(Photo by Steve Kadell)
If you have a burning desire to know all there is about Bend’s burgeoning pot culture, look no further than local specialists Blazing Trails Tours, who are carving a new niche in guiding intrigued guests through a fun and educational look at cannabis.
In a similar spirit to the popular craft brew tours, Blazing Trails has stepped in to uncover the intricacies of another emerging part of the social fabric of Bend — which already boasts a vibrant music scene and artisan expertise as well as an enthusiastic embracing of the marijuana-related industry.
Daily summer trips overseen by Blazing Trails owners Stacie (“Stacie Dread”) Johnson and Tris (“Tristone”) Reisfar feature visitors experiencing marijuana legalization first-hand, touring the City under the pair’s knowledgeable tutelage.
Johnson said, “Whether you’re interested in medical marijuana, growing cannabis, navigating a dispensary, or looking for unique things to do in Bend, our pot tour will stimulate your mind and answer all your burning questions.
“We invite our guided groups to step into the world of marijuana, meet our industry partners and explore first-hand what Central Oregon cannabis culture has to offer.”
Johnson added that it was somewhat surprising that a good proportion of baby boomers wanted to take the tour as they often “don’t know what to do or where to go” and appreciated the program’s educational aspect and step-by-step approach.
The tours also include cannabis consumer safety information, a primer on Oregon history and laws as it relates to the industry, developments in cannabis science and a “swag bag” of gifts and coupons.
Blazing Trails has also recently launched a series of DIY Cannabis Classes offering the opportunity to learn the process for making medicated tincture, topical treatments and capsules as well as obtaining helpful and useful information on dosing and how to properly utilize the products based on your body’s needs.
Johnson and Reisfar’s joint history began in Bend in 2010 at Mother’s Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA), a medical marijuana licensing clinic focused on educating people about the responsible use of drugs.
Working with patients from all medical histories and attending seminars on cannabis science and therapeutics gave them the experience they needed to become knowledgeable about using cannabis for specific ailments, (i.e. chronic pain, cancer, glaucoma, MS, migraines, anxiety, etc.).
During this time, they also became co-hosts of their cannabis information/reggae music radio show, The High Desert Co-op on KPOV, which they say helped them “realize their truly unique position in this budding local industry.” Further reinforced with the formation of Blazing Trails, these two cannapreneurs say they are blazing brightly into their new venture and “hope it is an enlightening experience for all.”
Johnson grew up in Oregon, where she was an active individual and involved in youth sports such as softball and soccer as well as taking regular skiing/snowboarding trips with her family.
She said, “After my first major injury as a young teen, attending physicians recommended prescription medications for pain and inflammation.
“By the time I was 16, I experienced the results of this in the form of stomach pain, along with daily chronic back and hip pain. When I turned a responsible adult age, I tried cannabis for the first time and felt the positive medical benefits immediately… and the story goes from there.
“I became a state licensed medical marijuana patient in 2004 and an advocate for the healing properties
Johnson, who earned a bachelor of science in outdoor recreation and tourism from Oregon State University-Cascades, added, “It has always been my intention to use my degree and knowledge to help people live better.”
Reisfar’s cannabis reform trail began as a young man when he joined the Oregon Marijuana Initiative (OMI), Oregon’s first attempt to legalize cannabis.
He said, “The OMI reached the ballot in 1986, yet received only 26 percent of the yes vote. Remaining politically active throughout a 25-year career in the dental field, I helped fight an attempt to re criminalize cannabis in Oregon, and worked to finally legalize medical marijuana in 1997.”
Reisfar, whose stance is “Talk minus action equals zero,” began covering elections and public affairs at KPOV in Bend in 2005 where he continues to host two shows; The Coop, and The High Desert Co-op, and was the manager of MAMA Bend medical marijuana clinic from 2010-2017.
He currently serves on the Oregon Health Authority’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana and has been an active member of the City of Bend Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee since 2000.
Johnson added, “Oregon has a rich, deep history when it comes to cannabis, and education is our top priority at Blazing Trails Tours. We research and provide the most accurate, up to date information we can access.
“Our tour is a wonderful juxtapose to the many Bend beer tours, cycle pub and Bend live music events that keep our community alive and active.”
Blazing Trails Tours, 1800 NE Division St., Bend
blazingtrailsbend.com • 541-318-6488