Bar codes track marijuana plants at a grow house in Denver. (Ed Andrieski / Associated…)
Arthur Frommer, speaking at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show in February, predicted this travel trend for 2013: pot tours, particularly after Colorado and Washington state legalized small amounts of marijuana last November.
Sure enough, the World Canabis Week, set for April, has already sold out. My 420 Tours (4/20 being a stoner holiday for reasons too complicated and murky to go into here) promised travelers coming to Denver that they would experience activities "100% legal under Colorado law."
The tour includes an airport pickup to a "420 friendly hotel" as well as sampling cannabis, happy hour parties, concert and admission to the High Times Cannabis Cup on April 20 and 21.
About 200 people bought packages, some ranging from $499 for three days to $850 for five days.
Matt Brown, an activist with a business degree who helped write regulations for and worked to pass the legalization amendment in Colorado, is co-owner of My 420 Tours. Starting May 1, he envisions offering more tours that would be centered on three to four big events in the state.
Brown also wants to lead tours that will educate people about how marijuana is regulated and school them in the use of medical marijuana too.
"It's not our goal to poke a finger in the eye of government," Brown said Monday. "We're out to follow the rules."
Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 in November that allows anyone older than 21, residents and non-residents, to use or possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
What effect might that have on the state's $9-billion tourism industry? Al White, director of the Colorado Tourism Office, told the Denver Post: "There's way too much to see and do in Colorado to use marijuana tourism as a platform for marketing our state."
Brown, however, says pot tourism is an inevitability. He said there's much excitement around the first tour his company has scheduled and how Denver will be celebrating its first 4/20 since marijuana became legal.
News of the tour was picked up by many media outlets in early April around the same time the Colorado governor launched a campaign to "build a brand for Colorado" by asking residents for ideas on how to market the state. Making Colorado starts the conversation by asking "What makes Colorado Colorado?"
Now, getting high might be among the responses.
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