cannabis tourism travel covid-19

Cannabis Tourism Could Help Cities Struggling Due to COVID-19

Cannabis tourism is not a new concept.

For many decades vacationers have flocked to cannabis hotspots like Amsterdam, Jamaica, Thailand, and other international destinations often associated with cannabis, albeit unregulated cannabis.

Options for legal cannabis tourism have increased in recent years with the spread of cannabis reform.

Canada is a particularly popular destination these days because of the implementation of cannabis legalization.

Uruguay has also legalized cannabis for adult use, however, tourists are not able to take advantage of the new law because of restrictions.

A recent study found that a significant number of tourists are interested in engaging in cannabis-related vacation activities, which is good news for vacation spots that are struggling to stay afloat during the ongoing pandemic.

Survey Results

An entity called MMGY Travel Intelligence recently surveyed people that identified as being active tourists.

Roughly 1,500 perspective travelers participated in the survey, which asked participants if they were interested in incorporating cannabis-related activities into their vacation plans.

Cannabis-related activities included visiting a cannabis dispensary to make a purchase or to consume a cannabis-infused product.

Twenty-nine percent of survey participants expressed a desire to engage in those types of cannabis-related activities.

Thirty-eight percent of participants expressed a desire to travel to a destination that had reformed cannabis laws versus traveling to a destination that still had full prohibition in place.

Legalizing cannabis tourism would not fix every financial woe that an international tourist destination is experiencing, but it would help, and clearly there’s a demand for it.

Social Use Reform Will Increase Cannabis Tourism

One of the ‘next frontiers’ for cannabis reform is social use reform.

Social use reform involves permitting businesses and events to allow cannabis consumption.

The business model is not new on the international stage, although most operations around the world are still considered illegal.

Arguably the most well-known example is coffeeshops in Amsterdam, where people have gone for decades to purchase cannabis and consume it on-site.

Many cities and countries would benefit from permitting the coffeeshop model.

Social use reform will unlock a whole new world for cannabis consumers, and will no doubt incorporate existing technology to enhance the consumer experience.

Imagine going to a movie theater, or video game arcade, or lazer light show where cannabis consumption is allowed.

Those activities would likely be a legitimate draw for tourism.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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