We are interested in discussing how cannabis can be bridged across different cultural landscapes. For example, a suburban family with teenagers will have a very different relationship to cannabis as an idea and item for consumption than a street entrenched drug user or someone from an immigrant community with a culturally different understanding of cannabis practise.
We gravitate toward this kind of conversation and have built our model around exploring how to better understand these experiences. This includes: listening, connecting a peer approach with research and public engagement to uncover the intersectional dimensions of what constitutes ‘normal’.
Farm approaches the business of cannabis through the lens of our values. This means that while yes, we do indeed sell cannabis, we also spend quite a bit of time considering the cannabis community we are building and the impact of our choices. We believe that our practises shape our culture and this matters to us.
Farm strongly encourages a public health approach to legalization and would like to welcome questions, comments and suggestions from the public on what responsible use looks like to them.
This will take time and many difficult conversations but we’re keen!
However, before visiting us at our Columbia Street location, it’s best to familiarize yourself a bit on the basics of housing and addiction. Why? Well, because Vancouver – while beautiful & progressive – also experiences distinct wealth inequality and this is significantly visible in our Downtown Eastside community. We believe that the housing & homelessness crisis, addiction crisis and mental health crisis cannot be looked at in isolation from each other. Hopefully, better understanding these interconnections will give our members insight into some of the challenges that our community faces and broaden their understanding of the diverse uses of cannabis. The medical & recreational divide is not as distinct as one may think…
There are many reasons why addiction occurs and the most straight-forward point of entry is to take a trauma-informed approach.
There is always a reason someone is using. When a pattern of addiction behaviour has taken hold, it is not because it’s fun or it feels good. People use because they are trying to maintain a sense of feeling “normal,” to feel less badly, or to feel less of anything at all. This looks and feels differently for everyone.
Friendly reminder that addiction does not define the person! If you choose to visit us, try introducing yourself to someone and asking a few open questions.
While Farm does not operate as a site for coordinated harm reduction treatment, we wholly believe in the power of cannabis to positively support changes in patterns of behaviour. We are constantly inspired by the diverse approaches to managing the addiction
& overdose crises – from peer lead grassroots initiatives, to unsupervised individual efforts, to models that succeeded and proudly scaled, to therapeutic efforts and community-driven initiatives.
We hope for cannabis legalization to inspire drug policy reform to better accommodate the lived experiences of drug-users and to practise a trauma-informed care model.
To simplify housing within Vancouver, the crisis can be viewed through the lens of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count.
The most recent report revealed a steep increase in homelessness across Metro Vancouver with 828 more people identified as homeless in 2017 compared to 2014, representing a 30% increase in homelessness and the highest number to date. In March 2017, a total of 3,605 people were found homeless in Metro Vancouver.
Why is this the case? Well, the term ‘affordable housing’ has become so relative that it doesn’t actually have a figure attached to it that adequately represents the economic restrictions of people living in fixed & low-income.
So, housing is instead assessed at market rates and in one of the world’s ‘Most Livable Cities’, this market-value is highly inflated. In addition to this, the value of minimum wage has dropped as well as the value of social assistance. So people are earning less, having trouble paying for housing, and when they lose their housing or their jobs, welfare isn’t there.
Sounds like something that could negatively affect your mental health, doesn’t it? Now imagine that you live with trauma…