Hill+Knowlton Strategies Experts Available to Comment on the First Anniversary of Cannabis Legalization

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of cannabis legalization, and the impending legal sale of cannabis edibles, topicals, and extracts, Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) announces new National Cannabis Sector Lead and experts available to comment.

Widely recognized as an industry leading expert in the field, Omar Khan has been appointed to National Cannabis Sector Lead. With a deep understanding of the audiences and stakeholders that make up the cannabis landscape, he will continue to provide strategic counsel to H+K’s growing number of cannabis industry clients as they navigate a rapidly shifting federal and provincial regulatory landscape and look to build brand awareness and public profile to drive revenue growth. He will also be responsible for developing and executing a strategic plan to ensure H+K’s cannabis practice continues to grow and thrive as the industry evolves.

Omar will be available to comment on successes and failures in the first year of legalization, global market opportunities and recent industry trends including a shift in focus from production to consumer-focused brands as the sector evolves.

Pascal Chouinard who recently served as cannabis policy advisor to Quebec’s Minister of Health, and Dessy Pavolva, who specializes in cannabis consumer marketing tactics and regulations are also available for comment.

These H+K experts are well versed and extremely knowledgeable in the Canadian cannabis industry and can provide insight on a variety of related topics including:

  • The impact of legalization of illicit market sales
  • Lessons learned from the various provincial cannabis retail frameworks
  • The economic impact of the industry and global market opportunities
  • Emerging consumer trends
  • What the impending legal sale of cannabis edibles, topicals, and extracts means for consumers and investors

Omar Khan, National Cannabis Sector Lead (Toronto)

Over the past four years Omar has provided strategic counsel on Canadian and international regulatory frameworks, media relations and strategic communications to several licensed cannabis producers, the world’s largest cannabis website and other companies within the broader cannabis space. He has been widely quoted on issues related to the cannabis sector in most major Canadian news outlets. He served as Chief of Staff to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care where he was responsible for, among other things, providing insights and counsel on emerging issues, strategic decisions and policy development to the Minister, Premier’s Office and other Cabinet members. Omar was an early member of Ontario’s cannabis legalization steering committee. He has also served as a Senior Advisor to an Ontario Attorney General.

Pascal Chouinard (Quebec City)

Until joining H+K, Pascal was a special adviser in the office of the Minister of Health and Social Services. As such, he was also responsible for the Pharmaceutical Policy and medical marijuana file. He advised the minister on issues associated with the pharmaceutical industry and the positioning of the life sciences component. ​Pascal currently provides strategic counsel to several Quebec based licensed cannabis producers.

Dessy Pavola (Toronto)

Dessy brings over a decade of experience in drug policy and the cannabis industry. She specializes in consumer marketing of cannabis brands and thrives helping organizations navigate new, complex regulations. She brings her experience in digital marketing, product development and education to H+K’s clients.

About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada (H+K) is a communications consultancy providing services to local, multinational and global clients from its eight offices across the country.

The firm works with clients to solve complex communications challenges and deliver award winning campaigns and is focused on continued innovation for the industry. H+K offers deep sector knowledge and breadth of public relations and public affairs expertise including specialists in health + wellness, technology, government + public sector, energy + industrials, consumer packaged goods, financial + professional services, food + drink, retail + leisure and sports.

Globally, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Inc., has offices in more than 40 countries as well as an extensive associate network; and it is a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s largest communications services groups.


For Media Enquiries: Jillena Oberparleiter; 416-413-4577; [email protected]