JOYITUDES

ISMS FOR A HEALTHIER HAPPIER LIFE

Culture
August 26, 2020
by Joyology

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the constitutional amendment that gave women the Right to Vote. The Right to Vote equals Choice. Choice equals Freedom. Freedom equals True Happiness. For an industry that was once illegal we’re feeling extra joyful today. We sat down with two local Super Women, and five up-and-coming Joyologists that are paving new paths for the industry. Let’s all be the change we seek and spread Love and Happiness.

Millie Montana,
CEO Guilty Pleasures

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I have been a heavy consumer and advocate for cannabis since I was a youngster at 14. It sincerely helped me with extreme self-esteem issues, depression, and anxiety.  I was (and still am) a huge stoner and I was never shy about it.  I tried to go into different businesses, jobs, and even spent 3 years in college until I realized that legalization was finally happening and I needed to be a part of it.  I dropped out of school and started experimenting with products while I was waitressing and bartending.  I saved all my tips, moved back to Michigan, and started my business.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? It is hard to give meaningful advice because everyone’s experiences and goals are so different so all I can remind you to remember is that if there is a will, there is ALWAYS a way… don’t give up and as much as troubles might bring you down, just remember what the end goal is because that is all that matters. There will always be problems, ups and downs, but it is up to you to stay up and above it. Remind yourself that you’re working your dream job and if it was easy everyone would do it. You got this.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? The industry is so new that there is still so much opportunity since we are not up against huge corporations.  It is allowing us time to grow our small businesses into big businesses which means there is more of an equal level playing field for women to get in and be the leaders of this emerging industry.

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? In certain aspects I would say yes and in other aspects I would say no. I had quite the experience where I saw both welcoming and unwelcoming sides of the industry.  It doesn’t bother me because I know who I am and if I have to deal with a negative person, it isn’t going to make or break me.  You can’t force your opinions on people so you just need to remember that you can still respect each other in business and don’t need to associate outside of that.  Take everything like a grain of salt.

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? Yes, there is a stigma around women in Cannabis and my response is to capitalize on it. I learned the hard way while being a waitress and a bartender that sometimes you have to finesse a situation that starts out in a negative way and make it a positive experience.  It is my duty to make sure my voice is heard but not my job to force change on anyone. I can state my opinion but the other person still has the choice to act the way they want too.  I cannot burden myself with their issues, it’s business and not personal for me.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS? Other than being a hypeman on instagram, I do my best to help educate and support women who come to me, work with me, or are just around me in general.  I also love learning from other women and sharing experiences so we can help each other as much as we can.  I have felt so much love and support from so many amazing women in the cannabis industry.  I feel a huge sense of community and I know they always have my back and I have theirs.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? I would like to give the biggest shout out to the woman who helps me run my company, Leah.  She has been one of the most loyal, hardworking, strong, efficient, adaptable, patient, and tolerant people that I have been blessed to have on my team. She deals with whatever she needs too and never once complains.  She is always so positive even when I am being negative nancy, she reminds me that we got this. She has put in so much effort to help build the company and it feels so good to know that with all the ups and downs, she believed in me.

WHAT ASPECT OF THE INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? Honestly, I am so grateful to even be a part of this so just knowing I am part of such a huge movement makes me the happiest.  I get to do what I love while helping so many people so it’s a win-win all around for me.  AND, knowing that we are the pioneers of this and we get to build it before the big guys get involved is such a blessing.

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation? Everything will always end up okay!
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? Scarface.
You are stuck on a desert island that only grows one strain. What is it? Cheesequake
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with? Cleopatra

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Martha Stewart
Pre roll or hand roll? hand roll
Gummies or chocolate? Gummies
Indica or sativa? Sativa
Amsterdam or Denver? Amsterdam
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Wake and bake

Emily Elms,
CEO Heading Organic Farms

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? My journey in the medical field began as a combat medic in the Army. I then became an RN specializing in Therapeutic Apheresis. My husband began growing cannabis for our personal use, then we expanded our growing space and became Caregivers. In becoming licensed cultivators, we have brought our passion as Nurses and our love of growing cannabis full circle.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? My best advice is to decide on your end goal, and then dive in head first. I began by studying everything I could find related to state licensed cultivation in Michigan. Through every step I always had the mind set of ‘No matter what, we are going to make it to our goals.’ There are many, many hurdles in securing an opportunity in this industry. You must surround yourself with the best team and lead with strength, resilience and tenacity.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I believe that this is the perfect industry for women to thrive. There are so many different avenues and opportunities, women are proving that we can work shoulder to shoulder with men in every capacity. 

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? I have always felt welcome, largely because I represent an amazing team and company. People say, ‘you are Healing Organic Garden?!’ And I smile and say very proudly, ‘yes I am.’

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? I think there was definitely a time when I did feel a negative stigma regarding my use of cannabis. That stigma lifted after people saw me going after my dream of starting my own business and building a cultivation facility.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS? At Healing Organic Garden, our team has a strong female crew. When we began staffing, I found the hardest working females that I know and insisted that they come work for me. Our whole team has a great sense of community. We treat our employees very well by supporting them and showing our appreciation everyday.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? I would like to give a ‘shout-out’ to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is such a well-spoken badass that stands up for the greater good every day. She proves that we all have a voice, and we need to use it to the best of our ability.

WHAT ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? I am happiest when I get to harvest with our team. Those are the best days. We celebrate the gorgeous cannabis and the hard work and love that went into every single plant.

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation? I call that a ‘high-dea’ 🙂 many, many great thoughts come from smoke sessions
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? HotRod
You’re stuck on a desert island that grows only one strain. What is it? GMO
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with. My Grandma

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Snoop
Pre roll or hand roll? Pre-roll (I’m horrible at rolling)
Gummies or chocolate? gummies
Indica or sativa? Hybrid, sativa dominant
Amsterdam or Denver? Amsterdam
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Wake and bake!

Thank you very much for thinking of me for this interview representing women’s equality in the cannabis industry..

Brandy York,
Store Manager

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? To work in an industry that I am passionate about, and help others with their cannabis journey.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Study, read everything you can, and be persistent.  Network, talk to people at events/dispensaries/vendor days, every spot is a chance to impress someone or make a connection.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Getting into the growing and processing world of cannabis and really showing up with the knowledge and work ethic to become a force in this industry.  There is, I personally think, a giant opportunity for women to get involved and make their mark!

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? In certain aspects, yes it is very welcoming. It’s still a boys club when it comes to processing/growing, management/ownership but every day is a step in the right direction.

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?  I do think that women in cannabis were mainly just used for looks, promotion/marketing for a long time. So people are usually surprised when they hear that I am the General Manager of a dispensary.  Holding my ground and proving myself with the knowledge I have has so far been the best response that has gotten me to this point in my career in cannabis.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS? In my position I try to help my female coworkers learn the skills they need to be able to take on bigger roles in the industry.  Giving them the same knowledge and opportunities to not only achieve their goals in the industry but with life in general.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? Women of Color.

WHAT ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? Hearing the stories from patients on how cannabis has changed their life. Also, seeing how the science in the industry changes and becomes more and more advanced.

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation? How differently would we live our lives if humans had a natural predator.
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? The Labyrinth
You’re stuck on a desert island that grows only one strain. What is it? Cherry Pie
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with. Rihanna or Betty White

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Snoop Dogg
Pre roll or hand roll? Pre Roll
Gummies or chocolate? Chocolate
Indica or sativa? Indica
Amsterdam or Denver? Amsterdam…..bye USA
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Wake and Bake

Kiela Smith,
Assistant Customer Service Manager

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I love weed. It’s helped me a lot and i felt like it wasn’t being understood even by the people who didn’t have a real problem with it. I wanted to learn more and not hate my job but i also wanted to be able to educate and help people find products that work for them.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Just go for it. If it’s something you enjoy, are interested and willing to learn, that will carry you a long way. You don’t have to know everything to prove yourself. A lot of stuff is new especially in a state that hasn’t had this industry established well yet. 

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I can’t pinpoint one area like “oh yeah concentrates go there” but just in general I feel like the “stoner girl” image is changing. You don’t have to be “one of the boys” to smoke or consume cannabis it’s for everyone more than ever. Just get in where you can and figure out what is best for you and how you can use your skills most efficiently. Always be open to learn and don’t think you know everything because it will change. 

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? I’m extremely lucky to be at a store that is including and friendly. I personally haven’t faced any backlash or unwelcoming attitudes by any of my coworkers but that doesn’t mean to say it’s the same for everyone. I have gotten blown off by customers before who thought i didn’t know something but that could anything even a bad day. I do think it would be a little harder to be a woman on the production side or in the factories but as much as it needs to change that’s what’s to be expected. 

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? There absolutely is and like I said it’s definitely changing. I see that kind of thinking more in people coming in than the people I’ve interacted with on the in the industry though. Customers will stop listening and ask your male coworker something over you just because they’re there. I don’t let it get to me I just keep the interaction going and try to be as helpful as possible. I’ve definitely gotten people to stop doing that before even by just saying my coworker is busy and forcing them to continue their session with me. I do get asked about the sex stuff all the time though by male customers that I wasn’t helping them. That’s always fun lol.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS? Never assuming someone should know something. We all have different strengths and skills and different levels of knowledge. Honestly, it’s nothing special just being a kind understanding person. It’s literally just a matter of not being an awful person. I really do feel a sense of community and again my store is awesome at this but it’s more than a feeling of community we really look out for each other. And I’ll even give it to the guys they have out backs too. 

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? Any woman. We’re all overcoming obstacles and have to put ourselves in situations that might not be super welcoming, and we do it. Daily. All women deserve to feel good today.

WHAT ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? Just working here makes me a happier person than I was and That’s one of my biggest things. It excited me that things are always changing this industry is extremely innovative there’s always something new coming. 

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation?  In Mac and devin go to high school Snoop wears a letterman jacket with years crossed off going down the sleeve. The whole movie i wondered how many years this man was in high school. I had the revelation at the end of the movie. 
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? Moana. I love that movie and the colors it grabs my attention every time.
You’re stuck on a desert island that grows only one strain. What is it? Birthday cake.
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with. Rhianna. She always getting High.

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Snoop
Pre roll or hand roll? Hand roll
Gummies or chocolate? Chocolate 
Indica or sativa? Indica
Amsterdam or Denver? Denver 
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Wake and bake 

There’s always a place for you but don’t make a place for yourself somewhere that doesn’t respect you. 

Amanda Tye,
Customer Service Manager

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I’ve had my MMMP card 10 years and medically it’s helped me so much, I try to help alleviate medical issues for others as best I can.  I love connecting with people who have similar interests as me because I’m a very frequent marijuana enjoyer.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Find a Job you can wake up and love going to everyday, there are so many different jobs available in this industry

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? The cannabis industry is for-sure always growing, but networking and meeting people from all different aspects of life has always given me the biggest opportunities.

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? Yes.

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? No, I think I’ve always been listened to and valued in this industry. As a mother, different story, it’s always been looked at in my household as medication though and as long as a mother can use cannabis and take care of her responsibilities, I support that!

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS? Always being able to lend a hand or knowledge. Nobody knows everything, and I always try to absorb as much knowledge and use marijuana as a way of bonding with other women!

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? My grandma❤️ she’s taught me everything I know (minus my weed knowledge)

WHAT ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? I love that it actually helps medically, having a horrible auto immune disease, I’ve always rather grabbed some weed then pain killers. A dab a day, keeps the doctor away.

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation? That my tolerance actually does get higher
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? Friday
You’re stuck on a desert island that grows only one strain. What is it? GMO
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with. Jeffree Star or Tameka Harris

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Snoop
Pre roll or hand roll? Hand
Gummies or chocolate? Chocolate
Indica or sativa? Indica
Amsterdam or Denver? Amsterdam
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Wake and bake

Weed is Good🍃🔥 Keep Blazing, Stay Amazing.

Cheresa O’Brien,
Inventory Manager

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? I have always had a passion for medicinal cannabis, the endocannabinoid system, and helping people. So I sought out an opportunity, and here I am.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Knowledge is power. Research cannabis like it’s an obsession. Never give up!

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Advancement. The cannabis industry is in its infancy compared to other industries that already have a male dominated workforce. There are many new companies evolving and expanding rapidly, where women can advance quickly. 

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? Absolutely

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? Yes I do. I believe there is still a stigma with women compared to men with everything they do or partake in. The fear of judgment compared to men within the topic of cannabis is no different. I respond to it the same way I respond to any stigma around women, empower them to be confident by setting an example.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS?  So far my way of supporting women in this industry is mainly through my co-workers and employees. When they succeed, we succeed.Yes I feel a sense of community with other women in cannabis. I feel women are used to being outnumbered in all industries and have an underlying instinct to band together.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? Mother Earth

WHAT ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? Healing people makes me the happiest. Everything about the cannabis industry is exciting, its cannabis!

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation? Seeing the future.
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (original)
You’re stuck on a desert island that grows only one strain. What is it? Trainwreck
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with. Marilyn Monroe

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Martha all day every day
Pre roll or hand roll? Depends on who’s rolling it
Gummies or chocolate? gummies
Indica or sativa? sativa
Amsterdam or Denver? Since Michigan’s flower is dominating Colorado I’m going to have to say Amsterdam.
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Both, why choose?

Follow your dreams and never look back. -CJ

Brandy Marks,
Assistant Store Manager

WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? Because I wanted to change my life. I was tired of doing the same thing and getting no where while trying to hide my cannabis use.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? If you work hard it will pay off. 

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? There is plenty of room for advancement if you work hard and put in the time. 

IN YOUR OPINION, IS THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY, IN GENERAL, WELCOMING TO WOMEN? Yes. I believe it is. I was very surprised by this.

DO YOU THINK THERE’S A STIGMA AROUND WOMEN IN CANNABIS? HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT? Yes I believe women hide their cannabis use because of the stigma that they can’t take care of their children while using. Previously I was a closet user now I work in the cannabis industry and I can finally be me and be proud of it.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY? HAVE YOU FELT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY WITH OTHER WOMEN IN CANNABIS? I support other women at our store by simply being considerate of their feelings because I’m pretty sure I have been through it too. I have felt a since of community because I’m finally around like minded women who are no longer afraid of hiding their cannabis use.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE THE BIGGEST SHOUT OUT TO ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY DAY? My grandma Helen. She raised 6 kids on her own and worked 40 plus hours a week until she retired. She worked hard at a factory all her life. Even at 78 she is still working delivering meals on wheels to people younger than her that can’t leave their house.

WHAT ASPECT OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY MAKES YOU THE HAPPIEST OR MOST EXCITED? Helping people and learning about new ways to help them with the products we carry in our store.

RAPID FIRE:
What’s your greatest high revelation? Only I can take control of my life and change the outcome.
What’s your favorite movie to watch while indulging? Grandma’s Boy
You’re stuck on a desert island that grows only one strain. What is it? Pineapple Express 
Name one woman living or dead you wish you could sit down and smoke a bowl with. Betty White

THIS OR THAT:
Martha Stewart or Snoop Dogg? Martha
Pre roll or hand roll? Hand roll
Gummies or chocolate? Gummies
Indica or sativa? Sativa
Amsterdam or Denver? Denver
Wake and bake or midnight toker? Wake and Bake

Working at Joyology has completely changed my life. Every job that I have had previously has taught me a skill I have put to use at Joyology! I feel like I’m finally starting my career!

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