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Report Breaks Down the Best and Worst U.S. Cities for Cannabis Vacations

Upgraded Points, a travel information site, released a data report on Oct. 24 detailing which U.S. states are best and worst for a “canna-cation.”

The top three best places were Colorado’s cities of Denver and Boulder and Colorado Springs. Next came Oakland and San Jose in California, followed by Henderson and Las Vegas (Nevada) and finally Portland, Maine, which was the only state on the east coast to be included. “In these states, economies of scale have been built over the last decade, bolstered by a booming weed market that includes dispensaries, farm tours, and cannabis lounges,” said Alex Miller, Upgraded Points founder. “The industry supports over 83,000 jobs in California alone.”

The report was based on an upgrade point analyst’s four-day marijuana vacation for one. The analysts used a variety of averages to base their findings, including roundtrip airfares, meal prices at fast food restaurants, overnight lodging rates and local rideshare rates. They also looked at the price of 14 ounces of marijuana and the cost for a 100mg pack.

This report shows that cannabis flowers are cheaper in the west than they are in the east. Additionally, northern states tend to have higher prices for vacation items. Burlington in Vermont, Bridgeport in Connecticut and Boston, Massachusetts are among the top-pricing states. “Canna-cations in eastern states like Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts can be much pricier… as the infrastructure for using, purchasing, and producing cannabis is far less established in these areas,” Miller said.

Oakland, California ($1,068/day) and Spokane Washington (1,135/day) were the most economical locations. They were both 22% lower than the national average of $1,262.

Denver made the cut because of all the cannabis-related activities it offers, including bus tours and dispensaries. The west coast states, particularly those that have an adult-use market in existence for between 6 and 10 years, are also more cost-friendly.

Washington, D.C., Illinois, Vermont, and other locations have the highest flowers prices, at $590.50 per ounce.

Miller predicts that the U.S. marijuana tourism market will continue to expand. “Cannabis tourism is flourishing. The U.S. cannabis industry now supports more than 428,000 jobs and is anticipated to exceed $72 billion in sales by 2030. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam, and weed tourism will only grow as more states are poised to legalize recreational retail sales of marijuana later this year. If you’re looking for the ideal destination for your ‘canna-cation’ this year, the grass is greener in cities like Denver, Oakland, Boulder, and Portland.”

In June 2022, a report estimated that $17 billion could be earned by the U.S. marijuana tourism industry. “By 2025, 50% of travelers in the U.S. are going to be millennials,” Cannabis Travel Association Founder Brian Applegarth. “And their relationship to cannabis consumption is extremely normalized compared to the stigmatized industry leaders of today.”

Internationally, tourism is starting to grow. While Canada’s adult-use program is thriving, bringing cannabis over the border was prohibited, as of July 2021. Amsterdam has banned cannabis tourism. Dubai’s November 2021 ban on cannabis tourism was lifted.

Apart from traditional attractions like grow tours or having multiple dispensaries, there have been many cannabis-themed museums that have started to open. The Spanish Hemp Museum opened its doors in June and will continue to open through February 2023. The Zagreb city’s capital opened a Croatian museum in April. In 2019, the University of California, Berkeley had a limited exhibit called “Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances.” Of course, Las Vegas will soon become home to a museum called the Cannabition Cannabis Museum, and the city council also recently approved consumption lounges in September which is expected to boost tourism numbers.