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Vancouver pot museum goes up in smoke

By Jane Deacon

Vancouver pot museum. 
(Photo submitted)

Vancouver pot museum. (Photo submitted)

For the last decade, $2.50 would get you a 30-minute tour through the ins and outs of herbal medicine – from the story behind Absinthe to a brief history of magic mushrooms in Canada to ancient cannabis use.


But after 10 years in Vancouver, the Herb Museum – billed as a global one-of-a-kind site for scope and accessibility – is closing its doors to make way for a seed sanctuary in the BC Marijuana Party Building.

Most of the 1,200 artifacts are on the way to the U.S. following their sale to organizers of a new, larger cannabis-related museum in Detroit.

It’s not sad news for David Malmo-Levine, a marijuana activist who has been part of the project since it launched. He’s planning to use the funds earned through the sale to create a marijuana dispensary focusing on pot as preventative medicine.

“I didn’t really have a place to put it, so we sent some feelers out there and it turns out they’re opening a cannabis museum in Detroit,” he said. “I convinced them to expand the scope of what they are doing and they agreed.”

The museum, which began as a small offshoot of a drug history walking tour of Vancouver, has slowly expanded over the years and incorporated the collections of several similar projects, including artifacts owned by Marc Emery, Canada’s “prince of pot.”

Prior to its closure, Malmo-Levine estimates the museum was welcoming a dozen visitors per day.

Malmo-Levine is currently hunting for space in Kitsilano or Kerrisdale to launch his new project, which he hopes will redefine the use of medical marijuana.

For those who want to take home a souvenir, Malmo-Levine is hosting an auction of some of the museum’s art Thursday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. in the BC Marijuana Party Building. 

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