According to Wikipedia, cannabis usage dates back to at least the third millennium BC in written history and possibly further back by archaeological evidence. The plant has been valued for its use for grain, fibre, rope, as food, medicine and for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use.
Restriction on use started in the 14th century in the Islamic world and by the 20th century most colonial countries had started enforcing restriction on cannabis use and growth. These restrictions were called for majorly by religious groups since the effects it wrought on users i.e. euphoria, relaxation and an altered sense of time were considered the “devils work”.
However, in the beginning of the 21st century after the many benefits of using cannabis for recreational and medicinal purposes came to light, many countries started to decriminalize cannabis. The Netherlands was the first country to do so followed by Uruguay in 2015. In Africa, Lesotho was the first country to legalize cannabis in 2017, South Africa in 2018 followed by Zambia in 2019.
Travelling with cannabis around the world is a challenge since the countries that have decriminalized its usage, have varied and contradicting demands. For example in the United States, cannabis is illegal under the federal law, but its use in some states is legal. This means that you can’t get on a plane with cannabis on your person since the air space is under the federal law jurisdiction. Canada also has legalized cannabis use, but you cannot take cannabis across the border, whether you are entering or leaving the country.
This localization of cannabis use within the borders of a specific country has created the rise of cannabis-tourism. Where a person travels to a destination where its use is legal.
Some of the best countries to travel to for cannabis around the world are:-
- Belize;- the government decriminalized cannabis use in this country in
In amounts up to 10grams
- Jamaica: – cannabis was decriminalized in Jamaica in 2015; you can use it in unlimited quantities with no repercussions. It is mostly popular in music festivals and the beach
- Spain: – Spain legalized their famous smoking bars in 2017, in Catalonia, a northern region in the country. This area would be a definite stop for any tourist who wants to consume as much weed as they want without repercussions.
- Switzerland: – there has been a push in the recent years to get some cannabis clubs started in this country and it’s looking to be among the best destinations for cannabis tourism.
The international market for cannabis is expected to reach 73.6 billion dollars by 2027, with medical marijuana set to make up more than two-thirds of that. According to the United Nations estimates, more than ten thousand tones of cannabis is produced in Africa alone each year
Change in consumer interests and legal regulations have seen the global tourism market adapt quickly to develop products and services that serve this new market niche. A Tourist is more likely to visit a coffee shop for the chance to consume cannabis legally than for the coffee itself. Although demand for cannabis is largely supported by local populations, much of the revenues are coming from tourists. Cannabis consumption may not be the main motivation for travel, but tourists, especially those from countries where cannabis is still illegal, are eager to experience tourism products that are specifically designed with cannabis as the main dish. For example, a pot festival, cannabis friendly hotels, gardening and growing classes and weed-themed cooking classes among others.
Traveling with cannabis around the world, at the moment may be impossible without doing some very serious time in jail, but many countries over the world are getting curious about cannabis and all the revenue that can be earned from it.