In the months leading up to legalization in Canada, news outlets across the continent boldly predicted that cannabis tourism would be the next big thing, with Bloomberg predicting our nation’s cannabis tourism sector could be a $2 billion annual industry.
One day, it may be. But the reality this summer—the first since legalization last October—is that it’s not that easy to find tourism services specific to weed lovers. A variety of legal and cultural barriers contribute to this situation, but don’t despair, future weed-traveller: where there’s a will, there’s a way to get high.
From businesses actively seeking cannabis dollars to scenic areas with cordial—or at least clear—pot policies, here are the spots and services worthy of your consideration.
Hot Pot Spots
Hotbox Lounge, Toronto, ON
The Hotbox 4/20 Block Party in Toronto’s Kensington Market / Photo by Jesse Milns
Under Abi Roach’s determined leadership, Toronto’s first legal cannabis consumption lounge is not just a cool place to chill, it’s also an organization that advocates for safe cannabis consumption.
Working with local inspectors, Roach has found clever ways to comply with Toronto bylaws. Unfortunately, that compliance means food and drinks are no longer sold on site. Fortunately, customers can smoke or vape to their heart’s content on the back “POTio.”
Located in Toronto’s vibrant Kensington Market, Hotbox is a perfect place to pause and puff while enjoying the area’s diverse foods, funky vintage stores, and wandering street performers.
New Amsterdam Cafe, Vancouver, BC
For nearly 20 years, New Amsterdam Café has entertained cannabis lovers from across the world. Billing itself “North America’s premiere smoke friendly café” New Amsterdam Cafe offers coffee, baked goods, and on-site vape rentals.
Bring your own cannabis, but be sure to check on adjacent cannabis stores if you’re planning to purchase locally. Although the area was once known as Vancouver’s “Pot Block,” several nearby shops have been shuttered recently over licensing concerns.
Find Leafly’s list of operational cannabis retailers in Vancouver here.
Rolling Greens, Smith Falls, ON
The world’s first cannabis-themed golf club is a serene and green spot for feeling your fore-twenty. Golf novices take heart: the site also boasts glow-in-the-dark evening mini-golf and disc golf, with plans to open a drive-in movie theater, amusement rides, and concert grounds in the coming year.
Parks Canada Campsites, Across Canada
Parks Canada allows cannabis consumption on campsites nationwide, but rules for trail tokes and bush bongs vary. See Leafly’s Spliffs and S’mores guide for provincial specifics.
Don’t have a campsite booked? The great Canadian wilderness boasts plenty of scenic spots to stop and smell (read: burn) the flower. Naturally, Leafly’s provincial breakdown has the lowdown on where it’s legal to do so.
Sir Sam’s Inn and Spa, Haliburton Highlands, ON
Ontario’s first cannabis-friendly resort doesn’t want to turn off repeat customers by advertising just how cannabis friendly they are on their web page, but according to a recent press release, they do want cannabis consumers to feel welcome.
“At Sir Sam’s we strive to give our guests upscale experiences that are unique to our region, our history and our culture,” says the resort’s Director of Business Development, Jon Massey. “It’s important to be proactive in our industry to ensure an inclusive experience for all guests staying with us, whether they are using cannabis or not.”
The adults-only waterfront resort offers 25 rooms and views of Eagle Lake, as well as spa and recreation facilities.
Canada High Tours, Vancouver & Whistler, BC; Calgary, AB; Montreal, QC; Toronto & Ottawa, ON
Canada High Tours/Facebook
Whether you’re new to Canada, cannabis, or both, Canada High Tours is dedicated to helping its guests find legal spots to purchase and consume, showing them around scenic and cultural destinations while they’re at it.
According to Founder and CEO Matt Cronin, the company’s most popular tours are its Downtown Mashup, Graffiti Tour, and Joint Rolling Excursion (Toronto); its 5-Course Cannabis-Infused Private Dining experience (Vancouver and Whistler); and its SDQC Cannabis Dispensary tour (Montreal).
Cannanaskis, Calgary, AB
Veteran journalist Dave Dormer is the brain behind Cannanaskis, a Calgary-based cannabis experience company. His research and storytelling skills are on full display during his home-based education seminars, which he says comply with a Calgary rule that only allows cannabis consumption on private property.
Geared towards new and curious users, the two-to-three hour sessions are conducted over catered dinner, and cover the history and basics of cannabis. This summer, Dormer plans to take guests into the Kananaskis countryside. “They will be served a picnic lunch and can legally consume in a beautiful mountain setting,” he says.