Now that the pandemic seems to have gone into a different phase, tourism is again opening up and looking forward to welcoming tourists. Nowadays, in 2022, there’s even talk about global cannabis or weed tourism possibilities. Curious where to go? We’ve got you covered in this new blog. Starting with North America, we’ve divided it up into (sub-)continents.
North America is the best place to go
Canada: cannabis is legal here
Only a couple of years ago, we would start with the back then obvious capital of the Netherlands: Amsterdam. But Amsterdam will have to wait for the second part of this blog. Because today, there’s a country in North America where cannabis is fully, federally, legal: Canada.
Your only real choice will be whether you go west or east really. Unless you don’t mind flying inside the country. In the west, you will find Vancouver. Close to the border of the United States and the state of Washington and its capital Seattle where cannabis is also legal. However, you of course cannot take cannabis with you over the border.
Vancouver itself is really beautiful, with plenty of cannabis dispensaries and there are even shops to be found that sell things like coca tea and mushrooms. You’re nearby the ocean, but also nearby the mountains if you like winter sports or heading into the mountains in the summer.
Meanwhile, in the east, you will find the biggest city in Canada: Toronto. Here as well you will find plenty of cannabis dispensaries you can just walk in and buy cannabis if you’re over 19 years old. I’ve personally visited Toronto and enjoyed it very much. If you like cities, it’s a bit like New York with kinder people. Only a couple of hours driving and you will find yourself near big lakes to visit and have your smoke in quiet.
United States: cannabis is legal in 18 states
The most obvious state to recommend is California. But there’s more to cannabis in the United States. As we mentioned above Seattle is nearby California, but so is Oregon, and Nevada (and therefore Las Vegas). But also Colorado and other states. Soon to be added to that list: New York. In New York City, right now you can legally already smoke cannabis on the streets. But shops have yet to be opened, as well as consumption rooms.
Not every state allows consumption rooms though and even if they do, they will be hard to find except in the capital cities perhaps. You should also keep in mind in the legal states, you are to be 21 and over to be able to go in and purchase cannabis.
As such, it is recommended to read up very well on where you exactly want to go. But if you’re in for a road trip, you could drive the entire west coast through four different states and stay in states where cannabis is legal. Carrying it across the border of the state, however, is not.
Europe: the second-best destination to go for weed tourism
Amsterdam is still the place to be. Sure, there are plans by the municipality to ban foreigners from the coffeeshops, but it’s likely never to actually happen to come from a Dutch point of view. The nuisance it would create on the streets would be unbearable. People would still come to Amsterdam and weed would still be freely available whether tourists are banned or not from the coffeeshops. Essentially they would not solve anything.
And yes, we still say Amsterdam before Barcelona. Simply because if you have a valid ID, you can just enter a coffeeshop, buy weed and smoke it (only without tobacco) at the shop, in a park, or at a cannabis-friendly place.
Because the other place to go in Europe is Barcelona. There are other European countries in which CBD is legal, this opens up a lot more, but if you’re looking for THC-rich products you will find in Barcelona everything and more. Even more so than in Amsterdam, where you might find things like extracts, but really they are forbidden to be sold in coffeeshops.
The big difference between Amsterdam and Barcelona is that in Amsterdam you can be pretty open about it, but in Barcelona, you can only be when you’re inside the club. For which you first have to register. You generally pay a fee that lasts you almost a year. Usually, when you come back exactly a year later, you still need to pay the fee again. Which can range from 5 to 50 euros.
Inside the club, you can smoke, even drink alcohol and take all the dabs you want. But carrying it outside and especially smoking it outside, can be hefty fines. Even smoking in the street can result in fines of around a thousand euros. Possession even more.
But if you don’t mind being a little discreet, Barcelona can treat you well. And the weather is usually better than in Amsterdam. But whereas in Amsterdam they don’t mind you smoking in a park, it’s a hell of a lot different than Barcelona. We’d recommend visiting both if you’re making the trip to Europe anyways.
There’s more to Spain than Barcelona too. Skip the capital Madrid and go instead to the Canary Islands for example. Or even in Ibiza, you can find cannabis clubs! And the same with the Netherlands. There’s more to the Netherlands than Amsterdam. You will find coffeeshops in almost every big city, but not every town.
For cannabis events, like the famous Spannabis, you will only find them in Spain though. But both in Spain and in the Netherlands you will have to hide your cannabis for security at events. There are cannabis events in Prague (Cannafest), Berlin (Mary Jane), Vienna (Cultiva), Cannatrade (Switzerland), and several in Italy.
Does CBD weed fill your needs? You’ll find it from France to Hungary, from Italy to Germany and most places in between. Usually in tobacco shops or specialized CBD shops.
Malta recently legalised cannabis, but not for tourists. Clubs are also as of writing not yet operating.
South America is an option, but it’s not straightforward
In South America lies Uruguay, the first country ever to legalize cannabis already back in 2013. According to the law, adult citizens and foreign residents who join a government registry to grow their own cannabis, join a cannabis club or buy up to 40 grams a month at authorized pharmacies.
So acquiring cannabis as a tourist, isn’t a simple act. But the government is considering it. Uruguay is also quite a conservative country and most of the population actually wasn’t in favor of legalising cannabis. So don’t expect it to pop up everywhere.
You could also consider Mexico, where growing for personal use is legal (and is technically also North America). Or Colombia, where medical cannabis is legal. But there’s no country in South America you will be able to buy it in shops like in Canada, in legal states in the US, Amsterdam or Barcelona.
In Africa, the only place to recommend is South Africa
While several countries are legalizing or are even already allowing pharmaceutical-grade medical cannabis to be grown, the only country where you will find shops in South Africa. In South Africa, cannabis has become decriminalized for personal use following a Higher Court ruling.
Technically, it’s more like the situation in Barcelona where you are allowed to have, consume and grow in your private residence. There are even several shops nowadays to be found in the big cities. At your own risk obviously, because unfortunate things can still happen in South Africa.
Asia: Thailand is opening-up
Nowadays, we have to mention Thailand first. While some stories online might state cannabis is legal in Thailand, the reality is that only CBD (under 0.2 THC) and medical cannabis are legalised in Thailand. They are, however, considering going as far as to really allow tourists to enjoy cannabis recreationally.
Also in Asia, you’ll find another, more traditional cannabis tourism destination in the form of India. Especially for hash lovers. While it’s less tolerant than it was in the seventies, you’ll find the popular drink Bhang is still legal in many places, while other Indian states have banned it. It’s here in India where we also trace back the origins of the Kush lineage, named after the Hindu Kush area, bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Tajikistan. Nowadays you can buy descendants of these Kush genetics, through our OG #18 line as part of our premium Suzy's Aficionado Collection.
Going to states like Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir, you’re bound to find the unique Charras hash, usually smoked in a chillum.
Oceania: not much
Sadly enough the referendum in New Zealand lacked a few votes to legalise cannabis. But you could also consider going to the Nimbin Mardigras festival, this year taking place from 16-18 September. It is the biggest cannabis gathering happening in these parts of the world. Cannabis laws vary from state to territory though.