What experiences have you taken from your time in the legal cannabis industry that are shaping your expectations for the future?
After four years slinging government weed, it’s safe to say I consider the scene a mixed bag (of mids). I think the easiest way to answer this question is to group my experiences into two columns: those that have made me keen and hopeful on the future of the industry, and those that have increased my ambivalence.
The people on the ground floor of this industry are incredible. I’ve never met so many passionate, interesting characters in one retail job. I think such people have singlehandedly driven up the quality of legal weed, essentially acting as focus groups for OCS products.
The current licensing and wholesale structure of the industry is fundamentally anti-competitive. It’s a travesty that the AGCO would greenlight privately owned dispensaries that are often only steps apart knowing that we are all legally bound to that fat cat middleman, the OCS. For all the positive changes I’ve seen, the skeleton of the scene has stayed the same: anti-consumer and preferential to corporations.
What changes do you want to see from the legal cannabis industry?
The complete abolition of the regulations by which independent dispensaries can only purchase their inventory from OCS. This is a hugely unnatural restriction on what could be a thriving free market driven by connoisseurship. Independents are greatly overlooked by the existing ruling bodies, advancing the corporate structure that is sure to make this industry just as unattractive as its corporate counter parts.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
As for a lot of people who like cannabis enough to work in the industry, it has been a key part of my social development. For better or worse, I have always been surrounded by cannabis users, and I feel its presence in my relationships has made them more honest and open. It has also served as a healthier, safer outlet for my tendency to seek altered states of mind; I suppose it has a natural predilection for “drug use” that has in the past led me to binge drink and recklessly use chemicals. Cannabis as a whole has largely replaced those habits while satisfying my psychological desire to simply get high.
What products are you using right now?
I take a Mood Ring CBD capsule everyday. I’ve been waiting for a solid legal hash since I first wasted almost $50 on Hexo’s crumbly burnt kief offering, and both Vortex’s Afghan Black Hash and Tremblant’s Hashish have stepped up to the plate. I can also for the first time happily recommend certain flower products from trusted producers: Carmel, Cookies, and most recently Ghost Drops are setting the bar for legal craft cannabis.