of cannabis consumption. Exhuding a steamy steampunk sex club vibe, Urban Pharm allows smoking and vaping but provides no vaporizers. Surfers will appreciate 1944 Ocean Collective’s proximity to Ocean Beach, plus its stellar lineup of concentrates and cozy Volcano bar. Some dispensary lounges post time limits. Some offer perks like hot tea stations and lemony water. All offer clean restrooms, a top tourist perk anywhere. Planning a longer-term visit? Harvest Shops offers San Francisco’s most exclusive place to smoke pot — a plush private lounge that requires management approval of prospective members and $100 monthly dues. Member perks include cannabis concierges and private stash lockers.

JUST DAB IT
Dabbing cannabis concentrates — consuming shatter, wax, budder and other newfangled forms with the assistance of white-hot metal tools — is de rigeur. Urban Pharm offers $5 dabs at its budtender-manned dab bar, double-rigged so you can dab with your bestie. Barbary Coast Collective features four pages of concentrates in its book-like menu and plans to open a dab bar this fall.

GANJA YOGA
Do you prefer to smoke, vaporize or ediblize before double-dog downing? Ganja Yoga instructor Dee Dussalt is flexible. She has different classes at different private locations South of Market and near Civic Center, $25 per stretch sesh, vape pens, edibles and cannabis included for yogis and yoginis who possess California medical cannabis recommendations.

POP-UP POP POT DINNER
The Cannaisseur Series is a pop-up dinner South of Market featuring four courses containing no cannabis but paired with pot — intermezzos of buds, joints, extracts and edibles. Note: The amuse bouche are always amusingly medicated; help and pace yourself. A recent dinner celebrated Oktoberfest. The Nov. 20 fall-harvest dinner ($149) promises seasonal vegetables, sun-grown cannabis and a vapor bar. The Cannaisseur Series anticipated legalization but says on its invite, “Until further notice you are required to have a California medical cannabis recommendation to attend this event.”

EDIBLES LESSON
Learn to make gourmet cannabis butter and cannabis oil from Jeff the 420 Chef. Bring your own cannabis (an eighth is recommended) and your doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis; Jeff the 420 Chef will provide all the other ingredients and kitchen tools you’ll need and guide you through recipes from simple hors d’oeuvres to gourmet meals. Classes are $85 and $175 (the latter includes the chef’s home-kitchen butter/oil-infusing kit).

ENHANCED VIEWING
The second thing cultured cannabis travelers do in Amsterdam is visit museums. In San Francisco, enhance your art appreciation by vaping or smoking sativa-dominant strains at Igzactly420, Lounge847, Bloom Room, SPARC or Urban Pharm before entering nearby SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Gardens and the Asian Art Museum.

COOKIES CLOTHES
There’s more to shop for on Haight Street than pinched baggies of pot. Cookies SF, the dispensary with the eponymous genetics, is way off the tourists’ path in the city’s southern Excelsior District. But its clothing boutique is smack-dab in the center of San Francisco on Haight Street, selling $40 t-shirts and $100 hoodies emblazoned with the Cookies SF logo.

FORE PLAY
Tripping balls from your sesh at Igzactly420 or Lounge847 and got the urge to hit balls into a video golf simulator? Trip into nearby Eagle Club Indoor Golf, where it gets even tripper hitting balls into a simulation of San Francisco’s exclusive Olympic Club, one of dozens of elite courses around the world programmed for play. If paddles and plastic balls give you pleasure, hit SPiN, pothead actress Susan Sarandon’s ping pong cafe. The joint wears its “street” vibe like Axe Body Spray; so wear your $100 Cookies hoodie here.

LODGING
Visit enough smoking and vaping lounges and you won’t think twice about consuming in your hotel room. If you must book a room and smoke, there’s a reason all the best cannabis industry conferences use the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero: smoking balconies. If you’re willing to give up a few star ratings in exchange for a brush with San Francisco cannabis royalty, book a room at Castro Castle, a smoke-it-if-you’ve-got-it bed and breakfast that doubles as the Flintstonian hippie home of Dennis Peron, the pot activist who ushered medical cannabis into California.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440 SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO: 
Retired Hippies’ Retreat
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rsHUMBOLDT 
Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend in Marin County. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the bros
If the Ratpack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is. Solar hits and back-country boarding. Ganja-fueled gambling at Stateline. Plus proximity to Nevada dispensaries and brothels. Free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

Pot Travel

BY ED MURRIETA

Like cannabis itself is to different people who prefer distinctive highs from smoking, vaping or eating, cannabis tourism is a different experience for different people seeking different things.

Cannabis tourism used to be as simple as being a tourist looking for pot.

We went to Amsterdam because that’s where pot was tolerated, sold and openly consumed.

Outside of Amsterdam, illicit whiffs pervaded pot tourism.

If you didn’t have a medical cannabis recommendation from home and couldn’t take advantage of reciprocity at BC Compassion Club Society and wanted BC Bud while vacationing in Vancouver, you saw the bald guy in the vestibule at the pub beneath the hostel near the smoking bar. $40 American got me 4 grams Canadian.

I’m sure the wafer of hashish I bought from an Istanbul rug merchant contained more henna than an Anatolian redhead’s tinted tresses. But its soothing smoke prepared me for a Turkish bath manhandling. And it was available to an American hashhead abroad, the deal done at a tourist cafe near Hagia Sofia.

From Colorado to California, cannabis tourism is among the many allures of legalization. What is cannabis tourism’s future?

Spliffs on the beach?

Cannabis fields you wander like corn mazes?

Clean-room tours of laboratories creating cutting-edge cannabis concentrates?

Hash truffles on your B&B pillows?

Like most pot on the market today, pot tourism is a hybrid. There are things for hippies, something for hedonists and a sprinkle of hope for Napa-dreaming haute heads.

In Colorado and Washington, where cannabis has been legal only since 2014, cannabis tourism is taking root. Tour operators take visitors behind the scenes inside grow rooms, edibles kitchens and retail stores. Visitors stay in bud and breakfast inns. Limousines and buses double as smoke-lounges-on-wheels for tourists with no place else to toke.

Here in California, where voters legalized recreational cannabis use by adults yesterday, pot-pampered farm stays and cannabis spa vacations — think weed-capital-meets-wine-country getaways — aren’t far-fetched or far off.

Hurdles remain until California’s legal cannabis travel market establishes itself and is ready to welcome a world of tourists seeking weed beginning in 2018.

California’s first bud and breakfast, Compassion Flower Inn, existed in Santa Cruz from 2000-2006. Love-In-It operated intermittently on the Mendocino coast before closing last year. Another bud and breakfast is being built out on a cannabis farm elsewhere in Mendocino.

Humboldt’s first and only cannabis tour company — promising guided tours of cannabis farms, concentrates manufacturing facilities and dispensaries — is in limbo because the county wants to classify Humboldt Cannabis Tours as a cannabis business, not a tourism business.

While Denver voters just approved public consumption lounges that should be huge boons for tourists and locals alike, Alaska officials debate whether cannabis cafes are legal, despite a state board’s recommendation. Recreational sales just started. Alaska cruise ship season begins in May; maybe they’ll sort it out by the time cannabis-consuming cruisegoers arrive.

In Nevada, where a legalization initiative failed/passed yesterday, the attorney general is cracking down on tour operators that facilitate Internet video medical cannabis recommendations, affecting Californians who partake of our neighboring state’s generous reciprocity law while spending tourist dollars in Las Vegas and Reno by requiring Californians to acquire medical cannabis identification cards before they visit Nevada, the equivalent of a $200 pot passport.

For California, cannabis tourism opportunities are as golden as our state moniker but as hazy as the smog that produces the golden sherbet sunsets that attract tourists.

Still, it is the only dawn of legalization. Hash truffles will be on your pillows soon.

Until then, we’ve compiled seven Northern California cannabis travel itineraries for California medical cannabis travelers — hippies, hedonists, haute heads — who should carry their doctors’ Prop. 215 recommendations like passports until 2018.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL


ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440 SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.
READ MORE


unnamed
MENDOCINO
Retired Hippies’ Heaven
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.
READ MORE


output_78s8rsHUMBOLDT
Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.
READ MORE


moonstone-beach-6
HUMBOLDT 

The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.
READ MORE


MARIN
Girls Spa Weekend

Don’t let the lack of an actual cannabis spa in the Bay Area keep you and your BFFs from enjoying a cannabis spa weekend in Marin County. DIY and BYO, girls. Load up on body-soothing edibles, topicals and frozen raw cannabis juice shots. Hike the Headlands. Soak up Sausalito. Book a private cannabis products demo for you and your besties.
READ MORE


TAHOE
For the bros
If the Ratpack (and not just Peter Lawford) had been stoners, it would be all buds and bros in Tahoe today. Wait — it is. Solar hits and back-country boarding. Ganja-fueled gambling at Stateline. Plus proximity to Nevada dispensaries and brothels. Free haircut if you’re lucky.
READ MORE


SACRAMENTO 
Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.
READ MORE

Dear Denver: Vote Yes on Social Cannabis Consumption

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — It was 8 p.m. and pitch dark when it dawned on me: I should not be smoking hashish in the rain behind the Greyhound station before my red-eye ride to Humboldt County.

Igzactly 420 was approximately three blocks away and wouldn’t close for two hours — precisely 10 minutes before my bus departed.

A seven-minute walk later, the medical cannabis dispensary and vaporizing lounge became my port in a storm, one of San Francisco’s models of public social cannabis consumption — a flaming-hot issue in states that have legalized recreational cannabis use by adults.

Continue reading

Northern California Pot Travel: San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat

California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed. — Ed Murrieta

HIGH-END DISPENSARIES
San Francisco dispensaries have blossomed from black-windowed dope dens where you view goods behind bullet-proof glass into haute retail salons where you can handle merchandise displayed on reclaimed-wood shelves. Design-wise, SPARC set the standard with its Genius Bar tones. As for those that feel like day-spa gift shops, The Apothecary recently outgrew its sanctuary-style space and moved into new gracefully designed digs next to Whole Foods. Apothecary will open in the tony Marina District soon. Harvest, San Francisco’s newest and most luxe dispensary, belongs in Union Square, not the fog-bound Richmond District. Prices and quality at these dispensaries, of course, reflect their surroundings.

SMOKE & VAPE LOUNGES
San Francisco dispensaries are models of social cannabis lounges, providing locals and tourists safe and convenient spaces to smoke, vaporize or ediblize cannabis. Many are located South of Market, near major downtown shopping and entertainment destinations. SPARC, sleek and cold like a nightclub inside an Apple store; Igzactly420, homey and warm in a high-rise jungle; and Bloom Room, hip and colorfully arty in an alley, are vape-only and provide high-end Volcano vaporizers. If you purchase something at The Green Door, go next door to its lounge, the appropriately loungey Lounge847, which, when not being rented for private events, accommodates all forms of cannabis consumption. Exhuding a steamy steampunk sex club vibe, Urban Pharm allows smoking and vaping but provides no vaporizers. Surfers will appreciate 1944 Ocean Collective’s proximity to Ocean Beach, plus its stellar lineup of concentrates and cozy Volcano bar. Some dispensary lounges post time limits. Some offer perks like hot tea stations and lemony water. All offer clean restrooms, a top tourist perk anywhere. Planning a longer-term visit? Harvest offers San Francisco’s most exclusive place to smoke pot — a plush private lounge that requires management approval of prospective members and $100 monthly dues. Member perks include cannabis concierges and private stash lockers.

JUST DAB IT
Dabbing cannabis concentrates — consuming shatter, wax, budder and other newfangled forms with the assistance of white-hot metal tools — is de rigeur. Urban Pharm offers $5 dabs at its budtender-manned dab bar, double-rigged so you can dab with your bestie. Barbary Coast Collective features four pages of concentrates in its book-like menu and plans to open a dab bar this fall.

GANJA YOGA
Do you prefer to smoke, vaporize or ediblize before double-dog downing? Ganja Yoga instructor Dee Dussalt is flexible. She has different classes at different private locations South of Market and near Civic Center, $25 per stretch sesh, vape pens, edibles and cannabis included for yogis and yoginis who possess  California medical cannabis recommendations.

POP-UP POP POT DINNER
The Cannaisseur Series is a pop-up dinner South of Market featuring four courses containing no cannabis but paired with pot — intermezzos of buds, joints, extracts and edibles. Note: The amuse bouche are always amusingly medicated; help and pace yourself. A recent dinner celebrated Oktoberfest. The Nov. 20 fall-harvest dinner ($149) promises seasonal vegetables, sun-grown cannabis and a vapor bar. The Cannaisseur Series anticipated legalization but says on its invite, “Until further notice you are required to have a California medical cannabis recommendation to attend this event.”

EDIBLES LESSON
Learn to make gourmet cannabis butter and cannabis oil from Jeff the 420 Chef. Bring your own cannabis (an eighth is recommended) and your doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis; Jeff the 420 Chef will provide all the other ingredients and kitchen tools you’ll need and guide you through recipes from simple hors d’oeuvres to gourmet meals. Classes are $85 and $175 (the latter includes the chef’s home-kitchen butter/oil-infusing kit).

ENHANCED VIEWING
The second thing cultured cannabis travelers do in Amsterdam is visit museums. In San Francisco, enhance your art appreciation by vaping or smoking sativa-dominant strains at Igzactly420, Lounge847, Bloom Room, SPARC or Urban Pharm before entering nearby SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Gardens and the Asian Art Museum.

COOKIE CLOTHES
There’s more to shop for on Haight Street than pinched baggies of pot. Cookies, the dispensary with the eponymous genetics, is way off the tourists’ path in the city’s southern Excelsior District. But its clothing boutique is smack-dab in the center of San Francisco, selling $40 t-shirts and $100 hoodies emblazoned with the Cookies logo.  

FORE PLAY
Tripping balls from your sesh at Igzactly420 or Lounge847 and got the urge to hit balls into a video golf simulator? Trip into nearby Eagle Club Indoor Golf, where it gets even tripper hitting balls into a simulation of San Francisco’s exclusive Olympic Club, one of dozens of elite courses around the world programmed for play. If paddles and plastic balls give you pleasure, hit SPiN, pothead actress Susan Sarandon’s ping pong cafe. The joint wears its “street” vibe like Axe Body Spray; so wear your $100 Cookies hoodie here.

LODGING
Visit enough smoking and vaping lounges and you won’t think twice about consuming in your hotel room. If you must book a room and smoke, there’s a reason all the best cannabis industry conferences use the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero: smoking balconies. If you’re willing to give up a few star ratings in exchange for a brush with San Francisco cannabis royalty, book a room at Castro Castle, a smoke-it-if-you’ve-got-it bed and breakfast that doubles as the Flintstonian hippie home of Dennis Peron, the pot activist who ushered medical cannabis into California.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL AT A GLANCE

ganja-yoga-classes-offered-in-san-francisco-733x440SAN FRANCISCO: The Aficionados’ Treat
California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Chic dispensaries, high-quality cannabis, smoking and vaping lounges, pot-paired dinners, edibles cooking classes and ganja yoga all available to visitors with valid medical cannabis recommendations. Plus all the general tourist attractions — restaurants, museums, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination without weed.


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MENDOCINO: Retired Hippies’ Retreat
Never has the tie-dyed dream of traveling back roads in a vintage Volkswagen bus been more palpable than when turning off Highway 101 onto Highway 128 wending west, where the landscape turns to grapevines and farm houses. Yes, this is Mendocino County wine country, and as the axiom asserts — where wine grows, weed grows — it’s also cannabis country. Seeds of cannabis tourism have been planted here and will mature over time like wine.


output_78s8rsHUMBOLDT Firing Up Foodies
You think you’ve tasted Humboldt County? Clear your throat and try again. Humboldt’s farm-to-toke reputation overshadows its farm-to-fork roots — but behold grass-fed beef and grass-fed dairy; field-to-glass craft distilleries, cideries and breweries; single-origin drinking chocolates; and Humboldt Bay bivalves that account for 70 percent of California oysters.

 

 


moonstone-beach-6HUMBOLDT The Outdoorsman’s Oasis
You’re midway into a 590-nautical-mile run down the Pacific from Seattle to San Francisco aboard your Tayana 37 sloop. Before you tackle Cape Mendocino, pull into the safe harbor of Humboldt Bay. Not a sailor? Bring or rent toys for paddling, surfing, rafting, biking and hiking. Take a pack-mule trip. Heck, just find naked swimming holes in any of the county’s six rivers. Humboldt’s a bounty of adventure — especially if you stray into the wrong pot patch.


SACRAMENTO Perfect for The Parents
Sacramento is a political town, but even cannabis regulation and taxation take back seats to the interest in the Kings’ new downtown arena. The city’s culinary scene sizzles and beckons even San Francisco food critics. To spark your appetite for Sacramento’s farm-to-fork fare, or to quell the nauseating hype of the new arena, medical cannabis patients can smoke throughout the state capital’s walkable and bikeable downtown neighborhoods — even on the Capitol steps. Stick to the city core and you may not need a car.

POT TRAVEL PROTOTYPE

BY ED MURRIETA

Like cannabis itself is to different people who prefer distinctive highs from smoking, vaping, dabbing or eating, cannabis tourism is a different experience for different people seeking different things.

Cannabis tourism used to be as simple as being a tourist looking for pot.

We went to Amsterdam because that’s where pot was tolerated, sold and openly consumed.

Outside of Amsterdam, an illicit whiff pervaded pot tourism.

If you wanted BC Bud while visiting Vancouver, you saw the bald guy with the backpack in the vestibule at the pub near the pot bar where smoking is allowed.

Need weed in San Francisco? Head to Haight Street and Hippie Hill.

I’m sure the wafer of hashish I bought from an Istanbul rug merchant in the ’90s contained more henna than an Anatolian redhead’s tresses. But its soothing smoke prepared me for a Turkish bath manhandling. And it was available to an American hashhead abroad, the deal done at a tourist cafe near Hagia Sofia.
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From Colorado to California, cannabis tourism is among the many allures of legalization. But what is cannabis tourism?

Spliffs on the beach?

Cannabis fields you wander like corn mazes?

Clean-room tours of laboratories creating cutting-edge cannabis concentrates?

Hash truffles on your B&B pillow?

Like most pot on the market today, pot tourism is a hybrid. There’s plenty for hippies and heads, something for hedonists and a sprinkle of hope for Napa-style haute.

In Colorado and Washington, where cannabis has been legal only since 2014, cannabis tour companies take visitors inside grow rooms, edibles kitchens and retail stores. Visitors stay in bud and breakfast inns. Limousines and buses double as smoke-lounges-on-wheels for tourists with no place else to toke.

Here in California, where voters legalized recreational cannabis use by adults yesterday, pot-pampered farm stays and cannabis spa vacations — think weed-capital-meets-wine-country getaways — aren’t far-fetched or far off.

Hurdles remain until California’s legal cannabis travel market establishes itself and is ready to welcome a world of tourists seeking weed beginning in 2018. Humboldt’s first and only cannabis tour company — promising guided tours of cannabis farms and concentrates manufacturing facilities — is in limbo because the county wants to classify the business as a cannabis business, not a tourism business, requiring a type of business license that does not exist in the county.

While Denver voters approved public consumption lounges that should provide a huge boon for tourists and locals alike, Alaska officials debate whether cannabis cafes are legal, despite a state board’s recommendation. In Nevada, where a legalization initiative failed/passed yesterday, the attorney general is cracking down on tour operators that facilitate medical cannabis recommendations, affecting Californians who partake of our neighboring state’s generous reciprocity law while spending tourist dollars in Las Vegas and Reno.

For California, cannabis tourism opportunities are as golden as our state moniker but as hazy as our famous smog and weed.

Still, it’s the dawn of legalization. It’s time for a vacation. We’ve compiled seven DIY Northern California cannabis travel itineraries for seven different types of California medical cannabis travelers, all of whom should carry their doctors’ Prop. 215 recommendations like passports until 2018.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA POT TRAVEL

SAN FRANCISCO FOR AFICIONADOS
Chic dispensaries. Famed genetics. Consumption lounges. $5 dabs.

MENDOCINO FOR RETIRED HIPPIES
Cannabis farmers markets. Potluck pot dinners. California’s only bud and breakfast.

HUMBOLDT FOR OUTDOORSMEN
Boat. Paddle. Bike. Pack mule. Enjoy grass-fed milk and beef.

HUMBOLDT FOR FOODIES
Oysters. Beer. Cider. Hemp Vodka.

SUNDAY
MARIN FOR GIRLS
Spa. Shopping. Drinking. Dining.

MONDAY
TAHOE FOR BROS
Buds, brothels and free haircuts.

TUESDAY
SACRAMENTO FOR PARENTS
Power. Food. Art. Trees.

SAN FRANCISCO
The Aficionados’ Treat
California’s most sophisticated city promises the Golden State’s most sophisticated cannabis travel experience. Sleek dispensaries. High-quality cannabis. Smoking and vaping lounges. Dab bars. Cannabis-paired dinners. Edibles cooking classes. Cannabis yoga. Plus all the general tourist activities — food, culture, art, shopping, big-city energy — that make San Francisco a world-class travel destination with or without weed.  — Ed Murrieta

SHOP
Sleek dispensaries. Harvest … Apothocary … Barbary Coast Collective great hash selection.

SMOKE & VAPE
Urban Pharm. SPARC. Igzactly 420. Harvest. Also: Hippy Hill.

JUST DAB IT
Dabbing cannabis concentrates — shatter, wax, budder — is growing in popularity. It’s fitting that San Francisco dispensaries are accommodating connoisseurs of concentrates. Urban Pharm offers $5 dabs of select concentrates at its budtender-manned dab station, double-rigged so you can dab with your bestie. Five blocks east on Mission Street, Barbary Coast Collective plans to open a dab bar this fall.

GANJA YOGA
Do you prefer to smoke, vaporize or ediblize before double-dog downing? Ganja Yoga instructor Dee Dussalt is flexible. She has different classes at different private locations South of Market and near Civic Center, $25 per stretch sesh, vape pens, edibles and cannabis included for yogis and yoginis who possess a California medical cannabis recommendation.

POP-UP POP DINNER
The Cannaisseur Series is a pop-up dinner South of Market featuring four courses containing no cannabis but paired pot — intermezzos of cannabis flowers, extracts and edibles. Note: The amuse bouche are always amusingly medicated; help and pace yourself. A recent dinner celebrated Oktoberfest. The Nov. 20 fall-harvest dinner ($149) promises seasonal vegetables, sun-grown cannabis and a vapor bar. The Cannaisseur Series anticipated legalization but says on its invite, “Until further notice you are required to have a California medical cannabis recommendation to attend this event.”

EDIBLES LESSON
Learn to make gourmet cannabis butter and cannabis oil from Jeff the 420 Chef. Bring your own cannabis (an eighth is recommended) and doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis; Jeff the 420 Chef will provide all the kitchen tools you’ll need and guide you through recipe from simple hors d’oeuvres to gourmet meals. Classes are $85 and $175 (the latter includes Jeff the 420 Chef’s butter-oil-making kit).

FOOD FANTASY
Of all the restaurants within walking distance of San Francisco dispensaries, Benu — the 3-Michelin star, $600-per-person do-si-do with minimalism midway between Igzactly420 and The Green Door — takes the 24-carrot cake.

STAY
There’s a reason all the best cannabis industry conferences book the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero: smoking balconies. For a stay with San Francisco cannabis royalty, pot legend Dennis Peron’s home, Castro Castle,

FORE PLAY
Tripping balls from your Volcano sesh at Igzactly420 and got the urge to hit balls into a video golf simulator? Trip into Eagle Club Indoor Golf, a driving range that’s 223 feet — about the length of the average PGA 5-wood shot — to the west of Igzactly420. It gets even tripper when you’re hitting balls into a simulation of San Francisco’s exclusive Olympic Club, one of dozens of elite courses around the world programmed for play. If paddles and plastic balls give you pleasure, pothead actress Susan Sarandon recently opened SPiN, a ping pong cafe where you can rent game tables and order food and booze. The joint wears its “street” vibe like Axe Body Spray so wear your Cookies garb here.

ENHANCED VIEWING
The second thing cultured cannabis travelers do in Amsterdam is visit museums. In San Francisco, SFMOMA, the de Young and the Asian Art Museum …. IMAX 3D at Metreon.

SIDE TRIP?
Oakland is the epicenter of Bay Area cannabis activists and entrepreneurs. But cannabis tourism? Not a lot of there there. Perhaps the Oakland Museum of California will extend or make permanent its recently closed cannabis exhibit. Magnolia plans to open a smoking lounge in its dispensary. Perhaps Harborside will too.

CALIFORNIA CANNABIS TRAVEL TIPS

SMOKING: SB 420, one of California’s landmark medical cannabis laws, allows medical cannabis to be smoked wherever cigarette smoking is allowed.

DISPENSARIES: Call ahead and join before you leave home. This will speed the intake process when you arrive and makes it less likely you’ll forget any important paperwork.

LODGING: Avoid cleaning fees of $200-$500 by not smoking pot in hotel or motel rooms that don’t allow pot smoking. Bring a vaporizer instead. Or stick with edibles.

Totally Legal and Nowhere to Toke: The Social-Use Cannabis Conundrum

Originally published Oct. 22, 2015

In recreational-use states, banning cannabis consumption in bars and cafes shuts out tourists and threatens locals whose landlords oppose pot.

By Ed Murrieta

Voters in four western states legalized adult-use recreational cannabis. But lawmakers in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington say there is only one place to consume it: in private residences whose owners approve of pot.

Activists complain that bans on smoking, vaporizing and even eating cannabis in public places like bars and cafes turn tourists into outlaws and threaten the evictions of residents whose landlords oppose pot.

Lawmakers in Alaska and Oregon are currently working on regulations for their states’ commercial marijuana industries. Cannabis consumption in bars and cafes is banned in both Alaska and Oregon’s draft regulations, prohibitions that rile activists in both states.

Neither state’s 2014 legalization initiative addressed public consumption. Attorneys have advised the five-member Alaska Marijuana Control Board that it lacks authority to approve cannabis lounges in which people age 21 and over can smoke, vaporize or eat cannabis because the initiative that legalized cannabis didn’t explicitly allow them.

Marijuana lounges were not addressed in Washington’s 2014 legalization initiative. Washington lawmakers fixed that in June, passing HB 2136, a ban that makes it a Class-C felony to provide temporary or permanent space for marijuana consumption.

Although Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act had already banned any kind of public smoking when the state became the first in the nation to legalize recreational pot in 2012, Denver activists recently pushed but ultimately dropped a controversial public consumption proposal for the city’s November’s ballot.

In Alaska, commercial cannabis sales are expected to start in summer 2016, just as the state’s cruise ship high season begins.

“We get 1 million tourists who pass through Juneau each year and will buy all kinds of products, but have nowhere to consume them,” Juneau resident Zach Bowhay testified to the Alaska Marijuana Control Board last week. “We’re almost forcing people to commit a crime.”

Earlier this year in Anchorage, another Alaska cruise ship port, the city effectively banned pot lounges. Pot is now regarded like tobacco in the city’s ordinance against second-hand smoke — an irritant harmful to employees’ health and therefore illegal.

Adding to Alaska’s pot tourism angst are cruise lines’ strict anti-pot shipboard rules.

Cynthia Franklin, executive director of Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board, said the state regulates marijuana as it does alcohol. Franklin compares pot lounges to “bottle clubs,” bring-your-own drinking establishments that are prohibited by state statutes.

Some cannabis entrepreneurs are, so far, circumventing obstacles to public consumption by privatizing — opening members-only clubs where smoking, vaporizing, dabbing and even eating cannabis takes place out of public view. For a fee and by signing waivers acknowledging the presence of second-hand smoke, members can consume and share — but not buy or sell — in a BYOP, or bring-your-own-pot, model.

In Anchorage, Pot Luck Events is a members-only private club on the northeastern shoulder of downtown — just 1.6 miles away from the cruise-ship port and in the path of disembarking passengers entering Anchorage’s historic district.

Pot Luck offers out-of-towner day passes ($5) plus monthly memberships ($20) and yearly memberships ($200) for locals, governed by 14 rules that, among other things, ban cigarettes, alcohol and hand guns. Pot Luck’s website says “rules were out in place to keep our members and staff safe, happy and healthy.” Pot Luck Co-owner Theresa Collins said the club has more than 600 members. A pot party is scheduled for Halloween.

Club Ned, in Nederland, Colo., near Boulder, is exempt from Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act — section CRS 25-14-205 allows smoking in “a place of employment that is not open to the public and that is under the control of an employer that employs three or fewer employees” — because it charges a membership fee and meets the employee threshold.

Outside of Denver, iBake operates two divey membership clubs that charge fees to smoke, vape, dab and eat, and sell junk-food snacks and t-shirts emblazoned with pot puns. On Wednesday, the Englewood (Co.) Liquor and Medical Marijuana Licensing Authority unveiled draft guidelines for potential “marijuana consumption establishments” in the city.

Portland’s World Famous Cannabis Café opened in 2009. Today, it’s legal and doesn’t require licensing under Oregon’s new marijuana law as long as it doesn’t sell the botanical drug and club members consume it out of public view. Located in a storefront around the corner from a medical cannabis dispensary and a grow shop, the club hosts music, comedy and stoner bingo. Visitation fees are $5 to $10.

“We want to catch those people who leave work and go have a beer at their local bar,” said owner Madeline Martinez, a longtime Portland marijuana activist. “Stop by and have a toke.”

Last week, Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner of Oregon’s legalization initiative and a member of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s cannabis rules advisory committee, argued unsuccessfully that the public needs legal and regulated places to consume cannabis.

“These are things that adults in Oregon want to do,” Johnson said. “They voted to be able to utilize it. The state is better off if it’s done in a regulated manner.”

That regulated model may be in San Francisco, which allows medical cannabis dispensaries to provide lounge spaces where authorized customers with doctor’s approval can consume cannabis. A half dozen of the city’s top dispensary lounges provide use of state-of-the-art Volcano vaporizers in environments ranging from artsy-fartsy to couch-comfy to Apple store-sleek. There’s no smoking — only vaporizing and eating. You can bring your own or purchase on premises. Some dispensary lounges are pet-friendly. One validates an hour’s parking. Several are located in are located in near high-traffic downtown tourist, shopping and entertainment attractions.

“Dispensary lounges are an important feature of using cannabis — having the opportunity to enjoy it with your fellow human beings,” said Martin Olive, proprietor of The Vapor Room, a former dispensary lounge that functioned like a community center in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.

The Vapor Room closed under federal pressure in 2011.

“Unlike bars and restaurants, we had a wide range of people hanging out together — a 24-year-old guy with lupus passing a joint to a 75-year-old grandmother with cancer,” Olive said, “and they’re telling their life stories and getting to know one another in a way that would never happen organically in most other places.”

In Vancouver, British Columbia, a cannabis-open city euphemistically called Vansterdam, local officials are cracking down on long-running “safe spaces” where people smoke, dab or vape freely, pressing an anti-smoking bylaw that was amended last fall to ban vaping any substance in public spaces.

Vancouver dispensaries are no longer allowed to be “safe spaces.” Non-dispensary lounges that remain resemble bars, except patrons consume cannabis, not alcohol. Vaporizers and dab tools are provided.

Marc Emery, the Canadian “Prince of Pot” who served five years in a United States federal prison for selling cannabis seeds internationally, said “safe spaces” are necessary in Vancouver, where anti-cannabis housing-ordinance evictions are growing in rapid pace with the number of cannabis dispensaries, now running about 80, most of them illegal. Emery’s 10-year-old Cannabis Culture Lounge (now with two locations) allows all forms of cannabis consumption — smoking, vaping, dabbing, you name it.

“There are many situations in quasi-legal Vancouver where people cannot smoke in their own homes,” Emery said. “The city recently passed bylaws saying you can’t smoke in a public place either, or risk getting a $250 fine. People don’t have any way to consume it without being punished.”

Emery noted that the City of Vancouver owns and operates a safe-needle injection site for users of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, a situation he called “ridiculous and beyond understanding” as long as British Columbia’s largest city forbids public cannabis consumption.

“We are keeping our lounges open,” Emery said. “We are not going to close under any circumstance short of me being dragged off to jail.”

San Francisco’s Olive said cannabis lounges are places where low-income, elderly and terminally ill people who live in federally subsidized housing or shelters that prohibit cannabis can “feel safe and not have smoking cannabis be some real stressed-out thing where they might lose their housing rights.”

Landmark medical cannabis legislation signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 9 does not address statewide medical cannabis dispensary lounges, but at least one voter initiative being prepared for the 2016 ballot would authorize social-use pot lounges.

However urgent advocates frame the need for regulated public places where adults can enjoy cannabis in sociable settings may seem, Keith Stroup, the founder of NORML who is in his fifth decade of cannabis activism, believes pot lounges are premature and their advocates are irresponsible.

Stroup excoriated the sponsors of Denver’s social-use initiative, Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente, both co-authors of Colorado’s legalization initiative, for their lack of research on the political will of voters in an off-year election.

“This was an impulsive act that should never have seen the light of day – at least not in 2015,” Stroup wrote in a post on Marijuana.com.

By withdrawing their initiative, Stroup said, Denver’s social-use advocates “realized what other observers had seen from the start — this was the wrong time to be mounting this voter initiative. Truly amazing that this conclusion was only reached after squandering tens of thousands of dollars and enormous political credibility.”

Meanwhile, in regard to legal adult-use recreational bud, joints, hash, oil, wax, shatter and even edibles in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington: Consume ’em if you’re in a private residence whose owner approves of pot.

Cannabis Travel Destination: Humboldt County

Whether you’re visiting Humboldt County for business or pleasure, here’s what to buy and try, what to eat and drink, and where to stay and play. We hope you like oysters, craft beverages and home-grown events celebrating Humboldt’s world-famous crop, cannabis. For maximum enjoyment, you’ll need a car and a valid doctor’s recommendation to use medical cannabis in California.


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