Ross Rebagliati, the Canadian snowboarder best know for being stripped of his gold medal after testing positive for marijuana at the Nagano Olympics, announced that he is opening his own marijuana dispensary in Whistler, B.C.
It seems like the new career move will allow Rebagliati to cash in on his reputation. “The fact that ever since the ’98 Olympics 15 years ago I’ve been synonymous with marijuana has been a big part of it,” Rebagliati told CTV British Columbia.
The store will be called Ross’ Gold, after Rebagliati’s gold medal, which was eventually returned to the snowboarder after an appeal and his argument that he only inhaled second-hand smoke.
The idea, he says, is to take advantage of new medical marijuana laws that come into effect in March. These laws will see the government get out of the business of growing and shipping medical marijuana.
Though the store is not yet open — he’s still looking for a location — Rebagliati told CBC News that he hopes it will contain a coffee shop in the front, a doctors office, and a head shop and marijuana dispensary in a back area, which will not permit minors.
He hopes Ross’ Gold will bring a higher-end approach to marijuana, something he likens to the wine industry or even Starbucks, complete with the possibility of franchise options.
“We’re looking at creating an environment similar to the one that Starbucks has created for their clients … and try to shed some of the old stereotypes when it comes to the marijuana industry,” he told CBC News.