Your Highness Podcast

The Ghost of Cannabis Future

Episode Summary

In our final episode of our "Ghost of Past, Present, and Future of Cannabis", we dive into the experience of transitioning out of the industry.

Episode Notes

In our final episode of our "Ghost of Past, Present, and Future of Cannabis", we dive into the experience of transitioning out of the industry. Stephanie Kerns joins us to discuss why she left the cannabis industry and how that has impacted her life. 

Important links:

The Healing Rose

Buttplug by Yourmomlikesmymusic and <3URMOM

The Cannabis Workers Coalition 

Your Highness Substack

Episode Transcription

Unknown Speaker  00:18

You're listening to your highness podcast. I'm your host, Diana,


Unknown Speaker  00:22

and I am your co host, Jr.


Unknown Speaker  00:26

How are you doing today Jr.


Unknown Speaker  00:28

doing awesome. It's an amazing day is Valentine's Day.


Unknown Speaker  00:31

Yes, it is an amazing your favorite holiday.


Unknown Speaker  00:34

It is and the weather is gorgeous outside.


Unknown Speaker  00:36

Yes, it is a good day. Yeah. So I want to get booed. So I'm glad we're doing this today. It's a good place to be. It is it is. Speaking of good places to be we're going to start where we always begin every episode with our segment fav pot and fav nut pot, where we talk about our favorite cannabis related item and our favorite non cannabis related items. I think you do better than that. Anyway, all right. So I'm going to start there, because I always do because you always do. So. I was recently gifted with some amazing products from the healing rose. And if you don't know, you should definitely check them out because it's an amazing company. And they sent me a CBD bath. So which is called hippies hideaway, it's 300 milligrams of CBD. And it was really a lovely bath. And But see, here's the thing. I want to do two of them. I'm breaking the rules. Oh, I'm going to do that because it's Valentine's Day. So anyway, so my other one is what they sent me is another item they sent me it's they have a line of suppositories. The reason I'm bringing this up is because a it's a fantastic product. It's 500 not 500 There are different strengths but the one I'm looking at right now is the 50 milligram CBD 50 milligram CBD so it's like a one to one and it has organic cocoa butter in it, as well as organic broad spectrum CBD distillate and full spectrum CBD distillate. Anyway, so, Laura Bonner, who is the CEO and co founder of the healing Rose is going to be on an upcoming episode discussing suppositories and because I have a twisted mind, I think that this is the perfect time to sample my friends your mom likes my music and heart your mom's song called up plug which we're also going to stay on for on an upcoming episode so just take a quick listen but your girlfriend can't do


Unknown Speaker  03:16

it like that that yeah I think I'm kind of in the moment


Unknown Speaker  03:30

when I get tonight


Unknown Speaker  03:45

come get your get your job


Unknown Speaker  03:55

done was a solid song. I enjoyed that.


Unknown Speaker  04:06

Solid we're old so Jr fly. Like I'm loving on you right now. So it's not


Unknown Speaker  04:22

kidding. I'm kidding. I love that about you. So what's your favorite part right now.


Unknown Speaker  04:28

My favorite part is actually an app. i A while back ago I bought the packs era pro four packs, pods and I was really excited because it came with an app that allowed you to lock it for children. It also allowed you to change the temperature settings through the app and also had the COA their certificate of analysis attached to it through the app through whatever strain that put into the into the packs error pro battery. Right one I bought it, I want to download the app and quickly found out that Apple actually removes the Pax app from from their app store. So I ran out into the world, it was raining outside, I shook my fist in the air. I screamed up to the heavens, my day was absolutely ruined. And, and we've had a love hate relationship. I mean, this Pax era Pro, for about a year since. And then I found out from someone I work with that there is this app that you can get for your iPhone is called Connect browser. And basically, it does exactly what the pecs app did. So now I have, you know, all the abilities of the app, I can I can lock it. If you have a child, and you have a Pax era Pro and you're worried even though you may have a stash logics box, you might put your stuff up super high in the air, you know all that fun jams, you might keep it in your pocket, there's always that worry that mistakes can happen and your little one can grab it. And now you can get this this app and lock that jams and not have to not have to worry about it also changed the temperature settings. And also like I said, you plug in whatever strain into the into the battery, look it up on the app, and it will give you the certificate of analysis, which is a really cool thing to have. So that is my favorite pot.


Unknown Speaker  06:29

That's a really good one. I like that a lot. Yeah. So like the last


Unknown Speaker  06:33

two. So I made it my favorite part.


Unknown Speaker  06:39

So my fav not pot is Valentine's Day, because it's my favorite holiday, as you already said, and you know, it's a really good one this year. It's a really good one every year because I have someone like you, who makes it amazing. And it's just a great day all around. So I'm really happy about that. But also, I'm happy to announce that in our substack we're going to be talking about things that we love that had nothing to do with cannabis, we're going to be doing some fun things to balance the seriousness of this show. So we were going to do a Valentine's Day post. But this day went by very fast, very fast. But we will be doing fun posts that have you know, more to do with entertainments and yeah, so I think that will be fun. We're going to have fun with it. Because we watch a lot of TV and movies. And we talk about them a lot. So now you'll get to hear our thoughts on that. If you subscribe to our substack you can find us it's called the Your Highness newsletter. Then you will get the regular updates about those. So what's your favorite part right now,


Unknown Speaker  08:02

my favorite part is it's kind of connected because of something that you got me for an early Valentine's Day gift. It's this acupressure mat. So it is a mat that you put on the ground and it has all these little spikes coming off of it. So what you do is you, you take off your shirt, and you lay down on this mat. Now you might be thinking, that sounds incredibly painful. And I'm here to tell you that at first it is at least for me, I am not a I'm not one of these people there are just like, oh you have pain doesn't bother me. I'm very much a wimp when it comes to pain. I prefer not not feeling pain, you know, that's my preference, you know, but you lay down on it and you feel pain for a couple minutes because you're actively laying on a bunch of plastic needles coming out of a mat with your bare skin. But after a few minutes, it's like your body gets thrown into like this meditative state where you just feel calm and relaxed and you kind of feel like this warms coming through your body. You just feel your muscles feel relaxed, your mind feels at ease. And then when you're finished with it, I normally lay on it 10 to 20 minutes on each side. I flipped myself like a hamburger. So after I flipped myself like a hamburger, you know and do the back in the front. You just feel amazing. You're in good spirits, you're thinking about you know, just going outside and giving some people some high fives. It's a wonderful feeling. And then what you do is on the when you lay on your chest and your stomach, it kind of helps with digestion and also kind of helps with your lungs with breathing. And then on the back, you know helps with body relaxation and muscle muscle tension and just removing all that stress and depression. It's like the next best thing to actual acupuncture. So yeah, that is my favorite nap. Hot.


Unknown Speaker  10:00

Awesome. I also really like that man.


Unknown Speaker  10:04

Yeah, it's a nice, it's like, I'm kind of addicted to it. Yeah, yeah. Like I have a stressful day at work. And like, all I can think of is like, Damn, I can't wait to get home to that mat. You know, it's become a joke that at work that I get so stressed out that my idea of relaxation is now laying my body onto a, a pin mat, amount of needle sticking out of it, that forces my my brain just to go into a meditative state. But it works.


Unknown Speaker  10:31

Yeah, well, if you've, if you listen to past episodes, you've heard me wax poetic about acupuncture, which I am. So I just can't say enough about it. I am so into it.


Unknown Speaker  10:44

I never had it. So I can't say anything. Well, you,


Unknown Speaker  10:47

you have now experienced some level of it. That's kind of the idea. So yeah, I'm glad that we're experiencing that at some level.


Unknown Speaker  10:58

I'm glad I'm experienced that too.


Unknown Speaker  10:59

So as we talked about before, we're doing a series about the past, present and future of the cannabis industry. And well, we can both talk about the present and the past a good bit, we thought it would be best to have someone who has a lot more experience than we do and has transitioned out of the space professionally. So with that in mind, we have brought in a good friend of the podcast Stephanie Kearns, and in the next segment, you'll hear about her experience. But before we do that, we want to call out some some people that are doing good in the industry. So with that in mind, if you don't know about the cannabis Workers Coalition, I strongly urge that you tune into what they're doing, even if you aren't a quote, unquote, salaried employee in the space because they, they provide so many resources, they have an anonymous hotline. And I'm just going to read a little bit about just from their website. All individuals that work within the United States of America are given undeniable labor rights despite citizen ship status. It says get support, find local healers, free legal aid, housing support, and more. Their goal is to support workers as they heal and recover a sense of agency and clarity in their lives and workplaces moving forward. So they have a bunch of resources like workers advice, surveys that you can take. There are volunteer programs. So definitely check them out because they can help with worker trainings, meeting facilitation, and they can help build up equitable toolkits at your workplace. So yeah, that's mine. And also, before we end this, we have to mention our sponsor, major Gaia. And meter Gaia is the highest rated online creative supplier. And listeners can get 10% off any non sale item using the code YH pot that's on Mitra MITRAGAI


Unknown Speaker  13:46

That's a that's perfect, I don't really have anything, myself. Just remember that the future is not written yet. So no matter what you view the state of cannabis as right now, it's never too late to create something beautiful, magical out of the space. So, you know, understand that the hardships that are happening now, but also understand that the power is in you to make it better. If you're someone that is an innovator then then innovate, create something magical. If you're someone that is maybe just a worker, join collectively with your fellow workers group together and join a collective bargaining situation and just allow your voice to be heard so that it can't be just washed over. And yeah, that's all I really have. Obviously, you won't hear me in this next segment. I'm still here though. I'm still alive, just not in the next segment.


Unknown Speaker  14:45

Alright, so stay tuned for a really awesome interview with Stephanie Kearns. And until next time, stay high and beautiful. Bye.


Unknown Speaker  14:56

Bye, everybody.


Unknown Speaker  14:58

I'm here with Steph Funny Kearns, who's going to speak to the Future Part of our past, present and future of the cannabis series that we're doing. So Stephanie, can you tell people about your professional journey in cannabis?


Unknown Speaker  15:16

I would love to Hello, everybody.


Unknown Speaker  15:19

Yeah. Hi, first of all, Hi, how are you?


Unknown Speaker  15:23

I'm excellent. So yeah, I'll talk about my journey. My journey started with bud tending and learning how to grow before cannabis was legal. And then that turned into more bud tending at at a professional dispensary that is now really large, then I was a brand ambassador for a vape company. I also after that, did edible extract sales for lunchbox alchemy, I also did sales with just flour. And then my last position that I had in the cannabis space was working for a research company called Phylis Bioscience. So everything from bud tending brand ambassadors, sales, and then learning about the research aspect of cannabis. So I feel like I did a little bit of everything,


Unknown Speaker  16:29

right? I mean, honestly, when people ask about like, how do you know any kind of advice about getting into this space, I automatically think of you because you have done it all. You've really done it all. And it also made me think about when you were talking about your experience how long we've known each other because I met you during the vape, the vape stage


Unknown Speaker  16:54

stage, which was early on, it was early on in the stage. And that was a that was a good time. That was a Yeah, that was a hopeful time.


Unknown Speaker  17:03

Yeah. So we were also hopeful back this


Unknown Speaker  17:06

year where we share where we worked for companies that you know, they were telling us we were going to have stock options and that we were going to have medical benefits, why medical benefits, you know, we were talking about all that how the possibilities were endless. And you know, everybody was going to buy in the market was huge. And boy, was that not the truth. Right?


Unknown Speaker  17:32

And here we are now and you're not as active in the cannabis space. Not in a professional way. Anyway, unfortunately, unfortunately for me only because I just love talking to you. But you know, we have a friendship now. So it doesn't really matter if you're in it or not. I just love having people like you in the space, because I know that you're really in it for the right reasons.


Unknown Speaker  17:56

So same, that's why I always love speaking with you, because you're always trying to shed light on truth and trying to create community that's, that has value and integrity. And I wish there was more of that. I really do. But I'm lucky to have you


Unknown Speaker  18:15

on I'm lucky to have you. So can you talk about some of the most significant factors that drove drove you out of the professional cannabis space?


Unknown Speaker  18:26

I would love to. But you know, it was also hard to talk about this because yeah, I'm glad I'm doing it. It's heartbreaking to have a passion that is so intense, but to feel like you can't do it anymore. So when cannabis first started out, the only people involved in it, were people that really cared about the plant and the healing aspect. And the reason why those were the only people involved is because it wasn't necessarily legal. And the gray area was very gray. And so the only people willing to risk being around cannabis working with it growing with it teaching about it, were people that needed it for their own healing, you know, it had either saved their lives, you know, from cancer or some type of horrific thing or in my case, it was treating my chronic disease that Western medicine was never able to really help me with or treat. And so what happened is the cannabis industry was full of passionate people that cared about healing. And it was a very loving space when it became recreational. All of what you know, and I'm going to be honest, what I call the squares, all the people who didn't have the guts to be associated with cannabis were suddenly like, oh, well, you know, now that it's legal, I want to get involved and they saw dollars Signs. And so the market became flooded with people who didn't know anything about the healing aspect. And frankly, they didn't care. They were just, you know, excited, I guess about the money. And boy did that show in how everything changed the way people ran things, the way people did not tell the truth about their labeling their packaging their products, or even who they were, like the ethics of the company. Some of the companies I worked for really presented an image right of, you know, where all women owned, or we do everything sustainably, and then you work there, and the plants are being sprayed with unbelievable pesticides day and night. And it's not actually run by women. It's run by a chauvinistic man that says horrible things to you every time you're on your shift. And so kit, cannabis, and the whole space went from being this healing thing where you were talking to people who had cancer and helping them to people coming in, you know, like, when I was bud tending, they just wanted to get the one of the most important, the strongest thing to get them high, which is fine. I'm not I'm not saying that the recreational market is bad. That's not what I'm saying. I think everyone should have access, but the heart of cannabis went away when it became recreational, because the people who started out early on assumed unbelievable risk with law enforcement, but they did it anyway. And those people have been slowly pushed out. A lot of that is because those people were sick and actually using the cannabis. And now suddenly, they work for an employer that's maybe never used, cannabis has no idea. And, you know, they, they're just not sympathetic to anything that you're going through, or anything that you have to teach, and they don't even want to learn about it.


Unknown Speaker  22:07

I actually wrote an article recently about the lack of support for parents in this space, professionally speaking, I was really trying to find, you know, speaking to the heart of it, right, the heart of it is also, you know, taking care of your family, being able to be there for your family, and have that work life balance. And you can't do that if you don't have support, and childcare quality childcare options. And I couldn't, I only found one company. And I mean, I searched heart far and wide was actually doing some type of they, they weren't providing free child care, but they were giving like a, like a credit. Right. And if they went, they actually partnered with the local YMCA, which was really a fantastic program. But yeah, anyway, my point is, I interviewed you for that piece as we actually started it off with a quote from you. And I don't know if you feel comfortable talking about it, but do you want to touch on some of the reasons why that also drove you out of the space.


Unknown Speaker  23:17

That was a that was a big part of it, too. So the lack of passion and the lack of healing. The, the way that, you know, us as patients were treated, and then the, for the people that had children, there was absolutely no accommodation whatsoever, there was no understanding at one of the places I used to work and do sales, I would have to drive literally hundreds and hundreds of miles a day, from different cities. And I would have to hurry in order to get back in time to pick my daughter up from school. And I would be so stressed out all day long. And you know, I had manifests that people had to sign and every dispensary I was going to everything was on time but if anybody at any point put me behind even five or 10 minutes, that meant that my little girl wasn't gonna get picked up from school and I didn't have a support system where you know, I could have somebody else go get her so every day I worked under this unbelievable stress. And there any time I brought up like hey, you know, I, I might need to leave a little early or it there was this attitude of like, we can hire somebody that doesn't have kids at one of my employers actually said that to me. And I threw back in that person's face. Yeah, but there's no way they would have the knowledge that I have. You know, these people that are just getting into the cannabis space at the time, they hadn't talked to hundreds of different people with cancer and helps children with seizures and they didn't even know that cannabis could do that. So every single job I had And it was an unbelievable struggle to juggle being a mom and be the kind of employee that they needed me to be. And it was made very clear that being a mom wasn't cool. And there wasn't any kind of time for that. So I had to keep that very separate. And there's only so long that you can do that yet. Yes, cannabis was my passion, but I love my family more.


Unknown Speaker  25:25

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. You do? Of course you do. Tragic. I couldn't believe the you know, any other time. I put out a call for for something like a source, you know, or some interview type of source. You know, as a journalist, I'll say like, I'm looking for someone to speak to this, you know, can you speak to this? It doesn't matter what it is. I could say I need somebody to talk about CBD and skincare. And I'll get dozens of responses. Now most of them have nothing to do with CBD or skincare. But people are throwing their clients at me throwing themselves at me. When I put out the call to look, I want I said I need to find cannabis companies who offer child care benefits. crickets, crickets? When I tell you the only responses I got were, oh, we allow remote work. Okay, that is not what I meant. Yeah, that is.


Unknown Speaker  26:26

And you know, I'm sitting here counting, I worked for 123456 major companies, six of them with unbelievable, you know, I have health problems. That's why I got into cannabis. Right. Right. One of those companies would offer me health benefits. It was always the same thing. Oh, you know, we're not making any money stuff. Well, here I'm doing the sales. And I'm like, really? Right. That's Watson ating. Because I know what I sold last week. And I mean, I'm killing it. Right,


Unknown Speaker  26:58

exactly. And yeah, it's like, on the one hand, they want to, I'm sorry, go ahead. No, you go ahead. You go ahead. I was just going to go on to say like, the same people who want to boast about how prosperous this industry is, and how they want to stay so positive about everything are the same ones who will quickly tell you they don't have the money to offer you childcare benefits to offer you an actual accessible schedule as a chronically ill person. Right. You know,


Unknown Speaker  27:32

and it sounds and when you when we need to mark, you know, chronic ill, there's a stigma like Well, I'm probably not a good employee, right? Like, I probably Grace a lot and all that. But the irony is, I am unbelievably hard working. I'm unbelievable at making connections and teaching people things. I'm, I don't want to toot my own horn, but I am probably the best employee you could ever hire. So I never I never understood why there couldn't be a little bit of bending my way. Right? That was always the same attitude is that this is cannabis and everybody wants to do it. So if you don't like it, there's the door. But the reason I stayed and the reason why I kept working and you know, kept trying to like, well, maybe I'll try this side of cannabis, you know, maybe this side of cannabis will we'll have some ethics, maybe I'll find some people over here that care about it. The reason why I kept trying was because it's worth it, right? Cannabis is healing like it's it can save people's lives. But when you're working for people that have either don't care about that, or have completely lost sight of it, and it's just a business, it feels it's just like the saddest thing in the world when plant medicine that could free our civilization becomes just a product with a gold label on a shelf. And, you know, I


Unknown Speaker  28:59

mean, that nobody, I mean, it's just, it's, it's just like any other industry is the thing. Like if you are only going to do what every other industry does, then you cannot be offended when people say it's just like every other industry because that's what it that's what it is now. Like we started off you and I both we both done tons of trades in the belief that one day, our work would someday help other people in our situation have better access to what we finally what we discovered, you know, be it by accident by desperation out of desperation or your upbringing, whatever it is, you know, we've we've been able to discover this and we want to share that with people. And then it just quickly became something else entirely.


Unknown Speaker  29:51

It really did. And I'm not saying there aren't people out there that have their hearts in the right place that are still in the game. Cannabis space trying to make a difference. But one of those people one of the biggest people that I know of in the cannabis space that's been making a difference. As long as I have they actually worked at the first place I worked and makes the the best I am talking the best RSO you could ever imagine the cleanest and the purest, just got fired. Just got fired. After eight years of all the blood, sweat and tears. And the reason Oh, well, we're you know, we're having trouble with the IRS. Now you go to this company's Instagram and looks like business as usual. They're coming out with new products and everything is fine. But they fired the person that actually thought up the company and has been doing all the hard work the whole time. And what's sad about the reason I bring this up is it's the same story again, and again. The people in the cannabis space that are the healers that really care, they get squashed out. And that's it's heartbreaking. It's absolutely heartbreaking. So if you're in the cannabis space, and you've still been able to hold your ground, and you're a healer, and I hats off to you, I mean like don't give up, I hang in there if you can, because it is just


Unknown Speaker  31:25

heartbreaking. If you're a healer and also independently wealthy hang in there.


Unknown Speaker  31:35

My number is 5555.


Unknown Speaker  31:41

So, as you know, leaving the cannabis space can be difficult for many reasons. And you can talk about some of those reasons if you'd like. But do you have any advice for people transitioning out of the cannabis industry?


Unknown Speaker  31:57

Well, the one thing I would say is, there's a lot of fear transitioning out because of all the damn nondisclosure agreements that every company makes you sign. The last one I signed was a 15 year NDI. And it scared me to the point where, up until today, I haven't even mentioned their name. There are people that have known me for 15 years. And they don't even know that I've worked for this company, because I'm so scared to talk about it. And I want to remind people that you're you're a human being and you cannot bottle everything up all the time. And you cannot protect people that never cared about you that never ever, ever cared about your individuality are what you had to bring to the table. So speak your truth and find something that is good for your soul find find a way like I always say that where your ripples can get out as far as possible. And unfortunately, if you find that the cannabis space isn't that if you find that you're being discriminated against, for various reasons, because you care or because you're a woman, or because you're a man or whatever. There, there's hope but not if you settle. If you settle, it can never get better. So yeah, I've worked at a lot of places, the goal was to find the place that that was ethically in line with me and I wasn't able to find that. So it's time to move on the universe was telling me that I could my skills can be used somewhere else. And my energy could be spent in a in a space where it was wanted and needed. And so I would tell people you are needed and wanted and it might not be in the cannabis industry. And that is okay.


Unknown Speaker  33:53

Absolutely. So, to that point, do you want to tell people where they can find you? And do you want to talk about anything that you're doing right now?


Unknown Speaker  34:02

Sure. So right now I focus on doing what I call healing consults. So what happened is there's so many people in my life that would say, Hey, Stephanie, I have a friend who nor I have a cousin or I have a uncle that's really scared about cannabis, but they want to talk to somebody and they have cancer, or I have this friend that has endometriosis or, and so here I am, you know, for the last 10 years, I'm talking to strangers on a regular basis about their periods and um, you know about their diet and all this stuff. And I started realizing that this skill that I used to use in the cannabis space when people would ask me all these healing questions and we would dial things in was something that I could do on my own. So you can find me on Instagram. It's vibrant deity. I'm an artist I do heal In consults, I help people with cannabis also with psilocybin and other


Unknown Speaker  35:09

healing medicines.


Unknown Speaker  35:10

Basically, plant medicine. Yeah. Anything you can think of diet? And I don't I actually don't charge money for that. Yeah. And here's the here's why, if I'm going to leave the cannabis space, because because people aren't doing it for the right reasons, then I have to make sure that when I'm helping and healing that I'm doing it for the right reasons. So, you know, if you're wondering like, Well, why would you do that? Why would you spend all this time? And how do you make any money? I trade things. So people all say, you don't have to give me anything. But if there's something that you have, that you can give, that's okay. And you know, what's interesting, everything from soap, to meat, to vegetables, to all this stuff that I wouldn't normally have to go and buy. I kind of barter for and it actually, I feel like I have more of an abundance now than when I was working for, you know, a legit paycheck that came all the time. And it was just money in the bank.


Unknown Speaker  36:19

That's amazing. You touched my heart. That's amazing. I not much you like that stuff. You're making me mushy?


Unknown Speaker  36:32

I know. And I can attest to that. You have helped me so much. Like I can't even put it into words over the last few years, how much you've guided me. So I couldn't recommend reaching out to you more. Oh, well, I'm willing


Unknown Speaker  36:48

to give my energy to as many people as I can. And I feel like the people that find me are the ones that need me. And if what I say isn't helpful, then you haven't you don't have anything to lose. But the goal is to just create a healing community.


Unknown Speaker  37:08

I love that. And I love you. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Thanks for listening. You can find us on Instagram at Your Highness podcast, or on Twitter at Highness podcast. Be sure to rate us on iTunes and subscribe.



Transcribed by