Profiles by Cannabiz Social Podcast - Aimee Halfyard
In this week’s episode of “Profiles by Cannabiz Social”, we hear from Aimee Halfyard, Associate Counsel at Miller Thomson LLP.
Aimee has been practicing law for 13 years in Calgary, getting her start in private practice then making the move to the energy space. She was working at a natural gas fuels company, when a long-time friend asked if she’d be interested in working with some friends of hers who were developing a cannabis consulting business.
"It’s people challenging the status quo and doing things in a different way, and it’s exciting."
After mulling the decision, she decided to go for it by joining their Board of Directors. She didn’t know a much about the future of cannabis in Canada. Yes, she followed the news, but after really working with the company, she was positively surprised by the work being done in the industry. “It’s a different energy from a business perspective. It’s people challenging the status quo and doing things in a different way, and it’s exciting. When you think of Calgary, it’s always had that entrepreneurial spirit. It resonates with people and ‘let’s do things in an exciting way.’” She also believes Alberta stands to see economic lift from the cannabis activity taking place.
As a community, Calgary has been highly receptive to making investments. People are embracing cannabis as a way to diversify the economy. It’s a sophisticated investment strategy for not only the city and province, but the country.
As we all know, activity is progressing quickly in the cannabis space, especially with legalization on the horizon. In the last year, Aimee found their business has taken off and the understanding of services they want to offer has been transformed. When working with a startup, it’s about finding that focus and what it is you do best and what you’re offering and then work from there. Once defined, it’s easier for companies to expand and grow from that starting point.
One of the things that’s surprised her has been the discussions around branding and she sees it as a challenge the industry faces. “We’ve taken a regulated substance and now allow it to be legal, but there’s a recognition and discussion on restrictions on branding. It makes it difficult for people to create a brand and distinct product in the market.”
Lawyers are interested in this field because they haven’t really seen something in real-time move this quickly. Big dollars and investment opportunities have presented themselves. “Lawyers like to be challenged,” she added.
Aimee likes to stay as active as possible and take advantage of the summer weather. She attends boxing classes, and bikes. Noted foodie, Aimee recommended Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey in Kensington for people to check out, as well as 17th ave.