by Vanessa Tam
VANCOUVER – Safely tucked in the bottom left corner of Canada, Vancouver has always been somewhat of a liberal haven when it comes to cannabis use while simultaneously serving as a home base for marijuana enthusiasts. Both Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong once lived in the West Coast metropolis, and current residents include activists Marc Emery and Dana Larsen. With over 200 dispensaries operating around the city, most Vancouverites are being exposed to the resilient weed every time they leave the house.
“Additionally, I think there is also way more science-backed literature bringing the positive properties of cannabis to the forefront, you know, not just the psychoactive high but also the beneficial cannabidiol elements of the plant,” explains Brad Quevillon, one of the co-founders of Wealth Shop, one of Vancouver’s first licensed cannabis dispensaries. “It allows for more information to be put into the public’s view so people can educate themselves and become a bit more comfortable with the subject, which is something we see all the time operating a licensed storefront. Once people get over what they believe cannabis is, they begin to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and learn about how it can benefit them personally.”
“The whole concept behind Wealth Shop is to really focus on health and wellness,” adds Nico Sto Tomas, another one of the co-founders of Wealth Shop. “We originally started the brand probably two years ago when we identified a large gap in the current market. Our tagline is ‘Rich in Health’ because we want to reposition what wealth is in people’s minds. True wealth is not about how much money you have, but how healthy you are physically, mentally and spiritually.”
In terms of cannabis legalization in Canada, it seems like a no-brainer for anyone even vaguely interested in the industry.
“I think we should go beyond legalizing cannabis in BC and Vancouver,” says Connor Mcnamee, another one of Wealth Shop’s co-founders. “I would like to see it legalized on more of a national scale, or even the world. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of cannabis research and with a little more support from our governments around the world we should be able to allocate more funds to research and isolate specific cannabinoids with diverse medical benefits. On the recreational side, however, I’d love to see more of an open-minded country partaking in cannabis for recreational uses, whether it’s infusing products or infusing food. It’s just a matter of time before we’re able to use cannabis with pretty much anything.”
Wealth Shop is located at 4545 W 10th Avenue.4/20, marijuana, wealth shop