Whitney Beatty is no stranger to risk. She leveraged her family’s comfort and security to pursue an entrepreneurial venture in cannabis. When she’s not making deals for her personal cannabis storage brand, Apothecarry, she is celebrating women of color and motherhood via her Instagram account, “The High Mommy Life.”

Beatty shares some inspiring wisdom on career and motherhood with Sweet Jane.

How did you get into the cannabis industry and why?
Raised in the age of Nancy Reagan and “Just Say No,” I never touched marijuana until my senior year of college. After being diagnosed with anxiety, I extensively researched the benefits of cannabis, shook off the years of stigma, and decided to try it.

After meeting many like-minded cannabis users who lamented the lack of a good storage system, wanted to secure buds from kids and pets, and were tired of having their stash spoiled in plastic baggies and non-airtight dispensary jars, Apothecarry was born.

The brand seeks to redefine the image of cannabis users. … We take pride in representing the millions of men and women across the country who take pride in working hard, raising families, and enjoying medical marijuana.

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As a mother, how has cannabis shaped your parenting?
Any mom will tell you that your parenting suffers if you aren’t well, mentally or physically. My use has allowed me to manage my anxiety and focus on the job at hand: being the best mother I can be. My instincts to keep my son away from cannabis stored in my house was the impetus for Apothecarry.

Why do you feel it’s important to be vocal about your role as a mother and cannabis user?
I’m a single mother with a small child who quit a well-paying job to join this industry. I sold my house and liquidated my 401(k) to start the business, so I definitely sacrificed our comfort and security. I drove to San Diego to participate in a business accelerator for 16 weeks. I stayed up late to make deals with China and woke early to take calls with New York City. I don’t regret a thing. I believe in this space, this brand, and in my team to get this done.

If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect others to do so. I wanted to put my money where my mouth was, to have skin in the game. Failure is not an option. I’m open about this because I want other moms to feel comfortable becoming stakeholders in this space, running companies, and building products that will change the industry.

I would hate to see stigma and fear of judgment keep women from taking the leap and joining this potentially $50 billion industry. I want this industry to be a place for women, and especially women of color. Communities of color were disproportionately disenfranchised by the war on drugs, and now it is this booming industry and there are too few of us setting up shop.

Females have such an opportunity to engrain ourselves, our values, our business acumen in this industry, and I encourage women from all backgrounds to do their research, shake off any stigma, and explore what your skill set could do for this space. The barriers to entry are low, and it’s a space filled with actual problems that need smart solutions.

What advice do you have for other working moms? (Sweet Jane included!)
My fave quote is “Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.” It’s something I’ve taken to heart as both a woman and a woman of color.

The odds are always against you as an entrepreneur, but you have to trust in your ability and capabilities. You have to shake off anything you hear that tried to consciously or subconsciously limit what you can achieve. That’s also the joy of working in such a new and booming market. I can’t compare what Apothecarry can do with anyone else because this space didn’t exist 10 years ago. You get to blaze a new trail. You can do this!

 

Photographs by Kenchy Ragsdale