Weed tours: A cannabis user’s guide to Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver has a long-held reputation for being Canada’s cannabis capital. Mostly because of British Columbia’s traditionally more tolerant views.

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Vancouver has a long-held reputation for being Canada’s cannabis capital. Mostly because of British Columbia’s traditionally more tolerant views than the rest of the country on cannabis. 

Long before full legalization, Vancouver boasted many dispensaries and cafes which were infamously flexible in their interpretation of Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).

In many ways, Vancouver was an early prototype and example of what full legalization could look like in Canada. 

Vancouver’s more tolerant views towards cannabis could be a result of the more easy-going (we get it, you’re really into yoga and hikes) attitude of Canadian West Coasters. However, B.C.’s climate, landscape and abundant hydroelectricity and acoustic guitars made illegal cultivation relatively easy and enforcement incredibly difficult. OK, maybe not the acoustic guitars, but you get the point. 

Whatever the reason, “Vansterdam” has long been a cannabis user’s paradise, filled with both cannabis-related and regular tourist attractions. 

Here are some of the must-visit spots in Vancouver for a cannabis user. 

Cannabis cafes

Cannabis Culture Vapour Lounge and the New Amsterdam Cafe

These two Vancouver cannabis legends are located right next to each other on the corner of Hastings St. W. and Cambie St. (otherwise known as Victory Square) in downtown Vancouver. 

While they may seem like a passé idea now (“Come, see the stoners of yesteryear! Witness as they smoke from primitive Volcano vaporizers!”) it’s worth noting just how big of a deal these cannabis cafes were pre-legalization. Cannabis Culture is a traditional “vapour lounge,” while New Amsterdam Cafe boasts a menu board of cafe treats as an ode to Dutch coffee shops which started the tradition.

High Score 

If you’re more of an indoor kid at heart, then Vancouver really isn’t the city for you. Luckily, if you do find yourself there, High Score is the retro-gaming cannabis-friendly lounge of your nerdy dreams. Retro consoles and arcade games are complemented with retro-munchies and free coffee until 4pm. 

Guided Tours

High Definition Tours

If you’re looking for a more guided experience to all the cannabis Vancouver has to offer, then look no further than High Definition Tours. Take a “Cannabis Crawl” through the city or check out some of the more scenic smoke spots with site-seeing tour. 

Orca watching

You definitely don’t have to be high to enjoy seeing orcas in the wild. But it certainly couldn’t hurt. Wild Whales Vancouver is accessible from downtown. However, if you’re willing to hop over to Vancouver Island, Ocean Ecoventures claims to have the “highest orca sightings in B.C.” How can you go wrong?

Day trips

Stanley Park 

Described as a “magnificent, green oasis in the midst of the urban landscape of Vancouver”, Stanley Park is a really great place to get high. Enjoy the majesty of the redwood trees, watch the sea planes come in down at the sea wall, or head over to the Vancouver Aquarium (which should be noted in an Ocean Wise initiative). 

Granville Island 

Do you remember that scene in Charlotte’s Web when the rat goes to the fair? Granville Island is like that when you’re high. You’re the rat. And instead of trash it’s fresh seafood, burgers, beer and donuts. 

English Bay 

English Bay messes with your head a little bit. In the summer, between the palm trees and the smell of salt water, you’ll swear you’re not in Canada anymore. It’s a great place to have a smoke, enjoy the weather and swear to yourself that this is the year you get in shape. 

The Steam Clock 

Located in the heart of Gastown, you’ll know you’ve found the infamous steam clock when you see about a dozen tourists staring at a Victorian lamp post waiting eagerly for steam to pour out of its head. Go ahead, blow a cloud right next to it when it goes off. It’ll be hilarious. Then shout, “I’m the real steam clock!” as loud as you can and high five all your friends. You absolute legend, you.

Art and entertainment 

The Vancouver Art Gallery 

Usually hosting at least one or two exceptionally trippy exhibitions, the Vancouver Art Gallery is a perfect way to enjoy a high and lose yourself for an afternoon in downtown Vancouver. 

The Rio Theatre 

East Vancouver’s historic Rio theatre made headlines recently when stoner-celebrity and icon Kevin Smith made a heroic effort to save the Rio from closing its doors for good. Originally built in 1938, the Rio is the perfect setting to take in a classic or indie-art house movie. 

Munchies

Cartems Donuts

Breakfast: There’s a Bellaggio Cafe right on the waterfront, so you can have your salmon and lox bagel while watching the sea planes take off. If you find yourself in East Vancouver, Tangent Cafe will win you over with a homey atmosphere and hangover-defeating eggs benedict. 

Coffee: Revolver Coffee is hands down the best coffee in the city. Maybe the country. 

Donuts: Cartems will blow your mind. 

Sandwiches: Meat and Bread cuts hot, mouth-watering porchetta sandwiches right in front of you. 

BBQ: Peckinpah brings Carolina-style BBQ to the heart of Gastown.

Gastro pub: It’s hard to go wrong with Lamplighter for comfort food and craft beverages. 

Vegan: Meet in Gastown is the vegan comfort food of your dreams. 

Ramen: Ramen Danbo will warm your entire soul. 

Sushi: No trip to Vancouver is complete without it. Miku is a city favourite, and while it might be tough to get a table, it’s worth the wait. Fun fact: Beyonce and Jay Z went here once. 

Korean BBQ: So Hyang is an award-winner and very, very stylish.