Every BC Day, the first Monday in August, we bask not only in the sun – but in the delicious awareness that much of the summer still stretches before us. It was British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly who created this special summer stat back in 1974, as a way to recognize our province’s pioneers.

As we look ahead to the long weekend with family and friends, let’s include in our appreciation BC’s cannabis pioneers and activists. It was their hard work and sacrifice during prohibition times that led to our freedom today in enjoying cannabis freely throughout our beautiful province. Thanks also to them, the term “BC Bud” is now a recognized and appreciated brand worldwide!

As to the six best places here in BC to savour BC Bud, check out these suggestions:

Victory Square

 1. Victory Square, Vancouver

The first known reference to 4/20 was by a group of cannabis-toking high schoolers in San Rafael, California in the 1970s. Canada’s own first 4/20 celebration occurred on April 20, 1995 at Victory Square on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Formerly the grounds of the city’s provincial courthouse, Victory Square is located across the road from Cannabis Culture’s flagship head shop and smoking lounge, as well as the New Amsterdam Café. The area is considered Vancouver’s cannabis “ground zero.” Go sit amongst the city’s oldest maple trees, planted in 1897 – the perfect place to light up a joint and reflect on cannabis history.


2. Wreck Beach, UBC

It’s been called “the last frontier of freedom” in Vancouver: Wreck Beach, a clothing-optional mecca on University of British Columbia land in unceded Musqueam territory. In 1977 nudist pioneers rallied to protect the beach from destruction. Ever since, Wreck has gone down in infamy for its anything-goes attitude and unlicensed vendors who sell wondrous wares from psychedelic popsicles to BC’s biggest cash crop. The 2001 arrest of weed diva Watermelon for selling cannabis-infused ginger snaps to beach patrons marked a poignant event in cannabis prohibition history. Today, Watermelon is a budding local politician and the risk of arrest for cannabis consumption on Wreck Beach is passé. UBC regulations allow cannabis use on campus grounds, so get naked, relax and have fun. Oh, and make sure you pack out what you pack in, including roaches.


3. Kootenay Lake, Nelson

Canada’s history of cannabis began in BC’s Kootenay region, starting in the early 1960s. Vietnam War draft dodgers fleeing California, Oregon and Washington transformed Nelson, a former resource town, by bringing cannabis seeds and a wealth of growing knowledge with them. Fast-forward 50 years. Today the Kootenays are considered the heartbeat of the BC Bud legacy market. Here you’ll find Canada’s most sophisticated growers, city-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensaries and a colourful, long-storied history adding to BC’s cannabis landscape. Choose anywhere along the lake: Taghum Beach on the west arm, the city of Nelson, and Six Mile point on the North Shore are all standout locations to roll up a fatty. Visit the local restaurants, art installations and festivals, considered to be some of the world’s best. Go ahead! Spark up your joint and soak in the culture – this is the region that cannabis built.



4. Summit Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park

Puff, puff… Pass! It’s hard to find a more beautiful mountain landscape than Rogers Pass, a National Historic Site at the heart of Glacier National Park. Engineers built the railway through these dramatic peaks in the 1880s, connecting BC to the rest of Canada. Today, the natural beauty of this high mountain pass will compel you to pull over and explore. National Parks regulations allow for cannabis consumption at your campsite, inside your parked camper and along trails. Yes, Rogers Pass is known for its challenging terrain – but no worries, you’ll find several easy walking trails to choose from. Pull over at the summit, roll up your reefer and walk the 1885 CPR rail-grade interpretive trail. If you have more time, park at the Illecillewaet campground and enjoy a puff while you tour the ruins of the old CPR Glacier Hotel, abandoned since 1926. Safety note: Be bear aware. Remember to stay on marked trails and pack your garbage out. Note that cannabis use is not permitted in common areas.



5. Sumallo Grove, EC Manning Provincial Park

Follow the wagon tracks of those who chased gold fever in the 1850s. Sumallo Grove marks the beginning of a now-defunct wagon trail built by Americans in 1858 to re-route settlers to the USA. Within a decade of its inception, the trail was abandoned in favour of Edgar Dewdney’s northern route uniting the British colony. Today, this historic day-use area lies within EC Manning Provincial Park, an easy stop just off Highway 3 nestled along the Skagit River. Park your car and explore on foot. There’s a 700-metre, wheelchair-accessible nature trail off the parking lot that meanders through a grove of ancient Western red cedar, Douglas fir and Western hemlock – some of these beauties hailing back more than 500 years. Several unique species of waterfowl call this area home; take a stroll to the river and watch for wildlife. This is the perfect place to toke if you’re passing through! Be respectful and follow BC cannabis regulations. Stay away from common areas and smoke on the trail or in your camper. And be sure to wait at least two hours after consuming to get back behind the wheel.


6. Little Tribune Bay, Hornby Island

The BC Gulf Islands occupy another important part of Canada’s cannabis history. In the early days, activists grew strains such as Blueberry and Texada Timewarp, lending genetics to many of today’s outdoor cultivars. A jewel amongst the Gulf Islands, Hornby’s serenity is hard to surpass. In fact, BC Parks confirms that Little Tribune Bay is the warmest saltwater beach in BC. Here you’ll find a relaxed attitude and long history in the BC Bud legacy market. Plan ahead: Prepare for two ferry rides from Vancouver Island and bring drinking water with you. Pack your pot with you, too, as there are no dispensaries on the Island. Little Tribune Bay is clothing-optional and ultra-secretive, especially in the off-season. Find a quiet corner to smoke your bud. Watch closely – you may glimpse Bald eagles, sea lions, even a pod of Orcas or the dorsal fin of a Sixgill shark. Enjoy your stay! This Gulf Island’s adventurous spirit is a natural fit for cannabis smokers of any legal age.