The Northern Express talked with the MCT for an in-depth feature on cannabis tourism in northern Michigan that says in part:
Canna tourism has taken root in states like Colorado, Oregon, and California, where bud-minded visitors can take tours, attend events, and explore offerings at different dispensaries and consumption lounges. Those states have a few years of experience on us, but according to Brian Buchanan—director of tourism strategy for Dunegrass Co., a NoMi cannabis retailer with six locations in the region—the Michigan canna tourism scene is starting to grow.
“Around 30 percent of leisure travelers base their travel plans around where they can consume recreational cannabis,” says Buchanan. “For towns in northern Michigan, that means that there are tourists that are picking their town or a town near them based on the availability of recreational marijuana.”
…“The wine industry around Traverse City is really a model for how I think that cannabis operators could be doing things,” he says. “You’ve got either a tour operator—or, in our case, Dunegrass as a retailer—putting together these curated experiences.”
He mentions how cannabis can pair well with food, just like wine and beer, and that behind-the-scenes tours of cannabis facilities can offer a similar educational vibe to learning about the winemaking process for curious visitors.
Andrew McFarlane, founder of the Michigan Cannabis Trail, agrees that wine and cannabis have a lot in common…perhaps because he led the Leelanau Wine Trail for the better part of a decade.
“The markets are really similar,” McFarlane says. “Learning how to drive tourism traffic using wine makes driving it using cannabis make so much sense.”
He says that people come from all over the country for northern Michigan wineries, and the cannabis industry could create the same pull. For McFarlane, this doesn’t necessarily mean cannabis festivals or big parties; he says private, small events about cannabis appreciation are often the way to go. (Think: a wine-tasting dinner as compared to a wine festival.)
Read on for a whole lot more in the Express including talk with Tom Bellar of Real Leaf Solutions about cannabis events & Mark Dragovich talking about his cannabis-friendly Kalkaska campground Haven. For sure bookmark our Michigan 420-Friendly Lodging & Camping page for your next excursion!