Sports Cannabis is thrilled to announce a new show focused on covering the Canadian Cannabis Landscape, hosted by former Brock Badgers USPORTS- Canadian University Hockey Athlete turned cannabis industry leader, Ryan Purvis.
Ryan Purvis grew up a sports enthusiast and ultimately fell in love with Hockey at a young age. With an undeniable talent and a strong appreciation for the game, Ryan was determined to push for a professional hockey career;
“Growing up I was a well-rounded athlete. I loved all sports ranging from hockey, soccer, wrestling, basketball, volleyball and all things running. At the age of 16, I then had to make a decision as to which sport I wanted to pursue full-time as a possible career because I no longer could do them all.
I definitely found hockey the most challenging of the sports I played. As a kid, I looked at a lot of sports but knew that hockey had challenged me the most because of its complexities at such a high speed. I found hockey’s competitiveness the highest which caught my attention as a young, strong and physical individual. And of course, as a Canadian boy, it was a dream to play in the NHL.
I then got drafted to the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League. Although never signing with the Attack, I followed the Junior A hockey systems in both Ontario and the Maritimes in hopes of one day attending post-secondary education and playing professional hockey. After finishing my Junior career with the Woodstock Slammers (MJHL), I committed to Brock University where I obtained my degree in Kinesiology and continued to play hockey in the USPORT league for the Brock Badgers.”-Ryan Purvis
After graduating from Brock University with a degree in Kinesiology Ryan was forced to make a tough decision, hanging up his skates to pursue an alternative career in Cannabis;
“Hanging up the skates in 2017 was not an easy decision, but after my degree was done, I knew I was ready to take on the next chapter of my life. Here is where I moved to Ottawa to pursue a career in the cannabis industry after falling in love with the plant mid-way through university. I’ve been working on myself a lot since graduating from university. This comes with a tone of self-exploration and self-care. Putting myself first has been a challenge itself since I’ve developed such a team-first mentality throughout my hockey career, but reconnecting with my roots and inner child has given me the ability to reset and even jump back on a bicycle to explore mother nature again like I did so much while growing up. Being able to set aside the game has allowed me to expand my full potential. I’ve gone through a ton of growth since university, and now I’m ready to take on new challenges that fill my soul on a deeper level.“-Ryan Purvis
Today he’s an industry leader, navigating the cannabis landscape as the Director of Operations at Unplug Cannabis Co.,;
“I started out as an assistant general manager at Fire & Flower, one of the first of 25 retail locations in Ontario. I was soon promoted to general manager and helped grow the business to one of the largest revenue-generating stores in the country. After this chapter had ended in 2020, I was presented the opportunity to take on a larger role as the Director of Operations for Unplug Cannabis Co., an independent retail chain with 3 locations across the Ottawa region that incorporates mindfulness and wellness. Here is where I currently help lead the company in all aspects of the business.“-Ryan Purvis
Jay Morzaria :
There’s a unique story for every individual that’s pivoted into the cannabis industry, what’s yours and what was your ah-ha moment?
Ryan Purvis :
“My ah-ha moment was seeing the positive effects on my mental health when starting to consume regularly in the evenings. Being able to unwind and ease my mind with cannabis started to shift my perspective on a lot of things. Especially when dealing with an identity crisis, thinking I was only a hockey player for so long throughout the university. Cannabis allowed me to think outside the box, connect more to my inner self and explore more of my creative side.“
You’ve achieved quite a bit in a short amount of time, how’s the cannabis journey been?
“My cannabis journey has been very eye-opening. From consuming the plant myself and seeing what works best for me, to working in the industry and helping others around me explore the plant, it’s been very special, to say the least.“
How can we ultimately normalize the cannabis conversation?
Ryan Purvis :
“Public education. The general public first needs to see the conversation as normal, yet nowhere in mass media are you seeing the positive benefits of the plant. Hopefully, this starts to change so we can all make educated decisions.
Professional sports leagues have started to adjust their policies around cannabis consumption and now is the time to have the resources and safe places available to help guide our athletes to a healthier alternative for performance and recovery. This lies in the ownership and governance of these leagues and programs.
Finally, the US needs to federally legalize the plant in order to help North America take its next step to normalize plant medicine.“
Everyone has one, a Cannabis routine that’s ideal for their lifestyle, what’s yours?
Ryan Purvis :
“I use 50mg CBD capsules in the morning and after workouts. I enjoy smoking an uplifting cultivar before short runs and bike rides (joints and different concentrates) to become present with my breath and body. Sometimes I consume high doses of CBD before long-distance running as well. You will always see me applying a CBD: THC roll-on or topical cream to my legs and lower back to help with inflammation and recovery. Occasionally I consume cannabis beverages in the evenings to wind down and connect with friends/family, and before I jump into bed, I usually spark up to connect with a podcast or show.“
You’re in a unique position and have had an opportunity to be at the forefront of brand drops and see the industry grow. Everyone has a favourite strain, what’s yours and why?
“Too many! But if I had to pick it would be my hazes: Jack Haze, Mango Haze 1:1 and Northern Lights Haze to name a few. Something about these cultivars creates a light uplift sensation by elevating the mood, yet at the same time slowing down the mind to reconnect. I have a busy brain so it’s really nice to find something that works well-managing stress and being present.“
Looking forward, Ryan Purvis, has joined the Sports Cannabis Team, hosting The Shake;
“I’m excited to explore the world of cannabis through an athlete-first mentality. Cannabis has been around for centuries with little dialogue around how the plant can actually help with overall wellness and optimal performance. You can expect the Shake to host educational and entertaining conversations around both people’s experiences with the plant and simply the new legal landscape here in Canada. We hope to create meaningful conversations that connect with our audience on a deeper level. The Shake aims to be the most up-to-date and practical source of information for all things cannabis.”-Ryan Purvis
Shifting the conversation, Ryan believes Sports Cannabis can ultimately bridge the gap;
“Athletes are leaders in today’s society. From professional athletes watched on television, to our sons or daughters creating winning and healthy routines in organized sport. They both hold a level of respect gained by the majority of the masses. I think we can all agree that we admire those who make a paycheque by playing professional sports. Once pro athletes adopt and develop positive habits and routines around the plant, I think it will have a ripple effect down into the general public.”-Ryan Purvis