One of the positives of cannabis legalization in Canada is the chance to combine travel with the emerging world of cannabis. As such, the first Cannabis Tourism Summit was made to highlight just that.
The New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit 2019 was held at Blue Mountain Resort just northwest of Collingwood in the province of Ontario.
This article features some of the highlights of this one-day cannabis event, and if it’s worth the visit.
Read on for all the tea!
What is the Cannabis Tourism Summit?
The New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit is detailed as a “one-day tourism leadership conference”.
The event is designed to bring together those interested in cannabis tourism so you can “find out everything you need to know Canada’s emerging cannabis industry”.
In a conference setting, the Cannabis Tourism Summit aims to teach others about the industry including legal information, how to create and market a product, and social media advice.
The all-day conference is presented by JLM Marketing, in partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario.
A big thanks go out to JLM and Marigold Marketing for being incredibly accommodating before and during the event!
“More events have been happening since cannabis legalization and it’s becoming more mainstream. A lot of Canadians are trying to find their piece of the pie and it’s amazing what people come up with.”Katie Pringle – Marigold Marketing
What the Cannabis Tourism Summit has to offer
The Cannabis Tourism Summit describes the event as a “highly active and inspirational day”. It promises engaging conversations and demonstrations with leaders in the industry.
Held at the Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre the event takes place all day from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
It features speakers, panels and demonstrators scheduled in varying timeslots throughout the day with refreshments, lunch, and networking in between. The event also offers a marketplace area for businesses to show off their products.
Speakers at the first New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit include marketing experts from the above-mentioned companies, as well as Wendy Forwell from Cannabis Hotels.
The one-day experience
Firstly, while the event was held far from Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, organizers could not have lucked out with a better day to be at Blue Mountain Resort. (With the distance in mind, organizers also offered a discounted group rate on resort accommodations.)
The event was held in late October, but the weather was warm and sunny, giving this conference an even more laid back vibe than it already gave off.
After passing a group of attendees having a smoke session outside, organizers were incredibly welcoming on arrival. We arrived around noon, just before lunch, and was able to take a peek inside the conference room.
The conference room was set up banquet-style with a stage in front. Most attendees seemed to be dressed either casual or business-casual, and most attendees seemed to be laid-back and relaxed.
The lobby area had water, coffee, tea and small refreshments, along with some small tables. Nearby, the “marketplace” area had just a few stalls on display.
While we didn’t get the chance to chat with all the featured guests, most of the speakers/demonstrators were those involved in some aspect of cannabis tourism.
There were a number of speakers who knew about business and marketing but there were also experts who were deeply involved in cannabis and the cannabis tourism industry.
The day started off with “What is canna-tourism?” and rolled into information about branding and tourism opportunities, while also highlighting trailblazers in the cannabis tourism industry.
Presentations ranged from collaborative panels and Q&As to workshops and even an appetizing cooking demonstration.
While the New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit is basically a one-day conference, there’s still plenty of chances to connect with others in or related to the cannabis tourism industry.
Lunch breaks and refreshment breaks are great for networking at this event. However, you can also find some like-minded individuals outside having a smoke session.
Since the vibe here was pretty laid back, it makes it easy to strike up a conversation.
Who should attend the New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit?
The Cannabis Tourism Summit focuses specifically on cannabis tourism. If you’re new to the industry and looking to learn about more opportunities or how you can grow within the industry, this event may offer up some expert advice for you.
If you’re interested in Canada’s changing tourism or have a tourism-related business, this event can also be of some interest to you.
While a lot of people enthused about cannabis might be interested in the tourism aspect, like most events, it’s not for everyone.
Who should skip the event?
While I describe this event as laid-back, it’s more-so for those who are in the industry or are interested in working in the cannabis tourism industry.
Even if you fit that category, you’ll still need to accept the fact that this is an actual conference. If you’re not a fan of conferences, take some time to consider if it’s worth it for you.
Additionally, a regular ticket to the event is around $300 CAD which could put a huge hole in the wallet for a regular consumer or grassroots start-up. As such, you’ll need to be sure the presenters and event as a whole are worth it.
To roll this up
The New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit presents the cannabis tourism industry in a variety of ways, that actually reflect the industry in a more accurate light.
While the business and growing the industry is certainly on the mind of organizers, presenters, and attendees, the groups involved are approachable and down-to-earth, making this aspect of the cannabis industry more inviting than others.
We left the event tired from the day but excited for the future of cannabis tourism.
Will you be attending the next Cannabis Tourism Summit?