If you’re over the ripe age of twenty-one and love marijuana (possibly even consider yourself a cannoisseur), cannabis tourism is literally calling your name. Nine states have now legalized pot for recreational use and people are traveling from all over the world to experience this new prohibition in unique ways. And even though the businesses and events in the niche are fairly new, they offer exclusive experiences that aren’t seen anywhere else.
Traveling to a state with recreational cannabis doesn’t mean that you can have a free-for-all and smoke weed anytime, anywhere. There are limitations in place. For instance, you can’t stand on the street corner and spark up a doobie that you just bought from the dispensary. Just like alcohol, it’s illegal to consume it in public unless you’re at a bar or restaurant that has a license to serve it. This is where cannabis-friendly accommodations come into play.
Bud and Breakfasts
Just like a bed and breakfast, bud and breakfast establishments have only a few rooms and offer a more intimate lodging experience. However, at a bud and breakfast you’re allowed to smoke weed openly either in your room or outside. At The Adagio in Denver they offer wake and bake breakfasts, 4:20 happy hour, munchies all day, and dessert before bed. On top of all that, you can also have spa treatments. There’s really no reason to leave this place once you get there!
Smaller hotels are also popping up that allow open cannabis use. Unlike the bud and breakfasts, hotels are usually bigger and offer services that are less intimate and community-focused. The luxurious NATIV Hotel in downtown Denver offers a cafe, weed lounge, and events where cannabis is used openly.
Tours and Classes for the Cannoisseur
In addition to superb weed-friendly accommodations, recreational states offer unique tours and classes that travelers can enjoy as well. These events are growing in popularity, so websites like Kush Tourism and 420 Tours host the dates and details on an easy-to-use platform.
Dispensary and Grow Tours
Having the opportunity to tour a professional grow operation is a unique experience that the cannabis industry is capitalizing on. For around $50, you’re chauffeured to a grow room in a luxury party bus where food and cannabis are served. When the tour starts, you’re able to ask the growers questions about each part of the growing process. Afterwards you’re taken to the dispensary where goods can be purchased at a discounted rate. Because marijuana has never been legally produced on a large scale like this, these tours are extremely appealing to people who are curious about the cultivation process.
If you’re looking for more of an uncommon experience, businesses also offer marijuana cooking classes where attendees learn how to properly dose and cook edible cannabis goods with a professional chef in a fully-furnished kitchen. Sushi, Sake and Joint Rolling is another immersive class offered in Denver where you learn how to roll a proper sushi roll and joint while enjoying free sake.
Cannabis Retreats and Spas
The creme de la creme of cannabis travel activities includes a wide variety of 4/20 friendly cannabis retreats. There are fully-immersive experiences that are usually very expensive and more educational and involved than other events. Sheldon Owen, the CEO of Muncheez, predicts that “the marijuana tourism industry will become more of a subculture where cannabis will be paired with activities like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness,” which is already seen in these multi-day events.
Cannabis Yoga Retreats
Escaping to the mountains where professional yoga classes are combined with cannabis use, wholistic meals, meditation, and weed goodie bags is a hippie’s dream. These events are popping up all over in the states that have an established recreational cannabis market. Commonly referred to as “ganja yoga”, this practice is said to lower stress levels, and increase mindfulness and self awareness during practice.
Taking things even further, some businesses are also starting to offer fully immersive retreats that include yoga, hikes, ganja plant ceremonies, discussions, dancing, swimming, and musical events like concerts and silent discos. The Cannabliss Retreat in Joshua Tree National Park strives to create a multi-sensory five day experience where attendees learn about cannabis, consume THC-infused meals, participate in ceremonies/classes, and have the opportunity to browse a variety of marijuana and plant medicine vendors.
Cannabis day spas are beginning to emerge and grow in popularity. These businesses offer CBD or THC infused oil massages that are very effective for pain relief. If you aren’t familiar with CBD, it’s the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana that has a long list of medicinal purposes, including pain relief and reducing inflammation.
International Cannabis Tourism
Even though the United States has an established cannabis tourism market, there are also opportunities to have similar experiences abroad. Keep in mind that these can be tricky to find and book online. Depending on which country you’re in, you might have to find different tours or accommodations by talking to locals or other tourists.
The similarities between the cannabis tourism market and wine or cigar industries are drawing closer. Marijuana, like fine wine or foreign cigars, is now marketed as a luxury item that individuals can use for a variety of occasions or purposes. The creativity going into marijuana events and tourism is limitless, and it’ll be interesting to see where things go as more states begin to legalize and more consumers begin referring to themselves as a cannoisseur.