A Look at Marijuana in Tourism on 4/20



Even with the theater the humans in the election created, it was marijuana who was largely seen as the prime victor in last November’s election. Marijuana was approved for recreational or medicinal use in 6 more states, so now there are only 15 states that outlaw marijuana in any form. This embracing of marijuana legalization is something policy experts attribute to a strong shift in consumer perceptions about the plant and the products people make with it.

The merits of legalized marijuana, of course, have been discussed and debated for several years in the tourism industry. Many destination marketers embrace it for the tax revenues it brings and that, by and large, the tourists who patronize legal marijuana establishments have been desirable ones. In studying marijuana in tourism over the last several years through our quarterly The State of the American Traveler study, we consistently found that it was Baby Boomers who were the likeliest to purchase or consume marijuana while traveling.

In honor of April 20th, or 4/20—the holiday celebrating marijuana culture, we asked the 1,200 American travelers we surveyed last weekend about their recent travel to states in which marijuana is legal and their purchase of marijuana while traveling. In total, almost 30% of American travelers said they have taken a leisure trip in the past two years to a state in which marijuana has been legalized. Among the travelers who have visited such states, a whopping 51.4% have purchased marijuana and/or marijuana-based products while traveling. Bring on secondary impacts of the munchies, and there may be some significant tax revenue these tourists are accountable for. 🙂