Organic Cannabis: what does it mean and why does it matter?

Mother Plant Cutting at Boaz

The term “organic” gets thrown around a lot these days. Often the term invokes ideas of purity and health, but what does it really mean

Picture from Simply Bare Organics

Food or farming methods produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents, are “organic.” In order to be able to label your products as such, you must grow and produce them using approved methods, determined by national or local certification councils. In turn, this results in varying qualifications around the world. 

Organic Certification 

In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates any food, seed, or animal feed that is labelled as such. These requirements also apply to cannabis, industrial hemp, cannabis products and by-products, such as regulations for livestock feed and the disposal of unused plant parts. However, the Safe Food for Canadians Act does not apply to edible cannabis products, as they are regulated under the Cannabis Act. The CFIA regulates products in accordance with the Canadian Organic Standards. Under the list of permitted substances, you’ll find materials such as compost tea, worm castings, honey, and more. 

TGOD: Green. Organic. <3
The Green Organic Dutchman is proud of their organic and sustainable practices

Can weed be organic if it isn’t certified? The short answer is yes. So long as the producer uses certified methods to produce their cannabis, we file it as ‟organic.”

Why Does Organic Matter?

Cannabis plants are hyperaccumulators: they absorb the toxins in soil or water. These toxins can include heavy metals, radioactive contaminants, or petroleum products. This process, called phytoremediation, can be beneficial when considering the negative emissions that result from growing industrial hemp. However, when it comes to the cannabis that you inhale and ingest, you want to be certain that your products are free from any harmful residuals. 

Do Licensed Producers in Canada use harsh chemicals to grow cannabis? The list of approved pesticides, fungicides and even fertilizers that can be used to grow ganja in Canada is very limited. All Canadian cannabis is safe to consume. As always, start low and go slow.

Different Ways of Growing Organically 

There is no set method of growing organically. Essentially, if you grow using materials and systems outlined by the CFIA, you are growing organically.

A well-known example of is living soil. Living soil is a method of growing that utilizes living microorganisms in the soil to provide nutrients in the plant. This process creates a symbiotic relationship between the plant and the soil, ultimately giving growing power back to the plant. Growing with living soil can result in a yield with a more robust cannabinoid and terpene profile. Other methods of organic growing exist, for example, hydroponics can be organically grown but it is not as common. 

Living soil is an example of organic growing methods
Click on the image to see the full poster

Who’s Growing Organically

Organic flower provides a higher-level experience when it comes to terpenes and cannabinoids. Knowing you’re buying from an LP that grows organically also provides peace of mind knowing what you’re consuming is free from residual chemicals. To make your decision-making process easier, here’s a list of LPs you can find that fit the bill in Alberta:

If you have any questions about organic cannabis or want to learn more about licensed producers that grow organically in Canada, come and visit us at the shop!. 

Black Lives Matter

Blackout Tuesday

In April 2018, I was walking around YEG (the airport, not the city) when I started an “Unladylike” podcast. It was before William and I had moved to Edmonton. Before we even knew for certain that we would be opening a dispensary. Before I knew what Daikoku would be. (It was my fourth time in Edmonton, and it was on this trip that I found our location.)

The first guest on the podcast was Wanda James. She became a huge inspiration for me. Her own skin colour was darker than that of her friends, but by and large, she lived a life many of us take for granted. Her life changed when she found out her brother (it’s a long story, just listen to the podcast) had been in prison on charges of cannabis possession. He is a male of colour. His sentence was 10 years long.

While this story happened in the United States, Canada is not so different. There is a massive racial disparity in charges being pressed, despite similar cannabis usage rate across ethnicities.

There is injustice. There is inequality. There is anger. There is fear.

Do not forget the anger you feel at the injustice; the fear you feel at the inequality. 

These feelings, which will pass soon enough for most of us, remain with others throughout their lives.

Black lives matter.

If you want to show your solidarity, here are a few resources:

  • Join the Peaceful Protest: follow @yegactivism on Instagram or YegAction on Facebook – remembering to respect social distancing rules;
  • Check out the post by Chew Project that lists organisations and ressources to support BIPOC and LGBTQ+ ressources.

Business as usual. Well, except for…

It’s been a long few days (anyone else struggling to keep a child educated and occupied?).

Amid all the chaos, we wanted to let you know what’s going on at daikoku, and to reassure you that business, for the most part, remains as usual. And that we have a healthy inventory of dried bud, vapes, edibles – even soft chews! – oils and caps.

Our plan is to have Daikoku remain open from 10 AM to 9:30 PM daily.

However, as of Thursday, March 19th, 2020, we will be instituting special hours:

From 10 AM to 11 AM, the store will be closed to the general public, and open exclusively for customers who are immunocompromised or who are over 60 years old.

(We won’t ID you or ask for your doctor’s note; this is an honour system, after all. We simply ask for your help and cooperation in this matter.)

We took the decision to stay open with our regular hours after discussions with our staff and taking into consideration the effect that shorter hours might have on in-store foot traffic, especially with regards to density. We also want to try and keep normalcy going for as long as possible, for you and for our team.

It goes without saying that we sanitize regularly. We’re also very lucky in the fact that the store is very large. In an effort to keep everyone healthy, we will ask you to utilize all that room: let’s spread out and keep at least one meter away from everyone.

Thanks for all your help. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Keep it fun,

Mimi

Acknowledgements

On May 24th 2018, we signed our lease on the premises that would become Daikoku.

Today, almost a full year later, we’ve officially (re-)opened – we’d been selling accessories since January 2nd – and have started selling cannabis. It’s a lot of emotions to process, but the one that I feel the most is gratitude.

Continue reading “Acknowledgements”

How to manage impairment at work

How to manage impairment at work

The legalization of cannabis caused many business owners some pause: what can you do, as an employer, if your employees take cannabis?

While the situation has been brought to the forefront due to cannabis legalization, it’s important to remember that impairment extends to alcohol and even prescription medication. The government of Canada defines an impaired individual within a workplace context as “someone who may have difficulty completing tasks in a safe manner and may put themselves, their coworkers and the public in danger.”

What are the employer’s responsibilities

There are currently no provisions in the Labour Code that cover how to manage impairment. However, employers must implement a Hazard Prevention Program which can include policies with regards to the use of cannabis or impairment inducing substances.

Their main responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of all employees and the public.

Is drug testing allowed?

There is no blanket regulation with regards to drug testing, though it may be permissible in specific instances. In general, however, drug testing is deemed as being discriminatory. See What are the rules for drug testing in Canada? for more information.

What are alternatives to drug testing?

Monitoring, through frequent conversations, observation and supervision, is the recommended course of action.

What about medical marijuana?

Like any other prescription medication, an employer has to accommodate employees who use medicinal marijuana. Of course, this is contingent on employees having all the legal and medical documentation to possess and use cannabis for medical purposes.

In all cases, employees are expected to be able to perform their job safely and to complete their tasks successfully, regardless of the medication they take.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter or as encouragement to consume cannabis. For more information, please visit:

Icons made by Kiranshastry from www.flaticon.com; licensed by CC 3.0 BY

What to watch: Super Mario Brothers (1993)

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu will be coming out in May 2019. To get into the mood of “Video game movie adaptations that should never have seen the light of day*,” this week’s movie recommendation is the quintessential Super Mario Bros.

(No news yet on the new Super Mario Bros. movie that Nintendo announced in February of last year, in partnership with Illumination.)

Synopsis

Set in dark and dreary Dinohattan, our favourite plumber brothers set out to save a kingdom. There is little jumping, oddly shaped Goombas and… wait, is that YOSHI?!

For Extra Fun

If you like the idea of a dystopian Mario Brothers world, check out “There will be brawl” – a YouTube based mini-series by Machinima.

Links

* May 2019: I would like to apologize: Detective Pikachu does not fit in the category of “Video game movie adaptations that should never have seen the light of day.” It delivers on its promise and does a great job of recreating the Pokéverse.

It’s hard to recommend a good movie. But everyone can laugh at a terrible movie. Which is why “The best worst movies” series focuses on movies that have become iconic for all the wrong reasons. In collaboration with Drunken Cinema and movie-expert Alyssia, we’ll be presenting movies to keep you entertained. Of sorts.

Daiko-who?

Cannabis Boutique

Daikoku stands out from other cannabis retailers in a very obvious way: the store name makes no reference, implied or oblique, to cannabis.

Instead, it’s a foreign word. Oftentimes, when people get it right, there’s laughter and even a mini celebration (it’s pronounced: da•i•ko•ku – we’ll teach you when you come to the store).

Continue reading “Daiko-who?”

Keep it in Canada: Do’s and Don’ts of Travelling with Cannabis

Iconography by freepik.com

Can I bring my own cannabis into Canada?

While medical and recreational cannabis is legal in Canada, it is illegal to cross the border in possession of cannabis. This is a blanket prohibition: it applies regardless of where you’re from or how much you have in your possession. And yes, this includes medical cannabis even with proof of prescription.

Can I leave Canada with some cannabis as a souvenir?

It is illegal to cross the border in possession of cannabis. Yes, this applies when you’re leaving the country as well, even if marijuana is legal at your destination. You might even be denied entry into countries that prohibit consumption of cannabis.

Some countries, such as Japan and South Korea, have issued statements whereby nationals visiting Canada who consume cannabis could face the same consequences as if they had consumed it at home.

Can I bring cannabis with me when travelling within Canada?

You can travel with legally purchased cannabis within Canada.

That being said, you need to follow local laws with regards to possession and consumption. For example, in Alberta, you must be 18 to purchase cannabis. Most other provinces and territories have set the minimum age to 19. Meanwhile, Québec is gearing up to make the legal age for cannabis purchase and consumption 21.

Sources: