Greens on the Green
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With the growing legalization of cannabis across various states in the U.S., many are incorporating the plant into new activities in their daily life.

Take yoga, for instance. "Ganja yoga" takes the practice of yoga to a whole other level, helping practitioners achieve a deeper state of relaxation and allowing them to tap into their deep spiritual beings to get the most out of their yoga sessions.

Cannabis is also being included in arts and crafts activities, including cannabis and pottery, cannabis and painting, or cannabis and cooking classes. It's also being incorporated in wine and beer tasting to elevate the user's senses as they sample some of their favorite brews and blends.

Cannabis has also become involved in the running sphere, with avid runners combing the use of cannabis with their training and performance in an effort to reduce pain, boost mental clarity, and aid recovery.

But one of the latest developments in cannabis news is marijuana on the golf course. For many of the reasons just listed, golfers enjoy incorporating recreational cannabis on the links. Others simply like the combination of the two, much like others enjoy a beer while on the course.

Canada Leading the Way in Cannabis-Infused Golf

Many golfers enjoy the "buzz” that they experience after consuming a little cannabis right before they tee off. They claim that it helps them relax enough to be able to focus on their swing, the ball, and their game.

But because it's illegal to use marijuana in public places in the U.S. - including states where both recreational and medical marijuana is legal - golfers have been known to use cannabis before they hit the golf course or be very discreet about it when they're on the fairways - edibles tend to be a fair alternative to lighting up illegally.

Not in certain parts of Canada, though. Our neighbors to the north legalized recreational marijuana on a federal level back in October 2018, making it legal for adults to carry and use cannabis for both recreational and medical purposes.

And since then, dispensaries have been popping up all over. The province of Ontario even recently passed legislation allowing people to use marijuana in public.

It makes sense, then, that the country's - and the world's - first cannabis-friendly golf course would be opened in this province.

Aptly named "Rolling Greens," the golf course is located in Smith's Falls, Ontario, coincidentally (or not) located very close to the nation's capital, Ottawa.

While cannabis products won't be sold on the course, golfers are free to bring their own and even use it between strokes.

With so many golfers enjoying the use of marijuana during play, the course is catering to a wide demographic that can finally enjoy their weed while playing, without having to be concerned over potential repercussions of using in public. In fact, the course has already been receiving plenty of positive feedback.

The developers of the course created it to provide golfers with an opportunity to enjoy legal cannabis while simultaneously enjoying their favorite sport and pastime. And not only is the golf course open to the use of cannabis on site, but it's also gone so far as to make the course itself cannabis-themed.

The use of cannabis while golfing isn’t exactly a new concept; it's always been enjoyed and has always been a social thing. But it just hasn’t been publicly encouraged or even permitted on golf courses before Ontario's recent legislation allowing the use of marijuana in public.

The course technically opened on April 20, 2019 (a date chosen for obvious reasons), with its Grand Opening soon to come. Not only will the course allow the use of cannabis, but it will also serve as a source of education and de-stigmatization of the plant.

While many cannabis users may simply seek to get high, many others are using it for its medicinal and wellness properties. Cannabis has been shown to help provide mental clarity for athletes, helping golfers focus on their game and lower their scores. The effects of cannabis have also been known to help alleviate anxiety, which can help golfers relax before their strikes.

Further, cannabis has also been linked to a reduction in pain and inflammation, both of which can hinder a golfer's swing. By keeping pain at bay, golfers can enjoy a long game without having to suffer the consequences later.

Rolling Greens offers a lot more than golf. In addition to the 18-hole course, it also offers plenty of other activities for visitors to enjoy, including:

  • Outdoor patio
  • Mini-putt after dark
  • Drive-in movie theater
  • Concerts and music festivals
  • Amusement park

Rolling Greens makes for a great vacation destination, not necessarily just for those who are avid cannabis users, but for anyone looking to enjoy a lot more than just a round of golf.

And while golf has traditionally been a sport that attracts the middle-aged and older crowd, perhaps courses like Rolling Greens will encourage the younger crowd to participate more, as long as they're over the age of 19 years - the minimum legal age to use marijuana in Ontario.

While municipal laws govern what can and can't be done on public golf courses, private clubs have the freedom to decide their own rules regarding marijuana consumption. This makes them one of the only types of open spaces where people can use marijuana freely and legally.

Will the US Follow in Canada's Footsteps?

The buzz over Canada’s first cannabis golf course has many people in the U.S. cannabis business talking. After all, if such close neighbors and allies with a relatively similar culture and values can allow the public use of marijuana in spaces like golf courses, one might assume that it's just a matter of time before the US follows suit. Questions arise whether or not the idea will become plausible in states where the marijuana industry is both legal and thriving. Unfortunately, however, with strict policies in place, the industry hasn't erupted with as much force as some might have previously hoped - especially when it comes to public usage.

Plenty of states in the US have already legalized recreational marijuana, including:

  • California
  • Alaska
  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • Michigan
  • Massachusetts

The list is sure to grow, with more and more states mulling over potential laws that would legalize both recreational and medical cannabis.

Final Thoughts

The prospect of being free to use cannabis openly in a public space such as the cannabis-themed golf course in Ontario, Canada is an exciting one. While it may be the only course in the world of its kind, it's likely not going to be the only one forever.

Plenty of cannabis-infused opportunities have already been opened up in the US, so the prospect of a cannabis-friendly golf course likely isn’t too far out. Unfortunately, stigmatization of marijuana continues and the widespread acceptance of the legalization of cannabis has not yet been adopted. That said, perhaps in the near future, the US will follow suit.