Did you know some airports carry cannabis products? Denver and Atlanta have dispensaries, while many states now have CBD beverages in airport shops!
My impulsive travels this year have taken me to many unexpected places. As a low-budget travel girlie, I've experienced my fair share of airport delays and long layovers. To make the wait time bearable and entertain myself, I usually wander through every gift shop and kiosk (I swear airports sell the wildest things). So, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that Denver International Airport in Colorado has a full dispensary!
CBD Drinks from the San Juan Airport!
Cannabis Products in Airports!?!
It's easy to imagine that Denver, well-known for its pot-friendly vibe, would have a dispensary in the airport. But a surprising discovery at San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico left me absolutely obsessed with finding cannabis products while waiting for flights.
My flight leaving San Juan Airport turned out to be one of my canon cannabis experiences. Leading to the most relaxed I've ever felt in an airport. Ever. The secret? CBD beverages. The airport snack shop sells all sorts of drinks and treats, but while perusing the beverage fridges, sitting casually among the sodas and bubblies, I found CBD drinks! Of course, I had to try them! And keep in mind that Puerto Rico has only legalized Medical Cannabis with a card! There are no recreational shops!
CBD on my Flight? Yes Please
I bought a 10mg CBD nano water and a fizzy CBD-infused strawberry sparkling water. Which, by the way, cost the same as the other beverages. Airport prices, of course, but in line with the other overpriced non-infused drinks. Before boarding my flight, I drank one and pleasantly drifted off to sleep as soon as I settled into my plane seat. It was hands down the best in-flight sleep I'd ever experienced. I saved my second drink for my layover in Philly, a peaceful 5-hour Netflix marathon in a cozy nook. Honestly, I've never had such a calm and enjoyable 12 hours in airports, ever. From then on, I began scouring every airport I visited for CBD beverages.
In the past year alone, I've been a frequent flyer at airports all over North America, including Vancouver International Airport (6 times! Yikes), Toronto, Victoria, Philadelphia, Calgary, and JFK in New York. And that's just in North America! I had the opportunity to explore cannabis tourism in Europe for a month, spending time in airports across Italy, Croatia, Ireland, and Norway, but sadly, CBD was nowhere to be found in most airports there either. Alcohol, on the other hand, was in abundance.
CBD products are everywhere in Europe where cannabis is decriminalized, NOT legalized!
Canada is missing out!
The most significant difference between Canada and other countries that I've noticed through my cannabis travels is you can easily find 20-100mg CBD drinks at corner stores and convenience shops in most parts of the US. In Europe, CBD products are available in vending machines across various countries, including Italy and Croatia, offering everything from gum to gummies to drinks and even flower or pre-rolls. And this is happening in countries where cannabis is only decriminalized! So, what's holding Canada back from matching this global access to CBD products and fully embracing our federally legal status?
In Ontario, CBD consumer products are exclusively found in licensed dispensaries and often come with a hefty price tag if you can even find them. The issue with the current Canadian retail market is the fierce competition among dispensaries, which leads them to prioritize what sells best. Unfortunately, CBD isn't the top seller in most recreational shops. Just this week, I visited three random dispensaries in downtown Toronto, and all three regretfully informed me they didn't carry products that only contained CBD. As someone who enjoys CBD drinks, it's frustrating to see how readily available they are while travelling across the United States, yet almost impossible to find here.
CBD Vending Machines in Europe (Left to Right) Palermo (Italy), Venice (Italy), and Zagreb (Croatia)
Are we failing Cannabis tourism?
The Canadian Cannabis industry believes that we are a world leader in cannabis tourism, and I hate to say it, but we are not. Just last month, August 2023, the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Georgia opened The SunMed Your CBD Store. A bold step forward for cannabis consumers and embracing cannabis tourism in the United States.
Last year, Toronto did open Fika Cannabis in Union Station, which is a major transportation hub and a big step toward embracing cannabis consumption. However, we're falling behind compared to the progress made in the US, where cannabis still isn't federally legal. It's HIGH time for Canada to broaden the availability of CBD products to a wider market. We should consider introducing CBD vending machines in the city and allow convenience stores and grocery stores to stock THC-free products like CBD beverages. The argument stands: if alcohol is readily available, why not CBD drinks?
Cappuccino and a Spliff in Rijeka, Croatia where cannabis is decriminalized, but widely available.
Changing the Way We Travel
Since we've embraced legalization and opened hundreds of cannabis dispensaries, at the very least, CBD products should be available in transportation hubs such as airports and train stations! It's not just about meeting the demands of travellers and cannabis tourism; it's about joining the global community in acknowledging the benefits of cannabis in a responsible way. Let's make CBD accessible for everyone, especially those in transit seeking a little extra relaxation during their journey. I'm telling you, it's changed the way I travel.
Bonus Pic: A absolute treasure from Des Moines Airport Gift Shop in Iowa!