Sanchit Khera


Weed supply low following post-legalization in Canada

Canada is quickly becoming one of the top underrated places to travel. After the recent legalization of marijuana, there is a whole new industry that has cropped up related to weed. Everything from herbal remedies to baked goods have emerged as secondary markets in the region. There is even a prolific market for weed based dog treats to cure pet-anxiety. The traditional dispensary is quickly evolving to keep up with market demand.

Vancouver is an interesting example of this scenario. There are currently more illegal dispensaries than there are Starbucks outlets in the city. You can buy a coconut-chocolate-weed infusion just as easily as you would a ChocoMocca latte here.

The government is trying its best to curb the black market in the space, which is estimated to be close to 5 Billion CAD. That market is a large one to disrupt, leading many to believe that supply needs to outgrow demand for the product.

Canada’s doing all it can to curb the market, empowering hundreds of unarmed inspectors to shut down dispensaries on the spot. This can rapidly change the black market and make it redundant in the future.

The real problem is the lack of quality supply to keep up with rising demand. That’s why customers opt for tax-free (and often cheaper) black market alternatives. With increased regulation, the black market may possibly shrink over time.

Toronto saw 5 illegal dispensaries being shut down a few days after the law went into effect. Many other cities are following suit. The flip-side of the picture is the irregularity with which licenses are being provided. For growers who were generating income illegally, there are few ways of applying for a legal license.

This opens up the market for outside growers to enter Canada and create a legal brand in the growing economy. The problem for the residents lies in the habit of calling up your local dealer. It’s simpler than having to visit a dispensary and not knowing whether it is legal or not. Since you already have a relationship established with the dealer, you won’t want to experiment outside of that network.

What are the dispensaries doing about it? Not much as it turns out.  Only $180,000 of the $3 Million worth of fines issued was paid so far. Dispensaries are waiting for consumer trends to evolve and for government to relax these rules. Legislation was only the first step. Now comes a host of new challenges which involve increased investment in inspections.

Finally, the licensing fees can range anywhere between $500 to $30,000 depending on the state and the type of operation you’re running. This is also indicative of how each state wants to manage the industry from within. That’s another impediment for black market dealers to turn towards the legal route.

With decreased red tape, increased accessibility and assistance, the industry can grow many times over. With Canada running out of legal marijuana this year, next year seems brighter than before. In conclusion, there is a market out there ready to expand but it needs legal clarification and assistance across the board.

The Thais that bind: Memories of exotic Thailand


Thailand is one of the few places that will always have a special place in my heart. The memories, the people, and the beauty of the country have made it worthwhile spending so much time there.

I decided to go on a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip to Thailand. My friends and I didn’t know much about the country, but decided to go anyway. Once there, I met some new people, made some new friendships, and got a chance to step out of my comfort zone.

Anytime I saw something unique to the country, I had to try it out regardless of costs. I even thought about moving the return flight date further ahead. The air was magical and the cities were breathtaking. I didn’t know it at first, but I ended up exploring so much of the place that I could be someone’s else tour guide.

Let’s begin with Chiang Mai

My friends and I landed at Chiang Mai airport and quickly moved on to the hotel. From there, my friends and didn’t want to spend much money on travelling costs, so we either rented bikes or motor vehicles, then hit the road.

On the way over to the local spots, bars and nightclubs, I had some of the delicious local fish and curry dishes. The nightclubs in Chiang Mai were amazing and I met a lot of friendly locals that took the gang partying after hours.

Exploring Pai

The next stop was Pai, which was about 4-5 hours from Chiang Mai. I had heard a lot about this place, as it was a hippy playground where free-spirited people came to party. I thought this would be perfect! The mainstream hotels and clubs were quite commercially-oriented, and so I decided to venture deeper into the hidden gems.

I got a chance to see the White Buddha, visited Pombok falls, and had a great time meeting the locals. The Tha Pai Hot Springs were another brilliant adventure, and one that was unique to the place. Although a bit far, the Lod Caves were definitely worth the visit.

Ayutthaya and Sukhotai

These two cities were some of the most amazing ones on the trip. I wanted to explore the arts, culture and history of Thailand, and Ayutthaya gave me a peek. This was the peaceful part of the trip, as I just sat there with the monkeys playing around.

The temples, the museums, and the views were stunning. I remember a particular moment when a monkey sat next to me eating my banana. It was an surreal experience and something that doesn’t happen to me every day.

Partying at Koh Samui

My final destination was Koh Samui, the party capital of Thailand. It was a long flight in, but well worth the investment. The island wasn’t overpopulated as I expected, and I didn’t really see too many rough crowds anywhere. I dropped off the bags and headed over to Na Muang to check out the waterfalls.

Renting a bike from there was easy, as I headed on over to Chaweng beach. That’s where I met up with a lot of friendly locals who took me to beach parties that were away from the mainstream action. I spent my final night on the fine sands at Lamai and caught the flight back home the next day.

All in all, it was a great experience. I had a blast and Thailand showed me a different side of myself. I didn’t know that I had this inner adventurer inside of me. I didn’t know that I could say “yes” to things I had never tried before. I found itexhilarating, to say the least.