Global Cannabis Partnership Announces Founding Members
Public and private sector to develop worldwide social responsibility standard for recreational cannabis industry
New Brunswick, Canada (World Cannabis Congress, June 12, 2018) – The Global Cannabis Partnership (GCP) today announced its founding members, representing 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.
The GCP is creating a worldwide social responsibility standard for the safe and responsible production, distribution and consumption of legal recreational cannabis. The standard will also include reference to the environment, community relations, traceability and accountability, stakeholder engagement, ethics, labour relations, research and collaboration. It will include third-party accreditation.
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,” says Lara Wood, GM, Cannabis NB and Chair of the GCP Advisory Board. “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.”
Canopy Growth Corporation, Aphria Inc.,The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd., GreenStar Brands, High Park Company, Up Cannabis, MedReleaf Corp., Cansortium Holdings, LLC, T4G Limited, McCarthy Tetrault LLP, EY, PwC Canada, Civilized Worldwide Inc., Business of Cannabis and Revolution Strategy join Cannabis NB as founding members.
- 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 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 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 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.
- 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.
“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.”
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.
For more information, visit globalcannabispartnership.com
About the Global Cannabis Partnership:
The Global Cannabis Partnership is a collaboration of leaders in the government-sanctioned adult-use recreational cannabis industry. With representation from government, private-sector and affiliate organizations, the GCP is creating an international standard for the safe and responsible production, distribution and consumption of legal recreational cannabis. One of its first activities will be to create a Responsible Cannabis Framework, to shape the face of social responsibility in the recreational cannabis industry. For more information, visit globalcannabispartnership.com.
Additional Founding Member Quotes:
“As a global leader in the cannabis industry, Aphria has long advocated for responsible cannabis use and the establishment of a global social responsibility standard,” says Jakob Ripshtein, Chief Commercial Officer, Aphria. “We need to be at the forefront of developing innovative cannabis products and practices that not only revolutionize the industry, but also help patients and consumers safely integrate cannabis into their lives. Aphria is proud to be a founding member of the Global Cannabis Partnership and to set the standard for responsibility as the legal cannabis industry grows around the world.”
Business of Cannabis: (previously published)
“As an industry that is only just emerging, there exists an opportunity here to get things right,” says Blaine Pearson, CMO of Business of Cannabis. “We can see the upside of baking-in the thinking and metrics that will ensure a thoughtful industry. Not only will the Global Cannabis Partnership position the sector, globally as a leader in CSR, but it will deliver maximum value across all stakeholders.”
“Building the cannabis industry will require working collaboratively with a wide group of stakeholders and industry partners to advance society’s understanding and acceptance of cannabis,” says Jeff Ryan, VP Government and Stakeholder Relations, Canopy Growth. “Through the Global Cannabis Partnership, we can change society’s perception of cannabis through impactful, needs-based initiatives.”
“With the industry still very much in its infancy in many jurisdictions across the globe, it is more important than ever to make sure we are doing it right,” said José J. Hidalgo, Founder and CEO of Cansortium. “Being responsible, socially conscious actors is not just an important value for us as a company, it is a crucial component of our commitment to ensuring access and continuity of care to our patients. Cansortium is honored to be a part of this initiative. We are eager to share our knowledge and expertise towards the development of robust industry standards in environmental stewardship, community impact, and research collaboration.”
Civilized: (previously published)
“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.”
“The nationwide legalization of cannabis will be a signature development of our era,” says Monica Chadha, leader of Ernst & Young LLP’s (EY Canada’s) cannabis practice. “It creates an unprecedented new sector of the economy and represents a huge and unique opportunity for Canadian producers and retailers to take the lead on the world stage. To succeed in a largely undefined retail landscape, they’ll need to develop comprehensive market entry plans, and adapt to changing legislation, taxation and customer preferences. With our deep knowledge and experience in advising entrepreneurs in established sectors with which cannabis has natural intersections, we’re eager to help market entrants define their strategies to succeed in this new and exciting endeavour.”
“Promoting the responsible production, commercialization and consumption of beverage alcohol products has been core to Constellation Brands as a company for more than 70 years,” said Sam Carsley, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, GreenStar Brands, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Constellation Brands, Inc., which is devoted to the development of cannabis-infused beverages. “Working as part of the Global Cannabis Partnership, GreenStar Brands sees opportunities to apply principles that have been successful in the beverage alcohol space with Constellation Brands to the emerging cannabis market, and we are committed to doing our part to bring recreational cannabis products to market in a responsible way. Doing this will help ensure the safety, well-being and enjoyment of consumers and is key to sustaining long-term success for the industry as a whole.”
High Park Company:
“In anticipation for legalization of adult-use cannabis in Canada, there is growing excitement for the world’s largest federally legal cannabis market,” said Adine Fabiani-Carter, High Park Company Chief Marketing Officer. “Our goal is to deliver on the high expectations that Canadians have of us by cultivating and distributing a portfolio of world-class, adult-use products that will lead the market in quality, excellence and craftsmanship. We are proud to partner with the Global Cannabis Partnership as a founding member and forge a path with our collaborators to create a new responsible and safe industry.”
McCarthy Tetrault LLP:
“We recognize that for cannabis legalization to work, market players must accept and promote social responsibility,” says Awi Sinha, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault. “When you introduce radical changes in society, you can either create chaos or you can invite order. Serving on the Global Cannabis Partnership is our vote for order.”
“MedReleaf has made it a priority to establish many of our industry’s standards including operational excellence, product quality and employee satisfaction,” says Neil J. Closner, CEO of MedReleaf. “We are proud to join the other founding members in this international partnership, whose values align with ours and whose priority is to set additional industry standards for responsibility – for consumers, the environment and those working in the cannabis industry.”
“At PwC Canada, we have a commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices,” says Zamina Walji, Director at PwC. “Our firm uses our skills, voice and relationships as a catalyst for change in the world around us. Being part of the Global Cannabis Partnership allows us to bring our voice to this collective, one that will help build and sustain social responsibility in the cannabis industry over the long term.”
“T4G believes that a strong social responsibility mandate for this emerging industry is a necessary condition for the responsible evolution of this dynamic market,” says Geoff Flood, President of T4G. “We see our role as stewards of a committed voice that focuses on developing a sustainable and socially responsible future for this industry.”
The Green Organic Dutchman:
“The Green Organic Dutchman is focussed on the communities where we operate, the environment and our employees,” says Csaba Reider, President of The Green Organic Dutchman. “Examples include our LEED-certified facilities, community farm, and our commitment to sustainability. We are excited to join The Global Cannabis Partnership along with industry leaders Canopy Growth and Aphria to further our social corporate responsibility initiatives.”
“We are proud to be a founding member of the Global Cannabis Partnership,” says Jay Wilgar, CEO of Up Cannabis and Newstrike. "It is critical that we set the bar appropriately at this historic juncture. The formation of the GCP shows that we are collectively up to the task.”