High! Canada Magazine International Woman's Day Spotlight on Women in Weed
Better the balance, Better the world.
We want to celebrate all the wonderful women that High Canada Magazine has been lucky enough to have worked with, met and spoken to, interviewed, collaborated with, featured or generally gotten to know and been blown away by their dedication not only to the plant but to changing the world and minds daily about cannabis
Today and everyday we should celebrate women's achievements, maintain a gender parity mindscape, forge a more gender balanced world, challenge stereotypes and bias, influence the beliefs and actions of others through positive engagement forging positive visibility of women, not only within the cannabis space but it all aspects of our lives.
Here our our top picks for outstanding women who really caught our eye in terms of breaking stigma and advocating for cannabis, above and beyond, in Canada this past year. This list literally could have went a lot longer. There are so many wonderful women in the cannabis space and so many amazing women on the High! Canada team that this list could have been twice the length.
Please join us in acknowledging the following woman as true inspirations and powerhouses in thier respective fields.
Angelina Blessed: My motivation Is my healing. My motivation is knowing that Learning to heal yourself was the biggest step forward and while being injured felt like the end of my fight path, it opened the door to healing others and spreading the benefits of cannabis training and recovery. Because even in the face of exhaustion, pain and distraction you must be willing to work hard and do more.
My motivation is my grind, the grind you learn to love and accept in the face of adversity. My motivation is the insanely talented team that built this with me, and believed in this from day
My motivation is trusting the path no matter the twist and turns it throws at you. Motivation though is not a gift that can be given to you, you must simply want it
Check out our exclusive interview with Angelina in the March Issue #41of High! Canada Magazine!
Jamie Shaw is an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of successful Social and Political change, particularly in the cannabis field. Lobbied for and consulted on the earliest municipal cannabis retail regulations in Canada. Canada’s only Court-certified dispensary expert. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Lobbying, Advocacy, Communication, Education, and Entrepreneurship. Graduated from American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.
Cheryl built the largest cannabis media source in the world with Kush Magazine in 2010 as Director of Celebrity, Media & Public Relations, taking them from $150,000 in gross revenues to more than $6.5 million in revenue within 18 months.
Known as the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana”, Cheryl now manages a $100 million funding facility to invest in the cannabis sector as well as a personal endorsement contracts with ancillary products in the cannabis industry. In a short time, Cheryl has secured product placements for products in FX’s Wilfred, CBS News, The New Ricki Lake Show, and more.
Cheryl lectures internationally about everything from seed to sale of the Cannabis Plant and is currently working with the prestigious William Morris Endeavor Agency in Beverly Hills for film, television, book and lecturing deals.
Madison Banes is a wonderful person. She is also a Naked News On-Air Personality, yoga instructor, burlesque dancer, canna-activist, Karma Cup Judge, host of Naked News Goes Pot and co-host of @babesnbluntz alongside Marina Valmont.
Natalie Sophia: Owner and operator of Nattilly Attired. Natalie makes Handmade Body Polish & Oils, Bearded Bloke and is a Classic Rock RedNeck kinda chick! Oh yeah...She used to be a Tattoo Model! Nattilly Attired is a company that is growing quickly in popularity. Its products have recently been featured on the “Women's Network” website.
Home grown social influencer Barinder Rasode and her quintessential advocacy for Canadian values is nationally renowned. Her leadership, mastery of complex subjects and innovation guides a plethora of issues that impact the everyday life of Canadians. Barinder is the current CEO of Grow Tech Labs and founder of Niche Canada.
She has also served on the Board of Directors for Fraser Health, which provides governance and vision for the largest health authority in British Columbia. In her appointed role, she worked with senior management to establish overall strategic direction, review long-term plans, and ensure appropriate community consultation.
Barinder has extensive experience working with senior levels of government, stakeholders and the private sector to find common ground to encourage respectful, informed dialogue on diverse issues to tackle emerging challenges facing Canada’s future.
Alison McMahon is the Founder & CEO of Cannabis At Work. Founded in 2015, Cannabis At Work is the leading source in Canada for cannabis jobs, recruitment services, online industry training, and workplace impairment training. Alison’s work has been featured in the Globe & Mail, Huffington Post, Financial Post, CBC, Business News Network (BNN), Leafly and by many other media outlets.
Cannabis At Work has significant experience working in the regulated cannabis sector with Licensed Producers and Applicants, ancillary businesses and the retail sector. Cannabis At Work was the first to receive a government contract for retail staffing services from the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation.
In addition to staffing services, Cannabis At Work also provided education to employers on cannabis legalization and advised on drug policy changes. Alison was a term instructor for 5 years at the MacEwan School of Business in Edmonton, and she is a former board member with the Human Resources Institute of Alberta. She serves on Board of Directors for Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) and is a Mentor for the Leaf Forward cannabis incubator. Alison is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and holds a Bachelor of Human Resources & Labour Relations (B.HRLR).
Dr Sana Ara Ahmed is a visionary who has taken on the challenge to revolutionize the way chronic pain patients are treated in Calgary. She is guided by her expertise as an anesthesiologist, by her ultrasound-guided interventional procedure skill-set, and by her specialization in cannabinoid medicine to be innovative, tech savvy, and to not be afraid to advocate for her patients and promote medical cannabis use.
Dr. Ahmed is a practicing clinical Anesthesiologist in Alberta and Ontario with specialist training in Interventional Chronic Pain Management and Cannabinoid Medicine. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan (2006) and received her FRCPC in 2011 in Anesthesiology and Medicine from the University of British Columbia. She worked as an academic anesthesiologist (2012-2014) in Toronto at St. Michael’s hospital and completed her Medical Education Fellowship from the University of Toronto (2013).
Abi Roach is the owner & founder of HotBox Lounge + Shop, Hotbox Jamaica Bud & Breakfast, Hotbox Homegrown Hydroponics and
Publisher of Spliff Magazine. Abi Roach, has been in the Cannabis lifestyle & tourism industry for near to 20 years. She has dedicated her life to the freedom of cannabis consumers and the normalization and now legalization of cannabis.
Specialties: Marketing, promotions, street level marketing, sales, cannabis culture.
Jacqui Childs is a Social Influencer with an online following into the millions (Over 2 million on her verified Facebook page). Jacqui is a wife and mother and has been modeling for over 30 years, having been published nationally and internationally. She co wrote an international best selling book “Ignite Your Inner Warrior ” where she shares her battles with drugs and alcohol.She works directly with many social causes and brands and shares her experiences on social media. Now living Pharma free she’s chosen to spend her time focused on the Cannabis industry and community as well as “Women’s issues” and charities. Jacqui feels she owes this community as much exposure and attention as she can as a thank you for saving her life.
All while trying to end negative stigmas and prejudices one post at a time. You can find Jacqui at industry events, markets and farms across Canada. Jacqui’s quest for knowledge within the cannabis space doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Much like cannabis she’s “growing like a weed”.
Virginia Vidal discovered the benefits of medical cannabis more than a decade ago, then faced arrest and criminal charges for using it to relieve her symptoms. As a mother of six concerned about the pungent odor of cannabis smoke, she found her own way to medicate inconspicuously, and turned that discovery into one of Canada’s fastest-growing edibles companies. Vidal launched Mary’s Original Coffee & Teas, a healthy, tasty infused product line available at dispensaries across Canada.
Sarah Bain has more than 15 years experience in politics, stakeholder relations and public engagement. She has provided advice to cabinet ministers, the Liberal Party of Canada, federal and municipal governments, and leading corporations and associations. Prior to joining Auxly and Nesta,
Sarah was Vice President, Public and Corporate Affairs at Hill+Knowlton where she provided strategic advice regarding medical cannabis and the emerging regime of legalized cannabis.
She was registered to lobby the government regarding policies and regulations relating to the distribution of cannabis, and helped her clients understand Health Canada guidelines and the legislative process as Canada moved towards implementation of the Cannabis Act. Sarah holds a Honours Bachelor degree from the University of Ottawa, which included an International Exchange at l’Université de Picardie, France.
Jenn Larry is President of CBD Strategy Group, a brand strategy and marketing firm created to help cannabis brands thrive inside the box of regulation. She is a public speaker and has participated in multiple cannabis conferences and media partnerships across Canada and the U.S.
Over the past 18 years, Jenn has worked with national & international companies across regulated sectors including: Music, Online Gambling, Pharmaceutical, Tobacco, Payments, Technology, and Consumer Packaged Goods. Her experience has allowed her to successfully create and execute strategies for her clients in markets that ban traditional marketing and branding. Jenn is well known for her ability to forecast trends, and leverage business intelligence to lead change across organizations.
Stephanie Ostrander a passionate, dedicated, and self-motivated professional with a strong background selling cannabis-related services and facilitating profitable relationships with a wide array of key decision-makers in the industry. Amongst other things, she possesses years of successful experience planning and implementing effective promotional strategies to increase sales and achieve revenue goals, and has been consistently recognized for outstanding contributions to the bottom line. In addition, Constantly commended for her business development skills, she possesses a dynamic understanding of MMPR, MMAR, ACMPR and Cannabis Act regulations, policies, and practices.
Tamara Jane Hirsh: With decades of experience in lifestyle design and business development, Tamara Hirsh is now putting her transferable skills to use in helping build a vertically integrated seed to sale group of companies that are playing an active part in helping shape an emerging global Cannabis industry. Tamara has had a successful background in design/build including lifestyle branding, positioning and niche marketing. After 20 years of lifestyle design/build/brand, Tamara had a life altering moment. It’s was a chance encounter with a seemingly harmless Red Snapper fish, that resulted in Tamara contracting a painful nerve damaging neurotoxin from a toxic dinoflagellate algae that the fish had consumed. Like many others using conventional opioid based pharmaceuticals to manage their chronic pain, Tamara was introduced to Cannabis which was the catalyst for a radical career shift. It didn’t take long for her to recognize it’s medicinal value and market potential. Tamara is now putting her skills to use in helping build a vertically integrated seed to sale group of companies that are playing an active part in helping shape a robust Cannabis industry.
Tweedledoob: Marly as she is also known, is one of the country's best cannabis based photographers and advocates. She has been a cannabis enthusiast & medical patient for over a decade.
She got her start in the industry working in a cannabis lounge while completing her Honours Bachelor Degree in Philosophy & Buddhist Studies at the U of T.
In 2015 she started the instagram account @tweedledoob and has organically gained 42k followers since. For the last year she has been doing freelance content creation, paid promotion, and social media consulting full time & is proud to have recently been contracted by The Supreme Cannabis Company to consult on their 7ACRES recreational brand launch. Photo by @fallforvee
Sandra Colasanti is the VP of Sales and Business Relations for Remo Brands Inc. They are a producer of a vegan nutrient line of plant food that has been winning international awards over the last few years. She works with large distribution channels throughout the world such as Hydrofarm USA, Hydrotek Quebec, and Easy Grow UK. They also supply larger facilities with industrial sized totes and commercial pricing and work with clients to help keep costs in line while providing them with quality assurance second
Karli Thiessen is certified clinician and consultant with Living Leaf Remedies which provides medicinal products and pain management services. She provides personal guidance, product introductions and therapy planning.
When Karli was diagnosed with cancer, she knew cannabis would heal her. With the late great Gayle Quinn's (Karli's mentor) help in doing the Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) protocol, she was cancer free. Inspired by her own healing journey, Karli gave back to her community by making cannabis suppositories and capsules for medical patients. Karli has recently taken a course on how to treat canines with cannabis. She makes a cannabis cream that changes people's lives!
"Be strong in what you say or do. Be yourself. Be true to who you are"
Karli recommends topicals, edibles, smokeables and the education that goes with it to heal your body.
Jodie Emery is recognized worldwide as a high-profile cannabis advocate and political activist. She is often invited to speak at events and endorse legislation across Canada, the United States and abroad, and is regularly featured in mainstream media stories about cannabis and legalization. After two B.C. Green Party election bids in 2009 and 2013, she campaigned as a Liberal Party of Canada nomination candidate for the 2015 federal election.
Jodie was the owner and operator of Cannabis Culture headshops, vapor lounges and social-use cannabis retail stores, and media websites Cannabis Culture and Pot TV.
Loretta Eldridge is the Director of Marketing at Ample Organics, a leader in cannabis tracking and reporting technology that powers 70% of Canadian licensed producers. Loretta brings extensive marketing experience from a decade-long career in book publishing, managing marketing teams in the development and implementation of national campaigns. She holds certificates in Strategic Marketing from Ryerson University, Creative Book Publishing from Humber College, and is a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) graduate from Trent University with a Double Major in English and Cultural Studies.
Shannon Ford-Smith has a uniquely diverse background that includes education, construction, consumer goods as well as experience building and leading companies in the sports healthcare sector. She has over a decade of experience building, leading and establishing business direction.
Ms. Ford-Smith started her career in healthcare with a focus within the orthopaedic and sports rehabilitation industry. She owned and operated Perpetual Motion, three multidisciplinary sports rehabilitation clinics in Toronto. Her passion for helping people fueled her desire to grow her brand of clinics. Her clientele included top tier athletes, professional sports teams as well as leading hospitals within the GTA.
Recognized as the youngest educator at The Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy as well as Sutherland-Chan Massage School and Teaching Clinic, Shannon taught courses and led large teams of students in the school student clinic.
Bridget Hoffer and Katie Pringle
Bridget is the co-founder of Marigold Marketing and PR, a communications strategist and brand expert. She has extensive experience in delivering strategic communications, marketing, and brand programs that achieve results and resonate. Her expertise ranges from developing and managing iconic Canadian brands to refreshed personal brands with effective positioning to ensure relevance and value.
Katie is the co-founder of Marigold Marketing and PR and an integrated marketing expert. She has a deep understanding of the social and digital landscape and traditional media mix. She has extensive experience in lifestyle, entertainment & kids, with a specific focus on brands that speak to women. As a marketer, Katie is forward-looking, delivers beyond expectation and is always ready for the unexpected. Her peers say she can see around corners.
Val McCulloch from Shatterizer has deep experience in business operations, development, communications, sales and marketing. With strong combination of cross-functional experience in diverse industries and markets, ahe has recognized ability to creatively meet business challenges and manage complex projects. A highly motivated problem-solver, enthusiastic and goal-oriented professional, Val is a leader in creating and delivering integrated multidimensional strategies