did you get started selling seeds?
started Sacred Seed in 2002. There was an overwhelming need and opportunity
to provide seeds to medical patients. Those allowed to grow were given
no legal access to seeds, were told by the government that they had
no viable option for them, and even to seek what they needed on the
internet. So, by medical necessity and the negligence of our government,
Canada's legal climate effectively changed in such a way as to allow
cannabis seed companies. The prohibition of cannabis seeds was always
laughable, especially considering the comparison with opium poppy seeds,
which are absolutely unrestricted.
to our readers what the Toronto Hemp Company is, and what it is about?
Hemp Company (THC) is a retail store and resource center dedicated to
an incredibly beneficial plant and its mistreated culture. Founded in
1994, we exist to provide information and products made of, and relating
to, the cannabis plant.
you mail to U.S.?
make sure that people who need our help are taken care of, although
Sacred Seed doesn't ship into the States anything that is illegal down
there. Sacred is primarily a walk-in retail store. We do keep in mind
special circumstances such as State-recognized exemptions etc., and
happily help to connect our American friends to the mail-order sources
they might require, but we make efforts to avoid any activity that might
irritate the genuinely terrifying war-mongering authorities y'all have
to deal with down there.
strain you recommend?
lots. We love Shiva Skunk, Blueberry, Ultimate Indica, Afghani #1, Black
Domina, some other Skunk crosses, and some Jack Herer crosses, for examples.
But again there are considerations here - some strains such as a pure
Sativa like Thai are extremely special to inhale/ingest, but are a total
pain in the ass to grow, will all-too-likely self-pollinate, take forever
and yield next to nothing.
tips for the readers?
would encourage readers to be open to spending the extra few bucks for
more reliable and higher quality seeds, shopping more by strain features
than price because a little saving at the seed-buying stage often results
in a big loss later on. Don't make price your main consideration if
you can afford not to. I would also recommend against other shortcuts
that are costly in the long run such as using a less than sufficient
light and low quality nutrients.
think Toronto will be the next Amsterdam?
think we're getting there and in ways even overtaking the Dutch pot
paradise. As far as I know, there aren't any huge hemp stores like THC
in Amsterdam. And Holland's right-wing government is cracking down on
marijuana sales while Canada is discovering the potential of a regulated
and taxed recreational pot industry - taking it out of the hands of
criminals, the benefits to our health and our health-care system, the
reduction in damages and costs associated not only with waging the war
on drugs but also with the enormous societal problems that war causes.
We're not talking about small improvements here; we're talking about
billions of dollars being saved. Meanwhile, organs are being harvested
from executed drug dealers in China. Millions of Americans are in prison
for marijuana offenses. I sure hope we can all wake up from this insanity
you have hash bars there yet?
but most of Toronto's pot-friendly cafes are Bring-Your-Own-Bud. There
are selling cafes here and across the country, and there's been a great
deal of noise lately about one in particular going public in Vancouver,
but most of the cafes across Canada are nice places where you're allowed
to smoke but not allowed to buy and sell.
One of my favorites would have to be the recent [July 2004] Fill The
Hill event, which was an outdoor conference/smoke-fest on the front
lawn of our federal legislature buildings - somewhat akin to holding
a huge pot rally in the White House's front yard. That was a truly incredible
event with speakers from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Educators
for Sensible Drug Policy, Canadians for Safe Access, and the Canadian
Foundation for Drug Policy. I am honored to have served as Master of
Canada's politics to the U.S.
main comparison that I'd make is that there's more of an "us versus
them" mentality in your country, and lots more hypocrisy. Your
leaders and enforcers exist less to serve the people, and more to serve
themselves and the corporations that fund them. It's like that up here
as well, but not to the same degree.
do you think about the border impounding hemp fiber and hemp seeds for
think the DEA is out of control. It's absolute insanity. The Declaration
of Independence was written on hemp paper. There was a huge "Grow
Hemp For the War" campaign and the plant was respected, appreciated
and an American staple. George Washington grew hemp. And they weren't
ignorant back then to the medical benefits either. A huge percentage
of your medicines a hundred and fifty years ago contained cannabis.
The crusade that your government is on, the campaigns of disinformation
about the "Gateway Effect" and "this is not the marijuana
you knew when you were young" and all the other lies; it's all
so counterproductive and destructive for the entire population, except
for those who are making huge money in the black market. Another thing
that's sadly hilarious is that the US leadership insults Canada for
our marijuana exports, which account for some 2% of your weed, while
probably 80% of our cocaine and guns are coming up from the States.
Canada growing hemp?
is, and Agriculture Canada isn't anywhere near as ignorant as Health
Canada [the agencies tasked with taking care of the industrial and medical
aspects of the plant, respectively]. Canada is known for growing some
of the finest quality hemp in the world; farmers are being saved by
it. You need a license and to undergo strict testing and certification
procedures in order to be a hemp farmer, but it's working relatively
well so far. The medical licensing, on the other hand, is a complete
years we've only known of and sold vaporizers (also known as volatizers)
that were based upon old technology and flawed principles. The problem
is that traditional hot-plate vaporizers basically fry your herb in
the hope that this harsh cooking will free up some of the good stuff
in the process. Bad idea. The new way, the hot-air method, works by
heating air and passing it through the herb, rather than heating the
herb directly. This causes a very efficient transfer of active chemicals
into the "vapor," and does not destroy the cannabinoids as
flame or a hot-plate would. What you get is a much more efficient inhalation
method that is healthier because it avoids the potentially damaging
aspects of hot smoke. (More info at www.dominizer.com)
us about the Toronto Compassion Centre.
that's the non-profit side of what we do. It's an organization set up
in 1997 to provide medical marijuana to seriously ill Canadians who
need it, and also to serve as a medicinal cannabis information resource
and political organization for all Canadians. We brought a Civil Court
case, which we won at three levels of court, challenging the government's
system and insisting that the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations and
by extension the entire cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional. The
Centre has over 1,400 members, and has been taking part in more and
more research, legal actions, political efforts, provision of complementary
therapies for our members, etc., etc.
us about the museum.
just opened a new store, a new concept - a Garden Supply store a.k.a.
hydroponics shop combined with a Marijuana History Museum, a Glass Art
Studio for exhibition and custom work, and what I call a 'Cannabis Community
Centre' for education, meetings, screenings, and even including a Cannabis
Clips video/media studio for our soon-to-be released online cannabis
always wanted a museum. Aside from being a storehouse of cool things
and important information, they also have an air of legitimacy and grant
us access to more mainstream avenues such as attraction maps and tour
groups. The museum covers the industrial hemp side of things, and our
long history of the use of cannabis in all forms, as well as the recent
history regarding medical/recreational use and the evolution of the
laws here and abroad.
cool. Thanks for your time, man.