Marijuana advocates say New Jersey legalization laws could increase tourism

Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana by adults in New Jersey could boost tourism in the Garden State.

Cannabis tourism is a topic of discussion among players in the marijuana industry. This topic was brought directly to the New Jersey Tourism Conference on Wednesday.

“California, Nevada and Colorado – they already do cannabis tourism,” says John Fanburg, co-chair of the Cannabis Industry Practice at Brach Eichler.

Fanburg is a cannabis industry lawyer and presented at the conference in Atlantic City how New Jersey can boost tourism by including cannabis in the mix. Other states have already had success in this industry.

“You get on the 420 bus and drive to the grow facility. You see how they do it, you see how they treat it, then they have tasting rooms, ”says Fanburg.

New Jersey does not allow this by law. But unlike other states, New Jersey will allow consumer lounges.

“It provides a safe place and location, out of the way, not in front of people who don’t want to see it, not in front of children,” Fanburg says. “They should be associated with either a medical dispensary or an adult recreational dispensary.”

According to the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry directly accounted for just over $ 20 million of the state’s gross domestic product. That’s just over 3% of the state’s economy. Experts say the likelihood that cannabis tourism exists and thrives in New Jersey is extremely likely and could bolster those numbers.

“When we look at New Jersey, we have a regional economy to start with,” says Edmund DeVeaux of the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. “We go to New York or Philadelphia for sports, we go to New York or Philadelphia for restaurants and people go through New Jersey for the same. “

Cannabis tourism might look like upscale cannabis-friendly hotels, restaurants, cooking classes, festivals, and social fairs. For now, in New Jersey, it’s still only discussions and there are several more license applications that the cannabis industry’s hopes are waiting for.

“In just two weeks, the state will begin accepting applications for a cultivation and manufacturing license,” Fanburg said. “March 15th is when they will start accepting dispensary applications for retail establishments.”

Experts say cannabis tourism could be a thing in the near future, and it could be as early as the third or fourth quarter of next year when New Jersey residents can walk into a store and purchase marijuana at for recreational purposes.

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