Charity Moran of Seaux & Reap joins Diana to talk about making cannabis travel accessible, and Kristin Souza gives us a closer look at the Connecticut cannabis scene.
On this episode of Your Highness podcast, Diana is joined by Charity Moran of Seaux & Reap. The two share their Fave Pot and Not Pot items, from pre-cut blunt wraps to the therapeutic wonders of acupuncture and somatic journaling. Charity reveals her passion for the growing world of luxury cannabis travel and her curated events in sunny Louisiana. Whether it's cannabis-infused five-course suppers or taking guests on an unforgettable journey through local cultivation tours, Charity's mission is all about fostering a rich, immersive experience that champions informed consumption.
Diana is also joined by Kristin Souza of Sugar Leaf Boutique, who discusses the attitudes toward cannabis legalization in Connecticut. Kristin also candidly discusses the challenges faced by local businesses in the cannabis industry, the pushback she's encountered on social media, and the lack of access to dispensaries in the state. Listen in as she shares her vision for the future of Connecticut's budding industry and her heartfelt plea for support for social equity applicants and craft options.
0:15- Welcome to Your Highness Podcast
1:08 - Fave pot
3:16 - Fave not pot
7:13 - Main Segment
20:25 - Call to action and where can people find you?
23:06 - Closer Look at Connecticut
Transcript generated by Podium.page
0:00:16 - Speaker 1
Welcome to your Highness podcast. I'm your host, Diana Crash, and today I am joined by Charity Moran. Did I say that correctly? I'm sorry.
0:00:28 - Speaker 2
Yeah, you got it.
0:00:29 - Speaker 1
Charity Moran like more and more Of so and reap Sorry, that's Charity Moran of so and reap Sorry to cut that off. How are you doing today, Charity?
0:00:42 - Speaker 2
I'm pretty good, pretty good, very grateful it's a sunshine day here in Louisiana.
0:00:47 - Speaker 1
Yes, it is very sunshine here and Maryland is very hot today, but I'm okay, I'm in the air conditioning so I'm not mad about it.
0:00:56 - Speaker 2
0:00:59 - Speaker 1
So, charity, we're going to start this episode, as we do every episode, with our recurring segment Fave Pot. Fave Not Pot, and I'm going to start with my Fave Pot. If you have been listening to past episodes, you have heard that we featured C-Symon Papon from Savan Wellness, and she graciously sent me some samples of the new products that they just launched, and I am in love. I took one of the full spectrum CBD gummies the sleep gummies last night in passion fruit flavor, which was like it was so good I mean, it was really delicious. This is so good that I wish I could have just eaten a handful of them, but then I probably would still be asleep and I slept through the night without waking up, which is a pretty big deal for me. What's your Fave Pot right now, charity?
0:02:02 - Speaker 2
Oh man, I was really torn about this. But my Fave Pot right now, I think, just in the name of efficiency, I like to consume my cannabis, inhaling it right. I love to smoke a big blunt, so a fronto leaf is my favorite, but I've been falling in love recently with the pre-cut wraps of any brand. Really, I haven't found one that I'm just totally in love with, but the efficiency and the I'm just really in love with that right now.
0:02:39 - Speaker 1
Like already filled pre-filled is what you're talking about, or even just the pre-cut leaf.
0:02:45 - Speaker 2
Yeah, just the pre-cut leaf, I'll fill it myself you know, yeah, because that's still a part of that ritual of actually rolling, yeah. But yeah, there's the loose leaf brand and they have the jungle leaf and things of the sort. So I'm just like my favorite thing now is just to try all of them and see.
0:03:07 - Speaker 1
That's not a bad idea. Sounds like a good plan to me. So my favorite not pot right now is acupuncture. I freaking love acupuncture and I'm so excited that I connected with a local acupuncturist. So shout out to Elise Murphy of Blissful Healing Arts Wellness. She also works out of man a Life Healthing Wellness, which is someone I'll be doing a lot of local events with soon. So stay tuned. We'll actually be partnering up with man a Life Healthing Wellness and Blissful Healing Arts for some community focused events, so I am excited about that. That is also my favorite not pot. I'm sliding that in there because I'm excited about all of it, even though it's not all acupuncture. I started with acupuncture and I took a different direction, but I'm a big fan of what she's doing. She does group sessions and my husband and I recently did one for a full moon ritual, which was really nice. So definitely I will link the practice in the notes, so check them out. What's your favorite not pot right now?
0:04:31 - Speaker 2
Charity you know I'm glad you mentioned acupuncture, because I too love that. I am in that kind of same, that same energy. I've fallen in love lately with this concept of somatic journaling and so it's new to me. I don't know if you're familiar, but I've been loving just digging into different, just body centered, creative, like writing processes and thinking about this human vessel that we're, you know, inhabiting right now, and it's really helping me think about, like healing and consciousness, and so I'm really, yeah, somatic journaling and I've just been Googling random somatic journaling prompts and just grabbing one in the evening to kind of help wind down the day.
0:05:25 - Speaker 1
I'm so interested in that I'm, I've, I've just I haven't heard about that, but I've been looking at the somatic stretching and somatic exercises and so I'm really interested in all of the somatic stuff.
0:05:39 - Speaker 2
Yeah, it's really helping you know, because we will get into, like the mode of business and the mode of, you know, handling the day and, oh my God, if you watch the news it can really take you away from the core of why we're here.
0:05:53 - Speaker 1
0:05:54 - Speaker 2
So that somatic journaling is really helping. You know, with a little my faith pot item stuffed, it doesn't hurt at all.
0:06:03 - Speaker 1
No, it's a holistic approach. Yes, you know, and yes, that news, really, it can really just throw you off Like you're. You're feeling all you know elevated and like, oh man, that's a bummer.
0:06:17 - Speaker 3
And then you're like oh, oh, exactly.
0:06:22 - Speaker 1
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0:07:29 - Speaker 2
Well, we do. We are Louisiana based company and we curate cannabis excursions and infused five course suppers, most recently in April for 420, of course, we had an artist in gathering, where we just gathered some local artists and offered like a grazing spread with our favorite chef, ashley Jo Neek. Let that girl cook. On Instagram and social media, yeah, I love it.
The concept of luxury cannabis travel in Louisiana is you know, everywhere we go and we're at different festivals and we're interacting with people and, you know, soliciting guests. It's pretty. Everyone's pretty open to it. Everyone's pretty open to it. They love the idea of you know, I'm an educator by first profession, so it's like their favorite field trip. And so, you know, it's just this idea of I'm going to get on a plane and when I land you're going to pick me up and I don't have to make any decisions. Like you've created something just for me because you took the time to get to know me first. Like that is just mind blowing to some people and they really love the idea and embrace it.
Even folks who are not necessarily consumers still enjoy part taken in the events because we do have non infused offerings. Okay, and then a travel experience. You know it doesn't have to incorporate consumption, but we do encourage folks to still take the cultivation tours and still go on the dispensary hops, just still in the name of informed consumption. So we in Louisiana we pretty much have a wicked warm reception. Yeah, they love it. And then you know and abroad as well, so outside of Louisiana, when we're taking folks to Coachella annually or Emerald Cup like in.
December like it's pretty open and as soon as people find out, they're like oh my God, more people need to know about this. So that's why I'm here Trying to make sure more people get to know about what we're doing.
0:09:49 - Speaker 1
And so, like, with the current economy being what it is, are you finding people? Are, you know, holding back on this type of travel experience?
0:09:58 - Speaker 2
Yeah, so you know we've been around and doing this since 2015. And I'm going to be honest it really is on us, the business owner, to make sure we're putting information out there in advance enough. I'm finding that folks are more than willing and very happy to come, especially after the pandemic, but it's like you got to give me more time. Yeah, I've seen that a lot.
0:10:26 - Speaker 1
not to cut you off but I have been seeing that, like I've seen some offerings out there that I'm like I would love to do that, but I need like a solid year to plan financially, especially right now, and they'll be like in two months or something. You know, it's like wait what? Who has that kind of life right now? Like you know, being fully transparent, that was our learning curve Really immediately after the pandemic.
0:10:51 - Speaker 2
people were still willing, but it's like I got to really consider the economy. I've got to consider how can I, what do I need to do as a business owner to make the luxury affordable? And so that then?
the owners became on me to secure partnerships and sponsorships and, you know, network and collaborate so that I can decrease the cost to the customer one. And then, you know, make sure our guests have an advanced notice. So folks who have signed up for the newsletter, they already know next year's calendar and it's not on the website as it stands right now. And that's just some of the benefits of kind of the getting people to tap into our newsletter and so that they can get that longer runway. But then, right after our Friendsgiving Supper Series in November will be announcing next year's entire calendar to give people that runway, so that they, you know. So we're doing our best to make sure that we're not cheapening the experience, that the luxury is affordable and then when they get there, that experience is just, you know, worth every penny.
0:12:13 - Speaker 1
That's amazing, and do you offer any kind of like payment arrangements for people who are part of the club?
0:12:20 - Speaker 2
Absolutely so. Next year will be and this is being announced in the newsletter we'll have a subscription, like a travel club membership, and then, for those who are not interested in the membership, there are options to establish a payment plan. So maybe you do want to join us to Afro Future Fest next December in Ghana? Then start signing up for the newsletter now, get, make a deposit and either join the subscription membership club or, you know, make those payment arrangements. But a deposit is always going to happen, you know, just to secure your spot and then the prices are really actually reasonable.
0:13:03 - Speaker 1
Because I'm looking at the Friendsgiving right now and I mean for six hours and for everything that you're including, I mean that is not bad and it's also just seems like an amazing experience, probably like the best holiday experience one could ask for. So do you want to talk about that a little bit more, the Friendsgiving? I?
0:13:25 - Speaker 2
would love to, because that is our. So in reap baby, that's the flagship supper that started all his gangsta stuff.
You know, and so you know, like I said, I'm an educator, but Friendsgiving 2015 to 2018 was always an opportunity to just like get friends together, you know, before Thanksgiving, before the family holiday, hub up. And so it's evolved because now what we're doing, it still has all of the same concepts of that first Friendsgiving where we just had friends over, we fed them, we played games and then everybody you know was given a gift box. At the time it was something that it was like all of my favorite things, like Oprah. I love that. That's amazing.
Favorite cannabis items and that first year I was just really into marathon OG. So you know, we just gave everybody boxes of like pre-rolls and you know different, you know wraps and leaves and things, and we just kind of like made sure that, in addition to the gift box and this infused supper, that you're walking away also with a charcuterie box.
0:14:39 - Speaker 1
0:14:40 - Speaker 2
Personalized. We work with Chef Ashley in New Orleans particularly to make sure that those are, you know, very curated and so since that first one, that's just our flagship supper, and so you know it has evolved and grown and elevated and infuses more luxury. So we encourage you know a specific color scheme when you're getting dressed, because everybody loves it's more of a cultural thing, you know, we love a matchy-matchy color like an ambiance.
0:15:13 - Speaker 1
Yeah, and there's two shifts. It looks like you can do a nighttime, or I guess they're both at nighttime, but wow, it's like dinner shifts.
0:15:23 - Speaker 2
Yeah, and we're partnering. Now, you know, as the laws in Louisiana open up, as you know, consumption and the consumer themselves are evolving. Then we make sure, now that we're letting you know the dosage in each item. We talk about the different strains because it's not all THC, you know in Louisiana there's Delta 8 options.
If you're a medically licensed patient, then we can do some more of these things, and so we just kind of really talk to and hold these fireside conversations, and then we speak to advocacy. So, whether you're a consumer, or you're curious, or you're what we call a canister, and you've been doing this your legacy, your OG in this day, then, no matter who you are, we want you to walk away feeling empowered to know what's going on locally, what's going on nationally and how is it impacting our black and brown brothers and sisters. And so that's it.
0:16:29 - Speaker 1
We have the supper, the five course infuse I mean I cannot tell you and then add-ons too, because you also which I can't tell you how much this makes me happy to see that you, it says book my flights and find a ride for me and an option to stay overnight, like literally, people don't have to do anything really.
0:16:49 - Speaker 2
Yeah, no, and that's the affordable luxury piece for you. We want you to feel safe. We want you to come get this experience. We also have newly formed partnerships with local driving services Wow. So if you need to get back to a hotel, if you didn't want to stay overnight wherever, we'll make that available, just in the name of safety, keeping true to sort of setting a precedent, because in Louisiana, public consumption lounges and things of this sort are not yet available because it's not adult use legal yet it's just medical, and so we really want to get ahead of the curve and start setting some of those standards. When it comes to when it's time to talk to legislators, here's the consumers we need you to know what to say to them in terms of thinking about regulations and safety and concern and things of this sort.
0:17:47 - Speaker 1
I love that. So what else do you have going on with so-and-reap that you'd like to talk about? Oh my goodness.
0:17:57 - Speaker 2
Do you want to talk about?
0:17:58 - Speaker 1
the Ghana trip.
0:17:59 - Speaker 2
We could we could definitely. So they're actually for next year.
0:18:05 - Speaker 1
Take us around the world charity.
0:18:07 - Speaker 2
I know yeah, that's the name of the game. So we want people to know that cannabis consumption is, we want them to think globally and act locally. So in order to do that and transformative travel is just that it's meant to change, it's an experience to help you elevate, grow or expand. And so the Ghana trip is being attached to the Afro-Future Fest, which is formerly known as Afrochella, but copyrighted things like that. So, yeah, and so we get folks there, we dig into the diasporas' gathering, which is what it is, and then we explore the culture.
We like to explore like a tourist and live like a local when we're in these places. And so we go, we explore, we appreciate the culture there, we seek out the different locations along the Ghanaian coast and get people there and to experience it. And let's see, I think my Venus is in my ninth house on my natal chart. So this is like my life's purpose is to help kind of explore the cultures, the secrets of other cultures, and think about what does that mean for cannabis? What does that mean for me as a person, whether I'm a person of color or not? And so that's the Ghanaian trip. Then next summer there's a South African excursion centered around the Durban Cannabis Conference and these are, yeah, so just really getting folk to the continent in the name of cannabis consumption, but really digging into the culture and making sure we're not just taking away but also contributing before we leave.
0:20:07 - Speaker 1
I love that. I was just going to say something you just said it so eloquently, though, just like not just visiting and taking and appropriating, and just really honoring and learning and having respect. So, before we go, is there anything else that you would like to promote and do you have any calls to action?
0:20:34 - Speaker 2
I do have a call to action, because we like to advocate for cannabis justice and attach a portion of every proceed of pickets to.
Everything goes to the Justice Foundation, and what I'd like to do is encourage folks to also join us in that cause, and so their website is JUSTUS Foundation. So if you Google Justice Foundation, they're also on social media, making sure Yep, justice Foundation. They are dedicated to supporting the process of our legacy to legal Right, so pre-legislation, pre-legalization, cannabis operators and supporting their entry into the legal cannabis market. And I think, when we hear a lot of like generational wealth and you think about the green wave and this, that the other, the Justice Foundation takes what we talk about at our fireside, chats and operationalizes it, puts it into action. So I want to send a call to action out there for folks to join us in that mission. You can also visit our website to learn more and sign up for the newsletter, and so we're at all things social media. So in REAP, s-e-a-u-x, because we spell it the Louisiana way and yeah, that would just be it Also what a great name, yay.
0:22:06 - Speaker 1
I love it.
0:22:07 - Speaker 2
Well, you know, you have to sew before you reap, and so you know here we are.
0:22:14 - Speaker 1
I mean from your lips, it's like you know. The whole industry needs to be resonating with that message.
0:22:22 - Speaker 2
Oh, my goodness, you definitely get what you give in this place. You know, I've learned that, yes, yes, it's a movement, it's a movement.
0:22:33 - Speaker 1
Well, I appreciate that you're in this movement and everything you're doing. It's just amazing. So I appreciate you spending time with me today and talking about it, and would love to have you come back on to talk about all the other things that you want to talk about, because I love hearing you talk so, or listening to you talk. So that's pretty much it, right, until next time. Thank you, thank you for holding space for us. Thank you, until next time. Stay high and beautiful. And now join me as we take a closer look at the Connecticut cannabis scene with Kristin Souza of Sugar Leaf Boutique. Hi, how are?
0:23:23 - Speaker 2
0:23:23 - Speaker 1
Hi, how are you, kristin, sorry.
0:23:26 - Speaker 3
0:23:28 - Speaker 1
So glad to be here. No, thank you. Thank you for being here. So, kristin, you are very involved with the local cannabis business scene as well as being a cannabis activist. I would say what are the attitudes toward the recent legalization in Connecticut from a patient or consumer perspective?
0:23:49 - Speaker 3
No interesting question. You know we've had a medical program for a few years, so I think the folks that were part of the medical program have different view into it, maybe from people that are joining for the recreational side and also people that kind of just, you know, grow their own and utilize things from their friends. So we've got a few different optics coming in. I would say the attitudes towards legalization from the general public is really good. Like you know, in my store I have folks that come in and they're excited about the ability to go purchase it somewhere that's got a storefront and which is, you know, definitely a benefit to people. It helps break down the stigmas and normalize everything. But, as many you know, 50% of the population feels that way. I would say the other half is in. You know I'm partially in this camp.
Here is that it's been frustrated how we legalized in Connecticut because we made it okay for folks to consume it in July of 2021, but we just started getting our adult use dispensaries within the last few months. So there was well over a year where it was legal but there was nowhere to go, and now that we have those, they're still primarily operated by the same four cultivators. So we only have multi-state operators in Connecticut. So if you know that, you know it's problematic for you. I think there are a lot of people that don't really understand the nitty gritty of the industry and they're just like, oh cool, I can get it. So, so the yeah, the attitudes vary. Yeah, the attitudes vary on how, where your access is.
0:25:22 - Speaker 1
Yeah, you don't have a lot of access in that state right now, right.
0:25:27 - Speaker 3
No, we don't. I'd have to fact check myself, but I think there might be nine dispensaries. I mean for the whole, there's not that many, wow. I was working with a client where we had pins on a map of where they were all located and to see it in that visual, I'm like, oh my God, and that's a big state, we're big enough. I mean you know we're we look small on the map, but we're, you know we're big enough. I mean we've got a big enough. Population Like my city alone is 50,000 people, wow.
0:25:54 - Speaker 1
That's a lot.
0:25:55 - Speaker 2
It's not as big as the state that we're from but it's, but not in the state Exactly, so yeah the attitudes vary.
0:26:05 - Speaker 1
Yes, okay, so you work with a lot of local businesses in Connecticut and I can see that you're doing a lot to change the attitudes, but do you hear any pushback or receive any kind of you know negativity from other local business owners about like the way things are changing? The other business owners not being in cannabis? I should clarify.
0:26:28 - Speaker 3
I have noticed a there's been a very noticeable change over the past two years. My store has. I opened up about two years ago and so when I first opened it just coincidentally was the month after we legalized for adult use and I was like, oh, this is great. I'm primarily a CBD store, but I do consumption accessories and things like that. So I was trying to put together an event that brought in what I call like our main street type businesses that have nothing to do with cannabis or ancillary to that, but just collaborating together to break down the stigma.
I've never hit so much resistance on a project in my entire life. I was told it wouldn't be the right fit. We just don't do that here. We don't want to be associated with that. It was so hard and that was like right when it launched. Now people come out of the woodwork and want to collaborate. So it's been an interesting change, like I'll open my email quite regularly and it'll be, you know, a med spa brewery, a bakery, and they do want to collaborate. So the pushback is shrinking. Isn't that wild how?
0:27:31 - Speaker 1
quickly. That happens right, like even just with this podcast. In the beginning, six years ago, we had a lot of people not wanting to use their real names or their last names, and we still have that from time to time. But now people are like yeah, I want to talk about it, I want to shout it out from the rooftops and I'm like, yes, ok, that's what I like to hear.
Yeah, so that's good. What do you wish that people outside of Connecticut knew about the cannabis industry? Like I know, you're pretty good about covering that on TikTok and other social media platforms, but for those who don't follow you regularly yet, what would you? What do you wish people knew?
0:28:12 - Speaker 3
I would say the main thing and this is where I get the most pushback on social media is because it's not localized, it's broad, and so this resistance we have in state to some degree about the dispensaries isn't about the dispensaries, it's about it being consolidated to four very large corporations, and so sometimes when I speak out on that, you'll have states like, let's say, massachusetts or Colorado that get very defensive. Now I fully appreciate that Massachusetts has I might be making this number up, but I want to be like 200 dispensary. I mean, they have double digit thousand cannabis employees. It's such a different horizon. So that's what I wish more people understood about Connecticut is that we're still very much in our infancy as far as a regulated industry, and so supporting our social equity applicants and the folks that won licenses on the lotteries is really important if we want to bring those craft options to market. So that's something for people outside of Connecticut and even a little bit of the folks inside of Connecticut. I wish there was more understanding around that personally, yeah.
0:29:19 - Speaker 1
And so what are your hopes for the future of the cannabis scene there?
0:29:23 - Speaker 3
I really hope that we can. You know, no one state has gotten it exactly right, but I want Connecticut to model the states that have done things right, Like, for example, we're really drawing a line in the sand about consumption lounges.
0:29:38 - Speaker 1
Oh, yes, I saw that.
0:29:39 - Speaker 3
They're states. Yeah, you know, like things like that. Or when we legalize cannabis, we also put more stringent guidelines around the clean indoor air act. So that's great. Right, you don't want to be smoking cigarettes in my store, but they made it so that you can't consume anything within 25 feet of a window, vent or door. So, like to where I'm in a downtown area, you've got the standing in the middle of the street to be legally consumed. So my hopes for the future of cannabis is that we you know it's a plant I can sit out in my front sidewalk and drink a glass of wine, and that's no problem. But if I were to smoke a joint, that may or may not stir up some trouble, and so that's not. Yes, we're legal, but we really need to work on some of these finer points, and so my hopes are that we start to treat it more as the plant medicine and less toxic substance than some other things that are fully legal. That's a good hope.
0:30:36 - Speaker 1
I like that. Yeah, so you could end the end, yeah, yeah, I know there's a lot of it, but that's a good one and I know that there are a lot. It's a big question.
0:30:46 - Speaker 3
I could go on forever.
0:30:47 - Speaker 1
Right, and I love to hear you go on, so I'd be okay with that. But anyway, we're going to have you back on, I'm sure many times. But before we end the segment, can you tell us a little bit more about Sugarleaf and also how people can support you?
0:31:07 - Speaker 3
So Sugarleaf is a hybrid boutique, so it's a small retail gift shop in downtown Middletown in Connecticut. It's a locally sourced CBD products. So I tend to work with folks that are either local to Connecticut or very close. So, like I carry the healing rose, that's Laura. I've got you know some things from Ascended. That's a Connecticut brand, betterways LLC, another Connecticut brand, so it's locally sourced hemp products where we can say exactly who grew it and who formulated it. And then it's also glass art. So I have access to glass blowers and glass artists in Connecticut and locally, so it's all American made glass art as well.
So we try to amplify our ancillary cannabis businesses. So it's a really great shop in downtown. I have a website and we do online orders, so that's www sugarleafctcom and kind of a branch out. I also do a freelance marketing work for cannabis businesses or cannabis adjacent. So that's something I've been doing for a little over a year now either helping folks that have their provisional licenses get more noticeable, not only through social media but through events and experiences. So I've had the opportunity to help out with Mecan, the New England Cannabis Convention in Boston and Hartford, and a few other events like that. So all encompassing it's the store in the marketing that I do, I guess, online, like I think we found each other through Tiktok, which I really love, so we're both on Tiktok and I'm also on Instagram. Sugarleaf underscore CT is my business page.
0:32:42 - Speaker 1
Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you. This episode of your Highness podcast is brought to you by metragayacom. Metragayacom is giving listeners a 10% off discount when they use the code YHPOD. That's YHPOD at metragayacom, a top rated creative company. Also, you can keep up on the recent events and all the news surrounding our show by subscribing to our sub-stack, your Highness newsletter. This episode was edited and produced by James Crash and myself, Diana Crash, and is a production of your Highness media. Intro music is brought to you by your Mom Likes my Music. Thank you for listening.
Transcribed by https://podium.page