Ami Ballman is not one to shy away from a challenge.

When opening one of Airdrie’s first cannabis stores in a new and competitive industry, she chose to take all of the challenges – including lengthy delays, a perceived negative stigma and uncertainty – in stride.

“That didn’t stop us, it was an invitation to work harder and bring something different to the table,” says Ballman, owner of RARE Cannabis Co.

“We had a vision that we could cultivate a special and different experience that could resonate with those new and not-so-new to cannabis, and that’s what we did.”

RARE Cannabis Co. opened its doors on July 26, 2019 and Ballman says she is “especially passionate about empowering women on their cannabis journeys.”

Ballman has also been the chair of the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce (ACC) Advocacy Committee since 2019.

“The ACC Advocacy Committee identifies and prioritizes the issues affecting business in Airdrie,” she says.

“We work to advance positive change at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government.”

Nikki Nordick, ACC president, nominated Ballman for the Amazing Determination Award saying there is nothing she can’t do when she puts her mind to it.

“When she sees a challenge her perseverance to help and see things through is beyond admirable,” says Nordick.

“She is a very hard working, dedicated entrepreneur and one of Airdrie’s amazing women.”