Being a part of the cannabis industry can be intimidating. It means you’ll have to hang with a lot of “big shots”, although there are a fair share of nice people, perhaps even more so than in any other industry.
A business is a business, and where there’s money to be made the ground you step on may feel dangerous. Fortunately, there’s always a place for professionals who know what they’re talking about and live for it. Tammy Pettigrew is one of those people.
She is known as The Cannabis Cutie and is a California-based cannabis advocate, educator, consultant, and public speaker who knows more about the science, business aspect, and history of cannabis than most people in the game. She has a knack for teaching and a passion for debunking the myths that surround cannabis.
We caught up with Tammy, and here’s what she had to say:
Tell us about yourself and your journey with cannabis?
My journey in cannabis started in Undergrad when after completing my first semester I got a 0.8 GPA (yes it’s possible). There was a kid who lived on my dorm floor and he always smelled like weed! So it was quite the shock when he made the honor roll and I was on academic probation. All of the peer pressure finally worked and I hit my first bowl my freshman year in college.
What makes you passionate about being an educator in the cannabis industry?
I love the fact that when I educate people, I’m literally helping improve lives! So many people can empower themselves, their health, and so much more, but they don’t always have the proper information to do it. I help bridge that gap!
How does it feel being a BIPoC in a predominantly white industry?
When I first started, I was intimidated by it because powerful black women and (strong women in general) get stigmatized as being angry, and it’s so unfair to be labeled angry when you are speaking from a place of passion. It also was intimidating because I felt like even though BIPOC have taken the brunt of the ongoing War on Drugs (with the exception of Humboldt), it seemed as if our ideas and enterprises were being overlooked.
I think as our nation is coming to terms with some of our problematic behaviors, my comfort and understanding of how things work in this industry have improved! Many deserving groups are finally getting the recognition, funding and resources they need to scale and build generational wealth!
What is your all-time favorite cannabis product that you have tried?
This may be the most boring answer ever, but flower! Specifically flowers from The Originals in L.A. I will never forget receiving it as a gift, taking an inhale and being stuck in shock and the beauty of the aroma. I felt joy instantly without even trying it!
What does your day look like as a Mom working in the cannabis industry?
During the pandemic, it’s been a bit different! My mornings are spent getting the kids off to school, getting some work done or self-care in, and working in-between kid activities, shopping for the home and cooking. On days when I have to go to events or film, my babysitter, family, and friends really pull the weight and help out! It literally takes a village!
Where do you see the industry going in the next few years especially with the potential federal decriminalization?
I think it will be similar to big alcohol. Corporate entities are much too powerful and will, unfortunately, take most of the market, but I do think that family farms and smaller farms will still have a nice position in the industry. Craft beer is growing in popularity and I think craft cannabis will always be a delicacy for many consumers.
What lessons have you learned from working in the industry thus far?
I’ve learned that I must align myself with people in the industry who care about the plant. And I mean really care about the plant. If I align with people who are here to line their pockets, or fill their ego, or are seeking fame or some other temporary high, it starts to feel unfulfilling. This is the most complex industry on the planet with so much red tape and you have to love it in order to succeed and effect change.
Who/what inspired you to become the creator that you are now
I got the idea to start an educational platform after realizing there wasn’t an abundance of easy-to-understand content out there about some of this confusing information about cannabis. What did exist was not easy for the layman to understand and I have a knack for explaining complex topics.
My friends and family had been listening to me talk about cannabis for years and I was always speaking on its therapeutic benefits and researching and then teaching! It all naturally came together one day, and thus The Cannabis Cutie was born!
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