Even before Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize recreational cannabis, authorities in British Columbia turned a blind eye to its use and sale for decades. This lenient attitude towards cannabis led British Columbia, and specifically, cities like Vancouver, to be dubbed titles like the “New Amsterdam” and the “Amsterdam of North America.” For those who didn’t quite have the budget to fly off to the Netherlands, Vancouver provided a cannabis vacation that was within reach.
When medical cannabis came along, a crop of medical dispensaries opened their doors, providing much-needed medical cannabis for patients who were in need. Now that recreational cannabis has been made legal nationwide, Vancouver is still a cannabis hotspot with plenty of places for cannabis lovers to visit.
It is important to note that due to the complicated nature of acquiring a business license to sell recreational cannabis, many locations were forced to close their doors as recreational dispensaries. Still, there are a few that are operating. There are also quite a few lounges and cannabis-friendly other opportunities lurking about for those who want to visit Vancouver, British Columbia.
New Amsterdam Café
Vancouver has what is called a “safe harbor” law, which allows anyone with a medical marijuana card or legally obtained cannabis to smoke their product in public. The New Amsterdam Café not only has coffee and baked goods to satisfy the munchies, but they’ll also provide a Volcano Vaporizer, a glass bong, rolling papers, or your choice of devices to enjoy your cannabis. They also have some nifty merchandise, so you can score some souvenirs for friends and family back home.
Cannabis Culture Head Shop
Unfortunately, the Cannabis Culture dispensaries were some of those that were affected by license difficulties, but their head shop remains open. Owned by Marc Emery, Cannabis Culture is one of those places every cannabis lover must-visit in Vancouver. A seed sanctuary has a home on the second floor and their vapor lounge, mentioned above, is the perfect place to take your dry herb vaporizer to enjoy your cannabis while taking in a little of the history and the culture of cannabis.
High Score is bound to appeal to both cannabis lovers and lovers of retro video games. Combining both a vapor lounge and old-school cabinet video games, High Score provides competitive events and theme nights. Arrive on Mario Monday and you can compete with others playing Super Mario Brothers. On Wednesdays, you can find yourself racing against other cannabis lovers in the original Mario Kart. Or, on Fridays, take in some competitive Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Saturday features our favorite hedgehog, just in case you can make it by for Sonic Saturdays.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the High Score is temporarily closed.
The Healing Tree
If you’re in need of scoring some choice cannabis in any number of preparations, then you might want to stop by the Healing Tree. Offering a wide range of products and devices, the healing tree is a place to get vape pen ready oils, concentrates, edibles, and topical cannabis preparations. If you need to consume on-site, be sure to visit their smaller store, just south of downtown Vancouver, which has its own vapor lounge.
The Healing Center
Don’t confuse THC (see what they did there?) with The Healing Tree. This dispensary is incredibly clean, well-lit, and has a Stanley Kubrick-esque vibe to it that will make anyone feel first class just for scoring their cannabis here. However, in order to purchase, you must be a registered member with a verified medical marijuana card.
Cannabis and Yoga
While not a place in and of itself, several yoga studios have opened up in the Vancouver area that combines the stretching and meditative properties of yoga with the mind-expanding properties of cannabis. If you’re visiting Vancouver and need a spot to exercise, check out Flower & Freedom, or Ganja Yoga, which takes place at the Cannabis Culture Lounge, mentioned above.
Not for those with children in tow, Wreck Beach is one of Vancouver’s clothing-optional beaches, just in case, your cannabis consuming has led you to a hankering for the outdoors. Take in the sights of the waves lapping at the sand or just simply watch other beach-going cannabis lovers rid themselves of their modesty after lighting up at one of the cafes mentioned above. Don’t worry- if you don’t feel like taking it off, you don’t have to!
Canada High Tours
If you’re not a local and you’re just visiting Vancouver, check out Canada High Tours. They provide plenty of 420-friendly tours, featuring everything from a 2-hour educational session that will teach you how to roll a joint to a two-hour tour of some of Vancouver’s finest and most artistic graffiti. They can also take you on a 90-minute tour of some of Vancouver’s finest vapor lounges. If you’re feeling a bit more in a mood for cannabis cuisine, there’s also a four-hour-long culinary class that will teach you the concepts of cooking with cannabis.
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