As vaccination rollouts become more efficient and travel restrictions ease up, and as a result, many avid pothead travellers will want to know the best countries for cannabis tourism in 2021 and 2022.
Lighting up in the comfort of your home brings a special kind of contentment many potheads are familiar with, but after two years of lockdown and on-and-off quarantines, even the most introverted of us may be itching for a change in scenery.
What is cannabis tourism?
Cannabis tourism is not just about going to countries that are 420-friendly so you can freely light up—it is also about experiencing different cannabis cultures around the world. These differences provide insight into and enrich one’s own experience with cannabis. Indeed, the quintessential pothead traveller is someone who is curious and adventurous, but also fascinated by the different ways cannabis has made an impact around the world.
Of course, there are many countries around the world with plenty to offer in terms of their local cannabis culture. India, for instance, is well-known for lending the name of one of its holiest sites, the river Ganges, to the term ganja. However, 2021’s unique climate for travel means certain locations are off-limits. Choosing where to travel during these times will be a more complex affair than usual, with plenty of planning to boot.
Here are all the best countries to visit in 2021 and 2022 for cannabis tourism:
Canada is considered one of the global hotbeds for cannabis. Major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, are dotted with stores and cafes that have played crucial roles in the fight for cannabis legalization in the country. British Columbia, in particular, is well-known as the origin of many legendary Canadian cannabis strains, such as God Bud, Timewarp and Island Sweet Skunk. There are even tour companies that organize unique cannabis-themed excursions in many major cities, bringing you to experience lounges, iconic locales, and natural beauty while high on the best that Canada has to offer.
- What to do:
- Check out the various conventions and expos that will be held in 2021 and 2022: Hempfest, Lift & Co. Expo and Vancouver Island Cannabis Expo
- Participate in the lively 420 celebrations throughout the country, which you can read about here
- Bring some edibles along for your camping trip at one of Canada’s unbeatable natural sights
- Conquer the thrills at Canada’s Wonderland with a little help from Mary Jane
- Chill out at a hip cannabis lounge in the city
- Is it legal: Recreational use of cannabis is legal in Canada. Familiarize yourself with the regulations of each province here.
- Considerations for pandemic travel: As of this article, Canada is opening up to international tourists who are fully vaccinated, and domestic travel for citizens and residents is also permitted. Read up on travel and health documentation, eligibility and restrictions here.
Mexico a Popular Tourism Destination
Mexico has always been a popular tourist destination, especially for other North Americans. Recent reforms in legislation surrounding recreational cannabis use are sure to attract more cannabis tourism. Enterprising locals are already talking about setting up “marijuana towns“, with hopes for cannabis tours to become the new wine tours. Cannabis-infused mezcal is already a popular tourist souvenir and must-try delicacy. In fact, Mexico is known for its rather fluid laws surrounding recreational drug use. Even today it is easy to participate in various tours for peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and more. It should be no surprise that this is the case, considering that these plants are grown locally and many people have strong cultural and economic ties with them. Talk to some friendly locals about your substance of choice and they will point you in the right direction.
- What to do:
- Light up and visit one of the many museums and art galleries of Mexico City
- Try cannabis-infused mezcal
- Crossfade with pulque, a traditional Aztec alcoholic beverage
- Chill out with a joint at one of the many gorgeous beaches Mexico has to offer
- Enjoy some delectable tacos al pastor when the munchies kick in
- Hike in the foggy, lush hills of San Jose del Pacifico while high, and maybe sneak in a mushroom trip at this quaint town where our fantastic fungal friends are sold and consumed legally
- Is it legal: Recreational and personal use of cannabis has been decriminalized in Mexico. However, the laws surrounding commercialization are still hazy.
- Considerations for pandemic travel: As of this article, there are no pandemic-related testing, vaccination, or quarantine requirements for tourism in Mexico. Learn more here.
As the world collectively begins to realize the futility and misguidedness of the War on Drugs, even Asia Pacific, notoriously punitive when it comes to drug charges, has started to soften its stance on cannabis. Countries like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand are working on reforming their cannabis laws. The reform is for the benefit of the local economy, their people’s wellness and the tourism industry.
The first Southeast Asian country to legalize medical cannabis, reports now indicate that Thailand is continuing to relax regulations. However, with the pandemic closing off much of Asia Pacific to tourism. Thailand has only opened certain locations such as Phuket and Koh Samui to fully vaccinated travellers. Mellower potheads who prefer lazy holidays, island vibes and chilling at the beach will not find this to be a problem. With that said, other locations like Bangkok may also open up shortly.
- What to do:
- Gain insight into Thailand’s legal medical marijuana scene, soon to become a blueprint for its neighbours
- Get lit at a full moon party
- Check out Thailand’s cannabis conventions and expos, the only ones in the region
- If you’re feeling adventurous, seek out the legendary Thai Stick, Thailand’s staple cannabis product.
- Is it legal: Only medical marijuana is legal in Thailand. Penalties for recreational use and possession can be heavy and risks are high in general. Do your research and build relationships with locals.
- Considerations for pandemic travel: As of this article, tourism to Thailand is still being conducted in “bubbles” and only fully-vaccinated travellers are allowed. Learn more here.
The Usual Suspects for Cannabis Tourism
Any seasoned pothead will already know of a few tried-and-true hotspots for cannabis tourism. Popular destinations that remain open to tourists meeting Covid travel requirements are:
- The Netherlands
- The United States
Vibe out with the hippies of Portland, get spiritual with Rastafarians in Negril or put on your cannabis connoisseur hat in an Amsterdam cafe. Whatever your activity of choice, stay safe and well-toked.
Do you have a favourite country for cannabis tourism? Let us know in the comments and follow us at @cannalifenet for more news on cannabis.