The Impact of Legal Adult Use Cannabis on the New Jersey Hospitality and Tourism Market

Cannabis Leaf

By: Rob Mejia, Adjunct Professor - Cannabis Studies, Stockton University

There is no doubt that the legalization of adult use cannabis - which was voted on  and approved by New Jersey citizens in November 2020 - will create numerous business and employment opportunities. And many of those opportunities will be developed in the hospitality and tourism industries.

According to MMGY Travel Intelligence and Enlightn Strategies, which specialize in the CBD (CBD is an element in cannabis that will not get the user high but provides relaxation and pain relief) and cannabis- related tourism space, “29 percent of all active leisure travelers (and 18 percent of all Americans) are interested in cannabis-related activities on vacation.” Their recently issued report, Cannabis Tourism: Opportunities, Issues and Strategies examined U.S. travelers’ interest in and level of understanding of adult use cannabis products, experiences, and services when on vacation.

29 percent of all active leisure travelers (and 18 percent of all Americans) are interested in cannabis-related activities on vacation.”

-MMGY Travel Intelligence and Enlightn Strategies

Popular cannabis experiences and events included cultivation and dispensary tours, consuming CBD and/or THC infused food and beverage items, booking a CBD spa treatment, and sampling cannabis in a safe environment. This report also showed that an impressive 25% of all travelers have already traveled to a destination to have a cannabis experience.

When examining some demographic data, one surprising note is that one third of respondents have never consumed cannabis; this clearly shows great curiosity around cannabis use and experiences. Millennials and the Gen Z generation survey respondents consumed cannabis at a rate of 79%, Gen Xers followed at 65% and Boomers consumed at 62%. However you look at it, there is a hunger for cannabis hospitality and tourism.

Rob Mejia

Rob Mejia

Adjunct Professor - Cannabis Studies, Stockton University

One reason that cannabis tourism and hospitality is popular is that as a traveler it is difficult if not impossible to find somewhere to consume cannabis products legally. It is illegal to consume in a vehicle, at a hotel (unless specifically allowed), on a public sidewalk, and in a public park. So, if a business operator can provide cannabis education, a unique, enjoyable experience, and a safe place to consume, guests will respond enthusiastically.

Compared to other businesses, it can also be much cheaper to start a cannabis tourism business. Other developed markets have offerings such as: Yoga and Cannabis, Paint and Smoke Classes, How to Roll a Joint and How to Roll Sushi Parties, and 420 Sports Games. In many instances, existing yoga instructors, chefs, and others have pivoted from their traditional business to include a cannabis element.

With New Jersey busy developing our adult use market, you can expect these types of events and offerings to come our way soon.

Rob Mejia is an Adjunct Professor at Stockton University where he teaches the following courses: Introduction to Medical Cannabis, Preparation for Cannabis Internship, and a newly created Social Justice and Cannabis course. He is also the author of The Essential Cannabis Book and The Essential Cannabis Journal. His cannabis education company is Our Community Harvest and can be found at


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