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1995/12/08
Toronto Sun, page 2
Also reprinted in an Amsterdam newspaper
Bill Dunphy
He's Selling Marijuana Seeds - A Potshot At The Law

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Caption: Toronto Hemp Co. owner Dom Cramer displays seeds in vials ready to grow into marijuana plants and seeds in jars that can be used for cooking.

Dom Cramer doesn't like to think of himself as breaking the law. Instead, the computer and economics grad thinks of himself as planting the seeds of change.
Or, at least, selling them - $20 for 10 seeds of potential marijuana plants.
Cramer, 22, has been peddling the pot seeds for a few months from his Yonge St. head shop, Toronto Hemp Co.
While it's against the law, Cramer believes a healthy combination of libertarian attitude, retail savvy and careful business practices will keep him running long enough to change the way Canada views cannabis.
Police see it differently.
Metro Police spokesman Staff-Sgt. Mike Sale noted the sale of pot seeds was illegal. "We will enforce the law," Sale warned.

'Most Dangerous Drug'

In Vancouver, RCMP spokesman Sgt. Peter Montague was more blunt.
"Marijuana is the most dangerous drug in Canada," he said, noting West Coast pot farmers had made marijuana the province's leading cash crop.
Unlike Marc Emery's Vancouver company, which has sold seeds over the counter and through the mail for a year now, Cramer believes discretion may be the better part of valor.
"There's no point in annoying people," Cramer said yesterday, "so we try and keep it low key."
In addition to some behind-the-counter seeds, Cramer's slightly bare store features pipes, papers, screens and all the other paraphernalia of the trade.
"We really believe in this, we're committed. We have to be - we're risking a $100,000 fine simply by being open," the young entrepreneur says.

Benefits of plant

A kilometre to the south, in the trendy Queen St. West district, Robin Ellins and partner Joy Jacobsen agree with Cramer on the need for commitment.
Unlike Cramer they draw the line at stocking seeds in their colorful store, The Friendly Stranger.
"We're not going to sell seeds because it's against the law. It's that simple."
Ellins, 29, says he's trying hard to reach an older, mainstream audience, pointing to a sign warning those under 19 he won't sell to them. "I tell them to come back with their parents and they can buy anything they like."
And, like Cramer, he says the real purpose of his store is to educate the public in the benefits of a plant that's been banned in this country for about 70 years.
Ellins says we could save most of Canada's forests by turning to hemp-based paper.

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