On October 17, 2019 Canada celebrates the one-year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana. Medicinal marijuana has been legal in this country since 2001 but it was only last year that the federal government decreed that those over the age of 19 are allowed to put any strain of cannabis in our pipes and smoke it too. October 17, 2019 is also the day marijuana edibles (food infused with cannabis) will be submitted to Health Canada by licensed producers to be subjected to an approval process. Those products are expected to be legally on shelves by December.

The Kootenays have had a vibrant and colourful history with weed, pot, grass, dope or whatever you prefer to call it, and that involvement continues today with legal growers and stores opening for business. In Castlegar there are now four legal dispensaries where you can find a vast selection of smokeable products from vaporizes to bud as well as topical oils and CBD products – medicinal compounds derived from cannabis that do not produce the “high” you get from other marijuana products. Here’s a list of the city’s dispensaries:

Here’s a list of the city’s dispensaries.

Castlegar Cannabis Dispensaries

Name Address Phone Web
The Higher Path 2032 Columbia St. Suite 102 778-460-0327 thehigherpathcanada.business.site
CannaLand Cannabis Boutique 595 18th St. 778-460-5301 cannalandbc.ca
SpiritLeaf 1502 Columbia St. #114 778-460-4458 castlegar@spiritleaf.ca
Kootenay Cannabis – Opening Soon 1306 Columbia St. 250-365-5669 kootcannabis.com

We recommend dropping by each of the above stores and enjoying the modern experience of learning about cannabis, its medicinal qualities and its recreational uses. No longer do we have to meet people in back alleys: instead we’re greeted in comfortably-adorned spaces by friendly “budtenders.” Of course, partaking in the fruits of their labours is a personal prerogative. Should you wish to imbibe however, we have one piece of advice and a number of ideas of what to do in Castlegar afterwards. The piece of advice is this: start small. If you’re new to cannabis, remember to take it easy, start slowly, and wait for the effects before taking more. And the ideas of what to do in Castlegar after visiting one of the city’s cannabis dispensaries are:

What to do After Visiting Castlegar’s Cannabis Dispensaries

Go For a Walk

Downtown Castlegar is perfect for taking a leisurely stroll. Cruise the streets and check out the latest sculptures from local and international artists as part of the city’s famous Sculpture Walk. Or head to Kinsman or Millennium Parks to enjoy the grounds, the equipment and the scenery. If you’re looking to get even further afield, Castlegar offers plenty of opportunity for hiking in nature. Here is a list of the best hikes near the city and one of the best waterfalls to visit. Some of these require a drive, however, so be sure you have a sober driver who can take you there. Remember, driving under the influence, no matter what the intoxicant may be, is considered a federal offence in Canada. So either wait to partake when you get to your destination or have a DD along for the drive.

Enjoy a Snack

Got the munchies? There are no shortage of cafés, coffee shops, and eateries around Castlegar where you can enjoy a delicious snack or a great meal. You can find a list of Castlegar cafés here, and the locations of the fast food spots here. Or, if you’re jonesin’ for a comfortable, friendly, pub vibe check out The Black Rooster, Cartwright’s, the Lion’s Head and other locales. You can find a list of Castlegar bars here.

Take in a Movie

Looking for a comfy chair to sink into, some popcorn and candy to snack on, and some fun, exciting, sad or dramatic movies to enjoy? Then be sure to check out the Kootenay Centre Cinemas, which are intimate yet modern with just a touch of down-home hospitality. Alternatively, visit the Old Theatre, aka the Castle Theatre at 185 Colulmbia Avenue where you’ll find a homey venue and regular $5 movie nights.

Visit the Escape Room

OK, this one comes with a warning. The Escape Room is a super-fun, challenging mind-boggling adventure in which you and your closest friends are locked into a room (not really – you can leave whenever you want, honest) and you only have 60 minutes to decode the clues and escape. Might not be the best choice for someone prone to paranoia. Nor are the clues easy softballs. But it’s a hilarious time and whether you escape in under an hour or not, you’ll definitely laugh out loud.