My full name, Mireille Tessier, tends to stick out in Edmonton. It also sticks out in the cannabis industry. It’s obviously French – or foreign, if you’re unfamiliar with Canada’s second official language – and not obviously female. Which is why I usually go by the far more pronounceable moniker of “Mimi.”
For the curious, my name rhymes with “Mini Death Ray.”
it’s pronounced [Mee-Ray]
What we talk about
Francophones and females are underrepresented in the legal Canadian world of grass. It’s one of the topics Luc Prévost (the ToPot’s host) and I talk about, in French, during the 44 minute episode.
During the podcast, Luc and I also discuss:
Why William decided to open a weed store;
How we decided to come to Edmonton;
How pot stores are different in Alberta and in Quebec;
But this is the first time in a long time that I was able to take a moment to pause and think about how far we’ve come. Many of you may not know that Daikoku is not, in fact, my first business. But it is the first time I had a business start so backwards.
Before Daikoku was even incorporated, we already had letters of intent for leasing a location, a working relationship with my contractor, store designs, a lawyer and an accountant. We incorporated days before we sent our final application to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (the AGLC) in April 2018. We got our final cannabis permit exactly one year later.
We moved from Quebec to Alberta in July of 2018, just in time for K-days, knowing only a handful of people, with no promise of a business actually coming to fruition.
Looking back on it during this potcast, it hits me how much of a trip this was. The shakiness in my voice is as much nerves as emotion. It was hard not to cry sometimes – out of sheer relief, maybe?
Hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I do – bonne écoute!
I’d been toying with the idea of DIY miniature dollhouses for a couple of years. And, like everything else on the Internet after you click that one link, my social media channels started showing ads for Rolife’s Miniature dollhouses. The Greenhouse is ostensibly the best selling kit, so I figured I’d try my hand at it.
To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail
Before I actually started glueing anything together, I watched quite a few videos. This video by Cris.Crafts speeds up the process of unboxing and building the kit. However, this video by Kixkillradio Miniatures showed me that when it comes to miniatures, you’re only limited by your imagination. This came in handy when a few “happy accidents” occurred.
I also looked at the Amazon reviews to see what extra items were needed when buying this kit. Glue was the top recommendation.
Here are a few more I learned on the way:
An X-acto knife, box cutter or blade. You want this VERY sharp (so be careful and maybe do the cutting of pieces while sober…)
Scissors: Fabric scissors, paper scissors and embroidery scissors were all used in the making of my miniatures.
A self-healing cutting mat. Unless you want new decorative etchings on your table.
Acrylic paint and assortment of brushes. If you want to change up the colour scheme, acrylics tend to be the cheapest method of getting good, opaque coverage.
Toothpicks or a needle tool. Because the glue will inevitably bubble over, and a toothpick is a quick way to grab a small gob of it and apply it to small pieces.
Origami paper, scrapbooking paper, white card stock and black card stock. I prefer using papers with small motifs or patterns so they don’t look out of scope in the 1:24 scale miniature. Or paint my own (watercolours are very forgiving).
Top tip: I didn’t know this until my fourth kit, but it’s a good idea to scan all the pages of the papers you have to cut.
In case you have a happy accident. Or several.
ABC, easy as 1, 2,3
I followed the steps in order, building the shelves first, and then the smaller decorative pieces. I only started taking pictures once the decorative pieces were stuck on the floor.
Things I learned with this kit:
The transparent glue dries relatively quickly. Add as little glue as you can, hold the pieces together for a count of 10. If the pieces aren’t stuck together by then add a LITTLE BIT more glue. I did not. As a result, I see several places where there’s excess glue (no one else seems to see them, or at least no one says anything).
Add your own touches. This is probably the most important. By the time I was done with all the big shelves and decor items, I had a big brown bag that was supposed to read “Flower.” Being the kind of girl I am, I changed it to a Big Bag o’ Weed, which brought me to add several weed references to the miniature.
The transparent lid of the greenhouse is the single most evil thing in the kit. Actually, it’s every single transparent acrylic that’s included in the kits as I always get them caked with glue. Anyone have tips for me?
Double-check the instructions. Ok, that’s not a fair statement. I didn’t learn that (as future miniatures will show), but as a result of speeding by the instructions I glued everything on the wrong side of the floor. I had to carefully remove all the items, doing my best to avoid bending, breaking and otherwise destroying them. Then I ended up painting the floor. Fun times.
Things I improved after this kit
I became a lot more confident when painting and customizing the kits. In subsequent kits, I wanted to keep Daikoku’s official colour scheme of white with dark accents, and the occasional bright ray of yellow on a backdrop of greenery. After I did the small customizations on the greenhouse, it was less scary to paint the floor or the walls in my next few kits.
I learned about the differences in sandpaper grit. After this kit, I learned which sandpaper to use to remove paint from the wood, which to use to prep the wood and which to use to smooth out the paint. I’m sure most people know, but just in case I’ll let you in on my secret in the next kit blog post.
I picked up polymer clay again. While it’s incredibly impressive and satisfying to use odds and ends, recycled materials, leftover craft pieces and the actual pieces they give you in the kits, you just can’t find bongs and pipes at a 1:24 scale. And trying to make them out of leftover craft items didn’t look quite so pretty as the ones I sculpted. But more on that when we talk about Kit 2: Daikoku’s Coffeeshop.
Under the loupe: Reefer References
Big Bag of Weed on the front left shelf
Daikoku Sticker on Easel as artwork (has a bong and bags of weed)
A marijuana leaf on the floor, under the front shelf
The lady in the painting to the left of the door has a joint in her mouth (which is shoddily drawn in)
The marijuana plant in front of the store
The Devil’s Lettuce sign in the bottom bin
Life at 1:24
You’re going to make mistakes. Your hands will be covered in glue. You’re going to notice all the places you mess up. But you’re the only one who will.
When you’re done, no one wil know what you could’ve done better. The ‘mistakes’ that you fix become what make your miniature kit your own.
You also get an incredible high from people complimenting you, looking for reefer references, and from finishing something you created. Actually, just cutting up the monstera plant and having someone recognize it (those plants were really hard to cut!) for what it is is pretty amazing.
Where you can pick up your supplies
Check out these local businesses to see where you can stock up on supplies:
We are on a mission to find an Edmonton artist to help design a Daikoku-esque image for our new t-shirts. (This way, we get to combine our love for Edmonton with our love for the arts!) We’ll be letting our following vote for their favourite design. The winning design will receive a $500 award for their creation. The winning design will be used principally on our t-shirts, but might also be featured on other swag!
Sounds like something up your alley? Great! Here’s now you can enter:
Create a Daikoku Design using our logo and the theme of bubbles/water – you know, that iconic sound of a bubbler.
Submit your design(s) to email@example.com – AI, EPS or PDF file formats are preferred – deadline for art submissions is October 4, 2020 at 11.59pm MST
Designs will then be shared across our social channels for voting. Encourage your friends and family to vote for your design! The art with the most votes will be chosen as the winner – voting period is October 5, 2020 8am MST to October 10, 2020 11:59pm MST. The winning design will be announced October 11th
Here are some additional details you should note:
Designs must not be appealing to youth; depict a person character or animal, whether real or fictional; or be presented in a way that evokes a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.
You must be 18+ to enter, but this contest is in no way meant to encourage or create glamour around the consumption of cannabis
Cannabis packaging has changed quite a bit since the legacy market days. It certainly feels like it’s gotten a lot bulkier! As Licensed Producers (LPs) navigate regulations, packaging varies wildly from one brand to another. That being said, it doesn’t all have to go to the landfill. In simpler times, we were able to offer in-store recycling solutions. These days those recycling programs have been put on hold. As a result, lots of people let us know that their packages seem to be piling up.
So what can you do with it all?
Depending on the container material, there’s numerous ways to recycle your cannabis packaging.
Keep on reading for all you need to know on properly recycling your cannabis containers. We even included information on how you can repurpose your containers into items worthy of shelf displaying.
Recycling: Plastic Jars
One of the most common cannabis containers on shelves these days are plastic jars. These jars come in a range of colours, but are most often white. The good news is, plastic containers are recyclable. Add them to your regular recycling bag; items must be empty, clean, and dry.
Re-Use Center: Tin Boxes
Tin containers are exclusive to Canopy products, such as Tweed and LBS. They are not recyclable. However, there are many ways that these containers can be repurposed. Once we hit stage 3 of opening, consider dropping them off at the Edmonton Reuse Centre. In the meantime, try getting creative with your containers. Use them to hold other small items or even turn them into a decorative succulent pot (see below for instructions).
Recycling: Glass Jars
Glass jars are the latest to hit shelves, and are often the jar of choice for organic cultivators such as, Simply Bare and Good Buds. Glass is great because it is both recyclable and repurposable. You can add your glass jars to your regular recycling bag; items must be clean, empty, and dry. However, if you’re looking to give your jars new life, try repurposing them into an adorable succulent pot.
Repurposing your jars doesn’t have to be complicated. Succulents are incredibly durable plants that are the perfect size for your old cannabis containers. Once your plant is potted you’ll only need to water it about once a week or when soil feels dry.
Add a layer of rock to the base of your container. This will allow for proper drainage and help prevent root rot.
Tip: Adding a layer of charcoal and moss can help further prevent your plants from being overwatered
Add your soil. Make sure to leave enough room to add your plant. Your soil of choice will change depending on the plant you are potting. Your local garden centre can help you find the right base.
Remove your plant from the container you purchased it in and gently separate the roots from the soil.
Once your plant roots are exposed, add it to your repurposed container. Top with additional soil to hold your plant in place.
Add any decorative items you would like to your container ie. ribbon, gems, stickers, etc.
Recycling: Aluminum Cans/ Beverage Bottles
Your new cannabis beverages may look similar to your other beverage options, but can they be recycled in the same way? The answer is, yes! Your cannabis beverage bottles and cans can be returned for a refund at your local bottle depot.
Recycling: Cardboard Boxes
Yup, you guessed it, your cardboard boxes are definitely recyclable. Just make sure they’ve been flattened, clean, and dry. If you’re into composting some packaging, such as from Kolab and Foray, can be added to your compost bin.
Garbage: Vape Cartridges / Disposable Vapes
Whether it’s PAX, 510, or Luma your vape cartridges and disposable vapes are not recyclable. The complicated technology that makes up a vape cartridge is not easy to reuse; cartridges go in your garbage. Alternatively, your vape batteries and disposable vapes are considered household hazardous waste and should be dropped off at your local eco station.
Want to learn more?
Check out our Instagram post for a quick on-the-go cannabis recycling guide, or download the Edmonton Waste Wise app for in-depth information on recycling. As always, if you’re ever uncertain feel free to ask our Budtenders! They’re always happy to answer any and all cannabis inquiries you may have.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
Sundial is headquartered in Calgary. They have a production plant in Olds, Alberta. The licensed producer (LP) has four brands on the legal market. These brands differ in their price point, approach, packaging and niche.
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.
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.
To ensure everyone’s safety and in compliance with the city of Edmonton’s Mask By-law, we have a no-mask, no entry policy.
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.
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.