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’ll profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week’s featured trailblazer is Sharon Letts, Founder of Secret Garden Productions
Tell us about your company?
My company and brand have evolved in the last 25 years, as I began my working life as a flower gardener in Southern California, where I grew up. At 24 I bought a truck and designed, planted and maintained perennial borders – this put me in front of the camera, as I produced, hosted and self-distributed my visiting gardens show, In and Out of the Garden, for Local Access programming.
My experience in Local Access lasted three years, and then hosted and produced another series for PBS, Off the Beaten Path. I then became a Field and Segment Producer for national television in Los Angeles.
Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?
I didn’t choose the cannabis industry, it chose me, as I was brought up to the cannabis capitol of the world, Humboldt County in Northern California, to produce a news show in 2007, then ended up writing for newspapers, including an in-house position as lead features writer for The Times-Standard in Eureka.
While working in Humboldt, I presented with Lobular Carcinoma, a breast cancer mass. Because I was known in the county, Southern Humboldt remedy maker, Pearl Moon of The Bud Sisters, brought me a jar of strong cannabis oil, telling me it would put the cancer into remission. I didn’t believe it – after all, I’d been in media for more than ten years at that point – why didn’t I know about it?
That first night I no longer needed the sleeping pill I’d taken for years, the next day I didn’t need a pain-killer for a bum knee that I was told would need to be replaced. In two and a half weeks, all my prescription meds and supplements needed for myriad symptoms from Thyroid Disease and menopause were no longer needed. In two and a half months, the cancerous mass was gone.
As you can imagine, my life and work changed forever, and in the more than six years since, I’ve written of nothing else. Unfortunately, until the U.S. Government admits cannabis is remedy, I’m preaching to the choir writing for cannabis magazines. Thankfully, the weed magazines are publishing more intelligent work on cannabis, and my focus is on patient profiles, remedy makers, and caregivers.
What change will your firm address in the industry? Does it address an unmet need?
As far as I know, I’m the only features writer to cross over from mainstream media into the cannabis space, writing solely on cannabis as remedy. Up until my own experience, very little was written in AP Style on the anecdotal stories. So, I believe I’ve been a catalyst for change via making those stories known in an intelligent way.
My celebrity patient profiles all transitioned from interviews to interventions, as I help to further educate them during my visits. They have a loud voice, and this part of our exchange is sorely needed.
What has been the reaction to your product/service/technology?
The reaction to my relating the anecdotal stories has been a mixed bag. For the most part, people are eager to hear the truth and learn, but I’ve been ridiculed, hated on, and yelled at in public by those that remain ignorant. And I use the word ignorant in the true sense of the word, as the information is out there – you just won’t see it on mainstream media yet – until the Government fesses up, there won’t be many stories of healing on the nightly news.
That said, to everyone I help and inform, it makes it worth it.
Are there any upcoming milestones for your company?
As a features writer, I’ve been published in many publications around the world, and continue to write the anecdotal stories of healing. As a producer in television, I have many balls up in the air – actively developing intelligent shows for television; and completing a screenplay with my writing partner, Renee Carly – who has been in the industry in Los Angeles for many years. We turned my eBooks, Humboldt Stories and Cannaopolis into a series for television and are shopping the pilot now. Due to my ten years in Humboldt County, the fictional stories I’ve written are all based on fact. My goal has always been to put a human face on the small cannabis farmer to the north, and share stories that have more to do with that life and healing – rather than the news we hear of crime surrounding the plant.
Where can readers learn more?