On my custom organic latex sofa in the upscale Colorado suburbia that is Highlands Ranch, I sit down after a long day of being at home alone with my two children and smoke my vape pen.
My days are full of complete and utter chaos, and no, I am not exaggerating. My energetic two year old daughter tears through my home like a rabid baboon, while my son, still far too young to effectively communicate his needs, wails at the turmoil. I manage to fit in a bit of research here and there, then I go about writing an article or editing one of my husband’s writing projects. If it is a weekend, chances are, I will be attending a cannabis-friendly event.
Let me explain.
We moved to Colorado this past December for my husband’s job. I would have laughed if someone were to tell me that by the end of January, my world would be consumed by cannabis, and that I would be quite knowledgeable about the benefits of various strains. I would have laughed because I was a stay-at-home mom that very much enjoyed her evening glass of wine, and never really gave a second thought about pot. But hey, life is all about the thrill of change, right?
When Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco founded Cannabrand, a cannabis industry marketing agency, I was chosen to be their creative writer. This meant that I had to learn all aspects of the cannabis industry, attend cannabis events such as Edible Events, and research the crap out of both medical and recreational marijuana. I was quickly swept into the whirlwind of these industry leaders and the media frenzy (which I carefully tried to avoid, as did the few other mothers associated with the cannabis industry) that came with it.
When people in other parts of the country hear the term ‘cannabis-friendly event,’ many automatically assume it is a ‘stoner‘ party, or some kind of immoral congregation of deviants. Darn those deviants.
But this could not possibly be further from the truth; in reality, these events are social gatherings usually held in a classy venue such as an art gallery, where a diverse group of attendees sip on champagne and smoke their vape pens. And when I say a ‘diverse group of attendees,’ I mean you just might find yourself engaging in conversation with someone that reminds you of your grandmother. Yes, that actually did happen to me once.
There is an amazing, vibrant energy in the room that only excited entrepreneurs, ready to meet others in the business, can bring. When I attend these events I must be prepared to take notes, and possibly try a product. Last Friday, for example, I left the kids with my husband and went to a party that featured Karmaceuticals’ gravity bong. All I can say about that is… wondrous. Simply, wondrous. Needless to say, I had a designated driver that night!
I go out and have fun, it’s my job; but I do so responsibly. Just as I would not drive home after spending a night out with friends at the bar, I am fully prepared before attending cannabis events. I have to be; I’m a mom.
I used to hide the fact that I was a mother when I attended these events; now I just come right out and say it. On my blog, “The CannaBuzz”, I include a picture of my son and me. I guess I just got tired of having to hide my kids when there was more important work to be done; I mean let’s face it, re-branding cannabis’ image to be more inclusive to a broader demographic is tough work!
What I have learned is that, being a mother in the cannabis industry, you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You will put your children’s needs first and continually shield them from the negative comments and opinions that others will assert; however, despite how hard you may try to do what you believe is right, there will always be someone there to pass judgment.
From the moment I awaken, up until that glorious moment that both children are in bed, my sole mission is to appease my kids’ needs. And write a blog. And help the husband edit his creative writing projects. And clean up the mess that the rabid baboon made.
Oh, that hopeless mess.
But being that there is nothing that I am more passionate about than these things, all of which fuse to make up my life, I have discovered that sometimes it is OK that others are judging. What matters most is that you are doing what you love, and making a change in the world that you truly believe in.
I hope that other mothers in the cannabis industry will also come to realize that it is not uniformity in the industry that will make it thrive; it’s the diversity. It’s the ability to reach out to more people from all walks of life, and share your knowledge and products with the world. This will not only ensure the expansion and longevity of this budding industry, but also help to create an environment where all feel welcome.
To the pothead mother in Boulder, I get you, and I applaud you. You have set the precedent for others like us to let go of their shame and normalize the responsible recreational use of cannabis.