Global weed tourism is at full throttle and can only improve from this point thanks to lowered travel restrictions, the development of COVID-19 vaccines, and, most importantly, the implementation of better cannabis policies in some countries across the globe.
The COVID-19 pandemic put the global tourism sector on hold. Travel restrictions were put in place to prevent inter-state and cross-country travel. The tourist sector was basically dead at the pandemic’s peak, and all destinations were closed off to visitors. The economies of local areas, whose primary source of income and employment is tourism, suffered. It was also during this period that cannabis use boomed in top countries around the world. This gave governments an idea of making the tourism sector lucrative as things normalized.
Weed tourism in 2022
One of the significant differences between this year’s tourism expectations and previous years is the prevalence of legal marijuana in Northern America and other Western countries. Recreational marijuana is allowed in 17 states and the District of Columbia. These areas had a steady stream of tourists annually before the pandemic. Tourists from all over the world now have another excellent reason to come into the country, and that reason is weed. According to the Cannabis Travel Organization, cannabis tourism has ignited the overall tourism sector in the country. They explained that it serves as an enhancer for the other sectors in the country and gives visitors something new to look forward to during their American visit. Cannabis tourism has brought and will bring more people to visit hotels, restaurants, and events during their stay.
There are some high expectations for this new tourist niche. Governments have been preparing since last summer for the influx of tourists who would experience the legal use of marijuana. States like California, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada, and Washington are the popular choices for tourists who wish to see areas where weed is legal, as well as the dispensaries where it is sold.
Top cannabis-related destinations
In the past year, California has cemented its position at the top of the marijuana tourism sector. Moreover, the state has always been one of the top three visited states in the country for a long time. The inception of its recreational cannabis industry gave it an edge over the others. Despite this, the state government looks for new ways to reinvent itself and solidify its status as the United States’ pot paradise. Other states with legal marijuana are buffing up their efforts to reach the top as well.
The cannabis tourism vibe is at its highest in West Hollywood. Within the areas, there are potential spots that would house similar establishments like those found in the cannabis tourism capital of the world, Amsterdam. Infusing the Amsterdam vibe into Hollywood will draw in thousands, even millions, of tourists annually. Weed cafes, lounges, galleries, and restaurants will generate billions of dollars. Millions of tourists are drawn to the novelty of recreational cannabis, and they’re prepared to spend thousands of dollars to experience it.
Washington, D.C., and Guam are building up their potential for cannabis tourism. The state is expected to pass progressive initiatives and policies that appeal to cannabis tourists.
A lucrative sector
Cannabis tourism is a lucrative venture. Businesses are moving over mountains to establish themselves in recreational states. These businesses want a piece of the pie that is the cannabis tourism venture. Companies like Trulieve are staying ahead of their host states by opening cannabis stores, labeled as key tourist attractions within the states. The New York Times reported in 2021 that Trulieve already has large-scale dispensaries in Florida. This is notwithstanding the fact that Florida has yet to legalize recreational cannabis. The state only allows the sale and use of medical marijuana by adults 21 and older.
Traditional hotels have taken an interest in exploiting the opportunities presented by the rapidly expanding recreational market. Most of these conventional institutions located in cannabis top spots are modifying their strict cannabis laws to allow tourists to use their cannabis products within the facility.
Generally, the tourism sector has high economic potential. As a matter of fact, many economies around the globe depend on the revenues generated by leisure travel annually. Locals are always eager during certain seasons and holiday periods to attract new businesses as soon as tourists start dropping in. The presence of legal cannabis boosts the allure of luxurious and sought-after destinations.
This new wave of weed tourism is here to stay
Weed will remain a huge motivation for travel in the following months, even years. It will be more profound when federal cannabis reforms are finally approved. A 2020 study says that at least 30% of tourists globally searched for legal cannabis spots for their holidays. This feeling is shared by 18% of American adults. Looking at the younger millennial demographic, the stats were even higher. This group appreciates the wonders of cannabis and also enjoys leisure travel.
On the global stage, marijuana legislation was not hindered by travel bans and closed borders. Some weeks ago, the island of Malta officially legalized adult-use cannabis.
Marijuana sales continued to thrive in Mexico, the closest South American country to America. Forbes recently reported that Mexico is on the path to legalizing recreational cannabis. The publication added that Mexico would establish cannabis-centric yoga and spa centers to draw in its American audience. Even without cannabis policies, the country is currently one of the top international leisure spots for adult Americans and their families.
Weed tourism can only go onward from here. Existing markets, new markets, and potential markets are working to improve the services offered by their recreational weed industries. As legalization continues to sweep across countries and states this year, the competition within the cannabis tourism market will grow.
Some of the best cannabis tours and experiences in the U.S. are listed on the popular travel site Lonely Planet. If you’re looking to have the best cannabis experience, buckle up and visit the Multnomah Falls Tour in Oregon, the Cannabis Supper Club in Los Angeles, or the Puff, Pass, and Paint art classes currently held in 13 cities across the country.