Photo Credits: The Morty ( @themorty)
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, accepting the invite to Vancouver, Canada to represent The Quarry at an infused dinner and for a lovely two-day tour of the city. I’d tried their products before and was impressed, but hadn’t grasped the culture that they were trying to create. I had questions for those behind the name, the creators, and even the promoters. What makes this product better than other dabs and prerolls on the market? I quickly packed my bags, grabbed my passports and attempted to sleep although my mind was restless.
I flew out of rainy Portland the next morning, enjoying the early flight by myself with an empty seat beside me. The airport mimosa I had helped calm my nerves for the adventure ahead. I had been modeling for the past 8 years to expand my influence and this felt like a reward and a challenge for all my experience. It seemed almost like I made it, and I struggled not to call my mom and say so. But I wasn’t sure what I was walking into and how this would change me. Vancouver’s skies mimicked Portland’s in the sense that the sunlight fought to get through the clouds and when it did, everyone fought to go outside.
I waited moments before a very punctual and dapper Cadillac Hearse and a slick haired Jonny Bones told me to hop in. Taking the plunge, I hopped into the passenger seat and sped away from my doubts and the shadowed airport.
Jonny took me downtown where lots of little shops and old and intricate buildings still stood. The city seemed to have architecture from every decade which was somewhat scrambled, but worked in the charm department. It was obvious from the street murals and artwork lining the roads that a host of talented artists resided nearby.
The city seemed as if a god lassoed the surrounding mountains and pulled them right up close to the car windows. The views were unforgettably breathtaking. We grabbed a delightful breakfast at Two Forks and I was given a raincoat which gave me a chuckle.
Accustomed to Portland etiquette, it felt odd wearing a raincoat. I had some deeply ingrained home culture which recalled the social law governing those who attempted to shield themselves from the constant drizzle. I shrugged it on anyways, slipping into my foreigner mind set effortlessly. Coat on and belly full, I was ready to get to work.
Later that day, Jonny and I had met up with the Antisocial Crew, a company who helps businesses with Marketing and Social Media presence. They have been running The Quarry instagram and helping to build the aesthetic the brand is creating. From that point, I experienced my first mic experience.
I will say, being filmed and wearing a microphone consistently is a very odd experience and yes, I felt as glamorous as I’d always anticipated. Making sure to turn everything off when bathroom breaks couldn’t be avoided, I became very comfortable wearing it over time. Besides, I was beyond stoked to see what this city had to offer.
A lot of people are embarrassed to be tourists, but not me. I live for tourism and when asked what I wanted to explore, I stated, “Show me Vancouver”. This included having my first experience with poutine, a stoner’s wet dream consisting of French fries, cheese curds and gravy. I’m in love. The man covered in high quality traditional Japanese artwork who served me, welcomed us into the small restaurant where we stepped behind the counter and ordered right at the window. He was incredibly charming and had no problem answering all my invasive tattoo questions and even offered up the name of the shop he frequented: Monkey King. A name I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
I was obviously not disappointed with the poutine. It was delicious and while I didn’t get to spend the next two days enjoying it, there were plenty more intriguing stops to be seen. Hoping I wasn’t wearing my latest conquest, I popped into a local tattoo shop to check out their work and apparel lines and moved further down the block to scope out a deteriorating arcade which housed original video games and had the most terrifying bathroom I’d ever seen. Finally, we were in much need of a smoke break, and headed from there to one of my personal favorite spots: Crab Park.
This enchanting stretch of land had many different groups of people that were riding bikes, playing an energetic game of hacky sacks and chasing their dogs. To further the positive energy, couples everywhere were smoking joints.
Clouds of smoke wafted from across the lawn, further lifted into the sky by genuine laughter and squeals of delight. Jonny reached into his leather jacket and revealed a Pennywise covered tube, a mark of The Quarry’s genius product labeling, which depicted a menacing clown with high contrasting colors. Despite the terror ridden clown depicting the popular cult classic movie “IT”, the sativa dominant CBD strain settled my mind and relaxed my body without giving me a heavy psychoactive high. It was one of the most beautiful views I saw in the city and again wished I could freeze time. But that wasn’t possible because I was invited to a famous-yet-secret cannabis infused dinner to attend that night. After freshening up at the hotel, I glided back into the hearse and was whisked to the venue; a restaurant kept secret until the day of the event which helped to avoid any legal backlash or issues with local police.
The invite-only dinner was put on by Chris, (@the_herbal_chef), a pioneer for the cannabis movement who is working to break stigmas by creating infused fine dining experiences with low dosage portions. A glass of champagne was placed in my hands immediately after showing my passport and signing a few necessary legal documents. Being from Oregon, a state strict and cutting edge with their legalization, it was refreshing to see the importance they felt with honoring the legal age and protecting their business so that future events could take place.
The beautiful white lined tables were laden with jars of pungent, compact buds, courtesy of The Quarry, and a select menu for the night along with the wine parings. Chris had locally sourced and caught everything that went onto our plates over the course of the entire evening. I’ll save you the salivation in saying that the food was unforgettable and each plate was somehow better than the last. While every dish contained cannabis, I was unable to taste it until the last plate came my way.
I looked around seeing all different demographics of people; race, gender, social status, and age didn’t matter when coming to the table for cannabis. It was an incredibly eye opening experience watching everyone consume cannabis, step out to smoke a bowl, while the room was continually infused with love and affection. As the dinner began to close, I was brought outside by the film crew to interview about the experience and I welcomed the invitation. I really believed in the collaboration I had experienced and the family bond associated with creating a meal and consuming together. I sincerely hope Chris keeps creating them.
The next morning, after a deep and soundless sleep, I woke up with my husband and Yorkie named Sadie, who drove up to spend the end of the trip with me and the crew. We dressed and walked through the pouring rain to the Antisocial office; random moments which reminded me of home.
The rain had put a damper, pun intended, on our sunshine planned day of excursions, but I was amped to see the local dispensaries anyways. At the time, Vancouver was operating on a grey market which means although it’s not recreationally legal, just having an I.D. showing an age over 21 would get you in the door of most shops in town. Regardless of the loose laws that were currently circulating, these shop’s budtenders had their ish together. Oregon’s market has barely broken into educating the public about terpenes and medicinal value of the plant; whereas Vancouver, has the upper hand in launching their market based on these values. Fewer stigmas seemed to have arisen in this sort of structure and I believe it will continue to be lucrative for both their industry and their consumer’s experiences.
What other companies in the Canadian industry did lack was proper packaging. One of the shops we visited sold us a pack of joints with absolutely no labeling that was in a zip lock bag (i.e. not in child-proof packing). While the budtender knew what they were talking about, I had no information to know what I was ingesting once I left the shop and that worried me. What THC had I chosen? What was the major terpenes? Was it an energetic high or would I be watching Arrested Development marathons again? The Quarry shined compared to this experience due to the company having addressed this issue by listing their THC percentages on the product label. Decisions such as packaging and information available for consumers will separate and elevate the big contenders in the new emerging market.
My last day touring the city kept flying by, and we drove through Stanley Park to see the Lion’s Gate Bridge and smoke another joint. Tour buses passed us and waved from the windows as plumes of smoke rose from our group. The antisocial photographer and my husband (@themorty) took tons of photos and videos at this location due to the awe-striking trees that towered over us and cool tones of the fog which floated over the bridge. Relaxed and ready for more, we stopped in at the local Grass Roots Festival to visit The Quarry booth.
But first, we witnessed the most magical moment of the trip; a community organized pillow fight that was taking place right behind the Vancouver Art Gallery. Four or five dozen people with all their home influenced pillow cases shouted with glee as feather flew and stress was released. It was lighthearted and moving to see the community coming together for wholesome fun. The Grass Roots Festival was right underneath the epic feather release and rooms upon rooms of vendors lined the underground building. The Quarry booth stuck out with their bright comic artwork and their cheerful staff ready to answer questions. After checking out the local swag, we decided it was time to hold my final interview and say our goodbyes.
Saying goodbye to Jonny was the hardest of all. From the moment he picked me up at the airport, he had been my companion and an absolute blast to be around. From his easy-going attitude, to the undoubtable slicker style he had, it was hard not to feel that Jonny was an instant friend.
My experiences with The Quarry have been magical from that trip and even into the future. Their flower and shatter have always been of the highest quality which are backed up with their ethical conduct and company standards. Whether you’re in Canada or Oregon, look for their products at your next dispensary visit. You won’t regret it.