Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida Supports Local Artists with New Cannabis Company



BECOME THE LATEST CANADIAN ARTIST to get involved in the country’s legal cannabis business, as he’s taken a role on the board of LOOP/POOL, a new brand that places a special emphasis on supporting homegrown artists.

For Maida, cannabis is a relatively new interest. “Being in the music business, cannabis has always been around me, but it was never really my thing,” he tells Exclaim! “I’ve had asthma since I was young, and, being a singer, I’ve always had to be hyper-conscious about lung health. The normalizat­ion and sophistica­tion of cannabis products, especially on a medicinal basis, was a game-changer.”

With lung health in mind, Maida — who also plays in the duo Moon Vs. Sun with wife Chantal Kreviazuk — prefers cannabis edibles over flower. He cites the indica strain Purple Nepal as a particular favourite.

“I use cannabis as a natural sleep aid,” he explains. “My touring and travel schedule has me constantly jumping between time zones and suffering from sleep deprivatio­n, so the ability to use it to help get my cycle back in sync is key.”

It goes without saying that Maida’s travel schedule has been non-existent lately. The coronaviru­s pandemic means that he and other artists haven’t been touring — and that’s what makes LOOP/POOL’s launch especially timely. The brand will be developing initiative­s to support Canadian artists impacted by the pandemic, uniting the company’s cannabis arm (“LOOP”) with its philanthro­pic division (“POOL”). Other artists who have partnered with LOOP/ POOL include Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Kiesza, and more to be named soon.

In a press release, Maida says this about the initiative: “With pandemic-related restrictio­ns on touring and social gatherings, musicians everywhere are being challenged to reach listeners in new ways. That’s why launching LOOP/ POOL as an innovative way to help emerging artists grow is so important right now.” LOOP products — which initially will include pre-rolls, flower, and gummy edibles — will be sold in cannabis stores across Canada. At least five percent of all proceeds will go to POOL’s grant programs for Canadian artists.

LOOP/POOL has soft-launched its website, and further announceme­nts will be coming soon. In December, the company appeared on the entreprene­urial CBC show Dragons’ Den.

Maida tells Exclaim! that he’s happy to see changes taking place in Canada’s justice system: “It’s also been a hugely important start for criminal justice reform and drug policies.”

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