Oregon’s Bend Tour Company is launching a marijuana dispensary tour of the city aimed at “demystifying cannabis,” according to a Bend Bulletin report. While marijuana tourism is not new in Washington, Colorado, or Portland, the tour is the first of its kind in Bend.
Already a popular Oregon tourist destination, the city of 81,000 people is known for kayaking, brewpubs, skiing and fly fishing. Tourism officials have already embraced cannabis, listing 17 dispensaries on the Visit Bend website — but John Flannery, Bend Tour Co. partner, says he hopes to educate and entertain tourists interested in the recreational cannabis industry.
“It’s a great tour of town but with a different set of discussion points,” Flannery said in the report. “For a lot of people, it’s the icing on the cake.”
Kevney Dugan, president and CEO of Visit Bend, said they are offering a resource for potential tourists to decide if Bend is the right destination for them and it’s not up to them to “dictate who can or can’t be” a part of the tourism industry.
“The way we see it, now that it’s legal in Oregon, we list them just like we’d list a grocery store or a brewery,” Dugan said. “Grocery stores, hair-cutting salons, mountain-bike rentals all have that listing.”
While tourists are not permitted to smoke cannabis while on the tour — public use is still banned — they are able to purchase the products including flowers, concentrates, and edibles — for personal use. Oregon dispensary owners estimate that one-fourth to one-third of their business is from tourists.