Known simply as the 1st Lady of the West Coast on her Instagram, if you’re lucky enough to sit down with her to discuss music and medicine, you can call her “E”. Destined to become major player in the cannabis industry with a product line of infused drinks and cannabis strains, she definitely brings this quote to mind;
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey
What is your personal story that connects you to the cannabis industry?
Cannabis saved my life from antidepressants. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Depression back in 2003. You would not know about my disorder unless you grew up with me and witnessed my journey and where I am today. I am proud of myself for choosing life and educating myself on the medical benefits of cannabis for bipolar depression.
A lot of people do not know cannabis can be effective for treatment of bipolar disorder symptoms and can act as mood stabilizer. I have worked so hard on myself and the woman I wanted to be in life. I refused to be another statistic especially as a black woman living in America.
I thank my family for saving my life and helping me through everything, but most importantly allowing me to know what love is. I think it’s important for others who deal with mental health to have options, like natural alternative like plant-based medicines to help alleviate their symptoms. Pharmaceutical drugs can be very effective but the side effects can produce their own harrowing symptoms.
Rather than continuing to consume antidepressants, it allowed me to be me again. I felt "stuck" every time I took Prozac and all I wanted to do was sleep or sit in one place. Cannabis was a great alternative for treating my symptoms and I am so excited to help educate others about this amazing plant.
Where do you see Herb of Life making an impact in the cannabis industry?
I believe showing other black women they can thrive in this space is one of things I am most excited about. From cannabis growers to business owners I want to empower them to not be afraid to say, 'Hey, I have belong in this industry'.
The first cannabis strain we developed was, the First Lady of The West Coast (FLOTWC). I
named it after myself to inspire other women getting into the cannabis industry.
Our mission is to educate. I do not want to be solely a premium brand but one that educates and spreads awareness of the multiple health benefits of cannabis.
These are a few of my strains:
- FLOTWC (OG) is 60% Sativa and 40% Indica. A sativa dominant hybrid. Proceeds from this strain will help support dyslexic children in my community by helping with outreach and education.
- Black Girl Magic OG | Black Girl Magic OG is 40% Sativa and 60% Indica. A indica dominant hybrid. Proceeds from this strain will help support local mental health initiatives to help fight the stigma of mental health and provide support and education while advocating for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
- We will also donate proceeds to help the disproportionate amount of people of color who have been incarcerated for cannabis possession. The war against drugs has been devastating our community for decades and has to stop. NOBODY should be arrested for cannabis.
- December Nights OG | Hybrid Strain Line. Proceeds from this strain will help plant a thousand trees every month. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year reducing our carbon footprint.
- Shirley Ross OG. These proceeds will help provide funding for local homeless families.
What advice would you give other women who look up to you, as your top (5) things they should know before entering the cannabis industry?
- You can do anything you put your mind to. Anything is possible.
- What is your WHY? Understanding your WHY.
- Study, study, study. Read books and scientific publications. Go to seminars and conferences. Stay up to date on your state's medical marijuana laws. Attend city hall meetings and other community forums that influence marijuana policies.
- For every woman entering the cannabis industry, make it a point to mentor the one behind you.
- Be true to yourself and don't be afraid to make waves or start trends.
Who are the woman in cannabis today, that have been instrumental in your success and why?
Aesha Goins. She is a founder of Black Joy Consulting and Cannabis Equity and Inclusion Community (CEIC). A Nevada nonprofit that was named a finalist in the Rising Star category of the 2020 Women of Distinction Awards presented by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Southern Nevada.
She really believes in me and her teaching and advice has helped me in so many ways in my career. I consider her family and am thankful for all that she does for the community.
I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor-coach. Her mission is to help and empower her local community. She is helping me make my way in the Las Vegas market.
Dr. Lakisha a Traditional Naturopath, Registered Herbalist Traditional Medicine, Herbalism, Holistic Nutrition, Medical Cannabis and Hemp Education.
She has been an inspirational mentor to me. It is nice to be a part of her "canna-ladies" roll call. Her passion for the plant is truly amazing.
And her mission for cannabis education is an inspiring space for women and all to connect and move forward as one. Those are a few ladies that have made a great impact in my life and now you Queen.
Tell us about Black Girl Magic OG & Shirley Ross OG and where we can find them?
Black Girl Magic OG is an indica dominant hybrid strain with a high terpene profile of myrcene, pinene, limonene, and beta caryophyllene. This strain definitely helps with pain symptoms, relaxing, and insomnia.
The feedback so far from the community has been great! It makes me happy because I want to make a difference in people's lives for the better. I love that we have a strain that helps people feel they can get through their day or just allow them to feel free again.
Black Girl Magic OG is currently only available in Jamaica. With my partners at Green Block Development we own twelve acres of farming land and are soon to be licensed in the Las Vegas Market.
Shirley Ross OG (cannabis strain) was created in honor of my grandmother who passed away July 25, 2019. We are currently in a clinical trial but I am excited for this strain because proceeds will help support the American Heart & Kidney Charities and also help support homeless families.
It is important to help get them off the streets. My grandmother helped foster kids and families and it is only right to continue what she started. I’m excited to give back!