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What is cannabis tourism and why is it on the rise?


The article deals with the trend of marijuana tourism and what makes it an up-and-coming proposition in the tourism industry.

Marijuana or cannabis is a psychoactive drug and a plant that is grown for recreational or medical purposes. Also called weed or pot, it consists of mind-altering compounds such as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and non-mind-altering compounds like CBD or cannabidiol.

The number of American states that are opening up to legal recreational use of marijuana is increasing with each passing year. Understandably more and more people are waking up to the idea of normalization of recreational marijuana usage among adults, not just in the U.S. but in other countries as well.

Health benefits of marijuana
The combination of THC and CBD present in the pot makes it a very helpful drug for various illnesses. Since CBD impacts the brain and THC has pain-relieving properties, they help treat chronic pain. This is one of the biggest reasons why marijuana is used medically in a legal capacity in some areas. Apart from pain, it helps regulate insulin levels, aiding weight loss and better blood sugar levels. Other benefits include:

  • Alleviating anxiety,
  • Treating depression
  • Glaucoma
  • Helps in fighting those affected with autism
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis pain

However, there is no thorough scientific evidence to prove that cannabis can be a safe medicinal drug to use; hence it is not FDA approved.

Photo by Grav on Unsplash

What exactly is cannabis tourism?
Cannabis tourism can be simply defined as leisure travel done for the purpose of indulging in marijuana use in areas where it is legal.

It is like the wine industry, where people gather from all over the country and the world to check out the vineyards in a specific region. Similar is the case with cannabis tourism when people visit the places where pot is legal. They can spend some time there not just indulging in marijuana consumption but also doing other recreational things during the visit. Therefore, a person who invests in providing services and assistance to an out-of-state visitor looking for marijuana use and related activities invariably becomes a contributor and a participant in the cannabis tourism industry.

If you’re a marijuana enthusiast, then these individuals or agencies can help you plan your itinerary to ensure you have an enjoyable and rejuvenating time while you’re in cities or areas that have made recreational use of pot legal. Right from booking your flights and stays in cannabis-friendly hotels to the scheduling of leisure tours and fun things to do around the city, they’ll take care to make sure you get access to extraction facilities and other behind the scene areas which are into manufacturing of pot edibles and other goodies like CBD Gummies.

Exposure to such cannabis-infused interactions is the major selling point of the marijuana tourism industry, and the number of customers hooked to these adventures is increasing steadily. The exercise of weed tourism can include visiting pot kitchens, weed festivals, attending marijuana cooking classes, glass-pipe blowing activity on a bus, and puff & pass sessions wherever permissible.

The advantage of being a pot enthusiast during such a tour is that you’ll get access to all the legal sales of cannabis in its variety of forms like edibles, joints, vape pens, and blunts. These can be purchased when you visit a cannabis dispensary, which is a government-regulated licensed shop where you can buy weed for medical and recreational use. Other experiences can include sampling a weed product in a safe environment and a spa session with a CBD product.

Photo by Matt Schwartz on Unsplash

Growth in this industry
Colorado, the first state to make the recreational use of pot legal, earned marijuana sales worth $927 million in the year 2019. As a result, the market is growing for cannabis tourism. The states that have made it legal now sense an opportunity to grab the attention of those who’ve already had exposure to marijuana. This has led to increased hiring of people in weed tourism-related roles. Hence, more and more jobs have crept into the marijuana sector. Appointments are related to growing pot and cater to marketing professionals, liaison officers, CFOs, COOs, and chefs.

A three-to-four-hour tour of the growing facility could start from $89-99, which invariably is the first stop on a weed tour. A lot of marijuana-friendly restaurants and eateries are also coming up as they offer exotic meals with customizable add-on quantities of marijuana on the plate.  

Those who’ve had first-hand experience of cannabis tourism feel that this sector will grow from strength to strength as more and more states in the US are opening up to its recreational use. So far, a total of 17 states in the US have legalized the non-medical use of marijuana. Also, there are a total of 13 states that have decriminalized its leisure use as of April 2021.

Outdoor enthusiasts have been said to be open to trying marijuana tourism and would love to explore more opportunities of experiencing pot travel in a legalized manner. Although the FDA has deemed that marijuana cannot be sold as dietary supplements, the state’s laws permit or disallow the sale of CBD or THC-infused foods.

Although things are moving in the right direction for the cannabis tourism industry, with the demand picking up, many challenges and roadblocks need to be cleared for it to thrive. There’s still no designated public area where you can consume pot. Plus, there are quantity restrictions for buyers, depending on different states regarding how much you can purchase, carry and use.

All in all, the cannabis tourism industry is here to stay, and the future looks bright as more and more people are opening up to the idea of traveling and elevating their minds and body by venturing into pot-oriented activities.   

Main photo by Wesley Gibbs on Unsplash

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