In legal markets, there’s a growing demand for highly-curated cannabis experiences.
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Cannabis tourism has come along way. The idea of being “hotboxed” on a smoke-filled bus with a stripper pole and a group of strangers is far from the ideal experience for both new and seasoned cannabis users. As the cannabis industry grows so does the expectations for high-quality goods and services — and the possible eradication of hotboxing altogether.
In legal states like California and Oregon, there is a growing interest in cannabis use in social settings and in various discreet cannabis offerings. The new cannabis tourism allows room for both to co-exist. Cannabis companies have the potential to be the vehicle that drives the cannabis culture forward, creating experiences that shape the perceptions of the cannabis consumer and shift conversations across state lines and internationally.
Here are three key pillars to help make your cannabis tourism business thrive.
If curating cannabis tours has taught me anything, it’s that people want to trust the information they’re receiving and the brands being recommended. Tourism companies have the chance to educate their customers by emphasizing the different methods of consumption available to consumers in legal markets.
Good cannabis tours introduce travelers to a variety of experiences. Some tourgoers might enjoy cannabis in a green juice or topical massage oil, while others may prefer learning how to roll a joint. The great thing about cannabis tourism is that it gives tourists try-before-you-buy privilege that a first-time visit to a dispensary does not, while also educating consumers in real-time on the effects that may spark questions or concerns.
Most new customers are not purchasing cannabis products based on the highest THC percentages; they’re looking for low-dose products causing little to no impairment to help them better manage their lives.
People recognize that cannabis has healing power, thanks in large part to the beauty and wellness industries that have embraced CBD as a natural herbal enhancement with superfood qualities.
This is something tourism companies can expand on. Take the concept of High Tide Tours, for example: My business partner and I had the idea of a heightened Los Angeles experience — a tour that not only paired cannabis with activities like yoga and sound baths on the beach but one that offered cannabis education and expanded the conversation to other plant medicines like functional mushrooms and social responsibility in the cannabis space.
As cannabis becomes more socially acceptable, enthusiasts want to connect with others who share the same interests and values. Group tours could be what encourages tourists to try cannabis in a safe, judgment-free zone while visiting the best parts of the city and meeting others who share their curiosity of or affinity for cannabis.
Cannabis tourism will influence the future of the cannabis culture. In addition to introducing consumers to products and educating tourists, some tour options include visiting local grows, which expose tourgoers to the seed-to-flower process. Other tour companies take the concierge approach, suggesting cannabis lounges and local puff n’ paints for cannabis enthusiasts. The theme of the tour and subsequent recommendations will more than likely be an extension of the tour companies’ brand and vision of the cannabis community.
For cannabis tourism companies, the future means opportunities to engage tourists, giving them what they want in both product and experience, and influencing the culture in a meaningful way that leaves consumers with a positive outlook on cannabis. A vantage point they wouldn’t have if otherwise buried under clouds of cannabis smoke and mirrors.