Upgraded Points, a travel information site, released a data report on Oct. 24 detailing which U.S. states are best and worst for a “canna-cation.”
For the top best places, the first three included Colorado cities of Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs; followed by Oakland and San Jose, California; Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada; and lastly, Portland, Maine (the only east coast state to make the list). “In these states, economies of scale have been built over the last decade, bolstered by a booming weed market that includes dispensaries, farm tours, and cannabis lounges,” said Alex Miller, Upgraded Points founder. “The industry supports over 83,000 jobs in California alone.”
Upgraded Points analysts based their report on a four-day cannabis vacation for one person. They based their results on numerous averages, such as roundtrip airfare, fast food meats and other meal prices, nightly lodging, local rideshare rates, the current price of 1/4 ounce of weed, and the cost of a 100 mg pack of edibles.
The report shows that in western states, cannabis flower prices are more affordable than eastern flower, and northern states also have a higher price for vacation factors as well. The top most expensive states include Burlington, Vermont; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Boston, Massachusetts. “Canna-cations in eastern states like Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts can be much pricier… as the infrastructure for using, purchasing, and producing cannabis is far less established in these areas,” Miller said.
The most cost-efficient locations were Oakland, California ($1,068 per day) and Spokane, Washington ($1,135 per day). Both of these locations were noted as 22% cheaper than the national average, which is $1,262.
Unsurprisingly, Denver was at the top of the list because of its many cannabis-related attractions, such as bus tours and a plethora of licensed dispensaries. Other more affordable locations include states on the west coast, especially those with an adult-use market that has been in place for anywhere between 6-10 years.
Locations such as Washington, D.C., Illinois, and Vermont record some of the highest flower prices, such as $590.50 for one ounce.
According to Miller, the U.S. cannabis tourism industry will only continue to grow. “Cannabis tourism is flourishing. The U.S. cannabis industry now supports more than 428,000 jobs and is anticipated to exceed $72 billion in sales by 2030. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam, and weed tourism will only grow as more states are poised to legalize recreational retail sales of marijuana later this year. If you’re looking for the ideal destination for your ‘canna-cation’ this year, the grass is greener in cities like Denver, Oakland, Boulder, and Portland.”
A report released in June 2022 projected that the U.S. cannabis tourism industry could be valued at $17 billion. “By 2025, 50% of travelers in the U.S. are going to be millennials,” Cannabis Travel Association Founder Brian Applegarth. “And their relationship to cannabis consumption is extremely normalized compared to the stigmatized industry leaders of today.”
On an international scale, the tourism industry is beginning to open up. While Canada’s adult-use program is thriving, bringing cannabis over the border was prohibited, as of July 2021. In Amsterdam, cannabis tourism is being discouraged. However, in November 2021, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates ended jail time for travelers with THC.
Aside from the usual cannabis attractions, such as grow tours and having multiple dispensaries to choose from, cannabis-themed museums have continually begun to grow. In June, a hemp museum opened in Spain, and continues through February 2023. A Croatian museum also opened up back in April in the city capital of Zagreb. In 2019, the University of California, Berkeley had a limited exhibit called “Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances.” Of course, Las Vegas will soon become home to a museum called the Cannabition Cannabis Museum, and the city council also recently approved consumption lounges in September which is expected to boost tourism numbers.