Purchasing cannabis over the past 20 years looked something like copping your stash in tin foil or a clear plastic baggie (or if you’re dealer was style-conscious, perhaps a clear baggie with a repetitive print).
Dispensaries offered consumers a physical location to purchase weed, and although they have become more sophisticated in the last few years, many of them left their patrons with something to be desired in terms of ambiance.
The approach of legalization and private stores in many provinces is ushering in a new era of cannabis retail, one that is more reminiscent of your mom’s favourite boutique than your parents’ basement.
Here are some of Canada’s cannabis retail stores to look out for.
- Here's what Quebec's cannabis stores will look like (RENDERINGS)
- Ontario PC government releases its new plans for privatized cannabis retail
- Retailers will pay a 15% markup on legal cannabis in BC
Edmonton-based Fire & Flower was one of the first cannabis retail stores to get conditional approval from Alberta. They have plans to open 37 stores in the province with expansion across Canada.
Licensed producer Westleaf received an $8 million investment from Thunderchild First Nation, and is building a facility on their land in Saskatchewan. The vertically integrated company will be opening up record-themed cannabis retail stores called Prairie Records.
They have applied for licenses in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and will be applying in BC.
Formerly known as Vancity Weed, this BC-based company currently has two locations open in Vancouver, a third in its licensing phase, and plans to expand throughout the west coast.
Owner Krystian Wetulani, who formerly managed several Starbucks locations, saw a need for a more sophisticated cannabis shop when he turned to the herb for medical purposes.
Alberta-based Spiritleaf is a member of the Canadian Franchise Association, and has plans to expand throughout Canada where private retail is permitted.
Every Spiritleaf location will have Up Cannabis ‘Experiential Hubs,’ where customers can come together to appreciate music and support the community initiatives of The Tragically Hip.
Editor’s note: This article previously stated that Spiritleaf was the only cannabis retailer who is a member of the Canadian Franchise Association. The information has been updated, as other cannabis retailers are now members of the CFA.