Cannabis tourists offered spa treatments after visits to dispensaries

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Emerald Country LLC, a limited-liability company formed in April, plans to offer tourists a close-up glimpse of the cannabis industry with tours of dispensaries and cultivation operations.

Emerald Country Cannabis Tours, with Fairfax-based Jeromiah Zajonc as president, will launch its tours in January 2018, according to Brian Applegarth, co-owner of the business. Applegarth is based in Guerneville. The tours will be priced starting at $129 and use Mercedes Sprinter vans that hold about 11 customers.

“We offer a guided experience to the legal cannabis industry,” said Applegarth, who noted that he and Zajonc are medical-marijuana patients. “If it’s a bachelorette tour, we can do spa treatments. We are really a vehicle that delivers education.”

Applegarth made it clear that the tour business sells no cannabis products and has no direct connection to the places it takes tourists. Tours of one to three days will be offered in Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt counties. In the Sonoma County tour in the Russian River Valley, "guests get a rare peek behind the cannabis curtain of history as we come out of prohibition," according to the company's website. Tour customers have to be age 21 and up.

Under Proposition 64, passed by voters in November, adult-use cannabis becomes legal for sale in January 2018 where licensed by state and local jurisdictions. While Santa Rosa and Sonoma County have welcomed the emerging industry, Marin County has indicated it would oppose retail dispensaries and instead rely on delivery services to reach medical-cannabis patients.

James Dunn covers technology, biotech, law, the food industry, and banking and finance. Reach him at: james.dunn@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4257

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