It’s not every day I find myself staring down the barrel of a four-foot-long bong. So, when I came face-to-face with a glass beast at the Sour Glass warehouse in National City, I knew that, as the CannaBitch, I was going to have to test it out.
I was there thanks to West Coast Cannabis Tours, a local company that has been running tours to various dispensaries and cannabis-oriented businesses for over a year now (before Jan. 1, for medical patients).
The giant bong was one thing, but the company provides guests with much more than just a good time.
“We really do try to focus on education,” said Todd Green, who co-owns the company with his wife, Amanda, as we were riding in one of the company’s limousine buses. Between each of the stops, the enthusiastic-but-not-corny tour guides were on the mic, informing guests of the differences between Indica and Sativa. They explained how THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, and described the science behind terpenes, trichomes and other things many smokers have no clue about.
This particular tour, called the “Complete Cannabis Experience,” makes four stops: the March and Ash dispensary in Mission Valley (2835 Camino del Rio S. #100), Sour Glass’ warehouse in National City, the MedMen dispensary in Kearny Mesa (5125 Convoy St. #211) and a live growing demonstration by Green Carpet Growing back at the tour’s home base, which is an industrial park in Scripps Ranch.
On the West Coast Cannabis Tours Bus
A cool $99 will get patrons on the bus. An extra $20 will get them a goodie bag that includes a nice, chode-esque glass pipe, a vape battery and charger, some coupons, stickers, a lighter and a glass mouthpiece used for blunts and joints. Though there are no freebies and riders pay for any desired cannabis products along the way, each stop comes with discounts embedded.
Normally, I hate tours. I don’t like forced socialization nor do I like the feeling of being trapped. Add weed to that equation, a substance that often makes me get weird and go silent, and I should have expected disaster. I was wrong. I got way too stoned, but that was my own fault, and despite that, I found this to be a genuinely fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, as I learned more than I expected to. For example, if one wants to pacify a group of stoned adults for upwards of 30 minutes, one should plop them in front of a live glass blowing demo at Sour Glass wherein an entire bong is created. I was so mesmerized I even bought a bong, something I have never felt I needed before.
I also discovered that smoking out of the aforementioned four-foot-long bong, no matter how small of a hit I tried to take, rendered me exceptionally, albeit unsurprisingly, stoned. I’m talking sunglasses-on, mute-for-an-hour, high-as-fuck status. Since I forgot my lunch, I shamefully dug into the junk food box, inhaling Pringles and Reeses at light speed. I also bought THC lube, re-upped my favorite vape cartridge (Select’s Pineapple Jack oil) and bought flower at both dispensaries.
This tour really is one-size-fits-all. It’s perfect for enthusiasts, as one gets insider access to high-quality cannabis businesses. It’s also ideal for tourists—like the groups on my tour from South Africa, New York and Arkansas—for whom the novelty of legally purchasing cannabis is exciting. It’s also good for the casual user curious about what the hell has been going on in this county since Jan. 1.
My only suggestion? Pack a sandwich. Or three.
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