Farm is a community-based dispensary in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC. We opened in March of 2015 and received our MMRU license early 2018. We believe that adults should have equal access to cannabis and strive to provide a welcoming environment to do so. Ideally, we look to contribute to a cannabis culture that acknowledges the needs of all individuals while not discriminating against those who experience significant barriers to accessing high quality, clean and affordable cannabis products in a respectfully accessible environment. We strive to maintain a safe, calm and positive environment – free from discrimination, bullying, sexism and classism.
We believe in small scale ‘craft growing’ and in community engagement. We believe BC is unique and would like to preserve its deep cannabis culture and roots.
visitors_FARM-04Farm welcomes any 19+ adult to visit our space.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 & non-medical divide is not as distinct as one may think…
ADDICTION & HARM REDUCTIONThere 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.
HOUSING & HOMELESSNESSTo 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…