Even though cannabis is a burgeoning industry just getting started in a regulated manner, nothing stops aspiring entrepreneurs from wondering what the next big thing is gonna be. There could be new cannabis products, but those seemed covered. Or maybe some app could be a major innovation. However, one segment of the business poised to make a big jump in revenue is tourism as Forbes reports:
“Cannabis attracts everyone, from lawyers to truckers,” says co-founder Deidra Bagdasarian, who also created Bliss Edibles, now one of the premier cannabis confectioneries in the U.S. There’s been so much interest in her “glamp-out” cannabis weekends that she’s expanding across the country this year and overseas in 2019.
Bagdasarian isn’t alone. Cannabis tourism is growing at a fast clip, drawing thousands of people — and millions of dollars — to states where adult use of cannabis is legal. In Colorado alone, cannabis tourism has grown 51% since 2014, according to a report from the state’s department of revenue. The Colorado DOR said the state attracted some 6.5 million cannabis tourists in 2016, the most recent figures available. It estimates that number will have grown by at least 6% in 2017 and will match or exceed that figure this year. The report said those 6.5 million tourists logged nearly 18 million cannabis-use days in 2016, a clear demonstration of how the state racked up more than $5.2 billion in marijuana sales since it legalized cannabis in January 2014.
Meanwhile in California, “wine and weed” tours are becoming increasingly more popular. Party buses, with the driver sealed off from smoking passengers, tour wineries and dispensaries, allowing tourists to sample the various products on offer. Like Ganja Goddess, the tours, which cater to food and wine enthusiasts, attract both experienced marijuana users and newbies. Across the country there are also “puff and paint” events, featuring cannabis tastings, wine and the chance to paint your own masterpiece. One tour company plays on the mystique of cannabis, offering tours “behind the curtain” of the legal marijuana industry in six states, along with some sampling along the way. Major newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle now feature travel-section stories detailing the “five best places for marijuana tourism,” highlighting luxury cannabis getaways and DIY holidays.
While not directly involving cannabis itself, the International Cannabis Business Conference is proof of the power of cannabis tourism. We’ve grown exponentially over the past four years and the advancements of the industry and legalization, in general, are obviously major factors, but so are the destinations of the conference. There’s no secret behind choosing locations like Kauai, Berlin, San Francisco, Barcelona, Vancouver, and Portland. These are all unique locales with an interesting progressive cannabis culture compared to most places in the world.
Cannabis tourism offers many opportunities for cannabis businesses to team up with ancillary businesses of all stripes to cater to the growing consumer base. Pairing cannabis with wine, beer, spirits, and food are obvious choices, but the possibilities are endless. Film festivals, music concerts, outdoor adventures, and comedy shows could all be a part of amazing cannabis tourism packages. Many aspects of the industry are extremely difficult, but the future of cannabis tourism, like the overall revenue projections for marijuana businesses, is very bright.
Don’t miss the next ICBC cannabis destination: beautiful, cannabis-friendly Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th. Get the latest information and network with top professionals in the world in a city with retail outlets galore and the nation’s most affordable high-quality cannabis. Get your tickets by September 12th to save $200!