As more and more places around the world legalize the use of marijuana, entrepreneurs in the cannabis community are rolling out painting classes, extravagant tours, cooking demonstrations and a whole host of other marijuana-infused experiences, making some cities must-stops for cannabis enthusiasts. Regardless of your other hobbies, there's a cannabis destination that is a good fit for you.
The state of Washington has many tourist accommodations that allow you to partake in cannabis on-site, but only in Monroe can you stay and smoke in a tree house at Mountain Views Tree House Joint. Monroe also boasts the award-winning dispensary A Greener Today Gold Bar. Taking a trip to Monroe offers a smaller-town feel than Seattle and the area also has skiing and a state park with waterfalls. Tourists should note that it's illegal to consume marijuana in view of the public in Washington, but it is allowed on private property.
Whitney Davis Photography/Courtesy of Mountain Views Tree House Joint
Cannabis clubs are increasingly popular in European cities, especially in Barcelona, where there are over 200. Tourists are welcome, but there are a few things you should know before stopping by one. It is illegal to purchase, cultivate, possess or use cannabis in a public place in Spain, and if a person is found in possession of cannabis on the street, they can be punished with a fine. It's also important to know that Spain has decriminalized personal use. Most Barcelona cannabis clubs rely on this loophole in the law by charging membership fees then distributing cannabis to their private members, making it "personal cultivation and personal use" of marijuana. Many clubs allow foreigners and tourists to join. Outside of its cannabis clubs, as a city, Barcelona is something to see. Contemporary architecture, open street markets and ancient Roman and medieval treasures are just a few of the things tourists can enjoy.
Bay Area, California
The Bay Area's eccentric vibe and the multitude of dispensaries make it a top cannabis destination. On top of standard dispensary shopping, tourists can go on a tour sipping cannabis-infused wines to experience how San Francisco's wine and marijuana culture come together. Also in the Bay Area is the world's first all-solar powered medical marijuana dispensary. Nestled on a 12-acre "permaculture oasis," Emerald Pharms welcomes curious visitors looking to learn more about the land and what they do. Another popular spot is Haight Street where the city's counterculture was born - locals and tourists alike can enjoy the trendy neighborhood that leads to Golden Gate Park. Visitors should know that public consumption of marijuana is not allowed.
Amsterdam might be the most obvious tourist destination for marijuana - travelers have been visiting for years in order to experience walking into a "coffee shop" to buy marijuana products from an extensive menu and enjoy them right there. Though that's now been made possible in many other places around the world, Amsterdam is still one of the top-rated cities to consider for a cannabis vacation, particularly if you're after quality. The small, old-timey Grey Area Coffee Shop has lines out the door on a daily basis, according to hundreds of raving TripAdvisor reviews. Amsterdam in the fall is full of thousands of cannabis enthusiasts from around the world who attend the annual High Times Cannabis Cup, a popular cannabis trade show.
St. Louis, Missouri
Though recreational marijuana is illegal in the state, purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn't contain more than 0.3% THC. St. Louis is one of many American cities capitalizing on the CBD trend. Painters of all levels of expertise come together to Puff, Pass & Paint in an intimate setting along the Mississippi River. This is "canvas and cocktails" class with a cannabis twist that allows participants to use CBD flower. Guests with a medical card may also bring and consume cannabis. And if you prefer a more quiet environment, you can get a CBD-infused facial or massage at The Spa at Hotel Saint Louis. The spa is located in the heart of Downtown St. Louis, which has a charming and historic vibe.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
In Canada, where you can smoke marijuana depends on what province you're in. In Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, anyone over 18 can legally consume cannabis wherever smoking cigarettes is allowed. However to purchase marijuana, you have to be 19. Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, is famous for its electric street art along "Graffiti alley," which you can learn about while smoking on a guided tour. In Calgary, you can find marijuana-infused tours and experiences for everything from video gaming to paddle boating.
While Seattle offers a lot of tourist hot spots already, its dispensaries are plentiful. Since 2012, anyone 21 and older can legally purchase marijuana from a licensed store in the state of Washington, making it a bustling place for cannabis tourism. Visitors can go on a number of marijuana tours for a look at the "seed-to-sale" process and find a cannabis-friendly place to lodge. A popular neighborhood in the Emerald City is Capitol Hill - people praise the neighborhood vibe as well as the marijuana shops. Even though recreational marijuana is legal in the state, it is only within the law to buy 1 ounce of marijuana, and tourists may not be able to smoke on-site depending on the dispensary. Whether you're visiting Seattle to smoke marijuana or not, you can always check out the view from the Space Needle and people-watch at Pike Place Market.
Las Vegas, Nevada
There is no shortage of tourist activities in Vegas, but there are also a dozen licensed dispensaries in the city limits. The Brews and Buds Tour is the city's first way to experience both the city's cannabis and craft beer scenes. And for a more glitzy Vegas experience, Planet 13 is expected to be a cross between a nightclub and a dispensary. For now, the self-described "cannabis superstore and entertainment complex" will require some additional changes in local legal marijuana legislation before realizing this vision. Despite the boom in cannabis culture and increasing number of dispensaries in Vegas, consumption is only legal in a private residence. And the only legal way to buy marijuana is from a state-licensed store or dispensary.
Coachella Valley, California
Coachella Valley is teeming with canyons, creeks and a host of wilderness adventures, but it's also becoming a hotbed for cannabis. The valley contains the city of Palm Springs, where dispensaries and massive grow operations are booming. At some licensed cannabis businesses in Palm Springs, onsite consumption of marijuana is allowed, making it even more appealing for tourists. Palm Springs also recently issued the first Cannabis Lounge Permit in Southern California to Coachella Valley Green Dragon with a handful of other dispensary and lounge applications awaiting approval from the city. Also in the Coachella Valley region is a cannabis-friendly spa that offers both CBD and THC products with a wide selection of edibles, flowers and concentrates. If you're planning on visiting during the popular Coachella music festival, you should note that cannabis or cannabis products are not allowed inside.
In Vermont, possession of up to 1 ounce, growing and sharing cannabis are legal, but buying and selling aren't. For travelers, that means it might be more of a wellness trip rather than recreational. And for leaf-peeping tourists, the small, cozy town of Burlington is best in the fall. You can take a stroll under all the foliage and then duck into Jolita Brilliant Massage for a relaxing way to experience cannabis. They offer CBD oil massages and carry CBD infused bath salts, deodorant, soaps and lip balms. Burlington's small-town feel is perfect for strolling through its many waterfront parks or stopping by the farmers market.
Jolita Brilliant Massage Therapy/Yelp
For a cannabis destination off the beaten path, Coral Cove Cannabis Resort is a prime getaway, especially for beach bums. The Jamaican resort is an 18-room oceanfront property bordering a renowned farming village. On the property is a cannabis garden that visitors can walk through. Coral Cove's cannabis is grown in cooperation with the island's Bobo Shanti Rastafarian sect, who are allowed a religious exemption for cannabis cultivation by the Jamaican government. Smoking cannabis as a sacrament is a way of life and protected status at the resort. Otherwise in Jamaica, cannabis is decriminalized but not legal, though the laws are very relaxed, which is why tourists from all over the world flock there to smoke marijuana with an ocean view. If you're looking to extend your trip to other parts of Jamaica, be aware that smoking marijuana in a public place is prohibited, but it is legal to smoke in licensed dispensaries.
Like Colorado, Massachusetts is fated to see a hike in cannabis tourism after the first recreational pot shops on the East Coast opened in 2018. Boston Cannabis Tours provides cannabis sight-seeing in the Greater Boston Area, featuring trips to dispensaries, cultivation facilities and restaurants. Visitors can bring up to the state's legal amount of cannabis on the bus, and the guide will indicate when and where it is appropriate to consume. There are also plenty of other ways to experience cannabis, including baking classes. Soul Fresh, a cannabis activities and wellness company, offers a "Salves and Sweets" cooking class as well as marijuana-enhanced meditation and yoga. The same company that offers the Puff, Pass & Paint class in St. Louis has one in Boston, too. The marijuana is B.Y.O.C and the consumption is a lot more fluid. On top of weed activities, Boston's historic architecture and bustling sports scene make it a memorable destination.
What sets Portland's marijuana scene apart from others is the city's history with the plant. The Potlandia Experience Marijuana Tour is the latest offering from Great Oregon Tours. The tour takes to cannabis dispensaries along with places that make Portland such a unique tourist destination - like microbreweries, food carts and other iconic spots. There's also a popular CBD cafe with offerings like vegan chocolate bars and hemp-infused CBD sauces. Public use of marijuana is illegal in Oregon, but people can use recreational marijuana on private property. Portland is also just 45 miles from Salem, where the Hemp and Cannabis Fair is held in the fall. Also called the THC Fair, the event encourages cannabis users as well as entrepreneurs to showcase their contribution to the community. If visitors are hopping states, it's worth noting that transporting marijuana across state lines is not allowed. That even includes California and Washington, where it is legal.
Alaska's beautiful wilderness and wide variety of animals already make it a bucket-list attraction. And now, tourists can also experience America's northernmost cannabis industry. In Juneau - the capital city of Alaska - visitors can hop on Juneau Cannabis Tours. The tour includes two dispensary visits, seeing part of a grow operation and walking Juneau's historic downtown. Juneau is home to seven marijuana dispensaries and hosts several interesting non-marijuana events that celebrate Alaskan culture as well as music festivals. Anyone 21 years or older can buy and carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana in Alaska. Recently, an ordinance was passed that allows people in Juneau to consume marijuana edibles inside licensed retailers and smoke in designated outdoor areas. Aside from that, the law bans all other public use. For travelers visiting Alaska, be aware that it is also illegal to use marijuana in national parks or forests.
Maine recently legalized recreational marijuana, but due to the state's regulations, there are no official recreational marijuana tours. There are, however, some marijuana-infused activities and destinations, and one in particular offers a little more than a typical bed and breakfast. Maine Greenyards is an eight-bedroom mansion in Auburn on 16 acres of land that bills itself as a "bud and breakfast." The owners do not sell cannabis, but they do organically grow a legal, personal adult-use garden, which they make available to visitors free of charge. Auburn is located on the Androscoggin River, which has picturesque hiking trails and ski slopes.
For tourists heading to Uruguay, the Cannabis Tour of Montevideo includes visits to "grow shops," local bars and a marijuana farming site where a professional cultivator will explain the secrets of the practice. Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana in 2013, and the town of Montevideo was integral in that movement. Visitors should definitely try a cup or two of mate - an herbal tea-like drink that originated in South America - infused with weed. Montevideo is a small city full of culture. Travelers should visit the Solis Theatre, a beautiful building and the center of Montevideo's acting scene. It's one of the most renowned theaters in the world and was built in 1856 by a popular Italian architect.
No list of cannabis tourist hotspots would be complete without Dever. Colorado is no stranger to cannabis tourism - in 2016, the state saw 6.5 million tourists visit its ski slopes, mountain vistas and pot shops. And Denver alone is home to over 300 dispensaries. There are plenty of things to do, including an Introductory Cooking with Cannabis class and a Sushi and Joint Rolling class. Some marijuana experiences require you to B.Y.O.C. (bring your own cannabis), and it's as close as they can legally get to including it. Another place worth dipping into is a tour at Euflora dispensary's 6,000-square-foot space. They display marijuana in large plastic containers on tables and allow customers to closely examine and smell the different buds without touching them. With cannabis culture at the forefront, there are companies in Denver that provide safe transportation to and from marijuana-friendly places. Visitors should be aware that public consumption remains illegal in Colorado, and smoking is allowed only in designated areas or marijuana-friendly places.
Colorado Cannabis Tours/Yelp
Another destination where tourists can get their cannabis fix is Remus, Michigan, which hosts the CMCP Harvest Festival. The fest features art, music, food and seminars educating consumers about cannabis cultivation and the culture surrounding it. Topics include how cannabis plays a role in the possible treatment of cancer. Michigan may not be an obvious choice for a cannabis holiday, but it has an active community focused on marijuana and related events since legalizing it in 2018. If visiting, keep a calendar of weed-related events across Michigan handy. Per law, it is illegal to consume cannabis in a public space but onsite consumption at licensed dispensaries may be allowed. Also nearby Remus are over 100 lakes, the Muskegon River, award-winning golf courses and wineries.
British Columbia, Canada
If a luxury cannabis vacation is what you're looking for, embark on the Highest of Highs experience in the province British Columbia, Canada, where recreational adult marijuana use is legal. The adventure takes off from Victoria in a helicopter where fliers are whisked off to a secret mountaintop location for the day with hand-selected bags full of locally made marijuana strains and products. For those looking for more luxury, there are options to chopper in a local chef to cook for the group or even bring along a yoga instructor. They will be launching more luxury cannabis experiences soon. While in British Columbia, you should also take part in nearby Vancouver's Cannabis Crawl. The crawl starts at Victory Square, which is home to the infamous Vancouver "Pot Block," a line of quirky cannabis shops and cafes, and goes through all the cultural hotspots.
Museums are most likely on every tourist's to-see list, and the Hanf Museum in Berlin should be on yours if you're planning a cannabis-related expedition. The exhibition space is devoted exclusively to the agricultural, manufacturing and industrial use of hemp, including legal aspects surrounding it. And for a cool non-marijuana related exhibit, head to the East Side Gallery near the center of Berlin. The open-air gallery consists of a series of murals painted directly on a long remnant of the Berlin Wall. Personal possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana is legal in Berlin. It is illegal to buy and sell it, but there's a gray area when it comes to the legality of actually consuming marijuana. But one thing is for sure, you can't smoke in public.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch is loaded with art and adventure and features dramatic vistas and scenic spots. It's also the place to go for an educational cannabis vacation. Marijuana has not been legalized in New Zealand, but low-level THC cannabis like hemp is acceptable. The Whakamana Cannabis Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, is at the forefront of the country's push for legalization. The museum's library stocks over 100 books about cannabis, including material on politics and ancient cultures that have had an impact on the global cannabis community. In Christchurch, travelers can also find customised tours that showcase New Zealand's trendy side including "gondola rides" and wineries.