Getting high on a cannabis tour is not on offer during this summer of COVID-19

Image Credit: Submitted/Wicked Wine Tours

Cannabis may be legal now, but Okanagan cannabis tour operators have been busted by COVID-19.

A key part of the Wicked Weed Tours cannabis offerings last year was to visit production facilities. That’s not allowed this year because of COVID-19.

“Health Canada is a bigger priority for them than we are,” company president Nicholas Wilson joked.

Because of that the tours, which started in 2018, haven’t been offered this year. Instead, Wilson is focusing on wine and suds tours.

For Kristin Rosdal, owner of Vines and Views Cannabis Tours, it’s not just the lack of access to production centres that’s stopped her from launching her cannabis tours this summer. It’s the other big effect of COVID-19, social distancing.

“The wine tour business is keeping us as busy as we can be right now,” she said. “With less capacity, we’re only allowed a maximum of six people per tour.”

She will revisit the idea of cannabis tours in the fall but, unless her Vines and Views Wine Tours drop off, she’ll just wait until next year to launch the cannabis tours formally.

Other laws also make it tougher to run cannabis tours than the typical wine or beer tours where a key part of the fun is sampling the product.

“It’s illegal to sample cannabis in Canada,” Wilson noted. “But, we do a session stop so they can consume in public, because that’s legal.”

The idea of the cannabis tours is take customers to stores like Hobo Cannabis or Cheeba Cheebas.

“We actually have reservations set up with their hosts,” Rosdal said. “They go through different products, exciting new things, the different lines, how they make you feel, all that sort of stuff. Then you can buy the products.”

The tours are planned to end up at a winery, brewery or cidery so people can experience sampling those products, at least. Vines and Views also offers a cruise option “so people can enjoy all the Okanagan has to offer,” Rosdal said.

But, unless the right sized group can convince them to do a special cannabis tour – without the production facility visit – it’s all on hold until next year.

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