The Cult of Cannabis?

My mother thinks I’ve joined a cult. My father thinks I’ve become a hippie.

It’s not just because I’ve made a choice to leave a good job in NYC to join the ‘green rush.’ And it’s not just because I chose to leave my friends and family to live a nomadic life in Boulder with a vocabulary that now includes words like energy, vibration and almondmilk.

The past 8 months for me have been the most amazing learning experience, professionally and personally. The people I’ve met, conversations I’ve had, stories I’ve heard and knowledge I’ve gained….all make me want to dive in deeper. Engage more fully. Share more of this experience. I’m drinking it all in, and I want more.

I light up when I talk about what cannabis can do for people or what’s happening in the industry. I couldn’t be happier to spend time with others who are working to build businesses, affect policies and regulations and educate the rest of the world. It thrills me to help people find a cannabis product that helps them feel better. The lines between my personal and professional life are blurred, and that is perfectly fine with me.

It’s turned me into an evangelist of sorts. (A word fraught with negativity and obvious religious underpinning, but I have yet to find an alternative.) Despite the rapidly gaining acceptance and legalization of marijuana, the perception of pot and the people who consume it remains incredibly myopic.

I continue to have conversations with people who are open-minded and curious, but who also hold to the singular archetype of the unmotivated stoner (despite acknowledging pot’s medical benefits.) And that is just so far from the truth, I cannot keep my mouth shut. I am compelled to educate and to reframe the conversation. To point out that I, and many other successful, motivated people integrate cannabis into their lives. To shine the light on all its other dimensions, faces and facets. When all is said and done, I guess that’s evangelism.

Cannabis is not a cult, but it does offer a community. A cause. A common purpose and shared experience. And to an extent, you either ‘get it’ or you don’t, regardless of whether you partake personally.

So, I guess the question is, how do I help more people ‘get it’ without coming off as the crazy cannabis lady…?



About Stephanie Byer

I am an author, entrepreneur, consultant and former strategy and communications executive who found a ‘higher purpose’ in cannabis.

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