It’s tough to travel without the help, or company, of the herb. Thankfully, cannabis-inspired travel is an industry that’s gaining momentum around the world. Here are a few of the destinations that top our list.
While the number of countries decriminalizing cannabis is on the rise, it remains illegal in most places, so please keep that in mind.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The portside city is renowned for its beauty and diverse culture. “Vancouver is Manhattan with mountains. It’s a liquid city, a tomorrow city, equal parts India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. It’s the cool North American sibling,” reports The New York Times. The city, which has earned the nickname “Vansterdam,” is known for its Dutch-like cafes and its expanding cannabis market. According to TripAdvisor, “Because of ‘safe space’ laws, people can go bring their own [cannabis] to various ‘safe space’ locations within Vancouver….” Medical cannabis use is legal, but it remains illegal to consume in public, reports Kush Tourism. “A number of lounges operate under the ‘safe space’ law and provide a place for medical [cannabis] users to come consume… You don’t need a medical prescription to get it, so tourists are welcome.” Lounges don’t sell cannabis, as they only operate as a place for the like-minded to congregate and consume together. City Highlights: Vancouver Seawall, Stanley Park, Granville Island, The Liberty Distillery.
The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is famous for its rich history and architecture. It’s also home to the Freetown Christiania. Christiania is a semi-autonomous, alternative community located within the Copenhagen city limits. “It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies [or squatters] who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government,” reports VisitDenmark.com. Over time, the district has become known for its distinctive culture, and open sale of cannabis. “Christiana has fostered—until recently—a mostly tolerated cannabis market. Pusher Street in the Green Light District is famous for its stalls selling many varieties of weed and hash, and it’s undoubtedly the main attraction for many visitors,” reports High Times. While police raids are common in the Green Light District, the social experiment continues. The always colorful, and controversial, community isn’t just a district—it’s a way of life. It’s home to approximately 1,000 people, a lake, museums, cafes, bars, restaurants and music venues. Visitors are welcome to tour the community, learn about its history and relax by the waterside with a joint or beer in hand. City Highlights: The statue of The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen’s gravesite, the National History Museum of Denmark, Nyhavn and Tivoli Gardens.
The South American country of Uruguay has a population of 3.4 million and borders Argentina, Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s known for its liberal policies, it’s verdant interior, colonial towns, coastlines and a rich wine industry. Uruguay was the first country in the world to fully legalize the sale of cannabis nationwide. The landmark decision came in 2013 and has been slowly implemented since. Sales, all of which must go through the federal government, officially started in the summer of 2017. According to The Cannabist collectives or dispensaries are starting to pop up throughout Montevideo, the country’s capital. Only citizens of Uruguay are permitted to purchase cannabis, and only in limited quantities, reports the official travel site, Guru’Guay. “Uruguayan citizens and registered residents living here for at least two years are able to buy up to 40 grams of marijuana per month from the pharmacy,” the site adds. Visitors, however, are not allowed to purchase the substance. But there is a loophole, according to several sources, including Guru’Guay. While visitors may not purchase cannabis, if they are given it, then it’s theirs for the smoking– but public consumption laws must be obeyed, according to the travel site. “Over 18s can smoke pot anywhere other than a public building or enclosed place of work. So you can’t smoke inside a cafe or restaurant […] but you can smoke at the outdoor tables.” City Highlights: The Montevideo Marijuana Museum, Rambla de Montevideo, Mercado del Puerto, Museo Andes 1972.
Barcelona, Spain is quickly becoming a destination for travelers who want to consume legally while abroad. However, like most countries that attract cannabis or other drug tourism, consumption is decriminalized, yet facets of the industry (such as purchasing) remain illegal. Barcelona is a hotbed for cannabis social clubs, which are popping up throughout Spain. Membership, which can be obtained by invitation, is needed to enter these clubs, along with the payment of an annual fee. Citizenship is not required, so visitors are welcome. Once a member, one may “acquire” cannabis but may not sell it inside. SoloWeed.com provides a detailed guide on how to become a member and how to behave in Barcelona’s social cannabis scene. City Highlights: La Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, Casa Batlló, Museu Eròtic de Barcelona.
Emerald Magazine, Melissa Hutsell