In the city that never sleeps, a unique tourism sector is slowly but steadily taking root. The recent legalization of recreational cannabis in New York City has created a ripple effect, revolutionizing the travel industry and marking the advent of an uncharted era – the dawn of cannabis tourism. Welcome to this new reality.
History of Cannabis Legislation in New York
For us, as proper journalists, dates are important. Here is a brief timeline of the major events related to cannabis legislation in New York for your own culture:
- 1914: New York first began to restrict cannabis by requiring a prescription to obtain the drug. The drug was added to the city’s list of restricted drugs.
- 1927: New York removed the medical purposes and restricted cannabis completely.
- 1939-1944: Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia assigned a committee to investigate the issue of cannabis in New York City. The committee concluded that cannabis was not widely associated with addiction, school children, or juvenile delinquency.
- 1951: In New York City, more than 19,000 kg (41,000 lb) of marijuana were found growing like weeds throughout the boroughs. A group called the “White Wing Squad” was charged with destroying the many pot farms.
- 1973: The Rockefeller Drug Laws were signed, increasing the penalty for selling two ounces (57 g) or more of certain substances, including cannabis, to a minimum of 15 years to life in prison.
- 1977: New York decriminalized possession of 25 grams (7⁄8 oz) or less of marijuana, reducing it to an infraction with a $100 fine. However, possession in public view remained a misdemeanor.
- 2016: Medical cannabis was legalized in New York.
- 2021: Recreational cannabis was legalized. As a result, adults aged 21 and older were allowed to possess up to 3 ounces (85 g) of cannabis or 0.85 ounces (24 g) of concentrated cannabis.
You must know that nowadays, as it is written on NYC.gov, “adults 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 5 lbs individually in their own homes”. In addition, home cultivation of up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants per individual is permitted, with a maximum of twelve plants per household, once regulations for home grow were in place.
The law also resulted in previous marijuana-related criminal records in the state of New York being expunged. As of October 2021, New York State prohibited employers from testing both prospective and current employees for cannabis use or otherwise discriminating against employees who use cannabis outside of work hours.
The Cannabis Tourism Industry in New York City and its Potential Impact on New York City’s Economy
The cannabis tourism industry is flourishing in New York City, presenting a unique and increasingly lucrative sector of the city’s economy. The city has seen a surge in cannabis-related attractions, from cannabis-themed cafes to special events and tours designed to educate and entertain both locals and tourists alike.
The burgeoning industry is already making waves. With the advent of cannabis legalization, a host of new businesses have sprouted, from dispensaries and smoke shops to cafes and even spas offering cannabis-infused treatments. These establishments not only attract a diverse clientele but also create new jobs and contribute to the city’s revenue.
Key players in the cannabis industry are optimistic about the city’s future as a cannabis tourism hotspot. They see the potential for a thriving sector that could contribute significantly to the city’s economy, from increasing spending in local businesses to creating a new source of tax revenue. The industry is poised for growth, and with the increasing acceptance and normalization of cannabis use, the potential for cannabis tourism in New York City is vast.
Today, it’s clear that the industry’s potential impact on job creation, tax revenue, and increased spending in local businesses is significant. The broader economic benefits of cannabis tourism, while not yet fully quantified, are promising.
However, it’s important to note that this industry is still in its early stages. As more data becomes available, we will be able to better understand the exact economic impact of cannabis tourism on New York City’s economy.
Cannabis Tourism Around the World: The Fresh Example of Thailand
Yes, you read well: cannabis has indeed been legalized for medical use in Thailand, marking a significant shift in the country’s drug policies. This change was initiated by the Thai National Legislative Assembly’s approval of an amendment to the Narcotics Act in December 2018. The legalization allows cannabis to be used in medicine, for research, and even in traditional medicine practices. Thailand is the first Southeast Asian country to allow medical cannabis, which is a significant milestone given the region’s historically strict drug laws1.
Cannabis tourism is a growing trend worldwide, and Thailand is well-positioned to become a major player in this new area of the tourism industry. The prospect of a cannabis tourism industry in Thailand is promising, given the country’s rich cultural history, beautiful landscapes, and warm climate, which could draw in cannabis enthusiasts from around the globe. At present, several high-quality weed shops have opened in Bangkok, offering top-notch cannabis flowers to customers. You can check them all here.
So, yes, like in New York City, the legalization of cannabis has the potential to significantly boost Thailand’s tourism industry. The opportunity to legally consume cannabis could draw in a new demographic of tourists, thus contributing to the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the tourism sector. Policymakers are optimistic that this new law will lead to a surge in tourism. As Thailand’s legalization of cannabis is relatively recent, it will be fascinating to see how this new industry develops over the coming years.
It’s important to note that the laws and regulations around cannabis use can vary widely around the world, and can change rapidly. It’s always important to check the most current laws and regulations before planning a trip.