Seattle-based ‘Cycling Frog’ jabs at Nebraska’s social scene, but tourism folks snap back

Legal marijuana important for summer fun, says group

By: - June 20, 2022 2:54 pm
Girl toasting a beer

(Courtesy of Nebraska Department of Economic Development)

A Seattle-based brand called Cycling Frog has ranked Nebraska near the bottom of the pack when it comes to the best states for summer socializing.

In its media release, Cycling Frog is described as an “exciting new player in the THC & CBD space” and said its picks for top social states have common ground in that they have a good share of colleges and state parks, and legal cannabis to some degree.

The wholesaler noted that it didn’t set out to bash any particular place.

“Whilst we’re confident that there are plenty of reasons to visit Nebraska, Alabama and Wyoming, they don’t appear to be the best destinations if you’re looking for carefree summer fun, according to our ranking criteria,” said head of brand Jason Peterson.

Back at you, Cycling Frog

The Nebraska Tourism Commission, asked to respond, had its own summertime fun with the group’s findings. It released a statement that nodded to the commission’s spring and summer campaign slogan, which is: “Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” 

“Note to our Cycling Frog friends:

Nebraska isn’t for everyone. It’s for the ‘not everyones’ of the world. And frankly, folks who refer to themselves as ‘Cycling Frogs’ sound about as ‘not everyone’ as you can get. So we hereby invite you to come and discover the vibrant (and very social) nightlife of our cities. Or our amazing party-friendly riverbanks and lakeshores. Or large events like the College World Series, rodeos, festivals, and all sorts of other reasons people gather to celebrate and hang out with lots of other people (AKA, ‘socializing’). Yes, Cycling Frogs, you are invited to visit. So hop to it.

Love, Nebraska Tourism.”

Cycling Frog, which launched early this year, said it used eight criteria to develop the system that judged each state’s “suitability for summer socials.” 

Criteria were population size, median age, number of state parks, number of state beaches, summer temperatures, number of colleges, average price of a 24-pack of beer and marijuana legality.

Husker territory was ranked third lowest, with researchers commenting that the “Beef State” had too few managed or protected parks and outdoor spaces “to explore and enjoy the summer sun.”

Nebraska good life
(Courtesy of Department of Economic Development)

Just above and below Nebraska in the Cycling Frog rankings were Nevada and Alabama, respectively.

Bottom of the pile

Wyoming wound up last, with researchers noting it has “only 14 state parks and beaches for outdoor recreation” in addition to high-priced beer.

Conversely, California, Massachusetts and New York were ranked on top. The researchers pointed out California’s “reliable temperatures” and over 300 state parks and beaches. They noted that marijuana and associated cannabinoids are legal there for recreational use.

The three top ranked states all have fully legalized marijuana, including recreational use.

Of the bottom three, Wyoming and Nebraska have no legalized marijuana use. Alabama’s legislature and governor in 2021 signed into law a bill allowing medical marijuana use.
Currently in Nebraska, a group is gathering signatures for a pair of initiative petitions aimed at legalizing medical marijuana in the state. 

Cycling Frog offers hemp-based THC and CBD products to a mass audience. The brand’s website also says that it is “pushing the boundaries and going into uncharted territory” in an attempt to change a generation’s perception and access to the products in the U.S.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. CBD, or cannabidiol, is said to not cause that same “high” and is touted as a component of medical marijuana and treating certain syndromes.

Good Life Summer Contest

Meanwhile, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development announced the June 20 start of the monthlong “Nebraska Good Life Summer Contest.”

Three Nebraskans will have the chance to win prizes by sharing their favorite fun-in-the-sun activity.

Entrants are asked to post a fun and creative Instagram reel of themselves and friends, tagging @nebraskagoodlife and using hashtag #NEGoodLifeSummerContest in the caption. 

Prizes include a smart TV, an Amazon Echo and a streaming device. The contest is sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and hosted by the Department of Economic Development. 

Editor’s note: This story has been revised to correct the name of the head of brand for Cycling Frog.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.