Penny Ellis co-founder of Santa Cruz’s open farm tours brought customers and farmers together five years ago with the venture in cannabis. It’s because of the undaunted passion she landed herself altogether into a new field of cannabis tours.
Although she admits being a beginner in the marijuana industry but she is aware that techniques are much evolving in cannabis farming and are much significant now than before.
“It makes a big difference when people meet out the farmers who grow their food,” Ellis says. “ Similarly, cannabis is also a crop which is a topic of burning curiosity amongst masses, I totally believe that when people will come out and meet the farmers there will be numerous questions.”
Since most of the basic agriculture techniques apply to the cannabis industry as well, this is the reason Ellis initiated the tour to make more people aware of the practices behind Cannabis farming post its legalization. Three regular Medical Marijuana suppliers — Coastal Sun, Bird Valley Organics and Lifted Farms are the commercial growers which will be featured.
“After legalization, a lot of farms are excited to come out of the shell, as they were living hidden for so long- it didn’t feel legal,” she says. “This is going to be a big deal for them.”
There will be a brief educative dialogue for the cannabis community by the staff of Therapeutic Healthcare Collective. After the tour, there will be a farm-table dinner party prepared by local Chef Dare Arowe presenting some terpene infused dishes and drinks. Terpene is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis which is responsible for its aroma and its placid effects like stress or anxiety reduction.
But don’t be duped by its promotional video featuring joints, dabs and whole hog instead—For Ellis the aim is to educate and encourage cannabis farming. While the dinner might seem tempting but they won’t be selling any cannabis and neither the consumption is allowed during tours.
“There is a huge amount of cannabis production which is unbelievable,” Ellie says. “It was fascinating to know the history of Cannabis, how it began in Corralitos, like Blue Dream, I didn’t know all this would play such an important part.”
She added further, “The process of initiation was a bit difficult as farmers had concerns over security due to which many of the farmers opted out of the tour.” The three selected farms on the tour are under security,” she says, “safety is always a concern as these crops are a lot of money on exhibit.”
“There are so many mistaken beliefs about cannabis and also it carries a bad repo about itself, which is a contrast to its real purposeful usage,” Ellie says. “We want to alter that and let people see that cannabis can bring wellness in their lives.”