First lady of the west coast kush seeds
by Veronica Castillo
1st Lady of the West Coast had dreams and aspirations early on about having her own line of strains. This happened when she discovered the magic that Cannabis placed in her body; “sis, it would be so dope if I had my own strain line, like my own, like it’s mine. They create it for me.”
Well, she is definitely like a lotus flower; roots that grew through the murky waters of the “war on drugs”, into a beautiful flower. Like the lotus flower, she is undeterred by an unfavored environment, and miraculously re-blooms every day, without residue on her spirit.
Born and raised in Oakland, one of America’s most impacted cities when discussing the war on drugs:
• 1998 to 2015, African-Americans were 90% of the arrests compared to the arrests of Caucasians, 3.91%.
• 452 people arrested for marijuana offenses in 2011 in Oakland, 74.5% were African American, 13% were Latino, 5% were Caucasian.
• 2015 statistics show that African Americans made up 30% of the population but 77% of cannabis arrests, compared to 4% for Caucasians.
Beating the odds, 1st Lady did something major in 2016- the birth of her first strain: Flotwckush (First Lady of The West Coast Kush). What followed- CANNA BOSS moves- a full line:, Black Girl Magic OG, December Nights OG, and Shirley Ross OG aka SRG.
Hear More From 1st Lady of the West Coast
Interview slightly edited for clarity
You are the growing hands behind Herb of Life Cultivation, LLC, and have an exclusive line of strains- can you tell me about them?
“Yes, I am the growing hands, the Founder, and CEO of HERBOLC, but wear most hats- for 2 reasons. I believe that it’s important to learn all roles within your company and because HERBOLC has to have the right Cannabis family.
My strain lines are:
First Lady of The West Coast Kush aka FlotwcKush: She is a Sativa dominant Hybrid: 60% Sativa and 40% Indica- full of trichomes.
BlackGirlMagicOG: She is an Indica dominant hybrid: 70% Indica and 30% Sativa- her terpene profile is high in Myrcene, A-Pinene, Limonene, Caryophyllene.
Shirley Ross OG: is a new strain and we are currently working on testing (more to come). When I consume, she feels like an Indica dominant. She was created in the dedication of my grandmother who passed away July 25 2019.
DecemberNightsOG is a new strain also in the process of being tested (more to come). When consumed, I get Indica dominant, with a fruity loop smell and fruit taste. I’m very excited about this line that my Breeder gifted me with. and that my Godson named.
We currently working on the WittyOGKush line, BlackJoy line, and a couple of other new lines.”
You are the 1st woman/black woman to have a line of strains in this male-dominated industry- what was the walk like?
“Yes. It was brought to my attention back in 2017 when I flew out to Seattle, and met with Richard Dignum (Co-Founder of WeedBushLovers). He gave me tour around Washington state and we ended up at Dope Magazine. I wasn’t able to meet with David Tran due to his schedule but it was epic and an honor to meet his team at the time, Angel and Scott.
I got a tour around the headquarters office and then we sat down and talked about a feature for the magazine. The piece discussion was for a focus on my new strain lines, and educating people on the medical benefits of cannabis. As we were talking, it was brought to my attention that they never heard of a woman having her own strain line.
The most epic feeling was hearing Dope Magazine tell me that I am the first woman to have my own strain lines.
I remember later that night I went to do my research and no woman came up- I was shocked! I don’t think I’m better than anyone, just happy to show a way for other black women and women in general.
I was shocked because I didn’t get into the Cannabis Industry to be the first, but to save lives. I embrace it and I’m excited to show other women we have a place in this industry as growers and having are own strain lines.
I thank my breeder Dukeoferb for believing in me and helping me create reality and help save lives.”
What should people know about your company and the mission?
“Our mission is to promote the positive effects of Cannabis, with education and awareness. At Herb of Life Cultivation LLC, it’s our goal to strive to assist people understand the medical benefits of Cannabis and promote it as a natural remedy with many health benefits.
We are also huge on giving back and changing lives- one life at a time! We believe in paying it forward, helping homeless people, Veterans, children, teens, young adults, and families. We give back to help find cures, help with issues tied to humanity, climate change, and wildlife.
It’s important to be able to help change a life for the better.”
Herb Of Life Cultivation LLC, Promoting Positive Actions Over Stigmas
1st Lady Of The West Coast Is The First Black Woman To Have Her Own Exclusive Strain Line . [+] #Flotwckush was created 2016, #DecemberNightsOg created 2018, #BlackGirlMagicOg created 2017.
After writing a couple articles about the legal cannabis business in San Francisco, I was contacted by 1st Lady Of The West Coast . She is (for obvious reasons) not disclosing her name. But that should not preclude me from touting her Old School successes. She had the guts to contact me, that in itself is amazing. I respect her need for privacy and even I don’t know her first, nor her last name. Nor would I ask twice, it’s just not done. ‘Nuff said. So when I was given this honor to tell her story, there wasn’t any hesitation. I needed to do right by the universe, the cannabis family would be proud. And 1st Lady Of The West Coast would have fulfilled her goals. And what would that be? Being the fantastic person she is. I’m honored to be her friend. Thank you for allowing me the honor. And it’s important to mention that the 1st Lady of the West Coast had major help in creating her strain from Dukeoferb e, who will also remain just Dukeoferb . Without his guidance there would be no 1st Lady of the West Coast Cannabis. It would not exist. Shout out to Mr. Dukeoferb . Thank you for your guidance and patience with us as we learn the path.
WB: Why Cannabis? Tell me about your passion for Cannabis. When did you first become aware of it?
1st Lady Of The West Coast: Cannabis saved my life from pharmaceutical drugs doctors had me on due to having bipolar depression. I have bipolar depression due to being a crack baby who was born prematurely. I was 2 pounds. I was supposed to be a March baby but I’m Nov. baby, so you can see how early I was premature and struggled to live. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. I’ve been on so many different pharmaceutical drugs for bipolar depression since I was 16 years old to the point where doctors kept switching my meds up due to what they were doing to my liver and kidneys. Man, I felt like a zombie being on Prozac and Abilify. The doctors were always changing the dose of my meds and kept saying they were working. But I only felt lethargic and horrible, like I couldn’t function, let alone think for myself. The lies they told – the drugs were was destroying my body, killing me. I’m passionate about cannabis because it’s a natural, organic plant and I don’t have to worry about putting chemicals in the body! I started studying the medical benefits of cannabis back in 2009. I knew there was a natural alternative then what the doctors are prescribing me. For me, I got tired of hearing, “Oh, we have to change the dose of your medicine because it’s messing with your liver and kidneys.” After years of hearing this, all I could think is, that, if I keep going at this rate, my liver may stop functioning and my kidneys fail on me. Doctors don’t care; it would be another diagnosis of pharmaceutical drugs used to destroy other parts of a person’s body. I first became aware of it at the age of 13. My big sister smoked cannabis’ at the time I didn’t understand it that much. As I was taking D.A.R.E class shaking my head at the lies they told us about cannabis, I believed them. My sister was self-medicating and it was helping her. I remember the first time I smoked cannabis I was 16. I smoked it with my homies Diego and Kevin in my backyard back in 2004. I remember feeling ok, not stressed, not worried, not angry or upset but calm and relaxed – like my bipolar symptoms were disappearing. I noticed being more creative with cannabis at the age of 16. I remember being 17 outside my house smoking and looking up at the sky with my big sister and saying, “Sis, it would be so dope if I had my own strain line, like my own, like it’s mine they created it for me?” I was 17 speaking this and today I’m here to witness the reality and am the 1st Black woman to have my own exclusive strain line. I have three lines to date. It’s a blessing because I can help save lives for the better and being able to educate others about the amazing benefits of cannabis and what it can do for the body.
WB: Who is your mentor in cannabis? Why?
1st Lady: I have a couple of mentors but one of my mentors is Richard from Seattle, Washington; he’s worked with weed bush lovers. I’ve learned a lot from him about being in the cannabis industry, giving me the right pointers and letting meet some big people within in the Cannabis Industry, such as Dope Magazine, Venture Weed Magazine, he was able to help me tour different cultivation farms from indoor to outdoor in Seattle. I appreciate him talking with me about being successful and lasting in the industry. Khadijah Adams is also a mentor, like a big sister keeping me sharp and aware of the business as a black woman. I admire her work so much with her background of 20 years’ entrepreneurship, business development, sales, and marketing experience.
Wb: Who taught you your craft? What obstacles do you see going forward?
1st Lady: Back in 2009, I ended up meeting Joseph Rezene at Harborside in Oakland, CA. We hit it off as good friends and I told him I wanted to learn how to grow my own cannabis. He ended up giving me clones to grow at my cousin’s and he would come by to give me lessons. I ended taking them back to him to help grow them one on one with him, I was determined to learn, and he taught me step-by-step and plus he had me read the “growing bible,” as they call it, and I did a lot of research and studied to show him how serious I was about him teaching me how to grow my own cannabis. His help enabled me to move onto my own work so, ever since I’ve been growing my own cannabis and I thank him so much for his teaching and time. The main obstacle I see is just being a black woman in the Cannabis Industry as we are sorely underrepresented and poorly respected. However, I won’t let my color or gender stop me from progressing in this business. Rather, I will prove myself so successful, I will break through the color and gender barriers in this industry and show the white men who think they own it that they don’t, that competition is rife with people of color and women and they’d better respect us. We’re coming and we’re taking our places where we belong!
WB: Tell me about your company. What is your six-month goal? One year? Five years?
1st Lady At Herb Of Life Cultivation LLC, our mission is to promote a positive effect of cannabis through education and awareness. Herb Of Life Cultivation LLC strives to teach you the medical benefits of cannabis as a natural method about the many health benefits this wonderful plant provides. My 1 to 3-month goals for the company was setting up an LLC, getting the name registered, getting a lawyer and an investor contract for any investors. Also important were studying. Thinking up merchandise ideas and designing a website. For our 3 to 6 months, we have our LLC, our company is registered and we have a lawyer on board. Investors are interested/looking to invest. We’ve found land, have ideas ready for merchandising. In just 6 to 9 months, we have investors on board, have land in Jamaica instead of states by partnering with Green Block Development in Jamaica. We’ve also partnered with New Life Ca distribute my strain, #BlackGirlMagicOg, for the Bay Area, CA market. It’s also coming to a Las Vegas market due to help from A’esha Goins by my partnering with her. The website is about to launch any day now and start selling merchandise such as t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, hats, etc! My 5-year goal for the company is still being worked on and I’m excited about it because I know the company will continue to grow and give back and pay it forward within in communities less fortunate than others who have big-name backers. I want Herb of Life Cultivations LLC to look for neglected, less cultivated communities who have trouble receiving quality cannabis and sell to these people so they benefit, not the big dollar almost big pharma-like companies that are springing up to try to cut out the smaller, craft cannabis strains like mine. I see my strains growing over these bullies and standing up to them and showing that better cannabis like mine can supersede dollar investment when quality is served to communities who need it.
WB: Do you cook? If so what is your favorite cuisine? If you cook, who taught you? Is there anything that you’ve eaten that brings a tear to your eye when you eat it, why?
1st Lady: I do cook! Chinese food, Mexican food, and soul food are my fave cuisines. Yummy to my tummy. =) My mother taught me how to cook; she taught me and my sister both. I love food — OMG, it’s so good, especially fruits and veggies and seafood, man o man. I would have to say Gumbo — OMG, my mom makes the best gumbo ever and that brings me to tears, with all that taste. Seafood brings joy to my tummy and tears to my eyes.
WB: I’d like to know if there was a place in the world you’d like to be. Right now. If so, where? With whom?
1st Lady: Anywhere I can help change a life for the better. I love helping people and being an inspiration in someone’s life. I could somewhere people were displaced from a gentrified community here in America or in Honduras, where crime runs rampant and poverty rules and I could help people there somehow. Now I love Jamaica a lot, and not simply because I’m licensed out there with Green Block Development within the cannabis industry. it was so pretty, it was nice to eat natural fruit and veggies with no chemicals on it, just picked from the garden and cooked. The oceans are beautiful and warm, just breathtaking. I love to be around people I love and care about.
First Lady of the West Coast Kush
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