When legalization advocates fought for passage of their successful Proposition 64 initiative in 2016, one of the topics that raised interest statewide was how to draw cannabis tourists and their money to the state. The California Cannabis Tourism Association was founded the very next year to address that question.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic shut down tourism travel for over a year, things kept on percolating under the surface. Now the group is taking on an updated name along with an expanded geographic focus. The Cannabis Travel Association International (CTAI), launched a web site, CannabisTravelAssociation.org, introducing its expanded scope of activities, in May of this year.
“With the amount of enthusiasm we’ve had outside the state of California, and sensing the pent-up demand for travel in general, our research guided us to grow into an international association,” said Brian Applegarth, Founder and Chairman of CCTA, now CTA. “As the organization continues to strengthen and expand, we will have regional chapters such as New York, Las Vegas, Colorado, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands and the UK under our umbrella.”
High hopes for local, global cannabis tourism
Formed to promote the development of safe and responsible cannabis tourism, unify the cannabis and tourism industries, and advocate for an enabling regulatory environment and promoting best practices in the cannabis space, the Association is evolving as a response to the global movement to integrate cannabis and tourism ecosystems.
California is home to the Emerald Triangle, Haight Ashbury, the first medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation and some of the best marijuana in the world, as well as the source of much of the global impetus for legal reforms. Meanwhile, legalization has swept America – and other parts of the country likewise have special claims and charms as tourist draws. Likewise, Uruguay and Canada have legalized adult use, Holland still has coffeeshops, Spain has membership lounges and so on.
With the anticipated national reopening, the USA is set up into a prime condition for its cannabis tourism industry. Nevada will now allow adult smoking lounges. California’s lack of consumption lounges and bans on cannabis smoking in hotels make its efforts a bit more difficult but interest and tours began to grow and flourish in several parts of the state.
“Research is a key pillar of the association and members receive exclusive access to in-depth reports to help them manage their business by making informed decisions based on data,” added Applegarth.
CCTA members, early birds get membership discounts
“Existing Members of the former CCTA will get special discounts and rates until July 1, 2021, depending on their tier and membership status. ‘Early bird’ enrollment fees will be extended to everyone joining prior to July 1.” said Applegarth. “We encourage all those interested in joining us on this exciting journey to complete our interest form and one of our membership leaders will reach out to you.”
CTAI members and partners include major cannabis brands, tour operators, retailers, transportation companies, hotels, tourism boards, industry associations, media companies, and other organizations for whom cannabis tourism advocacy is important.
Published: June 09, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News