Marijuana is a major tourism driver in places such as Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The Rocky Mountain State in particular attracts billions of dollars from pot tourists each year.
That’s right. Billions with a “B.”
The latest figures from Colorado’s Tourism Office shows 77 million visited the state in 2015 as marijuana tourists, spending a staggering $19.1 billion.
So if you are considering going on a marijuana-focused vacation or making cannabis a part of your trip, you are far from alone. The numbers are only expected to get larger as Nevada began sale of recreational marijuana this summer. And in 2018, California will join them.
But if you decide to become a marijuana tourist, there are some important things to know.
It’s Not ‘Marijuana World’
Unlike visiting Disney Land or Disney World, the entire states of Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are not designed for you to treat like a giant cannabis amusement park. While buying weed is legal, public consumption is most definitely not. Not even in Las Vegas. While there is some movement in Denver to create businesses where marijuana can be used, it’s not quite there, yet.
Careful With Doses
For many people, a trip to a legal pot state might be the first time they have ever tried cannabis edibles. There is a big different between smoking and eating marijuana.
For one, since people are eating rather than smoking, they consume too much and end up far higher than they planned. For another, cannabis ingested through eating takes longer to take effect than smoked cannabis. Some people think they are not feeling anything and eat more. And then they end up, once again, far higher than they planned. A good rule of thumb is to eat a small amount and wait an hour to see how it affects you.
Buying Weed: Set a Budget
Another common mistake is buying far more weed than you need. Obviously, no one is complaining about this in the legalized states. But again, know yourself and experiment. It’s OK to be a little cautious. Buy modest amounts of marijuana and then experiment to see how it goes. Set a budget and stick to it. You can always return to the dispensary. It’s not going anywhere.
Most major hotel chains still are not allowing people to use marijuana on the premises. With the ban on public consumption, that means finding a private home to indulge. This is yet another reason that edibles have become popular as they are more discreet than smoking. That said, it’s wise to adhere to the hotel rules. Also, there are many places to stay in places such as Denver that are “420-friendly.” Consider booking a stay there.
Hand Over Control
One wise move if you want to spend the money is to simply buy a “marijuana tour” package so someone else can take care of most of these issues. They will book hotels, take you to dispensaries and also clue you in on marijuana-related events and activities. For many novices, this is a good move.
Whether you choose to book a tour or handle things yourself, it’s important to keep these issues in mind. Sticking to a simple, safe game plan will make your marijuana vacation what it should be: fun.