Putting a new face to medicinal cannabis
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 06:00 am
Mia’s Temple is a local business dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding medicinal marijuana through public education and consultations.
“We are working very hard to end that stigma of your typical stoner and put a face to medicinal cannabis,” founder Sarah Wilkinson said. “The face of medicinal cannabis isn’t what a lot of people think it is.”
Wilkinson’s daughter Mia, who the business is named after, has a rare form of epilepsy called Ohtahara syndrome, which has caused frequent seizures since she was born.
After a seizure that lasted 36 hours when she was seven, Mia’s family discussed options to keep the young girl from suffering any longer, and Sarah decided to try cannabis oil after reading about its potential benefits.
She said the new treatment worked better than the Wilkinson family could have imagined, and they credit cannabis oil for keeping Mia seizure-free since 2014.
“At the time, (cannabis oil) wasn’t as easily accessible as it is now,” Wilkinson said. “We’ve had to fight a lot of battles to keep her authorized, even though she’s seizure-free.”
Through opening Mia’s Temple with other business partners, Wilkinson wants to help others interested in using medicinal marijuana as an alternative form of treatment.
“We’ve got an entire wellness centre. We’ve got a lounge area, we’ve got a yoga studio in the back and we facilitate appointments with doctors,” she said.
“It’s a very well-decorated place. When you come in here you would have no idea.”
Wilkinson wants to challenge the “stoner” label often attached to any form of marijuana user, offering educational classes for those interested in learning about how cannabis can help those with diseases or other ailments.
“I’m on the side of legalization for recreational purposes, but that’s not what we wanted (with Mia’s Temple),” she said. “We wanted a place where medicinal users would feel comfortable going to.”
While Wilkinson is trying to change public perception and believes more people are supporting medicinal marijuana, she said she has been declined advertising with some local media outlets before, making it difficult to end the stigma.
She believes some critics won’t see the benefits of medicinal marijuana until it affects them on a personal level, such as a loved one turning to the treatment after battling an illness.
“There’s such a visceral response from me because I wouldn’t have my daughter with me right now had it not been for cannabis oil,” she said.
While Wilkinson believes Mia’s Temple is a professional environment, she admits they are pretty “laid back” and open for friendly chats during business hours.
“We always have people on-site that are always ready to answer any questions that need to be answered or refer them to appropriate physicians that can answer those questions for them,” she said.
For more information, visit miastemple.com