Herbal Tea’s developed by Gayle Quin and produced by Ted Smith
Gayle Quin and Ted Smith were cannabis warriors.
Ted started his career as an activist 22 years ago on the west coast of Canada. He had a long and successful career advocating for and educating about both medicinal and industrial uses of cannabis. He has been a leader not only in his own community in Victoria, British Columbia but throughout Canada and around the world.
Ted earned his degree in Philosophy from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario before venturing out to the west coast of Canada in the mid-nineties. Ted is an honest, genuine, loving and caring man. He rarely asks for anything from others. He is the person that other people go to in their time of need. He knew that he was destined to help people in some capacity but he never imagined in his wildest dreams what the next quarter century would bring. It was almost as if the cannabis movement chose him and not the other way around. Ted founded the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club; The Hempology 101 Society; as well as writing and publishing the Cannabis Digest – Canada’s longest running and largest medicinal cannabis publication. These ventures have had unparalleled success in Canada. Ted has been an integral part of changing the laws in Canada for patients who use medicinal cannabis for treatment of various chronic conditions. He has worked for years with Victoria City Council to allow citizens safe access to medicinal cannabis. Recently he played a key role in initiating regulations for dispensaries to operate in Victoria as well as gaining approval (in word) for Canada’s first safe consumption site for medicinal cannabis. It is safe to say that Ted has done his part to advance the cannabis movement on countless fronts.
Gayle Quin was Ted’s partner in love and in crime (pardon the pun) and a hero in her own right. Gayle was a huge part of the cannabis movement – she worked tirelessly to advocate for patients right and appeared as a patient witness in 3 court cases of the VCBC, including the Supreme Court of Canada trial of Owen Smith which saw a unanimous decision making extracts of cannabis legal. Gayle became the face of patient rights in Canada.
Gayle grew up on Vancouver Island and she faced many health challenges throughout her life. Her struggles included severe food allergies, arthritis, fibromyalgia, mercury poisoning, hep C, herpes, broken bones, chronic fatigue syndrome and most recently cancer. At the age of 17 Gayle began a life long journey of learning and practicing the use of herbs as medicine to treat herself as well as others who came to her for advice and guidance about their own health problems.
In 2003 Gayle became a member at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club and soon became a familiar face in the cannabis community in Victoria. It was not long before Gayle began working with the VCBC. Around this time Gayle bought property in Cobble Hill, British Columbia where she wildcrafted many plants and herbs. During Gayle’s time at the VCBC she developed many herbal teas, food and skin products using her knowledge of herbs and essential oils. These products have changed the lives of many people. Gayle catalogued many of her recipes for teas and other natural products for others to use and made these recipes available through the Cannabis Digest. Gayle was featured in many publications over the years for her work with cannabis and in cannabis related fields.
It was not long after Gayle and Ted met that they started a beautiful romance. It was the kind of relationship that you’d expect to read in a storybook. These two were kindred spirits. Where one was strong the other could be vulnerable. Those who had the privilege to know them personally or in acquaintance could not deny the love that radiated from them. It was the type of love that all of us hope to find in our lifetime. Yet they were selfless in their love. They understood that their love could be shared with more people than just themselves – they did not hide their love away but shared it with anyone they came in contact with.
No fairy-tale is complete without an antagonist. Theirs was perhaps the most ironic end to a fairy-tale that I have ever encountered; for in 2011 Gayle required a mastectomy and a portion of her armpit removed with cancer. Even in the face of this brutal illness Ted and Gayle remained steadfast in their love, and in their love of and commitment to helping others. Ted continued his work with Hempology 101, The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, as well as The Cannabis Digest. Gayle continued to help as she could and it was during this time that she became a key witness in the Supreme Court case of Reg v. Smith. This was perhaps her crowning achievement but not her most important for she didn’t look at life that way. I believe her greatest achievement, as is Ted’s, is being true to themselves always and without compromise.
As the year’s passed Gayle’s cancer metastasized through much of her body. Though she fought for as long as she was capable of fighting the last years of her life were mostly spent in bed, in her home in Cobble Hill under the care of her greatest love and biggest supporter Ted. Ted could hardly bare to be away from Gayle as the condition of her health was so uncertain for so long. He could not be away for much more than a few hours at a time for fear of losing his love while he was away. Gayle and Ted were able to live, eat, and medicate due in part to the generous support of friends, family and strangers alike. The amount of support was truly inspiring.
Gayle lost her fight with cancer on September 22, 2016 and Ted lost the love of his life.
Ted courageously attempted to move forward along the same path as he had for so many years. He was putting one foot in front of the other and running somewhat on autopilot. Those footsteps began to be harder and harder to take and eventually it was as if his feet were locked in concrete and could not moved any further. He realized, with much sorrow that his life as a cannabis activist and in the cannabis movement was over. This was absolutely devastating to him as he felt like he failed his love.
But Ted has never been one to walk away quietly or without a fight. Through days and nights of soul searching Ted has realized that there is a new and exciting way that he can both honour his love and continue working to help people and improve their quality of life.
Enter “Gayle’s Tea” – Gayle has left a wealth of information, knowledge, herbs, and property for others to benefit from. Somehow she has left the rest of us with the ability to celebrate her life by living our own to the fullest. Ted has decided to make this his life’s work. He has started to package and sell Gayle’s Tea, compile recipes online, start a library out of his home and will be wildcrafting herbs on the property in Cobble Hill this summer.
As we all know, a new business requires capital. While Ted is able to get the company off the ground it will take much time, effort, and resources to bring his loves vision to the world. He hopes to start a mail order business as well as selling Gayle’s Tea through the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club and other similar businesses. This will allow Ted to live a modest life, cultivate and craft teas, and eventually he hopes to buy the property in Cobble Hill that has been left in Gayle’s estate.
Please consider making a donation to this wonderful new venture. Gayle and Ted have both given so much to so many and now it is time to give something back to them. Any donation will help to further this cause. Even as little as $5 can make a huge difference.
Thank you all for reading and considering making a donation. We will continue to update the progress of this project as it develops. There are many other ways that people will be able to help in the future but for now what is most needed is financial assistance.
Gayle’s spirit will forever live in all those that she touched and Ted will continue her work until he is no longer able to continue.
There have been some great developments for Gayle’s Tea over the last couple of weeks!
Ted held a contest for a logo for Gayle’s Tea. He announced the winner last week and the logo is perfect! I will post a photo below and you can also check out his Facebook page for more info.
Last week Ted prepared and packaged the first batches of tea for sale. He has started to sell the tea at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club again and hopes to get it into similar stores in the future. There are currently 9 varieties of teas available for sale.
Ted has been very busy preparing the patio and his Cobble Herb Retreat to hold tea parties every second Sunday starting in April. This will be a wonderful way for people to see the community and support that surrounds Ted. It will also give people a first hand look at the property in Cobble Hill and where the herbs, flowers and plants will be grown. Not to mention that they will be a fun way to celebrate Ted’s new journey with him.
On Monday March 13, 2017 Ted registered Gayle’s Tea as a business.
Things really have moved along quite quickly for this business and I would personally like to thank anyone who has liked, shared, or donated to this campaign or to Ted personally. The love and support that has been shown by everyone is truly overwhelming for Ted and I know that he appreciates everyone’s help – even if that is as simple as sending a little bit of good energy into the universe for him (and for Gayle).
If you haven’t already liked, shared, or donated and feel you may be able to help in any way please do!
I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who is helping one of my oldest friends in Victoria. ❤️
My dear friend Beth Cormier Laver created this campaign to help me start Gayle's Tea. There are many things to do if I am to make this company successful and since I have been drained looking after my love Gayle Quin for so many years it seems to make sense to ask for help one last time. While it is awkward asking for help again, I know in my heart that I have helped others for years, that many want to help me back and that the only people who will help here are those that can afford to.
While I have 22 complete tea recipes, I do not have enough herbs to make them all right now. This money will help me buy herbs, make signs, build display cases and pay for some other things that will set me off in the right direction. Over time I will be able to grow or wildcraft many of the herbs but for now I must purchase then if I want to get the ball rolling.
Hopefully I can get everything together without having to borrow money from a bank or anyone else. It will be hard enough making a living from this without having to pay interest and monthly loan payments.
A huge thanks and big bear hug to all those who have donated or shared this campaign. Gayle's Tea would not be happening without the support of so many friends.