At Spiritleaf, shopping for cannabis has gone ‘mainstream’

Just over two years after the federal government legalized the sale of cannabis and cannabis products in Canada, the retail market is thriving. Many areas have seen a number of stores open up in their communities and one of the largest and most successful chains in the country is Spiritleaf.

With 60 stores across Canada, including retail outlets throughout the Okanagan — in Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna and West Kelowna — Spiritleaf provides an upscale, warm and welcoming atmosphere for its shoppers and a well-trained and knowledgeable staff, well-versed in the large and varied array of products the store carries.

According to Matthew Bolton, the franchise owner of the Spiritleaf store in Penticton, the growing range of cannabis products available now — as well as the many varieties of cannabis on offer at his store — is attracting a wide and varied clientele of both new and experienced users.

“We see and welcome all types of people,” says Bolton, who describes the sale and purchase of cannabis products now as more “mainstream.” 

“People are even doing their secret Santa shopping here,” he adds with delight.

According to Bolton, with the opening of legally sanctioned and regulated stores, shopping for cannabis products now is very different than it was before legalization. Retail stores are open and inviting places to shop, an experience he equates with shopping for wine and alcohol.

At Spiritleaf’s large Penticton store, customers can purchase a wide variety of cannabis products, including a large number of strains, as well as seeds, concentrates, edibles, topicals, and Bolton’s personal new favourite product, cannabis infused drinks.

The store, which opened in August 2019, carries products that contain both THC,  the stimulant that many associate with cannabis, and CBD-only, which does not have any psychoactive properties. It also carries a number of introductory products and is staffed by a specially trained group of employees who are well-versed in the products they sell.

“We will have the answer for your questions. If not, we will say so and get the proper answers,” says Bolton confidently. He describes his store as “very novice or experienced friendly.”

In B.C., the provincial Liquor Distribution Branch controls the distribution of cannabis to retail stores. As a result, Bolton said customers can be confident in the quality of the products his store sells as the Health Canada-approved stamps on each product suggests.

But it is a crowded field. With the legalization of cannabis in 2018, most communities that decided to allow retail stores to open saw an avalanche of applications. As a result, shoppers have a variety of places to buy their cannabis. Because of that, Spiritleaf makes sure it offers its customers a wide variety for all price points, the best products in market and its specially trained staff to help guide customers as they make their cannabis product buying choices.  “When it comes to product knowledge, I can say we are, hands down, the best because of our continuous training platform that all staff complete before stepping on the sales floor and keep up on regularly.”

As one of the first cannabis retail stores to open in Penticton, Spiritleaf has attracted a wide and varied clientele. Bolton said that is exemplified by the two most common questions he and his staff get from customers: What strain has the highest THC level? And, can the staff recommend something that is “not too much?”

So, if you are looking for cannabis or cannabis products, Spiritleaf invites you to come in and talk to its staff. They will have the answers for your questions and just what you are looking for.

The Spiritleaf Penticton store is located at 102-2695 Skaha Lake Road, or order online at  There are now six Spiritleaf stores operating in B.C.—the four in the Okanagan, as well as one in Castlegar and one in Maple Ridge. They expect to be joined by a seventh, in Langley, next year, with Victoria a focus after that.

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