Hosted by medical cannabis advocate and pioneer, “Mama Sue” Taylor, Plants Over Pills is a new interview series in collaboration with Glass House Brands, about choosing cannabis over prescription pills for health and healing.
Taylor is a cannabis advocate with a focus on seniors and co-founder and executive director of Farmacy Berkeley in California, the first Black woman to open a medical cannabis dispensary in the city. Her mission is to close a generational gap and help eliminate the stigma surrounding the cannabis plant—something she’s doing with Mama Sue Wellness and the cannabinoid-based products they provide.
The podcast, however, provides a censorship-free space where people, including seniors, can talk about medical cannabis openly. Taylor and her family collaborated with Glass House Brands, whom she serves as Brand Ambassador, to bring the podcast to life.
Her years of wisdom are manifested by her warmth on the show. On the first episode, Taylor interviewed Diane Kazan, occupational therapist, who explained how CBD helped her recover from knee surgery instead of defaulting to opioids.
“Real people. Real stories,” the podcast promises, and the show is already doing that. That’s where the podcast comes into play, and amid the opioid and fentanyl overdose crisis gripping the U.S.—it’s time for an alternative.
“Cannabis is a much more holistic way to heal the body than taking a pill that’s foreign to the body,” says Taylor. “And don’t get me wrong, some people need those pharmaceuticals to keep them alive.”
But there are many other ways medical cannabis can be utilized. Her path into the medical cannabis world is a bit out of the ordinary, learning about the plant’s healing powers later on in life.
“You know what I did before I started working with seniors in cannabis? You know what I did?” Taylor laughs. “I was a Catholic school principal.”
Those leadership skills as principal translated well in the medical cannabis sphere, launching her own brand and serving as a brand ambassador. Taylor’s past led to her nickname, “Mother Teresa of Cannabis.”
“I’m denoted as the Mother Teresa of Cannabis,” she says, which is ironic in her own words. “I’m the most kind of unlikely person to be an advocate for cannabis because I didn’t grow up with it. I was against it. It scared me to death even after I was working with for five years. I was still afraid and very few people that I worked in cannabis because of the stigma associated, with me being a person of color. I really didn’t want that—another stigma tag as well being an African American.”
Simply conducting educational seminars on cannabis and working with patients ended up getting her labeled as a drug dealer. But she aims to get healthy, not to get high, and the products she stands behind are typically infused with CBD and other cannabinoids but not designed for recreational purposes.
A Place to Get Real About Cannabis
One television star opened up on the show, describing how mainstream TV networks won’t allow them to say that cannabis heals or any unproven applications of the plant.
Television stars aren’t exactly free to discuss medical cannabis openly on-air—a topic that emerged on the podcast’s second episode. Former Bravo Shahs of Sunset star, Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, revealed on the podcast that NBCUniversal prohibited her from using the term “healing” in describing her use of medical cannabis.
TV networks are simply saying essentially the same thing as the federal government, which still classifies cannabis as a schedule I substance with no medical value. The DEA wrote that it agreed with the FDA, saying that “marijuana has no federally approved medical use for treatment in the U.S. and thus it remains as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.” (That could change soon after the Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to the DEA last summer.)
Taylor and cannabis advocates argue that medical cannabis can replace pharmaceuticals in many cases.
Gharachedaghi opened up about her past issues battling substance abuse and how cannabis has allowed her to heal—both physically and psychologically. “Cannabis has played a pivotal role in my life,” Gharachedaghi said on the podcast, explaining how she lives with rheumatoid arthritis, which constantly attacks 44 joints in her body, representing an acute form of autoimmune disease. Gharachedaghi eventually turned to cannabis. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are currently being studied for their efficacy in treating people living with rheumatoid arthritis. Of course, Gharachedaghi wasn’t allowed to say this on camera or make any medical claims. She has her own cannabis line, Wusah, as well.
Older generations are becoming aware of the medical potential of cannabis.
“People just aren’t educated,” she says. “They just weren’t educated about what was going on and what was new. And one good thing about the Plants Over Pills podcast, in our episode, that we’re doing, it has a lot to do with destigmatizing cannabis, including celebrities and business professionals—people who have not only improved quality of life,” she says, but have undergone a complete transformation in their journey to good health.
Taylor told Katie Couric Media last year about her goals including demystifying cannabis for seniors, and that led to her son enrolling in Oaksterdam University, a school specifically providing tools for the cannabis industry.
Glass House Brands is the largest cannabis operator in California with 10 dispensaries and powering beloved brands such as Glass House Farms, PLUS Products, Allswell, F/ELD, Forbidden Flowers, and Taylor’s own Mama Sue Wellness.
Tune in to the Plants Over Pills podcast on YouTube to learn more about how the power of medical cannabis is helping multiple generations of people.
Hosted by medical cannabis advocate and pioneer, “Mama Sue” Taylor, Plants Over Pills is a new interview series about choosing cannabis over prescription pills. Read More