In the fast developing cannabis tourism industry, certain countries are looking to the “green rush” to bolster their economies and draw tourists looking for cannabis-related experiences. The appeal is obvious, with the tobacco sector market worth roughly 17 billion euros.
Cannabis tourism: next destinations?
To take advantage of this expanding sector, countries including South Africa, Uruguay, Jamaica, Malta, Mexico, Canada, and the United States have already started to relax their cannabis laws.
Germany is following suit with its aim for legalisation. However, the country wants to focus on its citizens mostly. With ambitions for full legalisation in 2024, the Czech Republic is currently drafting its own cannabis industry regulation laws after being inspired by Germany’s initiative. Jindich Voboil, the drug commissioner for the Czech Republic, works closely with the German government to legalise cannabis.
However, Thailand seems prepared to become a major cannabis tourism destination, particularly for Europeans. Thailand legalised cannabis in 2022 after years of tight prohibitions, which fostered the growth of consumption locations all throughout the country. As experts point out, more Europeans are expected to do the same.
With other Thai cities ready to join this green wave, the country’s liberal rules and a growing domestic supply—estimated at over a million Thai cannabis growers—make Bangkok the possible new Amsterdam of the cannabis world.
What can cannabis tourism bring?
Cannabis tourism can result in a variety of results, both good and bad, depending on a number of variables like local laws, business policies, and visitor behaviour.
Regions considering cannabis tourism should properly develop and manage the sector. They should maximise the beneficial outcomes and limit the negative ones. This can include setting precise rules for responsible use. They can also put in place efficient safety measures, encouraging education, and making sure about appropriate financial gains share.
Achieving a balance between the potential advantages and disadvantages of cannabis tourism depends on constant evaluation of the industry’s effects and feedback from the general public.
Cannabis tourism: positive outcomes
First off, cannabis tourism has the potential to significantly boost regional economies. Travellers spend money on travel, accommodation, meals, and cannabis-related activities. Thus, an increase of tourist spending can significantly boost the local economy by injecting new funds into local businesses and communities. Simultaneously, from cultivation and distribution to tourism-related activities like guided tours, budtending, and hotels, this business can generate jobs when combined.
Additionally, taxes imposed on sales of cannabis and tourism-related activities would undoubtedly assist the governments. The community as a whole will ultimately profit from the allocation of these money to support public services, infrastructure improvement, and social programs.
Cannabis tourism has the potential to diversify a region’s tourism offers. It can draw in new types of tourists, and lessen a region’s reliance on other sectors of the economy. In such a case, they would not have to rely on conventional tourism businesses. Through diversification, the local economy can become more resilient to downturns in other industrie. Eventually, it can help to build a more stable tourism ecosystem.
Last but not least, cannabis tourism can help spread awareness of safe cannabis usage. It can foster a greater understanding of the plant’s therapeutic and recreational uses. Tourists can learn about responsible cannabis usage, safety considerations, and the distinctions between medical and recreational cannabis. All through guided tours, educational experiences, and contact with professional budtenders.
Cannabis tourism: negative outcomes
First of all, there are concerns about public health. In general, we are aware of harmful health repercussions. Thus, the establishment of thorough regulatory frameworks is a requirement for regions that are embracing cannabis tourism.
What is more, if not properly managed, large-scale cannabis growing can have negative effects on the environment. Concerns include high water usage, energy consumption, waste generation and pesticides use.
If not regulated appropriately, cannabis tourism can lead to the black market, illegal sales, and unsafe goods. Also, conflicts with locals who might not be familiar with the culture and behaviours linked with cannabis use could result from the presence of cannabis tourists. And an emphasis on money instead of ethical consumption and cultural integrity may result from overcommercializing cannabis tourism.
Some localities could be concerned about the stigma attached to being recognized as a “cannabis destination.” Cannabis may be considered forbidden by some cultures or religions for a very long time. Conflicts between being a cannabis destination and existing values might arise in a community. Additionally, some firms and investors could be hesitant to make an investment in a cannabis destination region. They might have doubts about the industry’s long-term viability. This hesitancy could obstruct economic diversity and progress. It can be difficult to strike the ideal balance between restriction and freedom, and badly thought-out legislation may have unanticipated negative effects.
How to address the negative impact?
Communities considering cannabis tourism can take a number of actions to solve the above issues, with thorough laws being the most crucial. They can strike a balance between local values and the financial advantages of cannabis tourism. The placement of cannabis companies and restrictions on promotion, for instance, can help lessen unfavourable opinions.
Additionally, educational efforts should enlighten locals about cannabis tourism’s potential advantages and responsible cannabis use. Cannabis has the potential to draw in new visitors, which could present an opportunity to showcase a variety of tourism experiences outside of those directly tied to cannabis. Communities can draw in a wider audience and lessen the impression that they concentrate mainly on cannabis by publicising additional attractions and events. Cannabis tourism may have an impact on the growth of other industries.
What is more, governments and stakeholders in the cannabis business must work together to create and enforce policies that support ecologically friendly and sustainable cultivation techniques. The negative environmental effects of large-scale cannabis cultivation can be reduced. It can enable the business to develop by promoting eco-friendly cultivation practices.
Finally, the economic gains from cannabis tourism can be used to raise the standard of living in the area. Infrastructure upgrades, environmental protection initiatives, and cultural preservation are examples of this.