New Cannabis Tourism Strategy lays framework to attract more entrepreneurs and visitors
The legalization of cannabis, combined with Canopy Growth Corporation’s headquarters in Smiths Falls, has presented the Town with an unparalleled opportunity to become a leader in the cannabis tourism industry.
On September 23, the Town presented a Cannabis Tourism Strategy to Council that lays out a path forward to establish Smiths Falls as the premiere cannabis tourism destination in Canada.
“In other parts of the world where legalization has been introduced, cannabis tourism has injected hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect revenue”, said Shawn Pankow, Mayor of Smiths Falls. “We believe Smiths Falls is the first community in Canada to develop a Cannabis Tourism Strategy. This is an important step in solidifying our role as a leader.”
Canopy Growth is already welcoming tourists through their world-class Visitor Centre, which provides information on the history of cannabis, and views of production rooms, and the Town intends to build on this success.
“We are proud to open our doors to tourists and visitors from around the world who are interested in learning more about cannabis”, said Mark Zekulin, CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation. “When we moved into the former Hershey chocolate factory, it was always our dream to bring tourists back to Smiths Falls, and to pay homage to the history and heritage of the town. We have already welcomed more than 30,000 guests through the Visitor Centre, and look forward to welcoming even more.”
Early in 2019, the Town established a Cannabis Tourism Committee that brought together local businesses, industry leaders and tourism experts, to combine resources and chart a path forward for cannabis tourism in Smiths Falls.
The strategy is meant be fluid to meet the ever-changing landscape of cannabis tourism. Some key action items include the development of a cannabis business accelerator, investigating the potential to use hemp-crete in Town buildings, participation in a smart city challenge, and the development of cannabis retail and consumption businesses, among others.