Some of us travel for cocktails by the beach; some of us for the adrenalin rush that comes from scaling towering mountains. And others travel for that general sense of adventure and to discover new cultures.
And some of us, well, we travel for the herb, and we like to mingle with the Mary Jane when we holiday, literally blazing trails wherever we go.
Marijuana; choof; weed. Whatever name it goes by in whatever corner of the world, marijuana is no longer a dirty word whispered on street corners or in dark alleyways – at least in some destinations that have seen the economic potential in taking weed off the streets and adding an attractive price tag.
Marijuana tourism is actually BIG business, and we’re already seeing a growing segment of the market basing their holidays around the search for the best high on Earth.
And we’re not just talking about Amsterdam: Barcelona, Portugal and Uruguay are also 420 friendly destinations.
But recently, a handful of American states have demonstrated just how big marijuana can be as a motivating factor to travel. Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have all legalised the recreational consumption of marijuana in the last few years, and they’ve sparked a wave of what can only be described as pot tourism.
According to Andrew Bender at Forbes in the US, the decision to legalise recreational cannabis consumption in Colorado in 2014 had an immediate positive impact on tourist numbers into the state: Denver International Airport saw record traffic in the first quarter of that year, and online searches for hotels in the city were up an impressive 25 percent. Tour companies offering ‘marijuana tours’ have also been selling out like hot cakes.
Indeed, smokers are flocking to these pot havens in search of a high holiday without the fear of criminal repercussions, and local businesses have sprouted in their wake, keen to cash in on the tourist dollar and develop a burgeoning pot tourism scene in their locales.
But apart from just getting high and blazing up, what else can smokers do on a weed holiday?
Once the novelty of smoking legally wears off, potheads can do a whole bunch. For example, travellers can visit local grow operations and farms (like a vineyard tour), take edible cooking classes (like a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai), or art workshops, or even stay in ‘bud and breakfasts.’ And there’s also just visiting the coolest recreational dispensaries for a little trip – kind of like bar hopping.
Other businesses are getting more creative. Kush Tourism, to take just one example, operate 420-friendly tours across many states in the USA, and some of their tours include cannabis massages and bike trips.
Whilst another operator, My 420 Tours, run a four-hour ‘Dispensary & Grow tour’ ($US129) which takes guests around Denver in a tinted-window party bus whilst educating its guests on the differences between between sativa and indica plants; the effects of THC and CBD; and the pros and cons of smoking methods, vaporizers, and edibles.
Of course, Australia won’t be partaking in this phenomenon anytime soon, but our brothers and sisters across the Pacific have definitely gotten onboard the green train, and since legalisation, Americans have spent over $5 billion on recreational and medical marijuana – more than what they spend on Doritos, Cheetos, and Funyuns combined, according to The Washington Post.
And as with many things, if America leads, we all tend to follow…
Do you think marijuana tourism will continue to grow in other parts of the world?
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