Essential Thoughts

Industry leaders share their thoughts on cannabis being deemed essential

During the month of 4/20 we’ve been shedding light on both the progress and pains that exist around cannabis. On our Instagram Stories we’ve shared some of the most common (and outrageous) questions we get asked working in the cannabis industry. But most recently in Canada, we’ve watched cannabis go from illegal to essential. This demonstrates great progress as most cannabis retail stores have remained open, providing both patients and consumers with access to medicine and comfort during difficult times. We checked-in with a diverse group of industry friends, some whose careers spanned both the legacy and regulated markets, to hear their thoughts on cannabis being deemed essential. We welcome you to read through and share your thoughts on what did hearing that cannabis was deemed essential, mean to you? by emailing us at



Head Grower at Carmel Cannabis

Deeming cannabis an essential service is a big deal for us at Carmel. If you would’ve asked any of us 10 years ago if we ever thought this was possible, I’m pretty confident everyone would give you a resounding no. At times like this, I think it’s important to look back at how far we’ve come and pay homage to the pioneers that helped pave the way. When I first received my MMAR license in 2010, I got it from Dr. Kamerman. For those who don’t know, at that time Dr. Kamerman was one of the only public voices who was actively promoting the scripting of cannabis. He put his neck on the line and paid a price for it, losing his ability to practice and dragging his reputation through the mud by consistently being vilified in the media. Had he never scripted the number of medical licenses that he did, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It really isn’t a stretch to say that he disrupted the trajectory of cannabis in Canada by taking his licensing public. Today we deem cannabis an essential service with relative ease, but only on the backs of pioneers like Dr. Kamerman.

Instagram: @carmel.cannabis


Melissa Rolston

Founder & CEO at JADA

Prohibition Mel: She sobbed. She knew this day would come. She didn't know when, or how, or even why, but she knew it would eventually arrive. She wept for all the patients she encountered along their journey through their illness, or to their death. Her tears were not those of sadness but rather pure happiness. Dignified access is something she fought for in the only way she knew how, which at the time was on a micro-level by individually working with patients.

To see cannabis deemed essential meant all the efforts of the activists, patients, growers, medical professionals, those we've lost along the way, and everyone who makes up our cannabis community meant we were finally on the right track towards the normalization of the plant. #BTScannabis

Present Mel: Between working with the Brigade Group and ConquerCOVID19 to ensure #FrontLineHeroes have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) she took a moment to do a pirouette, squealed, and fired up her volcano in celebration.

Future Mel: Steadfast baby. We made it this far already, ain't no stopping us now!

Instagram: @melrollingstone | @thisjadalife | @BTSstories


Matt Maurer

Partner & Co-Chair Cannabis Law Group at Torkin Manes LLP

When I heard that cannabis was deemed essential it was a moment of pure happiness that quite frankly has been missing for the past few weeks. While I fully support physical distancing and measures to plank the curve, I know how much these cannabis businesses mean to the people who own and operate them and the people who work at these businesses. I felt that with some modification (for example moving exclusively to a curb-side pickup or delivery model) the stores could remain operational without compromising our public health objectives. Whether people will admit it or not, cannabis is an essential medicine for so many people suffering from a wide variety of ailments (from moderate to significant). Having cannabis designated essential is not only critical for the people who rely on cannabis on a regular basis but for the businesses that help get the plant all the way from seed to sale.

Twitter: @mattpmaurer | @CannabisLaw_TM | @TorkinManesLLP


Andrea Grand

Director of Marketing and Brand at Muskoka Grown