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Brief Published: 21 Nov 2018

Three Ways the Cannabis Industry is Tackling Tourism

Urban Pharm

Cannabis tourism is touted as a burgeoning industry, but restrictions around communal out-of-home consumption are blocking development. To harness the green rush, hospitality entrepreneurs must provide spaces that engage sophisticated cannabis travellers. We pick the top three innovative strategies to watch.

  • Members’ Clubs: San Francisco is leading the industry with members-only cannabis lounges where customers can consume products bought on the premises. Harvest, as mentioned in Retail’s New High, is a dispensary in the city that allows visitors to purchase day passes for its mid-century-style lounge. They can alternatively buy monthly memberships, which include samples and store credits. 

    Other lounges focus on events to boost repeat visits and provide tourists with consumption venues. Also in San Francisco, steampunk-themed dispensary and lounge Urban Pharm hosts comedy evenings, while nearby Bloom Room offers drop-in massages.

  • Sophisticated Destinations: California is planning to implement regional appellations to pitch cannabis tourism as an alternative to vineyard visits. Californian cannabis farm Flow Kana (also highlighted in Retail’s New High) mixes a farm visit and tastings with an on-site inn. Meanwhile, Sonoma Valley-based company Happy Travelers combines cannabis and wine tourism with educational tasting tours to the region’s vineyards and cannabis farms. 

    On Canada’s Prince Edward Island, Green Island Getaways hosts cannabis weddings in its rustic-chic barn, which features on-site accommodation. We expect to see a rise in similar sophisticated event venues, as a growing number of couples opt for cannabis-tinged wedding ceremonies (for more, see Reframing Weddings).

  • Elevated Entertainment: Las Vegas is leveraging recreational cannabis with spaces that showcase the city’s distinctive, over-the-top kitsch. Instagram-friendly museum Cannabition offers visitors a cannabis-themed destination in the city’s touristic hub, where dispensaries are not permitted. Just outside the centre, 40,000 sq ft superstore Planet 13 entertains guests with a dispensary, souvenir shop and interactive digital art installations. 

For an in-depth look at the industry, see our Spotlight Trend Commercialising Cannabis.