Washin-stoned? Businessmen want to bring in 'cannabis tourism'

TACOMA, Wash. -- With recent changes in marijuana laws, travel guru Arthur Frommer predicts so-called "pot tours" will be a travel trend in 2013.

A Colorado man has already taken charge of that idea, and many wonder if Washington will be next.

Matt Brown of Denver created the first ever tour company in North America to focus solely on cannabis tours. It's called My 420 Tours.

"The last thing we want as a tour operator is to pick someone up at the airport, drop a gallon size bag of weed on their lap and say, 'go have fun in Colorado,'" Brown said.

Just like wine tours travel from winery to winery, Brown's group will sample Colorado's finest weed.

"We are going to take them through a licensed dispensary and grow operation. They'll have a hash making class. We are doing a class at a cooking school, teaching them how to cook with cannabis," Brown said.

It culminates in the Cannabis Cup, which is considered the Olympics of pot growing. It will be the first time the event has been held outside of Amsterdam.

Out-of-state tourists can come to Washington to sample the state's wine, but they cannot come in and buy Washington pot. That's not the case in Colorado, where the law allows visitors to legally buy small amounts of pot.

"They should allow out-of-state people to purchase small amounts of cannabis," said Michael Schaef of Tacoma's Stonegate Marijuana Vapor Bar.

Schaef and his partner Jeff Call run the state's first vapor bar, which is under fire by regulators for allowing cannabis users to smoke pot inside.

The men say they've gotten calls from all over the country to host a pot tour.

"I would love to bring them out, and I would love to have some of that out-of-state money coming here to Washington," Call said.

The duo would like to see Washington's law changed to allow for pot tourism.

"Let's try and do it the right way. Let's make it so people aren't breaking the law," Schaef said.

Right now, Colorado's proposed laws are less strict than Washington's, but the quality is what's appealing.

"We have the best cannabis in the world, hands down," Schaef said.