“HEY FRIENDS, I’m writing this because I think there’s been some confusion as to what I do in the cannabis industry. The long short of this is, “No dude, I CANNOT get you shatter” and “Yes dude, I can help your grandma get CBD Oil.”
I got into the cannabis field professionally just over three years ago. I started out in events, fundraisers, advocacy and PR for those pushing the privatized dispensary model through my former media company Misfit Island.
When legislation was announced in Ontario that legalized recreational cannabis would be going with the OCS ( LCBO ) model, I decided what was best for me and my personal goals in Cannabis were to wish my old associates well, and to try to work with those in the legal market to continue advocating for what I know to be true; Cannabis is not the “gateway drug” it has been claimed to be, but rather, a tool to help those combatting addiction or, an “Exit Drug”.
The same day I left my former position, by complete coincidence, Stephen Verbeek, CEO of Hello Cannabis offered me a position doing similar kind of work, but within his new start up. I’m not one to boast, “fate”, but as a musician I can say that that was some real “In the pocket timing”.
This position at Hello Cannabis has allowed me the opportunity to stay focused on what matters most to me which is education and access.
However, that’s not to say what I learned through my time working in the “grey market” would not be some of the most valuable education in cannabis a guy can possibly get. You see, in addition to contributing brand integration, direction and understanding the street level consumer, Misfit Island’s tasks at first were also social media marketing and management. Many on that team are responsible for the better “lifestyle” messaging you see all over the cannabis industry today, working with internet restrictions, and getting an actual grasp on the stigmas that existed towards cannabis itself, was mind blowing. The amount of misinformation, or “reefer madness” levels of hysteria on the internet opened my eyes to just how powerful repeat messaging can be. So I’ll repeat myself, Cannabis is not a “gateway drug”, but rather, an “exit drug”
What fascinated me the most about my previous position were the dozens of messages we’d receive weekly from those in recovery writing to tell their stories about how cannabis had helped them combat their reliance on methadone, alcohol, OxyContin and other non prescription “street” stimulants. It was incredibly touching and gave me focus on how truly powerful this plant really is. No joke, these messages came in daily.
However, once again, I digress. This is by no means a call to action for those in power to change forthcoming established retail models across Canada. It has been made loud and clear what those intentions are, and although far from perfect, I feel we can only make change by working together. We’ll improve legislation by communicating with the public, those in the medical practice, and politicians.
A lot of people in the cannabis industry lay their focus on the benefits of CBD and dosages that could help various mental health situations like OCD, anxiety, depression etcetera, which I think is incredibly important work, and I support those making strides in those areas with the utmost respect and support.
However, coming from over 25 years touring and playing in punk/indie/rock bands, the reality is that addiction runs rampant in the music community, we see it everyday. It’s not just performers, it’s the guy who riggs the lights, it’s the monitor person, it’s the booking agent, etc. As I said, it’s rampant.
Through these combined experiences I’ve seen first hand the dozens and dozens of recovering addicts who’ve weened themselves off of their respective addictions by using cannabis. In fact, cannabis is what helped me regain control of my life when I had fallen victim to my dependency issues. I can honestly say that I am the highest functioning I have ever been in my whole life. Cannabis has had a huge effect on me. It’s not right for everyone, but if you can find a dosage regiment that works for you, it can be life altering.
There are studies coming everyday from all corners of the planet supporting this theory, please help us spread the message.
#goodbyeopioids, Hello Cannabis
We want to work within the community.
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Tickets for our kick-off event with The Flatliners, Cedar Spring Motel, Diamond DJ Collective, Royal Tea, Melissa Marie Marchese, Patrick Coppolino, Mike Mitchell, Kev Sheeler available here: https://www.bruha.com/event/3097