Glamping With Up Cannabis at The New Farm
The first thing most people associate with Up Cannabis is The Tragically Hip.
Written by Chris Penrose
As major shareholders and strategic partners in the company, they have brought their place in Canada’s national pride to a business making the transition from growing high-quality medical marijuana to a planned entrance into the recreational market when it opens in October. In addition to aligning with the brand tenets that Up Cannabis has of their “grow-slow” methodology, a focus on responsible-use, and a deep connection to music, this partnership has sparked fresh thinking on the relationship between cannabis and Canadiana – how does cannabis fit into national identities?
As a pre-legalization launch, Up Cannabis partnered with The New Farm in Creemore, Ontario for an overnight glamping (glamour camping) event. Founded by Gillian Flies and Brent Preston, The New Farm is an organic farm dedicated to sustainable practices and building “a just, equitable and inclusive food system in southern Ontario.”
The day began with a bus ride from Toronto to the farm on a perfectly sunny summer day. Upon our early afternoon arrival at the beautifully tended rural location, we were checked into a massive circle of luxury tents equipped with king size beds, slippers and an unobstructed view of a landscape of crops and the tree-line.
This particular location was chosen to represent the Up Cannabis commitment to the “grow-slow” methodology. As Gillian and Brent toured us through their farm, their passion for growing organic (you can’t even use most types of sunscreen and bug-spray on the property) and hand -planted/hand-picked processes was used to illustrate Up’s commitment to taking great care in what they produce: from propagation and vegetation, to flowering, harvest and processing.
After the tour and having some time to explore the surroundings (including a swimming hole hidden in a field just beyond the barn), we were offered a “Cannabis 101” by two of Up’s horticulturalists. Their talk walked us through the complexity of the cannabis plant, illustrating the notes, flavours and experiences of terpenes – from citrus flavours to eucalyptus tones. To bring this idea to life for guests, Up had four different chefs create terpene-inspired dishes as examples of the potential for enjoyment and pairing in recreational cannabis. They shared details on the strains they will be offering including El Dorado, Gems, Grace, 50 MC and Morning Moon, and you can imagine how those meals would be enhanced by these complimentary flavours.
As sunset approached, the music began to take over. Set in a barn equipped with a stage, incredible sound and theatrical lighting, a roster of artists inspired by The Tragically Hip offered raw and personal performances. The Glorious Sons (also from Kingston, Ontario) kicked things off with a set that made the farm property feel like the site of a music festival. City and Colour followed up with an extended acoustic show that was captivating whether standing beside the stage or sitting around the campfire outside the barn (but still in earshot of the music).
When the performances were over, the sight of the stars and the sounds of the farm took over. The quiet, dark walk back to the tent traded the vibe of music and chatter for the solitude that only land treated with such care can offer.
We rested in luxurious comfort and the cool night air we fell asleep to was replaced by the warm light of a perfectly clear sunrise. The final parts of the experience focused on health and wellness and exploration. The morning began with a guided yoga class in the barn, followed by a hike through the surrounding terrain.
Through this carefully planned experience, Up Cannabis went beyond communicating the ideas at the heart of their brand. What was sparked was genuine excitement about what the legalization of cannabis will mean in Canada when craft and care are at the centre of the experience.