Article by Mel W, High! Canada
Recently, Jamie Kunkel owner of Smoke Signals dispensaries extended his sovereign right to dispense and consume cannabis and cannabis-derived products on his property allowing local businesses to display their products as well as network within the community itself. The Indigeneous Cannabis Cup was a successful event and drew in producers and a great number of consumers. This event is a great example of what can be done and what is possible if we all open our minds and hearts and begin working together to support and heal.
The event was host to over 50 Canna-vendors, Educational Workshops, Musicians, Comedians, and friends. We wanted to provide every opportunity to share and learn all we can about the cannabis plant. We were even lucky enough to have Donisha Prendergast come and deliver a powerful speech about her fathers song lyrics, stating that Bob Marley himself was not just writing songs. His lyrics to the song One Love are far more than just lyrics, it’s a movement, a way of life. One that we must all embrace with open minds and open hearts. This is our time to educate, sovereignty isn’t just about land, It is our rights.
The production and sale of cannabis are not governed by Canadian law in Tyendinaga and therefore created the perfect venue for us to learn, share and educate. This is a great example of what happens when communities work together and this event and community should serve as a guideline for other reservations. This is what can happen.
Cannabis has helped save thousands of lives and in the past few years, it has evolved way farther than a bud you simply grow and smoke. ICC 2018 provided everything from lifted Yoga & cloning workshops to snow cones, Ice cream, and hand spun cotton candy as well as Mac n Cheese, Tacos & Olive oils, (all of course all infused with cannabis love) to extraction, lighting companies, and craft growers, the goal was to provide an individual learning experience at literally each and every booth. There was certainly something for anyone and everyone to learn. Safety was an absolute first and as to not encourage driving while under the influence on-site tent camping was provided with your weekend admission. We would like to extend a Thank you to the entire Tyendinaga Police Services for their support. They were completely aware of the location and the type of event and gave us no issues and actually provided cruisers on the side of the Hwy for passerby’s to be alerted as to possible foot traffic.
With no Alcohol or hard drugs permitted on site the vibe never changed all weekend, It consistently remained laid back & chill. The atmosphere that was created and the feelings felt, is hard to describe in words. I am not sure I personally have experienced anything so surreal and “magical”. All who came in peace were truly welcomed, the after parties were exceptional and participants were literally spoiled with swag goodies and a 5-ounce joint and a leaf blower.
Over the 4 day event, we had one day of rain, a bit of mud, a lot of fun and we all learned so much. There were stories of success, stories of remission, tears of joy and smiles throughout the entire weekend, It is times like this that help people want to talk, open up and share their stories. The networking was amazing.
I overheard a vendor say “oh we should have set up over there…” and within minutes teams of vendors were helping each other not only to move but to help set up tables and displays for each other. The connections and friends that were made make it unlike any other cannabis event to date in Ontario.
We really did prove what really happens when a bunch of stoners congregate in one mass to organize a top-notch cannabis event. We proved that one love IS a way of life. We proved that you can not, in fact, spell health care without THC. We proved that 100’s of people can consume cannabis daily, without a single incident. We proved that stereotypes are not real. It was truly an honour to be a part of such an amazing event and I personally can not wait to see what happens next.
Thank you to everyone who contributed, we could not have done it without you.