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Canada’s favourite cannabis personalities

Published on January 22, 2020 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Leafly canada readers choice favourite cannabis personalities

2019 was a pivotal year for cannabis in Canada, bringing new audiences and renewed fire to our nation’s cannabis advocates, educators, and chefs.

Meet the leaders in the space, and the winners of Leafly’s inaugural Leafly Canada Readers’ Choice Awards, as crowned by you, Leafly readers.

Canada’s favourite cannabis advocate or influencer

1. Jacqui Childs

With a passionate following of 2 million on Facebook alone, Canadian model and cannabis crusader Jacqui Childs is an icon of influence. Not only did she win favourite cannabis advocate/influencer for telling her story of how she uses cannabis to nurture her mental health, she also placed third in the favourite cannabis educator category.

What challenged you in 2019?

The cannabis space changes fast. The words we’re using today are not the words we’re using tomorrow. If I slip up and I call it weed or I call it marijuana, my intentions are good.

What cannabis were you excited about this year?

I was a judge for the [Canadian] Hempfest [Cannabis] Cup this year. The winner [of the Highest THC Flower category] was 35% THC. It’s called Passion Fruit and it actually tested so high on its trichomes and cannabinoids that they sent it to another lab just to make sure. It is definitely my passion!

Who do you think was the person of 2019?

I would say women in weed. Not just the lawyers and the doctors. The single moms, the homeless moms. It’s the nameless, faceless people behind this who are the real power that I look to in this industry.

Who is one person living or dead who you would like to get high with?

Quite a few years ago my grandfather passed away. I think the big tins and the little jars he had in his farm house, I think they were weed. I would love the opportunity to smoke a joint with him and just talk about life on a different level now that I’m grown.

More of Canada’s favourite cannabis advocates and influencers

2. Ashleigh Brown

The founder and CEO of SheCann Cannabis Inc., the largest medical cannabis community in Canada for women, took on a new role as product liaison with personal cannabis-tracking app Strainprint, in 2019. A devoted cannabis advocate, she also won Leafly’s favourite Canadian cannabis educator category (see below).

3. Seth Rogen

With creative partner Evan Goldberg, the actor, writer, and producer took a trailblazing step into the cannabis space this year by launching a signature brand Houseplant, with Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp.

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4. Dan Sutton

The founder and CEO of Vancouver’s Tantalus Labs, continued to expand his outdoor-cultivated cannabis crops with major moves into the Ontario market.

5. Jonathan Hirsh

The posting puppetmaster behind Instagram’s @Weedstagram416 passed 12,000 followers in the final days of 2019. He was also shortlisted in the favourite Canadian cannabis educator category below.

Canada’s favourite Canadian cannabis educator

1. Ashleigh Brown

Like the best kinds of educators, Ashleigh Brown, founder and CEO of the online cannabis community SheCann Cannabis Inc., is part teacher, part cheerleader. She says witnessing SheCann members try their green thumbs at growing their own plants–legally!–for the first time made 2019 a memorable year to work in cannabis. “It really educated us all on just how complex this plant can be,” she says.

What inspired you in 2019?

My daughters. At 11 and 14, I am witnessing them embrace their own substantial challenges and changes with grit and grace. They are so supportive of me, and of the work I do. I am inspired to keep going when I see just how closely they are watching me, and how we all draw strength from each other.

What challenged you in 2019?

How cliché is it for me to say balance? There were times this year where I just felt so completely overwhelmed with the amount of time and energy I was devoting to everything work and advocacy-related. My biggest challenge was giving myself permission to push when I needed to, and to feel less guilt that life wasn’t always as perfectly balanced as we are told it should be.

If you could get high with one person who would it be and why?

My mom. I would love to see her unwind and raid the fridge!

Where is your happy place?

BC has always been magical for me: I used to visit my aunt and uncle when I was a kid, and to this day, when I need to fully exhale, I think of Vancouver, the Island, the North, and the lower mainland. My roots are in the Prairies, but my heart belongs to BC.

More of Canada’s favourite cannabis educators

2. Jonathan Hirsh

In addition to his work as Instagram’s @Weedstagram416, Jonathan Hirsh operates The Education Station, a company dedicated to educating Canadians on safe cannabis consumption. Hirsh was also a finalist for favourite Canadian cannabis advocate or influencer (above).

3. Jacqui Childs

The high-profile social-media influencer also won favourite Canadian cannabis advocate or influencer (above).

4. Matt Mernagh

The long-time cannabis journalist and author remains a respected resource as more people seek reliable intel on the plant.

5. Andrea Dobbs

The co-founder of the Kitsalano, BC, cannabis retail store The Village Bloomery prides herself on the ways in which cannabis can be used in the wellness sector, especially for women.

Canada’s favourite Canadian cannabis chef

1. Cody Lindsay

A Canadian veteran dismissed for using cannabis before legalization, Cody Lindsay (aka The Wellness Soldier) now uses his skill in cooking with the plant to benefit members of the Canadian military. He hosted his annual Veterans’ Dinner, a four-course meal, for the fourth time in November. “We host 50 people—vets, spouses, battle buddies—to help them get out of the house and attend the meal,” he says.

What challenged you in 2019?

I have to say Health Canada regulations. Before legalization really kicked up it was fairly easy to work with LPs [to share] medical cannabis cooking information and knowledge. When the Health Canada regulations took over, it hindered it a little bit. But the information that we put out there is still relevant.

What are your 2020 goals?

To continue teaching online. We’re going to build our online platform. More recipes, more information, more videos.

What cannabis were you excited about this year?

My go-to special strain is Lindsay OG (no relation), by Liberty Farms. It’s sticky, gummy, smelly, white ashy–just absolutely amazing.

What are you watching right now?

On Prime right now I am watching that all-stars season of Hell’s Kitchen. It’s super funny. On Disney+ I’m watching The Mandalorian. And on Netflix I’m hitting up some of that Blacklist.

If you could get high with one person living or dead who would that person be and why?

Two of the ones I’d want to get high with I already sort of did, with [Cypress Hill’s] B-Real and Wiz Khalifa. Not only that, I would want to smoke the Insane OG by Dr. Greenthumb with B-Real and, of course, the Khalifa Kush strain with Wiz Khalifa.

More of Canada’s favourite cannabis chefs

2. Danny Raposo

Known on Instagram as The Stoner Chef Canada, Raposo has parlayed his appearance on the first season of Masterchef Canada into a slew of cannabis-cuisine enterprises.

3. Travis Petersen

From private lessons and custom recipes to corporate catering, the Nomad Cook (another Masterchef Canada vet) has served over 2500 Canadians since April 2018.

4. Charlotte Langley

After making her name cooking traditional fare, the esteemed chef has branched out into cooking private, intimate cannabis meals for up to eight diners.

5. John Michael Macneil

Trained in molecular gastronomy, the East Coast chef is taking inventive strides into cannabis cuisine.

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Ryan Porter
Ryan Porter
Ryan Porter has spent 15 years as a Toronto-based journalist with bylines in the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, InStyle, and Maclean’s. Recent work and photos of weird signs on Twitter at @MrRyanPorter
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