top of page

The United States of Cannabis Tourism

Cannabis tourism is a rapidly growing industry in many parts of the world, specifically in the United States. Depending on where you’re traveling, laws about consuming, selling, and growing cannabis are wildly inconsistent. As you can imagine, each state is different. While it may be perfectly legal to possess and consume for medicinal purposes on various state levels, cannabis is still illegal federally as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act – which means it’s illegal to travel across state lines in possession, making cannabis tourism somewhat challenging. The good news is that as the years pass, more and more states are easing restrictive laws.

As of this past year, the following states have legalized recreational cannabis: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. These states have different regulations regarding where and how cannabis can be consumed. For example, some states allow consumption in private residences, while others have designated areas for consumption, such as cannabis lounges, cannabis-friendly hotels, and private events.

In addition to recreational cannabis, some states have also legalized medical cannabis. This means that visitors with qualifying medical conditions can purchase and use cannabis, but they must have a medical marijuana card. States with legal medical cannabis include Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to a 2021 Pew Research poll, 91% of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized to some degree -- 31% for medical use only and 60% for both medical and recreational use. (Only 8% of respondents said marijuana should not be legal at all.)

In Canada, cannabis was legalized for recreational use in 2018. However, each province and territory has its own regulations regarding where and how cannabis can be consumed. Thanks to celebrity endorsements like those of Seth Rogen and Drake (Aubrey Graham), cannabis tourism is becoming more popular in Canada, with some companies offering tours of cannabis facilities and dispensaries.

In other countries, cannabis is illegal for both recreational and medical purposes and possession or use can result in severe legal consequences – including imprisonment and even death. Other countries have decriminalized cannabis, meaning that possession of small amounts is not a criminal offense but may result in a fine. A few countries have legalized cannabis for medical purposes, including Australia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis for recreational use in 2013.

It's important to research the specific laws and regulations of the state or country you plan to visit before engaging in any cannabis tourism activities, as they can vary significantly.


bottom of page