Interview: Melissa Etheridge
While an occasional smoker, Etheridge truly came to cannabis not as a recreational rockstar, but as a cancer patient and medical advocate, and has recently launched a CBD-based ‘infused wine tincture’ with partners from Greenway SantaCruz. It’s easy for us commonfolk to make our own assumptions about the rockstar/celebrity lifestyle and motivation to profit from cannabis; however, with both her business and personal advocacy, Etheridge defies those easy assumptions by paving the way for new kinds of hybrid products to reach those largely-untapped and underrepresented markets whose introduction to cannabis she eases.
During our interview, we discussed her entry into cannabis, why she says that “Middle-Aged Women Are Leading the Revolution,” her advice for fellow parents about talking to adolescent kids about cannabis, how entrepreneurs can best advocate for legalization, and how her CBD wine tincture is changing the game and opening new doors.
HIGHLIGHTS & QUICK LINKS
- Etheridge’s entry to cannabis was chemotherapy, not the ‘rockstar lifestyle,’ which for her meant working extra hard to overcome stigmas as a woman and lesbian (1:02)
- Getting over the fear when talking about cannabis and her opening the door to a wider audience who have had years of misinformation (2:25), especially the importance of removing cannabis from a Schedule 1 drug and paying attention to medicinal/therapeutic benefits.
- The similarities with LGBTQ advocacy and the importance of “coming out” and not being afraid to publicly identify with your beliefs while living a productive life (6:16 & 9:51)
- How she approached speaking to her four (!) children about cannabis and the similarities between talking to kids about alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs (7:30)
- Her suggestions for potential cannabis entrepreneurs in states with upcoming legalization votes and political movements? (10:49)
- How to do more to get entrepreneurs, activists, and all citizens more engaged? (12:15)
- What does she think about our chances of legalizing in Vermont and how to bring the underground community into the mainstream movement? (13:27)
- Her recent experience launching Know Label CBD wine tincture with Greenway Compassionate Relief in Santa Cruz and how it’s paving the way for the market of diverse agricultural products that include cannabis (14:45)