Photo credit: 1st Lady of the West Coast
Herb of Life Cultivation is a black woman-owned cannabis company with exceptional cultivars (commonly known as “strains”). Providing exclusive strains like high-demand Black Girl Magic OG and curious wonders like December Nights OG, you can expect the best in plant medicine from the 1st Lady of the West Coast.
Read on to learn about her origins and about the birth and future of her exclusive strains. The 1st Lady of the West Coast puts black women and our community first with every move she makes. To learn more about her, her perspective on the development of the cannabis industry, and the sheer power of herbal medicines beyond cannabis, kick back and enjoy the full interview in under an hour!
Below is an overview of the video interview:
[A = Alaina Dorsey | F = The 1st Lady of the West Coast]
A: You’re the 1st Lady of the West Coast!! Where are you based? And why “1st Lady”? What inspired the name?
F: Ah, I’m a Cali baby. Born and raised in California from Oakland. I’ve lived all around: San Jose, shout out to the Bay Vallejo, Modesto, Fresno.
My mom is retired from Oakland PD. So that’s where the whole “First Lady of the West Coast” comes from. I actually prayed about it. I manifested it: anything you see me doing I prayed about it. A lot of people ask, “Where does that come from???”
That comes from my God. Man doesn’t validate me. This is like any artist that has a stage name. You know, like Snoop: his mom was calling him that. I’m excited because the name allows me to show not just where I come from, but what I will do for my state and states within the West Coast. It’s important to me.
Being in the cannabis industry, you have to protect yourself. You never know who’s following you or who could be following you. I have the right to protect my name at all costs. I’ll sit here and tell you my whole story. But there’s just some things I want to keep to myself for safety.
A: Tell us about your business.
F: Herb of Life Cultivation came to be in 2016 My strain line- 1st Lady of the West Coast Kush, was my first strain, created between 2014-2015
But I was struggling and thinking: I can turn this into a business or I can just grow for the homeys… What am I doing here? Then my mind went: Well, dang, you have your own strain line—why not create a business? I created a cultivation. And it’s just like it says “herb,” it’s not going to be cannabis-only. I grow a lot of different herbs to help others grow. I got a deal inJamaica offered by my now business partner Conrad Blake with Green Block Development. Now I have 12 acres of land growing in Jamaica. I have strong lines thanks to my breeder Dukeoferb.
I didn’t get into this to be the “first black woman.” I got into it because I have bipolar depression: I know how it saved my life and how to help save other people’s lives. The terpene profile that I smoke may not be the terpene profile that they may need, but just getting the awareness out there is so important.
I created Herb of Life Cultivation and the genetics for more than getting high. We’re creating stuff that’s actually going to work with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Look at that terpene profile. When you’re smoking it, see how that makes you feel. If it’s just something that you find yourself always going back to, that means that terpene profile fits you. It’s important to put plant-based medicine back out there. I’m excited to change lives and make a difference.
A: That’s all wonderful~ I love hearing that shit! Diving deeper into Herb of Life Cultivation, what are your different strains? What inspired them?
F: First of all, 1st Lady of the West Coast Kush! That was named after me because it was my first line (looking at Wiz Khalifa, I ain’t even gon lie!) It’s my baby: I called it my little “Junior First Lady.” It’s a creativity high and Sativa Hybrid.
Black Girl Magic OG was created with black women in mind. Iit reminds us of our magic, our strengths, the struggle that we do go through, and how we’re united. I am her; she is me. It’s very important for black women to know and understand we’ve had a place in the cannabis industry. This is our place: it is now and it’s happening. I’ve created some exclusives but it’s not about me being the first. It’s about us as black women.
White men have dominated. They copied Christopher Columbus and just take-take-take-take. So it’s important for our community (especially Black women and especially young Black girls) to see that we have a place and this beautiful plant has a wrongful, damaging stigma. But we all know that the government knows that it’s a cure plant. This is why they have the plant the patent of cannabis. Black Girl Magic OG works really well for pain and relaxation. It’s an indica hybrid. So you’re gonna get that body high.
December Nights OG was just…created. She’s not fully tested and not many people have consumed her so,I can’t really tell you how she will work across the board but, I think she’s a Sativa. When I smoke her, I don’t get a body high but I definitely love the way she tastes. She tastes like fruity pebbles, or fruit loops- definitely fruity. And I’m really excited about that. My godson named it. He was born in December, so he was like, “Let’s name it to synchronize!”
Then another one I have is Shirley Ross OG—shout out to my granny. Rest in peace. I wanted to create something to keep what my grandmother did for the community here. Since she died of heart and kidney failure, the proceeds go to the Heart Foundation and Kidney Foundation to help find the cure. My grandmother used to take in foster kids and help single families, so I want to be able to keep that going. I created her strain to generate the income to donate to our communities. Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, kidney failure are huge in our community: I would really love to address that.
I honestly have four lines ready to go. I have no names for them.I’m not ready to drop them yet because I’m working so much on Black Girl Magic OG. I didn’t think it would shoot off like it did. But because of it, I have a demand—and I can’t keep up with the demand and that’s a great thing! Now I’m coming to the Las Vegas market. That I have some offers in Colorado and Chicago. So I’m preparing for that.
Alaina Dorsey is a professional draftswoman, freelance Creative Strategist and owner of Creative Ether, LLC, an artmaking and social media marketing company. Bud Biz Creativ is the cannabis, hemp and ecommerce side: she crafts brand lore-driven social content campaigns that are daring, distinct and experiential. It’s a brilliant amalgam of branding, strategy, social media and content marketing
Written by: Alaina Dorsey
Edited by: Veronica Castillo
- Herb of Life Cultivation, LLC
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