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tourism

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 19, 2020

    Legalize MarijuanaThe enactment of adult-use cannabis legalization laws in Colorado and Washington is associated with increased tourism in both states, according to data published in the Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy.

    A team of researchers affiliated with Berry College in Georgia compared rates of hotel occupancy in Colorado and Washington post-legalization as compared to trends in other non-legal states.

    Authors reported a “large increase in hotel rooms rented in Colorado” immediately following legalization. Washington state also experienced an uptick, but it was not as significant. Both states experienced their highest jumps in tourism following the advent of retail cannabis sales.

    “[L]egalization in Colorado is associated with an increase of nearly 51,000 hotel rooms rented per month [and] once commercial sale is permitted, there is an increase of almost 120,000 room rentals per month,” authors determined. In Washington, increases were approximately half that total.

    Authors concluded: “Marijuana legalization led to a larger increase in tourism in Colorado than Washington. One possible explanation is that Colorado is an easier travel destination than Washington. … Another possible explanation is that Colorado may have achieved a first mover advantage over Washington since it legalized commercial sale six months earlier than Washington. A third possible explanation is that Washington is adjacent to British Columbia which has a strong reputation for growing marijuana and a laid-back attitude toward marijuana consumption (though use remains illegal). While marijuana legalization increased tourism, especially in Colorado, the benefit may wane as additional states including California, Michigan, and Illinois, legalize the possession and sale of marijuana.”

    Survey data commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Office has previously reported that nearly half of all tourists who visit the state are motivated do so because of Colorado’s liberal marijuana policies.

    The full text of the study, “The effect of marijuana on hotel occupancy in Colorado and Washington,” is online here. Additional information appears in the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Regulation: Impact on Health, Safety, and Economy.”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 10, 2015

    legalization_pollNearly one out of two tourists visiting to Colorado acknowledge that their decision is motivated by the state’s permissive attitude toward marijuana, according to the findings of a just-released study commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Office.

    Among Colorado vacationers surveyed, 49 percent said that cannabis’ legal status influenced their decision, with 22 percent of them saying that it was “extremely influential.”

    A record number of tourists visited the state in 2014. Recreational sales of cannabis to adults became legal in Colorado on January 1, 2014.

    The results of a statewide Quinnipiac University poll commissioned this past November reported that 55 percent of Colorado voters support the state’s present marijuana policies, and that 53 percent of respondents believe that the policies have been “good for the state.”