A recent survey suggests that one-in-five tourists are more interested in visiting an American state if it has legalized cannabis. That stat comes from the 2017 Cannabis Attitudes Survey conducted by New Frontier Data - a market research firm focused on analyzing the cannabis industry. According to their results, 22 percent of respondents said they would be more interested in visiting states that had legalized recreational marijuana use.
The top cannabis travel destinations for survey respondents were Colorado (61 percent) and California (59 percent). The secondary choices were Washington (37 percent), Oregon (36 percent) and Nevada (36 percent). Other legal states like Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and Alaska weren't mentioned. (Which is really a shame because Alaska is one of our top destinations for canna-vacations.)
New Frontier also found that the vast majority (84 percent) of those who could be swayed by marijuana also said they would likely buy cannabis from a dispensary while on vacation. That should give lawmakers extra incentive to offer sites for tourists to consume their purchases legally. Right now, people can buy cannabis in legal states but there aren't many places for them to smoke or vape it since public consumption is still banned.
Colorado is on track to become the first state to offer legal venues for onsite consumption. Earlier this month, the Colorado Senate advanced a bill that would allow Amsterdam-like clubs to open up in cities like Denver. That would make Colorado the first state to open licensed clubs, but Oregon could soon follow suit as lawmakers are currently considering similar legislation. Meanwhile, California as well as Maine and Massachusetts passed legalization initiatives last fall that had social clubs baked into the new laws.
That means Nevada was the lone state to legalize recreational use in 2016 without permitting cannabis social clubs. And the Nevada Gaming Control Board isn't keen on allowing cannabis in casinos. Nor are state regulators in Alaska, Washington state or Washington, D.C.
But those jurisdictions could warm to cannabis social clubs if other states begin opening them. And when that happens, we wouldn't be surprised if more than one-in-five tourists started booking cannabis vacations.