A Conversation with Gill Polard of Her(b) Life
This week on Women in Weed, we spoke with Gill Polard of Her(b) Life about all things women, weed, and the ever-growing cannabis community.
Can you tell us a little bit about Her(b) Life?
Her(B) Life started out as a personal blog in 2015. I had been working in the legal Canadian medical cannabis industry for a couple of years, and had met so many amazing women who were doing brave and interesting things in the space. I basically wanted to fangirl out on my friends and provide a platform to tell their stories.
At the time, it felt like there weren’t enough platforms talking about women’s achievements in cannabis. I also wanted to see more content online that I found relatable, as a thirty-something woman who has loved weed for a very long time. Eventually, it evolved quite organically into what is today; a digital storytelling platform, a community of like minded people, and now a print publication. I am so, so excited to go to work everyday.
What is your favorite part about working within this space?
My favourite part is that it’s a new opportunity. Not only is society changing and becoming much more accepting of cannabis, but here we have this opportunity to be a part of building a new legal industry where women might actually see gender parity in terms of leadership representation. This feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity that we cannot squander.
Photo by Blum and Grow
Conversely, what is the biggest challenge about this line of work?
For me, the biggest challenge is operating under the incredibly strict advertising regulations Health Canada places on Canadian companies. It’s frustrating for me to look around and see ads for alcohol and junk food – two things that can do incredible harm to our communities – but be so highly regulated when it comes to cannabis.
What does the feminine cannabis experience look like to you?
I think that the feminine cannabis experience can take on a million different looks. It all depends on whose experience we’re exploring. That’s the thing about people who identify as feminine or as women, we’re all so multi-layered and unique, and you can’t just slap some pink on the label and call it a woman’s product anymore.
I love hearing about everyone from young, enthusiastic consumers and entrepreneurs to moms who are replacing their wine with weed, to my ninety year old granny who has just discovered how well she sleeps with the aid of a tincture. Each of these stories is fascinating, and sharing them will help kick weird, outdated stigmas to the curb.
How do you feel that women have impacted the cannabis community?
We have data that illustrates that companies with diverse leadership tend to outperform companies that are more, shall we say “traditional” in appearance, and women are speaking up about wanting to take active leadership roles. We are helping shape marketing messages and products that are aimed at women, as well as provide care and education to new, curious consumers. At the end of the day, what really gets me excited is how tight knit the business community feels, and how everyone is ready to support one another.
Any advice for other women owned businesses just starting out?
It’s extremely hard not to constantly compare yourself to others, but I implore you to consider that we’re better together and collaboration is much more beneficial than competition. Whenever possible, lift each other up, work together, and try to become genuine friends with those around you. Life and work can be challenging, so why not actively work to make it enjoyable as well as profitable?