It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that Canada recently legalised cannabis in its entirety. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ve set your sights on an eye-opening trip sometime soon.
If not Canada, you’re almost certainly one of millions planning a cannabis vacation for 2019.
All over the world, legalisation is transforming the appeal of dozens of territories for international tourists. If you live outside the United States, more towns and cities than ever before have become pure pot paradise. If you’re more of a traditionalist, there’s still no place quite like Holland. And let’s not forget the incredible cannabis club culture of Barcelona.
Long story short – the world is bursting at the seams with incredible cannabis tourist destinations. Nevertheless, it’s useful to tool-up on a few basics of etiquette and general enjoyment, before heading out.
So irrespective of the destination you have in mind, here’s a brief rundown of 10 essential tips for first-time cannabis tourists:
1. Do your homework
Right off the bat, don’t just make the assumption that legalisation or decriminalisation means you can do whatever you want, wherever you want. There are still states, towns, cities and countries were crossing the line could see you handed serious jail-time. In terms of how much you can buy, how much you can carry, where you can consume cannabis and who you can share it with, you need to research the rules and regulations of your chosen destination heavily.
2. You’ll need to carry ID
A recognised form of identification is required to buy cannabis almost everywhere the stuff has been legalised. You don’t have to be a local, but you’ll be refused outright if you don’t keep your ID with you at all times. It’s the same as going to a bar – the best way being to expect you’ll be carded with every purchase, so it’s a good idea never to leave home without it.
3. Use local guides and resources
Wherever you choose to head, there will no doubt be a ton of local guides and resources with specific focus on cannabis culture. From the best dispensaries in the area to outstanding eateries to clubs to bars to festivals and so on, it’s a great way of getting the lowdown on what’s happening. You might not find this kind of information in regular tour guides and brochures, so you’ll need to look elsewhere.
4. Don’t rush yourself
Try to avoid the mistake of getting well and truly carried away the moment you arrive. The temptation to hit it as hard as possible as quickly as possible can be overwhelming, but it’s a sure fire-recipe for ending up flat on your back and diluting your enjoyment of the trip. When you head somewhere that sells cannabis as freely and openly as any other consumer product, remember that there’s no need to rush. It will be right there for the taking for the duration of your trip, so you may as well take your time, experiment with a whole bunch of different strains and enjoy every minute.
5. Always carry cash
For the time being, the vast majority of recreational cannabis dispensaries aren’t able to process card payments. It’s not a case of cash being king – it’s a case of cash being the only way to pay for cannabis at most dispensaries. It’s never a good idea to carry huge amounts of cash on your person while on vacation, but ensure you’ve enough to cover your next pot purchase.
6. Keep things under control
There’s really nothing more depressing than a bunch of over-intoxicated tourists making examples of themselves out in public. Nevertheless, it’s perhaps the single most common faux pas made by cannabis tourists worldwide. They’re overwhelmed by what’s on offer, they choose a 27% THC strain they simply can’t handle and they subsequently go nuts. A great way of ruining the day not just for yourself, but for everyone else in the vicinity.
7. Check app availability
You may find that there’s a whole bunch of mobile apps available to help you make the most of your weed-friendly vacation. Whether it’s choosing the best dispensaries or finding the underground cannabis clubs you’d otherwise have overlooked, it’s well worth checking out what’s available to download before you head out.
8. Consider cannabis-friendly accommodation
The consumption of cannabis is almost always restricted to private property. Typically hotels, apartments and guesthouses don’t allow cannabis to be consumed anywhere near their premises. However, this doesn’t mean cannabis-friendly accommodation options don’t exist. It’s simply a case of finding them. Search online and you’ll find plenty of options available, with very specific stipulations as to what is and isn’t allowed. If you’re feeling really sociable, you could always go for an Air BnB room and share the experience with a stoner proprietor.
9. Be careful where you carry your cannabis
Upon leaving a cannabis-friendly destination and heading elsewhere, be sure to check every single pocket and crevice of your clothes, your bags and your containers. Crossing national or international boundaries with even the slightest amount of cannabis on your person could land you in a whole lot of trouble. Playing ignorance simply isn’t an option – it’s the oldest excuse in the book and it simply won’t be accepted.
10. Don’t get yourself arrested
Last but not least, don’t ever let it slip your mind that there are still heavy restrictions on the purchase, consumption, transportation and general possession of cannabis in most places. Even where recreational use has been legalised, this still means you can be looking at six months in jail and a massive fine for overstepping the mark. It’s up to you and you alone to ensure you’re up to speed with local law and legislation – no allowances are made for tourists who flout the rules.