Behold America’s first marijuana tourism company: My 420 Tours.
Two Denver entrepreneurs with ties to the medical marijuana industry recently gave the green light to the nation’s first marijuana tour with packaged trips to what they’re calling World Cannabis Week in Denver. The event runs from April 17 to April 23 in honor of the April 20 (4/20) “cannabis holiday.”
“World Cannabis Week will be the Napa Valley of cannabis tours,” CEO of My 420 Tours James Walker proclaimed. “We are excited to show our guests the level of professionalism, care and craftsmanship our industry offers.”
Walker added that he was “pleased to be the first to offer a quality vacation package that combines the vibrant Downtown Denver with an exciting 420 experience.”
My 420 Tours promises 420-friendly transportation, a stay at a 420-friendly hotel and daily 420 happy hours, as well as grow classes, cannabis cooking school, hash making labs, grow and dispensary tours, and optional 420 concerts. Prices for the debut tours start at $550, and most appeared to be sold out by Monday evening.
Under Amendment 64, passed by Colorado voters in November, marijuana became a legal substance for recreational use statewide.
But sales, except to medical marijuana patients, remain illegal for at least a few more months. To skirt the law, Walker and business partner Matt Brown say they will merely provide access to events, such as the High Times Cannabis Cup, where the drug will likely be shared freely. Tours will also include “legal sampling, tasting and sharing” through the educational seminars.
My 420 Tours claims future excursions may revolve around summer activities, skiing and snowboarding in the winter or possibly a mountain spa retreat -- all with cannabis, of course.
Some believe Walker and Brown could be the first to dip their toes in a highly profitable industry.
The cannabis trade publication Medical Marijuana Business Daily claimed in a recent article that, once pot is available for purchase by visitors at recreational marijuana stores next year, marijuana tourism could rival Colorado’s multibillion-dollar ski industry.
"The possibilities are endless in such a scenario, as visitors from all over the country -- and possibly from all over the world -- would flock to the state specifically to purchase and use marijuana," the publication noted. “Cannabis could easily become a top tourist draw, pumping hundreds of millions of dollars in sales tax into state coffers and rivaling Colorado’s $2.5 billion-$3 billion skiing industry.
“Visitors would not only buy cannabis and related products, they would also spend money on hotels, food and entertainment.”
To offset critics’ concerns about the diversion of marijuana to other states, Colorado’s marijuana task force has recommended that the state set limits on how much marijuana visitors can purchase from a single dispensary. In theory, this would make it difficult to stockpile large quantities for distribution in another state.
The Denver Post reports that the entrepreneurs behind America’s first marijuana tour company reached out to Colorado tourism officials for marketing assistance, but the organization was less than enthusiastic.
“There’s way too much to see and do in Colorado to use marijuana tourism as a platform for marketing our state,” Colorado Tourism Office Director Al White told the paper.
White said that, though he appreciated the pair’s “entrepreneurial spirit,” tourism leaders in the state continue to believe that promoting legal marijuana could hurt Colorado’s image as a destination for wholesome outdoor family fun.
“Legalized marijuana promotes just the opposite,” he said.
In other words, they want to endorse a different type of “Rocky Mountain High.”
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...