Feature: Tamara Lilien – Cannsell
With the new legal cannabis industry still in its infancy, how do you foresee the landscape evolving by year 5 of legalization? Year 10?
Up to this point, legalization has been a slow and steady process, with notable advancements along the way, and ample room for improvement. I anticipate that progress will continue gradually for the next few years, with innovations in product development taking centre stage (pay attention to minor cannabinoids, health foods, new extraction technologies, to name a few). With enough education, the myth that high potency equates to high quality can finally be abandoned. Additionally, I sincerely hope, by year 5, we see a major influx of females, BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals in leadership roles.
Ten years into legalization, I hope to see a landscape that features: the inclusion of more legacy brands and legacy expertise, easing of restrictions on edible dosing, and the opening of cannabis restaurants, consumption lounges and/or other spaces for the cannabis community and culture to thrive.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
Despite starting my career in academic healthcare, I was inspired to pursue a role in the industry after receiving a life-changing medical cannabis prescription and completing my Level 1 Cannabis Sommelier Certification. I never looked back. Since then, I have completed a Cannabis Educator Certificate from Michener Institute, Level 2 Sommelier Certification from CannaReps and an Interpener Certificate from the Trichome Institute. I am also a member of the world’s only Cannabis Curation Committee where I have evaluated and sampled over 180 cultivars (more commonly called strains) of flower. I am deeply passionate about cannabis and its infinite capacity to improve lives. I love educating others, but I love studying and learning about cannabis even more. I have dedicated an enormous part of my life to this glorious plant.
What is the greatest barrier cannabis legalization still faces in its fight against the legacy market?
I believe the answer is inclusion. Instead of “fighting” against others working in a similar space, why not extend an olive branch, and create opportunities to support transitions into the legal market?
What are you using right now?
I recently slipped, fell and broke my foot quite badly. To help manage the pain and symptoms associated with my recovery, I’ve been consuming a lot of RSO from Ellevia. As a purist, I’m a sucker for good quality flower, so brands like Carmel consistently deliver the kind of products I’m looking for.