Legal recreational cannabis use is on the rise, with more and more states getting on board. This has created an increased interest in “cannabis tourism”; that is tourism that is focused on including cannabis consumption into the travel plans! After all, people travel widely to explore different “wine country” locations. The same trend is starting to grow in states that have legalized marijuana.

One obvious issue is that recreational use is not legal at the federal level, so it’s not an option to travel from state to state, whether by land, sea or air, enjoying a tour of cannabis related attractions and businesses and bringing samples with you. Similarly, it’s not an option to go to a national park—even one located in a state that has legalized marijuana—and smoke as federal land falls under federal jurisdiction.

Cannabis cocktail in California

Even among states where recreational cannabis is legal, the rules differ widely from state to state as to where and how much you can consume or have on your person. The interesting ways in which different states have embraced cannabis tourism, however, speaks to the growing interest of some of the public for precisely this kind of activity.

Alaska, for example, legalized consumption of cannabis on-site at dispensaries in 2019, in addition to the already legal personal use in private residences. This opens the door to the possibility of Amsterdam like “cannabis cafés” or other similar business add ons for dispensaries. 

On the flip side, states like California have long been in the game when it comes to connecting tourists with a toke. From yoga on a high to cannabis infused cocktails on the dinner menu, there has been a real effort to integrate cannabis and tourism, to welcome people who are interested in partaking.

Colorado boasts tours of pot farms, specialized lounges for having a weed infused drink and even a church that includes cannabis in its services. You can even learn to roll sushi and joints, at a Denver location. And in the great state of Maine, the crossover from café to dispensary is already in the works with places like Higher Grounds, a café where you can order your latté with a side of weed.

Just as smoking lounges developed in response to a public stance against smoking cigars in public, private pot smoking lounges are becoming more and more prevalent. By using private clubs, the rules that prohibit public consumption in various states can be avoided. Massachusetts, for example, has the Summit Lounge, which allows members to enjoy their buds in an elegant and welcoming environment, complete with fine dining and infused cocktails. Other states like Oregon have gotten on board with the private club setup, for a welcoming and social way to enjoy pot. A variation of this is the high end supper club, which invites guests to enjoy an amazing meal, fine wines, all paired with cannabis, such as the Cannabis Supper Club, in LA.

Along with gambling and other vices, Nevada has plenty of pot-friendly tourism options, including a painting class with cannabis called Puff, Pass and Paint! They also offer a cooking class, to round out the experience. You can’t smoke in the casinos, but there are definitely plenty of other options

And let’s not forget the many hotels and B&Bs, adorably named “Bud and Breakfast” locations, that cater to the cannabis crowd. These are particularly prevalent in places like Massachusetts and Oregon. 

As legalization continues to spread to other states, and with federal legalization on the horizon, the normalization of cannabis tourism is only a matter of time.

About the author

Serge Chistov is a cannabis industry expert and Chief Financial Partner with Honest Marijuana Co (https://honestmarijuana.com/) eco conscious cannabis growery.  Honest Marijuana has been a leader in cannabis innovation since it’s inception with an organic approach to the growth, production and packaging of cannabis, the launch of the first-ever organic hemp wrapped machine rolled blunts, an the invention of the now patented Nanobidiol Technology which powers the company’s just released line of with the Insta Fizzy, Insta Gummies and Insta Mints as well as their Hemp Theory product line.

Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash

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LGBTQ+ Healthcare Issues

The Dobbs decision, otherwise known as the court case that overturned Roe v. Wade, has resulted in confusing medical situations for many patients. On top of affecting access to abortions for straight, cisgender women, it presents heightened risks for LGBTQ+ healthcare as a whole. Flipping the switch on reproductive rights and privacy rights is a far-reaching act that makes quality care harder to find for an already underserved community.

As the fight against the Dobbs decision continues, it’s important to shed light on the full breadth of its impact. We’ll discuss specific ways that the decision can affect LGBTQ+ healthcare and offer strategies for overcoming these challenges.

How the Right to Bodily Privacy Affects LGBTQ+ Healthcare

When the original Roe v. Wade decision was made, the bodily privacy of people across the United States was protected. Now that bodily autonomy is no longer guaranteed, the LGBTQ+ community must brace itself for a potential loss of healthcare rights beyond abortions. This includes services like feminizing and masculinizing hormone therapy (particularly for transgender youth) that conservative lawmakers have been fighting against this year, as well as transition-related procedures. Without privacy, gender-affirming care may be difficult to access without documentation of sex as “proof” of gender.

As essential services for the LGBTQ+ community become more difficult to access, perhaps the most immediate effect we’ll see is eroding trust between healthcare providers and LGBTQ+ patients. When providers aren’t working in the best interest of patients — just like in cases of children and rape victims denied abortions — patients may further avoid preventative care in a community that already faces discrimination in doctor’s offices.

The Dobbs Decision Isn’t Just a Women’s Issue

While the Dobbs decision is often framed as a women's issue — specifically, one that affects cisgender women — it impacts the transgender and non-binary community just as much. All people who are capable of carrying a pregnancy to term have lost at least some ability to choose whether or not to give birth in the U.S.

For transgender and non-binary individuals, this decision comes with the added complexity of body dysmorphia. Without abortion rights, pregnant trans men and some non-binary people may be forced to see their bodies change, and be treated as women by healthcare providers and society as a result.

The Dobbs decision also opens up the possibility for government bodies to determine when life begins — and perhaps even to add legal protections for zygotes and embryos. This puts contraceptives at risk, which could make it more difficult to access gender-affirming care while getting the right contraceptives based on sex for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Overturning Reproductive Rights Puts IVF at Risk

Queer couples that dream of having their own children often have limited options beyond adoption. One such option is in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which involves implanting a fertilized egg into a uterus.

While IVF isn’t directly affected by the Dobbs decision, it could fall into a legal gray area depending on when states determine that life begins. Texas, for example, is already barring abortions as early as six weeks. To reduce embryo destruction, which often occurs when patients no longer want more children, limits could be placed on the number of eggs that can be frozen at once.

Any restrictions on IVF will also affect the availability of surrogacy as an option for building a family.

How Can LGBTQ+ Individuals Overcome Healthcare Barriers?

While the Dobbs decision may primarily impact abortion rights today, its potential to worsen LGBTQ+ healthcare as a whole is jarring. So how can the community be prepared?

If you’re struggling to find LGBTQ+-friendly providers near you, using telemedicine now can be an incredibly effective way to start developing strong relationships with far-away healthcare professionals. Telemedicine eliminates the barrier of geography and can be especially helpful for accessing inclusive primary care and therapy. Be sure to check if your insurance provider covers telemedicine.

If you’re seriously concerned about healthcare access in your area — especially if the Dobbs decision affects your whole state or you need regular in-person services that may be at risk — it may be time to consider moving now. While not everyone has the privilege to do so, relocating gives you the ability to settle in areas where lawmakers better serve your needs. However, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, so preparing and making progress on a moving checklist now can help you avoid issues later.

The Dobbs Decision Isn’t LGBTQ+-Friendly

The Supreme Court of the United States has proven the power of its conservative majority with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, the effects of the Dobbs decision don’t stop at affecting cisgender women’s abortion rights. In states with bans, it also leads to forced birth for trans men and non-binary individuals. Plus, the Dobbs decision increases the risk of other rights, like hormone therapy and IVF, being taken away.

Taking steps now, whether it’s choosing a virtual provider or considering a move, can help you improve your healthcare situation in the future.