"Weed Tourism" Is a Big Thing in Colorado, Maybe


It is safe to say that while the first few years of this decade were not as economically robust as many hoped following a huge downturn, the policy response to global financial crisis eventually got us right side up. While it was a tough few years for those that are employed in the service industry and others, many communities in this country rely on a "boom or bust" economy. They rally tourists in the warm months of summer and until the snow melts in the winter. Though, states that legalize marijuana might be offering an attractive prospect, no matter the time of the year. 

No wonder, really, that Colorado claims its marijuana reform laws are a direct cause of the uptick in tourism that has graced the state. It is my feeling that an economic upturn has been felt in general; nobody is complaining about that, but Colorado is thankful for its notoriety as weed friendly. Ask anyone in a casual conversation what they know about the state and it probably involves something along the lines of getting "Rocky Mountain High" with John Denver, shredding powder, and Coors. 

According to a recent survey, visitors to Colorado have something else on their mind besides that the scenery is so dope, people feel like it can "Come to Life" — a PR campaign which netted $900 million in spending — supposedly, and that is weed. The conclusion from this survey is that folks visit Colorado at least partially due to weed about half the time. 

Though, "only 8 percent of the Colorado tourists who responded to the survey said they visited a marijuana dispensary."

Director of tourism surveys, Denise Miller, said, "I think definitely the laws are having an influence when people are considering Colorado. We can see that it's still not a large percentage in terms of what people are doing, but it's become more of a motivator for those who want to do it."

That is true because only "20 percent of potential Colorado vacationers say the state's marijuana laws made them more likely to book a vacation and 15 percent say they were less likely."

That is hardly much of a net gain. But, hey, any win is a win. Right?