High Design

A Dispensary Goes High End in Downtown Toronto

Edition, a high-concept cannabis purveyor, partnered with architects Jennifer Kudlats and Andrew Hill of StudioAC on a new flagship store in the Annex neighborhood of Toronto—but this is hardly your run-of-the-mill dispensary.

All images courtesy Edition

Sophisticated. Art, classical music, literary taste. A word reserved for the virtuous pleasures of life and the most appealing adjective I could come up with to describe Edition, probably the most polished dispensary in Canada. Set in the eclectic Dupont Street in the entrails of Downtown Toronto, the space—which could easily be confused with a high-retail fashion boutique—was conceived by architecture firm StudioAC and Ryan Roebuck, the CEO behind this endeavor. 

“It’s been an amazing collaboration with the team at StudioAC,” said CEO and founder Ryan Roebuck. “Jennifer Kudlats and Andrew Hill presented us with the design concept, and they entrusted us to fill in the blanks with them,” he continues, highlighting that every single detail in the space was collaborative and made with intention. “We didn’t just pick out some fancy marble and wood on a mood board. We wanted to build spaces that would evoke a feeling of intrigue and wow using high design to create unrivaled experiences in cannabis.”

Edition could easily be the antithesis of the headshop, what used to be the only paradise for stoners looking to get trippy bongs and glowy merchandise, colorful Rastafarian gear, and ultraviolet posters featuring outer-space visitors. None of that can be found in this brutalistically clean space, one so immaculate it almost requires reverence to come in, a humbleness reserved for places of worship. “We are trying to break the stigma around cannabis by creating beautiful retail spaces that reflect those already in the day to day lives of our community,” says Roebuck. “Our stores are different from what has become the norm for the industry. We believe that luxury is high design, high-quality products, and impeccable service. They’re extraordinarily intriguing and inviting and we believe that it will resonate with both the connoisseurs and cannacurious.”

If the movies Ex Machina and Gattaca were merged into a utopic blockbuster in which the main character was a well-heeled traveler who speaks five languages (including two extra-terrestrial dialects) and is into telepathy, his favorite dispensary in the Solar System would be Edition. We’d see the sleekly-dressed protagonist walking in to buy the latest Pax Vaporizer, a 48 North Grace Pipe, or the COFO + EM Full Moon Ashtray, indispensable elements that got lost during his move back to planet Earth. 

We could appreciate Edition as more than a shop for plant enthusiasts and instead as a stage for contemplation, its architecture the result of condensing space without disturbing it, allowing for a free-flow of thought that results not only in the design of new behaviors but also presents a novel approach to discussing cannabis. Ganja has finally found a contemporary temple where it can be admired, a gallery where each element is so neatly conceived that it’s worthy of its own display cabinet for which white gloves aren’t required, yet caution and attention are strongly advised when handling the smoking accouterments: they’re masterpieces. 

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