Rather depressing to see that both weed smokers and companies are total philistines and worried that art will upset the process of making money. But then again we imagine the following image is what they probably think a work of art is.
So, welcome to a nice little fable about the power of corporate thought and we’d suggest the general stupidity of the public at large.
If all it takes are a couple of Banksy’s in a weed store to bring about the end of civilization (read: our permanently wounded version of Adam Smith’s dreams) then we are all in serious trouble.
We congratulate Tokyo Smoke store owner Robert Heydon for attempting something different and trying to get people to think a little. But, as he has just learnt, we now live in the time of ultra – dumb
Canadian Media reports
After the owner of Toronto cannabis “Tokyo Smoke” store announced he would be putting pieces from his own art collection on display in the store, it was quietly announced this week that they would be coming down.
Featuring the work of Banksy, Kaws, Pure Evil, and Andy Warhol, the collection was originally intended to be displayed as part of a permanent exhibition of “disruptive artists” at the 21 Bloor Street East Tokyo Smoke location.
However, at the bottom of a press release, there were a few lines noting that the works had been removed from the location “based on feedback from individuals, companies, and brands,” adding that the action was taken in an “effort to respect the values and integrity of the cannabis community at large.” Here at CLR we might use the word censorship !
“We did not want anyone to feel as though we were using art to sell cannabis, but rather to bring a unique and free public-facing experience to our customer,” Heydon told Grow in a statement. “With that said, we are planning to integrate some local artisan works in the store to feature and showcase our local community.
“We will be reaching out to the local community next week.”
According to the location’s manager, John Smith, they received a fair amount of backlash after it was suggested that Canopy Growth, the owner of the Tokyo Smoke brand, was purchasing art for their stores while also reportedly laying off employees during the pandemic.
Heydon was one of the winners of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Toronto’s cannabis retail licence lottery in August 2019. He owns a franchise that is separate from Canopy’s company-owned stores.
“Each of these individual franchisees is entitled to put up the artwork that they add,” Smith told Grow in an interview. “The artwork that the individual franchisee owner is putting on the wall is at their discretion. So it was a bit of a backlash as they made the assumptions that head office was putting all this money into art when it wasn’t.”