With cannabis legalization on the horizon in Canada as well as other countries around the world, the push to de-stigmatize marijuana has to be counterbalanced with standards for responsible consumption so that the new market is safe as well as successful. That's the mission of the Global Cannabis Partnership, which is developing a worldwide social responsibility standard for recreational cannabis industry.
The standard will also include references to the environment, community relations, traceability and accountability, stakeholder engagement, ethics, labour relations, research and collaboration.
Today, the Global Cannabis Partnership (GCP) today announced its founding members, which represent government agencies, private-sector cannabis industry organizations and affiliate organizations that play, or will play, a role in the legal, adult-use recreational cannabis industry.
Cannabis NB, a subsidiary of Alcool NB Liquor, joins the GCP as lead founding member. The New Brunswick corporation will retail a portfolio of cannabis products online and through up to 20 locations, once adult-use recreational cannabis is legal in Canada later this year.
“At Cannabis NB, we are focused on public education and safety as the legalization of adult-use cannabis becomes a reality,” Lara Wood - General Manager of Cannabis NB and Chair of the GCP Advisory Board - said via press release. “Our priorities of public awareness and operational responsibility align with the mission of the Global Cannabis Partnership. We are pleased to join the other founding members in this important, first-of-a-kind international initiative.”
The GCP will go beyond bolstering laws and regulations by helping members of the industry set guidelines so that they comply not only with cannabis laws but a standard for responsible use as well.
“Cannabis organizations around the world are recognizing the need to develop and implement responsible practices that not only meet legal requirements, but set the standard for responsibility,” says Cynthia Goodwin, President and CSR practice lead at Revolution Strategy, Managing Partner and Founder of the GCP. “These organizations all demonstrate a strong commitment to social responsibility and industry leadership. We’re excited to be working with them to build a worldwide social responsibility standard for the burgeoning legal recreational cannabis industry.”
The other founding members include:
Canopy Growth is a global cannabis company. It is dedicated to building international markets using the same stakeholder approach that worked in Canada: in-depth, fact-based education, and a commitment to exiting prohibition with professionalism in every facet of the business.
To date, Canopy has made significant investments in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives targeting impaired driving, youth education, community development, and most recently by investing $2.5 million to research the role of cannabis in addressing the opioid overdose crisis.
Jeff Ryan, Vice President, Government and Stakeholder Relations, will represent Canopy Growth and serve as the Vice-Chair of the GCP Advisory Board.
Aphria is a leading global cannabis company driven by an unrelenting commitment to its people, product quality and innovation. Headquartered in Leamington, Ontario – the greenhouse capital of Canada – Aphria has been setting the standard for the low-cost production of safe, clean and pure pharmaceutical-grade cannabis at scale, grown in the most natural conditions possible. Aphria is committed to bringing responsible use and breakthrough innovation to the global cannabis market.
Jakob Ripshtein, Chief Commercial Officer, will represent Aphria within the GCP.
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings believes in producing all natural, premium, organic cannabis free from synthetic pesticides. The company believes in growing with care, and TGOD is proud of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that include: LEED certification; organic certification; community gardens; and water, energy and environmental sustainability. TGOD is excited to join the Global Cannabis Partnership along with industry leaders including Canopy and Aphria to further our social corporate responsibility initiatives.
Ian Wilms, Director, Government Relations and Compliance, will represent TGOD within the GCP.
GreenStar Brands is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Constellation Brands, Inc., a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits and an industry leader in promoting the responsible production, commercialization and consumption of its beverage alcohol products.
Based in Toronto, GreenStar Brands is poised to become a leading provider of cannabis-infused beverages in Canada and other countries where cannabis is legal at all levels. The company is committed to applying the same Corporate Social Responsibility principles applied by Constellation Brands in beverage alcohol to its emerging cannabis business.
Samuel H. Carsley, Vice President, Associate General Counsel will represent GreenStar Brands within the GCP.
High Park Company
High Park Company is an affiliate of Tilray, a global leader in medical cannabis research and production dedicated to providing safe, consistent and reliable therapy to patients.
Based in Toronto and led by a team with deep experience in cannabis and global consumer brands, High Park Company was established to develop, sell, and distribute a broad-based portfolio of cannabis brands and products for adult-use consumers in Canada. Its mission is to provide the highest-quality products for consumers and offer the best service to its partners. High Park will always adhere to the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of its operations, safety and equity of its workplaces and remain in full compliance with the law.
Adine Fabiani-Carter, Chief Marketing Officer, will represent High Park Company within the GCP.
Up Cannabis - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newstrike Brands Inc. - is a licensed producer of cannabis that both cultivates and sells cannabis in all acceptable forms. Newstrike, through Up Cannabis and together with strategic partners, including Canada's iconic musicians The Tragically Hip, is developing a diverse network of high-quality cannabis brands.
Ruth Chun, General Counsel to Newstrike and Up Cannabis, will represent Up Cannabis within the GCP.
MedReleaf - Canada's most awarded licensed producer - is an R&D-driven company dedicated to innovation, operational excellence and the production of industry leading, top-quality cannabis.
Sourced from around the world and carefully cultivated in one of two state-of-the-art ICH-GMP and ISO 9001 certified facilities in Ontario, with a third facility currently in development, a full range of premium MedReleaf products are delivered to the global medical market. MedReleaf serves the therapeutic needs of patients seeking safe, consistent and effective medical cannabis and provide a compelling product offering for the adult-use recreational market.
Neil J. Closner, CEO, will represent MedReleaf within the GCP.
Cansortium is an international leader in the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of high-quality medical cannabis. Patients from around the U.S. and beyond have come to associate its brands with an unrivalled experience that puts the needs and interests of patients first. Cansortium seeks to redefine excellence in the medical cannabis field at every level.
Jeffrey Reath, Co-Founder and Executive VP of Strategy and Investor Relations, will represent Cansortium within the GCP.
T4G builds better software by design through the creation of intelligent software, advanced analytics and brand experiences. Through this partnership of government, industry and supply chain partners, T4G will focus on regulatory, education, medical and harm reduction matters in the recreational and medical cannabis industry where it is legal.
Predrag Stegnajic (Steg), EVP Sales will represent T4G within the GCP.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP
McCarthy Tétrault LLP is a leading full-service Canadian law firm, delivering strategic legal and business solutions for clients across Canada and around the globe. Industry leaders and government actors trust McCarthy Tétrault to provide innovative solutions in complex situations, always with excellence and efficiency.
McCarthy Tétrault is the legal partner to GCP and is represented by cannabis law leads Matthew Kelleher and Awanish (Awi) Sinha within the GCP.
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. It develops outstanding leaders who team to deliver on its promises to all of its stakeholders. In so doing, it plays a critical role in building a better working world for its people, for its clients and for its communities. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.
Monica Chadha, leader of Ernst & Young LLP’s (EY Canada’s) cannabis practice will represent EY within the GCP.
PwC Canada is a leading advisory and assurance firm focused on helping our cannabis clients thrive in this complex new world. PwC is a market leader in Corporate Social Responsibility advisory solutions, with credentials in the fields of strategy, governance, performance improvement, risk management assurance, environmental science, regulatory compliance and organizational change.
Zamina Walji, Director, at PwC will represent PwC within the GCP.
Civilized is a premium media and lifestyle brand that embraces and highlights modern cannabis culture, reflecting the millions of adults who choose to enjoy cannabis as part of a balanced lifestyle, but don’t define themselves by it.
With its audience of more than 2.5 million unique visitors per month North America-wide, Civilized is the Lifestyle and Entertainment Media Partner of the GCP, represented by Terri Riedle, President.
“This is an important initiative,” says Derek Riedle, CEO and Publisher of Civilized. “We know the cannabis industry, and we know that adult-use recreational cannabis is new for many people. We have a desire to help consumers make informed choices, and we have a role to promote social responsibility as Civilized continues to highlight modern cannabis culture. We wanted to be at the table to help shape the framework as something meaningful in the collective global cannabis community.”
Business of Cannabis
Business of Cannabis is the authoritative platform for news, analysis and insights into the business of Canada’s cannabis sector. Business of Cannabis supports the GCP as Business Media Partner, and is represented by Blaine Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer.
Revolution Strategy is a boutique agency that specializes in marketing, communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. Working with Canadian CSR expert and partner Rick Petersen of Blu Communications, Revolution founded the GCP and serves as its Managing Partner.
Cynthia Goodwin, President and CSR Practice Lead, represents Revolution within the GCP.
In its first year, the Global Cannabis Partnership will recruit remaining founding members, develop its governance model and develop a Responsible Cannabis Framework, which will include a third-party accreditation process.