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Water Today Title October 16, 2019

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Rob Stevenson, Medicine Wheel Natural Healing - Holistic Cannabis Dispensary

[00:00:00] My name is Rob Stevenson from Oakville First Nation and I'm the owner of Medicine Wheel Natural Healing which focuses on natural plant based medicines specifically cannabis. It's just to help as many people as I can in my community and outside of my community as well. It's really it's a very lucrative business but you know I believe in keeping that balance and and giving back to the people and that's where you know learning the value of things in life isn't always about money or assets material items. It's about giving back and doing good. When I first opened this business after about a year into it you know we were making more money and I looked at my wife and I said Are you Are you any happier now that we're making more money. And she thought about it for 30 seconds and she's like she's like No I'm actually not any happier. She's like How about you. I'm like No. I'm like What's that prove it's proves that money is is not a value on our life. The value is how we live our lives. And to me that's being to help other people win and do good for other people. We have 35 employees now that we paid very well and we just look at our financials for 2018 and we actually did one point one million in and pay wages just to our employees and of that money is going back into our community and we're only one dispensary of seven in our community now. And then you know the increased traffic you get can be seen as a positive and a negative. [00:01:25][84.4] [00:01:25] The positive is of course the increased traffic but are the negatives the increased traffic the positive is that you know other businesses are benefiting from this they're seeing an increase in their sales 25 to 50 percent increase and then it's an opportunity for us to educate the non natives about our culture. So you come into our store you know we have our objibwe word of the day. All the products ere producing oursleves. We're naming in our own language so that way when people come in they're asking for products in their own language which you know I find, it excites me to hear that . In my mind it's it's all medicinal and we're seeing that more and more, we consult all of our clients that come in and we're up around 30000 right now. And there's a common trend. You know you have your your construction worker and you know I just use it recreationally. Well you know what. You know what happens. Tell me about your dad how you use cannabis. I work hard all day you know. I work out in the cold. My arms are sore I'm tired. I want to get home and unwind. So I use cannabis to do that. So there's a therapeutic aspect. There's pills to do that same thing but they're choosing a natural direction and then it's coming from the ground is coming from our Mother Earth. Cannabis is just another tool in our toolbox essentially to to bigger better things.

[00:02:34][69.0] [00:02:34] And I personally believe that bigger better thing is hemp a product that can clean the soil, clean the air, it's sustainable you can make building products out of it, textiles you know, water or plastic bottles that are biodegradable. There's so many different facets of a fuel, so I think you know cannabis is just that tool to provide us with the means and the funds to be able to move on to these other projects that are going to be even more beneficial to our people. But you know keeping in mind that cannabis does have a role it's a medicine it helps you. It's such a fast paced industry it's hard for me to predict what's going to happen in two weeks time. I'm hoping that you know we will be legitimized in the eyes of the federal and provincial governments. And my goal is again to get ,to create a social enterprise where it's not a big monopoly where anyone can be involved if they want to be but if they're not involved they can still benefit and see tangible benefits through money being put back into that community. So you know I just want to see it legitimized. I want to see Indigenous people heavily involved in this industry and I want to see our products into the open market as well. [00:02:34][0.0] [153.4]