Are you a conscious cannabis consumer? What does that even mean?
Alicia Rose Kelley is a respected leader in California’s cannabis industry.
She’s the founding board member of Napa Valley Cannabis Association, Mendocino Cannabis Association, Wine & Weed Symposium, and the California Department of Food & Agriculture Cannabis Appellations Working Group.
Alicia founded HerbaBuena in 2015 to provide discerning consumers with exceptional products and elevated cannabis experience with the goal of cultivating greater health, harmony, and higher consciousness. HerbaBuena pioneered the conscious cannabis movement and released the country’s first Demeter-Certified Biodynamics Cannabis.
In this episode, Alicia talks about the difference between organic and biodynamic farming, why biodynamic should be the new standard for food and medicine, and how they’re bringing consciousness to the masses through HerbaBuena.
The way that you make your mark in the world, is not only creating something that solves a problem, but that actually supports health and happiness at every level. It’s the only way forward. It’s the only way forward for our entire society. – Alicia Rose Kelley
Some Topics We Discussed Include
4:54 – Alicia’s success in the winery industry
8:18 – Starting HerbaBuena
9:26 – Why biodynamics should be the new standard for both food and medicine and not organic?
14:36 – Quiver: A product that defines the efficacy of cannabis
24:20 – The Social Club: Building a cannabis community the winery style
30:11 – About The elevated tasting program
40:54 – What conscious cannabis means
48:20 – More about Quiver
55:56 – Words of Wisdom
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Alicia Rose Kelley
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up, everybody? Sonia Gomez coming to you live from Denver and super excited to be here on another rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast where we are sharing and telling the real story of the cannabis and hemp industry from the eyes of the entrepreneurs who are pushing it forward.
I shouldn’t say rock your socks because today we are going to be rocking your panties. There is a very, very unique lady boss on the line with us. Someone who has been just such an incredible inspiration.
Literally, her products do not leave my bedside table. The vision that she carries for her company and all of the incredible things that she has done is doing and will be doing in the space. I can’t wait to share it with you guys. But I first want to just invite you ahead of time to like and share this episode in particular and I’ll tell you why. Every time that you’d like and share and tag five people that you know are going to benefit from this interview, you are helping me move the needle and quite literally transform the way that we think about, talk about and educate around the subject of cannabis in our families and communities.
Because you like and share content like this, we’ve been able to impact over 200 million people’s lives around the world quite literally moving the needle for global legalization and rights to safe access for patients who need and want to utilize plant medicines like cannabis and hemp.
So I invite you now and say thank you so much for taking action and being a part of our hemp revolution, Legalize It Don’t Criticize It and Medical Secrets community. If you’re someone looking for products you can depend on, check us out at medicalsecrets.com, and if you’re a budding entrepreneur or established business in the space, looking to break through some brick walls and glass ceilings, go ahead and shoot me an email. I’d love to hear your story, firstname.lastname@example.org and I look forward to hearing more about you.
As I mentioned my girl, Miss Alicia Rose is the badass canna boss babe in California. The founder of HerbaBuena offering elevated events, cannabis bars, and private cannabis tastings in the Bay Area in California. A respected leader in California’s cannabis industry, Alicia founded HerbaBuena in 2015 to provide discerning consumers with exceptional products, trusted quality standards, informed guidance, and elevated experiences.
Once you meet this girl, you’ll be like, yes, of course, you are doing that. Yes, of course. With a goal of cultivating greater health, harmony, and higher consciousness for people and planet, HerbaBuena has pioneered the conscious cannabis movement and released the country’s first Demeter-certified biodynamic cannabis.
Having run a vertically integrated cannabis company since 2015, there are a few people more well-versed or passionate about this extraordinary healing plant. Alicia craft an award-winning portfolio of products, unrivaled for their quality purity and full-spectrum balanced effect, and been involved in the developing cannabis ordinances for three counties, four cities in the state of California.
I’m super excited to hear more about her incredible story and all of the things that she is doing in this space right now. Put your hands together, driving, keep your hands on the wheel. Put your hands together and help me welcome Alicia Rose. Alicia, what’s going on?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Hey, so good to be here with you, Sonia. I’m so excited to be able to have this chat.
Sonia Gomez: I’m so excited, too and I wish I had both wine, weed, and some sort of gorgeous view over the vines that I could be enjoying right now having this conversation with you but I’m glad that we can virtually meet up.
For folks who have not done extensive research into your personal and professional life and who do not know the power of your incredible products. Why don’t you give us a quick and dirty who you are, what you’re up to, and how you ended up in the Canna craze.
Alicia’s Success in the Winery Industry
Alicia Rose Kelley: Oh my gosh. Okay, well, I ended up in the Canna craze, I guess that’s the longer ones, but the easy to cover. So I started, you know, gosh, probably in my teens, when you start thinking about what in the world is my purpose here? Why am I on this planet? And what am I going to do with my life? And it was very clear to me from a very early age that I had this compulsion to figure out how to make the planet slightly better than I found it.
I’ve been sort of deeply engaged in all sorts of things that are defined in that realm by figuring out how to make the planet a healthier place. And of course, when you want to do that, you actually need to change the hearts and minds of the people who are you know, at this point, still extracting and wearing on the planet in a way that is no longer sustainable?
So I went to school. I got my master’s degree in ecosystem science of all things. A lot of people don’t believe that I actually have a Master’s in science degree. And then I did a secondary major in international affairs because I was very convinced in my 20s that I was going to go out and quite literally single-handedly save the world.
I was very convinced in my 20s that I was going to go out and quite literally single-handedly save the world. - Alicia Rose Kelley Click To Tweet
Through a very long and interesting tale, I ended up in Wine Country. And when in Wine Country you start working with wineries and that was [unintelligible], here in Napa and Sonoma Valley I’ve had the great pleasure of working with some of the most extraordinary wineries and winemakers in the world. I’ve quite literally had the honor and privilege to work with people that are making hundred point wines, about half a dozen of them here in my local community. So you know, folks that are very truly pop an apex of their career, both in artistry and science of another highly prized and highly regulated agricultural product.
And as I sort of got relatively mature and had a lot of success behind me in the wine industry, what became really clear to me is that I was really exceptionally passionate about helping other people leave their legacy in wine. But when it came to thinking about what my legacy was going to be for the next 20 or 30 years of my life, the wine did not resonate, and I felt deeply interested in figuring out how to create my legacy around this concept of plant medicine as a vehicle for positive cultural change.
And when you start thinking about plant medicine, of course, we start thinking about the queen of all plant medicine, which I believe is cannabis, and a plant that I’ve used for many, many years for all sorts of therapeutic and positive effects in my own life.
I was lucky enough to grow up with you know, pretty hippie parents in the Northeast of our country. They grew, you know, weed plants next to the tomato and are getting a garden, you know, so it didn’t have the same sort of intense taboo that I think, unfortunately, a lot of you know, the folks in this country grew up with.
So you know, it was very clear to me that if I was going to make an impact in any positive way that cannabis was the vehicle and I in some ways feel tapped by this plant to be a voice going forward. So that is how I got into it.
So in 2015, I started HerbaBuena and really looking at a company that would act a lot like a winery in the concept that we grow it, we make it, we sell it all within the context of leading this plant by what was representative of its highest expression and its highest purpose in our culture for incorporating into our daily lives.
So I started developing products that I would be comfortable using. Things that aided my daily life and made me a better person and a better mom and a better professional and a better wife and all the things all the hats that we all wear. And so I started developing a portfolio of products that Really, you know, we’re aided, you know, or created positivity in my daily life made life better.
And that’s really the way in which, you know, as of 2017, before Prop 64, we had about 18 different skews that were all oriented around discerning parents and professionals that really could use these products to be happier, more joyful, more present, but not impaired.
Why Biodynamics Should Be the New Standard for Both Food and Medicine and Not Organic?
And you did mention in my bio, thank you for that amazing introduction that as part of that, you know, at the time, not much cannabis was testing clean. And when I would send these flowers or these products off to a third-party testing lab back in 2015, to see if it was something that I was comfortable carrying in my online store, most of them failed. And so it became very clear to me very quickly that we needed a new standard for really defining what purity and quality meant in the context of this extraordinary sacred plant medicine. And that’s when I started approaching the Demeter Association about allowing cannabis to be certified under their international regulatory framework.
And for those of you who don’t know what Demeter is, it is the oldest and largest agricultural certification body in the world. We don’t hear enough about it here in the US because our government has told us that organics is the end all be all and good enough. And I beg to differ. And I can use a really simple example to sort of share why I think organics are not nearly and why biodynamics should be the new standard that we use for both food and medicine.
I make a tincture called rock and roll that includes strains specific cannabis, along with some holy basil, Gotu kola, Kava and chocolate, and I have now put two batches of this product through testing, all of the ingredients that I purchased not only from USDA Organic certified ingredients, but double certified by the European Standards. And two of those ingredients I have not been able to get to pass testing for the California cannabis market. My cannabis isn’t biodynamic, but the certified organic and even European certified organic standards are still allowing levels of contamination that the cannabis industry does not allow and nor should we as consumers.
Sonia Gomez: So interesting, I’m like, I’m super fascinated by– I’m always fascinated by that, that by the subject of testing in particular, because on one end the temperature between entrepreneurs who are like talking about the end the way that they talk about the craft ness of their product, you know, and I see and feel and like I’m so engaged by the passion and intensity in which you know, we are all like taking the necessary precautions to make sure that we have the purest, you know, most incredible borne by the moon of the moon in the sun kind of product, right?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah.
Sonia Gomez: However, I’m always confused by the fact that we don’t require the same kind of testing or quality in our food. I throw that out there because I’m like, listening to you and I’m like, Yeah, and it’s so sexy and like my mind because I just smoked a little bit of cannabis before this episode. My mind immediately was like, Oh my god, guacamole and chips would be so good right now and then I was like, Hey, wait a minute. The Dirty Dozen like we don’t fucking talk about you know our food the same way we talk about our cannabis.
Alicia Rose Kelley: We don’t, yes. [crosstalk]
Sonia Gomez: throw that in there as but I think like, I agree with you. I think biodynamic farming and the standards that come with that should absolutely be sort of a new standard all the way around. I have such an incredible community of people around me who are doing like restorative agriculture and, you know permaculture design and creating food for us. You know, it’s just such beautiful work.
One of the things that you said that caught my attention was, you know, your belief that cannabis, in general, is sort of the mother of medicinal plants. And I would love to hear you elaborate a little bit more as somebody who is creating, in my opinion, one of the highest quality products. I mean, I will literally and have literally used your stuff both inside and outside of my body.
There’s one product in particular which we’ll talk about more here in a moment, which is quite literally I call the panty dropper. And like it is one of the best products I’ve ever come into contact with. But you, you have a pretty strong opinion about it, and while everyone has been jumping into the diet cannabis canoe which is aka CBD.
Alicia Rose Kelley: I love that term, diet cannabis canoe.
Sonia Gomez: you have stayed really true to believing that cannabis in its full and original form is the mother medicine. So tell us more about where you were where that opinion is derived from and why you stay so tied and tried and true to mother cannabis?
Quiver: A Product That Defines the Efficacy of Cannabis
Alicia Rose Kelley: Thank you for that question. Ah, you know, it’s interesting. The product that you’re talking about that you love so much, which by the way, Sonia as someone who I know has tried, you know, probably almost every product out there at this point.
Sonia Gomez: Over 2000 in the last three years.
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yes, like that is a huge, huge. It warms my heart to know that you feel so strongly and passionately about this particular product because obviously, I love it as well. And I think, you know, this idea that whole plant intelligence really is the magic and really does define the efficacy for how this plant can work within the context of our bodies and create greater joy and create happiness, a presence of higher consciousness.
The one that you’re talking about is called Quiver which is one of our many products certainly one of the most fun just to speak about for lots of different reasons because it is an intimate oil or a sensual pleasure oil as a kind of we use it interchangeably but the magic of that particular product is like all of our products dependent on the cannabis that we source and using that product.
And so, you know, to go back to your original question, why do I believe so strongly in this being the mother plant and why is it so important to be so deeply respect and honor the plant’s sacred, innate intelligence and I can do an entire speech and presentation on this topic alone.
So, in summary, I guess as you well know our endocannabinoid system works directly with the Phytocannabinoids, which are molecularly identical to those that we produce endogenously or the ones that cannabinoids that we produce within our own bodies. And so this plant, as we know has quite literally evolved with humans as our plant medicine, right? It’s the thing that has over 45 therapeutic applications and that’s just the start of us beginning to study this incredible plant.
You know, and it cures our cancer, you know, shrinks tumors, it helps with autoimmune disease. It helps with pain, mental, physical, Goal, you know, anxiety, everything, right? All of the incredible therapeutic uses that we know, the way and reason that it works so incredibly, sort of synergistically with our body is by virtue of the plant being so innately complex.
So, you know, as we continue to study this extraordinary plant, we find that these landrace strains especially that haven’t been hybridized to produce just THC or just CBD has a profound array of over 480 different therapeutic compounds and those include cannabinoids micronutrients. And you know, the aroma aromatic molecules that we talked so much about these days in the realm of terpenes and lots and lots of other things.
The fact that this plant is so complex and the fact that when it’s grown and cultivated in its sort of heritage strain, or what we call landrace strains, sort of the unhybridized adulterated sort of naturally developed strains. It has such deep complexity that actually works within the context of our endocannabinoid system for the sole purpose of creating a greater state of homeostasis. Right?
It’s the regulator. Our endocannabinoid system is the regulator of our regulatory systems. So it has the ability to help all of those regulatory systems communicate in a way that allows for greater balance. And of course, simplified. Balance equals health and imbalance equals disease. And so you know, the fact that this plant in its whole plant intelligence has the ability to create greater balance and homeostasis, and therefore a greater state of overall health is really the most profound thing.
And so when we start to isolate, our Western minds immediately say, Wow, this plant does X, Y, or Z, let’s take this single compound out, and then put it in pill form and give it to people like that’s the medicine. And we know over and over and over again that when we do these various things happen in the plant medicine world, what happens is that that single molecular compound no longer has bioavailability in the same way that the whole plant does.
So, we talked about you know, the curcumin for example in turmeric, which is known as one of the anti-inflammatory agents and turmeric. Turmeric works as an anti-inflammatory agent, not because it just has curcumin, but because it has like 40 other analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents in it.
But we as the Westerners are like, that’s the curcumin, that’s the one we need to take. The problem is when we take pills of curcumin, our bodies don’t know what to do with it. And so we ended up you know, it’s not only is it not effective, but it ends up you know, getting wasted, and it’s a whole lot of money that we spend on these things that we quite literally pee out.
And I think the same has become true, you know, in our extractive mentality around a venture capital-backed new commoditized market of cannabis, that Oh, it’s the CBD that works or Oh, it’s the THC that works when in reality It’s quite literally the entire plant and the 480 plus different compounds working in synergy that actually create the therapeutic effect.
So for me, the highest expression of this plant medicine is, of course, its most profound and whole version. and time and time again, the people that try our products or have the, you know, ability to actually smoke our busts or intake in some form, or flowers. It is a very different experience than then, you know, almost anything else out there because we are so true and committed to the intelligence and even cultivating in that manner.
Sonia Gomez: So, Good, I mean, you literally make it sound sexy. I like the way that you talk about it. I’m just like, yes, and that and then she said a little bit more. I’m over here like I’m your hype girl right now. I’m like, boom. And what? What do you want?
Alicia Rose Kelley: I love it. I love it.
Sonia Gomez: Super sexy scientists like you really. I love how much emphasis you put on how this plant and in its perfect molecular form work so synergistically with us. Yeah, we’re seeing what you’re saying. But you are the sexy scientists like you literally went and got, you know, you literally went and pulled things from best, the best of both worlds.
I tend to be somewhat of a– I’m kind of a route gal in the sense that I like the plant to stay the plant. You know, I really enjoy smoking cannabis. I really enjoy the flower. I really enjoy using the flower in multiple ways that give me multiple functions. So I tend to be a little bit more old school that way, however, what you have done with the extracts are quite extraordinary. And I’ll talk experiential here as well because I think that this is an underserved piece of the conversation.
You could have just been another, you know, pro-cannabis advocate with a brand who wanted to be a part of legislative development to move things in your favor as a business owner. But you’re not. You’re actually curating experiences to open a sophisticated conversation with the upper echelon of our society, and allowing the pairing of this experience which is quite a high end and exclusive, but also approachable for folks of all different walks of life.
Similar to a winery experience that you would get in Napa or wine country which is famous all over the world. You’re creating that. You’re pulling that in from mainstream and integrating it into cannabis and I wouldn’t I would bring separate from the product facet of your company, I would bring focus to the cannabis tourism, which is I think, something that we are not talking enough about. Especially people in the west or northwest part of the country like, we’re like, oh, yeah, that’s the fucking dispensary cool like awesome. This one over here is better.
You know, like we take for granted the fact that tears we literally down the store and like on the way home from when we stopped to get gas, a Starbucks and our pre-roll like it’s just a part of our stop in the day where the majority 97% of this they can’t access that shit. Now we’re still curious about it and they want to ask a question. And they want to be in an environment that makes themselves and their company feel safe and comfortable and familiar.
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah.
Sonia Gomez: So I think that you’ve done to something that’s really super interesting, and I’d love to hear a little bit more about what you’re doing with the weed and wine and how you’re integrating HerbaBuena and just walk me through and help me visualize and help our viewers visualize what that curated experience is and what it provides.
The Social Club: Building a Cannabis Community the Winery Style
Alicia Rose Kelley: Oh yeah, I would love to. So we, we host a number of different types of events. And the reason that I started developing those events is one because of my history in wine country, right? Like we are incredibly good at sophisticated hospitality here are so many world-class wineries. It’s just something that’s sort of second nature to me is how to really curate and cultivate a really extraordinary comfortable, engaging fun, knowledge-based, you know, consumer experience and so, wine country has, you know, done that I think almost better than any other industry on the planet.
You know, we get just in Napa Valley alone, I think it’s like less than 40 miles of you know, highway 29 we have over 600 wineries, but we get over 6 million visitors a year to come and taste wine here and to experience these experiences. And so, you know, taking cues from that hospitality background, it came very clear to me very early on that there was so much misinformation out in the public and there continues to be just jaw-dropping amount of misinformation and I think misappropriation of this extraordinary plant medicine into this commoditized sort of widget if you will, rather than in its sacred healing form, which I’d love to talk about as well why our quality standards are what they are, we can circle back on that.
But when I started going I had these products and I was really proud of them and you know, all my friends really liked them and thought that you know, gracious, these are cool products and you should go and sell them to other dispensaries and you know I submitted one to The Emerald Cup like the first product I ever made and we won I was like huh I think it’s just it’s like winning the Wine Spectator top 100 you know your first wine the for the first wine you ever made right like it was a very big deal I was like well I guess I have like a knack for making these cannabis products right. I’m making things that I like that I want to put in my body that made me feel better right which is the best way to make any product is something that you are personally really proud of and can be transformational in your own life.
And so you know we started gaining all this notoriety and then so, of course, I went out and started going to a dispensary isn’t saying hey, look at Emerald Cup winner and look at this cool microdose tincture or look at these biodynamic flowers and the dispensary buyers would look at me like I was insane. What’s biodynamics? Nobody cares about the sun-grown, what’s microdose like people want more THC, not less.
And I had this very quick realization after about I think four or five dispensary stops, that was not the way of the future. That this market, the existing consumer cannabis market was being driven by an outdated and misguided perception of quality. And that perception of quality was based on something that was developed and cultivated by a desperate black market. People that needed to grow as much as humanly possible indoors, as higher THC in order to get it out to the market as quickly as possible and command as high $1 as they could.
And so, when I went to the dispensary market, it was no wonder that those products didn’t work for me that the edibles made me feel like I was losing my mind, right, because they were so potent or the flowers made me feel sort of not open and free and expansive, but rather contracted and sort of paranoid and heightened in a way that wasn’t comfortable or just all of these different things and it was clear that the market was being driven in a way that was like, not like a fine line shop or I’m going to walk in and I’m going to buy an extraordinary bottle of wine based on who made it, who grew it, where it’s from, what its bridal characters or its terroir, like all of that stuff. But I was gonna walk into a fine wine shop and buy something based solely on its alcohol content, the higher the better? Like it just didn’t make any sense to me. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to bring my brand into this marketplace in a way that was going to sustain my business.
And so of course, I, you know, turned back to my roots in the wine industry, and was like, Well, I think that these products are extraordinary. And as soon as people try them, they do too. And so what is the best way for us to get people to try these products short of getting them, you know, trying to race to the bottom to get on dispensary shelves.
And so we started developing something that I called Social Club, which was a way that we could have these private locations, we could put up a bunch of our beautiful products and this all started obviously back in 2015, so pre prop 64 and pre-legalization for the rec market most states and so we went, you know, put out samples of our products and people would come by invitation only and we would allow them to sort of taste and touch and see and smell and ask questions at what was essentially a little cannabis bar at these events, and then they can purchase what they want and go home, right?
So it was a really incredible way to build a community to have a very personal and deep and informed conversation with folks about this plant medicine and in sort of a new light and in a new context. And it became, you know, those that became HerbaBuena customers didn’t want to shop anywhere else because once you realize the fundamental and profound difference between micro-dosing and overdosing, or between having something with organic ingredients or not, or the way that the biodynamic flower made you feel compared to the stuff that your guy was delivered to your door that you had no idea how it was grown or where it came from, or [unintelligible] what was in it is that it became this really incredible way for me to connect with consumers and start changing hearts and minds.
About the Elevated Tasting Program
And so I started thinking about the social club as a way to sort of come to us and explore and, and become familiar with this plant in this kind of safe and fun and guided setting, much like they would come to a winery. And so in addition to our social cannabis bars and various things that we were seeing in that context, back into last year, actually, I started developing what I call the Elevated Tastings program.
And so you know, we work with these hotels and concierges and destination management companies and other wineries and all of these places because people are now showing up in Wine Country, and they’re like, I don’t want to go to the Vallejo or to Santa Rosa to experience cannabis dispensaries are a little intimidating. I don’t want to have to drive an hour. And so what I started doing is developing this tasting experience where up to 10 people can come to a private location of our own or theirs because we have a lot of these beautiful vineyard Airbnb ease and things like that in our area.
And so we can quite literally come and I have a full sort of representative products from each of the major categories and we sit down and we do a guided tasting that brings people through sort of cannabis 101 and I can gear it toward the canna-curious or cannasewers, right, like everybody in between. But we basically represent what it is that we think cannabis it can be when incorporated into your daily life for greater health harmony and higher consciousness and so everything comes back to sort of filtering this information through the HerbaBuena lens.
So you know, we’ll start with a CBD tincture and we talk about what is the difference between a full spectrum infusion versus a co2 extraction versus hemp CBD and we go down sort of the road and really go through the various options when it comes to CBD tincture or CBD being incorporated into your life and the ways in which that we think it’s most effective.
And we talk a whole lot about that then we go through other types of tinctures you know, we’ll showcase a topical that you know, people are always so profoundly you know, excited when they put a topical on and they feel it immediately. You know, it’s there’s no better pitch, I think sales pitch for cannabis and I really well crafted topical because it’s an aha moment for people a lot of times about how incredibly effective this medicine can be.
You know, and then, of course, we go through and we’ll talk about vape pens and what’s you know, what to look for what to avoid, you know why it’s so important when we’re talking about the context of, you know, such concentrated medicine to make sure that it comes from a great source and his craft In a really conscious way, and we talk about the hardware and the temperature that it burns, that just all of that kind of one on one information.
And then, of course, we get to experience the flowers. So I offer those in a vaporized form, in our, you know, a Pax or a firefly, or in a [unintelligible], let people touch and taste and smell. And that is really what the tasting is about. So if you think about it in the context of going to a winery and sitting down and have a wine tasting with a host, we do that, but we do that in the context of cannabis.
And people leave these tastings feeling, I think, much more confident in their own ability to make decisions about this plant medicine. And for me, that’s really good because now those people who are, you know, the high end meaning, you know, high end demographic of consumers, I say we’re influencing the influencers because then they can go back to their communities and start talking about this plant medicine in an informed and conscious way, rather than in, yeah, I went to the dispensary and I got the 10-milligram bites that were made with distillate. having any idea what that means in the context of how it’s going to affect their life and the companies that they’re [unintelligible].
Sonia Gomez: Well, I couldn’t agree more. And you continuously talk about the quality of the product and how important that is. And so I just I want to just talk a moment about this one in a particular product, which we mentioned a little bit earlier Quiver, and then we will use this product to talk about why it’s so important to have real quality cannabis, and how we’re raising our consciousness around the many uses of cannabis for both personal use, but how we’re starting to see cannabis and it’s relatives like hemp, infiltrate multiple markets and why we think it’s going to go global or why it’s going global.
But in the subject of quality, and I’m going to just use this product as an example to talk about the importance of quality and how we have to self regulate and create the standard. When I first met you, let’s just give the paint a picture here. When I first met you, you were getting ready to be swept off of your feet onto an airplane and heading back over to California.
We had like, maybe 60-70 minutes to go out and undownload everything that was in about one another, and to find out how we could work together and I was like, Okay, great. I have about 30 of these meetings per month, right? So I’m like, awesome. I’m fully expecting to meet an awesome girl with a somewhat awesome product that can be taken orally or used topically.
Never did I imagine that in the first 30 minutes of getting to know somebody that we would immediately be talking about our vaginas and respond better to our partners and create a more intensified intimate experience. In other words, we was talking about how to use Quiver so that we was fucking better, you know?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah.
Sonia Gomez: And I was like damn for the whole thing because, you know, I’m Greek and Argentinian to start, so I’m somewhat insatiable, but at the same time, like, never turning down something fun to bring to the bedroom.
Alicia Rose Kelley: Right
Sonia Gomez: Oh, you handed me this black silk sack. And it had a bottle of Quiver in it and I was like, Okay, cool. Quiver like fine. I’ve seen them in porn shops. I’ve seen advertisements everywhere, blah, blah, blah. never really been that impressed and the products that I have tried are usually sticky or they’re super watery and don’t really work [crosstalk] as a lubricant, let alone a massage oil. It’s just not like a total body experience.
And certainly, not something that you want to use internally, maybe externally, it’s okay, but it’s not something that you would want to use internally. Certainly not want to taste you know? So I was like, Alright, you know, this girl’s badass. She’s coming right in for the panties. She’s got a panty-dropping product. Let’s go home and try this thing out. Mind you, we had had, you know, a fly by the night for Palomas. And a few beverages and a few meals. That’s how James and I went home from that meeting [crosstalk]
Alicia Rose Kelley: Nice.
Sonia Gomez: So, in a kid-free zone, we were like, hey, let’s try some of this stuff out popped out of the bag, opened it up, got busy. And show neph within like 10 minutes, reasonably, within 10 minutes of applying Quiver to my hootenanny. I was lifted like straight lifted, and I cracked up after having like just this incredible afternoon delight experience with my husband. I cracked up thinking of one particular comment that you said, When I asked you this question, “Why is this only cannabis? You realize we can only sell this thing in California? Like what the hell? Why don’t we put it in the CBD”, and he looked at me dead square in my eyes.
At this point, almost perfect strangers and you look at me dead square my eye and you’re like, CBD doesn’t get your pussy high.
Alicia Rose Kelley: That’s true.
Sonia Gomez: It’s okay. All right, fine subject truth. False. We don’t know. But I’m gonna just, you know, that’s what you said to me. And that’s why we’re friends today because [crosstalk] and then you were right. I use it and it was amazing and I was like fuck she was right this is awesome and so now we’re at the bottom of the barrel, the thing is dry we have considered breaking it open to get whatever lost droplets [crosstalk] and it’s a mainstay in that you can use it all over the place it’s awesome, right?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah, yeah.
Sonia Gomez: Okay I gotta be honest with you and say that like had I not believed you and heard that like whole scientific [unintelligible] explanation that you have given and are giving and we’ll give here in a moment when I quite get to the point and ask you my question. Quality is everything right? You don’t just want to put anything in your puss, you know what I mean?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Especially, no. It’s your– you know our sexual organs or our most absorptive tissue right need to make sure that it’s super pristine and clean.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Please, for multiple reasons, but you definitely don’t want to put something down there that’s like you don’t want to be fired crotch. So talk to me a little bit about the definition of cannabis quality and what it means with products like this, which really breaks down barriers for generations. For me, really, in a sexually aware society really allows you to infiltrate, you know, multiple demographics all at once.
I’d love to hear a little bit about the definition of cannabis quality, what that is for you, and then how we use that to define a culture of conscious cannabis and how fast this industry is moving. You know, what do we have to do, or what do we need to be aware of to be considered a conscious cannabis community?
What Conscious Cannabis Means
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah, that’s a great question. In fact, just as an aside, I was asked to by a long-standing I think 30-year-old conference called the New Living Summit here in California that happens every spring. They came to me and actually asked me this year if I would help them develop the conscious cannabis summit as part of their new living conference.
And so that was quite an honor to be asked by these folks that have been doing this, you know, longer than I’ve even been in California to come and help establish like this new standard of conscious cannabis versus just cannabis. Right. So so thank you for asking me about, you know, sort of what I believe, you know, conscious cannabis means and, you know, it means so many things.
Conscious cannabis is about making consumer decisions. And not only the way in which I approach my business, which we’re talking about regenerative and holistic and sustainable business practices. This holistic business practice that I’ve been implementing for many years for my wineries. And of course, you know, have tried to bring into my cannabis communities. But this idea that everything that we’re producing should have conscience attached to it.
Everything that we're producing, should have conscience attached to it. - Alicia Rose Kelley Click To Tweet
How is it affecting the soil, water, air, and people that are using it people that are working within the context of the business and people that are using the products themselves? And if that product is being made in a way that is, you know, degrades in any way, shape, or form, anything having to do with environmental or human health, I believe it shouldn’t be happening, right.
And so when you think about conscious cannabis, the idea is that every single step, you should have conscience around that. it should be intentional, and it should be intentional in the way that it’s cultivating greater health, rather than less for both people and the planet. So that’s kind of the simplified definition I guess, in the way that I think about it.
So for me in the context of the products that we make and how we define quality, obviously it has a lot to do with the cultivation methodology that we use, right? So in biodynamic cultivation, not only do we not add any chemicals, we don’t even bring in our own soil, right. So when people think about cannabis grows, they think about, oh, I’m going to go out and buy bags of soil, and I’m going to go out and buy a bunch of fish emulsion, and bat guano. And you know, God knows what else they’re sticking in there, right? That quote unquote is organic.
The problem is, that’s not a conscious decision. It’s not a conscious decision from the, you know, areas that they’re harvesting the bat guano from Argentina and it’s not a conscious decision for what you know, that highly concentrated nitrogen is doing to our waterways and groundwater supplies, nor how it’s, you know, tasting or affecting us when we’re smoking this product and combusting it, you know, or concentrating it into very highly concentrated versions.
So even though these ingredients are organic, again, I don’t think it’s good enough. And you know, we’re still not making that into a conscious, sustainable people and planet conversation and so that in the context of biodynamic farming or regenerative farming practices of all kinds, the idea is that it’s a healing practice for the earth, which means that everything that we do goes into great creating a greater state of health, for the soil for the farm and for the planet as a whole.
So the idea that we’re growing a healing plant, literally within the context of philosophy that is known as a healing practice for the earth. First and foremost feels really good. Also in biodynamics, it’s based on all innate fertility. So in the biodynamic farm, you don’t bring infertility from Argentina, you would develop it on the farm by creating compost and having a highly biodiverse ecosystem, whereby you’re able to actually get all of the nutrients that your plants need by growing plants, and then composting them, right. And so that is, I mean, really the fundamental like sort of ecosystem approach that biodynamics takes into account and most regenerative farming practices do so in the context of consciousness and creating greater health, to me that this is sort of the gold standard right? biodynamic, or regenerative farming principles.
Second, you know, I come from the wine industry and I’ve worked with 100 point winemakers and when I talk with them about cannabis quality, it’s really easy for them to understand. When I talk about full season sun-grown plants being higher quality than something that is forced to flower or produce multiple times per year like cannabis plants do in a light deprivation or even indoor context.
So all of our plants are grown full season meaning we plant them from seed in the ground in the spring and we harvest them in the fall and they have the entire natural sort of biorhythmic life cycle to grow and develop into their most ripe, and their fullest expression.
And when I talk to my winemaking friends about this, they get it immediately, because they think, Oh gosh, you know, there are people that do experiments and they can bring grape vines inside and they can force grapevines to bear fruit multiple times a year by manipulating the fertilizer, and or the light, right? You can actually make a grapevine and produce fruit a few times a year. But when they think about what is the quality of that fruit and would it make good wine a winemaker knows instantly it’s not possible. And the reason that is a plant need, I believe, its entire natural life cycle to develop into its right best and fullest potential.
And so when we talk about 100 point wine, there’s absolutely no way that we could get 100 point wine from a grapevine that was forced to bear fruit multiple times a year. There’s just a natural process whereby we get the extraordinary phenolics and struck components and fruit flavors over the course of an entire growing season. The same is true for cannabis, if not more, because cannabis, you know, as we’ve talked about is one of the most complex plants on the planet. And it needs that time, its primary function is to create greater states of balance. And so if we want that plant to do its job, when we take it into our body, we need to grow it in a conscious way that is supportive of its highest expression, and its ripest and fullest expression, which takes an entire season to do.
And so our plants, you know, when people use our products and you know, smoke or vaporize our flowers, there’s always comment about how they feel very clear and functional and present and good. Whereas when they try other cannabis, it’s a different experience. You know, whether they feel too impaired or whether they feel a little bit paranoid, or whatever it is, the idea of our plants are grown in a conscious way to create a sense of greater balance is pretty profound.
More About Quiver
And so we When you take that into the context of the products that we make, be it, Quiver or anything else, we’re able to utilize through very old school medicine making practices of infusion, and full spectrum extraction methodologies, we’re able to capture and utilize all of that plant intelligence and our products, right.
So Quiver is no, you know, no different. So when I went out and I tried one of the cannabis loops in the market, because I thought, gosh, that sounds really awesome. I tried it and I honestly I was like, gosh, I don’t really feel much of an effect. Like why is that cannabis– I use cannabis. It’s an incredible aphrodisiac, it should be increasing my stimulation, it should be increasing my blood flow because it’s a vasodilator it should be giving me some kind of effect that I’m not getting.
And what I realized is that company was using a co2 extract, and they were taking all the waxes and lipids and all these other kind of fundamental compounds out of the plant in favor of just isolating the THC. And they were like, Oh, that’s the thing that works, right as we talked about before, but in fact, it doesn’t work.
And so when I went about making my own version of this product because I thought it was so cool to have a cannabis intimate oil, of course, I use my own plants and I use strains that I knew would be particularly effective, the way that I wanted it to work. And then I did a, you know, whole-plant extraction methodology in order to capture all of that magic. And that is quite literally the difference that you feel with our products versus, you know, pretty much everything else, at least the ones that I’ve tried that are on the market right now.
So that you know, I think, in and of itself helps to find the quality and also the efficacy that we keep talking about. So the reason that I actually not just to answer your second part of your question, the reason I actually developed Quiver was not as the sex aid. It was originally developed because I was a working mom.
At the time I had four winery clients, high maintenance legacy charismatic owners, which you know, are not always the easiest to deal with. I had a five-year-old at home, had a husband with his own business that I was supporting, and I was starting a cannabis company. And what I realized is that in sort of this maelstrom of modern society and being a working professional in the context of all of that, that I had quite literally become detached from my sensual being.
I was in my head all the time. And I had completely come detached and completely unaware of the fact that I was a woman and that I had sensual desires and that I was embodied and all of the things that make it important to feel sort of grounded in this crazy world. And so I actually developed Quiver not as a sex aid but as a daily practice, where you know, in the morning, I would actually put my eye cream on, you know, wash your face, put your makeup And then you know, and then tip to tail apply some Quiver.
I’m actually quoted in SF Gate in black and white print, in a quote, “because you can’t have a bad day when your pussy is high.” And that is really true. The idea that this incredible bring back awareness and juiciness and sensitivity to your most private sacred first chakra parts, for me was kind of the most profound thing about this product is that you know if it made me feel good in the morning, and that’s sometimes any just exactly what I needed to make sure that I could be present and functional and not just like spinning out from the stress and anxiety and all in my head all the time.
And you know, you start working with the chakra energies and Kundalini energy, and you can really start to develop this practice of having greater energy from within. Right. And so this idea that that Quiver literally makes you feel good from the inside out is a pretty profound thing. So as you’ve also experienced, it’s not just for a daily practice but quiver actually can help, you know, extend orgasm heightened sensation for men, you know, they have reports of increased sensitivity, but also longer stamina. So, yeah, I mean, there’s all of those benefits to which are really fun to talk about.
Sonia Gomez: I love it. I literally could go on for hours and talking about these different things because they’re all subjects that I’m super passionate about. And another underserved subject is cannabis and sex, I think yeah, that you know, that’s definitely– First of all, sex isn’t really talked about like if you have kids and a husband in the life like you don’t talk about sex really, right?
Alicia Rose Kelley: No, of course.
Sonia Gomez: Because you’re expected to be perfect because you’re married and blah, blah, blah. Like it’s just not the case, you really have to work at it. So I love the subject of sex. It’s not uncomfortable for me at all. I think more people should talk about it and more people should do it more often. But I also–
Alicia Rose Kelley: In a conscious way, right, Sonia? [crosstalk] we’re thinking about ourselves as sensual beings, rather than sexual beings. Right. And I think when we sort of start thinking about, especially in our society, the taboo of cannabis. And once we sort of get over that, like anything’s on the table, so we can start talking about sex, that I actually really like to think about it in the context of deeper connection and greater sensuality.
And for me, that’s where the magic happens, right? It’s not kind of this overt sexual energy, but rather a much deeper connection with ourselves and our partners that we can establish by using products like this.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, totally. I 100% agree, I think. I think the intimacy and sensuality we’re kind of numb to it now. Right? Because everything is so available at the push of a button, or you know, anyone can see whatever they want at the push of a button and they don’t even have to pay for it. So there’s a lot less value. And I think that that’s true also for ourselves, which is one of the things I love, just in the spirit of conscious cannabis. I love how cannabis can bring you to your self-aware consciousness, self-consciousness.
It’s actually not a negative thing, to be self-aware and to find ways to care for yourself in a better way so that you can feel and function at your highest capability or just rest and relax, which is also a very high and very hard function. Yes. So, I always ask this particular question, and in the spirit of the time, you know, in this last sort of few minutes of the interview, I want to ask, you know, you’ve really come across some incredible hurdles in Your business. And like so many businesses, we’re all working to accomplish something really great and that requires a certain amount of resources, a certain knowledge base, a certain network, all of these different things.
You have been really powerful and very potent in overcoming a lot of these industry-wide hurdles, and you’re still up against some, but knowing where you come from, knowing where you are and where you have been, and also being aware that there are tons of folks out there who are trying to figure out how to apply their skillsets their knowledge base or their passion into this industry, whether they’re joining an existing brand, investing into a brand or potentially starting one of their own. What would be one or two key pieces of advice that you could offer that might help one assist in the quantum leap. And then I have one follow up question to that when you’re done.
Words of Wisdom
Alicia Rose Kelley: Hmm. I see a lot of people getting into this industry because they see it as the green rush and that is something that is new and exciting and a way to make a bunch of money. And, you know, I actually was speaking with the founder of the Emerald Cup just this weekend at this, you know, amazing seasons ion exchange that I was honored to be invited to this idea that we were talking about the direction that brands taking under its new ownership and that I thought the brand was actually doing a disservice to sort of the legacy of the farmer from the Emerald triangle. And he said, Well, we’re just following the market, Alicia. We have to follow the market and I looked at him and I was like, you know, that does like the sideways head tilt like mer because as a business consultant in the wine industry for 20 years now, there’s not a single time that I have told my wineries or winemakers to follow the market. The successful businesses doesn’t matter what sector you’re in, aren’t following a market trend. They’re doing something that they believe in.
They’re creating what they mean, what it is that is important to them. And is where the great companies come from. They don’t come in the wine industry from chasing scores from a critic, or planting more Cabernet when you really just want to grow Pino, they come from having a really intense desire to create something extraordinary and bring it to the world to define the new market not to chase the market.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, totally. Love that. So that’s your words of advice. Don’t chase the market.
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah, do something that’s passionate, you know, that drives your passion that you believe in. And that’s what’s going to change the culture for the better not by chasing the things that already exist that are so fundamentally broken about our commercial society but creating new ways to approach business and approach products and approaches lifestyle that supports sustainability and health and things that you’re passionate about. I mean, that is that’s the only way change is going to happen.
Sonia Gomez: My God, such good pieces of advice and I’ll piggyback with one thing that sort of emphasizes what you’re saying. And you know, there are no new inventions, there are no new problems, but there are 1000 things that still need to be solved.
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yes
Sonia Gomez: Look at all of the ways that the attempts some successful some not have been applied towards trying to solve these particular problems. Which, by the way, problems are unique to the people that have them, and we happen to fit into a microcosm. So really understanding the demographic that you want to serve, who are the people that you want to solve, what problem for and why, and then the what comes up from there, right?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yes.
Sonia Gomez: Product isn’t an experience. Is it a place? Is it? You know, what is it? And but it’s really driven by Who do you want to solve what problem for, when and why. And, you know, that really will help you to identify what you’re going to do. And chances are some it’s already out there and you have a unique set of skills or resources that can make it bigger and better.
So I just really want to encourage you guys that are starting products or that have a product and are putting it together or you’re going to the drawing board right now, thinking about how you can stand out and be unique and get in front of more eyeballs, you know, really consider revisiting who you’re serving, how and why. And that will really help you to sort of carve out what the next path is going to make sure that you stay unique in the way that you’re solving a particular problem for a particular person. And really do have it come from a place of passion. Otherwise, you might as well have a salary job, where nobody cares when and how you [inaudible]
Alicia Rose Kelley: And I’ll add to that, I mean, just you know, as the little cherry on top of that beautiful sentiment, you know, defining the way that you want to show up in the world, as you know, the way that you make your mark in the mark in the world, and not only creating something that solves a problem, but that actually supports health, you know, at every level supports health and happiness at every level. It’s the only way forward, it’s the only way forward for our entire society. And, and, you know, the way that we’re able to show up and live on this planet is for all of us to be making more conscious decisions about what our mark in our legacy is going to be here.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely. I love it. So good. Alicia, where can folks find you if they want to find out more about your journey and what’s next for HerbaBuena?
Alicia Rose Kelley: Yeah, herbabuena.com. H-E-R-B-A-B-U-E-N-A, herba buena like the good herb .com. We’re on Instagram @herbabuena_og. We used to just be HerbaBuena. But Instagram shut our account down last year. So we’re slowly trying to rebuild that incredible community. We’re also on Facebook.
And if you come to California, Northern California, please look us up. We would absolutely love to sit and invite you to a social club, or to one of our elevated tastings. It’s really, truly I think the best way to experience the highest expression of conscious cannabis and we would love to host anybody that’s coming out this way.
Sonia Gomez: Amazing. Well, thank you again for your amazing time and contribution to the hemp revolution. This is just like so fun for me to be able to talk to conscious cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs. It’s like one of the things that I love most and sorry, not sorry, I love that you’re a girl or woman.
Alicia Rose Kelley: Likewise. Back at you baby.
Sonia Gomez: So I just am really super grateful for your time. Thank you so much. And for those of you guys who are tuning in, all of the social media handles and websites will be listed around this episode along with our show notes, show highlights, honorable mentions, tweetable, so on and so forth.
Check us out on all the platforms and make sure that you guys like and share this content. If you are someone who’s looking for products that you can depend on to deliver the results that you’re looking for. Even if it’s to get your post the Hi, check it out. Check us out at medicalsecrets.com for some of our favorite picks. And if you are an entrepreneur looking to break through some glass ceilings and brick walls, shoot me your story. I want to hear more about you and find out how I can help. email@example.com.
Looking forward to finding out more about what you are doing in this space. I’m your hostess with the mostess Sonia Gomez. And this is the Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on the next show, guys.
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