THC - Toronto Hemp Company - Online Head Shop
Smoke Shop, Hemp Products, Garden Supplies, Glass!!! - Cannabis Superstore! Est. 1994
THC was founded by a 21-year-old University of Toronto graduate with lifelong experience in his family's retail business. Wanting to 'be his own boss,' while doing something that would have a beneficial impact on our planet, Dom Cramer followed the lead of other 'hemp shop' owners in places like Vancouver (Marc Emery's Hemp BC), London (Chris Clay's Hemp Nation) and Ottawa (Mike Foster's Crosstown Traffic), by opening Toronto Hemp Company in October of '94. From the beginning, our philosophy has embraced cooperation rather than competition, and giving back to our cause and our community rather than lining our pockets with profits.
A few years later, we were faced with a great need in Toronto for a medicinal cannabis distribution centre for at least some of the hundreds of thousands of sick Canadians that our own government admitted were in need of a more legitimate source of medicine. Responding to this need, and following the lead of pioneers in San Francisco (Dennis Peron) and Vancouver (Hilary Black), we worked with long-time friend Warren Hitzig to help him establish (and request authorization from our government and police for the operation of) the marijuana 'buyer's club' now known as the Toronto Compassion Centre. More information about the Centre can be found at www.tccentre.org and in our Information section.
In 2002, we were called upon to help with another situation of need - legally licensed medicinal cannabis users told to grow their own medicine by our government were provided with no legitimate source of seeds or starter plants. Realizing that there were very few businesses whose aim was to preserve and provide 'genetics' for various medicinal and otherwise important plant species, we met this challenge by requesting authorization for, and opening, a 'rare, medicinal and otherwise exotic seed and houseplant shop' called Sacred Seed (www.sacredseed.com).
The Toronto Hemp Company (THC) store has seen an incredible evolution over the years, moving from a tiny second-floor office space to a huge second-floor space of our own in 1995, to a prime ground-floor retail location in mid-2003 and finally to a perfect, huge and even more incredible space in 2006. The past few years have brought a real coming of age, with THC gaining international recognition and appreciation as a world-class destination and resource centre. Through the recent moves, we decided to keep the large second floor location and turn it into a vapor lounge and cannabis community centre called Vapor Central.
On July 18, 2005 we opened our Organic Green Bean Coffee Shop, Kindred Cafe (www.kindredcafe.com). It was an absolutely beautiful coffee bar with three private rentable rooms on the second floor, and a members-only rooftop patio. We had to close it recently after some interesting legal battling relating to our sale of cannabis-infused milkshakes but hope to reopen some day again.
Our more recent efforts include expanding Vapor Central to fill its own 2000 square foot space and renovating it into the amazing world-leading Vapor-friendly space that it now is, helping with the opening of a new downtown Toronto Compassion Centre location, and totally renewing and re-configuring the enormous THC superstore while celebrating 5 years in our current location, among so many other interesting projects.
We have had the honour and opportunity to take part in amazing events such as Fill The Hill, press conferences such as that of July 9 2003 on Parliament Hill (with Senator Nolin, Libby Davies, Real Menard etc.) and appear, alongside Jack Layton and the Deputy Chief of Toronto Police for example, on local and national television and radio shows and documentaries - Intelligent Television (i channel), Toronto One, Rogers, CBC TV, CBC Radio, CBC French TV, CTV, Global, CityTV, BBC Radio, AM1010, AM680, among many others. And then there's the print media, too many to list, and we're increasingly being requested (and appreciated) for speaking engagements and other public service, events such as a UofT Student Disabilities Conference: Breaking Down The Barriers. We've survived robberies, raids, seizures, and charges in relation to the operation of the TCC, and we've won in three levels of court with a civil case, Hitzig vs. Canada, challenging the unconstitutional and harmfully oppressive bureaucracy of the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (and related sections of our Criminal Code). We are activists, entrepreneurs and, most of all, philanthropists. We take pride in embracing and promoting the philosophy that "corporate" does not necessarily equal "evil," and that individuals and businesses have the ability, and a responsibility, to beneficially impact the world in which we live.
On top of all of the above, there are many other projects that we are working on, including vaporization technology and products (Dominizer), drug policy conferences (Green Truth), lobbying organization NORML Canada (www.norml.ca), patients-rights organization Canadians for Safe Access ( www.safeaccess.ca ), some exciting work with the Freedom Party of Canada and Freedom Culture, among many others.
For additional historical details about Toronto Hemp Company (THC), Toronto Compassion Centre (TCC) (formerly known as Medical Marijuana Resource Centre - MMRC), Sacred Seed, Vapor Central, Kindred Cafe, etc. as well as the articles that go along with the pictures found on this page (and many of the others on our website) please browse through the articles in our Archives.
Thank you for your interest in our efforts, and hopefully for your support! Please feel free to share your thoughts or questions via Email.
A 2005/05/09 National Post article ("With a Bong In His Heart") written about us tells much of the THC story quite nicely.
Cannabis Culture 2007/03: Retail Activism - Yonge Street Hempire
Toronto Life Magazine - July 2009 - Everybody Must Get Stoned