You recently announced that you’re getting into the weed business, which seems like an odd career choice: former health minister turns pot farmer. Why medical marijuana, and why now?
I’m not sure I agree with your premise. Medical marijuana is a legitimate industry that presents tremendous opportunities to help people, and it’s projected for extraordinary growth.
There are 450 applicants hoping to cash in on the new, loosened pot laws. What makes your product better than theirs?
Reputability. Our head of security, Kim Derry, is the former deputy chief of the Toronto police. Kandavel Palanivel, a pharmacist and a farmer, is in charge of the product itself. And I’m in charge of the application and doctor outreach.
How much will you charge for a gram?
Health Canada recommends $7.50. We’ll aim to beat that, but it’s too early to declare a specific price point.
Has medical marijuana helped people you know?
Yes. Friends in the gay community who say it restores appetite and combats the nausea caused by HIV drug cocktails.
Do you smoke weed?
I have, although rye was the substance of choice in my youth. Those wild days are over. The parties I’m planning now are princess-themed ones for my four-year-old daughter, Kayla.
How are you and the kids coping since losing Christopher, your husband, to suicide in December?
We’re doing well in our circumstances, but our circumstances are shit. My kids are my barometer, and they are happy, loved and busy: Kayla does ballet, and Michael, who’s five, plays tennis. The pitter-patter of their feet in the morning is the best medicine.