Van der Pop

Northern Exposure

Vandy

What to expect at our first event in Toronto

We're heading north!

On Tuesday, November 7th in Toronto, Van der Pop will launch in Canada with a speaker series event highlighting cannabis-related topics from wellness to design to entrepreneurship. 

We'd like to introduce you to a few of our amazing speakers below – we know their inspiring, insightful stories will spark your curiosity.


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Olivia Harris, Creative Director at LEVO

What's been the most fulfilling thing about working on the Levo brand?

Working in such an exciting industry has its fair share of meaningful moments, but the most incredible thing, hands down, is hearing from our customers about how LEVO has changed their lives. Many of them have lived with chronic illness and pain for some time and are now empowered to trea their symptoms easily and safely at home. Those stories make all the blood, sweat and tears infinitely worthwhile.
 
Why do you find the current cannabis industry climate so exciting?

The cannabis industry is truly merit-based. I believe smart, thoughtful and passionate people can thrive here even without an "in". For this reason (and several others), it's been an amazing space for women to thrive, and it is beyond awesome to be surrounded by so many female-founded brands.
 
What do you feel most passionately about when it comes to connecting women with cannabis?

Education is paramount. Let's teach women a multi-faceted approach to cannabis, so they can incorporate it in the most beneficial way into their lifestyle. Personally, I'm an evangelist of alternative treatment options. In addition to edibles, I love suppositories, topicals and transdermal patches. Many women just don't know all that lies beyond the bong.


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Barinder Rasode, Executive Director at The National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education

How did you become involved with the cannabis industry?
 
As a City Councillor in Surrey, B.C., I was viewing the cannabis industry solely from a public safety lens. I supported zoning by-laws that made it impossible for any production or retail facilities.  Many Canadians' opinions have evolved because they see the benefits of cannabis for medicinal use. That was definitely the case with me.  
 
What's one challenge you've faced being a woman in the cannabis industry, and how do you work to resolve it? 
 
I am encouraged by the number of women who make up the faces of the cannabis industry. We have to be thoughtful about encouraging and elevating women to put their hands up and take leadership roles. Women tend to defer to others, as they don’t believe they are ready.  
 
What do you feel most passionately about when it comes to connecting women with cannabis?
 
I am most passionate about the benefits women can get in regards to health, especially for women my age. This excites me as much the opportunity to be leaders at the beginning of an industry that is redefining this country.


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Brandi Leifso, CEO/Founder, Evio Beauty Group Ltd.
 
Why are you planning to launch a cannabis-centric beauty line?

There are so many benefits to cannabis when used topically; it reduces inflammation, fights bacteria and has anti-aging abilities. However, the cosmetics industry is generally very conservative with very traditional consumer patterns. As of late, the cosmetics industry is going through a big shake up, with indie brands taking a large market share, along with "green" beauty making it's way to the mainstream with increased knowledge of product ingredients. We're grateful to be making our mark in the conservative, green and indie spectrums of the market as the "scrappy" beauty company that is willing to take risks. Because of our network in the cannabis space and our edgy voice in the beauty space, we strongly believe that we're a good fit to be of the few beauty brands to pioneer the benefits of cannabis in the conservative beauty space. 

What was your relationship to cannabis prior to starting to work on a cannabis brand?

My best friend, Natasha Raey, has worked in the cannabis industry for years and by default I've found myself spending time in this space socially and professionally. Natasha has been a driving force behind women in cannabis and was a founding member of Lift Cannabis, a leading Canadian resource for exploring, buying, and using medical cannabis. By coincidence, prior to conceiving the thought of a cannabis line collaboration with a Canadian LP, Paul Rosen joined our advisory board at Evio Beauty Group Ltd. Over the last five years, Paul has become one ofCanada’s most active and diversified investors in the emerging cannabis industry. Personally, I've been exploring and enjoying the benefits of  cannabis-infused personal care products for some time.

What do you feel most passionately about when it comes to connecting women with cannabis?

Love this question! It's really inspiring to see an industry emerging with so many women in leadership rolls. The industry is full of tenacious people who are willing to take risks and be incredibly resilient along the way. I can relate to that. I'm fuelled by surrounding myself with like-minded women. In the cosmetics industry, men hold the majority of leadership roles. Ironic, isn't it, in an industry that's consumer base is 98% female?! I think we have a lot to learn from women in cannabis. 

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Get your hands on a pair of tickets to our VdP Women & Weed launch event plus great gift bags.


If you weren't able to secure tickets to the VdP Women & Weed launch, don't worry! We'll be broadcasting portions of the event on Instagram Live. Stay tuned for a schedule in next week's newsletter.

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