Darren is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Namaste Technologies. A Cannabis Industry expert, he is a multi-talented, results-driven leader with a proven ability to orchestrate significant business and operational process improvements, while providing inspirational operational leadership for teams. Dynamic, versatile, and energetic professional with an ability to leverage an innate business and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver significant improvements in operational efficiency, performance, and profitability. Skilled leader, communicator, and facilitator with expertise in partnering with cross-functional teams to ensure attainment of corporate goals and objectives. Expertise in Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Operations.
Jeannette VanderMarel is an early entrepreneur in the cannabis industry and co-founder of Good & Green and The Green Organic Dutchman, one of Canada’s early Licensed Producers of medical cannabis. Inspired by her personal experience — including her career as a critical care and pediatric intensive care nurse, as well as her daughter’s battle with Dravet syndrome — Jeannette has a strong passion for and commitment to the cannabis industry, recognizing the opportunity cannabis presents to improve patients’ lives, combat the growing reliance on opiates, and improve wellness and health by offering new and innovative treatment alternatives.
Ms. VanderMarel was a registered nurse (RN) and a certified nurse in critical care – pediatrics (CNCCP-C) and has previously served as chair of the Family Advisory Council at McMaster Children’s Hospital and was the co-founder and inaugural chair of the Ontario Lavender Association.
Based on Tyler’s impressive commitment and contributions to Valens GroWorks, he was appointed CEO in May 2017 after previously serving as Chief Operating Officer of the Company. Tyler has been pursuing his passion for the cannabis industry for the last decade with a focus on research and development, proprietary extraction processing and life sciences. He is a well-respected individual and industry expert as shown through his impressive client base at Valens where the company has secured major extraction agreements with companies such as Canopy Growth, Organigram, Sundial, The Green Organic Dutchman and more. Tyler’s combined expertise in both cannabis applications and extraction give Valens a competitive advantage for the up and coming edibles and concentrates market.
I got involved in the industry after learning about cannabis' interaction with health and its various medical applications through personal experiences. One of the biggest turning points for me was when I began to explore the different applications and delivery methods of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Many of the people I knew personally who were using cannabis for medical purposes were not, in fact, smokers. Through personal research into medical patients both locally and in the US, I began to research extraction as a way to provide non-smokers with an alternative method to consume cannabis. I then applied what I had learned about the medicinal benefits of cannabis to different types of extraction to help others with product development initiatives. A few years later I co-founded Valens Groworks, where I worked as the COO of Valens Agritech Ltd. before becoming CEO of the parent company in 2017. During my time as COO, I started to develop plans to pivot the business model from cultivation to extraction, and this is what spearheaded the business model that Valens operates under today.
I believe my biggest accomplishment to date in the cannabis industry is the network I have created and my ability to help these contacts translate ideas into opportunities to better their businesses.
We at Valens understand the need for effective collaboration to provide consistent, quality products for consumers. Our near term future goals include ramping up our number and scope of white-label offerings, while expanding both our domestic extraction capacity and international footprint through extraction services and product development opportunities.
The team we have built at Valens inspires me to constantly think about how we can be
better for our clients, stay ahead of the curve and grow with this fast-paced industry.
The global support and recognition of cannabis by leading health organizations for its
vast medical benefits is also extremely inspiring.
Yes, I do personally use cannabis as it has benefited me in many ways. My go to is typically full spectrum extracts as well as high CBD products. I like to use and support brands that deliver quality and consistency in their products.
Dr. Dhillon is a life sciences entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience. As a founder/co-founder or lead investor in dozens of life science companies, he has raised more than $1B in public and private financings. He is currently the Chairman, CEO and President of Emerald Health Sciences, a holding company with a portfolio broadly focused on the development of pharmaceutical, botanical, and nutraceutical products, including a controlling position in Emerald Health Therapeutics. As President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Dhillon led a turnaround with multiple successful financings and licensing deals with Merck, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Roche. Before joining Inovio, he was Vice President of MDS Capital Corp. (now Lumira Capital Corp.). Dr. Dhillon now serves as an active board member and chairman for multiple life science and investment companies and is Chairman of the Cannabis Canada Council. Prior to his business career, Dr. Dhillon practiced family medicine. He has a BSc (Honours) in Human Physiology and an MD from the University of British Columbia.
As an authority with nearly two decades of experience in the Cannabis industry, Jesse co-founded the first certified organic, federally-licensed cannabis growing facility in Canada. He has an unparalleled network of relationships in the industry and has been involved in the design and licensure of multiple facilities across Canada and the United States. Jesse’s industry experience also includes the development of proprietary, innovative growth techniques to produce high-quality, certified organic, cannabis crops. In a previous life, Jesse was a university educated economist and philosopher.
I have been involved in the Cannabis industry for nearly 15 years. It all began when a relative became ill and I began producing cannabis product for him. It was during that time that I fell in love with the industry and what cannabis could do for people’s health and well-being. With this inspiration, I went on to secure one of the early licenses for Whistler Medical Marijuana Corporation in 2014.
Building a team that is passionate and believes in what we are doing, which is to
deliver super-premium organic products in a sustainable way for people who
My future goals are to develop the best organic products in the market and
distribute them globally.
I am incredibly inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of my team.
Yes, I use Cannabis. I am old school, so I choose organic flower and terpene rich
oils in sauce pens. The Cookies brand has amazing flavors and I pick it up
whenever I am in California. Now I am excited to say that Rubicon Organics
recently partnered with Cookies to exclusively license the Cookies brand in
Washington State so I don’t have to travel as far to enjoy it.
Keith has been with WeedMD from the earliest days of the company and from the onset of the commercial cannabis industry. Formerly CFO, he was instrumental in guiding the company from the start-up phase through to today’s successful operation. Prior to WeedMD, Keith has a history of entrepreneurship and over 15 years experience working as a finance professional.
Widely known for his role in helping to create and build the iconic Grocery Gateway brand, Benic’s career has been characterized by success in many highly demanding environments. Previously regional director of United Parcel Service Canada, one of the world’s most rigorous and demanding global logistics entities, Benic moved on to be an initial Grocery Gateway employee and General Manager. From October 2004 until June 2018, Benic was the founder and chairman of Sofilia Logistics Group Inc., a leading National Delivery Logistics Service, where he followed a vertical integration growth strategy and successfully acquired and integrated mid-market businesses. His capital-raising abilities have been significant and include several mergers and acquisitions and eventual sales to larger companies. Geoffrey will surely put his stamp on the Cannabis Industry.
Blissco was founded in 2013 by Damian Kettlewell, but his roots in activism and healing go back much further. In 1995, Damian founded and ran Eco-Fest, an event which had an overall aim of protecting the environment. The successful event ran for six years and raised awareness about the clear cutting in the Stoltmann Wilderness Area. In 1997, Damian created and ran Hemp Canada Day and then continued to work on various climate initiatives for another decade. Then in 2011, Damian and his wife received the devastating news that their three-year-old daughter had leukemia. Once his daughter was successfully cancer-free three years later, Damian turned his attention to finding a career path that more closely aligned with his values of environmental stewardship, health, wellness, and personal well-being.
The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. has signed a deal to acquire Blissco Cannabis Corp. in an all-stock deal it valued at $48 million. Under the agreement, each Blissco Share will be exchanged for 0.24 of a common share of Supreme Cannabis.
Based in Langley, B.C., Blissco operates a 18,000-square-foot production facility and has been producing cannabis oils since receiving its production license in August 2018. Damian will continue to lead Blissco and has committed to remaining employed at Supreme Cannabis as well as retaining at least 75 per cent of his shares for a minimum of two years.
I started out in the Cannabis Industry as a community organizer and activist producing "Hemp Canada Day on July 1, 1998, at Richards on Richards in Vancouver, BC. The poster for that event is in Blissco's boardroom.
Blessed to be the Blissco team. They are the best in the Cannabis Industry.
Aside from being among the Top 50 Canna Chiefs, I look forward to continue working with great teams and partners that want to change the world. There are so many opportunities in the Cannabis Industry to make a difference in the world. This excites me.
My inspiration comes from outside the Cannabis Industry, My family & friends, the ocean & the forests.
Yes. Full spectrum options from cannabis brands that minimize their ecological footprint. The Cannabis Industry needs to priortize environmental sustainability.
Renee is the world’s first Federally Licensed Female Cannabis Pubco CEO, security specialist, and international speaker. Renee has been fortunate enough to be at the beginning of several major trends and market creations. Throughout her career, detecting and then capitalizing on change has been her focus.