With legal THC sales scheduled to start in October, two licensed cannabis cultivators in northern Vermont have announced the launch of Vermontijuana Cannabis Tours taking place over six weekends starting in August.
The cannabis tours meet guests at local bars with a school bus and transport them to nearby licensed cannabis farms where cultivators share the basics of how cannabis is cultivated outdoors in Northern Vermont and everything it takes to bring legal THC cannabis to market.
Visitors must be over the age of 21, but there are no cannabis samples included, explained Eli Harrington, who is the founder and lead guide of the tour business, as well as the Head Cultivator at the Vermontijuana Farmstead.
“Guests are coming to see, smell, and photograph the plants thriving in the soil in their natural outdoor environment. Due to the regulations, we can’t bring them all the way into the gardens and we can’t sell them our THC – in part because it hasn’t finished growing – but people can smoke their own.”
Along with his tour partner, Ben Wilcox of Off Piste Farm in Sutton, Vermontijuana is offering two sessions of tours at two different locations in East Burke (Mike’s Tiki Bar) on Friday evening for Off Piste Farm and West Glover (Parker Pie Co.) on Sunday afternoon for Vermontijuana Farmstead. The tours cover the same information, just at different locations and times of day.
Wilcox is an experienced cannabis cultivator who has previously operated Off Piste Farm as an organic-certified CBD hemp farm and received his Tier 1 THC cultivation license in 2022 along with Harrington. In addition to the tours, Off Piste Farm currently rents three primitive camping sites on the website, “Hipcamp”, including two platforms built by Wilcox with wood he harvested from his property.
While both Harrington and Wilcox are now licensed as THC cultivators by the state and poised to sell their crops this fall, they are explicit and candid in explaining the tours do not include any THC samples or ‘gifts’ and they can’t yet sell legal THC products from their respective properties.
“For now, we’ll sell them our eggs, chickens, maple syrup, veggies, CBD, and other small-batch farm products. Right now at the outset of the launch of the industry, it’s more important to educate consumers about these amazing plants and to be responsible stewards for our cannabis industry, and try to benefit our local communities and fellow small businesses. Agritourism has huge net benefits on rural communities and we expect that cannabis agritourism can have even more of a positive impact.”
The majority of the tours will take place on Fridays and Sundays with a few select Saturday dates according to the tickets available on the Seven Days ticketing website. Transportation to and from the farms will be provided by an independent bus company based in the region on a school bus with room for up to 40 participants on the Vermontijuana Farmstead tours on Sundays and 20 participants on the Off Piste tours on Fridays through Labor Day weekend.
Harrington is also a cannabis consultant and is a presenter at the 2022 International Workshop on Agritourism, where he’ll lead a session about the possibilities of cannabis agritourism and the experiences operating Vermontijuana cannabis tours in Vermont.