As legalization spreads across the U.S. like wildfire, planning a cannabis-centered road trip has never been easier. Missouri and Maryland voters approved adult-use, or recreational, plant sales in the November 2022 elections, bringing the total number of legal states and territories to 23. And nearly every state has legalized medical cannabis to some degree, with the sole exceptions being Idaho, Wyoming, Kansas, and South Carolina.
And because some of those medical states have only authorized the prescription of low-THC cannabis oil, we haven’t reached the point that would allow for a coast-to-coast road trip with cannabis flower or concentrates in the trunk of your car—yet.
With that in mind, we chose three cannabis road trip ideas that, if performed responsibly, will be totally legal (and fun). Our only criteria were that these destinations:
- Are adult-use states (with one exception)
- Are states that neighbor other weed-friendly states
- Have interesting attractions that go beyond cannabis tourism
Here we go:
Destination 1: Four Corners
The Four Corners Monument once had only one real claim to fame: It was the only location in the U.S. where a traveler could go and stand in four states—and two Indigenous tribal territories—at the same time.
Today, the Colorado-based monument can also boast that all four of those states are legal weed states. That’s right: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah have regulated cannabis programs. Here’s where that exception kicks in: Utah is technically a medical-only state, while the other three states have thriving adult-use programs.
Tip: Be respectful. Because the Navajo Nation, which technically operates the monument, is strongly opposed to cannabis legalization, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is on the fence about the whole thing, don’t go to the monument expecting to spark up a joint.
Instead, take a 40-minute drive northeast to Cortez, Colorado, and visit The Doobie Sisters Recreational Dispensary, which boasts that it’s “Montezuma County’s high-end recreational cannabis store,” and is owned and operated by three sisters.
Destination 2: The East Coast and New England
It’s been a long slog, but the states that many think of when they think “East Coast” have finally opened up their adult-use programs and are either fully operational or likely will be in 2023.
New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have transitioned from medical-only to adult-use sales. And the entirety of New England — with the sole exception of New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die state — has adult-use programs.
Eat an edible and visit Lady Liberty; satisfy your munchies at Boston’s oldest (and most famous) restaurant, Union Oyster House (but make a reservation for both). Or try the “ethical dog sledding” experience in Eden Mills, Vermont, blazed.
There is no shortage of things to do up and down the weed-friendly Atlantic coastline — it will be a road trip you’ll likely never forget.
Destination 3: California Wine Country
Go where the legalization movement began — and enjoy plenty of wine tastings along the way. California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis when voters approved the Compassionate Use Act nearly 30 years ago.
But before legal weed, the Spanish Franciscan Missionaries began planting vineyards in the 18th century (for communion, of course).
Now, as we all know, California is famous the world over for both its fine cannabis and its fine wines.
The number of wineries in Napa Valley alone beats 450, and there is no shortage of adult-use dispensaries in the region.
But be careful: It’s believed that mixing cannabis and alcohol can amplify the effects of one or both substances, and you absolutely do not want to drive once you’ve begun imbibing. Take advantage of one of the many guided tasting tours—or cruise over Napa Valley and Sonoma high (both literally and figuratively) in a hot-air balloon.
Whether you’re in middle America or one of the coasts, there is no shortage of great cannabis-themed road trip ideas you can pitch to your friends. We think this is a good start. As always, be responsible: Don’t drive high, and keep your stash in the vehicle’s trunk, out of the driver’s and passengers’ reach.