Marijuana sales skyrocket amid coronavirus pandemicABC News chronicles the rising cases of coronavirus across the U.S. and how politicians, celebrities and the public reacted.
As grocery stores and pharmacies struggled to keep toilet paper and hand sanitizer on the shelves in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, many cannabis dispensaries saw inventories sharply decline as customers feared those businesses would be deemed nonessential.
But because marijuana sales are still illegal under federal law, businesses operating under state statutes are barred from receiving federal assistance, including aid for small businesses in the massive $2 trillion economic recovery package signed into law last week.
Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.
The CARES Act includes $350 billion for the Small Business Administration to provide forgivable loans to companies with 500 or fewer employees, and the Trump administration is now asking Congress for an additional $250 billion.
The paradox of being deemed essential by one level of government but disqualified from receiving aid from another is vexing to many dispensary owners.
“How can cannabis be deemed essential right now, during this crisis, and yet not be offered the same opportunities as other businesses with stimulus packages or SBA loans?” asked Yvonne DeLaRosa Green, who co-owns 99 High Tide Collective, the only cannabis dispensary in Malibu, California. She said she doubled staffing to meet the current demand for delivery, pickup and online orders.
“We’re on the front lines,” she added. “Our cannabis consultants are risking their lives, literally, to stay open to provide medicine for people.”
“We’re on the front lines,” she added. “Our cannabis consultants are risking their lives, literally, to stay open to provide medicine for people.”
For now, DeLaRosa Green said she doesn’t need the loans, but this isn’t the first time her business was passed over for federal aid.
In 2018, her home was destroyed by the Woolsey fire and her dispensary was forced to close for two weeks. But unlike other businesses in her community, hers was unable to seek federal disaster relief funds.
Because the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, banks can be prosecuted for doing business with cannabis companies, which makes access to capital much more difficult.
After the wildfires, DeLaRosa Green said her business survived because she took out private loans with high-interest rates.
In addition to dispensaries, operations that grow marijuana, conduct lab tests or sell related paraphernalia also have been ruled ineligible.
Josh Kappel, a founding partner of Vicente Sederberg, a national cannabis law firm, said he believes coronavirus has changed all businesses in America, including cannabis.
Being widely considered essential, he said, is “a very substantial and significant step forward for the industry.”
Perhaps, he added, that could lead to lasting changes within and adjacent to the industry.
“One way that the federal government could provide aid in the cannabis industry would be to pass the SAFE Banking Act and really open up banking and lending to this industry,” Kappel told ABC News.
The SAFE Banking Act would allow banks to do business with legitimate marijuana-related businesses. The legislation passed in the House and has been introduced in the Senate.
Back in California, a state that benefits from cannabis tourism, DeLaRosa said she and her customers would be celebrating 4/20 a bit differently this year. Her store is hosting a virtual smoke-in with music, comedy and DIY classes to promote social distancing and wellness: “We are promoting stay-at-home, we are promoting de-stressing, we are promoting internal joy, and we’re promoting healthy good vibes.”Comments (53)
Out of over 7,500 public nominations, High Times has unveiled the 50 women leading the pack.
PublishedNovember 6, 2019
Friends, you’ve cast your votes and made your voices heard. High Times is thrilled to announce the first-ever honoree class of the High Times Female 50. This collection represents fifty women in all areas of the cannabis space, from research to business and from politics to activism, who have made their mark in a truly significant and impactful way. The High Times Female 50 winners, chosen from a pool of 7,500+ nominations, will be honored at an exclusive event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, California on November 13th.
The High Times Female 50 Honorees:
Vivien Azer, Managing Director, Cowen & Co Carol Bartz, Chairman at Caliva, Former CEO of Yahoo Jessica Billingsley, Founder and CEO, Akerna Elizabeth Caffrey, Founder, Greenwolf Ophelia Chong, Founder, Asian Americans for Cannabis Education/ Green Sky Strategy Hannah Davis, CMO, Mammoth Distro/Heavy Hitters Dr. Uma Dhanabalan, MD. MPH. FAAFP. MRO. Jennifer Dooley, CSO, GTI Charlotte Figi, Namesake, Charlotte’s Web Renee Gagnon, CEO, HollyWeed North Cannabis Alison Gordon, CEO, 48north Anjela Gotsulyak, Influencer, Koala Puffs Yvonne DeLaRosa Green, CEO, 99 High Tide Alix Hadley, CEO, C.R.A.F.T. Cannabis Elizabeth Hogan, VP, Brands GCH Inc Lynn Honderd, CEO, Mary’s Medicinals Karson Humiston, CEO, Vangst Wanda James, Owner, Simply Pure Dr. Jessica Knox, Founder, American Cannabinoid Clinics Carmen Lam, SVP Business Development, KushCo Holdings Danna Lee, Founder, Green Angels Chanda Macias, CEO, Women Grow Rylie Maedler, CEO, Rylie’s Sunshine Cassandra Maffey, Master Grower, Verde Naturals Mary Lynne Mathre, Nurse, Patients Out of Time Rosie Mattio, Founder, Mattio Elvy Musikka, Activist Sally Nichols, President, Distribution Bloom Farms Linda Noel, Founder, Boston Freedom Rally and Mass Cann Cyo Nystrom, Co-Founder and CEO, Quim Amanda Ostrowitz, Founder and CEO, CannaRegs Cat Packer, Executive Director, City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Jann Parish, CMO, Green Growth Brands
Emily Paxhia, Managing Partner, Poseidon Jamie Pearson, President, Bhang April Pride, Co-Founder, OfLike Minds Mary Pryor, Founder, Cannaclusive Amanda Reiman, VP of Community Development, Flow Kana Flow Kana Kim Rivers, CEO, Trulieve Tracy Ryan, Founder, CannaKids Cynthia Salarizadeh, Founder, House of Saka; Green Market Media Tyla Salley, Founder, Deuces 22 Dr Cristina Sanchez, Doctor Cannabinoid Research Lihi Bar-Lev Schleider, Head of Research, Tikun Olam Viviane Sedola, CEO and Founder, Dr. Cannabis Emily Skrobecki, Founder, CannSTEM, Systems Process Manager, SōRSE Beth Stavola, CSO, iAnthus Corey Thomas, Founder, Honeypot Valentina Varisco, Influencer, Valeficent Nancy Whiteman, CEO, Wana Brands
In addition to awarding our honorees, the High Times Female 50 will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mila Jansen. The event also features presentations fromBhangPresidentJamie Pearson, Paige Figi (mother of Charlotte Figi), Alison Gordon (CEO of 48 North) and activist Chelsea Leyland. The event will conclude with an intimate performance by legendary R&B artist Macy Gray.
Fifteen Powerful And Innovative Women In Cannabis Right Now
13,027 views|Aug 27, 2019,04:24pm EDT
Warren Bobrow; Contributor – Vices “I work with cannabis and have done some wild things in life”. cocktailwhisperer.com
Emily Paxhia is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon. She has reviewed thousands of companies in the cannabis industry and has worked with countless founders in many capacities and has held board seats for three portfolio companies and participates as an adviser to multiple teams. Extremely active in the investment decision making and ongoing investment oversight processes, she works closely with her partners to create meaningful deal structures, ensuring that proper governance is carried out at the company level. Further, Emily has dedicated time and energy to supporting policy groups and has served on the Board of Directors of the Marijuana Policy Project as well as the Board of Athletes for CARE and Treehouse Global Ventures.
Emily graduated from New York University with an M.A. in Psychology in 2008. She graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in Psychology in 2002.
Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD is the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow. She is also the CEO and the owner of National Holistic™ a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise. Dr. Macias also expanded her footprint through Ilera Holistic Healthcare which partnered with Southern University, which is one of two cultivation/processing facilities in the state of Louisiana. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association, Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association and is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access.
Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University, and earned her MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management. As a Research Scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral diseases and possible treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Fortune 500 Company. She contributed to the launch of several billion-dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations, U.S. and Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization).
Cynthia is the Founder & President of the luxury brand: House of Saka, Inc. as well as the Founder of the cannabis industry’s newswire and entrepreneur tech suite, AxisWire, the Co-founder of Green Market Media which is currently most recognized for its cannabis finance news publication Green Market Report and its conference series Green Market Summit, as well as Co-founder of the network Industry Power Women. KCSA Strategic Communications acquired her leading cannabis and hemp public relations firm Salar Media Group in 2018. She is a council member on Forbes Communications Council as well as a contributing writer for Entrepreneur Media on the leading women and business of cannabis. Cynthia also sits on the advisory board of the innovative hemp and sustainable hospitality company MoonCloth Designs.
Cynthia received her degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a certificate in journalism from Georgetown University.
Mara Gordon is a cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and researcher who openly shares her knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant – whether consulting with medical teams, hosting TEDx Talks or calling out hyperbole in the industry she cares so deeply about. She has spoken around the world and has been featured in the films The Medicine in Marijuana, Mary Janes: Women of Weed, and award-winning documentary Weed the People. Mara rose to prominence through the company she co-founded, Aunt Zelda’s, in pursuit of data-driven, plant-based medicine. Beginning in 2011, Mara standardized her most popular therapeutic oil blends, making them commercially available to patients through the respected Aunt Zelda’s brand. She later launched Calla Spring Wellness in order to serve patients and Zelda Therapeutics in order to conduct research.
She has harnessed her background as a process engineer to create therapeutic dosing regimens for thousands of patients around the world, drastically improving their quality of life and longevity.
Ophelia Chong, community activist, educator, graphic designer & photographer. She is the founder of Stock Pot Images and Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE). As of April 2019, Ophelia joined Green Sky Strategy with her partners Brian Quigley and Jim McAlpine. Green Sky Strategy will also be partnering with two incubators in the US and EU. As well as leading StockPot Images, she also served as the Community Outreach liaison for THC Design, one of the top premium cannabis growers in CA, where she was responsible for LGBT, Veterans, Women, Minorities and Disabled outreach. As an artist, her work has been published by Harper Collins, Gestalten (3 books) and other major publishers of books and magazines.
Her latest collage work was commissioned by Simon & Schuster and debuted in the Fall of 2018.
Rosie launched MATTIO Communications in 2004 as a one-woman PR firm in Seattle. She quickly realized emerging cannabis brands had specific marketing needs, and challenges, and has since become one of the most influential public relations specialists in the industry. Ranked the #1 cannabis PR firm by Greenmarket Report, Rosie is a strategic powerhouse, industry connector and influencer. Based in New York City, her firm MATTIO serves over 32 marquee cannabis clients, including Harborside, Headset, Canndescent, LeafLink, Flowhub, Vangst, Green Mile, Henry’s Original, and Ascend Wellness Holdings. Before bringing her talents to the cannabis space, Rosie promoted several clients in the technology and food & beverage industries. Rosie has helped usher in the New Cannabis Age, garnering global media coverage in mainstream publications for clients, including the first cannabis article ever published in Oprah Magazine. Over the past year, her firm has grown alongside the industry, adding several marketing and communications services for clients, including content, SEO, event planning and influencer marketing.
Kristin L. Jordan is senior counsel with the Cannabis Law practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP. She has over 20 years of real estate, state licensing, and governmental regulatory experience. In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Jordan is a Co-Founder of the Cannabis Cultural Association and served as its first Executive Director. She is also the Founder of Mannada, a NYC-based professional event production company serving the cannabis industry, which produces the Cannabis Law Summit, Cannabis Media Summit, Cannabis Real Estate Summit, and The Maze, a weekly event listing newsletter. Kristin is a member of the Committee on Cannabis for the NYS Bar Association, serves on the Public Policy Committee of the Minority Cannabis Bar Association, facilitates the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, and acts as the East Coast Representative for Asian Americans for Cannabis Education.
Erin Gore is founder and CEO of Garden Society, a California-based, cannabis-focused benefit corporation serving women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of their daily lives. Prior to Garden Society, Erin worked with her husband Tom on their joint venture with Constellation Brands on Tom Gore Vineyards, an award-winning farmer’s wine. Before the wine business, she had a decade-long corporate career at Henkel, where she managed a global adhesive business valued at nearly $100 million. Her time at Henkel provided a solid foundation in leadership, development, and achieving exceptional financial results.
Currently, she serves on the Board of the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County as well as the Healdsburg District Hospital Board of Directors, and International Cannabis Farmers Association. She is also a member of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance and belongs to the Circular Board, The Collaborative Accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs.
Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder and CEO of Green Market Media (GMM), a holding company headquartered in New York that is most recognized for its flagship cannabis financial news site Green Market Report and conference series Green Market Summit. Borchardt was one of the first journalists to bring the cannabis story mainstream with regular columns in Forbes, TheStreet, and Seeking Alpha. She has appeared on The Today Show, Yahoo Finance, CNBC, CNN as well as numerous radio shows and podcasts. Before entering the burgeoning cannabis market, Borchardt held her last position as a Vice President at Bear Stearns. She left this station to earn her Master’s Degree in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University. After completing her program, She honed her skills as a journalist earning an award from ASPBE.org (American Society of Business Publication Editors) in 2014 for Best Video – News, “Guess Where People Want To Buy Pot.”
Gia Morón is the President for Women Grow. With 25 years of experience in public relations, in 2012 Gia launched GVM Communications, Inc., a public relations, brand and business development firm. Her client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients. Prior to launching her firm and working with Women Grow, Gia was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution and production company. She is a board member of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Coalition Member of Start SMART NY and Member of Women Grow LLC.’s Board of Managers.
Gia attended Columbus State University and New York University. She currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her daughter.
Yvonne DeLaRosa Green:
Yvonne DeLaRosa Green is the Co-Founder and CEO 99 High Tide. She was Named High Time’s “100 Most Influential People”, (High Times Magazine March 2018) . She is the creator of the world’s very first upscale medical cannabis dispensary, 99 High Art, which was hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the best medical marijuana collectives in California. In 2017, Yvonne continued to blaze trails by becoming the very first person to receive a cannabis business license in Los Angeles County and was honored for her achievements in cannabis by Industry Power Women, who named her “Business Woman of the Year”. Most recently Yvonne made history once more as the co-writer and powerhouse behind Measure G which made it onto the November 2018 ballot in Malibu and legalized adult use and delivery in Malibu. Outside of the cannabis industry, Yvonne has also found success in the world of television and film. Yvonne has appeared in various television shows such as NCIS, CSI: Miami, How I Met Your Mother, King of Queens, The Close, Law & Order, Longmire, NYPD Blue, Weeds, and played the lead in her very own FOX series entitled Senor White, opposite comedian Ron White.
Yvonne received a masters degree in film and television from UCLA.
Founder of CannaRegs, Amanda Ostrowitz is a regulatory attorney and entrepreneur specializing in Cannabis regulations and banking law. Prior to conceiving, developing and founding CannaRegs, Amanda worked as a bank examiner in the Denver branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Amanda is an east coast native who moved to Colorado in 2004 to attend Colorado College where she earned a B.A. in Economics. Amanda received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2013. Amanda serves as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of CannaRegs.
Amy T. Margolis is the Founder and Program Director for The Initiative. She is also a longtime practicing attorney and founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association, one of the largest state cannabis trade groups in the U.S. Amy advises businesses and investors on the deployment of capital, multi-jurisdictional growth, public offerings and all stages of business and corporate development. Amy’s endeavor The Initiative is the world’s first business accelerator established to help female founded cannabis businesses succeed and access funding. Amy’s been crucially involved in her home state of Oregon, sitting on almost every advisory committee for both the medical and adult use programs, while also assisting several states with implementing adult-use cannabis legalization.
Amy Margolis is named on The Political 100 and 50 Most Important Women in Cannabis by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE). Elle Magazine refers to Amy as “Pot Power Woman” and Herb.co lists Amy as one of the 10 Most Influential Women in the Cannabis Industry.
Andrea Cabral is the CEO of Ascend Massachusetts. Her leadership in Ascend follows a 28-year career in government and public service. Most recently, she served as the Commonwealth’s Executive Secretary of Public Safety in the Administration of Governor Deval Patrick where she oversaw 14 statewide public safety agencies, including the Massachusetts State Police, the Department of Correction, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Parole Board and the Massachusetts National Guard. From 2003 to 2013, she was the twice-elected Sheriff of Suffolk County and the first female sheriff in Massachusetts’ history.
Emily Skrobecki is Manager of Process Engineering at SōRSE and founder of CannSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math), an organization connecting female professionals in the cannabis space. At SōRSE, Emily experiments with the water solubility of cannabis. SōRSE’s technology improves the stability of cannabis, improves the bioavailability of cannabinoids, and allows for more consistent in dosing. This creates a safer and better tasting product for consumers. SōRSE plays a key role in the development of several products from edibles to beverages, like Happy Apple, and even female sexual lubricants. The challenge of the unknown is what drives Skrobecki to search for knowledge and dive deep into this type of science. “There’s a reason this is the fastest growing industry the world has ever witnessed. Not a single plant on Earth has the same synergistic effects as cannabis does, and scientists have barely scratched the surface of its abilities. It’s great to be a part of this maturing industry, especially as a scientific influence.”
WHEN THE WOOLSEY FIRE HIT MALIBU, ACTRESS, ACTIVIST AND CEO OF MALIBU’S BELOVED CANNABIS DISPENSARY 99 HIGH TIDE YVONNE DELAROSA GREEN AND HER FAMILY WERE AMONG HUNDREDS OF RESIDENTS IN THE COMMUNITY TO LOSE EVERYTHING. HOWEVER IN THE MONTHS SINCE, DELAROSA GREEN HAS UTILIZED HER LOSS TO MANIFEST HER LATEST ROLE.
Written by Sami Jen Straiton | Photography via Emily Scher
It’s 1:30 p.m. on November 8, 2018. In a few minutes, Yvonne DeLaRosa Green’s home will be swept up by the largest wildfire in Malibu’s recorded history. She, her daughter Summer Rain, and her husband Sam Boyer will barely escape with their lives. But after a disaster of such magnitude, what rises from the ashes are not only stories of survivors, heroes and loss, but of new hope.
“Losing it all has a way of awakening you to a new perspective and renewed purpose,” says DeLaRosa Green.
“We grew up in Malibu and have been through many fires,” DeLaRosa Green recalled. “However this one was different.”
That morning, the power had been out throughout Malibu since dawn. The last DeLaRosa Green and Boyer had heard was that the fire had descended on Oak Park.
“We never imagined it could cross the freeway, let alone Pacific Coast Highway,” says Boyer. However soon a black and red cloud was rising hundreds of feet over their Malibu home, like something out of a disaster movie. With flames and smoke surrounding them, DeLaRosa Green, Sam, Summer Rain and their fur babies jumped into the car, racing down their long driveway only to realize that their electric gate wouldn’t open due to the power outage.
“That was a definite moment of terror,” says DeLaRosa Green. Suddenly a few of their neighbors appeared with bolt cutters, and were able to pull the gate open.
“Thank God for friends and good neighbors,” said DeLaRosa Green.
DeLaRosa Green and her family frantically weaved their way down the frightening canyons that were being consumed in smoke and ashes with only minutes to spare.
“Seeing the ocean through the smoke was one of the most beautiful sights of my life,” she said. “We were alive and safe.”
Without a doubt, the Woolsey fire will be a topic of conversation for generations to come. Along with legendary movie stars, surf culture and one of the most beautiful coastlines in California, Malibu has also always been known for its fires and floods. In the wake of Woolsey, many have asked why so many people are attracted to this wild and dangerous landscape. For DeLaRosa Green and Boyer, the answer is clear.
“It’s our home,” they say.
Raised in Malibu, DeLaRosa Green followed a dream to open Malibu’s first dispensary in her hometown. That dream is The 99 High Tide- Malibu which is often cited as one of the best cannabis retailers in the world. As the co-founder and CEO of Malibu’s premier cannabis dispensary and as a Hispanic and Native American woman, it is certainly a historic win for DeLaRosa Green who along with her husband and co-founder Sam Boyer fought the good fight to make sure that Malibu had legal access to cannabis. “It was one of the most challenging and emotional battles of my life,” DeLaRosa Green said. “There were so many hoops of fire to jump through. So many obstacles to making this dream come true. It was truly a blood, sweat and tears experience and years of hard work to win our license and open our doors. In the end, good always triumphs and we feel very blessed to share 99 High Tide- Malibu with our community.”
This is indeed a cultural and truly historic chapter to add to Malibu’s history of pioneers and mavericks. Perfectly situated on Carbon Beach’s billionaire block, 99 High Tide is welcoming and affordable to all. 99 High Tide’s beautiful interior spaces and knowledgable staff have made the dispensary an enormously popular staple of the Malibu community.
As the first and only all-vegan cannabis retailer, 99 High Tide Malibu is a true oasis. Upon entering you are immersed in a hidden paradise, where anyone 21 and over is able to shop in a private and peaceful sanctuary. The shop gently envelopes you in a sense of spa-like calm, and delicious aromas of sage, palo santo, and herbs. The tranquil and inspiring decor is reminiscent of a mermaid cove, with ocean treasures and welcoming consultants lovingly referred to as the “Malibu Mermaids”. 99 High Tide’s website has a list of their most frequently asked questions. One of them is: “Are you all real mermaids?” The answer? “Yes.” This female-run dispensary is truly a one of a kind cannabis shopping experience.
“We created 99 High Tide as a home for everyone to feel and be their highest self,” DeLaRosa Green said.
Considered one of the most recognized and respected women in cannabis, with awards ranging from High Times’ Top 100 Most Influential Person in Cannabis and Business Woman of The Year, DeLarosa Green seems to float in an ethereal way. With an air and flair all her own, Malibu’s lovely High Priestess’ voice is calm yet full of confidence, passion and knowledge. DeLaRosa Green is a gorgeous vision with long flowing hair, and stands out like a beacon of light. During a recent tour of 99 High Tide, she exchanged hugs with most customers, who seemed to know her. She’s a modern day flower child and artist, who’s friends and colleagues refer to as the “unofficial mayor of Malibu.”
However DeLaRosa Green was born far from Malibu in Los Angeles, under the glow of the Hollywood sign to a Colombian mother and a Native American father. Growing up in the city, DeLaRosa Green would dream of living in a place by the ocean, with beautiful mountains, where she could raise animals and feel free from the pressures of Los Angeles. She discovered this place was a reality when her mother bravely moved her and her sister to Malibu as kids, to have a new experience other than Los Angeles city life.
After graduating at the top of her class from Hollywood High’s Performing Arts Magnet, DeLaRosa Green began studying directing and screenwriting at UCLA’s prestigious Film and Television Program, Where she earned her BA in film and her Masters in Screenwriting.
“I wanted to be so many things as a kid, but I couldn’t choose which,” DeLaRosa Green said. “Acting was perfect because I could get to be so many people and professions.” After landing the lead role on a comedy pilot for the Fox network, (not bad for her first audition), DeLaRosa has since starred on myriad series and films (yes, including Weeds). She has starred opposite some of the top actors in the industry, and has won many accolades and awards for her acting. Unfortunately, aside from a few great roles, the parts she was being offered did not represent the diverse kaleidoscope of characters she had dreamt of portraying as a child.
“The majority of roles I was being offered were stereotypical Latina roles,” she said.
DeLaRosa Green was disheartened to say the least. Rising from adversity as a young girl in Hollywood born to a single mom, DeLaRosa Green created a life of magical adventures and movie-worthy experiences where she would always find herself on the forefront of popular cultural movements. Her life has been full of adventures, from meeting and following the Grateful Dead as a teen, becoming the literal Woodstock anniversary poster child when she was singled out amongst the half million attendees, as an early pioneer at Burning Man where she got married painted green and built pirate ships, and as an activist on the frontlines for animal rights and cannabis. At the same time, she was also working hard on her acting and film craft at UCLA while serendipitously being invited to DC to have dinner with President Obama. Phew. A very colorful life indeed.
“But where were those roles for Hispanic or Native women?” DeLaRosa Green said. “Those roles were not being written for women of color even though it was my true reality.”
So she set out to write roles for herself and others that broke the stereotypes she so often encountered. “They say write what you know, and what I knew from my life was a whole lot more wild and fascinating than what I was being offered to portray,” she said. “As were the lives of so many other Latinos and native people I knew. I had to write about them, about us.”
DeLaRosa Green quickly found success as a writer, selling several scripts and optioning many others. However just as her writing career was beginning to take off, she was given the worst news of her life; her mother had breast cancer.
“I was more scared than I have ever been,” DeLaRosa Green said. “My mom, my everything, had just been given a possible death sentence.”
DeLaRosa Green spent months researching alternative therapies and treatments for breast cancer. Her research repeatedly kept bringing up a familiar word: cannabis.
“Cannabis! Of course, I thought,” she said. “I instantly remembered a book I had read long ago about cannabis curing cancer.”
DeLaRosa Green quickly found a signed first edition copy of the book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, essentially the cannabis and hemp bible. DeLaRosa Green had met the legendary Herer when she began her involvement in efforts to decriminalize cannabis as a teen, including marching for hemp at the federal building in Westwood, where her fateful meeting with Herer would set her on a path of activism.
Now, DeLaRosa Green found her passion for cannabis renewed, as she searched for a respectable dispensary to take her mother to aid in her cancer treatment, but found to her surprise that she could not find one. The ones she did find were frightening and unwelcoming.
“I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a beautiful dispensary you could go to, take your mother to, somewhere you could feel safe and be treated with respect and helped with knowledgeable consultants.”
So DeLaRosa Green set out to create a sanctuary for all seeking a way to heal themselves naturally. Adding to the cannabis history books, DeLaRosa Green is now credited with creating the first upscale cannabis dispensary in the world back in 2008, a location that served not just as a store but as a visionary art gallery, catering, as she says, to “all things higher consciousness.”
As the descendant of a long line of Curanderas (natural healers), DeLaRosa Green felt her family legacy was manifesting itself through cannabis.
“My grandmother was always healing us with herbs and natural cures when we were kids and I had forgotten of our lineage,” she said. But first she had to convince her mom, who had never even had a sip of alcohol, let alone consumed cannabis, to see if a cannabis treatment might work for her.
“I said, ‘Mom, what would Abuelita do?’” she said. “My mother was very hesitant about it but after some thought she did the bravest and most frightening thing I have ever seen: my mom forewent all traditional treatments. No chemo, no radiation, no drugs.”
“The oncologist was furious but not because she was worried for my mother’s health, but because it appeared she had lost a big sale,” DeLaRosa continued. “But that is a whole other topic. She never even called to ask how my mother was doing ever again. Had she called she would have known that, 12 years later, with cannabis as her only treatment, my mother is a world traveler and yes: cancer free.”
This all led to DeLaRosa Green establishing her first cannabis dispensary, the now legendary 99 High Art, in 2008, partnering with her husband Sam Boyer, a surfer and award-winning filmmaker, to open her dream dispensary and world’s first hybrid dispensary by way of a visionary art gallery in a beautiful space on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach. Unbeknownst to them, they would soon be known for launching one of the first original lifestyle cannabis brands.
“It was a high-end dispensary and community space where the cannabis literati, artists, celebrities, healers, musicians and authors would convene on all things art, plant medicine and healing,” said Boyer.
During those 99 High Art years in Venice Beach, DeLaRosa Green was among an early wave of entertainment industry figures to stand up for cannabis during a time when it was still illegal recreationally and taboo in many circles. Putting her rising acting career at risk, DeLaRosa Green stood up for what she believed in and in doing so both helped to legitimize and raise the image of cannabis. “It took so much courage, determination and a warrior’s spirit,”said Boyer. “That is Yvonne. She is always the first to stand up for what she believes in, especially if it is to help others.”
Her mother Marina’s miraculous healing is one of hundreds that DeLaRosa Green has personally helped manifest with the use of cannabis and a dose of higher consciousness practices.
“Healing takes place not only on a physical level but it begins on a spiritual path,” she said. “When we awaken to our higher calling and see our lives as interconnected with mother earth, the road to healing is open to us to travel upon. Life is a precious gift and when we honor our mother earth and her sacred plant medicine, we step behind the veil of pharmaceuticals and propaganda, and discover that in most cases, we all hold the secret to healing ourselves naturally.”
DeLaRosa Green and Boyer brought that healing to their own home town, with a nod to the cannabis industry’s official holiday, on April 20, 2015 at 4:20 p.m. 99 High Tide- Malibu opened their doors in a beautiful space just off PCH with comedian and activist Tommy Chong as their first patient and former mayor Skylar Peak cutting their green grand opening ribbon. Since then, DeLaRosa Green and Boyer’s recognition and respect in the cannabis industry has continued to rise higher and higher.
In the years since it opened, DeLaRosa Green and Boyer has been showered with praise and humbled by the immense and loving embrace of 99 High Tide by her hometown community.
“Cannabis has always been a part of our lives and culture here in Malibu,” DeLaRosa Green said. “When dispensaries were finally being allowed, we were determined to make sure that Malibu had one of the best, and one that clearly represented what Malibu meant to us.”
“It was about healing, about the ocean, about nature and magic and it was always about high vibes,” Boyer added. “When people come up to us on a daily basis and hug us and start crying because cannabis saved their mother or father’s life, it’s a pretty clear indication that we are on the right path.”
That path now includes expanding her brand of upscale dispensaries to multiple locations, as well as launching their organic and Vegan cannabis product line. And in addition to her work in cannabis, as well as entertainment and activism, DeLaRosa Green last year also added politician to her resume. Along with Boyer, she co-wrote Malibu’s Measure G, an initiative which would legalize adult use cannabis and delivery in Malibu and made it onto the 2018 ballot. On November 6, just two days before the fire, Measure G won by a landslide.
“I never really ever considered getting involved in politics, but I recall envisioning it many times, and dreaming of making important changes in the world,” DeLaRosa Green said. “Now I realize that we must all be very involved as a civilization in how laws are created, how they affect us and our society and what we must do to make a positive difference for everyone.”
Despite having lost nearly everything, except the clothes they were wearing in the Woolsey Fire, DeLaRosa Green and Boyer immediately stepped in to help in the recovery effort by donating free cannabis to not only fire victims but to anyone who needed it.
“If ever there was a time for cannabis in Malibu, it was after the fires,” said DeLaRosa Green. “People were not only sad and afraid, but they were also in pain.” Cannabis has recently been heralded as an incredible healing tool for PTSD. “We all have some level of PTSD from the fires,” said Boyer. “With all the shutdowns on the highway and canyons it made it so challenging to help our city. But with the support of many in our community we were able to get medicine to those who really needed it. So many of our favorite brands came to the rescue like Dosist, Cannacraft, Select, Island, Kush Queen, Sana Sana, Care by Design, Absolute extracts, Satori, Cookies, Loud and Clear and many more. This industry truly cares. And of course, there were family and friends and kind strangers who helped us personally. We felt so loved by so many.”
“I think the fire brought many of us closer together than ever before,” added DeLaRosa Green. “We all share this bond now, forever.”
The pain of the loss from the fires is slowly fading for many, but for DeLaRosa Green, the fire has also brought many gifts.
“The loss we all share as a community is very real, but as the months go by, I am seeing the fire as a teacher,” she said. “It has taught me to focus on what truly matters and for me that is my family, friends and mother earth.”
Luckily, DeLaRosa Green was able to grab a few small possessions as she, Boyer, their two-year old daughter Summer Rain and their three dogs and little kitten they had just rescued, escaped the flames.
“One of the few mementoes I was able to grab was one of my awards for best actress and my High Times magazine award for most influential person in cannabis,” she said. “There it was, in my two hands; my life’s work.”
The rest of DeLaRosa Green’s and Boyer’s life’s work became ashes. But like the Phoenix rising out of those ashes, DeLaRosa Green is taking tragedy and manifesting her latest calling to form a team of incredible women and produce a very timely film.
“It’s a film about one of the most beloved and legendary Native American women in history and it’s a story that has never been told and whose time has come,” DeLaRosa Green said. “Her story will remind us all of the power and courage that women have and how we still hold the secret to the earth’s salvation. It’s time that women and men who support female films come together and put their time, talents and financing towards films that will serve to inspire this new generation of women that will soon take over this world.”
Undoubtedly DeLaRosa Green’s passion and courage are fueled by her 2 year old “mini me” and CBO (chief baby officer), Summer Rain.
“Having a baby puts many things in perspective, but having a baby girl inspires you to create an even better world where they can take their rightful place as the Goddesses that they are,” she said. “Film is one of the most powerful influencers and tools to accomplish this en masse. Whether it is as an actress, a writer or activist, I want to leave a legacy for my daughter and other girls. That they can be, do, dream and accomplish whatever it is they want in life.”
Given her life’s intense ordeals and subsequent triumphs, it seems certain that DeLaRosa Green will make these new beginnings come true and the roles of her life continue to evolve and change much like the dream she had as a child to be many different things. Her manifestations have thus far led her to become a respected actress, filmmaker and a cannabis icon and most importantly to her, a mom. And as if being the CEO of her company and growing her brand were not enough, her future manifestations include not only producing meaningful films but also creating a higher consciousness festival (appropriately named: Phoenix Rising), traveling the world with her family, saving the earth and continuing to help heal those in need with, yes, cannabis.
“We are living in troubled times where we must remember to help each other and love each other and contribute to protecting our earth,” she said. “I truly believe that when you do something based out of love, you can never be wrong. I am happiest when I am doing things that helps others. Helping people heal naturally is based in love. I know in my heart that cannabis will be legal worldwide in my lifetime.Cannabis saves lives, heals, and expands consciousness. It has been written about in many bibles, and is theorized to be the holy oil itself. We are in an incredible era of re-discovering what our ancestors knew long ago; that plant medicines are not only physically healing, they are indeed a portal to being your higher self.” MM
MMJ Visits California – Home of the Longest Running Medical Marijuana Program in the World
Welcome to the state of California, Under Proposition 215, The California Compassionate Use Act, I am legally entitled to carry up to 8 ounces on my person and grow 6 mature plants and 12 immature cannabis plants in the privacy of my own home.
The California Compassionate Use Act has been in effect since 1996 and is the longest running medical marijuana program in the world of its kind. It covers the following illnesses: cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. Physicians have recommended marijuana for hundreds of indications, including such common complaints as insomnia, PMS, post-traumatic stress, depression, and substance abuse.
MMJ visited California to see what actual legal medicinal cannabis access looks like.
On arrival, we went to the world famous Venice Beach to acquire a medical marijuana card with great ease. There amongst the beach front tourist stalls one can’t miss the guys dressed in green with large cannabis leaf banners directing you to a Doctor’s practice for an assessment. I took my photo-id, filled in 3 forms, paid $40 and was ushered into the Doctor’s practice, answered 3 questions (about my sleep related medicinal cannabis use) and half an hour later I was the proud owner of my own medical marijuana card.
With my “patient ID” I can legally access cannabis medicine in the State of California through one of the 1000 plus regulated medicinal cannabis dispensaries. Further to the 8 ounces I can carry on my person, I can grow plants at home and more importantly I now have legal access to a full spectrum of tested cannabis products. CBD rich cannabis ACDC 25:1 CBD:THC, edibles, tinctures, and fully decarboxylated cannabis oil. Yes, that is correct, within 24 hours of arrival into the state of California, I had legal access to fully tested organic decarboxylated cannabis oil, High THC strains, topical applications, 1:1 strains and ACDC 20:1 CBD rich Oil for the treatment of epilepsy.
We visited as many dispensaries as we could, some of them operate under the guise of medical marijuana but are nothing more than Amsterdam Coffee shops, with attractive ladies selling high THC raw cannabis flowers as quickly as possible to people that want to get high. The best of them however offer a fully holistic service to medicinal cannabis patients, with sound medical advice from in house doctors, a range of every known cannabis product and informative staff who are both well educated in the science and clinical research of cannabis and warm and helpful to patient’s needs.
The best three Medicinal Cannabis Dispensaries in the State of California are The 99 High-Tide Collective in Malibu, The Cornerstone Collective in Los Angeles and the Harborside Health Center in San Francisco.
The 99 High-Tide Collective was started by Yvonne Delarosa Green, a local television personality who while treating her mother’s cancer with cannabis oil, visited dispensaries and found them ‘dark and uninviting’ and wanted to provide people with a place that “someone could take their sick mother, sister or wife to, that was more comfortable, relaxing and beautiful.” Boy have they done that well, with the lovely manager Alex and his warm staff answering all my questions knowledgeably in the most caring and patient friendly way. On top of the most organic and outdoor grown cannabis flowers, they stock a wide range of CBD rich products, RSO, the excellent procana caps which endorsed by a board of doctors make measured (mg) doses of CBD rich extract, ‘Magic Potion’ from Emerald Triangle Genetics (combination of three different 25:1 CBD to THC pulivars ) and finally ACDC 25:1 raw organic outdoor cannabis flower which we could not find anywhere else. It should also be noted that Delarosa Green’s mother is cancer free now.
The Cornerstone Collective is California’s first research based medical marijuana collective, whose main goal is to “provide a safe, responsible, and welcoming environment for our patient community”. They are non-profit and highly professional outfit (walls are decorated with GW terpene charts) and run an extensive compassionate access program providing medicinal cannabis to low income patients, ex-veterans, senior citizens and the terminally ill. They provide a pleather of decarboxylated cannabis oil with four types available from their ‘Healing Oil’ range high THC, high CBD, 2:1 and 7:1 (CBD to THC). This is on top of the range of topicals and high THC flowers available. The only thing missing here was good range of outdoor natural landrace flowers.
The Harborside Health Center is the largest medical cannabis dispensary in California providing cannabis medicine to over 200,000 patients and is the Macy’s of cannabis dispensaries. The Center was started by Steve Deangelo, America’s foremost cannabis campaigner who has been raising awareness for over four decades and playing crucial roles in nearly every law change that has happened here. Founder of Americans for Safe Access, Steve moved to California in 2000 and started Harborside after being disillusioned when congress vetoed his inspired ‘Initiative 59’ that had won a majority vote in Washington and would have made compassionate access to medicinal cannabis legal there. Steve is probably the most connected man in cannabis and maybe the most knowledgeable too. Harborside reflects that, with the widest range of cannabis medicine available to man, every form of oil with CBG and CBN extracts available, all tested for any contaminants and lab research provided for every product. With an emphasis on “sun grown” medicine, they are big on patient education too, with classes on cultivation and how to make your own oil and an enormous amount of seeds and clones available for patients that wish to grow their own medicine. Their mission is to ‘Help every individual person who comes through our doors feel truly cared for, valued and respected’, and ‘Encourage engagement of the mind-body-soul nexus in the healing process’. They do this outstandingly.
So this is what medicinal access should look like; under a physician’s advice, one can gain access to every conceivable cannabis product one can grow for medicinal use at home. One can travel with up to 8 ounces on your person without any fear of reprisals; people here openly smoke or vape cannabis on the street with a fine being the only worry (if you are within 500 metres of a public building) and above all medicinal cannabis patients are treated as patients, not criminals.
How did this happen?
Awareness and the very nature of democracy is in full effect here. The localised state law changed in 1996 when Prop 215 (The Compassionate Use Act) went against the Federal law that still classes cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. The other American states that allow medicinal cannabis operate on the same basis with every state’s right to govern itself being paramount to medicinal cannabis access. This hasn’t stopped the DEA raiding and shutting down independent dispensaries in California and beyond. The amendment lists the states that have medical marijuana laws and mandates that the Justice Department is barred from using federal funds to “prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
As the rest of the world gears toward medicinal cannabis access, we hope and pray that the UK government will look at the example of California where medical marijuana has safely been in effect since 1996, where millions of patients have been cared for, where the standard of tested medicinal cannabis is of the highest order and where no-one has ever died as a result of the choice of their medicine.By John Green| December 8th, 2015|Categories: MMJ Stories|3 Comments
Its positive vibes only at Malibu’s first oceanfront collective.
A surfboard with a large green cross and an arrow leads you to 99 High Tide. The tranquil vibe at Malibu’s only medical marijuana dispensary draws the regions active and affluent patients of the coastal town.
Photos: Sasha Horne/MERRY JANE
It was a beautiful So-Cal day when MERRY JANE dropped by to chat with Vanessa Rodriguez, a veteran of the cannabis industry. The San Francisco native has lived in Los Angeles for nearly a decade, and manages a team of calm, cool and collected budtenders “Cannabis Consultants” who educate their patients on the power of the plant.
MERRY JANE: How did you get into the cannabis industry?
Vanessa: I came into the cannabis industry through the Green Goddess Collective. I was really inspired by the group of artists, performers, visionaries and advocates that were working in the Venice Beach community.
MJ: What was it like working in the industry during its infancy?
V: Back in 2008, it was all new to me! I’d studied Psychology and Chinese medicine and worked as a health coach prescribing herbal medicines, essential oils and acupuncture to treat ailments. I had no idea that cannabis could be implemented in that way to really help people, particularly ailing children, and now we’ve made so many advancements.
MJ: How do you like to medicate?
V: I love our house flowers like the Shiva Sativa. I like to taste the natural oils in all of the plants so I have really gotten more into the oils. Smoking less plant matter and getting more medicine. I’ve found that’s been much better for my health.
MJ: Do you have a favorite product?
V: I really love micro dosing on Lord Jones Edibles. I stick with 5-7 mg, I just feel a nice shift but I can still be fully functional and it doesn’t stand in the way of me completing my tasks. I actually feel more comfortable and relaxed, and I can be more open.