Jeannette VanderMarel is the co-founder of The Green Organic Dutchman Ltd., an organic licensed producer of cannabis under the ACMPR. Jeannette along with her husband, Scott Skinner, developed their company and their Ancaster, Ontario farm into a purpose built and self funded commercial compliant medical cannabis production facility. They received a licence to cultivate medical cannabis from Health Canada in August 2016.
Jeannette had grown up on a large scale apple farm in Carlisle Ontario. She had worked in a number of industries over the years including food service, construction sales, animal laboratory services, and Sales & Marketing in restaurant supplies. She then became a Registered Nurse.
In 1994, her daughter Breanne was born with Dravet Syndrome. Jeannette was a very busy mom. Breanne had numerous medical conditions including intractable seizures, chronic respiratory illness requiring 24-hour oxygen, 24-hour cardiac monitoring, G tube feeding, an implanted port-a-cath for IV administration of drugs and many physical and developmental therapy treatments.
While being the solo caregiver for her daughter at home and through innumerable hospitalizations for seizures, surgeries and repeated aspiration pneumonias, Jeannette continued working as a registered nurse where she quickly advanced in leadership. She became a paediatric intensive care team leader and charge nurse. She was also an integral part of the medical emergency and trauma teams. In 2003, her daughter was deemed palliative by the medical advisory panel at McMaster Childrens Hospital. Jeannette cared for Breanne at home and she passed away peacefully.
In 2007, Jeannette became a certified CNCCP(C) through the Canadian Nurses Association. She was one of only 3 nurses to attain this distinction among all the nurse’s working In the Paediatric Critical Care Unit at McMaster University. In 2011, Jeannette completed, with honours, the program at McMaster University in case management and patient advocacy.
Through years of nursing, she had seen first hand the devastating effects opiates and she also saw the benefits of medical cannabis. She became increasingly interested in medical cannabis following the passing of her daughter from Dravet Syndrome. As a patient advocate she continues to support and educate about the therapeutic use of cannabis products in healthy lifestyles.