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In this episode, OSAAT takes a turn from its usual format, as our host masterfully interviews Jane West, in what becomes a thrilling and powerful conversation. They span a wide range of topics, including…
Jane West is a passionate, dedicated, empathetic entrepreneur in the cannabis sector. She’s all about advocacy and accessibility in the community. Jane is seemingly an expert in not only designing uniquely stylish and sleek glassware for smoking but also in the growth of the legalization of cannabis, specifically in Colorado since 2012. West herself is from Denver Colorado and has been continuously improving her cannabis brand for 10 years.
Jane has over 50 cannabis products, from pipes and bongs to CBD coffees and pre-rolled hemp joints; one set for the daytime, and one for the night. Jane is also passionate about motivating women to join the space and start their own cannabis careers. She mentors new entrepreneurs and start-ups, and above all else, she is a loving mother, who proudly consumes cannabis almost every day.
This episode is a wholesome dive into the world of cannabis entrepreneurism. Our wonderful host uses Jane’s experience and wisdom as a guide to shaping a fun and educative conversation.
The discussion begins with Jane’s concerns and subsequent ideals regarding the cannabis space. Jane talks about a lack of accessibility on a variety of fronts, such as small business owners being kept out of the market; legislation that doesn’t support home growers; the mocking perception that some still have of cannabis use, and more. She mentions that medical cannabis patients, who were the backbone of cannabis advocacy, still do not have access to the quantities or types of cannabis they need.
Moreover, home growers looking to self-medicate have a difficult time in the current cannabis climate as well. West says that every state still has areas that need advocacy. Legalising cannabis the right way can cause great change in many lives. Jane believes that the consumption of cannabis, THC or CBD, can make everyone’s life better in some way.
Despite the need for improvement, Jane is optimistic about what young cannabis entrepreneurs are getting themselves into. She recounts that upon legalisation in Colorado in 2012, the perception of the cannabis movement was condescending, and the cannabis community was almost non-existent.
These days, budding marijuana enthusiasts that are graduating into the weed space have the world at their fingertips. Almost any professional background could support the cannabis industry, such as logistics, legal, accounting, marketing, design, manufacturing, and agriculture… to name a few. Throughout the episode, Jane puts a strong emphasis on the fact that anyone can make something happen and find success in this massive market.
Soon enough the pair get into Jane’s preferences and needs for smoking weed, which no doubt shaped her artistic product designs. Jane talks about the term “paraphernalia”, a term she adamantly rejects due to its negative connotation from when weed was illegal. Instead, she describes her products as home accessory products.
They are elegant, minimal designs that fit in with the home decor. She provides a much-needed fresh change from the usual over-the-top, stoner stereotype bongs and pipes. Jane is a perfect example of what the average cannabis smoker is really like, and her products perfectly reflect that perspective.
The episode continues with a trip down memory lane. Jane talks about how she started her career (which initially was not cannabis related), how her life and passions changed over time, and how she eventually entered the cannabis space.
It wasn’t easy getting to where she is now, and she had to take a number of twists and turns along the way. Jane recalls when she tried to host wholesome events for cannabis users. Her good intentions were met with a SWAT team raiding Jane’s brunch/painting event for women.
This sadly ended her focus on weed smoking events, with a misdemeanor, an 18-month ban on consumption, and probation. This opened her eyes to a fact that has for the most part not changed to this day. That is, the United States sells billions of dollars worth of cannabis annually, yet customers have little to nowhere to gather and consume publicly.
Despite leaving weed events behind, Jane was able to transition to a new purpose in her work. After press coverage of her events and her tussle with the Mayor, as well as the organic (non-paid) web traffic she had amassed to date, she received an overwhelming call from women in her community to guide them in cannapreneurism.
This led her to create Women Grow, a network for women entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. Even this was met initially with at least some confusion. People expected them to be smoking and stereotypically “kicking back” at events, when in reality they were there to talk about business ideas, licensing, or advocacy; enacting their core motives of connection, education, empowerment, and inspiration. Today, Women Grow is at 80 per cent female employment.
Episode 5 finishes strong with a talk about the state of the cannabis industry. Jane talks about companies that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when advocating for marijuana rights. She emphasizes that we need to be sure that we are enacting true, honest change.
There are people with drug-related charges in legal states that still are fighting an uphill battle against cannabis discrimination. They can’t get student loans, they have trouble landing jobs and face many other side effects of having drug charges on their resume. Aside from this, Jane talks about other areas that need focus also, such as prison rights, medical rights, home growing rights, etc. She presents a powerful call to action, encouraging everyone to get educated and get involved in the cannabis industry.