This California girl is advocating for the plant for life!
Sailene Ossman’s list of entrepreneurial projects within the cannabis space reads like a fine-tuned map on her journey in educating herself and others on the benefits of cannabis as a beneficial and spiritually guided tool in the kit of transformative processes. But her journey to becoming a public person didn’t start with weed. Her path was put before her when she managed Abbott’s Habit, a coffee house on popular Abbott-Kinney Avenue in Venice Beach, California, in the mid-1990s.
Known as the Queen of Venice, the coffee shop she ran was referred to as a legendary hub of the local community. But, little did many know that at the time, she was this very public person; she also had a very private life.
After California became the first state in the country to allow cannabis as medicine, Sailene quietly opened up the first cannabis delivery service (with no name) in the eclectic beach community.
While she and her team were delivering, she also facilitated private parties via her Privee Social Club, hosting infused gatherings and dinners around the country for the likes of P. Diddy. At about the same time, she began producing and hosting Smoke in the Kitchen, with Mama Sailene, for Snoop Dogg’s Merry Jane Network. As if this wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she co-founded the Glowing Goddess Getaways, the ultimate camp-out for weed-loving ladies, where the dab bar opens at 7 a.m., and Mama Sailene herself leads the morning meditation.Rolling Stone further dubbed her “The goddess earth mother you always wished you had… Mama Sailene, the nurturing and cheery feminist cannabis guru.”
Busted & Blessed
Ossman’s delivery service had a base membership of upwards of 5,000. She met supply and demand under the guidelines of the compassionate care program with Proposition 215, making California the first state to accept cannabis as medicine in 1996.
By 2003, she and her delivery girl’s homes were raided after a mole informed them. “My husband called me and said I had better get home because officers were waiting,” she said. “I smoked five joints on the way and dropped off the weed I had with me at a friend’s home.
We had heard someone would do something, so I had the wherewithal to pull material from the house, but they had already confiscated material from my delivery girls’ homes.”Ossman was given 200 hours of community service and paid a $20,000 restitution fee.“I put in 100 hours at the County Morgue alone and another 100 feeding people at a homeless shelter.
I considered the whole experience a blessing because I met and got to know one of the greatest criminal defense lawyers of all time, specializing in cannabis, Eric Shevin.”Shevin reaffirmed to Ossman what she already knew in her heart, that she was doing the right thing in distributing cannabis – a plant he also loved and understood to be medicine, telling her that everything she did was beautiful and that she was helping spread the love.“Being sucked into the Federal criminal system is scary, but having an attorney who gets what you are doing and supports you fully, was a gift,” she added. “He told me I need to follow all the rules because we’d slacked and become too confident. It’s easy to do when the demand for the plant in the community is so great.” Acquiring a false sense of security locally is easy when business is booming. But, forgetting that the plant is still llegal on a Federal level, and controlled locally, is where many in the industry get into trouble. In 2004 Ossman redirected her energies into private events for celebrities and the entertainment industry, catering to the MTV crowd of Los Angeles and starting up her cooking show with Snoop Dogg.
Finding her Medicine
Aside from Ossman’s success in business, discovering the plant as medicine began after she suffered from a near-fatal car accident when she was just 19 years old.Lucky to be alive, her injuries included a spinal fracture at C2, a fractured sternum, five broken ribs, and a compound fracture of her right leg – nearly resulting in the amputation of her foot – chronic pain, arthritis, and neck degeneration.It took months for her to learn to walk again, with her dad dubbing her his “walking miracle baby.” She had a tracheotomy and was in traction on her back in the I.C.U. when a respiratory therapist compared cannabis to other medications as a bronchodilator – or a productive cough that would loosen the phlegm, preventing her lungs from filling up and causing pneumonia. “That’s when I realized she was telling me that cannabis was medicine,” she shared. “Once I got home, I began researching the many ways I could use the plant to help me heal, stop the pain, and do away with some of the pharmaceuticals that felt like they were doing more harm than good.”
CBD for All
When Cider Mill Press called, Ossman was asked to create a book of classic cocktail recipes using CBD tinctures, botanical infusions, and infused bitters. It’s a clever book titled “CBD Cocktails: Take the edge off with over 100 relaxing recipes.”Since CBD from Hemp, or whole plant cannabis high in cannabidiol, can be purchased and shipped across state lines in the U.S., any of the dozens of CBD tinctures listed can be easily acquired. The book is filled with a traditional cocktail and mocktail recipes, with specific dosing from each manufacturer listed for each cocktail.The book’s introduction briefly introduces the history of cannabis and its origins since 700 B.C.E., in countries we know today as China, Tibet, and India. Ossman expounds on its use as medicine and in Shamanistic rituals, making
its way to America approximately 400 years ago.“Cannabinoid receptors in the body need higher levels of T.H.C. to be activated than those present in CBD products alone,” she writes. “This is why users find that the products containing only CBD are less effective, and why products using the entire plant, T.H.C. and all, work best, especially when it comes to pain management.”
Shortly after the book was released, Ossman opened the first brick-and-mortar CBD and plant-based bar, Brewja Elixir Bar, in her new home of Josuha Tree in the California Desert.The shop is as magical and eclectic as the desert town. It is complete with a mushroom room, where fungi are incorporated with other beneficial plants as healing and immune system-boosting beverages, tonics, and elixirs. “We’ve utilized an outside space to create community building through workshops, live music, with plant and fungi themed events,” she explained. “We’ve invited local musicians and artists to be involved, and it quickly becomes a magical healing hub in the community.”From Venice Beach to Joshua Tree, Ossman has created yet another community place with artists, musicians, and a large tribe, which once again calls her own. She’s even seen her beach friends make the trek to the desert, bringing her full circle with her entire California Tribe.“When my husband and I first announced we’d be coming out to the desert, friends were skeptical, but they get it now,” she said. “We create our magic wherever we are – with music, art, and now libations – and the plants are a big part of that.
”In opening Brewja Elixir, she’s also become an integral part of the Cali Sober movement, where cannabis patients and partakers are shunning alcohol for mocktails of weed and fungi, otherwise known as a healing and mind-opening psychedelic mushrooms.“These plants are miracle plants,” she surmised. “They’ve been with us on this planet for thousands of years, and we are just returning to the garden as a species after being led away from it for decades. I’m happy to be a part of this plant spirituality reemerging for us all. Visit us in Joshua Tree and experience Cali Sober for yourself. You may find more than yourself – a whole other life!”
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