TNMNews had the opportunity to chat with Maya Elisabeth, an amazing cannabis entrepreneur and co-owner of one of the most well known brands here in the United States, Whoopi and Maya. After Maya dominated the Cannabis Cup for the better part of a decade and formed OM Edibles, Whoopi Goldberg’s people reached out to Maya three years ago with a desire to partner with her on an all female cannabis product line. Today Whoopi and Maya is a booming business with locations in both California and Colorado offering a wide variety of cannabis products geared towards women including bath soaks, body butter and chocolates. Maya’s knowledge and passion for cannabis is unparalleled in the industry. While Maya wears many hats for Whoopi and Maya and still runs OM Edibles, Maya is the official infuser for the business and has discovered all different ways to utilize her unique skill set for products meant to positively change the lives of women with the help of the benefits of cannabis.
Maya, thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy schedule to talk to us and allow our followers to get a glimpse into your business life. One of the most amazing bits of information about the beginning of your career are all of the Cannabis Cups wins. Can you tell us how you developed your passion for cannabis and how your career began?
Maya: Gosh, well first I just love cannabis so much, and consuming it in all different ways. I started by experimenting with making brownies. I got a job at a dispensary because of a friend. I looked up cooking with cannabis online but there was not much there, so I used trial and error to figure it out. I started experimenting, and ended up making an edible cookie dough we called Mama’s Cookie Dough. It was frozen and patients could take it home and bake the cookies themselves. Then I started making truffles we called Queen 215 named after Prop-215 here in California. We also made a stoner’s peanut butter and chocolate. Those are all gone now because they did not meet the new regulations. There was one dispensary that sold them back then called the Vapor Room. They got shut down by the feds a decade ago, but people kept requesting edibles and it all just got bigger and bigger. In 2015 I got 6 cannabis cups. Then I got the call from Whoopi three years ago, actually I got a call from Rick Cusick, he used to work at High Times. He said he had a high profile celebrity interested in an entirely female product line and that they would like to cover a woman’s menstrual cycle. That’s how it got started.
That’s a great story.The cannabis industry is getting a lot of attention and people are curious about pioneers in the industry like you. Could you take a moment to give them an idea of what your typical business day is like?
Maya: Oh wow, it could be anything. I wake up around 5 or 6 and start with emails. I order things I forgot to order and get myself ready for my day. I am into tarot too so I lay out the cards ask the tarot cards what is in store for my day. I then get make medicated by 8ish with some dabs or maybe I’ll smoke a joint. Then I hit the bank. After that I start the large batches of infusions that we either dilute or medicate and send to the lab for testing. Then I will have to work on my bookkeeping and more emails maybe for sales. Then I will do budtender trainings and just want to make sure I do everything right as a new company. I work until 7:30 or 8 and then I am ready for nice dinner. I like to eat a nice dinner because I am wiped and not able to answer any more questions. I often go out to a nice restaurant and do not mind eating alone. Just collect my thoughts and not worry about anymore questions.
Are there any of your products that you like in particular?
Maya: Oh my gosh, all of them. I’m always skeptical of all my creations, you know I really care and really take it very seriously. The rub has changed peoples lives. I get calls every day about it. The tincture is fantastic, the uterine toner, Cacao is a fair trade organic chocolate and totally delicious. It is very versatile but really what medicine tastes this good? Bath salts are a great experience with zero possibility of a bad trip. It works on your colon which is like a sponge. People have mucus membranes in their genitals you know. It’s great and it’s like applying a topical to your uterus. It’s amazing for a woman’s cycle.
Can you talk about what you and Whoopi have referred to as the grass ceiling in the cannabis industry?
Maya: Yeah definitely. Our thoughts are about this prenascent bubble ending with Prop 215 and how it kept these old man clubs from forming. I have heard though lately that women in the industry are rapidly declining as money comes in. The grass ceiling is about there being no limit on how high women can get in the industry. It can’t be denied that there is a connection between women and cannabis. They are naturally paired, there is an obvious connection between women and cannabis.
Where do you see Whoopi and Maya in let’s say 10 years?
Maya: A lot more things in store, a lot coming out. We want to be that trusted cannabis brand that people love because we have high quality products.
We want to thank Maya Elisabeth for taking the time to speak with us and providing us insights into what it is like to run such a well known cannabis brand like Whoopi and Maya. You can find Whoopi and Maya in California and Colorado.
Keep your eyes open for some more interviews with the biggest and most influential cannabis companies in the world.