Homegrown herb is here: Cannabis advocates

Homegrown herb is here: Cannabis advocates

One person who has no shame about growing at her Toronto home since 2013 is Lisa Campbell, whose medical marijuana licence allowed her to grow up to ten plants for her own use or buy from the government.

“The healthier options for patients at the time was to grow your own,” said Campbell.

“I was able to bring some of those plants outdoors post legalization and those are the plants that I harvested (last October). They were ten feet tall, so I was able to cure them all and share them with my friends. I was able to do a huge harvest with my friends. We were stripping the plants. We were trimming them.”

“You can transform that product into whatever you want,” she said. “So you could dry the buds. You could juice the leaves. I had one friend who created cannabis cream out of the roots. So we used also every single part of the plant.”

Campbell, as you may have guessed, isn’t your typical home grower.

She’s also the founder-CEO of the year-old Lifford Cannabis Solutions — a subsidiary of her family-owned Lifford Wine & Spirits — which provides sales and marketing to licensed cannabis producers across Canada.

“It definitely is a challenge (to grow it at home),” says Campbell. “It requires a lot of information. There’s a lot of really great books and resources online where people can learn about growing your own and a lot of videos on YouTube.”

“Because Canada has had a medical marijuana program since 2001, some of the top growers in the world have come out of that program and they really are experts and they’ve shared so much of their knowledge online,” she added.

Campbell fully expects that come April — also known as cannabis month for the pot community — there will be an increase in trying to grow recreational weed at home alongside the emergence of bricks and mortar retail stores.

“I know in the most recent product calls (by the OCS), they included grow tents, grow lights, seeds, etc.,” she said. “I do think that come April when it’s ‘4/20 season,’ you will be able to purchase the things that you need from the government to start your garden.”

Who is Coming to the RC Show Table?

Who is Coming to the RC Show Table?

Restaurants Canada’s 2019 RC Show is convening hospitality industry leaders and CEOs from top restaurants — including McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC Canada, A&W and many more — to share their stories and lead the conversation around the true meaning of sustainability for foodservice.

Here are a few of the sustainability trendsetters coming to the RC Show mainstage Feb. 24-26, 2019, who will be covering everything from restaurants of the future to technological innovations:

Lisa Campbell, CEO, Lifford Cannabis Solutions
Lisa Campbell is a well-respected thought leader in the cannabis space. The CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions, a cannabis subsidiary of Lifford Wine & Spirits, she aims to help cannabis companies navigate the emerging cannabis industry across Canada and beyond. Campbell became a true cannabis expert by working extensively in international drug policy over the years and is currently the Chair of the Ontario Cannabis Consumer & Retail Alliance. She will be joining the Future of Cannabis in Canada: When Will Pot Be in Our Pots? panel, as well as the Restaurant of the Future.

Suds To Buds: Why Cannabis Is Pulling Talent From Craft Beer

Suds To Buds: Why Cannabis Is Pulling Talent From Craft Beer

Trading booze for cannabis

Vancouver-based Aaron Anderson was also looking for a recharge when he switched over to cannabis. The sales manager for Parallel 49 Brewing was working yet another beer festival when he ran into an old friend. Anderson and his wife had a one-year-old at home and he told his friend that the mix of alcohol and parenting an infant was starting to take a toll on his body.

“He told me he was working for Agrima Botanicals, a medically focused LP, and said I should come and check out what he was up to, so I followed up a couple of days later,” says Anderson.


Aaron Anderson made the career switch from craft beer to cannabis to be on the frontlines of an emerging industry.

A long-time recreational user in a “cannabis-friendly family,” Anderson was passionate about the legalization of cannabis and wanted to be on the frontlines of the industry at the fall of prohibition to help remove the taboos around the plant. He signed on in a sales position at Ascent Industries, taking a pay cut initially. But in less than a year he was promoted to national director of sales operations, where his salary and benefits exceeded any he could expect in craft beer.

As far as knowledge, the learning curve was steeper than Anderson anticipated.

“I assumed my skills and contacts would be immediately transferable, but I quickly learned that it’s absolutely a machine of its own,” he says.

While the paperwork and provincial liquor regimes were similar to that of beer, the people were all new hires, so he didn’t have any turnkey relationships. Still, he was thrilled “to break bread with government bodies” at the end of prohibition.

Plus, he’s applying his understanding of the craft beer consumer — who's thirstier for new releases and flavours than for one or two flagship beers — to the cannabis connoisseur. Anderson now works for Lifford Cannabis Solutions, which assists licensed cannabis companies in getting their products to market.

As for his alcohol consumption? “I’ve been drunk maybe three times this year, when it used to be that many times a week,” says Anderson. “I don’t even think about alcohol anymore.”

On judging cannabis, then and now

On judging cannabis, then and now

Lisa Campbell, CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions, which markets LP cannabis, agrees with these criteria, emphasizing the need for testers to try products first-hand. Ash colour in smoked cannabis is a good indicator of quality, Campbell notes. “Ash should never be dark. White or very pale gray ash indicates thorough flushing,” she explains.

Cannabis-infused edibles top food trends ready to hit mainstream

Cannabis-infused edibles top food trends ready to hit mainstream

Of all the trends poised and ready to hit the mainstream, cannabis-infused edibles and drinks are at the forefront. While the legalization of marijuana in October excluded edibles, that is expected to change next fall – and plenty of industry professionals have been recipe-testing and fine-tuning potential products to be ready. Edmonton’s Token Bitters currently offers a lineup of cocktail bitters that is popular with local bartenders, but its main focus these days is testing oils and capsule products for the impending cannabis-edibles market.

“We started our company with the idea of [eventually offering] drinkable cannabis products. We did a lot of market research and believe a lot in the idea,” says Token’s co-owner Cameron O’Neil. “There are still a lot of questions in regards to what will be allowed to be used in edibles and drinks, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the fall.”

His co-founder, Keenan Pascal, says they have been approached by all types of people, from chefs wanting to open a cannabis-infused bakery to doughnut companies and even dairy producers looking to work on a line of cannabis butter.

The two agree it will still be quite some time before restaurants and bars will able to serve cannabis-infused food and drink and when they are, they’ll likely be completely separate establishments from the standard. In other words, you’ll have to go to one bar to sip your gin martini and another for that Dark and Stormy spiked with a marijuana tincture.

Cannabis company CEO determined to bring more gender equality into the industry

Cannabis company CEO determined to bring more gender equality into the industry

At the dawn of legal marijuana, Lisa Campbell is determined to make women a key part of the business.

“The cannabis industry is predominately run by white men,” says Ms. Campbell, who is so passionate about her mission, she rhymes off related statistics without missing a beat. Women, she says, occupy just 5 per cent of publicly traded licensed cannabis producers’ boards, compared with 12 per cent of other companies on the TSX.

As chief executive of Lifford Cannabis Solutions, a nine-month old subsidiary of her family’s wine and spirits agency of the same name, which essentially functions as a distributor, she is one of few female leaders in the emerging space. In her role, Ms. Campbell helps companies navigate the cannabis industry and guides their products to shelves across the country within the legal market.

Happy Holidayz from Lifford Cannabis Solutions 🌲

Happy Holidayz from Lifford Cannabis Solutions 🌲

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Filled with parties and dinners and quiet moments at home. All of these call for special wines and we’ve rounded up our top 12 of the year for our annual 12 HOLIDAY WINES feature. 
 
This is not an easy thing to select! We are looking to capture the spirit of the year, the products that moved us that we are most excited to share. Sparkling, crisp and complex whites, a rose to raise your eyebrows, fresh reds (perfect served chilled with a turkey sandwich) and powerful reds to stop you in your tracks – it’s all here. We lovingly stand behind each of these wines, hand-crafted by a winery we’ve visited and care deeply about.
 
Less talk and more wines! Let the list begin. It's not too late to order your holiday wines delivered to your door before NYE. Also check out some incredible cocktails and mocktails to make your holidayz truely lit brought to you by The Cannabis Sommelier!

HOSPITALITY SESSIONS: CANNABIS COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS DECEMBER 19TH

HOSPITALITY SESSIONS: CANNABIS COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS DECEMBER 19TH

Get into the holiday spirit with The Cocktail Whisperer as we celebrate the coming cannabis edible regulations.  The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) Ontario in partnership with Lifford Cannabis Solutions are closing off the year on a high note, and inviting media to join December’s edition of the monthly cannabis event series Hospitality Sessions at Lifford Wine & Spirits.


This month’s event will feature 6-time author Warren Bobrow The Cocktail Whisperer, as he educates guests on the fine art of cannabis beverages.  Warren is a cannabis writer for Forbes, and authored the very first book on cannabis cocktails. Guests will look forward to DIY cannabis cocktail demonstrations and learn about different types of infusions, dosing and flavour profiles. Media are invited to attend with a complimentary ticket.

Token Naturals Selects Lifford Cannabis Solutions as National Sales Representatives

Token Naturals Selects Lifford Cannabis Solutions as National Sales Representatives

Token Naturals has announced a multi-year partnership with Ontario-based cannabis sales agency, Lifford Cannabis Solutions(LCS). LCS will market Token’s oils and capsules to licensed adult-use cannabis retailers across Canada, growing Token’s footprint nationally and providing consumers and retailers with information and other resources.

“We are pleased to be the first company to work with Lifford nationally,” shares Keenan Pascal, CEO of Token Naturals. “Token values community and innovation, and we recognized those values in Lifford as an independently-owned, relationship-based company. Lifford’s presence across Canada allows us to expand on our roots in Alberta and offer the nation extraction-based products that enhance the wellbeing and lifestyle of Canadians.”

Token is a late-stage Licensed Producer applicant with Health Canada, currently developing an 8,300 square foot extraction lab in central industrial Edmonton and anticipated to be licensed for extraction before the summer of 2019. Once licensed, Token plans to produce oils and capsules with precisely blended cannabinoid profiles that offer dependable experiences for the adult Canadian consumer. These cannabis products will join Lifford’s premier cannabis portfolio, serving the adult-use retail market.

“Lifford Cannabis Solutions is elated to sign our first cannabis processor nationally to prepare for peak legalization in 2019.  Soon Health Canada will be releasing draft regulations on cannabis infused products, and as a premium beverage company we are excited to see what Token Naturals has in store for Canada.  As an independent privately-owned companies we believe in craft small batch artisanal brands with a strong story.  Token fits perfectly into our existing portfolio of premium wine, spirits, beer, cider and now cannabis,” says Lisa Campbell, CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions.

LCS’ partner company, Lifford Wine & Spirits, will also represent Token’s subsidiary brand of cocktail bitters to liquor retailers across Canada. Token Bitters is currently sold across Western Canada, has recently expanded into Ontario and is exported to Japan.