Commentary by Mitch Santell
The ability to look back at your history puts you in a unique place called perspective. For anyone who is a baby boomer (my generation) or others afterward, it still is a fantastic shift how common Cannabis is in California. What you are about to read is really happening, I didn’t make this up!
Happy Wednesday to all my readers and followers.
By Hugo Martin
The Los Angeles Times
In Napa and Sonoma, tour bus operators ferry wine lovers between tasting rooms and vineyards. In Hollywood and environs, they shepherd the starstruck past the homes of the rich and famous.
Now they’re giving customers a mind-expanding look at one of Los Angeles’ burgeoning industries: pot.
Since recreational use of marijuana became legal a year ago, a pot tourism business has emerged, taking visitors behind the scenes of California’s estimated $7 billion cannabis industry.
“Every other day it seems another tour company is popping up,” said Lauren Jones, who owns Weedology, a cannabis tour company based in Los Angeles. “It’s like a gold rush.”
Each pot tour company has its own points of interest, generally including a grow facility, a bong maker or accessory retailers and a marijuana dispensary, where visitors can get joint-rolling lessons. Expect product discounts, but not freebies. And some tours allow smoking on board, for those so inclined.
Tours are priced between $40 and $200 a person, depending on the length of the trip, the stops and other features.
Starting this month, L.A.-based Green Tours is adding an itinerary that includes a pot-smoking session with weed-loving ‘70s movie legend, Tommy Chong. That tour is priced at $149 a person, owner Gene Grozovskiy said.
Grozovskiy’s father thought his son was nuts when he announced plans to quit his full-time job as a patient placement coordinator at a large Los Angeles hospital to start a marijuana tour company.
“At first pops was like, ‘You want to do what kind of tours?”’ Grozovskiy, 35, recalled. “He thought I was just being silly.”
Other tour company owners also come with respectable pedigrees and want to hop on what they see as a profitable future in recreational cannabis.
Jones, who works as a resources specialist at Los Angeles Unified School District, launched Weedology tours in February as a part-time gig that she hopes can eventually grow to a full-time job.
Ed Legarda is a tech-industry consultant who started Green Line Trips in January. It primarily offers tours on the weekends but he also hopes it will expand to daily operation.
Cannabis tourism also has caught on in other places where weed is legal, such as Colorado and Nevada. It’s part of a myriad ancillary businesses that make up the marijuana industry, including compliance consultants, cannabis testing labs, ultraviolet lighting installers, security and transportation services.
The National Cannabis Industry Assn., a trade group based in Colorado, has nearly 2,000 business as members, with about 60 percent to 70 percent of those companies providing services that don’t involve selling marijuana, spokesman Morgan Fox said.
“We have seen an explosion of businesses related to cannabis,” he said.
Nationwide, the sale of cannabis directly or indirectly employed an estimated 170,000 full-time workers in 2017, according to a study by the Arcview Group, an Oakland-based firm for investors in the marijuana industry. That number is expected to grow to more than 467,000 full-time workers in 2022, the firm estimates.
Read more here: https://bit.ly/2QSYNsW
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