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Shifting geographies of cannabis provide new opportunities for tourism



Cannabis as a legal commodity is increasingly supported by a global structure of economic activity. There is an argument that the impending recreational legalization of cannabis in Germany could potentially shift the geography of the cannabis industry.


Germany has 82 million inhabitants, which is a larger population than Canada and California, the largest cannabis markets currently. Given the demographics of the country, it is speculated that Germany will become the largest adult-use market in the world.


Supplying the German recreational cannabis market reliably will necessitate international trade and generate sales to meet domestic market demand for cannabis in Germany. The opening of this new market exemplifies how commodity value chains intersect with institutional contexts. Countries with regulations that permit federal cannabis exports will be able tap into the German adult-use market and benefit from an emerging European cannabis value chain. Canada and Portugal are already benefiting from Germany's medicinal market, whereas the US has limited opportunities.


The regulatory regimes that coordinate and control cannabis value chains are institutional contexts that shape the spatial character of an industry.


The expected legalization in Germany will be influential in triggering a European-wide legalization that will further change the global spatial character of the cannabis industry, which, of course, has impacts for tourism.


Where cannabis is legalized (to whatever degree, but especially at the Federal scale) cannabis tourism will follow.


A recent study done by the medical marijuana holding company Bloomwell Group, which surveyed 865 American cannabis consumers found that 65% of respondents "would travel to a city or country to experience its licensed cannabis market", indicating that the legalization of cannabis in Germany offers an attractive travel experience to a potential US market. Further, 44% of respondents indicated they would travel to Germany specifically for cannabis tourism.


International cannabis tourism markets are emerging.


Interestingly, the study reports that nearly three-fourths of those surveyed said that the iconic German snack, pretzels, would be a great food to satisfy "the munchies", which opens up pathways for the food and beverage sector to cross over into cannabis tourism.


How are tourism suppliers in Germany preparing for the change in regulations?


How will the recreational legalization of cannabis in Germany impact the tourism sector?


These are the questions I have.

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