Ellen Tacher is the first female cannabis company owner in the state of North Carolina. She created the first brand, Prime Sunshine, a company that aims to help people overcome their physical, mental and emotional challenges. Prime Sunshine is now in over 100 grocery stores in the US and the first brand to be sold in hospitals.
Tune in to this episode as Ellen shares the tragic events that affected her life physically and mentally. Be inspired by how cannabis turned her life 360 degrees and how she founded Prime Sunshine after hitting rock bottom.
You cannot, under any circumstances, outperform mother nature, or sunshine or moonshine and her star shine all provide a plethora, a platform and a panel of fighter nutrients that you cannot duplicate in a greenhouse under manufactured man-made lights. – Ellen Tacher
Some Topics We Discussed Include:
3:32 – How she got involved with cannabis
14:19 – An interesting story on how Prime Sunshine started
17:39 – Getting thrown out of Starbucks and restaurants
21:21 – Seedling vs clone
22:35 – Outperforming mother nature
38:16 – How her life has changed
49:55 – What sets them apart from the other brands
51:07 – Where to find them
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Ellen Tacher
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up and good morning. This is Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado. This is another badass episode with female entrepreneurs in the cannabis and hemp movement. This is another episode of The Hemp Revolution. I’m your host, Sonia Gomez, and I’m so excited to be here today. What I feel is in the face of royalty, our guests Ellen Tacher is the first female cannabis company owner in the state of North Carolina. She opened the first online dispensary and brick and mortar in Charlotte, North Carolina, created the first brand out of North Carolina to hit major conventional grocery store shelves.
Prime Sunshine is in over 100 grocery store pharmacies around the United States and is the first brand to be sold in a hospital. What an amazing accomplishment. Ellen founded the company after being attacked and mauled by a pit bull and then during many surgeries and a long, hard recovery to follow. Please give a warm welcome to our guests. Miss Ellen Tacher. Hi, Ellen.
I never started my business. I didn't start it, it kind of started me. - Ellen Tacher Click To Tweet
Ellen Tacher: Hey, Sonia, that is quite a very warm welcoming. And I just want to tell you, I really appreciate that because I never started my business. I didn’t start it, it kind of started me. And it was an accident and it was so many years ago, and just the weeks and months and years that it’s gone to have an industry grow up, kind of behind having a company that started before an industry that was created to hear that acknowledgement, you know, not feeding my ego, but to be acknowledged like that. I’m looking back at the past years and it’s like, wow, okay, yeah, you really have actually done something. So thank you and coming from you, that’s a huge honor and I’m very appreciative. So thank you.
Sonia Gomez: Well, I’m so grateful. This is, first of all, no offense, gentlemen, but I have an affinity towards female entrepreneurs in this space. There’s not enough of us owning our power in this space and so it’s always an honor for me to be able to showcase and tell the stories and really share the journey of the entrepreneurs who are a part of pioneering this industry, especially in the more conservative states. So I know that you have come through a significant number of trials and tribulations to get to where you are, you’re celebrating the moving into your new home place. And it all looks very glamorous right now you have your retail store, your office, your distribution set in place, but why don’t you talk to me a little bit about the beginning stages of your business and how this industry ended up scooping you up and getting you involved.
How She Got Involved with Cannabis
Ellen Tacher: So very interesting. You know, it’s interesting, even thinking about having a business started when I didn’t really start one. I was on at the time that I was mauled by the dog.
Sonia Gomez: How are you mauled by a dog by the way?
Ellen Tacher: I was going through a divorce at the time and my husband gave me nothing. So I moved out, did it all on my own. Four years later, still nothing but that’s another story and many court hearings and nothing but I just simply let my dog out my back door. And the dog who attacked my dog first was being babysat through what’s one of the dog walking services. I forget the name. I wanted through the name of it.
Sonia Gomez: Through a dog walking service?
Ellen Tacher: Yes, it’s a national company and the dog just bolted right onto my deck and started mauling my dog. I have a standard poodle when he was only a year and a half, I think at that time, and he was wedged into a corner and I moved the table and when I did that the dog then mauled me. And he severed, kind of like an artery in this part of my hand and then broke the owner bone in question eight places so I bled out in my backyard. The girl was really young and somehow she got the dog off of me but I kind of feel like God or whoever’s in charge. What happened was the lights just turned out. So everything just went dark and I and I woke up in the hospital.
Sonia Gomez: Oh my god.
Ellen Tacher: Yeah, I mean, I’d never, you know, it just happened so quick. I mean, it was probably less than a minute, you know, but it changed my entire life changed the path of my life. It changed the journey of my life. At the time I was on 300 mg of Wellbutrin, combined with 60 mg of Prozac, 30 mg of Restoril for sleep, going through menopause with hot flashes, suffering already with anxiety and depression battling that for many years. For two years, I can barely get out of bed. I mean, I just couldn’t function. And my memory was completely deteriorating. And I don’t know if that was it’s still not great, but it’s a hell of a lot better Excuse My French.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, it’s the stress, the anxiety, it’s the depression, like, that literally dissolves your memory.
Ellen Tacher: And I think a good description would be a hot mess, just a hot mess. Literally.
Ellen Tacher: You know, just like a hot mess, and I lost a lot of friendships. I mean, my life which is very dark, and a friend of mine, an older brother brought me a bottle of we didn’t even think we called it CBD back then. I’m not sure if it had a name. I knew nothing about it. When I told my kids about it. They said, Oh, yeah, Mom, it’s marijuana, but you just don’t get high. So they knew about it. I didn’t know about it. And I just took it.
I was drinking anything I can get my hands on and that was drinking that And it just didn’t matter. I was trying to do anything to feel better. So on top of going through physical trauma, I was living inside of mental trauma. And after about, I would say six weeks. I didn’t attribute anything to the oil that he gave me. But I remember walking out of my brother’s apartment I had to I moved into his closet, I didn’t have anywhere to live at that time and couldn’t go back to work.
The closet was unairconditioned and unheated. But it was the only place I had to go at that time and I couldn’t work so I remember the day that I walked out of the apartment, and I saw the blue sky and I was like, Wow, look at that the sky is blue. Isn’t it pretty and the sun is shining. It was like some portal opened up, the smoke cleared and I just had a feeling of hope. No Prozac or Wellbutrin Or Buspar, or any of the other drugs I’ve been on ever made me feel, I don’t know if euphoria is the right word but hopeful.
And then I was on a website reading stuff about CBD oil and the one I was taking just kind of stopped working. And then I did research and found out that a lot of the larger brands are, they buy into there’s such a demand they’re buying from lots of different processors. So to have something consistent for someone who was suffering from some health conditions, I needed that consistency. I didn’t know that at the time. I know that now.
But maybe it would help with my sleep and I’d get a new bottle and the next bottle did not or one would help with my anxiety and then I would realize my anxiety would come back and there just wasn’t any consistency and I was a medical investigative reporter at the University of Florida. That’s what I went to college for. And I just started to do I have access to some archives at the University of Florida Shands Hospital which is a research and teaching hospital, which I have access to, and I’m still involved with the journalism school and started doing my investigative research and found out that this was cannabis.
I didn’t know that there were hemp and marijuana. So I started just learning what was I putting in my body and had access to a friend of mine in Israel, who gave me access to studies and research that we don’t have access here in the states and I got connected with Dr. Michelle them and some Israeli scientists and just started learning. I then found a seed in a strain. God bless you a seed and a strain that dates back about 6000 years, but the farm has owned it for 210 years. It was brought over on a steamship from England in the early 1800s.
Sonia Gomez: How did you get your hands on the seeds? I was reading that in your bio
Ellen Tacher: I found the farm. Now, none of that meant anything back then. Right? Like it means something now, but when I was just learning and gathering, I didn’t even have that information at that time. I’ve got that information later from somebody in public relations. So that farm brought a very famous movie star in the early 90s onto the farm, arranged to have him arrested on marijuana charges. Then he was acquitted. Then the defense attorney became the governor of Kentucky, our farm presidents sued the DEA and won and they began the legalization of and fighting for the hemp for the legalization of hemp all over the world 24, 25 years ago.
There’s a lot of history in our bottles. It’s you know, we’re not just buying from a processor and putting a label on it. I mean, there’s is a lifetime the genetics that seed in 1937 when federal marshals came to the farm, they took the farm at gunpoint, burn the crops got rid of the hemp. Then farmhands actually smuggled that seed into Canada where it was vaulted and held under lock and key for 81 years before sent back to the farm. And what’s really interesting is the plant and I didn’t, none of this meant anything so many years ago, but the plant just grows the bud. He doesn’t produce stick stalks, leaves or branches, all bud formula,
Sonia Gomez: I am I was dying when you read that and I wasn’t sure if you were being facetious just like mocking the federal definition of industrial hemp and like what pieces of the plant were appropriate to use. I was like, oh if she’s this cheeky, we’re going to have a good time. But you’re literally being serious. The plant doesn’t grow anything but the buds?
Ellen Tacher: Yeah, I mean, I can show you a picture. And when I took the picture, I had never even seen other plants. It was that many years ago. So at that time, it didn’t mean anything.
Sonia Gomez: This is great. I love it. What do you want me to pull up the picture on? Yeah, let me see the picture. I’m like leaning in to get a better leg. I want some of those seeds.
Ellen Tacher: I don’t know how good you’re going to be able to see it. But let’s say it’s interesting when you go back through your phone, I can see the first bottle I ever sold I can tell where I was in my life and that awful labels that followed and kind of the journey.
Sonia Gomez: But that’s really what it is right? I mean, you never, you think I always tell my clients you know, we are a product of our best thinking and you absolutely you can never tell like what thought, what idea, what action item is going to be the thing to move the needle forward or help hit that next milestone? And it could be as simple as a brand as complex as a name and a domain. It could be your formulation you just you never know what it’s going to be.
All it takes for an entrepreneur is to continue to innovate and to have the sticktoitiveness that is mandatory when owning your own business especially in such a new and very exciting industry like cannabis and hemp like it takes a certain level of sticktoitiveness and the timelines like what you’re talking about the documented timelines where you can see the growth, the evolution, the transformation, like you don’t take the time to look at the artistry as it’s being created. Right? You’re just probably painting it.
Ellen Tacher: It’s so interesting hearing that coming out of your mouth because it’s not like something I think about. I’m thinking about problems and fires that we’re putting out, but when I took this picture, what you can see.
Sonia Gomez: I can see it, see it?
Ellen Tacher: Just that bud.
Sonia Gomez: wow, you should send me that picture and we’ll post it around that in the article.
Ellen Tacher: Okay. So, yeah, when I took that picture, I didn’t know what other plants really look like so and how I started to Prime Sunshine was I just started, I was on all these groups for hot mess women on Facebook. And we could just, it’s just a place that you could go and to see, you know, secret groups I was in for relationships and menopause and I have meningioma I have a tumor on my spine is the size of a golf ball. It’s called a meningioma and I have stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and L4, L5, L6, and L7. And there have been several times in my lifetime that I couldn’t walk and I used to go to the hospital.
So many times that they pulled my husband aside at the time, my ex-husband and said, we think your wife is a drug addict because in that like I was faking it never gave me an MRI or anything to kind of prove I wasn’t taking that I couldn’t walk. I mean, and I had two babies in a diaper. So, there was just I’m dealing with pain too. But when you deal with pain for so long, you don’t even really think about it. You just live with it.
An Interesting Story on How Prime Sunshine Started
And I was in so a hot mess group for women and I started sharing that holy moly. The sky is blue. The sun is shining, I feel like and I was still on Prozac. I was still on everything. And I just started sharing that I was feeling better and there was one woman and she now resells for me in Indiana. She bought her first bottle from me and she has Fibromyalgia but she was shared as she started sharing that her flare-ups, the duration of them was not as long, her migraines were basically she was on Topamax for migraines and she didn’t have to be on that anymore. She was on Tramadol. She didn’t have to be on that or Gabapentin didn’t have to be on that anymore. And she started sharing with other women.
And I didn’t even have a label on a bottle and I was just sending it to them for what I paid for it. I wasn’t a business. I just found some other hot mess women and started sending it to them. And I mean, maybe I put postage on top of it. I would go wait on line at the post office. I mean, they paid for the postage and then I was going through a divorce and the attorney said, you need do you have a bit or the accountant said you have a business and we need to see your taxes and I’m like, I don’t have a business to know you are selling this liquid, which we weren’t even allowed to sell in North Carolina at that time. And I didn’t even know like cuz there was no nobody knew what this was. I just knew that it was helping me and it was started helping other people.
This lady Shelley lives in it like a cornfield in Indiana. Right? She doesn’t have access to cannabis in Indiana. And then she started telling people and then she started buying and reselling. And it kind of just going through the divorce, I had to get an EIN number and sign up with the state and go through all of that. And then I already had a business before I had a business, I guess you could say and then it just grew.
Getting Thrown out of Starbucks and Restaurants
And I remember, nobody knew about CBD and no doctors would talk to me. I was thrown out at Starbucks, Brew’gers, restaurants finding cafes to teach people about cannabis and I still have the box. I took a shoebox and put my CBD oils in it and I wrote medical cannabis on it. And I would go to a restaurant set it on the table or I would go through all these grocery store lines and have it right in my cart. And it was noxious but I wanted to teach people about cannabis in North Carolina. And I would just get in conversations in the grocery store lines with people. And that’s also how I got thrown out because you can’t have medical cannabis in a Chinese buffet restaurant, you know, but that’s how I started that’s how I just carried this box around and I would put it on the table and it was really fun for kicks.
We used to videotape people after church at the Starbucks across the street from a very conservative right-wing church, Jerry Falwell type place and I would put it on the table at the Starbucks and it would just I got thrown out of there every time I wasn’t even allowed I’ve never bought I’m not even allowed back in there. Now I probably just really fun to watch the people who came to Starbucks after church how irritated and angry my box made them.
Sonia Gomez: Oh my god, this is the best story ever.
Ellen Tacher: I still got that box.
Sonia Gomez: we need to dip it in gold or something. Like that is literally the best story ever.
Ellen Tacher: Yeah, I know I have the box. So anyway, that’s how Prime Sunshine started. I help myself and then what happened was once I started using the same seed, the same strain, the same soil, the same water, the same sustainable agricultural method of growing, it gave me the consistency and the brand that I needed every month and naturally came off of Wellbutrin, Prozac, Restoril, Ambien, boost bar and then a whole other. Just you know, Excedrin migraine, Advil, Tylenol. You know, I had a whole medicine cabinet just with all that crap in it and I remember taking a picture of it, thinking maybe I should just keep this for the future, not knowing Prime Sunshine would be a brand and not knowing it would be a business.
I really wish I had that because that’s the old life. And now I don’t even have a medicine cabinet. Did you know I don’t even have one? And in Charlotte, where I live, I went into lots of different health food stores and they would not purchase for me and that’s when I just said, Okay, I’ll have an online business. It was paying my bills at that point. And we built a nice little online business and by the time I got back out to sell, CBD was on everyone’s shelf. I didn’t know what was going on out there. Really. I don’t know. I can’t say everyone else but it was starting to go out on shelves. You could find it at a couple of stores in Charlotte.
And I actually went back to a couple of those stores number Hey, you know, we’d love for you to have Prime Sunshine Well, they are Had product. And I’m thinking, I came to you two years ago. And we’re a local business and which is how we ended up getting into the grocery store chain because we are in the bible belt. We are local. We are going to be growing in South Carolina next year.
Sonia Gomez: Where’s your farm now?
Seedling vs Clone
Plant grown from a seedling as opposed to a clone makes a difference for me. - Ellen Tacher Click To Tweet
Ellen Tacher: So right now everything is coming out of Kentucky, but we’re having our third harvest in Nevada, which was the picture that you saw on Facebook. So big difference for me, okay, I don’t know about other people and there are great CBD brands out there. And I know amazing few that are owned by women as well. But for me personally, it made a huge difference to have, and I’m always testing other brands, not if they’re better just for my own endocannabinoid system, like a plant grown from a seedling as opposed to a clone makes a difference for me. Okay.
A clone, I don’t think anyone would say is genetically altered but it is the female plant and it’s from another plant. It’s not from a seed. It’s from a clone. Typically, in also we do grow. There are parts on the farm that grows for other companies. Those clones are mature plants so they’re not in-ground as long their roots don’t go down as deep. And then also if a plant is grown in a greenhouse, we’ve got wonderful science to back up, how great greenhouse lights are and the technology now that’s available to farming and farmers, cannabis farmers and all kinds of farmers around the world.
Outperforming Mother Nature
However, I have spoken to handfuls of scientists, you cannot, under any circumstances, outperform mother nature, or sunshine or moonshine and her star shine all provide a plethora, a platform and a panel of fighter nutrients that you cannot duplicate in a greenhouse under manufactured man-made lights. It’s not possible.
Sonia Gomez: Agree.
Ellen Tacher: But we need the greenhouses because of climate change and flooding and there is no crop insurance for farmers. So, I kind of pooh-poohed the whole greenhouse grow. And remember those plants are only grown and they turn over those crops every three or four months. And a lot of them have grown a pot. So our plants for now and for as long as we possibly can are grown from seedling outdoors, under the moonlight, the starlight, and the sunlight and when I called the company Prime Sunshine I never knew how sunshine, a plant is grown under sunshine would be so different from my health than a plant grown in a greenhouse.
Sonia Gomez: It’s amazing at the difference I used to tell people when I was like in my dispensary at a brick and mortar dispensary business here in Colorado, and a lot of people were at the time still really uneducated about you know, greenhouse versus outdoor versus, clone versus seed indoor grow. And everybody was really attracted to the indoor operations because they just produce this souped-up super sexy, super-dense hyper gloss. You know, it was like a pornographic but like what you would see in playboy or something.
And next to an original strain that was grown in a greenhouse or even outdoors it didn’t look as sexy, but you could never touch the flavor, the effect, like all of the things that make this plant so perfect in its natural form, you could never duplicate that inside. And I’ve been a part of this industry for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of different types of growth. My husband and I collectively have, like, I don’t know, 33 years, 35 years in the industry. And we’ve been a part of legislative develop, I mean, that we’ve literally seen it all. And it was just amazing to see the disconnect between the consumer and the farmer, what the farmer knows from working with the plant and tasting it at its different stages and different strains and knowing how the plant responds in different environments, and how that translated to the consumer who just wants the sexiest, most dense flower that they can find, but for me, it was flavorless, it didn’t have the same oils that didn’t have the same flavor profiles.
And now we’re starting to get a more educated consumer whether, they’re looking for that sun-grown, they’re looking for you know they’re okay with a hybrid systems in greenhouses and my husband is a part of a major cultivation operation here in Colorado, with the licensed facility doing restorative and regenerative farming, natural Korean farming. So they build their own soil, they don’t use any nutrients. It’s all of the Earth from the earth. It’s just like this amazing, this amazing system and not too many people are doing it mostly you can find it out in California, but I’m in 100% agreement with you. What, happens to the plant from soil all the way to sale is such an important process. And I don’t think that the farmer, the geneticists, the people in the labs, really get enough credit for what they’re doing with these streams to create the consistency for the consumer.
Ellen Tacher: You know, it’s kind of blows me away you’re saying how many years you’ve been in the industry. Were here I was all alone in North Carolina. I didn’t even know it was an industry.
Sonia Gomez: while you’re in North Carolina, California, and California.
Ellen Tacher: But there’s certainly a plethora of information that’s been available over the years, but it didn’t relate to where I lived, and it wasn’t a part of anyone’s life. And if anyone part token cannabis, you certainly wouldn’t tell anyone that here. And even when I realized I had a business and I could pay my rent with it, people say “Oh, who said that marijuana?” No, oh, I would say I would never have anything to do with marijuana ever. Never. Not Prime Sunshine. No way. Like a year ago, still up until a year ago and now from what I’ve learned and fat This is I was in the grocery store this morning. And they want to make hemp illegal in North Carolina. So if you get caught with hemp flour…
Sonia Gomez: They do.
Ellen Tacher: They’re trying to ban it and I think it’s either May or December of 2020 but here I am in the grocery store line this morning. Whoo. Okay, and it’s like so this is happening in North Carolina. And then I took some pictures in the grocery store this morning and there was you know, it’s happening in our state and whether the state officials and the legal entities and the sheriff’s and the police Like it or not, this is happening in our grocery stores. And then there was hemp milk. I took a picture of this morning.
Sonia Gomez: No Yeah, that’s my favorite.
Ellen Tacher: You’ve seen all this in Colorado. We didn’t have any of this in North Carolina. Here’s a picture of granola.
Sonia Gomez: Yes.
Ellen Tacher: So I was just going to post that today on Facebook too and somewhat we have a lot of older customers and they come in and I’m finding out and some of them come in in diapers from having chemotherapy, we pulled down their pants and we get that cream on them. And I have a lady who comes in, she takes care of her, she’s got to be at and she babysits her grandchildren and her name is Monette. She’s a nurse. She comes in on her worst days and we load her up with some of our 2400 and I slap some pain cream down her pants and on her neck and give her to create items which I love to mix with CBD as well for certain people certain instances and she goes out and has lunch with her grandchildren.
So like, Who would have ever believed that a hot mess, is now working with other hot messes and watching their lives change and their relationships with their grandchildren where they couldn’t even cook and I have a lady in Boston who got thrown out of her pain clinic up there for testing positive. And she was like, gotta be iterating Her name’s Virginia. She’s been buying from me for years now.
And she had the nurse call me and I sent them COAs to try to save her from being thrown out of her pain clinic and she’s like, you know what, screw it. I don’t even need pain medication anymore. Whatever pain level she’s gotten down to, she gauged how she felt on if she could wash the dishes and serve her grandchildren a meal. And she said at this point, just with the CBD alone, I can babysit my grant. She’s still tired after but she could never do that before she could have the grandchildren over, cook a great dinner and clean up and send them home and then get into bed. She couldn’t even get out of bed especially with a flare-up. So kind of went on a rant there.
Sonia Gomez: No, it’s important to hear and to see the evolution of how people are being affected by this, it doesn’t. I mean, the fact that you’re experiencing this in such a conservative environment where most people at the demographic that you’re talking about would shun the idea of using a cannabis or hemp-based product, the receptiveness, the openness and then paired with the results that folks are seeing, I think that this these are the most important stories to tell for me.
It’s not about like, oh well our product is made with virgin oil from the butt of a goat-like these are not the reasons why people are getting on board with the movement. This is not why people are joining the mission people join this movement and become a part of an active member of a hemp revolution because it is a disruption to healthcare people are no longer depending on their doctor’s prescriptions. They’re no longer depending on their pain clinics.
Ellen Tacher: While you’re speaking I have chills, okay, all over my legs and all over my neck. I don’t know why but just consider it.
Sonia Gomez: It’s an amazing evolution of humanity and how we are taking control back from our medical system back from our doctors. I mean, there’s multiple layers and many generations of false information out there that we are working against right now. And while we are permeating the 60 to 80 year old demographic is the epicenter and source of this stigma.
Ellen Tacher: I love every day at least once a day I have much I can say but I can tell you we have a lot of the 80s and 90-year-olds who love THC, and they would much rather have THC than Tramadol, gabapentin. You know Any hydrocodone because they can function. And if you’re already you know, 80 to 90, and you’ve got the beginnings, a little bit of maybe dementia, maybe you’ve had many strokes. The fact that you can’t get clarity on those drugs, right? In the fact that they can now have some clarity and that brain fog is removed and the quality of their life has improved. It’s phenomenal to have watched this for this many years.
I mean, people thought my own family told me to get a job at Marshals, which is one of my favorite stores. That’s where I go for therapy. It’s across the street from my office. My brother said he eats his words every day. He says just go to Marshall and just get a job. Just get out of the house. I said Every morning when I woke up creating this company. I was running like a race. My brothers like what are you rushing around for. I said because people are going to find out about this. We have to be ready. People don’t really know about this. I mean, I was up at 3:30 in the morning, working, sometimes 20 hours a day in a rush, and I didn’t know why I felt like I had to rush that I felt like I had to rush. I felt like I was rushing like a race almost. And I had no reason to because I don’t know why, but I’m glad that I did.
And I had mentioned to you about the older people, because now versus a year ago when I would never say the word marijuana out loud, ever. Not here, okay. You just don’t say it here. Now, if somebody comes into our office, or my dispensary, or on Facebook, I say you say that word aloud. And they’ll say this just yesterday. You can go look at I did a post and a woman said Oh, I’m all about hemp, but I just don’t like THC. And I said, Well, what do you like about hemp? She was one of the CBD. I said You mean the cannabinoid? She said yeah, I said, What do you think THC is? It’s CBD. You know, it’s still part of the United States flag that Betsy Ross so dead THC in it. That was okay for the United States. Henry Ford built an engine in 1939 that had THC in it. Okay, you know what I’m saying? Like, she’s all about hemp and then she’s demonizing THC.
Now I suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. So THC is not a really good idea for me. Okay, I do get anxiety and paranoid and all that stuff. So, but I’m learning about it. And I make people say that we’re really loud because when they demonize that or anything about the plant, at this point, I’ll say do you drink wine? Oh, yes, I have my wine every night so it’s okay to move on closer to cirrhosis of the liver if you’re drinking a bottle of wine every night it’s okay to take your two Tylenol for your arthritis or your Aleve. But you’re Pooh poohing a plant compound that’s never killed anybody ever in how many 50,000 years.
My brother took Enbrel which is a regular prescription that doctors write for rheumatoid arthritis. Then he listened to his doctor. Well, he took his last breath and choked to death in my arms and bro killed him in four months. I gave him acute onset lymphoma. So it’s also killed not I want to, you know, be wrong, but I think it’s about 15,000 people since it’s been brought to market. Okay. And they tell you straight out on the commercial, how it’s going to kill you and what your death will look like while the family is playing with their Labrador Retriever to park throwing a football. And they do it you know with the nice music in the background I tell you exactly how they’re going to kill you. Just like that. Right? And it killed my brother, he choked to death in the emergency room. It gave him acute onset lymphoma.
And I said to this woman, I said, You know what? Not only was my brother a cannabis smoker his entire life and a dealer and a contributor to you know, the cannabis movement in the 70s he didn’t kill him. So really don’t come into my business and demonise a plant that’s never killed anyone when you’re sucking down a bottle of wine every night taking Tylenol and leave and all your prescription from your doctor which half of which once we get them on CBD, I’m seeing people just get better because there’s so many other side effects. I just, I’m seeing people come off with cholesterol medicine and their hip and joint pain is better. I just found out that Stanton’s cause hip and joint pain and I just somehow I didn’t know that was a side effect. My point is even in just the last year I wouldn’t have said the word THC or marijuana.
How Her Life Has Changed
Sonia Gomez: How has this changed your life? I mean you’ve come through a pretty significant transformation you know, hot mess to hottie Qatar it and you’re like, you must be such an inspiration. I’m inspired. So I imagine that you’re such an inspiration to many of the women in the communities that you are a part of while you were challenged. What does your life look like now in contrast, you’re just moving into a new home you’re running this successful, thriving business. What does it look like now?
Ellen Tacher: It’s still really hard I mean, after business so personal life, when you have a business you almost I don’t really have one. It’s unfortunate but you know, the business consumes every day, pretty much of my time. I just started closing on Saturdays and not working on Sunday. So that’s been, it’s my employee that said, you know, she didn’t want to come anymore on Saturdays I said, neither do I, and you know what? So for going on for years, I never took, I was working seven days a week 12 to sometimes 20 hours, in the beginning, a day and I was getting really burned out.
And after the farm bill passed, I got thrown out of the bank. So all my taxes were paid out the bank, my QuickBooks, my payroll, just everything that you have, when you set up a business account gets paid out of your business account, and they threw me out of that bank. And I was over at PNC Bank because I was told they, would close their eyes. And then I got thrown out of that bank. So, finally got to another bank which I’m not going to say their name and I’m able to bank to put my money somewhere and you know, right about shortly after that, then our credit card processing blew up.
And I went without credit card processing for six months. So we lost a lot of online business and almost having to like to the point of almost having to rebuild that business building on the retail business because of it kind of offset that. Yeah. And then, we got credit card processing up and then shut down again.
Sonia Gomez: Oh, my God. So So are you is that would you say that’s one of the challenges you’re still facing right now? Like, what are some of the challenges?
Ellen Tacher: Absolutely not. I’m very, very blessed I’m with two conventional regular banks that have taken my business? Yes. I mean, regular BB&T. And, and then we did the Square Beta.
Sonia Gomez: Awesome. I know so many people who are getting into the Square beta right now. It’s really great. As a matter of fact, I was just invited to the Square headquarters in New York. They invited me to come in because I’m working with so many businesses.
Ellen Tacher: I want to go there and kiss the inside of their big toe. Okay? And like to buy everybody drinks or something.
Sonia Gomez: I’m going to be speaking there in New York at 3C summit with the founders and CEOs of Aurora Canopy like the biggest cannabis and hemp companies in the world right now. I’m one of the only female panelists.
Ellen Tacher: Very interesting.
Sonia Gomez: So, if you want to come and check us out.
Ellen Tacher: I actually would like to come because I personally want to thank them, however, based on the continued traumas and fires of you know, being, why can even get a retail location, which is how I ended up in a business building. I mean, when you these are I’m in an office building. Yeah, we’ve never will do you know, over a million or plus to whatever and sales, we’ve never spent a diamond advertising. And we don’t even have a sign so that our product has spoken for itself. I just bought advertising for the very first time.
So and it’s killing me but you gotta do it. But because of those traumas I mean, I’m prepared I have two other backup processing. One of the back which I still have to pay monthly one of that backup, just Visa pulled out and Discover pulled out so it only takes MasterCard. But I’m saying I’m prepared for Square to say bye-bye. And we’re not going to do this anymore. I hope that they don’t but in case they do, we have Green Box and we have Fortress as backups and we still have to pay their monthly fees.
Sonia Gomez: Oh, man, I got a couple of others I’ll give to you that don’t have the crazy fees. There’s no like minimum requirement that you have to be processing. There are a couple of really great solutions. So I’ll share them with you.
Ellen Tacher: Also would like to feature you in our newsletter that we put out to our customers. I know I am just super grateful for everything that you’ve done, you know, and it’s just bizarre to think that here I was way, you know, over here. You guys were in Colorado in this industry and I didn’t even know it was an industry I didn’t even know you existed. There’s something called Noko the local events.
Ellen Tacher: I know there were people gathering for events. And here I was.
Sonia Gomez: I actually came out to North Carolina to Charlotte to look at hosting a hemp Expo, the global hemp Expo and I was going to do like a huge over there at the can’t remember the name of the place but it was just outside of town like some of the big car shows and RV shows that they all happen over here at this space, and I was hired by a couple of folks to come out there and sort of analyze the opportunity to do a hemp Expo. This was last year. And I was like this is prime, they weren’t quite ready for it. But I had just such an incredible opportunity to come in there, I’d still love to come in and do that. A lot of our focus in our business is education.
So we’ve built a following of over a million people. We’ve impacted a little over 50 million people around the world in the last 18 months. We have a subscriber list of 350,000 and I get to work with brands and businesses like yours for targeted advertising, we also have a membership that called The Emerald Circle that saves you guys money on anything and everything that you can think of we’ve created a network of relationships from around the world who are providing anything that you can think of for the cannabis and hemp space. We’ve put that network to together to make sure that you guys aren’t being taken advantage of for advertising, merchant processing, banking distribution. Oh stabilizing the supply chain. We’re working with some of the top FDA compliance officers in the country so that we have some foresight on what’s happening and when it’s happening, and I can give you guys a heads up and it’s a pretty amazing network.
So we’ve just really focused on being a liaison, a support system because we have, you know, been a part of this industry since ’95, ’96. You know, I grew up in the Humboldt Hills. My husband moved there from Colorado to be a part of the cannabis movement. And we moved back into Colorado in 2009 to support legislation that would legalize cannabis, we operated one of the first licenced businesses there so we’ve really got to see this industry born from the passion and necessity from the people in the hills who have been working with this plant long before it was a conversation to have in public.
And now that it is a conversation to have in public we we like you want to scream from the rooftops to say, learn the truth about cannabis, understand what’s in your bottle, know what delivery systems are going to be effective for you, you know, take responsibility for the wellness that you want to have. And connect yourselves to a community a mission and be a part of a movement that will allow us to disrupt in the otherwise broken system around healthcare, really take ownership of how we are caring for ourselves, the people that we love conditions we may be suffering from, but really setting a foundation that’s solid and clear for the next generation so that they are empowered and not enslaved by the idea of wellness and balance in their life.
So that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’re up to and we love having the opportunity to share the stories like yours, women, men, it doesn’t Family owned businesses like what we are seeing is that this isn’t just healing people, but it’s healing families, bringing communities together and really dissolving very real problems like the opioid crisis, for instance, that are completely taking over our communities. And we’re starting to see that little by little dissipate. And it’s an incredible thing to witness and to be a part of.
Ellen Tacher: So I’m going to be out your way. We’re partnering with a when you talk about the large companies that are going to be in New York, approached by will buy one of those. And we actually met yesterday, and I’ll be part of a farm in Nevada, one in Arizona, which is a greenhouse. And then they just closed on a 25,000 square foot processing facility in Columbia, South Carolina and got our license to grow in South Carolina.
Sonia Gomez: Gorgeous.
Ellen Tacher: Yeah, and one of the cool things that I like so that the supply chain, you brought up that word in, just out of the blue, somebody would come who was, every product that we have has my oil in it. We’re not buying a product, even our bath bombs, that manufacturer who makes it buys the oil from me and then manufactures my product for me. Up until recently, the only product that we didn’t have our plant material in it was our dog biscuits.
And now we are manufacturing them and Lenore North Carolina, a pet food manufacturer who I actually was a client he was a client of mine is making I mean the carcass is coming through the back door to 300,000 square foot facility and it’s all everything’s made with sweet potatoes and dead carcasses and onions and potatoes. Everything’s fresh, and that was the only product that I didn’t have my hands in. Yeah, now those dog treats are going into the grocery stores as well.
Sonia Gomez: And you’re in 100 locations plus now.
Ellen Tacher: Yes. And they have 210. So, within it is interesting because they are located in the most conservative areas of North Carolina. Like I had to go to the mountains just to go to their headquarters.
Sonia Gomez: Love it.
Ellen Tacher: And just Southern as the day is long, just and so it’s just every day. I do kind of laugh a little bit, because, just being in the grocery store and coming across this in it.
Sonia Gomez: What a magazine is that?
Ellen Tacher: That? I mean, it just says Centennial Spotlight. I’ve never seen it before.
Sonia Gomez: Wow, cool.
Ellen Tacher: I bought an extra copy. I can send it to you.
Sonia Gomez: That’s so amazing. I love it. I’m going to get all of those women on my podcast.
What Sets Them Apart from the Other Brands
Ellen Tacher: So what’s really going to set us apart. I don’t need Prime Sunshine to be a giant commercial brand. That’s not ever what I set out. We just want to improve the quality of people’s lives and grow organically. And that’s really how we’ve grown. But having the supply chain in place and not having a manufacturer come up and say, You know what, I know you were paying this price, but we’re going to boost it up 10 bucks now when I’ve already pre-sold orders to stores. So now we’re making like our pain creams are made in house by a chemist whose name is Mike and he made drugs for the pharmaceutical industry for the first part of his career. So, it is truly pharmacy formulated, it’s just not something that we put on a label. So it’s coming from our farm and it’s being made by a pharmacist in our lab.
Where to Find Them
Sonia Gomez: If people want to get ahold of your products, where can they find you online right now?
Ellen Tacher: Yes, it’s just primesunshine.com. And we donate a lot. So if anybody who’s listening or watching has their own disability, I have three brothers who were all disabled. The one passed away from this disability but that was really from a drug but it will go down in the books that it was from this disability but it was a pharmaceutical drug that killed my brother. And then I have two others that are also disabled. who live paycheck to paycheck. Well, disability checks the disability check.
So we do offer quite a large discount to folks who come in with their disability card or their food stamps card. We have a discount on our website as well. We just ask people to call in and then if anybody is a Vietnam vet and they are dealing with agent’s arms or exposed to Agent’s arms, we will provide CBD for free for them.
And we are very adamant about making sure anybody who needs the help and the assistance that can get it. It is not going to affect whether or not anybody on my staff or office eats dinner, the fact that we can actually make somebody or help somebody or subject move them in the direction of feeling betters is more profitable than $1 for us.
Sonia Gomez: I love that there’s a lot of companies that are building that sort of social responsibility into their businesses. I have to say that it was not a part of their fabric in the beginning but we are starting to see more and more companies build these types of programs and I think it’s fantastic, totally necessary. And for those of you guys who are tuning in and watching and want to take advantage of a programme like this or just interested in looking at a product that can in fact transform you I mean the consideration and care that you’re putting into your each phase of your product and how it’s being made and manufactured is is just amazing.
So for those of you guys who are looking for a product that can and will consistently provide you with the results that you’re looking for, go ahead and check out Prime Sunshine. I think this will be awesome. I can’t wait to test so you can I’m not to put you on the spot but you’re going to send me a care package right?
Ellen Tacher: I would love to and I will say in advance ours really most brands are kind of yellowish or some even clear. Ours is green. The color of a plant is green, that’s the color of a plant.
Sonia Gomez: You actually have the full spectrum.
Ellen Tacher: Yeah and I’m amazed in our our creams we also have 26 essential oils in it like high needle oil, oregano oil, standard phone oil, 26 different essential oils plus 500 milligrams of cream and what we do every single day is we have a Buy one get one half off so if your funds are tight, get with a buddy. And if you do like to 2400 milligram when you do the buy one get one half off. It’s 50% cheaper than in a store and it lasts a heck of a long time and it comes out to be as expensive as our lowest milligram so milligram four milligram and volume. So even though you’re spending a little bit more money, you end up saving money or buying something that is equivalent to a lower milligram strength. So get a buddy you know but we do offer the buy one get one half off which is cool you should put two in your cart and the second one is always taken off 50% at the checkout.
And then we do free shipping on all orders. You can just use the shipping code free shipping at checkout. Love it and then you know I would also suggest to you know, we resell if somebody has a favorite store and they would like to see our brand in their store let us know or let the store know. We have a 24-hour a day, 365 days a week. Customers are your support group. On Facebook, it’s closed, you have to prove that you’re a prime sunshine customer in order to be in it. We have a very famous oncologist from Harvard in there that answers questions. We’ve got two different pharmacists, we have life coaches, we have nutritionists. We have one psychiatrist. We have two veterinarians. We have registered nurses, we have some cannabis nurses in there.
And what we do is we just as we get new information like I just got a text from my office, Trump is going to ban vape products today, like across the country, which will also include CBD. I just got this on my text as I’m sitting here. People can go into our group and ask, can I not get the vape anymore so you always have support from a doctor from a pharmacist from psychiatrists. Obviously, they can’t give medical advice but you just don’t. It’s not like going into a store and buying a bottle. And then you say the CBD stinks and it’s not working for me. And we’ve seen when people that’s happened, what we’ll do is they come on to the customer service group, we find out how much they’re taking when they’re taking it when their pain levels are worse.
And then we create a dosing schedule, or one of the physicians or pharmacists will create a dosing schedule around their own personal pain schedule. So you’re not out there on your own, you definitely have continued support whenever you need it. And it’s interesting because those people around the world are in that group, you can always tell is a new customer because they go on and they post I just started and they’re looking for, you know, their life to change. And then now we’ve educated our customers, who also are educating our new customers. So that’s been kind of fun to see.
Sonia Gomez: Really, really cool.
Ellen Tacher: I would invite you to, I’ll invite you.
Sonia Gomez: I would love to come in.
Ellen Tacher: Yeah, I would love for you to post. Like when we found out about micro-dosing, we posted about myself. dosing and that was very helpful for me when I was having panic attacks. So people like you I would love you to post its invitation only and you could you know as long as it’s people who buy Prime Sunshine in stores are in there as well so there’s no marketing, there’s no sales it’s just education and teaching people how to use cannabis.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I totally would love to share a little bit about our story. My journey with cannabis started when I was in a near-fatal surfing accident. And I went through years and hours 10s of thousands of dollars with the medical system with no success, and at the peak of my illness was 100 pounds overweight, on seven different medications and really just kind of waiting for my life to end.
Ellen Tacher: This was in California we would have probably been friends.
Sonia Gomez: I was a 17-year-old kid. I was a 17-year-old kid and I quite literally remember going from being this like active, thriving, happy, social girl to just being like, literally how many of these Do I have to take? just end it right now, you know, and that was really my thought process and I was very discouraged. I was very discouraged and you know, didn’t think that there was any possibility of healing even though I had used cannabis recreationally I never really understood it as a medicine until God bless my mom because she never gave up on me. She but she introduced us to a holistic neurologist who introduced me to my endocannabinoid system taught me about micro-dosing, vital nutrients, cream selection.
Ellen Tacher: How many years ago was that?
Sonia Gomez: Let’s see I’m 34 now so 15-17 years ago.
Ellen Tacher: That was in California?
Sonia Gomez: In California. And, you know, that really started my journey and I went from being the sort of like, concert consumer rebellious teenage, pot smoker to a public advocate for the medical benefits and use of cannabis and then when my rights as a California patient were violated and I was arrested for I was pulled over for speeding but arrested for possession. Even though I had all of my required paperwork. I went into a three year battle with the legal system for my rights to safe access and submitted a report on my experience in their PC 1000 program which was built for first-time offenders. And even though it was built for first-time offenders we were seeing repeat offense and increased felonies.
So if somebody was arrested for a misdemeanor possession charge, they’d be back six months later with a felony narcotics charge. And so the things that I shared with them on the exposure the way that people are grouped, how many timely splendid read have, how much time they spend in the company of other addicts and things like that when you’re just a first time cannabis offender was really off balance and so anyways through my recommendations they made some changes to the program. we saw a 30% increase in success for people who are coming through the program, and the judge wrote me a letter recommending me to the Department of Revenue, which is how I started my journey and legislative development here in Colorado to support the legalization of cannabis.
And, you know, coming from somebody who didn’t go to college, I barely graduated high school. I’m ADD and ADHD all of the odds are against me, nobody would ever believe that I could run my own business. I was similar where they were like, you’re a hairdresser. You should just keep doing hair. And I’m like, No, there’s obviously a higher purpose here. There’s something else to be done, there’s work to be done in the world. And I became very, very passionate and really committed to the excellence and professionalism in which this industry operates because that is what it’s going to take to have global adoption.
It that is what’s going, that is what it’s going to take in order for our families, our communities, our municipalities to stop judging us and accept us as a community of thriving positive contributors to our society and take us seriously as an industry and we’re getting ready to come head to head with a lot of the governing municipalities like the FDA, the FTC, you know, local and federal governments, when it comes to the conversation of how the United States is going to legalize cannabis and hemp and I want to be a professional representative of the growth in this industry and the professionals who are pioneering these products and services on behalf of their families and communities, so here we are fighting the good fight.
And that’s how my journey started with it. And I and I haven’t looked back, although I’ve been looking for I’ve looked for an exit before because it’s not easy. It’s not easy, and it’s not glamorous, but it’s worth every second of it.
Ellen Tacher: Yeah. And it is interesting because it’s that you said that because people feel like wow, you’re in the cannabis business. I go. Aaah, yes. Like there’s just these little bottles with labels. But you know, all that comes with it is, you know, there’s no and you know what? You don’t get that in college. Sorry.
Sonia Gomez: No, you certainly don’t. You certainly don’t. Any final thoughts for our community before we end today’s episode?
Ellen Tacher: Well, I would like to spend 10 seconds to say thank you for the incredible work that you have done. You know, and shame on me for not knowing you all existed all these years and I was really felt very alone, I don’t feel alone anymore and isolated and hidden. And I was so Gosh, now without you, I don’t know what it would look like. So I appreciate your perseverance. I appreciate your desire to tell truth to power because that’s what we do every day. It’s not like there’s a promotion, your paychecks not going to get any bigger, what you’re doing is a service for the generations of people that, we won’t be here to see and you know that two generations from where we’re, I’m 56 so you’re, I could technically be your mom, right? But the two generations from where we’re all from where we’re at now, they’re not even going to know that that we existed, or that I existed and the only fear of course, that I have is and it’s probably going to come true.
If you're experiencing pain, if you're experiencing depression, if you're experiencing darkness in your life, just know that the only thing that's constant is change. - Ellen Tacher Click To Tweet
I don’t know how long there is a market for smaller startups and businesses like mine. I’m just lucky to have one before anyone ever heard of the product, right? And I’m lucky to have been eaten alive, you know, or attacked or whatever you want to call it, you know? So all of the bad things for anybody listening. If you’re experiencing pain, if you’re experiencing depression, if you’re experiencing darkness in your life, just know that the only thing that’s constant is change. And it’s available for you. And if you have a dream and you have a desire, just keep you know, you hear all these people like Brian, you know, all these people say things to keep doing it.
But the truth is, is you don’t really know the lessons in your pain. And the lessons are in our pain and in the journey of our pain. Whether it’s Physically, mentally spiritual. So enjoy the pain that you’re in and allow the lessons to bloom from the pain.
Sonia Gomez: Love it. For those of you who are tuning in to The Hemp Revolution, thank you so much for your time and attention. This is the biggest disruption to the health care industry that we will ever witness in our lifetime. Along with the fastest growing cash-rich industry blooming right before our very eyes, the more that you can participate through education, liking and sharing content just like this, the better that we will do and impacting millions of people’s lives around the world.
If you are a budding entrepreneur or an established brand and you are looking for tools, resources or relationships to help you grow and scale quickly shortcutting that learning curve. Check us out at theemeraldcircle.com for more episodes of The Hemp Revolution, talking to many of the CEOs who are pioneering the space as well as getting in touch with any of our coaching or advertising opportunities so you can share more of your glory with our community.
Also, if you are a patient looking for a recommendation on products you can trust to deliver the results you’re looking for. Check us out on medicalsecrets.com. I’m your host, Sonia Gomez, and we’ll see you in the next episode of the hemp revolution. Thanks so much, Ellen, it was wonderful to talk with you.
Ellen Tacher: Thank you and thank you for all that you do. Keep going. I’m very appreciative of you.
Sonia Gomez: Yes, you too mama.
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