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The end of an era and the beginning of another... Six Years of High! Canada Magazine

I an both sad and happy to announce that this is our last 'unregulated' issue of High! Canada Magazine.

What a ride it has been. Thank you to our many contributors - past and present. We look forward to continuing to be a trusted source of your cannabis experience.

This issue we get nostalgic and offer up a giant 300 page farewell issue featuring an exclusive High! Canada Magazine photographic look back at the last six years of publishing the Canadian cannabis culture treasure that is High! Canada Magazine.

I woke up this morning happy and grateful.  The birds were singing and light music played in the background as I made my coffee and rolled the joint that would kick off my day. I sat down to type this out and I was struck by how humbled and honoured I was feeling.

Grateful to sit down and write this final unregulated editorial and to bring you the last unregulated issue of High Canada Magazine.

64 monthly issues works out to six years of publishing. and that is something to be proud of.

Back in 2015, when I first got involved in the Canadian cannabis industry, I felt that this new industry was a brave new world and that there was nothing we couldn't do if we set our minds to it. Here we are now and I look back with pride at all we have accomplished.  This issue contains a special photographic look back at the last six years, final lessons learned about this industry and the importance of never counting out an under-recognized person, community or plant.

I have had the opportunity to meet 1000’s of people and travel coast to coast doing so. The magazine has  attended most of the major conferences over the last six years and each and every person I have met along the way was as passionate about this plant as I am. One of the true joys I have felt while operating the magazine is hosting parties and events designed to bring the cannabis community together. Those days are gone for now but not forgotten. I look forward to bringing them back in our next incarnation as the all new, all legal HCM.

They say if you work a job you love then you will work a day in your life. Never-ending work and non-stop work covering cannabis in Canada is what it soon became and I had the time of my life doing it.  Absolutely one of the most important times of my life was helping to build an industry the way we did and covering real change in the way we did. I would not take back a single thing. 

I am incredibly proud of the work we have done, the readers and supporters we have picked up along the way, the phenomenal network we have created, and of every step forward we have made from black to grey and now finally to white.

I am equally proud of each and every interview and photo  we have published, of every person who used the magazine to secure some experience within cannabis media before blossoming out on their own amazing paths within the cannabis industry as a whole. I look back now on those early issues and I see what an entirely different time that was. Looking back, I now see that we took what had to be one of the most under-recognized plants in history and we legitimized and legalized it.  With so many people banding together and speaking up, the Government made decisions to legalize and here we are - living in a world of legal cannabis. Three years later and we continue to exist in the aftermath of those decisions. I started High Canada magazine in October of 2015 and it has run monthly since then. This brings us to where we are now with this final unregulated issue 64 and a chance to look back at some of the things we learned along the way.

I remember how excited we were when we heard that our longtime Rolling Stones Magazine advertiser Crop King Seeds was going to be transitioning over to the new magazine with us as our back cover. Soon other advertisers signed on like Phant Extracts, Always Vapes, 420 PenPals Blazed,  Bong City, Canna Relief,   National Access Cannabis, Comedy night at Cloud 9 in Hamilton. Vape on the Lake in Toronto,  easy to roll Curved Papers, 416 Medicinal Health Centre,  Cannafest in Grand Forks BC, Toronto Holistic Cannabinoids, Phyto Medical, Cannawide dispensaries and Canada Bliss Herbals,  just name a few of our early supporters.

Like ourselves and our young optimistic magazine we were all under-recognized. Looking back it's amazing to see how much change and education we actually helped initiate. We spent a lot of time  in the early days letting our cannabis Community know about raids that were coming down the line. Keep in mind this was the time of the project Gator and project Claudia raids in Toronto and heavy enforcement across the country on the rise of unregulated cannabis dispensaries nationwide. Over the  course of time leading up to legalization in October 2018 we steadfastly reported on all aspects of the Canadian cannabis industry and community. We endeavoured to stay relevant and report on carefully curated Cannabis News and information that we felt Canadians needed to know about leading up to the legalization.

There was a lot of confusion and hesitations when it came to this new industry and we felt it was our responsibility to educate Canadians on the multi-faceted industry of cannabis. From seed to sale to flower and the many ways to consume cannabis. There were a plethora of new products available in the early days of the dispensary market with so many companies jumping into the ring to take their shot at a better future through cannabis.

One of our more popular features over the last six years has been our women and weed feature. I'm proud to say that we have interviewed over a hundred women in the cannabis industry and community. Wonderful and powerful women who have shattered stigma, destroyed grass and glass ceilings and led the charge for normalization for cannabis users and cannabis entrepreneurs around the world  We had the opportunity to speak with many professional athletes who have used cannabis and CBD as part of their treatment and aftercare or recovery for years.

These are part of a brave group of advocates who are willing to sacrifice career and reputation to stand up for the plant that is giving them back their lives.

We have been blessed to have been able to speak to some real mavericks and leaders within the Canadian cannabis industry and report on and engage in some real in-depth discussion with them on what drove them and what made them tick.

Some of the more interviews that I am most proud of are when we are really connecting with previously under-recognized people who really worked at pushing the limits of what we are able to do with this miracle of a plant.

Cannabis was once an under-recognized plant used by under-recognized people.

Under-recognized people? What do I mean? Well. As publisher and editor of this long running Canadian cannabis magazine I would like to think I know a thing or two as cannabis and hemp and people involved in cannabis and hemp have been under-recognized for years.

Cannabis users have been under-recognized, sure but look how far we have actually come. It really is staggering to look back at even 5 years ago compared to how things are now.. What it means is that for the most part, society has begun to able to see the value in cannabis.

One of the things I love about under-recognized people is that they know how to look for other under-recognized people and pull them together under a common flag. 

If you are someone who has been under-recognized, you are going to be able to see other people that are under-recognized and know that they have something valuable to contribute. Now if you've never been under-recognized then you're not going to know where to even look because you've been overlooking people your whole entire life. You don't know that you can pull up a rock and find someone under that rock that's been hiding there for so many years and you're not going to see them because you've never been in that situation. High! Canada Magazine recognized the value of cannabis, and has been there right from the start of the black market dispensary green rush to the new white market we exist in today.

This is not the end of this magazine but the beginning of a bright new chapter for it instead.

We have provided years and years of interesting and relevant new coverage to our readers.

First and foremost, we have covered important, historical stories and breaking news on the people behind the plant, on the Canadian cannabis experience and on what was really going on in the Canadian cannabis industry.

We provided essential information on the medicinal relief Cannabis gave, how it helped in recreational settings, how it became common place and it is now an integral part of Canadians’ health and wellness regiments all over the country.

Coast to coast, we have covered the stories that matter to Canadians. We helped the sick, the poor, the patients that needed help and most importantly we were of service to our communities on a true national level.

As for myself and the High! Canada Magazine brand we have learned that the times are continuing to change and as such, we are changing along with them.

This will be the last 'unregulated' issue of High! Canada Magazine and next issue we are being reborn into the printed magazine HCM available for free at select legal dispensaries throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan,  BC and  Ontario to start. Expect that issue to be available in July 2021.

I would like to take this moment to thank our writers, photographers and contributors, our advertisers and our community.

We could not have made it here without you.

Always remember this one important fact - you helped change Canada and the world!

Stay Lifted!

Cy Williams



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