Ever wonder about a west coast cannabis vacation? This piece is for you. The west coast cannabis scene; places to see, things to do, and cannabis!
Photo Credit: Find Cannabis Dispensaries
I am on a wild adventure around the United States, exploring all things cannabis and hemp. I have explored all recreational legal states on the west: CO, NV, CA, OR, and WA (2020 added a couple more states and I will get there soon!). I get asked a lot of questions about the best state for a dope cannabis vacation and so, this piece is all about my experience in each state and what I believe makes them great. I will also reveal my absolute favorite place, and why I recommend that EVERYONE experience it at least once.
If you have never walked into a cannabis dispensary, let me walk you through the experience a bit.
Picture it, legal state, summer 2020. You are walking through the streets of a city-center when suddenly, you set your eyes on a cannabis dispensary. You walk in and find yourself in shock! Well, there are sales associates (appropriate name is Budtender but you’ve never been into a dispensary so, you didn’t know that), organized merchandise, and informative information everywhere. Heck- they even have the recreational cannabis separate from the medicinal cannabis.
The Budtender greets you, checks your I.D, and asks how they can assist. There’s a section with everything Sativa- separated by form: flower, topical, edible, and ingestible. There’s another section labeled “Indica” with the same set up. The Budtender is so much more available to you than any pharmacy associate ever has been, any Pharmacist for that matter.
The Budtender helps you with your purchase, places it in a bag, provides you with safety and other informative information, and thanks you for coming in. You walk out with legal cannabis- having received more information and service than any liquor store you’ve ever visited. You walk out of the cannabis dispensary the same way you walk out of Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Target. Not the basement, not the garage, not an alley- nothing unprofessional like you may have imagined.
My first legal cannabis purchase. I started in Ohio and traveled west to the Denver cannabis scene. Gorgeous weather, mountain views, and early bird cannabis specials. Here, Interstate 25 aligns Denver, Centennial, Castle Rock, and Colorado Springs. There is so much to do! But even more Cannabis. Visiting Colorado means city views and nature views. It also means morning specials- 7a-9a, with deals like:
“Every Monday, the first 5 people in the door will receive a $5 gift card to Starbucks to enjoy your favorite morning drink on us”: The Green Revolution.
Colorado has 420 friendly lodging and through PotGuide, cannabis loving vacationers can find lodging deals like:
“Book 2 or more nights directly with PotGuide and receive a free hat, t-shirt, or rolling tray…your choice!”
Home of the 24-hour cannabis dispensaries. But not only that- many dispensaries offer rides and deliveries. Important to note that hotel stays make this a little harder because of hotel rules- due to federal cannabis law.
My opinion is that cannabis is expensive in Las Vegas. But my understanding is that all states start off that way and then, the market starts to balance out and that leads to lower pricing. But I will say that the Cannabis I experienced in Nevada was delicious!
It’s not so easy to enjoy a vacation centered around Cannabis in Las Vegas because, most book accommodations on the strip and well, The Dispensary NV breaks down Nevada law on cannabis consumption and says:
“You can smoke on your patio or porch as well but not on the sidewalks or streets. So, if you’re an out-of-towner, hopefully you know somebody who knows somebody who lives here because it’s illegal to light up on the Las Vegas Strip, in a car, in a bar, in da club, in a casino, restaurant or strip joint.”
Even though consumption law is a bummer, there are many cannabis events in Las Vegas: Puff Pass and Paint, Sin City Cannabis Tours, Puff, Pass, Pastry, and more.
California is a vacation without cannabis- but with it- cannabis vacations in California are magical. The state that has been growing our cannabis for years! Rumors say that California grows 80% of the cannabis sold by independent/ freelance providers. Home to legendary Humboldt County, and the first state to legalize Cannabis for medicine in the United States.
I love California. I am not crazy about the prices of cannabis in some L.A areas, but will say that their cannabis is beautiful! In California, you’ll find 2 grams of dank cannabis, infused with shatter, rolled in a Backwood, that was dipped in distillate, and rolled in kief. All I’m saying, California will take you to Mars.
In areas like Sonoma County, vacationers can take cannabis tours with companies like Happy Travelers Tours. Cannabis vacationers that fly in can take advantage of 420 luxury limousine/ car services. The service will come to the airport when you land and take you to visit a selection of top California dispensaries in the area with special discounts included in your ride.
My favorite of all places visited and explored! Astoria, Seaside, and Cannon Beach are amazing; but Portland has my heart. Home of “come as you are, we love you”, vegan and gluten free menu’s, and cannabis dispensaries on every corner. I love this place!
Portland is your Woodstock and big city vibe melting pot. Cannabis vacations in Portland can be marvelous! There is always a hint of cannabis in the air. Many coffee shops and restaurants offer CBD infused food and beverages. I’ve had CBD infused teas, lattes, and pizza- yes- cannabis (CBD) infused pizza!
It gets better- East Portland Coffee Roasters is a cannabis friendly café that has a 420 bus on site! Customers are allowed to bring their own cannabis- and consume in the 420-bus lounge! Then there is TJ’s on Powell- coffee and cannabis; customers can shop, consume brewed coffee, work, and vibe out to a dope musical playlist.
There are spaces like The NW Cannabis Club in Portland. A club that offers memberships and hosts various cannabis events like movie night, dab wars, cannagar wars, etc. Non-members can gain access for daily fees.
And if all of that isn’t enough, Portland also has cannabis friendly hotels like The Jupiter Hotel and the Delta-9 house where cannabis consumption is encouraged! But the best thing about Oregon is the support this place has given my career. Oregon has great people and brands that sponsored by tribute to Cannabis this month by allowing me to live on their farms- The Botanical Joint and Fern Valley Farms! Community is definitely felt here.
I took a break from the road and stopped for 9 months on the southern coast of Washington. I rented a tiny beach apartment- 2 seconds away from the Pacific Ocean. Medicating in my yard was the best- most relaxing experience ever. Of course, this was only in the daytime because Washington is home to black bears and well- this Florida girl isn’t with it.
What I was with though- whales. Along the Oregon/Washington coast- you can see whales living their gorgeous lives. The same is true for sea lions, seals, and bald eagles. Because cannabis is generally grown indoors in Washington (due to the moist grounds from the constant rain), cannabis here is under constant grow and that means- very affordable cannabis. I was buying eighths for $8, infused shatter joints for $5, and $10 per gram concentrates.
But Washington makes for a nice and calm cannabis vacation because, like Oregon, WA has a cannabis dispensary on every block. It’s a great place to explore ferries, it is home to the original Hempfest, and there are 420 friendly campsites in Washington! What I will always remember the state for- whales and my first Cannabis farm visit/tour happened in Aberdeen, WA at the Sound Cannabis farm.
Oregon so far has been my favorite- but you’ll see that it really depends on your preferences and what you are looking for during your cannabis vacation. But remember- everyone should experience Oregon at least once.
2021- east coooooooooooaaaaaaasttttt cannabis- it’s time for me to explore you!
Written by: vee_traveling_veg_canna_writer
This piece was originally written by the author and published in Oklahoma Chronic Magazine