I enrolled in a yoga teacher-training program, to start over as a yoga instructor. I knew I would need to distance myself from my co-workers to avoid the temptation to stay, so I planned a move across the state to San Francisco.
When I called Cindy to share my plans, she exclaimed that she, too, had decided to move to San Francisco from Southern California. She received her health coach certification, and it felt meant-to-be that we were both moving to the same city to start new careers. She realized that I could now try cannabis, and made a business proposal: to start a line of healthy cannabis edibles.
I agreed to Cindy's proposal, but with reservations. If I tried cannabis, I would be abandoning any chance to return to my old job. And what would I say to my former co-workers, whom I told I was leaving to teach yoga? Many of them were vocal about their views against marijuana. I spent three more months researching and deliberating before trying any cannabis. I enjoyed it, and grew even more excited about starting our business. But now I had a secret that I needed to share with the rest of my friends, family, and former co-workers.
A year later, once the business was stable and growing, I finally decided to announce what I had been up to. My news was met with some shock and disappointment. Some friends completely disapproved, while others kept quiet about their opinions. I became concerned that I had damaged some of my relationships beyond repair.
It has now been three years since I quit dispatching, and California is four months away from legal sales of recreational cannabis. I still have great relationships with many of my old co-workers, and even those who once distanced themselves have started warming back up to me. Surprisingly enough, some have asked to learn more about cannabis, out of curiosity to assist with their loved ones' health.
I took a flying leap of faith going into this business. Currently Cindy and I are struggling to meet our order demand. Every day of 2017 has been spent trying to figure out how to best grow our business, and as we look forward to 2018, our biggest concern is the financial burden of acquiring a business license. Despite the uncertainty, we are confident in what we've created. And I won't be looking back.
Commentary by Leone Posod, the co-founder of Treat Yourself, a female-inclusive cannabis health & wellness brand. Leone left her decade-long career as a police dispatcher to found Treat Yourself with her childhood best friend, Cindy. Together they are on a mission to use Treat Yourself as a way to educate others about how to incorporate cannabis into a healthy lifestyle.
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Tune in to CNBC on Tuesday, August 8 at 10pm ET/PT for "The Profit: Marijuana Millions," as "The Profit" host Marcus Lemonis explores California's marijuana industry boom.