Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
As we all know, cannabis is set to be legalized in Canada come July 2018, and with that deadline, provinces and municipalities are scrambling to get their infrastructure and retail models for cannabis ready.
While many of the provinces have focused on how Canadians can access and use cannabis, not much time has been spent on the out-of-province and international travelers who may want to check out what the cannabis scenes are all about.
Cannabis tourism already exists in Canada
But that’s not to say that cannabis tourism doesn’t already exist in Canada. Despite non-medical cannabis being illegal since 1923, there have always been tourists visiting Canada who have been interested in everything that Canadian cannabis has to offer, especially in the major metropolitan centers of Vancouver and Toronto.
Even before Canada began taking the steps towards legalization, Canadian cannabis was known around the world for its quality- BC Bud has been a household name for cannabis connoisseurs for decades.
Abi Roach, the owner of Toronto’s Hot Box Cafe, told Metro Canada that 40-50% of her annual visitors are from out-of-town or out-of-country.
Nowadays, cannabis in Canada is easier to buy than ever on both coasts of the country because of the influx of dispensaries willing to sell to anybody over the age of 19, which is very encouraging for tourists without a medical license.
CLN has covered cannabis tourism in Canada before, such as when Canna Tours Canada launched back in March 2016, and in the time since, the burgeoning cannabis tourism industry has only grown. Tour agencies, such as Canada High Tours, are all eagerly awaiting legalization but at the same time, they face some major uncertainty.
The Big Question: Where can cannabis be consumed?
According to Matt Kronin, the CEO and founder of Canada High Tours, “We are still waiting to hear on the ‘Where can I consume?’ challenge. Will the government allow the lounges to take in recreational use? I think they will have to here”.
With hotels banning smoking in their rooms, tourists have few options where they can safely consume although there are some cannabis- friendly Airbnb’s out there. But tourists aren’t the only ones affected by a lack of consumption spaces. Canadians who live in condos, apartments, and renters of all stripes often face the same dilemma.