Tweed Welcomes Vert To The CGC Family
Dany Lefebvre has spent the last three years tilling the farmland where his grandmother raised 10 children to turn a hope for a better future into reality. It was there, on 90-acres of Canadian countryside in Saint-Lucien, Quebec, that Lefebvre founded Vert Médical, which was last month acquired by Tweed’s parent company Canopy Growth Corporation. A dream come true for Lefebvre, the deal allows Tweed to move into Quebec with a sister company that has roots in La Belle Province. We caught up with Lefebvre to discuss the prospects of this partnership in Quebec, his outlook for the future of hemp as an industry, and the potential that cannabis can lead the path to a more sustainable way of life.
You’ve stated that part of your mandate in this industry is a contribution to public education around cannabis. How does this deal help you further realize that goal?
Since the beginning of my involvement in the industry in 2013, it was my hope to be able to educate people. Tweed is very much involved with the education of physicians, patients and people, and to be able to be a part of that team on the francophone side of things is really special.
What are the prospects for Vert in Quebec with this partnership?
We have big dreams for cannabis here in Quebec. With this partnership, we’ve created a cannabis producer with roots right in the centre of Quebec. This is a great thing for the industry, for Quebec and for citizens. To see a company like Tweed come here, take the thing we’ve started and give it a big vision, is fantastic.
You’ve spoken of the need for re-education in society to the benefits of cannabis and hemp. How can we as an industry help facilitate that shift?
There are a lot of people that I know in Canada who are very passionate about cannabis, and less so about money. It’s an awesome plant and I think the passion of the people in cannabis is educating people, one by one. People are doing their research and starting to read good stuff instead of all the bad news stories of old. I see a bright future with this plant that will be very helpful for many people.
In addition to championing for cannabis education, you’re also one of the country’s most passionate and prevalent hemp activists. How did you first get involved in that cause?
We filed an application to become a licensed producer in 2013 and rather than sit around doing nothing waiting, we decided to work with hemp. I learned that some people with hemp licenses in Canada can grow the plant and harvest it for seeds or fibre, and my ultimate goal was to pursue that avenue, while staying linked to the cannabis industry. Since then, I’ve been passionate to wake every morning and work with the plant.
As traditional attitudes soften and cannabis reform is welcomed, do you see hemp being embraced by society in a similar fashion?
That’s my personal opinion. The potential for legalization will help improve things on both sides because we’ll start to see improvement in public education. When education begins at the top, we will see more documentation and people will start to understand the product – especially when standardized and properly labelled – all the more. We need to remember that this plant was probably on earth before us!
I’m translating and paraphrasing but you’ve pointed out that the environment is calling on humans to transition to a more sustainable way of life. In what ways can use of those two products help reduce our carbon footprint?
I see huge potential for the future. Hemp, which grows naturally outdoors, absorbs way more CO2 than trees. Some strains grow 12 and 14 feet tall over a couple months, which introduces tons of fibre and seeds that could ultimately allow us to preserve our forests.
You founded Vert on the same land that your grandparents raised your father on. Are you proud of that point?
For me, when we talk about the biggest cannabis company in the world, it’s Canopy Growth Corporation. With the Canopy team, the future looks fantastic. I still remember, in 2013 I drove into Smiths Falls for Tweed’s open house and I’ve followed the company since. That they decided to include the francophone market as part of their strategy and come do business in Saint-Lucien, on the 90-acres where my grandmother raised 10 kids, that’s just amazing.
Here’s to Future Growth!
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