By Laurette Anderson
Sometimes you visit a dispensary and feel like you’ve walked into a ‘’party den’’, with some young reefer dude giving you his expert opinion and advice on what cannabis is right for your chronic pain, or even, serious illness, rather than actually feeling like you’re being served by compassionate professionals. Let’s face it. Dispensaries are not all created equal.
However, as co-owners Mike and Maria have a vested interest in the efficacy of the products they sell; The Evergreen Cannabis Society’s outlet, at 2868 West 4th St., is one of the ones that instils confidence from the moment you enter.
Maria herself had precancerous cells discovered in a routine surgical procedure and managed after many opinions to avoid the recommended hysterectomy, an over-prescribed solution to many and various reproductive issues these days. She was told, as so many are, that not having the hysterectomy was tantamount to playing Russian Roulette with her life. So Maria sought other opinions, not from more establishment doctors but rather from naturopaths who redirected her towards a healthier choice. Maria began taking cannabis creations of one kind and another to bring a halt to any further formation or growth of cancer cells. As is often the case, plant based nutrition, a reasonable lifestyle and cannabis, can go a long way to getting a body back on a healthy track again.
And so it was, that during this experience of exploring other health options, Maria and Mike visited many dispensaries to try to find the right products and information. In that complicated process they discovered a gap in the market that they were sure they could fill. They began to plan opening their own dispensary. Gone is the stoner at the front desk who has loads of personal experience with good weed, and in his place is real knowledge, gained through experience, that leads to a trusting relationship between the sales staff and the client who often is facing critical health and medical decisions. These medical decisions, are fraught with a false paradigm that favours the pharmaceutical and medical establishment, and stigmatizes the plant based alternatives, and any of its proponents, as “quackery”. It’s a tough yet fragile veneer for the Evergreen Dispensary to break through, and it takes someone knowledgeable and sympathetic to the situation, to gain trust of the hesitant client who walks into the dispensary. Nothing beats the personal and successful experience of the dispensary owners.
From here, Maria and Mike have never looked back. They jumped through every one of the many hoops set up for them in regulatory stipulations and have been operating for the last two years, successfully, out of their Kitsilano location. Their favourite products include their massage oils and creams, which Mike highly recommends after beneficial results with his own skin condition.
Their products are all local, lab tested and organically sourced. This shop presents itself online as a “compassion club” and it is registered under the BC Societies Act. So when you join the Society your personal information is protected under the Act.
There are many testimonials to be found on their website and online but they themselves shared with me in our interview many stories about people having major success using their products to treat and get rid of conditions like fibromyalgia, skin conditions, depression and chronic muscle and back pain.
In reality the time has come for us all to take a closer, unbiased look at an ancient plant with amazing healing properties. Why? Because the pharmaceuticals industry has been providing prescribed medications that are known (and documented) to kill over 100,000 patients every year. And this estimate is on the modest side.
For more information on their products, check out their website or visit them at the LIFT event in Vancouver. If you live in the Vancouver area, then: lucky you, you can visit their dispensary knowing that these people are genuinely interested in your health and wellbeing and will give you the best advice based on the personal, first-hand experience of curing themselves first.