Tag: Cannamom

CannaMoms

Q&A: How one parent de-stigmatizes cannabis at home

By: Asia Morris 

With a certain herb-centric holiday just around the corner, what better time to talk about the recently legalized plant than now? With parents figuring out how to address the topic with their kids, we spoke with one progressive mother, Mskindness B. Ramirez, about how she speaks with her children—her 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son—about cannabis. Ramirez, 40, says cannabis is simply a part of her and her family’s lifestyle, but full disclosure, Ramirez is considered somewhat of an expert when it comes to using and promoting its medicinal qualities.https://0a0fdb58f0007b4711b7feb09cca406d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html– ADVERTISEMENT –

She’s the founder of the nonprofit Club Kindness, Inc., providing consumers, brands and dispensaries with information on how to use cannabis to improve health and wellness, is the creator of a line of low-dose cannabis products for women, Elixirs by Kindness, and as a former educator with a bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in education, has spoken at a number of Long Beach Collective Association events, a local organization with the mission to provide safe and legal cannabis access for residents.

Here’s how she approaches cannabis with her kids:

Did you have a plan for how you would talk to your children about cannabis before they were born?

Yes, I never had a doubt that it was going to be included in our lifestyle.

My son knows more about cannabinoid science than I’d say most adults. He will happily talk about his CBD use and how it helps him to stay focused in class, and he grows plants with us in our garden. We have fruits and vegetables and all herbs and he’s mindful of that. But he also knows that not everyone supports this lifestyle so we just don’t talk about it at school. And that’s it, I make it very simple for them. Both he and my daughter, they use the term “cannabis”, they talk about hemp and the difference between CBD and THC and why they cannot have THC.

I also talk to them about not smoking it until they’re adults in a very matter of fact way, just like alcohol. It’s just never been taboo and so they don’t really understand that concept.

What do you think would happen if they did talk about this lifestyle at school?

I know that particularly women of color have a higher rate of our children being taken from us or some sort of interception from [Child Protective Services] because the neighbor smells cannabis. We’re still dealing with this very real issue today, despite the fact that I have a masters degree, I’m a homeowner, I’m happily married, I have two healthy children, one phone call can really ruin your life. And I’m public with my brand and who I am, so some of my kids’ peers’ parents know what I do, and frankly some of them are my clients. But I just want [my kids] to know that they shouldn’t be there saying, “Oh, you know, the other day my mom was smoking a joint in the backyard…” that kind of dialogue, he understands, is not appropriate for public discussion.

When and how did you first introduce this to your kids?

It’s not something that I introduced necessarily like, “Here, let’s sit down and have a conversation about cannabis.” It’s a part of our lifestyle. When I’m smoking outside, I say, “Go inside” just like I would with cigarette smoke I wouldn’t want them to be inhaling that second-hand smoke.

Do you drink alcohol at home and do you treat it in a similar manner?

I actually do drink alcohol and I do not treat it in a similar manner because alcohol is far worse, and I make that very clear to my son. We talk about cannabis as a supplement, we talk about it as a vitamin and we talk about it as medicine. We do not talk about alcohol in that way. We talk about alcohol as an intoxicant that’s intentionally used to take the edge off and my son has seen, unfortunately, we’ve all seen, some incidents where there was too much alcohol involved and things go wrong, so we definitely do not frame them in the same way.

I know that’s what people are trying to do right now because we need to figure out how to get kids to not use it until a certain age; I think we need to present very real facts. I tell my son [how smoking] is bad for a developing brain, and your frontal lobe is not developed until 25 or 26; I need you to have all your health in order so that you can live your best life, and for that reason, you don’t want to be smoking cannabis. I’m very, very matter of fact.

I have said to him, if we were to come across a scenario in which you needed micro-dosing of THC as you got older, we can explore that, just like we would explore any other medicine. But it would be via edible form and in micro doses.

When your kids are older and their peers start to smoke; have you talked about that yet?

We talk about smoking in a very literal way. My daughter is very bossy, she has said she’s not going to use cannabis, it’s not her thing, she doesn’t like the way it smells, my son does like the way it smells, the total opposite. I see her telling her friends that smoking is bad for their frontal lobes. I hear her saying that in her little smart-ass voice. We talk about vaping as well because I’m more concerned about that than smoking because we just have no longitudinal studies, we haven’t seen positive results, I don’t think we should be breathing in propylene glycol into our lungs.

Have you ever rolled a joint in front of your kids?

All the time. They know what it is, they know not to touch it, our supplies are locked up. I’m lucky that I have some good friends in the industry so I get some nice products to keep my stuff in. They know what I do, they know that’s mom’s office, the door’s locked, but they’ve absolutely seen me roll a joint.

Mskindness B. Ramirez, Founder, CEO and Educator of Club Kindness in Long Beach. Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

What was your experience with cannabis growing up and how did your family deal with it?

My father is a very conservative black man and he was in the military and former law enforcement. I was born in the late 70s, but I’m really an ’80s baby, so it was not something that was very positive. It was, in fact, very negatively framed. My dad compared people who used weed or cannabis to crackheads. It’s laughable now, right? But that was their view, that this is a drug that is causing damage in our community and it’s not something you should ever use.

My mom wasn’t as vocal about it, but she supported that view. She had a negative experience with her ex before my dad who was a heavy cannabis consumer.

Do your parents know that you partake?

Absolutely, so I have turned my parents all the way out. They are no longer the same people. My dad has made a 180, is actually a socio-equity applicant in the industry now.

I injured myself when I was 26 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I slipped and fell on a puddle and damaged my pelvis. So I hadn’t really been using cannabis prior to that on a regular basis, it was just a recreational thing; something I did at parties with friends. It wasn’t until this injury occurred that doctors wanted to write me all these prescriptions for opioids that I said no, let me find alternatives, and literally just googled “managing chronic pain” and cannabis was at the top of the list.

I’m a former classroom teacher, I’m naturally an academic, I started to do research—I mentioned how I question everything—and it was clear to me that we had been lied to. I obviously looked into the history, I figured out, wow, this is our birthright, we need this. I looked at the political history, I discovered why and how we replaced slavery, and just decided that everyone needed to know the truth.

So I started playing around with tinctures, created my own product and called my dad. He was the first call I made when I decided to file for a collective and I said, “Dad, I’m doing this and if I go to jail, you’re my first call.” And he said, “I know you’re smart, I see what’s going on in the world, and I support you.” And I turned him out with one little 5 mg. Kiva chocolate ball and he woke up the next day, he had no pain in his shoulder, he hadn’t slept that well in years, and the rest is history, for both my parents actually. My mom is a regular CBD user now.

Do you have any advice for older parents, those who experienced the war on drugs in the 70s, for example?

To that group I always say, “just google it”, literally.

I will talk about [cannabis] with anyone. If I’m in the grocery store and an older woman in front of me says her knee is hurting I will say to her, have you considered trying cannabis topicals on your knee? And they’ll say, “What’s cannabis?”, which is funny, right, and I say, “Marijuana” and they go, “Oh” and it always starts an amazing conversation. Just google it!

And Club Kindness is here for you, put that plug in there!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would want to encourage parents to look beyond the surface when it comes to what they’ve been told about cannabis. Do that for yourself and do that for your children.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Original post: https://lbpost.com/hi-lo/art/qa-how-one-parent-de-stigmatizes-cannabis-at-home 

CannaMoms, Mskindness in the Press

Mskindness B. Ramirez. MA.Ed, Author & Founder of Club Kindness

A huge welcome to Weed Queen, Mskindness B. Ramirez! Mskindness was considerate enough to take the time to answer some questions about her success in the cannabis industry, how she did it and how you can do it too!

Check out the interview below and don’t forget to share it with other Weed Queens!


How would you describe yourself and what you do? 

I’m a teacher by nature, nurture and choice. Through and through.

In my adult life that has manifested itself in many ways. Early on in my 20+ year career, as a preschool teacher, then middle and high school. And now, as a college professor and Executive Director of my own non-profit organization, Club Kindness.

I am so many other things as well: a CBD Entrepreneur, Wife, Mother, Health Coach, and Author. I often refer to myself as a Multi-Passionate Businesswoman. I decided a long time ago never to profit from work that did not also serve others.

What has your personal experience with cannabis been?

I entered the Cannabis space back in 2013 after a bad slip and fall during my last pregnancy. The fall caused a condition in my pelvis and left me riddled with pain. In opposition to the opioids recommended by doctors, I sought alternative, more natural methods for pain relief. Having been completely ignorant to the true medicinal aspects of Cannabis, I was surprised by the depth of the rabbit hole I discovered when I looked. There were so many lies being told, so much propaganda being spread, and the social justice implications were too big to ignore.

Since then, all of my personal experiences with Cannabis have been filled with a myriad of feelings. They’re inclusive, challenging and exciting. But most importantly, they are pain free.

Because of Cannabis I can walk today. I have come full circle in my relationship with God’s plant. Now, I use it everyday as part of my intentional practice of Least Resistance.

What is your company about? What do you guys do? 

Currently, Club Kindness is a member sustained organization. We teach new and existing consumers how to integrate cannabis, along with other supportive therapies for improved health.

We help them learn to practice Cannabis Inclusive Wellness. 

CK Introductory programs include both online and in-home Cannabis Consultations. Our infamous “Kind Socials” are fun events that allow for new consumers to learn about Cannabis in the comfort of their own home with friends and family. (Right now, they’re virtual of course.)

Once a member of the organization, clients receive access to our ever expanding Kind Pages, a library of all things cannabis and The Responsible Brands Registry. They receive a discount on products in our wellness shop, including CBD products from EBK Apothecary and more. And perhaps one of the most vital services we provide is access to our Friendly Healthcare Network. These are professionals from various health fields, who will consult with members of Club Kindness about how they can use Cannabis as a part of their holistic wellness practice.

In 2016, Club Kindness made way for Elixirs by Kindness, now EBK Apothecary. Because I couldn’t keep telling consumers where to get quality products without creating one of my own. Now EBK features a full line of CBD rich apothecaries including tinctures, topicals, edibles and flower.

We are Ancient Medicine for a Modern Consumer.

In 2021, our goal is to expand into Brand Support with more outreach services. We see the need for Cannabis Brands to develop in house training programs and create community portals that will help to redesign the public lens around Cannabis in our society. My tenure with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) is affording me the opportunity to work hand and hand with district leaders in the development of workforce programs for students that may reduce their barriers for entry into the Cannabis space. And my work through Club Kindness can help to unite the two worlds.

What kind of resources does the Club Kindness provide?

Kind Socials are our online and in-home events during which potential clients can learn about cannabis and gain access to the membership options available to them.

The Kind Papers are a great place for our members to read about the Cannabis plant, science, social norms, new laws and more. It’s a chronicle of the culture in context.

The Responsible Brands Registry is our growing database of licensed brands who our members can trust. Brands receive scores in areas such as packaging, labeling and testing, communication, sustainability, and social responsibility. It’s a great way for consumers to find the best products at a glance.

The Friendly Healthcare Network is a group of compassionate professionals who work in various fields of health. We partner with them to offer options to our members who want to take their Cannabis Inclusive Wellness to the next level.

CK Delivers is coming in Q4 of 2020!! It will include an online marketplace for Licensed THC sales and distribution from our local delivery partners. We’re excited to be working with Web Joint and their new platform on this. Our members have been asking for a while.

Our strong ties to the Cannabis Community and commitment to Social Justice also means that we offer volunteer efforts and consistent outreach support to our sibling community orgs in and around the space.

Did you ever expect a career in the cannabis space?

I didn’t just accept a career in Cannabis, I chose it. After my injury in 2012, and my discovery of the truths around the plant, I felt an obligation to enter. I knew what I had experienced; fighting with doctors, denying the claims of social services, having to advocate for myself at every turn and deflecting uneducated critics… So many other women and mothers had it worse. I was privileged and called to serve. That’s how Club Kindness was born. It was a resource the community needed.

What inspired you to start your company and when and how did you get started? 

Haha, I think the last one answers this one. But we officially filed for our first NPO and corporation in August of 2015. Although the work began weeks after my fall in 2012.

Were your family and friends supportive of your venture?

I’m fortunate to be the youngest of 5 in a very supportive familial structure. My parents are divorced and I don’t share 2 parents with any of my siblings, but our mother has done a tremendous job of keeping our blended family strong. That also means, I’m a bit spoiled. I was a good student and I’ve worked hard for my entire career. So when it came to my decision to enter Cannabis, they trusted me. They knew I would do my research, they watched for a while, and now, have all fully joined the cause. While some of my more conservative, extended family members still whisper about it at family parties. Most everyone else is taking EBK Apothecary everyday!

MY WHY:

Recently, my work in Cannabis afforded me the opportunity to work with some of my peers for the sake of my mother. About a year ago, my 76 year old mother was told that her Paraganglioma brain tumor from 22 years prior, had returned. Club Kindness, along with CannaKids facilitated a program for her, in conjunction with a study lead by UCLA, that included 5 months of intense cannabinoid therapy. As of August 8, 2020, her MRI results show no lesions whatsoever and no need for continued treatment.

Everything comes full circle.

Did you ever feel like you weren’t taken seriously because you are a WOC? 

That look in the eyes of the white males in Cannabis is the same look in the eye of the white males in all other corporate settings. I had persevered that world for the span of my career preceding Cannabis. It was easily identifiable. Anyone who didn’t take me seriously missed an opportunity to work with a dynamic Black Woman. I’m okay with that.

What those moments led me to do was find my tribe within Cannabis and align with other compassionate and powerful women. These women help to fuel my career everyday and they take me VERY seriously.

What has your experience been like in a field dominated by white men?

The appropriation in Cannabis is as real as anywhere else. I’ve just chosen this battleground for my own. Again, I’ll say, it’s that same look in the eyes. When I see it, I identify and pivot.

Cannabis is a community plant, it will always be. And just like in any other space there will be colonizers. I’ve been fortunate enough to align with those more like me and as a result, been able to make some pretty great business moves despite their role in the industry. And right now, it’s a real “cool” time to be Black (that was sarcasm). I’m riding this wave until the wheels fall off! Haha.

How/do you think your involvement in this industry is going to positively impact your community?

I hope it helps to empower people to take more control over their own health. I hope they see that wellness can be and should be inclusive of Cannabis. We have an Endocannabinoid System and our bodies have been deficient of Cannabinoids for long enough. I also hope that we inspire brands to give back and to consider their impact as they grow in a post-prohibition industry while still so many of our black, brown, and even white siblings sit in prison cells for exercising those same rights.

I want my community to know that our mission is to educate. That we worked tirelessly to spread a message of social justice and that we participated in the efforts toward real impactful change. We have seen the healing powers of Cannabis when it comes to biology. I want to see that we’ve shown what it can do for the mind and spirit as well.

What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry to date – and how have you overcome it?

Continued Funding has definitely been my greatest obstacle. We knew we wanted to go the NPO route. I wanted Club Kindness to be a community service. But since we are a 501(c)4, fundraising is a little tricky. In that, donations to us are not tax-deductible for the donor. For that reason, we have to gain financing for a service from our members, or via events and other outreach messaging to those who just genuinely support what we do.

I was fortunate enough to start EBK with the little savings I had and with the support of my husband and partner, we’ve continued to grow. It has since proven to be profitable and helped to shoulder some of the cost to keep pushing the CK mission forward. EBK is just about ready to begin a larger raise and as it has always been, a portion of those proceeds will go to support the efforts of Club Kindness. I do not take a salary for Club Kindness.

As I continue to share what CK has to offer to the community, our membership grows, and it’s through those sustaining benefits that we will thrive. I’m a believer.

What factors have contributed towards your path of success?

Daily Meditation and the practice of least resistance. It takes perseverance and a flexible nature to make it in this industry. Especially if you didn’t enter with a lot of money. I always say that’s my super power… Adaptability.

Since not succeeding isn’t an option, when challenge comes, I pivot and continue to grow.

What’s the biggest change you want to see in the cannabis industry?

Decriminalization NOW! I want to see that right now. I mean in this next election cycle. I say that first, as opposed to full legalization, because that will still give the states enough time and freedom to develop programs for re-entry. And that should be done directly through the licensed industry. Once we, as individual states, have established models that work for a large Canna-scape. Then we legalize nationally and lead the federal government’s implementation as a united industry.

As a woman of color, how do you plan to create change and inclusiveness for future WOC joining the industry?

My work with LACCD is helping me to create change for POC/WOC right now. My goal is to help develop a workforce program in our non-credit departments, that can offer job skills specific to the Cannabis Industry, while shifting graduates directly into well paying jobs and leadership positions.

I continue to mentor women of all ages, especially the youth. My nature as a Teacher and pedagogical skills make that a calling as well. And my alliance with organizations like Women Empowered in Cannabis and Haus of Jane afford me the opportunity to cover topics of diversity within Cannabis across multiple platforms and regions. As long as they’ll listen, I’ll talk.

Mskindness B. Ramirez. MA.Ed

What would be your best piece of advice for fellow WOC looking to pursue the cannabis industry?

To budding WOC in the space, I’d say seek and find your tribe within. As with every space, Cannabis is a microcosm of the world at large. We are all human here. Ask questions, be genuine and show honor to those that came before you. If you show up and you give back, you will be accepted. It won’t be easy, but let’s be real, we’re WOC, we already know that. Start where you are.

What would you consider to be the most effective way or initial steps of breaking down barriers and ceilings to pave this path for WOC  in the industry?

On some level, I think we all need to get out of our own way from time to time. And by this I mean, first remove our own implicit bias and fear, then just lean in. We have to work alongside our white counterparts and we have to seek out the allies who are true. They exist, especially within Cannabis.

However with this, it is vitally important that we highlight the Black Roots in Cannabis. Research and support minority led organizations, attend workshops (in the internet for now), and get to know who the WOC thought leaders are. Seeking and offering mentorship is crucial, many of us are available.

As businesses, we have to hire, train and encourage a more diverse workforce through explicitly intentional efforts. Point, blank, period.

There’s still a perception or stigma attached to the people involved in the cannabis industry or just consumers that partake in recreational or medical use, as being stoners- if you have encountered this kind of close minded perspective, what would your argument be to shift the conversation to one of the importance of the weed market and why it should be celebrated/normalized?

When it comes to effective pedagogy, you have to meet your students where they are. And if you want anyone to learn from you, you need a baseline from which to begin. For me, that begins with a question. People love to talk about what they know. It makes them feel good. A simple request for what they DO know about Cannabis can help show you where to start the conversation. It makes people feel heard when you lead with compassion rather than judgement.

I always tell people this one thing- “There is no such thing as recreational vs medical use. Those perceptions are only rooted in the intention of the consumer. All we can do is try to understand those intentions and meet them there in discussion.”

What’s your favorite and least favorite part about your job?

My least favorite part about my job is having to manage Social Media!! It is the bain of my existence. Believe it or not, we haven’t hired anyone to do that yet. If you know anyone good, passionate and affordable, HOLLAAA!

I thought about saying something mushy like how it breaks my heart to know that so many who could benefit from the use of this amazing medicine, are being denied access to it. But…. I feel like people already know that about me. Hence Club Kindness. And if not, they do now. Ha!

I love what I do, so that’s all I could come up with.

Mskindness B. Ramirez. MA.Ed

Where can we reach you? IG? Twitter?

IG- @mskindnessb… follow the linktree to everything else.

Or, www.mskindness.com

Do you have any suggestions on how we can help normalize cannabis?

Start the conversation at home. Talk with your kids, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents. They all have stories.

And a great way to spark that Canna-Conversation is with my new children’s book:

The Root Family Shares- A Very Special Garden. Yup, I wrote a children’s book and it’s available for pre-sale now at: http://www.therootfamilybooks.com. 

In this first book of a series, the Root Family takes readers of all ages on a beautifully illustrated journey of growing a garden in their backyard. Their very special garden has all the fruit, vegetables and herbs they need for achieving ‘homeostasis.’ I even include a glossary in the end.

Yes, shameless plug. Also, yes… I believe projects like these are the types of “out of the box” methods we need to implore to really begin to change the stigma.

“All things bold are better received with loving-kindness.” ~Mskindness B.

A Very Special Garden

Name 5 of your favorite women in weed that you’d like to give a shout out too.

There are so many women I admire and this list constantly evolves.

But, currently my top five(in no particular order) are:

  • Felicia Carbajal
  • Andrea Drummer
  • Kyra Reed
  • Tiffany Bowden
  • Adelia Carrillo

Key Takeaways from Mskindness B. Ramirez. MA.Ed:

  • Seek and find your tribe within the cannabis space
  • Ask questions, be genuine and show honor to those that came before you
  • Show up and give back
  • Start where you are
  • Be adaptable
  • It takes perseverance and a flexible nature to make it in this industry

Weed Queens wants to thank Mskindness B. Ramirez. MA.Ed, for taking the time to share her entrepreneurial journey, her experience as a WOC navigating a new and exciting industry and for sharing advice and resources for future women who wish to also jump in the weed world too. You can learn more about Mskindness B. Ramirez. MA.Ed here and Club Kindness and all it’s amazing resources here. Last but not least, don’t forget to pre-order her new children’s book, The Root Family Shares- A Very Special Garden by clicking on this link.

Original Blog: https://weedqueens.co/mskindness-b-ramirez-ma-ed-author-founder-of-club-kindness/