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Are these the most cannabis-friendly holiday destinations?

The world’s most pro-cannabis holiday destinations have just been ranked in a new survey. 



It's important to check the regulations in your chosen destination before you travel. Photo: Eva Darron/Unsplash

Thinking about jetting off this summer? The world’s most pro-cannabis holiday destinations have just been ranked in a new survey. 

With cannabis becoming increasingly more accessible in many countries across the globe, perhaps it’s not surprising that Google searches for ‘weed friendly vacation spots’ are thought to be on the rise.

Cannabis is also the most commonly consumed drug in Europe, with around 23 million people estimated to have consumed it in the last year and thousands of patients now prescribed cannabis-based medicines across the continent. 

If you’re hoping to jet off to some sunnier climes this summer and cannabis is a big part of your life, whether for medicinal, wellbeing, social or recreational purposes (or all of the above), it makes sense that you want to be able to enjoy it on your break away.

But there can be a lot of uncertainty and anxiety around cannabis use when it comes to travelling overseas, particularly if you’re a prescription holder and need it with you for medicinal reasons. 

No one wants to be faced with the dilemma of going weeks without their medicine, or potentially experiencing issues with law enforcement overseas.

READ MORE: Can I travel abroad with my medical cannabis prescription?

Weedar, a distribution platform for cannabis brands in the US, has compiled the ‘ultimate travel guide’ for cannabis connoisseurs looking for a welcoming holiday destination. 

The team analysed the top 48 most popular tourist destinations, according to Condé Nast Traveler, and ranked them based on four different criteria: the legality of cannabis in that country, the average cost, what penalties you might face for a small possession charge, and the percentage of people using cannabis in the area.

Canada made the top of the list, having legalised adult-use cannabis in 2018 and just under a third of the population cannabis consumers themselves. Prices are also reasonably affordable and you can legally carry up to 30g and smoke in public places – with plenty of stunning scenery to enjoy while you do so.

Closer to home, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Austria all made the list.  Meanwhile, Australia was deemed to be the third ‘friendliest’ despite cannabis still being federally illegal there.

In 2019, the Australian Capital Territory passed a bill allowing for the possession and growth of small amounts (up to 50g) of cannabis for personal use, but it can be pricey at a reported average $10 per gram. 

Here is the complete list, according to Weedar:

  1. Canada
  2. Mexico
  3. Australia
  4. Italy
  5. Netherlands
  6. Chile
  7. Argentina
  8. Spain
  9. Portugal
  10. Costa Rica
  11. Belize
  12. Thailand
  13. Peru
  14. Austria
  15. South Africa

You can read the full breakdown and more details here 

On a serious note…

The legality of cannabis varies greatly from country to country, so it’s important to check the regulations of your chosen destination before you travel, especially if you’re a medical prescription holder. While some countries now have relatively progressive adult-use laws, others don’t permit medicinal use, or even CBD. 

Travelling abroad with a medicinal cannabis prescription

It’s not enough to assume that you will be allowed into a country with your prescription, just because medical cannabis is legal there.

Guidance from the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society recommends that patients always contact the embassy to check the legal situation in the country they are visiting before travelling anywhere with their prescription.

Some countries make no distinction between recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, with some places issuing harsh penalties if a person is found in possession, even if they are a prescription holder.

Some countries require a letter of proof from a clinician, some require a request to be submitted to the embassy requesting to travel, some restrict the amount of medication you are able to travel with, i.e. up to 30 days supply. It is suggested that any guidance is sought and confirmed in writing.

Where a country requires a letter of proof to be shown at the border, this should be issued from the prescribing clinician and should generally include:

– traveller’s name and date of birth

– countries being entered and length of stay

– a list of medicine, including how much is being transported, doses and strength

– signature of the prescribing clinician.

If it is established that travelling with prescribed cannabis is allowed in a particular country, it is recommended that travellers carry their medication in its original packaging, accompanied by a copy of their prescription and other relevant documentation. 

It might wise to keep an electronic version of all your paperwork stored on a mobile phone or via email, while also keeping the contact information of the prescribing clinician to hand.

If you do encounter any legal issues when travelling with medication you may be able to seek advice and assistance from Release, details of which can be found here.

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


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