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The Budding Pot Tourism Industry in the US is Already Worth $17 Bln

Cannabis tourism can no longer be ignored as more and more Americans prefer to travel to places where weed is legal.
30 May 2022
2 min read
The Budding Pot Tourism Industry in the US is Already Worth $17 Bln

Legal marijuana emerges as one of those things that travelers consider when they pick a place to go on their vacation. According to the latest Harris Poll, half of the millenials say pot legality is important for them when they plan their vacation, and 43% go exclusively to where it can be purchased legally.

As the share of millenials among American tourists is expected to reach 50 percent by 2025, the opportunity for weed seems to be huge. Today, the tourism industry in the US is worth $1.2 trillion, and of those, the legal cannabis part accounts for $17 billion. Recreational use of the substance has so far been legalized in 19 states plus Washington DC, and activists expect that a few more states will follow suit this year.

A Huge Influx of Paying Customers

As of yet, tourist organizations in the United States have largely ignored the fact that many Americans travel in search of legal weed. Thus, the Tourism Office in Colorado chose not to mention this topic on its official website, and its representatives deny that cannabis plays any significant part in attracting visitors. They maintain that the main attraction of Colorado is outdoor activities.

On the other hand, the state’s legal marijuana industry is booming, and after a decade since the legalization, the tax revenue from the sector is going on half a billion annually. Statistics show that visitors to the state make a sizeable contribution to this as they spend on average 4 times more than locals on a visit to a dispensary.

The Budding Pot Tourism Industry in the US is Already Worth $17 Bln: A 'Welcome to California' road sign decorated with a marijuana leaf

At the moment, California is the main legal weed destination for US tourists.

Giving A Boost to Other Businesses

It’s not only buds and edibles or guided tours through cannabis farms that tourists spend their money on. It’s estimated that for every dollar spent at a dispensary, the local economy gets an additional $2.80 because visitors stay at hotels, dine at restaurants, visit shops, etc.

There’s no real difference between average tourists and those who specifically seek legal weed. They may skew younger but are as likely to be female as male, have a job and college education, and they make $87,000 on average. In short, this is a profile of your regular upscale tourist, very far from the stereotype of a typical stoner.


30 May 2022