How a Toronto cannabis company is supporting emerging, local artists

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Ian Kwechansky is the CEO and Co-founder of LOOP/POOL , an artist co-owned and social-forward cannabis brand that gives back to emerging Canadian talents. Here, he talks about why the company’s focus is on nurturing homegrown talent. Cannabis and music have always been closely linked, not only as a part of the experience for fans at home, festivals and concerts, but also in the creative process for artists. It has evolved from Jerry Garcia fighting for legalization to John Mayer renouncing alcohol for cannabis , advocating how his “quality of life has gone up considerably.” The association between the plant and artists is an enduring one. The Artist’s Way: How I ended up in the Canadian cannabis business Meet the cannabis moms and entrepreneurs that Facebook and Instagram are banning How Sabina Pillai is championing the psychedelic drug revolution in Canada Like many, my pairings of music and cannabis started as a fan, but I was also fortunate to create deep connections to both through my professional life. Working at indie and major labels, I saw first-hand the shift in the recorded music landscape. Technology brought access to the world’s music into our hands, but for artists, it moved the decimal point to turn dollars into pennies. The industry has changed, and a transformation needs to happen so that artists can benefit from the content they create and continue to have support through grant programs. When the Cannabis Act was released, I sat down to read it and put on the first episode of Mad Men in the background. As I was listening to the show’s characters discuss the challenges of differentiating near-identical products, I was reviewing the regulations and seeing how difficult it would be to make any brand or product stand out when it hit me: change the…

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