Civilized's Derek Riedle Considers What's to Come for Canadian Consumers

 - May 3, 2018
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Civilized, a premium digital media and lifestyle brand, recently expanded its expertise to Canadian cannabis clients to redefine perceptions surrounding the modern user, and to explore the many benefits that different cannabis products have to offer.

To do this, Civilized has been busy creating a variety of content that’s intended to educate and inform users, and decrease the stigma that still surrounds cannabis use. This includes articles that explore how these products affect different aspects of culture, travel, and wellness, as well as a 'Cannabis for Beginners' YouTube series.

To get a deeper understanding of Civilized’s journey, and to find out what it has planned once recreational use is officially legalized in the country, Trend Hunter spoke with CEO and Publisher, Derek Riedle, who cofounded the company with his wife and business partner, Terri.

How have ideas surrounding cannabis culture evolved recently?

There is a new face of cannabis emerging. Portrayals of cannabis culture in media have made the world believe that cannabis consumers are all young people sitting on their couches, eating pizza and playing Xbox. The reality is, cannabis consumers are people of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, from every corner of the continent. These people enjoy cannabis as a healthy part of a balanced lifestyle.

Prohibition has forced people to stay in the cannabis closet. Civilized is looking to empower these people not just to step out of the closet, but to destroy it, and give them the freedom to live their lives authentically.

What’s the biggest stereotype that still needs to be overcome?

That all cannabis consumers are in their basements, covered in Cheeto dust. Our Cannabis Culture Poll found that approximately 1 in 4 people in the US and Canada consume cannabis. People from all walks of life use cannabis for different reasons.

How will digital media lifestyle campaigns impact how cannabis is consumed and viewed?

No other industry has the high growth potential of cannabis, and we believe that Civilized 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.

What role does Civilized play in Canada now that recreational cannabis is about to be legalized?

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 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.

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).

Can you speak to any upcoming projects or partnerships Civilized has planned?

We’ve recently announced a partnership with Canopy Rivers, a leading and respected group of investment professionals and an affiliate of the largest cannabis company in the world.

The whole base for Civilized is our editorial content that lives at The opportunity moving forward is to nourish, enrich and bring that brand to life by creating experiences where we can interact with our audience. So, we recently announced an amazing event happening in Saint John, New Brunswick, in June. The World Cannabis Congress is bringing together 400 of the industry's top minds to discuss and debate the future of cannabis. Suffice to say, we’ve got a couple of other incredible events we’re going to roll out in the next couple of months that will support the changing face of cannabis in North America.