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« 5 Timeless Insights of Dale Pendell | Main | 3 Signs you close in on what matters »

Interview with Derek Riedle

Always fascinating to connect with people you knew in highschool and discover their ongoing journey. 

In the spirit of recent interviews with Dr. Rick Strassman, Dr. Eben AlexanderCarlos Castenada and others, I marvel at natural plant and human-produced substances that are getting new kinds of attention, inviting us to grow conscious of our conditioned views about natural and unnatural healing, states of mind and being. It is with perfect timing I reconnect with Derek Riedle. The rest speaks for itself.

Derek Riedle is CEO of Civilized Life, a consumer media company in the cannabis space focusing on North America. While he is on the road, doing what he does best, we put this together. Thanks Derek for sharing such relevant and timely views. 

Please begin by offering a bit of background and how cannabis became a key focus in your life. Talk about your passions, what drives you, what you really live for.

I have worked in marketing, communications and politics for my entire adult life. I have also been a cannabis consumer, so I fundamentally understood that the reality of cannabis was very different from the stereotypes. So, I was personally invested in living a more authentic life and emerging from the cannabis closet. Plus, as a professional communicator, the opportunity to break stereotypes and change culture was irresistible to me.

Its clear that changes are happening in many public arenasMany stereotypes that were once hidden are being shattered and brought out in the open. One point worth making is that shifts in consciousness in one area of society seem to precipitate shifts in perception about what is desirable or acceptable in other areas. 

Consider the example of the The First World Cannabis Congress is to be held in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  Why is this significant and what is your role? 

The World Cannabis Congress is significant because it will bring together 400 of the industry’s top minds to discuss and debate the future of cannabis. And it will do so in Canada, which is going to be the first fully legal, regulated, adult use market in the northern hemisphere. It’s becoming the home of the world’s greatest cannabis companies. Civilized is presenting the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick in June.

Love that your work behind the scenes as a driving force to encourage people to see the world differently. Some blog visitors may be unaware Saint John, N.B. is the city where I was born in Canada (N.B. province borders Maine, USA). Civilized Life emerges at the cutting edge to spread education about cannabis use on many fronts, especially its legalisation for medicinal use.  Of course, this is a symptom of expanding consciousness and understanding what and why certain substances are suppressed or made illegal in the first place. 

One can reflect on this ongoing process with cannabis and see similarities with what happened in the prohibition and then legalisation of alcohol, sugar and other substances.  Shifts in accessibility are always connected to social upheavals.

On this note, you founded strategic communications agency, Revolution Strategy. This has masterfully crafted and shaped the story of leading companies and winning political campaigns across North America. Tell us about your role here and what kind of environment is evolving.  What would you like to see happen?

I founded Revolution Strategy 20 years ago and been proud to help grow it into the truly, strategic communications agency it is today. The industry has witnessed remarkable transformation, most notably the arrival of more authenticity – in our marketing, our communications and our brands. I continue to provide Revolution Strategy senior counsel in communications, marketing, stakeholder engagement and all things creative.

Business Insider recently stated that legalizing marijuana could create a million US jobs and 132 billion in tax revenue by 2025. Why is this happening at this point in history? Why not during Woodstock for instance or some other era?  What is holding some states back from joining the bandwagon? Do you sense Marijuana is here to stay or do you envision new obstacles to this change?

No other industry has the high growth potential of cannabis, and we believe that high-quality media can help accelerate the development of this industry by sharing stories, ideas and information that’s been more or less forbidden for the better part of a century. We’re on a path to grow our multi-platform networks and I’m thrilled we are able to partner with Canopy Rivers, a leading and respected group of investment professionals and affiliate of the largest cannabis company in the world.

 You say, “It’s time for North America to embrace the reality of cannabis and its uses. It’s time to break free of the cannabis closet.” What is your view of what is happening with this abroad? What would you like to see and do you imagine being more involved on a global scale?

As a consumer media company in the cannabis space, we think we should (and do) play a significant education role. A number of people will likely try cannabis for the first time once it becomes legal in Canada – and the same principle follows in other countries or US states where recreational use recently became legal, or soon will become legal. Given how quickly we will be abandoning prohibition, and the extent to which cannabis use and information have been hidden or under-researched over the past century, there is a real gap.

What advice would you offer to people who are interested in getting their hands on cannabis and are unfamilliar with regulation or accessiblity in their area?

Every day, we produce and publish content on our site designed to educate, inform and entertain. In fact, we recently produced and released a series of short videos to answer basic questions about cannabis use. We believe this is important.

In addition to a focus on informing and entertaining, we also believe in promoting social responsibility more broadly. For example, since day 1 we have clearly articulated our responsible use philosophy (e.g. consuming within the laws of the jurisdiction, don’t consume and drive, don’t consume while pregnant, know your personal limits).

Cannabis for medicinal use in Australia is currently only available in the state of Queensland. Cannabis growing is tightly controlled here by government. Clinical trials are continuing here and limited numbers of licensed physicians are able to prescribe cannabis.  Do you have any views on what is happening on Australia?

I am unfamiliar with the situation in Australia. One international observation is that rights and freedoms are being revisited and revised on many fronts. 

Thanks Derek, for offering us insights on a topic that is gaining more public attention. Invite readers to check out Civilized Life and grow aware of what is happening with the legalisation of cannabis and other drugs in their own countries. Reflect on your own ideal life and how this is inhibited within yourself before you perceive anything in the external world. As within, so without.


Since this Derek Riedle interview went live, significant developments in Australia include the ban on consuming hemp as a food was lifted. A super milk has now hit the shelves made of cannabis seeds. Hemp milk is now sold in Perth, Australia.  Consumers are increasingly aware of its high protein and other nutritional value.  It is marketed as a dairy alternative beside soy, coconut and nut milks.

Also Canopy Rivers is skyrocking. Canopy Rivers is an investment and operating platform structured to pursue opportunities in the emerging global cannabis sector. Canopy Rivers is managed by an experienced team of qualified financial and technical professionals with significant industry experience and relationship networks

Much is being compared to what is happening with increasing use and acceptance of natural susbstances. Invite readers to read Ethan Indigo Smith's views on the Prohibition of Marijuana. The world is waking up to this and far more.

 Also encourage readers to leave comments and share their views on this interview. What do you see happening with cannabis, DMT and other drugs in the public eye?


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Reader Comments (2)

Resistance to any subject, situation, behavior, or entity is in essence a prohibition on spirit. We often speak of human rights, but in actuality, we are extending rights to plants, animals, and ideas so that they can freely speak to those who can hear their often unnoticed voices. Movements to change laws or to change minds happen in increments and often take several generations for offspring to eventually say what is the big deal? In truth, we are therefore extending human rights or earthly rights or galactic or cosmic rights to everything in existence over time until there is eventually no more time to debate exclusion. Inclusion for all entities is the new manifest destiny.
May 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBern
Hi Bern, resonate with your contribution. To being to sense everything is the same energy taking different form is simply an invitation to get back to basics and get out of your own way. Insight into the seven chakras helps one to see clearer to what degree our own perception and actions arise from a place of fear-based mis-perception or degrees of awareness or knowing of what exists beyond it all. The mind would have us focus on limiting events based on judgments of good-bad ,right or wrong. Yet, what is being presented can also be felt vibrationally beyond what is detected by physical senses as a universal message.
May 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterLiara Covert

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