On our way back from a recent visit to Ottawa, there was one stop we knew we just had to make. The destination: Smiths Falls. The mission: Tour the Tweed Visitor Centre and soak in every inch of cannabis-related info they had to offer.
When we arrived at the Visitor Centre I felt a sense of excitement similar to that of when I was a child on Christmas Eve. I was about to enter a place where the life-changing medicine I have been taking for the past year is grown. Inside this building would be rows and rows of beautiful, healing plants and I couldn’t wait to see them in person. That, and it would be my first time seeing flowering plants in person.
Everything about the Visitor Centre was aesthetically pleasing; from the colourful and well-thought-out interactive stations, to the natural wood and brick finishes, the Tweed brand continuity was on point. After watching a video about the history of cannabis and taking some time to learn about everything from Cannabis 101 to Cannabis Deconstructed, we had a privately led tour on the upper level of the Centre. Here, you get a bird’s-eye view of cannabis growing at all stages (scroll down to see pictures). You know those moments in movies when the lead character stumbles across something amazing and all of a sudden the clouds part, full sunshine, and they hear an angelic choir singing? THAT was the moment I had when I laid eyes on the Mother Room. What a thing of beauty. As sappy as it may sound, it was at this moment where my appreciation for this plant really sunk in.
As we walked from window to window, our tour guide provided some great insight into Tweed and Spectrum Therapeutics growing process. We had lots of questions for her along the way, and she always had knowledge-filled answers and offered up great conversation. We felt like true VIPs the entire time.
As we pulled up to the Tweed Visitor Centre I was’t thinking of Christmas Eve, I was thinking “holy shit you can smell weed down the road!”, so cool. And they’re right across the street from a Police station, how ironic (pre-Legalization) is that?
The reception area of the Tweed Visitor Centre welcomes you with a wall of delicate moss which I immediately tried to touch and was politely chastised for (the wall was painstakingly hand-assembled). There are some poignant relics from the buildings past on display, Tweed purchased the historic Hershey Chocolate building in 2013.
There was lots to see with reception behind us, a beautifully made video showing the history of cannabis, lots of interactive displays showing various aspects of the cannabis plant, its history and some of the modern issues associated with it. I particularly liked the terpene station where there were a variety of terpene odor samples available for your olfactory pleasures.
The upper level of the Visitor Centre is a “catwalk” from where you can look down into some of the various work spaces at Tweed’s cannabis palace.
One of the first stops along the tour upstairs is a look into Tweed’s edible making operation. Not just some machines, waiting for legalization to come so that they could be put to good use but a look at the future of the cannabis industry. We’re looking forward to trying whatever delicious goodies make their way out of that room.
Next up are the grow rooms with big windows that allow the public to look in. In the first room are the mothers: plants grown strictly to take cuttings from. Looking in at all these ladies is like looking at a million future plants. From the mothers the cuttings are taken and rooted in Rockwool then moved to the cuttings room where they are grown in trays under lights until they are big enough to be moved into one of the larger grow rooms. There were two grow rooms for public viewing, one for the newly transplanted cuttings to grow big and strong and another where plants are spread out and given room to bulk up prior to being flowered. There were no flowering plants for us to view at the time.
I had a great time wandering and learning in the Visitor Centre, our tour guide was super informative and there was lots to be had in the gift area.
At the end of the Visitor Centre tour we found ourselves in the Tweed Café , what looks to be an old garage refurbished into a stylish and charming place to sip a coffee and have a snack.
Through the door from the café is the gift shop. We bought some Tweed branded stuff that you just can’t get anywhere else. Thanks for the tour Tweed, we’ll be back for another.