East Coast Cannabis: Atlantic Ganja Getaways You Can’t Pass Up

The West Coast is famed for its cannabis culture — but the East Coast has its fair share of weed-friendly vacation destinations, too! Take a trip to one of these top pot spots for a new kind of ganja getaway.

Toronto, Ontario

Canada legalized cannabis for adult use across the country in October, 2018. Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, is a multicultural hub of business, arts and culture. It’s also the cannabis center of the world, according to Lisa Campbell, CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions, a sales and marketing agency headquartered in Canada’s “Big Smoke.”

“Toronto is the heart of cannabis culture, and has been cannabis-friendly since the local police announced weed was decriminalized over 15 years ago,” Campbell says. She points us to the oldest cannabis lounge in Canada, the Hot Box Cafe, located in the heart of Kensington Market, where guests are welcome to consume their weed on the outdoor “POTio.”

Four legal cannabis retail shops currently exist in Toronto. Check out Nova Cannabis, a sleek, modern shop housed in an old American Apparel storefront. It has high ceilings, touchpad checkout screens and deli-style service counters. An eighth goes for between $35 and $50. Try an AHLOT sampler pack for five strains of tasty flower from an assortment of Canadian producers, or a Buddha Haze pre-roll from Liiv.

Canada’s marijuana laws don’t allow concentrates, vapes, edibles or beverages to be sold yet, but you can browse a selection of dried flower, pre-rolls, capsules and oils. Warning: cannabis oils are not to be confused with dabs — they’re plant extracts dissolved in an edible oil, usually coconut or olive, and are designed to be taken sublingually or in a drink or food.

Once you’ve enjoyed your legal Canadian weed, explore the city! Campbell recommends checking out Toronto Island for a 420-friendly off-the-beaten path adventure. You can smoke anywhere tobacco is legal in Ontario, so feel free to puff on a joint while you meander. Bring sunscreen and a towel with you, and get rid of your tan lines on the nude beach. In the evening, take in a show in the city’s famed Theatre District, and enjoy the world-class restaurant scene.

Hot Box Cafe: 204 Augusta Ave., Toronto, ON | hotboxshop.ca | “POTio” Entry Fee – $5.00

Nova Cannabis: 499 Queen St W., Toronto, ON | novacannabisstore.com

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

The easternmost city in all of North America, St. John’s boasts an impressive music and nightlife scene. It’s the ideal destination to smoke and hike — the East Coast Trail links coastal communities with over 300 kilometers of trail along the Avalon Peninsula, overlooking glorious icebergs and sheets of sea ice drifting down from the north Atlantic in the spring.

Ten legal cannabis shops lie in St. John’s and the surrounding area. To buy cannabis from an independent retailer, try Thomas H Clarke’s shop, located just a few minutes away from the St. John’s airport in Portugal Cove. THC Distribution has a variety of popular products, including Broken Coast Cannabis’ Ruxton (a sativa-dominant Sour Diesel/OG hybrid) and Quadra (Headstash). An eighth costs anywhere from $27 to $50.

Plan your visit for June or July and take a trip on O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Watch Boat Tours out of Bay Bulls, just south of the city. In the evening, stroll down George Street, pop into a pub for a pint, and scarf some of the best fish and chips you’ll ever have. Newfoundlanders are known for their cordiality — you’ll be sure to make new friends. As Thomas H Clarke himself says, “Know that wherever you end up in Newfoundland, you’ll be welcomed as part of the family, and good times are everywhere to be had.”

Thomas H Clarke’s Distribution: 1614 Portugal Cove Rd., Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s | thcdistribution.ca

Portland, Maine

Maine is on track to open its recreational marijuana market early 2020, officials say. Residents can grow cannabis for recreational use at home currently. Medical card holders can visit shops like Wellness Connection of Maine or Fire on Fore, located in downtown Portland. The shops plan to sell adult-use cannabis as soon as the state finalizes regulations.

Newly-minted Maine residents Sue and Lee, better known as Instagram stars 420 Old Fat Lesbians, have been making the most of their access to great East Coast cannabis. Sue and Lee retired to central mid-Maine from Florida last year, and have since gained social media fame by posting quirky clips of themselves smoking out of various objects, dancing and having a wonderful time in general. “The flower prices here are very reasonable,” Lee says. “An eighth ranges from $25 to $40.” Their favorite strain? “East Coast Sour Diesel — very potent.”

Portland is a great place to wander around when you’re high — from the Old Port, full of shops and restaurants, to the bluff of the historic Western Promenade. Fill your eyes with pretty Victorian architecture, and stuff your belly with a lobster roll. And be sure to make the trip up the coast to visit Acadia National Park — the glorious rocky beaches and mountain peaks will take your breath away.

Wellness Connection of Maine: 685 Congress St., Portland, ME 04102 | mainewellness.org

Fire on Fore: 367 Fore St., Portland, ME 04101 | (207) 805-1870

Boston, Massachusetts

The legal Boston weed scene is in its infancy, but it’s already making Beantown a top choice for vacationing cannabis consumers.

To make your legal cannabis purchase, visit NETA Brookline, just a few minutes south of Boston. The shop is housed in a beautiful converted bank, with ornate ceilings and oiled wood. An eighth goes for $45 to $60. Try NETA Blackwater OG (indica), or Hurricane (hybrid), or the tasty fruit-flavored 2mg D-Line Cubes.

Once you’ve procured your pot, the city is your oyster. Bostonian Joe Khoury, who designed the iRollie phone case for stoners on the go, tells us his favorite activity is eating an edible and visiting The Institute of Contemporary Art. The modern museum overlooks the beautiful Boston harbor, and is free on Thursday nights.

Stroll around the famed North End neighborhood and buy a cannoli. Then, walk the two-and-a-half mile long Freedom Trail, which winds through Boston’s most historic landmarks, along cobblestone streets, past ancient bars and the famed Boston Common, home to the annual Boston Freedom Rally. Khoury laughs, “History comes alive with a little THC encouragement.”

NETA Brookline: 160 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445 | netacare.org

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