The first ever Cannabis Life Conference opened on May 13, 2017 in Toronto, ON. The inaugural event took place at a venue called the Evergreen Brick Works, located about 35 minutes outside of the downtown core via public transit.
My companion on this excursion was the wonderful Amy Anonymous. We didn’t know exactly where we were going and the grey clouds in the sky threatened rain. So we used an Uber on the Saturday afternoon to check out the conference and expo.
“If the only green at your cannabis conference or event is dollar bills, it ain’t no cannabis event.” Chris Bennett, Cannabis Historian.
I always think of 4/20 as the beginning of the “High Holidays” in the cannabis industry. It usually marks the beginning of cannabis protests, cannabis festivals, cannabis cups, cannabis fundraisers, cannabis boat cruises, and of course cannabis conferences. 2017 has proven to the busiest year yet with conferences and events planned all across Canada this summer. And it started in Toronto with the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo, April 21st to the 23rd.
As an avid stoner, film buff, and feminist I’m ashamed to say I didn’t. Luckily, a local organization set me right.
In early April I entered a contest run by my favourite local Toronto bakery. The amazing Glory Hole Doughnuts, owned and operated by bad-ass baker Ashley Jacot De Boinod, was raffling off tickets on Instagram to “MUFF‘n’PUFF”, a theatre screening of Half Baked presented by The MUFF Society.
The event was originally founded in New York by legalization activist Dana Beal. We now celebrate events in not only its inaugural city but also in cities across the world.
When you’ve been a cannabis activist for well over a decade, the only time you expect to hear your name dropped at a police press conference it will be followed by the words “has been charged with.”
On a morning in late January, I was drinking coffee and watching a Toronto Police Services press conference. I was getting agitated by the misinformation as they spoke in regards to a rash of recent violent dispensary robberies in the city. And then, I was surprised to hear my name mentioned.
Last Wednesday, March 8th, I was a panellist on a marijuana legalization episode for theZoomer — far from Toronto’s bail court. The other panellists were a venture capitalist, an addiction counsellor, a lawyer, and a licensed producer. And, less intimidating, a friendly face in the Princess of Pot: fellow activist and owner of Cannabis Culture, Jodie Emery.
“‘Participating in this business activity means that you must be willing to adhere to a strict set of regulations,’ [Bill Blair, federal point person on the legalization of marijuana] told a conference of investors, Bay Street lawyers and several executives from the licensed firms. ‘The current licensed producers are competing with people who don’t care about the law, who don’t care about regulations, don’t care about kids, they don’t care about communities, don’t care about health of Canadians. They’re pretty reckless about it. And so they’re selling anything to make a fast buck before we get the regulations put in place.’” The Globe and Mail, May 24th, 2016.
“Fuck you, Bill Blair.”
That’s the thought that runs through my head every time I hear or read that statement.
… Help Your Doctor Change
Editor’s Note: This article on discussing medicinal cannabis with healthcare professionals was originally published September 2, 2016 and is reposted here during the winter holidays for our focus on Medicinal Cannabis.
Discussing Medicinal Cannabis with Your Doctor
With the introduction of the new Accessing Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) released by Health Canada on August 24, 2016, accessing and growing medicinal cannabis is less challenging than ever before. But visiting the doctor is often already a very stressful experience, so discussing medicinal cannabis with your healthcare professional can be a daunting task. I hope this article will prepare you to speak with your doctor about medical cannabis.