Cannabis tourism in the US adds $17 billion into local economies

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WEED MECCA

The fledgling US cannabis tourism industry is already worth billions

From private tours of indoor grows to restaurant and retail tours designed for cannabis consumers, Forbes estimates cannabis-related tourism pours around $17 billion into local economies in the US.  

And that’s despite the seeming lack of interest by state governments in promoting the industry. 

According to a May survey by Harris Poll:

  • 50% of millennials say that access to legal cannabis is a factor in planning a vacation 
  • 43% of millennials say they’ve intentionally chosen to take a vacation in a legal cannabis state
  • According to Cannabis Travel Association International, by 2025, half of US travellers will be millennials

“They’re tourists and they’re shopping—they are here to spend money in the mecca of weed,” said Victor Pinho, cofounder of Emerald Farm Tours.


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ALL-TIME HIGH

Cannabis real estate lenders are raising more money than ever

Marijuana businesses are raising less money this year, but cannabis real estate lenders are fundraising at an all-time high, per MJBizDaily.

The highlights

  • US lenders to cultivators and retailers have raised $517 million YTD as of May 19, 2022
  • That’s 282% higher than last year
  • Of the 12 cannabis industry categories tracked by Viridian Capital, it’s the only one that’s seen an increase this year
  • Companies in the sector include AFC Gamma, Chicago Atlantic Real Estate Finance and Innovative Industrial Properties

According to Frank Colombo, director of data analytics at Viridian Capital Advisors, the increase can be attributed to poor stock performance in 2021. Previously, real estate lenders’ services weren’t needed. Now, 90% of financing shifted from equity to debt. “Chalk it up to tumbling cannabis stocks,” he writes.


GRASS ON THE HILL

Advocates and lobbyists descend on Ottawa for Grass on the Hill

Excise taxes are the number one issue advocates and lobbyists aimed to bring to the attention of regulators at Grass on the Hill, the two-day Cannabis Leaders Summit and Lobby Day in Ottawa, Canada.

The data

  • According to the Cannabis Council of Canada, governments take up to 40 cents of every $1 spent on cannabis, per BNN Bloomberg
  • That’s compared to 2019, when taxes came up to 25 cents of every $1 spent on cannabis

Combined with provincial distributor mark-ups, tax rates are making it difficult to compete with the legacy market, said Cannabis Council of Canada president George Smitherman.

“There’s been a lot of price compression, particularly in the dried flower categories which are the dominant (products in the market),” he said. 

“If you look over the trend over the past two or three years, cannabis producers have been, in a certain sense, subsidizing the price of that dried flower for the consumer. While those prices have compressed, the government taxation has not and therefore become a larger share of the pie.”


GO TIME

German government accelerates cannabis legislation

In an unconventional move, Germany’s health minister has prioritized the creation of cannabis legislation after being threatened with a €1 million cut to his department’s public relations budget if a draft isn’t passed in 2022, per BusinessCann

The coalition made “ambitious pledges” to launch an adult-use cannabis program in its campaign. According to cannabis lawyer Kai-Friedrich Niermann, if major headway isn’t made on the file, the government risks losing re-election. 

But speeding up the process could harm the integrity of the program, said Bloomwell CEO Niklas Kouparanis. “One thing should be made clear: details and precision are now more important than speed when it comes to drafting the adult-use cannabis regulations and bringing the market online… It’s more important that the law is sustainable, rather than rushed to be implemented within the next few months.”


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