Spotlight Series: Jamie Shaw
Recently we put out a call to our community of cannabis entrepreneurs, industry workers and enthusiasts asking women to share with us their experiences working in the cannabis field. Our goal here is to create a series (the Spotlight Series) that highlights the achievements of women in this space and helps to support and promote their brand, service, product or dream.
Our first write up in the new Spotlight Series is all about advocacy and the Canadian woman who is lobbying for dispensary regulations. Her name is Jamie Shaw and she has the kind of resume that denotes a long time advocate and real voice within the Canadian Cannabis Industry.
If you don’t know who we’re talking about, allow us to introduce you to Jamie Shaw.
Shaw is a co-founder of Women Grow's first Canadian chapter in Vancouver, was a director at the BC Compassion Club Society, and served as President of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries.
She has successfully lobbied for dispensary regulations in Vancouver and Victoria, and is recognized by the Federal Court of Canada as a Dispensary Industry Expert. Currently, Shaw is a partner at Groundwork, a Director for the BC Independent Cannabis Association, and an advisor to NICHE Canada.
So yeah, she’s kind of a badass and definitely one to know.
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Having been immersed full time in cannabis and dispensary work for the past 5 years, Shaw says it’s not about the money for her. “I've always been driven by social justice issues and serving as a megaphone for those whose voices are too often silenced.” She says “and the chance to help a new industry avoid some of the mistakes of existing ones.”
With so much going on, we were curious: What does a typical day look like for Jamie Shaw? It turns out it starts pretty early, usually around 6 or 7 am and as she says, there are no typical days! A big priority is getting into the loop on news stories coming from the east coast then her day can take her anywhere from city hall to visiting dispensaries and always includes lots of emails, lots of phone calls, and lots of meetings.
TAKE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD
When we asked Shaw what keeps her up at night she points to stress. “Stress. It isn't easy to have no job security or long-term prospects, but it's a function of what keeps me engaged so you take the bad with the good.” However, knowing that the work she does every day makes a difference, sometimes for lots of people and sometimes for just one is what gets her out of bed in the morning. Her background is in theatre and she draws similarities between theatre and cannabis advocacy by pointing out the short-term one-off nature of her work which can be hectic when she's in the thick of it. "There is always so much to do... I can sleep between jobs!"