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Pot Picks: Cannabis enters the mainstream, joining forces with travel, tourism and arts to draw a different clientele.

Photo courtesy of Natasha Winkler

Photo courtesy of Natasha Winkler

While recreational Marijuana passed by voters back in 2012, the cannabis lifestyle has been distinguishing itself far beyond that. With each season, a new wave of culture rolls through exemplifying pot’s recreational context. Summer sun beating down, a gentle evening breeze, beautiful mountain backdrop and a doobie to top it off.

It has become a new time in the age of mainstream cannabis integration, clearly displayed by the growing cannabis sub industry. In Colorado, there is the ability to utilize transportation services by which you and your guests can take a tour of dispensaries, enjoy cannabis on the way to an event or a night out on the town, attend cannabis events, activities and classes geared toward consumers and business professionals, order a catered meal to be paired with specific strains and even stay at lodging that prides themselves on being cannabis friendly. Whether you’re loud and proud with your pot enjoyment or more reserved, Summer Pot is sure to fill your idea folder with ways to enjoy this summer.

The first ever Cannabis Wedding Expo took place in February 2017 in Littleton, Colo. and brought cannabis event vendors and couples seeking a canna-theme to their wedding together. From venues to flowers and food to transportation, this expo is one we hope to look forward to happening annually! If you can’t wait til next year’s expo there are companies that can start planning your cannabis wedding today. Obviously costs vary as with any wedding planning, the choice to go big or just a little is up to the booking parties.

Two of the founders of Cannabis Wedding Expo are from Irie Weddings and Events, a full scale planning company that also does other events with several options of planning involvement. Just as recreational marijuana passed in Colorado, the union of Buds & Blossoms and Cannabis Concierge created the ultimate cannabis event planning network. The co-founders, Bec Koop and Madlye Kelly both had their own expertise to bring to the company and make it flourish. Of course prices depend on how much or how little you want them to work out the details for your special event. With planning packages ranging from $200-$3,000 there seems to be an option for every budget and event style. You can visit irieweddingsandevents.com and check out their selection of vendors, services and packages.

Colorado Cannabis Tours has revolutionized the one stop shop for cannabis friendly fun. The founders, Michael Eymer and Heidi Keyes joined forces in 2015, creating a cannabis tourism hub. Mike came from a family of entrepreneurs and carried a background of horticulture and public relations. His skill set uniquely positioned him to get on board the growing cannabis market. At the end of 2013, Heidi considered starting a cannabis painting class based on a concept similar to the alcohol and painting version some are familiar with. After a mock sale on Facebook filled up faster than she expected, she knew she had something. Keyes began hosting the Puff, Pass & Paint events at her home and upon collaboration with Colorado Cannabis Tours, business quickly grew and concepts expanded from there. Her genuine passion for arts and cannabis culture created a network for local artists to come together and with Eymer’s public relations background and tourism integration, the opportunity grew quickly. The activities and events available are ever-expanding  just as the cannabis culture is. With the creation of CannabisTours.com, their joint effort has now expanded the company into eight states.

With a multitude of services, events and partner companies, Colorado Cannabis Tours has become a valuable resource for locals and tourists alike. The activities and classes offered through Colorado Cannabis Tours include a wide selection of art based opportunities like painting, cross-stitch, writing, fireworking, cooking and even a self-care class entitled Puff, Pass & Pamper. Costs range from $25 – $149 aside from the 3-day intensive pipemaking class that is $399. They also offer full vacation packages with transportation and lodging in Denver, Winter Park and Boulder that are paired with classes, events and tours. When Eymer’s partnership with Denver’s Adagio was undercut by investors from New York, he “knew it was time to push hard to find new lodging partnerships,” Eymer said. Success followed him after consistent dedication and endurance . Their offerings will continue to grow as they are always open to adding new local artists and events. Keyes emphasized her passion stating,  “I really just love being able to offer local artists an opportunity”.

They truly are riding the wave and setting the foundation for cannabis recreation and customer service. For more information on Puff, Pass & Paint you can visit the website puffpassandpaint.com. To check out the other great offerings in Colorado, visit ColoradoCannabisTours.com and if you’re looking to enjoy the growing cannabis tourism industry, check out CannabisTours.com.

If you’re looking for something with more physical activity, the second annual Four-Twenty Games is coming to Boulder, Colo. July 23, 2017 at Boulder Reservoir the day after it hits Denver. Created with the mission of breaking the stereotype of a lazy stoner, Jim McAlpine is looking to establish a new perception of cannabis and its users by hosting athletic events, encouraging responsible cannabis use and athlete recovery with the use of cannabis products.The event tour for 2017 hits eight locations in six states with its combination of time in nature, beer tasting, standup comedy, music and cannabis industry informational speakers from various sides of the cannabis business. The event begins with a 4.20 mile fun-run where you can choose to walk, jog or skate around the reservoir. Following that, there will be beer tasting, standup comedy, music and exhibitors. With an early bird special pricing of $30, this event is affordable, fun and informational. Four-Twenty Game’s cannabis use statement asks that anyone using cannabis before, during or after the games do so responsibly and legally. Support the destigmatizing surrounding the cannabis user by participating in this year’s event.

Another field blazing offering derives from Rachael Carlevale, founder of Ganjasana. Her entry into the cannabis realm was natural following the concept of plant medicine that harkens back to ancient times. She states that she simply reinvigorated this concept and is assisting bringing back this indigenous philosophy to modern times. With an amazing healing story of her own, including uterine cancer, the use of holistically developed cannabis and yoga, Carlevale had found her true calling. Now with the aim to create transformational experiences where individuals can gain new insight into how to build a healthy relationship with the cannabis plant and with themselves; she has set up prime opportunities to share this experience with others. The first public class on April 20, 2016 was a huge success, where she received overwhelming support from the community. Ganjasana became a modern term on ancient practices. Her measurement of success lies not with turnout, profit or recognition, but with the experience of her students and their healing.

“From a personal standpoint, I regard success from the outcome of the individuals who participate. It does not matter if I have a one-on-one session with a single student, or I am leading a full ceremony- I show up fully, and offer my whole self. If my students can find healing, I feel that I am a success in bridging the ancient and modern worlds of plant spirit medicine,” Carlevale said.

Using cannabis as a plant ally for optimal healing and well-being, Ganjasana seeks to share this ancient concept within the modern development of cannabis culture.

Earth Yoga Boulder is host to many of the classes but Ganjasana also offers online classes for those who can not join in person. There are also special events and retreats offered throughout the year. This summer in August, women can enjoy a truly one-of-a-kind experience in Pagosa Springs, Colo. at the Cannabis Queens Colorado Retreat. Women will partake in a weekend of yoga, ceremony, music and swimming, all with a cannabis twist. The Retreat sounds like a perfect way to spend a weekend while experiencing healing, sisterhood and nature. Cost runs $100-$600 for the retreat weekend. As the name states, this retreat is only for women 21 and up. Also, Ganjasana will be offering the first ever cannabis yoga teacher training this September 2017 in Colo. Email Rachael@ganjasana.com for more information or visit ganjasana.com. The Ganjasana certification will cover topics from living organic soil, permaculture, plant spirit medicine, endocannabinoid science, permaculture, yoga, shamanism, mindfulness and meditation.

If you’re looking to get more information on the business end of the growing cannabis industry, Bhang Travel offers a Caribbean cruise in October that combines a seven day excursion with the opportunity to learn from the top leading experts and professionals in the industry. The location itinerary is as follows: Miami – Jamaica – Grand Cayman – Cozumel – Nassau – Miami. By incorporating tradeshows, seminars and other learning events to the trip, this is a great way to blend fun with education. No cannabis will be consumed or distributed on this cruise (a small disappointment to me), but for those looking to get the information from the professional business side of the industry, why not do it on a Caribbean cruise? The costs are similar to other standard cruise trips running between $900-$1400 per person.

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