My First Time

The first time I smoked alone changed me.  Sure, we smoked all the time in college but it was a social thing; you always passed the green to someone else.  Drinking or doing drugs alone always carried a stigma for me (yeah, I get the irony…).

I had graduated from college in January and moved to Chicago in February by selling my car for the first month’s rent and an extra two hundred bucks in my pocket.  February is a cold and grey month in Chicago.

As the job search became depressing, the third day to be exact, and the clouds covered the sun day in and day out, I didn’t feel like myself. I was down, insecure, and miserable.

My boyfriend often said, “You need to smoke a bowl.” He even bought my first glass bowl. The blue green swirls throughout the glass were beautiful. It was a proud moment but it took a while to break my self-inflicted stigma and try the ‘smoking alone’ thing.

On a rainy Friday night my ever-so-popular older roommate had another fabulous dinner party to attend to. She never invited me.

I had zero dollars, zero plans, and zero friends to do free things with.

The door shut behind my roommate and I began to cry.

I was lonely.

I was poor.

I didn’t have anything going for me.

I lived in Chicago, but couldn’t do anything.

I hadn’t seen the sun in a week.

It was time. I needed to break the cycle of feeling sorry for myself.

I retrieved the little bag with my brand new bowl and a nice green bud that was part of the gift. I curled up on the black armchair and looked out our second floor bay windows. Pedestrians scampered about in the drizzle.

The process of packing the bowl was therapeutic. I took my time and inspected the green bud as I broke it up.

As I lifted the colorful glass bowl, I lit the green and took a big inhalation. Being alone meant I had no distractions.  The flavor was more pronounced. I could actually feel the citrus and the earthy tones touch my taste buds before reaching my lungs.

I inhaled again and put the bowl down.

Two girls ran outside between the puddles. It reminded me of my friends and soon I had a grin from ear to ear.

I didn’t feel alone or poor anymore.

I wasn’t worrying about the job search.

I forgot about the absence of the sun.

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.

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!

 

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…

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.

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.

 

Neophyte Grower

I remember the day I bought my first clone. It was glorious, the sun was shining, business was good, and I was now going to grow cannabis of my own. She was a beauty and I had the same feeling you have when you get a new pet. I wanted to hold it and love it and take good care of it so it had a good life.

My business partner’s husband helped me name her Wendy. We were negotiating with a Wendy’s franchise owner to sell us a building for a dispensary at the time so it made sense.

The budtender at Torrey Holistics told me just how to take care of her during her transition home and I followed everything he said verbatim. I had adopted my son seven years prior so I knew a thing or two about transition.

But then, Wendy seemed sad.

I was leaving for the weekend so I scooped her up and took her to the lake for the July fourth weekend. Spoiled little plant.

Well, she didn’t think so. She didn’t appreciate the sun. She didn’t appreciate water.

She was an unappreciative bitch, in fact.

I only wanted her love; she wanted nothing from me.  She may have been weaned from her brothers and sisters at the dispensary too soon. I didn’t know.

She never let me love her.

Or I loved her too hard.

May she rest in peace. Our two and a half weeks together were magical and I will never forget her.

It took time, about eight months, before I could take the leap of faith and try my luck with another clone.

This time my friend brought one over from his grow facility. She was beautiful in her red solo cup. It was love at first sight. My friend told me he would train me to keep my plant alive.

I was terrified to lose another beloved family member, but I was up for the task.

First, we named her “Todd” (if you read the first blog, you get it) but then after some discussions about a female plant with a male name, my seven year-old son renamed her “Todd-a-Rita”.

Todd-a-Rita was a beauty. Her family line was Maturo Blue, which is a high CBD cannabis plant.

I replanted her in a large ceramic pot and bought a good growing light for her first days with us. She was growing like a weed and looking great. I was in awe that I could keep something so beautiful alive.

It was time to travel for a week with the family and Todd-a-Rita couldn’t join us so I enlisted a sitter to give her the love she needed.

Unfortunately, by the time I returned, the sitter deemed Todd-a-Rita ready for the outdoors. Mostly, because he didn’t want to deal with timing the light.

Todd-a-Rita seemed fine with the changes for a while. She grew taller and her buds looked like they were on the path to success. However, when I sent photos of her to the cultivator, he said she was an “early bloomer”. I didn’t care because she was healthy.

She became my most prized photography subject. I took photos of her growth and the sticky buds that developed. She was watered frequently and re-potted in a breathable pot so her roots could breath.

I was a proud mother.

Until I wasn’t.

I took my eyes off her for two and a half days and when I checked on my baby, she had bugs. Part of the biggest bud had turned brown and the leaves looked sickly.

My beautiful little plant was all of a sudden knocking at death’s door and the only blame I could accept was the fact that she was outside. Todd-a-Rita needed protection from the stoner spiders and other bugs that lurked around my patio.

I watched her for a couple days but her death was imminent. It was torture to watch the green goddess turn to a sad yellow and brown mess.

There was nothing I could do to remedy the situation.

My baby was gone.

I’m ready to try one more but it will never see the outer world. I can’t trust the outdoors with my plant children, obviously.

Maybe I’m not meant to have my own plant. Time will tell when I get the next one and keep her protected. If the next one dies, I will quit this process with blood on my hands.

There are two less plants in the world because of me and I can barely live with myself.

Stay tuned for the next one. And don’t be shy if you have some specific tips for a neophyte grower like myself.

 

 

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?

Turning Fifty is Easier Than Last Year

Turning fifty doesn’t feel half as scary as it did a few months ago when I was really going through a shit storm. I worked so hard last year to have most everything blow up at the eleventh hour. I really didn’t have much to show for the year aside from a void in my retirement funds and deeper connections within the community. Thank God for the latter.

Looking back, I find it ironic that the very issue that took me to my lowest point last year is the same thing that has lifted me higher than I knew possible. None of this involves money.

One night in a Holiday Inn Express, after the longest day of meetings and driving a short eight hours to and from the farm in Humboldt I tried to make sense of my world. On most days, we wouldn’t have been exhausted. Going to the farm was like a trip to Disney for Summer and me. We were so proud to see our babies grow and we were even more proud of the women who were cultivating our cannabis.

Our cannabis… yeah, we worked hard, kissed a lot of frogs, and spent a lot of money to get to that point and the all-female team was the best.

Until it wasn’t.

One day I got a phone call that the woman, who I loved, let everyone on the farm go, turned the lights out, and left the grounds for good. We didn’t find out until ten days into the farm being unattended. She blamed another partner for her departure, but it was apparent she was in over her head when we saw the state of our plants.

So after this long day, it started to get to me. I wondered why the woman who left the farm didn’t just pick up the phone and tell me she was leaving. We had talked about her issues with the partner and I supported her in every way. But yet, there we sat with a farm in triage and huge losses on our hands for reasons I couldn’t figure out.

It was soon after that, Summer and I were starry eyed to help and support a female retreat. They asked for money and we kindly said we couldn’t do it. I had already bought tickets to go but we thought it would be fun to add a glitter bar to one of their events. We asked them if we could talk to the main sponsor to theme it around their brand.  They wouldn’t connect us for some reason, but still asked us to provide the glitter bar.

We were so excited and I didn’t realize how much I needed this connection with women that weekend until I felt the opposite. Summer and I showed up early and waited to be told where to set up. We constructed our glitter bar and dolled up a seating area nearby with our backdrop, which was merely weed, not branded. We couldn’t wait for the ladies to show up. You see, our brand’s entire WHY for existing is to make women feel special and that is what we were there to do.

Until… I looked up and saw the terror on one of the retreat organizers face as she came toward me, “Can I talk to you?”

I literally felt as though I was in trouble. Which to be honest caught me way off guard coming from another woman at a women’s retreat. The terror came from something so small picture that I was offended. They were upset that the event management company put us near the door and they weren’t expecting us to be so… how shall I put this… extra.

Fast forward fifteen minutes later and I was in a dark alley with our 8’x8’ backdrop trying to take it down by myself while Summer furiously smiled and applied glitter to all the babes that showed up early. I was in tears and the backdrop had fallen when this angel service employee stopped to help me. I had my eye on her all weekend because I loved her hustle.

We missed dinner and the final speaker due to taking down our experience. We kept the glitter bar but I actually felt sad for the women I worked on that night because my smiles were fake and I was crying on the inside… actually I stepped away to cry with some of the women that attended on my recommendation. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

The next day nobody even spoke to us. Not an acknowledgement about the night before, not even a smile across the room.

I thought these professional women were my tribe. Granted I have done more than most of the speakers but I attend as a participant to support what these women are doing. I am not a self-promoter and allow people to think what they want about me unless they care enough to ask questions. They don’t know what I’ve accomplished and I don’t feel insecure enough to make them.

When Summer and I drove the almost three hour trip home we were numb. Coming off the heels of getting punched in the gut with the farm, I regretted being involved in the retreat I looked forward to for months.

So, to say the least I had some hard moments last year. And it was at that time that I opened up to this amazing sesh community in San Diego. I stepped away from my desk to attend other local female events. I even admitted my vulnerabilities to some of my pink sesh sisters and found that the support and love I received was so much stronger and deeper than any woman on a farm or at a retreat.

We can talk about professional accomplishments all day long, however, if you don’t have the kind of connection I’ve been feeling with my women warriors than you’re not living.

This journey continues for us and Pink Haze/Pink Sesh. We continue to hold our heads high and to serve where we feel our impact matters. We don’t worry about competition because we’d rather call them our friends and support their cause. 

For all the ups and downs entrepreneurs go through, nobody is as lucky as we are to have such a supportive group of diverse women on our side rooting for us each step of the way.

Why do they root for us? Because, we are their biggest fans.

#sparkmorelove

Pink Sesh includes so many different women who add their own value to the community.

Tina was no different. The moment I laid eyes on Tina, I felt a sense of peace. I’m not sure if it was her smile, eyes, or her old soul but I wanted to be around her.

After Tina attended monthly seshes and volunteered to be on our philanthropy committee, I asked if she wanted to meet up. She came to my home and rolled the fattest joint. We shared stories, our hearts, and cannabis. It was as if we had been friends before and just picked up where we left off. Our souls connected.

I watched Tina blossom from not knowing anyone at the seshes to becoming best friends with so many women of all ages. She became a staple in a friend group, “camp giggles” a name adopted after a giggly night at a Glowing Goddess Getaway.

It’s easy to believe Tina had such a presence in her circle of Pink Sesh sisters. She was kind, generous, and loving. She’s an amazing mother who would do anything for her children. She always had cannabis and papers and rolled the fattest joints, one after another, until you said no.

Tina wasn’t feeling herself in a few ways and we were happy to get to the bottom of it as discussed at our epic “camp giggles” photo shoot. It was a beautiful day and the women were happy and lighthearted. We captured pure gold. We didn’t realize our lives would change the next day.

We tried to find the light in every single piece of news that came through for Tina. She suffered as they worked to find answers. After a lot of tests, prayers, phone calls, zooms, and group DMs.… the diagnosis was in. It was a rare form of brain cancer called Glioblastoma. It devastated all of us as we sat with the reality of this deadly disease.

We knew it was time to take Tina’s lead to move forward. It was her health, family, and life at stake and all we could do was offer a supportive heart in a million different ways. And, everyone (even women who never met Tina) pulled together to do what big or small thing they could to add light to a very dark situation.

Tina and I spoke over the past months and every time she told me she was grateful for the friendships, pure love and support she felt. She had a sense of peace from that unconditional love. Times were tough but there were little glimpses of light that shone in when she thought about her canna-sisters. We cried, laughed, and sat in silence. Above all, her words were genuine when she said, “Pink Sesh changed my life.”

Tina lives on in our hearts. She is the purest example of kindness, acceptance, tolerance, and sisterhood. Tina, we will continue to SPARK MORE LOVE in your honor. Thank you for changing all of our lives and showing us to #sparkmorelove over everything.

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