CANNABIS CULTURE - VANCOUVER VISIT
Updated: May 22, 2019
When I was in Vancouver last week, I got the opportunity to visit the Cannabis Culture lounge. I explored the store downstairs before taking the short trek up a few flights to enter the lounge. It was beautifully decorated with hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of cannabis memorabilia.
The hourly rate was $5.65 with tax to hangout in the space. For the most part people seemed to flow in steadily for about an hour, stay for half an hour or so, and then another half hour would go by and the cycle would begin, again. In my three hours there, I saw several dozen customers come in and out. I saw some first-time dabbers and several cannabis connoisseurs.
From what I could tell dabs were the most popular consumption method at the Cannabis Culture lounge. That said, I had no frame of reference and dabs were on sale which could have skewed my observation. Other than a wasp that seemed to like to stare at me through the window, it was a phenomenal experience and made my trip in Vancouver.
As I sat in the lounge, I began to think of my time in Vancouver for an entrepreneurial exposition, notably the social change aspect of the competition. When you're a part of a system you generally only have as much power as your position and not your person. Systemic change takes collectivity and I believe as a collective of advocates, cannabis amnesty can occur. As I was jotting down this thought, I was startled and jumped up... Jodie Emery came up to say hello earlier than I expected. Her voice, her soul, her passion, I was in awe. Star struck is the word, maybe? Jodie Emery was in business meetings all morning but so nicely took the time to meet with me. Her compassion shined through her words and I cannot wait to meet again.
Jodie is an extremely passionate cannabis advocate fighting for true legalization of the plant. You see, although October 17th, 2019 marked the first day of legal cannabis in Canada through the enactment of the Cannabis Act, thousands of Canadians are behind. Why? Because although cannabis has been legalized, these Canadians, several from marginalized communities, have not received amnesty for previous convictions or do not have the capital and connections to enter the legal cannabis industry despite their best efforts. To quote Cannabis Amnesty, a national campaign with Jodie on its advisory board, "no Canadian should be burdened with a criminal record for a minor, non-harmful act that will no longer be a crime." Eliminating the stigma that surrounds cannabis is so important, not only for Canadians, but for Canada as a global leader in the industry. This is especially important as medicinal patients across the nation have already seen substantial shortages since legalization. To quote Justin Trudeau, "we have to do better".
When I returned home, I noticed that recent changes to the Cannabis Act were put in place while I was away. These changes notably include Health Canada requiring that cultivators and processors have their establishment fully-built before applying for a liscence. While these changes claim to speed up the process, it is readily apparent that these changes will not help individuals in marginalized communities, ones with previous criminal records that have yet to be expunged and/or those financially less fortunate. While I do not want to generalize, it is clear that not all Canadians wanting to enter the industry will benefit from these changes.
I encourage you to check out Jodie's social media accounts, notably her twitter @JodieEmery for more poignant facts in the industry.
The Feminist of Cannabis