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Tucson – Tourism & Cannabis

The season of the road trip is here. The weather is cooling, and the itch to get out of Phoenix is real. Weary city dwellers, fear not, just over an hour and half south of the capital and a tank of gas away is the perfect getaway, Tucson. Known for its cultural arts, restaurants, fresh air and laid back vibe, Tucson is both hip and happening, while being down to earth and genuine. Let’s go for a visit.

Download the printable guide below and read on!

Printable Guides:

Departing from Phoenix

Cruising down i-10 towards Tucson, check your GPS, are you going north or south? After determining this, you can plan your first stop accordingly. Tucson is home to 13 Dispensaries, and Hana Med in Green Valley, all of which are equally groovy but three of which are conveniently located off the highway running through town.

Nature Med on Ina Road, just south of Marana, is the first dispensary you will encounter driving down from Phoenix. Home to iO Extracts, I recommend a visit to pick up some killer concentrates and to say hi to the coolest security guards in town. Entering Tucson driving northbound, my fuel tank and restless leg syndrome suggest pulling into the Halo Cannabis Campus off the Wilmot Exit. Knowledgeable staff and kind buds will have you on your way in no time. Fill up at the Shell gas station, which abuts the building, and make this a one stop shop for gas, grass and munchies. Located downtown off the highway is Purple Med, the sister store of Green Med which is located on the northeast side of town. These locations are home to Cornucopia, their cannabis edible brand, which makes delicious infused Peanut Brittle, Karmel Korn, Hard Candies and more. When you visit Green Med, make sure you go to the Harambe Cafe located on the side of the building. It is a cannabis consumption cafe, where Green Med hosts yoga, puff and paint events and everyday patients, wanting to enjoy the company of other cannabis smokers.

When you find yourself on the northside of town, I suggest visiting Earth’s Healing on River Rd. Newly renovated and offering all of the cannabis brands you love, they also carry their house brands, Earth Vape and Earth Extracts. Earth’s Healing has a location in south Tucson, on Benson Hwy serving up the same great service and deals. Bloom Dispensary in north Tucson is conveniently located off Oracle, a North South vein connecting to downtown. Haze & Main, Venice Cookies and Infinity Flower are all powered by Bloom, so swing in to try their edibles and flower.

Driving downtown passing the University of Arizona Campus, make sure you stop at Prime Leaf’s newest location on Park. Walk into their new facility and be wowed by the repurposed university basketball floor that adorns the wall. Packed with all the cannabis goods, an awesome staff and wicked great everyday deals, the Prime Leaf on Park and their Speedway location are no-brainers for any stoner visiting Tucson. Make sure you pick up some of their Grown4 flower, it’s fire.

There is only one dispensary to pick up from when you are downtown, The Downtown Dispensary. Located just off of 4th Avenue, Tucson shopping, restaurant and bar district, you will find this stop super convenient and an easy place for impulse buys when out and about. Downtown is home to ILava, HiKeto, and Zen Zona Edibles. Make sure you pin this location and their sister store on the east side of Tucson, D2. Driving to the east side of town, after visiting D2, swing into S.A.I.N.T.S., Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies, and complete your stash with goods from Arizona’s 1st dispensary to open back in 2013. This historic stop wraps up our introduction to the Dispensaries of Tucson.

Groovy stops for your enjoyment

Like Cheer’s, it feels like everyone knows your name when you walk into The Moon on 4th. Feeling at ease is the best when greeted by fellow stoners who know a thing or two about the accoutrements of cannabis smoking. Truly a one stop shop, The Moon carries everything a good session requires; concentrate rigs, bubblers (or do we still have to say “water pipes”), torches and more, what professional smokers call tools of the trade. — Do your bong a favor, stop into The Moon and pick up some cleaner already. Heads up, there are 4 Moon Smoke Shops in Tucson, so you are never too far from one.

A trip to the Old Pueblo should alway include a visit to Barrio Bread, Tucson’s neighborhood bakery. Utilizing millenia-old baking methods and locally grown heritage grain, Don Guerra’s breads are nothing short of spectacular. His mission to honor the art and science of bread making is evident at first sight. Barrio Bread loaves are works of artist expression, each variety having a particular look, shape and stenciled design made of flour. There is a diverse selection of breads to choose from, some of my favorites are their Heritage, Cranberry Walnut and Pain au Levain. Barrio Bread is open Wednesday through Saturday, 9am to 2pm or until sold out. You can also pick up a loaf of Barrio Bread at The Co-op Market on 4th in downtown Tucson. They receive two deliveries a week, but note that they only carry a selection of the full line of breads, for that, you must go to the bakery.

Coffee, the classic road trip beverage, meet your best friend… cannabis. Casually referred to as a Hippie Speedball or the Seattle Speedball, consuming beans and buds in conjunction is a beloved duo. Presta Coffee, operating 3 locations in Tucson, has the buzz to keep your road trip going strong. A unique coffee experience, roasting flavor profiles such as; Cherry, Plum, Caramel & Honey Crisp Apple, Honeydew & Strawberry Milk; Presta will redefine your perception of what constitutes a cup of joe. A special shout out to their Espresso 120 PSI, a personal favorite and Rise Above’s vegan pasties, which fill the cases each morning. Eggs and milk beware, you are no longer necessary, Rise Above’s owner Hannah Houlden has mastered the art of flaky to perfection pastries such as; Raspberry Pop Tarts, Almond Bear Claws and savory turnovers. Don’t miss out, they go fast.

It doesn’t have to be Earth Day to visit one of the world’s largest greenhouses. Don’t be fooled, It may look like a mall from the outside but inside the University of Arizona is doing some far out science studying the interaction between humans, climate and their habitats. Biosphere 2, located 30 minutes north of Tucson, takes you and your car companions on an hour and 15 minute journey through three biospheres, the first and the highest elevation is the rainforest, filled with bamboo, banana trees and tropical plants. Next you will travel into the Savanna habitat, followed by coastal-desert terrain, designed to resemble Mexican Baja. This engineering marvel is open everyday from 9am – 4pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance online and cost $25 for adults Please remember to bring a mask, they are required inside the Biosphere.

Road trips are good for stepping back and looking at the big picture. Driving up a 10,000 ft mountain and peering out at the world will do that. Mt Lemmon, located in the Santa Catalina Range, is an hour from downtown Tucson. Luckily, The Prime Leaf on Speedway and Green Med Dispensary are on the way, making the perfect pre-roll pit stops. Once across town, the 27 mile drive up the Sky Island Byway is a wild ride, winding up the well paved precipices and switchbacks that lead up the mountain. You will notice the drive starts in the desert, and ends in a pine top deciduous forest at 10,000ft; watch as the ecosystems and the plants that support them change as the elevation increases. I advocate for driving with your windows down so any stressful vibes can fly out the window. Normally 30 degrees cooler than Tucson, Mt Lemmon is the perfect adventure when the summer heat is crushing your high.

While you may see the occasional road runner or road kill while on your road trip to Tucson, seeing the larger and smaller species that inhabit the desert is rare. The Desert Wildlife Museum is cool for those reasons, bringing regional species of wild cats, snakes and tarantulas just close enough for comfort. All the animals are either rescued or are being rehabilitated, limiting any kind of a guilty conscience (a known buzz kill). If you time it right, there is a stingray tank and you can pay $2 to pet the little rays. It’s a trippy feeling when they pass under your palm. After drying your hands, there’s a gift shop or, if you feel like becoming more one with nature, you can walk the outer trails that lead past javelina and native plants. 30 minutes outside of downtown, give your day trippers at least 3 hours to enjoy themselves, visiting early in the day is always a good idea.

A Stoners road trip would not be complete without a visit to a far out museum. MOCA, Tucson’s Contemporary Art Museum is that place, curating installations seemingly catered to the stoner’s creative mind. Bizarre, frequently interactive and always thought provoking, MOCA’s exhibits are anything but ordinary, leaning towards the “I didn’t know this constituted art.” Hosting a rotating assembly of local, national and international artists with a message to share, downtown Tucson’s repurposed Fire Station sets the stage for contemporary social movement expression, through art. Check their website for hours of operation before swinging in.

Recreational Cannabis use is in high swing at Arte Bella’s Paint and Puff on 4th Ave in downtown Tucson. All you need is your 21+ id and they provide the rest; brushes, paints, drinks and most importantly access to weed. Arte Bella and Downtown Dispensary have partnered, Downtown providing futuristic kiosks, in which patrons order delivery flower, concentrates, vapes and edibles. While you are waiting for your cannabis to arrive, order a CBD Mocktail or drinks from their full bar menu, featuring rotating specials inspired by real artists like the “Frida Rita.” Find an easel that calls to you, and choose between self guided painting or a class, all instructors are guaranteed to be down to earth. (Painting is optional) By the time your delivery order has arrived, you will just be realizing that this is really happening…

On a road trip it is important to get some light exercise and have somewhere ganja friendly to do it. Santa Cruz Disc Golf checks both those boxes. A few minutes off the i-10 in downtown Tucson, Santa Cruz is a stoner-friendly course with stellar views of the Catalina mountains. The 18 hole course is sweet for beginners and also challenging for experienced disc throwers. Shade, paired with benches at every hole make sessions easy and offer time to think about the clouds in between players’ turns. If you need to grab something cold on the way, stop at locally owned Westside Liquor & Craft Beer. They have a great selection of specialty brews and cold drinks to enjoy while playing. Bring your discs, you can’t buy them there, it’s just a chill park course, no frills. Start a game an hour before sunset to experience the sky changing color.

If suddenly you find yourself needing a chill pace to relax, take a load off and zone out to an off the beaten path flix, The Loft Cinema is the place. Unique in its approach to sharing cinema content, The Loft’s mission is to enrich the Tucson community with showings of independent, foreign, classic and documentary films. Shh, you can also watch any number of rotating Hollywood blockbusters. A member-driven non-profit, with around 5,000 contributors, The Loft sets a higher standard of how a local movie house should operate and should feel like when you walk inside. The people are good, the vibes are welcoming and the movie posters on the walls will keep your eyes busy for days. If you show up early for your show, grab a soda or beer and relax in their courtyard. No smoking weed on the premises but a pre-session pairs well with popcorn and butter during the show.

Nothing intensifies a high more than laughing, it is also possibly one of the most fun things to do while stoned. While funny things will happen spontaneously throughout your road trip, sometimes it is good to take matters into your own hands and leave it to the professionals. Laff’s Comedy Caffe in Tucson is both the oldest and only comedy club in town, hosting stand up acts from nationally recognized comedians every Friday and Saturday night and an open mic on Thursday. This classic venue is special for not only the famous acts that have graced their stage, such as Jerry Seinfeld and David Spade, but for breeding the authentic underground comedy scene that is rare these days. Laff’s offers a full dinner menu, appetizers and drinks. Arrive early and get your order in before the first act, then sit back and enjoy the show.



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