Article by Brian Major, Travel Pulse
Nearly two years after Jamaica enacted legislation to ease penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, government tourism officials are forging the first official links to the surging weed tourism marketplace.
“Cannabis-infused tourism” has a place in Jamaica’s product mix, alongside all-inclusive resorts and mass tourism said Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s tourism minister in an address at the CanEx Jamaicaconference held earlier this month at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
In a report on the government-run Jamaica Information Service website, Bartlett said the government is “looking at” the corridor from Negril in Westmoreland parish to Black River in St. Elizabeth parish in southwestern Jamaica for the establishment of “a health and wellness center” designed to accommodate cannabis-seeking travelers.
“I believe this will provide a very useful geographic space for us to consider a new destination in Jamaica and a destination that will be characterized by health and wellness spas and cannabis products,” said Bartlett.
Jamaica’s tourism ministry has also established a “health and wellness network” that Bartlett said is responsible for creating “the framework within which cannabis-infused health and wellness” will proceed in the country. The network will attempt to “ascertain how the country can benefit more from the industry, while building more unique experiences,” and will formulate an official policy by 2017, Bartlett said.
Amsterdam and Colorado are examples of cities that benefitted from marijuana-themed tourism, Bartlett added. “We can do a level of product diversification which would enable us to be attractive to all demographics,” he said. “What we have seen is that cannabis-infused experiences have added much to health and wellness.”