Board of directors
Tara Kirkpatrick is a craft cannabis farmer from Northern BC. She has been advocating for and producing medical cannabis for over 20 years. As a long-time patient rights advocate, Tara was one of the first people in Canada to successfully obtain a Health Canada exemption for children’s use of the CBD oil Hailey’s Comet to combat epilepsy.
Tara is a legacy craft grower that has transitioned over to her micro-cultivation licence. With Backwoods BC Bud, she received her licence in June 2020. Tara joined the BC Craft Farmers Co-op Board of Directors in the fall of 2021.
Vice President (Founder)
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Over the course of his seven year career in the cannabis industry, Andrew has worked successfully with a diverse array of stakeholders and regulators to build accountable, community-responsive and financially sustainable business models. Andrew is galvanized by the opportunities legalization presents for Canadians, and is dedicated to reducing social stigma for cannabis consumers, and abating pharmaceutical drug dependence within communities.
Andrew is a co-founder of Kiaro Brands Inc (TSXV: KO), where he served three years as Senior Vice President, and currently serves as a member of the brand’s Board of Strategic Advisors. As Vice President and founding member of the BC Craft Farmers Co-op, and a recent Director of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers, Andrew is an ardent cannabis advocate and spokesperson, specializing in strategic planning, public relations, and community partnerships.
An MMAR license holder on Vancouver Island, Bill has experimented with farming over 100 cannabis strains over the last 20 years. He has been an advocate for legalization since the first Trudeau government released the Le Dain Commission Report in the 1970s. Bill is a former Board Member of Metro Media Association which is focused on educating social service organizations on how to use small format video production to promote their cause. He has also been a BCCFC Director since August 2020.
He originally decided to run for a Board position because even though the marketplace is legal, the government has put numerous barriers to entry for small farmers and processors. Bill finds it is very hard to get licenses and the process has been designed without any communication with the people who are the most affected. He believes the Co-op can help push for improvements in the program and wants to be part of that progress.
Bill believes the most important role for the Co-Op is to provide BC’s cannabis micro cultivators and processors with a safe, accessible, and sustainable alternative to the illicit market. He says we need to push for larger canopy space, government financing, and a plan to reduce regulations at all levels. Bill sees a need for BC’s cannabis industry to have a format to help obtain licenses, to provide an advocacy role, and to give cannabis professionals an opportunity to work together.
Bill finds that there is a real lack of trust among cannabis professionals considering transitioning to the legal market – citing its complexity and price tag as the reason for a lack of change. “This situation requires a reset from the federal, provincial and municipal governments to allow people to transition to legal status and develop viable businesses. I will continue to press for those changes.”
Bill also hopes to establish his own Micro-Cultivation facility and looks forward to helping develop the Co-op to serve members.
Kayla Mann is a craft cannabis executive at Cake & Caviar that has held various management positions in companies across the supply chain spanning finance, sales, business development, branding, product development, investor relations and more. Kayla is motivated through her industry experiences to advocate for the necessary changes that will lead to a bright future in legal cannabis and to continue to participate in various community initiatives that bring the industry together.
Growing up in Golden, Jerry spent his formative years surrounded by forests and the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies. From a young age, he wanted to learn more about this natural beauty, and spent nearly eight years researching biological pest controls in field and greenhouse crops, and then spent 10 more years developing a biofuel export business and biofuel manufacturing technology. Since 2016, Jerry has been active in the cannabis industry, and along with an amazing team has built two cannabis labs for research and analytical testing—both fully licensed by Health Canada. Jerry received his MSc in Plant Science from UBC in 2006 and is currently Vice President, Operations for Willow Biosciences (TSX:WLLW), and President of Willow Analytics.
It is Jerry’s goal to assist those who fought for cannabis legalization, those who took risks to ensure cancer patients had access, those who grew knowing they were being criminalized, and have now been denied access due to heavy regulation and big business. As of election time, Jerry has been working with the BC Craft Farmers Co-op for nearly a year already and has been an active member of its Quality Assurance Committee.
Over the next two years, Jerry would like to see more BC Craft producers transition to the legal cannabis industry and claim their rightful place in the industry they helped establish.
Shar is Co-Founder of CoTerra Labs, an agrochemical company. He is also the Founder of Nimbus Cannabis, a licensed retail store in Oliver, and Co-founder of Augusta Hemp, an industrial cultivator that has cultivated over 900 acres of hemp. Shar graduated with Honours from UBC’s Sauder School of Business. He decided to run for the Co-Op Board because he has noticed a demand for craft products and a willingness of producers to participate in the legal recreational market.
Shar wants to help push for the changes that are crucial for the success of this industry in B.C. Ensuring the pioneers of the industry, the craft producers, are part of it. For him, being part of the BCCFC Board is a great platform to help facilitate this necessary change. In the past year, Shar has served on the Co-op’s Investment and Retail Committees, working in collaboration with other Committee and Board members on the Co-op’s business plan and the launch of the BC Craft Cannabis Club.
Looking at the next two years, Shar would like to see the Co-op member’s products in retail locations across Canada. Helping maintain BC’s recognized position as a producer of a high-quality craft product.
To support the Co-op’s mission and governance, the BCCFC Board has approved a series of policies to help guide the organization’s governance.