CannaMommy.org is a nonprofit with the mission of supporting mothers on their journey during pregnancy and beyond by providing safe access to natural medicines, including cannabis. The online platform aims to build a safe conduit between patient and health care provider and offers a free virtual clinic that provides resources for mothers to learn about cannabis and pregnancy, pregnancy care, products, cannabidiol (CBD), and up-to-date legal information, as well as resources for mothers who may face legal issues due to their cannabis use.
Kelley Bruce, founder and president of CannaMommy.org has three children, ages 9, 3, and 1 (two daughters, one son), and has survived the unthinkable experience of being called on by Child Protective Services as a result of using cannabis.
Sweet Jane visited with Bruce to learn more about her organization and ambitions, and why she is dedicated to helping other moms.
Sweet Jane: What is your favorite part about being a mother?
Kelley Bruce: Oh to pick just one … feels so impossible. I like seeing my heart on the outside, watching them become their own, the art they make me at school with their feet and hands, the morning snuggles, random kisses, and so much more.
Tell us about your story and where your passion on cannabis and motherhood comes from.
My passion for cannabis and motherhood really developed as my own experience with motherhood and cannabis came together. After being founded (meaning allegations were substantiated) in the state of Colorado by Child Protective Services for child neglect and endangerment in 2012 for consuming cannabis, even as a medical card holder; being on probation for two years before everything was dropped; and then my own pregnancy with our second child is really what drove me. Watching the bias, the clear disorganization between medical and legal, and the extreme vulnerabilities of new mothers who consume cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceuticals is really what pushed me to my advocacy. All the while I knew that it was by far the most safe option out there to manage the extreme difficulties sometimes associated with pregnancy. Knowing what I know, seeing what I have seen, it feels unjust to sit back and stay silent.
What was your motivation for starting Cannamommy?
The nonprofit organization was created to provide a bridge for patients and providers, to provide safe access to natural medicines while also giving real support. There was no established public free program or space for people to go to talk to a medical professional about cannabis and pregnancy and/or other natural medicines. By opening the dialogue, you are opening a door for bias and potential for investigations by CPS, so mothers are hesitant to communicate. They are turning to Facebook groups and budtenders for education, putting them at risk for potentially underqualified persons giving them misinformation. So I felt there needed to be a place and created one. When my daughters are at that point, I want them to have somewhere safe they can turn to and find accurate information and resources to help empower them to make the best choices for themselves and their families.
What do you feel are some of the most important services that Cannamommy offers to mothers?
The online clinic is by far one of our most important services. Being able to have a 20-minute conversation with an RN who is knowledgeable about cannabis is imperative to being able to navigate this road. Knowing where your other resources are is very helpful when you are being inundated with a lot of other information—breastfeed or not, epidural or natural, co-sleeper or crib, babywear or not, cloth or disposable, etc. We are working to fundraise for our clinic to keep developing our services to include online and in-person educational programs as well.
Why do you think that the topic of cannabis and parenting is so important with where we are in the cannabis movement currently?
We are building history! We are creating a generation that is not growing up with their dads behind bars, their lives turned in different directions because they had a joint on them, where parents are using cannabis in real medical situations and kids are seeing firsthand how beautiful the plant really is, not some scary plant that can kill or harm you.
What is next for you and Cannamommy?
We are working hard to secure some big grants to help launch the clinic to full throttle. We are always taking donations and working to get our CBD bath bombs into retail locations to help fund our missions. We want to help 1 million moms worldwide.
Learn more about Cannamommy.org, a 501(c)(3) tax- exempt nonprofit, at www.cannamommy.org.
Editor’s Note: Interviewer Leah Maurer is a board member of CannaMommy and Editorial Board member of Sweet Jane.