This article originally appeared on Goldleaf and appears here with permission.
The final months of 2018 saw Canada legalize the recreational use of cannabis for its citizens. Tourists can also participate in the new legal cultivation of cannabis in the Great White North. Before you go out and buy your plane ticket, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the details of how legalization works in Canada.
Canada’s recreational market
Although cannabis is legal in all Canadian provinces, its sale is heavily regulated. Legal cannabis can only be sold through government-owned and regulated dispensaries (Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island) or a combination of government and corporate stores private (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador). Several provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, have dedicated online cannabis retailing with varying levels of age authentication. Alberta requires personal information that it will verify before creating an account. British Columbia and Ontario use a more lax verification method. Of course, to shop online you will need an address, so if you have a friend that you live with you may be better off ordering your cannabis in advance.
Find a dispensary
Of course, if you are a genuine cannabis tourist, you will want the physical ‘kid in a candy store’ experience. Depending on the province you visit, you will either have great difficulty or no difficulty in finding a dispensary. Canada has about 360 dispensaries, including planned locations that have yet to open. By comparison, the state of Colorado has over 560 cannabis stores. Of the 183 locations that were actually open at the start of 2019, 65 of them were in Alberta.
One of the strangest aspects of Canadian legalization are laws restricting where cannabis can be used. Many provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Yukon) prohibit consumption in any public space, including those where smoking is permitted. In these provinces, the consumption of any cannabis product is only permitted on private property. Even so, most hotels, Airbnbs, apartments, condos, and the like do not allow cannabis consumption in or around their properties. The whole situation isn’t exactly tourist-friendly, but if you have a friend who owns a property, they’ll probably let you smoke somewhere on it. Otherwise, your best bet is to simply find a sufficiently secluded spot outside and do what you love. Remember to be a green tourist and not to leave any waste where you end up smoking.
Not all provinces are particularly restrictive. In British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, the rules for cannabis use are similar to those for tobacco, with some additional restrictions (no smoking in cars or boats, near schools or playgrounds, or in any place frequented by children). The current regulations in Quebec reflect in all respects the use of tobacco in the province; However, that may change in the future, so be sure to take a look at the latest legislation before you go.
Canadian age regulations for who can buy and consume cannabis vary by province. Alberta and Quebec are currently the lowest at 18, although Quebec could change their age to 21. Most provinces have set the limit at 19 years.
Three favorite destinations
What was once a Hershey’s Chocolate Factory is now one of Canada’s leading licensed cannabis producers. Known for its refinement of existing cultivars and its selection of new genetics, Tweed sets the standard for Canadian cannabis. Better yet, their visitor center offers cannatourists the opportunity to visit their grow rooms and learn more about the science and history of cannabis.
The Hotbox Lounge is Toronto’s premier cannabis lounge. They offer a patio known as “Potio” where you can consume cannabis on nice days and a steam room available year-round (ideal during Canada’s freezing winters). The Hotbox Lounge has music and special events every night, so be sure to stop by during the evenings if you prefer to enjoy your cannabis in a lively atmosphere.
This premier dispensary is located in the heart of Calgary’s trendy and historic Inglewood neighborhood. The staff at Aylmer Nelson are some of the most knowledgeable and friendliest customers in the North – or anywhere else. While Alberta offers more options when it comes to cannabis than anywhere else in Canada, you can’t go wrong visiting Aylmer Nelson.
The last word
Everything listed above is just a taste of what Canada has to offer. The country is constantly advancing and as the cannabis scene evolves there will likely be even more places specifically designed for the cannabis tourism crowd.
With all the information we have given you, all you have to do is book your tickets and start practicing your Canadian accent, eh!
Original message from Jake Cressy
Read the original article on Goldleaf