California’s recreational cannabis market is just getting started, but innovative entrepreneurs are already creating new experiences where people can enjoy cannabis together. One exciting new trend in cannabis recreation is wine and cannabis tours. These fun bus tours visit California’s best regions for growing both marijuana and wine. And they usually involve traditional wine tastings at vineyards or wineries, along with cannabis education, tastings and dispensary visits.
Cannabis and wine tours are a fantastic way to learn more about how each crop is grown, produced and enjoyed. They’re also a fun outing for those who like to consume wine and cannabis. If you live in California or are taking a trip to the Golden State, this is one of the best ways to explore wine and cannabis country.
If you’re thinking about taking a tour, we’ve got you covered with the details. Here are some of the best cannabis and wine tour options in California:
To better understand the cannabis-and-wine-tour phenomenon, I decided to take a tour myself. So, I booked tickets for a wine and weed tour hosted by Cannabis Tours. The $99 ticket for a four-hour experience included tastings at two wineries, a dispensary visit, lunch, and a fair bit of snacks and drinks. Cannabis wasn’t included (and due to state laws, can’t be provided as part of the ticket price on any of these tours), but there were opportunities to purchase and enjoy cannabis during the trip.
The tour began with a welcome reception at the Cannabis Creative in Oakland, and from the very first moment, cannabis was in the air. Tour-goers mingled and enjoyed cannabis they’d brought from home. We were offered glasses of cannabidiol (CBD)-infused wine while we waited for our tour bus to arrive.
Soon, we filed into the luxurious party bus and took our seats. The atmosphere on the bus was infused with a sense of excitement as we started on our tour. Cannabis-themed party tunes played through the sound speakers. And almost as soon as we pulled out onto the road, joints, pipes and bongs were passed around the bus. Since the driver was in a separate compartment up front and sealed off from the smoke, we were able to use the bus as a cannabis consumption zone throughout the trip.
The tour-goers themselves were diverse in terms of age, race and gender, but most seemed to be experienced with cannabis. Almost everyone was already set up with their own array of cannabis options to enjoy or share. Most seemed to be delighted with the chance to consume cannabis in a fun setting with others.
Still, one individual seemed to be having a hard time with the level of smoke that was accumulating in the bus, coughing and frequently asking if more air could be circulated. While the environment was quite comfortable for someone like myself who’s an experienced cannabis patient, the bus portion of this tour might be too overwhelming for those sensitive to smoke, or new to cannabis.
Our first stop on the tour was at Magnolia Wellness, a cannabis dispensary and lounge in Oakland. This was where we had the chance to purchase cannabis, listen to a brief educational talk about the plant and vaporize cannabis extracts in the lounge.
Then it was off to our first winery, Trek Winery in Novato. We had lunch at Trek as well as a tasting of up to five wines, along with an optional educational tour of the winery. Guests strolled around the beautiful winery space and open seating area, eating and sampling wine at their own pace.
Next, we went to Riggers Loft, a venue in Richmond that hosts four wineries along with a cider maker. At Riggers Loft, we were brought to a special section with reserved tables and had a guided tasting. As we were served one wine from each of the Riggers Loft wineries (and a cider from their cider maker), winemakers described their products and shared their creative process.
We then returned to the Cannabis Creative and concluded the tour.
Overall, this tour was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, especially for someone who enjoys cannabis and values the ability to consume during travel times. On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend this for folks new to cannabis, as they’d likely find the smoky bus overwhelming.
If cruising along in a smoky bus doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, but you’re still interested in taking a cannabis and wine tour, don’t worry; we have the perfect tour for you. The Sonoma County Experience offers a tour that’s full of cannabis education, but doesn’t include any cannabis consumption.
At $268 per person, this tour is pricier than the one put on by Cannabis Tours, but it lasts a bit longer and takes you further out into the countryside.
The experience starts in San Francisco where passengers are picked up by bus and driven into Sonoma County, a region known for both its wine and cannabis. The tour currently includes lunch, drinks and snacks along with tastings and wine education at three wineries. There’s also a dispensary stop where folks can learn all about cannabis and even purchase some marijuana products.
Jared Giammona, the founder of the Sonoma County Experience, says that they plan to transition soon to a model that exchanges one of the winery visits for a trip to an active cannabis farm. On the farm, people would be able to see an actual cannabis grow, and learn about the agricultural similarities between wine and cannabis.
If the tours already covered here sound a bit too hectic for your taste, another option is the cannabis tours hosted by Sea of Green Tours & Events.
With a price tag of $189 per person, these six- to eight-hour tours take you either to Sonoma County or the Santa Cruz mountains for a wine and cannabis experience. On this tour, rather than bouncing from spot to spot, the bus takes you to only one location for cannabis and another for wine.
The tour starts at a dispensary, where participants can stock up on cannabis for their bus trip. Then the tour heads to a vineyard where everyone can relax for the day. At the vineyard, folks are treated to a luxurious picnic of local seasonal foods, a wine tasting and a cannabis sensory evaluation—a type of cannabis tasting.
If you prefer to take your time and enjoy being in a relaxed and beautiful venue, this tour may be the best choice for you.
Planning to take a cannabis and wine tour yourself? There are plenty great options to choose from. Just be sure to consider your own needs and preferences when you choose a tour, and you’ll set yourself up for a great day.
Photo credit: Elle Hughes