Tourism

Cannabis tourism is now a $17 billion industry and it’s only growing.

From marijuana farm tours to breakfast and bud hotels, US destinations are discovering that “canna cations” are no longer just for addicts.


IT HASDrienne, a 40-year-old makeup artist, grew up in the mountains of northern Georgia, a state where cannabis is still illegal. When she and her husband were planning a 2018 vacation, Adrienne, who speaks with a pleasant southern drawl and has been smoking marijuana since she was 14, suggested they go to California and see what it’s like to buy weed legally.

“I had never been to a dispensary before and wanted to be guided by a professional so we could sit back and get all the knowledge,” Adrienne says of the experience.

She booked a tour with Emerald Farm Tours, which operates out of San Francisco and directs cannabis enthusiasts to local dispensaries and also offers private indoor cannabis growing tours in the Bay Area. Adrienne spent about $1,500 on her “canna-cation” for a half-day tour, a good selection of weed, and a hotel room. A few months later, she booked another trip with the same company, but this time she and a few friends bought a full-day tour to visit an open-air cannabis farm in Mendocino, a three-hour drive north of San Francisco.

Of course, Adrienne didn’t have to travel to California to enjoy cannabis on vacation. At the moment, 19 states and Washington DC have legalized recreational cannabis.and several more states are likely to join them this year.


CANNABIS LAWS IN STATES


As legalization spread, marijuana also became significantly less stigmatized. More than two-thirds of American adults (68%) currently support the use of adults, according to a May Harris Poll. Half of all millennials (50%) say that access to legal recreational cannabis is important when choosing a vacation spot, and more than four in ten millennials (43%) say they chose the spot on purpose because cannabis was legal there.

For now, travel boards and the industry are largely ignoring cannabis travel, leaving millions of dollars on the table, says Victor Piño, co-founder of Emerald Farm Tours. “They’re tourists and they’re shopping – they’re here to spend money in the mecca of weed,” he says, explaining how his typical customer spends $300 to $400 at the pharmacy during their visits, which is about three times as much. than an ordinary person. average deal with locals.

It’s still unclear how big the nascent cannabis tourism industry will eventually become or what its potential economic impact on the $1.2 trillion US tourism economy will be, but early data is encouraging. A 2020 pre-pandemic national survey by market research firm MMGY Travel Intelligence Insights found that nearly one in five (18%) American travelers are interested in cannabis on vacation. That number jumps to 62% when the study narrows down to cannabis-using adults over the age of 21 with an annual household income…

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