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Kelly’s Green Lounge is a green and friendly cannabis advocate and podcast community in Clarington, Ontario.
Find out more about Kelly’s pathway to cannabis.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
I seem to have always had it around me. It wasn’t ever really “illegal” to me, but then again I never really understood the therapeutic benefits of the plant. I worked in the music industry for many years, and it’s not seen as an illegal substance in that scene. My second career was that of education and child care, so when legalization started all the families I had in my life that knew I was intertwined in the “hippie lifestyle” started coming to be for advice on pot, and I had to go get educated! I was already using cannabis to squash my insomnia and anxiety and so all my research started piling up, I started taking courses (The Cansell’s and a McMaster course) and it all started rounding out. I’m a reiki healer, a tarot card reader and now I’m taking courses on natural medicine and herbalism. I’ve totally switched career’s again, to plant based healing.
Couple that, with the fact that my mom isn’t a well woman. I thought maybe I could learn to heal her with cannabis. Unfortunately, she is still stuck on the stigma of the days of prohibition, that cannabis is BAD. The devil’s lettuce! So, if I can’t heal my mom, I will help heal other mom’s, (and dad’s and sisters, brothers).
I left my corporate job last year and took all my savings and took out some loans and started my company. I work in cannabis now. I feel like all my jobs, all my careers, everything I have learned has lead me to this path. I’ve always been ‘involved’ with cannabis. I have these potleaf earrings and these old trading cards I held on to from when I was 16, that’s the 90’s, man. But, we sure didn’t call it cannabis!
What is your mission with Kelly’s Green Lounge?
Our philosophy is that everyone should have access to safe cannabis, and should be respected for however they want to get it. Whether they prefer corporate or legal weed, medical, online, First Nations reservations, or growing their own... just access it. Research it, try it, see if it is right for you. I want to help everyone be able to explore cannabis in the best way and the way they feel safest. Little by little we are teaching people “it’s okay, let’s talk about cannabis”, “Let’s see if it can help you,”; “let’s see if it has an therapeutic benefits for you.
Now, once you’ve opened your mind, I’m going to show you how to use it. How to expand your knowledge of it. How to find the way to best use it for you.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
Jeez Louise! In 5 years I better have this more figured out then I do now!!! The thing is, I wasn’t sure I would be where I am this year. It’s been a whirlwind to say the least. It was just an online virtual platform that jumped in to the real world. In 5 years we will have had 6 years of legalization under our belt and we will have a better idea of where the industry will be going. I’ve had some like minded hippies all over the place talk to me about opening lounges everywhere... I think I’d like that. I have also always wanted to sing back up in a band, so, you never know.
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
The biggest challenge is the lack of knowledge and education. It’s so new, so governments are having to be really cautious with unfolding their legalization methods. I get it, but I think maybe their are better ways for us to be doing it. Sometimes I worry that the focus is more on what new product can be made out of, or for, cannabis, instead of what more funding can be put in to research and education. That’s the missing piece. There’s so much more to be discovered and understood about the plant and we aren’t even close to knowing everything. So, we need more research, tons of research happening all the time.
This is also the best reward, being a pioneer, being a trailblazer. Learning as I go and then teaching what I learn. It isn’t my knowledge. It’s like the tribe leaders passing on their messages. Cannabis has been around for longer than we actually know. Humans have to now figure all the keys to healing. It’s so fascinating! I do the “Reefer Report” on PACE radio every other week and we feature the news headlines from that week. Well, that can change so fast from week to week. New laws being passed, new studies being done, new science being decoded. I just love watching it all unfold! I can’t wait to see where we are going to do next. I believe that in 100 years, cannabis will have healed our planet.
Do you have any advice for any fellow cannapreneurs?
Be kind and don’t be jealous of other people’s success! I watch this all of the time and I hear about it even more. Influencers and advocates being bullied because they are doing well in the cannabis industry and that’s just not right. When did we start cutting people down for succeeding? The cannabis space has a lot of room and a need for a lot of different kinds of businesses or resources. Let’s work together to build each other up. Fall in love with the plant. Because if you do, you will be kinder and gentler and then we can all work together to move the cannabis industry forward.