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Peek inside a Seattle cannabis tour

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A Seattle cannabis tour makes a stop at Dawg Star Cannabis, which won a Dope Cup award in 2017 for one of their strains. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

Dawg Star uses clones to cultivate their marijuana. They start in this room, under blue-spectrum lights with 18-hour cycles. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group).

Once harvested, the marijuana is cured on-site and packaged for retail and/or medicinal sales. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

After beginning in the blue-light room, the plants move into the blooming room, with red-spectrum lights and 12-hour cycles. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

At Drags Glass Studio, we learned about glass blowing and how the marijuana industry benefits many ancillary industries. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

One stop on the Kush Tour is at Diego Pellicer, a high-end Seattle marijuana store that looks more like a fancy jewelry design boutique. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

If you take the Kush Tour, you enjoy a 20 percent discount at Diego Pellicer. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

Diego Pellicer sells a full range of marijuana products and smoking accessories, and even a strain named after famous astronomer Carl Sagan. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

Diego Pellicer is a high-end cannabis store in Seattle where the Kush Tours begins and ends.(Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

The tour made a brief pause between scheduled stops so the participants could wander off and “do what adults do when the kids aren’t around,” as our guide explained. (Patrick Cant/Bay Area News Group)

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There are monastic brewery adventures in Germany and Belgium, and winery tours from Napa Valley to Bordeaux. Welsh cheese treks and Vietnamese street food jaunts beckon the more adventurous. And now, there are cannabis tours, too.

In at least nine states and the District of Colombia, consenting adults over 21 can purchase marijuana for recreational use. (Finding a place to use it is another hurdle, but more on that later.) So the idea of a different sort of vacation was appealing.

Like many adventures these days, mine began with an internet search: “Seattle marijuana tours.”

Seattle’s entertaining Kush Tours popped up — a 3½-hour adventure for $150 plus an Amtrak train ride to get me there. They also offer advice on 420-friendly places to stay, such as the Bacon Mansion, a B&B on Capitol Hill, as well as hotels with smoke-friendly courtyards, if not smoke-friendly rooms. The Bacon Mansion is a convenient 15-minute walk from the new train line that runs from the airport to the University of Washington, with stops in the SoDo — south of downtown — neighborhood.

The tour rendezvous spot was Diego Pellicer, a high-end SoDo marijuana store that looks like a fancy jewelry design boutique, all glitzy glass and tiny sparkles on display. It was super fancy, with gold-wrapped “canagar” Cohiba-sized joints for easily more than a grand, if you really want to get decadent, but offerings for bargain shoppers, as well.

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Our small group of seven varied both in age, which ranged from early 30s to 60-somethings, and expertise. One guy seemed to know even more than the master horticulturalist, who explained the marijuana growth cycle later on.

Following introductions, a “budtender” walked us around the shop, explaining everything from concentrates and flowers vs. edibles, to strains, types, THCa, THC, CBD, sativa, indica and more.

After the tour and some homework — not kidding, we actually got a cool crib sheet about how different terpenes affect the high from different kinds of marijuana — we piled into the van and headed off to the shores of Lake Union, where Drags Glass Studio sits in a cool, funky building across from all the fancy yachts.

We watched the owner blow a type of pipe called a “spoon” in about 15 minutes, all the while explaining what he was doing and how it worked. The Drags lobby has a map where tour participants can pin their hometowns. Washington State’s legal recreational market is only four years old and this map was already bristling with pins. I couldn’t wedge one in for Oakland; there were too many already.

Piling back into the van, en route to Craft Elixirs, we made a pit stop: Our driver pulled over at a lovely overlook of the city and encouraged us to “go do what adults do when the kids aren’t around.” For 15 minutes, we all wandered off and then wandered back.

And this is how the Kush Tour and the cannabis tour industry differs from a standard winery or brewery tour. Marijuana is legal here, but there’s a wink-and-a-nod feel to this. No one’s sitting in a tasting room at a massive marijuana farm, smoking a joint of their latest award-winning offering. You explore, you purchase and then you quietly — wink — wander off to do what adults do.

Of course, it’s early days yet. Denver only recently voted to take a first step toward Amsterdam-style “cafes,” and there is a Southern California tour where you can smoke marijuana on the bus, while you’re being driven around. And truly, my interest in the Kush Tour is more than just consumption.

The Bay Area has a number of these tours, including several that cover the city and its counter-culture history as well as the marijuana industry. One operator is even promising a future tour of North Bay farm operations.

But on to Craft Elixirs in Seattle, winners this year of a Dope Cup award — it’s a Washington state competition — for an edible called, appropriately for Seattle, Pioneer Square. We tried a number of their candies, all gummies, none of them containing any THC and all of them delicious.

One of the nice things about the current edibles business is that the producers are primarily small-batch confectioners. No joke: Craft Elixirs is making some delicious candy. It’s also one of the few places I have seen doing a savory edible. They make some very tasty potato chips, flavored with garlic or cracked pepper and sea salt, plus a sweet-potato version.

We also learned more about the industry here, including shipping rules. There’s a 48-hour hold, for example, to allow for possible state inspection before an order can be shipped.

One more stop remained: the Dawg Star Cannabis grow site. Dawg Star’s recent Dope Cup award was displayed in the lobby, next to a rack of white lab coats we all donned before the tour began. The lead horticulturalist explained how a year-round Tier 2 operation like theirs — there are three possible tiers based on maximum allowable growing space — operates.

Dawg Star works on clones of female plants: They plant cuttings, not seeds. We started in the 18-hour daylight room, with blue-spectrum lights and plants that measured two to three feet tall, with a very mild aroma. The next phase, he explained just before opening the door to the “blooming room,” involved red-spectrum lights and 12-hour cycles for more enthusiastic growth.

The room was filled with almost fully mature marijuana plant, of various strains. We stood, the seven of us in borrowed white lab coats, gobsmacked. It was a stunning sight. And smell.

The final stop was the drying room, with lines of drying marijuana, and a chance to ask more questions.

And then it was done. Lab coats returned, we bid our host farewell, and headed back to the van for the return trip to Diego Pellicer — and back to life in the Emerald City.

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8 Reasons Why Seattle is your Cannabis Tourism Destination

By The Evergreen Market

8 Reasons to Choose Seattle for Cannabis Tourism

With many states legalizing recreational marijuana use recently, a vacation where you can smoke cannabis worry-free and take in all a place has to offer is something that is attainable without having to go all the way to Amsterdam.

As one of the nation’s leaders in the cannabis industry and a longtime outpost of cannabis culture, Seattle is at the forefront of providing amazing marijuana tourism experiences. At Evergreen Market, our team of Seattleite cannabis experts has compiled our personal list of reasons why Seattle should be your next (or your first) cannabis tourism destination.

• A Walkable, Bikeable City

Seattle has a hardcore community of bike commuters and other cyclists, plus several bike rental companies offering convenient bikes you can hop on pretty much anywhere in the city. All this adds up to plenty of bike lanes, several popular protected bike trails and paths, and hundreds and hundreds of bokes for you to rent all within the city limits (plus even longer bike trails just outside of town). The Burke-Gilman trail, which runs all the way from Ballard to outside Seattle city limits along the ship canal and Lake Washington, and the Elliot Bay trail, which runs along the bay from Interbay to downtown and is a great way to access ferries or the Pike Place market by bike, are just two of the popular options for getting around by bike.

The city is also walkable, with clusters of fun neighborhoods to explore, farmer’s markets to stroll through, and popular parks like Green Lake, Volunteer Park and Discovery Park featuring miles and miles of walking trails. Person-powered transportation is a natural fit for cannabis use and you’ll find plenty of options for those activities in Seattle.

• The Weather

We promise this isn’t a joke: while Seattle may have a reputation as a rain-soaked city, in reality it has relatively mild Winters, gorgeous Spring days and colorful, crisp Fall afternoons. And as any Seattleite will tell you, the summers are incredible.

In the Summer, Seattle is sunny and green, but never too hot. And the city is far enough North that the days are long, perfect for packing in all the activity you want and ending the day with an exquisite smoke session while you watch a late sunset.

• Our Diverse, Tasty Food Scene

Seattle’s community of cannabis users have always been able to count on one thing: when the munchies kick in, there are always plenty of good options for satisfying, affordable food from all over the globe.

No matter where you are in Seattle, you can find everything from savory Pho to all the tacos your heart could desire, including many popular spots that are open 24 hours for late night gratification. Stay tuned for our full guide to Seattle’s best food spots for marijuana users to see our personal favorite restaurants in each major Seattle neighborhood coming next week.

• The Outdoors

If your idea of the perfect cannabis getaway involves being one with nature, then there are few places better to be than the great Pacific Northwest! A short trip from the city can place you in some stunning scenery.

From Mount Rainier National Park to the dozens of hikes on the I-90 corridor, Seattle offers access to mountains galore. Head up North to the foothills of Bellingham or the snowy slopes and gorgeous meadows of Mount Baker or West to the coastal beauty of the Olympic National Park or the vibrant greenery of the Hoh rain forest. Check out the Washington Trails Association for hiking guides, maps and driving directions, seasonal and regional trail recommendations and more.

• 420-friendly Lodging

With its relatively long period of marijuana legalization and a cannabis-friendly local culture already in place, the Seattle area is ahead of the curve on hotels, Air BNBs and other lodging options that allow cannabis users to enjoy fine local product without having to stand in the parking lot or throw a beanie over the smoke detector.

Evergreen Market has put together our own expert guide to the best lodging options for marijuana tourists (and locals who want a weed-filled staycation). Check out our full guide to the best 420-friendly hotels in the Pacific Northwest.

• The Original Hempfest and Other Killer Festivals

Seattle was one of the first places in the US to accommodate marijuana users. Vivian McPeak started this yearly festival back in 1991, creating the perfect place to get together and celebrate cannabis. Hempfest has been cited as the largest ‘protestival’ on record due to it’s massive turnout.

Now, the era of legalization has only made the August festival even better. And it’s far from the only amazing cannabis-friendly festival that happens in or around Seattle: Northwest Folklife on Memorial Day Weekend, Bumbershoot on Labor Day Weekend and huge shows at The Gorge all summer long offer unmissable opportunities to enjoy culture, music and cannabis in the Seattle area.

• Kush Tourism

With all the great options to explore and enjoy Seattle, you should be able to plan a great trip centered on your enjoyment of cannabis. However, if you’re looking for a company to plan some adventures for you, the nationwide legal marijuana tourism company Kush Tourism has set up shop in Seattle.

Kush Tourism offers a great Seattle day tour that covers every facet of the legal cannabis industry, from visiting a glass blowing shop to touring a full grow operation. This kind of behind the scenes access helps make Seattle a destination that will appeal to true cannabis geeks just as much as casual users.

• The Marijuana!

Washington state has some of the best marijuana in the country today. It’s very much a craft industry, with fine product from expert local growers and yet still great prices! At Evergreen Market, you’ll be able to find some of the most popular craft growers in WA state: House of Cultivar, Artizen, 1937 Farms, Gabriel, and more.

Head to Evergreen Market during Your Cannabis Vacation to Seattle!

With locations around Seattle’s suburbs and some of the very most knowledgeable and experienced staff in the local cannabis industry, Evergreen Market will be the perfect home base for your cannabis tourism trip to Seattle. Our mission is simple: Educate. Celebrate. Elevate. So, if you’re looking for a friendly, helpful spot to stock up and get your bearings in Seattle’s marijuana scene, come by Evergreen Market!

Written by: Nikki Marangon

Discover a Higher Quality of Life.

If you’re looking for marijuana tourism in a city with a rich & diverse culture that has truly pioneered the industry, then Seattle is the place to go!