I have to admit that I have many fond memories of 420’s past and the majority of them were at Centennial Square, downtown Victoria BC. I always appreciated being able to relax, consume cannabis and do so in a public setting for that one day out of the year. I remember the very first time I truly felt the full effect of cannabis on my system and it was a 420 at the square; I had smoked it a couple times before then but never really felt much, so, I came to the gathering not expecting a lot.
Sitting on the steps, feeling perfectly warm in the sunshine with my sunglasses keeping me comfortable; I remember being completely present and aware of how perfectly happy I was to be there in that moment. Then I remember thinking that I had never realized how much I enjoyed the sound of a large drum circle… and it hit me that I was stoned.
With legalization dancing in the distance and dispensaries putting drug dealers out of business, it is fair to say that times are irrevocably changing. More and more people are feeling comfortable being open about their cannabis use and as this happens, our options become broader and way more fun…we also get to have more control over how we want to use our medicine.
The Great Canadian Canna Mall opened up this time last year and has been a pioneer in creating many new opportunities for the people of Victoria. Just like it sounds, a mall filled with different stores that relate to or are cannabis friendly and right beside it is The Green Ceiling, Victoria’s cannabis vapour lounge. With the date fast approaching, I stopped two of my favorite Canna Mall Dolls, Nicole and Ashtree.
Jewlz: So, Whats happening at the CannaMall for 420?
Nicole: A full day of activities… market place, Dj’s, we are booking live performers…
Ashtree: We are having an amazing event here at the CannaMall for 420! Live entertainment, scheduled events, prizes, product competitions, games, uh, even more! Its going to be incredible!
Jewlz: contests you say…I love winning things and I am pretty good at it…
Jewlz: love it.
Ashtree: Oh! and a bring your best extractors competition. There is still time for extract companies to enter their product into the competition too! So, the list of who’s fighting for best extract of 420 at the CannaMall 2017 is getting bigger…
Jewlz: Wow, Sounds epic and also like you guys have put a lot of work and planning into this.
Nicole: We are literally having full on 420 committee meeting every week to mastermind this.
Ashtree: We always start with a session to get the creative energy flowing… then its contacting entertainers, figuring out a good schedule, figuring out how many people…stuff like that.
Jewlz: So uh…how big do you plan on this getting…(they both look at each other, smile and shrug)
Nicole: I think were gonna to see a fairly big crowd… I’m hoping for the best… that’s what I do. (Ashtree nods)
Jewlz: Have you guys applied for any special permits or talked to the City at all? Do you know how they feel about it?
…silence…then they both break out laughing…and I start laughing too because of the way that they are laughing…
Jewlz: So, no?
Nicole: Don’t know, don’t care…but the fact that it is happening here where it is monitored and managed…no kids and self regulating…
Ashtree: Well I don’t know. The thing is, the 420 tradition has been all ages. I remember fondly reveling in the city hall square as a teen, but ours is 19 plus age event. We would hope that the city would see this is a controlled setting for adults.
Jewlz: Ted Smith has just retired and he usually tackles all the 420 organizing, big boots to fill…
Nicole: Oh no no, we are not seeing this as replacing traditional events at all. What we are doing here is to celebrate as a lounge and provide a safer, festival style environment where people can relax and be comfortable. The biggest concern is the kids, we aren’t confident we can manage that down there but we know we can here. It isn’t meant to take away from traditional. In years passed, there has been concern about activities down there being unrestricted around minors. Holding an alternative to that situation gives people the opportunity to participate in these activities without making themselves a public spectacle, having to go to Vancouver or worry about police.
Ashtree: Its interesting because this was originally planned with Ted but he recently stepped out and with our full support I might add. For a while we were unsure if we could pull it together but very quickly we realized as a team we could do it. We put together a committee of all the key CannaMall players to make this happen; we set up some awesome sponsorship packages after meeting with entertainers and comedians and its all coming together.
Jewlz: This really sounds like its going to a great time.
Ashtree: Yes! Its is! I love 420! Its the best day! There is a lot of great stuff going on that day in Victoria no matter where you chose to celebrate. But, (as she chuckles to herself), knowing what we have planned for everyone, I can’t wait for 420 at The Canna Mall this year…I just can’t.