High hopes for cannabis tourism in Calgary

Published Sep 21, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Cavan Images

It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Alberta, Canada, with scenic foothills and mountains. If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Calgary, there is now something new to check out. Calgary may be home to the first commercially licensed and insured cannabis tour company in Alberta, and for the cannabis consumers who enjoy the mountains, this five-hour trip will be a perfect way to spend an enjoyable afternoon.

If history interests you and combining history and cannabis sounds like a great experience,  then you should jump on board Dave Dormers CannaVan. To begin the trip, guests meet at the Five Point Cannabis store. So, don't worry if you have not stocked up for the adventure because this dispensary has your back. Purchasing all of your cannabis needs is easily accomplished here.

The first stop on this green bus tour is along the K-Country's foothills, where Dormer comes equipped with a bong that he allows people to use, as he readily instructs people on how to roll joints. The patrons can sit and enjoy a beautiful natural environment while he does the driving—cannabis tourism at its best. Dave is even prepared to keep his patrons and himself safe during this global pandemic by providing masks and limiting the numbers of patrons on his bus.

To ward off the munchies, Dave provides a fully catered charcuterie for his guests. For any of Dave's previous patrons who have enjoyed a similar cannabis tour south of the border, unfortunately, this Canadian bus tour is slightly different, as there is no public cannabis consumption in Calgary, but the current ban on any cannabis use by businesses or services could make Dave's bus tour a massive tourism hit.

The century-long prohibition of cannabis has made it difficult for cannabis tourism promoters to stand behind the industry, which is why Tourism Calgary initially did not want to be associated with cannabis, politely rejecting Dormer's cannabis entrepreneurial plans.

Dormer plans

Dave has plans and hopes that he will be able to cut the stigma that engulfs cannabis with his bus tour. He is ready to educate and show the benefits and the politics of cannabis prohibition, which dates back to the 1920s. He also provides a pathway for patrons to learn about when the plant was first used as a medical plant. Dormer has spent over 20 years researching this plant and shows that it has many more uses than Cheech and Chong might have led you  to believe.

The ground floor may be just where this entrepreneur has set his sights with nowhere else to go but up. As politicians loosen and liberalize the pot laws, Nathan Mison, chairman of the Alberta Cannabis Council, predicts Dormer may have found the niche to promote cannabis tourism in the province. Mison believes that Dormer is in the correct place for when rules change, he will be ahead of the game in Nathan Mison's opinion.

The Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Board is being lobbied by Mison and his group to allow cannabis use by vehicle passengers. Currently, limos are licensed for alcohol consumption along with consumption at events, and unfair advantage that cannabis entrepreneurs want a piece of. Mison acknowledges that the illicit market already has their hands in this tourism prize.

B.C. and Ontario are both looking at allowing samplers to visit licensed producer facilities, similar to a wine tasting at local vineyards. Dormer and is CannaVan are looking to be the provider of transportation to these sampler events.

Final stops

Mison says the vision of Dormer does not go without some snags, as for any US affiliate of the company, the news is terrible. Due to the prohibition federally of cannabis in the US, any American affiliate would face legal jeopardy. However, Dormer has his fingers crossed that his vision will come to light and benefit Alberta while providing him with employment that makes him smile at the end of the day.

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