As the cannabis sector grows in Ontario, businesses are looking at the arrival of customers from within Ontario and further afield. One burgeoning area of interest is cannabis tourism, which has already become hugely popular in the US states that have legalized recreational cannabis.
For anybody thinking about a career in cannabis, Ontario holds vast potential as a cannabis tourism destination thanks to its ease of accessibility. Here’s a look at why cannabis tourism could become the next big thing in Ontario and what aspiring cannabis retailers should know.
Other Jurisdictions Have Had Great Success with Cannabis Tourism
To get an idea of how big cannabis tourism could be in Ontario, it’s worth taking a look at the impact it has had in US states that have legalized recreational cannabis. In Colorado, for example, 15 percent of tourists participate in marijuana-related activities during their trips. In other legal cannabis states, such as California and Nevada, businesses are now offering tours of dispensaries and local growers, and cannabis-themed yoga and painting classes. These sorts of creative tourist-friendly ideas could potentially be exported to Ontario, which now finds itself as the second-largest jurisdiction in North America (after California) to offer legalized recreational marijuana.
Ontario Has the Right Ingredients to Become a Cannabis Destination
Ontario’s potential cannabis tourism industry has a significant advantage over most other jurisdictions in North America. The majority of provinces and states have largely banned cannabis consumption in public. Ontario, however, has made it legal to smoke or vape cannabis in most outdoor public places that are at least 20 metres from areas where children are likely to gather, such as schools, child care centres, and playgrounds. That means that, unlike most places in North America, it’s usually legal to smoke cannabis on sidewalks and in parks in Ontario. Furthermore, provincial legislation permits hotels to set aside guest rooms designated for cannabis consumption.
Those laws make it much easier for tourists in Ontario to consume cannabis legally, which in turn should help the burgeoning cannabis tourism industry grow. The fact that Ontario is easily accessible to millions of Americans living in the Northeast and Midwest also gives the province a major advantage as a cannabis tourism destination. Furthermore, neighbouring Quebec is planning on introducing some of the toughest cannabis laws in the country, including a complete ban on public consumption and a minimum age of consumption of 21—the highest in the country. Those strict regulations make the Ontario cannabis retail sector well-positioned to welcome tourists from Quebec as well.
Cannabis Retail Certification Holders Still Need to Be Aware of Regulations
While provincial regulations concerning cannabis are comparatively lax, there are still plenty of laws that anybody working in Ontario’s cannabis industry needs to be aware of. In particular, Health Canada has strict rules for what cannabis businesses can and cannot say about their products. In general, advertising cannabis or any service related to cannabis is illegal. There are also strict rules for cannabis packaging and for displaying cannabis products in stores.
Anybody working in the cannabis industry needs to understand these regulations and how to remain compliant with them. By taking a cannabis retail certification program, you can learn about Health Canada’s cannabis regulations and how they may affect your business. Additionally, in your courses you’ll be able to learn about marketing and advertising restrictions for cannabis.
Do you want to find out how to earn your cannabis retailer certification?
Contact the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences to learn more about our programs.