Ontario's Niagara region has its wine tours, and travelers flock to Scotland to sample the fine single malt whiskies. But in Jamaica, farmers are offering a different kind of trip for a different type of connoisseur.

Call them ganja tours: smoky, mystical and technically illegal journeys to some of the island's hidden cannabis plantations, where pot tourists can sample such strains as "purple kush" and "pineapple skunk."

The tours pass through places like Nine Mile, the tiny hometown of reggae legend, and famous pot-lover, Bob Marley.

There, in Jamaica's verdant central mountains, dreadlocked men escort curious visitors to a farm where deep-green marijuana plants grow out of the reddish soil.

"This one here is the original sinsemilla, Bob Marley's favourite. And this one here is the chocolate skunk. It's special for the ladies," a pot farmer nicknamed "Breezy" told a reporter as he showed off several varieties on his plot one recent morning.

Breezy said Americans, Germans and increasingly Russians have taken the $50 tour of his small farm and sampled his crop.

For those who just want the goods without the farm visit, Breezy's friends sell small baggies of weed through a hole in the wall of the museum compound in Nine Mile.

An online vacation guide called Jamaicamax promises to organize ganja tours in the area just outside the western resort town of Negril. But there's a caveat: First you have to smoke a marijuana "spliff" with your guide, presumably to show you are not law enforcement.

"After you smoke a spliff with us and we get to know you then we will take you on the best ganja tours in Jamaica and you'll smoke (and eat if you want) so much ganja you'll be talking to Bob Marley himself," the travel website says.

Government to review legalization

While legalization drives have scored major victories in recent months in places like Colorado and Washington state, and the government of Uruguay is moving toward getting into the pot business itself, the plant is still illegal in Jamaica, where it is known popularly as "ganja."

Some would like to see that change, with increasingly vocal advocates saying Jamaica could give its struggling economy a boost by taking advantage of the fact the island is nearly as famous for its marijuana as it is for beaches, reggae music and world-beating sprinters.

Justice Minister Mark Golding said the government is aware of legalization efforts elsewhere, and called the issue "dynamic and evolving quickly."

"We will be reviewing the matter in light of the recent developments in this hemisphere," Golding said of decriminalization in an email.

Despite its laid-back international image, Jamaica is a conservative, religious place and many people bristle at the country's Rasta reputation.

Still, more than a decade after a government commission said marijuana was "culturally entrenched" and recommended decriminalizing personal use by adults, influential politicians and businessmen are pushing for Jamaica to cast off old fears of angering Washington and loosen up laws.

Henry Lowe, a prominent Jamaican scientist who helped develop a cannabis-derived medication to treat glaucoma in the 1980s, said the island could quickly become a hub of marijuana tourism and research. "People could come down to Jamaica for medical marijuana treatment and health tourism because this has been our tradition, our culture."