Cannabis tourism is now a domestic industry. Just as other well-to-do traditionalists flock to sandy beaches craving light beer and umbrella drinks, people from sea to shining sea are packing their bags and jet-setting for legal cities around the United States in search of rest, relaxation, and recreational cannabis. Unlike said traditionalists though, cannabis tourists are contending with the unfamiliar legality of a still Schedule I drug and the shifting regulations specific to each state. And while tokers have been flying in the face of the law since you could buy a lid for a dime, newbies to cannabis are looking for an accommodating entry point into a substance they’ve only been able to ingest legally through Seth Rogen movies.
The Travel Joint (thetraveljoint.com/) is a website built to connect cannabis tourists with their intended elevation through industry partnerships that span dispensaries, entertainment, lodging, and beyond. I had the opportunity to connect with Brannon and Rachel Zimbelman, CEO and CCO respectively, and talked people, possibilities, and the “Experience Capital of the World.”
J: Let’s cut to the chase! What is The Travel Joint?
Brannon Zimbelman (B): We are the world’s first and only travel site dedicated to the cannabis consumer. Think of us as the Priceline of cannabis. Our unique cannabis-friendly platform makes it a one-stop shop for the cannabis community to plan and book their vacations. We provide 420-friendly lodging, transportation, events, and dispensaries as well as your standard commercial or private flights, hotels, car rentals, concert and event tickets, and much more.
Anyone who books a hotel in either Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or our 420 Property in Las Vegas will have a Travel Joint Hot Box awaiting their arrival complete with featured 420 products.
J: This is an exciting time. How have people responded so far?
B: People want to be part of history. They are curious about cannabis, either for recreational purposes or medical needs, but they don’t know where to start. No two travelers or experiences are the same, so we make the process simple by helping them not only plan the logistics of travel, but also by being a trusted source of cannabis knowledge. We also offer a free concierge service to help customers plan their perfect trip and answer any questions they might have. We connect, we collaborate, we care.
J: Many canna-businesses have found ways to enrich the ethical core of the cannabis community by giving back. Has The Travel Joint managed to do the same?
Rachel Zimbelman (R): We started the Cannabis Refugee Program last year as a way to raise funds (through Go Fund Me) to help cannabis refugees get access to medicinal cannabis by moving to cannabis-friendly states: https://thetraveljoint.com/cannabis-refugee-program/.
J: Nevada isn’t legal yet, but MMJ patients still get the hook-up, right?
R: The next year is going to be an interesting one for cannabis tourism with ballot initiatives in so many states. Currently, Nevada has reciprocity, which means that if you have a MMJ card from any other state you can legally purchase cannabis in Nevada. Las Vegas is already the entertainment capital of the world. Now it is the experience capital of the world!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
-Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It
Like many entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry, Rachel and Brannon recognize an opportunity to connect people. The Travel Joint sees a convergence of entertainment, accommodations, and cannabis as a modern addition to the bacchanalia Vegas is known for, but they also want to raise the bar. “We want to help legitimize the industry by setting the highest standards possible,” Brannon noted. This is honorable, especially as cannabis has pushed North American drug policy to center stage as countries around the world debate the efficacy of legalization.
But day by day, as an intricate tapestry of jet streams crisscrosses the country, people are indulging in a higher—and subsequently more open—state of mind. Cannabis is connecting people in new ways and the internet is helping. Visit The Travel Joint, buy the ticket, and get lifted, your cannabis adventure can go from URL to IRL with just one click.