Hamilton Speaker Series 2019


HempFest Canada is honoured to welcome an incredible lineup of Cannabis industry leaders to our stage once again! Below you will find our Speaker Schedule, as well as a short bio about each speaker and the companies that they represent.

To find out more about HempFest Hamilton (June 1+2, 2019), visit www.hempfesthamilton.com

We look forward to seeing you there!



12:20pm Melissa Rolston, Social Entrepreneur

1:15pm Zac Rinaldo, NHL Player

2:00pm Jacqui Childs & Canndora Women's Panel

3:00pm Gabriela Ayee, Canopy Growth

4:00pm Olivia Brown


12:20pm Tracy Lamourie, Lamourie PR

1:10pm Carlen Costa & Jacqui Childs: Sex & Cannabis

2:00pm Tamara Lilien, CannaLily Consulting & AHLOT

3:00pm Chris Lawson, "Canada's Pot Poet"

3:30pm Dr. Manpreet "Monty" Cheema, Grow Legally MD



Social Influencer/ Author/ Cannabis Advocate

Jacqui is a Social Influencer with an online following into the millions (Over 2 million on her verified Facebook page). Jacqui is a wife and mother and has been modelling for over 30 years. Having been published nationally and internationally, she co-wrote an international best selling book “Ignite Your Inner Warrior ” where she shares her battles with drugs and alcohol.

She works directly with many social causes and brands and shares her experiences on social media. Now living Pharma free, she’s chosen to spend her time focused on the Cannabis industry and community as well as “Women’s issues” and charities. Jacqui feels she owes this community as much exposure and attention as she can as a thank-you for saving her life, all while trying to end negative stigmas and prejudices one post at a time. You can find Jacqui at industry events, markets, and farms across Canada. Jacqui’s quest for knowledge within the cannabis space doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Much like cannabis, she’s “growing like a weed”.

Jacqui is the official influencer for CanaLief.


NHL Player

Zac Rinaldo, Canadian NHL player, is speaking at the first ever Hempfest Hamilton on June 1st, 2019 at the Hamilton Convention Centre about CBD for Athletes.

Zachary Rinaldo is a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger currently playing for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes. Zac has been playing professional hockey for 8 years, with 350 NHL games under his belt and 500 professional games total. He is sharing his story about how CBD/ Cannabis has helped him get off the anti-anxiety/sleeping medication that he has been taking since the age of 18. "I got off medications when I was 21 years old and started instead using CBD/CANNABIS. CBD/CANNABIS has changed my life and opened my mind to a new way of healing my body, not only for my anxiety but for all the head trauma/physical body trauma that I have sustained throughout my career in professional hockey." Rinaldo grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, and played his minor AAA hockey for the Hamilton Reps, Cambridge Hawks, Notre Dame Hounds and Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA).


Tracy Collier, Katie Pringle, Jacqui Childs, Michelle Parrotta & Katharine Thomas

Canndora Presents: Women & Cannabis

Join Canndora and guest experts to talk women and cannabis. In this panel we’ll explore products and brands for women, how the industry has evolved, as well as what's coming to the market.


Tracy Collier: Content & Community, Canndora


Katie Pringle: Co-Founder, Canndora & Marigold Marketing & PR

Michele Parrotta: Clinic Director, Hello Cannabis & CEO of Mimi Cannabis

Jacqui Childs: Award Winning Social Media Influencer & Cannabis Advocate

Katharine Thomas: Educator & Cannabis Advocate


Social Entrepreneur

Melissa Rolston, Social Entrepreneur: Melissa Rolston has worked in the healthcare industry since 2009 and narrowed her focus to medical cannabis in 2013. She has spent her time in the industry consulting clinic startups, working as an executive assistant with a Licensed Producer Applicant and has acted as a liaison between patients and physicians during cannabis prohibition.

Raised in a holistic home, she sees the benefits in bridging the gap between conventional and holistic medicine. She is the founder of the not-for-profit, BTS Stories, which aims to destigmatise & normalize social justice issues through their

campaigns titled 'Breaking the Stigma'. Melissa relaunched and co-ran the Toronto Market of Women Grow in 2017 which she hosted monthly events. She is currently a professor for a Cannabis & Marketing course with Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is teaching the course online with Collège Boréal.

For over a year and a half she hosted a weekly segment on SiruisXM every Monday titled "The Cannabis Report." She just finished working on a special series of interviews leading up to Federal Legalization (Oct. 17th) which is aired every week,1-2 times a day on CH167 Canada Talks.

Melissa can speak to:

  • Medical Cannabis - MMAR, MMPR, ACMPR, Cannabis Act

  • Entrepreneurship in the Cannabis Industry

  • Cannabis in the workplace

  • Cannabis marketing

  • Cannabis & driving

  • Consumer education

  • Post October 17th – the sky has not fallen

  • Global advantages, opportunities for Canadian business and Health Care

  • How technology can change the face of Healthcare

  • How the Healthcare industry can begin to fully integrate cannabis as a pathway to "personalized medicine"

Links to Media:


Canopy Growth

Gabriela Ayee is a Community Engagement Specialist at Canopy Growth, based in Toronto, Ontario. As a community cannabis educator, her role allows her to empower people with the information they need to make informed decisions. She has a passion for sharing knowledge, facilitating conversations and building relationships with anyone who has an interest in education.


Lamourie PR

Tracy Lamourie is the CEO and Creative Director of Lamourie Public Relations. In addition to her high profile work in the entertainment industry and for corporate clients in many different industries, she has worked in the emerging cannabis marketplace since 2012, writing for various publications, representing a myriad of cannabis related clients : authors, signing doctors, activists, advocacy groups, large scale producers, infused brands, craft producers, educators, and more. Working with the media to ensure a positive representation of cannabis medicine, cannabis consumers and cannabis businesses is an important part of her work.

She is proud to have been featured in the “Women Of Great Influence” issue of Cannabis themed Skunk Magazine and was also referenced in Dana Larsen’s History of Cannabis In Canada. Recently, she has begun working in the international cannabis marketplace with a trip to Jamaica to accompany a corporate client to meet with Jamaican authorities on a cannabis related tourism projects. Tracy's international work in entertainment is also an asset to any company she works with as she is able to bring access to big names and VIP experiences to company offerings.


1 - How to convert your ACMPR to a micro license.

2 - Exciting new developments in the Hemp industry!

Coming from a 14 year background in Palliative Care, Tamara has a keen understanding of gaps that exist in the health care system. After experiencing the medical benefits of cannabis firsthand, she transitioned into a career in Cannabis Education and Consulting. Tamara believes strongly that humankind deserves easy access to cannabis and associated resources for both medical and recreational purposes.

As one of less than 10,000 people worldwide to hold a Cannabis Sommelier Certification, Tamara was selected from 25,000 applicants to serve on AHLOT'S Cannabis Curation Committee (ahlot.com/ccc). To enhance her current certifications, she will be taking the Cannabis Educator for Health Care Professionals course offered by Michener Institute and UHN in early 2020. Tamara works as a career coach for the Cannabis Career Network, regularly speaks at cannabis events and on panels, facilitates educational workshops, hosts exclusive sommelier experiences and theme-parties, and is the founder of CannaLily Consulting