It hasn’t been very long that marijuana has been legal in Canada. We are still adjusting to it. There has been a long culture of people buying weed from their local dealers. Though most are in support of it being legal there is the contradictory aspect in which people don’t like change all too much.
That change has led to weed dealer Anne (Jess Salgueiro – from television’s Workin’ Moms) being out of a job. The only job she has ever really had. Now she is unemployed, kicked out of her apartment, estranged from her mother (Maria Vacratsis – Tommy Boy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and finding it hard to get a job without an employment history.
See, all she knows is weed. She is great at her job. Not your typical weed dealer, Anne actually cares about her clients. She gets to know them and their needs, so finds them the perfect strain of marijuana. You could say she is passionate about weed. Now weed sales is under the federal and provincial governments.
So it makes sense when she applies and is hired at a Toronto area of the Ontario Cannabis Store, which is government run. It is not what she wants to be doing, though. Anne, with the help of her co-worker Judy (Naomi Snieckus – Saw 3D), is going to try and strike out on her own. But filling out all those government forms and doing it the legal way is not going to be easy.
Most of the time my rule is to not watch low budget Canadian films because…well…because they look like low budget Canadian films. I just find it really distracting; it takes me out of the story. While Canadian Strain, written and directed by Geordie Sabbagh (first feature film), is obviously a film with a small budget there are things about it which rescue it from that usual fate.
A large part of that has to be attributed to the tongue in cheek story as well as the acting of up and comer and veteran actress Naomi Snieckus. Both are great with Snieckus being really funny in her seemingly uptight yet super cool government employee. Though most of the dialogue is quite good, it truly is these two actoresses who bring it to life so well.
Though it is largely a comedy or satire an interesting side aspect of Canadian Strain are the questions it poses. What happens when weed becomes legal? How has it affected people? Especially those who used to sell it. How those who have advocated for the medicinal qualities of weed and have advocated for many years for its legalization find themselves still on the outside.
How the government has become even worse than the black market people who used to sell. How they have made it extremely expensive for those who want to open stores. Making it only viable for big businesses. As a result there are too few stores and the black market has crept back up again.
The film is available now on Apple TV,