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Canada’s cannabis tourism not high

Canada introduced the legalisation of cannabis almost a year ago, but it has yet tourism bureaus are not seeing an influx of cannabis tourists.

Tourism events use controlled substances such as alcohol to entice people to attend wine cycling tours or craft brewery events, but when it comes to cannabis tourism the same push is virtually non-existent.

"I think we need to get on board or people are going to take their interests elsewhere," said Jessilin Deschamps, manager of Windsor River Cruise. "I think we're missing out on a huge market right now because certain people have biases against it."

To capitalise on the growing cannabis industry, Mr Deschamps is holding the first Cannabis Cruise this month along the Detroit River between Windsor, Ontario and Michigan, which just legalized marijuana at the end of last year. No pot will be sold, and guests will be required to bring their own marijuana.

When it comes to marketing cannabis, federal rules should be more like alcohol and less like tobacco, said Rick Moscone, co-chair of the Canadian Marketing Association's working group on cannabis.

"The wine connoisseur in some ways is not different than the cannabis connoisseur," said Moscone. "People do come to Ontario to check out wine country. One would hope that over time maybe we can develop the same reputation when it comes to cannabis."

Even though some are taking cannabis tourism into their own hands, tourism agencies aren't doing much in the budding industry because they have concerns about strict laws around marketing cannabis, promoting pot to other jurisdictions, especially internationally and respecting visitors’ beliefs and culture.

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