Cannabis tourism heats up in the desert

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Desert Hot Springs is the lone Coachella Valley community north of the 10 freeway. Sitting in the middle of the San Andreas Fault, the city has long been known for its mineral waters that are rich in lithium. Depending on where you are in town, the natural spring water rises to the surface either piping hot or quite chilly. Photo by Matt Guilhem/KCRW.

Long known as “the spa city,” Desert Hot Springs is looking to expand its relaxation and recreational offerings by going big on so-called “cannatourism.” The Coachella Valley community recently approved a pair of ordinances that will allow for consumption and sales of pot at hotels and entertainment venues. Already a hotbed of cannabis cultivation and production, the city is betting on tourists stopping to sample the industry’s wares as they explore nearby Joshua Tree National Park and the rest of the desert.