There are few destinations that offer such a diversity of experiences as Los Angeles, California. It's a little overwhelming with all the things you can do or see in a week in LA in general, but now, consuming legal cannabis is one activity that can be added to your vacation itinerary — for both weed connoisseurs and the more beginner cannabis-curious.
And of course, LA is going to do legal cannabis and cannabis-friendly attractions as only LA can, precisely because it can.
Travel and cannabis in LA
Since recreational cannabis was legalized in California in 2016, local cannabis entrepreneurs have been scheming to become a sort of “Amsterdam of the West," offering visitors from around the world the opportunity to access cannabis in legal, often very high-end retail settings.
In 2022, LA expects to welcome more than 46 million international tourists. The top five global markets for Los Angeles include visitors from Mexico, China, Canada, Australia, and the UK (in that order).
Traveling consumers often have difficulty finding cannabis-friendly hotel accommodations, even in legal locations like Los Angeles. However, that may change if cannabis tourism becomes more accepted. Check out short-term rental sites like Inndica and BudandBreakfast, which will help you locate “420-friendly" accommodations in legal states to get your LA trip started on the right foot.
420-friendly destinations in LA
Here are some 420-friendly destinations and activities to try in Los Angeles.
Weed Bus LA Tours
At Weed Bus LA, visitors can book cannabis-friendly bus tours, as well as activities hosted at various facilities in Hollywood and downtown LA. Rollin Budz, the owner of Weed Bus LA, said that their most popular activity is Stoner Paint Night held at a DTLA studio. The evening includes a two-hour paint sesh with instruction, a $20 cannabis voucher, and paint supplies. Participants may bring their own cannabis or adult beverages if they wish.
Planning ahead for the autumn months in LA, Budz said that the Stoner Paint Night will include psychedelic pumpkin paintings for September and October. Two upcoming classes — Blunts & Burritos and Blunts & Sushi — will also be added to the roster as soon as Budz can find a professional blunt roller to help lead the classes.
Aside from painting, Weed Bus LA has three weed tours to choose from:
- Grow & Lounge Tour: The bus transports guests to two local indoor grow facilities where they can walk through, observe cannabis plants being cultivated, ask questions of a master grower, and receive a $20 goody bag of products. The tour can be scheduled in multiple languages, though guests with special requests should call ahead to book. Private tours can accommodate special events, like birthdays and bachelor/ette parties.
- Hollyweed & Wine Tour: Guests go on a guided walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see the stars of weed icons Snoop Dogg, Bob Marley, and local LA rappers Cypress Hill. The bus winds through West Hollywood to Beverly Hills and includes a stop at a local winery with complimentary tasting, as well as weed and wine pairings.
- Dispensary Crawl Tour: Also known as the “Friday" tour, this three-hour guided tour takes guests on a trip to historic South LA and by movie locations from 1995 stoner comedy Friday, including characters Mrs. Parker and Craig's house, which are fun backdrops for Instagram-able photos. Guests also visit Nipsey Hustle Square, a Kobe Bryant memorial mural, and Crypto.com (formerly known as Staples Center), in the heart of DTLA. A $20 cannabis voucher and penny pre-roll are included.
For visitors that would like to have their own private sesh or try new methods of consumption, Weed Bus LA — like many tour companies in other legal destinations — rents out premium cannabis gear, including gravity bongs and dab rigs.
Celebrity-owned or frequented dispensaries
Celebrity culture lives large in Los Angeles, so, it will be no surprise that several local dispensaries are owned by well-known stars from stage and screen. Some dispensaries are rock stars in their own right, featuring famous OG cannabis strains, and are frequented by famous cannabis enthusiasts.
It doesn't get more OG than legendary rapper and LA native B-Real, who owns dispensary chain Dr. Greenthumbs. The retail store, conveniently located near Los Angeles International Airport, can be the first stop on any cannabis tourist's trip into town.
Eight Dr. Greenthumbs stores are located throughout Southern California, with one San Francisco location.
Head north to trendy Melrose Avenue to cannabis chain Cookies' first LA storefront. Founded by rapper and cannabis entrepreneur Berner, Cookies has become an internationally recognized cannabis brand, with storefronts in Israel, Europe, and several US states.
Berner recently became the first cannabis industry executive to be pictured on the cover of Forbes Magazine's print edition. The brand's flagship bright blue buildings can't be missed, and visitors to Cookies will find legacy proprietary strains like Lemonchello, Cereal Milk, and Medellin, among others.
Sherbinski's and Wonderbrett for celebrity sightings
In the Fairfax District, which is home to sneakerhead stores and all things hypebeast, Sherbinski's reputation was founded on award-winning Gelato strain genetics. The brand boasts a long list of celebrity clientele, including artists Wiz Khalifa, John Mayer, and Ty Dolla Sign, among others.
Also in the Fairfax District, cannabis retailer Wonderbrett has been built on its reputation for developing top genetics, including its OG Kush strain. Loyal customers, like rappers Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, and Dr. Dre, have been clients for 20 years — according to the company's website.
Cannabis consumption lounges in West Hollywood
The City of West Hollywood, tucked between DTLA and Beverly Hills, is on course to see more than a dozen consumption lounges roll out over the next two years. Local cannabis tourism organization Emerald Village's Executive Director Scott Schmidt said they are working with local government to set standards and policy for cannabis tourism that may become a model for other cities to follow.
Since public consumption of cannabis is prohibited in California, except in permitted facilities and spaces, Schmidt said that visitors should take advantage of the safest, most secure option for social consumption, as well as unique entertainment and activities offered by the lounges.
The Artist Tree
Wanna wake-and-bake during your long LA weekend? The Artist Tree dispensary is located in West Hollywood, and its Studio Lounge is open at 6 am daily. In the lounge, guests can purchase the cannabis product of their choice to enjoy onsite, as well as equipment rental to assist in consuming dabs or bong hits.
For the ultimate baked brunch, a full menu of traditional American cuisine is also available from the nearby Kitchen24 restaurant. On Sunday mornings, the Studio Lounge features a Drag Brunch & Bubbly, sponsored by non-alcoholic THC-infused sparkling beverage brand Rickett.
The next high-end dispensary and lounge to open is The Woods, co-owned by actor and cannabis advocate Woody Harrelson.
“We're really excited about that," Schmidt from Emerald Village said. “They've got a waterfall. They've got a koi pond. The garden space already existed (prior to remodeling), so they put in six or eight cabanas where people can smoke inside the cabanas and have non-combustible products in the rest of the gardens, where you can get a drink or whatnot. It's nothing like you've ever seen."