The cannabis travel segment is on the rise. What was once a California specific organization called the California Cannabis Tourism Association (CCTA) has taken the leap to a bigger stage and repositioned as the Cannabis Travel Association, International (CTAI). Founded in 2017, the Cannabis Travel Association, International has a mission to advance and steward safe and responsible cannabis tourism.
Brian Applegarth, a leader, and innovator of cannabis tourism founded the CTAI in 2017. Brian is also a cannabis culture historian and student of the legalization movement. He has a rich history and understanding of the cannabis industry as well as travel and tourism. His goal is to introduce the wide, wide world of cannabis travel to a growing marketplace.
In collaboration with MMGY Travel Intelligence and Headset, the CTAI produces an annual cannabis tourism research publication. Last year’s paper concentrated primarily on California, emphasizing the connection between the COVID pandemic and the optimism surrounding cannatourism.
Fast forward a year and we see travelers chomping at the bit for personalized experiences and adventures that are off the beaten path, away from throngs of people and incorporate an increased health and wellness focus. These elements have always been a part of cannabis tourism.
Evidenced by the 2020 study (available at www.cannabistravelassociation.org) it was clear folks were clamoring for cannabis vacations and events. Armed with strong statistical backup, the CCTA evolved to an international association –with members hailing from Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and all over the United States. As acceptance and legalization begin to take root, there is a groundswell of interest in cannabis-enhanced experiences from yoga to dining to cooking to artistic creations and spiritual insights. The health and wellness component of travel is also going through the roof, and the CTAI has a number of members devoted to the healing elements of the plant.
The data in last year’s study helps dispel the “lazy stoner” cannabis stereotype and shows the evolution of the cannabis related consumer. Turns out cannabis travelers run the gamut from foodies to extreme sports addicts. Outdoor adventure enthusiasts, music aficionados and beach bums are included in the mix.
“I am incredibly proud of the growth the California Cannabis Tourism Association has seen during such an unprecedented time. Through continued education, innovation in the now and a commitment to building community, I feel as if the new Cannabis Travel Association International is perfectly positioned to support the recovery of global tourism by lifting Cannabis as both a destination driver and experience enhancer,” says Brian Applegarth.
With the return to travel, the new normalization of cannabis in many states, the Cannabis Travel Association stands to be a rich resource for unifying the cannabis and tourism industries.