Cannabis seems to be the next big thing in tourism, as cannabidiol (aka CBD) is making an appearance in the foods we eat and even at the events we attend.
CBD-rich cannabis is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana with a wide range of health benefits and no side effects, making it an appealing option for those plagued with chronic pain and illness. In 2012, recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado and Washington, and since then, eight other states as well as Washington, DC have deemed it legal for recreational purposes, according to the latest election results. Cannabis tourism is a hot topic for medical meetings, with countless conventions on the docket throughout the US and beyond for 2019. And as CBD continues to become more mainstream, tourism opportunities and medical or pharmaceutical meetings are all the more in demand.
That said, here are four destinations where cannabis tourism is real, and only continuing to gain in popularity.
Colorado was the guinea pig for all things cannabis, and since January 2014 (when marijuana officially became legal for recreational use), cannabis tourism has grown 51 percent, reported the state’s department of revenue, generating $5.65 billion in overall marijuana sales. In 2016 alone, there were 6.5 million cannabis tourists to the state. Group marijuana tours, 420-friendly hotels and even cannabis classes have become mainstream via companies like Colorado Cannabis Tours, which are especially popular during Colorado Cannabis Week held in Denver.
Same goes for Washington. Kush Tourism takes groups behind the scenes to understand more about cannabis culture. That includes glass-blowing demos, lab explorations and testing out edibles at different retail shops. Apart from tours, Seattle has become known for its cannabis-themed yoga sessions, art classes and even creative writing meetups. The state has seen similar economic growth, raking in more than $1 billion in non-medical marijuana sales since 2012.
Marijuana became officially legal in Oregon in 2015, and sales increased so much that the state was able to pay $85 million last year in marijuana tax revenue to fund schools, public health initiatives, state police and local government. In the state’s Eugene, Cascade and Coast region, there are more than 60 cannabis storefronts, and the tourism option is listed on the CVB’s website.
Ever since being legalized this past January, California has quickly hopped on the cannabis bandwagon. “Wine and weed” tours continue to be popular, as they’re filled with food, wine and, you guessed it, marijuana. Cannabis tourism is so popular, in fact, that the San Francisco Chronicle has published articles in its travel section about the best five places for it. And San Francisco’s popular Outside Lands festival had an entire cannabis section this year.