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Tag: tourism

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Governments Need To Embrace Cannabis Tourism

A common misconception about cannabis reform is that once a jurisdiction’s lawmakers or voters initially approve an adult-use legalization measure, that there’s nothing left to do. In reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is that the push for reform continues well after a successful legalization vote. The effort behind pushing for sensible cannabis policies doesn’t change. Only the direction of where that effort is focused changes.

Immediately after an adult-use cannabis legalization measure is initially passed, the focus then shifts to more nuanced and granular aspects of cannabis policy. In the instances in which a jurisdiction’s legalization model permits legal sales, making sure that sensible regulations are adopted is extremely vital. One area of cannabis commerce that seems to often be overlooked, or at least is not properly embraced by governments, is cannabis tourism.

More Than Just Clubs And Lounges

Typically, when people think of cannabis-based tourism they think of coffeeshops, clubs, and lounges. While those are certainly valid examples of cannabis tourism, the sector of the emerging cannabis industry is much more complex these days, and evolving constantly. People still travel to Amsterdam to frequent the city’s historic coffeeshops, however, people now have far more options, and those options create additional opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Canada is home to the only nationwide, legal adult-use cannabis industry that is open to anyone of legal age. Uruguay also permits legal adult-use sales, however, they are limited to residents only. Malta passed an adult-use legalization measure late last year, and eventually the country will have cannabis clubs. However, no legal clubs are currently in operation.

Being that it’s a legal oasis to the world in many ways, Canada is a top international cannabis tourism destination. Consumption in public is still prohibited, so social use establishments like lounges play a vital role. Canada is home to a growing number of cannabis-friendly lodging choices, industry tours, and other ancillary cannabis tourism businesses, many of which do not ‘touch the plant’ directly.

A Growing Opportunity Cost

Some parts of the world are already established as top cannabis tourism destinations. It doesn’t take a cannabis historian to name some of them – The Netherlands, Spain, Jamaica, etc. For reasons that don’t quite make sense, very few of the current high-profile destinations seem to embrace cannabis tourism. That seeming lack of enthusiasm for cannabis tourism creates opportunities for other countries that want to fill the void.

For example, leaders in the Czech Republic have indicated that they want to follow Germany’s lead in passing an adult-use legalization measure, with a specific interest in becoming a cannabis tourism destination given the fact that current legalization plans in Germany do not appear to include cannabis clubs at this time.

“They do not have cannabis clubs that we are supposed to. I’m pretty sure I want to hold on to cannabis clubs until my last breath.” stated national anti-drug coordinator for the Czech Republic, Jindřich Vobořil in a post on his Facebook page.

People are going to travel to far off places for, among other things, cannabis experiences. This will be true even where cannabis remains illegal. Given that every country on earth needs increased public revenue, job creation, and boosts to local economies, cannabis tourism should be embraced by governments and not shunned. Any concerns about the sky falling if/when social use is permitted in a given jurisdiction are overblown, and the only people that claim otherwise are likely profiting directly off of prohibition.

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Cannabis Tourism To Experience Exponential Growth

Cannabis tourism has existed for many years, although for the most part, it was a completely unregulated sector of the cannabis industry. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, being that the entire cannabis industry was unregulated for many years.

For decades cannabis enthusiasts have flocked to top international cannabis tourism destinations such as Jamaica, Thailand, Spain, and Amsterdam. It was no secret that people from around the globe could easily find world-class cannabis in those areas, and entrepreneurial-minded locals were always happy to provide their services.

The entire tourism sector, not just cannabis, has done its best to navigate the ongoing pandemic, however, it’s obviously been a rough couple of years. Fortunately, cannabis reform efforts and the industry it creates have kept moving forward despite the pandemic.

As the world continues to open back up with the pandemic finally subsiding, travelers that double as cannabis enthusiasts will be met with more cannabis tourism options than ever before.

Types Of Cannabis Tourism

Historically, cannabis tourism largely revolved around simply acquiring amazing cannabis in a faraway place. For people that lived in an illegal jurisdiction where cannabis was scarce, the mere option to acquire cannabis easily while on a trip was enough to entice the traveler to choose that specific destination.

These days there is more to cannabis tourism than just the products, although cannabis use itself remains at the heart of the sector. As I often point out to people, if you can think of something that tourists do without cannabis involved, there’s likely a similar option that incorporates cannabis somewhere.

Just as there are winery tours, there are now cannabis cultivation and facility tours. Spas and wellness retreats have been popular for many years, and now many resorts and facilities also offer cannabis-based services such as cannabis oil massages and soaks.

Cannabis clubs are obviously popular in places like Spain, and the ‘club model’ is starting to show up in other places where cannabis laws are being reformed. Malta became the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use in Europe late last year, and the country’s legalization model is going to largely revolve around cannabis clubs that will no doubt be very popular with tourists.

Have Fun, Be Entertained, And Get Educated

Our International Cannabis Business Conference events help bring cannabis tourism to the next level. A prime example of that was on display at our last event in Barcelona on March 10th. Barcelona is home to more cannabis clubs than any other part of Spain, and possibly the world.

In addition to tourists being able to consume world-class cannabis and frequent Barcelona’s cannabis clubs, attendees of our event were also able to learn from, and network with, top cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and industry service providers from dozens of countries around the globe.

The International Cannabis Business Conference B2B event in Barcelona earlier this month was part of the world’s largest cannabis superconference along with Spannabis. In addition to the conference speakers and panel sessions, our Barcelona event also featured one of our famous after-parties where conference attendees were able to unwind after a full day of learning from leading cannabis experts.

We have more events coming in 2022 in Berlin and Zurich, and both of those cities rapidly becoming top international cannabis tourism destinations, with new local cannabis tourism services being launched all of the time. As cannabis reform efforts continue to change laws across the globe, the cannabis tourism sector will continue to expand alongside it. That is good news for tourists, as well as entrepreneurs and investors that are able to create products and services that help enhance the cannabis tourism experience.

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