It takes a fierce spirit to launch a cannabis dispensary amidst the turmoil of coronavirus but, says Gretchen Miller, CEO and Creative Director of Kiskanu, the experience just made her realise how privileged she is to be able to do what she does.
“Standing up for what you believe in is important. Yes, cannabis heals and is now essential to our society but there are still people sitting in jail for selling it and so we do our best to recognise the inequality and support these folks.”
We chatted more to this dynamic advocate and change-maker about her journey - from jeweler to herbalist to canna-boss - and how Kiskanu’s award-winning hand-crafted and small-batch CBD oils, tinctures and skin rubs harness the therapeutic power of sun-grown Californian cannabis to help you heal holistically.
Shop the Kiskanu range here - pre-orders now open on best-selling items!
My world summed up in five words would be… family, cannabis, Humboldt, nature and hustle
A typical day in my life looks like this: Get the kids off to school, then work, work, work! Thankfully I love what I do, and am blessed to work with a team that is like family. On weekends, you’ll find me with my family and two dogs on the empty beaches of Humboldt, in the garden or in my jewellery studio.
Amendment: Now I’m working from home and helping my kids with school… What an interesting and scary time! It has been challenging, but we are thankful to be in Humboldt and able to get outside.
When I was little, I wanted to be.... hmmm, I think I smoked too much to remember! I loved animals and grew up riding horses in Amish Country in Ohio, so probably a veterinarian, or something similar to that.
The biggest life lesson motherhood has taught me is... to be humble. To feel unconditional love and patience, to let go of control and how to breathe through stressful situations.
The Kiskanu brand is all about... quality ingredients, integrity, and staying true to our sustainable farming roots.
I believe that CBD is... a powerful adaptogen that helps the different body systems to maintain homeostasis and cope with stress and anxiety. CBD is one of many different cannabinoids and terpenes that bring healing to the body, so it’s important to honour the power of the whole plant.
Cannabis has changed my life... by bringing me into the present and forcing me to stop and slow down. It’s also reinforced how important it is to stand up for what is right.
My favourite way to relax and de-stress is... reading and taking a bath, with cannabis of course! I’ve also been obsessed with #abandonedplaces on IG - that is my new pandemic pleasure.
My best personal beauty tip is... keep your routine and products simple and organic. Ensure you use quality ingredients and support brands that you know are reputable. Your skin will thank you.
The toughest part of being a woman in the cannabis industry is... making my voice heard. The conversation is often steered towards the men but I’m slowly learning to speak up more, and am not afraid to call someone out about it.
Working side-by-side with my husband, Jason, is... mostly a pleasure. We have our moments, but we generally make a great team: he’s a numbers guy while I have the creative vision and herbal know-how. He stops me from giving everything away for free and I help him realise it’s sometimes about more than just numbers!
My hope for the global future of cannabis is... cheap and safe access for all. That one day, we will grow cannabis as freely as lavender and that the green revolution would have successfully free’d the flower!
Words: Justine Stafford