Parenting In The Age Of Medical Marijuana
Washington D.C. area moms get together to discuss parenting and working in the cannabis industry.
Published on November 2, 2016

Being a parent is already a difficult job, but when you’re one of the many invested in the burgeoning cannabis industry you unfortunately have to tread even more carefully.

In a recent piece published by The Washington Post, Perry Stein speaks with four mothers who have banded together to form a support group where they frequently meet to discuss parenting in an age where the legal marijuana industry is on the rise.

The four mothers, Jay Mills, Chanda Macias, Shawnta Hopkins-Greene, and Jennifer Culpepper own and operate consulting firms, dispensaries, and more in the DMV area, home to the nation’s capital. While Marijuana has been legal for some time in this particular section of the country it still remains taboo and inhabits a very murky grey area. For this reason, the four mothers have some reservations when it comes to divulging to other parents what they do. This also results in a bit of apprehension when it comes to expounding what they do to their children. Code words are used, pot plants are hidden from friends on playdates, and the occasional spritz of air freshener is applied whenever their kids are picked up from school.

Leah Heise is the chief executive of Women Grow, a support network for women stepping into the marijuana industry. The concerns raised by these four mothers are those that she frequently hears echoing across the nation. To her, the best solution is to shed the embarrassment of any stigmas because the best thing these mothers can do is be as transparent and honest as possible about their professions and marijuana itself.

While these moms may be concerned with lifting the veil on what they do, they find that they have to be very aware of what their children elect to share with their peers. Jennifer Culpepper shared an anecdote detailing how her daughter had an assignment where she had to draft a business letter and chose to use her mother’s “Brand Joint” branding firm’s letterhead. Thanks to some swift action Culpepper was able to swap it out for another tamer letterhead. Jay Mills, who gardens with her son has had to take very precautious steps because in one instance during a playdate her son wanted to show a friend one of the indoor plants being grown in their home. She notes that when he gets older she’ll have a proper discussion with him about the plant and its benefits but will still make sure that his friends don’t come in contact with the plants being grown.

Each of the mothers note that working in the marijuana industry makes the discussion of their professions and the plant a bit complicated when it comes to being straightforward with their children and other parents. However, they still want a level of understanding, for their children, of the plant’s medicinal benefits without it being too overwhelming.

Greg Hurdle
Greg Hurdle is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He's written for Mass Appeal, Green Label, and Complex Media. He aims to redefine "fire content."
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