Ben would like y’all to start this episode with an edible so plan ahead, grab your favourite treat and get ready for a fun conversation.
What if this was fun?Ben Kaplan
Ben Kaplan thinks weed drinks should be sold in your local grocery store, that cannabis is unfairly stigmatized, that the nascent legal industry has a long way to go and that kindness is the best framework from which to operate.
As Editor-In-Chief of Kind Magazine, a cannabis magazine freely distributed in legal dispensaries across Canada, Ben has spent a lot of time with the people involved in legal Cannabis in Canada. He’s both optimistic and critical of how the legal industry works but instead of complaining, Ben devotes his time and attention to activities that push the movement forward.
Because we had a limited amount of time to talk, we didn’t have time to cover all of the questions that I was eager to ask, but Ben was kind enough to share some written responses. Find those below and then have a listen to the episode.
- How would your parents describe what you do for a living?
My parents are totally supportive. I remember when I first heard of the weed awards, which was a Lift gala, I was telling my mom and I didn’t have a babysitter and I was thinking about skipping the weed thing but she was like, Benjamin, this sounds right up your alley. I think you should go, and I went, and that started me down my weed path.
What is the best advice you see or hear being dispensed in your world?
I think all of the advice about ‘start slow and go low’ and all that is great. I think the industry is universal in preaching that and always has been – no one wants to see someone freak out over weed.
- What do you predict the industry/market will look like in 5 years?
In 5 years, it will be much more mainstream: weed drinks at bars, at restaurants, and I bet there will be legalization all over the world. Maybe not China and Russia but certainly Europe and the States – I bet that’s gonna happen in the next two years.
- Who is your cannabis hero?
So so many. Definitely Terry Parker, the first medical cannabis patient who was busted with weed and got a medical exemption but wouldn’t leave it at that. He wanted medical marijuana applicable for everyone, and his lawyer, Alan Harnett, plus Alan Young, the lawyer who not only worked with Parker but also Rosie Rowbotham, another hero (the biggest pot dealer in the late 60s and 70s and the Canadian who spent the most time behind bars), those guys all set the table for the legal system. So those are the early folks, then people like Hilary Black, who ran a compassion club in BC before working with the legal system at Canopy for years and years in the CSR department and is just dope, dope, dope. And cannabis CEO’s like Alison Gordon and John Fowler, who smoke weed and run public companies, and also Bruce Linton and Terry Booth, who I’ve become close friends with over the years and gave me great access for my book.
- What would surprise people about you?
That I smoke weed and run marathons and have children and am a good dad and relatively well balanced.
- What’s an unusual habit or absurd thing that you love?
I do like to smoke cigarettes every so often when I’m high. That might be a dirty secret.
- Do you have a quote that you live your life by or think of often?
What if this was fun?
Keep an eye open for Ben’s forthcoming book – High: The Rules, Stakes and Market Valuations of Canada’s Marijuana Wars.
That’s it for this week friends. Please email me any questions, comments, pictures of your creations or anything else, I love hearing from listeners! Direct messages to [email protected] or the podcast hotline.