If you’ve ventured into any of Vancouver’s many cannabis stores you’ll know already that standards vary.
The ones that have got it right are like a glimpse into the future of cannabis legalization, from the innovative products, educated staff, evening events, classes and more.
Below are my go-to recommendations and the cannabis stores I regularly and confidently send my friends and their mothers to, based on atmosphere, location, cleanliness, service, staff knowledge, product variety and quality.
Aura Cannabis (1316 Kingsway) has a positive and pro-active wellness approach to cannabis that is helping the surrounding community integrate cannabis in a healthy lifestyle.
With a large open space that includes a co-working area, a yoga studio, and functioning event space, Aura is helping to redefine what it means to be a cannabis consumer while making the first-time dispensary experience interactive rather than intimidating.
They also have an in-house holistic nutritionist which rounds out what I know to be true about therapeutic cannabis: It’s not a one stop solution for any symptoms or issues I have, but rather part of a well-rounded self care routine.
My favorite part of the store is the wall of cannabis strain samples where I enjoy stopping to smell the terpenes, and getting to know the aromas that drive each strains effect.
Each month Aura is hosting Flower & Freedom fitness classes where you have unique opportunity to experience cannabis education combined with a gentle workout.
Aura is my top recommendation for you and your mom when coming in from Vancouver’s outer suburbs. It’s as simple a bringing your ID for signup, where the knowledgeable staff are ready and waiting for you.
The Village Bloomery
If you are a women and at all apprehensive about visiting a cannabis dispensary, this boutique shopping experience will dispel your fears. This cannabis storefront is for people of all ages but especially for women aged 40+.
The Village Bloomery (#206 1540 West 2nd Avenue), previously The Village Dispensary, has set a new standard for this emerging industry. It has the atmosphere of a trendy cafe and the heart of a women’s circle.
At the front of the store, there is a generous display of cannabis-infused beauty and skin care and other non smoking alternatives including infused tea, sublingual sprays, capsules, suppositories, lubricants, and more.
Towards the back of the store, there are a wide variety of flower strains, extracts and vapourizing accessories. There are books for those just looking for reading material and clothing for those ready to set a new trend.
We are fortunate to have a family-run store like The Village Bloomery in Vancouver. Even if it’s just for the experience in itself, do yourself a favour and head on into this beautiful location. It’s very close to Granville Island, nestled in the courtyard Arthur Erickson’s Waterfall Building.
It’s not in Vancouver exactly, but certainly worth a mention when you are are headed up the Sea-to-Sky Highway and have time for a stop in Squamish.
Grassroots Medicinal (40437 Tantalus Road) is owned and run buy some of B.C.’s finest craft cannabis growers resulting in an impressive selection in organic and farm-fresh cannabis. A large selection of their offerings are coming from farms within the sea to sky corridor such as Liberty Farms and Bakers Farm.
I always make time to stop in at Grassroots to stock up for my Squamish and Whistler adventures! They carry concentrated CBD-only options such as oil, capsules, tinctures and more. Squamish adventures can make my muscles and joints sore so I appreciate the variety of CBD options.
If you time it right you may even be able to pick up a carton of eggs from chickens that have been fed raw cannabis leaves, for a unique farm to table cannabis experience.
Exploring Vancouver dispensaries
Besides those mentioned here, Vancouver is home to over 100 dispensaries right now. In Kitsilano, Apollo Medical Clinic (1712 West 4th Avenue) is clean, bright and easily accessible along West 4th Avenue near Pine Street. My mother would love that they have a bowl of water for dogs and CBD-infused dog treats available.
Down the street is Buddha Barn (2179 West 4th Avenue) which is run by a formidable team of women, serving the Kitsilano community for over three years. They have an in-house naturopath and a wide selection of products restocked daily.
There are many excellent cannabis stores in Vancouver, these are the ones that I regularly send my female friends and their mothers too. Do you have a go-to cannabis dispensary, worthy of your mother, in your neighborhood? Please share with us in the comments below!
Note: While cannabis dispensaries, done well, are a service to their communities, there are legalities to be aware of. Find out more here.