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Alcohol, Tobacco & Cannabis

This is a photo of a smiling young lady holding a tall glass of wine.

Every State and Province has its own rules.

If want to drink or smoke on your road trip, read this article for important info.

As you may know, cannabis is legal in all of Canada. There are hundreds of types with varying amounts of THC and CBD. They can be purchased online from a government store, or from an independent retailer. There are few stores at this time, so the easiest way to get it is to order online and have it delivered. You must be 19 years of age and have government issued ID to receive the order.

Cannabis is legal in some USA states, but not all of them. You cannot bring Canadian purchased cannabis, or medicinal marijuana over the border. Once you cross the border you may purchase it, if you meet the minimum age requirements and the state permits it.

In many Canadian provinces, you’ll need to find a government liquor store to buy alcohol, including wine and beer. Search the internet or tell your GPS to search near your current location. Either method should come up with something a short distance away.


If you’re not keen about shopping in government stores, there are more independent stores popping up all the time. Usually you’ll pay more for the same brands, so seek out liquor stores that carry brands the government doesn’t.

Another option is to look for micro breweries and wineries. Some allow tours and have tastings afterwards. It’s a good way to explore and find new products that you might not have tried otherwise.

Across the USA, you can find wine and beer at most grocery stores. This makes for easy for one stop shopping. There are also plenty of affordable, independent liquor stores. However, there are some odd rules.

In the American West, you can buy alcohol in almost every county. In the American East, there is the occasional county, or town, that is completely dry, meaning that they don’t sell alcohol at all.


In some counties in Kentucky, they won’t sell you booze on Sunday. So even though it’s sitting there on the grocery store shelf, and you can bring it up to the checkout, the cashier will take it away and refuse to sell it. Even weirder is New Mexico, which is dry on Sundays, but only until noon.

So if you like to drink, be sure to stockpile some when you can. You never know if the next county you stay in will be dry or wet, especially on the Eastern side of the USA.

If you smoke, your world is shrinking. You can still buy tobacco products in convenience stores, but most hotels chains do not allow smoking anywhere on their property, except perhaps in a restricted area. It’s the same deal with most restaurants and public buildings. Some cities like Vancouver have banned smoking indoors, period.

So other than in your car, if you want to smoke, you may be limited to standing outside, or a specified smoking area of the hotel. Just be sure to follow the rules, so that everyone can enjoy their vacations equally.

And finally, when it comes to booze and smoke, be careful crossing the border. There are strict limits to what you can bring over and back, without paying import fees and taxes. So be sure to check the customs regulations before you attempt to cross with these items, or any other restricted substance.


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