A lot has changed for the cannabis industry in the last 10 years. Yet, one thing we can’t seem to shake is the negative stigma that follows it around. In this episode, we speak with a woman who once feared and dismissed cannabis, only to become an activist for it in later life.
“I thought it was dangerous,” says Joyce Gerber, “I believed it killed brain cells.” This all changed for Joyce when she and her husband traveled to Denver to experience cannabis under the guidance of industry expert, Goldie from City Sessions.
Ever since then, Joyce has enjoyed a different outlook on cannabis, normalized it in her private life, turned it into a second career.
“It’s not my natural habitat. People think this is some joke. They think it’s a bunch of guys on a couch eating Cheetos. Maybe that was my preconception as well. [Now], I’m working in this industry, and every week I’m bringing on a new professional to talk on The Canna Mom Podcast about what they’re doing in the industry. It’s transformative.”
“The idea is to crush the stigma around cannabis, by sharing these very personal stories of women in the industry,” she says.
With this mission in mind, Joyce was able to create a successful podcast during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her pursuit to share stories of hope and to change the narrative, Joyce has interviewed over 50 women and continues to be an advocate for cannabis change.
Produced by Elana Goldberg and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. The Cannabis Enigma is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Music by Desca.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- The Canna Mom Show
- The Canna Mom Show on Facebook
- The Canna Mom Show on Instagram
- The Canna Mom Show on LinkedIn
- Joyce Gerber on LinkedIn
- City Sessions
- Dr. Dustin Sulak
EG: Hi, Joyce. Really excited to have you on the podcast with me here today. Thanks for joining me.
JG: I know it’s morning here. It’s afternoon there. I’m happy to talk to you. This is starting off my day. I got my coffee.
EG: Ah, good. Well, I’m honored to be starting your day off like this. Joyce, let’s jump straight into it. One of the things that we tackle a lot on The Cannigma and especially here on The Cannabis Enigma Podcast is stigma and how we as people involved in the cannabis industry, whether that’s as patients, as writers, as physicians, as advocates, how we help break that stigma on the day-to-day basis. I think, your story is really about breaking stigmas. Will you share it with us?
JG: Oh, absolutely. Good morning and thank you for having me. I’m happy to share. I’m usually the person asking the question, so I always find it interesting to be interviewed. Yeah, so my story. I always say that cannabis is not my natural habitat. I am a middle-aged Jewish woman with two children. One 22 now, one 19, and that in 2016, I had a cannabis awakening.
EG: I love that. What was the awakening?
JG: I was born in 1965, so I got to be the first generation that got to take advantage of Title IX and the feminist revolution. We believe that women could do anything and the girls were given opportunities, just like boys. I live my life that way. I’m a lawyer by training. I used to practice family law as a divorce attorney, which means I’m mean. I do say, I’ve done something no man has ever done. My third year of law school, I was pregnant. My son, Josh and I, we finished law school together. We took the bar together. We passed the first time.
JG: Yeah, whatever. Proving a woman’s mind and her uterus could work. After that, everything just like – I don’t even know how to say it. It’s like, I hit the structures of American society, where everything is dependent on a mom. That women my generation, we were literally told to lean in, by Sheryl Sandberg.
EG: Right. How did that manifest for you?
JG: Not well. Not well. Where was I supposed to lean into? Anyway, so I just became one of those moms. I was in and out of the workforce. I have a daughter after my son. I took some time off. Then when I came back, I went back into law and whatever. I just had this journey that seems very typical of many women younger than me that I see now, because we were told we could do everything, but there are no structures in place. We all felt shitty about it, truthfully. I mean, we felt like we were failing the feminist revolution.
EG: Right. Do you think women of the next generation have got it easier?
JG: No. I think it might be harder now. I think, what’s done, like everything in America, I think it exposed this underbelly of the structures just aren’t made for us. I connect to cannabis. Anyway, so I’m this mom. I come in and out of work. I do practice family law. I actually ran for a local office in my town, or city, City of Cambridge. I ran for a local school committee seat. I just was one of those moms. I got very involved with the PTA and whatever.
Anyways, 2016, I’m back at work. I have a job. My son’s in college. My daughter is about to launch. She’s got another year of high school, I think. My husband and I go to Colorado, just for fun. I had no intention of working in cannabis. We met a woman. Actually, we’ve set up a private tour with a woman named Goldie. She has a company called City Sessions out in Denver, which is it’s another one of my Jewish cannabis connections. Have you heard me say this?
EG: Mm-hmm. I have the exact same experience. The Jewish cannabis connection. I love it.
JG: Yeah. I call it my new JCC.
EG: Very nice. Okay, so I like where this is headed.
JG: Goldie takes us on a tour. She picks us up in her SUV. I definitely am of that generation, where I believe, cannabis was dangerous for you. I did consume it, but it wasn’t a lifestyle. It wasn’t something I would ever talk about, you know what I mean? I didn’t quite understand it. I knew when I consumed it with my friends — we go away to a beach house and have a little fun. We felt great and had as much fun as we did when we drank wine, but it really was not in my repertoire as a mom and I do talk about moms a lot on the show.
I was a divorce attorney, so I was a little edgy. I could come home being really angry all day, because I had to spot somebody’s fight. Then drink a bottle of wine and take care of my kids and that was fine. Everyone thought that was fine. If I smoked a joint –
JG: Criminal. Anyways, I go to Colorado, Goldie picks us up in her SUV, she shows us what a vape pen is. She showed us an edible. We’re having fun. She takes us to a dispensary and it looks just like – just people in a dispensary. It’s like, people are waiting and they go for their turn. It’s nothing crazy or weird.
Then we go to a growth facility. That’s a business. That was really eye-opening to me. I met the MBA who was running it. He knew everything about it, down to the minutiae of the light and the energy and the processing. I didn’t understand it was a business until that point. That was my cannabis awakening and Goldie filled me in on a little bit of the history that I didn’t understand.
EG: Right. What happened after that? I mean, this sounds like it was the beginning of the awakening.
JG: It’s the beginning of the awakening. I come home. My children are teenagers and my husband and I say, everything we know about cannabis is wrong.
EG: Wait. You told this to your children when you came home?
JG: Yeah. I’m like, “Apparently, everything we knew was wrong.” They were psyched.
EG: Amazing. What every teenager wants to hear.
JG: They’re like, “What?” Then, this just started this funny journey. 2016 also happened to be the same year that Massachusetts, my hometown, I’ve never left the commonwealth of Massachusetts, puritans by my heart. I had no idea everyone was smoking pot. We voted Massachusetts adult use. I could actually see that in 2016, things are just shifting in my home state. Again, I had no interest in working in it.
Then, it comes back to my mom, working mom, caregiver problem issue is 2017. The contract I was working on ended and I thought, “How hard could it be for me to get another job? I’m a smart, competent woman. I’ve done everything. I’ve run PTAs. I’ve run for a school committee seat. I’ve been an attorney. How hard could it be for me to get a job?” I had become invisible.
EG: Wow, that’s tough.
JG: It was really depressing, because I couldn’t take all my smart stuff off my resume and just apply for a job, just to get out of the house, because then it looked like, I never worked. I wasn’t quite qualified to do some of these high-powered jobs that only a few women were able to achieve anyways.
Anyways, I was in a bad position. I was getting sad and then started meeting all these other women. Like I said, I’m the tip of the iceberg, I think, of a generation. It always comes back to this idea that it felt so personal to me. It literally felt like, I was failing personally. How could I? A white entitled woman, with so much education and so much support not be able to balance this thing? How could I not be able to have children and keep my marriage together and look beautiful and be a professional? Why couldn’t I do it?
EG: Why? It’s so easy.
JG: Anyways, it’s a crazy system. It’s about structures of taking care of people. We don’t have any in this country. I know you’re somewhere else, but it’s depressing. I’m on this 2017. I don’t know what’s going on. My daughter’s about to go to college. I’m literally at that moment in my life that I was worried about when I was pregnant in law school.
EG: Wow. 20 years later?
JG: 22 years later. I’m like, “Oh.” Anyway, so my husband’s like, “You’ve got to get some help.” I go into career therapy and I meet all these other women who are in the same boat as I am. I start understanding that it’s not me. We are literally a generation of exceptional women, because we did everything we were told to do. Then, we were blamed for not being able to achieve it perfectly. It’s sad.
From this, I could see around me that the law firms are starting to set up cannabis divisions. I am nothing, if not persistent. I’m going to get that the Elizabeth Warren saying on my back, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
EG: Amazing. Yeah.
JG: I could see the law firms were starting to hire cannabis divisions and it’s new. When do you literally ever get to be part of something new? I’m like, “All right. I’m going to try it.” I’m like, all right. I asked my career therapist who actually had done some testing on me to verify my understanding that I could not have designed a job that was worse for me than divorce attorney.
EG: What did she say about being a cannabis attorney?
JG: She thought it was a great idea. All you need is one person to be like, “That’s fine.” That started my journey in cannabis of 2017. I wasn’t quite sure where I fit into this new world and I didn’t really understand what – I didn’t know about cannabis. I called my friend Goldie in Denver and I said, I’m interested in this.
She told me to connect with a group, Women Grow. That led to a connection with an organization in Massachusetts called Elevate Northeast; women in the cannabis industry. That’s how I got an education about it. It’s the first time I heard the word endocannabinoid.
EG: Yeah. We all remember our first time.
JG: I was like, “What is that?” It was a doctor too.
EG: Oh, that’s good. Meeting doctors that know about these, yes.
JG: This is always for older Jewish people. I’m like, I met a Jewish doctor who went to Harvard, who is a cannabis doctor.
EG: Everyone just needs to meet one, one of them really.
JG: That’s a verification. I hear endocannabinoid. I start learning the history. Then I just started a deep dive, 2017 to 2018, I’m learning about the industry in Massachusetts. I’m a lawyer. Massachusetts is small. The Jewish community in Massachusetts is even smaller. I know a lot of people. I was just doing that thing. I was doing the networking thing, trying to figure out where I could fit into this new industry.
I did the women’s. I learned about endocannabinoid. I learned about the history. I could do a five-minute presentation of 10,000 years of cannabis history at some point, because I was – I’m just at the deep dive — that understand that we live in the anomaly in history was eye-opening to me.
EG: Yeah. Right. That’s the kicker really. Realizing that this past 100 years, that’s the weird bit in cannabis history.
JG: It’s the weird bit. Exactly, that we could be healthier. My lowest point, you have to have a low point before you come back up. 2018, I’m just not quite sure where I fit in yet and I’m still sending out resumes every week and doing my best to be bright and cheery and set up a good example and like, I’m going to be able to do this persistence.
Then in June of 2018, Anthony Bourdain, he killed himself. Something about that cracked me. It makes me sad thinking about it. I don’t know. It’s something like, I had to rewrite my own narrative. It was back to that Sheryl Sandberg, lean in more. You aren’t quite good enough, even though you’re almost perfect. That is when I came with that whole idea that we are an extraordinary generation. If they unleashed our power, they’ve given all of us an education. It’s something no one can take away, right?
EG: Right. Let’s unleash our own power, no?
JG: Well, that’s the point of it. Anyway, so I go to this event in 2018 and they’re the white men. I’m like, “Okay. This is where I’m going to get a job.” The truth of this is I’ve become an advocate. I am a believer now. I was just going into this for money. I wanted to renovate my bathroom. I had a goal.
EG: I have a prize.
JG: I go to this event in Boston and I meet a man who wants to start a cannabis media company and he’s doing a podcast and he hires me as his executive director. That’s how the journey started, down into really understanding what this industry is.
EG: Nice. Up until this point, I suppose from your Colorado tour up until this point, what was your personal relationship with cannabis like?
JG: Like I say, it’s not my natural habitat. I think, it’s similar to how a lot of women feel about it when they use it. I thought it was dangerous. I believed it killed brain cells and I think of myself as that, using my brain as important as an attorney. I was a little nervous about that part of it. I noticed when I used it, I felt really good, which was very confusing. It’s that disconnect. I consumed it. I understood that it could make you feel good, but I was still a bit afraid of it.
EG: At what point did you – because really, what you’re describing is the stigma within yourself. When did you feel that starting to break down?
JG: 2016 is when I started telling people I’m going to start working on cannabis, people think this is some joke. They think it’s a bunch of guys on a couch eating Cheetos. I don’t know. Maybe that was my preconception as well. 2018-2019, I’m working in this industry and every week, I’m bringing on a new professional to talk on the podcast about what they’re doing in the industry. It’s transformative. I did meet a lot of men who were – and I’m done with men a little bit. I’ve been –
EG: In general, or on the podcast?
JG: No, no. In the professional world. I’m tired of having to fit into someone’s world that doesn’t really want me. I was the only woman in the room so often. I worked on a construction site. The women had pink construction hats. They weren’t more obvious enough.
EG: Yeah, it’s a different narrative.
JG: I don’t want to be in that narrative anymore. I was a divorce attorney. I worked in politics. Love, kindness, goodness, hope, these were not good positive words in my world for a long time. Now I work in cannabis, where every meeting starts with an intention. 2018-2019, I’m working. I’m meeting these people. I’m going to conferences. I’m setting up this business, where I’m getting more and more involved with the company. Then 2019, I’m in the studio with a friend, 2019. We were talking about how you talk to your kids in this new era. That was how The Canna Mom Show started.
We’re in the studio. My friend didn’t want to be connected to cannabis. There’s all this funny stigma about cannabis. I was like, “I’ll do it.” They wanted to call me The Canna Mom, which is ridiculous. My suggestion is The Canna Mom Show, like The Daily Show. The idea was an interview show, where we bring people on and we share their stories. It wasn’t about me. It was about the interview. That’s how it started. Then, once you tell people you’re doing this, everyone has a cannabis story.
EG: Yeah, definitely. I think, speaking as a woman who works in cannabis, who’s been a cannabis advocate, basically, her whole life, when I saw an — oh, and mother. When I saw the name, it felt like, “Oh, this is something for me.”
JG: That’s how it started. I would bring on literally, just my friends. I used to practice family law, as a divorce attorney. Wherever I went, if when people find out what I did for a living, if they were in the middle of a divorce, or just been divorced, or were thinking about getting divorced, felt very free to tell me their story, which I was fine with. Does the same thing –
EG: All the [inaudible 00:17:48].
JG: Yeah. I wasn’t judging. I was just like, okay. With the cannabis, it was the same thing. Once I said it, people just opened up and told me about their connections to it. That’s really how I started getting my first series of guests. Then I just started reaching out into industry, because I was going to a lot of events and started to make connections. That’s how the show started through the summer of 2019.
EG: Okay, so it’s been 18 months that you’ve been live now, right? Something like that?
JG: Yeah. There’s a lot of changes. What had happened in 2019 is I end up leaving the media company that summer. Stuff happened, and I had to start again. In 2019 that fall, my friend Amy, who was my – this is complicated, my younger brother’s college girlfriend. We stayed friends, even though they broke up. She was always a cannabis consumer her whole life. Used to actually get in trouble for it. Her parents, everyone was always like, “Get off the pot, Amy.”
Again, she was a self-shamer. She didn’t know why she used it, but she knew she liked it and it made her feel better. Amy’s personal story was almost the opposite of mine, because she was a consumer, then she stopped when she got married and had children, because everyone said, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Then Amy, she got cancer.
Without anyone telling her, she knew that the cannabis was helping her. She started using again and turned into this fiasco. Anyway, so it was another – when she saw what I was doing, she started following me around, because she’d never really been in a world where people consumed cannabis normally. It was a shameful thing. It was eye-opening for her.
That fall, Amy and I joined forces. I left the media company and I wanted to do this on my own with – the media company had some issues with banking, which every company in cannabis does and there’s some foundational issues. I wanted to set this up, The Canna Mom Show. The idea is to crush the stigma around cannabis, by sharing these very personal stories of women in the industry. That’s the bottom line that I believe our world is run by stories, religious stories, political stories, personal stories. There seems to be a way to engage people to see a different side. That’s the impetus. I wanted to make money.
EG: For the bathroom renovations.
JG: For the bathroom. My kids are in college. My husband’s like, “All right. We have two children in college. You want to start a new business?” I’m like, “Oh, yeah. It’ll be fine.”
EG: What could go wrong?
JG: What could possibly go wrong, honey? Anyways, 2019, Amy and I are like Thelma and Louise. We find a podcast recording studio. She gets our logo up. She helps me get the website up. I’m an attorney, so I trademark the name. I get to set up as a business, a real business. My one glitch is always the bank, like getting a bank took a very long time, like for a checking account, people, nothing fancy. I just wanted a checking account.
Anyway, so we’re making the show every week. I never know what’s going to get out. In December of 2019, Amy and I go to Vegas. It was the women’s conference and MJ Biz in Vegas. We just have a great time. We meet so many people in the industry. We’re jazzed. We come back it’s 2020. We’re like, “2020 is going to be our year, people.”
We go to another studio. Now we’re set up at another Jewish connection. It was my younger brother’s camp friend, who literally had a podcast studio outside of Boston called Pod 617, the Boston Podcast Network. He sets us up in his studio and we get on his hosting site. This is February. I’m ready to ask for money. I’m getting my stuff together in March, the first week in March, I finally get a bank account. It was all in the same week. The first week in March. Before the 13th. That Monday, I went and opened the account.
I posted it on Facebook. It was like, I had a baby. People were so happy for me. Then, my daughter who was in Arizona at the time calls and says, “I think I have to come home.” Then, my son who was in Spain calls me that night in a panic. He’s like, “Mom, I have to come home.” Then the 13th, that Friday the 13th, I had a complete nervous breakdown. I was at a restaurant. I don’t even know why I was at a restaurant. It was the last night we could go out.
EG: Yeah, the last time you were in a restaurant.
JG: Everyone was panicking and I was drinking and I was stealing toilet paper. I’m sorry, hotel. I went to the bathroom. I’m like, “We don’t have enough toilet paper. All my children are coming home.” The whole world shut down.
This is literally the first week in March. have shows booked out through June and I don’t know what to do. I don’t even remember what day it was. I wake up. I talked to my producer. My son who was just home from Spain, he’s a musician. He literally set up a podcast recording studio in my daughter’s old bedroom in five minutes.
EG: Oh, right. This is where I spoke to you last time.
JG: Yeah. I call my producer and I show him what I have. I’m like, “Okay. I got a mic. I got the whole thing. I can do the podcast from my bedroom. My daughter’s bedroom,” and we just kept going. No one canceled. We did a show every single week. We got a show out every single week and we did 50 shows last season.
EG: Amazing. That’s 50 women, at least 50 women, right? Sometimes you have more than one woman at a time.
JG: Yeah. We did one man.
EG: I thought you said you were done with men.
JG: Well, Marcus. Our friend Marcus. But I’m not interviewing men.
EG: One exception –
JG: Marcus is our exception.
EG: Tell me a bit about the women that you interviewed last year.
JG: I mean, these are just amazing stories and this is what I like to share so much, is that these are professional women who are really elevating the professionalism of this industry. They are in it for a passion. I have Amy Reiman, I call the Canadian Canna Mom. These are the brave women who have used cannabis for their children.
EG: Wow. Yeah, amazing story.
JG: Those are the stories I just – I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to do that. She recognized and her sons, he has a very specific genetic disorder. A lot of these seizure, disorders, things can really – the cannabis has been – for the endocannabinoid system, it’s something that works. These moms, again, we’re shamed. It’s a shame. They’re almost afraid, but they knew that they’re at their last resorts and they use it on these children. That’s just what they do.
Or, a woman in Maine, Dannie McQueen, she has a CBD-infused food business, because her own daughter he needed these CBD products. She worked with Dr. Sulak. Is that it? I didn’t heard –
EG: Yeah, Dustin Sulak.
JG: Dustin. He was her doctor up there. He’s an amazing doctor up in that area, who was willing to talk with her about how she can get this product into her daughter, so she can get off those heavy medications. Now she has a box business, where you can – she sends you the CBD and all the things you need to make infused gummies, to make your own medicine, your infused gummies, your infused chocolate. Hot chocolate is a big seller, because that’s what her daughter loved.
Women like that who are doing it for their children, almost to a tee, I will say, the women who are in this industry have either been someone they loved, or really, themselves. They were the people who took themselves off the medications. Nurses. I have a woman who was a pharmacist, or finishing one of the first pharmaceutical programs through Maryland. Again, her story was and this is typical. People who are self-medicating with cannabis for whatever issues they’re having are told, that in their professional life, they can’t use it. In our case, she’s a nurse. I think, she’s a pediatric oncology nurse. Such a good human being.
Stopped using the cannabis, because she told she couldn’t. Her sickness entered her on so many medications. She would finish work and then go in a blood infusion at the end of the day. Her story is so hard to listen to. In the end, she was so sick, she had to give up her career anyways. Now, she’s becoming a cannabis pharmacist.
EG: That’s amazing. I really relate to this. I feel like, the interviews that I’ve done for this podcast that have been the most touching and meaningful have been women in general, but specifically, mothers. Listening to their individual stories and then how they ended up using their little private success to then push forward regulation and to push forward product development for the rest of us.
JG: Exactly. This is the fear. Again, I’m a lawyer, so I got to seat at the table. I can see what’s going on at some different levels. I was joking earlier that my meetings now start with intentions. Such a lovely idea. I think a divorce should definitely start with an intention. I will go to meetings now with white men lawyers who are in the industry. It’s just another industry to them. Do you know what I mean? For the women, this is wellness, it’s health, it’s the planet.
I just interviewed Sister Kate from the Sisters of the Valley out in California. Her show’s coming out this week. The way she talks about the earth and her story is she was a venture capital republican. Created this new order, just to talk about your voice to the idea that earth needs a caring. You need to care for earth. The things we’re doing aren’t really working and white men.
You can’t just value everything by money in a way that discredits everything else. I understand that everything comes back to money. It’s all about capital, which is part of the social equity issue. We all have to start thinking about this differently.
EG: Yeah. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about the cannabis industry really, is this openness and focus on inclusion and diversity that permeates so many businesses that women run businesses, minority-led businesses. It’s so appropriate with the flat.
JG: It’s going to be a fight. It’s like anything. It’s a fight. It’s always about money. It’s about capital. How do we make sure that smaller businesses are supported, that these – a lot of the women I’m talking to are trying to do – again, it’s like, the way you change people’s understanding, or beliefs, it always has to be some personal touch, a personal connection.
A lot of these stories, back to the stories, military people. The military and the professional sports team admit that this is better for their players and they’re human beings and they actually do something. Cannabis is going to shift pretty quickly at a federal level. The people with PTSD, I have a friend who was in the Marines for 12 years in New Orleans and she’s been trying to help vets.
The things that these people are doing to help – We’ve been at war for a long time. Our country’s been at war for a very long time. Cannabis is one of the things that’s going to help us come back and heal. It’s not because earthly, crunchy, hippy-dippy people. It’s because our systems, our human body systems need it. It’s not a belief, it’s a science.
EG: You mentioned before when you and your husband came back from Denver, that you came and you announced to your kids that everything you’d heard about weed was wrong. I’m really interested to dig into this. My children are much younger now. Yet, I’m already trying to sculpt the conversation with them, to start normalizing at this very young age. I’m interested to hear how that initial conversation went and then moving forward with them. How the conversation is different than it would have been if you didn’t have your cannabis awakening?
JG: I will say, now that I’ve I talked to moms. Almost everyone on the show was a mom, or a parent, or caregiver at some level. I’ve heard people talk about this over and over again. I have a new idea of what should be said. The moms I talk to talk about – it’s a medication. You can talk about it as a medication, an activation, or an inebriation. Medication, activation, inebriation.
Children understand what they’re not supposed to be near and they understand stuff that isn’t being hidden. That has been the lesson I’ve learned that first of all, if you’re a cannabis consumer is using it for anxiety, or whatever it is that you need to consume it for and however you consume it, and just like any other medication, you keep it locked away. Two, your children know what that is. When they’re very little, if you’re hiding something, they’re curious. If you’re open about it, they don’t care. That’s the strange thing about parenting. The more you tell them, the less they want to know.
Then, just explain that it’s always age-appropriate, I guess. My daughter was actually at overnight camp. We just brought back a joint and some other things and we were talking about it. Obviously, he’d use pop before. I was being open to the point of like, I would be willing to consume it with him now. I didn’t want him hiding things. I’ll say, the thing that made a huge difference, I did not know what vaping was. I didn’t understand vape cartridges. I didn’t understand any of that. I would not have understood the danger of getting a vape cartridge off the street, or a vape pen off the street, unless I’d been in the industry. Because there’s a lot of drama here with the vitamin E and the things being added to those cartridges that weren’t being tested.
I would go to meetings with the labs, at MCR Labs telling us exactly, a very professional level of what was going on with these cartridges. Then, I found out my daughter was buying them, or using them. I’m like, “No.” She wouldn’t have had that conversation with me, otherwise. She wouldn’t have been open about it. It would have been a hidden thing. I could talk about an open way. The part of being regulated is so you know where you’re consuming.
EG: Right. Definitely.
JG: Anyway. They were younger. Then we just normalized it. Goldie, back to Goldie. When I first met Goldie, she started making family events much happier when she started introducing cannabis to family events. How do you do that? Progressively, we were supposed to host Rosh Hashanah, I think, in 2020. I can’t remember it. I had a cannabis bar. I was going to have on the porch, just like we have wine and whatever we have for our family holidays. I was going to put some – maybe I did do it. I had a joint and I had a bong. Just things on the porch that people could consume and just trying to normalize it. That’s just normalizing it in our own.
It’s a little difficult. It is the first time you do it, because you feel so weird. Now it’s perfectly normal. Then, normalizing it for during the pandemic. Again, my kids were gone. I was an empty nester and my husband and I had started watching TV with dinner. It was very quiet in our big house.
EG: Right. Now everyone’s back?
JG: Well, and then when I knew everyone was coming back and before I knew it was going to be something, an essential commodity, whatever they called it, I went out and stockpiled.
EG: You bought all the weed?
JG: Oh, yeah. But it wasn’t just weed –
EG: [Inaudible 00:32:06] you could turn to paper?
JG: It was salves. Everything I needed. I’m like, okay, salves, tinctures. I just put all this stuff before they showed up. They’re like, “Mom, where’s all the alcohol?” I’m like, “I don’t know, but there’s cannabis products everywhere. We’re good. We can stay here for six months.”
EG: New favorite mom.
JG: Whatever. Everyone was happier. I think I’d rather be in quarantine with a stoner than a drinker, honestly. I mean.
EG: Makes total sense. I think this is really such an important part of the whole process of normalization, is the conversations that happen within families, between parents and children. Then like you said, extended families. The conversations around the shabbat table.
JG: Oh, yeah. Well, so my mom lives in a Jewish independent adult community. I always have little products of CBD and little things that people give me. Well, when I used to visit, I would walk around and give it to people, because people knew I had it and they liked it. My own mother is very afraid of all of it.
EG: Sounds like your next project.
JG: Yeah. I think it’s that, I didn’t go to med school, I guess. I don’t know. Just, I’m not trustworthy. I don’t know.
EG: Well, if you need me to send you some articles and videos that you can show her, let me know. We’ve got some stuff that’s good for beginners.
JG: Yeah. I think that’s a great – seriously. I think that market, like getting it into the hands of women in my mom’s center who have pain in their hands, or having some trouble sleeping, or anxiety. I mean, the CBD, once you can figure it out if it can help you.
EG: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s the fastest growing consumer segment.
JG: Yeah. Anyway, so that’s how on my family. Now, it’s totally normalized and everyone has their favorite smoking apparatus. People, there are packs, there are bongs, we have – I still can’t roll a joint. Oh, I got a decarboxylator from one of my guests, but I don’t really bake or cook, so we haven’t done much yet. There’s so many ways to use this. My tinctures, my bongs, my pets. I’ve been giving to my pets lately. They seem much happier.
EG: Nice. Sounds like a happy household.
JG: It’s good enough. We have our moments. It’s very loud. It used to be a loud household, because my son’s in a band and there’s a musician. I’d say, my house is a little bit like a sitcom. It’s like a boarding house for homeless musicians on the first floor. At any one point, there’s music going.
My husband has obviously moved in to work here forever. He’s right above one of the studios. He says, during work, it feels a little bit like a disco, because he can feel the guy downstairs, he’s mixing music. Then up here, I’m doing a podcast of a pot and it’s perfectly normal.
EG: It sounds like a fantastic combination. I think, a very nice spot for us to end this interview. I’m also very much looking forward to being on your podcast at some point when we find the time this year.
EG: Yeah, really looking forward to hearing what you’ve got in store for us for season two. Is this season two this year?
JG: Season two. Well, actually, I started season two in September. We’ve halfway through season two. I’ve been trying to focus on local stories more. I feel like, I’m a local podcast within national reach, actually international, honestly. I’ve been focusing on women of color who are in the industry in Massachusetts. There’s a mom and daughter, team Omnic and Goldie, they have a farm here in Massachusetts; one of the oldest black-owned family farms in Massachusetts and now it’s cannabis involved.
We have some people who have product development. We have people who are doing events. I’m interviewing someone who’s going to be doing the cannabis wedding expo. I have payment processors. I have religion. This week, I’m talking – I had Sister Kate Show is coming out this week and then I’m interviewing a woman who – she’s a very young woman. She’s a Christian conservative in Missouri and she’s a cannabis person. Just seeing it from different angles.
I think, it’s like the Venn diagram. Cannabis is right in the middle. Everybody can agree on this. We can help ourselves and we can figure out, get past the idea that it’s so horrifically bad for us and understand why that message has been out there and share stories that are hopeful and we can change the narrative together.
EG: Yeah, I love it. Well, thanks so much for joining me. Also, thank you for your work. I think it’s so important to get these stories out there.
JG: Well, thank you for sharing them [inaudible 00:36:16] in getting out there. Listen, you can find us anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. You can subscribe. You can find us on our website, find us on our social media. We put a shout out every single Thursday. You can join our newsletter. I think, we got some great stuff coming up in the spring, remember the spring. Then if all goes well, we’ll have a season three starting in September of 2021.
EG: Very nice. Well, we look forward to it. Have a great rest of your day, Joyce.
JG: Thank you so much for your time.
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