Meet Book Club: Vancouver's Premier Cannabis Hub and Community
Meet Book Club: Vancouver's Premier Cannabis Hub and Community
In the heart of Vancouver, BC, a thriving cannabis community exists, serving as a meeting point for professionals and enthusiasts alike. This flourishing scene is a testament to the city's progressive views on cannabis that date back to the 1990s. Within this dynamic landscape, one organization that stands out is Book Club.
Book Club, birthed in 2022 by Axel Holin and Pete Pittson, has grown to become a hub for industry breeders, budtenders, musicians, and brands to gather, share insights, and showcase their finest offerings. Leading the pack is CEO Adolfo Gonzalez, a Mexican-born cannabis activist with a diverse portfolio that spans farming, breeding, research, and writing.
Book Club's members-only club, located above the Burb Dispensary at 1670 East 10th Avenue in Vancouver, operates as a vibrant hub for creativity and innovation. Here, members can mingle with industry professionals and partake in exclusive events, including product launches, tastings, and interactive workshops.
Last summer, Book Club made an exciting foray into the world of cannabis products with the launch of their premium GMDough flower that sold out within hours of its release. This limited edition strain was expertly curated from the finest genetics and nurtured to perfection, which is what you'd expect from a Book Club product.
But Book Club is more than just a cannabis brand or a physical space; it's a movement. Through their collaborations with breeders, musicians, and artists, Book Club is on a mission to showcase the best of what the cannabis industry has to offer. And with their unique approach to community building and product development, it's no surprise that Book Club has quickly gained a cult following.
To delve deeper into the world of cannabis and the vision behind Book Club's success, we had the privilege of chatting with Gonzalez. Through our conversation, Gonzalez shed light on his company's mission and values, the importance of collaboration in this industry, and his hopes for the future of cannabis. Follow along as we explore Book Club's journey to the top of the cannabis scene.
Welcome to Book Club: A beacon of cannabis innovation
When you step into Book Club, you immediately feel a sense of community and inclusivity. In one corner, you'll find a group of breeders discussing their latest harvest, while in another, a musician is jamming out with a joint in hand. This unique atmosphere is what sets Book Club apart from other cannabis brands.
For Gonzalez, creating a space where people from all walks of life can come together and share their love for cannabis was always the dream. "To me, Book Club is about hanging out with my favourite people, sharing the love for what I do openly and without fear - something I could not easily do at home," says Gonzalez.
Without fear of reprisal or judgment, Book Club encourages its members to freely express themselves and expand their knowledge in a safe and welcoming environment. This has fostered a sense of camaraderie and trust among members, creating a tight-knit community that supports and uplifts one another.
One thing you'll notice at Book Club is that it's not just about cannabis - it's about the people behind it. From the breeders to the budtenders, everyone has a story and unique skillset to share. "I'd say that Book Club has built its community by being real about our love for the plant. We're obsessed and we're not shy about it," Gonzalez explains.
This collective passion for cannabis has led to collaborations with some of the most renowned breeders and brands in the industry, resulting in innovative products that push the boundaries of what's possible.
"We're trying to start a different conversation around our local BC cannabis culture and Canadian cannabis culture at large. We're not just about connecting people - it's about creating, innovating and including creators," he adds.
Industry Fridays: A celebration of cannabis and collaboration
Every Friday, Book Club transforms from an office space into a lively hub of passion and camaraderie, hosting the much-anticipated "Industry Fridays." These weekly events embody the spirit of Book Club, creating an inclusive platform for cannabis enthusiasts, industry professionals, and newcomers alike to network, learn, and celebrate.
Industry Fridays is more than an event; it's a unique blend of a house party and an innovation hub, a dynamic balance between work and play. "During the week it's just our office space. We may break out into a random jam here and there to decompress, but other than that it's pretty quiet," Gonzalez explains. "Friday, it's more like a house party with dinner and friends. But you'd be surprised how much work we get done, we just have fun doing it!"
At these events, micro and craft cultivators, extractors, and breeders are given the opportunity to showcase their unique strains and products, while musicians and artists perform live for the attendees. This creates a multi-sensory experience that not only celebrates cannabis but also highlights the diverse talents within the community.
These events have become the talk of the local cannabis community, with Book Club's members eagerly anticipating each week's lineup and themes. Brands such as Cake & Caviar, Woody Nelson, BC Weed Co, and Dabble Cannabis have all been featured at Industry Fridays, showcasing the best of BC's cannabis scene.
"Anyone and everyone is invited every Friday to show off what they have, connect and learn from others. If you have the fire, bring it! That's how we connect with the best of the best and keep ahead of the next trend," Gonzalez shares. And it's this mindset of collaboration and inclusivity that's propelled Book Club to the forefront of the industry, with no signs of slowing down.
The Library: Book Club's secret to success
At the heart of Book Club's operations is a nursery in Sooke, BC, known as "The Library." This space serves as the genesis of their cannabis genetics, demonstrating Book Club's commitment to cultivating the most exceptional strains for their community.
"We work with top local BC breeders at this facility to create some of the most innovative flavours in the legal business," Gonzalez explains. "Growers can source these genetics from our nursery for their own brand or grow exclusive Book Club genetics as our contract grower."
Unique strains like Cactus Breath, a collaboration between Gord Barlow of Peak Seeds and Ryan Lee from Chimera Genetics, exemplify the type of genetics that can be found at the Library. "Our approach is to provide each flavour to a limited number of growers so that they can benefit from semi-exclusive, highly differentiated genetics," Gonzalez adds.
In appreciation of breeders' creativity and hard work, Book Club rewards them with 1% of total profits from the cultivars they create. This unique system, akin to music royalties, fosters a culture of continuous innovation and we're keen to see how it'll shape the Canadian cannabis landscape in the years to come.
Behind the scenes: Curating cannabis perfection
Beyond cultivation, Book Club also curates a selection of top-quality products from other craft producers. This careful curation ensures that only the best cannabis products grace the shelves of Book Club, elevating the standards and expectations of the industry.
"Finding that fire is always the biggest challenge in this business! Whether it's in breeding, growing, extracting or sourcing - delivering the highest quality of flower/extract to market in collaboration with our partners is always the focus," Gonzalez shares.
The result of this dedication to quality is evident in their inaugural strain, GMDough, a joint effort with Saskatchewan grower Zevk, and a Montreal breeder named Puffer Fish. This strain sold out within hours of its release, a testament to Book Club's high standards and innovative spirit.
"Shout out also to Herbal Dispatch for their support as processors on that launch!" Gonzalez adds. Yes, it's true, we at Herbal Dispatch have had the privilege to support Book Club in their endeavours and we're excited to continue collaborating with them in the future. As Book Club's licensed processor, we've had a front-row seat and can attest to their passion, dedication and drive to revolutionize the cannabis industry.
Savour the future: The SQRT Sap reveal
As Book Club continues to innovate and push the boundaries of what's possible in the cannabis industry, we were curious to find out about what products were in the works. Gonzalez revealed that their new concentrate called SQRT Sap was set to launch soon.
For those who aren't familiar, sap is a high-terpene concentrate, extracted using hydrocarbons such as butane or propane, to create an ultra-potent and flavorful product. The texture is often sticky, viscous and shiny, and looks a lot like the sap produced by trees. Book Club's SQRT Sap is made using only fresh frozen flower, which gives it an incredibly high terpene content and a full-spectrum flavour profile.
"It's a really sappy live resin that tastes and smells exactly like Squirt - the Mexican tangerine soda," he reveals. This unique product is a nod to Book Club's playful and innovative approach to cannabis, always looking for new ways to push the boundaries.
At Herbal Dispatch, we were fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the SQRT Sap, and can attest that it's truly one-of-a-kind. This is one gooey, flavourful concentrate that you won't want to miss out on. Connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike will appreciate the complexity of flavours, as well as the uplifting effects this product delivers.
The next chapter: Book Club's unfolding story
When Holin and Pittson set out to create Book Club, they had a vision of creating a community-driven, collaborative space for the cannabis industry. Today, that vision has grown into a thriving reality, with Book Club at the forefront of innovation and excellence in the Canadian cannabis landscape.
But their story is far from over. With exciting products like SQRT Sap on the horizon, as well as plans to expand into other provinces and markets, Book Club shows no signs of slowing down. When asked about what's next for Book Club, Gonzalez responds with a smile, "Keep an eye out for our upcoming launches. We will continue to put the love right back into everything we do and step up our game with every step we take."
So here's to Book Club, a true pioneer in the cannabis industry, and their ongoing journey to cultivate the best genetics, curate top-quality products, and be a driving force for positive change and innovation. We can't wait to see what's in store for Book Club and are excited to be a part of their unfolding story.
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