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High Country: Burb transcends cannabis culture in tribute to ‘legacy B.C. bud’

On 4/20, the Canadian dispensary chain launched private label flower in California and opened a fourth location in Vancouver.

Katie Shapiro
High Country

A glimpse inside the original Burb flagship location in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada.
Courtesy Burb

The mission at Burb — one of Canada’s earliest networks of licensed cannabis retail stores — has not wavered In the five years since I first discovered the dispensary chain that has evolved into an all-encompassing lifestyle brand.

Co-founder, creative director and CEO John Kaye shared with me in 2018: “We want to sell products we’re using ourselves and make high-quality apparel that speaks to a new cannabis culture — sans Rasta pot leaf and inspired by our own environment growing up and living in [Vancouver] B.C. Creating a culture one can associate with and [a] lifestyle one can be proud of is our main focus.”

The company has since grown to personify the modern cannabis cultural movement through its three storefronts, line of branded apparel and accessories, plus a podcast hosted by the venerable Paper magazine founder David Hershkovits.



Burb marked 4/20 this year with two major milestones: the U.S. debut of the brand’s private label flower and a fourth dispensary location in British Columbia. Launching with two famed B.C. strains (Beaver Tail and Butter Tarts), Burb’s inaugural cannabis collection will be available at Cookies, High Times and Main Stage dispensaries in California (look for Burb in more than 100 more stores across the state by May).

The four-story compound — designed with Burb’s signature neutral color palette, raw materials and minimalist aesthetic — in East Vancouver will serve as the new company headquarters with a traditional dispensary footprint and additional dedicated retail and event space, which will also act as an incubator and gallery for local artists and creatives. In unison with its grand opening party, anchored by a group art show curated by local visual performance artist Ester Tothova, Burb also took its 4/20 celebration international with special events in Las Vegas, Brooklyn and Toronto.




Amid festivities for the annual high holiday, I caught up with Kaye to go behind the design of the flagship location in the “burbs” of Vancouver, learn why the dispensary’s “burbtenders” are the key to retail success and how he’s honoring B.C.’s legacy cannabis culture.

Click here to read the full story in Forbes.

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