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The Cannabis Plant & Its Green Tourism Potential

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INTERNATIONAL REPORT—It would hardly be an exaggeration to consider the cannabis plant as one of the most eco-friendly species on the planet. Let’s start with the fact that among all plants in the moderate climate zone, cannabis holds a record for producing the most biomass per season. This means that it is the fastest in extracting CO2 from the atmosphere.

Cannabis, or rather its non-psychoactive version, hemp, is also a completely versatile material that can be turned into biofuel and hempcrete (a much more environmentally friendly alternative to concrete), fabric, plastics, paper, and paints while cannabis seeds have a deserved reputation of superfood.

No wonder green hotels incorporate cannabis-based products into their daily operations: from bed linens that are stronger and more durable to towels and bathrobes that are non-allergenic and soft to the touch. But are there green hotels that have accepted the other (and, to many people, darker) side of the cannabis plant—its ability to change your mood and alter your perception? In short, can you find an eco-friendly hotel where you can openly blaze one for the nation?

Well, strictly speaking, no. If for no other reason than the fact that a nonsmoking environment is one of the criteria for a hotel to be considered green. Moreover, indoor smoking is prohibited in the hospitality industry throughout the United States and elsewhere, so you cannot smoke or vape cannabis products or tobacco, or anything else. This rule applies to rooms, terraces, and patios although some establishments may turn a blind eye to your smoking outside.

Edibles Grow in Popularity

However, smokables aren’t the only way to consume marijuana. Edibles have recently grown in popularity in those U.S. states that have legalized recreational or medical cannabis use as well as Canada where weed has been legal since 2018. Edibles is an umbrella term comprising anything that can be ingested orally—from capsules to gummy bears to drops to CBD oils and even marijuana-infused beverages. Obviously, you can medicate discreetly—any place and any time and without breaking any regulations.

So, if you are a cannabis enthusiast but also want to travel responsibly and without putting unnecessary strain on nature, choose a location that is famous for its weed tourism and find a place to stay that is close to a dispensary (or coffee shop) but also carries a GSTC logo or some other ecolabel. And here’s what we managed to find for you.

Amsterdam, Holland

This city used to be the only destination in the world for weed tourists though, strictly speaking, cannabis has only been decriminalized here and never been fully legal. Anyway, the capital of the Netherlands is rich in coffee shops that don’t cater to coffee lovers but to cannabis enthusiasts. The city is also full of hotels with a Green Key ecolabel, such as the unorthodox-looking Fletcher Hotel from where it’s only a 20-minute stroll to Cannacenter Best Friends Zuidoost—just one of the dozens of great places to buy weed in Amsterdam.

Barcelona, Spain

Amsterdam’s main rival in Europe (in terms of cannabis tourism, that is), Barcelona is famous for its cannabis social clubs but also has its fair share of green hotels. What about Andante Hotel with its Biosphere ecolabel? It’s located in the middle of it all—in the famous Gothic Quarter—and there are at least three weed-smoking establishments nearby: Always CannaClub, Narcóticos Anónimos, and Green Planet.

Denver, Colorado

Colorado was one of the two states that were the first jurisdictions in the world to legalize adult use of marijuana in 2012. After a decade the state’s capital is brimming with cannabis stores as well as special tours for those who want to be high while seeing sights in the Mile High City. You can stay at an environmentally friendly hotel such as Grand Hyatt Denver and shop for weed at a nearby cannabis store Euflora. Or choose any of the dozens of other such combinations.

Whistler Mountain, Canada

Canada’s most famous ski resort is also known for its commitment to conserving precious natural resources. Local hotels’ compliance with high environmental standards is overseen by Whistler Resort Association with its 7,000+ members. A quick search through bookdifferent.com will give you hundreds of offers with the least carbon footprint. At the same time, British Columbia, Canada’s province where the ski resort is situated, has been long famous for its boutique-quality weed. It won’t be a trouble to find a marijuana product that is safe to purchase.

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