Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Who are you and why cannabis?
My name is Gianna Nicole and I guess you can call me a Jack of All Trades! Cannabis has been a part of my life since I was a teenager. As a kid, you dabble in anything because we don't really know better but as I got older I began using cannabis as a way to maintain my anxiety. Cannabis has been a resource for me for years, it served as an alternative to anxiety medication, it kept my morning sickness down through both of my pregnancies, and essentially eases the stressors I endure as a mother. To me cannabis is more than a plant, it's a tool for healing and I want to be able to educate our Brown and Black communities about the numerous benefits of this plant.
What inspired your business & what is your favorite item?
It's not so much of a what as it is a who. My sister-in-law battles with disabilities that prevent her from living life to her fullest capacity or one that she can enjoy. Because of her disability, she relies heavily on the use of pharmaceutical drugs to stabilize her condition. In our community, we can't decide what alternative medicine can even be considered, and obtaining access to Medical Marijuana requires referrals that doctors may not always be willing to give. I began making edibles because I believe that cannabis has properties that can help combat some of the issues she experiences- and not just her but others alike. Edibles provide a more convenient way to access the healing properties of the THC/CBD, it's less harsh on the lungs as you're not smoking, and cannabis and food have always been my way to connect with people and bring people together.
I honestly enjoy all of the snacks that I've made thus far but I'd have to say that if I were to choose a favorite it'd be a toss-up between our Caramel Popcorn or our Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have to stop myself from eating them.
When was the first time you experienced weed?
January 2008. I'm pretty sure I've come in contact with it before then. My family grew up in the 70's, they're all avid cannabis users. (Don't tell my grandmother though, she'll have a cow!) But January 2008 was the first time I ever smoked, I was a freshman at Lincoln University and it was one of my friend's birthdays; to be honest with you it was all peer pressure. I never had the desire to smoke before then, not saying this experience changed it for me because it didn't- I immediately thought my mom was going to find out and went into an ultimate panic but I went back to it, I developed a relationship -so to say- with cannabis.
Why is it important that black people are in the cannabis industry?
Honestly, before we can expect the Black community to join the cannabis industry they must first be educated on the history of cannabis itself. We have to break down the stigmas of cannabis use within these marginalized communities; it's about informing them of the restorative health properties of cannabis. When it comes to our participation within the cannabis industry, the presence of our millennials is important now more than ever, especially this year-2020. This year is the time for Black people to reclaim their greatness, rebuild their communities and their businesses. Parents of millennials were a part of the War on Drugs where many of them experienced injustices because cannabis was used as a weapon against people of color. There is so much work being done in health education that will give our people access to this plant that is changing the quality of life, but now they won't have the fear of losing their freedom.
What's the hardest part of having a business?
Momming is probably the most difficult thing to do when trying to be an entrepreneur, especially with a 2-year old; not to mention quarantine doesn't make things any easier. Trying to find a groove to work in that doesn't interrupt your normal day to day routines is important, otherwise, everything will clash and you'll burn out fast. I do most of my work in the evenings, the heavy stuff, you know things that I need to just have no distractions, throughout the day I keep my inventory updated, work on marketing, small things that don't require too much time so that I can switch back to Mom mode as soon as it's lunchtime.
What is your favorite strain?
For the last few months, I've been loving Wedding Cake, it's not a heavy high so I don't feel like an instant nap, and the taste is sweet, not like cake but it has a good mouthfeel. Now Wedding Cake is my favorite strain to smoke but when it comes to infusions/extractions I prefer Gelato or OG Kush.