Cannabis Tourism Takes a COVID Beating

Even as more states legalize marijuana, a subset of the industry is declining due to the pandemic.

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This story originally appeared on Green Market Report

Cannabis tourism is a part of the ever-growing cannabis industry. Many cannabis consumers are looking for ways to enjoy their buds while traveling across the country or internationally. Cannabis tourism allows for travelers to get accommodated in a way that meets their needs, as well as the opportunity to enjoy their marijuana in different, fun ways.

Despite the great benefits of cannabis tourism, many cannabis companies have hit their sales due to low tourism in their respective cities.

Continue reading to learn more about cannabis tourism and how the pandemic has affected cannabis tourism in cities like Las Vegas and Denver.

RELATED: Canna-Tourism Company Curates Trips for Influencers

What is cannabis tourism?

Cannabis tourism has become popular over the years, thanks to the legalization of marijuana over the last couple of years. According to Bud and Breakfast, cannabis tourism is defined as accepting cannabis users to consume the plant while traveling across the country. Aside from those who enjoy smoking or consuming marijuana, the medicinal benefits have led to a significant increase in the number of cannabis users. Due to this increase in the demand for cannabis, travelers are looking for marijuana-friendly hotels, resorts, Airbnb’s, and more to reside during vacations or work-related trips.

Popular vacation areas for cannabis lovers include the following (via The Active Times):

  • Bay Area, California
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Louis, Missouri
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Coachella Valley, California
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Auburn, Maine
  • Denver, Colorado
  • British Columbia, Canada
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Remus, Michigan
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Juneau, Alaska

RELATED: What the legalization of cannabis and the growing wellness industry mean for tourism in Mexico

There is also another aspect of cannabis tourism, which involves cannabis companies offering cannabis tours for tourists. On these tours, people can expect to visit various dispensaries and much more to get a behind-the-scenes perspective of the cannabis industry. Cannabis tours can be a great experience for novices or long-term users of cannabis.

For those looking for a more in-depth experience with cannabis tourism, different cities offer cannabis activities such as yoga sessions, massages, and even a remix of “Sip & Paint,” with “Puff, Pass, & Paint.”

Cannabis travelers must research the laws regarding marijuana legalization in the states they plan to visit. For some states, they don’t allow out-of-town travelers to purchase marijuana during their trip. Cannabis tourists must always do their homework before traveling to avoid any problems.

RELATED: U.S. Legal Cannabis Market Could Be $41 Billion by 2025

The dark side of cannabis tourism

While cannabis tourism has been significant for some, the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic last year was devastating for cannabis companies in high-tourist areas such as Las Vegas, Nevada, and Denver, Colorado. With the introduction of lockdowns, tourism declined significantly across the globe. Places like Las Vegas and Denver thrive off tourism, so when lockdowns were introduced, they took a hard hit. With the first anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic occurring last month, Las Vegas is still suffering economically.

For cannabis companies in these cities, the lack of cannabis tourism has affected their sales. Travel restriction, lockdown guidelines, unemployment, and much more led to a significant decrease in tourism for cities like Las Vegas and Denver. These restrictions led to many dispensaries being completely shut down or receiving low sales due to a low number of travelers to these cities.

Fortunately, government officials in Las Vegas have recently allowed dispensaries to have drive-thru windows. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this method will allow for dispensaries to continue to make sales while following COVID-19 guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus. This initiative is a significant step forward for cannabis companies to recover from low tourism in Las Vegas.

Cannabis tourism is a great concept that has grown over the years, but what will happen to cannabis companies that operate in cities that have low tourism? Traveling has been significantly affected by the pandemic, but since there is no end date near, some cannabis businesses may never recover. Plus, as more tourist-heavy states like Massachusetts legalize adult-use cannabis the novelty of traveling to a legal state could be wearing off.

Even though more and more states are looking to legalize marijuana, will cannabis tourism continue to decline regardless?

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