Since 2014, when recreational cannabis became legalized in Washington State, tourists have been flocking to Seattle in search of a legal high. However, for most adults, the world of legal cannabis represents a far cry from their hazy college days. Gone are the days of bags of weed laden with sticks, leaves, and seeds smoked with a giant dirty bong. Instead, one can find a range of cannabis experiences from pre-rolled joints to gourmet edibles.
With all these changes, this fast-growing, ever-evolving legal cannabis industry can be tricky to navigate without a guide to help steer those in the right direction. Show Me Seattle’s Herban Adventure Tour (currently being revamped) offers a seed-to-sale trek giving interested parties an exclusive private glimpse into how cannabis is grown, processed, and sold in Seattle.
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I wanted to give this tour a spin to see if this trip would be a good investment for those looking to dip their toes into the Seattle cannabis culture.
Seattle Cannabis Tour: Herban Adventure Tour
The tour began at 9:30 am on Labor Day 2019, when I was greeted in downtown Seattle by Lelia Ali.
With only nine people in our group, we were able to have an intimate experience that felt more akin to being led around by a knowledgeable friend as opposed to being herded around en mass as is the case with large tour groups.
As we drove to our prescribed stops, Ali enlightened the group into the nuances of the legal cannabis market in Washington State, as well as her recommendations for how to make the best of the cannabis offerings in Seattle.
While the tour normally takes visitors to three sites, on this day we were treated to a fourth stop. So, we started our day at Ganja Goddess, Seattle’s first women-owned cannabis dispensary. While one can sample alcohol products, in Washington State, one cannot even ask to sniff the cannabis buds.
Hence, one cannot use one’s senses to determine the product that works best for them. Therefore, cannabis consumers have to rely on the guidance of knowledgeable budtenders and tour guides like Ali to guide them into selecting those cannabis products that will give them the experience they desire.
Our next stop was Dawg Star, a tier 2 indoor grow. (An indoor grow is described as mid-sized canopies ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 square feet.). We learned the nuances of how their craft cannabis grew from seed to packaged flower via a guided tour of the grow’s vegetation room, the bloom room, and the drying room.
Unlike wine tours where visitors can tour the vineyards, cannabis growers are not open to the public. Hence, one can only witness an experience like this that shows the full evolution of the cannabis plant by participating in a private tour.
Then we ventured over to HeyLo, a processing company known for creating high-end cannabis extracts. They select flowers primarily from outdoor grows are meticulous about seeking out those growers who do not use pesticides and employ sustainable growing practices.
We were led through the process of how they create full-spectrum cannabis oil, which they produce only using the full-bud-no trim or sugar leaf. The end result is a product that contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes and other benefits of the plants for a clean chemical-free cannabis experience.
(Side note: For those concerned about the safety of cannabis vaping, founder Lo Friesen has been at the forefront of promoting how consumers can have a safe vaping experience.
Armed with this information, we ventured into The Bakeréé, an art gallery, and cannabis dispensary, for another shopping experience. Then we concluded our tour with a special treat that left the group feeling both relaxed and armed with the information needed to savor the Seattle cannabis scene.
Tours are available Monday through Friday at 9:30 am or 1:30 pm. Those participating in this tour must be 21 and older and bring along a state ID or passport. In addition to the places we visited, they also partner with Sky High Gardens and Craft Elixir. Also, this tour highlights the role that women play in this industry with four out of six of these partners being women-owned.
Additional Tips for Cannabis Tourists
- Essential Guide for First-time Cannabis Tourists
- Information for tourists about Seattle’s cannabis laws.
- For those venturing to Portland, Oregon check out Travel Portland’s Guidelines for navigating the Portland cannabis scene.
- For women and gender binary folx based in Seattle, Portland, and other select cities check out the cannabis-themed event offerings from Tokeativity.
- Guide of US-based cannabis events.
Best Cannabis-Friendly Hotels in the Seattle
Here are the three of best cannabis-friendly hotels in the Seattle area. But, as you know, rules change often, so make sure to check with the hotels before you book to make sure you are following their most current policies! Also note, most cannabis-friendly hotels, only allow imbibing outside.
The Bacon Mansion is an impressive cannabis-friendly hotel for those who value a historical setting. This Edwardian building contains eleven guest rooms, all of which boast unique architectural touches dating back to the building’s construction in 1909.
Bed & Breakfast Inn Seattle is a beautiful inn featuring eight rooms, all of which have gorgeous furnishings, updated appliances, and everything you’ll need to make your stay perfect.
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