Legal recreational cannabis use is on the rise, with more and more states getting on board. This has created an increased interest in “cannabis tourism”; that is tourism that is focused on including cannabis consumption into the travel plans! After all, people travel widely to explore different “wine country” locations. The same trend is starting to grow in states that have legalized marijuana.
One obvious issue is that recreational use is not legal at the federal level, so it’s not an option to travel from state to state, whether by land, sea or air, enjoying a tour of cannabis related attractions and businesses and bringing samples with you. Similarly, it’s not an option to go to a national park—even one located in a state that has legalized marijuana—and smoke as federal land falls under federal jurisdiction.
Even among states where recreational cannabis is legal, the rules differ widely from state to state as to where and how much you can consume or have on your person. The interesting ways in which different states have embraced cannabis tourism, however, speaks to the growing interest of some of the public for precisely this kind of activity.
Alaska, for example, legalized consumption of cannabis on-site at dispensaries in 2019, in addition to the already legal personal use in private residences. This opens the door to the possibility of Amsterdam like “cannabis cafés” or other similar business add ons for dispensaries.
On the flip side, states like California have long been in the game when it comes to connecting tourists with a toke. From yoga on a high to cannabis infused cocktails on the dinner menu, there has been a real effort to integrate cannabis and tourism, to welcome people who are interested in partaking.
Colorado boasts tours of pot farms, specialized lounges for having a weed infused drink and even a church that includes cannabis in its services. You can even learn to roll sushi and joints, at a Denver location. And in the great state of Maine, the crossover from café to dispensary is already in the works with places like Higher Grounds, a café where you can order your latté with a side of weed.
Just as smoking lounges developed in response to a public stance against smoking cigars in public, private pot smoking lounges are becoming more and more prevalent. By using private clubs, the rules that prohibit public consumption in various states can be avoided. Massachusetts, for example, has the Summit Lounge, which allows members to enjoy their buds in an elegant and welcoming environment, complete with fine dining and infused cocktails. Other states like Oregon have gotten on board with the private club setup, for a welcoming and social way to enjoy pot. A variation of this is the high end supper club, which invites guests to enjoy an amazing meal, fine wines, all paired with cannabis, such as the Cannabis Supper Club, in LA.
Along with gambling and other vices, Nevada has plenty of pot-friendly tourism options, including a painting class with cannabis called Puff, Pass and Paint! They also offer a cooking class, to round out the experience. You can’t smoke in the casinos, but there are definitely plenty of other options
And let’s not forget the many hotels and B&Bs, adorably named “Bud and Breakfast” locations, that cater to the cannabis crowd. These are particularly prevalent in places like Massachusetts and Oregon.
As legalization continues to spread to other states, and with federal legalization on the horizon, the normalization of cannabis tourism is only a matter of time.
About the author
Serge Chistov is a cannabis industry expert and Chief Financial Partner with Honest Marijuana Co (https://honestmarijuana.com/) eco conscious cannabis growery. Honest Marijuana has been a leader in cannabis innovation since it’s inception with an organic approach to the growth, production and packaging of cannabis, the launch of the first-ever organic hemp wrapped machine rolled blunts, an the invention of the now patented Nanobidiol Technology which powers the company’s just released line of with the Insta Fizzy, Insta Gummies and Insta Mints as well as their Hemp Theory product line.