Cannabis-Friendly Travel Destinations [2023 Edition]

So, you want to know where’s it OK to go with or for some cannabis-inclusive R&R. We feel ya! Everyone needs a break every now and then. And if you want your getaway to feature some hemp- or marijuana-derived products — it’s good to have a shortlist of cannabis-friendly countries and states to head to.

In this post, we break it down by cannabis type and destination. So, pack your bags and get ready to roll!

For more cannabis-related basic info, we recommend that you make a pit stop at our Can I Travel with Cannabis? post.

Travel + Cannabis, a Popular Trend

A little context before we globetrot.

Cannabis tourism is a big deal. It’s no longer just about trips to Amsterdam to check out the coffee shops (wink-wink). People want to consume hemp- or marijuana-related products that contain CBD and THC (and other cannabinoids) for wellness and pleasure while traveling.

According to Forbes, the weed travel sector is currently a $17B-and-growing industry.(1) About 18% of cannabis sales in 2021 were by tourists. With increasing legalization the cannabis sector has continued to grow and evolve further since 2021. And, of course, cannabis tourism drives ancillary spending on hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc.

In terms of people, the numbers are equally impressive. Just check out these stats they highlight:(1)

  • 50% of millennials consider legal access to recreational cannabis an important factor when picking where to go on vacation.
  • 43% of millennials have selected particular destinations based on cannabis’s legality there.
  • Almost 20% of pleasure travelers in the US are interested in vacation experiences that include cannabis in some way.

Now on to the fun part! Let’s see where you can enjoy a cannabis-spiked adventure or retreat….

A World of Choice — Types of Cannabis Travel

If you’re all in on the idea of having a cannabis-infused vacation, you’ve got options. A lot of them.

For example, depending upon where you go and how you get there, you could include cannabis on your itinerary by:

  • Bringing your personal stash of THC or CBD products with you
  • Enjoying an all-inclusive 420 vacation
  • Lazing on a weed-friendly beach
  • Taking a day trip to a marijuana farm
  • Going on an organized tour to local cannabis shops
  • Staying at a 420-friendly resort
  • Chilling at a bud and breakfast

Trust us — you won’t run out of places to explore. There are enough cannabis-allowing states that you can see America and partake in marijuana and hemp goodies. If your heart’s set on filling your passport pages with stamps, there’s no shortage of weed-friendly countries to visit, too.

If you’re headed out for special occasion travel, you’ll find themed or bundled trips to meet your needs — like weed-friendly honeymoon packages!

Places That Welcome Hemp CBD & Marijuana Tourism

We’ve rounded up some of the locales that welcome cannabis and cannabis tourism. They span the globe, so make sure you have lots of map pins handy!

One bit of advice. While it’s permissible for you to use marijuana and/or CBD made from hemp as indicated in the sections below, you should always reconfirm the laws before you travel. Regulation is complex, different from place to place, and fluid. Cannabis rules are ever-evolving and you don’t want to get into any legal trouble while away.

States Where You Can Buy, Possess & Use Hemp CBD

CBD derived from hemp and containing no more than 0.3% THC is federally legal in the US. This means that — as far as Uncle Sam is concerned — you’re free to roam around the country toting along and consuming CBD products. However, it's recommended to carry the product in its original packaging and have proof of its lab testing results to verify its THC content. This can help speed things along and avoid any misunderstandings during security checks when flying. It's worth noting that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines allow passengers to travel with FDA-approved medications and CBD products that contain THC content within legal limits.

As you may know, state and local laws may deviate from the national ones. Plus, how the laws are defined and implemented in each place can vary depending on the source of the CBD and the specific state laws. Some states may have their own regulations regarding the use of CBD products, so it's important to check the laws in your specific state.

Happily, there are no longer any states that outright prohibit CBD (cannabidiol) in all forms. Some states still have more-restrictive CBD oil access and rules, though. At a high level, here’s how it shakes out for CBD that meets federal standards:(2)

  • Since 2021 it’s generally legal in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,  New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Sout Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. It’s also in the clear in Washington D.C.
  • It’s legal but with conditions, caveats, and other varying parameters relating to the production, sale, age limits, possession limits, or requirements for medical certification or registration.  Legality may also hinge on the type of CBD (e.g., full-spectrum CBD vs broad-spectrum CBD vs CBD Isolate), THC content, etc.

For example in Texas, CBD oil is legal for medical use if prescribed by a licensed physician for certain medical conditions, but possession of CBD products without a prescription can result in a fine. In Florida, Georgia, Virginia Missouri, and Oklahoma, CBD oil is legal for medical use if prescribed by a physician for certain medical conditions, but possession of CBD without a prescription is illegal.

It's important to note that the path to standardization and consistency among hemp-derived CBD and laws is still evolving. How it will develop in the future will depend on various factors, including political dynamics, public opinion, and evolving scientific research. The landscape of these laws and regulations is still in its infancy, so it's important to consult up-to-date sources or legal authorities for the most current information regarding CBD regulations in specific states and countries.

States Where You Can Buy, Possess & Use CBD Derived from Marijuana

On the other hand, CBD derived from marijuana plants, which can contain higher levels of THC, may be subject to more restrictions in some states, as marijuana remains illegal under federal law.  Several states have legalized the medical and/or recreational use of marijuana, and in those states, CBD derived from marijuana plants may be legal for certain medical conditions or for adults over a certain age. While states that have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical purposes generally have more permissive CBD regulations, the assumption that CBD derived from marijuana is always allowed in states that have legalized marijuana is not accurate. It's important to note that there can still be specific restrictions or licensing requirements for CBD products, including those derived from marijuana. Therefore, readers should refer to the specific laws and regulations of each state to determine the legality of CBD derived from marijuana.

To find more information about which US states allow the purchase, possession, and use of CBD derived from marijuana, reliable sources such as government websites, reputable legal resources, or industry organizations are helpful. Here are some suggested resources:

  1. State Government Websites: Each state's official government website often provides information on its specific cannabis and CBD laws. Readers can visit the official websites of the respective states they are interested in to find relevant information and official legal documentation.
  2. National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): The NCSL offers a comprehensive resource on state cannabis laws. Their website provides up-to-date information and summaries of cannabis and CBD laws in each state, including whether CBD derived from marijuana is allowed.
  3. Marijuana Policy Project (MPP): The MPP is a nonprofit organization that tracks and advocates for cannabis policy reform. They provide information on state-specific cannabis laws, including CBD regulations, and regularly update their website with relevant information.
  4. Americans for Safe Access (ASA): ASA is a nonprofit organization focusing on medical cannabis advocacy. Their website includes a state-by-state guide to medical cannabis laws, which can be useful for readers seeking information on CBD derived from marijuana for medical purposes.

Countries Where You Can Buy, Possess & Use Hemp CBD

Each country has its specific allowances (mostly related to the amount of THC in the product), but CBD is legal in a ton of foreign lands like:(3)

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Luxemburg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • The Netherlands
  • The United Kingdom
  • Uruguay

Some places, such as Eswatini, have only given the green light to CBD oil for medical use. Meanwhile, other countries — like Jamaica and Costa Rica — have decriminalized CBD.

Keep in mind that — just because CBD’s legal in these locales — you may have to have a permit or buy your CBD once there (i.e., you can’t necessarily bring yours from home).(4)

As of 2021 countries where it’s highly restrictive, illegal, or outright banned to purchase, possess, or use CBD include:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

Because the legality of CBD can change quickly, and laws can vary depending on the source of the CBD (hemp-derived vs. marijuana-derived) and the amount of THC in the product, it’s important if you are planning to travel with CBD or want to use it in a particular country, to research the current status of the specific laws and regulations in that country.

States Where You Can Buy, Possess & Use Recreational Marijuana

Let’s start out by saying that in many cases you cannot legally travel with marijuana. You absolutely can’t fly with it and, if not all, most train and cruise operators ban it. If you’re hitting the highways and byways — probably your best bet — you may be able to transport your marijuana-based items.

But remember, at the federal level, cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it is illegal to transport across state lines, even between states where it is legal. This applies to both recreational and medical cannabis.

Additionally, individual states have their own laws regarding the possession and transportation of cannabis. Some states allow adults to possess and transport small amounts of cannabis for personal use within their borders, while others have stricter regulations or prohibit it entirely. It's crucial to research and comply with the laws of the states you are traveling to and through.

Again, you’ll have to verify what’s permitted in each jurisdiction you’ll be in.(5) However, it’s pretty common for states to treat marijuana like alcohol — like no open carry, no driving under the influence, sealed containers, age-restricted, etc.

To avoid legal issues, it is generally advised not to travel with marijuana, especially when crossing state or national borders. If you require cannabis for medical purposes, it is recommended to consult the laws and regulations of your destination and consider obtaining necessary documentation or alternative arrangements such as using local dispensaries or seeking medical recommendations upon arrival.

Always prioritize understanding and adhering to the specific laws and regulations of your departure and destination locations to ensure a safe and legal travel experience.

So, where can you go for a weed-friendly excursion? These US states and territories have legalized recreational marijuana use:(6)

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Guam

Have at ’em and have fun!

Countries Where You Can Buy, Possess & Use Recreational Marijuana

Every country seems to have a different position on marijuana use. In the ones below, though, marijuana is either fully legal or has been decriminalized for personal and/or medical use. Furthermore, it's very common in these destinations to incorporate marijuana use into religious practices as well as everyday social scenarios.(7,8)

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Georgia
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Uruguay

While we haven't listed them here, there are several other countries — e.g., The Netherlands, Cambodia, Laos, and Australia — where marijuana is technically illegal but readily available and culturally acceptable.

Transporting marijuana across international borders is strictly prohibited and can result in severe legal consequences. Customs and border control agencies actively enforce drug laws and may subject travelers to searches and inspections.

Have Your Travel & Cannabis, Too

Rejoice! If you’re into travel and into cannabis, there are countless destinations you can dash off to and enjoy a little stash.

Cannabis tourism is popular and on the rise. This means many states and countries allow some form of cannabis-related product, be it hemp-derived CBD or THC- rich marijuana. Many allow both! Refer to our lists above but reconfirm the current federal and local laws of each place you’ll be traveling to and through and the rules of your travel providers to avoid any issues.

You’ll find all kinds of cannabis travel options in these locales: themed tours and day trips, dedicated clubs and bars, infused dining experiences, and more. And, as the juncture of cannabis and tourism continues to merge and grow — expect even more responsible use, hemp- and marijuana-forward opportunities and destinations in the future.

So, go see-BD the world and TH-see what adventures await you!

FAQs Buzzin’ Through the Hive

Can I travel with cannabis?

Traveling with cannabis can be complicated due to federal and state laws. CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC is legal when traveling within the US. However, transporting marijuana across state or national borders is illegal and can lead to severe legal consequences. Comply with the laws of the states you're traveling through to avoid any legal issues. It's generally recommended not to travel with marijuana.

Can I take CBD oil on a plane?

According to the TSA, on domestic flights within the United States, yes — as long as it’s federally legal hemp-derived CBD with less than or equal to 0.3% THC.(9) However, this doesn’t mean it’s OK to have the CBD oil product at your origin, destination, or transit locations. Regulations regarding CBD oil on international flights can vary significantly. Again it's crucial to understand the laws of your destination country. Consulting with the embassy or consulate of your destination country for accurate and up to the date information is advisable.

What are the most weed-friendly countries in the world?

There are too many to list, but here are some that show up on most round-ups: Uruguay (the first country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis in 2013), Canada, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Colombia. But, remember that the legal status of cannabis can vary greatly between different countries, and even within different regions of a country. Plus, cannabis laws and regulations can evolve over time — so always check for changes in the laws of each country you plan on being in. Additionally, cultural attitudes towards cannabis may vary even in countries with more relaxed laws, so it's important to respect local customs and norms.

References

  1. Yakowicz, W. (2022). Cannabis Tourism Is Now A $17 Billion Industry—And It’s Just Taking Off. Forbes.
  2. Ashton, L. (2020). Is CBD Oil Legal? Legal Status of CBD in 50 States in 2022. CFAH.
  3. (2021). Can you travel with CBD? - Destination breakdown 2022. CBD Incubator.
  4. Töre, Ö. (2022). Can You Travel Internationally with CBD Oil? Focus on Travel News.
  5. Hines, N. (2019). Everything To Know About Driving With Cannabis in Your Car in Legal Recreational States. Matador Network.
  6. Hansen, C, et al. (2023). Where Is Marijuana Legal? A Guide to Marijuana Legalization. U.S. News & World Report.
  7. (2021). 2021 Cannabis Travel Guide: We learned everything about traveling with weed so that you don’t have to! Seeker.
  8. Megan, M. (2022). Weed-friendly travel is becoming easier. Here’s where to go (and where to avoid) in 2022. Seeker.
  9. Medrano, K et al. (2015, February 26). The Best Countries Around the World to Smoke Weed. Thrillist; Thrillist.
  10. (2018). Medical Marijuana. Transportation Security Administration.
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About the Author

GBL Staff Writer

Green Bee Life is your resource for accurate, transparent, and up-to-date content and products related to cannabis.

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