A Cursory Review of Cannabis Business and Tourism Impact at a Popular U.S. Destination

Proceedings of The 10th International Conference on Opportunities and Challenges in Management, Economics and Accounting

Year: 2023



A Cursory Review of Cannabis Business and Tourism Impact at a Popular U.S. Destination

Eric Newman and Joseph Tormey




Cannabis is a federally illegal substance, yet some states permit its use for recreational purposes which attracts visitors that contribute to a destination’s economic vitality.  Where it is permitted, cannabis and related businesses may reap benefits from new marijuana-motivated travelers as well as returning vacationers who use it.  As laws change to allow its use and as cannabis continues to grow in popularity, hospitality businesses may find the opportunity to add cannabis goods and services in the form of retail products, edibles, infusions, aromatics, or add-ons.  Consequently, cannabis may enhance the traveler’s experience at the destination’s attractions, venues, hotels, spas, restaurants, and more.  Previous studies have shown that routine cannabis users will intensify usage while vacationing (Belhassen, Carla, & Ariely, 2007; Carr, 2002). The authors reviewed the literature regarding the business aspects of cannabis, cannabis tourism, and the findings from an economic impact study that was conducted in 2022 at a southwestern U.S. destination.  The findings of the study indicate that several industries were positively impacted and reaped economic benefits in sectors of agriculture, retail, food, and beverage, transport, business services, education, and hospitality.  Moreover, 400 business licenses at the destination were granted and data collected from these new businesses revealed five dominant groups identified as cultivators, retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and testing facilities.

keywords: Cannabis commerce, cannabis tourism, marijuana-motivated travelers, recreation marijuana