This is a tale of a fateful trip – a three hour tour of a marijuana factory, a testing lab and a pot shop, followed by a private vape session.
I was with two dudes from Boston and my friend Alexis, a pot industry veteran. Our guide was Michael, the clean cut and affable co-owner of Kush Tourism. We started with a visit to the Boro School, a glassblowing concern with high ceilings and several workstations. Borosilicate glass (Boro) is popular with pot pipe makers because of it’s high resistance to heat fluctuations. A class was in progress – eager students in special glasses stared as a woman heated up and bent some tubes. A painting of a hollow-eyed, bare breasted mermaid holding two skulls loomed behind her.
Boro and Kush Tourism are in the same building, a massive warehouse of studios and offices called 7 Point Studios, run by glass artist Nathan “Nate Dizzle” Aweida. Marijuana start-ups take note – this would be a good place rent a space.
And then it was in to the van for the trip to Sky High Gardens, located on Seattle’s Harbor Island.
Our Boston friends were about to have their minds blown. You can see large scale marijuana production on YouTube but being there in person – with the overwhelming lights and smell and the genuine happiness of the workers – is a life-changer. The Boston dudes brains worked overtime. “Must get back to Massachusetts and help get recreational pot legalized! And then build the biggest pot factory on the East Coast!”
Sky High is in an old industrial building, which came with a giant Fairbanks Morse mill house scale – for when they start weighing their output by the ton. I looked it up – Fairbanks is one of the oldest continuously running manufacturing companies in the United States, started in Vermont in 1830 by two brothers named Thaddeus and Erastus Fairbanks.
Back to reality – a pit bull is secured so that the tour can pass from where the goods are being packaged to the grow rooms. A canine reminder that many people in the recreational industry started out in medical, and many of those started out in, uh … non medical.
Boston dudes awestruck by the canopy. Pot industry vet Alexis impressed too. Plants being grown in pots. Individually watered – no broadcast here. Giant colas in full flower are supported by string so they don’t fall over.
After the tour, our guide brings out a few jars of incredible Sky High product for a look and a smell. Alien Asshat, Durban Poison. All awesome.
And then in the van again to marijuana lab Analytical 360. The technician explained how they process marijuana samples for testing.
Boston dudes tried to wrap their minds around the concept of pot testing. A cute, smartly dressed girl in a lab coat was a reminder that marijuana is good for the economy.
Our second to last stop was the sponsor of this article, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop. Boston dudes bought some Trail Blazin Productions “Blazin’s Trinity” and some Phat Panda brand Gorilla Glue. I was amused to see two ladies who must have been in their nineties pull in and go inside to “score.” One of them was using a walker.
A Volcano vaporizer awaited us back at Kush Tourism’s office. After sampling the Gorilla Glue I dragged myself out of the couch and talked with Chase, Kush’s other co-founder. He told me business is great – they have bookings for October already. And they’re looking to expand their tour options – more locations, more food, more vape lounges. Chase said that Kush Tourism campaigned for the right to use the word “cannabis” in Google AdWords and was the first to be able to do so. They also have a cannabis tourist map that goes to downtown hotels. They have taken a good idea and capitalized on it – the American way! If you are getting in to the business or just want to understand the business this tour is for you.
I never did mention deflategate or Tom Brady to the Boston guys. Our Kush tour was not about football cheaters or Seahawks Super Bowl fuck ups – it was about comprehending the highly lucrative future of the marijuana business. Which already brings in more money than the $25 billion NFL.