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Meet De’Janae Evins of Green Goddess Glow

Today we’d like to introduce you to De’Janae Evins.

De’Janae, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After working in entertainment and media for a few years post-college, I decided it was not conducive to the quality of life I wanted to have. And I found myself working at a dispensary while freelancing as a wellness writer. Months prior I was reviewing CBD products on YouTube and started to take interest in learning more about the healing properties of cannabis.

But it wasn’t until I was actually behind the counter that I really started to understand more deeply the questions and concerns that people had. The differences between hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD, what cannabis products were good for insomnia, and the concept of microdosing were all new to me.

Although I had been a longtime consumer I had no idea we had an endocannabinoid system or that we had been evolving alongside this plant for thousands and thousands of years. So, I became certified as an educator through an online cannabis course.

In my experience, I realized there was a need for a more culturally comprehension approach when it comes to how we are educated about cannabis, one that’s not only rooted in scientific data but acknowledges how cannabis has been used throughout history, one that informs the idea of using cannabis for self-care, and the socioeconomic as well as eco-spiritual implications of that.

What does that even mean? That means, we’re beginning to question the stories we’ve been told and told ourselves about our cannabis use for generations. Not because the concept is new but because collectively we’re acknowledging there is a shift taking place. There’s a lot of talk about social equity and reparatory justice, redefining cannabis as a wellness tool and creating access but the first step to addressing any of these topics requires some baseline level of education on the subject.

That’s essentially how Green Goddess Glow came about. Not only do we highlight the science and research, we are dedicated to expanding the conversation of mindfulness, conscious consumption and spiritual activism to include cannabis through reclamation of the plant and our ability to be self-determining about what health and wellness looks in our communities—on our own terms. Cannabis encourages us to develop deeper connections to ourselves, each other, and the world around us.

Cannabis has always been around me, and so I’m privileged in the sense that I’ve never really had a stigma attached to the plant. It’s also why I feel extremely privileged to be doing this work.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Like anyone who’s new to cannabis, there’s a learning curve that comes with becoming an entrepreneur in this space, also. It hasn’t been smooth, it’s definitely been challenging but it’s allowed me to grow resilient and more intuitive if nothing else. I’m constantly growing closer to my work and finetuning what that looks like.

Let’s be honest: the cannabis space is not always as inclusive as it alludes to be, it’s not as safe for LGBTQ as people as it should be and there are no handouts when it comes to funding your business or finding opportunities in the cannabis space. You have to know how to pivot and stay on top of how the industry is evolving in real-time—for better or for the interest of greed.

Cannabis is showing great promise in areas like medicine, agriculture, food, wellness and beauty, fashion and textiles, renewal energy, sustainable packaging and construction. And yet, the people who built the infrastructure for the legal market have very little involvement in the trajectory of the future of cannabis. That’s been hard to watch as someone who has lobbied on the hill twice this year to ask our state representatives about the issues that concern me, and people that look like me, directly.

That being said, I feel like we have to create a culture that nurtures alternative approaches to wellness by aligning it with what we give our money, time and energy to. First through sparking the conversation, and second by doing the foundational groundwork to create change that is sustainable.

Please tell us about your work. What should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Green Goddess Glow is an educational platform sparking culture-shifting conversations around cannabis and self-care, specifically with regard to reclamation of the plant and spiritual activism.

In addition to a grow initiative.

We curate conversational media to educate our community about cannabis and create resources that support them along this journey of unlearning. Because it just doesn’t exist. IRL we’re microdosing our curriculum, through methods that prompt forward-thinking, action and gets us very grounded in our conversations about cannabis: the science, the history and where the industry is headed. This is translated through cannabis education workshops, usually, with a wellness focus, social equity trainings and corporate responsibility presentations for national cannabis brands, brand development for start-ups, public speaking engagements and we’ve even found ourselves curating pop-up events.

We have courses come online this Fall, and are currently working on some educational materials and merchandise to continue to destigmatize the plant–and the people who use it–beyond the virtual classroom.

Getting involved on the research front is also something we’ve been asked to do by the UCLA CRI. It’s exciting!

But we’re most excited to have been contracted by the city of LA to provide social equity program participants with budtender training and workforce development.

The grow initiative is our passion project and we’ll be accepting new members soon. We plan to open the garden in the early part of the year, after renovations. Once opened, members will get more hands-on experience with the plant beyond simply breaking it down before rolling up.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success by my definition is measured by my positive impact on others and meeting my own expectations. It’s measured by my ability to do this work with integrity, with ease and in honor of the ancestors who have paved the way for us to reclaim these indigenous approaches to finding balance and living well. When it comes to the success of the business, I’m looking at the number of educational programs we’re able to implement, brands we’re able to work with to create the kind of industry we’d like to be a part of and the financial health of the business. We also consider the growth of our community and strategic partnerships markers of our success.

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