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Cannabis tourists' perceived constraints to engaging in commercial cannabis tourism overseas: a comparison of first-time and repeat tourists

Jun Wen (School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Metin Kozak (Department of Advertising, School of Communication, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Tianyu Ying (School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 19 January 2022

Issue publication date: 4 January 2023




Given the increasing number of tourists exposed to commercially available cannabis, it is important to understand visitors' perceived constraints to cannabis consumption while travelling. This study aims to compare cannabis tourists' perceived constraints between first-time and repeat tourists to gain comprehensive understanding.


This study involved 32 conversational field interviews (5–10 min) with Chinese tourists who had smoked cannabis in coffee shops in Amsterdam to identify perceived constraints to engaging in cannabis tourism. The hierarchical constraint model (HCM) informed qualitative data coding using a deductive approach to compare first-time and repeat tourists. Content analysis was conducted manually.


Results showed that both tourist groups faced intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural perceived constraints to cannabis consumption. Differences in first-time and repeat cannabis tourists' perceived constraints were explained using the neutralization technique framework and psychological tactics, such as the defence of necessity, claims of entitlement, normal practice and claims of relative acceptability. In addition, social exchange theory was employed to explain why repeat cannabis tourists perceived fewer constraints than first-time tourists.

Practical implications

Although the current study did not intend to address the importance of cannabis tourism in places where cannabis is commercially available, findings offer empirical guidance for industry practitioners and policymakers regarding cannabis use education, prevention and policy in tourism contexts; related efforts can promote the sustainable development of this tourism market while protecting cannabis tourists' physical and psychological well-being.


This study makes important theoretical contributions regarding travel constraints in the unique context of cannabis tourism between first-time and repeat tourists. Findings will also enable academics, industry operators, policymakers and local residents of cannabis tourism destinations to better understand how these tourists decide whether to consume cannabis overseas. Differences in these perceived constraints between first-time and repeat tourists are discussed to highlight the dynamic nature of travel constraints.



Wen, J., Kozak, M. and Ying, T. (2023), "Cannabis tourists' perceived constraints to engaging in commercial cannabis tourism overseas: a comparison of first-time and repeat tourists", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 130-148.



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