When it comes to pizza, everyone has their own personal style—mushrooms, and sausage, red pepper and extra cheese, black olives and bacon. One topping that will guarantee unity: marijuana.
Perhaps that’s what Mega ILL, a Vancouver-based pizzeria had in mind when they opened.
“We strive to offer healthy food in a pot friendly environment with a positive attitude and outlook on life,” Mega ILL’s website states.
Mega ILL offers nine gourmet pizzas all made with a unique blend of whole wheat, hemp heart and oatmeal flour, each with their own distinct combination of toppings such as The Rambo with caramelized onion and bruschetta, or The Eden with toasted walnuts and apple slices. (Hungry yet?)
Patrons are encouraged to BYOC or Bring Your Own Cannabis and may smoke using vaporizers and grinders provided on each table. Patients with a medical marijuana card may also request the cannabis infusion on their pie.
According to the Vancouver Sun, owners, Mark Klokeid and Rocky Tolfree, dubbed their restaurant Mega ILL, both for it’s “stoner” slang connotation as well as a nod to medical marijuana users combating illness.
The origins of Mega ILL began when Klokeid was battling his own major illness – stage IV lymphoblastic lymphoma (cancer). He was diagnosed as terminal and was looking at leaving behind a 4-year-old daughter.
Klokeid found relief from the side effects of chemo and a bone marrow transplant in cannabis. After fighting for his life, he and his partners opened Mega ILL this past December. The pizzeria is known colloquially as a vapor lounge, an establishment that allows persons to use their own cannabis in a public establishment. There are no current licenses for a vapor lounge so these businesses typically operate as retail stores or restaurants.
Marijuana is still illegal to anyone without a medical card. However, privacy laws prevent establishments for asking about medical status so patrons may bring their own marijuana without ramifications.
Currently, the regulations for serving medical marijuana are in a state of uncertainty. The new medical marijuana regulations, which went into effect April 1, disallow patients from growing their own plants. However, a Federal Court judge in Vancouver has granted a last-minute provision allowing patients to continue to grow until a constitutional rights case, led by a group of patients, goes to trial.
“We’ll still be open regardless. We just might not be able to infuse the pizzas anymore…but we will still be open as a pizza place where people can come and medicate here,” Anthony Risling told CBC News.