Stephanie Karasick said:
“My hope is that we can help continue to shape the medical cannabis industry into a thoughtful, compassionate and well-respected one.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I’m a 46 year old mom and wife whose life had been so profoundly impacted by cannabis that it inspired me to help other people who may also benefit from it. I envisioned an app that would help guide people through the confusing, scary and often shameful journey of medical cannabis.
What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
In August of 2014, I got my recommendation for medical cannabis. Within a year of that, I was knee-deep in creating a tracking prototype that would later become Strainprint. After countless hours, it still feels like this all happened so fast.
My vision and mission for Strainprint is to continue to grow across North America in order to help as many cannabis patients as possible learn to use cannabis better and live a better quality of life. It’s our aim to advance the scientific understanding of cannabis and its legitimization as a therapy.
My hope is that we can help continue to shape the medical cannabis industry into a thoughtful, compassionate and well-respected one.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
I got started working in the cannabis industry purely by accident. I had recently been given a diagnosis of PTSD and was struggling with constant anxiety and depression. A psychiatrist suggested I consider medical cannabis. I was a bit surprised to have a doctor talk to me about it, but was open to it after a few nights of reading stuff online, that a lot of veterans were using it for PTSD.
Shortly after that, I got my medical recommendation but didn’t know where to start. I blindly ordered a few different strains and quickly discovered two things:
- Cannabis worked for me!
- Not all cannabis worked for me as well.
I was shocked at the lack of information available, and fascinated with understanding how cannabis interacted with my body – what strains and dosages worked best.
That’s when I began taking notes. I wrote a detailed hand-written journal of all of my cannabis experiences. When I brought it to my doctor a few months later, he was so impressed and interested that I knew I had to do something bigger. I needed to create an easy way for patients to record their cannabis experiences, as they were experiencing the effects.
You can’t remember pain, or how much relief you may have experienced from a certain strain, but if you have a way to record that, you can see it – and learn accordingly.
What is your Superpower?
My superpower is also my greatest challenge. It’s an excessive level of Empathy. I feel other people’s pain so deeply that it often inhibits me from feeling joy. But in a sense, it’s what has driven the creation of Strainprint.
I want to help so many people learn how to use this plant better, so they too can feel better.
I get to interact with our users on a daily basis. It means everything to me, to see them and I want them to be seen. For that reason, I send all of our users who are redeeming loyalty points a hand-written note. I need to connect with them because I care and want them to know they’re not alone.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
It’s probably cliché, but it’s the balance thing. We’ve grown so rapidly, and I’m compelled to want to help every patient and be there for everyone all the time. It’s really all-consuming, and there are no days off.
But I have two young girls and a husband, and they want my attention too. So I’ve had to get better at shutting off the phone and not compulsively checking emails and private messages from users. It’s a process, and I don’t think I have it down yet. Luckily, I do have a dog that needs walks and that forces me to get out and breathe.
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
We need to work together to support, build each other up and learn from one another. There are some incredible women in this space, but not enough. Yes, it’s a male-dominated industry, many that come from other industries not related to cannabis, and don’t have much understanding about what patients face every day.
The women I think of and smile are the ones who get it, who care, who have been in the trenches, and are willing to pour hours of their time into a making this industry better. We need more of these women and they need to be in decision-making positions, to gently guide and inspire.
Download the Strainprint free medical cannabis app.
Connect with Stephanie Karasick
LINKEDIN: Strainpoint Technologies Ltd.