Your Guide To Buying From Recreational Dispensaries in Canada

Canada flag with marijuana

Cannabis lovers across Canada rejoice! It is just a few weeks until cannabis is fully legal in Canada. In late June, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that cannabis would be legalized starting October 17, 2018. For many people, that means getting their cannabis without the hassle of obtaining a medical cannabis prescription. And, as was seen in states like Oregon, Colorado, California, and Washington, it provided an opportunity for many others to try cannabis for the first time.

However, it can also be challenging to navigate the recreational cannabis market when it is first getting started. For example, medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, but will all of those dispensaries open up to recreational buyers in October? As of now, it is still unclear, but since the Cannabis Act passed in June, the Canadian government has been issuing recreational licenses allowing retail locations to produce, grow, sell, and distribute marijuana.

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What Are The New Rules For Recreational Dispensaries in Canada?

Canada is only the second country to make cannabis legal nationwide, the other being Uruguay. The Cannabis Act states that an adult age 21 (18 or 19 in some provinces) and older will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis for recreational use. Eligible Canadian citizens will also be allowed to grow four cannabis plants for recreational use. Keep in mind the Cannabis Act only applies to dry marijuana flower, for now. Edible cannabis products will not be fully legal until the law has been in effect for one year. No one is quite sure why this distinction was made, but speculate that the Canadian government is still trying to figure out how to regulate edible marijuana products.

What Kinds of Taxes Come With Recreational Weed in Canada?

If there is one thing that most people don’t like about legal cannabis it’s the taxes. Historically, the taxes on recreational substances in Canada are very high – just look at their alcohol taxes as an example. In Canada, hard liquor is taxed at 80 percent and beer tax is around 50 percent. Comparatively, the cannabis taxes are very reasonable, but still a little complex. For strains that cost less than $10 per gram, the tax will be $1 per gram. For strains that cost $10 per gram and higher, it will be a flat rate of 10 percent.

The one good thing about cannabis tax is that it can flood the government and provinces with new tax money. For every province except Manitoba, the government and province will share the tax revenue 75 percent-25 percent (with the latter going to the federal government) for the first two years of legalization. That ratio applies to profits up to $100 million dollars, and after that point, all of the tax money will go to the provinces.

Are Cannabis Concentrates And Vape Pens Legal in Canada?

If you are reading this through a vape cloud, the Cannabis Act might not sound all that great to you! Unfortunately, legalization of cannabis in Canada only applies to dried flower and plants. Vape pens and cannabis concentrates are still illegal in Canada. According to CBC News, the reasoning is that health officials in Canada believe there may be harmful side effects to vape pens and cannabis concentrates. According to the article, “the government is concerned about high potency, and the chemicals and solvents that are used to extract the concentrated form of cannabis.”

Michael John Milloy, assistant professor and research scientist at British Columbia Centre on Substance Abuse, stated, “I think there are concerns in terms of psychosis [and] in terms of anxiety...but there are some potential benefits.” Yes – that sounds pretty wishy-washy, but the government mandate stands.

According to the same article, the government may be concerned about health but they are also concerned with finding a way to regulate the substances if they were to become legal. It is easy to assume that the Canadian government is holding out on legalizing concentrates and vape pens until they have a system in place to profit from it. After all, in 2016 a quarter of California’s legal cannabis sales were dedicated to vape products!

Will All Medical Marijuana Shops Become Recreational?

In short, no. Some provinces will have their own special laws for recreational dispensaries. Two great examples are Ontario and Saskatchewan. While it’s still unclear what the recreational market will look like in Canada, these two provinces have decided to privatize cannabis sales. In Ontario, cannabis will be sold through government-run stores. Saskatchewa is doing the same thing, but retailers will also be required to have a license. In Alberta, sales will be through the private sector only, but retailers will need to obtain a license from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. In British Columbia, there will be tons of cannabis retail shops run by both the government and private business owners. And in Quebec, the laws will be strictest – only the government will be allowed to sell cannabis and the legal age to buy will be 21 instead of 18.

Here’s What The Cannabis Act Means for International Travel

Even though cannabis is legal in Canada, their border laws remain the same. It is still illegal to transport cannabis – and any substance containing cannabis – across Canada’s international borders. And, it does not matter whether you are bringing it in or taking it out. That means, you can not even take legal cannabis from a state like Washington across the border into British Columbia, or vise-a-versa.

In fact, Canadians coming to America might face stricter border agents and some in-depth questioning when in comes to drug use. According to another article by CBC, U.S. immigration lawyers advise Canadians crossing into the United States to deny past marijuana use. Washington immigration attorney Len Saunders told the news source, “If you admit to smoking marijuana, you will lose your NEXUS card for life. [And] if they smell marijuana on you, you will lose your NEXUS card for life.”

For those who like to buy cannabis seeds online from countries like Canada, you can still do that but take the same risks of border seizure. The Canadian government will still examine travelers, mail, courier, and commercial shipments for cannabis-related products.

Canadian Recreational Marijuana Quick Facts

If the above information was more than you were looking for, here’s the TLDR version!

Purchase Limit: Varies based on provincial or territorial restrictions

Sales and Use Tax: $1 per gram on cannabis costing up to $10 per gram. Expensive strains will have a flat tax of 10 percent

Gifting Marijuana: A person can gift up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower to another adult ages 18-19+ depending on the provincial or territorial restrictions.

Possession Limit: 30 grams of dried cannabis flower

Personal Marijuana Plant Count Limit: 4 Plants per household, not per person using licensed seeds or seedlings from licensed suppliers. No plants are allowed in

Social Use Law: Marijuana can be consumed in establishments that have been licensed for such activity.

Making Cannabis Products: Canadians can make legal cannabis-containing products at home, such as food and drinks, provided that dangerous organic solvents are not used in making them. (And remember, concentrates and edibles are still illegal!)

Driving with Marijuana: A person can drive with marijuana in the car as long as it is properly sealed and stowed away in a place where the driver cannot access it. You are not allowed to drive while under the influence of any drugs, including marijuana. Cannabis must not be found within the blood within two hours of driving.

To stay up to date with what cannabis dispensaries will be able to sell recreational marijuana, check out our list below!

Recreational Dispensaries in Canada

Recreational Dispensaries in British Columbia

Hemp & Wellness Vernon
5601 Anderson Way, #102
Vernon, BC V1T 9V1

The Healing Tree – Hastings
529 E Hastings St.,
Vancouver, BC V6A 1P9

Cannabis Culture – Davie St
920 Davie St.,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1B8

Red Med
231 Abbott St.,
Vancouver, BC V6B 2K7

FARM Dispensary
369 Columbia St.,
Vancouver, BC V6A 4J1

Gastown Medicinal Dispensary
306 Carrall St.,
Vancouver, BC V6B 2J3

Green Panda Dispensary – Robson St.
1707 Robson St.,
Vancouver, BC V6E 3P2

The Herb Co. – Mount Pleasant
1193 Main St.,
Vancouver, BC V6A 4B6

Canna City
725 Nelson St.,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1A8

MMJ Total Health Care
3004B 31st St.,
Vernon, BC V1T 5H7

The Herbal Health Centre – Kamloops
2-726A Sydney Ave,
Kamloops, BC V2B 3J2

Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy – Penticton
351 Westminster Ave. West, #101
Penticton, BC V2A 3K1

Okanagan Cannabinoid Therapy – Kelowna
189 Highway 33,
Kelowna, BC V1X 2A1

WEEDS – Richards
1108 Richards St.,
Vancouver, BC V6B 3E6

Vancity Weed – Granville
1181 Granville St.,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M1

Yaletown Medical Dispensary
1281 Howe St.,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1C1 

5 Star Organic
1062 Granville St.,
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L2 

The Green Room Society – Dunsmuir
555 Dunsmuir,
Vancouver, BC V6B 1Y4

Ocean Grown Medicinal Society
1725 Cook St.,
Victoria, BC V8T3P4 

The Dub
138 E. Pender St.,
Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3

Recreational Dispensaries in Alberta

Mary Janes
5010 3rd Ave,
Edson, AB T7E 1T4

Ten Peaks Cannabis (Rocky Mountain Cannabis Club)
8330 MacLeod Trail SE, Unit F1
Calgary, AB T2H 2V2

Recreational Dispensaries in Saskatchewan

The Grass Station
160 Broadway St. W,
Fort Qu’Appelle, SK 1

Best Buds Societ
1355 Cornwall St,
Regina, SK S4R 2H6

Kelz Medical Services
2410 Dewdney Ave,
Regina, SK S4N 6C5

Jane & Co
2151 Albert St.,
Regina, SK S4P 2V1

Recreational Dispensaries in Manitoba

WEEDS – Winnipeg
52 Adelaide St.,
Winnipeg, MB R3A 0V7

Green Light
1808 Main St,
Winnipeg, MB R2V 2A3

HG Cannabis Wellness
675 Sargent Avenue,
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0A7

Recreational Dispensaries in Ontario

WEEDS – Bank St
224 Bank St.,
Ottawa, ON K2P 1X1

MMJ Canada – Yorkville
20 Cumberland St.,
Toronto, ON M4W 1J5

The Dank Of Canada
2 Payson Ave,
Vaughan, ON L4J 8K1 

Lifeline Medicinals
505 Rideau St.,
Ottawa, ON K1N 5Z5 

Ottawa Compassion Clinic
487 Rideau St,
Ottawa, ON K1N 5Z5

Community Cannabis Clinic
1257 St. Clair Avenue West,
Toronto, ON M6E 1B8

CAFE – Cannabis And Fine Edibles
66 Fort York Blvd,
Toronto, ON M5V 4A6

High Society – Carlton St.
180 Carlton St.,
Toronto, ON M4X 1L8

THE BARN Medical Dispensary
928 Montreal Road,
Ottawa, ON K1K 0S8

The Toronto Liberty Dispensary
842 King St. W,
Toronto, ON M5V 1P1

Vital Medicinals
1581 Bank St,
Ottawa, ON K1H 7Z3

The Relief Center – King
1224 King St W,
Toronto, ON M6K 1G4

480 Queen St W,
Toronto, ON M5V 2B2

The Bud Station
1506 Eglinton Avenue West,
Toronto, ON M6E 2G5

39 Antares Dr.,
Ottawa, ON K2E

The Toronto Dispensary
1334 Queen St W,
Toronto, ON M6K 1L4

Dr. GreenThumb
973 Montreal Road,
Ottawa, ON K1K 0S6

WEEDS – Montreal Rd
77 Montreal Rd,
Ottawa, ON K1L 6E8

Premium Piff
Unit 8 – 9275 Markham Road,
Markham, ON L3P 3J3

Greenworks Medicinal
5350 Canotek Road,
Ottawa, ON K1J 9C9

Recreational Dispensaries in Quebec

Clinique La Croix Verte
2531 Rue Ontario E,
Montreal, QC H2K 1W2

7070 Avenue Henri-Julien,
Montreal, QC H2S 3S3

Marie Jeanne Boutique
5241 Boulevard Decarie,
Montreal, QC H3W 3C3

83 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest,
Montreal, QC H2Y

970 Saint Laurent Boulevard Montreal,,
Montreal, QC H2Z 1J4

3565 Boul St-Laurent,
Montreal, QC H2X 2T4

Le Cannoisseur
879 Rue Saint-Jean,
Quebec City, QC G1R 1R2

2181 Saint Dominique St.,

Recreational Dispensaries in New Brunswick

Tribal ReLeaf
Tobique First Nation,
NB Canada E7H 4V8 

Recreational Dispensaries in Nova Scotia

Cannabis for Life
4115 Nova Scotia Trunk 3,
Chester, NS B0J 1J0, Canada

Herbal Bud
19 Alma Crescent,
Halifax, NS B3N 2C4, Canada
+1 902-407-0970 

Recreational Dispensaries in Newfoundland and Labrador

Water St. Cannabis Care
152 b Water St,
St. John’s, NL A1C 1A9, Canada

Looking for a legal cannabis job in Canada? Check out our Leafbuyer Cannabis Jobs Board!