Ultimate Guide For Cannabis Wine Country

Welcome to your one-stop shop for all things cannabis in Wine Country! We want you to be as knowledgeable as possible, whether you’re new to cannabis or a seasoned cannabis user planning a trip to Northern California.

Our guide will walk you through all you need to know about legally purchasing, consuming, and experiencing cannabis in Wine Country.

While there is a lot of material to cover in this article, we’ve separated it into sections to make it easier to use as a reference tool. You can read straight through or use the overview below to get to a certain topic.

Before we get started, we’d want to emphasize that, similar to the alcohol-related activities available in the best online weed dispensary, if you plan to use cannabis, please do it wisely and safely (don’t skip the ‘rules’ part).

Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to chat about all things cannabis!

History

What it is, how it works, what the regulations are, and what you can and cannot do

Purchasing Cannabis

• Recreational vs. medicinal marijuana dispensaries What to expect when visiting a dispensary • Where to buy – Sonoma and Napa Counties’ top dispensaries
• Delivery – how to order, the radius of delivery, and more

Marijuana use

• What is the difference between THC and CBD? • What are the different types of products?

In Wine Country, Cannabis is Legal

• Wine & Cannabis 101 • Spas, Health & Wellness + Cannabis • Cannabis Tours & Experiences • Cannabis Safety

History

What started it all in California

California held the first ballot measure in the United States to legalize cannabis in 1972. (Proposition 19). It failed, but that didn’t stop them from trying, and with the passing of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, California became the first state to allow medicinal cannabis.

They took another huge stride forward 20 years later when California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64), which allows adults to use, produce, and transport marijuana for personal use without requiring a medical marijuana card (must be 21 or over).

Rules

What it is, how it works, what the regulations are, and what you can and cannot do
Adults aged 21 and up are now able to purchase, own, and transport up to one ounce — roughly 28 grams — of dried marijuana or up to eight grams of cannabis concentrates, according to the approval of California’s Proposition 64. (oils, edibles, topicals). A word of caution: that’s a lot of marijuana!

However, just because cannabis is legal does not negate the fact that it is still subject to regulations. For obvious reasons, cannabis cannot be smoked in any public location where tobacco is prohibited (which includes most/all restaurants and bars), and it cannot be possessed or used within 1,000 feet of a daycare, school, or youth center when children are present.

In case you were curious… Driving while intoxicated by cannabis is still prohibited – yes, you may obtain a marijuana DUI, and the consequences are equal to those for alcohol DUIs. So just keep in mind that you can’t smoke, drink, or ingest it while driving or even in the passenger seat.

It is also unlawful to transfer marijuana purchased or obtained in California over state boundaries, which is arguably the most vexing for visitors. This means that if you’re flying or driving from out of state, you won’t be able to lawfully carry any cannabis items back with you. Please accept my apologies, cousin Fred; the cannabis cookies will have to wait. If you’re visiting from out of state, think about how much time you’ll be in the state and how much you’ll actually consume; you probably won’t need to buy the maximum quantity allowed.

Purchasing Cannabis

How and where are you going to do it?

There are two ways to legally purchase cannabis products:

1. Dispensaries (physical) (recreational and medical)
2. Transportation services

Dispensaries

Dispensaries come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

So, now that you’ve mastered the history and guidelines, all you have to do is make your buy, right? Before you go, you should be aware that California has two sorts of dispensaries: recreational and medical.

A medical cannabis card is not required to enter a recreational dispensary. You only need to show your ID to establish that you’re 21 years old or older to shop at a recreational dispensary.

A medical marijuana card and proof of age of 18 are required at a medicinal dispensary. Medical cards can now be obtained fast and easily via the internet (more on that below).

We know what you’re thinking: If cannabis is legal in California, why aren’t all stores selling recreational marijuana?

There are more than a dozen recreational dispensaries in Sonoma County, while medical dispensaries are currently allowed exclusively in Napa County.

When You Visit a Dispensary, Here’s What to Expect

Step 1: Bring your photo ID.

We touched on this earlier, but just to be safe, let’s go over it again. When visiting a dispensary, the most important thing to remember is to bring a proper ID (a state-issued ID card, state-issued driver’s license, or passport) to establish your age. Even if you’re merely “window shopping” or tagging along with someone who will eventually be purchasing, you should anticipate your ID to be checked and scanned before you’re permitted entry.

Step 2 – Bring Cash

Only cash is accepted in dispensaries. We understand that in today’s world of Venmo, Square, and other cashless payments, this is a strange concept, so why only accept cash? The short answer is that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even though it is legal in California. As a result, most financial institutions refuse to supply dispensaries with financial services such as credit card processing (see our FAQs section for more details on this).

Before you go, we recommend stopping by an ATM to be safe.

Step 3: Go shopping and inquire.

Most dispensaries are well-designed and comfortable, with a range of product options sorted by category, comparable to a high-end retail shop.

You’ll also be able to buy any smoking accessories you’ll need, like as rolling papers, pipes, and vape pens. Dispensaries, like vineyards, come in a variety of sizes; some are enormous and have a large selection, while others are smaller and more deliberate in their product selection.

It’s best to approach shopping like an art gallery rather than a fast food joint. Take your time, go over the many options, and most importantly, don’t be hesitant to ask questions, as the products are available in a variety of potencies and effects. In a dispensary, you will not be permitted to try or ingest items (another one of those pesky rules).

Allow staff employees — dubbed “budtenders” (really, yes) — to assist you in making decisions. They can lay out everything you can expect, recommend how much you should drink, and assist you in finding the right fit for a trek, lounging by the pool, or simply taking in the surroundings. Because cannabis legalization is still relatively new in California, these budtenders function as pharmacists, eager to answer questions and educate newcomers, so take advantage of their expertise and advice.

Step 4: Make a payment

The price of cannabis products varies greatly, and the added tax on cannabis purchases makes many new cannabis customers’ mouths drop.

So don’t say we didn’t tell you: after state, local, and excise cannabis taxes, expect to pay an additional 35 percent (on average).

Pro tip: Some dispensaries include taxes in the quoted pricing of items, so ask the budtender if tax is included before checking out to ensure you understand the total price.

Pro tip 2: Once you’ve made a purchase, you won’t be able to return anything, so make sure you know precisely what you want before checking out. If you’re a first-time user of a product, we recommend starting with lower quantities.

Visit the Top Wine Country Dispensaries

As previously stated, Sonoma County has more than a dozen recreational dispensaries, whereas Napa County solely has medical dispensaries. We’ve broken down a some of our best dispensaries by location.

Insider Tip: Keep an eye out for their newest dispensary, which will open in the fall of 2021 near downtown Sonoma.

365 Cannabis for Recreational Use

What We Like About 365 Recreational: We enjoy working with the 365 Recreational staff. A visit to a dispensary for the first time can be scary, but not with the excellent people at 356. They make you feel at ease first, then carefully listen and lead you through their enormous product variety to identify the things that are best suited to your desired experience. The facility at Santa Rosa is spacious and well-organized.

Insider Tip: Don’t forget to ask for your 10% first-time buyer discount.

Terra Flora

What We Like About Flora Terra: First and foremost, we support family companies, and this one is run by David and Alicia Wingard, a husband and wife combination. Flora Terra, on the other hand, is Wine Country meets Craft Cannabis. The dispensary is stunning and one-of-a-kind. They have a vertically-developed indoor farm on show in their dispensary because they are cannabis producers and retailers (picture four levels of cannabis being produced within a dispensary, it’s cool). Finally, the Flora Team is incredibly helpful and dedicated to ensuring that you have a fantastic time there.

Solful

Our Favorite Part of Solful: The People! From the moment you enter through the front door, they make you feel at ease. They are welcoming and informed, especially for people who are new to cannabis. We also appreciate the wide range of products available across various cannabis categories.
Solful takes credit and debit cards for online purchases and cash or debit card for delivery purchases.

DISPENSARIES IN NAPA COUNTY

All of the dispensaries in Napa County listed here are medical, so you’ll need a medical card to buy marijuana. Each of the companies listed below provides a simple online approach for obtaining a medical card.

Napa Cannabis Collective is a cannabis collective in Napa, California.

What We Like About Napa Cannabis Collective: We’re big fans of supporting local businesses. Napa Cannabis Collective is a woman-owned business that provides a nice and welcome Napa ambiance to every customer. The NCC team knows what they’re doing, focusing on CBD (oils and topicals) and speciality THC (edibles, oils, flower, vapor cartridges, and concentrates and extracts). They combine easy-to-understand education with extremely useful advice.

Insider Tip: They’ve been known to reimburse consumers for the cost of their medical marijuana card when they make purchases at the dispensary (it never hurts to ask).

Abide

What We Like About Abide: To begin, Abide is conveniently located in downtown Napa. They also offer a simple online approach for obtaining a cannabis medical card. Abide, like many cannabis shops, has a highly nice and experienced staff on hand to answer any questions you may have. For a selection of fantastic articles on all things cannabis, go to their website. Finally, we admire their commitment to their communities; take a look at their Compassion Program.

Insider Tip: Abide has some of the most inventive promotions we’ve seen, including a different deal every day of the week and a birthday surprise.

DELIVERY OF CANNABIS

You can buy cannabis online and have it delivered to your door, just like everything else in the digital era. We’re serious about this. Cannabis goods are delivered on-demand throughout California via delivery companies. The following is how it works:

Step 1: Locate a reputable delivery service. There are companies that specialize in cannabis delivery, and there are also dispensaries that provide delivery. Make certain that the delivery firm you choose delivers to your address (house, hotel or vacation rental). Many delivery businesses, for example, will not deliver to certain homes in Napa Valley. In this area, see the dispensaries section above and the delivery-only companies section below.

Step 2: Have cash on hand. Cash is the sole form of payment accepted by delivery providers, so make sure you have cash on hand before placing your order.

Step 3: Make an online purchase. Go to the delivery company’s website, choose your items, and finish the checkout process. SPARC, for example, has both a dispensary and a delivery service. SPARC will send your item when you browse and order your things directly through their website.

Depending on your location and the time of your order, most cannabis orders are delivered in 1-2 hours. If you order during peak demand hours, your item may take longer to arrive, similar to a food delivery service, so plan ahead.

Although each delivery company communicates in its own way, the majority of them send text messages with delivery confirmation and updates.

COMPANIES THAT DELIVER CANNABIS

Eaze

We like Eaze because they are everywhere! Eaze offers by far the most extensive cannabis delivery network in California, particularly in Wine Country. Eaze provides a large product variety to pick from, including well-known brands and a wide range of product kinds. Eaze distributes cannabis to hotels and vacation rentals, making it easier for visitors to the area to try it.

Insider Tip: Don’t forget to inquire about their new-customer discount.

SPARC

The sheer number of cannabis consumption alternatives can be confusing and intimidating, especially given each product provides a distinct experience and can affect your body in a variety of ways (and at various times).

This, however, isn’t a terrible thing. Recent industry advancements, backed by increased acceptance and legalization, have created apparently limitless opportunities for safe experimentation and use. As they say, the world is your oyster.

Let’s start at the beginning: CBD vs. THC

Let’s break down these two acronyms, which you’ll hear and see a lot. CBD and THC are both cannabinoids generated from the cannabis plant, but THC is psychoactive whereas CBD is not. What exactly does that imply?

Chemical chemicals that alter a person’s mental state by influencing the way the brain and nervous system work are referred to as psychoactive. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are all psychoactive substances. As a result, if a cannabis product contains THC, depending on how much you take, you will most likely “feel high.”

CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive, therefore you will not get “high” if you solely use CBD in your cannabis. CBD-only products are most typically used for pain relief, stress relief, and anxiety relief, so put the Cheetos and other snacks away for now. However, studies have shown that CBD can assist control symptoms of a range of medical illnesses, including arthritis, anxiety, and general pain alleviation. The use of CBD-based oils in spa treatments is becoming increasingly popular.

When purchasing cannabis, the product will specify clearly which cannabinoids are present (THC or CBD, or both). Many goods are truly hybrids that combine the two.

How to Use Marijuana

Because of legalization, cannabis products (both CBD and THC) have evolved dramatically over the last 15 years. Consumers can now eat, drink, rub, vape, and, of course, smoke cannabis goods thanks to a flood of new items on the market.

It’s all a little daunting, to be honest. A budtender, on the other hand, can be extremely useful in this situation. They will listen to how you want to feel (relaxed) or what you’re looking for (sleep help), and then make recommendations for specific goods. Here’s a brief reference guide to the many cannabis product categories.

Flowers (traditional marijuana buds smoked) — today’s flower cannabis comes in a wide range of flavors. There is a floral strain for any situation, whether you want to relax, perk up, or sleep better.

Beverages (cannabis-infused liquids) are a great (and low-calorie) way to get a taste of cannabis. Every month, new alternatives emerge, ranging from cannabis seltzer to cannabis hops water (which tastes like an IPA beer) to cannabis cold brew (caffeine + weed).

We’ve moved on from your handmade cannabis brownies to edibles (gummies, chocolate, mints). Because of the range of products available, cannabis edibles are one of the most popular cannabis product categories (types of edibles and amount of cannabis in each product). Garden Society, one of our good friends, makes artisan-crafted cannabis-infused chocolates.

Cartridges and Extracts (for vaping cannabis)– these goods are inhaled and utilized with vape pens or gadgets. If you’re looking for a discreet cannabis solution, vaping may be the way to go. It produces no smoke and emits little to no odor.

CBD topical oils, balms, and bath bombs are wonderful self-care and wellness solutions for general relaxation and pain treatment.

In Wine Country, Cannabis is Legal

What you should know both during your visit and after you return home

Mixing Wine and Marijuana

If you’re visiting Wine Country, there’s a high chance you’ll be visiting vineyards, drinking wine, and eating the region’s famous farm-to-table cuisine. So, what happens if you add marijuana to the mix?

When combined with marijuana, alcohol is thought to enhance the effects of the drug, resulting in a higher high. It’s crucial to keep in mind that everyone reacts differently. If you’re new to cannabis, you might want to limit the amount of wine you drink beforehand.

Spas, health and wellness, and marijuana

Bardessono in Yountville (Napa Valley) and Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa are two of our favorite Wine Country spas that provide CBD treatments.

Tours & Experiences with Cannabis

A cannabis tour or experience is another excellent — and risk-free — way to learn about the world of marijuana. Cannabis tours, led by local experts, are a unique way to learn about and try cannabis in a variety of settings.

Our close friend Jared Giammona of The Sonoma Experience is one of the best in the business, and he leads some of our favorite tours, including a Wine & Cannabis tour, a Craft Beer & Cannabis tour, and a behind-the-scenes immersive cannabis tour.

Use of Cannabis in a Safe Manner

There are a few best practices to follow to ensure a safe and happy cannabis session. New cannabis users should start with tiny doses (say 2.5 milligrams) and choose products with low THC content (the budtenders at the dispensary can help you find the best products for beginners). Cannabis should not be consumed by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Staying hydrated will aid your body’s processing of cannabis.

We’ve already discussed how driving under the influence of cannabis is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous. Cannabis, like alcohol, can impair your ability to drive a car safely by altering your judgment, coordination, and response time.

Returning Home

Pro tip: Transporting marijuana purchased or obtained in California beyond state lines is unlawful. This is true whether you’re flying, driving, or using the train or bus. It’s a “use it or lose it” situation if you’re visiting from out of state. If you’re only going to be there for a short time, it’s advisable to buy cannabis in lesser amounts. You’ll always be able to obtain more!

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