The cannabis industry is filled with many unique and inspirational stories, and Maggie's journey is exactly that. This week for "Women in Cannabis Wednesday" we chat with Maggie Tamo about how an unexpected medical diagnosis and a desire to help others, turned this career driven mom into a budding cannapreneur, launching her own brand Club Four20.
How did you get your start in the cannabis industry?
I was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in November 2011 and then Thyroid Cancer in July 2012. I followed the lead from my medical team with the traditional treatment of surgery; awake craniotomy for my brain (removed 95% of my brain cancer), complete thyroidectomy and removal of 80 lymph nodes. Alongside the surgery, we treated the brain cancer with Chemotherapy and radioactive Iodine treatment for my thyroid cancer. These treatments were over a course of 2.5 years. When my health and cancer was stable I went back to work. It was 2.5 years later when the remaining 5% of Brain Cancer started to grow back. The Doctor’s gave me the option to start Chemotherapy right away to treat it or we can wait 3 months and do another scan to measure the growth. I thought this would be an excellent time to try a more holistic natural approach to treat my cancer. There was a lot of talk surrounding Cannabis and Cancer and I wanted to give it a try. I started experimenting with vaping and ingestion of Cannabis with varying levels and THC and CBD…and when I went back for my 3 month Brain MRI it had stopped progressing. I continue with cannabis to this day and my cancer has been stable for several years. The world of cannabis was a lot more complicated than what I remembered it to be. There were several ways to consume cannabis and the 3 most popular ways were vaping, smoking and infusing it. I put together 3 everything you need kits in these areas that consist of high-quality products that were easy to use…. and that is how Club Four20 was formed.
Did your diagnosis change the way you viewed cannabis?
My diagnosis did change the way I viewed Cannabis, as I had always viewed it as a recreational drug and never for its medicinal attributes. The more research I conducted, the more I realized all of the medicinal properties and benefits it had to offer. I would classify it as a wonder drug that touches on so many illnesses; from treating migraines, slowing tumor growth, to preventing seizures, aiding with anxiety, and the list goes on and on. I now see it as a way for people to treat chronic illness or symptoms of it in a natural, non-synthetic way.
How are you hoping to impact others with your brand?
It was through my experience that Club Four20 was founded. The fundamental goal to help people through education and simplification. We define the 3 realms of smoking, vaping and infusion. We customize the kits to include everything you need to fulfill the experience and we simplify it by placing them in a beautiful package and shipping it directly to your door.
Based on your experiences what do you love most about working in the cannabis industry?
The thing I love the most about working in the cannabis industry is that it is unchartered territory. That you deal with a spectrum of people from experienced users, recreational users, medicinal users to first-timers. Everyone has an interesting story and perspective.
How do you personally feel women influence the industry?
I feel that women bring a new perspective to the industry by adding a more stylish spin to cannabis. I feel that women are just as likely to vape as they are to sip a nice merlot. I also feel that there is more of a creative influence that comes from a woman’s taste and standards.
You're a mom, do you feel like mothers in particular face a double standard when it comes to cannabis use?
I feel that there can be a double standard, as everything is with mothers, however as it becomes more mainstream and more acceptable, it is starting to fade. Since starting Club Four20 and having conversations about cannabis I’m finding more and more people are accepting of it and pretty soon vaping after putting the kids down will be just as common as having a glass or two of wine.
Do you have any advice for mothers who use cannabis?
First and foremost is to be responsible. As a single mother, I completely understand the pressures that come with having a career and raising a child. We all have good days and bad days and I find cannabis to be a healthier alternative to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Find out what works for you and don’t let other people’s judgment or opinions influence you. Only you know what is good and what works for you in making you feel better.
How does cannabis play a role in your self-care routine?
I utilize cannabis medicinally and recreationally. I have my own routine that I follow. For my cancer management, I take CBD oil during the day so I can function as a mom and with my career. At night time I take high concentration THC oil before bed so I sleep through side effects. From a recreational perspective, I prefer to Vape Sativa dominant cannabis with varying THC and CBD levels.
What advice do you have for women who want to get started in the industry?
I feel woman have an advantage simply because women shed a new perspective in a mostly male-dominated industry. Keep an open mind and let the creative juices flow as the industry is so new and untapped. Be persistent in your vision and don’t be reluctant to try new things or deviate from what society deems to be the standard. Always try and push the envelope and remember to have fun and enjoy the ride.