Hilary Black was only a teenager when she took her first step towards eventually changing the course of cannabis laws in Canada.
It was the early 1990s, and she had just finished high school. Hemp BC, one of Vancouver’s first cannabis stores, had just opened.
“I just started showing up and kind of being a pain until they eventually hired me,” Black told CBC’s On Drugs‘ Geoff Turner.
That early fascination sparked her decades-long crusade for cannabis legalization — which would include founding what many describe as Canada’s first cannabis compassion club, and speaking before a Senate committee.
She’s now director of patient education and advocacy for Canopy Growth, one of the largest cannabis production companies in the world.
Breaking down the walls to access
Many Hemp BC customers were looking to ease their pain as they were undergoing treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Black vividly remembers the first time she personally delivered cannabis to a customer.