Spotlight Series: Julie Domingo
From a background in tech and sales, Julie Domingo made the transition to the cannabis industry by taking on the role of General Manager at Aura Dispensary in Vancouver. She was integral to building out the brand and the retailer's reputation as a premier dispensary in Western Canada. Since then, she has gone on to found Calaxy Academy - a cannabis business training service that helps entrepreneurs launch their cannabis brands. She is also a mentor and a facilitator at CannaReps Retail Professional Training program for cannabis retail workers.
In our inaugural print publication (shipping in July!) we highlight Julie's accomplishments along with nineteen other women making waves across the North American cannabis industry. Before July 1st, you can pre-order the magazine here and save 30% off the cover price.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
For more than half my life, I have enjoyed cannabis as it helped me connect authentically with others in a fun way. When using cannabis, it provided me an opportunity for introspection and creativity, therefore creating deep and meaningful relationships. While I was developing my professional career in technology sales and training, I was known to geek-out on technological innovations and no one could guess that I was a cannabis user from the outside. When I moved from Alberta to Vancouver 3 years ago, I was sought out by a medical dispensary to lead the team, integrate technology systems and take it to the next level. As I researched and helped patients in the medical dispensary, my perspective opened to understanding the healing properties of cannabis and passion grew exponentially. I received so much intrinsic value by adding comfort and compassion to people that were using cannabis therapeutically. As a result of my passion and hard work, the medical dispensary won Lift Awards 3 years consecutively (for Aura Cannabis). Recently, I developed neuropathic pain and it incited me to diver deeper into my cannabis research. Frustrated by the inconsistent and sometimes conflicting information available, I enrolled into the CannaReps training program and received an abundance of information that provided expert level product knowledge and safe consumption guidelines for all product types. I was so inspired by the CannaReps training program that I joined forces with them to expand their reach and educate as many cannabis industry workers as possible.
Tell us a little bit about your product or service
CannaReps is Canada’s first community-founded cannabis training and mentorship program. Our goal is to develop compassionate, knowledgeable, and ethically responsible cannabis professionals who understand the needs of cannabis users. Our evidence-based curriculum is developed to improve public health and to raise the standards of the cannabis industry. We are the only interactive training program in Canada, using personal coaching and ongoing peer support to build real skills for the real world.
Experience sells more responsibly.
What time does your day typically start and what does a normal day look like to you?
My Apple Watch vibrates and wakes me up at 6:45am to initiate my routine that includes a yoga and meditation practice, a delicious smoothie and a walk with my dog. I exchange jokes with my husband as we commute downtown and arrive at the CannaReps office that consists of a majority of high performing women. If I am not running meetings to establish collaborative partnerships, I develop course material, or run workshops for our students. A day doesn't go by without me using my microscope and geeking out on cannabis.
What is your vision for your company going forward?
To build a community of knowledgeable, compassionate, ethical and successful professionals in the cannabis industry by providing accessible and experiential education to our students. Soon people from all over the world will come to CannaReps to learn and experience cannabis.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face working in the cannabis industry
I thought working in the technology industry moved fast, but the cannabis industry moves even faster and is more dynamic. There are always new research findings, new innovative products or extraction processes, changing regulations, and overall uncertainty in the cannabis industry. I also see an interesting mix of grassroots influencers and 'corporate' individuals coming together (or sometimes clashing). Overall, I feel that the cannabis industry is very collaborative and a special time where anyone, regardless of sex, race, age, or illness can create positive change in our world. As the industry moves fast and changes come on a regular basis, you need to be flexible and adapt quickly.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about cannabis?
The euphoric high is not as extreme as someone may think, and when used cautiously and safely, it can provide an intimate experience that changes your life and opens your perspective in a positive way.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your product or service?
The hands-on learning experience can develop your skills unlike any other educational setting, and the connections you make within our community become deeply meaningful. We are one of the only training companies in Canada that truly appreciates cannabis on a connoisseur level and we teach our students to share the same passion.
What is your favorite way to consume cannabis?
I enjoy rolling and smoking a joint most of the time as it's a great way to share cannabis. I seek the 'White' lineage strains like White Widow, White Russian, White Rhino, but also enjoy giggle inducing strains like Durban Poison and relaxing Afghani based Indicas.
As innovation extraction processes are developed, I am getting into High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts, as long as they are free of residual solvents. Concentrates is great for instant relief as I can consume it indoors discreetly with no fire or smoke. Using an electronically heated dab rig is the way to go, but a vape pen is great for being on the go.
Do you think cannabis legalization will change the world for the better? Why?
Absolutely. Cannabis use creates an opportunity for people to connect and bond and establish a sense of community when I feel these days people are more disconnected in our fast paced society. The therapeutic benefits provides comfort and ease for those dealing with illness, pain, or stress. On an emotional level, cannabis use can lower our internal barriers and we become more expressive connect into our true self. With cannabis legalization, the negative stigma will diminish (over time) and offer people an educated choice of what they want to experience personally.
What advice would you offer to another woman who is looking to get into the industry?
Look at people that inspire you, hold yourself up to that same standard, and execute on your idea. Your execution is a reflection of you, not your ideas or aspirations. The cannabis industry is very supportive, especially between women and we truly help each other out. This is another reason why I love this industry. Reach out to me if you ever need help or a boost.
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