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  • Brian Applegarth


Check out Brian Applegarth's latest issue of Cannabis Travel Weekly, republished here with his permission.

Greater Palm Springs - Cannabis Lounges Emerge as Attractions for Visitors to the Region

Summary: Consider road-tripping to Palm Springs for a weed weekend. Enjoy safe, legal, and wholly entertaining spaces to buy and consume cannabis products. Vault Dispensary Lounge was designed with the older — as in 35- to 75-year-old — crowd in mind. “The kind of place my mom, my aunt, and my mom’s friends would feel comfortable” with Wednesday night baked bingo games and carnival-worthy popcorn machine. The Green Dragon - right across the street from the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion offers upholstered booth seating, wavy metallic mirror frames, and vintage-looking ashtrays throughout. With windows that look out over Palm Canyon Drive, the space fills with natural light during the day, which also makes it stand out. Four Twenty Bank - A super-spacious dispensary, consumption lounge, and concert venue with an arcade stocked with pinball machines and video games. The dispensary’s wares are displayed in glass cases in the center of the roomy, high-ceilinged space. A stage for live music anchors the back, and smaller, more intimate gathering spaces occupy the edges, along with a trio of pool tables and a giant chess set. #theganjatravelerVisit Greater Palm Springs#cannabistravel#cannabistourismLos Angeles Times

Travel Lens Commentary: Cannabis consumption spaces are maturing, evolving the visitor ecosystem throughout California. In the Visit Greater Palm Springs region, The 420 Bank and The Vault offer the best hospitality lounge experience for visitors today. Other cannabis businesses worthy of 'attraction' status in the travel ecosystem are Lighthouse cannabis shop and Holland Pharms - both located in downtown main street Palm Springs - a tourist center of Coachella Valley. The Green Dragon cannabis lounge stands out in a different way, quieter and less lively, but a great place to bring your laptop and imbibe in a comfortable environment. The Green Dragon is a 'if you know, you know' vibe, and offers complimentary beverages and snacks as part of the experience. Dr. Greenthumb in Cathedral City has potential and Harborside cannabis drive-thru in Desert Hot Springs is a novelty experience that will bring a smile to any travelers face. Beyond Hello is another cannabis shop experience that shines with beautiful aesthetics and a well-trained staff. In Humboldt County, a cannabis spa consumption lounge model serves up a whole new kind of wellness experiences that includes hot towel service, massage, and a outdoor relaxation sanctuary with fire pits. Mission Cannabis Club is another new standout lounge in San Francisco, a polished and inviting space with great lighting design, board games, and thought-provoking art on the walls in the heart of the mission. #cannabistravel#cannabistourismCannabis Travel Association InternationalCVCAN - Coachella Valley Cannabis Alliance Network

New York - Travel Themed Cannabis Shop Opens in Manhattan

Summary: On Monday, Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store celebrated a ribbon-cutting and the soft launch of its popup location at 62 East 13th Street in New York City. It's the third licensed marijuana seller in the Big Apple and the fourth in New York state. The name of New York state's newest cannabis dispensary may inspire thoughts of mindful journeys guided by the state's sun-grown cannabis products. It's also the latest example of how New York state is setting itself apart from other states by seeding its legal cannabis market with licenses awarded to nonprofit groups and social-equity entrepreneurs. Arana Hankin-Biggers, president of Harbour Community, said more than half the profits from the Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store retail dispensary will go to the Doe Fund, which will use the revenue for job-training programs. The Doe Fund was one of the first nonprofits to win a license as New York state rolls out its Seeding Opportunity Initiative to award the first cannabis-business permits in the state to nonprofit groups and entrepreneurs affected by the war on drugs. The Doe Fund, which provides job placement, education and housing services to homeless and formerly incarcerated people. #cannabistravel#cannabistoursm#deiaNew York State Tourism Industry Association

Travel Lens Commentary: This story is an excellent example of the intersection of cannabis travel and DEI. New York is a globally leading travel destination. In 2021, visitors spent $52 billion across the New York economy. This total economic impact of visitors to New York generated $7.5 billion in state and local tax revenues in 2021. This new cannabis shop - Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store - has Travel in the title, literally - clever and smart branding that is well positioned to lead the NY cannabis scene in attracting the cannabis travel audience. New York's 'Seeding Opportunity Initiative' program prioritizes social equity applications and works to award cannabis permits to non-profits and those applicants directly affected by the 'war-on-drugs' era, specifically those who have been incarcerated for prior cannabis convictions. Restorative justice is a well-known concept in the cannabis industry. Elevating the DEI cannabis story in travel experiences with storytelling is an opportunity unique to the cannabis travel trend. Visit Oakland was the first in the nation to activate DEI storytelling in modern day mainstream cannabis travel, creating a dedicated Visit Oakland Cannabis Trail experience for the destination that spotlights equity-owned and operated shops, brands, and lounges in Oakland. Tucky Blunt of Blunts and Moore was the very first equity cannabis shop license awarded in the world, and today Blunts and Moore cannabis shop and lounge is a Cultural Landmark along the greater The Cannabis Trail, Inc. of northern California. Cannabis Travel Association International #cannabistravel #cannabistourism MarketWatch

Barcelona / Amsterdam - Two Leading European Cannabis Destinations Connected by Overnight Railway Service

Summary: For all visitors who want to travel between Amsterdam and Barcelona, a night train is expected to be launched in the spring of 2025. The new Dutch-Belgian rail company European Sleeper presented a project called “Good Night Train”. This railway connection will be financially supported by the European Commission. On January 31, 2022 the Commission announced that it will support ten pilot projects that will create new railway services or improve existing ones, including the European Sleeper operating between Amsterdam and Barcelona. “While demand for green mobility is growing, we need the rail market to respond much better and much faster, especially for long and cross-border journeys,” European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean added. The Commission also stated that the ten pilot projects will improve cross-border rail connections across the EU, making them faster, more frequent and more affordable as well.

Travel Lens Commentary: Soon, the European cannabis-interested visitor will have a new transportation experience to consider as they travel between Amsterdam to Barcelona - the two leading cannabis destinations in Europe. They will soon be connected by a convenient overnight rail option. Barcelona has a private cannabis club scene that is booming and Barcelona is home to Spannabis, the largest and most respected cannabis consumer festival in Europe today. Amsterdam is experiencing its own evolution with cannabis. The landscape is widening beyond smoking and inhalation, moving toward beverages, topicals, and non-inhalation options that serve the mainstream cannabis-interested audience that continues to grow year over year, globally. To accommodate cannabis - both business and leisure travel - opportunities arise in the transportation sector. In this instance, it is a train route connecting the two leading cannabis destinations in Europe. Another example is airlift. In California, there are more and more daily flights from Santa Rosa, CA to Burbank, CA. Many refer these quick NorCal to SoCal hopper flights as the 'cannabis industry shuttle'. Santa Rosa and LA are key California markets for the cannabis industry and many commute by air, often. From business travel to visitor travel, burgeoning new industries offer opportunities of all kinds. #cannabistravel#cannabistourism

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