Introducing, “Contributor Spotlights”, a campaign aimed at highlighting our contributors who add their voice to DCN’s platform in order to educate and connect with other entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
Meet Courtney Freeman, she shares with DCN readers her expertise in multi-media product marketing. Courtney is well-positioned to provide insightful tips on promoting your business or product. She’s also a fellow entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, currently, she is the CEO of White Buffalo Cannabis!
DCN: What obstacles have you faced on your journey?
Courtney: Working in the cannabis industry is exciting, but there are many obstacles facing small businesses. Regulations are still outstanding, and the cost of entry for a cannabiz is high, getting higher by the second. Coming from the tech industry, the financial demands are a bit disappointing since businesses in the tech space have dramatically cut overhead costs for infrastructure in the last fifteen years. Cannabis, a very analog business model, is requiring a major investment in infrastructure to meet regulatory requirements and to compete in this emerging market.
As with any startup, fundraising is a difficult enterprise that is an ongoing endeavor. Fortunately, we have more opportunities with the onset of crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding. Note that we cannot promote cannabis perks however due to federal illegality.
I’ve made some strong advances in my public speaking, so I’m pleased to report that! You’ll be seeing more of me at events and on panels. It’s taken some time, but I’ve made some great gains in this department!
DCN: Why did you get into the cannabis industry?
Courtney: Healing modalities inspire me. I’ve always been interested in herbal remedies and the benefits of nutrition for overall health and wellness. Cannabis offers miraculous solutions for cancer and other ailments that have directly affected my family and those dear to me. I’ve also been aware of the political motivations behind cannabis prohibition from a young age, so I’ve never bought into Anslinger’s reefer madness propaganda.
I should also note that my parents started White Buffalo rolling paper company in the 70’s with the intention that cannabis would be legal in a few years. We licensed out the trademark, and that license has recently expired. With the Wilkinson memo in 2015 authorizing Native Americans to cultivate cannabis, we determined that the political climate is perfect to bring a Native American inspired trademark back to market, new and improved. We’re currently in product development to bring products to market that will help fund solutions for issues facing Native Americans on the reservation today including diabetes, which may be treated with cannabis medicine.
DCN: What was your opinion of cannabis growing up? How has it changed?
Courtney Freeman: Many years ago, Jello Biafra of the famous San Francisco punk band Dead Kennedys did a spoken word tour and discussed the history of cannabis prohibition. He mentioned that hemp was used historically to make paper and parachutes for the US military. He also discussed how certain companies profited from industrial products that depended on cannabis or hemp prohibition. I was 15 years old when I saw him speak in Atlanta, Georgia.
I found the discussion to be quite illuminating, to say the least. One of the sentiments behind the punk music genre is advocating for critical thinking and identifying where societal values can be misguided. Cannabis and hemp prohibition certainly fit into this category.
Since joining the cannabis industry, more injustices have come to my attention surrounding cannabis prohibition such as the deficit of the prison incarceration system in the US and the racially motivated use of the term
“marihuana”. It’s quite an experience to see the world opening its arms to cannabis medicine country by country as American citizens are becoming more vocal against prohibition. Jello Biafra must be proud! Also, special thanks to Jello for his education.
My parents were always very loving and supportive and expressed to me that children should not consume cannabis because they need to develop coping skills for life’s ups and downs. I don’t see cannabis as an escape. I see cannabis as a healing plant medicine to be respected.
DCN: How has your involvement with cannabis changed personal and career relationships?
Courtney Freeman: I’m very fortunate in that my circle has been very supportive of my involvement and my achievements in this industry. Since joining the industry, I’ve connected with awe-inspiring individuals and organizations (Direct Cannabis Network included!!).
The team at CannaKids, in particular, has been extremely generous and given me the opportunity to contribute to their mission of healing patients of all ages and in furthering the industry as a whole through the offering of pharmaceutical grade, lab-tested medicine and scientific research into cancer treatment.
It is my feeling that we are making history as an industry in so many ways, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this immense effort. We have so many beautiful souls working toward improving our human experience in this industry. It’s so fulfilling when one has a stressful day to know that we are positively impacting lives by bringing this medicine to light.
DCN: What are your hopes for entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry?
Courtney Freeman: Much of my time is spent building community in this industry. My aim is to foster relationships with those who also wish to make a positive impact in the world and collaborate in fun and fulfilling ways. Cannabis is a unique industry where many companies donate time, money, or product toward important causes. My hope for entrepreneurship is to fund the White Buffalo stewardship and bring healing to all who need it.
To learn more about Courtney and what she’s up to in the cannabis industry, check out Courtney’s page.
Interested in being a contributor? Click here.