Since the recreational sale of cannabis became legal in Canada in 2018, Canadians have grappled with one question: where can they buy weed? While the answer to “where should I buy weed in Vancouver” shouldn’t be that difficult, it’s not as easy of a question as it sounds at first. Provinces and territories each have their own rules that dictate where a customer can legally buy weed. Additionally, not all pot shops are created equal: some push premium pot while others sell shwag.
In this post, we’ll briefly outline Vancouver’s storied past with cannabis. Then, we’ll get down to brass tacks and discuss where you can purchase cannabis in our guide to buying weed in Vancouver, BC.
BC Buds – The Background
Located along the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is the third-largest metropolis in Canada after Toronto and Montreal. The city itself dates back to the 1800s, when a gold rush brought thousands of Californians to the area in search of riches. It continued to grow until it reached its final borders 1929. Although it bears the same name as the nearby Vancouver Island, the city is entirely located on mainland Canada.
The Origin of BC Buds
Today, BC Bud is a household name. The term doesn’t technically refer to a strain. Instead, it can include any type of cannabis – indicas, sativas, and hybrids – cultivated in British Columbia.
British Columbia has always had a special relationship with marijuana. In the 1990s, growers in British Columbia began growing in clandestine indoor grows. In a 2000 report to the DEA, Canadian authorities estimated that illicit marijuana cultivation was a billion-dollar industry in British Columbia. In Vancouver alone, authorities estimated that between 2000 and 3000 illegal cannabis grows were pumping out pounds and pounds each harvest.
Two main groups participated in trafficking weed form British Columbia into the US: Vietnamese gangs and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Some Hispanic gangs also participated in smuggling marijuana into the US, although none of these groups appeared to work together, and none of them had a monopoly on trade.
According to the DEA memo, BC Bud regularly exhibited much higher THC concentrations than other strains at the time, regularly reaching between 15 and 25 percent THC. That dwarfed the average cannabis concentration of the day. They generated such quality weed that the term “BC Bud” became a term used from coast to coast, in both Canada and the US, to describe the best buds.
The report concluded that the cannabis trade in British Columbia, and Vancouver specifically, showed little sign of slowing down. That report would be proven correct 18 years later, when weed became fully legal in Canada.
Where Can I Buy Weed in Vancouver?
You can’t just buy weed anywhere in Vancouver. Instead, the province maintains a hybrid of publicly- and privately-owned weed stores. To maintain high standards of quality and safety across the board, the Provincial Government of British Columbia only allows Canadians over the age of 19 to buy from legally-recognized cannabis stores. These regulations allow the government to ensure that all cannabis products sold in British Columbia are free of any solvents, pesticides, or other dangerous contaminants like mold or bacteria.
There are three legal ways to buy marijuana in Vancouver. First, you could buy from one of the provinces government-owned stores. Instead, you could choose to buy weed from a government-licensed privately-owned store – there are more than two dozen in the greater Vancouver area. Finally, those who want to skip a trip to the store can buy weed online.
BC Cannabis Stores
BC Cannabis Stores is a chain of 16 cannabis stores owned by the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch. The Provincial government established the chain on October 17th, 2018, just a few short months after the Canadian government approved the Cannabis Act.
While BC Cannabis Stores offer great selection and pricing, they’re essentially a government monopoly. The money you spend won’t be going to help an entrepreneur run his business – instead, you’ll be funneling your cash directly back to the government.
Privately Owned Legal Stores
If you want to support small business instead of big government, you can choose to buy weed at one of the licensed privately-owned cannabis retailers in Vancouver. There are more than 30 legal weed stores in the greater Vancouver area, with over 100 more If you’re concerned that a store might be selling weed illegally, you can verify it on British Columbia’s list of Verifiable Organizations.
Buying weed at privately-owned stores does have some shortcomings, though. For example, a private weed stores may not feature the selection that you’d find at a government-owned store. If you’re looking for a specific product, make sure to check that your store has it before visiting.
Online Cannabis Sales
According to the British Columbia Provincial Government, the only way to legally buy recreational weed online is by using BC Cannabis Stores’ web store. As a result, many online cannabis retailers won’t send their products into British Columbia, making it impossible to buy them in Vancouver. However, it is possible for medical patients to buy their medicine from a different online seller.
Buying with MMJDirect
For medical patients or clandestine buyers, getting weed from MMJDirect is one of the easiest ways to purchase weed online in Canada. Our web store makes it super easy to choose from the most popular brands in Canada, including many BC locals.
We’ll ship to any address within Canada, as long as the buyer is over 19 years old. You’ll receive your package within 2-5 business days, and we’ll even cover shipping on orders of more than $150. In addition, our selection rivals that of any other online dispensary in Canada, with hundreds of products available like flower, vapes, capsules, edibles, concentrates, hash, and more. We even carry a variety of smoking and vaping tools to help you get the most out of your weed.
Whichever choice you decide to make, consider yourself lucky. Canada is one of the only countries with legal weed in the world, and everyone else watching us is green with jealousy.