Female Friendships and Cannabis – A Perfect Match

Cannabis gives me a greater sense of connection to my friends. Cannabis breaks down barriers that differences build.  It opens us up to vulnerability, acceptance, love, and respect. Friendships flourish through social meet-ups and the shared acceptance of cannabis. 

My name is Patty Roe, CEO of Pink Haze and Pink Sesh.  And This is my story of Female Friendships and Cannabis – a Perfect Match.

Conflicted as a Republican operative and a cannabis consumer, I looked around to see if I could make a stealth exit from the Congressional Chiefs of Staff reception. This was a typical move in Washington DC but usually because someone was “overserved” or wanted to ditch an overzealous intern. For me, it was past time to sneak a toke of cannabis. Cannabis was my social consumption choice and helped me cope when drinkers told the same stories over and over as they swayed back and forth.

If my peers in Washington DC knew I was a “stoner”, my career would be over. On Capitol Hill, news travels fast and opinions form before sentences end. Hiding from professional peers didn’t bother me as much as hiding from my friends. At times I stayed home because of my appetite for joints over cocktails. It wasn’t an accepted way to blow off steam or decompress. I denied social outings and sometimes felt isolated and disconnected. I wasn’t authentic about my love for cannabis and it affected my female friendships – the relationships I relied on the most in a stressful climate. 

Without genuineness, friendships fail or remain shallow and disintegrate. And without deep and meaningful female friendships, life just moves along a path without the sense of deep connection that women need for overall wellness. I didn’t realize then how much I craved acceptance among my friends. But in my fear of losing too much, I never gave them the opportunity to fully know who I was, cannabis and all. 

It was later when I found the power of true authenticity and transparency within the realm of female friendships.

The power of female friendships is strong. Women crave strong alliances and need the kind of emotional support that male friends and husbands can’t provide. Let’s face it, most of our emotional and mental strength comes from bonds with strong females. Women are intuitive and listen, support, and empower each other. The development of strong and healthy friendships is something all women can benefit from. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, women with close social and emotional ties have a better survival and fewer reoccurrences within the first few years of being diagnosed with cancer. It is undeniable that women need women to live a happy and healthy life.

It wasn’t until my forties, when I moved to a California, a cannabis legal state, that I became transparent and authentic about my passion for the controversial plant medicine. Even though, as a political consultant, I still hid my cannabis consumption, outside of work, my friendships progressed. I discovered that cannabis is a female-friendship gamechanger. Many friends enjoyed toking and the ones who didn’t were happy if I was. 

However, women have struggled for decades with the stigma of cannabis use. Even in a legal state, women are judged. It isn’t viewed as feminine to see a women with a joint in her hand. And God forbid if a woman comes home to a toke over a glass of wine. How could she possibly take care of the family, make dinner, help with homework, clean, and finish her work after everyone is asleep? 

There’s a strain for that. But that’s a topic for a different article.

Needless to say, even in today’s legal-ish world of cannabis, there are still women hiding their consumption.

So, how do you meet like-minded women? There are many groups based on age, activities, and events that usually involve cocktails. The Junior League, Red Hat Society, and In Her Shoes are examples of great organizations for females to gather. Women find meaningful relationships all of the time by joining these membership groups and are better for it.

But, what if… you don’t care about any of that and you prefer to whoop it up among the clouds? That’s right, there is a special breed of modern women who prefer to socialize around cannabis and crave the kind of friendships that allow them to be themselves. Some women use cannabis to overcome social anxieties so it makes perfect sense to find new friends that are like-minded about their favorite plant. 

It seemed like a dream until women in San Diego started to gather once a month under the name of Pink Sesh Society. Pink because it’s inherently feminine and represents friendship, affection, harmony, inner peace, and approachability. Sesh is an abbreviation of session which is defined as an informal social get-together or meeting to perform a group activity. Society represents the diverse women of all ages that come together to find special friendships and bonds they haven’t found elsewhere. There is no hiding cannabis from this part of their lives. Instead they celebrate it with authentic bonds, relationships, and, most of all, fun.

Some of the Pink Sesh ladies refer to Pink Sesh Society as a “super diverse sorority with weed.” But in this “weed sorority” there is no mold for our sisters. This sisterhood revolves around an aura of acceptance, cooperation, communication, connection, and compassion mutual amongst like-minded, strong women that support each other in different stages of life. It is the epitome of the belief that women must stick together to learn and grow, and possibly take over the world. 

This experience in San Diego and the outpouring of messages from women who want to find their “girl gang” has the Pink Sesh Society on a mission to assist women who prefer the “puff, puff, pass” network model. Pink Sesh Society is growing and offers a national membership that revolves around cannabis, sisterhood, empowerment, and events.

Social jitters have you paralyzed?

Have you ever felt anxious to attend an important event? Take that and multiply it by a hundred. That’s how I feel about most events, even casual occasions like a dinner party at a friend’s home. 

I worry about how to act, if people will like me, and if I will know the right things to say. All of these thoughts send my heart racing and my anxiety levels to the ceiling. I asked my doctor about this hard-to-knock anxiety but he prescribed pills that I didn’t want to take.

Social anxiety is the third largest psychological problem in the United States today. It has been recorded to not only affect at least 15 million Americans a year, but staggering numbers worldwide. 

I run through lists of excuses to avoid events and my social pain altogether. Avoiding social events is nearly impossible but I’ve been fortunate to find cannabis helpful with my condition. When I can’t escape my critical thoughts, I grab my favorite glass pipe filled with Jack Herer and take a nice long drag. As the smoke dances around me, my anxiety fades away. The smoke dissipates from my second drag and so do my fears.

Sativas are known to have a stronger cerebral effect and cause paranoia at times. However, sativas like Jack Herer or Strawberry Cough are different from other sativas, because they produce euphoric qualities and relaxing effects equally. It’s important to find a strain that keeps you alert and social, but relaxed enough to push through social fears that hold us back.

Like other debilitating mental conditions, symptoms and severity are as different as the people that experience them. Sole treatment for social anxiety with cannabis isn’t recommended for everyone, but I feel fortunate to have found which strains help me cope with my symptoms. I don’t miss important events or even think twice about accepting the invitation. OK, maybe I think twice. Not only does cannabis allow me to conquer the anxiety, but also it allows me to make genuine connections with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

If you struggle with social anxiety or jitters, who’s to say cannabis can’t help make a difference? If you live in a recreational state, pick up a strain specific vape and take one puff. Your inner social butterfly may flutter before you.

Ladies Cannabis Club – Take the Pledge

It’s time for modern women to find the sisterhood we’ve been searching for. Pink Haze formally launched the Ladies Cannabis Club in January 2018, bringing together groups of women with different backgrounds to enjoy a monthly lunch sesh filled with laughter, support, sisterhood, and cannabis.

We didn’t stop there; we added a Ladies Cannabis Club pledge pin. Together as the Ladies Cannabis Club sisters, we pledge to live exceptionally, accept no judgment, be our beautiful selves, live by our own rules, and empower ourselves to empower others.  The pin we wear reminds us all that we are in this together.

Ladies, the world is ours and we’re taking it back.

Choosing Strains for the Purpose Driven Warrior

“There’s an app for that” has been replaced with “there’s a strain for that.” 

Walk into a dispensary and listen. People request strains for sleep, anxiety, creativity, nausea, sex drive, and any other day-to-day issues. Budtenders enlighten consumers about strains they’ve personally tested or are known for certain characteristics.

As women who hustle, we are in constant search for strains to assist with our drive and focus. Here’s the quick lowdown on our top five favorites over the past year of research.

Durban Poison

A powerful sativa, Durban Poison has an aroma of citrus and pine needles and tastes of licorice and mint. This sweet piney strain delivers an intense boost of energy to kick you off the couch and toward tasks that require a clear head. Whether you’re doing laundry or completing financials for your business, you’ll be doing it with motivation, concentration, and best of all bliss. One last shout out to Pink Haze’s MVP, due to the levels of the THCV cannabinoid, Durban is known to curb your appetite. Step away from the bon bons!

Jack Herer

Another popular sativa is Jack Herer with hints of lemon and woody spice to the palate. Jack is known for mood and energy elevation so it’s used among the stressed and depressed with good reason. However, once you get that uplifted euphoric spirit, you will be inspired and energized to conquer a new task creatively and happily. This strain is also known to assist with ADD/ADHD and nausea. It was named after, Jack Herer, the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, who spent his life fighting for cannabis legalization. We love Jack!

Green Crack

A sativa originally known as Cush, Green Crack is known for its sweet flavor with tropical and citrus notes. This strain will make you want to kick off your shoes and dance to a happy song… right before you tackle that blog you’ve been meaning to write for the past seven days. As a favorite of Snoop Dogg, who gave it the name Green Crack, it’s also known to help ease the pain of arthritis, headaches, and PMS as well as symptoms of anorexia, depression, and stress. If Snoop likes it…

Lemon Haze

We don’t need us to tell you about the sweet and fragrant citrus smell of this sativa. Lemon Haze is a fast-acting cerebral elevation as well as a mental buzz that will have you searching for upbeat and stimulating conversation. It does not disappoint for brainstorming ideas with partners and collaborations or even sneak a quick puff to have a full evening of fun and laughs with the family. Watch out, this one could make you sit the kids in front of a movie while you and Dad… well, you know.

Sour Diesel

This sativa-dominate hybrid packs in a diesel gas aroma with a hint of lemon on the palate. Its invigorating cerebral buzz opens the door to all sorts of creativity. Did someone ask you to play Legos for the umpteenth time? You just might want to. Commonly used to relieve anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. Sour Diesel is a good daytime flower and will surely give you a head start… or should we say a full tank?

A Guy’s Perspective Written by a Girl, Of Course

The other day I had a conversation with a guy friend (who runs a distribution business) about Pink Haze and Pink Sesh. Summer and I are at a point where we need to make tough decisions that will have a long-term impact on our future. While talking, my friend went on a rant about how much he believed in Pink Haze and Pink Sesh Society and how it was an easy sell if we wanted to partner with a larger organization.

He went on and on as I sat on the other end of the phone. He continued to sell me on my own company. He mentioned a few things I hadn’t thought of and my mind wandered… then with great emphasis, he ended his rant with:

“We cater to luxury.

We cater to women.

And, guess what?

We smoke weed.

Fuck you.”

And so a new tag line for the Pink family was born. Thanks to… a man. And I am truly thankful. We edited it slightly:

We celebrate women.

We celebrate luxury.

And, guess what?

We smoke weed.

Fuck you.

Ladies, are you in?

I Gotta Make It – An Afternoon w/M80

Up Close and Personal

Trap Kelly (aka M80), a rising sensation who croons like Chris Brown and can spit with the best of them, was born and raised as Nadir Wilkes in the rough neighborhoods of Paterson, New Jersey, now the second largest concentration of Arab immigrants in the U.S. The twenty-six year old sports a .38 Special tattoo over the entirety of his hand and music notes inked above one eyebrow – only two of many tattoos that cover most of his visible skin.

You can usually find a medium built, muscular Kelly with different hairstyles from mohawks to cornrows, a gold grill, designer high tops, and thick chains draping from his tatted neck. Two diamond encrusted emblems scream from his chest – “M80” and “ZooGang”. His appearance demands attention but his demeanor can be quite different.

Today there was no persona, just a down to earth guy with a big smile welcoming me to his hood in the heart of New Jersey.

Dressed in grey sweat pants and a black t-shirt, he led a quick tour of the modest and sparsely furnished town home he shares with two other artists. He stops at what he calls the “booth”, a small room with ceilings and walls covered in acoustic foam, a futon, and a microphone. With his first mixtape releasing later this year, he recalls days in his childhood when he wanted to be a rap artist. With a voice made for radio, low and buttery, he laughed, almost giggled, as he recalled his first lyrics at the age of nine, “I be doing things my way, you can catch me doing sixty on the highway.” After learning that sixty wasn’t fast, or cool, his short-lived dream and the sign on his bedroom door, Nadir’s Studio, disappeared. Years later he found himself behind bars writing poetry to a girlfriend on the outside. His cellmates encouraged him to use his poetry as lyrics and the long forgotten and fleeting dreams of rapping were reborn.

Kelly rolls a blunt as some of his newer beats fill the room. He didn’t know the title of the blog is Let’s be Blunt but it was the perfect time to start our conversation.

A Kid in the Projects

Stoic as he speaks about his childhood, he recalls memories in the Paterson projects. “You got a whole bunch of kids running around together with lots of freedom. I never had to be out in the streets when I was younger…” Kelly’s mom was sixteen and his father seventeen when he was born. His mother raised him and he says, “I’m cool with my dad. I feel like my pops probably did what he could, I guess.”

He talks about two strong male influences in his life and points to “Kent” tatted on his neck. At age six, Kelly met his grandfather, Kent, who lived in a big home with muscular white friends. He covered a big smile with the back of his hand. “That’s when I fell in love with him.” He later learned it was a halfway house where his grandfather lived after serving twenty years. Kelly suffered a devastating loss at age 13, when Kent died.

Casper, his other Grandfather, was in his life since birth but passed away four years ago. He smiled and held the blunt away from his face. “He wasn’t an old grandpa. He was young as hell…” His smile faded, he took a deep breath, and his voice tapered off. “I loved him to death. I almost died when he died.”

The tight relationship with his grandfathers prepared him for early parenting. Kelly’s face softens with an ear-to-ear grin when he thinks of his two sons under the age of five and eight-year-old daughter. “They love me. Hell yeah, I’m their daddy.” His discipline style is firm and he communicates with his children like adults, which he attributes to their constant growth. Although Kelly didn’t get on a plane until he was twenty-four, the kids have already been to Disney. He shakes his head as he remembers on the third day at Disney his son just wanted to go see Grandma. Like every parent, Kelly wants his children to have more than he did, but he wants them to appreciate it.

The Cannabis Road

At the ripe age of nine, Kelly encountered his first experience with cannabis. He rode his bike outside the housing complex when a neighbor walked by and Kelly asked, “Yo, what’s up? What are you doin’?” He said he was going to score weed. Kelly was shocked at his honesty. He knew what it was but was never around it. He experimented with cigarettes at the time so he asked, “Can I smoke with you?” The neighbor responded affirmative and young Kelly couldn’t believe his ears.

When the neighbor returned, he walked past Kelly, who now sat on the stairs. Kelly didn’t say anything but the neighbor turned around and asked, “Hey, little boy, you coming?” Kelly ran up the stairs and thought, “I’m about to smoke some weed. Some cool shit is about to happen.”

Young Kelly hit the blunt twice. “I was so fucking high. I had that laugh that you can’t hear because you’re laughing so hard.” He shrugged his shoulders up and down and rocked back and forth with a silent wide-open mouth. All of a sudden, they heard his mother call his name outside the complex and knock on the door; he was told to hide in the bedroom with his neighbor’s older girlfriend. “We were looking in each other’s eyes and shit. I don’t know, it was like a movie. I wondered if she liked me.” He chuckles. “Now that I look back, I don’t think she probably did.” Kelly eventually slipped by his mom, who was doing someone’s hair, and made it to the safety of his bed where he slept off his buzz and didn’t revisit cannabis again for years.

Kelly’s first tattoo, concealable under a tank top on his shoulder blade, came at fourteen without parental consent. He confided in his mom’s friend about the new addition and within minutes she turned around and ratted him out. His arms flail in the air as he speaks about his mother’s reaction and demand to have it removed. When she saw the tattoo, she asked, “What the fuck is that?” Her eyes watered when he explained it was her initials. “After that, I just went crazy because I realized once you get one, nobody can take it from you.” He doesn’t love every tattoo he has, but it doesn’t bother him because they all have meaning.

Trap Kelly, The Artist

At seventeen, he faced charges as an adult for armed robbery. The ten-year prison sentence haunted him, but what could have been the worst predicament of his lifetime may have given him a career.

When Kelly was young and needed money, he did what he could to get it without stealing from friends or acquaintances. It caught up to him and he fought against being tried as an adult to avoid ten-years in prison. Kelly was sentenced to four years as a juvenile, for armed robbery and got out on parole after two. He received his GED in the youth house and later earned a certificate in manufacturing, technology, and welding. Kelly spent a short time working for BMW until he finally took the advice from his cellmates to use his poetry for lyrics.

Kelly’s mother played DMX, Erika Badu, Mary J Blige and the Isley Brothers while getting ready for the club when he was younger. “That’s my favorite artist, DMX. That’s what made me like music.” DMX is still Kelly’s favorite artist; it’s unclear if it’s for talent or nostalgia. With his first mixtape releasing soon, the only way he describes his sound is “Trap Kelly.” He focuses on his own vibe which lands anywhere from rap to hip hop to whatever Kelly feels at the moment. “I listen to music, I just don’t listen to be inspired.” Over the last year or so, Kelly has attracted a large online fan base. “If you want to listen to me, it’s got to be by choice or you stumble on my stuff on Soundcloud and decide to like it.”

Kelly has the support of his New Jersey music crew, Zoo Gang, represented by one of the diamond emblems usually around his neck and led by Fetty Wap, a recent phenomenon in the rap world. “Wap” and Kelly embarked on their music career together before Wap had his first major hit, “Trap Queen” in 2014. Trap Queen is a love song within the urban drug culture. M80, Kelly’s rap alias, is featured in several Fetty Wap tracks and Wap included him in his Welcome to the Zoo Tour. There were plenty of major artists that would have paid to be on the tour but Wap said, “nah, I want my niggas to be on that shit, man.”

M80s Edible Gummies

Kelly’s most recent project includes his close friend, Jon Gornbein, who moved to San Diego from Michigan and founded a company, KINDdistCo, within the cannabis industry last year. Gornbein has worked with musicians such as Kid Rock, and owns the music label, Protekted. Kelly describes Jon as humble and positive; the type of people he likes. Gornbein said, “I wanted to collaborate; his music and our edible are explosive like an M80.” Gornbein created an edible named after Kelly’s rap alias. The “M80s” gummy is twenty micro-dosed pieces containing five milligrams of THC each in a hologram-branded tin. A powerful buzz if you eat all at once, however, most people take one or two for a holistic approach to pain or to relax and socialize after a long day of work, much like a glass of wine. The gummies hit the cannabis scene in mid-2017 and are carried and sought after in many California dispensaries up and down the coast. Handcrafted, the soft jelly gummy formula comes in cinnamon, watermelon, pineapple, and red velvet. Kelly hopes to release fruit punch in the future and talks about the business world with gratitude. “You learn a lot about people and it’s a lot of footwork but you’re getting high every step of the way. You go to a meeting and you end up getting high.” He lowers his head, looks up, and covers his smile. “That’s boss shit.”

Although Kelly is only twenty-six years old, his recollection of life experiences is beyond his years. He’s considerate, focused, and, most of all, humble. You can find him on Instagram as @rgfm80 where he posts about the hustle, his artistic friends, and gratitude for where he is in life. The common theme in Trap Kelly’s life is friends and family; they are his main concern. When asked where he’ll be in ten years, he pauses for a minute and tugs his goatee. He’s stumped, he licks his lips while he thinks about the final question and responds with conviction, “In ten years, I don’t know where I’ll be, I just want my family, my kids, and my friends to be straight. It’s one thing to buy things for yourself but when you’re able to do that for others, that’s when you really did it.”

Kelly works hard in the studio, on videos for upcoming tracks, with his fans on social media, and marketing M80 Cannabis Gummies nationwide. When it comes to a back-up plan, Kelly says, “I got no choice. I gotta make it.” Gotta Make It is one of his tracks on SoundCloud. As witness to his focus and ambition, there’s no doubt he is all in.

 

Meeting M80

I met M80 and a couple of his New Jersey music friends, DJ Wreckless and Justin Love, earlier this year in Los Angeles. We ended up at a celebration for investors, entrepreneurs, and supporters of a cannabis venture. I reveled in their ambition, gratitude, and swagger so I watched a couple on Instagram and the intrigue began to grow.

We met up a few times since then and I saw him perform at the CannaCool Lounge in Los Angeles.

With a trip to NYC on the books, I requested an interview.

M80 and I set up a time and when I got to New York, I asked several people how best to get to Paterson, New Jersey. Every single one asked, “Why would you go to Paterson?”

Putting the judgement aside I arrived the next day at our designated meeting spot at our designated meeting time, but there was no answer at the door to the worn townhome in Jersey.

I knocked.

I texted.

I called.

I knocked again.

No answer.

I was alone on the front porch with a tall shiny silver gun ashtray. The Uber driver stayed to either watch the show or protect me, either way he wouldn’t move.

After sitting on the steps for a couple minutes praying I had the right address, the Uber slowly pulled away. I was nervous, not because of where I was, but because this was my first interview. Were my questions good enough?  Was I good enough?  Would the recorder on my phone work? Am I getting dissed by my first subject?

As I begun to spiral the phone rang and I was soon inside, leaving my nerves outside.  I got a quick tour of the place which ended at his room where a couple dozen pairs of shoes, boots and high tops, lined the wall.  There was even a spinning light that made designs between the wall and ceiling. We chatted as he searched high and low for his weed.

We’ve all been there.

Before we started the interview, he rolled a blunt… the coincidence to the name of the blog, Let’s be Blunt, was perfect.

See the interview here:

At one point, in the middle of the interview, M80 asked if I wanted a shot of Patron. It threw me off. It wasn’t the usual offering and I declined as I’m not really a shot kind of girl but I regretted it later. You know the saying, when in Jersey…

After the interview, we listened to music and laughed at Family Guy until it was time for me to head back to NYC.

The irony about the profile piece is that there is nothing “blunt” about it.  My intention was to do a simple question and answer interview but the writer wanna-be in me wouldn’t allow it.

I loved getting to know M80, aka Trap Kelly. I’ve heard some of his new beats and can’t wait to see what he does next.

The Grass is Greener

Sure, the freedom and flexibility of the life I built were great, but I was uninspired, unamused and generally over the world of politics. It was a good sixteen-year run but if I didn’t exit soon I would stab myself with a yard sign.

As I cooked dinner that night I talked to my best friend from college. Her positive peppy voice blared through the ear bud that hung from ear to iPhone like a ball and chain.

“You have to get out of politics,” she said.

“I’m so bored I could cry and my partner is grumpy AF for God knows why.” The nasty email he sent earlier in the day ran through my head over and over as I reached for a beautiful glass bowl packed with a yummy Sativa.

“The next thing has to be something you love.” She was an eternal optimist.

“I love writing but who even knows if I’m good at it?” It was a hobby. I put the bowl to my lips and took a deep inhalation.

“Think about it, what do you love?” She asked.

“Todd,” I said through a cloud of smoke as I exhaled.

We laughed.

“Todd” was our marijuana code name for twenty years. It stemmed from Todd Bridges and a story from our past but the name stuck. It was easier to get around society with a code name.

Have you talked to Todd lately? Give Todd a kiss for me. Do you have Todd? Is Todd here? Is Todd coming? Where is Todd? I gotta get Todd. These were all common phrases in our world.

It became a problem when my four year-old son asked one day if I had Todd. He didn’t know what it meant but Todd’s alias soon changed to “a conference call”. We had a lot of conference calls in our line of work.

“You and Todd need to find a business together.” She giggled. “From conservative politics to drug dealer. It’s so you.”

I knew something had to change. “Everyone else is doing it, why not me?” hung in the air.

The reasons were obvious; money, reputation, my firm, opinions, laws…

I did it anyway.

I gave up my partnership at our very established firm and threw caution to the wind for the first time in my life.

I ran a medical marijuana delivery service while we applied to the city to get a brick and mortar approved. After eight months we were denied. I also, thankfully, learned during that process that I was in the wrong partnership. I was back at square one.

Enter, Pink Haze. Because, I like to see life through rose colored glasses or smoke…

The Cannabis Closet is Stupid

It was one of THOSE days. Everything was misaligned and a cloud of melancholy lingered. The road seemed uphill this afternoon.

I had left my career.  Thirty-one years spent building relationships (good and bad), building departments and offices, creating my own company and the companies of others’ dreams. None of it born from passion.

It was time for more.

The cannabis world isn’t easy territory. It’s risky. However, I believed in the medicinal qualities of the plant well before I benefited from them.

My first attempt into cannabis was to open a dispensary. We had the prime location. It was a sure thing. We launched the brand by opening a delivery service while we waited for approval.

Business at the delivery slowed right when the city gave us the kibosh on our ever-so-perfect building. As a lot of partnerships do, mine crumbled along with the dream. There were hurt feelings and small wounds.  And there were lessons learned.

Instead of crumbling myself, I channeled my energy and opened my mind. I’m not a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl. Letting go is not in my DNA. However, a brand new industry that is federally illegal and difficult to navigate in every way, is my jam. The possibilities are endless, women are working for their share, and a lot of down-to-earth business people with fewer egos are at the top. A perfect passion.

Then today came.  I felt the blow of another new law that sent my business plan into the trash. Then the phone rang.

“Apparently, your new industry is a big deal.” The person on the other end relayed.

“Funny, you mean cannabis?” The conversation already bored me.

“Yeah, I guess when you were in DC and mentioned you left the consulting firm, they were surprised. And when you mentioned your new industry, they were downright shocked. In fact, one Congressman was in disbelief.” The good news poured through the phone.

“Like it’s a bad thing?” I hated having to lie to my friends. I had been in the industry closet for a year already.

“People in DC aren’t quite as warm to it as people in California. You probably shouldn’t be vocal about what you’re up to.” The thoughtful advice weighed heavy on me.

Again, I was looking at starting over. But instead of starting over… I just moved forward.

I sat with the phone in my hand and thought about the friends who judged me for chasing a dream to help people and build a business.

After an already heavy day, I wondered if I made the wrong choice.

My head pounded. I closed my laptop and left my phone in the other room while I enjoyed an evening without interruption with my seven-year-old (something that rarely happened in political consulting).

The next day, I sat down to my computer for another new beginning. Then….my phone lit up with a text message.

It was a friend who I had brunch with when I was in DC a few weeks back. I braced myself for more cannabis-closet advice.

My mom was having a really bad day with her Parkinson’s. My sis went and got her a vape pen and CBD. Her shakes completely stopped within minutes!!

I couldn’t believe my ears. We discussed her mom’s condition at brunch and I recommended the vape for control of dosage as it had helped many patients of ours through the delivery service.

The news about my friend’s mother couldn’t have come at a better time.

She also sent a video of her sweet mom who was lying in bed. They asked her to hold her hands up and they were steady. They asked her if she was hungry and she responded, “I could eat.” She weighed in at eighty-five pounds on that day.

With tears in my eyes, my heart overflowed. It came around full circle.  Passion.

To think I had a bad day at the office while my friend’s mom suffered and struggled to control her body. And maybe, just maybe, it was my encouragement that helped her mom have a better, more comfortable day.

So, when I worry that my friends or colleagues think I’m in an industry of the devil, I hope they picture this – my friend’s mom, or the little seventy-five year old woman who suffered from chemo for breast cancer and just wanted some relief, or the quadriplegic veteran who said cannabis helped him stop considering suicide, or the fretful mom whose daughter with Retts Syndrome fed herself at age five for the first time after using CBD, or the mom who treats her little boy’s epilepsy with CBD to reduce his seventy-five seizures a day down to five a month.

If that’s what the devil looks like, then sign me up.

Back to the grind!

 

Meeting Summer

In early 2016, I arrived promptly for a meeting with my new business partners – a medicinal delivery service, soon to be backed up by a brick-and-mortar dispensary.  As I walked toward the house, a pretty young girl was there to meet me.  She was tall with dark honey brown hair, “Are you Patty,” she said.

“I am…did they send a search party for me,” I replied, “I’m right on time.”

“I don’t know, I was just told to find ‘Patty,’” she shrugged as we both turned toward our first cannabis meeting and without any real introduction.

Our meeting began with Matt, a sales guy who represented several vendors and products.  After the introductions and commotion of three excited dogs settled, Matt opened a big black case and put out a display of cannabis products.  The range of new products is always exciting and Matt showed us hash cigarettes, chocolate covered espresso beans, cherries, drinks, flavored waters, beef jerky…you name it and if it hasn’t been thought of yet, it soon will.

We knew we were onto something.

Summer left her job in a salon and joined us full-time in the new world of cannabis and she became the glue that held us together.  My partner and I both had full-time jobs while working full-time hours to launch a brand new business in a brand new industry.  We couldn’t wait to try new things, learn about the newest innovations, and hear stories from others in the industry about their challenges – and successes.  As we explored the new range of options to cannabis users, we grew from novices to connoisseurs, with very refined tastes – and expectations.

Summer and I spent more and more time together as we worked to build a fledgling medical delivery business, learning the ins-and-outs of running a cannabis retail business through trial and error.

As I got to know Summer, I realized how alike we were.  Working moms taking care of young families with similar personality quirks – like getting really excited about things as small as liquid glitter phone cases and buds in the shape of a heart.

Unfortunately, the uncertainty about legal issues related to gaps in federal, state, and local laws, and a denial for a permit for the dispensary, led to us closing the business.  While we were making great progress with the delivery service, none of us were that interested in the challenges of a delivery service, particularly with so much “grey” in the rules and regulations.

So our progress came to a screeching halt, our plans up in smoke (I couldn’t resist).

But Summer and I kept our cannabis dream alive, spending our newfound free time together exploring other ways to build a woman-owned business focused on providing women with cannabis-related products…and through the fog we found a Pink Haze.

Now, we continue our dream promoting products – and people – we believe in and helping them grow their businesses by providing high quality product to cannabis consumers.

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