March 11, 2019

Since we started hiring for our stores, we’ve seen people of all walks of life get inspired to turn a NewLeaf and take a chance on a budding industry. Esther Diaz and Carrie Classen are two very different women, with unique backgrounds and management styles, yet both found a good fit at NewLeaf.

Carrie Classen | 32nd Ave NE

Carrie thrives on building community. She works closely with other store managers to communicate challenges and work on sustainable solutions together. She is a crafty mom, literally and figuratively. Her passion for art and culture is apparent the moment you enter the staff room at her 32nd Ave NE location. There are four community boards to engage, educate and empower the staff.

• The Product Knowledge Board features weekly strain and cannabis facts with a monthly edibles recipe. This board is managed by Assistant Manager, Barry, and other Cannabis Advisors who are interested in contributing ideas.

• Mailboxes of Recognition has been created by our Cannabis Advisor Heather. Staff members have a mailbox and leave notes of recognition and praise for each other.

• A Team Board features community events, birthdays and staff schedules.

• The Pot Pods. Staff, of a wide age range and diversity, are divided into two teams, The Canna Buds and Tokin’ Aces. Teams compete for bragging rights in friendly competition that serves to educate staff, who effectively educate customers.

Esther Diaz | MacLeod Trail South

Esther Diaz manages our MacLeod Trail South location. She is soft-spoken, petite woman who is fiercely proud of her Mexican heritage. Back home, Esther was a teacher, who grew up in a country where drug cartels and poor quality of life was damaging lives. This experience has contributed to her development into a compassionate and empathetic leader. She is thrilled to be living and working in Canada, a country that recognizes the value and benefit of legalizing the cannabis industry, where ultimately the goal is to educate and ensure safe, responsible consumption.

We asked both managers 10 Questions, to gain insight into the kind of leaders who make the NewLeaf team so inspiring.

What did you do before managing a NewLeaf Cannabis store?

Carrie: Full-time mom and part-time business woman with my own small vinyl printing company. Before that, I worked in Human Resources and also ran some large retail stores.

Esther: Demo manager at Costco, managing the 45 staff who hand out those tasty samples.

Where are you from and why did you join the cannabis industry?

Carrie: I’m originally from Vancouver Island, but Calgary is my home. I am a medical cannabis patient who is passionate about cannabis.

Esther: I used to be a teacher. Back home in Mexico, I saw young people almost die because of questionable or contaminated weed and the criminality associated with it. I praise Canada for legalizing cannabis and taking care of Canadians who consume it.

What’s your preference: Sativa, Indica or Hybrid? Why?

Carrie: I’m not into getting very high, so my favourite strains typically are 1:1s with between 8-10% THC and 8-10% CBD. I usually go for Sativa strains, high in the terpene Myrcene. Myrcene generally has more relaxing effects, but for whatever reason, when I consume a Sativa strain high in myrcene, I find myself crafting or house cleaning.

Esther: I like Indica at night to help me relax.

Which cannabis strain at NewLeaf is on your radar and why? (strain, not LP)

Carrie: A few of my favourite products are Meridian. It’s craft grown and smokes nice. I also enjoy Palm Tree, a 1:1 strain that smells beautiful. I’m not typically an Indica consumer, but when I have too much on my mind, my favourite Indica is, Purple Chitral.

Esther: Pink Kush has a pleasant flavour and just enough balance between body/mind relaxation.

What is your ideal consumption ritual?

Carrie: Late evening, pyjama wearing, bowl packing, reality TV watching. When I’m consuming by myself, I typically use my Firefly 2 Vaporizer that I received for Christmas last year. The flavour profile experience is enhanced as one can target specific terpenes by setting the temperature gauge.

Esther: Vape at night while stargazing.

It’s 4:20, what’s playing on your stereo?

Carrie: I love anything from alternative to mellow rock and 90’s grunge. Music is my life, and it’s always playing at home and in the store.

Esther: Santana, all night long.

What was the last show you saw and couldn’t stop talking about? (tv, movie, band or performance)

Carrie: I saw Arcade Fire with my best friend last year and had the best time ever! It was such an outstanding show. The lights. Music. The Instruments. Everything about it was insane! We also loved the Halloween Howler at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino.

Esther: A television series called Frontier, based on Canadian history and The Hudson Bay Company.

You have the munchies, what’s your go-to snack?

Carrie: I try to eat healthily and prepare fresh fruit and veggies in the kitchen before consuming cannabis. That said, I do love candy and Cool Ranch Doritos.

Esther: Potato chips with salsa and chilli, (I’m from Mexico…no surprises here.)

Favourite place to grab a bite to eat that is close to your store?

Carrie: The staff here frequent the Noodle King which has amazing vermicelli or Coco Brooks pizza, located just across the street.

Esther: Mexican food just beside our store.

Your best friend is visiting from out of town. Which Alberta tourist activity or destination tops your list?

Carrie: My best friend is from out of town, and we have no family in Calgary, so we play tourist a lot! Banff boarding trips and the Hot Springs are always a favourite. If we are staying locally, I love Heritage Park in the summer and Studio Bell in the winter. As a family, we have season passes for many notable attractions locally.

Esther: Banff, Lake Louise, and my all-time favourite, Moraine Lake.

Leaders come from all walks of life. Some of us are meant to lead. Some people are better off rallying with them. Does working in the cannabis industry speak to you? To work in the retail cannabis industry, one needs their Sell Safe and QCW. This application process takes 6-10 weeks and requires a police check.

Want to work in the retail cannabis industry?

Career Opportunities at NewLeaf Cannabis.