Jamie Kacz said:
“It’s amazing what a small group of dedicated individuals can do when they come together to make a difference.“
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a hard-working, energized mom who is determined to make positive change in my community. Advocating for cannabis reform has become a passion of mine because I want to help normalize cannabis by sparking the conversation to educate and bring people together to fight for reform. It is especially important for me to get more women involved in reform and in the cannabis industry. This emerging industry needs women to help shape it into one that is compassionate and has integrity.
I had an active role in leading the New Approach Missouri campaign to pass Amendment 2 on November 6. Missouri patients will soon have access to safe, convenient and affordable medical cannabis. My fight does not stop there; advocacy now is more important than ever. I will lead my organizations to fight for patient rights. My next goal is to help protect patients and the rights of parents that have recommendations for medical cannabis. I will also continue to focus my time on helping empower women to be a part of the cannabis industry to inspire positive growth.
What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
My journey started back in August 2016 when I founded the Kansas City chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Since then, I have led NORML KC to decriminalize cannabis in Kansas City (Yes on 5, passed with 74% of the votes) and helped lead the statewide New Approach Missouri campaign for Amendment 2, which passed with 66% of the votes.
My vision is to help pave the way in creating a patient focused industry in Missouri led by strong women. I also will continue to advocate for change in cannabis laws locally and statewide, specifically, patient and parent rights.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
After seeing people I loved being unable to access cannabis for conditions that could be helped by the plant, I decided that enough was enough. Seeing a real need for a central cannabis advocacy group in Kansas City, I started the Kansas City NORML Kansas City chapter, where I made quick work on affecting change. I saw laws that were unjust and knew I had to do something about it. As a result, I went about changing the laws. I started out locally in Kansas City, MO, the largest city in the state. We turned 35 grams or less into a $25 ticket. Then we took on the state, with one less Prohibition state as a result. It all started with thinking locally.
What is your Superpower?
My superpower would be the ability to bring people together for the common goal. Both of the ballot initiatives I’ve worked on have been low-budget, grassroots affairs. Knowing that dedicated volunteers bring in far more support than paid employees, we were able to centralize campaigns with community volunteers based across the state. Being able to get everyone cohesively working on the same page with a similar vision has enabled Missouri to move at a fast pace towards legalization. It’s amazing what a small group of dedicated individuals can do when they come together to make a difference.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
One of the hardest obstacles was running a local campaign with less than $700. Thankfully, Kansas City has some of the greatest and hardest working grassroots volunteers in the state and our women-run NORML KC Board was highly organized. Our volunteers helped us spread information in order to inform the public. It was all accomplished with volunteer passion and drive.
Currently, my next challenge will be ensuring implementation of Amendment 2 happens swiftly and in the best interest of patients. My continued work on the Boards of New Approach Missouri and The Missouri Cannabis Industry Association will help ensure patients are protected.
I started out locally in Kansas City, MO, the largest city in the state. We turned 35 grams or less into a $25 ticket. Then we took on the State, with one less Prohibition state as a result. It all started with thinking locally.
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
One of my passions has been empowering women to lead the fight for legalization in Missouri. Now that we have accomplished this goal, it’s time for women to work together to make the industry in Missouri the way we truly envision it, one built with compassion and integrity. We need to work to build each other up, fight for what is right and empower one another. I would also tell women to not be afraid. I have spoken with many women that want to be in the industry, but are afraid of what that means for them as a mother and professional. They are concerned about the stigma associated with cannabis. I tell them that the more women we have that are being a voice to this emerging industry and getting involved, the quicker that stigma will disappear.
Connect with Jamie Kacz and NORML KC: