Destinations around the globe soften their stance on cannabis—to the benefit of medical meetings and medical tourism.
The global marijuana market was valued at more than $9 billion in 2016, according to Grand View Research, and is expected to climb to $146 billion by the end of 2025. Much of this boom is attributed to the healing properties of cannabis, specifically, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana referred to as cannabidiol (CBD), which has become a mainstream medical meetings topic, with thousands of conferences taking place on the subject annually around the globe.
CBD is currently most widely used to treat chronic pain, though the number of conditions for which CBD is becoming a commonplace treatment is rapidly growing. To this regard, Canada, Uruguay, multiple countries in Europe, Australia and South Africa have moved to fully legalize cannabis for medical use, while South Korea recently became the first East Asian country to legalize certain cannabis treatments. As of late last year, 10 US states and Washington, DC, legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over the age of 21, and 33 states legalized medical marijuana. In Colorado alone, cannabis tourism has grown more than 50 percent in the past 5 years. An array of cannabis tours and activities—puff and pass pottery classes to culinary magic workshops—are available in US cities that have legalized recreational cannabis.
As research and development continue to progress, more countries are projected to move to legalize cannabis. Expect cannabis to enter the mainstream event space in the near future.
For more on how CBD is already affecting the MICE industry, check out “Cannabis Is on the Menu at These 5 Hotel Restaurants.”