This week we sit down with Emilie Leneveu, a feminist cannabis blogger and #supersmart scientist who is pushing the boundaries, and her point of view, on how cannabis can improve the environment and influence a movement of empowerment for all walks of life.
Her skills are no joke, Emilie is graduate of Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, Canada where she was Valedictorian and earned a diploma in Biotech and post grad in Cannabis Applied Science. She has since found her “best life” by writing about all things Cannabis and debunking with hard science.
As a cannabis overachiever, Emilie is also cofounder of Leaf Walks, an elevated outdoor exploration experience company based in Ontario. You can sign up for a 3-hour, 6-hour or overnight excursion. Emilie and her crew have reinvented the nature walk by bringing it to new heights with cannabis and science.
“Success is not measured by comparison, but by progression.”
Emilie, we are so happy to feature you this week on The 420. You are cofounder of Leaf Walks, but also spend a lot of time blogging about cannabis. What topics do you usually cover, and which publications are you published on?
I am an enthusiast of education, equality, the environment, and empowerment. All of my blogs try to hit on at least two of these themes. As a woman in science who has lived inequality, a lot of my writing involves equity and the importance of learning. I also strive to write about our climate and ways we can empower people to take action, both politically and environmentally.
I currently write for the BlogBOQ and ShopMary.ca with new work to come on CBDLegally and hopefully a few other partnerships that are in the works. I am also in the process of starting a new job in the cannabis industry in September, working on social media for a Canadian company!
A special shout-out to the BlogBOQ for being the first company to reach out to me about writing about cannabis and really helping me kick-start my career in this burgeoning industry.
As a new venture, I am currently partnering with a colleague to launch Leaf Walks, elevated outdoor exploration experiences, and will be blogging about all our adventures on your webpage!
“I have passion for education, equality and the environment.”
Tell us a little bit more about yourself, what first attracted you to the cannabis industry?
I had just graduated from the advanced biotechnology program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, and found myself working in the agricultural space. I absolutely loved connecting with farmers and discussing different facets of agronomy and biotech. In the summer leading up to legalization in Canada, I couldn’t help but notice a re-occurring theme, cannabis was on everyone’s minds! From irrigation companies to cash-crop cultivators, everyone was talking about the plant.
When the college I had graduated from announced they were opening the first Cannabis Applied Science post-grad in Canada, I knew I had to jump on the opportunity. I met so many inspiring people in the program and got to explore some fascinating laboratories and facilities, including MediPharms, Vivo, and Tweed, just to name a few.
“Cannabis in indigenous communities is of great interest to me.”
Where are you located? What’s the cannabis scene like there?
I am currently working in Belleville and Kingston, Ontario. The City of Belleville has opted-in for cannabis retail and currently is home to one of HEXO Corp’s newest additions, taking over the former Sears Warehouse that totals 2,004,000 square feet. This oil-processing plant will focus on the creation of edibles once they are legal in the Canadian market. The City of Kingston currently has two retail stores; SpiritLeaf and Fire and Flower.
Commuting from Belleville to Kingston earlier this summer for a contract presented an interesting aspect of the industry to me on a daily basis. On my commute, I would pass by the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. While Ontario might have 50 new legal stores to be awarded in the upcoming months, the Tyendinaga area currently operates nearly double that number of stores, all within their 71 km2 region!
“Oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.”
As a female entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, what type of impact do you strive to have on the industry as a whole?
I want to lift as many women as possible above the grass ceiling. I am very passionate about women’s rights and gender equality, as well as equity as a whole for all minorities.
The blog I’ve had the most fun writing this year was titled “Leaning into the Grass Ceiling,”. I used the following quote in my concluding statement of this post, and it is one I think a lot would benefit from leaning into: “Oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Do you have a favorite cannabis-related story or memory you’d like to share with our readers?
One of my favorite moments so far since entering the Cannabis space was meeting Jodie Emery in Vancouver just a few months ago. I was in British Columbia for the Enactus Nationals Exposition, my last entrepreneurial event with my Enactus team (an entrepreneurship club focused on social, environmental, and economic growth). On one of our days off, I traveled to Cannabis Culture to meet up with Jodie who was working away on a research paper at the time and in business meetings all morning, but so kindly took a few moments to chat. The lounge was such a cool place and definitely had a remarkable vibe. You can hear more about my experience in a blog here! I really hope to reconnect with her passionate energy the next time I’m in Van City!
“I would invite Stephen Hawking; I’ve always wanted to meet him and discuss singularities.”
If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party who would you invite and why?
I would invite Stephen Hawking; I’ve always wanted to meet him and discuss singularities (nerd-alert). I would also invite Julie Andrews, my favorite actress growing up. Lastly, my grandmother would also be in attendance as she is incredibly supportive of my work and saw Julie Andrews herself perform in one of the first yearly Stratford Theatre Festivals (back when it was in a single tent).
How can you be reached?