If you’ve read this week’s paper, you’ll know that the legal ambiguity over what constitutes private or public when it comes to marijuana consumption can be a tricky subject for businesses wanting to accommodate stoners that just want a social space to light up.
With it being illegal to consume cannabis on the street, pot lounges being clouded by legal ambiguity and hotels generally frowning on smoking anything in their rooms, this issue is particularly acute for the state’s marijuana tourism industry as it seeks to accommodate visitors who might want to light up. Although travelers have come from all over the world to experience the Evergreen State’s pot and the state even has a commission to promote wine tourism, don’t expect Olympia to throw its support behind encouraging people to come to Washington to enjoy its cannabis anytime soon.
David Blandford, Washington Tourism Alliance board member and vice president of communications for Visit Seattle, says that ambiguity over what “public” means for the consumption of pot makes promoting marijuana tourism difficult. That issue aside, he says that promoting marijuana tourism is currently not on the WTA’s agenda because the organization is currently focused at the moment on securing long-term funding from the legislature.
He also says that there are concerns about restrictions on how marijuana can be advertised, and Blanford isn’t even sure that tourists would respond.
“I’m not aware of any research that there is a pot tourism market,” says Blanford. So far, he says, all the evidence has been anecdotal.