To Be Blunt: The Professional Cannabis Business Podcast

099 The Journey, Responsibility, and Opportunity of Becoming Jane West with Jane West

May 09, 2022 Shayda Torabi Season 3 Episode 99
To Be Blunt: The Professional Cannabis Business Podcast
099 The Journey, Responsibility, and Opportunity of Becoming Jane West with Jane West
Show Notes Transcript

“I think one of the things that I've learned over time is that, you know, people associate legalization with freedom with like, ‘Oh my god, we get to do this and we get to do that.’ And in reality, what's happened is legalization is a lot more regulation, and taxation, and rules, and limiting opportunity, limiting access.” - Jane West

Welcome back to the To Be Blunt podcast! In this episode, Shayda Torabi welcomes Jane West, one of the most prolific icons in the cannabis industry. From starting a passion project to sparking a movement, she shares the story of how Jane West the brand, the entrepreneur, and the activist came to be and how she continues to empower women and the cannabis community through her work.

[00:01 – 10:05] The Woman Behind the Name

[10:06 – 26:11] Using Her Voice to Create Spaces for Social Use and for Women

[26:12 – 34:31] The Role of Celebrities, Influencers, and the Media in the Normalization of Cannabis

[34:32- 47:49] Connecting Women in the Industry and Generating Value From What She Built

[47:50 - 52:07] The Power of Speaking Out Against Misconceptions and Stereotypes

[52:08 – 1:06:08] There’s No Scarcity and A New Wave of Opportunities Will Come

 

Jane West is an American cannabis activist and CEO of the cannabis lifestyle brand Jane West. She is best known as the founder of cannabis networking organization Women Grow.  

 

Connect with Jane West!

Check out the Jane West website. Follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential Women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She's currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female-run education first CBD wellness brand. And has formerly held marketing positions at WP Engine and WebDevStudios. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda's not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi

 

Key Quote:

“Organizing women, no matter what, is one of the steps, in my opinion, because I want to I talk about disparity. And that's what's happening. There's an obvious inequitable disparity in ownership and licensing but that goes deeper, because this entire playing board is broken.” - Jane West

 

SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Restart CBD. Check them out for your CBD needs

LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to join me for episodes featuring some serious cannabis industry by sharing this episode or click here to listen to past episodes

 

RESTART CBD

RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide. restartcbd.com

RESTART CBD
RESTART CBD is an education first CBD wellness brand shipping nationwide. restartcbd.com

01:26.50

Jane West

Okay hi. My name is Jane West I've been the cannabis industry for 8 years I'm best known for founding women grow.



Jane West

And also edible events company at the dawn of adult use recreation in Colorado um, starting in Twenty Seven T I started building my own lifestyle brand. We are now distributed in over 300 dispensaries across North America and I also have a line of glassware dugouts. And accessories for cannabis that are distributed worldwide.


02:09.91

shayda

Perfect. Okay so I'm super excited to have you on the podcast because you are such a prolific name in the cannabis industry you have done so much for women in cannabis. You have been a part of the industry as it has transitioned into the spotlight and you've been one of the women helping champion that conversation and so where I would love to start is a little bit more understanding Jane West as a brand name I know that this is a name that you created for yourself to. Establish yourself in the industry and I'm curious. You know for me the podcast is so much about branding I come from a background of leaning into my own personal brand and I just think that personal brands can do so much obviously like you mentioned in your intro you now have products that you are selling in over three hundred dispensaries and distributed. All across the United States and it is all slapped with you know the Jane West name and logo and so I would just love to learn. How did you get to becoming Jane West what was that experience like for you.


03:10.19

Jane West

Yeah, but I think first I should talk a little bit about just my background so I was born in raised in Wisconsin I went to undergrad the University Of Wisconsin then I moved to New York city where I worked for non-governmental organizations and the unundp I was working on programs with refugees in Afghanistan um, and working in New York City on 119 and I love my job and I loved what I was doing but um, following in the aftermath of Nine Eleven my work was all like the entire department was just ended. It's interesting because. That was the only other time in my life that like things stopped in the way that they stopped during the pandemic like all of a sudden one day. Everything was completely different. Um, and so within six months six months after 119 I left New York I moved to Colorado. And I started getting my master's degree in social work and so um I spent 8 years working in with nonprofits working with high school students and doing other other things I had 2 sons. Um. Living here in Denver Colorado and it wasn't until I was thirty eight years old that I even thought about cannabis or the cannabis industry or anything like that at all and that's really the year that my in in 142 that my story in cannabis begins. So Colorado had just legalized. And and we knew that on January first these they at that time there were about 25 these 25 dispensary doors. We're gonna open to just people coming in and buying cannabis and both my kids had just started school full time and I have you know, always loved cannabis and people who know me know that about me and i'm. Not like um've been a proud cannabis consumer. Maybe not so much to my work life but definitely in my personal life and so um, so I wanted to start some type of cannabis events I I done huge events within my social work career I I produced events for both of. Obama's inaugurations where we actually rented museums on the national mall and staged from these museums the morning of the inaugurations so like having a small gathering at an art gallery is something that's like a fun passion project for me. That's what I was starting I was starting a fun little passion project. Not a business. And I definitely to be clear. Did not think of myself as an entrepreneur or a business person or I mean definitely an activist I was but um, so I decided that I wanted to start this an event.


05:56.38

Jane West

Where you now that if people can just go and buy amazing cannabis products and and I had'd seen some of the products coming out and that like the candy bars and how they'd be divided perfectly and all the different and I was like wow this is people are gonna this is really gonna but this is really gonna work. Um, we I should do something. To involve myself in the cannabis sector and so what I was doing was take was what a lot of people are doing now I'm taking what I'd spend all this time doing producing big events and going to produce events for that are cannabis friendly. So um I started edible events company and that was really the moment. That Jane Mus was born because I needed to purchase a burner bone and um and a laptop like in order to start the company and and be able to start because I started kind of doing it in my work. Laptop and I got the all these air. You know all these like warning things coming up about the pages I'm not allowed to go to I'm like okay I gotta get my own little laptop from this and so as I opened that laptop that morning I went and bought like the cheapest one there was and it was like what is your name I was like okay. Shouldn't even type my real name into here like this should be and and you know if I sound you know, fearful. But today in so many states people should be thus afraid still of having cannavas in their homes and um. And at that time at the dawn. It was like there was so much going on and and there was a lot of fear among a lot of people in the sector here. So um, yeah, so I who is my name and I couldn't think of it that night I was like I don't know what to type in and I then I but I couldn't get past that first page. And then I did so it's like I'm gonna do tomorrow so I spent the morning really really thinking about it like what? how am I gonna approach this like I'm starting something new within myself and this passion project and you know what? how am I gonna define this what is gonna define me and how what? what is my brand. And what am I doing what am I bringing into my life. That's new and I looked into a lot of different names I had a big sheet of all these different ideas I definitely wanted something short with like just 2 syllables and um I came up first with like Mary Jane West and now I'm now looking back I'm like whoa that is so obvious that would not right. And I actually went to one networking event saying my name was Mary and um and it felt catholic and strange and so I was like no I like Jane West then um I I actually looked up the name Mary Jane West and learned ah that may west who is.


08:39.10

Jane West

Really like very underappreciated for her what the role she with the the boundaries she pushed as an actress in hollywood in the 50 s and sixty s and then becoming and a director and then becoming an investor and her born name was Mary Jane West and has like that a sign. That's it. It's genius. So yep, so that was that's how it was born in this same office that I'm standing in right now and then I so I started producing the events and they got a lot of attention especially because at the time after there were news crews everywhere I'll just sear us. Like Cnn all the people all all the most important people and um and after you take a few pictures of 1 of the dispensaries and maybe get in a grow There's not a lot footage to shoot and so people wanted to come to this event and that very first event the end of prohibition January Fourth 2014 there were so many news people and it was wonderful like to we were in this beautiful art gallery and all my tickets all my my events had food and music and art and um, yeah, and there was people and it was just really showing this other side of. Of the cannabis sector. There's many sides I don't like everyone is welcome here. Cannabis is for everyone but I wasn't finding the type of events that I wanted to attend on a Friday or Saturday night and and so that's what I was creating and so that's how edible. Events company started and um, the first time I typed in the gene was name.


10:15.94

shayda

I Think that is so cool and certainly inspiring. You know I think we were talking before we were recording just about the opportunity that I think the cannabis industry entices people with like it is. It's this this green rush. It's big open. It's new. It's it's wide open. But.


10:27.37

Jane West

And the um and next.


10:33.90

shayda

How do you actually enter the market and create this opportunity for yourself is sometimes the difference of you know, succeeding or failing and so being able to step into this uncomfortability but also kind of like find excitement and how you're going to use your voice to yeah, exactly make it yours and like have this voice and.


10:39.79

Jane West

Done.


10:46.76

Jane West

8 yours.


10:52.99

shayda

So I would love to learn a little bit more too I mean coming from Colorado when things were transitioning into the legal space. What has been your experience like 2014 to like 2022 if you can you know call.


11:04.33

Jane West

Um, yeah, oh yeah, no, um I think that's one of the best I think the best way to answer this question is to talk a little bit about social use because.


11:09.36

shayda

And all those years into some takeaways of just I mean because also to you know.


11:22.31

Jane West

When it was being legalized in 14 the idea that we would be sitting here this long later with this many states legalized and most americans having access to some legal form of of can regulated canvas and not have a place where we ah can all go together and do this is like. Would be like wait. How could that be? If yeah, if you would have told me that in 2014 like that's impossible now I I mean that goes into the story because you know the first event went out with ah went off very well. Yeah I had people from the city come I had you know insurance I wanted to make this professional. Um and. But you know I learned a lot from that very first event I learned how hard it it was harder than I thought it was gonna be it was so much work and I I did have you know two small kids and wanted to be home with them too and um and now and this was just like I said a passion project. It was something I was just doing for fun and 1 to basically break. Even. And so um, and so after that first event I really it really did I was like well this is really popular and there's a lot of potential here. But I'm I'm in over my head like I don't have the capability or capacity to do this whole new thing right now and I'm not an entrepreneur. So what? you know? how? what? How am I going to do this I thought that cannabis companies would be able to sponsor these events and that would be like you know how I would maybe someday get to some point but this is just like a fun thing. So um, a month later some of the footage from that part party was actually used on the. Five o'clock evening news with Brian Williams national news um and as a result of that and my like me being in the piece I was asked to leave my job the next day out of I mean I absolutely did not think that was going to happen and I love my job and. Um, and so that like was really the most pivotal moment because I was planning on just doing something that was kind of fun and additive to my life and instead I like completely pulled a ruga up from under myself and was left there like not knowing what to do. Um, and as most people know one month later even though I had formed this partnership with the Colorado symphony orchestra and we had a vit of red rocks. And even though all these very positive social cues were lining up saying. Social use people want to come out and consume cannabis legalization. Um, they set a swat team to 1 of my events they criminalized all of us that had held held events at this is exactly eight years ago this week because it was four Twenty Twenty fourteen that the swat team showed up at a small female own bakery.


13:57.56

shayda

Well.


14:06.29

Jane West

Where women were like painting pots outside and yet busted us and so then I criminaled misdemeanor charges and that was the end of the events and that was their goal to to tell people you cannot this social use is not a thing and so um and that was you know the next big. Pivotal moment of like okay well now everything I even started doing just three months ago isn't even legal and I'm criminal and and and honest looking back that that is one of the things that that's another thing that is actually getting criminal misdemeanor charges. For something related to cannabis and then what I've had to do differently in my life about that with like credit checks. This is starting I mean I'm raising money on an scc and federaler regulated site like it. It gave me such a key sense of like it's not just the people who are in prison for this drug. Any if you're affected because of legal issues related to cannabis it. It goes right down to like your ability to get financial aid. Um, and so over the long run it really like helped me like immediately get a better sense and a better trajectory of what I would do and why. At the time it was definitely overwhelming so the 2 things to that would I would most be shocked by if in 2014 that hadn't happened yet by 2022 was how many people are still in jail incarcerated and currently this day having like. Significant issues in their lives related to cannabis and the fact that it's not there are not licensed establishments where you can go consume cannabis or even yoga studios or coffee shops. Um, those are those would be the 2 things that I'd be like wow i. I'm so impressed that billions and billions of dollars of cannabis have been sold and I can't comprehend how these 2 things haven't happened yet. Yeah.


16:04.69

shayda

Yeah, it's pretty astonishing I've not been charged criminally with anything related to cannabis but just on a personal level. You know being a business owner having your name on the documents and trying to go after things. I have been kicked off Paypal which is no surprise I learned I don't think I can transact target online. They won't tell me why they just will literally cancel every online order and I'm like all I buy from you are yoga pants like what the fuck why can't I just shop with you and then I wanted to set up a stripe account to do.


16:23.82

Jane West

Yep, and I'm here.


16:30.93

Jane West

And.


16:41.30

shayda

Podcast things that are cannabis related. But I'm not selling cannabis and Stripe sent me a letter saying we're so sorry we we cannot you know, support you and and transact your business on our platform and it's it is. It's shocking I mean obviously those are more on the business side. But I agree with you on the.


16:43.41

Jane West

Um, yes.


16:59.20

shayda

Social and criminal side of how Cannabis has become so popular and yet so neglected in conversations when it comes to making it actually accessible to everybody and also taking care of everybody who's been affected by it. What has been I Guess. Knowing you have a background coming from this you know activism side but also supporting social issues side that transferring into Cannabis. It's obviously a very. Very overused word not to diminish the word but it is we talk about it at Nauseum but yet there is no equity in the industry presently I'm curious how you transitioned into this activism role and what has been kind of like the biggest motivator for you to. Like speak up and use your voice because I think that's something that I've really observed about you is you say things that quite frankly I'm sure a lot of people equally want to say I know some of the things I've heard you say I'm like oh my God I can't believe she said that I agree with that. But it's It's a hard. Conversation to have and so when you step into this role of being an activism or activists going into helping make an impact on behalf of multiple other people beyond yourself. It's obviously implicating your own personal brand that you've been equally building alongside so it's.


18:17.50

Jane West

And.


18:26.19

shayda

It's a very hand in hand but also double-edged sword kind of observation from my perspective and so I'm just curious what that has been like leaning into these uncomfortable conversations and actually using your voice to help shape some of this um mess that as we.


18:35.32

Jane West

I have.


18:43.73

shayda

As we encroach legalization. We are stepping ourselves further and further you know into unfortunately.


18:48.82

Jane West

Yes, so you know obviously um, having constituents and speaking up for people and fighting for what I think is right is was you know something that was intrinsic in the work that I did previously. Um I'll be honest I wish I didn't have to speak up so much. Like I wish I could like not necessarily be the little like be buzzing around but I've seen this from the beginning and or least not even the beginning honestly because that's that's diminishing like because the medical market and what happened in California and he's right like just so but.


19:22.28

shayda

Right? legacy exactly.


19:27.78

Jane West

I Mean the beginning of the commercialization and and ownership because before then if you owned it, you're going to Jail So now all of a sudden something happened and you need you know, owning who gets to own all of this and how and why.


19:28.14

shayda

Yes.


19:45.55

Jane West

Is suddenly a thing and you know and so um I think one of the things that I've learned over time is that you know people associate legalization with freedom. It's like oh my god we get to do this and we get to do that and in reality what's happened is legalization. Is a lot more regulation and taxation and rules and limiting limiting opportunity limiting access limit like and and what I I know what I'm saying is true because the medical patients that were the ones standing at those capitol buildings. Convincing legislators of these first key steps to getting where we are today. They can't get the medication they need for a reasonable price and it's medication that is derived from a plant that they could grow in their own backyard if legally allowed and it's that's stunning to me that that can happen. Um I guess this is a good way to like pivot into like why I speak up like if you know after standing alongside a lot of these individuals back back. Ah back at the beach dawn of you know the commercialization of this and then standing here or day and seeing they can't even get. Ah, Rso oils or other things they need There's obviously something wrong that has to be talked about and but no one's talking about it or at least it doesn't sound like that to me the the rhetoric that I've observed change over time is one of the things that. It's very personal because it's what you hear and what you remember and how you how you and also fueled by how you think the sector should look and what you were thinking and I definitely was very naive in terms of how the world works when ah when all this started in 2014 because here in Colorado Amendment 64 you allows for this department of med that you can just go to and get a license and try to play in this game and so for the most part accessibility to licensing was is not a problem in this state and so that is the framework. For legalizing cannabis that I had thought was going to I thought how could it possibly get more restrictive. We're the ones just starting it here right? And so Anne that was the like un ending idealism that fueled me that Endur and poison.


22:01.85

shayda

Um, wild.


22:11.23

Jane West

Through like all of founding women grow I was like my friend has a dispensary and my friend has a bakery and my friend has a lab and this woman is making a granola and it's amazing and I'm on it right now but seriously the point is like you guys should everyone should like I was so concerned that women's outdated uneducated stereotypes about cannabis were going to prevent them from starting businesses like this that I could see we're doing well and thriving and it and at the very least even if they have all the same problems other businesses have and issues. These women owned their businesses. They were making the decisions every day about what happens next and who they work with and how this is gonna happen and I have never seen that before never before even after working in New York for so long or anything had I all of a sudden been in the middle of a mix of like 6 completely different businesses that are all 100 % woman own and so that really was the main motivation for starting to grow that and the fact that women from all over the world were like contacting me constantly um and so I just want to point that out because when I and like. From the rooftops like it doesn't have to be this way. These applications great. Don't believe in applications. Don't believe in lotteries fight for homerow fight or smell like it's because that's where I'm coming from and watching the way this has evolved is has just been it. It does it book it.


23:26.51

shayda

Right.


23:36.56

Jane West

Pulls the wind out of my sales and and it's hard as you get on phone calls with idealistic entrepreneurs that I hope trying to help when I don't see opportunity anymore in so many places and. To be on phone calls with people and tell them that the best thing they can maybe do is move to another state like to actually start their edibles brand. They don't want to move they live in New York they live here like they want to start this business with their family and their neighbors. And create a product for their community and so um, yeah, so my point is is that as I've watched it evolve There's just been so many things that I saw it differently I saw it going differently and the way I saw it going was better for everyone. Patients consumers people citizens the public health system. Ah you know? and so um and so that's where ah so much that motivation comes from the first four years it was. Optimism and excitement and also being fueled by women like you you've hosted on your your podcast. Ah many of the women that I know I'd sat with Lauren in 2015 in my house with like a bunch of business cards I got and this like lower of Kush Cards Elizabeth Hogan is one of my best friends in the whole world. Um. And I love you only Nelson Teen and so like you've talked to a lot of these individuals. Um, and my point was I just started thinking about Elizabeth Hogan and Lauren now. Um, um.


25:15.74

shayda

Like I love them. They're wonderful but seeing the excitement these women are involved and making impact in an industry that is you know for every woman that you see succeed. There is probably like 102050 that


25:27.81

Jane West

Yeah.


25:33.84

shayda

They're just they're not going to survive and they have those dreams like you're saying they're just they want to stay in their city. They want to be a part of their community. They want to make products or make events or be a connector because they love this plant and they are not aware of the realities of what it has been like progressing through.


25:51.50

Jane West

Right? Yeah, and so the first 4 What? Ah the first four years was fueled by idealolism and and dreams and like what could this possibly and and meeting those women because they come into my life and like revive me. But.


25:53.62

shayda

Legalization and to your point the commercialization of cannabis.


26:01.74

shayda

Right.


26:10.10

Jane West

Of energy you know and but the reality is the past four years a lot of that passion is coming from anger and frustration and trying to amplify the voices of the most angry and most frustrated people around here. Which are the individuals simply trying to have the right to also grow this plant and sell it and so um, so that's really where like a lot of my energy comes from.


26:36.69

shayda

It is very heartbreaking I'm listening to you say these things and and I I feel it so much because I'm living it right? I'm in a state like Texas that has not made it welcoming for us to consume to do business. There are other implications of being in this industry at a federal level. But when you do distill it down into your local community I've had those conversations I've had the thought of well if I want to work in. You know cannabis I probably have to leave my state to execute that and then hemp legalize and it's like okay well now I have an opportunity in my state. But.


27:01.23

Jane West

And.


27:13.71

Jane West

No.


27:15.79

shayda

I don't really because they're constantly throwing regulation as you inch towards medical and eventually recreation I personally believe Texas is going to be a limited licensure state and I just I share the same pain of I was very opportunistic getting in the industry and I'm about to come on my fourth year on that cusp right? of. The excitement transitioning into the reality and I think that's just where I always try to come with this podcast and I appreciate you sharing so openly about your experiences because one I love sharing these unique stories. We all come from different walks of life. We take different steps. We have different passions strengths ambitions goals but you need to be rooted in reality. When you go to get a license what does that look like it's not oh I want to be in cannabis it's now I have to actually put pen to paper. We saw so many people in Texas go get hemp licenses because they wanted to grow in this you know green rush excitement and.


28:01.37

Jane West

Don't stop.


28:07.40

shayda

And I love that. But then you know the shoe drops and it's well where are you going to sell your products and oh by the way Texas is in the middle of trying to make smokeables illegal. So the plant that you love to grow. Well, you can't do what you thought you were going to do with it. So it's turned into this very.


28:08.40

Jane West

Yeah.


28:22.47

shayda

Weird I I try not to be angry kind of like you know you're expressing right? I try not to be angry I try not to be um and this is speaking for myself I try not to be negative but I I have to remind myself. We have to be realistic with how we are progressing through things.


28:25.17

Jane West

Nothing.


28:39.34

shayda

And use our voice to speak up So I do appreciate you speaking up as much as you do being on this podcast being a woman to look up to and you know I can imagine that you probably have gone through a lot of shit because of using your voice right? But it's.


28:52.61

Jane West

I have.


28:56.28

shayda

Hopefully the good outweighs the bad and navigating through that to ultimately make an impact in this industry that you know you had really good intentions of of getting into so I'm curious because I've seen it pop up in a couple of interviews and I don't want to assume that it's a positive thing but in the sense of. You know, normalizing cannabis especially being a woman in cannabis and you mentioned woman grow I definitely want to get into that. But there's a lot of quotes of you being called the Martha Stewart of cannabis I just want to know you know is that is that something.


29:23.72

Jane West

Um, oh God and I never wrote I never said that? Yeah yes.


29:32.59

shayda

No, not you I've not seen you call yourself that but other people make that that you know that title and I'm curious. Do you think that that helps normalize Cannabis Do you step into that expression. Do you think that it hinders the industry because you know. To me. It's in the same vein of we're going towards legalization and you're getting all these celebrities and big personalities and multi-sate operators and they care because there's money involved in it. But at the same time.. It's like you really do just want the soccer mom to feel comfortable like hey you know have your rose but also it is okay to grab your gummy or your bong. So.


30:01.32

Jane West

Doubt.


30:07.88

Jane West

Yup, so.


30:09.80

shayda

I can see it going two ways I'm just curious. You're living it. What is that like for you.


30:11.56

Jane West

Well, you just brought up. Ah, ah, definitely a very specific debate that is repeating and ongoing at my company because at the beginning exactly what you said they started calling me the Martha Steward of cannabis and I was I remember the first time I read it I was like we should call.


30:30.28

shayda

Go do that? yeah.


30:30.49

Jane West

Um, tell them to change it like because for a whole bunch of reasons, especially like the monikers that are put on women to try to like make them something that you've already see like it's It's a lot and so but yes in and just pigeonhole like.


30:43.56

shayda

Or stereotype them.


30:49.75

Jane West

I am not anything like Martha Stewart and and also she doesn't make products in the manner that I and either way either point is ah there were a lot of reasons it struck a chord of me that I was like no, we're never you know let's do it and then my pr engine at the time. Um. She spoke from the other side that you were saying that like no, it's great that just the word Martha Stewart and this is before she threw her out in the ring Martha Stught and cannabis are in the same conversation. That's a good thing like that's an important and so I understood that and she's like don't you want more reporters. To read that in Forbes and in ink they're calling you this like that's interesting to them because they know you know what? and then then also she challenged me like what would you have liked them to say and so I was like I didn hunter S Thompson's crate and barrel I don't know like why are we doing this. So I did dive in being like okay I understand and there's a reason in order to digest how this more better digest in America society especially with women to be able to like help define things. But yeah I mean additionally then then she then Martha throught started her own cannabis brand and and in that moment I actually was like. Oh this would be cool if she smoked but unfortunately despite her advertisements with lighters. She like her verbally and in her interview I mean she's got these contracts in the us. There's no way and and so that's the part that gets me is that if she actually did.


32:09.30

shayda

Never.


32:15.23

shayda

Yeah, yeah.


32:24.80

Jane West

Consume and not just like it's the huge deal and she does it 1 time and inhales once and it gets a bleeding hit I mean like if she's literally just saying hey millions of women use cannabis every day in sokable form and it help makes their lives better I'm not 1 of them. But there's nothing wrong with that.


32:28.51

shayda

Right.


32:43.79

Jane West

You know? and but that's just not the best income out of their brand. So either way the point is it's a really great question you ask and I just just I decided to dive in and and try to build something so big that someday people say well I'm the Jane West of something else. So.


32:56.81

shayda

Yes, you're absolutely doing it and I appreciate that that response right? Not that there's a right or a wrong way to approach it. But I think that's my observation that I see with the industry. It's that twofold right? it's.


33:02.32

Jane West

And.


33:12.81

shayda

We're putting women specifically into this box or stereotyping who the consumer is but then also leveraging celebrity to normalize something and so I'm kind of have this you know. I'm in the middle of the road I can kind of be persuaded either way depending on how you kind of position it to me and so I'm like I don't know we're going towards legalization and is it good that you have these celebrities and then so I can just only imagine being somebody um with the experience and the respect that you have accumulated and worked hard for in the industry to then be.


33:30.90

Jane West

Yes.


33:44.12

shayda

Again, it's not a degregation to be called Martha Stewart right it's Martha Stewart but how do you leverage that for becoming more Jane West which I think that you have done successfully and and Martha you know she's going to keep posting zippo lighters with or or bick lighters with Snoop Dock so


33:46.95

Jane West

Have done. So.


33:58.33

Jane West

No, she is great at licensing there it you know it's a lot about like the aesthetic and and look and feel that they're trying to put on me with with that title. But in reality I Do I have have actually like studied her business model. And actually the inner workings of it because there aren't that many brand name selfmade female but like business owners and so so that on that side there's there'd be a lot to talk about. Um you know I As much as I would love to have so many female celebrities.


34:19.98

shayda

Um, absolutely.


34:35.30

Jane West

Like you know coming out and smoking on on their pages just like they do wine like the over time I just really would what's happened in the Pat. Okay, so when I started the events I couldn't find any pictures of women in dresses that looked nice smoking weed at all.


34:49.44

shayda

Um.


34:54.40

Jane West

At all. There were also less than 100 people on Linkedin who had the word cannabis somewhere in there was there were a bunch of we marijuana ones from like back in the day like but like there were less than 100 people had were cannabis. Um, but my point is once again. Lost the seat. This is what happens when you start thinking about the past and then it comes into your head. What were you just saying? Oh yes, wait this like yeah so you have to delete this part because it's gonna sound challenging. Um the the Linkedin in cannabis.


35:16.96

shayda

We were talking about celebrity women I Will you got it.


35:30.61

Jane West

Um, but today I mean one of the things that does keep me going is if I go online and I type in and I search cannabis influencer or cannabis thing and what I see is page after page of awesome women making great content about. Ah, product they love and and ice and there's so much more imagery and there's so much more so many more people who are building their entire companies and brands around the be a a cannabis identity and a canbis consumer identity and what's disheartened. Is that just like I don't have a blue check on Instagram because I've violated the community conduct codes too many times. Um these these women don't either and at first I was like fuck Instagram if I'm making a brand that needs Instagram I'm doing something wrong. I don't want to need Instagram um, but now over time and especially when I am finding individuals like you who are making these like amazing shows and fabulous content and like I want those if those women have blue checks if I had a blue check and I made a comment on your thing that gives you more credibility.


36:42.74

shayda

Yeah.


36:44.76

Jane West

And if you have a blue check and you make comments on things your comments are up at the top and you try to reach out to celebrities to be on your show and they're more likely to respond to you and so when you see how much this suppression of cannabis accounts and social media and advertising is really affecting our abilities because you are. I am popular even if Instagram isn't gonna ghost us the blue check. Um, but I think I worry that this celebrity culture coming into cannabis all it it reinforces that oh she has a blue check and a million followers. So obviously she's our option when on this other side I'm seeing.


37:06.92

shayda

The validation.


37:22.46

Jane West

So much authenticity and education through realistic content about consuming that is being not only not applauded, not only not paid for paid but suppressed and so um, so I know I know I know that someday that has to. And someday whether I I wish Instagram still wasn't the biggest thing you know someday that part I really look forward to being able to like have people truly get their attention and advertising and marketing marketing that they deserve. Ah you know behind their cannabis. Friends. Yeah.


38:01.50

shayda

Amen I look forward to that day and I think you know honestly you being the voice that you are is going to be 1 of the people who helps influence that right? and so I want to talk about women grow. It's it's a very well-known name in the industry.


38:11.71

Jane West

Okay, right.


38:18.69

shayda

What is that? What is the parameters of it tell me like when you launched it. What was the intention and then now that it has grown into Multi-city Multi-state How big is the women grow network and. I mean I can understand why you created it right because you wanted to give women a platform and opportunity to be connected to find women who can be successful and be the leaders in the industry and shape the narrative but more so than that I think like why. Why are I Guess like why from your perspective are women not currently in those positions like why is it a male dominated industry from your perspective and how do we start to shape that and as women grow one of the steps in helping bring attention to that.


39:08.32

Jane West

Well organizing women no matter what is one of the steps in my opinion because the I mean I don't again I don't I want to I talk about disparity and in that's what's happening. There's a ah. An obvious inequitable disparity in ownership and licensing and business and all and but that goes deeper because this entire playing board is broken and I've been on all these different playing boards in the past eight years in the scc in regulating money and you know raising money and funds and like um. That board. You know those men are organized and they have deep networks of with access to capital and access to power and access to you know their their colleagues and because there's these really established networks in finance in business in construction. Yeah, and. And because there is a lack of female representation in all those other sectors too. Um, the entire you know game board is that we've jumped to where like you know recently I read that like the the majority of board members at kanemous companies came from a finance background. And so you know that's you know that's what we've created here. Um, and so with women grow I was trying to just start something different and I still am I am still I still believe that I will get further and eventually do better if I make my own game board. And try to work instead of trying to adjust adapt or like limit myself to fit in some other mold because that's the system where the money is or you know where the energy is right now. Um, that was my goal with room to grow. You know so I had mentioned earlier that I lost my job. I start I launched the first article about J Morrissson edible events ran in January Twenty Fourteen the first event happened that month I got fired the next month and the swat team showed up in April so I by then the name Jane West was synonymous with all of these different keywords in cannabis. Because the ap press and and I mean I was sitting in my living room with Harris Men you know so um so people were reaching out to me especially in me back then if you just googled women weed I was the top thing and so I did not know what I was doing. I was a criminal who had just recently been fired from her job and so I I was like I didn't know how to help people I spent a couple months trying to help people trying to be like okay maybe this is my new job is helping people and kind of like what these consultancy firms are now in terms of like what are you doing you want to get in get all it but ah.


41:56.50

Jane West

And so once I in turn trying to help people I became acutely aware that canvas legalization would be a local issue so ah, like and definiteafly state-based and I would be more likely to be and and the networks that we should be creating should be state based so that. Your representative your mayor. You know how whatever you need to do to get what you want the product you want to have made made and accessible in your market in your store and on that street and downtown. You need to have this local network and support and legislation regulation and so. I wanted to start organizing women were contacting me from all over the world like all over the world like how do I get the industry. What do I do and so women grow as a framework for being able to have women get organized and that to me was how I was creating opportunity because it's 1 thing to like hold 1 event. For like women's breakfast at 8 a m on the last day of a conference because you know that's where I want to be getting up early and going to but it's 1 thing to be calling that like an opportunity to connect with other women like I wanted to create opportunity to channel this energy. So. I started women grow in Denver and in 20 and I created the logos and bought the websites I did not know what was doing at all if there are some things I did that if you could just watch how long it took me to like just know like and now I'm just like click pace click pace but I was like I had no idea it was doing um absolutely no idea ro in. And so I decided to just start it as if I was doing it and then I'd create the guidebook. So. My first event was in August and about 100 went people came and then I just made a like ah a guidebook for getting ready for your first event and made all the oaks and then I did it for 2 and 3.


43:43.71

shayda

That.


43:48.41

Jane West

And then by the time my third one happened we had. We just put up a thing on the web page. It was like do you want to start a chapter. We had hundreds and hundreds of people. So then we started sorting that then I met Jasmine hub who has talked who could operate a computer and ah she and a heart drive and and she she absolutely had this. Tech skill set I got on the phone with the seat the sea level people at women 2.0 which basically was what I wanted to do for women grow just meet on a monthly basis in a local area. Talk about a topic that's pertinent to um, also by doing state-based it helped with defining the audience and the topics. Because here in Colorado we could be doing something like um child making your child proof packaging. Cute. You know that'd be something or not cute that was making your making your child proof proof making child proof packaging. You know, consumer friendly like that would have been in the topic and. In Pennsylvania it would be initiative for 82 is it the right thing or you know like whatever you need so and it was also a great way in terms of creating opportunity to give a speaking a slot to people who really were the people who came and spoke at women grow events absolutely were like. On the at like there to tell us all how it's gonna happen. Whatever it is it. It wasn't a paint panel. It wasn't something that's like linked to a sponsorship. It wasn't one of the bazillion monitor. You know someone was there to be like hey I'm on the frontline and this is what's going on in my opinion and and so so. Within the first year of doing women grow. We started 40 chapters I move the vast majority of people I only met you know via via phone call and and and talking them through things and being their access point and then I held the national conferences and that was okay. So.


45:28.45

shayda

Power.


45:44.57

Jane West

Again I kept underestimating myself and the energy behind what I was doing so we started women grow and despite the fact that we were in all these cities we we were asked to join a special lobbying event and we so we're gonna fly to Dc and we're like should we. Let's email. We should email people and tell them we're going to see maybe they'll want to meet us. Maybe we'll plan a happy hour that's like kind of what we were thinking to meet people and so we sent it out to everyone that had ever written on women grow and 78 women from 12 states came to Washington. Dc all of a sudden we needed like a meeting room like I mean it was massive and we trained and then we you know started working with lobbyists. We trained them on what to say we divided them up in all the different like buildings and so um and so lobby days happened but every time that kept happening. I just scratched the surface and like a waterfall would come falling through the room. Um, so after the first year of women grow though I was like reminded like this is not what I started doing and and also like to me women grow had to remain so egalitarian. And everyone is welcome and it's so accessible and all these things and and and I also knew at the same time that I wanted to start building things of my own that and that's when I also started getting more opinions. So I also started giving more opinions that really I should just. Like work on my own projects and define things the way I want to and so yeah, so I worked really closely with Hillary pc out of New York they're amazing amazing and they helped me you know, really form a corporate structure to what I had built and and the ike in it and then um. Basically women Growe became kind of an employee owned and operated company and it's now 80% black female owned and my last day there was I was like a grandmothered into a board seat for a year just to like you know, have some type of transition accessibility. But my last day. Was in 2017 and so then um, that was the first day I started really building what I'm doing now and trying to find glass partners and trying to actually make something and monetize and and commercialize I mean. I admit that I'm doing the same thing we're talking about commercialization but like I am trying to generate value from what I've built in in the business sense and and create a successful company. Um, and I feel like that's really key. That's like 1 of my main like whys.


48:32.64

Jane West

Um, right now because I have to I feel just feel like I have to prove that this is possible that if you make these certain decisions and you really build something that is molded in a way like without concessions without diluting without you know like. That that you can succeed in this sector and so yeah, so that's a lot of the reason for my motivation now. Um, because so many of those women are still I mean it's like before I used like that that statement. Um, what would you do. Oh you are who you are when no one's watching you know So okay, so like all of a sudden it was without me necessarily questioning it I felt like my life became like what what would you do? if everyone was watching like what would you do then and then and then now more and more and this goes back to your.


49:11.12

shayda

Yes.


49:28.97

Jane West

Question earlier about speaking out and speaking out for what's right? I Um I receive feedback years later you like they're like I was at your thing and you were there and you're like wait. How could that happen if none of these people have licenses. And everyone there was like wait. Yeah, how can that happen and yeah and they like tell you know they tell me a story of something that they witnessed or observed or some moment where it it inspired them to go down their path in a direction they believed was right or like good and you know giving me feedback and and those are the types of things that. Keep me going and and whether it's guilt or inspiration I'm just like no I have to keep keep building this this way and prove out this model and build this company with all the people you know that I I want to partner with. Ah, no matter what their financial situation is at this point um and know that at some point that there's enough out there for everyone. There is That's the part. It's a plan that grows in the ground. It's not tech. It's a crypto some cell phones or cars or. Natural gas or energy or you know it's a plant that grows in the ground and makes your life better and so I just hope that the we get the accessibility to licensing and opportunity that you know we dreamed of at the beginning.


50:59.61

shayda

It is so remarkable to see the power that you have harnessed and cultivated with a little bit of you know Selfdoubt of like I don't know if people are going to you know, actually like buy into this thing but it came with like you know. Genuine intention of seeing a community a culture, an environment that needed some corralally it needed somebody to help kind of like bring conversations together and to maybe call out areas that needed improvement and just the last statement you're kind of making you know there is so much. To go around. Unfortunately I find the industry is very overly competitive and then especially for women right? and so to be somebody who is this powerhouse female. You've got this brand name that you're building and doing a. Beautiful job of extending into media conversations and business opportunities and you're getting all this exposure and to still be like no but we need to help these other women connect with each other find opportunities navigate this thing I think is so important because I I personally struggle with it right? I think we. Especially in some maybe newer states. You feel like there is an opportunity and if there is opportunity. Well, it's limited and and how am I going to have a piece of that and so it's refreshing and hopeful to hear that there are people out there who are trying to level the playing field and so I just I hope listeners can kind of. Take a little bit of that back into their day-to-day lives and think you know what? what have I been doing how have I been showing up because I think that's another key thing too. You know at the end of the day we're unfortunately really only in control of our own bodies. So what can you say to your point 2 you're saying these things you're doing these things over the years and


52:43.00

Jane West

Ahead.


52:49.69

shayda

Maybe it's months a years later people are giving you feedback like oh this actually really impacted my life and now I'm in this you know different trajectory that I might not have been had I not interacted with you read something that you wrote you know, watched something that you were part of been a part of an experience or an event that you created and. Like we need more of that to happen so that the direction of the industry doesn't go in a direction that you know you start out kind of in the dawn of Colorado cannabis thinking it is going to be really great and you're going to see all these women succeed in opportunities and then to be in 2022 I mean I think there was a stat that came out probably twenty twenty beginning of the pandemic and it was like more women are in leadership positions in cannabis and you know the most recent update to that is it's declined by a significant amount and.


53:32.65

Jane West

Yeah, and those numbers. Yeah, you're right? and those numbers were always so inflated I was like if that's true then 3 of these 10 businesses shouldn't should be women own and they and they're not so ah, you know those and those numbers also come out of the like pay to play.


53:37.60

shayda

To begin with right.


53:49.64

shayda

Yes, so it's like who's pulling these reports together to and then who is it you know, benefiting and it just it Obviously it's a much deeper conversation for people to start to understand but my hope is always that they will listen to these conversations that I'm trying to curate.


53:51.65

Jane West

No media model right.


53:59.10

Jane West

It's in their hands.


54:06.74

shayda

And feel compelled to like dig deeper like ask questions like get involved I agree with you local is so important. Yes, federal legalization will make an impact in many areas. Absolutely but the impact happens at a local level first and foremost and so.


54:07.75

Jane West

Yes, yes.


54:23.22

shayda

Really want to kind of wrap up things a little bit by asking you 2 final questions one is you know you're talking about going through and you've been sharing so candidly about the journey of building Jane West yeah please please.


54:30.42

Jane West

Wait can I say one you thing about what you're just and you can little' start over. Okay, um I think you're you're totally right? and. I do one of my tips for people trying to get into industry and going to these conferences because you do have to go even though we're both saying like they're Lu who am and the panels are like is keep asking yourself is this true like as you're sitting in the audience. You know what? you should be questioning. There's so much being defined right now that you should be questioning like is this true does that have to be that way like how else can I do that? Um, and you know secondly like I became a spotlight I put on me and a microphone literally put in my face so over and over again and so i. That's how like I first developed my voice but I guarantee you if you start talking about exactly what you want and start pointing out like how it's not happening and how maybe ways it could happen especially if you can come to the table with solutions. You will find your audience everyone I know that starts speaking out about whatever the thing is they. People hear that but you have to be like putting it on the radio channel and I I I worry and this what worried me in the beginning is that the the illegality and and the the mindset we have on canvas that we don't even realize we have we don't even realize every year something else new happens where I'm like oh even I was.


55:54.26

shayda

It's true.


55:57.43

Jane West

Stereotyping this thing you know, but what you know and so because it's so ingrained in especially in american culture especially in my generation with like Nixon in the 70 s and then great Nancy Reagan in the 80 s and dare and then freaking cops was the longest running reality show. We just watched the. War on drugs play out on every Friday night and it's like a franchise so it is still on television coming back now or something ah point is um, it's these stereotypes that I think are ingrained and preventing people from speaking out about just you know obvious inequities or licensing or how legalization should be. And so that's what I just really encourage people to speak out and and I promise I really feel like you if you when you do not only will you feel a relief that like this wasn't like all in your head and that there are other people there that feel it that way. Um, but also you'll build. Your audience and your community.


56:56.30

shayda

I Couldn't agree more and I think it is something that is obviously very uncomfortable to step into because you find in this industry and I struggle with this I mean I still do with the podcast. It's like am I The thought leader am I The the authority on this I know we were launching restart. It was.


57:11.50

Jane West

H.


57:15.55

shayda

Especially here in Texas we launched in a time where people did not understand like full spectrum versus isolate and that conversation was so difficult to have and if you were isolate anything like you were bad and it's clearly evolved to where there's minor cannabinoids and people who want to be high and people who don't.


57:20.29

Jane West

You have.


57:34.00

shayda

To be high and you can use cannabis in all these different ways. But yes, Cannabis historically has been used for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years but the reality of how we see it from a scientific perspective from a chemistry perspective from a business perspective from a. Consumer perspective I mean even just like a health perspective. My fiance and I talk about this a lot to you know the implications we always glamorize Cannabis could there perhaps be negative attributes to the industry to the consumption of it and it's It's just like I think as an industry we don't want to talk about things that like are not.


58:03.34

Jane West

Yes, yes, yes.


58:10.35

shayda

Ingrained in us because it's not normal to us. But when you start to like you're saying sit in those conversations and just like think critically ask questions is this the way it is because somebody else said so or is this the way it is because we all agreed it should be this way and is there room for me to. Improve upon it and and I love what you were sharing too of have opinions will like bring a solution to the table and so that's for me where I made a really conscious decision I don't want to be reactive to regulation and policy I Want to be proactive So How can I have a seat at the table. What boards can I sit on locally. What organizations can I support how do I. Get involved in the actual politics of running a cannabis business in my state that has a direct implication to what opportunities I will and won't have instead of just oh well, it's hard and I can't do it and and it's just it's There's so much Opportunity. It's how do you want to engage with that opportunity and so I think that you've.


58:59.75

Jane West

Yeah.


59:03.50

shayda

Given a lot of good insight and personal experience to help shape. How people can you know start to make sense of it and start to carve out their own little niche and so kind of with that I would love to transition to I think when you are dealing with a lot of women in Cannabis There is.


59:13.31

Jane West

Okay.


59:20.41

shayda

Obviously a lot of camaraderie on one side of the coin. But there's also a lot of competition on the other side of the coin I think when we want opportunity. Also we I'm trying to think of like what's the best way to phrase it of you know you want to protect what you're putting out. It's like obviously you want to help people you know pull a seat up to the table but you also don't want to spill the beans like you want to have some proprietary protection and so just kind of would love to hear from you because I know we were talking before with your trademarks and especially launching all these different brands underneath Jane West going after. Women grow assets and all those things that legitimize a business in an industry that is unfortunately illegitimate in some capacities like what is your advice and what it. What do you kind of you know.


01:00:00.95

Jane West

N.


01:00:06.79

Jane West

So it does.


01:00:13.78

shayda

Leverage to give yourself that space where it's like this is what I own and this is what I know to be true, but also let people you know, learn from you. It's like a really delicate dance you have to do sometimes and I know you you do it. So I'm curious to hear how that has you know been for you navigating.


01:00:29.24

Jane West

Um, well it like as I speak to new business owners and and especially now like we have to just say I just have to say that the competition aspect of what we're thinking about when we think about the current market has so much to do with this limited licensing. Where I know it would be more collaborative and you know it would be cause that's how it was the beginning when it was all like we're all working for it together to get this to legalize and it really was United front you know and everyone felt like we won and now when things happen in every single state people win and people lose and so you know that.


01:00:54.85

shayda

Yeah.


01:01:07.55

Jane West

That mentality is it's like seeped into the sector. Um, and I think that's where a lot of this competition comes in and I I know exactly what you're talking about because this happens to me all the time where people and then and women that I'm talking about are so are fearful. Even of telling me of anyone what their ideas or what they're doing because it will be like stolen or taken and you know I understand I do understand that. But also we have to understand that like this one and done mentality which is a phrase that I like encourage you to like Google and read about just a little bit about like how there's only 1 there's only one one they can do and won this and and you know we're we're perpetuating that by not being like no this is a huge community and you know why we are gonna be so fucking lucky if a single one of us actually brings this idea to fruition and to be able to do it I'm probably going to need all of you. And so like that's how I don't know women grow would not have been what it is and I know it's a different business model. It's not quite the same thing as some other proprietary things but like it wouldn't grow what it is but I just didn't keep saying this is what I'm doing what are you doing I'm doing this and um and I try to encourage that to win because one of the things that. Um, I hear so much and this just comes from my social work and counseling background where I like I kind of hear what people are saying under what they're saying um is how much women like count themselves out right away. They're like oh I I had this really great idea and I was gonna do you know this one certain like. Grinder or something and then I saw it in a magazine and you're like okay what where does ah is that person selling it does she have distribution. What's your manufacturing how it you know and but that's all it takes for them to think oh somebody already like to to discount themselves and so women are just so much more inclined to do that that discounting versus. Multiplying and you can multiply by sharing your ideas and talking about them and as you talk about it. You develop your pitch your lexicon you also you know create a network of people that woman that you think sold your idea or. Most likely completely coincidentally all like there's lots. The bar is set pretty low around here and for all the canvas products that seem to be out there. There is a world that is missing and so you know it's most likely that people do just naturally come up with these somewhat similar ideas.


01:03:23.31

shayda

Yeah.


01:03:34.81

Jane West

Um, either way, you are going in my opinion to blossom and expand and exponentially expand than you could just alone as you share and so when it comes to how something truly proprietary. Yes. I mean you know keep it whether that's like a met ah a scientific formulation or along those lines but you know, um, really the second component of this is that most likely your idea is not going to be what you end up doing the vast majority if you and but in order to figure that out. You have to talk about it and you have to you have to mold it and you have to shape it and you have to edit it and cut whole things out of it all of a sudden. But oh no, we're not doing that. So um, you know I think that's part of running a successful business and so I do encourage people to talk about it. You know for me. I think also talking to others who are trying to build what you want to build and the way you want to build it. Um, helps you realize what you have and that's another thing that I find especially women in the sector don't realize how much they have and if you read all the trade mags. You probably don't think you you oh my god this guy's got one hundred and fifty million dollars and this person has this and this you know, um, but I just always encourage people to look back at what they've already done to see what they have we all are like looking at this forward while also in taking this like. Wave of news every morning you know and you should look back at like the shore where you started and remember what you have and every time I do that I find a new opportunity I'm like nope I already talked to that person. You know what? I actually already made this oh wait. We already kind of did this. Let's reformulate because that was really good and. You know and you'll find that you can find value in what you're building like for me for instance. Ah, you've talked about this on your podcast I know the vast majority of Kanems companies have absolutely no federal trademark registrations at all and and and but I started so early and I am an authentic brand truly speaking. To the audiences and I needed to protect my my brand under smoker's accessories and coffee and tea and nutritional supplements and so I do I do have registered trademarks with the uspto um in about 12 different classes. And in the past three years we've also applied those registrations to the Eu Canada and the Uk and that is the end result of of taking a look at what I have what makes me unique what what is different about me. Okay, maybe i.


01:06:22.70

Jane West

I Don't want to be plan touching and I don't have a cultivation and you don't you know? but I do have all of the necessary components to start an Ip portfolio based on trade maral registrations and that's what I that is what is something that I actually can build and it's unique. And so you know it's the end result of of of looking at that and and just focusing on what you have and how you can multiply it versus the scarcity mentality that is so prevalent around here right now which is reasonable. It. It's Reasonable. Um. But it's not going to get you ahead.


01:07:00.30

shayda

It is something to be mindful and aware of but to not let it hold you back or hinder you from saying it out loud having the conversation just to your point too of being able to extend yourself to be able to go after trademarks especially in the.


01:07:05.69

Jane West

I.


01:07:18.92

shayda

Current climate where they're not being awarded or accepted right now I'm sure some of those conversations happen because of how you're networking and who you are opening your ideas up and your conversations up to and you know it's no secret too for me. The podcast has been so rewarding because I'm having conversations with people that are.


01:07:26.11

Jane West

And.


01:07:36.44

shayda

Helping me shape and reframe which is you know I think not is not secret sauce like talking to people is not secret right? but people sometimes like oh well, that's interesting like how'd you get that idea and I'm like oh because I I reached out to Jane and I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with her and now you're enlightening me so much and so.


01:07:52.27

Jane West

Imagine.


01:07:54.59

shayda

It's just I think people need to realize that the answers and the opportunity is out there but it's not going to be handed to you. You have to be open minded and also I think humble enough which is another acknowledgement that I've really appreciated about you. You are really humble and it really is appreciated because there are so many people out here who want to blow literal fucking smoke and my bullshit meter is like but not here for it. Not having it and so to have people who really truly care about helping others. But also yeah I mean how yeah we're all business.


01:08:17.37

Jane West

Ah yes, have yeah well.


01:08:28.77

Jane West

No.


01:08:29.38

shayda

People like we want to you need to put you know food on the table for your kids I would like to have a family one day and have to figure out how to commercialize and make a business out of what we're doing in the industry. but but yeah the conversation really obviously too for the listeners. They always know this. It's it's how do you look at these. Challenges not as closed doors. But as creative opportunities to pivot to change like you were saying earlier too. The idea that you think you have today is going to evolve and the only way it's going to evolve is by putting it in motion so allowing for the progression of things to happen for better or worse.


01:08:51.75

Jane West

That.


01:09:05.55

shayda

Okay, final question I Love to ask my guest this what does the future of Cannabis look like to you and can you know be as crazy or as realistic as you you know, project it to be in future is obviously relative to because some would say we already are in the future of cannabis.


01:09:08.64

Jane West

I am.


01:09:19.97

Jane West

Ah I don't want to I want my crystal ball to be rose colored um like Rose colored glasses. Um, okay so the way I think about. The future of cannabis really for for some reason I just am very fixated on the 20 s and like that's why like my new glasswork collection is called the 20S collection and like this is this new twenty s and because we're gonna look back on this like you know part of being a futurist is. Being able to think about how people in the future are going to think about how this all went down and what really happened and so um, so I try to think that way and and try to think about and I really do try to think that way when I think about what I'm doing with the brand because I do think every decision I make.


01:10:00.60

shayda

That's right.


01:10:16.26

Jane West

If I truly make this a successful company. The decisions I make right now hopefully people can learn from hopefully they'll be documented. Hopefully it'll get you know when you read these other ways to succeed um that it'll affect the future of cannabis because people will be more emboldened to. Start their own businesses and not just become an employee and not just try to get a job. We're you know, working for someone else and so um, so that does define a lot about about what I do so I do think basically for the next eight years so I've been doing this for 8 years and I've got eight more years until it's 2030 and there. I do believe federal ah legalization of some type will occur between now and then and I do think that that will change some of the banking systems in place but at the same time you know there's been so many different things that have become so established that are not good for the sector and so that those systems. have to be broken we have to I my my idealistic self hopes that once we change people's thinking about cannabis. There's 1 thing about legalization. 1 thing about the 1 thing about all day I guess there's a dispensary down the road and you're like pointing at it when your tour when your friends come to visit you know like. Beyond all of that. Um, when I real I try to remember how new this is and that tries to then I feel good I feel better because I know like wow like in Wisconsin they don't even have any of this yet and that's where I'm from you know where I'm from so hey we could get that right. Um, but that is going to mean that like there is homegrow and people want it and it's all and you know and the people have more accessibility and so I want that future I want that future. Um, and that is what's really going to change people's mentality is being able to be close to. And so yeah, so I try to just remember that this is still the very beginning of the very beginning and we used to say to people that women grow and I think this was Jasmine's um you know tagline was that the industry will never be this small again and that's still true and so hopefully. There is another wave I see another wave of activism coming where at some point all of these professional all the people in all the seats that have been turned down for licenses that have been told you can't you can't you can't. You can't no not here, not at some point another movement will form in terms of the like the freedom to grow this cash crop the freedom to for horo like a true true legalization in terms of like getting you know people's records its fun and things I hope that's gonna happen because.


01:13:05.19

Jane West

Every day. The new person enters the Cannabis Spec that's boop. That's their little point 0 Just like you're a point zero and my point zero you know and and I do think they're just realizations you naturally come to over time and hopefully at some point they'll be will reach this critical mass of individuals who feel the same way. And there'll be another wave of of Cannabis regulation and hopefully in that wave we are washing away a lot of the systems that are out there right now. And um, and I really do believe that's possible I've had conversations with these agricultural students and horticulture students in they're like there's in there like they're like 22 They're a little more than half my age and like oh and and so yeah, like yeah yeah, and I'm just like.


01:13:53.33

shayda

Um, this o'bri-eyed.


01:13:58.45

Jane West

Oh my god you have 25 years to do what you're doing right now until you even get to me technically in terms of like time and so so that I and and that's what that's what brings me back to that like futuristic because people.


01:14:05.93

shayda

Yeah.


01:14:15.80

Jane West

Me a futurist inspect. But that's what brings me back to that mindset is like okay but 25 years from now that young woman that I just got the phone with is going to be in charge of something around here and um and so that's what like brings me hope and. And I do think that like cannabis is for everyone and I do think that it's going to be part of our homes in some way shape or form in almost every american home including him you know by the end of this decade and and so. I look forward to seeing what it looks like then.




01:26.50

Jane West

Okay hi. My name is Jane West I've been the cannabis industry for 8 years I'm best known for founding women grow.



Jane West

And also edible events company at the dawn of adult use recreation in Colorado um, starting in Twenty Seven T I started building my own lifestyle brand. We are now distributed in over 300 dispensaries across North America and I also have a line of glassware dugouts. And accessories for cannabis that are distributed worldwide.


02:09.91

shayda

Perfect. Okay so I'm super excited to have you on the podcast because you are such a prolific name in the cannabis industry you have done so much for women in cannabis. You have been a part of the industry as it has transitioned into the spotlight and you've been one of the women helping champion that conversation and so where I would love to start is a little bit more understanding Jane West as a brand name I know that this is a name that you created for yourself to. Establish yourself in the industry and I'm curious. You know for me the podcast is so much about branding I come from a background of leaning into my own personal brand and I just think that personal brands can do so much obviously like you mentioned in your intro you now have products that you are selling in over three hundred dispensaries and distributed. All across the United States and it is all slapped with you know the Jane West name and logo and so I would just love to learn. How did you get to becoming Jane West what was that experience like for you.


03:10.19

Jane West

Yeah, but I think first I should talk a little bit about just my background so I was born in raised in Wisconsin I went to undergrad the University Of Wisconsin then I moved to New York city where I worked for non-governmental organizations and the unundp I was working on programs with refugees in Afghanistan um, and working in New York City on 119 and I love my job and I loved what I was doing but um, following in the aftermath of Nine Eleven my work was all like the entire department was just ended. It's interesting because. That was the only other time in my life that like things stopped in the way that they stopped during the pandemic like all of a sudden one day. Everything was completely different. Um, and so within six months six months after 119 I left New York I moved to Colorado. And I started getting my master's degree in social work and so um I spent 8 years working in with nonprofits working with high school students and doing other other things I had 2 sons. Um. Living here in Denver Colorado and it wasn't until I was thirty eight years old that I even thought about cannabis or the cannabis industry or anything like that at all and that's really the year that my in in 142 that my story in cannabis begins. So Colorado had just legalized. And and we knew that on January first these they at that time there were about 25 these 25 dispensary doors. We're gonna open to just people coming in and buying cannabis and both my kids had just started school full time and I have you know, always loved cannabis and people who know me know that about me and i'm. Not like um've been a proud cannabis consumer. Maybe not so much to my work life but definitely in my personal life and so um, so I wanted to start some type of cannabis events I I done huge events within my social work career I I produced events for both of. Obama's inaugurations where we actually rented museums on the national mall and staged from these museums the morning of the inaugurations so like having a small gathering at an art gallery is something that's like a fun passion project for me. That's what I was starting I was starting a fun little passion project. Not a business. And I definitely to be clear. Did not think of myself as an entrepreneur or a business person or I mean definitely an activist I was but um, so I decided that I wanted to start this an event.


05:56.38

Jane West

Where you now that if people can just go and buy amazing cannabis products and and I had'd seen some of the products coming out and that like the candy bars and how they'd be divided perfectly and all the different and I was like wow this is people are gonna this is really gonna but this is really gonna work. Um, we I should do something. To involve myself in the cannabis sector and so what I was doing was take was what a lot of people are doing now I'm taking what I'd spend all this time doing producing big events and going to produce events for that are cannabis friendly. So um I started edible events company and that was really the moment. That Jane Mus was born because I needed to purchase a burner bone and um and a laptop like in order to start the company and and be able to start because I started kind of doing it in my work. Laptop and I got the all these air. You know all these like warning things coming up about the pages I'm not allowed to go to I'm like okay I gotta get my own little laptop from this and so as I opened that laptop that morning I went and bought like the cheapest one there was and it was like what is your name I was like okay. Shouldn't even type my real name into here like this should be and and you know if I sound you know, fearful. But today in so many states people should be thus afraid still of having cannavas in their homes and um. And at that time at the dawn. It was like there was so much going on and and there was a lot of fear among a lot of people in the sector here. So um, yeah, so I who is my name and I couldn't think of it that night I was like I don't know what to type in and I then I but I couldn't get past that first page. And then I did so it's like I'm gonna do tomorrow so I spent the morning really really thinking about it like what? how am I gonna approach this like I'm starting something new within myself and this passion project and you know what? how am I gonna define this what is gonna define me and how what? what is my brand. And what am I doing what am I bringing into my life. That's new and I looked into a lot of different names I had a big sheet of all these different ideas I definitely wanted something short with like just 2 syllables and um I came up first with like Mary Jane West and now I'm now looking back I'm like whoa that is so obvious that would not right. And I actually went to one networking event saying my name was Mary and um and it felt catholic and strange and so I was like no I like Jane West then um I I actually looked up the name Mary Jane West and learned ah that may west who is.


08:39.10

Jane West

Really like very underappreciated for her what the role she with the the boundaries she pushed as an actress in hollywood in the 50 s and sixty s and then becoming and a director and then becoming an investor and her born name was Mary Jane West and has like that a sign. That's it. It's genius. So yep, so that was that's how it was born in this same office that I'm standing in right now and then I so I started producing the events and they got a lot of attention especially because at the time after there were news crews everywhere I'll just sear us. Like Cnn all the people all all the most important people and um and after you take a few pictures of 1 of the dispensaries and maybe get in a grow There's not a lot footage to shoot and so people wanted to come to this event and that very first event the end of prohibition January Fourth 2014 there were so many news people and it was wonderful like to we were in this beautiful art gallery and all my tickets all my my events had food and music and art and um, yeah, and there was people and it was just really showing this other side of. Of the cannabis sector. There's many sides I don't like everyone is welcome here. Cannabis is for everyone but I wasn't finding the type of events that I wanted to attend on a Friday or Saturday night and and so that's what I was creating and so that's how edible. Events company started and um, the first time I typed in the gene was name.


10:15.94

shayda

I Think that is so cool and certainly inspiring. You know I think we were talking before we were recording just about the opportunity that I think the cannabis industry entices people with like it is. It's this this green rush. It's big open. It's new. It's it's wide open. But.


10:27.37

Jane West

And the um and next.


10:33.90

shayda

How do you actually enter the market and create this opportunity for yourself is sometimes the difference of you know, succeeding or failing and so being able to step into this uncomfortability but also kind of like find excitement and how you're going to use your voice to yeah, exactly make it yours and like have this voice and.


10:39.79

Jane West

Done.


10:46.76

Jane West

8 yours.


10:52.99

shayda

So I would love to learn a little bit more too I mean coming from Colorado when things were transitioning into the legal space. What has been your experience like 2014 to like 2022 if you can you know call.


11:04.33

Jane West

Um, yeah, oh yeah, no, um I think that's one of the best I think the best way to answer this question is to talk a little bit about social use because.


11:09.36

shayda

And all those years into some takeaways of just I mean because also to you know.


11:22.31

Jane West

When it was being legalized in 14 the idea that we would be sitting here this long later with this many states legalized and most americans having access to some legal form of of can regulated canvas and not have a place where we ah can all go together and do this is like. Would be like wait. How could that be? If yeah, if you would have told me that in 2014 like that's impossible now I I mean that goes into the story because you know the first event went out with ah went off very well. Yeah I had people from the city come I had you know insurance I wanted to make this professional. Um and. But you know I learned a lot from that very first event I learned how hard it it was harder than I thought it was gonna be it was so much work and I I did have you know two small kids and wanted to be home with them too and um and now and this was just like I said a passion project. It was something I was just doing for fun and 1 to basically break. Even. And so um, and so after that first event I really it really did I was like well this is really popular and there's a lot of potential here. But I'm I'm in over my head like I don't have the capability or capacity to do this whole new thing right now and I'm not an entrepreneur. So what? you know? how? what? How am I going to do this I thought that cannabis companies would be able to sponsor these events and that would be like you know how I would maybe someday get to some point but this is just like a fun thing. So um, a month later some of the footage from that part party was actually used on the. Five o'clock evening news with Brian Williams national news um and as a result of that and my like me being in the piece I was asked to leave my job the next day out of I mean I absolutely did not think that was going to happen and I love my job and. Um, and so that like was really the most pivotal moment because I was planning on just doing something that was kind of fun and additive to my life and instead I like completely pulled a ruga up from under myself and was left there like not knowing what to do. Um, and as most people know one month later even though I had formed this partnership with the Colorado symphony orchestra and we had a vit of red rocks. And even though all these very positive social cues were lining up saying. Social use people want to come out and consume cannabis legalization. Um, they set a swat team to 1 of my events they criminalized all of us that had held held events at this is exactly eight years ago this week because it was four Twenty Twenty fourteen that the swat team showed up at a small female own bakery.


13:57.56

shayda

Well.


14:06.29

Jane West

Where women were like painting pots outside and yet busted us and so then I criminaled misdemeanor charges and that was the end of the events and that was their goal to to tell people you cannot this social use is not a thing and so um and that was you know the next big. Pivotal moment of like okay well now everything I even started doing just three months ago isn't even legal and I'm criminal and and and honest looking back that that is one of the things that that's another thing that is actually getting criminal misdemeanor charges. For something related to cannabis and then what I've had to do differently in my life about that with like credit checks. This is starting I mean I'm raising money on an scc and federaler regulated site like it. It gave me such a key sense of like it's not just the people who are in prison for this drug. Any if you're affected because of legal issues related to cannabis it. It goes right down to like your ability to get financial aid. Um, and so over the long run it really like helped me like immediately get a better sense and a better trajectory of what I would do and why. At the time it was definitely overwhelming so the 2 things to that would I would most be shocked by if in 2014 that hadn't happened yet by 2022 was how many people are still in jail incarcerated and currently this day having like. Significant issues in their lives related to cannabis and the fact that it's not there are not licensed establishments where you can go consume cannabis or even yoga studios or coffee shops. Um, those are those would be the 2 things that I'd be like wow i. I'm so impressed that billions and billions of dollars of cannabis have been sold and I can't comprehend how these 2 things haven't happened yet. Yeah.


16:04.69

shayda

Yeah, it's pretty astonishing I've not been charged criminally with anything related to cannabis but just on a personal level. You know being a business owner having your name on the documents and trying to go after things. I have been kicked off Paypal which is no surprise I learned I don't think I can transact target online. They won't tell me why they just will literally cancel every online order and I'm like all I buy from you are yoga pants like what the fuck why can't I just shop with you and then I wanted to set up a stripe account to do.


16:23.82

Jane West

Yep, and I'm here.


16:30.93

Jane West

And.


16:41.30

shayda

Podcast things that are cannabis related. But I'm not selling cannabis and Stripe sent me a letter saying we're so sorry we we cannot you know, support you and and transact your business on our platform and it's it is. It's shocking I mean obviously those are more on the business side. But I agree with you on the.


16:43.41

Jane West

Um, yes.


16:59.20

shayda

Social and criminal side of how Cannabis has become so popular and yet so neglected in conversations when it comes to making it actually accessible to everybody and also taking care of everybody who's been affected by it. What has been I Guess. Knowing you have a background coming from this you know activism side but also supporting social issues side that transferring into Cannabis. It's obviously a very. Very overused word not to diminish the word but it is we talk about it at Nauseum but yet there is no equity in the industry presently I'm curious how you transitioned into this activism role and what has been kind of like the biggest motivator for you to. Like speak up and use your voice because I think that's something that I've really observed about you is you say things that quite frankly I'm sure a lot of people equally want to say I know some of the things I've heard you say I'm like oh my God I can't believe she said that I agree with that. But it's It's a hard. Conversation to have and so when you step into this role of being an activism or activists going into helping make an impact on behalf of multiple other people beyond yourself. It's obviously implicating your own personal brand that you've been equally building alongside so it's.


18:17.50

Jane West

And.


18:26.19

shayda

It's a very hand in hand but also double-edged sword kind of observation from my perspective and so I'm just curious what that has been like leaning into these uncomfortable conversations and actually using your voice to help shape some of this um mess that as we.


18:35.32

Jane West

I have.


18:43.73

shayda

As we encroach legalization. We are stepping ourselves further and further you know into unfortunately.


18:48.82

Jane West

Yes, so you know obviously um, having constituents and speaking up for people and fighting for what I think is right is was you know something that was intrinsic in the work that I did previously. Um I'll be honest I wish I didn't have to speak up so much. Like I wish I could like not necessarily be the little like be buzzing around but I've seen this from the beginning and or least not even the beginning honestly because that's that's diminishing like because the medical market and what happened in California and he's right like just so but.


19:22.28

shayda

Right? legacy exactly.


19:27.78

Jane West

I Mean the beginning of the commercialization and and ownership because before then if you owned it, you're going to Jail So now all of a sudden something happened and you need you know, owning who gets to own all of this and how and why.


19:28.14

shayda

Yes.


19:45.55

Jane West

Is suddenly a thing and you know and so um I think one of the things that I've learned over time is that you know people associate legalization with freedom. It's like oh my god we get to do this and we get to do that and in reality what's happened is legalization. Is a lot more regulation and taxation and rules and limiting limiting opportunity limiting access limit like and and what I I know what I'm saying is true because the medical patients that were the ones standing at those capitol buildings. Convincing legislators of these first key steps to getting where we are today. They can't get the medication they need for a reasonable price and it's medication that is derived from a plant that they could grow in their own backyard if legally allowed and it's that's stunning to me that that can happen. Um I guess this is a good way to like pivot into like why I speak up like if you know after standing alongside a lot of these individuals back back. Ah back at the beach dawn of you know the commercialization of this and then standing here or day and seeing they can't even get. Ah, Rso oils or other things they need There's obviously something wrong that has to be talked about and but no one's talking about it or at least it doesn't sound like that to me the the rhetoric that I've observed change over time is one of the things that. It's very personal because it's what you hear and what you remember and how you how you and also fueled by how you think the sector should look and what you were thinking and I definitely was very naive in terms of how the world works when ah when all this started in 2014 because here in Colorado Amendment 64 you allows for this department of med that you can just go to and get a license and try to play in this game and so for the most part accessibility to licensing was is not a problem in this state and so that is the framework. For legalizing cannabis that I had thought was going to I thought how could it possibly get more restrictive. We're the ones just starting it here right? And so Anne that was the like un ending idealism that fueled me that Endur and poison.


22:01.85

shayda

Um, wild.


22:11.23

Jane West

Through like all of founding women grow I was like my friend has a dispensary and my friend has a bakery and my friend has a lab and this woman is making a granola and it's amazing and I'm on it right now but seriously the point is like you guys should everyone should like I was so concerned that women's outdated uneducated stereotypes about cannabis were going to prevent them from starting businesses like this that I could see we're doing well and thriving and it and at the very least even if they have all the same problems other businesses have and issues. These women owned their businesses. They were making the decisions every day about what happens next and who they work with and how this is gonna happen and I have never seen that before never before even after working in New York for so long or anything had I all of a sudden been in the middle of a mix of like 6 completely different businesses that are all 100 % woman own and so that really was the main motivation for starting to grow that and the fact that women from all over the world were like contacting me constantly um and so I just want to point that out because when I and like. From the rooftops like it doesn't have to be this way. These applications great. Don't believe in applications. Don't believe in lotteries fight for homerow fight or smell like it's because that's where I'm coming from and watching the way this has evolved is has just been it. It does it book it.


23:26.51

shayda

Right.


23:36.56

Jane West

Pulls the wind out of my sales and and it's hard as you get on phone calls with idealistic entrepreneurs that I hope trying to help when I don't see opportunity anymore in so many places and. To be on phone calls with people and tell them that the best thing they can maybe do is move to another state like to actually start their edibles brand. They don't want to move they live in New York they live here like they want to start this business with their family and their neighbors. And create a product for their community and so um, yeah, so my point is is that as I've watched it evolve There's just been so many things that I saw it differently I saw it going differently and the way I saw it going was better for everyone. Patients consumers people citizens the public health system. Ah you know? and so um and so that's where ah so much that motivation comes from the first four years it was. Optimism and excitement and also being fueled by women like you you've hosted on your your podcast. Ah many of the women that I know I'd sat with Lauren in 2015 in my house with like a bunch of business cards I got and this like lower of Kush Cards Elizabeth Hogan is one of my best friends in the whole world. Um. And I love you only Nelson Teen and so like you've talked to a lot of these individuals. Um, and my point was I just started thinking about Elizabeth Hogan and Lauren now. Um, um.


25:15.74

shayda

Like I love them. They're wonderful but seeing the excitement these women are involved and making impact in an industry that is you know for every woman that you see succeed. There is probably like 102050 that


25:27.81

Jane West

Yeah.


25:33.84

shayda

They're just they're not going to survive and they have those dreams like you're saying they're just they want to stay in their city. They want to be a part of their community. They want to make products or make events or be a connector because they love this plant and they are not aware of the realities of what it has been like progressing through.


25:51.50

Jane West

Right? Yeah, and so the first 4 What? Ah the first four years was fueled by idealolism and and dreams and like what could this possibly and and meeting those women because they come into my life and like revive me. But.


25:53.62

shayda

Legalization and to your point the commercialization of cannabis.


26:01.74

shayda

Right.


26:10.10

Jane West

Of energy you know and but the reality is the past four years a lot of that passion is coming from anger and frustration and trying to amplify the voices of the most angry and most frustrated people around here. Which are the individuals simply trying to have the right to also grow this plant and sell it and so um, so that's really where like a lot of my energy comes from.


26:36.69

shayda

It is very heartbreaking I'm listening to you say these things and and I I feel it so much because I'm living it right? I'm in a state like Texas that has not made it welcoming for us to consume to do business. There are other implications of being in this industry at a federal level. But when you do distill it down into your local community I've had those conversations I've had the thought of well if I want to work in. You know cannabis I probably have to leave my state to execute that and then hemp legalize and it's like okay well now I have an opportunity in my state. But.


27:01.23

Jane West

And.


27:13.71

Jane West

No.


27:15.79

shayda

I don't really because they're constantly throwing regulation as you inch towards medical and eventually recreation I personally believe Texas is going to be a limited licensure state and I just I share the same pain of I was very opportunistic getting in the industry and I'm about to come on my fourth year on that cusp right? of. The excitement transitioning into the reality and I think that's just where I always try to come with this podcast and I appreciate you sharing so openly about your experiences because one I love sharing these unique stories. We all come from different walks of life. We take different steps. We have different passions strengths ambitions goals but you need to be rooted in reality. When you go to get a license what does that look like it's not oh I want to be in cannabis it's now I have to actually put pen to paper. We saw so many people in Texas go get hemp licenses because they wanted to grow in this you know green rush excitement and.


28:01.37

Jane West

Don't stop.


28:07.40

shayda

And I love that. But then you know the shoe drops and it's well where are you going to sell your products and oh by the way Texas is in the middle of trying to make smokeables illegal. So the plant that you love to grow. Well, you can't do what you thought you were going to do with it. So it's turned into this very.


28:08.40

Jane West

Yeah.


28:22.47

shayda

Weird I I try not to be angry kind of like you know you're expressing right? I try not to be angry I try not to be um and this is speaking for myself I try not to be negative but I I have to remind myself. We have to be realistic with how we are progressing through things.


28:25.17

Jane West

Nothing.


28:39.34

shayda

And use our voice to speak up So I do appreciate you speaking up as much as you do being on this podcast being a woman to look up to and you know I can imagine that you probably have gone through a lot of shit because of using your voice right? But it's.


28:52.61

Jane West

I have.


28:56.28

shayda

Hopefully the good outweighs the bad and navigating through that to ultimately make an impact in this industry that you know you had really good intentions of of getting into so I'm curious because I've seen it pop up in a couple of interviews and I don't want to assume that it's a positive thing but in the sense of. You know, normalizing cannabis especially being a woman in cannabis and you mentioned woman grow I definitely want to get into that. But there's a lot of quotes of you being called the Martha Stewart of cannabis I just want to know you know is that is that something.


29:23.72

Jane West

Um, oh God and I never wrote I never said that? Yeah yes.


29:32.59

shayda

No, not you I've not seen you call yourself that but other people make that that you know that title and I'm curious. Do you think that that helps normalize Cannabis Do you step into that expression. Do you think that it hinders the industry because you know. To me. It's in the same vein of we're going towards legalization and you're getting all these celebrities and big personalities and multi-sate operators and they care because there's money involved in it. But at the same time.. It's like you really do just want the soccer mom to feel comfortable like hey you know have your rose but also it is okay to grab your gummy or your bong. So.


30:01.32

Jane West

Doubt.


30:07.88

Jane West

Yup, so.


30:09.80

shayda

I can see it going two ways I'm just curious. You're living it. What is that like for you.


30:11.56

Jane West

Well, you just brought up. Ah, ah, definitely a very specific debate that is repeating and ongoing at my company because at the beginning exactly what you said they started calling me the Martha Steward of cannabis and I was I remember the first time I read it I was like we should call.


30:30.28

shayda

Go do that? yeah.


30:30.49

Jane West

Um, tell them to change it like because for a whole bunch of reasons, especially like the monikers that are put on women to try to like make them something that you've already see like it's It's a lot and so but yes in and just pigeonhole like.


30:43.56

shayda

Or stereotype them.


30:49.75

Jane West

I am not anything like Martha Stewart and and also she doesn't make products in the manner that I and either way either point is ah there were a lot of reasons it struck a chord of me that I was like no, we're never you know let's do it and then my pr engine at the time. Um. She spoke from the other side that you were saying that like no, it's great that just the word Martha Stewart and this is before she threw her out in the ring Martha Stught and cannabis are in the same conversation. That's a good thing like that's an important and so I understood that and she's like don't you want more reporters. To read that in Forbes and in ink they're calling you this like that's interesting to them because they know you know what? and then then also she challenged me like what would you have liked them to say and so I was like I didn hunter S Thompson's crate and barrel I don't know like why are we doing this. So I did dive in being like okay I understand and there's a reason in order to digest how this more better digest in America society especially with women to be able to like help define things. But yeah I mean additionally then then she then Martha throught started her own cannabis brand and and in that moment I actually was like. Oh this would be cool if she smoked but unfortunately despite her advertisements with lighters. She like her verbally and in her interview I mean she's got these contracts in the us. There's no way and and so that's the part that gets me is that if she actually did.


32:09.30

shayda

Never.


32:15.23

shayda

Yeah, yeah.


32:24.80

Jane West

Consume and not just like it's the huge deal and she does it 1 time and inhales once and it gets a bleeding hit I mean like if she's literally just saying hey millions of women use cannabis every day in sokable form and it help makes their lives better I'm not 1 of them. But there's nothing wrong with that.


32:28.51

shayda

Right.


32:43.79

Jane West

You know? and but that's just not the best income out of their brand. So either way the point is it's a really great question you ask and I just just I decided to dive in and and try to build something so big that someday people say well I'm the Jane West of something else. So.


32:56.81

shayda

Yes, you're absolutely doing it and I appreciate that that response right? Not that there's a right or a wrong way to approach it. But I think that's my observation that I see with the industry. It's that twofold right? it's.


33:02.32

Jane West

And.


33:12.81

shayda

We're putting women specifically into this box or stereotyping who the consumer is but then also leveraging celebrity to normalize something and so I'm kind of have this you know. I'm in the middle of the road I can kind of be persuaded either way depending on how you kind of position it to me and so I'm like I don't know we're going towards legalization and is it good that you have these celebrities and then so I can just only imagine being somebody um with the experience and the respect that you have accumulated and worked hard for in the industry to then be.


33:30.90

Jane West

Yes.


33:44.12

shayda

Again, it's not a degregation to be called Martha Stewart right it's Martha Stewart but how do you leverage that for becoming more Jane West which I think that you have done successfully and and Martha you know she's going to keep posting zippo lighters with or or bick lighters with Snoop Dock so


33:46.95

Jane West

Have done. So.


33:58.33

Jane West

No, she is great at licensing there it you know it's a lot about like the aesthetic and and look and feel that they're trying to put on me with with that title. But in reality I Do I have have actually like studied her business model. And actually the inner workings of it because there aren't that many brand name selfmade female but like business owners and so so that on that side there's there'd be a lot to talk about. Um you know I As much as I would love to have so many female celebrities.


34:19.98

shayda

Um, absolutely.


34:35.30

Jane West

Like you know coming out and smoking on on their pages just like they do wine like the over time I just really would what's happened in the Pat. Okay, so when I started the events I couldn't find any pictures of women in dresses that looked nice smoking weed at all.


34:49.44

shayda

Um.


34:54.40

Jane West

At all. There were also less than 100 people on Linkedin who had the word cannabis somewhere in there was there were a bunch of we marijuana ones from like back in the day like but like there were less than 100 people had were cannabis. Um, but my point is once again. Lost the seat. This is what happens when you start thinking about the past and then it comes into your head. What were you just saying? Oh yes, wait this like yeah so you have to delete this part because it's gonna sound challenging. Um the the Linkedin in cannabis.


35:16.96

shayda

We were talking about celebrity women I Will you got it.


35:30.61

Jane West

Um, but today I mean one of the things that does keep me going is if I go online and I type in and I search cannabis influencer or cannabis thing and what I see is page after page of awesome women making great content about. Ah, product they love and and ice and there's so much more imagery and there's so much more so many more people who are building their entire companies and brands around the be a a cannabis identity and a canbis consumer identity and what's disheartened. Is that just like I don't have a blue check on Instagram because I've violated the community conduct codes too many times. Um these these women don't either and at first I was like fuck Instagram if I'm making a brand that needs Instagram I'm doing something wrong. I don't want to need Instagram um, but now over time and especially when I am finding individuals like you who are making these like amazing shows and fabulous content and like I want those if those women have blue checks if I had a blue check and I made a comment on your thing that gives you more credibility.


36:42.74

shayda

Yeah.


36:44.76

Jane West

And if you have a blue check and you make comments on things your comments are up at the top and you try to reach out to celebrities to be on your show and they're more likely to respond to you and so when you see how much this suppression of cannabis accounts and social media and advertising is really affecting our abilities because you are. I am popular even if Instagram isn't gonna ghost us the blue check. Um, but I think I worry that this celebrity culture coming into cannabis all it it reinforces that oh she has a blue check and a million followers. So obviously she's our option when on this other side I'm seeing.


37:06.92

shayda

The validation.


37:22.46

Jane West

So much authenticity and education through realistic content about consuming that is being not only not applauded, not only not paid for paid but suppressed and so um, so I know I know I know that someday that has to. And someday whether I I wish Instagram still wasn't the biggest thing you know someday that part I really look forward to being able to like have people truly get their attention and advertising and marketing marketing that they deserve. Ah you know behind their cannabis. Friends. Yeah.


38:01.50

shayda

Amen I look forward to that day and I think you know honestly you being the voice that you are is going to be 1 of the people who helps influence that right? and so I want to talk about women grow. It's it's a very well-known name in the industry.


38:11.71

Jane West

Okay, right.


38:18.69

shayda

What is that? What is the parameters of it tell me like when you launched it. What was the intention and then now that it has grown into Multi-city Multi-state How big is the women grow network and. I mean I can understand why you created it right because you wanted to give women a platform and opportunity to be connected to find women who can be successful and be the leaders in the industry and shape the narrative but more so than that I think like why. Why are I Guess like why from your perspective are women not currently in those positions like why is it a male dominated industry from your perspective and how do we start to shape that and as women grow one of the steps in helping bring attention to that.


39:08.32

Jane West

Well organizing women no matter what is one of the steps in my opinion because the I mean I don't again I don't I want to I talk about disparity and in that's what's happening. There's a ah. An obvious inequitable disparity in ownership and licensing and business and all and but that goes deeper because this entire playing board is broken and I've been on all these different playing boards in the past eight years in the scc in regulating money and you know raising money and funds and like um. That board. You know those men are organized and they have deep networks of with access to capital and access to power and access to you know their their colleagues and because there's these really established networks in finance in business in construction. Yeah, and. And because there is a lack of female representation in all those other sectors too. Um, the entire you know game board is that we've jumped to where like you know recently I read that like the the majority of board members at kanemous companies came from a finance background. And so you know that's you know that's what we've created here. Um, and so with women grow I was trying to just start something different and I still am I am still I still believe that I will get further and eventually do better if I make my own game board. And try to work instead of trying to adjust adapt or like limit myself to fit in some other mold because that's the system where the money is or you know where the energy is right now. Um, that was my goal with room to grow. You know so I had mentioned earlier that I lost my job. I start I launched the first article about J Morrissson edible events ran in January Twenty Fourteen the first event happened that month I got fired the next month and the swat team showed up in April so I by then the name Jane West was synonymous with all of these different keywords in cannabis. Because the ap press and and I mean I was sitting in my living room with Harris Men you know so um so people were reaching out to me especially in me back then if you just googled women weed I was the top thing and so I did not know what I was doing. I was a criminal who had just recently been fired from her job and so I I was like I didn't know how to help people I spent a couple months trying to help people trying to be like okay maybe this is my new job is helping people and kind of like what these consultancy firms are now in terms of like what are you doing you want to get in get all it but ah.


41:56.50

Jane West

And so once I in turn trying to help people I became acutely aware that canvas legalization would be a local issue so ah, like and definiteafly state-based and I would be more likely to be and and the networks that we should be creating should be state based so that. Your representative your mayor. You know how whatever you need to do to get what you want the product you want to have made made and accessible in your market in your store and on that street and downtown. You need to have this local network and support and legislation regulation and so. I wanted to start organizing women were contacting me from all over the world like all over the world like how do I get the industry. What do I do and so women grow as a framework for being able to have women get organized and that to me was how I was creating opportunity because it's 1 thing to like hold 1 event. For like women's breakfast at 8 a m on the last day of a conference because you know that's where I want to be getting up early and going to but it's 1 thing to be calling that like an opportunity to connect with other women like I wanted to create opportunity to channel this energy. So. I started women grow in Denver and in 20 and I created the logos and bought the websites I did not know what was doing at all if there are some things I did that if you could just watch how long it took me to like just know like and now I'm just like click pace click pace but I was like I had no idea it was doing um absolutely no idea ro in. And so I decided to just start it as if I was doing it and then I'd create the guidebook. So. My first event was in August and about 100 went people came and then I just made a like ah a guidebook for getting ready for your first event and made all the oaks and then I did it for 2 and 3.


43:43.71

shayda

That.


43:48.41

Jane West

And then by the time my third one happened we had. We just put up a thing on the web page. It was like do you want to start a chapter. We had hundreds and hundreds of people. So then we started sorting that then I met Jasmine hub who has talked who could operate a computer and ah she and a heart drive and and she she absolutely had this. Tech skill set I got on the phone with the seat the sea level people at women 2.0 which basically was what I wanted to do for women grow just meet on a monthly basis in a local area. Talk about a topic that's pertinent to um, also by doing state-based it helped with defining the audience and the topics. Because here in Colorado we could be doing something like um child making your child proof packaging. Cute. You know that'd be something or not cute that was making your making your child proof proof making child proof packaging. You know, consumer friendly like that would have been in the topic and. In Pennsylvania it would be initiative for 82 is it the right thing or you know like whatever you need so and it was also a great way in terms of creating opportunity to give a speaking a slot to people who really were the people who came and spoke at women grow events absolutely were like. On the at like there to tell us all how it's gonna happen. Whatever it is it. It wasn't a paint panel. It wasn't something that's like linked to a sponsorship. It wasn't one of the bazillion monitor. You know someone was there to be like hey I'm on the frontline and this is what's going on in my opinion and and so so. Within the first year of doing women grow. We started 40 chapters I move the vast majority of people I only met you know via via phone call and and and talking them through things and being their access point and then I held the national conferences and that was okay. So.


45:28.45

shayda

Power.


45:44.57

Jane West

Again I kept underestimating myself and the energy behind what I was doing so we started women grow and despite the fact that we were in all these cities we we were asked to join a special lobbying event and we so we're gonna fly to Dc and we're like should we. Let's email. We should email people and tell them we're going to see maybe they'll want to meet us. Maybe we'll plan a happy hour that's like kind of what we were thinking to meet people and so we sent it out to everyone that had ever written on women grow and 78 women from 12 states came to Washington. Dc all of a sudden we needed like a meeting room like I mean it was massive and we trained and then we you know started working with lobbyists. We trained them on what to say we divided them up in all the different like buildings and so um and so lobby days happened but every time that kept happening. I just scratched the surface and like a waterfall would come falling through the room. Um, so after the first year of women grow though I was like reminded like this is not what I started doing and and also like to me women grow had to remain so egalitarian. And everyone is welcome and it's so accessible and all these things and and and I also knew at the same time that I wanted to start building things of my own that and that's when I also started getting more opinions. So I also started giving more opinions that really I should just. Like work on my own projects and define things the way I want to and so yeah, so I worked really closely with Hillary pc out of New York they're amazing amazing and they helped me you know, really form a corporate structure to what I had built and and the ike in it and then um. Basically women Growe became kind of an employee owned and operated company and it's now 80% black female owned and my last day there was I was like a grandmothered into a board seat for a year just to like you know, have some type of transition accessibility. But my last day. Was in 2017 and so then um, that was the first day I started really building what I'm doing now and trying to find glass partners and trying to actually make something and monetize and and commercialize I mean. I admit that I'm doing the same thing we're talking about commercialization but like I am trying to generate value from what I've built in in the business sense and and create a successful company. Um, and I feel like that's really key. That's like 1 of my main like whys.


48:32.64

Jane West

Um, right now because I have to I feel just feel like I have to prove that this is possible that if you make these certain decisions and you really build something that is molded in a way like without concessions without diluting without you know like. That that you can succeed in this sector and so yeah, so that's a lot of the reason for my motivation now. Um, because so many of those women are still I mean it's like before I used like that that statement. Um, what would you do. Oh you are who you are when no one's watching you know So okay, so like all of a sudden it was without me necessarily questioning it I felt like my life became like what what would you do? if everyone was watching like what would you do then and then and then now more and more and this goes back to your.


49:11.12

shayda

Yes.


49:28.97

Jane West

Question earlier about speaking out and speaking out for what's right? I Um I receive feedback years later you like they're like I was at your thing and you were there and you're like wait. How could that happen if none of these people have licenses. And everyone there was like wait. Yeah, how can that happen and yeah and they like tell you know they tell me a story of something that they witnessed or observed or some moment where it it inspired them to go down their path in a direction they believed was right or like good and you know giving me feedback and and those are the types of things that. Keep me going and and whether it's guilt or inspiration I'm just like no I have to keep keep building this this way and prove out this model and build this company with all the people you know that I I want to partner with. Ah, no matter what their financial situation is at this point um and know that at some point that there's enough out there for everyone. There is That's the part. It's a plan that grows in the ground. It's not tech. It's a crypto some cell phones or cars or. Natural gas or energy or you know it's a plant that grows in the ground and makes your life better and so I just hope that the we get the accessibility to licensing and opportunity that you know we dreamed of at the beginning.


50:59.61

shayda

It is so remarkable to see the power that you have harnessed and cultivated with a little bit of you know Selfdoubt of like I don't know if people are going to you know, actually like buy into this thing but it came with like you know. Genuine intention of seeing a community a culture, an environment that needed some corralally it needed somebody to help kind of like bring conversations together and to maybe call out areas that needed improvement and just the last statement you're kind of making you know there is so much. To go around. Unfortunately I find the industry is very overly competitive and then especially for women right? and so to be somebody who is this powerhouse female. You've got this brand name that you're building and doing a. Beautiful job of extending into media conversations and business opportunities and you're getting all this exposure and to still be like no but we need to help these other women connect with each other find opportunities navigate this thing I think is so important because I I personally struggle with it right? I think we. Especially in some maybe newer states. You feel like there is an opportunity and if there is opportunity. Well, it's limited and and how am I going to have a piece of that and so it's refreshing and hopeful to hear that there are people out there who are trying to level the playing field and so I just I hope listeners can kind of. Take a little bit of that back into their day-to-day lives and think you know what? what have I been doing how have I been showing up because I think that's another key thing too. You know at the end of the day we're unfortunately really only in control of our own bodies. So what can you say to your point 2 you're saying these things you're doing these things over the years and


52:43.00

Jane West

Ahead.


52:49.69

shayda

Maybe it's months a years later people are giving you feedback like oh this actually really impacted my life and now I'm in this you know different trajectory that I might not have been had I not interacted with you read something that you wrote you know, watched something that you were part of been a part of an experience or an event that you created and. Like we need more of that to happen so that the direction of the industry doesn't go in a direction that you know you start out kind of in the dawn of Colorado cannabis thinking it is going to be really great and you're going to see all these women succeed in opportunities and then to be in 2022 I mean I think there was a stat that came out probably twenty twenty beginning of the pandemic and it was like more women are in leadership positions in cannabis and you know the most recent update to that is it's declined by a significant amount and.


53:32.65

Jane West

Yeah, and those numbers. Yeah, you're right? and those numbers were always so inflated I was like if that's true then 3 of these 10 businesses shouldn't should be women own and they and they're not so ah, you know those and those numbers also come out of the like pay to play.


53:37.60

shayda

To begin with right.


53:49.64

shayda

Yes, so it's like who's pulling these reports together to and then who is it you know, benefiting and it just it Obviously it's a much deeper conversation for people to start to understand but my hope is always that they will listen to these conversations that I'm trying to curate.


53:51.65

Jane West

No media model right.


53:59.10

Jane West

It's in their hands.


54:06.74

shayda

And feel compelled to like dig deeper like ask questions like get involved I agree with you local is so important. Yes, federal legalization will make an impact in many areas. Absolutely but the impact happens at a local level first and foremost and so.


54:07.75

Jane West

Yes, yes.


54:23.22

shayda

Really want to kind of wrap up things a little bit by asking you 2 final questions one is you know you're talking about going through and you've been sharing so candidly about the journey of building Jane West yeah please please.


54:30.42

Jane West

Wait can I say one you thing about what you're just and you can little' start over. Okay, um I think you're you're totally right? and. I do one of my tips for people trying to get into industry and going to these conferences because you do have to go even though we're both saying like they're Lu who am and the panels are like is keep asking yourself is this true like as you're sitting in the audience. You know what? you should be questioning. There's so much being defined right now that you should be questioning like is this true does that have to be that way like how else can I do that? Um, and you know secondly like I became a spotlight I put on me and a microphone literally put in my face so over and over again and so i. That's how like I first developed my voice but I guarantee you if you start talking about exactly what you want and start pointing out like how it's not happening and how maybe ways it could happen especially if you can come to the table with solutions. You will find your audience everyone I know that starts speaking out about whatever the thing is they. People hear that but you have to be like putting it on the radio channel and I I I worry and this what worried me in the beginning is that the the illegality and and the the mindset we have on canvas that we don't even realize we have we don't even realize every year something else new happens where I'm like oh even I was.


55:54.26

shayda

It's true.


55:57.43

Jane West

Stereotyping this thing you know, but what you know and so because it's so ingrained in especially in american culture especially in my generation with like Nixon in the 70 s and then great Nancy Reagan in the 80 s and dare and then freaking cops was the longest running reality show. We just watched the. War on drugs play out on every Friday night and it's like a franchise so it is still on television coming back now or something ah point is um, it's these stereotypes that I think are ingrained and preventing people from speaking out about just you know obvious inequities or licensing or how legalization should be. And so that's what I just really encourage people to speak out and and I promise I really feel like you if you when you do not only will you feel a relief that like this wasn't like all in your head and that there are other people there that feel it that way. Um, but also you'll build. Your audience and your community.


56:56.30

shayda

I Couldn't agree more and I think it is something that is obviously very uncomfortable to step into because you find in this industry and I struggle with this I mean I still do with the podcast. It's like am I The thought leader am I The the authority on this I know we were launching restart. It was.


57:11.50

Jane West

H.


57:15.55

shayda

Especially here in Texas we launched in a time where people did not understand like full spectrum versus isolate and that conversation was so difficult to have and if you were isolate anything like you were bad and it's clearly evolved to where there's minor cannabinoids and people who want to be high and people who don't.


57:20.29

Jane West

You have.


57:34.00

shayda

To be high and you can use cannabis in all these different ways. But yes, Cannabis historically has been used for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years but the reality of how we see it from a scientific perspective from a chemistry perspective from a business perspective from a. Consumer perspective I mean even just like a health perspective. My fiance and I talk about this a lot to you know the implications we always glamorize Cannabis could there perhaps be negative attributes to the industry to the consumption of it and it's It's just like I think as an industry we don't want to talk about things that like are not.


58:03.34

Jane West

Yes, yes, yes.


58:10.35

shayda

Ingrained in us because it's not normal to us. But when you start to like you're saying sit in those conversations and just like think critically ask questions is this the way it is because somebody else said so or is this the way it is because we all agreed it should be this way and is there room for me to. Improve upon it and and I love what you were sharing too of have opinions will like bring a solution to the table and so that's for me where I made a really conscious decision I don't want to be reactive to regulation and policy I Want to be proactive So How can I have a seat at the table. What boards can I sit on locally. What organizations can I support how do I. Get involved in the actual politics of running a cannabis business in my state that has a direct implication to what opportunities I will and won't have instead of just oh well, it's hard and I can't do it and and it's just it's There's so much Opportunity. It's how do you want to engage with that opportunity and so I think that you've.


58:59.75

Jane West

Yeah.


59:03.50

shayda

Given a lot of good insight and personal experience to help shape. How people can you know start to make sense of it and start to carve out their own little niche and so kind of with that I would love to transition to I think when you are dealing with a lot of women in Cannabis There is.


59:13.31

Jane West

Okay.


59:20.41

shayda

Obviously a lot of camaraderie on one side of the coin. But there's also a lot of competition on the other side of the coin I think when we want opportunity. Also we I'm trying to think of like what's the best way to phrase it of you know you want to protect what you're putting out. It's like obviously you want to help people you know pull a seat up to the table but you also don't want to spill the beans like you want to have some proprietary protection and so just kind of would love to hear from you because I know we were talking before with your trademarks and especially launching all these different brands underneath Jane West going after. Women grow assets and all those things that legitimize a business in an industry that is unfortunately illegitimate in some capacities like what is your advice and what it. What do you kind of you know.


01:00:00.95

Jane West

N.


01:00:06.79

Jane West

So it does.


01:00:13.78

shayda

Leverage to give yourself that space where it's like this is what I own and this is what I know to be true, but also let people you know, learn from you. It's like a really delicate dance you have to do sometimes and I know you you do it. So I'm curious to hear how that has you know been for you navigating.


01:00:29.24

Jane West

Um, well it like as I speak to new business owners and and especially now like we have to just say I just have to say that the competition aspect of what we're thinking about when we think about the current market has so much to do with this limited licensing. Where I know it would be more collaborative and you know it would be cause that's how it was the beginning when it was all like we're all working for it together to get this to legalize and it really was United front you know and everyone felt like we won and now when things happen in every single state people win and people lose and so you know that.


01:00:54.85

shayda

Yeah.


01:01:07.55

Jane West

That mentality is it's like seeped into the sector. Um, and I think that's where a lot of this competition comes in and I I know exactly what you're talking about because this happens to me all the time where people and then and women that I'm talking about are so are fearful. Even of telling me of anyone what their ideas or what they're doing because it will be like stolen or taken and you know I understand I do understand that. But also we have to understand that like this one and done mentality which is a phrase that I like encourage you to like Google and read about just a little bit about like how there's only 1 there's only one one they can do and won this and and you know we're we're perpetuating that by not being like no this is a huge community and you know why we are gonna be so fucking lucky if a single one of us actually brings this idea to fruition and to be able to do it I'm probably going to need all of you. And so like that's how I don't know women grow would not have been what it is and I know it's a different business model. It's not quite the same thing as some other proprietary things but like it wouldn't grow what it is but I just didn't keep saying this is what I'm doing what are you doing I'm doing this and um and I try to encourage that to win because one of the things that. Um, I hear so much and this just comes from my social work and counseling background where I like I kind of hear what people are saying under what they're saying um is how much women like count themselves out right away. They're like oh I I had this really great idea and I was gonna do you know this one certain like. Grinder or something and then I saw it in a magazine and you're like okay what where does ah is that person selling it does she have distribution. What's your manufacturing how it you know and but that's all it takes for them to think oh somebody already like to to discount themselves and so women are just so much more inclined to do that that discounting versus. Multiplying and you can multiply by sharing your ideas and talking about them and as you talk about it. You develop your pitch your lexicon you also you know create a network of people that woman that you think sold your idea or. Most likely completely coincidentally all like there's lots. The bar is set pretty low around here and for all the canvas products that seem to be out there. There is a world that is missing and so you know it's most likely that people do just naturally come up with these somewhat similar ideas.


01:03:23.31

shayda

Yeah.


01:03:34.81

Jane West

Um, either way, you are going in my opinion to blossom and expand and exponentially expand than you could just alone as you share and so when it comes to how something truly proprietary. Yes. I mean you know keep it whether that's like a met ah a scientific formulation or along those lines but you know, um, really the second component of this is that most likely your idea is not going to be what you end up doing the vast majority if you and but in order to figure that out. You have to talk about it and you have to you have to mold it and you have to shape it and you have to edit it and cut whole things out of it all of a sudden. But oh no, we're not doing that. So um, you know I think that's part of running a successful business and so I do encourage people to talk about it. You know for me. I think also talking to others who are trying to build what you want to build and the way you want to build it. Um, helps you realize what you have and that's another thing that I find especially women in the sector don't realize how much they have and if you read all the trade mags. You probably don't think you you oh my god this guy's got one hundred and fifty million dollars and this person has this and this you know, um, but I just always encourage people to look back at what they've already done to see what they have we all are like looking at this forward while also in taking this like. Wave of news every morning you know and you should look back at like the shore where you started and remember what you have and every time I do that I find a new opportunity I'm like nope I already talked to that person. You know what? I actually already made this oh wait. We already kind of did this. Let's reformulate because that was really good and. You know and you'll find that you can find value in what you're building like for me for instance. Ah, you've talked about this on your podcast I know the vast majority of Kanems companies have absolutely no federal trademark registrations at all and and and but I started so early and I am an authentic brand truly speaking. To the audiences and I needed to protect my my brand under smoker's accessories and coffee and tea and nutritional supplements and so I do I do have registered trademarks with the uspto um in about 12 different classes. And in the past three years we've also applied those registrations to the Eu Canada and the Uk and that is the end result of of taking a look at what I have what makes me unique what what is different about me. Okay, maybe i.


01:06:22.70

Jane West

I Don't want to be plan touching and I don't have a cultivation and you don't you know? but I do have all of the necessary components to start an Ip portfolio based on trade maral registrations and that's what I that is what is something that I actually can build and it's unique. And so you know it's the end result of of of looking at that and and just focusing on what you have and how you can multiply it versus the scarcity mentality that is so prevalent around here right now which is reasonable. It. It's Reasonable. Um. But it's not going to get you ahead.


01:07:00.30

shayda

It is something to be mindful and aware of but to not let it hold you back or hinder you from saying it out loud having the conversation just to your point too of being able to extend yourself to be able to go after trademarks especially in the.


01:07:05.69

Jane West

I.


01:07:18.92

shayda

Current climate where they're not being awarded or accepted right now I'm sure some of those conversations happen because of how you're networking and who you are opening your ideas up and your conversations up to and you know it's no secret too for me. The podcast has been so rewarding because I'm having conversations with people that are.


01:07:26.11

Jane West

And.


01:07:36.44

shayda

Helping me shape and reframe which is you know I think not is not secret sauce like talking to people is not secret right? but people sometimes like oh well, that's interesting like how'd you get that idea and I'm like oh because I I reached out to Jane and I wanted to sit down and have a conversation with her and now you're enlightening me so much and so.


01:07:52.27

Jane West

Imagine.


01:07:54.59

shayda

It's just I think people need to realize that the answers and the opportunity is out there but it's not going to be handed to you. You have to be open minded and also I think humble enough which is another acknowledgement that I've really appreciated about you. You are really humble and it really is appreciated because there are so many people out here who want to blow literal fucking smoke and my bullshit meter is like but not here for it. Not having it and so to have people who really truly care about helping others. But also yeah I mean how yeah we're all business.


01:08:17.37

Jane West

Ah yes, have yeah well.


01:08:28.77

Jane West

No.


01:08:29.38

shayda

People like we want to you need to put you know food on the table for your kids I would like to have a family one day and have to figure out how to commercialize and make a business out of what we're doing in the industry. but but yeah the conversation really obviously too for the listeners. They always know this. It's it's how do you look at these. Challenges not as closed doors. But as creative opportunities to pivot to change like you were saying earlier too. The idea that you think you have today is going to evolve and the only way it's going to evolve is by putting it in motion so allowing for the progression of things to happen for better or worse.


01:08:51.75

Jane West

That.


01:09:05.55

shayda

Okay, final question I Love to ask my guest this what does the future of Cannabis look like to you and can you know be as crazy or as realistic as you you know, project it to be in future is obviously relative to because some would say we already are in the future of cannabis.


01:09:08.64

Jane West

I am.


01:09:19.97

Jane West

Ah I don't want to I want my crystal ball to be rose colored um like Rose colored glasses. Um, okay so the way I think about. The future of cannabis really for for some reason I just am very fixated on the 20 s and like that's why like my new glasswork collection is called the 20S collection and like this is this new twenty s and because we're gonna look back on this like you know part of being a futurist is. Being able to think about how people in the future are going to think about how this all went down and what really happened and so um, so I try to think that way and and try to think about and I really do try to think that way when I think about what I'm doing with the brand because I do think every decision I make.


01:10:00.60

shayda

That's right.


01:10:16.26

Jane West

If I truly make this a successful company. The decisions I make right now hopefully people can learn from hopefully they'll be documented. Hopefully it'll get you know when you read these other ways to succeed um that it'll affect the future of cannabis because people will be more emboldened to. Start their own businesses and not just become an employee and not just try to get a job. We're you know, working for someone else and so um, so that does define a lot about about what I do so I do think basically for the next eight years so I've been doing this for 8 years and I've got eight more years until it's 2030 and there. I do believe federal ah legalization of some type will occur between now and then and I do think that that will change some of the banking systems in place but at the same time you know there's been so many different things that have become so established that are not good for the sector and so that those systems. have to be broken we have to I my my idealistic self hopes that once we change people's thinking about cannabis. There's 1 thing about legalization. 1 thing about the 1 thing about all day I guess there's a dispensary down the road and you're like pointing at it when your tour when your friends come to visit you know like. Beyond all of that. Um, when I real I try to remember how new this is and that tries to then I feel good I feel better because I know like wow like in Wisconsin they don't even have any of this yet and that's where I'm from you know where I'm from so hey we could get that right. Um, but that is going to mean that like there is homegrow and people want it and it's all and you know and the people have more accessibility and so I want that future I want that future. Um, and that is what's really going to change people's mentality is being able to be close to. And so yeah, so I try to just remember that this is still the very beginning of the very beginning and we used to say to people that women grow and I think this was Jasmine's um you know tagline was that the industry will never be this small again and that's still true and so hopefully. There is another wave I see another wave of activism coming where at some point all of these professional all the people in all the seats that have been turned down for licenses that have been told you can't you can't you can't. You can't no not here, not at some point another movement will form in terms of the like the freedom to grow this cash crop the freedom to for horo like a true true legalization in terms of like getting you know people's records its fun and things I hope that's gonna happen because.


01:13:05.19

Jane West

Every day. The new person enters the Cannabis Spec that's boop. That's their little point 0 Just like you're a point zero and my point zero you know and and I do think they're just realizations you naturally come to over time and hopefully at some point they'll be will reach this critical mass of individuals who feel the same way. And there'll be another wave of of Cannabis regulation and hopefully in that wave we are washing away a lot of the systems that are out there right now. And um, and I really do believe that's possible I've had conversations with these agricultural students and horticulture students in they're like there's in there like they're like 22 They're a little more than half my age and like oh and and so yeah, like yeah yeah, and I'm just like.


01:13:53.33

shayda

Um, this o'bri-eyed.


01:13:58.45

Jane West

Oh my god you have 25 years to do what you're doing right now until you even get to me technically in terms of like time and so so that I and and that's what that's what brings me back to that like futuristic because people.


01:14:05.93

shayda

Yeah.


01:14:15.80

Jane West

Me a futurist inspect. But that's what brings me back to that mindset is like okay but 25 years from now that young woman that I just got the phone with is going to be in charge of something around here and um and so that's what like brings me hope and. And I do think that like cannabis is for everyone and I do think that it's going to be part of our homes in some way shape or form in almost every american home including him you know by the end of this decade and and so. I look forward to seeing what it looks like then.