Born in Colorado and raised in Texas, Shawmeeka Noland went from social service work to aiding hemp educators in how to enter the market with confidence. Shawmeeka, who a Hempreneur, is also a mother, grandmother, Cowboy fan, and teacher of an online cannabis coaching course aimed to take people step by step from passion to profit. Shawmeeka connected with Candid Chronicle to share her story about entering the cannabis industry, and her work with helping hemp educators, both professional and novice.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
I got involved in the cannabis industry in 2017 during my last semester at the University of Southern California for the Master of Social Work program. I was preparing for an assignment where I had to create a mock social work business in my coaching and consultation class. As I started creating my outline, I turned on a Netflix documentary discussing cannabis’s impact on creating jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the possibility to reverse the effects of the war on drugs for those who have been disproportionately affected. I got excited! After 40+ years of watching the destruction of my neighborhood, the Kemp Addition in Wichita Falls, TX, from racial profiling in the ’70s to the war on drugs in the ’80s, then the eruption of gang and drug violence in the ’90s, I saw this as a chance to rebuild my community one lot at a time.
What sets you apart in the cannabis industry?
I have a unique perspective because after working 20+ years in the social service field, I understand the importance of navigating services, building relationships, and connecting people to businesses to help them reach their goals for success.
What life changes occurred when you entered the cannabis industry?
It was an absolute step on faith, being confident in who I am, and what I add to the industry. At first, when I told family, friends, and colleagues about my course, Niches Get Riches, they gave me the side-eye with not too much to say afterward. Now I’m seen as the go-to person for folks seeking to enter the industry or develop sustainability in their existing hemp businesses.
What about the cannabis industry and community do you love?
I love the openness! The people are resourceful, passionate, and just downright a-blazing. When I first immersed myself in the community, it was largely white male-dominated. Since then, it’s been thrilling to see more Black and Brown, women-owned businesses liberated to stake their claim in the market despite adversity.
Do you have any frustrations, hopes, fears as cannabis changes?
Of course! Starting something new, in a new field definitely has some dips and slips. It’s all a part of the growing process. I keep two values in mind when I’m experiencing frustration. Surrender to the process, and keep the main thing the main thing. Then reflect on my “why.” This helps to keep me grounded and grinding!
My hope is more local, state, and federal financial resources established for underrepresented groups looking to enter the industry. Fear can be debilitating, causing stagnancy. I live above fear.
What were some of your challenges getting started in cannabis?
The internet and social media can be overwhelming, so combing through mountains of information online, searching for local resources, and finding my own niche were my biggest challenges to getting started.
Where would you like to see yourself in the cannabis industry 3 years from now?
I see myself running an industry-leading professional e-learning coaching platform built on authenticity, integrity, and respect for all humans. We see ourselves being the open door for folks looking to enter the market and cannabis businesses seeking sustainable marketing solutions. I see giving back to the Kemp Addition, offering services to individuals and families of those with prior cannabis convictions and donating to groups and organizations focused on social justice and equity.
What does the future of cannabis look like to you?
The future looks bright! Legalization and public opinion are ever-evolving for the greater good. I see a future where my grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in a world where cannabis is safe and legal on all levels. I look forward to the day when they ask, “Grandmother, tell us about the olden days of marijuana prohibition.”
How do you plan to make a positive difference in the cannabis industry?
Being present and using my voice. I want to help remove barriers and the stigma associated with cannabis for folks seeking entry. I want to make a positive impact on people, businesses, and communities by providing a safe, personable online education platform that users can access from the comfort of their homes. I want to show that there’s more to cannabis than getting high.
What makes you proud or gratified to be a part of the “legal” cannabis industry?
I’m proud to be an African-American woman in Texas, setting a standard for professional alternatives to success in the legal cannabis industry.
Do you consume cannabis? If so, how do you prefer to consume?
Yes, I consume cannabis. I’m old school, so I enjoy the art of rolling the perfect joint! I also enjoy an indica edible for a good night’s rest. Priceless!
What’s your favorite cannabis product?
Jozuri products are everything! I tested their suite of CBD topical products and fell in love. From the hair & scalp oil to the body cream (it smells just like Michelle Obama,) Jozuri products are my go-to, all-over, get-right to start my day feeling pretty doggone good.