Chef Lucy Sunflower brings a much needed array of individuality to the cannabis industry. Lucy, owner of tea, spice, and holistic food catering service, Lost Vegas Forever, connected with Candid Chronicle to share a bit about her introduction to cannabis, her focus on plant based foods, and her experiences working with cannabis.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
My history with cannabis started as an ideal. My other was diagnosed and died of terminal brain cancer when I was 16. That started me on a path of holistic medicine and plant based foods. My career in food and food medicine is very much influenced by the fact we can use plants as medicine. I started as a medical patient and medical chef in Oregon in 2013. Learning about processing, terpene profiles, and medical benefits simultaneously. With PTSD and anxiety, I found relief in cannabis that I hadn’t found with the years worth of Big Pharma
What sets you apart in the cannabis industry?
As a black woman I face a lot of challenges that are very familiar throughout a lot of industries. Directly, it’s assumed I don’t know much or I’m only interested in the “pop or rap” qualities of cannabis. I’ve walked into rooms using correct cannabis terminology and had people say, “Why won’t you call it weed?”
As a younger woman, I’m often offered platforms where they want me to expose my body or simulate oral sex by sucking down a bong. They call these Ganja Girls. This philosophy that I’m better as a selling point is constant. The need for black culture but the lack of acceptance for black people in these spaces is something I’m always fighting to change. So being the change in my place. I balance education with fun and food.
What life changes occurred when you entered the cannabis industry?
Stigma is something we all fight our way through in the cannabis industry. My stepmother is a known executive for a large brand, when I started consuming cannabis she was against it. As she started seeing what changes it made, she began looking into it for her employees as a way to battle big pharmaceutical dependency. In addition to my own personal relief as a life change. I can say honestly my involvement in the cannabis industry changed my family and friends more. They lost that dated ideal of a pothead, and began looking at cannabis as a cure instead of a curse.
What about the cannabis industry and community do you love?
My love for the cannabis industry revolves around my involvement of vets and children. I love sitting with my veteran patients and listening to their stories. These, oftentimes, are people I may not have been introduced to otherwise. In the time I’ve been in the cannabis community I always will appreciate how different we all are… and who else throws better parties than cannabis community members!
Do you have any frustrations, hopes, fears as cannabis changes?
My frustrations are the lack of black people in the cannabis community. The lack of black representation and involvement. My fear is that we’re leaving people in our prison system for things that are very legal now. I hope to continue to be a voice of positivity and enlightenment. I hope to continue to be a role model. I have faith more than anything that we will redeem ourselves to the ones that were sacrificed for profits.
What were some of your challenges getting started in cannabis?
One big challenge was getting there physically. I came from Washington DC. And I knew I wanted to be more involved but also work within a legal environment. Trying to settle and figure out where to start is always a problem when you’re moving. The challenges of getting hired in vending was learning on the spot. You go from black market to legal cannabis and you have a whole host of education to learn from legal to computers to horticulture
Where would you like to see yourself in the cannabis industry 3 years from now?
In three years I’ll be speaking more in public forums doing cooking demonstrations and writing books. I’d love to continue to show people cannabis cooking doesn’t always have to be old fashioned brownies and Rice Krispie treats.
What does the future of cannabis look like to you?
Cannabis to me will be global. We will be able to expand out exports and imports by including hemp. By including other countries with larger land parcels we will be able to stimulate economies and develop independence.
How do you plan to make a positive difference in the cannabis industry?
I believe in humility and practice what you preach. I will continue to be a smiling source of energy and keep stomachs full. I often donate to veterans and houseless people. It’s amazing to take a bunch of joints downtown to drop off. It’s almost like being a cannabis fairy. But in those moments, I’m learning that people use cannabis for a variety of things. I’m always increasing my knowledge.
What makes you proud or gratified to be a part of the “legal” cannabis industry?
I like being in legal cannabis as a woman because I get to provide freedom and information. A lot of women rely on men to tell them what their cannabis is going to do for them. They are often put in compromised situations. So it feels good to teach other women what they want out of the cannabis experience
Do you consume cannabis? If so, how do you prefer to consume?
My preferred way to consume cannabis is smoking. I’m a ritual smoker so in addition to lighting candles and smudging, I smoke as a way to relieve my own personal anxieties. Rolling a blunt, I prefer the tobacco, gives me something to do with my hands. I do enjoy concentrates and edibles. Taste testing edibles is one of the perks of my business
What’s your favorite strain/cannabis product/etc?
I love anything with a heavy myrcene. Couch lock is my favorite. Strains like WarHammer and anything crossed with Cherry Pie will leave me happy and satisfied.
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