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This Ranch Wants to Set a New Standard for Marijuana Tourism

Award-winning weed meets high-quality destination

Award-winning weed meets high-quality destination

The Colorado Cannabis Ranch is a lot like a vineyard: you can tour the grounds, take in the views, enjoy a farm-to-table meal, and maybe even hear some live music. But, unlike a winery, you can also step into the on-site dispensary to buy a little of the green stuff.

Colorado’s first “weedery” is set to open in Denver next fall, cashing in on the growing industry of “weed tourism." The $35 million project is headed by Christian Hageseth, the founder of the Green Man Cannabis (a High-Times award winning grower), and author of Big Weed: An Entrepreneur’s High Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business. In addition to an amphitheater, restaurant, and dispensary, it will offer a grow tour designed to demystify some of the unknowns about the recreational pot industry.

“Why open a ‘weedery’? The first part of that answer is: because we can,” said Hageseth. “It’s legal, it’s unique, and we feel compelled to act on it.”

But the second part of the answer, focused more on education and awareness, speaks to the prejudices surrounding recreational marijuana, which was legalized in the state in 2012. “We are doing it to set a new standard for the nascent and evolving marijuana industry,” Hageseth said. “There is a better way to do this business and we believe ours is the better way.”
        
Hageseth said the ranch hasn’t received much backlash from pot dissenters but still required “lots of special permissions from the state” to open. Even with those permissions, visitors won’t be able to consume cannabis on the grounds—although there’s a ballot initiative in Denver aiming to change that. If it passes, visitors would be legally allowed to smoke at the rooftop bar and amphitheater. But if it doesn’t, Hageseth said visitors can still expect to tour and purchase a high-quality herb. (Hageseth’s Green Man Cannabis has won two “Cannabis Cups”—the highest award in the industry.)

As for how this would work outside of Colorado: Hageseth’s already looking at opening weederies in Nevada, Massachusetts, and California once the time—and legal climate—is right.

Filed To: Culture / Colorado
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

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(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.

Plaza2Peak

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(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.