Emerald Triangle: The Ultimate Weed Vacation Experience

Dive into the world of cannabis tourism as we explore the transformation of California’s Emerald Triangle into a connoisseur-grade weed vacation destination. Uncover the influence of terroir on cannabis, discover international destinations for weed enthusiasts, and why California is leading the way in weed tourism.

Cannabis Tourism

In the era of cannabis legalization, the once heavily patrolled by helicopter zone known as The Emerald Triangle, is evolving into one of the most coveted and connoisseur-grade options for a weed vacation. Immerse yourself in the legendary terroir of the region with our High Guides, for a glimpse of the newly available experiences offered in the most chronic of counties.
After listening to this episode you will have a better understanding of…

  • US and international destinations that are catching on with weed enthusiasts
  • Why California is becoming the number one place in the world for weed tourism
  • The significant role of terrior on cannabis cultivars
  • Experiential cannabis opportunities to get to your right high

Episode Guests

Amanda Reimann | Personal Plants & California Cannabis Tourism
Veronica Castillo | Vee Traveling Canna Writer @veetravelingvegcannawriter
Jackie Bryant | @jacqbry

Episode Resources & Additional Reading

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Podcast Episode Full Transcription

0:00:00.4 April Pride: This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.


0:00:09.1 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: Kind of hard to put into words, but it is the place where you’re gonna disconnect and wake up the next morning like sort of different. I came back from the Emerald different.

0:00:21.3 April Pride: Welcome to The High Guide. I’m your host, April Pride. Once upon a time, not that long ago, Amsterdam was the proverbial Mecca of cannabis travel, where weed enthusiasts from all walks of life made the track to wander the city’s coffee shops, legally purchasing and consuming some of the finest flower and hash in the world. However, this birthplace of the original cannabis cup and once shining example of cannabis freedom has recently announced plans over the next year to ban tours from the cities more than 150 coffee shops. Thankfully, weed tours in the United States, also in it’s embassy is very much alive and well. Especially so in California, which brings us to our glossary term for the week, terroir, which is a word applied outside of weed, but is only gaining popularity when it comes to classifying the best cannabis. Terroir is defined as the complete natural environment where cannabis or wine or anything else you’re growing is cultivated, this includes the soil, topography and climate that collectively produces a cultivars defining taste and flavor.

0:01:26.9 April Pride: When it comes to terroir, that is as equally famous as it is infamous, the Emerald Triangle, AKA the notorious threesome of counties comprised of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity in Northern California is perhaps the region where the dankest of cannabis is cultivated, and yes, in the era of legalization, you’re invited to visit. In this episode of The High Guide we’ll explore this potent landscape with high guides that are well-traveled in the Emerald Triangle and beyond. For a glimpse into the evolving world of weed tourism and the terroir that’s keeping people coming back for more. Our guides this week include Jackie Bryant, Veronica Castillo and Amanda Reiman. To learn more about our high guides, I’m excited to announce that our website is now live, please check out the thehigh.guide where you can learn about the women we turn to on these episodes for their first-hand knowledge on all things related to getting you to your right high. You’ll note the glossary term for the week, this week, terroir, and these are words taken straight from our ever-growing glossary related to cannabis, mushrooms and other potent plants.

0:02:33.6 Amanda Reiman: In the United States, of course, we still see California has a huge destination, Palm Desert, places in SoCal and Jackie, you can definitely speak to this, have really embraced the lounge, they’ve embraced the idea of cannabis retreats, a lot of stuff going on in the desert. And then of course, I have to give a shout out to the Emerald Triangle, which is where I live. So the Emerald Triangle in Northern California, which is made up of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties, it is the kind of the traditional cannabis cultivation region of the United States, and it was also the focus of much of the prohibition era, helicopters and law enforcement around eradicating cannabis plants. So there’s a lot of history up here, and I think that that pairs very nicely with tourism. One of the things we’ve learned through the organization when we look at cannabis tourists is that, yes, they’re like wine tourist in a lot of ways, and we can talk about that, but above and beyond that they’re looking for something more than just cannabis. We call it the cannabis and experience or the cannabis pairing experience.

0:03:39.2 Amanda Reiman: So they want cannabis and hiking, or cannabis and kayaking or cannabis and a walking tour. Those of us that consume cannabis know that it enhances all of these activities. So of course, why wouldn’t you want to investigate some of the best parietals in the region where cannabis was born and then go do some beautiful nature things. So I think that those are really the opportunities that we’re seeing up here, and it’s how do we pair those experiences, and not only that, but the stories of the people who live here, who are really the pioneers of the movement and bring that into tourism. So one other program I’ll mention was actually from Brian Applegarth who founded the Cannabis Travel Association, and it’s called the Cannabis Trail, and the idea is to take people from Santa Cruz all the way through Humboldt County stopping at monuments to great moments and people in cannabis history from Dennis Peron in the Bay Area, to the hemp and cannabis farms up in Humboldt. But honoring each of these places, not only with a monument, but with a way for people to travel up the coast, visit all of these places and really get a sense of what the culture is here.

0:04:52.5 Amanda Reiman: And for cannabis consumers, I think that really it’s what they like, right? They like things that are immersive, they like things that are gonna leave them with some knowledge and something to ponder, and so using the history as a way to support that and to motivate that, I think it’s gonna be really beautiful. It’s also gonna be extremely important for the small craft farmers in these regions who don’t have the ability to do the same marketing as some of these multi-state operators and really rely on their history, their story and their craft to bolster their brand. So bringing people up to these regions to see those individuals is going to be so important to assuring the survival of them as a brand and as a farm.

0:05:36.6 April Pride: Yeah, thank you so much Amanda. I think that’s… I was laughing to myself when you were talking about “You up the coast, you can check out these monuments.” Stoners also like to be on their own schedule and not have to show up for a tour at specific time. Choose your own adventure, right? So I love the idea, that idea as well. Speaking of choose your own adventure, on your Instagram feed, you were with Humboldt Grace, and you had quite a tour. I think you were all over the Emerald Triangle, and I’d be curious what are you seeing? How are these small farmers preparing for tourism and is there anything that you’re seeing that maybe we haven’t thought of that gets us excited about driving very, very, very far north in California.

0:06:18.8 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: I just think being able to like place your feet in the cannabis Mecca is reason enough, right? Just your feet being planted in that soil is pretty life-changing. One of the best experiences I had related to cannabis travel was my stay at Sol Spirit Farm and Retreats. It’s off of a river, they have it set up with glamping and bathroom facilities on site, the farm is on site. So you get this whole immersive, historical, how the soil that they’re on produces the amazing flower, excuse me, that comes out of the region, history on the river that they’re off of. That to me was probably one of my favorite experiences. But I also stayed at that Booney Acres in Trinity County, which, gosh, it was an experience, I mean…

0:07:14.8 April Pride: What happened at Booney? Tell us about Booney. [laughter]

0:07:18.4 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: Booney Acres, it’s like magical like, okay, so the region, the whole Emerald Triangle it’s amazing right, but each county has its own… Kind of like its own vibration, so to speak. Booney Acres is in Burnt Ranch up there in Trinity, and it’s just like this massive 30-mile property that has seven water creeks and a pond and just… It was like pure magic.

0:07:49.6 April Pride: And you can check in and just explore the property and…

0:07:54.0 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: So that was the setup for [0:07:57.4] ____.

0:07:57.5 April Pride: Are there zip lines? [laughter]

0:07:57.9 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: No. Well, not yet, not yet.

0:08:00.4 April Pride: Is it that type of place? I’m trying to figure out, or is it… Okay.

0:08:02.7 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: No, it’s like one of those places you’re gonna go and you’re gonna completely just connect forcefully because there is no connection. But there’s so much connection. I didn’t come back the same. And I just spent a week up there. And so, people living there, I can… Gosh, just imagine.

0:08:18.7 April Pride: Like Amanda?

0:08:19.4 Amanda Reiman: Yeah. I’ll say, I’ve been up there four years. Let me tell you, I’m definitely not the same person who moved up here from Oakland. [laughter]

0:08:27.0 Veronica Castillo, cannabis travel writer: Yeah. Seriously, it was so… Like the most beautiful experience. But you know, even though a lot of the experiences that I didn’t sleep at farms or camp out at every farm, but it doesn’t matter. Just visiting up there to just kind of lose yourself for however long in the world of cannabis, what you’ll learn is like nothing you’ll ever read.

0:08:47.7 Jackie Bryant, journalist: It’s true, and I think those of us who are so used to being around it, sometimes we forget that everyone else, including just, you know, normal people who go work every day, come home, maybe smoke a bowl, just aren’t steeped in cannabis 24/7. They don’t think about where this stuff is grown. They don’t know, they don’t know who grows it. Many people, especially if you’re not living in a legal state, you get it from a guy either totally disconnected from the process. So to what you just said, yeah, getting in there, getting in the soil and seeing the buds on a grow for a first time, there’s literally nothing like it. I’ve been writing about cannabis for years before I finally got to experience to grow it myself, and I remember just being so blown. And I was already steeped in it, so it really is just… There’s kind of nothing like it and nothing like experiencing it at the source, and there’s not enough that can be said about visiting the triangle in particular, that’s… It’s kind of the place, right?

0:09:44.4 April Pride: Okay, the weed tourism scene in California definitely sounds like a choose your own adventure type of vibe. You can take a tour on the Cannabis Trail or have an overnight retreat as a cultivation, complete with glamping amenities, farm to table meals, and of course, a tour of the cannabis grow itself. As our High Guides emphasized, there’s something truly special when you see the plant in all its natural beauty and can put your feet in the very soil it’s growing from. These newfound freedoms at our disposal in the legalization era, such as immersing yourself in the terroir of the Emerald Triangle is more than just a worthwhile experience. It’s a weed-soaked, life-changing adventure.


0:10:25.0 April Pride: Thanks for listening to this episode of The High Guide and join me, April Pride, every Friday at 1:00 PM Pacific, in our clubhouse where we cover all things A to Z regarding plant-based pleasures. We hope you found our discussion of terroir informative and encourage you to take a deeper dive into our glossary of terms on our website, thehigh.guide. Of course, you’ll find a new episode of The High Guide every Friday. Subscribe and follow wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you’re looking to stay in closer contact, give us a follow on Instagram @thehigh.guide and subscribe to our newsletter on our website. Again, thehigh.guide. I’m April Pride, I’m your host and see you here next time, on The High Guide.

Episode Credits

Producer & Host: April Pride Audio Engineer: Nick Patri, Cloud Studios Theme music: Cheri Dub, Morris Johnson

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