The Cannabis Closet

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!