Cannabis tourism in Canada. Canada legalized marijuana almost a year ago, but it still has tourist offices that are not seeing an influx of cannabis tourists
Cannabis tourism in Canada. When Canada became the second country in the Americas (after Uruguay) to legalize marijuana for recreational use, many thought that the country would take advantage of this new market niche.
Some cities like Toronto and Vancouver have a long tradition of advocating for marijuana and also had a good number of coffee shops and clinics specializing in cannabis.
Legalization would be a business that many would like to take advantage of and analysts believed that cannabis tourism in Canada would be a very important part of the economy. According to a report it was estimated that consumption would grow by 35% and sales would reach 4700 million Euros.
Andrew Hiscock, tourism development officer in charge of promoting the coastal destinations of Newfoundland, said the province could take advantage of being only five hours from London. Marijuana producers in Canada wanted to offer guided tours and tastings, in the style of wineries and distilleries. Many tour operators and agencies hoped that the country would have an additional boost based on Amsterdam-style cannabis, where up to 30% of visitors arriving in the Dutch city seek cannabis tourism experience at local coffee shops. It is also true that some warned that this could attract an unwanted tourist segment, whose sole purpose is to smoke marijuana freely.
But there are those who think differently and think that experimental tourism can be a gateway to combine both factors. This is the case in California, where recreational consumption is also legal. In this state wine tours are offered along with marijuana tastings. It is a type of tourism that wants to visit wineries and distilleries in which the process of preparation and rest of alcohol is shown, and finish the itinerary with tasting wines, rums or whiskeys. That is what the largest cannabis company in Canada wanted to do, which planned to open a visitor center in an old chocolate factory in Hershey, where the marijuana crops would be seen and the different varieties tested.
Canada legalized marijuana almost a year ago, but it still has tourist offices that are not seeing an influx of cannabis tourists. Tourist events in Canada use alcohol to attract people to attend bicycle tours to get to know the local wine or craft brewery events. But when it comes to cannabis tourism, the promotion is nonexistent.
Jessilin Deschamps, manager of Windsor River Cruise, a company that organizes cruises, believes that Canada is missing a great opportunity. To make the growing cannabis industry profitable, Deschamps will make this month the first cannabis cruise along the Detroit River, between Windsor, Ontario and Michigan, which has just legalized marijuana at the end of last year. Marijuana will not be sold on the ship and customers must bring their own weed.
Rick Moscone, co-chair of the Canadian Cannabis Marketing Association’s working group, believes that when it comes to making cannabis profitable, federal rules should be more like alcohol and less like tobacco. Moscone says that the wine connoisseur resembles the cannabis connoisseur. Currently tourists come to Ontario to visit the wine country. Moscone is hoping that Ontario will eventually be able to develop the same reputation when it comes to cannabis. Although there are entrepreneurs who take advantage of tourists who use cannabis, tourism agencies are not doing much in the incipient industry because they are concerned about the strict laws on the marketing of cannabis, the promotion of marijuana in other jurisdictions, especially internationally and respect for the beliefs and culture of visitors.