Step aside vineyard, distillery, and brewery tours, cannabis tours are the newest thing to hit the industry—at least in states where recreational marijuana is legal.
In California, you’ll find a variety of fun tours and excursions centered around marijuana. Farms visits, dispensary hopping, trips to technician labs or edible factories, and much more are now fun and educational outing options for a long weekend or vacation. So, if you’re looking for the best San Francisco cannabis tours, you’ve come to the right place!
Read on for the top 3 tour companies in Frisco, what makes them great, and what they’re doing right to cater to the growing popularity of cannabis tours. We’ll also go over what to consider if you plan on starting your own cannabis tour company. Let’s get started!
Top 3 Marijuana Tours In San Francisco
In legal states—and more specifically California—marijuana-focused events and activities are becoming increasingly trendy and creative. From learning how to cook with weed, to the new weed smoking variation of the Sip and Paint nights, there are fresh options and ideas popping up all over the place. Within the popular weed-centered concepts, cannabis tours are quickly becoming a favorite for those who want to try new products or learn more about the culture, industry, and steps involved in the seed-to-sale process.
Currently, 11 states in the U.S. allow marijuana to be purchased for recreational purposes—and this number continues to grow. With new laws being passed permitting adult-use weed, entrepreneurs are jumping at the opportunity to get involved in the 92 billion dollar industry in any way they can. Weed-infused experiences like bus tours, cooking classes, and tours of growing operations, dispensaries, and processing plants are emerging all over states like California and Colorado. Locals and tourists alike enjoy these experiences as a unique way to spend their free time.
From San Francisco cannabis walking tours to farm excursions, here are the top 3 companies that offer marijuana-focused tours and adventures around town.
#3 Green Guide Tours
Green Guide Marijuana Tours claims to offer the first-ever Bud Crawl—an affordable San Francisco cannabis walking tour where guests that are 21 years old and over are taken around the city to explore the best marijuana lounges.
Why they’re successful!
Aside from their affordable prices, what makes Green Guide Tours stand out is their commitment to decreasing the stigma around marijuana by educating their guests about the history, science advancements, culture, and positive changes happening in the cannabis industry.
In addition to their walking tour, they also offer a bus tour for more sightseeing. Throughout their tours you’ll get to check out some of the best dispensaries and lounges in the city, all while debunking rumors and false beliefs about cannabis.
For more information about their tours, pricing, and history, check out their website here.
#2 Mendocino Tours
Mendocino Tours provides two cannabis excursion options in San Fran. First, they offer the San Francisco Cannabis Tour that starts at $99.99 for those 21+. The event is 3.5 hours of touring award-winning shops and lounges, where you’ll learn about the origins of cannabis, the history within California, the biology behind it, cultivation processes, and more.
The second Mendocino Tour option is their Cannabis Farm Tour, which starts with some bud tasting at a local cannabis dispensary, followed up by an afternoon of cannabis education. You’ll learn all about the plant’s cultivation process at a legal marijuana farm in gorgeous Mendocino County. From indoor and outdoor growing, to how to stay legally compliant, you’ll discover what it takes to run a successful grow-op. This tour has a 2-person minimum and costs $210/pp.
Why they’re successful!
The great thing about this company is that their tours are not only fun and entertaining but extremely informative as well. With both of the two tour options, you’ll walk away with newfound knowledge and a memorable day in the books. The farm experience itself is worthwhile to those who are more curious about the operations side of cannabis and want to know more about the industry. Even if you aren’t a cannabis user, you’ll be sure to gain valuable insights and knowledge from Mendocino Tours’ experienced staff.
To learn more about these tours, or to purchase your tickets, check out their website here.
#1 Emerald Farm Tours
Emerald Farm Tours lands as our top pick because, well, they deserve it. They’ve even been recognized as “one of the best marijuana tours in the US” by Lonely Planet.
Emerald Farm Tours offers a great selection of excursions. From multi-day adventures to weed and wine tasting tours, it seems they have something for everyone (21+, of course). On the lower end, their San Francisco cannabis walking tour will run you $95/pp, while, on the other side of the spectrum, one of their multi-day tours costs $2495/pp. They also have a wide variety of tour options between those two.
Why they’re successful!
With many trip options, Emerald Farm Tours offers something unique for both locals and visitors. Whether you want to live the high life while touring the best dispensaries and brands in a limo, or you want to learn about growing marijuana in California, their team has something for every type of recreational consumer or cannapreneur.
Created by industry veterans, Emerald focuses on teaching their customers about the cannabis industry, how the seed-to-sale process works, the difference between strains, and so much more.
To find the tour that suits you best, head to their website here.
Cannabis Tours as a Business Venture
Cannabis tours are still fairly new, which makes now the perfect time to take advantage of the minimal competition in the San Francisco area. If you think that starting a tour company would be a great business venture, there is a growing opportunity! While opening a marijuana tour company has its benefits, it is also important to note that there are some key aspects to consider before you take the plunge.
If you’ve been wanting to establish a cannabusiness for a while but haven’t quite figured out which part of the marijuana supply chain you’d like to be involved in, starting a tour company would be a great way to get involved without having to go through all of the legalities surrounding the physical handling of weed. Since your company won’t be directly engaged in the processing of cannabis, you get to bypass some of the licenses, hurdles, and other steps that growers, producers, retail businesses, or testing labs have to encounter. Opening a tour company gets you into the industry—but through a different kind of door—and gives people a fun, entertaining, and educational weed-focused experience.
Factors to Consider Before Starting Your Tour Company
To run a successful marijuana tour company in San Francisco, there are some questions and factors you’ll need to consider before getting started. For instance, marijuana growing is seasonal so you’ll need to make sure you have enough tour options to run your business year-round. You’ll also need to make connections with reputable growers, clone nurseries in California, dispensary and lounge owners, processors, and lab operators to negotiate details about how they can participate in the tour and what the compensation would look like.
While you’re networking and making connections to start your venture, don’t forget to consider some very important questions such as:
How do you want your tour company to be perceived; will you cater to tourists, locals, or both, like Emerald Farm Tours?
Will you have tours that a more recreational-focused? Or will you focus on activities that are more for educational purposes?
How long will your tours be and how much will you charge? What are the laws surrounding the cannabis industry that may affect your company?
Do you have all of your licenses ready to run your business?
How will your customers be transported? Will you run walking tours, bus tours, or others? Don’t forget about the insurance that goes along with transportation too.
Remember that to thrive as a cannabis tour operator, having the tour perfectly planned and scheduled, employees hired and educated, and licenses in place before you start is key. Once you have everything pinned down, you can start marketing your business and booking tours!
Thanks to the legalization of weed in California, hosting marijuana tours in San Francisco can be an extremely lucrative and exciting business venture for any budding cannabis entrepreneur who wants to get involved in the industry. If you do decide that starting a tour company would be worth your while, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. You can learn from your current competitors like Green Guide, Mendocino, or Emerald Farm Tours and base your offerings around what is popular. Of course, we recommend adding your own twist to it too, but it seems that the combination of recreational and educational excursions is resonating well with consumers. People are gravitating towards events where they can learn more about cannabis while also enjoying and trying new types of products.
We wish you the best of luck with your San Francisco cannabis tour company! The marijuana sector continues to thrive and provides tons of opportunities—all you have to do is be willing to take that leap of faith and try something new!
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