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Whether looking at the commercial or cultural sides of the cannabis space, the potential is clearly visible. Perhaps one of the most exciting prospects for the adult-use market is a reality that has already started to take shape in states like California and Colorado – cannabis tourism. A far shot from conventional, this expanding model includes bus tours, camping, and cannabis friendly lodgings cleverly called, “bud and breakfasts.”

In Denver, Colorado, where cannabis tourism is a veritable enterprise, there are dozens of companies that offer tours of dispensaries across the city. Other companies, still, offer vacation packages and suites replete with every confection a cannabis aficionado can dream of finding at a hotel. 

As the owner of Colorado’s popular Bud and Breakfast, Joel Schneider has raked in a small fortune since opening the doors to his six-bedroom Victorian home, where guests are greeted in the morning with a complimentary “wake and bake” for breakfast. With rooms ranging from $299 to $399 a night, Schneider pulled in over $1 million in 2016 alone. 

Mostly, Schneider welcomes domestic travellers, but he says people have come from across the globe to stay under his roof. A former Wall Street lawyer, Schneider says he moved to Colorado from New York in hopes of creating a truly unique place for cannabis consumers to congregate, eat and sleep. 

"What happens at this bed and breakfast doesn't happen anywhere else. They go home and they tell their friends, ‘You can't believe what I did for the last three days,’” Schneider said. “We’ve had our share of football players and musicians.” 

Where individual states have had tremendous success luring tourists to cannabis-friendly locations, Canada is likely to provide an unprecedented case study on the topic when it becomes the first G8 country to legalize the herb for adult use in the fall. As only the second country in the world to federally legalize cannabis, Canada will have an enviable position if it allows cannabis tourism to flourish.

As it stands, some are skeptical that cannabis tourism will thrive under Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act. Recently, the president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada highlighted a lack of clarity for what the scope of cannabis tourism could look like after reform is enacted on October 17. But many others remain optimistic, hoping that Canada can follow in the laudable footsteps of Colorado and California in helping shape the future of cannabis tourism.

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