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Lift & Co. High Profile

Lift & Co. High Profile

Here’s an excerpt from my recent interview with Lift & Co about how I use cannabis in my life and why I decided to talk about it.

Read the full interview here. There are some good interviews in this series including Mary Zilba from Housewives of Vancouver, B-Real from Cypress Hill, Comedian Donell Rawlings, and DJ Unimerce


With the legislation around the corner and heaps of cool cannabis events popping up, I’m ok coming out of the ‘cannabis closet’. I’ve talked to my parents about it, my mum thinks it cool and likes that I’m on the cusp of something new. I feel the same excitement and energy as when social media was just getting started. A lot of creativity is going into marketing, branding, and storytelling around cannabis. At this point, I feel if a brand doesn’t want to work with me because I use cannabis, that’s ok. My blog is called This Is My Life and this is my life! As a female entrepreneur, I feel like it’s a blessing that a new industry is opening up around something I’m passionate about and have experience in. If I can use my voice to help shed a positive light on an incredible and natural substance, why not?!

You have to take a chance sometimes. When I started my blog, social media wasn’t really invented yet. There was no advertising, scheduling for analytics programs. I was part of that early group of people in the social tech scene from 2008-2012 and it was so inspiring and exciting. We were doing something that people thought was super nerdy at the time but social media is everywhere now. If I hadn’t gotten into it back then I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’ve always been an early adopter and like to learn as I go. What a time to be alive.


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Influencers + Cannabis: What Are The Rules?

Influencers + Cannabis: What Are The Rules?

Last week I was a speaker at an exciting event hosted by Jones Media at 1 Bloor. We are T-16 days away from legalization and the world of cannabis marketing is something people have a lot of questions about.

Specifically, this talk was about cannabis + influencers and what is allowed within the rules of the new cannabis act. The panel featured Chris Nyberg, a lawyer who specializes in this area, Lorilynn McCorrister from Weed Box, and Jen Newton who does the High Tea podcast and comes from an agency/brand background. 

We talked about everything from how do you market in a space that’s so highly regulated, how to partner with a licenced producer, how to align with an influencer, and examples of creative marketing we’ve seen. 

On Going to the USA

One of the topics we talked right off the bat was can you still go to the USA if you work in, invest in, or post about cannabis on your social accounts? Sorry to say, you can 100% get a lifetime ban if you do any of those things. Safe bet is to scrub your social accounts and make sure you don’t mention your connection to the wonderful world of flower if you don’t have to. On my last trip I remove Weed VR social accounts & email from my phone and didn’t take any business cards. I have cards Director cards from Occupied VR in case anyone asks what my job is. 

On Working with Influencers

Another thing I feel is important to share about this new industry is influencer + brand partnerships. This isn’t like a consumer product, it’s much more individual to a person’s lifestyle and habits. Partnering with someone who has social influencer brings a whole new level to authenticity. How does this person use cannabis in their life? What is their history with the plant? Are they willing to open up and talk about it? Does their lifestyle fit with the brand of the licenced producer? It’s not the same as working with something we might all use like coffee, clothing, or beauty products. 

About the Legal Stuff

If you are an influencer, before you work with a LP or cannabis wellness company,  make sure they are legal to sell their products in your state/province. Another thing to note is it is ok to write about cannabis from an educational point of view but not recreational. You are responsible for your content so if you’re not sure, ask the client or talk to a cannabis lawyer. If you need one, lmk

Your Social Media Accounts

According to all the social platforms, posting about cannabis *could* be seen as promoting drug use and you risk getting your accounts shut down. As you have probably seen, there are heaps of cannabis-related accounts on social media. Chris aka ‘the fun police’ recommended use discretion and try to be creative, photos of you holding a big bud and smoking joints might not go over that well but an artful post about the lifestyle should be a-ok. 


If you have questions about this topic, I’ve been doing a lot of research and although I’m not a lawyer, I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned.

Thanks, Jones Media for hosting a great event!


On Wednesday this week I’m speaking on a panel about breaking down the stigma attached to cannabis. I’ll share details soon. If you are interested in attending, LMK!

casie stewart, autograph, famous, blogger, canada, toronto
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Follow the Pot of Gold 🌈⚱️🍃

Follow the Pot of Gold 🌈⚱️🍃

Good morning and happy Monday! Spent the weekend at the cottage wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, cooking, reading, and relaxing. The cool Autumn air is a nice change from hot summer. We made a fire at night but it was still warm enough in the day to take Sean out wakeboarding.

The thing I love about Monday is not knowing what the week will bring aside from the things already in my calendar. I’m looking forward to being back to the office after a whirlwind month with Toronto Fashion Week, TIFF, and a trip to Mexico.  


Scroll down for details about a panel I’m moderating Wednesday on influencers + cannabis, an interview I did for Lift & Co. Magazine, and a great feature on Biome Grow, the company that acquired Weed VR.


High Profile w/ Lift & Co.

A couple weeks ago I sat down at a cafe near our place for a chat with Kate Robinson for Lift & Co.  Magazine. We were discussing coming out the ‘cannabis closet’ and my story. Read my story on Lift & Co here or click on the image below!

HIgh Profile with Casie Stewart by Lift & Co. on cannabis & the emerging industry.

Cannabis in An Influencer Age

This week I’m moderating a panel for influencers and agency people about working together in the new cannabis industry. The panel will feature a few experts and you’ll learn creative ways to partner with brands, produce content, and work within the regulations. 

casie stewart, cannabis, influencer, marketing, jones media, wework

A panel discussion with Cannabis experts, covering influencer marketing and what to expect within a highly regulated cannabis landscape. We’re talking about how influencers can partner with Cannabis brands while being cautious of Bill-45 and the impact it may have. With the legalization of Cannabis in Canada, how will marketers and brands be able to work with Influencers? 

Semi-permanent tattoos provided by Inkbox.
Beer provided by Lost Craft. Munchies will be provided.

Who is Biome Grow and What a Good Business Plan Means to Cannabis Investors

Earlier this year a Canadian Licenced Producer acquired Weed VR, a company started by the team at Occupied VR (Sean’s company). This article has some great info about the current CEO and what Biome Grow Inc. is bringing to the growing cannabis industry. There are some high profile board members behind the team at Biome including Steven Poirier, former president of Moosehead Beer, and  George Smitherman, former Health Minister for Ontario. The article mentions Biome plans to go ‘public on the Canadian Securities Exchange soon through a reverse merger with a company called Orca Touchscreen Technologies Ltd. (CSE:OAA).’

Exciting times ahead, stay tuned for what’s next!

“Biome already has a license to grow with more to come, the production capacity, the technology and most of all, a solid business plan. Does this mean Biome will be the next major player in Canada’s marijuana industry? I don’t know, but from an analyst’s perspective there are not many missing variables.”

National Marijuana News, September 23, 2018


Sean took these of me when we were walking over to the MOCA Grand Opening on Friday. The mural is right by our house. Love having this great new gallery in the neighbourhood, the area is changing in so many beautiful ways. Go visit MOCA then stop by the Drake Commissary or Henderson Brewing. So fun!

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Takin’ It Back to Where It Started in ’71

Takin’ It Back to Where It Started in ’71

If you’ve been near Queen West and the Ossington area lately you’ll probably have noticed a big blue building at 9 Ossington. Until September 30th it’s the home of the San Rafael Experience popup, a time warp that takes you back to 1971 where ‘4:20’ started in San Rafael, California. I went for the opening and honestly, it was really cool! Cannabis companies are being super creative with their marketing and this is a great example brought to you by the same company that did the Altavie event in the spring.

casie stewart, scratch bastid, kelly beker, san rafael 71, cannabis, hendrixroe
Scratch Bastid DJ + Kelly from MedReleaf and I in our matching Hendrixroe X San Rafael ’71 Jackets

Once you step through that blue doorway, you enter a 70’s themed record shop with a bar, dj, living room, screen printing, vintage shopping, and plenty of photo opps. There’s live music every night in the basement and can use your San Rafael token to can peruse and pay for real records the shop. Scroll down for some pix and the list of artists performing this week.


Thanks to the San Raf team for the invite and I’ll be back this week for live music & retro hangs! FYI there was no cannabis at the popup but if you have questions about anything before legalization, they’ve got answers. 🍃😊


San Rafael ’71 Popup Hours + Live Music

Mondays – Wednesdays 2:00pm – 10:00pm
Thursdays – Saturdays 3:00pm – 11:00pm
Sundays 2:00pm – 10:00pm

Live Music @ San Rafael ’71:
Sept 19 / 30 – Tessa Gooden
Sept 23 – Adam Jessin
Sept 24 – Jordo
Sept 25 – Dave Borins
Sept 27 – Jory Nash
Sept 28 – Crown Lands
Sept 29 – Tokyo Police Club

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High Tea: You Can Roll With Us

High Tea: You Can Roll With Us

You walk past a group of beautiful, stylish ladies outside a cute and classy coffee shop in a quiet neighbourhood. Everything looks normal until you get a little closer and see a cloud of smoke big enough for a rap video and realise what’s up!  🍃


The other week I had a really cool experience of attending an event called ‘See You Next Tuesday‘ hosted by the fine ladies of the High Tea podcast (listen here). It was a rolling salon and flower side chat where we had an in-depth lesson on rolling the perfect joint and talked about cannabis. We each took home a few goodies and fresh cut flowers. It was fun!

Michelle Bilodeau , Carly Stojsic, High Tea Host Jen Newtz

The High Tea podcast was started to create ‘high-vibe entertainment, for women who also love weed‘. Each episode is a ‘blunt and thoughtful exploration of pot and its magic‘. I love the play on words you’ll find in everything they share including the name of the event series. Thanks for hosting a fun night! 


Over the past few months, I’ve spent more time having great conversations with amazing women over cannabis vs. late nights with too much wine. It’s so much of a healthier lifestyle, I’ve cut down my drinking significantly and even lost weight. The side effects of cannabis are much more positive including increased creativity and less pain/anxiety, instead of a hangover.

Looking forward to their next event and more interesting cannabis events. A couple weeks ago I went to a cannabis brand launch at a strip club, Monday there’s another in a warehouse, and there’s a popup right now on Ossington hosted by San Rafael ’71 (details here!).

It’s an exciting time to be alive with legalization just around the corner!


Listen to theHigh Tea Podcast

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Head in the Clouds: Altavie & The Art of Now

Not long I went to an event at Only One Gallery featuring a reading by NYC poet Cleo Wade hosted by MedReleaf‘s brand, Altavie. It was one of the first cannabis-focused events I’d attended, it stood out with its classiness and the incredibly cool group of mostly women in attendance. 

The night started with a guided meditation where everyone closed their eyes to take a few minutes for themselves. The panel was hosted by Briony Douglas who’s art was displayed around the gallery with a few other artists (Alpo Snow, Tahsin- The Good and Enzee Creative. Briony is one of my favs I have couple pieces from her recent show MOUTHPIECE in my room.

AltaVie by MedReleaf aims to help make mindfulness more attainable

Altavie is a high-end cannabis brand with a movement towards mindfulness, being present, and living in the now. I was there thinking, ‘wow this weed brand is so ME right now, how is this really happening‘.  Life is such a dream. 

I am feeling this vibe 🍃

The only product currently on the website is a cannabis-free a nut bark that looks pretty good called Cannabis Crunch. It’s infused with cannabis inspired flavours (toffee, cinnamon, cardamom) and the product is already available at over 200, health food, drug and grocery stores across the country. A perfect product placement strategy. 

“We are living in a fast-paced world that has us all constantly looking to the future and focused on getting somewhere or the next thing” noted Darren Karasiuk, VP Strategy at MedReleaf. “While the benefits of cannabis are far-reaching, for the launch of AltaVie we want to focus on the power of being in the present, allowing our consumer to appreciate life’s moments more fully – in the here and now, big or small.”

Newswire.ca 

I’m really interested in high-end cannabis brands and products, and how they’re being marketed to women . I’ve already seen some really beautiful accessories. Um, hello weedbox.com?! 


Another cool thing about this event was San Rafael ’71, another  Medreleaf brand targeted at the classic consumer.  Their 420 Lager doesn’t contain cannabis but it has exactly 4.20% alcohol.  Nice one! 😊The beer was released in partnership with Amsterdam Brewery prior to legalization to get the brand name out there. If you live in Toronto you might have seen the posters around. Smart idea


This is the creative marketing I love, I live for this stuff. So exciting. I love being part of what’s happening in the cannabis space and it’s only going to get more interesting. Please invite me to all your events. 


This week I’m going to a cannabis event for a ‘sneak peek’ at 3 new cannabis brands and it’s at ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (a strip club). I will be sure to take photos (if I can!) and share what goes down behind the black curtain.

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This post is not sponsored by Altavie! Cool the brand & the event was great. All photos by Ryan Emberley.🍃

Up North: Summertime Glamping at The New Farm

Up North: Summertime Glamping at The New Farm

I went glamping on a farm and it was amazing. 🏕Chefs cooked all the food, we did yoga in a barn listening to Tragically Hip, I went in a greenhouse, there was a pond, the outdoor showers were glam, and there were 250 people. I knew this would be cool based on the invite, it was unique. 🙏🏼🌳☀️

50 Luxury Tents for us!

The glamping trip was hosted by Up Cannabis at The New Farm. The Tragically Hip are big investors in the company and the band was there the whole day and had dinner with the group. It was the first big cannabis event I have been to. It was also the nicest camping experience I have ever had and would 100% do that again. Up Cannabis can’t actually share their product with us but for the 50 media that stayed over to camp, they infused the same terpenes found in the product into the soaps, drinks, food, and everything around us.

The event was really well done. The tents were like little apartments with electricity, real beds, furniture, lights, and fans. It was reallllly hot those days.  In the morning, outside our tents were little baskets with reading material, breakfast snacks and cold brew coffee (that was cold!). They gave us heaps of little things to take home, wool Glerups slippers, snacks, and my favourite item is this soap which you will soon find in the Up Cannabis store soon.


The Up brand has positioned themselves in the ultra-premium segment with a strong connection to music. By having The Tragically Hip as major shareholders and strategic partners,  the band weighs into every major marketing decision and infuses their brand music.

Given the upcoming legislation gives event sponsorship the green light, you’ll see more cannabis companies at festivals, events, and consumer touchpoints.


What a time to be alive. Back when social media started, new technology was bringing people with like interests together, all over the world. We were all on Twitter and it was magic. That same energy is floating around right now about the upcoming cannabis legislation. Working with Weed VR has been an eye-opening experience.

We’re on the cusp of a new $20 billion dollar industry with unlimited potential for retail, tech, marketing, education, and medicine. “It’s not like putting a new candy bar on a new shelf, it’s a whole new store” (4:19 Podcast). Great listen about the industry on the 4:19 Episode 1 w/  Shekhar Parmar Founder/CEO, Harvest Medicine Chief Strategy Officer, ABcann (🔊here).

 

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Exciting Times Ahead: Biome Grow & Cannabis Marketing

Exciting Times Ahead: Biome Grow & Cannabis Marketing

Last week some exciting family news hit the Global Newswire! About a year ago, the team at Occupied VR came up with an idea for a virtual reality cannabis dispensary. Well FF► to last week, we announced that Weed VR has been acquired by licenced cannabis producer Biome Grow.  Check out the news release here.

If you’re reading this and are thinking ‘what is Weed VR, I want to try it“. Email me casie@weedvr.co or send me a DM on any social platform and we’ll hook you up. Comments are open on this post if you have questions.

Essentially, it’s a virtual retail dispensary and soon to be the largest library of 3D cannabis strains for educational purposes.


It’s a really exciting time to be in this business. I’ve seen some really creative marketing, events, and promotional products. The striped metal grinder card and papers in the top photo are from Van Der Pop, a female-focused Cannabis brand. They send a cool package a couple months ago.  Next week I’m going glamping with UP Cannabis near Blue Mountain with a bunch of media peeps. (UP is the cannabis company partially owned by the Tragically Hip!)

up cannabis, casie stewart, cannabis marketing, weedvr, weed vr, marijuana marketing

This is the cool event invite I got from UP Cannabis! So creative! When you slid the top of the wooden box open the red plastic piece says ‘roll with us’. Love it.


This stage of the industry kinda reminds me of early days of social media. Back when my friends would make fun of me for staying home to work on my ‘blog’ or going to so many ‘TweetUps‘ with my ‘internet friends‘. That was a really special time, the friends I made and relationships I built back then will last a lifetime. The things I learned from being early stage, a pioneer, are priceless.

Being at the start of something new takes risk, you have to be agile and innovative. I’m working on Weed VR PR and it’s new, a bit nervewracking, but exciting.  Nervous/excited is my favourite feeling. I’m really looking forward to the next few months building this brand w/ Biome Grow.

How many times did I say excited in this post? haha!

HUZZAHHHHHHHH!

casie stewart

 

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About Casie Stewart

Casie Stewart is a Canadian writer, director, and entrepreneur. She’s an award-winning content creator and expert in digital. During her decade-long career in media, she’s been named Canadian Screen Award Winner (Voice Pioneer), Best Travel Blog, and Top 30 Lifestyle Blogs in Canada. Casie has been a keynote speaker at SXSW, NXNE, TEDx, and spoken at YouTube Canada and the United Nations of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and loves summer weekends at the cottage when she’s not travelling around the world.

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