Putting it bluntly: We chatted to a real estate broker who smokes pot daily

How a daily pot smoker views legalization


Michael might smoke a joint to quell his anxiety before heading to the mall on a weekend

Everyone, meet Michael. He and I don’t know each other, and that’s not his real name. But he’s agreed to meet with me, smoke a joint and talk about how he smokes cannabis on a daily basis and what the coming of legalization might mean to him. 

Michael is a big-time real estate professional in Toronto. He is also a thirtysomething family man with a wife and a couple of kids. 

He’s been a longtime cannabis consumer and resides in the Avenue Road and Eglinton Avenue West area in a respectable home, on a respectable street. His neighbours have no idea he smokes pot (although, who knows, maybe they do as well).

For him, the smoking ritual is personal and private. He might smoke at the occasional party, but generally he does so at home.

Not today, I say, as I roll out my Marley wooden rolling tray for us to use and apologize for the pile of stems I am apparently building into a collection. 

I would always save the stems of the bud when I first started using cannabis for medical reasons. I would also save the decarboxylated leftover weed from my vaporizer — I could use both to infuse oil or butter later. 

My rolling tray is a mess. Since I consume daily and work in the craziness that is today’s marijuana industry, I have come to accept that sometimes my rolling station is a disaster. 

But according to Michael, “It is perfect,” because he is still able to roll one up for us to share. 

Michael is partial to the indica strain variety and partaking in a smoking session at the end of a day, while watching hockey or anything that allows him time to relax from the hustle of the city’s thriving real estate industry.

I soon find out Michael also loves smoking blunts. For those not in the know, a blunt is a marijuana cigarette rolled in a cigar leaf: because of the tobacco wrapping, it produces a unique high that is distinct from other consumption methods.

He recalls, in our interview, how he first encountered blunts in Los Angeles at a Snoop Dogg party. Before then he’d never smoked a blunt in his life. 

Tell me about smoking that first blunt. What was it like? 
Michael: So I wasn’t smoking joints for two years, I was vaping. Then I went to this party, and I come across Louie the XIII. Apparently it’s this guy who has sold to celebrities, and he’s got these hand-rolled, prepackaged, pre-rolled blunts. 

What are we smoking today?
M: We are smoking something from a craft grower. An indica from a craft grower, local.

So we don’t know? 
M: We don’t know. Truly, we don’t know. [Note: Having spent a lot of time in the presence of patients and other marijuana industry professionals, I’ve come to take for granted knowing exactly what strain I’m consuming, down to the exact percentage of THC and CBD. Partaking in some mystery weed with Michael was actually so refreshing.] 

Have you been smoking since you were a teenager? 
M: No, I started late, 21. It’s been 14 years smoking, and it only became daily six years ago. 

You started for medicinal reasons? 
M: No. Initially, it was just to get high. I’ll give you an example: If my wife says we’re going to the mall on a Saturday with the kids, she’ll say, “Smoke a joint,” because, without a joint, I can’t even deal with that request. I think everyone can relate to the stress that is the mall on any day, but especially a Saturday with a three-year-old and a one-year-old. I need that small joint to chill, then I can go, otherwise, I’m anxious. 

As we finish the rest of our joint, Michael tells me about spending the last 12 years in the real estate industry. He has just made partner at one of Toronto’s most influential commercial brokerage firms. 

He is also working on a few deals in the marijuana industry. He’s stoked on weed being accepted and normalized, and his vision for legalization is one where he gets to apply his business skills to help the industry grow profitably through innovation. 

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Ljubica Kostovic is a cannabis advocate and the director of communications and research at a medical cannabis education service.

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