Wine, Dine and Weed: Colorado pot tourism goes upscale
The pot tourism industry is booming in Colorado. Just about half the visitors to our state last summer admitted legal weed influenced their vacation plans, according to a survey conducted by the Colorado Tourism Office.
Many visitors to Colorado are looking for a more unique experience than just getting high. News5 got a behind the scenes look at a first of it's kind upscale marijuana experience being offered by a pot connoisseur in Summit County.
The Cultivating Spirits experience includes a private chef, personal sommelier and pot to pair with your meal. Entrepreneur Philip Wolf makes sure the sophisticated experience comes with an education about cannabis and it's effects.
"We allow people to quantify their high by becoming a cannabis connoisseur," he said. "We decided to do that through the platform of cannabis and food pairings."
Much like different varietals of wine pair well with different dishes, so do strains of cannabis. "It is absolutely as diverse as chardonnay is to sauvignon blanc," said Susanne Johnston, the Owner of Frisco Wine Merchant and Wine Bar, a stop on Wolf's tour.
Wolf pairs terpene profiles in cannabis with flavor profiles in food. "Energetic sativas are going to have those citrus and pine tastes to it," he said. "Naturally those flavors go well with fish. The indica flavors of grounding and spice naturally go with red meats."
He says terpenes are the chemicals in cannabis responsible for your mood when you consume the plant. "If you're going to eat a lighter dish, you'll want to pair it with something that's a lighter type of high that you feel," he said.
Wolf caters to visitors from out of state, and says his high end clients are usually 45 to 65 years old. He also offers cannabis dinner tours most Saturdays. He says locals use the experience to celebrate special occasions like anniversaries or bachelor parties.
He guides everyone toward conscious cannabis consumption. "We encourage people to consume smaller amounts of cannabis but really feel it, and feel how it can enhance your experience and be very mindful throughout that experience," Wolf said.
No smoking is allowed in the restaurant, so clients consume in the limo provided because of laws that prohibit smoking in public.