Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. Each week, we profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week we talk to trailblazer, Lelehnia DuBois, Founder of Humboldt Grace and publisher of Sensi Mag, The Emerald Triangle Edition.
1. Tell us about your Company.
Humboldt Grace and Sensi Media are both platforms that help build bridges with heart as cannabis and mainstream cultures come together. Humboldt Grace educates companies and organizations on the cannabis culture, advocates, and acts as a strategic advisor. Sensi Mag, The Emerald Triangle Edition helps break through the stigmas as the new normal rises.
2. Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?
My mother was a seeker. She didn’t live by anyone’s standards but her own. After a much traveling through Mexico and the US with my sister and me, she found herself in love and practicing nursing and midwifery in the emerald triangle when I was 7. That same year we were in a car accident that cost my sister her life and broke my mother’s back. That accident sealed our fate in the Emerald Triangle and cannabis soon became my mother’s nightly medicine. In 1999, I injured my back and lost two vertebrae. After 8 months of trying to use western medicine to heal, I ended up toxic from low doses of Demerol spending two weeks in the hospital very ill. It was then, I started working with cannabis and fine tuning how to use it to help me have life again.
Soon, I discovered the difference between properly grown cannabis and poison. I bought an ⅛ that had been grown with miracle grow in 2000 and ended up extremely ill. By 2005, I was growing my own medicine and in 2009 a top shelf supplier for a local dispensary. I soon discovered that canna- biz was much different than the community culture I was raised around the plant in. We did have helicopters to look out for overhead, but neighbors were trusted, and communities took care of each other. What I discovered as a patient and legal grower in the CA medical market was horrific. I was robbed regularly, homeless 4 times, and I have had gun to my head,
“Yahoo’s” attempted to blackmail me, all when I thought I was meant to be protected by the 215 laws. What I found instead was that I was set up to be a victim with ZERO protection from my community or government, this turned me into a strong advocate for legalization in 2008.
In 2014, I had found myself the chair and president of an organization I thought new the culture and was going to help make my community safe again. Within 6 months, I could clearly see that the politics were not going to help my community and knew I needed to show a better way than what I saw happening. That was when I created Humboldt Grace. A name my mentor gave me many years ago, a name that no “Yahoo” could steal from. A name I could do good things with and navigate around the rest. I use Humboldt Grace to educate on the beauty living life in the Emerald Triangle taught me. I now use my lifetime of knowledge in the cannabis culture to help companies find solutions as they navigate the canna world.
Last year, Ron Knolb, the CEO of Sensi Mag saw my purpose of goodness and offered me my own magazine in the Emerald Triangle to show the culture I grew up with, that is full of love and grace. Now, Humboldt Grace not only supports the industry by helping others build on the integrity of the plant, but my company is in the process if owning Sensi Magazine the Emerald Triangle Edition. I was also just given ownership in the whole company Sensi Media. Both help me fulfill my purpose which is to show we can succeed by choosing with heart and acting in love.
3. What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?
Sensi is building the new normal. We have managed to bring people together with heart. We do transparent, open business and share like crazy! Something I found so rare in the new cannabis world yet so much like the community I was raised in. The Sensi Mag Emerald Triangle edition will show the strength and grace of the communities that nurtured this plant under oppression for so many generations. Humboldt Grace is going to keep finding good things to support and help grow with love. I hope to see sprinkles of Humboldt Grace’s love in many different ways as our plant impacts the world. There are no limits.
4. What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?
Well people LOVE Sensi Magazine! We are up for Publication of the Year for second year at The Cannabis Business Awards! Humboldt Grace…hmm that’s more complicated. As 420 media knows Humboldt Grace has been through the wars. One was with you and our education platform that took many years to get out due to fear and unfriendly competition! We had so many up against us! Yet here we are, Kerri never gave up! Anytime you are shaking things up and are not influenced by money or power but driven by heart, people get a little scared. Today I think most people know Humboldt Grace just wants to see everyone shine in their purpose with integrity. Communities do not build well on distrust and fear. My community, Humboldt, taught me strength and grace, I believe we are seeing her true heart again. I believe we are just getting ready for what Humboldt Grace has to offer.
5. Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?
We have a few! This month is the Sensi Mag Emerald Triangle edition pre-launch party in partnership with The Emerald Cup. It was going to be a launch party, but our communities are so devastated by California policies we have pushed the actual launch date back to February in hopes our families will be able to get their business going strong by then, right now all our communities in the Emerald Triangle are hanging on by a thread. Even traditional business is down 70% in revenue, as these polices just destroyed the communities that made this industry even possible. We are having our pre-launch party in hopes it will help many of these small businesses and large connect and find solutions within themselves, so all players can elevate. Right now, my community is scrambling, and we need to find every way to help.
Where can readers learn more?
You can go both www.humboldtgrace.org and www.sensimag.com you can also look me up on social media. I love Facebook it is where I share my heart. My instagram is where I show the plants life more. LinkedIn is where I do straight business. Come to our event and say hi! Dec 13th RSVP here https://www.facebook.com/events/363945857699170/