Leaf Forward helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Leaf Forward is Canada's first cannabis business accelerator, providing early stage cannabis focused businesses with mentorship, networking, and learning opportunities from successful leaders who have taken ideas and turned them into reality. Leaf Forward leverages its extensive network of entrepreneurs, industry experts, and senior leaders to foster and grow the canna-startup ecosystem preparing founders to pitch investors, raise money and take their business to the next level.

rachel 2.jpg


We've assembled a kick-ass team of industry leading mentors to guide businesses through their early stages of growth. 


Applications are opening soon for our Sprint to Pitch program. 



We are attracting some of the most innovative and interesting businesses, find out how you can invest on the ground floor. 

Leaf Forward offers a one of a kind learning and growth opportunity.

Leaf Forward's Sprint to Pitch

Sprint to Pitch founders will participate in a 6-week intensive program to accelerate their growth and prepare them for the challenging process of pitching investors and raising money. Through twice weekly meetings, founders will learn from industry experts to develop the toolkit they need to raise their first round - everything from how to craft an awesome pitch deck to the legal lingo of finance.  

In addition to the core curriculum, founders will have incredible opportunities for one-on-one mentorship and elective classes offered by the best and brightest from across the cannabis industry.

Leaf Forward’s Sprint to Pitch program will be capped off by a pitch day, where founders will have the opportunity to present to cannabis industry leaders, angel investors and major cannabis funds including CannaRoyalty Corp., and Green Acre Capital.


Our Partners

Industry leaders from cannabis, finance, tech and marketing.

Leaf Forward brings together leaders from across industries passionate about building up others and their ideas. Are you interested in becoming a mentor for the next generation of groundbreaking cannabis businesses? Jump down to contact us and drop us a note!

Meet our mentors

John is the President and CEO of Ample Organics, Ample Organics is the most widely adopted seed-to-sale solution among Canada's licensed marijuana producers, designed for compliance with Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

With an extensive and diverse technological background ranging from digital media and broadcast to medical devices manufacturing, John has a deep understanding of enterprise level infrastructure and the subtle nuances of operating within highly regulated industries

John was recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 for the success of Elan Games, a computer gaming franchise with five locations across Ontario.

Rebecca Kacaba is a partner in Dentons' Corporate, Securities and Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies groups, and acts as an advisor to numerous startup companies.

Rebecca has experience in corporate finance, securities law, and mergers and acquisitions. She has assisted a wide range of clients, from startups to large multinational organizations. She regularly advises both domestic and international clients, including those listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange, on mergers and acquisitions (cross-border and domestic), public and private offerings (both initial and secondary), private placement financings (including debt and equity offerings), corporate reorganizations and corporate governance matters.


Matt is co-founder and Managing Director of Green Acre Capital. Green Acre is a Canadian based private cannabis fund that is currently managing over $20M of capital. The fund's focus is on cannabis ancillary businesses in the Canadian market, and investments in international companies that can benefit from a strategic relationship to the Canadian market.

Rachel loves putting brands under the microscope to discover what’s at their unique core, and developing creative strategies to help them build real-world connections with their customers.  

A brand strategist since 2004, Rachel has blazed her reputation on going deep to understand the ‘why’ that fuels it all – your brand, the business, its customers and the culture that surrounds it. Armed with those insights, Rachel develops brand strategies that are thoughtful and innovative, creating a fully integrated brand experience for your customers, and exponential growth for your business.

Rachel is a frequent writer and speaker on strategic branding, marketing to women and using cannabis as medicine. 

Mike is a corporate and commercial lawyer who specializes in all aspects of domestic and international commercial transactions. Mike is one of Canada’s leading advisors in the Canadian cannabis industry representing a variety of global industry participants. Co-founding the cannabis practice at Bennett Jones LLP alongside partner Hugo Alves in 2013, Mike has played a key role in a wide variety of domestic and international corporate and commercial transactions since the inception of the corporate cannabis industry in Canada. 

Mike speaks frequently at conferences across North America on topics related to the cannabis industry and, a frequent author to the industry, is also the Canadian Editor of the International Cannabis Law Journal.

  DEMETRIUS MICHAEL    Growth Hacker    @Dem_Z


Growth Hacker


Demetrius is a growth hacker, a trader, and somewhat unsurprisingly, a Freemason. Prior to Bitmaker, Demetrius built a startup that got people Twitter followers and 2pac was the first client (well, at least his estate was).

Greg is the Founder & CEO of AHLOT and is passionate about delivering a new, confident ritual around cannabis use. At AHLOT, they're crafting beautiful cannabis experiences, and their first product, the Ritual Box, began shipping to customers in April 2017.

Prior to AHLOT, Greg co-founded WIRL, a Software-as-a-Service company that empowers employees and their organizations through continuous feedback. Greg holds an MBA from Queen's University and BComm with a major in Human Resources from Ryerson University.

Amy Wasserman is the Director of Marketing for Canopy Growth. She is responsible for leading the development and execution of all marketing activities for Canopy's suite of owned and partner brands, including Tweed, Mettrum (where she previously led Marketing), Bedrocan, Leafs by Snoop, FORIA, DNA Genetics and more.

Prior to her foray into the burgeoning cannabis industry, Amy teamed up with competitive eSports platform, Virgin Gaming, to oversee the launch of hundreds of online video game tournaments, the build-out of a co-branded app in the Xbox Marketplace, the release of a global subscription service, and the execution of numerous worldwide live video game tournaments. Before Virgin Gaming, Amy worked for sports and entertainment juggernaut, IMG, and was instrumental in establishing owned fashion properties in Canada, including the launch of the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program and Toronto Fashion Week. Amy's roster of clients include Microsoft, Sony, EA Sports, Mercedes-Benz, World MasterCard, ESPN, DHL, Rowenta, Pizza Hut, Dr Pepper, TwitchTV and 2K Sports, to name a few

Jonathan is a tech entrepreneur, a coder, designer and creator.  He brings to the table a wealth of expertise in digital, advertising, video and media. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. 

Jonathan is the Founder and CEO of UNIV-ERSE, a tech firm based in Waterloo, ON, which works with some of the largest and most successful builders and land developers in North America to create 3D media and technology that helps people experience their plans. UNIV-ERSE's products and services help organizations communicate, attract and engage targeted buyers.

Alison McMahon is the CEO of Cannabis At Work, a Certified Human Resource Professional, educator and entrepreneur. After 10 years of providing HR solutions to customers across Canada, she founded Cannabis at Work in 2015. Cannabis at Work is the leading source in Canada for cannabis jobs, recruitment services, online industry training, and workplace impairment training.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations (B.HRLR) and a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation.

Alison served on the board for the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) for 3 years. In addition, Alison is a former Term Instructor at the MacEwan University School of Business.

Michael began working in the cannabis industry at Cassels
Brock & Blackwell, where, he was able to build, lead and significantly grow the firm’s cannabis industry group. Michael went on to join CannaRoyalty as Corporate Strategy and Legal Counsel.

A ‘next generation’ cannabis industry expert and strategist,
Michael Garbuz shapes ideas with stakeholders across the
industry, from corporate finance specialists to PhD scientists. Michael thrives on business challenges and is deeply passionate about entrepreneurship. His corporate experience focuses on mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements, going-public transactions, as well as private equity and venture capital.

Michael’s life science background, coupled with his extensive experience in the legal and business fields, are formidable assets in helping develop and advance the research-driven future of cannabis products and the industry’s emerging medical and health innovations.


A lawyer by trade, an entrepreneur by nature, Max is a Toronto based high-functioning cannabis professional. As co-founder and President of Emblem Cannabis, Max has taken his entrepreneurial passion and love for the plant and transformed it into a successful business dedicated to helping others.

Building upon his experience as a medical cannabis patient and his love for the carefully curated cannabis experience, Max is dedicated to cultivating the highest quality, unique cannabis products for both medical and recreational purposes.

When he’s not busy working with the cultivation, customer care and marketing teams to make the Emblem Experience a truly exceptional one, Max can be found spending some quality time with his wife and two boys.

Scott has extensive business experience developing successful US and Canadian medical cannabis start-up’s and sales channels, licensed cannabis production and integration, product development and ongoing funded research into chronic pain.

Scott developed and is former CEO of THC BioMed, Canabo and Empower Clinics (USA) and currently an Independent Director of Supreme Pharmaceuticals, a fully licensed wholesale focused ACMPR cannabis cultivator listed on the TSX.

Prior to his 2013 pivot to cannabis focused industries, Scott spent 20 years in investment banking and derivatives trading with a focus on natural resources and technology at leading Canadian banking firms.

Corey is a media and technology expert who has emerged as a leading name in innovation and cannabis-focused public relations. His experience as a tech journalist for outlets like Global News and The Globe & Mail and his prolific hustle on behalf of his clients makes him the ideal partner for brands looking to connect with journalists and consumers.

A frequent speaker at tech hubs such as MaRS and Ryerson's DMZ, Corey is a talented moderator and a strong speaker with unique insight into the inner workings of the media industry.

RNMKR, the firm Corey founded and leads, is Canada’s scrappiest public relations agency specializing in driving awareness around innovation and medicinal cannabis. 

Robyn is the Director of Business Development and Marketing at TerrAscend Corp., a vertically-integrated Canadian public cannabis company with subsidiaries in post production (Solace Health Inc.), clinical support (Terra Health Network Inc.) and drug preparation (Solace Rx Inc.).

Robyn brings years of international cannabis experience having previously developed, implemented and managed the marketing department at one of the world’s largest licensed producers of cannabis. She has vast experience in the Canadian cannabis licensing process having successfully obtained licenses for the cultivation and sales of cannabis products and derivatives. Involved in the federally regulated Canadian cannabis landscape since inception, Robyn is deeply knowledgeable in regulatory compliance and product development.    

Robyn holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business from Dalhousie University.


  DR. OLGA CHERNOLOZ   Founder, OmniBiotecha  @CannabisRnD


Founder, OmniBiotecha


A specialist in Neuropsychopharmacology, Olga has held a number of roles in clinical trials management, drug development, biotech and pharmaceutics. Olga has brought her scientific expertise to biotech startup world serving as a partner and advisor to several up-and- coming businesses in the cannabinoid space. Olga is making science help guide business development.

Knowledge is power, and Olga is passionate about sharing it with stakeholders of all levels. She is developing and delivering educational modules for Continued Medical Education for
healthcare professionals and to students of AAPS Medical 

Marijuana Quality Control Certificate Program.

Olga holds PhD degree in Neuroscience from University of Ottawa.

  PETER BARBOSA   Entrepreneur & Industry Consultant   @PeterBarbosa


Entrepreneur & Industry Consultant


Peter is the founder and former CEO of Grow One (acquired), founder and former President of Intelligent IT (acquired). Peter brings 7 years of experience in product development, strategy, and leadership. His passion for entrepreneurship helped drive his strong track record for building successful teams, products, and companies.

His last 3 years have been spent working with dispensaries, producers, and engineers to build viable and disruptive technology solutions for the marijuana space that lead to the acquisition of Grow One. His intangible skills within the industry focused on product, strategy, and entrepreneurship help drive his passion for the future of cannabis.

Peter is the Vice President of Corporate Development of Ample Organics, Ample Organics is the most widely adopted seed-to-sale solution among Canada's licensed marijuana producers, designed for compliance with Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Peter's journey in the Cannabis industry began in 2013 while assisting Tweed with its first capital raise in advance of securing a license to cultivate cannabis. 

Prior to joining Ample Organics, Peter worked at two independent investment banks in Toronto, focusing on raising capital and M&A activity in the Cannabis industry. 

  ERIC FOSTER    Partner, Dentons


Partner, Dentons

Eric Foster's practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions (public and private), regulatory compliance and emerging companies. Eric routinely acts as counsel to both public and private issuers and securities dealers, with a particular focus on the life sciences, mining, real estate and technology sectors.

Eric's corporate finance practice involves advising issuers, securities dealers and institutional investors in a wide range of financing transactions, including IPOs, secondary offerings, private placements and other forms of equity and debt financing. In his M&A practice, Eric advises acquirers and target companies involved in friendly and hostile takeover bids, plans of arrangement, reverse takeovers and other business combination transactions.

Eric also regularly provides advice to Canadian public companies on their disclosure, corporate governance, and other corporate and securities law obligations. Additionally, Eric frequently advises start-ups and emerging companies with respect to corporate structure, governance, financing and licensing matters.

Steven is a serial entrepreneur with experience in IT, urban agriculture, and retail. A flexible and adaptable operator, Steven brings an extensive industry network and product expertise to the White Sheep team. He has a track record of deploying his creativity and innovation in disruptive industries. Steven has created new companies in both Canada and China, ranging from video game art outsourcing, to soil-less food production, to pharmacy patient management systems. He has worked security for hip hop group, The Roots, received a Parliamentary Award for his urban farm, and is a Provincial shot put champion. Outside the office, Steven’s interests include technology, web culture, sustainable agriculture, personal growth and development. He holds a bachelors degree in Economics from the University of Manitoba, and an MBA from Schulich School of Business.

Alan  is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tokyo Smoke, a modern lifestyle business that is inclusive of Cannabis. A lover of technology, design and everything in-between,Alan most recently led a $100M+ organization at Google in Asia. He is a proven leader in strategy and operations, and was a founding member of Google's first Global Business Strategy team while based in Mountain View, California.

Alan was formerly a Management Consultant at Oliver Wyman in New York and graduated Dean's list from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada's leading business school, in 2006.


Marah Smith is an associate in Dentons' Corporate, Securities and Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions groups. In her practice, Marah advises public and private companies, partnerships, start-ups and entrepreneurs in matters related to mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, including private and public securities offerings, corporate governance, private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as all other aspects of corporate and securities law.

Having started her legal career with the Firm as a summer and articling student, Marah was counsel in the corporate finance branch of the Ontario Securities Commission for seven years before returning to Dentons.

Kris is a partner in Dentons' CorporateSecurities and Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions practice groups. Kris' practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance, including private and public securities offerings, corporate governance, private equity and venture capital transactions, as well as all other aspects of corporate and securities law.

Kris has experience working with both established and emerging companies on domestic and cross-border mandates in a variety of industries. Kris’ practice includes assisting issuers, investment dealers and institutional and private investors on complex equity and debt financing transactions, including start-up investments, venture capital and private equity investments and public offerings.

Additionally, Kris has served as corporate secretary for a number of public and private companies advising the boards and management teams of such companies on general corporate and securities law matters, including continuous disclosure obligations and other regulatory compliance issues.

Michael is a venture capitalist, writer, and financial specialist who analyzes and oversees White Sheep’s portfolio companies from the first meeting to investment. Before co-founding White Sheep, Michael resided in Beijing and then worked with McLean Watson Venture Capital. Michael advises and gives presentations to early-stage companies, originating from Communitech, the DMZ, and the Women’s Digital Network, on how to successfully raise capital. Michael’s investigative writings on the cannabis industry have been published in New Cannabis Ventures, Herb, and Lift, and he has spurred public debate on a number of topics in mainstream media. Michael has appeared on Vice to discuss emerging cannabis technologies. When he hasn’t got his nose buried in a balance sheet, Michael is likely to be scribbling away on his book for entrepreneurs or cheering on his favourite eSports teams. Michael did his undergrad at University of Toronto in History and East Asian Studies and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Get in on the ground floor of the cannabis boom.

If you're interested in hearing more about investing in the Leaf Forward businesses just shoot us an email

The Leaf Network is the best way to meet new people working in cannabis.

Upcoming Events

Leaf Toronto March Meetup

Join the Leaf Meetup for a discussion with Darren Karasiuk, MedReleaf’s VP of Strategy. Darren will discuss marketing in Canada’s upcoming recreational cannabis market, the process of building of a Canadian cannabis brand, and how Canadian consumers will interact with brands in this new marketplace.

When: Tuesday, March 27th, Doors at 6:30pm

Where: Spaces, 180 John Street, Toronto, ON

Leaf Calgary March Meetup

On March 21st Leaf will be hosting Jason Kujath of 51st Parallel, a Calgary based LP. 51st Parallel is currently setting up the first stage of their operations in Lethbridge. From production to sales, their cannabis will be entirely Albertan. Come out and listen to one of Calgary's leading cannabis entrepreneurs talk about his vision for the market.

When: Wednesday, March 21st, Doors at 7:00pm

Where: ATB Entrepreneur Centre, 1110 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB



Let's Chat.

Have a question? Just want to talk? Use the form to get in touch. Or reach out to Alex Blumenstein, founder of Leaf Forward, directly alex@leafgroup.ca or 416-275-2911

Name *