Disclaimer: I am not endorsing the use of Cannabis in any way. I am just putting out knowledge that I have gathered when researching the subject for someone who had asked me about this type of trip. If you are looking for this type of travel, please do your research and be knowledgeable before even booking.
Cannabis. The once gateway drug that everyone said not to do. It has been in the news a lot through the last 20 years with its legalization coming through many states. With the legalization of cannabis, tourism has boomed. Tours, hotels, bud and breakfasts have all sprung up and provided accommodations to cannabis tourism. But how do you book? Who do you call?
The reason I am writing this is because I have spent at least 2 days looking up how to book a trip for a client. This all started from a simple Facebook post asking if I could specialize in specific types of festival cruises, would they book with me. Well I had a person almost immediately ask about a 420 friendly vacation. I had to tell him that I would have to see what I could find. And since I was already studying Jamaica, I thought this would be a good thing to know for travelers to know if they are looking for this type of vacations.
So, I started my research. It was interesting to find out that ganja in Jamaica has not been legal long. And it is only legal for medical, scientific or therapeutic purposes. I had no clue it wasn’t legal in the country. For decades, if anyone had the smallest quantity on them, they would serve at least 18 months in jail and serve 5 years for anyone cultivating and dealing. This all came about when the Jamaican government went on a anti-Rasta rampage in 1963 when there was a land dispute between bearded men and a gas station owner in Montego Bay that resulted in several deaths and a state-sanctioned violence against the Rastafarian community. Newspaper reports stated that the Rastafan took up machetes and guns against the gas station owner and burned it down after being kicked off that land. However, Rastafarians that were there during that time maintain that it was the bearded men who did the damage and the Jamaican government used this to incident to remove hundreds of Rastafarians in order to suppress the religious movement. This occurred on the Holy Thursday, April 11, 1963.
This was baffling to me! I could not believe what I had read. I had heard of so many going there and was able to get it, but I never would have believed that it was part of an oppressed culture.
Ok, back on task. So my friend wanted a cannabis travel package and I knew since the laws everywhere are different, I needed find out everything I could in order to get him the best deal and maybe make it a group deal for others to join.
So, I start googling and began my search. I found quite a few tours, videos and some hotels who were friendly. But if I looked up on any travel site, it made no mention if it was or not. I scratched my head and started questioning what was going on? It’s 2019 and 30 states have it legalized for medical and/or recreational use depending on the state. It has increased tourism significantly by at least 51% in Colorado. Specialty tours in multiple states have popped up and people are living the “high” life while on vacation.
I was amazed at the different options. They had couples tours, all-inclusive, adventures, foods and just getting to relax. So, what is the best way to book it? Well this is where I was running in to troubles. As a travel agent, I have the ability to book just about any type of travel imaginable. However, the sites that did have the exclusivity to be able to offer the different companies didn’t have an affiliate program set up at this time. The reason: it’s still a work in progress. There is so many regulations behind even being out as vender who deals with cannabis at any level, companies have to be extra cautious on what they do.
Ok, so I had to give them a break on not having an affiliate link for travel agents. Afterall, this is still pretty new to all industries that are out there and there is still the stigma behind being associated with cannabis. Many hotels, bed and breakfast, and other business owners are afraid it could drive away customers, especially the long returning customers who haven’t become accustomed to it. Cannabis still has the all the negative press behind it and though it may be legal in a state, it’s still illegal federally. So keep that in mind when planning your trip.
So there are a few options available to you to book your one of a kind, safe and 420 friendly trip. I found some user-friendly sites that will give you all the resources needed for planning a successful trip. The sites had up to date with fact and resources in order for you to book anything from a tour, to a brunch and resources you need to know for each regulation for each state. Remember, wherever you travel, you must still follow along with the laws and regulations with that state or country. Otherwise you could face fines or jail, so be knowledgeable before leaving. Don’t ruin your trip because of a mistake. I am not going to list the websites I liked at this time because I am in not affiliated at this time with them and I do not want to ruin what could be a potential resource needed in the future.
My goal with this post is to put out there a bit of information to people who are like me and a little clueless when it comes to anything to do with cannabis and travel. I’m not here to judge anyone’s life or choices either. But since I did have a few questions about this type of travel I thought others may have too.
The point of this post is to know before you go. Be smart on your travels and don’t take unnecessary risks. And know the laws.