The “Wellness Tourism Industry,” as marijuana festivals are euphemistically categorized, is an emerging trend among those looking to get away from their home lives.
The Seattle Times explains that besides food and “healing-focused trips,” traveling for weed has become one of the top reasons for people to go on a getaway. Cannabis vacation destinations have been popping up across the legal recreational states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska, from wake-n-bake “bud and breakfasts” to all-out tours and festivals all centered around pot. And with legalization coming soon to California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts, it’s reasonable to expect that the industry will soon blow up. (For the record, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Jamaica is also looking to entice marijuana-loving travelers.)
But for all of the broad, “I love weed”-style tourism there are also plenty of targeted activities like the “women-only weed camp” called Ganja Goddess Getaway. Fast Company writes that the event, which sounds like Coachella if there were a bunch of Baby Boomers co-mingling with the millennials and Gen X-ers: women of all ages “stopping every few feet to readjust their floral head crowns or puff on a joint.” It’s no surprise that one of the Ganja Goddess Getaways was held near the Coachella Valley.
Ganja Goddess Getaway attracts women of all ages to de-stress and bond.
While the weed-camp shares similarities to a typical spa retreat with “meditation, yoga, massage therapy, and Reiki”, at Ganja Goddess Getaway, instead of rosé, jars of bud sit out on picnic tables next to rolling papers and balled-up hemp wick.
Women sprawl out on lawns doing yoga under the Californian sun.
Attendees also learn how to bake with cannabis-infused cooking oil.
Servers come poolside with perfectly rolled joints on trays.
The Ganja Goddess Getaway has only been around for less than a year, but already the event has turned from a 50-person experience into a true retreat with over 200 attendees. It has turned from a business venture into something rather different, explains CEO Deidra Bagdasarian,
“We felt this need from the community from the very first event […] We just got so much feedback about how this was something that [these women] were missing in their [lives]. […] Women have always been there in cannabis—they’ve just been ignored in the past. And women are the key to renormalizing cannabis use. […] We see ourselves going national because women need us. […] All women are in need of sisterhood and a safe space.”
Ganja Goddess Getaway prides itself on its diversity outreach. “Nearly 40% of the women [in attendance] are minorities, including Latina, African-American, and LGBTQ” individuals. This breakdown is a reflection of the founders themselves: “one is African-American, another is Filipina, and the other two are married to one another.”
Tickets start at $120, an appealing price for those who are usually closed out of day-only weed events for which prices can run into the hundreds of dollars. Typical yoga retreats can start at $1,000.
And when that sisterhood comes at an accessible price, maybe it is possible for there to finally be widespread access to cannabis wellness excursions for women from everywhere.
It’s not exactly the cure to a diversity-impaired industry, but it’s a start—or at least a means of melting your stress away.
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