Canmar is a specialized compliance consulting and recruitment services company for the Cannabis, Hemp, and Psychedelics industries. Our mission is to be the leading source of support, education, and resources for businesses and consumers alike. Our vision is to connect the global cannabis and psychedelic community.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a serial entrepreneur with a deep respect for innovation and new ideas. I have started a series of successful businesses using my experience in business development in the private and non-profit sectors and have applied much of that learning to my work today. I first got involved in the Cannabis industry in 2016 after completing a regional community project serving the youth of the region I was living in. You can imagine many of the youth programs we were developing were to deter youth from using drugs to working in an industry where we were manufacturing cannabis for medical sale. Within two years, I played an instrumental role in developing four manufacturing sites across Canada with over 2.5 million square feet of licensed space for both cultivation and processing. I led the global compliance program and was responsible for all sites. This means I was responsible for all processes and operations from a regulatory perspective. I took it upon myself to really learn each process, from initial cloning/propagation all the way to final packaging. It was the only way I could think of to help the team optimize processes and integrate regulatory requirements into our processes to make sure we were on the right path. We had multiple brands on the market and soon became one of the top five manufacturers in the country.
Not long after, we went public and later got bought out by one the largest manufacturers in North America. At that point in time, I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge and venture into the pharmaceutical industry, working with Drug Establishment Licensees and Dealer’s Licenses in order to learn more about the process of manufacturing psychedelics and other controlled substances. I was running my compliance company Merit Compliance when I was approached by an old friend and owner of Canmar Recruitment. To tie this all together, my line of business involved working with companies to obtain licenses and define processes and programs, and once licensed, I would work with Canmar in order to help these companies recruit the right skillsets to run the business. We were, in essence, creating micro-communities by supporting these businesses and also drawing on our existing networks. Having been in the industry for so long, you get to know who’s who and be in a position to recommend and connect businesses to each other. Merit and Canmar joined forces in December 2022, and we now offer both regulatory compliance and recruitment services for the Cannabis, Hemp, and Psychedelic industries. We are also creating a unique user-based online platform, called the ‘HUB’, dedicated to the same industry, offering companies the opportunity to effectively build brands and advertise on our platform without fear of being shadow banned or shut down. Businesses will also be able to connect directly with their target consumer, post jobs, access training and industry events, and connect with other businesses. Consumers will also be able to access exclusive content, educational material, industry insights, and job listings. In essence, we are connecting the world of cannabis and psychedelics.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Don’t be afraid and take that leap of faith. I wish I’d started this sooner! However, the experiences I’ve had have led me here, so in essence, I’m right where I need to be.
What problem does your business solve?
All companies in the cannabis and psychedelics industry are experiencing difficulties in building brands, connecting to consumers, and advertising their companies due to restrictions in the regulation. They get shut down, shadow banned, and cancelled on a regular basis. Canmar recently got shut down on Instagram for posting a production manager position! It’s that easy to get cancelled. The HUB will solve this problem and many more.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Working with so many businesses in the industry, you get to see firsthand their challenges. I’m very passionate about cannabis and psychedelics and their medicinal benefits. Cannabis is a healing medicine that binds to our endocannabinoid system – that we are born with. That is why it is also safe for young children – under controlled circumstances for strictly medical purposes. By the same token, psychedelics are showing great promise in the treatment of depression, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, addiction, and many other mental health issues. I want Canmar to play a key role in the future success of these industries. I strongly believe in the benefits of these plant medicines and want to see the industry survive and thrive.
What is your magic sauce?
Honestly, it’s our team. We have a stellar team that is motivated, talented, and collaborative. We are strong communicators, respect each other, and support the vision of the company. Fuelled with passion, we are also very data-driven. We make our decisions using data analytics and trends. We strategize, implement and are quick to pivot when we need to.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
I want Canmar and the community HUB to become the leading socially interactive networking platform for the industry globally.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
As with most startups, the current economic landscape, combined with the recent history of public cannabis companies, has made it very difficult to raise capital. However, we kept pushing through and are starting to see success in our capital raise efforts. Our concept is simple, the problem we are solving is real, and we are demonstrating strong growth on our platform as proof of concept.
How can people get involved?
Investors looking to invest with us can email email@example.com. We are also looking for content developers, individuals that want to share their experiences with cannabis and psychedelics, or stories about how people are integrating plant medicines into their lives, to name a few, you can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Made in CA does not endorse Canmar Ventures or the use of cannabis or psychedelic products for medical or recreational purposes; this interview is merely for informational purposes. For more information about cannabis or psychedelic products, speak to your medical practitioner.