Laura Lagano said: “My greatest obstacle has been combatting the cannaphobia that is left over from the days of Reefer Madness. Fear of cannabis has no demographic.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a healer and educator who teaches people about lifestyle choices that can change health outcomes. The teaching that I do ranges from one-on-one nutrition and wellness counseling with patients to presenting at conferences, and from consulting with companies to developing online cannabis education curriculum.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I started working in the cannabis field in 2014, which is the same time that I began to look at the plant and its healing properties for my daughter Isabella, who has a development delay. My vision and mission is to combat cannaphobia and educate the world about this ancient plant and its benefits.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
If you had told me when I was in college that I’d be teaching patients and practitioners about using cannabis, I would have replied, “Are you high?” I also never would have imagined that I’d give my child cannabis to help her manage anxiety, improve focus and quell gut issues.
But here I was, a registered dietitian nutritionist, who was delivered a child with special needs. My daughter Isabella Speranza, whose name means “beautiful hope,” has a chromosomal duplication, one of the most common genetic disorders associated with autism.
CBD is regarded as a potent anti-inflammatory, so I knew cannabis could help optimize Isabella’s nutrition and gut health, and I suspected, it would help manage her anxiety, too. I didn’t expect that it would help improve her expressive language and focus. This was beyond an “aha” moment. This was a what-took-you-so-long moment.
Today, at 22, Isabella works at a cafe, training to be a barista—the same girl that a doctor claimed would never speak. Go see her in action, making cold brew and chatting up the customers. (Excerpted from “Mother’s Big Helper” in Kitchen Toke Magazine)
What is your Superpower?
To read people’s thoughts.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
My greatest obstacle has been combatting the cannaphobia that is left over from the days of Reefer Madness. Fear of cannabis has no demographic. Education is the answer, which is why I wrote a book about CBD and why I co-founded an education program about integrating cannabis with other holistic approaches.
“My vision and mission is to combat cannaphobia and educate the world about this ancient plant and its benefits.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
When I started in the cannabis industry in 2014, I’d see primarily women, and in fact middle-aged women like me, at networking events and on panels. That’s when we had fewer than 10 states with medical cannabis. Since cannabis has become more accepted, men have entered into the equation in larger numbers. Now, I see panels with nary a woman. My advice is stay with it. Do not be a shrinking violet. Stand proud and tall—even if you’re 5 foot 1 like me!
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