Article by Dessy Pavlova, Lift
Toronto’s Green Market is a craft cannabis pop-up that showcases cannabis derivatives that local dispensaries no longer carry after the Project Claudia raids.
Lift spoke with two of the women behind this project about why it is important, and what kinds of challenges they face in operating the market.
Lisa Campbell is a longstanding activist and cannabis consultant at Mobile Revolutions, and Sarah Gillies, co-creator of Toronto’s High5 Girls, is also the owner of Mary Jane’s Touch, a topicals brand.
Why do you hold the events?
Lisa: We wanted to provide access to edibles and cannabalms for patients that can’t wait. We came up with the idea in the Women Grow Toronto chapter. Our first event was Mother’s Day 2016 and everyone brought their moms. Right now, there are a lot of small businesses starting that aren’t yet able to be a part of the ACMPR.
Sarah: I was sponsoring Women Grow events, and as an edible and topical producer, liked the idea of meeting customers and getting one-to-one feedback. When Project Claudia happened just after our second event, producers needed to find other outlets for patient access. There was no other society or association that focused on edibles, topicals or extracts access — nobody was representing the edible side of things. We felt it was needed.
What do you think the legal market is lacking?
Lisa: Access to cannabis in all its forms. With bud and oil, the oil is diluted and overpriced in dispensaries, while Licensed Producers are running out of stock. Patients can’t have their needs helped by Licensed Producers, so through the Green Market we’re creating access to this alternative network inspired by cannabis clubs in Europe where people can safely access and socialize. At the Green Market, we thought the police would come, but we aren’t hurting anybody. Not everyone selling cannabis is selling craft cannabis, but the Toronto Police can tell the difference. We’re not organized crime, we’re organized community.