How Cannabis Tourism is Helping State Economies to Flourish


Cannabis has become a huge market given the high amount of legalization hitting the space across the country. As more and more states decide to legalize cannabis for obvious reasons, the tourism industry is getting an unexpected boost.

One of the highest hit states by the cannabis tourism industry is California. California is arguably one of the birth places of cannabis culture and continues to this day to redefine what the cannabis industry is. With recreational weed just hitting the shelves as of the first of the year, California stands to be one of the largest industries in the cannabis tourism business. Many companies have come up with the idea to run tourism programs for individuals to go on a trip and sample the weed around a certain state. This has become quite a large industry as so many individuals do not have access to marijuana where they live.

A startup known as Emerald Farm Tours has recently released a $300 per person tour through San Francisco and Berkeley to taste the weed in the area. This idea has become a large business opportunity as individuals have been flocking to the location for wine tasting for quite some time now. Emerald Farm Tours is the first of its kind to launch in San Francisco helping to cement cannabis’ place in the tourism industry of California. According to the website “California cannabis tourism is off to a slow start in 2018, as we detail in a new Travel package in The San Francisco Chronicle. Local and state regulations preclude cannabis experiences that are analogous to the Napa Valley Wine Train. Cannabis event licenses can run up to $10,000 per year and can only occur at state fairground properties — many of which have banned cannabis events.” This banning of events has caused a large amount of controversy as many individuals see it as another type of prohibition for the industry.

According to one report, California had as many as 251 million visitors back in 2014, and that number has continued to rise into today. The amount of potential for the cannabis tourism industry is huge and continues to grow as California represents a select amount of states to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

Along with taxation, cannabis tourism has a huge amount of potential to give the economy in a given state a much needed boost. By having an influx of tourists, not only will cannabis based businesses benefit, but all other tourism industries as well. With 8 percent of cannabis users being regular users of the plant, that would amount to around 20 million possible tourists coming to the state for cannabis related travels each year. Although this number could be high, it does help to highlight the massive amount of opportunity that this industry has.

Virginia, which may not seem like it has anything to do with the cannabis industry has stated that they are working to make cannabis tourism a central part of their economy. The state has helped to make sure that industrial hemp production is legal, and that individuals will be allowed to grow marijuana with medical permits from the state. Virginia would like to be the first state in the Mid-Atlantic Region to legalize marijuana for recreational use, helping to cement its place across the country.

The figures from what many consider, the birthplace of recreational weed, Colorado, have amounted to as much as $500 million in taxes for the state. This is an incredible amount given that the industry in the state is only around 6 years old. The industry has also helped to give as much as $1 billion to farmers in the form of business and sales for the market.

With the massive amount of potential for weed tourism to hit the market in the coming years, it seems like the industry on marijuana will only continue to grow in the coming years.


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