An adults-only resort in Ontario's cottage country is set to make history this summer as the province's first openly pot-friendly resort.
Sir Sam's Inn and Spa, the former estate of Canadian Minister Sir Samuel Hughes, is a luxury getaway in the Haliburton Highlands, about two-and-a-half hours away from Toronto. The 25-room luxury resort, located on the shoreline of Eagle Lake, has long been a popular destination for adults looking to enjoy kayaking, hiking, sailing, evening bonfires, or just chilling and getting in touch with nature.
This spring, the resort decided to add legal cannabis consumption to the list of activities that guests can enjoy on site, a decision that will likely keep the resort booked solid throughout the summer. Cannabis Hotels, a website focused on the country's new canna-tourism industry, recently announced that Sir Sam's is the first Ontario resort to officially allow its guests to use cannabis products on its grounds.
“Sir Sam’s Inn & Spa is taking a leadership role in developing Ontario as a premium Cannabis Tourism destination, which will open opportunities for others across the province and build Canada’s brand internationally,” Wendy Forwell, CEO of Cannabis Hotels, said to Morningstar. “We are so pleased to be partnered with this resort as they take this important step for the industry.”
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The resort does not allow guests to smoke or vape inside their suites, but guests will be allowed to partake on balconies overlooking the lake. The inn has also set aside other designated areas for smoking and vaping, and will also allow the use of infused beverages and edibles, as soon as these products become legal in Canada.
Many hotels throughout the province have been reticent to allow on-site weed consumption, largely because of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which prohibits smoking indoors. Sir Sam's isolated outdoor location and open-air balconies make it easier for them to offer smoking areas that still comply with local laws, however.
“Somewhere like Sir Sam’s, which is more of an experience resort and more of a boutique type of hotel, it gives them more leeway to move in that direction,” Forwell said to The Chronicle Herald. “[Many hotel owners are] waiting to see what others do. It’s still very early days so they’re all holding back a little bit. Sir Sam’s is fully embracing this.”
Although the hotel is excited to embrace the new opportunities brought about by Canada's adult-use laws, Sir Sam's does not want to limit its clientele strictly to tokers.
“We’re not looking to become a signature pot-smoking hotel or anything like that,” Jon Massey, the hotel's director of business development, told the Herald. “It’s more about acknowledging that it is legal now, we are an adult and couples resort, and we do have professionals who like to come up and relax with the setting we provide.”
“Really, it’s a natural progression,” Massey added. “We thought it was a unique opportunity. It was simply finding a way to say ‘yes.'”