McKINLEYVILLE – Come this fall, tourists and curious locals may be able to hop in a van, visit local cannabis farms, purchase primo bud and soak up Humboldt County’s multi-generational marijuana culture during day-long tours.
McKinleyville entrepreneur Matt Kurth is launching Humboldt Cannabis Tours, which promises “to provide the most fun, educational and authentic cannabis experience available.”
“It’s like wine tours, but cannabis,” Kurth said.
Tourists will be able to see how Humboldt County’s No. 1 cash crop is grown and will have an opportunity to sample the wares.
But before the THC-infused agri-tourism can begin, Kurth needs to obtain a special permit from the Humboldt County Planning Commission, which is tentatively scheduled to consider the matter sometime in August. If the permit is approved, Kurth will then need to obtain a transportation permit from the state to operate the tour van.
After that, he’ll be ready to roll.
Kurth’s background lends itself to the new enterprise. A 2009 graduate of Chico State with a bachelor of arts degree in recreation administration, Kurth has worked as a river guide and he’s been a cannabis enthusiast since he was a teenager.
Forming a cannabis tour company “for me was kind of natural – my profession and my passion.”
The tours will be geared to people 21 years old and older, he said. Younger participants would need to have a medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor as well as a parental chaperon.
Although Kurth is still working out the details, he’s produced a sample itinerary.
Participants would be picked up in the morning at their hotel, or at the Arcata Welcome Center or might meet at a local, licensed dispensary.
The tourists would sign wavers and receive gift bags containing a pipe, a lighter, rolling papers, an empty bud jar, a water bottle and other promotional items.
They would get an important talk on proper dosing, so they don’t accidentally get too high and ruin the trip for themselves. They would also learn about where they legally can and cannot partake.
The guests would then be brought to a dispensary, where they would get a tour and learn about the cannabis products available for sale.
Next stop: A glass shop, where they would learn about the different types of glass pot smoking pipes and other cutting-edge cannabis consumption technology.
By then, the happy tourists would probably have an appetite, so it would be off to a local restaurant, or maybe to a cannabis farm for an outdoor gourmet picnic with locally made beer and wine.
Kurth said participants would visit various farms and marijuana production facilities before heading back to the starting point to end the tour.
The tour would have a designated driver and a separate guide, who would educate people about cannabis farming and the local culture and who would be able to enjoy cannabis products with the guests.
At first, Kurth will serve as the guide, but he would like to eventually employ cannabis growers themselves.
“I really want experienced, authentic guides,” he said.
Unlike other places in the United States, such as Denver, Colo., now offering similar tours, Humboldt County has something unique to offer – multi-generational growers
“We have generations of cannabis stories here, with lore and myths,” he said.