Hidden in a little, but very loudly painted Soi is this Cafe and Co-Working space located.
Tropicanna Dispensary and Co-Working Space, located just off Sukhumvit between Sois 65 and 67—near Prakanong BTS station, is an oasis of green amidst the gritty commotion of Sukhumvit.
Visitors begin the Tropicanna experience when walking down the 200 meter private alley setting the space off from Sukhumvit. The alley is decorated with elaborate, bright, and mostly green cannabis related graffiti art. Once past the alley, dozens of cannabis plants in various states of growth welcome visitors to a multi storied house. The ground floor of the house is made up of two large rooms. The first room, itself filled with more cannabis plants, is spacious, neat, and sleek. A couple large tables with sunken upholstered chairs allow users to enjoy a beverage or a bite while working. A larger table in the center of the room surrounded by stools allows fosters group collaborations. Around the periphery of the room multiple CBD ointments and other related cannabis paraphernalia are available for sale. At the back of the room a marble bar is covered with upwards of thirty different strains of cannabis. Each strain is either grown by the shop or sourced from a friend of Khun Churr and Khun Carlo, Tropicanna’s owners.
The dedicated co-working space is in an adjacent large room with multiple tables and couches. Bright natural light and the view of the cannabis streams in giving the space a natural and wholesome vibe. Previously, visitors could smoke their buds while working. However, due to recent changes in law and practice the room is now solely dedicated to working. Hopefully an evolution of the law will once again permit this space to be used properly.
Growing Cannabis on Site
The second floor of the dispensary is used for growing and curing cannabis. Khun Churr and Khun Oliver themselves are avid growers with decades of experience gathered overseas and implemented here in Thailand. Despite their years of experience, Khun Churr and Khun Oliver, are constantly experimenting, adjusting, and modifying their grows, working on their own fertilizers, changing growing mediums, soil types, lights and even the presence of visitors to Tropicanna. In Khun Churr’s words, “if you live with the plants, they are happier.”
When growing cannabis “we aim for balance, we are not going for the strongest buds, but we want the user to have a good and natural experience.” I had the good fortune to try a sample of Gummy Bear’s grown in house by Tropicanna. The bud was earthy and slightly sweet. Strong initial heads effects quickly moved to a mellow, relaxed, and almost vegged out state. A perfect strain to lay around at home, chill, read or watch TV. My experience was good and natural—I found no lack of strength in that bud.
Community and Education
Khun Churr is focused on establishing and inviting a community of growers to Tropicanna. “The idea is for a group of growers, people who care and are known for their quality and for their growing, to come together, bring samples of their flowers, share and discuss. We can talk, learn, and trade. See if we like each other. See if we want to work with each other in the future.”
“Tropicanna is designed to be a place for people to come together. A place to exchange ideas and talk. Communication and education are so important for the advancement of cannabis in Thailand. Right now there are people out there who are comparing cannabis to “ice”. This is scary for them—they don’t understand what cannabis is really like, that it makes people happy, that it relieves stress, that it fixes so many things. We need to have more discussions, more research, more understanding, and community outreach.”
“Right now, I don’t want to be a loud voice. My focus is to do everything correctly. I want to grow the best product I can organically. I don’t want to step on any toes. This is not easy—and I do not want to be a hypocrite so I am mindful that I do not say anything which contradicts what I do. My main focus is the cannabis, trying to build the community of growers, and moving forward with that.”
It seems that we have lived a lifetime in the last 8 months since cannabis was legalized. On the one hand we have been dazzled with bright and shiny personalities, brands, and hype. On the other hand, our community has learned more about growers, about quality cannabis and what it takes to bring that cannabis to the table, ethically and responsibly. We are richer for having these experiences—and as long the flowers we are smoking are grown for quality, in Thailand with a focus on protecting our growers, there is room at the table for everyone.
From HighThailand’s perspective Tropicanna is an example of this evolution in the appropriate direction. Their focus is on cannabis, the community and education. The shop is a place to meet, learn, discuss, work, and relate. Even the cannabis plants grown in the shop are interacting and benefiting from being a part of the community. Its nice to see and play with pretty shiny things, but at the end of the day we all want to go home where we feel comfortable. Thailand is our home, the Thai cannabis community is our community. It exists, it thrives and it is still evolving and developing. We applaud Tropicanna for fostering that development and evolution.