Cannabis Tour Group (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
For more than two years now, the entire tourism industry has taken a major hit from the coronavirus pandemic. And while there is still reason for concern about new strains and variants, each of which seems to be more contagious than the last, there are growing signs that cannabis tourism is about to explode worldwide.
The effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines and boosters in limiting contagion and drastically lowering hospitalization rates has re-opened the door for travel enthusiasts. Now, many who have spent an excessive amount of time feeling stifled and claustrophobic can spread their wings and take to the skies, or pile into the minivan. One sector of the tourism industry that shows clear signs of rapid evolution is cannabis-related travel.
"As the world continues to open back up with the pandemic finally subsiding, travelers that double as cannabis enthusiasts will be met with more cannabis tourism options than ever before," wrote Johnny Green on internationalcannabis.com
That's especially relevant in North America. The more states continue to relax their regulations regarding sales and possession of marijuana, the more potential there will be for numerous facets of cannabis-related tourism to prosper. Tourists are finding greater access to dispensaries, more weed-friendly accommodations (search HiBnb's "Stay Hi" for some great rentals), and restaurants that serve THC-infused meals. Whether travelers prefer bustling cities like New York City or Los Angeles, or more serene and bucolic areas like Kelowna, British Columbia, or Coachella Valley, California, there is a multitude of areas to explore and experience in various states -- and states of consciousness.
At the same time, international cannabis tourism continues to grow. Of course, many countries have been progressive about cannabis tourism for years, and long before legalization began in North America, Amsterdam, Holland, and Jamaica have been go-to travel destinations for some cannabis-enhanced fun.
"Historically, cannabis tourism largely revolved around simply acquiring amazing cannabis in a faraway place," wrote Green. "For people that lived in an illegal jurisdiction where cannabis was scarce, the mere option to acquire cannabis easily while on a trip was enough to entice the traveler to choose that specific destination."
Now that cannabis is rapidly evolving from an underground enterprise to a mainstream industry, there are more options for enthusiasts to visit previously inaccessible places on their bucket list and partake in one of their favorite activities at the same time.
Cannabis clubs are popular throughout Spain and other tourist destinations are starting to offer cannabis-friendly music and dance scenes. Malta, which became the first European country to legalize cannabis for adult use late last year, based its legalization model on the development of such cannabis clubs. At the same time, many health centers such as spas and wellness retreats around the world will soon be able to provide cannabis oil massages and soaks along with their previous treatments.
As more areas adapt to the legalization of cannabis and find ways to capitalize on the "new now," the cannabis industry will continue to grow, hopefully to the mutual benefit of farmers, dispensaries, restauranteurs, property renters, and, of course, vacationers. And as long as local governments get a sizeable piece of the action, further development in the cannabis vacation business is inevitable. That's great news for a growing number of tourists that want to high-ten their traveling experiences in America and elsewhere without any of the problems or hassles they used to face on a regular basis.
In the ever-evolving canna-business field, the more products and services entrepreneurs and investors bring to the marketplace, the more cannabis-related tourism will flourish.