Samantha Kramer said:
“Our society and planet stand to benefit so much from reintegrating cannabis back into the American economy…”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I currently work as DopeBoo’s Content Editor while attending law school full time. I spend most of my time bouncing between Chicago coffee shops either writing and editing cannabis content or burying my nose in law books.
What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
My now-husband and I were President and Vice President of Students for Cannabis Policy Reform at our undergraduate school. This was my first formal role in cannabis culture. It took about two years working with ACLU to get our school to allow this type of club. I learned at a recent Illinois Women in Cannabis meeting that they now have an award-winning chapter of the nationwide Students for Sensible Drug Policy Alliance.
I’d like to keep opening these kinds of doors in my career, to help define this new industry that isn’t shackled by antiquated norms, hasn’t yet built its glass ceiling, and has the potential to help a lot of people. For me, that means mastering all the complicated rules and regulations to help business owners reduce their risk and grow successful operations.
In 2008, I saw my first cannabis advocate speak. I’ve seen dozens since, but that first in-person story always stuck with me.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
In 2008, I saw my first cannabis advocate speak. I’ve seen dozens since, but that first in-person story always stuck with me. I don’t remember the woman’s name. She was a mom with debilitating pain. Her doctors put her one medicine, that turned into two, which led to side-effects that became a landslide into thirteen medications. She became a zombie, was missing all of her kids important events because these medications kept her tied to the couch. She ended up eliminating nearly all the pills with cannabis and was able to be present for her kids’ childhoods again.
Her story made me realize that this isn’t just some kooky counterculture. People in pain, and the people they love, are taking the time and energy from their struggle – for their struggle — to fight for cannabis. That’s when I decided to really stick by them, to speak up for them; so that when people – including myself and my loved ones – find ourselves in pain, we can all have this safe, effective option – without having to uproot our families during an already painful time in our lives, when we need the people and places we know the most.
What is your Superpower?
Persistence. I’ve been bringing up the benefits of cannabis in rooms full of people who don’t always want to hear it for over ten years now. Every time I start to drift away from the industry, the compassionate side of the cause pulls me right back in. So I guess you could say my superpower is the ability to turn my nose up to foundation-less taboos and keep showing up to defend cannabis where and when I can.
Ideally, I envision cannabis as a mindful industry – with quality, equality, sustainability, and integrity as its guiding principles.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
The greatest obstacle in entering this industry is the laws. They’re complicated and they’re always changing. While I was operating my own female-driven cannabusiness, I discovered how hard it is to find consistent, reliable information. You want to stay in line with business regulations and cannabis laws, but there’s a lot to learn.
So I started secretly studying for the LSATs: I told myself if I could score high enough for a scholarship, I’d jump in and learn it for myself. I ended up landing some pretty incredible scholarship offers, and now I’ve got my first year with Honor Roll under my belt. I guess that means I’m still tackling the problem—and it feels pretty good!
What is your vision for women in the cannabis industry?
Ideally, I envision cannabis as a mindful industry – with quality, equality, sustainability, and integrity as its guiding principles. I think these values are what have helped keep pushing the cause forward over the decades – a sense of right and wrong. Our society and planet stand to benefit so much from reintegrating cannabis back into the American economy, I only worry about what challenges commercial sharks will bring.
Connect with Samantha Kramer/DopeBoo: