Magazine Dank sur table

Chantal dorval

 

Chantal Dorval est l’âme et le cœur du magazine Dank.
Bon Stock était curieux d’en savoir plus sur son parcours et ses aspirations. Chantal a immédiatement accepté de répondre à nos questions. Voici donc notre échange. 

Chantal, comment se retrouve-t-on à publier un magazine sur le cannabis comme DANK? Tu peux nous raconter ton parcours et comment le cannabis apparait dans ta vie?

Absolutely! Hang tight for a long one lol. So my studies started out in Horticulture. My highschool back in the day had a very progressive Hort program, and I had managed to finish high school a bit early. My secondary school actually sponsored me for my first semester at UFV when I was just 17 years old. I wasn’t the smartest kid, and I didnt have the best grades, but I think they knew I had a passion for growing and it was a good way of keeping me out of trouble.  Back then I had no idea what I wanted to grow but I knew I had a huge passion for plant medicines and alcohol production, wines, ciders, beers, gin, anything botanical. I was in love with plant based alchemy.

DANK MAGAZINE Édition mars

My struggle with PTSD

When I was in my late teens early 20’s I was struggling with PTSD, and one day it clicked for me. The medications I was on made me feel nothing, and brought on a plethora of side effects which then needed management, I knew this wasn’t the way I wanted to live. With that I quit all my medications. I struggled hard with night terrors even on medication, and cannabis completely removed those. No more waking up with night sweats in fear, no more disturbing dreams and for the first time in years I was able to get a proper night’s sleep. Cannabis also allowed me to FEEL emotions again, but blanketed. Which I needed at the time, you can’t heal a wound if you can’t feel your way through it, and cannabis allowed the emotions to flow to me in a controlled way that didn’t overwhelm me and cause a relapse in symptoms, AND I could adjust my dosage depending on the day. You can’t do that with conventional medication, it doesn’t work unless you’ve been taking it regularly. Cannabis gave me so much control and I started to feel like a person again. My appetite and libido returned, I wasn’t isolating myself anymore. I had a new outlook on life and from there I knew that I needed to work in plant medicine. That was about 10 years ago now and my passion for the plant has only grown.

How a local dispensary helped me

In the early days I applied to a dispensary. These people helped me get my foot in the door in cannabis cultivation and made many connections for me. They even gave me a corner of the shop where growers could interview me to see if we were a good fit. From there I worked alongside a handful of ACMPR growers, many of which were appointed to several farms. I got to help old school growers fine tune their processes and help bring them to the next level. It was a time of mutual exchange and as much as I helped them out, they were the foundation on which I built my cannabis cultivation knowledge. It was also such an honour at 20 years old to be trusted by so many in the community. It was understandably a hard industry to break into, but once I was in they embraced me with open arms. Oftentimes growers would call each other and argue about who got me on what day. It was a tight community and still some of the best experiences in my life getting to assist on dozens of ops.

CREATING THE MAGAZINE DANK

Fast forward to now to my mission with DANK Magazine. I decided to take a break from Cultivation. My biggest goal is simply to help the community. Whether someone is already using cannabis in their life, or considering it, I just want to help educate the public so they can make better choices for their health. I also think it’s important to highlight the farms founded by legacy operators. We would not be here if it wasn’t for their activism and bold disregard for oppressive laws AND all the knowledge they acquired while in the trenches. DANK puts legacy growers at the forefront, and you can trust that if you see someone in our magazine they aren’t corporate chads that don’t care about your medicine, they are people who’s mission aligns with mine. I have a strong moral compass that cannot be swayed, I’ll stick myself in the eyeball before I backtrack on my mission lol. All of us, the growers featured, artists, activists, all of them have the same mission. To make quality cannabis more accessible and to equip the consumer with everything they need to make better choices.
I’m also an artist and a photographer so it’s been really fun to marry all my passions into one project.

FLEUR 1 Chantal Dorval

Avant d’être éditrice, tu étais maitre-cultivatrice. Bon Stock aimerait que tu nous parles de ton expérience de culture? Tu as même gagné des prix pour tes fleurs il parait…

Yes! So I did spend the past couple years in Quebec working as Master Grower for a small craft facility. Well equipped by this time for the role. It was such an honour to be growing indoors with such high tek. We had one strain in particular that I LOVED to grow, Grape Galena. It was a very special strain finishing off a lovely dark purple, almost black, and just absolutely punched you in the face with grape aroma. With that strain we managed to snag 3rd place for the Hybrid Category at last year’s Karma Cup. We also had nominations for Grower of the Year, and Producer of the Year at Grow Up Awards 2023. Additionally I had  the opportunity to export my bud to a few different countries. It was pretty cool to see people in countries such as Germany and Australia leaving such positive reviews on our flower. Kind of mind blowing for someone who just wants to make the world a better place with bud.

Bon Stock a lu que tu étais aussi une spécialiste en lutte intégrée contre les parasites (IPM ou Integrated Pest Management). C’est une méthode que tu as intégrée à quel moment dans ton parcours de maitre cultivatrice? Et pourquoi? Tu as un coup de cœur pour un prédateur en particulier?

Okay so IPM! I take this topic very seriously, because when done properly we can dramatically affect the rate at which we are harming the planet and people’s health in a positive way. Firstly I love bugs haha. I’ve been collecting insects since I was a child and I did focus on IPM while doing my initial Hort studies. My prof knew I had a knack for it and recommended me for my first job in the agriculture industry as IPM Delegate for a Pepper farm. 

Dalotia coriaria

When I switched to ACMPR…

When I switched to ACMPR it was awesome! Many of these growers were still spraying based on schedule rather than scouting and monitoring and I was able to make little changes to their farms to only act when needed, saving money and peoples lungs, as well as making little changes to the design of the grow to prevent a lot of these issues in the first place. Many also didn’t have a clue about biocontrol (which is one of my favourite topics) so I was able to teach IPM strategies and how to take care of your biocontrol so you’re not making these expensive purchases more often than absolutely necessary. I had a couple growers completely abandon sprays all together in favour of biocontrol.

Back to school

I did go back to school strictly for IPM when I got into the legal rec industry, I wanted to solidify my place among the best in Canada for IPM in Cannabis and I did just that. I’ve since helped many legal farms get their shit together in regards to IPM. In the regulated industry you HAVE to have a quality IPM Specialist. Our toolbox of pesticides is very small so you need to have a proper prevention plan. Many will skip it and you’ll see just a year or two after operations begin that they can no longer pass microbials or that they are struggling to hit yield after decemating their stomata with oils. As the facility gets older, the task becomes harder if you haven’t been giving it the attention it needs. If any operators are reading this, hire an IPM Specialist! If they save even a single crop within their tenure, it could practically pay for their wage. Not having one is parallel to operating without insurance.

My favourite predator is…

As for my favourite predator! Hmm, that’s a hard one. I’d probably say Atheta or Dalotia coriaria as they call it now. Very effective against general soil pests. Awesome for interrupting thrips life cycle and they do a great job with fungus gnats, they can also significantly slow the spread of root aphids and they are kind of cute haha.Aphidius 
But if I can choose from any biocontrol I love the parasites of the Aphidius genus. Many times they will find the aphids before you do, which is huge as aphids are a pain in the ass as they can reproduce asexually and ARE BORN PREGNANT, just ready to munch more crops. I also love that you can get away with spraying a light mineral oil such as Suffoil-x and not kill the mummified aphids with the next generation of parasites brewing inside. Me and Aphidius are a dangerous team.

Tu observes l’industrie avec plusieurs perspectives en même temps. Que t’inspire la légalisation canadienne?

Canadian legalisation does not inspire me, but the people behind the movement do!

Tu regrettes l’absence des Clubs Sociaux de Cannabis dans la planification de la Loi sur le Cannabis alors que c’est la route choisie par l’Allemagne?

I don’t have a strong opinion on Cannabis Social Clubs personally. I don’t know enough about the topic to have a solid opinion. I think in theory it’s a nice idea. However I furiously oppose over regulation for many reasons, and I fear that may be where it leads. Also just having the government involved in citizens personal grows brings me a feeling of unease. Please do let me know if you know of any successful models I should be looking into though.

Et la place des femmes dans l’industrie?

Right up there beside our male counterparts of course. We are two halves to the whole, and it’s obvious when there’s an imbalance. Considering women make up almost half of consumers, It’s important that there’s equal representation in the workplace. Men barely understand women to begin with, you’ll need women on your team to understand what makes your target audience tick.

Women have a special way of fine tuning detail, and we TALK! Open conversation is so important for growth, and I see so many people operating with all male or primarily male teams and they are doing a good job for the most part, but with a healthier feminine balance they’d get there faster and spend less money doing it. I think what we are seeing now is the remnants of pre legalisation stigmas.

Danger

«Working in cannabis in dangerous»

There were many more males than females in the underground market. Many of the older growers I interviewed with turned me down because “it could be a dangerous job” or “it’s in the bush, and that’s no place for a lady” Just the stupid overly protective sexist narrative that was the norm in their day. I think that experience gave men an edge when it came to starting up businesses in the legal space. Now we are seeing an imbalance because it can be hard for some women to stick it out in a sea of bros. My recommendation to women would be to connect with each other. Many of us are experiencing the same challenges and many of us have worked through them and can provide advice. The industry needs you, whatever form that may look like so stick it out, band together and time will sort this issue out. There are way more good men in this industry than bad ones and if needed, find a man you trust and ask for their help making space for your ideas and input. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the men who welcomed me into the industry and made space for me. Also look out for your female counterparts. I would also not be here if it wasn’t for the women that saw I had the love for the plant and fought to have my voice heard when I was young and shy.

So our place is right there beside men of course. We are just late to trickle in.

Microproduction versus grosse production? Petites boutiques (Mom & PoP Shop) versus grandes chaines? Est-ce que Dank prend position dans ce débat? 

All we care about are ethical practices and quality bud. Large producers do have the added challenge when it comes to producing clean, quality bud. But there are also many small producers also producing hay, so it’s not the size of the facility but the caliber of your Grower. So far I have only seen two Growers produce consistent, quality bud. It’s certainly harder to do, but it can be done. Long as they grow consistent quality cannabis and treat their employees with respect it’s all good in my books. But mad bonus points for those with legacy roots. (and truly those are the only ones doing it well anyways lol)

«Celebrate, Cultivate, Elevate» semble être le slogan de Dank. Quelle est l’évolution que tu souhaites donner à Dank en 2024? C’est quoi le Home Harvest Hub?

 This year our main goal this year is exactly that. To celebrate the plant, to cultivate a healthy knowledge of the plant both in terms of consumption and cultivation, and to Elevate those who have worked so hard to help the industry along. It would be awesome to get an official sponsor for the magazine, we are ready to go print as soon as we receive some reliable funding, with us poised to be sold in dispensaries across Canada. This is our first year of operation and our primary goal is simple, to keep growing while staying true to our mission.

Home Harvest Hub (HHH)

Le rôle du Home Harvest Hub (HHH)

But yes the Home Harvest Hub! This is a recurring column where I discuss all things cultivation and home harvest. I’m a busy gal with a love for the plant and I don’t have a ton of time to put into cultivation right now, but that’s the same situation so many people find themselves in.

 

 

So I thought to myself… What other reasons do people not try to grow their own? Cost for sure is one of them: tents, fans, probes, fertiliser, seeds or plants. It all adds up fast, and you can be out a lot of money with a failed harvest. Making it hard to get going again after watching your beloved crop fail. Which is not unlikely with your first grow if you try to do anything too fancy. So this year I’m going to demonstrate from start to finish how I still get a nice harvest with minimal inputs. Low cost, low-tech, easy to follow along for anyone. I want people to run a successful grow, maybe not the heaviest harvest but one successful grow where they get to use the quality cannabis that they grew themselves. I think if people could really grasp how easy it is, it would encourage folks to grow their own and connect with the earth. We just did two issues of Home Harvest Hub. One where I talk about Seeds vs Clones and lay down the pros and cons of each, and one where I talk about Low-Tech Seed germination. That’s the method I’ll be using..as of right now anyways, I’m trying to get two outdoor crops in this year. The first run will be some Sativa dominant autoflowers from seed. So simple, truly anyone can do it.
We are also going to be recapping and sharing the journey on our new Youtube channel @dankmagazine.canada so stay tuned for that! And I’ll also be answering questions from home growers so if anyone has any questions, please submit them to DANK Magazine or leave a comment on Youtube and I look forward to answering them.

Un mot de la fin?

Ya if anyone wants to get involved, give me a shout! If you have something to say that will benefit the average consumer, we’d be honoured to share it. I want to bring back that old school community feel where we shared our successes and failures and learned from each other. Free from fear of prosecution, there’s never been a better time for cannabis lovers to rejoice as a community.

Want to Catch us online?

www.dankmagazine.ca
Instagram: @dankmagazine.ca
Youtube: @dankmagazine.canada
Linkedin: @dankmagazine

And for anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities you can reach me at chantal@dankmagazine.ca

Et voilà!

Un témoignage remarquable de Chantal Dorval,  une femme qui transforme le monde du cannabis à sa façon. Bon Stock aime ça!