October 17, 2018. History has been made. The Highly will revisit Vancouver (and Toronto) in late November when the kinks have been worked out. For now, the legal age for purchase and consumption is 19 with the exception of Alberta and Quebec, where the legal age is 18. On October 17, only dried flower and oil is legal for purchase. We will keep the previous post up as memorabilia. Yep, it’s officially memorabilia. Stay tuned…
The Highly Chronicles: March 2018: Although you can purchase cannabis today through most dispensaries, Canada is officially making it legal October 17, 2018. Not arduously, state by state, like the U.S., but in one broad federal brushstroke. Not only will Canada be able to ship nationwide, but they are also priming their engines for international distribution (minus the U.S., sadly). It’s really a heck of a time to be alive up there. Oh Canada!
Despite our Canadian optimism, our motto for the scene is, “don’t get too attached.” In advance of legalization, the market is in flux, with brands and dispensaries expected to close and new ones cropping up just as quickly. The scene is surprisingly heavy on the hemp (meh) and buying flower is a messy mix of black market and legal. The overall clinical vibe makes us realize, we do in fact, appreciate some cannabis culture (minus the rachetness, please).
Regardless, what started off as disappointment, has turned to admiration. Though there were very few products we loved, the diamonds in the rough that we found were logical and creative. The founders are low-key and connected to their craft in an interesting and profound way that is unique to them and this British Columbian city.
Where to Go
Located in the vibrant village of Granville Island, nestled in the corner of a courtyard, is the charming Village Bloomery. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to deal with owner Andrea Dobbs —the unicorn who somehow sways even the most reserved to talk anything and everything that ails them. Like their unicorn lead, the entire staff at The Village Bloomery is friendly, helpful, and noticeably happy.
The product selection is uniquely curated — you can easily lose yourself to aimless wandering and label-reading. A nice feature? The pre-roll station that preps some of Vancouver’s finest flower. On your way out, it’s conveniently located near The Public Market, a buzzing area brimming with high quality noshes, handmade gifts, and tugboat ferries.
what to get
A Note on flowers: The flower scene is, well, grey (in more than the literal sense). Vancouver dispensaries tend to carry a mix of products from both legal and black markets. Some products are labeled, some not. Some lab tested, some not. We recommend heading to Village Bloomery where they can intelligently walk you through the brands and their origins. There’s also a great collection of sungrown and organic varieties to choose from.
A Note on Edibles: Cannabis confections (a.k.a. candies and cookies) are currently illegal in Vancouver. This leads us to an array of honey, tea, and olive oil-type products to work around it.
Farm and Florist does a great job marrying cannabis and gourmet food. Each of their products uses locally sourced, organic ingredients such as olive oil, maple syrup, honey, and coconut oil infused with THC distillate. The THC distillate is sourced from ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) growers and processors.
The four owners, one of whom is the executive chef, are longtime advocates in the holistic healing benefits of the cannabis plant, hence their refreshing approach to nutrition and the importance placed on the integrity of the food’s flavors.
The founders suggest keeping their oils away from high heat (no frying) and opt for baking and drizzling instead. Our favorite is the honey which tastes like, well, incredible honey.
Why it’s good:
THC distillate sourced from ACMPR growers and processors
High-quality craft cannabis
Organic, local ingredients
Healthy, minimal ingredients (just two)
Integrity of the taste left intact
Blends seamlessly into your day-to-day culinary practices
Great for drizzling, baking, or straight from the spoon
Note: Check out Farm and Florist's Elevating Dining series to see how to incorporate the products into a gourmet meal.
Don’t let the plain packaging fool you. There’s magic behind this brand. Founder Cara, pin-up girl, burlesque dancer and shamanista began this chapter when she created a cannabis salve to heal her tendonitis.
Working with the potent alchemy of rosehip, evening primrose, neroli and frankincense (a combination known for their healing powers), Cannalife Botanical products are made in a sacred space, mixed with the synergy of the moon as they give thanks to the cannabis plant and the oil’s other therapeutic ingredients.
Experience just the right amount of aromatherapy as you apply, and it dissipates at just the right time. This artisan face oil is a great addition to the evening routine whether you have pimples or wrinkles.
Why it's good:
Cannabis derived from small-batch, premium lab-tested Canadian artisan producers
Contains both THC and CBD
Combination of rosehip, evening primrose, neroli and frankincense: a blend known for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties
Cost effective: a little goes a long way
Nourishes, balances and renews tired skin
Lightweight and absorbs quickly
Just the right amount of aromatherapy
We use it at the end of our nighttime ritual and to enhance a face massage when TMJ creeps in.
Stay tuned: Cannalife Botanicals is working on a natural sunscreen, anti-aging body oil and deodorant next.
Founder, Jill, started off eight years a traditional topical maker, when a friend asked her to make the "special kind" to treat her tumors. From there, Bliss Botanicals was born.
Happy Sak, a product marketed for men’s “saks,” is also a multi-stick intended for any type chafing. Think truckers, runners, cyclists, nipple chafing, overalls, eczema and psoriasis to name a few.
Why it's good:
Derived from organic, indoor grown cannabis
Comes in a roll-on (no messy hands)
Shea butter base comes from a women’s collective in Ghana
Fair trade ingredients
Good for the “undercarriage,” nipple chafing, eczema, psoriasis, truck drivers, cyclists, and anyone who experiences irritating friction
Note: Great gift for our guy friends.
Activate your pleasure zone and enhance your orgasm.
Founder, burlesque dancer and shamanista Cara does it again with her pleasure oil—created in a sacred space — for our sacred place, working with the synergy of the moon and old age aphrodisiac formulas.
The legendary healing combination of myrrh, frankincense — combined with cannabis are the trifecta of synergistic herbs for muscle relaxation, pleasure zone activation, orgasm enhancement — as well its as antibacterial, antifungal, and aphrodisiac properties.
Why it's good:
Cannabis derived from small-batch, premium lab-tested Canadian artisan producers.
Coconut oil base
Relaxes the muscles
Made with myrrh and frankincense and cannabis, a combination for anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and aphrodisiac properties
Mild with just the right amount of scent
Note: Not for use with latex condoms or toys
Finding a cannabis-based dog treat that checks all the key healthy and feel-good boxes can be a challenge if you are looking for a healing alternative or just a healthy treat for your best pal.
The Miss Envy team puts their love for dogs front and center in their approach to their Bully Bites. They go a step beyond most brands’ claims by making sure that their ingredients are certified organic and fair trade.
Why it's good:
Derived from organic Canadian hemp
All organic ingredients
GMO, gluten, grain, and soy free
No artificial colors, flavors, additives or preservatives