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White Hat Sourcing | Part Three

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White Hat Sourcing | Part Three

White Hat Sourcing | Part Three

New Flowers & Grow Up Musings 

Before I delve into the amazing event that was the Grow Up Conference, we can finally finish our story about bumbling through our first sourcing on the legal market. Stash Club is extremely proud to share some of BC Craft’s finest; Our Grape is sweet and dank, The Lemon has the highest terpene profile that I have ever seen and the Flawless is just that...  flawless. These flowers are getting packed up today (October 12th, 2023)  and will be available to try next week! A huge accomplishment that took our entire team to execute. Pat's on the back all around! Next up on the to-do list is to source some of those dope Stash Club Specials our members have all become accustomed to, more on that to come. 


 Stash Clubs Newest in-house Strains: Flawless and Grape

Grow Up Conference

In the first week of October, I attended the Grow Up conference in Victoria. Although it is open to the general public, I didn’t meet or see any of our members there, so I’m pleased to share some insights, for those interested. 

There were some trailblazers and legends that were featured at the event, which was a personal highlight. The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award was Ted Smith, from the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club Society. His story is incredible, we will feature him in a future blog post. His story of innovation and resilience is game-changing; he battles to reform our country’s rules surrounding Hospice and end-of-life care. He is deserving of his own blog post, so I won’t delve any deeper into his story. But, if you are looking for a little punk rock inserted into your day, google him. 

Ted Smith, Cannabis legend and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award

Consumption at a Cannabis Conference... Finally!

On the stoner front, it was the first government-sanctioned Cannabis event that actually had a consumption area and real samples of flowers and products that were shared among attendees. Across the board, the passion reflected in quality from farms and craft producers was the first and biggest impression. Overall, the programming and organization of the event by Grow Up was good. In specific, the Growing ABCs - From Closest to Commercial session hosted by Robert Laurie was excellent. North 40, who was our featured farm in last week's marketing email, shared how they slow cure, trim to order, and growing techniques with such attention was inspiring. These folks have their systems and methods dialled.

On the extraction side, the government system has obvious drawbacks when it comes to price. This is the area of the greatest innovation in the sector. What people are doing is simply amazing, so much progress made in such a short period of time. I tasted some full melt hash (which we will be getting for our membership) which was as good as it gets. I also want to give a shout-out to the fine dabs and excellent conversation that were served in heady glass by Jeff at Boro & Beyond. 

A fine example of Boro & Beyond Glass
A Glimpse at Retail

The conference was an industry-focused event, so outside of the growing and primo extracts being shared, there was also a focus on the retail market. When legalization first started, I tried to open stores but was confounded and deterred by a seemingly corrupt lottery process in Saskatchewan which was administered by Evil Corp… I mean Deloitte. Furthermore, I became frustrated with the nuance of local politics and daunted by the pace of zoning in cities like Vancouver and Toronto. I learned first-hand the commitment and sacrifice that a lot of independent retailers have to go through. Consider that a typical rezoning process takes 12-18 months in Vancouver. During that time consultants, meetings, engineers, but most of all Landlords get paid. Commercial rent in Vancouver (before inflation) for a modest retail space downtown was around $10,000 per month. Essentially our current system isn’t designed for a local stoner who wants to transition into the legal market. The rough numbers look something like this; shell out at least $250K with no guarantees, just to open a simple weed store. This highlights the reason our country lacks innovation, it’s just too damn expensive and time-consuming to try anything here. It is great to protect consumers, minors and our environment, but at what cost? Simply put, families risk bankruptcy when a member of the family wants to try and open a coffee shop or retail store. Crazy, Corrupt, or both? 

Therefore, I have a lot of respect for the gumption and commitment which independent retailers have shown in their communities all over Canada. Creating fun, safe and accessible environments is a powerful force for good stable communities and at this conference, I met a ton of sweet retailers supporting their friends and local community with enthusiasm and spirit. Here is a graphic that breaks down the pricing model for hash that retails at $19.99 in the Cannabis industry. 

A pricing breakdown for a gram of hash retailing for $19.99

 On the personal front, it was cool to bump into Tommy Chong in the lobby.Before he linked up with Cheech, he was travelling around BC doing comedy shows in dive bars and strip clubs with my Godfather, the late great Dave “Big D” Graham. The minute I mentioned him to Tommy, the old beauty lit up and said “Lasquti Island!” I had to remind him that in fact, he lived on Denman Island, which neighbours it. When Cheech and Chong went to LA to share their brand of stoner comedy, Dave was too chill and had already found the ultimate stoner perch on top of the ridge that sat above the eagles. So, he bid them luck and farewell. The rest is history as Cheech and Chong became the most iconic stoners on earth. For any fans out there, you will certainly know the “Dave’s not here, man.” schtick, which is a nod to my godfather. Many blessings and prayers to that family of innovators and cannabis makers.