While the cannabis retail landscape is full of large chains and corporate interest, many independent stores have sprung forth from a place of love for the plant. Independent retailers do not only act as a place for their clients to buy cannabis but act as anchors of their community through advocacy and education. While every independent retailer deserves admiration, many have elevated what it means to sell cannabis and are giving the large chains a run for their money when it comes to market share.

Let’s go through the best independent cannabis retail brand finalists as voted by you, the ADCANN community.

If you haven’t already, be sure to vote for your favorite independent cannabis retail brand in the 2023 ADCANN Awards.

The Woods

The Woods (TW) is a southern Ontario Independent Retail dispensary with storefronts in Brampton and Mississauga. They provide a comprehensive cannabis experience, providing a large variety of products and services, including in-house accessory cleaning service in partnership with Smooth Smoke Cleaning, high-end accessory rentals, and free consultations with in-house cannabis sommeliers either over the phone or in-store. The Woods boasts a fast and efficient storefront online and in-store at both Mississauga and Brampton locations, providing a one-stop shop for both young and old.

With their elegant branding and clean-cut stores, The Woods has been a standout player in the game since their inception. Their customers are bound to agree as they’ve grown their store beyond retail and into a full brand experience with both incredible digital/in-person communication.

True North Cannabis Co.

True North Cannabis Co. established itself during the 2020 pandemic and has since aimed to provide customers with high-end affordable cannabis and cannabis accessories across Central and Southern Ontario. Offering a reasonable 5% price match guarantee they strive to bring the lowest price to every neighbourhood with their 49 and counting locations across the GTA. Their VIP program offers exclusive member offers, store benefits including invitations to VIP events, and more. 

With 50+ locations across Ontario, True North is known as Canada’s largest independent retail chain. Which has allowed them to become one of this industry’s finest retail brands.

RARE Cannabis Co.

RARE Cannabis Co. is a cannabis store chain located in Airdrie and Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Since opening its doors in 2019, it has delivered on changing shoppers’ experience while pushing for a shift in terpene transparency. Instead of utilizing a stereotypical Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid breakdown of cannabis selections, they deliver a unique shopping experience while breaking down cannabis cultivars to their terpene profiles. Their goal is to help consumers navigate what a desirable outcome looks like whilst imbibing and to navigate moods and experiences throughout the process. Recreational Cannabis redefined and displayed in a customer-driven way, RARE offers a full catalogue online with delivery and in-store pick-up options, this keeps things transparent and enables you to peruse and deal hunt from the comfort of your home. You may have come to know about RARE first on their Instagram or Twitter pages, or through their expansive collection of goods, including the lesser observed cannabis topicals & lotions, bath bombs, bath salts and essential oil rollers.

Buds4Less Cannabis Company

Buds4Less is a cannabis company that operates retail locations in various areas, including Alliston, Owen Sound, Orillia, Niagara Falls, and Barrie. The company is known for offering quality cannabis at competitive prices. It is an independently owned cannabis company from Barrie.

The Buds4Less retail locations offer a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for exploring various cannabis strains, edibles, concentrates, and accessories. Their knowledgeable staff at all Buds4Less locations are recognized for their expertise and eagerness to offer advice, assisting customers in discovering the most suitable products to meet their requirements. In addition to its physical stores, Buds4Less also has a presence on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Their Twitter handle is @Buds4LessCo, and their Instagram account is @buds4less.co


Plantlife Cannabis

Plantlife Cannabis is a cannabis company based in Alberta, Canada. They are an Albertan-owned and operated retailer that prides itself on delivering a first-class guest experience, offering award-winning strains, and maintaining a knowledgeable and friendly team in Edmonton, Okotoks, Olds, Terra Losa and more. Carrying a wide range of cannabis products including flower, edibles, concentrates, and CBD-related products they have a reputation for offering high-quality Canadian-grown cannabis and having well-trained staff at all of their store locations. They have over 39 licensed retail cannabis dispensaries in 19 Alberta Cities and are Alberta’s largest privately owned and operated cannabis dispensary, employing over 300 Albertans in the cannabis industry.


Bud’s Goods & Provisions

Warm & inviting, it’s no wonder that Massachusett’s Bud’s Goods & Provisions was featured in Hospitality Design-Wellness’ October issue! That’s right, in Worcester, Ablington, and Watertown, Massachusett’s locals can visit their good friend Bud’s for all of their cannabis & cannabis accessories. Their CEO, Alex Mazin, has made it clear that whilst he has to obey regulations, his commitment is to the customer experience, saying:

“I care deeply about the industry and I care about doing it in a manner that is memorable. I’m not trying to listen to lawyers every day. I listen to them compliantly, but I push the envelope. If a customer is supposed to come into a “mantrap vestibule,” I’m going to call it a foyer and make it very experiential while you’re getting your ID checked”

With three stores open in a year, you don’t worry if there isn’t a Bud’s near you; there may be one soon – they’re spreading like weeds! Remember, Bud’s goods is good buds.


While many dispensaries want to invoke a feeling of zen, Campfire Cannabis wants to stoke your inner-adventurer by bringing the great outdoors into their store. Instead of exploring the woods or mountains, you’ll explore their collection of flower, edibles, concentrates, and much more. Going on an adventure alone can be daunting, but they have you covered. Their staff, known as “Camp Rangers”, are trained to not only make sure every customer finds what they need, but feels like the only customer in the store.

Not only will the experience(and products) have you feeling good, but just shopping with them can give the warm & fuzzies, as they are a family owned & operated enterprise with a solid focus on their community.


Clean, simple, elevated. Botera is another one of Massachusetts’ finest cannabis retailers, with locations in Brockton, ranklin, and Taunton. Botera boasts high quality cannabis all found within their comfortable, modern, and welcoming store spaces. With sensory jars on display, users can let their nose guide them, or can ask any of Botera’s fine agents for assistance in finding the perfect product.

Breaking past the dead “indica v. sativa” dichotomy, Botera encourages their consumers to shop by specific effect, be it sleep, calm, creative, or energetic. With this method, paired with their amazing menu & customer service, Botera is ready to help you find your new favourite plant.

Captain Jacks

While many families from around the world travel to California for Disneyland, there’s a different Captain Jack making waves within the cannabis community. Captain Jacks, often called “San Bernardino’s Mega Marijuana Store,” makes waves not only from its size, but its amazing menu of California’s finest.

Where Captain Jacks really sets itself apart from competitors is its consumption lounge, as it was the first in its area. That’s right, browse their expansive menu, check out, and then sit in their bright & inviting lounge to safely consume your products around other like-minded, stoned friends.

Which Independent Cannabis Retail Brand do you think stood out in 2022?

Vote for them in the ADCANN Awards 2022

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by ADCANN



ADCANN is a digital publication and content creation team that showcases the most creative concepts in the cannabis space.