Gill Pollard said:
“We will always be focused on celebrating the feminine cannabis experience and supporting female-led brands particularly as prohibition comes to an end in Canada…”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I create content in the cannabis space specifically through a feminine lens. My title at HerB Life is Chief Creative Officer, and I both write and curate stories for the website as well as work to create and curate material for use on social media.
My podcast, the High Friends Podcast examines the role that cannabis plays in the lives of women, we interview a different woman each episode and really try to get to the seed of why cannabis is important in her life and what it provides for her, be it an income, medicinal qualities, inspiration, spiritual growth or something else entirely.
What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I began working in the cannabis space in late 2013. I worked with a Licensed Producer in Canada on communications strategies, and I ran all the social media accounts. Licensed Producers are the companies that receive cultivation and sales licenses from Health Canada allowing them to produce pharma-quality medicine legally for Canadian patients. From there I went on to work with several other Licensed Producers and applicants and a patient clinic that provided educational resources to Canadians who thought medical cannabis might be of use to them.
Throughout my time working with other companies, I was privileged enough to meet and work alongside some really incredible powerhouse women. I began to wish there was a platform to tell their stories.
I had always maintained a blog, and I decided to turn it into a lifestyle magazine catering to women who enjoy cannabis.
I’ve always been driven to create whatever it is that I feel I’m missing in my life, and the idea of media that focuses on women’s relationship to this plant in a healthy, normal way really appealed to me.
I created the Spotlight Series – which is similar to [the Her Canna Life] series – where we highlight a different woman and her product or service because I wanted to shine a light on women who might benefit from some exposure. As the Her(B) Life evolves and my team grows, we’re really excited about our upcoming projects, but we will always be focused on celebrating the feminine cannabis experience and supporting female-led brands particularly as prohibition comes to an end in Canada this year.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
I’ve loved cannabis for a really long time. I grew up in a household that didn’t vilify cannabis use so I never really got the memo that it was bad. I’ve used it therapeutically for many, many years and have always known that cannabis helps me relax, relieve anxieties, find humour in challenging situations, and look at problems from a different perspective.
Then a few years ago, I began to get really bad migraines, and I found that cannabis helps immensely with those. I got a prescription so I could grow my own plants at home and experiment with making topicals and tinctures for myself. My love affair with this plant has just continued to grow.
What is your Superpower?
My superpower is my ability to trust my instincts. Its taken a long time, but I’ve learned that when I have a sense that something is off it usually is, or if I feel that I’m on the right track I usually am.
Trusting myself and my team is critical, and sometimes I think that, as women, we don’t always give ourselves the credit we deserve – at least I didn’t. But once I realized that my instincts are actually very good, and I began to trust them, things began to really work out for me.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
For a long time it was finding enough time to build and maintain HerB Life. Until recently, it was something I did in the evenings or on weekends. Even though its a labour of love, its still exhausting to work so much.
Recently, I took the leap and made Her(B) Life my primary focus. I brought on a partner, and we began to grow the team and develop products that we sell on our site. We’re working to launch a print edition that will be ready for distribution in July, and we have very big exciting plans for 2019. I suppose the way I overcame my obstacle – lack of time – was to create more space and time for me to do the thing that gives me the most joy.
I thought it would be scarier to leave behind the safety of a salary, but I’ve never felt better about a decision. This is the right path for me.
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
I would love to see the cannabis industry truly reach gender parity in terms of leadership. There are so many smart innovative women creating new products and brands and I want to see them succeed. We need more women sitting on boards, occupying C-Level positions and founding successful companies.
I would love for my daughter to grow up and be a leader in this industry if she so desired, and that idea drives me to help uplift and support females. Ideally, we’ll also see companies embracing female leadership and actually walking the walk as opposed to just talking the talk.
Supporting women is more than just marketing and talking points, I encourage companies to actively seek women to fill roles in management and higher, and I encourage women to chase their dreams and create the companies they want to see.
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