Creating community one puff at a time
Since the Liberal’s announcement of marijuana legislation, the media has been in an absolute frenzy, attempting to answer the question of what regulation in Canada will look like. In this pot-centric media storm no one has really approached the question of how recreational use will happen in a community setting.
Enter the Cannabis Clubs of Canada. Much like Spain’s underground cannabis club scene, these collective hubs will allow people to consume marijuana on club property without worry.
The local company began after co-founder Aman Samra ventured to Barcelona, Spain last year and saw first hand how these clubs operated, specifically with a club called El Circulo.
“When I got back to Canada, the government had just released its regulated task force document, so the dream finally seemed like a possibility,” Samra says.
Samra then drew up a business plan for Cannabis Clubs with his long-time friend Irfan Keshwani.
“Alternatively, we want to create a safe area to use cannabis and get rid of the stigma of smoking pot. It’s just another way for people to connect and let creativity flow,” says Keshwani.
“You will still be able to come in and buy craft weeds, but the focus will be more on creating the environment to smoke it,” Samra adds.
Even though these clubs are not in existence yet, the two cannabis entrepreneurs already have plans to situate them not only in Edmonton, but throughout Canada.
“We are creating a brand where people can go province to province, or city to city, and see one of our clubs and know it’s a place to congregate and use cannabis,” Keshwani says.
Each club will have a unique spin and look depending on where it’s based within a community. Keshwani and Samra have many different visions and concepts for different clubs, but right now that’s all they are until they get the go ahead from the city.
“We’re just waiting for word to come down the pipeline. The city has been a little reluctant to jump on the ball, but we’re confident they will soon,” Samra says.
“We’re hoping by the end of the year that we will be open. It’s a weird time. The city knows it can’t be reactive and they have to be a little bit proactive,” Keshwani adds.
The two hope their clubs will combat the negativity around social cannabis use.
“Right now it’s a couple people hiding while smoking a joint behind a bar or a park or something. That can have a very negative impact on the community and the people who don’t want to be a part of it. So communities realistically need these places,” Samra says.
“We definitely need to be conscious of the people who also don’t want to be a part of cannabis culture. We don’t want to be in their face,” Keshwani adds.
It’s good to see Keshwani and Samra have done their research and are collectively thinking about the non-user community. Right now there are too many hookah bars or vape lounges that give off that unwelcoming vibe to people uninterested or just trying to jump into the culture.
“If we don’t think about everyone, then there will be chaos between users and non-users,” Samra says. “Even though we are dealing with weed meant for recreation, we have to look at this responsibly.”