In a recent contest for The Cannabis Cactus, inquisitive readers submitted their ideas for the kind of columns they’d like to see in the magazine, and one of the main requests was for different options for cannabis tourism… not just in Phoenix, but around the country in legal states. The cannabis tourist is a bit different than the normal traveler, as those that travel 420-friendly need to know not only the best options for where to get their products, but also safe spots that they can consume without being fined by their hotel or getting a ticket for public consumption. In the next few months, I’ll be doing segments on a few of my favorite cities to fly high to… this month, spotlight OAKLAND, California, in the great East Bay!
The East Bay has long been an environment that is cannabis-friendly, and the city of Oakland continues to be at the forefront of legalization with some of the best dispensaries and cannabis-friendly events in the country. From lounging at Lake Merritt with the cannabis community, to grabbing food for your munchies, Oakland has lots of 420-friendly options for both locals and visitors alike. Oakland is one of my favorite places to smoke in the world, and the locals are filled with Oaklandish pride for both their city and their weed.
First, let’s start with the basics: my favorite dispensary in Oakland is Magnolia Wellness, which has basically every product a stoner would ever need, from flower, edibles, and oils to CBD-infused creams and ointments. Magnolia Wellness even has the first licensed dab lounge in the state, so you can not only purchase your wax there, you can actually enjoy it there as well! If you’re too relaxed to head out to a dispensary (I feel you), just use local delivery service Community Gardens, owned by Oakland native Raeven Duckett and her team. They’ll bring whatever you desire right to your hotel or Airbnb, so you don’t even need to change out of your comfy clothes or put down the remote if you’re feeling like a night in. Just be wary… many hotels do fine for cannabis consumption even if you have a smoking room or are using your balcony, so make sure your spot is advertised as 420-friendly!
If you’re looking to get out and smoke and share, there are lots of fun and smokey events in which you can laugh and make new friends with strangers, pass joints, and celebrate legalization at its finest: as part of the community. My company, Cannabis Tours, offers Puff, Pass & Paint classes, in which you can create your own infused masterpieces, and Puff, Pass & POTtery, where you can handbuild your own bowls and ash trays in between puffs, both taught at the Oakland Cannabis Creative. The Cannavines Wine & Weed Tour lets you experience two of the world’s best plants at once on a smoke-friendly bus, starting with CBD-infused wine tasting at the OCC, a stop at Magnolia Wellness to pick up your favorite products, Rigger’s Loft for a tasting and lunch (that view is incredible!), and finally Urban Legend winery for the last stop. If you’re looking to meet other people in the 420 community, make sure to check out monthly open house events by The Hood Incubator for community building, networking, and fun. East Bay Canna Community also meets every first Friday at Lake Merritt for snacks, laughs, drinks, and games (make sure you check out the First Friday art walk afterwards!). Oaksterdam University, officially America’s first cannabis college, is located right in downtown Oakland. Since 2007, Oaksterdam has been recognized as the nation’s leader in cannabis education, with a wide variety of classes for all different facets of living the dream of working in weed.
With edibles, it’s important to start slow and take small doses, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in lots of delicious non-infused food. The Star pizza on Grand Avenue is a favorite for incredible deep dish (although I’m a foldover pizza kind of gal myself, and they have that too!), and Grand and Lakeshore are perfect for people watching, grabbing a snack or a drink, or catching a movie at Grand Lake Theater. Just a few blocks away, Coach Sushi on Lake Merritt has one of Oakland’s best deals (in my humble opinion): their $5 unlimited sake special is infamous, and easily draws in even those who are hesitant to leave The City and cross the bridge to the East Bay. Kingston 11 is not to be missed if you’re exploring Telegraph Avenue… they offer classic Jamaican fare with a California twist, like my personal favorites, their jerk chicken and plantains, with a bubbly Oaktown Ting cocktail.
As someone who has traveled across the country and around the world in search of the best 420 tourism for my business, Oakland is still home to my absolute favorite cannabis community, and has an incredible amount of options both for those who want to consume and those who just want to check out the scene. It’s also just a 15-minute (and $5) Bart ride across the Bay to Francisco! You can smoke, eat, drink, and explore to your heart’s content, enjoying all of the benefits and diversity of big city life, while miles and miles of gorgeous Redwood Regional forests are at your disposal just a 10-minute drive away from downtown. Oakland is real, diverse, open-minded, and electric, and it has so much to offer for both those of us that live here, and also those who are coming to check out that coveted California lifestyle.
Online Resources: LakeMerritt.org EastBayCanna.org PuffPassAndPaint.com HoodIncubator.org CannabisTours.com MagnoliaOakland.org OaksterdamUniversity.com CommunityGardens.delivery OaklandCannabisCreative.com
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