As a kid you went to Disney World. As an adult, you’ll visit Cannabis Land.
The scope of the market might never achieve such heights — not right away, at least — but the emerging world of cannabis tourism paints a picture of what lies ahead. And in this brand-new American industry, there’s money to be made.
For a look at what cannabis tourism will likely resemble in coming years, visit Oregon’s coastline. A recent article in the Seattle Times delved into the draw of pot in this vacation region. The Pacific-facing seashore of Oregon is no balmy destination: it’s a cloud-blanketed chilly region. But the pro-pot atmosphere of the state’s “cannabis coast” is attracting visitors from across the globe.
As such, you now have retailers dressed in marijuana-leaf-covered suits holding signs advertising grams for $5. A subtler version of the pot-tourism entrepreneur is the owner of a seaside bed and breakfast in Yachats, Oregon. Her place openly welcomes cannabis in the way that some B&Bs welcome pets. There’s nothing to hide at this “Bud and Breakfast”: the owner lists her business on KushTourism.com.
Dig into that website and you’ll find more pro-pot lodging. Also advertised on KushTourism.com are cannabis-themed tours, plus all the info you’ll need for finding dispensaries. The website also spells out the different laws in each state, allowing cannabis tourists the easiest and safest possible trip.
Elsewhere, the idea of Cannabis Land is truly taking shape. The publicly traded company American Green Inc. has announced its intention to buy a near-ghost town in southeast California and transform it into a “cannabis-friendly” resort destination and marijuana-production center. (Though they’ll come up with a less corny name than ours, we hope.)
Plans for the resort include “cannabis-product retail outposts, artist-in-residence programs, culinary events, and bed-and-breakfast lodging.” According to an article on Fortune.com, the company wants to power all this through sustainable technology, like solar energy. American Green Inc. hopes their project can lead the way towards other organizations “using weed to revitalize small towns.”
Where regulation fits in isn’t quite clear. Obviously all of this is legal, or else it would never get off the ground floor. Which is to say that cannabis tourism remains in the earliest phases, but clearly has an immense future. Especially if some states and countries legalize cannabis while others do not. (Oregon cannabis retailers report meeting tourisms from “China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and South Korea.”)
With cannabis tourism there’s money to be made — and laws to follow. The sooner that cannabis regulators and law-enforcement prepare themselves for the inevitable growth of this market, the safer they can make it for visitors who bring in tourism dollars as they vacation in the burgeoning world of legal pot.
Kyle Swartz is editor of Cannabis Regulator. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org