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.
Where to Score
- Cathedral City (population: 54,056) has 12 medicinal dispensaries. Here are the latest confirmed adult-use recreational cannabis sales openings in Cathedral City:
Cathedral City Cathedral City Care Collective 36633 Cathedral Canyon Drive (760) 832-6417 Jan 1 Cathedral City Cathedral City Care Collective North 28201 Date Palm Drive (760) 832-6417 Jan 1 Cathedral City Green Cross Pharma 68730 Summit Drive (760) 832-7194 Jan 1 Cathedral City HOTN Cultivation Co. 68945 Vista Chino (760) 832-7614 Jan 1 Cathedral City Mother Earth’s Farmacy 36633 Cathedral Canyon Drive (760) 832-8348 Jan 1 Cathedral City No Wait Meds 68860 Ramon Road (760) 333-1338 Jan 1 Cathedral City P&S Ventures 36380 Bankside Drive Jan 1 Cathedral City West Coast Cannabis Club 68828 Ramon Road (760) 689-2582 Jan 1
- Desert Hot Springs (population: 28,492) has 8 medicinal dispensaries. Here are the latest confirmed adult-use recreational cannabis sales openings in Desert Hot Springs:
Desert Hot Springs Deserts Finest 12106 Palm Drive (833) GET-KUSH Jan 1 Desert Hot Springs Green Pearl 64949 Mission Lakes Boulevard (760) 894-3146 Jan 1
- Palm Springs (population: 47,689) has 6 medicinal dispensaries. Here are the latest confirmed adult-use recreational cannabis sales openings in Palm Springs:
Palm Springs Desert Organic Solutions 19486 Newhall Street (760) 288-4000 Jan. 1
Know the Grow
- Canndescent was the first large-scale grower licensed in California. Canndescent started growing in Desert Hot Springs in September 2016. It’s branded buds and joints are sold throughout the Coachella Valley.
- The Coachella Valley Patients Collective of Desert Hot Springs will be the largest indoor growing facility in California at early 400,000 square feet. It broke ground in September.
- Cultivation Technologies broke ground in June on a 111,500-square-foot facility in Coachella and plans to launch a local brand of cannabis, Coachella Premium.
- CBD-infused water — stay hydrated and medicated. Look for Holy Hemp Water and CBD Living Water.
- Cannabis-infused lotions and sunscreens.
Where to Stay
- Cannabis-Friendly AirBnB Rentals, Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Joshua Tree and Idyllwild. One Coachella Valley property rental company manages 11 cannabis-friendly houses and apartment rentals. From $99-$699 per night.
- The O Resort & Spa, Desert Hot Springs. The old resort’s new management is cannabis friendly — just don’t smoke or vape in rooms. The clothing-optional resort is popular with Europeans. 13 rooms, $79-$149 per night, or rent the whole place for $1,999.
- Desert Hot Springs Inn, Desert Hot Springs. Pot-friendly mineral hot springs allows guests to smoke on the property and book CBD-oil massages. $159-$279 per night.
- Living Waters Spa, Desert Hot Springs. There’s a table on the deck set aside for cannabis smokers at this clothing-optional resort that’s popular with Europeans. From $169-$219 per night.
- Hicksville Pines Chalet & Lodge, Idyllwild. There’s a pot-themed room equipped with a vaporizer in this colorful, cannabis-friendly property high up the San Jacinto Mountains an hour’s drive west of Palm Springs. Room 420 is $100 per night, others $100-$250 per night.
Where to Play
- Stargaze at Joshua Tree National Park. Take a jacket, a chair, water and whatever stash and snacks you need and enjoy in-your-face views of the Milky Way and other awesome astro events.
- Fly high, rotate and hike. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway ascends 2 1/2 miles up the San Jacinto Mountains — rotating 360-degrees during the 10-minute climb an hour’s drive west of Palm Springs. Skip the touristy restaurants and gift shop at the top and enjoy hiking more than 50 miles pristine wilderness trails at 8,500 feet. Enjoy the ride down, too.
Where to Eat
- King’s Highway Diner & Amigo Room at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs. Orange County taco king Carlos Salgado goes big on his intimate homage to his Mexican heritage, expanding into upscale comfort fare like chicken confit and carrot tamales, plus burgers, sandwiches and tacos utilizing Coachella Valley ingredients like cactus, grapefruit and dates. Plus requisite avocado toast.
- Azúcar Restaurant and Bar, Palm Springs. Inside La Serena Villas hotel, Azucar is visually inspired by tortured Mexican artist Frida Kahlo but spice with Mediterranean flavors. Plus requisite avocado toast.
- Palm Springs is a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles.
- Palm Springs International Airport welcomes major airlines and private jets.
Y’all Come Back
- Ganja Goddess Getaways cannabis retreat for women, March 23-25.
- Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, April 13-15.
- Palm Springs approved cannabis social lounges. Stay tuned.