Not too many years ago, any discerning stoner wishing to travel abroad and consume cannabis in another country without falling foul of the law was limited in options. For most, the only option was a hazy weekend in Amsterdam flitting between coffeeshops. As governments today turn their back on prohibition, the world is opening up for the cannabis loving traveller. Weed is now available in many far-flung corners of the globe, meaning you can soak up some of the world’s most enticing sights while embracing new cannabis cultures.
If the idea of sightseeing while stoned tickles your fancy, check out leafie’s top picks for cannabis travel in 2023.
Cannabis legislation in Spain is a still bit of a grey area, but it’s fair to say weed is well tolerated in a number of metropolitan destinations. Cannabis is available via cannabis social clubs. Private clubs where for a small fee, you can become a member and buy cannabis that is grown on behalf of every member for consumption away from other members of the public.
There is a vibrant cannabis social club across the Canary Islands, which are an ideal destination for year-round sun and relaxation. British rap star and notorious stoner Big Narstie has his own club, BDL, on the island of Tenerife and can often be found blazing and snoozing in the club, or serving up jerk chicken at Narstie’s restaurant nearby. (BDL Tenerife, C. Managua, 38660 Playa de la Américas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.)
If you’re looking for more of a cultural getaway, Barcelona has hundreds of cannabis social clubs, and is arguably one of the best cities in the world for a weed-fueled weekend break. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, gastronomic scene, shopping and nightlife, and even has great beaches for when you just want to kick back and relax. When it comes to buying your weed HQ Barcelona is an ultra-stylish and well-lit club, but membership prices can be on the high side for tourists. (HQ Club, C d’Enric Granados 65, 08008 Barcelona, Spain.) For a more laid-back vibe check out Dank Grass Club in Poblenou. Featuring a snack/coffee bar, comfy seating, medicated yoga and live music, this club charges a small membership fee which is redeemable against your first purchase, essentially making it free. (Dank Grass Club, Avinguda Meridiana, 22/bis, 08018 Barcelona, Spain.)
No country on the planet has changed its attitude towards cannabis more than the Kingdom of Thailand. Only a year or two ago the consumption of marijuana was considered a strict offence. Foreigners caught with even small amounts of the drug would be lucky to get away with a fine/bribe, and more severe cases could find unfortunate smokers checking in for a free stay at the notorious Bangkok Hilton prison.
However, thanks to sweeping changes brought in last year, the country is now embracing the plant in all its forms. If you’re embarking on the classic backpacking trip, you’ll be landing into the bustling metropolis of Bangkok. Thailand’s lively capital has everything to keep even the most energetic stoners entertained. Night markets and street vendors churn out some of the most delicious food you can imagine, drinks are cheap and you’ll find cool little cannabis shops across the city like Kush House (Kush House, Soi Sukhumvit 22, Klongton, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110). Much of the weed for sale across Bangkok seems to be imported and grown using in-trend Western strains, which is a shame for those hunting more exotic or traditional cannabis, but the quality is high.
If the thought of dodging tuk-tuks and street hawkers while high fills you with dread, Thailand also offers some more laid-back cannabis tourism opportunities. Why not head down to the island of Koh Samui for a stay at luxury resort The Beach, which claims to have the country’s first licenced boutique in-hotel cannabis dispensary.
As well as offering 21 boutique rooms in its award-winning hotel, The Beach also runs a number of retreats and well-being rituals all designed to harness the healing and relaxing power of cannabis. For those looking for a fully immersive experience, the resort offers a number of all-inclusive (yes cannabis too) retreats across the year complete with treatments ceremonies and culinary experiences. For guests wishing to embrace a stay at their own pace, the on-site dispensary can deliver flower, drinks and even infused cocktails to your room or poolside lounger while you soak up the best of the sun. (The Beach Samui, 30/23 Moo 5, Thong Krut Village, Koh Samui, 84140 Thailand)
The Caribean island of Jamaica has long been synonymous with ganja thanks to the Rastarafi movement and of course, global reggae star Bob Marley. However, the use of cannabis was strictly limited to religious use until 2015 when possession of fewer than 2 ounces was decriminalised.
While it was easy enough to pick up a fifty-bag before 2015, it’s now possible to visit a number of dispensaries across the island and choose from some excellent locally-grown produce. To get a feel for where it all began, check out Kaya Herb House, Jamaica’s first legal dispensary. (Kaya Herb House, 1 Weed Street, Drax Hall St. Ann, Jamaica). Or why not sit and watch the waves of the Caribean Sea at Island Strains, which sits on the shore of stunning Montego Bay. Weed, sunshine and deep blue ocean, what else does a human need? (Island Strains, Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay, Jamaica)
American culture is incredibly diverse, and so are its cannabis laws. While the plant remains illegal at a federal level, state-wide legislation has changed across much of the country, with a multitude of states offering some form of legal, recreational cannabis market for adults.
Cannabis culture reflects this diversity, meaning the way you buy and consume your weed will vary from state to state. Las Vegas has embraced weed since 2019. Dispensaries are dotted across the city, and some even offer delivery. For maximum tourist points, take a trip to Cookies on the infamous Las Vegas Strip and pick up pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, concentrates and of course a dizzying array of flower for all budgets. Don’t forget some ID, and in the US cash is king. (Cookies On The Strip, 2307 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104, United States)
Despite many casinos still allowing people to still smoke tobacco indoors, resorts are strictly against lighting up in your room or at the tables. Previously weed lovers could only smoke out on the streets which is fun until it isn’t. Thankfully, a number of consumption lounges will open their doors in 2023. Planet 13 claims to be the biggest cannabis dispensary in the world and has been granted a licence to open a lounge this year. This giant weed shop is walking distance from the strip, and even offers a free shuttle if walking back to your room seems like too much hard work. (Planet 13, 2548 W Desert Inn Rd Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States)
While the information provided in this article is correct at the time of writing, laws and regulations are subject to change. Please check with official sources before travelling.