College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration Department
BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration
Since the 2014 legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado, pioneering entrepreneurs have been getting in on the ground level of a fledgling industry—marijuana tourism. Through interviews with six Colorado-based marijuana tourism business owners, this qualitative study identified current challenges and opportunities faced by those who are blazing the trail into this new form of alternative tourism. The results indicate that continued stigmatization of marijuana in society, along with restrictive and changing regulations, pose significant legal and financial challenges. The results also include a summary of opportunities and recommendations which include educating the public about the benefits of marijuana, building customer loyalty, professionalizing the industry through vigilant compliance and strong hiring, partnering with other marijuana-related businesses, and expanding into new niches of marijuana tourism related to personal health and wellness.