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News | 05.31.2022

Cannabis Tourism Funnels $17 Billion Into U.S. Tourism Economy

$17 billion of the United States' $1.2 trillion tourism economy is based on cannabis tourism alone.

Cannabis plays a significant role in the lives of many. 

Both medicinal and recreational consumers find different kinds of relief in the plant. 

Our frequent cannabis use and the many cannabis tourism initiatives have impacted the United States’ economy. 

So much so that the country’s cannabis industry has brought in a whopping $17 billion through tourism initiatives alone. 

Forbes reported the recent findings, adding that if we continue at this rate, cannabis tourism could hugely contribute to the United States’ booming tourism economy, already worth $1.2 trillion. 

From Wine To Weed

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Jem Sanchez / Pexels

One could compare the blossoming cannabis industry to the successful wine space. This includes immersive tourism activities like 

  • Wine tasting
  • Staying at a winery resort
  • Touring a wine region
  • Learning about the winemaking process
  • Winery education

The only major difference between the wine tourism space and the cannabis industry is the substance of choice and the stigma. 

While wine tourism has been around for generations, cannabis tourism is relatively new. With that comes its fair share of doubts and stigmas, especially involving a plant that’s illegal at a federal level. 

But with the country’s state-by-state legalization approach, individuals from non-weed-friendly states are starting to vacation in legalized states.

The hunt for legal weed isn’t the only thing on a tourist’s mind. They’re starting to consider weed tourism hotspots like the many around California.  

America's Bud Basket

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California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis and the sixth to legalize recreational use. 

In doing so, growers and cultivation sites have been popping up around the state for years. 

It’s the perfect spot to grow weed and create a lucrative tourism space. One of those places is Modesto, which even hands out a Motown CannaPass to tourists focused on cannabis activities. The pass does the following;

  • Gives the tourist a rewards program
  • Guides tourists to community hotspots that fit their preferred experience
  • Shows them to restaurants and retailers that may be of interest

The Modesto Convention and Visitor Bureau, dubbed Visit Modesto, wanted to help cannabis users find the ultimate experience with their favorite plant. 

Modesto is just one of California’s many cannabis hubs. For a state informally known as America’s bud basket, it makes sense that it’s leading the way in cannabis tourism. 

As more states start picking up legalization, it’ll be interesting to see how they catch up to California’s thriving tourism space

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