By Niklas Kouparanis, CEO and Co-founder, Bloomwell Group
Tourism has become a profitable and ever-growing asset of the licensed cannabis industries within the U.S. and Canada, as well as the Netherlands, despite the country’s lack of formal adult-use cannabis legalization. With Germany on the cusp of legalizing adult-use cannabis amid a profitable medical-only market, businesses, investors and travelers alike are gearing up to embrace new cannabis tourism opportunities on the horizon.
Since 2013, Amsterdam has welcomed residents and tourists to its coffee shops. These social cannabis consumption lounges were even declared “essential businesses” as part of the Dutch lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over in the States, adult-use markets have attracted both in-state and out-of-state cannabis connoisseurs. Forbes recently cited data from a 2022 Harris Poll survey which found that half of Millennial respondents said that access to legal cannabis is a factor in planning a vacation. In addition, 43% said that they’ve specifically chosen a destination with a legalized adult-use market. Colorado, which has legalized adult use since 2020, has noted that dispensary visits are common amongst travelers to the Centennial State. According to research released from the Colorado Tourism Office, 16% of those who traveled to Colorado in winter and 15% who traveled to the state in summer visited a cannabis dispensary or retail store while they were there. Also, according to the report, visitors who participated in cannabis-related activities were more likely to stay longer in the state versus those who did not partake.
Germany is set to legalize adult-use cannabis by 2024 and will be the world's largest recreational cannabis market due to the country’s population size. In June 2022, the German government held five hearings to discuss the framework of adult-use cannabis legalization. Representatives from the German government and more than 200 people from medical, legal and business verticals as well as international experts participated in these critical discussions.
Adult-use legalization in Germany will induce a “tourist demand,” particularly from its nine neighboring countries. The criteria of what adult-use legalization will entail, including whether visitors from other European Union (EU) countries and other parts of the world would be able to purchase and use cannabis within the country, has yet to …