The high end of cannabis culture

Canada preps for legal use with luxe finds


Luxury accessories from Van der Pop

Image: David Pike

Self-care Sundays will soon get a makeover, when marijuana is legalized.

As you draw your bath and get ready for your weekly steam, you may sprinkle some cannabis-infused magnesium bath salts or reach for your favourite CBD strain and have a toke from a handcrafted ceramic pipe.

As Canada prepares to usher in a new age of legal adult-use cannabis, brands are setting the stage for a new kind of cannabis experience. One that focuses on thoughtful, design-forward products and healing concoctions to make users feel good inside and out.

In anticipation of legalization, Canada is also setting an example by welcoming the rise of women-focused brands and community builders whose mission is to create rituals for those looking to this new era of cannabis culture.

“Cannabis is something that allows me to relax and get caught up in the moment of exactly what it is that I’m doing” says Odessa Paloma Parker, the head of content at Tokyo Smoke, a leading Canadian cannabis lifestyle brand.

Having spent years working in the fashion and publishing industries as the fashion editor for the Globe and Mail, Parker looks to high-end cannabis products as a connection between her sensibilities and her everyday lifestyle.

“One of the things I love about fashion and style is that people can make things their own. It’s not just Gucci. There are so many great designers and esthetics operating today. The cannabis industry is a space to explore that potential,” says Parker. 

With shifts in attitude already taking place, cannabis use is quickly becoming less of a taboo topic. 

Now, brands like Toronto-based Tokyo Smoke are creating a space for a community of cannabis consumers looking for a new kind of experience. 

The Tokyo Smoke flagship store at 668 Queen St. W. is a hub for design-focused minds looking to incorporate elevated cannabis experiences into the rest of their lives.

Offering a diverse selection of products selected for their esthetic, intention and imagination, the coffee shop located in the art and design district is a one-stop shop for a luxurious cannabis experience. 

With products ranging from the $10 sleek grinder card that fits next to your Visa to the $13,000 bong, Tokyo Smoke has something for every person and budget.

Offering an array of products linked to four emotive states (go, relax, relief and balance), the shop now also offers a premium selection of cannabis strains to medical patients through their partnership with licensed producer Aphria. 

Blazing the trail for women-led luxury cannabis brands is Seattle’s Van der Pop. Recently acquired by Tokyo Smoke, Van der Pop is a “new resource for women who seek out what speaks to them” in the world of cannabis and well-designed products. Expected to launch its signature strains in Canada with partner licensed producer WeedMD this October, Van der Pop accessories are already available for sale at Tokyo Smoke.

Van der Pop’s signature Poppins Italian leather bag retails at $370. The purse comes equipped with a lock for your stash.

Van der Pop is also committed to pairing cannabis experiences with education and culture. The Vandy advice blog is a place for the canna curious to get their daily dose of cannabis knowledge. 

And for those not particularly excited about the toxic effects of alcohol, both psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis products are a welcome alternative in our social landscapes.

High-end cannabis brands provide consumers with an opportunity to explore the potential benefits of cannabis and to create an experience that focuses on wellness and self-care. 

“It’s all about establishing your personal relationship with the plant,” says Maya Elisabeth, of U.S.-based Whoopi & Maya. And yes, that’s Whoopi as in actress Whoopi Goldberg. 

Catering to medical patients in California, Whoopi and Maya lead the industry with an herbalist-inspired line of women’s cannabis products that “take the pain away and elevate your mood.” 

Although Whoopi and Maya’s products are not currently available on the Canadian market, it is a testament to Canada’s future of cannabis-infused raw cacao spreads, magnesium bath soaks and topicals for that time of the month.

With her eye on the future, Elisabeth envisions a world where recreational cannabis legalization means cannabis beauty spas and retreats designed for ultimate luxury. For those of us lucky enough to soon be living in a federally legal cannabis country, the possibilities are endless. 

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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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