Weed Tourism: Exploring The Impact Of The Cannabis Industry On The Workforce

Article by SimplyHired, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.

With so many U.S. states legalizing cannabis in recent years for medical or recreational adult use — specifically 33 as of May 2019 — it brings the industry to the forefront of many people’s minds, especially its position in the workforce.

States where cannabis is legal for adult use are quickly drawing the attention of those interested in cannabis tourism. With this growth has come an increase in hiring for marijuana tourism-related jobs.

According to a survey, nearly half of those who have experienced the cannabis industry have considered seeking employment working within cannabis.

These occupations are not just about the act of simply growing marijuana, though; among the selection of careers include consultants, COOs/CFOs, and chefs, just to name a few. To learn more about how the cannabis industry is impacting today’s workforce, we surveyed 769 marijuana tourists. Read on to discover what they had to say.

Weed at Work

The cannabis-infused interactions that tourists are experiencing while traveling are having a profound effect on their professional life. These experiences have shown to result in their rethinking their career path. Almost half of those surveyed have considered looking for a new job in the cannabis industry – and among those, another 44% became interested only after experiencing the cannabis industry as a tourist.

See also: Organization Building: Cannabis, It's a Business

The majority of these tourists felt strongly that the cannabis industry is here to stay. Their motivations for seeking employment in the marijuana industry included being part of an emerging industry and the ability to contribute to a product they believe has a positive medical impact.

Tourism Is Turning Over a New “Leaf”


While many tourists base their travels on things like cultural museums, fine dining options, and scenic landmarks, some are now traveling to certain destinations for its cannabis tourism. Colorado was the most popular destination, where cannabis tourism has grown 51% since 2014.

Of the tourists surveyed who said they traveled to a destination mainly because of its legal cannabis culture, only 45% indicated that they were already regular cannabis users. Interestingly, 19% reported they had their first experience with marijuana through marijuana tourism. 

Cannabis tourism can include many different kinds of experiences, such as attending a cannabis cafe, festival, tour, or event like a cooking class or a Puff, Pass & Paint session. According to the tourists in our survey, the most enjoyable of these experiences was the ability to visit a cannabis dispensary. 

Cashing in on Cannabis

Perhaps one of the reasons tourists found the dispensary visits so enjoyable is that they have direct and legal access to purchase all different varieties of cannabis, such as edibles, joints, blunts, and vape pens. Being able to purchase cannabis in a legitimate setting was a major draw for these tourists and may have affected how much money they wound up spending during their visit. When asked if they spent more or less than anticipated on marijuana products or experiences, 36% said they spent more than they had planned. By far, the most popular type of products purchased were edibles, which were purchased by over 78% of tourists.

See also: Key Findings From A Women In Cannabis Study: It's All About Helping, Community And Empowerment

Visiting a cannabis dispensary is one of the top cannabis-related activities that tourists decide to spend their money on, coming in at only $2 less than the amount spent on cannabis festivals. Just about half of these tourists had a good idea of how much they would spend at a dispensary and ended up staying within that range.

Workplace Professionalism: Still True With Cannabis?

Contrary to the longstanding negative stigma of marijuana users, 64% of those who have experienced the cannabis industry believed its employees to be very professional, and more than half of people reported positive experiences with cannabis tourism employees.

While tourists’ experiences reflect positively on the industry, this outcome was not universally anticipated; 30% of those surveyed had negative perceptions of cannabis industry employees prior to experiencing it firsthand. 


As the cannabis industry grows within the workforce and cannabis tourism becomes the norm, more and more tourists are planning their trips around marijuana-infused activities. These tourists not only bring back memories of unique experiences from their vacations, but they’re also becoming interested in the business side of the industry – even considering making it a part of their career. These tourists are witnessing the professionalism displayed by employees of the cannabis industry, which in turn breaks down lingering stereotypes and helps give new meaning to cannabis culture.

Methodology and Limitations

Data rely on self-reported findings via a survey using the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform. There were a total of 769 participants. To qualify to complete the survey, participants needed to have traveled to a destination for its cannabis tourism.

Forty-five percent of respondents identified as women, and 60% identified as men. The average age was 33.6 with a standard deviation of 9.2.

The results of this survey are based on self-report and are subject to exaggeration, selective memory, and attribution. It is possible that with a greater sample of people who have experienced cannabis tourism, we could have gained additional insights into this population.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Noticias sobre cannabis en Español en El Planteo.

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.


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