Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New "420 Tours" Rolling Across the Bay (Like A Boss)

By David Downs
Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Disneyland might be celebrating the grand opening of the newly refurbished Star Tours this Spring, but the Bay Area medical marijuana community just opened its own wormhole into another galaxy with the start of “420 Tours”. Yup, this is happening.

The next evolution in Napa Valley's famed limo and wine-tasting culture, Ferrari 420 Tours is helmed by one Kim Ferrari and her husband out of Marin County, CA. The affable wellness products salespeople don't actually slang chronic, but do believe in its palliative properties. Ferrari became a medical marijuana patient in 2002 after workplace injuries crippled her.

“[Cannabis] got me out of a wheelchair,” she said. “I just got tired of living in the closet. I said, 'It's time.'”

The Ferraris
  • Ferrari of Marin
  • The Ferraris
She opened 420 Tours April 20, 2011. The company promises “airport pickup” and the option to “medicate legally” in their first magazine advertisement. A three-hour guided tour of San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, San Jose, or Lake Tahoe dispensaries runs $380 for three patients in a towncar, Ferrari said. The recommended package is a six-patient, four-hour limo tour for $540.

Guests should already have doctor's recommendation for cannabis. “The tour part is no fun if you have to go to the doctor's office,” Ferrari said.

Ferrari contracts a sober, drug-tested driver and hosts the tour herself. 420 Tours visits “high-end” dispensaries only, including San Francisco spots like SPARC, and the Vapor Room. They'll often offer gift bags, free edibles and menu discounts.

420 Tours — Like a Boss
  • Gawker
  • 420 Tours — Like a Boss

Patients may be able to smoke weed in the limo if there's a way to seal off the driver, “with permission from the guide and drivers,” she said. “My guess is that everyone will have discretion.”

As can be imagined, her start-up has faced some challenges. Obtaining a business license and an insurer isn't easy. The Novato-registered enterprise carries a hefty amount of general liability insurance. 420 Tours can't visit Marin County's two clubs, and out of state patients are generally out of luck, due to state law. Perhaps that's why Ferrari hasn't booked a single tour yet.

Grooviest. Groupon. Ever.
  • Grooviest. Groupon. Ever.

She's bullish on the business, though. Advertising and “word of mouth” are netting intrigued callers and one call for a pick-up and drop-off. Ferrari will also give away a free tour at the high-profile High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco June 26.

Adventuresome tourists can call 415-883-6925 for a quote, follow 420Tours on Twitter, and Yelp them with a review.

We figure the whole thing can't be more depraved than some of the black-out, stretched hummer "wine-tasting" tours of Napa we've been subjected to.

Still, let's cue the breathless cable news headlines in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Call Greta!

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