I’m Writing About Cannabis.
The medical cannabis industry has been growing steadily for years, and I already feel behind! I’ve always been a geek about this giggly, illicit substance, but I never got into selling or cultivating it. It’s just been with me, this friend of 15-odd years that helps me remember why I love being alive and learning new things. Now cannabis is becoming a partner and a subject.
I’ve been on this experiment to apply my creative and academic writing skills to the almighty current of capitalist marketing for over two years now. I’ve learned a ton as a freelance copywriter, and still have much more to absorb before it all changes again. Keeping abreast of changes in digital marketing trends AND the legal cannabis industry has never been easier or more crucial, though also very exhausting.
When it came to thinking about my specialties, the art industry was a no-brainer: I’ve been working with college artists since 2010, and like to think I have a great report with the slightly off-kilter, and a natural intuition for abstract concepts. So working with arts organizations and individual artists was hardly work at all, though I spent hours researching and revising.
I like learning and then writing about complex structures, bizarre physics, or multimedia effects. My father was an engineer and my mother was in the medical field, so I think I have a natural strain of curiosity for the way things and bodies work.
Before I begin researching industry terms and SEO stuff, I take the time to listen very closely to the “voice” behind a company. That may be a business owner’s turn of phrase or what previous marketing efforts communicated. In the cannabis industry, anecdotes reign supreme. Even though everyone’s brain is wired differently, individual stories of a particular strain sometimes do more for education and advertising than the chemical break-down.
Writing about cannabis combines a few things that make my soul glow. As I mentioned, I’ve been attracted to the plant since I was a child and had mystical dreams about it, even before I tried it. I wouldn’t recommend anyone begin taking cannabis before their brain has fully developed, but I did try it for the first time at 16 and knew it was for me. (I’d also tried a cigarette and knew immediately the opposite). It made living in a hoarder home much, much easier, for one thing. For another, it released me from my anxiety over what others’ thought about me and my body, allowing me to reconnect with the things that I loved as a child: nature, art and music, magic, and absurd humor. We don’t realize when we hit adolescence that so much of ourselves can get buried in anxiety and loneliness. I only hope in the future there is a suitable version of cannabis for those under 24, that doesn’t have the same increased risk of schizophrenia or abuse.
Honestly, it’s crazy how I just recently woke up to the realization that my skill sets would have a positive impact on Maryland cannabis community. I’ve always been a writer, because I am fascinated by the way people live and the way they tell their stories. The characters in my fiction use me as a medium. If I could have my wish, I would get out of the way entirely and become a direct conduit for these fictional beings.
I spent my summers as a teenager volunteering with the Rockville Garden Club. The president of the club, Mrs. C lived on my street growing up (still does), and she and her late husband had been friends with my parents for years. She was my supervisor, friend, and the work was a great way to get exercise and fulfill my community service requirement for graduation.
Together we carried flats of plants, huge bags of mulch, buckets of tools, and gallon jugs of water to bus stops, schools, and churches. We dug out weeds, cleared overgrown areas and transformed them into neat and tidy patches of bright colors and beautiful shapes. I learned the value of community beautification efforts, and have a great appreciation for the people who tend these areas full time.
Mrs. C anthropomorphized the plants, saying things like, “We’ve gotta get this guy in the ground, he’s all root-wrapped, poor thing.” We pruned and dug and treated everything with plant food, or lime for tomato plants. I wrote my college essay about how gardening helped me renew my spirituality. I may also have been writing about weed.
Let’s End the Stigma
The stigma against cannabis is real, and it’s upheld by well-meaning people like my parents. My only hope is that by quietly and steadily doing the work to promote education on the safe use of this incredibly effective drug in my home state, I can help change minds and connect people–like my conservative folks–to the relief they need to live better.
Follow me on Instagram (@lit_witchcraft) to read some strain reviews, see some crystals or cats, and whatever magic I’m into these days!
*Heading credit: blks.