Picture this if you will, a warm night in a beautiful, modern residence located minutes from the Strip in SW Las Vegas. Inside, both local residents and tourists are engaged in art, music and fun times while unapologetically blazed. This little piece of paradise is what I experienced when I attended CannabisTours.com’s, (bring-your-own-cannabis) Puff, Pass, Paint and Puff, Pass, Pastry classes a couple weeks ago. As part of the CannabisTours experience, the organization is quickly becoming the gold-standard for cannabis loving tourists across the country.
A brief history
Colorado Cannabis Tours was founded in 2014 in Denver by Michael Eymer, and Puff, Pass Paint was founded by Heidi Keyes at the same time. The two collaborated for a year and then merged their businesses in October of 2015, founding CannabisTours.com.
They became the standard for cannabis tourism by providing an array of classes, events, and lodging for cannabis tourists around the country. Their menu of fun cannabis inspired events has expanded to more cities (DC, Portland, LA, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland), but I have to admit that given Las Vegas’ novelty culture, these classes seem tailor-made for the valley.
Puff, Pass, Paint
Once I walked into the Puff, Pass, Paint class, I was overwhelmed by the chill and welcoming vibes. I was immediately greeted by Kristal Chamblee, who can only be described as super-intelligent, knowledgeable, funny and quite extroverted. I then met Michael Cassini (who goes by Mikey), it’s friendly, open and laid-back instructor who directed to a table set up with paint, paintbrushes and a blank canvas. The walls were adorned with paintings, which I later learned
The walls were adorned with paintings, which I later learned were done by previous attendees. After allowing for an additional 5 or 10 “stoner minutes,” as they called it, the class got underway. Mikey explained, “We’re gonna work on a Tiki Man tonight.”
And that’s when we lit up
The crowd ranged in age from the early 20s and up, but there were no divides here. Nor were there any pretenses about the ‘puff, pass’ part. Mikey gave us our initial instructions but allowed us all to freestyle within our own pot-induced creative leanings. Between the smooth, low-volume hip hop and reggae beats and the large flat screen displaying videos of “happy tree” painter Bob Ross, I was fully immersed in the atmosphere; save for my self-consciousness over my lack of visual arts talent. But Kristal and Mikey were super reassuring.
Midway through the class, Kristal launches into a fun cannabis-trivia quiz for free Puff, Pass & Paint T-shirt giveaways. In a foggy haze, I wondered if these two knew that they had landed the pot smokers’ quintessential dream job.
Mikey says that combining cannabis with his love for art and people is a ‘totally joyful experience,” and it shows.
I started with Cannabis Tours in Las Vegas after rec voting was confirmed last year. Kristal and I are privileged to host the most fun cannabis events in town and this is just the beginning of our Las Vegas Cannabis adventure. – Mikey
Regarding the overwhelmingly positive reviews of their classes, Mikey continues,
One thing that we hear all the time is how therapeutic the painting and pottery events are. People are amazed at being able to smoke with strangers in such a relaxed environment. What amazes us the most is seeing people from different walks of life or generations sharing joints and laughing.
Kat, a radio personality in Vegas and repeat attendee of the classes says she heard of them on Facebook and has since become a fan. She enthusiastically recommends the classes to anyone who would enjoy this type of thing, but she clarifies that,
The information that is given in the classes is phenomenal and the classes are always fun. It is not just about indulging in marijuana, but being educated as well as having fun.
As the city preps for recreational marijuana sales, slated to begin July 1, cannabis-oriented events will need to strike a balance between fun and education in order for legislators to keep their minds open with regards to expansion. When asked about the impacts of legal recreation on Vegas and CannabisTours.com Mikey stated,
Rec in Nevada will provide a new vibe for the Las Vegas entertainment scene. Now, Las Vegas visitors have the option to slow down, burn some great Nevada buds and enjoy the many different attractions in our entertainment city.
My hope is that recreational cannabis will help the city with much needed tax dollars for education and public works. We are excited to continue hosting great cannabis experiences and being a positive force of the community!
Puff, Pass, Pastry
While Puff, Pass, Paint offers a tranquil experience, Puff, Pass, Pastry feels somewhere between relaxed and wildly informative. For a newbie, trying to find out how to properly cook with cannabis can be a difficult task. But after watching Kristal, a passionate culinary professional who knows her stuff, you’ll learn more than you ever thought possible.
Taught on a Sunday afternoon, Kristal delves into the scientific creation of simple syrups, blueberry lemonade and waffle sandwiches with cannabis-infused maple syrup (my mouth is watering as I write this).
Kristal’s class is a prime example of what the cannabis industry in Las Vegas needs, an educational yet fun approach to working with the plant. When asked later about her involvement with CannabisTours.com she replied,
Heidi and I were connected via social media in February, and within a week I was part of the Las Vegas CannabisTours.com family. It has been such a dream to create my own cooking class as the Puff, Pass & Pastry Chef. Cooking and cannabis are my passion and to share with people from all over the country makes me feel great.
Given her vast knowledge, you’d think she’d been a cannabis connoisseur for a lifetime, but Kristal says that while she took her first puff in high school, she didn’t really develop a love for cannabis until she attended culinary school where she meshed cannabis with her passion for the culinary arts. She says, “Some of my best work is done while lit!”
Anyone interested in how to properly infuse cannabis with their meals needs to take a lesson or two from Kristal. Her passion is clearly reflected in her current work and in her ambitions.
As a chef, my dream is to have huge infused dinner parties at my house and share my infused food with the world. Recreational cannabis allows me to do this without the idea that we are doing something wrong!
My hope is that rec will help with educating the public about cannabis in a positive light! We smoke pot, we have fun and cannabis tours is here to help everyone do that in a safe open-minded space.
The go-to event for cannabis-friendly tourists and residents
Visitors to Las Vegas who’d like to take advantage of Las Vegas’ new recreational law must remember that cannabis consumption, medical or otherwise is not permitted in or around the Las Vegas Strip.
In essence, CannabisTours.com’s series of classes may be one of the few places to safely and legally partake. Residents can also come as many times as they’d like! All events are BYOC (bring-your-own-cannabis), so do yourself a favor and book at least one of their activities while you’re in town at puffpassandpaint.com. You won’t regret it.
Their current event schedule is:
- Puff, Pass, Paint: Thurs., Sat. – 7-9pm
- Puff, Pass, Pastry: Sundays – 11:30-2pm
- Puff, Pass, Pottery: Fridays 7-9pm
- Puff, Pass, Poof Magic Show: Wednesdays – 7-9pm
- Airport Pickup/Private Tours: Starting July 1
- Group Tours: Coming July 1