Where to Go: Canada Cannabis Travel Planner
Cannabis will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17. Here are my Canadian cannabis travel picks and notes.
Long known as Vansterdam, Amsterdam of the West, rife with open sales of seeds and flowers and consumption cafes where smoking and vaping rule. British Columbia retailing regs are being finalized but there are no restrictions on the number of stores, and some longtime outlaw stores are applying to sell legally.
SMOKE AND VAPE LOUNGE
- New Amsterdam Cafe, Vancouver
Vape inside the spacious seaside stunner and smoke on the panoramic balcony.
British Columbia’s royally quaint capital is directly and easily reachable via ferries from Vancouver and Seattle. A walkable city with double-decker buses that get you around, you can visit vapor lounges and Victoria’s great gastro pubs without risking DUIs.
Check into a waterfront carriage house on the tranquil Portage Inlet.
The 1960s draft-dodging mountain haven bloomed into British Columbia’s heaven for cannabis cultivation and hippie culture, nestled in the province’s lushly forested southeastern corner, reachable by automobile or airplane from Spokane, Wash. Kootenay Craft is one of the region’s best growers.
Not in Nelson, but 100 KM north up the Kootenays in New Denver, on Slocan Lake. There’s a private indoor smoking lounge and ample outdoor smoking space at El Dorado lodge.
Salt Spring Island
The Gulf Islands are another premier British Columbia growing region. Nestled between eastern Vancouver Island and the western mainland, The Gulf Islands are accessible via ferries from Victoria, Vancouver or Anacortes, Wash., north of Seattle. In addition to terrific local lamb, look for these Salt Spring Island cultivators: Good Buds and Better Cannabis Genetics. You can vape local cannabis on the island’s Terp City.
Canada’s largest city hosts the nation’s largest annual 420 gathering. It’s home to Canada’s longest-running, legendary consumption lounge, Hotbox, plus Vapor Central and Planet Paradise. And new home to Canadian cannabis activist icon Jodie Emery’s new hemp-forward, non-consumption coffeehouse, Jodie’s Joint. Jamaican meat patties aren’t a cannabis strain; they’re Toronto’s signature street food.
SMOKE AND VAPE LOUNGE
One of Canada’s largest cannabis companies wants to revive tourism 80 miles south of Ottawa by turning the former chocolate capital of Ontario into Canada’s cannabis museum capital. In August, Canopy Growth opened a cannabis visitors center in the town formerly best known for the Hershey Chocolate Factory that Canopy’s HQ now occupies. The visitors center features exhibits about the art, culture, science and history of cannabis.
Prince Edward Island
You can smoke inside hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts on the eastern maritime province, home to cultivator Island Garden. The government recently granted hospitality companies the right to set their own consumption rules.
Niagara Falls tourism officials think there’s a chance American tourists will cross the International Boundary into Ontario — by car and foot — to smoke legal pot and are planning for legal consumption cafes.
The artsy Alberta resort town is so cannabis friendly it’s considering liberal local legislation to allow smoking and vaping in parks, picnic areas, trails, sidewalks and greenspaces that are neither sports fields nor playgrounds.
Whistler Won’t Work
The Resort Municipality of Whistler, BC, has banned commercial cannabis activity except for online sales. Whistler Blackcomb ski resort has banned smoking on its property, including ski, bike and hiking areas, lift lines, restaurants and parking areas.