This year as Canadians pass the mashed potatoes and gravy to the left (always to the left), many will be reflecting on all that has recently changed in the cannabis sector.From an improved understanding of cannabis and its medicinal benefits to a blossoming national industry in the global spotlight, there’s plenty to be thankful for, even if the turkey comes out of the oven totally dry.
We asked some of the movers and shakers in the Canadian cannabis space what they’re giving thanks for this year. Here’s what they said:
They’re grateful for health and creative benefits
I’m thankful for progress, despite how painfully slow it appears at times.
“I’m thankful for progress, despite how painfully slow it appears at times. I’m thankful that more and more people are learning about and understanding the benefits of cannabis and I’m particularly thankful for the creative and inspired contributors and collaborators who I have had the privilege of working with over the past year.”
– Gill Polard, founder, The Her(b) Life
Remember when everything changed?
“I’m thankful for the rise of cannabis in tandem with the increasing interest in women’s sexual health. Shoutout to cannabis lube for better sex and CBD for helping curb my period cramps. The things I choose to spend my time learning about and advocating day-to-day wouldn’t be possible without cannabis as an entry point, a compass pointing towards my greater path, and a mirror challenging me to look deeper. To be here, witnessing and participating in the conversations happening in the world of cannabis feels like living out one of those moments that not-yet-here people look back on and say, ‘remember when everything changed?’ Bearing witness to the truth of the changing times, that’s what journalism is to me. But participating…that’s what makes me feel human.”
– Nicolle Hodges, founder of Girls Who Say Fuck
They’re grateful for strict regulations (yes, really)
“This year we’re thankful for regulations that ensure our cannabis is free from pesticides and residual solvents. We’re also grateful to live in an open minded community, committed to preserving and promoting BC bud culture. It’s a very special time in history, as the conversation around cannabis is undergoing a fundamental shift, and Burb is honoured to be at the forefront of the burgeoning global movement.”
– John Kaye, CEO at Burb
They’re grateful for new opportunities
All of the jobs the industry has created have made positive impacts on so many.
“The industry would not be where it is today without the efforts of the hardworking people within it. I am thankful to all of them. All of the jobs the industry has created have made positive impacts on so many. In Q4 of 2018 Zenabis had less than 200 staff and now we’ve generated over 800 jobs for Canadians across the country. It is nice to look back at where we’ve come from and to reflect on how much we have grown.”
– Zoe Patko, marketing manager, Zenabis
“This year I am thankful for the greater overall understanding of cannabis as medicine for humans and how that is now extending to animals. The normalizing of cannabis is bringing us closer to plant-based treatments for many of the ailments horses and other animals suffer from. At CannaHorse we look forward to Health Canada’s expansion of the medical cannabis system to include our furry friends. It’s a brave new world and we’re excited to be part of it.”
– Warren Byrne, president, CannaHorse
They’re grateful for legalization in the first place
“I am thankful to get to work in the most progressive, federally legalized jurisdiction on Earth. In Canada we are setting the tone that, eventually, most countries will model their regulations after. It is certainly an elite quality assurance standard! That said, we are paving the way for generations of cannabis entrepreneurs to come, too. That is a privilege.”
– Dan Sutton, co-founder and CEO, TantalusLabs
While the goal of legalization has been realized, there continues to be a need for activism within the cannabis space.
“There is so much to be thankful for this year. However, while the goal of legalization has been realized, there continues to be a need for activism within the cannabis space to help fine-tune the new legal realm. Now that cannabis is legal, we can continue the work of normalizing its use in our society while dispelling the stigma that surrounded the plant due to its previous illegality. With that being said, I am very grateful for the ability to explore options and find the right strains of cannabis that work for me personally, the fact that people are no longer receiving criminal records for cannabis possession, and validation that 25 Years of standing up for what you believe in can actually help to bring about change in the world (we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year!).”
– Robin Ellins, co-founder of Friendly Stranger
“Working in legal cannabis, it’s easy to be frustrated due to excessive regulations and supply chain bottlenecks. To this day, people around the world are still persecuted for selling cannabis. Often I need to take the time to remind myself to be grateful that I can legally sell cannabis in Canada without living in fear.”
– Lisa Campbell, CEO, Lifford Cannabis Solutions