Cannabis tours to states where marijuana is legal to have become increasingly popular for some travelers, adding to the multi-million dollar travel industry in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Pot isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay. Much like other controlled substances, it is often an acquired taste. But marijuana legalization is slowly making its way across the U.S.
Here in Oregon, Portland, in particular, we are embracing it fully. (All of the western states have legalized it, both medically and recreationally.) For several years now, it’s been legal in Oregon and Washington state to buy a substance that is safer to consume than alcohol. Imagine that! While pot use is not everyone’s cup of tea, for many it gives that great relaxing buzz without the nasty side effects of alcohol.
And the experts agree. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the effects of abusing alcohol is the third leading cause of death in America. On the other hand, marijuana has no such problems. It does not cause overdose death and comes with far fewer long-term health risks. In addition, people who smoke it are far less likely to become addicted than those to drink more than their share of alcohol.
Having said that, it’s important to note that the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has not officially approved marijuana as a medicine.
The Marijuana Industry in Oregon and Washington
In Oregon, we even have guided marijuana tours, for those that are curious. These legitimate tours aren’t just a smoke party – in fact, you don’t have to smoke marijuana during the tour at all if you don’t want to! These are entertaining educational tours, with knowledgeable people who will inform you about the industry and the various ways it helps both the state and the people who buy it. See the end of this post for marijuana tour companies in Oregon.
And much like the advertising of cigarettes and alcohol, Oregon and Washington’s state-controlled cannabis industry is being careful to ensure that advertising is not directed at minors. Both states have paved the way for a set number of dispensary licenses to be granted, and savvy entrepreneurs are lapping them up at a record pace.
So much so that prices per ounce have gone down dramatically with the added supply since legalization took effect. This helps low-income people with a medical need for it, better able to afford it.
Removing the Stigma
But here’s the thing. Just like prohibition back in the day, the green bud carries with it a stigma that is proving hard to completely shake. And that’s a shame. Because cannabis, when used correctly and not abused, actually helps to alleviate a whole host of ailments. And just like prohibition, keeping a substance that is in high demand illegal only fuels criminal activity. But let me get off my soapbox…
Marijuana growers and the scientists they work with are constantly coming up with different strains of the plant itself. The buds that are the “fruit” of the plant, the stuff that is smoked (or ground up and put into tasty treats) have certain properties that have different effects on the human body, most of them beneficial. Hemp oil, or CBD oil as it’s often considered, can also be extracted and is bottled for commercial use of its health benefits.
These benefits run the gamut. Whether it’s just a light relaxing buzz, or alleviating serious chronic pain – yes, there is likely a strain of marijuana to help.
The Future of Marijuana in the U.S.
The good news is, America is slowly waking up to this fact. One by one, each of the 50 states is continuing to legalize it, for medical and/or recreational use. And this is a good thing. The taxes charged from sales of cannabis go straight into the state’s coffers, to fund programs such as education, mental health treatment, and state law enforcement.
Currently, 10 states have legalized both medical and recreational pot use, while an additional 22 states have legalized its medical use. More states are passing varying degrees of legalization with each election. Experts predict it will most likely be legalized in some way across every U.S. state by 2025. Many agree that it’s only a matter of time before it’s legal federally.
Let’s face it, folks. Marijuana is here to stay. Whether you choose to partake of it or not.
Cannabis Tour Companies in Oregon
High 5 Tours
Dubbed as Portland’s Premiere Cannabis Tour company, their signature tour will take you around town to a couple of dispensaries and places to stop for lunch. It runs daily in the afternoons on a big yellow bus. So you can’t miss it! High 5 Tours runs several different tours, and not all of them include the marijuana plant. They offer fun and unique adventures that highlight not only dispensaries around Portland, but activities that represent the diversity that makes Portland so special.
The yellow bus is a 2011 Ford Eldorado, deemed the ‘Pot Bus’. It has a plexiglass divider, which will allow for smoking on the bus while not influencing the driver! And because the smoky stuff tends to bring on the munchies, complimentary snacks and water are provided. High 5 Tours has even been featured on the Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert.
The Potlandia Experience
Explore Portland’s Growing Marijuana Culture with this rock and roll trip around Portland. The super-fly blue bus with painted-on marijuana leaves will take you to several dispensaries around town, along with visits to microbreweries, food carts, and a few well-known Portland shops. As one of Portland’s top-rated tour companies, they take their job seriously and make sure you have a fun and informative trip.
This tour company prides itself on education and entertainment simultaneously. It is their passion to help break the stigma of cannabis and educate people on the many benefits of the plant. The bus seats up to twelve people, and the tours run Fridays through Sundays in the afternoon. They also rent out their bus for private parties.
The Canna Bus
This tour company provided unparalleled access to Portland’s marijuana dispensaries, research laboratories and grow shops.
A luxury party bus will take you around and educate you by giving valuable insight into this growing industry, both as it stands in Portland and around the country.
As with all cannabis bus tours that allow smoking on board, there is a privacy wall between the patrons and the driver. But what makes this bus special is the epic sound system, the flat screen TV, leather seating, and…a dance pole! Now that sounds like fun. You get a goody bag with samples and educational material as well as the tour.
The bus itself holds about 40 people. There are also laser lights, tables with drink holders, a bathroom and USB charging stations. A truly customized party bus. The tours allow VIP access to all stops, and you can select your own route if you like.
Blazing Trails Tours
This cannabis tour is in Bend, Oregon, located in the south-central part of the state. Featured on Rolling Stone magazine’s website, they are also known for their educationally valued tours. A comfy van will take you around town, behind the scenes to some of the areas’ best dispensaries and glass shops for your smoking accessories, while hanging out with knowledgeable industry partners. With your tour, you will get a swag bag with $50 worth of goodies and discounts.
This is one tour that doesn’t actually allow smoking on the bus! They operate smaller buses that aren’t equipped with the divider between you and your driver. However, they make up for that with a small, more intimate tour experience. Find out about the legalization of marijuana in Bend with these professional tour guides.
Homegrown Weed & Wine Tours
Since 2016, this tour company was the first in the state to offer marijuana educational tours. And just as the name suggests, they combine cannabis and wine to give the tourist a well-rounded experience, both in Oregon and nationally.
They do several different types of tours – everything from ‘Welcome to Oregon’ to Birthday/Wedding events to casino/concerts/sporting events. Specialty tours have fantastic names, including the Double Puff Tour, the Tickle your Tastebuds tour, and the Slowed Up Sip & Smoke tour. And you guessed it, the weed and wine tours include stops at both dispensaries and vineyards around the Willamette Valley.
You will Come Away with a Greater Appreciation for Pot
Whether you become a fan of or not of the green bud, you will have a more enlightened view of marijuana and its state-controlled industry. The owners of dispensaries are not just a bunch of potheads, they are savvy business owners who are passionate about the plant and are filling a real need to provide a valuable service.
Other states that have legalized marijuana no doubt have their own similar tours. Come to Oregon, enjoy the great beauty of the state, and take one of these tours if you are able. Or travel to a state nearer to you and check out their tours. You will have a fantastic time!
This is a pretty good description of what you can expect to experience if you decide to venture out on one of the many cannabis-tours we have available to you here in Oregon.
Whether you are for or against cannabis, and whether or not you like the idea of a cannabis tour or not, please voice your opinion in the comments section below!