Nicole Maxali said: “I want to change people’s perception of what REAL cannabis users are like. There are many cannabis users like myself that are successful professionals and positive contributors to society.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a Creatrix (a female creator) and natural hustler. I manifest magic. I have many passions and pursuits: from creating and writing a comedy pilot to touring my one-woman show across the nation to being an International Motivational Speaker on self- empowerment and creating your dreams with fans around the globe. I 100% believe you can do anything you put your mind to and pour your heart into.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
My professional journey into the cannabis industry began with my employment by a creative agency and bi-annual publication, MARY Magazine. I aligned with MARY’s mission statement of changing negative impressions of cannabis users and cultivating community and togetherness. This, in turn, inspired me to write a show about women of color in the SF Bay Area cannabis industry.
My vision and mission is in total alignment with MARY Magazine. I want to change people’s perception of what REAL cannabis users are like. There are many cannabis users like myself that are successful professionals and positive contributors to society. The stereotypes that all cannabis users are potheads, dumb, criminals or losers is trite.
I think most people have been conditioned to think cannabis is a “gateway drug” and only negatively impacts people. My grandmother definitely felt that way and so do other members of my family. But in my opinion, cannabis is definitely a healing plant and a tool for connecting to others and self. Whenever I’ve shared it with others, there is this sense of connection or community that you don’t otherwise feel. In my experience with the plant, egos tend to lower and inner walls come down, which allows you to connect with others with more openness and respect.
As my father would also say, “cannabis is all about good vibes, maaaaaan!” And that’s the intention I wanted to create with this series, to show THAT kind of cannabis culture, community, connection, and good vibes… before the cannabis plant goes completely legal and corporatized.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
As a creative and performer, I utilized cannabis to help me with my social and performance anxiety. When I was doing stand-up comedy, I used it during my joke writing process. My father had used cannabis off and on since my childhood for his chronic back pain, so cannabis use wasn’t stigmatized in my family like most Asian Americans. My dad was more relaxed about its use and there were times we’d even share a joint together before my nights out hitting up the open mic scene in San Francisco. Those are some of my fondest adult memories with my dad: us sharing a joint and him pushing me to keep writing and “being a voice of my generation.”
What is your Superpower?
Manifesting Magic! Just like comedy and cannabis, there is something healing about the work I do. Whether it’s inspiring a new generation of POC filmmakers or helping a client finally get out of their own way and believe in their own dreams, I believe my calling on this planet is to help people and uplift the frequency of this planet. In essence, make the world a more positive place. So to answer your question, my power of Manifestation is definitely one of my top superpowers. I go all over the world and teach workshops on this very subject. Here’s my manifestation website: http://www.manifestingmagic.vip
In my experience with the plant, egos tend to lower and inner walls come down, which allows you to connect with others with more openness and respect.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
Whew! There have been so many! But I think one of the biggest ones that actually propelled me into the work I do now was the sudden and tragic death of my father. My father passed away eight years ago.
After his death I realized that my life was not in alignment with what I truly wanted.I had a well paid Events Management job with a great apartment in the SF Bay Area. But I wasn’t doing what I was really passionate about, which was acting, writing, and producing. I remembered my father’s last wish for me was to, “Follow your heart, Follow your karma. Move to New York and never stop doing your art!”
So I quit my job in California and moved 2,000 miles away to manifest a life that I always dreamed as a full-time creative in New York City. This led to me working for a cannabis creative agency and magazine. Also from the time I left San Francisco, I have manifested all-expenses paid world travel, became an international motivational speaker, booked multiple national commercials, opened for the iconic comedian Dave Chappelle, wrote and created my first comedy series pilot, Good Vibes, which is premiering this month at the 42nd Annual Asian American International Film Festival in New York.
I still miss my father everyday, but now I see that it was the push I needed in order for me to get out of my own way and get out of my comfort zone. Dave Chappelle once told me, “Often times in life, when you have big dreams you have to take big risks. And sometimes life requires you to take multiple risks! Don’t be scared to keep jumping, Nicole! You’re headed somewhere no one else has ever gone before.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
Today more and more women are leading the cannabis scene and staking their claim in a previously male dominated industry. That’s how amazing this plant is. My friend and cannabis activist, Nina Parks, is one of many women of color fighting for social equity in the emergent cannabis industry. She also helped to shape “Cannabis Equity Programs” in San Francisco. It’s women like Nina that are currently shaping the SF cannabis scene and I’m all for it!
Also, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement has been impacting women in ALL industries. So we see this emergence of women not taking b.s. from people anymore and standing up for themselves and their businesses while RECLAIMING THEIR OWN POWER!
I think it’s important to call out inequality and harassment when we see and experience it. AND It’s also about cultivating community and supporting each other. Like I said, I feel that the spirit of this plant is one of connection. And the businesses that respect that instead of just exploit it will be the ones that “make it.” I would also ask all women in this industry, “What are your intentions?” If it’s just about making money to you… you can do that but learn ways to also honor this plant and its healing attributes.
Connect with Nicole Maxali: