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Meet Cristina Espiritu of 420 Foodie Club

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristina Espiritu.

Cristina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always been interested in food, and the culture and history behind it. I grew up in the Philippines, where gathering around the kitchen table and eating a meal together is a way to foster connection and communication between family and friends. Cannabis cuisine fascinates me because it is creative and new, and it really is the “wild west” of modern cuisine. Gathering around a cannabis meal engages (and heightens) all the senses and therefore sparks interesting debate, conversation, and communication.

With a desire to take the entire scope of the cannabis cuisine concept to a new level, I began doing some research on the internet on cannabis cuisine as well as cannabis chefs, events, recipes and directories. I was amazed to find nothing substantial. So I decided to create a site myself and what evolved was 420 Foodie Club, a definitive space for everything cannabis, including events, seminars, a comprehensive directory, interviews and bios of top cannabis chefs and, of course, recipes of cannabis dishes and desserts.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are two major challenges that I have encountered during the time that we have been in business. First, cannabis is a highly regulated industry. It is almost a full-time job to keep up with the strict and ever-changing regulations in California, especially as we usher in and enter 2018. Therefore, it is imperative to align yourself with knowledgeable advisors and mentors that can help you navigate through this process.

Second, there is still taboo associated with cannabis and stigma that every person who consumes cannabis is a “stoner.” Cannabis has been known to have medical and health benefits, and has helped in alleviating many different ailments, from pain to anxiety and seizures. Every day, I have to educate people that cannabis is not just about getting “high”.

Please tell us about 420 Foodie Club.
420 Foodie Club is a thriving community and educational resource for people who love to cook, make, consume and learn about cannabis cuisine. We strive to destigmatize cannabis food as more than just “pot brownies” by showcasing the diversity and creativity of the modern wave of cannabis chefs and edible makers.

One thing we are passionate about is creating connections, and a great (and delicious) way to bond is over food! Through 420 Foodie Club, you can meet cannabis food entrepreneurs, learn to make creative cannabis recipes, review the latest edible products, and learn about the hottest cannabis food events.

A large segment of the people who go to our website are medical marijuana patients who would like to learn how to easily infuse their meals. They are people who are looking for alternative ways to take cannabis aside from smoking or vaping. Our site provides simple and delicious recipes that they (or their caretakers) can do at the comfort of their home.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would not do anything differently. Every setback and every mistake has been a stepping stone to creating success.

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