With recreational marijuana now legal in the state, could New Jersey see an increase in cannabis-related tourism?
While the Garden State may not see activities like cannabis yoga classes anytime soon, it could see consumer lounges.
Cannabis insiders say cannabis tourism is a billion-dollar industry outside of dispensaries.
On the first day of legal recreational marijuana, New Jersey dispensaries served more than 12,000 customers and achieved nearly $2 million in sales, but cannabis industry insiders say the legal recreational market is not limited not at dispensaries.
Currently, only a dozen dispensaries in the state are licensed to sell recreational marijuana. As the emerging industry continues to grow, the state could see retail stores and even more cannabis-inspired travelers from other states.
Websites like Bud & Breakfast help travelers find cannabis-friendly accommodations.
New Jersey may not see marijuana-inspired recreational attractions for a while, but the state has already seen consumers crossing state lines to legally buy recreational marijuana, and insiders say that it is a type of cannabis tourism.
“The law will allow dispensaries that have obtained a license to set up a lounge outside of that dispensary. This will create an opportunity for people to come from other places to use cannabis in a safe legal environment,” said John Fanburg, of Brach Eichler Cannabis Industry Practice. .
Industry leaders say cannabis tourism has the potential to be a billion-dollar industry in New Jersey as business begins to return to normal post-pandemic.
“It’s not going to be immediate. We don’t have as many dispensaries open now, so it will take some time for it to really start cooking here,” Fanburg says and adds that it could take a few years.
But as recreational marijuana laws continue to evolve, it could also shape the look of cannabis tourism in the Garden State.
But will the changes create a welcoming tourist environment? It may be too early to tell.
“We have attractions in the cities where tourists come and will they add that as another reason to come and visit the city, the community, the Atlantic City attractions, etc.?” Fanburg said.
The legal recreation market in New Jersey is still new, and there are still months to go before we see the first retail stores and even further away from seeing cannabis-centric tourism.