Welcome to our #womeninweed series, an ongoing meet and greet of some brilliantly successful and sophisticated women who are not only trailblazers in their respective fields but also effortlessly redefining cannabis culture.
Today we say ‘Hello, high!’ to California-based Jamie Evans, a cannabis educator, event host and writer in the the canna-culinary world.
Words: Kelly Fung
California-based Jamie Evans who left a decade-long career as a wine speciliast to become an educator, event host and writer specialising in cannabis and the canna-culinary world. In 2017 she founded The Herb Somm, a blog dedicated to educating consumers about cannabis, its health benefits and how to introduce herbal products in to everyday life.
Her Point of View
Cannabis has been something that's helped this superwoman work through trauma. She points out; “While I've used cannabis recreationally throughout my life, it wasn't until early 2017 that I began using it for medical purposes, or in other words, using it with intention.”
At that time, she had witnessed a terrible car accident and couldn't sleep; “I didn't want to take pharmaceuticals drugs, so I turned to cannabis, which was a more suitable natural alternative.”
Admittedly, Jamie is sensitive to products high in THC, but cleverly looked to CBD, the effective, non-intoxicating cannabinoid that doesn't make you high. By implementing a regimen using both THC and CBD together, she was able to bring balance back into her life.
Jamie adds, “When my mother (a non-smoker), was diagnosed with Stage Four Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, I also witnessed cannabis' ability to help aid those facing the most severe health conditions. I stand by this plant and advocate for it because it has the power to help heal us.”
“My favorite way to consume cannabis is by infusing my favorite strains into different pantry items when cooking. I love creating cannabis-infused olive oil, butter, and coconut oil that can then be added into a number of recipes at home. I also love cannabis-infused drinks.“
She also reminds us of the innovation within the food and beverage industry; commenting on infused beverages - a fantastic solution for social consumption, particularly the new low-dose options that allow you to have more than one in a sitting. These have started to become steadily available in South Africa too.
Her Creative Process
For Jamie, Cannabis has been her muse for everything that she has created for The Herb Somm. “This incredible plant has allowed me to tap into my imagination and have the courage to think outside-of-the-box and try new ideas.” For the creator, Cannabis is fascinating but also very complex, just like wine. And, the beauty of it is that she never stops learning.
As a natural challenger of the status quo, Jamie fights those prejudices around Cannabis with information; “As someone passionate about cannabis, I've faced many challenges over the years when it comes to stigmas and the age-old stereotypes.
Something that I've learned along the way is that education can help solve many of these issues. When speaking to your loved ones, colleagues, or friends who might have opposing views, by gently educating them, you might change their mind about cannabis. I've also found it helpful to share the latest research and science-backed studies that refute early-on propaganda that spread during the "Reefer Madness" era.”
“I believe that if you're a member of the cannabis industry, you should also be an activist.” says Jamie of her work in developing a new era of dining that’s safe and regulated. As the Community Leader of Crop-to-Kitchen - an organisation based in San Francisco made up of chefs, restaurateurs, edible producers and beverage companies who are advocating for legalised cannabis cuisine and cannabis restaurants throughout California - Jamie is paving the way forward.
By 2025 she hopes to have helped establish a new state license type that will allow for public infused-dining experiences, also working towards developing hospitality standards for how to serve and dose cannabis cuisine and beverages safely and responsibly in a restaurant setting, something that does not formally exist yet.
“If we can do these things, this will significantly impact on our industry as well as create new jobs and businesses that are centred around cannabis hospitality.”
In Her Own Words:
“The future is bright for women in weed. Because of the sisterhood that exists within this industry, I believe we can continue to empower each other and work with one another to create change. I am so proud of everything my fellow canna-sisters have accomplished so far. This is just the beginning!"