The 'High' Potential for Cannabis Tourism in Canada
Whether you agree with legalization or not, companies across Canada are exploring the potential for cannabis tourism. While the outlook for Canada’s cannabis tourism industry is still uncertain, and sure to evolve as the laws related to the promotion and consumption of marijuana are introduced, expect to see significant evolutions and new opportunities for tourism businesses to innovate and bring cannabis tourism into the tourism experience.
Exact figures for the size of the cannabis tourism market are challenging to find. The Colorado State government estimates 6.5 million out-of-state marijuana visitors came in 2016 and expected a 6% increase in 2017. Cannabis tourism is estimated to have grown 51% since legalization. With figures like these, we are likely to see cannabis tourism in Canada evolve into a major market segment.
New cannabis tourism companies are popping up in the market offering a variety of experiences for visitors to explore, enjoy and learn about marijuana. Tourism Café spoke with Kennan Hall, owner and founder of The Movement Cannabis Tours in Vancouver, who indicated that BC’s connection to the cannabis industry makes it a natural destination for cannabis tourism and that Vancouver can be a major contender internationally amongst other hot cannabis destinations such as Amsterdam and Colorado. Kennan says the potential for this new segment in tourism is huge, but it’s still early days. Current legislation in Canada is restrictive and limits the ability of companies to do promotion, making it challenging to get the word out. And the negative stigma of cannabis is a hurdle for consumer perceptions.
Regardless of current barriers in the operating environment, cannabis tourism is poised to grow. Visitor experiences are already available in cities throughout Canada. Canada High Tours offers experiences on learning to roll the perfect joint, growing your own cannabis plants, painting on pot or visiting the local greenhouse growing ops and dispensaries. Canadian Kush Tours is offering a new slant on the traditional wedding open bar with their Cannabis Wedding Bar and if you’re looking for a new bachelorette idea, why not try their Cannabis Cooking Class or Cannabis Spa day.
The options are likely to be endless and these visitor experiences are bound to leave you on a ‘high’ note!
 Johansen, P. (2018, Nov. 29). Canada’s tourism can capitalize on cannabis. Retrieved from https://www.eturbonews.com/239148/canadas-tourism-can-capitalize-on-cannabis
 Marijuana Policy Group & Leeds University (2018). Market size and demand for marijuana in Colorado. 2017 market update. Retrieved from https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/MED%20Demand%20and%20Market%20%20Study%20%20082018.pdf
 Kovacevich, N. (2018, Aug. 16). The next big thing in cannabis: tourism. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickkovacevich/2018/08/16/the-next-big-thing-in-cannabis-tourism/#265e564e5d9b