The numbers point to cannatourism boom

From marijuana farm tours to “bud and breakfast” hotels, American destinations are discovering that “canna-cations” aren’t just for stoners anymore.

From marijuana farm tours to “bud and breakfast” hotels, American destinations are discovering that “canna-cations” aren’t just for stoners anymore.Forbes Travel shares an excellent look at the $17 billion+ Cannabis Tourism industry that’s just getting going (and the MCT gets a shoutout!):

For now, cannabis travel has been largely ignored by tourism boards and the industry, leaving millions of dollars on the table, says Victor Pinho, cofounder of Emerald Farm Tours. “They’re tourists and they’re shopping—they are here to spend money in the mecca of weed,” he says, explaining how his typical customer spends $300 to $400 at the dispensary during their visits, about three times as much as an average transaction with locals.

It’s still unclear how big the nascent cannabis tourism industry will eventually become, or what its potential economic impact on the $1.2 trillion U.S. tourism economy will be, but early data is promising. A pre-pandemic 2020 national study by market research firm MMGY Travel Intelligence Insights found that nearly one in five (18%) American leisure travelers is interested in cannabis-related experiences on vacation. That number jumps to 62% when the survey sample is narrowed to cannabis-consuming adults over age 21 with an annual household income over $50,000.

Legal cannabis lifts other businesses, too. Out of $25 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2021, Forbes estimates that as much as $4.5 billion was driven by tourists, who pour an additional $12.6 billion into restaurants, hotels, attractions and other shops—as well as into state and municipality tax coffers. That’s because for every dollar spent at a cannabis retailer, there’s a multiplier effect, with an additional $2.80 injected into the local economy, says Beau Whitney, founder and chief economist at Whitney Economics, a leader in cannabis and hemp business consulting.

Meanwhile, some destinations are beginning to embrace cannabis tourism. The latest research paints a portrait of the typical cannabis traveler who looks less like a stereotypical stoner and more like any other upscale vacationer—one who was just as likely to be female as male, skewing toward millennials or younger (63%), with a college degree (59%), a job (82%) and an average household income of $87,000, according to a report from the Cannabis Travel Association International (CTAI), an industry trade group.

…Elsewhere in the United States, cannabis tourism programs have popped up in some surprising pockets. In the Midwest, the Michigan Cannabis Trail helps visitors make the most of legal cannabis in the Great Lakes region.

Read on for lots more and dig into cannabis travel & cannatourism with the Michigan Cannabis Trail!

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