Surf’s up? Na, smoke up! A new type of tourism is cooking in the Golden State now that marijuana is officially legal to purchase for recreational purposes.

Adults 21 years and over (sorry 18-20 year olds) were able to freely purchase the psychoactive substance from select retail stores across California from 1 January 2018.

According to officials, marijuana was legalised in order to reduce crime in a “smarter and more cost-effective way”, but it’s also likely to cook up a little more interest in California from what KarryOn defines as a “growing segment of travellers basing their holidays around the search for the best high on Earth”.


These tourists will choose their holiday destinations based on a state or city’s openness towards weed and will spend their dollars on the substance, farming tours as well as traditional tourist attractions and activities.

They’re big business for a destination – just ask Amsterdam, Barcelona, and the other 420 weed-friendly destinations.

Now that California is the “world’s largest legal marijuana marketplace”, it’s likely to get more than an ‘ounce’ of these travellers visiting over the next few years, and interest is already rolling in.

Kush Tourism, a Seattle-based travel company specialising in marijuana tours, said it has received a number of enquiries for Cannabis-based trips in California in recent weeks.

Image: Esteban Lopez/Unsplash

Image: Esteban Lopez/Unsplash

The business’ Market Place Manager, Andy Crosby, told KarryOn that based on previous experience in Washington (which legalised weed in 2012), a destination will almost immediately see positive results from decriminalising the substance.

“Legalising marijuana definitely can increase tourism, but also bring in more tax revenue, change the destination’s tone and introduce a whole new industry.”

Andy Crosby, Kush Tourism Market Place Manager

Crosby continued, saying that tourists travelling for marijuana want to experience what legal cannabis is like, and see how it’s produced and packaged.

While Kush Tourism doesn’t have a tour available in California just yet, Crosby said he expects one to be available in the near future.

“It would be crazy not to,” he said.

On a regular marijuana tour with Kush Tourism, travellers are given the opportunity to visit a premium indoor farming facility, see plants in their different stages and watch how different concentrates and extracts are made. There’s also glass blowing demonstrations and discounts on purchases.

READ: Is marijuana tourism really taking off around the world?

What are your thoughts on the news?