Is it a gallery, or perhaps a boutique?
From the outside, 1066 looks like any other trendy, new-age lifestyle shop you would find in the back streets of Observatory, Sea Point or Kalk Bay.
Pop your head inside, though, and you soon realise it’s actually a marijuana dispensary.
In April 2017, the Canadian federal government introduced legislation to legalise and regulate recreational cannabis in Canada by July 2018. At the same time, medical marijuana was legalised.
Writing for nylon, Jade Taylor explained that:
The only other dispensaries I’ve been to are in Los Angeles, and had intimidating security guards, white walls, no music playing, and girls selling marijuana behind glass counters while an old fan breezes back and forth.
1066 is nothing of the sort.
The shop’s co-founder, Smokey Robinson, described the shop as more of a “lifestyle brand incarnate, selling amethyst and rose quartz pipes, Boy Smells’ Kush candles, artwork and jewelry designed by its staff, “budtime” stories with cheeky titles like Green Buds and Hash, and more”.
And it’s stunning.
Take a look – and a read:
When it comes to selling marijuana, 1066 Toronto has a pretty sophisticated approach. It has about 25 different strains displayed behind glass cases, with the name, type, and benefits listed beside each one. Plus, the store doesn’t just carry marijuana in its raw-flower form: It’s got CBD capsules (for pain relief), THC tinctures (for microdosing), vaginal and rectal THC suppositories (to help with menstrual cramps, IBS, Crohn’s disease, and stomach cancers), and Alair pens, which were developed by Robinson and his team a few years ago for on-the-go use, and are arguably the coolest products in the shop.
“While formulating [Alair], we looked to correct two common problems out there,” the co-founder says. “One was that a lot of the pens on the market have a very high defective rate, so we went through hundreds of different pens until we found the right manufacturer, and worked with them to make it specifically for cannabis.
The second challenge was to have a product that goes inside the pen that was higher-level than anything out on the market, so we teamed up with a local university and used organic chemists to do the extractions.” Unlike other pens on the market, the all-natural Alair uses CO2 as an extraction agent, and is USB-charged and beyond chic—truly revolutionary.
“We’ve developed a cultlike following,” says Robinson. “Everyone from scientists to fashion designers, musicians, and models are huge fans because our brand is luxurious, sophisticated, and discreet. We do things a lot differently from most cannabis brands, like engaging in fashion week and music festivals. We show how Alair fits into a lifestyle—and not just a stereotypical 420 lifestyle. It’s part of your everyday life, whether you’re using the pen before a night out at a gala or you’re using it casually with your friends at the park on a Sunday.”
But in the words of Kermit the Frog, it’s not easy being green. Even thriving dispensaries like 1066 Toronto are still fighting for their rights. “We engaged in the legalization movement because we needed a voice,” Robinson says. “There have been great activists that have paved the way for us to get to where we are today, so we formed a group called the Cannabis Trade Alliance in Canada.” Alongside different stakeholders in the marijuana industry, such as the Medical Dispensary Association and Women Grow, the alliance works with politicians at every level to ensure that “there’s no fear about what a cannabis entrepreneur looks like or what this industry is,” Robinson says.
How’s that for a puff in the right direction? Definitely on my bucket list if I ever hop over to Toronto.
In the meantime, you’re just going to have to follow them on Instagram here.
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