Editor’s note: This story was previously published on EstroHaze, a multimedia company highlighting the business and lifestyles of multicultural women in the cannabis industry.
Six years ago, Uneeda Nichols of Washington, D.C., struggled to lead a normal life. She suffered from painful physical and mental ailments, and her regimen of pharmaceutical treatments came with the price of uncomfortable side effects.
In 2012, she first turned to medicinal cannabis as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment. Amazed by the plant’s potential, she continued researching different strains and discovered the plant’s myriad medical uses. Six years later, she uses it today to treat her anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis and more. She is now free of both pharmaceutical treatments and their side effects.
“We’re trained to go for a Tylenol or an Advil,” Nichols said. “Now I’m trained to go for a different cannabis strain for whatever’s wrong with me. Sometimes I make smoothies, sometimes I make candy, or I eat it in a cake. As I grow, I’m learning more.”
Not content to keep her knowledge to herself, Nichols decided to share her love for cannabis with her community.
In 2014, she founded a catering company, D.C. Sweet Sensations. Her services include both home delivery and event catering, with an all-organic, fresh and seasonal menu of salads, seafoods, meats, smoothies, baked goods—and, of course, cannabis edibles.
More recently, Nichols founded an educational group: Gurlz Grow Dank, which holds seminars to teach women how to grow their own cannabis.
“Through my cannabis catering company and my advocacy, I’ve met many people and listened to their needs,” she said. “So through this new company, I teach people how to grow different strains and which ones make them feel better, mentally or physically.”
Nichols partners with local dispensaries, growers and producers of hydroponic grow systems. Her first class was on May 20, and she plans to continue holding them as often as possible.
Outside of her entrepreneurship, Nichols is a proud mother who’s raised five godchildren, with one son living at home with her. She holds master’s degrees in both business and public administration, which she earned while owning and managing two hair salons and battling her health issues.
Nichols works on the front lines of cannabis activism in her home city of Washington, D.C. She organizes with DCMJ.org, which led the successful ballot measure Initiative 71 to legalize cannabis in the capital in 2014.
Her current activist efforts include pushing to repeal the “Andy Harris rider,” an amendment passed by the eponymous congressman from Maryland in December 2014, which has prohibited legal cannabis sales in the city.
But Nichols is also helping to lead the charge on DCMJ’s “Bring It Home” initiative. This campaign seeks to protect medical marijuana patients receiving federal housing assistance, commonly referred to as Section 8. Nichols is herself on a waitlist for Section 8 assistance, and as an open cannabis user, she understands the seriousness of this issue.
To read the rest of this story, go to EstroHaze.