Jessie Gill | Registered Nurse / Mom / Entrepreneur

Jessie Gill is a Registered Nurse, a mother of two, and a cannabis advocate. After a freak accident left her with limited mobility and extreme pain in her neck, Jessie turned to cannabis for help. As a patient, she finally was able to manage her pain with great results – so much that she decided to get involved in helping others with similar stories.

Jessie has since launched the Marijuana Mommy Project, a program aimed at advocacy and changing the stigma of the cannabis user one patient at time. Jessie has big plans in 2020, providing new cannabis patients with educational courses set to empower them on their cannabis journey.

When did you first try cannabis and was there a specific reason why? Please explain.

I became a patient after a work accident left me seriously injured. I had used cannabis many years before and had negative associations to it, so I was really afraid of medical marijuana. But after trying every pharmaceutical option and even major surgery, I still suffered constant pain and mobility issues. My mom convinced me to explore cannabis further and I’m so glad she did.

Describe how that first cannabis experience was for you?

I was nervous. Nervous because of the stigma and also nervous that it wouldn’t help, but my results were remarkable. It helped address my pain better than any medication ever had.

Did you have any expectations or preconceptions about cannabis prior to your personal experience? If so, please explain.

I had a lot of judgement against cannabis. First from my own negative experiences more than a decade before, but also because as a nurse I just didn’t believe it could be helpful.

What is your relationship with cannabis today?

I have a deep loving relationship to cannabis. I micro-dose, so I use cannabis all day, every day. I also spend most of my working hours educating patients about cannabis.

What do you think is the most misunderstood opinion about cannabis?

The biggest misconception about cannabis is that it’s about getting high. So many people still believe medical cannabis is a sham–I’ve even heard this from medical practitioners. It’s a prohibitionist era opinion that’s very hurtful towards patients.

What do you think can be done to help break the stigma surrounding cannabis?

Conquering the stigma will take time and a lot of personal experiences. That’s one of the reasons, I’m so public about my experience. Some people won’t accept this plant until they see it work first-hand. Fortunately, it’s just a matter of time before EVERYONE knows someone using cannabis. More patients are experiencing life-changing results, and so more are coming forward with their personal stories. Personal stories impact others.

What excites you the most about the future of cannabis?

Federal legalization. One day the federal government will legalize and finally patients everywhere will have access. It’s still forbidden in so many regions, it’s heartbreaking seeing patients desperate to try cannabis and yet unable to gain access.

Tell us about your Marijuana Mommy project and what you hope to accomplish with it.

The goal of Marijuana Mommy is to teach patients how and why to use cannabis. It educates about cannabis while also challenging the stigma against cannabis use. We strive to positively influence new patients who are still nervous about this medicine and offer practical tips such as edibles recipes and product guides.

Do you have any big plans to announce for 2020?

I have a patient course rolling out in the next few weeks. New patients need to be educated about cannabis. Unfortunately, most healthcare providers aren’t well-enough informed to offer adequate guidance. Frequently, patients must sort through tons of articles to gather the information they need. Many patients, especially nervous ones, want an experienced provider to lead them through and empower them on their cannabis journey.  Unfortunately, one-on-one sessions with experienced providers can get pricey. That’s why I created a course to virtually hold patients’ hands and guide them through the controversial and confusing topic of cannabis.

If there was ever a Kindred Spirt personified, Jessie checks the box. For someone who once felt so differently towards cannabis to now take action to de-stigmatize it is impressive. Thank you Jessie for what you do.

To learn more about Jessie’s passion go to www.marijuanamommy.com

Jason Gann – Actor | Talking Dog | Entrepreneur

Jason Gann is an Australian actor, writer, executive producer and now entrepreneur. You may recognize him for his role as the title character in the comedy series Wilfred. Being a long-time user and proponent of Cannabis, Jason recently entered into the budding Cannabis industry with his own brand Wilfred Cannabis and was nice enough to speak with us about his experience with this amazing plant.

When did you first try cannabis? Describe the experience.

My sister shared a joint with me when I was 15. I didn’t feel anything. I started smoking again in my senior year of high school. It took about 8 sessions before I actually got high. It was electric.

What is your relationship with cannabis now?

I describe my relationship with cannabis as “spiritual” – I believe the plant has a soul, and that it’s a companion soul to the human soul. We’ve been on this journey together as partners on planet earth for many thousands of years. When I get high I feel like I’m hanging out with a dear old friend.

Does cannabis use help you in your professional career? If so, how?

I guess it’s impossible to separate the Wilfred character from cannabis – I was high when I concocted him – and Wilfred has been the biggest event of my career. So I feel like Wilfred was a gift to me, in a way, from cannabis. And reading the many responses from fans who say Wilfred changed their lives in such a positive way, it seems he’s been a gift to many.

What do you think is the most misunderstood opinion about cannabis?

I hate that it’s bundled into the same category as a bunch of other toxic bullshit like alcohol and opioids. Cannabis is a gift from Mother Nature, those other things are monstrosities designed to distort and escape reality. Cannabis elevates reality. It raises our consciousness.

What projects are you currently working on in the cannabis space?

I’m currently launching “Wilfred Cannabis Pre-rolls” in California. I’ve spent the past two years navigating the industry here, getting licensed, building a company from the ground up. I haven’t been this excited about a project in years. The pre-roll packs come in 7 x 0.5 gram pre-rolls (an 8th) of the highest quality outdoor flower I could find. We have plans to expand into Nevada next.

What excites you most about the future of cannabis?

I sometimes daydream of a time when cannabis is finally globally accepted, when society loses the criminal stigma that anyone alive in a time of prohibition will always feel. When our grandkids or great-grandkids take over this planet and the true healing, productive and enlightening powers of cannabis can be felt and explored by humankind. I think there will be a spiritual shift on the planet that we desperately need. That’s my dream anyway.

Jason’s beliefs around and vision for Cannabis, along with his actions in the industry make it crystal clear to us, he is a Kindred Spirt. Thanks Jason, and best of luck to you!

To learn more about Jason’s brand Wilfred Cannabis Pre-rolls go to www.wilfredcannabis.com

Bret – Documentary Filmmaker | Teacher

Cannabis oh cannabis, a litany of virtues—-

I’m home after cancer surgery and a day in the hospital, my discomfort floating in an opioid fog.   Dazed and addled, a few tokes of “Purple Arrow” cuts through the haze, offering comfort and soon after sleep, glorious sleep.  When I awaken, the opioids are history ‘cause my dispensary delivers.

About fifty years before that (yes I’m that old)—-

Woodstock, away from the crowd, the music a distant background; circle of ten complete strangers, sharing a chillum packed with particularly potent Acapulco Gold, top-level weed in ’69.  The music was the catalyst for our union and now the cannabis, an agent for free wheeling conversation, and laughter.

Amsterdam, 1997, first visit to the city of coffee shops and canals—

After our withdrawal from the sixties, life became more uptight in the United States.  Cannabis was there but had to be found, carefully. Then on a respite from the not-so-subtle oppression, my work took me to Amsterdam, with lodging next to a coffee shop featuring Cannabis Cup winning strains.  If only in America I mused on the return flight, contemplating that thin slice of Afghani hashish stashed between the pages of my notebook.

Medical arrives—-

For years, I’ve been plagued by ocular migraines.  They arrive at no fixed time, for no particular reason.  And for years, only one thing eases the pain and puts a smile back on my face–the ganja, mon.  So when Arizona went medical, I went legal.  Who would have thunk it, a red state goes green.  No more furtive glances in the rear view mirror.  No more missed appointments with the supply man.  Best of all, a seemingly unlimited supply of strains and sophisticated baked goods.

For years, I’ve been plagued by ocular migraines.  They arrive at no fixed time, for no particular reason.  And for years, only one thing eases the pain and puts a smile back on my face–the ganja, mon.

Poor Maureen, she had no idea—

After Colorado went recreational, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd ventured to Denver to sample the festivities.  One of our most urbane and astute journalists, she neglected to read the directions clearly marked on her candy bar of choice and ate the whole thing in one sitting.  OMG, the poor woman.  Suffice to say, her lesson in suitable dosing was rather traumatic.  But for newbies, it’s hardly the exception.

The mystery is finally solved….

When a new batch of edibles arrive, the question is always, what is the proper dose?  How to achieve the right “balance?”  It’s all good, but even though the strain is listed on the wrapping, and one can easily find the THC concentration info online, each edible is different.  Should I eat a half and wait a few hours?  Each experience is unique depending on a number of factors, there is no standardization.

Then, a light in the darkness.  Kindred Balance arrives with a breath strip so discreet and predictable that I can easily incorporate it into my day, an amalgam of work and family.  Convenient, quick and reliable, with the same relaxing yet invigorating effect each time.  And, unlike other edibles, not full of sugar, for those of us who are careful about what we ingest.  Hallelujah!

Kelly – Interior & Product Designer

I am a San Francisco interior designer curating and creating chic + discrete products for the cannabis lover.  Here is my story…

As a designer, my attention to detail, devotion to quality and pulse on the design world lead me directly into launching the ideal female cannabis lifestyle brand, KellyGreen.

I believe in the power of good design.  It changes your experience, the way you remember an event, that thing you do next, the lighting, the vibe, the memory.

I have spent 20 years designing beautiful spaces for my clients in San Francisco.  After taking a small roll as Creative Director for a Califonia cannabis brand, I found myself at events like the Emerald Cup and High Times events on a regular basis.  Those were wild times!  I was surrounded by hundreds of bold products and passionate cannabis business owners who’s brands, though perfectly effective, were less than visually appealing to me.

I would arrive home from an event with bags of new products.  I would talk to my girlfriends about what I had seen and what was happening in the cannabis space.  They were shocked, and of course, desperately curious.  In my pint sized Marina apartment, we would try the products I brought back from the shows.  We quickly found ourselves swapping our rośe for craft cannabis.

What we do within our homes, from cooking meals to creating an intimate cannabis experience, should be thoughtfully designed, down to the tray we roll our joints on.

I looked around at the cannabis industry and realized there was a true need for beautifully designed, female-centric cannabis accessories, discrete packaging and a solution to the shaming that is so often associated with cannabis and the people who chose to use the plant: education.

Because the cannabis experience starts with the sacred act of consuming the plant, the way in which we begin this journey matters. I realized that how I prepare for, store, carry and display my cannabis sets the stage for the act itself, which is generally experienced at home.

And so it began.  I spent years designing magazine worthy homes for people.  What we do within our homes, from cooking meals to creating an intimate cannabis experience, should be thoughtfully designed, down to the tray we roll our joints on.

I launched KellyGreen (products launching soon), a cannabis accessories brand for the chic + discrete cannabis lover.  Newbies welcome.

As we build the KG brand and launch for holiday 2018, you will find our products in boutiques and high-end dispensaries as well as online.  I will serve as brand ambassador for the other likeminded cannabis brands as well as creating high-quality, beautifully designed products under the KellyGreen label.

It’s as if Alan Moore took the words from my mouth when he said “I am always fascinated by beautiful things:  architecture, furniture, books.  Beautiful things are prepared with love.  The act of creating something with beauty is a way of bringing good into the world.  Infused with optimism, it says simply: Life is worthwhile.”

Cameron & Nick – Social Influencers

Cannabis is an absolutely incredible medicine. It has been five years since we started using cannabis and our lives have completely changed for the better. Cannabis has allowed us to start our own business, one of which wasn’t fathomable just a few years ago.

We both run a cannabis collective blog called Just Another Jay, focusing on elevating cannabis through a lifestyle approach. Our goal is elevate the plant by documenting and showcasing cannabis brands that believe in creating an industry around quantities that have been ignored in modern business. Having worked in a number of industries, we saw each one had a common theme: a forceful reality of non-inclusion and lies. Brands in the cannabis industry who want to be removed from the “reefer madness” era and to be taken seriously, must work together to provide all people a chance to take part, regardless of sex, color, gender identity or sexual orientation. Our purpose is to make sure the right brands and people are being represented correctly in the industry, while creating space at the table for future cannabis initiatives.

Brands in the cannabis industry who want to be removed from the “reefer madness” era and to be taken seriously, must work together to provide all people a chance to take part, regardless of sex, color, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Cannabis has taken us all over the country and given us the opportunity to work with the best people, all with a common goal to unify the cannabis space.  We are extremely grateful for these moments.

To learn more about us visit justanotherjay.com or follow us on instagram @justanotherjayblog

Michael – Lawyer | Corporate Finance Strategist

I was a biological and medical sciences student at University when I had my first brush with cannabis. At the time, my initial thoughts related to cannabis usage were woven around misunderstandings and confusion as to why there was so much stigma around it, as compared to alcohol.

I would often see friends and classmates at university engage in excessive alcohol use, affecting their grades, social lives, and overall health (particularly in the short term). On the other hand, recreational cannabis consumers were much less prone to hangovers, impaired mistakes, and missed deadlines. I always personally found that cannabis helped provide the ability to look at personal opportunities and challenges from a fresh perspective and brought about a sense of wellness and balance. However, there continued to be underlying guilt and conflicting feelings associated with cannabis consumption.

So, what changed my outlook? The answer is simple. Real-life, face-to-face exposure to the business of cannabis.

Can we imagine a birthday without champagne or a game night without beer? With the impending legalization in Canada and more jurisdictions across the world, I am very excited to see how that scenario might shift, with cannabis having a real possibility to become a substitute, to help people live more enriched, healthier and connected lives.

Having gained my law degree from Canada’s leading law school and being entrenched into the North American cannabis industry in my work at both Cassels Brock and CannaRoyalty, I have had the unique and fortunate opportunity of coming full circle on the topic. Over the past two years, I have been a part of this exciting and evolving space, working towards the mainstreaming of cannabis, while inching towards the goal of eradicating misconceptions and falsehoods associated with it. My corporate strategy and legal counsel role have helped me identify that the way forward in our industry is similar to what we have seen in other consumer-packaged goods industries – informed education regarding safe consumption, innovative product development, and thoughtful marketing and branding of great products. Further, I continue to closely watch the scientific research and development of cannabis advance, as I am optimistic that policy and social attitudes will continue to trend in a positive direction as more encouraging scientific data becomes available to the public.

That said, alcohol continues to be important in social situations in our lives. Can we imagine a birthday without champagne or a game night without beer? With the impending legalization in Canada and more jurisdictions across the world, I am very excited to see how that scenario might shift, with cannabis having a real possibility to become a substitute (or replace the second/third drink), to help people live more enriched, healthier and connected lives.

Today in both my professional and personal circles, I can see that more and more people are beginning to see cannabis as a positive influence in their lives. It has been rewarding to work towards and push the case of removing stigma around cannabis and highlight its many advantages – even if it’s in a small way.

Ricki – Owner and Director

I have been using cannabis since my late teens as it helped with social anxiety. But today, and for quite some time, in my adult years I have used it more intentionally. When I first tried and continued pursuing cannabis it was for social purposes. It was a substitute while others drank because most alcohol didn’t agree with me.

Early days was for fun and social connections with friends, and it still is! I may choose different ways to use it now; such as choosing a CBD capsule for physical discomforts after an intense workout or a long shoot day, or smoking at the end of my day to unwind and relax after the kids are in bed.

My business, Scout + Briar, helps with style, aesthetic and overall fine-tuned details for photoshoots and sometimes cannabis helps with creativity to curate mood boards and planning for a photo shoot while helping clients bring their vision to reality on a project.

I’d like to help by sharing with people who are curious or in the unknown about cannabis and do it from a female perspective that can highlight it artistically, creatively and within a context that shows a positive cultural movement.

There are times when overall stress becomes a lot and it can be put to rest by using cannabis.  It doesn’t hide all my life’s problems! But cannabis contributes to my happiness and reduces those stresses when I choose to use it.

Today, cannabis means a lot more to me than it did from the beginning years of partaking. I am excited to share my experiences with it and be transparent to showing my support. I’d like to help by sharing with people who are curious or in the unknown about cannabis and do it from a female perspective that can highlight it artistically, creatively and within a context that shows a positive cultural movement.  It can be just as pleasurable as drinking wine with friends.

It is time, more than ever before, to have healthy conversations about the ways we improve our overall well being and happiness.

Kiki – Wellness Blogger | Marketing Consultant

I’m all about that healthy life. From sprouting grains and legumes, making nut mylks and kombucha, and of course growing my own herbs – I’ve always had a passion for nutrition and consciously nourishing myself with only the best of the best.

Soon enough, that passion for nutrition turned into something a whole lot more…whole. I realized that being “healthy” required a holistic approach, including mindful movement, fostering a supportive community, getting enough sunlight and generally being outdoors more – and lots of other things. Green juices alone weren’t going to cut it if I wanted to live the health-optimized life I’d always dreamed of.

This journey into exploring wellness from multiple perspectives – including tech, “biohacking”, all the way to metaphysical and more esoteric approaches to health – has brought me to build Mindfully Exponential. It’s a community for all things (and practices) that will add quality longevity to our lives in a way that’s fun, accessible, and always beautiful!

So how does cannabis fit into all of this? If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have likely felt uncomfortable and deemed you as a little weird and sketchy.

Today, the times have changed, and I’m proud to say I’m catching on.

While I haven’t used cannabis myself, I am quickly becoming well aware of the various use cases where it is changing lives for the better. This is an exciting topic that I’m exploring more and more on my blog – as the enthusiastic feedback continues to drive it forward.

Why is it that we can walk into a grocery store and easily (and legally!) purchase food that is ridden with aspartame, corn syrup, MSG and other chemicals and toxins that have proven to reek havoc on our bodies and our long-term health – but we scoff at the concept of using a plant to help soothe our pains and illnesses?

Why is it that we can walk into a grocery store and easily (and legally!) purchase food that is ridden with aspartame, corn syrup, MSG and other chemicals and toxins that have proven to reek havoc on our bodies and our long-term health – but we scoff at the concept of using a plant to help soothe our pains and illnesses?

I think it’s time to change our story around cannabis, what it represents, and most importantly: what it can offer. A key component in this will be branding and marketing (sad but true). If this healing product can be presented in a way that’s aesthetically-pleasing, accessible, and downright aspirational – rather than the stoner culture it sometimes still gets stuck in, then I believe we’ll all be better off.

I’m not saying we all need to use it – I’m simply advocating for our right to choose, in a way that’s respected and embraced with love and acceptance.

Sarina – Yoga Instructor | Entrepreneur

I‘ve always had a love and passion for anything movement and it’s always fed and shaped my career choices. From teaching ballet in Chicago, to dancing for Sesame Street or performing for US Military Tours, I’ve been grateful for my opportunities. That is, until I received a dance contract I thought was going to be life changing, and it ended up being my worst nightmare.

I was assigned to dance for seven months on an Italian cruise ship, but after the first day I knew I was in trouble. I couldn’t communicate with anyone (they all spoke Italian), I had no friends and I was overworked. I was also harassed on a daily basis. In the end, I lost my ability to feel. Feel anything. Passion, love, and even physical pain no longer existed in my world.  It took me to a very dark place.

Cannabis has brought my passion, love and ability to feel back. It has calmed my fears, helped me overcome triumphs physically and mentally and helps me be the best me I can be.

When I returned I was diagnosed with PTSD and was given the the usual prescriptions. Anti-depressants, sleeping pills, amphetamines, anti-anxiety pills, mood reducers, you name it. But every pill I took only made me feel less. I didn’t feel human anymore. I was scared, and scared to be alive.

Then everything changed.

A plant I had never considered using my previous thirty years of life, suddenly became my medicine.

Cannabis has brought my passion, love and ability to feel back. It has calmed my fears, helped me overcome triumphs physically and mentally and helps me be the best me I can be. It has shaped my whole existence. I use the plant to manage symptoms from my PTSD, anorexia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and depression and it is the only medication I use.

I’ve been inspired by the plant so much I’ve devoted my life to sharing it. I started my own business, Medicated Mavens, incorporating the acceptance of cannabis and the use of it as a tool for a healthy life in practices such as yoga, dance and meditation. This has allowed me to share, teach and create a community of people who are witness to this magical plant.

Dina – Business Owner | Creative Director

It wasn’t until I made my first proactive decision to use cannabis as medication that I truly understood its potential. I have two crooked discs in my lower lumbar and on occasion they pinch the nerves and it’s incredibly painful. I’ve seen a chiropractor, an acupuncturist and my primary care physician who has prescribed plenty of pain meds and muscle relaxers. While I’ve gotten some relief from these options I despise taking pills.

It was recently suggested that I try a 1:1 of RSO. It was a complete game changer for me. It’s every bit as effective as pain meds but without the negative side effects. By using RSO with an additional healthy dose of CBD, I’m clear enough to go about my day and can sit at my desk and work comfortably. Before using this method, I experimented with heating pads, pillows and of course pills, but nothing brought the relief I sought.

As Owner and Creative Director of square peg creative, this relief is crucial to my well-being, as I spend much of my work life creating. I’m a designer at heart and through hard work I’ve been able to turn my passion into a business I love. While my business has clients in several industries, my favorite businesses are my cannabis clients because they challenge me to elevate their brands and build in a new level of professionalism in an often-misunderstood marketplace. Ultimately by building awareness and elevating their brands, I help to contribute to the health and well-being of the patients they serve.

My positive experiences with cannabis has also allowed me to help others. Most recently, I was approached by the spouse of my very first client (from back in 2012) when I started my business square peg creative. Over the years we’ve become friends, so she knows of the work I’ve been doing in the cannabis industry. She reached out because she has painful arthritis, recently had surgery and is still experiencing pain. She was curious about cannabis and wanted to try it to see if she could get some relief.

Cannabis truly provides relief. How many people could find relief but aren’t given the opportunity? The answer is far too many.

Because of my background and wonderful clients, I was overjoyed to be able to refer her to my friends across the industry. From obtaining a medical marijuana card to becoming educated on the importance of testing and safety, to finding dispensaries that provide educational workshops and high quality medicinal options, my friend was given the roadmap to relief.

Cannabis truly provides relief. How many people could find relief but aren’t given the opportunity? The answer is far too many.

My mother passed away several years ago. She was a transplant patient and experienced several dreadful side effects from the drugs used to keep her transplant kidney “healthy”. I really wish I knew then what I know now because I could have helped her significantly improve the quality of her final years.

You never know the opportunity you have to change someone’s life for the better. Therefore, I share my story in hopes to inspire those who would otherwise never give cannabis a try.

AJ – Entrepreneur

My name is AJ and I’d like to share my relationship with cannabis. But first, a little about how I got to this moment.

I served eight years in the Utah Army National Guard and two in the Arizona Air National Guard. I spent twelve months in Ramadi Iraq and served in multiple capacities including patrolling major highways to either find or prevent IEDs from being placed along the major route. I never had any trouble mentally while serving or coming home. I didn’t see or do anything that I couldn’t handle and so I thought I was going to be fine.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Combat has an impact on everyone regardless of the job description. Some more than others sure, but the very fact that every day is spent not getting killed, being trapped behind barbed wire and barriers, or having a routine that is like groundhogs day for that long causes a shift. Most importantly, in my opinion, you create a bond with the people you serve with that CANNOT be duplicated in the outside world (or at least so I thought … more about this later). That’s not a bad thing when you’re in, but when you get out it can be very lonely.

I believe that we as human beings belong in tribes or communities where we can work together and serve each other and our lives are better for it. I believe that most civilians have no idea what this means or feels like so they don’t know what they are missing. I also believe that when a person discovers that feeling of belonging and service to their brothers or sisters standing next to them it can never be reversed. The hormones – serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline are a powerful combination. Not many places offer those simultaneously, and when they are taken away, it leaves an emptiness.

I found through joining a CrossFit gym that I could walk into a class with my fellow members and when the workout got really tough, the dopamine and adrenaline would start flowing. The only missing ingredient was serotonin, and that was delivered in the form of someone in class encouraging me to finish or keep pushing – just like when I was in the military.

When I consume Cannabis the stresses of being an entrepreneur melts away and I can be fully engaged with my kids and be silly with them. This allows me to create strong bonds which will help my children grow to be contributing adults. This lack of connection with parents and children is why I believe we see so much violence and entitlement with our youth.

I believe that most veterans can handle the experience of war, I think where we struggle is having a purpose or a mission to accomplish and a team to go to battle with. Exercise in group environments fulfilled that for me and I see it helping other friends who have the same background. Most of them would tell you that training with people is the one thing that made a difference.

I was raised in a small town in southern Utah. Cannabis was always discussed as being no different than heroin, meth, or prescription painkillers. If you consumed marijuana, you where a deadbeat loser, a pothead, and you would never accomplish anything. I was a rebellious teenager (very tame by most people’s standards) and would smoke when I could, maybe three to four times total before joining the military and then only stopped because I wanted to serve honorably and those were the rules. Yet after returning from war, I found cannabis had a different place in my life that went against what I had always been taught.

I am an entrepreneur with three daughters. I also have ADD and dyslexia which makes it hard for me to focus on anything unless I have a task that excites me like my businesses. Sometimes the problem with ADD is that I get so focused on one task that I fail to manage my time or see other things around me that need my attention. I am very passionate about my businesses so they take up a big part of my focus.

I am very committed to my children and I even homeschool my oldest. I want my girls to know how much I love them and care about what they care about. Cannabis helps me to calm my mind down so that I can be present and playful with them. When I consume Cannabis the stresses of being an entrepreneur melts away and I can be fully engaged with my kids and be silly with them. This allows me to create strong bonds which will help my children grow to be contributing adults. This lack of connection with parents and children is why I believe we see so much violence and entitlement with our youth.

As a business owner in the fitness space I spend a lot of time studying the health implications of using cannabis as well as testing it on myself. I train very hard and I have not seen any negative effects of cannabis on my health or performance in the gym. Quite the opposite in fact. When I train on cannabis I am able to push harder and longer. I don’t do this all the time and I don’t recommend this for everyone (as this isn’t my purpose for consuming it) . I have been doing the same type of training for ten years now, so I know when to push and when to pull back. There are also some really great topical lotions that can do wonders for a recovering body or a targeted muscle group.

In the end, I choose to share my story and my relationship with cannabis in an effort to help others who can relate to my background. Cannabis can be helpful for those who use it intentionally and responsibly.

Anita – Microbiology Technologist

Hello, my name is Anita Sommers and I am joining the Cannabis team. I am a Veteran, Certified Microbiology Technologist, scientist, Certified Essential Oils Coach, and a 10-year patient with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Recently, I have added the title of Founder and CEO, as I am starting up my own brand, CBD Genie. With integrity, scientific mind, and an empathetic heart I’m proud to fight the good fight and educate the masses about the amazing powers of the beautiful cannabis plant using our very own biochemistry via the Endocannabinoid System.

My passion is driven by my own personal testimony and positive experience with cannabis. I started having symptoms of a UC flare up which includes fatigue, severe abdominal pain, fever, and painful and bloody mucoid diarrhea. These combined indicators always result in an immediate trip to the emergency room and a lengthy recovery. Who wants to talk about that?  It is certainly not an easy conversation, nor a delicate icebreaker. However, it is my reality and I want to talk about it. I want to share my positive experience about how cannabis has changed my life with everyone, even shout it from the mountain tops. It has given me my life back. My goal is to now educate and reinforce how the amazing cannabis plant works with our body’s own biochemistry.

I want to share my positive experience about how cannabis has changed my life with everyone, even shout it from the mountain tops. It has given me my life back.

After 8 years and 10 months in the United States Air Force, I attended Texas Tech University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, with a double minor in Chemistry and Spanish. I feel that I excel at signal transduction pathways. Understanding the compounds and how they fit together, lock and key, is a beautiful and powerful story. Lucky for me I was diagnosed with UC seven months into my collegiate career. Talk about “shitty timing,” pun intended. I empathize with those who suffer from life altering medical conditions. I understand the struggle.  I know what if feels like to want to give up.  I’ve been in that very dark, isolated place and know how very scary and lonely it can be. However, I believe it takes a very strong person to get up every single day and face the day knowing it could be a painful one.  We are the definition of resiliency.

After graduation, I worked in the microbiology department diagnosing infectious diseases at a clinical reference lab, and continue to do so on my free time. Once I realized I could put my laboratory and collegiate knowledge to use in the understanding of analytical testing of cannabis, I knew I could better explain the benefits for quality tested product and their compounds. I knew I had found my niche, something I could put my heart into because cannabis has given me my life back and I want to help others by getting involved.

I look forward to sharing my “crappy” story in hopes that I can help others going through similar struggles. I feel there needs to be an air of humor in this because realistically, life is short and no one gets out alive, but it can be made better through education about our choices for all-natural alternatives. We need to lead with science and explain why these compounds work. My career path and life experiences have brought me to this point, and I know this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I truly believe that this has become my calling and I am stepping up to the plate to help as many people as humanly possible.

Mary – Great-Grandmother

I‘m 97 years-old and I’ve been in Arizona since 1951, but I’m originally from Mississippi. My husband was a doctor, and we moved around to Baltimore to John Hopkins and then Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN before coming to Arizona. All five of my grandchildren except two live in Arizona, and I have six great grandchildren and all but two live here as well.

I didn’t believe in taking medication and I never took any kind of medications my entire life including ibuprofen and tylenol, but I had been in pain a number of years and needed a solution. I didn’t know if it was arthritis or what, but when you’re 97 years old, you don’t always know what’s happening with your joints and you expect that.

My hands are kind of deformed, the knuckles are large and I still have a scar where I used to have a ring but I couldn’t get it off without tearing my skin. I can’t wear rings or anything anymore, but I don’t care about that. Just so long as I don’t hurt, that’s all I care about. I’ve given up wearing rings, I’ve been there and done that.

My perception of marijuana was “it’s what the kids are smoking and using to get into trouble”, but I didn’t know anything… that’s all I knew.

My hand pain was unbearable and I was desperate to find a solution. I reached out to friends who all wanted to help with their different ideas on remedies. I was given so many salves, and I tried all of them. None of them did any good.

Previously, I had never had any exposure to marijuana, I honestly knew nothing. My perception of marijuana was “it’s what the kids are smoking and using to get into trouble”, but I didn’t know anything… that’s all I knew. But when you’re not educated it’s easy to think that way, it’s really about education.

After learning a bit more I decided to give marijuana oil a test, after my son initially recommended it to me and brought me a sample to try, and I started putting it on my thumbs and eventually my entire hands. Needless to say, it stopped my hurting hands.

Now I use it every night, and I used to use it every day as well but at my care facility they constantly want us washing our hands to prevent colds from spreading. I have issues with that… I’d prefer to use it all day.

It’s such a nice thing not to be hurting, it really is, and you try to be nice and pleasant but if you’re hurting it makes it much harder. It is just phenomenal, and I’d love to know more about why it works, because it really has helped me. It’s been such a relief, I don’t know what I’d do if my son didn’t provide it for me… I guess I’d have to break in to where it’s made.

Michael – Sales Manager

In 2006 I was involved in a devastating knee injury that ended my high school football career, doctors told me that it was a meniscus tear (which is a minor ligament in the knee cap) but it turned out to be multiple fractures, stress fractures, contusions and bone damage as well as multiple partially torn ligaments. I played the rest of the season on it a mere four weeks later instead of the time it would have taken to heal completely (9 – 10 months). My knee never fully recovered and doctors told me I would struggle with pain management all my life and prescribed everything from Hydrocodone to Oxycontin to Morphine. Everyday I was on one of these medications or another in order to alleviate the pain and my life, including work and school, suffered.

Many people have this negative stigma towards cannabis; while using cannabis I’ve worked full-time jobs, graduated with multiple degrees, pursued sports and built a successful career.

I switched to cannabis (under the radar and without anyone’s knowledge) in small doses in the morning and evening. My knee cap improved and I later completed the track season (two months later) setting high school records and competing in state competition. My school work improved and I went from a struggling C average midway through the year to predominantly A’s. I ended up graduating high school with a 4.1. I continued my cannabis microdosing into college and finished with a 3.5 while working a full time job and excelling my career. I didn’t realize it at the time (because I started to smoke recreationally) but all the while this had been medication for me to alleviate pain, sleep better, remove chronic migraines, and improve creativity with my guitar and musical performance and songwriting.

Many people have this negative stigma towards cannabis; while using cannabis I’ve worked full-time jobs, graduated with multiple degrees, pursued sports and built a career. Despite my knee injury I even practiced martial arts for five years competitively. It’s time we took a second look at cannabis.

Chris – Business Owner

My name is Chris. I own Hempful Farms Cafe Hemp Products and I’m the founder and creator of Zonka bars/OG Zonka Bars edible company, which was raided in 2012. Because of this raid, I am also a POW of the “war on drugs”. I have served almost six years between two terms in prison for being a cannabis user treating my Crohn’s disease.  Our medical program was approved in Arizona in 2010 but dispensaries didn’t open until 2013. I started my edible company in 2011 in hopes to supply medicine to patients but was charged with fifteen felonies and served two years. I was released in February 2017 and in three months we have taken our products to scale, distributed thirty sku’s to five states and have placed product in over thirty dispensaries. We hold the trademark on Arizona’s only hemp infused cafe and retail store and plan to open several nationwide. We also are teaming up with a group on a dispensary license and grow this summer, rolling out OG Zonka Bars.

I have served almost six years between two terms in prison for being a cannabis user treating my Crohn’s disease.

Brian – Photographer | Cinematographer

My relationship with cannabis, like many in my generation, started at an extremely young age, but not quite how you would think. Growing up, I was involved with a myriad of sports including basketball, baseball, wrestling and motocross and I was also on track to earn my Eagle Scout accolades. Being involved in so many extra curricular activities on top of my education and family life, there wasn’t ever really an interest in experimenting with cannabis or even alcohol as it was generally frowned upon, especially in the motocross scene. Sure, I had friends that I knew were into smoking pot and drinking, but I wasn’t on that page yet. Like many others, I believed that smoking pot made people lazy and less intelligent and less driven. Until one day after my father picked me up from my eighth class to take me home.

We stopped at the local pharmacy by our place so he could pick something up, but I opted to stay in the car while he went in. He always carried a briefcase with him everywhere he went as well as what people might call a “nurse” or “manpurse”. I knew he always kept a box of Altoids and some Carmex in the murse. I decided I wanted a mint and proceeded to open his bag while he was inside. What I found in that green and white tin wasn’t mints, it was a small metal pipe. And what I found in his Carmex wasn’t lip balm, it was ground up pot. My values and beliefs as I knew them at the time were shattered. How could my father, someone I looked up to so much and who had achieved so much success in his life be a pothead? I had to ask him why he would make this a part of his life. His answer to me was surprisingly simple. He told me, “Son, marijuana isn’t what most people make it out to be and I like to enjoy myself after a long day of hard work. Some day you will understand, but if you have more questions, I’m here to answer them for you.”

I wish that other people knew the immense healing powers that cannabis has. Not only physical healing, but mental as well.

Of course, I didn’t really ask him any more questions, because at that time in a young person’s life, spending time with your friends tends to mean more to you than your family time. So, naturally I started spending more time around my friends who I knew smoked pot, including my older brother. I also began to think that if my father smoked, then it can’t be all that bad. Long story short, I started using cannabis at the young age of twelve and I have continued to use cannabis almost every day of my life since I was eighteen years old. I am now thirty years old and cannabis continues to be a part of my daily routine.

Cannabis has and continues to improve my life in many ways. It’s introduced me to new friends and communities. It’s revealed my true inner creative and allowed me to explore other ways of thinking and viewing life. But mostly, it has inspired me to be the best person I can be because I am determined to show others that smoking cannabis can and will improve your quality of life, if used responsibly. It inspired me to drop out of the corporate rat race and start my own photography and film business. Something that I aspired to achieve when I was in high school, but was told it wasn’t a viable career path by many people. Using cannabis allowed me to think for myself and determine what was right for me in my journey when I was being told otherwise.

I wish that other people knew the immense healing powers that cannabis has. Not only physical healing, but mental as well. Cannabis has and continues to help me in fighting depression and low self-esteem. It is also a continuing source of inspiration and introspection in my life, something I continually need to keep my grounded.

 

Sonia – Law Firm Partner

I‘ve been using cannabis safely and responsibly as a daily supplement for over 25 years of my life.

Cannabis helped me stay calm, cool, collected and focused as I graduated at the top of my class in college and law school, and earned high scores on multi state bar exams. It continues to help ease the anxiety and stress of practicing law and running my own law practice, engaging in several dynamic community engagements, and raising a family, while at the same time, supporting the creative and emotional parts of my brain. The therapeutic relief it provides to multiple areas of my life makes it one of the most remarkable substances on the planet.  I am rarely if ever ill and generally a very healthy, happy and successful business woman.

Cannabis, when used responsibly, can be a great supplement to multiple parts of your life. Don’t knock it unless you first try it.

Cannabis helped me stay calm, cool, collected and focused as I graduated at the top of my class in college and law school, and earned high scores on multi state bar exams.

Danielle – Restaurateur & Chef

woke up to a lovely spring time Arizona morning.  The sun was flooding through my curtains and my bed was so comfortable.  I adjusted my pillow and started to roll out of bed. This time my legs did not move.  I tried again and then panicked just as any 13 year old girl would.  I was alone; nobody heard me call out.  I used my arms to pull myself off the bed.  The pain in my back was electrifying.  I couldn’t reach the phone. I laid there for hours and cried.

Cannabis is a part of the fabric of my wellness.

This is when I met homeopathic medicine and eastern healing arts. My Uncle Mike taught me to find relief in meditation and moving my body. As a teenager and young adult I continued to suffer from debilitating back pain.  Again and again I would find myself in tears unable to move, paralyzed from pain.  Western doctors prescribed more opiates than I cared to swallow.  I pursued my passion as a community activist and Chef for the past 10 years. I chose to managing my pain the best I knew how without poisoning myself, which meant practicing qi gong, yoga, meditation and utilizing cannabis.  

I am a medical marijuana card holder in AZ.  Cannabis is a part of the fabric of my wellness. I am an active advocate for a sustainable food system, local farming, local viticulture and reshaping our relationship with real food.  I wake up each day with the ability not only to move my body but to move the bar further toward a better food culture.

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