Submitted by: Danielle Rosellison, President of The Cannabis Alliance
Iam not that different from you, you know? I’ve lived in Bellingham for 17 years and am a Pacific Northwesterner to the core. I know summer doesn’t officially start until the 5th of July and that it’s beautiful through September. I love spending time outdoors with my husband and best friend, Juddy. I constantly battle “mom guilt” wondering if I’m spending enough time with my five and seven-year olds. I love my mother dearly and couldn’t be a working mom without her. Sound familiar?
The only major difference is probably that I own and run a cannabis farm. Ten thousand square feet of marijuana, a plant the government deemed eighty years ago as having no medicinal value, puts food on my children’s table and a roof over their heads. It does the same for the twenty plus employees we have working here at any given time.
I didn’t plan on being a cannabis entrepreneur. I was really just chasing the American Dream. Take a chance, work hard, put everything you have behind an idea and anyone can become a millionaire. Rags to riches, right?
While I’m still waiting for the riches, what has been really great to watch over the last three and a half years is how my littles perceive their parents’ career. First, if you ask them what their parents do for a living they will tell you that we “solve problems.” Sounds like a normal American small business owner, right? They think it’s stupid that they can’t come inside the warehouse and they look forward to being 21, not so that they can consume adult beverages, but so they can come to work with their parents. They also view cannabis in a completely different light than my generation. My seven year old asked me the other day, “Mama? Does that plant you grow, cannabis, does it save lives?” It caught me off guard. I realized that my children are growing up in a time when cannabis is viewed as something that can help people rather than something that tears families apart.
As parents, it is our duty to raise informed citizens, to be good role models and to teach our kids to think for themselves. Although working in the cannabis industry was never my plan (I was going to be a school teacher and have the degree to prove it), I’m thankful for all the teachable moments it has given our family. Since this is such a politically charged industry, my kids have learned the importance (at an age appropriate level of course) of being involved with their government. They’ve learned if they don’t like the rules, they should work to change them. They have learned that nothing comes easy (entrepreneurship is an emotional roller-coaster) and, if you work hard at something, anything is possible. I think, perhaps just like your family, these are American values that any mom would be proud to see instilled in her children.
Danielle Rosellison is an owner/operating manager of Trail Blazin’ Productions, a cannabis farm in Bellingham WA. She is also the President of The Cannabis Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of a vital, ethical and sustainable cannabis industry.