With their fresh-faced enthusiasm, clean-pressed polo shirts and khakis, Michael Gordon and Chase Nobles could be leading a tour to Mount Rainier or the Columbia River Valley. But they’re not. They’re the new faces of the next (hopefully) great boom in Seattle with their Kush Tourism, a “behind-the-scenes look at the cannabis industry.”
Here, Michael shares more about his company, their tours and what they hope to accomplish now that cannabis is legal in Washington.
Tell us a little about Kush and how it came to fruition.
I looked at Amsterdam and the draw for people that pot tourism has over there. With legalized pot, the same thing will happen for Seattle. We’re already a destination city, and it’s going to draw even a few more tourists to Seattle.
Our first public tour was on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It was a lot of fun. We got to learn about glass blowing, trimming buds, edibles and took Mary White’s cooking class. She’s awesome. She used to work in radio for the Wolf, and is very lively and has an energetic personality. She’s been teaching cooking classes for a long time and using cannabis as from of medicine. I had friend go to her cooking classes and said, “This woman is incredible.” I definitely wanted her to be on my tour.
What messages are you trying to convey about marijuana to the public?
One of the nice things about being an entrepreneur is that everyone on our tours is very respectable, and we’re a very clean-cut professional company. We’re trying to break down public perceptions. This is a normal, legitimate industry here, and businesses are more open to working with us because of that.
They also see us as entrepreneurs trying to make this succeed and to change the social stereotypes. This is a niche community, there is a core of cannabis business and business owners, and if you screw up here, everyone will know about it.
How is the business going?
We had eight people on our first cooking tour. The truth is, it’s like starting any new business, and we’re just getting started.
In Colorado, there are already eight to 10 different cannabis tour companies and there doesn’t seem to be enough business to sustain that. We’re hoping not to see the same thing in Seattle. We are significantly ahead of the competition and already running tours.
What has been the feedback so far?
People really love the hands-on experiences we’ve got. These are not “looking behind the glass window” tours. On our tours, here’s a cannabis plant, you can hold it, you can touch it. Here are the buds, you can trim them. It’s very interactive and it’s a refreshing thing to be able to hold products like that. All the response from the media so far has also been 100 percent awesome.
We’re also helping grow the industry. It’s happening, we know all the medicinal things, but by going public, we’re building bridges between the industry and a more general audience.
Most likely, everyone on our tours has smoked pot at some point, but there is a very large range of experience, from some who have grown pot and some who were curious and have never seen a pot plant before. Then Mary White pulls out this really little pot plant and it was so cute, so it’s really for everyone who wants to learn more and have a look inside the business.
Kush Tourism offers several tours through their website, where you can also book your own weed adventure.