We’ve partnered with Humble Bloomon A Men’s Session: Achieving Homeostasis in Vulnerability, Wellness & Cannabis Consumption and gather at The Assemblage and discuss as a part of a men’s community about how the plant is a conduit for larger discussions of wellness, modern masculinity and liberation from stigma and stereotypes. We’ve asked each of the panelists a series of questions around who they are, their relationship with the plant, their community and more.
Introduce yourself and talk about your path to starting your company?
I was born and raised in Colorado. After college, I took a job as a facilities maintenance guy at a vertically integrated cannabis facility in Denver. I was determined to have a job “just for fun” before I sell my sole into the corporate world. I fell in love with the plant and I loved that the industry was so young I could have a direct impact in how it develops. After about 6 months, I told my boss about an idea I had to help make the company more efficient. In my free time, I built a prototype, by scraping data from multiple systems the company was using and within a couple weeks I could help our company choose what strains to grow based on yield and consumer demand. From then on, I realized that cannabis technology and data were my calling.
What does masculinity mean to you in this modern era we live in?
“Masculinity” to me, means making people in your life feel comfortable, safe and that they are taken care of. This could mean being comfortable to talk about something difficult in their past, feeling safe to be themselves when we hang out or to give time / money / attention / resources / etc. when they are in need.
What your relationship with cannabis – how and when did you first experience it and how do you currently use the plant?
Cannabis helps me heal and I have helped others heal using the plant. It also helps me open up to other perspectives. I first smoked our of a pipe with some friends in high school. Fast forward 10+ years later, my relationship with cannabis has changed quite a bit. Back then, it was just to laugh, eat and hangout. It evolved to the “wake and bake” era of my life to then strictly smoking dabs. Now I consume much less, but I am way more picky and strategic about what effects I am looking for. Admittedly, though I am not a very social consumer. I normally prefer to consumer alone or with 1-2 close friends.
Mental health is a topic that people are becoming more and more comfortable discussing, share ways you go about clearing your mind or maintaining your focus in your daily routine?
I have to work out. Getting my blood pumping is essential for me to have a good day. I also am a strong believer in a hardy breakfast. Another thing that I think is important is that daily I just reflect on where I am and where I want to be and continually course correct. All while keeping in mind about the journey not the destination because there is no ultimate destination. I find a lot of value in accepting things I can’t control and being very intentional about things that I can.
What are your thoughts on NY State and legalization and what this can mean for you and your community?
The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotions regarding cannabis legalization in NYC and admittedly, my perspective on things changed a couple times as I learned about new perspectives. Ultimately, I’m disappointed adult-use did not pass (for many reasons) but I am glad that people were activated in sharing their concerns with some aspects of the 2 different bills (MRTA and CRTA). Despite that, I love that numbers are decreasing substantially for petty possession arrests, but in my opinion there still needs to be more done for people that have already been trapped by that in the past.
What can men in our age group (25-35) do to take better care of our health?
I have a theory, that men don’t stretch enough. That is not based on any hard evidence, purely my subjective opinion. Another thing I think men in our generation can do better, is to release this burden to be cool/to be tough/to be “manly”. Men hold so strong on this facade that I don’t think we deal with things in a healthy way.
We each are involved in the cannabis industry which remains largely racially marginalized, as legalization continues progressing – what needs to change for this industry to flourish properly?
There are two very important roles to creating more equal opportunity in this industry.
1– Advocates. This could be a full-time job, a passion project, or just someone not afraid to do a little research and call representatives. These people are essential for making sure our voices are heard to make change. This does not just apply to marginalized subsets of people. Anybody can be an advocate.
2 — Entrepreneurs/Investors. Just as one hand washes the other, entrepreneurship goes hand-in-hand with advocacy. Entrepreneurs need to break through barriers and obstacles to be successful in this industry, even when the odds are not in our favor. These are people that do not complain and do not back down from a challenge. When we get any sort of success we need to reach back and pull more people up.