The Rapidly Growing Industry of Cannabis Tourism
The year 2014 marked a monumental change in the cannabis industry within the United States. It was the year that cannabis connoisseurs and novices alike, flooded the state lines of Colorado to discover the emerging world of “cannabis tourism”. Since becoming the first state to legalize and begin selling recreational cannabis, Colorado has crafted a roadmap for states to follow in order to bring an influx of tourists to their state through cannabis consumption.
From dispensary tours and chef dinners to painting classes and hiking excursions, Colorado has tapped into the marijuana user’s psyche to create experiences that are elevated when “high”. And according to the $1 billion brought into the state by recreational cannabis last year, the industry is booming to say the least.
Before taking the steps to implement Colorado’s playbook, Nevada, the most recent state to implement recreational cannabis, has encountered some “newly-legalized” hiccups. Most notably, the fact that tourists can buy marijuana, but they have nowhere to smoke it. Not to mention, the “statement of emergency” the governor issued after only a week of legalization.
Up next, California preps to become the largest recreational cannabis industry in the U.S. on January 1, 2018. With that date less than a month away, residents and tourists alike wait in anticipation for state lines to officially “go green”. The state already touts the the largest proportion of legalized cannabis revenue in the US, according to a recent report by market researchers Arcview Group,
“California accounted for 27% of the 2016 legal market in North America, Colorado represented 20% and Washington represented 11%.”
So as California prepares to open the recreational floodgates, the legal industry prepares for the largest influx of legalized opportunities as well. One of the most remarkable ventures the state has welcomed is the first “weed town”, located in Nipton, CA. With plans to be the “first energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination”, according to CNN, the owners, American Green Inc. expect that cannabis tourism will return real results given the $5M price tag that came with the land earlier this year.