Cannabis Culture x NOW: who we are and why we’re here

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Hello NOW readers! Jeremiah here. I’m Cannabis Culture’s Chief of Operations and Editor-in-Chief of Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV.  


Cannabis Culture is highly honoured to have a digital residency launching today at NOW Magazine. 


Canada is is the middle of some big changes. Today, the government will announce its future path to legal marijuana in Canada and our country will soon be a different place. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure yet what kind of a place it will be. We hope it will be a place where no peaceful citizen goes to prison for marijuana, but we may be holding our breath for a while. Better take a big bong toke first.


Our Cannabis Culture x NOW digital residency will give us the opportunity to provide an alternative to mainstream news coverage of the ever-growing marijuana movement and industry, and bring our long-time marijuana culture to a wider audience. 


But first, a little CC history:


The business known today as Cannabis Culture was forged by the tireless work of Prince of Pot Marc Emery and his team of super-activists in the 1990s. Marc was a passionate young entrepreneur and libertarian upstart who sold his bookstore in London, Ontario and moved to British Columbia to begin his ongoing quest to reform marijuana laws in Canada and around the world. 


Marc is part of a long tradition of activists who use civil disobedience as an effective tool for positive change. By breaking destructive, unfair and moralistic laws and getting arrested, revolutionaries like Marc have called attention to the hypocrisies of our society and have challenged the constitutionality of unjust laws in court. 


Before medical marijuana programs and Licensed Producers, before the explosion of storefront pot dispensaries, and even before head shops made their comeback from the 1960s and 70s, there was Marc Emery, his store and marijuana seed company, and his magazine, Cannabis Culture.  


Marc’s success in the marijuana seed business and his dedication to donating millions in profits to reforms led to a surge in marijuana activism in North America and across the globe. He became the loudest voice and biggest funder of an increasingly popular movement – and the powerful forces behind marijuana prohibition started to pay attention. In 2005, Marc was arrested then extradited and imprisoned in the United States for five years in what was quite obviously the targeting of a vocal dissident for political reasons.  

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While Marc was serving time in the US, his wife Jodie took over both his role as head of his company and as de facto leader of Canada’s marijuana movement. Jodie’s hard work, political campaigning, and endless mainstream media appearances made her a household name and one of the most-recognized faces of the pot movement. 


During that time, Jodie guided Cannabis Culture’s growth from an international print magazine and head shop into one of the country’s largest chains of recreational marijuana dispensaries and vapour lounges, continuing Marc’s technique of using illegal (revolutionary!) businesses to raise money for political activism. [Read more about Jodie in this week’s NOW cover story.]


The Emerys and Cannabis Culture helped pave the way for all of the cannabis-related reforms happening in Canada today, including Vancouver’s move to legalize pot dispensaries, the multi-million dollar legal stock market medical pot business, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promises to legalize marijuana for all Canadians. 


Cannabis Culture became a real-life example of how the future should look, one of hundreds of illegal marijuana-related businesses that make up a thriving underground culture here in Canada and abroad.


Elected on a campaign of marijuana legalization, Trudeau and his Liberal government have decided to continue the criminalization of peaceful citizens, instructing police to repeatedly raid marijuana dispensaries across the country. Trudeau has refused to decriminalize marijuana, and instead promised to increase enforcement and criminal prosecution of those acting outside his system of “legalization”.  


In early March, Marc, Jodie and three owners of Cannabis Culture franchise stores – Erin and Chris Goodwin and Britney Guerra – were arrested and handed numerous charges including trafficking and conspiracy. 


The Emerys are now facing life in prison. Harsh bail conditions have forced Marc and Jodie to separate themselves completely from Cannabis Culture. We’ve been forced to close all of our stores in Toronto and Hamilton due to repeated police raids and arrests of our staff. But the fight is not over.

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Cannabis Use in History


We at Cannabis Culture continue the quest for real marijuana legalization. As it says in our mission statement, “we are committed to defending the civil liberties and freedom of cannabis consumers, growers, and providers by campaigning to end unjust criminalization and persecution.”


We want to live in a world where no one goes to prison for cannabis-related crimes ever again.


They say you have to be the change you want to see in the world. Here’s a bit of what we do to help our dream become a reality:


Cannabis Culture Head Shops 


Cannabis Culture Head Shops carry a dope selection of heady glass products including bongs, pipes and dab rigs from local and popular glass artists. We also have a wide variety of pot peripherals like rolling papers, grinders, vaporizers, scales, health and body care items, clothing, a bookstore and more. And believe it or not, most of these items are still illegal. Shop online at CannabisCultureHQ.com and check out the Instagram feed. Everything you need but the weed!


Cannabis Culture Lounges


Our Cannabis Culture vapour and smoking lounges are one of the most important parts of our activism. We provide a safe space for members of our culture to consume cannabis with likeminded individuals. We offer a comfortable haven away from the boozed-soaked bars and restaurants and no-smoking bylaws and landlords. Our lounges are hotbeds of cannabis activism and culture, where we gather to share ideas and experiences. We host a variety of events including weekly ganja yoga, open mic night, and karaoke. Our lounges are often used as venues for local artists such as musicians or comedians who appreciate a cannabis alternative. Hit up our Dab Bar for some fine extracts or chill out on a couch and try a Volcano Vaporizer. Bong and dab rig rentals available. On Instagram.


Cannabis Culture Dispensaries


At a time when most marijuana dispensaries in Canada required a note from a doctor or Health Canada for membership, Cannabis Culture began opening dispensaries for all adults. At CC we do not invade your personal medical privacy or ask why you use cannabis. Since cannabis is a safe substance – much safer than alcohol, tobacco, Tylenol or hamburgers – we think all Canadians should have the right to use it. We provide only the finest-quality craft cannabis from local growers and top-shelf extracts from the best in the biz. Find us online.

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The biggest stoners at 420 Toronto 2016


Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV


Founded by Marc Emery and Dana Larsen in 1995 (originally as Cannabis Canada), Cannabis Culture Magazine has reported from the front lines of the drug war and extensively documented the blossoming of the now-massive cannabis culture and industry. Our print magazine, once with a distribution of 100,000 copies across North America, ceased publication in 2009 in an effort to focus our resources on our online magazine CannabisCulture.com and our online live-stream and podcasting network, Pot TV. We cover all things marijuana-related and produce multiple live broadcasts every week. Over 3 million social media followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. CC and Pot TV are as high as you can get on the net!


Activism


Cannabis Culture is made up of dedicated activists who strive to make the world a better place for pot-lovers. Our staff members sacrifice their own safety and risk arrest to normalize our culture and fight draconian laws and over-restrictive regulations. Members of our staff and extended family are the main organizers of the non-profit 420 protests in Vancouver and Toronto, and help organize other protest events like the Global Marijuana March. A considerable amount of our resources are dedicated directly to activism aimed at reforming pot laws. We are proud to be an activist business. 


We hope you enjoy our digital residency at NOW and appreciate your support.


Peace and pot!


[email protected] | @JFromTheLake

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