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Vivianne Wilson, founder of GreenPort Cannabis

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Vivianne Wilson is the founder of GreenPort Cannabis in Toronto and is the first Black woman who is an independent owner and operator of a licensed Canadian cannabis retail business. Alpha Woman had the chance to ask some questions about her journey as a woman of colour in the cannabis industry, and her challenges opening up an independent cannabis retail outlet in Toronto.

Tell us a bit about your childhood growing up in Jamaica and then in Toronto. How did this experience lay the foundation for who you are – and for Greenport?

In Jamaica, I was raised in a community where everyone knew each other and looked out for one another. Respect for the community and our connection to the fruits of nature brought daily lessons. Some of my best childhood memories included climbing trees and picking fruits to eat. There is nothing that tastes better than a naturally rippened fruit picked with your own hands. My childhood in Toronto was different in the sense that I had to create my own community and that mainly happened only in a school setting. I was also taught that my skin colour carried more negative connotations than I had realized. Also, the negative stereotypes of young black girls and Jamaicans were widely perpetuated.

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Leslie Andrachuk

As a bilingual pioneer in global digital publishing and marketing, Leslie is happiest when creating new things and inspiring her teams. She is passionate about changing biases that hold women back from realizing their true power and is grateful that at this point in her career she has the skills to make real change.

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