In honor of Women’s History Month, The Weed Blog is highlighting several fascinating women from the cannabis industry. Today, we’re featuring Marijuasana founder Stacey Mulvey. Marijuasana is a pop up yoga event series, offering hemp and cannabis infused yoga classes in Denver, D.C., Boston, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle...and a city near you.
Learn what inspires her journey, and more, in this insightful Q&A.
How did you get into the MMJ/cannabis industry?
I started out by doing social media and brokering sponsorships for a Colorado based cannabis-themed travel agency. I’ve always been an enthusiast of cannabis, and I was really thrilled to be part of an industry that was growing so quickly. After a while, I started seeing an opportunity to start my own company, one that would hopefully resonate with an audience that is willing to consider cannabis in a new light --- people like me, who use cannabis in a contemplative and more conscious way.
Explain what your current job in the industry is.
I'm an entrepreneur and cannabis yoga teacher, founder of Marijuasana. I travel to cities where cannabis is recreationally legal and teach Marijuasana classes. I also do consulting for other cannabis companies on branding and social media.
What’s the biggest misunderstanding about your job?
The biggest misunderstanding is that cannabis makes you "mindless." It can actually be a mindful activity that can bring you back to yourself. It's all about how it’s applied and the intention behind it. If you consume weed simply to relax and watch cartoons, that can be awesome and more power to you. If you decide to take a walk and enjoy nature, you'll find yourself appreciating nature and the beauty of the world. The point is, your intent will inform your experience. And more than that, the cannabinoids that make up marijuana are extremely good for your body.
Do you have to deal with the stigma around marijuana from family or friends? At your job? If so, how do you manage it?
Yes, I do deal with a stigma, but I when I encounter explicit resistance, I try to let it roll off my back and simply educate people when and where I can. And, I remind myself that ultimately they will be on the wrong side of history. Thanks to the DARE program, and other misinformation (and outright lies), we have a steep hill to climb with certain audiences. But when I tell people that I meet what I do, most are very supportive. If you look at polling and talk to people, most, even conservative types, have smoked cannabis in their past and deep down they know that it's not the evil weed that it's been portrayed to be. They also might have a loved one that has utilized cannabis to manage pain or other ailments. So while they might not be "out" quite yet, they are starting to silently support the change that we see happening.
How do you believe we can de-stigmatize cannabis?
By staying informed about the research and studies that are finally coming out about the medicinal and industrial applications of cannabis. This is the only way we can answer the stereotype. Also, by coming out as users and making no apologies. It can be scary, especially if it might jeopardize your job or certain relationships in your life. But, the more courage we show, the more we will see the shift. Be conscious about consuming cannabis, and defy the stereotype. Cannabis consumers can be successful, intelligent, responsible and even good parents. In fact we've always been this way, but we've been told we had to hide that part of ourselves for fear of being outcasts. The more of us that speak out, the more space we’ll create for others to feel safe to do the same. Cannabis and hemp have so many potential benefits and applications, and I believe there is power in that. Sticking to what we know is true eventually erodes resistance and stigma.
What is the most powerful benefit of MMJ in your opinion?
Definitely the ability to treat pain. And, I mean that on the physical level, as well as the emotional. Our society is addicted to opioids and antidepressants because many people are experiencing a level of physiological pain on a daily basis. Many are suffering from PTSD or other emotional trauma. We stigmatize mental illness and promote the ridiculous message that when we are in pain the only option is to run to the doctor, so he or she can prescribe us synthesized pills with numerous side-effects. Why are addictive or outright deadly synthesized pills (like Fentanyl) condoned on any level? This is insanity, in light of the fact that we could be growing a plant that can ease a huge swath of these symptoms.