April, it turns out, is Cannabis Awareness Month. Let’s just say I have never been as aware of cannabis as I have been since moving to the North End. That’s not meant to be offensive, that’s simply a fact. One you have also probably observed if you’ve…let’s say…left your house. It’s quite common, while out walking, to catch a wiff of the skunky smell that so often wafts across our city streets. Okay, okay before you start to feel insulted, let me just state for the record, I’m not saying all North Enders are smokers. Additionally, I’d like to add the disclaimer, I don’t smoke it personally, nor do I have anything against anyone who does. But my interest was definitely tweeked one night as my husband and I passed one of the unmarked dispensaries on James Street North while walking home after a dinner out.

We stopped in front of the window to glance inside. I was drawn to the bright lights beyond the tall glass panes, the display cases, the small crowd that had gathered inside. What were we missing?! I had to know. I glanced at one of the two bouncers standing by the front door acting as security. Our eyes met. He smiled and gave a quick head nod in the direction of the shop. Why not? I thought and walked inside.
My husband followed me in and together we perused the glass display cases which held jars filled with buds closely resembling crunchy bite-sized granola clusters. I pretended to know what I was looking at and started wishing I had ordered dessert.

We left the shop, thanking the security guys on our way out, like party goers thanking their hosts. “Thank you, we had such a lovely time!” They were cool and kind and passed no judgement on the fifty year old gawkers. Instead, they held open the door and wished us a good night, the skunky smell I have become quite accustomed to following us out the door.