Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Visit Mendocino County Taps Into $1.7 Billion U.S. Cannabis Tourism Niche

The following is a press release from Visit Mendocino County:

[Stock image from Pixabay.com]

It’s a budding industry and one that tourism destinations are quickly cultivating given legal cannabis sales in the U.S., are projected to hit $37 billion in 2024*. Just as wine turned California into a tourism hotspot, legal cannabis and tourism-related experiences are certain to blow the roof off. A key player in Northern California’s legendary Emerald Triangle, Visit Mendocino County stands ready to showcase its world-class cache. Due to the region’s unique terroir and diverse microclimates – the county’s cannabis and CBD products – coupled with Trinity and Humboldt counties – represent the largest cannabis-producing region in the United States. Not surprisingly, cannabis is Mendocino County’s top cash crop, ringing in at $131 million with 290 acres of licensed cultivation+. https://www.visitmendocino.com/canna-curious/.

Forbes estimates cannabis tourism is now a $1.7 billion industry and California’s “bud basket” is ripe for the take. “With 68% of Americans supporting adult use and half of millennials noting access to legal recreational cannabis as important when choosing a vacation destination, luring this new market is key to smoking the competition,*” says Travis Scott, Executive Director of Visit Mendocino County.

Whether seeking to reconnect, ramp up wellness, boost creativity or chill in an ancient grove of redwoods, cannabis-related tourism is on the uptick. Travelers are seeking out more than just a novel dispensary. Like the wine enthusiast hooked on VIP vineyard tours, estate tastings, wine education and food and beverage pairings, cannabis lovers want experiences that are equally alluring, especially paired when with luxury offerings that differentiate a destination.


From a cannabis-forward stay at the sleek Madrones paired with a micro-dosed seven-course meal at the Brambles, to a private 20-acre camp tucked deep in the ancient redwoods, Mendocino has a diverse line-up of options for canna-curious travelers. Slip into the stars via a private deck and spa at the MacCallum House, set in the village of Mendocino. Here the “Everything But the Bud” package includes all the accoutrements for imbibing – along with delivery service – and the freedom to enjoy in an elevated hot tub. In Hopland, The Thatcher Hotel steps up with a contemporary minimalist décor and plenty of cannabis opportunities. Next door, MendoCann dispensary offers a selection of top-grade locally-grown green, including the popular Super Loud Farms Watermelon Mimosa. Pack it back for a smoke in the Thatcher’s alfresco lounge, paired with classic craft Penicillin cocktail and wash the day away.

Tucked in Philo, surrounded by vineyards and towering redwoods, the Madrones and Brambles hit the sweet spot when it comes to a canna-cation with a culinary slant. The new Cannabis Tasting & Tour Weekends include a private tour to the legacy five-acre Sugar Hill farm, lodging and a cannabis-forward repast curated by San Francisco chef Bronson Macomber of Plato Verde Social Club. www.themadrones.comwww.maccallumhouse.comwww.thatcherhotel.com.

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If wide, open spaces are a must-have, pack the posse to Yokayo Ranch, set on 40 gracious acres outside of Ukiah. Here a cannabis-forward private retreat awaits, with the slogan “leave all judgments at the door – unwind, reset and reconnect.” Three types of lodgings – a 1950s Main House, Bunk House and Pool Cabanas – make for a comfortable stay for 29 guests. The property includes the working Yokayo Roots Farm, a salt water pool, hot tub, alfresco firepit and kitchen, and plenty of room to smoke and saunter. www.yokayoranch.com.

Seeking a full out rendezvous with Mother Nature? Head north to Willits and command the 20-acre Emerald Triangle’s Cannabis Friendly Tent Camping site is ideal for an extended family reconnect or “hiking-while-high” forest bathing enthusiasts, the 160-acre property is owned by legacy cannabis homesteaders and stewards of the land. Pop over to the Sunday farmer’s market in Laytonville for top-shelf bud. https://www.hipcamp.com/en-US/discover/california/cannabis-friendly-tent-camping.


How else can one toke and travel in Mendocino County? How about a “Puff & Paint” session or getting “baked fresh daily” at Fort Bragg’s The Bakery, featuring artisanal cannabis products presented in bakery-style display cases. In Ukiah, visitors can tap into the Plantshop for a stash of local sun-grown herb or a medicated yoga session. On site, a spacious half-acre Consumption Lounge provides a safe and communal environment for imbibing.

If the urge suits, slip into the Puff & Paint sessions every Wednesday at 4:20 p.m. Nearby, the Compassionate Heart – original home of the $5 pre-roll – offers a standout selection of local green, along with a playful alfresco smoke lounge. For a collective high, check out Kure Wellness, with three outposts, offering a hip, shaded smoke lounge and locally sourced product. Farther north, Willits is home to the Cannabis Culture Museum, offering 50+ years of insight and ephemera on the ancient use of marijuana as medicine, hemp culture, cannabis counter culture and more (by appointment).

Other key regional romps include a visit to the Bohemian Chemist in wine-centric Anderson Valley. This is the luxury stop with a bespoke line-up of notions and potions set in a vintage Art Deco apothocary. Focused on sun-grown cannabis, edibles and tinctures – with a well-appointed Oak Terrace consumption lounge and two adjacent wine tasting venues. Stock pile Bohemian Chemist’s signature house products, as well as other small craft brands like Professor Snooks. www.thebohemianchemist.com.


What Napa was to wine, Mendocino is to California cannabis. Two new tours take visitors behind the emerald curtain for an inside look into the legacy cultivation and offer a solid schooling on what makes this region’s green so spectacular. The Northern California Cannabis Tour’s Mendocino Experience offers a four+ hour guided tour that dips deep into the Redwood Valley with a visit to a fully-operating sun-grown cannabis farm and heirloom cultivation nursery. Meet the master grower and enjoy an afternoon of bud-tasting by the koi ponds while wandering among the crops for the ultimate Instagram post. www.mendoexperience.com; $420.00/2 people.

From Mendocino’s interior to the sharp contrast of Anderson Valley, a wine region sporting top-shelf Pinot Noir, sparkling and dry Alsatian-style wines, Emerald Farm Tours offers a different slice of nirvana. Tuck in for the Mendocino County Cannabis Trail, starting with a luxury Mercedes Sprinter bus arriving deep in the Mendocino redwoods for a hillside “weed walk” with a host grower, followed by a box lunch in the forest. www.emeraldfarmtours.com; $695.00/per person.

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  1. The Land of Wine, Weed, & Short-term Rentals
    Have we finally found our place in the scheme of things?
    Pursuit of inebriants seems hardwired into the human psyche.
    Capitalism takes care of the details.

  2. “What Napa was to wine, Mendocino is to California cannabis.”

    Ridiculous. Napa still is to wine, and so is Mendocino County. Wine lovers are in the main middle to upper class, The often drive BMW’s and Teslas. There are exceptions, but stoners usually drive used cars, bikes, or hitch hike, and often toke up to escape the reality of their existence. Unless, they suffer from any known terminal illness, in which case, according to cannabis hype, they can be miraculously cured. Did my tax money pay for this silly PR promo instead of going to my crappy, county road?

    • That’s incredibly black and white, and incorrect. Plenty of families are torn apart by nice car driving wine drinkers. Alcohol is incredibly horrible, available everywhere from grocery stores to baby showers.The stoners I know don’t crash their cars or regret what they say the next day.
      Both are mind altering substances. Both aren’t food. Both could bring money to this area.
      One is grown along the freeways freely. One is grown sorta hidden on the mountain tops, and ‘frowned upon’.
      Personally I think we should be growing communal food but that’s a pipe dream I guess.
      Peace, from a non pot growing, but pot smoking, successful adult with a job and a 2019 Toyota sienna with heated seats🤑
      And I agree, they need to fix the roads.

      • And, our county government should stop spending an inordinate amount of time and money on cannabis. Unfortunately and realistically, it’s a dying business. $200 to $400 a pound with some wholesalers returning product due to a flooded market? Also, I can’t think of the last time the county offered any kind of assistance to loggers or commercial fisherman. In fact it was never.

  3. If you cant get a job as a logger rite now in Mendocino county, then go to the East coast; then you can get hired to come cut all of our trees and any hope of ever ending this drought, too!

  4. What a sad, sad, joke on the Mendocino County taxpayers. The BOS is spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on their taxpayer funded marijuana programs including regulatory, compliance, advertisement, and LEO claiming all this money in taxed marijuana will roll in but, it hasn’t and it won’t. The jokes on us. The untaxed black market marijuana is stronger than ever. The taxes that are collected don’t even cover 10% of the cost the BOS is spending on this pipe dream. The BOS continues to find new ways to tax the actual working class taxpayers of this county to fund the non taxpayers lifestyle choice.

  5. I’ve been in dispensaries across the state and boarding states. Let me help you out – No one cares about your Mendocino weed. No one even knows what the emerald triangle is anymore. No one cares! I’ve been told by numerous “budtenders” — “weed is everywhere”. Jokes on all you dumbies.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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