Grace Elisea, the owner of the Cabo Cannabis Company, located in downtown Cabo San Lucas, just celebrated her first anniversary of having a retail shop.
“Tourists and locals alike come in out of curiosity, but they often leave a patient,” Grace said of her work educating about cannabis and the healing compounds found within from behind the counter…
Everyone’s path into the garden of the cannabis space is similar. I liken it to the mountain in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where we are all seeing and experiencing the same thing, all drawn to the plant, with those lucky enough to be healed, then helping others. It becomes a calling wherein we must ignore the unjust laws and heal ourselves in the face of great persecution.
Grace’s story began in Arkansas, where she was born into a high-profile family surrounded by drugs and alcohol. Sadly, she was given drugs at a young age by her addicted parents. But her path to the garden was already forged, and when she discovered cannabis, she changed the life’s trajectory before her.“My mom would give me a handful of pennies for my school lunch because my parents spent their money on drugs,” she shared. “I’d leave for school with this handful of pennies, and there would already be lines of coke laid out on the coffee table.
”Her first son was born in California, with a lineage directly linked to Hugh Hefner, with the young man the spitting image of the late Playboy founder.“My child’s father was also addicted to drugs,” she said. “I never saw him get clean. He was in and out of prison, and the last time he was released, he overdosed on Fentanyl and died just one day out.”She began selling edibles to survive but said it felt right because she knew the plant was better than the other drugs she grew up surrounded with.When she was arrested on cannabis charges in Southern California, she went through one year of drug rehabilitation and three years of trials, testing, and watching Child Protective Services put her son in one Foster Care home after another.
“Once in the system, I was judged harshly,” she added. “It didn’t matter that I had a California Medical Script from a doctor because they used Federal law against me anyway. They always looked at me as a criminal, no matter how many hoops I jumped through – and there were many. Some days I would be on buses all day long – having drug tests done by three agencies in the same city. I could have been a junkie, but this plant saved me. I knew that and decided to leave the country when my son was four years old.”
On the Lamb in Mexico
Grace ignored her last court date and crossed the border into Mexico with her son and just a backpack with the bare minimum. Holding her breath as they traveled, hoping no one would ask for her ID or do a records check.“I only knew one friend of a friend in Puerto Vallarta, and he picked us up from the bus stop and helped us for a few days,” she said. “I became the weed brownie girl on the beach, walking with two trays of brownies, one infused and one non-infused, selling to tourists.
She met Jesus, her current husband, a contractor, and a builder; together, they made a life for themselves. Grace continued to make and sell medibles to tourists and locals until a line was crossed, and the Cartel had its say.“The Cartel kidnaped Jesus because we were involved in distributing cannabis products,” she explained. “It was a terrifying time, and we lost everything we had worked so hard for.”The failed War on Drugs in the U.S. began the organized crime that would infiltrate the illicit cannabis market globally (see sidebar, Weed Traveler, Understanding the Cartel). Those who don’t pay off local authorities and the Cartel aren’t protected.
Jesus was released, the family returned to Cabo San Lucas, and they never looked back.While the Cartel is still in Cabo, Grace said they’d taken the backseat to CBD sales and production while monopolizing THC edibles and oil for vaping/smoking. “With supply and demand at an all-time high, surely there’s enough for everyone to thrive side by side within this industry for the greater good,” she surmised. “We just need to keep educating on the benefits because you can’t stop the healing effects of this plant.”
Life in Mexico
Grace loves Mexico and its people. She said she has the soul of a Mexican and speaks near fluent Spanish, but because she looks like a Gringa (i.e., a female American), locals often talk to her employees first, assuming she won’t understand.“I have very little connection to my American families,” she said. We’ve worked hard to get everything we have for ourselves and our family here in Mexico.”She and her family celebrate and honor Mexican traditions and holidays, and the flavors of Mexico influence the food she makes and infuses with her team.
Drug War Orphan
Grace is grateful for the plant and the path into the garden but still fearful of the powers that be.“I have a real problem with trusting authority now,” she said. “I know my truth and what this plant can do to heal people, and there’s no turning it around.”Grace said she gets criticized for making strong medibles and infused meals for clients, not because they necessarily need the high doses for recreation or their chronic pain, illnesses, and disorders, but because of what they are used to at home in the US.“My American clients are used to opiates, and their tolerance is very high – no pun intended,” she laughed. “But, it’s very sad.
In Mexico, they don’t prescribe opiatesirst. Americans freak out if they can’t find their pills, so I need to increase their doses.”American pharmaceutical companies know what their people crave and are more than happy to supply it in excess. The U.S. makes up just 4.4 percent of the world’s population yet consumes 80 percent of the world’s opioids. Valium mimics alcohol, Adderall is meth, but oxy went beyond heroin, with Americans dying in catastrophic numbers, 91,799 dying in 2020 alone, and opioids making up 82.3 percent.
In the end, it’s all semantics. Exchange the moniker Pharma with Cartel, and they are both meeting supply and demand in an unhealthy way, with the Cartel now supplying its lethal doses of Fentanyl into the states – a habit began by US pharmaceutical companies. The plant should have never been in the criminality mix in the first place. To add another layer, the THC was upped by human hands over the years. CBD or Hemp was hybridized back down to what was referred to as the God plant by hybridizer Lawrence Ringo in Southern Humboldt in California, with low THC and the same full compound profile.“As I’ve said, many come to Cabo for vacation, and they end up getting help and getting educated in my shop,” she said. “And not just on cannabis. If only people knew that they can get healing effects with tea tree oil or chamomile, they might not reach for the over-the-counter synthetic stuff or pharmaceuticals.”Education is and always will be critical when talking about plant-based medicine.
Until doctors learn how plants work with the endocannabinoid system, addressing our biological systems to keep us in homeostasis or healthy, evangelizing the plant by word of mouth is how the truth has been and will be told globally.Until the world’s Health Agencies are enlightened and begin passing out their pamphlets on plant medicine, this is how we teach, one person at a time, and one success story will lead to another.
As Grace has learned, those with the knowledge to make remedies are compelled to help others.“I’m not a medical professional by any means,” she surmised. “I’m an orphan of the pharma regime. I never had parents that were pill-free. In my teens, when my parents began sharing their drugs with me, I abused anything I could get ahold of. I thought it would fill the void of love I never had or felt, but it only left me numb. This plant saved me – it was and is my saving Grace. It will be my calling to help others for life.”
For more information on the Cabo Cannabis Company, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.Visit the shop in Cabo San Lucas on the Boulevard Marina Plaza Los Mariachis, or call +52 (624) 688-7679
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