In 2014, I became pregnant with my first child. Given the Federal stranglehold on cannabis research, I was unable to find sufficient data on cannabis use & pregnancy, so I chose to abstain from the plant throughout the gestation period. While this choice made it more difficult to sleep, and manage my anxiety, I knew that I would never forgive myself, should my cannabis use impact my unborn child.
When Jackson was born – healthy and full term - in June 2015, I found myself recovering from a C-section, riddled with anxiety that manifested itself in debilitating insomnia. I was wholly unprepared for the postpartum hormones that were coursing through my body, and while my infant began sleeping through the night after 8 weeks, I was unable to follow his lead. My mind raced with worries, and when morning came, it was difficult for me to function.
At 3 months postpartum, after an honest conversation with my OBGYN, I decided to resume cannabis consumption.
Taking just a few hits, right before bed, enabled me to *finally* fall asleep, and get the rest that I so sorely needed.
I was able to wake up at dawn with my infant, feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. I was able to be the type of new mother I had always envisioned being.
A year later in 2016, while serving on the Board of the Petaluma Mother’s Club (a nonprofit supporting mothers of young children in our Sonoma County town), I met a fellow mom who would change the course of my career. A woman named Karli had volunteered to co-lead the Club’s marketing efforts. She had a background in PR for leading wine brands, and upon becoming a new mother herself, quit her full-time job to start a company in the medical marijuana industry, manufacturing cannabis-infused gourmet chocolates. As a fellow Petaluma mother with an impressive pedigree, Karli inspired me to explore how I could use my professional skills and experience to share the power of this plant with other moms, so that they could manage the anxiety and stress that accompanies new motherhood.
In the fall of 2018, while on maternity leave with my second child, I decided to quit my full-time job so that I could be a more present mother to my son, then 3, and my newborn daughter. As I followed the development of California’s newly legal adult-use cannabis ecosystem, I hypothesized that perhaps in this emerging industry, I could structure meaningful work that I could do part-time, from home, during my kids’ naps and my breaks from parenting. Over the next two years, I started my own consulting business, Growing Impact, to provide strategic marketing & business development expertise to cannabis companies.
When the pandemic arrived in March 2020, I thankfully found myself working in an industry deemed an essential service, and in a new world where remote work was the norm. Clients such as Garden Society, CannaCraft and Flow Kana were incredibly supportive of me as a working mom, and in January 2021 I took on my first full-time role since becoming a mother. As VP Marketing at Flow Cannabis Co., I now lead a team of 8 and oversee several of the leading cannabis brands in CA.
For me, motherhood and cannabis go hand-in-hand, both personally and professionally. I am infinitely grateful for this plant and how it has enhanced so many facets of my life.